Sunday, May 15, 2005

tonight is the last night of my relative freedom:( tomorrow, at 8am, i join the masses of working stiffs (again!)...i start actual research on wednesday - monday and tuesday are orientation and introduction to doing research at the graduate/professional level. should be dull and useless...but anyway. at least it's not school, right? on a funner note, i started studying again last night. i know, i know - call the men in the white coats to lock me up. dee and alison came over - we watched a movie, then jim and dee finished up band of brothers. while they watched that, i studied bacteriology and immunology. i've decided, since i feel that i didn't learn anything in vet school, that i'm going to read some of my textbooks this summer and try to get a better feel for some of the subjects -namely bact, immunology, and virology. we'll see how long this drive lasts.

so, i'm sure everyone is just dying to know about my research. i'll keep it short, sweet, with small words. bird blood is different from any other species because (unlike every other species) birds' red blood cells have a nucleus. so, when doing a complete blood count (CBC) you can't distinguish (with machines) the difference between red blood cells and white blood cells. that's a crucial part of looking at blood. so...when looking at bird blood, you have to COUNT it by hand...on a microscope. it's time consuming and difficult. so, i'm using a flow cytometer this summer - which is a machine that uses a beam of light to examine centrifuged blood. the beam of light hits the sample and the way the light scatters indicates the structure of the cells. the hope is that this machine will be able to be used in blood samples for birds. on top of that, we're going to evaluate immune function in birds. i'm a little hazy on that should be fun though. at any rate, at least it'll be interesting. and my COE advisor has assured me that by the time i'm finished i'll be able to hold a parrot with one hand, draw blood with the other, and do a microscope smear all at the same time. handy knowledge.

at any rate, i guess that's all there is to report here...

No comments: