Tammy Zanker

Project Adviser: Dr. Jan Trybula
Presidential Scholars adviser: Dr. Rebecca Gerber

Oxidation and Antioxidants: The Protection of DNA from Oxidative Damage tammy zanker photo

The human body goes through the process of oxidation all the time. When we breathe in, and even during cell metabolism, some of the oxygen is converted into free radicals. These free radicals help protect the body from diseases and injuries. Oxidation becomes dangerous when the body produces too many free radicals and the wrong type of free radicals. These free radicals leave the cell’s DNA damaged leading to all different kinds of diseases, including cancer.  Antioxidants can help to protect the DNA from these free radicles by removing free radical intermediates.
The goal of this project is to look at damage done to DNA by the process of oxidation and determining what antioxidants give the best protection against oxidative damage. Gel electrophoresis will be used to analyze the antioxidant and oxidative treatments given to the pGLO plasmids.