By Andrea Uy
Phage Hunting this semester was different from what I expected. First of all, I switched sections and was kind of nervous going back. Everyone knew each other already, and I was one of those odd new kids sitting in the corner. Then, instead of going straight back into lab, we were to spend (an additional) 5 hours a week sitting in front of our computers, a stark contrast from last semester. I didn’t really know what to expect, and with a ton of troubleshooting and technical difficulties, the idea of annotating didn’t really sound pleasant. After all, how was I suppose to know which start codon to pick or how to read coding potential? I was beyond confused. However, I quickly got to learn the process (and new people), once we were placed into groups. Soon, annotating became easy and even enjoyable. Before I knew it, we had all 103 genes of Altwerkus done, and it was time to return to the wet lab.
Upon hearing of our return to the lab, I quickly got there and took my bench. New semester, new class, but at least I got my bench. After all, it is a lovely one. I started working on some dilutions, and though I started slow, my body began to remember the notions of pipetting up and down and up and down. Everything was coming back to me – the sight of endless plates, the distinct smell of agar. It was fun annotating, but being in the lab really is a wonderful experience. I’ve been working on my independent project, and finally get to play with my phage once more. Ah my magical morphing phage, how I’ve missed you! I do hope you behave better this semester.