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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.


Mitochondrial Dysfunction And Reactive Oxygen Species In Neurodegeneration, Leah Farina Dec 2013

Mitochondrial Dysfunction And Reactive Oxygen Species In Neurodegeneration, Leah Farina

Honors Theses

Neurodegeneration leads to the loss of normal anatomy and physiology of the neuronal system in a human body. The hallmark of most neurodegenerative diseases is abnormal folding and accumulation of proteins within neuronal cell bodies that is not present in healthy people. These changes in normal protein metabolism often lead to neuronal cell death and failure of the affected regions of the central nervous system. Abnormal protein accumulation may be attributed to dysfunctional mitochondria and damage by reactive oxygen species. In addition to causing altered protein accumulation, dysfunctional mitochondria and an excess of reactive oxygen species also lead to errors ...


Developmental Expression Profile Of Bric Á Brac 2, Midline And H15 In The Developing Eye And Central Nervous System Of Drosophila Melanogaster, Petra Visic Aug 2013

Developmental Expression Profile Of Bric Á Brac 2, Midline And H15 In The Developing Eye And Central Nervous System Of Drosophila Melanogaster, Petra Visic

Honors Theses

Aberrant activity of a single gene can lead towards development of cancerous cells. Drosophila melanogaster is a useful model system to study cancer because there is high degree of evolutionary conservation in signaling pathways between humans and flies that play major roles in regulating cell proliferation and growth (Miles et al., 2011). At The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), Dr. Leal’s lab has gathered evidence suggesting that bab1 and bab2 interact with the T-box gene midline (mid) and its paralog H15, while the early developmental function of bab1 and bab2 remains unknown. That is why elucidating the early interactions ...


Elucidating The Role Of Apoptosis During Cyclical Body Regeneration In Botryllus Schlosseri, Meredith Adamo Jun 2013

Elucidating The Role Of Apoptosis During Cyclical Body Regeneration In Botryllus Schlosseri, Meredith Adamo

Honors Theses

Apoptosis is the principal form of programmed cell death by which multicellular animals rid themselves of old cells in order to allow new cells to grow. The colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri is a model system for homeostatic cell death and regeneration. During its unique, weekly budding cycle known as blastogenesis, new buds are produced asexually and eventually replace the old adult zooid generation through resorption via circulating phagocytes. Using polyester wax-embedded tissue sections, we have shown that TUNEL-positive (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase nick end-labeling), apoptotic cells are observed within circulating phagocytes in all stages of the colony’s death phase (takeover ...


The Effect Of The Visual System And Habitat Light On The Colors Of Anolis Lizard Visual Signals, Emelia Failing Jun 2013

The Effect Of The Visual System And Habitat Light On The Colors Of Anolis Lizard Visual Signals, Emelia Failing

Honors Theses

Lizards of the genus Anolis communicate almost exclusively with visual signals that include the extension of a colorful, extensible throat fan called a dewlap. Dewlap color exhibits impressive diversity across anoline species and is thought to have evolved due to two simultaneous sets of selection pressures: (1) selection for high detectability, and (2) selection for a color that is different from the dewlap color of other sympatric species of Anolis in order to facilitate species recognition. In order for a dewlap display to be successful, it must be “detected” by the intended viewer. We hypothesize that a detectable dewlap should ...


Investigating The Use Of Aptamers In Binding To The Human Follicle Stimulating Hormone Receptor, Ayon Ibrahim Jun 2013

Investigating The Use Of Aptamers In Binding To The Human Follicle Stimulating Hormone Receptor, Ayon Ibrahim

Honors Theses

Oral contraceptive pills use high doses of hormone to suppress the reproductive arm of the endocrine system in women. However, these drugs can have harmful long term side effects such as increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and breast cancer. Therefore, it has become an important public health goal to look for alternative ways of providing contraception. Aptamers, oligonucleotides that bind to specific molecules due to their unique 3-dimensional structure, are one alternative that has yet to be explored. The goal of our research is to develop an RNA aptamer that will bind selectively to the hFSHR. We first incubated ...


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 ...


The Behavioral Effects Of Boat Noise On Fish Populations In Oneida Lake, Ny, Teressa M. Pucylowski May 2013

The Behavioral Effects Of Boat Noise On Fish Populations In Oneida Lake, Ny, Teressa M. Pucylowski

Honors Theses

The impacts of boat noise on various fish species have gained an increasing amount of attention in the scientific community. The objective of this experiment was to determine the behavioral effects of boat noise on fish populations in Oneida Lake. A second objective was to analyze the frequency and audibility of boat noise and compare normal conditions to those during a bass tournament. An underwater camera was used to capture fish behavior and a hydrophone was used to simultaneously record boat noise at the Oneida Lake Shore Park boat launch. A 1–sided paired test determined no significant increase in ...


Potent Mutagens Have Positive And Negative Effects On Viral Fitness Of Reovirus In Vitro, Jennie Altman Apr 2013

Potent Mutagens Have Positive And Negative Effects On Viral Fitness Of Reovirus In Vitro, Jennie Altman

Honors Theses

Due to the inherently error-prone nature of RNA replication, mutations to genomes of RNA viruses occur frequently and accumulate. We hypothesized that RNA versions of nucleoside analogues that increase mutation rates in DNA could cause increases in the mutation rate of a model RNA virus, Reovirus, and decrease the fitness of the virus in vitro due to the accumulation of deleterious mutations. After conducting multiple passages of Reovirus in mouse L929 cells in the presence of these potential RNA mutagens in four separate trials, there were not only virus samples with the expected decreased infectivity, but surprisingly, samples with marked ...


Investigating The Role Of Epibiotic Bacteria In Defense Against Chytridiomycosis In The Green Frog, Lithobates Clamitans, Sarah Nalven Jan 2013

Investigating The Role Of Epibiotic Bacteria In Defense Against Chytridiomycosis In The Green Frog, Lithobates Clamitans, Sarah Nalven

Honors Theses

Amphibian populations have been declining for several decades, in part due to the emerging fungal skin disease, chytridiomycosis, caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Chytridiomycosis has caused extinctions and extirpations in many parts of the world, but its influence varies across species, populations, and individuals. The Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans), which inhabits the eastern half of the United States, seems capable of sustaining Bd infections without experiencing die-offs. It is possible that the Green Frog's epibiotic bacteria are contributing to its defense against Bd as the epibiotic bacteria of several amphibian species are known to play a ...


Spatial And Seasonal Signals In Stable Isotopes Of Incisor Enamel From Free-Ranging, Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrels, Jacob Andrew Brassington Jan 2013

Spatial And Seasonal Signals In Stable Isotopes Of Incisor Enamel From Free-Ranging, Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrels, Jacob Andrew Brassington

Honors Theses

From early May through late September, 2012, we captured, tagged, and collected body masses from multiple, free-ranging thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) in southwestern Michigan, with 14 individuals recaptured 1 or more times through the season. Beginning in mid-June, we captured and euthanized 12 or these individuals (on average, about 1 per week) to allow study of their lower incisors. We serially micro-sampled enamel along squirrel incisors using laser ablation and determined stable isotope ratios (d13 and d18 O) with gas chromatography-isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (GC-IRMS). The resulting values fell into two spatial groups. Specimens collected within 25 m of a ...


Light Intensity And Time Of Day Influence Female Acheta Domesticus Phonotaxis, John Hyun-Sik Ahn Jan 2013

Light Intensity And Time Of Day Influence Female Acheta Domesticus Phonotaxis, John Hyun-Sik Ahn

Honors Theses

Positive phonotaxis occurs when a female cricket walks toward the source of an auditory stimulus. This study tested the effects of light intensity and time of day on phonotaxis of female Acheta domesticus. First, females were tested at four times of day; second, under three light intensities; and third, under four combinations of light intensity and time of day. Our results show that these two factors combined exert a more pronounced effect on female A. domesticus selectivity than either factor individually, and subsequent research will test these factors against the current neuronal model for SP-selective phonotaxis.


Prenatal Choline Supplementation And Mk-801 Toxicity: Protecting Memory And Preventing Neurodegeneration, Chelsea Nickerson Jan 2013

Prenatal Choline Supplementation And Mk-801 Toxicity: Protecting Memory And Preventing Neurodegeneration, Chelsea Nickerson

Honors Theses

Choline is essential to the development and function of the central nervous system. Supplemental choline is neuroprotective against a variety of insults, including neurotoxins like dizocilpine (MK-801). MK-801 is an NMDA receptor antagonist that is frequently used in rodent models of psychological disorders. At low doses, it causes cognitive impairments, and at higher doses it induces motor deficits, anhedonia, and neuronal degeneration. The primary goals of the present study were to investigate whether prenatal choline supplementation protects against the cognitive impairments, motor deficits, and neuropathologies that are precipitated by MK-801 administration in adulthood. Adult male Sprague Dawley rats were fed ...