What is the fun part of your research? Have you ever thought about it?


Hinal sharing her science with others

by Hinal Kharva – One of my teachers taught me, “once in a while you should take a break in the evening, around sunset time, sit at the corner of your balcony or terrace and talk to yourself”. This is what I did and I asked myself “what do I like the most being a graduate student”? What is that one thing about research which makes me happy? Do I like reading new articles coming every day? Do I like designing projects and upcoming studies? Trouble shooting, working on experiments, data interpretation, writing a review, giving a talk? Communicating my research with the general public? Well, at some point in your PhD you have to do all of these as a part of a research. However, there are some fun parts of our research, which we do on regular basis and always enjoy them. Like, I enjoy taking care of my model organism, Apple fly (Rhegoletis pomonella)! They are very special. My day is incomplete without looking at them, observing them carefully, whether their cages have sufficient food, water and humidity. Once your experiments are over and results start coming, it’s a time for data crunching. We perform various analysis on our computer full of data so the sequence of plain numbers become useful in bringing some conclusions or novel findings! Currently, I am doing an analysis of my mass spectrometry data (an analytical technique that ionizes chemical species and sorts the ions based on their mass-to-charge ratio). This means I will get a huge number of values in excel sheets and as stated above I will be trying to do some statistical analysis to get meaning out of my data. This is a very different aspect of research, where for the whole day all I did was either entering or copy pasting the data and calculating them via different equations. By end of the day, I felt that today I did nothing, which was close to “biology”. So when everyone left at night, I dissected a fly brain after many days and there I realized I enjoy doing my experiments (being on the workbench instead of computer screens). So, coming back to Mass Spec analysis, I was really hoping to finish it soon but so far what I have done, it looks like there is some problem with the method or I have made some mistake. Well, troubleshooting is also one of the things which we do at the NICE lab and I am sure I will find out soon. Till that, happy working to you all who are reading this. 

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