Designing the protocol to grow bacteria and bacteriophages (viruses of bacteria).



Moineau labs visit October 16-20, 2017

I am delighted to be a guest researcher at Moineau Labs  at Laval University (Quebec) for the week.  This  lab team is a super dedicated, friendly and talented group of people. I had the privilege of being a guest presenter yesterday during their weekly Monday morning meeting where I had the chance to hear about what other researchers are doing with phage research.  This is my second visit to the lab ( the first was in Feb 2016) and so this time around I am familiar with the lab set up and most of the lab members so its great to be back again and see familiar faces and see/hear about the evolution of projects pursued by the lab.

For the week I am working with Denise Tremblay, one of the key researchers in the lab,  who is helping me prep a protocol for propagating phage T4 in Ecoli bacteria in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions.  In plain language…. I am developing the scientific technique and protocol I need to have in order to create the microbial interaction required to “drive” the sculptures I am making for the Wastelands project.

The lab has shared their protocol for propagating phage with me and I have taken it and modified it slightly so that I can use it for the purposes of my own project and also for working in the Speculative Life Biolab.  I won’t need to do the precise count of pages, for example,  and I won’t need to do a second propagation of phage since statistical analysis is not an  objective of the Wasteland project yet ( although it could be later down the road so I may still end up using their protocol).  The protocol and a visual documentation of the process of creating the protocol will be posted very soon for those of you interested in the laboratory process.

Once I become proficient in getting bacterial cultures growing and adding phage to produce consistent results in tubes and the anaerobic chamber then I will  ready to develop designs for housing them in portable chambers with various sensors.   This aspect of the project will be further developed at Michigan State University in collaboration with Bridge Art Residency  Program and the  Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Centre.