Seth and Sarah Bordenstein help students Discover the Microbes Within

Wolbachia was discovered a hundred
years ago inside the reproductive tissues of a few insects. Today it exists
in 40% of all insects and other arthropods species.
It also has biomedical relevance because Wolbachia can inhibit the transmission
of pathogenic viruses like Zika and dengue virus to humans. The students start out by asking questions about the environment in their community. About
what insects might be in their community. If they have Wolbahia what the impact of
Wolbachia might be on those insects. We’re gonna be dissecting these bugs and
extracting their DNA to see whether they have Wolbachia in them or not. We want to encourage international
participation in discovery-based science. We want to enhance student interest in
biodiversity and biotechnology. We want to expose students to real-world
research in nature where they discover something new. And finally in the most
important we want to give students a vision of what it’s like to be a
scientist. I want to be able to express to other people that science is so much more than you see on a textbook and on TV

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