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WIB-Seattle: YWIB-Seattle: "What's Inside Our Blood? A Hands-On Hematopoiesis Lab", March 13, 2019

Posted By Lauren Metoyer, Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Young Women In Bio - Seattle hosted “What’s Inside Our Blood? A Hands-On Hematopoiesis Lab” at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute (FHCRC) on March 13th, 2019. Ten students from high schools around the Seattle area attended to learn about the components of our blood and how those components are changed in a cancerous state. Dr. Beverly Torok-Storb (FHCRC, Clinical Research Division) first introduced students to the concept of stem cells, and their immense potential for regeneration therapy. She then walked students through the typical cell types present in blood, and how leukemia affects those cells. While discussing internships for high school students at the FHCRC, Dr. Torok-Storb emphasized the importance of diversity in the biomedical workforce: utilizing everyone’s unique perspective means that together we will be able to generate creative research advances even faster.

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 After learning the necessary background information, students moved into the laboratory and donned lab coats, gloves, and goggles. The first goal of the lab activity was to learn how to make a whole-blood smear on a slide, and image that smear by microscopy after staining. The majority of cells in these smears were red blood cells, but after properly centrifuging their samples of dog blood in a sugar gradient, students were able to isolate lymphocytes and stain smears of concentrated immune cells present in the blood samples. Dr. Torok-Storb connected observations students made based on their slides, like the presence or absence of lymphocytes in whole-blood smears, to the clinical manifestations of leukemia discussed in her talk. The event ended with a tour of the shared resources facility in the FHCRC, where students observed scientists at work performing electron microscopy, flow cytometry, and genomics.

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Posted By Marsha Morgenstern, Tuesday, April 9, 2019
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