2021-presentations

* Recipients of Sigma Zeta Research Awards

Presentation abstracts will be published here shortly (usually within 24 hours) after they are submitted. (sp,fp,np designate preference for presentation day, however the host chapter makes the final decision on presentation times]

Abstract Submission Form

Name(s) (First Last): Elizabeth Harting
Author(s): Elizabeth Harting

Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: 
Concordia College

Title:
CRISPR-Cas9 System: TP53 Gene Editing

Presentation Abstract:
The CRISPR-Cas9 system, first discovered in bacteria as an immune defense system against viruses, is now employed as a gene editing tool. Composed of a target specific sgRNA bound to a Cas9 endonuclease, the CRISPR-Cas9 complex is able to recognize and cleave complementary segments of DNA resulting in a gene knockout. Using a combination of bioinformatics tools and laboratory procedures, cleavage of the TP53 gene was attempted in Danio rerio (zebrafish) DNA. TP53 is a major tumor suppressor gene (Leitold et al. 2020) strongly associated with the development of several cancers (Bumroongkit et al. 2008) making it an interesting target for the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool. A sgRNA template and primers were engineered in silico in order to synthesize a TP53-specific sgRNA and amplify TP53 target DNA. The target DNA was successfully amplified via PCR. Next, the functionality of the TP53-specific sgRNA was assessed by exposing the completed CRISPR-Cas9 complex to the target DNA. The target DNA was expected to be cleaved into two fragments, however, no cleavage was observed using gel electrophoresis. The most probable explanation for the lack of cleavage is a problem during in-vitro transcription of sgRNA resulting in an incomplete and nonfunctional CRISPR-Cas9 complex.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: 
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Lauryn Hinckley*
Author(s): Lauryn Hinckley

Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College

Title:
Determination of the Efficacy of Chitosan-Alginate Bioplastics as a Delivery System of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen

Presentation Abstract:
The rate at which an analgesic is released from a pill or similar delivery system is critical in alleviating pain. Recent studies have shown that slow release gel caps have the same release rates as fast acting analgesics. Chitosan-alginate bioplastics have been investigated as a potential drug release system. Chitosan is derived from chitin, which is extracted from the exoskeleton of crustaceans and normally used for a rigid material. Alginate is extracted from brown seaweed, which is used to introduce more flexibility to the chitosan-alginate bioplastic. Bioplastics were prepared, impregnated with acetaminophen and ibuprofen, and immersed in a series of solutions to measure release rate. Analysis was carried out using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) after a suitable method was developed for the separation and quantification of the two drugs. Individual release rates of acetaminophen and ibuprofen were determined separately from a series of chitosan-alginate bioplastics containing these drugs. A bioplastic containing both analgesics was studied to see if there was any cooperative or inhibitive effects from the two separate drugs. Differing release rates of the pharmaceuticals were found in different conditions, such as volumes of water and acid. Finding the release rate for each analgesic from chitosan-alginate bioplastics could be vital if these materials were to be used in real world situations.

Thank you to Sigma Zeta for funding this project through a research grant. Additional thank you to Analytical Instruments, of Minnesota, for the generous donation of the HPLC system for use in the teaching lab and undergraduate research.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Katherine Woller*
Author(s): Katherine Woller and Dr. Angela Stoeckman

Chapter: Beta Iota
College/University: Bethel University

Title:
The role of FFAR4 in the progression of NAFLD

Presentation Abstract:

As a consequence of the obesity epidemic and steady rise of metabolic syndromes world-wide, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) have become increasingly prevalent. NAFLD is defined as the accumulation of triglycerides (steatosis) in hepatocytes not including alternative causes such as excessive alcohol consumption. NASH occurs from the progression of NAFLD in 10-20% of patients and is characterized as steatosis with evidence of hepatocellular inflammation and damage. Macrophages have been found to play an important role in the progression of liver disease. When the liver is injured, for example, due to fat accumulation, Kupffer cells (liver-resident macrophages) recruit additional immune cells (including blood monocytes) that undergo differentiation toward classically activated macrophages (M1 type). Macrophages that have infiltrated the liver are then constantly exposed to a fatty-liver environment. M1-polarized cells have been found to secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines like TNFα, IL-6, and IL-1β and are capable of either positive or negative tissue remodeling post-injury in NAFLD. In NASH, as the liver tries to repair itself, the present macrophages differentiate into the M2 type, whose hallmark cytokine profile is the anti-inflammatory IL-10. These have an immunosuppressive effect and as they attempt to repair liver tissue, often result in progressive fibrosis.

In metabolic diseases such as obesity, NAFLD, and NASH, increased lipid turnover in expanding adipose tissue leads to elevated serum free fatty acids (FFAs), and an important correlation exists between obesity and higher levels of the saturated fatty acid palmitate. Different FFAs can bind to cell-surface receptors and initiate unique intracellular signaling events. Recently, the FFA receptor FFAR4, whose main ligands are omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids, has received attention because this receptor is expressed on pro-inflammatory macrophages and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory functions. To determine if macrophage FFAR4 plays a role in the progression of NAFLD/NASH, we are interested in: whether or not FFAR4 knockout (KO) mice will have increased macrophage infiltration to the liver; and how liver-niche “trained” FFAR4 KO macrophages will react when in a fatty environment by measuring internal lipid stores and pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine secretion.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: 
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Caitlin Diepenbrock*
Author(s): Caitlin Diepenbrock, Dr. John Murphy, Nicholas Shulte, Hayley Stoner, Kailey Weiskopf, Megan Worthington

Chapter: Gamma Kappa
College/University: Southwest Baptist University

Title:
Evaluation of Stress Behavior and Weaning Method in Cattle

Presentation Abstract:
This investigation examines the impact of weaning methods on stress-related behavioral responses in calves. The weaning process has been reported to be a stressful experience that results in the secretion of cortisol. Stress and cortisol secretion has been linked to behavioral alterations that may decrease the health and well-being of the cattle.  These alterations may include a decrease of food and water intake and an increase in pacing and vocalizations of the cattle. In this study, we assigned nine calves into three groups. The first group consisted of three unweaned calves (control). The second group was traditionally weaned which included physical separation from their mothers. The third group was weaned using a modified method by placing a nose flap in their nostril. Each evening, the calves were fed and then observed for approximately five minutes. During the five minutes, a count was conducted of the number of vocalizations, time spent pacing, and time spent ruminating. The data collected demonstrated a significant alternation of behavior among treatments. The traditionally weaned group had a significantly higher number of vocalizations with an average of 22 the first day and 19 the third day, while the control and nose flap groups had 2-3 vocalizations on those days. This increase in vocalization was also coupled with an increase in time spent pacing and a corresponding lack of time spent eating. The behaviors of the nose flap and control groups were nearly identical. This suggests that the use of a nose flap reduces the stress that is experienced by calves during weaning. To further investigate this relationship, blood cortisol levels could be collected and compared across groups.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Kailey Weiskopf*
Author(s): Kailey Weiskopf, Ashleigh Dewees, Caitie Diepenbrock, Nicholas Schulte, Haley Stoner, Megan Worthington, John Murphy

Chapter: Gamma Kappa
College/University: Southwest Baptist University

Title:
Determining a Correlation Between Free Cortisol Levels Saliva Samples and Total Cortisol Levels Blood Serum Samples in Cattle using ELISA

Presentation Abstract:
Weaning beef cattle is a process that suddenly introduces many abrupt, stressful events that create a series of physiological responses in cattle. The purpose of this research is to identify how the impact of stress affects the activation and enhancement of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which directly leads to the release of cortisol in the body. Current studies focus on the correlation of total cortisol in the blood due to the impact of stress, but minimal data has been published regarding the impact of stress on the levels of free cortisol found in saliva. In this study, the correlation between total cortisol obtained from cattle blood serum and free cortisol obtained from cattle saliva was analyzed to determine if saliva retrieval, a non-invasive technique, could be used to accurately reflect HPA activity/cortisol levels. Nine cattle, divided into three groups of three subjects (CON, FENCE, and FLAP) were exposed to different levels of stress through modified weaning techniques to allow for variation in cortisol levels in the samples collected. Cattle blood samples were obtained via coccygeal venipuncture and saliva samples were collected simultaneously, on days 0, 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10. Samples were centrifuged at the lab, frozen, and then analyzed using Cortisol Competitive Human ELISA Kit (Thermofisher). After analysis, a direct correlation was shown between overall levels of total cortisol in the blood serum samples and free cortisol in saliva samples. From these findings, it was concluded that saliva, collected through humane, non-invasive techniques, is able to accurately represent levels of cortisol found in cattle. This is beneficial in many aspects, as it is less time consuming and easier for the handler to obtain, and further research will be conducted to determine the best method for obtaining the purest samples of saliva for future research.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Hailey R. Larson*
Author(s): Hailey R. Larson, Wade A. Neiwert

Chapter: Beta Iota
College/University: Bethel University

Title:
Tris(pyrazolyl)borate complex to functionalize sandwich-type polyoxometalate

Presentation Abstract:

Polyoxometalates (POMs) are a unique class of inorganic clusters composed of metal cations (typically W(VI) or Mo(VI)) and oxo (O2–) anions. These nanoscale anions possess numerous applications in catalysis, electrochemistry, and magnetism. A sandwich-type Keggin POM consists of various transition metal cations (Mn+) sandwiched by two trilacunary Keggin [Xn+W9O33](12–n)– anions. The resulting sandwich can take on several forms, depending on the identity of the heteroatom X and the isomeric form of the trilacunary moiety. When X is As(III), Sb(III), Bi(III), Te(IV), or Se(IV), and the XW9 group is a B-beta-type structure, the Keggin sandwich takes on the form [(M(H2O)3))2(M'(H2O)2)2(Xn+W9O33)2](16–n)– where M and M' can be a range of metal cations (2+ charges in this case, as indicated by the charge on the complex). This work addresses a fundamentally new means of derivatizing these sandwich complexes. A tridentate tris(pyrazolyl)borate metal complex, [MTp], has been prepared and can be inserted in place of the tri-aqua-coordinated metal (M) in the POM sandwich. Upon coordination, the Tp ligand can be derivatized to allow for linking of one POM complex to another. These inorganic-organic-bridged species will represent an entirely new class of organized POM-based nanomaterials. The POM sandwich building blocks can be characterized by FT-IR and NMR spectroscopy. Single crystal X-ray crystallography will prove to be the most critical for elucidating the structures of these complexes.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Mia Locquegnies
Author(s): Mia Locquegnies, Clarissa Moore, Carolyn Voss, Allison Marcus

Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College

Title:
Plastic Pollution in Midwest Waterfowl

Presentation Abstract:
Studies on microplastics in waterfowl have revealed extensive effects on waterfowl however, there has been little comparison of the proportion of microplastics in ducks based on their feeding strategy. Previous researchers have shown that waterfowl ingest these microplastics however, there is a lack of information regarding whether waterfowl feeding on the surface are more at risk of higher ingestion of microplastics than those feeding beneath the surface. Our objective was to determine if diving ducks, those who feed beneath the surface, consume more microplastics than dabblers, those who feed on the surface. To do this we collected microplastics from the proventriculus, gizzard, and intestines of diving and dabbling ducks. Microplastics were quantified and average abundances were compared. We found no significant difference (p=0.2374) between the mean number of microplastics found as a result of two different feeding habits. However, the data shows that microplastics are a prevalent issue among freshwater ducks, and opens the door for more research in the future.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Grace McIntyre*
Author(s): Grace McIntyre, Dr. Trisha Staab

Chapter: Gamma Eta
College/University: Marian University

Title:
The role of ceramide metabolism enzymes ceramide synthase and acid sphingomyelinase on lipid metabolism

Presentation Abstract:
The increase in our aging population presents a need for research on healthy aging. Here, we present work examining the role of ceramide metabolism on aging. Ceramide is a sphingolipid that is important in responding to oxidative stress and recruiting apoptotic proteins to the cell membrane causing cell cycle arrest. Furthermore, it is known that ceramide levels increase with age, making ceramide an important lipid mediator of aging. The objective of this study is to examine the physiological role of ceramide metabolism on aging and lipid metabolism pathways in the roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans. To assess these mechanisms, we utilized C. elegans’ mutants lacking acid sphingomyelinase (asm-3) and ceramide synthase (hyl-2) which we previously found to be long- and short-lived respectively. We performed a lipidomic analysis to explore longitudinal changes in lipid concentrations in wild type (N2), asm-s/acid sphingomyelinase, and hyl-2/ceramide synthase worms at 1, 5, and 10 days of age. Among our samples, we detected 700 different lipids that were abundant enough in concentration for analysis. Interestingly, 10-day old hyl-2 mutants, which have a reduced life-span, showed an increased concentration of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to increase with longevity in worms. Conversely, asm-3 mutants, which are long-lived animals, have reduced levels of EPA. To expand upon our lipidomic data with enzymatic findings, we utilized RT-qPCR analysis to longitudinally analyze fatty acid desaturases (fat-1 and fat-4) involved in EPA metabolism in worms. We found that fat-4 expression is reduced in 1, 5, and 10 day hyl-2 animals, suggesting that ceramide metabolism may impact fatty acid genes involved in aging. Currently, my work aims to examine the role of fatty acid tail elongases (elo-5 and elo-6) in 1, 5, and 10 day old hyl-2 and asm-3 mutants. With this assay, I hope to better understand the intrinsic biochemical lipid processes associated with ceramide metabolism in aging animals.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Breea Liette, Grace McIntyre, Grace Harmon, Nathan Hubbard
Author(s): Breea Liette, Grace McIntyre, Grace Harmon, Nathan Hubbard, and Dr. Colleen Doci

Chapter: Gamma Eta
College/University: Marian University

Title:
Elucidating the pathological role of HOXA5 as an essential metastatic regulator in HNSCC

Presentation Abstract:

Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) are the 6th most common cancers worldwide. Each year, over 550,000 new cases are diagnosed but only 40-50% of these cases have a prognosis of at least five years. HNSCC are known for using the lymphatic vasculature to metastasize throughout the body. There have been few studies that observe the relationship between the mechanism of HNSCC and its metastasis through the lymphatic system. Here, we attempt to explore mechanisms and genetic pathways that elucidate the mechanistic function of HNSCC metastasis. Homeobox (HOX) genes, the class of genes HOXA5 belongs to, are known for encoding transcription factors that play an important role in regulating morphogenesis, cell differentiation, and cell growth.  

     Specifically, our research focuses on the metastatic role of HOXA5 which encodes important transcription factors relevant to the metastasis and progression of HNSCC. Despite the advances in understanding the role of HOX genes in cell proliferation, migration, and invasion, it has not been shown if HOXA5 is required for cell proliferation. The objective of this study it to determine the pathological role of HOXA5 in metastatic HNSCC. To assess these mechanisms, we are using the HNSCC line CAL27. Previous studies show that CAL27 is a stable metastatic strain that highly expresses HOXA5.  

     In order to investigate this claim, we are completing three different assays for both wild type CAL27 and CAL27 where HOXA5 has been knocked down. These assays will demonstrate the cell viability, migration ability, and invasive characteristics of HOXA5 knocked down in CAL27 and wild type CAL27. We hypothesize that high level expression of HOXA5 drives an aggressive in vitro metastatic phenotype in HNSCC. Knockdown of HOXA5 in CAL27 decreases the rate of cell division and the metastatic and migration ability of in vitro HNSCC. 

     Our experiments aim to elucidate the mechanisms of HOXA5 in relation to head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and will identify biomarkers of early-stage cancer prior to metastasis which would have significant implications in preventative cancer treatment.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


  

Name(s) (First Last): Amelia Landsverk, Vladmir Lind, Kelly Lorenz
Author(s): Amelia Landsverk, Vladmir Lind, Kelly Lorenz

Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College

Title:
Salty Roads Flavoring Our Ecosystem: Do Road Salts Have an Effect on the Conductivity and pH Levels of Soil in Northwestern Minnesota?

Presentation Abstract:

Road salt entering the environment is an important issue for many areas in the US. The Chlorine and Sodium ions from road salt have been shown to have negative impacts if they enter the environment. This experiment aims to examine three hypotheses: (1) whether road salt is entering the soil near roads (2) to test the hypothesis that ion concentrations will decrease as distance from the road increases and (3) that there will be a difference between ion concentration at intersections versus straight stretches.

Soil samples were collected from five different experimental test sites with 10 samples being collected in the middle of the road and 10 at road intersections. There were only 10 samples collected at the control site because there was no intersection/middle distinction. The samples were taken from the side of the road in one-meter increments. To test the soil, about 20 grams of soil was massed and mixed into 120 mL of water. Then, a handheld conductivity meter was used to measure the sodium ions present in the soil, and pH test strips were put into the mixture to determine the pH of the solutions. The pH helps determine the concentration of salt in the soil. 

There is support that road salts are entering soil adjacent to the road in the greater Fargo- Moorhead area. There was a significant decrease in ion concentration measured by conductivity as we moved farther away from the shoulder of the road. There was no significant difference between ion concentration or pH at intersections versus stretches of roads between intersections found. There was a significant difference in ion concentration and pH between the control and all experimental groups but no significant difference from site to site. Road salts applied to the roads to enter the surrounding environment and stay in the soil potentially affecting the plants and organisms living in the environment. We only tested if road salts entered the environment and not the effects of the road salts on plants and organisms. Future research on this topic would be needed to document road salt effects on the local organisms.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Vanessa Petrich, Lauryn Petrich, Taylor Devine, Cole Nowacki, Amelia Landsverk, Kelly Lorenzz*
Author(s): Vanessa Petrich, Lauryn Petrich, Taylor Devine, Cole Nowacki, Amelia Landsverk, Kelly Lorenz
Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College

Title:
The differentiation of White-Footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) from Deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) using Salivary Amylase and the technique- Cellulose Acetate Electrophoresis.

Presentation Abstract:
White-footed (Peromyscus leucopus) and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) are two distinct species and are physiologically differentiable.  However, their morphology overlaps to the extent that they cannot be reliably differentiated in the field.  Historically, biologists have attempted to use cranial measurements and physical characteristics such as ear and tail length, and the distinctiveness of tail coloration. These measurements have always overlapped or were subject to observer bias.  As the result of climate change, the deer mouse range has been constricting as the white-footed mouse range has increased, resulting in greater overlap of the two species ranges.  At the same time, their measurements and morphological traits have increased in their degree of overlap.   Previous research has indicated that these morphological traits can only identify between 55% and 66% of these species correctly.  Unlike morphological comparisons, differentiation of salivary amylase allozymes through the use of cellulose acetate electrophoresis provides a method of reliable differentiation between these two species.  Saliva samples were collected from restored and remnant prairies, and woodlands in Minnesota from 2004 to 2019.  We have conducted analysis of samples from 2017 to present and conducted comparisons with morphological data that was collected in the field.  Our hope is to identify morphological traits that might enable researchers in the field to accurately differentiate these species.  Rapid identification of these species in the field will enable us to understand their ecology more efficiently.  Identification is also important as they are reservoirs for Lyme disease (white-footed mice) and hantavirus (deer mice). 

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Haley Stoner*
Author(s): Haley E. Stoner, Caitlin Diepenbrock, Ashleigh DeWees, Megan Worthington, Nicholas Schulte, Kailey Weiskopf, Dr. John Murphy

Chapter: Gamma Kappa
College/University: Southwest Baptist University

Title:
The Impact of Cortisol on Killed Vaccine Effectiveness in Bovine

Presentation Abstract:
Weaning can be a source of stress for beef calves, but it is possible that changing the method of weaning can lower stress and increase the efficiency of vaccines in calves. Calves produce cortisol in response to stress, and cortisol acts as a potential immune suppressor. If the immune system is suppressed, vaccine response may be less efficient, resulting in more sickness and potentially increased antibiotic usage. This experiment tested nine calves split into three groups: traditionally weaned, nose flap, and control group. The control group contained unweaned calves. The traditional group contained calves that were separated from their mothers by a fence and were fitted with a nose flap. The nose flap group were not separated but were fitted with a nose ring which prohibited nursing. As calves were placed into groups, they were vaccinated against Clostridium C and (T0).  Using a low stress restraint system, blood samples were drawn from the coccygeal vein of each calf at the same time on each testing day (T0, T1, T3, T5, T7, T10, T14, T21). The serum was analyzed using an ELISA protocol measuring the concentration of neutralizing antibodies against Clostridium D.  Results demonstrated that calves in the nose flap group consistently produced higher concentrations of neutralizing antibodies than did the traditionally weaned group. The nose flap group performed similarly to the unweaned control group.  Based on these results, nose flap weaning may produce a greater immune response to vaccination than traditional weaning methods.

Presentation Type: Oral Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Nicholas Schulte*
Author(s): Nicholas Schulte, Kailey Weiskopf, Haley Stoner, Megan Worthington, Caitlin Diepenbrock, Ashleigh DeWees, Dr. John Murphy

Chapter: Gamma Kappa
College/University: Southwest Baptist University

Title:
Immune System Response to Vaccinations and Stress in Weaning Beef Calves

Presentation Abstract:
Immune system function is an important area of researched in production agriculture, specifically cattle. Several factors have been observed to impact the systems function.  Next to the birthing process, weaning a calf is the most stress inducing portion of their life and can have adverse effects when improperly managed. This study compares different methods of weaning with their corresponding impact on cortisol and immunoglobulin G (IgG) production. Over a twenty-one-day period, nine calves were placed into three separate groups; a control group that remained unweaned, a traditional group that was separated from the mother, and the experimental nose flap (flap) group that remained with their mother without the ability to nurse. On day one (t=0) all nine calves were injected with one dose of each Vira-Shield 6 and Covexin 8.  Venipuncture of the coccygeal vein was used for collection of blood and standard storage procedures from were followed. Using a standard Competitive ELISA protocol, total IgG levels were measured from the blood serum. Through the first five days of vaccination no difference in total IgG levels were observed between the groups. Following day seven, until the end of the study, the flap weaned calves demonstrated a greater production of total IgG than the traditional group. The total IgG levels of the flap weaned calves were similar to that of the control group. Based upon these results, the use of nose flaps during the weaning process may improve overall immune function in cattle.

Presentation Type: Oral Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Megan Worthington
Author(s): Megan Worthington

Chapter: Gamma Kappa
College/University: Southwest Baptist University

Title:
Analysis of Evidence Laboratories & Instrumentation Method Development

Presentation Abstract:
Abstract embargo

Presentation Type: Oral Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: I will potentially be out of reach of WiFi during the presentation slot time, I will submit a video recording of my presentation also


 

Name(s) (First Last): Olivia Vergin, Faith James, Peyton Lehman
Author(s): Olivia Vergin, Faith James, Peyton Lehman

Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College

Title:
Comparing Small Mammal Communities on Remnant and Restored Prairies with a Special Emphasis on Rare Species

Presentation Abstract:
As urban expansion converts wildlife habitats into agricultural and industrial land, native prairie lands have been reduced to 1% of their original area. This increases habitat fragmentation that disrupts species dynamics and populations, leading to low genetic diversity. Small mammals are vital to prairie ecosystems because they consume plant material and invertebrates, disperse seeds, and provide a source of food for larger species. Trapping of remnant and restored prairies provides data on small mammal density and diversity. Comparing population data between remnant and restored prairies can inform successful management and restoration practices. We trapped small mammals in various remnant and restored prairies in northwestern Minnesota from 2012 to 2020 with the goal to compare small mammal species richness and evenness as well as to monitor populations of rare species. We hypothesized that there would be a difference in species richness and evenness between restored and remnant prairies. We set two to three grids with 50 traps (alternating Small Sherman, Large Sherman, and Longworth) per grid at each location. When a mammal was captured, we identified species, sex, and mass, and then marked for recapture. We collected body measurements and saliva samples from Peromyscus species for species identification. Our data analysis includes Simpson’s Reciprocal Index for richness and evenness, population trends for common and rare species, and species comparisons between restored and remnant prairies. Through our prairie surveys, we document occurrences of rare species, such as Perognathus flavescens, Microtus ochrogaster, and Zapus hudsonius. Our findings will help inform future management decisions.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Christopher Woodbury
Author(s): Christopher Woodbury, Victoria Mendez, Briana Hauff Salas

Chapter: Sigma
College/University: Our Lady of the Lake University

Title:
Elevated temperature and RoundUp™ Herbicide decrease mitotic division and apoptosis in marine primary producers (Gymnodinium sp.)

Presentation Abstract:
Herbicides containing glyphosate are a common combatant for weeds around the world with application rates increasing more than 10-fold from 1995 to 2014. Due to the increased reliance on herbicides a significant amount of glyphosate has been introduced into coastal environments by runoff after heavy rainfall. As herbicides specifically target photosynthetic organisms, the runoff of herbicides combined with elevated sea surface temperatures associated with climate change has the potential to cause a negative synergistic effect on marine primary producers. Here we studied the effects of Roundup™ and elevated temperature on Gymnodinium sp. by exposing cells to 24°C, 27°C, and 30°C alone, or in addition to a 0.05% Roundup™ solution. Over a 48hr time period we measured changes in mitotic index percentage (MI%) and Caspase 3 expression as a measure of stress. Our results show a significant decrease in MI% in 24˚C+Herbicide treatments when compared to controls (24˚C) and 27˚C treatments (p<0.05). Preliminary Caspase 3 results suggests that Roundup™ has no effect on apoptotic activity at ambient temperatures (24˚C), and a suppressive effect on apoptotic induction at elevated temperatures (30˚C). These results together suggest that the herbicide Roundup™ decreases division rates of Gymnodinium sp. under normal, healthy conditions and suppresses the typical stress response to elevated temperature. Decreases in cellular division combined with dysregulation of the immune response pose a significant threat to global ocean primary production and subsequent impacts up the food chain.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Madeline Wolken
Author(s): Madeline Wolken, James Hall, Ph.D.

Chapter: Sigma
College/University: Our Lady of the Lake University

Title:
 Comparison of Two Methods for Measuring Efficacy of Antimicrobial Agents

Presentation Abstract:
Two common techniques for antimicrobial sensitivity testing, the broth microdilution method (BMD), and the use of concentration gradient strips, such as MIC test strips (MTS; Liofilchem, Italy) were evaluated in regards to the efficacy of streptomycin, bacitracin, and fluconazole each against Staphylococcus aureusPseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans. The two methods were compared through the investigation of their corresponding dose-response curves as well as through their regression analysis. The broth microdilution method was determined to be much more sensitive to the inhibition of growth at lower doses of the antimicrobial agents than was the MTS method. Both methods performed similarly at higher concentrations of the agents, but the MTS method showed more variability between replicates, making the BMD method more likely to be reproducible.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Megan Worthington*
Author(s): Kailey Weiskopf, Nicholas Schulte, Catie Diepenbrock, Haley Stoner, Ashleigh Dewees

Chapter: Gamma Kappa
College/University: Southwest Baptist University

Title:
Analysis of cortisol and IGg levels in Calves

Presentation Abstract:
Abstract embargo

Presentation Type: Oral Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: I will potentially be out of reach of WiFi during the presentation slot time, I will submit a video recording of my presentation also


 

Name(s) (First Last): Adrianna Coil and Kelsey Lang*
Author(s): Adrianna Coil and Kelsey Lang

Chapter: Gamma Eta
College/University: Marian University

Title:
The Role of OCTOPUS-like 2 Protein in FLS2 and BR Signaling Pathways in Arabidopsis thaliana

Presentation Abstract:

Plants are complex eukaryotic organisms that have to respond to multiple signals in their environment; some of these signals are pathogenic and some are required for growth. Plants have signaling pathways that have receptors that integrate signals and induce a cellular response. In Arabidopsis thaliana, when the receptor brassinosteroid insensitive 1 (BRI1) is stimulated with brassinosteroid (BR) the downstream signaling events will cause gene expression to be turned on for multiple growth genes. Another pathway in Arabidopsis that is involved in innate plant immunity is the flagellin-sensitive 2 (FLS2) pathway. When FLS2 is stimulated with flg22 peptide reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced. It is beneficial to study the innate plant signaling in model organisms to be able to produce crops that can tolerate plant pathogens and maximize growth. 

It has been previously discovered that the octopus (OPS) protein functions in phloem development. OPS and octopus-like protein 2 (OPL2) are known to be members of the same protein family. Therefore, it is predicted that the function of OPL2 is analogous to that of OPS. Because of the function of OPS, we propose that OPL2 will function as a negative regulator of the FLS2 pathway and a positive regulator of the BR pathway. We plan to measure flg22 induced ROS production and perform qPCR on growth genes. Our long-term goal is to establish a function of OPL2 in relation to OPS.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Payton Price
Author(s): Payton Price

Chapter: Beta
College/University: McKendree University

Title:
The Association Between PER3 VNTR Polymorphisms and Morningness/Night Sleep Preference

Presentation Abstract:

Since its discovery in the early 1900s, circadian rhythm biology has been heavily discussed and researched amongst members in the scientific community1. Broadly, circadian rhythm biology focuses on characteristic cycles during alternating periods of wake and rest during the 24-hour day-night cycle1. As our knowledge of this topic has progressed, we have discovered that this circadian cycle is regulated and controlled by a variety of genes within our genetic code. More specifically, variable nucleotide tandem repeats within the PER3 gene have been linked with differences in human sleep-wake phenotypes and sensitivity to light2. Previous studies have shown that the individuals with the polymorphism that had 4 VNTRs favored earlier wake-up times and productivity, while people with the 5 VNTR favored later wake-up times and increased nighttime productivity3. The predictiveness of this specific VNTR has yet to be universally accepted. In some studies, done on other cohorts outside of the United States, the presence of these specific VNTRs was not found to be correlated with any diurnal preference amongst individuals4,5. For the purpose of this study, the distinct variable nucleotide tandem repeat polymorphisms found within the PER3 gene in students at McKendree University will be quantified to see if there is a correlation between that VNTR and diurnal preference among this cohort. Associating a specific polymorphism on the PER3 gene to diurnal preference would go a long way in improving our overall understanding of circadian rhythm biology. This discovery could have implications in how we treat sleep disorders and give individuals insight on their genetics that could impact how they go about their day to day lives.

Presentation Type: Oral Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: 
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Cade McGarvey
Author(s): Cade McGarvey, Christopher Hamilton, Ph.D.

Chapter: Alpha Psi
College/University: Hillsdale College

Title:
 Characterization of a Putative Prolyl Endopeptidase from Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris

Presentation Abstract:

Prolyl endopeptidases (PEP) are serine protease enzymes that cleave proteins at proline residues. Gluten is a protein found in many grain foods, and proline is a prevalent component in the primary structure. Gluten triggers an immune response in people with celiac disease, causing the immune system to attack digestive organs. The prevalence of proline in gluten has led to promise of PEPs from extremophiles to act as a treatment for celiac disease. The goal of this research was to determine if a previously untested PEP found in Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris can serve as an effective treatment for celiac disease.

DNA was taken from A. acidoterrestris, and the gene of interested was used to transform Escherichia coli. Transformation was successful, so Ni-NTA affinity chromatography was used to purify the PEP, which was accomplished. Kinetic assays were run on the purified PEP using the substrate H-Ala-Phe-Pro-pNA. No activity was detected, even after the addition of likely cofactors and removal of the 6X His tag. Replacing the H-Ala-Phe-Pro-pNA with Nα‑Benzoyl‑L-arginine ethyl ester hydrochloride did not result in noticeable activity.

 Using the purified enzyme with the Pierce QuantiCleave Protease Assay Kit resulted in detectable activity. The activity detected from the assay indicates that the purified enzyme not only was functional but could be classified as a serine protease. The lack of detectable activity from the previous assays suggests that the enzyme studied was misclassified as a PEP, but it is not a trypsin. Future work should test the enzyme against other peptide substrates to determine the identity of the enzyme of interest in this study.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Andrew S. Gettelfinger
Author(s): Andrew Gettelfinger, Dhabih V. Chulhai, Ph.D

Chapter: Rho
College/University: University of Indianapolis

Title:
 Comparing the accuracy and efficiency of DFT and Machine learning at studying protein substrate interaction

Presentation Abstract:

The study of proteins and their related mechanics and interactions is a dominant topic in the field of Biochemistry. Due to the size of proteins, (often 1000+ Amino acids), determining conformation experimentally is often difficult and limited. This is often limited to crystallography, which while good at determining overall shape, cannot always determine locations of ligands and the interactions of substrates with the proteins. These limitations are why using computational methods to study protein substrate interactions is vital. In the past, Density Functional Theory (DFT) has been the most commonly used method to study interactions for proteins. However, DFT is limited given that it requires high computational costs, and does not scale well for larger systems. Recently, Machine Learning has emerged as a potentially new tool for studying protein substrate or ligand systems. In this study, I wanted to determine if machine learning can be used to study these systems accurately and effectively. For this study, we observed the active site of Bullfrog M ferritin, using both DFT and Machine learning, and used CCSD(T) to determine accuracy.

Presentation Type: Oral Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Ryleigh Cottingham, Jack Curran, Benjamin Johnson, Gavin Seffens, Maguire Shannon
Author(s): Ryleigh Cottingham, Jack Curran, Benjamin Johnson, Gavin Seffens, Maguire Shannon, Cohrs, Randall, PhD, Leontine Galante, PhD

Chapter: Gamma Sigma
College/University: Colorado Christian University

Title:
 Characterizing the differential epigenetic program of Varicella Zoster Virus latency and reactivation

Presentation Abstract:

Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is the causative agent of varicella (chickenpox), a highly contagious, but typically mild childhood disease, during which time the virus undergoes retrograde transport from initial cutaneous lesions to establish a latent infection in ganglionic neurons of the peripheral nervous system. This latency can last many decades, only to reactivate in the elderly when cell-mediated immunity declines and VZV re-emerges as herpes zoster (HZ), a painful condition also referred to as shingles. Shingles results from viral replication, inflammation, cell death, and is often accompanied with severe/ persistent pain; or postherpetic neuralgia, and reduction in quality of life. With a 1 in 3 penetrance in elderly populationns, there is a strong drive to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie both VZV latency and its reactivation. If we can understand the genetic program that shifts this otherwise dormant virus into active replication and lysis, we can more directly target the subset of neurons involved or introduce early preventative measures to mitigate its effects.  A major challenge to this task has been establishing a suitable model in a laboratory environment, as VZV is an exclusively human virus. Our research aims to characterize and apply a novel system to study the genetic program of VZV latency and reactivation in collaboration with Dr. Randall Cohrs, at UC Anschutz, by using a dorsal root sensory neuronal cell line (HD10.6) transduced with a tetracycline repressible promoter. In the absence of tetracycline, cells propagate in a progenitor neuron state. Addition of tetracycline causes HD10.6 cells to differentiate into fully functional sensory neurons of the human peripheral nervous system. This system, therefore, presents an internally controlled model for studying the gene expression changes associated with VZV latency and reactivation and will be characterized more thoroughly in the short term. Long term goals include further understanding of the transcriptional program associated with latency and the epigenetic changes correlated with reactivation. Previously identified candidates, such as chromatin insulator, CTCF, will be studied for its presence or absence at key regulatory regions at the alternate states of the VZV infectious cycle.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Ashleigh DeWees*
Author(s): Ashleigh DeWees, Nicholas Schulte, Haley Stoner, Kailey Weiskopf, Megan Worthington, Caitlin Diepenbrock, John Murphy

Chapter: Gamma Kappa
College/University: Southwest Baptist University

Title:
Cortisol Research

Presentation Abstract:
Traditional weaning methods is an abrupt removal of calves from mothers that leads to a series of physical and phycological stressors on the calves. The stressor being studying was cortisol, the largest stressor released in the body by HPA axis. This stressor can be caused by the sudden removal of calf from mother, diet alterations, and changing of social hierarchy. In this research we used 9 calves, 3 per group, to study an alternative weaning method. The 3 groups consisted of a non-weaned control group, traditional weaning group, and a nose flap group. Each group of claves were studied for a 28-day period and analyzed by both behavioral actions as well as internal reactions within the blood and saliva. Within this 28-day period, each calf had a rectal temperature taken, blood drawn from Coccygeal vein, vaccines administered, saliva captured, squeeze chute and pen scored. The blood and saliva were then used to analyze total cortisol and IgG levels using an ELISA kit. Our goal of this research was to compare the amount of cortisol between the weaning methods and IgG levels, to discover a less stressful weaning method for the calves. This can be a very beneficial discovery because diseases associated with stress, such as weaning, cost the animal agriculture industry more than $1 billion annually. With the idea of reducing antibiotic usage, this must start with reducing stressors that contribute to disease and increasing the calves immune system. With the use of modified practices we hope to decrease cortisol levels, enabling for a positive immune response and healthier cattle. 

Presentation Type: Oral Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: 


 

Name(s) (First Last): Caleb Beimfohr, Natalie Prena*
Author(s): Caleb Beimfohr, Natalie Prena

Chapter: Gamma Eta
College/University: Marian University

Title:
SEMA3F EFFECTS ON MACROPHAGE MIGRATION AND DIFFERENTIATION IN A WOUND ASSAY

Presentation Abstract:

SEMA3F is well documented as a class 3 semaphorin usually associated with axonal guidance and developmental cell patterning. Recent preliminary research has suggested that SEMA3F blocks macrophage differentiation and migration to a wound site. This blocking of macrophage migration slows the healing rates of injuries, as macrophages are vital in the healing process.  Our objective is to validate these preliminary data that suggest SEMA3F slows wound healing. SEMA3F is heavily modified and proteolytically processed, and there are no immunoprecipitating antibodies available. Therefore, we have undertaken a tandem-affinity purification strategy is collect highly purified, natively processed SEMA3F. We will be using a fibrin assay to test the ability of SEMA3F to inhibit the invasion of macrophages through the fibrin gel towards a chemoattractant. We will have three trial groups, one group with untreated fibrin, one group with fibrin treated with normal amounts of SEMA3F, and one group treated with excess amounts of SEMA3F. We expect to find that the untreated group will have more macrophage invasion into the fibrin assay, the group with normal SEMA3F treatment will have significantly less invasion, and the group with excess SEMA3F treatment virtually no invasion.  While preliminary, the confirmation that SEMA3F blocks macrophage migration could lead to technology that could temporarily disable SEMA3F around a concentrated site, leading to faster wound healing after both accidents and surgeries.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Life Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Taylor DeVine, Ashley Adams, Jaiden Conroy
Author(s): Taylor DeVine, Ashley Adams, Jaiden Conroy, Noah Anderson, Raquel Egge

Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College

Title:
Effects of Zebra Mussels on Water Quality in Minnesota Lakes

Presentation Abstract:

Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) are an invasive mollusk named for the striped pattern on its shell. Although native to Eurasia, zebra mussels have found their way into the United States and have continued to spread across the region. Zebra mussels negatively impact ecosystems in many ways, such as filtering algae that native species need for food, incapacitate native mussels, and cause an increase in toxic blue-green algae. Impact of zebra mussels on overall water quality of lakes in Becker County, Minnesota was assessed using three experimental methods: water conductivity, water clarity, and total suspended solid concentration (TSS). Our goal was to examine whether zebra mussels had observable impacts on lake ecosystems in a short time span. We used six lakes, two without zebra mussels, two that have been infested for two years, and two that have had them for five years. At each site, measurements were taken for water clarity using a turbidity tube, conductivity using a conductivity meter, and a liter sample of each lake was collected to measure TSS. Data were analyzed to gain an understanding of impacts to the lake ecosystem. Water conductivity readings of measured lakes decreased as the length of time zebra mussels had been present increased. Water clarity readings and TSS were inconclusive. Conductivity data supported the idea that zebra mussels do indeed have impacts on lake quality in a short time period. Additional examination of Department of Natural Resources research supported the conclusion that zebra mussels cause a decrease in lake ecosystem quality.

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): 1: Alexis Fohl, Presenter 2: Tyler Jobe, Presenter 3: Allyson McAtamney, and Presenter 4: Emily Varrasso*
Author(s): Alexis Fohl, Tyler Jobe, Allyson McAtamney, and Emily Varrasso

Chapter: Gamma Eta
College/University: Marian University

Title:
Experimental Study of Stress-reducing effects of Ashwagandha on C. Elegans

Presentation Abstract:

With the current addiction issue all over the world, it is important that we, as a scientific society, look into alternative medicines to treat health issues. Mental health, as it becomes a more widely-known topic, brings up the question of how to treat these various issues. Currently, there are synthetic drugs made by large pharmaceutical companies being used as the first option for treatment of depression and anxiety. However, these drugs often have severe side effects or addictive properties making them a class of drugs that are not necessarily safe for those with anxiety. Some common side effects include nausea, drowsiness, loss of appetite, and trouble sleeping (Ackerman). For instance, benzodiazepines, like Xanax and Prozac, are common drugs used to treat General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). These are highly addictive like nicotine, and they often cause people to develop major withdrawal symptoms (Pecknold). As a consequence, efforts have been launched to identify alternative medications that may circumvent some of these long-term use issues. We want to look into the benefits of natural, low side-effect alternatives for those needing medication to help treat anxiety (Chandrasekhar). Ashwagandha is often used as a mood-enhancing, anxiety-reducing herbal medicine that could possibly be used as a natural substitute for benzodiazepines (Shah). Along with in-vitro studies, there have also been some placebo studies done to find out if the drug is effective in lowering anxiety in humans (Chandrasekhar). While this herb is widely known for these effects, it is unknown whether or not taking ashwagandha daily, as a preventative, or if taking it as needed yields better effects. We predict ashwagandha will be more effective as a pre-treatment in reducing stress levels in C. elegans.

To measure this the effectiveness of ashwagandha (withania somnifera), we are in the process of starving C. elegans and then exposing them to a relatively small amount of octanol and then to ashwagandha after (Harris). For the positive control of this experiment, we will use Fluoxetine, better known as Prozac, in order to evaluate stress response (Rangaraju). With the literature cited, Prozac is known to decrease stress levels through other stress assays, such as serotonin (Liang). The second half of this experiment will be very similar, but the ashwagandha and fluoxetine will be administered to the C. elegans before being exposed to octanol. If the C. elegans move away from the octanol faster, they are less stressed. Since it has already been determined that ashwagandha increases lifespan of C. elegans, it is important that we look into the reasoning for that further (Kumar). We are also expanding our experiment to include a serotonin assay, egg count, and reactive oxygen species concentration to determine ashwagandha’s effects on biological and physiological stress levels in comparison to Prozac’s effects. 

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Friday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Environmental Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: N/A


 

Name(s) (First Last): Faith James, Olivia Vergin
Author(s): Faith James, Olivia Vergin, Eliana Rutherford, Dr. Joseph Whittaker, Dr. Jennifer Sweatman

Chapter: Gamma Gamma
College/University: Concordia College

Title:
Microplastics are Nuts! Examining the Interplay between Squirrel Foraging Dynamics and Plastic Pollution

Presentation Abstract:

Abstract embargo

Presentation Type: Poster Session Presentation
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Science Education
Presentation Equipment Needs: PowerPoint and Projector


 

Name(s) (First Last): Liza Lewis and Kaitlyn Andreoni
Author(s): Liza Lewis and Kaitlyn Andreoni

Chapter: Sigma Zeta
College/University: Marian University

Title:
In Vitro Model of Rhabdomyolysis

Presentation Abstract:

Rhabdomyolysis has been shown to severely damage renal functions through increased skeletal muscle damage from excessive exercise (Hansriviji, et al., 2020). It is commonly found in athletes who overwork their bodies and completely deplete the cells of ATP. Glycogen storage disorders, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) or type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have been shown to greatly increase chances of developing exertional rhabdomyolysis (Kanungo, et al., 2018). Metformin is a drug commonly prescribed to type two diabetic patients, and rosuvastatin is commonly prescribed for CVD. When a T2DM patient is prescribed metformin, they are also commonly prescribed a statin drug. This is because these two drugs affect the same pathway of cholesterol production through HMG-CoA. We want to know if rhabdomyolysis can be shown in someone who is not an athlete, but is taking these two drugs and needs to workout due to type two diabetes and underlying heart issues. This is important to know as scientists because prescribed exercise is a major part of helping patients get better. Giving the prescription, one should also consider the drugs the patient may be taking to ultimately prevent rhabdomyolysis. We hypothesize that rosuvastatin and metformin will increase rhabdomyolysis associated apoptosis both individually and in combination. 

For our first specific aim, we will measure levels of apoptosis on C2C12 cells with metformin and rosuvastatin alone by inducing the cells with p-phenylenediamine (PPD). We will be plating 10,000 cells per well in 96 well plates, using 50uM of rosuvastatin, 500uM of metformin, and 150uM of PPD. We hypothesize that both rosuvastatin and the metformin will cause apoptosis of the cells in a vitro model of Rhabdomyolysis.

For our second specific aim, we will measure levels of apoptosis on C2C12 cells with a combination of metformin and rosuvastatin. We will be using a range of 30-50uM of rosuvastatin with 300-500uM of metformin and running apoptosis assays on each possible combination of doses. We will again be using 150uM of PPD to mimick rhabdomyolysis. We hypothesize that the rosuvastatin and metformin will cause apoptosis of the cells in a vitro model of Rhabdomyolysis.

Presentation Type: 
Presentation Time Preference: Saturday Morning Session
Subject Area of Presentation: Physical Sciences
Presentation Equipment Needs: