July 26, 2007
Yesterday, the summer research students all went to the Boston Museum of Science, which was awesome. I’ve never been there before, and had a blast playing with the optical illusions and seeing the dinosaur exhibit. We also watched an IMAX movie about Jane Goodall and the chimpanzees. Today I am running IR spectra of alanine in its amide form in D2O and DMSO. I am taking it at two temperatures: 25 and 55 degrees Celsius, to see if there is a difference in its vibrations. Tomorrow I will run temperature dependent spectra on my aggregates. The student vs. faculty softball game is this afternoon too, which will probably be a really good game.
Today is the second to last day of research, and even though I’m really happy to be going home for awhile, it is kind of bittersweet. Everyone is packing up and moving their things out of Alumni Hall, excited for a vacation to begin, but sad that their experience here has ended. We will all be back in the fall to continue our research, but for me it means that senior year is finally happening. This summer has definitely been fun; I spent approximately a month wrestling the SUMO group off of my protein, to finally find aggregates when I least expected them. I was then able to generate more of these aggregates, and run IR scans to determine their hydrogen bonding patterns. I finished the summer by taking IR spectra of glutamine and alanine in various solvents, because their peaks will allow us to better identify what causes the aggregate peaks. Overall, it has been a fantastic summer, and I am eager to continue in the fall.