By Deborah Chin
There was only one class I truly enjoyed in high school: Biotechnology.
In the Regional Occupational Program course called Biotechnology, we worked in a lab and created recombinant DNA which incorporated the red and green fluorescent protein (RFP and GFP). The bacteria glowed red and green in the petri dishes! We kept an actual lab notebook, similar to the one we have in Phage Hunting, worked with PCR machines, that we dubbed “Prince” (the singer), and used various other equipment such as vortexers and micropipettors. By far, it was the best experience I had with science and lab work in high school and I wished to do similar things in the future.
Luckily, I registered for this class in the summer, not entirely knowing what I was getting into, but with the knowledge that I would be working in a lab. Now, I love walking in every Tuesday and Thursday and putting on my lab coat and getting to work. Reading about the science is one thing, but actually going through the motions in the lab and confirming the results of my action is the “hands-on” science I love.
In terms of my progress in the actual lab, I used the t-streak method in hopes of getting more isolated phages. It is possible that I have different morphologies of a lysogenic phage. Some of the plaque were different sizes in diameter.
I also like how the course is run. We are mostly on our own, but if guidance is needed (which turns out to be very often) there is plenty of one-on-one attention available. For the most part, as long as we follow the procedures in the lab manual, we are progressing well. In addition, the small atmosphere makes it possible to easily hold conversations and interact with the professors and TA’s which is difficult in the large lecture setting.
There is only one class I truly enjoy this semester thus far: Phage Hunting.