Bio in the Squad

Today students and faculty gathered outside of Higley, eating pizza and discussing Dr. Slonczewski’s biology seminar ‘Evolution in the Galapagos Islands and in Escherichia coli‘. The first biology seminar of every year is presented by a faculty member who has returned from sabbatical. The seminar is followed by the Bio Department’s fall picnic. This year, Dr. Slonczewski juxtaposed their observations during a week-long trip to the Galapagos with the research questions they have been pursuing in their lab.

The picnic was also an opportunity for students to learn about two of the biology department’s organizations – Bio Journal Club and (us) Higley Headlines.

We asked students and faculty at the picnic to share some of their favorite (bio-related) things:

It was great to talk to all of the people who showed up! Our next biology seminar will be on Thursday October 3rd at common hour. Dr. Irina Artismovitch from Ohio State will be discussing “A battle from virulence genes among RNA polymerase binding factors”. Hope to see you there!

Biologists in the Kenyon Showcase

On April the 2nd, Kenyon students, faculty, and staff congregated at the Kenyon Showcase event (previously known as “CHIPS”) to celebrate the high impact work done at Kenyon. Presentations included student research, art projects, performances, mentorship programs, and collaborative assignments, highlighting creative engagement in and out of the classroom.
For those who couldn’t attend the event in person, Higley Headlines documented the wide variety of work done by students who are studying Biology or Molecular Biology.

Alex Freidinger ’20 and Carolina Andrade 19′ at the Kenyon Showcase

Student Research

Liana Valin 21′ and Fielding Ficher 21′ shared their Introduction to Experimental Biology independent project on cloning Homeobox genes from the freshwater worm, Lumbriculus variegatus.
Weichen Zhao 20′, a Molecular Biology major, discusses her research on the enhancer of Kruppel-like transcription factor 9, an important vertebrate development gene.
Carter Powell 20′ discusses his research on
seasonal regulation of reproductive structures in the moss,
Physcomitrella patens.

Engagement and Mentorship

Creative Projects

Sarah Jean McPeak 19′, a Biology Major, introduces Lyceum, Kenyon’s science literary magazine.
Jess Kushner 19′, a Biology and Film double major, discusses her work on Kenyon’s feature film.

Student Feature: Molecular Biologist in Denmark

Hannah Hertz 20′, shares her experiance abroad.

Hertz in front of the John Lennon Wall; Prague, Czech Republic

I went abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. I chose this program as a science major because I got to select a core course in the sciences (Medical Biotechnology), since I do enjoy science! Denmark has a thriving Biotechnology community. While abroad, I got to visit a lot of start-up biotechnology companies. One company is designing “oragami” drug delivery systems, where DNA is engineered to release drugs only in certain environments. Studying science abroad was fascinating: small differences in the culture and scientific community helped me see the discipline in a new light. I also valued the opportunity to explore academic subjects outside my chosen major while abroad. My all time favorite class was Holocaust and Genocide. This class was fascinating, and would not be the same anywhere else besides Europe. As a part of the course we were able to visit concentration camps. The dissonance between the peaceful canals dug by forced laborers for transportation really stuck with me, and shaped my understanding of the Holocaust in a visceral way. The opportunity to explore both science and new disciplines abroad was invaluable.

Nyhaven, Copenhagen.

I think a lot of Molecular Biology majors, especially if they are premed, don’t think they have the flexibility to study abroad. My advice for students who want to go abroad: talk to your advisor or other students who have gone abroad in your major. It’s possible! My advice to science majors thinking about going abroad is to be mindful of your class schedule. Even as a sophomore, this will be helpful to more evenly distribute hard science courses so that you don’t have to take them all your senior year. Furthermore, talking to my friend who went abroad to Copenhagen as a science major was helpful in deciding to go abroad. It gave me the peace of mind that it was possible. Hearing about all her wonderful experiences got me excited for the opportunity and determined to go. I learned so many valuable things about myself while abroad, and am glad I asked for help so that I could take the time to go.

An Interview with Dr. McMahon

It’s late August, and a butterfly flits among the prairie flowers, unaware that it is taking its last sip of nectar. Armed with poison, nets and little plastic baggies, a pack of intro biology students are on the prowl. The student’s winged victims will be the subject of a series of labs, starting with morphological taxonomy and ending with DNA barcoding. Ultimately, the butterfly will join victims of years past in an ongoing diversity assessment of the Brown Family Environmental Center. The mastermind behind this annual slaughter of lepidoptera? Professor McMahon, lead director of introductory biology labs at Kenyon. I’ve come to ask her a few questions.

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Upperclassmen reflect on Biology 110

Biology 110 projects are about to begin! Every year, students in intro biology lab choose a mentor and an independant project to work on over the course of spring semester. Although it’s a great opportunity to explore, there are a lot of biology faculty to choose from, and deciding on a project can be daunting. Higley Headlines asked Biology and Molecular Biology upperclassmen to reflect on their experiences.

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Majors Abroad

When you sail across the Atlantic Ocean, there are dolphins everywhere all the time. Dolphins must enjoy following boats, because whenever Ben Berejka saw them, they were alongside the ship or swimming toward it. They would spin and flip, coasting along the bow wake like they were surfing. At night, shooting stars darted across the sky. Sometimes grey rainbows stretched from horizon to horizon, arching over a bioluminescent sea.

ben abroad

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