Friday, July 30, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Yesterday, some of the DNA Disco interns and other interns working in the Field went on a “behind-the-scenes” tour of the Shedd Aquarium. The normally over-crowded museum was much calmer when we were taken above the exhibit tanks to the opening of the pools where the divers enter. We were able to go up close and personal with animals like zebra sharks, butterfly fish, a gigantic catfish, and the most endangered iguana in the world. Some of the most memorable moments happened when our tour guide fed a tank full of trout who jumped wildly and ended up splashing all the interns or when everyone got scared as the 80 pound catfish unexpectedly made a loud noise as it engulfed a treat .
My favorite moment during the tour happened at the very end. We walked toward a white tank, the tour guide pulled the top off, stuck a long stick in the tank, and pulled out a bright orange octopus. We were all able to touch the octopus, being careful near his tentacles. The octopus had great suction strength, and when our hands touched his tentacles they would stay there until we managed to break away from the suction cups on the octopus. Although physically working with animals is exciting, I would much rather spend my time working on their DNA.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Two days ago the interns and educators of the DNA residency participated in an embryology lab. The lab, led by John Literacki and Dr. Bill Strausberger, looked at different chicken embryos and their various stages of development. It takes a chick 21 days of incubation to fully develop, so we looked at eggs that ranged from 2 days to 20. In this lab we cracked open the eggs with the embryos that had not hatched but rather died during development. We then cleaned them up and compared the different eggs that had incubated and developed over varying periods of time. My (Aileen) egg was an embryo that was almost fully developed. The chick was physically identifiable and had fully developed features like a beak, webbed feet, wings, and eyes. Some of the other participants' embryos were just a speck, a tiny body with gigantic eyes, or somewhat developed. The dissection itself was pretty gross in my opinion. However, the learning experience was well worth it as it gave a better understanding of not only chicken embryos but also the gestation period and development of all earth's creatures.
After the lab, most of the interns were pretty grossed out and claimed they wouldn't eat eggs for a while. Lucky for them, the next day we were offered delicious breakfast burritos... Filled with, can you guess?
Delicious scrambled eggs!