Saturday Science Sept 16 at the RAD Lab - Building DIY magnetic stir plates
This week's featured project is a DIY magnetic stir plate, cobbled together from old computer parts and a few miscellaneous electronics components. If you don't happen to have a need for a stir plate, we'll also have an area set up for visitors to play around with several electronics components, in an effort to really understand what those voltage and amperage ratings mean on everything from power cords to arduino inputs. Pictures below!
July 14 at STaRS (Science Teachers at Research Summer @NIEHS) TriDIYBio presented "DIY Biology in the Triangle"
Slides for the talk here
Instructions for the Agar gel electrophoresis kit here
Near the top of the pictures are two sets of plates labeled “E”, “C”, and either Ap or Hyg. These were plates exposed to the air during the event. The first set of three plates, E,C, and Hyg are a media that fungi like to grow on, and the next three plates, E,C, and Ap are a bacterial media. E = exposed to air, C = control not exposed to air. Hyg= hygromycin B, an antibiotic that kills most fungi, and Ap= ampicillin, an antibiotic that kills most bacteria. You will notice that there was serious growth only on the two plates labeled E. Obviously there are a lot of microbes in the air, and they were not resistant to either of these antibiotics.
The next series of plates are the results of the GFP painting. These are in duplicate for everybody who participated. On the left is the plate you did on Saturday, and on the right is a repeat of that plate I did on Monday. The reason for this is that the bacteria containing the GFP plasmid did not do well being exposed to the sunlight for approx. 3 hrs. The reason is the gibberish below.
E. coli DH5 a genotype: F–, Φ80lacZΔM15, Δ(lacZYA-argF), U169, recA1 endA1, hsdR17 (rK–, mK+), phoA, supE44, λ–, thi-1, gyrA96, relA1
This is the genotype of the E. coli strain used. Each series of letters/numbers separated by a comma is a mutation in a specific gene. Most laboratory strains of E. coli contain many mutations useful for lab work, but they also make the E. coli very weak. The only mutation relevant for Saturday’s event is called recA1. This makes this E. coli very UV light sensitive. It was very sunny on Saturday. You will notice that the plates you did don’t look very good in many cases. I re-painted all of your messages in a more controlled laboratory environment, and the E. coli grew well, so everybody has a nice version of their message.
At the bottom are the microbiome samplings. A lot of differences between individuals, but again, not as much growth as I have seen before (see the microbiome results for the SciTech Expo we did on 4/8/17 for comparison). One hypothesis from these two sets of data might be that what is growing on your skin is also light sensitive, but to test that we would have had everybody do this both indoor and outdoors. There might be other hypotheses also.
4/8/17 : The 2017 Triangle SciTech Expo is over, we exhibited along with NIEHS
Pictures from the Microbiome Discovery experiment can be found here
DIY Smartphone Microscope
Microbiome Discovery, see overview here
Agar Gel Electrophoresis, see overview here
Instructions for setup, from the Microworld Discovery Lab at NC Museum of Natural Science
Details on the MudWatt are here. Check out the "Resources" tab
8/20/16: We spent the day at the Building with Biology event at the Durham Museum of Life and Science. Click here to see the gallery of Microbiome and GFP Painting results.
4/23/16: We had a great time at the 2016 Triangle SciTech Expo. Click here to see the gallery of Microbiome and GFP Painting activity results!