Abstracts of Presentations at the 2013 (123rd) Annual Meeting of the Tennessee Academy of Science.
13 November 2013
Plant conservation under the Endangered Species Act: proposals to list two Tennessee plants as endangered and designate critical habitat. Geoff Call, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Cookeville, Tennessee. In August of 2013, the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list two Tennessee plants-Physaria globosa (Desv.) O'Kane & Al-Shehbaz (Short's bladderpod) and Helian thus verticillatus Small (whorled sunflower) -as endangered species and to designate critical habitat for these species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (the Act). I will present information about these species, including their known distribution, the habitats where they are found, threats affecting them, conservation efforts, and the process by which species become protected under the Act.
Observations on the the globally-rare Hall's Bulrush in Kentucky with implications for Tennessee. Edward W. Chester, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee. Hall's Bulrush [Schoenoplectiella hallii (A.Gray) Lye, Cyperaceae], formerly known as Schoenoplectus hal/ii (A.Gray) S.G.Smith, and Scirpus hallii A.Gray, is a small (normally less than 35 cm tall) tufted annual that is globally rare and listed as threatened, endangered, or possibly extirpated in all states of known occurrence. It is currently known from 26 counties in 10 states where it occurs in wetland habitats. Studies have shown that shallow flooding, light, and ethylene are required for germination. In Kentucky, the species was first discovered in 1983. It is now known from a few ephemerally-ponded depressions on the southern Pennyroyal Plain, Christian and Logan Counties. The sites are a few km from the Tennessee border but the species is not known from Tennessee, even though suitable habitats are present. This paper describes the known Kentucky sites and discusses implications for possible occurrences in Tennessee.
A Tree Inventory of a One Hectare Plot of Lowland Peruvian Rainforest. Allen D. Moore, Gilberto Navarro-Aguilar, and Luis Torres-Montenegro, Tennessee Wesleyan College, Athens, Tennessee. Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Lima, Peru, Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Peruana, Iquitos, Peru. A floristic inventory was carried out at Madre Selva Biological Station, in northeastern Peru. All trees 10 cm dbh were surveyed in a one-hectare permanent plot. There were 513 individuals belonging to 253 species, 120 genera and 43 families. The results showed that the total basal area of the trees in the plot was 27.3 m2. The four species with the highest importance values indexes were Otoba parviflora, (Markgraf,) A. Gentry (Myristicaceae), Iriartea deltoidea, Ruiz & Pay. (Arecaceae), Otoba glycicarpa (Ducke) W. Rodriquez, and Astrocarum murumuru, C. Martius, (Arecaceae). The five most dominant families in order of importance were Fabaceae, Myristicaceae, Sapotaceae, Moraceae and Bombacaceae.
Ten years of monitoring of federally threatened Scutellaria montana in Catoosa County, Georgia: findings and recommendations. Jared Odell* and Jennlfer Boyd, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee. To monitor population-level trends and determine influences on such trends toward guiding management, federally threatened Scu-tellaria montana in the Tennessee Army National Guard Volunteer Training Site (VTS), Catoosa County, Georgia, has been monitored regularly since 2004. Data suggest that the size of the VTS occurrence, as well as its numbers of juvenile and flowering plants, experienced significant declines during 2007-2008 drought conditions with at least partial recovery by 2010. Recent monitoring indicates these variables are experiencing another significant decline. While it is possible that above-average precipitation during early 2013 could have negatively influenced S. montana, we suggest that the relatively late timing of 2013 monitoring also was influential, especially to the relatively few juveniles and absence of flowering plants observed. We recommend that annual monitoring be continued at the VTS to help resolve these relative influences, but suggest that monitoring protocol be streamlined to facilitate consistency between years.
Cell and Molecular Biology
Greg A Johansen
Effect of Connexin 43 blockade on GTI-7 Cell Synchronization. Deepthi R. Kappala* and Gilbert R. Pitts, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is a neurohormone that is secreted in pulses from the hypothalamus. Pulsatile secretion of GnRH is necessary to establish and maintain normal reproductive function. The ability of a population of GnRH cells to collectively release distinct episodes of GnRH requires the coordination of individual GnRH cells. Recent studies reported that a gap junction, connexin 43, is necessary for synchronized secretary activity in immortalized GnRH cell cultures (GT1-7 cells). The amount calcium influx is proportional to GnRH release in cells. The present study investigated the effect of Gap26, a connexin 43 blocker, on calcium influx of GTI-7 cells using fluorescent microscopy. Calcium influx did not remain synchronized in cells treated with Gap26. The results indicate that connexin 43 is involved in synchronization between GT1-7 cells.
Daniel J. Swartling
Differential proteomic strategy to determine sub-lethal effects of gold-nanoparticles on Tetrahymena sp. Vanaja Reddy Boded-dula*, Sri Bharat Madireddy, Sharon G Berk, and Jeffrey 0 Boles, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee (VRB, SBM, JOB), and Center for the Management, Utilization and Protection of Water Resources, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee (SGB). A differential expression proteomic approach was employed to examine the sub-lethal effects of gold-nanoparticles on a strain of Tetrahymena. Two sets of the Tetrahymena sp. cells were cultured, one exposed to 20 nm unconjugated gold nanopar-tides (test) and the other not exposed to nanopartides (control). Proteins from the two cultures were extracted and separated by 2D electrophoresis (first dimension isoelectric focusing (IEF) and second dimension sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE)) maintaining the same set of conditions for both the control and test cultures. Five up-regulated proteins and eight down-regulated proteins as a result of duplicate exposures were identified by nano-electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry, followed by protein identification using online protein databases ProteinLynx Global Server and MASCOT. Triplicate exposures resulted in three up-regulated and five down-regulated proteins. Analyses of differentially expressed proteins will aide in determining biological mechanisms involved during the exposure to nanoparticles.
Progress in the development of a parabolic solar reflector for use in organic synthesis reactions. Brian M. Agee*, Gene Mullins, and Daniel J. Swartling, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee. Due to the recognition of the irreversible damage done to the environment through man-made materials and the desire to avoid the economic burden of pollution clean-up, scientists have attempted to transform typical synthetic procedures into environmentally favorable procedures. Since fossil fuels are used for the majority of electrical energy in the United States, the amount of electricity required to complete an experiment has recently become an environmental concern. Solar parabolic reflectors have been proposed as an effective means for minimizing the amount of electricity needed to drive chemical reactions to completion. The proposed solar reflectors were developed by covering satellite dishes with reflective tape, giving the dish reflective properties when the dish is directed at the sun. The ability to use the solar reflector as the sole heat source for high-temperature synthesis reactions has been examined. Analysis of the products was performed by NMR and GC-MS.
Comparing Raman and FT-IR spectra of synthetic cathinones and common cutting agents. Courtney Chance*, Sarah Gray, and Andrew Callendar, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee. FTIR spectroscopy is commonly used to identify illegal drugs in the field because it provides distinctive spectra in a compact package. Raman spectroscopy has been gaining attention for similar purposes, because it can also examine liquid samples. Synthetic cathinones (bath salts) have recently emerged as a popular substance of abuse. It is important to develop a method to identify cathinones rapidly in the field. We will present FTIR and Raman spectra we have collected and compare the distinctiveness of the spectra of different cathinones. This will lead to useful application in the area of forensic chemistry.
Progress towards the enantioselective total synthesis of hamigero-mycin b: part II, preparation of the aromatic synthon. Michael S. Probasco, John W. Kirby, and Jesse D. Carrick, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee. Hamigeromy-cin B is an aromatic natural product bearing substantial acetogenic character isolated as a secondary metabolite from the soil fungus Hamigera avellanea in 2008. Extensive spectroscopic studies were utilized to establish the proposed relative stereochemistry of the target. Biological activity of the resorcyclic acid lactones is diverse including targets that display anti-malarial activity as well as selective cytotoxicity. Progress towards the convergent asymmetric synthesis of this molecule will be presented focusing on construction of an aromatic synthon derived from 2,4,5-trimethoxybenzoic acid in five steps. A cross-metathesis/ macrolactonization sequence highlights the proposed efficient completion of the natural product in eleven steps for the longest linear sequence from commercially available starting materials.
Computational Study of Acetylthiazole Thiosemicarbazones. Mallory B. Miles*, Edward C. Lisic, and Scott H. Northrup, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee. Thiosemicarbazones (TSCs) are a class of compounds which have been extensively studied for their effects as antibacterial, antiviral, and antitumor agents. In the present study, computational modeling within Hyperchem software was used to produce conformers of acetylthiazole thiosemicarbazone (ATZ-TSC) derivatives, including ATZ-TSC and its dimethyl derivative ATZ-dMTSC. Starting with a planar model of ATZ-TSC, which contained four trans bonds, bond torsions were adjusted to produce 16 unique ATZ-TSC conformers. These conformers were then subjected to semiempirical AM1 and ab initio HF/6-31G* optimization. A set of dimethyl ATZ-TSC conformers were similarly obtained. These conformers will form the basis for future studies of ligand docking with topoisomerase in the adenosine diphosphate binding site and could confirm their mode of action and their potential usefulness as drug molecules.
Engineering and Engineering Technology
Assessing resiliency of mobile cyber-physical systems. Daniel Henke*, Aaron Henderson*, S. Keith Hargrove, and Sachin Shetty, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee. Mobile Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) is composed of mobile and integrated physical and computation components with capability to communicate over wireless network. Typical applications include, target tracking, search and rescue, and vehicular networks. Due to the ubiquity of the applications of mobile CPS, it is important to assess the ability of the system to operate under cyber-attacks. In this research project, we investigate the resiliency of a swarm of robots, implementing a "flocking algorithm" to self-organize, against jamming attacks on the underlying wireless communication systems from a malicious attacker. We present a systematic approach to assess the durability and stability of the "flocking algorithm" for swarm of robots. The jamming attacks were launched from software-defined radios in a real mobile CPS test bed comprising of 10 Pioneer 3-AT robots. Experimental results provide insights into the degradation of the communication between the swarm of robots under various attack scenarios.
Augmented Reality mechanism assembly system. Benjamin W. Morton*, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee. Hands-on experience adds valuable context to a lecture/ training program and allow the participant to engage the instruction process through practical synthesis. Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that combines real and virtual objects in an immersive environment. The objective of the proposed system is to provide an AR environment for Tennessee State University's Mechanical Engineering students to understand the assembly of a six-bar quick return mechanism. The user is presented with the necessary parts to construct the mechanism, and can then perform the assembly interactively with augmented visual feedback via projector and image tracking system (Vizard, ARToolkit). Virtual images are projected onto the physical workspace superimposing instructional feedback, guiding the participant(s) through the assembly process. Funded by the NSF Targeted Infusion Award. Advisors: Dr. Sachin Shetty, Department of Electrical Engineering; Dean S.K. Hargrove, College of Engineering.
Bandwidth Optimization via DNS Automation. Daniel J. Flanigan*, Sachin Shetty, Tamara Rogers, and S. Keith Hargrove, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee. DNS servers provide the means for routing information to and from internet sources. These routes can include email exchange, site requests, and more commonly, download or get requests. While most DNS records are updated regularly and provide an optimized destination route, open DNS servers can provide an alternate routing path. Several factors can influence the route path that will ultimately result in lower bandwidth during get requests. This project proposes to identify some of the factors such as geographical location that can affect bandwidth. Test locations include 23 university nodes spread across the continental US and Canada. A list of 12 open DNS servers was used to automate get requests. This process was repeated for each representative DNS server and node. Results indicate route path efficiency regardless of geographic location and suggest DNS records to be a limiting factor in bandwidth optimization.
Bandwidth analysis of video transmission in a distributed environment using PlanetLab. Jared Wagnac*, Sachin Shetty, S. K. Hargrove, and Tamara Rogers, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee. Internet videos are very popular in the social community. With the high frequency of videos being uploaded, "Which region amongst the United States has a faster upload time based on the time of day?" It is presumed that faster upload speeds throughout the country. Also there is more likely a time of day that improves this analysis. A list of active nodes using PlanetLab and divided per each region. The Midwest region has the quickest upload speed and the best results occurred at night. Results show that the night would have the fastest speeds possibly, due to less traffic from individuals. This research is not limited to this country, but be expanded to an international level. Traffic is currently still being monitored to uphold its accuracy.
Detection and response mechanism to combat malware infecting web browsers on smartphones. Waled M. Tayib*, Ian Miller*, Sachin Shetty, and Samuel Hargrove, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee. Recently, the smartphone industry has seen tremendous growth due to the widespread adoption of devices based on Google's Android and Apple's LOS platforms. The worldwide market penetration of Android based smart-phone has attracted attention of malware developers. This research project presents a lightweight real-time classifier of URLs generated by smartphone web browsers to determine if the associated websites are malicious. The classifier is implemented on Hadoop based cloud computing platform to ensure real-time response. Performance evaluation of the system has shown that 85-90% accuracy is achieved with a response time of 120 ms.
The theoretical extension of Prandtl's inviscid lifting line theory to the viscous flow over rotating cylinders. Mark N. Callender, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The inviscid, incompressible flow over a finite lifting surface has been modeled by Prandtl's lifting line theory using the superposition of infinitesimal vortex filaments. Prandtl and his colleagues used lifting line theory to discover that the elliptical circulation distribution aerodynamically optimized the superposed vortex filaments by minimizing induced drag. A result of this discovery, for a traditional fixed wing, was that an elliptical chord distribution provided an elliptical circulation distribution thereby minimizing induced drag. Finite rotating cylinders, when exposed to flow perpendicular to their major axis, produce lift via the Robins-Magnus effect. This work extends Prandtl's lifting line theory to optimize the distribution of radii for finite rotating cylinders producing lift via the Robins-Magnus effect. The result is the biquadratic body of revolution. Effectiveness of various de-noising algorithms applied to audio extraction. Na Zhu, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee. Audio sound extraction is under concern in many applications, yet is still under development. In this presentation, the operations of various de-noising methods, such as windowing, filtering, short-time Fourier transform (STFT), wavelets transform (WT), and blind sound separation methods, are explained and compared. Various types of signals, including continuous, impulse, stable, and non-stable sounds, are tested in the numerical simulation and experimental validation. The results show that the effectiveness of various de-noising algorithms varies based on different types of sound. What is more, the impacts of the number and position of measurement and the de-noising threshold parameters will be discussed thus optimized.
E learning on robotic applications. Chin-Zue Chen, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee. The development of robotics was originally emphasized on industrial applications, but in recent years the R&D of robotics has widely spread into various non-industrial applications and areas, with plenty of related information available on Internet. In order for the students to see a picture of the current status of robotic applications in all areas, a collaborative Website search & sharing approach was implemented in a class. After the class compiled lists of both industrial and non-industrial robotic application areas, each student was assigned several areas for research online- regarding development history, current status, and examples of applications with video clips - and then shared the search results with the class. The student prepared a report including references for each area searched, and the individual reports were compiled into a class report. A student feedback survey was conducted for improvement and critique.
A study of female students enrollment in engineering technology STEM programs. lhab Habib, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee. The problem studied in this research project was the enrollment of female STEM engineering technology students and the impact of professional mentoring and financial incentives on their enrollment, retention, and completion of engineering curriculum. One of the tasks presented was to recruit more students to the program especially female as a minority in the Engineering Technology Department, make necessary changes to the curriculum, and make improvements in mentoring students to improve rate of enrollment, retention, and completion of the program. A survey was created to study the effect of mentorship and providing scholarship to females in engineering Technology will result in more under-represented groups. Other similar studies showed the more females are provided with scholarships and faculty mentorship the ore diversity will be in engineering schools.
Geology & Geography
Michael A. Gibson
Variation in water temperature as an indicator of recharge area characteristics in Middle Tennessee springs. Randy M. Curtis, Gresham, Smith & Partners, Nashville, Tennessee. Continuous time series measurements of water temperatures at several springs across middle Tennessee were evaluated to determine the degree of variation in various geologic settings. Temperature variation can indicate the recharge area characteristics of a spring by placing precipitation recharge travel time on a continuum of fast, direct swallet inflow to the subsurface all the way to gradual infiltration and near darcian flow conditions with long contact time in unsaturated zone geologic materials. For example, temperature monitors placed in the Lost Cove Creek Swallet and the Carter Cave stream outflow established a correlation in water temperature variation following precipitation events over Lost Cove in Franklin County, Tennessee.
The nature of the contact between the Dean and the Wilhite formations at milepost 16.5 along US Highway #64, Ocoee Gorge, Southeast Tennessee Blue Ridge. Andrew J. Steven* and Habte G. Churnet, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee. Lithologies metamorphosed to the greenschist facies have a contact at mile marker 16.5 along US Highway #64 in the Ocoee Gorge. However, the ages of the rocks and the nature of the contact are controversial. At the contact, rocks are tightly folded, beds are overturned and bedding and foliation dip steeply. The outcrop is dominated by phyllite west of the contact, and by the metaconglomeratic Dean Formation, east of the contact. The Dean was likely deposited as grain and debris flow deposit. By the contact of the formations shaley layers are interbedded with lenses of sandstone. Lode casts in shale and flames of shale in overlying sandstone are present in the adjacent Ocoee riverbed by the horizon of the contact. Hence, the nature of the contact between the Dean formation and the overlying rhythmically bedded turbidite, the Wilhite, is gradational and it is a depositional contact.
Structures within the Walden Creek Group proximal to the confluence of the Hiwassee River and Wolf Creek, Polk County, Tennessee. Jonathan A. Petsch* and Habte G. Churnet, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee. The northeast-trending railroad cut parallel to the Hiawassee River exposes a complex set of structures in the Walden Creek Group metamorphosed rocks. Much controversy has existed over rock ages, the natures of contacts, and depositional environments of protoliths. The exposures proximal to the confluence of Wolf Creek and the Hiwassee considered in this study offer new insight into this controversy. Field examination, microscopic study, and X-ray analysis indicate that the rocks have been metamorphosed to the chlorite grade of the greenschist facies. Deformation is assumed to be synmetamorphic and foliation axial planar. Abundant crossbedded beds are the relict sedimentary structure. Different depositional slope of bed sets, rotated crossbeds, slump deposits, and intraformational folds indicate slope was unstable at the time of deposition. Current flow direction at time of sedimentary deposition was estimated by standard stereonet methods. Two dominant paleocurrent directions, one to the north another to the south, is determined.
Cave entrance modeling using GIS. Chuck Sutherland* and Peter Li, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee. Discovery of new cave entrances is currently limited to field work, and guesswork with a map. GIS can remove guesswork by implementing a simple mathematical model. Cave entrances were selected in two quadrangles in Tennessee on the Eastern Highland Rim. Statistical analysis was done analyzing elevation, and slope from 10 meter DEMs. Based on known locations, the output provides point locations where new cave entrances are more likely to be discovered. Cave entrance modeling can be used to steer development away from known karst areas which would be potentially damaging to developers and homeowners, as well as help guide new cave discovery.
Memorial to Dr. James Xavier Corgan: his service to the Department of Geology at Austin Peay State University. Phillip R. Kemmerly and Jack E. Deibert, Austin Peay State University Clarksville, Tennessee. Dr. James Corgan (1930-2012) was a well-loved Professor of Geology at APSU from 1968-1991 and was responsible for establishing the Department of Geology in 1972. His leadership as chair until his early retirement in 1991 resulted in the steady growth in numbers of majors, successful graduates, and a growing recognition of the professional skills of APSU graduates. Before joining APSU, Jim received an B.S. degree from New York University in 1955, a M.S. from Columbia University in 1957, a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 1967, and worked as a field geologist for the Sinclair Oil Company from 1959-1968. Jim taught nearly every kind of geology course at APSU but he focused mostly on invertebrate paleontology, physical geology, and historical geology courses. His colleagues and former students will always remember his smile, his fatherly manner, and his genuine interest in the success of the geology department and its students.
James X. Corgan and the history of geological research and education in Tennessee. Richard G. Stearns and Michael A. Gibson, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee and University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee. James X. Corgan (1930-2012) was science and geologic education historian. To illustrate, his research on Tennessee State Geologist James Safford's geology textbook led to collaborating with Richard Stearns of Vanderbilt to expand to 19th century textbooks and syllabi throughout America. Unexpectedly, religion was extensively included in early geology courses. Benjamin Silliman (1829), considered a "Giants of American Geology", used the Bible as the authority for earth history in his 124 page syllabus. Thomas Cooper (1832), geology professor and President of South Carolina College, was tried publicly before their Board of Trustees; accused by the Presbyterian leaders of "leading students astray". As late as 1873 James Dana's prestigious "Textbook of Geology" had religious themes, but at the end of the book, where they could safely be ignored. Over his career Corgan authored and coauthored more than 140 articles contributing greatly to our understanding of history of science and geologic education.
James X. Corgan: Paleontologist. Michael A. Gibson, University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee. James X. Corgan (1930-2012) wore many professional hats. He was a historian of all science disciplines, a promoter of public geologic education, investigator of Tennessee geology, and internationally as a paleontologist. Corgan's first contributions to paleontology occurred while a geologist for Sinclair Oil in Alaska, where he described a new species of brittlestar from the Cretaceous of the Yukon, followed by a paleoecological study of Devonian fauna in the region, where he narrowed his interest to mollusks. Mollusks remained his focus for the remainder of his career. Along the way he studied modern mudlump mollusk communities, demonstrating his understanding of modern ecology. Corgan's focus as a gastropods taxonomist resulted over 20 collaborated international articles related to modern and fossil gastropods, culminating in a reorganization of the pyramidellidae. Demonstrating his versatility as a paleontologist, Corgan parlayed his interest in vertebrates culminated in two editions of a compendium volume Vertebrates of Tennessee.
The last billion years: a geologic history of Tennessee. Don W. Byerly, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee. The Last Billion Years, published by the University of Tennessee Press was written to present tools and background useful for interpreting geologic history, and then to present the geologic history of Tennessee so it could be easily understood by middle school, high school, and college students and the general public. The title, The Last Billion Years: A Geologic History of Tennessee, was chosen because the oldest rocks in Tennessee have been dated slightly older than one billion years, and Tennessee's geologic history is preserved in rocks dating from about 800 million years ago to the present. Through plate tectonics Tennessee was once part of supercontinent, Rodinia, later part of another supercontinent, Pangea, and finally shoved into its present place on the North American supercontinent. Tennessee's landscape has slowly evolved to its present form. A geologic time chart illustrates the contemporaneous geologic history across the three grand divisions of Tennessee.
History of Science
Brother Kevin Ryan
Twenty-five greatest science discoveries of the twentieth century. Brother Kevin Ryan, Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee. Following Alan Lightman in his book "Discoveries", the top 22 science discoveries will be listed. This will use the published papers in standard journals to give titles and credit. Three listings will have multiple papers.
Graduate education of Archibald Belcher: first science professor at MTSU. Martin V. Stewart, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Archibald Belcher (1870-1924) was a classics scholar who turned into a physical science professor and became one of the original 18 faculty members when Middle Tennessee State Normal School opened in 1911. Belcher had previously taught at several high schools in the waning western cultures of Colorado and Texas during the curricular revisions of the American Progressive Movement. He switched fields from history and Latin to physics and chemistry and, subsequently, became a normal school professor in the newly formed state of Oklahoma before coming to Tennessee. A biography of Archibald Belcher is being written. His early life on a plantation in post reconstruction North Central Georgia and education at Starrsville Academy and Emory University (1888-1892, A.B.) was presented at the 2012 TAS meeting. This will now be extended to his graduate work in classical philology at the University of Georgia (1894-1895) and Harvard University (1895-1897, A.M.).
What's in a name? Phalangid nomenclature with emphasis on genus Leiobunum (Arachnida: Phalangida (Opiliones). Charles R. McGhee, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. What's in a name? Phalangida, Opiliones? Phalan-gium, Leiobunum? Granddaddy-long-legs, Harvestman? Sheep Master, Shepard Spider? Non-weaver, Cow-catcher? Names are essential to understanding. The history of names is more interesting. Linne's scientific names in Systema Naturae 1758 are valid and cannot be changed. Linne described Phalangitan opilio in 1761. The Latin "Phalangia" translates to "venomous spider" and "Opilio" to "sheep master". Who came up with "granddaddy-long-legs"? Latreille established the Order Pha-langida in 1802. Sundevall later changed Latreille's Phalangida to Opiliones. Both ordinal names are still used in phalangid revisions. Who is right, who is wrong? Thomas Say named his new American phalangid species Phalangium vittatum in 1821. Carl Koch described the new genus Leiobunum in 1839 with Phalangium rotundum Latreille as the genotype. Say's Phalan-glum vittatum had to be renamed Leiobunum vitta turn. The name game goes on.
Math and Computer Science
Integrating business intelligence and visualization tools into graduate technology programs. Maurice Dawson, Tyrone Bannister*, Darius Craig*, and David Floyd*, Alabama A&M University, Normal, Alabama ( MD), Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida (TB, DC) and Colorado Technical University, Colorado Springs, Colorado (DF). Graduate technology programs must be continuously updated to maintain alignment with industry needs such as business intelligence (BI) and visualization. It is essential that not only the theories are updated but also the tools. An effective method to do this is to use open source applications such as R, Cytoscape, iReport development tool, and Rlcward. These tools allow for low level statistical programming to complex data visualizations which teach the lifecycle development of predictive analysis software concepts. We will explore the potential applications of these tools to include the difficulty of use. We will present findings of these applications on Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems (OS).
Evolving landscape of American politics with technology. Johnny L. King* and Maurice Dawson, Alabama A&M University, Normal, Alabama. This proposed case study provides a view into world of politics and examines how technology is changing it in the 21st century. Additionally, it provides a look into the future of politics as it relates to technology. The goal is to define the similarities and discuss why these two fields coincide. Campaigns have access to databases that give the amount of money a single person donated in a selected constituency. The Rock the Vote organization was created off data that displayed the population group, between the ages of 18-29, were less likely to vote due to generational viewpoints. In the recent Presidential election, social media was heavily used in effort to provide a competitive advantage in securing votes. The result of this case study displays how technology and politics are actively changing.
Finding an optimal baseball batting order. Stephen J. Robinson, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. Due to its many one-on-one interactions, baseball lends itself quite well to advanced statistical analysis. Still, how these statistics interact in a batting order can be complex. Here, a probabilistic algorithm finds the optimal lineup by simulating many games with each possible lineup. This methodology also allows a study of how run limits affect game outcomes and how individual players contribute to a team's performance.
On the gamma-logistic distribution. Indranil Ghosh and Ayman Alzaatreh, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee. In this talk, a new generalization of the logistic distribution, namely, the gamma-logistic distribution is defined and studied. Various properties of the gamma-logistic are obtained. The structural analysis of the distribution in this paper includes moments, mode, quantiles, skewness, kurtosis, Shannon's entropy and order statistics. The method of maximum likelihood estimation is proposed for estimating the model parameters. For illustrative purposes, a real data set is analyzed as an application of the gamma-logistic distribution.
A new family of generalized normal distributions. Ayman Alzaatreh, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee. The idea of generating skewed distributions from normal has been of great interest among researchers for decades. In this talk, a technique proposed in Alzaatreh, Lee & Famoye (2013) is used for generating the T-normal family of generalized normal distributions. Comparisons of this method and existing methods suggest that many existing methods can be derived using this framework. Some general properties including moments, mean deviations and Shannon entropy of the T-normal family are studied. Some new generalizations of the normal distribution, which are members of the T-normal family, are presented. Some members of the T-normal family of distributions, namely, exponential-normal, exponentiated-exponential-normal and Weibull-normal distributions are studied in detail. Some applications of these generalized normal distributions are provided to illustrate their flexibility.
Development of mathematical model to understand spread of Lyme Disease. Matthew Martin* and Samuel N. Jator, Austin Peay State University, Tennessee. Lyme disease is the most prevalent disease spread by arthropods in the United States. The causative agent of Lyme disease has been found to be the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. An understanding of the spread of B. burgdorferi through geographical space is of importance in understanding how to best combat the disease. B. burgdorferi has a complex life cycle in which it is transmitted to various hosts by tick vectors and back into ticks from the same hosts. Models using a reaction-diffusion approach have been used in the past, but were limited to considering small mammals. Although small mammals are thought to be the most important reservoirs for B. burgdorferi, birds have also been shown to carry the disease. Migratory birds may contribute significantly to the spread of Lyme disease over long distances. In order to create a more robust model of the spread of Lyme disease, the effects of migratory birds on B. burgdorferi spread have been examined in a new model.
Eugene de Silva
An exploratory study to improve the effectiveness of a front-kick in martial arts. Gabrielle Baker*, Eugene de Silva, and William Sproat, Walters State Community College, Morristown, Tennessee (GB, EDS, WS), Virginia Research Institute, Tazewell, Tennessee (EDS), and Institute of Physics, UK/USA Branch, Tennessee (EDS). This research work focused on the ways to improve the effectiveness of the front-kick that is applied in martial arts. A cohort of 30 participants, who were trained martial artists, was selected for this study. The applications of physics and body mechanics in a front-kick were explored with focus on the ways in which power and strength could be improved. Each martial artist struck the bag in three different marked locations for a total of nine kicks per style. A statistical analysis of the results displayed the differences among the three different styles of kicks. Consequently, this paper has proposed the most effective style of delivering a front-kick in martial arts.
Effect of environment on the corrosion behavior of ODS FeCrAl alloy at 1100[degrees]C. E. Essuman, E. De Silva, S. Dryepondt, and B.A Pint, Walters State Community College, Morristown, Tennessee and Materials Science (EE and EDS), Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee (EE (previously), SD, and BAP), and Institute of Physics, UK/USA Branch, Tennessee (EDS), and Virginia Research Institute, Tazewell, Tennessee (EE and EDS). Conventionally, high temperature oxidation exposures have been conducted in air or oxygen to illustrate the corrosion behavior. However, many of the anticipated applications include more complex environments. The purpose of this work is to fundamentally understand how environment affects the alumina scale growth and microstructure. In this study, specimens of a commercial; oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) FeCrAl (alloy PM2000) exposed at different times from 1 to 500 hours at 1100[degrees]C in different environments including [O.sub.2], C[O.sub.2]-[H.sub.2]0, Air-[H.sub.2]0 and Ar-[H.sub.2]0 will be characterized. Initial results showed increased scale spallation after the C[O.sub.2]-[H.sub.2]0 exposure compared to the dry [O.sub.2] exposure. Less mass gain is also observed in Ar-[H.sub.2]0. Reacted samples are characterized using XRD, electron microprobe analysis, light/optical microscope, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy giving idea of the morphology of the scales formed. Through these, prediction of life, mode of degradation, failure mitigation and prevention, etc, of this material are achieved.
Inferior mirages. Nabil W Wakid, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The desert type of mirage is more commonly seen as a puddle of water on the pavement while driving on a sunny summer day. It appears as an inverted virtual image and is called inferior because it is seen beneath the real object. This phenomenon is explained in many encyclopedias and textbooks as due to the refraction of light as it enters the hot less dense layer of air adjacent to the ground. Others attribute it to total internal reflection at the interface between ambient air and the less refractive hot air. Still others explain it as only due to specular reflection of light impinging on a rough surface at grazing angles. Here it is shown that refraction alone cannot account for this phenomenon, and that both total internal reflection and specular reflection do occur, but under different conditions.
Science and Math Teaching
Effect of a content-based science biology course on the attitudes of pre-service teachers toward teaching and learning science. Heather L. Barker* and Cindi Smith-Walters, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Due to increasing emphasis on in-depth scientific content knowledge and delivery methods, teachers now more than ever must be prepared, self-confident, and skilled in effective approaches to conveying science content and skills. However, research suggests that the teaching of science is often approached with hesitation. Our university requires a content knowledge-based, pedagogy-heavy life science course for pre-service teachers in lieu of the traditional science methods course. We examined the effect of this course by analyzing responses to a science teaching questionnaire, a science learning questionnaire, and a middle grades Praxis confidence survey administered at the beginning and end of the semester. Results showed an overwhelmingly positive and statistically significant difference in all areas measured. Our presentation will explore the research-based pedagogies and contextual factors we believe most positively impact the pre-service teachers' self-efficacy and attitudes. We will draw conclusions with insights for effective science courses in teacher development programs.
Learning community courses: "linking" science with diverse academic disciplines. Chris Barton, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. As science educators, one of the challenges we face is teaching students to integrate and apply core scientific concepts from our courses in other diverse disciplines. At Belmont University, we are confronting this challenge with "Learning Community Courses," that are part of our first year core curriculum. During this first year, students concurrently enroll in an Introductory Biology course and a "linked" course from another department, both of which teach core concepts from their respective disciplines while focusing on a core theme of study. Through this experience, students are learning core biological concepts and applying these tools to gain a better, more thorough, understanding of different disciplines. This "linked" curriculum is allowing students to bridge the perceived gap between multiple disciplines, while allowing faculty the opportunity to interact and collaboratively educate our undergraduates.
Understanding the effect of an active-learning strategy in a non-major biology course. Jeffery W. Bonner* and Michael L. Rutledge, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Active-learning strategies are effective in making science content interesting and relevant. We were interested in the grade impact when implementing a diversified instructional approach featuring active-learning activities in a non-majors biology course. Specifically, we wanted to know if these activities are effective for students who test poorly (D/F averages). Also, we wanted to visually track the movement of students between letter grades when these activities were implemented and considered in final grade calculation. Finally, we were interested in the degree to which students take advantage of a grading opportunity that emphasized effort and participation. To conclude we show course evaluation data that indicates students approve of this course, which offers a diversified pedagogy to class time by fusing a teacher-centered lecture component with student-centered activities.
Teaching biology in the prep room: co-curricular science education for student workers. A. Darlene Panvini, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. The student worker lab position is not just a job for students or a means for faculty to get solutions made and laboratory dishes washed. Conversely, much learning can take place through mentoring and the development of a structured program for undergraduates who prep labs. The AAAS call for biology education reform, Vision and Change, recommends that students engage in interactive, inquiry-driven, and collaborative scientific work that is both authentic and relevant. As lab prep assistants, students have an opportunity to hone laboratory techniques, provide feedback on curricular changes, learn about environmental management regulations, practice the scientific method, and engage in problem-solving. This session will discuss a variety of ways in which faculty, staff, and student peers can develop a science student worker program that complements and enhances the learning taking place in the classroom and laboratory.
Scavenging of internal organs of hunter-harvested white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianu.s.). Edward 0. Zahed*, Steve W. Stephenson, and Michael L. Kennedy, Department of Biology, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee (EOZ, MLK), and American Ordnance LLC/Milan Army Ammunition Plant, Milan, Tennessee (SWS). Viscera (internal organs) from field-dressed white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) provide a novel and interesting food patch on the landscape for consumers during annual hunting seasons. Yet, utilization of such food patches have not been studied in detail. Therefore, we investigated consumption (scavenging) of viscera of white-tailed deer in Carroll and Gibson counties, Tennessee, during winters of 2011 and 2012. Internal organs of deer were taken from hunter-harvested animals during the hunting season and later placed at selected locations. Infrared-triggered cameras were established at sites near viscera and recorded the arrival of consumers and consumer assemblages. Vulture (Catharses spp.), coyote (Canis latrans), raccoon (Procyon lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), bobcat (Lynx rufus), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), and Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) were among the consumers recorded.
Effectiveness of using silent counts and aural stimuli to detect Barred Owls in the area surrounding Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee. Katrina D.R. Moeller*, Heather Meadors, and H. Dawn Wilkins, University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee. Barred Owls (Strix varia) are common nocturnal predators whose life cycle is poorly understood. Our goal was to compare silent counts to counts following playback of aural stimuli. Ten min silent counts detected about the same number of owls as 10 min post-playback counts, but the rate of calling significantly increased after aural stimuli which could increase detection in low density areas. There was no monthly variation in the number of owls detected using 10 min silent and 10 min post-playback counts, but there was monthly variation in rate of calling after aural stimuli. Owls called at a significantly higher rate during October and November than December and January. The increase in calling rate by month could indicate that aural stimuli may be more effective depending on the owl's life cycle. We are currently comparing the number and types of calls uttered to the Barred Owl's life cycle.
Interspecific association between distantly related species, Odocoileus virginianus and Meleagris gallopavo, in western Tennessee. Lauren A. Madeira*, Allan E. Houston, Steve W. Stephenson, and Michael L. Kennedy, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee (LAM, MLK), The Ames Plantation, Grand Junction, Tennessee (AEH), and Milan Army Ammunition Plant, Milan, Tennessee (SWS). Interspe-cific interactions can have significant effects on an animal's fitness and have been rigorously studied between species of relatively close relatedness. However, interactions between the orders Artiodactyla and Galliformes have rarely been examined. The purpose of this study was to determine if white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, have a positive or negative association with eastern wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, at three sites in western Tennessee (Milan Army Ammunition Plant, Ames Plantation, and Meeman Biological Station). We utilized infrared-triggered cameras at bait stations to assess co-occurrence. Data were analyzed using Cole's coefficient of association and Fisher's exact test. No significant association between species was found indicating a neutral relationship.
An assessment of host-tick associations for small mammals in western Tennessee. Deanna L. Long*, Rebecca Butler*, Dave Paulsen*, Rebecca Trout-Fryxell, Allan E. Houston, and Michael L. Kennedy, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee (DLL, RB, and MLK), The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee (DP, RT), and The Ames Plantation, Grand Junction, Tennessee (AH). We examined host-tick associations for small mammals in three habitats types (field, hardwood forest, and pine forest) during the summer of 2013.
The study was conducted at the Ames Plantation in Fayette and Hardeman counties in western Tennessee. Small mammals were collected using Sherman live traps baited with rolled oats. Captured specimens were identified to species, and sex and age were determined. Collectively, seven species of small mammals were captured, with Sigmodon hispidus and Peromyscus leucopus being the most abundant. Dermacentor variabilis was the most abundant of four species of ticks collected from hosts. Greatest numbers of ticks were found on hosts from field habitat. Based on catch per unit effort for small mammals and numbers of ticks recorded from hosts, populations of small mammals and ticks were numerous on the site.
Species richness in a unique habitat patch (an old barn). James Gaines*, Jessica Davin*, Lauren A. Madeira*, and Michael L. Kennedy, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee. Species richness of mammals was assessed in a unique habitat patch (an old barn) located at the Meeman Biological Station in Shelby Co. in western Tennessee. Habitat within the barn was represented by dirt floors, animal stalls, an empty hayloft, and storage of miscellaneous items associated with the biological station. Outside, habitat was open field immediately adjacent to the barn, which was surrounded by upland forest. Infrared-triggered cameras, Sherman live traps, and observations by investigators were used to determine species richness. Within the barn, nine species were recorded with bats and rodents being most common. Outside the barn, seven species were documented with rodents being most common. The study documented the importance of small and unique habitat patches to a region's biodiversity.
Activity pattern of the eastern woodrat (Neotoma floridana) in western Tennessee. Jessica Davin*, Lauren A. Madeira*, and Michael L. Kennedy, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee. The activity pattern of eastern woodrats (Neotoma floridana) was investigated at the Meeman Biological Station in western Tennessee. Infra-red triggered cameras placed over bait stations, inside and outside of an isolated barn, were used to assess activity. Photographs were taken as animals approached and utilized bait. Records of time and date on the photographs allowed the determination of times of activity and inactivity over a 24-hour period. Results revealed continuous activity throughout the dark period of the 24-hour day with little movement during the light hours. Results are discussed in light of previous investigations.
Comparisons of capture data for Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and raccoons (Procyon lotor) in western Tennessee. Rebecca M. Bingham*, John R. Hisey, Daniel M. Wolcott, Erica H. Vecchio, and Michael L. Kennedy, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee. Capture data relating to rates of capture, correlation between rates of capture, and sites of greatest capture were determined for Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and raccoons (Procyon lotor). The study was conducted at the Meeman Biological Station in Shelby Co., Tennessee, during 1992-2012 (excluding 2007-2008 and 2011). Animals were captured utilizing live-trapping procedures on a 50-trap grid (5 x 10), with traps located approximately 150 m apart. Catch per unit effort was calculated by dividing the number of captures by total number of traps in place. Pearson's correlation was used to determine the relationship between rates of capture, and trap sites with greatest number of captures were identified and assessed. Capture success (annually) ranged from 0.02 to 0.06. There was a positive correlation between rates of capture of the two species based upon location (0.30). However, there was no correlation between rates of capture of the species over time (0.06).
A comparison of algae and chemical/physical water quality assessments in a spring fed, open field stream in Davidson County, Tennessee. Ashley R. Allen* and C. Steven Murphree, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to physical and chemical techniques of measuring water quality, analysis of the algae within a stream can also provide information about the health of a stream. Chlorophyll levels, specifically chlorophyll a, can be used as an estimate of how much algae is present. Standard water quality tests using Vernier probes were used to determine the stream's physical and chemical levels. Algae samples were collected and analyzed to determine chlorophyll levels. Analysis of the data collected will be presented and compared to previous stream water quality studies in which both chemical/physical and algal assessments of water quality were compared.
Diatom biodiversity of Paw Paw Creek, a stream in the Reelfoot Lake watershed, northwest Tennessee. Michael Beasley* and Jennifer Greenwood, The University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee. Paw Paw Creek is adjacent to the Reelfoot Lake watershed south of Samburg, TN. Very little is known about diatom communities from Reelfoot Lake and the surrounding aquatic habitats. Our goal was to describe the diatom communities from the major microhabitats in Paw Paw Creek. Qualitative samples were taken during June of 2012 and 2013 from sediment (epipelon) and sand (epipsammon), the most common microhabitats, as well as rocks (epilithon) and mats of the filamentous xanthophyte alga Vaucheria (epiphy-ton). Permanent diatoms slides were made and all diatom cells from 10 transects or 300 diatom cells from each slide were identified to species. Over 20 genera and 40 species of diatoms were identified. Navicula lanceolata, Nitzschia palea, and Rhoicosphenia curvata were among the dominant species. Sediment-loving taxa were very common such as species from the genera Cymatopleura, Surirella, Navicula, and Nitzschia. Rhopalodia and Epithemia, which contain nitrogen-fixing endosymbiotic cyanobacteria, were also common.
Bryophyte Diversity of Athens Regional Park, McMinn County, Athens, TN. Summer Cupples*, Brooke Ward*, and Allen Moore, Tennessee Wesleyan College, Athens, Tennessee. A floristic Inventory for mosses was carried out at Athens Regional Park near the city of Athens, TN. All mosses within three, 1 m2 plots at each of the following locations were enumerated: Wet/lowland, Dry/wooded slope, and Dry/ridge top. To date, 32 species have been identified. The most diverse area is the wet, low habitat adjacent to a lake, it contains 14 species to date. The second most diverse habitat is the wooded slope with 10 species to date. And the least diverse habitat is the dry, ridge top with 8 species to date. The most abundant genera to date are Entodon, Mnium, Thuidium and Bryum. The most abundant families to date are Entodontidaceae, Mnia-ceae, Leskeaceae and Bryaceae.
Influence of invasive exotic plants on earthworm diversity. Megan Swaine* and A. Darlene Panvini, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. The introduction of exotic species threatens native biodiversity by altering ecosystem processes. The occurrence of one exotic species may facilitate the invasion of other exotics, resulting in an "invasion meltdown." Earthworm diversity was assessed at 8 sites across Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Park using a mustard extraction. Worm sampling occurred in 4 plant plots at each site: under the exotics Euonymus fortunei, Lonicera maackii, and Ligustrum sinense and under native plant species. At least 8 genera and 13 species of worms (12 exotic, I native) were collected. No difference in earthworm diversity between plant types occurred. However, a significant difference in the most common earthworm species was found between plant types, suggesting that properties of exotic plants can influence the species composition of earthworm communities or vice versa. Measurement of earthworm diversity and presence of exotic earthworms has implications for land managers attempting to control invasions and conserve native biodiversity.
Cell and Molecular Biology
Cin-4, a protein with homology to the catalytic domain of topoisomerase II, is specific to neural development in C. elegans. Nathaniel Owens*, Amanda Williams, and Bonny Millimaki, Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee. Cin-4, a protein homologous to the catalytic domain of topoisomerase II, is known to be involved in centromere resolution in C. elegans. Other studies in mammals have shown that isoforms of topoisomerase are specific to neural development beyond normal cell division. In this study, we want to see if cin-4 is acting like a topoisomerase II isoform in C. elegans. We used normal genetic crossing techniques to cross a neural GFP line into a line (mr127) with a temperature-sensitive mutation at cin-4 that allows us to turn off the cin-4 gene at different stages of development. This will let us view the phenotype caused by the cin-4 knockout on the neurons and the rest of the nematode. We hypothesize that the phenotype viewed from the mr127/GFP line will show that cin-4 is more necessary for neural development than overall development in C. elegans.
Integrin-Dependent Endothelial Cell Activation by Synthetic Laminin Peptide QSLDL. Daniel Hutchison*, Amanda D. Williams, Beth Conway, Lipscomb University, Department of Biology, Nashville, Tennessee. Prior research has shown that Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA), originally noted for its role in prostate cancer vasculature, is a cell-surface protease that regulates blood vessel formation via laminin, integrin a6, and integrin fll pathways. Laminin has been shown to be a substrate for sequential cleavage by matrix metalloprotease-2 (MMP-2) and PSMA, which results in a mixture of peptides that have been shown to increase cell adhesion and migration in vitro. The peptides were sequenced and individual peptides were chosen based on their respective motifs for PSMA. Using a cell adhesion assay to symbolize proclivity to angiogenesis, the QSLDL peptide was shown to increase cell adhesion in vitro via integrin In activation, potentially leading to more findings on the role of QSLDL in tumor angiogenesis in certain cancers.
Examination of isomers of butanediol as olfactants in Caenorhabditis elegans. Morgan Arrants* and Robert Grammer, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. C. elegans use their sense of smell to determine whether they are attracted or repelled by a chemical. C. elegans have paired neurons that control each of their sensory abilities. There are six pairs of total sensory neurons and two of them are used for smell. The nematodes use chemotaxis in two different ways: one for the sensing of repellents and the other for the sensing of attractants. In an attempt to determine structural characteristics required of olfactants, I am examining a series of 4-carbon alcohols and diols in olfactory chemotaxis assays to test whether C. elegans are attracted to or repelled from them. There is previous research that suggests 1-butanol and 2-butanol are attractants. So far in our research we have evidence to show that 1,2-, 1,3-, and 1,4- butanediol are weak attractants.
Investigating the attraction of Caenorhabditis elegans to Bacillus thuringiensis through volatile organic compounds. Fakhry Daowd* and Robert Grammer, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. Caenorhabditis elegans is a widely used model organism in biological research. In this study we aim to investigate the mechanism by which Bacillus thuringiensis, a known C. elegans pathogen, attracts the worm. We hypothesis that B. thuringiensis produces volatile organic compounds that attract the worm. We hope to identify these compounds by extracting them from B. thuringiensis and attempt to identify them using gas chromatographic and mass spectroscopic analysis. Preliminary results show that in a chemotaxis assay a methanol extract from B. thuringiensis does indeed attract the worms. Increasing the concentration of extract by ten-fold shows an increase in attraction, given by an increase in mean chemotaxis index of 0.191 to 0.416, a statistically significant increase. Upon analyzing the extract using gas chromatography there were reproducible traces of volatile compounds in multiple methanol extracts.
Innate versus learned response to Bacillus thuringiensis and isoamyl alcohol as modeled by olfactory chemotaxis response in Caenorhabditis elegans. Matthew A. Heard* and Robert Grammer, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. Caenor-habditis elegans has been shown to exhibit innate positive chemotactic responses to chemicals as well as bacterial attractants. C. elegans can be classically conditioned by starvation in the presence of the known attractant, isoamyl alcohol. The nematode learns to associate the isoamyl alcohol with starvation and deviates away from the chemical. C. elegans normally shows an innate, positive response to Bacillus thuringiensis. Utilizing a chemotaxis assay, the strength of innate and learned responses can be compared. In the presence of isoamyl alcohol and Bacillus thuringiensis, a positive or negative response to the mixture on the plate will reveal which stimulus induces a stronger chemotactic response. It is hypothesized that the nematodes will show a higher response to the isoamyl alcohol. To date, control chemotaxis to B. thuringiensis and conditioning to isoamyl alcohol have been accomplished, as well as establishment of methods for simultaneous assay.
Integrating chemotaxis and thermotaxis in Caenorhabditis Elegans. Molly R. Shankles* and Robert T. Grammer, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. In wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans an attraction has been shown toward the thermal temperature that the worms were cultivated, as well as a wide variety of chemical attractants including almond extract. While many studies have confirmed these findings, few have tried to investigate the potential link between the two. By presenting the worms with two simultaneous stimulants, chemical and thermal, which are detected by separate neurons, the synapses and pathways that the worms use to make a choice regarding a stimulus can be examined. In looking at different attractants/ repellents that C. elegans responds to, investigators can better understand the neuron pathways that overlap and influence one another in more complicated organisms. We have found that the worms are strongly attracted to their cultivation temperature, if it can be found on the plate, and are otherwise strongly attracted to the chemical attractant (almond extract).
Structural determinants of olfactants in attraction/repulsion of C. elegans. Morgan Wilters* and Robert Grammer, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. C. elegans has an intricate chemosensory system that makes it a great model organism to study. This system allows it to find food and avoid predators. The worms are able to taste or smell certain chemicals in their soil environment. Because of this, chemotaxis experiments can be performed on the nematodes. It is proposed that there are structural determinants in the aromatic olfactants that cause either an attraction or repulsion to the chemical. The structural determinants of aromatic aldehydes were examined. The determining factor investigated was the number of carbons in the aldehyde molecule. A low number of carbons in an aldehyde proved to be more attractive to C. elegans than an aldehyde with more than two carbons in its structure. In dose-response curves the attraction levels proved higher at a 1:1 and 1:10 dilution, whereas lower dilutions of 1:100 and 1:1000 proved repulsive.
Topoisomerase 2 isoforms in Caenorhabditis elegans. Jacob T Akers*, Alex J. Croghan*, Amanda Williams, and Bonny Millimaki, Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee. Topoisomerase 2 stops the DNA from supercoiling by forming double-stranded breaks. It is also suspected to play a role in neural development. In humans and C. Elegans, there is a topoisomerase 1 (TOP 1) and 2 (TOP 2). In humans only, there are 2 different genes for topoisomerase a and J3 isoforms of the protein TOP 1. C. Elegans is now known to splice the TOP 1 protein into different subunits. Therefore, we want to know if it is splicing TOP 2 into two isoforms. We are using molecular cloning techniques to generate 2 vectors, each containing a TOP 2 exon. This vector will be used to synthesize a DIG-labeled probe. We will then perform a Northern blot to determine if multiple spliced isoforms are present.
Exon profile of Human Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in non-cancerous breast epithelium using HMEC and MCF-10A cell lines. Joel B. McNeil* and Jon H. Lowrance, Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee. BDNF is a growth factor originally described in neurons. BDNF exhibits multiple functions including promoting cell survival, proliferation, and apoptosis all occurring in a variety of cell types. Published data indicates that hBDNF may play a role in cancer phenotypes. Previously, we have analyzed expression of hBDNF in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 that are human epithelial breast cancer cell lines. In order to determine the importance of hBDNF exon expression in these cells, the current study examined exon expression in two non-cancerous breast epithelial cell types, HMEC and MCF-10A. Our cDNA analysis revealed significant expression of exons 1, 2, 4, 7 and 9 over the control. In addition, several exons not expressed in the normal cells were observed in cancer cells. These data may allow comparison of exon profiles for cancerous and normal cells of the same tissue type and better delineation of hBDNF function in different cell phenotypes, including cancer.
RNAi of TOP2 in Caenorhabditis elegans. Meena Halaka*, Amanda D. Williams, and Bonny B Millimaki, Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee. As DNA undergoes transcription or replication supercoiling can occur. To relieve this tension Topoisomerase cuts DNA. Interestingly, one such topoisomerase, Topo213, has been shown to play a role in neural development. Studies in mammals have suggested a role in neural development, differentiation, axonal path finding and survival. The exact role of Topo213 in neural development is under debate. C. elegans, are a simple model system famous for use in studies of neural development and have a homologue of Top2. In order to study the affects of Top213 loss of function on neural development we developed and RNAi knockdown Top2 vector. We will feed the RNAi vector to C. elegans who have GFP labeled neurons that are sensitized to RNAi. We hypothesize that neural development will be hindered in treated animals. We hope to identify the stage of neural development in which Top2 r3 is involved.
Investigation of endothelial cell activation by synthetic laminin and collagen peptides. Noah Richardson*, Jake Dowler*, Amanda D. Williams, Beth Conway, Lipscomb University, Department of Biology, Nashville, Tennessee. Angiogenesis is necessary for tumor growth and progression in solid cancers. Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) is a transmembrane glutamate carboxypeptidase expressed on tumor-associated vasculature that positively regulates angiogenesis in a laminin-dependent manner. Previous research in our lab has demonstrated that small peptides generated by digestion of human placental laminin with recombinant matrix metallo-protease-2 (MMP-2) and PSMA efficiently activate primary endothelial cells and angiogenesis. Our aim was to identify the specific fragments that activate endothelial cell adhesion. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed a number of laminin and collagen peptide sequences within this mixture; fragments were then selected, chemically synthesized, and tested for activation potential. Here, we report that 2 selected synthetic peptides, one from collagen and one from laminin, failed to activate primary endothelial cell adhesion. However, a synthetic dipeptide, LQ, with putative MMP-2/PSMA cleavage sites activates endothelial cell adhesion efficiently. Further testing of additional peptides is ongoing.
Caffeine effects on Interleukin 1 beta secretion by human lymphocytes. Marcus G. Wild and Margaret M. Whalen, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee. Caffeine is the most commonly consumed stimulant in the United States, with the average adult American consuming approximately 300mg of caffeine per day. Previous research has shown that caffeine has significant effects on the release of inflammatory cytokines, small signaling proteins, in human whole blood, with findings showing a decrease in secretion of the cytokines Interferon gamma (IFN-y) and Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), and no effect on the secretion of Interleukin 1 beta(IL 1-3). This study examines the effects of caffeine on an enriched lymphocyte preparation, specifically peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) depleted of monocytes. PBMCs were treated with serially diluted caffeine concentrations from 300 to 4.6 RM for periods of 24 and 48 hours, at which point Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA) were performed. Initial results show alterations in IL 143 secretion from human lymphocytes with exposure to caffeine.
Factors affecting the use of organized surfactant assemblies for amplification of fluorescence quenching: Application to quench-iofluorimetric determination of copper (II). Kuntebommanahalli N. Thimmaiah*, James L. Sylvester, T. Padma, Ashish Pagare, Mark Montgomery, P. Adris, P. Grisham, Sarah Mattox, Ray Cox, Darrell Barnes, Aamna Balouch, and Willie L. Hinze, Northwest Mississippi Community College, DeSoto Center, Southaven, Mississippi (KNT, JLS, TP, AP, MM, PA, PG, SM, RC, DB), Department of Chemistry, National Center of Excellence in Analytical Chemistry, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan (AB), and Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (WLH). The effectiveness of utilizing surfactant assemblies to enhance dynamic quenching observed between copper (II) ion and different fluorescent probes was examined. The fluorescence intensity observed in aqueous solution and the aqueous organized medium in the absence and presence of copper ions was determined. It was found that if the fluorescent probe molecules are in an anionic micelle, then copper ion is attracted to the anionic micelle surface and their quenching effect if magnified relative to that observed in a homogeneous bulk solvent alone in the absence of micelles. The quenching efficiency depended upon the concentration of the anionic micelle-forming surfactant with the maximum Stern-Volmer constant occurring at surfactant concentrations slightly greater than the surfactant's critical micelle concentration under the specified experimental conditions. Under optimized conditions, the fluorescence quenching was enhanced by over two orders of magnitude in anionic surfactant micellar media relative to that observed in bulk homogeneous solution alone.
Synthesis of novel bis-1,2,4-triazines via telescoped condensation of [1,10]-phenanthroline-2,9-dicarbonitrile with aromatic 1,2-dicarbonyls. Serene Tai* and Jesse D. Carrick, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee. Nuclear energy continues to support increasing global energy demands. Significant quantities of radioactive byproducts derived from the lanthanides and actinides risk human health and the environment. Lewis basic donor ligands have been investigated for the effective extraction of minor actinides from lanthanides. The removal and transmutation of the minor actinides from spent nuclear fuel will greatly reduce storage time from thousands of years to hundreds of years, thus making nuclear power safer and more efficient. Route scouting has provided access to a series of novel bis-1,2,4-triazine ligands via condensation of 1,2-dicarbonyls with a [1,101-phenanthroline-2,9-dicarbonitrile scaffold. Alternative experimental conditions have been discovered that enhance conversion to the corresponding bis-hydrazonamides. Trituration and anti-solvent crystallization methods have been developed to efficiently afford the desired ligands in good telescoped yield over four total steps without additional purification. The efficient synthesis and initial separations data of ligands based on a [1,101-phenanthro-line-2,9-dicarbonitrile scaffold will be presented.
Progress towards the enantioselective total synthesis of hamiger-omycin b: part I, preparation of the polyketide synthon. Alexander H. Cleveland, * John W. Kirby, and Jesse D. Carrick, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee. Hamigeromycin B is an aromatic natural product bearing extensive acetogenic character isolated as a fungal secondary metabolite of H. avellanea found in Thailand in 2008. This resorcylic acid lactone displays structural features similar to molecules that display anti-mallarial, selective cytotoxic, and inhibitory action of HSP 90. Synthesis of the desired pyrone was accomplished utilizing a Jacobsen asymmetric hetero-Diels-Alder reaction between Danishefsky's diene and an optically pure aldehyde prepared in two steps from chiral pool. Subsequent functionalization via conjugate addition and an oxidation via the Rubottom protocol have been accomplished. Completion of the total synthesis via a cross-metathesis/ macrolactonization protocol highlights the proposed convergent preparation of the target in eleven steps for the longest linear sequence. Optimization of the hetero-Diels-Alder reaction and progress towards the functionalization of the pyranone ring will be described.
New directions in nucleopalladation: efforts toward the synthesis of functionalized silyl-enol ethers from alkenes utilizing a catalytic Wacker type C-H activation reaction. Ai Lin Chin* and Jesse D. Carrick, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee. Conversion of alkenes to the corresponding ketone has been accomplished through the Wacker oxidation for sixty years. Recent advances in nucleopallada-tion have resulted in the preparation of Wacker-type products via C-H activation with a variety of nucleophiles leveraging catalysis by palladium II salts. The use of commercially available silanols for the preparation of functionalized silyl-enol ethers directly from the alkene oxidation state will be presented. A systematic study of catalyst, co-oxidant, solvent, ligands and additives, and temperature was initiated. The observed results were quantified using NMR spectroscopy with an internal standard leading to a general process that could potentially negate the need for the traditional three step process of oxidation, enolization, and 0-alkylation. Efforts toward the catalytic preparation of these materials in regioselective fashion without metal-mediated isomerization of the alkene substrate in concert with the utility of air as a co-oxidant will be described.
The surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy of aniline derivatives. Chelsey D. Williams-Miles* and Dr. Beng Guat Ooi, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Aniline is an aromatic compound commonly used as a precursor to many industrial chemicals. Raman Spectroscopy can be used to differentiate among the different derivatives of aniline. The Raman spectra of these compounds can often be enhanced through the adsorption of analytes onto gold or silver nanostructures. This technique in which the Raman signal is enhanced is known as Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). In this study, colloidal gold nanostars were used to obtain the SERS spectra of halogenated and nitro derivatives of aniline. The intensities of the SERS signals for each of these analytes were used to probe the effects of steric hindrance on chemisorption and the inductive effects of electron-withdrawal due to the substituent group. The degree of Raman signal enhancement based on various substituents in the ortho and para positions was also investigated.
A novel approach to the pseudoatom expansion. J. Robert Michael III* and Tibor Koritsanszky, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Given an ab initio expression of a molecular wavefunction in direct space, it is possible to describe the Electron Density (ED) via a fuzzy partitioning scheme such as the Hirshfeld atom. In this way the molecular ED can be described by the sum of atomic densities (p4), each of which is centered at a nucleus (RA). The multipole expansion lends itself to the description of each atomic density so that
[MATHEMATICAL EXPRESSION NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]
where [d.sub.lm[+ or -]] are density normalized spherical harmonics and [d.sub.lm[+ or -]](r) are Radial Density Functions for a given multipole. Each RDF can be described by a set of numerical values defined on a radial grid (found via the fuzzy partitioning) and, secondly, by a sum of analytic functions fitted to those values. We improve upon the established 'Hansen-Coppens' model by including higher order multipole terms and using a larger basis set of m-dependent analytic RDFs.
Synthesis and anti-HIV evaluation of six-membered cyclic triphosphates containing three nucleotides. Yousef A. Beni* and Keykavous Parang, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, and University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island. Anti-HIV nucleosides, such as FLT, AZT and 3TC require a rate-limiting initial phosphorylation step for the intracellular activation. Meanwhile the presence of negatively-charged phosphate groups causes low cellular uptake. A six-membered cyclic triphosphate pronucleotide system containing three nucleotides has been introduced as a masked strategy for concurrent intercellular delivery of nucleotides. Cyclic triphos-phate derivatives of FLT, AZT, and 3TC, were synthesized for potential intercellular delivery of three nucleoside phosphates simultaneously. The reaction of PC13 with nucleosides in the presence of 2,6-lutidine at low temperature followed by sequential conjugations and final cyclization reaction produced cyclic triphosphotriester compounds containing three nucleosides. The final oxidation reaction with TBHP in THF afforded cyclic triphosphate derivatives of three similar or different nucleotides including the combination of nucleotides in 36-53% overall yield. Anti-HIV evaluation of these compounds showed up to 19.7 fold higher potency compare to physical mixtures of nucleosides.
Engineering and Engineering Technology
Security complications in electronic voting. Alyxandria Henry, Sachin Shetty*, and S. K. Hargrove, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee. Electronic Voting has had lots of partial secure electronic voting schemes for over the past twenty years. Voting systems are hard to make trustworthy because they have strong, conflicting security requirements. Criminal involvement has influenced the outcome of elections by the use of paper-based voting stations. Paper-based voting is the most widely used voting system, but its integrity can be questioned due to the fact that the votes are gathered and counted by hand, increasing problems in votes being counted both accidently and intentionally. When nobody can verify if their vote went through or not, that's a problem. Electronic voting systems have emerged to solve most of the problems that occur in manual voting. Although this information does not contain solutions to the security problems of electrical voting systems, it mentions attacks and possible solutions, like using a SIM Card, algorithms, and biometrics.
Development of an automated three pump system for microfluidic devices. Nathan Beeten, Frank Block, Kevin Seale, John Wikswo, and Ron Reiserer, Vanderbilt University, Nashville Tennessee. Cell cultures in microfluidic devices require constant perfusion with nutrients to maintain cell viability. Proposed here is a three RPPM (rotary planar peristaltic micro pump) system that is controlled over a serial port using a command line or through the Ampere software package. Using the three RPPMs, users can deliver mixtures of up to three fluids for specific flow rates and durations. The microprocessor converts commands into a speed and duration that are used in an algorithm that controls the on-off ratio of the motors. This "stepper" function's speed control results in scalable flow rates from upwards of 30 4/minute to less than 1 4/minute. Speed measurements are attained through the use of a hall-effect based rotational encoder. The microprocessor uses the measurements to automatically adjust the speed, and thereby the flow. Coupled with existing organ-on-a-chip technologies, this device will contribute to drug development programs as an alternative to live animal testing.
Transendothelial electrical resistance measurements of the brain-on-a-chip (BoC). Orlando S. Hoilett*, James Cribbs*, Elizabeth Keller*, Matthew Rabon*, Dennis Xuan*, Loi Hoang, John P. Wikswo, and Ronald S. Reiserer, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. We are developing a system to detect tight junctions in the brain-on-a-chip (BoC), a microfluidics-based model of the human blood-brain barrier (BBB). Tight junctions are strong membrane adhesions formed between adjacent cells and are uniquely present in the endothelial layer of the BBB. The literature reports that junction integrity can be quantified by applying sinusoidal electrical current across the BBB and measuring the phase difference between the input and output at different input frequencies. As a proof of concept, a circuit of known impedance was stimulated with a sinusoid and the phase difference between the voltage and current was observed as a function of frequency. This appears to be an appropriate technique to utilize in developing our device.
Geology & Geography
Analysis of possible Memphis earthquakes zones and their geological impact on the area. Elizabeth B. Johnson*, and Dr. Peter Li, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee. Memphis is located along an active fault line connected to the New Madrid fault. The active fault has made Memphis a site for future earthquake. The objective of the research is to find the impact of the potential earthquake to Memphis area using GIS techniques. Data collected from the USGS are used to create layers for the study. Known fault locations are plotted and delineated. Due to various combinations of structure and texture, instead of using Euclidean Distance, the function of Path Distance was adopted to assign geology layers to different weights to reflect the travel speed and direction of the potential earthquakes. Other functions, such as projection transformation, clipping, and dissolve, were applied to process the data. The findings show hot spots of the potential earthquake impact on population, land cover, building and the spatial coverage.
Health and Medical Sciences
Music makes you lose control: emotional music's role in the facilitation of movement. Aditya V Karhade*, Corrie R. Camalier, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. Across the board, studies employing emotional visual stimuli report significant motor enhancement in an emotional condition compared to neutral. Recently, investigators have extended this finding for certain emotional auditory stimuli using transmagnetic stimulation and emotional music. However, this work is limited by lack of behavioral reaction time data and small music battery. Based on this, we postulated that listening to highly emotional music, as compared to neutral music or sounds, would lead to faster reaction times, manifested in a valence (positive vs. negative) dependent manner. Twenty-five healthy, young participants, ages 18-26, performed a speeded reaction time task while listening to thirty clips of music, chosen from a standard emotional battery. We find significantly faster reaction times, p < 0.05, for emotional conditions relative to neutral music and control, further substantiating the finding that emotional facilitation of motor programs occurs across modalities.
The evaluation of type I interferons in HPV-positive cervical cancer cells and the influence of infection with Candida albicans. Crystal N. LeBlanc* and Jennifer T. Thomas, Behnont University, Nashville, Tennessee. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States and the leading cause of anogenital and oropharyngeal cancers. Previously, it has been determined that levels of IRF-3, a transcription factor allowing for expression of antiviral type I interferons, are reduced in HPV-positive cervical cancer cells and even more in those cells infected with Candida albicans, the causative agent of yeast infections. As an extension of this work, we wanted to determine if type I interferon levels are also reduced in the presence of HPV alone or in combination with C. albicans by Western Blot analysis. These results may indicate that HPV can suppress antiviral activity downstream of IRF-3 and that infection with C albicans, in combination with HPV, may further allow HPV to evade the immune response and potentially contribute to cancer progression.
Evaluation of selected plant extracts for anti-herpes simplex virus-1 activity. Lauren E. Whaley*, Megan L. House, Matthew E. Wright, and Stephen M. Wright, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee (LEW, MEW, SMW), and University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (MLH ). Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a common pathogen that affects people worldwide. There are few medicines that are effective against HSV-1 and little effort has been made to find new treatments from natural sources such as ethno-botanicals and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) extracts. The goal of our study is to identify TCM plant extracts that inhibit HSV-1. Following a cytotoxicity screen of 140 TCM extracts, Vero cells were exposed to HSV-1 and plant extracts simultaneously. After 48 hour incubation, cell viability was measured using a fluorescent dye, PrestoBlue. Ten extracts showed potential anti-viral activity, inhibiting the virus by at least 50%. The most promising TCM extract, 19A, demonstrated nearly 100% inhibition of HSV-1. 19A was divided by column fractionation into 11 sub-fractions and anti-viral activity has been narrowed down to approximately 4 compounds. On-going work seeks to identify a novel chemotherapeutic agent that could treat HSV-1 infection.
Effect of a weight loss intervention in a faith-based environment with overweight-obese African American women: A pilot study. Terra L. Smith, Janelle M. Meeks, Robin R. Roach, and Ebenezer 0. George, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee. The incidence of obesity is alarmingly high among African Americans, especially among women. To help address the weight loss needs among a group (n=10) of obese African
American women in a faith community, a 7-week nutrition intervention program was developed and implemented. Body mass index, waist, and hip circumference were monitored and 3-day food diaries were collected at baseline and postintervention. Anthropometrics changes were observed in waist circumference, and hip circumference. Post-intervention 3-day food diaries (n=4) demonstrated some improvement from baseline. Faith-based interventions may offer the best solution for reducing obesity. Familiar community settings, peer support, and places of worship were important in this study group.
Chronic exposure to Lexapro and the effects of long-term memory in Danio rerio. Jennifer Myer* and Lori McGrew, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee In a report taken by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2011, eleven percent of Americans aged twelve and over were prescribed antidepressant medication. The most commonly prescribed class of antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. Serotonin (5-HT) is an important neurotransmitter found in the CNS that assists in brain cell communication. This study attempted to determine whether there is an effect on long-term memory in adult zebrafish after chronic exposure to different concentrations of Lexapro, a common SSRI. Zebrafish were used as the model organism because they are vertebrates, are easy to expose to drugs, and have many homologous structures as humans. In this study zebrafish were treated with different concentrations of Lexapro for a chronic period of time, and then assessed using a T-maze. After analyzing the data, there was no significant evidence to support that chronic exposure to Lexapro effects long-term memory.
The effects of mu opioid receptor agonists and 5HT-3 receptor antagonists on zebrafish anxiety levels. Emily R Mason* and Lori McGrew, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. It is known that the 5HT-3 serotonin signaling pathway functions to send pain signals to the brain, and that the mu opioid signaling pathway blocks pain signaling. To determine whether these two pain pathways intersect, we treated three groups of zebrafish to a mu opioid receptor agonist, a 5HT-3 receptor antagonist, and a combination of the two compounds. Treated and control zebrafish were each placed in a dive tank for ten minutes, and their movements and behavior are being analyzed to determine the anxiety levels of the fish under the effects of the pain-blocking compounds. To support our hypothesis that the mu opioid and 5HT-3 pain pathways intersect biologically, we expect a synergistic effect of anxiety relief when fish are treated with both the mu opoid receptor agonist and the 5HT-3 receptor antagonist, as compared to one compound or the other alone.
The effects of the antidepressant Celexa on memory in Zebrafish. Allison McCoy* and Lori McGrew, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for the regulation of both motor and cognitive functions. Previous research suggests that too much serotonin in the synaptic cleft can induce negative behaviors. Other reports show that adult zebrafish have the ability to learn and demonstrate memory when placed in a T-maze. Our team wanted to determine whether chronic exposure to Celexa, a common SSRI, had an effect on working and long-term memory of zebrafish. After a five day treatment period, control and experimental groups were tested using the T-maze and given either reward or punishment based on their decision. After a two week rest, fish were assessed again and showed that an increase of drug concentration caused a decrease in correct decision making, possibly suggesting the drug had a negative effect on memory. Future work could include embryonic exposure to drug treatment or the use of alternative SSRIs.
CD-10 expression and its role in cancer invasion. Rammiz Khoury*, Amanda D. Williams, and Beth Conway, Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee. CD-10, or neprilysin, is a zinc-dependent metalloprotease that plays a role in degrading the protein Endothelin-1 (ET-1). ET-1 is a signaling protein that activates many pathways that can lead to cancerous phenotypes. Other studies have shown that increased CD-10 levels are correlated with better patient survival, and lower CD-10 levels correlate with poor survival rates. Previously in our lab, we used RT-PCR to compare mRNA levels between three cell lines, HuMEC, MCF-7, MDA-MB-231. These data showed high levels of CD-10 mRNA expression in HuMEC compared to cancerous MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. In this study, we hypothesize that CD-10 protein levels will also be higher in HuMEC cells compared to MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells.
Characterizing the antifungal effects of isovaleric acid. Danielle Joslin*, Mark Messmer*, Zackary Inman, and Chad Brooks, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee. The foul odor of isovaleric acid is the metabolic waste product of Staphylococcus epidermidis as it consumes leucine residues in human sweat. Interestingly, isovaleric acid appears to have antifungal properties when isovaleric acid is exposed to a few different fungal species. In this pilot study, isovaleric acid was assayed for its antifungal potential against a few known dermatophytes. It was hypothesized that evolution has selected for humans to outsource the defense of regions of the skin to S. epidermidis by supplying leucine, via human sweat, to S. epidermidis resulting in the production of the antifungal metabolite, isovaleric acid on the skin. Preliminary data reveal isovaleric acid does have antifungal activity dependent on time, concentration, and the species of dermatophyte examined.
Construction of an in vivo gene expression detection system to be used in Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of human Lyme disease. Matthew Martin* and Chad Brooks, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee. Green fluorescent protein (GFP) has been a useful tool in the arsenal of biotechnologists for many years, but the utility of GFP in understanding the in vivo biology of Borrelia burgdorferi has had limited success. The specific aim of this study was to construct an expression system wherein GFP could be used to evaluate protein expression and thereby better understand the unknown factors involved in gene expression during in vivo-like environmental stimuli, such as tick engorgement of a blood meal from a canine. To this end, a vector system that shares species maintenance stability in Escherichia coli and B. burgdorferi was modified to carry the gene encoding GFP and coupled with different transcription promoter sequences to evaluate the utility of the gene expression system.
Irrununoproteasome subunit expression levels in response to IFN-y. K. All Keith*, Cameron D. MacQuarrie*, and Amanda D. Williams, Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee. Immuno-proteasomes differ from proteasomes in three key subunits: LMP2, LMP7 and MECL1, which change the proteasome cleaving preference, optimizing the efficacy of production of the antigen for MHC-class 1 antigen presenting cells. The immunoproteasome-specific antigen peptides are presented on the outer surface of the infected cell via immunoproteasome and MHC-1 processing allowing the T-cells to phagocyte the infected cells. We induced immunoproteasome expression in different cell lines with IFN-y, a major cytokine involved in the induction of immunoproteasomes during viral infections, in order to study the expression levels of the immunproteasome-specific subunits with the use of Western Blot.
Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, chytrid fungi, in amphibians from lower Pennsylvania. Taylor Gaston*, Zack-ary Inman, and Chad Brooks, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, also known as chytrid fungi, have been recognized for recent amphibian population declines across the world. In a collaborative effort between an ecology team at Clarion University in Pennsylvania and a molecular team at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, DNA-based techniques were used to screen for the presence of chytrid fungi infections in several distinct amphibian populations from the lower Pennsylvania regions. The data revealed that chytrid fungi were, in fact, infecting several species of amphibians and these data further underscore the importance for continued monitoring and land management activities to limit the spread of this amphibian-cidal fungus.
Immunoproteasome subunit expression levels in response to TNF-a. Cameron D. MacQuarrie*, K. All Keith*, and Amanda D. Williams, Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee. Proteasomes are cellular components responsible for degrading unnecessary proteins into peptides. These peptides bind to MHC-1 molecules and are taken to the cell surface allowing phagocytic cells to eliminate the defective cell. Immunoproteasomes are specialized proteasomes that react to antigenic proteins. An immunoproteasome has the same make-up as a normal proteasome, except 3 proteolytic subunits are replaced with specialized subunits (LMP-2, LMP-7, MECL-I) producing a greater quality and quantity of peptides. We sought to determine what factors are required to activate specific immunoproteasome subunit expression. To activate the immunoproteasomes in vitro, TNF-ot, a cytokine normally expressed during viral infection, was introduced to a panel of immune cells. Using western blot analysis, we measured the levels of subunit expression to determine whether expression varied between different immune cells.
Exoplanet science with OSCAAR at the Cordell-Lorenz Observatory. Taylor A. Morris*, Douglas T. Durk, and Brett M. Morris*, Sewanee: The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee (TAM, DTD), and University of Washington, Seattle, Washington (BMM). Exoplanets with large magnitude depths often transit bright host stars, allowing Earth-based, photometric measurements of flux over time to be acquired with appropriate techniques on even modest astronomical equipment. OSCAAR (Open Source Code for Accelerating Astronomical Research) is an open-source. Python-based, differential photometry software package designed for gathering and analyzing data on Jupiter to Neptune sized exoplanets. While beta-testing the OSCAAR code, an efficient data-collection system and effective research procedure for transit analysis was developed at the Cordell-Lorenz observatory in Sewanee, TN. Promising transit data was obtained for exoplanets such as WASP-52 b and WASP-59 b. We present the first user-generated exoplanet light curves and Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) fitting results utilizing OSCAAR and compare them to the currently available orbital parameters. Discussion of the implications of our data, such as a potential shift in the timing of WASP-52 b, is then considered, as well as potential future work.
Velocity perturbations distributions of the fragments of iridium 33 satellite. Arjun Tan, Eshirdanya McGhee*, and Mostafa Dokhanian, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Normal, Alabama. The accidental collision of Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251 satellites in February 2009 produced the second largest space debris in the history of satellite fragmentations. This study examines the velocity perturbations distributions of 383 fragments of Iridium 33 cataloged through 168 days from the collision. The angle of encounter of 101.71[degrees] meant that the collision occurred with a significant head-on component. The velocity perturbations of the fragments of collision were calculated in three orthogonal (radial, down-range and cross-range) directions in the parent satellite's frame of reference at the time of collision. They all exhibited Gaussian patterns shifted in the direction of the oncoming satellite as a result of impact. In the radial direction, slightly more fragments of Iridium 33 received velocity perturbations in the downward direction suggesting that the upper part of Iridium 33 was impacted by the oncoming Cosmos 2251 satellite.
Velocity perturbations distributions of the fragments of Cosmos 2251 satellite. Arjun Tan, Xavier Watt*, and Mostafa Dokha-nian, Alabama Agricultutal and Mechanical University, Normal, Alabama. The accidental collision of Cosmos 2251 and Iridium 33 satellites in February 2009 produced the second largest space debris in the history of satellite fragmentations. This study examines the velocity perturbations distributions of 924 fragments of Cosmos 2251 cataloged through 168 days from the collision. The angle of encounter of 101.71' meant that the collision occurred with a significant head-on component. The velocity perturbations of the fragments of collision were calculated in the three orthogonal (radial, down-range and cross-range) directions in the parent satellite's frame of reference at the time of collision. They all exhibited Gaussian patterns shifted in the direction of the oncoming satellite as a result of impact. In the radial direction, slightly more fragments of Cosmos 2251 received velocity perturbations in the upward direction suggesting that the lower part of Cosmos 2251 was impacted by the oncoming Iridium 33 satellite.
Science and Math Teaching
Interdisciplinary collaborative project at Columbia State. Joan Cook, Caroline Hanson, Glenn Hudson, Greg Mewbourn, and Mandy Carter-Lowe, Columbia State Community College, Columbia, Tennessee. Higher institution professionals are placing additional emphasis on increasing collaboration among students and across disciplines to improve learning and interaction among instructors and students. In spring 2013, four instructors in the fields of Biology, English, History, and Physical Science conducted an interdisciplinary collaborative project that involved a single class from each discipline. Teams of students from each class were assigned to design, prepare, and present a formal technical report and a live or recorded presentation of their results and findings. The topic for all groups was "Food: The Last 150 Years." Each presentation was scored by evaluators, and members of the best group were recognized for their efforts with plaques and certificates. The most significant learner outcome from the project was the importance of communication and decision making, critical skills required as students enter professions. Considerations for success and improvement are also provided for future collaborations.
Getting the dirt on composting and elementary student perception about the process of science. Kim Cleary Sadler, Jennifer Parrish*, and Katlin O'Connor*, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. School gardens can provide educators with tools to facilitate authentic learning in the classroom. With guidance, gardens can be used as a framework to study science as students utilize science process skills observing, generating questions, testing ideas, collecting data, and making conclusions. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine through a pre- and post-survey design, elementary student perception about the process of science. Baseline data was also collected about life science concepts related to plant structure and function. To determine perceptions related to the process of science, student teams tested ideas through a three week long experiment related to the composition of compost. Preliminary analysis of data shows moderate positive gains in student perception about the process of science and life science knowledge. These preliminary results have assisted with the design of a longer term study which continues to examine student perception about the process of science.
Teaching, research, and industry partnerships to advance global scientific understanding through the National Science Foundation GK-12 program. Kim Cleary Sadler, Anthony Farone, Mary Farone, Nicholas Chamberlain*, Rachel Lytle*, Ashley Elliott-Cole, Paola Molina, Corbett Ouellette*, and Eric Vick*, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The NSF GK-12 program at MTSU partners graduate students and high school teachers with biotechnology companies to promote STEM learning opportunities. Graduate Fellows also spend one year in high school biology classrooms facilitating learning and mentoring student research projects. The year culminates with student research presentations at TJAS or the TRIAD Research Symposium. To make global connections through our GK-12 project, we fostered relationships with scientists at the Universidad de Chile Departamento de Biologia in Santiago who work with Chilean biotechnology companies and Chilean high schools. In August, our team visited Chile to work in research labs and teach lessons in high schools. Despite having limited materials, engaging and challenging lessons were conducted resulting in Chilean students' eager participation and meaningful inquisitions. This year our TRIAD classes are interacting with Chilean high schools, sharing research projects and teaching lessons. We return to Chile in May to further develop this international relationship.
Girls in STEM: role models matter. Sierra Shipley*, Lorrie Pruett*, Mehreen Fatima*, Caleb Hough*, Judith Inane-Gross, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Research has shown the role models matter when recruiting and retaining girls in the STEM disciplines. The MTSU Women In STEM (WISTEM) Center plays a strategic role in encouraging young women in STEM through successful K-12 programs such as the MTSU Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Conference, GRITS (Girls Raised In Tennessee Science) Collaborative Project, and WISE, Women In Science and Engineering. There is a critical need to raise awareness and to change the stereotypes about STEM jobs for girls and women in Tennessee. Through the past 17 years we have held our annual EYH conference to introduce girls to role models and to lay the foundation for the young girls to succeed in the fields of STEM. We will provide data from EYH surveys that illustrate the importance of role models to young girls as they explore STEM careers.
The impact of a stream restoration project on condition factor and food habits of Bluegill Sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus). Tessa N. Stephens* and Tom Blanchard, University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee. Although efforts to restore aquatic systems have been increasing, little is known of their impacts on aquatic organisms. In 2010, the State of Tennessee completed a restoration project on Crooked Creek in Carroll County, Tennessee. Our goal was to compare condition factor and food habits of Bluegill Sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) from the restored section to those of Bluegill from a nearby channelized stream. We collected fish during October of 2012 and for each individual, condition factor was calculated, a stomach fullness value was assigned, and stomach contents were identified. There were no significant differences in condition factor (t = 1.95, p = 0.057) or fullness values (t = 0.077, p = 0.938). Thirty percent of the stomachs from Guins Creek were empty, whereas 14.3% of stomachs from Crooked Creek were empty. Bluegill from Crooked Creek consumed more chironomids and copepods, whereas Bluegill from Guins Creek consumed more coleopterans and hymenopterans.
A comparison of night-flying insect diversity in an old-growth and adjacent secondary forest in Davidson County, Tennessee. Kristopher R. Ray* and C. Steven Murphree, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. Secondary growth forests in general have reduced biodiversity when compared to primary or old-growth forests. The Hill Forest State Natural Area is a 91.4 hectare old-growth forest in Davidson County buffered from residential areas by a secondary forest. Calculating insect diversity indices is one way to compare the biodiversity of two different areas. Six collections (12 trap nights) of night-flying insects were made using three CDC light traps placed in the old-growth forest and three in the adjacent secondary growth forest. Ethanol-preserved specimens were identified to the lowest practical taxonomic level and standard biodiversity indices were calculated for the old-growth and secondary study sites. An analysis of the data will be presented and compared to previous insect diversity studies in old-growth and secondary forests.
Community analysis of exotic and native worms at Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Park, Nashville, Tennessee. Kari C Morse* and A. Darlene Panvini, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. Exotic plants can alter native plant communities and earthworm dynamics. Little is known about distributions of sexually mature earthworms among different plant types, specifically at Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Park. It was expected that exotic plant sites would have more exotic earthworms, the occurrence of exotic worms would correlate to soil pH, and the ratio of adult to juvenile earthworms would vary among plant type and over time. Earthworm sampling, using a mustard vermifuge, occurred over 8 weeks in exotic and native plant plots. Number of earthworm species, number of individuals, and maturity, were recorded. Exotic earthworms dominated all plots, regardless of plant type, though significant pH differences were observed among plant type. Adult and juvenile ratios varied over time and plant type. Characterizing the demographics and distribution of earthworms, relative to exotic plants, is a first step in understanding the impact of exotic species in an ecological community.
A comparative study of wildlife diversity in an old-growth and adjacent secondary forest in Davidson County, Tennessee. Jonathon K. Loyd* and C Steven Murphree, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. Secondary growth forests typically have reduced biodiversity when compared to primary or old-growth forests. The Hill Forest State Natural Area is a 91.4 hectare old-growth forest in Davidson County buffered from residential areas by a secondary forest. Motion-detecting wildlife cameras provide a convenient way to determine the presence and relative abundance of wildlife in natural areas. Three wildlife cameras were placed in the old-growth forest and three in the adjacent secondary forest to monitor wildlife activity. A preliminary analysis of photographs from each forest showed a higher diversity of wildlife in the old-growth forest. A complete analysis of the data collected will be presented and compared to previous wildlife studies in old-growth and secondary forests.
Abundance and biomass of earthworm species in Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Park, Nashville, Tennessee. Sarah Gilmore* and A. Darlene Panvini, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. Exotic plants are known to have the potential to change the ecology of an area. The focus of this study was to determine if earthworm abundance and biomass varied among different plot types based on the presence of exotic plants. Using a mustard solution, earthworms were collected under exotic plants (Euonymus fortunei, Lonicera maackii, and Ligust rum sinense) and native plants in Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Park and identified to species. Length of each worm was measured and converted to biomass. Most of the worms were exotic species. Earthworm abundance and biomass did vary by plant type. More worms were found under Euonymus fortunei while Lonicera maackii plots had larger worms. Ligustrum sinense-dominated plots had fewer and smaller worms. Whether these differences were due to the presence of the exotic plants or exotic earthworms is not clear. This knowledge can be beneficial when making land management decisions regarding exotic plants.
Effect of starvation on heart physiology of Anopheles gambiae. Haley E. Ellison*, C Steven Murphree, and Julian F. Hillyer, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee (HE, JH), and Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee (HE, SM). The insect circulatory system propels hemolymph and immune cells throughout the hcmocoel. The primary organ responsible for driving hemolymph flow is the dorsal vessel, comprised of the thoracic aorta and the abdominal heart. Wave-like contractions of the heart propagate in both anterograde and retrograde directions with anterograde contractions predominating. The objective of the study was to use intravital video imaging and biochemical assays to evaluate the effect of starvation on the heart of the mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. Results show that mosquito heart rates decrease by 24 hours of starvation in comparison to water fed and sucrose fed mosquitoes. Furthermore, starvation decreases the proportion of contractions and time spent propagating in the anterograde direction, but does not affect the frequency of heartbeat directional reversals. Quantitative comparison of protein, carbohydrate, and lipid levels is currently being done to determine the nutritional status of the three treatment groups.
The effect of evolutionarily conserved neuromodulator, serotonin, on behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. Kristin Cornwell*, Zana R. Majeed, and Robin L. Cooper, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (KG, ZRM, RLC), and University of Salahaddin, Erbil, Iraq (ZRM). Scrotonin plays essential roles in modulation of neural circuitry and behavior. We investigated the role of 5-HT system in temperature preference behavior (TPB), locomotion behavior (LB) as well as feeding behavior (FB) in Drosophila melanogaster. We employed genetic approaches to study the biological roles of 5-HT in fly behavior. 5-HT actions are mediated by 5-HT receptors. Many RNA interference (RNAi) and insertional mutation lines were used to knockdown (KD) or reduce the expression level of a defined 5-HT receptor. The results show that TPB deceases in 5-HT1A KD flies in comparison to controls. Furthermore, insertional mutations and KD of 5-HT2 or 5-HT7 receptor subtypes significantly decreases the LB and FB.
The synaptic transmission of 5-HT neurons were disrupted by KD shibire. KD of shibire dramatically reduced LB. We have shown that both 5-HT2 and 5-HT7 receptors are essential for the LB in Drosophila and 5-HT1A might mediate the TPB.
The effect of temperature on bat activity and bat species diversity at an urban pond in Northwest Tennessee. Jesse Capps* and Nancy Buschhaus, University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tennessee. With the advent of White Nose Syndrome, monitoring bat activity and diversity has become very important to bat ecology. Bat activity has been known to vary with temperature both within and between seasons. We measured the effect of temperature on bat activity and diversity at an urban pond on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Martin in Northwest Tennessee September--November 2013. We used a Wildlife Acoustics SM2Bat+ detector and SonoBat call analysis to determine bat species diversity and to record bat activity. We used UT Martin weather station data to match temperature with time of recording. Temperature does have an effect on bat activity at this pond. We hope to use these data to determine the best conditions in which to monitor bat species diversity at this urban location.
A comparison of algal and coral species diversity and fish species richness of natural and artificial patch reefs in northern San Salvador, Bahamas. Jalana Abernathy*, Chloe Donley*, Carlos Salinas*, Ryan Welborn*, Ann Holmes, and Dawn Ford, The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee. The purpose of this study was compare coral, algal, and fish populations on natural and artificial patch reefs in northern San Salvador, Bahamas. The study sites were a large natural patch reef in Rice Bay and two small artificial patch reefs in Graham's Harbor. Using the line intercept method, species counts for corals and algae and presence/absence data for fish species were collected. At each site, coral and algal species diversity (Shannon's and Simpson's Indices) and fish species richness were calculated. The data show that the species diversity of coral and algae is higher on the natural patch reefs than at either artificial patch reef. The species richness of fishes, however, was higher on the artificial patch reefs compared to the natural patch reefs. These findings suggest that while species diversity of corals and algae is lower on artificial patch reefs, these reefs are important habitats for sustaining fish populations.
Survey of bird diversity and abundance along a greenway in Nashville, Tennessee. Lee Rumble*, Andrew Gustin*, and J. Jeffrey Green, Nashville State Community College, Nashville, Tennessee. How birds utilize fragmented environments is essential for preserving the integrity of habitats located within an urban setting. Using the Richland Creek Greenway in Nashville, TN as a study site, we identified six different transects to survey bird populations. Data collected included species, species number, number of individuals, and location of bird within the environment. A total of 34 species of birds were identified across the six transects. Transect 3, the main greenway trail characterized by having the most vegetation, harbored the highest number of species (30 species), while Transect 6, having open access to a golf course, harbored the fewest (17 species). This preliminary data suggests bird populations are most diverse when the vegetation is abundant and varied, and least diverse when there is evident fragmentation of the landscape. It is important to understand these dynamics for migrating birds that utilize greenways as a corridor through urban environments.
A comparison of arthropod diversity using pitfall traps in an old-growth and adjacent secondary growth forest in Davidson County, Tennessee. Sarah E. Spence* and C. Steven Murphree, Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. Secondary growth forests tend to have reduced biodiversity when compared to primary or old-growth forests. The Hill Forest State Natural Area is a 91.4 hectare old-growth forest in Davidson County buffered from residential areas by a secondary forest. Calculating insect diversity indices is one way to compare the biodiversity of two different areas. Six collections (14 trap nights) were made using three pitfall traps placed in the old-growth forest and three in the adjacent secondary forest. Ethanol-preserved specimens were identified to the lowest practical taxonomic level and standard biodiversity indices were calculated for the old-growth and secondary study sites. An analysis of the data will be presented and compared to previous insect diversity studies in old-growth and secondary forests.
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|Publication:||Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2014|
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