Thursday, 26 July 2007

SXR270 - day 6

Thursday - and its a new activity. Regulation and control.

We start off the morning looking at samples of blood glucose taken from various patients doing various things, including a type II diabetic. This is a lot of work with automatic pipettes and test tubes. After filling 48 tubes with various mixtures we then have to add detection enzymes and run the tubes through a colorimeter. This allows the amount of glucose to be recorded, once we have plotted a graph of controlled samples to calibrate the device. However with 48 different tubes and labels, its quite easy to get a bit confused on the 32nd or so and miss your place, so care is needed.

Its a fairly gentle exercise and takes us up to lunch.

After lunch we go into a different lab and start to play with Douglas bags. These are large plastic bags that will capture your exhaled air which can then be analysed and measured.
We start by using them to try and work out a basal metabolic rate. After we have this, we move onto looking at effects, such as exercise, caffeine intake, chocolate, smoking and so on.
This can then be compared against the base value and we can see the sort of effect it has on you.

After the day is done, there is the option to go and have a look at the level 3 labs and see what they do in those. It looks a little daunting in some respects, and you have to pass a test even before starting. However most people seem to be getting on with it ok.

Tea - then a free evening, and after a certain amount of internal debate I decided to get a disco ticket. We hung around in the Cripps bar until about 10ish, then wandered down to the portland building. People started arriving in significant numbers after a few minutes, and soon some brave souls, lead by the course director, were dancing.

We partied on into the night. Later on some more of the double-blues turned up, including jiving Jonathan. We all got into the spirit - in more ways than one by then. It all wound up at 1am, despite saying 9:30-1:30 on the ticket. One or two of our party went and had a quiet word with the DJ while the rest of us ran for cover fearing the fallout.

We retired back to hall and continued for a while trying to keep quiet in a room. The smokers finally broke rank and I went to bed just after 2:00am.

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