User:Harrison J. Solomon/Notebook/Biology 210 at AU

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HS 2/11/15 Lab 5: Invertebrates


The purpose of this experiment was to get a better understanding of the different types of invertebrates both in the world in general and then those species that happen to be inhabiting our transect. Using the sample we gathered last week and what we caught using our Berlese funnel we found five different species of invertebrates.

Materials and Methods:

To start off this lab, we observed a wide variety of different organisms from each of the five classes, chilopda, insect, crustacean, diplopoda, and arachnida. In observing these different species we gained some more knowledge before we began observing our own samples. To begin we detached the test tube from the Berlese funnel and divided the sample into its two niches, top and bottom. We put each of the niche samples into their own petri dish. From there we took both samples and observed them through a dissecting microscope. Using the dissecting microscope we located our five invertebrate species. Using a dichotomous key we were able to identify the five different invertebrates.


From the sample we gathered from our Berlese funnel we were able to identify five different species of invertebrates, the arthropoda insecta, arthropoda insecta psocoptera, another athropoda insecta, an arthropoda, insecta protura, and an arthropoda insecta dermaptera. All of these different species had unique traits and characteristics that distinguished them from one another. The following table provides the size and description of each organism.

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All of these species share the same sense of community. All of these different species are living in the same habitat. This wildlife habitat transect has a specific carrying capacity, that is the amount of inhabitants it can accommodate. These different species obey this carrying capacity by consuming one another to limit the population and keep the carrying capacity stable. Each of these species belongs to a different trophic level and because of that each species relies on another one to survive.


Based on this week’s lab we could tell that there certainly are a number of invertebrates living in our wildlife habitat transect. Looking down the road we plan to see a variety of different vertebrate species living in our transect as well.


HS 2/11/15 Lab 4: Plante and Fungi


The purpose of this week’s lab was to get to know what different types of plant species inhabit our Wildlife transect. Once we could identify the different species, our next objective was to look at them under a microscope to get to know their structures and compositions better.

Materials and Methods:

In this weeks lab we performed three different steps. The first thing that we did was go out into our wildlife habitat and collect a bag filled with 500g of plant debris from the ground and we also collected 5 different distinct plant species. Once we gathered all of our samples we returned to the lab where we started step two. For this next step we made and recorded observations for all five of the plants we brought back and then we cut cross sections of each one and prepared them each on a wet mount. Once we had the mounts made we looked at each sample under the microscope, noting their structure, vascularization, and any unique cells we happened to see. After this was complete we moved on to step three. For this step we took our 500g bag of debris and used it to prepare a Berlese Funnel for next weeks lab. To do this we placed the debris in a funnel that had a mesh lining at the bottom, then we attached the funnel to a tube filled with ethanol and then we placed the funnel on a ring stand and covered it with foil to keep the light source in.

Data and Observations:

The first plant we collected was location right next to the rock path in our transect. This plant was a long skinny piece of monkey grass. Its color was light green and it had a nice light brown stem. This sample has parallel vascularization with veins and its mechanism of reproduction was flowering. The second plant we collected was located by the bottom right tree in our transect. This tree was tall and round with a lime green color with sporadic brown specks throughout. Its vascularization was net like and its mechanism of reproduction was flowering. The third plant we collected was located near the rock path and it was a piece of monkey grass with two leaves connected to one stem. This plants vascularization was parallel and its mechanism of reproduction is flowering. The fourth plant we took was located towards the bottom left portion of our transect. This plat was a purple curved leaf. Its vascularization was net like and its mechanism of reproduction was flowering. The fifth and final plant we collected was found on the tree located in the back right of our transect. This plant was a dead brown leaf. Its vascularization was net like and its mechanism of reproduction was flowering.

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Conclusion: Based on the findings in this lab I can safely say that our wildlife habitat transect is very diverse. In next weeks lab we will be looking at our Berlese funnel and I think that we are going to find a wide array of invertebrates.


2/4/15 HS. Lab 3: Microbiology and Identifying Bacteria with DNA Sequences


The purpose of this lab was to observe the bacteria samples that we plated and compare the types and amount of bacteria that had grown on both the plates with nutrients and the plates that had nutrients plus antibiotics. In this lab we were searching for an explanation for antibiotic resistance in certain bacteria. Our hypothesis for this experiment was that more bacteria was going to grow on the plates with only the nutrients compared to those on the plates with antibiotics simply because those antibiotic serve the purpose of eliminating the bacteria.

Materials and Methods:

The first thing that we did for this lab was make clear observations of our habitats Hay Infusion sample that had been sitting since the previous week. After recording the changes that occurred over the last week, we started to observe the eight different bacteria plates that we had created in lab two. Once we gathered our plates we started by noting the color of the bacteria along with the quantity of colonies in each sample. After making and recording those observations, based on the samples that presented the most character we chose two samples to make into slides and observe them more closely under the microscope. For this part of the experiment we selected the 10-9 nutrient only plate and the 10-3 nutrient plus tetracycline antibiotic plate. Under the microscope it was pretty difficult to observe the individual bacteria, in order to get a better view we had to perform the next step of the experiment which was gram staining. To complete the gram staining we selected four of the plates that in our opinion best represented the samples as a whole. We chose both the tetracycline and nutrient 10-9 and 10-3 plates to stain. In order to stain the plates we placed a small sample of each plate onto a slide using a metal ring tool and we ran the sample under a flame to ensure it was securely on the slide. Once this process was complete each sample was washed over with water and then separately stained over with crystal violet dye, iodine, alcohol, and safranin dye. Once all of our samples were properly stained we placed them under the microscope and if the slide had retained its color it was confirmed gram positive and if it had lost its color it was confirmed gram negative. After this portion of the lab, in order to prepare for the next lab, we prepared samples for PCR. This process was compiled of incubation in 100°C water for ten minutes, centrifugation for a period of five minutes, and then the supernatant from the dissolved sample was placed into four different PCR tubes respectively.


In the follow tables and images you fill see all of the data we recorded throughout this experiment. We found two different types of bacteria in our samples, one was clear and the other one was orange. The orange one had the largest populations overall compared to the very few clear bacteria we found. This lead us to the conclusion that the orange bacteria was resistant to the tetracycline antibiotic because since more of the orange bacteria reproduced it means that they were much less affected by the antibiotic. Because there were only a couple clear bacteria in all of our samples, we concluded that the clear bacteria were highly affected by the antibiotic. Tetracycline works against bacteria by binding to the ribosomes of the bacteria and stopping the synthesis of protein (American Society for Microbiology).

Hay Infusion Hay Infusion 1.JPG Hay Infusion 2.JPG Hay Infusion 3.JPG

Tet 10-3,10-5,10-7,10-9 Tet 10-3.JPG Tet -5.JPG Tet -7.JPG Tet -9.JPG

Nut 10-3,10-5,10-7,10-9 Nut -33.JPG Nut -5.JPG Nut -7.JPG Nut -3.JPG

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This experiment lead us to some interesting discoveries and conclusions. We established that within our transect habitat there are two types of bacteria, orange bacteria and a clear bacteria. Both bacteria were stained and tested gram positive. The orange bacteria demonstrated resistance to the antibiotics, whereas the clear bacteria were greatly affected by it. I look forward to exploring our transect more in future labs.


Connell, Sean R., Dobryan M. Tracz, Knud H. Nierhaus, and Diane E. Taylor. "Ribosomal Protection Proteins and Their Mechanism of Tetracycline Resistance." Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. American Society for Microbiology, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2015. <>.


1/28/15 HS.

Lab 2: Identifying Algae and Protists.


The purposed of this lab was to familiarize us with the methods and techniques used in biology today to observe and identify different types of organisms using a dichotomous key. This week, using our Hay Infusion sample created in last week’s lab, we gathered samples from different niches within that ecosystem and we compiled wet mount slides of the different samples to later identify the different organisms present.

Methods and Materials:

Starting with our Hay Infusion, my lab group took four different samples from the infused ecosystem, two were taken from the top of the ecosystem and two were collected from the bottom of the ecosystem. The reason for gathering samples from different niches within the ecosystem was to find out how the two layers differ from one another. A little bit of mold was observed on the surface of the top layer in our ecosystem. One of the top samples was taken directly from the surface of the ecosystem, allowing some of the plant mold to be collected. The other top sample was taken from just below the surface of the infusion. The two bottom samples were taken from the bottom about half an inch above the bottom of the jar. Once the samples were all collected, our lab group prepared wet mount slides of all four samples. Using these slides and a dichotomous key, our group identified the different organisms found in the samples.

Data and Observations:

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If the Hay infusion were to be left out for another two months we would definitely see some changes that are not present in our sample today. To start off, organism need time to grow and reproduce, therefor if we were to wait another two months we would certainly see a rise in population amongst the organisms present. I would predict that if we were to leave the sample out for another two months we would also start to see some growth of new species such and molds and other bacteria. We could also potentially see some plant growth if we were to keep our samples in an area with direct exposure to sunlight. Sunlight could also serve and one of the selective pressures that could affect the community of our sample. The organism Gonium was one of the species we collected from our Hay infusion and Gonium meets all of the necessary qualification to be living as described in Freemans text on page 2. Gonium has all of the features including the use of energy, it contains cells, it has the ability to process information, it can replicate as we will hopefully see in our next lab, and it has been through the process of evolution. (Freeman, 2008).

Conclusion and Future Directions:

In this experiment, my lab group discovered five different species living in our Hay infusion that we took from our Wildlife habitat using the dichotomous key. In just one week we saw how different species grew and how the ecosystem changed. We were very pleased with our results and we look forward to seeing what else we will discover in our ecosystem in the following lab.


1/22/15 HS.

Lab 1: Biological Life at AU


In this lab, my lab group and I were assigned a transect located on American University’s campus and our task was to report to this location, make detailed observations regarding this 20 by 20 meter plot of land, sketch the transect, and collect a soil sample to be used in future lab. My group was given transect 2, also known as the Wildlife habitat. This transect is located in between Hughes Hall and Cassel Hall. Given its name, the Wildlife habitat is expected to be high in its biodiversity. Throughout this semester my lab group and I will be observing the different interaction between the biotic and abiotic features in our transect.

Materials and Methods

This lab did not entail that many materials, when observing the transect, the only item brought with us was the tube to collect the soil sample to later be analyzed. When we first arrived on the scene, my group and I began recording what we saw, heard, smelt, and felt. Once we felt comfortable in our new transect we began to sketch out the area and note the different biotic and abiotic features. Once all of our observations were made we collected the soil sample and brought it back to the lab. Using 11 grams of the collected soil, we created a Hay Infusion in a jar where the protist collected in the soil could survive. The fusion was made by mixing the soil with 0.1 grams of dried milk and 500 mL’s of deerpark water. Once the solution was mixed for 10 seconds, the lid of the jar was removed and the sample was placed aside to allow the ecosystem to generate during the following week.


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Our Wildlife habitat transect is located on the north side of American University’s campus right in between Hughes Hall and Cassel Hall. The topography of our transect was pretty flat throughout, with a few bumps located towards the outer perimeter of the plot. There were both biotic and abiotic features observed in our first encounter with the transect. The biotic features consisted of four trees, all of different sizes. Two of the trees were rather large where as the other two were on the smaller scale. There were multiple shrubs observed in our habitat, along with a nice stream of stones. As far as animals go, not too many were seen since we observed the transect late at night, however a rat was both heard and felt during our time in the transect. For abiotic features, a piece of tissue paper was discovered along with many smaller rocks. There were also many leaves spread out throughout the transect and the soil was firm and cold all around.


This lab was not an experimental one, therefor no hypothesis was made or tested. It was just an observational lab and it was a good first interaction with our new found transect. Based on this week’s observations, I look forward to seeing what else presents itself in our wildlife habitat over the duration of the next semester.

Test 1/20/15

Didn't know what to write, so heres a riddle.

A man and a woman just get married and they decide to go to Hawaii for their honeymoon. While flying to Hawaii, the plane crashed and every single person on the plane dies. Two weeks later, the same two people are seen alive drinking coffee in a coffee shop. How is this possible?