Journey on making more durable and stronger paint.

Hello there!

Welcome to my first post!  My journey on making more durable and stronger paint starts from here!  My name is Hae Seong Kim.  I am a rising Senior and a chemistry Major.

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The difficulties posed by 21st century testimonies in studying the Spanish Civil War

Testimonies collected from the families victimized by Franco during and after the Spanish Civil War are a crucial part of understanding the historical memory movement. I hope to continue my research focused on the difficulties that surround projects of historical memory in Spain. As we transcribe and analyze the interviews of those in Cádiz who lost family to Franco’s dictatorship, I hope to add on a new dimension to my understanding of the difficulty of preserving the memory of an era that was forced into the periphery of Spanish society. While I focused nearly exclusively on the exhumation project at La Sauceda in my research project for the study abroad program, I hope to now shift the focus of my studies to the process of gathering testimonies. As the historian Santiago Moreno pointed out to me during our interview in Cádiz, “exhuming mass graves isn’t the only part of remembering, maybe the most striking.”

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#feelinggrateful

After reading the first paper to begin my preparation for my study. My jaw dropped to the ground. My brain is doing jumping jacks trying to understand all the dense information carefully placed in published papers. After two weeks of reading papers to prepare for the lab aspect of the project, I now go Germany to make everything work. I am here in Frankfurt, arrived this morning and I will travel down to Freiburg by train to start work in the afternoon. WOOO. I will be learning, taking notes and setting up my experiment. It finally all comes together. It is really thrilling to see all that I have learned in class  in action in past papers. From the moment I learned about epigenetics in Molecular Biology, I fell in love. A big shout out to all my professors at W&M for their inspiring lectures!!!  

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Imaging Algae

I have taken my first images of the algae using the Phenom scanning electron microscope (SEM) at the Applied Research Center (ARC).  These pictures have shown that there was too much algae on the stub.  I need to be able to image a particular frustule and then return to that same individual multiple times after modifying it or examining it in another piece of equipment. In addition, I must be sure that the patterns seen on the frustule are indeed the actual structure, not a result of charging up.  Charging up is when electrons build up in a region on the surface of whatever is being imaged.  This causes the paths of the imaging electrons to be distorted and so the resulting image is skewed.  This usually shows up as static-like lines across the image or just very bright sections.  However, the effect of charging up can be much more localized so as to distort minute features, especially as the magnification is increased.  From these stubs, I did find that previously dried samples cannot be used unless they are washed and filtered significantly more.  The algae are just simply not separated from the sediments and other material.  For the same reason, centrifugation can’t be used because it creates a solid mass rather than separating.  The stubs that had algal samples that had been continuously suspended produced much better images.  These samples were cleaned using room temperature and 40C 30% hydrogen peroxide.  These cooler temperatures revealed a sample that had a larger proportion of intact frustules than previous cleanings.  These cooler temperatures allowed for new algal structures to be viewed but were not terribly effective at removing the sediments and other material that doesn’t interest us.

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