My only class for the day was Biochemical Engineering. We had a couple of demonstrations scheduled using a fermentor of about 10 L E. coli. Only one of them worked. “I am so sad now,” the TA kept saying, because he had put a lot of work into growing up so much E. coli.
It was still interesting, however, to see one of the demonstrations work and also to see how much babying the culture needed–while the professor was lecturing a valve blew off because cells had burst during the oxygen-deprived ride over from the lab and this caused foaming…the TA had to run back to the lab to get antifoam. As it turned out the second demonstration failed to work because the professor had turned off the cooling water when a hose was leaking and forgot to turn it on again. The cells were getting hot and “angry” during lecture, causing the a bad odor along with the demonstration failure.