Week #4

0 6 October 2018

Hi miRcorers! This week Dr. Howard Crawford, Ph.D. Professor of the UM Med School and Director of Pancreatic Cancer Research Program, came and gave us an informative and interesting talk about pancreatic cancer and the research he has done with it. Afterwards, everyone split up into their groups to finish their advocacy materials they started last week. Most of the committees met again after the general meeting. If you still have any interest of joining a committee, please contact the committee head! See you all soon!

Posted in Uncategorized by Catherina Lu
0 29 September 2018

Hi miRcorers! Today, Dr. Lee introduced the GDC Data Portal from the National Cancer Institute (NIH) to everyone which we used to find important data for different types of pancreatic cancer, like survival rate and significant genes. It is a very good resource to use for our research. The NIH also has a page on their website about pancreatic cancer and common cancer statistics (https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/), which is another very good informational resource to compare pancreatic cancer with other cancers. We had a short icebreaker to help everyone learn more names. We resumed research in the temporary groups from last week and began thinking of ideas to spread awareness for pancreatic cancer. Examples include making posters, infographics, t-shirts, etc. Please finish those awareness materials at home for the next meeting if you didn’t already finish. Once you are done, you can upload those materials with your group names into the “Final advocate product for Pancreatic cancer Research” folder. We also had committee meetings today after the general meeting. For those that are interested in joining a committee, you can “shadow” a meeting so that you can get the idea of what the committee does and which one you would be most interested in. Please contact the committee leader you interested in if you have any interest in joining! See you all next week!

Posted in Uncategorized by Catherina Lu
0 22 September 2018

Hi miRcorers! We had the first official miRcore meeting of 2019 today. Thank you to all the students and parents for coming! We went over the values and goals of miRcore and started introducing everyone through a few short games of two truths and a lie. As the students got to know each other, Dr. Lee had a separate meeting with all the parents. As a group, Dr. Lee went over our main goal of changing the world through democratizing medicine. Our disease  of focus for this year is pancreatic cancer. Students who attended the meeting began researching general information about pancreatic cancer in temporary research groups. For all GIDAS leaders: Eleanor Lin will be leading an informational GIDAS workshop through an online video call meeting. If you would like to be a part of this, please respond to the poll so that she can decide what date to hold the workshop. Here is the link: https://goo.gl/forms/Rpbb8ilesNU4GAsm2   Thank you once again for your participation and commitment!        

Posted in Uncategorized by Catherina Lu
0 15 September 2018

Hi miRcorers!   We had a GIDAS leadership training on 9/15/2018 for all new and returning GIDAS leaders. If you were not able to attend the meeting or have any additional questions, send an email to gidasdirector@gmail.com for help.   Saturday 9/22/2018 will be the first miRcore meeting for the 2018-2019 school year! Please watch out for the attendance projection to let us know whether or not you can come. If you haven’t received the attendance projection email by Friday please contact Dr. Lee. Make sure you wear your GIDAS shirts to the first meeting! We will be taking a group photo of 2019 miRcore.   Hope to see you all soon!

Posted in Uncategorized by Catherina Lu | Tags:
0 24 March 2018

3/24/2018 – Blog Post

Eleanor Lin

During the March 24th meeting, members were introduced to BLAST, the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (https://blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Blast.cgi). The focus was on using Nucleotide BLAST to match RNA sequences from a file type called FASTA to RNA sequences in the NCBI database. FASTA files contain a name for each sequence and the order of the nucleotides in the sequence. Lines from a FASTA file can be copy-pasted into BLAST, which will provide a visual summary of the matches that it has found for the input sequence. It also lists out information for each individual sequence match.UntitledDuring the meeting, the concept of reverse complementary DNA sequences was reviewed, in order to explain why BLAST will label some sequence matches as “Plus/Plus” and others as “Plus/Minus.” DNA

Posted in 2017-18 School Year by Srikar Munukutla
0 17 March 2018

A Summary of Dr. Castro’s Talk (3/10/18) Prasanna Padmanabham


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Last week on 3/10/18, Dr. Castro presented her research on treating Lower Grade Gliomas by injecting a vector that allowed immune cells to identify and kill tumor cells.   Her treatment hypothesis solves a big problem doctors have had with brain cancer. Since tumors grow in the brain, doctors must remove enough tissue to get rid of the cancer cells, but be careful they don’t remove too much as that can impact the person’s life. This is a big problem in children because their brains are still developing and removing too much tissue can cause developmental issues. Patients that undergo extensive surgery tend to live the longest, but they too still have a very big risk of another tumor growing again.   In Dr. Castro’s model, immune cells are trained to kill cancer cells and this prevents the tumor from growing again. The have conducted many models in rats, and the rats that receive the treatmen

0 15 March 2018

This year’s disease of focus is Brain Cancer.

Posted in 2017-18 School Year by mircore
0 1 September 2016

Hello! Here is the third edition of our miRcore newsletter! Here is the pun of the month!

“The virus fought the white blood cells, but it was in vein.”

  To those who would like to know more about our Genes and Health Contest, here is a comprehensive summary of our event!   “The Genes and Health contest is our annual contest that we hold for all high school students grades 9-12 for the purpose of awarding those who work hard and who immerse themselves in genetics.   miRcore strives for science, compassion, and cooperation. As part of our mission we encourage our members to learn more about biology and gain skills in computational biology research. Every week we learn how to use genetics analyzing tools such as GEO2R, Linux, and String-db.org. When we research, knowledge such as DNA methylation and protein folding aids us in writing abstracts. These skills then became the premise of our Genes and Health contest.   The test consists of three parts, the biology test, the computational biology online research test, and the teamwork section. The biology portion consists of college level biology such as protein synthesis, DNA/RNA synthesis, protein denaturation, and much more. The computational biology portion assesses the skills of an individual with regards to using databases such as UCSC Genome Browser, String-

Posted in Newletter by mircore
0 1 September 2016

Hello, and welcome to our second edition of the miRcore newsletter. To start off, here is our pun of the week!

“We can change corduroys, but we cannot easily change genes.”

  If you would like more information about our organization, here is one of our pamphlets: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CvFYiaYjKLZmpe4-Fjnq3NsSZJC9K_gWU7WA1KETAK8/edit#   Recently, Natsume Ono, a miRcore volunteer, was interviewed about her thoughts on miRcore. The volunteer reflects on her favorite memories and aspects of miRcore:  

How many years have you been at miRcore?

I joined my sophomore year, so 2 and a half.  

What’s your favorite part about miRcore?

My favorite part is going every week, and seeing people who are passionate about learning about the different things that we do, and also helping people by doing fundraisers and stuff, and performances that we do at senior centers sometimes.  

What’s one of the most important piece of knowledge you’ve gained from miRcore?

I don’t know, that’s really hard. I would say that sometimes you might not be interested in something. I wasn’t too interested in computational biology and stuff, but then realizing the bigger effect and how i

Posted in Newletter by mircore
0 2 April 2016

Hello, this is the first newsletter from the 2015-2016 miRcore Newsletter Committee. We hope this provides a fond memory to look back on as we transition into 2016.

Here is our pun of the month:

“We cannot easily change genes, but we can change corduroys.”

In the past, miRcore volunteers have researched diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Autism. This year, we will be focusing on lung cancer. As a 501(c)(3) research organization, miRcore values science, compassion, and collaboration, and is interested in broadening personalized medicine. We volunteer, research, and brainstorm ways to impact the scientific community in terms of our focused disease.

On October 17th, Dr. David G. Beer presented a lecture on cancer for miRcore. He covered different cancer causations, and explained cancer’s development before it becomes a severely aggressive disease. He revealed that lung cancer has the highest death toll out of any other type. The fact that cancer can be more abundant in certain places provided a unique perspective of the disease. In Japan, there is a high occurrence of gastric cancer, as a likely result of Japan’s large sodium intake. Esophageal cancer was found to

Posted in Newsletter Committee 2015-2016 by mircore