Established in 1995, the JSU Student Symposium provides a forum to publicly display and acknowledge the best work of JSU's students. More than 40 papers, posters, and projects were presented at the 2022 symposium, held on the 11th Floor of the Houston Cole Library, 15-16 February 2022; these works are archived here.
The following awards were presented:
- Arts & Humanities
- Undergraduate: Sarah Kate Norris, "Ceramics & Economics in Early China" Health Professions & Wellness
- Graduate: Luke Cody, "Virtual Reality as an Effective Therapeutic Intervention for Sport Injury" Science & Mathematics
- Undergraduate: Kritika Maharjan, "The Utilization of the Xenopus Embryos for the Determination of the Teratogenic Potential of Methylene Blue"
- Graduate: Ryan Long, "Molecular Evidence of Cryptic Hybridization in the Japanese Nezasa Bamboos" Social & Behavioral Sciences
- Undergraduate: Dakota Heathcock, "Mapping a New Way: A New Approach to Electoral Polling in America"
- Undergraduate: Kayla Way, "The Utility in Using Xenopus Frog Embryos to Determine Teratogenic Versus Nonteratogenic Potential of Chemicals"
- Graduate: Morgan Brown, "Cryptic Hybridization in the Temperate Bamboos: Is Pleioblastus Simonii a Specials of Hybrid Origin?"
- Undergraduate: Trinity Elston, "Diving into the Unknown: A Genetic Investigation of Type-2 Diabetes-Associated INSR Variants of Uncertain Significance"
- Graduate: Elizabeth Rains, "Mental Health Collaborative"
For many years, scientists have pondered over the Cannabis sativa plant, or better yet known as marijuana. Although to many, marijuana may seem like an unordinary plant to study, one of its isolated components may be the future of medicine. Marijuana consists of two major components, also referred to as cannabinoids: THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (short for cannabidiol). THC is well known for its psychoactive effects; however, CBD has always been relatively misunderstood. CBD is the nonpsychoactive component, and until its recent surge in medical research, there was little to no research on its effects. However, within the last two decades, CBD has been tested on a multitude of cell types, and its distinct effects have taken the scientific community by surprise.
Noha Al-Saadi, Grace Mix, Mardasia Thompson, and Elin Zaman
Mammalian histones have been known to be one of the most highly alkaline proteins found in the nuclei. Their main function is to organize DNA into chromosomes and regulate transcription. An example of a histone would be Histone H2B, which this project focuses heavily on. Histone H2B has been seen to bind poorly to antibodies and result in a weak signal. The goal of this project is to test a multitude of blocking buffers, in triplicate, in order to find a blocking buffer that can obtain the strongest signal from the antibodies being tested. Through the use of protein gel electrophoresis and western blotting procedures, the different blocking buffers could be compared. The blocking buffers used for these experiments consisted of 5% nonfat dry milk in Tris-buffered saline (otherwise known as BLOTTO control), 2.5% Milk + 2.5% Hemoglobin, 7% Hemoglobin, 1% Milk +4 % Hemoglobin, and 5% Hemoglobin. After conducting the experiments, it was concluded that hemoglobin is not a useful blocking buffer.
Using Ecological Niche Modeling to Predict the Response of Hydrocotyle Bonariensis to Global Climate Change
Rachel Bonner, Laura K. Dease, and Elizabeth A. Hughston
Coastal dune habitats provide valuable ecosystem services but are declining globally due to the interacting effects of multiple stressors, including global climate change (GCC). To explore the potential severity of the effects of GCC on dune plant communities of the Northern Gulf of Mexico and surrounding areas, we modeled the fundamental bioclimatic niche of a dune plant species, largeleaf pennywort (Hydrocotyle bonariensis Comm. ex Lam.), in this region. We then projected its niche to estimate habitat suitability under current and future environmental conditions. Occurrence records were mined from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, cleaned, then thinned by spatial filtering, and WorldClim bioclimatic variables (30 arc-second resolution) were used as environmental data layers during analyses. Niche modeling was conducted using MaxEnt, and the model was projected onto a potentially accessible area (M) for the species defined by a 200-km buffer zone around the filtered occurrence points. Results suggested that our model had high predictive performance (AUC ≥ 0.9) and the projections indicated that the distribution of suitable habitat for H. bonariensis in the study region will likely be greatly reduced by GCC over the coming decades. Unlike other foredune plant species, H. bonariensis is known from non-dune habitats (e.g. estuaries, sandy coastal plains) up to moderate elevations; accordingly, our models strikingly predict potential refugial areas for this species in Central Mexico and the northern Yucatán Peninsula. Additional analyses of codistributed dune plants in the study area are needed to test the generality of these findings for dune plant communities.
Keywords: climate change; ecological niche modeling; foredune; Gulf of Mexico; North America; plants
Japanese river bamboo (Pleioblastus simonii, kawadake) is an ecologically important species of temperate bamboo native to Japan. This species is widely known and historically important in Japanese rural farm life. Based on morphological data, Japanese river bamboo is recognized as a major lineage in genus Pleioblastus (section Medakea). However, recent studies suggest that Japanese river bamboo may be a species resulting from previously undetected hybridization (also known as cryptic hybridization). Bamboos in Pleioblastus exhibit overlapping variation in leaf and stem characteristics, making them hard to identify on the basis of morphology alone (a common problem in plant taxonomy). Cryptic hybridization is a potential explanation for this problem. The role of hybridization in natural plant populations has been studied since the 1950s, however little is known about this phenomenon in the evolution of bamboos. The objective of this study is to analyze molecular data (AFLP and nDNA) to test the hypothesis that P. simonii is a cryptic hybrid. Current data provide compelling yet conditional evidence in support of this hypothesis, while also suggesting that ongoing introgression and diversification has obscured that ancestry. We will discuss various analytical techniques from population genetics and phylogenetics that are being used to shed light on this problem. Results of this study provide an example of reticulate evolution in the origin of plant diversity and help reveal why molecular data is an important tool for taxonomic identification.
How Does Heat Related Illnesses Affect High School and Collegiate Marching Band Members: A Critically Appraised Topic
Context: Marching band members are exposed to various types of weather and injury conditions that are not always favorable to their performance setting. One concern of weather and injury conditions include heat illnesses, which are one of the leading causes of death in pediatric populations. This leads us to investigate if marching band members are more at risk for heat illnesses in the high school and collegiate populations.
Methods: A computerized search was completed in September 2021. The search terms used were heat illness, marching band, and heat index. Electronic databases used were Jacksonville State University’s library database, SportDiscus, and EBSCO Host. Inclusion criteria: Articles were between 2010-2021, published in the English language, marching band population, and heat illnesses. Exclusion criteria: Articles that were not published in English and focused on the athletic or general population. Validity of the selected studies was determined using the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine Scale. One author independently reviewed the studies, scored each paper, and reviewed the completed appraisals to come to a consensus on study quality.
Results: The literature search retrieved 19 studies. Out of these studies, three met inclusion criteria and the level of evidence suggested by the Strength of Recommendation of Taxonomy was used to identify eligible studies. Both collegiate and high school marching band members experience various types of weather conditions due to the uncertainty of the weather. Emerson et al. found that during competitions and rehearsals, core body temperatures were within 1.1 °C and a majority of participants revealed dehydrated. Vepraskas’s study resulted in higher rates of water consumption, as well as an increase in education of heat-related illness symptoms in marching band members. Kilanowskis’ study found that of the 378 nurse clinics, high school band members complained of musculoskeletal injuries that were significantly correlated with heat distress.
Conclusion: As an athletic trainer, it has been shown that heat illnesses can arise in high school and collegiate marching band members. It is vital to use proper monitoring of weather conditions and hydration, along with the use of emergency action plans that are set in place for marching band members and athletes to prevent heat illnesses. In addition, proper training and education should be addressed to prepare marching band directors of various signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses. While there is limited research regarding this topic, additional research should be completed to determine future methods to improve patient-centered care and patient outcomes for marching band members exposed to heat illnesses.
Much research has been done to understand the effect of "violent" video games and children. Presently, there are more genres of video games that are being played by teens and children than just "violent" video games. The amount spent playing these video games increases exponentially each year. It is essential to understand the effects of the amount of time spent playing video games on teens' and children's psychological and social development. In the study, we perform a survey work using the literature and research work of various researchers and scholars to present an analysis of the effect of time spent playing video games on teens' psychological and social development.
Context: There are numerous therapeutic intervention tools that can provide effective management strategies for sports-related injuries. However, some therapeutic tools do not offer motivational qualities. Virtual reality is an emerging therapeutic intervention tool that is increasing in popularity in numerous areas. Thus, this leads us to investigate if virtual reality can be used effectively as a therapeutic intervention in the clinical setting for sport-related injuries.
Methods: A computerized search was completed in September 2021. The search terms used were “virtual reality”, “motivation”, and “physical rehabilitation”. Electronic databases used were SPORTDiscus and PubMed. Inclusion criteria: Studies published within the last 3 years, published in the English language, and used patients with physical impairments resulting from athletic activity or athletes in rehabilitation for an injury. Exclusion criteria: Studies that focused only on mental impairments and used participants within an education setting. Validity of the selected studies was determined using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database and the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies. One author independently reviewed the studies, scored each paper, and reviewed the completed appraisals to come to a consensus on study quality.
Results: The literature search retrieved 106 studies. Out of these studies, five studies met inclusion criteria. Akbas et al. performed a meta-analysis on competitive athletes using virtual reality and found virtual reality to be an effective tool to analyze sport performance. Ranjbarzadeh Yamchi et al. and Nambi et al. demonstrated how virtual reality can decrease pain perception, decrease fear of movement, and increase balance with physical impairments in low back pain and functional ankle instability. Zhang et al. and Dias et al. examined stroke patients and found virtual reality to be an effective tool in increasing symmetrical posture, balance, walking, self-care, and increased motivation in rehabilitation.
Conclusion: Findings suggest that virtual reality can be an effective therapeutic tool when incorporated in the physical rehabilitation of athletes or athletic patients. Virtual reality is an emerging therapeutic intervention tool that can provide components to improve patient effectiveness, motivation, and engagement during the injury recovery process. As technology is advanced, future studies should develop more specific programs tailored to injuries and conditions, to improve patient-centered care and outcomes.
When designing a game with an online multiplayer aspect, game developers must choose a network architecture that works best for the game’s intended purpose. The network architecture can either be client-server based or peer-to-peer based. But how do they decide which network architecture to use? Developers must understand the benefits and issues each network architecture brings before deciding which one to implement. Client-server architectures are the most common type implemented in multiplayer games, especially in massive multiplayer online games (MMOGs). There are a multitude of resources to help developers implement the architecture and it provides a more profitable business model compared to peer-to-peer architectures. However, they are a susceptible to network failure and bottlenecks on the server-side, which can cause poor playability for users. Client-server architectures are also more expensive to implement and maintain. On the other hand, peer-to-peer architectures, although less common than client-server architectures, are often implemented in multiplayer games that do not require many players to be connected at once. Thus, they are often implemented in fighting games. Peer-to-peer architecture also provides a lower level of latency. However, their networks are not as secured or as consistent as client-server architectures. And because they are less common than client-server architectures, there are less resources available to help developers implement the architecture within their games. In this presentation, I will cover both architectures and discuss benefits and issues associated with them.
Raising awareness of global health issues as well as providing culturally appropriate healthcare through service-learning programs are important components of nursing education. Online education provides increased flexibility, access, and cost-effectiveness in nursing education because attending classes on campus is often difficult for nurses due to their work schedules and family and other responsibilities. Faculty utilize teaching strategies such as online courses to engage students and increase interest levels in service-learning projects. If faculty use these strategies well, graduate nursing students are more likely to participate in global health initiates. The aim of this project was to investigate the interest levels of graduate nursing students in university-community engagement and participation in international service-learning. In order to accurately assess graduate nursing students’ interest in international service-learning, an online introductory course related to international service-learning was developed and offered for free enrolment in the course. There are many benefits from graduate nursing student’s participation in international service-learning programs as a part of their educational experience, such as serving global community needs, helping those in need, and gaining cultural awareness. This DNP project will effectively allow for the evaluation of the impact of participation in an introduction to international service-learning course on students’ interest in global health initiatives. Upon completion of the June 2019 term, a post-course interest survey will be administered to examine the beliefs and interest of graduate nursing students in global health and global health initiatives.
Diving into the Unknown: A Genetic Investigation of Type-2 Diabetes-associated INSR Variants of Uncertain Significance
Type 2 diabetes is a complex metabolic disorder with interactions between genetic and environmental factors, making it more complicated to understand the clinical implications of identified genetic variants and disease pathology. Many of the diabetes-associated variants are currently classified as VUS and occur within the genes involved in insulin signaling and regulation, so we turned our focus on the human INSR gene. INSR encodes the insulin receptor protein that plays a major role in insulin signaling. Furthermore, C. elegans provides a simple model system to examine the functional consequences of these diabetes-associated VUS. We examined INSR diabetes-associated VUS through the orthologous C. elegans gene daf-2. Preliminary genetic and evolutionary conservation analyses suggest functional impact for some of these VUS with the potential to impact protein structure and function. Further bioinformatic analysis of pathogenicity predictions supported the conservation we observed across species. I chose the most interesting VUS c.1628C>T (p.Thr543Met) to move forward with based on its genetic loci, level of evolutionary conservation, and predicted pathogenicity. These provided support for further in vivo studies. Next, we designed and tested primers to amplify the VUS region within daf-2. We are currently working to optimize this polymerase chain reaction-based genotyping assay to assess CRISPR-Cas9-engineered C. elegans models containing the VUS. Our goal is to assess the functional impact of the VUS on the daf-2 gene in vivo through phenotyping the mutant C. elegans VUS model. Studies such as this help us to begin to understand the functional impact of identified genetic variants in diabetes patients, paving the way for personalized medicine.
A High-Intensity Training Based Running Plan Improves Athletic Performance by Improving Muscle Power
High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) refers to alternating max effort and low effort exercises or rest periods. This training method aims to do much work quickly while still acquiring similar adaptations as endurance and resistance training alone. For many years, this training method has been incorporated mainly in association with cycling and running; however, despite the broad range of effects reported mainly in the improvement of muscle power in endurance athletes, little data is available to support the physiological and neuromuscular responses to HIIT in endurance athletes. Some HIIT-related investigations have shown improvements in neuromuscular characteristics that were transmitted into an increase in muscle power and volume of oxygen output. This research had an approach that included both pretest and posttest results with thirteen triathletes divided into two groups: the experimental group and the control group.
Furthermore, this study analyzed the implementation of a low-volume HIIT-based running plan on the experimental group combined with their already high training volumes in swimming and cycling. On the contrary, the control group was asked to maintain their regular training routines. Nevertheless, HR was monitored, whereas RPE and BLa were registered after the race. No improvements were shown in the CG, but the EG significantly improved the sprint distance during the triathlon race. The hypothesis from this research has been tested proven to increase performance in cycling, swimming, jumping, and particularly running. However, future research involving HIIT implementation on endurance training may better understand muscular power from neuromuscular and physiological adaptations.
Jon Eric Frederick
In our work, we have explored the principles used in machine learning and a set of applications of machine learning in the field of probability. Machine learning is used in everyday life. It uses an algorithm to do things that it was not programmed to do, from recognizing typing patterns and predicting what would be typed next to filtering through keywords typed into google to create better ads tailored to its user. Machine learning uses an algorithm like a decision tree and other stats-based algorithms to predict what will happen next while also using the knowledge it can access from in its database. Each time the machine gets an answer right, it can change the algorithm to associate those key phrases with correct answers. Machine learning came to be from the quest for artificial intelligence. In his landmark paper "Computing Machinery and Intelligence, " Alan Turing asked a fundamental question:" "Can machine Think?". That spurred the idea that modern-day machine learning uses today. The two objectives that machine learning is used for now are to make models using data and predict the future.
Nowadays, flood risk in urban areas is one of the main concerns in developed countries. The United Nations (UN) predicts that 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050. The rapid urbanization processes would lead to the destruction of water distribution lines, the cutting off of natural drainage streams, and the increase of impermeable surfaces. Therefore, urban areas will be more susceptible to flash floods due to the chaos in watershed systems, reduction in water infiltration and increase in surface runoff. The U.S. National Climate Reports indicate that the average annual precipitation rate of the U.S. is currently higher than the average values over the past 35 years. As the average rate of precipitation rises, city planners should consider the growing rates of urban flooding and the consequent economic losses in the United States. Herein, effective flood response planning requires a better understanding of the flood impact and exposure. As social and environmental settings of an urban area influence urban flood events differently, we need to study human and physical environments in an integrated framework. Thus, this study aims at mapping flood risk areas and assessing the vulnerability of the population in the Anniston-Oxford, Alabama metropolitan area to efficiently respond to future flood events.
Keywords: Flood risk mapping, vulnerability, GIS, Anniston-Oxford, Alabama metropolitan area
Short- And Long-Term Effects of Sport Specialization on Youth Baseball Players: A Critically Appraised Topic
Context - Sport specialization in baseball has been an emerging topic among youth athletes. Specialization is a growing concern because its possible effects on the health and safety of youth athletes. This leads us to investigate what the short- and long-term effects that sports specialization has on youth baseball players.
Methods - A computerized search was completed in September 2021. The search terms used were youth baseball players, sport specialization, youth baseball, high school, club sport, and short- or long-term injury. Electronic databases used was SPORTDiscus, PubMed, and CINAHL Plus with full text. These databases were all accessible through the Jacksonville State University Library. Inclusion criteria: patients from the ages 8-19 years old, specialization in baseball year-round, upper extremity injury, surgery or rehabilitation, and prevention strategies. Exclusion criteria: patients under the age of 7 and over the age of 19 and lower body injury. Validity of the selected studies was determined using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database or the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology scale. One author independently reviewed the studies, scored each paper, and reviewed the completed appraisals to come to a consensus on study quality.
Results - The literature search retrieved sixteen studies. Out of these studies, six met inclusion criteria and the level of evidence suggested by the Strength of Recommendation of Taxonomy was used to identify eligible studies. Post et al. and Croci et al. compared the short- and long-term effects that sport specialization has on youth baseball players. These studies suggested sport specialization had worse scores on throwing, arm function, history of shoulder and elbow injury, and long-term complications. DiSanti et al. and Hernandez et al. compared the perception that both coaches and parents of youth athletes found that the highest incidence was in baseball, followed by basketball, soccer, and volleyball in high school and club sports. Sakata et al. and Reintgen et al. looked at if prevention programs worked in limiting sport specialization injuries and found the incidence of shoulder and elbow injuries were significantly lower if they were educated on safe pitching guidelines, however, a majority of youth athletes were unaware of safe pitching guidelines.
Conclusion - As an athletic trainer (AT), it is paramount to ensure that the patient’s overall health and well-being are emphasized during sport participation. Youth sport specialization could increase injury risk. Thus, it is critical for athletic trainers to implement communication, education, and prevention programs to assist youth athletes in addressing sport specialization concerns. Future research should investigate the relationship between the parent, coach, and child’s decision on sport specialization. In addition, longitudinal studies should be incorporated to examine sport specialization in baseball and other various sports, for its long-term effects concerning health and safety in youth athletes.
Characterization of Anti-microbial Properties of Excrement and Functional Microbiome of New World Vultures in Alabama
Two distinct species of New World vultures are native to North America and inhabit Alabama, black vultures (Coragyps atratus) and turkey vultures (Cathartes aura). They are scavengers that consume decaying carcasses or carrion, which helps reduce the spread of disease. Vultures are susceptible to declining population numbers as they have been trapped and killed due to the belief that they spread disease, additionally contact with poisons and habitat destruction have also led to their decline. Currently, these two vultures are one of the seven vulture species with least concern and stable in Alabama and the world. However, it is important to remember current threats to these vultures exist. It has been observed that vultures will sometimes excrete waste onto their legs. There are two ideas behind this behavior, one is urohidrosis and the other is microbial control. The second idea of microbe control has not been directly studied or tested experimentally. To test this proposed question, we will collect fecal samples from both black vultures and turkey vultures. Antimicrobial properties of both species’ excrement will be tested by a Kirby-Bauer test, both from live and heat killed excrement samples. The samples will be screened against 10 bacterial species as well as C. elegans and zone of inhibitions for each will be measured. Microbiome analysis will also be examined with fresh excrement samples through 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing. This study proposes to gain a better understanding of how these scavengers evolved to consume carrion, as it is important to understand their biology, health, and status. We plan to examine the antimicrobial properties of vulture excrement and the microbiome of black vultures and turkey vultures in the Alabama area.
In the presentation of "Positive effects of creatine as an ergogenic aid," I am attempting to shed light on the versatility and benefits of creatine use. Creatine is an amino acid located primarily in your body's muscles, as well as in the brain. Though it can be made synthetically, most people get creatine through seafood and red meat. The body's liver, pancreas, and kidneys also make creatine. Your body converts creatine to phosphocreatine and stores it in your muscles, where it is used for energy. As a result, people commonly take creatine orally to improve athletic performance and increase muscle mass. For years, creatine has been considered a supplement that mostly male bodybuilders use to enhance muscle hypertrophy. This frame of thinking has caused much controversy as to who and what creatine is for. In this presentation, I break down what creatine is, how creatine works, and provide examples from studies that involve a vast population that has benefited from creatine supplementation.
For the college-aged male population group, the purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of 6 weeks of oral creatine supplementation during a per-iodized program of strength training on preacher curl, bench press, and squat 1 rep max and body composition. Eighteen college athletes' volunteers with at least 1 year of weight training experience were randomly assigned to two creatine and placebo groups. Creatine group received 20 grams of creatine for the first 6 days in 5-g doses, four times daily, followed by 5 grams for the remainder of the study. The placebo group received a placebo (starched, sucrose drink) following the exact protocol as the Creatine group. All subjects' resistance-trained 3 days a week. Measurement of 1RM strength of preacher curl, bench press, and squat and body composition were made pre- and post-training after supplementation while monitoring dietary intakes. Results showed that body mass and lean tissue mass increased to a greater extent with training in the creatine group compared to the placebo group. There were no significant changes in percent body fat for either group. Creatine group demonstrated more significant improvement in 1RM of squat, bench press, and arm flexors than the placebo group. These data suggest that creatine supplementation during strength training may be superior to training alone for enhancing muscular strength and body composition.
Perhaps one of the greatest components of American Democracy, free and fair elections have been the cornerstone of The United States. In addition to this, electoral polling has served as a means for political scientists to try and measure how and why citizens will vote on specific amendments, propositions, and candidates. In the past, across many years, traditional polling methods (door-to-door visits, mail-in surveys, and telephone calls) have served quite efficiently in predicting the outcomes of elections. Nevertheless, in recent years, this has started to change significantly. In the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, nearly every major national poll was predict-ing that Hillary Clinton would defeat Donald Trump. However, when the election occurred, Trump defeated Clinton in a near-landslide victory. Many critics began to question “Why were the polls so wrong in their predictions?” Although polling has been incorrect in previous, isolated years, this was not one of those cases, nor was this incident limited to the United States. Also in 2016, during the UK Brexit Referendum, many polls were predicting that the British people would vote to remain with the European Union. When the votes were cast, the decision to leave the European Union ultimately declared victory. These inaccuracies in traditional polling continue to this day. So, why are many traditional polling methods so flawed nowadays? This presentation will explain this dynamic, and offer a new, more modern method of polling. This new idea departs from the outdated methods from previous years, and takes an entirely new approach to electoral polling, using Google Trends to measure and track the levels of online activity whenever a candi-date’s or proposition’s name is mentioned in a search. This new approach aims to identify and reduce the “hidden voter” effect, accurately portray, and reflect how people are feeling about issues and candidates, and show that this method has a proven, reliable track record when it is used for polling.
Preliminary Evaluation of the Developmental Effects of Microbeads Using the Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay: Xenopus (FETAX)
Microbeads are the tiny pieces of polyethylene plastic added to health and beauty products. It is used as exfoliating and polishing agents in cosmetics like sunscreen, lotions, deodorants, makeup products, toothpastes, and blood flow determination tests. The effects of the concentration of the microbeads, Fluospheres™ polystyrene, 10μm, was determined by using the Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay- Xenopus (FETAX). The early stage of South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, were exposed to the concentrations of the microplastics with FETAX solution for 4 days from small cell blastula to a free-living tadpole. The small fraction of microbeads was mixed with 20 mL of FETAX solution to make different concentration microbeads solution. Four different test solutions were used in two set of plastic petri dishes of 10 embryos. The control groups consisted of 4 plastic petri dishes of 10 embryos each with 8 mL FETAX solution without microbeads solution. Dead embryos were removed after every 24 hours, and solutions were renewed. The mortality, malformation and length of tadpole were recorded for all petri dishes at the end of 4 days. The results show that higher the concentration of the microplastics, more likely to increase the mortality of the tadpole. The 96-hr LC50 and 96-hr EC50 of approximately 1866.500 and 931.493 microbeads per ml respectively.
SARS-CoV-2 has proven to cause new and exacerbate pre-existing health conditions in patients across the globe, raising many questions for geneticists and other researchers. Studies are beginning to emerge showing that patients have an increased risk of developing other conditions after being infected with COVID-19. Recently, a study by the Center for Disease Control discovered patient samples exhibit an increase in new diabetes diagnoses within the first 30 days after infection. A link between viral infection and autoimmune disorders is already known. The gene CTLA4, which is located at 2q33.2, codes for cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated protein 4. This protein is important in immune response to viral infection. Diseases associated with mutations in this gene include, diabetes type 1, thyroiditis, and multiple other autoimmune disorders. The variant I have chosen to investigate is the variant of unknown clinical significance (VUS) R75Q; a missense mutation at the 75th position that results in the amino acid Arginine being replaced by Glutamine. PolyPhen2 and other bioinformatics software is used to examine the VUS potential for pathogenicity. The variant is shown to be likely pathogenic. The results from the research conducted using multiple bioinformatics platforms will be presented as well as a multiple sequence alignment with various species.
Molecular Evidence of Cryptic Hybridization in the Japanese Nezasa Bamboos (Pleioblastus section Nezasa)
The genus Pleioblastus is a complex group of Southeast Asian temperate bamboos with 7-21 species, depending on the taxonomic authority. We hypothesize that the taxonomic complexity of the group is due to previously undetected occurrences of hybridization and subsequent backcrossing between filial and parental lineages, creating one or more cryptic hybrids. This is supported by recent research on the temperate bamboos that revealed intergeneric hybrids (between species in different genera). This poses the question of where to draw the distinction between species’ designations within Pleioblastus. The objective of the current study is to test the hypothesis that Pleioblastus section Nezasa is a mix of parental and hybrid lineages using data from AFLP markers and a combination of tree-building (PAUP) and genotypic assignment analyses (STRUCTURE, NEWHYBRIDS). This is critical to understanding the taxonomy of this group and may have implications in conservation due to hybridization-induced extinction. The current data support the hypothesis that hybridization has had an important role in the evolution of Pleioblastus section Nezasa, and highlight two major lineages (Nezasa I and Nezasa II) and hybrids between these lineages. We will discuss the implications of this research for our understanding of plant evolution and species nomenclature.