Photo archive (partial)

Buy prints, downloads, or license images from our archives:

OHSU Heart Research Center Monday, December 01, 2008

Dr. Perrie O'Tierney treats fetal sheep cells at OHSU's Heart Research Center Nov. 27. Her work at the center is focused on the impact a mother's health has on the baby.

My friends Joe and Kate were gracious enough to invite Perrie and I over for Thanksgiving dinner last week. (As Canadians who celebrated the same holiday six weeks earlier, we didn't have plans of our own.)

But on the way to Joe and Kate's, we had to make a stop a
t Perrie's lab at Oregon Health & Science University so that she could do some work on her cell samples. I guess it had to happen about 48 hours after she started the experiment last Tuesday.

Here's the scientific explanation of the procedure, in the passive tense favoured by scientists for pretty much the same reason it's abhorred by journalists*:

  1. The samples were removed from the incubator and placed in neat rows on the lab bench.
  2. The pink juice was sucked off with a special sciencey sucker hose.
  3. Each sample was doused with clear juice from a bottle on the bench.
  4. That liquid was sucked off by the sucker hose.
  5. More clear juice was added to the samples.
  6. The containers were stacked six high and wrapped in an expensive scientific saran-wrap substitute.
  7. The samples were placed in the fridge where they won't change until at least Monday when the cells can be counted under a microscope.
[right] They may not look like much, but these little dishes of pink liquid are leading-edge science: the fetal sheep cells in each dish will help scientists understand the effect of the mother's health on the development of her baby's heart ... in sheep and, by extension, in humans.

* It doesn't convey any emotion.