Students Research Molecular Biology This Summer at SWOSU

Students Research Molecular Biology

A college student and a high school student conducted research in molecular biology this summer with Dr. Muatasem Ubeidat of the Southwestern Oklahoma State University Department of Biological Sciences in Weatherford. 

Adarsha Koirala (below), a biology major at SWOSU, was awarded an Infrastructure Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Summer Internship. He conducted experiments to study the nucleotidase gene of a slime mold known as Dictyostelium. According to Ubeidat, this gene is important for the organization of the cells of the slime mold during its development.  The results of Koirala’s research were presented in July at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Students Research Molecular Biology

Natalie Webb (above), a home-schooled high school student from Custer City, was also studying the same nucleotidase gene. She used a technique known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to increase the amount of the gene’s DNA and then attempted to make multiple copies of the gene by cloning it.

Ubeidat said humans have the samenucleotidase gene as Dictyostelium. Research on this gene in easily studied organisms, such as the slime mold, will help scientists understand this gene’s function in humans.

The student research projects were conducted in the Molecular Biology Laboratory in the SWOSU Department of Biological Sciences and were funded by a grant to Ubeidat from the National Institute of Health and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.