Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Vet Quilts?

Well, I am not a vet yet but I am starting the application process.  I have one application fits most and every school has their own supplemental so it is a lot to fill out.  I have until October though.  While I gradually fill the applications out I have my usual summer job at Hannaford keeping me busy as well as spending time at Plymouth Animal Hospital.  Not only do I see what goes on in surgeries and office visits but I also go out in the truck on the farm calls.  It is a lot of fun and I look forward to veterinary school and learning even more about the workings of a veterinarian.  Today I saw a spay (I feel like I could do one I see so many), a bandage change on a large dog that had had surgery to correct its patella, an ultrasound on a large dog, vaccinations for four horses and a mule, trying to help a goat give birth (but having to put her down because it just wasn't going to happen), ultrasound on two horses, and taking a look at a filly that was just a few days old.  As you can see I get a lot out of a day and am enjoying every bit of it just like I did last summer and the summer before.

In my spare time between work and the animal hospital I do other things like keep up with quilting.  Recently I did this small piece (5" x 7") for Ashley and Stephen (I worked with them during Mayterm) who are getting married this Saturday.  Both of them had gone to Ecuador so I took a picture that they had taken and imagined it during a sunrise.  This is the final product that I stuck in a picture frame for them to decorate their living space with.
The Original Photo

The Re-imagined Ecuador Sunrise

I have another project in the works.  I have had the idea for this newer project for at least the past two years and am just now getting around to starting (and hopefully finishing) this summer.  I think it has helped that every time I go to the orthodontist I stop by a quilt shop and get some sale fabrics specifically for this project.  If you want to know what this project is you'll just have to wait until I have some progress to show. I will say this the Ecuador Sunrise piece gave me a little practice for part of this project I have in mind. Until then TTFN.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Research and Summer

Well it's been a while.  I just got home from Houghton on Friday and have already been back to work.

Mayterm Research
I spent an extra month in Houghton doing research with Dr. Pelletier and some other students during Mayterm.  Jon and I started out doing research on adult stem cells.  Adult stem cells are not the stem cells that have controversial debates surrounding them but are the stem cells most people wish scientists would use.  Dr. Pelletier had worked with Corning during the spring semester while on sabbatical to try and get these stem cells to differentiate on a specialty surface.  Normally to get stem cells to differentiate you have to grow them in the growth media for the type of cell you want.  What we were trying to do was use a stem cell growth media while the surface that the cells adhered to decided what kind of cell they would become.  However, Corning did not send the supplies we needed until the very last week of Mayterm so during the third week of Mayterm I ended up switching research projects.  Jon however, stayed on the stem cell project as he is continuing the research with the summer research institute.

The last two weeks of Mayterm I spent with Ashley and Stephen doing a genetic study with the Amish in the area.  This was an interesting project and I was able to get to know some of the Amish in the area and learn about their ways.  Propionic acidemia (PA) is a inherited recessive metabolic disorder.  It is caused by an enzyme (propionyl-CoA carboxylase) not working properly and can lead to a build up of propionic acid in the brain and heart.  This can cause seizures and serious heart problems.  In the state of NY newborn screening for PA did happen until 10 years ago.  This means that there can be people with PA who don't know they have it.  It was our hope that we would be able to identify some individuals who did not know they had PA.  We spent lots of hours in the lab after we had DNA samples donated but it was still a good time.

I am now home working at Hannaford like I have every summer.  I will also end up going to the animal hospital whenever I can.  I have many little projects that I want to do this summer.  Some even include quilting so keep an eye out for what is going on here this summer.