Research week 3: Troubleshooting results

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Hi everyone! I hope everything has been going well the past week 😊 I have finished up 3 weeks of research and I now am beginning two weeks of summer holidays <3.

Last week I ran into some issues with the data I collected from the BLAST search during my second week of research. I will use the analogy of a google search to explain my ordeal. Using BLAST, I essentially looked up the protein sequence of the resistant allele to chytridiomycosis that was of interest from one amphibian species. To reduce the likelihood of false positives, my supervisor advised me to take all results related to amphibians until the first instance of another species, like us, homo sapiens!

Whilst following this methodology I realised that after the appearance of homo sapiens in my search more sequence results were lying on page 2 for amphibians, which is usually unrelated nonsense during a google search! This is highly unusual since it seems more likely to have related species of amphibians grouped. Therefore, my work last week consisted of researching the evolutionary origins of my gene of interest, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II gene to try and come up with some answers. When I am back from my holidays I am getting back to this task.

During the research, it is inevitable to encounter a setback, and I am remaining positive throughout to find some answers that may help uncover the truth behind the MHC gene family. I hope everyone is enjoying the summer months and their Laidlaw experience!

Jessica Mahon

Human Genetics undergraduate student , Trinity College Dublin

Hi, I'm Jessica Mahon, and I am interested in genetics, both from a conservation and a human standpoint. I'm in 3rd year of Human Genetics at Trinity College Dublin. I'm from Ireland and speak both English and Irish. I spend my spare time taking part in yoga, meditating and enjoying the outdoors. 

My Laidlaw research project is based on the genetic susceptibility of amphibians to chytridiomycosis disease to find a new conservation method for susceptible amphibian species. I'd love to chat with others who are interested in genetics and science!


Go to the profile of Inkindi Mutoni Sabine
5 months ago

Hi Jess! I am enjoying reading your progress! Like in week 2, you have been able to put into practice your new coding skills, THIS is huge!! And also it's so great that you keep the energy: being positive:) Can't wait to hear more!

Go to the profile of Jessica Mahon
5 months ago

Hi Inkindi! Thanks so much for reading my thoughts on the whole research process, I appreciate it. I hope your work is going well, you're a great STEM subject lead!

Go to the profile of Inkindi Mutoni Sabine
5 months ago

Aww! Thanks, Jess:)