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Blog post by Jenna Freeland

Don’t mess up,” One of my classmates taunted at me, “It’s gotta be perfect!” At this moment, I had my pipette tip stuck into a buffer solution attempting to draw up a precise amount while simultaneously disregarding any comments coming my way.

Before joining this class, I had very limited lab experience. Any prior experience I had was from small class labs when I took high school chemistry or anatomy; nothing this precise or delicate. The most experience I had with DNA was the classic “strawberry experiment” in freshman biology. However, science has always been a passion of mine, and has urged me to pursue a degree in Biological Sciences.

I joined this class so I could get hands-on lab and research experience as a first-year, an opportunity that can be difficult to get. Through this class, I have gained invaluable lab research experience as well as knowledge about the microbiome world that is all around us. This class has shown me how much time, preparation, trial-and-error, failure, ideas, and teamwork it takes to make a research project happen, and ultimately to reach success. Real science is not easy business, and this class has shown me that critical thinking skills are a necessity when things do not go as planned (for example, multiple PCR failures in a row).

After researching the microbiome through this first-year seminar, it has sparked my interest in possibly continuing to research bacteria colonies in the future and how they affect the world we live in, for the better and for worse.

David Coil

David Coil is a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. David works at the intersection between research, education, and outreach in the areas of the microbiology of the built environment, microbial ecology, and bacterial genomics. Twitter

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