This morning in lab Richard and I pulled out some plants from the TOUCH-O-MATIC plant mechanical stimulus device. Plants being touched included Mizuna lettuce, which has been previously grown on the International Space Station. If you want some free basil or mizuna feel free to stop in lab to grab some!
Speaking of the ISS, check out this awesome site if you want to get an in-depth and interactive view of the station. It shows the docking of visiting spacecraft very well.
Our 2-dimensional clinostat is in action. You can see from the picture above that petri dishes on the left are being rotated in a way that mimics components of microgravity. The purple light coming from the right is similar to the light from VEGGIE, the plant growth system on the ISS.
Ice Cream Scooper 3000
This thing was sitting on a table in lab today. What is it? I immediately thought it looked like a rapid fire ice cream scooper. Well, I asked Richard and apparently it’s a wind speed monitor or something like that. One of our engineers, Josh, is building a storm chamber for plants. The idea came to Richard in epiphany when he was experiencing a storm. Then he thought: let’s have one of the engineers build a storm chamber. That’s all very well but I am going to see if I can repurpose it to scoop ice cream real fast.
I spent most of the day drafting computer network plans and data management plans. I also updated gravitropism protocol for FlashLapse. Dexter, one of the molecular biologists, is preparing a salinity assay to test salt response in plants. Joe was also in preparing plants for transformation in the wet lab. Another productive day in Birge B124.
Let’s grow plants in space. – Kai