Our second calendar year and it has been a busy one. Highlights of the year include
In 2019 our first scientific papers will appear about how BashTheBug is helping the CRyPTIC project create an accurate dataset of the antibiotic susceptibility of thousands of clinical TB samples collecting around the globe and how we can use this to infer what genetic variation confers resistance. Watch this space!
BashTheBug is a small part of the new exhibition, Bacterial World, at the Museum of Natural History, University of Oxford which was launched a week ago on Friday 19 October and runs until 28 May 2019.
Gemma Hall has crocheted a woolly bug in the process of being bashed! Love it.
If anyone wants to craft any bugs, whether being bashed or not, we’d be very happy to post images and Tweet about it!
Thanks to the hard work and persistence of all our volunteer scientists, BashTheBug reached one million classifications around noon on Tuesday 2 October!
In total, we’ve done 974,283 classifications. Which means ONE MILLION isn’t too far away.
Two weeks ago exactly, I posted a small update on how we were doing; how classifications had been done by our volunteers etc. Then three days later, on Thu 9 August, the Zooniverse team sent a short email about BashTheBug to all the registered Zooniverse users.
Until now we have simply sent all the images of each M. tuberculosis sample growing on each and every of the 14 antibiotics out to be classified by the citizen scientists. A while ago we realised that some images are “easy” in the sense that all the volunteers we show it to all give exactly the same answer. So, with a bit of work behind the scenes, we’ve written some computer code that can detect where the wells are in each image and then measure the amount of growth in each well. Now, it is isn’t perfect; it can be confused by small amounts of growth and artefacts like air bubbles and shadows, but it does mean we can confidently filter out the relatively easy images, thereby allowing us to only send the more challenging cases to you, our volunteers.
It has been a while since I updated everyone on how BashTheBug is going.
If you want to know about how BashTheBug is helping tackle tuberculosis and fits into the international CRyPTIC research project, listen to this podcast by OxfordSparks where you can hear interviews with Philip Fowler as well as the leading BashTheBug volunteer, ElisabethB.
Check out the work of my friend Lucy Turner who has created some textile designs based on various tuberculosis objects (if you look carefully you can see some based on the 96-well plates we classify).