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PROGRAM OF THE 46TH ANNUAL MEETING.

KEAN UNIVERSITY

UNION, NEW JERSEY

SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2001

MORNING AND AFTERNOON TECHNICAL SESSIONS

POSTER PRESENTATIONS

BLUECLAW CRABS OF TOMS RIVER, NJ

ROBERT YOUHAS (STUDENT), DONALD DORFMAN

Biology Department, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ

JOHN P. WNEK

The Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science, Toms River, NJ

A study of blueclaw crabs (Callinectes sapidus) in Toms River, NJ was conducted from June, 1999 through October, 2000. A comparison of the numbers and sizes of crabs caught in traps with turtle excluders and those without excluders was made. Six commercial traps were used, three with excluders and three without. Traps were placed during various moon phases in the River in areas not known for terrapin predation. Water temperatures (23-32.2[degree]C), and salinities (0.7-19.5 ppt) were determined at sampling times. Crabs were sexed, measured, examined, and then released. Average size, sex, and shedding stage of the 794 crabs collected were recorded. Of the total, 448 crabs were caught in the excluders (length 4.28 inches), and 346 in the traps without excluders (length 4.34 inches). There was no significant difference in capture of crabs over five inches in either type of trap. The collections included 723 males and 71 females. White-lined crabs included 113 males (16% of the males) and 10 of 42 females (24% of the immature females). This data is useful to determine the density of the crabs, and the effect of the excluders on the catch in areas not inhabited by diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin).

MAPPING SPE-19 FROM C. ELEGANS; CLOSING THE GAP

BRIAN GELDZILER (STUDENT) AND ANDY SINGSON

Rutgers University/Waksman Institute, Piscataway, NJ 08854

A primary goal of our lab is to identify those genes required for fertilization using the nematode C. elegans as a model. The spe genes (spermatogenesis defective) represent one class of such genes. I have been focusing on the characterization and cloning of spe-19. Hermaphrodite worms with mutations in either of the two known alleles of spe-19 (hc4l and eb5.2) are self-sterile and lay unfertilized oocytes. However, fertility is rescued (cross-progeny are produced) when these otherwise healthy worms are mated to wild-type males. Prior genetic mapping located spe-19 to the right arm of chromosome V, approximately 29 map units to the right of dpy -11 . Additional three-point mapping using dpy-2l and rol-9 as markers has allowed us to localize spe-19 to the interval between these two genes, corresponding to an interval of approximately 12 map units, closer to rol-9. Further three-point mapping using unc-51 and rol-9 has localized spe-19 to the interval between these two markers as well, closer to unc-51. Two-poi nt mapping using recombinants generated during the above analysis has corroborated our results, suggesting that spe-19 lies approximately 11.5 map units to the right of dpy-21 There are three deficiencies located in the putative spe-19 chromosome region, and we have recently begun deficiency mapping to further narrow down this interval in anticipation of YAC injection and subsequent cloning via transgenic rescue.

PURIFICATION AND BIOTINYLATION OF ENDOGENOUS ICTACALCIN

MAUREEN DETIG (STUDENT), LAURIE RADZNIAK (STUDENT) AND ANGELA R. PORTA (FACULTY SPONSOR)

Kean University, Department of Biological Sciences, Union, NJ 07083

Ictacalcin is a novel calcium binding protein localized to chemosensory tissues of the channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. Ictacalcin belongs to the $100 family of calcium binding proteins, which as a group are believed to participate in a variety of important cellular regulatory mechanisms such as exocytosis, phosphorylation and call cycle progression. Chemosensory signal transduction pathways are thought to involve calcium as a second messenger. The interaction of calcium with calcium binding proteins causes conformational changes leading to altered affinities to target proteins resulting in modulation of target protein activity. The purpose of this project was to isolate and purify endogenous ictacalcin in order to obtain large quantities for labeling with biotin. Biotinylated ictacalcin will be used in future studies to identify target proteins of ictacalcin. Tissue homogenates (20%) were prepared from catfish barbel tissue by homogenization in Tris buffer and centrifugation. The homogenates were passed through an affinity column containing the polyclonal antibody for ictacalcin. After extensive washing with binding buffer, the ictacalcin protein was eluted using elution buffer. Protein was monitored by O.D. readings at 280 nm. Fractions containing ictacalcin were pooled and concentrated using a Centricon-3 column. The final concentrated preparation was assessed for purity by SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Ictacalcin was biotinylated using a commercially available kit (Peirce).

Supported by a National Institutes of Health NIDCD AREA grant No. DC03893 to A.R.P.

IDENTIFICATION OF ICTACALCIN TARGET PROTEINS IN CATFISH CHEMOSENSORY TISSUE

CLAUDIA AGUDELO (STUDENT), JONATHAN CATERINO (STUDENT) AND ANGELA R. PORTA (FACULTY SPONSOR)

Kean University, Department of Biological Sciences, Union, NJ 07083

Calcium plays a critical role in olfactory signal transduction mechanisms and is believed to influence odor adaptation. Studies suggest that calcium binding proteins may mediate calcium induced modulation of these mechanisms. Ictacalcin is a calcium binding protein expressed only in chemosensory tissue of the channel catfish. Calcium binding to ictacalcin alters its conformation. Similar to other S100 proteins, these conformational changes may lead to modulation of the activity of other proteins, and thus to calcium-mediated physiological responses. In light of the role that ictacalcin may play in olfactory signal transduction mechanisms, we initiated studies to identify the target proteins of ictacalcin. Extracts of catfish tissue (olfactory rosette, gill, liver, barbel, brain and muscle) were prepared and the protein concentration determined. The extracts were subjected to electrophoresis in native polyacrylamide gels and SDS-PAGE gels. Gels were transferred to a PVDF membrane. The membranes were incubated with biotinylated ictacalcin in the presence of calcium. Ictacalcin binding activity was assayed by developing with streptavidin-alkaline phosphatase. Initial studies indicate that ictacalcin could not bind to its target proteins in the presence of SDS. However, two bands were observed in the membranes from native gels. These two bands were present in lanes containing tissue extracts from olfactory epithelium and gill. The two bands represented proteins with different electrophoretic mobility in native gels, indicating that they are different proteins. Future studies will determine the calcium dependency and the specificity of ictacalcin binding.

Supported by a National Institutes of Health NIDCD AREA grant No. DC03893 to A.R.P.

SUBSTRATE SPECIFICITY of CLONED P-NITROBENZOATE

REDUCTASE OF RALSTONIA PICKETTH YH105

JOHN CAMPOR (STUDENT), GERBEN J. ZYLSTRA, THEODORE CHASE, JR.

Dept. of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Cook College,

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Genes for p-nitrobenzoate reductase and hydroxylaminobeozoate lyase have been cloned from Ralstonia (formerly Pseudomonas) pickettii YH105, an organism able to grow on p-nitrobenzoate as sole source of C, N and energy (Yabannavar, A.V., and Zylslra, G.J., Appl. Environ. Micro biol. 61:4284-4290 [1995]). The former gene has been transferred to the expression vector pTrcHis and expressed in Escherichia coli TOP-10. We present the activity of the enzyme in crude extracts on a range of nitroaromalic substrates, compared with background activity of E. coil nitroaromatic reductase. The cloned enzyme prefers substrates with a charged p- or m-substituent (-COO-,[-SO. Sub.3-]) or uncharged but highly polar ([-SO. sub.2][NH. sub.2]),) while the E, coil enzyme prefers uncharged p-substituents with a carbonyl ([-COOCH. sub. 3], -CHO, [-CONH. sub.2]). Purification of the cloned enzyme, to study its activity in isolation, is in progress.

THE PROCESSES INVOLVED WITH CONDUCTING A CLAM MORTALITY STUDY IN A NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

JOETTE VIGGIANO (STUDENT), ROBERT MACALUSO (LABORATORY MANAGER)

Brookdale College, Sandy Hook Field Station, Lincroft, NJ 07738

DR. JOHN KRAEUTER AND DAPHNE DEACON (LEARNING ASSIST.)

Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, Rutgers University, Port Norris, NJ 08349

Mortality rates of adult hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) are a factor in controlling population levels and affects future harvest availability. An ongoing study by Dr. John Kraeuter investigates the mortality of five size groups of M. mercenaria in Sandy Hook Bay. Fish and birds can be attributed with the high mortality during the summer and winter months. Food availability, temperature, and salinity can also affect growth and mortality. Data collection of clam size and age is necessary to determine suitable harvest levels. Dr. John N. Kraeuter began an investigation in the summer of 2000 of size specific mortality of hard clams in Sandy Hook Bay. Two project sites were chosen for the study. One site was located at Earle Naval Weapons Station and the second was located at Spermaceti Cove at Gateway National Recreation Area on Sandy Hook, NJ. The poster shows logistics involved in the set-up of the mortality study that is ongoing at this time. Also shown is the data with the initial measurements (pre-planti ng), sampling measurements (harvesting of plots) of the initial setup of the project. Means for the pre-planting and harvest measurements for the summer 2000 season are also shown. Fifty plots in each location were staked out. Twenty-five plots were fenced and twenty-five were not. Each plot contained 25 clams; five clams from each of the five size categories ranging from 25 to greater than 65 mm. All clams were measured for length, width and thickness before planting and at harvest time. Sampling was done one month after planting to see how clams were affected by handling. Sampling of ten plots will continue each season until one year from planting. The results of this project will involve a great deal of statistical analysis before any results can be determined. This poster is presented to demonstrate the processes involved in the study of mortality rates of hard shell clams in the Sandy Hook Bay area.

DESIGNING A TELERADIOLOGY SYSTEM FOR MRNJ

STACEY BOCK (STUDENT), AJAY K. BOSE

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ

ROBERT F. TRAFLET

Magnetic Resonance of New Jersey

Teleradiology is the electronic transmission in a filmless rr anner of radiological images from one location to another for interpretation and/or consultation. The heart of such a system is a personal computer using a Picture Advising and Communication System (PACS). The main task is to translate medical images into the standard format of DICOM 3.0 (an interface) and then into a graphics format. Images are now archived on tapes instead of filed as films. A teleradiology system was assembled using commercial components and tested successfully. Such a system allows a radiologist to read images using a viewer on a personal computer from any location of a network. This makes it easier to send interpretation to referring doctors more easily and faster.

BREAST CANCER AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:

A REVIEW OF THE VARIABILITY IN CURRENT RESEARCH CHERYL DONATO (STUDENT). AYESHA KHAN (STUDENT), KRISTIE REILLY

Department of Biological Sciences, Kean University Union, NJ

Department of Physical Therapy, UMDNJ, Newark NJ

Background: Rising rates of breast cancer over the past three decades has led to an increase in research efforts aiming to determine the risk factors involved. Physical activity may be a risk factor, which can be modified.

Purpose: The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the relationship between physical activities and breast cancer risk, and to investigate the factors which may jeopardize the validity and reliability of studies and offer possible suggestions to remedy these potential areas of error.

Methods: Thirteen experimental studies were selected for a qualitative literature review. The search parameters included experimental studies, between 1980 to 1999. These studies, selected from 1987 to 1999, were referred to most often among the researchers. The studies were selected to support the three potential hypotheses of physical activities' effects on breast cancer risk. Out of the t tairteen experimental studies, eight studies concluded that physical activity reduced he risk of breast cancer, two studies concluded that physical activity had no effect on breast cancer risk, and two studies concluded that physical activity increased the risk of breast cancer. Each study was reviewed for the following variables: 1) the type of physical activity performed, including recreational (leisure-time), household and occupational activity; 2) the components of physical activity, including frequency, duration and intensity of physical activity; 3) the data collection method chosen b each author, including self-rep ort or interview; 4) evaluative time of measured physical activity; and 5) subject characteristics, including demographics, past and active medical, gynecological, and nutritional history, and arthropometric values. These variables were chosen because they were the common denominators among the studies being reviewed, and many variations were found among them.

Results: The review supported the hypothesis of many inconsistencies being present in the available research studying the relationship between physical activity and breast cancer. The studies supporting a positive relatior ship between breast cancer risk and physical activity agreed on few variables affecting the risk of breast cancer including presence and prevalence of exercise in lifetime Many different standards were found for the amount, type and intensity of exercise, the age at which it was performed and other nutritional, and gynecological factors The studies concluding a negative and no relationship between exercise and breast cancer risk had fewer differences among variables but their data collection methods were found to be less comprehensive than the studies concluding a positive relations hip between exercise and breast cancer risk.

Conclusion: There is a need to increase consistency in what variables are selected in future experimental research investigating the relationship between breast cancer risk and physical activity. For example, physical activity should be examined over a lifetime, rather than a select age range. Some variables also need to be universally defined, such as the duration, intensity and frequency of physical activity, so that the parameters for these variables are consistent in future research.

THE DELETERIOUS EFFECTS OF OXIDATIVE STRESS ON WHOLE BLOOD COAGULATION

SATYA RAO (STUDENT), CHARLES SPILLERT, TAMARA BEREZINA

Department of Surgery, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

DAVID KEISTOL

Department of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology

The effect of peroxidation on the clotting time of whole blood in vitro was studied. Blood samples from 27 individuals were evaluated. Each sample was separated into two aliquots. The first aliquot (the control) was untreated whole blood. The second aliquot was treated with [H.sub.2][O.sub.2] to a final concentration of 1 [micro]M. The coagulation rates of each aliquot were investigated simultaneously using the Sonoclot Coagulation and Platelet Function Analyzer (Sienco Inc.).

Data from the study was compiled and evaluated using the paired t test and P values were calculated, Significant statistical differences in coagulation rates between the two aliquots were found. Testing of tile blood gave evidence that treatment with hydrogen peroxide decreases clotting time.
 ALIQUOT A (CONTROL) ALIQUOT B (TREATED)

Clotting Time
Mean Value 323.07 [+ or -] 80.77 288.26 [+ OR -] 73.26
(seconds)

Clotting Time
Median Value 332.00 293.00
(seconds)


 DIFFERENCE (A-B)

Clotting Time
Mean Value 34.815
(seconds)

Clotting Time
Median Value 35.00
(seconds)
 P VALUE LESS THAN:

Two-tailed P test 0.0001
One-tailed P test 0.0001


The very low P values are considered to be of extreme statistical significance.

The blood treated with [micro]M [H.sub.2][O.sub.2] clotted over 34 seconds faster than the control, on average.

This in vitro study may give rise to a simple assay monitoring those a high thrombotic risk so as to improve the clinical outlook and outcome of these patients.

THE EFFECTS OF SILVER NITRATE AND SILVER ACETATE ON WHOLE BLOOD AND PLASMA CLOTTING TIMES

AHSAN AUMAD (STUDENT), DAID KRISTOL

New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102

CHARLES L. SPILLERT

UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ 07103

A clotting time study for monitoring the coagulant of silver nitrate and silver acetate in whole blood and plasma is described. The experiment is comprised of two studies: (i) an initial dose response clotting time study of silver nitrate and silver acetate in different patient bloods, and (ii) a second clotting time study at selected silver salt concentration of 0.001M, the concentration at which maximum difference in clotting time was observed. Results for the initial study indicate that the whole blood and plasma clotting times decrease with increasing silver salt concentrations. Results for the study at 0.001M concentrations show that the silver salts decreased whole blood clotting times significantly more than plasma clotting (p[less than]0.05). Moreover, the clotting times with silver nitrate are significantly decreased (p[less than]0.05) in comparison to the clotting times with silver nitrate. That silver nitrate clotting times are decreased in comparison to those found for silver nitrate are of intere st. Further study to determine a mechanism for this is warranted.

TGF-[beta] MODULATES EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX OP KERATINOCYTES VIA REACTIVE OXYGEN SPECIES

NEENA PHILLIPS, TAMMY ORLANDO

Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science Department

Georgian Court College, Lakewood, NJ

Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-[beta]) plays an extensive role in extracellular matrix remodeling. One of the mechanisms by which TGF-[beta] mediates its effect is by altering the cellular oxidative state. It can induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells and/or inhibit endogenous Nitric oxide (NO) production. The aim of this study was to determine the roles of ROS and NO in TGF-[beta] mediated extracellular matrix remodeling in keratinocytss, by comparing the effects of anti-TGF-[beta](AT, neutralizes endogenous TGF-[beta]) with superoxide dismutase (SD, neutralizes endogenous superoxides) and PTIO (a NO scavenger), independently and in combination. In regards to the cellular oxidative state, only PTIO induced lipid peroxidation in a dose dependent manner. Both AT and SD caused similar, dose dependent, increases in elastin and collagenase secretion whereas PTIO did not alter the expression of these proteins. In combination, the effects of AT dominated. It maybe concluded that TGF-[beta] mediates its effects on the extracellular matrix largely by ROS, including superoxide.

ORAL PRESENTATIONS

BIOLOGY I

Chair -- Dr. Michael Gross, Georgian Court College

THE EXOCYST COMPLEX ASSOCIATES WITH MICROTUBULES TO MEDIATE VESICLE TARGETING AND NEURITE OUTGROWTH

IRVING B. VEGA[1] (STUDENT), SHU C. Hsu[1,2]

(1) Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ

(2) Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

During neuronal development, vesicles are targeted to the growth cone to pro. mote neurite outgrowth and synaptogenesis. The Exocyst complex is an essential macromolecule in the secretory pathway, which may play a role in vesicle targeting. Although it has been shown that this complex is enriched in rat brain, the molecular mechanism underlying its function is largely unknown. Here, we report that the Exocyst complex co-immunoprecipicates with microtubules from total rat brain lysate. Additionally, the Exocyst complex subrellular localization changes upon neuronal differentiation. In undifferentiated PC12 cells, this complex is associated with microtubules at the microtubule organization center. However, in differentiated PC12 cells and cultured hippocampal neurons, the Exocyse complex and microtubules extend to the growing neurite and co-localize at the growth cone with Synaptotagmin. Inhibiticn of the NGF-activated MAP kinase pathway blocks the Exocyst complex and microtubules redistribution, abolishing ne urite outgrowth and promoting cytosolic accumulation of secretory vesicles. Consistently, the overexpression of Exocyst sec10 subunit mutant blocks neurite outgrowth. These results indicate that the Exocyst complex targets secretory vesirles to specific domains of the plasma membrane through its association with the microtubules, promoting neurite outgrowth and, consequently, neuronal differentiation.

ISCHEMIC INJURY OF THE RAT TESTIS STIMULATES EXPRESSION OF HYPOXIA-INDUCIBLE FACTOR-i ALPHA (HIP-1[alpha]) PROTEIN WITHOUT AN INCREASE IN HIF-1[alpha] MRNA.

RONIT ELSHTEIN STUDENT), JOHN D. POWELL (STUDENT), MICHAEL A. PALLADINO

Biology Department, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764

HIF-1 is a transcription factor composed of [alpha] and [beta] subunits. HIF-1 stimulates expression of hypoxia-sensitive genes that mediate oxygen homeostasis in many tissues. Our hypothesis is that HIP-i is involved in the cellular response to ischemia of the testis during testicular torsion. Goais of this study were to determine if HIF-1[alpha] mRNA is expressed in male reproductive organs of adult S-D rats, and to determine if HIF-1[alpha] mRNA and protein expression in testis is affected by ischemia. Total RNA from testis was analyzed by relative RT-PCR. HIF-1[alpha] mRNA showed equal expression in testis, epididymis, ductus deferens, accessory sex glands and penis. To examine the effect of testicular ischemia on HIF-1[alpha] mRNA and protein expression, rats were subjected to unilateral testicular ischemia by placing a ligature around spermatic artery for 15 min., 30 min., 1, 3, and 6h then testes were excised for RNA and protein extractions. RT-PCR revealed that HIF-1[alpha] mRNA expression at all time s of ischemia was unchanged compared to normoxic controls. HIF-1[alpha] protein was detected by immunoblot analysis of nuclear protein extracts from normoxic testes. HIF-1[alpha] protein expression was stimulated by 15 min. of ischemia and showed a 4-fold increase at 3h. These findings support the hypothesis that HIF-1[alpha] may play a role in ischemia of the testis.

ANTIBIOTIC COMPETITION ASSAYS TO DETERMINE AN EFFECTIVE ANTIBIOTIC FOR STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS BACTERIA

CERRONE FOSTER (STUDENT), DR. W. SCOTT CHAMPNEY Department of Biochemistry, James H. Quillen College of Medicine,

Johnson City, TN 37614

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria that can cause skin irritations and respiratory infections. To prevent such infections antibiotics are used to prevent cell growth. In the bacteria, antibiotics prevent cell growth by targeting the mechanism responsible for the bacteria's cell growth. The 50S ribosomal subunit is one of the factors responsible for protein assembly and directing the cell's life processes. Antibiotics bind to this subunit inhibiting protein synthesis and those that bind best are most effective at preventing cell growth. Erythromycin is the standard drug used for S. aureus to prevent cell growth, but other antibiotics can compete and bind to the subunit. We determined using competition binding assays and gel exclusion chromatography which antibiotics competed with erythromycin for the ribosomal binding site. Radioactive erythromycin was used as a control and the percent bound to the ribosome before and after the assay was determined using a scintillation counter. The amount of erythromycin bou nd to the ribosome was lower if antibiotics competed for the 50S binding site. The results of the work identified antibiotics such as clarithromycin, HMR3004, and azithromycin in low concentrations that worked better than erythromycin to inhibit protein synthesis. These antibiotics decreased erythromycin binding by more than 50%.

NANOSCALE ELECTROSTATICS IN ANAPHASE B MOTION

L. JOHN GAGLIARDI AND HSIN-YI LEE (STUDENT) Physics and Biology Departments, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ

Primitive cells had to divide with very little biology, and electrostatics could have played a central role in mitosis and cytokinesis. In the cytoplasmic medium (cytosol) that exists within biological cells, electrostatic fields are subject to strong attenuation by ionic screening, and therefore decrease rapidly over a distance of several Debye lengths. However, microtubules can act as intermediaries that extend the reach of the electrostatic force over cellular distances.

Studies have shown that intracellular pH rises to a peak at mitosis, and decreases through cytokinesis. This result, in conjunction with the electric dipole nature of microtubule subunits, is sufficient to explain and unify the basic events of cell division: (1) assembly of asters, (2) motion of asters to poles, (3) poleward motion of chromosomes during anaphase A, (4) anaphase B cell elongation, and (5) cytokinesis. This paper will focus on the dynamics of cytokinesis in primitive cells based on this comprehensive model. The physicochemical mechanisms utilized by primitive cells could provide important clues regarding our understanding of cell division in modern eukaryotic cells.

NEURAL INDUCTION IN THE CHICK

GUOHONG HU, DANIEL H. SHAIN, ROBERT G. NAGELE AND HSIN-YI LEE Biology Department, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ

Molecular Biology Department, UMDNJ-SOM, Stratford, NJ

Induction of the secondary embryo was first described by H. Spemann in amphibians more than seventy years ago. In this process, a piece of chordamesoderm (Spemann's primary organizer) from an embryo at the gastrula stage, when transplanted, induces a secondary embryo in a competent host embryo. Later studies have shown that the vital activity of the primary organizer is not essential and, in many species, the physical contact between the inducer (chordamesodermal cells) and responding cells (overlying ectodermal cells) is not necessary. These findings suggest that the inducing substance is chemical in nature. However, its exact nature remains elusive, although our previous studies have suggested that small polypeptides resembling nerve growth factor play a pivotal role in neural induction of the chick. More recent studies have shown that genes such as noggin, follistatin, chordin, cerberus, and xnr3 may be involved in neural induction. These genes are strategically expressed in the primary organizer region o f the frog, hydra and rat, and injection of their encoding mRNAs into competent host embryos induces a secondary neuroepithelium. Our current study was designed to determine if comparable genes also exist in Hensen's node, the primary organizer of the chick embryos. Briefly, fertile hen's eggs were incubated for 17-19 hours at 37.5[degrees]C to obtain embryos at Hamburger & Hamilton stage 4 of development. Hensen's node and its adjacent areas were carefully isolated and processed for extraction of the total RNA using the guanidinium method. The cDNA library of Hensen's node was constructed in phage lamda TriplEx2 with commercialize kits. The first strand cDNA was synthesized from the RNA of the adjacent areas with RT PCR and used to make the [black.sup.32]P labeled probes, which were used to screen the Hensen's node cDNA library. Our ultimate goal is to identify specific genes in Hensen's node directly involved in neural induction.

THE ROLE OF METHYL GROUPS IN CELL DIFFERENTIATION

MARIAME BARRY (STUDENT), L. JOHN GAGLIARDI, DANIEL H. SHAIN,

ROBERT G. NAGELE AND HSIN-YI LEE Biology and Physics Departments, Rutgers University Camden, NJ

Molecular Biology Department, UMDNJ-SOM, Stratford, NJ

Cell differentiation is accomplished by differential gene expression, not by gene gain or gene loss. In the present study, we used 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU), a thymidine analogue, to study the involvement of methyl groups in cell differentiation. BrdU is considered ideal for the present study, because it has a bromine atom substituting for the methyl group of thymidine. Although the precise mode of action of BrdU remains unclear, it has been shown to incorporate into the DNA of susceptible cells, thereby inhibiting the synthesis of cell-specific macromolecules, altering the surfaces of differentiating cells, and interfering with embryonic development. In our experiments, fertile hen's eggs were incubated at 37.5[degrees]C for 15-17 hours to obtain embryos at stage 3+ of development. The emoryos were explanted using New's technique and grown for 3-4 hours in nutrient medium (thin albumen) containing BrdU (3 x [10.sup.-4] M). The Hensen's node area (0.3 x (.3 [mm.sup.2]) was isolated and grafted onto a hos t embryo at stage 4 of development. The hosts were grown for 20 hours on plain thin albumen with or without 3 x [10.sup.-4] M of BrdU, thymidine, methionine, homocysteine, or uridine. Additional node grafts were treated the same except that plain thin albumen was used throughout cultivation. After incubation, the hosts were fixed, sectioned serially, stained, and examined. Results were analyzed statistically. Treatment with 3 x [10.sup.-4]M of BrdU was sufficient to inhibit the differentiation of the statistically significant number of node grafts. Thymidine and methionine, which are methyl donors, alleviated an inhibitory action of BrdU in over 50% of the node grafts. Homocysteine and uridine, which do not contain methyl groups, did not alleviate the inhibitory action of BrdU. Both agents, at a concentration of 3 x [10.sup.-4]M, were non-toxic, because more than 88% of the host embryos were normal.

STUDIES ON NEURAL TUBE DEFECTS: EFFECTS OF CERIVASTATIN

GERALD D. EDDIS (STUDENT), DANIEL H. SHAIN, DENNIS J. JOSLYN,

ROBERT G. NANGELE AND HSIN-YI LEE Biology Department, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ

UMDNJ-SOM, Stratford, NJ

Cerivastatin (Baycol), a class of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A (HMGCoA) reductase inhibitors, is known to reduce the plasma levels of total and LDL cholesterol. It also reduces the amounts of triglycerides and apolipoprotein B, but increases the amounts of HDL cholesterol in the blood. We are interested in the possible teratologic effects of this cholesterol-lowering drug because women, who are pregnant, breast-feeding, or have liver disease, are warned not to use this medication. In the present study, we used commercially available Baycol and chick embryos in our experiments. Baycol, at doses 100-400 [micro]g/egg, was injected into the yolk sac of day 3 chick embryos. The toxicity of Baycol was evaluated by comparing the mortality at various dose levels with that of saline-injected controls whose mortality ranged from 8-12% during 3-17 days after treatment. Our results showed that embryonic development was not noticeably affected by 200 [micro]g or lower Baycol/egg. Most embryos, which died within 3 days of treatment, were usually stunted, and their extraembryonic blood vessels were poorly developed. Severely affected embryos, which were apparently alive 3-6 days after treatment, showed various deficiencies in the skull and associated structures. Cerebral hemorrhage and microphthalmia were found in 58% of the embryos with neural tube defects (NTDs). Of those embryos injected with 400[micro]g Baycol/egg surviving at hatching, 46% had multiple abnormalities, especially brain and skull defects. These results are not surprising because numerous unrelated pharmaceutical agents, at relatively high doses, are known to increase the incidence of NTDs in a variety of vertebrates. Therefore, Baycol is relatively safe if used according to the manufacturer's directions.

BIOLOGY II

Chair -- Dr. Michael Gross, Georgian Court College

COCOONS AND EGG LAYING IN THE LEECH

TARIN A. MASON (STUDENT) AND DANIEL H. SHAIN Biology Department, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ

The aquatic leech, Theromyzon rude, spins cocoons underwater as it lays it eggs. Cocoons form a sleeve around the body into which eggs are deposited; cocoons are then passed over the head and sealed at both ends. In this study, 72 rude cocoons were isolated and resuspended in the denaturing agents TFA and DMSO for amino acid composition analysis. We found that cocoons contain [sim]10% proline, 10% glycine and 10% serine, the approximate composition of silk fibroin which has a six residue repeat: glycine-serine-glycine-alanine-glycine-alanine.

We have tried unsuccessfully to solubilize cocoons further for Edmann degradation, which would provide a partial linear amino acid sequence of the cocoon protein. Finally, we have examined the physical process of egg laying by infrared video surveillance photography.

IN SEARCH OF METAZOAN TELOMERASE GENES

GERALD PINKERTON, ROBERT G. NAGELE, HSIN-YI LEE AND DANIEL H. SHAIN (STUDENT)

Biology Department, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ UMDNJ-SOM, Stratford, NJ

We are interested in examining the relationship between cancer and the gene telomerase. In known cancers, telomerase gene activity is activated from its quiescent state in somatic cells.

Our approach is to compare telomerase DNA sequences from diverse animal phyla in an effort to identify functionally important regions. We propose to clone the telomerase gene in an annelid by degenerative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) methodology, and compare its DNA sequence to the human telomerase gene.

DISTRIBUTION AND BEHAVIOR OF ALASKAN ICE WORMS

(MESENCHYTRAEUS SOLIFUGUS)

ANGELA H. FARRELL (STUDENT), TARIN A. MASON AND DANIEL H. SHAIN Biology Department, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ

The ice worm, Mesenchytraeus solifugus, is the only known annelid that survives in glacier ice. We report the locations of eight ice worm populations in south central Alaska, including the northern and western most extent of known ice worm habitation. All ice worms identified in this study inhabit coastal glaciers that are proximal to the Gulf of Alaska. They were found in a variety of habitats including level snowfields, steep avalanche cones, crevasse walls, glacial rivers and pools, and in hard glacier ice. Ice worms were not found on all coastal glaciers nor were they found in Alaska's interior (i.e., the Alaska Range). Ice worms on Byron Glacier, AK totaled [sim]30 million and were distributed on seven distinct avalanche cones. They displayed a diurnal cycle appearing on the glacier surface several hours before sunset and penetrating back into the glacier shortly after sunrise. Experiments suggest that ice worms preferentially penetrate the glacier beneath patches of concentrated surface algae, Chlamydo monas nivalis, to a depth between 15-100 cm, and resurface at a proximal location. The lateral movement of ice worms on the glacier surface can reach speeds up to [sim]3 meter/hr. Ice worms on Byron Glacier avoided light, but they did not respond preferentially to different wavelengths in the visible spectrum. Finally, ice worms displayed an unexpected attraction toward heat.

AN ULTRASTRUCTURAL COMPARISON OF THE ANNELIDS, ENCHYTRAEIDAE AND HIRUDINAE

MECHELLE D. REGESTER, DENNIS J. JOSLYN (STUDENT), ROBERT G. NAGELE, HSIN-YI LEE AND DANIEL H. SHAIN

Biology Department, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ Molecular Biology Department, UMDNJ-SOM, Stratford, NJ

The annelids Enchytraeus albidus (family: Enchytraeidae), Mesenchytraeus solifegus (family: Enchytraeidae) and Theromyzon rude (class: Hirudinae) diverged recently in evolution, but occupy remarkably diverse habitats. E. albidus is a terrestrial worm that is found globally; M. solifugus inhabits glacial ice along the Pacific coast of North America; and T. rude is an aquatic leech found in North and South America. By transmission electron microscopy, we have examined morphological features at the anterior end of each worm in an effort to identify similarities and differences that may contribute to their respective habitats and lifestyles.

AMYLOID PLAQUES ARE THE REMNANTS OF NEURON LOSS IN ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE BRAINS

KRISTI A. HOHENSTEIN (STUDENT), DANIEL H. SHAIN, HSIN-YI LEE, MICHAEL R. D'ANDREA AND ROBERT G. NAGELE

Biology Department, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ Molecular Biology Department, UMDNJ-SOM, Stratford, NJ

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is characterized by deterioration of memory and cognitive functions and a profound loss of neurons in the cerebral cortex and hippo-campus. This condition is hallmarked by the prevalence of focal, extracellular; deposits of amyloid called amyloid plaques (APs). How APs form in AD brains is unknown. In the present study, we have used immunohistochemistry and digital image analysis to examine the relationship between the formation of APs and neuron loss in AD brains. We report here that amyloid accumulates intracellularly within pyramidal neurons over a period of years and that this accumulation becomes a mechanical and functional hindrance to normal neuronal function. The result of this process neuron dysfunction and neuron loss through cell lysis, resulting in the radial dispersion of neuronal contents to form an AP. As confirmation of this idea, a nuclear remnant was found at the dense core of APs. In addition, an inverse relationship between the AP density and neuron density in the AD brain regions also supports this possibility, as does the close correlation between AP size and the size of local neurons. Based on these observations we suggest that neuron lysis as a direct result of intracellular amyloid accumulation may be an important mechanism of neuronal loss and AP formation in AD brains.

THE ALPHA 7 NICOTENIC ACETYLCHOLINE RECEPTOR CAUSES SELECTIVE TARGETING OF CHOLINERGIC NEURONS IN ALZHEIMER'S DESEASE

CHRISTOPHER S. PINKERTON (STUDENT), DANIEL H. SHAIN, HSIN-YI LEE, MICHAEL R. D'ANDREA AND ROBERT G. NAGELE

Biology Department, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ Molecular Biology Department, UMDNJ-SOM, Stratford, NJ

Accumulation of amyloid occurs intracellularly (i.e., within pyramidal neurons), rather than extracellularly, leading to amyloid plaque (AP) formation and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The reason for the selective targeting of cholinergic neurons is unknown, but biochemical evidence suggests that the alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (a7nAChR) may be involved. To investigate this possibility, we used consecutive section and double-label immunohistochemistry to reveal the spatial relationship between amyloid and the a7nAChR in AD brains. We show sere that neurons, which accumulate excessive amyloid, invariably express the a7nAChR and that this receptor is co-localized within intracellular amyloid deposits in neurons of AD brains. To test the possibility that the a7nAChR is involved in the internalization and intracellular accumulation of amyloid, cultured, transfected neuroblastoma cells expressing elevated levels of a7nAChR were used. These cells showed rapid binding, internalization a nd accumulation of exogenous amyloid, and internalization of amyloid and a7nAChR was blocked by a-bungarotoxin, an a7nAChR antagonist, and phenylarsine oxide, an inhibitor of endocytosis. Results suggest that the interaction between amyloid and the a7nAChR may provide the basis for the selective vulnerability of a7nAChR-expressing neurons in AD brains.

BIOCHEMISTRY I

Chair -- Dr. Laura Mackey, Kean University

EFFECTS OF OXIDANTS AND ANTIOXIDANTS ON RENAL ADENOCARCINOMA CELL PROLIFERATION AND METASTASIS

JENNIFER CAREY (STUDENT), NEENA PHILIPS Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science Department Georgian Court College, Lakewood, NJ 08701

Reactive oxygen species have been shown to be factors in the etiology of cancer in previous studies. The goal of this study is to examine the effects of lutein, ascorbic acid, and hydrogen peroxide on renal adencarcinoma cells. Renal cells were exposed to increasing doses (0.001-0.1mM or 0.02-20mM) of lutein, ascorbic acid, and hydrogen peroxide for 24 hours. In addition, cells were transfected with a collagenase promoter expression vector and then exposed to lutein, ascorbic acid or hydrogen peroxide for 24 hours. Assays were done to determine membrane damage, collagenase promoter activity and cell proliferation. Lutein and hydrogen peroxide were protective against membrane damage, whereas ascorbic acid increased membrane damage in a dose responsive manner. Dose dependent inhibition of the collagenase promoter occurred with either lutein or hydrogen peroxide but not with ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid increased cell proliferation while lutein and hydrogen peroxide had no significant effects, The basal cellula r oxidative state and the roles of lutein, ascorbic acid and hydrogen peroxide as oxidants versus antioxidants in the renal adenocarcinoma cells needs to be determined.

HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPHY INCREASES COLLAGEN EXPRESSION IN HUMAN DERMAL FIBROBLASTS VIA RELEASE OF ACTIVE TGF-[beta]

JAN DEVANEY (STUDENT), NEENA PHILIPS

Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science Department

Georgian Court College, Lakewood, NJ

The purpose of this study was to determine whether hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can improve skin aging by altering the expression of extracellular matrix proteins and growth factors. To this end, the effects of estrogen, progesterone, and the combination of estrogen and progesterone on cell proliferation, extracellular matrix proteins, and growth factors were examined in human dermal fibroblasts. Initially, fibroblasts were untreated or exposed to estrogen (E) (1, 10, 100, or 1000nM), progesterone (P) (0.1,1,10, or 100 [micro]M), or a combination of estrogen and progesterone concentrations for 24 or 48 hours. Fibroblasts were then exposed to lOOnM estrogen, 1[micro]M progesterone or a combination of these hormones for 48 hours. After 48 hours, estrogen, progesterone, and the hormone combination inhibited cell proliferation similarly, at all doses examined. Also, there was a dose responsive increase in the amount of collagen with both hormones independently and a further increase with the hormones combin ation, relative to the untreated cells. Interestingly, there was an increase in the amount of TGF-[beta], but not in LAP. HRT maybe mediating the changes in collagen expression and improving skin aging by increasing the release of active TGF-[beta].

OXIDATIVE AND AGING EFFECTS OF BENZOIC ACID ON DERMAL FIBROBLASTS

JUDITH RYAN (STUDENT), NEENA PHILIPS

Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science Department

Georgian Court College, Lakewood, NJ

Benzoic acid has been determined to be one of the skin formed benzene metabolites. Benzoic acid is processed commercially in pharmaceuticals, plastics, foods, dyes and cosmetics. The goal of the study was to determine the effects of benzoic acid on human fibroblast cells with respect to toxicity, oxidative stress response and aging effects. Dermal fibroblast cells were exposed to benzoic acid (0.1 mM to 10 mM) for a 24-hour period. Cells were examined for cell viability, lipid peroxidation and apoptosis. Media was analyzed for membrane damage, lipid peroxidation, elastin, collagenase and TGF-[beta]. Cell analysis indicated dose dependent decrease in cell viability and lipid peroxidation, though the alterations were not significantly different from untreated cells. Further, benzoic acid increased cell apoptosis. Media analysis revealed an increase of membrane damage, lipid peroxidation, elastin, collagenase and TGF-[beta] ins dose dependent manner. It maybe inferred bat benzoic acid potentiates skin aging by oxidative stress.

PROTECTIVE EFFECT OF LUTEIN ON SKIN AGING

CYNTHIA J. HENDRIX (STUDENT), SALVADOR GONZALEZ, NEENA PHILIPS

Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science Department

Georgian Court College, Lakewood, NJ 08701

Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is implicated in many pathological states. Increase in cellular ROS occurs with aging and can be generated by exposure to ultraviolet radiation, inflammation, and environmental pollutants. Major alterations apparent in skin aging, both normal and photoaging, include increased elastin content and reduced collagen levels, due to increase in interstitial collagenase. Lutein, a natural carotenoid, is protective again at cataratogenesis and cancer. The goal of this study is to determine the effect of lutein on dermal fibroblasts in ameliorating aging. Dermal fibroblasts were untreated or exposed to lutein (1-100 [micro]M) for 24 hours. The cells were examined for viability and the media for the secretion of elastin, collagenase and TGF-[beta]. In addition, cells were transfected with collagenase promoter expression vector and then treated with lutein, to determine transcriptional regulation. Lutein inhibited collagenase, elastin and TGF-[beta] secretion, in a dose dependent manner. Additionally, lutein inhibited collagenase promoter activity, partially via the AP-1 transcription factor. Further, additional experiments indicated an increase in collagen expression by lutein. It can be inferred that lutein may be effective against photoaging and subsequent photocarcinogenesis.

ANTAGONISTIC EFFECTS OF ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION AND POLYPODIUM LEUCOTOMOS ON SKIN KERATINOCYTES AND FIBROBLASTS

JOAN SMITH (STUDENT), SALVADOR GONZALEZ, NEENA PHILIPS

Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science Department

Georgian Court College, Lakewood, NJ 08701

Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation induced changes are due to increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). It is important to identify ant oxidants that can neutralize ROS in cells and prevent the biochemical alterations associated with photoaging and carcinogenesis. Polypodium leucetomos (fern) extract (PL) is a novel antioxidant with photoprotective effects, by quenching reactive oxygen species. The goal of this study was to determine the molecular mechanisms by which PL can modulate UVA and UVB induced changes in keratinocytes and fibroblasts, skin cells, with regard to cell viability and expression of the extracellular matrix proteins. UVB toxicity was prevented by PL in a dose dependent manner. UVA was not toxic to the cells. However, UVA could prevent the toxicity of the highest dose of PL, suggesting antagonistic effects. PL and UV, independently, increased elastin expression but the increase was inhibited in combination, again indicating antagonistic effects. Thus, PL and UV can counteract photoagi ng.

A GEOMETRICAL ANALYSIS OF PROTEIN GEOMETRY WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR PROTEIN FOLDING

DIANA DRENNAN (STUDENT)

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Program, Rutgers University

FREDERIC M. RICHARDS

Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University

PETER C. KAHN

Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers University

Although most methods used to analyze proteins of known Structure agree on the general placements of secondary Structures, the end points of secondary structures and perturbations within them are often ambiguous. It is not surprising, therefore, that prediction methods fail to accurately find secondary structure end points. Using an in-house program, confidence limits were calculated for geometry of helices and strands in 112 independently solved, well resolved proteins. These statistics were used to describe the geometry and compared with traditional descriptions to ascertain where the geometry and hydrogen-bonding differed. Some of these areas correspond to turns, some were in extended conformation, while others appear at the ends of secondary structures, Several examples were studied further and anomalies appear to be conserved in homologous proteins. The phenomena are, therefore, probably not artifacts of crystallography, i.e. Nature has a reason for having them there. In some cases, there appear to be r eadily identifiable forces at work. These areas maybe residual evidence of the folding pathway; further study may lead us to greater understanding of folding. Interesting differences were found between proteins solved by crystallography and NMR, These could have an impact on the use of crystal and NMR structures in drug design, ligand docking, and modeling protein interfaces.

THE MOLECULAR PHARMACOLOGY OF LYSOPHOSPHATIDIC ACID

KEVIN LYNCH, RENATA JAROSZ (STUDENT)

Pharmacology Department, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22901

Lysophophatidic acid (LPA) is the first intermediate in the de novo phospholipid biosynthetic pathway and is now widely recognized as an authentic phospholipid mediator. LPA evokes a variety of biological responses in numerous cell types, including platelet aggregation, smooth muscle contraction, cell morphology changes, and mitogenic effects. LPA acts as an endogenous ligand for receptors coupled to heterotrimeric proteins [G.sub.qp][G.sub.1]and [G.sub.13]. GTP[gama]S binding assays have been convenient methods of measuring LPA-mediated responses.

Elucidation of the LPA-receptor mechanism is a formidable task. Development of structure-activity relationships (SARs) is essential and also should help to identify novel lipid mediators that are structurally similar to LPA, but may have different biological activities. In order to better elucidate key SAR features, we have tested various LPA analogs employing GTP[gama]S binding assay. The obtained results showed that LPA is distinctly less potent at Edg-7 than either Edg-2 or Edg-4, "butyl" backbone is inactive at all LPA receptors and S-enantiomer exhibits a greater potency/efficacy than R-enantiomer of the phosphate analog.

BIOCHEMISTRY II

Chair- Dr. Laura Mackey, Kean University

TRANSCRIPTIONAL REGULATION OF OXIDATIVE STRESS AND COLLAGENASE GENES BY CERAMIDE IN KERATINOCYTES

SHANNON HAMILTON (STUDENT) NEENA PHILIPS

Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science Department Georgian Court College, Lakewood, NJ

The sphingomyelin-ceramide cycle has been established as a stress activated cell signal. Evidence suggests that ceramide mediates cellular senescence via reactive oxygen species (ROS). Increased production of ROS is implicated in the generation of oxidative stress and consequent skin photoaging. The goal of this study was to examine the role of ceramide in skin aging. Dermal keratinocytes were exposed to ceramide (0 [micro]M to 300 [micro]M) for 24 hours. Cell toxicity was examined. Cellular oxidative stress was determined in terms of lipid peroxidation, apoptosis and activation of NF-kB and ICAM-1 promoters. Elastin and collagenase expressions were examined, for aging effects. Cell toxicity, lipid peroxidation and apoptosis were induced with increasing concentrations of ceramide, from 30 [micro]M. Promoter activities of NFkB and ICAM-1 were higher than untreated cells at ceramide concentrations of 100uM, by 19%. There was a dose dependent increase in elastin secretion from 6% to 47.3%, and of collagenase fr om 23.4% to 47.6% with ceramide concentration, from 1 [micro]M to 100 [micro]M, respectively. Collagenase promoter activity was stimulated by 32.3% by 30 [micro]M whereas the AP-1 mutated collagenase promoter activity was not altered, indicating transcriptional regulation of collagenase expression via AP-1. It can be inferred that ceramide can mediate skin aging via oxidative stress.

COMBINATION OF ESTROGEN AND PROLACTIN INCREASES MATRIXMETTALOPROTEINASE-2 BY INHIBITING TGF-[beta] IN MAMMARY EPITHELIAL CELLS

JENNIFER A. MONTELEONE (STUDENT), NEENA PHILIPS

Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science Department Georgian Court College, Lakewood, NJ

Estrogen and Prolactin have been implemented in breast cancer etiology. Cancer cells can proliferate and metastasize due to altered expression of growth factors and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of estrogen, prolactin, or the combination of the two hormones on mammary epithelial cells, in regard to cell proliferation and secretion of growth factors TGF-[alpha], TGF-[beta], and EGF and MMPs 1,2, and 9. Mammary epithelial cells were untreated or exposed to 10 uM estrogen, 10 uM prolactin, or a combination of the two hormones for 24,48, and 72 hours. Cells were dosed continuously once a day, for the 48 and 72 hour time periods. The incubated media was examined for growth factors and the MMPs and the cells for viability. Both estrogen and prolactin independently, increased MMP1 secretion after 72 hours, but not in combination. Prolactin increased MMP2 secretion and in combination with estrogen increased it further after 48 and 72 hours of hormone treatmen t. Estrogen alone increased MMP2 secretion only after 72 hours. The alterations in TGF-[beta] inversely paralleled the changes in MMP2 secretion, with prolactin inhibiting TGF-[beta] secretion and the combination of prolactin and estrogen inihibiting it further. It can be concluded that the combination of the hormones estrogen and prolactin enhance MMPs, hence tumorigenesis, by inhibiting TGF-[beta].

BENEFICIAL EFFECTS OF HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY ON ENDOMETRIAL CELLS

COUNTNEY HURLEY (STUDENT), NEENA PHILIPS

Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science Department Georgian Court College, Lakewood, NJ

Estrogen and progesterone are used as hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women to compensate for the loss of these hormonal levels. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of estrogen, progesterone, or a combination of the two on normal endometrial cells in regards to proliferation, secretion of growth factors (EGF,TGF-[alpha],TGF-[beta]) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-1,2,9). Normal endometrial cells were untreated or exposed to 10 [micro]M of estrogen, 1mm of progesterone or a combination of 10 [micro] estrogen and 1mm progesterone for 24, 48 and 72 hours. Cells were dosed continuously, once a day, for the 48 and 72 hour time periods. Cells were examined for cell proliferation and membrane damage. Media was analyzed for growth factors and MMPs. In comparison with control, there were no alterations in the secretion of growth factors, MMP1 and MMP9 in hormone dosed cells. Cells treated with estrogen, progesterone, and the combination of estrogen and progesterone hormones showed h igher MMP-2 levels than untreated cells. After 72 hours estrogen and progesterone independently increased cell proliferation whereas, the estrogen and progesterone combination inhibited cell proliferation. Similar results were observed for membrane damage, with estrogen and progesterone independently increasing membrane damage but the combination preventing damage. It can be concluded that the combination of the estrogen and progesterone maybe beneficial to the normal endometrial cells.

POTENTIATION OF ULTRAVIOLET INDUCED GENERATION OF HYDROGEN PEROXIDE BY TGF-[beta], HYDROGEN PEROXIDE AND A NITRIC OXIDE SCAVENGER

ADRIENNE PARRATT (STUDENT), NEENA PHILIPS

Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science Department Georgian Court College, Lakewood, NJ

Photooxidative stress, via reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, plays an important role in the chronic response of skin to ultraviolet radiation (UV), manifested as skin photoaging and photocarcinogenesis. UV is also known to induce the secretion of TGF-[beta] and in turn TGF-[beta] to induce hydrogen peroxide (ROS) generation. Further, intracellular nitric oxide (NO) levels can modulate the ROS levels. The primary goal of this study is to determine the effects of UVA and TGF-[beta], independently and in combination, on the generation of hydrogen peroxide ([H.sub.2][O.sub.2]) in dermal fibroblasts Dermal fibroblasts were untreated or exposed to UVA radiation, in the absence or presence of TGF-[beta], anti-TGF-[beta], a NO scavenger (PTIO), [H.sub.2][O.sub.2] and a NO donor (SNP) for 6 hours. The incubation media (extracellular) and the cells (intracellular) were analyzed for [H.sub.2][O.sub.2]. TGF-[beta] or UV alone did not alter [H.sub.2][O.sub.2] levels. However, in combination they increased [H.sub. 2][O.sub.2] levels four-fold. This increase was similar to the treatment of UV with hydrogen peroxide or PTIO but not with SNP. It can be inferred that an oxidant (TGF-[beta] or exogenous [H.sub.2][0.sub.2]) and the removal of endogenous NO, can potentiate a dramatic increase in UV induced generation of ROS.

ISOLATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF NATURALLY OCCURRING PRODUCTS FROM TOFU

JOSHUA REIMER (STUDENT), SUBHENDU N. GANGULY, AJAY K. BOSE

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ 07030

Tofu, which is widely used as food, has a wide variety of chemical components, some of which are supposed to be pharmacologically active. The aim of this project was to isolate specific components of commercial tofu and identify them. Bulk extraction of a sample of tofu with methanol gave an amount of sticky material. Attempts to crystallize from different solvents finally led to a colorless material, m.p. 193[degrees]C. The Lieberman Burchard test indicated the presence of an unsaturated steroid or triterpene. On the basis of IR, NMR and mass spectral data, this compound was identified as [beta]-amyrin. This was confirmed by mixture m.p. with an authentic sample and by a comparison of IR spectra. Extraction of tofu with hexane and methanol led to several fractions. One of these fractions crystallized from ethyl acetate/ hexane to give a white solid of m.p. 222[degrees]C. On the basis of IR, NMR and mass spec data, this compound was shown to be umbelliferone ot 7-hydroxycoumarin. In this connection, a known coumarin derivative (3-carbethoxycoumarin) was synthesized by reacting for a few minutes salicylaldehyde and diethyl malonate in presence of sodium acetate and acetic anhydride in a microwave oven.

MICROWAVE ASSISTED AKABORI REACTION FOR PEPTIDE SEQUENCING

ALIREZA SEDARAT (STUDENT), AJAY K. BOSE

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ 07030

BIRENDRA N. PRAMANIK, YAO H. ING

Schering-Plough Research Institute, Kenilworth NJ 07033

The Akabori reaction involves the treatment of a peptide with hydrazine in a heated sealed tube for ten hours. All peptide bonds are cleaved and all amino acids are converted to hydrazides except the C-terminus amino acid, which can then be isolated and identified. This procedure has been modified by treating a few mg of a peptide with hydrazine in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) solution. The solution is placed in an open system (a small conical flask) and irradiated for about an hour under low power microwaves in an unmodified domestic microwave oven. Samples are removed from the reaction mixture at regular time intervals and analyzed directly by FAB-MS. Under this protocol a great deal of additional information is obtained about the peptide besides identifying the C-terminus amino acid. Thus, arginine is converted to ornithine, with a loss of 42D in molecular weight. Cysteine shows a loss of 2D, aspartic acid shows a gain of 14D, etc. In many cases, some information can also be obtained about the amino acid resi dues at the N-terminus. Presently, this modified Akabori reaction can be used to confirm the sequence of amino acids in small oligopeptides.

SCIENCE EDUCATION

Chair--Dr. Donald Dorfman, Monmouth University

HUDSON RIVER FISHES EDGEWATER, NEW JERSEY

D. DORFMAN

Department of Biology, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764

D. DRAPER

Potomac-Hudson Environmental, South Amboy, NJ 08879

A study to determine fish species in the Hudson River, off Edgewater, NJ, on August 31, 2000, was made for development planning purposes. Two beach hauls were made by seining, and four otter trawls were made (with a 20 foot trawl) from a boat. Each trawl was for a duration of three minutes. The distance from shore to the furthest point into the river was approximately 700 feet. Trawls were made both parallel to, and perpendicular to the shore. Eleven species totaling 324 individual fishes were collected. Weakfish constituted 57 percent of the catch, followed by Atlantic silversides, 15 percent, Hogchoker, nine percent. mummichog, six percent, striped searobin and bay anchovy, each four percent, with white perch, tomcod, winter flounder, American eel, and blackfish making up the remaining five percent. Margalef Diversity for the entire site had a value of 3.983. Simpson Diversity for Evenness was 0.699. The wide range of individuals per species (one to 185) reduces both the Margalef and Simpson values.

LEPOMIS (SUNFISH) ELECTROPHORETIC PATTERNS

D. DORFMAN

Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764

Several species of the genus Lepomis were studied to develop a cladogram based upon protein differences. There are 10 species in this genus. Five of these were collected in NJ and MD. A hybrid (bluegill X green) was also examined. Tissues electrophoresed included liver, muscle and blood serum. Blood was obtained from live fishes. It was centrifuged and electrophoresed (agarose gel). Electrephoretic patterns were compared with human serum. Fish proteins were related to human albumin, alpha I, alpha II, beta, and gamma proteins. Species examined included pumpkinseed (1. gibbosus), bluegill (L. macrochirus), green (L. cyanellus), redbreast (L. auritus), redear (L. microlophus), and the hybrid. Liver tissue was not (no binding). Patterns were obtained for muscle tissue. However, there was little difference between species. Body tissue proteins of these fishes occur in the range of human gamma proteins. Fish serum proteins show species differences. The five species and the hybrid can be separated into two groups of three, based upon migration of the eading proteins, when compared with human albumin. Redear, green, and bluegill have proteins that migrate similar distances, whereas redbreast, pumpkinseed, and the hybrid do not have proteins in that same area. Examination of the remaining Lepemis species is planned.

POLYCHAETA OFF EDGEWATER, NEW JERSEY

D. DORFMAN

Department of Biology, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764

D. DRAPER

Potomac-Hudson Environmental, South Amboy, NJ 08879

The substrate off Edgewater, NJ, in the Hudson River, was examined for annelids by taking duplicate ponar dredge samples from six sites. The one-pint samples were fixed with a rose bengal X formalin mixture, and identified, usually to species, after rinsing the sample through a 30 mm mesh screen, in the laboratory. A total of 291 individuals representing five species was collected. The dominant species was Nereis succinea, comprising 70 percent of the worms collected. Capitella capitata comprised 19 percent of the total, Heteromastastus filiformis eight percent, Glycera dibranchiata three percent, and a single Phyllodace arenae. The site closest to the shore yielded the largest number of species. Diversity and evenness values were examined by pooling the data from the six sites. The value for Margalef Diversity was a low 1.623. The value for Simpson Diversity for Evenness was 0.570. These values reflect the species range of numbers collected (one to 206).

A FOSSIL GYRODUS FROM RAMANESSON BROOK, NEW JERSEY

J. MORANO AND D. DORFMAN

Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764

Ramanesson Brook, in Holmdel, NJ, yields fossils associated with the Cretaceous period. Reptilian teeth and scutes are found, as well as shark teeth, vertebrae, spines, scales and coprolites. In September 2000, the author, digging in the streambed of the Ramanesson, collected the lower jaw of Gyrodus sp., an Osteichthyan fish of the Family Pycnodontidae. The jaw fragment weighs 22.1 g. The Fragment extends posteriad from the point of the dentary 143 mm. Its width is 28 mm, with a height of 25 mm. The angle of the jaw is 30 degrees. Four tooth rows are evident on either side of the dentary. A comparison with a photo of another jaw of this genus indicates that this fragment may represent only 30 percent of the complete dentary. This fish had worldwide distribution. It was a deep-bodied fish with an almost circular outline. Walker and Ward (Fossils, 1992, Dorling Kindersley. Inc., NY. 320 p.) suggest that this fish, with its dense pavement of rounded teeth, may have browsed on a diet of coral or other hard-bodi ed prey. They report that this fish had a length of 1.2 m (4 ft.), and that it lived from the lower Jurassic to the early Cretaceous.

RARITAN RAY POLYCHAETES OFF SOUTH AMBOY, NEW JERSEY

D. DORFMAN

Department of Biology, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764

D. DRAPER

Potomac-Hudson Environmental, South Amboy, NJ 08879

The presence and identification of members of the Phylum Annelida, Class Polychaeta was determined during two sampling events. One pint benthic samples were taken with a ponar dredge off the South Amboy shore, from a boat, in September and November, 2000. Samples were fixed and stained with a rose bengal X formalin mix. Identification, usually to species, was made in the laboratory after rinsing the samples through a number 30 mesh screen. The dominant worm was Streblospio benedicti on each sampling day. This species represented 64 percent of the total collected. The next most abundant species, Haploscoloplos sp., represented 10 percent of the total. Other species collected include Capitella capitata. Eteone Heteropoda, Clymenella torquata, Notomastus sp., Dodecaceria corallii, Lycastopsis pontica, and Lepidonotus squamatus. The Margalef value for polychaete diversity at this site was 3.358, and the Simpson Diversity value for Evenness was 0.641.

FAUNA OF FORT MONMOUTH, NEW JERSEY

D. DORFMAN

Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764

A planning level survey of Fort Monmouth and the Camp Charles Wood subpost, Eatontown, Monmouth County, NJ, was made from March through November, 2000. Fort Monmouth consists of 636 total acres, including 12 acres of wetlands. Camp Charles wood consists of 475 acres, including 30 acres of wetlands. To determine water type (i.e. fresh, brackish, or saltwater), waters were sampled with a refractometer. Fish species were collected and identified by seining and by the use of small traps. Forested and open areas, and interfaces between the two (ecotones) were examined on foot, and by auto along roadways to determine terrestrial vertebrates. In addition, reference to a previous study was made that examined terrestrial vertebrates at these sites. Fishes collected from both sites included mummichog, banded killifish, silversides, bluefish, pumpkinseed, largemouth bass, bluegill, shortnose dace, American eel, carp, brown bullhead, and mosquito fish. Amphibians included tadpoles. Reptiles observed were painted turtle, snapping turtle, and diamondback terrapin. There were 52 bird species counted. Mammals included the following: opossum, eastern cottontail, eastern chipmunk, woodchuck, gray squirrel, white-footed mouse, muskrat, Norway rat, house mouse, red fox, raccoon, striped skunk, and white-tailed deer.

GLUCOSE LEVELS IN FISH

D. DORFMAN

Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764

Glucose levels were determined from Lepomis gibbosus, caught in Deal Lake, NJ, by seining. Some fishes were sacrificed, and glucose determined within three hours of capture. Others were maintained in the laboratory for up to 52 weeks. Blood was collected from the caudal artery, and placed on a Reflotron tab. The Reflotron system is an electrochemical reflectance photometer. Reflotron glucose is specific for D-glucose only. Other sugars do not react. The values are compared with human values. Human values, for fasting, are 76-110 mg/dl, or 4.22-6.11 mmol/l. In this study the values obtained for sunfish were: sacrificed within three hours of capture, 223 mg/dl or 12.37 mmol/l (n=6); held one week and not fed, 119 mg/dl or 6.59 mmol/l (n=5); held four weeks and not fed, 80 mg/dl or 4.65 mmol/l (n=4); held six weeks and not fed, 113 mg/dl or 7.31 mmol/l (n=4); held 52 weeks and fed twice weekly, 30 mg/dl or 2.29 mmol/l (n=9). Additional data for this species might be useful to determine their health, especially in lakes, by comparing 'normal' values with obtained values. Low glucose levels may indicate problems in the food chain that do not directly affect fishes, but which may cause subtle long-term problems.

PEDEATRIC PARISETOLOGY: RECOGNIZING SUBTLE SYMPTOMS

R. PITELLA (STUDENT) AND D. DORFMAN

Department of Biology, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ 07764

The rising prevalence of parasitic infection in the United States may be the result of increased travel and immigration, particularly underdeveloped countries. Parasites invade the digestive, circulatory, and lymphatic systems, causing side effects that range from uncomfortable itching and skin rash to neurological manifestations. Common intestinal parasites include pinworm, whipworm, roundworm, hookworm, threadworm, and tapeworm. Others that invade tissue include Trichinella spiralis, Brugia malayi. Wuchereria bancrofit, and Onchocerca volvulus. Blood helminths include Schistosoma species. Occasionally, humans contract such zoonotic agents as Toxocara canis and Ancylostoma braziliense. Often the symptoms exhibited by infested or exposed patients, particularly of children, are misinterpreted. Treatment depends on the species identified. Unfortunately pediatric patients with such parasites present symptoms such as skin rash, muscle tenderness, and eye or neurological manifestations, which are often symptomatic of other ailments. Infection causes a variety of unpleasant signs and symptoms, including rectal itching, abdominal pain, weight loss, malnutrition, malabsorption, fever, and diarrhea. In extreme cases, parasitic infections are fatal. Young children are at a higher risk for infection. This situation is found worldwide. This study reviews parasitic infections that practitioners may misinterpret. This report is based on research from several sources

CHEMISTRY

Chair -- Dr. Nang-Yeng Shih, Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals

GLYCALS AS EFFICIENT SYNTHONS

S. BHAGAVATHY (STUDENT), S. RUMTHAO, K. K. BALASUBRAMANIUM, MAGHAR S. MANHAS, AJAY K. BOSE

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ 07030

Several glycals including triacetyl glucal (1) are commercially available. We have used 1 for reaction with [alpha]-hydroxy [beta]-lactams in presence of [I.sub.2] as a catalyst for conducting the Ferrier rearrangement. Since the rearrangement product (shown to be an alpha-glycoside) was a mixture of two diastereomers only, it was possible to separate them and obtain both enantiomers of our starting [beta]-lactam, Glycals can also be used for conversion to cyclopropyl derivatives. By providing a xanthate next to the cyclopropane ring at the C-3 position, free radical generation with [Bu.sub.3]SnH could be effected. Rearrangement of the free radical led to a C-methyl glycoside with [beta]-orientation.

MICROWAVE ASSISTED RAPID N-ACYLATEON IN AQUEOUS SOLUTION

YURI PEKELNY (STUDENT), MAGALY HUAROTTE, S. RUMTHAO, MAGHAR S. MANHAS, AJAY K. BOSE

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ 07030

Reactions in aqueous media are of great interest from the point of view of practicing green chemistry. We have found that if an amine such as p-anisidine or benzylamine is mixed with aqueous acetic acid {[CH.sub.3]COOH, 80%) and subjected to irradiation for a few minutes in an unmodified domestic microwave oven, the N-acetyl product was obtained in high yield and good purity. This reaction has been extended by using propionic acid and butyric acid in place of acetic acid. Substituted anilines have also been used successfully.

IMPROVED SYNTHESIS OF HETEROCYCLES

ANABELLA MOHARITA (STUDENT)

Ramapo College

SOCHAN RUMTHAO, AJAY K. BOSE

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ 07030

Recent publications have reported that microwave assisted chemistry is superior to conventional methods for conducting several types of well-known reactions. The goal of this project was to conduct a multiple-step synthesis of a family of compounds to compare these two experimental approaches. The preparation of a series of beta-lactams was undertaken as the test. The starting materials were aromatic aldehydes and p-anisidine which were allowed to react to form Schiff bases. These imines were condensed with acetoxyacetyl chloride, phenoxy acetyl chloride and phthalimido acetyl chloride in presence of a tertiary amine. Some of the beta-lactams so obtained were subjected to hydrogenolysis with ammonium formate and Pd/C catalyst. The microwave assisted reactions were found to be very fast and more convenient as reactions could be conducted in beakers or conical flasks without the need for stirrers and reflux condensers.

HF-DFT CALCULATION OF [[blank].sup.14]N QUADRUPOLE COUPLING CONSTANTS IN CYANO-AND ISOCYANO-BENZENE AND PENTAFLUOROBENZENE

FELIX M. GONZALEZ (STUDENT), WILLIAM C. BAILEY, AND DALE E. VITALE Department of Chemistry and Physics, Kean University, Union, NJ 07083

As part of a comprehensive investigation of the effects of various substituents in benzene and pyridine, we have undertaken calculation of the [[blank].sup.14]N nuclear quadrupole coupling constants (nqcc) on optimized molecular structures of cyano-and isocyano-benzene and pentafluorobenzene.

Calculation of the nqcc's was made by linear regression analysis of the calculated electric field gradients (efg) versus the experimental nqcc's, the nqcc's being directly proportional to the efg's. Calculation of the efg's using the B3PW91/6311+G(df,pd) model on molecular structures optimized using the B3P86/631G(3d,3p) model yield a residual standard deviation of 38 kHz (3%) and a slope (best-fit parameter) of 4.559(32) MHz/a.u. The structural features, as well as the nqcc's, are indicative of the interactions between the ring and the variety of [sigma]- and [pi]- electron donating and withdrawing substituents. In cyanobenzene, for example, there is appreciable lengthening of the C(1)C(2,6) bonds (1.399A) compared with benzene (1.391A) and a slight flattening of the C(6)C(1)C(2) angle (120.2[degrees]). In fluorobenzene, on the other hand, there is appreciable shortening of these bonds (1.385A) and a more pronounced flattening of the C(6)C(1)C(2) angle (122.5[degrees]).

DEVELOPMENT OF A HIGH CURRENT ELECTRON GUN FOR THE STUDY OF ELECTRON-IMPACT INDUCED DISSOCIATION OF MOLECULES

ADAM SMITH (STUDENT) AND KEVIN MARTUS

Department of Chemistry and Physics, William Paterson University Wayne, NJ 07480

The study of radicals produced by electron impact dissociation is particularly difficult if the fragments are electrically neutral and produced in the ground state. A method is currently being developed that will use absorption spectroscopy to detect the radical fragments produced by electron impact under single collision conditions. A vital issue with this experiment is sensitivity. To achieve an acceptable signal to noise ratio requires a high electron beam current and a high gas beam density in the collision region. Integral to the development of the project is a complete characterization of the electron source. The design, simulation and initial tests of the electron source will be presented. The electron source has been designed to produce 100mA at 200eV with an energy spread of 5eV.

MARINE AND COASTAL SCIENCES

Chair -- Mr. Michael DeLuca, Rutgers University

THE ANALYSIS OF Two DIFFERENT METHODS FOR IDENTIFICATION OF Two SPECIES OF THE GENUS MORONE, MORONE AMERICANA (WHITE PERCH) AND MORONE SAXATILIS (STRIPED BASS)

STEPHEN G. PIOTTOWSKI, KENNETH W. ABLE

Rutgers University Marine Field Station, Tuckerton, NJ, 08087

Species identification is essential to enumerating fish population especially as this relates to targeted community restoration efforts. Two of four congeners, Morane americana (White Perch) and Marone saxatilis (Striped Bass) occur in Delaware Bay and its marginal wetlands. Delaware Bay and its associated wetlands are the focus of restoration efforts aimed at increasing juvenile habitat quality for both species. Larval and juvenile stages are difficult to differentiate to species using external characters. The internal characters of Dorsal and Anal fin pterygiophore interdigitation and Anal spine differentiation are the primary meristic characters used to identify each fish to species. Three independent observers examined these characters using both x-rays and clearing and staining of juveniles (10-35mm). Limited skeletal ossification yielded a low success rate of [sim]3.25:1 in identifying Mcrone juveniles using x-rays. Examination of cleared and stained juveniles, especially smaller individuals with limit ed ossification (10-19 mm), yielded a success rate of -25:1. While x-rays poorly depict small fish, the time investment in clearing and staining increases exponentially with fish size ([greater than or equal to]20mm).

SIZE REFUGE OF LARVAL AND SMALL JUVENILE MUMMICHOGS (FUNDULUS HETEROCLITUS) FROM CANNIBALISM: LABORATORY OBSERVATIONS

STEVEN A. BROWN, STACY M. HAGAN, KENNETH W. ABLE

Rutgers University Marine Field Station, Tuckerton, NJ, 08087

Larvae and small juvenile mummichogs (Fundulus heterochtus) typically utilize the marsh surface as a nursery area at all tide stages while large jt venile and adult mummichogs are found in deeper water and access the marsh surface only on flooding tides. The purpose of this study was to determine the fate of these smaller mummichogs when the distributions of these size classes co-occur. In laboratory experiments, the size refuge of larval and juvenile mummichogs (5.3-22.6mm TL) from large juvenile and adult (15.6-74.1mm TL) predation was determined. Predator and prey were placed in arenas (0.078[m.sup.2]) for a 24-hour acclimation period. Subsequently, there was a 24-hour period of opportunity given for predation. A total of 190 trials were conducted, with 100 mortalities. Preliminary results indicate that predators could not consume prey over approximately one-half their length ([greater than] 52.6%), while predators consistently consumed prey approximately one-quarter [less than]26%) of their length. Prey that survived averaged 49.7% (26.0%-84.7%) of the predator length while prey that were eaten averaged 31.1% (7.6%-52.6%) of the predator length. As a result, large juvenile and adult mummichogs are able to be significant predators of larvae and small juveniles. The impact this is having in the field is yet unknown.

ICHTHYOPLANKTON IN THE SHALLOW COASTAL WATERS OF NORTHERN NEW JERSEY: TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL VARIATION

KENNETH W. ABLE, ANGELA M. MUZENI

Rutgers University Marine Field Station, Tuckerton, NJ

DOUGLAS G. CLARKE

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS

Ichthyoplankton sampling was conducted on northern NeW Jersey ocean beaches from 1995-1999 during the months of May, June and July as part of a program by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assess the impacts of beach nourishment on the fauna. The average density of the larvae varied across the years but was consistently higher in the nearshore, parallel to the beach just past the breakers (62.65/100[m.sup.3]), than in the surfzone, perpendicular to the beach through the surf (27.23/100[m.sup.3]) samples. Over 149,000 larvae (most [less than]5 mm in length) were collected representing 33 families and 51 species with 46 species collected in the nearshore samples and 38 in the surfzone. The most common species collected included anchovies, menhaden, Atlantic mackerel and windowpane. For many of the species, including menhaden, weakfish, goosefish, bluefish, winter flounder, northern puffer and tautog, the size collected approximated the size at hatching, possibly indicating that this may be a spawning/hatchin g area for these species. As a result of this study we now have a better perception of how these shallow coastal waters are used for reproduction and as larval habitat, and how that varies annually.

A NEW UPPER CRETACEOUS (CAMPANIAN) FOSSIL LOCALITY NEAR HEDDING, BURLINGTON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY

JOHN J. REBAR JR. (STUDENT)

Biology Program, The Richard Stockton College of NJ, Pomona, NJ,

William B. Gallagher, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ

Department of Geological Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

RALPH JOHNSON

Monmouth County Park System, Lincroft, NJ

A new Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) fossil assemblage from the Merchantville Formation yields a marine invertebrate fauna that is unique among previously recorded outcrops. The site is located along a small tributary outside of Hedding, Burlington County, New Jersey. The lithology consists of coarse glauconitic and clayey sands that are greenish gray in color. The samples contained large amounts of lignite and many of the fossils were encased in concretions. The Hedding locality is noteworthy for 1) its unusually high abundance of the echinoderms (Hemiaster welleri & Cardiaster smocki), 2) a unique Cephalopod fauna (i.e. Menabites (Bererella) walnutensis & Glyptoxoceras aguisgranense) that correlates biostratigraphically with Texas and Northern Europe (Kennedy et al., 1997), and 3) the complete lack of vertebrate material.

The Merchantville Formation represents a period of time when much of the coastal plain of New Jersey was submerged beneath an ancient transgressive sea. Through analysis of the invertebrate fauna and geological observations we hope to gain new insight into the paleoecology and environment of deposition of the newly discovered Hedding site and compare it to several more well known Merchantville fossil localities.

SPATIAL/TEMPORAL ASSESSMENT OF THE MORPHOLOGIC CHANGE DOWNDRIFT OF A SEAWALL AT SANDY HOOK, GNRA

PART I: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

BRIAN LETTINI (STUDENT), JEFFREY PACE, DR. NORBERT PSUTY

Coastal Geomorphology Unit, Institute of Marine and Coastal Science

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

The coastline of Monmouth County is a location that is particularly prone to beach erosion. This is especially true for the area adjacent to the seawall, in the Sandy Hook unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area. A historical perspective of the area shows periods of erosion associated with the northern terminus of the seawall. This area has been named the "Critical Zone," because of the chronic erosion that has occurred and its close proximity to vital infrastructure. A negative sediment budget has consistently led to erosion at the site. Attempts at stabilization of the zone have resulted in changes in the process/response model. Historical shoreline position was established through the use of aerial photography. Modern field surveys measured the three dimensional morphodynamics of the system and were used to quantify the sediment budget. Water level and storm surge data dated throughout the 20th century show the effects of rising sea level and storm frequency on the shoreline position. These data show that the study area is consistently eroding, with an increasing rate of erosion towards the present with changes occurring in 1997.

SPATIAL/TEMPORAL ASSESSMENT OF THE MORPHOLOGIC CHANGE DOWNDRIFT OF A SEAWALL AT SANDY HOOK, GNRA

PART II: MODERN PERTURBATIONS, DECEMBER 1997-PRESENT

JEFFREY PACE, BRIAN LETTINI, DR. NORBERT PSUTY

Coastal Geomorphology Unit, Institute of Marine and Coastal Science

Beginning in 1997, the Critical Zone's characteristics changed from their historic trends. This area, bounded by the seawall terminus and the northern end of Parking Lot E (the last critically threatened infrastructure), underwent a beach nourishment that was completed in February 1998. This sediment, coupled with an additional nourishment in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach which began in 1995, significantly changed the area's response characteristics and sediment budget. Surveyed observations show the presence of a shoal that episodically releases sediment low on the profile. Three-dimensional Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) were constructed and qualitatively demonstrate beach morphodynamics. These changes were quantified in high frequency spatial sediment budget calculations and 2-dimensional profile plots. Resulting values show a shift from an increasing negative annual sediment budget to a nearly neutral sediment budget. The change in trends from historical rates quantify the buffering effect of the episodic shoal.

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY/MICROBIOLOGY

Chair-- Dr. Louise Wooton, Georgian Court College

MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF SULFATE-REDUCING BACTERIA IN ANAEROBIC HYDROCARBON-DEGRADING CONSORTIA AND PURE CULTURES USING THE DISSIMILATORY SULFITE REDUCTASE (DSRAB) GENES

JOSE R. PEREZ-JIMENEZ (STUDENT)[1] LILY Y. YOUNG[1,2] AND LEE J. KERKHOF[3]

(1.) Department of Environmental Sciences,

(2.) Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and the Environment,

(3.) Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

The characterization of sulfate reducing bacteria is presented using the dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrAB) gene from various samples capable of mineralizing petroleum components. These samples include several novel, sulfidogenic pure cultures which degrade alkanes, toluene, and tribromophenol. Additionally, we have sulfidogenic consortia that re-mineralize benzene, naphthalene, 2-methylnaphthalene, and phenanthrene as a sole carbon source. In this study, 22 new dsrAB genes were cloned and sequenced. The dsrAB genes from our pollutant-degrading cultures or consortia were distributed among known SRB and previously described dsrAB environmental clones, suggesting that many biodegradative SRBs are phylogenetically distinct and geographically widespread. Specifically, the same dsrAB gene was discovered in independently established consortia capable of benzene, phenanthrene, and methylnaphthalene degradation, indicating that this particular SRB may be a key player in anaerobic degradation of hydrocarbons in the environment.

INFLUENCE OF CHRONIC ALCOHOL ON SERUM AND BRAIN LEVELS OF THYROID HORMONE

PRADIP K. SARKAR, TAVIA S. CLEVELAND, SONAL IYER AND JOSEPH V. MARTIN

Biology Department, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ

Thyroid hormones (TH) may have important functions in adult brain, and, in particular, are implicated in the etiology of affective disorders. Metabolism of TH is altered following administration of psychoactive agents including alcohol. We studied the influence of chronic alcohol treatment on L-triiodothyronine (T3) levels in serum and in cerebrocortical synaptosomes (a preparation of pinched-off nerve terminals). Separate groups of rats were injected daily either with 20 mg/kg n-propyl-6-thiouracil (PTU) or vehicle for two weeks to reduce thyroid function. Within these groups some rats were given a nutritionally balanced liquid diet including 6% ethanol and others received a control isocaloric diet without ethanol. After 8 days, some rats were killed before withdrawal of the liquid diet and others were killed 8 hours later. Chronic alcohol decreased serum and synaptosomal T3. After the withdrawal from ethanol-containing diet, synaptosomal T3 was restored toward control values but serum T3 continued to fall from the non-withdrawal group. PTU treatment substantially reduced T3 in both serum and brain, and a similar effect of ethanol treatment was observed as in the euthyroid rats. These results suggest different mechanisms for maintenance of T3 levels in systemic circulation and brain.

(Supported by NSF grant IBN-981089)

DOES THYROID HORMONE BIND TO THE SAME SITE ON THE [GABA.sub.A] RECEPTOR AS NEUROSTEROIDS?

TAVIA S. CLEVELAND, STEPHANIE R. ADDISON, AND JOSEPH V. MARTIN

Biology Department, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ

Thyroid hormone (TH) affects the binding and activity of subtype-A of the receptor for the major inhibitory neurotransmitter, [gamma]-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Since the three-dimensional structure of TH is similar to that of certain neurosteroids known to bind to the [GABA.sub.A] receptor, we examined the hypothesis that TH may bind directly to the steroid site on the receptor. We tested this hypothesis indirectly, by examining the interactions of the hormones in modulating the binding of tritiated tbutyl-bicycloorthocarboxylate([blank.sup.3]H-TBOB), a ligand for the convulsant site of the receptor. The cerebral cortices of six mature Sprague-Dawley rats were dissected and thoroughly washed in 50mM Tris-HCI buffer (pH 7.4). A binding assay was performed using [blank.sup.3]H-TBOB in combination with neurosteroids (allopregnanolone or pregnenolone sulfate) and/or L-triiodothyronine (10-50 [micro]M). Picrotoxin, a known inhibitor of the convulsant binding site, was used to determine nonspecific binding. Our re sults indicate that TH dramatically alters the effects of allopregnanolone and pregnenolone sulfate on [GABA.sub.A] receptor binding. Furthermore, our findings support the conclusion that TH binds to a site other than the neurosteroid site on the GABAA receptor. Determination of the site of TH action on the GABAA receptor should aid in the development of drugs for treatment of thyroid dysfunction.

(Supported by NSF grant IBN-981089 059)

EFFECTS OF MTBE AND TRA ON [GABA.sub.A] RECEPTOR FUNCTIONS

SONAL IYER, M. MICHAEL IBA, VERONICA P. O'CONNOR, AND JOSEPH V. MARTIN

Biology Department, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Environmental and

Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

Additives are added to gasoline to reduce carbon monoxide emissions. Commonly used additives are methyl-tert-butyl ether (MTBE), ethyl-tert-butyl ether (ETBE), and tert-amyl-methyl ether (TAME). These ethers have neurological effects similar to those of ethanol and anesthetics. One of the effects of ethanol is its interaction with the subtype-A of the receptor for the major inhibitory neurotransmitter, [gama]-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Therefore, we studied the effects of MTBE and its metabolite, tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) on [GABA.sub.A], receptor function using rat-brain synaptoneurosomes (SNS), a preparation of sacs of pre- and postsynaptic membrane. The work is prompted by the observation that these chemicals alter the binding of ligands to the [GABA.sub.A] receptor. In the present study, the receptor function was assessed by measuring the influx of chloride in SNS. In the absence of agonist, neither MTBE nor TBA altered the [GABA.sub.A], receptor function. However in the presence of the agonist muscimol, bo th MTBE and TBA were found to enhance the influx of chloride. MTBE showed a maximal effect at a much lower concentration (0.3mM) as compared to TBA, (5 to 7mM). Our results may give insight into the role of [GABA.sub.A] receptor function in the neurotoxic effects of gasoline additives.

(Supported by NSF grant IBN-981089)

VOICE ENABLED VIDEO MODULE FOR SURGICAL USE

PREM AMARNANI (STUDENT), ANJO H. SHARMA

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken NJ 07030

S. VINCENT GRASSO

TIMA Inc.

Many surgical procedures are facilitated by the use of laparoscopes and recording devices. Usually, an assistant operates video display devices at the direction of the surgeon who is operating. The aim of this project was to train a computer to be activated by short voice commands to open programs, move objects, etc. Commands such as "Capture video from camera" and "Save recorded video" were tested. Using a freeware program known as "Litestep", a user friendly Windows NT interface was created. The Voice Recognition software--IBM's ViaVoice--was used for training a computer. This setup allowed the recording of all video by voice command. The video could then be played off the hard disc under voice command by the surgeon even when he is operating. This valuable information can be linked to the Internet.

STUDY OF THE CAUSES OF MORTALITY IN WILD BIRDS NATIVE TO THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

JANE A. ARMSTRONG, TARA GLOVER, CHRISTINA PETTAN-BREWER

Centenary College, Hackettstown, NJ 07840

GISELLE SMISKO

Avian Wildlife Center, Beemerville, NJ

Post-mortem investigation of 84 birds representing 38 species was conducted during the period of May through August 2000. The purpose of this study was to determine the cause of mortality in birds brought to a regional avian rehabilitation center. Necropsy findings indicated that 40% (34/84) of the cases investigated died of human induced trauma. Of these, 47% (16/34) had injuries to the central nervous system and the remaining cases included fracture of the radius, ulna or tibiotarsus. Two cases included generalized septicemia associated with wing fractures. Trauma induced by domestic cats occurred in 20% (17/84) deaths. In 10/17 (59%) of these cases, septicemia, subcutaneous emphysema and air-sacuills/pneumonia were present as well. Five birds exhibited no gross lesions. Other causes of death included microbial infections, endoparasites, ectoparasites, nutritional disorders, neurological abnormalities, and toxicity related findings. Investigation of West Nile Virus infection in 38 species was conducted. Tis sue samples from heart cerebrum, cerebellum, liver, and kidney were collected and submitted to The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut. The samples for virus isolation were immediately frozen at -40[degrees]C and transported in dry ice. All species tested negative.

NUCLEUS ISTHMI: THE MODULATOR OF BINOCULAR VISION IN FISH

Biology Department, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ 08102

AMBRE J. BRANDIS (STUDENT) AND WILLIAM M SAIDEL

A contradictory picture has developed within a limited number of brain studies in fish that have examined the connections between Nucleus Isthmi (NI) and the Optic Tectum (OT). This circuit is important because in anurans, it provides the basis for binocular vision. In both anurans and teleosts, the retina connects to the contralateral OT which connects to its ipsilateral NI. In anurans, binocularity arises when each NI connects to both OT. In the fish Apternotus, a connection from one NI to both OT has been described, but in other species, including the goldfish, Carassius auratus and a few perciformes fishes (Navadon and Lepomis), the NI is said to connect to only the OT on the same or ipsilateral side suggesting no binocular vision. We revisited this pathway in two unrelated species of fish, Pantodon burcholzi and the goldfish. If the degree of geometric overlap predicts the neuroanatomy, then one would predict only a diminutive bilateral NI to OT pathway corresponding to the small horizontal binocular ove rlap (30-40") and some binocular periscopy. We used the neuroanatomical tracer 'Biocytin' to map any potential binocular field in the tectum of these fish and found a small bilateral NI-[greater than]OT connection corresponding to the binocular region of the visual field.
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Publication:Bulletin of the New Jersey Academy of Science
Geographic Code:1U2NJ
Date:Mar 22, 2001
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