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Biology, Biotech, and Environmental Science News

Barbra Levin, the executive director of NFMidatlantic, spoke to Dr. Glaser’s Genetics class about neurofibromatosis. NFMidatlantic is an organization dedicated to educating the public about neurofibromatosis, an autosomal dominant disorder. This is the third semester that Dr. Glaser’s class has had the opportunity to speak to Ms. Levin and each semester the class also speaks to an individual with neurofibromatosis over Skype. Neurofibromatosis causes tumors to form on nervous tissue and can occur anywhere in the body. The disorder can be very disfiguring as a result and can cause other serious complications.

For more information about neurofibromatosis you can follow this link: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/neurofibromatosis/basics/definition/con-20027728

Dr. Keith Johnson is offering an opportunity for students to join him on a research trip to the Galapagos Islands for a one credit option associated with Biology 115 and Environmental Science 307. The trip is set for January 6-13, 2015. They will first be touring a few mainland sites in Ecuador, including an active volcano and the equatorial line. Following this, they will head out to the Galapagos Islands and spend several days hiking, snorkeling, and moving between the islands on boats. Additionally, students will be able to spend some time at the Darwin Research station, where they work on Land Tortoise conservation. This is an incredible opportunity for students to explore other cultures and learn about conservation efforts.

Erin Smith, class of 2006, will be heading to Nepal this January with the Acupuncture Relief Project. She graduated with a Master’s degree in acupuncture from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Erin has worked at the Blueberry Gardens Healing Center in Ashton and feels that this trip to Nepal will be a great experience for personal growth. The Acupuncture Relief Project is a nonprofit organization that sends practitioners to work in clinics set up by the Nepalese government in remote villages. For more information check out the following link: http://m.gazette.net/article/20141112/news/141119757/1124/a-healing-touch-ashton-acupuncturist-headed-to-nepal&template=frontpageMobile

Dr. Gary Dorough, the Division Director of US Army, National Ground Intelligence Center, came to Stevenson last week to speak to students in the BT 205 course: Biosafety and Quality Assurance. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 1992 and has worked as a Director at the Department of Defense for the past two years. This course introduces the safety and quality control issues related to product development in the biotechnology industry and Dr. Dorough’s presentation was beneficial to enhancing student learning in this area.

Laura Miller, the Director of the Human Research Protection Program at INOVA hospital in Virginia, came to Stevenson last week to speak to Biotechnology 205 students about protection of human research subjects. She received her Master’s degree in health system administration from Georgetown University in 2005 and has worked at INOVA since 2006. Ms. Miller strives to bring more research into the healthcare setting, but her focus is mainly on protecting the human participants during research. Her presentation helped reinforce student learning about safety concerns for subjects involved in human trials.

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