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Hi, we are Pramod Chavali and Neela Vahora, the 2009 Baliga Lab Interns at the Institute for Systems Biology. During our seven week, we worked on numerous interesting projects revolving around the archaea, Halobacteria salinarum, in order to optimize labs for biology and physics classrooms. Along the way, we gained valuable experience in microbiology techniques, scientific research, and webpage development.

Some of the labs we did were the salinity lab and the dark vs. light lab. In the salinity lab, we tested the growth of Halo in media of varying salinities. In the dark vs. light lab, we tested the affects of varying initial on the growth of Halobacteria cultures.

Additionally, we performed various experiments in order to test and calibrate a small and cheap spectrophotometer designed in the lab specifically for schools. We tested to see how the values returned by the spectrophotometer correspond to the OD values used in labs. We also measured the accuracy of the device by using Hawaiian Punch as a standard.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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