Students take Action in the Gulf
This past Labor Day weekend, five chemistry students accompanied Professor Larsen on a tour of the coastlines of Mississippi and Louisiana to learn more about the effects of the BP oil spill. They brought back samples of the beach sand and water to study back at St. Mary's and to further their understanding of the many environmental issues facing the gulf.
Chem majors in San Francisco
From left to right: Brian, JP, Dr. Leah Eller, Rob, Nick, Danielle, Mike, Bertrand, Anita, Janice, Dr. Andy Koch, Tabitha (Now Dr. Clem), and Taylor. Emilie and Kristina couldn't make the photo.
Last Spring, 12 St. Mary's students attended the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Fransico. Eight presented their work and we all met after Tabitha Clem's ('05) talk. Tabitha was just finishing up her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley.
"siRNA Knockdown of a Lipid-droplet Associated Protein"
Cells store fatty acids in the form of triacylgycerols packed into lipid droplets. These droplets are covered by a group of proteins known as the PAT (Perilipin, Adipose differentiation-related protein, Tail-interacting protein 47 kDa) family, which is characterized by amino acid sequence homology and an association with lipid droplets. Other PAT members include S3-12, PAT-1, and Prp19p. Most of these proteins are believed to be involved with regulating lipolysis and lipid droplet formation and breakdown. Perilipin is known to regulate the translocation of hormone sensitive lipase to the lipid droplet surface, but the specific functions of the remaining members are still unknown. The aim of this study was to try to determine the function of Tail-interacting protein 47 kDa, by knocking down expression using RNA interference in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, and then differentiating the transfected cells. The treatment achieved partial gene knockdown in the cells, but I was unable to determine if there was any effect on the differentiation process.