So far in the last two weeks, I have begun learning the user interface and machine basics of the flow cytometry machine at one of the core facilities. The machine seems to be simple to run, however, the user interface and various tools are quite complicated. On my second training, I learned the methods of manual compensation and auto compensation. Compensation is a way of “priming” the machine to understand and dial in the range of the fluorescent stains so that the data you obtain is universal in the experiment. Overall, I find auto compensation to be much easier and more time efficient. While learning on my second training I was able to use some samples obtained from the lab, but nothing of great importance and this was very nice to actually see measurable data on the machine. While learning this technique is going to be one that requires much practice, I am excited to continue learning and developing this skill and information that I know can be applied to my future career in research.
In addition to flow cytometry, I have been working on some bigger projects with my lab PI. While the details of the experiment may be beyond the scope of this blog I would still like to explain some observations. Like I had said in previous blogs, research is a very dynamic area of study. We are always modifying and repeating to go where the data takes us. I find it to be very interesting and challenging, but that to me is what makes this field so interesting. You are constantly trying to move in the direction to answer the question even if you get results you didn’t expect.
With the internship coming to an end soon, it will be very odd not coming to the lab frequently throughout the week. However, I plan on continuing my research in this lab upon classes beginning and I am still very excited. I have learned a great deal of information and techniques from the short amount of time being here.