Today is the day I claim the name: “Mr. Bacteria”.

Today is also the day that marks the beginning of this series. I want it to be fun and exciting and my goal is to share the excitement and disappointments that come along with studying these inscrutable microorganisms.

I googled the name “Mr. Bacteria” and unlike the name Mr. Calculus (known far and wide) that my high school teacher Howard Alcosser holds, has yet to be claimed by anybody. So I’ll wear the self-proclaimed title proudly as I delve into the rabbit hole of the bacterial world.

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Figure 1: This is 90% you – or at least your GI tract. [1]
Today I learned (the right way) to inoculate E. coli. With a scrunched face and shaking hands, I took some of the Luria-Delbruck bacterial broth (the recipe that many happy E. coli live on) and used a giant glass pipette to transfer 5 mL from a jar-looking thing with the broth in it into a test tube. With flames burning high, I wielded the glass pipette, passing it through the flames, killing all the microorganisms that resided on the glass. Swiftly, I plunged the pipette into the broth and squeezed the trigger of the pipette machine, extracting solution into the glass pipette, still hot to the touch from being passed through flame. As a quick tip, apparently you can uncap (is that the right term for it?) sterile test tubes with the hand holding the pipette tube.

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Figure 2: Just like me except I didn’t have to plate anything [2]
So after taking the full micropipette, I dispensed the liquid into the nearby empty test tube. The liquid was very faintly viscous, and it trickled down the tube gently. I followed up with a smaller pipette (a micropipettor as you will) and took a minuscule portion of the colored bacteria and dispensed it into the previously portioned broth. Hopefully, if the stars align, that small amount of colored bacteria will grow explosively overnight.

Thus ended my twenty minute session as Mr. Bacteria. It’s about as basic as basic gets, but it’s a start. See you all soon!

Your friend,

Joseph

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