Thursday, July 1, 2010

Nearing the End

Our program has almost reached conclusion now, and things are starting to wind down. Our program instructor, Mrs. Hall, has begun to prepare us for our final projects, all of which will test our skills that we have acquired over the last two weeks.

The first part of our finals includes the customary final exam. So far, all of the quizzes that we have taken have been easy and not very challenging, but the final exam could be dicey if she decides to be very technical. The material we have covered is deep and intense, but I think that we are capable of mastering this content before the test because we have a chance to cover it all during the next week, and most of the content is reviewed in the labs that we do.

The second part of our final projects is to summarize a full-length scientific article from a reputable scientific journal. I will be summarizing the paper "Genes and Addiction", which discusses the effects of genes on addictive activities of individuals, and the differences between genetic predisposition to addiction and environmental factors that affect addiction. It's interesting, in that it makes one think about why people become addicted to drugs, and it gives another approach to helping cure addiction.

The third and final part of our final projects will be the most difficult. We are given plasmid GPF, and we have to stop expression of the gene GPF, which codes for ampicillin resistance and bright green florescence under blue light. We have to make recombinant DNA that is still pGPF, but that has the gene GPF blocked. We do so by cutting apart the pGPF with restriction enzymes, and then substituting in a gene as a replacement for the GPF gene. The most exciting part about this final project is that we have a lot of flexibility and freedom to do accomplish the task in any way we please, in that we can substitute any gene we wish and we can cut anywhere we are capable of cutting. The challenge is in knowing what to cut and why. Much like the rest of life, DNA Biotechnology is all about making connections between concepts, and connecting them to real life applications. The application of all the concepts that we have learned is summed up in this last project, and it will truly test our mettle.

1 comment:

  1. That class sounds so cool. I wish I were making recombinant DNA. Good luck on your final project!