Young Dawgs encourages students’ passions for science

Noor Sohal loved science as a student at Lambert High School in Forsyth County. Her interest in genetics and synthetic biology brought her, as a rising high school junior, to Janet Westpheling’s lab in 2016 as part of the university’s Young Dawgs Program. The lab works to make energy in sustainable and environmentally friendly ways, such as converting plants to fuels like ethanol, butanol and bioplastic. During her Young Dawgs internship, Sohal worked with the ­organism ­Caldicellulosiruptor bescii, or C. bescii, which breaks down biomass. She also constructed plasmids—pieces of DNA that have genes on them—to make the organism produce ethanol. “Even though I wasn’t doing something that was huge or completely on my own, I did have a sense of...
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