Myofiber Type Specificity of Sarcopenia- Introduction

Hello! I am a rising senior here at William and Mary, and I will be working in Professor Deschenes’ Cellular and Biochemistry lab this summer. I will be investigating sarcopenia, or the loss of muscle mass due to aging, in rat muscles. I will be looking at whether certain muscles are more prone to sarcopenia than others, by seeing if a loss in muscle mass is global in nature, or if specific muscles are more susceptible to atrophy than others. Myofiber type compositions will be compared between the slow twitch heavily recruited Soleus muscle versus the fast twitch, less active Extensor Digitorum Longus muscle. This will let us examine whether different fiber type compositions affect the rate of sarcopenia, as well as whether muscles with different recruitment patterns will display a different level of protection from a loss in muscle mass. Sarcopenia causes numerous healthcare issues among the elderly, so further examination of loss of muscle could potentially help decrease these complications and diseases linked to sarcopenia among the elderly. I look forward to sharing my experiences doing this research with you all over the summer!

Introduction- Post #1

Hello readers,

My name is Adryan Flores and I am a rising sophomore here at the College of William and Mary. I am doing research in Professor Heideman’s lab this summer under the Chappell Fellowship. My research has to do with the variation in reproductive strategies between wild and lab  mice. As it turns out, there are specific photoperiodic effects as to when mice are reproductively active or inactive. Mice that exhibit this photoperiodicity are reproductively inactivated  during the winter months–when the days are shorter. This ability to turn off and on based on the length of the day is genetically inherited, and our lab maintains populations of mice selected for their photoperiodic response. The problem with the lab populations is that the mice in captivity are in drastically different environment than the mice in the wild. Lab mice have unlimited food, no predators, and a warm place to stay at all times. The genetic reaction to these conditions may serve detrimental as a means of using the mice as a model organism if it drastically changes the way that lab mice exhibit specific neuroendocrine pathway reactions compared to the wild. Therefore, I will catch wild-mice and compare them to our lab population by measuring the number of GnRH neurons in the brain. These neurons allow for the secretion of the reproductive hormone GnRH. Therefore, the quantity of neurons in the brain are indicative of reproductive state. The results will hopefully demonstrate the photoperiodic variation between lab mice and wild-caught mice.

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What Makes us Feel Sorry for Them?

Hi all, my name is Isaiah Thomas. I am from Virginia Beach, and I’m a freshman working on psychology research with Professor Cheryl Dickter. I am also a William and Mary Scholar. My study aims to determine if the sympathy conveyed in an implicit task for a criminal is affected by the type of crime, racial stereotypicality , and race of a criminal. This research project is a follow-up study to research currently being conducted by Professor Cheryl Dickter in which she is trying to determine if sympathetic news reports generate greater feelings of sympathy toward white criminals.

Of Mice and Twamps

Hi readers – I’m Casey.  A rising junior at the College, declared Biology major, hopeful Math minor, member of the varsity cross country and track team, proud TWAMP and enthusiastic mouse researcher.  Through this blog, I hope to convey the scientific aspect of my research in Professor Paul Heideman’s Lab of Evolutionary Physiology and the exciting, exasperating and everything in between aspects of “doing science.”

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TRAPped: The History on and Effects of Reproductive Health Legislation in Virginia

Hi, everyone! My name is Lillian Singer, and as of this blog post, I am a rising junior at William & Mary. I am a public health major and music minor, and I hope that through this blog, I am able to document research that is just as much a hybrid of my interests as my academic pursuits are.

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