Sunday, March 26, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of 3/20

I think I did pretty well on the work this week. We’re focusing on the Information Domain, specifically Domain 4.6ish. Genetics and inheritance is something that I remember pretty well from Advanced Bio, so most of what we did this week felt like review and sort of refreshing all of that old knowledge. The packet we did on Chi Square stuff and Mendelian Genetics was a pretty helpful review and felt pretty easy for the most part, which means I understand everything well. I think I’m still a little shaky on the specifics of crossing over, so that’s something I can review more this week. To improve going forward I think I can put a little more time into the homework since over the past week I’ve been rushing through it to finish up work for other classes. If I focus more on the details of everything I think I can be more successful this week.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Examining Cancer Patient Data

Three things I learned:
  1. Some genes and chromosomes are very common among the different types of cancers, such as the TP53 gene on chromosome 17.
  2. Mutations causing changes in the function of cell fate genes or cell survival genes are very common, while mutations in genome maintenance genes are more rare and appear less often.
  3. There are way more different mutations than I had previously thought (over 144), although each individual patient usually had around three or four mutations.
Two things that surprised or interested me:
  1. It surprised me how much variety in mutation types and locations there is, even within the same type of cancer.
  2. It was interesting how many different types of research are being done about cancer, including testing different solutions and possible ways to screen for it. Researchers are very creative in the ways they approach the problem, and looking at how creative they were is interesting to see.
One question I still have:

  1. Why do cancer causing mutations cluster on the chromosomes that they do? Some larger chromosomes had fewer mutations or less frequent ones, while smaller chromosomes sometimes had a greater number of mutations or mutations that appeared more frequently. Is there some reason that the mutations that cause cancer appear where they do, or why some are more common than others?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of March 6

This week we focused on Standards 4.4, 4.5, and 4.6 which was mainly mitosis/meiosis. This is something that we covered pretty well in bio before, so I think I had a strong foundation to build off of and was pretty much doing review, which made it easier to feel solid on the information. Meiosis and mitosis are pretty straightforward, I just need to put a little more time into memorizing exactly what goes on in each phase. The diploid/haploid thing also is always a little confusing for me; I think I overthink it and second guess myself because it’s a bit counterintuitive at times. I was out for a few days this week, so I had to take some time out of class and make sure that I was understanding the information. I think doing the click and learn helped me with the mutations/cancer stuff, but predicting the effects of certain mutations on cells was sort of difficult for me. Reading the textbook helped make me feel more comfortable with everything, so even though I was out I still feel pretty good with the new information. This coming week to review for the exam I’ll definitely go back through the vodcasts over all the information, and will make sure to put more time into information/concepts I’m struggling with more.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Weekly Reflection for Week of 2/27

This week we did the PCR lab! I think this lab went well, and even though my band didn’t show up at the end it was a great experience to be able to see PCR in action. Biotechnology is one of the reasons that I think bio is such a cool field, and it’s been nice to get into a little bit of the specific types of biotechnology and how they’re being used. I think I understand PCR well as a result of the lab, since I was able to see how every step we did contributed to the end result, and how even a small difference can totally throw everything off. Overall I think I understood the biotechnology stuff well, although I think that I could put a little bit more time into studying going forward. Just doing simple stuff like making time to read the textbook or review my notes thoroughly will help me get a good handle on the new information, and over this next week I’ll try to do that.
This week we also talked about viruses a little bit (Domain 4.3). I’m a little more familiar with the virus information, so it was easier for me to relearn and I think I have a good understanding of it. However, I’ll also be sure to read the relevant textbook sections this week on Domain 4.3 and for whatever new information we start on. To improve over this need week I’ll keep track of everything that I need to be doing and make sure that I’m prepared for class every day, and I’ll put time into any areas that I’m having trouble with.