Learning to Become a Scientist: Weeks 3 & 4 of Summer Research

These past couple of weeks, I have been amplifying and testing for the presence of DNA in sediment cores (long, cylindrical plastic tubes that get inserted into the substrate) that have been collected. In addition, I have moved on to a step called “cloning” in which the DNA that you have gets introduced into bacteria, the bacteria take up the DNA, and reproduce with the DNA that they have taken up (ideally).

One of the research days this past week was a field day. Needless to say, I was very exited. The point of the whole trip was to collect different sediment types, but there were so many creatures all around me and lots of things to take pictures of…so I took lots of pictures too. Including this one:


It’s called a moon snail. Apparently, it uses it’s “foot” to surround its’ shell and proceeds to move in that manner.

While it was really fascinating to meet the biggest gastropod (snail) I’ve seen in my ENTIRE life, there were quite a few other sea creatures including crabs, a jelly fish, sea stars, and a clam shell.


There were a lot of crab shells. I decided to keep this one.

In addition, there was a jelly fish! It was really squishy. Not much can compare to seeing a jelly up close.

DSCN6893 DSCN6894

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of the sea stars, but there were a a variety of colors including orange, purple, and brownish to blend in with the rocks.

Last, but not least, was the clam shell. At first, I thought, “Big clam shell! Cool!” Then after bringing the clam shell back to the lab and going about processing the cores, I noticed some movement. Turns out, there were barnacles on the shell. And, being filter feeders, the barnacles attempted to filter feed. (Doesn’t it look like a face?)


The “eyes” are the barnacles.

In the following weeks, I’m going to be getting DNA samples ready to be sent off and  identified. Wish me luck!

This entry was posted in Ariana Lim '14, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.