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Jacob O

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate


Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Bioethics

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Review of Gene Editing Technologies and Ethical Considerations

In this project, the student would learn the basic principles behind gene editing using CRISPR and what ethical concerns have been raised regarding genome editing. The benefits and limitations of the technology would be discussed, and an educated opinion would be formed on whether or not society should allow germ-line editing to occur. The project would culminate in either a research style report or a short series of podcasts describing the issue and how the student feels about the ethical concerns. The project could also encompass other ethical concerns more distantly related to gene editing, such as GMOs, stem cell research, or research on embryos.

Evolution of Eukaryotes - Plants, Animals, Fungi and more!

If you have ever wondered about evolution and how so many diverse life forms could have originated from a common ancestor, then this is the project for you! The last eukaryotic common ancestor lived billions of years ago and it is from this primitive organism that all of the macroscopic life we see around us is descended from. In this project, you will learn about the different characteristics that this ancestor must have possessed, and learn about different scientific models that explain how this evolution occurred. The limitations of these models will be discussed, as well as current research that is ongoing in this field. The project would culminate in either a research review style report or a short series of podcasts describing this topic and how it is relevant to modern understanding of biology.

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