All posts by Jai McClean

Writing Exercise 6

Collaboration is the key to success. I’ve had the opportunity participate in the gift of collaboration through the research proposal peer review process. This process made me feel more confident upon submitting my final draft. Having outside perspective and a second pair of eyes to review my work allowed me to explore my strengths and weaknesses when writing a research proposal. I felt the critiques were sound and helped to sharpen my writing abilities overall.

Collaboration is a key [to success]. It really is | Picture Quotes

When it comes to my thinking process and writing process when it comes to experimental design, I can definitely consider the constructive criticism given by my peers.

As an avid writer, outside of scientific research, I’m inspired to collaborate with other readers to review my work before publishing my next book!

Writing Exercise # 5

My thoughts about Dr. Mullis’ experience, is that he had a eureka moment that contributed to the discovery of PCR. Whatever your personal beliefs or convictions, I like to call these moments, “God thoughts.” I believe there is a God that designed each human with the capacity to solve at least one problem on Earth. Each of us was born at a specific time, place, and era to contribute to solving a problem on Earth that the world is currently facing. These life-altering thoughts seem to appear as “shower thoughts” or dreams for some people. But for most, these eureka moments seem to occur when we quiet our thoughts and give God the opportunity to speak. In my opinion, this was the experience for Kary Mullis during his 2.5-hour drive along highway 128. Most of his thinking occurred during this time.

40 Beautiful Albert Einstein Quotes on God, Life, Knowledge and Imagination

Molecular biology is more accessible to me because of this technique. I, like many of my lab-mates, are able to perform PCR techniques in the lab.

My perception of science is not altered after seeing it comes from real people simply because of my faith. It is my beleif that everything about science is an extension of God and because God created humans, He put that desire to problem solve inside of a man. Reading about Kary Mullis’ experience makes me consider if I too am spending enough quiet time with my thoughts to hear and experience life-altering eureka moments.

When was your most recent eureka moment and what world problem could you be solving if you follow through with that thought?

Writing Exercise #4

(1) Marlene Lorgen-Ritchie in her post doctoral project entitled “A Temporally Dynamic Gut Microbiome in Atlantic Salmon During Freshwater Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) Production and Post-seawater Transfer” (2021) asserts that Atlantic salmon aquaculture are undergoing an expansion of land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), especially for freshwater (FW) stages of production. (2) Lorgen-Ritchie provides evidence that microbial diversity and richness showed an increase over time across FW production, but declined sharply and significantly 1-week post-SWT before re-establishing itself with a completely different community structure after 4 weeks. (3) The purpose of this dissertation is to describe her graduate work on how juvenile salmon undergo parr-smolt transformation, and become pre-adapted to tolerate seawater (SW) so that a deeper understanding of the interplay between microbial composition and functionality can play a role in optimizing fish performance in tightly regulated RAS production. Lorgen-Ritchie establishes a scholarly relationship with academics both in microbiological and marine biological research as well as other specialties within the biological sciences.


Lorgen-Ritchie, M., Clarkson, M., Chalmers, L., Taylor, J. F., Migaud, H., & Martin, S. A. M. (1AD, January 1). A temporally dynamic gut microbiome in Atlantic Salmon during freshwater recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) production and post-seawater transfer. Frontiers. Retrieved January 18, 2022, from 

Writing exercise 3

If you aren’t a shopaholic, someone you know is! I’m going to bet you or someone you know very well, have an intimate relationship with Amazon Prime. I most certainly do. 🙈

Amazon offers thousands of products for consumers like, yourself however, it can be impossible to know which product to buy! After all, you did wait an entire 48 hours to receive your last item and you DON’T have any precious hours to waste. To ensure this does not happen, you decide to scroll your little fingers to the bottom of the product page to find reviews.


Reviewed products can ensure that the product is valid, listed as described and great quality. The peer review process is quite similar.

In a nutshell, peer review is a quality control process where scholarly work is scrutinized by experts in the same field for the purpose of publication. Articles that are peer review convey a level of trust to the audience. The pros of having an article peer reviewed can ensure the work is:

  • Valid
  • Original
  • High Quality

On the other hand, having an article peer reviewed can be expensive, tedious, cause lengthy delays in research finding and places considerable demands on the academic community considering, the person performing the review because there isn’t any payment associated with reviewing an article.


What is peer review? Wiley. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2022, from

Writing Exercise #2

Let’s say you’re writing a memoir of your entire life. Your fingers are bruised from smashing the keyboards on your computer for the last 16 hours straight. You’ve realized that you misspelled the name of your high school math teach that impacted your life and wanted to credit him in this memoir. After all, this book is going to be the next New York Times Best selling manuscript! Instead of searching through the last 350 pages you typed to find and edit the name of your high school teacher, you want to use a shortcut. The control + F key or command F key allows you to quickly search for and edit any misspelled words in your manuscript. In our DNA, that function is taken on by a system called CRISPR Cas 9.

If a sequence that was causing a health problem needed to be identified, scientist can use this technique to recognize that particular sequence. After locating the target site, the DNA can be cut and edited to reflect a more appropriate sequence. It works as a cut and paste tool for DNA editing.

CRISPR: A game-changing genetic engineering technique - Science in the News

Imagine a world where any disease can be cured using laboratory techniques. It’s quite hard to believe however, this method is a start in the right direction. CRISPR can be used to hopefully cure life long inherited diseases or even enhance patient care.


Palca, J. (2014, June 26). A CRISPR way to fix faulty genes. NPR. Retrieved January 13, 2022, from

Writing Exercise #1

Cloning using bacterial vectors is a laboratory technique used in the interdisciplinary sciences to study the functions and structures of bacteria at the molecular level. Cloning is often used in conjunction with laboratory techniques such as PCR, Western Blotting and Gel Electrophoresis and Bioinformatic techniques to understand bacterial processes at the cellular level.

Overview: DNA cloning (article) | Khan Academy

Why Use Bacterial Vectors?

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to obtain
  • Less complex that vectors of other organisms

Dr. Sharma of Hampton University uses this technique in her research with deep sea crabs. Red deep sea crabs that live 400m below Earth’s surface in the Atlantic Ocean are of interest. These crabs survive under incredible conditions such as great water pressure, extremely cold temperatures and little access to sunlight. Sometimes the best way to study any organism is to study it’s environment. Archaea that also live in these extreme conditions are studied to give us a better idea of how red deep sea crabs live and thrive under these conditions. Archaea from this environment are scraped, and cloned using bacterial vectors and amplified using PCR techniques.

Why would scientist clone in the first place? Well, let’s say I was created by an all mighty God and overtime identified as the fastest, strongest and most intelligent woman in the world 😉. You decided it was time to participate in the Olympics for gymnastics so it was time you decided something needed to be done to enhance your strength. Cloning me may unlock they key to answering questions about how that can be done.

Science is a world of mystery full of unanswered questions. The world was so delicately created that scientists have used cloning techniques to answer those questions. What question would you want answered with cloning using bacterial vectors?