Future plans include annotating the virus sequences using bioinformatics to identify the genetic features or traits of their virus. Of particular note, the students submitted a research paper to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) about viral sequences that they had already annotated. A publication date is expected in four to six months.
Dr. Kulkosky offered several weeklong science camps last summer for middle school and high school students. Funded by the Maguire Foundation, the first camp, Illuminating Science through Art, hosted 12 middle school students and taught them to observe and artistically reproduce diverse preserved and living organisms as their subjects of art. Goals of the camp included broadening the student’s science knowledge base in a manner that differs from lecture-based learning and improving the skills of student perception with regard to dimensional and intuitive reasoning.
The popular Forensic Sciences Camp hosted 16 middle and high school students for each of its two sessions and included an interesting combination of hands-on activities and lectures such as the use of the micropipetteman, a DNA and genetics lecture, the isolation of student genomic DNA from cheek epithelial cells, DNA fingerprinting, the lecture, How to Use The Microscope, microscope forensics evidence analyses and a hair/fiber analysis project that lifted hair and fibers from the student lounge.
Additional activities included a Time of Death assessment by forensic entomology, Time of Death assessment by algor mortis measurements, blood typing, blood alcohol level analysis, DNA paternity by DNA typing, “Whose baby” by blood typing determination of parents and children and fingerprint and footprint analyses. Guest commentator, Dr. Lauren Barrow, participated with the groups on a case study of the O.J. Simpson case, a study overview of forensic odontology and bullet and bullet shell casing analysis. The final day was a review of several pieces of evidence acquired during the week to identify “Who Murdered Janelle Leo?” the camp’s lab assistant and recent CHC graduate.