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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Effects Of Temperature On Enzyme Activity Of Aquatic Litter-Associated Fungi, Nicholas Bautz Dec 2019

Effects Of Temperature On Enzyme Activity Of Aquatic Litter-Associated Fungi, Nicholas Bautz

Honors Theses

The decomposition of leaf litter in aquatic ecosystems is carried out mostly by microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi. Fungi, known as aquatic hyphomycetes, dominate microbial communities in the decomposition of leaf litter. These fungi produce extracellular enzymes that aid in the sequestration of carbon and nutrients and lead to the breakdown of complex plant polymers. We evaluated the effects of temperature on extracellular enzyme activity within the framework of the Metabolic Theory of Ecology (MTE). The activity of β-1,4-glucosidase and β-1,4-xylosidase was estimated fluorometrically using artificial substrate analogs. Phenol oxidase activity was estimated spectrophotometrically from oxidation of L-DOPA ...


Osmoregulation And Salinity Preference In Juvenile Sandbar Sharks (Carcharhinus Plumbeus) In Winyah Bay, Sc, Usa, Jessica Wingar Aug 2019

Osmoregulation And Salinity Preference In Juvenile Sandbar Sharks (Carcharhinus Plumbeus) In Winyah Bay, Sc, Usa, Jessica Wingar

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Juvenile sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus) have been caught in salinities ranging from 7 – 40. In Winyah Bay, a partially mixed estuary in Northeast SC, juvenile sandbar sharks tidally alternate between higher tides in middle bay and lower tides in lower bay. To assess salinity preference and duration in eight acoustically-tagged juvenile sandbar sharks in different salinities, acoustic receivers with salinity loggers were placed throughout Winyah Bay. Juvenile sandbar sharks were caught in salinities from 17.2 to 36.1 and acoustic detections were recorded from 11.5 to 24.7 by salinity loggers in middle bay. Smaller juvenile sandbar sharks ...


Investigation Of Origin And Growth Of Fungi In Coastal Beach Sand, Ruth L. Wright May 2019

Investigation Of Origin And Growth Of Fungi In Coastal Beach Sand, Ruth L. Wright

Honors Theses

In a previous study from this lab (Stevens, Evans, & Aguirre, 2012) yeast colonies were isolated and grown grown from sand collection at pristine, medium use and high use beaches along the grand strand. In that study greater yeast abundance and greater diversity both correlated with higher census of human use, suggesting that some yeast growth of sites was anthropogenic. However the sand matrix itself also varied from very fine, uniform, dark sand at the pristine beach to coarser, color varying, less tightly packed sand at residential and commercial beaches. This suggested an alternative hypothesis to differential colonization and growth depending ...


Microplastics In The Digestive System Of The Atlantic Sharpnose Shark (Rhizoprionodon Terraenovae) In Winyah Bay, Sc, Elise Virginia Pullen May 2019

Microplastics In The Digestive System Of The Atlantic Sharpnose Shark (Rhizoprionodon Terraenovae) In Winyah Bay, Sc, Elise Virginia Pullen

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The digestive tracts and livers of adult male Atlantic sharpnose sharks (N=16), Rhizoprionodon terraenovae, from Winyah Bay, South Carolina were examined for ingested microplastics. R. terraenovae is a small, locally abundant, coastal mesopredatory elasmobranch belonging to the family Carcharhinidae. Microfibers comprised the largest categories of plastics (94% of the total), and were found in 100% of sharks examined. The number of micro- and other plastics ranged from 34 to 75 per individual and totaled 927. The majority of plastics (40%) were blue in coloration, and 55% were <1 mm in length. Microplastics were observed on both the interior and exterior of the organs examined, and three microfibers were embedded within the stomach lining, an observation not previously reported in marine vertebrates and one which represents a potential pathway for the translocation of ingested microplastics.


Unique Osmoregulatory Morphology In Primitive Sharks: An Intermediate State Between Holocephalan And Derived Shark Secretory Morphology, Matthew Eric Larsen Jul 2018

Unique Osmoregulatory Morphology In Primitive Sharks: An Intermediate State Between Holocephalan And Derived Shark Secretory Morphology, Matthew Eric Larsen

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Discovery of an unusual rectal gland in the Atlantic sixgill shark, Hexanchus vitulus, led to examination of rectal glands in 29 species of epipelagic and deep-sea sharks. Eight of 14 deep-sea species of sharks had digitiform glands that were previously assumed to be characteristic of elasmobranchs (N=281; mean width-length ratio ± SD = 0.18 ± 0.07). Hematoxylin-and-eosin stained sections from deep-sea sharks were similar to those from shallow water sharks. Glands from the family Somniosidae were kidney bean-shaped (N = 3; mean width-length ratio ± SD = 0.46 ± 0.05); whereas those from the families Echinorhinidae and Hexanchidae appeared lobulate (N=39 ...


Tidal Creek And Substrate Effects On Oyster Reef Associated Fish And Decapod Condition And Density, Thomas S. Funk Apr 2018

Tidal Creek And Substrate Effects On Oyster Reef Associated Fish And Decapod Condition And Density, Thomas S. Funk

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Oyster reefs are essential fish habitat and a worldwide loss of reefs has the potential to negatively affect reef-associated nekton populations. Along the 100 km Myrtle Beach, SC shoreline, oyster reefs ostensibly have disappeared within swash tidal creeks, which are anthropogenically altered estuarine systems that drain into the coastal ocean directly over shoreline beaches. To address oyster reef losses, a series of shell bag reefs were constructed within multiple swash tidal creeks. Reefs also were constructed in tidal creeks associated with estuaries directly connected to the ocean by an inlet. The purpose of this study was to compare nekton usage ...


The Spatial Ecology Of The Southern Copperhead In A Fragmented And Non-Fragmented Habitat, Megan Veronica Novak Jan 2017

The Spatial Ecology Of The Southern Copperhead In A Fragmented And Non-Fragmented Habitat, Megan Veronica Novak

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Habitat fragmentation may alter the spatial ecology of organisms inhabiting the fragmented landscape by limiting the area of habitat available and altering microhabitat features. I quantified and compared movement of southern copperheads (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix) in a fragmented and non-fragmented habitat to determine the effects of habitat fragmentation on the spatial ecology of the southern copperhead. Effective distance moved by each individual was measured by the use of thread bobbins attached via medical tape to the posterior quarter of the snake. Straight-line distance moved and occupied area were calculated with the GPS coordinates recorded at each snake sighting. Straight-line distance ...


Learning And Memory In A Drosophila Melanogaster Model Of Alzheimer's Disease, Eric Robles May 2016

Learning And Memory In A Drosophila Melanogaster Model Of Alzheimer's Disease, Eric Robles

Honors Theses

Human Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent and lethal neurodegenerative disease; it involves the accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles, loss of synapses and neurons in specific areas of the brain, and the presence of extracellular amyloid plaques, particularly Amyloid beta-42 (AP-42). In this study, two Drosophila transgenic fly lines carrying either elav-GAL4 driver or UAS-AP-42 transgene, were crossed to generate AD flies that expressed low levels of human Ap-42. Male AD flies (experimental) and elav-GAL4 flies (as parental control without AP-42) were tested for learning and short-term memory using the courtship suppression assay (Siegal and Hall, 1979). The courtship ...


Macgillivray's Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus Maritimus Macgillivraii) Breeding Biology & Population Density At Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center, Yianni P. Laskaris Jan 2016

Macgillivray's Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus Maritimus Macgillivraii) Breeding Biology & Population Density At Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center, Yianni P. Laskaris

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

MacGillivray's Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus macgillivraii) is a coastal marsh species sensitive to habitat alteration and threatened by coastal wetland loss. Data on seaside sparrow distribution, breeding success, and critical habitats are lacking in South Carolina. To better understand the demographics and incubation behavior of the species, I monitored breeding success, densities, song output, and presence of predators at three 7-hectare plots at the densest known population in the state. I also placed temperature data-loggers in a subset of nests to discern any links between incubation behavior and nest fate. Densities varied from a low of 5 birds/ha ...


Collective Prey Capture By Juvenile Venus Flytraps (Dionaea Muscipula), Steven Rosen Dec 2015

Collective Prey Capture By Juvenile Venus Flytraps (Dionaea Muscipula), Steven Rosen

Honors Theses

The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), first described by Charles Darwin, is a unique carnivorous plant which acquires prey using leaf blades modified into snap-traps. A recent study showed that prey capture by flytraps was not selective. With this study we examined prey capture rates further by analyzing D. muscipula traps less than 1 em in length to determine if juvenile flytraps differ from adults. Similar to the earlier findings, trap size appeared to play no role in prey capture success. This was likely due to the fact that 88% of all prey items recovered were smaller than the smallest collected ...


The Impact Of Photopollution On Nesting Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta Caretta) Along The Grand Strand, South Carolina, Ryan Bonner Jan 2015

The Impact Of Photopollution On Nesting Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta Caretta) Along The Grand Strand, South Carolina, Ryan Bonner

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Photopollution present along heavily developed coastlines is known to have a significant negative impact on nesting sea turtle populations by damaging nesting habitat quality, but few studies have explored this relationship on broad spatial scales. The purpose of this study was to characterize the onshore light field along a developed stretch of South Carolina coastline and to quantify how photopollution intensity affects regional loggerhead sea turtle (Carretta carretta) nesting density using historical nesting data. Light measurements were collected using a portable low-light photometer at 74 sites spaced at approximately one km intervals across the study area. At each site, the ...


The Fish Kill Mechanism Of The Harmful Raphidophyte Chattonella Subsalsa, Amy E. Grogan Jan 2015

The Fish Kill Mechanism Of The Harmful Raphidophyte Chattonella Subsalsa, Amy E. Grogan

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Harmful algae blooms (HABs) and toxins associated with HAB species are a significant threat to the health of marine species and coastal environments. In the South Carolina coastal zone, HABs have proliferated with intensified anthropogenic eutrophication in coastal waters. The raphidophyte species Chattonella subsalsa is a prominent cause of algal blooms resulting in fish kills in South Carolina. Though C. subsalsa is a known ichthyotoxic alga, the fish kill mechanism of this species remains unidentified. C. subsalsa is likely to elicit fish mortality via one of two mechanisms: (1) gill damage induced by cell contact irritation or (2) the production ...


Functional Response Of Venus Flytraps (Dionaea Muscipula), Amber D. Martin Dec 2013

Functional Response Of Venus Flytraps (Dionaea Muscipula), Amber D. Martin

Honors Theses

The feeding response of Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) is widely studied, and many studies have considered the selectivity of prey capture in D. muscipula (Lichtner and Williams, 1977; Hutchens and Luken, 2009). The consumption rate of an organism relative to the abundance or availability of its food is known as that organism's functional response (Jeschke et al., 2004). In this study, a functional response curve will be constructed for D. muscipula based on its response to increasing availability of small prey in the laboratory. Knowledge of functional responses is important for various fields of biology including population biology, evolutionary ...


Cleft Lip And Palate Repair: Bridging The Gap Between Genetics And Oral Health: An Individual Case Study, Duncan Perry Dec 2013

Cleft Lip And Palate Repair: Bridging The Gap Between Genetics And Oral Health: An Individual Case Study, Duncan Perry

Honors Theses

Cleft Lip and Palate Syndrome (CL/P) is a condition that occurs in vitro, during fetal development. Because the majority of CL/P cases occur in underdeveloped nations, the families of CL/P patients are typically characterized by impoverished homes. These are the very people who cannot afford to pay for folic acid supplements, or reconstructive and reparative surgeries. Many families struggle under the extreme pressure of raising a child with CL/P. In these nations, the child often cannot receive the proper care they need, and usually are the product of unsuccessful surgeries. The stress of a CL/P ...


Seed Bank Study Of The Effect Of Land Use On Vegetation Diversity In Carolina Bays, Maeve Snyder Dec 2013

Seed Bank Study Of The Effect Of Land Use On Vegetation Diversity In Carolina Bays, Maeve Snyder

Honors Theses

The intent of my honors thesis is to conduct a comparative analysis of seed banks between Carolina bays of high and low human impact. My study will use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to characterize types of land use within Carolina bays and in 250-m buffer zones. Representative bays from high-impact and low-impact classifications will be chosen as study sites, and seed bank samples will be collected and germinated. While it is beyond the scope of my study to identify a mechanism by which it occurs, I will investigate the presence of a relationship between land use and bay vegetation biodiversity.


Effectiveness Of Gaming Systems On Balance In Older Individuals, Mary E. Anderson Dec 2013

Effectiveness Of Gaming Systems On Balance In Older Individuals, Mary E. Anderson

Honors Theses

Balance training using gaming systems, called exergaming, is a rising trend for reducing fall risk in older individuals. Previous studies have conducted research pertaining to gaming systems and traditional balance training, however there is a lack of comparison between gaming systems. This study was performed to determine the effectiveness of two gaming systems, the Wii Fit and Xbox Kinect, as compared to traditional balance training. This study was performed with subjects (N=5) over the age of 65, in good health, randomly placed in one of the three balance training groups: Wii Fit (n=2), Xbox Kinect (n=2), and ...


Alzheimer's Disease And Circadian Rhythms In A Drosophila Model, Lauren Alejo Dec 2013

Alzheimer's Disease And Circadian Rhythms In A Drosophila Model, Lauren Alejo

Honors Theses

Sleep disorders are commonly reported in Alzheimer's disease, a debilitating, age-related neurodegenerative disorder that affects neurons in the brain. Recently, several studies have suggested a role for sleep abnormalities and the internal "body clock" known as the circadian system, in the disease onset and progression. Since most of the data has been collected from mammals with complex neural circuitry, the molecular and cellular mechanisms that integrate the two neural networks are still limited. This study examined the relationship between circadian rhythmicity and Alzheimer's Disease presentation using a Drosophila model. Flies were crossed using the GAL4-UAS system to display ...


Prevention Of Increasing Burnout Levels Among Physicians Of Different Specialties And Doctoral Degrees, Taylor Lewis Dec 2013

Prevention Of Increasing Burnout Levels Among Physicians Of Different Specialties And Doctoral Degrees, Taylor Lewis

Honors Theses

Burnout rates are steadily increasing among physicians all over the world (Sime, Quick, Saleh, & Martin, 2007). Burnout is defined as high levels of emotional exhaustion (EE), high levels of depersonalization (DP), and low levels of personal achievement (PA) (Ionita, Copotocan, & Copotoiu, S., 2011). These burnout rates are directly correlated with many factors, such as high levels of emotional exhaustion and stress (McManus, Winder, & Gordon, 2002), little experience in the medical field (Keswani, Taft, Coté, & Keefer, 2011), and long work hours which leads to sleep deprivation and fatigue (Jackson, 1999). These moderate to high levels of burnout are detrimental to the ...


Prey Capture In Response To Removing Cilia From Venus Flytraps, Emily Marchini Dec 2013

Prey Capture In Response To Removing Cilia From Venus Flytraps, Emily Marchini

Honors Theses

Carnivorous plants are able to attract, trap, and digest insects. Different types of traps target different prey. There are sticky traps, pitfall traps, and active steel traps (Gibson, 1991). Although this may seem to be a rare modification it appears that there are six origins of carnivorous plants in different groups of angiosperms (Albert et al., 1992). These results indicate that not only were there multiple origins of carnivorous plants, there were also multiple origins of the same trapping mechanism; for example, the flypaper trap has five origins and the pitcher trap has three (Albert et al., 1992). Multiple origins ...


Characteristics And Effects Of Muscular Dystrophy In Broiler Chickens, Kayla N. Smith Dec 2013

Characteristics And Effects Of Muscular Dystrophy In Broiler Chickens, Kayla N. Smith

Honors Theses

Muscular dystrophy is very common among broilers, which are chickens raised specifically for meat production. When dystrophic chickens are mated, or when normal and dystrophic chickens are mated, it is very likely that at least fifty percent of the clutch will end up with muscular dystrophy since it is inherited as a co-dominant disorder (Fujiwara et al., 2009). For my study, eggs were obtained from a local farm, and allowed to hatch. Among these hatchings were chicks who exhibited some traits of muscular dystrophy. It is possible that the parents of the seemingly dystrophic chicks may carry the mutated WWP1 ...


The Investigation Of Risk Factors For Upper Respiratory Infections Among College Students, Romie Barnes May 2013

The Investigation Of Risk Factors For Upper Respiratory Infections Among College Students, Romie Barnes

Honors Theses

Upper respiratory tract infections and cold-like illnesses are common sources of morbidity among college students. The emphasis of hand-washing and reducing the dispersal of aerosol droplets by covering coughs and sneezes reduces the spread of the common cold. However, less emphasis is placed on other risk factors for reducing cold-like illness such as: stress level and physical activity (Doyle and Cohens 2009). An increase in stress and a decrease in physical activity are common among college students (Nichol et al 2005). For this reason, the present study analyzed the effects of stress and physical activity on the incidence of upper ...


Differences In Food Availability For Venus Flytraps In Resident And Restored Populations, J. Mason Truluck Dec 2012

Differences In Food Availability For Venus Flytraps In Resident And Restored Populations, J. Mason Truluck

Honors Theses

Expanding on a previous two-year study of resident and restored populations of Venus flytraps in Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve, the arthropod populations at resident and restored sites were sampled and compared to determine if there was a significant difference between them. Fourteen orders of invertebrates were collected from the sites, with the most numerous being Collembola (springtails) and Hymenoptera of the Family Formicidae (ants). There was no significant difference between the sample groups, though two of the traps from the restored sites were unusable. This study suggests that the arthropod population size and composition does not differ between the ...


The Influence Of Ubiquitin-Related Modifier Protein Urm1 On Prion Formation, Jacob Beaver Dec 2012

The Influence Of Ubiquitin-Related Modifier Protein Urm1 On Prion Formation, Jacob Beaver

Honors Theses

Prions are infections proteins that are auto-catalyzing (form by altering a regular protein into the structurally different prion form), and are the cause of many common diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, and Bovine Spongiform encephalopathy (or Mad Cow disease). This experiment tested the effect of three different plasmids, pH317, pER62 and pmp46 on prion formation in both wild-type and Urm1 deletion mutants in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The proposed hypothesis was overexpression of the prion forming protein would increase the frequency of prion formation, as well as yield less sustainable prion amyloids (or prion aggregations) that ...


Quantifying Acclimation Levels Of Mimus Polyglottos In The Presence Of People, Jordan Rutherford Dec 2012

Quantifying Acclimation Levels Of Mimus Polyglottos In The Presence Of People, Jordan Rutherford

Honors Theses

The northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is a common bird species found in North America that in the past 150 years has expanded its distribution north. It is now commonly seen in urban and suburban areas were at one point, it was rarely seen outside of rural and forested areas. For the study, I observed northern mockingbirds at nine different sites over a period of a month between September and October 2012. After the study, I determined that there is a negative relationship between the number of people in the surrounding area and the distance when the birds flew away.


The Debate On Marine Mammals In Captivity, Lorna C. Scribner Dec 2012

The Debate On Marine Mammals In Captivity, Lorna C. Scribner

Honors Theses

Are marine mammal species better off today because of captivity? Is captivity ethical and should it be continued? As this debate grows stronger, both of these sides of the argument offer substantial evidence in their favor. In this paper, I discuss data for both sides and evaluate the justifications of marine mammal captivity. Ideally, no matter the outcome, this research will educate the public on influential factors of wild and captive populations.


A Comparison Of Placental Tissue In The Skinks Eulamprus Tympanum And E. Quoyii, Lauren Yates Dec 2012

A Comparison Of Placental Tissue In The Skinks Eulamprus Tympanum And E. Quoyii, Lauren Yates

Honors Theses

The species Eulamprus tympanum and Eulamprus quoyii are viviparous skinks that are said to have a Type I placenta. This research compared histological characteristics of the oviduct during pregnancy in E. tympanum and E. quoyii and assessed whether structural features are consistent with a Type I placentation. A similarity was seen in both of these species and was not consistent with a Type I placenta. Extreme folding of the uterine tissue was observed in the early stages. An increase in glands around the later stages was observed while there was no change in blood vessel density over the course of ...


Effects Of Selenium On The Freshwater Alga Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii With And Without The Proteasome Inhibitor Mg132, E. Patrick Vallentine Dec 2012

Effects Of Selenium On The Freshwater Alga Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii With And Without The Proteasome Inhibitor Mg132, E. Patrick Vallentine

Honors Theses

Selenium is a required nutrient in animal life but has not been shown to be needed in plants. The model plant cell Chlamydomonas reinhardtii may be an exception as it appears to increase its growth rate in the presence of selenium. Because selenium has the same valence state as sulfur it may be incorporated into proteins as the modified amino acid selenocysteine. This incorporation of selenocysteine into protein may disrupt the disulfide bridges that give proteins the correct conformation. Misfolded proteins can wreak havoc on a cell. This stress can be measured through several parameters. Chlorophyll levels, glutathione levels, growth ...


Winter Site Fidelity In Secretive Marsh Sparrows Along The Coast Of South Carolina, Susan M. Shaw Dec 2012

Winter Site Fidelity In Secretive Marsh Sparrows Along The Coast Of South Carolina, Susan M. Shaw

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Salt marshes, which are threatened by sea level rise and development, provide habitat for a distinctive suite of specialized vertebrates, and knowledge of the life histories of salt marsh specialists may help preserve salt marsh fauna in the face of change. I studied wintering site fidelity of Seaside (Ammodramus maritimus), Saltmarsh (A. caudacutus) and Nelson's (A. nelsoni) Sparrows by mist-netting and banding birds at six sites in two salt marshes in South Carolina. I banded 261 sparrows over two winters, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, and recaptured 92. Across-year return rates were high, but significantly different across species: 43% for Seaside ...


Analysis Of The Response Of A Bromeliad, Vriesea Gigantea, Subjected To Drought, Taylor Epley May 2012

Analysis Of The Response Of A Bromeliad, Vriesea Gigantea, Subjected To Drought, Taylor Epley

Honors Theses

Drought can quickly alter physiological processes in plants not adapted to such conditions. Epiphytic plants, however, have been noted to have some tolerance to drought, which is evident in their water-holding tanks. Several physiological components were measured to determine if Vriesea gigantea, an epiphytic bromeliad, has drought tolerance. Water content, maximum quantum yield, protein concentration, and protein content were measured and compared between three control plants and three experimental plants, which were subjected to two weeks of no water. Water content showed a significant difference, indicating that the plants were being stressed compared to the control plants. The average maximum ...


Nicotine-Induced Neuroprotection In Drosophila Models Of Parkinson's Disease, Lynsey Deudne May 2012

Nicotine-Induced Neuroprotection In Drosophila Models Of Parkinson's Disease, Lynsey Deudne

Honors Theses

Parkinson's disease (PD) causes rigidity, tremors, and posture impairments. There is no cure for this disease and its symptoms intensify with age. In this study, fruit flies were induced with PD using rotenone and the flies in treatment group were provided with food that contained nicotine to determine if nicotine causes neuroprotection and alleviates symptoms of PD. A climbing assay was used to assess the severity of symptoms of PD in the control and experimental groups. The PD induced flies that received nicotine did not show a significant difference in motor ability and therefore did not experience neuroprotection.