The course has the purpose of introducing the students to the lab, its activities and its equipment. By attending this course students get an allowance to access the biolab. Students will be sollicited to conceptualise own projects and execute it, to get familiar with a biology laboratory routine.
Day 1: (6h)
- Introduction to the course
- Inputs: Examples of work done in DIY BioLabs
- Introduction to the lab, Lab safety
- Learn to cultivate a mushroom in vitro
- Document the experiment
After Alessandro explained the rules in the laboratory and the different functions of the equipment to us, we were now allowed to start working ourselves. We prepared our work materials, for which we needed a jar with a perforated lid, a bit of cotton wool, a scale, a petri dish, a measuring cup, as well as malt extract, distilled water, File:PXL 20230417 095611944.jpg
We were also given a table that allowed us to determine the perfect ratio of ingredients for a perfect nutrient medium File:PXL 20230417 095240009.jpg
We mixed 0.2 g of malt and 0.2 g of agar agar with 10 ml of liquid. Everything was mixed together and put into the jar. The malt extract mixed with agar agar and distilled water provides a perfect, soft nutrient medium for the organisms. File:PXL 20230417 100729061.jpgFile:PXL 20230417 100527151.jpgFile:PXL 20230417 100331363.jpg
Next, we needed to sterilize everything inside and outside of the jar, so we placed the lids (equipped with cotton wool in the perforation to prevent any mold from getting inside) into the pressure cooker. One of the jars was marked with tape that would change its color, so we would know when the pressure cooker had finished its sterilization process.
After the jars were finished, we noticed the first changes. Due to the heat, the agar agar had turned from a liquid to a solid form. Now, we were able to inoculate our nutrient medium with the mushrooms.
For this, we used a suction device. After disinfecting all surfaces and preparing everything, we were ready to start. The following materials were needed: disinfectant, gloves, a Bunsen burner, a scalpel, the mushroom cultures, and our jars.
The jar with the nutrient medium was already slightly opened, the scalpel was disinfected over the Bunsen burner, cooled down a bit in the nutrient medium of the other jars and then a rectangle was cut out from the edge/border of the mycellium and placed into the prepared jar. After these steps were completed, the jars were placed in the incubator.
Day 2: (6h)
- Brainstorming session
- Inputs from the lecturer: How to generate ideas in a DIY BioLab
- Generate ideas
- Pitch ideas
- Choose one idea and develop it further
Project Days: (10h)
- Conceptualise a small project 2h
- Create a small project 7h
- Document a small project 1h