Wednesday, August 27, 2008


The contamination I spoke of earlier appears to be more widespread than we originally thought, as in I now have two out of four of my cultures showing signs of it. The "patterns" are still rather random and I am having trouble figuring out what caused it, I can't fix it unless I find the source (I suspect it is either the stocks or myself at this point). Once a pattern seems to emerge a result comes along that throws it out. V asked what we are going to do, I suggested hitting our heads on the lab bench until we don't notice/care anymore. My boss graced the path lab with her awesomeness, it was amusing that she has the same approach to looking at slides under the scope that I do, stare at one, switch to the second, go back to the first, second, first... Then go cross-eyed and look at the plates awhile before going back to the microscope. She got tired of it and said "This is why I'm a chemist." So much for my trying to convert her! The bugs look similar under the scope, hence the switching, and also we really really want them to be the same and the right bug, but alas when Dr. M looked at them he confirmed my (and likely her) sneaking suspicion, they are most likely not. Good thing I don't have stomach acid or I'd have an ulcer by now!

I have options, we will get through this, it is just very frustrating that I am once again stalled and poor V is as well. I feel extra bad for V since she has been going insane with this too and it originally looked like it could be "her fault" now it looks like it is not (it could be mine). Hopefully I will get to the point of posting more regularly, I have posts swimming around in my head but it takes time to get them written, and some require photoshop and possibly Baby Sibling. Plus I really need to get my progress reports done, they are a pain and two are late (the two I don't care about as much and protest having to do).

In the mean time here is a video I made of what I am recently doing a lot of. I actually made three, at risk of scaring you all away and having Baby Sibling laugh hysterically at me I am posting the one that I narrated. What I am doing is called "streaking" it is often used to test the purity of a culture, in my case I am actually spreading what are pretty much pure cultures onto plates that I added a chemical to that makes my research organism (Bifidobacteria) turn blue and the others stay white. This will likely confirm that I have contamination in at least two of my cultures. Oh and I wore the lab coat just for you so feel special, I rarely wear one, that's how much I love you guys.


loren said...

Very educational! While I was watching the video, one of my girls came in and hopped on my lap to watch you "draw." :)

The Microblogologist said...

Glad you liked it, and it does look like I am drawing doesn't it, that is so cute. I'll have to look through my photos, I am sure I have some pictures of plates that people actually did draw on.