Students share findings from summer research

Linfield students who participated in summer research shared their findings, including marketing tactics in the wine industry, tracking of micro-RNA in fruit flies, and gender analysis in John Fletcher’s play “The Tamer Tamed.”

Senior Patrick Hickok gave his presentation on his experiences in working in the wine industry. As a marketing major, Hickok learned a lot about the logistics of the wine industry as well as hand on experience from local wineries. He spent his time at vineyards.

Hickok learned about several aspects of the wine industry from the technicalities of growing grapes for wine, marketing decisions that go into making wines look presentable and the new direction of the “high class winery experience.”

Hickok will now have the opportunity to pursue his own interests relating to the wine industry. So far, he has created a potential product for storing wines on a large scale and will continue expanding on the blue print for this product over the upcoming semester.

Sophomores Austin Browning and Katie Rees did research for Linfield’s biology department on gene silencing through RNA interference. Both Browning and Rees worked as research assistants under Catherine Reinke, assistant professor of biology, and focused on the significance of micro-RNA on silencing genes.

Many scientists believed that RNA served only as a messenger, transferring DNA to make a particular trait prior to the 1990s. Scientists are now focused on trying to discover how to control micro-RNA specifically so in the future scientist can “turn off” certain traits that carry diseases and disorders.

Browning and Rees used fruit flies to study genes and larval viability. They collected more than a thousand larva and successfully sequenced the gene previously mapped by two seniors in the lab, meaning that they are now able to see how each gene is important and can use those findings to help solve why RNA silence certain genes.

Browning and Rees hope to continue their research and to further understand the roles RNA plays in gene silencing.

Senior Kyra Rickards, a literature major, did her summer research working for the Portland Shakespeare Project focusing  on communicating  John Fletcher’s playwright The Tamer Tamed effectively and doing her own research analyzing different productions of “The Tamer Tamed”.

“The Tamer Tamed” was first published in 1611 and is often referred to as “sequel” to “The Taming of the Shrew” because of the way it transfers many of its characters from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. In “The Tamer Tamed,” Fletcher turns the gender roles completely around making the “tamer” Petruchio “tamed” by his second wife, Maria.

Rickards worked as a dramaturge for PSP’s production of “The Tamer Tamed” over the summer, helping to clarify plot points, language, pronunciation and context in order to communicate Fletcher’s playwright to modern day audiences.

Rickards also did personal research on the prologues and epilogues of four different productions of “The Tamer Tamed” from different years ranging from 1633-1760. Some productions expressed to the readers that husband and wife should exist as equals, while other productions contradicted the essence of the play claiming to keep the good laws of the household in place.  Overall, Rickards learned about the different productions were influenced by the time of publication.

“The key to having the opportunity to do summer research is to have a passion about an area of study in addition to maintaining strong relationships with your professors,” Rickards said.

Students have followed their interests and with the support from the college and the McMinnville community, have been able to discover new and exciting findings in their areas of study.

Camille Weber / Sports columnist

Camille Weber can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.