Monthly Archives: November 2013

Still trying to figure out what happened

This has been rather confusing. my last two experiments have been a bit interesting, trying to figure out why my phage won’t show up (at all, even at a 10^0 concentration), and whatever my mistake was, it has left me phageless. I went in to do my Electron Microscopy and I broke Dr. Rushing’s perfect record, as she was unable to find any phages, and she had to give up after about 15 minutes of looking.

At this point, my options are very limited. Based on the current trends, my current lysates are all either faulty, contaminated, or simply containing a phage that refuses to grow (even my lysates that are from my purification rounds) and I have actually been forced to start a plaque assay from my original lysate: the one we all made together at the end of september.

It doesn’t matter very much, since we already have the phage we need, but it is just kinda discouraging to have failed like this. Oh well, I’m definitely looking forward to next semester’s lab more, now.

Hope everybody has a great break.

Comment on Meet my friend Amigo! by jadeconnor

I love the name! And I have noticed that the Arthrobacter phage tend to have more angular heads while the M. smeg phage have more round heads. I love how you can see the true morphology of the phage from the electron microscopy. It is really interesting to compare pictures of our phage and note the differences from phage to phage.


I finally got to see my baby on Wednesday! After going through so much to have one, my phage’s pretty little face presented itself to me through the use of the electron microscope. The titer I used was extremely high, so we had plenty to choose from when we went to take the picture. We were able to find one that was in amazing condition for the image. It has an excellent angular head with a tail approximately twice the length of its head. I am in love.

Comment on Tie between ALS and Genetic Mutations by sierramiller

In regards to the noncoding DNA, I would look up the ENCODE project. It is an offshoot of the Human Genome Project that shows significant amounts of noncoding DNA that scientists and researchers have long considered junk actually has effects on gene expression, translation, and many other cellular functions. As opposed to the 2% of DNA previously considered important, this study shows that at least 20% of DNA is vital.


On Wednesday I completed my 10 plate procedure after I got positive results. I did not have any difficulty doing the procedure as it was basically the same thing as before however with 10 plates. I felt a little behind on my work so I came into the lab with Katelyn and Gabi so I could flood my plates today. The 10 plates were all webbed and looked great so I got a head start and flooded my plates today.


So today was the coolest day of lab by far. I filtered my lycate from my 10 plate and then did both steps of the microscopy! Its absolutely insane that I’ve been able to be a part of this as a freshman. As soon as I got to band I told several people (upperclassmen) about it and some of them didn’t even know that Baylor even had an electron microscope! And ironically enough, the day I was super excited about my fancy bio lab it was “nerd day” for the band. (The last rehearsal of the week is always a spirit day and people dress up according to the theme) So while others wore suspenders and thick glasses, I just showed up and got to act like it! Even though it was far from acting.

But now that I think about it, I was in a rush to get to band and forgot to write all this in the lab notebook… looks like i’ll be stopping by tomorrow to do that!


Tie between ALS and Genetic Mutations

When I was about 4 years old, my grandfather died of ALS. My mom told me that after he died, I said that I wanted to research this disease so no other grandfather had to die of it. I hate to admit it, but the older I got, I forgot about this dream of mine. But just today, something reminded me of my dreams of research in ALS. So I researched a little about any discoveries they have made in the treatment/cause of ALS. The first page it brought me to said that they have made a landmark discovery that a genetic abnormality is the likely cause of ALS. They found a short DNA sequence that is repeated many more times in patients than it is on healthy people. The intrigued me because we are studying DNA right now! I read a little further and it appears that the repeated DNA sequence is located on the non-coding region of a gene (the telomere). This however does not make sense to me. Because if it is located on the telomere it shouldn’t really affect the DNA, because it is on the non-coding section. But obviously it still has some affect. It will be interesting to see what comes of this research!

Getting closer

So I feel like I’ve past that checkpoint. Now I’m done with my 10 plate web that I flooded on Monday and will collect the lycate. Wednesday I will start on the graphing for the microscope, and ill get to start working with the DNA of the phage.

So it makes sense why we all have to switch next semester to arthro for the sequencing of the phage, but it defiantly makes me wish I had tried just one more time to get that phage! But I still would be doing the same thing, so in the end theres no difference.

Its kind of funny when I talk to my parents from time to time, they will ask about the lab and earlier in the year I would be able to simplify it enough where they had the general idea of what I was working on. But now and especially the rest of the semester, its gotten pretty complicated for just a casual phone conversation! But I really feel like I have a firm grip on what i’m doing and what i’m going to do next!

Big Mistake

So last Wednesday I was able to finish my calculations and actually plate my 5 samples on the same day so I could get on track. However, there was an issue with the 1x top agar and all of the plates ended up being contaminated. Now obviously that is a problem, so today was kind of a make-up session for that mistake. I made a fresh batch of 1x TA and used new phage buffer just to make sure that there would not be any more issues with this procedure. When I get back to the lab on Wednesday, hopefully I can get started on my 10 plate procedure.

Contamination! :(

Today in lab I found out that all ten plates of my ten plate test and my spot test were all contaminated! I think that it is the Top Agar because my negative was also contaminated. It looked like I had a webbed plate but I didn’t want to flood a plate that was contaminated so I decided to redo both tests. I made new Top Agar and made sure to be extra careful about using the aseptic technique. I am doing two tests at once (the 10 plate test and the spot test of my new lysate to find the titer) to make sure that I don’t have to back track. Hopefully on Wednesday I will get good results and be able to move forward!!

My phage!!!!

Look at my beautiful phage!!! Any suggestions for names? Its nice to finally be able to see it and know its real:) haha. Can’t wait to go on to the DNA process.