No Such thing as Failure

The flame licked the metal rod as it turned from rustic silver to burning red. As I took the metal rod and stuck it into the agar plate it sizzled and crackled. “Eww it makes such a gross noise” I whined to Alan, my mentor.
“That’s the sound of thousands of bacteria dying” Alan replied with a chuckle.

“Thanks Alan, thank you for that” I remarked sarcastically.
That’s a typical conversation with Alan in the lab, though sometimes I can’t tell if he is serious or just joking around! The past couple of days I’ve been growing some bacteria colonies on plates, imagine a piece of silicon with mold on it, that’s basically what it looks like if it turns out right. It’s cool because if we want to synthesize a protein, bacteria can do it for us! All we do is put the segment of DNA we want that expresses that protein in an agar plate (a little circle plate with some silicon looking stuff in it) with bacteria that is ampicillin resistant. That means that if we use an agar plate that has ampicillin in it, then only the bacteria we want to grow that has our DNA we want in it will grow. This is because the bacteria will take up the DNA we put in with it and incorporate it into its DNA (called a plasmid), then secrete the protein we want as its waste. Sweet right!?
Ahem, sorry my inner nerd came out a little bit. Other than this I ran a few gels today and unfortunately no results. Even though I havent had any results lately, I am not getting down at all. As Thomas Edison always said when trying to invent the light bulb,
“I have not failed. I have found 10,000 ways that don’t work”.

– Becca T

    • dundeefan
    • June 7th, 2010

    Cool Becca! How long does it take you to find a result? It sounds like it can be a long-process…

      • Becca T
      • June 7th, 2010

      It depends on what’s being done, and what results you are looking for! Hahah sorry to be so vague. Running a gel usually takes 45 minutes to an hour. Though the PCR machine takes up to 3 or 4 hours, so that can be run over night since our machines will keep the sample cooled afterward. As you can see this leaves much room for multitasking.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: