By David Ramirez-Chavez
Over a month into the school year, I can see all the work that we’ve done so far. When I received the email telling me I needed to collect a dirt sample, I wondered why for many days during orientation. The fact that I never saw anyone getting dirt in the days leading up to the first day of classes made me wonder how odd I’d look digging up the ground. Fortunately, few people stared as I put dirt into a little baggie.
The first day I found out we were using the dirt to get our phages, and to be honest, of all places I figured were a viable place to find phage, dirt was not the first place to come to mind, and definitely not the most glamorous.
Then after the first few days of filtering the dirt sample, direct plating, and enrichment, we got into the process of streaking and streaking and, of course, streaking. I actually enjoyed it though since I was so awful at it initially. Now after however many streaks I’ve done (close to 20) I can say that my level has increased to at least mediocre. All the while, of course, I had to analyze the plates. And wonder if the mess of dots on any single plate could be called one morphology.
But, through repetition and after weeks of streaking, I can finally say that it looks promising. Or at least I was able to streak three plates that were consistent enough to convince me and Professor that I could continue. Although my cautious nature made me very hesitant.
I was then able to move on to the exciting process of producing a(n) Medium Titer Lysate (MTL). And that is basically where I am at the moment. I have an MTL and apparently now I have to make a(n) High Titer Lysate (HTL), which fortunately for me involves a lot more plating and math, so I can look forward to that.