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Hey Guys! I used to have this massive problem of infections where my slime mould cultures would repeatedly get infected very quickly and from the original oats in which I placed them. As a result, I have tried different methods to ensure efficient growth without bacterial infection and I'd love to share my learning experiences with you guys!! :)
First of all, the most vital thing is to either use a clean sterile area to work in or an area which is close to a bunsen burner which is left on throughout experimentation.
Secondly, it is important to flame equipment such as forceps, scalpels etc before using them to ensure that they are free of any residual bacteria.
Thirdly, oats that are to be used should also be soaked in ethanol if they are not immediately from a newly opened pack of oats. (Note that oats should also be raw rolled oats, preferably organic as I have found them to grow better) Soak the oats in ethanol solution for about 1 to 2 minutes before removing the oats and leaving them to dry on a sterilised tile near the bunsen burner. Leave these oats to dry for about 15 minutes and ensure that they are completely dry by attempting to set alight a piece of oat. If it sets alight immediately, it is likely still saturated with ethanol and I suggest leaving the oats out for longer to dry off.
Lastly, if clean sterile distilled water is not readily available, a way to sterilise the water used is either to boil or autoclave the water. Also, pipettes ought to be rinsed out at least once before use.
That's all the tips I have for this. Hope they helped. :) Feel free to leave any comments on any other ways of stopping those pesky bacterial infections.