But as for what I've been doing in the lab recently... not too much. Although I did end up going to a sacrifice in the necropsy room, which caught me by surprise and I was consequently quite depressed. I mean I know that they had to kill the rats eventually, but when I didn't know what that you had to kill them twice, first by gas then by some other method..ours was stabbing. Then to make it easier to access the leg muscles, the legs were simply cut off with a guillotine. I just pretended not to hear and looked away. Thankfully I don't have my animal certification, so I couldn't touch them!
So yeah, that wasn't very much fun. Lots of other people came in too, and what really got me were two batches of newborn mice being gassed then chopped up - they couldn't have been more than a couple of days old, with their eyes still closed and tiny little pink bodies. That made me particularly sad.
Yep. Not so fun, I'm no animal killer, even if it is in the name of science. I also had to steel my nerves to handle the cut muscles and nerves and put them in a paraformaldehyde solution - ick! They felt disgusting!
Anyways, other than that I haven't been doing much. We are starting to analyze the nerve growth and regeneration, so part of my job in these past few days has been to circle the nerve cells in the pictures that were taken.
Sounds easy, except for the fact that the quality of the pictures were terrible. Like, total crap terrible. It made it extremely difficult to trace the nerves, when half the time I wasn't even sure what I was looking at! Then, after I had finished tracing by hand, I found out that technique was found to be inaccurate....so I had to redo them all on the computer. Frankly, looking at the finished product (using a mouse and magic wand tool on photoshop) I think it's even less accurate. But oh well, what do I know? I'm just the unpaid volunteer.
Until next time~