Fate of Acrolein, an Agricultural Biocide, Overtime

Acrolein is an efficient agricultural herbicide within irrigation canal ditches and a biocide within oilfield water-flood systems. The fate of acrolein is typically attributed to evaporation, however, it is found that acrolein also dimerizes in water. This hetero-Diels-alder product is stable over an extended period of time, thus losing its original function as an effective biocide and herbicide. Various 1D/2D NMR and GC-EIMS techniques were used to elucidate the structure of said dimerization product, found to be 5,6-dihydro-2H-pyran-3-carbaldehyde. 


Visualizing the Degradation of pRb by the High-Risk HPV Protein E7

The oncoprotein E7 coded for by the human papillomavirus (HPV) is known to degrade the tumor suppressor retinoblastoma protein (pRb). Transient transfections of a plasmid coding for the E7 protein were not effective at visualizing degradation of pRb. Although transient transfection would be efficient in visualizing pRb degradation, the lack of success makes more reliable methods, such as the use of retroviruses, necessary.


Cancer Proliferation Mediated by Tumor-Associated Macrophages (TAMs)

Macrophages are a type of immune cell present in the tumor micro environment that can be polarized by the cancer cells to aid in the growth and proliferation of the tumor. The goal of this study was to decipher the communication between glioblastoma cells and their environment by determining the pathway by which macrophages are polarized toward the M2 (pro-tumor) phenotype.


Toward the Synthesis of Unprecedented Transition-Metal Nitride Molecules

Transition metal nitride clusters are of interest because of their novel structures and potential magnetic and electronic properties. In our search for synthetic routes to these clusters, we have discovered adducts with the formula s[Cl3Mn·N(SnMe3)3]1− and (Pr4N)4[Fe14N8(NSnMe3)4Cl12]. The synthesis and characterization of different salts of these adducts will be presented.


Plasmid-Mediated Transfer of Antibiotic Resistance Genes within Biofilms

The objective of this study was to determine transfer frequencies of multidrug resistance plasmids under different conjugation conditions: liquid cultures, batch biofilms, and drip-flow biofilms. Generalized linear modeling showed no significant conjugation efficiency difference at different exposure times; however, drip-flow biofilms showed a significantly greater efficiency than the other conditions.


The Role of Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily Molecules on regulation of T cell response to Zika virus

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the Flaviviridae virus family and as of February 2016 has been declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization. Understanding the T cell response to ZIKV is critical in making steps towards developing vaccines and antiviral therapies. This project investigated the effect of tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily members on T cell activation during a primary ZIKV infection. The T cell response was most aptly seen in wild-type C57BL/6J mice treated with an anti-Ifnar1 blocking antibody one day prior to infection.


A Study of Pencil Urchin Population Genetics at Hannibal Bank

Hannibal Bank is a seamount-like feature known for its high productivity and biodiversity that is located in an UNESCO World Heritage Site off the Pacific coast of Panama. The biodiversity and biogeography of two species of pencil urchins at Hannibal Bank were studied using genetic analysis and geographical imaging systems. DNA barcoding of the COI mitochondrial gene identified gene sequences for 80 samples of two species of pencil urchins (Genus Hesperocidaris).



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