In the Lab

Studying Slime Mold Yields Insight into Cellular Behavior

August 19, 2010

It may sound like something out of a Far Side cartoon, but it’s serious science. Amherst College biology professor David Ratner and several of his students have spent this summer examining how Dictyostelium discoideum—a cellular slime mold—behaves. The bigger goal is to explore the research frontiers of gene expression and protein degradation. It all adds up to an intense summer research experience for students and professor alike, as well as insights into how the degradation of proteins influences the division of all cells, whether normal and healthy or mutated and malfunctioning.

In this video, Ratner, along with students Benjamin Garmezy ’11 and Elizabeth “Molly” Scott ’13, discuss their research, the altruistic qualities of the slime mold and the considerable advantages of studying science at a liberal arts college such as Amherst.

New York Times: Amherst is Open to Low Incomes

Submitted by Paul S. Statt
Elite Colleges Open New Door to Low-Income Youths
The New York Times, May 27
The discussion in the States of Poverty seminar here at Amherst College was getting a little theoretical. Then Anthony Abraham Jack, a junior from Miami, asked pointedly, “Has anyone here ever actually seen a food stamp?”