Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Theses and Honors Research Theses

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Undergraduate Research Theses and Honors Research Theses from the College of Arts and Sciences. More about the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program can be found at:

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    Extreme Mass-Ratio Inspiral Resonance Hunting
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Blake-Goszyk, Harrison; Hirata, Christopher
    Extreme mass-ratio inspirals (EMRIs) are systems with a compact object orbiting a much more massive body. They show up frequently in the literature of gravitational wave (GW) astronomy due to many theorists predicting that the future Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will be able to hear stellar-mass compact objects falling into the supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at the centers of most large galaxies. This scenario is of interest both as a new probe of galactic nuclei and as a precision test of general relativity. This work focuses on the effects of an external perturbation on an EMRI system in the galactic center due to a third body. This perturbation will affect the orbit most significantly when the inner body crosses a resonance with the outer body, which results in a subsequent phase shift of the waveform that builds up over time. Resonances will cause measurable changes in the GW received by LISA. This thesis presents a general method for calculating the effects of a resonance on the orbits of the inner body. This is done by demonstrating that the orbital changes are related to the GWs emitted by the two bodies at the frequency corresponding to the resonance. This allows presented here allow for the reduction of a three-body system into a two-body system, with the third body being replaced by a gravitational wave perturbation, allowing us to sidestep using intense GR calculations. These methods will generate a more realistic waveform model, and provide a more accurate comparison for future detected signals. This work will be used in future investigations of third-body effects on EMRIs and their potential impact on GWs detected by LISA.
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    Relative dental eruption and mechanically challenging diets in colobines and cercopithecines
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Peters, Grace; Guatelli-Steinberg, Debbie; McGraw, Scott
    The present study examines the potential relationship between relative dental eruption and diet in Colobus angolensis, Colobus polykomos, Colobus satanas, Piliocolobus badius, Procolobus verus, Cercocebus torquatus, Cercocebus atys, Cercocebus lunulatus, Lophocebus aterrimus, and Lophocebus albigena. These species were selected to examine predictions of the Food Processing Hypothesis (FPH), which suggests that species whose weanlings must process hard or tough foods will have accelerated rates of dental growth and development, as their permanent teeth—particularly their molars—are required to process these mechanically challenging foods (Godfrey, 2001). FPH predicts that folivorous weanlings that are reliant on tough foods require more advanced dental eruption than frugivorous weanlings that are adapted to processing softer foods (Godfrey, 2001). Based on FPH, it was hypothesized that there would be relatively earlier second and third molar, as well as fourth premolar eruption in species that are hard object feeders in comparison to what is used as the baseline dental eruption sequence of the Cercopithecoidea. Hypothesis 1 addresses whether it is possible to replicate Harvati’s (2000) results of eruption sequence differences between Colobus and Piliocolobus. It is hypothesized that with the addition of Colobus satanas, these genus level differences would persist. Given its softer diet and close phylogenetic relationship to P. badius (Oates, 1988), Procolobus verus was expected to be similar to Piliocolobus badius and follow a relative eruption sequence more similar to the baseline than Colobus (Harvati, 2000). Hypothesis 2 explores whether there are differences in relative dental eruption within the Colobus genus related to seed-eating. It is hypothesized that the hard-object feeding Colobus species show early relative molar eruption when compared to their counterparts. Hypothesis 3 addresses whether hard-object feeding cercopithecoid species outside of the colobine clade exhibit evidence of advanced relative eruption of molars. Under FPH, relatively advanced dental eruption would be expected. In this study dental eruption sequences were scored in a manner similar to that of Harvati (2000). Sample sizes were limited because only the dental remains of juveniles with mixed dentitions could be scored, precluding statistical analysis. Results are displayed in bar charts showing the frequencies of differences from the baseline eruption sequence. Hypothesis 1 and Hypothesis 2 were supported. Hypothesis 3 was not supported, with low frequencies of early molar eruption in Cercocebus and Lophocebus. With respect to FPH, it seems that hard-object feeding is associated with advanced relative molar eruption in colobines but not in cercopithecines. Reasons for this difference, especially concerning the effect of brain size on growth and development in primates, will be discussed.
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    Understanding the impact of invasive Bythotrephes longimanus on Yellow Perch angling success in western Lake Erie
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Houpt, Olivia; Ludsin, Stuart
    Invasive species can threaten fishing success and fisheries production by altering food web structure and dynamics. In this vein, Bythotrephes longimanus, a large-bodied, invasive zooplankton species that has recently colonized Lake Erie’s west basin may underlie the recent decline in angler harvest rates of Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) despite its population size remaining stable. Given previous research conducted in Lake Erie’s central and east basins, which has established that Yellow Perch consume Bythotrephes when present in the water column, we hypothesized that increased availability and consumption of Bythotrephes is responsible for decreased angling success by reducing the effectiveness of artificial prey (i.e., fishing lures). Towards this end, I conducted a “natural” experiment, replicating angler behavior using three common gear types (e.g., spreader, crappie, and Sabiki rigs) across a range of Bythotrephes densities. Additionally, we analyzed the diets of angled Yellow Perch to determine how feeding varied with Bythotrephes availability. A significant relationship was found between Bythotrephes density in the water and CPUE for certain gears, indicating that CPUE tends to increase as Bythotrephes density increases (GAM, P < 0.05). However, we also found that an interaction between Bythotrephes density in the water and water temperature significantly influenced Yellow Perch catch-per-unit-effort for select gear types (CPUE; GAM, P < 0.05). Furthermore, CPUE varied among gear types, and CPUE’s associated with Sabiki gear were lower compared to the other gear types (one-way ANOVA, Tukey HSD, P < 0.05). As discussed herein, our results should provide fisheries management agencies (e.g., Ohio Division of Wildlife) with an enhanced ability to predict Yellow Perch harvest, set realistic angler expectations, and share insights to anglers on how to improve Yellow Perch catch rates in the western basin with continued Bythotrephes presence.
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    Patient and Provider Perception of Chronic Urological Pain (CUP)
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Ching, Madelin; Cohen, Jeffrey
    Chronic urological pain, while not life-threatening, severely impacts a patient’s physical and psychological health. Chronic urological pain (CUP) results from conditions such as Interstitial Cystitis, Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Vulvodynia, and Chronic Orchialgia. These conditions result in pain or discomfort in the pelvic region for longer than 3 months and are accompanied by urinary frequency and urgency. CUP can be difficult to diagnose and treat due to a limited understanding of patient risk factors and effective treatment options. Some studies suggest psychological stress may increase patient pain perceptions and may have an impact on who develops chronic urological pain. It is becoming increasingly apparent that physiological factors alone are insufficient in addressing patient symptoms. This paper identifies factors related to a patient’s psychosocial needs and links them to their pain experience. This paper highlights the interconnectedness of physical and social experience to chronic urological pain. After reviewing the literature, recommendations are made to improve treatment plans and further research in chronic urological pain.
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    The Healing Self: The Effects of Accessible Toolkit Mindfulness Practices as Analyzed Through Laban Movement Effort Qualities
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Sexton, Liv; Calamoneri, Tanya; Ndiaye, Momar
    This project will promote a deepened understanding of mind-body integration through asking the question: How does movement change with emotions and how can it change again as we learn self regulation and mindfulness? Five participants will meet for wellness sessions over the course of 22 weeks. In these sessions, the participants will learn a variety of wellness skills and practices that will increase personal resilience and promote psychophysical balance and integration. These wellness practices will pull ideas from Alexander Technique, Laban, and Yoga. Each session will begin with journaling where the participants document their current states-- moods, general feelings of wellness or unsoundness, and any present physical experiences-- through written word and drawings. The session will then transition to a wellness practice. After this, participants will document the effects of their practices in two ways: a short improvisation excerpt and a post-drawing of mood and state. The effectiveness of the varying wellness practices will be analyzed through the four Laban Movement Effort qualities-- space, weight, body, and time. These analyses will be performed through examining the collected materials– videos, drawings, and journals– from participants. In considering these qualities, it can be currently noted that there are predictable patterns in effort qualities that coincide with the documented moods of the participants. My current conclusion is that, though Laban effort qualities both correlate and can predict mood, this correlation can be disrupted through a regular mindfulness practice that promotes both physical and mental ease.
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    The Role of Patient Memory for Treatment Points and Skill Quality in Skill-Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Lyons, Cole; Strunk, Daniel
    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a first-line treatment for depression, but it would still benefit from improved efficacy. One potential method of increasing its efficacy is through adding memory support strategies to enhance patients’ memory for the content of treatment. Another potential way to increase the efficacy of CBT may be through greater efforts to increase patients’ CBT skills, which may improve the quality of patients’ CBT skills and the outcomes they achieve. In this study, I considered the role of memory for treatment content and skill development while drawing data from a randomized trial comparing CBT and skill-enhanced CBT among 150 adults with major depressive disorder. Averaged across assessments at three sessions (session 3, 6, and 10), patients in skill-enhanced CBT recalled more treatment points than those in the CBT condition. Memory for treatment points at session 3 did not predict subsequent change in depressive symptoms. Similarly, the average treatment points recalled across the sessions examined were not related to change in depressive symptoms from pre- to post-treatment. Finally, patients in the skill-enhanced CBT condition exhibited higher CBT skill quality at posttreatment than the CBT condition, controlling for pretreatment skill quality. This difference remained significant after controlling for memory for treatment points at session 10, but the difference was reduced to a non-significant trend when controlling for memory for treatment points averaged across all timepoints. Taken together, the findings suggest that memory for treatment is enhanced by the use of skill-enhancing strategies in CBT. However, our findings largely failed to support the view that memory enhancement added to or explained the therapeutic benefits of a skill-enhanced treatment.
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    Investigating the Relationship between Fatty Acid Oxidation and DNA Damage Repair Mechanisms
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Chambers, Anna; Mora, Ana
    Fatty acid oxidation (FAO) is a key metabolic pathway and a major source of energy for cells and organisms. Metabolic pathways are linked to DNA damage repair, for example FAO can serve as an energy precursor to sustain the cell during the energetically expensive repair process (1). Should DNA face stress conditions or damage, the cell must be able to quickly repair it to retain genome integrity and preserve ability of replication (2). To study how DNA damage is linked to FAO, we use MLE12 cells, a mouse type 2 lung epithelial cell line, with and without deficiency of enzyme carnitine palmitoyl transferase 1A (Cpt1a). Cpt1a is the rate limiting enzyme in the FAO pathway (1, 3). CRISPR modified Cpt1a knock out (Cpt1a KO) and their wild type control, SgCtrl cells were used in a number of experiments, as well as ShRNA Cpt1a knock down (ShCpt1a KD) and their wild type control ShScramble were cultured in HITES media. To induce double strand breaks (DSB) in the DNA, 2mM of Hydroxyurea (HU) was added to the culture media in increments of 30, 60, and 120 minutes, as well as a control (vehicle). DNA damage was analyzed by levels of phosphorylated H2A histone family member X (γH2AX) and accumulation of tumor protein 53 binding protein (53BP1), a scaffolding protein, in both Cpt1a KO and SgCtrl cells. We used RT-qPCR and western blot to analyze the expression level of Cpt1a, and DNA repair enzymes ataxia telangiectasia mutated (Atm), meiotic recombination 11 (Mre11), and breast cancer gene 1 (Brca1) in ShScramble and ShCpt1a KD cells. Mass spectrometry was used to identify amount of acetylation on Histone H4, a histone vital to DNA repair. In addition to this, acetylation activated Atm, Mre11, and phosphorylated tumor protein 53 (p-P53) were selected for investigation of quantity of acetylation on the protein. Lastly, experiments using acetate were performed to restore availability of Acetyl-CoA in the cell in absence of FAO. We show that Cpt1a deficient cells exhibit increased accumulation of DNA damage in the nucleus at basal conditions and upon HU treatment, most likely due to the down-regulation of repair genes in response to the lack of Cpt1a. Our future studies aim to elucidate the mechanisms that link FAO and the DNA damage repair response.
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    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Capetz, Sander; Sheldon, Ian
    How effective are World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlements? This paper presupposes that the WTO, in its current form, is not effective enough to be regularly used when trade disputes occur between nations. For urgent matters, it is often more favorable for nations to implement sanctions or tariffs which promptly address trade disputes. Case in point is the use of U.S. tariffs imposed on China for dumping low-cost goods in the U.S. or how NATO countries are now dealing with Russia regarding gas exports. While the use of tariffs and sanctions have researched results, evaluating the impact of WTO dispute settlements measured using stock market price levels remains relatively unexplored. This paper uses an event study model to find that industry stock prices for both complainants (member countries who initialize a case) and respondents (member countries who are facing a judgement from WTO judges) do not receive any significant effects from WTO policy during the entire period that the dispute takes place. Moreover, these findings are reinforced after performing two variations of a Bayesian hierarchical model. The results will contribute to future research on the impact of trade tensions between nations and the challenges facing the WTO’s dispute settlement system.
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    Variation in the Cranial Morphology of Hominin Specimens: Geographic Distinctions
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Scheeser, Abby; Hubbe, Mark
    Morphological variation has been widely used to identify differences between hominins and define their species. Despite this accumulated work, there is little consensus regarding the definition of most hominin species, which has significantly impacted our understanding of hominin relationships. Therefore, it is important to better contextualize the morphological variation seen among hominin fossil crania, to better understand species morphological boundaries and evaluate the significance of geographic dispersion within species. To explore hominin morphological variation, we collected 29 cranial linear measurements from 162 specimens from the literature. We excluded specimens and variables with more than 35% of missing values, resulting in 111 specimens and 17 measurements, divided into 15 species. The Homo species were further divided by geographic regions, resulting in 24 groups. We used linear discriminant analysis to explore morphological affinities among species and groups. The results show significant overlap between late Homo species irrespective of their geographic regions. Paranthropus and Australopithecus are distinct from late Homo, and H. habilis and rudolfensis occupy intermediary positions. The similarities in cranial morphological measurements observed within Homo across geographic boundaries support a greater need for broad species definition within the genus, with relatively small morphological changes among them. Nevertheless, Homo habilis and rudolfensis are clearly distinct from other Homo species, and our results support the separation of the Paranthropus and Australopithecus genera. These results are relevant to discuss the validity of species nomenclatures adopted in the past, given that over 70 different species names have been suggested for hominin fossils in the past.
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    Deep Learning Improvements for Sparse Spatial Field Reconstruction
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Sunderhaft, Robert; Davis, Jim
    Accurately reconstructing a global spatial field from sparse data has been a longstanding problem in several domains, such as Earth Sciences and Fluid Dynamics. Historically, scientists have approached this problem by employing complex physics models to reconstruct the spatial fields. However, these methods are often computationally intensive. With the increase in popularity of machine learning (ML), several researchers have applied ML to the spatial field reconstruction task and observed improvements in computational efficiency. One such method utilizes a sparse mask of sensor locations and a Voronoi tessellation with sensor measurements as inputs to a convolutional neural network for reconstructing the global spatial field. In this work, we propose multiple adjustments to the aforementioned approach and show improvements on geoscience and fluid dynamics simulation datasets. We identify and discuss scenarios that benefit the most using the proposed ML-based spatial field reconstruction approach.
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    The Use of Diatoms as a Proxy for Environmental Variation in Ohio's Inland Lakes
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Shirk, Trinity; Leonard-Pingel, Jill
    Globally, lacustrine environments are negatively impacted by anthropogenic nutrient input. In Ohio, many inland lakes have been particularly impacted via agricultural runoff. Determining past water quality and nutrient levels in nutrient-enriched lakes can help inform lake restoration efforts seeking to alleviate the negative effects of nutrient enrichment by providing valuable baseline data. Diatoms, photosynthetic microalgae, can serve as indicators of aquatic ecosystems' health. This project employs diatoms as a proxy for nutrient (e.g., phosphorus) enrichment in seven lakes in the Eastern Corn Belt Plains ecoregion of Ohio, focusing on diatom relative abundances (RAs) to understand which taxa are associated with nutrient-enriched waters. Using this proxy to better understand changes in nutrient concentration in Ohio’s lakes can help us understand how and why aquatic systems change throughout time because, while understanding modern water quality is important, establishing water quality baselines is necessary for effective restoration. This data will serve as the framework for the creation of a statistical model that will be employed to reconstruct total phosphorus concentrations in one of Ohio’s oldest reservoirs, Buckeye Lake. The results of this study will be shared with environmental agencies and local community organizations to help inform future restoration projects.
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    "Shoulder to Shoulder to Do Our Best For Science": Archaeologists, Landowners, and Excavations at the Turpin Site, Southwest Ohio, 1797- 1994
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Cooper, Peter; Cook, Robert
    This thesis traces the modern history of the Turpin archaeological site in southwest Ohio from 1797-1994, seeking to illustrate the relationship between landowners, archaeologists, and other stakeholders throughout the site's private ownership. This thesis was developed in response to the lack of a comprehensive historical narrative of the period in the existing site literature; the literature mostly deals with the results of previous research on Turpin's precontact inhabitation, without shining light on how this research was shaped by the stakeholders involved. The author used primary sources including the Elizabeth Brockschlager collection at the Lloyd Library, Cincinnati, and notes from previous investigators compiled by Dr. Robert Cook. Also cited are a variety of secondary sources, including many made available by the Anderson Township Historical Society. This thesis suggests that the Turpin and Walls families' preservationist tendencies framed the work conducted at the Turpin site in the 19th and 20th centuries, and that the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History Women's Committee's excavation of the site (1969-1972) has been insufficiently recognized for its scope and significance; overall, it is reductive to view the site primarily through the lens of the Charles Metz and Frederic Ward Putnam excavation of 1885-1886, which has historically been accorded the most importance.
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    Píntag Amaru and Living Well: An Exploration of Localized Indigenous Revitalization and Practices with Global Implications
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Allwein, Julia; Martinez, Miranda
    As dominant global systems produce climate and humanitarian crises, there is an urgent need for the implementation of alternatives to capitalism and development models. The practices of Pintag Amaru, an Indigenous organization in the Andean highlands of Ecuador, to revitalize, transmit and live their ancestral values offers important insight into Indigenous understandings of living well and the decolonial concept of Sumak Kawsay. Sumak Kawsay, an alternative way of living that is based in a harmonious relationship to the earth and one’s community, has entered public debate in Ecuador and globally. The concept was enshrined in the Ecuadorian constitution in 2008, however, conflict has arisen between Sumak Kawsay as praxis versus its political and academic co-optation. Appropriation of the concept by non-Indigenous actors exemplifies that Sumak Kawsay must be understood through the realities and struggles of the Indigenous communities from which it emerges. The analysis of Pintag Amaru’s practices and relationship to Sumak Kawsay explores the tensions of the concept and argues for its value as a framework and platform for Indigenous movements to articulate their beliefs, proposals, and ways of living. An examination of Pintag Amaru’s efforts, to cultivate according to ancestral values, utilize bio-construction methods, protect their environment and water, embody communal values through the minga, and engage in decolonial education, offers important insights into living well beyond theory through the actual practices of one localized example with global implications.
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    The Potential of Cosmic Ray Emissions for Studying Lunar Subsurface Stratigraphy
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Hegedus, Frank; Beatty, James
    As countries and organizations pursue endeavors beyond Earth, the desire for resources in space has increased. One of these resources is water in the form of ice. The Cosmic Ray Lunar Sounder (CoRaLS) is an experiment which could determine the presence of subsurface water- ice deposits on the Moon using radio waves generated by cosmic ray interactions, via the Askaryan effect, as a source for radar probing of the Moon’s surface. Past experiments have used radar mapping of the Moon’s surface, but this technique would help avoid scattering of the radio pulse due to surface roughness, while preserving a large surface area of data collection. Given a larger sampling size, this technique could be used to map the location and purity of ice deposits across the Lunar surface. Several past experiments have used Askaryan signals to great success. Likewise, despite the nature of the Moon’s regolith and its potential possession of scatterers, they are unlikely to present any significant problems while attempting to detect these signals. This paper aims to go over the ideas necessary for understanding the validity of this technique to detect subsurface water- ice.
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    Sport-Related Injuries over the Life Course: Risk Factors and Trends
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Kumar, Rohini; Knoester, Chris
    Sports are popular in the US due to perceived physical, mental, and social benefits. However, sport-related injuries continue to be a common and worrisome phenomenon as participation increases. The purpose of this study is to use data from the National Sports and Society Survey (N=3,993) to identify links between sport participation patterns and their respective risks for developing sport-related injuries. Participation patterns of interest include whether or not an organized sport was played over and beyond playing a sport regularly, duration of play, number of sports played, level of competition experienced, and the amount of violence in sports played. Logistic and ordinary least squares regressions are used to analyze the relationships between sport participation patterns, both through childhood and adulthood participation, and the likelihood, and number, of any sport injuries and serious sport injuries. Results show that playing a sport regularly while growing up increases the risk of injury and serious injury. In addition, participating in an organized sport further increases the odds of developing injuries and serious injuries. A greater number of sports played, along with higher levels of competition, and durations in sport settings, are positively correlated with injury risks. Lastly, playing more violent sports leads to increased serious injury risks. Findings from this study can be used to provide insight into the risks of sport participation and how to more safely experience sports in order to enhance enjoyment and possibilities of long term participation throughout the life course.
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    Chemical Abundances in the Leiptr Stellar Stream
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Atzberger, Kaia; Terndrup, Donald
    Stellar streams are useful probes of the Galactic acceleration field, the gradient of the gravitational potential, and the small-scale substructure of the dark matter halo which make them important structures in the study of galaxy formation. The Leiptr stellar stream is one group in a large population of recently discovered stars that was ripped from its original system by the Milky Way’s gravitational attractive force, an astronomical phenomenon called tidal disruption. Stream stars preserve the elemental composition of their stellar atmospheres throughout their lifetimes. Determining those abundances provides critical information about whether the stream’s progenitor best matches the observed properties of a dwarf galaxy or globular cluster. Although past studies have found that the population of streams where Leiptr was discovered most likely consists of inner-halo globular clusters, this paper seeks to use follow-up spectroscopy to confirm its nature. We analyzed the absorption of light detected by the Magellan Telescopes’ high-resolution double echelle spectrograph, MIKE, at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile for 5 stream stars in the metal-poor, 48°-long Leiptr stream. Using MOOG, a radiative transfer code for stellar abundances, we corrected spectral fits to properly trace the continuum of light detected, measured the equivalent widths of Fe I and Fe II peaks to balance the model stellar atmosphere, and calculated the abundances of multiple other elements. We were able to eliminate the possibility of Leiptr's progenitor being a Milky Way globular cluster but need more data to confirm if it is a dwarf galaxy or was accreted from one.
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    The Effects of Genetic Risk Factors for Late Onset Alzheimer’s Disease on the Sleep-Wake Cycle in Mice Following Traumatic Brain Injury
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Mitsch, Jessica; Kokiko-Cochran, Olga
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) impacts at least 1.5 million people every year and is an environmental risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Notably, specific genetic risk loci have been identified to greatly increase the risk of developing Late Onset AD (LOAD). Two of these genetic risk factors include the Apolipoprotein E4 (Apoe4) allele and the Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells 2 (Trem2) R47H variant. These factors have been shown to work synergistically with TBI to worsen functional outcome and exacerbate neuroinflammatory processes. It is shown that incidence of both TBI and LOAD contribute to chronic sleep disruptions (1, 2). The aim of this study is to investigate how these genetic risk factors interact with TBI to influence sleep-wake regulation. To investigate this interaction, we employed lateral fluid percussion injury (LFPI) on mice containing either the APOE3 allele as a genetic control or the APOE4 allele and TREM2R47H variant. Sleep was monitored up to 14 days post injury (DPI) using implanted electroencephalogram/electromyograph (EEG/EMG) telemetry sensors and subsequently analyzed to examine differences in sleep-wake stages as well as in sleep- wake bouts. We hypothesized that mice with both TBI and the A4/Trem2R47H genotype would have increased dysfunction in sleep expression, sleep quality, and sleep consolidation compared to A3 controls. We found that the A4/Trem2R47H mice spent less time sleeping in REM and had a lower number of REM sleep bouts, which indicates that genotype impacts sleep independent of the presence of TBI. While previous studies signal that TBI has little to no effect on REM sleep, our data points out that may not necessarily be the case. There were little to no significant differences in time spent in NREM sleep or wake, or number or length of NREM or wake bouts.
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    Measuring Seasonal Differences in Transcripts Associated with Host-Seeking in Mosquitoes
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Aliozor-Anigbo, Justin; Meuti, Megan
    Female Northern house mosquitoes, Culex pipiens, seek vertebrate hosts so that they can consume their blood, and in the process may transmit pathogens. Female Cx. pipiens enter diapause, a state of arrested development, during the winter months where they accumulate fat by feeding exclusively on nectar and remain dormant until the following spring. Therefore, although non-diapausing and post-diapausing female mosquitoes feed on blood, diapausing mosquitoes do not search for hosts. Recent research has shown that in other species of mosquitoes, certain odorant binding proteins (OBPs) and odorant receptors (ORs) are upregulated and allow females to seek a host. However, we do not know which OBPs and ORs regulate host-seeking in Cx. pipiens. The goal of this experiment was to determine the impact of certain OBPs and ORs on the host-seeking behavior of mosquitoes. OBPs and ORs that regulate host seeking and were more abundantly expressed in other species of female mosquitoes relative to male mosquitoes were selected as targets of interest. I identified their homologous sequences in the genome of the Southern house mosquito, Cx. quinquefasciatus, and designed, tested, and validated primers that could accurately measure the abundance of target OBPs and ORs using Quantitative Real-Time (qRT-PCR). Mosquitoes were reared in short-day, diapausing-inducing and long-day, non-diapausing conditions. RNA was isolated from the antennae and mouthparts of female mosquitoes and then synthesized into cDNA, and qRT-PCR was used to measure the abundance of the OBPs and ORs in diapausing and non-diapausing female mosquitoes. Although the target OBPs and ORs were detected in female mosquitoes, there was no differential expression of the selected OBPs and ORs in non-diapausing and diapausing female Cx. pipiens mosquito. Therefore, additional research is needed to determine whether the selected OBP and OR are involved in host-seeking behavior in Cx. pipiens.
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    Inflammatory Biomarkers, Diet Quality, and Distress in Advanced Cancer Patients
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Voinovich, Madison; Wells-Di Gregorio, Sharla; Brogan-Habash, Diane
    Background: The number of cancer cases in the United States is on the rise. Those living with advanced cancer experience higher levels of psychological distress than those with earlier-stage disease and the general population. Recent research suggests that inflammatory biomarkers, such as eotaxin and tumor necrosis factor-⍺ (TNF-⍺), may be associated with psychological distress. Additionally, diet quality is crucial for the overall health and well-being of cancer patients, but the association between diet quality and distress in advanced cancer patients requires further exploration. Methods: This pilot study recruited 28 participants with advanced cancer diagnoses including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and leukemia from outpatient oncology clinics. Participants completed several self-report questionnaires– The Center for Epidemiological Disease Depression Scale (CESD), The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and The James Supportive Care Screening (JSCS). Participants also provided optional blood samples for biomarker analysis and 24-hour dietary recall interviews. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, Pearson correlations, and partial correlations to explore the relationships between inflammatory biomarkers, diet quality, and psychological distress. Results: Participants exhibited significant levels of distress, with an association between lower eotaxin levels and higher levels of depression. There were no significant associations found between eotaxin levels and other measures of distress or between TNF-⍺ levels and distress. Similarly, no significant associations were observed between diet quality and distress measures. Discussion: This study contributes valuable insights into the association between biomarkers of inflammation, diet quality, and psychological distress in advanced cancer patients. Further research with a larger, more diverse sample and comprehensive dietary assessment is needed to fully investigate these associations. These findings suggest the ability to use biomarkers, such as eotaxin, to identify patients at risk and contribute to future development of interventions to improve depression for individuals living with advanced cancer.
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    Investigating novel roles of UPF3 interactions in Nonsense Mediated mRNA Decay
    (The Ohio State University, 2024-05) Nedza, Kristen; Singh, Guramrit
    RNA quality control is important in maintaining cellular processes and preventing disease. Nonsense mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a conserved pathway in eukaryotes that proofreads messenger RNA (mRNA) by recognizing premature termination codons (PTCs), preventing the accumulation of deleterious effects of toxic peptides. The UPF3 protein is a core factor in NMD with two paralogs in vertebrates: UPF3A and UPF3B. The paralogs play partially redundant roles in the NMD pathway, with UPF3A being a weaker activator. Previous work in our lab has shown that the middle or “mid” domain of UPF3 underlies differential NMD activity between the paralogs. The UPF3 paralogs also diverge in their physiological roles. UPF3B knockout mice exhibit defects in neuronal development whereas knockout of UPF3A knockout is embryonic lethal. Furthermore, mutations in human UPF3B are associated with intellectual disability, autism, and schizophrenia. Despite UPF3 being an integral NMD factor, its interactions and how these differ between paralogs are not fully understood. Using proteomics and cell based immunoprecipitation in HCT116 cells, our lab has identified novel binding partners of UPF3A and UPF3B. Using FLAG Immunoprecipitation (FLAG-IP), we verified interactions with transcriptional regulator RBBP5, and nucleocytoplasmic shuttling factors, ALKBH5 and KPNA3. Using FLAG-IP and Western blotting, I found that the mid domain did not appear to underlie differential binding of ALKBH5 between UPFA and UPF3B. Finally, we used siRNA mediated knockdown in HCT116 WT cells and RT-qPCR of known NMD targets to deplete UPF3 binding partners and measure their effect on NMD of endogenous PTC-containing mRNAs. Interestingly, in preliminary experiments depletion of KPNA3 and transcriptional elongation regulator, MLLT1 led to reduced levels of PTC-containing isoforms of endogenous NMD targets, but not their PTC-less counterparts. Future work will continue to determine whether UPF3 binding partners affect NMD efficiency, and whether these interactions are critical for UPF3 function in the NMD pathway.