Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Extra PSS and Planning

We had an extra PSS today instead of seminar. I'm not sure if it was because there was no seminar planned, or if they were just wanting to make up for us missing class on Labor Day. We covered DNA replication, which again was largely review, and we were done early with the questions again. Most of our questions had to do with diseases caused by extra triplet repeats, like Huntington's Disease and Fragile X Syndrome. So our facilitator gave us a few extra questions to look at about another disease called dyskeratosis congenita that is caused by mutations in telomerase, which is the enzyme that builds up the ends of the chromosomes during replication. I learned a couple of interesting things: First, the telomerase complex contains RNA as well as protein in it, and if the RNA is mutated, that is what causes the dominant form of this disease. (Mutation in the protein causes a sex-linked recessive version that is more common.) Second, when DNA replicates, it goes bidirectionally from the origin, even in eukaryotes.

One other thing I have been realizing is that I need to start planning my studying better. It's hard sometimes to finish the reading without staying up half the night if I don't get started over the weekend so that I can get a little ahead. I did that this week, and it has definitely helped, although I still should have tried to get more reading done. I am still trying to figure out exactly how far ahead I need to get on the weekend to be optimally prepared and not have to stay up late during the week, and I'm thinking that I need to do about half of the next week's reading. That is, I should finish the reading for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday over the weekend so that I can spend the evenings during the week working on Friday's reading and also on the journal articles. I am going to try doing that this weekend, and I'll let you know how it works out. What I can tell you for sure is that there's no way to finish Friday's reading on Thursday night without staying up half the night if you wait to start until Thursday night!

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