Revision as of 18:36, 13 September 2012 by Daie07 (Talk | contribs)


Week 1

Our first lab day could be the dictionary definition of disaster. Why are we saying this? Oh, just for a few things: the materials order still has not been done and we’ve been announced that in case we use and finish any reactant or material from the university stock, we will have to pay for it (hooray!). The advisor has been at the lab supervising for only a couple hours, and he was gone when we went to the autoclave in order to sterilize some reactants to make BG-11 medium … Surprise!- there was bacteria growing all inside the autoclave… Goddamm … that was bloody stinking… and the lab technician didn’t know anything about it.

We expected that now the lab technician was aware our problem with the autoclave will somehow help us to solve it… but as Murphy’s law states, if anything has got any chance of going wrong, it will sure go wrong and in case it’s already wrong, it will become even worse. The bacterial growth still was there when we came, but the lab technician wasn’t. Later we were told that the university was inaugurating a new research centre in Calpe (still inactive), and he was needed there. Later on we asked a university teacher for some permission to use the autoclave. Guess what? It was denied. Ah, and one more thing, due to the inauguration, in order to make the new centre look productive, our spectrophotometer has been brought there. We still don’t know when it’s going to be brought back to where it once belonged. Anyway we’ve managed to clean the autoclave by ourselves. It’s something.

Today we’ve finally sterilized the reactants for the BG 11 medium for Synechococcus, except the manganese which is essential for making the bacteria grow, so we will have to replace it with a commercial fertilizer until the new materials order we made arrives –the same one which has not been ordered yet-. Meanwhile we’ve received new rumors: like it happened the year before, it seems that the university –and in consequence our lab- will be opened during August only till 2 p.m. (yoohoo!! Who needs more time?!) and the advisor who’s been in charge of opening our lab and making some supervision will take his holiday on next Friday and no replacement is known (UPDATE: finally it seems we have the permission to access to the lab… 1 out only-God-knows problems solved.

Today we’ve made a first attempt to make our Synechococcus wild type strain grow in the lab. We still don’t know which way will be the most efficient and successful for our purposes, so we will try two ways (both of them using both our BG 11 medium broth supplemented with the fertilizer and without this supplementation). On the first attempt we will grow the coccus will be grown in a flask sealed with parafilm which will receive all the aeration it needs with an air pump from a home aquarium; and on our second attempt, we will close the flask with hydrophobic cotton and we will grow it in an agitation chamber. Both attempts will be done with constant light with a lamp placed ant a 30 cm distance. We will have to wait until the culture has grown to determine which way is the most efficient. Weird news of the day: there is no more bad news.

Our engineers think they’ve found a way to improve the growing of the Synechococcus culture. They have decided to make a CO 2 bomb with a culture with yeast and sugar connected to the main culture so all the carbon dioxide produced by the yeast arrives to the cyanobacteria culture to boost the growing. Everything we have needed for this was a block of baking yeast, a couple of plastic tubes sterilized with 70º ethanol, some sugar and a soda bottle, it may not look very professional but if it works, who cares? Just hope it works when it’s done.

As we expected, no bacterial growth has been observed at the flasks we’ve put to grow (according to bibliography, Synechococcus grows extremely slowly in comparison to other microorganisms like E.coli reaching its highest growing in which is in its optimal to transform in approximately one week). Nothing wrong has happened today? Well it almost happened (or at least we hope so): the temperature of the agitation chamber got decontrolled and reached almost 30 degrees (the optimal temperature of growing for our strain is approximately of 25 degrees) and it has been that high for some hours.

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12