This week, I had the opportunity to listen to everyone give a chalk talk about their project. It was nice to understand details about their project, such as Alzheimer’s, and DMD instead of thinking, okay he works in an x,y,z lab. Additionally, I enjoyed how everyone was able to present such complex topics in a short amount of time in a way that was easy to follow.
As someone who attended the NC Zoo school, I had the opportunity to go into the zoo on a daily basis. If time allowed me to, I enjoyed going to the African side of the NC Zoo to watch the chimpanzees and baboons. When Christine presented the idea that both the highest ranking (alpha) and lowest ranking baboon experiences the same amount of stress, but it might be due to a different kind of stress I was all for it. Over the summer she is planning to answer the question, “Do alpha baboons and low ranking baboons experience different stressors?”. She is planning to look at energetic stressors, so she will analyze a thyroid hormone(1), T3, in a wide range of baboon fecal samples. Another thing that caught my attention about the presentation, was the fact that there was a significant decrease in stress from the alpha to the second rank baboon (beta). Finally, it was great to learn the behind the scenes of this research project. She talked about how they have an area in Kenya and scientists in Kenya watching the baboon’s behavior (looking for changes in rank), collecting the samples, and shipping them back to Duke for analysis.
This is an amazing project and I can not wait to see the outcome of this project and other projects on July 27, during the poster presentation.
Next week, I will provide a glimpse into my daily routine (A day in the life).
1-thyroid hormones allow you to indirectly measure energetic stress because it is based on changes in metabolism.