We're a little crazy, about science!

Day #153: The week ahead

plan for the week

Tomorrow is more experiments! We’re doing all the experiments tomorrow. Okay, not all of them, but we have an ambitious three experiments lined up for tomorrow so it will definately be a long, long day. Still recovering from surgery too… so yeah it’s going to be a time. There are a few other things going on this week, so let’s look ahead and maybe talk about what I’m thinking of doing for the next round of themed posts (educational topic posts).

Well as I mentioned tomorrow we have three experiments. For reference two is usually an ambitious goal and we are averaging roughly 3 hours for each experiment and we’ve run an experiment for 5 hours already, so yeah tomorrow will be interesting since we are trying to get everything done before wednesday.

Today I have to review (once again) my critical review paper. Tomorrow that will (probably) be the post for the day. My review of a paper looking at spinal stretch reflexes which I thought was done exceptionally well. The flow for the creation of the paper went like this, the first week I reviewed the article and researched the methods they used. The second week was spent writing it, and for the last three days or so I’ve been reading and rereading it. The first draft of anything is usually going to be awful, so I’m hoping draft three or four will be something worth reading.

I’ve also got my classes this term. So I am working with one other student in our state space class to expand previous work to form a journal paper. That will be interesting and I’m excited to do it since it is in line with what my lab is working on, but not what I am working on. That’s okay though, I’m just happy that it is in the same realm as the work I am doing. I have no class tomorrow, so we meet again Wednesday and that should give us time to create the abstract for the work prior to the due date.

In the background I’ve also got the prosthetic for Lucas going on. My team member helping me with that project has been busy this last week, so he should be fabricating some of the circuitry for the prosthetic this week and ideally we can do some testing and with a little luck (I’m not holding my breath) finish it this month.

As for the themed posts, I’m debating about introducing some spinal anatomy to the blog. I think it would be good for my readers and myself to cover the weirdness that is the spinal cord. There are some very unique structures that make the spinal cord weird, but that’s what makes it so much fun. There is also a lot we need to learn from the cord itself, we still don’t really know how it works. We used to think it was just a nerve, but we know that is no longer true, the spinal cord can learn independently of the brain. This shouldn’t be too big of a surprise however, since the spinal cord is made up of the same stuff the brain is, so why it wouldn’t be able to learn would be the better question.

So there it is, expect to see my biweekly review papers here starting tomorrow and every other week following. After that, tuesday or so, we will probably get into what the spinal cord looks like, how it works, and why I keep calling it weird. Beyond this week, I’m sure I’ll also have quite a few posts about my progress with processing the data we collect for this experiment, other projects we are doing, and most likely updates on my surgical recovery. So a little bit of this, a little bit of that going forward.

But enough about us, what about you?

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