Mushball’s Big Day Out

Happy life. Just me and my compost. I must admit, it does smell in here from all the food scraps. Such a waste, which makes me wonder why Homo Sapiens even eat? I can survive! All I need is my favourite bacterial host Mycobacterium smegmatis to inject my DNA into, and voilà! My apprentices do the rest.

Wait… I feel movement…there’s light. I’ve never seen light before. Now I’m all wet. I was perfectly happy in my dirt. What’s this substance anyway? Is that calcium chloride enrichment broth? Awesome! I love this stuff! I can reproduce so rapidly in this. Just gotta find some M.smeg to infect. We’re gonna have a party ladies and gentlemen! M.smeg is a bit far away from me, and Nature gave me no way of moving. But this shaking that’s going on is bringing it right to me! This is amazing. I wish my life was this perfect all the time.

Okay, party’s over phages. We are all going to get sucked out of the dirt and squeezed through the exit. The doorway is so small… M.smeg can’t fit through! But I need those hosts… How else can I replicate? I’m panicking now, and I don’t want to leave the party! 

All us phages just sitting here are getting bored, until all of a sudden, there’s so much M.smeg! Where did you guys all come from? I’m glad you’re all sacrificing your bodies for us to survive. How generous. Bathing in M.smeg seems a lot like Homo Sapiens bathing in wine. Such a delicacy.

It’s been a few days now of bathing in an ocean of calcium chloride, hot agar and M.smeg. It’s been so busy here, replicating me, “Mushball”, as much as I can, so I have an army of Mushballs to conquer the world. The other phages don’t have a chance. Every new bath I jump into, I see less and less foreigners and more and more Mushballs! We did it phages! We conquered the world! It’s just you, me, and M.smeg now. There’s so many of us. Billions… Maybe even trillions!

Me and my fellow Mushballs have infected most of the M.smeg bacteria, with heaps of cloned apprentice Mushballs bursting out of each one. I’m exhausted from all this infecting, so it’s good there’s not much more to go. We have to ration them out to last us the winter. 

The most weirdest thing is happening right now. The bacteria are being eaten by something. It’s like a plague dissolving everything so quickly. It’s seen us. It’s coming for the Mushballs. I think it wants to eat us too! It’s getting closer. My body can’t protect my DNA for much longer. Help!

Phew. That was close. The EDTA force has rescued us! We are saved! I just want to go home now, but there’s just one more thing I feel I need to do. I rally up some Mushballs and we clean ourselves off with resin to expose our luscious DNA locks, and rinse them with alcohol to make them shine.

I feel a strange sensation. I feel like I’m destined for something. We all are. Well, I’d hoped so since we don’t just shine up like this for any old picnic! A force is pulling me into position. I think my first photo is being taken. I’ve never had my picture taken before. It’s so exciting!

As the light shines onto me, my whole DNA radiates outwards, and a little voice whispers in my ear…

Say CHEESE! 

2017-5-26 tash

Gel electrophoresis photo for “Mushball” phage

Just a little adventure through the lab work working with a phage named “Mushball”. This image is a characterisation step with extracted DNA.

The Mushball population undergone enrichment, filtration, isolation, amplification, DNA extraction, restriction-enzyme digestion, and gel electrophoresis. 

 

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