Why the Lab Smells Like Garlic

saraThe blame goes to my project for the strong smell of garlic floating around in the TIME room this semester. The lab smells like garlic because I’m testing the antifungal effectiveness of garlic and four other plant extracts (goldenseal, echinacea, and olive) on two fungi: Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger. I’ve been performing disc diffusion assays to see what plant extracts can fight which fungus. Disc diffusion assays involve placing extract-soaked discs on plates of fungus. Any anti-fungal extracts on the plates will have a “Zone of Inhibition” around them where no fungus is growing. Goldenseal has really put Candida in the danger zone: it worked better than fungicide! Garlic has proven to be a fighter against Aspergillus. You know what that means: my future is full of garlic. After the assays, any extracts that have antifungal activity will be tested on wax moth larvae. Wax moth larvae are baby moths that look like little grubs. They are often incorrectly named “worms”. I am going to infect wax moth larvae with Aspergillus and then inject them with garlic to see if having having garlic inside of them will protect the larvae from the fungus. I’ll do the same with Candida and goldenseal.