“There Are No Endings, Only New Beginnings”

This summer has been a great experience for me. Not only did I begin my own project in the lab, but I also gained an amazing amount of experience that many undergraduates are unable to experience before graduation. It’s surprising to reflect back to the days before I started the summer and see how much I’ve learned.

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The Progress of My Research

So far, my research has gone quite well. The first task at hand was to repeat the experiment outlined in a thesis written ten years ago by a former member of the lab. This would standardize the results from the experiments that my project is based upon. Also, this assures that the chemicals I’m using give the same or similar results as those used years ago.

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Adventures in Frog Care (aka “The Princess and the Frog” in Real Life)

Once a week, my fellow lab members and I have the task of cleaning out the frog tanks. Although this is a simple chore everyone must do, it takes some time. For me however, it was quite an experience.

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Strike a Pose: Imaging and Cell Counting

The next step in the process of determining the effects of treatment on neural development is to visually count the cells in the developing nervous system. To do this, DAPI stained sections are imaged. From those images, a program counts the cells in the developing nervous system.

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Do You Want to Section Embryos? : The Pros and Cons of Paraffin Sectioning

Before the summer began, I created a stockpile of treated embryos. These embryos, which underwent chemical treatment to impair the cell cycle of the developing neural tissue, were fixed, dehydrated, and stored until needed for further procedures.

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