Fifth Day of the Science Summer Program

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Lecture 11 DNA of biodegradable microorganisms damaged by environmental pollutant chemicals

Associate Prof. Robert A. Canaly, Ph.S., Department of Environmental Microbiology and Toxicology, Graduate School of NanoBio Sciences, YCU

The lectures of the last day were delivered at the YCU Hakkei Campus Icho-no Yakata Building.

Associate Prof. Canaly delivered the first lecture.
To begin with, Associate Prof. Canaly presented slides of marine creatures that have been weakened due to discharged crude petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico.

Among these creatures, there are microorganisms degrading the petroleum and other pollutant chemicals. However, these microorganisms are also chemicals and are faced with a danger of losing their lives due to damage to their DNA. The damaged DNA duplicates itself prior to restoration, which can result in cancerization (abnormal proliferation) and/or apoptosis (self-destruction of cells).

Through analyzing and mapping damaged DNA with a mass spectrometer, Associate Prof. Canaly developed a method to visualize damaged DNA and elucidate the adverse effects that environmental poisonous substances may have on DNA.

Initial slides are shown.
The students were not a little shocked to see these pictures. There was a discussion about how to solve environmental problems.

Lecture 12 Importance of the research on genome resources of wild crops that will prevent global starvation

Prof. Tomohiro Ban, Ph.D., Kihara Biological Institute

The last lecture was delivered by Prof. Tomohiro Ban of Kihara Biological Institute.
First of all, the achievements of Dr. Hitoshi Kihara, founder of Kihara Biological Institute, were introduced to the participants. He collected genome resources of wheat from all over the world.

It is said that a global food crisis will occur on the earth in the future. At present, one child dies from starvation every 6 seconds, and more than 8,500,000 people are affected by illness, showing that an increased production of grains will become indispensable from now on. In order to achieve quality improvement of grains, Prof. Kihara also introduced methods adapted to the climate of earth to efficiently increase the production. Finally, the students tasted watermelons created by Dr. Kihara.


Presentations by individuals and groups took place. Subsequently, there were willing discussions about the presentations, which extended beyond the scheduled time. The eco-bottle campaign by YCU was also a topic among the participants.

Closing ceremony

At the closing ceremony where President Fuse and Vice President Goshima were present, certificates were granted to the students by the President.

There was a surprise in which the teachers and staff and every student of YCU present were given a square piece of fancy paperboard by the students from abroad. The Science Summer Program ended in a genial atmosphere. Every student participating enjoyed the Program and spent a meaningful time.