So after a few months and 400+ samples later, we are finally done with sampling and data collection! The results look good, with several unique key points that we will be looking into once we have sequencing data. It will be interesting to see, and hopefully correlate, the appearance or growth of an organism with a change in one of the chemicals we measured.
On Tuesday I went in to do some DNA purifications to refamiliarize myself with the process and going back to lab overall. Hopefully the purifications and DNA isolation goes well, and we get back some interesting data from the sequencing run.
The water chemistry kits seem to be pretty straightforward, with a few nuances here and there. I conducted the titration-based tests as well as the tests to detect phosphorous and hardness. For the tests I used DI water to compare values, and so far the values I have been getting are comparable to values other people are getting, as well as make sense, which is good.
So a few tips. The phosphorous meter turns off after a few minutes, and it will forget the blank sample. So it is a good idea to make the reagent+sample tube before you begin.
Also, it is good to choose the low range of testings, because the high range is too much for our samples.
So after a long and intense summer and first half of fall quarter, the iGEM international competition came and concluded. So now I get the chance to walk down the lab (towards the gel room!) a few more feet and start work on the aquarium project I am helping with in the Eisen Lab. I can now devote more time to the processes of the project, and not just be involved with going to retrive samples from the aquarium, and trying to figure out where we keep our Taq Polymerase. I will try and come in the lab in the next few days, and figure out the workflow and how to get this project going. I am very excited for the project as well as hoping for some actual success in our process. This is the first of many blog posts as well, so stay tuned for the next segment of our project!