Only one more week! Post by Katie Paulson ’15
The JAXfit 5K was this past weekend!
Sophie, Nabil, and I, along with many other members of the MDIBL community, drove over to Jackson Lab to run the 5K on Saturday morning. It was a fun event and we were all happy to start our day off with a good run. Also, during the middle of the race I saw a baby deer cross the road! I think I have seen more deer on my morning or evening runs this summer than I have my whole life. The wild life on Mount Desert Island is incredible. I’ve been keeping a running list of animals I’ve seen this summer. In addition to so many deer I’ve lost track, it includes a turtle, starfish, two bald eagles, a snake, crabs, porpoises, a jellyfish, a fox, and several loons.
We have been working hard to put together some dose response curves for our chemicals. Unfortunately, we learned that Diquat has a half-life of 48 hours in water, and this is likely why we have not been seeing the results we expected from the Diquat exposure tests. Most of the work we have done this week has been focused on tBOOH and tBHQ, because those are two chemicals where we have been seeing some results. The student symposium is early next week and we hope to have enough data for our poster presentation. In addition to working on our poster, this week we have each started working on our final papers.
On Wednesday we performed dissections on a group of female zebrafish. We separated out each of the organs into tubes so that later RNA extraction can be performed and students can look at where in the zebrafish genes are being expressed in adult organs. Sometimes it was hard to find some of the organs, but we definitely got better at recognizing them as we went, and I feel like it was a great skill for us to gain. Next week we’ll dissect the males!
Also this week we had two different events. One was responsible conduct of research (RCR) training, required of us by MDIBL, and the other was an annual meeting and luncheon held for the board members, trustees, and all other members of the MDIBL community. My other job for the week was to design Williams Lab t-shirts. I don’t often get to use my artistic skills, so when I have the opportunity to do something crafty I love it! We put a zebrafish on the back and a green crab on the front, so we’ve included our friends from the Disney Lab who we have been collaborating with this summer!
As we come up to our final week here at MDIBL I am starting to reflect on the summer. Unfortunately, we have faced a number of challenges and have maybe not collected as much data as I would have hoped. From these challenges, though, I have learned a lot about experimental design. We were really pushed to think through the problems facing us and come up with a logical solution. I am also grateful for the extra projects we have been involved in (such as eel grass collection and grid tying, green crab DNA extraction, and zebrafish dissection), the events we have been able to participate in (such as the bio-entrepreneurship course, the bioethics seminar at JAX, the family science night, and the art meets science event), the beautiful scenery around us, and the wonderful relationships I’ve built. Thanks to Larissa and MDIBL for a fantastic eight weeks!