After 9 weeks of hard work, Williams lab’s summer research period had reached its final destination.
On Friday June 17th, Derek, Maddie, Alex and I all presented the results of our hard summer work as well as our plans for the fall semester that is coming up.
Alex gave an insightful presentation about optimizing the existing ChIP protocol, where managed to pin point the exact conditions to be used in order to be the most efficient. In addition, there were also techniques such as clearing and blocking that Alex used in order to prevent nonspecific binding to ChIP antibodies to ensure the best results possible in the fall.
Maddie and Derek gave their presentation about the amazing imaging techniques they have learned over the past weeks. In addition to the confocal images of the otolith vesicles and neuromasts that they have already worked on, they also generated SEM (Scanning electron microscope) images that can then be used in compound images with incredible detail. They also reported success with their primer design process, where they would continue investigating certain cilia gene expressions using qPCR in the fall
In terms of my own project, I presented the heat map of the genes that were considered to be statistically different across treatments as well as the 11 clusters that were generated. Many have interesting patterns and biological importance that can be interpreted within the zebrafish developmental cycle. An example would be genes that are involved in DNA repair were downregulated across time within the Nfe2 KO strain, which signals Nfe2’s participation in mediating oxidative stress.
Despite making great strides and learning a ton with our projects, there is still a long way to go. Williams lab celebrated its summer and looking forward to the fall with a fantastic lunch at Marche, a local French restaurant, where the crepes were much better than Carnegie water.