By Saida Sayyed15th September 2021
When the lockdown was imposed last year, many students working under the CUBE program of Kishore Bharati lost access to their school and college labs. It seemed that their project work would halt as long as the lockdown sustained. However, these students quickly rose to the challenge, and innovated what they today call the Home Labs. Yes, they turned their homes into labs. Innovations have always been a part of the CUBE culture. For example, even since before the lockdown students, though having access to their school/college labs, preferred to use a pressure cooker for sterilizing their culture media instead of using the sophisticated lab instrument, the autoclave. Instead of feeding Moina its usual diet of bacteria, students established a self-sustaining ecosystem for the crustacean by adding milk in de-chlorinated water to nourish bacteria to feed Moina.
However, the lockdown demanded a new set of innovations to make it happen with all the things available to them at home. In place of the Standard Cornmeal Agar, a culture medium for growing fruit-flies and which can be made using the analytical grade ingredients available in a lab, students innovated the Tomato-Rava-Sugar-Vinegar (TRSV) medium using kitchen ingredients and on which the fruit flies grow equally well. They used potato to isolate and culture nematodes instead of the usual agar medium made in a a lab. With no access to the lab microscope, students innovated phone microscopy to be able to identify fruitflies.
The National Annual Meet was a celebration of a period of more than six months of such students continuing on their project work at home. Students from across the country shared their Home lab work in the meet. Know in full detail at: