Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Processing your samples

  1. Your sample arrives with us.
  2. We centrifuge the sample at a low speed (4000 rpm) to get rid of big things, like cells and sand.
  3. We then transfer the sample to a tube for a really fast centrifuge to make the viruses go to the bottom of the tube. This takes a whole night.
  4. The viruses from your water are now at the bottom of the tube. We remove most of the water from the top and mix the viruses with a little bit of the water that's left.
  5. Now we have to make it ready to go into the microscope. To go into the electron microscope we have to put the samples on a 3 mm support called a grid. The grid is made of copper with a very very thin layer of plastic on it. The viruses will sit on top of the plastic.
  6. Next we put stain on top of the viruses. The stain is necessary because otherwise we would not be able to see the viruses (see How does electron microscopy work?)
  7. Now (finally!) we can look for viruses!
  8. We will take pictures of the sample and add them to the images you can analyse on zooniverse.