Big Trouble In Little China
This mission was in serious risk of being PurposelessFun, until Maggot
Dozer gave us a purpose - in a lab!
We rode through several
star systems and constellations, diffused a possible situation with an
unruly civilian on a trans-system stargate, encountered an odd caped
fellow, and saw frogs. Lab work done, we headed down to the water,
derbied a bit, and went hat fishing. Rubbish nearly killed a rat, but
was probably more traumatized than the rat from the incident.
After departing the derby/hat fishing/rat-squishing location,
we flew through a part of the Cambridge/Somerville Systems which
contained a thick cup belt, and there was much rejoicing (and
crunching noises). Once back at the landing pad, Ehawk was knighted as
a Pilot, and there was much more rejoicing.
BabyMaggot Automatic was tended to by Masokist.
Additional Report From Dozer
Just wanted to inform you, SIR, that The mission REALLY WAS a success!
DNA of the Right Sort was isolated from cultures that were inoculated
from those agar plates we rescued Saturnight. Had I left the plates
until the next day, the selective agent, in this case ampicillin, would
have been depleted by the resistant bacteria (bearing My Favorite DNA)
and the non-resistant bacteria (not bearing my Favorite DNA) would have
taken over like a horde of chopper riding, Schlitz swilling, skinny
dippin' anarchistic bacteria. Hmm. Perhaps that wouldn't have been so
Really Geeky Explanation Below: Do not read if you are drowsy or taking
The medium in the agar plates you saw included the antibiotic
ampicillin. My Favorite DNA, encoding the potassium channel whose
function I'm studying, was previously inserted into a circular bit of
bacterial DNA that enables a bacterium to grow on ampicillin plates.
Some innocent virgin bacteria were then exposed to this DNA. Some took
it up, some didn't. This mixed population was spread onto those plates
you saw. But I could select the men from the boys, so to speak, on this
principal: No Amp gene, no growth.
Small samples of the E coli colonies (strain DH5 alpha, NOT O157:H7)
growing on the plates you saw were transferred to 5 mL of liquid
culture medium and grown over night. The cultures were centrifuged,
which concentrates the bacteria into tight pellets at the bottom of the
tubes. DNA was then extracted from the bacterial pellets and purified.
I ran an analytical digest, using two enzymes that I know will cut the
circular DNA at two defined sites. The fragments of DNA in the
digestion reaction were separated according to molecular weight by gel
electrophoresis. DNA bears a net negative charge and will migrate
toward the positive terminal of a gel soaking in a bath of buffer
across which an electrical potential has been applied. The resultant
pattern was consistent with that of DNA encoding My Favorite Protein.
End Geekiness Here