Monday, March 20, 2017

Cancer Activity 3,2,1

Three Things I Learned From This Activity:
  1. I learned that a certain kind of cancer doesn’t just occur from a mutation in one chromosome, the mutations happen at random spots.
  2. The different mutations don’t effect any one kind of gene, like tumor suppressors, or oncogenes, there’s usually an even mix.
  3. The different mutations don’t effect any one kind gene function, like genome maintenance, genome survival, or genome function. This is random, but it may favor one more than another.
Two Things That Surprised, or Interested Me:
  1. Cancer is a lot more random than I had thought, I figured that one kind of cancer would share a majority of the same mutations, but that wasn't the case. Although there was some shared gene mutations, there weren’t an overwhelming amount to draw conclusions from.  
  2. A lot of the mutations took place on chromosomes, 12, 17, and 14. This makes sense because there are a lot of genes on those chromosomes, but there are also a lot of genes on chromosomes 3 and 4, yet hardly any mutations were found on those chromosomes, so I wonder why that is.
One Question I Still Have:

  1. How many mutations does it take for cancer to appear, does it vary depending on the cancer, or the person?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of 3/10/17

This week we focused on the cell cycle, and  how mutations during the cell cycle can result in cancer. We learned about this process through a series of vodcasts, and POGILS. I find the cell cycle very interesting and important. It’s so cool that that the cell cycle goes through a series of “checkpoints” to try to avoid any mutations, but when one of the two important proteins like proto-oncogenes, or tumor-suppressor genes become mutated it could lead to cancer. Causing too much cell division, or too little.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of 3/3/17

This week we focused on putting biotechnology to use in a PCR lab. This hands on lab helped clarify the complicated process of replicating DNA. The first step of this lab was to rinse our mouths with saline and spit in a tube. This was then centrifuged with gene matrix.We had to heat our spit mix in a couple of different water baths. We then carefully transferred the supernatant into a PCR tube, as well as some mastermix. This concoction was then put into the thermal cycler, for about three hours. The next day we were able to add loading dye to our PCR tube, and carefully load it into the gel for electrophoresis.This would run for a half hour, and then be placed in a dye to reveal any of our DNA.

During the process we learned how sensitive this process is, and how easy it is to contaminate a sample. Luckily a band of my DNA showed up, showing that I was homozygous negative for the gene we tested. After doing more research on the genome website my result makes sense because of my european heritage. Unsurprisingly most of the kids in my class showed up as homozygous negative, but a few were heterozygous, which was really cool. I found this lab to be a lot of fun, and hopefully I will get to do more labs like this to see my results for other genes.