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A summer with toads and nano-bubbles!!!

Hilary Marrero's picture

This summer 2015 has been one like no other. Having the opportunity to work on a summer research program in a good university like the UPRM and contribute to the scientific knowledge in my island is something great that has no price. During 10 weeks I worked in a mechanical engineering laboratory on the “Permeability measurements of nano-bubbles through the urinary bladder of Bufo marinus toad”. The goal of the research was to detect and determine if air nano-bubbles diffuse through the urinary bladder from a donor chamber to a receiver one. Some recent studies have indicated that air and oxygen nano-bubbles enhance the growth of fishes, plants and mice. If it’s true that air nano-bubbles diffuse through a living tissue, maybe these ones can have some effect on living organisms. For this, the urinary bladder of Bufo marinus toad was used as membrane.

Having the opportunity to work in a research like this was something great. The part of working with animals (TOADS!!!) in the laboratory was a challenge for me and something completely new; is something that I would not change. To be working in the lab so many hours was something that helped me to be more patient and dedicated with every single task I do in my life. To be called by my REU undergraduate partners as “SUPER COQUITA” or by some people as “LA CHICA DEL SAPO” is something that I would never forget.

I had the opportunity to know a great professor and mentor that helped me to go through all this process and taught me a lot about my research. I knew so many graduate students from different countries and I make new good friends with the REU undergraduate students like me. We went to some social activities and without any doubt; my favorite was the visit to “Isla Magueyes” where we enjoy the beauty of coral reefs, mangroves and sea. Also, at the end of the program I had the opportunity to do a poster presentation about my research project that gave me the chance to show this new research to the academic community in the UPRM.

This REU 2015 will be a memory for a lifetime.