Day 3- Student’s Reactions

 

Patricia Pace

Wow! It feels like we’ve been here a month already! I am learning so much every day. Today Dr Najar came and spoke to us about DNA sequencing. I was quite surprised to learn that DNA is not sequenced in order, and it is a sort of puzzle they fit together after identifying the nucleotides. The Cecil Lewis, Jr came and spoke regarding evolution. I really enjoyed his lecture. He provided some interesting information on population genetics and nucleotide diversity. I loved his saying, “The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math”. His lecture was fun and informative. We took a break for lunch. After lunch we processed some samples from the duck pond. Sushma, Judith and I used the liquid obtained from the upper duck pond to make SRB MPN tubes, overlay plates, and the formalin sample for the experiments. We also made a slurry from compost at the Norman Landfill, and used this to start an experiment for biodegradation of phenol compounds. Unfortunately, the concentration was much too high and we had to abandon that project for now. Tomorrow we plan on using the leachate we obtained Monday at the landfill to complete the biodegradation of phenol compounds project. It was a fun day, and passed very quickly. I am looking forward to tomorrow. We have a couple of lectures in the morning and in the afternoon we get to start Molecular Biology!

Jeremiah White

Today had some intriguing lectures on gene sequencing and genetics.  Dr. Fares Najar’s presentation on Sequencing Technologies and their Application introduced the group to the processes and history, processes, and methods of gene sequencing. The technology allows for deciphering of new genomes and has many more significant applications.  Dr. Cecil Lewis, Jr. lectured shortly after.  His presentation on Race, Genetics, and Health was extremely interesting.  It covered population genetics, forces of evolution, levels of diversity, and enthralling topics on human evolution.

Brandon Denton

We started the day off with a presentation by Dr. Fares Najar titled “Sequencing Technologies and their Applications”.  This presentation included detailing a comparison and contrast of the Sanger and Pyrosequencing methods of sequencing. It was very interesting, informative, and full of information.   Dr. Cecil Lewis gave the second presentation over population genetics that included a genetic trace of humans and gave results that showed a common ancestry to sub Saharan Africa.  I found one particular question very interesting.  Is sickle cell anemia an evolutionary adaptation for a resistance to malaria? He showed that populations in Africa with a high rate of malaria also have a high rate of persons with sickle cell anemia who are resistant to malarial infection.  We broke for lunch and then returned and took a trip to the OU duck pond to take soil and water samples.  We then inoculated several different types of growth media with samples taken from the duck pond and compost from the landfill in order to enumerate and eventually isolate various types of microbes including cellulose degrading anaerobes.  Very interesting day and things are starting to click and overhead light bulbs are getting brighter.   I can’t wait for data!

Judith Zounon

We started the day off with a presentation by Dr. Fares Najar titled “Sequencing Technologies and their Applications”.  This presentation included detailing a comparison and contrast of the Sanger and Pyrosequencing methods of sequencing. It was very interesting, informative, and full of information.   Dr. Cecil Lewis gave the second presentation over population genetics that included a genetic trace of humans and gave results that showed a common ancestry to sub Saharan Africa.  I found one particular question very interesting.  Is sickle cell anemia an evolutionary adaptation for a resistance to malaria? He showed that populations in Africa with a high rate of malaria also have a high rate of persons with sickle cell anemia who are resistant to malarial infection.  We broke for lunch and then returned and took a trip to the OU duck pond to take soil and water samples.  We then inoculated several different types of growth media with samples taken from the duck pond and compost from the landfill in order to enumerate and eventually isolate various types of microbes including cellulose degrading anaerobes.  Very interesting day and things are starting to click and overhead light bulbs are getting brighter.   I can’t wait for data!

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