Emily Scott-Intro, Current News, Project Ideas, and Readings

Introduction: Emily Scott

I am a senior neuroscience and psychology major here at Ohio Wesleyan University. I play on the ultimate Frisbee team, the Yeti’s, and am in the neurds club also known of as neuroscience club. Over the past few summers, I have been working in neuroscience labs and have learned a lot of useful facts about the brain but I have a lot more questions than answers. My ultimate goal is to have people give me a lot of money so I can answer all the questions I have about the brain through research. I’m headed in the right direction this semester by doing my own independent study on Alzheimer’s Disease.

I grew up in Maryland so I am not very good at trusting the seafood, especially crab, I order in Ohio restaurants. I have one sister and one brother. The sister is at school in Baltimore and the brother is building submarines in DC. Hopefully I will get some more traveling in before I settle down. I plan on going to graduate school somewhere on the east coast or at one of the most prestigious neuroscience schools in the Netherlands. Before that though, I want to work in a pharmaceutical lab for a year or two.

 

Current News:

Since the late 80’s, the main threat against honeybee health has been the varroa mite. These mites have wiped out colonies through parasitically attaching to the bees and sucking out nutrients necessary for survival.

In the past three decades, the only treatment widely used is to spray the mite and honeybee with pesticide, hoping that the mite will be exterminated and the bee survive but it is not the optimal treatment.

Recent USDA funded research has lead to the discovery of No. 18, a queen honeybee holding the hopes of many beekeepers on her shoulders. No. 18’s mother was one of few who survived disease and cold Vermont winters and her father was raised at Purdue University to fight mites. So far, every egg laid by No. 18 has this mite fighting grooming behavior. Specifically, the bees bite and chew the legs off mites. Once their leg is gone, mites will bleed to death and these bees have no need to use pesticides.

Even with this breakthrough, geneticists are not satisfied. Even though No. 18’s descendant queens will have the mite fighting qualities, her mate most likely will not be as highly qualified to survive parasitic varroa mites. No. 18 allows for the start of better focused and more efficient for research models.

 

Class Project Ideas:

  1. Do a canoe/walking river clean up when it gets a bit warmer. It’s a great way to help protect wildlife from trash and I always have fun in canoes!
  2. Create an outreach program to present to children at a grade school. Make sure to include fun hands on activities to engage them in ways to make the world a cleaner, safer place.
  3. Get a movement/petition going around OWU staff and students to conserve energy through turning off lights. Sometimes at night I see lights on in academic classrooms that I know for certain are not being used. Even during the day, turning off lights in classrooms during the lunch hour can conserve 5 hrs of light per week.

 

Meadowlands:

Men fight men over land all the time but I take particular pleasure when the land fights back. “The Meadowlands spat in the face of progress.” It humbles our existence and forces us to acknowledge that there is something stronger than our money and manpower.

In the novel, Meadowlands, the strong land represented by Robert Sullivan gathers strength from it’s toxicity. I found this quote very interesting: “But I am creeping slowly back into the East, back to America’s first West — making the reverse commute to the already explored land that has become, through negligence, through exploitation and through its own chaotic persistence, explorable again.” It struck me that there is no new world to explore anymore. We have conquered all possible land on this planet. With civilization comes roads and buildings, with civilization comes the destruction of wilderness. Therefore, for nature to survive civilization, it has to be more than wild, it has to be toxic.

However, like any war, nothing is left unaffected. “The Meadowlands owes its longtime reputation as one of the most disgusting areas in America to three things: Trash, industry, and mosquitos.” However, for some reason, it’s still being called, “beautiful…grandeur,” despite the trash hills, Penn Station, and bodies.

Perhaps it is because of the cohesiveness between civilization and nature, so eloquently described by Sullivan, that the Meadowlands are still admired. Would the Meadowlands be as admired if civilization kept it’s grimy paws off and side stepped it on it’s conquest westward? I don’t believe it would be as admired but I also don’t think it would be as detested as it is either. Either way, the Meadowlands is a good model of nature surviving through attempt after attempt to destroy it. It motivates me to fight on the side of nature.

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