Time, Time, Time

See what’s become of me ๐Ÿ™‚ … Simon and Garfunkel? I might be singing to the wrong crowd here. But oh heavens, the time is slipping by! I remember at the start of this quarter I was thinking “Oh, 14.5 units and only two science classes, I’ll have such a relaxing quarter!” … Well, I didn’t factor in the fact I’m taking two writing requirements, or that the reader for my History of Africa class is over 600 pages (plus a novel, plus whatever reading is needed for extra sources in a research paper). Oh heavens. I’m quite busy, but very happy ๐Ÿ™‚

In my Writing for Science and Technology class, I’m writing a paper that ties together everything I’ve learned from Sarah and Blair, as well as from Dave’s Field Studies class, and it wasn’t until I tried to organize an outline that I realized just how much information I’ve gone through in the last year! Right now my rough outline looks like this:

  1. An Introduction to the Basic Ideas of Marine BioGeoChemistry
    1. Marine Microbes
    2. Geology of Marine Sediment
    3. Ocean Chemistry and Reduction Towers
  2. Microbes and Methane
    1. Aerobic Microbes
    2. Anaerobic Microbes and Sulfate Reducers
  3. Metagenomic Profiling and the Bacterial Species Problem
  4. Viral Roles in Gene Transfer Among Microbes
    1. How Viral Gene Transfer Works
    2. How Viral Gene Transfer Influences Microbial Evolution
  5. Sequencing Techniques
    1. From Sediment to Sequence
    2. 16S rRNA sequencing vs. pmoA gene sequencing
    3. Costs, Challenges and Considerations
  6. Conclusion
    1. Future Experiments with Isotope Labeling
    2. Future Uses for Bioremediation
It’s only vague ideas right now and I’m sure as I get into the writing part I’ll realize there are more things I need to explain, but it’s still expansive! Research with Blair is proceeding as usual. As of last week, I have officially done all of the steps to prepare a sample for sequencing! And approximately half of it alone, too. I’ve also been randomly helping Suvi with her work while waiting for processes to run, and have discovered a kindred spirit in our mutual love for quirky socks, creative cooking and eclectic jazz.ย In my future I see more sequencing, and trying to find a computer program that does everything we need it to do. I seem to remember my first post was about this, and Blair telling me that it doesn’t exist. Currently though, Blair has something that looks promising. I’m also going to be proposing an individual research project for the upcoming cruise in September. Exciting!
Hope you’ve managed to take some time to enjoy all this spring sunshine ๐Ÿ™‚
Posted in 2010-2011, EUREKA

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Alex Iteen is a second year student majoring in Biology. He is interested in bioengineering and synthetic biology. He is currently working in Dr. Fygenson's lab on DNA nanotubes.
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