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Honors Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Oil Preference In Ants And Arthropod Diversity In Urban Environments, Itzel Guzman-Hernandez Dec 2019

Oil Preference In Ants And Arthropod Diversity In Urban Environments, Itzel Guzman-Hernandez

Honors Theses

The success of certain ant species in urban areas is largely unknown. Available food in the environment could affect the composition of ants in urban areas due to a possible relationship between ant physiology and diet. I tested the oil preference of ants as a function of available arthropod prey in urban environments. I hypothesized that as arthropod diversity decreased, ant abundance at oil baits would decrease. Oil is an important nutrient that can affect ant body functions and activities. Ant foraging activities have been found to be affected by lipid depletion. A food source where ants can obtain oil ...


Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Isolated From Michigan Birds - A High School Learning Experience, Cody Benfant Jun 2019

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Isolated From Michigan Birds - A High School Learning Experience, Cody Benfant

Honors Theses

Bacteria, extremely small prokaryotic cells, are everywhere throughout the world. One striking thing about bacteria is their size: comparing a 2-micrometer bacterial cell to a 6-foot-tall human is similar in scale to comparing a 6-foot-tall human to the distance between Chicago, IL and Denver, CO! Despite their small size, bacteria are found in almost every ecosystem and environment imaginable. From deep sea hydrothermal vents to the clouds miles in the sky, there are trillions of bacteria flourishing in all of Earth’s ecosystems, performing many important functions in global nutrient cycles. While the majority of bacteria are beneficial to humans ...


Investigation Of Even-Skipped, A Developmentally-Regulated Gene Controlling Neural Segmentation In Dragonflies, Kathryn Bangser Jun 2019

Investigation Of Even-Skipped, A Developmentally-Regulated Gene Controlling Neural Segmentation In Dragonflies, Kathryn Bangser

Honors Theses

A comprehensive understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying pattern formation and neurogenesis is necessary in order to trace the evolutionary history of insect embryogenesis.

One of the most important processes of embryogenesis is the organized pattern formation that allows for proper body segmentation and neural development. Proper segmentation, which relies on a series of specific gene expressions, is necessary for the development of an operational nervous system. Even-skipped (eve), one such regulatory gene, has been studied extensively in certain model organisms, and theories regarding the evolution of its functional role could be further elucidated by visualizing its expression in adult ...


Diurnal Variation In Co2 Efflux By Pine Seedlings And Root-Associated Mycorrhizal Fungi, Richard Easterling May 2019

Diurnal Variation In Co2 Efflux By Pine Seedlings And Root-Associated Mycorrhizal Fungi, Richard Easterling

Honors Theses

This project was part of a larger experiment conducted by Amber Horning and Jason Hoeksema in the Department of Biology at the University of Mississippi, which was set up to investigate variation (over time, and with different light levels) in resource exchange between pine seedlings and two different species of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi. The experiment was conducted in a growth chamber, with mycorrhizal pine seedlings growing in plexiglass "mycocosms." I worked with two EM fungal species (Rhizopogon roseolus and Pisolithus arhizus, hereafter "Rhizopogon" and "Pisolithus"), which were collected locally near Oxford, Mississippi under loblolly pine. I selected a subset of ...


Analysis Of Septum Defects In Arabidopsis Organ Boundary Mutants, Katherine T. Anderson May 2019

Analysis Of Septum Defects In Arabidopsis Organ Boundary Mutants, Katherine T. Anderson

Honors Theses

Arabidopsis thaliana, a model plant species, has been heavily studied to determine the genetic contributions that lead to gynoecium development. The Arabidopsis fruit is created from two carpels that form a gynoecium, which contains the stigma, style, and ovary. The ovary is divided into two sub-compartments by a septum, and the ovules develop within the ovary. The fruit’s purpose is to protect, nurture, and eventually disperse the mature ovules, or seeds, and if the septum does not fuse properly, the plant’s fertility will be impacted. SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM) and ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA HOMEOBOX GENE1 (ATH1) are two genes that ...


Auditory Radiation And Cognitive Decline: Probabilistic Tractography Study, Adryanna Tucker May 2019

Auditory Radiation And Cognitive Decline: Probabilistic Tractography Study, Adryanna Tucker

Honors Theses

The relationship between hearing loss and Alzheimer’s disease has been studied for many years. Previous studies have shown a negative correlation between the two. In our study, we investigated the relationship between the strength of the auditory radiation connections and the severity of cognitive decline. To do so, we assessed probabilistic tractography using DTI data of the primary auditory pathway. Further, we assessed the level of cognition using the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cog to determine the relationship between the auditory connections assessed in each patient and that patient’s level of cognitive decline. We found that FA and ...


An Investigation Of Possible Reservoirs Of Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus Of Turkeys In Mississippi, Walker Hyche May 2019

An Investigation Of Possible Reservoirs Of Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus Of Turkeys In Mississippi, Walker Hyche

Honors Theses

Emerging infectious diseases are a problem among wildlife and domestic populations. It is critical for these diseases to be studied. Lymphoproliferative disease virus is a retrovirus affecting turkeys and chickens. Prior research originally identified the virus in the United Kingdom and Israel. The first case of LPDV in the United States was found in 2009 in Arkansas. This study tests different reservoirs for the virus. DNA was extracted from samples of different origins and preservation types. Through PCR and gel electrophoresis analysis, different sample types from turkey populations were tested for LPDV. This study provides a method for submitting blood ...


Investigation Of Origin And Growth Of Fungi In Coastal Beach Sand, Ruth L. Wright May 2019

Investigation Of Origin And Growth Of Fungi In Coastal Beach Sand, Ruth L. Wright

Honors Theses

In a previous study from this lab (Stevens, Evans, & Aguirre, 2012) yeast colonies were isolated and grown grown from sand collection at pristine, medium use and high use beaches along the grand strand. In that study greater yeast abundance and greater diversity both correlated with higher census of human use, suggesting that some yeast growth of sites was anthropogenic. However the sand matrix itself also varied from very fine, uniform, dark sand at the pristine beach to coarser, color varying, less tightly packed sand at residential and commercial beaches. This suggested an alternative hypothesis to differential colonization and growth depending ...


Microplastics In Fiddler Crabs (Genus Uca), Gabrielle Forbes, Eric Rosch May 2019

Microplastics In Fiddler Crabs (Genus Uca), Gabrielle Forbes, Eric Rosch

Honors Theses

Microplastics, as defined by NOAA, are small plastic pieces less than five millimeters long, which cannot be seen with the naked eye. The production of plastic products and plastic use has exponentially increased since the start of plastic usage. Consequently, the amount of plastic waste has also increased greatly. Plastic waste that has been thrown out by humans into the environment breaks down into microscopic pieces, causing harm to organisms that live there. The purpose of this study was to see if there were microplastics passing through fiddler crabs (genus Uca), collected from the marsh at Waties Island, SC. Fecal ...


Screening For Mental Health Concerns Across Pregnancy : Factors Associated With Depression And Anxiety Symptons In A Large Obgyn Clinic, Addie Keller May 2019

Screening For Mental Health Concerns Across Pregnancy : Factors Associated With Depression And Anxiety Symptons In A Large Obgyn Clinic, Addie Keller

Honors Theses

Depression and anxiety are prevalent among pregnant women, however, mental health continues to be a portion of care neglected in the obstetric setting. Depression is of-ten thought of as a disorder that leads to a persistent feeling of sadness. Anxiety is charac-terized by excessive fear and worry. Because of the many changes occurring throughout pregnancy, both physically and emotionally, it is not uncommon for pregnant women to struggle with depression, anxiety, or both. Previous studies have found that there are many factors associated with depression and anxiety throughout pregnancy. This study focuses on the relationship between age, gravida, and social ...


Effects Of The Pathogen Mycoplasma Gallisepticum Transmission On Growth And Condition Of Eastern Bluebirds Nestlings (Sialia Sialis), Gurshan Kaur May 2019

Effects Of The Pathogen Mycoplasma Gallisepticum Transmission On Growth And Condition Of Eastern Bluebirds Nestlings (Sialia Sialis), Gurshan Kaur

Honors Theses

A critical aspect to understanding disease dynamics is to understand how transmission occurs between hosts. There are two basic modes of transmission: vertical and horizontal. Vertical transmission is the passage of a pathogen from mother to offspring before or during birth, whereas horizontal transmission occurs between an infected host to a susceptible host. Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) is a common bacterial pathogen of poultry that causes respiratory disease. Infection of MG often results in weight loss, slowed growth rate, and increased mortality. Both vertical and horizontal transmission of MG have been found to occur in poultry. In the mid-90s, MG underwent ...


Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors And Breast Cancer Metastasis: A Review And Exploration Of Hdac(I)S And Other Chemotherapeutic Agents, William E. Sistrunk May 2019

Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors And Breast Cancer Metastasis: A Review And Exploration Of Hdac(I)S And Other Chemotherapeutic Agents, William E. Sistrunk

Honors Theses

The traditional perspective of Histone Deacetylase enzymes is focused on their inherent epigenetic modification characteristics. While it is true that the histone modification these enzymes exhibit play a role in cancer and related diseases, Histone Deacetylase has a variety of non-histone targets. The non-histone targets include microtubules and are of specific interest because of the microtubules’ role in cell line differentiation, replication, apoptosis, and cancer metastasis. Using a variety of Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors (HDACi) and other chemotherapeutic compounds, our research group explored the HDACi effect on breast cancer cell lines. Our goal was to indicate the presence of HDACi cell-line ...


O-Glcnacylation Of Hif-1Α Protein In Human Breast Cancer Cells, Joshua D. Dolsen May 2019

O-Glcnacylation Of Hif-1Α Protein In Human Breast Cancer Cells, Joshua D. Dolsen

Honors Theses

Cancer is an insidious disease that, if not caught in time, can cause devastating effects on the human body, especially if it metastasizes. It is important to note that each cancer behaves and develops differently based on its location in the body and the cellular characteristics constitute the instance of the disease. However, the development of cancer can universally be characterized by the acquisition of different hallmark abilities that promote disease progression. Proteins known as hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) can influence progression through these hallmarks, but primarily provides cancer cells with the ability to alter its metabolism to survive and further ...


The Effect Of Simulated Storm Passage On The Behavior Of Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks, Chiloscyllium Plagiosum And Golden Shiners, Notemigonus Chrysoleucas, Jordan A. Healy May 2019

The Effect Of Simulated Storm Passage On The Behavior Of Whitespotted Bamboo Sharks, Chiloscyllium Plagiosum And Golden Shiners, Notemigonus Chrysoleucas, Jordan A. Healy

Honors Theses

Environmental changes during a storm can affect animal behavior; for example, tagged sharks leave shallow waters during tropical storms. While changes in shark behavior during storm passage have been documented, there have been no experimental tests to determine which environmental parameters are responsible. In this study, we experimentally manipulated two environmental cues: barometric pressure, and thunder sounds, to determine their effect on whitespotted bamboo sharks, Chiloscyllium plagiosum, and golden shiners, Notemigonus crysoleucas. Elasmobranchs do not have a swim bladder to detect pressure change; therefore, we used golden shiners to compare the reaction of a fish with a swim bladder. The ...


The Effects Of Human Approach On Sanderling Foraging Behavior, Anne Hobdy, Eric Rosch May 2019

The Effects Of Human Approach On Sanderling Foraging Behavior, Anne Hobdy, Eric Rosch

Honors Theses

During low tide, sanderlings (Calidris alba) forage on small invertebrates in the sand of the intertidal zone. As a result, these common shorebirds frequently come into contact with humans who visit the beaches for a variety of activities, such as fishing or jogging. Here, the effects of three different approach types (undisturbed, passive, and aggressive) on sanderling foraging behavior were examined to help understand how human activities may be affecting their ability to search for food. At two local beaches, locomotory rate was recorded in addition to obvious changes in initial behavior. Treatments were defined as follows: 1) Undisturbed – sanderlings ...


The Upright Go Wearable Posture Device: An Evaluation Of Postural Health, Improvement Of Posture, And Salivary Cortisol Fluctuations In College Students, Alexandra Lauren Elliott May 2019

The Upright Go Wearable Posture Device: An Evaluation Of Postural Health, Improvement Of Posture, And Salivary Cortisol Fluctuations In College Students, Alexandra Lauren Elliott

Honors Theses

Health professionals consider improper posture as a risk factor for musculoskeletal disorders, chronic pain, and additional health issues. The chief aim of my study was to investigate links between poor posture and health, particularly in college students. To collect data regarding postural health, I distributed an exploratory survey to Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BISC 207) students at the University of Mississippi in Spring 2018. Students reported significant concern with quality of personal posture and significant experience with negative side effects of poor posture. Results demonstrated a need for postural education, leading to phase 2 of my experiment, the evaluation ...


Studies On Luminescent Gold And Platinum Nanoclusters For Biological Sensing And Catalysis, Richard Covington May 2019

Studies On Luminescent Gold And Platinum Nanoclusters For Biological Sensing And Catalysis, Richard Covington

Honors Theses

Nanoclusters are small nanoparticles that usually range around a micrometer in diameter. Gold Nanoclusters are known for their unique size and surface qualities and do not share metallic properties with nanoparticles or their respective bulk material. Some metal nanoclusters show high fluorescence and can be synthesized with protein mediation. Nanocluster formation depends on a number of variables, including temperature, pH, and type of reducing agent. This experiment was done to begin to understand how these variables may affect synthesis and what exactly they are. Pure Wild Type CSP-1 protein was induced, transformed, and purified in order to mediate gold and ...


Bacteria In Salt Pans Along The Mississippi Gulf Coast, Lauren A. Lawson May 2019

Bacteria In Salt Pans Along The Mississippi Gulf Coast, Lauren A. Lawson

Honors Theses

Salt pans form in shallow depressions in the ground where salt water evaporates leaving a hypersaline environment remaining. These pans become flooded during extremely high tides and as time progresses, this additional salt water is evaporated leaving behind more salt deposits. Marine salt pans can provide habitat for halophilic microorganisms and provide an interesting environment for study as conditions can change with both sediment and water depth. Towards the surface of sediment in salt pans, oxygen is still available, however, deeper sediments have limited oxygen availability and are likely anaerobic. Deeper sediments can also have higher salt concentrations so may ...


When Life Gives You Lemons: Comparing Two Diffusion Methods For A Psychological Screening Tool In The Medical Field, Jessica Tran May 2019

When Life Gives You Lemons: Comparing Two Diffusion Methods For A Psychological Screening Tool In The Medical Field, Jessica Tran

Honors Theses

E.M. Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation Theory is used to explain the process of how an idea or technology gains momentum and spreads through a particular population. The result of the diffusion is called adoption, meaning that over time the group has changed their initial behavior (i.e. using the new technology, purchasing and performing new behavior, etc.). There is considerable evidence for successful use of this theory in various fields. The study investigates the theory using a new psychological screening technology. A solicitation to hear information about the tool was presented to 19 physicians who were separated into two ...


Global And Gene-Specific Regulation In Freeze-Tolerant Anuran Dryophytes Chrysoscelis, Elizabeth Claire Sinnathamby May 2019

Global And Gene-Specific Regulation In Freeze-Tolerant Anuran Dryophytes Chrysoscelis, Elizabeth Claire Sinnathamby

Honors Theses

Cope’s Gray Treefrog, Dryophytes chysoscelis, seasonally tolerates freezing. During this process, it is subject to cellular stress from factors such as metabolic starvation, DNA damage, toxin accumulation (from cellular metabolism), and the risk of protein misfolding. Preliminary transcriptome data indicates that many mRNA transcripts vary in relative abundance within hepatocytes of D. chrysoscelis during discrete periods of warm acclimation, cold acclimation, freezing, and thawing. Physiological changes that occur in this frog are likely the result of epigenetic regulation—an alteration in gene expression that does not influence DNA sequence. This modification in gene expression can be observed by the ...


Electronic Cigarettes: Addiction And Physiological Effects Within Adolescents And Young Adults, Matthew Pastrana May 2019

Electronic Cigarettes: Addiction And Physiological Effects Within Adolescents And Young Adults, Matthew Pastrana

Honors Theses

In recent years, different organizations such as the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) have released statements and plans regarding the use of, and possible health risks of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, mods, vape pens, etc. Data released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse stated that teenagers in grades 8-12 are smoking e-cigarettes but have not smoked cigarettes before. In addition, 66% of those teenagers reported that the liquid they are smoking are “just flavoring” (NIH 2016).

According to the ACS, although electronic cigarettes are ...


Age-Related Tick Infestation Patterns In Springtime Migratory Passerines, Matthew Dunning May 2019

Age-Related Tick Infestation Patterns In Springtime Migratory Passerines, Matthew Dunning

Honors Theses

To test the hypothesis that younger migrants are more prone to arrive at stopover sites on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico with ticks than adult migrants, 2177 migratory passerines were screened for ticks at Gulf Coast sites in Texas and Louisiana. Fifty eight (2.7%) were infested with ticks with 28 (1.3%) being young birds and 30 (1.4%) being adult birds. The body condition of the birds was assessed to determine if tick infestation had negative consequences and if the severity of consequences varied between ages. I found no relationship of age with the prevalence ...


Checklist Of The Vascular Flora, Restoration Plans, And Educational Interpretive Signs For A Remnant Prairie At The Lakewood Memorial Cemetery, Hinds County, Mississippi, Olivia Shelton May 2019

Checklist Of The Vascular Flora, Restoration Plans, And Educational Interpretive Signs For A Remnant Prairie At The Lakewood Memorial Cemetery, Hinds County, Mississippi, Olivia Shelton

Honors Theses

A floristic survey was conducted on the eastern margin of the Lakewood Memorial Park Cemetery, located between Jackson and Clinton, Mississippi, near the western edge of the Jackson Prairie ecoregion. From soil map data and preliminary observations of the landform and flora, the eastern part of the cemetery was hypothesized to be remnant prairie now mostly covered by exotic grasses (pasture) and woodland. Plant specimens were collected, identified, and preserved in the herbarium of The University of Southern Mississippi (USMS). The survey yielded 119 species of vascular plants, of which 98 (82%) were native and 21 (18%) were non-native. Indicative ...


The Acute Effects Of Artificially-Sweetened Beverages On Cardiovascular Health, Adria Mulligan May 2019

The Acute Effects Of Artificially-Sweetened Beverages On Cardiovascular Health, Adria Mulligan

Honors Theses

Consuming artificially-sweetened beverages instead of sugar-sweetened beverages is becoming increasingly popular among those who want to lose weight, have medical conditions that prohibit intake of sugar, or want to improve overall health. However, little research has been conducted on the repercussions of the intake of these diet drinks, specifically on how they affect the cardiovascular system. The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of artificially-sweetened beverages on cardiovascular health. Eight participants with no pre-existing heart conditions underwent two separate appointments, one where they consumed a 12 oz. water and one where they consumed a 12 oz ...


The Correlation Between Physical Activity And Grade Point Average, Asia Mccoy May 2019

The Correlation Between Physical Activity And Grade Point Average, Asia Mccoy

Honors Theses

The correlation between grade point average (GPA) and physical activity has typically been researched in adolescents, but not a lot of research has focused on traditional college students. Previous research in adolescents has shown mixed outcomes, but there is still evidence that a positive correlation exists between physical activity and GPA. It is also believed that adolescents who are physically active tend to have better academic outcomes than their non-active counterparts as they mature. The primary purpose of our study was to examine the correlation between GPA and physical activity in students attending the College of Education and Human Sciences ...


The Importance Of Rnd-Type Efflux Pumps In The Interactions Of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa With 4-Methoxybenzaldehyde, Sanchirmaa Namjilsuren May 2019

The Importance Of Rnd-Type Efflux Pumps In The Interactions Of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa With 4-Methoxybenzaldehyde, Sanchirmaa Namjilsuren

Honors Theses

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common hospital-acquired pathogen and is often associated with high mortality rates due to the development of multidrug-resistance. Antimicrobial plant-derived (phyto-) aldehydes present a promising alternative to antibiotics due to their broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity and low propensity to trigger resistance. However, two main problems preclude the widespread application of these compounds: chemical instability and low antimicrobial efficacy. The ongoing collaboration between the Mavrodi and Patton labs at USM has recently addressed the problem of chemical instability by incorporating plant aldehydes into polymer materials called Pro-Antimicrobial Networks via Degradable Acetals (PANDAs). Thus, this study aimed to address the ...


Characterizing The Central Hemodynamic Response To Orthostasis: Influence Of Sex, Fitness And Body Composition, Benjamin Schreck May 2019

Characterizing The Central Hemodynamic Response To Orthostasis: Influence Of Sex, Fitness And Body Composition, Benjamin Schreck

Honors Theses

Inter-individual responses to orthostasis (i.e., ability to maintain consciousness in the upright posture) exist. However, few studies provide insight into the potential mechanisms for this variation. The purpose of this thesis project was to explore individual differences (i.e., sex, fitness, and body composition) on the central hemodynamic response to a modified head-up tilt table test (HUT). Fourteen volunteers with an average age of 22±1 years and an average body mass index (BMI) of 8±1 kg/m2 underwent assessments of pulse wave analysis, heart rate variability, and perfusion determination via near-infrared spectroscopy over the gastrocnemius muscle ...


Transformation Of Model Organisms With Munc13-1 For Subcloning And Protein Harvesting, Grace Dittmar May 2019

Transformation Of Model Organisms With Munc13-1 For Subcloning And Protein Harvesting, Grace Dittmar

Honors Theses

Exocytosis is the process by which cells release various molecules into the extracellular space. This mechanism is accomplished by membrane fusion, in which the membrane of the transport vesicle and that of the cell itself fuse to create one continuous membrane, allowing the release of the molecules inside the vesicle. A family of proteins, known as SNARE proteins, is responsible for facilitating membrane fusion. SNARE proteins form a complex between the vesicle membrane and the plasma membrane. For various cells, such as mast cells and neurons, exocytosis is essential to carry out their vital functions. Various accessory proteins are known ...


The Incorporation Of Lipids Into The Cellular Membrane Of Salmonella, Betsy H. Redfern May 2019

The Incorporation Of Lipids Into The Cellular Membrane Of Salmonella, Betsy H. Redfern

Honors Theses

Salmonella is a gram negative, facultative anaerobic food borne pathogen and is the leading cause of deaths related to food borne illnesses. In order to establish an infection successfully, Salmonella must be able to survive in the presence of various stressors that it encounters, namely changes in pH, oxygen availability, osmolarity and bile. Previous research has shown that exposure to bile causes a shift in fatty acid composition in the cell membrane of the enteric bacterium Enterococcus faecalis. Thus, this led to the hypothesis that Salmonella incorporates fatty acids into its cellular membrane following exposure to bile and thereby protects ...


Effects Of Low Ph Water On European Green Crabs (Carcinus Maenas): An Assessment Of Survival And Post-Ecdysis Cuticle Properties, Santiago Pineda May 2019

Effects Of Low Ph Water On European Green Crabs (Carcinus Maenas): An Assessment Of Survival And Post-Ecdysis Cuticle Properties, Santiago Pineda

Honors Theses

Excess of carbon emissions drives not only global warming but also ocean acidification (OA). In addition to that, it has been established that OA negatively affects a variety of organisms that depend on calcium carbonate to build their shells. However, the effects of low pH water on crustaceans is not well understood. These marine organisms do not rely exclusively on calcium carbonate to build their carapaces, which are also composed of a wide range of organic and inorganic compounds. In this study, the effects of low pH water on the carapaces of European green crabs (Carcinus maenas) as well as ...