Dr. Theresa L. Gioannini Undergraduate Student Research Symposium

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 8
  • Item
    Castor Gene Involvement in the Cardiogenesis of Drosophilia Melanogaster
    (2022) Spognardi, Melisa
    Mutations in the human zinc-finger transcription factor-encoding gene CASZI are associated with cardiac abnormalities or defects such as dilated cardiomyopathy, ventricular septal defect, and left ventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy. Disruption of the orthologs of CASZlin Xenopus and mice also lead to aberrant heart development, indicating its conserved role in cardiogenesis. Phenotypic analysis of a null mutation of castor (cas), the Drosophila ortholog of CASZI shows that cos has two potential roles in cardiogenesis. First, COS is required for mediating all three categories of cardiac progenitor cell division: asymmetric, symmetric, and cell division at an earlier stage. Second, cas prevents subsets of cells in the most anterior region of the heart, the anterior aorta, from becoming specified as seven up- expressing cardial cells (Svp-CCs). Svp-CCs are present in the posterior aorta and the even more posterior heart proper, sections of the heart determined by the expression of the Hox genes Ultmbithorax (Ubx) and abdominal A (abd-A). Intriguingly, both Ubx and abd-A repress cas, and ectopic expression of either of these two Hox genes in the anterior aorta leads to the ectopic specification of Svp-CCs there. Collectively, these data raise the possibility that Ubx and abd-A specify Svp-CCs in the posterior aorta and the heart proper by repressing cos in those regions, a hypothesis that is being tested currently.
  • Item
    The Effects of Seasonal Wetland Drawdowns on Water Quality and Biodiversity
    (2022) Simmons, Ashley
    Wetlands remain one of the most valuable ecosystems in the world. They play an integral role in maintaining the productivity and diversity of ecosystems, climate regulation, water quality enhancement, erosion and flood control, maintenance of streamflow, carbon storage, habitats for a wide array of species, and the welfare of humans. Wetlands worldwide are experiencing increased loss and degradation in response to human activities, holding concerns for the health of both humans and the environment. Therefore, efficient management is urgent and time-critical for wetland protection. An important management tool used are artificial drawdowns. Natural drawdowns do not occur in lentic wetlands. To replicate these fluctuations of water, wetland property managers will do artificial drawdowns on specific wetland sites at different times throughout the year to control water levels. The effects of seasonal drawdowns on the water quality and macroinvertebrate biodiversity of wetlands at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area were assessed by comparing six wetland units-three that experienced a fall drawdown and three that did not experience drawdowns-pre-drawdown and post-drawdown season, by tracking both the Water Quality Index (WQI) and biodiversity index over the course of eight weeks. Results revealed that drawdowns seem to have no significant effect on water quality and biodiversity. This research is useful in centralizing wetland property managers' understanding of the effects of artificial seasonal drawdown water management, as well as providing data on water quality and macroinvertebrate biodiversity.
  • Item
    A Wetland Water Quality and Biodiversity Profile of Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area (GPFWA)
    (2022) Hedrick, Tavia
    The aim of this study is (1) to compare water quality index (WQI), sensitive species bioassessment index (Bl), and macroinvertebrate biodiversity (H) values between lentic and lotic wetland habitats at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area and (2) to see if WQI can predict H. Data from this comparison will also serve as an important baseline for quality monitoring and land management going forward, since no water quality or macroinvertebrate biodiversity data currently exists at GPFWA. The water quality index parameters that were measured included: dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, nitrates, biological oxygen demand, total dissolved solids, and turbidity. Statistical analysis of the data revealed that there is no significant difference in water quality or biodiversity between any of the sites, whether lentic or lotic. However, the linear regression showed that there was a statistically significant linear relationship between water quality and biodiversity. With a much larger data set, and possible inclusion of other variables, it might be possible to create a better model whereby land managers can predict the biodiversity of a wetland based on its WQI scores.
  • Item
    Effects of the Probiotic Saccharomyces Boulardii on Escherichia Coli in Fecal Samples of Mus Musculus
    (2022) Joy, Shelby
    Saccharomyces bouldardii is a known probiotic yeast that has been commercialized to treat gastrointestinal tract diseases. The underlying mechanisms through which this yeast provides its benefits have yet to be understood. The bacteria Escherichia coli is the most prominent facultative anaerobe in the gastrointestinal tract and its presence indicates the healthiness of the tract. This led to investigating whether S. bouldarii provides its benefits by enhancing E. coli numbers. To test this, mice were given a probiotic supplement daily for one month. Fecal samples were collected and analyzed for the abundance of E. coli. To this end, samples were quantified, and colonies were tested for oxidase and indole to determine identity as E. coli. Those colonies that were oxidase negative and indole positive were determined probable E. coli. To test for any significant difference in the number of probable E. coli between the control and experimental groups, a Welch two sample t-test was used. The experimental findings did not support any significant difference in the number of E. coli in the experimental group versus the control group.
  • Item
    The Privilege of Narrative for the Study of Developmental Processes
    (2022) Fennell, Jaelyn; Pershing, Arianna
    Family talk surrounds young language-learning children. This speech may be parsed into many types of events and practices including personal narrative and topic-centered conversations. Personal narrative is robustly practiced and highly valued by caregivers (Miller et al., 2005; Miller et al., 1990). Narrative exacts more representational demands on the young child (Sperry & Sperry, 2000) since it involves topics not situated in the here-and-now. Narrative is also a significant intermediary skill between vocabulary development and emergent literacy skills (Curenton & Justice, 2004; National Reading Panel, 2000; Rowe, 2012). This study asks if family narrative talk confers any advantage in terms of language and discourse acquisitions compared to family talk that is not narrative. We have begun identifying episodes of topic-centered speech that are grounded in here-and-now topics to compare these episodes with narratives identified from the same corpus. We are working with verbatim transcripts from 67.5 hours of observations of 15 European American toddlers (ages 24 to 42 months) living in rural Indiana work-class families. Episodes of topic-centered, here-and-now talk were coded for the number of events, states, and goals they include to facilitate comparison of these discourse elements with the narratives. Preliminary results suggest that these elements occur more frequently in narrative, suggesting that narrative is privileged as a medium for discourse acquisition and is potentially optimal for the acquisition of other developmental constructs.