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RARE 2016: Sydney Yang

This past summer I worked within the Layden lab through the Rapidly Accelerated Research Experience (RARE) program. In the lab, Anuroop and I focused on a project regarding the gene NvashE. This particular gene is part of a family of genes, Nvash, known for neurogenesis. Part of my task was to determine and better understand when and where NvashE is expressed during the early development of Nematostella. In situ hybridizations were conducted to develop the expression pattern of NvashE within developing Nematostella embryos. After determining which stages showed NvashE expression, immunoassays were conducted to test if NvashE was coexpressed in neuronal cells or nematocytes.

I enjoyed the type of work I completed in the lab. Working in a lab full time and the material I was working with were both completely new experiences for me. I grew to like and better understand the research I was doing as I continued working in the lab. I must say, that even though the procedures for some protocols may be taxing in both time and effort, my favorite part of the experience was seeing the every piece of data coming together for the final result (the photos of the in situs and immunoassays). Seeing all come into fruition was a great highlight of working in the lab and really gave me a sense of accomplishment. I also found Nematostella amusing to work with; Nematostella are unique model organisms to be working with and a part of me has always been fascinated by marine biology. Truth be told, I also loved the group dynamics of the lab over the summer and found myself at ease comfortably. The only thing that was perhaps tiresome was how time consuming certain protocols could be. However, as I mentioned earlier, the time spent into it payed off in data collection. Overall, I am extremely happy with the experience I had, and I thank everyone in the Layden lab for making my experience so.



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