Rock saws, epoxy, and stereonets: Creating a baseline to work with

The learning curves for this project haven proven to be steep this first week, but not nearly as steep as the grungy desert outcrop surface I had to scramble up to collect my samples in the first place.  The past 5 days in research have brought me face to face with a number of techniques and methods I’ve encountered in the literature over the past semester in preparation for this project, but am just now putting to use. A great deal of time this past week has been spent prepping my samples, while also familiarizing myself with the processes and practicing my methods.

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Summer Week 1


We are nearing the end of the first full week of summer research, and the lab is doing wonderfully. Despite some setbacks of having the wrong materials in order to start a couple projects, we are still getting a lot done. The new members of the lab are also enjoying their time, but are slowly learning that the science only works about half the time.

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Biochemical Modeling: Choosing the Path(way)

Happy Friday! The first week and a half of summer research have been chock-full of information as I’m reading previous studies in the literature and trying to piece together errant pathways from exciting gene databases and benchwork results. As I grow increasingly immersed in the shifting landscape of molecular and biochemical research, I must constantly remind myself to see the big picture: how do amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia (ALS-FTD) develop and progress in the body? As well exhibited in the graphic below, there seem to be a thousand and one possible pathways that light the fire and initiate the disease (aka the pathogenesis). And while it is certainly possible (and pretty likely) that several different problems lead to the same issue(s), I’m searching for some underlying themes that connect these cases of life-altering disease.

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