Friday, September 01, 2006

Rat Lab!

Today was my first day in the rat lab, and it was FABULOUS! I get to work with the awesome TA I had for experimental last year, which I love, because she's a total nerd like me. We talked about our pets (she can actually HAVE rats at her place), and Battlestar Gallactica, and our crafts (she's a cross-stitcher). I have such hero worship for her, I know, it's hilarious to hear me speak. Anyway, I rat two rats with her as an orientation, which consisted of taking their baseline behavior in the skinner box, injecting them with a tiny amount of cocaine, letting them relax for 10 minutes, then taking the new reading back in the skinner box. Both of the rats were "her brats", one liked to push the lever with the leash attatched to his skull (and pooped on her when she picked him up), and the other kept pushing the wrong lever and sticking his nose through the hole in the top that the leash goes through. I thought they were total sweeties, they're well-handled and really don't seem to mind when you screw the leash onto their heads. Then she had me weight a few of the new rats, they're only 3 months old and haven't been handled much so I wore a biteproof leather glove. Most of them were fine, but one of them... he was a little difficult. Still, she says that once I get used to the work, I won't have any problem handling the new guys. I got out early today, so I can take care of some stuff at home, and I go back in this weekend. Yay for science!

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