Founding of our QA/QC Microbiology Laboratory

The new toys arrived today! So what did we purchase and why?

  • Alex checking out the microscope.
    Alex checking out the microscope.

    Bright-field microscope (OMAX CS-MD82ES10) with a 1.3 MP digital camera built in. Combined with a hemocytometer, we will be able to perform cell counts (with the hemocytometer) and standardize our pitching rate. Everything we do needs to be consistent. So we need to start good QA/QC practice early. Speaking of starting early, Alex go in on the microscope action too.

  • Oakton Ecotstr pH meter. Also picked up calibration buffers. This is great for testing yeast viability. Set
    A future microbiologist (?) taking a his first look through a microscope.
    A future microbiologist (?) taking a his first look through a microscope.

    up a small culture, pitch some yeast, monitor how fast the pH drops. The faster the drop, the more viable the yeast culture. This can also be monitored by weighing the starter culture. As CO2 is being evolved, the culture will decrease in weight. Just need a good balance and to remember to weigh the culture immediately after pitching the yeast. A good quality laboratory balance is more expensive and will be purchased at a later date. pH meter will suffice for now.

  • A hemocytometer. Simple, a specialized microscope slide with a grid pattern and reservoirs with a very specific volume. Used for cell counts. Should be delivered on Monday.

Jess is going to go scrounging at the UC Davis surplus store for some general laboratory supplies like a pipettor or two, tips, a pipet aid, some serological pipets, test tubes, and pretty much anything that catches her eye and has a good price on it. If it isn’t at the surplus store, back to Amazon we go! That’s right, we got everything on Amazon. Also, check out MicroscopeNet, this site is where we originally found the microscope we ordered from Amazon. Why Amazon? We already have a Prime account with them. It was easy.

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