| The 5th of November had a bright morning with the tear drops of the sky dipping through the white clouds. Our day started off with a bus trip from Abbasiyah to the Kuwait University at Jahra with Ms.Sheela. The secretary of the pathology department at the Kuwait University had gone through a lot of formalities to take us there. And we couldn’t wait to see the laboratories, scientists and sophisticated bio-related instruments. We started off at 8:10 am from Abbasiyah with a handy cam and some papers to take down notes. At around 9:05 we reached the University. At the entrance stood two security guards, who had stopped us from entering the University as we were outsiders. While they checked our civil ids, we waited for Ms.Sheela to escort us into the very large and Porsche University of Kuwait. We were not disappointed by the securities as they allowed us in. Ms.Sheela led us to the pathology department of the University at the second floor of the building. The number 2 on the lift blinked and we were ready for our adventure. We were made to sit in the visitor’s room for about fifteen minutes as Ms.Sheela had to inform the head of the department and the doctors over there about our arrival. After about a few minutes, Ms.Sheela introduced Mr.Waleed, to us who was an assistant research scientist over there. We were happy to know that Mr.Waleed was about to assist us in our experiments in the lab. We got charged by the conversation we had with the chairman and head of the department. Mr.Waleed soon led us to his personal lab. Our eyes for a moment lost its ability to blink as his laboratory facilities and instrumentation were way beyond our imagination. His lab was equipped with special chemicals necessary for various experiments, microscopes, computers assisting biological systems and many other instruments whose names are complicated to be mentioned. He had kept ready the necessary settings and chemicals needed for our experiment. The experiment we were about to do was Gel electrophoresis. Mr.Waleed began to create the agarose gel with agar. The depression or wells in the gel was created by the comb. The gel was allowed to solidify for 15 minutes. By the time we checked out the names of the various chemicals present in the huge shelf. The solidified gel was now placed in the electrophoresis chamber containing TBE buffer solution. He then made us load the DNA into the wells of the agarose gel using a micropipette. We found it very difficult to accurately load the DNA into the wells. But with a little practice we loaded the DNA in all 8 wells of the gel. Now the gel apparatus was connected to a battery of voltage 70V and the gel was run. We had to wait for another 50 minutes to see the results. While the gel was run we had some sandwiches from the grand canteen of the university. After about 45 minutes we returned to the lab to check out the results. Mr.Waleed removed the gel from the gel apparatus and placed it in a chamber which enables us to view the gel under ultra violet light. He activated the ultraviolet light. The chamber is connected to a computer which is able to click pictures of UV lighted images. Soon we were able to see the bands of DNA across the gel. Mr.Waleed is an expert at these techniques. He then copied the image into a floppy and gave it to us. After the experiment of gel electrophoresis, we were taken by Ms.Sheela to another lab with sophisticated instruments. But this time we were not surprised. In that very lab, worked a microscope expert named, Ms.Susy. She aided us in viewing slides of various microbes. She also showed us some of the cultures of microorganisms. We were thrilled to see the pathogenic microbes in a culture plate. The last session of our stay in the University was spend with another microscope expert, Ms.Jessy. But she was working with a normal microscope but the gigantic and most modified microscope called the Electron microscope or the EM. When we went to meet her, she was busy preparing grids of rat kidney cell sections for the EM. She was very pleased to see school going children in her lab. She spoon fed the methods for preparing the grids for an electron microscope to us. Then we followed her to the room where the giant remains. When I saw the electron microscope, I remembered Binu sir’s words about the EM. The large microscope activates at very high voltage of about 80,000 V and sends a beam of electrons with speed close to that of light. The beam of electrons then illuminate the target grid and the image will be visible on the fluorescent screen. With the EM we can view images of dimensions 1 – 100 micrometers. The electron microscope really fascinated our imagination. O our course we also came across inverted microscopes, tissue cultured cells, incubators, autoclaves, multi head microscopes, laminar air flow hoods [LAF], microarray technique lab, centrifuges and many more which will overflow out of this page. Above all we were very happy to meet research scientists with great knowledge and behavior. They are the role models to the future generation of scientists. Without the extreme support and blessings of our dearest Binu sir, we would never even dream of doing such an experiment. His motivation aided us to go forward with the experiments at the university. Above all we are very thankful to lord almighty for creating such an opportunity for us, which we would never have achieved without your blessings.
Mohammed Jaseem (XII-C)