Beads in May

some notes from AQLM

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Another great ride...

After an all-night flight home, a very blurry day, and a long night's sleep, finally an afternoon to sit and reflect.

Yes, it is a pretty good student-faculty ratio. Most importantly, an amazing group with a shared passion. On the one hand, the student's endless enthusiasm is inspiring. On the other, this team of specialists have dedicated themselves to the understanding and development of our shared passion, this occhiolino.

Thanks to all for another great year. For the students, always consider the bead, and what it can do for you and your work. For all the faculty, well, can't wait to do it all again...after a rest.

Friday, May 16, 2008

To the students

Thanks to the enthusastic, fun, and wonderful students of AQLM 2008!! You all did a great job and were a pleasure to work with.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Quantification in Loving Microscopy

Student:instructor::33:72 +/- a few beers
Number of Swope meals: decaying exponential
Cases of beer: 56  cases +/- 12 or 24 bottles 
Number of pizzas: 30 +/-1
Number of disco balls: 1 
Number of rotations: still spinning
Number of holidays missed: 1
Number of phone calls home: 0.00001
Number of hats: 7
Number of questions: Alex * 9 days
Number of hours of sleep per night: 2 +/- 4 with offset = 2
Cups of coffee: billions and billions served
Number of beads counted: only the TA's know for sure +/- 30,000


Thanks for letting me drive the scopes
now I'm going home to drive my thesis.

Microtubules in May

Live Cell Imaging
Capture the images fast!
Follow their motion.

What is your error???

Numbers are floating in. Please don't neglect to propagate your error!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Are we in a time warp?

The blog says it's 11pm, but it's 12am. How long has this been going on?

Jason in a zebra print hat?

Jason to Jennifer: "Your wish is my command."

I'd take a picture, but I'm not good at taking pictures of big things...

Sans Hat

Jason, where is your hat???

I have a new love

Move over Funions.

Oreo Cool Mint Creme Double Stuf, where have you been all my life?

I am the Queen Bead

4 hours left 'til curfew. We are making the rounds, donning our hats (thanks Kim!). There are footballs on every monitor and confused and/or exhausted looks on nearly everyone's face.

Dr. Suess would tell us that a bead is a bead, no matter how small.

Truly, it is...

....the night of the bead. We are well into it, and there is notable state of balance, or as Wendy as pointed out, an eerie calm. Maybe the one before the storm.......

The Ultimate in Beads

John has presented the bead paper and shown what one can do. Just a few wows. Awesome.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Spectral Conflict

Of course it's beads. What else is there?

Fear of Spheres...

According to Jennifer, there is no such thing. But maybe after tonight we will have to contact the local Falmouth psychoanalysts and warn them to expect some phone calls.


Streaming chloroplasts
Confocal microscopy....
In the "thick" of it.

Things Faculty are Not Allowed to do at AQLM

1. Brag about how good the food is at Phusion.
2. Appear well rested.
3. Take responsibility for mistakes in our lab handouts or lecture notes.
4. Admit that we own stock in the company that makes Funions.
5. Restrict Aleks to no more than 10 questions per lecture.
6. Admit that we all use Vectashield with DAPI. It's so easy!
7. Tell the students about the down comforters and jacuzzi in the faculty wing of Swope.
8. Admit that we have NO idea what Rainer is talking about.
9. Chortle and wink while saying "That's a really good question..."
10. Admit that we don't know how to do the spectral conflict either.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Things I'm Not Allowed to do at AQLM

1. Ask for enough beads to make a pretty fluorescent necklace
2. Attempt to quantitatively determine the number of active flavor compounds in the food.
3. Use beer as an immersion fluid in place of oil or water.
4. Steal an objective from Nikon and use it to look for ships on the water.
5. Find a group of FIR students and attempt to explain to them "the facts of life."
6. Complain loudly that the lecture slides are blurry and attempt to align Kohler in the projector.
7. Scream loudly, "My eyes!" while learning TIRF.
8. Replace the regular coffee with decaf when nobody is looking.
9. Redraw the arrows on all of the analyzers and polarizers.
10. Replace birefringent demo crystals with NaCl.
11. Arrange the fluorescent beads on slides so that they spell naughty words.
12. Point out that Photoshop is just as effective for correcting spherical aberration as the PSF.
13. Refer to all DIC objectives as Dick 1, Dick 2, etc.
14. Replace all of the glass bottom dishes with plastic.
15. Claim that the MBL has insisted that a corking fee be assessed on every bottle of beer or wine.

Microscopy Motivation Reaffirmation

Live cell imaging -
Account for point spread function.....

Red microtubules
Moving green kinetochores
Fluoresce together.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Monday, monday...

TIRF, SI, Decon, Ratio, FRET & FLIM.

Good thing there are 87 hours in a Monday.

Calm blue ocean...


We need a lesson on how to properly take care of the scope.

Bright Sky, Dark Room

Red beads, green beads, Go!
Chromatic aberrations?
Paired t-tests abound.

The Perfect Day

It's a nearly 70F sunny day - not a cloud in the sky. The perfect day to turn off all of the lights!! Please be sure to take your vitamin D supplements. Fluorescence has officially begun...

Probes Lecture

Quote of the Day:

"It might just be that the probes are telling you the truth, instead of what you're looking for."
--Kelly Lundsten

I'm hurt

You broke out the disco ball the night before my 9am lecture. That is so wrong.

Bead in May...

We've had complaints about bead scarcity. Could it be our microscopes aren't what they claim? Or are the samples not up to par? These are questions that stir our souls.

In the back room, the coverslips are flamed, the glycerol dotted (on slides, shoes, and trousers), and the hallowed beads diluted, tested, and confirmed.

Honest, this is what it is all about--making the perfect bead slide.

Haiku that.

Poetic beads...

We are speechless (blogless? quipless?)

Poetry in May. Awesome.


Hats in May...

Kim brought in her costume collection, and this spawned a celebration of pink boas, tiger skin cowboy hats, girl scout uniforms, and Santa Claus in Tevas (but no shorts). Clearly, we know who gets the all-time best-dressed AQLM student/faculty award.

Most importantly-- the work never stopped, and error propagation was taken to a new level. We will include the pink boa in all future protocols.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Differential speaking

Magic sarcomeres --
Align the microscope well,
THEN process image

Will It Blend?

We've combined fluorescence, or maybe phosphorescence, with a blender.

Makes us wonder what else could be blended.


Objective lenses?

CCD cameras?

Swope food?

Friday, May 09, 2008

haiku for the day

Light divides into two planes,
Muscle fibrils shine.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Tomorrow morning

Did you enjoy measuring the step wedge?
Do it again.
Then do it again.
Then do it again.
Then do it again.
Then do it again.
Then do it again.
Then do it again.
Then do it again.
Then do it again.
Then do it again.
THEN propagate the error!

Exercise 3

Kim just read the details of Exercise 3. We are on the look out for violent reactions.

The new choice in fine food... Funions, by a landslide.

We're buying Funion futures. You should too.

Two days, and aggregate weight gain is above 27 lbs.

Steppish Wedgies!!!!!!!

We've seen bumps, lines, curves, but thankfully no loops. Dem wedges are very fun. But it seems the fundamental lesson has been learned-- question the source of your data.

Of course, in these times of declining economic performance, we've reached a new unmatched low. Microscopes with efficiencies <0.00000000000001. We will report this at the next meeting of the Davos World Economic Forum.

P.S. Jennifer has appeared on the side of a cardboard box. A new career?
A quick diversion from chasing 30 scopes and 800 users? Watch this space.

Just 4 hours til we are "stepping out"!

Tonight we start the first quantitative imaging lab. It's step wedge time.

The vendors have all their instructions, the wedges have been found on the back of some random shelf, and we are ready to go...

In Phase

Less than 24 hours in, and the students are finally touching microscopes!

Quote of the morning:

"We want to let them get confused before we explain it to them."
David Wolf, on error propagation.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Let the quantitation begin...

It all starts this evening. Our fearless directors are here, as are a few of us academic faculty. The TAs are running around organizing and unpacking, as are the commercial faculty.

But where is Swedlow?

Txt exchange:
Jennifer: Where are you??
Jason: In Washington, about to miss flight to Boston because USA customs sucks. Will get to Woods Hole one way or another tonight.
Jennifer: Poor you!
Jason: Is ok. Gives me time to study photoelectric effect. :)