December 18

Mutation Story


I am the reason she’s like this, it’s my fault. It is my fault the voices of her loved ones will never be heard through screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-5-08-26-pmher ears. I made her this way and there is nothing I could have done. My name is Morgan, a young protein  found on the (GJB2) gene. I am connexion 26, the main reason my host has non-syndromic hearing loss. My host Mckenzie, is a sweet 11 year old girl who was born with non-syndromic hearing loss. Mckenzie inherited this disease from her father.When my genetics were still being created and Mckenzie was still an infant inside the womb, her ears were damaged. Mckenzie was born with non-syndromic hearing loss caused by a viral infection in the inner ear.

Non syndromic hearing loss has provided many difficulties to live with, there are a lot more side effects then Mckenzie’s parents had anticipated. Mckenzie does not communicate verbally, instead she speaks with sign language. Well I would’t say she speaks it fluently but she’s learning. Mckenzie also goes to speech therapy three times a week and has been learning how to read lips. Mckenzie strongly relies on the four senses she has because she is missing one. She does homeschoscreen-shot-2016-12-13-at-6-21-05-pmoling because she finds it extremely difficult to follow along in class by only reading lips. Mckenzie started homeschooling in the first grade deciding it would be a better option after being in school for one year (kindergarten). Not only has this syndrome effected Mckenzie’s life but it also effects her whole family’s. They have all been taking sign language lessons and they always have to be mindful of how fast the are speaking or how much they have to pronunciate.

It all went wrong when the DNA copied itself while the DNA was dividing. The copied pattern got mixed up and so the two identical DNA strips were no longer identical, which is a mutation. About one child out of every 500 is born or has developed hearing loss as a child.

Mckenzie appearance does not look any different from others. Despite her hearing loss the only thing that makes her stand out are her hearing aids. You might be wondering why someone would need hearing aids if they can’t hear anything at all. The hearing aids do not allow her to hear general sounds but they give her a better sense of her surroundings. The type of syndrome Mckenzie has is familial. Familial is a syndrome where you develop non syndromic hearing loss from a family member, in this case her father. Mckenzie also has sensorineural hearing which is when the the hearing loss is caused by having an infection in the inner ear as a baby.
In order to create my mutation story I needed to research about non syndromic hearing loss and I learned how someone with this syndrome would communicate. A few questions I asked myself in order to create this story were, how would this condition effect her family. How would the parents of a child with non syndromic hearing loss know their kid has the syndrome. How I would feel if I was born with the syndrome.
While doing this project I went on to youtube and searched about mutations and how they occur. I found a youtube video titled  “How genetic mutation happens”. By watching this video I had a better image in my mind on what actually happens when genetic mutations occurs.
I started this project with picking my mutation then I searched about the topic. I read some articles and facts just to get a general idea of what the syndrome is then I wrote my story and included the important facts that really stood out to me.
I used a lot of different sources but the main two I found helpful towards this assignment I copied the links and added them to my blog.
I think the process went well and I enjoyed coming up with a story. In my opinion I think that I could have looked at more sources so I could have written one or two more sentences but I like what I have came up with and I feel did well on this assignment.

December 9

Edible DNA


In Mr.Robinson’s science 9 class, our assignment was to make a DNA strand using liquorice, mini coloured marshmallows and tooth picks. DNA is found in the nucleus of a cell and it create your characteristics. DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. The DNA you have are copy’s of your parents passed down to you.

There are four different types of nitrogen bases, (A) adenine, (T) thymine, (G)  guanine and (C) cytosine. Their is always a pattern for the four chemical bases. The pattern we used in class was TAC GTA TGA AAC. As you can see in the photos their are two strands of DNA, the DNA strands act as a blue print for the other DNA strand. -Angie Johnston

December 7

CBL Engineering Brightness Proposal


2) Mr.Robison’s science 9 class was lucky enough to have a Skype call with the Dominican Republic and New Brunswick. Having the opportunity to speak with high school grade 11 students in a different country/province was a really cool experience. We had the chance to ask them many questions based on light poverty and lack of electricity in the Dominican Republic.

Our first Skype call was on November 24th 2016 speaking with the Dominican Republic. Two staff members from a private school in the Dominican named Dennis and Eladio gavescreen-shot-2016-12-06-at-8-15-57-pm us descriptive information about the electrical issues and light poverty they have were they live. They told us many facts and showed my class photos of what their housing looks like from the outside. Many buildings looked very rusted and had no power source. My class was split into groups and one student from each group was able to ask a question. My question I asked was “What are the conditions like at school and how does it effect you?” Eladia and Dennis responded by telling me about how little light they have during the day. We were told that in most places there is access to electricity for about 2-3 hours a day, some places have no power.

The elite private school in the Dominican Republic is lucky enough to  have electricity and has the money to afford the use of computers, iPads, 3D printers and telephones. An elite private school in the Dominican Republic is equivalent to a regular public school where we live (Canada BC). In the Dominican, most public schools have no access to any power and mostly use daylight as there only source of light. During the day children are out in the cane fields where they are forced to cut cane for 14 hours a day every day because their families can not afford for their children to get an education.

Eladio and Dennis had very descriptive responses to all of our questions . I think the Skype calls were helpful towards our fundraising process  because New Brunswick gave us good tips on sscreen-shot-2016-12-06-at-8-02-21-pmhipping the lights and what materials to use. The Dominican Republic Skype call gave me a better understanding of the problems that are going on there.

3)My group of three has a goal to raise $500 dollars to supply the lights and shipping cost for sending solar powered lights to the Dominican Republic. To reach our goal we will be connecting with Pitt River middle school. The middle school will be helping us raise money by doing  bake sales, making posters, announcements, exedra. Besides connecting with Pitt River we are hoping to get Kilmer elementary school to donate and help raise awareness. We feel that the more schools we have raising awareness, the more our community will donate. Getting more schools involved would help our fundraiser and would save a lot of families from light poverty in the Dominican Republic.


Below is a link of a power point my group has created. We made this power point to present in front of the leadership class at Pitt River Middle School on Tuesday December 6th, 2016. We created this power point so that the Pitt River students can have an understanding of what is happening in the Dominican Republic and our plans to support them.

When we talked in front of the leadership students at Pitt, they all seemed very enthusiastic about the whole idea of helping a different country where most people are living under the poverty line. When we had finished our presentation the room was filled with positive thoughts and tons of questions. We are all very exited to start our fundraising to achieve our goal of $500 dollars.