The more I think about this project, the more enthused I get! I just can't believe I am here to work on it, and that I finally begin this Monday. I have less than 6 hours of sleep left, and yet I can't seem to stop reading about the gut's ph, the growth medias recipes for anaerobic and aerobic bacteria, the prebiotic food I might add to those mediums..! Both my brain and my heart are waaaay too happy to sleep :)
(And I would never have guessed they could both agree so much on something!)
I'm so incredibly lucky to be here!! (although luck might not have much to do with it ;) )
So, this Monday, we began our search for the best media for growing gut microbiota. We have at least seven different media we want to try, one of them being inspired by an article in Nature about culturomics, and two of them completely custom, using prebiotics.
Culturomics is the resurgence of physical cultures in microbiology; since genomics are getting easier and less expensive, and permits the identification on a dna level of microbes, it became the usual way of identifying them. But there is a growing realization that genetic sequencing does not pick up every organisms in a sample: some are too scarce or have too small a genome to be pick up. By cultivating bacterial samples, we thus have access to a different repertoire, which overlaps the sequencing-only results in parts only.
Tomorrow, we begin looking at gut samples retrieval and conservation! We'll also be looking into making an anaerobic culture box, for those bacteria for whom oxygen is toxic. I wonder if those are going to be mostly archea? We'll see!