For Me, Scientific Research Was Like A Drug. The More I

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For me, scientific research was like a drug. The more I immersed myself in it, the more my mind wanted it. Before I knew it, I was an addict. But, instead of experiencing the negative side effects that coincide with substance abuse, research has been a long-lasting positive journey of discovering who I am and how the world around me functions. Being a first-generation college student, the pressure for pursuing a career in medicine was high. Despite my passion for biology and science in general, I knew early on that becoming a medical doctor was never an option for me because I lacked the passion for that career path. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to stumble into thrilling research experiences that, over time, ignited to everlasting …show more content…

My research project used forward genetic approach to generate fusion-defective mutants. Although UV radiation has been used as a method for generating mutants in Chlamydomonas, we utilized random insertion using a linearized plasmid with an antibiotic cassette. The advantage of using this approach is that, unlike UV-generated mutagenesis, this method could allow for the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques to find the insertion site and locate the gene, which when disturbed by the cassette, was responsible for the phenotype of interest. In my case, because I was interested in finding the genes responsible for gamete fusion, I was focused on finding mutants that could not mate.
There were many obstacles that I had to overcome while working on this project. To begin with, transforming Chlamydomonas using the glass-beads method was not efficient. To overcome that, multiple transformations were performed to accommodate for the low efficiency. However, later on, a collaboration effort with another lab was accomplished, improving the transformation efficiency of Chlamydomonas through electroporation. Moreover, because insertions were random, large populations of mutants that were generated either bore insertions in sequences, such as intergenic regions, that did not contribute significantly to the function of any gene, or generated undesirable

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