26th Denman Undergraduate Research Forum (2021)

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    Sport Participation and the Development of Grit
    (2021-04) Nothnagle, Emily; Knoester, Chris
    Introduction Grit is the combination of perseverance and passion that helps people to successfully overcome challenges both in the contexts of sports and in everyday life (Duckworth, 2016; Duckworth & Quinn, 2009; Duckworth et al., 2007; Erdal, 2018). Participating in sport may lead to the formation of grit as sports participation presents challenges that can offer the opportunity for athletes to learn how to problem solve, develop stronger work ethics, and persevere. Methods The data for this study was taken from the National Sports and Society Survey (NSASS), a landmark Ohio State University-sponsored survey that provides an abundance of information about sports and society topics from a large national sample of adults (N = 3,993). The primary dependent variable for this study is a measure of adults' grit. This variable was formed from responses to questions in the NSASS survey that were adapted from the Duckworth Grit Scale (Duckworth, 2016; Duckworth & Quinn, 2009; Duckworth et al., 2007). The secondary dependent variable for this study is the perceived effect that athletic experiences had on the respondents' work ethics while they were growing up. This variable serves as a proxy for measuring the level of grit in childhood. The primary independent variables for this study consist of measures of sports participation in childhood and over the past year. Results Two series of nested regression models are used to analyze the relationships between sports participation and grit. The first series focuses on the relationships between sports participation and work ethic, as a proxy for grit, in childhood. The second series analyzes the relationships between sports participation levels, during childhood and over the past year, and adults' grit. Findings indicate that sports participation in childhood as well as adulthood predict higher levels of adults' grit. These findings persist even after accounting for childhood work ethics. Conclusions Sports participation while growing up, as well as in adulthood, appears to encourage the development of grit. Grit does not appear to be a static quality that people simply possess and maintain; rather, grit can be built and developed over the life course—including through sports participation.
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    Investigating the modulation effects of polyphenols on cancer gut microbiome and metabolome
    (2021-04) Liu, Xuyu; Zhu, Jiangjiang
    The gut microbiome affects many aspects of human health including response to cancer treatments. Recent work has demonstrated that certain gut bacteria modulate response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), and, in mice, response to ICIs can be increased by increasing the abundance of probiotics. Diet-based interventions hold promise for translating microbiome modification into a clinical setting; however, progress has unfortunately been slowed by a lack of evidence regarding the ways in which specific food products can affect microbes, particularly in complex communities such as the gut. Increasing the abundance of probiotics thus represents a promising approach to modulate the likelihood of response to ICIs in humans. As such, it is important to maintain a healthy gut microbiota and correct any dysbiosis as it serves important functions in maintaining the gut barrier's structural integrity, and enhance responses to certain cancer treatments. As reported elsewhere, the density of probiotics can be influenced by dietary interventions such as fruits rich in polyphenols. The objective of the project focuses on the use of a novel in vitro human colonic model to simulate a colon environment without interference from the host, to study the interaction between gut microbe and polyphenol-rich black raspberry (BRB) extract and characterization of its metabolites. This will provide insights on how dysbiosis in cancer patients might be corrected using food interventions and the roles played by the associated phenolic compounds. Additional metagenomic analysis that is currently underway will provide more information on how the proportion of gut microbes respond to BRB supplementation.
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    Environment supersedes host lineage in shaping the gut microbiome of squirrels in the Pacific Northwest
    (2021-04) Zhao, Shiling; Chavez, Andreas
    Both host genetics and environmental factors have been shown to influence the establishment and composition of the gut microbiome, but it remains unclear whether host genetics or environment has a stronger effect in shaping the gut microbiome. The present study exploits a natural reciprocal transplant system of island and mainland Tamiasciurus hudsonicus (red squirrels) and T. douglasii (Douglas squirrels) in the Pacific Northwest to investigate the relative strength of genetic and environmental factors in influencing gut microbiome composition. Phylogeographic analysis of Tamiasciurus squirrels have shown a closer genetic relatedness between Vancouver Island (VI) red squirrels and interior mainland red squirrels despite the closer geographic proximity between VI red squirrels and coastal mainland Douglas squirrels. We extracted DNA from cecal samples of 35 red squirrels (13 VI and 22 mainland) and 34 Douglas squirrels specimens collected between 2008 and 2010 and amplified the V4 region of the bacterial 16s rRNA gene. The data were grouped by collection site, species identity, and geographic region, which we established based on the World Wildlife Fund's terrestrial ecoregion classifications that consider flora and fauna communities and environmental conditions. Surprisingly, our principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) plots for Bray-Curtis dissimilarity and weighted Uni-Frac distance showed VI red squirrels clustered with coastal mainland Douglas squirrels instead of with interior mainland red squirrels. Similarly, permutational analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) tests for Bray-Curtis and weighted Uni-Frac showed a large distance between the VI and interior mainland red squirrels. Altogether, these results suggest that the environment is a stronger driver of the gut microbiome in Tamiasciurus in the Pacific Northwest than host lineage is. Our findings from this natural reciprocal transplant system provide additional support to a growing number of studies indicating that the environment overshadows phylogenetic effects of the host species in shaping the gut microbiome.
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    Consumers' Perceptions of Ethics and Lab-Cultured Proteins
    (2021-04) Beach, Schelby; Specht, Annie
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    Image-Based Plant Leaf Disease Recognition with InceptionV3 Network
    (2021-04) Dong, Zhengqi; Drewry, Darren
    Most traditional plant disease diagnosis strategies depend on human visual observation and inspection. However, this approach is time-consuming and requires significant human effort and expert knowledge. The recent advances in computer vision and deep learning provide a potential pathway to developing a plant disease diagnosis system that allows rapid detection of disease across large spatial areas with minimal human intervention. In this study, we developed a deep learning approach for plant leaf disease classification problems and conducted a range of experiments to quantify the performance of several state-of-the-art neural network architectures, including ResNet50, InceptionV3, and NASNet. All of the experiments were trained on the PlantVillage dataset with 54305 images in total, spanning over 38 plant disease classes. We evaluated four different performance metrics to assess each architecture: accuracy, precision, recall, and area under the curve (AUC). Our results showed that the InceptionV3 neural network architecture outperformed all other Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) architectures (ResNet50, NASNet-Large, NASNet-Mobile, MobileNet-v3-small, and MobileNet-v3-large) and produced a training accuracy of 94.14% and 97.94% over 6 epochs and 40 epochs of training, respectively. These results suggest that CNN architectures broadly, and the InceptionV3 model specifically, is capable of remote and automated plant disease detection. These results point to exciting future applications in lightweight mobile phone applications or backend workstation developments for plant leaf disease recognition problems.