Bone Marrow and the Chromosome (Day 32)

Post Mortem Bone Marrow Collection

Its the end of my 4th week of Vet School already! Time is flying by which is kind of Scary as I am still a long way from having tuition for next semester in February and its under 4 months away now! I’ve made plans to revamp my money raising stragety this weekend and am toying with a few ideas.

The lecture this morning overran into the time allocated for our Milk Hygiene practical which was a little sad. Today was on the microbiology of milk which is a little scary when you start to think how much milk is actually used in different ways and then just how many bacteria it is susceptable to.

Onto Genetics practical, this week we are looking at the chromosome and karyotyping, this practical session was on the examination of these from the bone marrow.

Post Mortem Bone Marrow CollectionThere are two ways to collect bone marrow depending on the species, today was on the post mortem collection and was from the femur of a mouse. This type of animal is too small to allow for collection of bone marrow in any other way and so after euthanasia the femur was removed, and the marrow cavity exposed. This was then rinsed out to collect the cells of the bone marrow which were then centrifuged and the supernatant removed to leave just the cells in the tube before staining solution was applied. This does have to be left for some time so we are coming back to examine these at another time. I will also write an entire post on the Chromosome at somepoint in the next week or so as we are looking at this over the entire next few weeks.

Highs of my first week in Vet School (Day 12)

Vet School Microbiology Warning Signs

What a week, it feels like a month!!! This week has been a total high (even with the 6:30am starts!) and I am still on a total buzz. I have to keep reminding myself that I am actually here, apparently its not just me either as several classmates have commented that it feels like the best holiday ever! This week has been so good I don’t think I’ve had a single low, here are the moments that have stuck out in my mind.

Last Sunday night passed with me so excited for my first ever lecture (even though it was Histology) that I could barely sleep. Meeting to be shown where the class was at 8am on a beautiful sunny day with a buzz in the air so strong you could practically see it. When I got into lecture and was taken through the process of sectioning and preparing tissue samples I realised that I had never actually done Histology before. It was no longer a vague look in the textbook to find out what it is I am looking at but a understanding of how I have actually got there. Knowing how and why the colours are different, and having someone able to explain exactly what I am looking at made Histology one of my new favourite subjects. I also arranged for a group of us to visit the aqua-terra club this evening.

Vet School Histological Section of the dogs ear

Tuesday was Microbiology, a subject that I’ve always struggled at as I did not do Biology A-Level however we started slow with an introduction to types of bacteria and replication. The practical session was on plate creation and innoculation. I made some new friends today with Tryggvi, Mickayla and Bonnie with plans to go Tesco to get stuff we needed. Anyways my degree results should have been online Thursday last week, checking today they finally made an appearance and I got a 2:1!!! Its still sinking in however Tryggvi, Mickayla and Bonnie celebrated with me with Pizza at Tesco (a massive pizza is like 4 euros here) and then we took an evening off watching The Inbetweeners!

Vet School Microbiology Warning SignsThe highlight for Wednesday was the Slovak teacher singing to us in Slovak…. We also got our ISIC cards so officially became students (whooooop!).

Vet School ISIC Student CardThursday was Anatomy where we started looking at Terminology before the planes of the body. I spent most of this day wondering if I was dreaming or if I had really made it to vet school whilst realising that I really did need to get down with the Latin Language.

Vet School Animal SkeletonsFriday arrived and I was still buzzing, Genetics totally threw a curve as walking into the practical we were provided with a dead mouse and told to harvest the testes to examine Meiotic cell replication (the production of sperm). I’ve never done any mouse anatomy and the testes are in the abdomen so I was very pleased with my ability to find them. We then followed a special process to stain the cells for examination under the microscope! What a total high to end the week with my first dissection!

Staining mouse testes in acetic orein to examine Meiotic divisionWeek one of Vet School complete! I actually want the weekend to be over to be in Histology again as next week we are doing Electron Microscopy!

The end of my first week in Vet School (Day 11)

Staining the mouse testes in acetic-orcein

Today was Friday, and was probably one of the lectures I’d been dreading most as the older years have said that this professor loves to fail people… So I headed to genetics and prayed that he wouldn’t pick me to fail, todays lecture was an introduction followed by looking at Mitosis (creating a replica of the cell (diploid as two sets of chromosomes)) and Meiosis (creating germ cell (haploid as one set of chromosomes)) in depth with and the interactions of this on  the chromosomes. I guess this kinda was revision, however I am going need to spend a couple hours here with my own book to get the processes spot on as I have not done it in a while.

This was then followed by the practical for Milk Hygiene, during which this week was mainly a recap of the previous lecture we had. We did however discover the power of questions as in shops here they seperate what we have always assumed to be milk products into two sections. Basically with milk products sometimes to reduce the cost producers replace milk cream with vegetable oil which then removes the product from the classifcation of milk products. So basically in the stores here there are milk products and then products that include milk. The rest of the lecture was on hygiene and process of hygiene and laboratory testing during milk production.

Note: Whilst I do have pictures of the dissection, I have made the decision not to include them within my diary as I want it to appeal to as wider range of readers as possible.

Our timetable got changed again leaving us with a 2 hour gap so we then all headed back to dorms, I did an hours studying and took a 30 minute nap. Also my bottle of water had leaked in my bag so put stuff out to dry. I then headed back to my Genetics practical with just my labcoat, notebook and genetics book. On sitting down the lab tech walked out and put a dead mouse in front of us, and was like collect the testes. I’ve never done anything with mice before so had no clue as to the anatomy of the urinary tract. Pulling a glove onto my left hand as I had a open wound I set about exploring my mouses abdomen with scalpel and scissors. I was very conscious about not damaging any internal structures but with limited dissection experience and no clue as to the anatomy was a little nervous. I opened to skin layer exposing the peritoneum (basically a sack that surrounds the abdomen organs). Now I had already admitted to knowing nothing about mouse anatomy so this was kinda cool, and I then opened the peritoneum exposing the organs. Now in relation to the size of the penis, the testes were large about the size of small marbles which suprised me a little. I harvested one and passed the mouse onto the next group for the other. The teste was then cut up into very small pieces and stained in acetic-orcein (which is a red stain) before being examined under the microscope.

Staining the mouse testes in acetic-orceinThe cells were then examined under the microscope to look for germ cells in different stages of maturity before they actually formed sperm cells. I am awful at recognising things under the microscope from paper (especially when it is black and white), however others in the class managed and I looked at the cells under their microscopes before then finding it with my own. We then also examined a onion root to look at the different stages of mitosis.

On the way out as the campus was so quite I decided to get a picture with Ardo, the bronze horse that has a long and interesting history within Kosice (I am not entirely sure of the whole story so will cover this another time when i know!).

Chris with Ardo the bronze horseMy first week of lectures in vet school is now over, its been a week of early starts, late finishes and yet I love it and have never been happier! This weekend is now for revision, and more importantly I need to really work on my diary and letter writting to try and raise the £4000 that I need to continue studying here in February!