The PEE Machine

The image below shows the PEE Machine – the Programmable Experimental Evolution Machine which I have developed together with Johannes Brennecke (pictured) and Till Bachmann from Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine, U. of Edinburgh.

The machine simulates urinary tract infections (UTIs) and runs on (surprise surprise) pee, which Johannes painstakingly collects every week from volunteers.

The computer (not shown) controls pumps (little grey cylinders) that inject appropriate amounts of urine and antibiotics to one of four replicate “bladders” which are just small glass vials. This models antibiotic treatment of UTIs: each vial is seeded with a small number of bacteria, and the concentration of the antibiotic changes in a pre-programmed way to mimic that in a patient with an UTI.

In the photo Johannes can be seen attaching “fresh” bottles of urine to the tubes that lead urine to the pumps.

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