Laboratory Update!

August 9, 2011

It’s 9:30 PM and I’m in the laboratory, patiently waiting for some proteins to separate. For the past year and a half I have tried numerous times to force E. coli to produce a protein responsible for oxidizing ammonia in Nitrosocaldus. While E. coli is every molecular biologist’s workhorse, my coercion has been fruitless. No matter how much I toggle with the growth conditions, it has refused to produce this protein. Having E. coli produce this protein in prodigious amounts is valuable as it will be the raw material necessary in understanding how Nitrosocaldus oxidizes ammonia. Why can’t ‘coli recognize my research needs and start producing lots of this protein?! Ugh.

Frustrations aside, there are successes. I’m approaching my final week working as a laboratory technician at Taxon Biosciences, spending the past 2 months hunting down microbes which degrade oil. In addition to successfully completing my summer internship at Taxon, I have successfully grown and harvested a 8 liter culture of Nitrosocaldus. A whopping 8 liters of cells in a single pellet:

Henry the 8 liter

Henry the concentrate

It takes about 50 mL of E. coli grown to exponential phase to produce a pellet as large as Henry. That is over a 100 fold difference in volume! So what exactly am I doing with all these cells of Nitrosocaldus?


2 Responses to “Laboratory Update!”

  1. Forgest said

    you should have been donw a while ago

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