Since the last three weeks of research, I have encountered many new obstacles and challenges. As mentioned in my previous blog post, I am looking for novel bacteriophage for three human pathogens and one fish pathogen. Bacteriophages are bacterial viruses that will destroy the host cell, ultimately killing the pathogen. This research could be vital in the treatment of many bacterial infections.
I am now into my seventh week of research, and I have found, like many of my fellow researchers, that not everything works out like you intend it to. In my first three weeks of research I had very promising results; I had three plates with several plaques on them. These plaques represented bacteriophage. I then cored and re-plated several of those plaques and did not have any amplification. Now, I definitely should have had amplification on at least some of my plates, but that was certainly not the case. So, in order to try and troubleshoot this I have now went back to my primary enrichments to see if I can get more plaques. I have also started new enrichments on the pathogen A. baumanii, and just completed my first round of plating today. I will be able to observe my plates tomorrow to see if any plaques have formed.
This summer has been full of research highs and lows, but I am learning that it is all part of the process. Working in Dr. Sheridan’s lab has been an incredible experience that I have learned lots from. The atmosphere is so positive to work in, and I have fun every day. Dr. Sheridan, the graduate researchers, and fellow undergraduate students working in Dr. Sheridan’s lab teach me new things every day and most importantly they encouraging me to work hard and keep pushing on in my research.