Poster Presentations for Session #4 at 2:30pm in Science Hall Commons

Fair Trade

Katherine Farinacci

Sarah Signorino

Fair Trade enables sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, consumers, industry and the earth. Fair trade products are easily accessible and buying them promotes the betterment of the earth and farmers who produce the products. The Fair Trade model requires rigorous protection of local ecosystems and ensures that farmers receive a harvest price, which will allow them to practice sustainable agriculture.

The ArchTEx Project

Britney Regis

Dr. Debra Burhans

I am currently working as a scientific programmer under the direction of Dr. Michael Buck, an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at SUNY Buffalo.  I will present an overview of the ArchTEx program and discuss my role in its development.  ArchTEx is a program that allows quick extraction and visualization of data from Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) projects.  It enables calculation of strand cross-correlation to identify optimal short-read tag extension; extraction of data using a variety of data transformations; and performs genome-genome correlation of BAN (Binary sequence Alignment Map) files to assist in comparison of biological and technical replicates.  My role in this project was to take the existing ArchTEx version and make it more accessible to the user.  This involved creating pop-ups that showed a description of the tool a user had selected as well as creating a way to click multiple files at once to put through the program.

Effect and Duration of PNF Stretching on Hamstring Range of Motion

Bennett Quigley, Emmilly Hammond, Mariah Gorlewski, Nicole Butzke, Patrick Corrigan

Michael Dolan

Restoring range of motion following athletic injuries is an important component of rehabilitation.  Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is a common clinical intervention technique used to increase range of motion (ROM) and flexibility.  The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of PNF and duration of treatment effect.    30 Subjects.15 Male and 15 Female with an average age of 20.53±1.6 years volunteered for the study.  Each subject’s hip extension motion was measured with a goniometer.  A traditional PNF technique was used to increase hip extension range of motion.   Immediately after PNF, range of motion was reassess and then again at 3 and 5 minutes after the intervention.  An ANOVA using SPSS V.19.0 was used to determine changes in ROM.  ROM increased after PNF but at 6 minutes there was no difference in range of motion. Although PNF was effective in increasing range of motion the duration of the treatment effect is relatively short indicating that athletes should perform multiple bouts to maintain increases in motion.

Internal Displacement

Melanie Falvo

Dr. Paola Fajardo-Heyward

Internally Displaced people are people who are without a home. They have been forced to leave their home and everything else behind to seek refuge from things such as armed conflict, natural disasters, & human rights violations, among other things. Unlike refugees, internally displaced people remain within the borders of their country, therefore this issue has received little international attention.  Internal Displacement is an issue that remains prominent in all regions of the world today. Because this is an issue that affects every region of the world, an international effort must be made to protect the basic human rights that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states all human beings are born with. It is our job, as students of a Jesuit institution to be well informed of issues that are happening not only within the religious community and within the United States, but in all regions of the world.

Inositolless death blocks the mitotic cell cycle in anaphase in S. cerevisiae.

Joseph Pittari

Dr. Barbara Hanson

A rapid decline in cell viability; Clb2 cyclin and polymerized tubulin in nonbudding cells are the early changes that occur when an inositol auxotroph of S. cerevisiae undergoes inositolless death. The effect on tubulin suggests that cells enter the cell cycle but do not progress through anaphase to the breakdown of the tubulin spindle. This may be due to the decline in Clb2p and other cell cycle proteins. In this study, the levels of mRNA for the genes: Securin (Pds1), Separin (Esp1) and a subunit of the Anaphase promoting complex, were measured by RT-PCR using RNA from cells grown with and without inositol for 0, 3, 6, and 24h. The mRNA levels for Pds1 and Apc1 declined to 55% and 60% of control levels at 3h and 38% and 45% at 24h. The mRNA levels for Esp1 declined the most rapidly to 40% and 15% of control levels at 3h and 24h. The rapid reduction in Esp1 mRNAs and low levels of the Esp1 protease may prevent the sister chromatid separation and the progression through anaphase.

Resveratrol decreases tubulin acetylation in axons: implications for axonal growth

Thomas Krzystek

Dr. Elizabeth Hogan

The neuronal growth cone is a highly dynamic structure that facilitates axonal growth and elongation. Resveratrol, a natural polyphenol, activates sirtuin 2: a NAD+ dependent tubulin deacetylase. Previously, Dr. Hogan's lab demonstrated an accelerated growth cone advance upon resveratrol treatment in Helisoma Trivolvis neurons. Using immunofluorescent microscopy and threshold imaging, we observed that resveratrol significantly decreases the percent of neurons with positive acetylated microtubule staining. In addition, the acetylated microtubule staining observed organized in either a punctate or a thick and wavy fibril pattern. Resveratrol decreased the percentage of neurons with acetylated microtubules organized into these thick and wavy fibrils. From these results, we propose the model that a decreased population of acetylated tubulin underlies the accelerated growth cone advance observed in resveratrol treated neurons.

The Effects of Visitor Density on Stereotypic Behavior In Captive Gorillas

Mallory Abel, Liam Kelly

Dr. Susan Margulis

Utilizing behavioral monitoring as a non-invasive means of quantifying behaviors can lead to the discovery of meaningful trends in behavior. We have been collecting data on a troop of Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) at the Buffalo Zoo to examine the effects that visitors may have on gorilla behavior. All three of the adult members of this particular troop exhibit stereotypic behaviors that may be indicative of stress (ex: hair plucking; regurgitation and reingestion). By comparing the frequency of these behaviors during one year, we aimed to identify trends that correlated with crowd level. We found that hair plucking in the adult male gorilla increased with crowd size. Regurgitation and reingestion tended to decrease with crowd size in all three adults. By measuring the impact of an environmental factor such as crowd, we may be able to identify strategies to eliminate or minimize the impact of such variables in the future.

Behavioral Changes of a Juvenile Gorilla as a Result of a Newborn Gorilla

Heather Desorcie, Nicholas Woodward

Dr. Susan Margulis

The Buffalo Zoo has a troop of 5 gorillas: one adult male, two adult females, one 3 year old female, and a 5 month old. This study focuses on the behavioral changes in the 3 year old, Amari, particularly her interactions with her mother Sydney and other troop members before and after the birth of the baby. We looked at data 5 months before the birth of the baby and 5 months following the baby's birth. Many behaviors such as locomotion and affiliation stayed the same. Time spent suckling and foraging increased after the birth of the baby by 34% and 9% respectively while interactions with zoo visitors decreased 41%. Data show that Amari spent more time with her mother after the birth of the new baby. Time spent with Sydney increased by 58%. Time spent near other troop members also increased by 65% after the birth of the baby. This study can help unravel the complicated relationships between troop members and how an added troop member affects the group dynamic as a whole.

Giant Pacific octopus color change in response to variable environmental stimuli

Matthew LeFauve

Dr. Susan Margulis

Cephalopods (octopus, squid, and cuttlefish) are renowned for their ability to produce rapid somatic color change. This color change, known as metachrosis, is believed to be evolutionarily adaptive both in helping the cephalopod communicate and for camouflage. I evaluated whether metachrosis in the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is driven primarily by environmental color or primarily by a central nervous system state similar to vertebrate mood. Through the use of colored acrylic sheets, I manipulated the immediate environment of an octopus at the Aquarium of Niagara. The tests were designed to determine if the octopus changed color primarily based on environmental coloration or if it changed primarily based on an internal mood. I found that the octopus has the capacity to produce rapid somatic color change. While the generalizability of my results may be limited, the implications of these findings for the proximate and ultimate causation of metachrosis are discussed.

The effects of temperature on common vampire bat behavior

Macy Madden

Dr. Susan Margulis

Common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) have become increasingly popular as zoo exhibit animals, however, little is known about the impact that the zoo environment may have on their behavior. In a previous study completed in 2013, I evaluated activity budget and exhibit use in a group of captive vampire bats at the Buffalo Zoological Gardens.  From this study I determined that crowd level has an effect on bat behavior.  In order to further understand the parameters affecting behavior, this year I began to monitor ambient outdoor temperature, the temperature in the Rainforest Falls exhibit, and the temperature in the bat exhibit, as these may influence the bats directly, or indirectly via their impact on the crowd level at the zoo. The temperature of the bat exhibit remains stable, and thus has no effect on bat behavior, but the ambient outside temperature may affect crowd level which has been shown to affect the bats activity and exhibit usage.

The effect of male presence on female behavior in gemsbok and addax

Alfred Runkel, Claire Taberski

Dr. Susan Margulis

To manage the breeding of hoofstock in zoos, males are usually separated from the herd. We have data on two species of hoofstock, gemsbok (Oryx gazella) and addax (Addax nasomaculatus), at the Buffalo Zoo, collected over two years. During one year, males were in the herd for at least part of the year, while during the second  year, males were not introduced to the herds. We hypothesized that females would exhibit more active behavior when males were in the erd than when no males were present. We collected data using focal animal scan sampling weekly from March-October 2012 and April-October 2013.  Our preliminary analyses suggest that  females are more active when males are part of the herd. The results can be used by zoos to display more active animals that would be more interesting to the public, and by considering alternative methods to control breeding so that they will be able to mix the sexes year round.

The Effects of Estradiol and Bisphenol A (BPA) on SKOV3 Ovarian Cancer Cells

Laura Hayes

Dr. Lisa Morey

This project studied Bisphenol A (BPA) and Estradiol effects on expression of histone methyl transferases (HMT) and histone deacetylases (HDAC) in an ovarian cancer model. BPA is a weak environmental estrogen found in many plastics. This study compared the effects of BPA and Estradiol on Set8 (HMT) and Sirt1 (HDAC). RNA isolation, cDNA production, and PCR were used for analysis. SKOV3 cells were determined to be responsive to biological and environmental estrogens in various other studies. Experiments were conducted using Estradiol, BPA, Estradiol and ICI, and BPA and ICI. ICI is a drug used to treat breast cancer that inhibits the estrogen receptor, and was expected to decrease the effect of Estradiol on Set8 and Sirt1. The effects were not known previously. The results were used as a comparison to the effetcs of BPA and ICI. Results show a significant increase in the first dosage of Estradiol, and decrease in the second and third doses, when compared to the control.

Media Representations of Women: The Impact of Sexual and Tantalizing Images

Lauren Siebert

Dr. Melissa Wanzer

The media invades not only the channels of delivery, but also the minds of those exposed to the messages. Women are exposed to tantalizing images and messages that are orchestrated to play to their vulnerabilities of belonging. A particularly disturbing message delivered by the media exploits women through sexual expectations. The underlying message of these images sets an unrealistic and unattainable ideal that women then strive to achieve. This pressure then to sexualize oneself in order to be admired and wanted serves that of only a detrimental purpose.  Scholarship on media representations of women argues that these sex-typed ideals presented to women have a profound negative effect on them. More specifically, this paper explores those detrimental effects of sexual objectification and the unrealistic ideals within those depictions shown in magazines, TV, and advertisements.