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Genotype Network Intersections Promote Evolutionary Innovation, Devin P. Bendixsen, James Collet, Bjørn Østman, Eric J. Hayden 2019 Boise State University

Genotype Network Intersections Promote Evolutionary Innovation, Devin P. Bendixsen, James Collet, Bjørn Østman, Eric J. Hayden

Eric J. Hayden

Evolutionary innovations are qualitatively novel traits that emerge through evolution and increase biodiversity. The genetic mechanisms of innovation remain poorly understood. A systems view of innovation requires the analysis of genotype networks—the vast networks of genetic variants that produce the same phenotype. Innovations can occur at the intersection of two different genotype networks. However, the experimental characterization of genotype networks has been hindered by the vast number of genetic variants that need to be functionally analyzed. Here, we use high-throughput sequencing to study the fitness landscape at the intersection of the genotype networks of two catalytic RNA molecules (ribozymes ...


The Genesis Of Malaria: The Origin Of Mosquitoes And Their Protistan Cargo, Plasmodium Falciparum, Alan L. Gillen, Frank Sherwin 2019 Liberty University

The Genesis Of Malaria: The Origin Of Mosquitoes And Their Protistan Cargo, Plasmodium Falciparum, Alan L. Gillen, Frank Sherwin

Alan L. Gillen

Malaria is caused by the parasite belonging to the genus Plasmodium; however, creation biologists maintain this organism was not always parasitic. Plasmodium is probably a degenerate form of algae. Mosquitoes, the vector of Plasmodium, were probably designed to be pollinators, not parasite vectors. In this article, we present both the evolutionary and creation explanation for the origin of malaria with a mention to its vector, the mosquito.

The purpose of this article is to provide a reasonable explanation for the genesis of malaria. Microbiology and parasitology research based on the creation paradigm appears to provide some answers to these puzzling ...


Serratia Marcescens: The Miracle Bacillus, Alan L. Gillen, Rebekah Gibbs 2019 Liberty University

Serratia Marcescens: The Miracle Bacillus, Alan L. Gillen, Rebekah Gibbs

Alan L. Gillen

The objectives of this article are to explain the mysterious appearance of crimson-colored bacteria on food and communion bread/wafers, over the centuries, as well as to describe the biological basis


The Genesis Of Pathogenic E. Coli, Alan L. Gillen, Douglas Oliver 2019 Liberty University

The Genesis Of Pathogenic E. Coli, Alan L. Gillen, Douglas Oliver

Alan L. Gillen

Even though some strains are pathogenic, most E. coli strains still show evidence of being one of God’s “very good” creations.

Fig. 1. E. coli Gram stain (Wiki commons image). E. coli are Gram-negative bacteria, thus red or pink colored. The red color is due to a counterstain, called safranin.

Escherichia coli is frequently in the news (Fig. 1). E. coli often gets “bad press” for contaminating drinking water or causing a food-borne infection (via hamburgers, apple juice, spinach, or other foods). Recently a new strain (E. coli O145) has been implicated in contaminating lettuce in the U.S ...


Robert Koch, Creation, And The Specificity Of Germs, Alan L. Gillen, Douglas Oliver, Frank Sherwin 2019 Liberty University

Robert Koch, Creation, And The Specificity Of Germs, Alan L. Gillen, Douglas Oliver, Frank Sherwin

Alan L. Gillen

Microbiology is dominated by evolution today. Just look at any text, journal article, or the topics presented at professional scientific meetings. Darwin is dominant.

Microbiology is dominated by evolution today. Just look at any text, journal article, or the topics presented at professional scientific meetings. Darwin is dominant. Many argue that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (Dobzhansky 1973). But it was not always this way. In fact, a review of the major founders of microbiology has shown that they were creationists.1 We would argue that a better idea thanevolution and one of much ...


Antony Van Leeuwenhoek: Creation “Magnified” Through His Magnificent Microscopes, Alan L. Gillen, Douglas Oliver 2019 Liberty University

Antony Van Leeuwenhoek: Creation “Magnified” Through His Magnificent Microscopes, Alan L. Gillen, Douglas Oliver

Alan L. Gillen

Although van Leeuwenhoek was not the inventor of the microscope, he advanced it more than anyone else for seeing living things.

Antony van Leeuwenhoek1 (Fig. 1) found great joy in God’s smallest creatures. He first discovered protozoans in his youth. The Dutch haberdasher retained a child-like joy of discovery from his youth until his death at age 90. He lived to see tiny microbes though his homemade microscopes. He loved to grind and focus a new lens in order to see the unseen world. Leeuwenhoek spent countless hours grinding tiny lenses and looking through them. This Christian lay ...


Biblical Leprosy: Shedding Light On The Disease That Shuns, Alan L. Gillen 2019 Liberty University

Biblical Leprosy: Shedding Light On The Disease That Shuns, Alan L. Gillen

Alan L. Gillen

Leprosy has terrified humanity since ancient times and was reported as early as 600 BC in India, China, and Egypt. Hansen’s disease is still a major health problem.

Disease is a constant reminder of just how much things have changed since God pronounced a curse on the earth. At first, everything was “very good,” but Adam’s sin brought death and decay into the world.


Microbes And The Days Of Creation, Alan L. Gillen 2019 Liberty University

Microbes And The Days Of Creation, Alan L. Gillen

Alan L. Gillen

The world of germs and microbes has received much attention in recent years. But where do microbes fit into the creation account? Were they created along with the rest of the plants and animals in the first week of creation, or were they created later, after the Fall? These are some questions that creation microbiologists have been asking in recent years. Ongoing research, based on the creation paradigm, appears to provide some answers to these puzzling questions. The answers to these questions are not explicit in Scripture, so the answers cannot be dogmatic. However, a reasonable extrapolation from biological data ...


Louis Pasteur’S Views On Creation, Evolution, And The Genesis Of Germs, Alan L. Gillen, Frank Sherwin 2019 Liberty University

Louis Pasteur’S Views On Creation, Evolution, And The Genesis Of Germs, Alan L. Gillen, Frank Sherwin

Alan L. Gillen

“There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.” Ecclesiastes 1:11 (NIV)

In past years revisionist historians have been rewriting the worldview of Christians who have made some of the major discoveries in biology and medicine. It appears that postmodern revisionists are rewriting history to support their agenda of a more “secular” explanation to science. The Judeo-Christian worldview is not politically correct in most universities. This is true in regard to past scientists such as Louis Pasteur who believed in creation. According to reliable ...


Darwin At The Drugstore? Testing The Biological Fitness Of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, Alan L. Gillen, Sarah Anderson 2019 Liberty University

Darwin At The Drugstore? Testing The Biological Fitness Of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, Alan L. Gillen, Sarah Anderson

Alan L. Gillen

The issue of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is growing. For example, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a leading human pathogen. New strains of MRSA are resistant to methicillin and numerous other antibiotics, placing the patient in significant danger. Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control revealed in 2007 that the number of deaths due to MRSA exceeded that of AIDS in the United States. It is no wonder that antibiotic resistance is one of the most significant and important health care issues. The ability of bacterial pathogens to evade traditional antibiotics is faster than the drug makers’ ability to make new ...


Use Of Two-Replisome Plasmids To Characterize How Chromosome Replication Completes, Nicklas Alexander Hamilton 2019 Portland State University

Use Of Two-Replisome Plasmids To Characterize How Chromosome Replication Completes, Nicklas Alexander Hamilton

Dissertations and Theses

All living organisms need to accurately replicate their genome to survive. Genomic replication occurs in three phases; initiation, elongation, and completion. While initiation and elongation have been extensively characterized, less is known about how replication completes. In Escherichia coli completion occurs at sites where two replication forks converge and is proposed to involve the transiently bypass of the forks, before the overlapping sequences are resected and joined. The reaction requires RecBCD, and involves several other gene products including RecG, ExoI, and SbcDC but can occur independent of recombination or RecA. While several proteins are known to be involved, how they ...


Using Instream Stationary Antennas To Monitor The Movements Of Warm Water Fishes In A Reach Of Stream Bisected By A Culvert, William Commins 2019 Kennesaw State University

Using Instream Stationary Antennas To Monitor The Movements Of Warm Water Fishes In A Reach Of Stream Bisected By A Culvert, William Commins

Master of Science in Integrative Biology Theses

In this study I investigated the differences in the non-migratory movement patterns of six fish species in a 280m reach of stream bisected by a culvert (impeded), and a 300m reach of stream with no movement barriers (unimpeded). This study took place between July 1, 2018 and November 14, 2018 in Raccoon Creek, Paulding County, Georgia. I used 12mm passive integrated transponder tags and four instream stationary antennas to monitor the movements 429 fishes. The antennas redetected 262 of the 429 individuals (61.1%), and 48% of fishes were redetected more than 10 times. The proportion of tagged individuals detected ...


Quantification Of Extended-Spectrum-Beta-Lactamase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae From Water Sources In Hall County, Georgia, Usa, Monica Leavell, Jeanelle Morgan, Margi Flood, Swapna Bhat 2019 University of North Georgia

Quantification Of Extended-Spectrum-Beta-Lactamase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae From Water Sources In Hall County, Georgia, Usa, Monica Leavell, Jeanelle Morgan, Margi Flood, Swapna Bhat

Papers & Publications: Interdisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Research

Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) are a family of enzymes that confer resistance to a number of antibiotics, including those containing a beta lactam ring. ESBLs exhibit antibiotic resistance by destroying the antibiotic’s structure and may be encoded by bacterial plasmids that can easily be transferred between bacteria from the family Enterobacteriaceae. Organisms that produce ESBLs pose both threats and challenges in the administration of appropriate therapeutic agents to treat infections. Water environments such as streams can help the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which can originate from a variety of sources, including food processing, waste water treatment plants, and urban runoff ...


Play Behavior Varies By Age Class In Wild African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana), Emily P. Palmer 2019 Randolph-Macon College

Play Behavior Varies By Age Class In Wild African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana), Emily P. Palmer

Papers & Publications: Interdisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Research

Many environmental factors effect the behaviors of African elephants, Loxodonta africana, such as, health, drought, and dominance. The purpose of this research was to observe play behaviors within the different age classes (calf, juvenile, and adult) of wild elephants during recent drought conditions in Amboseli National Park, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, and Samburu National Reserve in Kenya. Scan sampling every 15 minutes was used to record play behavior. The results from this study indicated that there are differences in the types of play behavior among the age classes. Adults displayed the most play frequencies for environmental, alone locomotion, and tactile play ...


The Effect Of Cisplatin On Human Diploid Fibroblast Cells Expressing Sv40 T-Antigen, Emma Shangraw 2019 Elizabethtown College

The Effect Of Cisplatin On Human Diploid Fibroblast Cells Expressing Sv40 T-Antigen, Emma Shangraw

Landmark Conference Summer Research Symposium

Cancer is most commonly thought of as the result of accumulation of cellular DNA mutations that inhibit tumor suppressor proteins or activate oncogenes. However a large body of evidence also shows that the wild type gene transcripts are alternatively spliced to create oncogenic protein isoforms or induce nonsense mediated decay of the RNA. To combat the cancerous cell growth, chemotherapy targets cellular activities such as DNA replication, spindle formation, receptor signalling, and metabolism. Knowing the protein profile of the tumor is relevant to finding an effective chemotherapeutic. For instance, cisplatin is used to treat a variety of cancers but has ...


Examining Preservation Methods For Long-Term Fecal Matter Storage, Caroline Veronica Ruiz, Celeste Workman 2019 Elizabethtown College

Examining Preservation Methods For Long-Term Fecal Matter Storage, Caroline Veronica Ruiz, Celeste Workman

Landmark Conference Summer Research Symposium

Fecal Matter Transplants (FMT) are often used as a last resort treatment for patients who have a C. diff infection. Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a common hospital-acquired pathogen which replaces healthy bacteria in the GI tract and disrupts their normal function. Due to antibiotic overuse, C. diff often resurfaces after antibiotic treatment. In order to more effectively treat C. diff and other bacterial diseases or infections, other methods of treatment should be utilized. FMT’s use stool samples from healthy individuals to reestablish the microbiota in the gut after an infection occurs. Because of U.S. Food and Drug ...


The Correlation Of A Novel Bin1 Isoform And The Expression Of Sv40 T Antigen In Human Diploid Fibroblasts, Carli Monostra 2019 Elizabethtown College

The Correlation Of A Novel Bin1 Isoform And The Expression Of Sv40 T Antigen In Human Diploid Fibroblasts, Carli Monostra

Landmark Conference Summer Research Symposium

The BIN1 gene product, Amphiphysin 2, has been shown to act as a tumor suppressor (Prokic, et al., 2014) working to stop uncontrolled cell growth. It accomplishes this by several mechanisms most notably the MYC-dependent pathway (Prokic, et al., 2014). BIN1 contains several protein domains: BIN-amphiphysin/Rvs (N-BAR), phosphoinositide (PI), clathrin and AP2 (CLAP), Mycbinding domain (MBD), and Src homology 3(SH3). In non-malignant cells normal levels of BIN1 can activate Programed Cell Death, and it can inhibit excessive growth by binding to N-Myc and blocking its ability to activate the cell cycle genes. (Prokic, 2014). However in many cancers ...


Determining The Role Of Sam68 In T-Antigen Cellular Expression, Sean Miller 2019 Elizabethtown College

Determining The Role Of Sam68 In T-Antigen Cellular Expression, Sean Miller

Landmark Conference Summer Research Symposium

Alternative splicing is the cellular process where gene transcripts (hnRNA) are pieced together in different ways in order to yield unique proteins, each with its own function. Through this process, the approximate 20,000 genes of the human genome can produce the millions of proteins needed for cell survival (Moraes and Goes, 2016). Sam68 is one such protein that directs the process of alternative splicing. Sam68 splices many hnRNA to form the template to create proteins involved in endocytosis, cell morphology, cell cycle regulation and apoptosis (Sanchez-Jimenez and Sanchez-Margalet, 2013). Sam68 has been shown to be upregulated in prostate, breast ...


Development Of An Immunoassay To Detect Leptin, A Hormone Associated To Fat Metabolism, In American Black Bears, Alexander Russo 2019 Elizabethtown College

Development Of An Immunoassay To Detect Leptin, A Hormone Associated To Fat Metabolism, In American Black Bears, Alexander Russo

Landmark Conference Summer Research Symposium

Determining body condition in the American black bear (Ursus americanus) is challenging due to their physiological strategies such as hibernation. Interestingly, the hormone leptin, which is highly associated to fat metabolism, is indicative of body condition and adiposity (body fat stores) in black bears. An immunoassay technique measuring leptin in serum samples was previously employed in black bears. Individuals with higher body fat content exhibit greater concentrations of serum leptin. However, the commercial form of this technique, referenced by previous work, is no longer available for bears (i.e. the manufacturer no longer produces it), and other commercially available leptin ...


Assessing Chemical Communication In The Invasive Crayfish Orconectes Rusticus, Elizabeth Luscavage 2019 Elizabethtown College

Assessing Chemical Communication In The Invasive Crayfish Orconectes Rusticus, Elizabeth Luscavage

Landmark Conference Summer Research Symposium

Orconectes rusticus is an invasive crayfish species that has disrupted ecosystems in the Northern Eastern United States. Eradication methods have been ineffective. Because crayfish communicate chemically by secreting pheromones, understanding what information these pheromones carry can help develop baited traps that will improve trapping efficiency. The aim of this study was to determine how Orconectes rusticus respond to chemical signals produced by conspecifics of the same and opposite sex. Previous studies in our lab have shown that female O. rusticus are attracted to pheromones produced by males, but don’t exhibit avoidance or attraction to signals produced by females. Males ...


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