• AC3 has an Inhibitory Effect on Cell Cycle and Enhances Staurosporine-Induced Apoptosis in Pancreatic Cancer Cells: Participation of R-Smads

      Dains-McGahee, Clayton; Friedman, Emilee; Graves, Sarai; Sabbatini, Maria; College of Science and Mathematics (2015-08-10)
      Introduction: Adenylyl cyclase (AC) is an enzyme responsible for converting ATP into cAMP. Previously, we found that five AC isoforms are expressed in HPAC and PANC-1. Two of them, AC1 and AC3, were highly expressed in pancreatic tumor tissue. Objective: To silence the expression of AC1 and AC3, in order to determine their participation in the effect of FSK on cell proliferation. Results: After FSK stimulation, there was a slight increase in BrdU incorporation. The lack of AC3 caused a significant increase in FSK-induced BrdU incorporation. FSK on its own had a negligible effect on programmed cell death. The combined effect of FSK along with staurosporine led to an increase in apoptosis. This effect was not seen in cells treated with siRNA AC3. Upon an increase in cAMP, two pathways become active: PKA and Epac. Next, we determined which pathway is activated upon AC1 or AC3 stimulation. Using Western-blotting our data showed that R-Smads were phosphorylated by AC1, whereas CREB was not phosphorylated by either AC1 or AC3. Conclusion: While stimulation of AC by FSK produced a slight increase in BrdU incorporation, the effects of FSK were most exaggerated in the absence of AC3. We hypothesize that AC3 may have an inhibitory effect on cell proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells. While, FSK alone did not modify apoptosis, FSK enhanced staurosporine-induced apoptosis in both cell lines via AC3 activation. In pancreatic cancer cells, CREB is phosphorylated by PKA through a pathway independent of AC1 and AC3, while AC1 phosphorylates R-Smads.
    • Adolescent Women's Perception of Individual and Partner HPV Risk

      Best, Candace; Couba, Edison; Norviel, Anne; Rogers, Katie; Gaffney, Jasmine; College of Science and Mathematics (2015-08-07)
      Introduction: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STI in the U.S. (MMWR, 2014). HPV has been implicated as the necessary precursor for cervical cancer and it has been associated with other cancers and genital warts (Chaturvedi, 2010). The most promising HPV prevention strategy is the 3-dose HPV vaccine which is recommended for adolescent males and females ages 9-26. Currently, HPV vaccination rates remain unacceptably low. We were interested in how young women perceived their HPV risk and their partner’s HPV risk. We also examined whether perceptions of risk changed after young women were provided with information about HPV and HPV infection. Methods: As part of a larger study, participants included 27 African American heterosexual young women (ages 14-17). Participants met with an interviewer once for approximately 2.5 hours. During the interview, participants were asked about their probability of having and transmitting HPV to a potential partner. Participants were then asked about their probability of their partner having and transmitting HPV to them. Next, participants received in-depth information about HPV and HPV infection. They were again asked about their individual and perceived partner risk of having and transmitting HPV. Results: Young women were more likely to report transmitting HPV post HPV information. Young women also displayed a significant bias that their partner had and would transmit HPV, pre and post HPV information. Conclusion: Education about HPV risk and infection will continue to be an important component to informing adolescents of their HPV risk and potentially increasing HPV vaccination rates.
    • Augusta Training Shop: Snowflakes

      Holsey, Alisia; Smith, Kelsey; Whitaker, Dantavious; Medcalfe, Simon; Hull College of Business (2015-08-10)
      The Augusta Training Shop was founded in 1947 as a daycare, but transformed into a work training facility for adults with mental and physical disabilities. The Training Shop’s main business was furniture restoration which was supported by donations and fundraisers such as derby days. In 2012, the executive director of the Augusta Training Shop, Audrey Murell, designed a fundraising program to aid in supporting the nonprofit. Snowflakes could be made by mentally and physically challenged workers from cane used to restore furniture. In 2013, the first full year of production, the snowflakes generated revenue of close to $25,000. In 2014, while attending a trade show, Audrey was asked if she could provide a bulk purchase discount. This raised several unanswered questions: How big of a discount could be given to wholesalers? The Training Shop was faced with a dilemma if they gave too big of a discount, would the company take a loss on the snowflake fundraiser? Moreover, Audrey was left clueless when it came down to the average cost to produce each snowflake. She knew that the snowflakes could bring in more revenue to help cover some of the higher expenses in the nonprofit, but were they profitable? Audrey had to adapt to an actual business mindset for her to be able to produce the snowflakes. She needed to figure out her direct cost and indirect cost per snowflakes in order to become successful with the snowflake fundraiser. Overall, her long-term goal was to create more jobs, revenue, and to spread the gift of the snowflakes among other nonprofits.
    • Authenticity and Performativity in Saul Bellow’s Herzog

      Quiller, Walter; Katherine Reese Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Hoffman, Todd (2015-03-27)
      Saul Bellow's Herzog provides a platform through which the concept of subjectivity can be discussed. For some theorists, the subject is something that can be grounded. Martin Heidegger for instance employs ontology in order to present a stable, authentic subjectivity. In contrast, Judith Butler argues that this subject does not exist. Rather it is an illusion carried out through performances. Research on Heidegger's idea of authenticity and Butler's notion of performativity provides insight into Bellow's treatment of subjectivity. The characters in Herzog both reject and fail to uphold Heideggerian standards of authenticity. However they do participate in performativity. The identities that they attempt to convey are actually performances that create illusions of a grounded subject. Through analyses of Bellow's central characters, it is evident that he rejects the Heideggerian view and that the Butlerian model of subjectivity (or anti-subjectivity) is a more appropriate means of exploring subjectivity in the novel. Therefore viewing literary characters as performers (in the Butlerian sense) reveals Bellow’s tendency to present characters who do not have stable identities, but instead fluid illusions of identity.
    • Citizen Perceptions of Police in the Post-Ferguson Era: A Survey in Partnership with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office

      Hendricks, Austin; Kelley, Johnna; Gordon, Paxton; Foley, Alison, PhD; Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (2015-08-11)
      The current study reports the results of a survey designed in conjunction with Richmond County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) to assess citizen satisfaction with local police. Research suggests that overall satisfaction with and perceptions about police are shaped by individual’s personal experiences with police as well as their perception of neighborhood safety, sex, race, education level, and age. Based on prior research, we hypothesized that general attitudes about local police would be influenced by attitudes about American police as a whole. This is particularly important given the current national conversation revolving around police use-of-force in the wake of the highly-publicized events in places such as Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland. While results are limited by the small and relatively homogenous sample of participants, linear regression models show that when race, neighborhood safety, and gender are controlled for, attitudes towards American police and attitudes towards the officer involved in their most recent encounter were significant predictors of attitudes toward RCSO. Attitudes towards the American police were the strongest predictor of satisfaction with RCSO. The majority of open-ended responses reflected negative attitudes towards police, which varied by race and sex, though many participants offered suggestions for improvement.
    • Cloning, Expression, and Purification of Nanoluc

      DuPlain, Holly; Parks, Jasmine; Blocker, Brittany; Spencer, Angie; College of Science and Mathematics (2015-08-07)
      Bioluminescence is a natural phenomenon that occurs in bacteria, insects, fungi and some marine species whereby light is emitted by a living organism. This emitted light is generated by a chemical reaction that occurs when a substrate is reacted upon by a class of enzymes called luciferases. Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET) is a technique that relies on the use of a luciferase (energy donor) to transfer energy to a nearby fluorescent protein or dye (energy acceptor). If the donor and acceptor molecules are in close proximity and their emission and absorbance spectra overlap, the acceptor absorbs the energy from the donor (luciferase) which results in the emission of light at a longer wavelength (i.e. different color). This spectral shift can be measured and quantified. Because of the widespread applications and utility of luciferase enzymes, many assay systems have been developed that make use of various luciferases as energy donors. One such luciferase is Nanoluc (Nluc), a genetically engineered enzyme from the deep sea shrimp, Oplophorus gracilirostris. In order to explore the use of Nluc as an energy donor in BRET, we cloned the gene for Nluc into the plasmid vector, pET21c(+). The formation of the recombinant DNA was verified by agarose gel electrophoresis. After transformation of the recombinant plasmid into E. coli BL21 cells, the Nluc protein containing a C-terminal His6 tag was over-expressed and purified using affinity chromatography. The purification yielded a relatively pure protein with a molecular weight of 19 kDa as judged by SDS-PAGE. The activity of the protein was assessed by measuring its ability to generate light in the presence of the substrate coelenterazine.
    • Cloning, Over-expression and Purification of Nanoluc

      DuPlain, Holly; Parks, Jasmine; Blocker, Brittany; College of Science and Mathematics; Spencer, Angie (2015-11-13)
      Bioluminescence is a natural phenomenon that occurs in bacteria, insects, fungi and some marine species whereby a living organism emits light via a chemical reaction catalyzed by enzymes called luciferases. Luciferases are utilized in various applications including Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET). BRET uses a luciferase (energy donor) to transfer energy to a fluorescent protein or dye (energy acceptor). If the donor and acceptor are close together and their emission and absorbance spectra overlap, the acceptor absorbs the energy from the donor and light is emitted at a longer wavelength. This spectral shift is measured. One such luciferase is Nanoluc (Nluc), a genetically engineered enzyme from the deep sea shrimp Oplophorus gracilirostris. To explore the use of Nluc as a BRET energy donor, the Nluc gene was cloned into the plasmid vector pET21c(+). Recombinant DNA formation was verified by agarose gel electrophoresis. After transformation of the recombinant plasmid into E. coli BL21 cells, C-terminal His6 tagged Nluc protein was over-expressed and purified using affinity chromatography. Purification yielded a relatively pure protein with a molecular weight of 19 kDa as judged by SDS-PAGE. Protein activity was assessed by measuring its ability to generate light in the presence of the substrate coelenterazine. Begin Time: 08:25 End Time: 31:16
    • Comparative Study of Aggression in Captive Western Lowland Gorillas with Their Wild Counterparts

      Dixon, Megan K.; Katherine Reese Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Trunzo, Jennifer (2015-11-13)
      Observational research on captive populations of Western Lowland Gorillas has been used to identify and understand the social patterns of captive, as well as wild, gorilla groups. My research focuses on identifying aggressive and competitive behaviors such as biting, slapping, threatening, pushing, etc. in the Western Lowland Gorilla population at Zoo Atlanta. This research is in its preliminary stages, focusing on the existing literature and studies of both wild and captive gorillas used to gain insight into the social dynamic of primates. The literature reviewed for my research focuses on the impact of aggressive behaviors on a gorilla family group, the situation the target behavior occurred in, and the types of responsive behaviors elicited from the initial aggression. Begin Time: 31:17 End Time: 59:58
    • Comparison of Transmissions from Er, Mo and Tm vs Pb for use in Reduction of Cross-Talk Photons in Nuclear Cardiology Collimators

      Passmore, Gregory; Anosike, Kingsley; Gaffney, Nathan; Stahman, Rick; College of Allied Health Sciences (2015-08-05)
      Technetium-99m (99mTc) and Thallium-201 (201Tl) are radionuclides that are used to analyze the health of myocardial tissue. The amount of each radionuclide present in the myocardium is imaged using a gamma camera which allows medical professionals to determine the health of a patient’s heart. Collimators are large metal gratings that are constructed to allow only geometrically orthogonal photons to be captured by the gamma camera in order to obtain the highest resolution possible to aid in accurate diagnosis. Lead (Pb) is commonly used as a collimator material, but has an 88 keV K-shell photon, which interferes with the lower energy photons from the 70-80 keV energy 201Tl peaks. This phenomenon is known as “down-scatter” or “cross-talk”. This project is designed to test the feasibility of using dense metal attenuators (Erbium, Er; Molybdenum, Mo; and Thulium, Tm) rather than lead (Pb) to reduce the significant 99mTc cross-talk photons in the 201Tl photopeak range. Use of other dense metals with low k-shell absorption peaks should reduce the down-scatter component and eliminate the Pb x-ray cross-talk interference in the 201Tl energy window. Acquisitions of energy spectra for the dual isotopes will be obtained for the non-Pb metals Er, Mo, and Tm. Spectra and transmission and attenuation acquisitions were analyzed using comparative statistics to ascertain the extent of scatter component and interference reduction gained through the use of a non-Pb collimator. T-tests confirmed that all three metals performed better than Pb in the 201Tl range but not the 99mTc range.
    • Conservation Genetics of the Dixie Mountain Breadroot (Pediomelum piedmontanum), a rare and endangered legume from the Piedmont

      Bennetts, Stacy; Colbert, Antonio; Buckley, Liberty; Padgett, Jessica; Department of Biological Sciences (2015-07-20)
      Pediomelum piedmontanum, “Dixie Mt. Breadroot”, is a rare perennial legume endemic to the lower piedmont region of Georgia and South Carolina, with only three known populations. Previous research has explored local adaptations its unique substrates, serpentine and phyllite, and how metal tolerance contributes to its limited distribution. A different study, using tetrazolium chloride, revealed that only ~25% of phyllite seed is viable compared to about 95% seed viability in the serpentine population. We hypothesize that the phyllite plants are self-fertilizing before pollinators are present, creating an inbreeding depression and lower genetic variability. Populations with a relatively high genetic diversity are more able to adapt to new or sustained selective pressures. The CURS SSP investigated the conservation genetics and ecology of the three populations of P. piedmontanum. Nine Microsatellite markers, previously used by Ashely Egan in P. pariense, were implemented to determine the extent of genetic diversity of P. piedmontanum and its subsequent susceptibility to extinction. These genetic markers may also reveal evolutionary relationships between P. piedmontanum and closely related species, P. canescens, located in sandy habitats, and P. subcaule, an endemic to limestone. Currently, we have extracted 150 DNA samples from replicate leaves/plant/population. Gel electrophoresis of one of the markers “AG26” with DNA template from the serpentine population resulted in a ~500 bp fragment, which is vastly different than the expected 120 bp fragment observed in P. pariense. Further analyses will be required to determine the level of genetic variability in these populations. To determine the cause of seed inviability, we cross-pollinated tagged plants at a phyllite site. Cross-pollination should increase seed viability in the population compared to control plants. Population sizes and average number of inflorescences/plant were also measured. It appears that the one of phyllite populations is the largest of the three populations with ~ 600 plants. This large population contains little evidence of flowering within pockets of a forest. This indicates that these plants are reproducing asexually possibly from their large taproot, which suggests cloning and lower genetic variability in this forested phyllite population.
    • CURS Connection April 2019

      Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2019-04)
      Table of Contents: AU Students Present Research to GA Legislators, Student Research Seminar: Deanna Doughty (Cellular & Molecular Biology major) and Michaela Mack (Mathematics major), Upcoming Events, #ResearchNews (Researcher Speaks with Undergraduates and Kinesiology Research Day), Congratulations!: CURS is pleased to announce our 2019 Summer Scholar students and faculty mentors!, Call for Nominations: CURS Ambassadors.
    • CURS Connection April 2020

      Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2020-04)
      Table of Contents: Congratulations to Dr. Sabbatini, Biological Sciences: 2020 CURS Mentor Excellence Award, Congratulations Summer Scholars Program Awardees!, Research Week Recap, Get Involved (Arsenal Undergraduate Research Journal and Undergrad Research Advising)
    • CURS Connection April 2021

      Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2021-04)
      Table of Contents: Highlights from Undergraduate Research Week; Dr. Ellen LeMosy receives undergraduate research Mentor Excellence Award; Student Research Series (Ananya Chakraborty and Jayvon Nougaisse); CURS T-Shirts; Congratulations 2021 Summer Scholars!; Faculty (Seeking Faculty & Staff Hosts, Don't cancel class!)
    • CURS Connection April 2022

      Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2022-04)
      Table of Contents: Highlights from the 22nd Annual Student Research and Fine Arts Conference; Abby Huebsch; Caleb Hale; Amarvir Parmar; Fabiha Anwar; Rida Naeem; Dhruvi Paladiya; Hailie Hayes & Aziza Griggs; Dominique Lyons; Andrew Zimmerman; Chloe Johnson; Andrew Ensley; Rida Naeem; Dr. Jennifer Bradford receives undergraduate research Mentor Excellence Award; Student Research Series Coming Up; Ashley Keyes; Matthew Zimmerman; Nico Robles; Seeking Faculty & Staff to Host Workshops; Undergraduate Research Opportunity Portal.
    • CURS Connection August 2019

      Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2019-08)
      Table of Contents: Summer Scholars Symposium, Changes Coming in CURS Grant Opportunities, Student Research Series (Sabrina Nacci, English major, kicked off the Student Research Series (formerly known as Brown Bag), Upcoming Events, #ResearchNews (Call for Abstracts and CURS Ice Cream Social), Call for Nominations: CURS Ambassadors
    • CURS Connection August 2021

      Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2021-08)
      Table of Contents: Ice Cream Social; Summer Scholars Program 2021; Researcher Tool Kit; Student Research Series; Seeking Speakers for the Fall 2021 Series; CURS Student Research Series; Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference; Fall CURS Grants; Chemical and Lab Safety Training.
    • CURS Connection August 2022

      Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2022-08)
      Table of Contents: Fall Grant Proposals Now Open; CURS Course Registration; CURS Student Employment Opportunity; Congratulations 2022 Summer Scholars; Ice Cream Social; 2022 Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference; CURS Calendar; IGive.
    • CURS Connection February 2019

      Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2019-02)
      Table of Contents: Message from the Director, Happenings at CURS (Arsenal: The Undergraduate Research Journal of Augusta University, Student Spotlight: Simran Mehrotra), What We Do: Undergraduate Research Opportunities Portal (UROP), Save the Date, This Month's Upcoming Events.
    • CURS Connection February 2020

      Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2020-02)
      Table of Contents: Student Researcher Spotlight: Vinaya Alapatt, B.S., Meet the CURS Ambassadors, Upcoming Events, Student Resources (Upcoming Workshop: Oral and Poster Presentation Workshop, Undergrads: Publish Your Work!, Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference, Summer Research Opportunities through NSF, Follow Us on Social Media, CURS Advising)
    • CURS Connection February 2021

      Davis, Quintin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2021-02-15)
      Table of Contents: Fellowship Awards (Palak Patel and Katlin Pugh), Student Research Series (Ilinita Pollard and Iesha Williams, Adriana Hoell, and Taryn Lykes), Distinctions in Research (Prestigious awards for research and scholarship), Phi Kappa Phi Research and Fine Arts Conference, Mark Your Calendar (upcoming events, research tool kit series)