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Update: Chilean Internship Plant Conduction Velocity Project Summary y Adiós (Por Ahora)

Global meeting. Me (upper left – Chile), Étienne (scientific advisor – upper right – Germany), Patricio (my undergraduate thesis advisor (lower left – Chile), and Tim (my supervisor at Backyard Brains – South Korea). These are our thinking faces, not our mad faces.

— Written by Carla Contreras Mena —

Hello! Carla Contreras Mena from Santiago, Chile, here again. Welcome to the conclusion of my work during my internship with Backyard Brains.

Experiment Update

In the last few months, I’ve had to study more about plants. Why? Because, In my daily life in the laboratory, I’m not very familiar with the chemistry of plants, how to take care of them, and other characteristics. But, it’s always very interesting to learn new things.

Maybe you remember this picture from the last blog (“Backyard Brains welcomes newest Chilean Intern: Conduction Velocity in Different Plants”):

Carla's plants

Why am I reminding you? My home garden currently looks a bit different: More plants, and they grew!

Carla's plants update: they grew!

In Chile during this time of the year it’s summer, although during January the temperatures went up a lot. This caused the plants to have a hard time, however, many of them survived and are still giving a lot of data (at least).

The current plants are Chilean Chile, Ornamental Chile, Basil, Creeping Inchplant, Argentian Dollar, Hierba Buena, Mint, Rosemary, Ruda, Tomato, and the Venus Flytrap. You can see my numbers breakdown below, lots of recordings: 192!

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Backyard Brains Welcomes Newest Chilean Intern: Conduction Velocity in Different Plants

conduction velocity in different plants
Tim and I talking about our experiments at the Peruvian Restaurant “Ajicito” over Ceviche, Maracuya juice and pisco sour

— Written by Carla Contreras Mena —

Hello, I’m Carla Contreras Mena, a student of Biochemistry at the University of Santiago of Chile (which we locally call Usach). I currently work in a Neuroscience Laboratory with professor Dr. Patricio Rojas, where we are investigating the neurophysiological difference of electrical activity in the mouse hippocampus between a control and a model of autism. Here is a picture of my research:

mouse hippocampus

Section of the hippocampus, specifically in the dentate gyrus of a C57BL/6 strain mouse; E = stimulating electrode; R = recording electrode

In search of an internship for my degree, my professor recommended Backyard Brains. In my first meeting with Backyard Brains, I listened a bit about this interesting way to learn electrophysiology in plants and how a simplified amplifier works to learn and teach at the same time.

I decided to learn more about it, so I accepted the offer letter!

First Steps

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