Shortcake. Lora. Rideordie. PinheadLarry.
These aren’t bizarre nicknames or Twitter monikers. They are the names of some of the 11 new viruses biology students from St. Louis Community College-Meramec have discovered in the past year.
These students are part of the Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program. This revolutionary two-semester program introduces original research into freshman biology labs.
The program begins with digging in the soil to find new viruses, progresses through a variety of microbiology techniques and ends with complex genome annotation and bioinformatic analyses. Participating students have the opportunity to name a new organism, present their findings at a national meeting and co-author a scientific paper.
More than 100 colleges and universities across the nation are participating in the SEA-PHAGES program. Yet, STLCC is one of only a handful of community colleges currently participating. The program aims to increase undergraduate interest and retention in the biological sciences through immediate immersion in authentic, valuable, university-level research.
Two Meramec students, Taylor Gray and Fred Wuliger, presented their data at the 10th Annual SEA Symposium, a national meeting held in Washington, D.C.
For more information about STLCC’s SEA-PHAGES program, contact Bob Harms at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tom Peters at email@example.com.