Spring 2020 Undergraduate Research

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
We accomplished the construction of the expression vectors containing the CFTR cDNA under regulation of iFABP, LFABP, and Villin.
Construction of Vectors for Correction of the Intestinal CFTR Gene Expression in Cystic Fibrosis Sheep Fetal Fibroblasts

Construction of Vectors for Correction of the Intestinal CFTR Gene Expression in Cystic Fibrosis Sheep Fetal Fibroblasts

We accomplished the construction of the expression vectors containing the CFTR cDNA under regulation of iFABP, LFABP, and Villin.

spring 2020
Biology
BURS
Densities ranged greatly across lakes and years, but is this a result of lake warming or simply natural variation in aquatic macroinvertebrates?
Determining Benthic Macroinvertebrate Abundance and Diversity in Two Arctic Lakes as Part of an Experimental Lake Warming

Determining Benthic Macroinvertebrate Abundance and Diversity in Two Arctic Lakes as Part of an Experimental Lake Warming

Densities ranged greatly across lakes and years, but is this a result of lake warming or simply natural variation in aquatic macroinvertebrates?

BURS
Biology
spring 2020
Mount Logan Middle School, located in Logan Utah, strives to live up to its district motto: “Ensure all students leave our schools ready to create a positive future for themselves and their community.” I spent my internship living up to this motto by...
Teaching Secondary Science Education

Teaching Secondary Science Education

Mount Logan Middle School, located in Logan Utah, strives to live up to its district motto: “Ensure all students leave our schools ready to create a positive future for themselves and their community.” I spent my internship living up to this motto by...

spring 2020
Biology
BURS
Both male and female mice rapidly develop anti-nociceptive tolerance to morphine.
Sex Differences in Map Kinase Activation in the Periaqueductal Gray After Morphine Treatment

Sex Differences in Map Kinase Activation in the Periaqueductal Gray After Morphine Treatment

Both male and female mice rapidly develop anti-nociceptive tolerance to morphine.

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
The vectors used varied in their ability to transform L. kunkeei strains 3L and YH15. Vectors pTRKH2, pTW8, pGH9 and pTRK687 transformed both strains but pGK13 and pNZ8048 were only able to transform strain 3L.
Transformation of L. kunkeei

Transformation of L. kunkeei

The vectors used varied in their ability to transform L. kunkeei strains 3L and YH15. Vectors pTRKH2, pTW8, pGH9 and pTRK687 transformed both strains but pGK13 and pNZ8048 were only able to transform strain 3L.

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
Colorectal cancer is the among the deadliest cancers- being the second most common cancer-related cause of death worldwide.
Isolation, Purification and Analyses of Mice Gut Microbiome

Isolation, Purification and Analyses of Mice Gut Microbiome

Colorectal cancer is the among the deadliest cancers- being the second most common cancer-related cause of death worldwide.

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
If everything turns out successful, this could lead to a new type of drug that bacteria or fungus aren’t resistant to because they have never encountered something like this.
Amphiphilic Neomycin Derivative

Amphiphilic Neomycin Derivative

If everything turns out successful, this could lead to a new type of drug that bacteria or fungus aren’t resistant to because they have never encountered something like this.

spring 2020
BURS
Biology
Significantly improved survival, weight change and viremia, as well as a trend towards improved virus titer in the liver and ALT levels in the serum on 6 dpi, demonstrate efficacy of a domain III YFV 17D subunit vaccine administered with an alhydroxyqui
Effectiveness of a YF17D Subunit Vaccine with Adjuvant

Effectiveness of a YF17D Subunit Vaccine with Adjuvant

Significantly improved survival, weight change and viremia, as well as a trend towards improved virus titer in the liver and ALT levels in the serum on 6 dpi, demonstrate efficacy of a domain III YFV 17D subunit vaccine administered with an alhydroxyqui

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
Preliminary data from our lab has shown that GPR171 activation can also alleviate persistent inflammatory pain. However, the role of this receptor has not been investigated in other chronic pain models. Given these findings in acute and inflammatory pain,
Role of Novel Receptor GPR171 in Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain

Role of Novel Receptor GPR171 in Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain

Preliminary data from our lab has shown that GPR171 activation can also alleviate persistent inflammatory pain. However, the role of this receptor has not been investigated in other chronic pain models. Given these findings in acute and inflammatory pain,...

Biology
spring 2020
BURS
Based on our data, neither type of root in palms is more conducive to total epiphyte abundance. This leads us to conclude that conservation efforts for both types of roots are equally necessary to maintain maximum biodiversity.
Epiphyte Abundance in Palms in Costa Rica

Epiphyte Abundance in Palms in Costa Rica

Based on our data, neither type of root in palms is more conducive to total epiphyte abundance. This leads us to conclude that conservation efforts for both types of roots are equally necessary to maintain maximum biodiversity.

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
I was able to participate in an internship with a Family Practice/Obstetric and Gynecology Medical Clinic in Rexburg, Idaho and St. Anthony, Idaho. The medical clinic’s name is Teton Medical Group and there are two of them. I was able to intern at bo
Teton Medical Group Internship

Teton Medical Group Internship

I was able to participate in an internship with a Family Practice/Obstetric and Gynecology Medical Clinic in Rexburg, Idaho and St. Anthony, Idaho. The medical clinic’s name is Teton Medical Group and there are two of them. I was able to intern at bo

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
We found that across most of the 33 species in the data set, years with warmer spring temperatures tended to have earlier leaf budding. This suggests that temperature is a determining factor in the timing of budding which could lead to a longer growing s
Effects of Temperature and Relatedness on Plant Phenology

Effects of Temperature and Relatedness on Plant Phenology

We found that across most of the 33 species in the data set, years with warmer spring temperatures tended to have earlier leaf budding. This suggests that temperature is a determining factor in the timing of budding which could lead to a longer growing s...

Biology
spring 2020
BURS
Objective: Determine if, and for how long, a miRNA antagomir can knockdown miR-13b and influence gene expression related to physiology and behavior.
microRNA in Common Eastern Bumblebee Physiology and Behavior

microRNA in Common Eastern Bumblebee Physiology and Behavior

Objective: Determine if, and for how long, a miRNA antagomir can knockdown miR-13b and influence gene expression related to physiology and behavior.

BURS
Biology
spring 2020
Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) is a technique used to improve a person's balance. A research study in the Department of Biology at Utah State University.
Vestibular Autonomic Interaction During Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation

Vestibular Autonomic Interaction During Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation

Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) is a technique used to improve a person's balance. A research study in the Department of Biology at Utah State University.

spring 2020
BURS
Biology
There was a significant change in jump height out of the water between Pre1 and Post, not directly after the 4-week intervention.
The Effects of Flywheel Squat Training on Water Polo Athletes’ Jump Height Out of the Water

The Effects of Flywheel Squat Training on Water Polo Athletes’ Jump Height Out of the Water

There was a significant change in jump height out of the water between Pre1 and Post, not directly after the 4-week intervention.

BURS
spring 2020
Biology
While the current study is largely qualitative, it provides an exploratory characterization that will allow for quantitative analysis by our research team in the future.
Exploring Canid Monogamy: (Johnson)

Exploring Canid Monogamy: (Johnson)

While the current study is largely qualitative, it provides an exploratory characterization that will allow for quantitative analysis by our research team in the future.

BURS
spring 2020
Biology
Analysis revealed negative correlations between development time vs adult weight and development time vs survival, indicating some RILs are poor for multiple fitness components.
300 Recombinant Inbred Lines Used to Identify Genes Involved in Cowpea Resistance to Seed Beetles

300 Recombinant Inbred Lines Used to Identify Genes Involved in Cowpea Resistance to Seed Beetles

Analysis revealed negative correlations between development time vs adult weight and development time vs survival, indicating some RILs are poor for multiple fitness components.

spring 2020
BURS
Biology
EARTH university offers a good learning environment for American students. Look as USU students explore the ecology of tropical systems, the history and contribution of research, and the challenges they face in the context of climate change, food producti
Study Abroad - Costa Rica

Study Abroad - Costa Rica

EARTH university offers a good learning environment for American students. Look as USU students explore the ecology of tropical systems, the history and contribution of research, and the challenges they face in the context of climate change, food producti...

BURS
Biology
spring 2020
Selective management variance is likely due to the variety and flexibility of treatments, compared to standardized procedures of organic and conventional management.
The Effects of Orchard Management Style on Pear Flower’s Fungal Diversity

The Effects of Orchard Management Style on Pear Flower’s Fungal Diversity

Selective management variance is likely due to the variety and flexibility of treatments, compared to standardized procedures of organic and conventional management.

BURS
spring 2020
Biology
Truly the most rewarding experience. It is amazing to learn while also making a difference. The best internship for working with your schedule, helping you learn, and increasing your happiness.
Learn Valuable Job Skills While Making a Difference at Cache Valley Humane Society

Learn Valuable Job Skills While Making a Difference at Cache Valley Humane Society

Truly the most rewarding experience. It is amazing to learn while also making a difference. The best internship for working with your schedule, helping you learn, and increasing your happiness.

BURS
spring 2020
Biology
In my internship I remove sutures, dress wounds, take x-rays, etc. Podiatry research in the department of biology at Utah State University.
Podiatry

Podiatry

In my internship I remove sutures, dress wounds, take x-rays, etc. Podiatry research in the department of biology at Utah State University.

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
Further testing with larger sample sizes are needed to conclude that bee abundance increases as elevation and solar incidence increase. Further testing can be done to explain why bee abundance changes over the summer months.
Bee Habitat Selection

Bee Habitat Selection

Further testing with larger sample sizes are needed to conclude that bee abundance increases as elevation and solar incidence increase. Further testing can be done to explain why bee abundance changes over the summer months.

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
We saw no statistical difference in egg and hatchling characteristics across maternal treatment groups, apart from hatchling size differing between the LPS and NI group.
A Pilot Study

A Pilot Study

We saw no statistical difference in egg and hatchling characteristics across maternal treatment groups, apart from hatchling size differing between the LPS and NI group.

Biology
spring 2020
BURS
Unfortunately, despite rigorous testing, we are unable to identify the microbes we isolated by using Bergey’s Manual. This leads us to assume that either the differential tests were incorrect, or that Bergey’s Manual is no longer a viable identificati
Soil Microbe Identification: An Innovative Approach To Teaching Microbiology Labs

Soil Microbe Identification: An Innovative Approach To Teaching Microbiology Labs

Unfortunately, despite rigorous testing, we are unable to identify the microbes we isolated by using Bergey’s Manual. This leads us to assume that either the differential tests were incorrect, or that Bergey’s Manual is no longer a viable identificati

spring 2020
Biology
BURS
While the Thamnophis colony did show dramatic periodic changes in feeding behavior, there is much variation between individuals at all periods. This makes it uncertain whether marked changes in feeding behavior are species wide, or a product of random ch
To Eat or Not to Eat? Feeding Patterns in Two Groups of Captive Snakes

To Eat or Not to Eat? Feeding Patterns in Two Groups of Captive Snakes

While the Thamnophis colony did show dramatic periodic changes in feeding behavior, there is much variation between individuals at all periods. This makes it uncertain whether marked changes in feeding behavior are species wide, or a product of random ch...

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
We successfully transformed B. subtilis using the super-competent method published by Mijakovic et al. (2015) with green fluorescent protein. We saw high transformation efficiency and fast growth using traditional laboratory infrastructure.
Development of Bacillus Subtilis as a Platform for Research and Education in Low Resources Settings

Development of Bacillus Subtilis as a Platform for Research and Education in Low Resources Settings

We successfully transformed B. subtilis using the super-competent method published by Mijakovic et al. (2015) with green fluorescent protein. We saw high transformation efficiency and fast growth using traditional laboratory infrastructure.

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
From this basic analysis, we have established that there is a strong larval preference for Kentucky Bluegrass, but the degree of herbivory varies across populations. We have also recognized the limitations of ImageJ when it comes to working with small sca
Elucidating Larval Host Preference in the Endemic Hayden's Ringlet Butterfly (Coenonympha Haydenii)

Elucidating Larval Host Preference in the Endemic Hayden's Ringlet Butterfly (Coenonympha Haydenii)

From this basic analysis, we have established that there is a strong larval preference for Kentucky Bluegrass, but the degree of herbivory varies across populations. We have also recognized the limitations of ImageJ when it comes to working with small sca...

Biology
spring 2020
BURS
There are at least 72 species of Evagetes that have been discovered so far. There are stillcountless species of wasps that have yet to be discovered, and we believe the genus Evagetes will continue to grow.
The Phylogenetics of the Cleptoparasitic Genus Evagetes

The Phylogenetics of the Cleptoparasitic Genus Evagetes

There are at least 72 species of Evagetes that have been discovered so far. There are stillcountless species of wasps that have yet to be discovered, and we believe the genus Evagetes will continue to grow.

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
Our initial results on testing different Bovine Serumsto identify the best serum to use have been inconclusive. Result numbers have been low and further testing has begun to try and isolate variables and give consistent outcomes with B-HV. Additional seru
Qualification of a Serum Neutralization Assay for Bovine Respiratory

Qualification of a Serum Neutralization Assay for Bovine Respiratory

Our initial results on testing different Bovine Serumsto identify the best serum to use have been inconclusive. Result numbers have been low and further testing has begun to try and isolate variables and give consistent outcomes with B-HV. Additional seru...

spring 2020
BURS
Biology
Once a boundary can be drawn between the pars compact and the pars reticulata, further analysis will take place using a digital densitometry system.
Effects of Sex and Autism on Oxytocin Receptors in the Substantia Nigra of the Human Brain

Effects of Sex and Autism on Oxytocin Receptors in the Substantia Nigra of the Human Brain

Once a boundary can be drawn between the pars compact and the pars reticulata, further analysis will take place using a digital densitometry system.

BURS
spring 2020
Biology
AVPR1a receptors are spread in various regions of the coyote brain, which is a similar pattern to other monogamous species.
Distribution of Vasopressin 1a Receptor Binding in the Brain of Coyotes (Canis latrans) - Adamis

Distribution of Vasopressin 1a Receptor Binding in the Brain of Coyotes (Canis latrans) - Adamis

AVPR1a receptors are spread in various regions of the coyote brain, which is a similar pattern to other monogamous species.

Biology
spring 2020
BURS
I wanted to have this internship because I am trying to become a veterinarian myself. The best way to achieve this goal is to seek the guidance of people who have already achieved this in life.
Farr West Animal Hospital

Farr West Animal Hospital

I wanted to have this internship because I am trying to become a veterinarian myself. The best way to achieve this goal is to seek the guidance of people who have already achieved this in life.

Biology
spring 2020
BURS
I have been able to learn so much more about the field of dentistry throughout this semester with Smithfield Dental care and thanks to Dr. Harris. Having been able to participate in functions in a dental office has helped solidify my desire to contin
Internship at Smithfield Dental Care

Internship at Smithfield Dental Care

I have been able to learn so much more about the field of dentistry throughout this semester with Smithfield Dental care and thanks to Dr. Harris. Having been able to participate in functions in a dental office has helped solidify my desire to contin

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
The BioFire has given clinical labs the upper hand to diagnosing patients and creating treatment plans. The BioFire allows doctors to obtain more accurate and specific testing results sooner than compared to traditional methods while giving patients cheap
Students Come and Go, but Bacteria is Here to Stay

Students Come and Go, but Bacteria is Here to Stay

The BioFire has given clinical labs the upper hand to diagnosing patients and creating treatment plans. The BioFire allows doctors to obtain more accurate and specific testing results sooner than compared to traditional methods while giving patients cheap...

spring 2020
BURS
Biology
While the lifespan of humans has increased in time, the health span of aging individuals has not turned away from deterioration. Medicine has been essential in extending the time of dying since as health is continuing to worsen, this is especially so in p
Young Ovarian Dependent, Germ Cell-Independent Influence on Aging Immune Health in Mice

Young Ovarian Dependent, Germ Cell-Independent Influence on Aging Immune Health in Mice

While the lifespan of humans has increased in time, the health span of aging individuals has not turned away from deterioration. Medicine has been essential in extending the time of dying since as health is continuing to worsen, this is especially so in p...

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
Long term we hope that once we crystallize the novel domain we will use X- Ray Diffraction to help add to the theorized structure that we currently have to help us better understand function and hopefully uncover new properties to help further gene edit
Determining the Function and Structure of Sms1, A Type V CRISPR Effector Endonuclease

Determining the Function and Structure of Sms1, A Type V CRISPR Effector Endonuclease

Long term we hope that once we crystallize the novel domain we will use X- Ray Diffraction to help add to the theorized structure that we currently have to help us better understand function and hopefully uncover new properties to help further gene edit

BURS
Biology
spring 2020
Mapping a Novel G-protein Coupled Receptor to Understand its Role in Morphine Reward. A research study by Nick Beus, Max McDermott, and Dr. Erin Bobec.
Mapping a Novel G-protein Coupled Receptor to Understand its Role in Morphine Reward

Mapping a Novel G-protein Coupled Receptor to Understand its Role in Morphine Reward

Mapping a Novel G-protein Coupled Receptor to Understand its Role in Morphine Reward. A research study by Nick Beus, Max McDermott, and Dr. Erin Bobec.

BURS
Biology
spring 2020
The protocol for evaluation and testing we developed appeared to have worked efficiently and minimized a lot of random statistical variance. It allowed us to isolate which samples were best to develop our assays, minimize errors, and isolate what conditio
Detection of Bovine Respirator Disease Viruses using Viral Neutralization Assays

Detection of Bovine Respirator Disease Viruses using Viral Neutralization Assays

The protocol for evaluation and testing we developed appeared to have worked efficiently and minimized a lot of random statistical variance. It allowed us to isolate which samples were best to develop our assays, minimize errors, and isolate what conditio...

Biology
spring 2020
BURS
Preliminary results showed that Artemisia tridentata does inhibit antimicrobial activity. The protocol used called for a low concentration of plant extract, and as a result, a small to no zone of inhibition showed on the plates.
Antimicrobial Activity of Artemisia Tridentata

Antimicrobial Activity of Artemisia Tridentata

Preliminary results showed that Artemisia tridentata does inhibit antimicrobial activity. The protocol used called for a low concentration of plant extract, and as a result, a small to no zone of inhibition showed on the plates.

Biology
BURS
spring 2020
A list of pests known to affect industrial hemp was created. Information was acquired from primary, peer-reviewed resources found through the USU library database, Scopus, and Google Scholar. References were maintained in the citation manager Zotero.
Industrial Hemp Pests of Utah

Industrial Hemp Pests of Utah

A list of pests known to affect industrial hemp was created. Information was acquired from primary, peer-reviewed resources found through the USU library database, Scopus, and Google Scholar. References were maintained in the citation manager Zotero.

spring 2020
Biology
BURS
There is a clear effect of temperature on attack rate. Since the speed of the Paramecium’s movement increases with temperature, more encounters between predator and prey occur. With P. aurelia as a prey, the handling time decreases with temperature, like
Temperature and Prey Morphology Influence Attack Rate and Handling Time in a Predator-Prey Interaction

Temperature and Prey Morphology Influence Attack Rate and Handling Time in a Predator-Prey Interaction

There is a clear effect of temperature on attack rate. Since the speed of the Paramecium’s movement increases with temperature, more encounters between predator and prey occur. With P. aurelia as a prey, the handling time decreases with temperature, like...

spring 2020
Biology
BURS
Utah State University's Department of Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium Program.
Symposium Program | Biology

Symposium Program

Utah State University's Department of Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium Program.