Tuesday, December 20, 2005
must... work... despite... holidays
Spent a good five minutes this morning debating whether to come in today or not. I wasn't going to do any more lab stuff until my new primers arrived, so all I had left was read read read until my eyes fall out and roll onto the floor. However, all of the things I need to read are on my desk, so off to the lab I went. Today I studied up on chloroplast genomes and primers. I think I learned more today than I have in the past couple of weeks. I still can't get over the detail and complexity of the genome. Some pieces read clockwise, others read counterclockwise. One big piece is in the genome twice in opposte directions for no apparent reason. Big chunks of the genome don't do anything at all, and some noncoding (and coding!) chunks are right smack in the middle of useful genes. Whoever designed the chloroplast genome wasn't very intelligent, or at least wasn't very organized.
There is a flock of robins overwintering on campus. I usually see them in late afternoon in the junipers outside lecture center B and in the nearby trees. Last week they were roosting in the leafless trees and I estimated about 30 of them. Yesterday, several were lined up on the south wall of LC B with their feathers puffed out, absorbing what they could of the late afternoon sun. I don't know where the birds spend most of their day, and I don't know what they're eating. I want to bring them some food if I can figure out what they will eat in the winter. I have great affection for these hardy little birds because I feel like I'm the only one who notices they're here. I wonder if they're regretting their decision to stay? It's been *cold* here!