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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

The Consequences Of Speed: Studies Of Cavitation During The Mantis Shrimp Strike And The Control Of Rapid Deceleration During Toad Landing, Suzanne M. Cox Nov 2016

The Consequences Of Speed: Studies Of Cavitation During The Mantis Shrimp Strike And The Control Of Rapid Deceleration During Toad Landing, Suzanne M. Cox

Doctoral Dissertations

There are consequences of moving quickly in this world. Here we investigate how two very different species, mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus) and cane toads (Bufo marinus), negotiate forces that result from moving rapidly in different environments. To study the mechanical principles and fluid dynamics of ultrafast power-amplified systems, we built Ninjabot, a physical model of the extremely fast mantis shrimp. While mantis shrimp produce damaging cavitation upon impact with their prey, they do not cavitate during the forward portion of their strike despite extreme speeds. In order to study cavitation onset in non-linear flows common during the mantis shrimp strike ...


Spider Brain Morphology & Behavior, Skye M. Long Jul 2016

Spider Brain Morphology & Behavior, Skye M. Long

Doctoral Dissertations

Spiders are ideal model animals for experimental and comparative studies of behavior, learning and perception. They display many complex behaviors, such as the multimodal mating dances of lycosid spiders, the stealthy hunting strategies of the jumping spider Portia sp., to the labile sociality of theridiids. Spiders also demonstrate a wide range of cognitive capabilities. Spiders perceive their environment using multiple sensory modalities including: chemosensory organs; lyriform and slit-sense organs and specialized hairs that detect vibration and air movement; and up to eight eyes that vary in function, some able to detect polarization and a broad spectrum of light, including ultraviolet ...


Chemically Mediated Interactions Between Hosts, Parasitic Plants And Insect Herbivores, Muvari C. Tjiurutue Jul 2016

Chemically Mediated Interactions Between Hosts, Parasitic Plants And Insect Herbivores, Muvari C. Tjiurutue

Doctoral Dissertations

Species interactions, by changing phenotypic traits, can alter the outcome of subsequent interactions. Plant-mediated responses to herbivores have been extensively studied, but little is known about plant-mediated responses involving parasitic plants within a broader community context that also includes herbivores. Because parasitic plants are important components of many ecosystems and can shape community structure, it is important to understand how host-mediated interactions influence parasite preference and success. The goal of this thesis is to examine interactions between hosts, parasitic plants and herbivores mediated by chemical traits. We first examined the effects of dodder (Cuscuta sp.) parasitism on induced defenses in ...


Curcumin And Its Oxidative Degradation Products: Their Comparative Effects On Inflammation, Julia Zhu Jul 2016

Curcumin And Its Oxidative Degradation Products: Their Comparative Effects On Inflammation, Julia Zhu

Masters Theses

The anti-inflammatory agent curcumin degrades rapidly, leading to speculations that curcumin’s reported effects stem from its degradation products. Curcumin can degrade via hydrolysis, and more recently it was discovered that curcumin can degrade via oxidation at physiological pH. Additionally, bicyclopentadione is the major degradation product from this oxidation reaction. Evidence from the literature suggests that curcumin degrades primarily through oxidation. However, the biology of the oxidation products is not well characterized, and there is debate on whether oxidation intermediates or curcumin itself is more biologically active. To further elucidate the biology of the oxidation products, their effects on inflammation ...


Evaluating A Novel Photochemical Tool For Labeling And Tracking Live, Endogenous Calcium-Permeable Ampars, Rosamund Elizabeth Combs-Bachmann Jul 2016

Evaluating A Novel Photochemical Tool For Labeling And Tracking Live, Endogenous Calcium-Permeable Ampars, Rosamund Elizabeth Combs-Bachmann

Masters Theses

The purpose of this research is to advance development of a photochemical tool designed to probe the role of ionotropic glutamate receptor signaling in neurodegenerative processes, and to delve more deeply into the biological processes underlying the role of these receptors in signaling and memory formation. This ligand-targeted nanoprobe was designed and developed in our lab to label endogenous calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs) in live cells with minimal disruption to native receptor activity. Nanoprobe is designed to use naphthyl acetyl spermine (NASPM) as a photocleavable ligand to target and covalently label native CP-AMPARs with a non-perturbing, fluorescent marker that then allows ...


Evolvability Of The Skull: A Study Of Genetic Basis And Integration In The Teleost Craniofacial Skeleton, Yinan Hu Mar 2016

Evolvability Of The Skull: A Study Of Genetic Basis And Integration In The Teleost Craniofacial Skeleton, Yinan Hu

Doctoral Dissertations

As the field of evolutionary biology pivots away from a gene-centric view of how adaptive evolution proceeds, renewed emphasis is placed on the origin of phenotypic variation. Understanding the developmental processes that underlie the production of novel traits, and how they might influence evolvability, is considered a primary goal in the on-going “extended evolutionary synthesis”. The following dissertation explores these questions in the context of adaptive radiations in fish, with a focus on morphological variation in the craniofacial skeleton. Specifically, the first chapter investigates the genetic and developmental basis of shape (co-)variation in the feeding apparatus of African cichlid ...