Wheeling Jesuit University
Student Research and Scholarship Symposium Abstracts
Explanation of the coding system: The following abstracts are presented in alphabetical order by first author. For the oral presentations, the information in the brackets includes the time of the presentation (e.g. 2:20), the session (e.g. 2C), and the location of the session (e.g. ASC-212). For poster sessions, the bracketed information includes the time of the session (e.g. 12:45) and the poster board number where the poster is to be found (e.g. P4).
Allen, Elizabeth: A Comparative Analysis of Wild River Otter Behavior Versus Captive River Otter Behavior at Oglebay's Good Zoo Located in Wheeling, WV and a Comparison of Time Taken to Train a Specific Behavior to Captive River Otters [(11:40) (2B) (ASC-213)] Wild river otters are found in freshwater and marine environments. Their population numbers are the greatest in undisturbed regions rich in food, such as streams and marshes. Many active and inquisitive behaviors are observed in both wild and captive otters. By training animals in captivity, they execute physical activities, and are prevented from becoming bored. The purpose of this experiment was to observe the behavioral patterns of two North American River Otters, Paso and Catori, held in captivity at The Good Zoo in Oglebay Park, West Virginia, and to compare them to the behavioral patterns of wild North American River Otters. Also, training sessions will teach Paso and Catori how to station outside on exhibit given the verbal cue “place”. A comparison will be made against the time taken for each otter to learn the behavior.
Arango, Ashley: Attenuation of Induced Endothelin-1 Proliferative Activityin Pulmonary Smooth Muscle Cells by 17 B-Estradiol [(2:10) (3A) (ASC-212)] One of the most potent mitogens, defined as an agent that causes mitosis, associated with pulmonary hypertension is Endothelin-1 (ET-1). Past research has suggested that a natural potential suppressor of pulmonary hypertension is estrogen. It was demonstrated in Farhat et al’s (1996) research that the cells of the vascular wall, such as smooth muscle cells, may be targets for rapid and specific estrogen effects. Earley et al (2002) hypothesized that estradiol attenuates chronic pulmonary hypertension by decreasing the expression of vasoactive ET-1. The purpose of this project is to assess the effects of estrogen on ET-1 in exposing pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. It is hypothesized that ET-1 will stimulate the proliferation of the pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. Furthermore, in the presence of estrogen, endothelin receptors may become blocked and ET-1 induced proliferation will be inhibited. Cells were pretreated with 17- â-estradiol and then exposed to endothelin-1. Additional experimentation, including a cell titer assay and western blot, are being completed to assess the involvement of MAP-K in the cell proliferation mechanism. Further collection of data and analysis of experimentation are ongoing.
Arokiaswamy, Priya: Hydrostatic Pressure Influenced by the Shape of a Vessel in the Fermentation of Beer. [(2:30) (3A) (ASC-212)] Hydrostatic pressure is influenced to some extent by the shape of the vessel that contains the liquid. Ales and other beers are traditionally brewed in short, fat fermentation vessels to minimize hydrostatic pressure. The purpose of this research was to determine if the shape of the fermentation vessel influences the hydrostatic pressure and consequently changes the aspects of the pale ale. The same pale ale recipe was fermented in vessels of different shapes and different hydrostatic pressures. The hydrostatic pressure of a given fermenter was calculated by knowing the density of the wort (unfermented beer) and the height of the liquid in the vessel. Following fermentation, the organic acid profile of each beer was determined using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). It is hypothesized that the pressure will affect the organic acids in the beer due to the surface area available to fermenting. The shorter fermentation tanks with the wider widths will have more of an affect on the organic acids.
Barger, Jennifer M.: Recovery of Precious Metals from Automobile Catalytic Converters [(12:45) (P10)] Automobile catalytic converters contain significant quantities of rhodium, platinum and palladium for the conversion of hydrocarbons and CO to CO2 and NOx to N2 and O2. We are attempting to separate these metals from their support material using nitric and hydrochloric acid. We have determined that Pt+2(aq) and Pd+2(aq) may be precipitated as their dithiocarbamate complexes, Pt(S2CN(C2H5)2)2 and Pd(S2CN(C2H5)2)2, from 0.10 M NaS2CN(C2H5)2 at concentrations as low as 2x10-4 M (Pt+2) and 1x10-4 M (Pd+2). The corresponding Rh(III) complex (Rh(S2CN(C2H5)2)3) is also insoluble in aqueous solution. Studies continue on the feasibility of recovering these metals as their dithiocarbamate complexes.
Bartolini, Stefano: Exposure of LLC-PK1 Epithelia to Tyrosol [(12:45) (P13)] Tyrosol (4-hydroxyphenethyl alcohol) is a phenolic compound found in large quantities in most grape and olive oil produce. Wine and olive oil are two major components of the Mediterranean diet. This diet has been suggested to reduce the frequency of coronary heart disease, colon and prostate cancers. Recent undergraduate research in beer, found that high alcoholic components like tyrosol are actually detrimental to the yeasts. Therefore the question arises whether the benificial effects attributed to tyrosol can actually negatively impact an organism when the substance is found in high concentrations. One place where high concentrations of tyrosol can be observed is the kidney because of its ability to concentrate solutions. To monitor the effects of tyrosol on the kidney, we used renal epithelial cell line LLC-PK1 originally obtained from the kidney of a healthy male pig. The goal of this experiment is to study the effects of exposing LLC-PK1epithelia to different concentrations of tyrosol especially in regards to cell number and viability. It is hypothesized that increase in the concentrations of tyrosol will lead to a decrease in cell number and viability of LLC-PK1 epithelia. LLC-PK1 cells were grown and monitored in serum free media containing tyrosol concentrations ranging from 0.100 to 1x10-7 m. The general health of the culture following tyrosol exposure was measured by determining cell number and cell viability.
Cessna, Trevor; Yahn, Ricky: Effects of sham intoxication on cognitive functioning and performance [(12:45) (P3)] Past research indicates that alcohol consumption influences human performance, particularly in terms of aggression, cognition, and emotion. However, little research has been performed regarding whether sham intoxication produces similar effects. The present study examined the effects of sham intoxication on cognitive performance. Experimenters utilized the IMPACT© software program to ascertain whether sham intoxication affects neurocognitive functions such as memory, brain processing, speed, and reaction time. In the control session, participants completed questionnaires assessing aggression, personality, and beverage preferences. In the experimental condition, participants consumed forty-eight ounces of non-alcoholic beer. During both conditions, experimenters recorded participant’s physiological measurements (heart rate, oxygen saturation, and blood pressure). Participants also completed questionnaires related to mood and perceived workload during both conditions. The control and experimental sessions were separated by at least 24 hours. Results indicated that participants performed significantly worse on the visual memory task during the experimental condition and exhibited increased impulsivity. They also indicated an increase in physical demand, anger, confusion, and fatigue and a decrease in frustration in the experimental condition. These results further support the impact of sham intoxication, and general placebo effects, on cognitive functioning.
Coley, Joel B.: A Quasar's Light Curve. [(11:20) (2A) (ASC-212)] Astronomers believe quasars, also known as active galactic nuclei, are bright distant objects powered by matter accretion onto a super massive black hole. The short-term variability of these objects can be used to probe the geometry of the accretion disk. Using data acquired at the Vatican Observatory, red and blue light curves measuring the differential brightness of the quasar with respect to stars in the field have been produced. The measurements have a time resolution of about 10 minutes. Reduction of the data was carried out using the IRAF software package. This involved removing the bias to restore linearity and flat fielding to compensate for pixel-to-pixel variation in sensitivity on the CCD chip. The photometric brightness was measured using the PHOT package. Analysis of the light curve remains to be done. These data can have a potential impact on the analysis of competing models for the quasar phenomenon.
Criss, Corey: Woman, Know Your Role! A Study in the Dystopic and Utopic Natures of The Handmaid's Tale and Herland [(2:50) (3C) (ASC-215)] In Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Aunt Lydia explains to Offred two different types of freedom, “There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don’t underrate it” (Atwood 24). Those “days of anarchy” refer to contemporary times; currently, women have the ability to choose lifestyles that best fulfill their needs and wants and the freedom to actively pursue these lifestyles. Sadly, while the “freedom to” allows women to accomplish personal, national, and global goals, women must also face many evils in the world – rape, misogyny, and exploitation – which can greatly inhibit women’s happiness and success. Theoretically, in order for a female utopia – or paradise – to exist, women would be not be plagued by these evils. The women living in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland, for example, have never had to deal with any of these threats; they have never come into contact with men. Yet, in Gilead, the dystopic place where The Handmaid’s Tale occurs, women are given freedom from these evils, yet in exchange, they are forced to sacrifice their “freedom to,” making their lives nearly unbearable. Female utopias and dystopias are characterized by the “freedom to” and the “freedom from.” In fact, they often contain extremely similar characteristics that differ only in their execution. My thesis will explore these characteristics and conclude that feministic utopia is nothing but a pipedream.
Daugherty, Chris: The Rx Homeobox Gene as a Transcription Factor for BMP4 [(2:50) (3A) (ASC-212)] The Rx homeobox gene shows high activity in the early stages of eye development. In human and other animals a missing or faulty Rx gene causes abnormal development which indicates that Rx acts as a broad transcription factor for a plethora of eye development genes and proteins. Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4 (BMP4) is one such protein. In cells with both the promoter region for BMP4 and Rx there should be an increase in BMP4 activity of about six fold. Using a dual luciferase assay system this project will determine the extent of Rx ability to increase BMP4 activity. Both control and experimental cells will have a baseline level of luciferase activity. An additional luciferase sequence located downstream from the BMP4 promoter will show more activity if the BMP4 promoter is being activated. Therefore, Rx should increase BMP4 promoter activity and directly increase luciferase activity. Preliminary results conducted at WVU under Dr. Peter Mathers indicated that a six fold increase in luciferase activity could be attained. However, results were fairly inconsistent and should not be considered significant. Current research is being conducted and Wheeling Jesuit and should be finished in mid to late March 2006. Further research may be conducted on the actual location of Rx binding to the BMP4 promoter through mutations in the binding site. Preliminary results suggest there may be some specificity to the PCE-1 binding site.
Doudna, Samantha: Accidents [(11:00) (2C) (ASC-215)] A scene from the play “Accidents" will be presented. This play is about a suicidal girl who learns to accept life while her psychiatrist learns to accept the death of his daughter. The girl, Kate, reveals to the psychiatrist, Max, the world that she lives in and compares it to that of his daughter’s. Through sessions with Kate and confrontations with his wife, we see the journey to acceptance that Max makes.
Dudash, Holly: Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants in Tibialis Anterior Muscle of Aged Rats [(12:45) (P15)] Oxidative stress in response to normal body metabolism occurs with an increase in the production of unstable and reactive molecules known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) that causes cellular damage. Antioxidants have been shown to interact with ROS and inhibit their damaging effects. The level of oxidative stress in aged individuals is greater than in younger counterparts. Interestingly, aged individuals develop sarcopenia, a condition of reduced muscle mass, reduced fiber number, fiber atrophy, and decreased force production. It is possible that the effects of sarcopenia may be reduced in the presence of antioxidants. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of the antioxidants, curcumin, vitamin C+E, on selected indicators of oxidative stress in exercised muscle of aged rats. It is hypothesized that antioxidant treatment lessens oxidant activity in tibialis anterior fibers subjected to repetitive loading in old animals. Antioxidants were administered to nine, aged Fisher344BrownxNorway rats (+30 weeks) via dietary supplementation. Exercise was achieved by repetitively loading the left tibialis anterior muscle through dorsiflexion. The non-exercised, right tibialis anterior muscle served as the control. The reduced /oxidized glutathione (GSH/GSSG) ratio, 8-hydroxy-2’deoxyguanosine (8-OhdG) level, malondialdehyde (MDA) level, 4-hydroxyalkenals (HAE) level, and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) level served as oxidative stress indicators. Results show that H202 levels were significant when comparing old exercised to old non-exercised (p> 0.05), old exercised versus young exercised (p>0.05) and old exercised to both supplemented, exercised groups (p>0.05). The remaining assays did not show any significant differences of interest with exercise, age or supplementation.
Esgro, Will: Effect of Odor Administration on Driving Performance, Safety, Alertness, and Fatigue [(12:45) (P2)] Past research indicates the odors of peppermint and cinnamon enhance motivation, performance, and alertness, decrease fatigue, and serve as central nervous system stimulants. Given these results, it is reasonable to expect that the presentation of peppermint or cinnamon odor while driving may produce a more alert and conscientious driver, and minimize the fatigue associated with prolonged driving activity. In the present study, participants were monitored during simulated driving under three odor conditions (peppermint, cinnamon, non-odor control). Odors were added to low flow oxygen (1.3L/min) via an oxygen concentrator and presented at the rate of 30 seconds every 15 minutes. Subjective measures of cognitive performance, wakefulness, mood, workload, and physical activity were also assessed. In general, prolonged driving led to increased anger, fatigue, and physical demand, and decreased vigor. However, fatigue ratings were decreased in the cinnamon condition. Both cinnamon and peppermint administration led to increased ratings of alertness in comparison to the no-odor control condition over the course of the driving scenario. Periodic administration of these odors over long term driving may prove beneficial in maintaining alertness and decreasing highway accidents and fatalities.
Felbaum, Daniel; Miller, Ramsey: Perceptions of Professors with Masculine or Feminine Traits [(12:45) (P4)] Undergraduate students read descriptions of eight hypothetical college professors. The hypothetical professors were either male or female, teaching in either a science or non-science field, and exhibiting either stereotypical masculine or feminine characteristics. The characteristics were taken from the masculine and feminine scales of the Bem Sex Role Inventory and consisted of 20 descriptors each. The eight conditions were presented to participants in random order using a double Latin Squares design. After reading each of the eight descriptions, participants were asked to rate the hypothetical professor on 11 items related to teaching effectiveness, using a five-point scale. Results showed that regardless of the gender of the professor or the field in which the professor was working (science or non-science), overall, stereotypical masculine characteristics were rated more positively than stereotypical feminine characteristics. An interaction between the items and characteristics showed the professors described with masculine traits, regardless of their gender or discipline, were considered to be better teachers, more competent in the discipline, more intelligent, more well respected by students, and more well respected by other professors than were professors described with feminine traits. Professors described with feminine traits, regardless of their gender or discipline, were considered to have better interpersonal skills, to be warmer, and to be better liked by students than were professors described with masculine traits. These results have important implications for student evaluations of teachers, especially for those who exhibit feminine characteristics.
Gainer, Shaun: Progression of Letter Identification in a Lower-Socioeconomic Kindergarten [(10:00) (1C) (ASC-215)] Before a child can learn to read, he or she must be able to recognize the individual letters of the alphabet. Letter identification is one of the many steps that a child must be able to master before being able to successfully read. A child must have the concept of what an individual letter is before he or she is able to decode a whole word containing several letters. Letter-sound relationship is another crucial area that a student must have a grasp on before he/she will read. Being able to know and hear the sounds of an individual letter helps a student sound out a word correctly, which enables the child to recognize the letters and verbally speak the word. The theory of telling a student to “sound out” a word is a practice that is not as helpful as it seems. There are many rules within the English language that cause a letter to not have the same sound as what it would individually. When sounding out a word, an individual may not hear all of the individual phonemes. A practice that teachers should start using is to tell students to say the word slowly, pronouncing each individual letter so that each sound can be heard. Letter identification and the letter-sound relationship are two similar concepts which need to be associated together. After an initial letter identification test in October 2005 and viewing results from an identification test performed by the classroom teacher, I discovered that three students were significantly below level when compared with national stanines. After performing a second letter identification assessment in January 2006, significant progress was observed in two of the students, but additional one-on-one work needs to be completed to bring the students up to appropriate grade level. My interventions will include whole group phonics lessons as well as small group reteaching lessons with the three at-risk students. The focus of the phonics lessons will be on letter knowledge, letter-sound identification, phonological/phonemic awareness, and kindergarten appropriate high frequency words. I will be gathering information from Gay Su Pinnell and Irene C. Fountas’: Phonics Lessons, and through Marie Clay’s: An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement. Through my efforts I hope to show the progress that children make throughout the kindergarten year in the early stages of the reading process. I would also like to be a successful resource for the three at-risk students by bringing them up to their average grade-levels in these areas of phonemic awareness.
Gallagher, Daniel: The Role of Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3-beta in Neuronal Cell Death [(12:45) (P16)] Both Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3ß (GSK-3ß) and cyclin D1 have been shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of neuronal diseases, and it is known that GSK-3ß phosphorylates cyclin D. This study will aim to determine the role that the interaction between GSK-3 and cyclin D plays in neuronal cell death. The activity of GSK-3 is increased when Tyrosine 216 is phosphorylated and decreased when Serine 9 is phosporylated. Cyclin D1 regulates the transition from G1 to the S phase of the cell cycle. My hypothesis is that GSK-3ß phosphorylates cyclin D1 and causes its degradation. Without cyclin D, the cells are not able to enter into the S phase of the cell cycle, and will become arrested in the G1 phase, and eventually die. Human neuroblastoma cells from the SK-N-MC cell line, were stably transfected with three types of mutant GSK-3ß: wild type, S9, and Kinase dead. A western blot analysis was done on these newly created cell lines. The results supported my hypothesis, as an over expression of GSK-3 resulted in decreased levels of cyclin D and when an upstream mutation abolished the effects of GSK-3, the cyclin D1 levels increased. An MTT assay was done to measure the proliferation of the cells and examine the role GSK-3ß plays in neuronal cell death. The data collected suggested that GSK-3ß plays a role in neuronal cell death as the wild type GSK-3 cell line showed the most significant difference in cell proliferation between the treated and control groups. Future studies will include staining the GSK-3 and cyclin D1 to see their sub-cellular localization and where there interaction takes place.
Harlan, Pete: A Study of Fingerprints: The Need for a Set Standard [(11:20) (2B) (ASC-213)] Recently, here has been a growing issue with individuals being wrongfully identified in criminal investigations and proceedings. Because of this, the need exists for abandonment of the subjective acceptance of reliability of fingerprints and the adoption of a universal standard of fingerprint identification. To determine whether the adoption of a universal standard is needed, and to test the null hypothesis that there would be no match of more than eight points from two different sources, fingerprints were collected and analyzed using statistical analysis. Then, the gathered data was compared with existing data and possible policy implications were explored. We believe our analysis of the fingerprints taken and comparison with the existing data will provide substantial evidence in support of a universal standard in fingerprint identification in order to help eliminate future wrongful identifications.
Hess, Ellen: The Role of the French Military in Post-Cold War Politics [(10:00) (1A) (ASC-212)] Following the United States involvement in Iraq, an obvious and well-publicized rift between France and the United States emerged. France outwardly condemned the U.S.’s unilateral approach to war in Iraq. This debate over the U.S. decision to go to war was evident in the United Nations Security Council and the inability of the United States to convince its allies of the importance of pre-emptive attacks on perceived national security threats. To illustrate: “In the dramatic Security Council debate over the authorization for military action against Iraq, the French representatives reaffirmed their allegiance to collective security through the UN and warned against the dangers of unilateralism and preemptive war without proof of weapons violations and a unanimous UN mandate” (Bowen 94). Since France, along with many other European nations, did not approve of the United States’ unilateral exhibition of force, it is quite interesting to ponder the nature of French foreign policy in terms of its military. If France did not find similar cause in volatile Iraq, a country that is much closer to France geographically than it is the United States, where does it find worthy cause, and where does it employ its military capabilities? Particularly since the creation of the United Nations, France has maintained a policy of multilateral intervention and collective security, and this is evident in its involvement in Africa and other Francophone nations and is usually predicated on humanitarian concerns and security issues and through the auspices of the United Nations.
Hess, Ellen: Indonesian Attitudes Toward the United States: How the Largest Muslim Population View U.S. Foreign Policy [(10:20) (1A) (ASC-212)] As anti-American sentiment increases throughout the world as a result of U.S. policies in the Middle East, American policy makers are confronted with a serious issue: how to create a better image of the United States. To illustrate the seriousness of this issue, the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations stated in a recent report, “Anti-Americanism is endangering our national security and compromising the effectiveness of our diplomacy. Not only is the United States at increased risk of direct attacks from those who hate it the most, but it is also becoming more difficult for America to realize its long term aspirations as it loses friends and influence.” Consequently, a serious effort must be made in regards growing anti-Americanism, particularly in the Muslim world. Thus, as the most populous Muslim nation and the fourth largest state in the world today, the attitudes of Indonesians and their perception of the U.S. are becoming increasingly important. With a complex history and relationship to the United States, Indonesia is currently a primary component of U.S. interests in Southeast Asia and the broader War on Terror. In assessing Indonesian attitudes of the United States, it is important to consider its past relationship with the United States as well as current U.S. foreign policy. Through investigating this relationship, the factors that influence the Indonesian public’s opinion can be ascertained. In understanding what Indonesians think of U.S. foreign policy, a broader insight into the general Muslim world can be determined and an effective policy to halt the spread of anti-Americanism can be crafted. In order to establish a better image in predominantly Muslim Indonesia, the U.S. needs to utilize various tools, such as public diplomacy, foreign aid and investment. If the U.S. is successful in these endeavors, it will create better diplomatic ties with Indonesia in a time when the U.S. could benefit from a significant ally in Southeast Asia and the Muslim world.
Hunker, Ryan; Harrison, Kristen; Plumley, Julia: Sex Role Perceptions of High School Students [(12:45) (P5)] Undergraduate students completed the Bem Sex Role Inventory for three hypothetical high school students described as a typical high school student, a high school student who is good in science, and a high school student who is not good in science with the order in which the three inventories were presented counterbalanced. The Bem consists of a list of descriptors that are stereotypically masculine, feminine, or neutral. Participants rated each descriptor as they thought it described the hypothetical person using a 1-7 scale (with 1 being never true and 7 being always true). The resulting gender role ratings of the hypothetical high school students were examined with a repeated- measures ANOVA. The results showed that there was a significant difference between the masculinity ratings of a high school student that is good in science and a high school student that is not good at science. Students that were described as being good in science were viewed as having a significantly more masculine gender role than students who were described as not being good in science. On the Bem, students described as good in science were perceived as being near masculine while the typical high school student and students described as not good in science were rated in the androgynous range. These results have important implications in understanding why high school students, particularly girls, might not opt to pursue careers in science.
Jose, Melanie: Multinuclear (59Co) NMR Studies of Some Co(III) Dithiocarbamates [(10:20) (1B) (ASC-213)] The 59Co signal for Co(III) dithiocarbamates, Co(S2CNRR')3 (where R=H or an organic substituent and R'= an organic substituent), measures the strength of the bonding interaction between the Co(III) and the six S atoms bonded to it. We have prepared a series of these complexes, some novel, and determined the position of the 59Co signal. These experiments are unique using a 60MHz permanent magnet NMR. Some experimental difficulties have been encountered, but, overall, results compare well with literature values and new compounds are being explored.
Klee, Scott: Possible Antimicrobial Properties of Justicia Americana [(12:45) (P12)] Bacteria are the cause of many illnesses and infections in the human body. We can treat these infections and illnesses with antibiotics that kill these bacteria. However, bacteria build up resistance to specific treatments through random mutations, yielding our treatments less effective or totally ineffective. The only way this can be combated is through the discovery of new antibiotics. Many cultures across the globe use their native fauna to treat many of their ailments, some of which are caused by bacterial agents. As bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to the antibiotics synthesized in a lab, we are forced to look elsewhere, such as plants. One such possible plant is Justicia Americana. During a population study of the Justicia Americana in Wheeling Creek, it was noticed that virtually every plant was healthy, showing no damage due to bacterial growth, infection, or aquatic insects. To test this, three bacteria were used: Escherichia Coli, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus. Extracts were taken from each part of the plant (leaf, stalk, and rhizome) and placed on a plate inoculated with each bacteria, along with ineffective (water) and effective (bleach) controls. The cultures were then incubated and the zone of clearing around each sample was measured. It was found that none of the extracts yielded a zone of clearing in the bacteria. From this data, it can be inferred that these extracts from Justicia Americana are not antimicrobial.
LaGue, Liza: Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor in the Saliva of Children versus College Students [(12:45) (P11)] Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) has significant properties in wound healing, tissue regeneration and ulcer repair of the upper digestive tract. The purpose of this present study is to identify and analyze factors affecting the concentration of bFGF in saliva from healthy human individuals and to see if there is a significant difference in the concentration of this growth factor between children and college students. Samples are taken from 42 students, 22 of which are first and second graders at the Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy, while the other 20 are students at Wheeling Jesuit University. The presence of bFGF in the saliva each individual were determined using Western Blots and quantitated by densitometry.
Lief, Lauren: Social "Oubliettes": Examination of the Jew's Position in Wharton's "The Last Asset" and "The House of Mirth" [(2:30) (3C) (ASC-215)] “Social ‘Oubliettes’” examines the role that the Jew plays in two works by Edith Wharton. In "Mirth," Simon Rosedale is a Jew imbued with all the “repugnant” stereotypical characteristics of his race, but Rosedale’s kind, continued care for Lily Bart throughout her downward spiral softens him as the novel progresses. Rosedale is afforded a transformation: the sensitivity that distinguishes his arc is markedly absent among Lily’s true social equals, and the reader is able to eschew the negative sentiments that Rosedale’s Jewishness is meant to evoke. Baron Schenkelderff is also a Jew, and the only other Jewish figure in Wharton’s extensive canon. Though his ethnic heritage is never directly addressed in “The Last Asset,” he is, like Rosedale, described with heavy racial stigma. The Baron is wealthy, yet just beyond the reach of society’ s grace; also like Rosedale, he looks to a marriage as the ticket to acceptance, though his choice of intended, the dreadful Mrs. Newell, and the story’s short span allow for no such Rosedale-esque redemptive transformation. The essay focuses on how, despite their common depiction by Wharton as inept social strivers, the fates of these two Jewish men ultimately differ due to age, selection of romantic interest, and relative humanity of their social choices and behavior.
Lim, Chris: Magic Squares [(2:30) (3B) (ASC-213)] Magic squares are fascinating topics of study in recreational mathematics, particularly because their nature can be understood by both puzzle enthusiasts with casual knowledge of mathematics and more serious mathematicians who are intrigued by the complexity that their simple presentation hides. This article traces the history of magic squares as an intellectual diversion, from ancient China to modern Spain, and discusses several different “classes” of magic squares that have been added over the years. This article will also explore some of the more fundamental questions that magic squares invoke; including why magic squares of a given dimension must add up to a specific number; whether it is possible to construct a magic square of any given dimension; and how many unique magic squares exist.
Lort, Stephanie: Nicotine Effects on Drosophila Melanogaster Fecundity Rates [(12:45) (P8)] Nicotine has been under much controversy about their short and long term effects of the human body. There is much research about the effects on many different systems. Drosophila melanogaster is a model organism for developmental biology and for genetics research. The female fruit fly is very fecund. Fecundity is the potential reproductive capacity of an organism or population, measured by the number of gametes produced. The purpose of this experiment is to observe the effects of nicotine exposure to fruit flies and their fecundity rates. It is hypothesized the chronic exposure to Drosophila melanogaster larva will decrease their survival. Wild type fruit flies exposed to different molarities of LD50 nicotine in their food supply. The gametes of these flies were counted and the molarities are increased until there was no survival. The results should show a decrease in the fecundity of Drosophila melanogaster.
Mazza, Anthony P.; Metcalf, William E.; Cinson, Anthony, D.: The Conical Pendulum: Tethered Airplane [(11:00) (2A) (ASC-212)] This work describes how an inexpensive tethered airplane powered by a small electric motor can be used to study uniform circular motion. For a given string length and airspeed a tethered airplane quickly finds a stable, horizontal, circular orbit. Using a DV camcorder and video analysis software, data were obtained for a wide range of motion. The length of the string was varied from 120cm to 340cm while the airspeed of the plane varied from 200cm/s to 480cm/s. For each string length and airspeed the period of the orbit and the radius of the path were carefully measured. Theoretical values of path radii were calculated using Newton’s 2nd Law. The agreement between experiment and theory was usually better than 1%. This work fills the need for affordable lab activities for the study of centripetal acceleration in the physics curriculum.
Metcalf, William: Development of a Web Interface to a Damped Lyman Alpha Systems Database [(11:40) (2A) (ASC-212)] Quasars can be used as background light sources to study the distribution and evolution of matter in the universe. When light from a distant quasar passes through an intergalactic cloud of gas or through a galaxy halo, distinct spectroscopic fingerprints are present in the spectrum. By correlating the spectral fingerprint with photometric images of galaxies along the line of sight, it is possible to map out the evolution of various chemical abundances in the Universe because the farther objects are much younger than the nearby ones. At the University of Pittsburgh, the damped lyman alpha research group carries out research along these lines. I contributed to this research during the past summer and current school year by developing a correlational database for the spectroscopic and photometric data using MySQL. Furthermore, I created a web based interface to the database using php. This has improved the work by systematizing and organizing the data and by aiding in the dissemination of the results of the work. The webpage can be found at http://enki.phyast.pitt.edu/qso_abs.html.
Miller, Ramsey; Felbaum, Daniel: Students' Sex Role Perceptions of Themselves and Scientists
Moody, Tracy: The Mathematics Behind Some Statistical Tests [(2:10) (3B) (ASC-213)] It is easy to accidentally use the wrong statistical test in a certain situation. For example, in 2004, some Wheeling Jesuit University graduate students were studying the correlation between certain risk factors for falling in maintenance hemodialysis patients. When they sent their findings for publication, their findings were not accepted because they had used incorrect statistical tests. Then last year, Theresa Glandon, a fellow mathematics major and current graduate student in Wheeling Jesuit's Physical Therapy program, found the correct test for the data. She re-evaluated the data and found that their overall findings were correct, regardless of having applied the wrong statistical test. Hence, if we can understand the mathematics behind certain tests, we can better know when to use what test and hopefully avoid the same mistake that these graduate students made in 2004.
Panutsos, Marcie: The Great Gilt Cage: Wharton's Views on Old New York Society [(2:10) (3C) (ASC-215] The codified structure of Old New York society is an important thematic element in many of Edith Wharton’s works. In The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence, Old New York society becomes more than a social structure; it is an antagonistic force that hinders the ability of its members to make genuine human connections. Society is a trap from which the characters can never completely free themselves because Old New York is the only world they have ever known. They are incapable of escaping because they cannot conceive of an acceptable alternative to the lifestyle that society has taught them to respect and admire. Although they may question the hypocrisy and double standards of their society, they believe in the superiority of Old New York with such intensity that they are afraid to escape. The fear of sinking on the social ladder prevents Old New Yorkers, like Newland Archer and Lily Bart, from ever finding true happiness. Because neither character can acknowledge that anything could be more important than reputation and acceptance, both are doomed to lives devoid of satisfaction. Even individuals who live on the fringes of upper-class society, such as Ellen Olenska and Lawrence Selden, cannot completely escape its powerful influence; society inhibits their ability to make connections just as it does with Lily and Archer. All those who associate
Pawlowski, Sean: Synthesis and Analysis of Pheromonal Derivatives of Boll Weevils [(10:00) (1B) (ASC-213)] The synthesis of derivatives of known pheromones of boll weevils provides insight into new techniques for pest control. Pest control has traditionally relied on toxic chemicals which kill pests; pheromone and pheromone derivatives affect the mating and nesting patterns of insects causing them to leave crop areas. Synthesis involved taking the aldehyde and ketone pheromones and changing their functional groups to imines, carboxylic acids or amines. These were then tested for purity, yield, and isomerization using techniques such as Thin Layer Chromatography and distillation. The instrumentation used to verify the structure and purity of the samples included the Varian NMR and the Fourier Transform IR Spectrometer. Initial synthesis showed problematic results with purity and yield. Some reactions were not going to completion and when reactions did go to completion, isomerism and by products showed in the analyses. Live insect studies and further synthesis are planned to be completed to verify results.
Richardson, Scott: Investigation into Fractals [(2:50) (3B) (ASC-213)] The focus of this research is fractals, mainly focusing on the usefulness of fractals, as seen from a digital storage standpoint, and the difference between calculating fractals deterministically or probabilistically. The research will also compare the accuracy each method gives to the attractor, or picture, and how much effort it takes to calculate. The research will then find a link between the two methods and draw a conclusion as to why they have approximately the same attractor. The main comparison between the deterministic and probabilistic methods will be completed by comparing generated graphs, or pictures, of the same formula using the two separate methods. This will be accomplished by creating a code in Mathematica to graph numerous iterations of the formula with randomly generated points. The researcher will then look in detail at both graphs and determine the link between the two methods of iteration.
Russo, Lauren; Loughry, Cassie; Santer, Elizabeth; Kozel, Natalie: New Zealand: Setting the Trend for High Literacy Rates [(10:20) (1C) (ASC-215)] New Zealand schools have produced some of the highest literacy rates in the world. There are many factors that contribute to their success. The United States has looked to New Zealand as an example to improve its own literacy rate. As a group of future teachers, we visited New Zealand during the summer of 2005 to observe firsthand the literacy practices used in its primary classrooms. Our research highlights the important components of their accomplishments; inquiry learning, the early mastery of technology, the incorporation of physical activity throughout the day, year-long schooling, and early intervention programs such as Reading Recovery. The combination of these practices has made New Zealand a leader in the educational field.
Sirage, Mohamed: Prostaglandin PGE2 and PGI2, and the AFAP-110 Protein Effects on Angiogenesis [(12:45) (P14)] The normal healthy body maintains a perfect balance of angiogenic modulators. The enzymes cycle-oxygenase 1 and 2 (COX-1, COX-2) promote inflammation by generating prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and thromboxane A2 (TXA2), which promote angiogenesis by up regulating BFGF and VEGF. PGE2s exerts their biological actions by binding to their specific VEGF receptors that contain seven transmembrane domains. This results in an increase in blood vessel numbers, and therefore angiogenesis. To determine the role of PGE2 on angiogenesis, the HUVEC cell line will be used. The HUVEC cells will be treated with different prostaglandin concentrations, and a dose-response curve will be generated. The differential effects of prostaglandin PGE2 on microvessel tube formation, and therefore angiogenesis will be assessed. The role of PGE2 on angiogenesis will be further assessed by immunofluerescence and light microscopy. This study will enable us to better understand the role that prostaglandins have on angiogenesis. A promising avenue of this project is that we might be able to control the extent of the inflammation associated with cancer by controlling the prostaglandin-induced-angiogenesis.
Smith, Micah: Color and Music Theory: An Artificially Intelligent Response [(3:10) (3B) (ASC- 13)] The program "geneticScheme" is being built for a variety of reasons. First, it will provide expert-level advice on color coordination and choice. Second, it will be able to analyze whether or not color theory has an interval-based approach, such as music theory does. Third, its "color engine" will be reusable for any application. The program will use biomorph-like structures, as talked about in Richard Dawkin's "Blind Watchmaker." (See http://www.rennard.org/alife/english/biomintrgb.html) These structures will be laid on top of the color wheel, balanced by general color theory rules. Finally, the program's "color engine" will be used to produce a software-art piece.
Usher, Miriam: A Precursor to Betrayal [(3:10) (3C) (ASC-215)] According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word colonialism refers to “a body of people who settle in a new locality, forming a community subject to or connected with their parent state…” Ania Loomba, a renowned literature scholar, suggests that, although colonialism was not an identical process worldwide, it “locked the original inhabitants and the newcomers into the most complex and traumatic relationships in human history” and as a result it had lasting effects on both the colonizers and the colonized. This paper will illuminate the lasting effects of colonialism that are very evident in Ngugi Wa Thiong’O’ s A Grain of Wheat. Both the English colonizers and the local African people have an intense desire for control – both physical and psychological – that is rooted in colonialism. This need for control has destructive capabilities that strip the colonized African people of their personal identities. Consequently, they are no longer able to relate with anyone, so the notion of community comes second to the needs of the self. A Grain of Wheat portrays colonialism as an institution that results in Africans’ diminished sense of self and self esteem, ultimately causing certain characters to betray others due to their inability to identify and relate with these people.
Velkovich, Stacey: The Immunotoxic Effect of a Mixture of Atrazine and Isoxaflutole on the Jurkat Cell Line [(12:45) (P9)] Herbicides are chemicals that control the growth of weeds in large-scale commercial farming. Wastewater from processing facilities and runoff from field crops contaminates the groundwater. Atrazine is an herbicide used to control the annual broadleaf and grass weeds in corn, sorghum, and sugarcane crops and is one of the most widely utilized herbicides in North America. Atrazine has been shown to disrupt cell-mediated immune functions. To reduce environmental levels, atrazine is applied as a mixture with isoxaflutole. There currently are no published studies on how isoxaflutole affects the immune system. T cells have an important role in immune response. Alterations to normal T cell function may adversely affect the immune system's ability to respond to foreign pathogens. Our lab has shown that isoxaflutole (5-200 microM) did not inhibit IL-2 production to the same degree as atrazine. High doses of atrazine (50-200 microM) inhibited IL-2 production by more than 65% while low doses of atrazine (5-25 microM) had no effect. The 50:50 mixture inhibited IL-2 production to approximately the same level as the 100 microM atrazine alone. The 100:100 mixture inhibited IL-2 production to approximately the same level as the 200 microM atrazine alone. This indicates that the addition of isoxaflutole to atrazine results in an additive effect on IL-2 production similar to twice as much atrazine. My research extends these findings by stimulating Jurkat cell lines in the presence of 5-25 microM dose of atrazine, isoxaflutole, or a 1:1 mixture of both.
Wakim, Ryan: Possible effects on MDCK and LLC-PK1 cells' cytoskeleton when subjected to abnormally high levels of AFAP-110 [(11:00) (2B) (ASC-213)] The actin filament-associated protein of 110 kDa, AFAP-110, was first identified as an SH3/SH2 binding partner for the nonreceptor tyrosine kinase, Src. AFAP-110 is now considered to be an adapter protein that passes signals between other proteins in the actin filament arrangement pathway. AFAP-110 has been found to link cSrc and PKC α (protein kinase c-alpha isoform) in this actin filament arrangement pathway. Linking these three proteins and their resulting pathways is important to the actin filament arrangement of the cytoskeleton. The filament arrangements within the cytoskeleton are crucial to the cells migration, adhesion, and microvessel formation. For these reasons, it has been targeted for neovascularization (or angiogenesis) research in tumor and cardiac vessel formation. Consequently, any loss of cytoskeletal integrity caused by this pathway, if sustained over an extended period of time, may cause polyp-like foci formation and eventual tumor promotion. A similar process has been documented previously with the use of phorbolesters, one of the most potent tumor promoters known. This ester binds to, and dramatically increases PKC α activation (much like AFAP-110), which eventually causes tumor like (polyp-like) morphologies. Although a lot of angiogenesis cancer research has been performed on AFAP-110 in endothelial tissues, very little has been researched in epithelial cell lines. In this experiment, AFAP-110 protein will be over-expressed in MDCK (Madin-Darby canine kidney) and LLC-PK1 (pig kidney) epithelial cells. The results will be compared from this experiment with results found in the same cell lines exposed to phorbolesters. The hypotheses are that as the concentration of AFAP-110 increases in the cell, so should the amount of PKC α - AFAP-110 --cSrc linkages, causing increased protein activity and loss of cytoskeletal integrity. Furthermore, this over-expression of AFAP-110 should show altered growth properties of the cytoskeleton, including, but not limited to, polyp-like foci formation (tumor promotion) as seen in phorbolester treated cell lines. Once the preliminary experimentation is complete, it is anticipated that the cell lines will show altered growth properties including polyp-like foci formation. It is believed that such altering will be a direct causation of the over-expressed AFAP-110 and subsequent increase in PKC α activation. This is a very similar pathway to phorbolester tumor promoters, as they too substantially increase PKC α activation levels.
Walker, Fred: Assessment of Arsenic, Chromium and Copper Contamination from Pressure-Treated Wooden Decks in Wheeling, WV [(12:45) (P17)] Before 2004, practically all pressure-treated lumber used for outside decks contained chromated copper arsenate (CCA) for preserving the wood. This mixture of chromium (Cr), copper (Cu) and arsenic (As) is toxic to insects, bacteria and retards the growth of mildew and fungus. However, studies have shown that these heavy metals can be leached from the wood and can enter the local water system. In the pressure-treated the concentration of these metals range from 1000 to 5000 ppm1. The normal concentration the three elements in soil are: element concentration in soil, ppm arsenic 6 – 10 chromium 10 – 80 copper 17 – 65 In Tampa Bay, FL arsenic concentrations ten times the maximum allowable limit has been measured in soil beneath wooden decks and state
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