A Day in the Lab: Inoculating bacterial cultures

🕒 Approximate reading time: 2 minutes

Today's activities in the lab were centred around inoculating four flasks of bacterial cultures. These flasks will be incubated overnight to allow the bacteria to clone themselves and replicate a piece of DNA that was introduced into them. The bacteria are cultured in a nutrient-rich medium known as lysogeny broth, composed of peptides, vitamins, minerals, and other components to ensure optimal bacterial growth.

Timelapse: The video showcases the preparation of flasks with lysogeny broth, followed by their inoculation with bacteria.

Delving Deeper into the Timelapse Video

The glass barrier visible between myself and the samples is part of a laminar flow cabinet, a vital piece of equipment in microbiology labs designed to prevent sample contamination. The cabinet operates by drawing air through a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter and projecting it in a laminar flow towards the user. A laminar flow implies that the air flows smoothly in layers with high momentum diffusion and low momentum convection, resulting in minimal mixing (contrary to turbulent flow). This direction of airflow safeguards the sample from the user, though it does not protect the user from the sample.