Monday, March 27, 2017

Weekly Reflection for the Week of March 20, 2017

      On Monday we wrapped up looking at cancer by doing an activity that looked at different mutations for different patients of different cancers. I thought this activity was interesting because I had a very "odd one out" kind of patient in regard to it's mutated genes. This helped me learn how different mutations of different genes can still amount to the same types of cancer, and also that although the mutations may be different, many of the chromosomes they can be found on will be consistent through many types of cancer.
     Tuesday and Wednesday we started talking about my favorite unit: genetics. I had so much fun with it in my freshman year that it was the easiest for me to remember the things that we went over in class. Reviewing standard 4.5 helped me jog my memory and reassured me on some of the things I was foggy on, like blood type and dihybrids.
     There's not much more I can say about the week because I missed the two last classes of the week, but hopefully, this week will continue my success in Mendelian Genetics.

Monday, March 20, 2017

3, 2, 1 Analysis

  • Three things you learned from this activity:
  1. Although there will be some overlap, not all mutated cancer genes are consistent throughout all patients with that kind of cancer.
  2. Frequency in colorectal cancer is increasing in children. 
  3. Many chromosomes will hold mutated cancer genes for multiple types of cancers. For example, chromosomes 12 and 17 were very common among most types of cancer.
  • Two things that surprised of interested you:
  1. All of this research is happening right now. When I looked up colorectal cancer, I found many articles from this month, and all of the first-page search results were posted in 2017.
  2. Seeing the consistency of chromosomes with mutated genes on them, or even just other trends in general (for example, most of my colorectal group had a majority of tumor suppressor genes) fascinated me. Especially since with the particular patient I had, the qualities of his mutations seemed not to fit any trends. 
  • One question you still have:
  1. Are the patients we looked at in today's sample accurate to the current trends present in cancer patients? (For example, if three out of four people had the same mutated gene, would 75% of the people with that type of cancer have that mutated gene?) 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Weekly Reflection for the Week of March 6, 2017

     This week, I have confirmed to myself that I am a lot better in regard to my comprehension of material when I am working on my own rather than with other people. This is due mostly to the fact that I need to be in a more quite environment to focus and do things effectively, and when I'm with other people, I often take a lot slower because of how easily distracted I get. I noticed this especially with the two packets we did throughout the week, when I would always fall behind, but would go home and be able to finish the packet on my own in significantly less time than I ever would have been able to do in class. When I am at home, I feel like I understand things better, and in this environment I am able to go back to things that may have confused me in class and figure them out. Though my current ability to pay attention in school is something I've been working on this year, it is still something I continue to struggle with.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Weekly Reflection for February 27 - March 3 2017

     The main focus for the past two weeks has been biotechnology with emphasis on PCR and electrophoresis. Starting out with the basic information, we looked at the three part biotechnology vodcast which covered tools and techniques, applications, and ethics of biotechnology. The set up of this vodcast made it easier for me to work with all the information because of the amount of content in the total vodcast as well as my busy schedule that probably wouldn't have allowed me to sit down and watch all forty-five minutes of vidcast in one sitting. In addition, we also looked at the next vodcast which talked about viruses.
    The big thing that happened in class was the PCR lab. We were able to use PCR and electrophoresis to determine the presence of a gene sequence in the individuals in our lab station. The biggest struggle for me in this lab was trying to correctly prepare the solution to be injected into the gels. I must have messed up along the way somewhere because my band did not show up in the gel at all. If I were to do the lab again, I would try harder to take my time and to read the instructions clearly to hopefully result in a more successful end result. The coolest part of this lab is that we will be able to compare the class data to data found in different parts of the world, which is also something I am excited to see in the near future.