10 November 2006

Latest post ever?

It's now about 3:15 a.m.

Yes, I'm running an experiment.

About a week ago, I went out to the Coastal Studies Lab, and to my surprise, there were adult tunicates (Ascidia interrupta, to be exact) on the racks. I brought them back to my lab, and to my surprise and delight, they were reproductive! This is the first year since I started working with them that I've been able to get animals at two different times of the year and have them be reproductive so I can do experiments.

My work with these animals is very much hot and cold: either the animals are out in abundance, or they seem to have vanished from the Laguna Madre. Plus, they don't tend to live in the lab for terribly long periods of time. And my other commitments -- teaching, meetings, and so on -- don't conveniently stop because I have animals to work with.

So when I get them, I really try to push to get things done. Hence a late night.

I started in the lab this morning at 8:00 a.m. The design of the experiment calls for the animals to be treated and measured every two hours until they hatch into little tadpoles, and that takes about 14-16 hours for the fast ones. My student Veronica met me then and worked until 8:00 p.m., and I took over from 10:00 p.m. to now. I had little swimming tadpoles just hatching out around midnight. Now I'm just trying to stay a little longer to see if I can get a little more data.

I was hoping I could maybe start some writing, but the measuring is taking up more of the interval than I expected. I've worked a bit on today's lecture, skimmed the new issue of Science (sea urchin genome stuff looks very cool), and had a late night snack of pretzels from a vending machine. Yum.

And due to doing all of those things while writing a blog post, it's now 4:00 a.m., which means I do my last prep and head home for a snooze. Yay!

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