Tales of Wendy's worms

Bloop.  I'm starting to dream about worms now @_@''  I play with worms at lab every day, so maybe they're wriggling into my mind~~~  OooOooohh~  Hehe :P

I just started my first batch of worms a few weeks ago, so I have some lab noob stories to share :D  Here goes!

Once upon a time...

Just a quick bit of eju-ma-kay-tion, these worms are called C. elegans (or Caenorhabditis elegans, but I always pronouce the C word as "Cah-numa-numa-numa," so it's better to just stick to the C. ^^'')  They're super tiny, so they're not as scary!  The biggest ones on my plate are still tiny, but you can see them with a naked eye.  Otherwise, we have to use a microscope to view them.  The big ones are cool to look at with the microscope!  They're plump and wind around in elegant sine curves.  Or if they're being mean, they just plow into smaller worms that are in their path D:

A view from my microscope, my cuties!  :D

When I looked at a plate of C. elegans, I spent almost an hour scoping out a male.  And I couldn't find one!!  I know that the majority of the worms are hermaphrodite, but a few are male.  And I really wanted to see a male with my own eyes, because literature said they have this fan-shaped tale, which sounds uber cool!  And so I finally gave up and asked my mentor if he could help me find a male.  He looked at me and told me that the whole plate consisted of only hermaphrodites in a matter-of-fact way.  *Durr*  Haha!  Apparently, males are SUPER rare, and they happen usually only by chance.  Ohhh~  Kay kay, now I know!  Still have yet to spot a male though o_o

There were too many worms on the plate, so I was allowed to transfer a few worms onto a fresh plate that I would be keeping.  I used a platinum wire and basically smushed a worm with the flat side and let it crawl off of it onto the new agar plate.  I watched it explore its new territory and eat the bacteria lawn (its food!) with zest.  So cute!  ^_^  I called it Sam...  because I don't know if I want it to be a girl or a guy XD  ...  A few days later, there were Sam IIs, because Sam laid eggs by itself.  Then a week later and I had Sam 923842938ths, haha!  So silly.  Kind of sad, because I eventually killed all of them ._.  When I put them in a tube with bleach and sodium hydroxide, I saw the worms swirling around.  My mentor said they were "swimming," but I think they were more... exploding *_*  We needed their RNA, so we were literally lysing them.  Ahh, Sam!  I'm sowwie!~~

Later, I was drinking from my water bottle and saw a familiar shape at the bottom.  I gulped.  It was a huge and plump smooth line with tapered ends, just like the ends of a hermaphrodite C. elegans' tail.  Dear gosh, if that's an impossibly large worm in my water, I'm going to cry, I thought.  I dumped the water out and realized that it was a single orange pulp, probably from the orange I was eating for lunch.  (Yes, yes, probably backwash or something '':P)  I gave a huge sigh in relief!  It's so funny, because of COURSE there wouldn't be a worm that large, let alone fall off the lab bench, crawl under the door, down the hallway, and up onto the table with our water bottles, and then wriggle itself into my water bottle.  But I just mass murdered worms, so I guess I was nervous that they would be coming to avenge themselves... by.. uhm, drowning in my water?  @_@''

Yes.  So I am thinking about worms all the time now, yay!  I actually like working with them more than mice though :)  I cut a chunk out of the agar for something, and the worms started crawling down the hole.  It was so cool-- like watching Spiderman scale a wall.  I focused on a few to follow their trail, watching them poke their heads over the side and then wind their way down to investigate.  Super cute :)  (Of course, I say they're cute and stuff, but I bet if I knew one of them was on my skin, I'd start screaming x_x'')

Those big worms?  Nah, they're actually even tinier than this!  That's the chunk I took out of the plate :)

Then for one of the experiments, I had no autoclaved water (very pure and clean water), so my mentor filled up a tube and gave it to me saying, "This should last you a while."  I thanked him and laughed, yeah, I only need around 500 microliters, and he gave me around 35mL.  I put the tube on my bench, loaded a tip onto a pipet, and... knocked over the opened tube of water and watched the water splash all over the place.  DURR.  Haha!  Yes, it lasted so long-- probably less than 2 minutes!  I feel like a total klutz =_=

I write down my experiment setups in a notebook, and I labelled a few things as the regular/basal level of zinc and high levels of zinc.  My mentor was looking through the pages and pointed out that I kept spelling it as "basil."  Durr, I think about food too much!  Haha~  ^^

Yep yep, so those are my noob stories, and hopefully I will have less of those in the coming weeks!  Anyone else have a few to share? ;)

And of course, I *always* have to include food in a post, right?  Yesh!  :P  The lab went out as a group to eat at Rasoi, an Indian restaurant just in walking distance from the building.  They serve a lunch buffet during the afternoon and dinner in the evening.  Walking down Central West End was really fun!  It was my first time to walk there in the afternoon when I could actually see everything, and people sat outside of the restaurants and ate.  Nice atmosphere ^^b

Elephant room!  We're the table in the middle :)

Main dining area

The inside of Rasoi was modernized, and the room in the back that is reserved for larger parties is called the "Elephant Room," probably after the mural painting of the elephant!  *Durr durr* :P  The buffet food doesn't span a huge amount of room.  In fact, the food area is probably smaller than the size of my lab bench, but the flavor really makes up for it!  My favorites were the chicken masala, beef kofta curry, matter palak, naan, and some okra dish.  It was so delicious!  :D  I will definitely come back again ^^

I couldn't take many pictures of my food, because I'm a little worried my fellow lab members might think I'm crazy or have some eating disorder (especially with the fact that I was the last one to finish... as usual @_@''), so hope this picture gives you a good enough picture of the food!

OM NOM NOM NOM *heart*

I think I would like eating here in the afternoon during the buffet than at night.  The windows let a lot of light in, and it's not dimly lit so I can actually see (and take pictures of!) my food~  Also, with a buffet, you can sample more types of dishes!  I'm not sure if the selection changes daily, but there were a lot of people at Rasoi for lunch.  I had to wait in line for the buffet ^^!

To me, Indian cooking still remains a mystery; I can only imagine that it takes a long time to infuse the food with so much flavor!  I enjoy eating it since I don't think I'll ever cook it at home :o  (besides curry~)  Don't know how authentic the food is, but it's dang yummy~  If you're on a quest for the softest naan or a lunch full of spice and flavor, check out Rasoi's.  If you're like me and not an Indian food expert, I'm sure you won't be disappointed~  :3

25 North Euclid Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63108


Also, a random photo of mapo tofu!  It tasted almost the same as the way my parents make it :3  The only bad thing is that I stirred the poor tofu into mush XD  I'll stir less next time!  See the book in the back?  That's the first book I've read for fun since winter break X_X''  It's pretty good, and I read it when I eat dinner ^^

sworly said...

What exactly are you researching (research question or whatever)? Seems interesting.

Wendy said...

To boil it down, it's basically identifying which genes are upregulated/downregulated when the worms are exposed to zinc :)