Tag Archives: cooking

Work, and a preview

I’ve been working at the same job for about two and a half years, which is pretty long for a college student. I like to think I’m pretty good at what I do, and I’ve certainly become a competent Lab Technician over time.

What I do is sit here:

With a bunch of tiny vials of this:

Which I move around into other vials with these micropipettes:

Then I put the whole shebang into this machine:

Which is a thermal cycler and costs more than the car I drove in high school. The machine heats and cools and heats again, and eventually I get lots of DNA where there was just a tiny bit to start with. Then I run the samples through a gel full of the mutagenic chemical I mentioned a few posts ago, and then I can see which genes the sample contains.

This process is called PCR, and it’s also used for paternity testing and forensic DNA analysis, as evidenced by this delightful song, advertising the cycler above:

Note: it is someone’s job to make up songs about lab equipment.

So that’s that.

“Where’s the preview?” you ask? Oh yes:

Is… is that black beans soaking with a green pepper?

And some flank steak braising on the stove?

I do believe it is. But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the full spread- this is a meal with a 2-day prep period. Get excited.