Abstracts 2021

This searchable presentation list displays information on the projects our students presented at SURCA 2021. It was used to provide the Zoom links and details on Zoom breakout rooms in which presentations were virtually delivered.

How do you look up a particular student presenter at SURCA 2021? All WSU Vancouver student presenters? Names and projects of students working with a specific faculty mentor? Time, Zoom meeting, and Zoom breakout room in which which a certain student will present? This searchable presentation list displays information on cards that can answer all of these questions. Each card gives all of the details for every project that will be presented at SURCA 2021. In most cases, a project will be presented by a single student, but some of our projects will be presented by multiple students who did their work as a team. A word search box and series of sorting buttons are provided to help you easily find what you need.

Please use this information to select the presentations you will attend. You are not required to remain in a single session breakout room if your presentations of interest are in multiple breakout rooms. Presentation starting times are at 3:00, 3:20, 3:40 and 4:00 p.m. in all breakout rooms.

  • Project ID shows the number of the presentation within that category. “AD1” identifies the first project in the Arts and Design category.
  • Category shows which of 9 SURCA 2021 groups this presentation is in. Each category is color-coded.
  • Project title shows the name of the project—also called the abstract title. Clicking on the “+” will show you the full abstract—up to 350 words describing the research; to close it, click on the “-“.
  • Student presenter(s) names list all who worked on this project.
  • Major(s) indicates what the student(s) list as their academic major.
  • Mentor(s) are the faculty who work with the student(s) on this research.
  • Campus indicates at which WSU campus the presenter(s) are students.
  • Zoom meeting + breakout room + presentation time indicates where and when the presenter(s) will explain their research.
  • Connect to Zoom is the auto connection to click on during SURCA to take you to the Zoom room for the student(s), and once there you can select the breakout room at the appropriate time to see the presentation.
Project IDProject LabelCategoryProject TitlePresented ByStudent Last NameMajor(s)Mentored ByMentor Last NameCampusZoom MeetingBreakout RoomPresentation TimeAbstractLink PlaceholderZoom Link
AD05AD5: Arts and DesignArts and DesignClaire Babcock, Julia WaggonerBabcockInterior Design (Babcock, Waggoner)Minyoung CerrutiCerrutiPullmanZ1BR13:00

As COVID 19 began to rise across the U.S. in 2020, healthcare organizations and design industries have been experiencing unprecedented design challenges associated with the pandemic. The situation for rural healthcare facilities is even further compounded by aging facilities, increasing aging populations, and outdated technology. Similarly, the Palouse Health Center, a rural clinic located in a small farming community of Palouse, Washington has been experiencing the social, operational and technological inefficiencies. This service-learning design project, guided by WSU faculty and design professionals in healthcare design, was to design a new Palouse Health Center which streamlines medical operation, strengthens patient experience, integrates emergent technology, and enhances Palouse community’s identity, even when future epidemics or pandemics happen. Our design team took an evidence-based design approach to explore innovative trends of healthcare design through in-depth research; to identify the needs and wants of medical staff and patients through interviews and a survey; and to understand the community’s historical and cultural identity through an interview with a local historian. Our design proposal, Rooted Wellness, included creating a restorative healthcare environment, enhancing a process-driven and community-focused environment, and providing a sense of cleanliness. A restorative environment was achieved through access to an interior courtyard, daylighting via windows, visual connections to the exterior, and biophilic patterns specifically inspired by the Palouse river and the river's vegetation. The streamlined process was achieved by small-scaled clustering of four exam rooms and one nurse station to support the level of physical and mental well-being for patients and medical staff. A sense of community was expressed by incorporating vernacular aesthetic common in the community and allowing the public to access its amenities and services including educational sessions, wellness services, and fundraising events that support the community. In response to increasing concerns in infection control, cleanliness features included automatic doors, PPE/hand sanitizer stations, and antimicrobial materials. The Rooted Wellness project will deliver high-quality patient experience in a restoring and engaging environment by withholding the roots of the historic town.

Connect to Zoom: AD5 / Z1 / BR1 / 3:00Connect to Zoom: AD5 / Z1 / BR1 / 3:00
AD02AD2: Arts and DesignArts and DesignJovannie LaforgaLaforgaArchitectural StudiesMinyoung CerrutiCerrutiPullmanZ1BR13:20

Multi-family housing has risen in popular demand since its introduction to the U.S. in the 1830s. Cost and affordability grew a big concern among residents and needed to adapt to economic changes. By providing households with a multitude of amenities, easier accessibility, and more space for families, multi-family housing began to create a sense of affordability for residents with low-income. Many areas throughout the U.S have grown familiar to this living style, such as the historic district of Columbia City in southern Seattle, WA, as 40.6% of their community live in multigenerational homes. Creating an innovative multi-family housing complex was the given design challenge. Exploration through case studies on intergenerational housing around the world were conducted, as well as adhering to building codes and requirements throughout the design process. In order to generate solutions, an evidence-based design approach was used to understand preferences, experiences, and challenges through interviews and field trips of senior living communities.

Three driving factors that inspired the architectural design included (1) creating a safe environment, both physically and psychologically, for residents, (2) promote and emphasize a an environment that creates and strengthens relationships among residents and the larger community, and (3) encourage the success and growth of an individual by exhibiting the importance of creativity, productivity, and self-worth. The goal of security and health were achieved by separating the residential areas from the community and commercial areas and connecting the structure to the surrounding environment through the use of large windows and atriums. This will provide a visual connection and allow natural daylight throughout the structure. The goal of community growth amongst residents and the community can occur within the interior and exterior gathering spaces of the complex, such as restaurants, mailroom, a playground, and an art wall. Lastly, to attain the goal of growth and wellness, various community areas were implemented into the design. Some of these spaces include outdoor walking/bike paths, a community garden, community classrooms, and a lounge. The architectural design of the complex encourages healthy interactions among different generations in a variety of ways in any environment.

Connect to Zoom: AD2 / Z1 / BR1 / 3:20Connect to Zoom: AD2 / Z1 / BR1 / 3:20
AD03AD3: Arts and DesignArts and DesignTabitha McCoardMcCoardFine ArtsHallie MeredithMeredithPullmanZ1BR13:40

This thesis researches the connections and evolution of techniques and processes used first by 12th century European Gothic architects and then again several centuries later by early Italian Renaissance artists. These artists furthered the uses of architectural techniques in their sketches and paintings to develop a more realistic looking piece. The Early Italian Renaissance artists also shared many of the same influences, such as the church and society, in their pieces as the 12th century Gothic architects. This research was conducted over the course of two college semesters. Unfortunately due to the global pandemic of Corona Virus 2019, travelling to different museums to conduct this research in person with the pieces discussed was not permitted. Due to this, all of my research and findings have been through the use of books, journals, articles, and other sources of information that proved to be helpful when writing this paper. These sources helped to provide the information and evidence needed to prove my argument. This thesis studies a wide collection of sketches from various Italian Renaissance artists and compares them with one another as well as with sketches by 12th century Gothic architects leading to the overall conclusion that though they may be separated by many centuries these eras shared many of the same influences, techniques, and practices when it came to art and architecture.

Connect to Zoom: AD3 / Z1 / BR1 / 3:40Connect to Zoom: AD3 / Z1 / BR1 / 3:40
AD04AD4: Arts and DesignArts and DesignBarysh Agaliyev, Megan Bina, Kathleen ZollerAgaliyevDigital Technology and Culture (Agaliyev, Bina, Zoller)Dene GrigarGrigarVancouverZ1BR14:00

What would a repository of born-digital literary works look like as a virtual environment that is travel-free and widely accessible to the public? 

Our project, The NEXT, is a combination museum, library, and preservation space containing 30 collections and over 3000 works of born-digital literature owned or managed by the Electronic Literature Organization. It embraces Vince Dziekan’s principles of virtuality and André Malraux’s idea of a “museum without walls.”

Work on the project has been divided amongst five teams. The Video Team interviews artists, editors, and scholars who have donated their works for exhibition, access, and preservation. They also create trailer videos for each collection. The Visualization Team produces 2D and 3D animations, as well as 3D models and data visualizations. The Design Team develops images and custom interactive icons, collaborating with other teams to ensure that the overall aesthetic of our project is consistent. The Web and Database Team codes the entire space and creates a database for the environment, including for the search function. The Digital Promotions Team creates a social media calendar, collecting and synthesizing content from other teams, as well as develops methods and strategies for best public outreach. The teams are also aided by a project manager and a copywriter. 

We approach our research question via action research, common to the field of digital media. Action Research is defined as “systematic enquiry conducted through the medium of practical action, calculated to devise or test new, or newly imported, information, ideas, forms, or procedures and to generate communicable knowledge” (Vanotti 55). Our approach focused on research through design, meaning that our findings have come through the production of our virtual space.

Our research has resulted in a design model that features interactive icons, video clips of artists welcoming visitors to their collections, animated GIFs used to display work that may not be accessible to the public, interactive 3D models, data visualizations, and much more. The space is as Dziekan argues participatory, interactive, and experiential (Dziekan 70). It is our intent that The NEXT becomes a space for any born-digital artist to preserve and share their work.

Connect to Zoom: AD4 / Z1 / BR1 / 4:00Connect to Zoom: AD4 / Z1 / BR1 / 4:00
AD01AD1: Arts and DesignArts and DesignJack SmithSmithMusic Composition, Music EducationGregory YasinitskyYasinitskyPullmanZ1BR23:00

The concert band is a relatively new type of ensemble; only since the late nineteenth century have pieces been written for wind bands. This contemporary time frame excludes hundreds of years during which many other pieces in numerous styles have been written. Some of the most famous composers, such as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, never had the opportunity to write for concert band. Because of this, most wind band members in the high school and collegiate levels have not had much, if any, experience playing advanced pieces in older styles. This is an ongoing conversation for composers: how do we expose performers of all different types to our ideas?

The goal of this scholarly project was to compose a piece for concert band in the Baroque style so that they can enjoy the experience of playing this style of piece. The result is a French Overture for Concert Band. Contemporary pieces are far different than those composed during the Baroque era. Right now, there are fewer rules regarding how music must be made; back then, how music was structured was far more rigid in form, rhythm, and harmonic structure. This work will give many concert band members their first understanding of how pieces from over 300 years ago were conceived and written, and concert band members will be able to discern differences between music of the past and music written now.

The creative background for this project can be explained by considering the history of the French Overture. Generally, these pieces are used as pompous, bold, introductory pieces to a suite or some sort of compilation of other music or dance. This should be used as the opener to a concert, as all instruments have some sort of solo/soli section that allows the performer to be highlighted. It also tells a story: the title Hero indicates the exploration of a problem between a hero and a villain, as is shown in dissonance in the early section. This is followed by tension in the fugue, which is eventually released at the end of the piece with everybody playing in unison.

Connect to Zoom: AD1 / Z1 / BR2 / 3:00Connect to Zoom: AD1 / Z1 / BR2 / 3:00
AD06AD6: Arts and DesignArts and DesignDylan Sterling, Lewis WatsonWatsonConstruction Management (Sterling, Watson)Julia Day, Shelby RuizDayPullmanZ1BR23:20

The Catalyst Building is part of the first phase of a Spokane re-development project and city-wide sustainability initiative. This pioneering project, completed in May 2020, is the first net-zero energy and zero-carbon building in Eastern Washington State. While many state-of-the-art and innovative energy-saving and carbon-reducing technologies have been implemented into the design (e.g. cross-laminated timber, shared central plant / eco-district, etc.), the owners realize that building occupants play a critical role in achieving aggressive energy goals. The goals of this project include the development of a tenant engagement and education program for the multi-tenanted Catalyst building to promote energy efficiency, health, and community within the project. These efforts will encourage a culture of energy efficiency and sustainability for Catalyst building occupants in ways that will positively impact the South Landing Development. As part of this program, tenants will learn strategies to save energy within the building and their community (e.g. human-building interface and interaction with energy usage including heating/cooling, plug loads, lighting, bicycle commuting, etc.). Due to impacts related to COVID-19, the occupants of the building have yet to move in. 

This presentation describes findings from an extensive literature review that was conducted to guide the development of the Catalyst Building tenant engagement program and details of the program as it was delivered. Key topics include social science and behavioral change theories, occupant/tenant engagement strategies (such as technology and gamification), effective occupant and adult education, and best-practices case studies. These findings have guided the development of a robust tenant engagement program for the South Landing District to maximize net-zero energy and zero-carbon goals. 

Connect to Zoom: AD6 / Z1 / BR2 / 3:20Connect to Zoom: AD6 / Z1 / BR2 / 3:20
AD07AD7: Arts and DesignArts and DesignLucas BlevinsBlevinsMusic CompositionGreg YasinitskyYasinitskyPullmanZ1BR23:40

Lucas Blevins, a music composition student at Washington State University, received an Auvil Scholars Fellowship for the 2020-2021 academic year to create a new work for Symphony Orchestra. This new work, A Moment in Time, paints a painful, yet hope-filled picture of an individual struggling to overcome their mental illness. Blevins was inspired to compose on this topic based upon the vast mental health impact of COVID-19 on those in his community. Mental health issues frequently go unnoticed compared to their more visible physical counterparts and this differential visibility has been exasperated by the ongoing pandemic. A Moment in Time presents this to the listener from the eyes of an individual, the conflicting voices in their mind battling over whether and how to ask for help. The piece is meant to bring awareness of those who are often overlooked due to their illness being on the inside rather than the outside. A Moment in Time was scheduled to be read and recorded by the WSU Symphony Orchestra directed by Dr. Danh Pham in the Spring of 2021 and subsequently entered into the Washington-Idaho Symphony Young Composers Competition for potential further recognition and performance. Unfortunately, these opportunities have been delayed until further notice, but research and creation have continued with the hope that live, large-scale instrumental performance will be possible in the near future. At this writing, the work is still under development by Blevins under the mentorship of Dr. Greg Yasinitsky. Regardless of the timeframe of potential performance, the piece will go on to be recorded in some fashion, potentially virtually, and published with its sheet music made available for sale to the public.

Connect to Zoom: AD7 / Z1 / BR2 / 3:40Connect to Zoom: AD7 / Z1 / BR2 / 3:40
AS01AS1: Applied SciencesApplied SciencesJenna PedersonPedersonBiologyRebecca CraftCraftPullmanZ1BR33:00

Experimental findings from rodent studies do not always translate to human medicine, particularly in regard to pain. In humans, pain severity is often assessed by the extent to which it disrupts normal daily activities such as going to work, exercising, etc. One activity that rats normally engage in on a daily basis is burrowing.  Thus, the goal of this study is to determine whether pain can be reliably measured by deficits in burrowing behavior, and whether commonly used pain relievers can reverse pain-suppressed burrowing in rats. The first experiment was designed to determine the time course of pain-suppressed burrowing in rats of both sexes. Subsequent experiments examine whether pain-suppressed burrowing can be reversed with standard pain-relievers. Gravel burrowed out of the tube within the first hour and the second hour was measured in grams, daily for 7 days. The results showed that CFA (pain) suppressed burrowing for the first few days in both sexes; burrowing recovered over time and was nearly fully recovered on the fifth day. For the drug experiments, a placebo (e.g., physiological saline), or the opioid morphine (0.1-3.2 mg/kg), or the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) ketoprofen (0.001-1.0 mg/kg), or the proposed analgesic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (0.032-1.0 mg/kg) was injected once daily for 5 days, 30 minutes before measuring burrowing for 1 hour. Results showed that the opioid analgesic morphine partially reversed pain-suppressed burrowing in males but was only effective at 1.0 mg/kg. Morphine altered pain-suppressed burrowing in female rats, but the only dose that significantly altered burrowing was 3.2 mg/kg, which decreased burrowing. The NSAID analgesic ketoprofen significantly increased pain-suppressed burrowing in both sexes, but was more potent in females than in males. Currently, we are determining the pain-relieving properties of THC in the burrowing test as there are many claims that cannabinoids can relieve pain.

Connect to Zoom: AS1 / Z1 / BR3 / 3:00Connect to Zoom: AS1 / Z1 / BR3 / 3:00
AS02AS2: Applied SciencesApplied SciencesChristina WebsterWebsterBioengineeringHaluk BeyenalBeyenalPullmanZ1BR43:00

Huanglongbing (HLB), commonly known as citrus greening disease, is severely damaging the citrus industry. HLB affects the citrus tree’s ability to absorb nutrients by damaging the vascular system, resulting in smaller, unripe fruit that cannot be sold or further processed. This devastating disease is caused by “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus” (“Ca. L. asiaticus”). Varieties of HLB have been identified in more than 50 countries across the globe. HLB is transmitted through two insect vectors: the Asian citrus psyllid and the African citrus psyllid. This disease is difficult to control due to the rapid reproduction of the insect vector and a lack of understanding of how “Ca. L. asiaticus” functions within the plant. Due to its fastidious nature, cultivation of “Ca. L. asiaticus” in axenic cultures has been difficult. Over the last 15 years, multiple studies have been conducted to culture this bacterium but have only successfully maintained short-term mixed cultures. However, as of 2019 “Ca. L. asiaticus” has been successfully transferred, sustained, and replicated in a host-free mixed culture in long term experiments. The next step in cultivating a pure culture of “Ca. L. asiaticus” is understanding how to optimize the growth of “Ca. L. asiaticus” utilizing filtration and antibiotics to remove competitive bacteria. Further experiments are required to better understand how to successfully grow “Ca. L. asiaticus” as a pure culture. 

Connect to Zoom: AS2 / Z1 / BR4 / 3:00Connect to Zoom: AS2 / Z1 / BR4 / 3:00
AS03AS3: Applied SciencesApplied SciencesElizabeth NalbandianNalbandianFood Science, Hospitality Business ManagementGirish Ganjyal, Ewa PietrysiakGanjyalPullmanZ1BR33:20

Ten novel varieties of quinoa were studied to determine their physicochemical and functional characteristics. These varieties were then used in two select food models (including, baked cookies and cooked grains) to understand the influence of their characteristics on the product quality. The cookies were baked using whole quinoa flour and the quality attributes of texture, physical dimensions, and color was measured. The cooked grain salad was prepared with a 25% w/w quinoa with water and the quality attributes of water absorption, bulk density, and cooking losses were measured. Significant differences in the quality of both the products as an impact of the variety were observed. In case of baked cookies, variety WAQ2 produced cookies with the lowest diameter, whereas cookies prepared with variety WAQ1 were significantly softer when compared to other varieties. Correlations were observed between the flour characteristics and the final product quality. Cookies height was found to be negatively correlated with protein content in flour, whereas water uptake had a positive correlation with fiber content. The results of this study can help food processors to find suitable quinoa varieties for different food applications.

Connect to Zoom: AS3 / Z1 / BR3 / 3:20Connect to Zoom: AS3 / Z1 / BR3 / 3:20
AS04AS4: Applied SciencesApplied SciencesTaylor SpoonerSpoonerEnvironmental and Ecosystem SciencesPatricia TownsendTownsendPullmanZ1BR33:40

Human recreation activities associated with public beaches peak during the summer months. Do to this increased human interaction with the marine environment, the potential for adverse health impacts from polluted waterways is also inflated relative to other times of the year. As a result, it becomes necessary to monitor the water quality of popular public beaches to mitigate the potential for these negative outcomes. Working with the WSU Snohomish County Extension and Washington State Department of Ecology, water quality monitoring of fecal indicator bacteria took place at five public beaches in Snohomish county between the months of June and August of 2020. Specific testing sites included Edmonds Marina Beach Park, Edmonds Underwater Park, Picnic Point County Park, Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, and Howarth Park. Enterococcus was chosen as the indicator bacteria for determination of overall beach water quality in terms of recreational suitability. Testing results were provided in terms of MPN Enterococcus per 100 mL. The mean bacteria levels over the interval were 19.07, 25.53, 14.94, 18.21, and 42.45 for Edmonds Marina Beach Park, Edmonds Underwater Park, Picnic Point County Park, Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, and Howarth Park respectively. Enterococcus levels were notable for only two samples over the interval at 137 and 111 for Howarth Park during June 1st testing. From these results, it was concluded that average Enterococcus levels were acceptable at all five sites over the interval studied at a value less than 104 per EPA recreational water quality criteria. Furthermore, the exceedance of beach advisory thresholds occurred on one instance at Howarth Park, with no other notable peaks occurring. 

Connect to Zoom: AS4 / Z1 / BR3 / 3:40Connect to Zoom: AS4 / Z1 / BR3 / 3:40
AS05AS5: Applied SciencesApplied SciencesZachary SkirvinSkirvinOrganic Agriculture SystemsJohn ReganoldReganoldPullmanZ1BR34:00

The objective of this project was and still is to discover the best practices for operating the organic hydroponic system in the Eggert Family Organic Farm greenhouse and writing a how-to user manual for future students to continue to develop its use. I was put on this project when I was chosen as a CAHNRS Undergraduate Research Intern and the Organic Greenhouse Plant Growth Intern at the Eggert Family Organic Farm starting February 2020. The greenhouse was established in early 2019 and the hydroponic table was built shortly after, both funded by the Cougar Green Fund. The hydroponic system was a student project which was intended to provide seasonal herbs and vegetables to the WSU Dining Services but production was lacking in efficiency and did not produce an adequate yield. The hydroponic system includes two hydroponic tables consisting of six channels, each channel with twelve spots for plants and small water lines depositing water into each channel. The small water lines connect into a main water line, connected to the submersible water pump in the reservoir. Water is pumped out of the reservoir and into the channels, water runs through the channels, soaking plant roots in nutrient solution before draining into a collection line and returning to the reservoir. This style of hydroponic growing is referred to as nutrient film technique or NFT. Over the course of the last year, I have compared different growing mediums, seed starting practices, and crop varieties, as well as developing seed starting, transplanting, and harvesting schedules, and a procedure for reservoir maintenance. I was tasked with only using certified organic methods and materials so the hydroponic system could be managed under the farms Washington State Department of Agriculture organic certification.

Connect to Zoom: AS5 / Z1 / BR3 / 4:00Connect to Zoom: AS5 / Z1 / BR3 / 4:00
CMSI01CMSI1: Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesComputer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesJuliana LeClairLeClairAgricultural and Food Business EconomicsJ. Shannon NeibergsNeibergsPullmanZ2BR23:00

Dairy farmers face uncertain prices for their milk, and in an attempt to alleviate risk for dairy farmers, the United States Department of Agriculture has created risk management programs for dairy farmers. Dairy Margin Coverage through the Farm Service Agency and Dairy Revenue Protection through the Risk Management Agency are both available risk management programs for dairy farmers. This research provides a benefit cost analysis on both programs to evaluate how effective the programs are at protecting dairy farm income from milk price volatility.  

Connect to Zoom: CMSI1 / Z2 / BR2 / 3:00Connect to Zoom: CMSI1 / Z2 / BR2 / 3:00
CMSI02CMSI2: Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesComputer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesKrista BrutmanBrutmanMathematicsBertrand TannerTannerPullmanZ2BR23:20

This research will use computer-based modeling to better understand the effects of the drug mavacamten on muscle function in normal mice (WT-RLC) and a transgenic mouse model of heart disease (N47K). These N47K mice have an asparagine to lysine mutation at position 47 in the myosin regulatory light chain, leading to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Experimental data of mouse cardiac muscle contraction were gathered under four conditions, a WT-RLC Control group, a WT-RLC group with 0.3 μm of mavacamten, a N47K control group, and a N47K group with 0.3 μm of mavacamten, was collected. Utilizing a software called “MyoSim” we built series of mathematical models to represent myosin cross-bridge kinetics and force production underlying muscle contraction. The previously-collected experimental data will be used to compare with simulated curve-fits. Initial simulations will target the WT-RLC control group, the WT-RLC group with 0.3 μm of mavacamten, the N47K control group, and the N47K group with 0.3 μm of mavacamten individually. Myosim will run hundreds of iterations of fitting and modify adjustable kinetic parameters from the aforementioned mathematical models, where we will obtain the closest simulated fit line possible. Specific parameters will only be adjustable for specific conditions, in accordance to the physiological changes theorized in previous studies. Next we will combine parameter estimates to simulate multiple groups simultaneously, sharing estimated parameter sets to refine parameter estimates among multiple conditions simultaneously. We hypothesize that the combined fits will provide a richer data set and deeper understanding of the effects of mavacamten on normal cardiac muscle function vs. the dysregulated cardiac muscle function associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The findings from these computational models can help identify additional details about mavacamten at a more specific mechanistic level within the model than with the experiments alone.

Connect to Zoom: CMSI2 / Z2 / BR2 / 3:20Connect to Zoom: CMSI2 / Z2 / BR2 / 3:20
CMSI03CMSI3: Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesComputer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesNikita ChrystephanChrystephanComputer ScienceTim GinnGinnPullmanZ2BR23:40

The concentration of free chlorine and other disinfectants added to municipal water supplies decline due to reactions with pipe materials and pipe linings, especially within building plumbing. The extent of decay is controlled by residence time, so extended stagnation may create risky drinking water conditions. A key question is: How long does water from the municipal water supply stagnate within building plumbing? (Reduced building activity due to the pandemic also contributes to increased water stagnation times.) This question depends upon the pipe network of the building in question and on water use patterns. Our work focused on modeling the pipe network, calculating water stagnation times, and visualizing the simulation results. To our knowledge, there is no general-purpose model available to provide this information, other than the US EPA’s program (EPANET2), which is designed for primary municipal networks and does not work for intermittent flows within building plumbing systems.

Data are valuable, but human comprehension comes from visualization. This requires simulation tools that are both accurate and fast so that large time frames can be simulated.  We developed a computer model to study the flow of water through the actual pipe network in a given building, and applied it to WSU’s PACCAR building. Using the building blueprints as a reference, we modeled the cold-water pipe network as an n-way tree and created a particle-based simulation of water flow, induced intermittently at endpoints such as break room sinks, water fountains, and lavatories throughout the building. The program produces simulated stagnation times and records materials interactions along the way. We visualized the pipe network, the state of the water within the network, and the effluent water ‘age’ at taps.  One can input any specified water use pattern resolved to one-second intervals and simulate the ages over weeks both within the pipe network and at endpoints. The user can observe changes in the network over time and as usage patterns shift. Visualization of age distributions in drinking water, and via color coding within the pipe network, allows rapid determination of “hotspots” where risk conditions are expected to be highest.

Connect to Zoom: CMSI3 / Z2 / BR2 / 3:40Connect to Zoom: CMSI3 / Z2 / BR2 / 3:40
CMSI04CMSI4: Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesComputer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesAnnie LuLuMathematicsNikolaos VoulgarakisVoulgarakisPullmanZ2BR24:00

The random walk is a fundamental process in many aspects of nature, from the way our immune system searches for and eliminates antigens, to a super predator hunting for food. At its simplest, the one-dimensional random walk involves a walker with an equal probability of moving up or down. Scientists and mathematicians have slowly been adding more constraints to this basic walker to simulate various processes, such as the path a hunter takes, in which the walker has a higher probability of moving in one direction over another in order to chase a target. However, up until this point, there are no models that completely describe all of the parameters involved in these natural processes, and the present-day models are consequently not incredibly accurate to real-world data. For example, what if the walker has multiple targets it could chase, or what if the targets are moving at some velocity in reference to the walker? This project involves using computational and analytical methods from probability theory and stochastic differential equations in order to formulate a better mathematical model, which can then be parameterized by directly comparing numerical predictions with pre-existing experimental data. Through running thousands of simulations using WSU's high-performance computing cluster, we have found that a walker will move along a gradient of information, and will undergo various phase transitions as parameters such as density and velocity are changed. These results are essential to better understanding biological processes like cell motility, which are in turn vital for advancing drug therapies and developing policies for public health and safety.

Connect to Zoom: CMSI4 / Z2 / BR2 / 4:00Connect to Zoom: CMSI4 / Z2 / BR2 / 4:00
EPS01EPS1: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesJessica EricksonEricksonMaterials Science and EngineeringJohn McCloyMcCloyPullmanZ2BR33:00

The permanent disposal of nuclear waste is a massive problem in the United States as over 70,000 metric tons of the dangerously radioactive material is currently stored at various sites underground. Many of the short-term storage containers currently in use have exceeded the ideal storage time causing leaks at sites like the Hanford site along the Columbia River in Washington state. One potential long term storage solution is to utilize the process of vitrification where nuclear waste is converted into a glass, protecting against leaking, and mitigating radioactivity in the surrounding environment. However, the exact glass composition for vitrification of nuclear waste with the expectation that it will not corrode for millions of years is still under investigation. Centered around understanding the structure and properties of three alkali-iron silicate glass compositions, this project aims to improve upon the current knowledge surrounding the development and performance of nuclear waste glasses and glass ceramics as a potential long-term cleanup solution. Lithium-iron silicate compositions acting as simplifications of high-Fe nuclear waste glasses will be synthesized and analyzed using material characterization techniques such as X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM). If successful, this research will allow for new intuition regarding phases, phase transitions, and magnetic properties of Li-Fe Nepheline, Li-Acmite, and Li-Fe Albite.

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EPS02EPS2: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesEllen HilbunHilbunBioengineeringSergey LapinLapinPullmanZ2BR33:20

The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart and the vascular system. The vascular system is made up of eight different segments, pulmonary arteries), pulmonary peripheral circulation, pulmonary veins, systemic arteries, splanchnic peripheral circulation, splanchnic veins, extra splanchnic peripheral circulation, and extra splanchnic veins), although these will all be lumped together for the model in this report. The heart has four separate chambers, that when stimulated, contract and expand at different times driving forward blood flow. These four compartments are the left ventricle, left atrium, right ventricle, and right atrium. The synchronicity of these four chambers is counted on, and what causes the heartbeat to be regular. When they fall out of synch, someone may experience an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, leading to many possible complications, the worst of them being death. The cardiac system is fundamental to body function and sustenance. This cyclic system uses both pressure differentials and electric signals to pump blood throughout the body. There are currently several systems and methods proposed to look for and categorize arrythmias.

My focus is to instead look at the causes of arrhythmias, including electric stimulation and heart shape and size to allow for a more comprehensive understanding of the complications. Many current simulations look at action potential duration (APD) in order to categorize behavior of the ventricular myocardium. A model will be constructed for the electrochemical circuit simulation of the heart and its function, while also including the hydroelectric component of pressures and volumes. These computational models significantly increase my understanding of causes and effects of these arrythmias. I am choosing to simulate ventricular fibrillation, which occurs when multiple sources are telling parts of the heart to contract at the same time. This causes a much faster, chaotic heartbeat that can reach upwards of 300 bpm, causing an increase in blood flow into the heart, which lowers cardiac output due to pressure differentials and resistances changing. This results in fainting and death if no medical attention is provided.

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EPS03EPS3: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesJasdeep SinghSinghMaterials Science and Engineering, Mechanical EngineeringSantosh SwainSwainPullmanZ2BR33:40

Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CdZnTe) is known as a room temperature semiconductor, with its primary application in nuclear radiation detection. This particular semiconductor has the ability to convert X-/gamma rays into electrons. Other types of semiconducting materials such as silicon and germanium are flawed due to limitations they possess such as low atomic number or small band gap size. CdZnTe detectors are able to process much more photons than traditional semiconductors, enabling electrical signals to be picked up and amplified more efficiently. Many applications involving CdZnTe detectors range from multiple fields of study, including medical, industrial, astronomy, and nuclear. These applications occur due to the properties CdZnTe contains such as having superior spectroscopic resolution, high resistivity, high speed detection, high charge efficiency, and etc.

Though many applications lie ahead for CdZnTe, defects such as Tellurium (Te) inclusions downgrade the performance of the material such as in energy resolution. This research will incorporate a detailed analysis of Te-inclusions within single-crystal CdZnTe specimens with aid of infrared (IR) microcopy to analyze the effect Te-inclusions on the spectral resolution of CdZnTe detectors. Performance of each detector will be compared to the inclusion distribution in the crystal and a correlation analysis will be performed to determine the extent of influence of second phase particles on detector performance. Correlation analysis will be composed of mean diameter, count density, and volume percent of Te-inclusions within a 7.5x3.0x2.5mm3 area of CdZnTe specimens from various crystal growths.

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EPS04EPS4: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesJohn BusseyBusseyChemical Engineering, Materials Science and EngineeringJohn McCloyMcCloyPullmanZ2BR63:40

In exploration of the moon, one key issue is that of the Lunar regolith (dust). Lunar regolith is destructive and hazardous to both humans and equipment. One key development in mitigating this hazard is finding quality analogs (simulants) in high quantities. Volcanic ash from the Mount Saint Helens explosion uniquely formed a fine powder with many similarities to lunar regolith. Unlike many other simulants, Mount Saint Helens ash occurs naturally without modification in relatively high amounts. Analysis using Scanning Electron Microscopy indicate many morphological congruences including similar smooth, rough, and jagged edged particles. X-ray diffraction and previous studies show that the ash predominantly consisted of glassy phases (around 80%), with the remainder mostly plagioclase feldspar. Furthermore, characterization using a X-Ray micro-Computed Tomography microscope showed fused aggregated particles, similar to agglutinates found in lunar regolith. Particles were observed ranging 0.25 µm and 100 µm, spanning the most problematic regolith particle sizes. Similarities in these important properties make Mt. St. Helens ash a potentially promising lunar simulant for testing (particularly mechanical) of lunar-bound products.

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EPS05EPS5: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesMaria PhamPhamBioengineeringHaluk BeyenalBeyenalPullmanZ2BR43:00

Electrochemically active microorganisms are able to act as an electron acceptors or donors to an electrode. The interaction between an electrode and microorganisms influences the electron transfer processes and formation of microorganisms in biofilm. The implications of increased understanding of these interactions extends to applications in industry and environmental sustainability such as more efficient fuel production and wastewater treatment. Currently methods to proliferate growth of electrochemically active biofilm are limited by slow start up time and its inefficiency in consumption of organic matter. To address these issues, a solution is proposed that will lead to decreasing start up time for biofilm accumulation in reactors with a polarized electrode, polarizing cathodically, where we apply a fixed potential to promote reduction conditions. In this experiment, a bio electrochemical system was set-up in using wastewater from a local wastewater treatment plant located in Moscow, Idaho as growth media, anaerobic bacteria, and a three-electrode system controlled by a potentiostat. Chronoamperometry was used to monitor the formation of electrochemically active biofilm as their sensitivity to an applied potential can be monitored by measuring the current response over time. Cyclic voltammetry, another electrochemical technique applied, was used to investigate electron transfer mechanisms between the biofilm and electrode surface. From initial analysis of cathodic enrichment data, results observed a startup time of electrochemically active biofilm at around 15 days. Results from continued analysis of cathodic enrichment will be presented in this paper and implementation of cathodic enrichment to facilitate growth of electrochemically active biofilm will be further discussed.

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EPS06EPS6: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesLeah SnyderSnyderMathematics, Physics and AstronomyMatthew McCluskeyMcCluskeyPullmanZ2BR43:20

This poster presents the results and advantages of green polymer microspheres as potential pressure tools. The green polymer microspheres addressed in this study have been examined at two sizes (6 and 157 µm) and with two different media (water and mineral oil). Green polymer microspheres have a peak in the visible light spectrum at around 500 nm, when illuminated by a 405 nm (violet) laser. When these spheres are put under pressure this peak shifts to longer wavelengths. In order to reach the pressures necessary to shift the green polymers’ spectral peak, a diamond anvil cell (DAC) was used. The DAC is a chassis that allows a sample to be placed between two diamonds and compressed. The surface areas of these diamonds are so small that even a modest amount of pressure applied to the cell creates significant pressures on the sample (∼ 1-5 gigapascals). In order to evaluate what pressure the DAC was at, ruby microspheres, whose peak shift pressure equation has already been established, were combined with the green polymer microspheres in a medium of mineral oil or water in the DAC. Screws on the exterior of the DAC allow for controlled increases in pressure. By tightening the screws and using the 405 nm laser on the pressurized ruby, pressures were determined, and spectra of the green polymer spheres were recorded at each measured pressure. Recorded spectra were then fit with bi-Gaussian equations and individual peaks were determined at each measured pressure. Once normalized with a non-pressurized 1 sample, the recorded peak positions were plotted and fit with modified exponential Langevin (Langevin Mod) equations. Then the mineral oil data from both green polymer microsphere size sets were combined and fit together with a new Langevin Mod equation. The water data was only evaluated with the 6 µm microspheres and showed significantly different pressure shifts due to freezing above 1 GPa, so it was not fit with the other data sets.

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EPS07EPS7: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesAdam VallenVallenComputer Science, Management Information SystemsAndrew O'FallonO'FallonPullmanZ2BR43:40

There are currently no products available that effectively utilize decentralized communication between large numbers of low-power devices. The reason for this is due to wifi protocols requiring that networks be centralized (one access point with everything connecting to it), which is highly inefficient for managing possibly tens of thousands of tightly clustered swarm-members.

It is the primary objective of this research project to utilize the esp32 microcontrollers ESP-Now protocol to support peer-to-peer operation of esp32 based nodes in a small swarm. This protocol enables swarm populations to be infinitely scalable and for individual nodes far more power-efficient when compared to swarms using traditional wi-fi protocols. Low power consumption when combined with small solar panels also opens up the possibility of self-charging swarms, capable of operating almost indefinitely.

Indefinite operation, being the secondary objective of this research project, is accomplished with the use of the microcontrollers deep-sleep processing core, which operates at a fraction of the solar panels output current, charging the node's battery without preventing swarm communication (all members resume normal operation if radar sensors pick up movement). The only limitation to this is battery degradation (lipo batteries last 2-3 years).

To meet these two objectives, a six-member swarm of newly designed nodes with LCD displays was made. Nodes display an eye on their screens which follow a Bluetooth beacon that can be moved to any position relative to the swarm. This is accomplished with swarm-computing where each node receives a specific Bluetooth signal strength, communicates this with other members of the swarm to calculate a 3D vector space, then individual nodes rotate their eyes to point towards the Bluetooth beacon using their relative position.

Each node consists of an esp32 TTGO T-display prefabricated board (similar to Arduino but cheaper and 100 times faster), MPU gyro/accelerometer, low-power radar motion detector, monocrystalline solar panels, and a 600/800 mAh li-po battery. All these components are squeezed into something about the size of a thumb.

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EPS08EPS8: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesIndia DykesDykesBioengineeringArda Gozen, Bernard Van WieGozenPullmanZ2BR44:00

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the world, affecting over 30 million people in the US at an annual cost of $140 billion. It is characterized by degeneration of the articular cartilage in the joints eventually leading to painful bone-on-bone contact. Current treatments include pain killers, cortisone injections, and total knee replacement, yet there are no effective long-term solutions. Our work focuses on replicating articular cartilage with the objective of establishing controllable manufacturing methods for a functional artificial cartilage tissue with biomimicking heterogeneity, anisotropy, and organization. This project aims to replicate the heterogeneous structure of articular cartilage tissue that varies in mechanical properties and function throughout the tissue utilizing 3D printing techniques and a novel biodegradable, tri-component, porous hydrogel scaffold suitable for cartilage cell culture. These acellular porous scaffolds comprised of high stiffness polymeric materials could later be infused with cells to achieve the final tissue structure. Using crosslinking solutions to create ionic and covalent bonds in the scaffolds over varying immersion durations, a range of tunable inherent mechanical properties which mimic those of the native tissue were achieved. A range of mechanical properties was also achieved by varying the infill density (i.e. porosity) of these scaffolds. The effects of the infill density and crosslinking duration on the compressive modulus (a measure of stiffness) of the scaffolds were studied by performing uniaxial compression tests on triplicates of each sample tested. By controlling these variables, a range of compressive moduli between tens of kPa to hundreds of kPa were achieved. The next step in manufacturing a functional articular cartilage scaffold is developing the cell-laden component of the bioconstructs with the aim of replicating the extracellular matrix (ECM) of native cartilage by printing a cell-laden collagen hydrogel combined with the previous a-cellular structural matrix with controlled mechanical properties.

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EPS09EPS9: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesChelsea WeaverWeaverPhysics and AstronomyBrian SaamSaamPullmanZ2BR53:00

Spin exchange optical pumping is a method of noble gas hyperpolarization. A laser excites an alkali metal, usually cesium or rubidium, held in the presence of a strong local magnetic field via a set of Helmholtz coils. The alkali metal collides with a noble gas, facilitating spin exchange. The spin exchange polarizes the electron spin of the alkali metal and the nuclear spin of the noble gas by populating more spin-up states. This nuclear magnetization is then detected through an electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) frequency shift in the alkali-metal via optical detection of Faraday rotation. The EPR frequency shift is an inherently subtle measurement, subject to influence from nearby magnetic field fluctuations. In an attempt to reduce this fluctuation a fluxgate magnetometer is integrated into the experimental setup. The measured local field fluctuation shifts are subtracted from the EPR frequency data. As a measure of the efficacy of the fluxgate magnetometer, the frequency shift for three alkali metal atomic species are measured and their gyro-magnetic ratio is determined. The magnetometer corrected data and uncorrected data are compared. There was a noticeable improvement in the signal-to-noise ratio in the EPR data sets. The magnetometer also proved useful in characterizing the magnetic field fluctuations for a given day and alerting to problems within the experimental equipment.

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EPS10EPS10: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesArt Matthew MamarilMamarilChemistryJeffrey Gordon BellBellPullmanZ2BR53:20

Hypocalcemia is a metabolic disorder in dairy cattle resulting from a lower calcium concentration in the bloodstream and can lead to poor reproductive performance, a decrease in milk production, and early herd removal. In fact, the effects of hypocalcemia can range from a decrease in appetite to death. Cows with blood calcium concentrations at or below 8.0 mg/dL (2.0 mmol/L) are considered subclinically hypocalcemic. Subclinical hypocalcemic dairy cattle may be asymptomatic and are frequently diagnosed within the first 5 days after calving. The current method for diagnosing subclinical hypocalcemia is an expensive and time-consuming process which requires blood samples to be sent off-site for lab testing. Hypocalcemia treatment and prevention include intravenous injections of calcium gluconate (23%) and the use of prepartum anionic salt diets. Treatment and diagnosis of hypocalcemia increase expenses on dairy operations. Subclinical hypocalcemic dairy cattle could be more costly than clinical hypocalcemic dairy cattle. Subclinical hypocalcemia affects up to 30 percent of all second or greater lactation cows in a herd, and it could be about 4 times greater than the cost of the clinical cases. Moreover, subclinical hypocalcemia is often undiagnosed on time.

To reduce overall costs spent on testing and caring for hypocalcemic dairy cattle, farmers need an affordable rapid-testing solution onsite. Our research develops paper-based diagnostic devices to diagnose hypocalcemia at the point-of-care accurately. These devices can selectively measure calcium, using ion-selective membranes, in biological fluids such as blood serum and urine from (100 mM to 50 mM), which covers normal calcium ranges as well as those associated with hypocalcemia. By pairing the paper-based devices with portable electrochemical readers, farmers and veterinarians will be able to quickly and accurately measure calcium levels in the field using ubiquitous technology such as a cell phone. Using our paper-based ion-selective devices, farmers can drastically reduce both the cost and time-to-results associated with hypocalcemia diagnosis. Future work will focus on fabricating devices capable of performing full-panel diagnostics by incorporating multiple ion-selective membranes into the paper-based devices.

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EPS11EPS11: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesGunnar SlySlyChemical EngineeringMin-Kyu SongSongPullmanZ2BR53:40

Although diatomaceous earth has been investigated as a promising precursor material for Li-ion battery silicon anodes, the investigations thus far have only studied the effect of readily collected samples. These samples are sold industrially under the name “Celite” and do contain a sizable quantity of intact diatom species; however, they are greatly degraded due to the nature of fossilized ocean-bed silicon. Currently, this research work is aimed at culturing and harvesting diatom species in our lab to obtain morphologically intact diatomaceous earth to quantitatively measure the effect of diatom morphologies on silicon anode performance. The work so far has involved qualitative measurements of diatom growth as a function of culturing condition such as light intensity, pH, temperature, and culture salinity. Once optimal conditions have been established, work will proceed into techniques for harvesting and processing biological samples into functional diatomaceous earth.

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EPS12EPS12: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesNick OzanichOzanichBioengineeringDavid LinLinPullmanZ2BR54:00

The purpose of the research that I am conducting under Dr. David Lin is to examine and elucidate the possible mechanical benefits of the musculotendon organization in kangaroo rat tails. Kangaroo rat tails have at least four tendons attaching to each of the 28 vertebrae in the tail to form four separate ‘tendon highways’ that span the length of the tail and house all the tendons used to move the tail. Since kangaroo rats have no muscles in their tail, they rely on these tendons to transmit forces from pelvic muscles and generate the tail movements that they need to survive in the wild. We constructed a physical model to better understand the mechanics of this anatomical arrangement. Specifically, the goal of the newest model is to examine the impact of having tendons attach to every vertebra, in contrast to just one tendon attaching to the most distal vertebra (similar to the anatomical arrangement of fingers, where a single tendon attaches to the most distal segment). The primary methodology is to pull each tendon (or a combination) a fixed distance to see how much deviation from the straight tail is created. In our preliminary experiments, we found that pulling on the most distal tendons changes the shape of the tail (i.e., curling the tail) versus pulling on the most proximal tendons, which creates the most movement of the entire tail. Changing the shape of the tail is important for changing the moment of inertia of the tail, which could be important for generating angular momentum as the kangaroo rat changes body orientation while airborne after jumping off the ground. By contrasting results of pulling different combinations of tendons, we aim to establish a motive for different systems of tendon attachments that may potentially explain the evolution of tail anatomy and mechanics.

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EPS13EPS13: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesCheryl Lynn Aarnio, Arianna Marie Claveria, Sara McMorrow, Khrystine Raymond, David Ben Rodriguez, Lydia Rose WeddleWeddleChemistry (Weddle), Digital Technology and Culture (Raymond), Journalism and Media Production (Aarnio), Management Information Systems (McMorrow), Marketing (McMorrow), Mechanical Engineering (Claveria, Rodriguez)Lynne CooperCooperPullmanZ2BR34:00

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are EPA-regulated gas byproducts of some manufacturing processes. Industrial NOx scrubbers use a combination of solvent solutions and mechanical filtering to separate these emissions into nitrogen and oxygen gas for safe release into the atmosphere. Our sponsor experienced frothing, clogging, and loss of pressure control in their NOx scrubber that resulted in early termination of production runs and excessive cleaning times. We were tasked with diagnosing the root causes and developing potential solutions.

We developed and tested multiple theories via laboratory experiments, analysis, and simulation. First, we hypothesized that the chemicals in the scrubber solutions were reacting with each other in a manner similar to soap-making, leading to frothing and potentially contributing to clogging. Saponification experiments demonstrated that under lab conditions the chemical reactions and agitation could lead to generating soap-like products.

At the system level, we modeled the scrubber using SolidWorks Flow Simulator. Using pressure and temperature data provided by our sponsor and the event logs from four separate production runs, we simulated the flow of the NOx gas and scrubber solution interaction over multi-hour operations. The simulation showed vortices forming in the same locations where clogging occurred, further supporting our hypothesis that clogging was due to precipitates forming when the NOx gas interacted with the solution at the top of the scrubber. Further experimentation will include chemical analysis of the clog material.

At the component level, we also investigated the effect of the packed bed material shape and composition. Based on the shape of these materials, it is possible that saponification and the pressure pushing the solution through the packed bed could lead to the formation of bubbles.  We believe the loss of pressure control is caused by both clogging and frothing and that fixing these issues will solve the pressure problem.

The final deliverable of our project will be a detailed report of causes and solutions to the issues described above based on our research and experimentation.

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EPS14EPS14: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesWilliam FrantzFrantzBioengineeringAnita VasavadaVasavadaPullmanZ3BR13:20

Neck pain is the fourth leading cause of disability in the world, affecting 27-48% of the population at some point in their life. A major contributor to neck pain is awkward postures held for an extended period, causing fatigue of the neck muscles and compressive loads on the discs. This study aims to quantify the biomechanics of the neck in common postures in the workplace and daily life, and to evaluate how instructions to improve posture may alter biomechanics. 

Nine subjects (5M, 4F, ages 19-24) were recruited for the study. Lead beads and reflective markers were placed on the head and neck. The subjects were instructed to assume a neutral sitting posture (looking straight ahead) while they were simultaneously photographed and X-rayed. This was repeated for three additional postures implicated in neck pain: extension (looking slightly upward), forward head posture (head is in front of the trunk while the line of sight remains horizontal), and texting posture (phone near lap); and once in the tallest sitting height, assumed to lengthen the neck and decrease disc compression. Using digitized X-ray data, head and neck angle, neck length, changes in vertebral position and intervertebral disc height were calculated.

The most extreme postures occurred in extension and texting. When compared to neutral, head angle extended an average of 19.0° (standard deviation ±3.95°) for the extension posture and flexed 38.7 ±15.6° for the texting posture. This correlated with neck angle, which extended by 5.54 ±2.34° for extension posture and flexed by 25.9 ±12.1° for the texting posture. In the texting posture, the C1 vertebra moved 5.09 ±2.74 cm anteriorly relative to the sternal notch; this was even greater than in forward head posture (4.69 ±1.43 cm). In each subject’s tallest sitting height, neck length increased by 8.65%; however, disc height significantly decreased by 10-17% on the anterior side of the vertebral bodies. This unexpected result relates to a decrease in curvature observed in the tallest posture, causing increased anterior disc compression. Future work includes incorporating these data into computational neck models to further evaluate the biomechanical effect of these postures on neck tissues.

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EPS15EPS15: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesTravis StaffenhagenStaffenhagenCivil EngineeringRaul SamaniegoSamaniegoPullmanZ3BR13:40

During my time conducting research for professor Vikram Yadama I analyzed wood and natural fiber images. With the assistance of my mentor Raul Pelaez Samaniego, I studied images of different composites on a program called ImageJ. Through ImageJ we were able to determine different sizes, shapes, positions, gaps, alignments, voids, fibers, etc. of the different materials in the composite. From these quantitative values found on the composite image we recorded the areas of fiber pullout, voids, and fibers. We then average the findings over many images to establish a more accurate examination.

This study of material interactions is critical in developing composites. Studying the interactions between a variety of matrices (binders and resins) and fibers (natural fibers, glass fibers, carbon, and basalt) help draw conclusions at a microscopic scale. After analyzing the images different techniques are then used to improve the interaction between the different materials. Analyzing many micrographs and seeking out statistical data allows us to characterize the nature of the interactions with more confidence and better understand how to improve, as necessary.

In the future machine learning or AI could help with the application of stereology. Another portion of the research is to develop a code or program that can analyze the images by the differing colors and shapes of the materials. Manually analyzing image by image is time consuming. If a program were written it could analyze images instantly, saving a bunch of time. This is a goal further down the road but an ongoing idea and something to keep striving for.

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EPS16EPS16: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesDavid Chandler, Cedar Frost, Sophia Hamilton, Philip Kilian, Alexa Morales, Elliot RiesMoralesFinance (Morales, Ries), Management (Morales), Management Information Systems (Kilian), Mechanical Engineering (Chandler, Frost), Strategic Communication (Hamilton)Lynne CooperCooperPullmanZ3BR14:00

The successful landing of the Perseverance Rover and Ingenuity Helicopter ushered in a new era in Mars exploration with the first use of drone-based imaging on another planet. While Ingenuity is demonstrating only basic flight and imaging technologies, the use of drones has the potential to aid in future human habitation by providing advanced scouting, communications relay, surveying, and rescue support that will be essential for any human colony.

Our research investigates the potential to 3D print replacement blades for a Mars helicopter.  Based on drone & helicopter crash data, the components most likely to be damaged in a crash are the rotor blades. Instead of bringing a huge inventory of parts, future inhabitants can use in situ resources or bring the raw materials to print only the parts they need.  Those replacement rotors would come from a facility located on Mars, as the opportunity to send parts from Earth only happens every 26 months and the cost is exorbitant.

For drone flight to be sustainable on Mars, there needs to be a way to repair those drones. We tested the design and implementation of replacement blades by conducting material and physical tests, leading to a planned flight test of a prototype drone. The samples used were printed from three different plastics (ABS, PETG, and PLA), and finished using sanding, acetone vapor bath, high fill primer, and epoxy. Sample coupons of the relevant printing/finishing combinations were first tested for yield strength. A second set of coupons underwent IZOD testing to evaluate impact strength. Based on these tests, sample blades will be fabricated and tested by retrofitting them onto a commercially available coaxial rotor drone for bench-top testing. Finally, we will conduct a flight demonstration as a proof of concept for using 3D-printed replacement rotor blades.

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EPS17EPS17: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesSara MooreMooreBioengineeringBrenden Fraser-Hevlin, Kitana Kaiphanliam, Bernard VanWieFraser-HevlinPullmanZ3BR23:00

As one of the leading causes of death in America, and worldwide, cancer currently has no cure. There are many treatments for cancer, but few of them are effective in providing long-term benefits. An emerging and relatively new technique which shows promise is immunotherapy. Immunotherapy uses the body’s existing immune system to fight cancers, with modification of immune cells including cytotoxic T lymphocytes (killer T cells) so that they may specifically target cancer cells. A significant issue that oncologists have encountered in immunotherapy is being unable to grow cells quickly or efficiently enough. A potential solution has been achieved with the recent development of a new bioreactor system known as the centrifugal bioreactor (CBR) which can rapidly grow T cells up to a high density. In this study, an effort was made to create expansion models for human lymphoblastic leukemia cells (CEMs), which will be used as the first step towards modeling cytotoxic T-lymphocytes in the CBR system. Performing kinetic studies allows prediction of the ideal conditions to grow cells in the bioreactor. There are two types of kinetic studies that were used in this research: growth studies and inhibition studies. The inhibition studies examined how the levels of lactate and ammonium affected the cell growth rate. Lactate and ammonium both prohibit growth of the CEMs, and they are the two primary waste products that occur during cell multiplication; the specific amounts of lactate and ammonium that prevent cell growth are reported in this presentation. The growth studies examined how much glucose can be added to the cell culture medium to achieve the ideal growth rate. Glucose is necessary for cell division, so the growth studies determined the specific amount of glucose that would achieve ideal proliferation of the cells, values that are also reported in this presentation. With the specific amounts of glucose, ammonium and lactate known, a mathematical model can be determined for the maximum growth rate, which can then be achieved to provide optimal growth in the CBR system. Eventually, with a model developed, a new and efficient method to culture cells for immunotherapy will be possible.

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EPS18EPS18: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesMuhammad Hanzalah Wan RosliWan RosliChemical Engineering Chuhua Jia, Hongfei LinLinPullmanZ3BR23:20

Bio-jet fuel has already been used in commercial flights to decarbonize the aviation transportation sector. However, the widespread use of bio-jet fuel is still a challenge partly due to the high production costs. In particular, the production of commercial bio-jet fuel from lipids requires high temperatures and includes multiple reaction units, i.e., hydrodeoxygenation and hydrocracking, increasing operation costs. The integration of these processes in one pot was attempted but unsuccessful. Herein, a novel biphasic catalytic process was developed to realize the one-pot production of bio-jet fuel from fatty acids with the supported ruthenium (Ru) catalysts and the mixed cyclohexane and water solvents under mild conditions. In order to further optimize the process, the Ru/C catalysts were modified by Titanium Oxide (TiO2). Compared with the unmodified catalyst, the reaction rate increased up to five folds. The carbon yield of jet-fuel-range alkanes reached 35.2 wt% at a relatively low temperature, in comparison to the reaction using the commercial catalyst. The modified catalyst also showed good stability after five consecutive reuse cycles. This efficient biphasic catalytic process was further extended to convert triglycerides and crude vegetable oil to produce bio-jet fuel.

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EPS19EPS19: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesNoah RayRayEnvironmental and Ecosystem SciencesDeirdre Griffin LaHueGriffin LaHuePullmanZ3BR23:40

Skagit County and other areas in western Washington and Oregon produce up to 75% of the U.S. supply of spinach seed. Vegetable seed crops like spinach are rotated regularly in Skagit county with approximately 12,000 acres of potatoes (WSU Skagit County Ag Stats, 2018). A large issue for potato and spinach seed growers in western Washington is the loss of soil health and functionality. Such issues include filtering, drainage of water, good air flow, plant-availble nutrient supply, pathogen, and pest suppression. This can be due to rotational practices like intensive tillage, leaving very little to no organic residue on fields, and failing to mitigate soil borne pathogens/pests (Hills et al. 2020). Winter cover crops have been suggested as means to improve soil properties like nutrient stores, drainage, organic biomass and overall soil structure (Tobert et al., 1996; Wang et al., 2008; Dhima et al., 2006). A study at WSU’s Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center (NWREC), which is funded by the Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration, evaluates the effects of nine winter cover crop treatments compared with a no-cover control treatment in rotated potato and spinach seed fields. While the cover crops have the potential to improve certain aspects of soil health, many of the cover crops also provide food sources to pests such as wireworm (Agriotes obscurus), subterranean collembola (Onychiuridae pseudacorus) and Symphylans (Scutigerella immaculata). This specific study was focused on quantifying the abundance of these three spinach pests over three sample dates of May 27th, June 8th, and June 26th. Bait traps with variations of germinating corn and wheat seeds were left out in plots for 10 days to lure wireworm within crop vicinity. For Collembola and Symphylan, a 3- inch soil aggregate sampler was used to obtain the samples that would be placed in Berlese funnels situated under heat lamps. Once dried, the result was Collembola and Symphylan counts corresponding to each cover crop. It was hypothesized that wireworm populations would be enhanced by grasses. It was hypothesized that legumes like fava bean, red clover, hairy vetch, and winter pea, and grasses like annual and cereal rye would enhance Collembola populations. Conversely, it was hypothesized that brassicas would not enhance Collembola populations. We hypothesized that Symphylan populations would be enhanced by Brassicas and Legumes while grasses would have adverse effects on such populations. While no samples were able to be recorded for wireworm, this study indicates that cereal and annual rye cover crops may not enhance Collembola populations while certain legumes such as winter pea and red clover may enhance quantities. However, Collembola quantities on the other legumes remain low suggesting variable effects of legumes on Collembola presence. Presence of abundant populations for brassicas also indicate a possible enhancement relationship with Collembola. Low sample size of Symphylans yielded highly variable results with little conclusions. The highest populations were found within the legume cover crop type, indicating a possible correlation. These results suggest that future studies of Collembola and Symphylan will need more sample iterations to draw clear conclusions.

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EPS20EPS20: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesPatrick RobichaudRobichaudCivil EngineeringJulie PadowskiPadowskiPullmanZ2BR63:00

Water utilities in the Western U.S. are vulnerable to climate change because of wildfires and the detrimental cascading effects that follow such as declining water quality. Wildfires are increasing in number and size as summers become hotter and drier, and these disturbances have the potential to increase post-fire runoff-induced erosion and sediment loads to rivers and reservoirs which can overwhelm water treatment plants. Additionally, post-fire soil erosion can increase the concentration of contaminants such as heavy metals, organic carbon, and nutrients which can be difficult for water utilities to remove before delivery to their customers. This research couples a wildfire and a water quality vulnerability index at the watershed scale to better understand which water utilities are most at risk to wildfire in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Here, wildfire vulnerability metrics rely on climatic and geographical characteristics to estimate the likely risk of fire in a given watershed. The water quality metrics aim to capture potential post-fire water quality changes by accounting for landscape and land use data, land ownership, water utility intake location, water source diversity, and fire preparedness plans. Combining these data for each watershed yields a vulnerability score for the 47 Pacific Northwest water utilities included in the study. These results can be used to inform water utility managers of vulnerable municipal watersheds as well as which areas should be prioritized for forest management and post-fire erosion mitigation if a wildfire occurs. Forest management could be forest thinning and prescribed fire which will help reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

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EPS21EPS21: Engineering and Physical SciencesEngineering and Physical SciencesTheresa CzechCzechEarth Sciences (Geology)Catherine CooperCooperPullmanZ2BR63:20

Plate tectonics with deep subduction is believed to be how Earth formed supercontinents about 3 billion years ago. However, geologic evidence for this theory is limited so we have used geologic and physics constraints to explore the option of supercontinent cycles occurring within stagnant lid convection. Our model uses time dependent 2D models to model motion between continents embedded within stagnant lid convection. If it is possible to drive plate motion without strong subduction then that would change how we view the interaction between the mantle and continents in a young Earth. The topic of when plate tectonics began on Earth is still greatly debated and finding that the first supercontinents are not definitive evidence for this could change how we view the beginning of this unique process. Our models have shown that it is possible for the continents to move from convective stresses enough to form a supercontinent without strong subduction.

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HUM01HUM1: HumanitiesHumanitiesSierra ForlerForlerGenetics and Cell BiologySamantha NollNollPullmanZ3BR33:00

With increasing accessibility to at-home DNA testing kits, the ability to find out your ancestral heritage is easier than ever. But at what cost to you and your family’s privacy? Unsolved criminal investigations (Cold cases) are now able to be solved by using 3rd and 4th cousin DNA samples, from people who have legally consented to upload their information to a database, which the police also have accessed. This study will be examining a case from Melbourne, Florida, where the police department has partnered with a private laboratory to begin building a crime DNA database. An officer came across a car with five juvenile boys between the ages of 15-16 at the time of 2016. He confronted the boys about multiple car break-ins in the area at the time. After further questioning, he then demanded that one of them provide a DNA sample. One of the 15-year-olds did. The major issues raised with this case study starts with the lack of communication and transparency of the interaction between the officer and the boys. Furthermore problems with the boys being minors consenting to give a DNA sample without parents present. That is why this review aims to apply Beauchamp and Childress’s principles of biomedical ethics to examine the issues of privacy, profiling, and accessibility to local law enforcement. This literature review is to provide knowledge about current ethical considerations and practices in working with DNA databases to inform policymakers and the general public.

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HUM02HUM2: HumanitiesHumanitiesKatya Farinsky, Jazz Jackson, Drew Swanson, Andrew ThompsonFarinskyDigital Technology and Culture (Farinsky, Jackson, Swanson, Thompson)Dene GrigarGrigarVancouverZ3BR33:20

Quest for Arete is a video game produced on the Inform 7 platform that explores the use of Interactive Fiction to tell one story, over 10 episodes, in one interface in order to foster understanding of ethical living. As a game in the category of Games for Change, Quest for Arete challenges users to think about personal attributes like honesty, magnanimity, and temperance to promote personal growth in a series of quests that are specifically designed to allow users to engage with each virtue in a meaningful way. 

The game was produced by students in the Fall 2020 Video Game Theories and History class offered by the Creative Media and Digital Culture Program at WSU Vancouver. It was enhanced during the AdvXJam by a subset of these students led by Jazz Jackson. Version 2.0 of Quest for Arete is published on the itch.io game platform. The team included Katya Farinsky, Betsy Hanrahan, Elyse Mollahan, Viet Anh Nguyen, Preston Reed, David Sabrowski, Drew Swanson, Andrew Thompson, Brandan Touhy, Craig Vesterby, Keegan Walden, and Ruth Woodcock. 

In addition to producing the game, the students created a logo, game trailer, 3D animated logo, hand-coded project site that includes a walkthrough to assist new users, and art for each in-game location to further complement its rich language while simultaneously highlighting room-specific mechanics. 

Stefano Vannotti's action research model serves as our methodology for the development of the Quest for Arete. Action research specifically requires the development of a design model for the purpose of study. In that regard, our project led us to three major findings. First, the creation of a cohesive episodic narrative using multimedia supports robust, descriptive writing and good game-play mechanics. Second, our findings add to the knowledge suggested in Robert Zubeck’s The Art of Game Design that highly successful immersive experiences do not rely on mechanics alone, but also strong narrative structure directly inspired by the powerful usage of words to enthrall readers. Third, providing a narrative throughline that takes readers to an ending that pulls together elements from all the episodes provides catharsis and a satisfying user experience. 

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HUM03HUM3: HumanitiesHumanitiesBailey MaykovichMaykovichCommunication and Society, Strategic CommunicationErin TomsonTomsonPullmanZ3BR33:40

Almost a year after the first U.S. lockdown due to COVID-19, the public health crisis has evolved into a mental health crisis as well. The ongoing stress of limited social interactions, financial concern, and grief is contributing to increasing levels of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. While research is ongoing within healthcare professions, this project examines the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of crisis communication. Research is presented in the form of a semester-long blog series with the goal to educate and engage community members in a discussion about crisis communication within the context of mental health. This series is broken into easily readable posts to inform and engage students and faculty, and encourage our audience to think past the obvious impacts that COVID-19 has had on our daily lives. The first series of blogs highlights the populations who are the most vulnerable to mental health impacts, as well as the ways that organizations are addressing the issues faced by these populations. The second half of the series will examine organizations’ crisis responses. This section of research will compare and contrast organizational crisis responses and highlight the positive and negative impacts of communication practices in the past year. Presenting information in a series of short articles is ideal because we can gather audience feedback on the posts. Our research will reflect what our audience wants to see, and as the project develops, our writing will naturally reflect other categories that our audience is interested in. Overall, this project will provide an in-depth analysis of crisis communication within the context of the mental health crisis our country is now facing due to the pandemic. We will create engaging content, and measure our success by audience interaction. 

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HUM04HUM4: HumanitiesHumanitiesHailey SmithSmithEnvironmental and Ecosystem Sciences, PhilosophyMichael GoldsbyGoldsbyPullmanZ3BR34:00

There is an ethical tradeoff between growing high-yield agricultural products and the integrity and goodness of an ecosystem. What is lost when an ecosystem is destroyed? This research project consists of a research paper on the ethics of environmental destruction, and two oil paintings that contrast the Palouse Prairie ecosystem with the present landscape.

Why must we protect an ecosystem and prevent extinction of other organisms? One might claim that the human benefit gained from environmental destructions for the purpose of agriculture is more valuable than any life or structure that existed in the ecosystem. In the case of the Palouse Prairie in Eastern Washington, early white settlers in the area valued the monetary gains from agriculture more than any goodness of an intact ecosystem. Unlike the benefits gained from farming (which could be attained through more sustainable means), what is lost with the destruction of an ecosystem or the extinction of a species can never be restored. I argue that humans are morally obligated to not destroy living lineages when altering a landscape. A brief case study of the Palouse Prairie illustrates that the small-scale, land-altering decisions made by the few farmers of the Palouse have caused long-term harms for the current and future inhabitants of the ecosystem. Because evolution grants the potential for any lineage to advance and better its individuals, the processes of evolution must be respected in any ecosystem. Any lineage’s process of perpetuation must be morally considerable, as is any living organism’s will to live. To offer a practical guideline for land alteration, I conclude with the suggestion that all lineages of life receive freedom of environment, perpetuity, and adaptation.

The first oil painting reconstructs the Palouse Prairie ecosystem and features once-abundant species, and the second shows the Palouse today. To recreate the prairie, I gathered information on the physical and biological changes that have occurred to the landscape, and photographed the last remaining patches of prairie to use as reference. The two paintings show a stark contrast and help to answer the question of what was lost when the prairie ecosystem was destroyed.

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MCCB01MCCB1: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyZoe FergusonFergusonMicrobiologySharol Schmidt-Marcec, Andrei SmertenkoSmertenkoPullmanZ3BR43:00

With nearly 7 billion people on earth, a question that arises is: how can we keep up with dwindling renewable resources? One important resource is biomass in the form of wood. The current need for lumber exceeds new growth, especially in underdeveloped nations, which leads to deforestation and global climate shifts. Wood is composed of specialized vascular cells that conduct water and nutrients called Xylem. Xylem cell walls are reinforced with lignin which provides structural support. The thick, lignified cell wall means land plants adapted a unique mechanism for cell division and growth. In order for plant cells to divide, they create a partition between daughter cells, called the cell plate, which will mature into the cell wall. Cell plate material is trafficked to the division site by the phragmoplast during cytokinesis. The phragmoplast is made of two rings of microtubules which expand to reach the mother cell walls as the cell plate is deposited. Microtubule proteins regulate the movement of microtubules during phragmoplast expansion. As the phragmoplast is specific to plants, our research addresses plant-specific proteins that bind microtubules in the phragmoplast. To this end, we have identified a family of plant-specific microtubule binding proteins in the phragmoplast named MACET. My research focuses on characterizing the spatial and temporal expression of MACET family protein activity. Expression of a gene relies on activation of an up-stream promoter. When the promoter is activated the gene is translated to mRNA and then transcribed to a functional protein. I have been using the GUS gene reporter staining method to identify MACET promoter activity in Arabidopsis thaliana. My results show that MACET promoters are active in meristematic tissue, differentiating cells and the vascular system. By further studying where this protein is active in plant cells, we can determine the role of MACET in cell division. MACET function will add to our understanding of how the phragmoplast expands during cytokinesis. By further understanding the function of MACET protein in the phragmoplast, we can understand how to genetically engineer plant cells to increase rates of cell division and therefore increase biomass.

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MCCB02MCCB2: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyJake LandersLandersGenetics and Cell BiologyHanjo Hellmann, Sutton MooneyHellmannPullmanZ3BR43:20

Generating transgenic plants to investigate the function of specific proteins and how they impact plant biology is for most plants a very laborious and time-consuming procedure that can take more than a year before plants are available for research studies. Here we describe a new approach for introducing DNA-based constructs into Brassica napus cell cultures to generate stable transgenic lines. These cell lines can be directly used to study impacts of transcription factors on cellular processes.  There are several benefits to use this system compared to other standard approaches testing protein function such as in vitro studies with recombinant proteins expressed in bacteria or using yeast as a heterologous system. Plant cell cultures allow for using the endogenous plant system and they can be rapidly transformed (4-5 weeks) resulting in stable expression lines. They can also be easily exposed to different environmental and growth conditions to test cell performance, for example increasing abiotic stress conditions (e.g. salt or drought). Because these cell cultures must be continuously propagated under sterile conditions, we also have developed a modified cryopreservation technique that allows secure long-term storage and reanimation of the transformed suspension cells. This allows not only to secure precious plant material that can be organized like a library, but also to develop stocks that can be re-activated upon demand at any given time.

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MCCB03MCCB3: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyLarson SmithSmithAnimal SciencesHolly NeibergsNeibergsPullmanZ3BR43:40

In Golden retrievers, a friendly disposition is a desirable trait, whereas aggression toward people is undesirable. The objective of this study was to identify DNA regions (loci) associated with aggressiveness in Golden retrievers to assist breeders in identifying these dogs at a young age. This study consisted of pet Golden retrievers (n = 12) that live in and near Pullman, Washington. Dog owners completed a detailed questionnaire regarding their dog’s behavior. DNA for genotyping was obtained from  buccal swabs, extracted and subsequently genotyped using the Illumina CanineHD BeadChip. The CanineHD BeadChip produced 220,853 genotypes that were used for a genome wide association analysis (GWAA). After quality control for genotypes and animals, 141,964 genotypes and all 12 dogs remained for the analysis. Significance of an association was based on Wellcome Trust recommendations. An uncorrected p-value of (1 × 10-5 > p < 5 × 10-7) identified a locus associated with aggressiveness towards humans. Two genotypes were identified as moderately associated with aggressive behavior towards people in Golden retrievers near the membrane metalloendopeptidase (MME) gene on chromosome 23.  The product of MME degrades enkephalins which have been implicated in mood, anxiety, reward, euphoria and pain. MME has also been associated with anxiety in humans. The identification of a locus associated with aggressive behavior towards people in Golden retrievers provides a foundation for further study of the roles of MME in human-dog interactions, and selection for more docile Golden retrievers.

Keywords: aggressiveness, golden retriever, GWAA

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MCCB04MCCB4: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyCaitlin FitzpatrickFitzpatrickAnimal SciencesHolly NeibergsNeibergsPullmanZ3BR44:00

Dairymen breed cattle to maximize milk quality and quantity to increase productivity and profitability. Milk quality is based on milk components, such as the percent protein that the milk contains. The objective of the current study was to identify genes and gene sets associated with milk percent protein in Holstein cows using gene set enrichment analysis using single nucleotide polymorphisms (GSEA-SNP) to assist in predicting and breeding cattle that will have high levels of protein in their milk. The percent of milk protein for each cow was determined at milking over the duration of the cow’s lactation and averaged for the percent protein phenotype. Blood samples of 787 milking cattle were obtained from six dairies in central Washington where phenotypic data was available. DNA was extracted from the blood sample and genotyped for 777,962 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Quality control for the SNPs and cattle was performed prior to the GSEA-SNP. Genotypes that failed >10% of the time, had minor allele frequencies <1% or that failed Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium testing were removed (n = 152,499). Cattle who had genotypes that failed >10% of the time or who lacked milk quality information were removed (n = 8). The GSEA-SNP utilized the SNP with the greatest association in or within 17 Kb 5’ or 3’ (ARS-UCD1.2 assembly) as the gene proxy to test for enrichment for the gene set. Normalized enrichment scores > 3.0 (NES> 3.0) identified gene sets enriched for percent milk protein. Gene sets (n=4,389) from PANTHER, KEGG, GO, Reactome and Biocarta were used for the GSEA-SNP. The GSEA-SNP identified three gene sets enriched for percent milk protein. Enriched GO gene sets were: phenol containing compound metabolic processes, regulation of transmembrane transport, and the KEGG gene set valine, leucine, and isoleucine degradation. Each enriched gene set is essential in developing proteins, their structural integrity, and the interactions of molecules across cell membranes. Protein transport is important in milk as it influences nutritional value, flavor, viscosity, and texture. Genes and gene sets associated with percent protein in milk will facilitate breeding to regulate milk quality, and improve dairy productivity and profitability.

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MCCB05MCCB5: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyLogan ButlerButlerAnimal SciencesKanako HayashiHayashiPullmanZ3BR53:00

Everyday we interact with an inescapable material that is both favored and despised of known as plastic; it’s made into our beverage bottles, our medical equipment, and thousands of items more. One of the popularly known compounds that is found in plastic is bisphenol-A (BPA), which was banned in the U.S. in 2012 for use in items like baby bottles due to its endocrine-disrupting properties like hormone disruption and onset of diseases including reproductive development and function. Manufacturers have since replaced the use of BPA with a similar however, less known alternative, bisphenol-S (BPS). Our concern with this toxin is the consequences it may induce on germ cell development when exposed prenatally. In this project, we are studying the transgenerational effects the toxins have on male germ cells and on reproductive performance via a CD-1 mouse model. By breeding chemical naïve F0 mice, we can expose the F1 generation prenatally to BPA and BPS via oral dosage to pregnant F0 dams at 3 different doses of 0.5, 50, and 1000 ug/kg/day. From here, we raise and breed the F1 generation males with new chemical naïve females to raise the F2 generation in which the paternal transmission can be assessed down the germline. Assessments include sperm count/motility, and steroid levels that will be examined with 2- and 6-month-old (mo) mice. Furthermore, specific classes of epigenetically and transgenerationally regulated genes will be identified in the neonatal testis. We expect immediate results regarding the F1 generation, such as lower sperm counts and motility; it is probable to see the same for F2 or F3, however the degree may be less severe. We already have some F1 results such as reduced sperm counts and motility. However, testosterone and estrogen levels were not altered; though since this study is transgenerational, we are still in the process of gathering F2 and F3 results. Our hopes are to be able to examine whether or not the toxins have adverse health effects that extend to the grand-offspring and sharing these results can help determine if the BPS toxin is adequate to be used in future products or not.

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MCCB06MCCB6: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyKevin Douglas, Talia ThuetDouglasPsychology (Douglas), Neuroscience (Thuet)David RossiRossiPullmanZ3BR53:20

DBA/2J (D2) and C57BL/6J (B6J) mice are widely used as models for low and high ethanol (EtOH) consumption genotypes respectively. However, a key determinant of low EtOH consumption to non-neurologically active concentrations in D2 mice is taste-aversion to EtOH, a solution that has both sweet (sucrose) and bitter (quinine) taste components. Furthermore, vast genetic differences between B6J and D2 mice make it difficult to identify key underlying neuro-molecular-genetic factors that contribute to their respective drinking profiles. To address these complications, we studied EtOH, quinine, and sucrose reinforcement in C57BL/6N (B6N) mice, a substrain of the original C57BL/6J line distinguished by only five small nucleotide polymorphisms. To determine whether taste-aversion to EtOH is a primary determinant of low EtOH consumption by B6N mice, we subjected them to a modified sucrose fade procedure using a drinking in the dark, two-bottle-choice paradigm. We determined that; 1) B6Ns consume the same amount of a 10% sucrose solution as B6Js, 2) B6Js consume significantly more of a 10% EtOH/10% sucrose mix than B6Ns, but both achieve physiologically relevant blood alcohol concentrations (15-219 mg%), and 3) B6Js consume significantly more 10% EtOH than B6Ns upon removal of sucrose. Using a similar protocol, this time replacing EtOH with increasing doses of quinine [0.01mM-10mM], B6N mice exhibited a weaker aversion to quinine. Taken together, these results suggest that genetic differences in post-ingestive, neurological response to EtOH contribute to differences in EtOH consumption between genetically similar B6J and B6N mice rather than taste.

Layman’s: The perception of sweet and bitter compounds is an important variable to consider when determining how genetic differences can alter voluntary ethanol drinking behavior.

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MCCB07MCCB7: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologySean ThompsonThompsonGenetics and Cell BiologyRyan DriskellDriskellPullmanZ3BR53:40

The Driskell Lab has discovered that controlling the functions of different types of fibroblasts, a specialized type of skin cells involved in wound healing, can induce skin regeneration characterized by the reformation of hair in a wound. The Driskell Lab has previously demonstrated that fibroblasts from the upper (papillary) layer of skin promote regenerative outcomes while fibroblasts from the lower (reticular) layer of skin produce scarring outcomes. Mammals are born with the innate capacity to regenerate wounds without scarring as they possess a large proportion of upper fibroblasts. This regenerative ability is lost shortly after birth due to a reduction in upper fibroblasts as skin matures and ages. We hypothesized that changes in chromatin accessibility of regenerative genes in upper fibroblasts triggers this loss of regenerative capacity. We used two state of the art single-cell sequencing assays, single-cell ATAC-seq (scATAC-seq) and single-cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq), to investigate the relationship between chromatin accessibility and gene expression in wild-type regenerative neonatal fibroblasts versus non-regenerating Lef1-knockout neonatal fibroblasts. By integrating these two different single-cell sequencing datasets, we identify the key genes whose silencing in Lef1-knockout fibroblasts leads to their inability to regenerate.

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MCCB08MCCB8: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyHaley MorrisMorrisBiochemistryMichael KonkelKonkelPullmanZ4BR23:40

Campylobacter jejuni infection is one of the leading bacterial causes of intestinal inflammation in the United States and often follows consumption of undercooked poultry. Symptoms of C. jejuni infection include abdominal cramps and diarrhea containing blood and white blood cells. C. jejuni infection can also cause serious diseases, such as Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which often results in paralysis. Furthermore, C. jejuni infection in less developed countries can cause severe malnourishment and stunted growth in children. The drastic impacts that C. jejuni has on morbidity and mortality in the United States and around the world indicate the importance of developing targeted therapeutics to combat infection. Current knowledge indicates that this food-borne bacterium causes disease by attaching to and invading the cells lining the intestine. The goal of this project is to determine the mechanism used by this bacterium to invade intestinal cells. We hypothesize that talin (a host cell cytoplasmic protein) is needed for invasion because it senses C. jejuni bound to a host cell and coordinates rearrangement of the host cytoskeleton (actin). These signals are necessary to trigger bacterial entry into the cell. To investigate how C. jejuni invasion and talin are related, we used cell culture assays to assess the ability of C. jejuni to bind and invade human cells (INT 407). Cell lines were generated whereby the expression of talin was reduced using a lentiviral delivered shRNA that targets the 3’UTR of the TLN1 mRNA, which encodes the talin-1 protein. These cells, and normal (wild-type) cells, were infected with bacteria to determine the role of talin in C. jejuni infection. Comparison of C. jejuni infection of cells demonstrated a significant reduction in bacterial internalization with the TLN1 knock-down cells when compared to the wild-type cells. Understanding the mechanism that C. jejuni uses to invade a host cell is necessary for the development of therapeutics, which can combat the effects of infection within humans. Our lab has demonstrated that talin is involved in C. jejuni invasion. Further assays will be completed to verify this result and to determine the mechanism that C. jejuni uses to invade a cell using talin.

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MCCB09MCCB9: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyKalli StephensStephensMicrobiologyWipawee WinuthayanonWinuthayanonPullmanZ4BR33:00

The oviduct, or Fallopian tube in humans, connects the ovary to the uterus and is the site of fertilization. The oviduct regulates early embryonic development and proper timing of embryo transport to the uterus. While it is known that progesterone (P4) is important in facilitating these processes, its specific role is unknown. The P4 analog, levonorgestrel, is one of the agents in Plan B, an emergency contraceptive, and is known to disrupt embryo transport and increase risk of ectopic pregnancy, where the embryo implants outside of the uterus. Moreover, levonorgestrel-only intrauterine contraceptive use is associated with significantly higher rates of ectopic pregnancy, highlighting the importance of understanding the action of P4 and classical progesterone receptor (PGR) signaling in the oviduct epithelium. Previous studies show that ablating PGR in all oviductal epithelial cells, both secretory and ciliated, causes infertility. We utilized PGR conditional knockout mice to study how P4/PGR regulates embryo transport and development. We collected embryos at early pregnancy time points to determine if embryo transport and development would be disrupted when PGR is ablated in all epithelial cells. We found that at 3.5 days post coitus (dpc), when embryos normally reach the uterus, ~60% of embryos were retained in the oviduct. Furthermore, when evaluating earlier pregnancy time points (0.5 and 1.5 dpc) embryo development appears to be disrupted. To investigate the cause of delayed embryo transport, we evaluated ciliated cells as they are known to beat synchronously to drive fluid flow through the oviduct. Ciliated cells are primarily concentrated in the distal portions of the oviduct, the infundibulum, where the egg enters the oviduct from the ovary, and the ampulla, which is the site of fertilization. Measuring ciliary length in these regions at 0.5 dpc revealed that cilia on the outer portion of the infundibulum were significantly longer than those in wild-type mice, and the cilia on the inner portion of the infundibulum were significantly shorter. The results from these experiments have widespread implications for oviductal biology including understanding the causes behind ectopic pregnancy and providing insight into how contraceptives may be negatively impacting female reproductive function.

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MCCB10MCCB10: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyLong NguyenNguyenBiochemistryWipawee WinuthayanonWinuthayanonPullmanZ4BR13:20

Human semen liquefaction is an essential proteolytic process, where gel-forming semenogelin proteins (SEMGs) are hydrolyzed by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) resulting in liquefied semen facilitating sperm motility. We hypothesized that pharmacological blockade of semen liquefaction using PSA inhibitors can serve as an alternative female contraceptive method. In this study, we showed that 4-(2-aminoethyl)benzenesulfonyl fluoride (AEBSF), a pan-serine protease inhibitor, blocked semen liquefaction and inhibited sperm motility in human semen samples (N=6). Specifically, AEBSF at doses of 1 and 5 mM blocked human semen liquefaction compared to control (p<0.05). Computer assisted sperm analysis demonstrated that AEBSF at doses of 0.1, 1 and 5 mM significantly decreased the number of progressive sperm and increased the number of immotile sperm (p<0.05). Moreover, sperm curvilinear velocity, straight line velocity, and average path velocity were also significantly decreased upon AEBSF treatment (p<0.05). Immunoblot analysis revealed that SEMG-1 degradation was inhibited in semen samples treated with 5 mM AEBSF (p<0.05). However, AEBSF is a non-specific inhibitor of several serine proteases (PSA, elastase, thrombin and α-chymotrypsin) potentially leading to systemic off-target concerns as a contraceptive. Our main goal is to develop specific inhibitors of PSA that can block semen liquefaction, thereby preventing sperm transport in female reproductive tract. Among the compounds that we tested, we found peptidyl boronic acid (PBA) and triazole derivative (B1) inhibitors of PSA activity to be most promising. Semen from donors (N=6) were treated with vehicle control, PBA (100 µM) or B1 (100 µM). Both PBA and B1 increased the liquefaction time compared to control (p<0.05). Although not statistically significant, we found decreased percentage of progressive sperm and increase percentage of immotile sperm in PBA treated group. In summary, our study shows that specific PSA inhibitors suppress semen liquefaction and could prove useful in the development of novel contraceptives.

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MCCB11MCCB11: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyGeorgie RosalesRosalesEnglish, PsychologyRebecca CraftCraftPullmanZ4BR13:40

Medical marijuana has increased in popularity as treatment for acute and chronic pain. Two main components of marijuana are cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There are minimal studies that examine sex differences in THC or CBD’s pain-relieving effects, and none that examine sex differences in THC-CBD interactions for inflammatory pain. The goal of this research was to compare the pain-relieving properties of CBD and THC in female vs. male rats, using an animal model of persistent inflammatory pain. We measured the effects of low (0.1 mg/kg) or medium (1.0 mg/kg) doses of CBD and THC when administered alone or together to determine whether they synergize to reduce pain. On day 1, rats were baselined for mechanical sensitivity, heat sensitivity, hindpaw weight-bearing, locomotor activity, and hindpaw thickness; they were given an injection of Complete Freund’s adjuvant into one hindpaw to induce inflammatory pain. One hour later, rats were given their first intraperitoneal injection of vehicle plus CBD or THC, or two injections of vehicle. The same treatment was administered at 5 pm, and again at 8 am and 5 pm on days 2 and 3. On day 4 (8 am), rats were given the same treatment, then tested on all measures at .50, 1, 2, and 4 hours post-injection. Both CBD and THC alone decreased paw thickness in both sexes, but CBD-THC combinations were less effective than either drug alone. The low dose CBD-THC combination reduced mechanical allodynia and heat hyperalgesia better than either CBD or THC alone, but only in males. The medium dose combination of CBD-THC was either equally effective or was less effective than either drug alone, on all pain measures in both sexes. On the locomotor activity test, CBD and THC given alone altered activity depending on dose and sex, but the CBD-THC combination had little effect. In summary, pain relief produced by CBD or THC alone and in combination differs by sex as well as by pain measure used and dose of each drug. These results suggest the analgesic effects of medical marijuana are complex, which may depend on the user’s sex and pain symptoms experienced.

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MCCB12MCCB12: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyBenjamin HollenbergHollenbergMicrobiologyAlan GoodmanGoodmanPullmanZ4BR23:00

The pathogen Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular, gram negative bacterium, and is a causative agent for the zoonotic Q fever. While it has been shown that there is a link between human/animal genotype and effectiveness of Coxiella burnetii infection, research has not yet narrowed down exactly which genes are responsible for variations in immunity to Coxiella. In this study, the Drosophila Genetics Reference Panel (DGRP) was utilized in order to identify the genetic-variants that could be significant in affecting susceptibility to Coxiella burnetii infection. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) was used to obtain more specific information about these genetic variations, and multiple genes were shown to be potentially significant. This presentation focuses on two such genes: male-only CG31221, and both male and female Pura. Mortality tests have already been performed on a variety of null mutants (each missing one of the aforementioned genes), along with their corresponding wild-type line; the results of which consistently show an increase in mortality in absence of the potentially significant gene. In order to support these results, GE tests have been run on flies frozen at specific time points post-injection to measure these genes’ effect on Coxiella replication. According to preliminary results from these tests, absence of the CG31221 gene does not appear to demonstrate significant bacterial replication. Pura on the other hand, is significant for bacterial replication at five and fifteen days post-injection for males, and five days post-injection for females. If Pura males and/or females continue to show significant immunity, we’ll examine the gene further to determine more specifically how it fits in the immune response pathway of Drosophila. By furthering our knowledge of this pathway, we’ll be able to better predict the spread of disease, and eventually learn how to better intervene therapeutically for those already affected.

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MCCB13MCCB13: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyOwen CanterburyCanterburyBiochemistryMichael VarnumVarnumPullmanZ4BR23:20

Cyclic nucleotide gated (CNG) ion channels play a pivotal role in the visual transduction cascade of vertebrate photoreceptors (PRs) by converting the light-induced chemical signal into an electrical signal ultimately relayed to the brain. Defects in the genes that encode for cone photoreceptor CNG channel proteins are linked to retinal degeneration and blindness. Natural recycling and damage-associated channel turnover mechanisms remain uncharacterized in cone photoreceptors. Our prior research has demonstrated that canonical lysosomal processes of channel degradation after phagocytosis by associated retinal pigment epithelial cells are insufficient to account for the turnover experimentally observed. This suggests that other means of channel degradation must be present. Preliminary evidence shows that the ubiquitin-proteasome system is implicated in the removal of both wild-type and mutant channels. In vitro data provides evidence that the E3 ubiquitin ligase parkin may be involved in the turnover of channel proteins. Using a zebrafish mutant cnga3a frameshift/deletion model (-7 base pairs in the final exon), which mimics known pathogenic mutations in humans, we demonstrate that the mutant mRNA is not eliminated via nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, yet it results in fewer channels proteins present in the membrane. Additional preliminary data shows that defective channels induce endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress) and the unfolded protein response (UPR). Ongoing and future work includes pharmacological manipulations of the ubiquitin system, fluorescent tracking of channel localization and degradation, and co-immunoprecipitation studies to identify protein-protein interactions controlling channel destruction.

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MCCB14MCCB14: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyNate SavolainenSavolainenBasic Medical SciencesAlan GoodmanGoodmanPullmanZ4BR33:20

Coxiella burnetii is a gram-negative bacterium and the causative agent of Query fever and is transferred to humans from animals via bodily fluids. C. burnetii is shown to be affected by genes within the host in both humans and animals, but the severity of the gene is unknown in relation to infection and C. burnetii replication. The Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel was used along with a Genome-Wide Association analysis to perform an unbiased screen to identify genes that regulate C. burnetii infection. Three genes that were identified and validated were CG34351, RhoGEF64C, and IP3K2. CG34351 regulates G-proteins which are involved in transmitting signals from outside the cell. RhoGEF64C is involved in the development of vacuole formation of C. burnetii in the TGF-beta signaling pathway during infection. IP3K2 encodes a kinase that regulates calcium levels through IP3 signaling. Drosophila lines lacking each of the targeted genes were infected with C. burnetii and collected at 5-, 15-, and 25-days post-infection. Genome Equivalent analysis was used to analyze C. burnetii bacterial replication in the control and mutant flies. From the three genes, RhoGEF64C and CG34351 were identified as significantly controlling bacterial replication with P-values of 0.0334 and 0.0270 at 5 and 25 days, respectively for RhoGEF64C and 0.0467 at 25 days for CG34351. RhoGEF64C is involved in the TGF-beta signaling pathway, which is an innate immune response to C. burnetii infection. Active forms of RhoGTPase are recruited by C. burnetii to help in the formation of the Coxiella-containing vacuole. RhoGTPase is the signaling G protein that interacts with RhoGEFs via positive regulation. This link between RhoGTPase and RhoGEFs could provide a way to propose a mechanism for the interaction of this gene within the innate immunity pathway of C. burnetii.

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MCCB15MCCB15: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyOluwanifemi Shola-DareShola-DareNeuroscienceJason GerstnerGerstnerPullmanZ4BR24:00

Sleep disturbances are common in neurodegenerative diseases and may represent clinical-risk factors in disease etiology. Gaucher’s disease (GD) is a rare lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding for the enzyme acid Î²-glucosidase 1 (GBA1) and is the most common genetic risk factor for Parkinson’s disease (PD). While current therapeutic approaches treat systemic GD symptoms, they fail to address neurological GD symptoms. Therefore, identifying therapeutic strategies to treat sleep disturbances in GD/PD models may provide an opportunity for developing novel drug targets in treating neurological manifestations of GD/PD. Whether sleep behavior is disrupted in this GD fly model remains unknown. Here, we observed sleep abnormalities in this GD mutant fly model and tested whether Troglitazone (TGZ) or Pioglitazone (PGZ) treatment was able to rescue the GD-associated sleep phenotype. Mutant flies with a homozygous deletion or control flies were exposed to media containing dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), or an equal volume of PGZ or TGZ in DMSO and allowed to lay eggs.  Larvae were reared on PGZ, TGZ or DMSO food until adulthood, then 1-3-day post-eclosion males were individually collected under CO2 anesthesia and transferred into polycarbonate tubes containing normal media for recording sleep using the Drosophila-Activity-Monitoring-System. Sleep was measured on a 12:12 Light:Dark cycle. Activity was monitored to get a read-out of fly sleep/wake behavior. Total sleep, daytime sleep, and nighttime sleep were analyzed over a three-day period. Climbing assay was performed by placing 20 adult flies in a vertical column, which was tapped to the bottom, and flies were allowed to climb for 2 minutes. Every 10 seconds, the number of flies that crossed 10cm was determined and the experiment repeated three times. We observed behavioral abnormalities such as age-dependent locomotor deficits, significantly decreased total sleep time in mutant flies compared to control flies, including daytime and nighttime sleep. PGZ was able to rescue daytime sleep and locomotor deficits in mutant flies, but not nighttime sleep deficits. TGZ was unable to rescue any of the behavioral abnormalities in mutant flies. This suggests PGZ may represent a potential compound for treating neurological effects of GD/PD.

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MCCB16MCCB16: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyJacob FosterFosterNeuroscienceRaymond QuockQuockPullmanZ4BR33:40

As the number of people becoming addicted to opioids in America continues to rise, the necessity for safe and effective treatment strategies grows as well. The negative physical symptoms that arise after cessation of chronic opioid use is sited as a top contributor for relapse. By finding a novel method for curbing the physical withdrawal signs we hope to elucidate new treatments that can ultimately assist in lessening the burden the opioid epidemic has put on America. Past research has indicated there is a shared mechanism by which Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) attenuate opioid withdrawal, as well as neuropathic pain.

Once metabolized into nitric oxide, N2O is able to activate the analgesic, endogenous opioid system through a variety of pathways. Along with stimulating the production of nitric oxide synthase, N2O also increases the concentration of Substance P in the brain, a neuropeptide involved in inflammation, vasodilation, and most importantly pain signaling. These coupled with the selective inhibition of special calcium channels (Cav3.2) also involved in pain transmission give N2O gas a promising outlook to decrease physical withdrawal symptoms from opiates. 

Treatment groups of NIH Swiss mice are treated with twice daily subcutaneous injections of morphine sulfate or saline over four days; dosage increased each day (50, 75, 100, 125 mg/kg) to establish a dependency. Then, in order to induce spontaneous withdrawal the mice are administered the opioid receptor antagonist Naloxone at 0.5 mg/kg. A dosage experimentally found to have a high enough concentration to induce withdrawals but low enough not to monopolize opioid receptors to the point of negating the effects of N2O. The mice are then placed into a chamber with a 60/40 ratio of N2O/O2 and assessed for fore paw tremors, wet dog shakes, jumping, and rearing for thirty minutes. 

After culminating the data we hope to find that between the four treatment groups, (Morphine+ N2O+, Morphine+ N2O-, Morphine- N2O+, Morphine- N2O-) the morphine dependent mice treated with thirty minutes of N2O gas show statistically a significant decline in physical withdrawal symptoms. 

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MCCB17MCCB17: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyJohn BurklandBurklandBiochemistryRaymond QuockQuockPullmanZ4BR14:00

Opioid addiction in the U.S. is responsible for thousands of deaths each year and has no effective treatment options other than prescribing a weaker form of opioid. Research in the field has shown that the euphoric and analgesic effects of opioids play less of a role in the establishment of addiction than the uncomfortable effects that follow the initial “high.” These unpleasant effects are thought to originate from the neuroinflammation caused by the body's innate immune reaction to opioid compounds, especially their binding to Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4). This data provides the rationale for exploring a potential treatment of opioid addiction by blocking TLR4 signaling and reducing the unpleasant effects of its associated neuroinflammation.

This experiment was structured to determine if TLR4 inhibition could reduce the physical signs of morphine withdrawal in a mouse model. Because of previously recorded sex-dependent differences in morphine metabolism and withdrawal, we expected TLR4 inhibition to decrease the severity of withdrawal to a greater degree in female mice than it would in males. Preliminary data supports this conclusion, with female mice displaying a decrease in the level of physical withdrawal compared to both control females and their male counterparts. Interestingly, male mice displayed an increased level of physical withdrawal compared to control mice when TLR4 was inhibited.

This deviation in withdrawal response between male and female mice adds to a body of literature suggesting that sex-dependent differences in opioid response are present and should be taken into account when using rodents as a model organism. In addition, the reduction in withdrawal level measured in female mice after TLR4 inhibition supports the theory that immune signaling can play a role in the development of addiction and provides more evidence for targeting this pathway to treat opioid dependence.   

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MCCB18MCCB18: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyGreta LangholtLangholtAnimal SciencesKanako HayashiHayashiPullmanZ4BR13:00

Cannabis is one of the most widely used illicit drugs in the United States, particularly among age groups ranging from age 18 to 35. Over the years, the concentration of THC has increased, and this increase correlates with adverse health issues. Research regarding the impacts of cannabis use on reproductive function is scarce. Therefore, the transgenerational impacts of cannabis on reproductive function are also unknown. This study revealed that the male mice that were exposed to cannabis prior to breeding passed down alterations to reproductive function to the F1 offspring. To examine these transgenerational effects from cannabis use, male CD-1 (F0) were either exposed to an air or cannabis vapor treatment 3 times per day for 10 consecutive days and bred to female CD-1 mice to produce the F1 generation. Male mice from the cannabis or air F1 generation were used to generate the F2 generation. The testes were collected from the offspring at PND6, and the testes, cauda of the epididymis, and blood were collected at 2 months, 3 months, and 4 months for F0 and F1 generations. Sperm data from the F0 generation at 2 months of age showed a significant decrease in the motility of the cannabis mice. However, there was no significant differences in motility at 3 and 4 months for the F0 generation. Sperm count and amount of non-progressive, medium progressive, and rapid progressive sperm was also assessed, though there was no significant difference in the F0 for any of the ages. Analysis of sperm count data taken from 2-month-old F1 mice given the cannabis treatment showed a significant difference in sperm counts when compared to the F1 mice given the air treatment. There was no significant difference in motility or sperm movement for the F1 2-month generation. Examination of the histology of teste cross-sections revealed no significant morphological difference between the air and cannabis mice of the F0 or F1 generations at any age. These results suggest that chronic exposure of F0 males to cannabis prior to breeding prompts transgenerational impacts on male reproductive function, specifically the sperm counts off F1 offspring generations.

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MCCB19MCCB19: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMadeleine HarveyHarveyBasic Medical Sciences, BiologyKanako HayashiHayashiPullmanZ4BR34:00

Endometriosis is a chronic gynecological disease with no known cure and very few treatment options. In endometriosis patients, endometrial tissue that usually grows inside of the uterus, grows outside of the uterus, and can attach to the surrounding tissues in the pelvic cavity. It affects over 10% of women, causing severe pelvic pain and fertility issues. Current treatment options include hormone control and laparoscopic surgery, both of which are not permanent solutions and have high risk of side effects and relapse. The lack of efficacy in current treatment options lead to a necessity for new, effective treatments. Our lab has determined that Niclosamide, an FDA-approved drug, is effective in reducing the growth and progression of endometriotic lesions and potentially improves endometriosis-associated pain. In order to further understand the efficacy of Niclosamide, we have first characterized endometriosis-associated pain behavior in our established mouse model of endometriosis. A regimen of estrogen and progesterone was administered via injection over the course of 13 days in donor mice. Menstrual-like tissues were collected and inoculated into the peritoneal cavity in ovary-intact recipient mice. Collections ensued on the recipient mice on days -1, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 42. The initial collection at day -1 served to create a baseline of mice that had no inoculated lesions. We used the subsequent time points to establish pain response levels based on Von Frey and Nesting behavior tests. The study is still ongoing; however, apparent differences have been noted. Both behavior tests showed that mice had the highest pain response at 7 days after lesion induction. According to these data, we will next determine whether Niclosamide is effective in improving endometriosis-associated pain behaviors and its mechanisms.

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MCCB20MCCB20: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyBrianna LindgrenLindgrenBiochemistryCynthia HaseltineHaseltinePullmanZ4BR43:00

R-loops are the result of RNA transcripts base-pairing with their DNA template during translation. This DNA:RNA complex results in RNA polymerase stalling and an increased risk of single and double strand DNA breaks. R-loops have been proven to exist in bacteria and eukaryotes, but not in archaea. Archaea exist as a middle ground between these domains of life, so discovering R-loops in them would strengthen the connections between all three branches of life. As such, the primary objective of this research is to show that transcription-linked R-loop formation occurs in archaea. Within the archaeal branch of life are many extremophiles, including Sulfolobus solfataricus, a hyperthermophilic acidophile, which relies on improved DNA repair mechanisms for its survival. The S. solfataricus strains observed were the hyper recombinant 2025 and its parent strain 98/2. Using direct qPCR of selected genes from DNA-RNA immunoprecipitation (DRIP) of cells after growing in single sugar medias, R-loops were found to be present in S. solfataricus, and at higher concentrations in 2025 than 98/2. Now, by inducing increased transcription at specific genes through growth in single sugar medias, and then comparing the changes in RNA production using indirect qPCR of RNA extractions taken from time cell pellet point samples, the changes in transcription rates between the strains can be compared. By comparing these data sets, if both the rate of transcription and concentration of R-loops at induced genes are increased accordingly, then it could be determined that R-loop formation is linked to transcription rates. Furthermore, by comparing the rates in a hyper-recombinant strain to those of its parent strain, further research can be done into the specific archaeal mechanisms for DNA repair and R-loop resolution, providing insight on what factors improve the process.

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MCCB21MCCB21: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologySophie MackinnonMackinnonGenetics and Cell Biology, MicrobiologyAlan GoodmanGoodmanPullmanZ4BR43:20

West Nile virus is a pathogen that appeared in the United States in 1999 and has since become endemic at a national level. Infections can range in severity from asymptomatic to acute infection presenting as flu-like symptoms. Approximately two-thirds of symptomatic cases lead to neurological damage that can range from encephalitis, paralysis, and in extreme cases death. Currently, there are no human vaccines available to prevent infection nor are there any virus-specific prophylactics. Because of the necessary role that the mosquito has in virus transmission, reducing transmission from mosquito to human would be the most effective means of reducing disease incidence. In order to accomplish this, further understanding of the immune responses used by the mosquito to control viral activity is needed. Previously, our lab demonstrated that the insulin signaling pathway is an important antiviral response during West Nile virus infection. We have further delved into the specific mechanisms by which the insulin response pathway contributes to immunity against West Nile virus and model insulin-mediated antiviral protection using Drosophila melanogaster and Culex quinquefasciatus. Specifically, we have demonstrated that both canonical and novel signaling responses regulated by insulin contribute to the antiviral protection observed through an unbiased host-response analysis. We have discovered that insulin regulates various signaling responses during viral infection that may be conserved between the arthropod vector and insect model. These results can be used to identify new genes or proteins of importance in the immune response, leading to further categorization of signaling pathways involved in response upon infection. Ultimately, this information has permitted us to understand how the mosquito responds to West Nile virus infection and identify potential novel targets for intervention.

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MCCB22MCCB22: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologySydney AlmgrenAlmgrenEnvironmental and Ecosystem SciencesPhillip BatesBatesPullmanZ4BR43:40

Fish are a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); however, the world’s oceans are being unsustainably overfished. While aquaculture, the farming of aquatic animals for food, has the potential to alleviate strain placed on oceanic fisheries, more sustainable feed ingredients must be utilized. Vegetable oil is a promising alternative to fish oil used in aquaculture feeds, and transgenic plants producing the same omega-3 fatty acids found in natural fish diets have even greater potential as a sustainable replacement. Yet engineering plants to contain higher levels of fatty acids is difficult, as the lipid assembly pathways used by plants to create them are not yet fully understood. This research aims to further investigate the roles of two oil biosynthetic enzymes, phospholipid:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (PDAT) and acyl-CoA:diacylglcerol acyltransferase (DGAT) on EPA and DHA accumulation in the seeds of transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetically mutated plant lines not containing PDAT or DGAT were initially crossed with EPA and DHA producing transgenic lines in order to examine how the absence of these enzymes affects the fatty acid accumulation in the seed oil. Analysis of a homozygous pdat/EPA mutant/transgenic line did not indicate a statistically significant change in overall EPA content, suggesting that PDAT is not directly related to EPA/DHA accumulation in seed oil; however, there was a significant reduction of unwanted intermediates. Additional segregating populations of pdat/DHA, dgat/EPA, and dgat/DHA crosses will be screened to obtain additional homozygous lines whose oil contents will be analyzed. By better understanding how these enzymes utilize different fatty acid containing substrates, we will be able to engineer better transgenic plants containing higher levels of EPA/DHA. These plants can then be used not only in aquaculture feeds, but directly consumed in regular diets.

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MCCB23MCCB23: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyOlivia HaydenHaydenBiochemistryAlan Goodman, R. Marena GuzmanGoodmanPullmanZ4BR44:00

The Gram-negative bacterium Coxiella burnetii is the causative agent of Query (Q) fever in humans and Coxiellosis in livestock. There is currently no vaccine against Q fever available in the United States; therefore, new therapeutic approaches are needed to reduce infection in reservoir animals, such as ticks, and control the spread of C. burnetii to humans. Our lab has demonstrated that the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a suitable animal model for studying C. burnetii infection. In vertebrates it is known that STING (STimulator of INterferon Genes) acts as a sensor for the innate immune system. Drosophila contain a STING ortholog (dmSTING) and preliminary data indicates that infection of C. burnetii initiates a dmSTING-dependent immune response. We show that dmSTING-null flies have significantly higher mortality to C. burnetii infection compared to control flies. We also show that dmSTING interacts with Dredd, a caspase known to induce antimicrobial peptides in fruit flies. In addition, we demonstrate that Dredd-null flies have significantly higher mortality to C. burnetii infection as well. We hypothesize that dmSTING stimulates an immune response and interacts in some capacity with the protein Dredd during C. burnetii infection. Here, we analyzed bacterial replication and antimicrobial peptide induction in both dmSTING and Dredd-null flies during C. burnetii infection in order to measure the host immune response in the presence or absence of these genes. Altogether, our results indicate that both dmSTING and Dredd play important roles in the immune response during C. burnetii infection. Our aim is to uncover more information about the mechanism of infection of C. burnetii in Drosophila by further characterizing the role these proteins play during infection. In order to begin developing a therapeutic approach to Q Fever, scientists must first understand how the pathogenic bacteria, C. burnetii, infects its hosts. Since dmSTING and Dredd have relevant human homologs already implicated in immunity, our research will help us apply our results directly to human studies.

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MCCB24MCCB24: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyIsabel HoustonHoustonGenetics and Cell BiologyJennifer WattsWattsPullmanZ4BR54:00

C. elegans is a valuable model organism for studying lipid composition due in part to its fast growth, simple maintenance and well-classified metabolic processes. Our lab studies lipid metabolism in C. elegans using genetic and biochemical approaches. In this project, we used the mutant strains agmo-1 and ads-1 to study the physiological consequences of altering ether lipid composition. The AGMO-1 monooxygenase acts to breaks down ether lipids, while ADS-1 is the rate-limiting enzyme for ether lipid biosynthesis. Analysis via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to verify the lipid composition changes in ads-1 and agmo-1 mutants. The ads-1 mutants were confirmed to lack ether lipids, although agmo-1 didn’t show the expected increase in ether lipid accumulation. To study physiological roles for ether lipids, we examined skin integrity and reproductive efficiency. During a cuticle disintegration assay, agmo-1 worms were found to be quite sensitive to bleach and survived only a short amount of time before disintegrating. In contrast, the ads-1 worm cuticle remained intact for a much longer period of time in the bleach, longer than agmo-1 and wild type worms. Thus, proper ether lipid composition is important in the skin of the worm to establish cuticle integrity. A brood size assay was performed to study reproductive efficiency. The agmo-1 worms produced a similar number of eggs to wild type worms, indicating that lack of AGMO-1 protein is not detrimental to reproduction. In contrast, ads-1 worms produced a much smaller brood size, indicating that ether lipids are required for efficient germ cell production.

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MCCB25MCCB25: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyShane WatsonWatsonNeuroscience, PsychologyJon DavisDavisPullmanZ4BR53:40

Cannabis is one of the most commonly used drugs in the world, and its legalization in the United States has further proliferated its use. While cannabis has commonly been used recreationally, there is a growing interest in its potential use in medicine. Specifically, cannabis is known to increase appetite, which may be used therapeutically to treat patients who suffer from diseased-based anorexia. In this context, our lab has shown that vapor cannabis exposure promotes appetite in rodents. Additionally, vapor cannabis increases the blood concentration of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin, and we have determined that ghrelin action on agouti related peptide (AgRP) hunger neurons in the hypothalamus is required for cannabis-induced feeding. Importantly, the cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1R), the primary receptor mediating cannabis-induced appetite, is expressed on inhibitory neurons in the hypothalamus that form functional contacts onto AgRP neurons. This observation raises the possibility that CB1R activation may directly stimulate appetite via the disinhibition of AgRP hunger neurons. In this regard, the goal of this project was to determine the functional relevance of CB1R activation for AgRP neuronal activity. To accomplish this, we used patch-clamp electrophysiology techniques to measure spontaneous inhibitory post synaptic currents (sIPSCs) onto AgRP neurons. Specifically, AgRP-Cre mice (n=9) were injected with a Cre-dependent virus expressing a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter, and GFP-stained AgRP neurons were identified from hypothalamic brain slices for recording. Subsequently, we recorded sIPSCs onto AgRP neurons in the presence and absence of the CB1R agonist WIN 55,212-2. Our data show that WIN treatment led to a significant reduction in sIPSC frequency onto AgRP neurons, which supports our hypothesis that CB1R activation reduces inhibitory tone onto AgRP neurons. This suggests that cannabis may directly target hypothalamic hunger neurons to promote appetite, and future research should investigate whether cannabinoid-based medications can target this mechanism in order to treat disease-based anorexia.

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MCCB26MCCB26: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyNguyen HoHoChemistryJeffrey Bell, Dalton GlascoBellPullmanZ5BR13:20

Benzalkonium chlorides (BACs) are the most commonly used antimicrobial preservative used in antiseptics, disinfectants, hair products, and eye, ear, and nasal drops. In fact, BACs are found in up to 70% of eye drops on the market. However, numerous studies have revealed deleterious corneal effects associated with BACs leading to unwanted effects such as destabilization of the tear film and death of the corneal and conjunctival epithelial cells. It has been suggested that the risks of these effects are likely dose-dependent. Currently, BACs are detected using gas chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, thin-layer chromatography, and chemical ionization mass spectroscopy. However, these methods are not suitable for ophthalmic gels or viscous solutions because they have low detection sensitivity and need long run time sequences. To address these problems, we have developed an ion-selective electrode (ISE) to rapidly and accurately measure the concentration of BACs in various matrices (e.g., eye drops and hand sanitizer). These BAC-ISEs are fabricated using a new 3D-printing methodology which significantly decreases both the time and cost associated with ISE fabrication. To be able to selectively detect BAC in diverse backgrounds, we have incorporated a molecular recognition element (calix[4]arene) into our sensing membrane. Results demonstrate that our BAC-ISE is capable of detecting BAC concentrations between 1.0 mM and 20.0 uM in the presence of common positively charged interferences such as sodium, ammonium, potassium, creatinine, and acetylcholine. Our BAC-ISE offers a simple, time-efficient, and sensitive analysis, which can be used for routine measurements in lab settings as well as at the point-of-care.

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MCCB27MCCB27: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyAlbert AlvarezAlvarezMicrobiologyMohammad Aminul IslamIslamPullmanZ4BR53:00

Introduction: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is considered a global crisis. In addition to antibiotics, bacteria can acquire AMR through exposure to heavy metals, including arsenic. It is presumed that resistance to both antibiotics and heavy metals are carried by mobile genetic elements, such as plasmids, and transmission of these can be induced by exposure to heavy metals alone. However, there is a lack of sufficient evidence to show that both antibiotic and arsenic resistance genes are located in transmissible plasmids. The major objective of this project is to identify the transmissible plasmids carrying both arsenic and antibiotic resistance genes in extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing Escherichia coli that were previously isolated from humans and household drinking water sources in rural Bangladesh where arsenic levels in drinking water are high.

Hypothesis: We hypothesize that arsenic and antibiotic resistance genes are carried by the same plasmid that is self-transmissible.

Methods: Thirty arsenic resistant and ESBL-producing E. coli isolates were used for plasmid profile analysis. Conjugation was done by filter-mating process between donor isolates and the recipient E. coli-J53 strain. Plasmid DNA from donor and transconjugants was extracted by modified alkaline lysis method. Plasmid DNA was run on agarose gel and visualized by staining with ethidium bromide. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests were done by disk diffusion method. The susceptibility to inorganic arsenic compounds was tested by broth microdilution method. PCR for antibiotic and arsenic resistance genes was performed with boiled bacterial culture.

Results: Successful conjugation was demonstrated in 8 of 30 E. coli isolates.  The conjugation frequency of isolates varied from 4.9×10-2 to 9.0×10-3 . The susceptibility of the transconjugants against antibiotics and arsenic compounds will be determined as described in methods. Resistance profile will be compared with the corresponding donor cells. To confirm the presence of arsenic and antibiotic genes in transconjugant plasmid, PCR will be performed.

Conclusions: Genomic characterization of the genes associated with the arsenic and antibiotic resistance in E. coli would help better understand the effects of arsenic exposure on antimicrobial resistance transmission among bacterial communities and provide guidance on intervention strategies to reduce the burden of AMR in low-income communities.

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MCCB28MCCB28: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyBrianna KnodeKnodeChemistry, Genetics and Cell BiologyJohn WyrickWyrickPullmanZ4BR53:20

Many of the most frequent cancer-causing mutations in melanoma differ from the mutation types typically associated with ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. These include mutations in the BRAF oncogene, a gene which, when mutated, has the potential to cause normal cells to become cancerous. These mutations are found at the V600 amino acid (BRAF V600E and V600K), which occur in nearly ~50% of melanomas. We hypothesize that these cancer-causing mutations may arise in some instances from defective repair following DNA replication. The DNA mismatch repair pathway is a mechanism required to correct errors following DNA replication, and therefore defects in mismatch repair could potentially cause BRAF V600E and V600K mutations. Consistent with this model, BRAF mutations in colorectal cancer are associated with tumors with a defect in mismatch repair. To test this hypothesis, two genes associated with mismatch repair (MSH2 and MSH6) were mutated in yeast strains containing reporter genes required for tryptophan biosynthesis (TRP5) and pyrimidine ribonucleotide biosynthesis (URA3). These genes can be activated by the same valine-to-glutamate (V-to-E) and valine-to-lysine (V-to-K) amino acid substitutions as occur in the BRAF oncogene. Yeast strains in which the msh2 or msh6 genes were mutated were plated on media lacking either tryptophan or uracil, in order to select for activating trp5 V-to-E or ura3 V-to-K mutations. Ultimately, this data will help determine to what extent defective mismatch repair can induce these cancer-causing mutations, and may provide new insight into how BRAF mutations are induced in melanoma and colorectal cancers.

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MCCB29MCCB29: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyJessica FisherFisherGenetics and Cell BiologyKathleen Hickey, Taras Nazarov, Andrei Smertenko, Glenn TurnerSmertenkoPullmanZ5BR13:00

The global production of the staple crop wheat is being threatened by drought worldwide. Due to climate change, the frequency and intensity of drought events are expected to grow. This will greatly impact areas that already exceed their areas natural ability to replenish fresh water. To ameliorate the risks of drought-induced food security, finding and breeding drought tolerant wheat varieties is essential. However, the drought tolerance trait is genetically complex which creates a significant challenge. This is because the complexity of the response events triggered by drought are not fully understood. Under drought, wheat synthesizes abscisic acid hormone from roots which signals for stomatal closure. This limits carbon dioxide gas exchange and inhibits photosynthesis. Excess light energy accumulates and results in the production of toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). An excess of ROS’s will progressively deteriorate overall plant health. To detoxify ROS’s, plants use ROS scavengers that carried within different locations including an organelle called the peroxisome. We hypothesize that number of peroxisomes in cells constitutes an adaptive response that protects cells from oxidative damage caused by the accumulation of ROS under drought.  Using Nitro BODIPY fluorescence in total protein extracts as an indicator of peroxisome abundance and measuring kinetics of ROS scavenging enzymes, we are able to phenotype ROS scavenging on a population level. In this research project, we have correlated activity of ROS scavenging enzyme catalase and nitro BODIPY fluorescence with peroxisome abundance in wheat. We measured the expression of peroxisomal proliferation genes in wheat using qRT-PCR. To determine genes that coordinate peroxisome proliferation with stress, we are using a less genetically complex plant, Arabidopsis. We produced chemically mutagenized population of Arabidopsis and identified mutants with abnormal peroxisome abundance. Peroxisomes in the mutant plants were imaged using laser confocal scanning microscope. Then we used qRT-PCR to measure transcription of 10 peroxisomal fission genes in these lines. These mutants will identify novel genes that control peroxisome fission in response to stress and eventually facilitate breeding drought-tolerant crops to address global food security.

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MCCB30MCCB30: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyJesus MendozaMendozaZoologyDouglas CallCallPullmanZ3BR54:00

Flavobacterium psychrophilum is an important psychrophilic pathogen that affects freshwater salmonid populations globally and is the culprit for Bacterial Coldwater Disease (BCD) [1]. This gram-negative bacterium infects fish both horizontally and vertically leading to pronounced loss in the fish farming industry when compared to other finfish diseases. The fastidious nature of this organism requires active intervention through the use of several water-soluble antibiotics, chemicals, non-antibiotics, and research to better understand resistance mechanisms. The organism is well known for exhibiting antibiotic resistance through the use of biofilm formation which aids to protect the Flavobacteria from the environment as well as host defenses and an active efflux pump which removes antibiotics from the cell. In order to better understand biofilm formation, bacterial samples were collected from Rainbow and Steelhead trout living in various bodies of water throughout the United States. The isolates were grown within 24 well plates for 96 hours with shaking, after which, cells were stained using crystal violet and biofilm prevalence was recording using cellular absorbance (OD500). To address antimicrobial susceptibility, serial dilution minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) procedures were used as proposed by the Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institution (CLSI). In addition to MIC protocols, incorporation of the use of an efflux pump inhibitor was performed according to (Van Vliet Et. Al. 2017). Biofilm prevalence data collected for the 150 strains was evaluated using a formula that subtracted biofilm cell absorbance from control well absorbance, then this was divided by overall supernatant absorbance [2]. As of now, no correlations have been made between biofilm formation and strain metadata however, consideration have been made to repeat biofilm assays due to difficulties with replicability of biofilm formation. Final data collection for antibiotic susceptibility to Florfenicol via the inhibition/use of an efflux pump is still underway (should have findings before presentation date). Understanding biofilm growth formation and antibiotic susceptibility will likely influence clinical treatments of Flavobacterium outbreaks. Likewise, considering the efficacy of efflux pump inhibitors could help make antibiotic treatments more effective at less concentrated doses all while aiding to reduce selection for resistant strains.  


[1] Barnes & Brown, 2011

[2] Niu and Gilbert, 2004

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MCCB31MCCB31: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyAliya QuintalQuintalGenetics and Cell BiologyNorman LewisLewisPullmanZ5BR13:40

It is well understood that long term spaceflight and potential extraterrestrial environments will require plant growth for many purposes, such as for food production. However, it is also extremely important for all the inedible parts of plants to be recycled for the purpose of recovering carbon and nitrogen (C/N) for future food growth in Space. One of the inedible parts and important structural component of plants is a biopolymer called lignin. It is involved in the structural reinforcement of plants as well as water and nutrient transport. This structural support is important to help withstand the force of gravity on Earth but may not be needed in the same levels in Space.

Gene knockouts involving arogenate dehydratase (ADT) have been shown to reduce lignin content in Arabidopsis plants. Currently, similar gene knockouts in Medicago sativa (alfalfa) plants for International Space Station experiments are being investigated with the intent of creating more readily recyclable C/N for sustainable plant food production. Gene BLAST searches were used to compare genetic sequences between specific Arabidopsis and Medicago sativa genes. This showed that the Arabidopsis gene AtADT 4 was similar to the Medicago gene MtrADT3. Similarly, AtADT5 was found to be homologous to MtrADT6.  Using this information, CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tools were applied to create gene knock-outs of MtrADT 3 and MtrADT6.

The Medicago databases in CRISPR-PLANT and CRISPR-direct websites were used to identify optimal regions for gRNA targeting for both the MtrADT 3 and MtrADT6 genes. Specific primers were generated to amplify target sequences to clone into the pDIRECT 22C T-DNA binary vector plasmid using the novel Golden Gate cloning method. To make sure the CRISPR/Cas9 constructs were assembled correctly, transformant E. coli colonies were PCR screened to check for insert sizes and then sequenced to confirm the correct assembly of the construct. The final plasmid constructs will be used to generate transgenic plants with the target of reduced lignin contents.  

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MCCB32MCCB32: Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMolecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyTatum FlanaganFlanaganChemistryAaron HendricksenHendricksenPullmanZ5BR14:00

The objective of this project is to develop an adjuvant, in this case a trehalose based polymer, for vaccinations to help boost the body's natural immune responses. Trehalose based polymers have been shown to express a capacity to stimulate the immune system by increasing activity in immune response. Increased immune response could potentially lead to an increased immune memory, resulting in less need for repetitive booster shots. The polymers synthesized in this project were tested on immune cell assays which measure the amount of stimulation in immune response generated by the polymer. The initial results have shown that the adjuvant does stimulate an immune response in the cell assays. Based on these initial findings, it is promising that the synthesized adjuvant could be useful in boosting initial immune responses within the body and reduce the need for booster shots later in life.

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OPEB01OPEB1: Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyOrganismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyAmanda RichardsRichardsNeuroscienceRyan McLaughlinMcLaughlinPullmanZ1BR43:20

Cannabis use is on the rise in the United States since the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes. Women of reproductive age have shown a similar trend. This is concerning, especially considering that the effects of cannabis use during pregnancy on both the mother and offspring are largely unknown. A growing body of research has examined whether cannabis exposure has detrimental effects on the offspring, but the ramifications for the mother herself are often neglected. Studies indicate that women who use cannabis during pregnancy are more likely to experience post-partum symptoms of depression, but a causal relationship between maternal cannabis use and post-partum depressive symptoms has not been investigated. To address this gap in knowledge, we will use a novel model of cannabis vapor self-administration in pregnant rat dams to examine the extent to which maternal cannabis use affects maternal care and anxiety-like behavior during the post-partum period. Following parturition, we will measure maternal care behavior in dams during the first postnatal week using pose estimation and machine learning approaches. After weaning, dams will be subjected to a battery of behavioral assays that are designed to measure anxiety-like behavior. Finally, we will measure basal and stress-induced concentrations of corticosterone to determine whether there are long-term changes in stress hormone release. We hypothesize that maternal cannabis use will decrease the frequency of maternal care events and the time spent engaging in pup-directed behavior in the immediate postpartum period. Additionally, we predict that maternal cannabis use will increase anxiety-like behavior and augment stress-induced corticosterone secretion compared to dams that had self-administered vehicle vapor not containing any cannabinoids. The proposed studies will offer insight into whether a causal relationship exists between maternal cannabis use and postpartum behavioral alterations. Ultimately, we hope that these data can be used to inform pregnant mothers of the harms of consuming cannabis and the potential impact it could have on postpartum mental health.

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OPEB02OPEB2: Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyOrganismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyRiley ShultzShultzBiochemistryJennifer Han, Nicholas NaegerNaegerPullmanZ1BR43:40

Honey bee health has been declining; annual hive loss rates have exceeded 35% in recent years. While there are many factors that are contributing to poor honey bee health, the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is the most commonly reported cause of hive deaths. Washington State University’s Entomology and Plant Pathology programs have worked to develop a new strain of entomopathogenic fungus in the genus Metarhizium that kills mites. Previous research suggests treatment with fungal spores that are nonpathogenic to bees results in an increase expression of immune function genes in honey bees. Caged bees were treated with varying doses of Metarhizium (none, low, medium, or high) and incubated at 32 °C. Varroa and honey bee mortality was tracked for 20 days and 2 separate trials. The high dose treatment did not significantly increase mite mortality; however, bees treated with a high dose lived significantly longer than control bees (t-test p=0.01). RNA was extracted from the honey bees and gene expression of immune related genes will be analyzed using quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR).

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OPEB03OPEB3: Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyOrganismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyKyle HulseHulseZoologyWilliam DowdDowdPullmanZ1BR44:00

Temporal environmental variation is ubiquitous throughout the world's oceans. To better understand how environmental stressors affect marine organisms' physiology or performance, it is important to conduct experiments that include temporal environmental variation. Such experiments can give insight into how these organisms currently react to natural fluctuations in the ecosystem and how they may respond to climate change. This literature review study examines whether and to what extent the field of marine biology has incorporated temporal environmental variation into empirical studies. To do so, 2826 literature citations of 11 influential studies associated with temporal environmental variation were identified using Science Citation Index. By looking at whether the studies that have cited those 11 articles are within the field of marine biology or not, we were able to see the prevalence of temporal environmental variation in marine biology versus other disciplines. For those studies conducted on marine organisms, we determined whether the study was empirical or a review, which environmental variable was explored, the species that were studied, whether there indeed was temporal variation in the experimental design, what type of variation was studied, and whether the study concluded that environmental variation was important. To date, only 10% of 487 studies analyzed have focused on marine organisms. Of those studies that are marine in nature, only 20.4% included temporal environmental variation. Notably, 100% of this latter group of studies concluded that the effect of temporal environmental variation was significant. Furthermore, 80% of the studies that did incorporate temporal variation focused only on temperature, ignoring the covariation of multiple environmental parameters (such as salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen) that is often seen in nature. These preliminary results suggest that there has been relatively little exploration of temporal environmental variation and its effects on marine organisms, calling into question our understanding of how marine organisms respond to their natural environment and how they may fare in the future.

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OPEB04OPEB4: Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyOrganismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyMegan JohnsenJohnsenBiochemistryRebecca CraftCraftPullmanZ1BR53:00

Analgesic drug development serves an essential role in improving chronic pain treatment options amid the United States’ opioid epidemic.  However, the translation between rodent models in preclinical studies and human clinical studies is less than optimal.  This may be due to heavy reliance on pain measures in animals that assess withdrawal from noxious stimuli rather than spontaneous pain measures.  One problem is that drugs may decrease behaviors evoked by noxious stimuli due to sedation rather than analgesia, leading to false positive analgesic effects.  The addition of pain-suppressed behaviors in animal studies may improve translation by distinguishing between analgesia and sedation.  The purpose of this study is to test the validity of Ensure® liquid food consumption as a measure of pain-suppressed behavior.  Male and female rats were injected with Complete Freund’s Adjuvant (CFA) to model chronic inflammatory pain and varying morphine doses were administered as a known analgesic.  Either Ensure® consumption or traditional noxious stimulus-evoked responses were measured, and the potency of morphine to suppress noxious stimulus-evoked behaviors were compared to the potency of morphine to restore pain-suppressed Ensure® consumption.  We predict that morphine potency will be greater for pain-suppressed than for pain-evoked behaviors, and that distinguishing sedation from analgesia will be easier using the pain-suppressed measure.  Based on previous studies, we predicted that morphine antinociceptive potency would be greater in males than females, particularly when utilizing pain-evoked behaviors.  In the Ensure® consumption experiment, the saline control groups for both CFA and mineral oil treatments displayed comparable levels of consumption in females and only slight decreases in consumption in CFA-treated males, implying that CFA may not be suppressing drinking.  Morphine increased consumption in a dose-dependent manner for both males and females in the CFA treatment group.  However, this morphine effect was also observed in the mineral oil control group, suggesting that morphine increases consumption.  To address this, we are currently testing how different concentrations of Ensure® affect consumption.  We are also raising the sipper tube height to further challenge CFA-treated rats and suppress Ensure® consumption while not affecting consumption in the mineral oil control group.

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OPEB05OPEB5: Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyOrganismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyEmma KadykKadykFood ScienceMeijun ZhuZhuPullmanZ1BR53:20

Introduction: Listeria monocytogenes has been associated with many apples outbreaks and recalls, prompting research for public health concerns. Antimicrobial dump tank wash is commonly used to prevent microbial cross-contamination during processing and packing. Chlorine is the most commonly used disinfectant in the dump tank system. However, dump tank water is typically reused for several days before, resulting in high levels of organic matter in the wash water and influencing the efficacy of chlorine.

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of peroxyacetic acid along with sodium acidic sulfate as alternatives to chlorine for controlling Listeria innocua and Enterococcus faecium, which are used as surrogates for L. monocytogenes, in simulated dump tank water. 

Method: L. innocua or E. faecium were inoculated in simulated dump tank water with 1000 ppm COD at 107 CFU/mL. Peroxyacetic acid and sodium acidic sulfate were included in simulated dump tank water individually or together for 30-sec to 6-min contact. The residual L. innocua or E. faecium were serially diluted with phosphate buffer saline, spread onto trypticase soy broth supplemented with 0.6% yeast extract and 1.5% agar (TSAYE) plates, and incubated at 24 h at 37 ºC.

Result: A reduction of 27.5% can be observed from the control and a 30 second contact with peroxyacetic acid. The average CFU/mL for the control, water plate, was 2000 CFU/mL. After 30 seconds in peroxyacetic acid the average CFU/mL was reduced to 1450 CFU/mL. After 2 minutes in the peroxyacetic acid the average CFU/mL was 1295 CFU/mL. This was a reduction of 35.25% from the control to 2 minutes and 10.69% from 30 seconds to 2-minute contact time with peroxyacetic acid. After 4 minutes contact time with peroxyacetic acid the average CFU/mL was 612.5. This was a reduction in L.innocua and E. faecium of 69.73% from the control and 52.7% from 2 minutes to 4 minutes of contact time.

Significance: This study provides alternative antimicrobial interventions aid in dump tank water sanitation in for produce packing facilities.

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OPEB06OPEB6: Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyOrganismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyAbbi PrinsPrinsAnimal SciencesHolly NeibergsNeibergsPullmanZ2BR13:40

Dairy producers strive to produce high quality milk with low somatic cell counts (SCC), as milk with high SCC indicates an immune response in the mammary gland resulting from an infection or disease process. High SCC cows tend to have lower milk production, and profitability than cows with low SCC. Inflammatory processes may also interfere with the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy resulting in an increase in the number of times a cow is bred prior to conception (TBRD). Therefore, the objectives of this study were to: 1) identify loci and positional candidate genes associated with SCC in Holstein cows; 2) determine if loci associated with high SCC were more frequent in cattle with poor fertility (high TBRD); and 3) determine if loci previously associated with TBRD in these cattle were shared with loci associated with SCC. Two year old Holstein cows (n = 784) that were raised in six central Washington dairies were genotyped with the Illumina BovineHD BeadChip (777,962 SNPs). A genome-wide association analysis (GWAA) was performed to identify loci associated with SCC. After quality control for SNPs and animals, 776 cows and 625,270 SNPs remained for the GWAA. An uncorrected P value of 1 × 10-5 > P < 5 × 10-7 identified 129 loci moderately associated while P < 5 × 10-7 identified 79 loci strongly associated with SCC. There was a positive correlation between the alleles associated with SCC and fertility at this locus; a lower SCC is associated with low TBRD and thus high fertility. A 36 kb region surrounding SNPs associated with SCC identified 94 positional candidate genes. Identifying loci associated with SCC are initial steps toward genomic selection to reduce SCC in dairy cattle. These data show that selection for low SCC may also improve fertility allowing producers to select for healthier and more productive cows.

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OPEB07OPEB7: Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyOrganismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyAnna McDonaldMcDonaldBiology, Computer ScienceJoanna KelleyKelleyPullmanZ2BR13:00

Metabolic diseases, like diabetes, only have limited treatments without any cures. During hibernation, bears become insulin resistant, much like humans with Type II Diabetes. Yet, unlike humans, insulin resistance in bears reverses upon emerging from hibernation. The goal of this study was to disentangle the effects of hibernation on insulin sensitivity and resistance in brown bears to gain a better understanding of how bears' tissues maintain glucose homeostasis during hibernation. For this project, we sampled adipose, liver, and muscle tissue samples from grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) at the Washington State University Bear Center. The sampling took place during hibernation season, before and after 10 days of glucose feeding, in order to test the physiological effects of feeding glucose during a time marked by no caloric intake. Using RNA-sequencing, the three types of tissue samples were analyzed for transcriptional changes. We were specifically interested in insulin response pathways in key metabolic tissues before and after the glucose feeding. When comparing the samples, liver had 49 differentially expressed genes, which was more than both the adipose and muscle samples combined. Discovering which proteins and metabolic pathways the differentially expressed genes correlate with will reveal the complex regulatory changes that take place during hibernation. The gene ELOV5 was upregulated in the adipose tissue of the bears that were fed glucose. The function of the gene is to code for a protein that is involved in the process of fatty acid elongation, an essential part of lipid metabolism. Further analyzing these changes in gene expression may be the key to finding a treatment for metabolic disorders in humans.

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OPEB08OPEB8: Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyOrganismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyChris DexheimerDexheimerBiologyStephanie PorterPorterVancouverZ2BR13:20

Rhizobium soil bacteria participate in a mutualism with legumes species. The rhizobium exchange nitrogen fixed from the environment, for carbon sugars the host provides. Rhizobia can live free in the soil without a host or in nodules formed by a legume’s root system. The level which rhizobia and legumes maintain a mutualistic relationship is dependent on several factors including host preference, abiotic and biotic conditions. Biotic conditions that affect the mutualism’s strength include growth inhibiting heavy metals and high exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Serpentine soil high in concentrations of heavy metals, such as nickel, tend to have low-density growth with short plants. Legumes, such as the Acmispon genus, can thrive in nickel rich serpentine soil where other plants do not. This adaptation allows the host greater survivability and overall higher evolutionary fitness. This could also be the case for tolerance to ultraviolet exposure, with increased levels of light due to the low vegetation cover in serpentine soil. If host survival is enhanced by their mutualistic partner, then do strains in heavy metal rich environments with increased ultraviolet radiation have higher tolerance to nickel and ultraviolet radiation than those found elsewhere? To address this question, I tested the nickel and UV tolerance of 830 diverse strains from a Mesorhizobium collection that were harvested by Porter lab from two native Acmispon hosts in Oregon and California with analyzed soil data. I will use minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum inhibitory exposure time (MIET) assays. The MIC is the lowest concentration of nickel that prevents colonies of the bacteria to grow. Similarly, the MIET is the least amount of ultraviolet-b exposure that prevents bacterial growth. Each assay consisted of growing mesorhizobia strains on to plates containing either nickel enriched or unenriched nutrient agar. Comparing the MIC versus the nickel soil concentration I was able to determine a positive correlation, providing evidence for adaptation. Comparing MIC to MEIT could provide support for mutual adaptation, a trade off or evolutionary independence. When I compared a subset of the data’s MIC and MEIT values I found a weak positive correlation.

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OPEB09OPEB9: Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyOrganismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyRandi RichardsRichardsBiologyStephanie PorterPorterVancouverZ1BR53:40

Beneficial microbes in the soil play a key role in plant health. Rhizobium bacteria are a group of beneficial symbiotic microbes that provide nitrogen to legumes by converting atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia, fertilizing plants. Plants acquire rhizobia from the soil, so rhizobia must survive in the soil between plant generations. Despite the importance of rhizobia for plant health, little is known about how they adapt to environmental variation in the soil. We tested the hypothesis that strains from harsher serpentine soils with higher levels of the heavy metal nickel and with lower Ca:Mg would have greater UV resistance because serpentine soils tend to have low vegetation cover and thus have greater exposure to damaging UV irradiation from sunlight. Correspondingly, we predicted that strains with higher tolerance to nickel would show higher resistance to UV irradiation. A total of 179 strains of Mesorhizobium collected from around Oregon and California were plated on 96 well plates and exposed to ultraviolet light at increments of 0, 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 seconds to determine their resistance. At four and eight days, these plates were scanned to measure the presence or absence of bacterial growth at each level of UV exposure to determine the minimum period of exposure to UV required to inhibit growth for each strain. The experiment to determine UV resistance was carried out in three assays with three trials in each, resulting in each strain being tested three times. We used a general linear model to determine whether a strain's UV resistance is predicted by levels of nickel or Ca:Mg in the original soil or by a strain's tolerance to nickel. We find that strains with higher tolerance to nickel have higher UV tolerance, while the nickel or Ca:Mg level of the soil from which a strain was collected does not predict UV tolerance. Therefore, while soil chemistry itself is not a strong predictor of UV tolerance, we find support for the idea that adaptation to harsh soil chemistry leads to greater UV tolerance in rhizobia, possibly to protect strains from higher UV irradiation in more extreme soil types.

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RP01RP1: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Wendy GallagherGallagherPsychology, SociologyChad GotchGotchPullmanZ5BR23:00

This study analyzes the relationship between first-generation college students who have high scores of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and academic success within the higher educational system. Research has shown that ACEs can impact a child’s neurological development (Oshri, et al., 2019), physical health (Felitti, et al., 1998), and ability to regulate behavior (Hunt, Berger, & Slack, 2017). These impacts can relate to academic success among children (Blodgett & Lanigan, 2018), but little is known about the academic success of adults with extensive ACEs. Research has also shown that first-generation status relates to academic success in college (Vuong, Brown-Welty, & Tracz, 2010). This study addresses the intersection of ACEs and first-generation status and their relationship to college success. Better understanding this relationship will help to alleviate the effects of adversity in students trying to achieve academic success.

In this study, a sample of first-generation students in an introductory biology course completed a survey that asked them about ACEs, demographic information, GPA, tools and resources leveraged for success, and challenges and struggles experienced as a college student. We will examine correlations between ACEs and GPA scores reported at the time of survey completion. We will apply qualitative analysis to the responses in the written portion of the survey. We expect to find a negative correlation between ACE scores and GPA. In students’ written survey responses, we anticipate themes related to resource awareness, social support, and personality traits that contribute to academic success. We plan to use this study to help inform higher educational institutions on how they can adjust and implement programs targeted at assisting and supporting underrepresented student demographics in their effort to increase academic success. This study can also increase our understanding of successful methods used among first generation college students with high ACE scores to achieve academic success.

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RP02RP2: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Linda NguyenNguyenBiologyErica CrespiCrespiVancouverZ5BR23:20

Compared to other demographics, chronic pain and stress have severe impacts on the physical and mental wellbeing of the senior population which can reduce their life expectancy and life satisfaction. Its relentless ramifications begin within the immune system, where an injury or infection initiates acute inflammation and its accompanying stress response to alert and protect the human body from foreign bodies. Two vital hormones mediate this process: prostaglandin is responsible for inflammation and pain, whereas the hormone cortisol facilitates vasodilation and rapid heartbeats. A functional immune response will conclude with the eradication of the intruders, tissue repair, and subsequently directs the return of these hormones to pre-inflammatory numbers. However, seniors are met with persistent unpleasant sensory and emotional experiences such as ailing health and bereavement that repeatedly activate and deactivate these processes leading to dysfunction of the immune system. Methods to manage chronic pain and stress are poorly misunderstood and it is often treated by pharmacologic agents. Unfortunately, prolonged usage can lead to memory loss which is already problematic for a population where the risk of dementia is higher at age 65 years and older. To reduce pain and stress with minimal symptoms, mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) can guide individuals to identify life stressors, become self-aware, obtain self-acceptance, and induce positive-thinking. Currently, MBI studies with the senior demographic are limited, and the effect of MBIs on specific hormones such as cortisol and prostaglandins are also lacking. Under the supervision and mentorship of Dr. Erica Crespi and Dr. Anh Vo, I will test the hypothesis that MBIs can reduce cortisol and prostaglandins levels as well as self-reported pain and stress intensity levels within this population. Specifically, I will use the Chronic Pain Scale and Perceived Stress Scale for self-reported pain and stress levels, and hair samples as a non-invasive and long-term indicator of cortisol and prostaglandins levels. If there is a reduction in the qualitative and empirical data following MBI treatment, then this indicates the intervention’s effectiveness at reducing pain and stress. Ultimately, this research can lead to a novel adult day care program for mitigating pain and stress.

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RP03RP3: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Brianna CabralCabralCriminal Justice and Criminology, PsychologyDavid MakinMakinPullmanZ5BR23:40

Police departments across the United States are challenged with enforcing city ordinances associated with Covid-19. The Center for Disease Control has developed these guidelines that cities have been implementing. How officers enforce/communicate city ordinances are important for preparing for future emergencies. In this research, I will be conducting survey research involving three different police departments that were tasked with enforcing city ordinances involved with COVID-19 in Spring 2021. These departments were located in the Pullman, WA and Moscow, ID area. Results may illuminate variability in officer navigation of Covid-19 ordinance enforcement. Understanding how officers navigate city ordinances regarding Covid-19 is a critical step in helping departments better prepare for future disasters.

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RP04RP4: Research Proposal (Humanities)Research Proposal (Humanities)Kelsey DearingDearingDigital Technology and CultureAmanda Boyd, Alex KirkpatrickBoydPullmanZ5BR24:00

Faculty and staff play a critical role in the development of undergraduate students at Washington State University. It is well established that post-secondary education can be stressful and potentially overwhelming for students. While faculty and staff are often the first to observe if students are struggling with their mental health, they may not be certain of how to support and respond to them. In this study, we aim to examine how to best equip faculty and staff with the resources and knowledge they need to support students with their mental health. We explore what faculty and staff think are the most useful resources when supporting and responding to a student who may be struggling with their mental health. For this study we designed a survey that will be administered to all faculty and staff in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication during Spring 2021. The survey was formed from extensive research on what resources are already available to Washington State University faculty and staff including guidebooks, training courses and consultation services related to mental health. The survey aims to assess faculty and staff needs, including what resources on mental health they are aware of and would find useful. In this presentation, we will discuss the process and results of gathering resources at Washington State University, as well as regional and national resources on student mental health. We will also discuss the survey questions, as well as our study process that aims to better equip faculty and staff with the knowledge and resources so that they can more effectively support and respond to students regarding their mental health needs.

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RP05RP5: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Wendy AlcantarAlcantarPsychologyJennifer SchwartzSchwartzPullmanZ5BR33:00

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in many institutions simultaneously trying to navigate unprecedented times while also trying to make routines as normal as possible. For example, the criminal justice system has had to adapt to mitigate health risks while continuing to operate. Criminal Courts, in particular, started to conduct their proceedings virtually. This allows anyone to enter the courtroom through various online systems or by telephone. Through this virtual lens, I investigate the different ways empathy is exercised by courtroom actors and whether this new virtual context has allowed for a growth in shared experience between different court actors and defendants under the covid-19 pandemic. Empathy can be described as the cognitive processing of others' emotions. To effectively carry out empathy there must be four critical components: affective sharing, self-awareness, mental flexibility/perspective-taking, and emotional regulation. Empathetic decision-making is important to social justice aims of fairness and equity. Therefore, over the span of five months, I observed multiple rural criminal court proceedings online. This allowed me to observe the different ways in which the virtual context used during covid-19 created a space for empathetic justice. Through this research, I hope to understand the ways in which the virtual context has encouraged and/or impeded judicial empathy towards defendants.

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RP06RP6: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Florence AdesopeAdesopeCivil EngineeringCandis ClaibornClaibornPullmanZ5BR33:20

Diversity and representation have become a concerning topic over the recent years, including how they pertain to the workforce and academic world. The lack of ethnic minorities and women in the engineering field cuts off a major part of the world’s population and their diverse views, which reduces the workforce and its creativity, and agencies such as the National Science Foundation has been interested in this problem as a result. As a minority in the engineering field, I have personally observed the significant underrepresentation of minorities in classes and in the engineering field as a whole. The overall purpose of my project is to understand why there remains such a lack of diversification and representation in the engineering field despite decades of concern over these issues, and what we as a college society can do to change those things. Why is there such a lack? Is there a reasoning behind it? My research approach will be to conduct interviews specifically, I will be interviewing ethnic minorities in the engineering field, as well as women, and even those that are dominating the field now. This way, I can have a variety of views and responses from various viewpoints. Although there are no final results yet, the anticipated results of this project may suggest the roles of the academic environment and/or the sense of belonging among women and minority engineering students. This research is important because once we know the problems that minority and women engineering students are facing, we as a college society can find solutions to promote a healthier and more diverse environment.

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RP07RP7: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Sara MillsMillsHuman Development, PsychologyKathleen RodgersRodgersPullmanZ5BR33:40

Online dating is growing in popularity since it was first developed, as it has become a less stigmatized tool for mate selection. The sparse amount of research around online dating is a problem because this form of mate selection has no previous comparison, therefore making it difficult to address concerns of relationships founded in this digital age such as low relationship satisfaction and insecure attachments.  An important aspect of relationship development is one’s attachment style which guides expectations for relationships and is also related to relationship satisfaction and risky sexual behaviors. Results from a meta-analysis reveal a small correlation between risky sexual behaviors and insecure attachment styles, suggesting that attachment styles can impact relationships in important ways (Kim & Miller, 2020).

This study aims to examine the relationship between the attachment styles of users and non-users of online dating platforms among a college sample of men and women at WSU. Previous research and theory highlights negative aspects of online dating such as fraudulent profiles (Kopp, Layton, Sillitoe, & Gondal, 2016) and an overall preference for traditional mate selection such as connections through mutual friends (Sprecher, 2019). Although research has examined attachment styles and romantic relationships, few studies have looked at this in the context of online dating. I hypothesize that online dating users will have less secure attachment styles than non-users.

Data will be collected via an online Qualtrics survey that includes questions about social media use, online dating experiences and attitudes, the Attachment Style Questionnaire, the UCLA Loneliness Scale, and the Fear of Being Single Scale. The latter two scales are employed to gain an understanding about motives for using or not using online dating platforms. They are also used to test alternative hypotheses that loneliness or fear of being single may be correlated with increased use of online dating platforms. Preliminary findings will be reported in early March 2021. The results of this study could be used to help inform people about how to derive rewarding relationships in the world of online dating through understanding attachment styles and compatibility.


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RP08RP8: Research Proposal (Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology)Research Proposal (Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology)Max Melville, Abigail RossiRossiNeuroscience (Melville, Rossi)Ryan McLaughlinMcLaughlinPullmanZ5BR43:00

As a result of recent trends of cannabis legalization, a better understanding of its impact on adolescent development is becoming increasingly necessary. Preliminary data from our laboratory using our novel cannabis vapor self-administration model has shown possible sex specific deficits in cognitive flexibility in female rats that self-administered a THC rich cannabis extract during adolescence. This is a critical period in neural development, where regions that are responsible for complex executive cognitive processing such as the prefrontal cortex are highly plastic and therefore subject to influence with permanent effect. However, since the female rats of this study self-administered nearly twice as much cannabis extract compared to males, we still do not know whether the effects of adolescent cannabis vapor self-administration are sex- or drug quantity-dependent. To accomplish this, we will test 72 male and female Sprague Dawley rats that will be passively exposed to cannabis vapor from postnatal day 35-55 (n=12/sex/group). Importantly, the number of puffs administered per day will be determined by the mean number of vapor deliveries that were self-administered by male and female rats from our previous study. Passive administration will be followed by a 14-day washout period, after which the animals will undergo training in an automated attentional set-shifting task designed to test cognitive flexibility as in our previous study. This design allows us to better pinpoint whether cognitive deficits are a result of sex differences or quantity differences, due to higher drug to bodyweight ratios in females. We predict that performance in the set-shifting test will be impaired specifically in female rats of both dose groups, which would support our hypothesis that this is a sex dependent effect. Regardless of the results, our research is important in that it both further uncovers the impact of cannabis use during development, as well as acknowledges possible innate sex differences in the long-term effects of adolescent cannabis use on prefrontal cortex-mediated behavior.

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RP09RP9: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)April Salmeron-LaurianoSalmeron-LaurianoHuman Development, PsychologyElizabeth WeybrightWeybrightPullmanZ5BR34:00

Alcohol use among adolescent is now seen as something more common; among high school students, 29% were found to have consumed alcohol over the last 30 days. The effects of alcohol use range from social problems, physical illness like the hangovers to possible death by alcohol poisoning and a suicide increase, not to mention the effect it has on the brain development, according to the CDC (2020). There is evidence that shows 5,000 people under the age of 21 die because of underage drinking every year. There are many influences that have a role in the adolescent’s decision to intoxicate or experiment with drugs. Adolescence is an important period where identity is being discovered which may lead to peer pressures, college is a time of freedom including alcohol, and family can also be an important influence. Research studies have been conducted comparing parental versus peer influences on adolescent, or family cohesion along with parental monitoring. What these studies have in common is the result of even the slightest amount of connection between these factors and the development of alcohol use. In fact, a study found that parents involved in substance use do communicate an acceptance of that substance to adolescents (Rusby et all., 2018). Hispanic families tend to be collectivist cultures and therefore adolescents may be influenced more by family; this is something that has not been a main focus of research. This research focuses on how the family risk along with protective factors for youth alcohol use operate in LatinX families and differentiates with non LatinX families. We will be using adolescents in 8th grade as the sample size and collect data from Healthy Youth Survey from all over.

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RP10RP10: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Justin KnutsonKnutsonPsychologyLee DaffinDaffinGlobalZ5BR53:00

The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is a popular psychological test that has been widely used in research and business applications in spite of its weak test-retest reliability. Although researchers have advocated for informing participants about the limitations of IAT results, there is a lack of research investigating how this effects the participant’s perceived validity of the IAT as a tool for measuring implicit biases. The current study asked undergraduate students (N = 37) to take a race IAT and report their beliefs on the IAT’s validity, the accuracy of their results, and their willingness to take another IAT test in the future. As of February 21, data collection is still ongoing, but preliminary results showed that informing participants about the accepted limitations of IAT reliability had no effect on any of the measured constructs, suggesting that there may be no downside to direct communication about the IAT’s limitations. Weaknesses of the current study and ideas for further research evaluating different transparency approaches are discussed.

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RP11RP11: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Lourdes RomeroRomeroPsychologyMaureen Schmitter-EdgecombeSchmitter-EdgecombePullmanZ5BR53:20

Executive functions include cognitive abilities such as planning, organization, shifting, and working memory. Cognitive measures of executive function (EF) are often used to predict everyday functional abilities in older adults. However, traditional “construct driven” EF measures only capture a small part of the variance in real-world executive behaviors. The Overnight Trip Task (OTT) is a recently created “function-led” assessment of everyday planning ability, designed to better predict everyday executive behaviors. The participant is given a prompt that provides the background context for an overnight trip and they must follow rules and forecast contingencies that will influence what they plan to pack. As part of preliminary analyses for the development of this new laboratory-based paper-and-pencil task, a component requires the participant to actually pack and prepare for the hypothetical trip in their own homes (“real-world” OTT).

Current research indicates that older adults experience greater impairment in executive abilities during mood fluctuations in comparison to younger adults. Both negative and positive mood state fluctuations can adversely impact executive functioning. Negative mood states have been associated with less accurate and reduced planning performance. Positive mood states have also been associated with planning impairment due to overoptimistic estimation of the task.

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether emotional state impacts performances on the real-world OTT. Fifty community dwelling older adults will complete the real-world OTT and after they finish the task, they will select on a response sheet emotional state descriptors that represent how they were feeling during task completion (i.e., stressed, gloomy, happy, typical self, etc.). Participants will be classified by mood state (i.e., either emotional (positive/negative) or neutral). An independent samples T-test analysis will be conducted between the two groups to determine impact of emotional state on real-world OTT performance. Based on the current literature, it is hypothesized that participants in an emotional state during task completion will show greater impairment in their planning abilities than individuals in a neutral state.

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RP12RP12: Research Proposal (Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology)Research Proposal (Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology)Stella CaoCaoNeuroscienceMichael VarnumVarnumPullmanZ5BR43:20

Vertebrate vision depends on the activity of cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels located in the outer segments (OS) of cone photoreceptors, which are responsible of converting light signals into electrical responses (phototransduction). Mutations in the genes that encode CNG channels can cause protein-misfolding and are linked to human retinal diseases. Cone photoreceptor function depends on circadian bursts of turnover of phototransduction components, including CNG channels. Turnover of CNG channels is thought to mainly depend upon OS phagocytosis by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. However, our recent work suggests that other degradation pathways may be involved. Overall, there is a significant gap of knowledge regarding the mechanisms and pathways regulating CNG channel degradation, maintaining appropriate CNG channel function and facilitating the turnover of defective CNG channels.

The long-term goal of this project is to understand the underlying mechanisms that are important for normal photoreceptor function and disease progression. The overall objective of the project is to determine the mechanisms responsible for both mutant and normal CNG channel degradation. Our hypothesis is that in addition to OS phagocytosis, targeted ubiquitination of CNGA3 subunits mediates both normal and quality control (QC) turnover of cone CNG channels via ubiquitin-proteasome and/or lysosomal/ autophagy systems. Guided by our previous work and preliminary data, we will address this hypothesis by pursuing the following specific aims:  (1) investigate specific manipulations of the ubiquitin system in photoreceptor-derived 661W cells in vitro that may reveal pathways and features important for channel degradation, using channel subunits engineered with a photo-switchable dendra 2 tag; and (2) probe CNG channel turnover in vivo using transgenic expression of a cnga3a-dendra 2 specifically in zebrafish cone photoreceptors [Tg(Tol2-gnat 2:cnga3a-dendra 2)]. These experiments will involve pharmacological and genetic manipulations of ubiquitin-system components, as well as fluorescent imaging and analysis. Our recent work and preliminary data suggest that the actual rate of channel turnover is faster than that predicted by only RPE phagocytosis. To address these two specific aims, we will employ novel transgenic models in vitro and in vivo for CNG channels to provide real time monitoring of trafficking and degradation in cone photoreceptors.

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RP13RP13: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Gabriela MartinezMartinezPsychology, SociologyMaureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, Brooke BeechBeechOtherZ5BR53:40

Background: Functional independence refers to one’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Accurate evaluation of an individual’s ability to complete essential everyday tasks is an important determinant of the degree to which older adults can safely reside alone. Functional independence may be related to the accuracy of performance of everyday prospective memory tasks (tasks that an individual must remember to do in the future) as well as the use of compensatory strategies (an environmental or behavioral modification to work around a difficulty) to support successful task completion.

Objective: This study aims to explore how self-reported functional abilities are related to the accuracy of performance on novel prospective memory tasks designed to reflect real-world activities and the number of compensatory strategies used to support task completion.

Methods: Participants will be drawn from an ongoing remote assessment study of older adults. The sample will include non-demented, community-dwelling older adults recruited primarily from Eastern Washington and Idaho. All participants will complete a comprehensive battery of standardized neuropsychological tests. Participants will also complete experimental tasks (e.g., make a payment, document information for an upcoming appointment) that capture real-world prospective memory abilities and compensatory strategies used to support performance (e.g., sticky note, calendar, etc.). Self-reported functional abilities will be assessed with the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living – Compensation (IADL-C) questionnaire.

Anticipated Results: Better management of IADLs, as measured by lower scores on the IADL-C questionnaire, will predict higher accuracy scores on prospective memory task performance in this sample of community-dwelling older adults. Additionally, more compensatory strategies used may be related to higher self-reported everyday functioning.

Conclusion: Better functional independence may be related to greater use of compensatory strategies and higher accuracy in carrying out prospective memory tasks. Although declines in cognition may interfere with the ability to implement compensatory strategies with maximal success, quality of life and functional independence might be improved or maintained with interventions such as memory-based compensatory strategy use programs.

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RP14RP14: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Karen VelozVelozBiology, Criminal Justice and CriminologyDavid MakinMakinPullmanZ5BR54:00

Purpose: For my research I plan to identify and collate common errors found in wrongful conviction cases that include forensic science as a contributing factor. Documenting these sources of error is an important step towards preventing erroneous convictions that can have immeasurable consequences and long-lasting negative effects. 

Methods: This research uses a systematic review process of peer-reviewed articles, legal reviews, and other scholarly works to identify and collate common sources of error attributed to forensic evidence.

Results: Between the years 1974-2016 there were 133 cases of wrongful conviction listed by the National Registry of Exoneration. The misapplication of forensic science contributed to 52% of wrongful convictions.The most common error in wrongful convictions is serology, which is a diagnostic examination of blood serum and other body fluids.

Conclusions: The increased presence of forensic and biometric sources of evidence necessitates understanding the patterns associated with error. As such, it is critical that researchers and practitioners develop policy and protocol to minimize errors. This research is a path towards learning from these errors so we can help mitigate the potential for erroneous convictions.

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RP15RP15: Research Proposal (Engineering and Physical Sciences)Research Proposal (Engineering and Physical Sciences)Marley RabaulimanRabaulimanCivil EngineeringJan BollBollPullmanZ6BR23:00

Palau is a tropical island located in the south Pacific, home to over 20,000 people. A particular part of the island, called Koror, houses over half of the population in Palau. This number of people need an abundance of water to meet the daily water demands of households and businesses. As an island, Palau experiences the effects of climate change due to not only the rise of sea level, but also the decrease in water security. During the dry season, Koror regulates water use by having water rationing hours. Because of climate change, the dry season length and drought severity are increasing year after year. In this research project, I will investigate how to reduce the use of water rationing hours in Koror.

The method I propose to use to do my research is to create a stock-and-flow simulation of Koror’s current water system. I will build a model in the simulation software Vensim. The simulation will be used to observe how the water system handles the change in climate patterns, through scenario testing focusing on dry season length and drought severity. The climate patterns used in this model will be based on climate data recorded over several years in the areas where the storage reservoirs are located. Model result will be able to show how much water is being put into the reservoirs and how much water is being pumped out.

Tentatively, scenario testing would include the water system during the rainy and dry season and when water hours are in effect. With this information, I will be able to come up with some ways to improve the system. This goes hand in hand with reducing water rationing hours because improving the system means there will be a sufficient amount of water in the reservoirs to meet demands.

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RP16RP16: Research Proposal (Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology)Research Proposal (Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology)Kyla QualeQualeZoologyErica CrespiCrespiPullmanZ5BR43:40

There is a need to design novel therapies that accelerate the process of wound healing or prophylactically prevent stress-induced infections to improve veterinary care of amphibians. One potential new therapy includes the use of the hormone leptin, a cytokine hormone that is secreted by fat and works to regulate metabolism. Previous studies showed leptin is an endogenous factor that enhances epidermal wound healing in mammals, and prior research in the Crespi lab at WSU showed that leptin treatment at the time of injury accelerates limb and tail regeneration in larvae of the South African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis). In a preliminary experiment, we showed that 100 nM leptin treatment accelerates healing of a 0.5 mm circular punch wound in the tail of Xenopus larvae in culture. Given these findings, my research proposal aims to test the hypothesis that leptin enhances wound healing and acts as an endogenous immunomodulator that provides protection against secondary  pathogen infection in amphibians. To test this hypothesis, I will collect abdominal and dorsal skin biopsies from juvenile X. laevis using a 4 mm punch, with a 1 mm punch removed from the center that will be healed during the assay. I will expose the biopsies to the following treatments in culture a full factorial design: two levels of leptin (0and 100 nM) and  four concentrations of the pathogen Aeromonas hydrophila, for a total of 8 treatments. I will culture skin for a period of 72 hours, taking pictures every 12 hours to track the progression of healing. The area of the wound (timing of wound closure), vascularization, and area of necrotic cells will be measured. We will measure the level of bacterial infection in tissues by quantitative PCR assay. If our hypothesis is supported, I will demonstrate that leptin signaling accelerates wound healing and reduces the ability of pathogens to infect amphibian. These findings may lead to a new leptin-based therapy to treat injured amphibians in captivity to improve health outcomes.

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RP17RP17: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Ayo AdaramolaAdaramolaPsychologyMariana AmorimAmorimPullmanZ6BR13:00

The role of fathers had changed over the years. Rather than just providing financial support, fathers are increasingly expected to provide more parenting support. In the United States, the number of single fathers is increasing. In 1960, the number of two-parent families made up to 85% of the US household but dropped to 66% (Census, 2013). During this period, there was also a nine-fold increase in the number of single father households (Livingston, 2013). Single fathers are more involved in their children's lives than married fathers, and they may be better able to spend time and provide financial support to their children compared to single mothers, who are more likely to face material and time constraints (Coles, 2015). Single fathers get involved in more household tasks and childcare (e.g., help with homework, cultural/school events, school projects) than fathers in two-parent families (Coles, 2015). To date, scholars have extensively studied single-mother household and father's absence in the family, and there are also a few studies in children/adolescence living with grandparents (Dunifon, 2013; Jones, 2003; Biblarz & Gottainer, 2000; Dunifon & Barjacharya, 2012). However, there is little focus on single-father households, their challenges, the experience of living with their children and adolescence, their parenting style, if they live with another partner. My research project will investigate the following research question: How living in a single-father family shape young people's well-being? There is a possibility that living in a single-father house affects young people's well-being negatively and positively. I am working with Dr. Amorim, an assistant professor of Sociology who studies family demography and intergenerational dynamics. We plan to focus on qualitative and quantitative to answer this question as we explore existing data set such as Add Health or Panel Survey of Income Dynamics. We may also interview single-fathers in single-father households.

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RP18RP18: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Laailah AliAliEconomic SciencesThomas RotoloRotoloPullmanZ6BR13:20

As income inequality increases in the United States, participation in social activities are affected. This study is designed to investigate the socioeconomic status among Division 1 Men's and Women's Basketball Players. Data will be gathered from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, team websites, school media outlets, fan sites, recruiting sites, high school press releases, and US Census Bureau. The aim of this project is to see how income affects the participation of Men and Women collegiate basketball players, specifically in the Power 5 Conferences (ACC, BIG 10, BIG 12, SEC, and PAC 12).

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RP19RP19: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Gene BrownBrownApparel, Merchandising, Design and TextilesMartha Aitken, Hang Liu, Patricia TownsendTownsendPullmanZ6BR13:40

Consumers across the world are becoming increasingly more aware of the waste problem that is currently woven into the fabric of the textiles industry. With this awareness comes a call to action for all those within this vast and complicated supply chain. The issues that are being addressed need to be dissected at a personal, local and regional level to find solutions befitting the global scale of the problem. Throughout this paper I will be detailing my findings on the use of clothing and textile recycling services within the Seattle area, as well as information that I have received from hospitality services regarding used and worn out linens from sources including hotels, restaurants and bars. Although textile recycling and donation of used textiles are both undoubtedly an integral part of the solution to this problem, they are by no means a solution in and of themselves. To fully understand we must also discuss the many textiles that fall through the cracks and are unable to be re-used or recycled. With these left-behind textiles in mind, I will be detailing the pitfalls of these practices and introduce possible stop-gap measures that can be utilized both on an individual level as well as at an organizational level.

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RP20RP20: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Tanya RiveraRiveraSpeech and Hearing SciencesRaymond Herrera, Georgina LynchLynchPullmanZ6BR14:00

When parents learn that their child has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), education is a key component to the treatment plan. It has been demonstrated that intensive early intervention for ASD has positive long-term outcomes and improved quality of life. Pediatricians and other healthcare providers play a key role in helping families access services. Hispanic families have been identified as an underserved population across the United States when it comes to healthcare. These families often lack the resources needed, and barriers prevent access when healthcare practices do not take into account cultural disparities. This research proposal will bring new perspectives and calls for the need for diversity in healthcare practices, particularly by pediatricians and speech-language pathologists, key healthcare providers involved in ASD treatment. Studied have shown that there exists a disproportionate “mismatch” between ethnicity of SLPs treating the Hispanic population, such that Latino SLPs only make up 5% of all certified SLPs practicing in the United States (ASHA 2019). Hispanic and American families in Washington state with a large Hispanic population (Wenatchee and Yakima) will be studied to better understand their experience from initial concerns to evaluation and diagnosis, to treatment and family support. This project will use a mixed methods approach to examine experiences first-hand through qualitative research by interviewing the parent to gain their perspective and by observation during three stages of healthcare practice: evaluation, treatment, and parent support. Methods will include observations, surveys, interviews, and case by case observation. Cultural considerations will also be examined, evaluating the difference in early diagnosis vs late diagnosis while looking at the differences in the mourning process involving diagnosis of girls vs boys in the age group of 3-9. A final quantitative analysis will be conducted examining disproportionality between healthcare providers and demographics of the Hispanic population diagnosed with ASD in Washington State.

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RP21RP21: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Christine PhamPhamBiochemistrySolmaz AmiriAmiriPullmanZ6BR23:20

Objective: To examine variations in the incidence rate of STIs (i.e., chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis) across the urban-rural and area-deprivation continua from January of 2013 through December of 2018 in Yakima County, Washington.

Methods: This study was conducted in Yakima County using the Washington State Department of Health Database Surveillance System. The dataset included diagnosed cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis with positive laboratory test results for the duration of the study period. Incidence rate of STIs was calculated and statistically analyzed across the urban-rural and area-deprivation continua using Rural-Urban Commuting Area codes and the Area Deprivation Index. Results: The incidence rate of STIs increased from January of 2013 through December of 2018 in both the urban-rural and area-deprivation continua (mean=0.07, SD=0.01). STI rates did not differ in micropolitan, small town, and rural areas compared to the metropolitan regions. Most-deprived areas had significantly higher STI rates compared to less-deprived areas (mean=0.48, SD=0.22, mean=0.84, SD=0.22).

Conclusions: There is a need for increased STI intervention in higher deprivation areas including STI education and STI testing. Public health officials and health care providers should be aware of these risk factors and tailor interventions to the neighborhood they serve.

Key Words: Sexually transmitted infections, Yakima County, Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

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RP22RP22: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Jarely Aragon RamirezAragon RamirezSpanishRaymond HerreraHerreraPullmanZ6BR23:40

The United States of America’s language ideology is best described by Yu (2015) as “English hegemony over the home languages of children in immigrant families” (p. 57). Put simply, replacing heritage language with English. Research has shown that the language policy in the United States’ education system negatively affects children of immigrants whose heritage language is not English because it implicitly and/or explicitly communicates to multilinguals that their heritage and language is not of equal value and a disadvantage to Americanization. As a result, second and third generation immigrants will experience language loss of their native language (Reznowski, 2009). However, not all multilinguals believe that their heritage language is inferior to English nor a disadvantage. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to identify several factors that impact the individual's perception of their heritage language and how those factors affect their relationship with said language.

Multilingual adults from the ages of eighteen to thirty-five years old residing in Whitman County of Washington State, whose heritage language is not English will be studied. They will be tested on whether factors such as education, family, society, media, and personal experiences have had a positive, negative, or no influence towards their perception of their native language. Moreover, this qualitative and quantitative research will explore whether a correlation exists between factors and multilinguals’ perception/relationship with their heritage language. Methods will include surveys with open ended and closed ended questions and rating scales. Afterward, semi-structured interviews will take place and a final compilation of both survey and interviews will occur. 

This project hopes to promote self-reflection within the multilingual community and bring awareness to monolinguals by sharing multilinguals’ experiences in the United States to further challenge the English language ideology in the country.

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RP23RP23: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Sara SedanoSedanoHuman Development, SociologyJennifer ShermanShermanPullmanZ6BR24:00

As the population continues to rise households increasingly face hunger. Food insecurity has been one of the most prevalent social issues found within the Latinx community. Research has shown that these households in America are more at risk of hunger. Such families continue to seek help from programs such as SNAP and local food pantries. They rely on external resources to be able to provide for themselves and their families. It is important to recognize the hardships and disparities that people are facing day in and day out.

This study will view how prevalent food insecurity is and how Hispanic/Latino families in Wenatchee, Pullman, and Moses Lake manage food-related hardships. Individual interviews will be held with participants where they will be asked series of open-ended and close-ended questions that include but are not limited to family size, family income, nutrition, dietary restrictions, accessibility to food, and overall satisfaction with their diet. The questions are designed to gather relevant information about the family's experience and the processes they go through to provide a healthy, balanced and nutritious meal for themselves and their families.

The purpose of this research is to raise awareness about local hunger and food insecurity, with an emphasis on the Hispanic/Latino community within Washington State. The lack of affordable, accessible, and nutritious foods is not only a concerning issue today but will continue to be in the future, if not addressed properly. Awareness is only the first step to addressing this issue. Educating the public, increasing resources, and providing a safe space for everyone can be the turning point to addressing food insecurity within the Latinx community.

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RP24RP24: Research Proposal (Engineering and Physical Sciences)Research Proposal (Engineering and Physical Sciences)Jennifer EspinEspinCivil EngineeringCourtney GarnerGarnerPullmanZ5BR44:00

Microbiomes exist in all ecosystems and are composed of diverse microbial communities and play key roles in many critical ecosystem services. One key ecosystem service is bioremediation, the detoxification of environmental pollutants through plants and microbes. However, bioremediation continued to be plagued by high failure rates in the field. Microbiome engineering, manipulation of the microbiome toward a certain type of community that will optimize plant and soil functions of interest, is a promising solution for overcoming barriers to effective bioremediation. However, our understanding of the roles that biological and physicochemical forces plays in determining the structure and function of environmental microbiomes is still incomplete. To close this knowledge gap, this research will focus on characterizing the mechanisms behind microbial assembly, functional optimization, and resilience that drive pollutant removal.  The method to perform microbiome engineering will start by selecting a diverse selection of soils across Washington State and bio augmenting the developing plant microbiome using prebiotic (i.e., metabolism-based) and probiotic (i.e., delivery-based) engineering mechanisms that encourage the spread, stability, and pollutant removal activity of engineered microbiomes in lab-scale model phytoremediation systems using metagenomic and met transcriptomic analyses. Pyrene, a toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, will be used as a model contaminant.   During the plant microbiome engineering process, particular attention will be paid to plant-associated microbiomes to avoid microbiome perturbation, as this could bring undesirable phenotypes in the hosts resulting in diseases and disorders disturbing the balance of the associated ecosystems. This research proposal will bring new perspectives in microbiomes in the soil system in Washington State to protect the environment and human health in the long term. This data will also assist other fields as well as can be used to restore ecological balance, improve human health as well as agricultural productivity.

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RP25RP25: Research Proposal (Applied Sciences)Research Proposal (Applied Sciences)Brigette HartshornHartshornBiologyBrooke Beech, Maureen Schmitter-EdgecombeBeechOtherZ6BR33:00

Background: Neurodegenerative disease cases are becoming more common as the population ages increasing the need to develop treatments to deal with these ailments. Although research related to pharmacological interventions continues to evolve with promising results, there are still unanswered questions in the way of a remedy. Consequently, researchers are shifting their focus to understand compensatory strategies (environmental and/or behavioral modifications to help work around a difficulty) that might support everyday memory and functional independence in older adults. Additionally, increased attention is being paid to how individual differences, such as personality, might influence cognition, strategy use, and intervention uptake. Although studies have demonstrated that people who work to maintain cognitive health are at a decreased risk of developing dementia, it is unclear how big of a role personality plays in prospective memory (remembering to complete future tasks).

Objectives: This project will explore the relationship between personality and the use of compensatory strategies on novel real-world prospective memory tasks. The project will investigate what personality traits might be associated with certain types of compensatory strategies, for example, whether conscientiousness is associated with use of compensatory strategies such as organizing and planning.

Methods: The relationship between prospective memory and personality will be explored by examining data from an ongoing remote study with older adults. This study consists of standardized neuropsychological tests, questionnaires, and experimental naturalistic prospective memory tasks (e.g., pay a bill, pack for an upcoming trip) to be completed by participants. Personality will be assessed through the Big Five Inventory, which captures the traits of conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, openness, and neuroticism.

Anticipated Results: In comparison to other traits, it is anticipated that individuals high in conscientiousness will utilize more compensatory strategies such as organization/planning.  

Potential Impact: Aims of the proposed project align with trends toward precision medicine. By further elucidating the relationship between personality and compensatory strategy use, this project may be able to inform intervention development. Future clinicians would be able to recommend strategies that are the best fit for each client’s personality.

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RP26RP26: Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Carolina VargasVargasPsychologyRaymond HerreraHerreraPullmanZ6BR33:20

As the awareness of mental health increases in current times, certain communities are still being impacted because of the stigma that surrounds it. Through generations within the Latinx community, the stigma of mental health and it’s services are still being neglected causing an impact on their physical and mental health. The stigma surrounding mental health is as minimal as just the idea of receiving help and what the outside world judgement would be. One of the main goals is for people to acknowledge and understand the effect mental health has on someone's life, and the difference it can make when knowing the appropriate resources that are available. Most importantly, for future generations to be able to know their health history as a whole. The focus of this research proposal is to get to know the influence parents' perspectives on mental health has on their adolescent children and their own awareness.

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RP27RP27: Research Proposal (Applied Sciences)Research Proposal (Applied Sciences)Flor TrinidadTrinidadBioengineeringJoe HardingHardingPullmanZ6BR33:40

I'm honored to be presenting Professor Joe Harding Research, ‘Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine’, and my learning experience as a mentee. Professor Harding, research focuses on Neuromuscusculoskeletal injury and regenerative medicine. One leading cause of Neuromusculoskeletal injury and limb amputations is battlefield blast trauma that significantly impairs the quality of personal, professional, social, and/or functional life of our service members. One potential therapeutic intervention for these patients is Vascularized Composite Allograph (VCA) transplantation that includes limp and face transplants.  About 200 VCA’s are performed worldwide but there are still many challenges: graph rejection and sub-optimal limp reinnervation resulting in muscle atrophy. The goal of this study is to develop safe and effective adult stem cell, growth factor, and shockwave therapeutic technologies to improve nerve/muscle regeneration to promote functional recovery in the VCA model: be the findings of which would apply to general neuromusculoskeletal injuries in addition to VCA. In the future, I plan to use all my new skills and knowledge in my research.

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SOC01SOC1: Social SciencesSocial SciencesSerea WinterWinterPsychologyLee DaffinDaffinGlobalZ6BR43:00

From as early as biblical times, focusing on topics from religion to politics to peer pressure, the term ‘cult’ has been applied to many groups and situations. Yet, despite a long history and the fascination surrounding it, the research on cults is lacking enough that it is impossible to create well-informed solutions to possible issues posed by cults. Determining factors that qualify the use of the term are still being established. Researchers have looked for characteristics between the leaders of groups and the followers and have discovered some common traits in both. Motivations behind actions committed by the mob, cliques, and the Holocaust have been questioned, and who should be held accountable in these situations has been debated. One of the most pressing concerns is the possibility of treatment for those who have been involved with these groups, several studies discuss methods that have been tried but they are newer and long-term effects have not been supported. The literature being reviewed acknowledges the research that has not been achieved and proposes future directions that will benefit the topic. The studies have attempted to make meaningful conclusions but ultimately suffer from insufficient empirical evidence and both internal and external validity.

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SOC02SOC2: Social SciencesSocial SciencesAryn VaughanVaughanHuman DevelopmentSammy PeronePeronePullmanZ6BR43:20

Boredom is an emotion that most of us have experienced from time to time. Research has shown that even momentary experiences of boredom can reduce feelings of meaningfulness and motivation (van Tilburg & Igou, 2011, 2012). Boredom is also pervasive in school and workplace contexts (Larson & Richards, 1991; Fisher 1987; Loukidou, Loan-Clarke & Daniels, 2009) – thus, it is important to develop and test new ways to mitigate boredom. Prior studies have shown that tasks that are mundane and repetitive lead people to report more boredom than when a task is designed to be optimally challenging (Westgate & Wilson, 2018). The task we implemented was a simulated air traffic control task where participants judged whether two lines would eventually cross or collide. The easy version of the task was designed to require little discernment from participants to judge whether the lines would cross, making it mundane. The optimal task was designed to be optimally challenging, with participants using more effort to decide whether the lines would cross.

The goal of my study is to begin testing ways to mitigate boredom as well as to uncover the different perceptions that arise when we are situated in a specific environment. We know that the easy task is experienced as more boring and less enjoyable after people complete the optimal task. One reason for this could be that people have knowledge of the different levels of stimulation that are possible within the tasks. I tested this possibility by explicitly giving people knowledge of what they were about to experience beforehand. Participants were randomly assigned to be either explicitly informed about what they were about to experience or given no information and instructed to begin the tasks.

I found that giving people information about what they are going to do influences their perception of the easy task. People who were informed found the easy task less enjoyable than those who were not informed. Interestingly, participants who were informed reported less frustration after the easy task. Our results suggest that having knowledge of the different levels of stimulation influences participants’ perceptions of the task.

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SOC03SOC3: Social SciencesSocial SciencesJennifer WarrenWarrenEconomic Sciences, Hospitality Business Management, SpanishDarcie Bagott, Jenny Kim, Nancy SwangerSwangerPullmanZ6BR43:40

By 2050, there will be more than 80 million residents in the United States who are over the age of 65, and roughly 8.75 million are expected to reside in senior living communities. Currently, there are only about 3.15 million senior housing units. The industry will need to nearly triple in size to accommodate this population. Unfortunately, the present market only accommodates two paying groups: those who are wholly or partially funded by the government, and those who privately fund their housing and care without government assistance. A large middle market exists between the 40th and 80th income percentiles consisting of seniors who have too much money to qualify for government assistance but too little to fund the model that is currently available. This research aims to find out how the middle market can be served, what resources would need to be available, and at what price it would be affordable. While creating an affordable product to accommodate a large, aging demographic is a global challenge, this research focuses on finding a solution in the United States. For this study, five focus groups were conducted, each with 7-10 participants, with 41 participants in total. Discussion topics included potential amenities and services within the community, dining options, resident perceptions, healthcare, property operations, pricing, staff characteristics, and COVID-19. Once the focus groups were transcribed, qualitative analysis software Atlas.ti was used to find commonalities in the data. This study presents the most widespread ideas from participants on the aforementioned discussion topics and addresses the importance and feasibility of each.

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SOC04SOC4: Social SciencesSocial SciencesKimberlie Izaguirre-MerlosIzaguirre-MerlosPsychologyLee DaffinDaffinGlobalZ6BR44:00

Insights into the strengths of champions are of great value to us as a society. They can improve our quality of life and help us build something exceptional. Focusing on the strengths profile and history of championship-winning leaders and managers in Major League Baseball could hold the insights that spark the next discovery in strengths-based leadership and maximizing teams. Utilizing a semi-structured interview method and the Values in Action (VIA) survey, this study looks at the relationship between 24 character strengths amongst a sample of coaches in professional baseball. Data collection is still ongoing.

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SOC05SOC5: Social SciencesSocial SciencesMalin PowellPowellPsychologyLee DaffinDaffinGlobalZ7BR13:00

Psychological factors are well-recognized in the development of chronic pain (Linton & Shaw, 2011). The biopsychosocial model of pain and disability approaches pain as a symbiotic interaction among physiological, psychological and social factors, and is now a widely accepted model for pain (Gatchel et. al, 2014). As such, research has been conducted to investigate the link between loneliness and chronic pain as a whole, as well as specific chronic pain conditions. There is no current research on when chronic pain patients begin struggling with perceived isolation and social connectedness, however. It is hypothesized that chronic pain patients with two to four years of chronic pain experience lower levels of social connectedness and higher levels of perceived isolation compared to individuals with acute/no pain, or chronic pain less than two years or greater than five years.

Data collection is currently ongoing and it is expected that the sample will consist of 100 adults aged 18-64. Based on responses to the question, “How long have you been experiencing pain?”, participants will be classified in one of four conditions: no pain/acute pain 0-6mos; chronic pain 6 months to 2 years; chronic pain 2-4 years; chronic pain 5 years and up. Participants will also complete the McGill Pain Questionnaire, the Perceived Isolation Scale, the Social Connectedness Scale, and the Coronavirus Impacts Questionnaire. The survey will be distributed via the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) website and the psychology department’s research pool. The latter is being used to obtain participants for the no pain condition. Data collection should be completed by mid-March.


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SOC06SOC6: Social SciencesSocial SciencesCaitlin Ottaway, Amaya Pelagio, Cheyenne SchneiderOttawayNeuroscience (Ottaway, Schneider), Psychology (Ottaway, Pelagio, Schneider)John Hinson, Paul WhitneyHinsonPullmanZ7BR13:20

Lack of sleep often leads to impaired mental functioning, or cognition, and these cognitive impairments may be related to problems in decision making seen during sleep loss. Controlled laboratory studies investigating sleep deprivation have, in some cases, found that people who do not get enough sleep show increased risk taking on standardized decision making tasks. These findings have led some researchers to conclude that sleep loss contributes to more risky behavior overall. Nevertheless, before any general conclusions can be reached about the relationships among sleep loss, cognition, and risk taking, we need a better understanding of: (1) how risky decision making is assessed in laboratory studies, (2) how these assessments are related to important aspects of risky behavior, such as impulsiveness, (3) how sleep loss is related to risky decision making and behavior, and (4) which cognitive processes impaired by sleep loss may influence the changes seen in risky decision making. To achieve these objectives, we conducted a thorough review of published experimental studies. We organized articles on the topic based on the source of sleep loss and the tasks used to assess risky decisions. We then compared the results of each article by these dimensions to synthesize the findings across the range of methodologies. This review will provide a better picture of how sleep loss influences the cognitive processes involved in risky decision making and how this can lead to changes in risky decision making and behavior. Our review should have practical applications for sleep loss and risk taking in various settings, including developmental changes from adolescence to adulthood, and for people working in around-the-clock occupations such as medicine, the military, and logistics.

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SOC07SOC7: Social SciencesSocial SciencesMadison Benjamin, Linnaea Morris, Portia SimmonsMorrisHuman Development (Morris, Simmons), Psychology (Benjamin)Cristina McAllister, Kathleen Boyce RodgersBoyce RodgersPullmanZ7BR13:40

Music media has a powerful influence on adolescent identity, perceptions of others and behavior. Previous research on music videos has shown the sexual stereotypes and sexual messages prevalent in audiovisual content potentially produced significant changes in adolescent behavior (Valkenburg et al., 2013). The risks associated with music video exposure include high-risk sexual behaviors (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009). Parents can play a major role in teaching adolescents how to observe music media, this skill is known as media literacy. Media literacy improves the ability to identify topics shown in media, such as sexual objectification and gender stereotypes (Flynn et al., 2016). Parental mediation, a way parents encourage media literacy, serves as a protective factor against adolescent risk behaviors. Adolescents who reported a mutually close relationship with their parent were more likely to perceive sexuality in audiovisual media and also had higher levels of media literacy (Valkenburg et al., 2013). A mutually close relationship may result in more compliance from the teen when a parent mediates (i.e., talks about media) with sexual and violent content. In this study we addressed if parent and teen perceptions of emotional closeness were related to how parents mediate their teen’s use of music media. We examined quantitative data from a larger study of 50 parent-teen dyads who participated in a laboratory observational study of parent-teen communication about healthy and unhealthy romantic relationships. Dyads independently completed surveys about their relationship and parental mediation of music media. Our research question is: are parent and teen perceptions of emotional closeness related to how parents mediate their teen’s use of music media? From parents’ and teens’ independent reports of closeness, we created a discrepancy score to determine similarity and dissimilarity in reported closeness. Two one-way ANOVA's were run: (1) Closeness similarity by parent-reported parental mediation and (2) closeness similarity by teen-reported parental mediation items. Results revealed significant differences between level of agreement in reported closeness for (a) parent-reported mediation and (b) teen reported parental mediation of music media which will be further discussed in a presentation. Findings have implications for helping parents enhance media literacy in their teens.

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SOC08SOC8: Social SciencesSocial SciencesAmina AhnachAhnachPsychologyLee DaffinDaffinGlobalZ7BR14:00

Research has demonstrated the prevalence of negative stereotypes of women of color in the workplace. Several other studies have shown the persistence of ethnic stereotypes in email communication. However, there are not sufficient studies on the intersection of gendered stereotypes of women of color in the workplace and their expression of emotions via email despite its importance to today’s workplace communication. To examine this intersectionality, we conducted a study in which college students rate their agreement with a list of stereotypes describing the sender of an emotionally charged email. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 conditions based on the sender’s name that’s ethnically and gender identifiable. We hypothesize that women of color who express strong emotions via email in workplace conflict are viewed with more negative stereotypes than men and white women. Data collection is ongoing and so no results are able to be provided.

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SOC09SOC9: Social SciencesSocial SciencesMorgan RutterRutterPsychologyLee DaffinDaffinGlobalZ7BR23:00

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is one of the most common injuries suffered by Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) combat veterans. Combat veterans present a unique subset of mTBI cases due to the frequency of injury and the differing impacts of blast exposure compared to blunt force trauma. Because mTBI symptoms are typically resolved within 3 months, very little focus is placed on the long-term cognitive effects of repeated mTBI. Despite this, many veterans report experiencing symptoms well past three months. The purpose of this literature review is to assess the current literature on the long-term cognitive impacts of mTBI in combat veterans with a focus on neuropsychological testing. The following keywords were used in different combinations to identify literature for review: “mTBI,” “neuropsychological,” “testing,” “combat,” “veteran,” “blast,” “cognition,” and “cognitive.” The literature shows discrepancies in the presentation, cause, and existence of poor neuropsychological test performance in combat veterans with a history of mTBI. The most common findings include deficits in memory, the role of comorbid post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mTBI on neuropsychological function, abnormalities in brain imaging, and increased subjective symptom reporting. Differing conclusions may suggest that mTBI has a multifaceted effect on the neuropsychological functioning of combat veterans. Mild traumatic brain injury has been shown to most frequently affect memory and findings show that poor test performance is often associated with comorbid PTSD. Also, the wide variety of tests used increases the difficulty in comparing findings between research articles. A standardized approach to the neuropsychological testing of veterans may increase the ability of researchers to find patterns of significant cognitive deficits.

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SOC10SOC10: Social SciencesSocial SciencesAymee CarrilloCarrilloHuman Development, Psychology, SpanishKathleen RodgersRodgersPullmanZ7BR23:20

The relationship and communication between parents and adolescents is crucial to the development of the adolescent. The support and involvement of the parent can be a protective factor for the adolescent against many risks, including physical and mental health problems. Parents can help their adolescent understand what healthy and unhealthy dating relationship looks like, including the risks and rewards of dating. Dating violence is a serious topic and parents have various ways in which they talk to their adolescent about it. I will use qualitative data of parent-adolescent conversation about dating and couple violence to better understand how parents and teens talk about romantic relationships and intimate partner violence. Fifty parent-teen dyads watched and discussed the music video “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem, ft. Rihanna in a laboratory setting. The music-video stimuli primed participants to discuss intimate partner violence. The 10-minute audio-visual-recorded conversations were transcribed, verified, and coded for themes. I will analyze five transcripts randomly selected from the sample. Through the coding of the data, I will discover themes present in conversation between parents and their adolescents in regard to dating violence. The knowledge gained from this will allow us to better understand how this topic is discussed by parents, including what they talk about and avoid, and can aid in the creation of dating violence prevention programs. From this specific research method, we can gain a better understanding of the role that media plays as a stimulus to topics related to teen dating violence, and whether media can help start conversations on difficult topics between parents and their adolescents.

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SOC11SOC11: Social SciencesSocial SciencesDanica MillerMillerArchitectural StudiesJulia DayDayPullmanZ7BR23:40

The purpose of this study, which was sponsored by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), is to identify the barriers and benefits of Lighting Level Lighting Control (LLLC) technologies. This mixed methods longitudinal study will last six months and will implement several research tactics including interviews, ethnographic journals, and photovoice (i.e., a method used in the social science disciplines) to understand how people who are currently specifying LLLC systems are using them, as well as challenges they may be facing. In particular, areas of inquiry will include: 

  1. Where are LLLC best suited and being installed?

  2. What systems seem to gravitate to what kinds of applications?

  3. Where are NLC best suited and being installed?

  4. Where are NLC and LLLC not going in at all, and why?

  5. Which value proposition messaging for LLLC resonates with these market actors?

The initial launch phase of this research project is comprised of meetings with NEEA to share our strategy of achieving the goals of our scope and find regional professionals in the design and construction industry to participate in the study. The second phase will include data-collection focus groups and interviews with the participants. There will be regular check-ins each month with participant groups to ensure they are submitting their materials regularly, and/or phone interviews to manually collect data. There will also be three group meetings: one initial meeting for everyone to meet and understand the goals of this study, one after three months as a midpoint check-in, and one as a final wrap up once the study has concluded. In the final phase, we will provide NEEA with a final report documenting collected perceptions of industry benefits and barriers for adopting LLLC technologies in project applications. 

A portion of my role will include developing a research assistant guidebook that will document the process of this study, such that the project can continue with interviews, data collection, and the final write up once the data collection has finished.

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SOC12SOC12: Social SciencesSocial SciencesAnnika WillyWillyNeuroscience, Political ScienceMaureen Schmitter-EdgecombeSchmitter-EdgecombePullmanZ7BR33:00

In the United States today there are more than 46 million older adults age 65 and older, this number is expected to grow to close to 90 million by 2050, and so it is more important than ever to understand the factors that jeopardize healthy cognitive aging.  Among these factors worth investigating is the influence of chronic health conditions. This study investigated the effects of chronic versus isolated health illnesses on self-reported everyday executive behaviors (DEX) and quality of life (QOL). Forty-eight older adults (Mage=83, SD=5.48, 69.6% Female) completed monthly health reviews, and at six-month intervals a series of questionnaires. For this study we compiled monthly health review data into two variables: average number of days feeling below par during each 6-month period due to a chronic illness (e.g., diabetes) and due to isolated health episodes (e.g., the flu). We found that the average days of chronic illness between time one and time two, a six-month span, predicted self-reported DEX concerns at a 6-month follow-up, R2=.143, F(1,47) = 9.014, p=.004. At the 1-year follow-up, chronic illness continued to predict DEX concerns, R2=.128, F(2,40) = 4.078, p=.024, even after controlling for days feeling below par due to chronic illness between the 6-month and 1-year follow-up. In contrast, average days feeling below par due to individual illness episodes predicated self-reported quality of life, R2=.125, F(1,34) = 6.016, p=.019, but this relationship was not sustained at the 1-year follow-up F(1,39) = .143, p=.707. Together these data suggest that chronic illness concerns have a significant and lasting effect on perceived everyday cognition, more so than individual illness episodes. Notably, while a high number of days feeling poorly due to individual illness episodes initially predicted self-reported quality of life, this effect was only temporary. Future studies should further investigate the impact of specific chronic health conditions on temporary and long-term cognition.

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SOC13SOC13: Social SciencesSocial SciencesZakora MooreMooreBioengineeringJulia Day, Shelby RuizDayPullmanZ7BR33:20

Occupant comfort and its relation to energy use are often overlooked when considering the design and functionality of today’s modern structures. Concepts such as thermal comfort, energy efficiency, and sustainability serve as critical factors when measuring overall building outcomes, and are analyzed and assessed within the studies and research conducted at the Integrated Design + Construction Lab (ID+CL). Through working with the ID+CL on various occupant behavior and comfort projects since the Fall of 2019, I have learned about and participated in several different methodological and data analysis procedures. This presentation will highlight my involvement with several projects during my time as an undergraduate researcher thus far, as well as the methods that were utilized in each project. Through each of these projects and processes, I’ve learned a great deal about research and research methods in the built environment, especially in the areas of occupant comfort and behavior.

In my first lab task, I worked on a literature review on occupant thermal comfort. This literature review was included in a conference paper (Day, Moore & Ruiz, 2020). The process of working on the literature review provided me with the foundational knowledge to work on another project, a tenant engagement literature matrix. In this project, we are analyzing existing literature to identify the best types of occupant engagement strategies for occupant comfort and energy efficiency.

In addition, I have gained experience working on two mixed-methods studies, which have used surveys and interviews to understand energy use and comfort in WSU resident halls on the Pullman campus. I learned about qualitative data collection and analysis, and by using NVivo coding software, I helped to analyze both interview and open-ended survey results. I also analyzed open-ended survey questions from a lighting controls wall station survey, which was distributed by the Lighting Design Lab to better understand occupant’s preferences for lighting controls.

Through working at the ID+CL, and participating in several aspects of research, I have learned more about research methods, as well as the complex relationship between occupant comfort and energy use.

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SOC14SOC14: Social SciencesSocial SciencesM. Maricel MastrudMastrudPsychologyLee DaffinDaffinGlobalZ7BR33:40

This project will closely look at how language, culture, level of parental education, and socioeconomic status play a part in receiving interventions and assessments of learning disabilities within the Latinx community in public education. Through a confidential bilingual survey created by the author utilizing the Qualtrics application, data from participants is being collected regarding basic demographics, teacher/parent and school/parent communications, tutoring/interventions and/or assessments, availability of support navigating the system, knowledge of and understanding of legal educational rights, and ability to find testing/support outside of the school system. Currently, data collection is still occurring and results have not been analyzed.

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SOC15SOC15: Social SciencesSocial SciencesOlivia DavisDavisHuman DevelopmentRaven WeaverWeaverPullmanZ7BR43:00

Introduction: Sexuality is considered a central and life-long aspect of being human, yet among older populations, sexual health is often overlooked and unaddressed by healthcare professionals. Care providers cite a lack of knowledge and comfort in addressing older adult sexual health needs and concerns, leaving sexual health unaddressed which increases the risk for diseases and complications among older adults. This paper reviews the literature on educational training specific to late life sexual health with the goal of identifying promising practices that support older adult care professionals to ensure that comprehensive care, including sexual health, is delivered.

Methods: We conducted a scoping review to identify peer-reviewed articles related to educational training for healthcare professionals about late life sexual health and behavior. Five articles met inclusion criteria (two quantitative, two qualitative process evaluations, and one mixed method study).

Results: All five articles described initiatives specific to facility-based care, with four targeting staff broadly (range n = 15 - 42). In-depth detail of the training curriculum was provided, with four articles indicating they were in the pilot phase of the initiative. In general, staff benefited from the interventions, were receptive to the initiatives, and wanted more training on the topics. All articles referenced the importance of family involvement, but at varying degrees of engagement. Dementia and residents’ rights policy were sub-foci of several articles. Conclusions aligned with a call for evaluating the proposed initiatives, expanding to more diverse settings, and providing more training initiatives about sexual health and behaviors for health care staff.

Discussion and Implications: Our findings demonstrate a dearth of articles investigating training for healthcare professionals about sexual health and behavior in later life. The inclusion of family dynamics is a strength of the existing research, but few studies demonstrated long-term effectiveness of training in practice. Researchers need to design and evaluate educational training to increase healthcare professionals’ familiarity and comfort with discussing older adult sexual health and behavior, which has the potential to better equip professionals to meet the comprehensive care needs, inclusive of sexual health, of an increasingly diverse aging population.

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SOC16SOC16: Social SciencesSocial SciencesOlivia WillisWillisNeuroscience, PsychologyCheryl ReedReedPullmanZ7BR43:20

Workforce shortages in the transportation industry have resulted in an increasing need for employees with diverse backgrounds in multimodal and sustainable transportation. Previous research on this project worked directly with students by hosting a table at large science events where students would stop at tables for short periods of time to complete activities, or by working with a group of students for a designated block of time for consecutive days utilizing hands-on activities and demonstrations. The effects that gender, screen time, self-efficacy, sense of belongingness, and stereotypes about science and scientists had on the learning for middle and high school aged students was to be studied in a classroom outreach setting when Covid-19 forced the project to move online. A virtual outreach activity was created in Qualtrics consisting of pre-activity content questions, questions pertaining to the factors being analyzed, short answer questions about the stereotypes students had about science and scientists, a video showing what a transportation engineer does, a video describing a transportation engineering topic, a transportation game, questions to engage the students with the activities, post-activity content questions that were identical to the original content questions, and an optional essay question where students could provide feedback and explain what they learned. The survey was distributed through local middle and high school teachers and the national Upward Bound summer program to obtain a broad sample of data from around the country. 116 responses in total were collected. T-tests and correlational analyses were applied to the data. Responses to questions about stereotypes showed that 52% of students had a stereotypical view of a scientist that included words such as “white lab coat.” 89% of students believed that anyone could become a scientist if they wanted, but 11% thought only specific groups of people could follow this career path. While we are still analyzing the data, to date, few statistically significant results have been found and many results were not consistent across factors. Results may have been influenced by students completing the activities in their own home environments. Future research will explore the stereotypes students have of scientists more extensively.

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SOC17SOC17: Social SciencesSocial SciencesChristopher HuongHuongPsychologySarah Ullrich-FrenchUllrich-FrenchPullmanZ7BR43:40

Mindfulness has been found to be associated with many positive psychological outcomes, and the use of mindfulness-based treatments have been shown to improve many psychological and physical health and performance outcomes. This study expands the conceptual scope of the State Mindfulness Scale for Physical Activity (SMSPA) by adding items that reflect the ‘acceptance’ element of mindfulness in physical activity contexts. University students participating in physical education classes (n = 394) completed surveys intended to assess mindfulness and other psychological constructs known to be associated with mindfulness (affect, anxiety, motivation, body image). Exploratory factor analysis was used on a randomly generated half of the sample to reduce the item pool based on factor structure and conceptual consistency. Then on the other half of the sample, confirmatory factor analysis was used to test a 19 and 15 item version of the new SMSPA. Results showed support for a 4 factor structure (mind acceptance, body acceptance, mind awareness, and body awareness). Our study also demonstrated evidence of reliability and construct validity of the new SMSPA2.

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