My 1st proposal to bring stem cell research to my uni!

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Above is the 1st page of 46 that makes up my proposal to start doing stem cell research at my work.  I’ve been working on it since December gathering all the facts I need to pitch this to the research department.

I have high hopes for this to get implemented, but like anything else, I sometimes get doubts. The budget is way more than the other projects we currently have going on here, so I’m hopeing they’re not going to get turned off by the cost. There’s plenty resources that would help us fund for this research. Other thing is you may of heard about the controversy around stem cells. You can create artificial stem cells without harvesting them for embryos, but Texas is a very conservative state. Politics may shoot my proposal down before it even have a chance. I believe the majority on the research board wouldn’t think like that, and it won’t be a factor. Lastly, I have a bachelor’s degree, and not a PhD. Top it off I haven’t been working here for a year yet. They may look at me and say I’m naive because I’m still pretty new, and the whole nine yards. The content of my proposal should silence the no-sayers on that issue.

I always overhear conversations changing the direction of the research here to be more ambitious. Even if my proposal fail, I believe it will get nging our approach  on the matter. Dr. Bennett looked over it and said I should definitely submit it, so by the end of this week it shall be done.

A huge thank you to my parents. They emailed, texted, and called me everyday to keep developing this proposal. I maybe live 9hrs away, but the support haven’t changed since I was a dorky 6 year old with my crazy ambitions. Also, thank you Bella, Clay, Anna, Rosilia, Liz, Jamie, Allie, Dr. Bennett, Dr. Lawson, Terrance, Terrell, Pat, Ju, Stephanie, Dr. Williams, and Jared for your direct support during all of this. I may be going overboard on the thank you, but I appreciate you guys!

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Progress of my microbio bacteria research here at work!

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So the bacteria that I am currently working with is called C.perfringens and is a common soil bacteria that is also found in association with mammals as a commensal and sometimes as a pathogen. There are five serotypes (A-E), each associated with a set of different diseases and target organism which is either a mammal or poultry. C.perfringens is capable of producing up to 16 different toxins, although these are rarely expressed all at once. It is a saprophyte, so decays dead matter – hence most of its toxins are hydrolytic enzymes. The most common diseases caused by C.perfringens is food poisoning and necrotic enteritis (chickens).

It is also the fastest growing bacteria, with a doubling time of 10 minutes (E.coli’s doubling time is 20 minutes). It is an obligate anaerobe which makes it tricky to grow. I have to essentially streak it out onto TSC agar and then add a second layer of agar on top of that to create a highly anaerobic microenvironment. I also need to leave these microbes in an anaerobic chamber over night to completely remove any possible source of oxygen from their surroundings.

The final thing I want to mention is the TSC media I use to grow them. This media contains a source of sulphite which C.perfringens is able to reduce which is what causes the bacteria to show up black on these plates. They are one of the few Clostridia that can reduce sulphite, so this media acts as a differential media for C.perfringens.

-JiNX
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