Universal Influenza Vaccine: Final Summary

25 pages plus bibliography and 47 sources (!!!) later, I have completed my paper! This research project has definitely been a learning experience for me, and in some ways it’s been very humbling as well. I had initially planned to produce a comprehensive review of all currently ongoing attempts to create a universal influenza vaccine, going into specific, biological detail about each method. I had intended to provide a brief overview of the influenza virus itself and the current seasonal influenza vaccine at the beginning of my paper, but to spend most of my time reviewing efforts to create a universal influenza vaccine, analyzing the pros and cons of each, and reaching a conclusion on how soon, if ever, a widely available universal influenza vaccine could reach the U.S. market. Unfortunately, I did not realize how ambitious this project truly was!  I vastly underestimated just how complicated the influenza virus is and how many current influenza vaccine types, both seasonal and universal, are on the market or in the works. I also didn’t fully realize how little I understood the makeup of the influenza virus, and how these many vaccines trigger the immune response in the human body, and how all of these different vaccines are created…etc. As a result, I spent way more time and energy than I had initially budgeted just getting to a point where I had the understanding necessary to research the many attempts to create a universal influenza vaccine. Since I spent so much time researching what I had previously thought of as simply “introductory material”, my paper turned into less of a detailed review of the possibility of a universal influenza vaccine and into more of a general overview of influenza and current and developing influenza vaccines. I was not equipped to produce as scientifically detailed a research paper as I had previously hoped, but that’s okay! This experience was immensely valuable nonetheless, because I was able to gain a deeper understanding of the influenza virus (a subject that has interested me for a while but I’ve never before had an excuse to really delve into) and the strategy of creating vaccines (an area that I hope to devote my career to). Even though my paper does not represent the sum total of what there is to know about influenza and a universal vaccine, I am proud of the work I have accomplished. I hope to use this knowledge I have gained through my Monroe project as a springboard for future, more detailed research about a universal influenza vaccine, now that I have the necessary underlying knowledge. Perhaps in one of my classes or during next summer I can pick one or a few of the many ongoing strategies to create a universal influenza vaccine and research it more in detail. I am really grateful for this experience because I got to sink my teeth into a topic that has always interested me, and I hope to continue this vein of work in the future!

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Menstrual Management — Blog #3

Here it is: the final product! Since my project really is a summary of my research (with some extrapolations of course), the best way to post a summary of my research is to post the project itself…

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Hesiod’s Theogony to Riordan’s Percy Jackson, and Everything in Between: The Prevalent and Consistent Adaptations of Classical Mythology

Something that genuinely interested me, related to my aspirations of one day becoming an English teacher, and that had a purpose more than mere academic curiosity-those were my criteria for this summer project and I can write this last post knowing I adhered to them. My idea developed first as a literary analysis of the mythological references found in Rick Riordan’s fantasy and adventure-filled adolescent series, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, noting which myths are popular today, if they were represented accurately, and how they were adapted for the modern era and young audience. While this was interesting, I wanted to explore more deeply the effect that books, which allude to mythology just as other series are vessels of historical references, have on their adolescence readers. As an English teacher hopeful, I believe in the necessity of getting children to read and to read books of merit as well as books of substance. Watching my younger brother who is just departing from the middle school realm adopt his own reading style and preferences alerted me to the success and popularity of this fantasy/adventure genre among adolescents. With such an interest, adolescents, especially adolescent males, gravitate towards The Percy Jackson series and I was curious to better understand why through my assessment of what these books had to offer aside from the educational benefit of introducing Greek and Roman mythology.

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