By Tim Kistner
“The second semester of Phage Hunting is more work than the first” Dr. Fisher said. We all grumbled at this, but kept with the class because it’s fun and interesting and also because we knew that we were actually finding out information that might be useful to the scientific community. We were excited, or at least I was. The problem was that the major component of this part of the course was the physical annotation of genes on our chosen phage, Altwerkus. This of course required technology.
The dreaded error message, the utterly depressing waiting window, and the PC to Mac bridge were all plaguing the class. Most of the classes consisted of: “Katie, How do I do this”, “Dr. Fisher, I left my computer on for 12 hours and the BLASTING still isn’t done.” and the worst “I almost finished BLASTING and it got stuck on 99%”. The technology that we are using, DNA Master is actually very helpful but it wasn’t intended for commercial use and therefore there is no Mac version (much to the frustration of many of my peers). Troubleshooting is the name of the game. It will work in the end, I know it will, but will the end be soon enough?