Nearing the end!

Hey everyone,

Data analysis is going great. Prof D. is teaching me how to clean the data we collected from Dot Probe Familiarity 1. I am becoming very familiar with Qualtrics and SPSS, which will be great for future research endeavors. Also, we are still getting a steady amount of participants for Dot Probe 9 and Dot Probe Familiarity 2. We only need about 10 more participants in DPF2 so hopefully we can begin data analysis on that study soon!  When we finish DPF2 we we start running particpants in DZot Probe Familiarity 3. Also as soon as the Charles Center has money again I will be applying for another award so that we can have more money to pay participants with. All seems to be going smoothly, hope everyone is having a great week.

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Preliminary Jamestown Conclusions

So, here I am. It is the last week of official summer research for 2012 and what have I accomplished? I managed to gather between 20 and 23 Jamestown groundwater samples each week for nine weeks, that amounts to roughly 200 samples! Half of the samples were analyzed for iron, arsenic and dissolved organic carbon to determine the concentrations of these species and the degree to which dissolved arsenic and iron in the early colonists’ drinking water caused or (at the very least) exacerbated illnesses recorded in historical documents. Only 2 of 119 samples analyzed for arsenic, came back with values exceeding the WHO and EPA drinking water standard of 10 parts-per-billion (ppb)  arsenic. And even still, these values were 12.2ppb and 14.5 ppb, certainly prolonged exposure to these levels of inorganic arsenic could cause skin and lung irritation, but the health affects were likely minimal for the early colonists. BUT, prolonged exposure to high levels of organic arsenic can cause nerve injury and stomachaches, and thus, there is work left to be finished. My next step is to run my samples through a UV-Digester which will liberate any organic  arsenic attached to organic compounds ( up to 90% of arsenic in waters can be attached to organic compounds), which can be potentially metabolized by the human body.

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