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Examining The Role Of The Drosophila Melanogaster Unc13 Protein In Open Field Activity Using Rnai, Islam Orabi 2021 University of Mississippi

Examining The Role Of The Drosophila Melanogaster Unc13 Protein In Open Field Activity Using Rnai, Islam Orabi

Honors Theses

Unc13 are proteins in the presynaptic neurons essential in controlling synaptic vesicle fusion and synaptic transmission. Recently, the reduction of Drosophila melanogaster Unc13 proteins (Dunc13), were found to result in a resistance to alcohol, highly reminiscent of tolerance formation. I investigated whether genetically reducing Dunc13 activity in Drosophila brain regions leads to different forms of behavioral plasticity using an open field activity paradigm. In my approach, a Dunc13 RNAi transgene was expressed in the Drosophila brain within the mushroom body, the ellipsoid body, and in all neurons. The activities of the flies were examined in the open field paradigm to ...


Investigating Routes And Effects Of Pesticide Exposure On The Blue Orchard Bee (Osmia Lignaria), Andi M. Kopit 2021 Utah State University

Investigating Routes And Effects Of Pesticide Exposure On The Blue Orchard Bee (Osmia Lignaria), Andi M. Kopit

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

With native pollinator species on the decline and the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) industry suffering, it is imperative that we understand the impacts of agricultural practices on pollinators. The blue orchard bee, Osmia lignaria (Megachilidae), is an important alternative pollinator of commercial orchards. Osmia lignaria are solitary, cavity nesting bees with a wide distribution across North America. This species and other solitary, cavity nesting bees experience different routes of pesticide exposure than social pollinators, such as colony-dwelling bumble bees and honey bees. Chapter I focuses on routes of pesticide exposure experienced by cavity-nesting bees, incorporating the relative importance of ...


Marine Aquaculture In Maine: Understanding Diverse Perspectives And Interactions At Multiple Scales, Melissa L. Britsch 2021 University of Maine

Marine Aquaculture In Maine: Understanding Diverse Perspectives And Interactions At Multiple Scales, Melissa L. Britsch

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Coastal oceans are changing and experiencing increased use. The social and ecological benefits of healthy coastal oceans are well documented and include habitats for marine species, storm protection, and recreational opportunities (MEA, 2005). As the impacts of human activities are recognized, questions about how ocean spaces should be used are becoming more common. These questions are complex and involve many tradeoffs. Understanding the values people hold about uses, and how activities and ecosystems overlap, is critical for weighing tradeoffs and improving future management. I use the northeastern U.S. state of Maine to study human interactions with coastal oceans. Maine ...


Effectiveness Of Visual Representations In Undergraduate Human Anatomy And Physiology I & Ii, Mary Agnes Mestayer 2021 University of Mississippi

Effectiveness Of Visual Representations In Undergraduate Human Anatomy And Physiology I & Ii, Mary Agnes Mestayer

Honors Theses

The objective of this project was to explore intersections between student preferences and student performance on anatomical visual representations in Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II. Visual representations are a critical resource for the formation of relationships between function and structure furthermore; students interpret these representations uniquely based on specific factors (learning objective, prior knowledge, the diagram studied, etc.). Phase I of this project gathered undergraduate responses to ten Likert-style questions on their opinions on diagrams and their use in the A&P classroom. Phase II of this project presented participants with twelve manipulated diagrams sourced from three diagram ...


The Importance Of A Multidisciplinary Approach To Public Health: Addressing Food Insecurity Through A Biological And Sociological Lens, Chloe Grant 2021 University of Mississippi

The Importance Of A Multidisciplinary Approach To Public Health: Addressing Food Insecurity Through A Biological And Sociological Lens, Chloe Grant

Honors Theses

Plants can sense the change of 1 oC in their growth environment and thus global climate change has a great impact on plant growth and development. The phenomenon that warm non-stress temperatures promote stem and petiole elongation, as well as leaf hyponastic growth, is collectively known as thermomorphogenesis. While it is known that the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor PIF4 is highly inducible by temperature elevations and controls thermomorphogenesis in dicots (e.g., Arabidopsis thaliana), the molecular mechanism underlying thermomorphogenetic growth in monocots is not clear. In this study, I identify PIF4 orthologs in several economically important monocotyledonous species ...


Particle Tracking Reveals Pelagic Red Crabs As Indicators Of Climate-Driven Range Expansion In The California Current, Elizabeth Saraf 2021 University of Rhode Island

Particle Tracking Reveals Pelagic Red Crabs As Indicators Of Climate-Driven Range Expansion In The California Current, Elizabeth Saraf

Senior Honors Projects

Since their first recorded occurrence in 1859, Pelagic Red Crabs (PRC; Pleuroncodes planipes) have experienced increased frequency of episodic mass stranding events in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. PRC’s are transported over 1,000 km northward of their central domain from the coast of central Baja California, Mexico. They have been reported by the thousands on the beaches of central and southern California. Their presence influences the surrounding ecosystem and commercial fisheries because they are nutritional prey items and large predators change their diet to incorporate PRC’s when they are available. Seasonal coastal currents and the California Undercurrent transport ...


Effects Of Environmentally Relevant Concentrations Of 4-Methyl-1- Cyclohexanemethanol (Mchm) On General Esterase And Glutathione-S-Transferase Activity In Fathead Minnows (Pimephales Promela), Emily De Wind 2021 Southern Adventist University

Effects Of Environmentally Relevant Concentrations Of 4-Methyl-1- Cyclohexanemethanol (Mchm) On General Esterase And Glutathione-S-Transferase Activity In Fathead Minnows (Pimephales Promela), Emily De Wind

Research in Biology

Abstract

In 2014, several thousand gallons of coal-processing chemicals, which included 4-methyl-1- cyclohexanemethanol (MCHM), spilled into the Elk River in West Virginia. The location of this spill in West Virginia’s chemical valley is historically significant in defining the exploitations of people residing in this area. The concentration of crude MCHM in the river was approximated at 0.15 µg/L. Although some initial studies did consider the effects of MCHM exposure on humans, little attention has been given to aquatic wildlife. In this project, I will expose fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas, an environmentally relevant species, to concentrations of MCHM ...


Perivascular Adipose Tissue In Relation To Diet, Thermogenesis And Cardiovascular Health, Ginger Paquette, Caitlin Stieber, Ashely Soucy, Benjamin Tero, Lucy Liaw 2021 University of Southern Maine

Perivascular Adipose Tissue In Relation To Diet, Thermogenesis And Cardiovascular Health, Ginger Paquette, Caitlin Stieber, Ashely Soucy, Benjamin Tero, Lucy Liaw

Thinking Matters Symposium

Adipose tissue is a diverse and crucial component to vascular health due to its role in energy storage and heat production. The primary function of white adipose tissue (WAT) is energy storage while the function of mitochondria-rich brown adipose tissue (BAT) is heat production. Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT), which surrounds blood vessels, contains both WAT and BAT adipocytes. Dietary calorie restriction is associated with increased lifespan with decreased adiposity. Increased prevalence of WAT-like PVAT, due to high-fat diets and obesity, leads to increased metabolic disfunction and cardiovascular-disease. We used a calorie-restriction model in C57BL6/J mice to test the hypothesis ...


How Genetics Plays A Role In Avian Migration, Tyler Bauersfeld 2021 Southern Maine Community College

How Genetics Plays A Role In Avian Migration, Tyler Bauersfeld

Thinking Matters Symposium

Avian migration is an adaptive response to seasonal environments, which means that birds move from one region to another on migratory routes due to environmental factors. Migratory behavior is ubiquitous within and among many bird species, and this poster will review two studies of how migratory behavior is affected on a genetic level as well as how avian migration has independently evolved in many different lineages. A study of the Eurasian blackcap from southern France demonstrates how environmental factors and parent lineages affect the genetic behavior of migration. This study also demonstrated how sedentary populations of birds have been shown ...


Design, Simulation And Testing Of Biomimetic Directional Acoustic Sensors, Brendan Francis 2021 University of Southern Maine

Design, Simulation And Testing Of Biomimetic Directional Acoustic Sensors, Brendan Francis

Thinking Matters Symposium

The Ormia ochracea, a species of parasitic fly, has become the focal point in sound localization research because of its finely tuned hearing abilities. The female of this species uses its super highly directional hearing to pinpoint the call of a host cricket, with hypersensitivity of frequency and phase difference, to reach and dispose of its eggs on the host. The goal of this study was to further the research of a previous Project in Professor Guvench’s group which implemented MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical System) technology on a chip to replicate these abilities. In this iteration, however, some commercially available ...


Black-Capped Chickadee (Parus Atricapillus) Food Preference, Isabelle Gilbert 2021 University of Southern Maine

Black-Capped Chickadee (Parus Atricapillus) Food Preference, Isabelle Gilbert

Thinking Matters Symposium

All animals must make decisions on where to find, select, capture, and eat food. These factors contribute to a species’ food preference, such as making decisions on what food to eat based on calories. Optimal foraging theory predicts how an animal behaves when searching for food, including optimization of food type, patch choice, time spent in patches, and movement. All animals also make decisions based on predation risk by avoiding predators and making trade-offs on time spent searching for, pursuing, and handling food. The objective of my study is to examine food preference of black-capped chickadees (Parus atricapillus). Birds may ...


The Evolution Of Mimicry; The Doublesex Gene, Aisha Hill 2021 Southern Maine Community College

The Evolution Of Mimicry; The Doublesex Gene, Aisha Hill

Thinking Matters Symposium

Many butterfly species use mimicry in order to increase their chance of survival. In Batesian mimicry, non toxic butterflies mimic the wing patterns, colors, and shapes of another species that is toxic to predators. Swallowtail butterflies (Papilio polytes) are well-known Batesian mimics, and also display sexual dimorphism with distinct differences between the sexes. Sex limited mimicry is common. The female butterfly may mimic an inedible red-bodied swallowtail, such as the common rose (Pachliopta aristolochiae), or she may be non-mimetic. The male butterfly is non-mimetic. This is a review of recent research into the origin and evolution of gene(s) responsible ...


Changes In Gene Sequence That Cause Discordances Involving Disease In Monozygotic Twins, Kacie Jacques 2021 Southern Maine Community College

Changes In Gene Sequence That Cause Discordances Involving Disease In Monozygotic Twins, Kacie Jacques

Thinking Matters Symposium

Identical twins or, monozygotic twins, occur when the egg in a mother is fertilized, but one zygote divides into two separate embryos. Monozygotic twins are considered to be genetically identical, but most twins often display discordances, some involving diseases or disorders. Some of these differences are due to environmental factors. For example, one twin may have diabetes due to diet. Recent literature has shown that some differences in monozygotic twins may be due to changes in gene sequence, as opposed to random, environmental or epigenetic factors. Identical twins from pedigrees with familial disease often show discordances. When looking at schizophrenia ...


Effect Of Temperature On Questing Activity Of Ixodes Scapularis In A Laboratory Setting, Molly Meagher 2021 University of Southern Maine

Effect Of Temperature On Questing Activity Of Ixodes Scapularis In A Laboratory Setting, Molly Meagher

Thinking Matters Symposium

Understanding deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) behavior is increasingly important due to the species’ northerly range expansion, and consequently, increased human contact. Deer ticks are a major public health concern, as they are the primary vector of Lyme disease and other serious diseases. Differences in questing behavior are of considerable interest as fluctuating weather due to climate change effect the species’ range expansion and time spent questing. Although previous research has examined temperature preferences of tick behavior, there are conflicting reports about direct effects on questing activity. Therefore, I addressed the relationship between temperature and questing behavior of adult deer ticks ...


Effects On The Human Microbiome: Antibiotics And Other Chemicals, Katherine Moulton 2021 University of Southern Maine

Effects On The Human Microbiome: Antibiotics And Other Chemicals, Katherine Moulton

Thinking Matters Symposium

With skin being the largest organ of the human body, there is a very large surface area for a microbiome to form and live. The human microbiome is composed of different types of bacteria, fungi, and archaea, in different locations of the body. This layer can be greatly affected by daily practices including, hygiene habits, exercise, and antibiotic uses. The major objective of this study is to identify species of the human microbiome from various body sites and test their resistance to major chemicals. To achieve this objective, the mouth, ear, axillary area, hand, belly button, and foot of several ...


Genetically Modified Organisms Are Important But Also Controversial, Masen Pelletier 2021 Southern Maine Community College

Genetically Modified Organisms Are Important But Also Controversial, Masen Pelletier

Thinking Matters Symposium

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are organisms containing a set or multiple sets of genes that have been introduced into the organism using laboratory techniques. In the instance of agriculture, the genes introduced provide advantages for the farmer and consumer by yielding plants that produce greater yields, longer growing seasons, longer shelf lives, greater concentrations of vitamins or add additional vitamins that are novel to the plant. There are two general ways that GM (genetically modified) crops are produced: the addition or removal of genes. This review focuses on an example of each strategy. An example of the latter is GM ...


Effects Of Ibuprofen On Duration Of Fear Responses In Red Claw Crabs, Ryan Shaffer 2021 University of Southern Maine

Effects Of Ibuprofen On Duration Of Fear Responses In Red Claw Crabs, Ryan Shaffer

Thinking Matters Symposium

Pharmaceutical pollution is a growing environmental issue. Chemicals engineered to affect humans persist in the water system and may have unintended effects on animal behavior. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug shown to reduce predator avoidance in fish. I chose to examine the effects of ibuprofen on the foraging behavior of red clawed crab (Perisesarma bidens) by measuring time spent in the open. Crabs typically spend most of their time hiding and only expose themselves to danger in order to forage for food. I predicted that crabs treated with the high dose of ibuprofen will spend less time hiding compared to ...


Finite Element Analysis Of Impact Resistant Composites Inspired By Peacock Mantis Shrimp, Nandati Shrestha 2021 University of Southern Maine

Finite Element Analysis Of Impact Resistant Composites Inspired By Peacock Mantis Shrimp, Nandati Shrestha

Thinking Matters Symposium

The fist-like club of the peacock mantis shrimp, a 5-inch marine crustacean, can strike its prey with speed faster than a .22-caliber bullet with an impact force more than 1,000 times its own weight. Although these creatures punch so fast that it even boils the water, they don’t take any damage. This incredible insusceptibility is due to the arrangement of mineralized fiber layers in which each fibrous layer is laid at a slightly rotated angle to form a helicoidal structure that acts as a shock absorber for the club. The goal is to perform a finite element analysis ...


Bioremediation: Breaking Down The Regulations Of Genetically Modified Microorganisms, Lora Katharine Naismith 2021 Texas A&M University School of Law

Bioremediation: Breaking Down The Regulations Of Genetically Modified Microorganisms, Lora Katharine Naismith

Texas A&M Law Review

Environmental bioremediation is the use of biological activity to reduce the concentration or toxicity of a pollutant. A rapidly increasing population leads to a consequential increase in industrial waste and pollution, and innovators are researching numerous techniques to degrade these pollutants and prevent their spread into the environment. These techniques are expensive and often result in secondary pollutants, which limits their widespread application. Bioremediation, however, presents a cost-friendly and more efficient way to degrade pollutants with little or no secondary pollutants. This Article explores how scientists can use genetically modified microorganisms (“GMMs”) to target specific hazardous wastes that are otherwise ...


Mems Directional Acoustic Sensors, Colby Damren 2021 University of Southern Maine

Mems Directional Acoustic Sensors, Colby Damren

Thinking Matters Symposium

The purpose of my project is to test and verify two Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System (MEMS) microphones. The two MEMS devices are biomimetic microphones that imitate the eardrums of the Ormia Ochracea, a parasitic fly that listens for host crickets to lay their eggs. The MEMS microphones mimic the eardrum spacing of the Ormia Ochracea with a spacing of 1000um. This is roughly twice the opening of the Ormia Ochracea. The microphones will be tested for directionality inside a wooden box. This box will be lined with beveled foam to prevent any echo or outside noise from interfering with the results. These results ...


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