Since leaving Seconday school six years ago, I have not stepped into a laboratory of any sorts. (Comp lab not counted… Don’t know why they call it a lab also…) And today, I went into one for my LSM1301 General Biology lab session, and I must say its cool.
Today’s assignment was to view two different stuff under the microscope (a 40x/100x/400x microscope). After a ‘Demostration Alpha’ by the teaching assistant (didn’t understand 7 out of 10 words coming out from her mouth… Think she’s from Hong Kong or something…) we were on our own with our microscope and viewing subjects.
The first victim was a Hydrilla plant. We are to remove a leaf from the plant and mount it onto a glass slide, something like what you see on TV (cue The Who’s Who Are You). You’ll have to place the leaf on the glass slide, put a few drops of deionised water and cover it with a coverslip. Quite cool to see those cells up close. The only bummer was adjusting the eyepiece to the width of your eyes… Almost went cock-eyed…
Next up was the cheek cells. First you scrape the inside of your cheek with a toothpick and then you spread the booty onto the glass slide. Next, you place a drop of methylene blue stain onto the slide to stain the normally translucent cells and you then cover it with the coverslip. Interesting to see your own cells in the microscope. Quite looking forward to the next lab session.
Image of a cheek cell taken from the internet