Eric Explains His Research

Written by Eric Schneider

The past week was filled with tests after test on different combinations of mutants looking for whatever associations there might be. A gene cluster, ysaDCB, is our focus for these mutations and examining how or if different mutants of antibiotic interfere with its abiltiy to grow. The data gathered from assays I’ve done on these cell cultures shows some interesting interactions taking place at the different concentrations of antimicrobials they’re exposed to. Sometimes the wild type of an antibiotic shows more activity than a mutant in one strain but less in another and a different amount in another. Several of these tests have been what are called disk diffusion assays. They’re commonly used to measure how cultures may grow under different environmental conditions. While they’re effective and can be made quickly, it requires a steady hand to bore the 30ul wells one needs into the gel. The boring is done with cut-up, autoclaved plastic straws and if they bend while in the gel, it creates a massive gash. Luckily, the data we gathered looks like it may lead to some surprising conclusions