Update into my research for the summer of 2014

Hello All!

Time for an update into my research for this summer. As a brief reminder, I am conducting research on Bisphenol A (BPA) to ultimately determine whether it has an effect within our bodies. BPA is known as an endocrine disrupter, and one of the reasons that it is receiving such world-wide attention is because it is a monomer of polycarbonate plastics. Meaning it is part of what is used to make plastics, such as plastic water bottles; because of this, it can easily leach from the plastics that we use to contain our food and drinks and enter into our food and drinks. Leaching of BPA into the plastics that we use can be caused by several factors, such as exposure to heat or radiation. As a result, human exposure to BPA is thought to be ubiquitous. To test BPA’s effects within our bodies, I am exposing cells to varying concentrations of BPA to determine which concentration of BPA begins to disrupt the cells ability to take in hormones. After experimentation with concentrations that are above what have been already used in the scientific literature, I have found that BPA does seem to disrupt cells ability to take in hormones. However, I am not yet sure as to whether it may be due to nonspecific cell integrity, or specifically BPA. I am currently conducting experiments with different concentrations of BPA to test this uncertainty in specificity.

Also, my lab environment is wonderful. To conduct good research, I believe that you must have a good lab environment. So far, other members in my lab are very helpful towards one another and are willing to give advice when needed. I am fortunate to be in such a lab!

-Thank you for reading!