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2012 MindExpo Abstracts

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BIOLOGY

 

Title:  CHANGE IN ASTIGMATISM FOLLOWING CATARACT SURGERY

Author:  Dustin Strasburg

Faculty Sponsor:  Heather York

Field of Study:  Biology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  Induced astigmatism following cataract surgery is a common occurrence even with today's advanced techniques. Different sizes and placement of incisions can influence how well the eye heals after surgery. For this experiment, corneal topography was recorded using a Nidek OPD-Scan II Optical Path Difference Scanning System for 18 eyes in randomly selected patients that had received cataract surgery within the last three years. Topography was measured at least 2 years before the cataract surgery was performed and then again 1 month following cataract surgery using two 3.0 mm incisions located on the upper limbal region. Change in the corneal curvature for the central 3mm of the eye (SimK value) and the axis on which the astigmatism takes place were recorded. The change in SimK value and the change in axis were compared to values in patients whose surgeries were performed with larger sizes of incisions reported in previous studies.

 

Title:  CRICKETS ABILITY TO DISCERN BETWEEN DIFFERENT TYPES OF SIGNALS; SPECIFICALLY BETWEEN NOVEL AND MORE NATURAL SIGNALS

Author:  Danny Bustamante

Faculty Sponsor:  Brad Elder

Field of Study:  Biology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  Crickets are extremely vulnerable to predation and have developed efficient skills to survive. Crickets can not only detect but distinguish changes in air currents and vibrations through substrates.  These signals alert them to danger. The goal of this project was to determine crickets' ability to discern between different types of signals; specifically between novel and more natural signals.  Novel shapes and artificially colored predators were used to determine if crickets run from everything or if they can discern between dangerous and non-dangerous objects.  Our research shows that crickets were unresponsive to all stimulation except direct contact.  When touch directly the crickets quickly moved away.  Even then, after repeated contact, the cricket soon stopped responding and ignored the stimulus.  There are two possibilities that might explain the crickets' response.  First, the crickets were raised in an environment without predators.  It is possible that they need to learn predator avoidance.  Second, we were unable to test them against a real predator so a predator response might be more revealing.

 

Title: COMPARISON OF VARIOUS SURGICAL AND RECOVERY PROCEDURES OF MEDIAL ULNAR COLLATERAL LIGAMENT INJURIES IN THE ELBOW OF BASEBALL PLAYERS

Author: Adam Sotelo

Faculty Sponsor: Kate Marley

Field of Study: Biology

Session Type: Poster

Abstract:  Medial ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, also known as Tommy John surgery, was developed by Dr. Frank Jobe and associates, for repair of a common injury among baseball pitchers. Several different surgical procedures for reconstruction are currently in use.  In addition, the surgical procedures are combined with various rehabilitation programs. Doctors and patients would benefit from knowing which of these reconstruction and rehabilitation procedures result in a satisfactory and efficient recovery of pitching ability.  Upon receiving consent for participation from individual patients, medical information detailing the procedures, and clinical visits of each patient was gathered. Data was analyzed to determine the overall positive velocity gain experienced by patients undergoing different surgical procedures combined with rehabilitation programs.

 

Title:  CAPTURING VIDEO OF UNIQUE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND LANDSCAPE WITH A 360 DEGREE CAMERA

Author:  Erin Stukenholtz

Faculty Sponsor:  Brad Elder

Field of Study:  Biology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  The goal of this project was to bring people to nature by surrounding them with a 360 degree video.  When viewed from a computer, the observer can "sit at a park bench" from their office and look in direction they choose while the video runs. I wanted to create a unique natural environment on a computer that could be experienced by the user in any way they chose.  For instance should a butterfly float by, they can rotate the view to watch it pass by. The next time they viewed the video they could look down and watch the ants. The Sony Bloggie MP4 camera with attachable 360-degree lens, is designed for capturing landscape and action on all sides of the camera. This new technology allows the viewer to see all around them. The camera was used to videotape Spring Creek and Costa Rica landscape. By uploading the videos to google maps and other websites, people from home or work are able to enjoy nature. The mirror captures a donut-shaped video, and when downloaded on to the Sony Bloggie software the image is then stretched out allowing the viewer to see the entire landscape or choose which frame to watch. The current software, while free, has limitations.  I will be expanding this work in the future with a more robust program.

 

Title:  EFFECTS OF N-METHYL-4-HYDROXYISOLEUCINE ON BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS IN ALLOXAN-INDUCED DIABETIC MICE

Author: Dalton Ryba

Additional Authors:  Courtney Wendt

Faculty Sponsor:  Barb Clement

Field of Study:  Biology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder, distinguished by hyperglycemia and caused by an inadequate production of insulin, insulin resistance, a defect in the insulin signaling pathway or a combination of any of the above. Annually, DM is estimated to affect 240 million people worldwide. Because of unwanted side effects of synthetic drugs, failure of the current treatment options to manage all aspects of the disease, expensive cost of modern drugs and the lack thereof in many countries, there is a demand for new treatment options in response to DM. Recently, increased attention is being paid towards the medicinal qualities of naturally occurring herbal compounds, which often possess accessibility and low toxicity. 4-Hydroxyisoleucine, an amino acid found in Trigonella foenum-graecum (Fenugreek) seeds has shown to lower blood glucose levels in type 1 and type 2 diabetics and experimental diabetic animals. In this study, the anti-diabetic effects of a 4-Hydroxyisolution derivative were explored, in comparison with the native amino acid. Diabetic mice, induced via Alloxan Monohydrate (0.1mg/g) i.p. injections, were divided into three groups. Group A was treated with a Fenugreek extract (1.0mg/kg) containing the native amino acid, Group B was treated with the same extract (1.0mg/kg) along with the compound derivative (0.1mg/kg), while Group C acted as a control. Blood glucose levels were decreased by 44.98% and 42.53% in Group A and Group B, respectively. Although blood glucose levels were significantly decreased in mice of both treatment groups, the results of the derivative treatment lack statistical significance to conclude that the derivative is a more effective treatment option for Diabetes Mellitus in diabetic mice. 

 

Title:  ACCURATELY DETERMINING RELATIVE HUMIDITY USING A SLING PSYCHROMETER VERSUS KESTREL SENSORS

Author:  Nile Schneider

Faculty Sponsor:  Brad Elder

Field of Study:   Biology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  The sling psychrometer has long been labeled the "gold standard" tool to measure relative humidity particularly in the field. The device compares dry bulb versus wet bulb thermometers.  The difference between the two temperatures is used to compute the relative humidity. However with the rise of electronic psychrometers two problems have arisen with sling psychrometers. First, they appear to always read5 5-10% too high.  Second, this error can be easily amplified by field contamination such as sweat or dirt on the wet bulb wick. The Kestrel Handheld Weather Station is rapidly becoming the prominent choice for electronic humidity readings. Accurate readings of relative humidity from these devices are important as it is commonly used in the field by a wide range of jobs that are heavily reliant on relative humidity readings from fire fighters to snipers. A direct comparison was conducted using three different Kestrels and a sling psychrometer.  The Kestrels were found to read lower than the sling psychrometer (avg 11.9%) and were much more consistent.  One Kestrel was sent to a calibration lab as a benchmark and supported our conclusion that the sling psychrometer is an inaccurate tool.

 

Title:  MATHEMATICAL MODELING OF BIOFILM FORMATION IN PSEUDOMONAS AERUGINOSA

Author:  Jaime Gabel

Faculty Sponsor: Barbara J. Clement and Chris Wentworth

Field of Study:  Biology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  A biofilm is a naturally-occurring, three-dimensional assembly of microbial cells.  Historically, most bacteria have been studied in the planktonic form in the laboratory setting.  However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that in the natural environment, it may be more likely to find microbes as part of a heterogeneous biofilm than as planktonic cells.  It is unclear what parameters drive the partitioning of cells between the planktonic and attached forms during cell growth, but it may be possible for this partitioning to be mathematically modeled.  Building on previous work, glucose concentration was used as the significant measurable parameter in the growth and partitioning of Pseudomonas aeruginosa cells.  Planktonic cell density in minimal medium (MM) was determined indirectly (spectrophotometrically) and directly using plate counts on PTSB. A packed-bed column was utilized to quantitate substrate utilization by cells in the attached state. A method of quickly measuring glucose concentration using a commercial meter was developed.  These methods were used to estimate parameters in a Michaelis-Menten growth kinetics model.   Valid modeling of biofilm development is significant because it has the potential for use in the evaluation of habitat suitability for biofilm formation.

 

Title:  UBIQUITOUS USE OF TRICLOSAN-CONTAINING PRODUCTS MAY LEAD TO TRICLOSAN RESISTANCE AND  MULTIPLE ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE IN STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS

Author:  Andrew Hamann

Faculty Sponsor:  Barb Clement

Field of Study:  Biology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  The broad range antimicrobial, Triclosan, is found in many household cleaning and hygiene products. This biocide is also used routinely in clinical settings for hand washing, cleaning of surfaces, and some "antibacterial" surfaces are impregnated with the antimicrobial.  Past studies have suggested that repeated exposure is selecting for bacterial resistance to Triclosan and other drugs. 18 strains of Staphylococcus aureus were isolated from the hands of staff members at a Triclosan-using clinic. These strains plus a control S. aureus culture (obtained from a culture collection) were tested for resistance to Triclosan by measuring growth in Triclosan containing media over a range of Triclosan concentrations to determine minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC). Strains were also subjected to Kirby-Bauer antibiotic disc susceptibility tests to six other antibiotics with a range of mechanisms of action. While the control culture, which has had minimal exposure to antibiotic, was consistently susceptible to all antibiotics and Triclosan, clinical isolates showed varying degrees of resistance and differing resistance patterns. Isolates tended to show more resistance to drugs that are generally more prescribed to patients.  Ubiquitous use of Triclosan as well as large numbers of antibiotic drug prescriptions being dispensed with similar mechanisms of action could be selecting for organisms in the home and in healthcare settings that can cause infections more difficult to treat due to multiple drug resistance.

 
Title:  EFFECTS OF VITAMIN D DERIVATIVES ERGOCALCIFEROL AND CHOLECALCIFEROL ON CULTURED HUMAN RETINOBLASTOMA Y79 CELLS

Author:  Kayla Bennett

Faculty Sponsor:  Barb Clement

Field of Study:  Biology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  Retinoblastoma, the most common cancer occurring within the eye, is a malignant tumor of the retina that is most frequently found in children.  Concerns have arisen regarding the current treatment method, which consists of a surgery process involving choroidal invasion, which can often increase chances of obtaining secondary tumorigenic development. Instead a treatment is needed that targets only retinoblastoma cells, potentially involving Vitamin D.  Vitamin D and its derivatives play a part in building the body's immune system by aiding in reducing inflammation and normal cell growth.  Since deficiencies of Vitamin D have been linked to an increased risk in cancers, scientists are looking at Vitamin D sufficiency against numerous types of cancers. This experiment was designed to test the effects of vitamin D derivates ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol on cultured human retinoblastoma Y79 cells. Y79 retinoblastoma cells are being cultured in RPMI medium and growth response curves are being developed for cells exposed to the vitamin D analogs ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol. The results of this study are expected that once the Y79 retinoblastoma cells are in contact with the Vitamin D derivatives, ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol, the growth of the Y79 cells will decrease, lowering the risk of cancer spreading.

 

Title:  THE N-CADHERIN PROTEIN IS EXPRESSED IN NORMAL HUMAN MESENCHYME AND SOME BREAST CANCER TISSUE CULTURE CELLS

Author:  Megan Uehling

Additional Author: Muijj Ghani

Faculty Sponsor: Kate Marley

Field of Study:  Biology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  The N-cadherin protein is expressed in normal human mesenchyme and some breast cancer tissue culture cells.  N-cadherin is an adhesion protein believed to increase the incidence of motility in cancer cells. This form of cadherin is normally only present in fibroblast and neural cells; however research has shown that it is also present in some epithelial-derived cancer cells. The purpose of this research project was to discern the presence of N-cadherin in human embryonic palatal mesenchyme (HEPM) cells and various breast cancer tissues. Protein extractions were performed on the cells and Bradford assays were utilized to measure the concentration of protein. This data established the amount of extract needed in order to perform western blot analysis. Multiple western blot trials were completed in order to find the optimal dilutions of antibody needed to create clear results. By the end of the summer, two images had been obtained showing that N-cadherin was present in both HEPM and Hs578 cell lines.

 

Title: PORTABLE ESCAPE FIRE EXTINGUISHER

Author:  Cason Christensen

Faculty Sponsor: Brad Elder

Field of Study:  Biology

Session Type: Poster

Abstract:  When a wildfire turns back due to a sudden change of wind or availability of a faster burning fuel, it puts firefighters lives' in danger. The purpose of this experiment is to design a compact, portable, and practical "pre" fire extinguisher. The ideal high pressurized system would be able to lay down a 15x5 yard blanket of Class A foam that would "knock down" an approaching wildfire flame enough that an individual caught amongst the fire would be able to run through this foam field to the rear of the flames with minimal to no burns. Our experiment suggests that this is a definite possibility. Using a relatively low pressure of about 100 psi, dish soap, and a pressurized paint sprayer we successfully simulated our idea. Because of financial limitations, we then proceeded to design a better ideal system without actually purchasing and assembling the parts needed. Some of the more expensive materials needed include: an aerating foam nozzle, a high-pressurized tank system (approx. 4000 psi), Class A firefighting foam, as well as a high pressure on/off valve. Future experimentation would require more funding.

 

Title:  IDENTIFYING CANDIDATE GENES ACTING WITH GLR3.3 IN THE GRAVITROPIC RESPONSE

Author:  Sarah Merithew

Additional Authors:  Candace Moore, Logan Johnson, Halie Smith, Julie Wurdeman, & Tessa Durham Brooks

Faculty Sponsor: Tessa Durham Brooks

Field of Study:  Biology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  Arabidopsis thaliana has been identified to have twenty genes which code for glutamate receptors (GLRs). These glutamate receptors have been found to be similar to those of mammals. However, in mammals, ionotropic glutamate receptors are involved in conducting fast, excitatory signals which play a role in synaptic plasticity associated with learning and memory. This observation makes it interesting that Arabidopsis has glutamate receptors since they do not have a central nervous system. In Arabidopsis, glutamate receptors have been found in plasma membranes and may be functioning in cell signaling pathways although there is still much to be known. In root tissue, a phenomenon known as gravitropism can occur. Gravitropism is the ability of a plant to direct its growth in a certain direction due to gravity. A specific glutamate receptor,GLR3.3 has been investigated in its role of affecting a pause during the gravitropic response. Specifically in this research, we are looking at what other genes may be working with GLR3.3 during the root gravitropic response to further identify the role ofGLR3.3. Six candidate genes were identified based on their annotated function in cell signaling pathways, their location in root tissue, and a statistically significant time course profile associated with the genetic locus with the root gravitropic response that was similar to that of the GLR3.3 locus. Tissue was collected from the root at 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5 hours and RNA was extracted. After performing RT-PCR it was found that all of the six candidate genes are expressed in the root with GLR3.3during the root gravitropic response. These data indicate that all six genes are candidates of signaling components of a GLR3.3signaling pathway.

 

Title: VISION OF SHORT-TAILED FRUIT BATS (CHIROPTERA: PHYLLOSTOMIDAE: CAROLLIA PERSPICILLATA) DISTINGUISHING COLORS

Author: Sean Dougherty

Faculty Sponsor: Heather York

Field of Study: Biology

Session Type: Poster

Abstract:  Carollia perspicillata is a fruit bat that is known for locating food primarily by way of echolocation, but recent research has shown the presence of color-sensitive cone cells in the retina, suggesting that color vision may be possible.   To test this, four differently colored spheres were placed above separate food trays, some colors associated with distasteful food and others associated with palatable food, to determine whether bats could visually distinguish among colors.  This preliminary survey did not yield significant evidence to suggest that the fruit bats could distinguish among the colors red, yellow, blue, or green.

 

Title: PASSIVE TRANSFER OF RABIES IMMUNITY FROM MOTHER TO OFFSPRING

Author: Sydney Readman

Additional Author: Terra Andreasen

Faculty Sponsor: Heather York

Field of Study: Biology

Session Type: Poster

Abstract:  Rabies inoculation is an expensive and time consuming process which impacts many countries around the world. There has been one other study examining passive transfer of rabies immunity from mother to offspring in humans and we wanted to expand on that research using mice and sows in order to obtain more data. Our projects started off separate with one using sows and the other mice. The sows were used to study passive transfer as a whole through placental and breast milk. Mice were used to also study passive transfer of rabies immunity; however, a comparison was done to see if placental transfer or nursing proved more effective. Neither project contained enough data on their own so we merged our research and will now be presenting together. We are currently working on our last trial to get more data. We will have data from our previous separate sow and mice trial and then data from our current combined mice trial. The mice trials are identical in their methodology.

 
Title:  THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SCIENTIFIC WEBSITE TO SHARE PROCEDURES USED TO ANALYZE PLANT GENOME FUNCTION AT DOANE COLLEGE

Author:  Halie Smith

Additional Authors: Devon Niewohner

Faculty Sponsor:  Tessa Durham Brooks

Field of Study:  Biology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  A major goal of organismal biology is to understand how gene function impacts physiological and developmental processes.  Even though the genomes of multicellular organisms have been available for over 10 years, we still only have experimental data for the roles of 10% of these genes.  Our lab has developed a high-throughput method to visualize the response of Arabidopsis roots responding to gravity at high resolution using readily-available technology. The approach enables careful observation of a physiological process in many genetic variants, making it more feasible to experimentally-determine gene function. Our approach is of interest to other small colleges who could help build similar data sets, but is also of interest to research labs that are studying genome function. For this reason, we've assembled a website, with the help of the Doane College marketing department, accessible to researchers everywhere. This website contains video and written tutorials of the carefully planned methods our lab has developed to carry out these procedures. Each tutorial contains a list of materials, prices, and places in which they were purchased. However, because

several of the materials were constructed by hand, the website also includes tutorials on how to assemble these unique tools. By including thorough instructions on each of our methods, we hope to spread this useful information to other researchers interested in diving into the plant genome project.

 

Title:  ESTABLISHMENT AND VALIDATION OF ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL METHODS AT DOANE COLLEGE

Author:  Anthony Bieck

Additional Authors: Eric Vincill, Edgar Spalding, Tessa Durham Brooks

Faculty Sponsor: Tessa Durham Brooks

Field of Study: Biology

Session type: Oral

Abstract:  Electrophysiology is a technique that allows for the characterization of electrical signals across a cell membrane. By studying the changes in membrane voltage and current in response to different chemical stimuli, it can be determined what ions are moving through ligand-gated channels on the cell surface. One channel type of interest has been the Arabidopsis glutamate receptor family, termed Glutamate Receptor-Like proteins (glrs). The homologous channels found in mammals are famous for their role in synaptic transmission. In 2010, electrophysiological methods were learned at a collaborator's lab. An experiment was conducted in which glr3.4 was heterologously expressed in mammalian cells and it was determined that this protein conducts calcium across the membrane in response to amino acid agonists, particularly asparagine and serine. Over the past two years an electrophysiological apparatus has been built at Doane that is capable of recording membrane voltage and current. This year data has been collected showing an Arabidopsis seedling undergoing a depolarization in response to an application of a sodium-glutamate solution. These data show that the apparatus is working appropriately and confirms that plants contain glutamate-gated ion channels similar to mammals. These results are significant in that very few labs have produced clean electrophysiological data from plant tissues. This apparatus provides a unique opportunity for any student interested in research.

 

Title:  METHYLATION STATUS OF N-CADHERIN PROMOTER SEQUENCE IN HUMAN BREAST CANCER CELL LINES: IMPLICATIONS FOR MOTILITY AND INVASIVENESS

Author: Sarah Pracht

Additional Author:  Nick Lukens

Faculty Sponsor: Kate Marley

Field of Study: Biology

Session Type:  Oral

Abstract:  Cadherins are a family of transmembrane glycoproteins that provide cell-cell adhesion.  E-Cadherin has been found to be a tumor-suppressor gene, whereas N-Cadherin has been found to promote motility and invasiveness of certain cancerous tissues, regardless of E-Cadherin expression. DNA methylation is the covalent attachment of methyl groups to regions of DNA rich in CG sequences. It has been shown that DNA methylation on the promoter region of a gene correlates with down-regulation of that gene.  We show here that BT-20 human breast cancer cells are found to be methylated at the N-Cadherin gene promoter sequence. Methylation of tumor-suppressor genes has been linked with development of cancerous growth.   Demethylating agents have been approved for the treatment of MDS, a disease that easily progresses into acute myeloid leukemia.  Clinical trials examining the effect of demethylating agents on solid tumors have begun, hoping to demethylate tumor-suppressor genes. However, the N-Cadherin promoter region is often methylated in solid human cancers, a finding further supported by our own methylation data.  Demethylating agents could demethylate the N-Cadherin gene, potentially increasing motility and invasiveness within these tissues. This lab has established that BT-20 cells are methylated at the N-Cadherin promoter region.  We are now exploring the effects of demethylation treatments on the motility and invasiveness of the BT-20 breast cancer line.

 

Title:  EVALUATION OF EXPRESSION OF PUTATIVE N-CADHERIN REGULATING TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS IN VARIOUS CELL LINES

Author: Michaela Hruska

Faculty Sponsor: Kate Marley

Field of Study: Biology

Session Type:  Oral

Abstract: Cadherins are transmembrane proteins that have an important role in cell adhesion during early stages of morphogenesis and development, and are important in maintaining normal tissue architecture.  N-cadherin is a type of cadherin found in neurons, fibroblast, and mesenchymal cells allowing these cells to interact with other N-cadherin expressing cells.  Studies have shown that N-cadherin gene expression is associated with cancer cell metastasis, migration, invasion, and likely influences motility.  In previous research from our laboratory PCR was used to clone fragments of the N-cadherin promoter between -462 bp and -1876 bp to identify possible binding sites for transcription factors.  A luciferase assay identified two fragments of interest that significantly expressed or repressed luciferase expression.  The Transcription Element Sequence Search (TESS) database predicted several putative transcription factor binding sites in these fragments.  Western analysis is being used to explore which transcription factors are expressed in various N-cadherin expressing cell lines.

 

Title: PRODUCING A METABOLIC FINGERPRINT FOR ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA PARENTAL LINES USING PROTON NUCLEAR MAGNETIC RESONANCE SPECTROSCOPY

Author: Autumn Longo

Faculty Sponsor: Tessa Durham Brooks

Field of Study: Biology

Session type: Oral

Abstract: An approach to produce a metabolic fingerprint from plant tissue extracts using 1HNMR spectroscopy is being developed.  The production of a metabolic fingerprint will be used to characterize changes in the chemical makeup of the root during a gravitropic response.  It has previously been shown that the ionotropic glutamate receptor functions during the root gravitropic response.  Therefore, since amino acids activate this receptor it is feasible that they will be among those metabolites that change between metabolic fingerprints.  With this knowledge two goals arise: 1. Are there changes in metabolic fingerprints during root gravitropism, specifically are there changes in amino acid composition? and 2. What genes are involved in mediating this change in the metabolome during the response?  Recombinant inbred lines (RILs) will be used as a source of genetic variation.  To validate the use of RILs for identifying genetic loci that contribute to changes in the metabolic fingerprint, the parental lines must show significant differences in their metabolic fingerprints over the course of the root gravitropic response.  Through this project, the feasibility of the development of a high throughput method to identify phenotypes will be explored.  This will help link gene sequence to functions in metabolic pathways.


BUSINESS

 

Title:  THE PROCESS OF STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

Author:  Morgan Holder

Faculty Sponsor: Timothy Wiedman

Field of Study:  Business

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  This is an analysis of Jeffrey A. Mello's "Process of Strategic Management." The process, typically used in Human Resource Management, can be altered and applied to many areas of strategic management.

 

Title: DID GROUPTHINK CONTRIBUTE TO THE 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS?

Author: Morgan Holder

Additional Author: Nicole Tegtmeier

Faculty Sponsor: Wendy Hind

Field of Study: Business

Session Type: Poster

Abstract:  Summer research project regarding the potential impact of groupthink on Wall Street boards of directors leading to the 2008 financial crisis.  Qualitative analysis performed comparing the composition of investment banking boards of directors to social science literature on groupthink and small group composition.

 

Title:  THE STATE OF THE US ECONOMY, 2007 - 2012

Author: Nick Dawson

Additional Authors:  Cody Fanning, Mike Grabowski, Mitch Green, Tom Heavey, Lizzie Kolbo, Travis Miller, Josh Sapp, Jared Schwab, and Anthony Vollmer

Faculty Sponsor: Les Manns

Field of Study: Business

Session type: Oral

Abstract:  Our ECO 303 (Intermediate Macroeconomics) class will do a one-hour oral presentation (5 teams of 2 people each) on five different groups of economic data that are used to explain the economy's performance.  The areas are: Total Output; Investment and Capital Spending; Employment and Income; Spending, Profits, and Expectations; and Prices, Money, and Interest Rates.  Each team will: 1) present three or four different data series for their assigned data group; 2) explain the importance of each series and how it has changed over the past five years; and 3) what those movements have meant in terms of the economy's performance.  At the end we will provide a 10-minute conclusion/"forecast" of the economy's performance over the next 6-9 months.


CHEMISTRY

 

Title:  THE EFFECT OF PROSTAGLANDIN F2? ON THE CHEMICAL PROFILE OF BONES OF MICE PROGENY

Author: Alejandra Cano

Faculty Sponsor:  Erin Wilson

Field of Study:  Chemistry

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract: To test the effect of prostaglandin F2? on the chemical profile of bones of mice progeny, female mice were injected with prostaglandin F2? in order to induce the estrous cycle.  Once the cycle has been induced the females were mated with one of several genetically identical males.  Gestation occurred naturally.  Once the progeny were born, they were euthanized and the chemical profile of the bones was determined using complexometric methods to evaluate total calcium present in the bones.  Statistical analysis was performed to determine the significance of any effects of prostaglandin F2? on the bones of the progeny. My hypothesis is that prostaglandin F2?, which is given to the female mice to induce estrus cycle, has a negative effect on the growth and chemical profile of the bones in the next generation.

 

Title: SYNTHESIS OF AMINO ACIDS DERIVATIVES VIA NUCLEOPHILIC SUBSTITUTION REACTIONS ON THE PRIMARY AMINE

Author: Dalton Ryba

Faculty Sponsor:  Andrea Holmes

Field of Study:  Chemistry

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract: Amino acid derivatives can result as a product in a variety of chemical reactions. In this study, the nucleophilic properties of the primary amine in L-Alanine, L-Serine, and 4-Hydroxyisoleucine were explored. Each respective amino acid was reacted with either Methyl Iodide or Dimethyl Sulfate, in basic solution, with the intent to methylate the primary amine. Characterization by both Thin Layer Chromatography and Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry confirmed that N-Methyl amino acid derivatives were produced. As a result, a quick and practical method for methylating the primary amine group of amino acids has been identified.

 

Title:  MINERALIZATION-REGULATING PROTEIN CHARACTERIZATION BY CD SPECTROMETRY

Author: Vince Krejci

Additional Authors:  Erin Wilson and Mark Wilson

Faculty Sponsor:  Erin Wilson

Field of Study:  Chemistry

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  Protein function is dependent upon protein structure.  The study of isolated proteins has been successfully achieved, but the study of protein structure at the mineral surface of bone is a daunting problem.  While most mineralization-regulating proteins are known to be disordered in solution, the structure on the mineral surface is largely unknown.  Our work is to elucidate this structure based on circular dichroism.  A novel CD method that incorporates encapsulation of the proteins adsorbed on bone mineral in a sol-gel matrix has been developed to get at this problem.  Problems arising from absorption flattening and sample geometry will be presented along with our work in solving those problems.

 

Title:  POTENTIAL ANTIBACTERIAL EFFECTS OF ZIZPHUS SPINA-CHRISTI ON SALMONELLA ENTERITIDIS

Author:  Jordan Lintt

Faculty Sponsor: Sharmin Sikich & Barb Clement

Field of Study:  Chemistry

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  The plant Ziziphus spina-christi has been known to have varying antibacterial properties among Iranian folk lore remedies. Extractions of this plant were tested against Salmonella Enteritidis to determine if said properties existed in components of the plant. Extractions using ethanol, methanol, and other solvents were prepared for use in growth inhibition assays. The main method used for determining inhibition of growth was the Kirby Bauer assay.  Small filter disks were impregnated with the extracts and placed on agar plates plated with S. Enteritidis.  This assay effectively demonstrates inhibition when a clear ring is found around the disks and would determine if the extract had antibacterial properties. When the proper extract is found, the eventual goal of this research is to determine if this extract from the leaves or seeds of Ziziphus spina-christi can be used as antibacterial agent against Salmonella Enteritidis on infected produce. If successful, then this will offer a new window of treating S. Enteritidis on fresh produce, possibly decreasing the number of food poisoning incidents a year.

 

Title:  PROGRESS TOWARD MODELING PEPTIDE-MINERAL INTERACTIONS IN BIOMINERALIZATION SYSTEMS USING ROSETTASURFACE

Author: Adrian Draney

Additional Authors:  Mark Wilson and Erin Wilson

Faculty Sponsor: Erin Wilson

Field of Study: Chemistry

Session type: Oral

Abstract:  The activity of proteins and peptides on mineral surfaces depends on the orientation and interaction of the protein with that surface. While determination of a surface-adsorbed protein's structure and interface with a solid surface can be expensive and difficult to perform experimentally, the Rosetta protein modeling suite has been shown to model these interactions using the Rosetta Surface package. Our progress in adapting this package to the study of peptides of the bone matrix protein osteopontin will be discussed.


ECONOMICS

 

Title:  INTERNSHIP AT SANDHILLS PUBLISHING

Author:  Colton Cochran

Faculty Sponsor:  Jennifer Bossard

Field of Study:  Economics

Session type:  Panel Discussion

Abstract:  I was given the opportunity to participate in the internship program at Sandhills Publishing in the winter of 2011. My internship role was in sales, which has given me communication skills that go far beyond my expectations. I communicate with customers on a daily basis, contacting roughly 15 to 20 of them per day. The position has deeply honed my organizational skills as well. Every day I lay out what I must get done, and what contacts I must make. This position has also given me the opportunity to work with customer relationship management software. This software helps the company track leads, conversation, customer information, billing and more. My position also requires me to travel. This not only helps me see the world, but also gets me in front of these customers and betters my face to face communication as well. Working with these customers face to face also is the best way to close more business. My internship has given me opportunities that I would not have dreamed of, but all of this comes with hard work. I have learned more than I expected and it will only continue. In order to become the business man that I intend to be one day, I must continue to push myself and absorb as much hands on experience as possible because experience is what will get you success in the business world.

 

Title:  KLINKEBIEL FARMS INTERNSHIP

Author:  Lance Shifflet

Faculty Sponsor:  Jennifer Bossard

Field of Study:  Economics

Session type:  Panel Discussion

Abstract:   Throughout my years at Doane College I always wanted to do an internship to get the feel of how retail sales worked.  Last summer I interned with Klinkebiel Farms from Cambridge, Nebraska. During this internship my manager told me I would be in sales and that he was going to give me a little training but most of all I would have to figure it out myself. This is when I decided that sales were for me because I wanted to go and take the challenge. I think by them letting me do this, it made this internship a very good learning experience and made me think and use my knowledge that I have learned here at Doane College.

 

Title:  SALTDOGS BASEBALL FRANCHISE INTERNSHIP

Author:  Mike Korsakas

Faculty Sponsor:  Jennifer Bossard

Field of Study:  Economics

Session type:  Panel Discussion

Abstract: During my internship with the Lincoln Saltdogs, I learned many skills and gained valuable experience that I will carry with through my professional career. While I was an intern, most of my responsibilities and tasks were completed working in small groups.  Working in these small groups allowed me to realize the importance of teamwork and cooperation in staying productive. Working as an intern allowed me to experience working under multiple superiors.  Doing so emphasized the importance of prioritizing tasks and time management.  As an intern, I also was able to gain professional experience in working with other local businesses by collaborating on promotional advertizing packages.  Overall, these are skills and experiences that I will be able to apply in any work field I choose to enter after graduation.


ENGLISH

 

Title:  SUZERAINS OF THE EARTH: THE RISE OF MAN AND FALL OF NATURE IN THE WORKS OF CORMAC MCCARTHY AND WILLIAM FAULKNER

Author: Garrett Hall

Faculty Sponsor: Brad Johnson

Field of Study: English

Session type: Oral

Abstract:  Cormac McCarthy is often considered one of the best living American writers. Most think of him as the heir to William Faulkner, since they both are southern writers, have similar writing styles, themes, and a preoccupation with nature. Both McCarthy and Faulkner use the wilderness aesthetic in their works, but Faulkner tends to see nature as something stronger than humanity and full of meaning, whereas McCarthy portrays it as an empty force.

This presentation will focus on the works of the two authors and analyze the ways in which nature is used and the ways it is described. By doing this it will become apparent that as mankind progressed and new discoveries were made, the wonder of nature that existed while Faulkner was writing was lost by the time McCarthy started his writing career. This fundamental difference between the two authors forces us to reconsider how closely McCarthy should be tied to Faulkner.


GERMAN

 

Title:  Reflection of study abroad in Germany

Author:  Laura Andersen

Faculty Sponsor:  Peter Reinkordt

Field of Study:  German

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:   I will be discussing what life was like Germany and independent travel to France and Denmark. What arose, what was unexpected, and ways that one can mentally prepare for a trip like that.  How to pack, what you really need, what you can't find, the exchange rate, etc.


HONORS

 

Title:  13 WORDS /ANALYZING GRAPHIC LITERATURE

Author:  April Bodlak

Faculty Sponsor:  Betty Levitov

Additional Authors: Muijj Ghani, Rachel Gibson, Alyssa Maraia, Tess Moyer, Michelle Ness, Cali Neuberger, Sammy Pointer, Tyler Pooschke, Sam Ritchie, Julie Wurdeman

Field of Study: Honors

Session type:  Exhibition

Abstract: Honors' fall 2011 (302-1) students will present an exhibition of 156 hand-made buttons.  In addition, three students will present papers with PowerPoint images, analyzing the illustrations and literature of selected authors.

 

Title: DOANE COLLEGE AND CRISES OF BROADER WORLD: 1918 - 2012

Author: April Bodlak

Additional Authors:  Lauren Braun, Tim Burge, Micaela Fikar, Laura Jacob, Rachel Kluthe, Sarah Merithew, Kathryn Michael, Sarah Pracht, Nicole Tegtmeier, Liz Tvrdy

Faculty Sponsor: Mark Orsag

Field of Study: Honors

Session type: Oral

Abstract:  Doane was established in 1872.  Since then there have been major crises in the world that have had an impact on the college.  Today in 2012, the actual effect of these crises on Doane is still a mystery to us.  This research looks at the presidential tenure and response, enrollment and retention, tuition costs, majors and classes offered, projects or groups started by students, and media reporting that occurred locally and at Doane during these crises.  Specifically, we are going to evaluate the 1918 influenza pandemic, the Civil Rights Movement, World War II, and the financial crisis of 2008.  Based on the history of Doane and broader world crises, insight into how Doane survived these crises and what can be done for future crises that are brought to light.


INFORMATION SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY

 

Title:  DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING A WEBSITE FOR A SMALL BUSINESS

Author:  Courtney Quackenbush

Faculty Sponsor:  Mark Meysenburg

Field of Study:  Information and Science Technology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  As most businesses are aware, in the past few years advertising their products or services online via a website has become a necessity rather than an optional luxury.  One such businessman, owner of a small family-owned automobile dealership, realized this need a number of years ago and contracted an outside source to produce and host a website for his business.  To the owner, the resulting website was impersonal, impractical and not attractive.  Because of this, the owner asked me to work with him to build a website that was more user friendly, and that showcased his business as an actual business, instead of simply being another mass-produced website.  After further understanding his requirements and studying how to build a website via Microsoft Visual Web Developer using ASP.NET 4, I designed and built a website that allowed customers to see basic information regarding the business, as well as search for cars.  On an administrative side, I created a database that allows the owner to search through previously sold cars in order to see basic information, and to keep an accessible and manageable historical record of cars sold.  After working closely with the owner, I created a website that will replace his existing website in both functionality and user appeal.  My presentation will include a discussion of the requirements identified, the design of my website and database that met those requirements, and issues I encountered in implementing that design.  I will also provide a demonstration of the resulting website.

 

Title:  ADMINISTRATIVE WEBSITE

Author:  Jason Thalken

Faculty Sponsor: Alec Engebretson

Field of Study:  Information Science Technology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  This senior project involved designing and implementing a web application for a medium-sized company in Kansas City.   The purpose of the application is to help individuals in the company organize and manage customer information.  The application accesses and modifies the company's database. This poster will discuss the process of designing and implementing the web application following the RADIS framework used in projects for the Department of IST. The web application that will be on display has mock data and is connected to it's own database. The resources and tools used in developing the application include the book "Beginning ASP.NET 4 in C# and Visual Basic" and Visual Studio 10.  

 

Title:  TEAM ROPING ENTRY SYSTEM

Author:  Dustin Schwartz

Faculty Sponsor:  Alec Engebretson

Field of Study:  Information Science Technology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  For my senior seminar project I designed and implemented a draw pot entry system. A draw pot entry system is an entry system for team roping at rodeos.  There are not any entry systems for a draw pot currently available and it is something that would make a draw pot roping less work for the people that hold the roping.   Ropers come to a roping and enter their names in the system. When everyone gets entered it randomly draws two names together and that is the partner one ropes with at that roping.  My draw pot entry system was created using tools provided by Microsoft Visual Studio including the SQL Server database and Visual Basic.NET language.  My poster presentation will discuss the requirements for a draw pot entry system, the design of my application and database, and implementation issues I encountered. I will also demonstrate my application.

 

Title:  WEB TOUR AND INTERACTIVE APPLICATION

Author:  Joshua Johnson

Faculty Sponsor: Alec Engebretson

Field of Study:  Information Science Technology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  The basis of this project was to create an online web application for prospective students to virtually tour and explore the Doane campus in Crete, NE.  The concept behind the application is a virtual map of campus with interactive locations that provide video information of the area. The tools used in completing this project were Adobe InDesign, Adobe After Effects, and Apple's Final Cut Pro. The project was initialized over the summer of 2011 with a working prototype by December of 2011.  For the prototype, I planned and filmed two separate guided tour videos of campus and implemented them into an interactive Flash map. This prototype will likely lead to easier recruiting methods for incoming students.  My poster session will include information on the planning, design, and implementation of the web application and of the videos.  A demonstration will be provided.

 

Title:  SUNNYSIDE CEMETERY

Author:  Josh Wade

Faculty Sponsor:  Alec Engebretson

Field of Study:  Information Science Technology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  The internet is used daily for multiple purposes from banking to gaming. Web applications, for use on the internet, are created with many different development tools. Deciding on which tool to use in the creation of the application is up to the creator of the application. This project compares two types of tools that can be used to build a web application. One tool is based on Microsoft technology and uses Visual Studio.NET which provides the IIS web server, SQL Server database, and C#.NET programming language. The other tool is based on open-source technology which provides an Apache web server, MySQL database and the PHP language. After analysis of the problem, which involved making information about a local cemetery available on the web, two web applications, one from each development environment, were created.  Both allow one to search a database and receive essential information about the cemetery. My presentation will include a description of the application, a comparison of the development tools, and a demonstration of the applications.

 

Title:  PONG GAMING ON THE ANDROID

Author: Garrett Genzmer

Faculty Sponsor:  Alec Engebretson

Field of Study:  Information Science Technology

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  My IST senior project involved designing and creating a game on the Android platform. The game is a Pong variant. A player controls the movement of a single paddle and uses that paddle to keep a ball from entering that player's respective goal while simultaneously trying to score on one of three computer opponents. There are four paddles in all, colored red, blue, green, or yellow.  Whenever the ball object contacts a particular paddle, it changes to that paddle's color. When a ball object enters an opposing goal, that player scores a point. The game ends once a player has scored five points total. My presentation will review the specifications of my Pong game, discuss the design considerations, and highlight some of my experiences during the implementation of that design.  I will demonstrate my Pong game using a tool that simulates an Android-based mobile device on a PC.

 

Title:  GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS SCRIPTING

Author: Sadie Hoefler

Faculty Sponsor:  Alec Engebretson

Field of Study:  Information and Science Technology

Session type:  Oral

Abstract:  Geographic information systems are useful tools for storing and managing geospatial data.  Often when working with a GIS, a similar task needs to be repeatedly performed.  This can be quite time consuming. Using scripts can elevate this costly monotony for certain tasks.  The Environmental Systems Research Institute, Esri, created ArcGIS, a popular GIS software, which uses Python scripting to manage its data. This paper will detail the history of GIS systems and how they evolved over time.  It will also go into how to use Python scripting to automate processes and how to recognize which processes could be benefited by using scripting. Finally, a sample GIS application with Python scripting, created as part of my senior seminar project, will be demonstrated.

 

Title: THE CREATION OF A BULLET HELL GAME ENGINE

Author:  Curtis Mackie

Faculty Sponsor: Mark Meysenburg

Field of Study:  Information Science & Tech

Session Type:  Oral

Abstract:  Bullet hell is a type of shooting game characterized by large quantities of bullets. This presents a computational challenge for developers, who must find a way to process hundreds of bullets in a very short length of time. For my senior research project, I designed and coded a game engine for handling the unique requirements of bullet hell games. I used the RADIS approach to efficiently design the engine. The work-in-progress engine is coded in C, using SDL for graphics and Lua for scripting. Although much remains to be done, many features of the engine can be demonstrated, including its collision detection and rudimentary scripting capabilities.


MATHEMATICS

 

Title:  PREDICTING THE FINAL STANDINGS IN NASCAR

Author: Lauren Braun

Faculty Sponsor: Peggy Hart

Field of Study: Mathematics

Session type: Oral

Abstract:  Over the past decade NASCAR has experienced a surge in popularity.  Ratings systems have been created to predict the final standings at the end of the season, to differing degrees of success. This project will examine the current rating system used to compare NASCAR drivers, and apply rating systems from other sports to NASCAR.  In addition, an original rating system will be proposed, and all systems will be quantitatively compared.


RELIGIOUS STUDIES

 

Title: BUDDHIST ETHICS: HOW SEXUALITY IS APPROACHED IN A BUDDHIST LIFESTYLE

Author: Kelsey Wildeman

Faculty Sponsor: Dan Clanton

Field of Study: Religious Studies

Session type: Oral

Abstract:  Human sexuality and issues related to it are hot topics today, but how do different cultures and religions view it? Often, cultures make choices based on religious influences, and Buddhism is no exception. In this presentation, I will focus on Buddhist ethics and the views of homosexuality and heterosexuality.  Generally, there are two categories of practicing Buddhists that would encounter both homosexuals and heterosexuals: lay Buddhists and monks/nuns. Lay Buddhists are connected to the outside world and are allowed to come in contact with the opposite sex, whereas monks and nuns are secluded and are only allowed to be in the presence of the same sex. The question arises, if one is attracted to them same sex, how does one act if one is a Buddhist?


SOCIOLOGY

 

Title: PERFECTIONISM

Author:  Lisa Lord

Faculty Sponsor:  Danelle DeBoer

Field of Study:  Sociology

Session Type:  Oral

Abstract: This study examines the relationship between perfectionism and stress, alcohol consumption, depression levels, self-esteem, and sleep levels. This study also looked at the possibility of gender differences between males and females pertaining to levels of perfectionism. Data was collected with a survey that was administered to students at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest. I found perfectionism levels are positively associated with stress and depression. However, no associations were found between perfectionism and alcohol consumption, self-esteem, and sleep levels.

 

Title:  GENDER AND POWER IN POPULAR WEB PORN CLIPS: AN EXPLORATORY CONTENT ANALYSIS

Author:  Mandy VanLaningham

Faculty Sponsor: Danelle Deboer

Field of Study: Sociology

Session Type:  Oral

Abstract:  Web pornography harbors many assumptions about gender and the roles of males and females in the sexual relationship. In order to explore these gender constructs, an exploratory content analysis was employed in an effort to extract themes from thirty clips found on highly popular pornographic websites. Most viewed and top rated clips on main, gay, and lesbian pages were randomly selected, coded, and analyzed in light of gender. The author identified several reoccurring themes, which were often specific to the sexual composition of the clip. Anonymity of heterosexual male characters, the Madonna-whore dichotomy, the simplification of the female, the penis as the ultimate source of masculinity and female pleasure, generalized misogyny, and adversarial versus experimental lesbian interaction were a few of the most common themes. Two overarching themes, the necessity of opposing tension and the necessity of a dominant party (typically that which is more masculine), were taken from the themes at large. In general, this research suggests that gender is paramount in governing the sexual behavior that takes place web pornography.


PHYSICS

 

Title:  REMOTE CONTROLLED TELESCOPE

Author: Omar Fernandez

Faculty Sponsor: Mark Plano Clark

Field of Study:  Physics

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  The Doane College Physics Department, under the direction of of Professor Mark Plano Clark, has been developing a remote controlled telescope that can be placed off campus but controlled from on campus.  The project discussed here concerns the development of the circuit that is going to be connected to the motors that move the telescope in the direction the user tells it to.  This circuit consists of a microcontroller with a program in C language that is going to control the speed, direction and other aspects of the telescope. I will be writing the program as well.  The problem in this project is finding a way to make the telescope move as quickly and as smoothly as possible to the direction or coordinates the user inputs.

 

Title:  INDIVIDUAL BASED MODELING OF A PSEUDOMONAS AERUGINOSA BIOFILM

Author:  Matthew Steffens

Faculty Sponsor:  Chris Wentworth

Field of Study:  Physics

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  Individual-based modeling is a technique for simulating the spatially explicit dynamics of a community of individuals that can each be in a different state.  In this investigation we use IBM to simulate growth of a simple biofilm system: Pseudomonas aeruginosa with a glucose substrate. The recently published IBM framework for microbial communities, iDynoMiCS, is used together with growth parameters from a recent kinetics study of this system to explore patterns of films over a 24 hour growth period for a two-dimensional and a 12 hour growth period for a three-dimensional model.

 

Title:  AN IMPROVED LOW-COST SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPE FOR EDUCATION

Author:  Micah Marvin

Faculty Sponsor:  Mark PlanoClark

Field of Study:  Physics

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  I worked on developing an improved, low-cost, scanning tunneling microscope (STM) for educational purposes. I worked with Axel Enders of UNL and Mark Plano Clark of Doane. We adapted the current STM to be easier to build and use. I designed the new STM using Solid Works, a 3D CAD application. Then I took the design to the UNL machine shop to build each part out of cheap materials. We changed the piezo setup along with the tip holder. This allowed for easier tip changes and more precise movement. We changed the sliding mechanism and the wiring to reduce wear and make the building process better. The new STM was built for around 2,000 dollars. We were able to confirm the piezo stack moves in three dimensions. We measured the piezo displacement using an interferometer and found the displacement to be around 19 nanometers per volt.

 

Title:  COMPUTER RECOGNITION OF INDIVIDUAL ROOTS IN A MULTI-ROOT PHOTOGRAPH

Author:  Brad Higgins

Additional Author:  Amy Craig

Faculty Sponsor:  Chris Wentworth

Field of Study:  Physics

Session Type:  Poster

Abstract:  Time sequences of high resolution photographs allow for quantitative analysis of growing plant roots, which can be correlated with environmental conditions and the plant genome.  A system used by the Durham Brooks Lab at Doane College makes use of a scanner-based technology that allows 18 seedlings to be photographed at a time yielding high statistics for a growth experiment.  The large number of images produced in experiments requires that image analysis be automated.  One challenge presented by the scanner-based system is the need for the computer to identify each individual root in a multi-root photograph.  The project described here summarizes one method for accomplishing this identification task using algorithms implemented in the open source language Octave, an array-oriented language similar to MATLAB.
The program developed will recognize the individual roots and split the scan up into individual images which contain one root in each image. This is challenging because the roots are not evenly spaced in the photograph. We also want the computer to recognize the roots automatically with as little user input as possible because whenever the program has to wait for the user, it causes the program to slow down and wait. Since there are a large number of scans taken, the time required to process each scan would really add-up. That is why it is critical to make the program as fast as possible. In the end, the program was able to recognize over 90 percent of the roots and the run time was around two minutes.

 

Title: KINEMATICS OF ARABIDOPSIS ROOT GROWTH

Author: Amy Craig

Faculty Sponsor: Chris Wentworth

Field of Study: Physics

Session type: Oral

Abstract:  The velocity field for the cells in a growing root is a function of the cell's position with respect to the root tip and time.  This function, for many species of plants, has the same general shape described by a flexible logistics curve. For this project we imaged three different Arabidopsis seedling root tips with a microscope. The images were used to obtain the velocity field for root tip cells using a program modified to work with Octave, an open source mathematics application. Then the velocity field was tested to see if it matched the flexible logistics formula. We found supporting data that the velocity field for the three different seedlings all match the flexible logistics formula.