Monthly Archives: December 2013

Good semester guys

Even though none of this went quite like I expected, I’ve got to say this has been one of the funnest things. It’s been a fantastic semester, everybody. I’m pumped to dive in deeper this spring.

Final Post!

Hey everyone,

Happy (almost end of ) Finals Week! Hope the odds were EVER in your favor… (Hunger Games, anyone? Yeah?)

This goes without saying, but I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to work in this lab with all you guys! Thanks for making this semester truly amazing. From all the corny bio jokes to the sporadic worry sessions about whether we’re doing the lab right, this lab has been an unforgettable experience.

I wish I could continue this lab with you all next semester..

Best of luck to everyone next semester, and Merry Christmas everyone!

One Last Thing

Hey everybody, the following are a few articles I came across when I was researching for my lab report. I wasn’t able to include them since they aren’t original research articles, but I thought some of you might enjoy them too! Have a great Christmas break!

This is the End

Although my phage ended up dying at the last minute, this has been one interesting semester of lab. I have never learned so much about research and biology than I have in this class. The different methods that we would do every day and be able to interact with each other whenever we needed assistance or an opinion made me want to come to lab everyday. I made a lot of new friends in this class and we still have one more semester together. I can’t wait to come back next semester and finish what we have started!

Chimalakonda out.

Th-th-th-that’s all folks! (Well for this semester)

So our last lab for this semester has come and gone. And making smores is an awesome tradition for the last day! And now that Bonesquad is shipped of and in the data banks, all that is left to do is to analyze the bands on the electrophoresis!
So I said in my last blog that I found a study in a Smithsonian magazine that was super cool so I thought I would summarize it for y’all. This was a study published in 2007 by Yale’s Infant Cognition Center. This study was attempt to tackle the question of wether or not humans are wired to know the difference between good and evil (or lesser good), or if the concept of good is like anything else, just a skill we pick up along the way.
The test was performed on 6 and 10 month old infants. A group of these kids were shown a puppet show which had this story line:
There was a bunny that was struggling to open a box. Then along came a bunny in a purple shirt. The bunny in the purple shirt held the box down and prevented the original bunny from opening the box. The next scene was similar. The same bunny was trying to open the box and another bunny came along in a green shirt and aided the original bunny and together they opened the box!
This scenario was played over several times for the kids to ensure that they understood what had happened. Then following the last showing of the play, they had a chance to meet the bunnies of the story! When they met the bunnies, both the bunny in the purple and green shirt offered each infant a cracker, but could only take one. While the magazine didn’t give exact percentages, they did say the kids “overwhelmingly” choose the cracker from the bunny in the green shirt.
While of course this offers no concrete evidence, (because what if the good bunny offered a cracker while the “bad” offered a cookie?) it does kind of point towards the idea that the knowledge of goods is something humans might be born with.

Wow, Look What We’ve Done!

Wow! I can’t believe we did it! After a whole semester we finally have our DNA, I almost stopped believing this would ever happen. There were so many times during the semester when I just wanted to quit. Maybe I would come in to lab and find that my whole plate was contaminated or spend an hour figuring out why the TA would not settle. However, now I know all those mess-ups were completely necessary for my learning. I have learned so much more by messing up all those times than if everything had gone by the book. Looking back on this lab course I would not change a single day of lab. All of the things we have learned throughout the course, the perseverance, the teamwork, everything has been such a valuable experience that I would not change. And now I have Ranger and he is the best little phage there has ever been.

Peace Out SEA-Phages 2013!

Last day of lab

This was it! It is a crazy, good, and bad feeling knowing that the lab portion of Phages has come to an end. Just think, guys, next semester we will have a whole new set of #phageworldproblems ! Today, this last day of lab, I came to find out that I accidentally left my restriction enzymes in the incubator for three days (36 times the optimal amount of time) so my restriction digests were VERY digested (except one, which didn’t digest at all…who knows?). But that gel was really cool! I had no idea what it was supposed to be showing but when Hao starting explaining it, it all started making a weird sort of sense.

The conclusions I have reached regarding many things in this class.

Science is crazy.

Mind = Blown.

Logic is No.

Phages: Useful for More Than Just Medicine

One last thought for today…… Most articles that can be found regarding phages discuss their medicinal implications such as their ability to combat certain types of human conditions such as MRSA or TB, however I found this article interesting because it shows the wide range of implications that phages and the research we are working on can have on our world. In this article the author discusses how even diseases that affect plants can be targeted by phages to save entire ecosystems, in this case the Australian Great Barrier Reef.


The Sad Farewell


Today, everything came to an end. It was the final day of lab and we finished up and made final modifications on everything that we have spent the last semester working so diligently on.  Not all of us received the results we anticipated at the beginning but I don’t think any of us regret going through this process. We have learned so much over the course of the past sixteen weeks and have been able to do bona fide research, something that the vast majority of college freshman will never get the opportunity to participate in. This past lab I archived my phage, the final step in this long process, and while I am glad that I have achieved my goal of making it to the end of the phage-finding and isolating process, I can’t help but feel a bit sad that it is over. This has been an incredible opportunity and I am so grateful to have been able to spend it with each and every one of you. I have learned an immense number of things that will help me to become a better student and scientist over the course of this semester including but not limited to, keeping a lab book, creating an EM grid, running restriction digests,  creating serial dilutions,  and yes, even working with disgusting smelling Arthrobacter plates. All these skills have changed me for the better, but I would never have developed them were it not for this experience.

Looking back over my lab book, it is amazing how much progress was made.  The beginning weeks of the semester, nothing was working, and by nothing I mean NOTHING. My pipetting skills, or more accurately my lack thereof, kept giving me inaccurate measurements, everything was getting contaminated due to poor aseptic technique, my first six samples all came back negative for lysogenic spots and overall, my spirits were in the dumps. It is astounding to see how practically all of this has changed in the matter of a few months. I can now use a pipette easily, aseptic technique has practically become instinctive, and I have a fully purified and isolated phage who is being sent of for sequencing. So much progress was made this semester, and I cannot wait to see what new developments the next semester has in store for me. It’s been fun everybody! See you at the final exam!

Comment on “Not failure…Just Results” by Chloe Sells

This was something I have had to tell myself countless times throughout the semester, especially when I realized I had been working on someone else’s phage haha. While your gel did come back negative for DNA, you have been successful in dozens of other aspects throughout this semester’s lab- for instance you have experienced something most college students wont have the opportunity to do, freshman research, and you have also learned numerous valuble skills that will help you in the lab in the years to come. So no, you definitely did not fail, and although results can sometimes vary from what we desire, they teach us something new which is a success in itself. 🙂

The End!?

So today was my last lab day, and I can’t believe we’re done with one whole semester! Being a part of this amazing group has taught me so much – from filter-sterilizing lysates to problem-solving skills. I am so grateful to Dr. Gibbon and Dr. Adair for all their work and help; I’ve honestly gained so much from this one semester! I can’t wait to find out what next semester has in store for all of us. This lab also wouldn’t have been the same without y’all- my fellow phage hunters. Thanks for being simply awesome. I’m also thankful for Pizooky. Although we haven’t known each other for too long, finding him (?) was probably the highlight of my semester. I’m so glad I got to be a part of this experience!!

Cool update on bacteriophage research…

Hey guys,

Here is an article about a scientist who is actively trying to get bacteriophage treatment approved as a weapon against e. coli and other pathogenic bacteria.