RSP Reflections 2011 sites.duke.edu/dukersp

RSP Reflections 2011
Brain Serotonin & Response to Antidepressant Drugs

Depression & the Serotonin System Depression is one of the leading causes for disability WORLDWIDE. There are currently 121 million people worldwide who are affected by depression. Only 25% — ¼ — of those individuals have proper access to effective treatment for the disease. THEN, of that 25% of depressed patients, only about 60 to […]

Trehalose, Trehalase, and Cryptococcus neoformans

I am studying the enzyme trehalase and its effect on trehalose in mutant Crypotococcus fungal cells. Cryptococcus is a fungus that has a tendency to produce meningoencephalitis in immunocompromised hosts. Trehalose is a disaccharide that helps the fungus to survive by increasing its resistance to heat and preventing the denaturation of important proteins. Trehalase is […]

Thin Films!

My mentor, Joshua Dijksman, is exploring the properties of thin films. I have been occupied with learning all the technical skills needed to perform in the lab, mainly the laboratory software, Labview. I currently am learning how to use the digital camera and its corresponding computer software in the lab set-up and how to calibrate […]

Research Summary: Charles Fang

My current project is to see if High throughput screening can be used to detect the binding activity of certain genes in the fungal genome. The process involves using PCR to express and amplify the Cpa1 gene with GFP tag. Then to PCR clone the gene, which will then be placed in an expression vector […]

Work with Ferns

Like Carmen, I am also working in the Pryer Fern Lab, so the work we are doing is very similar. I am also in the process of working to identify a hybrid fern species, but the species I am working with is a Cheilanthes eatonii x Cheilanthess covillei hybrid. Cheilanthes eatonii is a beautiful fern […]

Neel Nath–Research Update

My mentor, Dr. McGaugh, focuses on how genetic inversions in fruit flies leads to speciation.  She uses DNA sequencing data from different species of fruit flies to identify the presence of genetic inversions.  Thus far, I have been helping Dr. McGaugh run some PCRs and have been learning some other techniques, but have not yet […]

The Role of Enteroendocrine Cells in the Gut

My mentor Diego Bohorquez and I have been working together every day since RSP started. In attempt to understand the role of different enteroendocrine cells on processes in the gut, such as nutrient absorption and communication with the nervous system, we have created mini-guts and stained slides of parts of mice guts to find the […]

Deletion of a Gene Coding for a Specific Enzyme in Yeast

My mentor is currently investigating DNA repair and Mitotic Recombination in Yeast. My mentor and I are in the process of deleting a gene coding for a specific enzyme in Yeast. The ultimate goal is to observe the effect this deletion presents to DNA repair and Mitotic Recombination in yeast. This enzyme that my mentor […]

Neurological Changes Due to Binge Alcohol Exposure

While I haven’t been working in the laboratory yet, I now have a greater understanding of the bureaucracy and paperwork that is ever present in scientific research. I have been filling out online quizzes, forms, fingerprinting documents and even more online forms for the past few weeks just so I could gain access to the […]

Neural crest cells in cardiovascular development

I am working with Dr. Anna Keyte in the Kirby Lab in the Pediatrics Department and studying heart as well as craniofacial development. Heart defects are among the most common birth defects, and a large proportion of congenital heart disorders are neural crest-related developmental defects. The neural crest cells are a transient, migratory cell population […]