Saturday, December 4
It's not like its brain surgery, oh wait it is, never mind.
So as of October I became a the new laboratory technician at Binghamton University working in the Behavioral Neuroscience department under Lisa Savage. I the first few weeks of my job got me hooked and I feel deeply in love I was getting to do so many awesome things that I never had the opportunities to do at Houghton and I was actually using everything I learned in college. It was like the last four years and 100,000 dollars were not all totally a waste and it was so exciting. Now I was getting paid to do all the fun stuff and have no paper to write and no tests to worry about. Yes truly my job is every graduates dream. I even now have a life insurance policy, health, dental, vision and paid vacation. Truly amazing. And to top it all off I no longer have to spend $150 in gas and 20 some hours driving back and forth to work as I did in my previous job. And since I started I have gotten in no more accidents and haven't gotten any more traffic tickets. Yes I can say that this is certainly a good change for me.
But now for some insight into what it is like working as a lab tec at BU. I have a wide range of tasks. But I am just going to give you a brief insight into what I do as a lab tec.
- I do a lot of ordering things like chemicals, more rats, supplies etc. Biggest thing I learned there is that research is really really expensive.
- I am often responsible for handling (holding, weighting, loving, etc) the rats we run the tests on as well as feeding them
-I have done a few brain surgeries that either involve inserting probes into certain areas of the brain so we can see what role they will have and what role various chemicals have in that region or we give the rats lesions in certain areas of there brain. Below is picture of my first successful brain surgery and will let you see what they look like after a cap has been put on.
- I also will run micro-dialysis on the rats typically the lesion guys were we will run various neurochemicals through the brain using a probe (which is a pain as it breaks very easily) and then test the rats on a maze see if we can teach it to go to a certain arm using cheerios (very scientific) as rewards
- I also do spontaneous alternation running rats on different mazes and recoding which arm they go on
- I cut, stain and mount rat brains to slides which I then cover slip and use to do Steriology were I count the cells in particular regions of the brain to look at various effects notably neurogenisis
- I also am responsible for perfusions and live sacking using a guillotine and sacking, although I haven't been able to do one yet, we will see if I can.
- I am basically the run around person in the lab and will help out with all the experiments going on that the grad students are working on and also do fun things like was dishes clean the lab and various paper work or whatever needs to be done its a very exciting job and my jobs are different everyday which makes it exciting and challenging.