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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Presence Of Electron Donor/Acceptor Radiographic Contrast Media In Unusual Photosynthesis Environment Of Fresh Plant Cells: Near-Infrared And X-Ray Characterization, Tetiana Soloviova, Subhendra Sarkar, Amina Shahbaz, Aldona Gjoni May 2020

Presence Of Electron Donor/Acceptor Radiographic Contrast Media In Unusual Photosynthesis Environment Of Fresh Plant Cells: Near-Infrared And X-Ray Characterization, Tetiana Soloviova, Subhendra Sarkar, Amina Shahbaz, Aldona Gjoni

Publications and Research

Photosynthesis is a chemical process through which light energy is used to convert inorganic material (water and carbon dioxide) into organic molecules. Anaerobic photosynthesis, also known as anoxygenic photosynthesis, is the process by which certain bacteria use light energy to create organic compounds but do not adequately involve oxygen. In this experiment we are trying to influence photosynthesis (light and dark reactions: PS-I and PS-II by electron rich gadolinium/iodine complexes like Eovist and Isovue. We also performed X-ray and NIR reflection spectroscopy (NIRS) to measure Gd difusivity and PS-I/II infrared response. The results for X-ray (45kvp and 5 ...


Year Long Water Quality Analysis Of White Horn Brook, Kevin Dyer May 2020

Year Long Water Quality Analysis Of White Horn Brook, Kevin Dyer

Senior Honors Projects

KEVIN DYER (Marine Biology)

Year-long Analysis of the Water Quality of White Horn Brook

Sponsor: Thomas Boving (Geological Sciences)

Water is the foundation for all life on earth and is the most vital resource on this planet. Despite this, oceans and waterways all over the world are being polluted and exploited in ways detrimental to their fundamental hydrologic functions. For instance, excess nitrate levels can lead to eutrophication which gives rise to harmful algae blooms. Low pH can cause the breakdown of CaCO3 exoskeletons of organisms, such mollusks. High temperature variations are major stressors to living things and can cause ...


Wearable Life: Translating Medicinal Plant Properties In Jewelry, Lucas White May 2020

Wearable Life: Translating Medicinal Plant Properties In Jewelry, Lucas White

2020 JHU Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium

The fields of art and science have always been in a tempestuous relationship, sometimes inspiring one another, other times completely opposing the other. Botanical knowledge of native plant species is disappearing as human development expands, and how this knowledge is obtained is just as equally becoming scarce. With the combination of jewelry-making techniques and plant identification, the properties of native Virginia plants and what medicinal benefits those plants have on the human body are showcased through aesthetic pieces of jewelry and botanical imagery that correspond to specific points on the human form. These pieces include each plant's anatomy that ...


Religious Food Ethics: Categorizing Religious Perceptions Of Diet And Agriculture, Avalon Jade Theisen Apr 2020

Religious Food Ethics: Categorizing Religious Perceptions Of Diet And Agriculture, Avalon Jade Theisen

2020 JHU Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium

"As religion and food affect everyone everywhere, studying religious motivations for agricultural and consumption patterns is vital. To understand this topic, food-related views of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Rastafarianism, Hinduism, Orang Asli, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Daoism, and Wicca are analyzed. Most belief systems include taboos on meat, genetic modification, and biocides. The reasoning for their food ethics determined each faith's categorization as Western or Eastern.

Western-type religions focus on respecting their God's intentions. Christianity forbids meat, excepting fish, during certain holy seasons to honor God. One sect, Greek Orthodox, requires believers to eat vegan 1-3 days weekly. Judaism and ...


Hives, Rachel Selvaraj '22, Nicolette Schmidling '22, Abigail Ryner '22 Apr 2020

Hives, Rachel Selvaraj '22, Nicolette Schmidling '22, Abigail Ryner '22

Student Leadership Exchange (SLX)

Bees are a capstone species and the world’s most important animal as ranked by the Royal Geographic Society in London. They play a key role in the production of many food products which certain communities may depend on; however, their population has rapidly been declining as of lately. Hives is an organization which takes this issue into extreme consideration. We believe that habitat restoration efforts for bees is the strongest way to make an impact. We will work with numerous local gardens to install our artificial bee homes. These homes are created solely from recyclable materials. Not only are ...


Biol 250: Snps Found In The Ptc (Bitter Tasting) Gene, Katelin Savage Apr 2020

Biol 250: Snps Found In The Ptc (Bitter Tasting) Gene, Katelin Savage

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

No abstract provided.


Genetic Variance In Flocculin Protein Family, Sarah Dooley, Dale Beach Apr 2020

Genetic Variance In Flocculin Protein Family, Sarah Dooley, Dale Beach

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Yeast fermentation produces a number of commercially important products, most typically represented by alcoholic beverages. In craft breweries that do not use expensive filtration systems, selecting a yeast variety for fermentation can determine the clarity of the product from hazy Belgian pilsner to a crisp, clear American lager. Flocculation refers to a stress response behavior in yeast to group together (flocculate) in conditions like low sugar or high alcohol content as experienced at the end of fermentation. Higher levels of flocculation increase the clarity. The process of flocculation is genetically controlled through a series of complicated interactions and depends on ...


Fact Or Myth: The Flu Can Be Caused By The Flu Vaccine, Arleigh Wood Apr 2020

Fact Or Myth: The Flu Can Be Caused By The Flu Vaccine, Arleigh Wood

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

To many, the flu vaccine seems like a threat to an otherwise healthy individual. People often get the flu after receiving the flu shot, which does not promote confidence in the general public. These and other reasonings have created a myth that the flu vaccine can cause the flu. Understanding how the vaccination is created and how it interacts with the immune system helps to realize why the flu vaccine cannot cause the virus. For the vaccine to work, adaptive immunity must be activated by the introduction of the viral particles in a safe manner. An effective immune response from ...


Reducing Mosquito Populations Through New Scientific Innovation, Hannah Davis, Debbie Pitt, Tyra Nevers Apr 2020

Reducing Mosquito Populations Through New Scientific Innovation, Hannah Davis, Debbie Pitt, Tyra Nevers

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Disease transmission through mosquitoes has killed millions of humans through the decades. This negatively impacts a country’s economy and the health and welfare of an induvial. In an attempt to control mosquito-borne illnesses, many insecticides were invented, and one of the most popular was dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). However, DDT has led to many health and environmental issues. Therefore, based off of current research, we propose that genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes will be a safer and more effective alternative in the fight against mosquitoes. We will use CRISPR Cas 9 to modify the genomes of individual mosquitoes which will reduce malaria ...


Fighting Waste And Feeding People: Exploring The Context Of Campus Food Waste And Student Recovery Efforts, Sarah Becker, Max Stout, Maddie Kuklentz, Savona Cerra Apr 2020

Fighting Waste And Feeding People: Exploring The Context Of Campus Food Waste And Student Recovery Efforts, Sarah Becker, Max Stout, Maddie Kuklentz, Savona Cerra

Environmental Studies Presentations

Wismer on Wheels is dedicated to our mission of not only reducing food waste on campus, but also reducing food insecurity in our wider community. The work of our team of over 35 student volunteers reflects that dedication. This past year we became the official Food Recovery Network chapter for Ursinus, broadened outreach efforts on- and off-campus, and boosted food waste education, all while recovering unprecedented quantities of food. In this presentation, we celebrate the accomplishments of our dedicated volunteers while exploring deeper questions about food waste on the Ursinus campus. Why are we seeing such massive food recovery numbers ...


Biol 488: The Assessment And Analyzation Of Threats To Marine Life And Habitats And Project Proposals To Combat These Threats., Reece Theakston Apr 2020

Biol 488: The Assessment And Analyzation Of Threats To Marine Life And Habitats And Project Proposals To Combat These Threats., Reece Theakston

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

For overfishing I propose that periodically we slightly expand fish sanctuaries and modify regulations to allow populations more time and more areas to grow. For pollution, the areas of pollution should be sectioned and ranked, then starting with the highest priority areas start pollution cleanup with both man and machine. Once the pollution is collected, I propose that the use of plastic eating bacteria and caterpillars be implemented to further break pollution down. In regard to habitat destruction I think the best approach is to treat the areas like a garden, plant new seeds, give them the nutrients and support ...


Biol 488: Overview Of Health Consequences In The Ketogenic Diet And Efficacy In Treating Type-2 Diabetes, Talbot Thames Apr 2020

Biol 488: Overview Of Health Consequences In The Ketogenic Diet And Efficacy In Treating Type-2 Diabetes, Talbot Thames

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

The ketogenic diet is an increasingly popular tool for weight loss. It has shown benefits for Type II Diabetes patients in reducing the use of medication for treatment and keeping blood glucose levels to manageable levels. This approach to diabetes management is stunted, however, due to a multitude of adverse effects such as acidosis and atherogenic risk factors. Dietary trials were performed to assess the efficacy of both diets in reducing blood glucose levels and other against the contemporary western diet, composed of a moderate-carbohydrate and moderate-fat macronutrient profile. Upon completion, diabetic subjects in both the high-carbohydrate and low ketogenic ...


Biol 488: Investigating Bird Tail Function Across Species During Slow Flight, Catherine Swinsky Apr 2020

Biol 488: Investigating Bird Tail Function Across Species During Slow Flight, Catherine Swinsky

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Despite many theories, there is little experimental evidence of bird tail function during slow flight. Birds’ tail muscles are independent from their trunk and legs and have phasic patterns that are synchronized with wing movement. Based off previous literature, there are three possible uses for bird tails during slow flight that may be concurrent.


Biol 488: A New Method For Male Contraceptives, Briana Smith Apr 2020

Biol 488: A New Method For Male Contraceptives, Briana Smith

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Contraception is the act to deliberately prevent the consequences of sexual intercourse where it be transmitting a sexual disease or the reproduction of offspring. Men who wish to control their fertility must rely on female compliance with contraceptives, barrier methods, vasectomy or abstinence (Dorman and Bishai, 2012). The ideal male contraceptive would require it to be safe, reversible, and rapid with the ability of not damaging virility and the potency of androgen development aspects of metabolism (Wu, 1988).


Biol 488: The Effect Of Nutrients On Leaf Litter Decomposition Rates While In Contact With Sediment: Are Sediment The Limiting Factor?, Alyssa Oppedisano Apr 2020

Biol 488: The Effect Of Nutrients On Leaf Litter Decomposition Rates While In Contact With Sediment: Are Sediment The Limiting Factor?, Alyssa Oppedisano

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Leaf Litter Decomposition plays a crucial role in nutrient cycling in lentic ecosystems (Marcarelli et al. 2010). Leaves in contact with the sediment breakdown faster than leaves not in contact with sediment. Breakdown happens in three stages (Gessner et al. 1999): •Leaching •Conditioning •Fragmentation

Hypothesis: Sediment from a lentic pond would accelerate decomposition of leaf litter that is in contact with it because it acts as a pool for nutrients to be absorbed and released.


Biol 488: The Effects Of Chemical Fertilizer Vs. Biofertilizer On The Environment, Earl Long Apr 2020

Biol 488: The Effects Of Chemical Fertilizer Vs. Biofertilizer On The Environment, Earl Long

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Agriculture accounts for the majority of environmental pollution. 16% of that is from chemical fertilizer and 18% comes from burning biomass. Chemical fertilizers primarily use nitrogen and phosphorus synthetic fertilizer in a mineral form. This has caused many environmental problems from poor nutrient levels because the fertilizer kills microorganisms in the soil while lowering the PH. This fertilizer is harsh on the plants if it is over-applied leading to “burnt” plants and loss of yield. Much of this fertilizer ends up in watersheds before it can dissolve, leading to nutrient loading in the water system leading from uncontrollable algal growth ...


Biol 488: Assisted Reproductive Technology: A Proposed Research Project, Sarah Kamen Apr 2020

Biol 488: Assisted Reproductive Technology: A Proposed Research Project, Sarah Kamen

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Through assisted reproductive technologies (ART), scientists have been able to aid species recovery of many endangered species. Methods such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and artificial insemination (AI) are crucial to maintaining genetic diversity and species recovery. Previous cryopreservation protocols have been developed for male sperm for future IVF or AI experimentation. I propose to further along the research of assisted reproductive technologies, as well as improve overall fertilization success. By improving ART protocol success, I will in turn help scientists increase statistics for overall species recovery.


Biol 488: Genetic Modification Of Bacteria Could Stabilize Thermal Lability Of Plastic Degrading Enzyme, Matthew Jones Apr 2020

Biol 488: Genetic Modification Of Bacteria Could Stabilize Thermal Lability Of Plastic Degrading Enzyme, Matthew Jones

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene (PE) are extremely common and are the most widely produced and used plastics in the world. Extremely resistant to degradation in nature due to their origins from fossil oil. PET is used for synthetic fibers, bottle resin, packaging, etc. Contemporary methods (recycling and incineration) are often time consuming that result in harmful by-products. Solutions may lie in an enzyme that was discovered in Japan (2016) from the bacterium Ideonella Saikenesis that has the ability to naturally degrade plastic.

Unfortunately, the enzyme itself tends to become unstable at higher temperatures (85°F) and degrades.


Biol 488: Proposal To Analyze Panthera Tigris Habitat To Prevent Competition For Resources In A Struggling Population, Taylor Johnson Apr 2020

Biol 488: Proposal To Analyze Panthera Tigris Habitat To Prevent Competition For Resources In A Struggling Population, Taylor Johnson

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Many populations of large mammals were reduced because of human activities, such as habitat alteration, exploitation, and maltreatment (Morrison, 2017). The term ‘empty forest’ was coined to designate forests that appear intact that have lost large-bodied mammals (Linkie et al 2015). Predators are hunted at a disproportionate rate. Thirty-nine percent of large mammals are threatened with extinction while only 24 percent of mammals are threatened with extinction (Morrison, 2017). Less than 21 percent of the earth’s terrestrial surface still contains all of the mammals over .20 kg it once held in AD 1500 (Morrison, 2017).


Biol 488: Investigating The Use Of Geckos As Pollinators, Brandon Hastings Apr 2020

Biol 488: Investigating The Use Of Geckos As Pollinators, Brandon Hastings

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Bees play an important role in the agriculture industry as natural pollinators; however, their population has declined significantly in recent years. Here, I investigate the use of geckos as alternative pollinators in the event that the bee population declines further. Much of the research is focused on the impacts an introduced pollinator could have on the native species and what specifically could draw an introduced gecko to pollinate food crops. I conclude that the impacts in most ecosystems would be minimal because they are taking the niche of an already declining population, however more research is needed on what specific ...


Biol 488: Therapeutic Intracellular Delivery Of Insulin Via Bacterial Secretion Systems To Treat Diabetes, Caitlin Harris Apr 2020

Biol 488: Therapeutic Intracellular Delivery Of Insulin Via Bacterial Secretion Systems To Treat Diabetes, Caitlin Harris

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Common Types of Diabetes: Type 1 – autoimmune disorder that prevents the body from making enough insulin

•Usually diagnosed early in life (< 30 years old) •Treated with insulin injections

Type 2 – the body can’t use insulin properly

•Usually diagnosed later in life (> 30 years old) •Treated with changes in diet, exercise, and insulin injections

1 in 4 diabetics admit to rationing their insulin at some point

How can probiotics help insulin production? A modified E. coli strain (Nissle 1917) was able to secrete insulinotropic proteins to induce insulin production.


Biol 488: Chlamydia Trachomatis Onset Challenges And Various Treatments, Tatyana Green Apr 2020

Biol 488: Chlamydia Trachomatis Onset Challenges And Various Treatments, Tatyana Green

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are infections obtained through sexual contact and include organisms such as bacteria, viruses or parasites that can be passed from person to person. Types: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Genital herpes/warts, Syphilis, HIV/AIDS, Scabies, Pubic Lice and Trichomoniasis. The most common STD is Chlamydia.

Symptoms •Odd discharge •Burning/painful urination •Lower abdomen pain •Bleeding between periods Swollen testicles

Treatments and Preventions •Azithromycin •Doxycycline •Abstinence •Condoms


Biol 488: An Analysis Of Citizen Science Data To Examine Avian Population Declines Near Farmville, Virginia, Bailey Gadberry Apr 2020

Biol 488: An Analysis Of Citizen Science Data To Examine Avian Population Declines Near Farmville, Virginia, Bailey Gadberry

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Since 1970, 29% of birds have been lost and 3 billion individual birds lost from the breeding population (Rotenberg, 2017). There have been 13 extinctions in the U.S. the past 50 years (IUCN red list). Biodiversity is declining all over the world at a faster rate than is natural (Inger et. al 2015). There are several reasons birds are declining: •Habitat loss •Urbanization •Climate change •Human activities such as house cats & technology (Rotenberg, 2017). Birds are very important in ecosystems and to humans. •Seed dispersers •Pest control •Pollinators (Yeoman, 2013). The greatest conservation concern is not about extinction, but ...


Biol 488: Strategies For Oyster Restoration And Potential Effects On Both Mollusk And Public Health, Tessa Dewalt Apr 2020

Biol 488: Strategies For Oyster Restoration And Potential Effects On Both Mollusk And Public Health, Tessa Dewalt

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Oyster restoration has become increasingly more common in the hopes of bettering water quality and declining oyster populations (Peyre and Brown 2014). The Chesapeake Bay watershed has contributed a great deal to the increase in oyster restoration efforts (Brumbaugh et al. 2000). However, there has been a strongly documented increase in marine disease, with mollusks being heavily affected (Harvell et al. 2004). Because of this, diseases and illnesses due to seafood consumption have become a serious issue in the last few decades (Hosomi et al. 2012).


Biol 488:Which Birth Control Method Is Most Effective For Women’S Health?, Makayla Davis Apr 2020

Biol 488:Which Birth Control Method Is Most Effective For Women’S Health?, Makayla Davis

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Birth control is a type of contraceptive typically used to prevent parenthood. Estrogen and Progestin hormones in birth control that stop ovulation. Oral contraceptives are considered the most effective method used today. Birth control comes in variety of different methods ranging from pills to more severe methods such as implants.


Biol 488: Can Coral Farming Combat Coral Bleaching?, Jessica Cagnina Apr 2020

Biol 488: Can Coral Farming Combat Coral Bleaching?, Jessica Cagnina

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Coral reefs can be found in oceans all around the world and are an important part of our marine ecosystems. They provide habitats for fish, clams, lobsters, seahorses, sea turtles, and many marine species. However, there is a big problem facing these reefs today: coral bleaching. This process is a result of changes of the environment (change in water temperature, or pollution). This then causes the coral’s photosynthetic fibers to die, and as a result, the coral turns white and dies along with it. This leads to a domino effect that will not only harms the coral itself, but ...


Biol 488: The Investigation Of Magnetosome Constructs In Developing A New Cancer Therapy, Taylor Alvey Apr 2020

Biol 488: The Investigation Of Magnetosome Constructs In Developing A New Cancer Therapy, Taylor Alvey

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Magnetotactic bacteria are a very diverse group of prokaryotes that produce magnetic crystals called magnetosomes. These magnetosomes allow these bacteria to navigate environments with low oxygen concentrations. These magnetosomes present in MTB have been found to have many different applications in the biological sciences medical field. They can be used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic hypothermia which will increase cell death, and drug delivery. There is currently a lack of knowledge and complexity about the isolation of these magnetosomes for these applications.


Biol 250: Snp Rs2741762 Gel Electrophoresis, Pcr Purification, And Sequencing, Kaylen Karnes Apr 2020

Biol 250: Snp Rs2741762 Gel Electrophoresis, Pcr Purification, And Sequencing, Kaylen Karnes

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

No abstract provided.


Biol 250: Curly Hair Trait: Homozygous Or Heterozygous, Kaysi Bing Apr 2020

Biol 250: Curly Hair Trait: Homozygous Or Heterozygous, Kaysi Bing

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

Research Aim: To connect the SNP rs17646946 AG genotype and curly hair

Hypothesis: People expressing a GG genotype at the SNP rs17646946 are most likely to have the curly hair trait


Biol 250: Sneezing & Cilantro, Corbin Winborn, Jamie Slaughter Apr 2020

Biol 250: Sneezing & Cilantro, Corbin Winborn, Jamie Slaughter

Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry

No abstract provided.