Blog #3: Mid-summer Updates and Changes in My Project

Hi everyone! Hope you had an enjoyable 4th of July.

The last couple weeks have been especially busy. During week #4 of my research, I created treatments and incubated them in microcosms (2-L carboys) at room temperature. As I collected all the necessary subsamples, I began making slides from the frozen cryo vials. I also pooled the triplicates, or three replicates, of my treatments onto 0.22 micron nitrocellulose filters to capture bacteria, after which I stored the filters in the -80 ºC freezer (which is extremely cold!).  I will use these filters later when I conduct t-RFLP (terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism) to assess changes in bacterial community composition. Lastly, I helped Professor Williamson prepare vials with sub-samples from each of my treatments so they could be analyzed for bacterial production via tritiated leucine assays. Since tritiated leucine is radioactive and I am not certified to handle such substances, Professor Williamson was primarily responsible for this part of the project.

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Vilnius Thoughts: How half of my project happened in Four Days

Despite the fact that I keep updating this blog, I still haven’t caught up to my current situation on my research. It’s frustrating and exciting at the same time, because there is just so much that has happened, and so much still to do. I’ve been in Russia for just about three weeks now, which means I have about three weeks left to go. More importantly, though, three weeks ago I spent four days in Vilnius, Lithuania, and conducted a huge part of my research there, which is what I want to share here.

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