There are two big problems standing between me and starting to actually do some lab work in my research:
1. The hair-sample solvent is a substance that's just a tad too expensive for my professor. This problem aught to be easily solved since I've got the ingredients list and most of which are stuff you can get at a hardware or pharmaceutical store (except for methanol, my beloved headache-inducing methanol). There are a few bizarre components but all's well. I expect to have this problem solved quite easily as soon as I'll learn how to look chemicals up on the faculty's chemical storing.
2. In order to calibrate the spectrophotometer I'll be using to test pheomelanin dosages, I need a sample of melanin of a known concentration. Ah, tricky. See, I can order melanin from Sigma BUT I'm trying to prove myself resourceful and clever by finding not-so-expensive (I have a lot to prove to my research instructor and professor, what with me being a mere second-year newbie) so I'm thinking, if I find a way to extract melanin from sepia then all I need is find a squid, right?
Well, wish me luck on both goals. Then there's the issue of cutting the hair samples into teeny tiny bits which I have to do manually for over a thousand samples because we don't have a homogenizer the likes of which the two bloody nips who wrote the melanin article had....