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Conceptualizing DIY style biology practicum: Color change by melanosome transport as a case study.

Conceptualizing DIY style biology practicum: Color change by melanosome transport as a case study.

By In Aiv Internship On June 25, 2019


Internship title: Conceptualizing DIY style biology practicum: Color change by melanosome transport as a case study.

LABORATORY
Name: Minhaj Sirajuddin
Affiliation: Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenrative Medicine
Address: inStem, NCBS-TIFR, GKVK Post, Bellary Road, Bangalore – 5600065
E-mail: minhaj@instem.res.in

LAB Director
Name: Minhaj Sirajuddin
Phone number: +91 80 6194 8133
E-mail: minhaj@instem.res.in

SUPERVISOR
Name: Minhaj Sirajuddin
Phone number: +91 80 6194 8133
E-mail: minhaj@instem.res.in

Subject Keywords: Animal Color Change, Cytoskeleton, Molecular Motors, Intracellular Transport, DIY
Tools and methodologies: Microscopy, Imaging, Videography and Science Communication
Summary of lab’s interests: Eukaryotic biological motions across scales and orders of magnitude involve cytoskeleton elements. Because of their importance in cell division, motility and muscle contraction, mutations in cytoskeleton are frequently associated with human pathology. Our lab is focused on understanding how cytoskeleton assemblies coordinate during physiological and their deregulation during disease conditions.
Project summary: The idea of this internship is to use commonly available materials to create a online module/content for DIY biology practical. As a first case study, here we will explore this by using fish color change as an example of biology phenomenon, in which the fish skin cells change colors upon addition of hormones.

Color change in animal is a common phenomenon and animals use this for a variety of reasons ranging from camouflage to communication. Different animal use different strategies for color change. [Different strategies for color change, S.Aspengren et al. 2008]. Fishes can change their color during seasonal changes and this is mediated by hormonal changes that change the melanosome of fish scales. In addition to hormones a variety of agents have been known to change fish color.

The aspects of fish color change has been widely studied and commonly used in practical curriculum of many undergraduate biology courses. Our goal is to use materials that are available in local pharmacy store to carry out this experiment and record the color change in fish scales using mobile phone camera. Using this case study as a model, in future we hope to introduce new DIY style practical modules from new research emerging from inStem laboratories.

Interdisciplinary aspect of the project: The project combines expertise int he field of cell biology, microscopy, imaging and videography. Additionally the project involves simplifying the lab work such that the experiments can be performed in less sophisticated labs of schools and colleges.