Duncan Coles ’19, a biology and environmental science double major, was included as a team member on a recently published paper in the journal Nature Methods titled “Genetic tool development in marine protists: emerging model organisms for experimental cell biology.” One of the paper’s lead authors, José A. Fernández Robledo, is a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, which partners with Colby on providing opportunities for Colby students to collaborate with scientists at the lab.

Coles worked with Fernández Robledo on an independent research project during a Colby Semester at Bigelow, and Coles tried several ways to deliver plasmids and labeled DNA into the microalgae Crypthecodinium cohnii. They used both regular electroporation and electroporation using microfluidics, and they went down to the MIT to run the microfluidics experiments. The success was limited, still, in the paper, they provided all the set of conditions they tried for another scientist interested in further pursuing the transfection in this microalgae.

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