Samantha Acri
Biology with a Secondary Emphasis in Mathematics

Comparative Analysis of Four Genome Assembly Programs
Sponsored By: Vincent Buonaccorsi

The use of genomic information in modern research is becoming more prevalent as sequencing technology continues to improve. The availability of this information is important in many fields including drug development, phylogenetic studies, and conservation biology. Having an efficient genome assembly program is one of the most vital pieces in creating the best final assembly possible. The two main algorithms for assembly are De Bruijn Graphing and the Overlap Layout Consensus method. Both methods align and merge all the small fragments into larger sequences, but do so in different ways. In this project, we compared four genome assemblers, MaSuRCA, SoapDenovo2, Meraculous, and ALLPATHS-LG, to determine the most efficient program in terms of time and selected output quality metrics. Two assemblers (SoapDenovo2 and ALLPATHS-LG) are based solely on the De Bruijn Graphing algorithm while the other two (MaSuRCA and Meraculous) are hybrid assemblers that combine the two algorithms. All comparisons were made using sequence data collected through collaboration with Dr. Theresa Grana of University of Mary Washington. The genome being used for this project is that of a local, free-living nematode of unknown species identity from the family Rhabditella and is expected to be approximately 100Mbp in size. Comparisons will inform future assembly efforts for the Genome Consortium for Active Teaching using Next Generation Sequencing including large insect and plant genome assemblies.

Sarah Alexander
Environmental Geology

Motivation Behind Slave Narratives Published After the Abolition of Slavery
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

Levi Branham's "My Life and Travels" was published in 1929. Branham was born into slavery 1852 in northern Georgia, and throughout his narrative he depicts his lifetime as a slave and after being freed. However, Branham's time as a slave was distinctly different from most others, as he often writes praises of his masters, Mr. Edmonson and "Miss Beckie", and thanks them for their kindness through the years. Themes of unusual kindness and respect, gratitude, and human rights are discussed and each carry a significant amount of importance in Branham's life and narrative, and he ends his narrative with the message that everybody should love each other, regardless of skin color.

In my poster and presentation of "My Life and Travels", I plan to expand upon the motivation behind Branham's diverse narrative being published so long after the abolition of slavery. I will approach this question by researching news articles, formal publications from the government, and similar American slave narratives publishes during this time period. Through research and analysis, I am planning on determining the reasoning behind the transition from pre- and post-slavery American slave narratives.

Daniel Ansel
Biology and Psychology

Sex Primes and Framing
Sponsored By: Rebecca Weldon
Presenting with:
  • Buchan, Gabrielle

Risky decision making permeates everyday life. Humans often make choices that are associated with risk: gambling money, fast driving, underage drinking, unprotected sex. In real-life decision making, we are often faced with a choice between a safer option and a more risky option. People often opt for the decision with the higher possible gain (but also the possibility of a higher loss). Interestingly, psychological experiments have demonstrated that risk preference can change depending on how information is framed. It is well-known that when options are presented in a gain frame, people tend to be risk-averse, but when the identical options are presented in a loss frame, people tend to be risk-seeking. The goal of this experiment is to determine how males respond in risky decision making situations after viewing a nude image.  We will discuss how our study relates to other studies on decision making and what we expect to find. This research can lend further insight into reward sensitivity and risky decision making.



 

Adam Anthony
Physics

Principle Component Analysis applied to nuclear forensics
Sponsored By: James Borgardt
Presenting with:
  • Roberts, Sarah

Nuclear forensics involves the collection, analysis, and assessment of radioactive evidence using physical, chemical, and isotopic signatures to infer the origin and history of the material.  We explore the applications of Principle Component Analysis (PCA), a statistical method of reducing the relevant number of differentiating characteristics in a data set, to spent nuclear fuel.  There are a large number of variables that describe the makeup of nuclear fuel. PCA can be used to consolidate the data and  simplify the problem.  Using PCA, we show that it's possible to trace a fuel sample of unknown origin back to its original reactor and discuss the confidence interval of our measurements.

Anastasia Ardasheva
Biology

Alternative Splicing of hnRNPA2/B1 by SRSF2 and its Effects on Stress Granule Formation in Myelodysplasia
Sponsored By: Daniel Dries

Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a type of hematopoietic malignancy commonly diagnosed in patients >65 years old. Although the exact cause for MDS is not known, mutations in the cell splicing machinery are a common feature among patients diagnosed with this disease. One of the most common mutations occurs in the serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 2 (SRSF2), converting Proline 95 to Histidine. We previously identified recurrent mis-splicing of the heterogeneous ribonuclear protein A2/B1 (hnRNPA2/B1) in patients bearing the SRSF2 P95H mutation. In the actively translating cell hnRNPA2/B1 is capable of forming non-membrane droplets called stress granules that preserve stalled translational complexes under conditions stress. The four isoforms of hnRNPA2B1 are characterized by the presence or absence of exons 2 & 9. Studies on neuronal cells have shown that these isoforms localize differently within the cell under homeostatic conditions. We therefore hypothesized that the alternative splicing of hnRNPA2/B1 in patients bearing the SRSF2 mutation results in the expression of isoforms with altered ability to participate in stress granule formation, resulting in consequent defects in RNA metabolism. To assess the ability of the four isoforms to participate in stress granules, we transfected 293FT mammalian cells with each isoform, and assessed cellular localization following induction of stress granule formation with sodium arsenite treatment. These experiments may allow for a greater understanding of the mechanisms that contribute to cellular dysfunction in MDS.  

Braden Becker
Engineering/ Physics

Determining which bridge can hold the bigger load: a suspension versus a truss bridge
Sponsored By: Matthew Beaky

Suspension and truss bridges are two common designs of bridges that have been used as a way to transport people over areas not suitable for walking or driving for over 200 years. I will giving a detailed presentation of a suspension bridge versus and truss bridge, by using popular bridge designs that are common structures many have seen before. A truss bridge such as the Francis Scott Key bridge and a suspension bridge such as the Golden Gate Bridge are examples of these two bridge types.  I have modeled two separate suspension bridges and two separate truss bridges solely built from popsicle sticks and glue and creating different joints from the popsicle sticks. These bridges were built to determine which bridge type, the truss or the suspension bridge, can hold the largest load all while keeping its structural stability. This research will address the tension and compression in the pillars of the suspension bridges and truss bridges. To ensure that the bridges are as structurally sound as can be, I avoided any bending forces on the bridges, which could cause the bridges to collapse at a smaller load. Ultimately, the bridge that supported the largest load was made into a larger version which will be presented along with my poster. 

Kristen Behrens
Biology

Henry Box Brown: Life and religion in slavery
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

Henry Box Brown, born a slave in Richmond, Virginia in 1815, recorded his story in the "Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, written by himself." In this narrative, he tells of the trials he underwent that eventually led to his unusual escape. Living in the antebellum South, Brown experienced the cruelties of slavery and lived under the influence of prominent historical events such as the Fugitive Slave Act and the rebellion of Nat Turner. After his wife and children were sold away from him, Brown saw no reason to remain in slavery and plotted his escape. He had himself nailed inside a box, and was shipped from Richmond to Philadelphia. The life of Henry Box Brown is a means of exploring the complicated relationship between slavery, religion, and the family, as well as the slaveholder’s ability to manipulate slaves using these connections.

Liam Benfer
Professional Writing with Integrated Media

A Fugitive's Fight for Freedom: The Influence of William Wells Brown
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

This poster explores William Wells Brown's narrative from 1847, The Narrative of William Wells Brown, a Fugitive Slave. Written by himself. It examines Brown's life being born into slavery, being hired out to various masters, executing his escape, and his career as a renowned abolitionist. It also looks into the impact Brown had on the abolition movement before Emancipation and the impact Brown's work still has today.

Mason Biehn
Biochemistry

Optimizing the Extraction of Urushiol
Sponsored By: Peter Baran
Presenting with:
  • Feldman, Jared

The goal of the study is to find a way to prevent the allergic reaction on skin caused by poison ivy. The active allergen in Poison Ivy is urushiol, which is made of a series of various pyrocatechol rings with long carbon chains that contain some or no double bonds. Urushiol can be prevented from entering the blood stream via interaction with metallic salts on the skin. In order to proceed with the study, large quatities of urushiol need to be secured first. It can be obtained safely from a Japanese lacquer known as Rhus verniciflua. In an effort to pursue the most effective method of the extraction of urushiol, an array of organic solvents were used in soxlet extractions. Crude urushiol was isolated from extracts by evaporating solvents through vacuum distillation and analyzed by gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GCMS). Organic solvents were evaluated based on purity and the yield of extracted urushiol. Larger quantities of urushiol will produced with the optimized extraction method and then complexation studies with metallic salts will be conducted.

Kendra Bierman
Environmental Science

Variation in Arthropod Communities Associated with Native and Nonnative Vegetation at the Baker-Henry Peace Chapel and Nature Preserve
Sponsored By: Norris Muth
Presenting with:
  • Ferlauto, Max
  • Baremore, Annaleigh

We investigated the difference in arthropod communities associated with introduced and native vegetation in an open, early successional habitat found Central Pennsylvania. Using a beat sheet, arthropods were collected from two native (Quercus alba, Juglans nigra) and two nonnative plant species (Elaeagnus umbellata, Lonicera japonica) that comprised the dominant woody vegetation at the site. We identified arthropods to family and differentiated them by species. Then we calculated species richness and abundance. We analyzed our data for significance using a nested ANOVA test. Native vegetation hosted an average of 20 arthropods and 12 species while nonnative vegetation hosted an average of 13 arthropods and 10 species. We found that, while native vegetation hosted a greater abundance and species richness of herbivorous arthropods, it did not have a significant effect on predatory arthropods. We believe this is because predatory arthropods are less directly dependent on the vegetation for nutrition. Addressing the relationships between vegetation nativity and arthropod communities may aid our broader understanding of the role that nonnative vegetation plays in affecting higher trophic levels.

Kaitlin Bompiani
Biology/Pre-Med

Analysis of Carbonate Muds Using Handheld Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy
Sponsored By: Richard Hark

Elemental variations in carbonate sediment can provide insights into oceanographic processes. We have analyzed carbonate sediments to explore the use of a handheld laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) system for assessing geochemistry of marine carbonate sedimentary systems. These muds were sampled in shallow waters from six locations- Alacran Reef (Mexico); Yucatan Shelf (Mexico); Crooked-Acklins Platform (Bahamas); Caicos Platform (Turks and Caicos Islands); Maupiti Atoll (French Polynesia); and Nonouti Atoll (Republic of Kiribati).



SciAps Z300 and Z500 LIBS analyzers were used in this study to demonstrate that handheld LIBS can be effective for analysis of geological materials. Carbonate muds were pressed into pellets and interrogated in a grid pattern to produce a total of 30 spectra for each sample. Principal Component Analysis was used to condense the full spectrum data, then Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis was utilized for classification.



The results reveal subtle difference in composition among the six areas, with Sr, Ca, and Mg being the main components. Classification success for the carbonate muds was above 90% with differences in the relative amounts of the major, minor and trace elements being responsible for the discrimination. This result documents differences in the composition of carbonate muds in their depositional environment, attesting to different mineralogy and proportions of components. For example, the 288 nm line for Si was more prominent in LIBS spectra for the Yucatan Shelf mud, identifying a biosilicious component.



The six localities also grouped well by ocean basin, implying that water chemistry is likely influencing the composition of accumulated carbonate. To test if the presence of soluble salts was affecting the results, three samples from each of six locations were washed several times with ultra pure water and centrifuged. The supernatant liquid was removed and the residue dried, weighed, pressed into pellets and analyzed using LIBS.

Cynthia Boo
Psychology

Self-Reports of "Visual" v. "Verbal" Orientation and EEG Results
Sponsored By: Anne Gilman
Presenting with:
  • Reichart, Clay
  • OBrien, Aaron

Ally & Budson (2007) determined a time course of the picture-superiority effect between images and names of similar objects. A replication of this study was established using a four study-test block: name-name, image-image, name-image, and image-name. Electroencephalographic signatures were measured and compared to participants' self-reported preference for visual or verbal stimuli. Previous studies have shown that a self-reported orientation for visually or verbally presented information showed little-to-no effect on performance and retention of said information. In this study, this preference was determined by asking whether participants were more personally oriented towards images or words to evaluate whether there are differences in perception of stimuli.

David Brandenburg
Chemistry

Interactions of Various Tetraphenylporphyrins
Sponsored By: William Ames

A major obstacle in widespread commercial hydrogen production is the poor energy efficiency of the current methods of water oxidation. The use of tetraphenylporphyrins complexed with metals in the electrolysis system is one possible way to increase the efficiency, as cobalt and manganese centered porphyrin dimmers have been shown to catalyze the oxidation of water. In this research the molecular modeling program Gromacs is used to model various systems of tetraphenylporphyrins to have a better understanding of how they behave in solution and interact with the water they are dissolved in. Single porphyrins dissolved in water are analyzed along with increasing numbers up through 16 tetraphenylporphyrin systems. These unmetallated systems are compared with tetraphenylporphyrins complexed with manganese and cobalt.

Jamey Brumbaugh
Biology

Metatranscriptomic Profiling of C. elegans microbiome
Sponsored By: Jason Chan
Presenting with:
  • Ardasheva, Anastasia

The genetic makeup of an animal has a direct impact on its gut microbiome expression. Here we used the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), to determine how changes in host genotype related to the insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)/FOXO pathway would affect the expression of gut microbiome. Previous studied showed that the insulin/ IGF-1/FOXO pathway is directly related to worm longevity. We examined three genotypes of C. elegans: daf-2 mutant, daf-16 mutant, and wild type. daf-2 mutant worms lack the IGF-1 transmembrane receptor (IGFR), which is responsible for initiation of the insulin/IGF1/FOXO pathway upon binding of insulin-like peptides, eventually leading to deactivation of the DAF16/FOXO transcription and inhibiting its vital functions. daf-2 worms, therefore, live longer due to the presence of activated DAF16/FOXO transcription factor responsible for upregulating transcription and activating genes mediating heat shock, oxidative stress, and other functions necessary for survival. daf-16 mutant worms live less to their inability to perform transcription effectively. We hypothesize that these genotypes will affect metabolic pathways expressed by gut bacteria. Bacterial matabolites can affect insulin/ IGF-1/FOXO pathway in C. elegans and, therefore, can affect worm longevity. To investigate the effects of the three genotypes on the bacterial metabolism, we fed worms with Escherichia Coli (E. Coli) OP50 strain, which is their nutritional food source. We then isolated the gut content and performed RNA isolation, rRNA subtraction, cDNA synthesis, library preparation, and high-throughput sequencing. These methods allowed us to identify metabolic pathways that are different in the different hosts and might have an effect on worm aging. Using metatranscriptomic analysis gave insights into how gut bacteria are altered in different model organism of aging.

Harpreet Chamdal
Biology

Opiate Detection in Urine from Consuming Poppy Seeds over Five Day Period
Sponsored By: Daniel Dries
Presenting with:
  • Grafe, Owen
  • Greenleaf, Brody
  • Lanzendorfer, Rayce



Recent reports have shown that ingesting foods containing poppy seeds can cause recipients to fail urine drug tests that screen for opium. Poppy seeds are harvested from the poppy plant, which contains opiate alkaloids such as morphine and codeine. While these alkaloids are concentrated in the seed pods of the plants, they can be found throughout the plant, including in the seeds themselves. Though ingesting poppy seeds will not cause the narcotic effects of morphine, they can still impact a person’s ability to pass a pre-employment drug screening. To determine the effects over time of eating foods containing poppy seeds, one test subject consumed a lemon poppy seed muffin, and a urine sample was collected five hours later. This process was performed every day for five consecutive days. To compare the effects of poppy seed foods versus the effects raw poppy seeds on the body, a different test subject consumed five grams of raw poppy seeds each day for five consecutive days and again, urine samples were collected five hours after consumption. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) used an anti-opiate antibody to probe all urine samples for morphine and to quantify the concentration of morphine in the urine. The concentrations of morphine from each experimental group were then compared to each other and with the threshold level of morphine that results in a subject failing a drug test. These results display how poppy seeds can affect morphine levels in a subject’s body and have implications for the foods that one should avoid eating before drug testing.



 

Steven Chuh
Biology

The Complex Relationship Between Sphingolipids and Neurotransmission in the Model Organism C. elegans
Sponsored By: Jason Chan
Presenting with:
  • Wentz, Curtis
  • Hrobuchak, Hannah

Neurotransmission and aging of organisms are interrelated; for example, various diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease manifest as loss of neuronal function that worsens with age. We analyze the role that sphingolipids play in neurotransmission which are involved in the nervous system. Sphingolipids are interconverted by metabolic enzymes that can alter the amounts of lipids present in the cell. We focus on the conversion between sphingosine, a cell death factor, and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a cell survival factor. The enzymes sphingosine kinase and sphingosine phosphatase are responsible for these conversions. Using the model organism C. elegans in neuromuscular assays, we hypothesize that knockdown of sphingosine kinase, possibly decreasing S1P production, will have a greater effect on neurotransmission in the earlier stages of development than the latter. Also, the knockdown of sphingosine kinase will slow the overall rate of development due to its role in cell survival and proliferation. Utilizing RNAi methods, we knocked down the expression of the sphingosine kinase gene at various days of 1-3 or 3-7 during the lifespan because it is unclear whether sphingosine kinase is essential to the entire lifespan, or only particular stages of development. Furthermore, we subject two species of transgenic worms, EG5025 and EG5096 to optogenetics. Optogenetics allows us to control neurons which affects physiological responses. The drug, ISP-1 inhibits the enzyme, serine palmitoyl-transferase (SPT), which results in decrease of ceramide and developmental delays. We predict that decreased levels of ceramide will have a cascading effect on the production of S1P. Adult worms exposed to ISP-1 may not be as developed which may hinder the movement of neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine and GABA. The results collected from these experiments exemplify the importance of having regulated levels of molecules in the sphingolipid pathway for functional neurotransmission throughout the life of an organism.



 

Caitlyn Coffin
Environmental Science

Effect of Deer Exclosure on Plant Community Differences Between Fenced and Unfenced Fields in Central Pennsylvania
Sponsored By: Chuck Yohn
Presenting with:
  • Martin, Ben
  • Squier, Evan



Increasing White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations since the 18th century has had widespread negative impacts on ecology with regard to plant regeneration through heavy deer browsing. A common solution has been to install deer exclosure fences uplifting browsing pressure. However, the effectiveness of this solution has been highly variable. To assess the impacts of deer exclosures on plant communities, this study utilized an adjacent deer exclosures and exposed plot design near Grove Farm at the Raystown Field Station. Two pairs of adjacent deer exclosure and exposed plots were assessed of which a total of 20 one meter by one meter subplots were assessed for stem counts and identification of all plants under two meters in height. Plants over two meters in height were identified and visually assessed for percent canopy cover. Results showed deer exclosures had a higher Simpson’s index of diversity (D= 0.914) than exposed plots (D= 0.822). Similarly, the Shannon-Weiner index showed higher diversity in the exclosure plots (H=2.67) than the exposed plots(H=2.20). Higher species evenness was shown in the exclosure plots (0.819) than the exposed plots(0.704). Average percent canopy cover was higher in the exclosure plots (38.5% ±30) than the exposed plots (13.5% ± 32.5) and approached significance (V=1, P= 0.125). Higher species diversity, evenness, and canopy density suggests the deer exclosure plots are more desirable ecosystem for wildlife. We suggest that deer browsing negatively influences unfenced old field plant communities, hindering their successional process.

Claire Cohen
Biochemistry

Using Enzymes to Detect Glucose Concentration in a Complex Mixture
Sponsored By: Ursula Williams
Presenting with:
  • Racis, Kristin
  • Kline, Isaac

In this day and age, food is an ambiguous commodity. We might know how much sugar is in a substance, but as consumers we are not told the actual amounts of natural sweeteners present, and major food companies can make vague statements about the amount of different sweeteners that are present in a particular sample, like Gatorade and Powerade. β-D-Glucose is a primary source of energy, and therefore, it is important to know how much of this form of glucose is present in the drinks that we consume on a daily basis. The purpose of this experiment is to determine the concentration or the amount of β-D-glucose in sports’ drinks, specifically Gatorade and Powerade, which are naturally sweetened. To do this we will create a calibration curve using known amounts of β-D-glucose and then test various concentrations of Gatorade and Powerade using enzyme detection methods to determine the specific concentration of β-D-glucose present in the samples. We predict that Gatorade will have a higher concentration of β-D-glucose compared to Powerade.  

William Cruser
Biology

The Impact of Educational Slave Narratives in the North
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

Aunt Judy's Story: A Tale From Real Life, by Matilda Thompson, is a unique slave narrative because it was written for an anti-slavery fair in Philadelphia and used as an educational tool to inform the North about the horrors of slavery. The narrative uses a white northern family in Indiana with young children to illustrate what it was like for their freed elderly African American neighbor, Aunt Judy, when she was in the South. Using the struggle of the Native Americans to put it in context for the children is one of the main tools that the parents use to teach their children. They also tell the story of their freed neighbor and the children have lots of questions that the parents answer. This narrative is widely regarded as a fiction and used as an informational and educational tool to grow the abolitionist movement. Research shows how similar narratives and anti-slavery fairs were popular and how they educated abolitionists in the north. Efforts from anti-slavery groups to educate western states also took place. Gaging the effectiveness of these fairs and educational efforts can show the importance of narratives like these in the North. Another interesting note relating to the narrative is looking into how Native Americans were treated during this time in the north and how that is a helpful comparison to use in order to garner support for the abolitionist movement. Treatment of Native Americans at this time and how they were compared to African Americans can show how effective the educational tool was. 

Malino DeFay
Spanish & Hispanic Cultures

Punishment of Persistence: Moses Roper and the Pursuit of Liberty
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

The Narrative of the Adventures and Escape of Moses Roper, from American Slavery by Moses Roper himself, which was first published in London 1837. Moses Roper was born in Caswell County, North Carolina in 1815 to a black slave and white slaveholder. As a result of his light skin color, Roper was often mistaken for a white criminal and not a slave. Ultimately, his lighter appearance would allow him to make a final escape to New York. Throughout his narrative, Roper describes his escape attempts, which were immeasurable in number. My research will focus on his conditions in slavery, specifically the dehumanization aspect, and how this ties into the idea of "give me liberty or give me death." In order to give context to help guide the research I will research several topic areas. I will discuss the purpose of writing the narrative, treatment and punishment of slaves, and the slaveholder, and Roper’s escape and how his skin color helped him achieve it. I also will discuss the literary response of this novel as reviewed and, research how the number of images including the self-portrait at the beginning of the narrative add to its function. My research will be cited by scholarly articles to help support my arguments and literary responses of the time period to determine how effective the narrative was in influencing readers at the time of its release.

Dominic DeFelice
Geology

Mineralogical indicators of shock stage in H-chondrite meteorites
Sponsored By: Katharine Johanesen

Meteorites found on the Earth’s surface are classified by their composition, origin and microstructure of the minerals present. In order to accurately categorize them, extensive petrologic research is conducted. H-chondrite meteorites are the most abundant and are categorized by their high iron content, and originate from the asteroid 6-Hebe. An H-chondrite meteorite has the potential to be highly metamorphosed, and the results of this intense heat and pressure are present under microscope. A thin section of an H-chondrite was prepared from a sample found in the Sahara Desert. Using petrographic analysis techniques through cross polarized light and a scanning electron microscope, a precise investigation is conducted to determine the composition and identification of metamorphic textures. These textures indicate the degree of metamorphism undergone due to impact or friction upon entry to the Earth’s atmosphere. The composition also gives clues to the degree of metamorphism, since some mild recrystallization occurs. Bronzite, the iron-bearing orthopyroxene, is common in H-chondrite meteorites, as well as ringwoodite. A polymorph of the magnesium-iron phase of olivine (forsterite), ringwoodite only appears at very high degrees of metamorphism. A scanning electron microscope analysis cannot distinguish between ringwoodite and forsterite, so other identification techniques are used to identify this shock-stage indicator. 

Marina Demeter
Chemistry

Troubles of Getting Published Research to Work: The Struggle of Synthesizing Dipyrromethane
Sponsored By: William Ames

Pyrrole is the main building block when it comes to synthesizing dipyrromethane which is the precursor for synthesizing porphyrins. Porphyrins are conjugated aromatic ring structures used in supramolecular chemistry and molecular electronics. When making the porphyrins, the functional groups on dipyrromethane can be used to form molecular “handles” creating interesting diporphyrins, which can then be analyzed. With porphyrins as our interest dipyrromethane needed to be synthesized. There are a number of methods out there for synthesizing dipyrromethane. Some of these methods use conditions that are seen as disadvantages and can be quite wasteful. Examples include the use of metals, excess pyrrole, organic solvents, and low yield outcome. The goal of this research was to make a novel porphyrin precursor using greener methods. In order to make this happen different synthesizes were carried out to see what gave the best results without having to turn to a synthesis that proposed unwanted disadvantages. Although this was our goal it proved to be harder than expected to get already published research to work.

Nathan Desousa
Chemistry

Synthesis of an N-oxide Tridentate Ligand Poxpam
Sponsored By: Peter Baran

N-oxide ligands and their metallic complexes can act as catalysts in organic reactions. Although many aromatic amine N-oxide ligands are already known, this research focused on the formation of a tridentate ligand 2-(2-aminophenyliminomethyl)pyridine N-oxide (poxpam). Poxpam can be synthesized by a condensation reaction between o-phenylenediammine and 2-pyridinecarboxaldehyde N-oxide (poxal) in the presence of sodium hydroxide. To investigate the effect that sodium hydroxide has on the reaction, the synthesis was carried out using various sodium and potassium salts. It was hypothesized that sodium acts as a templating agent during the synthesis. To prove this hypothesis, sodium was replaced with calcium in the current study. Instead of yielding poxpam as predicted, a new calcium complex with a different ligand, 2-(2-benzimidazolyl)pyridine N-oxide (poxbim), in a form of a pale yellow crystals was isolated. The structure of the complex was determined by X-ray diffraction to show the overall composition [CaCl2(MeOH)2(poxbim)2]. Details of the synthesis and crystallographic studies will be presented.

Amanda Dove
Biochemistry

Friedel Crafts Acylation of 1-4 Benezenedipropanoic acid and Dibenzothiophenedipropanic acid
Sponsored By: William Ames

1,4-Benezenedipropanoic acid and dibenzothiophenedipropanic acid both preform a Friedel-Crafts Acylation between their arene rings and the substituents of the arene ring in the presence of aluminum trichloride. The major product of this electrophilic aromatic substitution is the 2,3 substitution rather than the  2,5 substitution, which is the kinetically favorable product. The project uses computational and experimental methods to explore the quantum mechanics of the reaction.

Laura Early
Physics

Determining Rotation Direction of the Milky Way Galaxy using the Frequency of Atomic Hydrogen gathered with a Radio Telescope.
Sponsored By: Mark Pearson

The objective of this project was to study the movement of large clouds of atomic hydrogen measured along the galactic equator and deduce the rotational direction of the Milky Way Galaxy. The 40-foot educational radio telescope at Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia was used to measure the frequency of 1420.4MHz emitted by atomic hydrogen when it flips spin states. Wolfram Mathematica was used to graph the the velocity vectors of the individual clouds of Hydrogen. From that graph it was deduced that that the Milky Way Galaxy rotates counterclockwise.

Christina Estright
Biology, Genomics Certificate

Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) Analysis of South African Seashells
Sponsored By: Richard Hark

Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is a straightforward and versatile analytical technique based upon analysis of the spectral emission from laser-induced plasmas. In LIBS, short-pulse-duration, low-energy pulsed laser light is tightly focused on a sample, causing ‘breakdown’, i.e. conversion of a minute amount of sample into vapor and particulate-bearing aerosol by laser energy absorption, and the formation of a high-temperature microplasma. With the advent of commercial handheld instruments that can be used in the field, LIBS now has the far-reaching capability to provide multi-element detection in essentially any material in real time without the need for sampling.



LIBS was used to identify the minor and trace element compositional differences between sea shells collected from ten South African beaches. The purpose was to determine if a handheld LIBS unit could differentiate between shells of the same species obtained from different locations and shells of different species found in the same location. Though the main component of a seashell is biogenetic carbonate, small and localized differences in the concentration of metals in seawater, such as Na+, K+ and Mg2+, were hypothesized to be detectable using LIBS.



All of the shells used in this study were gathered from beaches along the South Atlantic Ocean and False Bay and were identified to the species level. A Z-300 handheld LIBS unit (SciAps, Inc.), with spectral coverage from 190 nm to 950 nm, was utilized and multiple laser pulses were averaged to form sets of 10 spectra for each shell sample. Chemometric tools, such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA), were used to process the data.  The data from a previous pilot study and the current South African results will be presented.

Charlton Exley
Physics

Controlling a Model Race Car Using RF and an Android Phone
Sponsored By: Matthew Beaky

Remote controlled (RC) cars are popular among children as toys and model car builders who seek to make their designs a reality. The downside to these cars is they require a bulky transmitter in the form of a trigger and joystick or a remote control with two joysticks. By taking one extra step these bulky transmitters can be avoided by using Bluetooth to allow an Android phone to communicate with the RC car through the use of Arduino transmitter and receiver microcontrollers with a Bluetooth connector for the transmitter. This will bypass the need for a specific transmitter for each car allowing any phone to communicate with the car and control it. The self-constructed vehicle also has the capability of going at speeds greater than those pre-packaged as toys, since these are designed with child safety in mind. The key is to have a lightweight design with enough power to reach the higher speeds but sophisticated enough electronics to allow safe control of the car. There is also room for further improvements such as a metal chassis, more advanced electronics, and the use of a stronger motor to reach even higher speeds.

Carissa Flook
PreK-4th Grade & PreK-8th Grade Special Education

Parents' and Preschoolers' Perceptions of Gender Appropriate Toys for Boys and Girls: Is Socioeconomic status (SES) a factor?
Sponsored By: Kathleen Biddle

Gender stereotypes are embedded into nearly every aspect of society and seem to be apparent in children at very early ages; however, it is still unknown how early these stereotypes develop and whether other aspects, such as socioeconomic status and parental influence, may affect how early a child develops these ideas and the degree to which they believe the stereotypes. In this pilot study, four-year-old children were interviewed to see if they already associate certain toys as gender specific. A survey was also distributed to the participants' parents to see if there is a correlation between parents' and their children's beliefs of gender appropriateness. Participants were chosen from two different childcare centers located in the same town, but consisting of populations of different socioeconomic status. In both samples, children were unanimously aware of gender stereotypes in common toys; however, children from the high socioeconomic status childcare center believed that their parents would want them to play with all toys, while children from the lower socioeconomic status childcare center felt that their parents would only want them to play with toys appropriate for their gender. Additionally, parent surveys did not indicate stereotyped beliefs when it came to gender appropriate behaviors. If gender stereotypes are already recognized by four-year-old children whose parents report they themselves do not believe in the stereotypes, it will be important to explore additional factors that may influence gender stereotypes in young children.

Rebekah Ford
Biology

Evaluation of Ultra-Violet Treatment within Hospital Water Distribution Systems: A Molecular Microbial Ecology Approach
Sponsored By: Regina Lamendella

Water-borne pathogens present a public health problem as they have the potential to cause disease outbreaks when human populations are using public water distribution systems. This study investigates the effect of an ultra violet water treatment system on the microbial community of an Israeli hospital water distribution system. The hospital has struggled with outbreaks of Legionnaire’s Disease, a form of pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila. Because hospital patients often have weakened immune systems, they are especially susceptible to infection. Legionella pneumophila can proliferate in water distribution systems and has been known to be harbored by Acanthamoeba spp. This case study investigates the microbial community profile of two paralleled water systems in the Israeli hospital. One system remains untreated while the other is treated with the ultra violet water treatment. We expect our results to show higher abundance of potential pathogens prior to ultra violet treatment. We also hope to uncover which members of the microbial community are most connected to L. pneumophila in hopes of understanding how the underlying microbial community of water distribution systems could predict the fate of pathogens within these environments.

John Gage
Information Technology/Integrated Media Arts

Hacking and Security
Sponsored By: Donna Weimer

Staying safe and secure in our digital world is not as easy as it would be in a non-digital world. Hacking allows for people far away to mess with your personal information. Privacy is hard to maintain in an online world. There are usually three groups who get attacked: Political systems, financial systems, and individual people, like you and me. There are methods of keeping hackers from hacking you, but they often find ways of breaking these, resulting in engineers having to come up with new ways to locked the hackers out. This causes an ongoing cycle of hackers breaking security protocols and engineers having to come up with new ways of stopping them.

Steven Galbraith
Sociology

PA Prison Society Internship
Sponsored By: Cynthia deVries

This Spring I was fortunate enough to intern with the Huntingdon Chapter of the Pennsylvania Prison Society (PPS).  Through my experiences as an intern with PPS, I would like to touch on a few aspects of the prison system and why it is important for people to “advocate for a more humane, just, and restorative criminal justice system” (PrisonSociety.org).  Communicating with incarcerated individuals through both letters and visits, my eyes were opened to an entirely new group of people whose voices are not always heard.   I believe through conversation and raised awareness of issues within the current prison system, great strides can be made towards a system that is more restorative and beneficial to victims, the incarcerated, and surrounding communities. 

Lindsey Gearhart
Neuropsychology

How the Endowment Effect Varies as a Function of Supply
Sponsored By: Rebecca Weldon

Willingness-to-pay (WTP) for a food item can be affected by holding that item. Participants were randomly assigned to rate WTP for food items: 1) sitting on a table, 2) after holding the items in their hands, or 3) after the experimenter held the items. Participants did not differ in WTP across the three conditions, but did show higher WTP for the apple than for the cookie. Results have important implications for nutrition and food choices.

David Girard
Biology

It's Only Natural
Sponsored By: Deb Kirchhof-Glazier

Over the past semester and a half, I have been researching six medically-related conditions or treatments from both conventional and alternative medical perspectives. The topics included ADHD, Arthritis, Chemotherapy, Alcoholism, Diabetes, and Depression.  As an aspiring naturopathic doctor, I wanted to find out for myself and others what makes naturopathic treatment of these diseases different from conventional medical techniques. Since the start I have learned that these non-conventional techniques are less invasive, have fewer negative side-effects, and give power back to the sufferer in the form of personalized care. However, what made naturopathic techniques stand out was that in almost all instances they focus on treating the root of the problem and not the associated symptoms. Therefore, the individual has a greater chance to fully recover instead of only covering up the symptoms of their illness.

Kathryn Goerl
Chemistry

Synthesis of 2-Pyridinecarbaldehyde N-Oxide
Sponsored By: Peter Baran

All published synthesis of the compound 2-pyridinecarbaldehyde N-oxide are rather difficult or give a low yield. Because of this, the goal of this research is to develop a more effective and efficient procedure to synthesize 2-pyridinecarbaldehyde N-oxide which is used as a starting reagent for the synthesis of pyridine N-oxide Schiff bases. N-oxide compounds are promising ligands in creating coordination complexes that can be used as catalysts, new anticancer drugs, or new materials with important magnetic properties.  In order to establish a more effective synthesis, the most common literature procedure was repeated. In this procedure, 2-methylpyridine was oxidized with hydrogen peroxide and glacial acetic acid to form 2-methyl pyridine N-oxide. Next, the methyl group of 2-methylpyridine N-oxide was selectively oxidized to aldehyde with selenium dioxide in pyridine to form a crude 2-pyridinecarbaldehyde N-oxide which was purified by fractional recrystallization from toluene. A new procedure starts with 2-pyridinecarbaldehyde. First the aldehyde group was protected and then oxidation with hydrogen peroxide and glacial acetic acid was carried out. Separation of the target compound 2-pyridinecarbaldehyde N-oxide from the unreacted 2-pyridinecarbaldehyde will also be presented. In closing, this project will determine a more effective procedure to synthesize 2-pyridinecarbaldehyde N-oxide. 

Maria Greenler
Chemistry

Synthesis of Stacked Porphryins Held Together by Hydrogen Bonds
Sponsored By: William Ames
Presenting with:
  • Joseph, Serena

In our experiment, we used resorcinol as a ligand to hold together two 5,10,15,20-tetra(4-pyridyl)porphyrins. Once the attached porphyrins are metallated, theoretically a cyclic catalytic reaction at low voltage can take place that continuously produces molecular oxygen and protons, which can be easily reduced to hydrogen gas. If a constant supply of hydrogen could be made, a hydrogen fuel cell could produce energy with the only byproduct being water.

Torunn Gundersen
Wildlife Conservation

Crayfish Density and Morphology in the Little Juniata River
Sponsored By: George Merovich
Presenting with:
  • Squier, Evan
  • Diamond, Conor
  • Lafollette, Brittani

Crayfish play a vital ecological role in aquatic systems throughout the world. In aquatic systems such as streams and rivers, crayfish make up a large percentage of the total macroinvertebrate biomass and production (Lieb, 2011). Crayfish are involved in a variety of direct and indirect food web interactions including detritus, consuming macrophytes, competition with other invertebrates, and being an important prey source for many fish species (Lieb, 2011). Some studies have shown crayfish to act as ecosystem engineers by influencing detrital processing rates and reducing the abundance of fine particulate matter (Creed and Reed, 2004). This research project involves mapping distributions and densities of crayfish in local Pennsylvania tributaries and observes the morphological differences between and among our selected locations. We attempted to look at which tributaries branching off of Standing Stone Creek would have the highest and lowest numbers of invasive and native crayfish, and how this could add to future research on the distributions of crayfish species in Pennsylvania. Efforts to preserve and protect North America’s crayfish are hindered by a shortage of data and maps of crayfish distributions. Crayfish distribution data exists for large areas of Pennsylvania for the past 100 years, so there is a dire need for contemporary crayfish surveys to identify trends and conservation strategies for the future for those species in decline. Our results will attempt to provide more data points for these contemporary distribution collections and show how important native crayfish are to an aquatic system. 

Elisabeth Hamme
Information Technology

Search Engine Optimization Research with New Pig
Sponsored By: William Thomas
Presenting with:
  • Delattre, Maxime
  • Ribaudo, Peter
  • Huang, Ruofei

Search Engine Optmization research based on the Google API and the WebPageTest API.

Aike He
Psychology

Comparing US and Chinese students attention to visual backgrounds
Sponsored By: Anne Gilman
Presenting with:
  • Boo, Cynthia
  • Reichart, Clayton
  • Polisena, Dean

Masuda & Nisbett (2001) demonstrated that US and Japanese students showed differing perceptual and attentional behavior when asked to notice and remember short animated videos set in a fish tank.  Prior to their findings, many researchers considered visual perception to be fairly uniform across cultural differences, so those fish-tank results started a productive line of research (see Boduroglu, Shah, & Nisbett, 2009).  Tan & Mueller (2015) used data collected in Taiwan and in a Midwestern US university to compare with Masuda & Nisbett’s results and to offer additional measures of the attentional differences they investigated.  They found differences where the Taiwanese students were more responsive than their US participants to background information in abstract letter displays.  We are measuring whether a similar difference holds between Juniata students from the US versus those from the People's Republic of China.

TaraAnn Hickey
Business Information Technoloy

I4I Hadoop Cluster Project
Sponsored By: William Thomas
Presenting with:
  • Bargo, Kyle
  • Daniel Flores, Carlos

Juniata College’s IT/CS Department is looking to expand the classes and programs that it offers to its students. One area of IT/CS that is emerging as an important field is data science/data processing. The most common way to work with this large data is through the Hadoop platform. Hadoop is a framework for mapreduce processing which is a computation model that will be newly introduced into the CS 305 Software Models and User Interfaces course this Spring, and in upcoming courses that are part of the Data Science POE. Our team was tasked with developing a multi node Hadoop cluster (four total nodes) on the department’s virtual server. The basic components will include setup and configuration of several, identical Linux machines on the department VM, as well as installation of Hadoop and all the supporting languages (Java, Python, Scala) and supporting software development layers: HDFS, Hbase, YARN, Spark, Sqoop, Pig, Hive, NoSQL, etc.. Some of the major objectives in our Hadoop setup also include demonstrating successful installation of the single node cluster by running and gathering statistics on standard “Hello, World” (word counting) projects across the various technologies, implementing a 4 node cluster: 1 NameNode and 3 DataNodes (ensuring the software suite is installed across all nodes), and research, including analysis of the differences in running time between the single and multiple node clusters running on this VM. Juniata College will benefit greatly from this project since the students working on this project will receive an understanding of the Hadoop platform and gain experience within the field of data science, and the CS/IT professors will be receiving a new tool for use in both new and pre-existing classes.

Rebecca Hingley
Environmental Science

Effects of Climate Change and Vegetation Type on Carbon and Nitrogen Accumulation during Incipient Soil Formation
Sponsored By: Sharon Yohn

Plants play an important role in carbon and nitrogen fluxes in the environment. Plants remove carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and deposit a fraction of this carbon into the soil as a result of root exudation and senescence, contributing to soil formation. Additionally, plants can facilitate sequestration of CO2 from the atmosphere in inorganic form during the process of mineral weathering. With increasing temperatures and levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, it is unknown what effect these changes will have on plant growth and weathering of silicate rocks, and by extension on carbon accumulation in the soils. To identify climate change effects on C and N fluxes, a controlled study was conducted at Ecotron Ile-de-France utilizing mesocosms maintained at elevated and ambient CO2 concentration and temperature with four different vegetation treatments: control, alfalfa, velvet mesquite, and green sprangletop. Each experiment lasted for 4 months with monthly rainfall events using deionized water. After each rain, soil solution and drainage were collected and analyzed for major and trace elements, as well as anions, nitrogen, and organic and inorganic carbon. CO2 concentrations in the soil air were monitored as well. At the end of this study, soil samples were collected from each mesocosm at four different depths and then analyzed for organic carbon, inorganic carbon, and total nitrogen. Accumulation of organic and inorganic carbon and nitrogen with clear differences with depth was observed in all mesocosms. Elevated CO2 in the atmosphere influenced C accumulation in the soils, while the type of vegetation significantly affected concentrations of nitrogen and organic carbon in soil and solution. This indicates that climate change would affect carbon and nitrogen fluxes in the soils causing feedbacks to the atmospheric CO2.

Morgan Horell
Multi-media Arts production with Marketing

Glamorization, Normalization, and Addiction: Violence Across Television Networks
Sponsored By: Donna Weimer
Presenting with:
  • Berrier, Madison
  • Smith, Doug

This research analyzes how violence is not only present on television and online streaming services but actually is used as a narrative device to keep audiences wanting more. Across networks, television produces narratives that glamorize, normalize, and perpetuate images of violence, blurring fiction and reality creating an addiction to ruthless narratives. Focusing on three areas-- cable television, paid premium channels, and paid online streaming services-- this research discusses the marketing techniques and storytelling tools used to justify violence on television and, in turn, causing audiences to give consent to what they are seeing and crave more of it in future shows.

Kate Jamison
Engineering Physics

Modeling Milky Way Galaxy Based on the Motion of Hydrogen Clouds
Sponsored By: Matthew Beaky
Presenting with:
  • Peifer, Janet

It is difficult to visualize the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy from the perspective of the Earth because the only visible part of the galaxy appears to be a strip in the night sky. Radio astronomy allows us to create a model of the Milky Way by observing the electromagnetic waves emitted by hydrogen clouds in the Galaxy. We remotely accessed the 20m Telescope at Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia to collect data. Observations were made every 10 degrees along the galactic equator. Each set of data contained several peaks which correspond to the motion of a hydrogen gas cloud in the Milky Way. The center frequency of each peak was found by fitting it with a Gaussian curve. These frequencies are shifted by the Doppler Effect, which causes the frequencies of objects moving away from the source of the wave to be lower and the frequencies of objects moving toward the source to be higher.  Using this analysis, we are able to calculate the velocity and position of hydrogen clouds in relation to the Earth. A model of the Milky Way Galaxy created using this data will be presented.  

Emma Johnson
Wildlife Conservation

Using Vegetation Surveys to Guide Future Land Use
Sponsored By: Norris Muth
Presenting with:
  • Bischer, Alex

Jack and Carolyn Sparks recently donated a 400-acre Bedford County property to Juniata College with the promise that its use for education and research continue. In order to inform and address natural resource management opportunities and challenges on the property, we conducted vegetation surveys to establish benchmark floristic data. In conducting our survey we used a combination of directed searches, point surveys (for identity and basal area of woody vegetation), and plot surveys (for presence/absence of common invasive species). Field observations were recorded using iNaturalist, an online open-record mapping application. There are two rare shale barren habitats present on the farm, our research found that there are species of special concern such as Shale Barren Evening Primrose (Oenothera argillicola) as well as the promise of others. Our survey suggests that the richness and frequency of invasive species is somewhat lower than is typical of landscapes with similar landuse histories. Careful consideration of changes in existing landuse practices, particularly those that would alter existing disturbance to soil or vegetation, should allow the property to persist in its current excellent condition.

Klarissa Juliano
Biology

Using ELISA to quantify presence of morphine in poppy extract
Sponsored By: Ursula Williams
Presenting with:
  • Bompiani, Kaitlin
  • Phillips, Tyler

Morphine is an opiate-class pain-killer that comes from poppy seeds. Poppy extract can be found as an herbal remedy that may serve as either a low dose pain-killer or provide a calming effect on the central nervous system. The purpose of this experiment was to determine the concentration of morphine in poppy extract. In this experiment, we asked if the concentration of morphine in the extract is strong enough to physiologically produce the calming response advertised by the product. We hypothesized that the extract would not have enough morphine to produce a significant physiological response, leading to the possibility of the calming effect being a placebo. We created a calibration curve from different morphine dilutions using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and then we tested dilutions of the extract. The results of this study will be presented. If there was not a significant amount of morphine present, this may mean the product is simply a placebo.

Chelsea Keller
Biology

Stressing Interdisciplinarity to Mold the Undergraduate Experience
Sponsored By: Daniel Dries
Presenting with:
  • Bridges, Britney

In the tradition of the liberal arts, Juniata College promotes an environment conducive to interdisciplinary exploration. Many students, however, spend their early academic years taking discipline-specific courses, leaving non-disciplinary electives for their junior and senior years. In order to introduce freshmen to interdisciplinary thinking, two undergraduate students and two faculty mentors worked together to co-develop a pilot course titled "From Lab to World". As a freshman-level seminar, this course has the unique opportunity to shape how freshmen will approach the rest of their college career. "From Lab to World" stresses to freshmen the necessity of interdisciplinarity both when working in scientific research teams and when addressing the local and global problems we face as citizens. The class is composed of two modules: personalized genomics and infectious diseases. Within each module, students worked through two problem-based learning projects and two essays. For stimulation of interdisciplinary thought, the course utilized external speakers, Juniata professors from departments across campus, and various supplementary sources, including film and popular literature. The combination of these media empowered the students to take a hand in their own learning and develop the skills necessary to think critically and constructively regarding social issues. Creating and presenting this course has allowed for our own development both professionally and academically. This experience has ultimately fostered an environment that not only harbors interdisciplinary collaboration but also allows students to realize the necessity of addressing social justice and public health.

Chelsea Keller
Biology

The Investigation of the Function of Three Unknown ORFs and Their Potential Role in the Gag Transport
Sponsored By: Jill Keeney

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a model organism used in studying host regulation of retroviruses and replication. Long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, also known as Ty elements, can self-replicate within the host genome. The Ty1 LTR-Retrotransposon is of particular interest for its structure that is similar to retroviruses. Ty1 elements encode for two open reading frames (ORFs) GAG and POL. The Gag protein can assemble to form virus-like particles (VLPs). Once these VLPs mature the Ty1 RNA is reverse transcribed into cDNA and is integrated into the yeast genome. Current research shows that the Ty1 gag protein is translocated into the lumen of the rough endoplasmic reticulum with the aid of a signal receptor protein (SRP). After the gag protein adopts a stable formation, it is retro-translocated to the cytoplasm of the cell, however the process of this retro-translocation is unknown. A Gag::URA3 fusion protein was transformed into cells to determine the location of the Gag protein. Through using this Gag::URA3 fusion protein, a yeast deletion screening was performed to determine open reading frames (ORFs) that may have a potential role in this retro-translocation. The deletion screening was conducted by determining which mutations can grow on 5-FOA. When the Gag::URA3 protein is in the cytoplasm of the cell, 5-FOA is converted to 5-FU, a substance that is toxic to yeast. However, if the Gag::URA3 protein remains in the RER then the yeast can grow on 5-FOA. From the screening, three ORFs were determined to have a potential role in facilitating the transport of the Ty1 Gag protein: YLR001C, YER066W/RRT13, YJL135W. This research focuses on determining the function of these ORFs.

Adam Kensinger
Biochemistry

Synthesis and Characterization of 3-Hydroxyimidazole 1-oxide Complexes with Cu(II) Salts
Sponsored By: Peter Baran

Single molecule magnets have great potential in the fields of computing because of their proposed applications in quantum computing and memory devices. Some transition metal complexes containing metallic clusters exhibit magnetic properties of single molecule magnets. Bridging ligands are used to form metallic clusters. 3-Hydroxyimidazole 1-oxide, that can act as a bridging ligand, was coordinated with copper(II) chloride, nitrate, and acetate at stoichiometries of 3:2, 3:1, and 1:1 using water as a solvent. Preliminary studies showed the compositions of these polymeric complexes as [Cu2(µ4-imzO2)(µ-imzO2)2(H2O)Cl]·5H2O, [Cu3(µ3-imzO2)4(OAc)2], and [Cu2(µ4-imzO2)(µ-imzO2)2(H2O)2]NO3·3H2O. These complexes had been synthesized on a small scale or in mixtures of different species. In order to study their magnetic properties, the synthetic methods have to be optimized so that pure samples of good yields can be obtained. Solubility and infrared spectroscopy were used to characterize the resulting green crystalline complexes. X-ray crystallography and elemental analysis will be used in the future to complete the characterization. Once the structures and uniformity of bulk samples are confirmed, magnetic properties will be studied to determine if these complexes possess properties of single molecule magnets. If successful, their implementation could produce computers with increased processing power and memory storage.



 

Daniel Komar
Psychology

Psychopathy and Response to Emotional Faces
Sponsored By: Rebecca Weldon
Presenting with:
  • Ansel, Dan

Psychopathy is traditionally thought of as a psychological disorder marked by affective, interpersonal, and behavioral facets. Affective facets include callousness, low expressivity, lack of guilt or remorse, and a lack of prosocial emotional response. Interpersonal facets include manipulation and grandiosity. Behavioral facets include impulsivity and aggression. The enhanced-selective-attention hypothesis of psychopathy suggests that psychopathic individuals have an enhanced ability to focus on tasks and ignore goal-irrelevant stimuli. The present study aims to use validated measures of psychopathy to assess potential correlations between performance on a face-word Stroop task and psychopathy scores. In accordance with the Enhanced-selective-attention hypothesis, the current study predicts that people higher in psychopathy will have lower average response times during a task that requires participants to name a word that is superimposed on an emotional face image. People generally have difficulty with this type of task when the emotion of the face (e.g., angry) does not match the word (e.g., “happy”). However, we predict that people higher in psychopathy may be more likely to process the word without interference from the emotion of the face. This prediction is in accordance with the attention-to-eyes hypothesis and distress specific hypothesis, which suggest that individuals higher in psychopathy have reduced attention to the eyes of the face and difficulty processing expressions of distress in individuals. The present study also predicts that individuals with high psychopathy scores will have higher average response times in a task requiring participants to name the emotion of a face behind a randomly congruent or incongruent word stimulus, because it will be more difficult for them to identify the correct emotion. We plan to present preliminary data in a poster format. This research will add to our current understanding of psychopathy, selective attention, and response to emotional stimuli.

Amanda Kopacz
Integrated Media Arts and Marketing

Virtual Reality Immersion
Sponsored By: Donna Weimer
Presenting with:
  • Brown, Katie
  • Irvine , Nick
  • Rodriguez, Kyle

Virutal realitty is a new type of technology emerging in our world today. Virtual Reality is a three- dimensional computer generated simulator that allows someone to be immersed into a virtual environment.  When people use virtual reality, the user gets put into a virtual environemnt that replaces their current reality around them. Virtual reality transforms our immersion in the digital world with a significant impact on the institutions of education and medicine.

Kristin Kopera
Geology

Iron Isotope Variability in Magnetite from the Bushveld Complex, South Africa
Sponsored By: Katharine Johanesen

The Bushveld Complex is the largest layered mafic intrusion in the world, with an area of 65,000 sq. miles, extending to depths as far as 9 km. Located on the Kaapvaal craton in South Africa, the complex was intruded into the local Transvaal Basin. The intrusion and subsequent fraction of the Bushveld Complex formed five distinct zones; marginal zone, lower zone, critical zone, main zone, and upper zone. The Bushveld Complex is well studied due to its PGE potential, but there have been few studies on the iron isotopic composition of the Merensky Reef. Fe isotopes in magnetite were the focus of this study. Six samples from the Merensky Reef, three magnetite bearing rocks from overall layer and three magnetite bearing rocks from the pothole features were analyzed. The study aimed to determine if there was any Fe isotope variability between the outlying Merensky Reef and the Merensky Reef potholes. Difference in isotopic concentrations can lead to inferences about the intrusion process of the Bushveld and the creation of the potholes themselves.

Olivia Kruse
Psychology

The Effects of Arbitrary Social Categorization on In-Group and Out-Group Behavior
Sponsored By: Rebecca Weldon

To examine the effects of arbitrary social categorization on attitudes of favorability toward in-group members, the present study was conducted. I predicted that people, when grouped into two essentially irrelevant groups, would prefer the group to which they were assigned. Social categorization has been shown to produce in-group and out-group biases, but limited research has been conducted utilizing arbitrary groupings. It is also important to note that subjects completed this study alone. In order to test the hypothesis that even arbitrary social categorization can generate favorability effects, subjects completed a dot estimation task on a computer. They were told that their performance would determine their assignment to one of two groups: over-estimators and under-estimators. In actuality, the program generated random groupings, allowing me to study the arbitrary group paradigm. Subjects were then asked to sort a deck of 30 cards with behavioral traits into two equal stacks of 15 – one for the traits each subject most expected from an over-estimator, and one for the traits expected most from an under-estimator. Unbeknownst to participants, the deck was an equal mix of favorable and unfavorable traits, validated by a post-experiment survey asking subjects to rate each statement for favorability. Subjects were debriefed following completion of the study. Statistical analysis found that a significantly higher number of favorable behavioral traits were assigned to the in-group, providing evidence for in-group bias in arbitrary social groupings. This research has also allowed us to see the effects of in-group bias in individual participants, whereas previous research has only executed social categorization studies with groups of several people. Even without social influences, people exhibit in-group bias.

Elise Kury
Human Development

Task Switching and Nutrition
Sponsored By: Rebecca Weldon
Presenting with:
  • Gearhart, Lindsey

More than a third of adults in the United States suffer from obesity. Individuals who are obese are at an increased risk for fatal diseases including type II diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The present study aims to examine the role of task-switching in food choices. The goal is to identify how an individual’s personality, diet, and BMI relates to their inhibition of attention towards food stimuli. Participants complete a computer-based task switching paradigm involving images of food and objects that measures the speed of task performance. Participants also complete a survey measuring impulsivity, sensation seeking, and dietary restriction behaviors. Data is also collected on the participant’s height, weight, and waist and hip circumference. The data collection stage of the study is currently underway, and we plan to present some of our preliminary results.

Joshua Kutz
Engineering Physics

Constructing and Analyzing Water Filtration Using a Cost Effective Biological Slow Sand Filter
Sponsored By: Matthew Beaky

Obtaining safe drinking water is a struggle for those living in developing nations. A 2008 study conducted by The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, showed that 340 million people in Africa are without safe drinking water. A biological slow sand water filtration system is a natural and achievable solution to decreasing the possible toxicities that loom within the ground and surface water in these countries around the globe. It is composed of natural items like varying layers of gravel and sand, and as contaminated water passes through these layers, biological processes of filtration occur to pull out parasites, viruses, or hard minerals. This system is low cost and does not require complex construction or maintenance. I have constructed a bio-sand water filter and investigated the time it takes to filter, how much its clarity improves, what are the smallest size particles it can remove, its cost effectiveness, and its duration of use. The goal of this study is to implement these biological slow sand water filters in villages throughout the Gambia in the near future.

Charles Kysor
Chemistry

Synthesis of polydentate ligands for chelation of manganese dimer complexes
Sponsored By: William Ames

The current research involves the synthesis of polydentate ligands similar to those of Horner (Inorg. Chem. 1999, 38, 1222) and Coggins (Inorg. Chem. 2012, 51, 6633). Progress of the synthesis of symmetric ligands will be discussed, followed by future work dealing with asymmetric ligands. Finally, the chelation of the synthesized ligands to manganese in preparation to form a Mn(III/IV) mono mu-oxo bridged dimer will be highlighted.

Anh Le
Social Neuroscience

Priming Individualism Results in a Preference for a Larger Reward in the Future
Sponsored By: Rebecca Weldon
Presenting with:
  • Vu, Anh
  • Evans, Jared

Participants were randomly assigned to an individualistic or a collectivistic prime. Participants then completed the Monetary Choice Questionnaire to examine the effect of priming a cultural thinking strategy on delay discounting. Participants who received the individualistic prime made a significantly greater number of choices for the larger, later option than the participants who received the collectivistic prime. Results suggest that individualistic thinking is associated with risky (uncertain) decision making.

Chi Le
Finance

Smart Homes
Sponsored By: Donna Weimer
Presenting with:
  • Scholten, LIndsay
  • Hickey, Tara

Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular as millennials come of age. There are various technologies required to have a smart home, however, what classifies a smart home? With Internet of Things (IoT) expanding and becoming more integrated with our own personal homes, smart homes are becoming unique to each home owner—each home is personalized to the specific homeowner. With recent server hacks in the news, there comes the unanticipated consequences of smart homes; both positive and negative.The internet of things (IoT) is the increased integration of technologies with other technologies. Today, smart phones are connected with computers, which can be connected to smart televisions, which can be connected to smart homes.  This increased integration is the Internet of Things, and also posits the point: when is my personal identity separated from my internet identity? A smart home is a home that is connected to the internet of things. This can be accomplished through a personal security system, a smart phone which can control locks, lights, doors, etc. A smart home has the potential to have much of the home “smart” such as the thermostat changing automatically to fit the day or even speaking to the homeowner to alert the status of the home. Smart homes can also use home security cameras to instantaneously alert authorities if there is an intruder or potentially dangerous behaviors detected within the home.This increased integration, however, can be dangerous. If a smart home is hacked, then there will be dangerous consequences to the homeowner. There is also limitless potential for the future. Smart homes are starting a trend to make many things “smart.” Smart schools, hospitals, airports, and even smart cities are in the blueprints for the future. However, one must always remember the dangers of being too smart.

Myung Lee
Biology

Enzymes as Glucose Detectors
Sponsored By: Daniel Dries
Presenting with:
  • Bitsko, Lucas
  • Shephard, Meredith

Measuring the concentration of analyte in a complex solution poses many issues, especially when the analyte is not detectable by typical spectroscopy methods. This research focuses on the use of enzymes coupled with a photochemical reaction to determine concentration. Since many studies have been done on changes in blood glucose concentration in response to various stimuli, blood was chosen as the complex solution and glucose as the analyte. We determined the change in blood glucose concentration after consumption of sugars from RedBull©. We expect that the concentration should increase as the glucose enters the blood stream, and then decrease as the pancreas produces insulin. The enzyme glucose oxidase reacts with glucose, giving off hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide, in the presence of horseradish peroxidase, converts phenol and 4 -aminoantipyrine to benzoquinoneimine, which absorbs light in the visible spectrum. As more glucose is converted to H2O2, the absorbance level changes, giving rise to an initial velocity that is proportional to the concentration of glucose. This, then, allows us to use a spectrophotometer to indirectly measure the concentration of glucose, which does not absorb light in the ultraviolet-visible spectrum. By taking several measurements after sugar consumption, we can determine the rate of change in blood glucose levels. Our results are consistent with the published literature.  Thus, enzymes can be used to determine unknown concentrations of analyte in complex mixtures such as blood.

Paul Lesur
CS

I4I project: BTB Security
Sponsored By: William Thomas
Presenting with:
  • Le, Chi
  • Orozco, Jesus

As part of our education and training as future software developpers/managers, we are given the opportunity to develop a software product for a client external to Juniata. 



We will present you our project, developed for BTB Security, a growing security audit company. The product is an online platform that will ease the communication between BTB Security and its clients. 

Jillian Loomis
Biology

Analysis of Unverified ORFs of Saccharomyces cerevisiae through RNASeq and Phenotypic Assay
Sponsored By: Jill Keeney

The common baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been a model organism in genetics for over a century. In 1996, its genome was sequenced giving a complete map of all probable genes. Despite extensive genomics study, there are still many unverified or undefined genes that line the genome. This project focuses on two of these genes, YBR151W (APD1) and YML020W. The RNA of these two strains and one wildtype strain was extracted and sequenced using Illumina HiSeq 2500 and then put through an RNASeq pipeline to determine down- and up-regulated genes associated with the deletion strains versus the wildtype. Several genes were determined to be significantly different and will be further investigated. APD1's ability to protect the cell against H2O2 was additionally examined through a cultured assay. It was determined that the loss of APD1 does appear to make the cell more susceptible to H2O2 degradation, and the addition of YAP1, a gene that is associated with H2O2 resistance, does not appear to assist the deletion strains in any measure.

Hannah Lutwyche
Cellular and Molecular Genetics

Comparing glucose concentrations of beverages using enzyme kinetics
Sponsored By: Ursula Williams
Presenting with:
  • DeFay, Malino
  • Zegarelli, Alex

In October of 2016 PepsiCo, the parent company of Naked Juice, was subjected to a lawsuit filed by consumer advocate group known as the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Specifically, CSPI claimed that Naked Juices assertion that the product, Kale Blazer, contains no added sugar and quality ingredients is inaccurate. In this study, we analyzed the glucose concentration in the product to look for evidence in support of the lawsuit. We used enzyme kinetics and spectrophotometry to compare glucose levels in Kale Blazer and a known sugary drink, Kool Aid. We hypothesized that after measuring the amount of glucose in both Naked Juice and Kool Aid we would find a significant difference in the concentration of sugar in the beverages. The absence of a significant difference in glucose concentrations between Kale Blazer and Kool Aid would support the claim that Kale Blazer does contain unnatural amounts of sugar. The results of this study will be presented.

Truc Ly
Environmental Public Health

Microbial Communities Associated with Passive Abandoned Coal Mine Remediation
Sponsored By:

Acid mine drainage (AMD) is an economic and ecological issue that results from the accumulation of mine tailings from past mining operations. As a result of AMD, contaminated bodies of water are commonly characterized with an acidic pH, in addition to high concentrations of sulfur and heavy metal content. In response to the estimated 3000 miles of AMD-contaminated waterways in PA, several passive remediation operations have been constructed to reduce its harmful effects on the environment. In this study we evaluated microbial community structure and function within the Middle Branch passive remediation system in central PA. Since microbial communities are involved in the biotransformation of many chemicals in the environment, we focused on the association of microbial assemblages with in situ chemistry (mercury, sulfate, organic C, etc) of the remediation system and receiving streams. Preliminary results exhibited strong correlations between specific bacterial taxa in the presence of certain environmental parameters (sulfate, mercury, and total organic carbon). One of our most interesting findings was the higher abundance of sulfate reducing bacteria downstream of passive remediation systems, and these bacteria may play a prominent role in bioremediation of acid mine drainage waste. In addition, further metagenomic analysis revealed the relative abundance of functional genes involved in mercury resistance and sulfur metabolism. These findings suggest that the microbial community plays an active role in transforming the chemistry of these systems.

Jacob Markey
Integrated Media Arts

Nanotechnology and AI
Sponsored By: Donna Weimer
Presenting with:
  • Wolfe, Jake
  • Stoudt, Alex
  • Weeden, Katheryn

Many future technologies are centered around nanotechnology and AI. These new technologies provide us with many solutions to previously unsolved problems, but they also pose great risks. Each of us studied a sub category of the new technologies, these being medical use, military use, and robotics. We found the most interesting and innovational technologies in each field and discussed the implication of those technologies. It is unclear if we are ready for the new technologies that nanotechnologies and AI will bring, but the risks are worth the rewards.

Benjamin Martin
Environmental Science

Fracked fish? Effects of Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction on wild brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)
Sponsored By:
Presenting with:
  • Hall, Elijah

Unconventional natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing practices (fracking) are increasing across the United States due to global energy demands. Research has only recently begun to assess fracking impacts to surrounding environments, and very little study has aimed at determining effects on fisheries, leaving wild trout populations susceptible to an unquantified risk. During June and July 2012-2016 we sampled thirty-two remotely-located streams in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale basin containing naturally reproducing Salvelinus fontinalis (brook trout). At each stream, physiochemical characteristics, fish assemblages, and brook trout abundance were assessed. All streams either had experienced hydraulic fracturing (F+, n=17) or not yet experienced hydraulic fracturing (F-, n=15) within their watersheds at the date of sampling. Across all years, stream pH was found to be significantly lower at F+ sites (6.319) than F- sites (6.870)(p=0.009). Further, within F+ sites, stream pH was negatively correlated with within-watershed well density (t=-0.63, p=0.001) and well pad density (t= -0.35, p=0.002). Within F+ sites, fish diversity was negatively correlated with well pad density (t=-0.53, p<0.001) and brook trout abundance was marginally negatively correlated with well density (t=-0.41, p=0.13). Our results suggest that fracking has the potential to effect stream pH, fish assemblages, and brook trout abundance in their native habitat. Better management strategies (with respect to unconventional natural gas development) are needed to ensure the long-term conservation of native trout streams.

Alexis Martin
Biology

ELISA- Antibodies as detectors
Sponsored By: Daniel Dries
Presenting with:
  • Brock, Hope
  • Sommers , Kyle

The seed pod of Papaver somniferum contains opium in addition to the poppy seeds themselves. Opium is a mixture of chemicals from the plant and includes morphine, codeine and other non-narcotic alkaloids. However, the poppy seeds within the seed pod may become coated or absorb the opium extract. Reports suggest that an individual can test positive for opium in a drug test up to three to four days after consuming quantities of poppy seeds. We hypothesize that over time the secretion of opiates into the urine will decrease and that no opium will be detected in the urine sample by day four. Based on the weight of the individual, a specific amount of poppy seeds was consumed in yogurt, and urine samples were collected over the span of four days. In order to detect secreted opiates in urine, a morphine-specific direct ELISA kit was used. In this assay, anti-morphine antibodies will bind to the specific epitope located on the morphine structure. Results will show the metabolism of morphine over time. From this data, we can conclude how long traceable amounts of morphine will still be detected within an individual's urine after consumption of high levels of poppy seeds. This experiment can serve as a reference in estimating the amount of time opium remains in the human body. This information can be directed towards individuals who may be subjected to completing a drug test for opiates and consume poppy seeds on a regular basis.

Max Martin-Udry
English

Running a Thousand Miles to Freedom
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

In my exhibition, I will explore the origins and key features of this Slave Narrative. There is some question as to who authored the piece, and I believe breaking down and presenting these arguments to be an important route to better understanding the narrative. This is a story about two slaves, a husband and wife, who perform an incredibly daring and clever escape. This narrative doesn't go into gory details about life under slavery, so I will include some specific examples of horrendous mistreatment from the area surrounding their plantation. This narrative is very unique because it is very argumentative and unapologetic, and presents condemnations of specific reverends and other figures of high society. It caused waves when it was released, so the response to it at the time, as well as current criticism, is germane to any study of this singular narrative.

Brandon Martinazzi
Biology

ELISA Morphine
Sponsored By: Daniel Dries
Presenting with:
  • Zeno, Sarah
  • Rosas, Louis
  • Obi, Ifeoma

Consumption of various foods containing poppy seeds, such as bagels, has become a concern for many professionals subjected to random drug testing. Poppy seeds are derived from the Poppy plant seedpod, which contains opium, the main component of many opiates. These opiates, such as morphine, are commonly the targets for drug screening by urinalysis. In an effort to quantify the amount of poppy seed bagels that would need to be consumed in order to fail a drug test, a study was performed using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), which uses anti-morphine antibodies to detect morphine. This investigation included two participants that consumed a known amount of poppy seeds equivalent to the mass of poppy seeds extracted from one bagel. Following ingestion, urine samples were collected after the first five hours. In addition, every three days for the next two weeks the dose of poppy seeds consumed was increased and samples were collected. Urine samples were then probed using an ELISA test in order to determine the concentration of morphine in the sample. The results of this experiment inform professionals of the amount poppy seed bagels using ELISA and quantify an amount of poppy seed bagels that would cause the detection of morphine in a standard opiate drug screening by urinalysis.



 

David Maruca
Biology

Investigation of Azirine synthesis through a-diazoamides and carbene amidates.
Sponsored By: John Unger
Presenting with:
  • Bitsko , Luke

Carbenes are unique organic molecules that, although unstable, can be useful in organic synthesis. Many studies have generated and characterized carboxylate carbenes, but their amidate analogs have yet to be realized. This research focus on strategies that allow for the synthesis of α-diazoamides, the precursors to amidate carbenes. The α-diazoamides were accessed through phenylglyoxylic acid through a two-step procedure and used to synthesize azarines. The development of each strategy will be reported.

Maiya Mastovich
Psychology Pre-Medicine

Glucose Assay for Concentration of Analyte
Sponsored By: Daniel Dries
Presenting with:
  • Michel, Gerdley
  • McAuliffe-Uchida, Daichi
  • Meci, Andrew

Glucose is metabolized through cellular respiration to produce ATP, which provides the energy needed for cellular processes. Excess glucose is typically discharged in urine. Given that exercise increases the body's energy demands, this study will examine the effect of exercise on the concentration of glucose in urine. The experiment will compare glucose levels in the urine of a person who will exercise and another who will not exercise. The trials will be done with four subjects under controlled measures. Glucose levels in the body will be standardized by a period of fasting, followed by the ingestion of Gatorade sports drink, which contains large amounts of glucose. Measurements of urine glucose concentrations will be taken immediately before Gatorade consumption, immediately after consumption, and after exercise (or no exercise). The glucose levels will be measured using enzyme kinetics and spectroscopy. The enzyme glucose oxidase will oxidize glucose to produce hydrogen peroxide which when reacted with another enzyme, Horseradish Peroxidase, produces Benzoquinonimine. This Benzoquinonimine, unlike glucose, can be detected using a spectrometer, and a standard curve will be created to calculate the unknown concentrations in the sample. Data from the two individuals per test condition will demonstrate the effect of exercise on glucose utilization. As glucose is an essential molecule for energy production, measuring the effects of exercise on urine glucose concentration is a way to see how it is metabolized and excreted from the body.

Hannah McDonnell
Biology

Using ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbant Assay) to Measure Morphine Levels in Urine After Poppy Seed Muffin Consumption
Sponsored By: Ursula Williams
Presenting with:
  • Carthew, Jennifer
  • Dove, Amanda

Common drug tests are used to detect the presence of morphine from the use of illicit drugs. However, they cannot differentiate between the opiates found in drugs and those that naturally occur in foods such as poppy seeds. It is possible to test positive for opiates by the consumption of a poppy seed muffin. Our experiment tests the amount of poppy seeds in muffins required to test positive for the opiate morphine. We created a calibration curve using simulated urine standards with morphine levels of 5 ng/ml, 10 ng/mL, 15 ng/mL, 20 ng/mL, and 25 ng/mL. Muffins containing various doses of poppy seeds were administered to one subject and urine samples were taken 18h after consumption, with a latency period of 48h between collections. We used an ELISA morphine test to analyze the samples. Our work will show the amount of poppy seeds in a muffin required give a false positive on a drug test.

James McGettigan
Chemistry

Progress Towards the Synthesis of Selectively Deuterated 1,2,3,4-tetra(benzyloxy)benzene for Mass Spectrometry Studies
Sponsored By: Richard Hark

This body of research details the achieved synthesis of 1,2,3,4-tetra(benzyloxy)benzene as well as the progress towards synthesizing its selectively deuterated isotopomer. The synthetic route implements a series of benzylations of the starting material, 2,3,4-trihydroxybenzaldehyde, in addition to a Dakin Oxidation which allows the position of the aldehyde to be benzylated. By utilizing differently deuterated species of benzyl bromide in the benzylations, benzyl groups which vary by mass can be added to the starting material as a means of labelling the final compound. Selective deuteration of the product will allow the fragmentation pattern to be studied by mass spectrometry, performed by collaborators in Germany. Here, the synthetic and mechanistic approaches to the project are discussed as well as the current position of the research and future plans. 

Katie McGlone
Biology

Host Control of Gag Localization in A Yeast Retrotansposon System
Sponsored By: Jill Keeney

 Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a powerful organism for studying host cell regulation of retrovirus replication. A unique feature of this eukaryotic genome are the Ty elements: long-terminal repeat retrotransposons, also known as psuedoviruses for their resemblance to retrovirus replication. Ty1 elements are the most common of the 5 families and they contain Gag and Pol ORFs that code for the essential proteins needed for self-replication. After transcription and translation, Ty1 mRNA is reverse transcribed in virus-like particles (VLPs) to make cDNA for integration into the host genome. Research shows that during translation, Gag is transported to the lumen of the ER via a signal recognition particle. It forms a more stable conformation here and is then retro-translocated to the cytoplasm to initiate VLP assembly. The mechanism by which Gag is retro-translocated is unknown. This study identifies a gene that may be involved in this process using a library screen of the yeast deletion collection lacking nonessential genes. The collection is transformed with a Gag-Ura3 gene fusion and exposed to 5-FOA, a lethal compound for cells containing the URA3+ gene. Cells resistant to the 5-FOA media suggest that the Gag-URA3 complex has been sequestered in the ER due to the gene deletion. The disrupted gene was isolated via PCR and identified using the tags provided by the Saccharomyces Deletion Project database. Of six mutant strains sequenced, two are the gene Siw14, the focus of this study. Siw14 is a pyro-phosphatase that cleaves the β-phosphate at the 5 position of diphosphoinositol pentakisphosphate (5PP-IP5). Subsequent analyses demonstrate that siw14Δ mutants have a reduction in transposition rate as compared to wildtype. The Gag protein was tagged with RFP, but no differences in Ty1 Gag foci count were found. Further studies are required in order to elucidate the role of Siw14 in transposition.

Samantha Mershon
Biochemistry

Determining whether decisions made for plant sourcing projects are affected by the knowledge of local adaptation
Sponsored By: Norris Muth

Currently an important topic in the field of tree population genetics is that of local adaptation. When studying local adaptation, one can learn a lot about how populations are shaped by gene flow as well as other evolutionary forces. In order to assess how people will consider the effects of local adaptation for restoration type projects we have designed and administered a survey. Participants were recruited by inquiries made through parks and recs services as well as a posting on Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council Listserv. These responses will display people’s attitudes and how these attitudes correlate to variables, such as use of native species, an individual’s personal experience and sourcing distance from planting sites. These questions have been specific to practices by organizations in the United States Northeast focusing mainly on Pennsylvania. Integrated results from these surveys will be presented and discussed as well as future directions for this information. 

Claudia Meyer
Health Communication, SE Biology

The Role of Sphingosine (sp) Kinase in Regulating Stress Response
Sponsored By: Jason Chan
Presenting with:
  • Kalil, Azia
  • Heasley, Kyle

Sphingosine is a sphingolipid involved in cell death. Sphingosine kinase 1 (sphk-1) is an enzyme that phosphorylates sphingosine into sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). S1P induces cell proliferation and inhibits apoptosis in the presence of stress. Glutathione S-Transferase 4 and superoxide-dismutase 3 are known to help counter stress by reducing molecules such as Reactive Oxidative Species. We hypothesize that sphk-1 positively regulates the mobilization of these proteins during stress response. To examine this, we will use transcriptional reporters to analyze the activity of glutathione S-transferase 4 and superoxide-dismutase 3 in C. elegans, which are encoded by gst-4 and sod-3, respectively. We will examine green fluorescence protein (GFP) transcriptional reporter under the gst-4 and sod-3 promoters. Stress induces increased expression of GFP under both promoters. To examine whether sphingosine kinase is involved in stress response, we will examine the GFP transcriptional reporters in sphingosine kinase (sphk-1) knockout animals. This stress response will be quantified by the fluorescence of GFP through image analysis of the fluorescence intensity of GFP in sphk-1 knockout mutants. Furthermore, we will make other transgenic animals with the transcriptional reporter in other sphingolipid mutants. Our data will help understand the role of sphk-1 is in the stress response pathway in all eukaryotic cells. Knowing this information will give insight to how longevity is connected to sphk-1-regulated stress response.  

Danilo Meyer-Arrivillaga
Environmental Geology

Understanding silver ore formation through isotope geochemistry
Sponsored By: Ryan Mathur

The purpose of this study is to ultimately understand how silver ore deposits formed through using Ag isotope geochemistry.  In understanding this, it would become easier to discern how and where Ag would precipitate out under conditions in both low and high temperature environments. The Ag isotopic composition was measured by MC-ICPMS, which we used at Pennsylvania State University in State College. By using the wet plasma method, we could significantly improve analytical precision by eliminating variation within the fractionation between Pd and Ag. Standard-sample-standard correction technique was used with Pd to correct for mass discrimination because Pd, and Ag behave similarly. We found out that Ag-109 isotope goes into solution more readily than the lighter isotope, Ag-107 when silver solutions interacts with MnO2. Because many Ag ore deposits have MnO2 on the periphery of the deposits, adsorption onto the MnO2 could explain the variations seen in native Ag presented here. We also noticed that the influence of pH is apparent when determining the amount of Ag that dissolved. The more neutral the pH, the lower concentration of Ag would be found in solution.

Lauren Michel
Wildlife Conservation

Mulattos in Slavery
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

William Grimes wrote a slave narrative called "The Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave" that depicts the life of a mulatto slaves- children that are the product of masters taking advantage of their female slaves- during the early years of American history. Since he was born in the year 1784, we know that the 1793 fugitive slave act will end up being a very important part of William's escape. In this presentation I will find that while Grimes claims that mulatto slaves are normally treated better by their masters, that normally isn't true and they are also not treated well by fellow slaves. In Grime's story, slaves dislike the fact that mulattoes are favored over them and end up acting out due to this fact. I will also find how the fugitive slave act hindered a slave's chances of becoming a free man not only in the sense that it could bring an escaped slave back to slavery but in the fact that it made slaves more reluctant to want to even try to escape because even if they escaped they weren't assured their freedom. For Grimes, he was free in New York for many years before his master found him and gave him a choice between returning to slavery or paying for his freedom. Since Grimes had to deal with the consequences of this act, he states that slaves should not try and escape because they will never be content with their lives; always looking over their shoulders. All of this information will be found through William Grimes' slave narrative, critiques on ideas in Grimes' slave narrative and other slave narratives used to compare experiences and ideas that may or may not be the same as Grimes.

Brittany Mlynek
Multimedia Technology Strategies

AC Henry
Sponsored By: William Thomas
Presenting with:
  • Rodriguez, Daisie
  • Willis, Rachel
  • Lane, Stephen



For this project we are working with a new local precision manufacturing company, A.C. Henry Co,. INC. We are specifically helping AC Henry develop an online presence in the form of a website and social media. Working as a team, we developed a fully functional website that achieves the requirements created by our client, researched potential audiences, and created a social media marketing plan to begin marketing.

Austin Montgomery
Chemistry

Naringenin's Ability to Form Nickel Complexes
Sponsored By: Peter Baran

Naringenin is a flavone most commonly known to exist in citrus juices, however, it is also one of many phenolic compounds found in wine. Naringenin has been known to have antioxidative effects. It has the ability to form complexes with metals thanks to its phenolic oxygen atoms. Our goal is to combine naringenin with salts of nickel and to study composition and structure of formed complexes. Different synthetic techniques were deployed to yield products in a form of crystals suitable for crystallographic studies. Stoichiometry, solvents, reaction temperature, and reaction time were varied. Up to this point, only microcrystalline samples were obtained. Details of methods and results thus far will be presented.

Katherine Moran
Psychology

The Interaction between Authoritarianism and Threat in Predicting Prejudice and Political Tolerance
Sponsored By: Philip Dunwoody
Presenting with:
  • McCloskey, Rachel
  • Spiess, Avery
  • Miller, Lauren
  • Chizmar, Chelsea
  • Jones, Charles
  • Smith, Ashley

Research has suggested that there is an associative link between Authoritarianism and threat perception. However, interaction effects between these two variables are still unexplained. Using a self-report survey, data were collected from 249 participants to assess perceived threat towards five different groups: Islamic Fundamentalists, Islamic Terrorists, White Supremacists, Homosexuals, and Hispanics. Threat was then broken down into three subtypes: mortal, normative, and relative. Looking at both prejudice and political tolerance across groups, it was shown that these interactions accounted for part of the reported variance.

Yasmine Naama
Communication and Management

The Presentation of Identity of Millenials Through Social Media
Sponsored By: Donna Weimer
Presenting with:
  • Leach, Andi
  • Kamegaya, Haruka

We argue that the online presentation of self is privileged over the offline physical self. We are continuously updating and paying close attention to what we post because of how conscious we are of our social media presence. We go to such great lengths to protect our reputations online that some people choose to “fake” their identity online because being someone they are not is more important to them than being their own self. Because the online self is being privileged over the offline self, more and more people are questioning who they actually are. People are so much more concerned with how they present themselves online that it is causing an unconsciousness in real life.

Catherine Neville
Biology

Cambarus bartonii Eating Preference: A Lab Approach to Identifying Trout Food Preferences in Crayfish Depending on Stream Environment
Sponsored By: Norris Muth
Presenting with:
  • Stewart, Meaghen

The main purpose of the experiment was to determine if the PA-native crayfish Cambarus bartonii have a feeding preference between stocked or wild trout, and if crayfish from heavily stocked streams or unstocked streams differ in their preference for stocked or wild trout. Crayfish eating habits are important due to the fact that crayfish tend to be a key predator, detritivore, and herbivore in their ecosystem. Changes in their eating habits could drastically change the food web of the environment, which would affect all organisms living in their environment, as well as the environment itself.  A trap baited with largemouth bass was placed in a pool at each site to catch crayfish. Crayfish were then brought back to the lab where they were held undisturbed and unfed for two weeks in temperature controlled aquariums. A y-apparatus was used to allow crayfish to choose between wild brook trout and stocked brown trout. Each crayfish was given five minutes to make a choice; if no choice was made they were deemed to have no preference. MiniTab computing software was used to perform Chi-Square Goodness of Fit tests.  

Joseph Orso
Geology

Dating of Lead Isotopes in Local Rocks
Sponsored By: Ryan Mathur

Fort Roberdeau, a local historic site located outside of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, can potentially help uncover new geologic information, which can give incite to geologic process.  Previously a Revolutionary War Mine, as well as a site exploited by numerous mining companies, Fort Roberdeau is known for excessive lead mineralization in the form of Galena, or lead sulfide.  Numerous samples of this mineral were recovered from this site and lead and uranium concentrations were measured.  With this data, using the isotopic ratios of lead and uranium, an assumed age was determined using various age-dating methods. The ages that were determined were far younger than the formations these minerals were discovered in, thus potentially insinuating this mineralization is a result of a recent geologic event.  To prove or disprove this hypothesis, numerous local sedimentary rock samples were collected and the isotopic ratios of lead and uranium were subsequently measured.  Through analyzing this data, whether or not these galena samples are associated with local rock can also be assessed.  By comparing the isotopic data from Fort Roberdeau to the data recovered from local sedimentary formations, geologic process can also be determined. If the data are not similar, then the galena samples recovered from Fort Roberdeau are associated with a more recent occurrence, and potentially the Chesapeake Bay impact event.  

Deanna Parenti
English Literature

The White Mother
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

I will be presenting about Kate Drumgoold's narrative, A Slave Girl's Story, written during the Civil War. Throughout the narrative, Drumgoold writes about family, education, religion, and faith. I will be exploring Kate Drumgoold's passion for education and the impact she left. I will expand on the role of the "white mother" to a slave child and how that role effected Kate Drumgoold. I will do this by researching about Bettie House, Drumgoold's "white mother" and other interracial families of the same time period to compare. I will also include how Bettie House may or may not have had an impact on Drumgoold's love for education. 

Shayna Parrish
Social Work

From Freedom to Chains
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

Solomon Northup was a free African American who was kidnapped, taken away from his family, and put into the chains of slavery for 12 years which later inspired his autobiography 12 Years a Slave. His kidnapper, James H. Burch, was never convicted of any crime after Northup took his case to court in 1853. Reading Northup's story provides inspiration for me to research the Fugitive Slave Act and other legal cases that occurred in the mid 1800's. I am going to use those sources to reveal the sanctions that were put in place to protect free African Americans and how effective they really were. My goal is to find out if what Burch did to Northup was legal for slave traders to do at the time based on the laws already put in place. Political attitudes and values at the time would also be important pieces of information to include in my project considering they most likely had a fairly large impact on court rulings dealing with African American kidnapping cases.

Savannah Parson
Social Organization and Change

Genocide Awareness and Action Week Mural
Sponsored By: Alison Fletcher
Presenting with:
  • Gannon, Maeve
  • Jackson, Davon
  • Leonard, Kerry
  • Shapiro, Jane
  • Penner, Kaylie

In partnership with Savannah Parson, the chairwoman of Genocide Awareness and Action Week, Maeve Gannon, Jane Shapiro, Kaylie Penner, Davon Jackson and Kerry Leonard have designed and created the first ever Genocide Awareness and Action mural.  The mural is a performance art painting project, which was constructed live as part of the weeklong events and activities held on campus throughout Genocide Awareness and Action week that occurred from April 2nd through April 7th this year.



With the use of multimedia painting, the artists seek to express the trauma of genocide as well as the beauty and resilience of the human spirit.  With bold brushstrokes and choice colors, their striking image attempts to evoke emotion and compassion from the Juniata community, while shedding a light on genocide and its devastating effect upon human beings and the world. Through art, they have found a platform for truth-telling.    

Kaylee Pennell
Geology

Structural Analysis of the Todd Ultramafic Body as Part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, NC
Sponsored By: Katharine Johanesen

The Ashe Metamorophic Suite in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina contain ultramafic bodies that have been altered by four metamorphic events. A detailed microstructural analysis of one of these bodies, the Todd, is planned for this project to study the metasomatic alteration associated with these events. A previous study, focused on a different ultramafic body, found mineralogical zoning in facies within the pluton (Zucker et al., 2017). This is expected to be found in the Todd body as well. After data collected from field study, an updated regional map of this body is also explored.

Christopher Peterson
Digital Marketing

Managing Advanced Technologies: Project Demonstration and Research
Sponsored By: Marlene Burkhardt
Presenting with:
  • Lesur, Paul
  • Kauffman, Anna
  • Alexander, Emily
  • Keating, Kiernan
  • Delattre, Maxime
  • Romano, Daulton

The Management of Advanced Technologies class develops technology demonstration projects and engages in technology research. This semester we have utilized beacons for marketing purposes and developed two surveys, one on the willingness to use beacons to accept marketing information and another on attitudes toward and behavioral analysis of cyber marketing tactics and e-commerce usage. Preliminary findings will be reported.  Beacon demonstrations will be available. 

Jonathan Phillips
Biological Foundations of Behavior

Reducing Morphine Concentrations in Urine Using Popular Detoxification Methods
Sponsored By: Daniel Dries
Presenting with:
  • Greenblatt, Eli
  • Wentz, Curtis

Morphine is a natural opiate derivative found in plants and animals that affects the central nervous system (CNS) and is often used to treat pain.  Poppy seeds are one of many plant materials from which opium can be derived. We hypothesize that it it is possible to lower the concentration of morphine present in a urine sample using popular detoxification methods that include the consumption of green tea extract pills and dandelion pills after eating poppy seeds. In this experiment, we used a morphine specific sandwich ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) to assess the concentration of morphine present in urine samples. This sandwich ELISA uses the specificity of anti-morphine antibodies to detect and quantify morphine in a urine sample. A baseline urine sample was first collected in the absence of poppy seed consumption. Another sample was collected 24 hours following consumption of enough poppy seeds to typically lead to a positive test result for morphine. Next, we collected two more urine samples 24 hours after consumption of poppy seeds. In the first sample, 1,200 milligrams of green tea extract pills were ingested 24 hours prior to consuming the poppy seeds and 24 hours before the collection of the sample in an attempt to decrease the concentration of morphine relative to the amount present in the urine analyzed without any detoxifying agents. Next, we carried out the same procedure using 1,040 milligrams of dandelion pills. If the detoxification methods are successful this experiment can serve as a reference for poppy seed bagel consumers concerned with passing opioid drug tests.

Jonathan Phillips
Biological Foundations of Behavior

Prevalence of Childhood Food Allergy Among Old Order Mennonites in Upstate New York
Sponsored By: Amanda Siglin

A growing number of studies, including ours in the Old Order Mennonite (OOM) community in Upstate New York, have found that farm life is protective against the development of allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and asthma. OOM lifestyle includes living on farms, consumption of unpasteurized farm milk, home births, and large families. However, there is little evidence of the farm effect being protective against food allergy (FA). A total of 500 surveys were distributed to OOM families with a response rate of 30.8%. Surveys queried FA status of the children as adapted from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).  Phone interview determined if the child was also avoiding the food to assess the prevalence of likely/possible FA. Among 644 Mennonite children, the rate of self-reported FA was 4.96% (95% CI, 3.10% - 6.83%), compared to NHANES 2007-2010 rate of 6.50% (95% CI, 5.70 - 7.30) (p = 0.4). When not counting the children who were reported to eat the suspected foods, the prevalence of likely/possible FA among OOM children was 2.67% (95% CI, 1.29 - 4.06), which was significantly lower compared to 5.89% (95% CI, 5.11 - 6.67) in NHANES (p=0.0057). Among foods queried, OOM introduced peanut and tree nuts late, at average 21 months of age, whereas yogurt and kefir were introduced early at 7.1 and 8.3 months. At 6 months, 96% of OOM were still breastfeeding, compared to only 56% of New York State and 49% of U.S. infants (CDC Breastfeeding Report Card 2014). OOM have low rates of FA despite delayed introduction of highly allergenic foods such as peanut. Factors that may be protective against FA include long periods of breastfeeding. This study provides rationale for future studies using the OOM community as a model population of low FA prevalence and mechanisms of protection against FA. 

Ryan Prendergast
Biology

Optimization of the synthesis of tris(2-hydroxy-4,6-dimethylbenzyl)amine
Sponsored By: Ursula Williams

The focus of this research is the synthesis of tris(2-hydroxy-4,6-dimethylbenzyl)amine from the reaction of 2,4-dimethyphenol and hexamethylenetetramine with a catalytic amount of p-toluenesulfonic acid. According to literature, the reaction proceeded to product after reacting for forty hours at 110° C. However, reproducing these results has proved difficult; in practice the reaction has taken significantly longer to form product. In order to find the optimal conditions, acid concentration was varied and the reaction was done under nitrogen with and without water added. Those experiments showed that acid concentration had no impact on product formation and that nitrogen atmosphere had the most beneficial impact overall. 1H NMR was used to determine if product had formed. Work is under way to determine yield and to find the optimal reaction time at a larger scale. 

Evan Quinter
Environmental Science

The Simplicity of Synthesizers
Sponsored By: James Latten

This independent study was based upon creating easy to understand wall posters based upon the previous synthesizer manuals. There will be also be demonstrations of the three synthesizers at the exhibition to promote the practicality and usage of the available technology.

Kristin Racis
Biology

12 Years a Slave: The Truth Behind the Fugitive Slave Law
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

Solomon Northup was born in July 1808 in Minerva, New York. He wrote his own narrative “12 Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup” and was taken place in mid 1800's. Northup was a free man for almost 30 years until he was stolen into slavery by two white men. Throughout the narrative, he faces the difficulties in living a new life style and continuously plots ways to gain his liberty. The life style and treatment of African American's during this time is completely different in the North than it is the South. Part of the reason Northup was kidnapped into slavery was because of the passing of the Fugitive Slave Law, which made escaping out of slavery even harder than it was before. The focus of this paper will be on the Fugitive Slave Law and how it has affected the life of African Americans. “12 years a slave” illustrates that freedom does not always mean being free, even though you have everything in your life that you could ask for, it can be stolen from you at any moment of time.

Clayton Reichart
Psychology/Spanish and Hispanic Cultures

Crowd-Sourced Word Ratings Reveal Qualitative Differences among Song Stimuli
Sponsored By: Anne Gilman
Presenting with:
  • Boo, Cythinia
  • OBrien, Aaron

This norming study applied a novel bag-of-words approach to measure emotional connotations of familiar tunes. Sixty-two participants wrote what words came to mind after listening to over 30 MIDI and studio recordings of familiar tunes individually. Self-rated musical training (e.g. years of formal instruction) was weakly associated with shorter and less-positive responses, while musical sophistication (interest and skill in music) was weakly associated with longer and more-positive ones.

Sarah Roberts
Physics

The Effect of Chronic Radiation Exposure on Capacitence
Sponsored By: Matthew Beaky

Radiation hardened electronics are used in space exploration and highly radioactive environments, where traditional components have a high failure rate and shortened lifetime.  By irradiating capacitors, small electronics that store charge, the need for radiation hardened versions is evaluated through consideration of the percent change in capacitance over several days of exposure.  The capacitors used were polarized, and ranged from 10 microfarads to 100 microfarads.  Because capacitance cannot be measured directly, the voltage across the capacitor was measured during discharge in an RC circuit.  The voltage drops according to an exponential decay dependent on capacitance and resistance, which can be measured directly.  Measuring the change in capacitance as a function of irradiation time allows consideration of the effects of long-term radiation exposure by revealing the electronics' radiation sensitivity.

Daisie Rodriguez
History with Secondary emphasis in IT & Ed Studies

Social Implications of Avatars and Identity
Sponsored By: Donna Weimer
Presenting with:
  • Phillips, Mar-Jana

Does role playing as a video game avatar help improve real-world self-esteem and confidence by immersing players into a virtual world? Do social media avatars create illusions of identity by influencing users to mask reality of their daily lives with exciting social situations? 'Avatar' is originally a Hindi term for a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; however, in modern context, an avatar is an icon or figure representing a particular person online. This research focuses on the relationship between avatars and identity. It will attempt to provide you with the positive and negative implications that avatars have on identity.

Bruno Rosa
Computer Science

Attacking the Internet
Sponsored By: William Thomas

This poster is to explain the vulnerabilities that arise in websites and how programmers can best prevent them, and normal users can do their best to avoid falling for them.

Bruno Rosa
Computer Science

Quantum Computing
Sponsored By: Donna Weimer
Presenting with:
  • Gaynor, Matthew
  • Jackson, Davon

We will be presenting our poster from CM290, the Metaverse. Our poster deals with the integration of quantum computing into everyday society, along with positive and negative effects that it may have.

Jonah Ruggiero
Communication Arts & Design

Hip Hop and Rap: Analyzing a Violent Culture
Sponsored By: Donna Weimer
Presenting with:
  • Benfer, Liam

We will be discussing how violence found within and around Hip Hop can be productively consumed to improve the violence in our culture. Our research on violence and Hip Hop is analyzed and exemplified through the multi-facetted scope of Johan Galtung’s violence triangle, which is made up of three equally important parts; cultural, structural, and direct violence. Furthermore, we will be addressing issues perpetuated by the music industry and the media, such as commodified celebrities and conscious Hip Hop artists, differences in cultural vernacular and rhetorical personas, and the importance of evaluating authentic lyrical context in order to establish and utilize educational platforms that promote peace and equality throughout our present day culture. Consequentially, if the music industry and media continue to present Hip-Hop culture in a way that perpetuates a violent image of Hip Hop artists, the result will be a public affirmation of hegemonic values, racism, and sexism.

Kyle Santerian
Environmental Science

Spatial, Morphometric, and Reproductive Characteristics of Gray Squirrels (Sciurus Carolinensis) Harvested in Central Pennsylvania
Sponsored By: Uma Ramakrishnan
Presenting with:
  • Petrova, Mary
  • Hammon, Katrina

Previous studies have recorded special variations in various characteristics of gray squirrels. The goal of our study is to attempt to identify such potential variations in a gray squirrel populations in Central Pennsylvania. We collected data from squirrels brought to the Shamokin Mountain Squirrel hunt in January 2017. A total of 350 squirrels were harvested by 150 hunters from 17 different townships during the one-day tournament. Using ArcGIS we mapped the distribution of all registered participants and the distribution of successful harvest locations. We then collected morphometric measurements and photographs of a randomly selected subset of 120 squirrels from this harvest. The morphometric measurements and photographs can be used to look at geographic variability and overall health of squirrels. We also collected testes, ovaries and uteri from this subsample. To identify the reproductive condition and health of mature squirrels, we plan to calculate the gonadosomatic index and conduct a histological analysis of the testes and overies, and look at potential geospacial variability. Public hunting tournaments represent a unique opportunity for researchers to collect biological data, and can be a valuable opportunity for undergraduate students to gain hands-on experience.  

Joseph Schnaubelt
Physics

Constructing Photometric Light Curves for Eclipsing Binary Stars
Sponsored By: Matthew Beaky

Eclipsing binary star systems are comprised of two stars orbiting the system’s center of mass. In order to view the eclipsing property of these systems they must be orbiting in a plane oriented along our line of sight. In this case, one star passes in front of the other twice during a cycle, creating eclipses and a drop in the combined light observed from the binary system. Using photometric data collected from a CCD camera and the Meade LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope at the Juniata College Observatory, light curves were constructed that display the change in brightness over the orbital period of the system. These light curves were produced using Maxim DL 6 to extract differential magnitude data from CCD images, and Peranso to create a graph of the light curve. These light curves can be used to extract valuable information about the properties of the star system, such as mass, temperature, and radius. Adding to the pool of data on these star systems is valuable for learning about the nature of eclipsing binary systems. Light curves for the binary star systems the TU Herculis and V2240 Cygni observed through blue, visual, red, and infrared filters will be presented.

Kevin Schofield
Chemistry

Synthesis and optimization of the silylation and esterification of acid derivatives
Sponsored By: Richard Hark

Boron trifluoride diethyl etherate (BF3·OEt2) is an effective reagent for the esterification of carboxylic acids and acid anhydrides. For more complex acids, esterification using BF3·OEt2 can have slow reaction rates and low yields due to poor solubility. The silylation and formation of the silyl ether can improve solubility thus possibly increasing yield and the rate of the reaction. Efficiency of the reaction is further increased because silylation derivization replaces active hydrogen reducing the compounds polarity and increases the stability of its derivative. O-bis(trimethylsilyl)acetamide, one of the most potent and commonly used silylating agents, is being used. Distillation of the silylated ether reaction mixture under reduced pressure gives a high yield. The reaction of BF3·OEt2 with the silylated ether is expected to deprotect the trimethyl silyl group and transesterify. Esterification synthesis is characterized through GC-MS and NMR. The synthesis and ongoing efforts to optimize this reaction will be presented.

Allison Schwartz
Social Work

How Religious Beliefs Impact Slavery
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

Part of what makes the narrative Of the Life of Henry Box Brown so unique is that he shipped himself to Philadelphia from Virginia while hiding in a cardboard box. Brown wrote his own narrative in 1851, and was born into slavery outside Richmond, Virginia, in 1815. He was separated from his parents and brother and sister after his master, William, died. Brown them fell in love with a slave named Nancy, who he ended up marrying and having children with; he was separated from them as well. Brown's religious beliefs shape the narrative, and serve as a basis for his experience throughout slavery. I will focus on the religious component, and Brown's failure to understand how people who claim to be Christians can commit such horrible acts. Brown finds it amazing that slavery did not cause him to hate Christianity and that he still believes in Jesus. He even believed that his master was Almighty God and the young master was Jesus Christ.

Meredith Shephard
Biochemistry

Potential Role of unknown ORF in Gag Transport of Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Sponsored By: Jill Keeney

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is commonly used as a model organism for eukaryotes. Ty1 elements, also known as long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, with in the yeast cell encode mRNA and proteins that assemble to form virus-like particles (VLPs) that play a significant role in yeast transcription and translation. The Gag protein, encoded by Ty1 RNA, has been found to be involved in the formation of VLPs in the cytoplasm. The Gag protein is first transported into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where it gets processed, then returns to the cytoplasm to assemble the VLPs. The mechanism by which the Gag protein then survives the ER and gets translocated back to the cytoplasm is yet to be fully understood. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify potential ORFs involved in the Gag translocation mechanism. A Gag::Ura3 fusion protein reacts with 5-fluourooritic acid (5-FOA) to form a toxic chemical that causes cell death. The translocation of the protein complex to the ER isolates Ura3 from 5-FOA in the cytoplasm, preventing cell death. A deletion screen was done to identify host genes [KJ(1] that when deleted result in FOA-resistance, indicating that the Gag::Ura3 protein is retained in the ER. The open reading frame (ORF) YDL124W was identified to be 5-FOA resistant. According to the SGD database, YDL124W functions as an aldehyde-ketone reductase involved in the response to cellular oxidative stress. This study aimed to confirm the function of YDL124W and determine its role in Gag transposition and Ty1 retrotransposition.



 

Rong Shi
IT

HCVB Artisan Trail App-ArtBeat
Sponsored By: William Thomas
Presenting with:
  • Hartwich, Nico
  • Weissberg, Felix
  • Daughn-Wood, Callie

This project is an Android application for the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau with the intent of boosting tourism in Huntingdon County. This will be a map based app. The application will help boost tourism in Huntingdon County by allowing tourist or other users of the application to see what interesting artisan events are around them and be able to navigate toward them, set notifications for an event. The application will also help to boost local business and artisans by letting them create events, create a artisan/venue profile, list open and closed hours, link social media accounts.

Joanna Shin
Psychology

True or False?
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

Aunt Judy's Story: A Tale From Real Life was written by Matilda G Thompson for the Pennsylvania Anti Slavery Fair in 1855. It is about a slave named Judy who was set free by her master upon his death. She then follows her husband and is captured and sent back into slavery. The narration of her journey as a slave is told by a white woman who is telling the story to her children upon their request. One of the long running points is that critics have discussed whether this whether this story is true or not. They also discuss whether this is helping the family or Judy who has no voice in the narration. I will be focusing on the debate on whether this is based on true events and if the telling of the story helps the white folks or the slaves themselves by using scholarly sources and other slave narratives.

Maurice Slinger
Geology

Geochronologic and Petrographic Study of Joshua Tree Granites
Sponsored By: Katharine Johanesen

The study of plutonism following arc initiation is key to understanding further developments of the ambiguous magmatic arc system along the west coast. Triassic plutons preserve the record of the crystallization of granitic rocks during arc magmatism. Eleven samples procured from the northwest section of Joshua Tree National park were observed under SEM and petrographic microscopes to determine geochemistry and identify minerals present in the rock. All samples are classified as granites from IUGS classification and contain plagioclase, microcline, orthoclase, quartz, minor biotite and oxides. Zircons were noted as accessory minerals, however, no zircons were found until scanned under SEM. Plagioclase and alkali feldspars are seen as phenocrysts and have exsolution lamellae. The exsolution is assumed to be clay alterations and quartz. Grains range in size from 0.3 mm to some as large of 4 mm in diameter. Quartz grains are smaller by comparison with size ranges of 0.1 mm to 2 mm in diameter. Biotite grains are seen with corona textures and degraded around iron oxide grains. In-situ analysis by ThermoFisher iCAP quadrupole MS of 66 zircons have revealed U-Pb ages of 74 ± 6 Ma (youngest) to 240 ± 20 Ma (oldest). This is consistent with the trend of ages of plutonic rocks getting younger from north to south.

Kyle Sommers
Biochemistry

Doped Thiophene Thin Films as Water Oxidation Catalysts
Sponsored By: William Ames

Hydrogen fuel from H2 can be used as a fuel source to power vehicles and electrical devices. Numerous studies and products have proven the utility and efficiency of hydrogen fuel. When burned with oxygen, this fuel source produces no emissions that pollute our planet. In order to isolate hydrogen gas to be used as a fuel, numerous process have been performed in an attempt to obtain hydrogen gas at the lowest possible cost both monetarily and environmentally. One of the biggest productions of H2 is from the electrolysis of water. However, amount of hydrogen gas produced is little compared to the amount of energy input and the electricity consumed in the process is more valuable than the hydrogen isolated. In order to find more efficient ways to electrolyze water, the project below regards using thiophene-doped thin films as water oxidation catalysts. The thin films made composed of first-row transition metal metalloporphyrins doped in thiophene and deposited on ITO PET electrodes. Cyclic Voltammetry was then performed on the complexes in order to determine their capability as water oxidation catalysts.

Sydney Spicer
Environmental Studies

Huntingdon Street Trees
Sponsored By: Norris Muth
Presenting with:
  • Buckwalter, Hannah

The purpose of Huntingdon Treesearch is to bring the public’s attention to the trees in the Huntingdon area and their importance. In order to accomplish this, there are currently three projects. The first is the Huntingdon Big Tree project which has the goal of documenting all of the biggest trees of each species in Huntingdon County. As of March, there have been 21 trees documented through this project with some of the biggest having diameters of 74 inches and heights of 98 feet. Monthly articles about these trees are put in the Huntingdon newspaper to increase awareness of these trees. The second project is the Huntingdon Street Tree project which focuses on mapping all of the street trees in Huntingdon. As of March, there have been 239 trees documented of 26 different species. 13.15 percent of the borough has been mapped and 40 percent of the trees thus far are native to the area. This data along with the future data collected in this project will be used to determine what trees should be planted on the streets and on what streets they should be planted. The third project under Treesearch is the 250 Planting. For the 250th anniversary of Huntingdon Borough, the Tree Commission will have volunteers plant 250 trees throughout the Borough. These trees will be paid for using the Treevitalize grant. All these projects are constantly being updated. To keep up to date go to treesources.weebly.com where information for all of the projects can be found.

Melissa States
Biology

Fugitive Mail
Sponsored By: Amanda Page

In 1851, Henry Box Brown told his cunning escape from slavery in his Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself. Sending himself from Louisa County, Virginia to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a box, he was able to secure his freedom and reveal slavery's ironies. To examine this work, I will look at the religious pieces used to justify slavery and how it impacted the slave's religious views. As well as, the Fugitive Slave Act and how it impacted freedom from slavery. 

Brent Sterner
Engineering Physics

Hydro-powered portable generator
Sponsored By: Matthew Beaky

The hydro-powered generator is an eco-friendly way to produce off-grid energy. When the system is miniaturized, it can be used as a portable charger to supply energy to multiple items to help with outdoor survival. We will present a multiphase alternating current generator using a hydro-powered turbine.  Flowing water rotates a turbine propeller which is connected to the rotor, which consists of multiple mounted permanent magnets. The stator plate has multiple connected coils of electrical wire. According to the physics of induction, the rotating turbine results in a current in the coils. The energy of this current is stored by charging a rechargeable battery. Once the battery is fully charged the device can be used to power different electronic devices. This generator allows the outdoor enthusiast to spend multiple days in an off-grid environment while maintaining devices for basic communication and safety precautions. 

Morgan Stewart
History and Museum Studies

"She's Making History, Working For Victory": Comparison of Two Iconic Rosie the Riveter Posters of World War II
Sponsored By: Karen Rosell

World War II was a pivotal moment for women in the workplace. The ideals of the working woman were epitomized in two posters featuring a female character that would later become known as Rosie the Riveter. The artists that depict Rosie relay the same message of encouraging American women to work in manufacturing jobs to support the war effort, yet each did so in a very different way. Howard Miller illustrated Rosie in a highly feminine manner, focusing on the idea that even the most feminine of women were capable of working in the factories. On the other hand, Norman Rockwell, through his illustration, expresses the idea that American women need to let go of the femininity a bit in order to participate in and be successful in "MAN-ufacturing" jobs.

Clarke Stoltzfus
Biology

The Use of Enzyme Kinetics to Detect the Presence of Glucose in Artificial Sweeteners
Sponsored By: Daniel Dries
Presenting with:
  • Ansel, Dan
  • Nwanosike, Hephzibah
  • Tiwari, Mandira

Although many companies advertise the lack of glucose and other natural sugars in their products, there is a general need to have independent research monitor that these corporations are being truthful about their ingredients. This experiment seeks to confirm or to refute the claim that glucose is present in a variety of artificial sweeteners. In order to detect the presence of glucose, the project will use enzyme kinetics, in which an enzyme (glucose oxidase) oxidizes any glucose present to generate peroxide. When coupled with another enzyme (horseradish peroxidase), this reaction produces a benzoquinonimine, which is detectable using visible light spectroscopy. If glucose is present in any of the artificial sweeteners, we would expect to see a change in absorbance over a small period of time on the spectrometer due to an increase in the production of the benzoquinonimine. A standard curve of glucose will be created, which will then allow for the calculation of the concentration of any glucose present within the artificial sweetener. While this project provides a quick assessment of the presence of glucose in the sweeteners, there are more in-depth methods to conduct this research; hence, further investigation is required. The results from this experiment could be useful for those who are trying to regulate or lower the concentration of glucose in their body, such as patients with diabetes.

Alexandra Stoudt
Multimedia Production and International Studies

Stereotyping in Video Games
Sponsored By: Donna Weimer
Presenting with:
  • Isom, Brittney
  • Guiciardi, Joseph

Violence in media is heavily prevalent in our society. Looking specifically at video games, there are many ways in which the narratives can lead to normalization of harmful unconscious biases. Therefore, we argue that stereotyping in violent video games, such as othering, sexualizing, and victimizing, leads to the normalization of these behaviors in real life.

Caleb Taylor
Chemistry

Synthesis of Copper Complexes with 3-Hydroxyimidazole-1-Oxide as Potential Single Molecule Magnets
Sponsored By: Peter Baran
Presenting with:
  • Kensinger, Adam

Single molecule magnets are compounds that show the properties of magnets at the molecular level below a certain temperature. These magnets promise many applications in memory devices, including being used in building quantum computers, which are computers that can achieve greater computing and processing power than is currently offered. Classical single molecule magnets are often clusters of metals, which can be prepared by linking metal centers together through bridging ligands, like 3-hydroxyimidazole-1-oxide. This ligand has been coordinated with various copper(II) salts; namely sulfate, perchlorate, and bromide; in ratios of 1:1, 2:1, and 3:2. Different solvents have been used, in an effort to isolate products in the form of crystals usable for crystallographic characterization. Solvents such as methanol, water, and a combination of the two were tested. Products were analyzed by infrared spectroscopy, melting point, elemental analysis, and X-ray crystallography. Details of the structures and elemental analyses will be presented.

Anna VanDusen
Geology

Thermal Evolution of Ultramafic Bodies in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Sponsored By: Katharine Johanesen

The Ashe Metamorphic Suite of the Blue Ridge mountains contains bodies of severely metamorphosed and ultramafic rocks. These rocks tell a complex story of tectonic collision during the Alleghenian and Taconic orogenies. Because they are olivine-rich, it is possible that these rocks are mantle derived. This March, I plan to travel to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, survey the Ashe Metamorphic Suite, and answer the questions: What happened to these rocks? How have hey been altered? What circumstances lead to this metamorphic behavior?

Margaret Vos
Biochemistry

Investigation of cell death pathways via induced DNA damage
Sponsored By: Randy Bennett

The engulfment of apoptotic cells is necessary for normal tissue development and remodeling. Although apoptosis is a natural phenomenon, it can be induced or halted by a variety of stressors. Inducing apoptosis is a possible way to treat cancerous cells, where desirable apoptosis has been halted. However, the signals that mediate each type of apoptotic response are largely unknown. Caenorhabditis elegans contain two partially redundant, parallel conserved pathways that affect apoptosis engulfment. Apoptosis is easily observed in the gonadal arms of C. elegans hermaphrodites. This study used copper, cadmium, and arsenic to induce DNA damage in C. elegans in order to test the dose-response rate of apoptosis in germ-line cells in several different mutant types. All three inducers were tested at 5 different concentrations ranging from 1 μM to 50 μM in K medium. For each type of inducer, synchronized young adult hermaphrodites were exposed to the K medium and grown on plates and removed at 6, 12, and 24 hours after exposure. The apoptotic germ cells were stained with Acridine Orange and scored using a fluorescence-based apoptosis assay to count the number of apoptotic cells in a gonadal arm. All values between different concentrations and different time points were analyzed using ANOVA, followed by a two-tailed t-test. Our results demonstrate that C. elegans can serve as a mammalian in vivo substitute model to study the mechanisms of DNA damage-induced apoptosis. This research is ongoing and will continue to examine the response rate of apoptosis, focusing primarily on the role of abelson kinase in multiple pathways that impact this process. The concentration and time dependent responses in several mutant types will provide information needed to develop a future screen which will allow for more effective apoptosis-based drug therapies.

Megan Watkins
Biology

Synthesis and Purification of Nitrilotriacetate Iron Complexes
Sponsored By: Ursula Williams
Presenting with:
  • Mershon, Samantha

Iron complexes in tripodal ligand environments have been shown to support reversible multi-step electron transfer events, such as those required for the catalytic reduction of dinitrogen to ammonia. To better understand how best to improve on this chemistry, we seek to evaluate the effect of the metal ion’s local environment on its redox processes by synthesizing and characterizing tripodal complexes that incorporate iron in comparable environments. Previous work in the lab has led to the isolation of a tripodal aryloxide compound with one equivalent of 4-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP) coordinated. Similarly, we have synthesized two tripodal iron complexes using the nitrilotriacetate ligand framework with varying equivalents of DMAP. We will describe the synthesis and purification of these complexes well as their spectroscopic properties.

Tyler Weigel
Chemistry

Synthesis of Aryl 2H-Azirines in progress towards a Copper-Catalyzed Asymmetric Reduction for the Preparation of Chiral Aziridines
Sponsored By: John Unger
Presenting with:
  • Polavarapu , Soumya

Aziridines are a three membered nitrogen containing heterocycle. The aziridine functionality is featured in numerous biologically active natural products and is a useful intermediate in organic synthesis. The utility of the aziridine functionality is highlighted by its large amount of bond angle strain as well as a highly polarized carbon-nitrogen bonds, making it reactive as a carbon electrophile. Aziridines can undergo nucleophilic ring opening reactions at their electrophilic carbon. The usefulness of aziridine is further illustrated by its nitrogen which can function as a nucleophilic as well as a Lewis basic center. Aziridines can be synthesized through the reduction of azirines which can be accomplished by the use of various hydride reducing agents. This portion of the project has focused on the production of various substituted aryl 2H-azirines in high yields and purities. Several procedural improvements have been made in the production of 2H-azirine starting materials. The next portion of this project will focus on the asymmetric copper-catalyzed reduction and chiral resolution of substituted aryl aziridines.

David Welsch
Environmental Geology

Survey of Nitrate and Chlorine in Streams Near Huntingdon PA
Sponsored By: Ryan Mathur

This presesntation encompasses a survey of Muddy Run and Standing Stone Creek near Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. Using an ion chromatograph, samples from these two streams were collected over a period of time and tested for CL (chlorine) and NO3 (nitrate) concentrations. The goal in this research was to analyze the change over time in both of these concentrations. Factors that can influence changes in these concentrations include the melting of fallen snow and the application of fertilizers to fields as the planting season begins. This data is intended to help better understand the effects of these processes on the chemical composition of streams.

Brandon Weyant
Biology/Pre-Dental

The effects of Passive Treatment for Acid Mine Drainage
Sponsored By:

Acid mine drainage is the acumination or leakage of metal ions in water systems, causing the water to become acidified, due to the abandonment of once operating mines. Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a national problem, but one-third of waters impacted by this problem are located in Pennsylvania, AMD is Pennsylvania's single largest nonpoint source water pollutant, impacting over 2500 miles of streams Passive treatment (PTS) of the AMD can help improve water quality and downstream ecosystems through the use of wetlands and limestone to remove the metals Herein we aimed to study the effects of passive treatment of acid mine drainage on mercury levels within abiotic and biotic components upstream and downstream of PTS. Four sites with an upstream and downstream component were sampled in Northcentral Pennsylvania. All streams that were sampled were affected by AMD and were utilizing a PTS to minimize the input. Preliminary results showed decreased mercury concentrations in higher topic level biota downstream of the passive treatment systems (trout; mean upstream: 58.1 ng/g mean downstream: 28.9 ng/g, p=.004, and crayfish; mean upstream: 62.8 ng/g mean downstream: 34.1 hg/g, p=.009).These findings are contrary to what we expected, as natural wetlands are generally believed to increase mercury in downstream biota. Ongoing work will help to determine modes of decreased mercury bioaccumulation downstream of PTS.

Calli Wise
Wildlife Conservation

Camera Trap Verification of Allegheny Woodrat (Neotoma Magister) Presence
Sponsored By: Chuck Yohn
Presenting with:
  • Emery, Katie

The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PAGC) has monitored Allegheny Woodrats (Neotoma magister) for decades and rely on trained biologists and experienced volunteers to collect presence verifying data using live traps and trail cameras.  This threatened and protected species lives in colonies among rocky outcroppings within large expanses of forest and may be threatened by anthropogenic disturbances and habitat fragmentation.  Many of the study colonies are remote and in protected, and population numbers are thought to be low.  We selected historically occupied woodrat sites that had not been revisited in the past three years and documented presence using baited camera traps.  Photographic proof of occupancy is necessary to maintain baseline data sets of presence in historically known and new woodrat habitat.  This data may help model woodrat metapopulations and identify source and sink populations for the PAGC's Allegheny Woodrat management and relocation plans. 

Yvonne Wojciechowski
Chemistry

Synthesis of a Pentadentate Ligand for Coordination with Manganese
Sponsored By: Ursula Williams

Manganese complexes with bridging oxo ligands are highly studied due to their role in the biological processes of photosystem II. However, few dimeric complexes that include manganese(III) and manganese(IV) metal centers bridged by a single oxo ligand have been reported. Because of the potential relevance of single oxo bridging Mn(III/IV) units in the chemistry of the oxygen evolving complex, we set out to synthesize a complex of this type and to characterize it by EPR spectroscopy. Current progress toward this goal includes synthesis of several ligand precursors and preliminary attempts to synthesize the ligand of interest. Detosylation of the ligand precursor is proving to be the most difficult step; attempts have been made with both hydrobromic acid/acetic acid/phenol as well as sulfuric acid, both resulting in what appears to be complete decomposition of the desired product. Ongoing research includes the isolation of the ligand of interest, its coordination to manganese, and computational and spectroscopic analysis of the complex.

Victoria Wolf
Biology

Duchenne Smiles: Can You Spot the Liar?
Sponsored By: David Widman

Smiles are signals of honesty; a Duchenne smile is an honest smile while a non-Duchenne smile is a false smile.  Duchenne smiles are difficult to reproduce voluntarily and non-Duchenne smiles can be applied at will (Ekman, 1990).  Honest smiles are considered more authentic, attractive, and persuasive than non-Duchenne smiles and individuals will apply false smiles to cooperate with others (Ceccarini & Caudek, 2013, Ohman et al, 2011).  However, it is suggested that humans have an innate cheater detection module that allows them to identify individuals that are manipulating social exchanges for their benefit (Cosmides, & Tooby 2005).  Therefore, it is possible that people can be able to detect non-Duchenne smiles through this cheater detection module.  In order to investigate this, the current experiment will utilize a “face in the crowd effect.”  When matrices of happy and angry faces are constructed, angry faces are more easily detected within a group of happy faces than a happy face is seen within a group of angry faces.  This is because it is within an individual’s best interest to be able to spot an aggressor quickly (Pinkman, Griffin et al. 2010).  In this study, matrices of images will be constructed of either one Duchene target within non-Duchenne smiles or one non-Duchenne target in Duchenne smiles.  Participants will be presented with these matrices along with other matrices of happy and angry faces.  If people are able to detect false smile as a mechanism of spotting cheaters, then the participants should identify the non-Duchenne targets within a field of Duchenne faces faster than a Duchenne target within a field of non-Duchenne faces. 

Hoi Tong Wong
Biology

Metatranscriptomics analysis of the intestinal microbiota of preterm infants with genetic variations in the zinc transporter ZnT2
Sponsored By: Regina Lamendella

Imbalances in intestinal microbiota have been linked to necrotizing enterocolitis, a disease that affects the intestinal tract of premature infants. Homeostasis of the intestinal microbiome is maintained by small intestine Paneth cells (PC). Our prior work has shown that mutations in the Zn transporter, ZnT2, impairs PC function and leads to alterations in the intestinal microbiome of mice and humans. Our current research is focusing on the functional mechanism by which the genetic variation within the ZnT2 transporter could alter the host-microbial interactions with the gut. RNA was extracted from 36 pre-mature infant fecal samples and were subjected to library preparation for RNA sequencing to profile the expression of the entire gut microbiome (metatranscriptomics). Metatranscriptomics analysis is currently being done to find active gene expression and metabolic pathways. Our previous community structure analysis revealed differential microbial community composition within the intestine of infants expressing ZnT2 variation. Potential connections between microbial dysbiosis and the onset of NEC as a result of variation of the ZnT2 gene were observed. Previous metagenomics analyses, such as PICRUSt, showed differences in expression of certain metabolic pathways between the wild type (WT) and SNP 293 cohorts. Further metatranscriptomics analysis will provide greater insight on different gene regulations and metabolic activities in the intestinal tract of affected preterm infants. 

Kang Yang
Engineering Physics

High-speed imaging ferrofluid droplet in a capillary tube
Sponsored By: Yu Gu
Presenting with:
  • Peifer, Janet

We study the movement of small-volume ferrofluidis. Ferrofluids are colloidal suspensions of ferromagnetic particles that respond strongly when a magnetic field is present. This study will focus on the movement of ferrofluids inside glass capillary tubes using imaging with a microscope and a high-speed camera. In particular, the contact angle is expected to play an important role in droplet movement because it is a measure of the capillary force. With the microscope, we are able to observe the behavior of the ferrofluids on a small scale (<1mm). The high speed camera is mounted into the microscope and video of ferrofluid movement under DC and AC magnetic fields is recorded at 1000 fps. Using the images and videos of droplet movement obtained via the high speed camera, we study the contact angle that the drops made with the capillary tube using image processing in MATLAB.

Andrew Yeich
Chemistry

Synthesis and Study of Vanadium Complexes with Pyrazoles
Sponsored By: Peter Baran

Vanadium complexes have recently been analyzed for possible applications in the field of medicine as insulin mimickers, radiological trackers, and even oncological treatments. Pyrazole can coordinate to a metal through a wide variety of coordination modes to form metal complexes. To investigate pyrazole’s coordination abilities, bromo-, iodo-, methyl-, and phenol-substituted pyrazoles were combined with vanadyl sulfate in methanol. For certain syntheses, stoichiometries for syntheses were varied to increase reaction yields. The isolated crystalline products were characterized using elemental analysis, X-ray crystallography, and infrared spectroscopy. Results of the characterization of isolated complexes will be presented.