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Alumni Posts

If I Only Had a Camera

by Alumni Posts on February 14, 2011

in Academics

I love Microbiology with Dr. Thomasson. In lecture, we learn about all of the microorganisms that we hear about whenever infection strikes, and then we get to look at them in lab.

Yesterday was the first lab that we stained our own bacterial cells instead of just using prepared slides that had been pre-stained by a lab supply company. I chose E. coli and then followed Dr. T’s directions on how to do a simple stain. (For those of you who don’t know, a stain is a means of increasing the contrast between the extremely-light microscope background and the cell. Since we use brightfield compound microscopes, we need to stain the cells first so that way they’ll actually show up when we look for them.)

At first, I was having a really tough time focusing my microscope. Then, somehow, it just started working out perfectly. Dr. T looked at my slide and told me that I had a “textbook perfect, textbook quality slide.” I was so excited! The E. coli looked so cool. I could easily make out the shape of each individual cell.

I wish I could share my experience with you by uploading a picture of my stain. If I had only had one of those nice microscope cameras that takes pictures of your slides while it’s in focus on the microscope’s viewing stage, I would’ve had the perfect wallpaper picture for my computer. Maybe between now and the next lab, I’ll look on Amazon to see if anyone is selling a microscope camera for, let’s say, $10.

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