Students Help Stain Bacteria
At the Department of Medical Microbiology, students had an opportunity to take part in a project lead by Professor Oto Melter, who explores possibilities of bacterial staining in clinical microbiology... By Dr. Tereza Kopecká (Department of Medical Microbiology).
Do you think that everything is only about the coronavirus right now? Fortunately, you are not right. The faculty works at full blast. And teaching is not the only activity; even scientific research continues. Even here, students help.
At the Department of Medical Microbiology, they had an opportunity to take part in a project lead by Professor Oto Melter who explores possibilities of bacterial staining in clinical microbiology.
“Everyone knows Gram stain, but few people know how problematic is the application to clinical samples,” Professor Melter says. The purpose of his work is to introduce an improved method of the classical Gram stain that facilitates the detection of bacteria in clinical samples like blood cultures.
“With the procedure that we are testing right now, we have great results. And it seems that the transition to a new staining method will be the most beneficial for inexperienced observers. This is where we needed help from the students. You can simulate various hypothetic situations, but you cannot ignore your experiences.”
The demand for participation in the project was surprisingly high. Three students were chosen due to early application: Lukáš Kavčiak, Dagmar Nutterová, and Michaela Zurynková. They had to observe tens of blindly marked slides and fill in a table od more than seven hundred boxes.
Professor Melter acknowledges their responsible approach: “The students co-operated with us even better than we expected. They showed a deep interest in the project and asked us about many issues of medical microbiology. This is how we mixed research with consults, and I believe it was beneficial for both sides. The coronavirus crisis might have helped: students feel more ready to help. And we are glad that they are not interested only in coronavirus projects. After all, the other illnesses did not disappear!”
And what are opinions of the students?
Lukáš Kavčiak: “Lately, each day is similar to the other one. One cannot go anywhere. You get up in the morning and try to study with a cup of coffee or do a workout to compensate the body for regular eating. The trip to the department of medical microbiology was a pleasant amusement for me. I was allowed to help in an exciting project and change a scene.”
Dagmar Nutterová: “As an inexperienced student, you rarely get an opportunity to help with an interesting scientific project. I appreciate this chance.”
Michaela Zurynková: “Such a nice experience with medical microbiology is welcome, especially when you lose track of the world around you.”