Article provided by Taylor Hanford (pictured below), MSc Student at Swansea University
My research project is investigating the nature of the interaction between Campylobacter jejuni and Escherichia coli and the additive effects they have on each other’s pathogenicity in epithelial cells. Working with two different organisms is challenging, but the Whitley A85 Anaerobic Workstation provides a controlled environment for me to culture my microaerophilic C. jejuni, before experimentation, over a 48-hour incubation period.
Prior to having the workstation, we were growing Campylobacter in sealed containers and using sachets that absorb the oxygen from the air. As soon as I began to use the workstation, I noticed a vast improvement in the growth of my bacteria as a result of increased environment control - the nitrogen or carbon content relative to humidity, in addition to oxygen. Our group works with Campylobacter species, so we supply the workstation with a 5% O2, 10% CO2, and 85% N2 gas canister.
After installation of the workstation, we were given a very informative induction that was tailored to our research needs and the organisms that we would be using. I found the airlock a particularly useful feature of the A85; following completion of my Gentamicin protection assays I would have upwards of 70 plates for incubation! With the airlock feature, I could put them all in the hatch, wait for the section to purge and slide them into the incubation chamber with ease.
I recently presented my work at the Federation of Infection Society's conference (FIS 2019) in Edinburgh, which greatly improved my understanding of research in a broader context. Discussing my work with experienced professionals gave me great ideas for my thesis, which I am currently writing up.
Taylor was awarded a DWS Travel Grant to attend the FIS conference. To see his poster in full, click the above image. To learn more about our travel grants and see whether you could be eligible to apply for one, click here.