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An Adventure in Puerto Rico: Research, Rental Cars, and Red Trees

Imagen de Eloise Flora Yount

Greetings CienciaPR community,

My name is Eloise Yount, and I am proud to say that I have the opportunity of conducting research at the UPRM in the interim period between my third and fourth years as an undergraduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I am pursuing a degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering, and with that degree I plan to lay the foundation for a career focused on sustainable technology/renewable energy development and implementation.

Living and Learning on the Island of Enchantment

Imagen de Adriana A Bodlak

This summer I’ve had the opportunity to conduct research at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus with the Soft Matter Research Experience for Undergraduates program. I came into this program wanting a more immersive research experience where my work would be more “hands on,” and I’m happy to report that it has been. I’ve learned many new techniques and gained an appreciation for the extensive possibilities within microbiology. I never thought I’d be so excited about bacteria!

Only a Month

Imagen de Mathini Vaikunthan

On the first day of this REU program, we were asked why we chose to come to the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez for an entire summer. The answer was quite simple for me: it was a perfect opportunity for me to learn more about a vibrant, intricate culture while being immersed in what I loved-- research. The idea of coming here got me through finals and a tough first year at Princeton. I daydreamed of the amazing experiences I would have here through my short summer break, and then realized I might be setting unrealistic expectations for my time here. What if I did not like my work? What if there were no opportunities to actually experience Puerto Rican culture?

My Experience as an undergrad intern in this 2016 RMSM REU

Imagen de Alberto E Serrano Vargas

Participating in this summer’s RMSM REU has been a very productive experience thus far. The opportunity it’s given me of conducting research and having my own project to procure and develop has made an impact in my professional life and aspirations. Also, the scientific communication workshops, the soft matter seminars and even the social activities offered by this program have all been enriching. In addition, the people I’ve gotten to known and share with during this past month have also been key to this fun and constructive adventure.

One Month In, Halfway Through

Imagen de Milan T Brown

I have been in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico for about a month now working for the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates program. Honestly, I had no idea I would end up here but I'm glad its here instead of Minnesota. The purpose of the program is to give undergraduates research expereience at a university they would otherwise never attend, as well as preparation for graduate school. We are paired with a graduate mentor and a professor and work in the labs for about an average of 40 hours a week. After the 40 hours, we are free to explore Puerto Rico and do whatever legal activities we desire.

Big Advancements on the Horizons - Enzyme-coated Nanoparticle Medicines

Imagen de Joseph P Ulbrich
Hello all, This is the final week of the Summer REU here at University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez, and thus it’s the conclusion of my research to be performed here at the university. During this only two-month program, so many advancements have been made for not only my research project, but also myself as a researcher. I’m extremely proud and happy to say that I’ve been part of one of the prized projects here at UPRM Summer REU with Soft Matter Labs! It’s provided me with very valuable research experience that has allowed me to become a much more confident and independent researcher.

Mathematical Model for concentrations of 4-aminobenzoic acid in water

Imagen de Jessica Raquel Bojorquez
Detecting bioactive agents in water has become a matter of great importance and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this REU program where I have been able to work in a project whose’ goal is to advance technology for this matter. I was assigned to work with Dr. Marco De Jesus in the chemistry department of University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, or as known as “El Colegio”. My project was to design a mathematical model that could describe concentrations of bioactive agents in water in the range of zero to saturation point.

A summer with toads and nano-bubbles!!!

Imagen de Hilary Marrero

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.

Practical peptides possess particularly potent pliant properties

Imagen de Lance Bettinson

Truly are β-peptide synthesis and application the only subject matters worthy of an alliterative introduction. A relatively new prospect for clinical application, these peptides offer a wealth of biochemical possibilities in the future of medicine. Their unique and tailorable sequences render them utile in a variety of circumstances and milieux.

Nanoparticles with a Not-So-Nano Impact

Imagen de Hyeon Ju Song

July 31st. Today marks the final day of the REU Soft Matter Research program at the University of Mayaguez. Needless to say, it has been richly rewarding both academically and culturally. 

To begin, I entered this program with zero research experience. I just finished my freshman year of college and only took a couple of introductory engineering, science, and math classes. My mentor Delva taught me basic scientific experiments that are fundamental for scientists. For example, she taught me how to extract RNA, perform qPCR, culture and preserve cells, and tag cells with fluorescence and observe them under a microscope. 

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