Category Archives: Molecular Biology

Day 8- Student’s Reactions

Najuma Maharjan

We started our day with “Microbial Ecology of the Norman Landfill” lecture by Dr. Suflita and “Animal-Microbe-Symbioses by Anne Dunn. Both lecture discussed new things and it was pretty cool. In lab, we jot down the color of plates we inoculated last Friday. My plate has numerous growth and glad to see the result. Next, we start taking phenol and vanillan data and also checked the growth of test-tubes. At last, we get to know Q-FAME technique that is related to fatty acids. We also did gel electrophoresis and took cool snaps of DNA. Yay!!!!

Sushma Ale

First day of week 2, the lecture by Dr. Dunn was amazing! I enjoyed every slide and am looking forward to hearing Blake’s speech about quorum sensing; can’t wait.  Part II (lab) was covered by running gel and learning about FAME. 4 more days to go… we can do it ppl  J

Brandon Denton

I enjoyed the lecture from Dr. Anne Dunn( http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/D/Anne.K.Dunn-1/about Vibrio fischeri  and bioluminescence and symbiosis demonstrated in the Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes).  Josph Suflita, Director of the OU Institute for Energy and the Environment, gave a very interesting presentation over the Norman Landfill research site from a metabolomic perspec tive.   We went to the lab after lunch for some PCR, PAGE, and a demonstration of the Q-FAME Rapid Microbial ID Method of the landfill aquifer samples.

Miranda Sawyer

It is hard to believe it is already August and only a week of this course has gone by. For some reason I was really awake today and actually understanding what was going on. One of the lectures today talked about the landfill, and pretty much what we are doing, but put it more into perspective. The second lecture spoke about the symbiotic relationship between a squid in haiwaii and a luminescent bacteria. Very interesting stuff! Labwork today made time fly by! I’m still not an expert pipetter, but I did learn I’ve been pipetting wrong for a whole week. Whoops! Phenol and vanillan degradation is happening faster than I expected, but it could level off and slow down eventually. I hope that doesn’t happen cause it is the one experiment I am really interested in. I didn’t think it was possible for a mathematician to become a scientist, but I extracted DNA today. There is a first time for everything and this week has been full of them, but not very many people can say they have extracted DNA from an organism. Well guess what, I have! Not by myself, but I have! Ready to see what tomorrow will bring.

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Day 8

Today was another busy molecular day, starting off with talks by Dr. Suflita over the ecology of the Norman Landfill followed by an interesting look into animal-microbe symbioses by Dr. Dunn.

Following this, it was back in the lab for DNA extractions of each isolate the students have been working on, amplification of the 16s rRNA gene and running it out on agarose gels to visualize the DNA. The students did a wonderful job, and the product from PCR looked wonderful! Today we also learned about Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) analysis and identification of microbes by Nikki Johnson.

Day 4- Student’s Reactions

Patricia Pace

I have never been in the lab this late. I am having a lot of fun, but I know tomorrow this late night is going to hit me. I did have a lot of fun today. Dr Cichewicz spoke to us about Race, genetics, and health. His lecture talked a lot about drugs and pharmaceuticals. Dr Lawson, the poo doctor, spoke with us microbial taxonomy and how molecular biology has affected it. After lunch I extracted environmental DNA from LF-2B leachate. Judith and I then used the PCR technique to amplify the archaeal DNA. Blake ran the gels and we repeated the Phenol and Vanillan degradation as a class. We then used the TOPO method to incorporate our DNA into a plasmid so that the bacteria could reproduce the DNA for us. I am currently waiting for Blake to return with the cells so that I can plate them and go home to sleep…hurry Blake!

Sushma Ale

We had two speakers today: Dr. Cichewicz and Dr. Lawson (who I got to introduce in front of the class). It was a very new experience. Dr. Cichewicz talked about some interesting scope in a field of microbiology as a career. Also in the lab, we did some interesting experiment by running PCR, gel making, and TOPO cloning reaction. Overall it was very long and yet very educational day!

Brandon Denton

The longest day so far. 9 A.M. to 11:20 P.M. It was a long and intense day of 2 lectures before lunch and PCR, Agarose Gel Electrophoresis,  Topo Cloning ,and Transformation of Ecoli strain Mach 1 all using the Power Biofilm kit from Invitrogen. The kit worked great!  Pushing through the day was worth it because we learned so many new subjects and molecular techniques while completing our experiments and this will give us enough time to collect and analyze data so that we will be able create our poster and present our findings on Fri, Aug 5th and is my b-day.  If you want to give me a gift, donate some money to this program or to EPSCOR). Yes….I said DATA! We started to collect absorbance readings that, when analyzed, will tell us if we have come closer to isolating Phenol and Vanillin degrading microorganisms

Day 4

Today was molecular day- and what a day it was! The student’s started with lectures from Dr. Robert Cichewicz and Dr. Paul A Lawson, before jumping into the lab.

The day was a long one, but with the student’s enthusiasm, determination, and skill the day of extraction, PCR amplification, gel electrophoresis, and cloning was a complete success!