Monday, April 14, 2008

Liver Cells - update and next class.

Report from the lab:

I hope you all enjoyed last week's class as much as I did! It was an excellent / complex / visceral procedure – that allowed us all to inherently grasp the bodyness and the food chain of the lambs livers – and their extrapolated existence as cells under the microscope and in the dish. I look forward to your comments and reflections during next class – and I am very curious to hear more from the objectors as well.

A resounding success – and a complete failure, where sterility is concerned. A number of you were able to isolate living cells, but pretty much every dish was contaminated with bacteria. You’re a dirty bunch! (just kidding) I went into the university to feed the cells on Sunday, and found one dish in particular that was hosting large fungal colonies – the rest were getting cloudy with bacteria. I had planned on keeping them alive in time for next week – but quite frankly I was worried about contaminating the incubator. So, I am sorry to report that all of the cells have been disposed off. They were packed in a biohazard bag, and left for autoclaving. Life is a violent process, even in the lab.

Other news…

I have a little homework assignment for everyone. On April 25 we will be doing a genetic modification of bacteria protocol. This process usually takes place in petri dishes (like we used in the first class.) However, we thought it may be interesting to use some alternative vessels. I am asking that you all bring in small vessels for next class (April 18th) that we can use for this lab. They must be small, made of a material that can be heat sterilized in an oven - and think of interesting shapes - transparencies - alternative uses.


Eveleen said...

hi all,

with regard to what we´ve been doing in tissue culture class i was thinking: is it not strange to kill an animal in order to extract living cells and do everything you can to keep those cells alive?

does anyone have thoughts about this?

second, i´m not so sure what materials can hold in a heat oven - i was thinking porcelain because i know it´s baked in high temperatures.

see you later, cheers

J Willet said...

Hi Eveleen.
Good comment! Any other thoughts from other class participants? fruitful? futile? cruel? food?

And, Porcelain would work just fine - also glass, metal, any thing that is microwave, oven, or dishwasher safe.


Amalia Kallergi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amalia Kallergi said...

Another question on the vessels:

How big can they actually be?
You see, I really really want to
bring a cage, but I'm not sure it
will do... (and wouldn't like to
buy it for nothing...)

So, what are the changes for
a (metal) cage filled with agar
and bacteria?


monica said...

what is the difference between a living animal and its living cells? is it not made of cells? what is an animal (or a human) exactly made of? isn't it a sort of reductionism?
mmmh I am still a bit confuse.
Anyway, as one of the objectors I would like to say that last lab was real strange because it seems to me really "surreal". it looks like working on a meal and not on a living being. it was not shocking at all.. barbeques at my house are more bloody. that allows us to have a clean conscience?

J Willet said...

Hello. I missed the deleted comment! I am sad. I would like to know what you all think, even if we disagree!

In regards to the cage. We need to keep things relatively small - so that they can fit in the incubator - and we do not use too much agar. However, you could buy the cage - and save the receipt in case you have to return it!

I was thinking of having a BBQ at our outdoor lab. :)


Amalia Kallergi said...

Sorry for the deleted comment,
it was exactly the same with my
other post, couldn't find an
edit option after posting :(


laura boffi said...

Hi all,
last class was for me a new way to look at life and "living materials". i think that to understand and try to give an answer to what is actually happening in labs nowadays, we should get really involved in the practises, in the procedures and only later generate our own idea about the ethics of it. Maybe for me what bioart does is representing science and the questions it generates using its same tools (i mean science's tools), but focusing not on the good outcome of the experiment...but on the awarness, feelings that we experience during the workshop. That's why I feel still confused, but I feel I need to know more of the subject.
That's just my point of view.
See u tomorrow,