User:Andy Maloney/Notebook/Lab Notebook of Andy Maloney/2010/10/25/Tobacco seed chamber

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First attempts

The very first experiments we did with the tobacco seeds was extremely basic. We stuck tobacco seeds in:

  • 18.2 MΩ-cm H2O
  • Tap water
  • Deuterium depleted water
  • 100% D2O

The seeds went in an Ependorff microcentrifuge tube with about 100 μL of the respective waters with 6 seeds each. The results of this experiment were surprising. I have left these seeds in their tubes for over a month now.

Seeds in tubes results

Tap water: As you can see, the seeds in the tap water grew without a problem. I should note that they started to sprout quickly and kept growing for a while.  
Ultra pure water: The seeds in the 18.2 MΩ-cm H2O did grow. However, it took a longer time for them to grow as opposed to the tap water ones. I believe that this was the case since there is basically nothing in the ultra pure water to aid a plant to grow. Nothing until the water started to break down other seeds in the tube so that some of the ones could grow from the nutrients of the others. Or, it could have been because of the initial pH of the water.  
Deuterium depleted water: There is pretty much no growth in the deuterium depleted water. You can see a small sprouting going on but it is nothing like the above. Again, this could be because there is nothing in the water to aid in plant growth. Or, it could be because the tobacco seeds need a small amount of deuterium oxide to survive.  
Deuterium water: There is no growth in the deuterium oxide. None at all, even after over a month of soaking in the water. We knew this would be the case since deuterium oxide is toxic.  

Second attempt

The next step we took was to design and implement a camera rig so that we could observe multiple assays at once.

Camera rig: This is an image of the camera rig that I designed. It can hold 4 different cameras and those cameras can observe 4 different assays.  
Camera software: Larry designed software that can take time lapsed images of all the different cameras. I should note that the software is not limited to a specific number of cameras. We are limited to the number of USB ports on a computer that can hook up a camera. In principle, we can add more USB slots with a card that will add the number of cameras we can use. The software cannot take into consideration using a USB hub unfortunately. This is no fault to Larry's programming but a fault to the way LabVIEW works.  
Observation cell: This is the cell I have been using to observe the tobacco seeds in the second setup. It is made of 3 microscope slides glued together with nail polish.  

I should note that the seeds that we are observing in this setup have not sprouted yet. I have no clue as to why this is the case but I suspect it is the nail polish.

Third attempt

Because I think the reason why I have not observed sprouting yet is due to the nail polish, I have made a new design that attempts to keep the nail polish away from the water the seeds are in. I have done this with a different nail polish, a clear one, and some beeswax. I'm hopeful that this will work. Once the nail polish dries, I will take an image of it and how it here.