Author Archives: Maddie Parker

MAK Talk: Vaccine Controversy

Works Cited

“All Timelines Overview.” History of Vaccines RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

Casey, Georgina. “Vaccines – How And Why They Work.” Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand 22.1 (2016): 20-24 5p. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Nazarko, Linda. “How Do Vaccines Work To Protect People From Disease?.” Nursing & Residential Care 15.12 (2013): 770-775 6p. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Riedel, Stefan. “Edward Jenner and the History of Smallpox and Vaccination.” Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center). Baylor Health Care System, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

Steffen, R. “Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B: Risks Compared with Other Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Immunization Recommendations.” Vaccine 11.5 (1993): 518-20. Immunization Action Coalition. Web. 23 Apr. 2016. <http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4037.pdf>.

Ullmann, Agnes. “Louis Pasteur.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

“Vaccine Controversies.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccine_controversies>.

“Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Nov. 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism.html>.

“Vaccines ProCon.org.” ProConorg Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2016. <http://vaccines.procon.org/>.

“10 Facts on Immunization.” World Health Organization. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2016. <http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/immunization/facts/en/>.

“11 Facts About Vaccines.” DoSomething.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2016. <https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-vaccines>.

Personal Statement-REU

I have always been fascinated with human diseases; specifically, the process of research to discover what causes diseases and how to cure them. My interest stems from two very interesting documentaries. In the fifth grade, I watched the first documentary, “Treeman,” about a man inflicted by human papillomavirus. This led me to become captivated with the rarity and range of diseases in our world. My passion was heightened when I watched another documentary in high school. The documentary was on the discovery of angiogenesis and how this influenced tumor growth of cancerous cells in organisms. The video showed the entire process surrounding the making of endostatin, a drug to inhibit angiogenesis. Endostatin was effective in mice, but unfortunately not in humans. This trial illustrated the complexity and limited knowledge we as humans understand about cancer and disease. I desire to further my knowledge in the causes and treatment of diseases, and I truly believe that the University of Iowa’s Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute can help me achieve these goals.

As a first-year Chemistry BS major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I am currently enrolled in analytical chemistry lecture and lab (a sophomore level course). I have not yet had the opportunity to work in a research lab outside of class, but I have a strong desire to join one. I am excited to learn more about the application of nanoparticles and nanomaterials and their use in the health field. Specifically, I am intrigued to understand how the nanoparticles can be used to deliver drugs to fight diseases.

The three research projects that interest me are under Dr. Aliasger Salem, Dr. Sarah Larsen, and Dr. Jennifer Fiegel. The project most intriguing to me is Applications of Nanoparticles in Gene Delivery under Dr. Salem. This interests me the most because it is looking at minimally invasive drug delivery strategies. The lab is also looking at immunotherapeutic responses against cancer using various application techniques. I am thrilled as this project directly aligns with my research goals of investigating new methods for the treatment of diseases and it will help me explore applicable research for my future career endeavors. The second project, Applications of Porous Nanomaterials in Environmental Remediation, Catalysis and Drug Delivery under Dr. Larsen, is studying zeolite and mesoporous silica nanoparticles. These are being tested for use in drug delivery and imaging. Finally, Applications of Nanoparticles in Drug Delivery to the Lungs under Dr. Fiegel, is looking at targeted drug delivery systems for diseases of the lung. Both of these projects spark my interest as they are focusing on the treatment of diseases and new forms of drug delivery.

Admission into this program will allow me to advance my knowledge in the area of drug delivery and treatment of diseases. I will also gain valuable lab experience outside of the classroom. After participating in this research, it will help me to have a better outlook on what I want to do following my bachelor’s degree, improve my critical thinking skills in the lab and use the new skills to further my research later on, and improve my scientific reading and writing in order to better communicate my results.

My most important career goal is to make an impact on the research of treatment and drug delivery of diseases. In order to do this, I plan on earning a PhD in an area of chemistry and also attending either medical or pharmacy school. This REU will help me explore applicable research for all of my endeavors.

Profile- The Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute

The University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA is providing a program this summer through The Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute. The program provides around eight students to conduct cutting edge research related to environmental and health aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The students are given the opportunity to work under a faculty member, who will serve as a mentor. The departments the mentors are from include Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chemistry, and Pharmacy.

The program runs from May 31st, 2016 though July 29th, 2016 and is a full-time research opportunity. The students will engage in daily research that is interdisciplinary in cutting-edge research topics. There are many projects that correlate to what the student wishes to study and what mentor they have. Examples of research topics include fabrication and optimization of nanomaterial-enabled technologies for point of use water treatment conducted under associate professor David Cwierty. Another research topic includes applications of nanoparticles in drug delivery to the lungs under assistant professor Jennifer Fiege.

Each week the students will attend weekly seminars on topics related to the research. They will also attend a technical communication workshop to improve skills on writing in research and giving presentations. There will also fun social events on the weekends for the students to engage in. Finally, at the end of the program the students will present posters of their research project in a campus-wide conference sponsored by the UI Graduate College.

In order to be eligible for this program, the student must have completed at least one year of college and will be returning for at least one year of undergraduate study before graduation. It is exclusively for students majoring in chemistry, physics, engineering (chemical and biochemical or environmental preferred), pharmaceutics, or occupational and environmental health. The student must also be thinking about or pursing graduate school and a career in research. They also must be permanent citizens of the United States.

The online application must be fully completed online by March 1st. In addition to the application, the student must provide their college transcript and two letters of recommendation from science professor and/or mentors. The student must finally add a short essay of personal statement on why they are interested in extensive summer research. It should talk about their interests in the science field and which mentor they are most intrigued to study under. In this section, they can also include any explanations of classwork or experience to help the application reviewer.

The program, overall, includes my career interests. It allows me to explore full-time research and this will help me decide what I want to do after undergraduate. It provides a stipend of $ 4,500, includes housing and meals, and also provides some funds for travel. It is a competitive program and the application is due soon, however, it is exactly what I am looking to do this summer.

Double the Meat, Double the Trouble?

Maddie Parker

Dolly is a classic American name that holds with it the prestige of a first lady and the persona of a country signer. The lesser-known Dolly, however, is the name of the world’s most famous sheep. In 1997, she was the first mammal to be cloned successfully. Although the first mammal to be cloned was around two decades ago, the technology is still relatively new and scientists are continuously researching new techniques of cloning.

Due to the lack of general knowledge, there have been concerns raised about the safety of consuming cloned agriculture. The uneasiness sprouts from scientists and consumers, alike. These anxieties, for now however, can be put to rest. Multiple studies testing the composition of cloned animals versus naturally mating animals found no significant difference that could lead to severe health effects.

The first type of cloning used, such as in mammals like Dolly, is somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), which is when the cell nucleus from an adult cell is transferred into an unfertilized oocyte that has had its cell nucleus removed. The hybrid cell is then stimulated to divide by an electric shock. Finally, when it develops into a blastocyst and it is implanted in a surrogate mother. The more recently discovered type of cloning is embryonic cell nuclear transfer (ECNT). The methods are very similar, however, SCNT comes from adult cells where as ECNT is from embryos.

While these two methods have been successful, researchers still face issues with the efficiency of cloning and as well as the health of the cloned animals. Animals cloned by SCNT have higher rates of pregnancy loss, difficult parturition, and high post-natal mortality. Around 20% of the cloned animals die within the first twenty-four hours of their lives. Even though scientists are still struggling with the development process, sufficient research has shown that cloned animals are not harmful for human consumption.

A study published on Theriogenology: An International Journal of Animal Reproduction, investigated the composition of meat and milk in cloned cattle. The reason for looking into the composition of cloned cows further sprouted from the high prenatal death and the desire to investigate the necessity of regulation in the testing of cloned animal products.

An important evaluation of meat from cloned cattle was conducted on adult Japanese Black cattle derived from either embryonic or somatic nuclear transfer. To analyze the components, they used electrophoresis to separate the species. In the study, properties of meat samples were examined and it was shown for the first time the biochemical and biological characteristics of meat from cloned cattle were similar to that of non-cloned cattle. The only differences found by scientists were slight but significant enough to advance their research. The deviations caused a question of the safety of consuming these animal products.

Heyman, the head investigator, and his group of researchers then decided to test these variations of the nutritional value of cloned animal products using Wistar rats. Four groups of the Wistar rats were adapted to different regimens of cloned milk and meat and then fed for three weeks. Comparing the control group and the test groups, it was found there was no difference between the two rats. Rats are sensitive models, so the fact that they showed no biological and biochemical difference demonstrates that cloned products are not harmful to humans.

The United States Food and Drug Administration, or US FDA, conducted a study (The US FDA and animal cloning: Risk and regulatory approach) after various companies contacted them to discuss using cloned livestock for breeding stock. They FDA did not have regulations for cloned meat and thus decided to research the safety of the cloned products. Their research looked at the blood composition, carcass characteristics, proximates, and amount and distributions of amino acids, fatty acids and key vitamins and minerals for both clones and naturally mating cattle.

They concluded that cloned cattle produce the same hazards that naturally mating animals do. Furthermore, although many cloned animals have high prenatal issues, if a healthy animal is produced and grows into an adult then the products produce no significant hazards.

The FDA has therefore decided not to enforce any new regulations involving the testing of cloned meat. They have, however, agreed to stay up to date with new research on cloned animals and take precautions as necessary. As of now, they still have not approved cloned meat to be distributed legally into the commercial food market.

As discussed above, research supports the safety of consuming cloned animal products. In spite of this, the evidence has not convinced the human population. As a result, a study by Sawada Aizaki and K. Sato, was conducted to test the consumer’s attitudes before and after learning more about the cloning process and the limited health effects it poses. The study was issued to healthy, Japanese meat consumers who had cooked with beef in the last week. They took the survey before and after learning about the cloned meat. It was found that the consumers held the same attitude towards the cloned meat before and after being informed about it.

Although science proves that cloned meat posses no new threats compared to naturally mating meat, more research needs to be conducted on the topic. This is because there is still a lack of general knowledge not just among the common population but also among the researcher population. If significant research is conducted that produces consistent and reliable results, then cloned meat could be on the forefront of innovating our meat industry. Only time and further research will tell if double the meat really is double the trouble.

“Double the Meat, Double the Trouble?”

Maddie Parker
515 Hinton James Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
madspar@live.unc.edu

February 6th, 2016

Dear Ms. Sarah Boyd,

My name is Maddie Parker and I am a first-year student at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. I am currently a chemistry BS major. I am seeking representation for my article, “Double the Meat, Double the Trouble?,” to be published in your distinguished article, Science. The article explores multiple research studies as well as background information on cloned agricultural meat, such as cows. It aims to answer consumer questions of the science behind cloning as the well as the safety of consumption. I believe “Double the Meat, Double the Trouble?” would be an excellent addition to your journal.

Dolly is a classic American name that holds with it the prestige of a first lady and the persona of a country signer. The less heard of Dolly, however, is the name of the world’s most famous sheep. In 1997, she was the first mammal to be cloned successfully. Although the first mammal to be cloned was around two decades ago, the technology is still relatively new and scientists are continuously researching new techniques of cloning. Due to the lack of general knowledge, there have been concerns raised about the safety of consuming cloned agriculture. The uneasiness sprouts from scientists and consumers, alike. These anxieties, for now however, can be put to rest. Multiple studies testing the composition of cloned animals versus naturally mating animals found no significant difference that could lead to severe health effects.

The first type of cloning used, such as in mammals like Dolly, is somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) which is when the cell nucleus from an adult cell is transferred into an unfertilized oocyte (developing egg cell) that has had its cell nucleus removed. The hybrid cell is then stimulated to divide by an electric shock, and when it develops into a blastocyst (early cell of embryo) and it is implanted in a surrogate mother. The more recently discovered type is embryonic cell nuclear transfer (ECNT). The methods are very similar, however, SCNT comes from adult cells where as ECNT is from embryos. While these two methods have been successful, researchers still face issues with the efficiency of cloning and as well as the health of the cloned animals. Although scientists are still struggling with the development process, sufficient research has shown the cloned animals are not harmful for human consumption.

For the rest of the article, I will elaborate on the research done on the effects of consuming cloned animals. The first study comes from the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), which is a part of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It investigates the cloned meat in comparison to naturally mating meat. In another study, they tested the effects of cloned meat on Warstar Rats. For both experiments, they test the composition of the animals (specifically cows) including the milk, meat, and blood. Both experiments conclude to say that cloned meat has the same effects as consuming naturally mating meat. Next, I will discuss the FDA’s decision regarding regulation of cloned meat in commercial agriculture. In correspondence with the FDA’s regulations, I will discuss the views of consumers on eating cloned meat. I have a research study conducted in Japan that asked the views of eating cloned meat before and after learning about the process and the minimal health risks. It was found that there is still a large resistance to eating cloned meat. After summarizing the main facts, I will discuss a call for action to further investigate the health effects and the techniques of cloning to be done before the meat is distributed into commercial agriculture.

Thank you for your time and I hope you consider this article for your journal, Science.

Sincerely,

Maddie Parker

Annotated Bibliography

Maddie Parker

Annotated Bibliographies

 

Aizaki, H., Sawada, M., & Sato, K. (2011). Consumers’ attitudes toward consumption of cloned beef. The impact of exposure to technological information about animal cloning. Appetite, 57(2), 459-466. Retrieved January 28, 2016.

 

This study was designed to test consumer’s views on food technologies, specifically on cloning. The practice is not widely accepted by the human population. The researchers designed an online survey to see if informing consumers about the process of cloned cattle (both by ECNT and SCNT) and the low health risk they pose would change their attitude towards it. The survey was issued to Japanese consumers and the results showed they held the same attitude towards cloned cattle before and after learning more about it. The lack of change may have been due to consumers’ lack of food safety knowledge, their strong views on cloning, or their lack of understanding of the material presented to them.

 

Heyman, Y., Chavatte-Palmer, P., Berthelot, V., Fromentin, G., Hocquette, J., Martignat, L., & Renard, J. (2007). Assessing the quality of products from cloned cattle: An integrative approach. Theriogenology, 67(1), 134-141. Retrieved January 27, 2016.

 

This study talks about the in depth testing of the maturation process of cloned cattle, the milk composition, and the meat compared to naturally mating animals. The study did find slight but significant differences in the amount of prenatal deaths, in the composition of the meat, and in the composition of milk. In order to then test the safety of the animal products, they conducted a study using Wistar rats. The trial concluded there was no significant different between cloned animal products and the naturally mated animals in the effect of the rats’ health. It was concluded the potential risk for consuming cloned animals was very minimal, however, further research should be conducted before the products enter the food chain.

 

Laible, G., & Wells, D. N. (2007). Recent advances and future options for New Zealand agriculture derived from animal cloning and transgenics. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 50(2), 103-124. Retrieved January 21, 2016.5

 

This article is about the background of cloning and the new problems scientists are facing. These problems include the altering of the frequency of many genes in an unregulated manner and the technology to test if human consumption is safe. The process of cloning at the moment is inefficient and often times causes errors in the animal’s genes. They are looking at ways to improve these issues. There is also a resistance of consumers to buy animal products that have been cloned. Scientists are currently creating a way to test the cloned animals and approve them for commercial consumption.

 

Rudenko, L., & Matheson, J. C. (2007). The US FDA and animal cloning: Risk and regulatory approach. Theriogenology, 67(1), 198-206. Retrieved January 25, 16.

 

This article explains how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluates food for consumption. It discusses the lack of regulation the FDA had on the cloning technology. This lead to the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) to investigate any potential risks of cloned animals. They found cloned animals produce the same hazards as naturally mated animals. Although cloning has not been extremely successful due to the smaller gene pool, the healthy animals that come out of it should be able to be consumed with no risks. The FDA has decided to not add any additional safety regulations for cloned meat based on these findings. They have agreed to stay up to date with new research on cloned animals and take precautions as necessary. For now, they have not approved of cloned meat in the market.

 

Yang, Xiangzhong, X. Cindy Tian, Chikara Kubota, Ray Page, Jie Xu, Jose Cibelli, and George Seidel. “Risk Assessment of Meat and Milk from Cloned Animals.” Nat Biotechnol Nature Biotechnology 25.1 (2007): 77-83. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

 

This article compiles a bunch of studies done on cloned cattle and specifically compares two types of cloning methods. The two methods compared are embryonic cell nuclear transfer, (ECNT) cloned cattle and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) cloned cattle. They found that after testing all parts of the cattle including maturation, blood composition, meat composition, and milk composition that ECNT cattle are safe for human consumption. The blood composition varied in the SCNT cattle, however, all the other differences were only slight. Overall, the article concludes that after evaluation all the research that the differences between cloned cattle and normal cattle are very slight and do not effect human consumption.

 

 

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Today’s Reading Summary

The article first talks about the history of the discovery of autism. Originally they believed autism was not discovered until the mid 1900’s, however, sources show it may have been diagnosed earlier. After a background of the discovery of and diagnosis of autism, the article goes on to focus on a specific man who first started in teaching the blind how to read and write.  He later on did more work to benefit the autistic. I found it interesting that doctors think that autism could have been caused by some traumatic event earlier on in human history.