Albino Plants vs Parasitic Plants

One of the really neat things about doing this field research is that I’ve been able to see things that I’ve learned about in class, but that I’ve never seen in person before. Two of these are albino plants and parasitic plants that naturally lack chlorophyll.

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Experimental Plots

Both exhausting, in-the-full-Virginia-heat sampling sessions are over for the summer, so now I finally have time to talk about the interesting things I’ve learned and come across during my research this semester! For those who don’t remember my abstract, I am studying the effects that deer overpopulation is having on plant communities in the College Woods. To do this, I’m comparing the number of individuals and the types of species present in deer excluded plots versus deer open plots.

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Women/Womxn/Womyn/Wimmin/Wommin

In the course of my research on gender and sex, I have run into heated arguments about not only the use of pronouns but also gendered nouns (i.e. woman, man)– as expected.

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Further Analysis of RTHα(N359Y)

In the previous post, I addressed the ab initio folding of thyroid hormone receptor alpha and its mutant variance, RTHα through a in silico protein folding program. Today, I address the potential interactions and stability of this receptors. The fundamental challenge of of protein analysis is the complexity of its residue-residue interactions. Since the protein structure is not fully resolved, except for the Ligand Binding Domain, the initial problem was figuring out a method by which its primary sequences could be folded. This issue was resolved through an ab initio folding of the protein, which means that the folding is not dependent on the homology structures. Therefore, this type of folding does not require the use of homology structures. In a past paper addressing the stability of the Aldose Reductase, Balendiran et al utilized the B-Factor parameter to analyze the relative stability selected domains. Using this method, I grouped the amino acid sequence according to each domain and analyzed the relative stability of each domain.

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Protein Modeling of Wild-type TRs and RTH mutants

To understand and explain localization of thyroid hormone receptors, I performed an ab initio folding of the primary sequences for both the wild-type and the mutant receptors. The mutant receptor demonstrated a potential conformational change. Therefore, I overlapped the two receptors together and create a predicted model how the wild-type receptor would conformationally shift to the mutant. The conformational change occurs within the DNA-Binding Domain, which could potentially affect the binding affinity between the receptor and the thyroid response elements. The following is selected times within the animation, which should the progressive conformational changes within the DBD.

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