It was me, I admit it…I killed the algae.
So throughout the summer I have been focusing on using titanium dioxide nanoparticles suspended in resin to destroy organic pollutants. Initially the focus for my internship was learning the process behind the titanium dioxide paint and its applications. I had worked on it for weeks and so I thought that when I was to try it with my algae samples that it would be easy cheesy lemon squeezy. What was I thinking? I know better. I know that is not how science works.
So, as I am sure that you have noticed from previous blogs I have tried putting the algae samples in glass jars which were specifically made for my algae samples. Initially I placed them outside for two days to see the effects and the samples were in fact dying. Trouble was, all of the samples were dying, even the control samples. :0(
As I explained my process to the lab’s PI he gave me another idea. He told me to expose the samples to UV but in a controlled manner and by doing so to use the UV chamber. By doing so I could collect the samples at various times to work on extracting chlorophyll from the samples to see if there were any noted changes. So, that is what I did! I prepped the samples, placed them in the jars and placed them in the UV easy bake oven. (That is what I like to call it. Review the picture below and you will see why.)
This portion of the experiment took a bit over 8 hours. During that time period I would take out the jars every hour, take and label a sample, and place the jars back in for another hour, repeating the process every hour. The samples were then placed in a drying chamber so that they could dry before the chlorophyll extracting process takes place.
…and here is where my samples wait.