Welcome back to the final update of my adventure at Sars! Time has really passed by the last couple of weeks, and they have mainly been filled with exam reading, biological input and the opportunity to enjoy the lab environments at Sars.

In the writing moment I am all done at Sars, have said my goodbyes and are a notch wiser compared to my starting point in February. I have received new knowledge at the lab that I before only had read about, like Midi preps (Plasmid purification method) and electroporation (giving electric shock to the egg cells to make little pores so we could insert the plasmid of interest into the egg cell). Also, it is not a pease of cake to take care of algae culture, because when you don’t feed and care for them, they get sad and die. Yes, very brutal, but thats how it is. Algae cultures in the lab are more vulnerable and demanding compared to algae’s found in free environments.


As mentioned in my previous blogpost I promised some larvae pictures! Sooo, here they are! The developing larvae with the developing nervous system!

Beautiful, isn’t it? Here you can see the nervous system stained showing a bright green color and the phalloidin (stains actin filaments) which labels the cytoskeleton in all cells. These three pictures show a Ciona larvae where there is not used any drug to affect the nervous system development, but on the other hand in the pictures below the nervous system has been affected.

These Ciona larvae’s have been treated with a drug called PTZ (Pentylenetetrazole) which affects the neurotransmitter binding in the developing and affects the adult nervous system. As we can see the PTZ drug causes defects in the development of the nervous system.


When I got to see these pictures, the pre work to fertilize and grow the Ciona larvae’s made more sense. To visualize your work and seeing the progress, changed the way I looked at the tasks and techniques I took part in. Just getting the bigger picture, knowing the different stages and see the outcome sort off lit up the light bulb hanging over my head! 😛


I think that when you do something you are really passionated about, you just know. The feeling of just mastering techniques, gaining experience and not at least work with something you are interested in, sparks up the will to just do more!


To summarize, general lab experience helped a lot to work more efficient, thorough and to be more aware of the basic use of different equipments, like for example fancy microliter pipettes and centrifuges. Also, surprisingly the amount of reading english textbooks related to molecular biology the last couple semesters helped me understand what I was doing and to make it easier to express myself while talking to others at Sars.


Special shout-out to Marios, Jørgen, Mari and Birthe for taking good care of me while working at Sars and to answer all weird questions through my stay 😛


With that, thank you so much for following me on my adventure at Sars and if you as a student are considering taking BIO298? Just jump into it, learn something new and have a fantastic semester! Could not have been without this experience <3


– Eilen

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