March 2013
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For the Biology Lovers

Genomics. Not a very well known subject to many people and new to me. It’s a great course to have on my resume as a science major since it is so up-and-coming – glad McDaniel offers it! I will give you a brief summary about genomics and then explain why it is such a great opportunity to take genomics at McDaniel College.

Genomics is a discipline in genetics that really focuses on analyzing the entire set of DNA within a single cell of an organism, otherwise called the genome. This allows for advancements in many fields including medicine, biotechnology, and anthropology. Genomics will allow for the detection of genetic predisposition to diseases as well as custom drugs based on an individual’s genome to treat diseases. In agriculture, genomics can bring to production disease-, pest-, and drought-resistant crops. Vaccines are on their way to being edible so fruits such as bananas instead of a sharp needles may be used. These are just a few neat advancements that genomics is responsible for. It is not even half way through the semester so I have a lot more to learn.

What is unique about the genomics course at McDaniel is that the laboratory is an actual research project that leads to a publication – RESUME BOOSTER! Each semester the students receive a new annotation project dealing with Drosophila. This semester, my class is responsible for annotating sequences of Drosophila ananassae (a species of the fruit fly). We just finished the orientation to the project this week so next week we will begin the adventure of identifying elements of the Drosophila ananassae genome and attaching biological information to these elements. The professor, Dr. Parrish, does not have the answers or expected results which makes for a unique lab experience different from most other science labs. At the end of the semester each student will write a paper about their findings, which eventually becomes published. Also, a couple of students get to attend a conference each year to present their project. So if you are planning on going to medical school or graduate school, this class will undoubtedly beef up your resume and make you a more competitive applicant. Just another reason why I greatly appreciate the Biology Department at McDaniel College.


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