Growing up

This quarter has really flown by. I cannot believe it is already May!

Since my last blog so much has happened in my research lab! The experiments using the Cdk5 and GSKβ kinase inhibitor ___ significantly reduced neurofibrillary tangles in 3xTg mice. I have never seen the CA1 region of the hippocampus so black and empty of fluorescent tagged PHF1 stain. Our controls injecting 3xTg mice with PEG (the hydrophobic vehicle for ___) displayed more tangles than we have ever observed. These controls allow us to conclude that the compound does in fact clear the cells of the phosphorylated tau recognized by PHF1 antibody.

Overall, we have identified methylene blue and celastrol as Hsp70 and Hsp90 inhibitors, respectively, that increase histological observation of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. In addition, we now know that in contrast, ___ will reduce the observation of NFTs by inhibiting phosphorylation of tau.

This ability to manipulate the levels of NFTs displayed histologically will enable us to correlate NFT levels with different mechanisms of protein degradation utilized by the cell and eventually identify which process has gone awry in diseased neurons. In addition, we will perform experiments to observe other biological markers of DNA damage in correlation with levels of NFTs. I will not bore you with all the details of the project proposal I have outlined for the next year and a half, but rather I will write on here how those projects go as they are completed.

On a personal note, I am so happy that Monday has passed! This morning I had my Organic Chemistry exam that is officially my LAST OCHEM MIDTERM EVER!!! 🙂

Just the final to go!

I also turned in the application to the scholarship I have been working on for about a month now. It was hard to finally submit the packet – I realized that the copy that left my hands was really the final draft. No more changes or revisions! Well, now the waiting begins.

My little sister turned 14 yesterday. We are nearly six years apart and so the age gap prevented us from fighting too much when we were younger. She came back to UCSB with me for three days last week, and I cannot believe how much she has matured just since I have been away at college. I am feeling old.

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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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