Image Source: Emily Handfield
For the student scientist!
Taylor Jade Layne
Are you interested in biology, and enjoy experimentation? Then JAC’s biology research projects might be for you! Funded by the NSERC, these laboratories allow students to gain hands-on lab experience. Science is not science without research, and these labs teach students all the basics; from forming a hypothesis to extracting DNA, all the while explaining the significance of these skills. These experiments are not graded, so students can enjoy the process with no stress or fear of failure. There are four labs to participate in.
First, parasite diversity. Parasites may seem icky, but studies suggest the more diverse a parasite population is, the healthier your ecosystem may be. Students will be discovering the scope of parasite diversity from fishes in Lac-Saint-Louis, and the river of Thousand Islands. Students will learn how to extract parasite DNA from fish, use PCR to enlarge genes, and sequence genes to categorize parasites.
Second, the impact of anthropogenic pollution on animals. In this experiment students will be looking at BPA (Bisphenol A), an industrial chemical used to make plastic and resins, and its effects on ecosystems. To do this, students will see how BPA acting as a xenoestrogen affects the lifespan, survival rate and reproduction of marine snails.
Third, upcycling and bioremediation. Students will try to grow mushrooms from college waste like coffee grounds. This process of obtaining useful residue from garbage is called upcycling. This lab teaches the fundamentals of microbiology labs and trains students to make mushrooms!
Fourth, evolution of human homosexuality. Here students will be testing four hypotheses to try and explain how homosexuality is sustained. This will teach students to construct digital surveys, and how to analyze data in meaningful ways.
If any of these experiments interest you, MIO Simon Daoust or Shireef Darwish for all the details!
Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol. 48 Issue 06 on November 21th, 2018