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  • Undergraduate Poster Abstracts
  • Other Biological Sciences

    FRI-831 VIRAL IDENTIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION IN MILKWEED PLANTS

    • Kathryn Secrist ;
    • Akhtar Ali ;
    • Caleb Smith ;
    • Gabriel Johnson ;

    FRI-831

    VIRAL IDENTIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION IN MILKWEED PLANTS

    Kathryn Secrist1, Akhtar Ali1, Caleb Smith2, Gabriel Johnson2.

    1The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, 2Tulsa Community College, Tulsa, OK.

    Viral infections in plant species still require further study into the identification and characterization of destructive diseases in vital cash crops. The ASAV tymovirus has been detected in A. viridis milkweed plants in Oklahoma and Kansas sites. The tymovirus when present in A. viridis is asymptomatic, but infection in other cash crops will show symptoms of viral infection and can cause loss of crop yield. Milkweed samples were taken from 3 Kansas and 2 Oklahoma sites to test for infection. A dot immunobinding assay was performed to test for the specific coat protein of the ASAV tymovirus. Total RNA was also extracted to perform a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect the viral genome of ASAV infection. The DIBA serological test that was performed from each site showed positive results for the coat protein of the ASAV tymovirus. Each site tested with RT-PCR showed a positive result for the ASAV tymovirus genome. The RT-PCR results will be purified and sequenced for the genetic and amino acid sequence in the coming fall semester. Further tests will help provide more information to assist in further management strategies to prevent infection and prevent loss of economically important cash crops.

    THU-831 DETECTION OF PEROXYNITRITE IN MACROPHAGE CELLS USING HKGREEN-3 AND MICROCHIP ELECTROPHORESIS WITH LASER INDUCED FLUORESCENCE

    • Ricardo Gonzalez ;
    • Susan Lunte ;

    THU-831

    DETECTION OF PEROXYNITRITE IN MACROPHAGE CELLS USING HKGREEN-3 AND MICROCHIP ELECTROPHORESIS WITH LASER INDUCED FLUORESCENCE

    Ricardo Gonzalez, Susan Lunte.

    The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

    Macrophage cells can generate excess nitric oxide and superoxide. These species can react together to produce peroxynitrite, a molecule known to react with proteins, DNA, and lipids in cells, and has been linked to neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. Peroxynitrite is extremely difficult to detect directly, because it is highly reactive and unstable under physiological conditions. Therefore, reacting peroxynitrite with the fluorescent probe HKGreen-3A and, using microchip electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence (ME-LIF), we are able to indirectly detect peroxynitrite. HKGreen-3A contains an acetyl group that allows the probe to freely travel across cell membranes. Upon entering a cell, intracellular esterases cleave off the acetyl group to produce HKGreen-3. HKGreen-3 then specifically reacts with peroxynitrite produced in the cell to generate N-methylrholdol, a highly fluorescent molecule. The reaction between HKGreen-3 and peroxynitrite was studied using SIN-1, a donor that generates peroxynitrite through a series of decomposition reactions. When HKGreen-3A and esterase were added to a sample of SIN-1, we observed an increase in the intensity of the N-methylrhodol peak until the signal plateaued, indicating the reaction had completed. Next, HKGreen-3A was added to a flask containing RAW 264.7 macrophages, which absorbed the probe and converted it into HKGreen-3. Thereafter, cells were stimulated with SIN-1 to produce peroxynitrite and then harvested and lysed in run buffer. The lysate was then filtered and analyzed with ME-LIF to determine the amount of peroxynitrite produced. In the future, other methods for peroxynitrite stimulation, such as LPS and PMA as well as beta amyloid, will be investigated.

    FRI-829 FRACTALKINE/CX3CR1 CONTROLS MICROGLIAL ACTIVATION IN THE BRAIN AND RETINA DURING ACUTE ENDOTOXEMIA

    • Rolando Garza ;
    • Andrew Mendiola ;
    • Astrid Cardona ;

    FRI-829

    FRACTALKINE/CX3CR1 CONTROLS MICROGLIAL ACTIVATION IN THE BRAIN AND RETINA DURING ACUTE ENDOTOXEMIA

    Rolando Garza, Andrew Mendiola, Astrid Cardona.

    The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX.

    Microglia are the resident immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS) with key roles in immune surveillance, development, and injury repair. More specifically, in response to pathogens, inflammation, or neuronal damage, microglia can rapidly change their morphology and exert effector functions that can be either beneficial or detrimental. However, the mechanisms that control microglial protective versus toxic phenotype remains to be defined. Data from our laboratory has shown that the fractalkine receptor (CX3CR1), expressed exclusively on microglia in the CNS, controls microglial activation and neurotoxicity in animal models of systemic inflammation and autoimmune diseases. We hypothesized that fractalkine (CX3CL1) and CX3CR1 deficiency globally activates microglia in the brain and retina during acute endotoxemia. To study the role of CX3CR1 and its ligand, fractalkine (CX3CL1), on microglial activation, we generated Cx3cr1­–/–(CX3CR1-KO) and Cx3cl1–/–(FKN-KO) mice. To extend these studies, we challenged CX3CR1-KO and FKN-KO mice with a low dose of lipopolysaccharide (20 µg/day) for 4 consecutive days to establish a low-level endotoxemia. Our data revealed that both CX3CR1-KO and FKN-KO lead to a robust activation and significant increase in microglial cells in the cortex, hippocampus, and superior colliculus during endotoxemia in contrast to WT mice. Interestingly, CX3CL1 and CX3CR1 deficiency correlated with an intense activation in retinal microglial that lead to phagocytic-like morphology and cell cluster near vessels following LPS treated. These data support our hypothesis that CX3CL1/CX3CR1 signaling controls microglial activation in the CNS and provides evidence that the retina is more sensitive to endotoxemia than the brain.

    THU-828 DAYTIME COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE IN RESPONSE TO SUNLIGHT OR FLUORESCENT LIGHT CONTROLLING FOR SLEEP DURATION

    • Jhanic Ramos ;
    • Erin Flynn-Evans ;

    THU-828

    DAYTIME COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE IN RESPONSE TO SUNLIGHT OR FLUORESCENT LIGHT CONTROLLING FOR SLEEP DURATION

    Jhanic Ramos, Erin Flynn-Evans.

    NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA.

    Light is the primary synchronizer of the human circadian rhythm and has acute alerting effects. Our study compared alertness, performance, and sleep of participants working in 2 different office settings; one building used sunlight as the primary light source and one building was characterized by fluorescent lighting and varying exposure to natural light. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the use of natural lighting as a primary light source improved daytime cognitive function and promoted nighttime sleep. Participants were grouped by gender and age across buildings. A prior study found no difference in performance between buildings. That study found that the average sleep duration among participants in both buildings was short (~6.5 h), which likely obscured differences in the effects of light exposure on alertness. Given that such sleep deprivation has negative effects on cognitive performance, this iteration of the study asked the participants to maintain a regular schedule with 8 hours in bed each night in order to control for the effect of self-selected sleep restriction. Over the course of one week, we asked the participants to wear actiwatches continuously, complete a psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) and digit symbol substitution task (DSST) 3 times per day, and keep daily sleep/work diaries. We expect the results of this study will support the idea that natural lighting and green architectural design are optimal to enhance healthy nighttime sleep patterns and daytime cognitive performance.

    FRI-828 LOW TEMPERATURE TOLERANCE OF ASCARIS SUUM EGGS

    • Antonia Sowunmi ;
    • Sara Weinstein ;

    FRI-828

    LOW TEMPERATURE TOLERANCE OF ASCARIS SUUM EGGS

    Antonia Sowunmi, Sara Weinstein.

    University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA.

    The parasitic nematode Ascaris suum produces eggs that can survive desiccation, exposure to disinfecting chemicals, and temperatures up to 55 ºC, making decontamination difficult. The viability of Ascaris suum eggs following exposure to hot temperatures is well documented, but little information exists on survival in cold temperatures. To test the cold tolerance of A. suum eggs, samples of egg and water solution were stored at 4 ºC, -4 ºC, -20 ºC, and -80 ºC. At set time points between 30 minutes to 300 days, samples were removed from the freezer and allowed to thaw and develop at room temperature. Following a 3- to 6-week development period, eggs were examined and the developmental stage was scored. We then assessed the impact of time and temperature on the fraction of eggs that developed and found that eggs exposed to low temperatures exhibited reduced development compared to controls held at room temperature. The information from this experiment will help evaluate the effectiveness of freezing as a mode of infection control and potentially serve as a model for the freeze tolerance of other closely related species such as the human pathogenic parasites Ascaris lumbricoides and Baylisascaris procyonis.

    THU-829 OPTIMIZING COLLECTION OF TRACE BIOLOGICAL SAMPLES FROM VEHICLE HEADRESTS

    • Kevin Tang ;
    • Steven Lee ;
    • John Bond ;
    • Jocelyn Weart ;
    • Ian Fitch ;

    THU-829

    OPTIMIZING COLLECTION OF TRACE BIOLOGICAL SAMPLES FROM VEHICLE HEADRESTS

    Kevin Tang1, Steven Lee1, John Bond2, Jocelyn Weart3, and Ian Fitch4.

    1San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, 2University of Leicester, Leicester, GB, 3Santa Clara County Crime Lab, San Jose, CA.

    Adhesive tape and swabs are 2 methods of collecting biological samples commonly used in the U.K. and U.S. to investigate vehicle crimes. Determining the most optimal collection method may lead to an increase in generating DNA profiles and crime-solving. The object of this study is to evaluate the efficiency of the adhesive tape and the double-swab collection methods for investigating vehicle crimes and touch samples. To determine this, we will test touch sample recovery from different materials used in vehicle headrests with varying amounts of biological samples and storage times. Specifically, we will collect biological material from mock vehicle headrests made of 3 different vehicle material samples for DNA analysis. Samples of different headrest material have been collected and include leather, vinyl, and cloth. Control samples of known biological material will be placed on the substrates, and subsequent evaluation of the efficiency of collection methods will be performed. Additional sample setup and testing will be conducted once a baseline of efficiency is established through replicate and optimization testing. By optimizing this collection technique, we aim to aid the investigation of vehicle crimes and other crimes where touch evidence is present.