Blog post from James Meyo

Hello everyone,

My name is James Meyo and I am a biochemistry major from Nairobi, Kenya. I am working in the Williams lab doing research for my senior thesis which will span the entire year.

As Allison stated, we use zebrafish embryos for our research and thus have to breed the fish ourselves. Learning how to breed fish was very interesting and it is a joy to handle them. The female fish may sometimes get egg-bound and become unable to lay eggs. Egg-bound females are usually observed to have swollen bellies even though they are not spawning. This summer, Prof. Williams demonstrated to us how to gently caress the ventral side of the egg-bound females. The egg-bound females are transferred from their tanks into a solution of tricaine to anesthetize them. The fish are then scooped out and massaged softly. Stroking the belly gently in the direction of the tail fin is very effective in pushing out the eggs from the belly of the females. Once the eggs are removed, the fish are put in a recovery tank for a short period before being returned to their original tanks. This procedure is very exciting and when we did it this summer, we took a video of the whole process and made it available for your viewing.

zebrafish video

Being at Bates during the summer is a very different experience from the academic year. The weather is really amazing in Maine and reminds me of the climate in Kenya. The vegetation and landscape is also very appealing and I spend a lot of time enjoying outdoor activities.We have been very successful at organizing pick up soccer, which is a great means of interaction between Bates summer students and the community living in Lewiston. Last weekend, my colleagues and I went camping at Mt. Desert Island and had a very amazing time hiking in Acadia National Park. Some of us even did a morning hike to Cadillac Mountain to watch the sunrise.

It is an awesome experience being at Bates during the summer and I highly recommend it. That’s all for now and stay tuned!