Sep 16 2013

Sample No. 3

Published by at 10:13 pm under Uncategorized

Prepare an Enrichment Culture. Again.

We are on our last of the three samples we collected before school starts and I’ll admit, I’m starting to get anxious about finding a phage. I feel like because we have all worked so hard and tried to follow the procedure as strictly as possible, we deserve a phage, at least one!

Sadly, that’s not how science works. Scientists can research one specific thing for years if not decades, so I guess three weeks isn’t too long to suffer without the results we want. Still, the anticipation is killing me! One good thing about not getting a phage, though, is that we get to repeat the same procedures over and over, and the repetition has truly helped me in understanding the procedures we are doing. The first time in the lab, I was so lost. I had to follow the procedure word for word, step by step, and it took an extremely long time to finish the day’s work. Even though I used the correct procedure, I have to say much of the “why” was still over my head.

Now, though, I’m proud to say I actually understand why¬†we do what we do, instead of just grasping what the procedure is. Each step in the process is meant to contribute to a phage infecting the Arthrobacter. I now know why we add calcium chloride to the sample and why we perform serial dilutions. After just three weeks, I am now faster, more efficient, and more knowledgeable about the lab techniques we are using.

I am sort of grateful for the lack of phage, because it enabled me to better understand what we were doing before moving on to another procedure. I guess hard work paid off in a different way than I expected.

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