An Introduction to Research in Microbial Ecology

Hello!

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“An Archaeology of Enslaved Bermudians,” first post

I am ECSTATIC about the opportunity the Charles Center has afforded me to pursue my research this summer. This is my first time blogging as a Charles Center Summer Research Grant recipient and I am very much looking forward to sharing my work this summer with others, as well as following the fantastic research projects of the other bloggers. Judging from the titles and introductory posts, it promises to be an exciting summer for William and Mary undergraduate research!

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Spermatogenesis mutants in C.elegans nematodes

Hello everyone,

I’m André Renaldo, a sophomore biology major. This is my first summer research and I’m pretty excited to be working in the lab. I joined Dr. Shakes’ C. elegans research lab this past semester. We work with these worms since they serve as a convenient organism for cellular studies; they’re easy to handle, they reproduce quickly and one can easily observable a temporal progression in the gonad, where germ cells start undifferentiated and undergo a great deal of genetic regulation to develop into sperm or oocyte. The cellular mechanisms at work here are very conserved through evolution and can certainly have implications into the areas of human medicine and disease treatment.

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Effect of Adolescent Nicotine Exposure on Hippocampus-Dependent Trace Conditioning

I began research in Dr. Robert Barnet’s lab as a Junior, Spring 2011 semester. Dr. Barnet’s research involves basic processes of learning and memory, and the neural basis of learning and memory.  My research will study how exposure to nicotine affects brain and cognitive function.

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Conservation of Cultural Heritage Objects

SUMMER.  Pchem problem set. SUMMER.  Ancient Israel test.  SUMMER.  These are the thoughts that have been running through my head the past few weeks.   Ever since I learned that I had received Charles Center support for summer research I’ve been ready to bring on the infamous Williamsburg heat and humidity and get started.  I have titled this project, “The Interface of Science and the Humanities:  Conservation of Cultural Heritage Objects,” and will be working under the guidance of Professor Wustholz in the Chemistry department.  For the past two semesters we have been collaborating with Shelly Svoboda of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s Paintings Conservation Department using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) as an analytical tool to identify the artist’s materials in various paintings.  The identification of these components is particularly helpful to conservators who can use the information to better preserve national treasures.  In comparison to other scientific techniques, SERS has one significant advantage; it requires mere nanograms of sample to be taken from a painting where as other methods such as High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) require milligrams of sample.  That is a difference of six orders of magnitude! 

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