Friday, 25 July 2014


Another week upon my quest to become the Media Queen! (It’s actually going quite well). Started out the week by banging out a few Falcons of Piggy IVM media not only faster than before, but remembering that they live in the fridge (as opposed to the incubator) and end up in Nunc plates, making themselves useful (instead of being chucked in the bin). YEY! The incubator we have been using decided it wanted to break so kept making a joyous noise (see video) which probably just put me off going anywhere near it! The most fantastic bit about the IVF lab is that the pig stuff doesn’t like aircon..fabulous when it’s almost 100,000 degrees thanks to the heatwave!

Silly incubator 

This week was a big ovary week with a nice(?) flaskfull arriving on Monday and a few more (not as many as expected L) coming on Wednesday! On Monday afternoon I spent 2.5/3 hours sucking oocytes out of about 70 ovaries (delicious) but on Wednesday had to stay at home thanks to a bit of food poisoning (could have been interesting trying to aspirate stinky pig ovaries in that state).

Piggy ovaries in a jar, piggy ovaries in my hand and piggy oocytes and goo.

Towards the end of the week I started getting things ready for some mini-prepping and labelling. First step was making up a couple of plates (haven’t done that in a while so had absolutely no clue what I was doing although I definitely should have! Bad scientist L) which were then streaked with BAC clones and incubated overnight. The BAC clones (called Pig-E BAC…piggy BACK..piggy-back, gerrit? tehe) are stored in an extremely cold freezer which makes it feel like you’ve stepped into the arctic when you open the door – which oozes a whole load of condensation/fog (pretty epic)!

Frozen freezer

In an attempt to fix the extremely annoying incubator the CO2 canister was changed to see if that’s what it was moaning about. Kate and I had the fun task (I say I but I was just there for support and door opening ;) ) of going to stores to get a new one. This is the furthest lab away from stores, CO2 canisters are heavy and their trolleys are a bit pants. Managed to drag it back and get it refitted just to find out that the canister wasn’t the problem at all.

Fertilisation Friday came about really fast! The morning was occupied with exercising some sperm while separating the “boys from the men” using a swim-up tube which is pretty much a spermy race. Some pretty photos were taken of the nicely matured eggs (I’ll put them up next week) and then we all headed off to Pizza Express for Kara’s birthday lunch J (she’s nearly finished her PhD, woohoo!). A full (both through busyness and food) afternoon was compiled of fixing and mini-prepping. We fixed some embryos (stuck them to a slide) so that we can do some FISH on them to test our sexing stuff (not as naughty as it sounds) however, apparently this rarely actually works- I was told the embryos “float off into the sky” but I think that was a fib. The mini-prepping was done to get ready to make the probes for the FISHing (busy busy busy).

Nicely mini-prepped and ready for next week!

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