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Reflection - proposal

Submitted by vthong on Thu, 12/14/2017 - 16:19

            I thought that writing the proposal was a good learning experience because I didn’t think so much work and thought had to be put into completing the assignment. After our group decided that we wanted to do planarian head regeneration in different environments, I thought that writing the research design for the proposal would be easy because I understood how thorough we had to be in writing out the steps to carry out the project in our proposal. On the other hand, writing the abstract was most unfamiliar to me because initially I was not too sure what a good abstract looked like. The same applied for writing the specific aims. I did not know what would have been considered writing too much. While our group worked through writing the proposal, we were unsure of whether or not we did a good job, and we wished there was a proposal for us to reference off of. Nonetheless, once the proposal was complete, I really felt like we fully understood why and how we wanted to do our project. The proposal made us think about the project in a way that was more than just completing the assignment, which is why I thought it was a good learning experience.

AAK Lab

Submitted by vthong on Thu, 12/14/2017 - 12:41

Through classification tests and determining its melting point, unknown compound #25 is likely to be phenylethanal. Once the reaction with the DNP reagent tested positive by forming a yellow precipitate, unknown #25 was classified as an aldehyde or ketone instead of an alcohol. The carbonyl group on this aldehyde/ketone is not conjugated. The next step was to do Schiff’s test to see if unknown #25 is an aldehyde or ketone. Because the test was positive, showing a deep magenta color, unknown #25 was classified as an aldehyde instead of a ketone. The iodoform test was carried out, even though unknown #25 is an aldehyde, to classify if unknown #25 was a methyl aldehyde or ketone. Because the iodoform test was negative, unknown #25 is not a methyl aldehyde. After all the classification tests were done, unknown #25 was classified to be an unconjugated (not methyl) aldehyde. The melting point of the derivative was close to the melting point of 2-nonenal (126°C), but 2-nonenal is conjugated and would have formed a red precipitate with the DNP reagent instead of yellow. The H-NMR spectrum shows a one lower and sharper peak at around 10 ppm, five higher peaks over a larger area at around 7 ppm, and two sharper peaks at around 3.5 ppm. There are a total of 8 hydrogens. The one single peak at around 10 ppm represents the hydrogen attached to the carbonyl group on the aldehyde. The peaks at around 7 ppm represent H’s the aromatic hydrogens on a benzene ring. The H-NMR spectrum shows that unknown #25 has a benzene ring, an aldehyde, and an X. Phenylethanal has 8 hydrogens, a benzene ring, and an aldehyde with an unconjugated carbonyl group. These characteristics match the information provided by the H-NMR spectrum and the classification test. The table of derivative melting points provided did not show other compounds containing a benzene ring around the observed derivative melting point of 125-128°C. In the table, phenylethanal has a higher MP of 121°C, which is close to, but still lower than, the observed MP of the derivative acquired in lab of 125-128°C. This may be because the Mel-Temp device was heating too fast since it started at about 20°C and was heating to plateau at 180°C, so the amount of time it took for the compound to absorb the heat was not until the device read at a higher number.

Elevator Speech

Submitted by vthong on Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:44

Our experiment tested the possible effects that caffeine had on planarian regeneration after being cut below the pharynx. We tested the planarians in two experimental groups in addition to the control group. Our control group was regular spring water, and the two experimental groups were low and high caffeine concentrations. We recorded the length of the planarians every few days and compared the relative rates of regeneration in the three groups. The planarians in the control group showed the highest rate of regeneration, followed by the ones in the low concentration condition, and the slowest rate of growth was in the high concentration condition. The measurements showed that the planarians placed to regenerate in the high concentration of caffeine actually decreased in length over the course of the experiment. With these results, the overall takeaway from this experiment was that caffeine is detrimental to planarian regeneration.

Elevator Speech

Submitted by vthong on Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:30

Our experiment tested the possible effects that caffeine had on planarian generation. To do this, we had one control group and two experimental conditions that we placed the planarians in for 16 days. Our control group was regular spring water, and the two experimental groups consisted of a low and high caffeine concentration. The planarians were cut below the pharynx. We wanted to see the difference in the relative rates in the growth of the planarians based on environment that the were exposed to. We recorded the length of the planarians every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until our experiment reached Day 16. The planarians that regenerated in the low concentration of caffeine showed a lower rate of growth compared to the planarians in the control group. The planarians that were placed to regenerate in the high concetration of caffeine actually decreased in length over the course of the experiment. With these results, the overall takeaway from this experiment was that higher concentrations of caffeine is detrimental to planarian regeneration.

Extraction of Trimyristin

Submitted by vthong on Mon, 11/13/2017 - 12:12

Nutmeg, tert-butyl methyl ether (TBME), and boiling chips were added to a 10 mL round-bottom flask. After allowing the solution to gently boil over a sand bath for 10 minutes, it was raised from the apparatus to let settle and cool. The solution was then filtered using a micro-scale filtration apparatus into an Erlenmeyer flask. TBME was added to the remaining round-bottom flask to rinse the remaining solid to obtain leftover trimyristin. After cooling, the liquid in the round-bottom flask was also pipetted into the micro-scale filtration apparatus into the Erlenmeyer flask. A gentle stream was air was passed into the flask to evaporate the trimyristin into a gummy yellowish solid.

Risks of High Blood Pressure

Submitted by vthong on Fri, 11/10/2017 - 11:49

"In 2005, high blood pressure was responsible for one in six death in the United states," says a new report from experts at the Institute of Medicine. Too much intake of sodium in our diets often leads to high blood pressure. Hypertension can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events that may ultimately result in death. To have hypertension means that one's blood pressure reads above 140 over 90. Unfortunately, people are at risk for cardiovascular disease at pre-hypertension, which is between a blood pressure reading of 'normal' and 'high.' Of the 42 million Americans who have uncontrolled hypertension, 27% are unaware of it, 11% are not being treated, and 26% are being treated but their blood pressure has not significantly decreased. There are no symptoms to hypertension, which is why so many people neglect the possibility of having it. Hypertension is a serious issue in our society because there is so much exposure to excess sodium in the foods that we eat, whether it is at the restaurant or packaged at the grocery store to be cooked at homeBecause so much of the sodium in our bodies comes from the foods that we eat, the best way to save lives is to cut down on dietary sodium intake.

Acclimating planaria

Submitted by vthong on Thu, 11/09/2017 - 18:52

Before being distributed to their assigned groups, we will acclimate the planaria to their respective environments. All 90 planaria will be placed in Poland Spring water for one day prior to being placed into increasing concentrations of the three varying environments. If we observe that the planarians die in the process of being acclimated in higher concentrations of solute, then we will decrease the experimental concentrations so that the planarians will survive the duration of the experiment. Once acclimated, each group will receive planaria for both their control and given environmental groups.

 

Salt

Submitted by vthong on Tue, 11/07/2017 - 18:45

"In 2005, high blood pressure was responsible for one in six death in the United states," says a new report from experts at the Institute of Medicine. Too much intake of sodium in our diets leads can lead to high blood pressure. Hypertension can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and other cardiovascular events that may cause death. Having hypertension means that your blood pressure reads above 140 over 90. Unfortunately, people are at risk for cardiovascular disease at pre-hypertension, which is between a blood pressure reading of 'normal' and 'high.' 42 million Americans have uncontrolled hypertension, 27% of which don't know it, 11% are not being treated, and 26% aare being treated but not enough to get their blood pressure down. Because so much of the sodium in our bodies comes from the foods that we eat, the best way to save lives is to cut down on dietary sodium intake.

Cocaine Rats

Submitted by vthong on Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:19

In a recent experiment, scientists used rats to observe the possible effects that cocaine might have on DNA transcription activity. The control group consisted of rats treated with saline, while the experimental group was treated with cocaine. To find correlation between cocaine usage and transcription activity, scientists looked at amounts of cytoplasmic HDAC in both groups. HDAC is a protein that removes acetyl groups from DNA histones. Results show that rats treated with cocaine had higher amounts of cytoplasmic HDAC compared to the saline-treated rats. Histone acetylation is more likely to be lower in the cocaine-treated rats since there is more HDAC in the cytoplasm rather than in the nucleus. With these results, the scientists were able to show correlation between use of cocaine and transcription activity. Because DNA is often tightly coiled to protect the genome from being exposed, having less HDAC in the nuclei in cocaine users would lead to their DNA being more susceptible to potentially harmful environmental factors.

Cocaine Rats

Submitted by vthong on Thu, 11/02/2017 - 15:45

In a recent experiment, scientists used rats to observe the possible effects that cocaine might have on transcription activity. The control group consisted of rats treated with saline, while the experimental group was treated with cocaine. Results show that rats treated with cocaine had higher amounts of cytoplasmic HDAC compared to saline-treated rats. HDAC is a protein that removes acetyl groups from DNA histones. Histone acetylation is more likely to be lower in the cocaine-treated rats since there is less HDAC in their nuclei. With these results, the scientists were able to show correlation between use of cocaine and transcription activity. One can conclude that using cocaine is harmful to your cells because the DNA less coiled, and therefore less protected.

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