Horsing around with biology

Today was pretty laid back, we started out by filling our personalized petri dishes with agar. I used my families cheek swabs on these. I also was able to take a closer look at my hair under the scope! The sun stuck around for most of the day with a few sprinkles here and there but it was awfully chilly , brrrrrrr. We took a small walk to see the horses down the road. We didn’t get to ride, but it was nice to get out for a bit. Our last little experiment was mushroom spore prints!


DNA with a chance of sunshine

Before breakfast we went to the barn and extracted our DNA by swishing poweraid around in our mouths. After a minute we spit it back out into a test tube and added soap and alcohol to separate the DNA. Once the DNA was done separating after a few hours we pulled it out and place it on plates to view it under microscopes. That was exciting. It was also great to spend most of the day outdoors after being inside so much. We started our plant/freshwater based aquarium by collecting things down by a couple rivers. Right now the tank is very murky but once everything settles it will be a hit. With some of the extra findings from today’s adventure we made unique terrariums.

rainy work day

As expected it rained for the majority of the day. Our task was to take bacteria from previous petri dishes or new bacteria of our own and plant them onto our new agar dishes. We also molded unique dishes out of clay that will also hold agar. When the dishes harded, we will add bacteria to those as well. Of course it takes time for the bacteria to spread but I think the results will be very interesting. After our lab tasks, we had the opportunity to listen to Alan speak about his work as a forest artist and Delila speak about the uncanny. Both presentations were interesting and thought provoking. Later on the artists from building 14 came over for dinner and Marta gave us a presentation on her work that focuses on identity. Her work is both conceptually and visually interesting since it combines art and science.


Fortunate enough to spend the day in sun exploring the beautiful village of São Luis, however it was a lot colder than expected and the forecast for the rest of the week is rain! Here are some artsy captures