2019 Sigma Zeta National Convention Presentation Abstracts

 

* Recipients of Sigma Zeta Research Awards

Presentation abstracts will be published here shortly (usually within 24 hours) after they are submitted. (sp,fp,np designate preference for presentation day, however the host chapter makes the final decision on presentation times]

Abstract Submission Form


 

Name(s) (First Last): Garrison Gunter
Author(s): Garrison Ryan Gunter, James Dawe, Gyanendra Kharel (Mentor) 
Dr. James Lee (PI)
Chapter: Alpha Pi
College/University: Trevecca Nazarene University

Title:
THE SOLUBILIZATION OF PHOSPHATES IN SOIL BY USE OF OZONE TREATED BIOCHARS

Presentation Abstract:

Biochar samples were produced from a branch from an Eastern White Pine Tree (Pinus strobus) by carrying out slow pyrolysis at a temperature of 400 0C. After the biochar had been produced, it underwent several different ozone treatment options in an attempt to add oxygen to the surface. This was done in an effort to upgrade the biochar by increasing its cation exchange capacity (CEC), which would allow the biochar to interact with soil nutrients in an agriculturally beneficial way. In doing this, the objective was to test the biochar’s ability to react with insoluble phosphates already commonly found in soil and convert them to a soluble form that can be taken up by plants to reduce the need for costly and environmentally taxing fertilizer additives. The ability of the treated and untreated biochar samples to solubilize soil phosphates was tested in two different soil types and with a water control as well by collecting filtrate samples after being shaken for an extended period of time. The two soil samples tested were collected from Portneuf, Idaho (P-soil) and from Bennett, Colorado (B-soil). CEC, pH, Fourier Transformed Infrared Resonance (FT-IR), ion chromatography (IC), and Total Organic Carbon (TOC) data were all collected for analysis over the course of the experiment.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Julianna Franzino
Author(s): Julianna Franzino, Adam Underwood, Thomas M. Freeland.
Chapter: Beta Chi
College/University: Walsh University

Title:
Homology Modeling of Human WDHD1 Protein, Its Validation by Molecular Dynamics, and Identification of Common Genome Variants That Are Likely to Have Phenotypic Consequences. Julianna Franzino, Adam Underwood, and Thomas M. Freeland, Walsh University Department of Biology, North Canton, Ohio 44720 

Presentation Abstract:

The human WDHD1 protein is one of the High Mobility Group Proteins (HMG proteins) and functions in the nucleus of the cell as a DNA replication initiation factor that brings together the helicase and DNA polymerase complex. This protein is highly expressed in actively replicating cells, therefore any human variants that cause a change in the structure or function of WDHD1 are likely to affect these cell types. Homology modeling with the YASARA software program predicted the 3-dimensional structure of the human WDHD1 protein. Molecular dynamics verified that the predicted structure is a stable and realistic model of WDHD1, and also predicted the mobility of the individual residues of the protein. The use of the online ConSurf program determined the sequence regions of high and low amino acid conservation. The highly conserved regions are suspected to be important to either the structure or function of the protein. The gnomAD database of human genome variants allowed the identification of WDHD1 gene variants that code for altered amino acids. Missense variants have been found at several highly conserved positions including Gln434His, Pro439Thr, and Thr549Ala. There are human variants causing frameshifts at Phe470 and His476. Variants that create missense or frameshift mutations were mapped onto the 3D structure of the protein, allowing prediction of the phenotypic consequences of the amino acid substitutions. The Catalog Of Somatic Mutations In Cancer (COSMIC) shows that mutated versions of the WDHD1 gene appear in a small but significant percentage of cancers tested, notably in breast tissue, soft tissue, and urinary tract tissue. Such a sequence-to-structure-to-function-to-phenotype database could enhance the practice of genomic medicine.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Samuel Haley, Breann Adamek, Althea ArchMiller, Joseph Whittaker
Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College

Title:
Bird community responses to climate change and forest management in a red pine plot at Itasca State Park

Presentation Abstract:

We used a combination of meta-analysis and primary data to analyze the response of 54 species of male breeding birds to climate and management changes through time in a red pine (Pinus resinosa) plot at Itasca State Park. Breeding bird census data was collected in approximately the same location beginning with an initial survey in 1980, through four surveys during the 1990s, and most recently in 2018. Our objective was to quantify breeding bird responses to changes in the local climate and forest management actions. Bird counts were conducted on 68 gridpoints (1980; 12.75 ha) or 55 gridpoints (1990-2018; 10 ha) for approximately 10 minutes at each survey gridpoint. Bird point counts were then repeated five to eight times per growing season in years 1980, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1997, and 2018. We also measured habitat data such as tree diameter and species, woody shrub stem counts, and understory and overstory cover, and we collected historic climate data from the Weather Service. We found that 10 surveyed bird species (18.5%) increased in abundance, 1 (1.9%) decreased in abundance, and 43 (79.6%) did not change through time. The Black-throated Green Warbler, which breeds in mature conifer forests in Minnesota, declined in abundance, whereas species such as Red-eyed Vireo and Chestnut-sided Warbler increased in abundance. This may be related to the decline of the mature red pines in this forest and the shrubby understory encroachment as this plot succeeds from planted coniferous to mixed hardwood forest.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Science
Presentation Equipment Needs: easle for 3 by 4 foot poster


 

Author(s): Abbegale Reeves
Chapter: Gamma Kappa
College/University: Southwest Baptist University

Title:
Constructing Prosthetic Devices Using 3D Printing Methods

Presentation Abstract:

Upper extremity amputations are common among the men and women who serve in the military. A senior member of the Department of Defense stated 1,558 military personnel returned from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with at least one full arm missing and approximately 0.75% of those returned with bilateral amputations. Most are given articulated hooks after amputation. If this is happening to our soldiers, then what is happening for the local soldiers and noncombatants in these war zones? The purpose of this experiment is to determine an alternative method to developing prosthetic extremities from the traditional metal limb that can be readily used in developing countries. The goal was to use a Deltabot 3D Printer, computer, and iPhone/iPad devices to print a prosthetic. Previous to the current principal investigator, our group used 3D Zephyr to print a cat skull. 3D Zephyr required the use of a scanner where we 3D printed a device that rotated the skull, which the system took a picture on the iPhone with each turn. This method was difficult to use for human limbs, so we redirected to the Qlone application. Qlone required a printed mat for the iPhone/iPad to recognize a pattern that created a dome in which only the object underneath would be translated into a printable object. The application was able to print a hand, however some of the original texture was lost in the process. The ease of Qlone allowed for more progression into developing prosthetics. We tested the application with printing ears, as well as, printing various shaped hands. The purpose of the various hand styles were to model neuromuscular handicapped patients, so devices to aid with grip can easily be created. Results of this project gave us successful rapid prototyping with Qlone that will efficiently print a hand with ease in less time. This application along with a Deltabot, and iPhone/iPad can be used out in the field for doctors to develop prosthetics, orthotic devices, and other aid devices for patients. Further research may be conducted to understand articulated, instrumented 3D printed devices.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: None


 

Author(s): Hannah E. Stumpf, Marie-Lisa Eich, Alyncia D. Robinson, Sooryanarayana Varambally
Chapter: Alpha Psi
College/University: Hillsdale College

Title:
SPAG5 Expression in Breast Cancer

Presentation Abstract:

Although well studied, breast invasive carcinoma (BrCa) remains as one of the top causes for cancer-related deaths in women. Cancer initiation, unregulated growth, invasion, and metastasis can be characterized by complex molecular events. Genomic dysregulations may play a role in forming these classic cancer characteristics. On gene, sperm-associated antigen 5 (SPAG5), was found to be upregulated in aggressive breast cancer. The main objective of our study was to corroborate The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data showing SPAG5 overexpression in BrCa and to explore the potential of SPAG5 as a targetable oncogene. Using the UALCAN database, The TCGA RNA-sequencing data of patients was analyzed. Immunoblots were used to compare SPAG5 protein expression between multiple BrCa cell lines and a normal breast cell line, HMEC. Finally, using a small cohort of patient samples, immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed for SPAG5. RNA-sequencing data was analyzed for SPAG5 by comparing transcript abundance between cancer stage and subclass in which SPAG5 expression was statistically significant when compared to normal breast (p < 0.0001). Three BrCa cell lines (MCF-7, BT-474, and MDA-MB-231) were compared to normal breast cells and analyzed via western blot, with β-actin as a control. The relative density of the band darkness agreed with the previous RNA-sequencing data. One slide in our cohort of patient tissues strongly supports SPAG5 expression in breast cancer tumors for IHC analysis. Our exploratory research shows promising characteristics of the SPAG5 gene in breast cancer. Future research to knockdown SPAG5 and assess resulting effects is recommended.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: Standard poster frame, clips


 

Author(s): Emily Raven
Chapter:
College/University: Bethel University

Title:
/Lavandula angustifolia /essential oil as a potential modulator of the
macrophage-mediated inflammatory response to periodontal pathogen

Presentation Abstract:

Periodontitis, or periodontal disease (PD), is a significant inflammatory disease affecting nearly 50% of the United States adult population. The causative agent of PD is the gram-negative bacterium, /Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans/. PD is initiated by the development of an oral microbial biofilm, which induces a prolonge inflammatory response and leads to destruction of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth (the periodontium), as well as the alveolar bone itself. Current treatment for PD focuses extensively on the mechanical removal (debridement) of the biofilm, coupled with antibiotic therapy; however, most periodontal destruction associated with PD is dictated by the innate immune response long after the biofilm is removed. Classically activated (M1) macrophages play a prominent role in the innate immune response and can be easily studied /in vitro/ upon stimulation with interferon gamma (IFNγ) and bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Uncovering a modulator of the macrophage-mediated inflammatory response could be useful for future PD treatment. /Lavandula angustifolia/ essential oil (/LA/EO) is likely an innate immune modulator, due to its purported anti-inflammatory effects. This study was designed to investigate the effect of /LA/EO pre-treatment on macrophages activated with IFNγ and /A. actinomycetemcomitans /LPS. Because phagocytic activity and nitric oxide (NO) production are both measurable characteristics of M1 macrophages, assays designed to measure both have been included in the experimental design. Upon completion, the results of this study might suggest that /LA/EO could serve as a safe and effective host immune modulator, to be used in conjunction with current treatments for PD.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 

Author(s): Korbyn Dahlquist, Amanda Fee, Angela K. Stoeckman
Chapter: Beta Iota
College/University: Bethel University

Title:
Hepatocytes secrete pro-inflammatory cytokine CINC-1/CXCL1 in response to
saturated fatty acid treatment

Presentation Abstract:

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects one of every three Americans.  Understanding the etiology of the disease is important for prevention and diagnosis. The current state of knowledge is that both (1) an increase in liver fatty acids and (2) inflammation are required for this disease to progress to symptomatic states such as cancer and cirrhosis. Metabolic diseases like diabetes, insulin resistance, and NAFLD often have an inflammatory component in addition to a surplus of energy reserves. When adipose tissue is unable to store excess nutrients as triacylglycerol (TAG), fatty acids are released into the blood stream and circulate to tissues not equipped to deal with them.  The liver is one such organ.  Not all fatty acids have the same effect on liver tissue, however.  Unsaturated fatty acids, like oleic acid are re-esterified to TAG in the hepatocyte and stored in lipid droplets.  Saturated fatty acids, like palmitic acid, cause lipotoxicity, exhibited by endoplasmic reticulum stress and subsequent apoptosis.  When faced with saturated fatty acids, the hepatocyte may secrete inflammatory mediators to the surrounding immune system to signal either for tissue repair, or clean-up after damage.  We performed a cytokine array on secreted inflammatory factors from H4IIE-C3 rat hepatoma cells treated with palmitate, oleate, or a combination of the two.  We observed only two inflammatory factors secreted from this cell line:  CINC-1 and VEGF.  We have reproducibly demonstrated that CINC-1 is released from palmitate-treated H4IIE-C3 cells over time, that this response to palmitate is dose-dependent, and that secretion of CINC-1 induced by palmitate is reduced when cells are co-treated with oleate.  Using the quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), we were unable to demonstrate a difference between control cells and palmitate-treated cells in their secretion of VEGF.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 

Author(s): Rebecca Riley, Dr. Sandra Davis, Dr. Kevin Gribbins
Chapter: Rho
College/University: University of Indianapolis

Title:
Examination of Cellular-Based Mechanisms by which Anthocyanin Changes Occur
in Saponaria officinalis During Transition from Male to Female

Presentation Abstract:

/Saponaria officinalis/ is an herbaceous plant that produces hermaphroditic flowers that transition from a male to female sexual phase. This transition is characterized by an increase in petal size as well as a color change from white to pink. This color change is hypothesized to be the result of the accumulation of anthocyanins within the vacuoles of the cells. The immediate mechanisms by which the change in size and color occur are unknown. The goal of this project is to study the cellular mechanisms by which these morphological changes occur microscopically. The first method involved collecting epidermal peels from male and female phase flower petals and subjecting these peels to a saline or water medium. These slides were analyzed under a microscope where qualitative observations were collected on how anthocyanins were distributed in the cells. In addition, cell sizes were measured between male and female specimens. Cell sizes were compared between proximal/distal cells and adaxial/abaxial cells between the male and female samples to determine where the growth was occurring on the petal. The second method involved collecting flowers from plants that were selected to have high or low pigment levels. These samples were embedded in resin and then sectioned with a microtome to obtain cross sectional images of the petal tissue. With these cross sectional images, cells sizes and anthocyanin distribution was analyzed to determine how these morphological changes may be
occurring at a cellular level. 

Presentation Type: Oral Paper Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Science
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 

Author(s): Daniel Maisonville and Jeffrey VanZant, Ph.D.
Chapter: Alpha Psi
College/University: Hillsdale College

Title:
An Analysis of Water Chemistry and Macroinvertebrate Communities in Michigan
Vernal and Permanent Pools

Presentation Abstract:

Vernal pools are small, seasonally flooded waterbodies, typically located in isolated forest settings. They are distinguished by three features: annual periods of drying and flooding, no permanent fish populations, and no connections to other waterbodies by permanent surface water. The purpose of this study was to determine if any causal relationships exist between important water chemistry variables and macroinvertebrate taxa richness (number of different taxa), and to compare the taxa richness of macroinvertebrate communities in vernal and permanent pools. No hypotheses were formed concerning potential relationships between the abiotic variables studied an macroinvertebrate taxa richness (MTR). It was hypothesized that vernal pools would have greater taxa richness than permanent pools due to their highly variable abiotic conditions. Macroinvertebrate sampling was conducted multiple times between May and August of 2018 in four waterbodies near the Hillsdale College campus in Hillsdale, MI and in three vernal pools at Sarah Jane’s Nature Sanctuary in southern Hillsdale County, MI. Specimens were captured, photographed and classified to the lowest taxonomic level possible. Water chemistry testing was conducted in the same waterbodies between June and July 2018. Each waterbody was sampled multiple times for levels of ammonia-nitrogen, dissolved oxygen, nitrate, phosphate and pH. No statistically significant relationships (p<.05) were found between mean MTR and dissolved oxygen, nitrate, ammonia-nitrogen, phosphate, or pH levels. Similarly, no statistically significant relationships (p<.05) were found between representative MTR and dissolved oxygen, nitrate, ammonia-nitrogen, phosphate, or pH levels. Analysis of variance using the non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test found no significant variance (p<.05) in macroinvertebrate taxa richness between the waterbodies sampled. The lack of significant relationships between abiotic factors and MTR may accurately reflect actual ecosystem dynamics within the pools. The absence of significant variance in MTR between vernal and permanent pools was unexpected. This may have been partly due to the unexpected presence of fish in several of the vernal pools studied, potentially making them less distinct from the permanent pools. Future research should focus on repeating the study while incorporating more waterbodies, and on comparing the life histories and water quality requirements of the taxa found within each waterbody.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Science
Presentation Equipment Needs:



Author(s): Joshua A. Yount and Perry A. Tompkins

Chapter: Gamma Kappa
College/University: Southwest Baptist University

Title:
3D Printing of Habitable Aerodynamic Structures

Presentation Abstract:

3D Printing is a rapidly expanding and versatile technology. Its applications are numerous, and it is revolutionizing industries: one such industry is construction. Adapting 3D printers to extrude paste materials has enabled researchers to begin designing and building structures that are large enough to be livable. In this project, we have modified a traditional desktop Cartesian Fused-Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D Printer to extrude paste materials, such as chocolate, ceramic material, and concrete. Our aim is to develop 3D-Printable designs that replicate structures that are aerodynamic and durable against harsh conditions, such as heavy snows and high winds. These designs are made using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software (i.e. Autodesk’s Fusion 360) and are prototypically printed using our modified desktop 3D Printer. Using architectural principles such as those used by Buckminster Fuller, and modeling well-known aerodynamic objects such as igloos and Airstream Travel Trailers, enables maximum space utilization and increased cost efficiency. This project is innovative in its goal of complete printability (producing structures that can be entirely 3D printed); most commercial paste extrusion 3D printers leave some portions of final designs that must be “finished off,” such as roofs. As this project develops, we hope to produce a design that is expandable to a free-standing delta printer style, such that full-scale prints can be completed, including habitable structures.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:

 


 

Author(s): Scott Couper, Alexander T. Hutchison, PhD
Chapter: Sigma
College/University: Our Lady of the Lake University

Title:
Validation of new metabolic cart compared with established methods of
measuring expired and inspired gases during rest and graded, maximal
treadmill exercise.

Presentation Abstract:

Resting energy exchange (REE) and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), are essential indicators of energy expenditure and physical fitness respectively. Fourteen healthy, physically active subjects (aged 18-24 years, 10 male, 4 female) participated in the study.  All subjects were members of the Track & Field team at Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas.  The objective of the study was to validate a recently developed metabolic cart, the MC-PeakPro (iWorx, Dover, New Hampshire) against an established metabolic cart, the CardioCoach (KORR, Salt Lake City, Utah).  Each subject performed an REE and VO2max on each cart.  The second test session occurred no less than a week after the first session under the same conditions.  During the 24 hours before testing, subjects were asked to avoid intense exercise,
caffeine and alcohol, and to maintain the same diet. During the REE test, the subjects were seated in a recliner while expired gases were collected via a facemask (MC-PeakPro) or metaBreather mouth piece (CardioCoach), connected to the gas analyzer. Heart rate (HR) was monitored. Immediately following the REE test, the subjects mounted a treadmill (Life Fitness, FlexDeck Shock Absorption System, Rosemont, Illinois) to begin the VO2max test. The speed and grade of the treadmill was increased every three minutes until volitional exhaustion.  At the end of each stage HR, VO2 and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were collected.  For the second session, subjects were encouraged to run for as long as they did the first time and their VO2 was recorded at that point. The results were analyzed using intraclass correlation, all data are means ± SEM).  VO2max (ml/kg*min) was 57.33 ± 2.28 using the CardioCoach and 58.23 ± 5.69 using the MC-PeakPro, r = 0.99, a < 0.001.  REE (kcal/day) was 1639 ± 114.52 using the CardioCoach and 1440 ± 192.71, r = 0.89, a < 0.01. The CardioCoach is a valid instrument for the measurement of resting and exercise metabolism.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: PowerPoint, Projector, Slide Remote with Laser Pointer



Author(s): Sydney Reynolds
Chapter: Rho
College/University: University of Indianapolis

Title:
Comparison of Name Brand vs. Replicated Fragrances by GC-MS Analysis of
Fragrance Components Volatilized from a Model Skin Surface

Presentation Abstract:

The following honors project involves the comparison of name-brand perfumes that are in high demand in the perfume market to more affordable perfumes that are known to have similar scents. Three name-brand/knockoff pairs were analyzed. The high-end fragrances that were studied include Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel, Ralph by Ralph Lauren, and Viva la Juicy by Juicy Couture. These were compared to the cost-effective replicates Suddenly by Madame Glamour, Paris Hilton by Paris Hilton, and Siren by Paris Hilton, respectively. Perfumes are a complex mixture of fragment compounds, so this analysis was done using an Agilent gas chromatograph equipped with a mass spectrometer (a technique commonly referred to as GC-MS), which separates the compounds as they volatilize and identifies them by mass spectrometry. Each perfume was placed on a model skin surface and sealed into a gas-tight vial before sampling, to determine the selective adsorption/volatilization of the various perfume components, and the chemical profile of the gaseous phase of each name brane perfume will be compared to that of its knock-off. The profile of these samples was also compared to volatile components of a “blank” sample which consisted of perfume placed directly in a vial without the model skin surface. The goal of this study was to determine if the chemical composition and selective volatilization of the pairs of name-brand/knockoff perfumes are qualitatively similar or different. 

Presentation Type: Oral Paper Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A



Author(s): Aaron J. Williams, Megan B. Borror, PhD
Chapter: Sigma
College/University: Our Lady of the Lake University

Title:
/Caenorhabditis elegans/ Health and Longevity on the Bacteria /Citrobacter
freundii/ in Comparison to /Escherichia coli/.

Presentation Abstract:

Scientists have considered the question of the proper ratio of macronutrients needed for a healthy life but there is still no clear answer. This research aims to tests this question of how diet truly effects health in smaller organisms, but also how it is relevant to humans. This experiment focuses on /Caenorhabditis elegans/ as a model organism and the relationship between their growth and bacterial species in which they are introduced; the bacterial species used in the experiment were /Escherichia coli /and/ Citrobacter Freundii. C. elegans/ naturally consume bacteria as a food source and /E. coli/ is typically used to feed /C. elegans/ in a laboratory setting as a control. Since /C. freundii /is typically found in water and soil, where /C. elegans /normally reside, it would seem plausible that /C. elegans/ may consume them in the wild./ C. elegans/ motility, growth, reproduction, and lifespan were measured, along with a preference test to determine the likelihood the worms would choose one bacteria over the other if given the opportunity. The results show that there is no significant difference in movement nor were there much variance in reproductive numbers. There was no substantial size difference in the growth test. The worms did survive longer on /C. freundii/ as well as show a preference to the bacteria when given the choice between /Citrobacter/ and /E. coli. /Future research must consist of more trials and a comprehension of the difference in nutrient levels of /C. freundii/ and /E. coli /to determine chemically what sets them apart from each other.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A



Author(s): Stephanie Martinez and Megan B. Borror, Ph. D
Chapter: Sigma
College/University: Our Lady of the Lake University

Title:
Dietary Effects of /Bacillus cereus/ and /Escherichia coli /on C. elegans
Health

Presentation Abstract:

The /health/ of an organism is affected by nutrient intake, however which nutrients have a greater impact are still unknown. The soil-dwelling nematode/, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans),/ usually have an /Escherichia coli /(/E. coli/) diet in the lab, however for this experiment /Bacillus cereus /(/B. cereus/) was also used as a comparison to /E. coli/ to analyze how other bacteria strains affect their health. /Bacillus cereus/ was used for this experiment because this bacterium is commonly found in soil and food, and some strains can cause foodborne illnesses in humans (3, 4).  /C. elegans /are usually exposed to /B. cereus /in their natural environment. Examining how /Bacillus cereus/ can affect the health of /Caenorhabditis elegans/ can give us a better idea of how an organism’s overall health can be affected by diet. To measure the health of the /C. elegans/ the following criteria were tested: motility, growth, reproduction, lifespan, and competition. For the motility assay/, /nematodes on the /E. coli/ platewere more motile than on the /B. cereus/ bacteria. In the growth assay, there was no significant difference in length between the /B. cereus /and /E. coli/. During the reproduction assay, nematodes on the /B. cereus/ went off to the wall of the plate and dehydrated while others took several days to lay eggs while the nematodes on the /E. coli /produced 4.7 times more eggs. The lifespan assay concluded that the nematodes grown on the /B. cereus /lived longer compared to those grown on the /E. coli/, however some of the nematodes on the /B. cereus/ eventually crawled off the plate which could have been due to the texture of the /B. cereus/. When competition was tested between the /E. coli/ and /B. cereus/, nematodes were placed in the middle of the plate to observe which bacteria they preferred and all six went to the /E. coli/ within hours. Overall, the /C. elegans /grown on the /B. cereus /grew well if left on the plate over the course of several days and the nematode did not try to crawl off the plate.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:



Author(s): Kourtni Strahla
Chapter: Rho
College/University: University of Indianapolis

Title:
From Brewery To Barn: The Nutritional Value Of Brewers’ Waste

Presentation Abstract:

Animal feeding impacts many areas of the world. Farmers are always looking for economical ways to provide a balanced and nutritional diet for their livestock. Brewers’ spent grain has had recent interest as a source of animal feed since it’s cheaply available. Microbreweries are very common in the United States, and an Indianapolis-area microbrewery, Sun King, has reached the status of “macrobrewery” due to its increased production. To make beer, breweries start by boiling grain (primarily barley) to extract any soluble matter.  After the boiling process, they keep only the liquid portion, and the leftover grain is discarded. This leftover grain is referred to as spent grain. This by-product can be directly fed to certain livestock such as cows, pigs, and chickens. In this project a Tractor Supply sweet mix grain (which has “distillers grain” indicated as a major ingredient on its label), will be compared to brewer’s spent-grain. Both of these were analyzed for lipids, proteins and weight % solids. The goal of this study is to determine whether the nutritional value of the spent grain is similar to that of a commercially-available grain. The analysis of lipid content was determined by using a soxhlet extractor. The extraction was carried out over a 6-hour period. The analysis of protein was determined by using a Kjeldahl method. The first step of this process was to digest the sample using a strong sulfuric acid. The solution was heated and distilled then titrated with a standard solution. The weight percent of solid used an oven to help remove the water within each of the samples. The samples were placed into the oven for 2 hours and then cooled in a desiccator. In conclusion, brewers’ spent barley had significantly higher water content than commercial livestock feed. The lipid content in the spent barley was similar to that of Tractor Supply commercial livestock feed.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:



Author(s): Megan Desrosiers, Azeem Ahmad, Samina Akbar, Bridget Antolin
Chapter: Gamma Eta
College/University: Marian University

Title:
Isolation and Identification of Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) Bacteria in an Urban Wetland

Presentation Abstract:

The spread of antibiotic resistance among bacteria is a potential threat to the effectiveness of antibiotics currently used for controlling common human pathogens. Also, the resistance to current antibiotics is spreading at a relatively high rate and is becoming prevalent in many environments. Therefore, survey of multidrug resistant bacteria (MDR) and distribution of types of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in natural environments is urgently needed.  Here, we investigated the presence of MDR bacteria in a lake situated in Nina Mason Pulliam Ecolab (NMPE), a 55 acre natural prairie wetland ecosystem. The lake overflows into the nearby White River which winds through the City of Indianapolis making EcoLab an important urban wetland conservation area. In this study, the presence of natural antibiotic resistance bacteria (ARB) in lake water was screened using 20 currently used antibiotics, for example, penicillin, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, trimethoprim, tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, gentamicin etc. Three replicate water samples from 6 sites were collected to enumerate resistant bacteria in the lake bacterial community. Preliminary results confirm the presence of multidrug resistance bacteria in the lake water. The majority of bacteria showed strong resistance to the antibiotics Bacitracin, Novobiocin, and Erythromycin. Currently, we plan to investigate the “resistome” (antibiotic resistance gene pool) of Ecolab aquatic environments using specific primers and probes. An additional aim is to explore possible mechanisms of resistance emergence to these antibiotics using techniques such as replica plating, the Luria-Delbrück Fluctuation Test, the Newcombe Test, and the 16S rRNA sequencing. This study provides a baseline understanding of the urban freshwater ecosystem and quantitatively examines the level of resistance emergence which may be crucial in the spread of MDR in the Greater Indianapolis Area.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Science
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 
Author(s): Olivia L. Sirpilla, Tom Freeland, Adam C. Underwood
Chapter: Beta Chi
College/University: Walsh University

Title:
*Functional Aspects of SOX18 Variant E137K on Transcriptional Activity  *

Presentation Abstract:

SOX (SRY-related box) proteins are important transcription factors that regulate cellular differentiation during embryonic development and throughout life. All SOX proteins contain a conserved High-Mobility Group-box (HMG Box) DNA-binding domain. Mutations in this region are linked  to cancer, sex reversal, cardiovascular diseases, and neurological abnormalities. Genomic analysis of all 20 human /SOX/ genes has identified many potentially harmful mutations.  Of the variants examined the most impactful was located in the SOX18 HMG-box exchanging glutamic acid (E) for lysine (K). No literature exists regarding E137K, although it is predicted to occur in the genome of 0.82% of the Latino population. The implications of this variant are unknown, however, due to the position we predicted that E137K alters SOX 18 localization to the nucleus and proper regulation of target promoters specifically in lymphatic and renal systems. To address this, we cloned human SOX18 into the pEF1//Myc/-HIS expression vector, followed by site-directed mutagenesis to synthesize pEF1/SOX18-E137K. Following subcellular localization assays, we determined that E137K impacts nuclear localization (unpublished data). The focus of this project was to determine its impact on gene expression. *The hypothesis is: SOX18 proteins encoding K at amino acid 137 will exhibit reduced transcriptional (luciferase) activity relative to SOX18 encoding E at the same position when expressed in cotransfected HeLa cells.* To begin this assay, constructs were transfected into Hela cells and activity of a luciferase reporter containing a SOX inducible promoter (pGL3/AR600) was measured on a Promega GloMax® Luminometer. Cells were transiently cotransfected with effector plasmid (either pEF1/SOX18; pEF1/SOX18-E137K; pEF1//Myc/-HIS vectors), the pGL3 firefly luciferase reporter, and a control vector. Each effector’s transcriptional activity was measured for luciferase activity. Results showed significantly reduced luciferase activity (1.3 fold) in cells co transfected with SOX18 E137K relative to native SOX18. This is a significant finding as it helps us to understand the mechanism behind the biological consequences of this mutation in the human population. Further studies are underway utilizing a more advanced expression system that will allow for the identification of how this mutation may impact interactions with potential binding partners at target promoter.  

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: None


 


Author(s): Sonja Gilje, Kaylee Koski, Jenna Stillwell
Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College

Title:
Using Radio Telemetry to Assess the Behaviors and Habitat Use of Urban Grey
Squirrels (/Sciurus carolinensis) /and Potential Competition with Red
Squirrels (/Tamiasciurus hudsonicus/)

Presentation Abstract:

Grey squirrels (/Sciurus carolinensis) /are commonly found in urban and suburban areas. The ecology of urban squirrels is not as well studied as that of rural squirrels but is gaining interest as urban dwellers exhibit positive attitudes towards grey squirrels. Studies in Europe found that the introduction of grey squirrels reduced the European red squirrel (/Sciurus vulgaris) /population in the area (Gurnell et al. 2004). The goal of this research was to observe the movements and behaviors of the grey squirrels on campus, with radio telemetry, to identify evidence of competition with red squirrels (/Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)/ for resources and habitat. I hypothesized that grey squirrels are competing with red squirrels. I predicted that if grey squirrels were displacing red squirrels, thus leading to a decline in campus red squirrels, then I expected to see gray squirrels making more use of coniferous trees over time. I obtained competitive behavioral interactions of both squirrel types by observing the areas of campus that they were using, including types of trees and behavior. Radio collars allowed researchers to identify individual squirrels and observe movements. From the years 2014-2018 a total count of 349 red squirrel observations and 289 grey squirrel observations were collected. Red squirrels’ locations were significantly associated with conifers and grey squirrels were more likely to be found in conifers during years that red squirrel numbers were diminished. This result is consistent with the concept of competitive release.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference:
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Science
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Isaac Lies, Sumedhe Karunarathne, Nilmini Karunarathne, Thomas
Marshall, Maribeth Stolzenburg
Chapter: Gamma Mu
College/University: Baptist College of Health Sciences

Title:
Comparison of different Engineering models of Narrow Bipolar Pulses

Presentation Abstract:

Narrow Bipolar Pulses (NBPs) are short duration lightning events that have a bipolar electric field (E) signature with a fast-rising front. While some NBPs are isolated in both space and time, some of them are known to occur at the initiation of lightning flashes. Therefore, a growing interest has been developed to find if NBPs play a significant role in lightning initiation. The E-change measurements of NBPs are very useful in obtaining the wave properties of NBPs and have been used to categorize NBPs into many types. Several Engineering models exist to model NBPs to produce their E-field waveform. These models are used to obtain other physical quantities such as peak currents, current rise time, and current pulse speed. In this presentation, we will focus on multiple transmission line models to model E-field waveforms of NBPs. The E-field of the NBPs were measured up to ten stations covering roughly 70 km x 100 km area in and around Kennedy Space Center. Depending on the distance from a particular NBP to the E-change sensor (range), E-field waveforms may have significant differences due to how electrostatic, induction, and radiation field components contribute to the final waveform. Therefore, we will choose to model NBPs showing these range-effect features.  The multiple E-change waveforms will be produced by the model and matched with measured E-field waveforms to produce the best fit. The different model outputs will be then compared and discussed. 

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference:
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Hudson Mitchell, Dr. Michele Schutzenhofer (mentor)
Chapter: Beta
College/University: McKendree University

Title:
A Comparison of Bee Species Richness in Prairie Remnants and Restorations

Presentation Abstract:

Native pollinators provide several important services to the pollination of plants, ultimately contributing to  35% of the global food supply (Winfree et al 2007). However, native bees are recently experiencing widespread decline due to habitat loss caused by both fragmentation and modern agricultural practices. Prairie restorations serve to mitigate this loss, but knowledge of how restorations are able to support pollinator communities in comparison to remnant prairies is not well known. This study sought to compare species richness of native bee populations between remnant and restoration sites in Illinois. We collected bees at a total of 15 sites in southwestern Illinois from 2017-2018.  Results indicated that prairie restorations had a significantly higher species richness than remnant prairies. Therefore these restorations have successfully provided habitat opportunities to support native bee diversity and mimic local remnant sites (Martin et al 2005).

Presentation Type: Oral Paper Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Maggie Crider, Dr. Akinobu Itoh, Dr. Tomohiro Nakajima, Irene, Fischer MPH , Marci Damiano RN
Chapter: Beta Eta
College/University: Evangel University

Title:
*Impella 5.0 as a Short Term Left Ventricular Assist Device for the Treatment
of Cardiogenic Shock: Complications and Performance*

Presentation Abstract:

The Impella, by Abiomed, is a temporary left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is primarily used for treatment of cardiogenic shock (CS) (2). CS is an end stage heart condition which is often the consequence of a myocardial infarction (MI) (1). It is important to note that all patients in this study were diagnosed with CS and were in imminent risk of death. The Impella was used on these patients as a last effort to save their lives. The Impella is a pump that unloads the blood from the left ventricle and dispenses it into the aorta to be circulated to the rest of the body (5). While there are several versions of the Impella, the Impella 5.0 will be the focus of this study. With this study we hope to show the Impella 5.0 to be a effective treatment for CS in terms of post- operative outcomes and complications, including 30-day mortality. This is a retrospective study in which data from 62 patients, who receive the Impella 5.0, was drawn from either the Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS) database, or chart review. Demographic data, pre-operative risk factors, post-operative complications, laboratory data, and echocardiogram data were collected for every patient. The data was then analyzed to determine the over all efficacy of the Impella 5.0 in treating CS. Our results showed that while the Impella did impose risks and complications, a total of 21% of the patients were alive at 5 month post Impella placement. For patients bridged to a LVAD and recovery patients 44% and 13% were alive at the same benchmark, respectively. This can conclude that the Impella 5.0 is effective treatment for CS especially when used as a bridge to LVAD. 

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: A stand to put the poster on.


 


Author(s): Leah Noe
Chapter: Gamma Eta
College/University: Marian University

Title:
Selective Inhibition of Aspartate Aminotransferase by L-Cycloserine in the
Presence of Vitamin B₆

Presentation Abstract:

Aspartate Aminotransferase (AspAT) is an enzyme that breaks down proteins for use in cellular respiration by catalyzing the reversible transamination between aspartate and α-ketoglutarate to form oxaloacetate and glutamate. AspAT is found in cytoplasmic and mitochondrial isoforms, GOT1 and GOT2, respectively. Vitamin B₆ is a reported cofactor that can increase activity in AspAT. High levels of vitamin B₆ have been associated with neuropathy due to the overstimulation of glutamate receptors by excess glutamate. Selective inhibition of AspAT may increase the utility of vitamin B₆ in long-term treatment of diseases, including uremia or renal failure. /In vitro/ enzymatic standards of GOT1 and GOT2 were inhibited by the selective inhibitor L-cycloserine to minimize glutamate production in the presence of vitamin B₆. Four experimental groups (n=3) for GOT1 and GOT2 each were created: enzyme (control); enzyme and inhibitor (negative control); enzyme, inhibitor, and vitamin B6 (experimental group); and enzyme and vitamin B6 (positive control). Glutamate production was measured using a colorimetric glutamate assay. 2-Factor ANOVAs were run independently for each isoform to analyze the enzymatic activity. For the GOT1 isoform, neither vitamin B6 (df=1, F=2.528, P=0.151) nor the inhibitor (df=1, F=2.999, P=0.122) significantly altered end glutamate concentration. There was also no significant interaction between vitamin B6 and inhibitor for GOT1 (df=1, F=0.661, P=0.440). Alternatively, for the GOT2 isoform, the concentration of glutamate was significantly decreased in the presence of the inhibitor (df=1, F=88.472, P< 0.001*). However, vitamin B6 had no significant effect (df=1, F=0.049, P=0.830) and that there was no significant interaction between vitamin B6 and the inhibitor on enzymatic activity of GOT2 (df=1, F=0.569, P=0.427). These findings indicate that vitamin B6 is not a significant cofactor for GOT1 or GOT2, directly contrasting previous research. These results also indicate that L cycloserine is not a successful inhibitor of the GOT1 isoform of AspAT but is a successful inhibitor of the GOT2 isoform. The different activities of GOT1 and GOT2 isomers supports previous research on the different roles these isoforms have in the cytoplasm and mitochondria, respectively.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: No special requirements.


 


Author(s): Kyle Palermo and Shannon Taylor
Chapter: Gamma Eta
College/University: Marian University

Title:
*Elucidating L-Leucine Protein Synthesis Pathways in Yeast Using Gcn4
Deletion Strains and Rapamycin*

Presentation Abstract:

This experiment attempts to elucidate the relationship between leucine and rapamycin in Gcn4 deletion strains of /Saccharomyces cerevisiae/. The upregulation of the transcription factor Gcn4 is mediated by nutrient deprivation. The immunosuppressive drug rapamycin induces Gcn4 upregulation. This drug accomplishes this by inhibiting the mTOR complex – an essential metabolic pathway which mediates translation and protein synthesis; under acute treatment with rapamycin, the drug will inhibit the mTORC1 pathway. When exposed to nutrient deprivation or rapamycin, Gcn4 allows the organism to turn on a multitude of genes that encode amino acid biosynthesis; and extend the life span of the organism through conserved translation. On the contrary, when an organism is not subjected to these conditions, leucine – an essential amino acid, will contribute to increased protein synthesis. This branched chain amino acid can act as a signal for both the mTORC1 and mTORC2 pathways. We wanted to discover if, under acute rapamycin treatment, leucine can bypass the mTORC1 pathway and signal to the mTORC2 pathway to maintain global translation rates and protein synthesis. To elucidate this relationship, both Gcn4 deletion strain and wild-type yeast were treated with leucine and rapamycin. In both the GCN4 knockout and wild type strains treated with leucine, total protein content increased significantly. Subsequently, both strains were treated with rapamycin. We saw a decrease in protein concentration for the wild type strain due, presumably, to the upregulation of Gcn4. However, while we expected to see an increase in protein concentration for the Gcn4 knockout strain due to the absence of Gcn4 and thus no conservation of translation, our results showed that there was no significant change. Under treatment with bothrapamycin and leucine, our results showed an increase in overall protein concentration in the wild type strain. This indicates that the addition of leucine is able to bypass mTORC1 to increase protein concentration despite the inhibition of mTORC1, and subsequent decrease in protein production, from rapamycin.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Trey Shupp, Halie Suttles, Rachel DeSanto, Dr. Matthew DeVore, Dr. Natasha DeVore
Chapter: Beta Eta
College/University: Evangel University

Title:
Structure of dihydrolipoyllysine-residue succinyltransferase component of
2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex

Presentation Abstract:

We have solved a 2.6 Angstrom structure of the dihydrolipoamide succinyltransferase catalytic domain (SucB). This enzyme is part of the 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase multienzyme complex. As such, it is involved in the citric acid cycle, degradation of lysine, and tryptophan metabolism. SucB catalyzes the transfer of a succinyl group from the S-succinyldihydrolipoyl moiety to coenzyme A to form succinyl-CoA. The active site for SucB is located at the interface of a trimer. We are currently working toward obtaining a crystal structure of SucB with coenzyme A.  Currently we have crystals of SucB complexed with Coenzyme A that we are optimizing for X-ray diffraction studies.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Elli Strand, Alexis Guttormson, Rebecca Dahl, Raelin Kronenberg
Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College

Title:
Using Cellulose Acetate Electrophoresis to determine population densities of /Peromyscus leucopus /(white-footed mouse) and /Peromyscus maniculatus /(deer mouse) in Minnesota prairie and woodland habitats

Presentation Abstract:

White-footed mice (/Peromyscus leucopus/) and deer mice (/P. maniculatus/) are two morphologically similar species commonly found in Minnesota. These species are important indicators of climate and habitat instability as well as carriers of harmful diseases, making their habitat range shifts important to track. Researchers in Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin have documented ecological replacement of deer mice by white-footed mice. In the past, morphological measurements were used in the field to differentiate the species, but due to progressive overlap of those measurements, they have proven to be an unreliable method. Cellulose acetate electrophoresis, a technique in which the specific salivary amylase allozymes of the species are separated, is a more accurate and reliable method to differentiate between the species. For this project, saliva samples were collected via mouth rinse from restored and remnant prairies as well as woodlands in Minnesota from 2004 to 2018. In the lab, saliva samples were prepared and stamped onto a cellulose acetate plate for analysis. After electrophoresis, starch agarose was poured onto the plates followed by a rinse of iodine solution in order to visualize protein bands of saliva samples. Specific samples were identified to species by relative migration of their saliva proteins during electrophoresis. Once the species was determined, it was entered into a dataset with its year of capture as well as its capture location. Densities of the two species fluctuated year to year between 2004-2013, which could make the species vulnerable to ecological replacement. However, while the percentages of total captures of both species show some variability, there is no evidence that ecological replacement is currently occurring in Minnesota forested or prairie habitats. Monitoring the habitat changes of these species is important as shifts in their distribution can affect the spread of disease and pest control in the region as well as serve as indicators of climate change. Tracking their distribution also provides information on how climate change is impacting woodland and prairie lands. Continued research is necessary to understand the best method of identification and the long-term impact of the shifting distributions of /Peromyscus/.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Science
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Pedro Alfonso, Amanda Martínez, Kazue Orikasa, Aymee Rodriguez,
Gabriela Rodriguez, Juan Sanchez, Abel Urra
Chapter: Gamma Rho
College/University: Miami Dade College InterAmerican Campus

Title:
3D Face Reconstruction Using Albedo Estimations and Surface Normal Vectors 

Presentation Abstract:

In this project, we will use albedo estimation and surface normals to create a 3D representation of a human face from a single photo of this face.Albedo estimation is a technique used to understand the geometrical properties of an image through the fraction of light absorbed by different points on the surface of the object. In turn, reconstructions of surfaces from a normal vector field is a common technique widely used in computer graphics applications. The goal is to combine these techniques to build a 3D representation of a face that recreates its facial features as accurately as possible.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Mathematics
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Brittany Fahringer, Mason Mockobee, Htoo Thu
Chapter: Gamma Eta Chapter
College/University: Marian University 2020

Title:
Supplementation of Vitamin D with Metformin to Improve Glucose Uptake and
Lower Triglyceride Levels in Drosophila melanogaster

Presentation Abstract:

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) affects over 23.1 million people in the United States as of 2015. The specific causes of diabetes remain unidentified. Recent studies have proposed that elevated levels of fatty metabolites (triglycerides, fatty acids, etc.) in the blood are commonly found in patients with T2DM. Excessive amount of fatty acid metabolites interfere with the ability of GLUT4 transporter to respond to insulin. The inhibited response of the GLUT4 transporters downregulate insulin signaling in the cells. The lack of insulin signaling can cause increased level of glucose in the plasma. Metformin therapy is commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes. Little is known about the specific targets of metformin, but recent studies suggest that metformin activates the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathways. Upon activation, AMPK reduces lipid synthesis and induces transcription of GLUT4. Similar to metformin, recent studies also suggest that vitamin D helps activate AMPK. On that account, it is possible that vitamin D supplementation with metformin could be more effective to manage patients with T2DM than metformin alone. The intention of this research is to determine whether the supplementation of metformin with Vitamin D can improve glucose uptake and decrease triglyceride levels. Using the animal model, Drosophila melanogaster, we explored whether treatment with metformin or vitamin D can significantly reduce both glucose and triglyceride levels. Our experiments revealed that metformin treatment decreased glucose level in both sexes. Bonferroni procedure revealed that the 50 mM concentration of metformin was the only effective dose to significantly reduce glucose levels in both males and females. The treatment with vitamin D did not show significance in glucose concentration for either sex. However, doses of 100 mM vitamin D were suggestive for females. The treatment with either vitamin D or metformin did not show significance difference in triglyceride concentration for either sex. Given the variation in absorbance values for triglyceride levels and potential trends, there is a reason to repeat the experiment with replicates. The next phase of our experiment to test combinitorial effects of treatments will focus on 50 mM concentration of metformin across varying concentrations of vitamin D.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Brooke Froelich, Madison Crabtree, Katelyn Gray, and Abby Westbee
Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College

Title:
*Zebra mussels alter the water chemistry in Minnesota lakes*

Presentation Abstract:

Zebra mussels /(Dreissena polymorpha/) are non-native, invasive species in North America. Zebra mussels disrupt the ecosystem, are difficult to dispose of, and can out compete native mussels. Previous research has indicated that zebra mussels increase clarity in lakes because they filter feed, with algae as their primary food source. We decided to look at lakes in our region, northwest Minnesota, for impacts zebra mussels might have on water chemistry variables. Our null hypothesis states that there will be no difference between the pH levels, water clarity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, total suspended solids, alkalinity, and temperature in lakes that contain zebra mussels and those that do not. Our alternative hypothesis states that zebra mussels cause a difference in water chemistry variables between lakes that contain zebra mussels and the lakes that do not. We traveled to six different lakes in Becker County, three have been infested with zebra mussels and three have not. Big Cormorant Lake and Lake Ida were infested in 2015 and Lake Maud was infested in 2016. We also analyzed Long Lake, Pearl Lake and Leaf Lake, which do not contain zebra mussels. We collected three samples from each lake along the shore at different locations in order to consider possible variability across the lake. The entire process was repeated twice, on two different days. Most variables were tested in the field, including: pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, temperature, and turbidity. Total suspended solids were tested once we returned to the lab. Only two of the six variable comparisons were statistically significant. Turbidity and total suspended solids had higher values in uninvested lakes compared to invested lakes. Our results support previous studies that indicate zebra mussels do increase the clarity of water.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Science
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Hannah Sproull, Jacob Meyer, Hannah Wycuff, Dr. Natasha DeVore
Chapter: Beta Eta
College/University: Evangel University

Title:
Expression and Purification of Cytochrome P450 4X1

Presentation Abstract:

The purpose of this research is to express the CYP4X1 in E. coli cells and isolate the expressed proteins. The binding affinity of ligands and inhibitors will be determined using an UV/vis binding affinity assay (DeVore et al., 2009). Based on the results of reported catalytic activity, we expect that CYP4X1 will have a greater affinity to the Arachidonic acid ligand. We are expressing the gene in E. coli JM109 cells using the pET28a plasmid. The expression of CPY4X1 protein in the cells (following the initial introduction of the plasmid) was initiated via the addition of Isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactoside (IPTG), the cells were then grown for two days.  The cells were lysed with sonication followed by extraction with the detergent Cymal-5.  After centrifugation the lysate was purified with a cobalt affinity column.  The purified protein was characterized by UV-vis absorption spectroscopy.   

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 
Author(s): Jillian Jones
Chapter: Pi
College/University: Millikin University

Title:
Determination of the functions of identified short open reading frames
in /Saccharomyces cerevisiae/

Presentation Abstract:

Open reading frames (ORFs) do not only encode long chains of amino acids. Short open reading frames (sORFs) that are much smaller than what would be expected to code for a polypeptide are found in the genomes of several eukaryotes and have been discovered to be responsible for a variety of functions within the organism. The biological functions of two particular sORFs, sORF-6 and sORF-13, in /Saccharomyces cerevisiae /were examined by looking for phenotypic differences between their deletion strains and the wild type in various conditions. The deletions strains for sORF-6 and sORF-13 were tested for both survival following exposure to DNA-damaging ultraviolet light (UV) and growth in the presence of a non-fermentable carbon source. Neither sORF-6 or sORF-13 were found to be responsible for survival following exposure to UV radiation. However, removal of sORF-6 was found to affect growth in the presence of a non-fermentable carbon source. While a phenotypic difference was seen in sORF-6, its precise contribution to the metabolism of non-fermentable carbon sources is still unknown.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Karina Cuate, Heather Culbertson, Dyllan Weelborg, Natasha M. DeVore PhD
Chapter: Beta Eta
College/University: Evangel University

Title:
Cloning, Expression, and Purification of Catalytic Domain of Human Airway
Trypsin-Like Protease

Presentation Abstract:

Influenza infects three to five million people and results in 250,000 to 500,000 deaths each year. The virus is able to evolve from year to year, making it a continuous health concern. The influenza virus propagates by entering cells via cleavage of the influenza protein hemagglutinin. Human airway trypsin-like protease (HAT) and transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2), both serine protease transmembrane II family proteins, are thought to be responsible for the cleavage in this step. Very little information is known about these proteins’ structures and functions, resulting in an additional method of treating influenza undiscovered. The long-term goal of this project is to determine the role of serine proteases in human disease due to their structures and functions. The protein that this division of this project is investigating is HAT, which consists of a transmembrane helix, non-catalytic domain, and a catalytic domain. We were able to truncate the catalytic domain of the HAT, express this truncated protein, and have attempted to purify it using affinity chromatography.  We hope to be able to optimize this process to obtain enough protein to do structural biology studies.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Jaime Rhodes, Katie Rust, Mikia Davis
Chapter: Rho
College/University: University of Indianapolis

Title:
Ultrastructural study of Spermiogenesis in the Western Mexico Whiptail Lizard, /Aspidoscelis costatus /

Presentation Abstract:

To date, there are multiple studies detailing the ultrastructure of spermatozoa within the genus Aspidoscelis and within the family Teiidae. However, there are no complete data on the process of spermiogensis within a species of Whiptail Lizard or within Ground Lizards. The purpose of this investigation is to provide the first detailed study on the entire ultrastructural process of spermiogenesis within Aspidocelis costatus. These results can then be compared to the spermatozoa data that is available for Teiidae. Testicular tissues of A. costatus were fixed, dehydrated, embedded in epon, sectioned with an ultramicrotome, and viewed under TEM. A. costatus spermatids were found to be relatively conserved to that of other squamates. This preliminary data on A. costatus spermatids will provide new species and familial characteristics that can be compared to that of the previously studied saurian taxa. The features of the spermatids that will be concentrated on in this study are: changes to the acrosome, midpiece mitochondrial morphology, the morphology of the nucleus and flagellum, and the progression of the manchete during the process of spermatid development. Recently, spermatid ultrastructural data has been suggested as a tool that could be utilized in phylogenetic analysis; however, to date too few species have successfully been studied. Thus, the new data set provided by the present study will add to the needed ultrastructural information known for lizards and provide another species of squamate that could increase our understanding of the evolutionary relationships of Ground Lizards to that of other squamates.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Abby Burnett, Adam Travis, Nicole Lisek, and Anthony Wilson
Chapter: Gamma Eta
College/University: Marian University

Title:
An Evaluation of the Efficacy of Echinocandins and Triazoles on Reducing the
Viability of Quiescent /C. albican/

Presentation Abstract:

Echinocandins and azoles are antifungals that target invasive candidiasis, with 46,000 cases of the infection occurring each year in the U.S. Candidemia is one of the most common bloodstream infections and the primary form of invasive candidiasis. While the Infectious Diseases Society of America provides recommended antifungal treatments that include caspofungin (an echinocandin) and fluconazole (an azole) as initial treatment options, the guidelines do not discuss the effects of treatments on yeast in different metabolic states. Yeast cells subjected to environmental stresses, including immune responses, can enter a dormant, quiescent state characterized by thickened cell walls. In this state, cells become more resistant to physical stressors and chemical treatments. This study investigated the efficacy of caspofungin and fluconazole on reducing viability of quiescent Candida albican cells. Since echinocandins prevent the synthesis of glucans, a crucial component of fungal cell walls, it was hypothesized that caspofungin acetate, an echinochandin, will decrease the survival rate of quiescent fungal cells to a greater extent than azoles, which target the ergosterol in the cell membrane. The experiments proceeded in two parts: validating a protocol for isolating quiescent and non-quiescent cells into separate fractions in C. albicans and, subsequently, treating isolated fractions with antifungals. The first part of the experiment produced two isolated cell fractions. Quiescent cells are characterized by a higher density and, thus, predicted to be found with greater frequency in the lower fraction. Confirmation was obtained by exposing each fraction to heat stress. In the second series of experiments, isolated fractions were tested with or without application of heat, then allowed to resume growth in the presence or absence of antifungals. Recent results show significant differences between fractions and antifungal treatments, in both heat exposed and non-exposed cultures. In both experiments, caspofungin was more effective at reducing cell viability than fluconazole in the lower fraction of predominantly quiescent cells.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Elise J. Farley
Chapter: Alpha Psi
College/University: Hillsdale College

Title:
RT-qPCR Assay Confirms TdT Expression in Previously Immunophenotyped T-ALL Cell lines

Presentation Abstract:

Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) negative T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL) is a rare and poorly understood subset of T-ALL. Recognizable by its <10% of normal expression of TdT in T-cells, the subset is highly resistant to traditional chemotherapy and is predisposed to relapse. Absence of TdT is an independent clinical risk indicator for this high-risk type of T-ALL and is discoverable through the common diagnostic process of immunophenotyping. T-cells affected with T-ALL that lack TdT may retain stem cell properties, adding to the severity of the neoplasm. This connection however has not yet been established, therefore it was necessary to begin understanding as much as possible about the mechanism behind TdT absence. We hypothesized that TdT was absent due to hypermethylation in the promoter region of its coding gene, DNTT. As a first step to test this hypothesis, an RT-qPCR assay was developed to measure the relative level of DNTT transcript between three previously immunophenotyped T-ALL cell lines, Loucy (TdT -), Jurkat (TdT +), and MOLT-3 (TdT +). Loucy showed hundreds of thousand-fold lower relative transcript levels to Jurkat and MOLT-3, confirming that absence of TdT in (TdT) negative T-ALL is due to some form of transcriptional inhibition of DNTT. Future research will focus on the addition of azacitidine, a methylation inhibitor, and cyclophosphamide, a methylating agent, to all cell line cultures to modulate the methylation state of DNTT. The relative level of DNTT transcript will be analyzed again using the optimized RT-qPCR assay in the Loucy, Jurkat and MOLT-3 lines after culturing them with the methylation modulators.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: Computer, projector, Powerpoint, laser pointer, possibly microphone if presentation space is large


 


Author(s): Jesse Mojeske, Dr. Stacey A. Stoffregen
Chapter: Beta Iota
College/University: Bethel University

Title:
Modeling the Atmospheric Degradation of Hydrofluoroolefins

Presentation Abstract:

The Montreal Protocol called for the phase out of chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons due to their high ozone depletion and global warming potentials. Researchers have instead turned to the use of hydrofluoroolefins for these purposes, as many studies have demonstrated both the effectiveness, and low environmental impact. However, a comprehensive reaction profile modeling the degradation of these molecules in the atmosphere has not yet been developed. Using the WebMO interface, B3LYP density functional theory, and 6-311+G** basis set; a series of commonly used HFOs were optimized, along with important atmospheric radicals that participate in the degradation of HFOs. In continuation of this work, intermediates will be optimized and transition state searches will be performed with the QST2 method. This study will hopefully grant insight to the degradation products and the mechanistic pathway that HFOs undergo.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Science
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Faith James, Josie Nelson, Glenn Seela, Abby Swenson
Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College

Title:
Effects of Cattails on the Aquatic Environment of Long Lake

Presentation Abstract:

/Typha/ /angustifolia/ (cattails) are a common herbaceous plant found in lakes, marshes, and rivers throughout the United States. In particular, they are abundantly found along the shoreline of Long Lake, west of Detroit Lakes Minnesota. Literature has mixed results regarding the impact of cattails on water quality, and this study examined the effects of cattails on water quality of Long Lake. The expected results predicted higher oxygen and conductivity levels in cattail habitats. Levels of dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH, and turbidity levels were measured using an HQ40d portable water meter along with water samples collected to measure suspended solids in the lab. These measurements were replicated twice, one week apart, in eight locations: sites A-D in dense cattail marshland and sites 1-4 in clear, open water. Minnow traps were also set up at each site (A-D and 1-4) to measure the appeal of each environment for aquatic vertebrates, and the number of minnows trapped was recorded over a three-day period at each site. Results showed the mean conductivity levels were significantly higher in the cattail sites than open water sites with a p value of <0.01. A similar trend was found in mean suspended solids between the cattail and open water sites however, these results were not statistically significant (p=0.068). Minnows, dissolved oxygen, pH, and turbidity showed no significant difference between sites. These results could be applied to future research regarding the advantages and disadvantages of cattails meeting the needs for organisms living in aquatic habitats. 

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Science
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Chloe Whitten, Micah Esala, Emma Detloff, Kendra Johnson
Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College Moorhead

Title:
Comparison of small mammal communities on restored and remnant prairies in
Northwestern Minnesota. 

Presentation Abstract:

Remnant prairies are one of the most endangered habitats in North America; approximately three percent of remnant prairies remain in Minnesota. To reestablish this important habitat, there have been restoration practices on prairie habitats by different public and private organizations to support and protect native prairie species. Small mammals act as seed dispersers for many prairie grasses, which are vital for the maintenance of plant diversity within the prairie. The conservation of native predator species is highly dependent on the small mammal populations because they serve as base prey species within the prairie ecosystem. We trapped small mammals on various restored and remnant prairies in northwestern Minnesota over the years of 2012 to 2018 collecting data during various seasons. Sites include Becker, Clay, Mahnomen, and Norman counties. The dominant species caught included /Microtus pennsylvanicus/, /Peromyscus/ spp., and /Ictidomys tridecemlineatus/; rare species included /Myodes gapperi, Zapus hudsonius/,/Sorex spp./, and very rarely /Blarina brevicauda/. Through data analysis, it appears that restored and remnant prairies in these areas have similar patterns, although burn management cycles highly influence some species diversity. Data analysis includes burn year comparisons, individual comparisons, and Simpson’s Reciprocal D for species richness comparisons. This data will allow us to determine if the current restoration practices are functioning to restore small mammal communities back to those found on remnant prairies.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Science
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Amber Murphy, Kathryn Huisinga
Chapter: Alpha Gamma
College/University: Malone University

Title:
Effects of Encephalopathy-Associated Mutations on the Kinetic Activity of Human Mitochondrial Malate Dehydrogenase

Presentation Abstract:

The mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase (MDH) enzyme converts malate to oxaloacetate as part of the Krebs Cycle. Clinical studies identified three male patients with severe encephalopathy who carried bi-allelic mutations in the human MDH2 gene (Ait-El-Mkadem, The American Journal of Human Genetics, 100:159, 2017). These mutations included Gly37 to Arginine, Pro133 to Leucine, and Pro207 to Leucine. Gly37 is located in the NAD binding pocket, Pro133 is located in a turn between an α helix and a β strand, and Pro207 is located in a β strand. It was hypothesized that these MDH2 mutations would affect the stability of the protein.Western blot analysis  showed undetectable MDH2 levels in 2 of the 3 subjects, which supports the hypothesis that MDH2 mutations affect protein stability. However, it is unclear which of the mutations affect protein stability. It is likely that the mutants decrease catalytic activity of the protein, but they may not all affect the protein in the same way. The enzymatic activity of human MDH2 containing single mutations in Gly37, Pro133, and Pro207 were examined against the Wild Type in vitro to determine Km, Vmax, and Kcat values. Experimental findings to date will be presented.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Kristen Buss, Dr. Colleen Doçi
Chapter: Gamma Eta
College/University: Marian University

Title:
Correlation of Low Doses of Actinomycin D Chemotherapy on Multiple Human Cancer Cell Lines with Increased Nucleolar Amplification​

Presentation Abstract:

Actinomycin D (ActD) is an antibiotic and chemotherapy. While effective in limiting tumorigenesis, its use was abandoned due to its cytotoxic effects. At high clinical doses, ActD targets all RNA polymerases. However, ActD demonstrates an interesting specificity at low doses for RNA polymerase I only, thereby inhibiting rRNA and tRNA synthesis while not affecting mRNA production. This suggests that by specifically targeting cells with a metabolic dependency on rRNA and the ribosomal machinery it may be possible to achieve lower antitumorigenic doses without concomitant toxicities. Many highly aggressive cancers exhibit increased amplification of nucleoli which house rRNA synthesis and reflect these increased metabolic demands. In a proof-of-principle study, HeLa cells with nucleolar amplification were shown to be susceptible to low doses of ActD compared to a more normal cell line 293T (Doçi, et al. unpublished data). Based on these findings, we hypothesized that there would be a direct correlation between nucleolar density and ActD susceptibility across a panel of cancerous cell lines. The goal of our efforts is to demonstrate that this research holds predictive value in determining which cancers are better candidates for low-dosage ActD treatment than others on the basis of their nucleolar amplification. To quantitatively demonstrate this correlation, we calculated the IC50 dosage of ActD sensitivity. Intriguingly, ActD demonstrates a biphasic mode of inhibition which aligns with its known differential targeting of the RNA polymerase I and II machinery. The sensitivity of the cancerous cell lines to ActD appears to be independent of proliferation rate, which suggests that there is a metabolically-based mechanism that drives susceptibility and further supports our hypothesis. To evaluate this sensitivity in the context of its cytologic properties, nucleolar amplification was determined by generating stable cell lines expressing GFP-labeled fibrillarin, a resident nucleolar protein. Once labeled, these nucleolar density of these stable cell lines were quantified using the ImageJ macro previously optimized by Bianca Stockmeier. We have found that there appears to be a correlation between increased amounts of nucleoli and increased sensitivity to ActD. Together, these indicate that coupled with appropriate cytologic analysis ActD could be a viable clinical option again.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: None


 


Author(s): Kegan Main, Jonas Smith, Colleen Doci
Chapter: Gamma Eta
College/University: Marian University

Title:
Categorization of Head and Neck Cancer Cell Lines Through Phenotypic Specific Migration

Presentation Abstract:

While we have seen improvement in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of many cancers in the last 20 years, sadly, the overall incidence and mortality from oral cancers has not changed. One potential reason for this lack of progress in the management of head and neck cancers is the fact that 53% of newly diagnosed patients have some type of metastasis at the time of diagnosis. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie this metastatic phenotype are poorly understood and the lack of testable models presents a major obstacle for the investigation. To address this gap, we expanded upon an initial data set of head and neck cancer cell lines. Tumor size, heterogeneity, vascularity, and metastatic propensity derived from /in vivo/ testing of multiple head and neck cancer cell lines was subjected to mathematical modeling. We further developed this model by incorporating /in vitro/ data such as proliferation and migration. The initial mathematical evaluation analyzed clinical replicates of 15 cell lines. Overall, this was not enough samples to support a detailed mathematical analysis. Cohorts defined in part by their metastasis and vascularity were validated by principle component analysis. However, other data such as tumor heterogeneity did not provide adequate resolution. Similarly, growth rate percentages did not support the finding of a useful variance or the performance of kernel density analysis. Together, this suggests that additional tumor growth studies coupled with more robust histopathological diagnosis are needed for model development. In addition to launching these studies, the data was also augmented by the calculation of /in vitro/ parameters of tumorigenecity. Three cell lines showed proliferation via quantification of DNA synthesis. Compellingly, this proliferation rate seems to be independent of their metabolic properties. Together, this data highlights the importance of vascularity in cohort prediction and suggests better histological classification could improve mathematical resolution. These data also indicate that the mitogenic pathways that these cells rely upon may be distinct from their replicative properties and could be a potential avenue for further investigation. Together, these data form a compelling first foray into the development of a robust benchtop model for head and neck cancer metastasis.     

Presentation Type: Oral Paper Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: None


 


Author(s): Samantha Engrav, Liv Overby, Sofia Palme
Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College

Title:
Phenotypic Plasticity of /Potamogeton illinoensis /in Relation to Lake Depth at Long Lake

Presentation Abstract:

Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) is a crucial aspect of aquatic environments, providing food and habitat for a number of vertebrate and invertebrate species. A key characteristic of SAV is the phenotypic plasticity- the ability of one genome to produce more than one phenotypic response based on the environment surrounding the macrophyte. Our research attempted to identify if water depth has a direct effect on the morphology of the submerged aquatic macrophyte (SAV) Potamogeton illinoensis. We assessed whether variation in water depth induced a variation in morphology due to phenotypic plasticity, particularly in a freshwater environment. Phenotypic plasticity can ultimately alter the composition and health of an aquatic environment, and thus is important to understand when looking at such ecosystems. Potamogeton illinoensis specimens were collected from various water depths between .5 and 2.0 meters from two shorelines in Long Lake in Becker County, MN with a plant rake and by hand. These specimens were then analyzed for leaf area, plant height, and the number of leaves per centimeter of plant. These data were then analyzed via a linear regression. We found that lake depth does not have a distinct effect on SAV morphology.  Further research on this topic could focus on other factors that might affect SAV morphology, such as sediment, climate conditions, and herbivorous animal populations, factors that have the potential to alter overall ecosystem makeup. In addition to this, other studies looked at a greater range of depths, which could have altered the comparison of our results. Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) is a crucial aspect of aquatic environments, providing food and habitat for a number of vertebrate and invertebrate species. A key characteristic of SAV is the phenotypic plasticity- the ability of one genome to produce more than one phenotypic response based on the environment surrounding the macrophyte. Our research attempted to identify if water depth has a direct effect on the morphology of the submerged aquatic macrophyte (SAV) /Potamogeton illinoensis. /We assessed whether variation in water depth induced a variation in morphology due to henotypic plasticity, particularly in a freshwater environment. Phenotypic plasticity can ultimately alter the composition and health of an aquatic environment, and thus is important to understand when looking at such ecosystems. /Potamogeton illinoensis/ specimens were collected from various water depths between .5 and 2.0 meters from two shorelines in Long Lake in Becker County, MN with a plant rake and by hand. These specimens were then analyzed for leaf area, plant height, and the number of leaves per centimeter of plant. These data were then analyzed via a linear regression. We found that lake depth does not have a distinct effect on SAV morphology.  Further research on this topic could focus on other factors that might affect SAV morphology, such as sediment, climate conditions, and herbivorous animal populations, factors that have the potential to alter overall ecosystem makeup. In addition to this, other studies looked at a greater range of depths, which could have altered the comparison of our results. 

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): John Migliore, Professor Mitchell Maddox, Professor James
Christenson
Chapter: Beta Iota
College/University: Bethel University
Title:
Lead discovery:  Screening for naturally occurring antimicrobials

Presentation Abstract:

The misuse and abuse of antimicrobial compounds for patient treatment has significantly contributed to the current shortage of effective antimicrobials due to the evolution of antimicrobial resistant pathogens. While pharmaceutical companies seek to combat this healthcare crisis through investing mainly in synthetic approaches, a growing number of academic communities have sought to revitalize a traditional lead discovery process for isolating novel antimicrobials.  Our current study is working to establish a parallel approach to assist in the search of novel active compounds.  One path involves the extraction, isolation, and purification of known antibiotics from bacterial sources.  This phase of the project will establish necessary techniques and optimize extraction methodologies for various classes of antimicrobial compounds.  Separation techniques including liquid-liquid extraction, SEC, and HPLC ensure high degrees of selectivity while, characterization methods such as MS, FT-IR, and NMR spectroscopy allow for the identification of both known and newly discovered active compounds. Additionally, isolating known compounds allows for the testing of final products for activity and purity, ensuring our extraction methodologies are sound. The second path involves the establishment of a robust screening methodology for potentially active compounds.  Isolation of unknown biologically active lead compounds is guided by the addition of activity screens such as zone of inhibition testing and phytochemical screening.  These complimentary procedures will provide information on the antimicrobial activity and the chemical class of a compound.  With this knowledge, proper extraction methodologies may be constructed to promote selectivity of the active compound at each step in the isolation. In addition to guiding the extraction procedure, the zone of inhibition screen will also serve to initially identify possible targets for extraction.  With a robust set ofisolation protocols and a reliable activity screen in place, this project
will be ready to move into the discovery phase working in collaboration with professors in both the biology and biochemistry departments at Bethel University who will be providing possible bacterial targets for testing. Although identification of novel compounds through lead discovery is a challenging process, the development of systematic screening and isolation procedures provides a solid framework for identifying and isolating new antimicrobial samples.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 


Author(s): Brooklynn Scherer and Brianna Marin - Dr. Darlene Walro (Academic Advisor)
Chapter: Beta Chi
College/University: Walsh University

Title:
Determining the Effect of Heat Shock Protein Inhibitors on Herpes Simplex Virus Type-1 Production in Infected Vero Cells

Presentation Abstract:

Herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) is a highly contagious double stranded DNA virus that impacts at least one-third of the worlds’ population. HSV-1,or oral herpes, typically causes painful fever blisters, or cold sores, around the mouth and face. In rare cases, the virus can cause encephalitis that, if left untreated, can result in death. This pathogen is important to study due to many factors including the absence of available treatment protocols such as vaccines, which could be a lucrative product if a better means of control was identified. Invasion of HSV-1 into a host organism triggers a robust immune system response that eventually forces the virus into a latent period, which makes therapeutic options difficult to generate. The objective of this study was to identify the critical time during the HSV-1 replication cycle during which application of Geldanamycin (GA), a known Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP-90) inhibitor, and KNK437, a HSP-70 inhibitor, had the greatest influences on inhibiting viral proliferation. GA works to hinder HSP-90 activity by inhibiting the ATP binding site required by HSP-90 for the protein itself to function. Therefore, by blocking this site during the process of viral infection and replication, GA is effectively decreasing the production of HSV-1 (Tanabe et al., 2018). KNK437 works by inhibiting HSP-70, a protein known for assisting in the binding and entry of the virus to the host cell. Additionally, it facilitates the replication of viral DNA (Howe & Haystead, 2015). The results of this study illustrate that GA and KNK437 worked to decreased viral replication best during the time period one to three hours after viral introduction to 90% confluent Vero cells. The concentration of GA used was 500 millimolar, which correlates with previous studies. The results of this experiment will allow researchers to create anti-viral medications for HSV-1 that target the early stage of viral replication in order to better treat and perhaps prevent debilitating symptom presentation for patients worldwide.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 

Author(s): Christopher Jones, Jackson Miller
Chapter: Rho
College/University: University of Indianapolis

Title:
HPLC Analysis of Metformin

Presentation Abstract:

The Distributed Pharmaceutical Analysis Laboratory (DPAL) is collaborative project based out of the University of Notre Dame, that tests pharmaceutical supplies from developing nations for substandard or fraudulent pills 1. The analysis is conducted using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to quantify the amount of active ingredient in a given pill. The University of Indianapolis joined DPAL in the summer of 2018 to begin to develop a method to analyze Metformin pills, a common treatment for diabetes.

In the DPAL project, multiple verification processes have to be met to ensure accurate analysis of potentially fraudulent medications. To date, the University of Indianapolis DPAL group has performed many tests and suitability checks with metformin standard solutions in order to build a method, test it, and verify our instrument can accurately quantify the pharmaceutical content. Since the 2018 fall semester, steps have been taken to build a method, test it, and check system suitability. These steps include making all our standard solutions, generating a calibration curve, and progressing on system suitability checks including: linearity, accuracy and range, specificity, and spike recovery. The DPAL group has found our system meets the strict analytical requirements of the program.  Next steps will include testing sample pills from developing nations acquired by Notre Dame in the coming weeks.



Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:


 

Author(s): Rachel Hurrell, Jarrett Selis
Chapter: Rho
College/University: University of Indianapolis

Title:
Combatting the Problem of Substandard and Falsified Drugs: The Distributed Pharmaceutical Analysis Laboratory (DPAL)

Presentation Abstract:

It is estimated that 10% of pharmaceuticals available for public consumption in developing nations are either substandard or falsified; that is they contain a different quantity, or identity, of active ingredient than specified by quality control guidelines.1Such products pose a significant threat to human health causing the World Health Organization to turn to external organizations for assistance in analysis of pharmaceutical samples from impacted nations.2One such external organization is the Distributed Pharmaceutical Analysis Laboratory (DPAL), lead by Dr. Marya Lieberman at the University of Notre Dame. DPAL is a collaborative group of several academic institutions all focused on the use of analytic techniques (primarily High-Performance Liquid Chromatography) to quantify the active ingredient contained in a wide array of pharmaceutical samples obtained from developing nations. DPAL holds its participants to strict system suitability requirements to ensure high integrity of all data collected. Ultimately, data collected at participating institutions is reported through DPAL to the WHO in an attempt to minimize the harm associated with consumption of substandard and falsified pharmaceutical products. The University of Indianapolis became a member of DPAL in the summer of 2018 and has begun work on meeting system suitability requirements for method validation of Metformin.



Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs:

 


 

 

Author(s): Andrew Althoff, Caleb Hasler, Michael Louison
Chapter: Beta
College/University: McKendree University

Title:
Hooking time Influences Hooking Location for ice-angled Northern Pike Caught on Tip-ups

Presentation Abstract:

Ice angling is a popular activity during the winter months at northern latitudes.  For ice-fishers, Tip-up rigs are a popular device used to capture northern pike, Esox lucius.  When a fish grabs a bait rigged on a tip-up, a flag pops up and alerts the angler to the fish. However, the amount of time spent hooked on a tip-up before a fish is retrieved may vary.  Studies of open water fishing have found that an increase in the time between the strike and the hookset can cause an increased probability in hook ingestion by fish, which can lead to mortality.  However, this has not been well documented for ice-angled fish.  To fill this gap, we collected northern pike over a span of 4 days, waiting predetermined periods of time (0 to 7 min) before setting the hooks.  We determined that increasing time between strike and hookset (flag time) does influence the location where the fished is hooked (p=0.0438), with a shift in hook location from lip to mouth to gills.  However, regardless of time, none of the fish ingested the hook, and longer times more often resulted in the bait being dropped.  Therefore, although flag time does influence the location or depth of hooking, it does not necessarily influence hook ingestion.  Despite this, since prior work has shown that hooking in the gills increases the risk of mortality for angled fish, we recommend anglers pursue fishing practices that minimize hook time in northern pike.



Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: Easel