“I pray for your success in research work”

15 10 2015

Definitely email of the week for me, in a lovely reply from a Japanese researcher: one of several Maria and I contacted in the hope of getting help finding the nucleus accumbens in “ferrets” (we thought admitting they were mink would be too weird). We have CO-stained slides from some of our mink that Mark Lewis’s lab created for us a while ago, and inspired by Danielle’s recent finding, we now want to see what ventral striatal CO activity was like in our craziest animals (since the data we got from Mark on this were all focussed more dorsally).

This was inspired too by a weekend of intense brain/lab work: Danielle gave the two of us a blow-by-blow guide to how to replicate her protocol (including how to hold a pipette, for us novices), and also, in the many loIMG_2230-1ng gaps between stages, helped us navigate round our slides (since while some structures are lovely and easy to find — caudate, hippocampus: easy peasy — the nucleus accumbens is tiny and obscure).

Here to the right are some of the prep’ed mouse slides all ready to be stained. The sophisticated slide mounts are two pipettes held down with tape, and the shredded paper towel is to be soaked in PFA to keep the atmosphere nice and humid as the antibody incubates (some of the many many details you’ll never seen in anyone’s protocol; that and how to hold a pipette…).