I was going into my final semester of studying microbiology at Sacramento State University. One of the classes listed on my schedule was Bio 145- Diversity of Microorganisms. I was really looking forward to taking Bio 145. I had talked to other students about this class before and knew there was a project throughout the course that involved a big research style poster presentation at the end. Although, I was not too sure what the project entailed.
Once in the class, we were introduced to The Tiny Earth Project, which is a collaboration between many schools worldwide, in an effort to find new antibiotic producing bacteria on our campuses. We would be assisting in trying to combat the antibiotic crisis that is happening right now. Scientists have not been able to find new sources of antibiotics and bacteria are continuing to build resistance against the antibiotics that we already have (Hernandez, et al). Our instructor, Dr. Gonzalez, informed us that this project would be entirely up to us to decide how we wanted to go about it. This was both intimidating and exciting for me, as this project would be the culmination of all the skills I had developed throughout my time at Sacramento State. I would finally be able to put my knowledge to the test, along with learning other important skills. To begin the project, each pair of lab partners were assigned an area on campus to collect soil samples from. My partner Florian and I received the Sacramento State Arboretum as our sample location. We worked together and decided which steps to take in order to isolate different bacterial colonies from our soil sample. Our goal was to learn if our chosen bacterial isolates had antimicrobial activity against the safe relatives of bacteria that were known to be resistant against many antibiotics.
Throughout the testing I was having promising results with one isolate in particular, which showed inhibition of growth against all the bacteria that I had tested it against. I was looking forward to finding out as much as I could about this isolate.Just as we were reaching the middle of the semester, we were informed that all in-class activities were postponed until further notice, due to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. I was upset because Bio 145 was a class that I looked forward to and now my project would be left incomplete. Although our time in class was cut short, I felt that I was still able to gain some of the knowledge and experiences that I was hoping to have in this class.