If only I were FAMEous

I’m not referring to having everyone know my name. I have no aspirations for this. I’m a high school teacher after all, and I love my job. The FAME I’m talking about today is Fatty Acid Methyl Ester, and it is the procedure that made me giddy with data on my final two days in … Continue reading

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Total Lipids

Yes you read the title correctly. Today’s lab post is about lipids (fats). More specifically what percent of the total biomass of algae I cultured is lipid? I have been culturing 6 one liter bottle of algae for about 5 weeks. I harvested them Monday and the total biomass was about 0.2000 g for one … Continue reading

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What (not) to do in the lab.

This list is a compilation of my own, and other researchers “learning experiences.” I have been thinking a lot about science education. I guess I’m always thinking about science education since I am a biology teacher, and I am in the midst of an amazing summer research experience in Australia. My current thoughts on learning … Continue reading

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It’s all a matter of perspective.

Before I go into the details of what I’ve been looking at I wanted to give you some perspective. If the human race were my micro algae experiment, stick with me for a second, the entire world would fit in about 4.5 liters of filtered sea water. With some serious help from K we were … Continue reading

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TLC video made on iMovie

Here is my first attempt at iMovie. Thin Layer Chromatography <- (click on link) Or watch embedded video on the post. Let me know what you think.  

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Curves, Sea Water, Sterilization

This week I have been attempting to analyze the growth of one of my species of microalgae. I will make a calibration curve using transmittance (the amount of light that passes through 200 ul of culture) cell counts (exactly what it sounds like very tedious), and dry weight (the mass of the algae after dryer … Continue reading

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TLC, patience, pigments.

Yesterday I worked on using thin layer chromatography (TLC) to separate the pigments in the two species of Algae I am working with for my experiment. The concept of chromatography is that a solvent dissolves the pigments and then by capillary action rises slowly along the TLC strip. There are several factors that determine how … Continue reading

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The Australian Institute of Marine Science

Today I was fortunate to visit the The Australian Institute of Marine Science. I was amazed at all the research that is being done on issues pertaining to the Great Barrier Reef, Climate Change, Biodiversity, Ecology, and Monitoring just to name a few. The facility was beautiful and I want to share some highlights from our visit today. … Continue reading

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Rainy day nutrient analysis protocol

The last couple days have been overcast, and rainy. This is not typical weather for Townsville in winter. It is usually between 70-75 and sunny. My experiment is going well. I am allowing my experiment time to grow and the culture to become dense so I can analyze the nutrients consumed by the growing micro … Continue reading

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Navy’s green fleet and biofuels from algae.

The Guardian published an article on Monday US Navy’s ‘great green fleet’ sets sail for Pacific. “A US Navy oiler slipped away from a fuel depot on the Puget Sound in Washington state last week, headed toward the central Pacific and into the storm over the Pentagon’s controversial green fuels initiative. In its tanks, the USNS … Continue reading

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