Vandal Research

Spatial Analysis of Soil Lead Exposures from Lead Poisoning Tragedy in Nigerian Mining Villages

By: Madi Thurston

Abstract In 2010, an unprecedented lead poisoning in Zamfara State, Nigeria resulted in the death of more than 400 children. The outbreak was caused by artisanal processing of lead-rich gold ores inside rural village homes, where incidental ingestion of contaminated soils and dusts resulted in geomean blood lead levels (BLLs) of 149 µg/dL and maximum …

Testing the Capacity to Over-Stabilize Viruses by Engineering Mutations into the Capsid of Bacteriophage ɸX174

By: Natalya Usachenko

An effective virus must successfully attach to a receptor on a host cell and inject its genetic material into the cell so that new viruses can be produced. Its ability to infect the host cell is highly dependent on both the binding capability of its capsid proteins as well their ability to modify their conformation …

Experimental Evolution: Identifying Pathways of Viral Resistance

By: Dasyre Sires

Abstract Phage therapy and antibiotics have been used in treating bacterial infections for nearly a century. However, bacterial mutations over time have allowed bacteria to advance in fitness and, in turn, resistance to these treatments. In this experiment we evolve phage-resistant bacteria to observe the mutations present on a genomic level. Pairing these observations with …

Differences in Body Composition, Resting Metabolic Rate, and Sleep Quality Following a 6-Week Protein Supplementation Intervention in Collegiate Dancers

By: Hannah Bideganeta

Abstract Dancers are often under pressure to maintain a lean physique; therefore it is common to observe unhealthy dieting behaviors leading to inadequate caloric intake and protein (PRO), which may negatively alter body composition (BC). PURPOSE: To assess collegiate dancers’ dietary intake, BC, resting metabolic rate (RMR), and total sleep (TS) following a 6-week PRO …

Expression Staining to Qualify Presence of Dscam Expression

Gene Mutations Involved in Brain Development and Autism Spectrum Disorders

By: Alexandra Flores

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability characterized by sensory and communication deficits. Recently, diagnosis of ASD has increased, and it is now estimated to affect 1 in 68 children. The symptoms of autism begin to appear during the first three years of life, which coincides with the development of learning ability and a …

LAMP-OSD Assay for Insect-Borne Diseases

By: Alexandra Flores

Abstract The distribution of vector-borne diseases such as Zika virus continues to expand, leading to epidemics across a variety of geographical locations, but monitoring the spread of these diseases for public health purposes is made difficult by a lack of instrumentation. With the assay we are developing and testing, there is no need for special …

Using Exoplanets to Study Planet Formation

By: Samuel Myers

Observations of exoplanets, planets outside of our solar system, have exploded in the last 20 years, to the point where we know now of thousands of exoplanet systems. One of the great mysteries to come out of these discoveries has been the great diversity in types of planetary systems seen. Up until we started discovering …

Genomic Diversity and Evolution of Succinea Land Snails in the Galápagos Archipelago

By: Brieanna Jung

The Galápagos Islands are home to many diverse species, but not all have diverged as extensively as Darwin’s finches. What could be preventing diversification in the Succinea land snails?

Developing microfluidic platform for electrokinetics characterization: C. Necator and Borrelia burgdorferi

By: Courtney Molvig

Abstract:Cupriavidus necator, a Gram-negative soil bacterium, will be characterized using AC-based dielectrophoretic microwells. A crossover frequency will be found for the bacterium in buffer as well as the bacterium in different metal solutions and different concentrations. Once the crossover frequency has been observed and the process has been repeated to ensure repeatable values, the bacterium …