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Theses/Dissertations

2013

Honors Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Obm Thesis Project: Composing An Undergraduate Thesis Manual, William Strong Dec 2013

Obm Thesis Project: Composing An Undergraduate Thesis Manual, William Strong

Honors Theses

The Behavioral Research Supervisory System (BRSS) is a class designed to assist undergraduate and master students in completing a thesis project in a timely manner. Prior to beginning this project, undergraduate students were not utilizing the thesis manual for the class effectively and master students did not have an effective tool to grade the quality of their undergraduate thesis students’ work. Therefore, the ultimate goal of this thesis project is to create a better manual for undergraduate students to reference while working on their thesis projects and to provide a systematic grading system for their graduate student supervisors. A pre-manual ...


Bee And Wasp Species Diversity At A Restored Wetland In Seneca Falls, New York, Sabrina Green Dec 2013

Bee And Wasp Species Diversity At A Restored Wetland In Seneca Falls, New York, Sabrina Green

Honors Theses

When monitoring the health and any changes in an ecosystem, having a baseline of species present in the area is important to be able to monitor changes over time. I was interested in the bee and wasp species richness at the Seneca Meadows Wetland Preserve in Seneca Falls, New York as it is a five year old restored wetland with a diverse range of habitat types. I hypothesized that the esker habitat, at the crux between wetland and upland habitat would have the greatest species richness. Using cup traps and sweep netting, I obtained and identified specimens from five major ...


Racial Differences In Self-Efficacy Expectations For Exercise, Selena P. Smith Dec 2013

Racial Differences In Self-Efficacy Expectations For Exercise, Selena P. Smith

Honors Theses

This project examined the link between race and self-efficacy. Self-efficacy pertains to an individual’s confidence in ability to complete or engage in a particular task or activity (Bandura, 1986). Prior research shows that self-efficacy has a great influence on exercise initiation and adherence (Bandura, 1986; Dishman, 1982; Rodgers and Sullivan, 2001). Research also supports that Caucasians are more likely to participate in exercise than African Americans (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000).

Participants included 51 females, 31 Caucasians and 20 African Americans, between the ages of 18 and 50 years old. The women were recruited from local fitness ...


Distribution Of The Moss Orthotrichum Anomalum On Gravestones In Oakwood Cemetery In Relation To Rock Type, Microtopographic Complexity And Stone Age, Jaime Barrett Aug 2013

Distribution Of The Moss Orthotrichum Anomalum On Gravestones In Oakwood Cemetery In Relation To Rock Type, Microtopographic Complexity And Stone Age, Jaime Barrett

Honors Theses

Bryophyte species often live in very specific habitats based on a complex relationship between water and nutrient requirements and tolerance of environmental conditions. The objective of this study was to further define some of the conditions under which Orthotrichum anomalum will colonize a site. Since the study site was the anthropogenic habitat of gravestones within a city cemetery, the goal was to determine if colonization preference, substrate specificity in particular, for this moss would change within a manmade system. This study focused on the distribution of Orthotrichum anomalum as it relates to rock type (granite, limestone or marble), microtopographic complexity ...


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 Effects Of Soil Ph And Composition On Blacklegged Tick Molting Success Avian Window Strike Mortality On Union College Campus, Kaleigh Ahern Jun 2013

The Effects Of Soil Ph And Composition On Blacklegged Tick Molting Success Avian Window Strike Mortality On Union College Campus, Kaleigh Ahern

Honors Theses

The blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) is the one of the most significant vectors of infectious disease in the world and most notorious for its ability to transmit Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Because both the range of the blacklegged tick and the annual incidence of Lyme disease have been increasing in North America over the past several decades, it is becoming increasingly important to better understand how environmental factors contribute to blacklegged tick survival. Past studies have shown that these factors include precipitation levels, extent of groundcover, plant and animal community composition, temperature, and soil type. Because ...


Mutagenesis Of The Caveolin Interaction Motif In Follicle Stimulating Hormone Receptor, Martin Cole Jun 2013

Mutagenesis Of The Caveolin Interaction Motif In Follicle Stimulating Hormone Receptor, Martin Cole

Honors Theses

Follicle Stimulating Hormone Receptor is a G-protein coupled receptor that localizes to rigid domains in the cell membrane known as caveolae. In the fourth transmembrane domain, there is a region of the receptor that contains a putative caveolin interaction motif (CIM), an alpha helix with 4 critical phenylalanine residues. These residues are critical to the localization of the receptor to caveolae. The goal of my research has been to mutate these phenylalanine residues to the amino acid leucine. Our hypothesis is that this conservative mutation will result in a mutant receptor that is no longer able to localize to the ...


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 ...


Comparison Of Wild And Cultivated Extracts Of Cordyceps Sinensis Apoptotic Potential, Katelyn Staring Jun 2013

Comparison Of Wild And Cultivated Extracts Of Cordyceps Sinensis Apoptotic Potential, Katelyn Staring

Honors Theses

Cordyceps sinensis is a mushroom which contains the compound cordycepin (3’-deoxyadenosine), an analogue of adenosine. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), cordycepin has multipurpose pharmacological uses including purported anti-tumor effects. In the present study, cordycepin was extracted from the wild mushroom as well as from various commercially available cultivated extracts. Previous research in this lab has demonstrated that cultivated extracts contain less cordycepin than the wild mushroom. However, it is unclear if the decrease in cordycepin correlates with decreased activity. To measure anti-tumor activity, extracts were used to treat human breast cancer cells (MCF-7 cells). In other labs, cordycepin has ...


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 ...


Proton Induced X-Ray Emission Spectrometry Of Atmospheric Aerosols At Piseco Lake, Adam Margulies Jun 2013

Proton Induced X-Ray Emission Spectrometry Of Atmospheric Aerosols At Piseco Lake, Adam Margulies

Honors Theses

Chemical studies of lakes and aerosols in the Adirondack region of New York State have found evidence of environmental pollution resulting in acid rain. We obtained air samples for July and September 2012 from Piseco Lake and analyzed particulate depositions with Proton Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) spectrometry. We detected an array of light elements, including sulfur particulates in the 0.25 - 8 μm range, possibly stemming from coal combustion in the Appalachians and Mid-West of the United States. We also found systematic errors with the accelerator charge integration system due to beam spreading after the beam passes through the target ...


Cognitive Effects Of Combined Physical And Mental Exercise: Interactive Vs. Synchronous, Caitlin Moore Jun 2013

Cognitive Effects Of Combined Physical And Mental Exercise: Interactive Vs. Synchronous, Caitlin Moore

Honors Theses

Many high quality randomized clinical trials have now clarified the strong relationship between exercise and cognition (Colcombe & Kramer, 2003). A growing area of exercise research has been focused on the effects of “exergaming” on cognitive function. Exergaming provides an individual with the ability to physically interact with a virtual environment (O’Leary et al., 2011). Recent research has shown an added cognitive benefit of interactive mental and physical exercise, when using a virtual reality-enhanced stationary bike. It is unclear whether interactivity is required, or if added cognitive benefit is "simply" from doing two things at the same time and reaping ...


Bird Mortality In The Human Built Environment, Stacie Schwartz Jun 2013

Bird Mortality In The Human Built Environment, Stacie Schwartz

Honors Theses

Human development is having a detrimental effect on bird populations around the world. One hundred million to one billion birds are killed every year from colliding with human-built structures. I explored factors influencing the inability of birds to avoid man-made structures. If we can better understand these reasons, we can find solutions to this problem. After a known bird avoidance method, fritted glass, was installed in the Wold building, I investigated whether this glass actually deters birds from striking windows. Strikes on windows were noted daily through observation of specific windows on campus. Results show that vegetation outside of windows ...


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 ...


Identifying Communities Of Concern: A Tract Level Analysis Of The Food Landscape In Syracuse, New York, Michelle Meyer May 2013

Identifying Communities Of Concern: A Tract Level Analysis Of The Food Landscape In Syracuse, New York, Michelle Meyer

Honors Theses

Food security is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as access by all members of the household to enough food to live an active, healthy life at all times. Food security has also been identified as an important public health concern, subsequently amplifying interest in identifying communities with limited accessibility to quality food retailers. The primary focus of this analysis was to identify communities of heightened food security concern in Syracuse, NY based on three measures of physical accessibility: proximity to the nearest grocer, diversity of grocers within 1km, and variety of grocers based on the average ...


Characterization By Solution Small Angle X-Ray Scattering Of The Oligomeric State Of Structural Genomics Protein Targets, Kimberly Basil May 2013

Characterization By Solution Small Angle X-Ray Scattering Of The Oligomeric State Of Structural Genomics Protein Targets, Kimberly Basil

Honors Theses

Solution small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) was used to confirm the oligomeric state of several structural genomics protein targets from the New York Structural GenomiX Research Consortium. The oligomeric state is representative of the natively active form of the protein and it was determined to corroborate the Protein Data Bank (PDB) structure of a clone or related protein. PDBs are usually modeled from X-ray crystallography and the results of crystalline structures are not often representative of the correct biological assembly. Therefore, the analysis done here was essential to find the natural form. Using solution SAXS allowed us to look at ...


Abundances Of Northeastern Native American Culturally Important Plants In Contemporary Adirondack Landscapes, Aya Yamamoto May 2013

Abundances Of Northeastern Native American Culturally Important Plants In Contemporary Adirondack Landscapes, Aya Yamamoto

Honors Theses

In contemporary landscapes culturally important plants may suffer in the absence of their ancestral caretakers, who shaped pre-colonial ecosystems via intentional burning, coppicing, plant propagation, and manipulation of species composition. Therefore, it is important to understand how culturally important plants occur generally in contemporary ecosystems sans traditional management. Given that 99.9% of contemporary forest is secondary, it is especially important to examine occurrences of culturally important plants in secondary forest. To address this issue, culturally important plants in old growth forests at the Huntington Wildlife Forest, New York, were compared to those found in burned and defoliated forests at ...


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 ...


A Quantitative Comparison Of Energy Expenditure Between Exergames And Physical Activity Recommendations, Dalton A. Newell May 2013

A Quantitative Comparison Of Energy Expenditure Between Exergames And Physical Activity Recommendations, Dalton A. Newell

Honors Theses

The purpose of this study was to analyze the energy expenditure associated with two commercially available exergames (Dance Dance Revolution 2 (DDR2) and Wii Sports 1: Tennis) and evaluate whether or not this type of activity could be used as a means to obtain the recommended amount of physical activity. Thirty individuals (15 males, 15 females) participated in the study. Each participant attended 3 sessions: a 30-min familiarization session and 2, 45-min testing sessions. During each testing session, participants played one of the exergames for 30 min while continuously being measured for oxygen consumption (VO2), respiratory exchange ratio (RER ...


The Relationship Between Calcium Intake And Body Mass Index In The Participants Of Hub City Steps, Laura P. Ewoldt May 2013

The Relationship Between Calcium Intake And Body Mass Index In The Participants Of Hub City Steps, Laura P. Ewoldt

Honors Theses

Background: The social, economic, and health impacts of unhealthy dietary behaviors and sedentary lifestyles are quite significant and even more so in the rural South. The majority of individuals in the US do not adhere to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, specifically fruits, vegetables, and calcium.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to address the issue of calcium intake and obesity in a population of primarily African American women in south Mississippi and to determine if levels of calcium intake had a relationship with body mass index.

Methods and Analysis: Data for the current study was collected through the ...