Yaakov Zinberg ’23


Molecular Biology

Project Title

Designing Probes for a nosZ Microarray

Presentation Link

View Yaakov's Presentation

I designed the probes for a microarray for nosZ, the gene responsible for the conversion of nitrous oxide — a potent greenhouse gas — into elemental nitrogen as part of the denitrification pathway. The Ward Lab will use the microarray to determine the organisms that are present in their samples and the versions of nosZ these organisms use. I began by consolidating all nosZ sequences in the National Center for Biotechnology Information database with the Ward Lab’s own sequences, then used programs such as CD-HIT, MAFFT and EMBOSS to cluster sequences based on similarity. I then generated alignments and consensus sequences that allowed me to ultimately choose the 70 base pair regions from each cluster to use as individual probes on the microarray. I improved upon my programming skills during this internship by writing programs in R, shell script, and Slurm Workload Manager. Additionally, I gained exposure to marine biology research and the world of academic research more broadly, which will help inform my studies in molecular biology.

*  This internship is connected to the HMEI Water and the Environment Challenge project, “Fate of Nitrite Determines Nitrogen Removal in Coastal Waters.”

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate and Environmental Science


Designing Probes for a nosZ Microarray


Bess Ward, William J. Sinclair Professor of Geosciences and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Naomi Intrator, Ph.D. candidate, Geosciences