C. elegans Research: Update 3/Final Post!

Although I finished my work on campus a few months ago, I had a lot more analysis to do once I returned home! In order to finish my project and come up with some conclusions, I used photoshop to analyze the images I captured with the epifluorescent microscope. To study these photographs, I viewed the different layers in each image; this allowed me to see different cell parts, such as the DNA and tubulin, individually and as part of the entire picture. Because I completed three different types of immunopreps: DNA/tubulin staining, DNA/actin staining, and DNA/ERM-1 staining (see post #2 for an explanation), I had to analyze each type of prep separately to understand the dynamics of tubulin, actin, and ERM-1 in the mutant C. elegans strain that I was working with in lab. Studying the images I obtained from each prep helped me to understand what went wrong with each of the three proteins (listed above) during the process of spermatogenesis.

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C. Elegans Research: Update #2

(Originally written 6/11/18)

            I have finished the wet lab portion of my project, and I learned so much while working on campus!

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C. Elegans Research: Update #1

(originally written 5/29/18)

            In my project, I will be studying spe-26 mutant C. elegans, in order to gain insights into the function of the SPE-26 protein. If this sounds like jargon to you, don’t worry; I’ll explain!

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Characterizing chromosome missegregation in spe-26 mutant Caenorhabditis elegans

Meiosis is a type of specialized cell division, in which sperm and egg cells are formed. It is important to study and understand meiosis because when it goes wrong, it can result in infertility and other problems with sex cells. A useful way to study meiosis is in Caenorhabditis elegans, a 1-millimeter long nematode worm with transparent skin, because sex cell division is easy to analyze with microscopy. In my project, I will be visualizing defects in meiotic chromosome segregation in mutant C. elegans worms, which has a broader application to human sperm development. Given that infertility affects up to ten-percent of couples worldwide, largely due to problems with male sperm formation, studying meiosis in a model organism is important for understanding why and how infertility occurs in humans.

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