Mosquitos: Pesky but Cool

Hello there everyone! My name is Becca Timmons and I just finished my freshman year at CSU as a Microbiology major! I will be working in the Wilusz Lab for the next couple of months under the ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship. I am very grateful and ecstatic to be given this fellowship and even more excited to continue working with the Wilusz lab as I did in the spring.

My research basically deals with mosquito DNA…sort of. DNA is in every living thing, and different parts of DNA codes for different things, from the functions of little proteins in you to what color your eyes are. mRNA is a single strand copy of DNA and is degraded by mRNA decay machinery. It is already known what proteins in the mRNA decay machinery interact with mRNA in our cells, but these proteins haven’t really been studied in mosquito cells. In my research I try to find segments of DNA in mosquitoes that code for proteins that are homologous to those in human DNA that interact with the mRNA decay machinery.

I know intense right? But why is this important? Well, mosquitoes are vectors for many RNA viruses and if we can find out what these proteins are then we could possibly find a way to increase their function. Doing this could increase the decay of the virus and if we could “destroy” the virus at the source, then we could hopefully decrease transmission rates.
I hope to post at least twice a week, and my first day back is tomorrow! Wish me luck!
-Becca T

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    • dundeefan
    • June 1st, 2010

    Sounds like a really exciting opportunity! It is interesting to learn how similar our structures can be to an insect! Best of luck on this fellowship!

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