Thursday, April 30, 2009

Students recover after intense practicals module at NCBES!

Completing 4 8-hour practicals over the period of 5 - 8 days would make anyone tired! That's how the MSc students enrolled on our distance learning programme in Biomedical Science are feeling this week. It was intense, but by all accounts, educational and quite exciting at times. Heavily supported by technical staff (huge thanks to Enda O' Connell, Dave Connolly, Eadaoin Timmins, Brendan Harhen for all their efforts) and postgraduate demonstrators, 9 different kinds practical sessions were organised, with each student completing 4 each. Areas covered were tissue culture, mass spectrometry, anatomy, polymer characterisation, scanning electron microscopy, microbiology and cloning, real-time PCR, Lasers and applied therapeutics. Some practicals had to be run 3 times in order to allow the maximum number to do them and to accomodate student interests. Have a look at the image here to see the beautiful results obtained by Micheal Kelly! Micheal is an engineer working in Creganna here in Galway, but he took some time out to learn how to culture neuroblastoma cells and how to visualise actin and nuclei using fluorescently tagged phalloidin and DAPI. See how nicely he has picked up the ruffling at the lefthand edge of the cell and how intense the actin staining is. Actin is one of the proteins responsible for maintaining the shape of the cell and for helping it to move around.

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