Scott's MD-PhD Adventure

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Hallo-wed

I walk in this morning after saying yesterday that I would dress up.

Lili: You don't have costume!
Me: Yes I do. Hold on. *takes off jacket*
Lili: Oh! You have tie!
Me: Yes. Do you watch The Office?
Lili: No what's that?
Me: I'm a character on that TV show named Jim
Lili: Oh! Ok!
Me: Let me find a picture. *google image search*
Lili: He was you know the movie...he and his wife, they want to get married, but they have to meet first and do these tasks.
Me: I think I've heard of it. What's it called?
Lili: I do not know the name.

10 minutes later

Lili: I remembered the name! License to the Wed!


Friday, October 26, 2007

Dumb to the core

I saw this on the satellite TV channel from China at LTH tonight. It's for real

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Animal Ethics Ethics

I did my mandatory online state ethics training during my mandatory animal ethics course this morning.

Today's topic: mouse breeding & colony management.

When the female is in estrus, she's receptive to the male.

I like to wean for 28, not 21 days, they're more well-rounded mice that way

C57/Blacks...they're not the best mothers.

Some people like to put 1M:1F. I don't think it's very productive - there's not enough animals in the cage. Polygamous works much better. 1M:2F and you don't get cages too crowded.
Harem mating: 1M:multiple F. Only do this temporarily.

Sometimes if the mice won't breed, they want some privacy. We cover the cage in a pillow case and that seems to work.

Toe clipping is not allowed unless justified by your animal use protocols.

Here is a clipart photo from the online training:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

That Make No Sense

We got our new md/phd program facebook today. I brought it back to lab, and showed Bob and Lili.

Bob: Wow, Sheila got her BS and BA in biochemistry and drama
Me: Really? That's cool.
Lili: Where is drama?
Bob: What?
Lili: Drama?
Bob: Yeah, like acting
Lili: But her is biochemistry?
Bob: Yes, she got 2 degrees
Lili: that combine?
Bob: She had 2 majors and got 2 degrees
Lili: That make no sense


Monday, October 22, 2007

Third time's the charm

From: Monica
Date: October 22, 2007 3:37:58 PM CDT
To: Class List-serv
Subject: OSA Announcement: FREE FLU Vaccinations for Medical Students

FREE FLU VACCINATIONS FOR ALL SIX HEALTH SCIENCES COLLEGES --Tuesday, October 23, 2007-- Room 1130 [Hospital]--Students Must Bring Their ID-Card.

From: Monica
Date: October 22, 2007 4:26:59 PM CDT
To: Class List-serv
Subject: OSA Announcement: FREE FLU Vaccinations for Medical Students

FREE FLU VACCINATIONS FOR ALL SIX HEALTH SCIENCES COLLEGES --Tuesday, October 23, 2007-- 7:00am to 4:30pm--Room 1130 [Hospital]--Students Must Bring Their ID-Card.

From: Monica
Date: October 22, 2007 4:35:18 PM CDT
To: Class List-serv
Subject: OSA Announcement: FREE FLU Vaccinations for Medical Students

FREE FLU VACCINATIONS FOR ALL SIX HEALTH SCIENCES COLLEGES --Tuesday, October 23, 2007-- 7:00am to 4:30pm--Room 1130 (1st floor) [Hospital]--Students Must Bring Their ID-Card.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bunny Burritos

Basic handling of mice, rats, rabbits

Description of a hepa-filter cage:
I refer to this type of cage as a petri dish. I think most people who work in a lab know what that is, so I use this analogy and like to see a lightbulb go off in the person's head.

Determining the sex of a mouse:
Here's a secret they don't tell you - if you see nipples, it's a female!

A question from a student:
"What's taurine?"
"It's an amino acid"

Describing rats:
Rats don't have tonsils, which is one of the reasons they don't vomit.
Rats recognize voice, odor and touch of specific humans, so they do get to know you.

Restraining rats:
To put the rat in the restraining bag, just hold it by the base of the tail, swing it back and forth until it gets in the bag. You have about a minute before it breaks through.

On rabbits:
Rabbit veins are delicate - they tear easily!
Rabbits require a grass type hay, not an alfalfa type hay. That has too much calcium.
Rabbits - we have these restraints. Either towels or lab coats. We call them bunny burritos.

New word of the day:
Mice and rats are coprophagic - so they eat their feces.
Rabbits are also coprophagic, and they like to eat their vitamin rich feces ("night feces")

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Claws and Effect

Animal Class. Today's homework question:
1. Name five physical factors in the environment that can effect[sic] laboratory animals and thus alter experimental data.

Temperature. "Our staff one 4th of july turned the a/c off over the weekend. If you keep rats at 88degrees for 48 hours, 1/3 of the rats will be dead. And of the surviving males, 25% will be sterile!"

Ventilation. "We have 100% of our air coming in, and 100% going out. We don't want volatile vapors from chemicals affecting them."

Lighting. "Our rodents, especially albino rodents, are sensitive to high light."

Cage material and accessories. "We put in a hut for the animals in one cage. It was all well and good till one of the dominant ones decided it was his hut. That increased all of their natural aggressive behavior."

and Noise (no funny quote).

On biological viruses:
"Pinworms are known to cause rectal prolapse in rodents"

On number of animals needed (for Mike hehe):
"Really, sit down with your statistician, figure out the power you need, and get an accurate number of animals you'll need."

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Laundry Bitch

I go down to put my one load of laundry in the washing machine. All of the machines are full, and 4 of them are finished. I sit there for at least 10 minutes, waiting, and finally decide to just take someone's stuff out of one of the finished ones and put mine in, leaving theirs on top of the machine. I pick the one with dark clothes/low # of bras, and carefully put the clothes on top to bury the bras underneath.

I go down 30 minutes later to get my stuff, and there's a woman about my age, a little chunky, and immediately confrontational, emptying the other washers that had finished at the same time (now probably 45 minutes after they finished).

W: Did you take my stuff out?
Me: Yeah, I waited for over 10 minutes after it had stopped.
W: That's really rude! You shouldn't touch my stuff!
Me: Um, I'm sorry. I waited, nobody came, so I put it on top. It's really not a big deal.
W: I don't like it when people touch my stuff! I could have some weird skin disease or something?
Me: Ok...well, the washers were full, and I waited. People have done it to me if I was late. Whatever.
W: Then you need to go to the management office and ask for a key to another building's laundry room.
Me: It's sunday. They're not there. It's really not a big deal. I apologize.
W: What's your name?!? I'm going to report you to the management office.
Me: Seriously? Calm down.

She puts her things, slowly, from all of the washers, into the dryers while I get my laundry to bring upstairs to the still functional dryer in my apartment. As I'm leaving...
W: Don't touch my things ever again!
Me: Yeah whatever. Have a good day.


My new favorite bumper sticker I saw while biking this weekend...

CSI: Christ Saves Individuals.

I can't find it online, so this graphic will do. It was in the same design as the TV show.

The Bomb

Somehow I frequently end up on the southbound red line car with 6 loud semi-tranny black gay guys from Paris is Burning. Going home friday night, most of what they were saying could not be made out because of the volume and pitch and sass, even though everyone else on the car was laughing. I did manage to catch one snippet where the skinny 16 y/o wearing a pink shirt, white shorts, pink bandana, and a bedazzled drawstring bag was arguing with a 17 y/o seated mini Kenan Thompson.

kenan: You really like him?
skinny guy: Yes!! He is the bomb! Just like Huh-ROE-shih-mah!
kenan: Girl! We are not friens[sic] no more! How you gon' say it like that! It's Hee-roe-SHEE-ma!
skinny guy: Whatever!

That's What She Said. Literally

I didn't realize how funny the bus could be until the female bus driver of our very full 146 up to boystown after the MCA was making us laugh and act like middle schoolers:

Move to the rear please!
Let these people get off!

This was followed by our own inappropriate jokes:

Tell me when we're close
Let's all get off together

First Fridays Philosophy

While walking around First Fridays back patio, I overheard 2 people engaged in deep philosophical discussion

Indian girl: I don't agree with that!
Male probable philosophy grad student: It's not up to you to decide if the universe gets to be! It just is.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Grapes of Laugh

Lili and I went out to lunch today for Mexican food, and then grabbed some Mexican pastries and brought them back to lab.

Me: So, do you have Mexican food in China?
Lili: No, we do not
Me: How about American food?
Lili: Just the chains. We have McDonalds, and the Ken...tur...key?
Me: What?
Lili: Kenturkey? The chicken place?
Me: Oh! Kentucky Fried Chicken!

Back at lab, we're eating our pastries, and the CSA grapes I brought in.

Bob: I have a joke. How many graduate students does it take to change a light bulb?
Me: Hmmm...
Lili: Change...a...what?
Bob: Do you know that kind of joke?
Lili: Lightbulb?
Bob: It's a type of joke to make fun of people.
Lili: I don't know change lightbulb
Bob: Ok, well, the answer is, just one, but it takes 7 years and at the end they don't know why they changed it.

Me: Who wants some grapes?
Bob: Oooh! These are concord grapes! I love these!
Lili: Con...crete?
Me: No. Concord grape. It's a type of grape.
Lili: That is the word...when I go to the airport they have A and B and C?
Bob: No, that's concourse. This is just concord, a type of grape.
Lili: Oh! Ok! hehehehehehehe.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Froggy Style

Today we had a tour of the animal facility!

I got to see turtles, toads, rabbits, rats, baboons, macaques, and dogs. Oh my!

One girl in the class, who normally dresses scandalously, was wearing light blue high heels! She had to put foot covers over her heels! I tried to take a picture of how ridiculous this was, but didn't get a chance to. :-/

We were also told to put on our masks for the monkey rooms, which had a plastic flap above the nose to cover our eyes because "you don't to get spit in your eye, or even worse...well, I won't tell you." [semen]

In the toad room, Senta commented how in one tank, one toad was lying on top of the other in a very humorous manner. I said they were "doing it froggy style" :)

In the macaque room, we all walked in and stood in the center. Everything was fine for a minute until one reached out and grabbed Senta's protective gown and she squealed.

There was also a mean lady who worked there and talked to us like we were 5. "Can you take this mask and put it on? Take a's your mask! You need a mask."

As we left the rabbits, one of the fob girls in my group was squeeze-waving bye to its face, like we were at the zoo or something.

Oh, and we turned in our lame homework assignment. People were worried about getting the correct answers. For a pass/fail class.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Student Research Seminars 07-08

Today was first of bi-weekly grad student seminars. We had a lovely message on the board:

1) Presentation 22min ~15 slides
2) Summary 3 min
3) Discussion 5 min
= 30 min MAX
4) What is your question - get to the point!!!
5) What have you done in the past year???

First up was Zongdi. First slide...
Ebola Virus: The Virus That Terrors

Just Say Yes

Lili: What is meth?
Bob: What?
Lili: I saw on TV, the person has meth, and they take it a lot, they are eventually dying
Bob: It's an upper. It stands for methamphetamine. It makes you fast and up and makes you feel like you can do no wrong
Lili: That is like marijuana?
Bob: No, marijuana is a hallucinogen
Lili: Are they similar to heroine?
Bob: No, heroine is a depressant, the opposite.
Lili: Well cause on the TV, I notice it could be a kind of addiciton thing. They advertise they say there is a methresource .org so I assume it's against the meth. I look up in the dictionary but I couldn't find anything about the meth. How do they take it?
Bob: Sometimes it's called crystal meth.
Lili: They just swallow like a tablet?
Bob: Maybe they smoke it. I'm not too familiar.
Lili: It looks terrible for those kids! They have the meth first, and eventually they are like dying.
Bob: Right, you start seeking the drug more than food or anything else, you don't take care of yourself.
Lili: Wow! See, I have never heard about any of these names when I was in China. I know heroine and I know people can get addiction, but there are so many varieties!

Lili: The problem is, all the kids, there is no person or no way they can contact the drug dealer first. The second thing is there is no way they can get it until they become adult.
Bob: They figure out how to get it anyway.
Lili: But the person who sells to children, they will be sued!
Bob: It's illegal for anyone, children or adult, to use it.
Lili: So, can they be sentenced to death if they sell?
Bob: Not really
Lili: Cause if you are carrying more than let's say 50g, no matter if you are dealer or not, that is not good.
Bob: Well, if you just have an amount for personal use, you will go to jail.
Lili: It seems not normal to want to be tox...toxi...
Bob: Intoxicated?
Lili: Right. In China, people are not.

Lili: Is there any drug that can make you healthy...but still feel good?
Bob: Nope
Lili: We should invent!


Mostly Crazy Val

Mom: Scott, if we asked you about a report your dad got from the doctor, would you know about it?
Me: Um, maybe. What is it?
Mom: Well, he got something called a CBC
Me: Right
Mom: In the first row, there's something called a PMN. The second row has something called a PLT
Me: Yes, what is the point of this?
Mom: Well, one of the things is different.
Me: Ok, so he got a complete blood count. What are you asking me? Why are you telling me what's in all of the other rows?
Mom: Fine. In one of the rows is something called an MCV. Do you know what that is?
Me: Why are you asking me this?!? What are you actually asking?
Mom: Well for the MCV it says the normal is 78-100. But your dad's was listed as 101, which is outside the normal range listed.
Dad: That's bad isn't it!?!?
Mom: Is that a bad thing? We don't know what MCV is.
Me: Oh my god. It's fine. You are 1 number outside of the normal range.
Dad: I'm over!
Mom: Well what does it mean?
Me: I think it's Median Cell Volume. They look at your cells and see if you have cancer or something by looking at their average size. If it was like 500 or 5000 then maybe that's bad. 101 instead of 100 is fine.
Mom: So they want to see if there is too much blood in the cells?
Me: No, but sure.
Dad: So I'm fine?
Me: Your cell volume is fine. Ugh.


Strangest Spam Ever?

(just to be clear...I don't know this person)

From: "Leopoldo Toralballa" {}
Date: October 3, 2007 9:15:14 AM CDT
To: me
Subject: tonight

See you 7:30 at house-of-butterfat.

Excuse Me

Some 50-something guy was walking in the middle of the sidewalk on my last tiny bit up to the door of the building.

I shout "Excuse me!" on my bike. He doesn't move, or hear apparently. So I decide which side I could fit and squeeze by to his right.

Then inside I wait for the elevator, he comes in, walks by me up the stairs, and on his way says "Cutting it a little close there boy?"

Excuse me!