Making Progress!

Hi everyone,

After a few weeks of work, things are starting to really come together. After a lot of redos, all of the EDL muscles have been stained and measured. The staining of the Soleus muscles are still a work in progress. Last week, we got our new camera installed (the one before was a demo), so crossing our fingers, it looks like all of the equipment glitches we ran into at the beginning of summer have been taken care of, which will be handy for the start of the fall semester research. The beginning of the summer is usually full of a lot of bumps, but at this point we are all in the swing of things. We’ve also been working on cleaning up the lab to take inventory and getting rid of a lot of old chemicals that haven’t been used in years.

Start of the Summer

After a few weeks of settling in, I think I’ve finally gotten into the groove of things. The summer started out with a broken computer, which was unfortunate because it meant the data from the muscle staining wasn’t able to be measured with our old computer program. However, we got a new computer last week, so I’ve spent the past week learning how to use the new data collection program and setting up a new template. Other than that, everything is going pretty smoothly. We got new antibodies for some of the fiber types, which will hopefully make the staining of the muscles more effective. Lately, I’ve been staining the Soleus control muscles, which has been going reasonably well.

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┬ásusceptible┬áto 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!