What Makes Phages Tick?: Video Transcript

Taylor Blakely [Class of 2015]: I found this project at [Summer] Orientation. We came in and, when we were being told about BMZ being the hardest class, this class was also introduced. And coming in I knew nothing about bacterial phages (I didn't even take AP biology in high school), but I didn't dismiss it. I looked at it as an opportunity to get into a research lab. Research was what I wanted to do when I came here and I'm pursuing that dream.

Holly Klepek [Class of 2015]: This course really helped me realize what I wanted to do with science, and I'm definitely going to be staying in science. I don't know if I'm going to stay in bacteria phages, but it opened up a whole other realm. There's so much out there and just walking by posters of what everyone else is doing and knowing you can get involved in that is really cool.

Danny Mize [Class of 2015]: When I first heard about this course at Orientation, I was like, oh my god, sign me up. I want to do this now.

For the MBI 224 class, we are actually annotating a genome of 2 different phages that got sent off for DNA sequencing over our Christmas break. And those 2 sequences were actually phages that were discovered by students here at Miami University and were voted on last semester. So now, for this semester, we're actually going through and annotating the genome and trying to piece together what makes this phage tick.

Holly Klepek: To get my sample that we ended up sequencing, I tried getting it in Oxford and—one of the things with research—it doesn't always work. So, I didn't find a phage at first. I ended up going home and I got my own sample, and it came back with a phage! So, that was really cool. And so we went through steps of purifying the phage, so you learn how to work with agar and plate your sample and isolate it. And it's really cool. And so eventually I got it isolated and sequenced.

Once the phage was isolated and it got to be sequenced, we're working on looking at the genes and which ones are actually genes—the functions of it. And it's really cool because you can see what is going on behind that plaque, which is the virus on the agar. And once you get the HHpred [protein structure prediction] and you get to work with a lot of different technologies, you can see what the function is.

Danny Mize: I am joining an independent research lab next year, and I've started to go to the research lab meetings this semester so I can get caught up and learn what the research is about. And, for me, that is the most important thing, because that's what I want to do with my profession. I want to become a researcher in a lab somewhere and that is a perfect experience. And it's cool and it's awesome for me to know that I'm furthering our education, because it's research so it's stuff that no one else knows and we are doing it for the first time.

[April 2012]