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2010

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Aminormotiffinder - A Graph Grammar Based Tool To Effectively Search A Minor Motifs In 3d Rna Molecules, Ankur Malhotra Dec 2010

Aminormotiffinder - A Graph Grammar Based Tool To Effectively Search A Minor Motifs In 3d Rna Molecules, Ankur Malhotra

Theses

RNA Motifs are three dimensional folds that play important role in RNA folding and its interaction with other molecules. They basically have modular structure and are composed of conserved building blocks dependent upon the sequence. Their automated in silico identification remains a challenging task. Existing motif identification tools does not correctly identify motifs with large structure variations. Here a “graph rewriting” based method is proposed to identify motifs in real three dimensional structures. The unique encoding of A Minor Searcher takes into consideration the non canonical base pairs and also multipairing of RNA structural motifs. The accuracy is demonstrated by ...


Characterization Of The Role Of Nicotine And Delta 9-Thc In Modulation Of Neuroinflammation, Jared Ehrhart Dec 2010

Characterization Of The Role Of Nicotine And Delta 9-Thc In Modulation Of Neuroinflammation, Jared Ehrhart

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Neuroinflammation is a major driving force in the progression of neurodegenerative disorders. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, as well as cannabinoid CB2 receptors, have been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties when activated. These effects are shown, in vivo, to be a result of stimulation of α7 nAChRs and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Microglia cells, an immune cell in the brain, are shown to express both of these receptor subtypes. The studies detailed herein, investigated the ability of two compounds, nicotine and Δ9-THC, in modulation of inflammatory processes. Stimulation of these receptors on microglia using nicotine and Δ9-THC blocked the activation of these ...


Strategies To Resolve The Three-Dimensional Structure Of The Genome Of Small Single-Stranded Icosahedral Viruses, Eduardo Sanz Garcia Dec 2010

Strategies To Resolve The Three-Dimensional Structure Of The Genome Of Small Single-Stranded Icosahedral Viruses, Eduardo Sanz Garcia

Theses and Dissertations

The aim of this study is the three-dimensional structural characterization of the genome packaging inside viral capsids via cryo-electron microscopy and three-dimensional reconstruction. The genome of some single-stranded viruses can be densely packaged within their capsid shells. Several stretches of the genome are known to adopt stable secondary structures, however, to date, little is known about the three-dimensional organization of the genome inside their capsid shells. Two techniques have been developed to facilitate the structural elucidation of genome packaging: the asymmetric random-model method, and the symmetry-mismatch, random model method. Both techniques were successfully tested with model and experimental data. The ...


Utilizing Genetically Engineered Mouse Models Of Pancreatic Cancer: Evaluating The Role Of Cathepsin B And The Efficacy Of Farnesyl Thiosalicylic Acid, Aarthi Gopinathan Dec 2010

Utilizing Genetically Engineered Mouse Models Of Pancreatic Cancer: Evaluating The Role Of Cathepsin B And The Efficacy Of Farnesyl Thiosalicylic Acid, Aarthi Gopinathan

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

I have utilized genetically engineered mouse models of pancreatic cancer to identify a potential new therapeutic target, and to test the efficacy of a putative ras inhibitor. In the first part, I show that cathepsin B is upregulated during disease progression in the mouse pancreas, as is overall cathepsin activity. Loss of cathepsin B decreases preinvasive disease burden and imparts a significant survival benefit, with a consistent decrease in proliferation. In addition, lack of cathepsin B also decreases the burden of liver metastasis. Phospho-Erk localization appears to be affected by cathepsin B loss, which may account for the defect in ...


Modeling Virus-Host Networks, James P. Evans Dec 2010

Modeling Virus-Host Networks, James P. Evans

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Virus-host interactions are being cataloged at an increasing rate using protein interaction assays and small interfering RNA screens for host factors necessary for infection. These interactions can be viewed as a network, where genes or proteins are nodes, and edges correspond to associations between them. Virus-host interac- tion networks will eventually support the study and treatment of infection, but first require more data and better analysis techniques. This dissertation targets these goals with three aims. The first aim tackles the lack of data by providing a method for the computational prediction of virus-host protein interactions. We show that HIV-human protein ...


Vitamin A Metabolism And Commensal Stimulationi In The Promotion Of Mucosal Immunity, Jason A. Hall Dec 2010

Vitamin A Metabolism And Commensal Stimulationi In The Promotion Of Mucosal Immunity, Jason A. Hall

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

The gastrointestinal tract is replete with commensal microbes and dietary nutrients that provide homeostatic signals. Antigen presenting dendritic cells (DC) residing in the underlying lamina propria (Lp) respond to these signals; however, how they contribute to intestinal T cell homeostasis is unclear. In Chapter 2, LpDC are revealed to uniquely induce naïve T cell differentiation into the Foxp3+ regulatory T cell (Treg) subset. Further, the molecular mechanisms controlling this capacity both in vitro and in vivo are shown to hinge on the vitamin A metabolite, retinoic acid (RA), which LpDC are equipped to synthesize, and the cytokine, TGF-beta. T cell ...


The Tumor Suppressor Protein P53 And The Antagonizing Oncoprotein E6 From Human Papillomavirus Type 16, Kimberly A. Malecka Dec 2010

The Tumor Suppressor Protein P53 And The Antagonizing Oncoprotein E6 From Human Papillomavirus Type 16, Kimberly A. Malecka

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

The tumor suppressor protein p53 transactivates genes involved in cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in response to DNA damage, cellular stress and some oncogenic proteins. The wild type polypeptide chain of p53 has four distinct domains, including the sequence specific DNA binding core domain and the C terminal tetramerization domain. p53 must retain its ability to oligomerize and bind DNA targets in vivo to fulfill its function. Using X-ray crystallography and a crosslinking strategy, the structure of a wild type tetrameric p53 core domain bound to its consensus sequence was solved. This structure gives insight into DNA bend, core domain-DNA ...


Mechanisms Of Hdac2 Function In The Regulation Of Adult Cardiac Hypertrophy And Embryonic Myocyte Proliferation, Wenting Zhu Dec 2010

Mechanisms Of Hdac2 Function In The Regulation Of Adult Cardiac Hypertrophy And Embryonic Myocyte Proliferation, Wenting Zhu

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

HDACs can modify the structure and function of chromatin to regulate gene expression and can also modify many non-histone proteins that regulate cell function and signaling. HDACs have attracted increasing interest because they are involved in a variety of physiologic and pathophysiologic processes including stem cell maintenance, differentiation, cancer, inflammation and cardiac diseases. In the absence of Hdac2, mice display myocyte hyper-proliferation during embryonic development and resistance to cardiac hypertrophy in adulthood. This doctoral dissertation examines the function of two Hdac2 downstream targets, Inpp5f and Gata4, in regulating adult cardiac hypertrophy and embryonic myocyte proliferation, respectively. My results suggest that ...


Activation Of The Integrated Stress Response In Hiv-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder, Kathryn A. Lindl Dec 2010

Activation Of The Integrated Stress Response In Hiv-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder, Kathryn A. Lindl

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are comprised of a host of behavioral, cognitive, and motor disabilities and can range from more minor disorders that largely allow basic daily functioning to severe disorders, such as HIV-associated dementia. The mechanisms that ultimately result in neuronal death in HAND are not known. Presented here are data demonstrating activation of the Integrated Stress Response (ISR) in cortical autopsy tissue from HAND patients, as well as data characterizing the nature of the activation of this cellular stress response in this disease. Specifically, we have shown that there are increased levels of the molecular chaperone protein, BiP ...


Effect Of Hippocampal Creb Deletion On Models Of Anxiety, Depression, And Antidepressant Response, Brigitta B. Gundersen Dec 2010

Effect Of Hippocampal Creb Deletion On Models Of Anxiety, Depression, And Antidepressant Response, Brigitta B. Gundersen

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder, yet current antidepressants are inadequate as they require weeks of treatment to alleviate symptoms. The mechanism by which the immediate effects of antidepressants cause later behavioral improvements remains unknown, focusing research on downstream signaling events triggered by antidepressant administration. Expression and activity of the transcription factor CREB are increased by antidepressant drugs, and CREB targets include genes known to be involved in antidepressant response. However, the effects of manipulating CREB depend on the brain region examined, with initial studies showing an antidepressant role for CREB in the hippocampus. To investigate the hippocampal-specific importance ...


Circuitry Underlying Sleep In Drosophila Melanogaster: Anatomy And The Role Of Octopamine, Amanda J. Crocker Dec 2010

Circuitry Underlying Sleep In Drosophila Melanogaster: Anatomy And The Role Of Octopamine, Amanda J. Crocker

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Almost 20 years ago, the gene underlying fatal familial insomnia was discovered, first suggesting the concept that a single gene can regulate sleep. In the two decades since, there have been many advances in the field of behavioral genetics, but it is only in the past 10 years that the genetic analysis of sleep has emerged as an important discipline. Major findings include the discovery of a single gene underlying the sleep disorder narcolepsy, and identification of loci that make quantitative contributions to sleep characteristics. The sleep field has also expanded its focus from mammalian model organisms to Drosophila, zebrafish ...


Development As A New Paradigm For Improved Tendon Healing: A Characterization Of Neonatal Tendon Development, Healing During Development And An Investigation Into Differential Parameters During Accelerated Healing, Heather L. Ansorge Dec 2010

Development As A New Paradigm For Improved Tendon Healing: A Characterization Of Neonatal Tendon Development, Healing During Development And An Investigation Into Differential Parameters During Accelerated Healing, Heather L. Ansorge

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

During neonatal development, tendons undergo a well orchestrated process whereby extensive structural and compositional changes occur in synchrony to produce a normal tissue. Conversely, during the repair response to injury, structural and compositional changes occur, but in this case, a mechanically inferior tendon is produced. An injured tendon that is mechanically inferior has compromised function and reruptures after treatment are commonly observed clinically. As a result, the process of development has been postulated as a potential paradigm through which improved adult tissue healing may occur. First, the role of CD44 in healing was examined through a patellar tendon injury in ...


Nucleoside Modifications Suppress Rna Activation Of Cytoplasmic Rna Sensors, Bart R. Anderson Dec 2010

Nucleoside Modifications Suppress Rna Activation Of Cytoplasmic Rna Sensors, Bart R. Anderson

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Multiple innate defense pathways exist to recognize and defend against foreign nucleic acids. Unlike innate immune receptors that recognize structures specific for pathogens that are not shared by mammalian hosts — for example, toll-like receptor (TLR)4-lipopolysaccharide, TLR5-flagellin, NOD1 and 2-peptidoglycan — all nucleic acids are made from four components that are identical from bacteria to man. Nucleoside modifications are prevalent in nature but vary greatly in their distribution and frequency, and therefore could serve as patterns for recognition of pathogenic nucleic acids. The presence of modified nucleosides in RNA reduces the activation of RNA-sensing TLRs and retinoic acid inducible gene I ...


The Role Of Prembt Transcription In Xenopus Development, Jennifer N. Skirkanich Dec 2010

The Role Of Prembt Transcription In Xenopus Development, Jennifer N. Skirkanich

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

In most organisms, control of the developmental program involves a regulated transition from maternally supplied mRNAs and proteins to newly synthesized zygotically encoded factors. This phenomena, known as the maternal to zygotic transition (MZT), is observed in a wide range of embryos in the animal and plant kingdoms; in chordates, the MZT typically occurs during midblastula stages, and therefore is often referred to as the midblastula transition (MBT). Early development of most organisms is exclusively maternally controlled, and the zygotic genome of the embryo remains transcriptionally silent until after the MBT, when the transition to zygotic control culminates. Recent work ...


Coexpression Networks Based On Natural Variation In Human Gene Expression At Baseline And Under Stress, Renuka Nayak Dec 2010

Coexpression Networks Based On Natural Variation In Human Gene Expression At Baseline And Under Stress, Renuka Nayak

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Genes interact in networks to orchestrate cellular processes. Here, we used coexpression networks based on natural variation in gene expression to study the functions and interactions of human genes. We asked how these networks change in response to stress.

First, we studied human coexpression networks at baseline. We constructed networks by identifying correlations in expression levels of 8.9 million gene pairs in immortalized B cells from 295 individuals comprising three independent samples. The resulting networks allowed us to infer interactions between biological processes. We used the network to predict the functions of poorly-characterized human genes, and provided some experimental ...


Structure-Based Design Of Inhibitors Targeting Influenza A Virus M2 Proton Channel (A/M2), Jun Wang Dec 2010

Structure-Based Design Of Inhibitors Targeting Influenza A Virus M2 Proton Channel (A/M2), Jun Wang

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Influenza A virus M2 (A/M2) forms a homotetrameric channel in viral membranes that is highly selective for protons. A/M2 has been extensively studied by electrophysiologists, biophysicists, structural biologists and biochemists in order to understand the mechanism and selectivity of proton conductance from the structural basis. Medicinal chemists have also studied A/M2 as therapeutic target for anti-flu drugs. However, research on A/M2 drug binding lead to entirely different binding sites of two very similar anti-flu drugs. In light of the urgency in developing novel antivirals against drug resistant A/M2 mutants, it is imperative to solve this ...


Lin28b, Let-7, And The Molecular Pathogenesis Of Colon Cancer, Catrina E. King Dec 2010

Lin28b, Let-7, And The Molecular Pathogenesis Of Colon Cancer, Catrina E. King

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Lin28b is an RNA-binding protein that inhibits biogenesis of tumor-suppressive microRNAs of the let-7 family, and is involved in induction of pluripotency. Although LIN28B has been implicated in cancer, a specific role in colon tumorigenesis has not been elucidated. We have determined that colon tumors exhibit decreased levels of mature let-7 isoforms, and that constitutive let-7 expression inhibits migration and invasion of colon cancer cells in vitro. Importantly, down-regulation of let-7a and let-7b in colon tumors correlates with increased expression of LIN28B, suggesting tumor-promoting properties of this let-7 inhibitor. In order to determine the role of LIN28B in colon cancer ...


Mammary Epithelial Metastatic Phenotype Forced Through The Extracellular Matrix, Olga Shebanova Dec 2010

Mammary Epithelial Metastatic Phenotype Forced Through The Extracellular Matrix, Olga Shebanova

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Biochemical and mechanical cues of the extracellular matrix have been shown to play important roles in cell-matrix and cell-cell interactions. We have experimentally tested the combined influence of these cues on cell motility, cell-cell interaction and assembly and traction force profile in an in vitro breast cancer model. The behavior of non-tumorigenic mammary epithelial cells was observed on surfaces with varying ligand concentration and polyacrylamide gel rigidity. Our data shows that cell velocity is biphasic in both matrix rigidity and adhesiveness, which are inversely related. Traction force microscopy revealed that maximum migration velocity is reached at intermediate force of single ...


Wnt2 Signaling In Lung Development, Ashley M. Goss Dec 2010

Wnt2 Signaling In Lung Development, Ashley M. Goss

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Development of the vertebrate lung is a complex process involving the input of signaling pathways to coordinate the specification and differentiation of multiple cell types. The Wnt signaling pathway plays a critical role in the development of many vertebrate tissue types, including the lung. However, the functions of individual Wnt ligands during the specification and development of respiratory lineages have not been fully addressed. In this dissertation, I combine mouse genetic models and ex vivo tissue culture assays to determine the function of Wnt2 signaling in lung development. These studies reveal critical roles for Wnt2 signaling during the specification of ...


Insights Into The Cytotoxic Potential Of Human Cd8+ T Cells: Implications For Virologic Control Of Hiv, Adam R. Hersperger Dec 2010

Insights Into The Cytotoxic Potential Of Human Cd8+ T Cells: Implications For Virologic Control Of Hiv, Adam R. Hersperger

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

CD8+ T cells are often referred to as cytotoxic T lymphocytes because of their ability to induce the apoptosis of cells infected with an intracellular pathogen, thereby limiting the spread of an infection to previously uninfected cells. CD8+ T cells produce many proteins - including perforin, various granzymes, and granulysin - that are responsible for inducing target cell cytolysis. These cytolytic proteins are found pre-packaged into secretory granules within many resting CD8+ T cells, but their de novo synthesis can also occur after activation. In the setting of HIV infection, a rare group of HIV-positive patients, termed elite controllers (EC), naturally control ...


Understanding And Improving Platelet-Delivered Factor (F) Viii Hemostatic Efficacy In Hemophilia A Mice, Teshell Kimoy Ponteen Greene Dec 2010

Understanding And Improving Platelet-Delivered Factor (F) Viii Hemostatic Efficacy In Hemophilia A Mice, Teshell Kimoy Ponteen Greene

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Hemophilia A is the most common, inherited severe bleeding diathesis and is due to a deficiency of functional Factor (F) VIII. Two challenges to current FVIII replacement therapy are maintaining sustained FVIII corrections and treating the 30% population of Hemophilia A patients who develop FVIII inhibitors. Gene therapy promises to be an attractive treatment for hemophilia A as there is a wide therapeutic window for FVIII corrective plasma levels. Since platelets target to hemostatic injuries, ectopically expressed platelet (p) FVIII is an attractive alternative FVIII delivery strategy. We have already shown the effectiveness of platelet human B-domainless factor VIII (phBF8 ...


A Study Of Molecular Adsorption And Transport At Cell Membrane And Biologically Relevant Surfaces By Second Harmonic Generation, Jia Zeng Dec 2010

A Study Of Molecular Adsorption And Transport At Cell Membrane And Biologically Relevant Surfaces By Second Harmonic Generation, Jia Zeng

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Most of the biological processes in living systems involve molecular adsorption and transport at biomembranes. It is highly desired to study the time-resolved transport kinetics through living cell membranes. In this thesis, an experimental means based on a nonlinear optical phenomenon, Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) has been demonstrated to detect the molecular adsorption and transport through living cell membranes in real time and to evaluate the salt ion effects on adsorption processes in biologically relevant colloidal systems. In the case of gram-negative bacteria, E.coli, a hydrophobic cation, Malachite Green (MG) has been observed to adsorb onto the cell surface ...


The Basis Of Vcp-Mediated Degeneration: Insights From A Drosophila Model Of Disease, Gillian P. Ritson Dec 2010

The Basis Of Vcp-Mediated Degeneration: Insights From A Drosophila Model Of Disease, Gillian P. Ritson

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Valosin-containing protein (VCP) is a highly conserved molecular chaperone that regulates a wide array of essential cellular processes. Mutations in VCP are causative of degenerative disease that can affect muscle, brain and bone. Despite VCP being implicated in many major pathways in the cell, the mechanism of disease pathogenesis is unknown. To gain insight into the degeneration associated with mutations in VCP, we developed and characterized a Drosophila model of disease that recapitulated VCP mutation-dependent toxicity. VCP is involved in a diverse array of activities, many of which we may not know. Therefore we employed an unbiased genetic screening method ...


Native Functions Of The Androgen Receptor Are Essential To Pathogenesis In A Drosophila Model Of Spinobulbar Muscular Atrophy, Natalia B. Nedelsky Dec 2010

Native Functions Of The Androgen Receptor Are Essential To Pathogenesis In A Drosophila Model Of Spinobulbar Muscular Atrophy, Natalia B. Nedelsky

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a progressive, late-onset disease characterized by degeneration of motor neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord. The disease is caused by expansion of a polyglutamine tract in the androgen receptor (AR) and is dependent on exposure to AR ligand. The expanded polyglutamine tract confers toxic function to the protein through unknown mechanisms, although the ligand-dependent nature of SBMA suggests that the mechanism of pathogenesis may be tied to ligand-dependent alterations in AR function. However, whether toxicity is mediated by native AR function or a novel AR function is unknown. We systematically investigated ligand-dependent modifications of ...


Characterization Of Thap10 And Thap11 As Transcriptional Repressors In Dna Damage And Colon Cancer Progression, James B. Parker Dec 2010

Characterization Of Thap10 And Thap11 As Transcriptional Repressors In Dna Damage And Colon Cancer Progression, James B. Parker

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

The THAP (Thanatos associated protein) domain is an evolutionarily conserved zinc-finger motif highly similar to the sequence specific DNA binding domain of Drosophila P element transposase. Emerging data suggest THAP proteins may function in DNA and chromatin dependent processes, including transcription. However, the transcriptional regulatory function, mechanisms of action, and role of most THAP proteins in normal and aberrant cellular processes remain largely unknown.

In this thesis, we demonstrate that several human THAP proteins contain transcriptional repressor activity and specifically identify THAP10 and THAP11 as differentially expressed in human DNA damage and colon cancer progression, respectively. THAP10 and THAP11 repressed ...


Hiv Immunopathogenesis: Inhibition Of Cd4+ T Cell Activation, Haitao Hu Dec 2010

Hiv Immunopathogenesis: Inhibition Of Cd4+ T Cell Activation, Haitao Hu

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection causes profound impairment of CD4+ T cell immunity. Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) restores CD4+ T cell responses to common antigens, but HIV-specific responses remain deficient. The immunization of chronically HIV infected, ART treated subjects also leads to poor HIV-specific CD4+ T cell responses. The mechanisms are not fully understood. In this thesis, I demonstrate that HIV envelope glycoprotein (Env), when delivered in the form of a vaccine or when present on free viral particles, suppresses antigen-stimulated CD4+ T cell proliferation. I investigate the potential involvement of human T regulatory cells (Treg) using an in vitro model ...


Genetic Determinants Of Virulence For The A59 And Jhm Strains Of Mouse Hepatitis Virus, Timothy J. Cowley Dec 2010

Genetic Determinants Of Virulence For The A59 And Jhm Strains Of Mouse Hepatitis Virus, Timothy J. Cowley

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

The murine coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) can cause a range of illnesses depending on the strain. These include hepatitis, enteritis, pneumonia, and encephalitis. Here we study the strains A59 and JHM. The A59 strain is weakly neurovirulent and causes moderate hepatitis. The JHM strain is highly neurovirulent, but is unable to replicate in the liver. Additionally, the immune response against CNS infections with JHM and A59 are different. In particular A59 induces a robust T cell response, while JHM induces a weak T cell response. We are interested in the genetic determinants of strain differences in virulence between A59 ...


Soil Organic Carbon Content And Quality In Post-Agricultural Northern Hardwood Forests, John D. Clark Dec 2010

Soil Organic Carbon Content And Quality In Post-Agricultural Northern Hardwood Forests, John D. Clark

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Agricultural practices are known to diminish soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and alter carbon quality. We surveyed a diverse set of sites in heterogeneous landscapes to determine past land use histories and ages of agricultural abandonment in order to examine changes to and spatial controls on soil carbon pools. Soils were sampled using quantitatively excavated pits, to the extent of the rooting zone. Three regions (i. western New England (WNE); ii. southern Wisconsin; iii. northern Wisconsin) of northern hardwood forests with different patterns of agriculture abandonment, varying soil types and properties, and differing climates were examined. Carbon (C) and nitrogen ...


A Profile Of Rural Southern Appalachian Hiv Patients: Vamc Versus Com., Lauren Brooks Dec 2010

A Profile Of Rural Southern Appalachian Hiv Patients: Vamc Versus Com., Lauren Brooks

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Although the AIDS epidemic in America began approximately three decades ago, much remains to be learned about the epidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections in rural America. This study compared profiles of HIV patients at the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Mountain Home, TN to those seen at a university-based community HIV care clinic (COM) in Johnson City, TN.


Neurochemical Levels Correlate With Population Level Differences In Social Structure And Individual Behavior In The Polyphenic Spider, Anelosimus Studiosus., Jennifer Bryson Price Dec 2010

Neurochemical Levels Correlate With Population Level Differences In Social Structure And Individual Behavior In The Polyphenic Spider, Anelosimus Studiosus., Jennifer Bryson Price

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Anelosimus studiosus is a socially polyphenic spider. Individuals can be classified as social/tolerant or solitary/aggressive. These behavioral differences are associated with considerable variation in social structure. Here, we begin to examine the physiological differences that may underlie the behavioral dimorphism in this species and possible implications for the evolution of sociality. Octopamine is a neurotransmitter that has been found to elevate aggression in invertebrates. Serotonin has been shown, in some cases, to interact antagonistically with octopamine. We used High Pressure Liquid Chromatography with Electrochemical Detection to quantify levels of these neurochemicals among adult females from social (multi-female) and ...