• The Effects of Increased Noise Levels on the Production of Corti-Costerone in Hyla Squirella

      Harris, Barbara; Department of Biological Sciences (2016-03)
      This research is focusing specifically on Hyla squirella and the effects of increasing traffic noise on CORT production. The specific aim of this research is to determine stress levels in H. squirella when exposed to varying roadside noise environments. We evaluated CORT levels in frogs exposed to varying noise levels in effort to correlate environmental noise to physiological stress. The corticosterone levels are measured through the waterborne technique. By placing the frog in 10 ml of water, the CORT was diffused out of the frog’s skin. The samples were ran through C-18 columns and then eluted with methanol. The samples are analyzed via a corticosterone enzyme-linked immunoassay kit. The experimental frogs were observed outside of the refugia more frequently and the coloration dulled over time. After 2 weeks, the experimental average corticosterone level were higher than the control cages. The average CORT decreased by the final CORT extraction. It appears that overall there is a stress related reaction when exposed to heavy noise. It appears that overtime the frogs will acclimate likely due to the fact that producing high stress for a long amount of time has physiological effects and may eventually lead to death. Funding Source: Augusta University Honors Program
    • A 20 Year Period on The Supreme Court’s Decisions Concerning Search and Seizure

      Augustin, Rudson; Department of Political Science (2016-03)
      My poster presentation will present my Honors Thesis. This thesis evaluates the past rulings of the United States Supreme Court in order to determine whether or not a shift occurred within the area of search and seizure since September 11, 2001. Fifty-six cases are used to evaluate a possible shift—28 cases pre-September 11th and 28 cases post-September 11th. Septem- ber 11th is chosen because that is when the debate between privacy and security began. The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) is used to analyze the aesthetics of the ongoing debate. This research examines the directionality of the decisions based on ideology to determine if there is a shift in the court’s rulings after September 11th. A t-test is used in order to evaluate the pre- and post-September 11th cases. The differences between the two time periods indicate that there is no statistically significant difference between pre- and post-September 11th. This result matters because it demonstrates that September 11th has no noticeable effect on the Supreme Court’s rulings regarding search and seizure.
    • Cloning of Human Suv39h1 for Inhibition Studies

      Jahan, Asmat; Shaikh, Zahid; Department of Chemistry and Physics (2016-03)
      Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the Western world and is characterized by abnormal cell growth. Despite the advancement in genetic engineering, there is not a significant amount of change in the rate of morbidity associated with the disease. For human colorectal cancers (CRC), early diagnosis and treatment is important for survival; if the cancer has metasta- sized to the liver, the survival rates are poor. Hence, improvements must be made to the existing therapies for metastatic human CRC. Applying knowledge of molecular mechanisms to modify and control the outgrowth of cells is the key to introducing new therapies. Fas is a receptor protein involved in apoptosis or, more commonly known as, “cell death.” Human carcinoma cells lower the expression of Fas on the cell surface. This lowering of expression levels of Fas is correlated with increased levels of histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation (H3K9me). SUV39H1 is a histone lysine methyltransferase which catalyzes H3K9me. The goal of this study is to identify novel SUV39H1-specific inhibitors to decrease the level of methylation at the Fas promoter. Thus, to initiate our study, we have cloned the gene for human SUV39H1 into the expression vector pET-21c(+). Upon transforming the recombinant DNA into an expression strain of E. coli such as BL21, we will overexpress and purify SUV39H1 using affinity chromatography. Ultimately, the activity of SUV39H1 will be tested in the presence of various inhibitors.
    • The Effects of Relaxing and Energizing Piano Music on Anxiety when Academically Stressed

      Santiago, Ashley; Department of Psychological Sciences (2016-03)
      The purpose of this study is to determine whether the type of piano music played affects participants’ anxiety levels during a mildly stressful event in an academic setting. For this experiment, relaxing piano music is compared with energizing piano music to investigate which music type has the greatest effect on decreasing symptoms of state anxiety. These two conditions will be compared to a control group of no music. My hypotheses are: 1) Those in the music conditions will have lower anxiety scores at the end of the experiment than those in the control condition; 2) Those in the music conditions will have a smaller increase in pre-post state anxiety scores than those in the control condition, 3) There will an interaction between trait anxiety and music condition on state anxiety scores so that those who are high in trait anxiety and in the control condition will have the highest post-test state anxiety scores; and 4) There will be negative associations between the post-state anxiety scores and participants’ perceptions of how helpful the music was, and how frequently they listen to music when stressed. I do not expect significant differences between the two music conditions on any of the dependent measures.
    • Ac3/Ac-Associated Protein 1 Complex Regulates Actin Filament Dynamics In Pancreatic

      Newsome, Ariel; Department of Biological Sciences (2016-03)
      Adenylyl cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP1) is a scaffolding protein involved in the regulation of actin filament formation and cell motility. CAP1 plays a role in the motility of pancreatic cancer cells. Using co-immunoprecipitation, our data showed an upregulation of adenylyl cyclase 1 and 3, and an association with CAP1 in pancreatic cancer cell lines, HPAC and PANC-1. The goal of this project was to study whether CAP1 links AC1 and AC3 to globular actin in pancreatic cancer cells. AC1 or AC3 was knocked down using small interference RNA. After stimulation with forskolin, a direct stimulator of adenylyl cyclase, HPAC and PANC-1 cells were lysed. Total lysate was rotated with anti-actin antibody followed by complex collection with an immuno- precipitation reagent. The immunocomplexes were probed with anti-CAP1 antibody in western-blotting. The results showed that in scrambled siRNA cells stimulated with forskolin, the association between CAP1 and actin was not affected. The CAP1-actin complex was impaired in AC3-deficient cells, but was not modified in AC-1 deficient cells. In conclusion, CAP1 acts as a scaffolding protein by holding the complex between G-actin and AC3, but not AC1. Funding Source: Center for Undergraduate Research & Scholarship, Department of Biological Sciences, Scholarly Activity Award
    • Integration of the Study of Molecular Evolution for Better Understanding of the Human Body

      Judy, Adam; Judy, Adam; Sanyal, Nilabhra M.; Sanyal, Nilabhra M.; Department of Biological Sciences; Department of Biological Sciences (2016-03201)
      Evolution by Natural Selection, proposed by Darwin and Wallace in the nineteenth century was mostly based on the paleontological evidences of animals and the study of the species. The rapid progress in molecular genetics and genomics from the mid-20th century helped us to better understand the molecular basis behind evolution and the link leading to the development of the advanced body mechanisms in humans. DNA is comprised of four bases across all the living species, within prokaryotes and eukaryotes as well as all other extinct species. But one small deviation at the molecular level in copying and translating the sequence can cause dramatic changes to a species over multiple generations, leading to speciation on a large scale. Humans differ by 1.2% genes with their closest ape ancestors, chimpanzees and bonobos. An advanced brain and higher level brain function was a major evolutionary advancement distinguishing Homo sapiens from its relatives. Evidence has also suggested that different illnesses, diseases, and other defects and benefits are linked to the differences in DNA among humans. Integration of the recent discoveries of how the gene sharing affects human bodies with traditional lecture will allow us to better understand the physiology thereby offering improved personalized health care. Funding Source: Department of Biological Sciences
    • Integration of the Study of Molecular Evolution for Better Understanding of the Human Body

      Judy, Adam; Sanyal, Nilabhra M. (2016-03)
      Evolution by Natural Selection, proposed by Darwin and Wallace in the nineteenth century was mostly based on the paleontological evidences of animals and the study of the species. The rapid progress in molecular genetics and genomics from the mid-20th century helped us to better understand the molecular basis behind evolution and the link leading to the development of the advanced body mechanisms in humans. DNA is comprised of four bases across all the living species, within prokaryotes and eukaryotes, as well as all other extinct species. But one small deviation at the molecular level in copying and translating the sequence can cause dramatic changes to a species over multiple generations, leading to speciation on a large scale. Humans differ from their closest ape ancestors, chimpanzees and bonobos, by 1.2% genes. An advanced brain and higher level brain function was a major evolutionary advancement distinguishing Homo sapiens from its relatives. Evidence has also suggested that different illnesses, diseases, defects and benefits are linked to the differences in DNA among humans. Integration of recent discoveries on how gene sharing affects human bodies with traditional lecture, will allow us to better understand the physiology, thereby offering improved personalized health care.