Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Recent article written by Catherine and Katelyn

This past summer both Ms. Francis and Ms. Carrette were selected to participate in Research Experi-ences for Teachers (RET) at Northeastern University. It was a six-week summer research experience funded by the National Science Foundation for middle and high school mathematics and science teachers, and Community College STEM faculty. The program goals were to provide extensive summer research experi-ence which would be connected to the classroom curriculum. As part of the program participants were re-quired to conduct scientific research in an assigned laboratory, maintain a reflective journal, attend team and professional development sessions, and develop a research poster presentation to be shared with col-leagues at the end of the summer. Program participants worked in research laboratories affiliated with the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Engineering, the Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems at Northeastern University and Boston University, and the Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing at Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
Ms. Francis worked in the Dr. Beuning‟s DNA laboratory which is part of the College of Arts & Sci-ences in the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department at Northeastern University. The objective of the research was to investigate how cells respond to DNA damage caused by ultraviolet light. A specific type of bacteria, E. coli, was subjected to increasing time intervals of ultra-violet light in order to determine maximum tolerance before cell death occurred as a result of DNA damage. Research techniques in-cluded gel electrophoresis, micro-biological plating, and chemical analysis. The DNA laboratory worked in conjunction with Massa-chusetts General Hospital in order to determine exactly where the DNA in E. coli was damaged by the ultraviolet radiation. As a result of this research, future applications could be made to humans with DNA damaged by ultraviolet light, and why they are at a higher risk for skin cancer.
Ms. Carrette participated in the Environmental Biotechnology lab in the Civil Engineering Depart-ment at Northeastern University. During her session she helped to maintain some of the current research experiments conducted there. Spe-cifically, she spent time working with Carla Cherchi and her algae reactors. Ms. Carrette entered at the very beginning of the project which involved maintaining the growth of three types of algae that will even-tually be used in an experiment to determine the effects of nanomaterials on algae growth. Pre-vious research has shown that nanoscale chemicals do affect bacteria. Research to study how nanoparticles influence other living things is ongoing. Knowing how these chemicals affect algae will give us insight on how these chemicals affect our environment.
Ms. Francis and Ms. Carrette will continue their affiliation with Northeastern University this year. On Veteran‟s Day they will reunite with the other RET teachers at Northeastern University to discuss current teacher preparation programs in science, and how they could be improved in the future. Plans will also be discussed on the upcoming poster presentation at the National Science Teachers Association Conference to be held in Philadelphia, PA in March 2010

No comments: