This week in our project we are filtering the fungi we grew last week. We took the fungi and brought them down to Mr. Tuckey’s room for some personal time with a Buchner funnel. Each of the fungi were poured out of their containers into the funnel with filter paper and were then rinsed with 500 ml of distilled water. The container for collection at the bottom were attached to the side of a running faucet to provide a suction to speed up the process of draining the funnel. The drained fungi were then taken and put in a drying oven for use later in the heavy metal absorption tests. The collection container was then bleached and disposed of properly.
We have been working with a student in Mrs. Patane’s class, Jeremy Dodson, to design and build a model filter for our project. The filter would be used to encase the fungi that we choose to use in our project for the remediation of heavy metals from water. The fungi sets in the middle of the filter while water is added through the top and if all goes well the water coming out will be heavy metal free. The filter is made right here in our high school and is 3D printed with the help of Mrs. Patane.
This filter and its fungi should be ready to use in just a few weeks and the fungi is showing great promise as a remediation agent. The trial of the fungi in the filter will be the real tell and show if we need to go back to the drawing board or if it will work the way it is, this is all a part of the scientific process and how to refine our product. This is very exciting and we hope to implement this someday in people’s home who have a problem with heavy metals in their water, and allow them peace of mind. This is a very exciting project and hopefully it will work out!
Last week we started our Lamp Assay detection process. LAMP is a new detection method that uses DNA analysis to detect the target organism. We are well on our way to developing a successful way to detect downy mildew. While improving our pipetting skills we ran several PCR tests. PCR is a DNA amplification process that certain DNA is present. This week we are going to start cucumber downy mildew cultures and put the finishing touches on our project.
This week Bryce and Sam worked on making agar plates. They started by drying hop leaves and then grinding them to a powder. Then they worked on mixing the agar ingredients. They sterilized the powder and agar ingredients and planned to mix the powder into the agar. The reason to add the powdered hops is because there is a necessary element in the hops that the mildew needs for growth. Their plan was a success and now they are waiting on a package to arrive so they can continue…