Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Gram Negative Bacteria, PBL, and Career Development Seminar

Today's seminar was just as hectic and crazy as Monday's was. The main difference is that we went through all of the Gram-negative bacteria at lightning speed. If you don't know much about bacteria, the Gram stain is used to distinguish two of the main classes of them. Gram-positive bacteria have thick cell walls and stain purple (left side of the figure). Gram-negative bacteria have thin cell walls and a fatty outer membrane, so they stain pink with the saffronin counterstain (right side of the figure). The big gray thing sticking out of both sides of the figure is supposed to represent a flagellum, which the bacterium uses to swim.

Our PBL case patient is not doing very well. It's a really good case though. Apparently the guy who writes the cases for this block also writes fiction in his spare time. I can definitely see how the storyline of this case has a sort of extra flair to it.

I have a lot of homework for tomorrow: my professionalism competency is due for my portfolio, and I have to review two of my classmates' proposals and write brief essays about them for my Clinical Research class. But I stayed around to see a talk by a researcher who did one of our endocrine block seminars. He used to work for a pharmaceutical company before he came to CCF, so he was telling us about career opportunities in industry. The talk was sponsored by the Lerner Institute (I think the Cell Bio dept.), so everyone else who was there was a grad student or post doc except for me. I went up and spoke to the guy afterward about industry jobs for people with research MDs. Apparently the drug companies really want people with MDs, whereas they don't need that many biologists. I don't know if I want to go into industry, but I'm glad to know that it's an option.

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