Blog #2: Progress so Far

There were a few setbacks for my research this semester. Our incubator malfunctioned and was too hot while I began to grow my mycobacteria. This caused them to go into “heatshock” and cease growth. However, they have just begun to recover and are growing slowly! Their growth is essential to my project so I am also beginning to transform M. bovis-BCG with a plasmid containing GFP, just to ensure that I will have an uncontaminated, growing stock of the bacteria for use on my project. This will be completed in the coming weeks. Additionally, I have successfully grown up murine macrophages that are growing as they should. I froze them today so that I will have a supply of frozen macrophage stocks for my future work. This semester involved a lot of preparation and growth of both types of cells needed for my project. This will allow me to experiment with them over the winter break and next semester.
So far, I have learned that mycobacteria, such as M.bovis-BCG grow very slowly. They can take anywhere from two weeks to a month to grow. My bacteria have been “growing” for about one month, and I am just beginning to see growth. Additionally, I have learned that macrophages are easily contaminated so proper aseptic technique is needed at all times. I am excited to transform M.bovis BCG next week and to start on my project over the winter break. My work this semester has set up all of the components necessary to complete my experimental goals. It will be interesting to see how the macrophage actin filament network responds to infection by M. bovis-BCG. So far, my timeline is on track and I will be able to complete the project on time, even though there were a few setbacks at the beginning!

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