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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Population Modeling For The Reintroduction Of Mexican Gray Wolves As Predators To Decrease The Feral Hog Population In The Southern United States., John H. Kauphusman Iii Jul 2018

Population Modeling For The Reintroduction Of Mexican Gray Wolves As Predators To Decrease The Feral Hog Population In The Southern United States., John H. Kauphusman Iii

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Invasive species are a problem in the United States. As their populations continue to increase in size they disrupt ecological systems. One of the most notorious invasive species is the feral hog. In Texas, the hog populations cause ecological and agricultural damage that costs the state $52 million annually. The reason for the large continuously growing population is that the feral hogs, unlike its relatives in Europe, have no natural predators and hunters cannot suppress the population growth. In Europe, the gray wolf is a predator to the European wild boar. However, wolves in the U.S. have been extirpated ...


Protective Effect Of Beta-Sitosterol Against Ethanol Toxemia, Dakota Cooper, April Boucher-Zamzo Sep 2017

Protective Effect Of Beta-Sitosterol Against Ethanol Toxemia, Dakota Cooper, April Boucher-Zamzo

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Herbal medications have no indications of interactions with alcohol on their labels. There has been at least one clinical finding that saw palmetto with active ingredient beta-sitosterol used for enlarged male prostates caused pancreatic damage. This study with 20 male mice hypothesized that ethanol would increase the toxicity of beta-sitosterol. It was found that mice dosed by gavage with 0.1 ml of 95 proof ethanol died starting at the second dose and increased to 100% by the sixth dose (unexpected based on literature). 60-microgram injections of beta-sitosterol prevented deaths in 80% of the mice past the sixth dose opposite ...


Children's Picky Eating And The Role Of Family Environments, Maureen Lyons Sep 2015

Children's Picky Eating And The Role Of Family Environments, Maureen Lyons

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Picky eating is often seen as a temporary phase that children go through in the developmental process. While some children never exhibit picky eating behaviors, others seem to get stuck in the tendency of judging foods, which they have never tried, based upon a pretense that the food might not meet with their satisfaction. Learning more about children’s preferred food groups and types of foods, along with the family environmental factors experienced by these children may help to understand ways to support children who struggle with picky eating. Introducing children to new foods within a positive atmosphere, where they ...


Health Risks Caused By Wireless Technologies, Durreeshahwar Zafarahmed, Qurrat-Ul-Ain Zafarahmed Aug 2014

Health Risks Caused By Wireless Technologies, Durreeshahwar Zafarahmed, Qurrat-Ul-Ain Zafarahmed

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

There are many health issues related to the use of cellular phones, wireless local area networks, and other devices that emit electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Some of these systems have become a part of our daily lives and many of us are in direct or indirect contact for extended period of times with these devices. However, the general public is unaware of the health risks associated with the use of these devices. Our research covers studies done by individuals as well as organizations on the harmful effects on the health of people from these devices and their claims. We also present ...


Chromosome Counts For Packera Paupercula Variety Gypsophila, Chad Larson Aug 2014

Chromosome Counts For Packera Paupercula Variety Gypsophila, Chad Larson

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

New plant species develop when diploid plants (having two sets of chromosomes) spontaneously double their chromosomes and the resulting tetraploids (having four sets of chromosomes) are no longer able to back cross to diploid members of the population. The North American plant species Packera paupercula (balsam-leafed ragwort), is widespread and morphologically diverse. An isolated group of populations from the chalky soils of west-central Alabama was recently named Packera paupercula variety gypsophila (the chalk-loving balsam ragwort). The variety’s large diameter pollen grains suggest it may be tetraploid. This project attempts the first chromosome count for the variety by examining cells ...


Nisin Resistance Of Bacillus Cerus: Preparation Of Nisin, Peter Weber Aug 2014

Nisin Resistance Of Bacillus Cerus: Preparation Of Nisin, Peter Weber

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Nisin is a peptide that is made by the bacterium Lactococcus lactis. Nisin is a small molecule that kills gram positive bacteria by binding to their membrane and by disrupting the proton motive force. When food is processed it is heated to kill bacteria, but some bacteria still survive. Adding nisin to the food provides a second barrier for the growth of the bacteria. Purified nisin has become quite expensive in the current marketplace. Therefore this study is directed at producing nisin and purifying it. L. lactis was grown in five different media (BHI, BHI + 1% glucose, BHI + 1% sucrose ...


The Innate Immune Response In Eisenia Fetida To Microbial Challenges, Aaron Schindler Aug 2014

The Innate Immune Response In Eisenia Fetida To Microbial Challenges, Aaron Schindler

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

The common earthworm, Eisenia fetida, exhibits a rudimentary immune system. The earthworm needs cellular and chemical responses against a constant microbial exposure from its natural environment. Some cellular and chemical responses are found in the coelomic fluid and have been shown to demonstrate anti-microbial characteristics. This project uses microscopy and modified staining techniques to differentiate and categorize the cellular components found in the coelomic fluid. Following a microbial challenge by Klebsiella pneumoniae, an inflammatory response was initiated. Six groups of earthworms were injected with 0.05 ml of 1.0 x 106 cfu /ml K. pneumoniae on day one and ...


Comparison Of Sequence Alignment Algorithms, Tejas Gandhi Aug 2014

Comparison Of Sequence Alignment Algorithms, Tejas Gandhi

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

The fact that biological sequences can be represented as strings belonging to a finite alphabet (A, C, G, and T for DNA) plays an important role in connecting biology to computer science. String representation allows researchers to apply various string comparison techniques available in computer science. As a result, various applications have been developed that facilitate the task of sequence alignment. The problem of finding sequence alignments consists of finding the best match between two biological sequences. A best match can infer an evolutionary relationship and functional similarity. However, there is a lack of research on how reliable and efficient ...


Search For The Causative Organism Of Waterfowl Deaths At Lake Onalaska, Derek Skillings Aug 2014

Search For The Causative Organism Of Waterfowl Deaths At Lake Onalaska, Derek Skillings

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

American coots (Fulica americana) and diving ducks, including lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) and ring-necked ducks (Aythya collaris) have been dying in significant numbers on Lake Onalaska since 2001. Bird mortality is being attributed to parasitic infections from two intestinal trematodes, Cyathocotyle bushiensis and Sphaeridiotrema globulus. The birds begin dying in as little as two weeks of landing at this lake. Rapid mortality is not typically associated with trematode parasitism. Assuming these birds acquired their infections at Lake Onalaska, leads to the conclusion that our current understanding of the disease in this parasite-host system is lacking. Neorickettsiales are a group of ...


Identification Of Soybean Lipoxygenase Products By Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (Ge-Ms), Rehan Ahmad Malik Aug 2014

Identification Of Soybean Lipoxygenase Products By Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (Ge-Ms), Rehan Ahmad Malik

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Lipoxygenases (LOXs) are enzymes which catalyze peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids containing at least one cis, cis 1, 4-pentadiene moiety to form conjugated diene-hydroperoxides. Soybean seeds contain three LOX isoenzymes while at least five different isoenzymes are in the vegetative tissue. Lipoxygenases have been related to several functions i.e. plant growth, defense mechanisms against pathogens and pests, and lipid metabolism. Given the proposed roles of LOX isoenzymes and the presence of multiple LOX isoenzymes in soybean vegetative tissue, it is likely that individual isoenzymes play specific functions. Do the isoenzymes show differences in which products they form? The basic ...


Effect Of Conditioned Medium On The Recovery Of Dormant Mycobacteria In Culture, Kelly E. Rock Aug 2014

Effect Of Conditioned Medium On The Recovery Of Dormant Mycobacteria In Culture, Kelly E. Rock

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Mpt) is the etiologic agent of Johne’s disease, a chronic intestinal disease in cattle that threatens the economic viability of dairy farming. Diagnostic culture is typically unrewarding until several years after infection when clinical signs can be observed. This leads to widespread infection within the herd. Difficulty in culturing Mpt may be a result of oxidative damage due to the increased metabolic rate when dormant organisms are recovered in a nutrient rich medium. In order to improve recovery it is believed that some organisms secrete a growth factor in times of environmental stress which enables ...


Characterizations Of Proteins Interacting With The Alpha Subunit Of Actin Capping Protein, Angelique Ducharme, Charity Zabel Aug 2014

Characterizations Of Proteins Interacting With The Alpha Subunit Of Actin Capping Protein, Angelique Ducharme, Charity Zabel

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Actin, a filamentous component of all cells, contributes to cell shape, cell motility and force transmission. Actin assembly and dynamics are regulated by a diverse array of regulatory proteins, including actin capping protein (CP). CP is a heterodimeric protein composed of two subunits, alpha (a) and beta (ß). Three isoforms of each subunit exist in eukaryotes. The ß isoforms have been shown to have distinct functions in vivo. The functions of the specific a isoforms have yet to be determined. Overall, the amino acid sequence of the a isoforms are highly conserved, sharing approximately 90% sequence identity. The region of ...


Population Of Northern Leopard Frogs (Rana Pipiens) Migrating Between The Ney Frog Pond And The Minnesota River Valley For Spring Breeding, Rebecca Madison Pollack Aug 2014

Population Of Northern Leopard Frogs (Rana Pipiens) Migrating Between The Ney Frog Pond And The Minnesota River Valley For Spring Breeding, Rebecca Madison Pollack

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

The Northern Leopard Frogs (Rana pipiens) found at the Ney Nature Center (NNC) are particularly important to the NNC, as they are the initial population of frogs found deformed in 1995. As bio-indicators, frog populations can be used to assess the health of their surrounding environment. This study used standard herpetological field methods to gain a population estimate of Northern Leopard Frogs and the migration route used by these frogs as they moved up the bluffs of the Minnesota River Valley from their wintering site to the Ney Frog Pond for spring breeding. The results gathered provide the Ney Environmental ...


Identification Of Snps In The Coding Region Of Human Mtdna, Cassidy Punt, Elizabeth Smalley Aug 2014

Identification Of Snps In The Coding Region Of Human Mtdna, Cassidy Punt, Elizabeth Smalley

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Two novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were discovered within the coding region of the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 gene of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). mtDNA is of particular importance in forensic analysis as well as in the study of the origin and dispersal of humans. Two segments of the coding region of human mtDNA, as well as the hyper-variable region 2 (HV 2) were selected and sequenced in order to determine if any previously unknown SNPs were present in our test subjects. Target regions were designed to include known SNPs; appropriate primers were developed using the OLIGO 6 Primer Analysis Software ...


The Effect Of Maternal Aldosterone Levels On The Expression Of 11b-Hsd Isoenzymes In Normal And Hypertensive Rat Placentae, Nicole Jorissen Aug 2014

The Effect Of Maternal Aldosterone Levels On The Expression Of 11b-Hsd Isoenzymes In Normal And Hypertensive Rat Placentae, Nicole Jorissen

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

In this project, we developed a Western blotting procedure to semi-quantitate levels of 11β-HSD1 and 11β-HSD2 in whole cell extracts. Then, we applied this technique to analyze the effect of reduced maternal aldosterone levels on the expression of 11β-HSD1 and 11β-HSD2 isoenzymes in the placental tissue in both normal and hypertensive rats. These enzymes control levels of glucocorticoids which compete for aldosterone’s mineralocorticoid receptor. Overstimulation of this receptor results in hypertension. If aldosterone levels decrease, levels of the enzymes controlling active glucocorticoid concentrations might change to compensate for the lowered aldosterone levels. Decreased placental 11β-HSD2 expression could affect hypertension ...


Characterization Of Fall Leaves As A Source Of Cellulosic Ethanol, Justin Burum Aug 2014

Characterization Of Fall Leaves As A Source Of Cellulosic Ethanol, Justin Burum

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Ethanol is becoming increasingly popular as a fossil fuel additive or substitute. However, current production of ethanol from corn impacts food prices and appears to have an overall low net yield. New sources need to be identified and new processes developed for ethanol production. Cellulosic ethanol is one such new source. Plant material contains a large amount of cellulose and other polysaccharides which are potential feed stocks for ethanol production. The purpose of this experiment was to characterize the polysaccharide, lignin, and ash content of fall leaves to estimate their potential for ethanol production. A slight modification of the NREL ...


Expression Of 9/13 Hydroperoxide Lyase In Cucumber Leaves, Samee Ranginwala Aug 2014

Expression Of 9/13 Hydroperoxide Lyase In Cucumber Leaves, Samee Ranginwala

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Fatty Acid 9/13-Hydroperoxide Lyase (9/13-HPL) in the cucumber plant is an enzyme that cleaves either 9- or 13-hydroperoxides of polyunsaturated fatty acids to form volatile C9 or C6 aldehydes respectively. Since these aldehydes may play a role in the plant’s defenses against pathogens (K. Matsui, et. al. Phytochemistry 67 (2006) 649-657), the enzyme is stress induced during vulnerable times such as when the plant is injured. In order to better understand how this enzyme is induced, we have developed a Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction method to quantitate levels of 9/13-HPL mRNA. In initial experiments, the ...


Evaluation Of Pretreatment Methods In The Production Of Ethanol From Cattail Leaves, Kristen Krahmer, Elijah Wreh Aug 2014

Evaluation Of Pretreatment Methods In The Production Of Ethanol From Cattail Leaves, Kristen Krahmer, Elijah Wreh

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Previous research in this lab indicated that cattails are a potential source of biomass for the production of cellulosic ethanol since their carbohydrate composition is comparable to that of other plants being considered for biofuel production. To further test their viability, we tested various pretreatment methods on dried cattail leaves. Before polysaccharides in plants can be enzymatically hydrolyzed to fermentable sugars, the plant material must be pretreated to render the polysaccharides accessible to the enzymes. The purpose of this project has been to compare the efficiency of sulfuric acid and ammonia pretreatment methods in preparing cattail biomass for ethanol production ...


Biofilm Formation By Escherichia Coli Csga And Fima Mutants, Nicole Snyder, Sean Willaert Aug 2014

Biofilm Formation By Escherichia Coli Csga And Fima Mutants, Nicole Snyder, Sean Willaert

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Biofilms are a structured community of bacterial cells enclosed in a self-produced polymeric matrix and adherent to an inert or living surface. These structures and the organisms that cause them can pose a very serious problem if they colonize on medical devices. This is because biofilms have the ability to communicate within the colony and with other organisms that might attach to the surface, acting like a community working together. Biofilms allow the organism to be resistant to harsh and unfavorable conditions allowing them to survive longer and spread. Several genes in Escherichia coli (E. coli) have been associated with ...


Effect Of Increased Water Temperature On Warm Water Fish Feeding Behavior And Habitat Use, Eric Walberg Aug 2014

Effect Of Increased Water Temperature On Warm Water Fish Feeding Behavior And Habitat Use, Eric Walberg

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Global warming could cause changes in species behavior and life history. Stream fish may be significantly affected by climate change because individuals are restricted in their movements by water systems and other physical factors, preventing migration to locations more thermally suitable. The effect of warmer waters on stream fish could change behavior and affect the fish species survival and ultimately ecosystem function. During my experiment I observed the effects of increased water temperature on the feeding behavior and habitat use of two native Minnesota fish species, black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) and black bullhead (Ameiurus melas). An increase of 2oC over ...


Anti-Predator Responses Of Fathead Minnows To Alarm Substance Pheromone, Sarah Thomson Aug 2014

Anti-Predator Responses Of Fathead Minnows To Alarm Substance Pheromone, Sarah Thomson

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

In some fish, alarm substances are released from skin cells when they are bitten by a predator, signaling nearby fish in potential danger. Such anti-predator defenses have been studied in the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), and some have hypothesized that the response to the alarm substance is not instinctual, but rather fish must learn to associate it with a predation cue such as motion. The purpose of this study is to detect an effect of conditioning (associating alarm substance with predation threat) on minnow responses to alarm substance. We tested the prediction that conditioned fish would react more strongly to ...


Atrazine Influence On Northern Pike Sperm Motility And Viability In Minnesota, Andy Stevens, Paul Pallardy Aug 2014

Atrazine Influence On Northern Pike Sperm Motility And Viability In Minnesota, Andy Stevens, Paul Pallardy

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Concern has been noted by fish hatchery biologists with the Department of Natural Resources that southern Minnesota northern pike Esox lucius populations have exhibited reduced hatching rates, a trend not occurring with northern Minnesota pike populations. The chemical atrazine is a frequently used herbicide in Minnesota and has been found to cause gonadal dysgenesis and reproductive development issues in amphibians and fish. Sperm, length, and age data were collected from northern pike in four Minnesota lakes. Water samples were obtained from two of the lakes to test for atrazine. Test results indicated atrazine concentrations0.10 and r2 < 0.06 for all regressions). Sperm motility reductions in northern pike could be related to declining populations and warrants further research.


The Abundance And Diversity Of Intestinal Trematodes Collected From Blue Winged Teal And Ring-Neck Ducks Inhabiting Lake Winnibigoshish, Minnesota, Omolayo Ogunnowo Aug 2014

The Abundance And Diversity Of Intestinal Trematodes Collected From Blue Winged Teal And Ring-Neck Ducks Inhabiting Lake Winnibigoshish, Minnesota, Omolayo Ogunnowo

Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato

This study investigated the abundance and diversity of parasites residing in the digestive tracts of blue winged teal and ring-necked ducks collected at Lake Winnibigoshish, MN. The trematode parasites we focused on in this study were removed from the anterior-most, 15cm segment of the small intestine of 10 individuals of each bird species. The parasites were initially stored in 10% formalin and were subsequently stained with Schneider’s aceto carmine, then mounted on microscope slides for diagnostic purposes. A total of 1605 trematodes were recovered from the birds. We found that blue wing teal and ring-necked ducks tended to contain ...