Thursday, January 30, 2014

Harvesting Color Part II: failed experiment

Today is color day. All of the colors below have been extracted from different forms of French Marigold. Color, color, color lots of color! After letting the flowers soak over the weekend we unwrapped them from the foil that was protecting from light damage and strained them. 
After straining we had four vials (yellow/dried, yellow/fresh, orange/dried, orange/fresh) plus three for our control group (two lutein supplements and one beta-carotene). We then did a thin layer chromatography (TLC) to compare lutein levels in all of our samples. Using special TLC sheet we applied the extract in small dots adding up to ten layers to build up color. We then placed the sheets in a solvent as the liquid moves up the sheet it brings with it the lutein. Typically you would then compare the samples with some simple math, measuring from the starting line to the substance spot divided by the measure from the staring line to the solvent front. For reasons we have not yet discovered the experiment failed and the only substance to move up was the beta-carotene. We will retest next week, until then enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Harvesting Color

This semester I decided to start researching a few different medicinal herbs. The stars aligned for me and there happen to be a harvesting color class that is working with the Calandula flower doing science experiments and making art. So of course I signed up and Calandula is on my research list of this semester!

Harvesting color begins: Comparing the amount of lutein in calendula/ marigold flowers grown in the greenhouse.  I am interested in the calendula and its lutein content because it has medicinal properties and is used to support eye health.  We are conducting two experiments one comparing the amount of lutein in a fresh picked flower(2014) versus a dry flower(2013). As well as comparing the amount of lutein in the orange versus the yellow flower. We collected four samples removed the petals placed them in beakers and added 50 ml of ethanol and wrapped them in aluminum foil because it is light sensitive. We also extracted a few supplement samples. I removed as much liquid as possible from the capsule an we placed it in tubes with 20 ml of ethanol, they are now in the lab on a spinning machine that I wish I knew more about. Expect and update next week!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Dish Set Challenge II: Final Day in New Orleans

For our final meal together on the dish set we made a trip to New Orleans to visit our friends Cari & Mike. We planned a stop for lunch at my favorite NOLA restaurant Satsuma Cafe. For the most part this week we have avoided getting any type of drink if we were eating out. Anyone who knows me well knows I love fruit and and love my juice, so I finally gave in and asked them to serve us in the cup. Thankfully they accepted and when the juice man was preparing our drink he yelled out "Forrest? are you sure you want your drink in this cup it looks a little difficult." We responded from across the restaurant that of course we wanted it in there and we knew how complicated it was going to be! The restaurant was packed with people, so busy that we had to wait for a table. After we got a table we both sat down on the side with a booth so we could be near each other. That opened up a chair across the table from us. The chair was soon filled with the body of a women that neither of us knew. She started talking and asking us questions about the cups and the project. She was interested and quite inquisitive. We shared our project with her and soon our meal was served. They miss understood our request a little bit and still brought Forrest's sandwich on a separate plate so we split the salad and he ate the sandwich.  It was a wonderful final meal that neither of us will soon forget. We hope you enjoyed following us on this weeks adventure. Tomorrow will be the last post of the project with a reflection and a few more images. Thanks for reading, come back soon!
The special chosen dishes after the final meal. A Mikey Walsh cup and to no ones surprise Andy Shaw plates.