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Friday, July 16, 2010

Which came first?

Being an intern in the DNA Residency doesn't just mean experimenting with different primers or pipetting into PCR tubes all day. Our six week program is filled with more than just lab work--we get the whole nine yards. From lectures to tours to... taking apart eggs?

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!

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