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3Whilesomemightenjoywatchingthesunsetobservingthestarsorcatch-inguponmissedshowsduringthehumidsummernightsDr.MarkHickmanAs-sistantProfessorofBiologicalSciencesandChemistryBiochemistryattheCollegeofScienceandMathematicsspenthisnightsalittledifferently.Iwouldjustlieinbedwithmylap-topexplainsHickmanwritingcomputerprogramstoprocessmillionsandmillionsofDNAsequencesattemptingtofindDNAmutations.ItwasquitethefeatthatendedwithapublicationinNatureoneofthemostreknownedscientificjournalsintheworld.ThesequencesthatHickmanobservedwerepartofayear-longyeastexperimentconductedatfourinstitutionsPrincetonHarvardWashingtonandRowanUniversi-ties.Theexperimentsobjectivewastoob-servetheDNAsequencesof40populationsover1000generationsofgrowthdocument-ingthechangesinDNApatternsandhowthesechangesaffectedthetotalpopulation.ThemainportionoftheexperimentwasexecutedatPrincetonUniversitywheretheyeastcellswereculturedandsamplesoftheseunicellularorganismsweretakenatvariousintervals.Yeastcellsreproduceevery90minutesgivingustheopportunitytolookat1000generationsinlessthansixmonths.AftertheDNAfromthesesampleswereextractedandsequencedHickmanplayedanimportantroleinsequencebioin-formaticsexaminingthebillionsofDNAbasesthatweresequenced.Wehadtera-bytesandterabytesofDNAtocombthroughlaughedHickmanbuthisfind-ingslefthimwithasenseofconfirma-tionratherthangiggles.ItallmadesenseemphasizedHickman.Theresultsoftheex-perimentprovidedinvaluableinsightintothegeneticchangesthatoccurduringevolution.AccordingtoHickmantheresultsrevealedthisatcompletelyrandomtimesandinanycelladrivermutationoccurs.Adrivermutationisachangeinthegeneticcodeofacellthatresultsinhavingaposi-tiveeffectoncellgrowthgivingacellanadvantageoverothercells.Thesecellsduetoenhancedgrowthtakeovertheentirecellpopulationbydividingfasterthanallothercellsinthepopulation.Inadditiontodrivermutationsothermutationsoccurthathavenoeffectoncellgrowth.Thesemutationsiftheyaroseinthesamecellbeforethedrivermutationwerecarriedalongwiththedrivermutationasthecellreplicated.Thustheseothermutationsarereferredtoasgenetichitchhikers.AfterreviewingterabytesofDNAsequenceswenowknowthatthereisntjustonemutationthatcandriveevolutionbutthatmanymutationsaccumu-latetogetherandhavetheabilitytoinfluencethefitnessofanorganismHickmanreiterated.Inthebroadareaofbiologi-calresearchthisisextremelyimpor-tantasitprovidesanewperspectivetomolecularevolution.ThiswasthefirstmajorphaseHickmanstatedandwecanbuildupontheinformationwefoundandexaminedifferentkindsofgeneticchangeslikechangesingenecopynum-berorgenomicrearrangements.AnotherplatformforwhichHickmansresearchisinvaluableiscancerresearch.YeastisusedalottoemulatecancercellsbecauseoftheirrapiddivisionsaidHick-man.ByexaminingthenatureofDNAmutationsinquicklyevolvingyeastpopu-lationsscientistscanbegintounderstandhowcancercellsevolvefromnormalcellsbyaccumulatingseveralmutations.Dr.MarkHickmanDiscoveriesinNatureMarkHickmanreviewedmillionsofDNAsequencesthispastsummerwhichledtoasuccessfulpublicationinNatureJournalForthepastyearStevenGennaouiagraduatefromthemastersprogramincomputerscicncehasbeenworkingwithBoeinginRidleyParkPennsylvaniaaspartoftheV-22OspreySoftwaredesignteamusedinthecockpitoftheV-22aircraft.Gennaouiassistedinthecreationandupdatingprocessthataimedtocombattheobsolescenceissuewithinthecraft.HavinggraduatedjustayearagoGennaouihasworkedwithGoogleInc.intheirAndroidsectorandhasmovedtotheWestCoasttocontinuehiscareerwithAmazon.comInc.YoungAlumAchievementsInMay2011EricGreenhousegraduatedfromRowanwithaBSincomputersciencealongsidefourcon-centrationsincludingprogramminglanguagesandcompilerssoftwareengineeringartificialintelligenceanddatastructuresandalgorithms.SincethenGreenhousehasworkedforEOIRTechnologiesaDepartmentofDefensecontractorandissettinguphisfutureinCulverCityCaliforniaasasoftwareengineerforSymantecCorporation.HisprojectisworkingwithCandObjectiveCinordertodevelopanewproductcalledNor-tonIdentitySafe.GreenhouseisapartoftheMACiOSteamdevelopingtheirversionoftheproduct.5RecentalumStevenGennaoui