• Jake Elwood

    Jake Elwood

    Class of 2015
    Blooming Prairie, MN
    Biochemistry

    Jake's Bio:
    Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My interests range from fishing and running to spending time in the chemistry labs with the professors. The Duluth area mixed with the professional and compassionate faculty and staff that make up St. Scholastica are, in my opinion, the perfect match up for an awesome college experience. I look forward to blogging about my future adventures!

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Bacteriophage Update

As I mentioned before, I’ve been working as a Teacher Assistant for the bacteriophage lab on campus. Bacteriophages are viruses that only infect bacteria.  The class focuses on finding and isolating a bacteriophage that has never before been found and then analyzing the sequenced genome.

The first semester of the class can be split up into two parts. Isolation of the bacteriophage and purification of the DNA. We are at the halfway point! Most of the class has their own bacteriophage isolated and we are now beginning to purify the DNA. The class is held every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:00pm to 1:50pm. Typically, I am in there before class, along with another TA, doing some prep work. Below are some of the pictures I took while working!

Because we are working with living microbes it is necessary to create the medium that they grow in.  I would say that this is where the majority of my time is placed.

Because we are working with living microbes it is necessary to create the medium that they grow in. I would say that this is where the majority of my time is placed.

Again, because we are working with living microbes all equipment we use needs to be sterile. This helps to prevent the contamination of our experiments.

These are containers about to be thrown into the autoclave to be sterilized. Again, because we are working with living microbes all equipment we use needs to be sterile. This helps to prevent the contamination of our experiments.

This is the work place students utilize while performing their experiments. It gets pretty busy in here during class time!

This is the work place students utilize while performing their experiments. It gets pretty busy in here during class time!

 

Because this is a lab based course everyone tends to be at different steps. This can cause a bit of disorder. Dr. Westholm, the professor for the course, does a great job of keeping everything as ordered as possible.

Because this is a lab based course everyone tends to be at different steps throughout the year. This can cause a bit of disorder. Dr. Westholm, the professor for the course, does a great job of keeping everything as ordered as possible. The white board is updated every class period to clarify what needs to be done.

 

This is the picture of what bacteriophages look like after they have been plated on a bacterial lawn. The round plaques are areas that the bacteriophages have infected the bacteria.

This is the picture of what bacteriophages look like after they have been plated on a bacterial lawn. The round plaques are areas that the bacteriophages have infected the bacteria.

As I mentioned before, the class is just beginning the DNA purification steps. I’ll post more pictures as we do more cool stuff!!

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