The Lab Chronicles: My Experience in the Microbiology Laboratory – Week 2

During my second week at the hospital, I was put on the Day 2 and 3 benches, alternating each day so that I could follow the specimens that I worked on the previous day. The Day 2 and 3 benches are also referred to as the primary and secondary benches (respectively). I will use both terms interchangeably throughout my blogs. Continue reading

The Lab Chronicles: My Experience in the Microbiology Laboratory – Week 1

For the past three years, I have attended the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) pursuing a Bachelor of Health Science in Medical Laboratory Science. This degree is specific to the Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT) profession. For my final year, I will be performing my clinical practicum at a hospital rotating between the five disciplines on the clinical lab: Microbiology, Biochemistry, Histopathology, Hematology, and Transfusion Science. I have already begun my first rotation in the Microbiology lab. Continue reading

Greece’s Marine Wildlife: Sea Urchins

In the Mediterranean Sea, there is a wide variety of marine wildlife. However, one does not need to go deep within the depths of the sea to witness a stunning ecosystem. Some of it can be seen on Greece’s beaches. While swimming at the one of the many beaches in Afiartis, Karpathos, I came across one example of a beautifully unique marine creature, the sea urchin.

Sea urchins I found in Afiartis, Karpathos

Sea urchins I found in Afiartis, Karpathos

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Greece’s Natural Beauty: Pumice Stone

While still vacationing in Karpathos, Greece, I frequently visit and swim at the beaches. There are many beautiful things to be found on these beaches, one of them being the geological landscape. The rock formations throughout the years have built incredible cliffs and caves. There are also several beaches in which seashells are embedded into rock. In addition to these special rock formations, another interesting geological find common to Greek beaches is pumice. During each one of my visits to Greece, I have managed to find this light-colored, porous rock at the beach. But exactly how is it made and where does it come from?



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Greece’s Natural Beauty: Thyme and its Medicinal Benefits

For the past couple of weeks, I have been on the island of Karpathos, Greece, visiting family. In the cool mornings on the countryside of Afiartis, I like to go jogging. While I jog, I see bushes of purple plants lining the dirt roads and far up on the hills. These bushes contain the thyme herb that grows commonly in Greece, as well as in the rest of the Mediterranean. While bending down to pick up a couple of its flowers, I can smell its strong aromatic fragrance. This is a result of the many glandular hairs found throughout the plant. Whenever these hairs are broken, the aromatic smell is released. The thyme plant also produces essential oils, which are advantageous as the plant can lack water in its dry environment. When these essential oils evaporate, they surround the plant and create a saturated environment, which decreases water loss. Continue reading

Why is my cat, Patchy, so patchy? The genetics behind the coloring of calico cats.

I have two main loves in my life: science and cats. For the sake of this blog, I thought that it would be fun if I combined the two. I currently have two cats at home named Thomas and Patchy. Thomas is a sixteen year old white American short hair male cat and Patchy is a fourteen year old female calico cat. As with any other cat parent, I think my cats are unique and have their own distinct personality. Thomas is basically an old geezer, who likes to nap a lot, but who wouldn’t if they were a cat with no responsibilities? He is also extremely intelligent and responds to you when you say his name. With this intelligence, he can also be very stubborn. My other cat, Patchy, is a very lovable and chubby cat. She has hilarious antics of licking herself uncontrollably when you scratch her lower back. She also routinely performs the downward facing dog pose with her lovely mitten paws outstretched in front of her. Since Patchy is a calico cat, she has many beautiful colors in her fur. What makes the fur of these calico cats so unique and beautiful? The answer to that, my friends, is genetics. Continue reading

Women in Science: Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin looking under a microscope Retrieved from

  Rosalind Franklin

The first time that I had ever become aware of any prejudices in the scientific field was during my eleventh grade biology class. You don’t usually think about these issues existing in the realm of science when you are a teenager as most classes are concerned with teaching facts surrounding physiology, photosynthesis… you get the picture. However, during this particular biology class, we were covering the topic of DNA, and we had just learnt about the double helix structure discovered by James Watson and Francis Crick. After reading my textbook thoroughly (because I actually liked, and still do like, reading science textbooks), I had learnt that the story behind the discovery of DNA was more complex than I had thought. This double helix structure, made up of nitrogenous bases, and framed by a phosphate and sugar backbone, would not have been discovered if it were not for the previous research conducted by Rosalind Franklin. She had used X-ray diffraction to take photographs of DNA in her studies. Continue reading