Morgan Q. Goulding

Morgan Q. Goulding

Americus, Georgia

Georgia Southwestern State University

Assistant Professor

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Published on Nov 29, 2018

Trial #2 coming up...

Plan: double the amount of dsRNA food per snail - to hit them harder!keep snails in large petri dishes instead of (potentially toxic) plastic cupstreat snails in pairs - to encourage reproductionta...

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Published on Oct 28, 2018

Update: No exciting results

Snail genes targeted:A: Nonmuscle Myosin II; C,D: MRCK; F: ROCKSunday 10/219pm: Single snails placed in 220ml well water in cups with ~1.3ml chow (mixture of heat-killed E. coli pellet + 1ml lettuc...

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Published on Oct 22, 2018

Nibbles

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Published on Oct 21, 2018

Snails Fed

Using food processor, finely chopped 30g Romaine lettuce leaves (no ribs); steeped the chopped lettuce in 55g hot (70-80C) LB agar for 15 minutes, filtered through a coffee filter. Added 1ml filtra...

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Published on Oct 21, 2018

First Harvest

First Harvest, 10am today. OD600 = 0.9. Cells pelleted at 4C, 3000xg 15 minutes with slow deceleration (brake setting #3). Supernatants decanted, leaving about 250ml. Tubes stored at 4C. Now to mix...

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Published on Oct 20, 2018

Inducing dsRNA expression in E. coli

Inducing dsRNA expression in E. coli Made a modified version of Studier's ZYM5052 auto-induction medium. (I call my version ZYMSOSZ, pronounced "zyme sauce.") It's made of soy/casein tryptone, yeas...

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Published on Oct 14, 2018

GEARING UP FOR dsRNA EXPRESSION

GEARING UP FOR dsRNA EXPRESSIONTo express double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), we use a host strain of E. coli, HT115(DE3), genetically deficient in an enzyme (RNAse III) that normally degrades intracellul...

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Published on Oct 01, 2018

Snail DNA cloned into bacteria

Using the very fast and easy method of Chung et al (1989), I got four of my seven synthetic plasmids into the dsRNA expression strain. The other three transformations failed - why? Maybe because I ...

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Published on Sep 14, 2018

DNA has arrived

It took a while, even longer because it had to make a circuitous trip via UW. Now the DNA has gone down to Georgia, and is safe and sound in the freezer. Very soon, we can get these amazing synthet...

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Nicole, thanks for your comment. Science is often negative results. Negative results are good. The best kind of negative result allows us to confidently conclude: A does NOT cause B. You get this conclusion only with a carefully controlled experiment. Everything - every thing! - has to be constant, except for variable A, which is well-defined. (Of course, phenomenon B has to be well-defined too!) (To be extra sure, you need a 'positive control' where factor X should reliably cause phenomenon B. Just to make sure everything else is set up right.) If factor A has no effect on phenomenon B, then, hooray! you have falsified a hypothesis about how something works. A is not a cause of B. Move on to the next hypothesis about what causes B. Most new hypotheses are easily shown to be wrong. Keep going through the wrong ones until you find any that do not seem wrong. In the case of my first trial with the bacterial food and snails, we aren't talking about such a well-controlled experiment. Many variables are uncontrolled and/or undefined. Even observable effects are not very well defined. That's OK, because THIS IS NOT SCIENCE. This is, in fact, what we call ENGINEERING. This is the game where we are aiming at a desired practical GOAL, and not urgently caring about how everything works in between a design and its result. The earliest attempts at human flight, for example, failed to consider a lot of variables that have since been considered - and maybe more that have yet to be considered. But if a human got to fly a little bit (hopefully landing safely) it was considered a *positive* result - an approximation of the desired goal. And then the tinkering would go on to improve it. For the snail feeding RNAi project, the good news is that the first trial had some obvious flaws, and the second trial can easily fix these. Since this work is not being done in a well-equipped molecular lab, it will contain unanswered questions, such as: are the bacteria making any dsRNA, and if so, how much? Does this material survive the food-making process? How much of it gets eaten by snails? How much of the ingested material makes it into the snail's gut? How much of this gets transported to cells throughout the snail's body? This engineering project cares only about two questions. Are we producing dsRNA? and does it have an effect on the snails!
Dec 18, 2018
Eco-friendly and affordable molecular weaponry against snails that transmit schistosomiasis
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Nicole, thanks for your comment. Science is often negative results. Negative results are good. The best kind of negative result allows us to confidently conclude: A does NOT cause B. You get this conclusion only with a carefully controlled experiment. Everything - every thing! - has to be constant, except for variable A, which is well-defined. (Of course, phenomenon B has to be well-defined too!) (To be extra sure, you need a 'positive control' where factor X should reliably cause phenomenon B. Just to make sure everything else is set up right.) If factor A has no effect on phenomenon B, then, hooray! you have falsified a hypothesis about how something works. A is not a cause of B. Move on to the next hypothesis about what causes B. Most new hypotheses are easily shown to be wrong. Keep going through the wrong ones until you find any that do not seem wrong. In the case of my first trial with the bacterial food and snails, we aren't talking about such a well-controlled experiment. Many variables are uncontrolled and/or undefined. Even observable effects are not very well defined. That's OK, because THIS IS NOT SCIENCE. This is, in fact, what we call ENGINEERING. This is the game where we are aiming at a desired practical GOAL, and not urgently caring about how everything works in between a design and its result. The earliest attempts at human flight, for example, failed to consider a lot of variables that have since been considered - and maybe more that have yet to be considered. But if a human got to fly a little bit (hopefully landing safely) it was considered a *positive* result - an approximation of the desired goal. And then the tinkering would go on to improve it. For the snail feeding RNAi project, the good news is that the first trial had some obvious flaws, and the second trial can easily fix these. Since this work is not being done in a well-equipped molecular lab, it will contain unanswered questions, such as: are the bacteria making any dsRNA, and if so, how much? Does this material survive the food-making process? How much of it gets eaten by snails? How much of the ingested material makes it into the snail's gut? How much of this gets transported to cells throughout the snail's body? This engineering project cares only about two questions. Are we producing dsRNA? and does it have an effect on the snails!
Dec 18, 2018
Eco-friendly and affordable molecular weaponry against snails that transmit schistosomiasis
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The hope is to shut down the action of a gene that is essential for life. The expected results of this gene shutdown would be (a) embryos fail to develop; (b) adult snails cease to lay eggs; (c) adult snails die.
Oct 28, 2018
Eco-friendly and affordable molecular weaponry against snails that transmit schistosomiasis
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The LB agar contains yeast extract, so it has some of that funky odor that helps make beer so attractive.
Oct 22, 2018
Eco-friendly and affordable molecular weaponry against snails that transmit schistosomiasis
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Now we wait. It might take a week or so to see results. I will check every day for egg masses, mark them with the date, and check on embryo development. If nematodes are a guide, embryo lethality should be the first sign of gene inactivation.
Oct 21, 2018
Eco-friendly and affordable molecular weaponry against snails that transmit schistosomiasis
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Transgenic lettuce is an alternative. But more expensive.
Oct 21, 2018
Eco-friendly and affordable molecular weaponry against snails that transmit schistosomiasis
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Consciousness-raising on water quality in the USA! We need more like this. Keep up the good work!
Aug 30, 2018
Testing Water Quality and Its Correlation with Disease Diagnoses in Weakley County, TN
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Nice! Can we see some data showing that the instruments work?
Jul 31, 2018
Testing Water Quality and Its Correlation with Disease Diagnoses in Weakley County, TN
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Thanks to all for the generous support! The contributions made so far will go a long way toward funding the true cost of startup efforts. (This include child care expenses and two additional airplane seats!) Currently I am gearing up for the initial set of experiments. If these give promising results, further steps in the project will test feeding RNAi methods on several other Biomphalaria species as well as species of Bulinus (another planorbid) and Oncomelania (a weird, viviparous freshwater neogastropod), each of which can transmit schistosomiasis. Here's a funny photo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oncomelania#/media/File:Oncomelania_minima.png
Jun 04, 2018
Eco-friendly and affordable molecular weaponry against snails that transmit schistosomiasis
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Thanks much Heike! Hello to your family too!
Jun 04, 2018
Eco-friendly and affordable molecular weaponry against snails that transmit schistosomiasis
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Thanks very much Heike! Hello to your family too!
Jun 04, 2018
Eco-friendly and affordable molecular weaponry against snails that transmit schistosomiasis
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