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Methods Factor Control

Submitted by ekirchner on Thu, 09/19/2019 - 16:45

Today I chose my example of phytophagy on campus fo the methods project. Although there will be many factors when directing someone to the phytophagy, there are only a few I can control. For example, the weather was nice today and I went outside at 12 pm to view the plant I am using. I can control the time at which to look for my plant, but I cannot control the weather on any given day. I can also control the exact coordinates of my plant, as well as the angle from which a person views it. I was able to clearly see the phytophagy when standing facing the northeast direction, but standing in front of the plant facing south would not be effective. I can also control the amount of confusion by referencing items around my plant, like the campus pond or the ILC. There are only a few factors I am in control of, so I am hoping that my photos and map will help me out a bit more. 

Protein Structures

Submitted by ekirchner on Wed, 09/18/2019 - 13:54

Today I had a quiz in Bio285, Cell and Molecular Biology I, a class I am in as a senior amongst many sophomores and juniors. The quiz was on basic protein structure and folding, but some of the questions were pretty tricky. The primary structure is the first level of proteins, and it is the sequence of amino acids in a polypeptide held together by peptide bonds. The second level is the secondary structure, which is the folding of the backbone. Secondary structure is held together by hydrogen bonds between amino and carboxyl groups of different amino acids. The third level is the tertiary structure, which is the interacting and folding of R groups. Tertiary structure can be influenced by many types of bonds, covalent and non-covalent, including disulfide, hydrogen, Van der Waal’s interactions, electrostatic interactions, and hydrophobic interactions. The type of bonds formed depends on the polarity and charge of the R groups. The fourth and final level of protein structure is the quaternary structure. This consists of multiple polypeptides interacting together, and they can be different polypeptides or multiple of the same. These are held together by all the bonds mentioned in tertiary structure bonding.

Lab Safety Training

Submitted by ekirchner on Tue, 09/17/2019 - 23:07

Today I attended a general Lab Safety training coordinated by UMass EH&S in order to obtain a certification needed to work in a laboratory. The training started out talking about different hazard signs, including but not limited to: flammable, acutely toxic, environmental toxicity, and physical hazards. The woman then went on to say things about engineering solutions to safety protocol, and how those should be the first line of defense against a harmfl situation. I was surprised to learn that personal protection, aka safety goggles, gloves, and lab coats, are the last line of defense and should only be used when they absolutely need to be. Because these items are personal, there is more of a gray area when it comes to who needs to be protected at which times. Ife negineering allows the whole lab to be safe at once, then steps should be taken to improve that before relying on PPE equipment. At the end of the training I got a free pair of safety glasses, and I have my Fire Safety training on Friday.

Activities 9/13

Submitted by ekirchner on Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:24
Miscellaneous
10 My alarm went off and I checked my phone.
2 I put my books and supplies in my backpack.
1 I plugged in my headphones and started playing music.
1 I paused my music and unplugged my headphones.
Hygiene
3 I brushed my teeth.
15 I took a shower.
10 I got dressed and brushed my hair.
2 I took off my sweatshirt because I was hot.
2 I put my sweatshirt back on.
Food
5 I ate some Cocoa Dynobites
15 I got pizza at blue wall and ate it.
10 I bought a croissant from Peet’s and ate it.
 
The food I ate today included two meals and one snack. First, I prepared and ate some Cocoa Dynobites, the Big Y brand of cocoa pebbles, with almond milk. I ate this at home shortly before I had to leave for class. Once on campus, I purchased and ate a croissant from Peet's Cafe in the ILC. The croissant was difficult to eat because of how flakey it was and because I was not sitting down while eating. The last item I ate today was a piece of cheese pizza from harvest. I took me a while to buy this because the line to pay was so long, but I ate the pizza at a table in Blue Wall.
 
Transportation
3 I walked to the bus stop.
10 I took the bus to campus.
15 I walked to work and delivered campus mail to Whitmore.
15 I walked back to work to deliver the mail I picked up from Whitmore.
5 I walked to Morrill.
Academic
60 I went to the lab I work in and listened to Des explain how to use the Vast Lite software.
50 I went to class and took notes.
120 I sat in class and am doing this activity.
30 I wrote another draft entry for this class.

 

GMO PP

Submitted by ekirchner on Fri, 09/13/2019 - 12:54

GMOs, genetically modified organisms, are all around us, but the stigma that surrounds them are misinforming the public. The anti-GMO community has spread this idea that consuming or handling a genetically modified produce item could hurt you or affect your health in some way. Crops have been naturally and artificially evolving for thousands of years, and just because the most recent forms of most are due to human interference, does not mean that they are more likely to hurt you. The process through which food can be genetically modified has helped us as a society become healthier and better nourished, making sure we all get the most nutrients possible. It has also led to new technologies, ones that are still being developed, but will be extremely beneficial to medicine long term. 

 

Sleep study

Submitted by ekirchner on Thu, 09/12/2019 - 21:19

When setting up a participant for a sleep study, there are 3 types of electrodes that must be properly placed. The first are EEG, electroencephalogram, which are placed around the head and measure brain activity. The second are EOG, electrooculography, which are placed on the sides of the eyes and measure rapid eye movements. The third are EMG, electromyography, which are placed in certain positions on the face. The participant wears an embletta unit that all electrodes are plugged into, as well as two respiratory belts, one for the thorax and one for the abdomen. There is also a nasal cannula and thermistor that the particpant must wear that measure air flow and temperature, as well as EKG monitors for the heart and leg electrodes that will detect restless leg movements. Finally, once the participant's equipment is all set up and everything is working correctly, their head is wrapped with pre-wrap to make sure everything stays secure during the night. 

GMOs

Submitted by ekirchner on Thu, 09/12/2019 - 21:07

GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are all around us, but the stigma that people have surrounded them with are misinforming the public. There is this idea that consuming or handling a genetically modified produce item could hurt you or affect your health in some way. Crops have been naturally and artificially evolving for thousands of years, and just because the most recent forms of most are due to human interference, does not mean that they are more likely to hurt you. The process through which food can be genetically modified has helped us as a society become healthier as a whole, making sure we all get the most nutrients possible. It has also led to new technologies that are still being developed but will be extremely beneficial to medicine long term. 

Leaf PP

Submitted by ekirchner on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 15:14

The object observed in class has a long stem that is rigid at one end, suggesting it has been harshly plucked instead of cut. The stem has a dark red tint with a thin brown line on one side, which could be dirt or possible decay. The stem is very red at the point where it splits into three green leaves, but as the stem splits, it fades into a light yellow color throughout the vascular system of the leaves. The two leaves on the sides are small, with scalloped edges and dark green coloring. The middle leaf is elongated, is a lighter green color, also has scalloped edges, and it leans slightly to the left. The middle leaf also has two brown squiggles from leaf miners that may have resided there. The plant overall is not planar, as the middle leaf protrudes farther forward than the lateral ones. All 3 of the leaves come to a dull point at the tip, and they are bumpy due to the veins that run through them. The front side of the plant is a slightly darker color and has a waxy coating, while the backside is a lighter green and is a little rougher in texture. The leaves are also scaley or cracked, similar to the skin on the back of a human hand if one looks closely.

Leaf

Submitted by ekirchner on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 15:07

The plant I observed in class had a long stem that was rigid at one end, suggesting it had been harshly plucked instead of cut. It has a dark red tint with a thin brown line on one side. The stem is very red at the point where it splits into three green leaves. As the stem splits, it fades into a light yellow color throughout the vascular system of the leaves. The two leaves on the sides are small, with scalloped edges and dark green coloring. The middle leaf is elongated and is a lighter green color also with scalloped edges, and it leans slightly to the left. The middle leaf also has two brown squiggles from leaf miners that may have resided there. The plant overall is not planar, as the middle leaf protrudes farther forward than the lateral ones. All 3 of the leaves come to a dull point, and they are bumpy due to the veins that run through them. The front side of the plant is slightly darker with a waxy coating, while the backside is a lighter green and is a little rougher in texture. They are also scaley or cracked, similar to the skin on the back of a human hand if one looks closely.

The plant measures 65 mm in height and 62 mm in breadth, and the length of the stem from the blunt end to the splitting point is 23 mm. It also has a strong scent that lingers, although I can't exctly place what it smells like.

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