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Journal #2 Week 6: Moss

Submitted by astaubin on Fri, 03/03/2017 - 12:54

The methods project was done to understand how manuscript guidelines work and how to adhere to them.  For this project, we created a methods section on where moss with gametophyte and sporophyte were found. Then each person had to follow another persons’ methods and try to do the project by following their methods.  The person following your methods needed to follow it step by step in order to find the correct moss you described in your methods. We each created a multi-panel figure which showed a picture of the moss we found, and showing the gametophyte and sporophyte, and where it was found. Due to weather conditions, it was rather difficult to find moss with all the necessary parts. The sporophyte of the moss, is diploid is where the spores are produced. The gametophyte is haploid, and is usually where the zygote is created.  

 For me, I choose to go to look at the greenhouse on the UMass campus, making it easier to find a moss with all its necessary parts without having the harsh weather being an effect on the plant. Due to it being winter, that was factor that needs to be taken in account. After taking pictures of my moss, I put together my multi-panel figure which included a label of the gametophyte and the sporophytes, the relationship with the entire plant and where I found it.

Journal week 6: Immune System

Submitted by astaubin on Thu, 03/02/2017 - 12:47

When you get a cold or a virus that is considered an "intruder" to your body, your body starts to activate a defense system. Your immune system tries to protect you and do everything in it's power to idenitfy and kill all the intruders that could potentially harm you. When you have an autoimmune disease your body mistakes the healthy cells for "invaders" and your body will keep attacking or killing your healthy cells. An autoimmune disease can effect many parts of the body, like the heart, lungs, brain, joints, etc. What will happen is the bdy will target a specific area, often being connect tissue.

In Newborn mice, less than 1 month of age, who had a thymectomy, which is  the removal of the thymus glad. The thymus gland is a lymphoid organ in the neck that produces T cells for the immune system. if this organ was removed, it caused various organ specific autoimmune disorders in mice. Which means that interleukin 2 receptor alpha chains (CD25) ontogenically start to form at around day three of age. Meaning, that the thymus glad is extremely important in the production of T cells and the development of the immune system. Self tolerance seems to be produced by the T cells in a CD 25. Having a thymectomy can be potentially damaging to the immune system as a newborn on or around day 3 after birth can cause an autoimmune disorder.

This I found to be extremely interesting because autoimmune disorders seem to be of interest to me and understanding how they work. But this scientific article shows that the removal of the thymus gland in newborn mice can be detremental but also can be applied to humans. This article shows us the importantance in certain organs that are apart of the body, and how the help make our body functional.


Citation: Autoimmune disease as a consequence of developmental abnormality of a T cell subpopulation. (1996). The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 184(2), 387–396.

Jounal week 5

Submitted by astaubin on Fri, 02/24/2017 - 14:29

My grub-like organism has changed significantly over the last couple of days. The organism has changed from a light brown color to a very dark brown body color and has a dark color casing around its entire body. The shell seems to only be covering up half of its body almost like a cocoon. The organism still seems to be moving but not as much and spending lots of time staying completely still. Also, the organism seems to have stopped eating completely. I am unsure as to what exactly is going on but I think that it might be transforming. As I was reading online because I was curious, the organism or what I think is a “meal worm” is turning into a larvae which will then turn into a beetle. So I think it is going through the appropirate phases of its life cycle.

Rhodesian ridgeback PP

Submitted by astaubin on Fri, 02/10/2017 - 11:24

A Rhodesian ridgeback is a breed of dog. They are well known as "lion hunters". Rhodesian ridgebacks were bred specifically to hunt lions and chase them up the trees of Africa. My Rhodesian ridgeback's fur is short, tan/red color. On her chest she has a large white patch which also has some tan spots. Along her back I see her ridge. It resembles that of a Nike symbol. Her body is long, and lanky. She stands very tall and resembles a Great Dane almost. The color on her face is much different than the rest of her body. The tip of her snout is black and fades into her tan fur. The black fur follows around her eyes, making her eyes stand out. Her eyes are a golden honey. 

Journal #3: Rhodesian Ridgeback

Submitted by astaubin on Thu, 02/09/2017 - 23:21

A Rhodesian ridgeback, which are also well known as “lion hunters.” Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a breed of dog, that were bred specifically to hunt lions and chase them up trees in Africa. Ava’s fur is a short tan/brown color. Along her back, she has what is called a ridge. It is a long cowlick that goes along her back and looks like a Nike symbol. Her body is long, and skinny and she stands very tall. On her chest she has a large white patch, with tan spots. The color on her face is much different than the color on the rest of her body. Her snout is black and fades to a tan color. The black starts to fade back in around her eyes and has a black ring of fur around them. Her ears are short but kind of hang off her face. They also fade to from her tan to back as you look at the tips of ears. Her eyes are golden and resemble the color of honey. Watching her look out the window, you can see how shinny her eyes are. She also has a long tail, which seems to also transition to black the closer you get to the tail. 

Journal #2: The Greenhouse

Submitted by astaubin on Thu, 02/09/2017 - 23:20

Trying to find a type of moss that showed the gametophyte and the sporophyte was kind of difficult but finding it lead me to a super cool place, the UMass Greenhouse which I have never been before. I walked in; it was like a sea of green. I enjoyed looking at all the different plants. The first room I walked into I noticed a wide variety of bonsai trees. Then I walked into the next room, which had a small pond, but was much warmer than the room I was just in. It had a wide variety of different plants that need a warmer climate to grow.  The greenhouse had many different places to sit and enjoy the scenery. I looked at many different plants, which made stop and enjoy what they do for our planet and how important they are. After enjoying the greenhouse for quite sometime, I left to get pictures of the moss. I began by taking pictures of moss that seemed to growing on the base of a small shrub. It was bright green and the sporophytes that were growing, looked like miniature plants growing. If you didn’t know anything about moss, you might have confused the sporophytes for seedlings, which at first was what I thought. After taking several different pictures, I noticed that the moss at the base of the plant needs the plant that it lives on to survive and forms this unique symbiotic relationship. 

Journal #1: Moss

Submitted by astaubin on Thu, 02/09/2017 - 23:19

As I was wondering along campus, I was trying really hard to find a patch of moss that had signs of gametophytes and sporophytes. As I was taking pictures of the different kinds of moss, I really wanted more information and research on the life cycle of moss. I also wanted to know what the key differences were between a gametophyte and a sporophyte. The gametophyte is always haploid, and only has one set of chromosomes.  The gametophyte then goes through mitosis, and produces both male and female gametes. The gametophyte has different organs where the gametes are produced. The organs are called Archegonia, which makes the egg cells. The Antheridia produces the spermatozoids.   The fusion of the male and female gametes further produces a diploid zygote, which is what we refer to as the sporophyte. The sporophyte usually grows on top of the green gametophyte. In order to stay alive, the sporophyte is nourished by the gametophyte. In the capsules in the top of the sporophyte usually grows and develops the spores. When the capsule is ready, it will open and free the spores. Also, I learned that depending on the type of moss, the sporophytes would look different. Another thing that I found interesting about moss is that it doesn’t have vascular tissue. The vascular tissue is used to transport water and nutrients throughout the plant. Due to this, moss actually lack roots, a stem and flowers. 

Little insect observation

Submitted by astaubin on Fri, 01/27/2017 - 15:35

Using a ruler, I was able to measure the approximate size of the insect, which was about 2.5 cm long. The insects head was brown, and got darker in color the closer the tip end of the organism. After counting, the insect appears to have approximately 14 legs. The color of the insect appears to be tan or a very light brown color. After looking closely at the insect, I was able to observe many tiny hairs all along it's body. As the insect inches forward, I was able to observe the muscles inside the insect's body working in order to create the locomotion. The insect seems to use its front legs and head to sense it's surroundings. Using its senses, the insect is able to guide itsself along the container. The insect appears to only move along the outside of the container. What appears to be most difficult for the insect, is moving over the particles or "wood chips," that were also in the container. 

little insect observation

Submitted by astaubin on Fri, 01/27/2017 - 15:24

Inside a little plastic 2oz cup, is a live insect. This insect strongly resembles what I think of as a maggot. The insect is moving its head and body around trying to acclimate to its environement inside the container. The insect is now trying to crawl out of the small container. The insect is surrounded by a few small wood chips. It is having a difficult time trying to move over the wood chips. The wood chip seems to be making it difficult because it is stuck to the bottom of the insect. The insect moves from its tail or back end by motioning toward the front. The insect guides with its head, using that to explore and understand their surroundings. Using a ruler, the approximate size of the insect is about 2.5 cm long. Its head is brown, and at the very tip seems to be black. The insect almost appears to have about 14 legs. It inches forward by using its back legs, but when it does inch forward I can see the muscles in the body working together in order to accomplish this goal. The insect also appears to have little tiny hairs all over its body. Also the insect seems to explore the surrounding using its head. That seems to be the way the insect is able to sense and interpret its surroundings. The color of the insect is tan or a light brown. THe insect seems to travel only along the edges of the small container. The insect also appears to have no eyes. 


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