Student Researcher

Evolution in Yeast


For the past two years, senior Grace Lam has been studying evolution through yeast. Because yeast has a short reproduction period, long-term evolution simulations can easily be conducted to track adaptive mutations. Lam studied these mutations looking at the trade-offs of different mutations in various environments.

Lam uses DNA analysis to pinpoint the mutations. Although she has worked to optimize her DNA extraction process since sophomore year, Lam recently switched to RNA extraction. RNA provides more concrete gene expression data. The other aspect of Lam’s project is writing computer scripts to analyze the large amount of data she gathers.