Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Hello! Simona and I are Field Museum interns in the DNA Discovery Center, and we are so excited to be here! For our media project, we decided to create a blog. We're starting this blog a little (three weeks!) late, but we do still have three weeks left! On this blog we will be documenting our work (pathogens!) and giving you a little "behind the scenes" look at the Field Museum (passageways!).

Team Pathogens (Evan is the educator working with us)! ... we were really awkward at the beginning

And here's the whole gang at our lab bench (plus Holly)!

Simona, Evan, and I (Kit) are currently working on a small portion of the Emerging Pathogens Project, a large undertaking at the museum to study pathogens in birds and small mammals. Holly Lutz, a Field Museum scientist, is studying avian diseases, and we've been helping screen Peruvian tanager blood samples for the presence of malaria. It's a three-step process, consisting of extraction, PCR amplification/purification, and sequencing.

(here's a link to Holly's public profile on the museum's website)

Our lab bench during the first week of training... I assure you that we keep it spotless now!

A set up of our PCR samples before they go into the thermal cycler (more to come on that)

 A very cool looking component to the 3730 Sequencer!

Kevin showed us some of the CRC fish collections (more on that later) - they were awesome!!

 And here's our beautiful view at lunch everyday!

Here are some pictures of the birds that we're researching:

Beryl-spangled tanager (Tangara nigroviridis)

Tangara chilensis

Dacnis cayana

Tangara nigrocincta

Tangara cyanicollis

- Kit - 

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