Blogging Off Part 2 (Post #8)


  Hello everyone, it is I, Tim Nieuwenhuis, here to tell you about the second half of our results, and sadly, sign off as there will be nothing left to blog about. But have no fear! Science continues forward, and I will be at Dickinson in the lab of Prof. Wohlbach pushing it along! Until then however, let us talk about the last things on our plate.

  Now as you all remember I was going to talk about histology and the results from that experiment, well instead we’re about to talk on how science does not always work out. In labs everywhere there are different constraints placed upon the people working there. There are resource restraints where you cannot acquire all the reagents for the experiment, technological restraints where you do not have access to the technology needed for the experiment, and the restraint that happened in our case, time restraints.

  When all the slides had been stained and prepped for viewing, we only had two days left before the end of the internship. With the amount of data and slides that needed to be looked at, compounded with only one person specializing in histology (a very brilliant fellow intern), we just did not have the time to view the slides. So I sadly have no concrete data to show you, however if you are just joining us, look at Post #6 to see the slides we were working on along with an explanation of how they were created.

  Now, if you recall at the beginning of this blog, I talked a lot about rats and mazes! Well guess what? It is time to harvest the fruits of those labors! If I could please direct your attention to Post #2 and Post #5 as they will catch you completely up to this point in these experiments. Currently I have only disclosed that the rats had learned as time went by, and so I will not show you the increase of completion and decrease of time. However after giving an explanation for terms used, I will show you all other graphs we made.


Total Arm Entries: How many times a rat entered an arm. This data was used to create percentages of other arm entering statistics along with testing learning.


% Total Errors: The amount of errors made divided by total arm entries. This data was used to test if the rats were learning the maze.


Adjacent Arm Entries: How many times a rat would go into an arm directly next to the one it is currently in. Often associated with response strategies.


Below you can see the data from our 10 days of testing these rats:

Rat1 Rat2 Rat3


  As you can see, there is no clear different trends between the groups, and any you might see are of no statistical significance. So it appears that antibiotics had no effect on the rat’s ability to learn, however we were not quite convinced if they were using the same strategies or not. So for one day we decided to remove the visual cues in the room. We expected this to possibly slow the speed at which some rats would go through the maze if they used the visual cues. The results from that experiment are below.


  As you can see errors did not increase, on the contrary most groups decreased, but to no statistical significance. This means that most likely none of the rats were using spatial cues, and as a result, there was no noted difference in strategies used between the groups.  This means the only statistically significant discovery of all behavioral tests is that all rats learned.

  Now the last experiment I want to talk about is my side project, yes the one about feces! So to open up I would like to say I reran the experiment in more appropriate conditions, so the information from Post #4, while true, is a bit outdated. I reran the experiment almost exactly as last time, but I increased the amount of LB broth the samples were put in. This time, if you look at the picture below, you can see the results are different as every single condition had ampicillin resistant bacteria in it. The best way to see this is there is a lack of turbidity through the broth on all inoculated test tubes, all of which are on the right.

  As a result I decided to run a PCR on the bacteria that had grown, and sadly because we had very little time left, I was only able to run one. So I chose to run enterobacteria as it was known to bloom in the gut post antibiotics and the environment in the broth was suited for them. Out of the PCR came the picture below, and said picture was turned into a quantized graph.


  This picture means  that, indeed, at least some of the resistant bacteria was enterobacteria, and as a result my hypothesis was confirmed! If you look at Post #7 you can also see that enterobacteria also bloomed in the guts of the rats, pointing to the possibility that their resistance enabled them to, which is very exciting!
  Well thank you very much everyone for your support. Even though all of the experiments did not have the expected results, that is how science works. Just because you want a result to occur, never means it will actually occur. I would once again like to thank the Dickinson Internship program for sponsoring me and assisting me financially through the summer, without them this would not of been possible for me. And lastly I would like to thank everyone as BRInj, it was incredibly nice working with you all, your kindness and welcoming attitude created the nicest work atmosphere I could ask for. So goodbye everyone, see you at Dickinson College for my final year!


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