Genetics: The Half-Way Mark

VAMPY Genetics Class

As we reach the half-way mark for VAMPY, interesting things are continuing to happen in the Genetics class

Tuesday, we continued our work with sordaria and our other various labs and covered the inheritance pattern for mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited from only the mother, unlike the chromosomal DNA which is a combination of both parent’s DNA.

VAMPY Genetics ClassWednesday, we visited the Lancaster exhibit and had a wonderful talk from Dr. Carl Dick on the biological collection housed at WKU and how important these collections are. He talked about how most of the newly discovered species of mammals are not discovered in the wild but are actually discovered when scientists do genetic testing on older specimens already in collections. After his lecture, he gave us a bit of a tour showcasing some of the more interesting specimens in the collection.

VAMPY Genetics ClassWe also did several simulations with synthetic blood today such as paternity tests. Most of the class also typed their own blood Wednesday. We had to prick our fingers and mix anti-a serum, anti-b serum, and anti-rh serum with three drops of our blood, and whenever the blood clotted, it indicated the blood was positive for that antigen. Upon examining the frequencies of blood in our class, we found that they were mostly consistent with the blood type frequencies for the U.S.

Today, we will travel to WKU’s biological preserve and canoe on the Green River just north of Mammoth Cave National Park. Dr. Andersland will be our guide for this trip, and he will show us the blue holes, endangered mussels, and various other animals living in the area.

VAMPY Genetics Class