Thursday, May 14, 2015

We tried to cure wrinkles

When it came time to decide on a project proposal, Krystal and I decided that we needed to choose an interesting topic. We looked into using the microbiome to solve crime, and scrolled through a variety of other random recent science topics. Then, I found an article about the skin microbiome. It was a review paper on the different microbiomes associated with different skin diseases, and at the bottom, it encouraged future research to delve into the association between wrinkles/aging skin and its microbiome. Perfect.

We joked about it for a little bit, and came up with our grand plan to cure wrinkles. The next day in lab, Noreen said something along the lines of, “Make sure that you and your partner choose a topic that will interest you, because you will be spending a lot of time researching this.” Krystal and I started giggling in our corner—wrinkles would certainly sustain us.

We kept thinking that we might switch topics, because, really, were we actually going to let 20% of our final grade be about wrinkly skin? But homework assignments forced us to write things up about our proposal, and before we knew it, we reached a no-turning-back point. In lecture, one day, we were all allowed to give a 5 minute pitch about our proposal. Before we went, groups talked about curing HIV, cancer, and everything in between. And then we went, and talked about wrinkles.

The feedback we received from that day was quite helpful, however. It encouraged us to use twins in our study, and we were given some information about current skin products that utilize the microbiome for treating acne. It made us slightly more confident that our study about wrinkles might be interesting enough for a final project proposal.

Before we knew it, we were only a week away from the presentation, and we started seriously talking about how we would design our study to investigate the wrinkle microbiome. To be honest, it wasn’t very serious at all, since we were cracking up half of the time looking at pictures of wrinkly twins. Eventually, we decided that making a microbiome replacement anti-wrinkle lotion was slightly out of the scope of our project, and decided to only present on the preliminary steps to developing a wrinkle probiotic. It’s okay, though, because we still managed to insert an aspect of bioengineering into our presentation, and now Krystal and I know a ridiculous amount of information regarding wrinkly twins and the skin microbiome.  

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