CUBE Chatshaala:- The Causerie will still be on!

Hello there!

How is everyone amidst the COVID-19 scare! ?:pensive: :mask:
And now, the lockdown too has shut the doors for everyone!

Now on 16th March 2020, our college declared a two-week holiday as a precautionary measure for the Virus Outbreak.
So, we shifted all our College Cultures to CUBE HBCSE, Mumbai having a thought that at least here we could look after the cultures!

But then on 18th March 2020, the Government of India announced the abandonment of the rail services in a couple of days which now meant that we could not travel to CUBE HBCSE as well!
So, we decided to take a few bottles at home and maintain them there and the rest cultures would be fed by @G_N Sir.

So, on 19th March 2020, we came to take our cultures.

But we (I, @yash_sheregare, @Shivamkumar_Sriwas) didn’t know that we have a surprise waiting for us!

The surprise CUBE Room Webinar was revealed to us by @KiranyadavR Ma’am!

So finally, after all of this bak bak of mine, you should ask, What is CUBE Room Webinar?
So, in the GLabat HBCSE, after all of the day’s work, we have a informal group discussion or Causerie wherein we discuss the work which was done in the day, past days, the Objectives, the Research Question, and the designs of the experiments which would be carried out in the future and many more related topics are put forward and discussed, questions are asked, doubts are cleared.

But now in the Virus Season, everyone would be in their respective homes so how will the Causerie happen?

It will happen with the help of technology!

@G_N Sir along with the Maker’s Space faculty have come forward with an online platform where Discussions can happen and are happening through Audio and Video Conferences!
It is free for all, anyone from any corner of the world (with a good internet connection :grimacing:) can join us!

So, it has been a week since we started it at 3pm everyday.
It has been a very good experience overall!!

Looking forward to discussing more topics with the help of this!

Please Contribute to this, people!!
@Arunan @Lydia @saida786110 @baviskarritik @Vaibhavib99 @Zahra_R17

Take care and stay safe at your homes please!

The temporary link of the CUBE Room Webinar: BigBlueButton

The website interface!

Updates of the elapsed days would be done in the posts following this one.

1 Like

Update on CUBE Room Webinar : Saturday, 21 March 2020

We discussed on the relation of the COVID19 with Drosophila melanogaster sex comb in terms of evolution.

The Topic summary by @yash_sheregare

Common topic under the light of Evolution

Do all organims Evolve including from fruit flies to viruses?

All organisms including the CsBz flies (cultured in the media bottles for over 60 years,which are given culture media) , native fruit flies in the wild, certain species of fruit flies like melanogaster bearing sex combs in certain drosophila species and the Virus in hosts like bats in context to the SARS and COVID19, what do all of them have in common?
In reality, they are not related but are they related under the common feature of Evolution?!

The questions raised by @drishtantmkawale

They have a common base which relates them!- Evolution

But has the COVID-19 actually evolved?
What are the references for the same?
After its first outbreak as the SARS in 2002-03, it emerged in 2012 as the MERS (Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome) and now as the Novel Coronavirus- A pandemic!!

Why did it take 10/16 years to evolve?
Where was it lying dormant all these years?

A Virus needs a host.
Were Bats its hosts?

All these questions come in my mind when I think of Evolution!!

Conversation was joined by @G_N @KiranyadavR @Lydia @Shivamkumar_Sriwas @yash_sheregare


Update on CUBE Room Webinar: Sunday, 22 March 2020

"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Evolutionary Biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky

Evolution of COVID19 is what we discussed.

We started with asking the question that Where and how did the COVID19 evolve?

In its first out-break as SARS in 2002-03, it had not affected many people and was not a widespread as it is now.
It hasn’t changed its host organism i.e. Bats but has been continuously affecting humans whenever it came out.

So, now when it is back after 16 years, it has become a pandemic and affected people all over the world!
Why so?

Both are the same viruses but the COVID19 can be thought of as an evolved version of the SARS.
How come?

Evolution takes time… and we thought that definitely, the evolutionary mechanisms of the virus must not have taken place in humans (as a host) because if that was the case, it would’ve wrecked havoc then!

So, Bats are the organisms where the evolutionary mechanism of the SARS has taken place.
We can think that the virus was not able to affect a large population because it was lacking some ability. Ability in the form of expression of proteins, etc…

@Arunan Sir added that there would have been some kind of change in the sequence of DNA in the form of random mutations (change in single base pairs or alteration…) which led to the activation of some gene which the Virus (after many generations) found useful and then it was passed on to many generations…
So RANDOM MUTATIONS in the GENOME OF THE VIRUS are the key here!
They can be due to anything!
A chemical change, change in the environment…

Later, this was related to the Evolution of the Sex Comb of Drosophila Melanogaster
Again, random mutations!
Sex Comb helps in clasping the female during Copulation.
Some fly species of the Genus: Drosophila have evolved from having no sex comb to having sex combs.
This too we can think has happened because of evolution.
As it can be the case that earlier, the flies which did not have a sex comb, developed a sex comb because there was a need. Once the gain of function mutation (which is going to help the organism in surviving) happens in the organism, it gets into the genome and is transferred on the next generation.

So @yash_sheregare added that possibly the ones having sex comb over the years might evolve to get different structures of sex comb
Since in the end, it is some gene that formed the proteins and then giving rise to a phenotypic structure like a sex comb
So there might be mutations in closely related species like melanogaster and pseudoobscura to give rise to different structures of the sex comb in these species.

Joined by
@Arunan Sir @drishtantmkawale @yash_sheregare @KiranyadavR


Update on CUBE Room Webinar: Monday, 23 March 2020

So today we discussed the problems faced by @Nazish Kaunchale in culturing the luminescent bacteria Vibrio fischeri
We came to know that the bacteria inoculated on the Boss Media is luminescent for 2-3 days but thereon it loses its glowing ability. Although the colonies show growth on the media.

Why that?
If the colonies are growing then their luminescence should be visible right?
But that is not the case!

Now, a question arises that how is the bacteria surviving in the Ink Sac of the Squid from where it is isolated from?
Does the luminescence stop there also?

We need to look for that…

Also, @Nazish Kaunchale said that Glycerol is added in the medium which helps the bacteria to glow.

@yash_sheregare and @Shivamkumar_Sriwas dded that, if that is the case, glycerol must be the substrate (the substance on which the enzyme acts) for the enzyme Luciferase.
So, it must be getting used up quickly!

Logically thinking, if that is the case, then more glycerol should be added to the medium or else the bacteria should be sub-cultured (colonies from the original plate should be streaked on the other plate containing the Boss Medium) when the glowing colonies are visible so that their substrate which is glycerol would be available to them and (I think) they would continue glowing.

Appropriate references should be looked upon to confirm the hypothesis.

Joined by:
@drishtantmkawale @yash_sheregare @Shivamkumar_Sriwas @Arunan Sir


Update on CUBE Room Webinar: Tuesday, 24 March 2020

So, on Tuesday, the problems faced by @magpie Ma’am in culturing the Moina Water Flea discussed along with the design of the experiment of the Valproic Acid experiment (redirect to another topic on Moinas as an epigenetic model organism by @drishtantmkawale, here the total design is explained)

Joined by:
@Arunan Sir @Lydia @magpie Ma’am @saida786110 @yash_sheregare


Update on CUBE Room Webinar: Wednesday, 25 March 2020

I think the CUBists are not over yet with the Evolution Season!
Yes, today too we discussed on Evolution.

@Arunan Sir @baviskarritik @saida786110 @Lydia @yash_sheregare @KiranyadavR Ma’am @Vaibhavib99 were present at the CUBE Room Webinar today!

We discussed what does Evolution mean to every one of us. Because if we ask someone about evolution, everyone will have a different understanding of it!

For me, as far as my understanding,
Evolution is something which occurs in species which are related to each other over generations and in the end, most of the time, it benefits the organism itself and then later the population as a whole.
Evolution is a random event.
It can occur at any given time given that it has been stimulated by the environment of the organism… not always but in most of the cases… and if the mutation has been naturally selected for going into the next generation* then it benefits the organism for its survival… again most of the time.

We have examples like
Darwins Finches, The comparison of the Olfactory Senses of the Standard CsBz (Canton Special Benzer) Drosophila melanogaster and Native Wild Flies, the COVID19 pandemic… where evolution has benefitted the organism for its survival.

Mutations can be stimulated randomly by the environment, chemically… but that particular mutation should be selected for the next generation for Evolution to occur.

Like thousands of mutations occur in our body daily but they get repaired, right?
What if they get carried?

Loss of function mutations can be like
The mutations occurring due ultraviolet rays causing skin cancer… and the infamous Retinoblastoma disease which affects the eyes is due to loss of heterozygosity of the gene! Loss of function of one of the two alleles for retinoblastoma… If that gene is genetically inherited by the offspring and it gets it second hit, then damn! Tumor formation would be there in the eye(s) of the affected!

So you see, Evolution is a Bigg thing!

During the discussion, @saida786110 was not convinced about the environment supporting Evolution.
Can we have your point of view @saida786110 ?!!


drishtantmkawale has written it very well so i would like to write further and would like to share that what we have constructed on the forth day of Online causerie/Discussion on webinar.

Update on CUBE Room Webinar : Thursday, 26 March 2020

How Important is it for a researcher to have evidence (in the form of Photographs or short videos) of his/her research work??
Record, Report and Research (RRR) is one of the design made by CUBE.

Particularly, Before getting in the online conference i was watching a video of Bdelloid Rotifers feeding, then i noticed a tube like structure protruded near the mouth part of that Animal, i have seen Rotifers under microscope many times but never noticed a structure like that.
Then Nazish (Who’s working On Rotifers) came to the discussion and i asked her if you have ever seen such a structure in your animal she said yes , she has seen it so many times, and she has discussed about the body of Rotifers during the causeries.After that Prof. Arunan has came to the discussion and agreed that we should have a good photographs of our Observation.
How can we use our Smartphones completely for our Research Work??
By taking Good pictures with a fine focus and good Background and we can show it to others as an evidence of our work.
*It is a library cum art gallery in its own kind! pictures and videos can be taken very easily with the help of smart Mobiles *


So, this reference is on following today’s CUBE Webinar discussion on our Fresh-water crustaceans, Moinas!!
Gave a break to our flying beasts Fruit-flies!
Well, we started from the very basics starting with what is Moina and what research question are we actually addressing with Moinas.
How does low-oxygen induce the red colour in Moina?
We had left out jargons like Histone remodelling and stuff like that and focussed on knowing and making everyone clear about what are we actually doing!!

So I started with the culture techniques, then I told about what can actually be done using Moinas at home during the lockdown period!

Then, we came on our research question that how are we actually making use of these tiny-creatures to study the 2019-Nobel Prize-winning work on hypoxia and in detail how cells sense and adapt to low oxygen conditions?

So, we continued that at Normal dissolved oxygen condition or Normoxia, the Moinas are fed with (just giving an example) 1 drop of milk daily in 250mL Dechlorinated Water and after 7 days or say a week, we observe that still the Moinas remain colourless.

But when we treat the Moinas with 6 drops of milk (not daily, but at the start of the culture with 5-10 moinas, we feed them with 6 drops of milk on alternate days because initially their number is less, and if they are overloaded will milk, they will die, so till their number increases to 40-50, they will be fed on alternate days and henceforth, daily. Reaching 40-50 Moinas when initially starting with ~10 Moinas takes 3-4 days.), at the end of 7 days we observe that their colour doesn’t remain colourless but their they change to Red.
We get ~100 Moinas out of which ~70 are Red and rest 30 are colourless-yellow.

So their colour change occurs along a gradient.
Day 1-2: Colourless
Day 3: Pale Yellow
Day 4: Yellow
Day 5: Yellow
Day 6: Orangish-Red
Day 7: Orangish-Red to Red

How is the colour change occurring?

So, according to the Paper Hypoxia-induced Haemoglobin Synthesis of Hemoglobin in the Crustacean Daphnia magna Is Hypoxia-inducible Factor-dependent by Thomas Gorr and Team, it says that Daphnia, a close relative of Moina, has four Haemoglobin Genes in its Genome which give rise to Haemoglobin protein which is responsible for the red colour of the Daphnia/Moina!

It also says that “Protein products of the hb3 and hb2 genes (of the four known globin genes 5′-hb4-hb3-hb1-hb2-3′) are strongly induced by hypoxia, whereas the up-regulation of the hb1 gene is only moderate”

By this, I understand that the two genes hb3 and hb2 get up-regulated strictly during hypoxia and hb1 needs moderate stimulus.

Which means that in Normoxia, only a single gene is responsible for the production of Hb protein. I think that because Hb is produced at normal levels, the Moina appears colourless to us even after 7 days.

Which means that at hypoxia, all four genes will be actively producing extra Hb and the Moina will be visible as Red.

But we cannot rule out the fact that Hb will be synthesised always!
Yes, Hb is the main oxygen carrier and it would be there even in Normoxia but normal levels although it appears to be colourless, Haemoglobin would be produced.

So, Savithri Ma’am from Delhi (I guess) questioned that Why is that human blood appears more reddish when oxygenated and brown red or less red when deoxygenated and the same is ulta in case of our Moinas i.e. the oxygen-deprived Moinas appear Red and Oxygenated Moinas appear Colourless!!

Why that??

Relating this to the 2019 Nobel Prize-winning work on Hypoxia or in simple words, “how cells sense and adapt to low oxygen levels?”

There are proteins called Hypoxia-Inducible Factors or HIFs which by their name, say that they induce hypoxia. Further, HIF consist of transcription factors.

What are transcription factors?
Transcription factors are proteins which guide the enzyme-linked with DNA transcription to the promoter site of the required DNA.

HIF consists of HIF-1-alpha and ARNT or HIF-1-beta as the transcription factors.
So these Hypoxia-inducing factors bind to the promoter sites of HREs.

What are HREs or Hypoxia-response elements?
These are DNA segments present before the (in our case) Haemoglobin genes and this place is where HIFs (protein) come and bind.

So, the three Nobel-laureates discovered that in Normoxia, when there is more oxygen in the cell, HIF protein is degraded in the cytoplasm (otherwise it will induce hypoxia na?). More oxygen or normal oxygen in the cell will lead to the activation of enzyme Prolyl Hydroxylase which will help in the Prolyl hydroxylation which involves tagging of HIFs through Ubiquitin and VHL proteins (both proteins - Von hippel Lindau protein).
This tagging leads to degradation of HIF in the proteasome.

Then, in hypoxia, the cells have less oxygen so HIFs will not get degraded.
If HIFs will not get degraded then Hypoxia will be induced!!
And that is what happens here!
Hypoxia is induced.

How is hypoxia induced by the cell?
The active Hypoxia-inducible factors go to the Hypoxia response elements (HREs) INSIDE THE NUCLEUS and bind to them.
This binding of HIFs to the promoter region leads to activation or up-regulation of Hb genes.
And so our Moina turns Red.

This can be confidently seen as our Hypothesis!!

Please correct me if I went wrong anywhere!!
@Arunan @G_N @KiranyadavR @mayur @saida786110 @Zahra_R17 @bivasnag @Priti_Kanade @magpie @jaikishan


Why not give some reference link to the studies of others and statements you have referred to? @drishtantmkawale
Looking for comments from @Abhishek @Akshitha @abhijith@batul


Oh yes!! :grimacing:

Hypoxia-induced Synthesis of Hemoglobin in the Crustacean Daphnia magna Is Hypoxia-inducible Factor-dependent

The above reference is for the confirmation of four Haemoglobin genes in Daphnia magna and also this tells us that two genes get up-regulated strictly in hypoxia and one needs moderate stimulus.

This is a photograph taken from the 2019-Nobel Prize-winning Work by William G. Kaelin, Jr., Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.

This tells us about HIFs’ degradation in Normoxia and mechanism of binding to HREs in the nucleus and so on.
I have attached the official summary of the 2019-Nobel Prize.

press-medicine2019.pdf (1.8 MB)


So in yesterday’s discussion we discussed about lipid molecule
Lipids are a larger class of molecules while fatty acids form a small part of it. Fatty acids are long chain hydrocarbons with a carboxylic acid group at one end. They can either be saturated (no double bonds) or unsaturated (one or more double bonds along the C-chain).

As we observe coconut oil in winter it is in solid form and in summer it is in liquid form

So does it have saturated fat or unsaturated fats?

Coconut oil contains more of saturated fat as it can also be seen in the solid form
But whether it should be solid or liquid depends on the temperature :grimacing:

We also discussed that how essential it is to clean the things that we bring in from outside these days
Mostly fruit and vegetables​:carrot::broccoli::leafy_green::cucumber:

So people often use :soap: soap for cleaning fruits and vegetables
So is it helpful?
But as vegetables have pores in them soap might enter the vegetable and this may give as gastrointestinal problems

“Cleaning fruits and vegetables with soap can cause gastrointestinal issues that mimic the symptoms of COVID-19.”

We are not aware of how gastrointestinal issues can mimic the symptoms of covid-19 which affects the respiratory tract

So can we think of something that works similar to that of :soap: soap and can clean vegetables and fruits without affecting us??

something like Potassium permanganate can be used for cleaning vegetables and fruits as they are used to kill viruses.and which can be cheaply available on any chemist shop as well


Huffpost article is spurious sounding!


4th MAY, 2020

Webinar Summary

Possibilities or the sources of contamination in the home made media.
We discussed 3 main parts which could help us in solving out the problems!
:writing_hand:1. The components or the ingredients used for making the homemade media
:writing_hand:2. Cooking
:writing_hand:3. Autoclave

:writing_hand:1.When we look at the first part i.e. components or the ingredients used for making the homemade media…

While comparing with the Standard Corn Meal Media
:point_right: Dextrose and sucrose are a source of sugars,
:point_right: Maize powder a source of carbohydrates,
:point_right: Yeast extract a source of proteins, vitamins and minerals and
:point_right: Agar as a solidifying agent.

Now when we look to the ingredients in our Tomato Rava Homemade Media,
:point_right: Table sugar is a source of sugar as in cornmeal media
:point_right: Rava is a source of carbohydrates (73g in 100g rava)
:point_right: Tomato puree is a source of proteins, vitamins and minerals
:point_right: Rava here in this media acts as a solidifying or a binding agent as well.

So when we look at the components or the ingredients used…they are just perfect when compared with each other!
We were now clear with the first part!

:writing_hand:2. Coming to the second part i.e. COOKING

We are not cooking just for the purpose of cooking for some time or so.
There is a purpose behind cooking.

What if we don’t cook?
was the question raised by @Arunan Sir.
We have in our mind that we require a solid consistency of the media.

Why do we need a solid consistency?
was the next question.
If we get a liquid medium then that won’t support the culturing of flies in a bottle
The flies would get stuck to the media and then they die!

What is this solid consistency, like how is it’s shape?
The media after pouring in the bottle should take the shape of the bottle or the container and should have an even surface!
If not an even surface, then the flies might get stuck somewhere and then they die!
All these factors should be kept in mind!

What is this cooking? Till what time do we cook? What should we achieve by cooking?
We need a homogenised mixture or a medium.
For this we need to cook properly.
What do we mean by cook properly?
We need to cook the ingredients in water till we are sure that all the components have dissolved in the water and are mixed completely.
Here the time take for cooking is not what is concerned rather, the homogenisation of the media is what we are looking for!
This is what is done with the standard cornmeal media too!

If there is excess of water, we can evaporate it by cooking while the ingredients are being mixed in the water.
Should not overcook as added by @ankitcube
Do not cook till the media gets thick or till it gets too thick in its consistency
Otherwise it would be difficult while pouring this media in the bottles.

If this much is taken care of, then we can to very much extent prevent the growth of bacteria or fungi or whatever unwanted growth was seen!

:writing_hand:3. The third part i.e. AUTOCLAVE
We all have a pressure cooker at home.
As suggested by @Arunan Sir, we can pressure cook it for once and then our media is ready.

This much can be tried out and we can achieve what we want!


Why is pressure cooking needed?
We are already cooking it right?


Update on CUBE Room Webinar : Saturday,11 April 2020

Cubist from different Places/Cube Centers had joined the Cube Room Webinar, Saida Sayyed, Drishtant Maruti Kawale, Lydia Mathew, Isha Pawale, Mandar Chavan, Yash Shergare, Jai Kishan, Aashutosh Mule, Rafikh Shaikh, Zahra, and Priti Kanade are from CUBE HBCSE, TIFR Mumbai.

Joined bySavithri Singh Former Principle of AND College Delhi and Vaishanavi Mirdha.


Update on Cube Room Webinar: 06.05.2020

Picture of Yesterday’s Cube Room Webinar( Date:06.05.2020) that was conducted on Google Meet Audio- Video Conferencing app and joined by Prof. MC Arunan, Drishtant Maruti kawale, Isha Pawle, Lydia Mathew, Saida Sayyed, Zahra and Kiran Yadav from Cube HBCSE Mumbai, Dr. Sarita Kumar and Komal Kotra from Cube AND College Delhi , Shalu Kumari from Cube Patna, Hina Mudgal from Cube Kanpur, Aswathy Suresh and Lakshmi P J from Cube SN Natika College

Above given is the link through which one can join the Cube Room Webinar, Everyday in the Evening from 5:30pm to 8:00pm.


Summary of Yesterday’s Online Discussion by @yash_sheregare

  1. Will Acetic acid be a mutagen to fruit flies ?
    @aswathy a CUBist from CUBE SN Nattika who for some time is very well trying and learning about fruit flies, how to culture them, designing home made media

In one of her tomato rava medium, She added to her medium, ~ 10ml of Vinegar to a 100 ml medium containing bottle
(a lockdown substitute for propionic acid which is eliminate other fungal growth at low pH)
And now she had a burning question…
whether the acetic acid added to this medium for killing fungi, whether will it have any mutagenic effect on fruit flies?

We all tried to discuss her question and come to an easy suggestion
That Vinegar is evidently used by majority of people in various foods like pickles salads
If would have been a mutagen, it wouldn’t be a choice for us to use it for pickling or adding to salads
@Drishtant through some reference then found out that Acetic acid is not a Mutagen!

Now , we have a new opening and a question that sir asked as to whether propionic acid that is added in std corn meal agar medium, is it a mutagen?

  1. Goof ups of no Expectation and Anticipation!
    @YashSheregare, from CUBE Institute of Science, I try to explain everyone about the new tomato medium that is tested if it is a good medium for culturing fruit flies, larvae and pupae for 1 or 2 generations with no contamination.
    2 medium bottles in which 10 and 6 fruit flies were added and comparing the observation made previously of a fantastic tomato slice that gave rise to next generation fruit flies, I should be expecting pupae in 4 days.

However I didn’t observe my bottles properly after 2 days for larvae and didn’t expect larvaes the next day when gravid females after laying eggs on the same day!

There is a very high possibility that gravid fruit flies will lay eggs in the medium the same day they will be transferred which got ignored…

Highlights of Gooof up - The goof up that I did was not observing and anticipation of what is to be OBSERVED and EXPECTED everyday!!
The idea of Feeling for the organism should be practised by me and others who working on model organisms!

  1. Discussions on How should we include Goof ups and the importance of Highlighting goof ups in our fruit fly ebook

Here we are trying to design a protocol that would exactly be like the standard corn mean media that we make in the lab for our standard CsBz flies i.e. Drosophila melanogaster flies.

It would be better if I explain the method of preparation of the standard corn meal media (250ml).

Dextrose - 12.5gms
Sucrose - 6.25gms
Maize powder - 20.75gms
Yeast extract - 3.75gms
Agar - 4gm
Mix all these components in water.
Add water to make up the volume of the mixture to 250ml
Mix all the components in the water well.
Then cook the media mixture on a medium flame.
Cook till all the components in the media are homogenised completely and that there are no lumps in the media.

Next comes autoclaving
We autoclave using a pressure cooker.
The reason for autoclaving is to kill the spores and microorganisms present and to sterilize everything.
We sterilize the glass bottles and the media by autoclaving in a pressure cooker.
Trying maximum to minimize the possibilities of getting any fungal or bacterial growth we autoclave

Once the media is autoclaved,
We add acids in the 250ml media
Orthophosphoric acid - 0.17ml
Propionic acid - 1ml

This is what we want to do exactly in our homemade media.
So that we can standardize our homemade media as well.

This is a site as a reference for the standard cornmeal media that we make…


Can we summarize the work each of us has been doing since the lockdown started?

I think there has been a lot of work done in the past two months.
We have done many improvisations in the Homemade Fruitfly medium, changed our traps, discussed on different media, etc, discussed the identification of flies and much more.

Every day I get to see a lot of photos and videos!
But, the point I would like to emphasise on is that do we learn or infer something from those photos, small write-ups!!!?
Writing a summary about the discussion and our work would help us in gathering points for the E-Book as well as our own knowledge and furthermore, it would make it clear that how much do we understand what we do?
Are there any conceptual gaps?
There must be many gaps which we can fill by understanding it collaboratively leaving no stone unturned!

And also, while starting something new or continuing the previous work, we should put the following things (which I have learned and have been learning in CUBE) in the discussion
Starting with the Plan of Work which will include the things which we are planning to do in the coming days or on the same day, Design of the Experiment/Set-up which will tell us that how is our experiment going to work exactly!, then will come to our Hypothesis which should say what do we anticipate/expect from this experiment and regardless of the result we should propose a hypothesis which we would be disproving or proving by our experiment along with cited references and cross-references from authentic authors, journals, websites, labs and universities will be helpful! and then the Procedure of the experiment.

Writing or posting this in the groups or discussing all this before performing the actual experiment is essential because someone would suggest any changes or we think that this should be done and this should not be done i.e. improvisations will be suggested which would take us a step ahead in doing it.

The most important thing would be posting regular updates with a breaking news! as @Arunan Says, if there won’t be any catchy headline, no one will be interested in reading which means that our breaking news is the bait!
These updates should include each and every detail which was observed by us because Science is very weird (for me), one day we would observe one thing, then the next day something other which tells us that something unexplored is waiting for us!

And reporting the Goof-ups which happened during the course time is essential as it would have a direct impact on our results if some mistakes will go unnoticed!



8th May 2020 Summary of the CUBE Room Webinar!

So, Nikhil Sharma from Acharya Narendra Dev College (AND College) had joined along with @G_N, @KiranyadavR, Aswathy Suresh from Nattika, Oyindril Dutta from Asansol, Abhishek from Kolenchery, @Arunan from Mumbai and myself.

So, the discussion started with Kiran asking Nikhil about his further plans on the Drosophila Model System on which he was working. He said that he is going to set traps for trapping the flies with his further plan to study the life cycle, life span and classify the fruitflies on the basis of their characteristics!

I know all these are a lot of things at once so we started step by step by asking the design of his experiment.
We came to know that he was just planning to keep one trap but CUBE doesn’t believe in keeping all the eggs in the same basket!

So, we made him understand the importance of having replicas.

Nikhil said that he will be taking plastic bottles and in that, he will be adding banana as the trap in one bottle and banana peel in the other bottle which will act as a medium too. But I asked, why two different traps?

To which he answered that he wanted to try out, how will it work?
So, we suggested that he should try both and see along with replicates and put regular updates. But GN added, there would arise a problem with the banana peel bottle. He asked what?
So, Sir said that we should find out the answer by ourselves!

We should try keeping a banana peel in an empty bottle and then close it and observe what happens over a period of time.
And GN asked, what are our expectations!
The most important thing!
To which I replied, as the bottle will be closed, there are no chances of air passing inside, so the banana peel will get dried up, it will darken, it would shrink.

Then GN asked only these many things?
I said, yes.

Then asked about something which we have been learning in our textbooks - Spontaneous Generation!
What is it?
Spontaneous Generation means something arises from nothing!
Here, the something can be fungal or any other type of invasion on the banana peel!
We can say, that earlier nothing was visible on the peel but later, there is a chance that as we are not using a sterile (free from contamination) bottle or a sterile banana peel, we can observe growth in the form of fungus and the chances of it getting inside the bottle are more from the banana peel as compared to the bottle as the banana peels are having cells from which the fungus is deriving its nutrition!

So we saw, we got a context here which was directly related to our curriculum.

Then, carrying on with our discussion, Nikhil said he wants to study the life cycle of the fruitfly for which he will need at least some flies to start with.
But the question arises, is Nikhil actually culturing fruitflies!!?
How do we confirm that the animal which we have inside the bottle is actually the ones which we are looking for!!?

Here is where Taxonomical Classification pitches in!
Classification on the basis of its characteristics!
Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species, this is the hierarchy of classification.

Crow and Fruitflies fall in the same kingdom!
What makes them different?
Their size?
Yes, but Noo.
@Arunan joked, does the difference in the height of Sir himself and Amitabh Bachchan make them fall in different species!!?

No right!!

So, what is that which makes them different?
Fruitflies and freshwater-crustacean Moina fall under the same phyla because of the presence of a segmented-body, compound eyes, jointed appendages and chitinous exoskeleton!

What makes them different?
The presence and absence of wings!

This diverges them into a totally different Order, which is Diptera for Drosophila and Branchiopoda for Moina.

Dipterans (Di- two and ptera- wings) are characterised by the presence of a pair of wings.
And Branchiopods (Branchio-something related to bronchioles of the lungs/gills and poda-feet) are characterised on the basis of the presence of gills on some of their appendages!

I have been working on Moina Model System from the past 8 months but this is when I recalled the meaning of Branchiopoda!
And this is how to further both the organisms differ in their classification!

We see that at a point, two distinctly different organisms are related!
This is too, a beauty of Science in itself where to some, taxonomy seems booooooring and to CUBists, it solves questions!!
If we develop an interest in what we work, we will be able to pass in on to others very beautifully!

And in the end, we discussed the relation between Cardamine and Drosophila!
Botany and Zoology, the offsprings of the same parent Biology, but often considered un-related, but we CUBists have an opportunity to prove that they are related!

Further, we should discuss this and also we should bring back our Nobel-Prize winning works (as much as 6 Nobel Prizes for the wandering beauty - Drosophila!) and see whether we are able to understand these works and relate them!

Please contribute and start posting regular updates as well as a summary!
@Lydia @yash_sheregare @saida786110 and others!