Processing your samples
- Your sample arrives with us.
- We centrifuge the sample at a low speed (4000 rpm) to get rid of big things, like cells and sand.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?)
- Now (finally!) we can look for viruses!
- We will take pictures of the sample and add them to the images you can analyse on zooniverse.