26 06 2010

Every morning i wake up early, have my breakfast and then rush to the Lab. During my Journey, i dodge a lot of traffic and since the Lab is not far away from where i stay, i don’t use any transport means. I just walk there.

It’s been 3 weeks since i started following this routine and i am loving it. I think i now know what it feels like when someone says, “i am going to work” or “i am late for work” . The Lab is like my work place now and it’s that kind of place i want to work in.

Week 3 started on Monday 21st June 2010. Unlike the previous weeks where we worked in any section depending on where the work was, we were this time supposed to work in a particular section that we were allocated to in the previous week.

However, some sections such as Toxicology, DNA & Ballistics have restricted access because majority of work done in these sections is Forensic in nature.

Forensic work involves collecting evidence for criminal investigations. So to prevent leakage of sensitive information, Interns are allowed minimal access to such work. All we see is the procedure of various tests done but we don’t get to know the results.

This week, i was supposed to be in Toxicology but due to the above fact, i was only allowed to observe about 3 tests being done during the entire week. During my free time, i visited other sections to observe tests that were being done there.

Here is Day to Day account of events during the week.

  • DAY 9 (Monday, 21st June)

My group didn’t attend DAY 9 because we couldn’t make it to the lab. Other groups such as that in the Water Lab did tests to determine Aluminum, Manganese and other ions in water samples.

  • DAY 10 (Tuesday, 22nd June)

In the Toxicology section, we did analysis of Methanol content in various samples but we didn’t get the exact concentration in each sample because there were problems with the Gas Chromatograph.

We also got to see Guinea Pigs that are used in Toxicological tests.

After, I then decided to join other groups in the Water and Foods Labs.

In the water Lab, we were instructed by the Head to clean all the cupboards and arrange all reagent bottles in alphabetical order. It was quite hard to do considering the fact we had to clean dozens of bottles and we were only 3 interns.

After cleaning the reagent cupboard, we then had to clean the records cupboard (i wondered if cleaning was part of training). According to the head, she says it’s part of quality management in the lab so it’s essential.

I applied for Internship because i hoped to do Biochemistry, NOT CLEANING CUPBOARDS. But i am an INTERN so i have to do whatever i am told (that’s the rule).

After cleaning, i headed to the Foods Lab where other Interns were doing physical examination, pH testing, & Sugar determination on Soft Drinks.

  • DAY 11 (Wednesday, 23rd June)

Day 11 was another busy day and we finished tests on Soft drinks that were started on Day 10 in the Foods Lab. We later carried out UV scans on the soft drinks to get their UV profiles.

In the Toxicology section, i partially observed Benzodiazepine extraction from Blood samples. We didn’t see the results because this test was Forensic.

  • DAY 12 (Thursday, 24th June)

Things are beginning to get more interesting at the Lab as we have started doing the hardcore analytical work. For example, we did tests to determine the presence of Methanol in samples (this is a continuation of the Methanol tests that we did on Day 10). The tests were done using a Gas Chromatograph & FID (Flame Ionization Detector).

The tests involved analyzing peaks from Chromatograms obtained after injection of sample into the Gas Chromatograph. The peaks were then compared with those of standard samples (samples of known concentration) and if they match, the area under the peak is measured and used to obtain the methanol concentration using a calibration curve.

We also did preparation of Soil and Plant samples for Herbicide detection tests. Final detection by the Gas Chromatography will be done at a later date.

  • DAY 13 (Friday, 25th June)

We did tests to determine Fat content and acidity of milk. For the Fat test we used Petroleum ether to extract the fat and then evaporated it. The remaining fat was then quantified.

For the acidity test, we titrated the milk with Sodium Hydroxide using an indicator and the volume of Sodium Hydroxide used was noted and used to calculate acidity.

Looking forward to Week 4

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2 responses

26 06 2010
The Cause Of The Bulging Fat

[…] INTERNSHIP: WEEK 3 « My College Days […]

3 07 2010
INTERNSHIP: WEEK 4 « My College Days

[…] I also got to observe the GCMS (Gas Chromatograph & Mass Spectrometer) being used. They were analyzing plant and soil sample extracts that we prepared last week on DAY 12. […]

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