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By Matt Sabongi 

Studying the biological sciences is a great way to open doors to many kinds of opportunities. Whether you are interested in working in the health sciences, industry, or academia, studying biology can prepare you both academically and professionally to succeed in various careers.

In this Studying Biology video, Professor Dr. Susan Wick of the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) explains how a biology degree from CBS can help you achieve your goals and dreams.

It did not take me long realize the abundant opportunities available for students in CBS when I first began here as a student. As mentioned in the video, research is a big part of the University of Minnesota community. Throughout my four years as an undergraduate, I was able to conduct research in two labs on campus. One of the labs was in the medical school, where I studied cell signaling pathways between white blood cells. The other lab in which I worked conducted structural biology of an inner-membrane protein. 

Both these experiences were extremely rewarding. It was fascinating to use concepts I was learning in my courses and apply them at a completely different level. I highly recommend getting involved in research no matter what major you choose to study. Check out the University of Minnesota's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program to learn more about undergraduate research on campus.

Every day I pick up a copy of the Minnesota Daily, the University of Minnesota's student-run newspaper. I like reading the Daily to find out about events in the Twin Cities and happening on campus. It's always a good read, and this past year was named the "Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper" in the country

Today, I opened up the Daily to find an interesting article about a team of College of Science and Engineering students and faculty.

This spring, Professor Jian Sheng and a team of College of Science and Engineering students applied for a National Science Foundation grant to study flow fields around coral regions. They began developing a submersible high speed camera. In April, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico required them to change their plans.

The CSE team is now planning on using their camera to determine if microorganisms are eating oil droplets. If they can discover which microorganisms eat oil, scientists would be able to use them instead of chemical dispersants.

Yan Ming Tan, an aerospace engineering student in his fourth year said, "BP claims there is no more oil on the surface, so definitely there are some microorganisms that eat them. We just don't know which microorganisms."

 

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Read the MN Daily article to learn more about the team's unique camera!

This story goes to show that you can never be sure where your research will lead you. One innovation can be used in many different ways to further discovery in every field. This team was driven enough to change the focus of their project and their discoveries could change the way the world handles oil spills. Amazing!

Welcome everyone!

My name is Nyemadi Dunbar, and I am a senior. Throughout the 2010-2011 school year I will be updating this blog with exciting news and events that take place on our campus! I hope that all of you will join me as I take you on a wonderful journey throughout this school year.

Check out my very first video blog (vlog, for short!) below:

By Matthew Sabongi

I studied biochemistry as an undergraduate. During my many hours of studying conversions, mechanisms, and chemical structures, I always tried to visualize and contextualize what I was learning. For instance, the periodic table of elements. Studying trends and physical properties of alkaline earth metals, noble gases and halogens, I imagined what it was like to see and feel these elements with my own eyes and hands. The Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota has made this possible!


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In Kolthoff Hall on the East Bank of the Minneapolis campus, there is a huge display of the periodic table with compartments containing each of the elements. Neon lights representing the noble gases and solids for many of the metals, you can see and actually touch many of the elements that make up our natural world. If you're like me and like to visualize what you're learning about, check out this great display on campus!

 

By Zack Haas

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to represent the University of Minnesota at La Familia, an annual Latino family festival and expo in St. Paul. 

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During the event, I was able to meet a diverse crowd of students and families as they stopped by our booth. Carolyn Reyes, Miss Minnesota International 2010 and a 2007 alumna of the School of Journalism, also stopped by our booth. As part of her platform "Empowering our Youth," Carolyn makes appearances at various community events to encourage students to tackle the challenging problems they will face in life by teaching personal development lessons that she gained through her experiences. 

She will also be speaking at the opening session of Experience Minnesota, a multicultural event on our campus on Saturday, October 9th. (We'd love to see you there! You can sign up here.) As a student at the University of Minnesota, Carolyn was also an active participant in multicultural groups such as Student Excellence in Academics and Multiculturalism (SEAM), the Martin Luther King, Jr. Program, and the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence.

I know I'm looking forward to seeing Carolyn again at Experience Minnesota, and I hope you'll be there too!


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