Baobab Microbiology regular classes

Hi everyone,

I have heard that people who want to start learning microbiology, often get discouraged by the tools and materials that they need to acquire in order to get started. What if you could subscribe to a monthly box, which will contain a lecture on a specific topic as well as an experiment explaining the subject matter. The box would also contain all the necessary reagents, safety gear, and lab equipment as well as a video explaining how to conduct the experiment. Do you guys think that this might solve the issue for people? Would you be interested in this yourself?

Happy to hear your thoughts on this!

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Yes, I am interested and would also propagate those type of knowledge transfer in the Microbiology.

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sounds like a nice idea.
many of us have done the getting smelly seafood to fluoresce. BAsially, take a squid and put it in ASW (artificail sea water) so the kit could have, a container, some sea salt, and a set of instructions and gentle warnings.

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Cool and practical idea. Personally I’m a bit uncomfortable with monthly subscriptions, I would prefer a different model. It could be like that you launch the topic of the kit or a calendar of the topics, and open the orders following the calendar for a limited amounts of days, and after receiving the orders you prepare and ship. I wouldn’t mind to wait a bit to receive it.

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That’s exactly what we have been thinking about. Although the experiments we’ve come up with so far are mainly focused on bacteria. We were thinking about something in lines of the following: the first lecture would be as simple as cultivating common bacteria which everyone can find in his apartment and then the next one would throw bioluminescence into the mix. We thought to start small, but then gradually move to more complex topics such as DNA and Gene-editing.

Thank you for the suggestion. I was thinking about alternative ways to make this work as well, since I’m not a big fan of subscriptions either… Although, most experiments me and my friends came up with so far require equipment that’s quite expensive. In order to make it work we’d have to split those costs in several months. However, we were thinking of also offering the possibility to purchase the experiments separately (including the reagents, but excluding the lab equipment).

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Hi all, after I received your positive feedback I have been busy designing an initial program with a group of friends. We came up with a series of experiments, which in our opinion could serve as building blocks for understanding some of the most relevant and interesting topics in biology and I’m trilled to share this outline with you:

  • Cultures and diversity of bacteria
  • The variety of organisms through the lens of the stereomicroscope
  • Biochemistry (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nuclear acids (DNA), enzymes and chlorophyll)
  • Bacteria antibiotic resistance test
  • Bacterial transformation
  • Microscopy of bacteria and different staining techniques
  • Microscopy of eukaryotes
  • Cultivation of plant cells (callus cells)
  • Cultivation and microscopy of yeast
  • Cultivation and microscopy of other fungi species
  • Bacterial DNA modifications (CRISPR-Cas)

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on the above. Do you think this would be an interesting outline with which we could popularize Biology among people? Are we missing anything? Would love to hear your feedback!

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I really like the choice!
i’m not sure about the order you propose :slight_smile:

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I understand! We did have some trouble with establishing the order, as we were trying to make it more engaging by ensuring that people wouldn’t have to linger too much on one exercise (e.g. peering through the microscope for several experiments). As well as taking into account that the topics would start with a simple exercise and then gradually work their way to more complex ones, we therefore thought it’d be better to alternate between different topics. However, we’re unsure… Would you have any suggestions?

I really like the programm, we just finished to install the lab and are much looking forward.
happy to meet the requierments

Hi all,

We are happy to announce that we made the first video, which you can check via the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpoDANHhrVM&ab_channel=biobranches

Let me know what you think!

Looks good. Easy to begin with. I was surprised about the fridge. If that comes with some course material, to understand what we’re doing, I’d be interested. BTW, what tech are you going to use use for the website? If you want to start out quickly, something like Shopify might be really helpful. They take 20% of revenue, but take care of the entire e-commerce aspect.

Hi Sarif, happy to hear that you liked it! The course material will be available very soon - so keep an eye out on the forum! With regards to the tech, we will be using a custom engine called mophil. It’s open source and it doesn’t ask for a hefty 20% cut like Shopify does. But thanks for thinking along in any case!

Hi all, in the past week we have written the first supplementary lecture material to the first video, which you’ll be able to view here:

If you have any ideas on how to improve it, please don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts in the comments section of the google doc.

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Cool,
on my computer audio is a bit low even if i turn it at max volume. Are you using a microphone or just the camera mic?

It’s useful you released also the documentation on how to recognise the colonies because in the video sometimes is not clear which bacteria is what. For example when you point to Corynebacteria, in the first sample. Maybe a camera from the top would help see exactly what you are pointing at.
I like you show the comparison between different samples. :slight_smile:

At the end you say to use bleach but it’s not clear where to flush them, down the toilet or in the tub is ok? Do we really need to dispose the petri dish? Can’t we wash them somehow and use them for other DIY experiments?
thanks for sharing !!