Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bolivia and Research

Things are progressing as usual at school. We're studying drugs for treating hypertension, dyslipidemias, arrhythmias, angina, etc. Essentially this is the phase where we learn how to treat the diseases in the renal, cardiac, and respiratory systems, which we learned about last block.

In the meantime, I've gotten started on some research, fortunately with the same professor who is going to Bolivia with us. I'm glad I am on good terms with all the faculty so far - I have heard of a few students who think certain professors dislike them, and I haven't gotten that vibe from anyone yet, so hopefully I won't. The research is related to bacteriophages, as I mentioned before, and we will be growing bacteria (Salmonella) and determining under what conditions their bacteriophages become most activated to the lytic phase (where they reproduce themselves and lyse their host cell, looking for more hosts, compared to the lyosgenic phase where they lay dormant in the host cell's DNA). The professor I am working with, as well as others in the lab, seem to be really laid back, It's kind of a "when you can help out, come on in - put your studies first" situation. After the high-stress environment of working in a hospital laboratory, and even the strict environment at UCSD, this is a welcome change.

Also, the Bolivia trip is beginning to materialize more. We are about ready to book our flight to La Paz, are going to put together a presentation of pre-research about Bolivia, and are getting materials ready for the trip. I'm very much looking forward to the experience - Spanish immersion, health education, learning how to diagnose and possibly treat diseases we rarely will see here in the US. Anyhow, back to studying.

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