Fun with the Frogs

If there’s anything more painful than pregnancy, it might be eggs sprouting from your male gonads. Today, SSP Purdue Biochem learned about the feminization of African frogs due to the pesticide Atrazine, from UC Berkeley professor Dr. Tyrone Hayes. As interesting as our protein folding lectures are, I always end up forcing my eyeballs open (I blame the melatonin-infused walls of the armory). I didn’t nod off in this lecture. Dr. Hayes’s presentation was the best I’ve ever seen. I’m not exaggerating. The storyline, execution, broad impact of his work–people like that inspire me. In fact, my whole time here at SSP has been inspiring. 

Today we also finished our fourth assignment of the trip: gathering journal articles about our specific proteins. I glanced through those articles unfazed by the rampant jargon and excited to apply the same ideas with our own protein. Though I have to say, my favorite assignment so far has been assignment 2. I loved the creative thinking and problem solving involved, and I loved working with my classmates to tackle those obstacles together. I can also use those same rDNA techniques with my own research back at home, so it was exciting to see how applicable the skills we learn here are. I’ve been struggling with visualizing life after college, so it’s amazing to conduct research in action and see what a life in academia entails. I think I’ve found my niche. 

However, my niche does not include blasting AC. Tomorrow we’re going on a sciency Target blanket run, and next week we’re going to purify our extracted proteins with affinity chromatography. I hope to experience the unforgettable scent of destain solution soon. Bye!!!

I am Alexis, a rising senior at San Mateo High School in California. I love playing violin and competing in science fairs–usually research obtained from my makeshift garage wet lab. I’m involved in several other extracurriculars and also founded my free tutoring organization ( I hope to pursue a career in research with an environmental application, play chamber music with friends, and make lots of money. Please mail me flavorblasted goldfish and unsweetened iced tea (preferably Pureleaf brand).