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!


Weeks 4 and 5 – EPE

“What are we going to do for Dr. Laird’s birthday next Monday?” (stay tuned)

You will have to excuse my neglect to write last week’s blog, my forgetfulness was in full swing and I carried on with my weekend without any thoughts about blogs on my mind.

Anyways, last week marked the mid-point of our training program. The term ‘mid-point’ to some may bring feelings of jubilation or even euphoria! Unfortunately, for our team members participating in the study it stirred feeling of malice, discomfort, and dread. We had to perform our second VO2max test of the study, which fell on either Tuesday or Friday.

Tuesday’s tests went rather smoothly except for a minor glitch in our system that spit out data which showed that some of our participants had stroke volumes and cardiac outputs of genetically altered humans turned heroes (i.e. Spiderman or Captain America) or carbon dioxide and oxygen consumption values of plants. So, we learned a lot about trouble shooting systems and how to hand calculate results.

Wednesday was an unusually light day of data analysis, so we all headed to Dr. McCole’s house for a relaxing couple of hours away from campus. I had my first encounter with a pickle burger and I haven’t looked back since! They were absolutely the best burgers I have ever consumed in my twenty-one years on this Earth! With some apple crisp to top off the day, we all drove home with full bellies filled with some quality home cooked goodness.

Thursday and Friday flowed without flaw for the most part. We ran some training sessions on Thursday and finished up the mid-way VO2max tests on Friday. At this point Dr. Laird was basking in the Outer Banks on a little vacation so we compiled a plan about what to do for his birthday, which was on Monday.


So it was Monday, and as promised I have to tell you what we decided to do for Dr. Laird’s birthday. Last Friday we decided to order him an action figure of a Navy Seal. If you have had any interactions with Dr. Laird, you understand how much respect he has for our military forces, especially the Navy Seals. So we thought, ‘why not give him a super cute action figure he can stick right on his desk!’ Therefore, this is exactly what we did ladies and gentlemen. On Monday however, it hadn’t gotten to our trusted postal office so we had no choice but to wait.

We also came back into the lab on Monday morning and it was a scorcher. From what I can recall it was 80% humidity and at one point got up to 25 degrees Celsius. We were able to get a dehumidifier for our lab so that helped a ton. We also had both fans blowing to help circulate the air. Omitting this small obstacle from the first and hardest day of the week, our training regimen went very smoothly on both Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday the group went out for lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings and it was delicious! This was when we presented our extravagant gift to Dr. Laird. We also had a waiter announce to the entire peanut gallery that it was his birthday. Needless to say, he was thrilled. After lunch we called it a day and a few of us even decided to exercise on our day off!

On Thursday, three of us suited up in electrodes to give the new and improved cardiac output system a whirl. Turns out we all had pretty believable numbers! So that was quite exciting. Also, I must mention the fact that we have been streaming the world cup live on our big screen down here and it is wonderful! Helps pass the time quite nicely if I do say so myself.

Friday is always the best day! But this Friday was the best because it marks the very last day of our training! WOOHOO! This also meant that we had to remember to do cortisol for our participants. Not to mention, it is a gorgeous day outside!

Next week we are gearing up for final testing!

Coming to you live from the HIIT Team

Squares, Quartics, and More!

Math research can certainly be challenging, but when Dr. Hamblen told me that he, Sam, and I would be working with squares, I thought how hard could that be? That answer, very! We have been working away at using squared quaternions (basically one step more complicated than imaginary numbers)  to make any quaternion, in as few steps as possible. As if this wasn’t enough, we are working with a value of i, which when squared is not a square. How can a square not be a square?? Luckily these questions are just as interesting as they are complicated, and this summer should be full of interesting discoveries. We are currently working with i squared is equal to negative two, and will continue to push our brains to think of new creative solutions!

Summer 2014!

The 2014 summer science blog is live, and things are already happening!  This year the Jacobs, Parrish, McKenzie/McCole/Laird, Mitschler, Huang, and Staab labs will ALL be blogging, so stay tuned!

A Day In The Life of an EPE Researcher

Hello Fellow Researchers! We would like to tell you a bit of how a typical day in our lab is. Along with a very early morning, just after sunrise, the research team arrives at the lab. Much preparation is needed before we start the day. This entails calibrating the VO2 system and the glucose/lactate analyzer. We need to make a 10% bleach solution for which we place the VO2 masks in after an exercise test.

electrode 1

When subjects arrive they fill out health questionnaires and an informed consent paper. They will then be prepped with electrodes that measure cardiac output variables. After a ten minute resting period, and if the systems are up and calibrated, the subject will partake in an exercise test. These tests include a max exercise test on the treadmill and elliptical, a walking test on the treadmill comparing the use of arms to no arms and the use of an elliptical with and without arms.100_4614 We like to treat our subjects well so we offer them a bottle of ice cold water afterwards. Hope all is well.

EPE Research!