Written by Kirby Morris
Last Monday we went in to our first day at IPLA. The first thing we did was sit in on a seminar presentation about a bioinformatics technique for peptide sequencing, which was all in Spanish. I understood the general idea, but the complicated subject paired with the language barrier made it difficult to fully comprehend. Then we split off into our different labs, and I learned about the kind of projects I’ll be doing throughout the summer, all of them experiments with bacteriophages. I’ve been able to both practice old lab techniques and learn new ones this week, and I am very excited about what I’m currently working on. There are some differences in how the lab operates here, and I feel like the environment is overall much more laid back. Everyday around 11am we leave the institute and take a coffee break for almost an hour! I really wish this was the norm in the US too because it’s a nice time to relax a bit and talk with the other people working here. My hope is that I can use these daily coffees to practice speaking my Spanish. After a nice first week we took the train to Madrid and got to experience a lot of the city, which was amazing.