Published on August 3, 2012, by in Chemistry, Internships, Research.

Welcome back! Check out the latest in my research from the
Colyer lab at Wake Forest University! In my last update, I had re-tested a theory by modifying my injection pressure test method and begun some new studies with on-column labeling. After those new studies were developed to provide consistent and reproducible data, it was time to analyze the data.

One of the most interesting problems that I encountered with
the on-column labeling was quite a learning experience for me. Dr. Colyer and I determined that using a fructose solution made in DI water would be better than in the phosphate buffer solution. However, every time I injected this solution, there was a huge drift in the current and response for about three minutes until both leveled off. This really confused me! I felt bad taking these graphs, which I determined was “bad” data to a meeting with Dr. Colyer; however, it really was not that “bad” at all. She made me realize that the water base of the fructose solution did not respond well with the electric current on the capillary, thus making the current and response drift. Although, when the injection had run the length of the capillary (eluted from the end), the current and response came to equilibrium. WOW…how simple. This really was an exciting phenomenon to learn about through experience.

Over the next few days, I will begin to wrap up some experiments as my internship is coming to an end. This summer has really gone by fast, all while learning some amazing new concepts and gaining some great experience with research. I will ask that you check back one last time for my last entry for the summer (you will not want to miss it)!

A famous scientist, Wernher Von Braun, once said, “Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” Sometimes we may not understand what we are doing or how we will get there while conducing research, however that is the fun of it!