Julius Goldberg is a pre-med undergraduate student who has been with us for two semester researching Nosema. Here is a blog from him. Enjoy!
As spring rolls around, the atmosphere here in College Park begins to change. The birds start chirping, the squirrels resume munching, the hummingbirds start to hum, the bees buzz, and love is in the air. Spring is often portrayed as a joyous season, and for good reason. One thing in particular that happens in the beginning of spring is the blossoming of the Cherry Blossoms, in both College Park, and Washington D.C. People come from all over the world to witness the beautiful cherry blossom trees in D.C. as they blossom for about a week or two. Although the flowers on the cherry blossoms are beautiful, they bring pollen and allergies for many. The pollen can be quite annoying for some people, but the bees thrive on it. While you may not have seen many bees, if any, during the winter, the bees are still responsible for the pollination of many plants and flowers. Without bees, pollination of flowers would not occur, and the flowers would not bloom. As I walk around campus I hear people say “Look at those awesome Cherry Blossoms!” I always remind them that without bees we would not have many fruits and vegetables from plants, and that bees are in decline. When I went to D.C. recently for the cherry blossoms with my friends I also reminded them of the necessity of bees, and that we need to be aware of the bees.
On another note, research in the lab this semester has been going well. With 3 new undergraduate students working on the same project as me, we were able to complete 700 Nosema samples from this semester alone, and finish the remaining leftover samples from last semester. In the beginning, it took a little while for the new students to learn the technique of counting the Nosema spores under the microscope on the hemocytometer, but once they got the technique down the train really started rolling. With all of this new data, I hope to be able to compare it to last semester’s results and see what conclusions can now be drawn.
Finally, I have been hired to work here in this lab over the summer as a full time undergraduate researcher, and I am very excited for this opportunity and look forward to the exciting research to come, as well as getting to know my fellow lab mates a little bit better.