Microscopy and Microbiology at the Translational Research Institute

Investigative year Brilliant Futures students sparked their curiosity as science researchers of the future recently at the SPARQ-ed (Students Performing Advanced Research QLD) teaching laboratory. Conducted in a PC2-rated facility located in the Translational Research Institute in Brisbane, the Microscopy and Microbiology experience uses routine procedures to demonstrate subjects which form the core of modern biomedical research.

Samantha and Alex share their reflections on the experience:

“At the Microbiology and Microscopy workshop we learnt about and used microscopes. We learnt about two different microscopes, one that uses a laser light and the other a normal light projected through a series of mirrors. We then made two different solutions to test on the microscope with the first made of yeast, sugar and water and the second only yeast and water.  We put them on viewing plates to slide into the microscope. We were also given some bacteria to have a look at and there was a tray of HeLa cells also for us to look at. When under the microscope, you could see the cells moving about and bubbles being produced by the yeast and sugar mix.  We tried different lighting such as green light which made it easier to see the bacteria and we were able to see a cell split. We also learnt about a cell from bioluminescent jellyfish that allowed them to glow in the dark. It was derived and inserted into other animals like fish which made them glow in the dark. It was also manipulated so that it sticks to cancer cells so they can use it in surgeries when removing cancer to see if they missed any cancer cells. Overall this workshop was a fun hands-on learning experience which I enjoyed greatly.”
Samantha, Brilliant Futures Investigative Year student

“Within the Microbiology & Microscopy workshop, we got the amazing opportunity to use powerful microscopes, allowing us to peer into a new, miniature world, also known as microbiology. The experiment involved different chemicals, yeast and sugar. We had to use super-precision tools such as pipettes suitable for measuring microlitres (UL). In the Microbiology & Microscopy workshop we had to do things for ourselves. Certain things are easily learnt through study of a subject, and certain things are learnt through practice. This workshop is a prime example of a great way to teach us things, by making us do it. A key learning that I took away from the Microbiology & Microscopy workshop is that when working in a pair, assign something for each person, so two things are done at once. At the start, myself and my partner didn’t do this, and we were falling slightly behind. However, we realised this and later caught up by adjusting our work methods. Overall, the Microbiology & Microscopy workshop was a workshop well worth doing.”
Alex, Brilliant Futures Investigative Year student

Mrs Vanessa Rebgetz
Acting Principal
Brilliant Futures Coordinator