It always amazes me how quickly time flies here at The Woods! We're in the middle of our finals week already. This is probably the most exciting, stressful, and saddest time of the year. It's exciting because we get to go on summer break, and for me that means going home to Colorado to see my family and friends. It's stressful because we have to finish up all of those semester long papers and projects and take final exams. It's also sad because a lot of your friends graduate from the classes ahead of you and you leave your friends for three months. It really is bittersweet!
I can't believe this is the last week of my junior year. While I look forward to my senior year because there are sure to be a lot more "firsts" and adventures, it will also be full of a lot of "lasts". Every time a chapter in your life closes it's a strange mix of sad and exciting, so I will be sure to enjoy every moment I have left at William Woods.
Last week Campus Activities Board hosted Rock the Dock to give us a break from studying. We went down to the dock and had Chipotle, music, karaoke, sand volleyball, and kayaks for the lake. It was a great stress reliever and we got to enjoy the beautiful weather!
I am looking forward to finishing up this week and heading home for a while. I hope to meet many new students in the fall through orientation, recruitment, and classes! Enjoy the last few weeks of school!
This past weekend I traveled to St. Joseph, Missouri for the Missouri Academy of Science Annual Meeting. I went to present a poster of the cancer research I've been doing all year with Dr. Nicholas Pullen. Rachel Ostrem and Dr. Hart also went to present on their medical biotechnology research project from this semester. We had a great time!
We arrived on Friday afternoon and got checked in. We were able to check out the room where Rachel would present and I found the spot for my poster. The atrium of the science facility had this beautiful structure of trefoil, which is a protein domain. It so happens that I am looking at a specific trefoil factor for my cancer research so it was really cool to see that, what a coincidence!
On Saturday we went to the opening session. They announce that the journal for Missouri Academy of Science is moving online, and did some other business. I'm hoping that maybe next year some of my work with Dr. Pullen could be submitted to the journal for publication.
The rest of the morning we sat and listened to a bunch of presentations. I was excited that I got to watch Rachel explain her project. We also learned about other current biomedical technology research happening in the state of Missouri.
After lunch it was time for the poster session. I got to talk to a lot of different people and answer questions about my project. I even had some cancer biologists give some suggestions on how to move forward with our work!
Overall this was a great experience. I can't wait to submit another abstract next year, and I hope we get accepted again! I'm so glad that I got the chance to work with Dr. Pullen and represent William Woods Biology.
It has been a very busy few weeks here at The Woods... I can't believe it is already April! Things got hectic leading up to spring break. Last week I returned to Colorado for break and it was beautiful! The weather was gorgeous and I got to spend time with my family.
During the week I was able to volunteer at Colorado State University's Equine Reproduction Lab. In order to be a competitive applicant for veterinary school, it is important to get as much experience shadowing and volunteering at many different types of veterinary clinics. I worked as an assistant last summer, and my boss knew someone up at CSU who would let me come shadow (it's all about connections!).
It was a very busy week and I learned a lot! The entire operation is about breeding and they perform the most advanced procedures. They also work on research to further our understanding of equine reproductive health.
When I wasn't volunteering, I spent time with my family. We went and saw the movie Insurgent (which I highly recommend). We also went to a local pottery painting studio which was a lot of fun! I always enjoy seeing my family, but it is also good to be back at William Woods with all of my friends.
I hope you're enjoying the beautiful spring weather!
This semester I'm taking a new class offered by Dr. Keller in the Biology Department, Microbial Diseases and the Human Body. As you can imagine, lecture is quite interesting because we learn about different diseases that affect people, and even things I've had in the past for instance strep throat! There is also a lab associated with the course, and after taking Microbiology my sophomore year, I knew I'd like working in the lab with different microorganisms.
Recently we learned about the mechanisms behind different antimicrobials. In lab, we got to see how antibiotics really work. We set up plates by covering them with bacteria (two different kinds) and then placed small disks soaked in different antibiotics on the surface of the plate. About a day later, we could actually see which antibiotics worked on the different bacteria! The soaked disks caused different zones of inhibition where the bacteria couldn't grow because of the antibiotic presence, and the two different bacteria were affected by different antibiotics.
It was really interesting to actually see it work! I've been sick and taken antibiotics several times, and I always knew that they function by killing the bacteria and not your own human cells, but to actually physically see the results was pretty cool! We've also been talking about the importance of not taking antibiotics unless your doctor says it is necessary because if you have say a virus then you're not killing the actual problem and instead you reduce the number of healthy microorganisms (which is also why a lot of people have the side effect of nausea when they take antibiotics!). You also have to take the full course of antibiotics and not stop when you feel better because if there are a few bacteria hanging around they can cause a secondary infection, or you could contribute to antibiotic resistance which is no good! I'd heard all these things before, but until learning about it in lecture and lab I didn't know why people said it. Now it all makes sense!