The sixth week of summer research has been a busy week for bearded dragon team. The week started with Bryce and Dr. Keller working together to complete the first trail of the thrombocyte/ leukocyte rich plasma study. Together they drew blood, spun down the blood to get plasma and used a hemocytometer in conjunction with Natt and Herricks solution in order to count the thrombocytes, leukocytes and erythrocytes. Thrombocytes are like mammalian platelets helping in the formation of a thrombus (blood clot), leukocytes are immune cells and erythrocytes are red blood cells.
On Tuesday, Ivana, Bryce and Dr. Adamovicz helped Dr. Keller by performing PCR on
Nannizziopsis gauroi DNA. To do this we took DNA from multiple strains of N. gauroi along with a few different primers, DNA polymerase and multiple thermal cycling met hods. By performing these steps, we made multiple copies of the DNA. Then on Wednesday we spent much of our morning preparing and eventually running a gel to tell which of the PCR methods worked. When we looked at the results it turned out that two of the methods resulted in beautiful bands. This could mean that these methods could be used in helping develop new qPCR primers which could help improve the diagnostic methods for N. gauroi.
On Thursday Ivana spent much of her time making follow up calls to Guinea pig owners. The calls went well, and people
were willing to answer her questions. On Friday the bearded dragons were being used to help the new interns in the teaching hospital learn how to properly do a physical exam on a bearded dragon, and how to preform an intra muscular and subcutaneous injection. In the meantime, while not looking at blood, performing PCR or making calls Bryce and Ivana were continuing to care for the bearded dragons and work on their other research projects for the summer.