Week 7: Realigning TEs with the referential sequence and finding the mutation rate

Last week, I modified the density plots by adding several horizontal lines to them. The lines indicated the average density of transposons across the chromosome and the one or two standard deviation above or below the average. This intended to figure out whether there was biased insertion and/or retention of TEs in the chromosomes. Dr. Gregory Conradi Smith sent me a matlab script with exemplary code. The code aimed to perform a statistic test to see the occurrence of biased insertion of TEs. And I was still learning to modify the code to suit for my data.

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Should We Support Museums? —Getty Week 4

I love museums. I know my title belies this, but I promise, I do! I grew up going to them: art museums, natural history museums, children’s museums, etc. I remember being about five years old and playing at a children’s museum in DC, I think in an exhibit on manholes? I can’t remember the details, but I know there was an underground component. In middle school, the First Ladies’ dresses, including Michelle Obama’s Jason Wu gown, awed me with their elegance. I have filled high school and college with trips to the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan, the Whitney, etc. Studying abroad in Paris, I attended class in the Louvre. Suffice to say, I love museums. They make me feel at home, they inspire me, they comfort me.

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Week 5 – Attachment Over Time

One of the first articles that I looked at while exploring research on attachment theory and assessment in children was published in Child Development in 2000 by Lewis, Feiring, and Rosenthal entitled “Attachment over Time.” It provides insight into how attachment has been assessed in the field. The authors had conducted an experiment that looked at the consistency of individual differences in attachment over a significant span of time. This longitudinal study began by assessing child participants first at age one, then again at age thirteen, and lastly at age eighteen. The researchers used the Strange Situation task from Ainsworth at age one, and coded participants using dichotomous variables of secure and insecure, lumping the avoidant and anxious groups together for the purposes of streamlining analysis. The final sample was made up of 84 participants with complete data.

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Hello from Winterthur, Week 5!

Hello everyone! I’m back again after an exciting weekend. On Saturday, I went with Onie, who is the editor for Winterthur’s publications and an excellent rower, up to Philadelphia to see the Independence Day Regatta. Her husband is the director of the regatta and has been for a number of years, so he took me up into the finish tower so that I could see how regatta timing works and how the officials calculate the race finishes. It was super interesting- they use stop motion video to capture the precise finishes down to the hundredth of a second! After that, we checked out the ice cream festival down in Reading Terminal Market, which was a lot of fun. On Sunday, I drove up to New Brunswick, New Jersey, to watch my brother play lacrosse at Rutgers. My parents were there too, so it was great to see them. This all seems like a ton of driving (four different states on Sunday alone!), but as I’ve learned, everything up here is super compressed so I could drive almost the whole length of New Jersey in under an hour and a half. Given that the drive time from Charleston to Columbia, South Carolina is just under two hours (and it’s not even truly halfway across the state from East to West!), it’s wild to me how far you can get in the northeast.

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Week 4 – Attachment & Family Drawings: An Overview

An important concept to the research we are conducting in the Healthy Beginnings Lab is attachment theory. I have been focusing on researching articles on this topic this past week both to aid me in developing the Video Task further, but also as background research for the thesis I will be writing in the fall semester. Attachment theory is central to the Glass Task, the experiment for which we are finishing up data collection this summer, and therefore to the Video Task (a third condition to the Glass Task in which moms and kids will communicate either via video chat or in-person). In our study, we specifically assess children’s attachment security representations through the use of family drawings, giving us a look at how they conceptualize themselves and their family (Dallaire, Ciccone & Wilson 2012). Family drawings are useful because they can provide information about how the child conceptualizes their relationship to their family members in a more general way, as the child can draw what they wish, and are not limited to the parent-child bond (Dallaire, Ciccone & Wilson 2012).

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