A Room With A Zoo-

Good Day All-
Sorry for the kitschy title but hey-

Update: We are currently working on finding the 'Optimal' primer series to seek out DNA from the sharks that Dr. Feldheim has us working towards- It might be compared to finding that perfect lure to catch a trout or for you techno-savants- It may be like finding that perfect Iphone app that mesmerizes you long enough to get through any given staff meeting-
The science behind this process is actually quite simple and elegant at the same time- We are testing different primers against samples of sharks (and relateds) then using a process called PCR which allows us to quickly determine if any DNA was 'caught' by the primer- The process of PCR is a series of repeated steps which allow small amounts of DNA to be amplified by the millions- This may be comparable to telling one friend a secret and by the end of the day about a million people know- Anyway: these repeated steps result in the DNA, if it is caught by the primers, being isolated and visualized with a secondary process termed electrophoresis (more later). The result are dark bands which glow under UV light- It pretty much looks like the picture below-

We also had the chance to spend an hour with Dr. Corrie Moreau who is the Asst. Curator in the Zoology Department- If you have a chance an exhibit outlining her work and passion is right now on display at the Field Museum and its called ?-- The Romance Of -- Wait for it............................ ANTS- Very cool and worth a stop-by ! So Dr. Moreau gave us a nice tour of some living and dead (err. non-animated) animals (who by the way are not cryogenically frozen in any room of the museum) who live in the museum including a Tarantula; some (many) hissing cockroaches; and some other creepy crawlies which delighted the audience- Again; something that I didn't know about the museum!
So (a.) I got to hold a living & walking Tarantula and (2.) I was reminded of when about 20 hissing cockroaches escaped from my classroom so..... Win Win

Well - I have got to go so tune in next time for a research update as well as #9 in our ten room series-

Oh- And my co-workers think that I need a universal sign-off- Something like newscasters do- 'And I'm Ron Burgandy- You stay classy San Diego.' Anyway--
Well- I cannot have anything that cool so------