June Research Update

For the past month, I have been working on expressing my mutant thyroid hormone receptor A382PfsX7 and a wild-type TRa1 within HeLa cells. (What are “HeLa” cells? An immortal human cell line often used in scientific research. These cells were derived from Henrietta Lacks, who died of cancer back in 1951.)

This process requires that I care for and maintain a cell culture. It’s like being the parent of a quintillion (okay, maybe not that many) rather low maintenance children, whose only demand is that I feed them regularly. I performed transfections using wild-type TRa1 and my mutant plasmid, allowing for the uptake  and eventual expression of the aforementioned plasmid vectors by the cells. After incubation, their production of fluorescently-labeled thyroid hormone receptors can be viewed using an epifluorescence microscope. Evaluating this expression is done using a semi-quantitative scoring method adopted by the Allison Lab.