Poster Presentations for Session #3 at 1:00pm in Science Hall Commons

Catholic Social Teaching and Politics

Ashleigh Maciejewski

Sarah Signorino

Many young Catholics feel compelled to pursue social justice.  Elements of Catholic social teaching are reflected in both the modern Republican and Democratic platforms.  Both platforms contain elements that reject Catholic social teaching as well.  My poster would explore how a young Catholic could pursue justice within our modern political structure.

Yes we can!: Achieving gender equality within Army combat roles

Mary Floyd

Dr. Rene DeLaPedraja

Women are an integral component of the US armed forces and current represent 15 percent of the 200,000 force.  The 1994 direct ground combat definition and assignment rule presently closes many Army positions to women, particularly within the combat branches of Armor and Infantry.  Women can no longer be denied the opportunity to serve in combat positions in the Army which will be supported by a historical line of successful female military combatants and with the following points female soldiers will be given the opportunity to achieve equality with male soldiers: 1. A historical lineage of female soldiers that spans worldwide and embedded within the history of the US Army

2. A timetable for successful implementation of female combat soldiers

3. How to logistically resource and support the transition

4. How to integrate women into previously all-male units

5. Development of a physical standard for women that does not lower the standard for combat requirements

Characterization of the DNA Binding Properties of Lyme Disease Transcription Factor BosR

Lauren Evans, Amanda Fleck, Andrew Cherny

Dr. Sarah Evans

Caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, Lyme disease is the fastest growing and most common tick-borne illness in the United States. B. burgdorferi is transferredto humans via tick bites and infection can cause long term illnesses including chronic arthritis. To survive the numerous environments it encounters during its life cycle, B. burgdorferi has complex regulatory pathways to deal with the stress of changing temperatures, pH, oxidization environments, and blood compositions between hosts. The Borrelia oxidative stress regulator, BosR, is a regulatory transcription factor that is vital to the survival of B. burgdorferi in all of its hosts. It functions to activate and repress nearly 80 genes that are vital to the survival of the bacterium.  This work determines the role of the amino acid in the position 39 of the protein, a common mutation observed, in DNA binding.  The differences between the wild type and mutant binding to DNA will be presented.

The Presence and Function of Cholesterol in the Phloem of Higher Plants

Sydney Palka, Alex Tubridy

Dr. Robert Grebenok

Phytosterols are important structural components of plant cell membranes where they stabilize the phospholipid bilayer and serve as precursors to hormones. Cholesterol has been identified in the phloem of Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale cress), Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean), Gossypium hirsutum (textile cotton) and Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco). The bulk structural sterols in each of these plants are stigmasterol and sitosterol. A few higher plants possess a structural analogue of stigmasterol (spinasterol). To support the prediction that cholesterols' presence in the phloem of higher plants is universal, a member of this group Spinacia oleracea (spinach) was examined. Control spinach contains cholesterol in its phloem. Phloem cholesterol levels obtained from spinach subjected to the defense response elicitors, benzothiadiazole (BTH) and methyl jasmonate (MJ) demonstrated little variation. The evolutionary link among higher plant sterol structures and phloem cholesterol is discussed.

Silyl Allenes as Synthetic Building Blocks

Michael Rodman, Caleb Kitcho

Dr. Timothy Gregg

During the summer of 2013, our research group spent two months developing new reactions for advanced organic synthesis. Our tasks were to cyclopropanate simple allene compounds using chiral rhodium catalysts in order to study how the rate of reaction was influenced by specific substituents and chirality. Cyclopropane synthesis may prove useful for future chemists because cyclopropanes exhibit distinct molecular geometries with possible medicinal properties. Our allene substrates were synthesized using the Mitsunobu reaction. For 1,2-butadiene, we achieved an acceptable yield of 54%. Propadiene synthesis was less favorable, yielding about 20% allene. Nevertheless, the Mitsunobu reaction turned out to be the best overall method for synthesizing these reactants. Cyclopropanations of both allenes were performed, and crude products were analyzed via Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. Purifying samples via chromatography proved to be very difficult and remains a priority for future endeavors.

Developing a protocol for assessing dogs’ responses to cat-related stimuli

Stephanie Handley, Colleen Bates, Natalie Roberts

Dr. Christy Hoffman, Miranda Workman

Animal shelters have no standardized, safe way to determine if a dog is appropriate with cats. The development of a validated assessment tool could increase the chance of adopting dogs to appropriate homes and reduce risk of return. In attempt to devise such a tool, we created an online survey for dog owners to complete. We used data from the survey to determine how appropriate or inappropriate participants' dogs are with cats. During summer 2013, we contacted local survey participants known to have cat-appropriate or cat-inappropriate dogs and invited them to participate in an on-campus experiment. During the experiment, the dogs were exposed to visual, auditory, and olfactory cat-related stimuli. The 69 participating dogs' responses were video recorded to assess how they reacted to the stimuli. Analyses of the videos are underway. We will present videos of dogs' responses to the stimuli and describe the ethogram and behavioral coding software we are using to assess the videos.

Therapy Dogs' Behavioral Responses to Attention from College-Aged Adults

London Wolff, Nicholas Woodard

Dr. Christy Hoffman

Therapy dogs have become increasingly popular, with uses as varied as comforting trauma victims, listening to young children learning to read, and de-stressing college students. To date, research on the human-therapy dog dyad has focused on how this relationship benefits the human. To investigate how constant exposure to new people impacts therapy dogs, video was taken of 80 college-aged adults interacting with 1 of 4 therapy dogs while the caretaker of the dog was in the room. Each interaction lasted about 3 minutes. We are in the process of using the software Noldus Observer to code systematically for behaviors associated with discomfort or stress (e.g., lip licks, yawns, body shakes, pants), as well as for signs the dog may enjoy the interaction (e.g., facing the participant). Preliminary analyses of 27 coded videos indicate that some therapy dogs may be better suited for the work than others, as the rate of stress signals per minute ranges between 5.1 and 23.6 per dog.

Effect of Radioprotectant Drug CBLB502 on Proliferative Cells of the Irradiated Mouse Brain

Joseph Pittari

Dr. Elizabeth Hogan

Whole brain radiation therapy leads to the decline of a patient's cognitive function. This may be due to cell loss within the radiosensitive proliferative cell zones of the dentate gyrus (DG) and the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the brain. CBLB502 is known to induce anti-apoptotic factors via NF-kB and has been an efficacious radioprotectant for non-brain radiosensitive cells of the body. In this study, CBLB502 as a novel radioprotectant of the proliferative cells within the brain is evaluated. NIH Swiss mice were anesthetized, given 10Gy radiation and either received CBLB502 before irradiation or received no treatment. Serial sections of these mice brains were immunostained with Mcm-2, a proliferative cell marker. Our results reveal no difference between the proliferative cell counts within the DG or SVZ of CBLB502 treated and untreated mice. Future experiments will investigate combination treatments while changing drug and radiation dose as to improve the model.

The Effects of Iontophoresis on Clinically Oriented Outcomes: A Systematic Review

Matthew O'Sullivan

Peter Koehneke

Background: The literature surrounding iontophoresis clinical effectiveness has been described as limited. In an attempt to make evidence based recommendations regarding the application of the modality, a systematic review was conducted. Methods: A literature search was conducted to locate studies that met a predetermined list of inclusion/exclusion criteria. The search resulted in 9 studies being accepted for inclusion; the accepted studies were individually assessed for quality. Discussion: The included studies were subdivided into three discussion groups; each group focused on iontophoresis effect on either pain, range of motion, or functional ability. Conclusions: Based on the included studies, iontophoresis is clearly effective at reducing patient reported pain, and is likely effective at improving both observed ROM and functional ability. The effectiveness of iontophoresis is dependent on multiple variables including depth of injured tissue, number of treatments, and treatment.

Do Students Know What They Need to About Internships?

Hillary Ventura, Caitlin Kacalski

Dr. Judith Larkin

It is widely accepted that college internships enhance classroom learning and provide valuable real world experience. But we know little about students' attitudes, knowledge, and experiences related to internships. Hence, we conducted a survey in four introductory psychology classes to gather data. We were especially interested in comparing freshmen and sophomores with juniors and seniors on questions such as how important they consider internships for their careers, their knowledge of how to obtain an internship, and whether they have spoken with faculty, advisers, or Career Center personnel about the process of obtaining (credit or non-credit) internships. Differences among the classes suggested areas where information and/or interventions early in students' undergraduate career might facilitate later career development.

A Comparative Study of the Behavioral Profiles of Two Pregnant Lowland Gorillas

Charles Ritzler, Kelsey Trumpp

Dr. Susan Margulis

Understanding how pregnancy affects captive western lowland gorillas, an endangered species, might help ensure adequate welfare and health, effective management, and successful outcomes. This study compares the activity budgets of two pregnant gorillas, Sidney and Lily, at the Buffalo Zoo. We compared behavior between the two females during their pregnancies, and within each female using data prior to each pregnancy, in order to detect individual differences and any deviations from normal behavior. We analyzed data from Oct. 2009 to Oct. 2010, and Sept. 2012 to Sept. 2013. We found sizable individual variation between subjects. Results showed increased time spent foraging and decreased time spent inactive during Sidney's pregnancy, while Lily showed increased time spent inactive, especially during the third trimester, and decreased time spent foraging. Both females reproduced successfully, however, more data are needed to discern a species-wide pattern of behavior during pregnancy.

Differential Responses of Warblers to Flight Calls

Lauren Parker, Hannah Elsinghorst, Kaitlin Garrity, Stephen Johnson

Dr. Sara Morris

Flight calls are short vocalizations given by birds under a variety of contexts, including during flight.  These vocalizations are unique, short in duration, and generally high frequency.  Our research team is investigating individual flight-calling behavior by migrant warblers to better understand this form of avian communication.  Our goal was to characterize the responses given by warblers to flight calls.  We used a electrically-shielded, acoustically-isolated recording chamber to study the response of warblers to flight calls.  We visually analyzed sonogram recordings to determine if birds gave a response.  Although birds often respond by giving flight calls, these are not the only type of responses we observed.  Warblers also gave other vocalizations (i.e., chip notes) and non-vocal behavioral responses, specifically, wing flaps.  Wing-flapping behavior may indicate the importance of flight calls for initiating migratory flights.