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Weekly Report (August 31 to September 6)

Ya-Fang Cheng, Sept. 6

Rhine fall boat: Lily, Eddie, Yalin and Longhui (from left to right)
Last weekend, we went to Zurich for our ex-lab member Longhui, who is studying his PhD with Dr. Mark Lever in ETH. He took us to several traveling spot which was pre-planned! Rhine fall was so spectacular and we got on small boats that could get closer to the waterfall. We also had a spicy hot pot to celebrate the precious reunion. I hope we can still have a reunion somewhere in the feature…

The weather in Bremen was getting cooler and there was lot of rain this week; Solveig told me this was the typical weather of autumn of Bremen! As to lab work, we started to deal with the frozen dried testing samples, including lipid extraction, 
removing sulfur through adding some activated copper inside, and saponification. Rebecca was so patient that she taught me many details and I tried my best to learn from her. However, we met some troubles, i.e., the 40 ml vails was broken and we lost one of the samples, and there was still some water after extraction and the content of sulfur was too much so 
that we found that it was needed to proceed the procedure of removing sulfur by copper after lipid extraction (Marcus said that we didn’t have to do so if there was no visible sulfur after evaporated under nitrogen.) Nonetheless, after saponification, we removed most of the water and sulfur, and it was great for us to discover those problems that we could discuss how to deal with them before working on real samples. We will have a further result after machine measurement next week!
We used 2L separation funnels and more sediment samples to do lipid extraction using Bligh and Dyer method, because it was said that it might be fewer biomass in hydrothermal samples.
  
(Left) There was a lot of sulfur after evaporated under nitrogen. We repeated removing sulfur several time by washing it with DCM and Methanol, and then evaporating it; there was still so much sulfur in the samples. (Middle) Copper activation by adding 4N HCl. (Right) One of the steps in saponification: heating up to 80°C for 3 hours after adding 6% methanolic KOH into it.
 

Afternoon tea on Saturday: Rebecca, Yalin and Lily (from left to right)
This Saturday, Rebecca was so nice to me that she took me to have an afternoon tea in café tölke where sold wonderful apple pies and homemade cakes with her because I told her I didn’t eat the apple pie in Mensa and I wanted to eat it so much. I also invited Yalin to come with us though she didn’t like to eat dessert as much as me! I Rebecca also gave us a small city center tour afterwards.