You are here

lpotter's blog

Draft 4/24

Submitted by lpotter on Wed, 04/24/2019 - 15:50

The results for scenario A were that editing genes to select for height with no benefit to health should not be allowed with 25 respondents disagreeing with the statement. Additionally, 25 respondents stated that this genetic alteration was not ethical. 23 respondents answered that altering genes for height would be more permissible in the sperm and egg, rather than an embryo. The results for scenario B were that editing genes to prevent disease should be allowed with 45 respondents agreeing to the statement. 36 respondents also said that editing genes to prevent disease is ethical. It was found that editing genes to prevent disease is more permissible in the sperm and egg, rather than an embryo with 25 respondents agreeing to the statement. The results for scenario C were that editing genes to select for sex should not be allowed 30 respondents disagreeing to the statement. It was also found that this kind of gene editing is not ethical with 30 respondents disagreeing to the statement. 25 respondents said that it was less permissible to select for sex in the sperm and egg rather than in the embryo.   

 

Draft 4/23

Submitted by lpotter on Tue, 04/23/2019 - 13:27

I am doing a project for my outbreak class and I chose to look at tuberculosis or more commonly known as TB. What I didn’t know is that TB is a top 10 global cause of death and it has been for quite some time. TB is also becoming more of an issue, not because more people are getting it, it is because TB is becoming resistant to the majority of the drug that treat it. This has become a huge problem around the globe. One example that I looked into was the spread of drug resistant TB in Russia. It has become a huge problem because of Russian prisons. People are kept in poor conditions and in close quarters. Then when people contract TB they aren’t treated properly or given drugs for the full amount of time. This allows the TB to build resistance to the common and most available drugs to treat it with. Now the TB once it is has become resistant to drugs takes a lot longer to treat and a lot more of a strict regimen of taking drugs. This is not followed frequently in prisons due to lack of higher level drugs and lack of coordination from within the prison system.

Draft 4/22

Submitted by lpotter on Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:54

I just read about NASA’s twin study and it really is incredible. I never really thought about the effect that space or zero gravity would have on someone. The twin that went into space didn’t suffer too much on upon entering space. In fact he responded relatively well to being in space. In fact the shortening of his chromosomal telomeres was reduced when in space. This means that his aging process was theoretically slowed. That being said when he returned to Earth his chromosomal telomeres shortened almost immediately and his body had an autoimmune response. His body thought that something was attacking him when in actuality he was not sick at all. He was just adjusting to the full force of gravity. His legs started to swell, he developed rashes, he was in a lot of pain. It took more than eight months for him to return to normal. It did take a toll on his body. The purpose of the study was to see how zero gravity affects the body long term. NASA wanted to know this because they want to know how plausible space travel really is.   

Draft 4/21

Submitted by lpotter on Sun, 04/21/2019 - 13:56

This was also about a talk I went to at Harvard. This talk was very dense on the engineering aspect of microbiology which I found interesting because it was something that I don’t typically think about. The main point of the talk was discovering ways in which we can categorize and catalog bacteria. The proposed method was by looking at bacterial cell envelopes and inducing a dipole on them to determine how they behave. The other half of the talk was about about how we can use electric fields to help introduce new DNA and genes to cells. This is where the talk became incredibly engineering heavy and a prototype machine that could carry out multiple electroporation experiments at once was introduced. The way that bacterial cells were categorized by their cell envelope was with a technique called low frequency dielectrophoresis. With this technique a dipole is induced on the cell by creating a non-uniform gradient. The bacterial cells were then placed in tubes that had a constriction point, it is at this point that the now polarized cells feel the dielectrophoresis force and clump at the constriction point. The bacteria used in this experiment was a mutant strain of Streptococcus mitis. A mutant was used because S. mitis typically has a virulence factor that causes clumping, the mutant had this virulence factor removed so that any clumping near the constriction point would be fully attributed to the dielectrophoresis force and not the virulence factor. Two other bacterial strains were used to observe polarizability. The first, Geobacter sulfurreducens polarizability was studied by observing its extracellular electron transfer mechanics. The second, Shewanella oneidensis polarizability was studied by looking at its Mtr pathway. This gene was later inserted into Escherichia coli to see if it was also impact the polarizability of it. The engineering part was to make a machine that carried out multiple electroporation experiments at once. This was done by condensing the apparatus down to the size of a pipette tip.

 

Draft 4/18

Submitted by lpotter on Thu, 04/18/2019 - 20:22

This was for the same talk at harvard. This talk was incredibly interesting and focused on how cells grow in a defined rod shape. The purpose of the talk was to explain how cells maintained a uniform width while expanding from a spherical shape to a rod shape. The organism used in the study was Bacillus subtilis, it was used because it is a rod shaped cell. The average width of the rod shaped B. subtilis is 740 nm, this value only varies by 1% and makes it an ideal organism for this study. Knowing that this organism has a uniform width shared by all individuals the question was then asked, how does this organism regulate the width of its rod shape? The way that this was tested was by changing conditions of cell growth, using antibiotic to target certain cellular mechanisms, as well as up regulating and down regulating certain genes within the rod complex (this complex is known to be associated with rod shaped growth of cells). One condition which the cells were exposed to was a salt shock, the salt causes the cells to shrink. This process was used to determine shrinking rates of the cell when mreBCD was upregulated or downregulated. Another condition cells were exposed to was providing more or less nutrients to determine which complexes would be affected by nutrient availability and how that would ultimately affect rod shaped growth. For observing the orientation of cell walls polarization microscopy was used.

Draft 4/17

Submitted by lpotter on Wed, 04/17/2019 - 18:27

This was for the talk I attended at Harvard. The results showed that there were many aspects as to how cells maintain a uniform rod shape as they grow. One result showed that there are two main ways that new cell wall is added to the cell. The first being that new cell wall is inserted in an oriented manor, which means that filaments travel around the radius of the cell and are oriented by cell radius rudders. The second is that new cell wall is inserted in an unoriented manor, this means that cell wall is inserted randomly by enzymes. Another result showed that when mreBCD was upregulated the cell rod width decreased and it became skinnier, if mreBCD was downregulated then the cell rod width increased and it became fatter. The salt shock showed that cells with upregulated mreBCD were able to maintain their rod form for a longer time than cells with lower levels. An additional result showed that when the cells were provided additional nutrients they were able to grow into a rod shape quicker. A similar result showed that when the cell was essentially tricked into thinking it had adequate nutrients it grew at the same rate showing that a kinase domain was responsible for sensing environmental nutrients.

Perfect Paragraph 12

Submitted by lpotter on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:03

The conclusions that can be drawn from the results is that Sulfolobus Spindle Shaped Virus (SSV) developed an escape mutation whenever a dip in the bacterial population of Sulfolobus was observed. This means that at any of these instances the SSV was able to mutate to again be able to kill the Sulfolobus. On the graph when there was more diversity and distribution within the immune systems of Sulfolobus the bacterial cells were significantly less susceptible to SSV infection. From the results it can also be concluded that Sulfolobus and SSV have a mutualistic relationship. The SSV uses host machinery to create and secrete a toxin that kills healthy uninfected cells. This also implies that infected cells are immune to the toxin is that the SSV provides infected cells with an antitoxin keeping them safe. This relationship is considered mutualism because the bacterial cells essentially want to be infected in order to survive.

Draft 4/16

Submitted by lpotter on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 11:50

The conclusions that are drawn from these results is that SSV developed an escape mutation whenever a dip in the bacterial population of Sulfolobus was shown. This means that at any of these instances the SSV was able to mutate to again be able to kill Sulfolobus. On the graph when there was more diversity and distribution within the immune systems of Sulfolobus the bacterial cells were significantly less susceptible to SSV infection. The conclusion relating to the Sulfolobus and SSV having a mutualistic relationship is something that I have never seen nor thought about before. The SSV uses host machinery to create and secrete a toxin that kills healthy uninfected cells. The conclusion as to why infected cells are immune to the toxin is that the SSV provides infected cells with an antitoxin keeping them safe. This relationship is considered mutualism because the bacterial cells essentially want to be infected in order to survive. A conclusion about P. aeruginosa infections in humans with chronic CF is that each human is an island population that host the P. aeruginosa and a phage with an anti-CRISPR system which has ways of making CRISPR immunity less effective.

Draft 4/15

Submitted by lpotter on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 16:26

The results showed that there were many aspects as to how cells maintain a uniform rod shape as they grow. One result showed that there are two main ways that new cell wall is added to the cell. The first being that new cell wall is inserted in an oriented manor, which means that filaments travel around the radius of the cell and are oriented by cell radius rudders. The second is that new cell wall is inserted in an unoriented manor, this means that cell wall is inserted randomly by enzymes. Another result showed that when mreBCD was upregulated the cell rod width decreased and it became skinnier, if mreBCD was downregulated then the cell rod width increased and it became fatter. The salt shock showed that cells with upregulated mreBCD were able to maintain their rod form for a longer time than cells with lower levels. An additional result showed that when the cells were provided additional nutrients they were able to grow into a rod shape quicker. A similar result showed that when the cell was essentially tricked into thinking it had adequate nutrients it grew at the same rate showing that a kinase domain was responsible for sensing environmental nutrients.

Perfect Paragraph 11

Submitted by lpotter on Fri, 04/12/2019 - 13:02

Quorum sensing is something that bacterial cells can use to communicate. The signals that the bacteria produce are N-acyl-homoserine lactones or AHLs. These signals can be received by the bacterial species or different bacterial species. There are two primary genes involved in quorum sensing. There is the I gene which codes for AHL synthase and the R gene which is a transcriptional regulator. AHL synthase, which the I gene codes for, is responsible for producing the AHL signal that other bacterial cells will be able to receive. The AHL binds to a receptor on a neighboring cell and a transcriptional response is activated, this is where the R gene begins to function. The R gene transcribes new DNA in response to the signal being received. For example the bacteria C. violaceum produces a purple pigmented antibiotic violacein, C. violaceum only produces this antibiotic after it has received a signal from a neighboring cell telling it to do so. Quorum sensing is vital for bacteria living in the environment to communicate with neighboring cells.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - lpotter's blog