Ok, that was kind of cheesy. So I know that it’s kind of late for my first blog entry but I guess I’ll give you a quick update of what has happened so far…nothing, nada, nil. The three samples that I dug up before the school year started didn’t get any phages no matter how many adjustments we made to the experiment. So last Wednesday, I went around campus getting new soil samples. I was going to places where the dirt was a little wet, as Dr. Gibbon mentioned something about how bacteriophages prefer wet environments. Once I collected my samples, I started preparing them to be harvested on Monday.
I came back on Monday to harvest the samples in the agar plates with my lab group and everything seemed to be running smoothly. We were implementing the aseptic technique and were very careful to make sure that we didn’t contaminate our plates as we had issues with that in the past. The samples were pipetted onto the plate and we placed them into the incubator for 48 hours. So now it is Wednesday and we were excited as we wanted there to be signs of phages in our samples, but the plates ended up being grainy. So what now? Since the agar plates were a little grainy, Dr. Adair suggested that we incubate the plates a bit longer just to see if there is any change. We also had a hunch that the top agar that we used was a little “outdated” and could be a factor. We developed a new batch of 1x TA and used that for the same samples to see if there would a be difference with fresh TA. We’ll see how the plates end up on tomorrow after biology class and I’m hopeful that we will find phages but again I’m not really that hopeful about it.