An investigation of alternative phosphorylation sites in arsR in Helicobacter pylori(part2)

Since the start of this semester, I’ve performed qRT-PCR for several times. qRT-PCR with taqman probes enables us to know the relative concentrations of mRNAs from the cells cultured under acidic (in my case pH5) and neutral(pH7) conditions. This technique requires a lot of patience and great attention to details. Although at the beginning, the error bars for the result bar chart were very big, indicating potential technical problems, I’m getting better results overtime. Practice makes perfect!

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An investigation of alternative phosphorylation sites in arsR in Helicobacter pylori(part1)

Over last summer, I conducted a series of experiments to test out my hypothesis: 47th and 59th positions are alternative phosphorylation sites for arsR in H.pylori with the presence of glutamic acid at 52nd position.

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Politics, Parliament, and Anthropology: Canberra

Stepping off the train in Canberra was quite daunting after the experience of Sydney. Canberra is much smaller and serves as the political hub of Australia. Fortunately, because it is the nation’s capital, the public centers (museums, government buildings, archives) are incredible. My first day in Canberra consisted of riding a bicycle to the National Museum of Australia, located on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin.

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Finding a Research Foundation in Sydney

After spending weeks stressing about how I would spend my first summer as a graduate student, I ended up with several options that I thought were reasonable and would lead me in a fruitful direction. These plans included myriad internships for grassroots organizations in San Francisco, a volunteering opportunity with a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Ecuador, and spending time trying to hone in on a research topic for my upcoming thesis. I spoke with my advisor, who upon first hearing these options told me that any of them would be fine; however, she boldly instead encouraged me to begin trying to travel to Australia for the summer. After all, Australia is where I want to ultimately conduct research and I had yet to visit the country. This suggestion both terrified and excited me and served as the impetus for my maiden voyage down under.

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Research Update

I returned from my research trip to London earlier this summer and found a lot of really interesting things! I visited the National Archives in London where there were a wide variety of documents and reports that outlined the student movements that were rising up in both East and West Pakistan. They detailed various aspects of the movements and even the British governments contribution and involvement with them, which was largely educational and set up through the dispersion of aid to help improve infrastructure and curriculum.

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Frustrations of the Archive & the Joy of Material Culture

I visited several archival collections in England, including the British Library and the National Archives. I was looking for records that placed Virginia colonists in England during specific years and references to certain people and portraits. Unfortunately, after hours of looking at papers, official records, personal account books, and wills, I found almost nothing that would be useful in my dissertation. This was not a big surprise. Colonial Virginia records and references to Virginians have been collected, transcribed, referenced, and published for many years so I already had some idea of what to expect from the archives. Further, there are relatively few references to specific portraits and many artists’ names from the eighteenth century go unrecorded. Even in probate records – inventories of property taken after a person’s death – and wills, portraits often go unmentioned. Tracking the whereabouts of colonists in England is also difficult unless they were sent abroad on official business and appear in government papers.

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Researching the 1960s Student Protests in Pakistan

The 1960s were a time of great social and political change, during which youth involvement and student activism rose to the forefront throughout the world. Younger generations unhappy with society and government found their voice, and challenged the norms and governance. As such, the Pakistani student protest movement rose in response to the military dictatorship in place in the country at the time. And while addressing national political conditions, the movement was informed by many of the elements present in the student protests raging on throughout the world, such as left-wing intellectualism and rock n’ roll. Thus, the movement is in many ways connected to those occurring throughout the world. In my research I am hoping to see if I can find common “cultural catalysts” that were present in both South Asian student activism and it’s Western counterpart. Specifically I am hoping to see if cultural commodities such as rock n’ roll influenced Pakistani students, as they did students in Europe and America.

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Researching Colonial Portraiture in England

This summer, I was awarded a Reves Center International Travel Grant to conduct research in England for my dissertation. My research trip is one month long and will take me to London and Oxford and then around the countryside to several houses. My dissertation, “The Art of Plantation Authority: Domestic Portraiture in Colonial Virginia,” looks at the social function of portraiture in Virginia until about 1776. So, why does a doctoral student researching colonial portraits need to spend so much time in England?

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Salvaging Earthworks in Ijebu-Ode: A Fruitful Archaeological Survey

For three weeks now, my team and I have been carrying out a pedestrian survey across the town of Ijebu-Ode, in Nigeria. The town is growing at a frantic pace, and its archaeological relics was fastly disappearing. This archaeological enterprise becomes pertinent at such a time as this. Up till now, what we know about Ijebu-Ode’s past in the light of archaeological record was its centeredness within the longest single monument in Africa, known as Sungbo Eredo. The Ijebu Kingdom is surrounded by Sungbo-Eredo which is about 180km in circumference and stretches along two states (Ogun and Lagos). The monument was first documented by the Portuguese Chronicler, Pacheco Pereira in the early 16th century as a large ditch that surrounds a kingdom. While Peter Lloyd and Patrick Darling were the first archaeologists/Historians to document this earthwork in 1959 and 1996 respectively, David Aremu, and the Chouin-led team of archaeologists from William and Mary, and the University of Ibadan respectively have consistently studied Sungbo Eredo within the last 10 years. It was thus concluded, although still under analysis, that the ditch is up to 600 years. That is, probably built around the second half of the fourteenth century or the beginning of the fifteenth century.

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In Search of Earthworks: Ife-Sungbo Archaeological Project begins

IMG_5894The other members of the team arrived Nigeria on the 4th of June 2017. I arrived a little bit earlier to catch up with Family and friends, and to do preliminary preparations for the project. Ile-Ife has an intriguing past, it is well known for its naturalistic objects regarding artefactual endeavor as well as its recognition as the home/birthplace of the Yoruba civilizations.

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