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Removal Of Phenol From Oilfield Produced Water Using Non-Conventional Adsorbent Medium By An Eco-Friendly Approach, Salem Jawad Alhamd, Mohammed Nsaif Abbas, Hassan Jameel Jawad Al-Fatlawy, Thekra Atta Ibrahim, Zaid Nsaif Abbas 2024 Department of Petroleum Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Kerbala, Kerbala, Iraq

Removal Of Phenol From Oilfield Produced Water Using Non-Conventional Adsorbent Medium By An Eco-Friendly Approach, Salem Jawad Alhamd, Mohammed Nsaif Abbas, Hassan Jameel Jawad Al-Fatlawy, Thekra Atta Ibrahim, Zaid Nsaif Abbas

Karbala International Journal of Modern Science

Petroleum extraction generates substantial quantities of produced water, a challenge compounded by water scarcity in oil-producing regions, notably the Middle East. Leveraging produced water effectively, adhering to environmental standards, can offer a viable solution to the issue of water scarcity. This study explores the potential of mandarin peels as an available, cost-effective adsorbent for treating synthetic aqueous solution simulated to oil-field produced water, specifically targeting phenol, a dangerous pollutant. Employing a batch-mode adsorption unit, six operational factors—phenol concentration, acidity, agitation speed, contact time, adsorbent dose, and temperature—were investigated. Results revealed an inverse relationship between phenol removal and pH, concentration, and …


The Development Of Immunohistochemistry (Icc) And Transcriptomic Protocols To Uncover Neurophysiological Markers Of Stress In Red-Eyed Tree Frogs As A Novel Biome, Shirin Dadina 2024 Trinity College

The Development Of Immunohistochemistry (Icc) And Transcriptomic Protocols To Uncover Neurophysiological Markers Of Stress In Red-Eyed Tree Frogs As A Novel Biome, Shirin Dadina

Senior Theses and Projects

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) include various forms of physical and emotional abuse that lead to detrimental long term effects. Agalychnis callidryas (red-eyed tree frogs) have been identified as a novel biomedical model for ACEs. Red-eyed tree frogs demonstrate an escape hatch mechanism under stressors including those from predators, flooding and hypoxia where the embryo undergoes an accelerated developmental process similar to what is observed in the human population regarding precocious puberty. In order to assess this model for neurobiological outcomes of ACEs, morphological and genomic protocols must be developed and validated which is this study’s focus. Paraffin embedding and microtome …


Construction And Mutagenesis Of Ssv1 Mutants In Extreme Viruses, Lou Ann F. O'Connor, Jono Abshier, Kenneth M. Stedman 2024 Portland State University

Construction And Mutagenesis Of Ssv1 Mutants In Extreme Viruses, Lou Ann F. O'Connor, Jono Abshier, Kenneth M. Stedman

Student Research Symposium

Archaeal viruses with unique structures such as spindle-shaped virions are found abundantly in extreme environments like geothermal hot springs around the world. Among all spindle-shaped viruses, the model Sulfolobus Spindle-shaped Virus 1 (SSV1) is best studied. Creating the lemon-shaped or spindle-shaped virion structure are two proteins, VP1 as the major capsid protein, and VP3 as the minor capsid protein. The primary structure of VP1 consists of a proteolytic cleavage site at position 66 that is believed to be necessary for virus evolution. Recent studies showed that genetic mutation of the amino acid, glutamate (E) at position 66 in VP1 which …


Mutagenetic Analysis Of The Minor Capsid Protein Vp3 Of The Archaeal Fusellovirus Ssv1, Laura Costal Lagarde 2024 Portland State University

Mutagenetic Analysis Of The Minor Capsid Protein Vp3 Of The Archaeal Fusellovirus Ssv1, Laura Costal Lagarde

Student Research Symposium

Viruses, while often associated with disease, are integral to life and play an important role in the microbiome. Despite their importance in medical research, archaeal viruses, particularly those found in extreme environments, are not widely understood. The Sulfolobus Spindle-Shaped Viruses (SSVs) of the Fuselloviridae family are unique among viruses in that they do not kill their host, the archaeon Sulfolobus Solfataricus in volcanic hot springs, but rather slow its growth, allowing for halo assay assessments.The study focuses on the type virus SSV1, which is predominantly composed of the Major and Minor capsid proteins vp1 and vp3, respectively. Previous study has …


Qibc Analysis On Killifish Cells Under Anoxic Conditions, Jaina Canlas 2024 Portland State University

Qibc Analysis On Killifish Cells Under Anoxic Conditions, Jaina Canlas

Student Research Symposium

Faithful DNA replication is vital for all living organisms. Environmental stressors can cause a multitude of mutations and DNA lesions during replication leading to cell death if not accurately repaired. The annual killifish, Austrofundulus limnaeus, has a heightened tolerance to many known genotoxic stressors, including anoxia. Embryos of the annual killifish can survive months of anoxia during the dry season when the ephemeral ponds they inhabit, completely dry. During these exposures, they have shown they are capable of repairing substantial amounts of damaged DNA. This resilience has led us to hypothesize that A. limnaeus have enhanced DNA repair capabilities. …


Examining The Role Of Rgs2 In The Maintenance Of Diapause After Anoxic Stress In Embryos Of The Annual Killifish Austrofundulus Limnaeus, Patrick Clouser 2024 Portland State University

Examining The Role Of Rgs2 In The Maintenance Of Diapause After Anoxic Stress In Embryos Of The Annual Killifish Austrofundulus Limnaeus, Patrick Clouser

Student Research Symposium

Austrofundulus limnaeus live in ephemeral ponds of Venezuela. They have evolved a unique life history that includes embryonic diapause, a period of developmental dormancy, metabolic arrest, and reduced protein synthesis. Diapausing embryos are resistant to environmental stress and survive months without oxygen (anoxia). A. limnaeus’ anoxia tolerance is an important survival mechanism as they can be buried in anoxic soil during development. Analysis of RNAseq data from diapausing A. limnaeus embryos show significant down-regulation of RGS2 transcripts in anoxic embryos. RGS2 regulates G-protein receptor signaling by inhibiting associated Ga-proteins and can inhibit protein synthesis. I hypothesis that …


Annual Killifish: Eye Development And Retinal Cell Regeneration, Carmen Z. Rodriguez 2024 Portland State University

Annual Killifish: Eye Development And Retinal Cell Regeneration, Carmen Z. Rodriguez

Student Research Symposium

Vertebrate eye development is highly conserved. Current models have allowed the understanding of gene expression patterns that support eye development, but lack the context of extreme environmental conditions that challenge these fundamental programs. Typical vertebrate life spans can be years, but annual killifish, Austrofundulus limnaeus, are able to complete their entire adult lifespan in only weeks. Thus, A. limnaeus is a strong model for age-related macular degeneration. A. limnaeus also experiences embryonic diapause; a period of developmental dormancy. Developing/diapausing embryos of A. limnaeus are resistant to environmental stresses such as hypoxia/anoxia that would cause irreparable damage to vital organs, such …


Describing Shen & Shen Ming Via A Hybrid Quantum Computational Model, Alex M. Cullen, Johnny Lemau 2024 National University of Natural Medicine

Describing Shen & Shen Ming Via A Hybrid Quantum Computational Model, Alex M. Cullen, Johnny Lemau

Student Research Symposium

Definitions for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) terminology within the context of quantum biology (QB) have recently been proposed. These definitions aim to elucidate concepts such as qi meridians in TCM. Our study presents a hypothesis that seeks to provide an operational definition for Spirit (Shen) and Bright Spirit (Shen Ming) in TCM via a scoping review. We propose that Shen represents physical, phenomenological proto-consciousness/consciousness in the forms of computation, such as singular particles/bits/qubits, computers, organisms, or computational strategies, whereas Shen Ming may refer to emergent, quasi-physical meta-proto-consciousness/consciousness formed by coherent relationships of multiple orchestrated/integrated units of computation; manifesting itself as …


Histone Changes As A Response To Lactic Acid Selection In Cells Of Austrofundulus Limnaeus, Lori Tran, Jason Podrabsky, Chelsea Hughes 2024 Portland State University

Histone Changes As A Response To Lactic Acid Selection In Cells Of Austrofundulus Limnaeus, Lori Tran, Jason Podrabsky, Chelsea Hughes

Student Research Symposium

The killifish Austrofundulus limnaeus is an extremophile native to small temporary ponds of Venezuela. Normal embryonic development of A. limnaeus is segmented into up to three stages of metabolic depression (diapause), and both developing and diapausing embryos can survive long bouts of the complete absence of oxygen (anoxia) by using anaerobic metabolic pathways. While there has been much focus on how mutations in DNA drive evolution, environmental stress can cause heritable changes to histone post-translational modifications (hPTMs) in multiple species. However, this evolutionary role of hPTMs has never been studied in A. limnaeus. Additionally, the possible evolutionary role of extracellular …


Exploring Factors That Contribute To Stem Transfer Student Sense Of Belonging, Brittney R. Gallant, Cate Pocitari 2024 Portland State University

Exploring Factors That Contribute To Stem Transfer Student Sense Of Belonging, Brittney R. Gallant, Cate Pocitari

Student Research Symposium

There is an ongoing disconnect between the number of students who enter college intending to earn a STEM degree and the number of students who persist to degree, this is particularly true for transfer students. Sense of belonging has been named as a STEM persistence factor, yet how that belonging develops for transfer students is largely unknown. Here we used a mixed-methods design to explore the experiences of STEM transfer students at PSU (n=38). Participants completed a survey prior to participating in an interview. The survey and interviews explored their science identity, sense of belonging, and involvement in STEM-related activities. …


Locating Vitamin D Receptors (Vdrs) In Annual Killifish, Austrofundulus Limnaeus, Rosy Tanori 2024 Portland State University

Locating Vitamin D Receptors (Vdrs) In Annual Killifish, Austrofundulus Limnaeus, Rosy Tanori

Student Research Symposium

Austrofundulus limnaeus, a species of annual killifish found in unpredictable temporary habitats in South America, has a profound ability to survive long periods without water and oxygen. This tolerance is associated with the ability to enter metabolic dormancy associated with diapause. Entrance into diapause and tolerance of environmental stress is governed by an interplay of genetic and environmental factors. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is among these factors and plays a crucial role in determining if an embryo will enter diapause or actively develop. My work aims to identify the genomic locations of VDR proteins in the A. limnaeus genome …


Dragon Pseudoscorpions Shed Light On Ancient Climate History In The Pacific Northwest, Joshua W. Hootman 2024 Portland State University

Dragon Pseudoscorpions Shed Light On Ancient Climate History In The Pacific Northwest, Joshua W. Hootman

Student Research Symposium

Pseudoscorpions are an ancient and diverse group of understudied arachnids, and there is much to be learned about their relationships to each other. Pseudoscorpions are one of many leaf-litter dwelling and low dispersing invertebrates that inhabit the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Previous phylogeographic studies of Pacific Northwest taxa have shed light on some of the climatic and geologic events that have shaped the area's flora and fauna. One purpose of this study is to determine if there is similar genetic structuring within the pseudoscorpion populations present in the study area, or if there is even more structure likely influenced …


Autism Risk Gene Cul3 Alters Neuronal Morphology Via Caspase-3 Activity In Mouse Hippocampal Neurons, Qiang-qiang Xia, Anju Singh, Jing Wang, Zhong Xin Xuan, Jeffrey D. Singer, Craig M. Powell 2024 Department of Neurobiology, Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine & Civitan International Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, United States

Autism Risk Gene Cul3 Alters Neuronal Morphology Via Caspase-3 Activity In Mouse Hippocampal Neurons, Qiang-Qiang Xia, Anju Singh, Jing Wang, Zhong Xin Xuan, Jeffrey D. Singer, Craig M. Powell

Biology Faculty Publications and Presentations

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) in which children display differences in social interaction/communication and repetitive stereotyped behaviors along with variable associated features. Cul3, a gene linked to ASD, encodes CUL3 (CULLIN-3), a protein that serves as a key component of a ubiquitin ligase complex with unclear function in neurons. Cul3 homozygous deletion in mice is embryonic lethal; thus, we examine the role of Cul3 deletion in early synapse development and neuronal morphology in hippocampal primary neuronal cultures. Homozygous deletion of Cul3 significantly decreased dendritic complexity and dendritic length, as well as axon formation. Synaptic spine density significantly …


Measuring The Effects Of Selenium Exposure On Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis (Bd) Growth In Vivo In Larval American Bullfrogs (Rana Catesbeiana)., Taylor Morrison 2024 University of South Dakota

Measuring The Effects Of Selenium Exposure On Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis (Bd) Growth In Vivo In Larval American Bullfrogs (Rana Catesbeiana)., Taylor Morrison

Honors Thesis

Most amphibians in today’s world are exposed to a variety of environmental stressors. This project’s main objective was to determine any effects of selenium on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and infection levels in South Dakota amphibians. I selected American bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) as they are susceptible to Bd and are found throughout eastern South Dakota. The secondary objective of this project was to measure any impact of Bd and selenium, combined, on growth measures of the frogs. The third objective was to see if survival rates were reduced when amphibians were exposed to Bd and selenium. Tadpoles were collected (n=225) from …


The Effect Of Temperature On The Invasive Asian Needle Ant, Kaylee Mulligan '25 2024 Providence College

The Effect Of Temperature On The Invasive Asian Needle Ant, Kaylee Mulligan '25

Biology Student Scholarship

The Asian Needle Ant (Brachyponera chinensis) is an invasive species currently spreading on the Eastern Coast of the United States. They were first reported around the 1930s in Florida and have since migrated to Massachusetts. As an invasive species, this pest originating from Asia has a negative impact on environment ecosystems and other species of ants. Asian Needle Ants displace resident ant colonies, taking over nesting sites by consuming food sources and decreasing the amount of space other ant colonies can use. They are also known to have a sting that contains venom more likely to result in …


Sea Surface Temperature Influence On Tropical Storms And Hurricanes, Elise LeRoux '26 2024 Providence College

Sea Surface Temperature Influence On Tropical Storms And Hurricanes, Elise Leroux '26

Biology Student Scholarship

Hurricanes are both dangerous and difficult to predict because of the various factors that influence the size and intensity of storms, where sea surface temperature (SST) is one of the most relevant variables. As temperatures are increasingly rising due to climate change, the effect on storm size, intensity, and frequency is going to be greater. There have been many studies how individual storms are affected, but less so on the overall frequency of hurricanes. This study assesses the number of hurricanes each year in comparison to the SST and the average wind speed of each hurricane. I predict that years …


Gdp Effects On Bottlenose Dolphins Within The Gulf Of Mexico, Kathleen Kelly '24 2024 Providence College

Gdp Effects On Bottlenose Dolphins Within The Gulf Of Mexico, Kathleen Kelly '24

Biology Student Scholarship

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are highly sensitive to environmental changes and anthropogenic stressors. Making them important indicators of marine ecosystem health. The Gulf of Mexico sustains diverse marine ecosystems and coastal communities. However, rapid industrialization, urbanization, and coastal development have altered marine habitats and increased anthropogenic pressures on marine wildlife. While various factors contribute to these strandings, the potential influence of socio-economic factors, particularly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) disparities among Gulf Coast counties, remains underexplored. This number (GDP) is influenced by human activities such as fisheries, shipping, and tourism, all of which directly or indirectly could affect marine …


Michigan Water Supply: Analysis Of Health Violations, Gabriela Guzman Reyes '24 2024 Providence College

Michigan Water Supply: Analysis Of Health Violations, Gabriela Guzman Reyes '24

Biology Student Scholarship

The presence of toxins in water sources poses a significant public health challenge. In Michigan, this issue has garnered widespread attention due to its adverse effects on human health and well-being. The contaminants found in water, including but not limited to lead, industrial pollutants, and agricultural runoff, stem from a variety of sources such as aging infrastructure, industrial activities, and agricultural practices. News articles and Government officials have reported the adverse affects and impact toxin exposure has on Michigan residents. However, there is little research examining the relationship between water quality violations and socioeconomic factors like poverty levels. I predict …


The Effect Sea Temperature Has On Coral Reef Health In The Great Barrier Reef, Elizabeth Glasspool '26 2024 Providence College

The Effect Sea Temperature Has On Coral Reef Health In The Great Barrier Reef, Elizabeth Glasspool '26

Biology Student Scholarship

Coral reef bleaching can happen for many different reasons including storms, disease, sediment and salinity changes, and of change in climate. Mass bleaching is typically a cause of increasing sea temperature in a certain area. Mass bleaching typically kills off many different species of coral. This is detrimental to a large portion of biodiversity, especially in a marine atmosphere. In 2016, records show that it is a record high ocean temperature which led to widespread coral bleaching on Australian reefs. This was part of the third global bleaching event declared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). At the …


The Effect Of Integrated Pest Management On Nutrition Of Bee Collected Pollen, Kaitlyn Bresnahan '25 2024 Providence College

The Effect Of Integrated Pest Management On Nutrition Of Bee Collected Pollen, Kaitlyn Bresnahan '25

Biology Student Scholarship

Honey bees are the world’s most commercially valuable pollinators, and they face many threats. The greatest challenge facing honey bees is Varroa mites, parasitic mites that feed on bees’ fat bodies, killing bees and spreading diseases. While chemical treatments are available to stop the spread of mites, these treatments are insecticides, which are not ideal to put in a hive of insects. A popular organic method of mite management is using drone comb. Drone brood is preferentially chosen by mites for ovipositing and development because of its larger size and longer development time, so removing drone brood can drastically reduce …


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