Saturday, March 25, 2017

Weekly Bio Journal #5 Mar. 25

The class kicked off this week by completing our second activity on examining cancer patient data. Every one was given a card and on it detailed the gene mutations, on which chromosomes, cell function or cell fate, oncogene or tumor suppressor, and what the resulting cancer was. These cards detailed information from actual cancer patients and together the class compared their cards in order to identify any patterns or trends. What I found from this activity was that many different gene mutations can lead to the same type of cancer and that it often takes more than one gene mutation to cause the cancer. Another interesting fact I learned is that out of the 140 genes found to be linked to cancer, only 9 of those are associated with cell maintenance.
Next we jumped into Mendelian genetics and reviewed how to conduct mono hybrid and dihybrid Punnett squares, and even multiple monohybrid Punnett squares to determine the phenotype and genotype of offspring. These methods came easy to me with a little guidance in the beginning to make sure I was on the right path, and I dare say they are even a little fun. We furthered the Mendelian genetics by practice with pedigrees to determine the genotypes of family trees. Finally we analyzed the data by using chi-square analysis to determine if the observed genotypes were beyond reasonable similarity to the expected outcomes that were given by our Punnett squares. Because I am also taking AP Statistics the conclusions drawn from the chi-square make perfect sense to me and I enjoy chi-square as a tool of analysis.
On Friday we conducted a small activity where we looked at the spores of fungi and counted the number of asci that underwent crossing over during meiosis by observing their phenotypes. We then used chi-square to determine if our observed abundance could accurately support Olive's map distance theory which used mathematics to predict the expected ratio of crossed to non-crossed spores. My data ended up in support of Olive. We also watched a Vodcast teaching us about Chromosomal abnormalities, the various changes to genetic make up and the resulting effects as well as a few of the more prevalent genetic disorders and how they are caused such as the Trisomy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's Syndrome. 

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