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Dec
14

McNicholas AP Biology students see paths to cure diseases at genetic conference

Students in McNicholas High School’s AP Biology class attended the annual genetic conference held by Dr. Sam Rhine on Mon., Dec. 5. Dr. Rhine conducts one-day conferences for biology teachers and students with the latest in genetic advances, hot research areas, and career opportunities.

This year’s conference centered on human embryology, stem cells, and gene editing as well as the work of Nobel Prize winning scientists who study the signals stem cells use to produce all 220 differentiated types of cells in the body. This technology developed further into a discovery that led to a simple way of removing a harmful gene and, in some cases, replacing it with a normal gene. According to Dr. Rhine, cures for sickle cell anemia, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes are within reach, and the ethical issues that come with these advances will be a part of the consideration for the rising generation of doctors and scientists.

AP Biology student junior Lexie Gauger found the conference motivational.  “The most interesting things I learned at the conference were about Dr. (Shinya) Yamanaka's research turning normal human body cells into stem cells,” Gauger said.  “I was already planning for a career in the medical field, but I had never thought I would like a career in research before the conference. Now I think that research may be a career path that I am suited to and interested in.”

McNicholas High School AP Biology studentts attending the genetics conference held at Wyoming High School included Alessia Accordino, Alexandria Battaglia, Carly Cullion, Jacob Fries, Lexi Gauger, Sean Kapp, Soren Koch-Hutchinson, Allyssa Leaton, Nick Longbottom, Tanner McClanahan, Kiernan Meakin, Miranda Roesel, Maria Staubach, Meagan Taylor, Ben Wainscott, and Nate Williams.

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