«Molly Allen Nancy Steblay, Ph.D., Ben Denkinger, Ph.D. Psychology Eyewitness Memory Procedure with Older Adults Older adults make more identification ...»
English Why Do We Have to Read This? Creating a Continuum of Text Complexity for Use in Secondary English Language Arts Classrooms When implemented in fall 2014, Minnesota will become the 44th state to accept the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), instituting an unprecedented change in English Language Arts classrooms and secondary education, in general: by senior year, the CCSS recommends student reading be split between nonfiction and fiction at a ratio of 70% to 30%, respectively. In this presentation, Mary Cornelius responds to this change and the implication that literary fiction has lost its standing in education and that there is no need or reason for districts, standardized tests, or curriculum to differentiate between literary and nonliterary texts when selecting what to teach. Using current research from cognitive narrative theorists, Cornelius highlights fiction’s unique complexity and explains what reading fiction does for the brain that reading nonfiction texts alone cannot. She then introduces a three-part system of evaluation developed to help students and teachers alike gage the relative complexity of fictional and nonfictional texts in a more qualitative and specific way than previous methods. Finally, case study applications illuminate underexplored differences between fictional and nonfictional texts and demonstrate concisely the reaches of cognitive narratology’s potential to prompt policy-related discussions about literature.
Amanda DeChaney Nidanie Henderson-Stull, Ph.D.
Biology The Sarcoma kinase SH3-SH2-catalytic domain construct is not regulated by Csk in fission yeast The Sarcoma kinase (c-Src) is an important player in understanding malignancy and tumor development given its observed activity increase in roughly 50% of tumor causing cancers. Our research aims to understand the conformations of the intact Src protein: its inactive, transition, and active states, using Schizosaccharomyces pombe fission yeast as assay.
Src is an enzyme whose activity is toxic to fission yeast. When Src is expressed in yeast they die, but if negative regulators such as C-terminal Src kinase (Csk) or a phosphatase such as PTP-PEST is coexpressed with Src in yeast, the yeast live. This assay allows us to examine how changes in the Src protein affect activity and regulation in the cell.
To date most biochemical and structural studies of Src have considered only the SH3-SH2- catalytic domain (Src∆U) construct. In order to compare the activity of intact Src (SH4-unique-SH3-SH2-catalytic domain), we expressed the Src∆U construct in S. pombe. As expected, Srcd∆U expression caused growth arrest in the fission yeast. However, this inhibition could not be rescued by C-terminal Src kinase (Csk). Interestingly enough, this result is exclusive to the Src∆U treatment and results with the full-length Src were as expected.
Are there different levels of phosphorylation happening, and if so, why? Could membrane association be necessary for Csk phosphorylation? If chemotherapy drugs are targeted to these protein fragments, shouldn't we understand their behavior better? To explore the mechanism for this phenomenon, we assess: the levels of protein expression, subcellular localization, and protein recognition and phosphorylation by Csk.
Abigail Dickinson Michael Wentzel, Ph.D.
Chemistry Activation of C-H Bonds through the Use of Iron Based Organometallic Reactions with Aryl Directing Groups The activation of C-H bonds was experimented through an organometallic reaction involving green chemistry principles and aryl directing groups. C-H activation by this method utilizes an iron catalyst; with the intention to lead to good product yields with no harmful byproducts. A mixuture of Nmethylbenzamide, diphenylacetylene, NaOAC, 1,10-phenanthroline, and Fe(OAc)2 in THF stirred overnight at 100°C will be used in the future to produce significant amount of product.
Nazrawit Dimore Bernard Walley, Ph.D.
Economics The Impact of the Recent European Union Crisis on the Franc Zone Countries The global financial crisis of 2008-2009 started in the U.S and spread to the rest of the world in 2008. In Europe, the crisis started in the spring of 2010, when it became clear to financial market participants that Greece might not be able to honor its obligations to its creditors. As the Greek government negotiated the terms of a possible bailout, financial markets begun to worry about the fiscal health of the other smaller members of the EU such as Spain and Portugal. The expectation that the crisis may spread to other EU member countries triggered a slowdown in the real sector in several EU countries. This study examined the exposure and reaction of the franc zone countries to the recent financial crisis in the European countries. The empirical approach used had three key elements: first, we computed the unexpected real GDP growth for each franc zone country to assess the heterogeneity of the impact of the crisis on franc zone countries. This exercise showed that the franc zone countries responded differently to the crisis.
Second, to understand why the responses differed, we examined the various ways in which the franc zone countries were exposed to the European crisis. In particular, we discussed both trade and financial channels. The evidence appear to show that factors such as balance of payments/GDP, current account/GDP and remittance/GDP were the most important channels through which the EU crisis affected the franc zone countries. Finally, we implemented a structural break test proposed by Bai and Perron to assess whether the shock had a temporary or permanent effect on the franc zone countries. The test results showed that there was no break in real GDP growth during the peak of the crisis. This means that the shock to franc zone countries is temporary.
Jasmine Eltawely Matthew Beckman, Ph.D.
Biology Studies of the Role of Hedgehog Signaling in Cyclopean Eye Development: Cloning and Characterization of the Daphnia magna Patched Gene Holoprosencephaly (HPE) represents a spectrum of disorders in humans ranging from cleft palate to the extreme of a single cyclopic eye, which are a result of a malformation of the forebrain. Though there have been many advances in understanding HPE we still do not understand its variability in phenotypes, in relation to the mechanisms and genes involved in the developments of these disorders. Daphnia magna is a cyclopic organism that can be used to study the developmental mechanism of cyclopia and the genes involved in this process. My research includes cloning the patched gene and using the method of in situ hybridization to study the spatial and temporal expression of this gene. I have also conducted a pharmacology experiment using cyclopamine, a Hedgehog inhibitor to study the role of Smoothened in the Daphnia magna development. Patched and Smoothened together form the receptor for Sonic Hedgehog which has been found to be involved in invertebrate and vertebrate development. I have run experiments to pinpoint the expression of patched and have gotten some preliminary data, but through the pharmacology study using cyclopamine I have found that the inhibition of Hedgehog signaling has effected the consolidation of the cyclopic eye in Daphnia magna. I have successfully cloned a segment of the patched gene in Daphnia magna and will further the research by examining the expression of the gene at different stages of embryonic development as well as using the pharmacology experiments to understand the role of Hedgehog signaling in Daphnia magna.
Joseph Farley Stuart M. Anderson, Ph.D.
Physics Reflectance Apparatus for Local Characterization of Thin Films on Liquid Surfaces The goal of this two-month project was to design and build an apparatus for optically probing thin films on a liquid surface to provide thickness and composition information. The final configuration used broadband light from an incandescent filament imaged onto the liquid surface. Light reflected from this image was reimaged onto the entrance slit of a spectrometer to provide spectral analysis of the light reflected from a small area (about 200 x 50 microns) of the film in near real-time. Spectra indicative of film thickness variations associated with spreading and movement of oil films on water surface were obtained. Future work will focus on adapting the apparatus for study of controlled films in a Langmuir trough environment and adding the capability of extracting information on absorption within the film.
Briana Felton Anthony Clapp, Ph.D.
Exercise Science The Effect of a Self-myofascial Release Intervention on Functional Movement in Healthy Adult Males Functional Movement Screening (FMS) is a common procedure for ranking movement patterns. Fascia is responsible for supporting the musculoskeletal system and is frequently interrelated with FMS performance. Overuse or trauma may cause adhesions within the fascia, creating inefficient movement patterns. Self-myofascial release (SMR), via foam-rolling, is a method of breaking up fascial adhesions.
Optimal programs for improving FMS evaluations have yet to be established. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a six week SMR program on functional movement. This study included 18 healthy adult males who received a foam roller, participated in a 6-week self-directed foam rolling program, and completed a FMS pre-test and post-test evaluation. Changes in classification from the pretest to the post-test for each of the FMS measures were compared using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. The average composite score increased from 13.6 to 15.7 from pre to post-test out of 21. Significant improvements in classification were observed from the pre-test to post-test for several of the individual FMS tests. However, not all individual tests showed significant improvements. This study revealed that a 6-week SMR protocol is effective in increasing functional movement in middle-aged, active male subjects in some functional areas, but not others.
Kayla Fuechtmann Michael Wentzel, Ph.D.
Chemistry The Protection and Methylation Using a Bulky-Protecting Group for Amine Synthesis Amines play a vital role in the drug industry and therefore its importance of synthesis can be used for greater implications. Tri-tert-butoxysilane chloride (TBOS-Cl) is an effective protecting group due to its ability to be easily purified through a silica plug and its steric bulky-size that influences chemoselectivity.
Furthermore, by successfully finding the best conditions to attach the protective group to benzylamine, it allowed for further synthesis of amines.
David Gersten Ann Impullitti, Ph.D.
Biology The effect of latent of Cadophora gregata on soybean physiology and productivity Brown stem rot (BSR) is caused by Cadophora gregata, and is known to negatively affect soybean by reducing profits. We investigated the physiological effects of types A and B of C. gregata during both latent and pathogenic infection to determine how gas exchange, fluorescence, and leaf area are potentially modified. Susceptible and resistant varieties of soybean were used in trials in the plant lab, the growth chamber, and the field. During the pathogenic phase, in the susceptible variety, the leaf area of the control and plants inoculate with type B were 40-41% greater than plants inoculated with the type A.
The rate of photosynthesis was 84% higher in plants inoculated with type A than the non-inoculated plants. In the resistant variety, conductance was 11-22% higher when inoculated with type A, compared to the non-inoculated plants and type B, respectively. Gas exchange effects occurred during the transition from latent to pathogenic infection. Our results indicate that no physiological effects occur during latent infection of the plant. The death of leaves caused by type A of C. gregata may facilitate a higher gas exchange rate of leaves not yet affected by the pathogen. The susceptible variety may have resistance to type B of C. gregata.
Anil Geharu Jennifer Bankers-Fulbright, Ph.D.
Biology Initial characterization of an anti-bacterial protein found in human airway surface fluid Human airway surface fluid (ASF) is a fluid that coats epithelial cells in the lungs. The major role of ASF is to prevent bacterial colonization in the lungs due to the presence of antibacterial molecules. Patients with the genetic disorder cystic fibrosis (CF) have very thick and viscous ASF, which causes their lungs to be prone to bacterial infections, most commonly infections due to the bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.