Now showing items 21-40 of 53

    • Examining the Effects of Aetokthonos hydrillicola extract on Oxidative Stress in C6 Cells

      Ward, Kayla; College of Science and Mathematics; Wiley, Faith; College of Science and Mathematics; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      Aetokthonos hydrillicola,a species ofcyanobacteria,has colonized an invasive species of hydrilla in the lakes of the Southeastern United States. This cyanobacterium is suspected to cause Avian Vacuolar Myclinopathy (AVM). AVM is a neurological disease that affect birds. Bald eagles and American coots havebeen primarily studied and known to be affected by AVM. Symptoms of AVM consist of brain lesions, loss of basic motor skills, and the disease often leads to death. Extracts of A. hydrillicolaare toxic to C6 cells, and this cell line is used as a model toexamine the mechanism of toxicity. The aim of this research project is to understand the role of oxidative stress in A. hydrillicolacytotoxicity and determine if antioxidant compounds may protect the cells. Common oxidative stress inhibitors, Gingko bilobaextracts and selenium, have been tested in different concentrations in order to determine if oxidative stress is present and preventable. These compounds did not prevent toxicity in the C6 cells exposed to the cyanobacterial extracts. The presence of oxidative stress in cytotoxicity will be further tested using oxidative stress analysis tests as well as other antioxidant compounds. Various measures of oxidative stress will be used to assess if oxidative damage occurs following exposure to the cyanobacterial extract.
    • Characterization of Serotonin Receptors in Response to Ligand Binding Using BRET

      Trang, Amy; Adams, Elizabeth; Acevedo, Aja; Miller, Donnyell; Farooq, Maheen; Little, Lauren; Lambert, Nevin; Department of Biological Sciences; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; et al. (2018-02-12)
      G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are receptors that act in signal transduction pathways via activation of guanosine nucleotide-binding proteins, known as G proteins. An extra-cellular signal (a ligand) activates a receptor from outside the cell and working through a G protein, the external signal is transmitted inside the cell. There are four main classes of G proteins: Gs, Gi, Gqand G12. When activated, eachof these G protein types is responsible for a specific intracellular event, often determined by measuring how the concentration of a second messenger changes as a function of the concentration of the external signal. This indirect approach limits our understanding of the role of each type of G protein in signaling pathways. Our group is currently using Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET) to directly measure G protein activation by GPCRs in response to external stimuli (includingboth endogenous and synthetic ligands). We have generated recombinant DNA for nanoluciferase fused to GPCRs in the serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) receptor family. These genetic fusions, along with fusions of yellow fluorescent protein and various G proteins were co-transfected into HEK293 cells for BRET assays. Initial results show that activation of receptors 5-HT1D and 5-HT1F with serotonin are coupled to Gi. Future studies will include a G protein profile for all twelve receptors in the serotonin family.

      Pepper, Anthony; Fischer, Jeffrey; Department of Biological Sciences; Bradford, Jennifer; Department of Biological Sciences; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      The aim of this study was tocharacterize bone-marrow derived macrophages (BMDMs) that lack canonical nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-?B) signaling. The macrophages for the study were obtained by harvesting the bone-marrow fromp65LysMCre (KO) mice and LysMCrecontrolmice.To determine NF-?B deletion efficiency, p65 (a transcription factor in the canonical pathway) protein levels were evaluated by fluorescent microscopyin bothKOand control BMDMs that had been stimulated withlipopolysaccharide(LPS).The induction ofiNOSwasmonitoredin KO and control BMDMswhenactivated by NF-?B stimulatorsIFN-?andLPS.The regulation of iNOSwas assessedby comparing macrophages that had been treated withLPS, IFN-?, or both to a control treatment under fluorescent microscopy. In addition to staining, a nitric oxide assay was employed to help determine the extent of iNOS activity.The macrophages were also visualized under light microcopyby comparing macrophagesthat were stimulated with LPS andIFN-?tounstimulated cellsusing fluorescence microscopy.Currently,a caspase assay is in progress to help further evaluate the effects of p65 losswithin macrophages.

      Brown, Jason; Department of Biological Sciences; Kim, Hyung-Goo; Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      Intellectual disability (ID) is characterized by substantial limitations in intellectual functioningbefore the age of 18. One of its causes is genetic etiology. Around 300 genesarebelieved to beinvolved in autosomal recessive ID (ARID). It is thought that there are still many more genes as yet undiscovered. Consanguineous families have higher rates of autosomal recessive disorders and so make a good population in which to study ARID. Phenol-chloroform extraction was performed on the bloodof five consanguineous Pakistani families with syndromic and non-syndromic ID to obtain DNA. The DNA wasgenotyped using an SNP microarray and homozygosity mapping was used to analyze the genotyping data to provide candidate regions within the chromosomes likely to contain genes involved in ID. A review of current literaturewasperformed to identify the most likely candidate genes among the identified regions in each family. In the most likely region from each family, 36 genes in total were identified as candidates for involvement with ID, with 17 identified as stronger candidates. This paves the way for future studies to provide more evidence for causation. DNA sequencing could be used to identify potentially causative mutations, which could then be tested in animal models.

      Treacy, Corey; Department of Biological Sciences; Christy, Charlotte; Department of Biological Sciences; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      The genus Sisyrinchium(Iridaceae) is a taxonomically complex group that includes several species that are native to the Eastern United States. Initially, two populations with differing morphologies were observed in areas with contrasting maintenance and mowing regimes. This generated two initial questions: Are these populations the same species, and if so, are the contrasting morphologies due to phenotypic plasticity? Investigations included: surveys for additional populations; whether plants could be transplanted to a common habitat; observation of seedling morphology; simulated mowing to test for plastic responses; germination of seeds; and comparisons of reproductive output and of pigmentation. Results suggest that these populations are the same species but that there are differences in reproductive effort, in pigmentation, and in response to fertilizer application. Further investigations to determine if observed differences are heritable and to characterize the type and extent of genetic differences among populations are planned.
    • Forecasting Hotel Occupancy Rates in Augusta: Can Google Trends Improve Forecasts?

      Callison, Jamie; Hull College of Business; Thompson, Mark; Hull College of Business; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      This project will develop models in an attempt to develop better forecasts of hotel occupancy for the market in Augusta, Georgiaby utilizing historical occupancy data and Google trends data. Using the historical data from the years 2012 through 2015, a series of five univariate modelswill be made with differing forecasting equations to forecast the year 2016. The forecast for theyear 2016 will be compared to actual occupancy data from 2016 to measure for errors. The models will then be re-estimated with additional keywords that will be chosen on the basis that they will be commonly used to search for and book hotels. Some terms will be specific to Augusta and others will be general for booking hotels. With those terms, an index will be created to weigh the terms according to their relevance throughout the year, according to Google trends. With the addition of the keywords, the newforecasts will be compared to actual occupancy data from 2016. Errors of the univariate models and the models utilizing Google trends data will be compared to determine the accuracy of the two forecasting techniques.
    • The Relationship Between Christianity and PTSD Shown Through 19th- and 20th-Century Literature

      Smith, Allyson; Department of English and Foreign Languages; Dr. Lee Anna Maynard; Department of English and Foreign Languages; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      This project explores the validity of faith, specifically Christianity, as a coping mechanism for those suffering from PTSD. Rather than solely looking at the scientific side of this topic, I will use two works of fiction to represent the cultural attitudes toward Christianity as it relates to PTSD.The selected works are Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.I chose to approach the topic this way because works of art, including fictional writings, tend to reflect the state of society in which the author lived. By incorporating context from the cultural and medical knowledge of PTSD at the time the books were written, events in the author's lives, and events in the world at the time the authors were writing their books, I will explorewhether a return to faith as a coping mechanism can be an effective strategy for the modernindividual struggling with PTSD.
    • Measuring the Influence of the Traffic Noise on Songbird Vocalizations

      Frazier, Eric; VanDeventer, Melissa; Cromer, Robert; Department of Psychological Sciences; Cromer, Robert; Department of Biological Sciences; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      Songbirds are a group of perching birds from the order, Passeriformesthat possess a uniquely developed syrinx allowing for production of distinctive songs.Research suggests that songbird vocalizations can be influenced by their environment. The objective of this experiment is to test whether traffic noise can alter songbird vocalizations in comparison to songbirds in naturallyless noisy settings, i.e. parks, forests and marshes.Recordings were taken at Pendleton King Park, Brick Pond Park, University Village trail,Phinizy Swampand near the Interstate20. The recordings of both the low-noise natural andhigh-noise interstatesettings were then analyzed using the software Songscope® .We evaluated song interval and frequency and compared experimental groups using a Student's paired T-test.
    • The Sublethal Effects and Bioaccumulation of 17 -Ethinyl Estradiol in Lumbriculus variegatus

      Ogun-Semore, Kikelomo; Department of Biological Sciences; Wiley, Faith; Department of Biological Sciences; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      Freshwater sources are subject to contamination of toxic compounds and other harmful materials through improper sewage cleanup and pollution. Ethinyl estradiol, a synthetic, steroidal estrogen used as contraception, is present in varying concentrations across freshwater sources worldwide. The objective of this study is to observe the sublethal effects and bioaccumulation of ethinyl estradiol (EE) in Lumbriculus variegatus. Data on the reproduction rate and segment regrowth of L. variegatusare currently being collected. In the future, bioaccumulation of EE within L. variegatuswill be observed through sediment tests and an ethinyl estradiol ELISA. Preceding data has found that ethinyl estradiol exposure leads to an increase in mortality, a decrease in offspring, and changes in reproductive morphology among other freshwater invertebrates. The data collected from this experiment would contribute to information available on the effects of low-dosage endocrine disruptor concentrations on freshwater organisms. The effects of EE and its bioaccumulation could be extrapolated to include bioaccumulation of EE in organisms of higher trophic levels, including vertebrates.
    • Innovation in Improving General Chemistry Student Lab Performance

      Jain, Ash; Thompson, Celeste; Wilson, Michael; Department of Biological Sciences; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Wan, Yanjun; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      General Chemistry students often struggle with transitioning from high school level to college level chemistry not only in lectures but also in the corresponding labs. The teaching assistant (TA) of one of the General Chemistry I labs in the Fall 2017 semester noticed after the first 3 labs that students really struggled with linking what they had learned in lecture with the labs they were performing, resulting in low understanding and performance in labs. In an attempt to address this issue, the TA started to organize voluntary pre-lab meetings to review relevant concepts from lecture prior to each week's lab.This gradually turned into an undergraduate SoTL research because of the need to assess the effectiveness of and to provide guidance for future directions for such meetings. Despite the small sample size, this pilot study exhibited encouraging initial results that students who frequently attended these pre-lab meetings had outperformed their counterparts not only on the average performance in the latter labs but also in their understanding and performance in lectures. To repeat this study on a larger scale in the Spring 2018 semester, two of the students who had benefited from the pilot study joined this research to make these pre-lab meetings available to more students at various times, in the attempt to better assess and maximize the effectiveness of these meetings. Positive findings from the larger scale study could offer insights for the incorporation of similar practices into other chemistry labs in future.
    • An examination of the morale of Women During the United States Civil War

      Williams, Rebecca; Department of History, Anthropology, & Philosophy; Hayes, John; Department of History, Anthropology, & Philosophy; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      An examination of the morale of Women During the United States Civil WarThis paper is analysis of morale of women during the American Civil War. In the past, when discussing the Civil War classes covered a majority of battles and events instead of expanding about the people. One main focus covered is the change from women believing political affairs were not their concern to wanting to be involved due to the effects they felt such as separation, lack of protection and the adjustment to new responsibilities. The main focus of the research is class and religion. Comparing the common experiences of women in the upper class to women in lower classes in Georgia is a valuable tool when analysing the Civil war through a socioeconomic lense. It is also valuable to examine the feelings the women had toward god as the war progressed. Thereligious practices of women during the Civil war is reflects the morale of the women in Georgia. This paper offers sociocultural perspective of state history and gender roles.
    • Fighting Fear with Fire: A Political Analysis of the Rohingya Conflict in Myanmar

      Latremouille, Georgia; Department of Political Science; Albert, Craig; Department of Political Science; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      Political instability in Myanmar has been a reoccurring pattern since the country's independence in 1948 with ethnic conflict playing a central role in these issues. Most recently, the Rohingya ethnic group has been involved in a deadly ethnic war against Myanmar's government military. If politicians aim to end this war and seek to prevent future conflicts, it is necessary to examine why ethnic conflicts occur in the first place. This study aims to understand the question: what is the cause of the Rohingya conflict and why is it occurring? I address this question by examining relevant theories of ethnic conflict and utilizing such theories to make an assertion about why the Rohingya conflict is occurring. Ignoring the issue of why these types of conflicts occur has negative consequences for future policy and peacemaking strategies.

      Sharma, Avirale; Sura, Suvarsha; Chaudhary, Rafay; Fatima, Sumbul; College of Science and Mathematics; Department of Medical Laboratory, Imaging and Radiologic Sciences; Pandya, Chirayu; Department of Medical Laboratory, Imaging and Radiologic Sciences; Hoda, Md Nasrul; Augusta University; et al. (2018-02-12)
      Background:Majority of kids visit the emergency room due to a pediatric traumatic brain injury (PedTBI), which increases the risk of long-term prognosis. S100A1 is a small molecular weight calciumbinding protein, whichdifferentially regulates cell specific signaling. Hypothesis:We tested the hypothesis that increased neuronal-S100A1 expression after PedTBI exacerbates depression. Methods:Wild type (WT) or S100A1 KO mice (SKO; 3-weeks) were used for behavioral comparison. Male mice from both strains (3-weeks) were also subjected to a closed-head PedTBI, followed by neurobehavioral assessments and tissue biochemistry at 4-weeks. Statistical significance was determined at P<0.05. Results:Naïve SKO mice showed significant anti-depressive phenotype compared to the WT control, and were resistant to the post-PedTBI depression. In WT mice, PedTBI significantly increasedthe neuronal-S100A1 in the cortex compared to the control, which paralleled with the significant decrease in brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and synapsin I expressions, the key molecules in neural plasticity. Post-PedTBI loss in BDNF/Synapsin I and behavioral abnormalities due were reversed in the SKO mice. Conclusions:Our data identify neuronal-S100A1 as a possible link in the development of post-PedTBI depression. Further studies are warranted to establish the functional role of neuronal-S100A1in the development of depression after PedTBI.
    • Evaluation of Wild Pig Behavioral Responses To Scent Exposure on Cowden Plantation, Jackson, SC.

      Hitchens, Samantha; Hitchens, Samantha; Saul, Bruce; Department of Biological Sciences; Saul, Bruce; Department of Biological Sciences; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      Increased numbers of wild pigs (Sus scrofa) cause multi-faceted problems with complex destructive impacts. The worldwide spread has affected many cultures,makingit important to developmanagementmethodssuitable across different locales. Wild pigs areoften hunted with the assistance of dogs, however, this methodis not currently legal in all areas experiencinginvasive pig damage. Combining this with pigs'highly developed sense of smell led to the question: Can a natural scent functionas a satisfactory pig repellant? To investigate this hypothesis, we tested the following scents: dog hair, horseradish extract, cinnamon bark, camphor oil, tea-tree oil, and black pepper oil. Pigs' reactions were observed, via camera trapping,to weekly applications of each of the scents. Trail-cameras were placed atten locations along the Savannah River swamp on aprivate plantation.For three months, scents and dried corn (as an attractant) were rotated at each location. Image totals for each scent werecompared to image totals for controls. Behavior was categorized into threereaction groups: No Interaction, Interaction-Not Repelled, Interaction-Repelled. Pigs were not often repelled bythe scents whilethe attractantwas present. The majority of scent-related activity occurred after the attractants had been consumed.
    • Generation of immunoliposomes using microfluidic devices

      Lawrence, Meaghan; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Guerrero-Millan, Josefa; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      Immunoliposomes, or antibody-conjugated liposomes, hold promise as an effective way to target drugs to specific tissues. Currently, we can find in the market immunoliposomes such as Doxil, an anti-cancer drug; Amphotec, an anti-fungal drug; and Allovectin-7, used for gene therapy. However the synthesis methods used areinefficient. The formation of liposomes is a multi-step process that requires sonication and filtering. In addition, its encapsulation efficiency is low, what leads to the waste, in many cases, of expensive drugs. We use microfluidic technology to solve these obstacles to efficient liposomal synthesis. We generated double emulsion drops (a drop inside another drop) where the inner liquid is the drug we want to encapsulate, the middle phase is a solution of lipids and the outer is an aqueous solution where our liposome will be dispersedand the conjugation with the anti-bodies will happen. The advantage of this method is its high encapsulating efficiency and the control of the size of the liposome. This techniquecouldpotentiallybe used to drastically reduce side effects and increase tissue-specific drug targeting for a wide variety of diseases.
    • Geosmin and Methylisoborneol in Drinking Water

      Rocque, Anna; Flite, Oscar; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Klug, Christopher; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Augusta University; Columbia County Water Facility (2018-02-12)
      Geosmin and methylisoborneolare two compounds that affect the smell andtasteof drinking water, and bothcan affect the perceived quality of the water.A possiblemethod for the elimination of geosmin and methylisoborneol (MIB)is theuse of hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet lightto oxidize the molecules during pre-treatment of drinking water.Samples from a scoping study, and samplesprepared at the Columbia County water treatment plant using a scaled-up method were provided, and the concentrationsof the geosmin and MIB were determinedto test the effectiveness of the treatment method. An Agilent Technologies GC-MS was used for analysis of samples on SPME fibers. Calibration curves were created using an internal standard, and were based on a USGS method. Geosmin was measured at two atomicmass to charge ratios andMIB was measured at one.The lower limits of detection were determined to be14.1 ng/Lfor geosmin and5.12 ng/Lfor MIB. While further tests are needed to validate the proposed method of treatment for these two molecules, some preliminary results will be discussed, and other factors will be addressed.

      Osby, Austin; Theja De Silva; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Theja De Silva; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      Cell is the fundamental building blocks of all living matter. The cell consists of cytoplasm enclosed within a membrane where the cell membrane is composed of lipids and protein molecules. Lipid molecules form bilayer structures in cell membrane when they are in aqueous environments. All membrane proteins carry out their cellular functions while they are sitting at membrane sites. Due to the collective behavior of these molecules, they undergo self-organization and form various structures, such as phase separation and domain formations. We use a thermodynamics approach to study three-component molecular organization by modeling the interaction between molecules using spin variables. Converting the interacting spins into an effectively non-interacting variables using a mean-field theory, we calculate the Helmholtz free energy (HFE). Then by investigating the HFE, we construct the phase diagram and study the molecular organization in cell membranes.

      Trimor, Pauline; Jannik, Tim; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Newton, Joseph; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Augusta University; Savannah River National Laboratory (2018-02-12)
      Operations at Savannah River Site (SRS) result in emissions of radionuclides into the air that can cause health problems to exposed individuals. To ensure the public dose standards are met, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set regulations known asthe National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutant (NESHAP) that prohibit certain activities in the facility. A maximally exposed individual (MEI) is a hypothetical adult living offsite that is representative of the general population that could potentially receive the maximum dose of radiation. The total effective dose (TED) to an MEI is routinely estimated to demonstrate compliance with NESHAP. EPA's software system CAP88 is used for the dose calculations. For my project, I found the dose release factors (DRF) for three onsite locations (B-Area Barricade, Three Rivers Landfill, and Savannah River Ecology Lab Conference Center) that have a potential to be open to members of the public. The DRFs represent the dose to a receptor exposed to 1 Ci of aspecified radionuclide being released into the atmosphere. The DRFs were applied to expected radionuclide release rates from each area of the site to estimate the potential dose to an onsite MEI. Comparison of the source-to-receptor distances, meteorological data, and total dose were collected and submitted as per NESHAP's reporting regulations. Data indicates that an MEI at Three Rivers Landfill would receive 40.93% increased dose compared to the 2016 NESHAP maximum offsite location. The potential MEI dose at Three Rivers Landfill fall at 3.40E02 mrem which is below the public dose limit of 10 mrem for atmospheric releases.

      Bell, Evaleigh; Jannik, Tim; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Newton, Joseph; Department of Chemistry and Physics; Augusta University; Savannah River National Laboratory (2018-02-12)
      GENII2.10.1 is a dosimetry program developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) that recently passed DOE (U.S. Department of Energy) safety software quality assurance and was approved for DOE's safety software Central Registry. The GENII 2.10.1 system compiles several programs for estimating radiation dose, risk and cancer incident due to routine radionuclide releases into the environment. Methods for calculating dose include aqueous, atmospheric, individual, populations, chronic releases, and acute releases. The available methods include atmospheric transport, surface water transport, waste/soil redistribution, and terrestrial uptake. Current Site input parameters had to be verified, and unknown Site parameters had to be defined and tested for GENII 2.10.1 calculations. This project transferred current SRS models, usage parameters, transfer factors, bioaccumulation factors and uploaded them to the GENII 2.10.1 environmental dosimetry code for use at the Savannah River Site and was tested to demonstrate SRS is in compliance with DOE Order 458.1 (2011a).
    • Are NFL teams getting the most out of their wins? The Efficiency of Year End Revenues of Ten NFL Teams

      Gonzales, Savanna; Thompson, Mark; Hull College of Business; Thompson, Mark; Hull College of Business; Hoffman, Todd; Department of English and Foreign Languages; Hunt, David; Pamplin College; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      Major sports have taken over many prominent industries in today's world. With the economic impact of athletics comes its evolution from a spectator event into a business. Each team in the major leagues is now not only pressured to produce winsbut as a business, they must also bring in revenue. This means that efficiencyof funds is a vital goal of team managers and financial specialists. Thisresearch projectexaminesthe effects of various factors on year-end revenues for the top ten most valuable teams in the National Football League. Through the use of a DEA model that analyzes such inputs as income, team record and stand out players we areable to determine how efficiently each team is performing based on their revenues, or the output. Of the 10 teams studied, 5 were deemed efficient while 5 were deemed inefficient.Teams that didnot see successful revenue reports were analyzed based on their weaknesses and offered recommendations on which to improve where efficient teams were used a comparison. Ultimately, the goal of this research is to identify factors to improve revenue efficiency across the league as a whole by looking at the top performing teams (or best practices).