Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Life Sciences Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

PDF

Theses/Dissertations

Utah State University

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Articles 1 - 30 of 66

Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Effects Of Reproductive Maturity On Neuroplasticity In Male Bumble Bees (Bombus Impatiens), Karlee Eck May 2019

Effects Of Reproductive Maturity On Neuroplasticity In Male Bumble Bees (Bombus Impatiens), Karlee Eck

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Within the span of an insect's lifetime, new synaptic connections between neurons are made in response to age and experience. This neuroplasticity leads to anatomical changes within individual brain regions that represent investment in different brain functions. The neuroplasticity of female bumble bees has been well studied, but almost nothing is known about how the male bee brain responds to life experiences. Due to the complex sensory requirements of mate finding and copulation for males, neuroplasticity is likely to be an important component of reproduction. These sensory requirements include olfactory and optic inputs, which are processed in the calyces ...


Determining The Need For Meal Preparation Education In First-Year University Students, Alicia Kunzler May 2019

Determining The Need For Meal Preparation Education In First-Year University Students, Alicia Kunzler

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Background: In previous research, college students reported low confidence and varying skill in meal preparation ability. This study evaluates first-year university students to determine the acceptability of meal preparation programming for this population.

Objective: To assess university freshmen's skill level, confidence, and interest in food budgeting, meal planning, and cooking techniques to determine potential interventions.

Methods: First-year university students (n=265; 58 men, 205 women) were recruited through Facebook and email invitations to complete a 50-item survey. Survey categories included skills/confidence in food budgeting (8), meal planning (12), and cooking techniques 12); class interest (4), student background information ...


The Influence Of Time Spent In Beginning And End-State Postures On Grasp Choice, Rachel Modersitzki Dec 2018

The Influence Of Time Spent In Beginning And End-State Postures On Grasp Choice, Rachel Modersitzki

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

The choice to end comfortably often requires adoption of uncomfortable beginning states, demonstrating that a sequence of movement is planned in advance of movement onset. Many factors may influence the choice of comfortable end-state postures including the greater precision and speed afforded by postures at joint angle mid-ranges (Short & Cauraugh, 1999). There has been no evaluation of the hypothesis that postures are chosen based on minimizing time spent in postures. Typically, the time spent in beginning and end-states are not explicitly constrained, but the end-state posture is likely held for the longer amount of time due to greater precision or ...


A Qualitative Research Approach To Understanding Challenges That May Inhibit Optimal Usage Of Automatic Milking Systems In Northern Utah, Jessica Christensen Dec 2018

A Qualitative Research Approach To Understanding Challenges That May Inhibit Optimal Usage Of Automatic Milking Systems In Northern Utah, Jessica Christensen

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Dairy robotics, i.e., Automatic Milking Systems (AMS), is a relatively new field, one that has great promise to optimize efficiency, production, and animal welfare of dairy cattle. However, despite quantitative research findings that indicate AMS success, dairy farmers still face challenges integrating AMS into their production systems. During the fall of 2018, interviews were conducted with northern Utah dairy farmers regarding their robotic systems. The respondent data was analyzed to reveal repeated problems with the robots. This analysis was then used to direct research in order to propose solutions to the farmers' AMS challenges. Conclusions were then summarized in ...


Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency And Early Childhood Health Outcomes Including Autism Development, Kelsey L. Girardelli May 2018

Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency And Early Childhood Health Outcomes Including Autism Development, Kelsey L. Girardelli

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Many studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is associated with a variety of adverse maternal and pediatric outcomes. Disease outcomes that have been observed in pregnant women who are vitamin D deficient include increased risk of C-section, preeclampsia, bacterial vaginosis, and gestational diabetes. In children born to deficient mothers, increased rates of childhood asthma, type 1 diabetes, low birthweight, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been observed. Although there is much evidence to support these correlations, much is yet to be understood regarding the etiology of these outcomes. This paper specifically examines the relationships between risk factors ...


Managing Dietary Protein In Cattle As A Means Of Reducing Ammonia Emissions To Improve Air Quality, Ashley Houston May 2018

Managing Dietary Protein In Cattle As A Means Of Reducing Ammonia Emissions To Improve Air Quality, Ashley Houston

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Particulate matter pollution has become a subject of great concern across the globe. Emissions data has revealed that the agricultural sector is making large contributions to particulate matter through ammonia emissions. Beef and dairy cattle are responsible for producing nearly 50% of annual ammonia emissions in the United States. These animals are often fed amounts of dietary protein that exceed recommendations, resulting in increased excretion of urea and ammonia. These compounds combine with nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere to form PM2.5: particulate matter measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter. Research has shown that through proper dietary ...


Evaluation Of Antiviral Agents In Two Mouse Models Of Rna Virus Infections, John Hyrum Mcclatchy May 2018

Evaluation Of Antiviral Agents In Two Mouse Models Of Rna Virus Infections, John Hyrum Mcclatchy

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

The first model we are evaluating is human influenza virus in mice. Influenza virus is a negative sense RNA virus, which the CDC estimates causes between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses each year in the United States.[1] In the current influenza season, H3N2 viruses have been the predominant subclade of influenza A virus in circulation.[2] Development of a mouse model for influenza H3N2 virus infection has been difficult. In these studies, we endeavored to mouse-adapt influenza A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 H3N2 virus by serial passaging in AG129 mice. This virus strain was chosen as ...


The Role Of Trailing Behavior In Conspecific Mating In Thamnophis Elegans And Thamnophis Sirtalis, Eleanor Watson May 2018

The Role Of Trailing Behavior In Conspecific Mating In Thamnophis Elegans And Thamnophis Sirtalis, Eleanor Watson

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

In many gartersnake species, successful mating depends on the ability of males to follow pheromone trails left by females. The populations we investigated (Thamnophis sirtalis and Thamnophis elegans, closely related sympatric species) overwinter together and simultaneously emerge. Although, mating occurs concurrently, there is no evidence of hybridization. Therefore, we sought to investigate the mechanisms that allow male snakes to differentiate between heterospecific and conspecific females to ensure mating success. Behavior studies were conducted by presenting male snakes with extracted scents of conspecific females, heterospecific females, and conspecific males. We measured male preference by number of investigatory tongue flicks and time ...


Effect Of Wood Chips As A Component Of Soilless Media On Growth And Nutrition Of Food And Ornamental Crops, Kristen Bullough May 2018

Effect Of Wood Chips As A Component Of Soilless Media On Growth And Nutrition Of Food And Ornamental Crops, Kristen Bullough

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Peat is the central component of the soil-less media mix in all greenhouse crop production but it is expensive because it is harvested in Canada and shipped to greenhouses across North America. Wood chips provide a local, low-cost alternative to peat, but observations by growers indicate potential growth reductions from the addition of wood to peat-based media. Here I report the effects of the addition of wood chips to peat-based media. The study included four treatments: two controls (peat/vermiculite: 50/50 and 75/25) and two treatments with wood chips ' (peat/wood chips: 50/50 and 75/25) with ...


The Vestibular Contribution To Balance Control In Older Adults During Locomotion And Stair Negotiation, Megan Elwood May 2018

The Vestibular Contribution To Balance Control In Older Adults During Locomotion And Stair Negotiation, Megan Elwood

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Background: Stability is known to decrease as we age, but currently we know very little about how the body's balance system, the vestibular system, contributes to balance control in older adults, particularly while walking and climbing stairs. The purpose of this study was to take the first step in understanding vestibular contribution to balance control during locomotion and stair negotiation, and how this changes with age.

Methods: Ten young adults and six older adults ascended and descended a nine-step staircase 78 times and walked on a treadmill for 10 minutes to complete a total of 300 complete steps in ...


The Effect Of Gender And Socioeconomic Status On Concussion Reporting Behavior Among Ncaa Student-Athletes, Joshua Anthony Hansen May 2018

The Effect Of Gender And Socioeconomic Status On Concussion Reporting Behavior Among Ncaa Student-Athletes, Joshua Anthony Hansen

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that result from "brain shaking" that can occur during any situation that transmits force to the head. Concussions are defined as a clinical syndrome characterized by immediate and transient post-traumatic impairment of neural functions which lead to a complex grouping of both psychological and physiological symptoms (McCrory, et al., 2013). As knowledge of the long-term implications of these injuries grows, concussions are becoming more of a major health concern worldwide. One subset of concussion classifications, sports-related concussions, is receiving an increasing amount of attention from both scientists and health-care practitioners. It is estimated that more ...


Cache Valley Resident Exposure To Pm2.5, Kristina Krepinski Jul 2017

Cache Valley Resident Exposure To Pm2.5, Kristina Krepinski

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Air pollution poses one of the largest environmental risks to human health, and greatly contributes to increased mortality within populations. Of the different types of pollutants, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has the most adverse health effects. Long-term exposure to PM2.5 is known to have serious health outcomes; however, evidence has indicated that even short-term exposure to moderate concentrations of PM2.5 is detrimental to human health. While PM2.5 does contribute to various respiratory conditions by affecting lung function, it also significantly affects the cardiovascular system. Elevated PM2.5 exposure increases risk for ...


Dietary Supplementation With Tart Cherries For Prevention Of Inflammation-Associated Colorectal Cancer In Mice, Ashlie Hunter May 2017

Dietary Supplementation With Tart Cherries For Prevention Of Inflammation-Associated Colorectal Cancer In Mice, Ashlie Hunter

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

The cherry fruit is a nutrient-dense food with comparatively low caloric content and significant amounts of key nutrients and bioactive food chemicals. Much of the health benefit of cherries is attributed to their high amounts of anthocyanins, which have anti-oxidant and anticancer properties that contribute to changes in cell signaling pathways involved in inflammation, carcinogenesis and angiogenesis. In this project, we aimed to determine whether dietary supplementation with tart cherries prevents colon tumor development in mice consuming a Western diet compared to a prudent diet. Previously, our research team developed the Total Western Diet (TWD) for mice to emulate typical ...


Increasing Vaccine Accessibility Through Cost Alternative Manufacturing And Elimination Of The Cold Chain, Jorgen Madsen May 2015

Increasing Vaccine Accessibility Through Cost Alternative Manufacturing And Elimination Of The Cold Chain, Jorgen Madsen

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Millions of people die each year from infectious diseases. This is partly due to the difficulty of transporting temperature dependent vaccines through what is called the cold chain in developing countries. I hypothesize that we can increase vaccine accessibility by finding cost effective alternatives to vaccine production and by eliminating the cold chain through vaccine stabilizers. The gold standard in purification of influenza virus is by means of ultracentrifugation. Although effective, this process is very expensive and thus impractical for developing countries. I hypothesize that column chromatography can be a cost efficient alternative that is as effective as ultracentrifugation. The ...


Regularity Of Performance On A Computer Tracking Task Is Different Between Concussed And Non-Concussed Individuals, Kedric James Glenn Apr 2014

Regularity Of Performance On A Computer Tracking Task Is Different Between Concussed And Non-Concussed Individuals, Kedric James Glenn

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Concussion in athletics has raised public interest as more is learned about the damage done to the athlete. Some of the current field methods of assessing concussion do not look at neuro-cognitive recover, which can remain impaired long after the symptoms of concussion have passed. Other direct methods of assessing concussion are extremely expensive and are not easily portable.

We created a new assessment for concussion that is relatively inexpensive and portable using non-linear time series analysis of performance on a visual-motor tracking task. Approximate entropy (ApEn) is a tool that enables us to calculate the structure of variability form ...


Mycoplasmas & Mycobacteria: Minimalists At Work, Shalee Killpack Jan 2014

Mycoplasmas & Mycobacteria: Minimalists At Work, Shalee Killpack

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Mycoplasmas and mycobacteria are two types of opportunistic pathogens whose prevalence and virulence have long been underestimated. As a broad overview, this paper will explore the current understanding of these bacteria as well as some common pathological outcomes they can induce. Chronic infections, such as contagious bovine pleuropneumonia and Johne's disease, can have extensive health and economic impacts on animal industries when improperly managed. Contamination of biopharmaceuticals and human variants of disease, are also matters of concern as more research is conducted in these areas. A more detailed understanding of these bacteria is beginning to emerge-a view which reveals ...


Utilizing Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Analysis In Determining Parentage Of Cattle, Nicole M. Elbert Jan 2013

Utilizing Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Analysis In Determining Parentage Of Cattle, Nicole M. Elbert

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Parentage identification within cattle herds is an important aspect of record keeping. It is essential for accurate registration within a purebred association and decision making for production purposes, such as replacement heifer and sire selection. Methods used to identify parentage have evolved from utilizing blood protein antigens, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and microsatellites to the current technology of analyzing DNA profiles for differing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). In this preliminary study we analyzed genotype data from 1,066 samples obtained from various cattle breeds. These breeds included Holstein, Angus, Hereford, Irish Black, Jersey, Red Angus, Limousine, Charolais, Brown Swiss ...


Escherichia Coli: Levels Found In Suva Water And The Implications To Fijians: A Case Study Of The Vatuwaqa River, Hesper D. Kohler Jan 2013

Escherichia Coli: Levels Found In Suva Water And The Implications To Fijians: A Case Study Of The Vatuwaqa River, Hesper D. Kohler

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Urban migration is causing a high increase in the population of Suva, Fiji, and the population is growing at a rate that exceeds development planning and infrastructure. Several squatter settlements are established within the city limits where raw sewage, containing infectious pathogens and diseases, is released into the waterways. This study focuses on the area accumulation of the pathogenic bacteria from fecal contamination in the form of E. coli down the Vatuwaga River. E. coli is used as a water quality indicator because, if it is present, other possible pathogens and viruses such as cholera and salmonella could be present ...


Analysis Of An Inkjet Printed Strip Assay For Pregnancy Test In Cattle, Alexandra Windley Kelley Jan 2013

Analysis Of An Inkjet Printed Strip Assay For Pregnancy Test In Cattle, Alexandra Windley Kelley

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Using commercially available antibodies, we created a modified ELISA strip assay to determine pregnancy in cattle. The anti‐progesterone antibody was printed on small membrane strips via an Inkjet printer. The strips were subsequently analyzed using varying concentrations of progesterone. The objective of this study was to assess this novel antibody printing process and to determine the binding activity of the anti‐progesterone antibody. The long‐term objective is to develop a pen-side pregnancy test that would cost less than $1.00. In this specific study, it was determined that the anti‐progesterone antibody used did not provide adequate sensitivity ...


Caehnorhabditis Elegans: A Low-Cost In Vivo Animal Model For Efficacy Studies Of Novel Antibiotics, Rylee Ann Gregory Jun 2012

Caehnorhabditis Elegans: A Low-Cost In Vivo Animal Model For Efficacy Studies Of Novel Antibiotics, Rylee Ann Gregory

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Since the 1940s, antibiotics have greatly reduced the adverse effects of infectious diseases caused by microbes. However, due to excessive, and often incorrect, use of known antibiotics, many organisms have adapted antibiotic resistance. Currently, over 70% of known infectious bacteria are resistant to at least one antibiotic. In the U.S. , 90,000 deaths occur each year due to infection by bacteria resistant to antibiotics. This number has increased by nearly 75,000 in the last 20 years. It is necessary, therefore, to continue developing new antibiotics in an effort to keep up with increasing antibiotic resistance. Traditional in vitro ...


Locking Down The N-Terminus Of Prmt1 In Order To Assess The Role Of Motion In Activity, Taylor James Rasmussen May 2012

Locking Down The N-Terminus Of Prmt1 In Order To Assess The Role Of Motion In Activity, Taylor James Rasmussen

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) are involved In many major biological pathways in the human body. Processes that demonstrate arginine methylation by PRMTs include, but are not limited to, histone modification, DNA transcription, and post-translational protein modifications. Although recent research has allowed the identification of several PRMT isoforms and exposed their involvement in these processes, relatively little is known about the details of how these enzymes perform their biochemical duties. It is currently hypothesized that the N-terminus of PRMT variant I is involved in recognizing substrates and aiding in catalysis by virtue of a change in its conformation. To understand how ...


Automation Of Tangential Flow Filtration For Purification Of Biosynthetic Spider Silk, Candace N. Clark May 2012

Automation Of Tangential Flow Filtration For Purification Of Biosynthetic Spider Silk, Candace N. Clark

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

The objective of this project is to create a user-friendly, automated flow regulation system for a tangential flow filtration (TFF) process. These filtration units are crucial for the initial stages of extracting the spider silk proteins from transgenic goat milk. Automated flow regulation systems do exist, but not at an appropriate scale for this application. This system will allow bench-top studies to be conducted with automated efficiency. Spider silk is an amazing material and if commercially available, it could be used in hundreds of applications. Currently, cost effective production is the most significant issue stopping large-scale production and use of ...


Effects Of Supplementing Propionibacteria In Lactation Dairy Diets On Ruminal Fermentation In Continuous Cultures, Karmella Ann Dolecheck Nov 2011

Effects Of Supplementing Propionibacteria In Lactation Dairy Diets On Ruminal Fermentation In Continuous Cultures, Karmella Ann Dolecheck

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

The aim of the present study was to assess characteristics of in vitro ruminal fermentation when mixed cultures were offered lactation dairy diets supplemented with the direct-fed microorganism, Propionibacterium P63 in continuous cultures. The design of the experiment was a 2 × 2 factorial with 4 replications. Diets based on corn silage and alfalfa hay as the forage sources were formulated; high forage (HF) or low forage (LF) diet with a forage-to-concentrate ratio of 60:40 or 40:60 (DM basis), respectively, was combined without or with P63 to form 4 treatments: HF without P63, HF with P63, LF without P63 ...


Application Of Habitat And Occupancy Modeling To A Wood Duck Next Box Program, Jason D. Carlisle May 2011

Application Of Habitat And Occupancy Modeling To A Wood Duck Next Box Program, Jason D. Carlisle

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Programs to augment wood duck (Aix sponsa) nesting habitat by providing artificial nest boxes are commonly implemented. In northern Utah, where such programs are relatively new, I proposed a method to identify sites suitable for deployment of next boxes through a combination of habitat and occupancy modeling using site-specific, biotic, and abiotic, data collected from 105 next boxes over one nesting season in Cache County, Utah. An inductive habitat model was first developed which identified possibly suitable habitat (8.74% of county) based on proximity to hydrologic features. Next, based on comparing competing single-species, single-season, occupancy models using a modified ...


The High Cost Of Cheap Coal; Why Can't We Move To Renewable Energy, Cameron Dale Bartlett May 2011

The High Cost Of Cheap Coal; Why Can't We Move To Renewable Energy, Cameron Dale Bartlett

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

This article addresses the historic and current use of coal as the main source of electric power throughout the United States. Coal powered power plants remain an important part of the history and industrialization of the United States, even though there are many detrimental health and environmental impacts associated with its use. A slowly growing trend has been emerging with research on and use of renewable energy to replace fossil fuels, such as coal. Greater public awareness and involvement will help drive the slowly emerging use of renewable energy. This article looks at the current barriers that are prohibiting the ...


Properties Of Microbes In Natural Fire Burn Soils, Holly Anderson Aug 2010

Properties Of Microbes In Natural Fire Burn Soils, Holly Anderson

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Soil underlying a natural fire develops a hydrophobic soil sub-layer. This hydrophobicity decreases with time although the mechanisms are unresolved, but are thought to be biotic and abiotic. Some of the compounds accounting for hydrophobicity are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) of which pyrene is an example.

Bacteria that grew on pyrene were isolated from burned soils at two sites in Utah in order to analyze the biotic microbial degradation of the hydrophobic soil sub-layer. The two sites were Wood Camp (Logan, UT) and Milford Flats (Central UT). Identifications of the genera of nine isolated bacteria were made through l6S rRNA ...


Genetic And Biochemical Studies Of Plasmid Pir52-1 In Lactobacillus Helveticus, Cody Alexander Tramp May 2010

Genetic And Biochemical Studies Of Plasmid Pir52-1 In Lactobacillus Helveticus, Cody Alexander Tramp

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Lactobacillus helveticus is a species of lactic acid bacteria. These bacteria, which produce lactic acid as a major product of carbohydrate metabolism, are used industrially to produce cheese and other fermented dairy products (Ebringer et al., 2008). Many species of lactic acid bacteria also possess probiotic characteristics and when ingested potentially confer increased immune function, regulate gut microbiota, and improve digestion in the host (Reid, 2008). Genetic studies of these probiotic effects and other characteristics of L. helveticus and related species have been hindered by the lack of stably replicating plasmid vectors. Plasmid vectors for several Lactobacillus species have been ...


Lifespan Of Prokaryote Model Organism Escherichia Coli K-12, Hyrum Gillespie May 2010

Lifespan Of Prokaryote Model Organism Escherichia Coli K-12, Hyrum Gillespie

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Bacteria are amazingly resilient organisms, in that they have evolved and adapted to the many extreme environments of Earth (from salt, to pH, to temperature extremes etc.). The bacterial lifespan and death rates are as important as its growth rates in these extreme environments. Bacteria would be useful to determine the effects of age on single cells, but because bacteria reproduce asexually by binary cell fission (clonal replication), calculating the lifespan has proven elusive. Without the determination of a lifespan, age studies using bacteria have limited application. Further, it has been proposed that organisms whose somatic cell line is not ...


Acyl Homoserine Lactone Signaling In Pseudomonas Chlororaphis 06, Anna Hegsted May 2010

Acyl Homoserine Lactone Signaling In Pseudomonas Chlororaphis 06, Anna Hegsted

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Pseudomonas chlororaphis (PcO6), a rhizosphere bacterium, is important to agriculture because of its use as a biological control against fungus and other pests. This biological control correlates with production of phenazines; a process regulated by acyl homoserine lactones (AHSLs). Long chain AHSLs might also have an affect on the production of phenazines. My research showed that PcO6 produced long chain AHSLs and that production is affected by nutrition with more long chain AHSLs produced in rich medium than minimal medium. The nutritional studies and findings with different mutants of PcO6 altered in phenazine production suggest that control of these antifungal ...


Discovering Metabolic Networks Of Bovine Fertilization, Erin Lynn Young Dec 2009

Discovering Metabolic Networks Of Bovine Fertilization, Erin Lynn Young

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

At the time of fertilization, a dramatic change occurs in the oocyte that transforms this cell from a metaphase arrested state into a metabolically active and dynamic state. The view of the flow of biological processes within organisms has recently shifted from that of a linear path to a more complex network. Biological processes are no longer thought of in the simple terms of DNA to RNA, RNA to proteins, and proteins to final activity. It is now known that many biological processes involve interconnected networks and feedback loops in which DNA, RNA, proteins, and metabolites perform specific roles. We ...