Wednesday, 25 August 2010

S366: TMA-4

TMA-4 - the project.

In this TMA you have to write up two reports, in the style of a scientific paper. Its a little weird as there is a limit of 2500 words split how you like between the two papers. This is not too bad, as there is a lot of basic stuff to write about in the first paper, that you can then reference in the second. Calculations and meaning of variables etc.

I did mine on the computer project, which was the analysis of a virtual populations of the Adonis blue butterfly. It was a lot of analysis of data. Analysing virtual gels of DNA of the microsatellite markers. Then there were lots of calculations to see how related populations are, and what this might mean. This meant quite a lot of quality time with excel. The calculations aren't hard, but there are a lot of them, and its easy to get so of the steps the wrong way around.
Then there are references to find, and conclusions to write. I got a little confused about some of the statistical texts, not sure how to see if they were significant or not,  but in the end I did something that seemed to sort of read ok, and got not too bad a mark.

After many reads, I got a friend to also ready it, and based on comments I had, I went back and explained a lot more what the variables were and what they meant, which in turn made me understand them a lot better. So that was useful, but I did miss out a few key things in the report.

So - one TMA left.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

S377: TMA-3

It's time for TMA-3.

So 5 questions to be answered.

Question one is about endocytosis. It gives you 5 different things that are endocytosed, and asks you for the different mechanisms they use. These are IgA, transferrin, influenza virus, apoptotic cell debris and cholera toxin - so there.

Question 2 looks at the cell surface ICAM-1 in rather more detail than I ever want to again. How it is glycosylated and how it is transported about the cell, and all the key proteins it comes into contact with.

Question 3 - more on ICAM this time on its signalling system. What class of receptor it is, how it might function and its processes within the system.

Question 4 is about caspases and death domains, apoptosis and the like. I can't help thinking of death eaters from harry potter for some reason all the way through this.

Question 5 we have another paper to study, about altzeimers and untranslated regions of the mRNA. It looks in detail about mRNA regulation, and that there are mechanisms to stop the translation of mRNA into protein that can react quickly to needs. Anyway, there is a huge number of questions on this - a) to m), and several of these having i) ii) iii) subparts. There are a lot of marks on offer for this (50%). I manage to lose quite a few here though, and nto through not understanding, just being slightly out of kilter with exactly what the question is asking for. I think several of my answers are sort of right, but not what is expected. Grrr. My worst score so far.