Skype Chat Blog Response


On January 15th, we had a Skype call with a woman named Charis Walko, who is a stem cell researcher in Vancouver. Charis has her degree with stuff relating to liver stem cells and has done multiple drug screenings. Throughout the Skype chat she explained on what her job is. One of the things she shared was that when they take DNA and remove a mutation making it heathy. Even though i was not there for the Skype chat, from asking people, it sounded very interesting. I would have loved to have been there. I think this Skype chat would have been a benefit towards me for the unit test because, if i had any questions, or anything i was uncertain of, i would have been able to ask her.

A question someone asked her was,

“What types of diseases can be treated with Stem Cells”?

Her answer,

“Lots and lots of disease can be treated, and right now there are about 80 diseases that can be treated with stem cells, and most of them are associated with the blood disorders, like lukemia or embroyonic. Blood is one of the stem cells which is actually easy to put back into the body. In order to come up with other diseases that can be treated, is a really long process to show that it is safe in humans. Other then blood disorders what can currently be treated with stem cells is also cornea disease, but there is lots of research to try and see if we can renew muscle, or neurons in the brain.

Another question asked was,

“What was the biggest controversy with stem cells”?

Her answer,

The embryonic stem cells controversy, which is the research of embryo cells. Most people question the ethics of this and believe the research is done involving the development and destruction of human embryos.

I very much enjoyed hearing what people learned throughout this Skype chat, which i also learned myself!

The Life of a Genetic Mutation

I am a genetic disorder, in which a third copy of Chromosome 21 is present in my cells. I am called Down Syndrome. I’m created because of an abnormal cell division, when the egg and sperm first meet. Parents of the child i have affected, are typically genetically normal, an extra Chromosome copy of me occurs by random chance. Life span for people who i affect can range from 50 to 60 years old, with proper heath care. The affect i can have on the body may be different then other people with me. Effects i can bring to the host are, Thyroid problems, hearing problems, congenital heart disease, eye problems, seizure disorder, bone, muscle, nerve, or joint problems, leukaemia or other cancers, immune system problems, development delay, and mental retardation. I, Down Syndrome can affect the hosts life in many ways. I make it longer for them to learn, understand, and slower for them to learn how to talk and take care of themselves. For some i make it hard for them to speak and hear, but in the time we live in now, people are getting past the fact that i have made a challenge on their body and are living happy normal lives.

During this project, i didn’t need to search up a lot of information, most of it i found all on one site. What I searched to collect information were, “What causes Down Syndrome”?, “Down Syndromes effects” , “How does Down Syndrome have an affect on that persons life”?, and “Down Syndrome”. Another way i found some information was, that i watched some Youtube videos about Down syndrome, and left one i peronally found the most interesting and inspiring. I learned a lot about Down Syndrome from this project, in which i found very interesting. What i found the most interesting was that having a child that has Down Syndrome can come by chance. I found the process of this challenge was quite simple, all you needed was good question to search, and it should have been easy to find your information.



This is a picture of the features of a child with Down Syndrome.


This is a picture of Chromosome 21



Edible DNA Model


This is a model of a double helix. The strands linked by hydrogen bonds form a spiral configuration that holds the DNA. We used marshmellows to reoresent these four bases,

Green: Guanine (G)

Pink: Cytosine (C)

Yellow: Adenine (A)

Orange: Thymine (T)