Staab Lab Rap

The past several weeks of summer research have been an incredible experience for me with the Bio. Department of McDaniel.  I feel like my words are not adequate to express my thanks and gratitude for having been welcomed into this phenomenal group.  So, in lieu of my babbling, I’m going to leave you all with a rap that I wrote for Dr. Staab in honor of one of the key inspirational figures in her life: Jay – Z.  This rap, entitled “Lab Girls,” is a parody of Jay-Z’s song “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is…).”  If you would like, look up the lyrics on your own – I’m not going to post them here.  [Note: any drink mentioned below is referring to sparkling cider!]  I hope that you get as much of a kick out of this as I did!

 

Lab Girls (And the Winner is…)

First of all I wanna thank Dr. Staab

She’s the teacher, the most important job.

Thanks to science, and to all the noble fish

McDaniel College for holding all the cash

The Bio Department who taught us life in the lab

The first pub worker with whom we had a clash

And the awesome girls in the lab today.

 

Oh what a feeling I’m feeling life

Thanks for the people who gave us aim

For the research projects that are getting us in the game.

Faulty data will stop our buffoonery.

Oh, and thanks for rapping all the fishes’ eulogies

Thanks to all those who became our friends

For sure, it’s paying off dividends

Yeah, thanks to all the digressors

[-- SQUIRREL!! --]

But most importantly, thanks to you: our professor.

 

The Lab Girls in the building tonight

Oh what a feeling, I’m feeling life

You don’t even gotta bring your data out

We the lab girls of the year, drinks is on the house

Look at how we’re geeking, we gettin’ this down.

You don’t even gotta bring your data out

We the lab girls of the year, drinks is on the house.

 

Put yo’ hands up baby, we just hit a score

Pick any fish in the sea, pick a shore

Take what the scientists figured, then figure more

Cause the primary lit. ain’t yet gotten to the core.

Pick a time, let’s pick apart some data sets

Pick a weekend for placing your bets

’Cause we’ve got some staining coming up

We don’t know what these slides are gonna show

So grab a microscope, let’s check the results

Scope it out and take some pics

They’re beautiful baby, these gems are sick.

Get a label and a box,

Posters and powerpoints to make all day

And then papers to write… oh yay

Don’t forget those lab notebooks – gotta record the process, see

’Cause we’re on our way to SICB, dig me?

 

The Lab Girls in the building tonight

Oh what a feeling, I’m feeling life

You don’t even gotta bring your data out

We the lab girls of the year, drinks is on the house

Look at how we’re geeking, we’re gettin’ this down.

You don’t even gotta bring your data out

We the lab girls of the year, drinks is on the house.

 

HBQ, Verhoff-Van Gieson’s

We got the methods and we got the reasons

Chemical analysis and histological stains

Periodic acid-Schiff and Dane’s.

Now this kinda talk is reserved only for bosses

So double-check your stats, we ain’t taking no losses.

Slide boxes, graphs, and endless reading

Let’s have a toast because we are succeeding.

So first things first,

Get out those beakers,

On three, cheers, and shout “Eureka!”

 

The Lab Girls in the building tonight

Oh what a feeling, I’m feeling life

You don’t even gotta bring your data out

We the lab girls of the year, drinks is on the house

Look at how we’re geeking, we’re gettin’ this down.

You don’t even gotta bring your data out

We the lab girls of the year, drinks is on the house.

 

Sweet, now, let’s ride it out

We’ll be back in the fall without a doubt.

This is superhero music right here, baby

American Gangsta, Jay-Z, the Real Slim Shady

Taking flight

Here we go

Reaching new heights

Ow ow, baby!

 

Just “dropping a line” from the Staab Lab!

Hello, world!  This is Sophia Fricke reporting in from the Staab Lab.  So far, summer research is off to a great start.  Now, by the end of our second week, we are in full swing and are easily falling in to the rhythm of our days.  By the same token, every day is a new adventure and we can never quite predict what it will bring.  This, I feel, is the nature of discovery, and it keeps us on our toes.

Paola (left) and Sophia (right) cleaning the lab

Paola (left) and Sophia (right) cleaning the lab

Our lab group has developed a great sense of camaraderie and collaboration, and we’re learning to work as a team, while each of us is specifically pursuing different and unique research questions.  Maybe I’m biased, but I think the project that I’m working on is one of the coolest that I’ve encountered!  Right now, I’m working on identifying and classifying new types of cartilage and connective tissue in fish, with the long term goal of applying our findings to human medicine (i.e., treatments for arthritis) in the future.  To do this, I will use a technique called immunohistochemical analysis to detect different proteins and fibers that make up different areas of tissue.  Basically, this means that I will use antibodies that bind to different proteins, such as collagen type II, to stain samples different colors that I can use to distinguish the molecular makeup of tissue.

Since many bones develop from cartilage precursors, and develop in response to external forces, I’m also curious about how ossification might change in response to different forces. My first specific experiment will be to look at the mechanisms of cartilaginous ossification/mineralization in zebrafish, using tanks with varying levels of viscosity.  My hypothesis is that I’ll see increased amounts of ossification in the fish living in more viscous water.  I will use a fluorescent Calcein stain to determine the amount of calcium ions in matrix at multiple points of time during the development of the fish.

Zebrafish – from http://vetmed.duhs.duke.edu/GeneralProgramInfo.html

This experiment will function as a baseline for my knowledge of cartilaginous ossification, and will provide a springboard for future work.  Once I know which types of cartilage are more likely to ossify, and how, I will be able to move forward with testing different methods of molecular inhibition of excess ossification.  While this would be done preliminarily in vitro, the goal would be to later test it in zebrafish, before finally bringing forward a new type of treatment to the medical world for osteoarthritis.  This technique would not only be minimally invasive, moreover, it would also prove to be a significant step forward in the field of advanced tissue engineering.

I know I’m only two weeks in to my summer research at McDaniel, and I don’t want to get ahead of myself.  However, I firmly believe that vision is necessary for any achievements or advances in science.  So for now, I’m going to stick with “reeling myself in” to address one step of my first experiment at a time, and look forward to welcoming some new baby zebrafish to our lab!

And finally… a joke so terrible that you might even laugh!