Greg and Ashley here! Actually, Greg just really creepily showed up behind me as I was about to write this…but I”ll include him anyway. I think Malisa is upstairs in the SciLi doing physics =(. This monday, we learned a bit about microbiology techniques, particularly how to isolate a specific specimen using different environmental and media conditions. Tuesday was DNA isolation day! As fun as this sounds, all we basically did was a series of vortexing, centrifuging, and mixing different solutions in order to get rid of plant DNA, lyse bacterial cells, and isolate only bacterial DNA – Greg and I appreciated that the lab manual this quarter actually told us what was going on in each step, so each step made sense and wasn’t mindless mixing. After isolating the DNA, we prepared our PCR reactions to amplify the DNA – Greg and Malisa were probably annoyed with how obsessive I am about sterility and keeping all PCR equipment and such contamination free…and yes, this includes wiping down all automatic pipetters with EtOH. We also got to check our cultured plates on Tuesday and we were excited to see some growth! We saw some irregularly shaped yellow colonies, white colonies, orange colonies, and strangely enough, clear colonies! SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!!! Keep you posted!
Greg and Ashley (and Malisa)