Aug 03, 2018
Meet your typical stickleback dad. My research is based on understanding how genes contribute to his behavior.
You can tell this is a male ready to become a dad because of his blue color. He also has red/orange color under his throat. Its only during the summer breeding season that he will look like this. Not all males will color up this brightly as it depends on a number of factors including the amount of light and the surrounding environment (gravel color). This particular male has improvised a nest ...
Mar 02, 2018
I have ADHD and dyslexia. It has taken me years to be comfortable openly talking about this. I think the most surprising thing to me was that the greatest obstacle was myself. Not only the ‘diversity community’ but the academic community as a whole have been very welcoming. Below are my thoughts and experiences but I realize that many have not been so fortunate as myself.
I think its important to talk openly about this. First, it helps us accept ourselves - both our strengths and weakness. Secondly, there are a lot of opportunities for those brave enough to identify themselves, especially those with non-apparent disabilities.
Jun 10, 2017
PCR is a common technique used to amplify specific regions of DNA. Put more simply, its a process that allows us to create copies of a piece of DNA. There are two main properties of PCR that we take advantage of - amplification (getting many copies) and isolation (of a single region).
If you understand the basic idea of photocopying, then you can understand PCR.
I should note that the role of PCR has changed over time and I will mostly be focusing on the current use. Additionally, there are several variants based off the standard PCR, including rt/qPCR, but those will be covered in a different post.
Why do a PCR?
Typically PCR is just a step to let us do something else with a gene or region of DNA. It is the first step in gene cloning or for things like gene editing. It can also be used ‘genotype’ an individual for a gene, i.e. figure out which specific copy of a gene someone has.
Apr 06, 2017
My image, Ethereal Expression, was included as a semi-finalist in the University of Illinois Image of Research (2017). The entries represented a diverse set of fields including Math (honorable mention) and Library and Information Science (winner). Its wonderful to see the variety of research here at the university!
Aug 10, 2016
What is the goal or what is gene cloning?
The goal is to get a single copy of the gene from an animal and into an archive. The rest is just the individual steps necessary to do this.
||Get a copy of the gene from the animal
||Put the gene in an archival format
||Ligation into a plasmid
||Make backup copies or archive it
||Confirm that the copies match the original
||Sequence the insert
||Retrieve a copy to use
What is a vector?
A vector is a small, self contained piece of DNA that can be added to an organism, typically bacteria.