CCPA Summer Series 2018: Fundación Instituto Leloir

CCPA Summer Series 2018: Fundación Instituto Leloir

Loving the Smell of Fly Food in the Morning or How To Dissect an Organ Too Small to See By Federico Perelmuter This summer I’ve been interning at the Fundación Instituto Leloir, in Buenos Aires, Argentina (aka home). There, in the Wappner Lab, I’ve met some wonderful people, and learned a lot about my country’s scientific system, which I ‘escaped’ in attending Haverford. The main focus of my experience was the analysis of the role of autophagy (the process by which cells eat some bits of themselves for energy and raw materials) in the differentiation of blood cells in the lymph gland. What is a lymph gland? It is a fantastic model for studying the different factors influencing the differentiation (or lack thereof) of blood cells in flies. It is an organ located at the base of the brain of Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) larvae, measuring a glorious 200×20 um (about as long as a human hair is wide, and as wide as ¼ of a sheet of paper is thick), and semi-transparent. I had to extract at least 6 in half an hour, in order to make experimentation worthwhile. In my last week at the lab I carried out a full dissection protocol, from crossing the flies (basically sticking a bunch of them in a labelled jar and waiting until they produce offspring) to extracting glands from the resulting larvae, immunostaining and fixing these glands, and then mounting them into microscope slides to be photographed for fluorescence. I thought I’d tell you exactly how you can also tear apart innocent fly larvae to observe an essentially negligible part of their anatomy,...
CCPA Summer Series 2018: La Blogothèque

CCPA Summer Series 2018: La Blogothèque

By Bilge Yilmaz One of these pink-filtered, cloudy Paris mornings, I wake up to a simple workday. I take the subway line 8 to République, then 11 to Place des Fêtes, and arrive at the Blogo offices. Paris has an impressive rail system. I seat myself by my desk, right across two walls, respectively decorated with various posters of “Soirées de Poche” and with simple illustrations done by markers: Beirut, Kings of Convenience, Low, My Brightest Diamond, Electric Guest, Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, St. Vincent, Local Natives… It’s as if someone sneaked into my Spotify to curate this series. Everyone whistles the catchy intro to Arcade Fire’s Everything Now today. No complaints. The post-production process of their Paris concert’s footage from April is about to be over. Awaiting the final cut, we hear parts of the recording from the video room. Plus, it’s *finally* not raining today. Speaking and hearing French daily is a little bit harsh on me, but I will get through it. I start the day by going through all the very old videos on La Blogothèque’s website to help archive them. I rummage through music-hungry, passionate articles, and detect which ones are missing videos in good quality. Not your typical HD from 2000s camcorders, but so much technique, history – so many layers. In the early afternoon, we head to a studio to make an interview recording with the respected French artist Yves Simon, he tells stories of Zelda Fitzgerald. I accompany a small crew of a director, a sound engineer, an assisting producer, and Bedouine, a Middle Eastern descent singer-songwriter, as we go off to...
CCPA Summer Series 2018: How “Service-Learning” Abroad Prepared me for my Summer Internship

CCPA Summer Series 2018: How “Service-Learning” Abroad Prepared me for my Summer Internship

By Dayana Davila This summer I will be interning at Penn Medicine as a clinical research assistant in a primary care setting with Dr. Carmen Guerra. Though I do not begin until July 9th, over the past semester, spring 2018, I participated in CIEE’s service-learning program through which I was able to gain valuable experience that I will apply during my summer internship. As part of this service-learning program, I was placed at Victoria Hospital, a public hospital, in order to complete the “service” aspect of my program. Though the purpose of my “service” at Victoria was to complete a research-based project, the first two weeks were dedicated to shadowing and immersing myself into the culture at Victoria Hospital. As a pre-med student, I was beyond eager for the opportunity to shadow alongside doctors and medical students as they went along their daily duties. It is important to note that Victoria Hospital is a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Cape Town (UCT), meaning there is a constant flow of final-year medical students rotating in and out of each medical department as they finalize their clinical studies. This was of a great benefit to me because I was able to fit right in as an observer amongst all the medical students that went through the rounds each morning, although I was often confused for a medical student Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, I arrived to Victoria Hospital at 7:30 am for the beginning of the morning rounds, which usually ended around 11 am. On a typical morning at 7:30 am the consultant doctor, registrar doctors, and medical students...
CCPA Summer Series 2018: Haagerup Excavation: Seeing through Skeletons into Our Past

CCPA Summer Series 2018: Haagerup Excavation: Seeing through Skeletons into Our Past

CCPA Note: Today’s blog starts our annual summer series, where Haverford students funded through college sponsored opportunities share their experiences. We are so excited for the series to begin, and look forward to an exciting summer ahead! By Yifan Zhang This summer, I have the amazing opportunity to excavate a medieval cemetery on the island of Fyn in Denmark. Haagerup archaeological campaign is organized by the Unit of Anthropology (ADBOU) at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), and I will be working with bioarchaeologists from SDU and Penn State. Through participating in this exciting project, I will gain valuable fieldwork experience and learn bioarchaeological knowledge that is not taught at Haverford. What’s more, few things could be more rewarding than personally contributing to an international research project alongside leading scholars in the field! All of these are made possible by the generosity of Ms. Deborah Lafer-Scher and the kind support from CCPA, for which I am genuinely thankful. Haagerup cemetery was abandoned after the Protestant Reformation in Denmark and was in use for approximately five centuries, serving a local rural parish. Archaeologists estimate that there are 3000 burials in this site. So what can we learn from studying thousands of skeletons? Skeletal remains are fascinating carriers of information. When other organic materials and soft tissues have decomposed, bones persist in the soil. Not only do they provide us with the demographic profile of past populations, but diet, epidemic, disease, famine, and violence also leave marks on the bone. Numerous interesting questions, which are otherwise mysteries, can now be answers with the information we collect from the skeletal remains. Personally,...
CCPA Summer Series 2017: Andrew Cornell ’18, Policy and Culture in Graz, Austria

CCPA Summer Series 2017: Andrew Cornell ’18, Policy and Culture in Graz, Austria

I have had the incredible opportunity to be living, working, and learning in Graz, Austria, for the past four weeks. When I arrived, I had no Idea what kind of experience this would turn out to be. My time has been split between working at the mayor’s office and interning at the Center for Inter-American Studies at the University of Graz. At both of these organizations, I have been surprised at how much I have learned simply through everyday conversation over lunch, ‘at the watercooler’, or sitting at a desk. And I haven’t just been learning about Austria, but have conersed with people hailing from India to Cuba to Slovenia about everything from people’s day to day lives, to differing academic cultures, to political and cultural similarities and differences. Through my internship, I have had the chance to participate in a variety of activities, with my time during the work day being used primarily to either attend lectures, shadow city employees, or help my host organizations’ with work. The lectures and conferences I have attended have focused on the transnational movements of people and ideas, and how these movements have shaped cultural identities. For example, I had the opportunity to attend a conference on Jewish migrants after the Second World War, where students presented preliminary research on how Jewish communities dealt with their cultural identity after many of them were displaced into new countries such as America or Russia. Through the Center for Inter-American Studies, I have also had the opportunity to attend lectures on the cultural identities of Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago, and how these identities are...