Fieldnote Feb 13 2024 - 7:49am

Vignette #8

Gabriel and I walk down to the bacteria room to check at the legionella bacteria. Before we came here, he already attended to his HeLa and lung cancer cells in the cell culture. Still thinking about the gels and solutions we prepared the last two days as well I ask him, how big of a problem it would be, if we made a mistake and therefore one sequence of the experiment would fail. Gabriel blinks and seems to be surprised: “Usually if something goes wrong with the solutions, gels, or other chemical components and materials it is not a problem, because you usually make more in the first place, just to be on the safe side and if something fails, you just re-do it. You never have to go back to the start of an experiment, if something happens with these things. Also, these kind of materials are very stable and not sensitive to heat or cold, dry or wet air.” He stops talking and thinks for a moment: “The real things that can cause you problems during an experiment are bacteria and cells. They are not easy to manage. Everything that is living to some degree is harder to control. This concerns the cells and bacteria directly, but also concerning their preferred environment.” To emphasize this point, Gabriel reminds me of the experiment we conducted this week with the S. aureus and P. aeruginosa. We waited too long after infecting the and thereby letting the bacteria kill all the cells. I ask him, if proteins are hard to manage as well, but he negates that: “At this point of the experiment, the cells have already died and everything that remains of them are the proteins and these are quite stable. Living things are hard to work with, as soon as they are dead; it’s not so hard anymore.”


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Contributed date

February 13, 2024 - 7:49am


Fieldnotes by Viona Hartmann



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Anonymous, "Fieldnote Feb 13 2024 - 7:49am", contributed by Viona Hartmann, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 13 February 2024, accessed 22 July 2024.