Thursday, May 14, 2015

The End is Just the Beginning

My days in 20.110 may be over, but the 2nd half of my MIT experience will begin soon enough. There's a pretty good chance I might not write my thesis on the seagull microbiome or work specifically on NHEJ DNA repair, but that (hopefully) doesn't mean that all the work I've done this past semester has been for naught. I've learned a lot about experimental design from the setting up controls and the prevention of variables that could confound the data. I've also learned some of the jargon of biological engineers and have become more experienced in scientifically writing about the introduction, methods, results and discussion of a lab report. These skills greatly help me to effectively communicate and investigate interesting biological systems.

The 20.110 experience also showed me how important (yet difficult) it can be to stay up to date with various innovations in the biological engineering world. The rate at which new technologies and experiments are being performed, there's so many interesting resources and ideas flowing to tackle several modern day problems. That being said, communication and discussion among peers is a great resource, and even asking for help and advice from mentors and experts can provide guidance about different ways to go about solving a problem. I really appreciate all the 20.109 staff for being open and making time to discuss ideas with the students, it was very reassuring to know that support was available even if at times, I went about doing assignment in my own way.

In the future, I hope that my experience at 20.109 will have prepared me for upcoming challenges of future lab classes as well as UROP work. I know I still need to work on my communication and hope to take the initiative to find opportunities to speak and present to others about interesting research going on in the field of biological engineering. One of the fields that I am currently interested in is synthetic biology, which incorporates cellular transcriptional circuits. There is still much about this field that is new to me, but I hope that as I learn more about the field, I can take some opportunities to share the exciting things that I am learning with others.

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