By Shawn Gunarich
News & Features Editor
Ms. Heather Fogell, science teacher and accomplished scientist, has been working for many years on decoding the DNA (genome) of the squid in order to discover the medical characteristics of a certain muscle called “twitchen”, because it acts almost like a cancer cell.
Every summer, Ms. Fogell travels to Maine in order to catch fresh samples of squid to test. These tests include utilizing radioactive phosphorus to see how genes are made.
Such experiments need much training, which Ms. Fogell had acquired through a Masters degree in genetics, and two years of independent studies at Millersville University.
Even though her research into medical purpose of twitchen turned out for the moment inconclusive, she is still hopeful for the future of her research.
“Even though our data was inconclusive, I was able to strengthen my techniques for the future,” Ms. Fogell said. “Data is data and now we know where not to look.”
These days Ms. Fogell stays busy working on a scientific paper based off of her research into the squid, and has spoken at scientific seminars on such topics. She has had breakthroughs in her research thanks to the octopus genome being mapped. She also looks forward to picking up on her research this summer to further explore the squid genome.
“This new breakthrough in the octopus paves the way for the squid genome, and makes my job a lot easier,” Fogell said.
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