Zainab Mustafa

Zainab Mustafa

BSc Medical Genetics

Zainab obtained her BSc (Hons) in Medical Genetics from the University of Leicester in 2019 having completed a research project in genetic analyses of novel L1 insertions. This project focused on examining the legitimacy of novel LINE-1 sequences that had been discovered in platinum genomes using bioinformatic tools. Utilising genotyping assays, the novel insertion under scrutiny was verified, sequenced and compared to existing L1s to determine distinction and a possible lineage. Further genetic analyses were performed using ceph plate populations to begin establishing the prevalence of this transposable element amongst the individuals in these known populations.

She also secured a summer studentship working in the Drosophila lab at the University of Leicester researching the genes involved in the geomagnetism in fruit flies. Genetic mutants were bred to produce offspring with cryptochrome and rhodopsin 7 knockouts – 2 genes thought to be linked to geomagnetic detection in Drosophila. Cryptochrome is known as a ‘clock’ gene and facilitates our interaction with the natural changes the accompany the passing of time throughout the night and day. Rhodopsin 7 is a gene involved in the formation of the eye.

Male flies were selected from the mutant populations, as well as a control group, to perform the behavioural experiments. Female flies have significantly smaller hippocampi which greatly diminishes their direction detection in comparison to males; instead relying on the latter to navigate towards the former for mating. The behavioural experiments took place within a maze surrounded by magnetic coils capable of manipulating the magnetic poles. Food was initially associated with the magnetic North and starved flies were then tested to see if they would still be able to travel North as the magnetic field was manipulated prior to each experiment.

Aside from genetic research, Zainab has worked in the Quality department of a cancer-diagnostics company. This role involved managing suppliers, NCRs, near misses and training up to become a lead auditor in line with ISO13485, IVDR and MDSAP regulations. Zainab has since returned to Medical Genetics and now works in a clinical genetics lab at an NHS trust as Genetic Technologist.

Articles from Zainab

An Overview of Aortic Dissection

An Overview of Aortic Dissection

How Do Our Bones Change as We Age?

How Do Our Bones Change as We Age?

How does Stress Affect Your Immune System?

How does Stress Affect Your Immune System?

A Comparison of the Different Types of Face Mask

A Comparison of the Different Types of Face Mask