Monday, March 9, 2015

Traumatized DNA: How mutations of the genetic code effect our daily lives

 Photo credit to:
My capstone project will take a look at how the human genetic code can be altered by external trauma such as excess stress, bullying, pre-natal drug abuse, etc. This will not be your average scientific power point with nice pictures of DNA and images of brains that are malformed, but instead I envision something more along the lines as a, engaging Ted Talk so to speak. I want to encompass three different disciplines to cover the basis of an interdisciplinary approach to the capstone. The first will be Sociology, how is the community affected by individuals with "Traumatized" DNA; for example, rise in suicide and crime rates. Second will take a look on the psychology of the issue. What is the psychologists view on the issue? what can they do to help the problem or the effected individuals? Thirdly, I will be talking about the molecular level of the DNA from a geneticists point of view. Asking the questions pertaining to structure and formation of DNA before and after exposure to external trauma. What kind of changes occur? and how do these changes effect the behavior? Finally to wrap up the entire capstone I will ask the question, what is the link between the three disciplines and how do they affect each other? Do genetic factors effect the psychological order of the brain? What can psychology do for a society of mutations?
Photo credit to:

I will be mainly drawing from the theory of Disciplinary Perspective for my capstone project. This theory helps us to distinguish between disciplines, which will be helpful to discern commonalities and differences among the three of them. Perspective theory will also allow us to step back and look at each discipline individually and find a relevance to the issue as well as find area's where it accentuates it.


           3/24- Talk with Dr. Doherty (adviser) about choices for academic literature
           3/31- Finalize literature search choices and begin to finalize project layout

           4/10- Start project power point Intro slides
           4/17- Start project power point Sociology slides
           4/19- Start project power point Psychology slides
           4/24-  Start project power point Molecular Genetics slides
           4/27-30- Start project power point  Discipline connections and conclusion

           5/4- Start project paper
           5/7- Bring paper to writing center for possible revisions
           5/8- revise paper as needed
           5/10- Finalize entire capstone project, making sure everything is completed
           5-10-12- Practice power point presentation
           5-12- Present power point to class


  1. Hey nice job catching up in the class! Your project sounds awesome and fascinating! It totally appeals to the science nerd aspiring med tech in me! I can't wait to see how it turns out. I'm glad that you imagine it being similar to a Ted Talk and be engaging, that's the best way to learn about science-related topics. Your timeline looks solid as well! Good luck!

  2. You should consider integrating some info on epigenetics in here.....-Dr. O'Donnell

  3. Sounds good! Seems like when you actually get down to the talk, you would start with the genetic info, and then go to the individual (Psych) and finally to the group (Soc) effects? Not sure... Not sure if you are envisioning a screencast or more of a true Ted Talk with the projection behind you (perhaps we could see if we could book a cool room in Boyd or Silver or Hyde to project behind you while a friend films?). Anyway, I know nothing about the science here, but I am captivated by the topic and hoping you really hit it out of the park, since I think many people would be interested.