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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Method Development For Structural Assessment Of Nanolipoprotein Particles With And Without Cross-Linked Lipids, Emma J. Mullen, Wei He, Sean Gilmore, Matthias Frank, Matthew Coleman, Megan Shelby Jan 2019

Method Development For Structural Assessment Of Nanolipoprotein Particles With And Without Cross-Linked Lipids, Emma J. Mullen, Wei He, Sean Gilmore, Matthias Frank, Matthew Coleman, Megan Shelby

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Membrane proteins make up approximately 30% of the cellular proteome and account for over 60% of pharmaceutical targets.1 Determining the structures of this class of proteins is critical to our understanding of disease states and will advance rational drug design. But membrane proteins have limited solubility, rarely form large crystals that diffract well, and often misfold outside of a bilayer, hindering crystallographic studies.1 Nanolipoprotein particles (NLPs) have arisen as a platform to readily solubilize membrane proteins while mimicking a native lipid environment. NLPs consist of a discoidal phospholipid bilayer encircled by an apolipoprotein belt. In an effort to ...


Adapting Cell-Free Protein Synthesis As A Platform Technology For Education, Grace W. Chu, Max Z. Levine, Nicole E. Gregorio, Javin P. Oza Oct 2018

Adapting Cell-Free Protein Synthesis As A Platform Technology For Education, Grace W. Chu, Max Z. Levine, Nicole E. Gregorio, Javin P. Oza

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) has emerged as an enabling biotechnology for research and biomanufacturing as it allows for the production of protein without the need for a living cell. Applications of CFPS include the construction of libraries for functional genomics and structural biology, the production of personalized medicine, and the expression of virus-like particles. The absence of a cell wall provides an open platform for direct manipulation of the reaction conditions and biological machinery. This project focuses on adapting the CFPS biotechnology to the classroom, making a hands-on bioengineering approach to learning protein synthesis accessible to students grades K-16 through ...


Optimizing Gdna Purification And Qpcr Techniques For Specific Detection And Enumeration Of Probiotic Bacteria, Katelynn C. Lee, Jennifer Vanderkelen, Christopher Kitts Sep 2016

Optimizing Gdna Purification And Qpcr Techniques For Specific Detection And Enumeration Of Probiotic Bacteria, Katelynn C. Lee, Jennifer Vanderkelen, Christopher Kitts

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Probiotics are live microorganisms, like bacteria and yeast, which are thought to provide health benefits when ingested. Large manufacturers produce blends of probiotics for supplementing the diets of agriculturally important animals. Commercial probiotic products are labeled with the number of cells present at the time of manufacture. Our assignment was to develop an assay which can be used to quantify the number of specific lactic acid bacteria present in certain probiotic products, thus verifying the number reported on the product labels. This quantification process involves isolating genomic DNA (gDNA) from the given samples and then running the DNA through a ...


Optimization Of A Genomic Editing System Using Crispr/Cas9-Induced Site-Specific Gene Integration, Jillian L. Mccool Ms., Nick Hum, Gabriela G. Loots Aug 2016

Optimization Of A Genomic Editing System Using Crispr/Cas9-Induced Site-Specific Gene Integration, Jillian L. Mccool Ms., Nick Hum, Gabriela G. Loots

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

The CRISPR-Cas system is an adaptive immune system found in bacteria which helps protect against the invasion of other microorganisms. This system induces double stranded breaks at precise genomic loci (1) in which repairs are initiated and insertions of a target are completed in the process. This mechanism can be used in eukaryotic cells in combination with sgRNAs (1) as a tool for genome editing. By using this CRISPR-Cas system, in addition to the “safe harbor locus,” ROSAβ26, the incorporation of a target gene into a site that is not susceptible to gene silencing effects can be achieved through few ...


How Many Particles Are Present In The Air? Bioaerosol Detection Using An Air Particle Counter, Angie Pamela Rivera, Parag Vaishampayan Aug 2015

How Many Particles Are Present In The Air? Bioaerosol Detection Using An Air Particle Counter, Angie Pamela Rivera, Parag Vaishampayan

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Relative cleanliness in terms of particle abundance in spacecraft assembly facilities is determined by particle counts carried out in clean rooms during resting conditions. Particle counters assess total particles and particle size distribution, but do not distinguish inert particles from biological particles, which may include bacterial spores that are resistant to standard cleanroom sterilization procedures. Current cleanroom certifications do not fully assess the effects of human presence on spacecraft contamination since humans are known symbionts to enumerate microorganisms and assessments are performed at rest when there is no human presence. In this study, contamination risks and bioburden in spacecraft assembly ...


Collecting Diverse Microorganisms From Rover Spacecraft, Jennifer I. Jacobs, Arianna Jefferson, Heidi Aronson, James Tan, Wayne Schubert, Parag Vaishampayan Aug 2015

Collecting Diverse Microorganisms From Rover Spacecraft, Jennifer I. Jacobs, Arianna Jefferson, Heidi Aronson, James Tan, Wayne Schubert, Parag Vaishampayan

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

. The Planetary Protection discipline at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory develops and implements procedures to prevent both forward and backward contamination between the Earth and solar system bodies. However, there will always be some microorganisms that will be resistant to the strictest of sterilization methods. In order understand the microorganisms found on spacecraft during assembly, and to rapidly identify them, a mass spectrometry approach was developed. As an experimental approach, a custom database was created for a subset of microorganisms in the Planetary Protection Archive. In order to make the database as accurate and efficient as possible, several different procedures ...


Characterization Of Putative Wnt3a-Inducible Enhancers, Katelynn C. Lee, Nicholas Hum, Aimy Sebastian, Gabriela Loots Aug 2015

Characterization Of Putative Wnt3a-Inducible Enhancers, Katelynn C. Lee, Nicholas Hum, Aimy Sebastian, Gabriela Loots

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

The Wnt signaling pathway has been previously shown to play a major role in regulating bone metabolism and it is emerging as a target for the therapeutic intervention of bone thinning disorders such as osteoporosis. Several Wnt proteins have been shown to be expressed in bone and mutations in Wnt pathway members such as Wnt co-receptor Lrp5 and Wnt inhibitor Sost have been shown to be associated with low or high bone mass disorders, however, very little is known about specific roles played by different Wnt ligands in bone development, repair and remodeling. To identify downstream targets of Wnt signaling ...


Measuring Radiation Exposure In Human Blood Using Gene Expression, Krystal Naranjo, Melissa Bentley, Harsha Konery, Matthew Coleman Jan 2014

Measuring Radiation Exposure In Human Blood Using Gene Expression, Krystal Naranjo, Melissa Bentley, Harsha Konery, Matthew Coleman

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Mammalian cells are known to express genes that are associated with repairing damaged DNA. The transcript CDKN1A is one of several cell cycle regulator genes expressed in response to cell damage by ionizing radiation (IR). In this study, male and female lymphocytes; previously exposed ex vivo to IR, were used to demonstrate linear gene expression responses that may vary between genders. We used qRT-PCR to generate response curves for CDKN1A. No differences were identified for the endogenous control gene GAPDH. CDKN1A expression demonstrated average fold changes well above three fold for three of the four healthy patient donors at 24 ...


The Effects Of Electrolyte Chemical Composition, Concentration And Ph On The Electrochemical Redox Reactions, Sea Choi, Xiao-Ying Yu Jan 2014

The Effects Of Electrolyte Chemical Composition, Concentration And Ph On The Electrochemical Redox Reactions, Sea Choi, Xiao-Ying Yu

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Electrolyte composition, concentration, pH, ionic strength, and temperature have long been known to play a role in the interface of the electrode-electrolyte. However, detailed studies are not sufficient. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) is a widely used electrochemical technique for obtaining qualitative information in electroanalysis. CV is often the first experiment performed in an electrode surface in an electrochemical study. It measures the number of electrons transferred and intermediates formed during oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions by observing its current, intensity and position of peak potential with applied voltage. This is accomplished by using a three-electrode system including working electrode (WE), counter electrode (CE ...


Preservation Of Biosignature Molecules In Potential Sample Return Container Of The Mars 2020 Mission, Kimberly E. Lykens, Fei Chen Ph.D Aug 2013

Preservation Of Biosignature Molecules In Potential Sample Return Container Of The Mars 2020 Mission, Kimberly E. Lykens, Fei Chen Ph.D

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Preservation of Biosignature Molecules in Potential Sample Return Container of the Mars 2020 Mission

Kimberly Lykens1 and Fei Chen2

1Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio 45501 2Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, 91109

One requirement for sustainable life on terrestrial planets includes the presence of organic polymers, compounds that are essential for major biological functions such as replication and catalysis. An identified goal of the Mars mission in the year 2020 is to implement a sample-return to identify and validate signs of life on Mars through the discovery of biosignature molecules in Martian core samples. Martian core samples recovered ...


Disocvering Ionic Liquid Resistant Genes, Bree Person, Douglass Higgins, Michael Thelen Jan 2013

Disocvering Ionic Liquid Resistant Genes, Bree Person, Douglass Higgins, Michael Thelen

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

: Plant biomass is a rich source of sugars that can be converted to biofuels by engineered microbes. However, because the lignocellulose in biomass is insoluble in aqueous conditions and recalcitrant to enzymatic degradation, thermochemical treatment is required to break apart the lignin and cellulose polymers before sugars can be released. The most effective chemicals for doing this are known as ionic liquids, which are salts that are molten at temperatures below 100° C. Although these solvents have many unique properties that are ideal for solubilizing lignocellulose, they have been found to inhibit the growth of bacterial strains used to produce ...


Optimizing Electrode Design For Microbial Fuel Cells Used For Wastewater Treatment, Lindsay Nichols, John A. Hogan Jan 2013

Optimizing Electrode Design For Microbial Fuel Cells Used For Wastewater Treatment, Lindsay Nichols, John A. Hogan

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Microbial fuel cells (MFC) utilize bacteria to generate an electrical current that can be used in the decomposition of sludge and human urine. In a MFC there is an anode (for oxidation of organic compounds), cathode (reduction of oxygen or carbon dioxide), and a proton exchange membrane (PEM, allows protons to migrate); reduction-oxidation reactions between the anode and cathode produce a measurable current. Bacteria that are found in sludge can be used to produce electrons in a voltaic cell, but optimizing conditions for harnessing the energy is crucial to making a MFC efficient. Research has shown that the ratios of ...


Analyzing Environmental Microbes For Genomic Regions Promoting Ionic Liquid Tolerance In E. Coli, Ann Nguyen, Alison Richins, Thomas Rüegg, Steven Singer, Michael Thelen Aug 2012

Analyzing Environmental Microbes For Genomic Regions Promoting Ionic Liquid Tolerance In E. Coli, Ann Nguyen, Alison Richins, Thomas Rüegg, Steven Singer, Michael Thelen

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Ionic liquids (ILs) are promising as solvents to increase the efficiency of biofuel production; however, ILs are toxic to microbes used in the fermentation of liquid fuels. To engineer IL resistant biofuel hosts, environmental bacteria were screened for tolerance, and these were used to create gene libraries to test in E. coli. Future characterization of these libraries using molecular techniques will be used to identify genes that contribute IL-tolerance to transformed microbes.


Quantification And In Vitro Analysis Of Nanolipoproteins (Nlps) Containing Adjuvants, Purna Venkataraman, Craig Blanchette, Nicholas O. Fischer Aug 2012

Quantification And In Vitro Analysis Of Nanolipoproteins (Nlps) Containing Adjuvants, Purna Venkataraman, Craig Blanchette, Nicholas O. Fischer

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Nanolipoprotein particles (NLPs) self-assemble into nanoscale structures that can be used as vaccines or drug delivery agents. Due to the nature of the NLPs, a variety of immune stimulating compounds or adjuvants can be readily incorporated into NLPs: a characteristic difficult to engineer into most other nanoscale platforms. In light of this, a method for quantifying the amount adjuvant actually incorporated into NLPs is a question of high importance. Through the use of reverse phase High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and an Evaporative Light Scattering Detector (ELSD), standard curves can be constructed by analyzing mixtures of NLP components of known concentration ...


Improving The Efficiency Of Homologous Gene Replacement By Disrupting Non-Homologous End Joining Pathway Gene Kusa In The Oleaginous Fungus Mortierella Alpina, Kathleen T. Krueger, Ziyu Dai Dr, Ugur Uzuner, Scott E. Baker Dr Aug 2012

Improving The Efficiency Of Homologous Gene Replacement By Disrupting Non-Homologous End Joining Pathway Gene Kusa In The Oleaginous Fungus Mortierella Alpina, Kathleen T. Krueger, Ziyu Dai Dr, Ugur Uzuner, Scott E. Baker Dr

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Mortierella alpina , a oleaginous filamentous fungus, is one of industrial fungal strains known for the production of arachidonic acid. It is also of particular interest for hydrocarbon biofuel production since it is able to produce up to 50% of its mass in rich, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids [PUFA’s]. In addition to high fatty acid production, M. alpina like many other oleaginous fungi, already have mechanisms for accumulating significant concentrations of hydrophobic compounds making it a naturally equipped candidate to handle potential toxic concentrations of hydrocarbons. To date, three different transformation methods have been established for M. alpina that are ...


Efficacy Comparison Of Various Pcr Master Mixes And Thermal Cycling Parameters For Detection Of Brucella Abortus In Multiplex Assays, Kevin J. Testo, Jason A. Olivas, Alda C. Carrillo, Pejman Naraghi-Arani Jul 2012

Efficacy Comparison Of Various Pcr Master Mixes And Thermal Cycling Parameters For Detection Of Brucella Abortus In Multiplex Assays, Kevin J. Testo, Jason A. Olivas, Alda C. Carrillo, Pejman Naraghi-Arani

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Diagnostic testing for bioterrorism agents in food is essential for the safety and welfare of the general populace. Multiplex assays provide the means to test for multiple pathogen signatures with a single polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. PCR, Luminex xMAP ® infrared fluorophore bead technology, and flow cytometry, multiplex diagnostic assays are incredibly specific and sensitive to highly conserved regions at various loci in a microbe’s genome. In order to increase the effectiveness of the PCR and the resulting fluorescent response of the beads, different PCR master mix commercial kits were compared to the standard AgPath RT-PCR mix. This study ...


Forward Osmosis Bag: Ground Testing The Prospect Of Using Alternative Water Sources For Drinking Water, Michaela Marie Brant, Ariella Yendler, Mona Hammoudeh, Michael T. Flynn Aug 2011

Forward Osmosis Bag: Ground Testing The Prospect Of Using Alternative Water Sources For Drinking Water, Michaela Marie Brant, Ariella Yendler, Mona Hammoudeh, Michael T. Flynn

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

On the STS-135 Space Shuttle mission, to be launched July 8, 2011, a forward osmosis bag (FOB) study will be conducted. At NASA Ames this summer, the ground truth testing is being conducted for results comparisons. The FOB technology is derived from a commercial product, the X-Pack water filter. Forward osmosis operates by utilizing an established concentration gradient across a semi-permeable membrane to move water molecules from one side of the membrane to the other. This concept is exploited to harvest drinking water from grey water sources such as urine, sea water, or vehicle water. In this experiment, potassium chloride ...