Sorry to anyone who has been waiting for a blog update, it’s been a busy old time lately.
The Scifund Challenge didn’t raise enough money to fund a full years research, although every little helps, so I’m still having to hunt down some money.
This is being done in several ways….
As the University Press office were unable to get something out in time for the Scifund Challenge they asked me to set up a new Rockethub page which you can find at… http://www.rockethub.com/projects/8790-they-eat-bacteria-viruses-that-help-heal-us . The press release is at http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/2012/07/531.asp
Any funding will be greatly appreciated.
An alternative approach to supporting this research can be found at http://www.lindumcrafts.co.uk/ . Yes, to help fund life in general, childcare and the PhD research in particular I’ve set up a knitted kits business! Future products will include more traditional toys as well as, naturally, Knit Your Own Bacteria and Bacteriophage kits. The Bacteria and Bacteriophage kits won’t be commercially available until after the current Rockethub challenge is completed though. The car kits had their main launch at the Morris Minor Owners Club National Rally at the end of June and impressed everyone who saw them. One person was so impressed that she bought a kit as it had inspired her to learn to knit just so she could make one!
Of course the battle for traditional funding continues so if things are a little quiet on the blog front this month it will be because I’m trying to squeeze research, a weeks training and writing and submitting a funding proposal all in before the end of the month.
On to research, things are a little slow at the moment due to some delays in ordering, but we’ve found a metabolic pathway which can be used to visibly demonstrate DNA acquisition. In more simple terms, we add genes which allow the bacteria to eat a different type of food, what they don’t use changes the acidity of the stuff they grow on and we can measure this. Using this technique will let us model how the bacteria gain antibiotic resistance, without risking making superbugs of our own, and be much quicker to test both the uptake and how we can inhibit it.