High Tech High School senior Andrea Gonzalez surrendered a summer in the sun for a summer of hard work. Andrea found an internship with 'Partners in Science' through the Liberty Science Center this past summer, 2023. Andrea was paired with research scientists at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers, working with brilliant mentors like Dr. Guo and Dr. Gow, participating in an ongoing study of C02 and its effects on humans.
Recently, a study was conducted on airline pilots exposed to small levels of C02. When tested, the pilots showed decreased cognitive performance, ability to reason, and make rational decisions. Similarly, a study done on mice when exposed to C02 showed elevated releases of a molecule that causes inflammation in both humans and animals.
Dr. Guo and Dr. Gow’s research aims to find a mechanism to tie the studies together and answer the question - why is this happening?
Andreas' piece of research consisted of finding a testing mechanism to see how C02 affected cellular metabolism. She witnessed human studies in which people came into contact with levels of C02 to have their blood drawn and tested using the Seahorse XFE24 Analyzer (a machine that tests human cellular metabolism and the ability of human cells to function correctly).
Andreas' final findings showed C02 caused premature reactions earlier than they were supposed to happen. She found that when you stimulate cells with C02, there is a small oxygen consumption when there is supposed to be a big reaction.
Dr. Guo, Dr. Gow and Andrea’s findings will work towards helping those affected by C02 poisoning. Congratulations, Andrea, on these exciting findings! Hopefully, a relaxing trip to Spain is in your future after such hard work!
By: Alexandra Panfilov