Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Friday, October 27, 2006

Lab Crisis Update

We have been scrambling trying to get the bacterial outbreak under control. I have been calling colleagues around the country who do this sort of work. We have gone through tons of bleach trying to disinfect stuff. The word from colleagues is that this does happen to almost everyone sooner or later. We are instituting some changes in how we do things. For example, all leaves of caterpilalr food are being given a dunk in diluted bleach, then rinsed thoroughly before being fed to the caterpillars. I am suspecting the aerosol coming from the room humidifier as a source of contamination. So we have removed the caterpillars from the breeding room. The bad news is that we have lost our culture of Aphrodite fritillaries and will likely lose the culture of silver-bordered fritillaries. I think that we may be able to hang onto the regal fritillary culture. Of the three, it is my preference to keep alive, because it's actually an endangered species (gulp). It still sickens me to think of all of the work that went into the silver-bordered fritillary culture, only to lose it. It's time for stiff upper lips, firm resolve, and moving forward. We are not out of the woods yet, but we are making some progress.


At 18:55, Blogger Ur-spo said...

good luck
glad to hear there is some progress
i suppose it is comforting to know this is something common/just a matter of time when it hits you.
As you wisely pointed out 'Death happens' but maybe this is of little comfort when it is your work.

At 20:09, Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said...

It sounds like your FALL CLEANING is starting to turn things around. Good luck with the remaining.

At 01:46, Blogger Tony said...

Hopefully you haven't lost too much.


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