Spring 2022 VIRTUAL Undergraduate Research Symposium

Fall 2022
Biology
BURS
The zoo is a place where people can learn more about animals from all over the world. This can bring attention to protecting the ecosystems that house those animals and the animals themselves. The first step is making sure those animals we take care of ar
Animal Enrichment and Training in a Zoo

Animal Enrichment and Training in a Zoo

The zoo is a place where people can learn more about animals from all over the world. This can bring attention to protecting the ecosystems that house those animals and the animals themselves. The first step is making sure those animals we take care of ar...

Biology
Fall 2022
BURS
We are wondering if diatoms can outcompete harmful algae if there is enough monosilicic acid present. Diatoms use monosilicic acid to grow their shells but monosilicic acid is rare in the environment, so there are fewer diatoms. If we could increase monos
diatoms alone, with enough monosilicic acid, stop the growth of harmful algae blooms? Silica solubilizing bacteria More monosilicic acid More diatoms Less harmful algae Ittookusawhiletocometoasolidmethodwhenquantifyingdiatomsduetocomplicationsweranintowithourexperiments.Forexampleinourfirstexperimentwhenwevortexedthesampleswebrokeapartthediatoms,makingitimpossibletoquantifythem.Wefinallyfoundasolidmethodwithourindoortanksetup.Aftersubmerginggridslidesinthetesttubeswewouldcount5columnsfromeachslideandcountallthediatomsseeninonecolumn.Wethentooktheaverageandstandarddeviationfromthatdata.Thatmethodshowedthebestresultsforus.Samplingfromdifferentareasinthetankcouldhaveskewedourresultssoifwehadmoretimeforanotherexperimentwewouldhavegottenwaterforthetesttubesfromasourcethatwouldhavelessvariation. Figure 1 Figure 2 Can diatoms alone, with enough monosilicic acid, stop the growth of harmful algae blooms?
Biology
BURS
Fall 2022
Fruits contain nutritional rewards for dispersers such as sugars, lipids, minerals, and proteins. Secondary metabolites are chemicals with no known primary physiological function in the plants that produce them. They are important in interactions with h
Relationship Between Protein and Secondary Metabolite Content in Congeneric Tropical Shrubs

Relationship Between Protein and Secondary Metabolite Content in Congeneric Tropical Shrubs

Fruits contain nutritional rewards for dispersers such as sugars, lipids, minerals, and proteins. Secondary metabolites are chemicals with no known primary physiological function in the plants that produce them. They are important in interactions with h

Fall 2022
Biology
BURS
Linanthus parryae (L. parryae) is a small annual plant of the Mojave desert with blue and white flowers. Plants are obligate outcrossing and interfertile; however, they show constant spatial segregation often observed along the sides of shallow desert rav
Genotyping myb36 and sng3 Arabidopsis mutants to be used as controls for suberin and lignin measurements in Linanthus parryae

Genotyping myb36 and sng3 Arabidopsis mutants to be used as controls for suberin and lignin measurements in Linanthus parryae

Linanthus parryae (L. parryae) is a small annual plant of the Mojave desert with blue and white flowers. Plants are obligate outcrossing and interfertile; however, they show constant spatial segregation often observed along the sides of shallow desert rav...

Biology
BURS
Fall 2022
We are wondering if diatoms can outcompete harmful algae if there is enough monosilicic acid present. Diatoms use monosilicic acid to grow their shells but monosilicic acid is rare in the environment, so there are fewer diatoms. If we could increase monos
diatoms alone, with enough monosilicic acid, stop the growth of harmful algae blooms? Silica solubilizing bacteria More monosilicic acid More diatoms Less harmful algae Ittookusawhiletocometoasolidmethodwhenquantifyingdiatomsduetocomplicationsweranintowithourexperiments.Forexampleinourfirstexperimentwhenwevortexedthesampleswebrokeapartthediatoms,makingitimpossibletoquantifythem.Wefinallyfoundasolidmethodwithourindoortanksetup.Aftersubmerginggridslidesinthetesttubeswewouldcount5columnsfromeachslideandcountallthediatomsseeninonecolumn.Wethentooktheaverageandstandarddeviationfromthatdata.Thatmethodshowedthebestresultsforus.Samplingfromdifferentareasinthetankcouldhaveskewedourresultssoifwehadmoretimeforanotherexperimentwewouldhavegottenwaterforthetesttubesfromasourcethatwouldhavelessvariation. Figure 1 Figure 2 Can diatoms alone, with enough monosilicic acid, stop the growth of harmful algae blooms?
Fall 2022
BURS
Biology
Do amino acid changes alter the structure of a protein within the context of its primary structure or through it tertiary structure? Common garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) in western North America have evolved different levels tetrodotoxin (TTX) resis
Amino acid substitutions change side chain torsion angles within the pore domains of voltage-gated sodium channels of tetrodotoxin-resistant snakes.

Amino acid substitutions change side chain torsion angles within the pore domains of voltage-gated sodium channels of tetrodotoxin-resistant snakes.

Do amino acid changes alter the structure of a protein within the context of its primary structure or through it tertiary structure? Common garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) in western North America have evolved different levels tetrodotoxin (TTX) resis...

Fall 2022
Biology
BURS
Only one antiviral drug compound is licensed in the United States for the prevention and therapy of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. This drug is remdesivir, but it is only prescribed for people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 and need supplemental oxygen
In Vitro Assessment of Antiviral Chemotherapy Against Drug-Resistant SARS-CoV-2 Variants

In Vitro Assessment of Antiviral Chemotherapy Against Drug-Resistant SARS-CoV-2 Variants

Only one antiviral drug compound is licensed in the United States for the prevention and therapy of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. This drug is remdesivir, but it is only prescribed for people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 and need supplemental oxygen ...

Fall 2022
BURS
Biology
Influenza viruses can infect a human host as part of their infectious life cycle and have been responsible for large-scale pandemics and illnesses. However, not all strains of influenza that infect humans are capable of being transmitted from person-to-pe
Adaptation of Influenza A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2) to BALB/c Mice

Adaptation of Influenza A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2) to BALB/c Mice

Influenza viruses can infect a human host as part of their infectious life cycle and have been responsible for large-scale pandemics and illnesses. However, not all strains of influenza that infect humans are capable of being transmitted from person-to-pe...

BURS
Biology
Fall 2022
Introduction: In a synthetic system of protein production, what are the necessary elements of the protein(s) to create fibers? In the natural system, the hagfish has to create the protein in abundance, export the protein from the cell, and create a fiber
Elucidating the protein domains of recombinant hagfish alpha required for fiber formation.

Elucidating the protein domains of recombinant hagfish alpha required for fiber formation.

Introduction: In a synthetic system of protein production, what are the necessary elements of the protein(s) to create fibers? In the natural system, the hagfish has to create the protein in abundance, export the protein from the cell, and create a fiber...

Fall 2022
BURS
Biology
Genetic Counseling is a growing career within healthcare. It is a fascinating blend between medicine and psychology.
This semester, I had the opportunity to work with a board-certified genetic counselor, Jessica Hidalgo. She specializes in obstetri
Genetic Counseling

Genetic Counseling

Genetic Counseling is a growing career within healthcare. It is a fascinating blend between medicine and psychology.
This semester, I had the opportunity to work with a board-certified genetic counselor, Jessica Hidalgo. She specializes in obstetri...

Fall 2022
Biology
BURS
Internship as a medical assistant at Rocky Mountain Dermatology in Logan and Brigham City, Utah. I worked in both offices, although I was primarily in Logan. I worked with many amazing providers in the dermatology world.
Rocky Mountain Dermatology Internship

Rocky Mountain Dermatology Internship

Internship as a medical assistant at Rocky Mountain Dermatology in Logan and Brigham City, Utah. I worked in both offices, although I was primarily in Logan. I worked with many amazing providers in the dermatology world.

BURS
Biology
Fall 2022
Hagfish are ancient animals that eject a strong slime when attacked by predators. This slime is composed of intermediate filaments that contribute to its incredible strength (Fig. 1 & Fig. 2). To defend against foes, the Navy launches plastic ropes into t
Mechanical Properties of Hagfish Protein Hydrogels

Mechanical Properties of Hagfish Protein Hydrogels

Hagfish are ancient animals that eject a strong slime when attacked by predators. This slime is composed of intermediate filaments that contribute to its incredible strength (Fig. 1 & Fig. 2). To defend against foes, the Navy launches plastic ropes into t...

Fall 2022
BURS
Biology
A lot of researchers have compiled checklists to better understand the richness of bee species in their states. Despite the fact that Utah is a hotspot of bee diversity, no such list exists for our state. To create this list, data was obtained from a publ
The Bees of Utah

The Bees of Utah

A lot of researchers have compiled checklists to better understand the richness of bee species in their states. Despite the fact that Utah is a hotspot of bee diversity, no such list exists for our state. To create this list, data was obtained from a publ...

Fall 2022
Biology
BURS
Bumble bees are important pollinators in commercial and natural settings. Understanding behavioral patterns of bumble bees can provide a baseline for understanding how they will react to environmental stressors. Bumble bees experience increasing levels of
Exploring Larval Rejection Behavior in Bumble Bees

Exploring Larval Rejection Behavior in Bumble Bees

Bumble bees are important pollinators in commercial and natural settings. Understanding behavioral patterns of bumble bees can provide a baseline for understanding how they will react to environmental stressors. Bumble bees experience increasing levels of...

Fall 2022
BURS
Biology
Diatoms are beneficial algae that can outcompete the toxic algae, but only if they have sufficient bio-available silicon. Silicon is highly abundant on earth but is in a form that is unavailable to diatoms. We found that there are bacteria that can conver
Possible Solution to Harmful Algal Blooms: Silica-Solubilizing Bacteria And Verification of Properties

Possible Solution to Harmful Algal Blooms: Silica-Solubilizing Bacteria And Verification of Properties

Diatoms are beneficial algae that can outcompete the toxic algae, but only if they have sufficient bio-available silicon. Silicon is highly abundant on earth but is in a form that is unavailable to diatoms. We found that there are bacteria that can conver...

BURS
Fall 2022
Biology
Linanthus parryae (L. parryae) is a small annual plant of the Mojave desert with blue and white flowers. Plants are obligate outcrossing and interfertile; however, they show constant spatial segregation often observed along the sides of shallow desert rav
Genotyping myb36 and sng3 Arabidopsis mutants to be used as controls for suberin and lignin measurements in Linanthus parryae

Genotyping myb36 and sng3 Arabidopsis mutants to be used as controls for suberin and lignin measurements in Linanthus parryae

Linanthus parryae (L. parryae) is a small annual plant of the Mojave desert with blue and white flowers. Plants are obligate outcrossing and interfertile; however, they show constant spatial segregation often observed along the sides of shallow desert rav...

Biology
Fall 2022
BURS
Diatoms are beneficial algae that can outcompete the toxic algae, but only if they have sufficient bio-available silicon. Silicon is highly abundant on earth but is in a form that is unavailable to diatoms. We found that there are bacteria that can conver
Possible Solution to Harmful Algal Blooms: Silica-Solubilizing Bacteria And Verification of Properties

Possible Solution to Harmful Algal Blooms: Silica-Solubilizing Bacteria And Verification of Properties

Diatoms are beneficial algae that can outcompete the toxic algae, but only if they have sufficient bio-available silicon. Silicon is highly abundant on earth but is in a form that is unavailable to diatoms. We found that there are bacteria that can conver...