Celebrating CUBE Home Labs Anniversary: Home Labs are Possible

CUBE entered into its 3rd year of continuation of Home Lab movement, on this occasion an event was planned to celebrate Home Labs with presentations by Cubists of Elphinstone college, Mumbai. Several model systems like Earthworm, Hydra, Fruit Fly, Moina, Phyllanthus and so on were presented by Cubists, and it was presentated how these model systems can be cultured without much sophistication in Home Labs, and several topics of biology can be understood, studied and researched using them.
These lab setups in Homes provide a readily available context to perform science, design experiments, understand concepts, as well as learn scientific methodology through involving in investigations.
The demonstration that one can can create a Lab in Home is a fabulous innovation which was appreciated by participants from different colleges of Mumbai, and several participants were excited to initiate their own home labs.
A feedback response from the participants was invited post-event which showed several positive responses towards Home Labs Movement…

Poster of Event for Celebrating CUBE Home Labs Anniversary

Group Photo of Participants from different parts of country who joined the event to celebrate Home Labs Anniversary

Video recording of Celebrating CUBE Home Labs Anniversary Event

Hey there! Here in recording you can hear my story on how I started working in my HomeLab that is in Bandra, Mumbai.
So this is a picture of my HomeLab that started on 4th Oct 2021
So I’ll just share my experience here, like how i started my CUBE Homelab, what all mistakes/ goof ups i made, what were the things that I came across, what I learned from here and how did i overcome all the difficulties

First thing when I started trapping flies i didn’t had any idea about how to trap them or how to culture them. I just knew that i had to do this cause my professor @mayur told me to do it and as i joined late i missed national meet and didn’t knew about TRSV media that was developed by earlier CUBists. So i went through some youtube video and made a media but it wasn’t good so i tried a few more times after discussing this in CUBE ChatShaala and the third media i made is working well…

ChatShaala has helped me a lot during this process, I learned 60% of biochemistry while making different media and rest 40% when mites came in my media and we discussed about obesity, diabetes and insulin because to save my precious single line cultures from mites, i used 20% sucrose solution on fruit fly larva and they became thick.

Also there was a time when a rat took away one of my single line culture (SLBM E) that had a very interesting story… So this bottle had 1 single pregnant fly and the wall of bottle was filled water droplets (water of condensation) and due to that i couldn’t take observation properly… Well, the goof up here was that i transferred hot media and closed bottle using a cap. I thought the fly would be dead due to the water droplets but when i replaced the cap with cotton plug the water got evaporated and THE FLY WAS ALIVE WITH 40 LARVE and the day i observed this it was 6th day and rat took that bottle away on the same day

Then there was a bottle SLBM A1 (Single Line Bandra Mumbai) where ants started entering the bottle and there was a hole made in cloth so some other fly entered the bottle and from a single line culture it became a mix culture

Then there was a time when I used to get a lot of contamination/bacterial growth in media so i started increasing amount of vinegar in media and that’s when I started reading research article and got to know how to read a research paper well that too was done it Chatshaala

So we can say CUBE Chatshaala is actual CUBE and one cannot do CUBE if he/she is not attending ChatShaala and discussing what they are doing at their CUBE HomeLab Or CUBE college lab, cause it is all about communication and collaboration

That’s all for now… There are more such storys as I’ve made 12 single line cultures till now and some of them have series of subculture especially SLBM D that was made in first batch of single line bottles and even after getting attack by mites it survived and is still there with me.

I’ll write all this in detail once and join here the link to it once done…
One more thing as I’m working on fruit fly, some of my classmates from Elphinstone College are working on other model systems like @Misbah is working on earthworm along with Janki, then @dhanrajtribhuvan @Neha2 and Pritesh are working on moina and hydra @srujal23081 is working kn phyllanthus and fruit fly so i would ask them to summarize their work here too


As we all know that since covid-19 pandemic entered our beloved country India, all the schools’ colleges, and all other educational institutions are shut down, of course for the safety of students and parents as well. Everything was online …After waiting for 2 long years, at home since 2020, and also after completing covid-19 vaccination, I went to college (Elphinstone college, Mumbai) …
I still remember the date 17th February 2022 and the pleasing experience I had…
let me start with the story of me entering CUBE Chatshalla and my Homelab Experience…

On the 18th of February 2022, my senior Zahra from the third year, gave me a bottle of moina…confused …Right!! I was also confused at that time, What is this Moina and why should I take it and why should I culture it …like this several questions arose in my mind…You must be wondering what am I actually working on …Moina?? I’m working on the Powerful Model Organism - Hydra, why Powerful…because it is immortal and there are various other reasons behind it…
As I said earlier, on the 18th of February 2022, I got a bottle from my senior, I brought that bottle home and started a Home Lab for culturing Moina. There were approximately 40-50 Moina in that bottle with 125ml DC Water and 250ml was the capacity of that bottle… now we can easily visualize the bottle.

Next, I kept approximately 2 liters of tap water in open for 24 hours, so that chlorine dissolved in that will be evaporated …which we call now DC Water or De-Chlorinated water …so now we wonder, why we don’t need chlorine for our subculture thing…
Chlorine is added to disinfect the water, to make it free from other harmful bacteria which are favorable for humans to drink, so yes, Moina is not a bacteria but Moina feeds on bacteria present in water, so in turn, Moina is also affected as its food is getting killed by chlorine. That is why we need De-Chlorinated Water for culturing of Moina …all this I know now …thanks to everyday Cube Chatshalla sessions …

Before moving forward, let me tell you what is Moina in very simple words and how to identify it ?
So, if we go into very basic identification then, Moina has a jerky motion, unlike our normal fishes which have smooth motion. They are of size 1mm in length, 1mm in the sense 1/10th of a centimeter. Moina is a freshwater Crustacean (Prawn or Crab-like organisms) found in ponds, lakes, and rivers.
Crustaceans are organisms with a hard covering or shell. Also, it is commercially reared as it is a live feed for fish.

Now let us learn how I cultured Moina at home:
So first and foremost, I took two transparent bottles of 500ml capacity and filled them half i.e. 250ml of DC Water. Then I added approximately 5 Moina from the previously made Moina culture bottles that were given to me by my senior, and one drop of milk, daily. This may seem simple to you but it was complicated for me in the beginning, I used to literally torture my senior @drishtantmkawale, to guide me through this whole process, I still bother him :yum:…

After this process, I just need to put one drop of milk in all the subcultures every day. After two days, i.e. 20th February 2022 my Moina subculture showed an increase in the Moina count, I was happy that I have done all the procedures in right manner but after 7 to 8 days from my subculturing, the Moina count in my subcultures started to decrease for an unknown reason, because the decrease was only in the newly made cultures of mine, the bottles that Zahra gave me was showing increased no. of Moina even after my cultures were showing the decrease in no. …so, it was a sad moment for me, then again I went to @drishtantmkawale for help, he said this is normal as you are making subcultures for the first time and there will always be ups & downs everywhere, so @drishtantmkawale told me to make new subcultures from the parent bottles again and again the same issues arose … frankly speaking, I was so frustrated but I never gave up, again I subcultured Moina and now I have 300+ Moina in my HomeLab, after 40 days of my beginning …Thanks to @drishtantmkawale s I discussed earlier, I was culturing Moina as a feed for Hydra …So my classmates @dhanrajtribhuvan and Pritesh will be telling more about the Hydra model system…


Here’s your friend PRITESH SHIVRAM PARAB (Fy) from Elphinstone College.
As I was having online classes (Due to COVID-19 Pandemic) for nearly 7 months now, I had been to my village, later in Feb I came to Mumbai .I thought of working on model systems, as my friends Smiti, Misbah, Janki etc were already working on different model systems. I also thought of working on the same. I visited my college, Elphinstone, and one of my classmate, Neha told about Hydra - an interesting model system to work upon.
HYDRA (Hydra Viridissima) - an amazing model system belonging to Kingdom - Animalia, that is approximately 10mm in size, which has tremendous regenerating potential, which is also a hot topic in science now. So I thought of working on it.

On 7/03/22 my Seniors Shravani & Shruti (TY) Elphinstone College brought from KIRAN MAM -50 Hydra’s approx. from HBCSE ,Mumbai. We made a new culture named H0 in which we took 200ml of DC water + the Hydra’s which were brought. From there are we are culturing Hydra’s as our daily Job.:innocent:
For growing Hydra’s or for their food we need Moina or/and Sunlight.
Sunlight is easily available in nature. But for Moina’s we were culturing it in a tank.
(@Neha2 has explained procedure for culturing and growing Moina’s )
HYDRA culturing is a very simple task but for that we need several items i.e beakers (or anything in which you want to culture), DC water (Dechlorinated water), a thin cloth to cover those cultures.

So then after H0 culture.We made new cultures named H1 H2 H3
We transferred approx. 20-25 Hydra’s in each beaker.

The Hydra’s kept increasing in no. with the help of Sunlight+Moina’s

You will be wondering how does Sunlight & Moina acts as a food.
Actually, I got answer to this question when I attended CHATSHAALA.
I have shared the description about what I have understood.

Hydra contains an algae called Chlorella which is carried inside its cells. Chlorella has evolved in such a way in nature that it cannot exist without Hydra.Chlorella contains chlorophyll which is located in chloroplast contains green pigment that’s the reason why Hydra appear green.Chloroplast present in Chlorella helps in preparing food for Hydra with the help of photosynthesis where light energy is converted into chemical energy is transferred into glucose and other organic molecules which act as a food.

The food which we provide to Hydra (moina’s) gets converted to glucose and then into ATP as a form of energy.

The journey of Hydra’s from 7/03/22 to 29/03/22 has been interesting.The count of Hydra’s when brought was just 50 Hydra’s approx. and today the count was 774 Hydra’s approx.:hushed: such a huge number right? But the fed of moina’s + adequate Sunlight has shown the result. Maintaining ,cleaning the cultures is very essential to obtain such a huge number. Overall this journey with Hydra Model System and the CHATSHAALA has gave me a new platform about how to study collaboratively. MAYUR SIR is also helping us about how to understand minute concepts, how questions are been answered,how to execute an experiement is what I have learned in these just 23 days .Through CHATSHAALA I have learnt lot new things, on various model system on which students work ,they present their model system express what the feel and if wrong CHATSHAALA is there to correct it. Various peoples/collaborators from the country join the discussion and it’s just amazing to hear them talk. Every coordinator there have their own way of guiding so that things could be conveyed easily to all… Also I came to know how science could be understood practically by doing experiements by attending CUBE CHATSHAALA DISCUSSION, which also thought me how to interact and gossip about science within a science community.

My Collaborators-Neha, Dhanaraj, Lavanya, Shruti are also working with me on this Model System. So i would ask them to share your views for the same🙂