Essay about Bi108 Extra Credit

Submitted By eternalexneko1
Words: 481
Pages: 2

“Evolutionarily conserved Wolbachia-encoded factors control pattern of stem-cell niche tropism in Drosophila ovaries and favor infection”
Christine Hamadani
BI108 Extra Credit
E4 Lesneski The graduate student I talked to was named Catherine Beatty, an MCBB graduate student at BU. She studies host-microbe interactions at the cellular and molecular level, and works with Wolbachia, which is an intracellular bacteria that infects a large fraction of arthropods. I learned a lot about research methods during our interview; one point I didn’t previously know, was that a lot of math came into play when figuring out a procedure in a research project experiment. During our interview, she explained the context of her research, since I didn’t really understand from her very colorful poster: “Wolbachia is being used to control the vector for Dengue (the Aedes aegypti mosquito) but is reducing its vector capacity, so I’m studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of Wolbachia transmission in Drosophila and the Culex pipien mosquito.” Super cool! She explained her interest of research, in that Wolbachia are intracellular bacteria that infect invertebrates at pandemic levels, including insect vectors of devastating infectious diseases. As part of her research process, she’s pursuing an investigation that presumes that although Wolbachia are providing novel strategies for the control of several human pathogens, the processes underlying Wolbachia’s successful propagation within and across species remain elusive. She muses that Wolbachia are mainly vertically transmitted; however, there is also evidence of “extensive horizontal transmission.” As part of her future research plans, she aims to solidify her claims that Wolbachia targets ovarian stem cell niches. Called, “Niche tropism,” she explained that it was pervasive in Wolbachia infecting the Drosophila genus, and different patterns of niche tropism are evolutionarily conserved. She aimed to accomplish and prove her points via…