Tuesday 6/12

Today was one heck of an exciting day, despite the weather.

Top 3 most exciting things:

1) Finally putting the lead mice in the running wheels!

2) Chasing down 3 (yes, 3) escaped mice

3) My first mouse bite


Now here’s a play-by play of today’s events:

I woke up at about 5 in the morning to the sound of Daisy knocking some unknown object over in my room.  After chasing her out, I settled back to sleep.  There’s nothing like a 5 AM wakeup call by your cat to make you ready to go back to school.  Then I woke up at a normal time to make the drive back to Saratoga.  The drive took longer than expected because I spent at least half of the way here stuck behind a Taurus that went 10 miles under the speed limit the whole way.  But nevertheless, I arrived back at Skidmore at about 10:30 and immediately made my way to the lab to start preparing the running wheel cages for their new owners.

I filled up all the water bottles and bedding trays, and then started screwing on the magnet switches.  I also checked the computer to see how the BTBR mice were doing.  Then I went back to my room and changed my clothes because it was starting to get cold out.  Then I went to “Journal Club”, a meeting of some of the summer research students and their professors.  We were supposed to read an article relevent to someone’s research, and then the students gave a presentation on it and answered questions.  Since I had only gotten the article an hour before the meeting, I didn’t get a chance to read it, but the talk was really interesting.  Plus there was free pizza 🙂

After the meeting, I went back to the lab and finished screwing in the magnets and tested out the wheels to make sure they were running smoothly.  Then I had to make tags for all the 32 mice, as well as choose which cage they came from and decide how to most evenly distribute them.   That took a while, but once it was done I was ready to put the mice in the wheels.  That was the fun part.

Things were going pretty smoothly until about the third mouse, which did not like going into it’s new home very much, and CHOMP! it promptly bit me on the thumb.  It didn’t hurt much, but it was a bit of a surprise and it did draw blood.  The next surprise was the hyperactivity of the female Balb mice.  Mice are nocturnal, so it should have been the middle of the night for these little critters, and they should have been fast asleep.  Key word “should”.  The mice were jumping around like popcorn in their little cage, and when I opened it up, one of the four just popped right out! I quickly went to shut the door and chased it into the corner, catching it by the tail and placing it into it’s new cage.  I vowed to be more careful, but out of 36 cages, more were bound to escape.  For one escapee, I even had to have Bernie come help me to catch it.  Luckily we got it, and only one more got out after that, and it was easily caught.

That just about ended the excitement for the day.  I did a few more small tasks and then talked with Bernie about the week’s plans.  But running around after mice like a cat was enough excitement for the week! Daisy probably would have enjoyed that job.  Now the rest of the week should be pretty straightforward, I just have to catch up on the literature.  I’ll write to you tomorrow!



About kararode

Hey! I'm Kara, and I am creating this blog as a sort-of diary to keep track of my summer research experience at Skidmore College. It is such a great opportunity and I don't want to forget a single bit of it! Feel free to read and take a peek at what it's like to be me, working in the laboratory as a "real" research scientist :)

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