Chalk Talks and Mutations

Though I’ve heard bits and pieces about a variety of people’s research projects throughout the past five weeks, I haven’t heard them described in as much detail as they were during the chalk talks. Therefore, I found it really interesting to hear the diversity of fields that our projects covered, from plants models to animal models and genetics to engineering, yet there were definitely some common threads present. This week has really shown me how one field can branch into so many questions, yet so many different fields can also converge into one question (if that makes any sense).

One chalk talk that I really enjoyed listening to was Demi’s, for two major reasons (but not the only reasons!):

  1. The genome is a really interesting subject, and the ability to study its self-repair mechanisms and the functions of the genes within it always amazes me.
  2. We learned about a lot of these concepts in BIO201 (mutagenesis, DNA mismatch repair, cytosine deamination, etc.) and it’s refreshing to learn about real research involving them (also without being tested on it).

Demi’s project involves a transition mutation in the gene CAN1 in yeast and how the strand bias of the mutation significantly increases after removing the DNA mismatch repair mechanism. The driving question is what exactly causes this bias?

I’ll be looking forward to see in the upcoming weeks as to whether her results support either hypothesis (a polymerase causing mutations during replication or a stronger consensus sequence for a cytosine deaminase) and if any broader generalizations can be drawn from the research!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *