Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Streaks!!!

Today's microbio lab! I entered the lab with enthu! We had planned learning streak plate method today. The medium agar was ready. My friends prepared it and autoclaved by morning 8.30. Usually i reach college only by 9 in morning! :D :D Don't mistake that i'm irregular! I go by college bus! It crawls like a snail to college!

Okay., let me come to the point now. We started our experiment by 12 noon. We poured AGAR to our plates. Solidified the agar!

Mam started explaining how to streak. When she started streaking, our agar started tearing. :( :(  The reason is we added less agar in the medium.  We added 1.8g of agar for 100ml. But., mam felt like "we must add some more".

In between., we  a few tried with the already prepared plates. I torn two plates :) :) . Didn't get good streaks.
Then., we prepared Agar with 2g/100ml and 2.5g/100ml. We autoclaved it. We didn't continue pouring and solidifying because time was about 4p.m. Lab time gets over by 4.30p.m. So, we stopped and decided to continue in next lab.

Next lab I hope i'l get to know why my streaks torn my agar.
A happy day of learning!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Turbidity ---> I learnt something new!!!

This may not be a new thing to you, but to me. Turbidity in natural water is due to the presence of finely divided suspended particles of clay, sand or by microscopic organisms. Turbidity is expressed in ppm (parts per million). The standard unit of turbidity is that produced by one part of finely divided silica  in million parts of distilled water. The permissible turbidity limit in water is 5-10 NTU ( Nephelo Turbidity Units).

We did an experiment in our " instrumental methods of analysis lab"
Let me explain what we did.

Estimation of turbidity: 

Aim: To estimate the turbidity of the given solution.

Reagents: Stock Turbidity Solution.

Reagent A :
5 g of hydrazine sulphate is dissolved in 400 ml of distilled water.

Reagent B : 50 g of tetramethyl hexamine is dissolved in 400 ml of distilled water.

The reagents were mixed and made upto 1000ml with distilled water ( 4000 NTU )


We took samples from the stock and prepared solutions of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 NTU. The turbiditimeter was calibrated with these samples. Blank was distilled water.
The sample we used for finding the turbidity was " Soil particles mixed with water ". Ya, we mixed soil in water purposely for doing the experiment.
We normally do our experiments in groups. our group used soil in water.

Some other interesting and cool samples used by my classmates were : 

Jelly in water ;
Pink color chalk dust in water;
Chocolate in water; ( yum yummy)
silica powder in water;

After calibrating the instrument, soil sample was used and turbidity of the sample we used was found to be 34 NTU.

Why turbidity must be measured ?

In environmental science, Pollution estimation of the water ecosystems is an important one.
Pollution is directly proportional to the turbidity. Hence turbidity is important in this case.

Turbidity of drinking water must be as very low as possible.
Turbid water is not preferred in several cases.
Growth of microbes in broth can also be measured with turbidity of the solution.
Hence , it's important to understand and learn to measure turbidity.

:)))))) veeeeeeeeee......... Happy night after a whole day of study and classes.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A search for my little friends in soil!!! :P

Mm... I know to isolate the microbial friends from soil and milk samples :)))  Learnt it in my lab :) tried it and found the results good. We used just a random soil sample. First the soil was diluted in 100 (10^-2) ml of water. Then serial dilution was made till we reached 10^-6. then using spread plate and pour plate methods we inoculated our microbial soil samples.  If milk, 1ml of sample diluted in 100ml at first. then serial dilution till 10^-6. The plates were incubated at 35 degree celsius for 24 hours.

Next day we found colonial growths in our plates :) Majority of the colonies were circular & punctiform (small circles). Some erose type(irregular) were also observed.

As the dilution increases, the colony number decreases. I learnt, "Pure culture can be isolated by dilution - Serial dilution".

 This is a basic thing in microbio lab. But, the happiness i experienced with this can't be explained. I felt as if i were a scientist :P. I enjoy every lab hour and  I'm much interested in these  lab works.   Wooo... a lovely lovely department. Can live my life with this subject. :)))))) Thank you dad for suggesting me this course.

     "Discovering the minute microbial buddies!!!! in my microscope!!"

Friday, January 27, 2012

A recipe !!! yum yummy yum.... :P

:))) Haiyaa I know to cook for my microbes now. :)
I know to cook the following recipes for my tiny ones :
1) Nutrient Agar
2) Nutrient Broth
This is not for microbes but for me.. :P
A fruity Agar recipe
Got this pic by google image search :P
Yum yum yum...
3) LB ( Luria - Bertani )  agar
4) LB Broth

The composition :
1) Nutrient broth : 
For 1000ml :
5g of glucose
5g of peptone
3g of beef extract
5g of Nacl

2) Nutrient agar : 
15g of agar added to nutrient broth of 1000ml

3) LB Broth :
For 1000 ml :
10 g of Nacl
10 g of tryptone
5 g of yeast extract

4) LB agar:
15 g of agar added to 1000 ml LB broth

We prepared the medium. But, I don't know to prepare cotton plug :) :) . I tried preparing plugs.. :) :D

We were asked to practice "preparing cotton plugs" by our mam. We used lots of cotton.. But still most of us didn't get it good. "bluppp... " sound must come mam told. We tried and some of us got the sound too. when we got the sound - "blup" , we used to appreciate ourselves saying, " yeah.. yaaiii Pass ... Plug pass... :D :D "  But..., mm...  didn't get it perfect still :)  Have to work on..

A "blupp Bluppy lab hour" , Possible only in our labs. :)))))

see yaa with a fun in learning post  soon.. Tata.. !! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Galaataa at Chemical engg lab!!! :D :D Bang!!!

Venturi meter
 Oooo.. Pipes, Flows, Fluid flow rate... A different class of chemical engineering, which i never expected in Biotechnology. Thought that mechanical guys alone read on & deal on this thermodynamics!!! But, I too dealt with this thermodynamics. The chemical engineering lab which includes exercises like,
1) Venturi meter
2) Orifice Meter
3) Rota meter
4) Packed bed
5) Fluidised bed...

The list goes on and ends with number 14! But, I do remember only these topics. Completed with the exercise,
" FLUID FLOW THROUGH A STRAIGHT CIRCULAR PIPE " in the last lab on thursday!.
Here we go with that lab experience.  Noted the reading from manometer and stop clock successfully with my two batch mates!

Some data we searched for calculation :

1) Density of Mercury : 13,600 Kg/m^3 
2) Viscosity of Water  : 0.001 Kg/(m-s)
3) We were in need of the area of the collecting tank ....

A terrible attempt by me, for measuring the width & breadth.
My friend took a long Cm scale & started measuring. I accompanied her.
The pipe set up was on a Huge wooden board and the collecting water tank and motors were below  that. The setup was from " ALMECH Enterprises - Coimbatore "

For measuring the length I went under the wooden board and successfully measured the length as 49.4 cms. 
Tried to move out from there.... Oooooo... :( "BANG.....!!!". I banged with the wooden board!!! It pained!!! :( My lovely batch mates started comforting me!!! mm., I felt okay within few minutes and started laughing coz of my silly clash with the setup. Then started with my calculations with enthusiasm. 

Then, next came another batch over there to the set up to proceed with the experiment. They completed with the manometric readings and started with the length & breadth!!! Another " BANG!!!!". Ya, my friend again banged with the board and she too ended with laughter!!! 

We use to play " muttu muttu muttu..." game in childhood. The lab hour became such a game coz of continuous muttu's with the setup.

In another corner of the lab, Sir was trying to open a valve in the venturimeter set up . Haha.. As an extreme fun, the valve control came along with his hand. A batch which was about to experiment with that set up, became very happy that they could simply enjoy the lab leisurely !!!

A galaataa lab hour!!

The calculations and graph too went totally wrong with maximum error. :)))))) :)))))
At last, Sir ended with laughter seeing our skill in doing the experiment!!

Lovely lab hours!! Only enjoyable at my Department!! :)))

Happy to be a Biotechky!!! :))))

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Self confidence smiles!!!

Clicked by my bro ---> Ganapathy @ Baloo 
 I met her a day; 
She was smiling!
Though she knows,
She would wither in a week!
She smiled beautiful,
Some two days after,
She started withering;
She smiled still, WITH CONFIDENCE;
Who is she??? 
She is a ROSE!!!!
In my garden of love!!! 

Self confidence is an internal voice from your heart that you would do better even in tough times! Let the "s" word blossom in your lips like a rose; A rose, she smiles though she is aware of her short fate; She blossoms with "s"mile & makes us smile!!! 

Be a ROSE ; 
Control your roar;
Even at tough times, smile with the confidence that you could do; 
Engage others to plant the smile of self confidence!!!

A Self confident talk in TECHNICAL ENGLISH HOUR !!!

Have a confident year ahead!!! :))))))))))) Cheers!!!                                              

Monday, January 9, 2012

S0, What's your favorite dish?!?

Manure for  my Garden !!! 
I'm a bit different; I never grow roses,lilies, sunflowers in my garden; But, just cute little microscopic flowers ---> microbes!!! Each and every person will have their own favorite dish. Mine is naan and butter masala. What's your's? What do these little cells require for growing well?  But, what do my microbes need? What's their favorite? Got an answer!!! Got an answer! They love Agar!!! Starting with basics of preparing nutrient agar in my lab tomorrow. Before the lab, we use to read on for the viva by our professor! Oooooo... My microbes are nonveggy. They love beef extracts, so i must add some to my nutrient agar!

Got some questions : 

1) At what temperature does agar liquefy and solidify??? 
        It's very simple to answer this, 
Solidifies at 32 to 40 degree C.
Liquefies at 80 degree C.

2) What role does agar serve as a nutrient ??? 
         Most microbes can't destroy and feed up agar, it just gives a background for holding the nutrients and the microbes. They give support to the cell wall of certain algae! It's a polymer made of galactose units. 

3) Why agar instead of gelatin? 
Gelatin liquefies at even less temperature in the range of 35 to 40 degree C. But, Agar melts at 80 degree C.
Moreover, only few microbes can degrade it , hence it can provide a better solid surface for growing microbes.

4) Nutrient agar for my microbes with contents like : 
      Glucose ---> Provides carbon source.
      Peptone ---> Gives protein
      Beef extract ---> aminoacids, sugars, inorganic salts
      Nacl ---> For maintaining osmotic pressure.
  NaCl is generally added to the nutrient media for maintaining the Osmotic pressure. Maintaining osmotic pressure is important, because, increase or decrease in the osmotic pressure leads to cell burst or death due to the effect of osmosis. So, maintaining the osmotic pressure is done by adding correct amount of NaCl.

Got tired out of typing and reading my notes and papers. ooov.. Gonna sleep.. good night!!! 
will feed you tomorrow my little ones.!!! :P

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dandruff problem?!!! ---> a Solution!

image of human dandruff (microscopic)
courtesy: Wikipedia  
Are you suffering form dandruff problem?
I have a tip for you to get of it.
Dandruff is nothing but, over multiplication of your scalp cells and so leading to formation of more dead cells!

Your dandruff might be due to the following reasons :

1) high stress
2)exposure to extreme conditions of temperatures or chemicals
3) due to fungus mostly Malassezia species.
4) over secretion of sebum - natural oil secreted in our body.

Now let me point out you the possible solutions : 

Most of the times, when dandruff is caused due to any one of the above reasons or due to their combination.
If the reason is stress, there is no other go, you have to cool yourself in possible ways. " Stay cool" that can be the possible solution.

If it is due to extreme conditions, then avoid such conditions, cover your head with a cap! this would give you protection.

Then, the highest possible reason for your dandruff, is the fungal species, it actually acts on the triglycerides of your sebum, and produces oliec acid, this oliec acid (OA) improves the multiplication of scalp cells ( top layer of the skin- epidermis- stratum corneum) which in turn leads to dead cell formation causing dandruff!!!

The increase in sebum also causes problem, because, fungus gets more sebum to act on, thereby leading to more production of OA leading to dandruff as mentioned above.

So, increase in either sebum level or fungus number can lead to dandruff.

Tips : 

If your dandruff is due to fungus, avoid using hair oil, because fungi's favorite food is oil and it grows well in oil. 

Avoiding oil can reduce the required nourishment for your hair, so, kindly contact a dermatologist and get a substituent gel they prescribe! 

Take hair bath atleast thrice in a week. This will help you to clean up the fungus.

Let your hair and face smile with dandruff free experience!!!

Courtesy: Wikipedia & a lecture from a microbiologist Mr. Suresh. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Specially for girls!!

 Good evening dear friend! Long hair...!!!! If your a girl with little bit long hair who is doing biotech or microbiology or pharmacy or similar course.., you might have experienced this!! It's rules in most of the labs to tie your hair tight and cap it to avoid the falling hair to mix up in your product. Capping the long hair is the real problem. The long hair never hides itself in the cap. It peeps out of your cap and gets you and your experiment into trouble. For this, you must use a little bit large sized cap! Normal caps wont suit! I have a bit long hair & I terribly experienced this with my friends, in industry. My whole day went adjusting the cap!!! This may sound a bit funny. But, I thought of trimming my hair for this nuisance, it caused me in my lab. But, I love a little bit long hair. Have to buy a big size cap next time for covering my hair :P :P :)

B.sc or B.tech ??!!! :O

Students who are willing to join Biotechnology course., after their high school, will have this great doubt!!!! B.Sc or B.tech???!!! Which helps me better?!! As a B.Tech - Biotechnolgy student , here I shared what i know. B.tech is more industry oriented. But, B.sc. is more research oriented. It's not that if you go for B.tech you can't research! As, I'm studying I could say " In  B.tech we deal about bio processing; thermodynamics; which are more industry based. But, I learn microbiology, biochemistry and similar papers too." What my professor suggested was " If anyone wanna research in biotechnology, it's better to go with B.sc., M.sc., Phd. ;But, B.tech., M.tech & Ph.d has high value in industry! ". It's hard to shine here in this field. Hard work & patience are much needed. But, once you get a master degree, your value gets multiplied!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lecturer's Apple!!! :) :) :)

I was wondering till yesterday, why is it necessary to learn Thermodynamics in Biotechnology..!!! Got the answer today. Learning the fluid flow rates and heat transfer would help me better in industry when we design a fermenter; moreover, it would help in understanding the flow of bulk biological products through a pipe. Rotameter; Flow through a cylindrical straight pipe & annulus; Fluidisation, Exatraction... mmm... Some more things sir explained in the lab.  Got to know the fourier's equation for heat transfer! ( Hope I'm right :) ) I love answering questions, whenever a lecturer questions, I would open my mouth, whether i'm right or wrong!!! I get corrected by doing so. Sometimes, this leads to funny situations when friends start laughing at me coz of my silly answers!! & sometimes due to my silly doubts!. But, I never mind, :P I dare to answer everything!!! I love to be an apple in the eyes of my lecturer :) :) :) :) I got your mind voice.. But, i don't care... I'l always blow my own trumpet!!!! :P :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fire in the lab!!! BE CAREFUL!!!! A Lesson learnt!

That day, we were working in our lab under laminar air flow chamber. we were streaking our plates with E.coli. For sterilizing the loop, we were using 70% ethanol. We also sterilized the L rod which we used for spreading , using the same Ethanol. 
One by one, we started streaking and spreading. I completed my turn, and sterilized the L rod by dipping in ethanol once and shown in flame, and placed it in a tray.Mam instructed, " Ethanol will catch fire , if you place the hot rod over it". One of my friend, did spreading after my turn, she too dipped the rod in ethanol, flamed the rod and instead of placing in the tray she misplaced the hot rod in the ethanol plate!!!! " oooo... fire fire..." immediately ethanol caught fire..!!! My friend who misplaced., she started crying... Mam shouted, " hey girls, guys run out of the lab...," as the tube which carries LPG for the flame was very close to fire. Suddenly, our lab technician acted smart & controlled the fire. One of our class guy commented " ae maapla coat-ah kalatti amaththi irukalaamladaa nee..!!!". At the end we ended the lab hour with a lesson of careful handling and loads of honey filled laughter!!!!

Love my fellow mates! Lucky to be a biotechky!!!

Dear pipette!!!!

After I handled micro pipettes in lab for a semester!!! In the second semester,  the very first day in the microbiology lab, mam started with basics once again, and started explaining how to calibrate & find error percentage of a micro pipette. I listened to the procedures very carefully; I was provided with a pipette and was asked to calibrate the same. I  followed the procedures ; Took 3 eppendorfs , weighed them initially ; added water in microlitres to it ; weighed it back again; subtracted the final weight with initial eppendorf's weight; And finally the error was.... 300% !!!!!! :O ooo... " mam... this pipette is not at all good... it has 300% error...!!!", I went and reported to mam with full enthusiasm as if i found something great!!! " mam wondered & verified the pipette :) lolz... " mam got 0% error" :P It was myself who handled the pipette wrong!!! :) :D Mam asked me to pipette out in front of her. :D Pipette must be given minimum pressure., first press and then the liquid must be taken in. But, myself... " gave my whole strength and pressed the pipette, gave the second press also.. :P and sucked the liquid :P :D So., obviously i got more than the set amount of liquid in the pipette :D but, I reported the pipette as error.. that too not 10 or 20... , 300 % ...!!! Actually, the 300% error was in my handling of the pipette!!! Learnt how to use the pipette properly after a semester in microbiology lab :) Now, you understood , how brilliant i am??!!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Blood smearing!!!! :O

  The very first day in my laboratory, the first lab for smearing practice; I found it terribly hard to smear my slide with blood; Oh... I started begging my friends to smear my slide , after 18 continuous failure attempts; Finally, none helped me; Because , they too were struggling to smear!!! lol!!! Ya, only a few in the lab managed to smear correctly! myself like mohammed gazni tried attempting and got it "ok" at last in my 25th attempt! That too, we have to smear our slide & get it confirmed as right or wrong from our mam who was the in charge for the lab. Every time, when i shown her my slide, she just said " no., this is not good, repeat! you didn't get the tail region of the smear properly!". I feel like "grrrr....". I didn't lose hope; tried & tried , finally got it somewhat right! then i continued with lieshman staining! The staining came good. Then I went to my microscope in search of " eosinophils, basophils, neutrophils, monocytes ..." . "oooofff..." I didn't find an eosinophil in that sample till last; I was keenly searching...! Mam arrived and said at last " oh, you won't find Eosinophils and basophils that much easier!!! " . "oh gosh!, then, why I was searching for it at first , leaving all the others in the list!!!!" I go mad at times in my lab. But, anyways, biotech lab is fun filled with lively dancing cell's show!!! Searching something in my microscope , " I feel and enjoy like Hide & Seek" :D :D :D :D :P