Kaitlyn (Junior)

Over this past summer, I worked in a community lab space to study tardigrades, and most specifically the genes that make them extremophile organisms.
I harvested tardigrades from swampy/mossy areas throughout the boroughs and in parks, and subsequently brought them into the lab, isolated them from the moss and other tardigrades in the culture, and continued from there.  The aim of the project was to transplant the tardigrades genes that we believed were responsible for their resilience environments (in terms of temperature and weather) across the world, into other organisms to see if they provided protection from desiccation.  The results suggested that the protein could be a valuable additive to bacterial cultures and protein formulations, potentially as a preservative.