Student Spotlight: Senior Thesis and Colloquium-Hannah '20

Senior Thesis and Colloquium is the culmination of a seven-year journey. Bosque seniors undertake a yearlong independent research project and deliver their findings in a twenty-page research essay, as well as in a public presentation at Colloquium. Over the course of the year, students will submit a formal prospectus, conduct text-based research and fieldwork, and test their arguments at a defense.

In the weeks leading up to Colloquium on May 13 and 14, the BUZZ will feature the thesis topics of Bosque’s seniors and provide insight into these student-researchers as they work toward the completion and presentation of their finished work.

Hannah ‘20 
The genetic manipulation of vectors of infectious disease.

About Hannah’s Thesis:
Hannah’s thesis looks at how disease-transmitting vectors, meaning animals and insects, can be genetically modified to prevent the spread of diseases. This is being tested in order to prevent disease spread for Malaria, Ebola, Dengue virus, etc. Genetic manipulation would allow for a self-limiting gene to be added to insects, e.g., mosquitoes, to lower population rates based on which mosquitoes can spread specific diseases. It is important to consider certain problems that could potentially arise from the use of this new technology considering the limited testing. Her thesis will first prove that the technology necessary has already been created and tested in some situations, in addition to answering whether or not society is ready to handle the responsibility of genetic manipulation of vectors of infectious disease.

This topic is important to her because it is another use of genetic manipulation, not as familiar as the genetic manipulation of human DNA. In addition, she hopes to study genetic manipulation and its uses in medicine in college and eventually graduate school.

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Researcher Bio:
Hannah is a member of MRC, a student in Spanish Honors, and a soccer player. She is planning on studying medicine and hopes to become a physician's assistant. She has signed to play soccer at DeSales University next year.