VIMS Research Project: Part 2

Project Results… Sort Of

So the rollercoaster that has been my research experiment continues. A few months ago, I ran my experiment (see the previous post for details) and got some unusual results. For some reason, when we did the plaque assay and stained the cells, we didn’t see clear, countable plaques. Instead, for most of the wells, there was a strange, “flushed-out” looking morphology. It appeared that there were areas that might be plaques, but they weren’t circular and distinct enough to count. Even the positive control exhibited this strange result. So, unfortunately, this meant that we weren’t able to get the data we needed to support or discount the hypothesis. But we didn’t stop there!

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Preparing for a Research Experiment at VIMS

Background

Next week, I begin my research experiment, and it has been nothing sort of a rollercoaster journey getting there. It began last year when I started volunteering at VIMS, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. My mentor, Juliette, has spent the last few years looking at the transmission and evolution of a particular virus found in many fish species. We started talking about the possibility of me conducting a research experiment. However, my spring and summer schedule made it impossible at the time, which was quite disappointing. But over the summer, she had another undergraduate student look at the transmission of the virus from dead fish to live fish and found there was a loss of transmission after several days.

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