Ms. Jessica Myles Acknowledged for Scientific Poster at Mississippi Valley State University

After completing my eight- week research internship, I learned so much.  Not only did I leave with new friends and networking opportunities, but I learned what I want to do with my future.

Studying bioinformatics is a demanding job; however it is beneficial at the end of the day. I expanded my mind and completed projects I would have never thought possible. I learned how to make computer programs and use them toward research.

At the end of the internship, each group or individual person had to present a research poster to judges. I choose to work with my group and present our research using data mining. We presented on “Using an Artificial Neural Network to Predict Promoters in E. Coli k12 based on DNA Stability.”  First, we took the e. coli complete genome sequence and converted it to free energy values. These values represent the bond strength. Using those values, we pulled out the promoters based on 250 base pairs (bps) with respect to the transcription sites and we pulled out 250 bps non promoters in between promoters excluding any overlapping.

Having a complete list of the promoters and non promoters, we randomized the data and trained the neural network with 2/3. The neural network uses mathematical equations to locate patterns. Once trained, we tested the other 1/3. After the neural network ran the information the promoter prediction was at a 75% accuracy prediction rate. The results we found can help further researchers increase theories already within the science community.

This accuracy percentage is important because by improving the accuracy scientist can begin to use computational approaches in the lab for promoter prediction, which can cut down the cost and is almost more efficient.

After all the groups presented their research, they selected four individuals/groups as winners. Our group was selected as one. The directors of the program, Dr. Abigail Newsome and Dr. Charles Bland, are trying to secure the funding to send the four teams to present at a spring conference at Texas A&M.

This was a great opportunity and I am truly grateful to the Office of Career Services and Ms. Andrea Felder for helping me find this summer institute. This was my first time preparing and presenting a poster, and I will take what I learned and apply it for my senior thesis.  Learning and understanding this field helped me realize I wish to pursue a master’s in bioinformatics and I am going to apply to the host institution, Mississippi Valley State University, as well as a couple of other schools that offer this degree program.

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