Saturday, March 3, 2012

What I Do...

I often try to describe to people what it is I do. Without getting too specific, I work in a lab that studies epigenetics and how genes get turned "on" and "off." The video below is really interesting and it does a good job explaining what epigenetics is.

Watch Epigenetics on PBS. See more from NOVA scienceNOW.

Towards the end of the clip it talks about epigenetics and cancer- this is what I study. More specifically, I will be studying how a new cancer drug that is in clinical trials works (and if it alters the epigenome). I eventually will try to see if this would be a good drug for pancreatic cancer patients.

If you are really interested, this video explains Rainbow the calico cat that was shown at the end of the first clip.

Now if you really want to embrace your inner "dorkdom" continue reading...

Dean is the orange cat sleeping on my head in the picture above. Because Dean is a boy he has one X chromosome, and one Y chromosome. Boys don't inactivate their X chromosome because they only have one and inactivating it would be lethal. Dean's mother gave him an X chromosome with the gene for an orange coat. So while Dean's mom may have been calico Dean is not because he doesn't randomly inactivate an X chromosome like his mother would. Cool huh??

1 comment:

  1. This is cool and makes me feel smart that I have a smart friend!