3 January, 2003
I hope everyone has had a wonderful beginning to his or her New Year. I have had one with new experiences! I worked in the lab at the University of Alabama at Birmingham today for the first time. I learned exactly what I will be doing to help my research team while I am with them in Antarctica.
Scientists have divided all living organisms into 5 kingdoms. They are animal, plant, monerans (such as bacteria), fungi, and protists (such as algae, molds, ciliates i.e. paramecium, and flagellates i.e. amoebas). I will be working to calculate the amount of phlorotannin in brown algae in the protists kingdom.
Phlorotannin is a polyphenolic and can be found in algae and vascular plants. Polyphenolics are carbohydrates. They are more specifically an organic compound. Organic compounds contain carbon. Some other organic compounds we are familiar with are proteins, fats, and even DNA. Phenolics are 6 sided or hexagonal in shape. They are made of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Hydroxyl groups bond to the sides of the hexagon. Hydroxyl groups are made of oxygen and hydrogen. When more than one phenolic groups together, they become polyphenolics, poly meaning many. Polyphenolic thus means many molecules of phenolics linking together. Phlorotannin is a primary metabolite and important in cell wall composition.
Brown algae get its color from a photosynthetic pigment called fucoxanthin. The brown algae I extracted in the lab are named Fucus.
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