2014´s most exciting experiment?

By Jas­mine

Yes­ter­day, we start­ed one of the years most excit­ing experiment..the oiled polar cod embryo exper­i­ment!! I am right now start­ing my 15th hour at work for today (only an hour more than yes­ter­day) and the night is not over yet.… my sleep­ing bag is next to me just in case, but I do hope that I actu­al­ly can dri­ve the 40km home to Trom­sø in about 2 or 3 hours.

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After the won­der­ful job Eka­te­ri­na and Mor­gan did, fish­ing polar cod in the Bar­ents Sea, the last few days have been punc­tu­at­ed by sleep­less nights won­der­ing whether our catch would spawn unex­pect­ed­ly and there­by just throw away all our efforts to run an embry­otox­i­c­i­ty expo­sure in the begin­ning of Feb­ru­ary.

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The last few months, there has been a lot of peo­ple hard work­ing on the design of the study and the set up. The engi­neers at our bio­log­i­cal sta­tion have been doing a great job putting togeth­er incu­ba­tors and oiled-rock columns. The pic­ture above shows Mor­gan fill­ing the columns will oiled rocks, that Luca pre­pared.

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Final­ly the ripe fish were just too ripe for us to dare post­pone the big day one week more: strip­ping and in vit­ro fer­til­iza­tion was on the timetable. The small group of Flem­ming, Luca, Mor­gan and myself spent much of yes­ter­day find­ing out what we may have for­got­ten for a suc­cess­ful start. We were both ner­vous and impa­tient. I spent quite some time draw­ing a scheme on how the fer­til­iza­tion would look like. How many eggs in that beaker, so much sperm into this vial … I drew the plan at least 4 times, just to make sure I new it by heart and it made sense.

Final­ly we start­ed and it went just per­fect.

 

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Today, for the first time of my life, I saw fer­til­ized polar cod eggs, reach­ing the 2 cell cleav­age stage, and the four and now they are at 32 cells. They are so beautiful.…I feel like a mother.…sleepless nights tak­ing care of the new­born.

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