Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mail Surprise!

Working hard on my thesis and defense presentation.  All that writing has me a little burned out.  Want an excerpt?

"TLR2 has been linked with detection of LCMV.  In vitro and in vivo cytokine responses to LCMV infection were found to be TLR2-dependent.  IL-8, in vitro, and IL-6 and MCP-1 in vivo, were all found to be TLR2- and MyD88-dependent (357).  Unexpectedly, IFN-I production in mice was also found to require TLR2, but not MyD88.  However, recent studies have shown that some viral ligands are able to induce IFN-I production through TLR2 on the endosome, while bacterial ligands could not, demonstrating the plasticity of TLR2 functions (19).  Further, the proinflammatory responses observed during LCMV infection of CNS glial cells was determined to be TLR2, MyD88, and Mal dependent (355).  Beyond innate immune responses, MyD88 has been identified as a critical component of the adaptive T cell response to LCMV infection.  MyD88 deficient mice are unable to control viral replication or spread in a manner that doesn’t involve IL-1R1, IL-18R, or IPS-1 (23, 149, 356, 357).  LCMV-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells have impaired functionality in the absence of MyD88 leading to a reduced cytotoxic T cell response (149, 268, 356)."

Asleep yet?  You're welcome to any insomniacs out there!

Anyways, with February 24th looming on the not-so-distant horizon, I do have a fun story to share!

Remember when you used to get actual mail?  Cards, packages, even bills?  Remember when every now and then, you would get a complete surprise?  Sure, now I'm surprised when I'm actually home to receive my recent online purchase, but when was the last time you were really surprised (in a good way) by something that arrived in the mail?!

Well, last week, I came home to find not one, but two slips indicating that I had missed package deliveries.  One I was expecting (online maternity purchase).  The other - I had no idea.  I pestered B about.  Surely it was for him or he knew what it was.  Nope.  It was a couple of days before I was able to get to the post office.  My mind was racing.  Who was it for?  What could it be?  To my surprise, it was for me, marked "FRAGILE" and from B's cousin Kristyn.  WHAT??!!

When I got home, I hesitated opening it.  OK, I tore into the outer paper wrapping and found a bubble wrapped box, congratulating one "Dr. Hayes" with a card.  Being a little superstitious (I'm not quite there yet), I almost waited to open it.  OK, so I opened it so carefully that I could tape it back together perfectly in case I was supposed to wait until I was done.  Not really sure why I did that...  Anyhoo, here is what I was greeted by...

A whole box of these adorable Hazmat gingerbread guys!  Aren't they cute?

Each one was individually placed in a zipper bag and layered with bubble wrap.

I love this guy!  He reminds me of, well, me, looking out from the BSL-3 lab.  "Let me out! Let me out!"

After a couple of quality control tastings, the rest were placed in the freezer to preserve them for my committee members after my defense.  If these guys don't sweeten them up to pass me, I don't know what will!

I have to send a HUGE thank you to Kristyn, her mom Anne, and Grandma for the card and for making these for me!  I love them so much!  I might have squealed with delight when I saw them.  Maybe. :)  Love you guys!

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