I wrote my project on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy also known as DMD. This subject is near to me as both of my boys have DMD. This project is about how one little protein can cause all sort of havoc in the body.

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  1. The objective of this project was to go in to a more detail look at the different proteins that make up and affect our body. Nathan Lammers goes in to a in depth essay about proteins and how they are critical to all of the body’s tissues and organs. Nathan chose to focus on the dystrophin protein. When this protein is not present in the body, it is a sign that a person has developed Duchenne or Becker’s muscular dystrophy syndrome. The dystrophin protein is the largest genome in the human body. This protein is so large that it can be broken down into 79 exon that make up a single dystrophin protein. When developing muscular dystrophy, it is usually detected early on in age. Some early signs of muscular dystrophy include slow or late development to walking or talking. The child or toddler could show signs of difficulty standing up or getting off the ground. The mutation of this protein has a huge impact on the human body. If the dystrophin protein mutates or duplication happens on a single exon or multiple exons in the gene, this can cause muscular dystrophy. When the exon is missing or duplicated, the remaining exons do not fit together. When these cells are not able to fit together correctly, they are unable to produce dystrophin protein. This protein acts like a buffer between muscles helping to keep the body’s muscle mass. When you develop muscular dystrophy, you essentially are losing muscle mass. The dystrophin protein is what helps strengthen the muscle fibers and protect the human body from injury. Nathan’s STEAM project was clever and detailed. Nathan wrote a thorough report on how one small protein can completely change the body. Then he carefully cut and organized 79 pieces of color paper into the shape of a wheel chair. These 79 pieces of paper represented the 79 exons that make up one dystrophin protein. I thought Nathan’s project was very creative. It is easy to see he put tons of thought and effort into his art piece and essay alike.

    Veronika Von Schert

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