• Question: What specific tyes of things do you do while working?

    Asked by EllieWright to Valerie, Carmel on 9 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Valerie Bentivegna

      Valerie Bentivegna answered on 9 Nov 2017:

      It’s very varied. At the moment I am behind a computer a lot, writing computer code to do “computer experiments” (simulating a real-life experiment) or writing my dissertation. I have also done work with cells, mixing chemicals for reagents, looking down a microscope (taking images and analysing them), optimising a protocol (it’s like making the recipe for some cake better), …

    • Photo: Carmel Howe

      Carmel Howe answered on 10 Nov 2017:

      I make my surfaces out of patterned gold. I then have to make sure my brain cells will be happy living on them using different surface chemistry. When I know they’ll be happy I put my brains on them and leave them in an incubator a few weeks to mature and settle. When they’re ready I put them on my microscope, take a tiny pipette and insert it into the brain cell. I then stimulate the cells (put small amounts of current in to make it active) then I record the light intensity changes using a camera.