|Tweeted this ad because "Chuck and the Rad-Van" sounded like a band |
that could be playing in our destination: Seattle!
|Calibrating the light intensity before|
departing San Francisco, no protection
needed at this point
Remember that every group on board has a specific focus for their research, but they all collaborate, sharing data and using differing methods to compare data as well. For example, Brian Bill' s taxonomy of phytoplankton was supported by Julia Matheson's work with the flow cytometer. Andrew Schellenbach's FIRe work determined photosynthetic health, happy versus distressed cells; now, we look at Chuck Wingert's work in the Rad-Van, testing similarly for the cells photosynthetic health but with another method.
|Photosynthetron with samples, notice|
the brighter intensity light at the
bottom of the picture
samples added; each of these
cells are tuned for a specific
In order for the photosynthetron to measure carbon uptake, Chuck has to add a radioactive isotope of carbon, C-14. Every atom of carbon has 6 protons, and on the periodic table, carbon has an atomic mass of 12.011 amu. That means every atom of carbon has not only 6 protons but 6 neutrons as well, combining to make up the atomic mass. An isotope is when the neutrons differ from the stable atom of the element on the periodic table; therefore, C-14 is an isotope of carbon that has not 6 neutrons but 8.
6 protons plus 8 neutrons equals 14, C-14.
|Fume hood takes up all gases from the reaction.|
After degassing, he adds a special solution and places the samples into another machine, called a liquid scintillation counter. This device detects radioactive isotope, C-14 without detecting the stable carbon (C-12). The machine provides a printout of "disintegrations per minute" or DPM. The higher the DPM, the more C-14 present in the sample which means that it has a higher photosynthetic capacity. Chuck then uses this number in a formula to find the carbon uptake or the "rate of photosynthesis."
|Liquid Scintillation Counter detects C-14.|
|Two photosynthetrons with samples for testing|
|Chuck Wingert and Chris Ikeda are both graduate students|
at RTC-SFSU under Dr. Cochlan.