Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Reminder: Soil Collecting Trip

A reminder: We will be going out to collect soil at the Houston Arboretum tomorrow (Wednesday Nov. 26th) at 12 pm. 

If you're interested in joining us, just stop by the lab at 12 pm (SR2 Room 229).

The weather should be nice tomorrow. We recommend that you wear long-sleeves and long pants to prevent mosquito bites and poison ivy. (Haven't noticed any poison ivy, but better to be safe than sorry.)

 Finally, if you are planning to go AND you are willing to drive, leave a comment for us. Thanks!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Migrating Slugs

Last week we went over how to collect Dicty cells that were grown on a lawn of bacteria. Aziz and Harshil collected, washed, and plated some of the cells onto H2O agar and then incubated them in our migration chamber, which permits only a small slit of light to enter from one direction. Here is what the plates look like after about 40 hours. Notice how the slugs are migrating away from the line in a fairly uniform manner, due to the single light source at the other end.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Collecting Trips!

Hi Everyone,

We are planning to go on two field trips for Wednesday, November 26th.

Michael will take a group to the Houston Arboretum. We will meet in the lab at 12:00, gather our collecting gear, and then carpool over to the park. Be sure do dress for the weather.  

Heather will be organizing a trip to collect around Webster, TX. Check back for details.  

After collecting soil at these sites, we will return to the lab to plate the soil samples out and monitor the plates for slime molds (which can usually be found ~4 days after plating).

Leave us a comment if you are joining.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Undergraduate Projects

Students Harshil, Rocio, and Aziz have been working to extract DNA from our soil samples, using the MoBio soil extraction kit.  This process also requires the use of PCR and Gel Electrophoresis.

We meet Monday at 2:00pm and Friday at 1:00 pm.

Slime Mold Time Lapse

Movies of slime molds (aka social amoebae) made by Prof. John Bonner