Week 5

This week began with a review in molecular biology in preparation for the first test on Wednesday.  The test included DNA and RNA structure, the genome structure and organization, and techniques used in molecular biology labs.  On Tuesday morning, I had another review in biochemistry I for the first test on Thursday.  Needless to say, I spent a lot of this week studying for both of these tests.

On Tuesday afternoon, two of my bacterial physiology classmates and I presented a PowerPoint summarizing a research paper.  We were the first group to present, and I am relieved that I don’t have to worry about doing that later in the semester when there is more going on in other classes.  Our paper was titled “Inhibition of Bacterial Cell Division Protein FtsZ by Cinnamaldehyde.”  On Thursday, Dr. Roberts started a lecture on membrane bioenergetics, though we only got part way through the lecture on transport through bacterial cell membranes.

I took the two tests on Wednesday and Thursday, and finished up the week in bacterial genetics lab and communications on Friday.  In the lab, we ran a gel electrophoresis to visualize the DNA we amplified last week.  We also prepared our samples to run in a nested PCR, which will amplify only parts of the genes that were amplified last week.  This is sometimes necessary because, while the 18S RNA genes are highly conserved between species, there can still be some differences that interfere with amplification of the gene.