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Whole Genome Sequence Data Implicate Rbfox1 In Epilepsy Risk In Baboons, Mark Z. Kos, Melanie A. Carless, Lucy Blondell, Mary M. Leland, Koyle D. Knape, Harald H. H. Goring, Charles A. Szabo 2023 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Whole Genome Sequence Data Implicate Rbfox1 In Epilepsy Risk In Baboons, Mark Z. Kos, Melanie A. Carless, Lucy Blondell, Mary M. Leland, Koyle D. Knape, Harald H. H. Goring, Charles A. Szabo

Research Symposium

Background: Baboons exhibit a genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE) that resembles juvenile myoclonic epilepsy and may represent a suitable genetic model for human epilepsy. The genetic underpinnings of epilepsy were investigated in a baboon colony at the Southwest National Primate Research Center (San Antonio, TX) through the analysis of whole-genome sequence (WGS) data.

Methods: Baboon WGS data were obtained for 38 cases and 19 healthy controls from the NCBI Sequence Read Archive and, after standard QC filtering, two subsets of variants were examined: (1) 20,881 SNPs from baboon homologs of 19 candidate GGE genes; and (2) 36,169 protein-altering SNPs. Association tests …


Characterization Of Epithelial Growth Factor Transcripts Identified In Crotalus Atrox Venom, Ivan Lopez, Ying Jia 2023 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Characterization Of Epithelial Growth Factor Transcripts Identified In Crotalus Atrox Venom, Ivan Lopez, Ying Jia

Research Symposium

Epithelial Growth Factor (EGF) is the primary source in regeneration and stimulation of essential fibroblasts cells commonly found in epithelium. Studies have shown that snake venom components are becoming a growing factor in treating illnesses such as cancer, muscular dystrophy, chronic pain, blood pressure, blood clotting, etc. EGF in human cells contains a promising quaternary structure that can bind to snake venom metalloproteinases, proposing a means of activating biochemical responses through protein-protein interactions to regulate unwanted cellular functions. This supports promising research in achieving a greater understanding of regulation along cellular pathways through ligands, increasing the likelihood of targeting unwanted …


Influences Of Post-Fledging Protein Supplementation On Growth And Reactive Stress Response In Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia Castanotis), Gabrielle Morris, Mary Lindley Tharp 2023 University of Mississippi

Influences Of Post-Fledging Protein Supplementation On Growth And Reactive Stress Response In Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia Castanotis), Gabrielle Morris, Mary Lindley Tharp

Honors Theses

Protein needs of non-poultry birds, like Zebra Finches (ZF) are understudied. ZFs consume proteinaceous half-ripe seeds during breeding and chicken eggs are recommended supplements for captive ZFs; but developmental needs are unclear. Eggs contain essential amino acids that impact the “stress” hormone, corticosterone (CORT). Diet and corticosterone influence avian growth and stress management. Juvenile egg-fed ZFs outgrow seed-fed birds. Juvenile egg-supplementation boosts adult male attractiveness due to cheek patch augmentation compared to seed-only birds. Across studies, timing of diet (nestling Vs. fledgling) varies, both sexes have not been included, and simultaneous measures of growth and corticosterone are lacking. We are …


Sexual Dimorphism Of Glomerular Capillary Morphology In Rats, Zackarias Coker 2023 East Tennessee State University

Sexual Dimorphism Of Glomerular Capillary Morphology In Rats, Zackarias Coker

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) progresses faster in males than females; however, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Sex differences in glomerular capillary morphology has been hypothesized to contribute, in part, to the increased susceptibility to hypertension-induced renal injury and CKD progression in males, but this has not been investigated. The goal of the present study was to assess glomerular capillary morphology in male vs. female rats with intact kidneys and after uninephrectomy (UNX). We hypothesized that glomerular capillary radii (RCAP) and length (LCAP) would be greater in male rats.

Male (n=4) and female (n=4) with intact …


Effects Of Sow Vocalization And Scent On Complete Blood Cell Count During Early Weaning Period, Mason Paladino 2023 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Effects Of Sow Vocalization And Scent On Complete Blood Cell Count During Early Weaning Period, Mason Paladino

Biological Sciences Undergraduate Honors Theses

Piglets are deprived of their sows’ touch, sound, and smell after weaning which results in biological stress. The present study investigated continuing exposure of sow vocalization and scent during the early weaning period on complete blood cell count. A total of 12 litters, 8 piglets (4 male and 4 female) per litter were selected at weaning and assigned to 1 of 4 experimental treatments: control, O (olfactory group with scent and no vocal stimulation), V (non-olfactory with vocal stimulation), VO (vocal stimulation and olfactory stimulation) as a 2x2 factorial arrangement. Vocal stimulation was emulated by an audio recording of the …


Effect Of Temperature On The Microbiome Of A Laboratory-Reared Colony Of Haemaphysalis Longicornis Ticks, Brianna L. Mitchell 2023 University of South Alabama

Effect Of Temperature On The Microbiome Of A Laboratory-Reared Colony Of Haemaphysalis Longicornis Ticks, Brianna L. Mitchell

Undergraduate Theses

Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks are invasive to the United States with potential to transmit several tick-borne pathogens that are native to the United States. Based on existing locations of H. longicornis in its native regions in Asia, as well as its invasive populations that are established in the United States, several geographic range prediction models have been produced to help understand future range expansion and distribution of this invasive tick in North America. Unfortunately, these models do not all agree and there is uncertainty associated with the potential geographic range expansion of H. longicornis ticks in North America. Climate can affect …


Leptospira Seroprevalence In Companion Animals In Tennessee, Kellie Anne McCreight 2023 University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Leptospira Seroprevalence In Companion Animals In Tennessee, Kellie Anne Mccreight

Masters Theses

Leptospirosis is a re-emerging zoonotic disease in humans and animals. The bacteria Leptospira spp. causing this disease is maintained in the kidneys of animals such as rodents and cattle as well as in the environment. Animals harboring Leptospira spp. in the kidneys frequently shed the bacteria in their urine, contaminating the environment. Contact with contaminated soil and water may result in infection. Animals and humans may develop serious life threatening disease from Leptospira infection. Approximately 1 million new human cases and over 50,000 deaths are reported worldwide. Numerous animal species including rodents, cattle, and dogs may serve as reservoir …


Investigating Differences In Iga Antibody Response Against Aspergillus Fumigatus In Wild Type And Tlr7 Protein Deficient Mice, Courtney Folk 2023 Minnesota State University Moorhead

Investigating Differences In Iga Antibody Response Against Aspergillus Fumigatus In Wild Type And Tlr7 Protein Deficient Mice, Courtney Folk

Student Academic Conference

Aspergillus fumigatus is a commonly inhaled, respiratory fungal pathogen and an allergen found in flooded indoor environments, household dust, soil, and plant matter. While a competent immune system effectively clears the inhaled fungus, this same fungus poses a significant threat to weakened immune systems due to its potential to invade the lungs, bloodstream and brain tissue. The mouse genome is 99% similar to the human genome and can serve effectively model the effects of inhaled A. fumigatus (Guénet, 2005). Antibodies play a crucial role in neutralizing pathogens and in mediating an allergic response. In this study, we will investigate the …


Benthic Beasts: The Ecological Significance Of Lake Sturgeon And Blue Catfish In Eastern Appalachian Waterways, Stewart Thacker 2023 Lincoln Memorial University

Benthic Beasts: The Ecological Significance Of Lake Sturgeon And Blue Catfish In Eastern Appalachian Waterways, Stewart Thacker

Research Day

East Tennessee freshwater ecosystems comprise an abundance of an extremely diverse selection of species. This presentation examines Acipenser fulvescens and Ictalurus furcatus, two of the largest freshwater fish in the Appalachian area, which play significant ecological roles within the benthic dimension of our freshwater environments. Commonly known as “bottom-feeders,” Benthivorous species enjoy a broad range of food sources including other fish, detritus, crustaceans, and more. The extensive variety of food consumed by A. fulvescens and I. furcatus permits population control of other, denser, aquatic populations inhabiting other regions of the water column, as well as other organisms included …


Decoupling Body Shape And Mass Distribution In Birds And Their Dinosaurian Ancestors, Sophie Macaulay, Tatjana Hoehfurtner, Samuel R.R. Cross, Ryan D. Marek, John R. Hutchinson, Emma R. Schachner, Alice E. Maher, Karl T. Bates 2023 University of Liverpool

Decoupling Body Shape And Mass Distribution In Birds And Their Dinosaurian Ancestors, Sophie Macaulay, Tatjana Hoehfurtner, Samuel R.R. Cross, Ryan D. Marek, John R. Hutchinson, Emma R. Schachner, Alice E. Maher, Karl T. Bates

School of Medicine Faculty Publications

It is accepted that non-avian theropod dinosaurs, with their long muscular tails and small forelimbs, had a centre-of-mass close to the hip, while extant birds, with their reduced tails and enlarged wings have their mass centred more cranially. Transition between these states is considered crucial to two key innovations in the avian locomotor system: crouched bipedalism and powered flight. Here we use image-based models to challenge this dichotomy. Rather than a phylogenetic distinction between ‘dinosaurian’ and ‘avian’ conditions, we find terrestrial versus volant taxa occupy distinct regions of centre-of-mass morphospace consistent with the disparate demands of terrestrial bipedalism and flight. …


Longitudinal Ultrasound Imaging And Network Modeling In Rats Reveal Sex-Dependent Suppression Of Liver Regeneration After Resection In Alcoholic Liver Disease, Benjamin K. Barnhart, Toshiki Kan, Ankita Srivastava, Corinne E. Wessner, John Waters, Manju Ambelil, John R. Eisenbrey, Jan B. Hoek, Rajanikanth Vadigepalli 2023 Thomas Jefferson University

Longitudinal Ultrasound Imaging And Network Modeling In Rats Reveal Sex-Dependent Suppression Of Liver Regeneration After Resection In Alcoholic Liver Disease, Benjamin K. Barnhart, Toshiki Kan, Ankita Srivastava, Corinne E. Wessner, John Waters, Manju Ambelil, John R. Eisenbrey, Jan B. Hoek, Rajanikanth Vadigepalli

Department of Pathology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology Faculty Papers

Liver resection is an important surgical technique in the treatment of cancers and transplantation. We used ultrasound imaging to study the dynamics of liver regeneration following two-thirds partial hepatectomy (PHx) in male and female rats fed via Lieber-deCarli liquid diet protocol of ethanol or isocaloric control or chow for 5–7 weeks. Ethanol-fed male rats did not recover liver volume to the pre-surgery levels over the course of 2 weeks after surgery. By contrast, ethanol-fed female rats as well as controls of both sexes showed normal volume recovery. Contrary to expectations, transient increases in both portal and hepatic artery blood flow …


Dpc29 Promotes Post-Initiation Mitochondrial Translation In Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, Kyle A. Hubble, Michael F. Henry 2023 Rowan University

Dpc29 Promotes Post-Initiation Mitochondrial Translation In Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, Kyle A. Hubble, Michael F. Henry

Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine Faculty Scholarship

Mitochondrial ribosomes synthesize essential components of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system in a tightly regulated process. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mitochondrial mRNAs require specific translational activators, which orchestrate protein synthesis by recognition of their target gene's 5'-untranslated region (UTR). Most of these yeast genes lack orthologues in mammals, and only one such gene-specific translational activator has been proposed in humans-TACO1. The mechanism by which TACO1 acts is unclear because mammalian mitochondrial mRNAs do not have significant 5'-UTRs, and therefore must promote translation by alternative mechanisms. In this study, we examined the role of the TACO1 orthologue in yeast. We …


Knockout Of Endospanin 1 Via Crispr In Zebrafish, Danio Rerio, Jared Kittinger 2023 The University of Akron

Knockout Of Endospanin 1 Via Crispr In Zebrafish, Danio Rerio, Jared Kittinger

Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects

I made endospanin 1 knockout (KO) zebrafish to examine its effects on lipid and bone metabolism. Endospanin 1, or leptin receptor overlapping transcript (leprot), is a cytosolic protein linked to the protein hormone leptin that influences the trafficking of leptin receptors to the plasma membrane of cells. Genes for endospanin and tyrosinase (a pigmentation enzyme) were targeted via a microinjection of guide RNAs and CRISPR Cas9 into zebrafish embryos at 2-4 cell stages. I was able to disrupt the endospanin 1 gene (based upon the disruption of tyrosinase), but very few mutant zebrafish fully developed into adults. Only low KO …


Amphisbaenian Head Movement And Burrowing Forces In Damp Granular Media, Jacob Newell 2023 The University of Akron

Amphisbaenian Head Movement And Burrowing Forces In Damp Granular Media, Jacob Newell

Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects

Damp granular media is a difficult environment to study because it is both practically complex and it lacks equations which fully describe its behavior. In this study, an oscillatory lateral head movement and its effects while penetrating damp granular media were tested using a robophysical model. This experimental research was inspired by the burrowing behavior of the clade Amphisbaenia, a group of usually limbless squamates that employ a variety of different burrowing behaviors, but it can apply to a wide range of burrowers. This research could help with both human burrowing technologies and the further investigation of animal behaviors.


Examining The Effect Of Varying Dilutions Of Octopamine On The Gut Microbiome Of Lab-Raised And Wild Acheta Domesticus By Brandon Nelson University Of Puget Sound Biology, Brandon Nelson 2023 University of Puget Sound

Examining The Effect Of Varying Dilutions Of Octopamine On The Gut Microbiome Of Lab-Raised And Wild Acheta Domesticus By Brandon Nelson University Of Puget Sound Biology, Brandon Nelson

Summer Research

For my research I am comparing the gut microbiome of lab raised A. Domesticus that are given various levels of Octopamine, a stress hormone, and comparing that to the gut microbiome of wild cricket types. Crickets are a widely used organism across the world for various experiments as both subject and feed. Knowing how the gut microbiome of these crickets is affected by various levels of stress will allow us to better take care of these crickets. This could also help us determine if there are any diseases that lab raised crickets may be susceptible to. A large part of …


Characterizing The Cutaneous Microbiome Of Eurycea Lucifuga As A Potential Defense Against Chytridiomycosis, Madeline Key 2022 Liberty University

Characterizing The Cutaneous Microbiome Of Eurycea Lucifuga As A Potential Defense Against Chytridiomycosis, Madeline Key

Senior Honors Theses

Chytridiomycosis is an emerging infectious disease that is significantly reducing global amphibian populations. The disease is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a fungus that lethally modifies amphibian skin. Recent research has suggested that the cutaneous microbiome of individual amphibians may play a role in susceptibility to the pathogen. In this study, twelve cave salamanders (Eurycea lucifuga) were collected. Cutaneous bacteria from each salamander were isolated and identified using Sanger Sequencing. Additionally, a Bd-challenge assay was performed to determine each isolate’s antifungal activity. Results indicated many microbial isolates possessed inhibitory capabilities against Bd, which may …


A Paraventricular Thalamo-Accumbal Circuit Necessary For Behavioral Inhibition Is Dysfunctional During Opioid Use And Dependence, Kelsey M. Vollmer 2022 Medical University of South Carolina

A Paraventricular Thalamo-Accumbal Circuit Necessary For Behavioral Inhibition Is Dysfunctional During Opioid Use And Dependence, Kelsey M. Vollmer

MUSC Theses and Dissertations

Suppression of dangerous or inappropriate reward-motivated behaviors is critical for survival, whereas therapeutic or recreational opioid use can unleash detrimental behaviors and opioid use disorder (OUD). Nevertheless, the neuronal systems that suppress maladaptive motivated behaviors remain unclear, and whether opioids disengage those systems is unknown. Here, we investigate the posterior paraventricular thalamus (pPVT) as a behavioral mediator due to its strong connectivity with brain structures important for reward processing, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc). We and others have found pPVT-NAc neuronal activity is inhibited during reward seeking, but activated when such behaviors would be inappropriate, such as during stress …


The Effects Of Prenatal Cannabis Exposure On The Basolateral Amygdala, Karen KW Wong 2022 Western University

The Effects Of Prenatal Cannabis Exposure On The Basolateral Amygdala, Karen Kw Wong

Undergraduate Student Research Internships Conference

Clinical and preclinical studies indicate prenatal cannabis exposure (PCE) pathologically affects fetal brain development and may increase vulnerability to neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and mood/anxiety disorders. In review research from our lab suggests that fetal exposure to Δ9-THC sex-selectively impairs mesocorticolimbic (MCL) circuit function. However, there is a distinct lack of focus on PCE models on the BLA. The BLA plays a central role within the MCL where it directly interacts with the VTA, PFC and HIPP. Importantly, our model exhibits significant VTA hyperdopaminergic activity, and sex-specific alterations to PFC/HIPP glutamate firing, alongside region- and sex-specific changes in dopamine (DA), …


Rna Isolation In Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (Dmd) Mice Models, Salem Abu Al-Burak 2022 Western University

Rna Isolation In Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (Dmd) Mice Models, Salem Abu Al-Burak

Undergraduate Student Research Internships Conference

Fibrosis is a progressive and typically irreversible disease process characterized by the excessive deposition of collagen in organs and in tissues of the musculoskeletal (MSK) system1,2. This process, which causes loss of organ and tissue function, can be initiated by micro-traumas3, an excessive and/or prolonged immune response1, the activation and proliferation of fibrosis-inducing progenitor cells4, and a pro-fibrotic extra-cellular microenvironment5. In parallel with the events that initiate fibrosis, genetic or environmental influences may cause cells and tissues to become predisposed to fibrosis development prior to initiation. This suggests that these …


How Environmental Change Will Impact Mosquito-Borne Diseases, Arsal Khan 2022 The University of San Francisco

How Environmental Change Will Impact Mosquito-Borne Diseases, Arsal Khan

Master's Projects and Capstones

Mosquitos, the most lethal species throughout human history, are the most prevalent source of vector-borne diseases and therefore a major global health burden. Mosquito-borne disease incidence is expected to shift with environmental change. These changes can be predicted using species distribution models. With the wide variety of methods used for models, consensus for improving accuracy and comparability is needed. A comparative analysis of three recent modeling approaches revealed that integrating modeling techniques compensates for trade-offs associated with a singular approach. An area that represents a critical gap in our ability to predict mosquito behavior in response to changing climate factors, …


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