Getting ready

I leave for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in exactly five weeks and still have a lot to do.

Here’s a quick list:

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The function of proteins in the development of germline stem cells in fruit flies


My name is Matthew Badgett and this summer I am going to be working in Dr. Wawersik’s lab. I will be looking at the function of proteins in the development of germline stem cells in fruit flies. Stem cell populations have the potential to differentiate into different cell types while some cells are maintained as stem cells. This process is controlled by asymmetric cell division where cellular components are unevenly distributed between the two daughter cells. One of those cells remains a stem cell to continue the line while the other differentiates into a specific cell type, in this case sperm. This project will examine the function of a select few proteins in the establishment of the stem cell populations in male embryos. This will be done through either knocking out or mutating a number of genes that transcribe the proteins. The development of the stem cell populations will be monitored through immunostaining of a few proteins that are indicative of cell type. The results of this study can be used to determine what factors are necessary to establish a stem cell population which could be later applied in humans to create stable stem cell populations that could be used for medical techniques.

Yay phage!


April 26,2010

This summer is going to be exciting!
My project is titled, “Inquiry into the Duration of Infectivity of Bacteriophage in Soil”. (If the title does not get you pumped for this blog, you might need to check your pulse but I digress. )
So what does this mean?
Well, this summer I will being attempting to find out if soil phage actually survive longer and how (tentative on the how). Since soil phage do not have any known way to actively persue their hosts, they should have longer infectivity phases. A longer infectivity phase would allow the soil phage a greater opportunity to actually find a host and lyse it.
To determine whether a soil phage’s period of infectivity is longer than that of its aquatic counterpart, I would create microcosms. The microcosms would allow me to determine the infectivity of a phage virus in a controlled manner and over a period of time.
There are more details to come.
Stay tuned to hear about this exciting experiment!

The Southern Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus)- the Enigmatic Decline Continues?

Hi, I’m Anikó Tóth, and I’m working in Dr. Micancin’s lab this summer on a project involving amphibian decline. Enigmatic amphibian decline is a phenomenon that is observed around the world, and it refers to the loss of species in habitats that are undisturbed or suitable for their survival.  Most of the public attention surrounding this problem has been focused around the decline of charismatic frog species in exotic locations.  The declines of common species in the United States have not received as much attention, even though, from a biological perspective, the declines of common species are just as, if not more, worrisome.

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Social Learning and Alcohol – Post 1

Hello everyone,

My name is Amir Arsalan, and I’m currently a junior (rising senior) at the College. I’m majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Finance. This summer I will be working with Dr. Pamela Hunt. Our research looks at the type of learning that occurs in rats through pre-adolescent social interactions involving alcohol cues.

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