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Submitted by rfredericks on Sun, 04/30/2017 - 21:55

We found several types of organisms on our sample of moss. The majority of the organisms we found were nematodes. There were several tardigrades as well as rotifers but we were surprised to see that most of the organisms were roundworms(nematodes). In addition to this we found arachnids and an unidentified insect in our sample. We attributed the majority of organisms being nematodes to the fact that we collected the sample during heavy rain which could have affected the amount of organisms thriving on the top of the moss. This could also be due to our specific sample of moss or the general diversity of organisms living in moss in this area.

In our results we included two images taken from our samples of moss. The first image is an arachnid found in some of the water collected from the moss. The second is an image of one of the roundworms which is shown with a red arrow so it could be seen more easily. Above that is a pie chart to show the proportion of each type of organism that we found in our sample.

If we wanted to expand further upon this, we could try to test different mosses from different environments and compare the organisms present. Additionally, we could calculate and compare the shannon diversity index of each type of moss after our experiment is completed.

 

Himalayan Salt

Submitted by rfredericks on Sun, 04/09/2017 - 22:45

Himalayan salt is a popular type of rock salt that is mined in Pakistan and used for its medicinal properties. It is formed under immense amounts of tectonic pressure in a place with no impurities or toxins. In addition to this it has a special molecular strucutre that allows it to store vibrational energy. Due to this, the salt has been known to posess a variety of health benefits including helping to form healthy sleep patterns, aiding vasular health and blood sugar levels. These are only a few of the many benefits of the salt. Common table salt is processed with many chemicals and is thought to be energetically dead. Himalayan salt is considered by many to be a healthier alternative.

Pituitary Imaging and Calculations

Submitted by rfredericks on Sun, 04/09/2017 - 22:00

After I collected images of the fish pituitaries, I took an image of a micormeter with the same (4X) microscope. I then sent the images to another computer to do some calculations. I used computer software to measure the length of a micrometer in pixels and then applied this measurement to the images I had collected of the pituitary. After I had calibrated the computer to convert pixels to micrometers I took the dimensions of the piutary from the blue light image (as it was the clearest). I also took measurements of the area of the pituitary. I got not only the entire area, but also the area of the anterior and posterior regions.

Neurobiology Pituitary Dissection

Submitted by rfredericks on Sun, 04/09/2017 - 21:55

In my neruobiology lab we recently did brain dissections. This week we followed up to locate and take images of the pituitary gland. In previous weeks I could not locate the pituitary in my specimen. I attributed this to the fact that the jaw of my fish had been removed and the pituitary was likely removed with it. This week I got a new specimen with the jaw intact and dissected it. I had some trouble initially finding the pituitary but after delving into some of the tissue clumps I located a small green glowing triangle. The pituitaries of these fish had been marked with GFP so we could locate them. After I had confirmed that I had indeed found it, I moved the pituitary onto a smaller petri dish and took it to one of the imaging microscopes. I had to take images with both white and blue light. We were given the option to use 4X or 10X to produce the images but I believe 4X gave the best results.

North Carolina

Submitted by rfredericks on Sun, 04/09/2017 - 21:38

In traveling to North Carolina over the weekend, I noticed some distinct differences in the environment. We went hiking on a trail and many of the trees in the area had bark that was flakey ,in big thick strips. This is unlike the trees that are around in massachusetts that have bark that grips the tree tightly.There are also many trees/bushes in people's yards with thick leafless branches. I'm guessing this is because the leaves were shed in the cold months but most of the other trees in the area still have plenty of leaves. Additionally, the dirt here is a deep red. This differs greatly from the dark brown soil that we have in massachusetts.

Discussion Edited

Submitted by rfredericks on Sun, 04/09/2017 - 21:33

Tardigrades are likely the most abundant organism on moss. This is because they are extremophiles and can exist in nearly any environment. Their resilience would allow for them to live comfortably in the moss. We may not find any organisms depending on where we get the moss from and the quality of the environment. This would likely mean we did not use good samples of moss for the experiment. It is also possible that nematodes or rotifers are most abundant in the moss samples. This could be due to a high moisture content making this environment suitable for these organisms. Any of these results could be due to sampling error.

We could also find that the samples contain similar/equal amounts of each type of organism. If we wanted to expand further upon this, we could try to test different mosses in different environments (other than the northeast) and compare the organisms present. Additionally, we could calculate and compare the shannon diversity index of each type of moss after our experiment is completed.

Cortisol production

Submitted by rfredericks on Sun, 04/02/2017 - 23:31

Cortisol is a hormone that is produced in response to stress and low blood glucose. The pathway to produce cortisol begins with the hypothalamus which produces CRH. CRH acts on the pituitary to produce another hormone called ACTH. This then travels through the bloodstream and acts on the adrenal gland that will ultimately produce cortisol. The costisol is part of a negative feedback loop which will inhibit the production of CRH and ACTH. Additionally cortisol will act on target tissues.

Discussion Draft

Submitted by rfredericks on Sun, 04/02/2017 - 23:13

There are three main types of moss dwelling creatures. These are rotifers, nematodes, and tardigrades. Nematodes are unsegmented roundworms. Tardigrades are often referred to as “water bears” and are defined as nearly microscopic creatures with four legs that end in claws. Rotifers are multicellular animals shaped like a sac and are known to move in a leech-like manner.

Tardigrades are likely the most abundant organism on moss. This is because they are extremophiles and can exist in nearly any environment. Their resilience would allow for them to live comfortably in the moss. We may not find any organisms depending on where we get the moss from and the quality of the environment. This would likely mean we did not use good samples of moss for the experiment. It is also possible that nematodes or rotifers are most abundant in the moss samples. This could be due to a high moisture content making this environment suitable for these organisms. Any of these results could be due to sampling error.

Zebra fish Pituitary

Submitted by rfredericks on Sun, 04/02/2017 - 22:59

In my neurobiology zebra fish brain dissection we also wanted sought out to locate the pituitary. Since the zebra fish have such small skulls, the pituitary would be nearly impossible to locate with the human eye. These specific fish had their pituitary's labeled with green flourescent protien so that they could be easily located. After we had removed the brain, we then scoured the remaining tissue to find the pituitary. First we had to turn off the bottom light on the microscope. We placed a special yellow filter over the microscope lense and then we shined a black light on the tissue. If this is done correctly, you can see the pituitary glow green in the microscope. I could not locate the pituitary in my zebra fish and I would attribute this to the fact that the lower portion of the fish's head (the jaw) had been removed prior to my dissection. I believe the person doing this acciddentally removed the pituitary in the process.

 

Zebra fish Brain

Submitted by rfredericks on Sun, 04/02/2017 - 22:51

I dissected zebra fish brains in my neurobiology lab this week. I was given a severed zebrafish head and a microscope to do this dissection. At first the tissue and bone was hard to grip since it was so small but after a short amount of time I got accustomed to the feel of the forceps and orienting myself with the microscope. I managed to uncover the brain but the telencephalon was slightly detached. I would attribute this to the fact that I grabbed the upper region of the brain with the forceps to pull it from the tissue. The brain was small (about the size of an unshelled peanut) and white in color. I saved the brain in a fix so that we can further experiment with it next week. We also planned on photographing the brains.

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