Lab Contamination!!!

This morning while setting up for a time trial experiment, I noticed the 20% yeast sample didn’t smell like yeast anymore. It smelled like a mixture of yeast and something else. So I setup the experiment, took initial measurements, and then analyzed the sample in the microscope. This is what I saw:

Surrounding my slightly modified yeast are these tiny things, that look like super small e. coli so they are probably some bacteria or perhaps they are some kind of spore. Regardless that was not at all in the sample from yesterday (see above), and looks nothing like the e. coli that I temporarily believed was adapted yeast.

So I began a mission to decontaminate the lab. After the cleaning I just did, nothing is alive! Not even myself! In fact I’m not even writing this… (Note to dead future self: Sorry :-\)

Anyways, I began by bleaching the fuck out of everything. The incubator got it the worst as I basically drowned it in bleach. I scrubbed real hard with this super awesome huge bristle brush. I let the bleach sit for about 10 minutes and then wiped it down with clean rags.

Next I used the Activeion Ionator EXP, which was loaned to me by the custodial staff here at CHTM. It’s a spray that ionizes water to clean and disinfect, and supposedly can kill viruses and bacteria. After the bleach treatment on the incubator, I Ionated it and wiped it down and allowed it to air dry.

Then I used the Ionator EXP to clean all the bench tops and all my lab equipment (pipetters, racks, scales, hot plate, etc). I finished by emptying my current supply of YPD and made new stocks for use tomorrow. I feel sad that I had to throw about $80 worth of D2O down the drain, but I gotta be careful in the lab and so it had to go.

Tomorrow I will start the D2O adaptation experiment again (Round 3!) and let’s hope the contamination issues are behind me.