SWES Master’s Student Published in Nature Scientific Reports

Feb. 26, 2014

Valerisa Joe, a Master’s Student in the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Studies (SWES) working with WRRC Associate Director Jean McLain, is a co-author on a paper recently published in Nature Scientific Reports. The paper, “Short RNA indicator sequences are not completely degraded by autoclaving,” describes a project completed in the laboratory of Dr. Adrian Unc at New Mexico State University, where Joe worked during her junior and senior undergraduate years.

The paper outlines the results of a project that examined the efficacy of high pressure and temperature in destroying viral molecules in water. High pressure and temperature, or autoclaving, is a common technique used to sterilize laboratory samples. Under the guidance of graduate student Veena V. Unnithan, Joe showed that autoclaving did not fully destroy viral particles. Though viral particles were no longer viable, autoclaving left enough of the particles intact that it could produce “false positives” in further testing of the laboratory water.

The Nature Publishing Group is considered by many to be the finest source of peer-reviewed scientific results worldwide. Online and open access, Nature Scientific Reports is a primary research publication from the publishers of Nature, covering all areas of the natural and clinical sciences.

For a reprint of the article, visit: http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140212/srep04070/full/srep04070.html