[Laboratory of Greg S. B. Suh in KAIST: Department of Biological Sciences,
First, I learned about an experiment that the second year graduate student is engaged in. She investigates the mice’s neuron activities when they encounter food or a random object. She inserts numerous mice, one at a time, into a box divided into two rooms that are decorated with different wallpaper patterns. Between the rooms, there is a narrow pathway that mice take to go to the either of the rooms. The length of the experiment varies, but at the beginning, she places food in one corner of a room and just a random object in another room. She observes which room the mouse favors, and then towards the end of the experiment, she removes both of the objects to see if the mouse can remember the room that used to contain the food solely by recognizing the wallpaper.
|[Mice experimental box, photo taken by Claire Min]|
Another graduate student examines the brain activity of the drosophila by looking at what type of food they prefer: high sugar solutions, high-calorie solutions, or salty solutions. He performs multiple experiments with different solutions to investigate if drosophila has an intuitive power, like a sixth sense, to find the most palatable solution. Usually, one ingredient is colored red, and the other is colored green. After the fruit flies have had enough time to eat, he places them under a microscope to see which color each one ate (drosophila has light brown, almost transparent skin, allowing scientists to see the internal organ rather clearly).
During my time in the lab, we have had lab meetings every week to organize our schedules and to present and discuss the data gathered that week. With this opportunity, I learned about the details of different experiments at the lab. During my internship, I also had a chance to attend the MT (Membership Training) with GIST (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology) students. The MT consisted of two full days of seminars conducted by professors from different expertise and discussions among students on various scientific topics.
|[KAIST & GIST MT, photo taken by pension staff]|
Last Tuesday, I attended a seminar on the advancement of biotechnology in Korea. It was difficult to understand half of the concepts but I left the room fascinated by the industry and piqued my interest in biology.
Although my daily routine does not end until 8 or 9 PM, I know that others stay at the lab until 2 or 3 in the morning. Graduate students have no summer or winter breaks, and their work extends well into the weekends. Despite their overwhelming commitment to work, it was admirable to hear that they are excited and proud of conducting experiments that will one day generate medicines or remedies to cure diseases so to improve the quality of life for everyone.
Korea International School
Claire Min firstname.lastname@example.org
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