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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Mutagenic And Spectroscopic Investigation Of Ph Dependent Cooa Dna Binding, Brian R. Weaver Apr 2017

Mutagenic And Spectroscopic Investigation Of Ph Dependent Cooa Dna Binding, Brian R. Weaver

Chemistry Honors Papers

The carbon monoxide (CO) sensing heme protein, CooA, is a transcription factor which exists in several bacteria that utilize CO as an energy source. CooA positively regulates the expression of coo genes in the presence of CO such that the corresponding proteins may metabolize CO. The present studies have yielded the unexpected result that Fe(III) CooA binds DNA tightly at pH < 7, deviating from all previously reported work which indicate that CooA DNA binding is initiated only when the exogenous CO effector reacts with the Fe(II) CooA heme. This observation suggests that the disruption of one or more salt bridges upon effector binding may be a critical feature of the normal CooA activation mechanism. To test this possibility, several protein variants that eliminated a selected salt bridge for the CooA homolog from Rhodospirillum rubrum were prepared via site-directed mutagenesis. Samples of these variant proteins, which were overexpressed in Escherichia coli, were then characterized by spectroscopic methods and functional assays to investigate the impact these mutations had on CooA heme coordination ...


Modeling Of Early Siv/Hiv Infection, Krista Schaefer, Cecilia Noecker, Kelly Zaccheo, Vitaly Gunasov, Judy Day, Yiding Yang Apr 2012

Modeling Of Early Siv/Hiv Infection, Krista Schaefer, Cecilia Noecker, Kelly Zaccheo, Vitaly Gunasov, Judy Day, Yiding Yang

Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE)

Although HIV has infected over 20 million people worldwide, it is a rather poorly transmitted virus since less than 1 out of 100 to 1,000 acts of sexual intercourse results in virus transmission. The factors that could potentially explain why the probability of transmission is so small are poorly understood. It is nearly impossible to study HIV replication in the first 2-3 weeks of infection because the virus is undetectable until after that duration. By using stochastic simulations of mathematical models of early virus replication, we investigate how the duration of the eclipse phase prior to virus production (eclipse ...


Testing The Potential Of Using Fungi To Convert Human Waste Into Protein, Alex Zapata, Elizabeth Phillippi, Blair Mitchell, Jon Schoer, Michael Watters Apr 2011

Testing The Potential Of Using Fungi To Convert Human Waste Into Protein, Alex Zapata, Elizabeth Phillippi, Blair Mitchell, Jon Schoer, Michael Watters

Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE)

We report on the results of a pilot experiment designed to test the potential of filamentous fungi (mold) to reduce solid waste (feces) while converting it into a consumable, high protein food product. Feces represent an untapped resource. Filamentous fungi are natural decomposers with the ability to use this resource. Many filamentous fungi are safe to eat. We examined growth in order to determine the conditions which maximized the rate of conversion of solid waste into fungal biomass. For this pilot, we compared the effect of different lengths of incubation, different methods of aeration, and different available surface area. The ...


Impacts Of The Species Elaeagnus Umbellate On The Soil And Water Quality Of The Pierce Cedar Creek Institute Ecosystem, Yacoub Aljobeh, Kristin Engerer Apr 2011

Impacts Of The Species Elaeagnus Umbellate On The Soil And Water Quality Of The Pierce Cedar Creek Institute Ecosystem, Yacoub Aljobeh, Kristin Engerer

Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE)

The species Elaeagnus umbellate, more commonly known as autumn olive, is a shrub that is invasive to the United States and indigenous to East Asia. Even though the autumn olive is not native to North America, it was able to thrive and adapt to the new environment by using its ability to fix nitrogen. Nitrogen-fixing is a process where plants intake molecular nitrogen from the atmosphere and convert it into other forms of nitrogen that can be used by the plants. One of the nitrogen-fixing by-products is nitrate. Excessive amounts of nitrate can easily leach from the plant’s root ...