Searchable Presentation List

Use the searchable presentation list below to explore information about the projects our students will present in person at SURCA 2023 in the CUB Senior Ballroom.

You can use this interface to look up and read abstracts before and during SURCA. You can also find the poster ID number for the project you will need for finding the poster on site at the CUB.

How do you look up a particular student presenter at SURCA 2024? All student presenters from a specific WSU campus? Names and projects of students working with a specific faculty mentor? This searchable presentation list displays information on cards that can answer all of these questions.

Each presentation card displayed in the list gives all of the details for every project that will be presented at SURCA 2024. 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.

  • Each poster will be identified by the poster ID number, which is unique, at the top of the card.
  • Category shows which of nine SURCA 2024 groups this presentation is in. Each category is color-coded.
  • Project title shows the official name of the research project represented by the abstract. Selecting the “+” button or title will show you the full abstract describing the research. To close this full view mode, select the “-” button or interact with any part of your screen falling outside of the expanded view.
  • Student presenter(s) list the names of all undergraduate students who worked on the project.
  • Coauthor(s) indicates those people in addition to the student presenters who are also formally credited as working on the research project.
  • Major(s) indicates what the students collectively listed as their academic major(s) and are presented in alphabetical order.
  • Mentor(s) are the faculty who worked with the students in formally overseeing the research project.
  • Campus indicates at which WSU campus the presenters are students.

SURCA 2024 Presentations

Poster NumberCategoryTitlePresented ByStudent NameCo-authorsMajor(s)Mentored ByMentor NameCampusAbstract
1Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyLeila FarbodFarbodCoty Jasper, Noel Smith, Allison CoffinNeuroscienceAllison CoffinCoffinVancouver

Estrogen is a steroid hormone commonly used as a signaling molecule in vertebrates. Estrogen has also been observed to modulate auditory sensitivity in several species. For example, in plainfin midshipman fish, estrogen fluctuations drive seasonal auditory plasticity associated with reproductive success. While an excellent model to understand the mechanisms underlying estrogen-dependent auditory plasticity, midshipman fish are challenging to obtain and maintain in the lab. By contrast, zebrafish are an excellent model for studies of hormonal auditory plasticity, in part because they have an external sensory system, called the lateral line, which contains clusters of hair cells. Our prior data suggests that estrogen increases hair cell number in larval zebrafish lateral line. Here, we hypothesize that estrogen will increase cell proliferation and hair cell addition in adult zebrafish and that estrogen sensitivity will differ by sex. We exposed adult male and female zebrafish to estrogen for seven days using a bath incubation paradigm. We used BrdU to quantify cell proliferation, a TUNEL assay to quantify cell death, and labeled lateral line hair cells with DAPI, which serves as a specific marker of lateral line hair cells when used as a vital dye. Preliminary analysis suggests that estrogen increased cell proliferation in the adult zebrafish lateral line. We are currently investigating sex effects and the degree to which estrogen-induced cell proliferation is specific for supporting cell populations, as opposed to a more general effect of estrogen on all mitotic cells. Our preliminary results demonstrate that estrogen alters the rate of hair cell turnover in the adult zebrafish lateral line, consistent with experiments in both larval fish and in other fishes. Future experiments will examine the specific mechanisms of estrogen-mediated hair cell addition and further explore age and sex-specific effects.

2Social SciencesHillary MinorMinorLee DaffinPsychologyLee DaffinDaffinGlobal

This study aims to examine the relationship between mindfulness and GPA in college students. Qualtrics and Sona were used to publish and distribute the survey to undergraduate psychology students enrolled at Washington State University. The Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), a Likert-type scale with 39 questions, was used to measure mindfulness. Following the FFMQ, participants were presented with 13 demographics questions, including an estimate of current GPA scores. GPA, as well as other variables including income, religious affiliations, and gender were used to detect potential correlations with total FFMQ scores. Data is in the process of being analyzed now.

3Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyEthan JaegerJaegerMadison Little, Alla KostyukovaBioengineeringAlla KostyukovaKostyukovaPullman

Leiomodin-2 (Lmod2) is a cardiac muscle protein that binds actin and is essential to thin filament assembly and maintenance. Although Lmod2 is essential for proper muscle function, several domains of the protein are not yet completely understood. One of these domains is the negatively charged linker between two actin-binding sites. The linker contains a region rich in glutamic and aspartic acid residues called EDRR (Glu(E)/Asp(D) Rich Region). The structure and function of this linker remains unknown. The linker is longer than necessary to link the two actin-binding sites, and it contains a sequence highly conserved between species, suggesting that it holds an important function. Ca2+ has been shown to affect Lmod2 function, and EDRR is known to bind Ca2+. We predict that Ca2+ binding induces structural changes in the linker, thus affecting Lmod2 function. Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) we can reveal how the binding of EDRR to Ca2+ affects the linker and if any conformational change is induced thus providing important insights into the overall function and mechanism of the region. In order to use FRET, we need to introduce Cys residues in EDRR for site-specific labeling. To create the mutated EDRR, we designed DNA primers to change two amino acids (Gly 90 to Cys and Ser 156 to Cys) in the gene coding for Lmod2. Mutations were added using polymerase chain reaction polymerization. The mutant DNA was transformed into competent E. coli cells. These cells were cultured and expression of the mutated polypeptide was induced. After protein expression, the cells were pelleted by centrifugation, lysed using sonication, and the protein was purified using affinity chromatography, dialysis, and cyanogen bromide cleavage. Next, this mutant will be used in Ca2+ binding testing with FRET to help further our knowledge of Lmod2 so that we can achieve a greater understanding of this integral protein involved in muscles.

4Applied SciencesRyan CulpCulpSindhuja Sankaran, Angela HenricksNeuroscienceSindhuja SankaranSankaranPullman

Manual annotation of animal behavior videos such as the Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) can be a time consuming process. Automation can reduce the labor necessary to analyze videos. With machine learning applications, we can create high accuracy animal tracking and detection programs through custom algorithms. The application called Deep Lab Cut (DLC), is an open source application created by The Mathis Lab. It allows for custom algorithms, which allows for many applications based on the given requirements.

My thesis used this application as a viable product for use in labs that needed data analyzed from animal behavior videos. Deep Lab Cut is more capable than animal position tracking. It can also track certain states of the animal, such as what a certain position means for analysis. This can be used to analyze videos of rodents at a speed much faster than manual observation.

Computers used in labs for mass data analysis can easily run DLC without a need to upgrade or retrofit. Operations dedicated to video labeling can be cut down and turned into tasks for training data labeling and devoted to other tasks while the model trains in the background. The application has a wide variety of uses that go beyond animal analysis due to the nature of machine learning, so one’s imagination is the limit for this program.

5Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesSandra AutteletAutteletKevin Vixie, Curtis Michels, Jared Brannan, Blake CecilMathematics, Physics and AstronomyKevin VixieVixiePullman

The first goal of this work is to compute the multiscale flat norm on irregular graphs. By computing a local quadratic minimum, weights necessary for a discretization of the flat norm can be computed on irregular graphs in 2- and 3-dimensional space. This allows us to compute various geometry dependent quantities such as mean curvature, perimeter, and distances between shapes defined by subsets on graphs. The code for this project was written in Python and uses an efficient implementation of the min-cut max-flow algorithm. In addition to shape classification and signal denoising, we plan to apply this work to gravitational wave observation data to attempt to classify different glitches.

6Engineering and Physical SciencesAlexis Swenson, Valike TamakloeSwensonNicholas Ozanich, Christian Brown, Craig McGowan, David LinBioengineeringDavid LinLinPullman

Our study explores the biomechanics of kangaroo rats, focusing on their locomotion across different terrains, specifically how the animals hop on solid versus sand surfaces. We tested the hypothesis that although there are differences in the way that the animals hop across different surfaces, they maintain stability by controlling their overall center of mass. Through automated video analysis based upon machine learning algorithms, we tracked key points such as the toe tip, midfoot, ankle, knee, hip, eye, and nose of the kangaroo rats, enabling a detailed examination of their movement kinematics. Our methodology utilizes the software tools DeepLabCut for automated point tracking and BORIS for labeling hopping cycles. Additionally, custom Python and MATLAB scripts facilitated comprehensive data analysis, allowing us to discern subtle variations in locomotor behavior. A notable discovery was the greater variance observed in center of mass vertical motion and pitch angle of the body across sand surfaces compared to the solid terrain. Despite this increased variability, kangaroo rats demonstrated impressive control and correction mechanisms, ultimately achieving similar average pitch angles and center of mass vertical displacement to those observed on solid surfaces. These results provide support for our hypothesis that the center of mass was controlled for maintaining stability. This study underscores the remarkable adaptability of kangaroo rats in response to diverse environmental challenges. By unraveling their ability to regulate key biomechanical parameters across varying terrains, we gain valuable insights into the underlying mechanisms of locomotion in these fascinating creatures that could be applied to the design of autonomous mobile robots.

7HumanitiesEllie IkemuraIkemuraBiochemistryRebecca Ellis DodsonEllis DodsonPullman

On August 6, 1945, the United States bombed Hiroshima, Japan. This bombing was an attempt by the U.S. to bring an end to World War II, with minimal loss of American lives, and was the first atomic weapon used in warfare. As soon as this bomb was dropped, everything melted, buildings collapsed, and approximately eighty thousand lives were lost. The survivors became known as the Hibakusha and often faced discrimination and were treated like outcasts. As a result, the U.S. created the 1955 Hiroshima Maiden Project, which provided free transportation, hospitalization, surgery, and home care to a group of 25 bomb-affected Japanese women. In my research, I answered the question of whether the U.S. motivations for establishing the Hiroshima Maiden Project from 1955 to 1956 were based entirely on humanitarian considerations. It allowed me to conclude that the 1955 Hiroshima Maiden Project established by the U.S. was not based entirely on humanitarian reasons. It was rather established to reconstruct the United States’ post-war identity, promote American motherhood and domesticity, and bring back positive attention to the U.S. after the end of World War II. With these intentions, the project was created in the interests of the U.S. rather than the atomic bombing victims, who were made victims at the fault of the United States.

8Arts and DesignCole QuinnQuinnBroadcast ProductionLisa Waananen-JonesWaananen-JonesPullman

Ansel Adams is one of America's most well-known photographers of the 20th century. Throughout his life, Adams meticulously shot and crafted thousands of negatives of the American West, usually spending his time in Yosemite National Park. Critics at the time believed Adams' work was useless to the world of photography. At the height of his career in the 1930s, many photographers were more focused on capturing America's political and economic problems. However, Adams's portfolio encourages more preservation of America's National Parks by showcasing his pristine visulaizaiton of the American West.

Due to impending threats from climate change and urbanization, preserving America's natural wonders is more critical than ever. Implementing Ansel Adam's concepts of previsualization and the zone system, I spent 2023 exploring and photographing Washington's most pristine landscapes and wonders. I utilized my understanding of Adams' process and implemented it into the current world of digital photography. My project created over 100 finalized images across the state, from the Pacific Ocean's shores to the Columbia Plateau farms. The journey helps elaborate on how artistic abilities can act as a pedagogical tool for environment conservation and preservation in America.

9Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyKathleen SciarrottaSciarrottaSamantha N Stiles, Philip Mixter, Isaac A. NgereNeuroscience, PsychologyPhilip MixterMixterPullman

Sub-Saharan Africa public health employees and advocates currently battle the regions with the most significant communicable infectious diseases. Prevalent syndromes including acute febrile illness, diarrheal illness, acute respiratory illness, and urinary tract infections are the leading causes of health loss in Sub-Saharan Africa. As public health advocates in Kenya combat a variety of dynamic aetiological agents, there has been a recent national move towards informed implementation of public health policy. PBIDS represents the establishment and integration of an active surveillance platform, designed to inform the Ministry of Health’s decision on emerging public health priorities and tactics. Active surveillance of disease in Kibera, the second-largest informal settlement in Africa, and Asembo, Siaya County, the project’s rural counterpart, is continuously conducted through household and health facility morbidity observance. Surveillance is integrated into the clinical infrastructure in southwestern Kibera and functions in conjunction with the Tabitha Clinic, located within the informal settlement. This surveillance platform provides unrivaled insights on the burden, impact, and trends for infectious diseases while assessing the effectiveness of pharmacological and environmental intervention methods performed by Kenyan officials. During a six-week immersion, I was integrated into the core PBIDS surveillance, collection, data processing, and KEMRI diagnostic teams as they conducted the summer household and health facility morbidity observance. By creating datasets on the trajectory of communicable diseases, including participant socioeconomic status, environmental conditions, and community issues, Kenya’s Ministry of Health hopes to implement this current newfound knowledge to create the most effective form of disease intervention. In the coming years, the study seeks to expand its information bank on environmental factors, including climate change and bio-stats from the surrounding soil and water.

10Social SciencesNorell StirlingStirlingBlythe DuellPsychologyBlythe DuellDuellPullman

This study aimed to test for a possible connection between the time spent on the social media platform TikTok and decreased attention span and well-being in college students. TikTok, a short-video social media platform, has quickly gained popularity since its rise in 2016. Users of TikTok can create short videos under five minutes or simply scroll on the app using an algorithm-curated feed called a “For You Page”. TikTok successfully manages a “flow” state for users, so individuals can scroll endlessly without their experience being interrupted until they decide to stop. Flow is what makes TikTok so addictive, and when flow dimensions are being maximized, users can scroll undisturbed for hours without realizing it (Qin, Omar, & Musetti, 2022). Using the concepts of internet and social media addictions, my study hypothesized that more time spent on TikTok would be negatively correlated with attention span and general life well-being. The second hypothesis of this study is that once participants saw and recorded their time spent on TikTok, there would be a negative response regarding how they feel about seeing their time usage. To test for a correlation, this study utilized two surveys pertaining to well-being and attention span, and answers were measured using Likert-scale questions. This survey also had two short-answer questions, one asking participants to report their weekly time spent on TikTok based on data from their phone, and the second asking about their feelings after seeing their screen time. One hundred and fifty WSU students participated (with 8% male-identifying and 91% female-identifying) in the study for course credit. We found several significant correlations, including a positive correlation between time spent on TikTok and difficulty concentrating, a negative correlation between age and time on TikTok, and a negative correlation between age and difficulty concentrating. The results of this study supported our original hypothesis that as time spent on TikTok increases, the ability to concentrate decreases in college-aged students. However, no relationship was found between time spent on TikTok and well-being.

11Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyOlivia WitherspoonWitherspoonDebra Mitchell, Madeleine Harvey, Mingxin Shi, Kanako HayashiBiologyKanako HayashiHayashiPullman

Throughout the world, cannabis is the most universally used psychoactive drug. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported in 2020 that more than 48 million Americans ages 12 and older used cannabis in the past year. Since cannabis use is most popular among people between ages 18 and 35, which are the most active reproductive ages, an understanding of the consequences cannabis use on reproductive functions in offspring is crucial. Additionally, an increasing number of pregnant mothers are using cannabis. It is undetermined whether the negative effects of cannabis use on reproduction are passed to subsequent generations due to germline transmission. We propose that in utero and nursing exposure to cannabis vapor effects the reproductive systems of offspring. CD-1 female mice were mated with drug naïve male mice. Pregnant females (F0) on gestational day 1 were exposed to control vehicle, 100 mg/ml, or 200 mg/ml of cannabis extract for 30 minutes twice a day. In male F1, body weight, testes weight, sperm count, and sperm motility were assessed. In female F1, body weight, ovary weight, day of vaginal opening, and estrous cycle were evaluated. Our data indicates that sperm count, and motility was significantly reduced in 100 mg/mL and 200 mg/mL groups, when compared to vehicle. Day of vaginal opening was delayed in the 200 mg/mL group. Length of estrous cycle was significantly reduced in the 100 mg/mL and 200 mg/mL groups. Testes weight, ovary weight, and body weights were normal. This research is a starting point in examining the generational impact of cannabis vapor exposure on reproductive systems. In summary, the results suggest in utero and nursing cannabis exposure affect reproductive functions, leading to subfertility.

12Social SciencesIsabella SantiagoSantiagoNicole R. ScaliseHuman Development, PsychologyNicole ScaliseScalisePullman

Many adolescents and emerging adults feel anxious about math and show low math achievement (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2019; Ramirez et al., 2018), and consequently may avoid choosing a STEM major in college. Self-Determination Theory (SDT) posits that to experience positive developmental outcomes, including mastery of course content, individuals have three basic psychological needs of autonomy (i.e., agency), competence (i.e., mastery), and relatedness (i.e., connection to others) that must be met. Students who experience autonomy, competence, and relatedness are more likely to have higher academic achievement and report better overall well-being than those who do not (Niemiec & Ryan, 2009; Rice et al., 2013). Additionally, students’ past experiences in classrooms may affect their current and future attitudes, achievements, and academic decisions (Chen et al., 2020; Hunt & Maloney, 2022). The present study examined relations between undergraduate students’ feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness (SDT constructs) in their memories of high school math and their current math anxiety and math achievement (n = 46, M(age) = 19.74 years, SD(age) = 2.13 years). Students who described more SDT constructs in their experiences rated their memories more positively, r(42) = 0.38, p < .01. Students who reported more SDT constructs also rated their perceived classroom environments more positively, r(44) = 0.52, p < .001. However, no relationship was found between students’ frequency of SDT constructs and their current math achievement (r(44) = .009, p = .95) or math anxiety (r(40) = .18, p = .24). Additionally, references to SDT constructs were not related to students’ choice to major in STEM (t(31) = .010, p = .99). There was also some evidence that a more positive high school math classroom environment predicted greater current math achievement. These findings shed light on the importance of experiencing autonomy, competence, and relatedness in high school mathematics classrooms. However, more research is needed to further unpack the longer-term impact of SDT constructs, perceived classroom environment, and emerging adults’ math achievement, math anxiety, and decision to major in STEM.

13Research Proposal (Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary Biology)Alexis BaughBaughRachel Woods, Mike Lott, Dave Evans, Heather WattsBiologyHeather WattsWattsPullman

The study of nomadic migration in birds has been historically difficult because they exhibit unpredictable movements and low sight fidelity. Traditional methods of tracking bird migration include mark and recapture, banding, and use of various tags (e.g., geolocator or GPS), but these are expensive, are too heavy to use on small animals, or rely on high sight fidelity to recapture animals. The stable isotope composition of key elements may offer insights beyond these traditional approaches. Carbon (C), Nitrogen (N), Sulfur (S), Oxygen (O) and Hydrogen (H) all exist as two or more stable, non-radioactive isotopes, and variation in the ratio of the isotopes of an element can act as ‘biogeographical markers’ to help us understand feeding and migration patterns. We hypothesize that variation in isotope composition of these elements in nomadic migrants will be useful in estimating migration patterns when compared to known environmental compositions. We tested our hypothesis using Pine Siskins (Spinus pinus), a nomadic bird species. Feather samples were collected from preserved birds previously captured around Twisp, Conconully, Dayton and Pullman, Washington, and Moscow, Idaho. The ninth primary and second secondary feathers were collected from the wings of 15 birds and prepared and analyzed in the WSU Stable Isotope Core Facility for C, N, H, O, and S compositions. We found substantial variation among individuals in all elements analyzed. Some individuals had isotopic compositions that were within the predicted range of the capture location while others captured in that same location differed significantly. This suggests that birds at a given location likely reflect birds that were in different locations earlier in the year (i.e., when they grew their feathers). The wide range of isotope compositions across our samples is a positive indicator for the use of this method to infer movements of pine siskins.

14Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyNolan MiddletonMiddletonEric SheldenGenetics and Cell Biology, MathematicsEric SheldenSheldenPullman

Pediatric neuroblastoma is among the most common solid tumors in children and accounts for approximately 15% of childhood cancer mortalities. Few common genetic variations are currently associated with neuroblastoma development. Additionally, no genetic variations have yet been established as predictive factors for patient survival in neuroblastoma cases. Here, an algorithm called functional enrichment analysis was used to identify genetic variations associated with altered survival times in neuroblastoma cases. Two survival analyses of clinical neuroblastoma cases were conducted: one associated with variations in individual genes and the other associated with biological systems identified using functional enrichment analysis. Variations in only two individual genes displayed significant associations with altered survival: ALK (ALK receptor tyrosine kinase), which is a known hallmark of neuroblastoma, and DNAH17 (dynein axonemal heavy chain 17). In contrast, variations in 148 biological systems identified by functional enrichment analysis were significantly associated with altered survival. The ALK signaling system displayed highly significant association with altered survival, as did the system associated with Crizotinib, an ALK inhibitor. Of the 148 systems identified, 128 lacked any association with ALK. Of these 128 systems, eight showed a more significant association with altered survival than the ALK signaling pathway itself. These results demonstrate novel risk factors associated with altered survival in childhood neuroblastoma patients and illustrate the potential of systems-level analysis to generate insight into the biology of cancers.

15Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyHarleyJo HolmanHolmanLisa Shipley, Leah BrueggemanWildlife Ecology and Conservation SciencesLisa Shipley, Leah BrueggemanShipleyPullman

The ‘deep-snow mountain caribou’ is an ecotype of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) native to northeastern Washington and northern Idaho. These animals use isolated environments with high snowpack levels to forage for typically inaccessible tree lichen. Due to this specialization in diet and habitat needs, these animals face significant pressure to adapt to climate change and human development. With the relocation of the last individual from Washington state in 2019, mountain caribou are considered extirpated and a species of greatest conservation need. In this project, a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) and Climate Suitability Index (CSI) were developed for mountain caribou using a scale-dependent ecology model and multi-criterion evaluation. In this context, an HSI is a model used to determine the capacity of a habitat to support mountain caribou based on available resources and constraints; likewise, a CSI is a model used to assess the ability of an area’s climate to foster mountain caribou survival. By implementing these indexes with a Geographic Information System, this study aimed to identify the present size, location, and climate of suitable habitat within four national forests in the South Selkirk region. We predicted that suitable habitat is limited to mountainous environments with elevations over 1800m and climate suitability of at least 75% as these areas lack significant human footprint and retain cooler climate conditions. Results from the suitability analysis estimate that ~12500 ha is >75% suitable for mountain caribou, which is only 0.5% of the total study area. Within these areas, elevations under 1800m have an expected frequency of > 10%. Additionally, climate suitability in these areas displays a mean value of 83.4%. These findings support a zonal distribution shift by mountain caribou, where accelerating environmental change causes species to move upwards in elevation to escape less favorable conditions. Further investigation into the habitat selection of caribou under varying climatic and topographical conditions may provide insights into the spatial distribution of cold-adapted species in environments vulnerable to climate change.

16Research Proposal (Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology)Chloe Whipps, Kate YoonWhippsMaya N. Boyle, Iwona M. Driskell, Ryan R. DriskellGenetics and Cell Biology, Biochemistry, MicrobiologyRyan DriskellDriskellPullman

Understanding the mechanisms that are required to achieve scarless regeneration is an understudied area of research and has implications for generating pharmacological treatments to induce regenerative processes in adult tissues and to inhibit aging. One of the major questions in the Driskell Lab is: Why do mammals heal better from wounds when they are young? Previous studies have found that wounds that occur in embryonic tissue heals regeneratively without scars. In addition, scars lack hair follicles, one of the major mini-organs that are required to reform functional skin instead of a scar. This undergraduate research project, originally established by Maya Boyle and conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Driskell, addresses a pivotal question of whether dermal Lef1 expression is essential for scarless wound healing in skin wounds during development. Our work involves the comparative analysis of H&E section from skin wounds in murine embryos of wild type and Dermal Lef1 knockout mice, to quantify hair regeneration. The findings from this project hold promise for understanding which genes and cell types are required to activate in adult tissue to support regeneration and prevent aging.

17Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Areli OrozcoOrozcoOlusola Adesope, Blessing AkinrotimiPsychologyOlusola AdesopeAdesopePullman

Although the diversity of studies on mental health has increased over the years, there is still limited research explicitly focused on first-generation students of color in college, mental health, and the challenges of their transition into higher education. This study focuses on racial challenges and mental health, specifically anxiety and self-efficacy, to bring awareness to the resources needed to expand current literature that will provide better support for these populations when it comes to mental health and academic challenges. It is essential to expand and understand how anxiety and other mental health challenges can be addressed within these communities to create a better, more inclusive approach to the mental health care field. Our study will answer how anxiety affects first-generation college students’ academic performance. This study will conduct a survey using a Likert Scale among first-generation college students who also identify as part of an underrepresented racial group. The participants’ academic performance will be collected through their cumulative grade point average (GPA) using a number bank on the survey and compared to non-first-generation college students who also identify as part of an underrepresented racial group. This research will also analyze their anxiety levels alongside their self-efficacy by using the Beck Anxiety Inventory questionnaire and the General Self-Efficacy Scale. Self-efficacy will help us determine how confident they were in performing academically. It is hypothesized that first-generation college students will have lower self-efficacy, higher levels of anxiety and perform academically less than non-first-generation college students.

18Engineering and Physical SciencesDylan SuinaSuinaSarah Farahani, Dalton L. Glasco, Jeffrey G. BellMechanical EngineeringJeffrey BellBellPullman

In electrochemical sensor fabrication, the essential piece is the transducer, which works as a current collector and substrate for modifications and is the primary sensing component of a biomedical device. In point-of-care (POC) applications, low-cost materials are highly sought for diagnostics sensors. Precious metals are commonly used in most electrochemical sensors, but alternatives like graphite and carbon fiber rods are practical at the POC. Alongside these carbon-based alternatives, 3D printed carbon electrodes (3DpCEs) have recently been utilized as another low-cost alternative. 3DpCEs have already been shown to be successful in active electrochemical detection, but utilization in potentiometry has yet to be done. The use of carbon transducers in potentiometric sensors (i.e., ion-selective electrodes, ISEs) has recently been shown to be a low-cost approach to fabricating solid-contact ISEs for use in POC applications. 3DpCEs have the advantage of being fully customized in size and shape for unique POC applications, but currently, a drawback comes from the need to activate the 3DpCE surface. Although this modification provides improved conductivity of 3DpCEs, the effect of its use as an ISE transducer has yet to be studied. Herein, alkaline-assisted electrochemical activation (AAEA) for 3DpCEs is optimized for their use as ISE transducers.  With AAEA, the voltage range was studied to determine the effects of an ISE response to magnesium. A novel magnesium ion-selective membrane was previously optimized and used for analysis. Through this optimization, a comparison against a carbon fiber rod transducer was completed. With further experimentation and optimization 3DpCEs can evolve to an affordable alternative to carbon fiber transducers.

19Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesJohn Bussey, Ethan PetersonBusseyJan Nordström, Andrew WintersMaterials Science and Engineering, Mechanical EngineeringAndrew Winters, Jan NordströmWintersPullman, Vancouver

The parabolic one-dimensional heat equation was examined and implemented as a stable summation by parts-simultaneous approximation term (SBP-SAT) finite difference scheme. In order to address discontinuous thermal diffusivity (ε(x, t)), a multi-block approach was implemented using the Baumann–Oden method for interface coupling. Stability, boundary conditions, initial conditions, time-integrators, and penalty terms are discussed. Convergence testing was conducted through the method of manufactured solutions. Limitations and numerical implementation are additionally discussed. Potential industrial applications of the successful implementation of the multi-block scheme are widespread in materials science. As an example, a use case and toy simulation for thermal barrier coatings for gas turbine engines was demonstrated.

20HumanitiesMadison WattWattHistoryJesse SpohnholzSpohnholzPullman

In the court of King Henry VIII, power was everything. Sometimes one had to take this power and act on their own accord. Other times, one had this power and agency stripped from them. Servants were no exception. Much like their counterparts outside of the court, servants within it played a diverse set of roles. Using the letters of Eustace Chapuys, this research examines the unique roles played by servants in the court of Henry VIII, and how who they served within the court impacted their experience. Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador in England from 1529 to 1545, is known for his detailed accounts of what went on in Henry’s court. When examined, these accounts tell many stories, not just about Henry and his courtiers, but about the servants around them as well. Drawing on roughly 200 letters written between 1529 and 1536, the time in which Henry was seeking both his divorce and split from Rome, this research finds that servants in the court of Henry VIII played roles just as important as the ministers, dukes, and royalty: they played the roles of both political pawns and spreaders of sensitive information.

21Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMegan DinesDinesLisa Gloss, Michael KonkelBiologyMichael KonkelKonkelPullman

Campylobacter jejuni is a gram-negative, spirilla bacterium that stands as a globally leading cause of human gastroenteritis and causes 1 in every 4 cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (leading to paralysis). Using a flagellar type 3 secretion system, C. jejuni secretes the CiaC virulence protein, which is then delivered to the cytosol of host intestinal epithelial cells. This paper aims so identify the role CiaC plays, following its delivery to the cytosol, in promoting the invasion of C. jejuni in host cells. Motility assays analyzing the 48-hour motility of 81-176 C. jejuni isolates (WT, (delta)ciac, CiaC compliment, (delta)flgL, and FlgL compliment) revealed that C. jejuni with a CiaC gene deletion ((delta)ciac) did not have a significant difference in motile ability when compared to the WT isolate. Binding and internalization assays were conducted with the same 81-176 isolates to compare the ability of each C. jejuni isolate to separately adhere to and invade host cells. The C. jejuni (delta)ciac isolate showed similar host cell adherence behavior to that of the WT isolate. However, there was a significant difference in the invasion of the (delta)ciac isolate versus the WT isolate. This data indicates that the CiaC virulence protein does not play a role in the motility or adherence of C. jejuni, but rather likely plays a role in the invasion of C. jejuni into the host cell. It is still unknown what intercellular proteins CiaC interacts with once it is secreted into the host cell, though there are theories about likely interactions. By understanding what mechanisms C. jejuni uses to promote its invasion, we can then work backwards to inhibit these mechanisms and significantly reduce cases of gastroenteritis and Guillain-Barré syndrome that result from C. jejuni infection.

22Research Proposal (Arts and Design)Sydney CampbellCampbellArmine GhalachyanApparel, Merchandising, Design and TextilesArmine GhalachyanGhalachyanPullman

Temporomandibular joints disorder (TMJ or TMD) is a condition that causes locking of the jaw, restricting movement, as well as pain in the jaw and neck areas. According to the UIC College of Dentistry, TMD affects roughly 10 million people in the United States, including myself. This condition is progressive, so it is crucial to protect the jaw from unwanted progression. The cold is a catalyst for progression of pain for individuals with TMD. To address this and improve the quality of life of individuals with TMD, an innovative design, a heating unit attached to a headband style ear warmer is proposed in this project. The idea itself is to attach an L-shaped hingeable piece to the headband ear warmer. The L-shape is to cover not only the sides of the face but to extend along the bottom of the jaw. The bottom of the L-shape will only protrude about half an inch to cover the underside of the jaw but still maintain an attractive aesthetic. The hingeable nature of this attachment will allow the user to pivot the L-shaped attachment behind the neck and under the headband, so the user can hide the piece when not in use. The heat source used in the attachment will be an electronic heating pad, which is wired to a small battery insert (watch battery size) with an on/off button. Surrounding the electronics will be boning that lines the perimeter of the L-shape attachment in order to protect the electronics from shifting and maintain its overall shape. Covering the electronic elements will be a soft cotton fabric that will allow the user to press the on/off button through, will feel soft to the touch, encourage heat and air flow, and will also match the headband. The L-shaped attachment will be held on the headband using a snap button, modified to ensure a stiffer hold. The snap button will act as the hinge, a way to connect the headband to the heating unit, and as a way for the user to remove the heating unit all together if needed.

23Engineering and Physical SciencesSuzanne Gelston, Carolina PerezGelstonHaluk Beyenal, Robin PatelChemical Engineering, BioengineeringDilara OzdemirOzdemirPullman

Chronic wound infections pose a significant challenge to healthcare systems, often resisting conventional antibiotic treatments due to bacterial resistance and biofilm-associated tolerance. One of our previous studies focused on a novel solution: an electrochemical bandage (e-bandage) that generates low concentrations of hypochlorous acid (HOCl) continuously. The e-bandage is made of carbon fabric electrodes (d=1.5 cm) and showed great success in eradicating MRSA biofilms (d=0.33 cm) in 6 h during lab testing.  My mentor hypothesized that increasing the surface area of the e-bandage will treat larger biofilms if the effectiveness remains constant.

My research, conducted under the guidance of my mentor, explored the effectiveness of larger e-bandages. The goal of this project was to test different e-bandage sizes and test them on different biofilm sizes. Initially, e-bandages were scaled up in two new sizes; 1) medium (d = 2.89 cm) and 2) large (d = 5.77 cm), then the biofilms were scaled up in two new sizes; 1) medium (d = 0.63 cm) and 2) large (d = 1.25 cm) by keeping the available cells per area constant (~9 log(CFU/cm2)).

Medium and large e-bandages were tested against medium and large MRSA biofilms, respectively. The results showed that the medium e-bandage can eradicate MRSA biofilms within 6h while complete eradication takes 12 h for the large e-bandage. We concluded that as the e-bandage size increased, the longer the treatment period required to properly combat biofilm. These findings are significant because they show that e-bandages can target different wound sizes.

24Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesKiersten TreschTreschAndrew Pae, Shikha PrashadBioengineeringShikha PrashadPrashadPullman

Brain Machine interfaces (BMIs) are systems that facilitate a direct pathway between the brain’s electrical signals and an external device, such as robotic arms or protheses, allowing these devices to be controlled through mental commands. BMIs can help restore motor functions to individuals with paralysis or limb loss. However, existing BMIs face challenges in accurately interpreting users' neural commands to fully restore motor capabilities. Typically, EEG decoding, which is essential for BMIs, relies on machine learning algorithms. Previous studies often involve participants performing repetitive daily tasks, like reaching for an object. A concern with only using these types of tasks is that participants can become less engaged and bored. In our investigation, we explore if movement tasks that are repetitive and predictable will cause brain waves related to movement to become weaker and if introducing varied and unpredictable tasks will cause the neural signal to become stronger. Introducing unpredictable tasks serves to maintain participants' attention and addresses concerns where solely relying on predictable tasks might lead to disengagement. Twenty participants were tasked with controlling a computer cursor using a mouse to track a horizontally moving target. Two conditions were tested: one with a predictable target trajectory and the other with random directional changes. Cursor movements were recorded, serving as the basis for classification in the machine learning algorithm. Brain waves were recorded with a 64-channel EEG cap. The EEG delta bands were extracted and then analyzed to assess the predictive power of the algorithm on whether the participants moved their arms left, right, or did not move. We compared the accuracies in predicting movements between predictable and unpredictable trials. This study contributes to refining movement tasks for training BCI machine learning algorithms, advancing the path for improved BMI functionality.

25Engineering and Physical SciencesZoe FichtelFichtelRyan Dorosh, Kyle Yoshida, Ming LuoMechanical EngineeringMing LuoLuoPullman

Biological snakes exhibit serpentine and sidewinding motions and the ability to bend vertically, lifting themselves slightly off the ground as they move. However, the current Soft Robotic Snake (SRS) module only possesses 2D motion. This paper presents a novel soft actuator design and experimental analysis that enables simultaneous bending and curving with a single cable pull. Furthermore, a TPU-based 3D-printed artificial skin is attached to the bottom of the soft actuator, providing anisotropic friction necessary for snake-like undulating motion. Future work will involve integrating four actuators to create a robotic snake and evaluating its performance with new features, including additional curving motion and the implementation of artificial skin.

26Research Proposal (Humanities)Brandon OseguedaOseguedaEnglishMichael DelahoydeDelahoydePullman

As we continually find ourselves in a digital and technological age, information has become a staple everywhere we go, be that truthful information or harmful misinformation. As technology advances, the potential for the spread of faulty, deceptive information such as misinformation and disinformation exponentially evolve as well. This means that distinguishing what is real or false has become -- and will continue to -- a challenge that will prove to be more and more difficult as time progresses.

I propose a new form of approaching this issue of mass misinformation and digital deception by thinking rhetorically or in terms of the underlying mechanics of what goes into everyday content, such as the appeals it makes, its target audience to which it is catering, and the validity of the presented information itself. By thinking in terms of pathos, ethos, logos, and kairos, we can begin to combat the mass spread of misinformation and disinformation in the pedagogical setting and begin to engage and think critically of the mass influx of information we see today, which will be crucial in determining what is real and what is false. In doing this, we construct a better future where students go onto become more thoughtful and critical consumers in a time where everything and everyone is trying to sell you something, allowing them to partake in and engage with politics and advertising with a critical framework that allows them to discern if the information they are taking in is to be believed or not.

As a consequence of the Internet, information has become infinite, yes, but it is the platform that it provides to harmful and malicious actors that poses such a major threat to not only our future students but the state of our democracy as well. Through the employment of rhetorical thinking, students can begin to view these actors through critical and speculative lens, which can prevent them from buying into faulty and pernicious ideology or from being digitally deceived. Now more than ever, in an age where thinking has become obsolete, being able to think critically is critical to the future.

27Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologySarah De SantosDe·SantosEric Nilsson, Margaux McBirney, Stephanie E King, Colin Greeley, Daniel Beck, Lawrence B Holder, Michael SkinnerGenetics and Cell BiologyMichael Skinner, Eric NilssonSkinnerPullman

In the past few decades, humans have been exposed to a multitude of environmental toxicants without truly understanding the implications that these exposures could pose for both their health and that of their subsequent offspring. However, by studying the epigenetic changes of multiple generations of model organisms exposed to similar environmental toxicants, these potential effects can be analyzed. This study exposed three generations of rats in succession, starting with the F0 generation to the agricultural fungicide vinclozolin, the F1 generation to a hydrocarbon jet fuel mixture, and gestating females of the F2 generation to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) to investigate the potential ramifications these exposures had to the subsequent generations of this line. Generations F1-F5 were examined for alterations in the epigenetics of the male sperm as well as the pathology of both sexes, of which significant changes to the sperm’s differential DNA methylation regions and similarities of about 50% of DNA methylation regions of the F3-F5 generations were observed. The pathology of each generation’s reproductive organs of the rats (testis, kidney, ovary, and prostate), as well as occurrences of obesity and tumors, was assessed, which in turn used Deep Learning, a newly developed artificial intelligence-based histopathology analysis, to analyze the results. These observations revealed the occurrence of compounded disease impacts in both obesity and metabolic parameters, however, all other pathologies analyzed plateaued at the F5 transgenerational generation with only minor increases, demonstrating that the multiple generational exposures that humans have experienced, lead to an overall increase of epigenetic impacts and susceptibility to obesity.

28Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyCayden SteeleSteeleCampbell Stack, Amanda Newcombe, Celia NeuzilZoologyJennifer PhillipsPhillipsPullman

Within certain ecosystems, multiple populations of large predators coexist via niche partitioning, in which species utilize ecosystem resources differently in order to minimize competition. In the Kingdom of Bhutan, large predators such as tigers, common leopards, Asiatic black bears, snow leopards, and dholes share habitats and thus must mitigate interspecific competition, especially with regards to food resources. This study focused on the most commonly found predator species in the Paro region, specifically seeking to understand how Himalayan black bears and common leopards use niche partitioning to coexist with an emphasis on the impact of human disturbance. Due to the availability of livestock as a source of sustenance near human settlements, we hypothesized that the increased abundance of potential prey would result in predators being more tolerant of each other within the same territory near human settlements. Twenty-five camera traps throughout the Taktsang-Bumdra region of Paro, Bhutan were used to detect the presence of bears and leopards. Terrain, habitat, elevation, and disturbance data was recorded at each camera location, and Rstudio was utilized to analyze the results. It was determined that leopards and bears demonstrate temporal partitioning with leopards being more active in the early mornings and bears being more active in the evenings, thereby reducing interspecific competition. The results also indicate that leopards are more dependent on terrain than bears are. Furthermore, we observed a negative correlation between bear and leopard activity versus human and livestock activity. Ultimately, we concluded that bears and leopards mainly utilize temporal partitioning, regardless of levels of human disturbance, in order to coexist within ecosystems. Going forward, the ability to understand the behavioral habits of large predators among human settlements remains crucial to achieving conservation goals as well as to mitigating human-wildlife conflict.

29Social SciencesSita GanugapatiGanugapatiPaul BollsPublic Relations, Risk and Crisis CommunicationPaul BollsBollsPullman

Introduction: The goal for this research is to investigate the emotional and cognitive processes underlying parasocial relationship formation between Twitch platform influencers and their audiences. This experiment is designed to advance understanding of information processes underlying parasocial relationships. My study uses current research and underlying concepts in interpersonal communications research to build an understanding of the cognitive and emotional processes that the human brain goes through when forming these one-sided connections. My research will also tackle the above questions from the host or streamer side to better understand the underlying processes in online live-streaming platforms that underlie the relationship formation with a host.

Methodology: The design of this study is a quasi-experiment. The research objective is to investigate cognitive and emotional processes and responses elicited by popular versus unpopular Twitch Streamers. This study is exploratory research into how cognitive and emotional processes underlie parasocial relationship formation with popular versus unpopular Twitch Streamers. The results will inform the development and design of a Media Psychology/Neuroscience lab experiment that investigates how variation in specific verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors by Twitch Streamers impact embodied mental processes from which parasocial relationships with viewers emerge.

Study Procedures: Participants in this study are undergraduate students recruited from the Murrow College SONA participant pool. Participants complete the study in the Murrow Audience Response Lab in Goertzen Hall. Participants are instructed to choose eight, approximately one-minute video clips of Twitch Streamers from a pool of 12 possible clips. Half of the clips are male Streamers and half are female. The biological sex of the Streamer will be further divided into popular versus unpopular Streamers based on Twitch metrics. Participants continuously rate the arousal level (intensity) of emotional responses and positivity of emotional responses while each clip is being viewed using dial testing. Participants complete self-report measures of attitudes toward the Streamer and perceived parasocial relationship with a Streamer after each clip.

30Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMichael Fasci, Jorge FloresFasciJasson Makkar, Ryan Driskell, Iwona DriskellBioengineering, NeuroscienceRyan DriskellDriskellPullman

As the skin ages, it becomes more frail, increasing the risk of bruising and skin laceration. This is due to the thinning of the skin, specifically through a decrease in collagen fiber density in the dermis. The dermis, primarily composed of cells known as fibroblasts, makes up the majority of the skin’s thickness. Towards the end of an organism’s lifespan, there is a decline in fibroblast activity, reducing the production and maintenance of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, such as collagen. We aim to determine the quantifiable changes to dermal structure and organization throughout aging. Additionally, to explore how cellular programming modifies the changes to the dermis with age, we are utilizing a transgenic murine model that overexpresses the Wnt transcription factor, Lef1(Lef1KI). Lef1 is expressed in fibroblasts during development to facilitate skin formation and regeneration but undergoes postnatal silencing. We aim to determine whether reactivation of its expression modifies collagen fiber deposition and maintenance as we age. While previous studies have measured changes to the collagen fibers of the skin, there is currently no automated methods to collect these quantifications. To measure changes to the dermal ECM rapidly and reproducibly, we employ a Fiji plugin known as TWOMBLI to measure the physical characteristics of the dermis, including ridge detection and gap analysis. By validating the use of this tool for collagen quantification, we have shown that it is effective for evaluating the aging dermal environment. In conclusion, we will demonstrate that Lef1 plays a significant role in the maintenance of skin integrity throughout adulthood and that its maintained expression throughout the lifespan mitigates the effects of aging on dermal architecture.

31Arts and DesignAmanda MoedMoedApparel, Merchandising, Design and TextilesArmine GhalachyanGhalachyanPullman

The idea of the children’s weighted jacket, the focus of this project, stems from my own experience as once being a child who spent long sums of time in the hospital. Around 5 million children in the U.S. each year spend long periods of time back and forth from the hospital, which causes significant anxiety, distress, and discomfort to the children. This statistic proves that not every child has it easy and urges us to develop solutions for easing the experience of the affected children during their hospital stay. In many cases these children spend a lot of time in and out of surgeries, often needing treatment at home. There are times when parents need to perform these treatments on their child, and this can be a difficult thing to go through for both parties. Informed by my childhood experiences, review of literature on the topic, market analysis, and using my functional apparel design knowledge, the goal of my initial concept was to create a functional weighted jacket. The jacket includes adjustable and customizable weights and zippers that go up the sleeves to allow for access to the arm for medical procedures. This jacket is highly functional, adaptable, and allows the wearer to customize the placement of the weights. It is also made of soft fabric with cheerful, but calming colors to make it suitable for children. I took children’s products safety regulations into consideration while making this garment. This garment is made for a child who has anxiety induced stress when they are experiencing treatments for their condition. What I like about my concept is that it is not for one specific condition, it can be universally used by any child in need of a calming treatment and can potentially be adopted for use in hospitals and other medical settings.

32Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyRiana AbeshimaAbeshimaRyan M. Faddis, Zachary D.G. Fisher, Ryan M. Schmid, Hayden R. Wright, Ryan J. McLaughlinNeuroscienceRyan McLaughlinMcLaughlinPullman

Effective stress coping strategies are an important aspect of preventing psychological and emotional disorders. Individuals who use cannabis report that it improves their emotional state and reduces feelings of stress. Specifically, cannabis acts on cannabinoid receptors that have been shown to play a role in stress regulation. The lateral habenula (LHb) is an important brain region for the regulation of stress and we have previously shown that activation of cannabinoid receptors in the LHb significantly alters stress coping strategies. However, the effects of cannabis use, with or without exposure to stress, on activation of LHb neurons has not been systematically investigated. Thus, the goal of the present study was to determine whether cannabis use significantly impacts stress-induced activation of LHb neurons in male and female rats. We hypothesized that rats exposed to chronic stress will display increased LHb activation, whereas rats trained to self-administer cannabis vapor will exhibit significantly less LHb activation. Moreover, we predict that cannabis self-administering rats exposed to chronic stress will exhibit attenuated LHb activation relative to vehicle self-administering rats exposed to stress.

Rats in this study were trained to self-administer cannabis vapor (150 mg/ml) or a vehicle vapor consisting of a 4:1 blend of propylene glycol: vegetable glycerol for 8 days prior to introduction of daily restraint stress, which immediately followed vapor self-administration for the next 17 days. On the final day of self-administration, rats were exposed to a novel inescapable swim stressor for 5 min and were euthanized 90 min later to collect LHb tissue to measure c-Fos expression, which serves as a proxy of neuronal activation. Preliminary results indicate that cannabis had no significant effect on activation of LHb neurons in either stressed or non-stressed rats. Moreover, there was no significant effect of chronic stress on swim stress-induced c-fos expression in the LHb. Altogether, these data suggest that neither chronic stress nor repeated use of vaporized cannabis significantly impact stress-induced activation of LHb neurons.

33Research Proposal (Applied Sciences)Malia WhitmoreWhitmoreDavid JensonSpeech and Hearing SciencesDavid JensonJensonSpokane

The etiology of stuttering, a common speech disorder, is currently unknown, but it is thought to be associated with atypical auditory processing. However, it remains unclear whether auditory processing differences between people who stutter (PWS) and people with no stutter (PWNS) are present at all times, or only emerge during speech-based tasks. The current study poses the question of whether or not atypical auditory processing also occurs in PWS during non-speech tasks. To probe this, a perception task consisting of tone discrimination both with and without background noise was used. The use of noise was to increase the study's sensitivity to auditory processing differences as it increases the cognitive load and difficulty. A perception task enabled testing auditory processing without the potentially confounding effect of movement. A discrimination component was used because it recruits the same neural processes involved in speech processing. The use of tones allowed for the testing of whether auditory processing differed in non-speech-based tasks. The task asked participants to differentiate between tones in both quiet and noise. The N1/P2, a cortical auditory evoked potential, was used as it can evaluate early auditory processing with minimal higher cortical processes interference in any auditory environment. A comparison of the resulting waveforms from the tasks did not reveal amplitude or latency differences in the N1/P2 between PWS and PWNS. There was, however, a difference in waveforms between quiet and noise in both PWS and PWNS. A possible interpretation of the former result is that PWS do not have underlying auditory processing differences without speech but that the impact of background noise may affect the N1/P2 of PWS and PWNS, albeit differently. While further investigation on the impact of attention would be plausible, as it remains unknown whether the length of the task obscured present results, there was pertinent information gathered regarding PWS' auditory processing.

34HumanitiesNaomi SlavishSlavishHistoryShawna HerzogHerzogGlobal

Dame Agatha Christie is the third bestselling author in the world, surpassed only by William Shakespeare and the Bible. A prolific author, her 130 published works give us an incredible historical insight into the lives of 20th century British women of many different social circles and statuses. With only one exception, Christie wrote about the time period in which she lived, giving us a remarkable window into the lives and experiences of British women during this period. This project uses the secondary analysis of British historians, and Christie scholars such as Merja Makinen and Rebecca Mills, combined with primary evidence from Christie’s published works to demonstrate the ways her stories offer a unique historical record of British women’s experiences from 1919 to 1976.

In addition to crime and suspense, Dame Christie’s work also gave voice to women from all walks of life. Her female readership could find someone to relate to in any number of her books: whether it is the elderly spinster, Miss Marple in The Nemesis; Cinderella, the interwar period “new woman,” in The Mysterious Affair at Styles; the retired mother, Tuppence Beresford in By the Pricking of My Thumbs; or the Jewish refugee, Mitzie, in the post World War II story, A Murder Is Announced. Agatha Christie novels offer us important historical representation of British women during this period.

Dr. Shawna Herzog is the faculty mentor for this project, which began during the 2023 Fall Semester in her History 359 class History of Modern Britain.

35Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyTaylor ChristophersonChristophersonKyrah Turner, Bertrand TannerNeuroscienceBertrand TannerTannerPullman

Historically, heart failure is attributed to one of the leading causes of death in the United States; about 6.2 million adults in the US have heart failure. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common heritable genetic form of heart failure. Clinical presentations of end-stage HCM are associated with accumulation of fibrosis (scarring) and hypertrophy (enlargement of cells and tissue). However, due to the often-asymptomatic nature of HCM, little is known about its disease pathology and development prior to clinical presentation. MYBPC3, the gene encoding for the protein cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C), is one of the most frequently mutated genes associated with HCM. This project aims to explore the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression of HCM in relation to cMyBP-C defects. We used two mouse models: wild-type and a transgenic cMyBP-C knockout (cMyBP-C KO) to determine morphological and transcriptional differences in the heart as HCM progressed. Histological analysis was used to assess fibrosis development and Nanostring nCounter analysis was used to analyze gene expression associated with the development of hypertrophy and fibrosis.  Results showed that as early as 21 days old, cMyBP-C KO mice were expressing gene markers associated with development of hypertrophy and fibrosis. Changes in gene expression appeared prior to substantial morphological changes in cardiac tissue. These findings suggest that early screening for cardiac disease may be an effective tool to diagnose or monitor HCM. Understanding these mechanisms can provide insight into early diagnosis of asymptomatic cases of HCM, and potential interventions for the condition.

36Social SciencesJackson Hammill, Katherine TowerHammillAnthropologyRachel HorowitzHorowitzPullman

As anthropologists, we struggle with the ongoing curation crisis. Materials from archaeological investigations are stored in academic facilities and private collections, with little long-term plans for preservation, care, management, or analysis. Due to the destructive nature of the excavation process, it is important to emphasize the research that can be conducted on material collected from previous excavations now stored in institutes and museums. Our research examines material excavated around 50 years ago from Carihuela Cave in Grenada, Andalusia, Spain which was occupied by Neandertals and modern humans, throughout the Mousterian period 160,000 - 40,000 years ago and into the Upper Paleolithic dating 35,000 - 10,000 years ago. Lithic material was excavated alongside other remains such as bones, charcoal samples, and speleothem fragments, which were double wrapped into plastic bags, then placed on a shelf overlooked for decades to come due to the increasing number of archaeological materials being stored in backrooms. Despite the previous poor storage condition of the materials, we can still learn about the occupation of Carihuela Cave through analysis of the artifacts. The focus of this project is to properly rehouse and catalog the materials to create an exact record and protect them for future study. With the environmental advancement towards creating a more sustainable world, it is important that these artifacts are collected and housed properly and sustainably, so that future and current generations of anthropologists may be able to learn from and conduct further research on the material. In this poster, we provide an overview of the rehousing process, and the material catalog, along with preliminary discussions of the significance of these materials for the future.

37Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyKyra DimitrovDimitrovStephanie Seifert, Craig McConnelAnimal SciencesStephanie SeifertSeifertPullman

Viral infections in horses not only compromise the health and welfare of these animals but can have significant economic impacts on an industry that contributes approximately $39 billion directly to the U.S. economy and supports nearly 1.4 million jobs. Understanding the viral features that drive susceptibility, pathogenesis, and transmissibility of viruses in horses is crucial for improving prevention and management strategies; however, data relating to infectious diseases in horses is inconsistently reported and poorly aggregated. Here, we conduct a systematic review of existing literature to extract pathogenesis and transmissibility data associated with viral infections in domestic horses. We first identify target viruses by searching the VIRION database for all viruses associated with equines. We then conduct a systematic search through Web of Science to identify primary literature for each previously identified virus group resulting in the initial inclusion of 1,126 of 4,628 studies and extract data relating to pathogenesis, transmissibility or proportion of infected individuals, and mortality rate. Virus species with zoonotic potential, high mortality rates, or high transmission rates received comparatively more research attention than lesser-known viruses. Our study identifies key knowledge gaps in viral infections in horses and contributes to our understanding of virus features that contribute to infection outcomes.

38Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMariella AndersonAndersonKutay Sesli, Natalie Kallish, Dominic ScaliseChemical EngineeringDominic ScaliseScalisePullman

Electronic computers function with the use of rigid circuit boards, which intake signals encoded in voltages of electricity. Based on whether the voltage is high or low, signals trigger a series of logic gates which allow the computer to yield a useful output.

We can build liquid chemical computers using high and low concentrations of DNA strands instead of high and low electrical voltages. Because the inputs and outputs of DNA circuits are physical molecules, DNA circuits can directly program material functions such as component assembly or disassembly and biological material manipulation.

One current issue with DNA circuits is that circuits run out of reactants and generate waste after a single cycle of usage. This limits the utility of DNA circuits. The issue can be improved by running DNA circuits within a flow reactor, which will remove waste and pump in fresh reactants, enabling the circuit to run for more cycles without running out of energy. However, previously researched DNA circuits within flow reactors have only demonstrated a single logic gate, not larger circuits with multiple gates. In my research project, I aim to program larger multi-gate DNA circuits within a flow reactor to increase the number of cycles the circuit can run.

Costs are also a limiting factor in the use of flow reactors with DNA circuits. However, we aim to use a low-cost flow reactor developed by researchers in the Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering called a DLM (Desktop Learning Module). In essence, a DLM is a scaled down version of flow reactor machinery that can be used for research and teaching on a small scale, lowering setup costs. Fluorescence is commonly used in liquid DNA circuits to help monitor the reactions within the circuit. However- the DLM currently does not currently use fluorescence. Overall, my contribution would be to program a diverse set of logic gates into the liquid DNA circuit embedded in the flow reactor of a DLM. Secondly, is to equip the DLM with fluorescence to understand circuit errors. Both with the overarching goal of gaining more cycles of usage from DNA circuits.

39Social SciencesSamantha BaileyBaileyCriminal Justice and CriminologyDavid MakinMakinPullman

While the use of force is a rare event, with national estimates on the use of force suggesting 10.8 incidents per 10,000 residents, the study of the use of force continues to be a critical area of research. The officer’s behavior after force occurs is a critical determinant of how the interaction is perceived. Especially in interactions where force is used, exhibitions of emotional intelligence, a critical skill that enhances the ability to perceive and regulate one’s emotions and others, is essential to managing high-stress situations for all involved. Using a collection of use-of-force footage from body-worn cameras, this research focuses on emotion dysregulation and the number of well-being and empathy statements after force occurs to measure the impact of emotional intelligence on high-stress situations. Results show variability in well-being and empathy statements after the incident at the officer level with theoretically aligned patterns consistent with existing research. These findings are significant for examining the impact of emotional intelligence displays on a use-of-force interaction.

40Engineering and Physical SciencesYecenia CortezCortezNatalie Yaw, Sam Karcher, Xiaofeng GuoBiologyXiaofeng GuoGuoPullman

The study of fundamental material properties of rare earth elements (REEs) enables a better understanding of their natural mineral formations and material stability. Herein we report the preparation of rare synthetic Eu(II) minerals (e.g., titanates, silicates, and tungstate) from their standard 3+ oxidation state to a 2+ oxidation state using documented synthetic procedures. Among REEs, Eu presents as an anomaly as it can vary oxidation between 2+ and 3+, studying the behavior of the unusual Eu(II) minerals will promote our understanding of the natural enrichment and fractionation processes of light REEs and may also inspire us to develop new separation technique to extract and purify Eu from other REEs. A variety of syntheses were developed by improving upon literature protocols, optimizing preparation, and improving purity, which has improved the phase purity and yield of Eu(II) solid-state samples. The changes consisted of substituting elements, times, and temperatures which produced a high purity divalent compound. We have concluded that there are a variety of factors that impact the purity like the grinding time because of the need to obtain a highly homogenous mixture. Using the correct reducing atmosphere kept the reaction balanced. A proper ratio of materials to ensure that none of the elements were ‘leaving’ the reaction and making sure the cook times were long enough to reach the temperature necessary for a reduction reaction to take place. The oxidation states, identity, and phase purity of my prepared samples were confirmed by a variety of X-ray techniques (X-ray diffraction and X-ray absorption near edge structure). In the future, calorimetry will be used to determine the thermodynamic parameters of my synthetic pure Eu(II) samples. Thus far we have successfully synthesized a variety of Eu 2+ ceramics (EuMoO4 and EuTiO3) and are continuing to target others such as EuWO4, Eu3(PO4)2, EuTiO3, and EuZrO3. Synthesizing a library of Eu(II) compounds enables us to see trends and draw conclusions about the behavior of these understudied minerals.

41Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyBrayan OseguedaOseguedaAlla S. Kostyukova, Garry E. Smith Jr.BioengineeringAlla KostyukovaKostyukovaPullman

Huntington’s disease is an inherited neurodegenerative disease caused by abnormal repeats of the trinucleotide sequence CAG in the huntingtin gene. When translated, these repeats encode a polyglutamine tract within the huntingtin protein (Htt) that is prone to misfolding within brain cells, forming toxic aggregates that cause a loss of motor control, and adverse psychological effects. Htt is currently hypothesized to have multiple functions such as long- and short-range axonal transport and vesicle trafficking. One recently found function is the binding of actin filaments. Htt has one actin binding site, however, when it forms dimers it not only binds filamentous actin (F-actin) but also bundles it. Whether these interactions are influenced by the presence of tropomyosin (Tpm), an actin-binding protein that is found to be associated with most actin filaments, is not yet known. We purified the short Tpm isoform expressed in brain cells, Tpm3.1. We used co-sedimentation assays to visualize the binding of Htt to F-actin and the bundling of actin by Htt, both in the presence of Tpm3.1 and without. We optimized buffer conditions to ensure Htt and Tpm3.1 binding to F-actin, and we found that Tpm3.1 does not affect the binding of Htt to actin and Htt does not affect the binding of Tpm3.1. This will enable further structural and functional studies into Htt bundling of actin in the presence of Tpm3.1.

43Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Rhea Grace ManzanoManzanoChang LiuPsychology, SociologyChang LiuLiuPullman

Prior studies indicate that sleep inequalities among Asian Americans stem from stress-related factors. However, there remains a lack of literature concerning the correlation between stress and sleep among individuals of Southeast Asian descent. This literature review project aims to investigate further the relationship between sleep and stress among college students of Southeast Asian backgrounds. Specifically, this study aims to investigate academic stress as determinants of sleep discrepancies for Southeast Asians. The objective of this study is to incorporate representation of Southeast Asian populations within psychological research and identify potential risk and protective factors associated with academic stress and sleep within these populations. The sample will be drawn from Southeast Asian students attending college in the United States. Academic stress will be measured using the Academic Stress Scale (Sheu et al., 2014) and the Perceptions of Academic Stress Scale (PAS; Bedewy & Gabriel, 2015). Sleep health will be measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI; Buysee et al., 1989). The findings of this study may have implications for improving mental health services and identifying academic interventions for Southeast Asian college students.

44Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyMila SingsonSingsonJennifer PhillipsWildlife Ecology and Conservation SciencesJennifer PhillipsPhillipsPullman

Sensory cues such as light and noise serve as fundamental mechanisms for determining daily rhythms and ritualistic behavior in animals. Such rhythms have been affected by the recent severity of anthropogenic sensory pollution which can alter behaviors that are significant to an animal’s daily life and overall chance of survival. For animals like birds, breeding decisions such as when to incubate and feed are cued by light, and attracting a mate can include acoustic signals, making light and noise pollution evolutionarily novel stimuli that affect mating and parental care behaviors. We use a manipulative experiment that isolates light and noise from urban environments to test sensory pollutants affect nesting outcomes of cavity nesting bird species in a pinyon-juniper ecosystem in northwest New Mexico. We test whether received light and noise, distance from light and noise sources, and landscape level treatments predicts nesting outcomes (Fledged, Abandoned, or Depredated). We hypothesize that light and noise combined would have the greatest negative effect on nesting outcome due to stress effects. We also hypothesize that noise may act as a predator shield, where predators have a harder time locating nests in noise.

45Applied SciencesMargaret McGlothernMcGlothernGivemore Munashe Makonya, Chris Benedict, Maria Isabel Zamora Re, Lisa Wasko DeVetterFood ScienceLisa DeVetter, Chris BenedictDeVetterPullman

Caneberries, like blackberries and raspberries, produced in the United States are primarily produced in the pacific northwest. The cool maritime climate is desired for proper growth and development. Climate change has impacted the weather in Washington and Oregon. Resulting in various types of heat damage to the berries and their production. This project, in partnership with Oregon State University and the USDA-ARS, aims to research heat mitigation methods for future growing seasons. Additionally, it will share the research with growers through blogs and videos on the projects website. With the goal of reducing product loss, improving fruit quality, and correctly informing growers, this project will provide solutions to current caneberry production challenges.

46Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyGeselle Sotelo MendozaSotelo·MendozaColleen C Monahan, Dr. Anders OmslandMicrobiologyAnders OmslandOmslandPullman

Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) is an obligate intracellular bacterium responsible for more than 100 million human infections every year. Following invasion of a eukaryotic host cell, Ct undergoes an asynchronous biphasic developmental cycle, which takes place inside a specialized vacuole, termed the inclusion. Inside the inclusion, Ct transitions between the infectious, non-replicative Elementary Body (EB) and the non-infectious, replicative Reticulate Body (RB). Through unknown signals, the RB differentiates back to the EB, a process referred to as EB reformation. Mechanisms that regulate EB reformation remain unclear. However, it is thought that expression of genes involved in acquiring and sensing of nutrients, also known as Nutrient Responsive Genes (NRGs) regulate this process. We hypothesize that the NRG obgE regulates EB reformation. When ObgE is overexpressed in Ct, the effects on the production of infectious EBs will be quantified through Inclusion Forming Unit (IFU) assays, the gold standard for quantification of EB reformation. Ct overexpressing ObgE will be harvested from infected epithelial cells, and recovered material will be used to infect a fresh monolayer of host cells. The newly infected monolayer will then be fixed with methanol and treated with a fluorescent–tagged antibody specific to the Ct major-outer membrane protein. One fluorescent inclusion is equivalent to one recovered infectious EB. Images will be taken with a Leica DMi8 fluorescent microscope. After acquiring the images, they will be randomized, and fluorescent inclusions will be counted using ImageJ. This research will provide fundamental information about EB reformation mechanisms, an essential aspect of Ct virulence.

47Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesBrandin FarrisFarrisBala KrishnamoorthyMathematicsBala Krishnamoorthy, Stephanie PorterKrishnamoorthyVancouver

We have designed and implemented an algorithmic framework to characterize (segment, classify, and measure) red and green fluoresced nodules within a 2-D image of a root system. Our framework also offers the novel capability to measure distances between nodules along the root system. The segmentation was done by applying a color clustering algorithm to the red and green channels of the image. This produced a black-and-white outline of the nodules which was then separated into individual nodules using size thresholds and other analysis tools. A classification algorithm was designed and implemented to mark the outlines as red, green, or mixed nodules. These outlines were then measured in square pixels, which were later converted into millimeters squared for statistical analysis. New algorithms were then implemented to segment and skeletonize the roots in the image, convert them into a graph (vertices and edges connecting them), and calculate the pairwise distances between nodules along the root system. We are currently developing algorithms to “untangle” the graph from the root system into a tree, removing noise caused by roots crossing over each other in the image. All implementations are done in Java so that the framework could be made available to the public as plugins for ImageJ, a widely used software suite for image analysis in life sciences

48Engineering and Physical SciencesBenjamin McDonaldMcDonaldSukanta BoseMathematicsSukanta BoseBosePullman

Gravitational Waves (GW) were first proposed by Oliver Heaviside in 1893 as the equivalent to electromagnetic waves in gravity. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) proved the existence of GW by detecting the first GW coming from a Binary Black Hole (BBH) merger. Fritz Zwicky in 1933 was studying global clusters and used the virial theorem to calculate the mass of the cluster. He realized that the mass of the cluster was 400 times what was observable. From this, he first inferred the existence of Dark Matter (DM) (Zwicky, 1937). As time goes on, Researchers begin to question whether early universe black holes could be related to DM (Chapline, 1975).  In this project, there will be a discussion about finding connections between Primordial Black Holes (PBH) that can be considered as a components of DM. This is done using a distribution of different spins of black holes and finding which ones could potentially be primordial in nature. In doing so, we can then find which of these PBH could be candidates of dark matter.

49Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyElizabeth CalliesCalliesMartin MaquivarAnimal SciencesMartin MaquivarMaquivarPullman

Over the past ten thousand years, humans and animals have interacted in various ways, including, hunting, labor, food production, and companionship. As the human-animal bond grew with the help of species wide domestication processes, specific animals have changed not only physically, but also behaviorally. Domestication has led to profound effects on both the animals and humans involved. Less is known about the impact of domestication on animal and human perceptions. A survey was conducted to gain insight on the perspectives of college students on the ownership and impact of animals. The survey included twenty statements where students were asked to answer based on a Likert scale (1 – strongly disagree to 5 – strongly agree). Out of the twenty statements, seven delved on the connection between human and animal behaviors. A total of 143 respondents enrolled in Animal Sciences courses were surveyed with a majority being female and/or pre-veterinary majors. Out of these respondents, most (4.09 Likert scale) agreed that there are ties between domestic animals and human behaviors. Respondents also strongly agreed that having an animal is an important factor in their lives and that animals will play a role in future career decisions. These results suggest that, on average, animal science students agree that behaviors in humans and domestic species are intertwined and disagree that behaviors between these species are independent from each other. Through this survey, it is implied that college students studying animal sciences recognize the human-animal bond as a connection involving shared behaviors. These results, however, could be limited based on a variety of factors, involving, but not limited to, species, type of animal interactions, gender identity of respondent, etc.

50Engineering and Physical SciencesMikayden WeiseWeiseBernard Van Wie, Brenden Fraser-Hevlin, Kitana Kaiphanliam, Bill DavisChemical EngineeringBernard Van Wie, Brenden Fraser-HevlinVan WiePullman

Blood cancers can be deadly. Even with treatment, only 20% of those diagnosed will survive their first five years with Leukemia. However, a T cell-based therapy called immunotherapy is a form of blood cancer treatment that has shown success. Immunotherapy uses the patient’s healthy immune system cells to destroy leukemia cells. To perform immunotherapy, the growth of the patient’s T cells needs to happen fast and at large, within a reasonable price. Research and development have gone into a resolution: the continuous centrifugal bioreactor. This type of bioreactor grows T cells rapidly in a sterile, high-population density chamber. A model equation was created to optimize the cell growth in this bioreactor. The goal of my experiments is to take sensor data from real-time T cell growth experiments and compare that data to the predicted model equation data. From this, it is possible to determine whether the growth of T cells in the bioreactor acts as the model equation predicts. Finding the relationship between real-time T cell growth and the model equation will allow for the optimization of our bioreactor system, as well as providing tested solutions for patients with blood cancer.

51Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyCarter MillsMillsYeongseok Oh, Maho Kasu1, Constence J. Bottoms, Jenna C. Douglas, Nikola Sekulovski, Kanako Hayashi, and James A. MacLean II1BiologyJames MacleanMacleanPullman

The X-linked homeodomain proteins known as RHOX factors are selectively expressed in reproductive tissues in both humans and mice. Specifically, RHOX8, expressed in pre-embryonic and post-natal Sertoli cells, and RHOX5, expressed in germ cells, have previously shown subfertility when genetically inactivated or knocked out (KO) in mice. Forms of infertility in males include low sperm count and overall motility with observed physiological changes such as testis size reduction. Previously, it has been published that RHOX5 is responsible for central metabolic regulation in the testes, including insulin levels. Spermatogenesis requires specific conditions that can be regulated by Sertoli cell production of insulin that is separate from pancreatic insulin production. It has been previously published that RHOX8 regulates critical factors involved in meiosis in mice. Early stages in the seminiferous tubules, such as I- VI, have shown a significant increase, and stages VII- VIII have significantly reduced RHOX8 KOs. Stages VII-VIII in RHOX8 WT show the highest level of RHOX8 expression. These stages are affected by RHOX8 and RHOX5 KOs decreasing fertility, but double mutant KOs of RHOX8 and RHOX5 do not show additive infertility effects. Given that RHOX8 and RHOX5 are transcription factors, they can have cascading regulating effects on other genes. Previously, it has been published that in post-natal day 12 mice, RHOX5 KOs cause pleiotropy in many RHOX factors, including RHOX8, and the same can be said for RHOX8 KOs. Given the current findings, synchronized spermatogenesis was introduced to increase the prevalence of gene expression at stages VII-VIII of spermatogenesis. Synchronized spermatogenesis involves all germ cells starting development synchronously, which is asynchronous in untreated mice. The procedures involved depriving seminiferous tubules of retinoic acid, which signals the start of spermatogenesis, and then reintroducing it to cause a synchronous start. The project will involve data interpretation of the gene upregulation and downregulation of the synchronized spermatogenesis RHOX8 KOs, RHOX5 KOs, and double mutant KOs gene expression results.

52Social SciencesNina TinsleyTinsleyLee DaffinPsychologyLee DaffinDaffinGlobal

Emerging adulthood is a demanding time that can negatively affect undergraduate students. Various research studies suggest an association between stress and the use of food to numb negative feelings. Undergraduates are at risk of developing an eating disorder due to stress factors, environmental factors, and unfamiliar situations. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between stress, maladaptive eating behaviors, and maladaptive coping mechanisms in undergraduate students at Washington State University. An online self-report questionnaire was distributed to undergraduate students at Washington State University to collect and analyze data. Dietary restraint was measured by the 51-item Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire. Coping mechanisms were measured by the 28-item Brief COPE inventory. Dietary risk was measured by the 8-item Starting the Conversation Questionnaire. Sources of stress in undergraduate students and academic pressure were measured by the 82-item Undergraduate Stress Scale and the 16-item Educational Stress Scale.

53Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyJiwon HaHaDr. Michael H. CourtAnimal SciencesMichael CourtCourtPullman

Background: Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an environmental endocrine disruptor that may accumulate in the body unless adequately excreted through metabolism by glucuronidation and/or sulfonation. Feline hyperthyroidism is an important disease in cats without known etiology. Recent studies have associated feline hyperthyroidism with canned foods containing high BPA concentrations. Cats are known to metabolize phenolic compounds like BPA more slowly than other species which could predispose them to toxicity. In a previous study, we have shown that cats glucuronidate BPA more slowly than other species. However, sulfonation of BPA has not been studied in cats. We hypothesize that cats sulfonate BPA more slowly than other species.

Methods: An in vitro sulfotransferase assay was developed that measured the rate of formation of BPA-sulfonate from BPA by HPLC using liver S9 tissue fractions. BPA sulfonate was shown to form proportionally with increasing incubation time and protein concentrations. Pooled cat, dog, and human liver S9 fractions were used to determine enzyme kinetic parameters Km and Vmax. BPA sulfotransferase activities were then measured at BPA concentrations of 10 and 100 μM using liver S9 fractions from chickens, ferrets, pigs, mice, rats, rabbits, horses, foxes, mongoose, and cows. BPA sulfotransferase activities were measured at BPA concentrations of 10 μM using liver S9 fractions from 21 individual cats.

Results: Intrinsic clearance values (Vmax/Km) were 15, 1.7, 0.03 mL/min/mg for pooled cat, dog, and human S9, respectively. Comparing species, at 10 μM BPA, sulfonation were highest for cats, dogs, and chickens and lowest for human, rats, and cows. At 100 μM BPA concentration, chicken, horse, and rabbit showed the highest activity while human, rats, and cows remained the lowest. Sulfonation activity measured in 21 individual cat livers showed 3.7 fold variation (max/min) with a coefficient variation of 33%.

Conclusion: Cats sulfonate BPA more rapidly than most other species and show low interindividual variability in BPA sulfonation rates. These findings contradict our hypothesis indicating that cats can efficiently metabolize BPA via sulfonation. However, these in vitro findings need confirmation by measuring the in vivo exposure of cats to BPA, BPA-glucuronide, and BPA-sulfonate compared with other species.

54Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyAbigail LehmannLehmannBlair Perry, Joanna KelleyBiologyBlair Perry, Joanna KelleyPerryPullman

Hibernation is an adaptation to food scarcity during which an organism experiences reductions in body temperature, metabolism, and general energy expenditure. Female grizzly bears experience additional metabolic and energetic demands due to the fact that they undergo gestation and give birth during hibernation. Despite these female-specific challenges, studies of gene expression underlying hibernation have studied males and females simultaneously. It is unknown if female bears have unique patterns of gene expression due to sex-specific differences in hibernation physiology. To address this, we identified differentially expressed genes in adipose tissue between the active and hibernation season separately for male and female bears. We then identified genes that were differentially expressed only in females during hibernation. We hypothesized that female-specific genes would have connections to genes important in pregnancy, metabolism, and other female-specific biological processes. Furthermore, we hypothesized that these genes would be regulated by molecules which are controlled by female hormones, for example, estrogen. We identified 1,331 differentially expressed genes in hibernation which were specific to females, 601 which were specific to males, and 635 which were differentially expressed in both sexes. Within the female-specific genes, we identified adipocyte enhancer-binding protein 1, AEBP1, as an important regulator of female-specific gene expression in hibernating bears. AEBP1 is a transcription factor which is known to be regulated by estrogen and plays a role in modulating adiposity in human females. This study provides evidence that a large number of genes play a unique role in female bear hibernation, many of which are likely related to supporting the increased metabolic stress experienced by female bears during hibernation. 

55Social SciencesAnnie KintnerKintnerMichael PelchEnvironmental and Ecosystem SciencesMichael PelchPelchPullman

The current generation of college students reports a decreasing interest in geosciences despite having a greater interest in pursuing a career that has a positive impact on our planet. Studies have repeatedly shown that a student’s attitude toward a career or subject has a significant impact on their decision to pursue a particular academic major. This study was designed to determine the factors that contribute to attitudes about geoscience from a select population of undergraduate and graduate students from Washington State University. We used thirty-six statements developed and tested in a previous study aligned with students’ attitudes toward geoscience. Each of the thirty-six statements was coded based on an empirically validated three-dimensional model of students' attitudes relating to geoscience. Those three dimensions are motivation, connections with the earth, and emotion. Participants were recruited from introductory earth and environmental science courses in the School of the Environment during the Fall semester of 2023. Students were then asked to sort the thirty-six geoscience attitude statements according to a quasi-qualitative study design called Q-Method. Q-Method asks participants to sort statements on a scale of most to least like themselves within a pre-defined matrix. This method requires participants to rank each statement and then quantify the subjectivity of their decisions. Data was analyzed using Q-Method package in R Statistical Software. The Q-Method package employed principal component analysis to group participants into factors and the participants who significantly loaded onto the calculated factors. We determined that three factors were the best fit for our data because it most effectively maximized the variance between groupings of participants. 47% of all participants loaded on the first factor, 24% of participants loaded on the second factor, and 15% of participants loaded on the third factor. Examining the statements representative of “most like me” from the factor explaining the greatest variance showed that 82% of the participants chose statements coded as connections with the Earth. This means most participants place significant value on their connection with the Earth, whether through personal attachment, aesthetic appreciation, or awe at geological processes.

56Engineering and Physical SciencesAspen KroissKroissWilliam Mcleod, Jeffrey BellChemical EngineeringJeffrey BellBellPullman

Aqueous Zinc-bromide batteries (AZBBs) are a low cost, environmentally friendly energy storage option, but show poor cyclability compared to commercial secondary batteries. Although the application of permanent magnets has been shown to improve the performance of AZBBs, many gaps in our understanding of the mechanistic cause for such improvement remain. This study investigates possible electrolytes to use in magnetically enhanced AZBBs to further improve cyclability. Various tetraalkylammonium bromides (TAB) were employed to determine which species were most influenced by an external magnetic field. Each TAB is evaluated using cyclic voltammetry (CV), an electrochemical technique that locates oxidation and reduction peaks, which is used to measure peak capacitance. Experiments are performed using a three-electrode cell with a glassy carbon working electrode, carbon fiber counter electrode, and an Ag/AgCl reference electrode and are conducted both with and without a magnetic field to observe the effect of a magnetic field on the observed current and electrochemical behavior of the system. Results show the magnetic field improved the observed current significantly with tetramethylammonium bromide when compared to the other TABs of varying alkyl-chain length. Since cyclability of AZBBs is shown to be improved by permanent magnets, incorporating electrolytes that respond well to magnetic fields can lead to further increased cyclability and performance.

57Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyLilia Artimenia, Noah FrachonArtimeniaJobe L. Ritchie, Shuyi Qi, Rita A. FuchsNeuroscienceRita FuchsFuchsPullman

Drug-memories retrieved upon exposure to context associated environmental stimuli illicit craving relapse in cocaine users. Cocaine memories persist over long period of time because they are reconsolidated into long-term memory whenever the memories become labile. We have shown that cocaine memories are maintained by corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) neurons in the dorsal raphe (DR) that project to the basolateral amygdala (BLA). We hypothesized that inhibition of this pathway would disrupt the expression of Zif268 (Zinc Finger 268), a marker of neuroplasticity that is required for memory reconsolidation. To test this hypothesis, we injected adeno-associated viruses into the DR of Sprague-Dawley rats to express Gi-coupled DREADDs (designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs) fused with the fluorophore mCherry selectively in those DR CRF neurons and implanted infusion cannulae into the BLA. Control rats received viruses to express only mCherry in the same cells. After recovery from surgery, we trained rats to self-administer cocaine in a distinct environmental context and acquire cocaine-related long-term memories over 10 days. Seven days later, the rats were placed back into the cocaine-predictive context to retrieve and destabilize cocaine memories, necessitating memory reconsolidation for the maintenance of these memories. Immediately after this session, when cocaine memories were labile, DCZ (deschloroclozapine): 0.1mM, 0.5μl/hemisphere, a DREADD agonist, or saline vehicle was injected in the BLA to inhibit the target pathway. We collected brain tissue two hours later and used fluorescence immunohistochemistry to label Zif-268 in the BLA. Our results showed that DCZ reduced BLA Zif268 expression in the group that expressed the Gi-coupled DREADD compared to the group that received vehicle treatment or the group that received DCZ but expressed only mCherry. While DREADD expression was also present in the central amygdala central (CeA), adjacent to the basolateral amygdala, intra-BLA DCZ treatment did not spread to the CeA and thus it did not alter Zif268 expression in the CeA. Our findings confirm the involvement of DR CRF neuronal involvement in memory reconsolidation in the BLA at the molecular level.

58Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyScott StevisonStevisonGenetics and Cell BiologyJohn WyrickWyrickPullman

As of 2023, non-melanoma skin cancers remain the most common form of cancer in the United States. Meanwhile, melanoma skin cancers make up approximately one percent of all skin cancers yet yield the worst prognoses. Skin cancer mutations arise from DNA lesions caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Under UV-exposure, various forms of DNA damage may arise between neighboring pyrimidine DNA bases, including cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) and 6-4 pyrimidine-pyrimidone photoproducts (6-4PPs). Previous studies have suggested that the binding of certain transcription factor proteins to DNA can either suppress or induce DNA damage by changing the physical conformation of the DNA strand. This study demonstrates that various uncharacterized transcription factors play a role in UV-induced DNA damage formation as well, particularly the CCAAT-binding transcription factor Hap5. Additionally, this study proposes a new method of identifying transcription factor binding sites using DNA damage patterns at transcription factor binding sites.

59Social SciencesRoy HodgesHodgesPsychology, SociologyLee DaffinDaffinGlobal

Polarization in US domestic affairs has received much interest and sustained attention in familial, market, and state spheres. Social divisions of individuals and groups have experienced deprivation, poverty, and loss, inclusive of those who have been subject to inflationary depreciated compensations (i.e., income) and value stores of said compensations (i.e., wealth). Relative deprivation amidst a context of inflation had been and was of great concern preceding and concurrent to this research. This research has examined the role of a search for re-establishing significance amidst these contexts, against the human experience of flow, with a degree of freedom in a third theoretical construct of aggression. However, considering practices and techniques informed by psychology and science, a third variable had emerged. Through this research, self-concept had been discovered to be misplaced in psychology—a schema meeting operationalized criteria of psychological values. As self-conception’s salient emergence correlates with, and in some cases is preceded by, reduction in needs/goals met, in this research, the method of science and psychology itself during literature review provided significance resolution and had presented a new paradigmatic method within which radicalization and ideological violence (IV) had been adverted, aborted, sublimated, and replaced by something altogether socially, and ecologically constructive.

60Engineering and Physical SciencesJose PolicarpioPolicarpioSonja Sargent Sparks, Kaiyan QiuMechanical EngineeringKaiyan Qiu, Sonja Sargent SparksQiuPullman

This project aims to explore the secrets behind the efficiency of sharkskin in reducing drag underwater, with potential applications in soft robotics and underwater clothing. Sharkskin is unique due to its scale-like features called denticles, and this study seeks to understand how the arrangement, size, spacing, thickness, and flexibility of these denticles work together to minimize drag.

3D printing techniques such as Direct Ink Writing (DIW) for printing the soft substrates and Stereolithography (SLA) for printing the micro-scale denticles will be used to mimic sharkskin. The ongoing activities involve investigating various printing techniques and devices, with goals focused on verifying dimensions and optimizing variables to minimize drag. Continuing with SLA, employ a pick-and-place approach to apply denticles onto the substrate and perform 3D printing experiments using different 3D printers such as Aerotech and FISNAR. The utilization of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which aims to provide better imaging of prints, contributes to the overall success of the project.

The expected impact of the research is broad, contributing across various scenarios. The optimized biomimetic sharkskin is anticipated to enhance performance in soft robotics, underwater clothing, and other applications, leading to increased speed, improved antimicrobial properties, and enhanced energy efficiency.

Led by Ph.D. student Sonja Sargent Sparks and supported by Dr. Kaiyan Qiu, an expert in 3D printing. This research offers valuable learning experiences for the participants.

61Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesNicholas KraabelKraabelSupriya Savalkar, Bhupinderjeet Singh, Krishu Thapa, Anantharaman Kalyanaraman, Kirti RajagopalanComputer Science, Economic Scienceskirti RajagopalanRajagopalanPullman

When modeling agroecosystems, bad weather data leads to bad results. Models simulating these environments require high-quality, detailed weather data which is complete both in time and space. This is why they often utilize gridded weather data products, which are updated daily, rather than relying on weather station data, which may have hourly timesteps but lacks comprehensive coverage. Temperature, a key weather input, is a particular challenge. Current methods for disaggregating temperature data from daily to hourly intervals introduce significant errors, unsuitable for many applications (e.g., 100% error in estimating apple sunburn risk). In response, my research aimed to address two questions: Can advanced deep learning techniques improve the accuracy of daily to hourly temperature disaggregation? And, do these improvements translate to enhanced performance in real-world modeling scenarios? To this end, I developed a specialized Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) neural network model, leveraging a dataset from the Washington State Agricultural Weather Station Network, encompassing over 1.1 million station-days across various stations and years. Utilizing the LSTM model, I achieved a substantial reduction in median absolute error, lowering it from 1.56°C to just 0.62°C compared to previous state-of-the-art models on this dataset. Furthermore, this improvement led to a significant enhancement in the accuracy of sunburn risk assessment models, with an eleven-fold reduction in the number of error days. This suggests that the error reduction achieved with my temperature disaggregation method is likely to benefit similar models, especially given the reduction in the underlying variance of hourly temperature errors from 14.72 to 2.53. As Earth Observations continue to play an increasingly important role in agriculture, my study underscores the potential of advanced machine learning techniques and data to enhance our ability to reliably use models for decision-making.

62Applied SciencesKelsi McCrackenMcCrackenDebashree Roy, Liane MoreauChemistryLiane MoreauMoreauPullman

Bi-metallic nanoparticles have previously been demonstrated to have catalytic and optical properties influenced by their atomic-level mixing. Platinum is a strong catalytic agent used in energetic systems. However, it has a high reduction potential and as such requires high amounts of energy to reduce into its usable form. It is also a finite resource with an upscale price on the market. As such, it would be beneficial for energy conservation and waste management to adopt a system wherein platinum can be reduced at room temperature by a weak reducing agent at a low molarity. The system implemented herein utilizes gold as a co-reductant in various volume ratios with ascorbic acid (AA) as the weak reducing agent. Gold has a lower reduction potential, thus in a system with platinum, it may act as a modality for the reduction of platinum. To examine these properties, metal precursor solutions of 0.5 mM HAuCl3 and K2PtCl4 are combined in 100% gold to 0% gold volume ratios in a 20 mL flask. The metal solutions are reduced utilizing ascorbic acid (AA) made basic with 10 M NaOH, in a 100:1 metal to reductant volume ratio. These have been analyzed using UV/Vis spectroscopy, X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) images. These analytical methods were performed to verify nanoparticle formation, to investigate platinum incorporation, and examine particle morphology. UV/Vis spectroscopy confirms the formation of NPs and evaluates typical optical behavior of platinum and gold. 100% Au samples peak at 517 nm, and with higher levels of platinum this peak decreases intensity until no peak appears. As platinum peaks in the UV region, the peak disappearing could indicate platinum adhering to the surface of the particle. XRF finds that the highest level of platinum incorporation is approximately 35% in the samples containing only 10% Au. TEM imaging reveals spikey, amorphous particles with no clear trend in particle size in relation to the volume of platinum precursor added to the solution.

63Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyRyan FaddisFaddisZach Fisher, Ryan Schmid, Hayden R Wright, Ryan J McLaughlinNeuroscience, PsychologyRyan McLaughlinMcLaughlinPullman

Given the rapid increase in cannabis use due in part to its legalization by many states across the US, understanding the effects of cannabis use is of great importance to public health. One of the most cited reasons for habitual cannabis use is to cope with stress, and research from our lab and others indicates that cannabis use dampens the psychological and neuroendocrine stress response. However, the causal impacts of chronic cannabis use on stress-induced activation of stress-responsive brain regions have not been thoroughly investigated. Our laboratory developed a novel paradigm involving response-contingent delivery of vaporized cannabis extracts in rodents that more accurately models the intrapulmonary route of administration that is most popular among human cannabis users. We used this model in the current study to evaluate effects of chronic stress and concurrent cannabis vapor self-administration on activation of neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) in response to a novel inescapable swim stressor. Given the reported stress-alleviating properties of cannabis use in humans, we hypothesized that stress-induced activation of CeA and BLA neurons would be attenuated in cannabis self-administering rats. Male and female rats were trained to self-administer ∆9 tetrahydrocannabinol-dominant cannabis vapor (150 mg/ml @ 69.9% THC) or vehicle vapor (4:1 propylene glycol: vegetable glycerol) in one-hour sessions for 10 consecutive days. For the next 14 days, rats were subjected to 30 min of restraint stress prior to their daily self-administration session. On the following day, rats were exposed to a novel 5 min inescapable swim stress, euthanized 2 hr later, and brain slices encompassing the CeA and BLA were processed for immunolabeling of the immediate-early genes (IEG) c-fos and zif-268. Chronically stressed rats with a history of cannabis self-administration displayed decreased IEG expression in the BLA (but not CeA) compared to stressed rats that self-administered vehicle vapor. No differences in the expression of c-fos vs. zif-268 were noted. Thus, our data suggest that chronic cannabis use attenuates stress-induced activation of BLA neurons, which provides a potential mechanism by which cannabis use dampens the psychological and endocrine response to stress.

64Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyGrace McLaughlinMcLaughlinEllie Armstrong, Joanna KelleyGenetics and Cell BiologyEllie ArmstrongArmstrongPullman

North American brown bears (Ursus arctos) occupy less than 1% of their historic range. Due to rapid declines in the 19th century, brown bears were declared threatened in the Lower 48 and listed to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1975. Rapid and intense declines in a population can lead to reduced gene flow and genetic diversity which can be detrimental to population survival over time. Previous studies investigating brown bear mitochondrial DNA used smaller sample sizes and a fraction of the mitochondrial genome. In this study, we use the entire mitochondrial genome from 294 newly sequenced brown bears from every extant brown bear population in North America in collaboration with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and an additional 400 samples from public data on the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The mitochondrial genome is inherited maternally, so comparing the mitochondrial DNA relationships between geographic locations in comparison with the nuclear genome diversity will allow us to analyze the species' sex-biased dispersal and gene flow. Then, by dating the genetic differences observed, we will gain insight into the timing of population fragmentation and isolation, as well as the more historical isolation signals among the groups. These insights will improve our understanding of the species' population structure and allow us to make conservation suggestions regarding connectivity and diversity maintenance in the remaining populations.

65Social SciencesAnnabella DrewDrewPsychologyFrancis BenjaminBenjaminPullman

Americans’ political media diet continues to change with approximately half (56%) of Americans getting at least some portion of their news from social media, while young adults are consuming news on social media at even higher rates (Pew Research 2023). Coinciding with this increase in digital news consumption is an increase in political polarization, shaping our political landscape to be more divided than ever. (Barrett et al. 2021). This increase in polarization can be dated back to the early 2000’s with the rise in political polarization being observed not only in the United States but across the world. (Gidron et al. 2019).

Previous research shows that in general people’s political motivations influence their reasoning strategies, individuals view articles that go against their political beliefs as containing more misinformation (Michael and Breaux 2021). It has also been shown that conservatives on average have a larger general mistrust of news media in general (Lee 2010). Previous research also shows a large portion of Americans agree that misinformation online is a problem that can shape how they view news reporting as a whole (Pew Research 2023). This previous literature leaves room to question how political party affiliation is impacting individual media diets and the reactions individuals have toward specific partisan topics.

This study examined how political party identity can impact responses to different partisan topics by measuring participants’ reactions and attitudes toward articles covering partisan and nonpartisan topics. Based on previous studies’ outcomes it is anticipated that individuals in the study will view articles matching their political identity as less polarizing and containing less misinformation and will hold more positive views and less disagreement towards these articles.  This study also examines how political party preference/identity impacts participants’ opinions of a news article’s misinformation, polarization, and trust. It is anticipated that the results from this study will further the understanding of political polarization and political party identity.

66Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyNathaniel AmrheinAmrheinCecilia Rodriguez-FurlanZoologyCecilia Rodriguez-FurlanRodriguez-FurlanPullman

Genetically modified plants are becoming more and more necessary as the human population continues to grow. Thus, it is important to understand how different genes affect a plant. Using a modified plant pathogen, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, we have introduced desired expression vectors carrying the genes of interest (GOI) tagged with a fluorescent protein (GFP or mCherry) into plants to generate different transgenic plants. We cultivated the bacteria and dipped the flowers in the plant transformation technique named floral dip. This interaction caused the bacteria to insert the GOI into the plant’s ovules. Later, the seeds of these dipped plants were collected and plated onto agar with selection agent (herbicides) and Cefalexin (antibiotic) to kill the remaining bacteria. Seeds were then grown and selected based on their resistance to the herbicide. This selection was repeated until homozygous plants were produced, and transgenic plants were generated (Transformed plants generation 1 or T1s). The seeds are then collected and plated with only herbicide selection. The next generation (T2s) are selected based on a segregation 3:1 ratio indicating that the T-DNA insertion only occurred once. Seeds from those plants are then collected, and the third-generation seeds (T3s) are plated in the herbicide selection looking for 100% resistance plants surviving the herbicide indicating homozygous plants. Future plants are to use confocal microscopy to image the fluorescent proteins and analyze their subcellular localization.

67Social SciencesBailey Amundson, Cia BellAmundsonSociology, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Criminal Justice and CriminologyDavid MakinMakinPullman

Public perceptions of police interactions are foundational to understanding perceived police legitimacy. Throughout 2020, traffic stops accounted for 63% of police-initiated encounters (BJS, 2020). As the context around a stop and individual police discretion vary, not every stop will be handled similarly. This research examines the relationship between situational factors and perceptions of officer professional conduct during traffic stops. Using a random sample of traffic stops captured on officer body-worn cameras, this research analyzed 557 interactions from 74 officers across one agency. The four behavioral categories defining conduct are professionalism, antagonism, defensiveness, and respectfulness. Situational factors include the presence/absence of a passenger, the initial reason for the stop, the outcome (ticket/verbal warning/written warning/ advice), and driver characteristics. Results depict variability in the behavioral categories and the presence and magnitude of situational factors.

Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2022, Nov. 18th). Contacts Between Police and the Public, 2020.

68Engineering and Physical SciencesChandler JenkinsJenkinsSamaiyah FaridEnvironmental and Ecosystem SciencesSamaiyah FaridFaridTri-Cities

Our Sun is one of the most thermodynamically and magnetically active places in the solar system, with plasma constantly churning and twisting throughout the many layers of the star. This plasma has extreme magnetic properties that occasionally cause eruptions, the most powerful of which can endanger our modern way of life on Earth with devastating impacts to our power grid. A smaller but more frequent solar eruption is a solar coronal jet, which is a relatively small spire of plasma that erupts from the Sun. The mechanisms behind these jets are still up for debate—some jets barely make it off the Sun’s surface, while others extend far into the Sun’s outer layers. We investigated the properties of those extended solar coronal jets using both space-based observations made from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), located on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), and ground-based observations from the Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory (COSMO) K-coronagraph (K-Cor). We combined images taken from these instruments and studied jet velocity, temperature, and evolution. Our results illustrate how the velocity of solar coronal jets can vastly differ between different wavelengths, and how these extended jets rapidly accelerate away from the Sun into open space.

69Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyLily ProuseProuseAnna Catherine GradyBiochemistryPilar FernandezFernandezPullman

The global increase in human-animal interfaces and the pervasiveness of zoonotic diseases over the past century has made characterization of the transmission of these diseases and their contributing factors crucial in understanding how to handle them. Due to their large populations and frequent proximity to humans, rodents and their associated diseases are especially of interest. Amongst these diseases are those directly transmitted to humans, or rodent-borne pathogens, and those which require a vector, or rodent-associated pathogens.

In the northwestern United States, Dermacentor variabilis and Dermacentor andersoni tick species are known to feed on many mammals, including humans, and harbor rodent-associated pathogens such as Rickettsia rickettsii and Francisella tularensis, which cause Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and tularemia respectively. 

To characterize the prevalence and distribution of these pathogens in tick and rodent populations across the agricultural ecosystems of eastern Washington and the Idaho panhandle, we collected rodent samples and ticks from thirteen total sites between 2022 and 2023. Sites included crop lands, cattle farms, and natural landscapes, from which 76 ticks and over 400 rodent samples were obtained and then categorized based on factors including species and location. 

From each tick, DNA was extracted and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting R. rickettsii and F. tularensis was performed to determine their presence in the samples. Rickettsia serology assays were also performed on 159 rodent serum samples. Using this information, we are analyzing the distribution of these pathogens across different sites and agricultural ecosystems throughout the Palouse region. In doing so, we will be able to better describe the human disease risk posed by Rickettsia and Francisella tularensis in these local ecosystems.

70Social SciencesKaren MaganaMaganaMichael D. HeimData AnalyticsMichael HeimHeimPullman

The present study contains the mentored research from the Spring of 2023 to the Fall of 2023 for the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at WSU under the guidance of the program’s director, Michael Heim. CAMP is a federally funded grant program that supports first year students from migrant and/or seasonal farmworking backgrounds by providing a variety of student services, such as community connection, advising, and financial support. This research is important because there is no previous study comparing the programmatic results with the Control group supporting the impact of programs like CAMP on students from migrant backgrounds in higher education.

The research explores program effectiveness through retention and credit completion rates, following the trajectory of the program from 2006 to 2021, totaling 16 years of cohort data. Extensive data collection and data preparation have been completed to compare the two groups, CAMP and Control, both reflective of migrant and/or farm working backgrounds. To compare both groups the following indicators were taken: first-generation, Pell eligibility, sex, high school Grade Point Average (GPA), subsequent Fall enrollment, and credit completion.

To assess program effectiveness, hypothesis tests were implemented to determine whether a statistically significant difference in first-year college success exists between CAMP participants and non-participants in the Control group. Results showed a significant difference between CAMP students and non-CAMP students, with CAMP students demonstrating higher retention and credit completion rates by 4% and 17%, respectively. The results demonstrate that CAMP fulfills its objective of ensuring their students successfully complete first-year requirements to graduate within a 4-year plan. This poster presentation will include the statistical methods used to organize and calculate the baselines used for hypothesis testing and predicting graduation rates, results, as well as this work’s contribution to the goals of CAMP.

71Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyJasmin ChuChuKristen Delevich, Qing Wang, Warren Andruscavage, Katy Touretsky, Madison SimpsonNeuroscienceKristen DelevichDelevichPullman

Dendritic spines are the primary site of excitatory glutamatergic synapses between neurons. During adolescence these connections are refined, reflected by decreasing dendritic spines via spine pruning in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). It is believed to be important for cognitive process maturation, including behavioral flexibility. Our previous lab work showed that ablating microglia, a type of glial cell that mediates dendritic spine pruning, using the drug, chlodronate disodium salt (CDS) increased dendritic spine density onto intratelencephalic type pyramidal neurons when delivered to the mPFC during adolescence (postnatal day 44). We hypothesized that dendritic spine alterations, via CDS injections, on intratelencephalic type neurons following microglia ablation may be associated with behavioral flexibility impairments, and eventually cognitive deficits in adulthood, as the removal of weaker spines will be inhibited. Testing the hypothesis, we injected male and female C57Bl/6 mice bilaterally into mPFC with CDS or DPBS vehicle at postnatal day 44. Post-surgery recovery, mice were tested in a 4-choice odor-based behavioral flexibility task. Mice were food restricted before and during the 4 stages of successive behavioral tests (habituation, shaping, discrimination, recall/reversal) across 4 days. Habituation and shaping focused on mice learning to dig in pots of unscented shavings in an arena with 4 internal walls. During discrimination the shavings were scented, a food pellet was placed in anise-scented shavings, and mice had to associate anise scent with reward through trial-and-error. The criterion for completion is that the mice has made at least 8 correct choices in 10 trials without 4 pairs of omissions within 3 hours. The following day, recall was a reminder experiment of what they learned during discrimination. However, in reversal, the pellet was now placed in the clove-scented shavings instead of anise, and we examined how quickly a mouse can readjust their learning as a measure of their behavioral flexibility. Preliminary data suggests that the hypothesis was supported since the CDS injected mice took longer to learn shown by increased trials, making more errors in the reversal stage. The increased learning trials and errors for CDS injected mice suggests that microglial ablation negatively impacts neuronal communication for learning.

72Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesKyle PolagePolageTom AsakiMathematicsTom AsakiAsakiPullman

The United States dollar has long used coin denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents for cash transactions. But are these really the best choices when we consider it mathematically? In this project, we study the change-making problem, where we seek to find the smallest number of coins needed to pay a given price. This problem is relatively straightforward when the available denominations are already known, but we seek to mathematically calculate denomination sets that yield the smallest average result of the change-making problem. For this research project we have constructed linear programs that can be solved with computer code to calculate these denomination sets. It can also be modified to solve the change-making problem for any denomination set we choose, as well as compare the optimality of multiple different denomination sets. With these results we look at the differences between currencies used historically and currently around the world and observe the characteristics optimal and non-optimal sets have.

73Applied SciencesAvery Pruitt, David SotoPruittJobe L. Ritchie, Shuyi Qi, Sydney E. Swatzell, Hope I. Grenz, Lilia M. Artimenia, Spencer K. Cooke, Craig B. Berridge, Rita A. FuchsNeuroscienceRita FuchsFuchsPullman

Drug-seeking behavior is often triggered by drug-related memories brought on by drug-associated contexts and cues. Retrieval destabilizes these drug-associated contextual memories and allows them to be updated or manipulated. Consequently, such labile memories must be restabilized, or reconsolidated, into long-term memory via a process that involves corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) signaling in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). We hypothesized that a possible source of CRF in the BLA is the dorsal raphe (DR). To test this hypothesis, male and female Sprague-Dawley rats received adeno-associated viruses to express Gi-coupled designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs) in CRF neurons of the DR. Rats also received bilateral cannula implants directed at the BLA.  After recovery from surgery, the rats were trained to self-administer cocaine by pressing a lever in a distinct context across 10 days then underwent extinction training in a novel environment where lever presses were not reinforced across 7 days. One day later, the rats were re-exposed to the drug-associated context to reactivate and subsequently destabilize cocaine memories. This allowed us to manipulate the drug-associated memory by injecting the DREADD agonist deschloroclozopine (DCZ; 0.1 mM, 0.5 μL/hemisphere) into the BLA. In subsequent experiments rats were injected with a retrograde Cre-dependent virus into the BLA and a second virus to express Cre-recombinase into the DR to express fluorophores selectively in DR CRF neurons that projected to the BLA. We then characterized the neuronal cell types in the circuit were activated, as indicated by increased c-Fos expression, during memory reconsolidation. We found that activated CRF neurons expressed serotonergic and glutamatergic cell markers. This suggests that DR CRF cells that project to the BLA play a significant role in cocaine memory reconsolidation, and this phenomenon may involve CRF, glutamate, and/or serotonin release in the BLA.

74Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyDylan SalusSalusDominic Scalise, Natalie Kallish, Kutay SesliElectrical EngineeringDominic ScaliseScalisePullman

Molecular Programming seeks to utilize chemical reactions to create liquid computer circuits that can directly manipulate the physical world. Logic gates, the fundamental units of computational circuits, can be constructed from chemical reactions between strands of synthetic DNA. By employing the predictable binding behaviors of DNA strands, which may be synthesized to have desirable properties, fundamental concepts from computer science can be translated into a liquid chemical environment. The advantage of such constructs is that DNA molecules can bind to other chemicals to detect and manipulate properties of the environment around them, allowing for circuits which—rather than manipulating electrical currents in the digital world—may interact directly with the physical world.

However, there is a significant limitation in the field of molecular programming today: chemical logic gates typically consume their entire energy supply in the process of a single round of computation, so the gates themselves stop functioning after a single-use. Many circuit structures, like ‘not’ gates or the flip-flops that allow for memory in computer circuits, require additional rounds of computation to function properly. This problem has already been solved on the conceptual level: the solution is to include a slow chemical process which converts the products and byproducts of the gate reactions back into their initial state. Naturally, though, this is much easier written on paper than performed in the lab, and so far, that has not been done.

In Dr. Scalise’s lab, we aim to achieve a reusable chemical gate using DNA in vitro, and release our findings in an academic paper. Such an achievement would be novel to the world of science, and have lasting implications to the field of molecular programming. With reusable gates, much more robust chemical circuits will become not just possible, but even reasonable to construct. Chemical circuits may have profound impact on medicine, even in the early stages of their development, with circuits that release chemotherapy drugs upon detecting signs of malignant tumors, or circuits which release different dosages of medication as time progresses. In the long-term, self-repairing materials or materials which can have their physical properties re-programmed may even be possible.

75Social SciencesMaksim VasylenkoVasylenkoAshley Robillard, Madison Kidner, Autumn Decker, Cory Bolkan, Raven WeaverPsychologyRaven WeaverWeaverPullman

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young adults. College-aged students have a high risk of developing mental health problems, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, which can exacerbate or contribute to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Due to public and self-stigmatization, many college students hide previous treatment for suicidal thoughts or behaviors and do not seek help, underscoring opportunities for collaborative intervention and prevention in college settings. This integrative, cross-sectional study relied on a quantitative survey among college students and qualitative semi-structured interviews among college faculty. Undergraduate students in a social science major (n = 313; M age = 19.5; 71% women; 74% White, 16% Hispanic, 11% Asian) completed a survey on effective ways for learning about and discussing sensitive topics, like suicide, that often emerge in courses. College faculty in social or health sciences (n = 27, 83% women; 94% White) shared their perspectives on challenges and opportunities for teaching about sensitive topics like death, dying, and suicide. Descriptive results indicate most students want to learn more about suicide (75%) and resources to support individuals at risk of suicide (81%). Students also indicated wanting to learn more about other difficult topics (e.g., mental health, death/loss, child maltreatment). Many students expect trigger warnings before specifically addressing suicide and want the opportunity to engage in an alternative assignment, if appropriate. Lastly, students want support and access to mental health resources. Faculty perspectives revealed that conversations about suicide and/or suicide prevention are typically avoided in the classroom; when suicide was included in relevant curriculum, some faculty felt unprepared or uncomfortable leading discussion. Faculty shared concerns about suicide-based discussions exacerbating students’ depression, anxiety, or suicide ideation. Based on these findings, we recommend education about suicide includes integration of campus and external resources/collaborations, conversations with survivors of suicide, and development of evidence-based practice improvement trainings. Colleges/universities play a vital role in promoting awareness of student mental health and suicide prevention programs. Our recommendations highlight the importance of collaborative methods and co-designing curricula to deliver trauma-informed, evidence-based instruction for young adults related to suicide, suicide prevention, and grief among suicide survivors.

76Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyBraeden StifflerStifflerJanice Parks, Maren FriesenBiochemistryJanice ParksParksPullman

Peas, within the plant family Fabaceae, form mutualistic relationships with nitrogen-fixing bacteria (rhizobia) associated with their root systems. Other plant families are unable to form this relationship. Like many land plants, peas form a relationship with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) which aid in phosphorus uptake and interact with soil enzymes that degrade organic matter releasing nitrogen (N) and other essential plant nutrients into the soil. Canola, being a part of the plant family Brassicaceae, is unable to form a relationship with both mutualists. When pea and canola are grown together in the peaola intercropping system, the pea plant may share N resources with canola indirectly through its mutualistic relationships with AMF. While it has been found that peaola experiences an increase in productivity compared to monoculture, the mechanism is unknown. Peaola performs better with minimal synthetic N inputs, suggesting that the microbiome plays a key role in N availability as synthetic N inputs decrease the incentive for pea to form a relationship with rhizobia. Since peaola performs better with minimal N inputs, it could serve as a way for growers to reduce their use of synthetic N fertilizers that have long-term negative consequences for soil health and can leach into water tables. By measuring the soil inorganic nitrogen (iN) content, we can determine the effect of growing peaola on iN in the soil compared to monoculture pea and canola to determine if it is increased. We hypothesize that soils from pea monoculture will have the highest iN due to the presence of the rhizobia and AMF relationships with pea. We expect soils from peaola to have slightly less iN as peaola will still maintain these mutualistic relationships, however canola has a higher N requirement than pea, which reduces total iN content. We also expect the canola soils to have the least iN due to the inability of canola to form either relationship. This experiment will measure ammonium, nitrite, and nitrate content utilizing spectrophotometric techniques. By determining if peaola can provide sufficient soil iN, we can reduce the need for costly and harmful synthetic N fertilizers.

77Engineering and Physical SciencesMaggie RickmanRickmanGrace Miller, Volkan Çınar, Iradwikanari Waluyo, Charles H. Sykes, Jean-Sabin McEwenChemical EngineeringJean-Sabin McEwenMcEwenPullman

The production of carbon monoxide (CO) at low temperatures, from incomplete combustion, is a prominent issue due to its effects of acting as a poison. One way to counteract this is through single-site catalyst that aids in its conversion at low temperatures. Previous work in the literature has extensively investigated the use of precious metals for this reaction, but this becomes increasingly costly. The use of precious metal nanoclusters also binds CO too strongly at low temperatures, which causes the catalyst to deactivate. An alternative is to design a catalyst in which the precious metal is atomically dispersed. Such a catalyst has been shown to have low temperature catalytic performance when Pt is atomically dispersed and deposited on a Cu surface oxide support. We have compared the mechanistic pathways of such a single-site catalyst to when Pt is incorporated into the underlying Cu(111) surface to form a single atom alloy. The oxidation of CO is also tested where a cluster of Rh atoms forms an alloy with the underlying Cu(111) surface for which a Cu oxide layer is grown over it. We further test the activation of H2 on such systems, where Rh is placed at its most energetically favorable position on the oxide layer. We compare the energetic pathways when Rh is adsorbed next to an oxygen adatom in the oxide layer to determine its effect on the dissociative adsorption of H2. The optimized versions of these structures were calculated via Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations using the Vienna ab initio Simulation Package (VASP). We then used Nudged Elastic Band (NEB) calculations to model the kinetic barriers. Once the initial test of the Pt/Cu surface completes, we will be able to compare and contrast how it acts as a catalyst relative to Rh. We have been able to produce the kinetic pathways for Rh single atom alloys as well as Rh clusters to see which is more favorable for CO oxidation. This will allow us to move forward for the rational design of catalysts for the activation of CO in the presence of H2.

78HumanitiesElaine HensonHensonJohn BlongAnthropologyJohn BlongBlongPullman

My project will examine coprolites (preserved feces) from the Paisley caves site located in Oregon and focus on understanding how past climate change affected dietary practices during the late Holocene. My project will consist of using materials such as literature, plant data bases, and seed reference collections to identify seeds found within the coprolites. There are many online resources and data bases that contain extensive lists of seeds that have been documented in the Great Basin area, along with descriptions of them. I can use these resources to compare the seeds I find within the coprolites to ones that have already been documented. Looking for certain characteristics can help me narrow down the Family, Genus, and potentially even Species of the plant that the seed came from. I will also have access to computer programs that allow me to photograph and measure the various remains for documentation. Organic remains from coprolites with unknown dates of deposition will be extracted and sent to a lab to be radiocarbon dated.

I will work with a sample of five coprolites from the Paisley Caves and pick out important plant and animal remains including seeds, bones, charcoal, and insects to determine what people living in the Great Basin were eating in the past, and what the native habitat would have looked like at the time. I will also use this information to learn about the environment and movement of the people in the Great Basin over time. Conducting this research will help us to better recognize the relationship between the people and the plants and animals they ate. It will also help us to understand the economic changes that could have occurred in this region because of climate change. A great deal of information can be gathered from the presence of particular remains such as diet, movement, climate, temperature, and landscape; all of which provide a better understanding of how the people in the late Holocene lived and how the climate shifted over time.

79Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyCorin YankeYankeSean Thompson, Violet Yaple, Courtney Gwinn, Joseph Cvancara, Joel Sears, Chadd Sukut, Iwona Driskell, Ryan R. DriskellBiochemistryRyan DriskellDriskellPullman

According to the American Cancer Society, 5.4 million basal and squamous cell carcinomas are diagnosed each year in the United States. This makes skin cancer one of the most prevalent types of cancer in the US. While the molecular drivers of skin cancers are well understood, there has been little research on the damaging role and genetic impact that skin cancers play on healthy skin architecture. In healthy human skin, there is a distinct architecture called micro-relief, which forms a lattice-like structure over the surface of the epidermis. Micro-relief is thought to create texture across specific areas of the skin, allow for skin pliability, and hold oils secreted from sebaceous glands to keep the skin moist. It is poorly understood how skin cancer affects the architecture of micro-relief. To better understand the effect of skin cancer on the architecture and topography of human skin, I created a collaboration with Mohs Surgeons at Advanced Dermatology and Skin Surgery to obtain surgical waste tissue. With the donated skin tissue, we sought to investigate the difference in the architecture of cancerous and healthy skin. We analyzed microrelief histologically from paraffin-embedded tissue samples using H&E and Herovici staining. After analyzing various skin cancers and healthy skin tissues, we observed that cancerous tissues contained less micro-relief than in healthy tissues and exhibited an abnormal skin architecture. We observed this phenomenon in both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, which are the most common types of skin cancer. Ultimately, this study could further our understanding of how skin cancers impact the architecture of the skin, and aid in increasing our understanding of the role of micro-relief in the normal architecture and healthy function of the skin.

80Applied SciencesSayuri FuchiseFuchiseDalton Glasco, Jeffrey G. BellChemistryJeffrey BellBellPullman

Magnetic levitation (MagLev) occurs when magnets are used to suspend objects between them using the magnetic fields. In the Bell Research Group, we have fabricated a MagLev device using two permanent magnets with their poles facing each other. By placing objects into a cuvette that contains a paramagnetic medium (e.g., manganese chloride) and inserting the cuvette into the MagLev device, we can separate objects rapidly, based on density. MagLev can be useful in various fields, such as in medical and forensic labs. In the forensic field, the separation of objects/materials/matter, especially ones in complex mixtures, mostly require expensive equipment in a laboratory to analyze. In the medical field, levels of glucose in urine can be used as a noninvasive biomarker for early onset diabetes, a common condition that hundreds of millions of people are diagnosed with in the world. Levels of glucose in urine can be determined by injecting urine samples into 3D printed hollow spheres and determining its levitation height, which is directly correlated with density. The same process could also be used measure blood coagulation levels, as it can be determined by density. The MagLev device is beneficial, as it is low-cost, time efficient, requires no energy input, and is easily modifiable. This means that the device could be altered to match the sample being tested without the use of labs and other equipment. The long-term goal of this project is to be able to utilize the MagLev device to quantify the glucose levels in urine by determining its levitation height, which is directly related to density.

81Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyBryan Finley-JamesFinley-JamesJ.N. Kiser, V.C. Kelson, H.L. NiebergsAnimal SciencesHolly Niebergs, Jennifer Kiser, Victoria KelsonNiebergsPullman

BRD (Bovine Respiratory Disease) is one of the most common infectious diseases in cattle causing over a million deaths annually. BRD is caused by multiple pathogens, each with their own clinical signs making BRD diagnosis difficult. BRD diagnosis is typically based on two or more symptoms using the McGuirk scoring system (fever, nasal and ocular discharge, cough and head tilt/ear flicking) or the DART system (depression, dyspnea, loss of appetite, and diarrhea). The purpose of this study was to determine if loci associated with BRD using the McGuirk system differed from those based on the DART system in beef feedlot cattle in Colorado and Washington. BRD symptoms and Illumina BovineHD BeadChip genotypes (778,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs) were collected on 500 cattle diagnosed with BRD initially using the McGuirk diagnostic system and 500 healthy animals housed together in the same pen throughout the finishing period for each population. A genome-wide association analysis was conducted with SVS (v.8.1; Golden Helix, Bozeman, MT) using EMMAX after quality control filtering of genotypes. Associations (P< 5x10-7) were tested for DART clinical signs alone and collectively and compared to associations for BRD identified by the McGuirk scoring system. Loci were defined by SNPs with a D’ ≥0.7. No loci associated with any DART trait alone or collectively was shared between Washington and Colorado. One was associated with dyspnea in Colorado and 15 loci were associated with dyspnea in Washington. No loci were associated with depression or diarrhea in Colorado or Washington. No loci were associated with loss of appetite in Washington, but 27 loci were associated with appetite loss in Colorado cattle. No loci were associated in Washington cattle when all DART traits were combined, but BTA2 was associated BRD in the Colorado cattle. There were no shared loci between the DART and McGuirk BRD diagnostic criteria in Washington or Colorado cattle. These results underscore the importance of choosing BRD diagnostic criteria for identifying loci associated with BRD susceptibility so that frequency, morbidity and mortality can be reduced for feedlot cattle for this costly infectious disease.

82Engineering and Physical SciencesEthan Baum, Jacob RoibalBaumArchitectural StudiesJulia Day, Shelby Ruiz, Zach ColliganDayPullman

This study seeks to improve the various intervention procedures set forth by WSU’s Energy and Comfort campaign by utilizing new engagement strategies and smart power strip (SPS) installation protocols to further energy reduction efforts on our campus.

New strategies depend upon higher rates of face-to-face and remote interaction with occupants in targeted buildings. A focal point of this approach leverages incentives that promote energy-positive behaviors such as policy-compliant heaters, heating pads, blankets, beanies, and gloves. Another component of this social intervention involves educating occupants by presenting information (through gamification) surrounding the mitigation of energy consuming behaviors and building systems that impact perceived comfort and well-being, for example, a building’s mechanical systems.

In contrast to the social intervention strategies, which focus on reducing the types of devices used, the campaign utilizes technical interventions to conserve energy in an occupant’s absence.

The SPS installation procedure records the types of devices—and the power drawn—at each workstation. The previous data collection process depended on producing, maintaining, and archiving, physical records that documented a workstation’s devices. Data was manually transcribed to the final excel spreadsheet for analysis. Our refined process relies on a handheld tablet, rather than handwritten documents; this tablet auto-populates data directly into the easily accessible spreadsheet. This eliminates the need for physical documentation and provides us with a more efficient means of data collection by reducing the installation time by approximately 66%. The previously established process of installing a SPS took, on average, 15 minutes to collect data and install the device followed by 15 minutes to input data. Our updated method averages 10 minutes per install, with no additional data input required. This reduces labor costs by almost $6.00 for each device installed, while allowing the team to retain access to the spreadsheet on-site.

The refined strategies illustrated by this study have let us install over 430 SPSs and facilitated the addition of two target buildings, with about 100 new staff and faculty. These efforts are critical to scaling this program to include a full university campus and to form a framework for implementing technical intervention strategies more broadly.

83Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesNicholas MayerMayerSierra RothlisbergerArchitectural StudiesJulia Day, Shelby RuizDayPullman

This study's purpose is to address occupant behaviors in building energy usage and costs through implementing a tenant engagement program across the WSU Pullman campus. A range of interventions were implemented such as installing Smart Power Strips (SPSs), educational training, and marketing materials. SPSs are power surge protectors that are programmed to turn off selected devices, eliminating energy consumption via phantom plug loads during non-business hours.

Thanks to grant funding from WSU Facilities Services, 430 Smart Power Strips have been bought and installed in offices and workstations in select buildings on campus. During the installation process, data for devices plugged into the strips was measured, and data (watts, volts, power factor, etc.), research surrounding sleep modes, peak power usage, and typical use, were developed into formulas in excel. This allowed us to understand the pre and post energy usage relationship – the before and after smart strip installs per office based on assumptions. Additionally, these device calculations project savings over time (1-10 years) and based on the number of installed SPSs. This past year, the study has evolved from physical calculations to a tablet that auto-populates installation data into formula sheets, resulting in time savings and precise calculations. Previous projections were calculated through manual formulas for one year; updated projections come pre-populated from real-time data for the first 10 years of the study.

Relationships between our lab and building occupants are all important and interconnected, but are challenging because they are difficult to scale, maintain, document, and transfer. As we approach 30 months of operation, the project has seen leading staff come and go as they graduate, resulting in the incorporation of a universal lab manual to train new staff about the project, along with a “who's-who” of support staff across the researched buildings. Considering the future of the study, we are interested in improving communication and efficiency of data analysis, allowing for more accurate estimated savings. This means condensing and organizing our data spread across multiple files along with targeting locations for potential savings. Projections for fiscal year 2024 show 1.65 million kWH and $191,214 to be saved.

84HumanitiesAkira ParkParkAshley BoydEnglishAshley BoydBoydPullman

The literature on secondary English educators currently illustrates that there is little space for Asian-American teachers to take part in race and equity-centered conversation in teacher education programs (Rong et al., 2022), and educators don’t feel prepared to assess cultural authenticity in literature (Loh, 2006). Thus, this presentation will discuss and analyze current research findings from Qualtrics survey responses by teachers in the Pacific Northwest that gathered educators’ beliefs and practices related to teaching Asian-American literature in secondary English classrooms.

The survey also examined how educators in middle school and high school classrooms regard their preparation and explored their approaches to teaching Asian-American literature. Informed by Django Paris’ (2012) culturally sustaining pedagogy—teaching methods that support the concept of cultural pluralism—the presenter will share current perceptions and the lack of inclusion with Asian-American literature and identities in the English Language Arts curriculum.

Finally, as a second phase of the research study, this presentation will explore Asian-American books that adolescents are exposed to in various spaces, including local libraries, national bookstores, and online sites. The researcher compiled data from yearly published culturally diverse young adult literature from popular and academic sources and quantitatively and thematically coded the data set for representation. The presentation will conclude with a recommended reading list for classroom curricula that reflect the narratives and identities of Asian-Americans.

85Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyArthur KearneyKearneyForestryRobert AndrusAndrusPullman

Defoliator pests target coniferous tree’s needles and greatly affect forest ecosystems throughout North America. There is not a definitive reason as to why outbreaks occur due to abiotic and biotic affects alike despite the great impact that these pests can have on the success of Northern American coniferous forest ecosystems. Using dendrochronology, we examined cores to determine the correlation of outbreaks by collecting samples from coniferous trees. Various methods are required to design a full-picture record of a tree’s history. Cores were taken from trees of various ages and species and were mounted; The cores were then dated and measured. The collected data was used to produce comparative results between trees in a collection site. As expected, a pattern of general variation amongst the length between rings was found correlated with defoliator outbreaks. The origin and pattern of defoliator pest outbreaks is unknown. This gives insight into possible patterns of their outbreaks in relation to other tree pests and infestations. Furthering data such as this may assist in the preservation of forests affected by these pests, whether it be through preventative measures or preparing for how trees are affected after.

86Social SciencesFelicia AdesopeAdesopeRobert E. CrosslerAccounting, Management Information SystemsRobert CrosslerCrosslerPullman

With the increase in social media and technology usage, there has also been a drastic increase in the rate of mass shootings within the United States. Utilizing the Socio-Technical Model, we looked at the interconnection between technology, actors, tasks, and structure through the lens of Information System Change. For this research study, we collected data using the Mother Jones Mass Shooting Database in order to get a general list of all mass shootings taken place in the United States between 2004, the inception of social media, and 2022. The database defined a mass shooting as a gun violence incident where 3 or more people were killed. From the general list, we categorized the data based on the factors of the Socio-Technical Model. Following this, we conducted a data analysis to identify the correlations. Our analyses show an overall growing increase in social media and technology usage when aiding in mass shooting efforts, with the most growing social media platforms being Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, we have seen an increase in mass shootings taking place in public spaces/gatherings and places of business. We believe this research will offer insight enabling social media and technology companies to effectively collaborate with Law Enforcement Agencies so that threats can be discovered before attacks occur.

87Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyChristopher InfrancoInfrancoMichael S. Mortensen, Jennifer L. WattsBiologyJennifer WattsWattsPullman

Ferroptosis is a form of controlled cell death dependent on an elaborate process of peroxidation of membrane lipids and subsequent disruption of the plasma membrane, the outer boundary to a cell. The process begins with the formation of toxic oxygen-derived chemicals within a cell, known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) (Mortensen et al., 2023). The reaction of ROS with cell membrane lipids can result in the formation of lipid peroxides, which disturb the integrity of the cell membrane and ultimately lead to cell death. The Watts lab at WSU has previously demonstrated that the nematode species C. elegans undergoes ferroptosis in its germ cell line when treated with the 20-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acid dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) (Watts & Browse, 2006). Upon treatment with exogenous DGLA, C. elegans individuals have been previously shown to become sterile and display impaired morphology of their reproductive structures, confirmed to be through ferroptosis when a ferroptosis inhibitor was able to prevent these changes from occurring (Perez et al., 2020). This work implicates Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, as a protective agent against DGLA-induced sterility in C. elegans. It has previosuly been demonstrated that Vitamin D3 can promote resistance to oxidative stress in C. elegans (Huggins & Farris, 2023). However, it was found through this experiment that C. elegans nematodes treated with both exogenous DGLA and Vitamin D3 displayed lower levels of sterility than those treated with DGLA alone. Furthermore, the protective effects of Vitamin D3 on DGLA-induced sterility was shown to have a dose-dependent effect, with higher concentrations of Vitamin D3 showing a greater protective effect than lower concentrations. Given that ferroptosis has been implicated to occur in human cancer cells, it is necessary to continue to gain knowledge about this process and its regulation such that it can be exploited in the treatment of human disease (Perez et al., 2020).

88Engineering and Physical SciencesGrace MillerMillerCassie Huang, Susannah Scott, Jean-Sabin McEwenChemical EngineeringJean-Sabin McEwenMcEwenPullman

Due to the high demand of propylene, it is appealing to look at replacing Pt- and Cu-based catalysts for propane dehydrogenation. In this regard, an attractive alternative are Ga-based compounds. X-ray Adsorption Near-Edge Spectroscopy (XANES) contains information about the coordination environment and the oxidation state of Ga under reaction conditions. In our previous work, we deconvoluted the experimental features of Ga(III) compounds [1]. Since Ga(I) and Ga(III) compounds are both involved in propane dehydrogenation, we benchmark the spectral features of Ga(I) compounds in this work. We compare the calculations derived from structures based on Li et al. [2] to three additional Ga(I) structures (Ga(Si(SiMe_3 )_3)_4,Ga(C(SiMe_3 )_3)_4, ((Ga_8 Br_8)_6 NEt) to further deconvolute the XANES features. Based on the literature, the XANES features with higher intensities correspond to Ga(I) oxidation states while the XANES features with lower intensities correspond to Ga(III) oxidation states. Using the CASTEP code with a Perdew-Berkman Erzenhoff (PBE) functional, we simulate the XANES from first principles. We further compare the Ga(III) features of our compounds to what has been identified previously in the literature [1]. Interestingly, two bulk Ga(I) structures did not have the high intensity feature as was identified in the other Ga(I) compounds. The study is ongoing where we are quantifying interaction energy between Ga(I) cations within these structures, where our initial results indicate that the interaction energy between them is attractive.


[1] Groden, K. et al. First-Principles Approach to Extracting Chemical Information from X‑ray Absorption Near-Edge Spectra of Ga-Containing Materials. J. Phys. Chem. C 125, 27901–27908 (2021).

[2] Li, L., Chalmers, J. A., Bare, S. R., Scott, S. L. & Vila, F. D. Rigorous Oxidation State Assignments for Supported Ga-Containing Catalysts Using Theory-Informed X‑ray Absorption Spectroscopy Signatures from Well-Defined Ga(I) and Ga(III) Compounds. ACS Catal. 13, 6549–6561 (2023).

89Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyDanielle LoganLoganKelly Hewitt, Skylar Nicholson, Angela HenricksBiochemistryAngela HenricksHenricksPullman

Several psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, autism, bipolar, depression, and anxiety disorders often coexist with alcohol misuse, and are associated with prenatal exposure to infection. Presently, there are few effective treatments available to combat this developmental vulnerability. Through past experiments, it has been determined that this immune response in combination with adolescent alcohol exposure, results in heightened drinking in adulthood. This project proposes that antioxidant NAC may prevent the effects of infection and early drinking, on adult drinking. NAC combats the production of free radicals in the body, preventing tissue damage and cell death. We simulate this by giving groups of pregnant rats a synthetic virus to activate a systemic immune response, or saline as a control. Then to test NAC as a preventative, we treat the rats with the synthetic virus with a 24-hour pre- and post-treatment of NAC or placebo. At day 28 post-birth, the pups were exposed to constant home-cage access with a 10% ethanol solution to simulate adolescent drinking. During adulthood, rats were trained to self-administer 10% ethanol via an active lever during 30-minute drinking sessions. five days a week. Results indicated that infection exposure and adolescent drinking results in a preference for the active lever and an increase in lever pressing for both sexes in adulthood. Evidence suggests that prenatal NAC exposure normalizes the infection-induced changes in adult drinking behavior in both male and female subjects, and that NAC lowers alcohol intake and provides a possible treatment for maternal immune activation altered drinking in adulthood.

90Arts and DesignEmma Kuebler, Emily PatrickKueblerMinyoung CerrutiInterior DesignMinyoung CerrutiCerrutiPullman

Background: Medical staff often experience critical levels of stress and burnout, which can have significant consequences for their patients. This pervasive issue is also true in pediatric clinics, making it crucial to prioritize the well-being of both medical staff and young patients. To address this challenge, our design team undertook the task of creating a 3,000-square-foot pediatric clinic in Baltimore, Maryland. Employing an evidence-based design approach, our goal was to reduce stress and enhance communication among medical staff, pediatric patients, and their families.

Method: In the research phase, we conducted an in-depth literature review, studied multiple case studies, and referenced Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This comprehensive research led us to establish two primary design goals: promoting comfort and fostering collaborative communication. In the planning and design phases, our engagement with healthcare design professionals through virtual meetings enabled us to make critical and creative design choices, taking into account diverse perspectives and voices, including those of staff, patients, and families.

Results: To enhance comfort, we incorporated biophilic design elements inspired from Maryland’s state tree, the White Oak. An inviting waiting space features the warmth of white oak finishes, calming murals of white oak, and nature window views, providing a warm and non-clinical atmosphere. Interactive sensory walls in the waiting area offers a playful distraction through tactile engagement for pediatric patients, minimizing the stress associated with waiting for medical procedures. Exam rooms and workspaces seamlessly blend sophistication with a comforting ambiance through clerestory windows, calming artwork, soft pastel wall covering, and wood acoustic ceiling panels.

For communication, an open workspace layout promotes collaborative communication between administrative and medical staff in one space, reducing spatial hierarchy and ensuring privacy using acoustic materials and translucent partitions. Additionally, mobile desks for providers and ergonomic furniture in exam rooms facilitate effective clinical communication with patients. An education room, strategically located near exam rooms and the waiting area, facilitates accessible educational communication for the public through classes.

Overall, our clinic design embodies our concept of the White Oak, aiming to reduce stress and burnout of medical staff while promoting the comfort and communication of every user.

91Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyLauren Benjamin, Hailey LandspargerBenjaminNeuroscienceEmily Qualls-CreekmoreQualls-CreekmorePullman

This research project involves finding out more details on the neural circuits that are involved in the stress response. The experiment has been ongoing since July 2023. We have three different experimental groups. There is a control group; who doesn't undergo the stress procedure, an acute stress group; who experiences the stress procedure for one day, and a chronic stress group; who experiences the stress procedure for an hour a day for ten days. We then we conducted protocols to examine their blood hormone levels, looking at corticosterone; the stress hormone in rodents. We also visualized the neurons activated under stress using a technique called c-Fos. We imaged the entire brain but have been focusing on areas previously known to be involved in the stress response, specifically the HPA axis. The overall goal of this experiment is to see if there is a difference in activation depending on the time span of stress. We are interested to see what areas display habituation, in other words decrease the neurons activated when under chronic stress. This research could have an impact in human medicine regarding both mental and physical health; given that stress negatively affects both situations.

92Research Proposal (Social Sciences)Anika WottrengWottrengInternational Business, Management Information SystemsKate HellmannHellmannPullman

Universities invest heavily in international student recruitment, but they often overlook the importance of retention strategies to help those students get to the finish line and graduate. A deeper understanding of how to keep more international students at U.S. universities is needed. Using a mixed-methods approach to gather survey data and run focus groups and interviews, positive and negative indicators of international student satisfaction and retention were identified and analyzed at Washington State University. These international students are undergraduate F1 visa holders at Washington State University Pullman campus. The goal of this research is to identify, measure, and learn more about the quality of international students’ lived experiences and identities in order to recommend changes to university services in and out of the classroom to increase international undergraduate student retention and satisfaction. International students have struggles, both institutional-related and student-related, that this research analyzes through a social, academic, and self-identity lens. This research will discuss the economic, social, cultural, and academic benefits that international students bring to universities, states, and the world. As internationalization becomes a global phenomenon, this research ties together the connection between recruitment, retention, and the university's return on investment. International student satisfaction and retention matters because Washington State University receives significant financial, academic, and cultural benefits that help achieve its land-grant mission and grow the diverse and global community of Washington State University.

93Engineering and Physical SciencesJuan Pena RamirezPena·RamirezPhysics and AstronomyVivienne BaldassareBaldassarePullman

A black hole is a region of space where gravity pulls so much, nothing can escape, including light, and the gravity is so strong because the matter has been squeezed into a tiny space which often happens when a star is dying. We know that black holes exist in the center of massive galaxies, but do they exist in low mass galaxies? Our search for supermassive black holes in low mass galaxies is a stepping stone in helping us understand the origins of black holes. Black holes have existed since the early stages of the universe, and understanding their creation can provide us with additional knowledge about their existence.  Since there have been discoveries of black holes in certain low mass galaxies, we are looking to find what information they may tell us. I am searching for more black holes in low mass galaxies by looking at their variability over time.

94Research Proposal (Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology)Katy AyersAyersGarry Smith Jr., Alla KostyukovaBioengineeringAlla Kostyukova, Garry SmithKostyukovaPullman

Cardiac muscle contraction is produced within the sarcomeres, the basic contractile unit of muscle fibers. Sarcomeres are composed of two types of filaments, thin actin filaments and thick myosin filaments. In a cardiac contraction the thick filament interacts with the thin filament, pulling it and causing the two filaments to slide against one another. Leiomodin-2 (Lmod2), is primarily known as a capping protein of the thin actin filament in cardiac tissue, but it is also an actin nucleator. Most notably, Lmod2 is a filament side-binding protein playing a significant role in filament sliding during contractions. In vitro, Lmod2 binds to the sides of and bundles filamentous actin (F-actin). To date, three actin binding sites (ABS) have been found on the Lmod2 protein, ABS1 in the N-terminal disordered region, ABS2 in the well folded leucine rich repeat domain, and ABS3 in the C-terminal disordered region; Previously in our lab, we developed a construct to express and purify the entire C-terminal disordered region of Lmod2, including ABS3. In this study, we aimed to remove the ABS3 from this construct to determine whether it can bundle F-actin. The first step was to design primers to introduce a stop codon just before the ABS3 in the C-terminal Lmod2 construct. Mutagenesis reactions were executed, and transformations of E.coli were completed, however the mutation proved difficult to achieve. PCR and primer design troubleshooting have been ongoing and lead to switching out the polymerase enzyme and utilizing high transformation efficiency cells. After the mutation is achieved, we will purify the truncated Lmod2 C-terminal construct and use in cosedimentation and native PAGE experiments to determine whether it can bind to or bundle F-actin after the removal of the ABS3 domain.

95Social SciencesAmanda KneelandKneelandPsychology, SociologyLee DaffinDaffinGlobal

This study investigates the impact of exposure to personality disorder-related content on social media on individuals' tendencies towards self-diagnosis or amateur diagnosis and how these tendencies vary across Cluster B personality disorders - Borderline, Narcissistic, Antisocial, and Histrionic.

Participants completed an online survey measuring their engagement with mental health content, credibility perceptions, self and amateur diagnosis tendencies, and the psychological impact of viewing content. The study utilized control and experimental versions of the survey, with the experimental group exposed to four individual images describing symptoms specific to each of the Cluster B personality disorders.

Through correlational analyses, a significant positive correlation between exposure to such content and both self-diagnosis and amateur diagnosis tendencies was found. Furthermore, t-test results revealed significant differences in these tendencies between the experimental and control groups. Additionally, ANOVA results demonstrated significant differences between Cluster B personality disorders. Regression analyses indicate a significant interaction effect, suggesting that engagement frequency influences the strength of the relationship between exposure and diagnosis tendencies.

These findings emphasize the complexity of social media exposure, engagement behavior, and self/amateur diagnostic tendencies regarding personality disorders. Understanding these dynamics can inform interventions addressing the dissemination of mental health misinformation, promoting responsible content-sharing practices, and mental health literacy in social media environments.

96Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMya MackowskiMackowskiMiguel A. Rosas, Karen A. SanguinetBiochemistryMiguel RosasRosasPullman

Root hairs are important to sustain plant growth as they increase root surface area thereby expanding access to soil nutrients like nitrate. Nitrate rich fertilizers are essential for productive crop yield and in some plants, nitrate can stimulate root hair initiation. To investigate the role of root hairs in nitrate acquisition, we used the root hairless phenotype, buzz, in the model grass species Brachypodium distachyon. We hypothesize that the lack of root hairs in the buzz mutant would absorb less nitrate from its environment compared to the wild type, Bd21. Furthermore, we hypothesize the decreased nitrate content would result in lower nitrate uptake by the buzz root. To test this hypothesis, we compared nitrate content and uptake between wild type and buzz, using a hydroponic system. Brachypodium plants were grown on 0mM NO3 plates for 7 days and then moved to hydroponics in either low nitrate (0.1mM) or high nitrate (10mM) conditions for 12 additional days before harvesting tissue. To measure total nitrate content in root and shoot, we used a colorimetric assay of known nitrate concentrations to generate a standard curve and quantify nitrate concentration. Our results show buzz has a higher nitrate content in shoots under low nitrate conditions. Additionally, we were able to determine that root specific nitrate uptake is enhanced in the mutant, buzz, after 1 hour of low nitrate exposure in the hydroponic environment. This suggests that under low nitrate conditions, the total nitrate content increase in the buzz shoot can potentially be explained by an increase in nitrate transport from roots to shoots. After investigating nitrate assimilation in Bd21 and buzz, we hypothesize that more nitrate will be assimilated in buzz than in Bd21 resulting in substantial nitrate reductive (NR) activity in the mutant buzz. A deeper understanding of root hairs in nitrate uptake in grasses can assist in strategies to increase NUE under limited nitrate conditions in agriculturally important crops. Further research aims to investigate whether the buzz phenotype could potentially be a beneficial trait that encourages root growth in soil conditions that lack proper nutrients thereby decreasing our dependency on synthetic fertilizers.

97Research Proposal (Engineering and Physical Sciences)Islay TalbotTalbotMichael PelchEnvironmental and Ecosystem SciencesMichael PelchPelchPullman

Geoscience is a discipline that explores the dynamic changes on our planet from the scale of a mountain range to microscopic crystals. The goal of this new activity will be to integrate the use of low-cost 3D printed optical viewers developed by Matthew Tarling, a geoscience researcher, allowing students to view rocks and minerals in thin section. Typically, students require hours of training and practice using complex optical microscopes to learn how to examine thin sections of rocks and minerals. The 3D printable optical viewers remove this technical barrier that prevented students from examining a unique aspect of rocks and minerals. Our activity will utilize these simple-to-use thin section viewers to examine foliated and non-foliated metamorphic rocks, learning to better identify metamorphic foliation. We will evaluate the impact of the new activity on student learning by developing a series of pre-post assessment questions within a quasi-experimental study design embedded in an introductory earth science lab on igneous and metamorphic rocks.

98Applied SciencesZoe LoganLoganMarcos Marcondes, Valerie AchzigerAnimal SciencesMarcos MarcondesMarcondesPullman

Methane has now become a complex issue throughout the world as society furthers more and more toward increased production systems. One of the many reasons the media focuses heavily on is the methane production in dairy cattle systems. Though it is predicted cattle specific methane production will only contribute to about 2% of climate change in the next 50 years, much of public opinion is influenced by media focusing on dairy emissions (Johnson AK and Johnson DE, 1995). Due to this, dairy producers are constantly trying to find ways to decrease this negative opinion, even if normal dairy emissions are fairly low compared to other industrial machines and processes. Through this experiment, it is hoped to decrease the methane production rate of the microbiota living within the rumen of dairy cattle via the additive known as zeolite. Zeolite is a natural occurring clay, composed of crystalline aluminosilicates and characterized by a high cation exchange capacity (El-Nile et al., 2021). Zeolites act as a pH regulator, enhanced fermenter, and pH buffer, which makes it the perfect supplement for high production farm systems. By utilizing a controlled laboratory rumen setting, we intend to feed microbes the zeolite, along with a high concentrate diet similar to most dairy farms, and see if it can decrease the rate of methanogenesis by dropping the amount of H+ ions produced in a proton substrate.

99Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyStevie FawcettFawcettMicrobiology, SpanishStephanie SeifertSeifertPullman

Hantaviruses are a diverse and globally distributed group of RNA viruses originating in rodents and bats. Hantaviruses in the New World are associated with hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) in humans with a case fatality rate as high as 40% in North America. Though HCPS cases are reported sporadically in the United States each year, New World hantaviruses remain poorly characterized, and there is a lack of FDA-approved treatments or preventative vaccines. The goal of this study was to establish and characterize cell lines derived from two New World hantavirus reservoirs: the deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, and Seba’s short-tailed bat, Carollia perspicillata. The cell lines will serve as a foundation for virus isolation and further in vitro experimental work. We define the morphology and growth kinetics of novel cell lines and determine susceptibility of the cell lines to hantavirus entry using pseudotyped Vesicular Stomatitis virus. We then generated growth curves for with Old World, Hantaan virus, and New World, Sin Nombre virus, hantavirus isolates on each cell line. Our results show surprising susceptibility of Seba’s short-tailed bat cells to an Old World hantavirus, Hantaan virus.

100Social SciencesAnika WoodWoodPolitical ScienceSeason HoardHoardPullman

Over the past two decades Washington state has seen an upward trend in traffic-related injuries and fatalities, with the 18-24 age group emerging as one of the most high-risk demographics for hazardous driving. This research project aims to comprehensively investigate and mitigate escalating crash rates among this age group in Washington State. Utilizing descriptive data analysis, this report aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the growing crash rate among drivers of all ages both within the state and within the larger national context. Variables such as the age, frequency, severity, and types of accidents will be analyzed to create a detailed profile of the crash trends.

Furthermore, the study will assess the effectiveness of existing initiatives, such as the drivers' education requirements for ages 15-17 in Washington State, and the recently implemented drivers' education requirements for young adults in Illinois and Texas. By evaluating the success of these programs, the research seeks to identify and generate evidence-based recommendations for targeted interventions that will effectively address the growing safety concerns among young drivers in Washington State. By synthesizing the findings of this research, policymakers, educators, and stakeholders can gain valuable insights into strategies for mitigating road accidents among the 18-24 age group, ultimately contributing to a safer and more responsible driving culture.

101Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyBenjamin Cohen, Sage SchleicherCohenWildlife Ecology and Conservation SciencesCaren Goldberg, Alexandra DukeGoldbergPullman

This research project is focused on furthering the abilities of a new minimally invasive sampling technique called environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling. This consists of sampling various mediums such as soil, water, ice, and air. When an animal navigates across one of these mediums, they leave traces of genetic material, which can then be sampled to test for presence in the area.  A DNA assay must be developed to assess the presence of a desired species. Assays allow for the identification of species-specific sequences in the DNA.

This project consists of two parts: the assay development of both the domestic house cat (Felis catus) and ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), and a proof-of-concept study on eDNA samples with leaf litter as the medium. The former consists of utilizing gene banks to isolate specific regions that can easily be identified if sampled in the wilderness. This includes developing a primer and probe for the DNA extractions where we isolate the desired region within the DNA sample. The latter is focused on the methodology of eDNA practices in terrestrial ecosystems. This is a proof-of-concept study that looks to expand the uses of eDNA sampling for felid species using leaf-litter understory as the medium.  Our study uses a hybrid eDNA sampling technique that will borrow techniques utilized in aquatic eDNA sampling. Aquatic eDNA sampling has proven to be much more successful in early studies, mainly due to the hydrophilic properties of DNA. The use of these methods provides greater terrestrial sample area with less overall samples.

102Arts and DesignJasper WillsonWillsonMultimedia JournalismLisa Waananen JonesWaananen JonesPullman

Creative Endeavor: Video is an effective way to communicate scientific knowledge to non-experts. Interviews combined with visuals can transform dense topics into digestible content.

My research project examines how fire affects the Coastal Redwood and the Giant Sequoia ecosystems. These environments have very different relationships with fire, and each has changed since pre-colonization. My short-form documentary makes this technical information accessible to a casually interested viewer.

Methods: There are three stages in documentary creation: pre-production, production, and post-production. During pre-production I read technical papers and held informational interviews to identify a single, clear story to tell. After drawing out a storyboard, I identified legal locations to shoot footage and experts to interview on-camera, then production began. Using a mirrorless Nikon Z50 with lenses between 50 ml and 200 ml and a steadying gimbal, I filmed forests and experts across week-long trips to each Sequoia ecosystem in California. Post-production included mixing several audio tracks to create a cohesive auditory experience and cutting hours of raw footage into a concise, clear ten minute video. I used Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, which are considered industry standard software, and a powerful desktop Mac to edit.

To learn how to effectively communicate scientific topics, I watched documentaries to see what worked. Shark Week, by the Discovery Channel, is a good example of documentaries helping to change the public’s understanding of an important scientific topic. It inspired me to interview  scientists and nonscientists for the video in order to bring the viewer multiple ways to identify with the subject. During post-production, I screened my documentary to evaluate the efficiency of my creative choices and to see what people were learning

Cultural Impact: So much important work is being done in the scientific community. Climate change continues to destroy our world. This makes understanding these complex environmental systems critical. Education can help people make thoughtful decisions. Video is one of the best ways to do this on a large scale.

103Research Proposal (Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology)Sophie ShiraliShiraliNeuroscienceErin ClanceyClanceyPullman

Fentanyl, a potent mu opioid receptor agonist, poses a significant public health concern due to its highly addicting and fatal nature. Addressing the opioid epidemic effectively necessitates a clearer understanding of sex-specific responses, with an emphasis on the impact female hormones have on the addiction phenotype and withdrawal response. Prior research has predominantly focused on estradiol, neglecting the potential role of progesterone. Moreover, limited research on females and addiction primarily explores psychostimulants and alcohol, rather than opioids.

In response to this research gap, our study involves performing ovariectomies on rat models, followed by hormone therapy to selectively express estradiol or progesterone. The rats will then undergo a conditioned place preference self-administration model to investigate the

time and severity in which an addiction develops, known as the addiction phenotype. Lastly, rats will undergo withdrawal and their behavioral responses will be studied.

Ovariectomies removes the female gonads, ovaries, which is where female hormones are produced. It also plays a crucial role in stress response modulation. Existing studies underscore the critical role of estradiol in shaping addiction-like phenotypes, including heightened drug motivation and preference as well as more severe withdrawal responses such as increased anxiety. In contrast, progesterone's specific impact remains underexplored.

Our hypothesis suggests that ovariectomies will mitigate the addiction progression speed and withdrawal symptoms. However, through the selective expression of progesterone and estradiol there will be an observed reversal of these behaviors.

Future directions involve leveraging hormone replacement therapies to potentially enhance recovery outcomes in females with opioid use disorder.

104Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyMolly GreinerGreinerHanna Kehlet Delgado, Maren FriesenBiochemistryHanna DelgadoDelgadoPullman

Rhizobia are a group of soil bacteria essential to function and growth of legumes. They are essential because they make atmospheric nitrogen accessible to the plant in a process called biological nitrogen fixation. The term “rhizobia” refers to bacteria that can form root nodules with legumes. The nodules provide the rhizobia nutrients while the rhizobia fix nitrogen for the plant in a symbiotic relationship. Growing research indicates that rhizobia could help rehabilitate nutrient-poor soils, improve legume crop growth, and decrease the need for heavy use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture. Despite their importance to soil health, restoration, conservation, and their agricultural applications, significant research is needed to understand the rhizobia phenotypic and genomic diversity. For this research project, we aim to characterize symbiotic rhizobia isolated from multiple native Trifolium (clover) species located at a research reserve in Bodega Bay, California. To isolate rhizobia, nodules from clovers were crushed in sterile buffer and spread on TY media. After subsequent strain purification, DNA from select isolates were sent for genomic sequencing. Comparisons of the resulting draft genome assemblies with those of rhizobium type strains indicate these isolates make up a potential novel rhizobium species. Genome annotations include predicted genes for symbiosis and nitrogen fixation. We selected six of these isolated and sequenced strains for phenotypic characterization. This characterization started with determining optimal growth media and temperatures and finding salinity tolerance ranges of the strains. The results reveal that the novel rhizobia are Gram negative. The strains grew well on YMA at temperatures between 15°C and 30°C. The rhizobia strains grew best at a salinity range below 0.75%, with the exception of two outlier strains: CE3053 did not grow well at any salt concentration; and strain AG3041T grew well up to 1.5% salt concentrations. All strains were inhibited at 2% salt concentrations. This project is ongoing. Future research will explore carbon source utilization, antibiotic sensitivity, and pH tolerances. The genomic and phenotypic characterization of this group of novel rhizobia will help further the understanding of the function and diversity of symbionts with native plants.

105Social SciencesTyler NoltingNoltingLee DaffinPsychologyLee DaffinDaffinGlobal

As online communities continue to amass larger audiences their impact on the behavior and attitudes of those watching becomes increasingly important. Prior research into the topic suggests that the presence of others can alter levels of helping behaviors and levels of felt responsibility. Our study aimed to assess whether a large group perception would exhibit differing levels of civic engagement compared to one of a smaller size. To do this, we are the the process of conducting an online experiment which in current preliminary analysis which has 59 participants, gathered from the WSU Research Pool and the Social Psychology Network. Participants were placed into two conditions with differing levels of simulated viewership and asked to complete two scales designed to measure civic engagement and civic action, with the ladder including attitude and behavioral measures. Contrary to this study's hypothesis, the results suggested that group size perception did not significantly alter levels of civic engagement or action. The lack of significant difference suggests that there are perhaps other more meaningful factors to the end of predicting levels of civic engagement.

106Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyOri NavehNavehBalaganesh Kuruba, Alla S KostyukovaBioengineeringAlla KostyukovaKostyukovaPullman

In neurons, dendritic spines are small protrusions used to receive excitatory synaptic inputs from the axon of the synapse. Spines manifest into three distinct categories: mushroom spines, stubby spines, and thin spines. Mushroom and thin spines are composed of a head which receives the signals and a neck. The cytoskeleton of the spines is determined by polymerization and depolymerization of actin. Polymerized actin, or filamentous actin (F-actin), has a slow-growing, or pointed end, and a fast-growing, or barbed end. Tropomodulin 2 (Tmod2), a brain specific isoform, binds to the pointed end of F-actin in a tropomyosin and actin binding sites, and caps it; effectively stopping the elongation and depolymerization at the pointed end. Tmod2 can also cause actin nucleation to start polymerization. Mutation L29E/ L134D (ED) resulted in destroyed tropomyosin-binding sites (TMBS) 1 and 2 in Tmod2. A truncation by removing five C-terminal residues in actin-binding site 2 (ABS2), (A2), resulted in the loss of Tmod2’s nucleating ability. We expressed ClFP-Tmod2, wild-type and the mutants, in neurons to determine the effects of overexpression on spine morphology. Expression of ClFP was used as a control. Using live images, we measured the change in length of thin and mushroom spines over a 20-minute span. Analysis of the data showed that the average length of a thin spines and mushroom spines was significantly decreased by the ED mutation. In thin spines, A2 also decreased the average length of spines while there was no significant change in mushroom spines.

107Research Proposal (Engineering and Physical Sciences)Savannah KahlKahlRachael Bergman, Bao Huynh, Ana Paula Piovezan Fugolin, Sivashankari Rajasekaran, Xiaofeng GuoBiochemistryXiaofeng GuoGuoPullman

Our project studied the glass transition of a series of self-healing materials for dental application. The idea for self-healing materials originated from dental composite failure that is often caused by regular chewing forces, which create micro cracks within the internal structure of the resin composite over time. Thus, one strategy to mitigate these micro cracks is to add a self-healing material into the organic matrix of the resin composite. These capsules of self-healing material, once broken by a micro crack, would then release the healing agent, which would reduce future widening of the micro crack, keeping the resin composite intact for longer. This technology sounds promising, however, several challenges present themselves, a major one being that the prospective self-healing material choices being investigated for use are cytotoxic (contain formaldehyde), and thus need to be highly resistant to thermal changes in order to consider them for practical application.

To understand thermal stability of these self-healing materials and constrain the temperature conditions to avoid release of formaldehyde, we performed thermal analysis on them by using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) to investigate their respective glass transition temperatures. Here, glass transition temperature is a common metric used to predict phase stability. Several different ratios of core materials were analyzed, with the inclusion of additives as well to see if that affects overall stability. Specifically, we are interested in whether or not the presence of diethylol-p-toludiene (DHEPT) significantly influences thermal stability. Analysis of these samples are ongoing, however initial results reveal the loss of surface (physically-absorbed) water at approximately 80-85°C and the occurrence of the glass phase transition at approximately 119-121°C across all samples. We were also able to correspond these thermodynamic events with mass losses measured by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) in which sample mass is tracked as a function of temperature.

108Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyHunter WhitlockWhitlockTania Smertenko, Alyssa Parish, Stephanie Denton, Sharol Schmidt, Andrei SmertenkoBiochemistryAndrei SmertenkoSmertenkoPullman

Embryophytes were the first members of the Plantae kingdom to colonize land due to the evolution of the phragmoplast, which forms during cytokinesis. Microtubules facilitate phragmoplast development in conjunction with various proteins. To better understand the phragmoplast and plant cell cytokinesis, this research focuses on the plant specific microtubule regulators, MACET and AUGMIN7 which are a part of the microtubule nucleating factor known as the AUGMIN complex. These proteins are unique to embryophytes and localize to the phragmoplast. MACET4, MACET5, and AUGMIN7 are observable and manipulatable for in vivo and in vitro experiments therefore the combination of these mutations is the focus of this research. The effects of MACET4, MACET5, and AUGMIN7 knockout are studied in Arabidopsis thaliana to determine the phenotypes that are associated with triple mutant lineages compared to wild type. Phenotypes of interest include microtubule nucleation effects, microtubule catastrophe and rescue occurrences, and microtubule polymerization and depolymerization rates. Mutants are genotyped using DNA extraction, PCR, and gel electrophoresis. Microtubule catastrophe/rescue frequency and on/off rates of tubulin are calculated using fluorescent microscopy and kymograph analysis to determine phenotypes. The macet4macet5 double mutants were generated by mutagenizing MACET5 in MACET4 knockout background using CRISPR-Cas9. Triple mutant of macet4, macet5, and augmin7 were generated through crossing the macet4macet5 double mutants with augmin7-1 allele. This research will also expand to include other plant specific proteins, their participation in phragmoplast development, and their coordination and interaction with MACET4.

109Social SciencesJacee HanonHanonHuman DevelopmentKathleen RodgersRodgersPullman

Parents can communicate in different ways with their teenager regarding hard conversations such as dating violence and romantic relationships. My goal is to look at what types of messages parents use when discussing dating violence and romantic relationships with their teenager using music media as a tool to prompt parent child communication. I analyzed the conversations using Family Communications Pattern Theory. This theory is split into two main categories: conformity and conversation orientation. Conformity is a type of conversation that is based on belief/value. Conversation is based on encouraging family members to converse with one another. I used qualitative data that was collected as part of a larger research study to prompt my research. The study involved using music videos to facilitate a conversation with a parent and a teen. The music videos are Mean by Taylor Swift, Love The Way You Life by Rihanna and Eminem, and Carry Out by Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. I analyzed a randomly selected subset parent-child pairs using thematic analysis based on concept from FCPT (Family Communications Pattern Theory)’s conversation and conformity orientations. My research question is: Is FCPT is a suitable theory to look at communication with parents and teen discussing romantic relationships and dating violence.

110Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMadi MadaliMadaliNeetika Neetika, Jacob LewisBiochemistryChulhee Kang, Neetika NeetikaKangPullman

The use of biomass in sustainable development emphasizes the importance of understanding raw material composition, particularly lignin content. Using genetic engineering to optimize plant properties for biomass utilization will play an essential role in this endeavor and requires an in-depth understanding of the structure-function relationships within lignin biosynthesis enzymes. Plant 4-coumarate:CoA ligase (4CL) is the central enzyme in the phenylpropanoid or monolignol pathway that provides precursors for various metabolites and regulates carbon flow.  4CL acts as a precursor for flavonoid biosynthesis, which is crucial for defense against pathogens, UV protection, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging in plants. Pv-4CL, a pivotal enzyme, directs the monolignol pathway towards flavonoid biosynthesis by producing P-coumaroyl CoA. Bioengineering strategies targeting flavonoid upregulation hold potential for reducing lignin content and enhancing stress adaptability in plants. The structural flexibility of Lignin entails both hard and soft organic polymers that support plant tissues. Lignin halts cellulosic biofuel production as it is crosslinked with cellulose. Engineering lignin polymers in plants promises extensive utilization of organic biofuels and potential treatments for human diseases. This research focuses on elucidating the structure-function relationships of Pv4CL, aiming to facilitate efficient manipulation of monolignol and flavonoid biosynthesis pathways. Such insights offer novel strategies for sustainable biomass utilization and advanced biotechnological applications.

111Applied SciencesSimon ScheelScheelDebashree RoyChemistryLiane MoreauMoreauPullman

Gold nanoparticles (particles that are less than one-millionth of a meter) are widely explored for applications in energy and medicine. One potential application of gold nanoparticles is the use of Au-198 nanoparticles as effective agents in prostate cancer therapy. One challenge to synthesizing such nanoparticles is the high radioactivity and short half-life of beta-emitting Au-198 as a radiotherapeutic isotope. One solution for generating Au-198-containing nanoparticles would be to use neutron activation on Au-197 nanoparticles, making the already-made particles into gold-198. This would reduce the need to handle active material and open up options for the wide library of Au nanoparticle chemistries that have been developed. Unfortunately, to date, there is not a comprehensive understanding of how Au nanoparticles would behave in the high temperature high neutron-flux environment of a nuclear reactor. In our studies, we are looking at Au nanoparticle structure pre- and post-irradiation within a nuclear reactor. We are using both morphology and local-structure techniques to evaluate the change in chemistry upon irradiation. In particular, Small-angle x-ray scattering and transmission electron microscope techniques will be used to analyze nanoparticle size and shape changes while XAFS and gamma spectroscopy will be used to characterize composition and local structure changes upon irradiation and beta decay of Gold-198 into Mercury-198.

112Social SciencesMariah LandonLandonBiochemistryCaroline OwensOwensPullman

Deaf culture refers to the shared culture of the Deaf community, characterized by a common history, sense of identity, and language (predominantly American Sign Language in the United States). Social media platforms, including TikTok, provide spaces for creativity and narrative agency around d/Deafness and the formation of community. Despite the prominence of social media in recent years, few studies have examined how these platforms are utilized by members of the d/Deaf community. It is highly probable that TikTok has served as a conduit to help promote awareness of the Deaf community and that it has fostered effective, direct communication for and between d/Deaf persons.  As such, the objective of this research is twofold: first, to explore how individuals who identify as members of the d/Deaf community utilize TikTok in their daily lives, with an emphasis on social connection, education, outreach, and advocacy. Second, to provide a critical analysis of how social media platforms like TikTok can transform representations and understanding of Deaf culture inside and outside of the Deaf community. This research adopts a mixed-methods approach combining thematic analysis with quantitative analysis of engagement data from a subsample of one hundred TikTok videos. Videos appearing under the hashtag #deaf were filtered for relevance and analyzed using a blended approach of deductive and inductive codes. While this project cannot make generalizable claims about how members of the d/Deaf community engage with TikTok, it provides insight into the platform’s potentials for outreach and engagement. As this research demonstrates, TikTok may serve as a promising platform for wider communication and self-expression for d/Deaf persons as well as the promotion of Deaf awareness.

113Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyNolan HannaHannaChelsea A. Osbron, Miyoung Li, Alan G GoodmanChemistryAlan GoodmanGoodmanPullman

Coxiella burnetii is the causative agent of the zoonotic illness Q-fever. C. burnetii is known to infect ticks and in turn livestock, which act as reservoirs for disease and suffer spontaneous abortions, the aerosolized birth products of which can cause the infection to be passed on to humans. The acute form of the disease is associated with flu-like symptoms, but 3-5% of those infected develop a chronic infection which can result in infections of the heart valves (endocarditis) and other complications. An obligate intracellular bacterium which preferentially infects macrophages in the lung environment, C. burnetii is known to manipulate host cell death pathways during its infectious cycle. One way it does this is by inhibiting caspase-8 and other caspases, leading to the inhibition of apoptosis. Caspase-8 inhibition is a key step in inducing programmed inflammatory cell death (necroptosis), and as a result infection sensitizes mouse L929 cells to necroptosis, but infection alone is not sufficient to trigger this pathway. The consequences of this effect to the course of infection are still unclear. Since reactive oxygen species (ROS) and necroptosis are positively connected, and C. burnetii has several mechanisms to reduce ROS, this project aims to characterize the interactions between ROS and necroptosis during C. burnetii infection. ROS was measured using DCFH-DA, a green fluorescent probe. To optimize this assay, mouse L929 cells were stained with DCFH-DA and treated with H2O2 to induce oxidative stress. Fluorescent microscopy was then performed, showing cells with high ROS as green. Stain and treatment concentrations were manipulated to maximize signal and minimize background. To measure ROS during necroptosis in infected cells, DCFH-DA-stained cells were treated with TNF-alpha and the caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK to induce necroptosis. We hypothesize that C. burnetii infection will reduce the production of ROS during necroptosis. This project deepens the current understanding of C. burnetii's manipulation of host cell death, which is critical to its pathogenic life cycle.

114Engineering and Physical SciencesJacob PiersonPiersonPeter EngelsPhysics and AstronomyPeter EngelsEngelsPullman

In the Fundamental Quantum Physics lab at WSU, a new experimental apparatus is being constructed that will explore the quantum mechanical foundations of nature by investigating the peculiar dynamics of quantum matter in the ultracold (nano-Kelvin) regime. The planned experiments require precise, reliable coordination of hundreds of electrical signals on microsecond timescales during an experimental run that can stretch over a few minutes. To realize this, I am leveraging the power of customizable digital hardware, FPGA (field programmable gate array) boards, to synchronize nearly 200 independent electrical signals to within tens of nanoseconds. This highly flexible control system is designed for seamless integration with the current laboratory setup, while offering the flexibility to adapt to various applications needing fine-tuned timing synchronization.

To perform these experiments, a symphony of electrical signals needs to be reliably synchronized within sub-microsecond precision for the entirety of the experiment. Each portion of the experiment will have a particular list of time-ordered actions, almost like sections of sheet music, making the FPGA boards the conductors of this electrical orchestra. And like any orchestra, if any instrument is out of time or off-key, it can disrupt the whole piece, or ruin the experiment, in our case. By utilizing such powerful hardware, we can achieve synchronization to within tens of nanoseconds. More exactly, we can synchronize 192 of these signals to occur reliably and repeatably to within 50 nanoseconds (or one part of one second divided into twenty million parts).Additionally, these experiments need to be repeatable while maintaining the same degree of timing precision. Finally, the apparatus is expected to run autonomously, executing hundreds of different runs per day on a repeatable time schedule. The experimental results will facilitate accompanying research being done by theoretical groups in the department as well.

115Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyAlly RichardsRichardsPhilip D. Bates and Sean McGuireMicrobiologySean McGuireMcGuirePullman

Oilseed crops represent one of the most agriculturally valuable assets, worth more than $65 billion USD. Plant oils (primarily triacylglycerols) derived from these crops are utilized in a variety of commercial products (e.g., biofuels, cosmetics, and chemical feedstocks). In addition to their economic and industrial roles, plant oils have diverse roles in plant development, and are typically stored in oil bodies in seeds and fruits. The breakdown of oil is involved in seed germination and seedling development, with additional roles in pollen tube growth, stomatal opening, membrane lipid remodeling, and organ formation. In oilseed crops, the Kennedy pathway is a well-characterized metabolic pathway involved in membrane lipid and oil biosynthesis with Glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) catalyzing the first step. Of particular interest is GPAT9 as it is highly expressed during seed development—the stage where most oil accumulates. The importance of GPAT9 is demonstrated in plant lines that knockdown GPAT9 expression where oil content was consequently reduced. Despite the basic understanding of membrane lipid and oil biosynthetic pathways, little research has investigated if other proteins interact with lipid biosynthetic proteins, such as GPAT9, to modulate enzyme activity or to channel substrates more efficiently as part of a biosynthetic “metabolon”. Here, we performed a transgenic transformation of the model oilseed plant Arabidopsis thaliana by introducing a seed-specific over-expressor containing GPAT9 fused to an epitope tag for protein detection and collection using antibodies. Subsequently, transgenic plants were positively identified by genotyping and then used for in-depth analyses involving: seed fatty acid composition and oil quantitation, followed by GPAT9 protein detection, GPAT9 collection by immunoprecipitation, and identification of candidate protein-protein interactors by proteomics. Interestingly, our transgenic lines showed normal seed development with slight deviations from wild-type fatty acid composition and oil content. From our proteomics data, we have identified the candidate interacting proteins (e.g., FAE1, GPDL3/4, LPAT2, and GDPDL5). These proteins may interact with GPAT9 as part of a lipid biosynthetic metabolon, increasing the local substrate concentration of precursors for enhanced GPAT9 activity and seed oil accumulation. Future research is needed to confirm these candidates as interactors with approaches such as Y2H or BiFC.

116Social SciencesTravis HaleHaleBrooke F. Beech, Maureen Schmitter-EdgecombeNeuroscienceBrooke Beech, Maureen Schmitter-EdgecombeBeechPullman

Objective: Effective use of compensatory strategies supports completion of everyday tasks that must be executed in the future, i.e., prospective memory (PM) tasks. It is currently unclear how age influences strategy use. This study investigates the relationship between age, quantity and quality of compensatory strategies, and performance on real-world PM tasks. We hypothesized that the older participants would use more strategies than younger participants. We also hypothesized that younger participants would use better quality strategies and show greater PM task accuracy.

Method: As part of a larger study, 98 community-dwelling mid-life and older adults completed two testing sessions from home via Zoom. In session 1, participants were presented with two PM tasks, intended for completion independently in the future between test sessions. Participants were encouraged to use any strategies they saw fit to facilitate successful completion. At session 2, the examiner rated how accurately participants completed the PM tasks and utilized strategies were recorded and assigned a quality score. Participants were divided into groups based on age: younger (50-69 years old; n = 50) and older (≥70 years old; n = 48).

Results: Independent t-test results showed that participants in the younger group exhibited significantly higher PM accuracy, t(96) = 1.95, p = 0.03, d = 0.39, and utilized higher quality strategies, t(96) = 2.44, p = 0.008, d = 0.49, compared to the older group. The younger group also utilized a greater quantity of strategies, t(94.77) = 1.89, p = 0.03, d = 0.38. The groups exhibited equivalent performance on a measure of global cognitive status, t(96) = 1.30, p = 0.20, d = 0.26.

Conclusion: In sum, the younger group exhibited a greater quantity of and higher quality strategies, leading to greater PM accuracy. Although the groups displayed equivalent global cognition, the older group’s lower performance could be due to more subtle decline in executive functioning typical of aging processes, or less comfort with technology-based strategies, which are associated with higher quality scores. Future research should examine which specific types of strategies are most effective and use results to aid individuals struggling with everyday PM tasks.

117Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyKaitlyn IpsenIpsenNiharika Nonavinakere Chandrakanth, Laura E. BartleyGenetics and Cell BiologyLaura BartleyBartleyPullman

Hydroxycinnamic acids (HCA) are phenolic molecules derived from the lignin biosynthetic pathway that bind to the cell walls of grasses and other commelinid monocots. Two of the most prevalent HCAs, para-Coumaric acid (pCA) and ferulic acid (FA), are associated with health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Quinoa in and of itself also has many health benefits including higher protein when compared to cereal grain crops, while also having high amounts of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and dietary fibers. Typically, one consumes polished quinoa, which goes through a process to remove the saponin layer, reducing seed bitterness. However, by removing this layer, HCA concentration within the seed is impacted as well. Therefore, pCA and FA concentrations in the cell walls of these plants are of great interest when it comes to both comparing the nutritional value of polished and unpolished quinoa and selecting plants for biofortification. We use high-performance liquid chromatography to determine the concentrations of pCA and FA in both polished and unpolished quinoa samples taken from different wild-type plant lines. Subsequently, the data will be analyzed for variations in HCA concentrations among the plant lines, thus indicating the amount of potential loss in nutritional value associated with HCAs due to the standard processing of quinoa seeds.

118Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyTrinity HanningHanningTaras Nazarov, Andrei SmertenkoBioengineeringAndrei SmertenkoSmertenkoPullman

In the Pacific northwest, numerous crop species face heat and drought stress during the summer months. This stress becomes more prominent as the summer weather becomes hotter, and heat and drought waves become more frequent. The higher temperatures have a continuing negative impact on crop yields, impacting crop productivity and profitability. The goal of our research is to create a pathway for breeding more resilient varieties of wheat. The research is divided into two parts. The first part is studying the effects of heat and drought stress on plants by measuring the biochemical response of peroxisome proliferation. Peroxisomes, membrane-bound organelles, proliferate in response to stress. When plants face stressors, such as heat or drought, they generate an excess of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which poses a threat to their cellular integrity. As a defense mechanism, plants proliferate peroxisomes to mitigate the effects of the ROS damage. The second part is studying the effects of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), on mitigating peroxisome proliferation in several crop species. GABA is naturally found in plants and is utilized as a stress response mechanism. It aids in reducing peroxisome proliferation by alleviating ROS-induced stress. This is achieved through the GABA shunt pathway, which influences plant growth, development, and responses to environmental stimuli. Understanding the role of GABA in stress mitigation is essential as it offers valuable insights into effective strategies for managing stress in crops. The samples from the heat and drought stress and GABA experiments are collected across different time points to see how time affects peroxisome proliferation. Further research into understanding the impact of heat and drought stress on biochemical response in crop plants as well as finding ways to mitigate these responses holds the potential for more resilient varieties, higher productivity in agriculture, and ensure greater food availability for all.

119Engineering and Physical SciencesRaine AntonioAntonioJohn M. Bussey, John S. McCloyMaterials Science and EngineeringJohn McCloyMcCloyPullman

Basalt is an igneous rock formation consisting of the mineral plagioclase, pyroxene, and olivine. Basalt usually consists of 45-52 wt% Si and can be melted and quenched naturally, forming either a semicrystalline volcanic glass called tachylite or a non-crystalline volcanic glass called sideromelane. Sideromelane is naturally formed by melting at high temperatures and quenching in water, preventing crystallization. Basalt based glasses are being investigated as a matrix for immobilizing waste from various sources such as incinerators, power plants, and nuclear waste. As we begin to develop technology to improve basalt composites, we need to further develop our understanding of melt mechanics. In the Earth’s crust, there is a large amount of water trapped in the rock, influencing the melting dynamics. This project attempts to find a better understanding of solubility mechanisms of water and compounds found in waste in basalt melts using UMAT-1, a well characterized basalt formation. This investigation will be carried out by melting families of glasses with increasing weight percent dopants. We will be observing the phases, and the durability of the different glasses using the stirred reactor coupon method.

120HumanitiesBrigette HinnantHinnantEnglishPatty WildeWildeTri-Cities

The War Brides Act of 1945 took effect after World War II, allowing 60,000-70,000 women who had married American servicemen to immigrate to the United States. While most women were from Europe and Australia, over 2,200 women from the Philippines moved to the United States between 1946 and 1950 (Wolgin and Bloemraad 32). Despite the close relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines, little scholarly attention has been given to Filipina war brides. The women used their own rhetorical strategies to navigate the hardships of the war and the aftermath of it. These young women faced unspeakable hardships in the Philippines during the Japanese invasion and needed to build community upon relocating to the United States. After meeting and later marrying American military men stationed in the Philippines, many of whom were of Filipino origin, these women upended their lives and left their families, but how they navigated the circumstances of their arrival was historically and rhetorically vague.

To address this gap, I focus specifically on war brides who moved to Washington State, my own geographical context but also a site of immigration for many Filipino families. By using the oral histories collected by Jeannie Magdua, who interviewed three Filipina war brides, I aim to understand the rhetorical strategies employed by Filipina women in both the Philippines and in Washington State to explore how these stories rhetorically disrupt common narratives of the war and its aftermath.

Using decolonial feminist rhetorical methodology that specifically attends to Filipina women’s ways of knowing, being, and communicating, I examine how these women fostered community through the War Brides Association in ways that helped them navigate the difficulties of moving to a new country while retaining a sense of their home cultures. These women had unique experiences pertaining to WWII and their transition into American culture. They provide their own insights on what the Philippines was like during WWII and how the women were able to find their own means to survive in a changing world.

121Social SciencesAneesah Mills-MayanjaMills-MayanjaLucas HuckabyPsychologyLucas HuckabyHuckabyPullman

Openness and help seeking regarding mental health have been impacted by societies negative views of those struggling with their mental health. However, for the African American community, there are other aspects that influence the lack of help seeking. Research has shown that stigma, religiosity, and faith development influence the involvement of services within the African American community. The combination of these factors prevents those within the African American community to feel safe in sharing their mental health struggles or engage in help seeking tactics. Understanding the relationship between these factors and help seeking is crucial to providing change for the African American Community. This study utilizes the National Study of Youth and Religion Waves 1 and 2, the Faith Development Scale, the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness Inventory, the Mental Health Stigma in Religious Communities: Development of a Quantitative Measure, and the Categorization of Barriers and Facilitators for Mental Health Service Use among Racial/Ethnic Minority Youth by the Social Ecological Model to explore and understand the relationship between stigma, religiosity, faith development and help seeking within the African American community. The relationship is highlighted through the use of these measures in a survey, revealing findings that will benefit not only the African American community, but also society in terms of reducing these factors that act as pressures for those struggling with their mental health.

122Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyBlake Vander TopVander·TopKyrah Turner, Bertrand C.W. TannerBioengineeringBertrand TannerTannerPullman

X-ray diffraction is a tool that can be used to assess muscle structure at sub-cellular and protein levels with nanometer resolution. A sarcomere is the basic contractile unit of muscle, and many sarcomeres exist within a muscle fiber. The sarcomere comprises two main protein filaments, the thick-filament of myosin and the thin-filament of actin. Along these filaments there are regulatory proteins that modulate the interactions between myosin and actin that enable contraction. While a lot is known about sarcomere structure and function in general, less is known about sarcomere structure as muscle cells are stretched and/or as biochemical status of different regulatory proteins are altered. This study aimed to measure changes in sarcomere structure as the muscle was stretched, the phosphorylation profile of myosin regulatory light chain (RLC) changed, and increasing [Ca2+] started to ‘activate’ contraction. For this study, skinned myocardial strips were incubated with alkaline phosphatase (AP) to dephosphorylate RLC or myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) to phosphorylate RLC. RLC phosphorylation (RLC-P) is associated with cardiac dysfunction. Studying how RLC-P affects sarcomere structure is essential to understanding RLC’s role in cardiac health and disease. X-ray diffraction patterns were collected at short sarcomere length (SL) in a relaxing [Ca2+] solution after incubation with AP or MLCK. Fibers were then stretched to a long SL in an activating [Ca2+] solution and x-ray diffraction patterns were taken. The diffraction parameter I1,1/I1,0 is indicative of thick-filament mass moving towards the thin-filament, making more myosin heads available for binding. We found that changes in RLC-P did not affect I1,1/I1,0, regardless of SL or [Ca2+] activation. In contrast, increases in RLC-P by MLCK do increase active stress at both SL when compared to AP treated groups. RLC-P affecting stress production but not myocardial structure indicates there may be more complicated mechanisms underlying cardiac regulation by RLC-P. This work furthers the understanding of how RLC-P modifies cardiac sarcomere structure and function. This knowledge may be applied to RLC-P targeted therapies to treat cardiac dysfunction in the future.

123Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyEric TetzlaffTetzlaffDaniel Thornton, Sujay SinghEnvironmental and Ecosystem SciencesDaniel ThorntonThorntonPullman

Loomis State Forest is a topographically diverse region that contains a multi-predator ecosystem with a complex set of wildlife interactions that is potentially changing due to climate-driven disturbances (increasing fire and snowpack declines). Co-existing predators should separate along temporal, spatial, and/or dietary axes. Analyzing the spatiotemporal associations between different predator species will help us understand potential competitive interactions and possible changes to carnivore communities in this dynamic landscape.

We gathered data from camera traps set across Loomis State Forest during the summer of 2021. We set cameras along elevational gradients with 1 km spacing. We identified photos to species and exported date and time information from each photo using R. We used two analyses to examine temporal associations between carnivore pairs – time lag and diel activity analyses. Time lag analysis compares the difference between successive detections of species pairs at a camera station. Diel activity compares the degree to which species overlap in the times of day they are most active. We compared all species pairs, though we predicted that temporal avoidance would be most pronounced in species pairs for which there is existing evidence of competition (bobcat-cougar, wolf-coyote, lynx-cougar, wolf-cougar).

The time lag analyses found that bobcats tend to avoid cougars, as bobcats took longer than expected to return to camera sites after a cougar was detected. Most of the species analyzed showed no significant difference in the time lag analysis, though sample size was low for some comparisons. The diel activity analysis showed a relatively low overlap between nocturnal species such as Canada lynx and bobcat when compared to primarily diurnal or crepuscular species such as coyotes, wolves, black bears, and cougars. In general, temporal overlap was medium to medium-high across all species pairs.

These analyses focus primarily on temporal interactions between wildlife species across Loomis. This helps us determine possible avoidance behaviors of species and patterns of temporal separation which species may use to isolate themselves from competitors. However, interactions are highly complex and additional factors are needed to build an understanding of carnivore interactions. Additional analyses should consider spatial associations, geographic characteristics, and prey limitations.

124Research Proposal (Engineering and Physical Sciences)Jamison CarrellCarrellJim Boncella, Nicolas FisherBasic Medical Sciences, PsychologyNicolas FisherFisherPullman

Ruthenium pincer ligands have gained a significant amount of attention in recent years due to their versatility and promise in catalysis, drug discovery, and personalized medicine. One such example are ruthenium (Ru) complexes bearing tridentate-bisphosphinoamino pincer ligands (PNNNP); however, little is known about the coordination chemistry of these complexes. This research outlines a synthetic procedure for the ligand iPrPNNNP, and subsequent metalation with [(cymene)RuCl2]2 to produce the complex (iPrPNHNNHP)RuCl2 in exceptional yields. Investigation of the coordination chemistry of (iPrPNHNNHP)RuCl2 was undertaken utilizing various neutral ligands. The binding of dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP) to the Ru center was easily accomplished forming the complex (iPrPNHNNHP)RuCl2(DMAP), while the binding of trimethyl phosphine (PMe3) surprisingly proved to be much more complex than anticipated. The coordination chemistry of this system provides valuable information regarding the future of its uses in various fields including medicine.

125Applied SciencesKatherina ZaharovZaharovShuyi Qi, Shi Min Tan, Rong Wang, Jessica A Higginbotham, Jobe L Ritchie,, Christopher K Ibarra, Amy A Arguello, Robert J ChristianBioengineeringRita Fuchs, Shuyi QiFuchsPullman

Drug craving and relapse can be triggered by various environmental stimuli even after years in abstinence. Engram neurons form microcircuits that encode drug memories, and these microcircuits are reactivated upon memory retrieval. We predicted that DCA3 cocaine engrams, in the dorsal hippocampus cornu ammonis (DCA3) region, are necessary for drug context-induced cocaine-seeking behavior (CSB). This preliminary study used the transient recombination in active populations (TRAP) methodology to identify and characterize the DCA3 engram neurons that encode cocaine memories. For this purpose, we injected adeno-associated viruses to subsequently express light-sensitive chloride channels and/or the fluorophore mCherry in cocaine engram neurons of the DCA3. Rats received 10 days of cocaine self-administration training in a salient context and 7 days of extinction training in a different context to develop distinct drug context and extinction context memories, respectively. Rats were then exposed to the cocaine predictive context to reactivate cocaine memories and injected with 5 µg/kg of 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT) to transiently disinhibit cre-recombinase expression and elicit Cre-dependent halorhodopsin + mCherry expression in c-fos + engram neurons. Rats then received 7 additional extinction training sessions followed by a one-hour test of CSB in the cocaine-predictive context with or without optogenetic inhibition. Brain tissue was for immunohistochemical analysis. Results showed that optogenetic inhibition reduced CSB and cFos expression overall and in DCA3 mCherry-labeled engram cells that were negative for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) cell markers. These data suggest that DCA3 engram cell activation is necessary for cocaine-memory retrieval and/or motivation for cocaine. Furthermore, by exclusion, DCA3 cocaine engram cells are glutamatergic pyramidal neurons indicating CSB is triggered by excitatory neurons. Future applications for this preliminary study will require a larger data set to better understand the DCA3 region in memory consolidation for CSB.

126Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologySara BurresBurresSara R. Westbrook, Zachary D. G. Fisher, Riana Abeshima, Ryan M. Faddis, Olivia G. Amato, Ryan J. McLaughlinBiology, ZoologySara WestbrookWestbrookPullman

As the illicit drug becomes legal in certain states, cannabis use has significantly increased in recent years, particularly in adolescents. This is alarming as the long-term consequences of adolescent cannabis use remain poorly understood. Recently, we reported that vaporized cannabis in adolescence can lead to long-lasting alterations of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), specifically impaired mPFC-dependent learning in a cognitive flexibility task. Parvalbumin interneurons (PV) are important in cognitive flexibility as their inhibitory function modulates mPFC output neurons. Perineuronal nets (PNN) act as a stabilizer and form around PV interneurons, regulating their function. Thus, we hypothesized that cannabis use during adolescence impairs cognitive flexibility by reducing the number of PV and PNNs present in the mPFC, thereby leading to a decreased ability to inhibit a previously learned strategy. We sought to test this hypothesis by exposing adolescent rats to non-contingent cannabis or vehicle vapor and conducting cognitive flexibility tests during adulthood. Male and female adolescent rats (postnatal day [P]40-60) received 3 weeks of daily 1-hour non-contingent vapor sessions. Two weeks later, cognitive flexibility tests were conducted, after which, brains were collected for immunohistochemistry (IHC). Anti-PV antibody and Wisteria floribunda agglutinin (WFA) stained for PV interneurons and PNNs, respectively, in mPFC brain slices. Both groups seem to take a similar number of trials to learn to shift strategies, but rats with cannabis exposure when compared to vehicle exposure committed different types of errors, demonstrating different learning processes. The cannabis group had more regressive errors than the vehicle group, suggesting difficulty in maintaining inhibition of the previous strategy, while the vehicle group made more never-reinforced errors. Preliminary imaging results show a decrease in mPFC PV cells with an increased percentage of PV and PNN colocalization in cannabis compared to vehicle animals. Preliminary results partially support the hypothesis and suggest that the remaining PV and PNNs may be working together in a decreased inhibitory environment to learn the new strategy, but may have more difficulty maintaining the inhibition processes. This adolescent rat model of cannabis exposure will help to reveal how mPFC functioning is impacted by cannabis use during development.

127Arts and DesignJuliann YuskoYuskoApparel, Merchandising, Design and TextilesArmine GhalachyanGhalachyanPullman

The goal of this project was to give new life to materials that are traditionally wasted, and to encourage consumers to think about the waste they produce, while creating a design that speaks to the history of the product used. Overpackaging and luxury branding, as well as the use of non-recyclable packaging are important problems that the average consumer may not think about when they purchase a product. Since the 1960s, population growth and increased product demand and consumerism has led to increased waste in all industries, including textiles and packaging.

The packaging of Crown Royal whisky, a small purple and gold drawstring textile bag, while iconic and useful as branding for the product, is a prime example of excessive packaging. The goal of this project was to give a second life to these bags, by incorporating them into the design of a gown and accessories, wearable and useful products. It was designed to reuse as much of the material as possible, using the front and back panels of the bag to make a larger piece of fabric for the skirt, the sides of the bag to make a corset bodice, and the drawstrings of the bags make up the corset lacing. The rest of the bag pieces were carefully collected and turned into decorative elements and accessories using various creative techniques, such as macramé and free-form machine quilting. Tremendous amounts of textile and packaging waste is sent to landfills, adding to waste and environmental degradation. This project raises awareness about the valuable wasted resources and need for sustainable production and consumption processes.

128Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyCaleb KimbellKimbellMonipak F. Lare, Anthony Jude A. Apalla, Robert J. DiMario, Asaph B. Cousins.BiochemistryAsaph CousinsCousinsPullman

With a global population projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, optimizing photosynthesis is becoming increasingly critical for sustaining humanity under changing climate conditions. C4 photosynthesis uses a CO2 concentrating mechanism (CCM) to supply high CO2 concentrations to Rubisco. The CCM metabolizes inorganic carbon using the enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC). Specifically, PEPC converts the non-competitive products phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) and bicarbonate (HCO3-) into a four-carbon intermediate. PEPC is allosterically regulated by an activator glucose-6-phosphate (G6-P) and an inhibitor L-malate. While ancestral PEPC does not play a photosynthetic role, PEPC in C4 plants initiates the CCM and has developed different kinetics and regulation compared to the ancestral isoform. A typical photosynthetic PEPC is expected to exhibit a higher affinity for its substrate HCO3- (KHCO3-) and PEP (KPEP) as a means to maximize CO2  concentration around Rubisco in a CO2-limiting environment compared to a non-photosynthetic PEPC. This increased HCO3- affinity in photosynthetic PEPC may be an inherent tradeoff in lower affinity to its other substrate PEP. Photosynthetic PEPC isoforms also exhibit higher sensitivity to allosteric regulation compared to non-photosynthetic isoforms. To better understand PEPC kinetics, it is critical to study how its regulators malate and G6-P affect substrate affinity. Previous studies have shown that residue 774 (780 in maize) and 755 (761 maize) plays an important role in giving photosynthetic PEPCs their distinct kinetic properties. The purpose of this research is to understand how substitution of residue 774 and 755 in Setaria viridis’ PEPC change KPEP, KHCO3, and influence the allosteric regulation of G6-P and malate.

129Social SciencesChristopher CardCardHistory, Political ScienceJacob LewisLewisPullman

The Covid-19 Pandemic (2020-2023), while severely detrimental to the global economy, marked by the Covid-19 Recession or the Covid-19 economic lockdown, had debilitating effects on the Southeast Asian region; a region heavily dependent on foreign investment and trade. However, in 2021, the region made a heroic recovery, with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reporting that foreign investment and trade had returned to pre-pandemic levels, due, in most part, to the substantial increase in foreign economic aid, trade and investments from China. This economic comeback was mainly facilitated through China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), more specifically their Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI); China’s International development project that seeks to increase economic collaboration. However, China’s project has been criticized for being predatory and many have accused China of using the project to extend their hegemony over the region through economic and political influence. This combined methodology study seeks to answer if China’s tactics have had undue effects on the sovereignty of states within the region. From the analysis of the statistical yearbook of states within the region, utilized besides causational analysis, it can be inferred that this is most likely the case.

130Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyGemini Gutierrez-zamoraGutierrez-zamoraNoah Venditto, Kulvinder gillBiology, Environmental and Ecosystem SciencesKulvinder GillGillPullman

Global chickpea production is restricted by ascochyta blight caused by the necrotrophic fungi A

Global chickpea production is restricted by ascochyta blight caused by the necrotrophic fungi ascochyta rabiei. Developing locally adapted disease-resistant cultivars is an economically and environmentally sustainable approach to combat this disease. However, the lack of genetic variability in cultivated chickpeas and breeder-friendly markers poses a significant challenge to ascochyta blight-resistant breeding efforts in chickpeas. In this study, we screened the mini-core germplasm of Cicer reticulatum against a local pathotype of ascochyta rabiei. A modified mini dome screening approach resulted in the identification of five accessions showing a high level of resistance. The mean disease score of resistant accessions ranged between 1.75±0.3 and 2.88±0.4  compared to susceptible accessions, where the mean disease score ranged between 3.59±0.62 and 8.86±0.14. Genome-wide association analysis revealed a strong association on chromosome 5, explaining ~58% of the phenotypic variance. The underlying region contained two candidate genes (Cr_14190.1_v2 and Cr_14189.1_v2), characterization of which showed the presence of a DNA binding domain (cl28899 & cd18793) in Cr_14190.1_v2 and its orthologs in C. arietinum, whereas  Cr_14190.1_v2 carried an additional N-terminal domain (cl31759). qPCR expression analysis in resistant and susceptible accessions revealed ~3 and ~110-fold higher transcript abundance for Cr_14189.1 and Cr_14190.1, respectively.

scochyta rabiei. Developing locally adapted disease-resistant cultivars is an economically and environmentally sustainable approach to combat this disease. However, the lack of genetic variability in cultivated chickpeas and breeder-friendly markers poses a significant challenge to ascochyta blight-resistant breeding efforts in chickpeas. In this study, we screened the mini-core germplasm of Cicer reticulatum against a local pathotype of ascochyta rabiei. A modified mini dome screening approach resulted in the identification of five accessions showing a high level of resistance. The mean disease score of resistant accessions ranged between 1.75±0.3 and 2.88±0.4  compared to susceptible accessions, where the mean disease score ranged between 3.59±0.62 and 8.86±0.14. Genome-wide association analysis revealed a strong association on chromosome 5, explaining ~58% of the phenotypic variance. The underlying region contained two candidate genes (Cr_14190.1_v2 and Cr_14189.1_v2), characterization of which showed the presence of a DNA binding domain (cl28899 & cd18793) in Cr_14190.1_v2 and its orthologs in C. arietinum, whereas  Cr_14190.1_v2 carried an additional N-terminal domain (cl31759). qPCR expression analysis in resistant and susceptible accessions revealed ~3 and ~110-fold higher transcript abundance for Cr_14189.1 and Cr_14190.1, respectively.

131Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyJorge Zepeda ReyesZepeda·ReyesR. Lane Brown, Sue YuNeuroscienceR. Lane BrownBrownPullman

Light has an extensive range of biological, physiological, and behavioral effects on mammals beyond image formation. Light is not perceived exclusively by rods and cones, but also by specialized retinal ganglion cells. The intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) express the photopigment melanopsin (Opn4) and mediate multiple non-image-forming behaviors, like photoentrainment of circadian rhythms, pupillary light reflex, and regulate memory, mood, and sleep. The unique presence of melanopsin in ipRGCs facilitates advancements in molecular tools to study the cells circuits. Initially discovered in 2002, ipRGCs were thought to be a single unique population, however, in recent years a total of at least six ipRGCs subtypes have now been discovered, each with unique characteristics and differences. In this research, we aim to characterize a new mice line that will ultimately provide new ways to target specific ipRGC populations and develop new tools to do so. Specifically, we will characterize a new mouse line, the Opn4-Cre (RAL) Brn3b-DTA, to analyze projections and the efficiency of targeting the melanopsin cells. The characterization will be performed through the use of genotyping, immunohistochemistry, brain fixation/perfusion, and RNAscope. The gap that exists is being shortened every day by new tools and new mice lines that are created throughout the years. Studying the specifics of these cells is critically important because they play an impactful role in our daily lives and well-being. Through the development of new tools and mouse lines, it will allow for an improved understanding of these cells, which are critical to living organisms. Ultimately, increasing our understanding of light perception will lead to better daily implementations of light in human lives to improve many behavioral aspects.

132Engineering and Physical SciencesRashi ThesiaThesiaChemical EngineeringDavid ThiessenThiessenPullman

This project involves a detailed study of the fluid dynamics of a small-scale transparent venturi flow meter used for engineering education. The goal was to produce materials to help students visualize important fluid dynamics concepts related to the venturi flow meter using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models and experimental flow visualization studies. Both two- and three-dimensional CFD simulations were conducted with COMSOL Multiphysics. The modeling results yield dynamic pressure drop and permanent pressure loss for the venturi flowmeter that can be compared to experiments. For the experimental flow visualization studies, a small-scale transparent venturi flow meter was used with fluorescent polymer microspheres suspended in a carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) solution to trace the flow through the meter. Multiple trials were conducted with different flow rates. The videos produced are being used in the classroom to teach fluid dynamics concepts related to mass and energy conservation. The measured velocity profile of the microspheres passing through the meter will help students check theoretical predictions against real-world performance.

133Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyIsabel HaddonHaddonR. Lane Brown, Sue YuNeuroscienceLane BrownBrownPullman

Light is a fundamental aspect of life for the physiology of organisms and their behavior. Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) express the photopigment melanopsin (Opn4) and are responsible for non-image-forming vision in mammals, playing an essential role in mediating light-dependent behaviors, such as circadian photoentrainment, pupillary light reflex, and mood. Additionally, ipRGCs also influence the process of learning and memory formation. Currently, there are six distinct known subsets of ipRGCs (M1-6) that are being investigated to understand their contribution to light-dependent signals and behaviors. Specifically, we will be looking at M1 ipRGCs due to their distinguishable features, such as dendrite size, and functions which depend on where they project to in the brain. Our goal is to identify and understand various transgenic mouse lines that only label a specific subset of ipRGCs via manipulating Opn4, a melanopsin-encoding gene. I will be characterizing a new mouse line, Opn4L-FlpO. I used RNAscope and immunohistochemistry to visualize and quantify the M1 ipRGCs in the retina and examined their axonal projections in the brain. Previous findings from immunofluorescence imaging and patch-clamp recordings suggest that the Opn4L-FlpO mouse line labels a specific and possible secondary subset within the M1 ipRGCs. While we initially hoped that the Opn4L-FlpO line would mark all ipRGCs, it was found to label only a small fraction of M1 ipRGCs. From this study, we will learn how they can be targeted for further manipulation in order to expand our knowledge of the effects of ipRGCs on physiological and behavioral aspects in mammals.

134Applied SciencesAnisha YodtareYodtareSindhuja Sankaran, Phil Miklas, Milton Valencia OrtizBioengineeringSindhuja SankaranSankaranPullman

In the face of global challenges such as food security, the increasing demand for agricultural productivity becomes imperative. With a growing world population and diminishing resources, the need to produce more food with less land and water is more pressing than ever. Addressing this complex issue requires innovative approaches, and one promising avenue is through advancements in plant breeding. Phenotyping holds significance in the realm of agriculture as it enables the development of new crop varieties tailored to withstand diverse environmental stressors. However, it is strenuous to phenotype traits in large field crop trials with multiple breeding lines. Phenomics technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based multispectral and thermal imaging offer robust and efficient ways to evaluate crops in large fields. Thus, the overall goal of this study was to assess digital traits extracted from UAV-based multispectral and thermal images to identify the dry bean lines' responses to both non-stress and drought-stress treatments in field conditions. Multispectral and thermal data were collected using UAV at mid-pod and late-pod stages in the 2023 field season. We extracted different vegetative indices such as normalized difference vegetation index, leaf area index, green normalized difference vegetation index, etc., using a semi-automated image processing protocol. The extracted digital traits will be compared to agronomic traits such as days to flowering, days to maturity, and seed yield. We anticipate that the digital trait will be associated with the stress responses of the dry bean variety.

135Engineering and Physical SciencesAudra TottenTottenSam Karcher, John McCloyMaterials Science and EngineeringSam Karcher, John McCloyKarcherPullman

During nuclear reactor operation, uranium oxide fuel and zirconium from its protective cladding can interact to form a new material. This uranium-zirconium oxide is currently not well understood, and more study is needed to see how different Zr concentrations affect the phase stability, or resistance to change in crystal structure, of uranium oxides. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are three complimentary methods of material analysis that were used to characterize 0% to 20% Zr-doped uranium oxides in this research. FTIR uses infrared light to detect the polar bonds in a material by measuring what wavelengths of light were absorbed by the material and provides a spectrum with peaks that correspond to different atomic bonds. Several U3O8 samples containing 0% to 20% Zr were analyzed with FTIR, and the results showed peaks shifting and merging as the Zr concentration increased. Another method of sample analysis used was Raman spectroscopy, which measures the non-polar bonds in a material with visible or near-visible light. Raman and FTIR provide similar data, however both techniques are used because some atomic bonds can only be measured with one or the other. The Raman spectra also showed peaks shifting and merging as the Zr dopant increased from 0% to 20% in the U3O8 samples. The absence of new peaks or peaks disappearing in both the FTIR and Raman data indicate that no new crystal phases were formed in the U3O8 at room temperature due to increased Zr concentrations. Finally, XRD was used to analyze the crystal structure of the doped U3O8 samples, and the data indicated that the crystal structure distorted with the addition of Zr to the U3O8 lattice but did not change phase. The next step in this research analyzing how Zr affects uranium oxides is in-situ hot stage Raman spectroscopy of Zr-doped UO2, which involves heating the UO2 in an oxidizing environment and measuring how the structure changes as the UO2 oxidizes to U3O8. The goal of this next experiment is to observe how Zr changes the temperature or time at which the oxidation reaction occurs.

136Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyRyan RigosRigosAlla Kostyukova, Garry SmithBioengineeringAlla KostyukovaKostyukovaPullman

Sarcomeres are the basic contractile units of muscle fibers; they contain overlapping thick and thin filaments whose interactions lead to muscle contraction. The thin filaments are composed of actin and proteins that bind to actin such as leiomodin (Lmod). Lmod, a member of the tropomodulin (Tmod) family binds to tropomyosin (Tpm) and actin at the pointed end and competes with Tmod for binding, which is controlled by the first Tpm-binding site (TpmBS). When Lmod2’s Tpm binding ability is abolished by point mutation, it cannot compete with Tmod, and thin filaments become shorter. We hypothesize that increasing Lmod2’s Tpm binding affinity will increase its capacity for competing with Tmod and lengthen thin filaments. The A23H mutation has been shown by molecular dynamic simulations to increase Lmod2’s Tpm binding affinity. In order to test this by experiment, we first need to create the mutated Lmod2 TpmBS1. We first introduced the A23H in the expression plasmid for Lmod2 TpmBS1 by performing a PCR reaction with primers containing the A23H mutation. We verified the presence of PCR product by using agarose gel electrophoresis. Next, we transformed DH5α cells with the successful PCR product and grew the transformed cells on agar plates. We purified the plasmid DNA, sent it for Sanger sequencing, and confirmed the presence of the mutation. We transformed BL21(DE3) with the mutated plasmid, expressed the Lmod2 TpmBS1 as a fusion protein, and purified it by Ni-NTA chromatography. This will enable us to chemically cleave the Lmod2 TpmBS1 from its tags in the fusion protein and to purify it for use in Tpm-binding experiments.

137HumanitiesSamuel NeunzigNeunzigJohn BlongHuman BiologyJohn BlongBlongPullman

Ancient human activities and diets have been studied extensively but previous methods are limited because they only provide a coarse-grained perspective on human diets over time. Coprolites (preserved feces found at archaeological sites) provide a more detailed perspective on human diets over short time scales of 1-2 days. Coprolites have the potential to provide important information on diet, health, and habitat of organisms living in the past. However, coprolites are often rare at archaeological and paleontological sites, and therefore represent a limited resource. Standard coprolite analytical procedures require destructive analysis of some or all of a coprolite to extract macrofossil, microfossil, and biomolecular data. There is an increasing awareness of ethical approaches to archaeological analyses to preserve cultural heritage for descendant communities and future research. Our study applied micro-computed tomography X-ray imaging (μCT) analysis of coprolites from Danger Cave and Hogup Cave, Utah, with the goal of developing methods for non-destructive coprolite analysis. We demonstrate that μCT analysis can be used to preserve a record of coprolites and generate three dimensional images useful for visual representation. Our research also highlights the potential of μCT analysis for identifying dietary remains in a coprolite, in particular animal bones. We recommend μCT analysis as a first step in coprolite analysis, and as a potential substitute for destructive analysis moving forward.

138Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyThomas WillardWillardAllison Jensen, Nathaneal Huston, Sydney Ackerman, Giuseppe GiannottiNeuroscienceGiuseppe GiannottiGiannottiPullman

The current opioid epidemic in the United States underscores the urgent need for the development of new therapeutic strategies to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). It is believed that relapse to opioid use occurs, at least in part, due to the need to alleviate the aversive states experienced during withdrawal. Recently, the paraventricular thalamus (PVT) has been identified as necessary and sufficient for driving opioid withdrawal and heroin-seeking in preclinical models of OUD. However, it is unknown whether the same thalamic neurons encoding heroin withdrawal states also contribute to subsequent heroin relapse. To address this gap in knowledge, we employed a heroin self-administration model to investigate the contribution of neuronal ensembles encoding heroin withdrawal-mediated aversive states to subsequent relapse. The PVT of rats was injected with a Calcium-Modulated Photoactivatable Ratiometric Integrator 2 (CaMPARI2), an engineered fluorescent protein that undergoes green-to-red photoconversion (PC) in response to simultaneous exposure to 405nm light and elevated neuronal calcium levels. This approach allowed us to investigate whether neuronal ensembles active during heroin withdrawal following self-administered heroin are also reactivated during a cued relapse test. Our findings revealed that PC thalamic neurons (i.e., those active during heroin withdrawal) show increased intrinsic excitability following relapse, with approximately 80% of PC neurons also colocalizing with cFos, a marker of neuronal activity. These results suggest that thalamic neurons encoding heroin withdrawal states are reactivated during relapse, potentially sustaining drug-seeking behavior. To further explore the causal contribution of thalamic neurons encoding heroin withdrawal to relapse, we will employ viral-mediated Targeted Recombination in Active Populations (TRAP) technology to genetically access PVT neurons active during withdrawal. This technology allows the expression of a tamoxifen-inducible Cre-recombinase under the Fos promoter. We will use this approach to express a Cre-dependent fluorescent calcium indicator (GCaMP) in the PVT, and we will use fiber photometry technology to investigate whether thalamic neurons encoding withdrawal also respond to drug-associated cues during relapse. The outcomes of these experiments will probe, for the first time, whether the same neuronal population encoding heroin withdrawal also drives subsequent cued relapse, such that novel therapeutic strategies can be developed for treating OUD.

139Engineering and Physical SciencesConnor ReschkeReschkeHui LiMaterials Science and Engineering, SpanishHui LiLiPullman

With more information becoming digitalized, our culture is moving away from paper and towards computers. This has led to papermills around the United States to be shut down because we lack demand of paper products. Potential issues arise when we consider that paper material is mostly recycled wood byproducts like saw dust and wood scraps provided by lumber and wood manufacturing companies. Without a new use for wood waste, companies are paying to have it burned or landfilled, which can cause large carbon dioxide build-up and cost companies millions of dollars in the long run. The goal of the research is to find environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to utilize millions of pounds of lumber factory byproducts using particle board and pelleting technologies.

One solution being done is recycling the wood into a low-density particle board, which is cheaper and less dense than lumber. These are often used inside of doors and are relatively simple to make. This method is effective at pressing high volumes of material into a useful product that can be sold on the market.  Another alternative being tested is turning the material into pellets and using them as an energy source. Pellets are utilized in greenhouses to produce heat and electricity. By mixing wash glue water in with the pellets, can obtain the correct amount of moisture as well. The physical and mechanical performance of the particleboard and pellets will be presented. With both approaches, we can provide a carbon neutral solution to the lumber industry’s natural leftovers.

140Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyAshleigh CarltonCarltonJeremy B. Jewell, Laura E. BartleyBiochemistryJeremy Jewell, Laura BartleyJewellPullman

When plants are wounded, they employ defensive measures to protect themselves. Extracellular adenosine triphosphate (eATP) is a signaling molecule that is released from broken cells which causes an immediate signaling response in nearby cells. Jasmonic acid (JA) is known as a chemical plant hormone that is synthesized intracellularly and mediates wound responses on the scale of minutes to hours. The mechanisms that connect eATP and JA responses are poorly understood. COI1 and DORN1 are the receptors of JA and eATP, respectively. When JA is present in the cell it binds to COI1 in the nucleus, which alters gene expression. DORN1 is positioned on the membrane of a cell, and binding to eATP causes a rapid release of calcium, i.e. a calcium burst. Here, we evaluate the effect of JA treatment on Arabidopsis thaliana, a reference plant, by pretreating regular “Wild Type" (WT) seedlings with JA or a mock treatment, followed by an eATP treatment. JA pretreatment exaggerated the eATP-induced calcium burst, which we detected through a luminescence assay. This suggests that JA increases the eATP response. We hypothesized that a mechanism for this connection is that transcription of the eATP receptor, DORN1, was enhanced by JA treatment. We found increased DORN1 expression in plants with JA pretreatment relative to those untreated with JA. Furthermore, we tested if the increase in DORN1 expression was dependent on the presence of the JA receptor, COI1. We compared the transcriptional response of the WT to coi1-1, a loss-of-function mutant that is insensitive to JA. As expected, the increase in DORN1 expression in response to JA did not occur in the coi1-1 JA-receptor mutant. From these experiments, we propose that the release of JA in wounded plants increases the expression of DORN1 to receive eATP more effectively and increase calcium signaling. These experiments aid in understanding the plant wound response signaling pathway and can potentially improve agriculture under pest and pathogen pressure.

141Engineering and Physical SciencesJulia JitkovJitkovVivienne BaldassarePhysics and AstronomyVivienne BaldassareBaldassarePullman

Nuclear star clusters (NSC) are extremely dense regions of stars, usually found at the centers of small galaxies. Supermassive black holes (SMBH) are usually found at the centers of large galaxies. Previously, it was believed that a galaxy would have either a SMBH or a NSC, but recent observations have shown some galaxies that host both objects. Interestingly, NSCs have the potential to facilitate the formation of SMBHs, a process still unknown to astronomers. Former studies like Baldassare et al. 2022. have found X-ray evidence of SMBHs in NSCs. Current research analyzes the optical spectra of galaxies with both a NSC and X-ray detection to search for additional evidence of a central mass black hole.

142Engineering and Physical SciencesOlivia BahhageBahhageNatalie Yaw, Sam Karcher, Xiaodong Zhao, Ping Chen, Xin Zhang, John McCloy, Xiaofeng GuoMathematicsXiaofeng GuoGuoPullman

Scandium (Sc) is a rare earth element that has important applications in high-tech fields ranging from ceramics, electronics and more. As the name would suggest, Sc is sparsely distributed in the earth’s crust, thus the expense of extraction is a limiting factor in these applications. Studying the behavior of Sc in geological conditions to model and predict depositions, will enable more economically viable exploitation of the valuable element. In this work, we have conducted solubility experiments to determine the reference phase of common Sc minerals, to better model their behavior in hydrothermal fluids. To do this, we conducted dissolution experiments of scandium carbonates, hydroxides, and oxyhydroxides at varying temperatures in stainless steel autoclaves. The Sc solids were equilibrated in a 1 molar carbonate solution for two weeks to ensure that equilibrium was reached. The solids and liquids were then separated, and ICP and pH were both taken for the resulting liquid to compare the relative rate of dissolution of scandium. The resultant solids were studied with Raman, SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope), and EDX (Energy-Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy) to observe if the surface phase indeed changed during hydrothermal treatment. Our results demonstrate the instability of scandium carbonate phases in carbonate bearing solutions based on extreme surface alteration and heightened solubility. Scandium hydroxides and oxyhydroxides were more recalcitrant, demonstrating lower solubility and decreased surface phase alteration. Experimentation is ongoing to definitively determine the reference phase of Sc under these hydrothermal conditions. This information will be useful to predict and understand behavior in hydrothermal fluids in the geosphere, informing improved models which could potentially be used to target Sc ores more economically.

143Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyPeter YunkerYunkerGarry Smith, Kyrah Turner, Alla S. Kostyukova, Bertrand C. W. TannerBiochemistry, NeuroscienceBertrand Tanner, Garry SmithTannerPullman

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a form of heart disease that affects 1 in every 500 people. HCM is a disease characterized by the heart muscle becoming thickened (i.e. hypertrophied) due to hypercontractility. Causes of the disorder have been linked to genetic mutations in genes that encode contractile and regulatory proteins that enable cardiac contraction. One key protein is cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C) which regulates myosin interactions with the thick- and thin-filaments within the cardiac sarcomere. It has been suggested that the N-terminal domains of cMyBP-C (specifically C0-C2) may bind to the regulatory light chain domain (RLC) of myosin; however, it remains unknown which specific domain might bind with RLC. This remains unclear partly due to the highly dynamic properties of C0-C2 which acts as a tether to myosin, as well as its role with thin to thick filaments that promote actin-myosin interactions.

To address this knowledge gap, we have utilized Molecular Dynamics Simulations (MDS) to investigate the protein-protein interactions between cMyBP-C domains C0-C2 and RLC. We modified the structure of human myosin obtained from the RCSB Protein Data Bank using UCSF Chimera to create mini-HMM, a modified myosin construct. Mini-HMM consists of the region where RLC binds to myosin and a neck region (S2Δ) that anchors myosin to the thick filament. Structures of, C0, C1, M, and C2 N-terminal domains of cMyBP-C were also obtained via the Protein Data Bank and prepped for simulation. Domains were then docked to mini-HMM complexes via GRAMMDock software. After structures were prepped using Chimera, we ran molecular dynamics simulations (MDS) using AMBER, to investigate C0-C2 interactions with mini-HMM. From the MDS data, we evaluated the free energy of binding for respective domains docked to mini-HMM to predict the most probable binding conformations the proteins take on. Altogether, this research will provide novel insight into cMyBP-C - RLC protein-protein interactions that underly cardiac contraction, leading to further insight into how these dynamic proteins interact to monitor contractile events of the heart.

145Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyAspen HarderHarderNadia A. McLean, Samantha N. Shippell Stiles, Gloria J. Lee, David J. RossiNeuroscienceDavid RossiRossiPullman

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is the leading substance use disorder globally, characterized by a self-reinforcing cycle of intoxication, withdrawal, and preoccupation with alcohol consumption. The cerebellum, a movement-associated brain region, is extremely sensitive to alcohol (EtOH), with disruptions in signaling occurring after 1-2 drinks of EtOH. While it is known that acute EtOH exposure increases cerebellar inhibitory tone, consisting of GABAergic phasic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) and tonic currents, less is known regarding the role of the cerebellum during chronic intoxication and withdrawal. We determined that 72 hours of chronic EtOH exposure significantly decreases cerebellar inhibitory tone during withdrawal. This study aimed to delineate the temporal progression of such adaptations, and determine if  they correlated with behavioral withdrawal symptoms. We hypothesized that cerebellar neuroadaptations occurring within 72 hours of EtOH exposure are what prompt the onset of behavioral withdrawal symptoms. We used brain slice electrophysiology to measure cerebellar inhibitory tone, and accelerating rotorod and ultrasonic vocalizations to measure behavioral withdrawal symptoms of motor impairment and emotional distress, respectively. We found that the length of EtOH exposure determines the degree of cerebellar adaptations during withdrawal, with no significant changes in cerebellar inhibitory tone after 24 hours, a strong decreasing trend after 48 hours, and a significant decrease after 72 hours of EtOH exposure. In parallel, motor impairment and emotional distress were present after 72 hours of EtOH exposure, but not 24 hours. Complementary to the 72 hour vapor model used above, chronic intermittent exposure (CIE) is another rodent model for studying AUD. CIE consists of 16 hours of EtOH exposure followed by eight hours of withdrawal, repeated over four days. One and two rounds of CIE did not result in motor impairment, but showed a decrease in phasic IPSCs and an opposing increase in the tonic GABA current, which may be explained by the cerebellum exhibiting bi-phasic, opponent process adaptations during multiple withdrawal cycles. We identified a fine balance of cerebellar adaptations to chronic EtOH withdrawal and associated behavioral symptoms, which provides foundational knowledge for how an individual may transition from recreational to problematic EtOH use observed in AUD.

146Applied SciencesMolly LaubyLaubyPeter Jensen, Simon Scheel, Debashree Roy, Liane MoreauChemistryLiane MoreauMoreauPullman

The addition of iron to uranium dioxide nanoparticles has the potential to contribute to our understanding of how uranium interacts with iron-based minerals and sediments, which is important for the remediation of uranium in the environment, as well as for the advancement of nuclear fuel. Nanoparticles have a high ratio of surface area to volume. This allows for space between nanoparticles in advanced nanoscale nuclear fuels to encapsulate products from nuclear fission and prevent overheating of the fuel. Iron can lend uranium some of its properties, including magnetism and limited oxidation states. Oxidation states specify the charge of an atom, in many cases indicating how many oxygens it can bond to. When an atom has multiple oxidation states, there is the possibility it can undergo a reaction and change the number of oxygens it needs to balance the charge. Having a limited number of oxidation states is beneficial for having stable nuclear fuel since it will be less likely to expand from collecting more oxygen. Creating a hybrid nanoparticle opens up the possibility of learning more about mixed metal nanoparticle oxides and their structures. Gathering more information on how uranium and iron bond is important for knowing how uranium is migrating in the environment. Uranium has already been found to bond to iron-based minerals. This could apply to finding new ways to extract uranium waste using what is learned with its bonds to iron. Before using uranium, preliminary research will be done using cerium as a substitute because of its similar crystal structure. This will allow the processes and beginning of data collection to be done without needing to be restrained by radioactive material precautions. So far, initial work with iron and cerium has suggested that iron can indeed mix with cerium to form nanoparticles. The nanoparticles are irregular in morphology and differences are observed in the atomic structure when compared to pure cerium oxide alone.

147Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologySam KindlKindlRyan DriskellGenetics and Cell BiologyRyan DriskellDriskellPullman

Aging is most typically studied in the later years of an organism’s life when essential cellular repair mechanisms start to fail. While this approach shows the effects aging has on an organism, it does not answer when the aging process begins. Through a multi-omics approach, we have identified key points when the developmental process concludes and the aging process initiates. Postnatal development is the rapid growth of unique systems that organisms require to survive and reproduce. After this process ends, the organism enters its developmental maturation phase which is exemplified by the loss of regenerative ability. For example, at postnatal five days (p5) murine skin stops being able to reform hair follicles in wounds a fundamental component for regeneration. We have investigated transcriptomic and epigenomic data from key time points of development and maturation, with a focus on fibroblast differentiation and heterogeneity. Observing a distinct shift in gene expression between timepoints before p5 and after p21. This shift is characterized by the silencing of key developmental genes and the onset of previously silenced mature regulatory genes. We believe that this shift in both the transcriptome and epigenome is a transition point for the organism leaving behind developmental repair mechanisms in favor of maturation once. Losing regeneration capacities in favor for wound quick healing with scars. This model works for the short-term health of the organisms but falls apart as the organism ages acquiring more unrepairable damage. Further investigation of genes responsible for developmental repair mechanisms will provide useful insights into understanding both regeneration and aging and key targets for regeneration and anti-aging therapies.

148Arts and DesignGabrielle Hanson, Emily RaderHansonMinyoung CerrutiInterior DesignMinyoung CerrutiCerrutiPullman

Background: Embodying an unwavering commitment to the health and well-being of children and adolescents, Oriole Pediatric Clinic in Baltimore, Maryland, stands as a beacon of excellence, committed to providing exceptional care and nurturing the well-being of every child in the community. Now more than ever, the children and adolescents in Baltimore require a safe and supportive care environment.

Problem: A 2019 study revealed a surge in mental health disorders among Maryland’s youth, including anxiety and depression, with a concerning statistic of 1 in 5 teems contemplating suicide. Additionally, communication failures contribute to over a quarter of medical malpractice cases in the United States. In response to these critical issues, our design project aimed to create an innovative pediatric clinic design, guided by an evidence-based design approach.

Methods: Employing a comprehensive methodology, our design team addressed the previously mentioned challenged associated with pediatric clinics. This involved conducting a thorough literature review; extracting valuable insights from medical staff and patients through interviews; exploring innovative trends in healthcare design via case studies; and engaging with healthcare design professionals weekly for critical and practical perspectives.

Results: Our resulting design proposal, Oriole Pediatric Clinic, included a community-driven care environment that fosters effective communication and positive well-being for pediatric patients, their families, medical staff, and the broader community. Firstly, the community care environment was achieved through the community “hub” that integrates various activity-based spaces, including a community education and conference room, an open waiting area, an outdoor area, and an open nurse station. The hub promotes collaborative care for education, clinical, and administrative functions together in one space. Secondly, to enhance communication, we implemented an open workspace environment, adaptable working stations, and digital screens in exam rooms. The well-being of patients and staff was enhanced through a vibrant, playful color scheme, ample natural light from large windows, nature-inspired murals, and a designated children’s play area. The Oriole Pediatric Clinic not only ensures a high-quality patient experience but also leaves a lasting impact on the community, actively promoting the well-being of every user.

149Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyBrandon ToyToyMegan Dines, Eric A. Shelden, Prabhat Talukdar, Lisa M. Gloss, Michael E. KonkelBiologyMichael KonkelKonkelPullman

Every year 1 in 6 Americans will be infected by a foodborne illness with nearly 1.5 million of these cases due to Campylobacter jejuni. This bacterium infects more people per year than Salmonella, causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and in serious cases, paralysis or death. To cause disease, C. jejuni must invade intestinal cells. Currently, it is understood that Campylobacter will invade cells by attaching to the foot-print of cells (focal adhesions), triggering a cascade effect that alters the cell cycle (G1 = first phase growth, S = DNA synthesis phase, G2 = second growth phase, M = Mitosis or division). To what degree the cell cycle is influenced, and the kinetics of this interaction are not yet fully understood. We hypothesize that C. jejuni has a preference to invade cells during the G1 cycle due to the abundance of focal adhesions available and that C. jejuni infection facilitates the G2-M transition to the G1 phase. To test our hypothesis, cells were locked into the G2-M phase by a drug called RO-3306, infected with C. jejuni, and allowed to sit for 20 hours. This was coupled with a control of uninfected cells to compare cell cycle stages between the two sets. Cells were stained using propidium iodide to cause them to fluoresce and monitored by flow cytometry to determine the specific cell cycle stage. Infection by C. jejuni significantly shifted cells into the G1 phase compared to uninfected intestinal cells, potentiating invasion and disease progression. The mechanism in which this occurs could be due to the higher availability of the cell attachment points (focal adhesions) since most will face the exterior of the cell in the G1 phase. Understanding the disease progression of one of the leading causes of foodborne illness can help create targeted treatments and prevent hospitalizations through mechanistically disrupting the process in which C. jejuni invades.

150Social SciencesOfir LondonLondonPsychologyFrancis BenjaminBenjaminPullman

The present research demonstrates the way ingroup bias intersects with religious identification, but there’s a distinct gap in research on this topic in a political setting. Heiphetz, Spelke, and Banaji (2013) found pro-Christian implicit bias in Christian adults and children, with a key difference between the age groups being that Christian children showed explicit ingroup preference that the adults did not. Christian children in the study were also more likely to select the Christian character over Jewish or Hindu characters when asked who was American or who had done a good deed. In another study, Christian Americans chose Christian candidates over atheist ones regardless of the Christian candidate’s ethnicity or sexual orientation (Franks and Scherr, 2014). Greenwald et al. (2009) demonstrate the way these implicit biases can generalize to real world elections. In the 2008 presidential election, a sample of voters who showed more implicit preferences for Whites were more likely to vote for the John McCain as opposed to Barack Obama.

The present research primarily focuses on how much political power student voters from WSU assign to various religious participation. Political power is measured via participant vote choice between two otherwise identical candidates. Considering established findings on ingroup bias and religion, it can be expected participants will select the Christian candidate most often on average, especially if they themselves are Christian. Participants can be expected to choose candidates who are most like them. Findings could improve understanding of how religious participation influences voter choice.


  • Heiphetz, L., Spelke, E.S., & Banaji, M.R. (2013). Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 142 (3), 864-879.
  • Franks, A.S., & Scherr, K.C. (2014). A sociofunctional approach to prejudice at the polls: are atheists more politically disadvantaged than gays and Blacks?. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 44, 681-691.
  • Greenwald, A.G., Smith, C.T., Sriram, N., Bar-Anan, Y., & Nosek, B.A. (2009). Implicit Race Attitudes Predicted Vote in 2008 U.S. Presidential Election. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 9 (1), 241-253.
151HumanitiesEmiltze Cervantes-ContrerasCervantes-ContrerasAnthropologyRachel Horowitz, Madison Pullis, Samantha FladdHorowitzPullman

Fruit: We eat it almost every day, but does anyone think about how that fruit got to your dining table? Today, it is mainly Mexican migrants picking and packaging the fruit, known as Contratados. This isn’t the first time a program such as this has existed. During World War 2 the U.S. used Mexican migrant workers, known as Braceros, to pick our fruit. I conducted five interviews asking Mexican migrant workers in my hometown, Wapato, WA, what it’s like to do what they do. It is important to acknowledge the system of the past and the system we currently use today because not much has changed. In this poster, I explore the results of the interviews, what they tell us about similarities and differences between the Contratado and Bracero programs and discuss how these results will be communicated to the public through an exhibit I am curating at the WSU Museum of Anthropology.

152Engineering and Physical SciencesKenneth GoodyGoodyAnubhav Dhull, Jing Wei, Anunay James Pulukuri, Anu Rani, Rishi Sharma, Nooshin Mesbahi, Hosog Yoon, Emily A. Savoy, Sylvia Xaivong Vi, , Clifford E. Berkman, Boyang Jason Wu, Anjali SharmaChemistryAnjali SharmaSharmaPullman

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common cause of cancer related deaths among men in the U.S. Though several different early-stage treatments have been found to show an increase in survival rates, the treatment options for later stages of the disease have not been as effective due to the challenges associated with effective and selective drug delivery to PCa cells. Even with the targeting of Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) being explored to a significant degree, and its use clinically for imaging and radio-ligand therapy, the clinical viability of PSMA-based approaches for targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics remains inconclusive. In this study, a G4 polyamidoamine PAMAM dendrimer (PD) is combined with irreversible PSMA ligand (CTT1298) to create a PSMA- targeting nanoplatform (PD-CTT1298) for selective intracellular delivery of potent chemotherapeutics to PCa. PD-CTT1298-Cy5 exhibits a PSMA IC50 in nanomolar range and demonstrates selective uptake in PSMA(+) PCa cells via PSMA mediated internalization. When administered in prostate tumor xenograft mouse models, PD-CTT1298-Cy5 selectively targets PSMA(+) tumors with considerably less accumulation in PSMA(-) tumors or upon the blocking of PSMA receptors. Furthermore, the PD nanoplatform rapidly clears from non-targeted organs greatly limiting potential systemic side effects. Moreover, the conjugation of the anti-cancer agent, Cabozantinib to the PSMA targeted dendrimer allows for significantly enhanced anti-proliferative activity in vitro when compared to the free drug . These findings bring forth the potential of the PD-CTT1298 nanoplatform as a pertinent approach for selective delivery of high doses of potent chemotherapeutics to treat PCa.

153Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyAshley WellerWellerMin WangChemistryChulhee Kang, Min WangKangPullman

Flavonoids are important secondary metabolites found in plants such as Sorghum Bicolor. The functions of flavonoids are responsible for defending against reactive oxygen species (ROS), diseases, and UV light. They can also be useful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer drugs, as well as used in livestock feed and biofuel. Biosynthesis of flavonoids stems from the phenylpropanoid pathway which converts phenylalanine to p-coumaroyl CoA, the starting product of the flavonoid pathway. In flavonoid pathway, flavanone-3-hydroxylase (F3H) converts flavanones into dihydroflavonols by hydroxylation. Dihydroflavonols are the main branch point for creating other flavonoid metabolites. Each of these metabolites stems from the branch point of F3H making it one of the pivotal steps in the regulation of the flavonoid pathway. Understanding the structure of the critical enzymes in the flavonoid pathway is key in designing an engineered protein to improve the application of flavonoids. The first structural model of F3H is predicted using homology modeling. Molecule docking was then applied to simulate the mechanism of interaction between substrate and enzyme. Activity assay’s, like Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and multiple-light scattering, are used for further analysis of F3H properties. Completing full characterization of the structure and function of F3H aims to provide a theoretical basis for further improving enzyme activity and provide clues for the start of a bioengineering process of the synthesis of flavonoids for future disease and environmental pollution bioremediation.

154Applied SciencesChristina WardWardBrandon Gerrish, Jamie ConnorAgricultural Technology and Production ManagementClark NeelyNeelyPullman

Eastern Washington primarily consists of dryland cropping systems with winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) as the primary cash crop. The region experiences a wide variation in annual rainfall, ranging from less than 20 cm to over 60 cm. In areas receiving less than 30 cm of rainfall, dust mulch fallow systems commonly use specialized deep furrow drills that can place the seed 15 - 23 cm below the soil surface to reach moisture (Schillinger and Papendick, 1997). However, seedling emergence in these conditions presents a significant challenge to achieving high yields. Furthermore, herbicide resistance in Eastern Washington poses a major concern, highlighting the importance of rapid crop establishment to compete with herbicide-resistant grassy weed populations. To address these challenges, multi-location field trials were used in Lind, Ritzville, Colton, and Pullman, Washington. The field trial studies aimed to (1) evaluate winter wheat varieties for emergence, canopy cover, and fall tiller production, and (2) determine the relationship fall growth measurements have with final productive tillers, biomass, and grain yield. The hypothesis was that significant varietal differences would be observed for crop emergence, canopy cover, and tiller production, with the best-performing varieties differing across locations due to genotype-by-environment interactions. It was further postulated that more vigorous fall growth would be positively related to final biomass and grain yield. It was found that wheat varieties differed in stand establishment and early season canopy coverage, potentially offering better variety options for crop establishment in the low rainfall regions. Varieties ‘GS Bounty’ and ‘VI Frost’ emerged consistently quicker than other varieties in the Soft White Winter Wheat trials across all sites and resulted in greater final stand counts. As expected, tillers per plant were negatively correlated with stand count, however, varieties did not show significant differences in fall tillering ability. Data analysis is ongoing for all locations for all yield components. The preliminary results of the study provide valuable insights into the performance of winter wheat varieties under varying environmental conditions and offer potential strategies for improving crop productivity in Eastern Washington.

155Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyMichael Nguyen, Sydney WilcoxNguyenEmily Burton, Jesse BrunnerBiochemistry, BiologyJesse BrunnerBrunnerPullman

Blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) are medically and economically important ectoparasites that require a single bloodmeal from one of many potential host species, during which they can acquire or transmit pathogens. Host species vary tremendously in their capacity to feed and infect ticks, with consequences for the spread and risk of tick-borne disease, as well as for tick fitness. However, despite the importance of bloodmeal hosts, we have no idea how ticks select their hosts. Previous work has shown ticks will respond to (e.g., move towards) a multitude of different host cues (e.g., CO2, scent, body heat, etc.), but how these responses translate into the probability a tick attaches to a host is unknown.

We examined, in fine detail, the host qualities that could increase or decrease the probability a host seeking blacklegged tick attaches to a host. We constructed an artificial host that allowed us to alter specific host traits in isolation. Based on previous experiments in the lab, we hypothesized that ticks would be more likely to attach to fake hosts with longer fur, that moved slowly, and that smelled like a real host.

We found host scent had no effect on tick attachment. Fur type had a slight effect, with fewer ticks attaching to corduroy compared to fake and real fur. There appeared to be a small effect of speed, with fewer ticks attaching to hosts moving at a moderate speed compared to fast or slow hosts. However, we are cautious of drawing any firm conclusions from this experiment, as we observed a large amount of variation in tick responses for all treatment conditions, and our sample sizes for many treatments were low. Future work on this project is focused on more precisely isolating the moment of contact between ticks and hosts, to better understand what influences tick attachment.

156Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologySkyler AllisonAllisonKevin MurphyOrganic and Sustainable AgricultureKevin MurphyMurphyPullman

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is an annual plant in the Amaranthaceae family that has been popularized for its nutrient-rich seeds, which can be a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. However, not all varieties of quinoa are complete proteins. Previous research has proposed nitrogen and soil health could be responsible for these inconsistencies. Nitrogen (N) is a macronutrient essential for plant growth and development; plants use N to create sugars during photosynthesis and formulate amino acids. However, soil factors heavily influence N availability and not all forms of N are available to plants. Plants can absorb nitrate and ammonium, which are less available at more basic pH. To examine the effects of N applications on amino acid profiles we tested four advanced breeding lines of quinoa. Breeding lines were exposed to five treatment rates of an organic nitrogen fertilizer four times. The plants were grown in a sterile growth chamber to isolate the effects of these fertilizers. We aim to find nitrogen usage efficient breeding lines of quinoa that are complete proteins. Soil pH and nutrient analysis was conducted before planting to account for the availability of N throughout the experiment. Throughout growth, chlorophyll density and plant height were measured. After harvest, a nutrient analysis of each plant's seeds will be conducted along with the final soil pH analysis. This research allows us to increase knowledge of these breeding lines; understand the influence that N has on devolving complete proteins within quinoa to improve the nutrition of future varieties.

157Social SciencesCaroline SchutzSchutzPadget Callan, Gavin Hamilton, Sydney Parkman, Zahra Abedzadehzavareh, Pegah JamaliPsychologyLisa Fournier, Robert CatenaFournierPullman

Adults tend to start a task or subgoal as soon as possible (precrastinate) if this choice will conserve cognitive effort, even if this choice comes at a cost of more physical effort upfront. We examined if pregnant women (n=30), who may be sensitive to physical load, avoid precrastination compared to non-pregnant women (n=30) in a bucket transport task—opting to increase cognitive effort (proactive control—thinking about the efficient choice in advance of the task) as opposed to increasing physical effort. Participants picked up two buckets in the order of their choice located along a corridor and brought both back to their start location. The bucket closest to the start point weighed more than the bucket farthest from the start point. Thus, picking up the far bucket first, instead of the near bucket first, would require less physical effort because the participant would walk a shorter distance carrying both buckets at the same time. Participants’ first-bucket choice, eye movements, attributions of a first-bucket choice, mental effort, and physical effort were recorded. Data collection is in progress (n=5 pregnant women and n=30 non-pregnant women). Consistent with past research, non-pregnant women (n=22/30) tended to precrastinate. They chose the near bucket first significantly more frequently than the far bucket (p=.011), engaging in reactive control to conserve cognitive effort at the cost of physical effort. Consistent with this interpretation, non-pregnant women who picked up the near bucket first (n=22/30) reported reasons more frequently associated with automatic responding (reactive control; e.g., “I did not think about it”), while those who picked up the far bucket first (n=8/30) attributed their choice more frequently to efficiency (proactive control; e.g., “it was easier”), (p=.015.) First-bucket choice and attributions of first-bucket choice for pregnant women will be discussed.  Also, ratings of the physical and mental demands of the bucket transport task for pregnant vs. non-pregnant women will be discussed.  Finally, whether total eye fixation durations were predictive of first-bucket choice was explored and will be discussed.

158Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyAlan Palma GuillenPalma·GuillenGarry Smith, Madison Little, Alla KostyukovaBioengineeringAlla Kostyukova, Garry SmithKostyukovaPullman

The foundational structures of our muscles are sarcomeres. Sarcomeres are primarily made up of thick and thin filaments that slide against each other to generate strength for the skeletal muscles to move our limbs and perform other processes within our bodies. The thin filaments are made up of actin and various actin-binding proteins. Leiomodin (Lmod), one of these actin binding proteins, binds to the end of thin filament and regulates their length. Recent in vitro studies showed that Lmod also binds to the sides of actin filaments (F-actin), bundles them, and affects the ATPase activity of myosin. There are three known actin-binding sites (ABS) within Lmod. Based on structures of the Lmod ABSs with actin monomers only ABS2 can bind to the sides of F-actin. For Lmod to bundle there must be another ABS that binds to the sides of F-actin. We hypothesize that this additional ABS, ABS4 is located in the region between ABS2 and ABS3, and that it binds to the sides of the actin filaments. To enable further experiments, we cloned the region between ABS2 and ABS3 containing ABS4 into a plasmid, transformed BL21(DE3) cells with the plasmid, then expressed and purified the peptide. We first used Ni-NTA chromatography to purify the peptide fused to purification tags from a BL21(DE3) cell lysate. Then, we used thrombin to cleave the peptide from the purification tags. Then we used reversed-phase liquid chromatography to purify the peptide from the purification tags.  After obtaining the peptide, we tested its actin binding by native PAGE, and found that it forms a complex with actin. To confirm that this fragment also binds to F-actin, it will be used in co-sedimentation experiments in the presence of tropomyosin and troponin, two actin-binding proteins that are components of the thin filaments.

159Engineering and Physical SciencesNathan SakaguchiSakaguchiBenjamin Dutton, John S. McCloyMaterials Science and EngineeringJohn McCloyMcCloyPullman

Beta phase gallium oxide (β-Ga2O3) is a novel, ultra-wide band gap semiconductor with applications ranging from electronic circuits to photo detectors. β-Ga2O3 can be grown using the Czochralski (CZ) and vertical gradient freeze (VGF) methods via induction heating of an iridium crucible to obtain optically clear and large single crystals. Single crystals are required in semiconductor applications as grain boundaries can increase resistance and thus decrease performance. Single crystals are grown using a small seed crystal which is lowered into the melt causing homogeneous nucleation to occur.

β-Ga2O3 is commonly doped or alloyed with small quantities of other elements to alter its electronic and/or optical properties. This investigation focuses on indium’s impact on the band gap, crystal structure, grain size, and mechanical hardness when used as an alloying element. Two indium alloyed growths were analyzed with one having 10 mol.% and the other 2.5 mol.% indium. The mechanical and electrical properties of the crystals were correlated with the crystal’s position within the crucible and the CZ and VGF grown crystals were compared, all within the same growth. Comparison was also drawn to previously grown scandium and aluminum alloyed crystals in addition to un-doped β-Ga2O3 to observe any change in properties caused by the indium alloy. Ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy was used to determine the band-gap energy between growths, Raman spectroscopy to probe structural and electronic properties spatially, and X-ray diffraction crystallography to determine the effect that the dopants have on the crystal lattice. Multiple elements including indium, iridium, and chromium were also characterized spatially using energy dispersive (EDS) and Raman spectroscopy. Chromium impurities were of note as their presence is an indicator of the crystal’s electrical properties and are observed via fluorescence under green laser light. Indium and iridium were both characterized using EDS. This composition data will aid in determining the optimal amount and type of dopant to be used in the growth of β-Ga2O3 for semiconductor and optical applications.­

160Applied SciencesSophie TomlinsonTomlinsonJose Francisco Martinez, Jennifer J Michal, Martin Maquivar, Zhihua JiangAnimal SciencesMartin MaquivarMaquivarPullman

Repeat breeder cows (RBC) are cows that have failed to achieve pregnancy after 3 or more inseminations despite clinically normal estrous cyclicity. Their infertility and decreased milk yield represent major economic losses for dairy producers. The objective of this study was to characterize the endometrial transcriptome of RBC during the estrous cycle’s follicular and luteal phases. The study population comprised 13 clinically healthy lactating multiparous Holstein dairy cows. Control (CT) cows were within the first 100 days open (DO), confirmed pregnant at the end of the study after 1-2 inseminations (n=6). RBC were >350 DO, failing to conceive after more than 3 inseminations (n=7). The CT group reproductive management used Presynch and Ovsynch estrus synchronization protocols, inseminating at 55-65 DO. The RBC group received a Presynch protocol. For both, the luteal phase was determined 11 days after application of the second prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) dose, confirmed by corpus luteum presence and blood concentrations >1ng/mL of progesterone. The follicular phase was determined in the CT group on the day of GnRH application and in the RBC group after showing signs of estrus, confirmed by ≤1ng/mL of progesterone blood concentrations. Endometrial cell samples, collected from the uterus using a cytobrush technique, were used to characterize gene expression and identify alternative polyadenylation sites (APAs) in both groups. A total of 6 libraries (CT: 1 follicular phase, 1 luteal phase; RBC: 3 follicular phase, 1 luteal phase) generated 141,671 APAs, with 94,562 being assigned to annotated genes in the bovine genome. Principal component analysis (PCA) from 10,000 more abundant APAs revealed CT and RB cows’ gene expression did not differ during the follicular phase, but did for the luteal phase. In conclusion, the deviation between CT and RB cows indicates greater variation in the RBCs’ gene expression, which potentially results in modifications to endometrial physiology that interfere with embryonic implantation and development, thus culminating in their inability to become pregnant after multiple inseminations. Furthermore, additional research is needed to investigate the triggers and mechanisms of these variations and their effects on endometrial receptivity.

161Social SciencesTara SullivanSullivanJacob Lewis, William FavellPolitical ScienceJacob LewisLewisPullman

Implemented by the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM) at the University of Maryland (UMD) and in collaboration with Washington State University (WSU), the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding in Ghana (WANEP-Ghana), and Norsaac, this five-year initiative known as People-to-People (P2P) aims to reshape inter-group dynamics across potentially conflicting groups in Northern Ghana, utilizing both international and local expertise with the aim of mitigating the risk of violent extremism in the area. The study includes 21 intervention communities and 20 control across all five regions in Northern Ghana. The primary issue addressed through this project is the expansion of communal mistrust and conflict, defined as a lack of trust and/or tensions between members of different communities, which provides fertile ground for Violent Extremist Organizations (VEOs) to exploit local communities and make VEOs mobilization easier. The main objective is to build social trust and cohesion with the goal of nurturing inter-group conflict resolution and reducing violent extremism. The TRUST2PEACE strategy involves strengthening connections between communal identity groups by engaging the local community members and stakeholders in a series of interventions built around values workshops, simulation-based dialogues, activities focused on civic education, engagement, and athletics. By bringing together participants from across group lines, these activities aim to enhance community resilience and increase local capacities to counter the threat posed by extremist groups.

162Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyHanna MeyerMeyerMin Du, Yao Gao, Jeanene de AvilaAnimal SciencesMin DuDuPullman

The thymus is an organ whose primary function is to develop functional T-cells, through the process of thymopoiesis, making it a critical component of the immune system. However, the thymus curiously begins to age long before most other organs, gradually shrinking or "involuting". Involution is described as a progressive loss of thymic epithelial cells (TEC) and the infiltration of adipose tissue. Reduced thymic size is associated with a reduction of circulating naïve T-cells, effectively impairing cell-mediated immunity. Thymic involution begins at puberty, when sex steroid production dramatically escalates, supporting the involvement of sex steroids in thymic senescence. Reducing thymic involution would have major implications for those with immune dysfunctions, such as HIV-1, patients undergoing chemotherapy, and the elderly.

Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) is a rate-limiting intermediate of the Krebs cycle, the primary process that allows the body to produce energy using oxygen. It is also required for epigenetic changes associated with cell differentiation and tissue development, identifying it as a possible treatment against age-related disease. We hypothesized that AKG supplementation would decrease thymic involution by preventing the decline of TECs and facilitating thymopoiesis, mediated by enhanced expression of FoxN1, a gene which has been identified as the key regulator of thymic epithelial cell development.

Four- and twelve-month mice are split into control and treatment groups. Treated animals received water supplemented with 1% AKG for two months. After the treatment period, body weights were taken and the thymi were harvested and weighed. The genes FoxN1, CCR7, Hoxc9, CD62L, FSP-1, and IL7 were selected to discern changes in thymic function and adipocyte accumulation. Gene expression was determined by quantitative polymerized chain reaction (qPCR).

A significant body weight difference was noted between the male AKG and control mice at four and twelve-months old. Using a ranked T-test, FoxN1 was found to be significantly increased in the twelve-month old treated female mice, while no significant difference was determined in the males. Several other gene expression changes were observed. However, due to high variability in thymic involution, further investigation would be required to draw a conclusive link between AKG and thymic function.

163Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyAshley BrightmanBrightmanCrystal Lawson, Brayden Olsen, Heather KoehlerBiochemistryHeather KoehlerKoehlerPullman

Vaccines are important and essential for the health of populations across the globe. Orthopoxviruses, including smallpox (now eradicated due to vaccination), have catastrophically affected global human health throughout history.  Even now, other orthopoxviruses, such as Mpox (formerly monkeypox), the cause of a recent epidemic, remain an emerging threat to global health.  It is essential that we have vaccines that are effective and safe for all types of populations. There are currently a limited number of vaccines against poxviruses. The gold standard for orthopox virus protection is ACAM2000, a live vaccinia virus vaccine.  This vaccine, however, is not safe for all populations to receive.  The current vaccine being used widespread for Mpox is an MVA derived vaccine that is non-replicating, JYNNEOS. MVA, Modified Vaccinia Ankara, is a heavily attenuated Vaccinia virus that elicits an immune response, exposes the host to pox-virus antigens, and is unable to replicate and spread, however it’s duration of protection is unknown.  The next generation of pox-vaccines should have stronger neutralizing capability, last longer, and be safe to administer in large diverse populations. In this study, we began trialing different experimental MVA vaccines in mammalian hosts in order to establish its ability to confer neutralizing protection against poxviruses. The present study examines the immune response through plaque reduction assays post vaccination to vaccinia and Mpox virus. The study consists of 128 C57/Bl6 mice divided into six groups based on the vaccines they received. Blood samples were taken on days 28 and 50 and serum was extracted from the blood and used for a neutralization test. Neutralization assays were performed in duplicate, examining response to Mpox and vaccinia. Comparing the efficiency of ACAM2000, MVA, and our experimental vaccine, helps to elucidate whether the new vaccines being tested can inhibit or reduce infection.  The information gained in this study helps in determining if the experimental vaccine should be further studied in the search for safer and better vaccines for Mpox.

164Applied SciencesKurtis ShipmanShipmanRita Borna, Cecilia Rodriguez-FurlanGenetics and Cell BiologyCecilia Rodriguez-FurlanRodriguez-FurlanPullman

The RAB7 family of GTPase proteins have been linked to distinct functions in the regulation of vacuolar transport and biogenesis in plant cells. This family consists of eight members RABG1, RABG2 and RABG3 a-f. The RABG3 subfamily’s function is well understood. However, both RABG1 and RABG2 have not yet been characterized. In this study, we seek to assess the function and localization of RABG1 and RABG2 in Arabidopsis.

  1. We aimed to isolate TDNA insertional mutants with knockout or knockdown RABG1 and RABG2 expression.
  2. Generate fluorescently tagged RABG1 and RABG2 proteins to analyze protein localization.
  3. Finally, we will create both constitutively active (CA) and dominate negative (DN) versions of RABG1 and RABG2 to test for phenotypic differences.

Here we present knockout/knockdown for RABG1/RABG2 mutants.  We will present the pipeline and results of the construction of RABG1 and RABG2 GFP fusions under the control of their endogenous promoter. Finally, we will present the pipeline of transgenic plant generation to complete our analysis of RABG1/RABG2 function.

165Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyApril Mendoza MagañaMendoza·MagañaA. Catherine Grady, Cody Lauritsen, Pilar Fernandez, Stephanie N. SeifertWildlife Ecology and Conservation SciencesStephanie SeifertSeifertPullman

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is a severe respiratory disease in humans which is caused primarily by Sin Nombre orthohantavirus (SNV) in the western United States. Cases in the Pacific Northwest are sporadically reported, primarily in coastal communities. However, the primary reservoir of SNV is the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) which is the most common rodent found in areas cultivating grain crops. We present here a serological surveillance study of rodent exposure to SNV across agroecosystems in the inland northwest using an ELISA targeting the SNV nucleocapsid protein.

166Engineering and Physical SciencesMarcus FosterFosterJohannes Haemmerli, Scott BoroughsEarth Sciences (Geology)Johannes HaemmerliHaemmerliPullman

The Idaho Cobalt Belt, located within the Mesoproterozoic Belt Supergroup and specifically in the Lemhi sub-basin near Salmon, Idaho, exhibits significant enrichment in the “critical” mineral cobalt across various sites. Notably, the sole active cobalt mine in the USA is situated within this region. Cobalt serves diverse functions, from powering electric vehicle batteries to being a crucial component in smartphone batteries. Anticipated cobalt demand is poised to surpass our current supply capabilities over the next 15 years.

One intriguing aspect of cobalt enrichment in the Idaho Cobalt Belt is the largely unknown source of cobalt deposition. The timing of cobalt mineralization remains debated, with multiple remobilization events being probable. However, certain cobalt-mineralized zones are found within distinct mafic rocks known as biotitites, predominantly composed of the mineral biotite. Microscopic analysis reveals that this is a metasomatic rock significantly altered through interactions with aqueous fluids, likely linked to cobalt mineralization. My study delves into one of these cobalt-bearing units in detail, aiming to answer two key questions:

  • What is the age of the biotitite rock?
  • What was the original composition of this rock before alteration? Could the rock itself be a source for cobalt mineralization?

Here, I present my research aimed at determining the age of these biotitite rocks.

By identifying tiny titanite crystals suitable for U-Pb radiometric age dating, we employed Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry to determine an age of 1230 ± 10 Ma. This age estimation aids in identifying units of similar ages that might also contain cobalt mineralization. Currently, efforts are focused on addressing the second question: deciphering the pre-alteration composition of this rock. My research will help to better understand cobalt mineralization in the Idaho Cobalt Belt, crucial for conceptualizing cobalt mineralization in the region and providing input for future exploration efforts.

167Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyEmily MattsonMattsonJenna Douglas, Kanako Hayashi, James A. MacLean IIMicrobiologyJenna Douglas, James MacLeanDouglasPullman

Insulin signaling in the uterus is essential for pregnancy establishment. Insulin dysregulation can lead to pregnancy complications and infertility, primarily seen in diabetic individuals. Insulin receptors (IRs) play a role in decidualization, the morphological and functional changes of stromal cells in the uterine endometrium. Previously the MacLean lab generated a conditional knockout (cKO) of two key IRs- insulin receptor (INSR) and insulin like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R) in the mouse uterus. This led to reduced and absent decidualization in single and double cKOs respectively. To evaluate the role of IRs in stromal cells, we are using immortalized endometrial stromal cells and knocking down the IRs. This will mimic the insulin dysregulation in diabetic uterine tissue. A key part that stromal cells play is decidualization. Decidualization is a critical event during the establishment of pregnancy. Decidual cells have embryo-receptive properties that are ready to accept the embryo and make a place for it in the uterine endometrium. Decidualzation is dependent on the steroid hormone progesterone, which prepares the endometrium (lining of your uterus) for a fertilized egg to implant and grow. hTERT-Human endometrial stromal cells (THESCs) are immortalized cells exhibiting fibroblast morphology, which is thin, flat cells in dense areas isolated from the uterus of a female patient with non-malignant myomas, non-cancerous masses. THESC cells are transfected with INSR siRNA and IGF1R siRNA. Knockdown is confirmed through quantitative real-time PCR (q RT-PCR). Once knockdown is completed, the cells are separated into two different treatments: control (no supplementation) and decidualized cocktail (media supplemented with estrogen and progesterone). Cells are collected at 24-, 48-, and 72-hours post-treatment to determine decidualization efficiency. RNA is extracted and then reversed transcribed into complementary DNA (cDNA) for qRT-PCR. QRT-PCR is used to determine relative mRNA expression changes during decidualization with INSR and/or IGF1R knockdown. Relative gene expression of decidualization genes are calculated to determine the influence of INSR and IGF1R during the decidualization response. This project indicates that insulin dysregulation in stromal cells impacts pregnancy preparation through reduced decidualization efficiency and gene expression of decidualization markers.

168Social SciencesCara BrauenBrauenSkylar Nicholson, Kelly Hewitt, Angela HenricksPsychologyAngela HenricksHenricksPullman

The dual-hit hypothesis is a well-known theory regarding risk factors for the development of neuropsychiatric disorders in adulthood. This theory suggests that a prenatal trauma, such as exposure to a virus, primes the brain to develop atypically, and the addition of another trauma during adolescence, such as exposure to alcohol, increases the risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders in adulthood.

This project attempts to determine how the dual hit hypothesis, through maternal immune activation (MIA) followed by adolescent alcohol exposure (AE), affects adult stress responses in rodents as measured by levels of stress biomarkers. We hypothesize that animals that had experienced the MIA would have a normal immediate stress response but retain elevated stress responses for longer after a stressor has ended.

The rats were exposed to a synthetic virus or saline control on gestational day 15, then exposed to alcohol during adolescence to mimic the dual hit hypothesis’ effect. To determine if there is a dysregulation in the way the adult rats are processing stress, the rats then underwent an acute restraint stress test and their blood corticosterone levels were analyzed at 0-, 30-, 60-, and 90-minute timepoints during the test.

The results of the analysis supported the hypothesis in male rats, showing that those with MIA had higher stress responses, but female rats with MIA had lower overall stress responses. From this small sample size, no conclusions can be drawn, but the preliminary results point towards an interesting impact on adult stress responses. Additionally, these preliminary results suggest that there might be sex differences in how dual-hit stressors are impacting stress responses. Should these results hold significance after conducting a larger study, this would provide valuable information on the impacts of early life stressors on the brain. Determining the role of stress responses would allow for the identification of neurobiological treatment targets in the development of future therapeutic methods.

169Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyArianna EspinosaEspinosaChase BaerlocherBiologyChase BaerlocherBaerlocherPullman

One of the most problematic pests for pea growers in Washington is the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. Their presence on peas can result in rapid wilting, damage to leaves via honeydew secretion, and the introduction of plant pathogens. Pea Enation Mosaic Virus, or PEMV, is one such pathogen that pea aphids vector and is one of the most significant viruses affecting in pea production. Infected plants develop malformed leaves, yellow spots, and stunted pods. Management of this disease is limited due to the reproductive capabilities of pea aphids; parthenogenetic females are capable of rapidly producing clonal offsprings throughout spring and summer. Aphids take up the virus after feeding on an infected plant and are capable of transmitting it to uninfected plants upon subsequent feedings.

Despite spending most of their time feeding on plants, aphids cannot efficiently take up nutrients from their plant host. To attain essential amino acids, aphids utilize multiple endosymbiotic bacteria within their gut and are highly dependent on the species Buchnera aphidicola. In my investigation, I aim to evaluate the relationship between Buchnera content and the presence of PEMV within pea aphids feeding on peas. The examination of a vector’s microbiome and interactions with associated pathogens can give greater insight on how to best apply pest management techniques. 

I hypothesized that the presence of PEMV in aphids will lead to increased quantities of Buchnera, as PEMV transmission may be dependent on gut microbiota. Three age groups (nymphs, juveniles, and adults) of non-viral and viral aphids were raised on healthy peas with the assumption that Buchnera concentration increases with age. After four days, the aphids were removed, the peas were harvested, and RNA from both aphids and peas was extracted. Quantitative PCR was used to determine Buchnera concentration across age groups as well as PEMV content within aphids and plant tissue. An ion leakage assay was also performed to determine the effect of aphid herbivory and viral stress on membrane permeability.

170Social SciencesSandy Tlachi-MunozTlachi-MunozPsychologyJessica WilloughbyWilloughbyPullman

University students, specifically first-generation, are often in new living situations and may be confronted with alcohol and cannabis use decisions. These new environments, coupled with the possibility of using substances, may lead to conversations that they are particularly unfamiliar with, such as conversations about navigating substance use with others in their living community. Self-efficacy or confidence in one’s ability to engage in such conversations should have an impact on whether these conversations occur, according to Social Cognitive Theory. Semi-structured interviews regarding previous and current alcohol and cannabis use discussions in living situations; inform common themes within living situations. Therefore, I am interested in how first-generation college students' living communities impacted their self-efficacy to engage in conversations about substance use.

171Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyAnthony DeLucaDeLucaSapinder Bail, Cynthia GleasonAgricultural BiotechnologySapinder Bali, Cynthia GleasonBaliPullman

Meloidogyne chitwoodi (Columbia root-knot nematode) is a plant-parasitic nematode that causes significant crop loss in agriculture. This nematode is an economically important pest of potato in the Pacific Northwest causing significant losses to the growers. Second stage juveniles (J2’s) enter the root and establish feeding sites; infected roots develop galls like structures impacting overall health of the plant. The nematode also infects tubers, rendering the crop unmarketable. During parasitism, nematode secretes small molecules or proteins called effectors into the host cells to manipulate host defenses and promote parasitism. It is well known that nematode effectors target plant immune responses, such as pattern-triggered immunity (PTI) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI). Here, we identified two novel M. chitwoodi effectors, Mc1154 and Mc3037, using nematode J2 RNAseq data. In situ hybridization and qPCR showed that both the effectors are localized to the J2 glands’ region and are highly expressed during the pre-parasitic life stage. We used transient expression assays in Nicotiana benthamiana to characterize both of the effectors. Preliminary data suggests that Mc3037 inhibits ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) accumulation but has no effect on callose deposition or HR (Hypersensitive Response) suppression. Mc1154 showed no direct effect on PTI or ETI responses. We developed effector over-expression transgenic lines in Arabidopsis using floral dip method and preliminary nematode assays suggest that Mc1154 enhances nematode susceptibility. This research is crucial for unraveling the intricacies of host-nematode interactions, pinpointing key effectors, and innovating novel approaches for effective nematode control.

172Engineering and Physical SciencesLoren Abbey, Julian HuynhAbbeyAli AhmadChemical EngineeringSu Ha, Oscar Marin-FloresHaPullman

Caustic Aqueous Phase Electrochemical Reforming (CAPER) of potassium formate (HCOOK) produces high purity hydrogen gas at lower electrical and thermal demands than traditional electrolysis. Furthermore, CAPER can process wastewater streams from various industries, unlike traditional electrolysis which requires expensive pure water. Potassium formate is electrochemically reformed with a faraday efficiency of 102% ± 4%. In-situ carbon capture allows only pure hydrogen gas to be detected in the gas phase product. CAPER is also able to reform potassium formate at room temperature (25 ℃) and at applied voltages as low as 0.3 V. Single-pass conversion of potassium formate reaches a maximum of 25%. The highest energy efficiency observed is 83.1% at a flowrate of 1.0 mL/min. The energy required per kilogram of hydrogen produced is 3.35 kWh/kg, which far exceeds the 45 kWh/kg goal the Department of Energy (DOE) aims to reach by 2031.

173Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyPeter MartinakMartinakManish Chauhan, Alan GoodmanBiochemistryAlan Goodman, Manish ChauhanGoodmanPullman

Innate immunity is the first line of defense against invading pathogens. At the cellular level, pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs) recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) such as lipopolysaccharide membranes or nucleic acids and activate an immune response. Toll like receptors (TLRs) are evolutionarily conserved membrane-bound receptors and a class of PRRs. The discovery of the Toll receptor in Drosophila melanogaster has been crucial in advancing our understanding of innate immunity. Toll receptors play essential roles in embryonic development in addition to mounting immune responses against infections. The Drosophila genome encodes nine Toll (Tl) genes. Tl-1 was the first Toll receptor discovered for its role in inducing antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) upon encountering gram-positive bacteria or fungi. The biological functions of other Toll receptors are unknown, but emerging evidence suggests their involvement in innate immunity. Drosophila Tl-9 is the only Toll receptor with structural similarity to mammalian TLRs. In silico analysis reveals that Tl-9 contains a dsRNA binding motif homologous to the ectodomain of mammalian human TLR-3. Based on these results, we hypothesize that Tl-9 localizes within endosomes and plays a critical role in antiviral immunity by modulating the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway by inhibiting the signaling molecule AKT. Experimental evidence supports this hypothesis. Immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence assays performed on Drosophila S2 cells expressing Tl-9 demonstrate its interaction with double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) during viral infections and its localization within endosomes. Induced expression of Tl-9 in infected cells leads to lower AKT phosphorylation and decreased viral load. Treatment of cells with an AKT phosphorylation inhibitor (AKT VIII) mirrors the effects of Tl-9 induction, indicating that Tl-9's antiviral activity is mediated, at least in part, through AKT dephosphorylation. Other evidence shows that Drosophila Tl-9 mutants are more susceptible to viral infections than control flies. Infected Tl-9 mutant flies exhibit impaired induction of dicer-2, a crucial component of the antiviral RNAi pathway, and decreased expression of vago and vir-1, two antiviral cytokines. Together, these findings highlight the critical role of Tl-9 in mounting an effective immune response against viral infections in Drosophila melanogaster.

174HumanitiesMatthew BungeBungeEconomic SciencesShawna HerzogHerzogPullman

The most consequential event of Britain’s financial revolution was the South Sea Bubble of 1721, an unprecedented rise and subsequent crash in the South Sea Company’s stock price within Britain’s emerging stock market. This project analyzes financial developments in Britain between 1689 and 1740 and highlights their impact on the dynamics and relationships between the nation’s economic classes. The research uses historical analysis of secondary economic and historical literature alongside primary sources, including newspapers, government documents, and public pamphlets, to show the actions of wealthy actors and the impacts they had on a middle class that had just gained access to public investment. The evidence shows that while financial developments between 1689 and 1713 improved opportunities for the middle class, the South Sea Company’s corruption and unethical conduct between 1713 and 1721 set the middle class up for mass impoverishment as the value of South Sea Company stock crashed, while many wealthy investors escaped with most of their wealth still intact. Parliament’s subsequent unwillingness to prosecute corrupt actors demonstrated a desire to assuage the public’s anger while punishing themselves minimally. All of these dynamics only required the ill intention a few influential actors, shifting incentive systems through corruption such that the powerful would reinforce exploitative systems simply by following their own rational incentives. This project demonstrates how easily inequity can infiltrate emergent institutions when pervasive apathy and weak systemic protections enable corrupt actors to bend laws, define incentive systems, and maximize their personal gain.

175Engineering and Physical SciencesIsabel LukeLukeEnvironmental and Ecosystem SciencesJohannes HämmerliHämmerliPullman

When large suites of magmatic rocks form, a primary interest lies in determining the contribution of magma from Earth’s mantle, as it leads to the formation of new (continental) crust. Magmas frequently contain a combination of melted mantle and reworked crust. It's essential to determine the percentage of mantle melt within large intrusions (batholiths), to estimate the volume of new continental crust formation. How much new crust is formed during subduction zone processes is often difficult to determine but crucial for our understanding of crust evolution and growth over time. The granitic rocks found in the Idaho batholith formed when an oceanic plate was pushed underneath the continental plate during the Late Cretaceous period. Water from the sinking oceanic slab seeped into the hot asthenosphere beneath the continental plate, leading to melting and formation of magma chambers. These chambers rose upwards through the earth's crust due to differences in density. As they moved, they partially melted the continental crust above them, resulting in the formation of a granitic melt. One of the questions is: What amount of “new” magma originating from the mantle is present within the Batholith? While previous work has attempted to estimate the mantle component in the Idaho batholith, identifying a sample representing mantle melt has been challenging. The batholith predominantly comprises re-melted crust, with a few recognized outcrops of mafic material, known as gabbro, of uncertain age. Therefore, my initial objective is to date these mafic samples. Ideally, zircon minerals are preferred for geochronometry in igneous rocks. Efforts to extract zircons for uranium-lead dating were unsuccessful. Instead, we successfully identified titanite grains, although dating them poses a challenge due to the possible presence of common lead, a topic I will address on my poster. Through Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry analysis, I obtained an age of 88 ± 5 million years, coinciding with the age of the Idaho batholith. With this information, further isotope analyses can be used to unravel when exactly this mantle melt was extracted from the mantle and what its contribution is to the Idaho batholith is.

176Social SciencesAndrou LuzaderLuzaderCaroline OwensBasic Medical Sciences, Social SciencesCaroline OwensOwensPullman

In 2022, 44 million U.S adults (12.8%) experienced food insecurity (FI), inadequate or unstable access to food or nutrition. Critically, estimates from previous studies suggest that an approximate average of 40% of U.S. college students experienced food insecurity during this period—nearly 3x the national prevalence. Evidence suggests FI is linked to lower academic and health outcomes. In response, universities have implemented food assistance programs, including food pantries. However, little is known about how students interact with these resources, their effectiveness, or the socio-demographic backgrounds of these students. Using data from the Cougar Food Pantry collected at checkout between June 2022 to January 2024, we assessed student engagement, sociodemographic backgrounds of student visitors, and overall utilization. During the study period, there were 27,272 food pantry visits recorded. In this analytic sample, 5,651 students visited the pantry, with engagement ranging from 1 visit to 73 visits per semester. Our analysis demonstrates that graduate/professional students proportionately visit the food pantry more frequently, report different household composition, and, based on a subset of data, receive more food than undergraduates. Our analysis is limited by variable data collection over the study period. Additionally, more data on the demographic backgrounds of students, food and nutrition security status, and satisfaction with the pantry is needed. Future steps include the creation of a monitoring and evaluation plan to more robustly assess student engagement and interaction with the Cougar Food Pantry, and the development of further diagnostic tools for college food insecurity. Our hope is to develop a reproducible model for other college and university-based food pantries across the United States. As the sole intervention accessible to most college students, evaluating, changing, and implementing feasible solutions to college food insecurity nationally is essential.

177Applied SciencesBhargav IyerIyerBryn Merrill, Hannah Hallikainen, Yiyuan Jia, Jeffery Eakin, Kenita Dahal, Xiaofeng GuoBiologyXiaofeng GuoGuoPullman

Nuclear technology for power production has attracted the attention of both scientists and politicians for years. From their initial debut in 1942, nuclear reactors have become a cornerstone of energy technology across the planet. Another breakthrough came about in the 1950’s with Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) technology. MSR’s use liquid salt as a cooling medium and as fuel in nuclear reactor systems which improved safety and efficiency.

A drawback of nuclear power is the production of radioactive waste. A common process of disposal is known as vitrification, traps nuclear particulate in glass. That glass, generally borosilicate glass, is then stored in a semi-stable solid. The presence of halogen groups in MSR waste prevents vitrification and doesn’t allow the nuclear waste to be safely stored.

According to a study conducted by Dong et al in 2022, dehalogenation of molten salts is possible using an organic acid and heat to produce halogen-acid gas. The goal of the project is to find an efficient method to dehalogenate molten salt systems for vitrification by exploring a variety of temperatures with three acids: formic acid, acetic acid, and oxalic acid.

The dehalogenated products will then be characterized using powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) here at Washington State University (WSU) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). XRD will provide phase identification and ICP-MS will quantify the remaining halogens in each sample.  

The findings of this project will guide both research and industrial interests in the field of MSR technology. By making vitrification of salt waste possible, MSR research should be safer and more promising for future endeavors.

178Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyKaylie RichardsRichardsKylee Lenkersdorfer, Jacob Buursma, Courtney Klappenbach, Qing Wang, Kristen DelevichNeuroscienceKristen DelevichDelevichPullman

Emergence of emotional disorders is prevalent during adolescence. The prefrontal cortex being the last brain region to reach full maturity, plays a role in the development of emotional disorders as well as cognition [2]. Microglia are specialized cells that have been studied for their phagocytic effects, such as removal of dead cells.  Although their functional role has been studied, little is known about their density in the prefrontal cortex throughout maturity of the central nervous system [1]. The aim of this study is to understand the role of microglia during brain maturity across adolescence between sexes, by quantifying microglia density in the medial prefrontal cortex. This will tell us if microglia can mediate dendritic spine pruning, a mechanism of regulation, which can be studied in the future to better understand emotional disorders that originate during adolescence. To gather data, six groups of mice were used, differing between age and sex. We examined brains at ages 29, 44, and 60 in both male and female mice. Microscopic images of brain slices were taken and analyzed in computer software programs such as, ImageJ and Ilastik to collect a quantified density. We expect the results to show the highest density of microglia at age 29 and the lowest density at age 60. This hypothesis would validate preliminary research, illustrating that microglia play a crucial role in development. This emphasizes the importance of microglia during adolescence and the effect they may have on dendritic spine pruning. The results will also help scientists further understand adolescent emotional disorders and provide insight for future preventative treatments.

Works Cited:

  1. Nikodemova, M., et al (2015). Microglial numbers attain adult levels after undergoing a rapid decrease in cell number in the third postnatal week. Journal of Neuroimmunology, 278, 280-288.
  2. Schalbetter, S.M., et al (2022). Adolescence is a sensitive period for prefrontal microglia to act on cognitive development. Science Advances, 8(9).
179Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyReagan SimekSimekMalgorzata Krysiak, Helmut KirchhoffGenetics and Cell BiologyHelmut KirchhoffKirchhoffPullman

Photosynthesis is an energy producing mechanism utilized by plants and other organisms that contain chlorophyll. Photosynthesis is powered by specialized protein complexes called Photosystem I & II, located along the thylakoid membrane inside the plant’s chloroplasts. These proteins create energy through the use of an electron gradient. This means there are different concentrations of electrons on each side of the thylakoid membrane. When electrons move from high to low concentration, it is energetically favorable or energy producing. In photosynthesis, electrons power ATP synthase, which synthesizes energy for the cell in the form of ATP.

The focus of this research is to understand the rate at which electrons move through the photosynthetic electron transport chain or photosynthesis. 

However, electrons are very difficult to visualize and measure. For that reason, oxygen, another product of photosynthesis, is measured. The known ratio of electron to oxygen consumption/production (depending on the complex measured) is used to determine the rate at which electrons are produced, even though we are not directly measuring them. Different complexes’ rates can also be measured individually through the use of various chemicals, which inhibits the other complexes. 

This research supports the theory that higher light intensity exposure causes an increase in activity for Photosystem II. A maximal light intensity at which the oxygen production rate no longer increases has also been observed, indicating that the relationship between light intensity and oxygen production is not linear, but hyperbolic.

180Engineering and Physical SciencesLiam CraftonCraftonQ. GuanMathematics, Physics and AstronomyQingze GuanGuanPullman

Ultracold quantum gases, realized by cooling down an ensemble of atoms to near absolute zero temperature in the lab, provide ideal platforms for studying quantum mechanics at low temperatures. Due to their high tunability, these systems have broad applications in many different quantum technologies. Spinor Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs), a type of ultracold quantum gas, can be used to engineer entanglements that are useful for quantum simulations, quantum sensing, and quantum computing. In this work, we numerically and analytically study the dynamics of spinor BECs in the presence of an external transverse field that breaks integrability. We have found that the system exhibits chaotic behavior in certain parameter regimes. The chaotic phase is characterized by various methods, including statistical analysis of the system’s energy levels, Poincaré sections in phase space, and quantum Fisher information. We hypothesize that, given the sensitivity of chaotic systems, the chaotic spin dynamics of spinor BECs may be leveraged for quantum sensing. We show that the quantum Fisher information corresponds to the presence of chaotic phases in the system. The quantum Fisher information is found to exhibit a scaling that surpasses the standard quantum limit, i.e., the sensitivity limit for an ensemble of classical particles. This demonstrates that the chaotic phase can be exploited for enhanced quantum sensing.

181Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologySamantha SimmonsSimmonsGenetics and Cell BiologyMaren FriesenFriesenPullman

Biological nitrogen fixation is responsible for providing about half of life with nitrogen from the atmosphere by converting it to ammonia, allowing its entry into the nitrogen cycle.

Rhizobia are a nitrogen-fixing bacteria that are known symbionts of legume plants. Legumes make specialized root organs, nodules, to house rhizobia and trade fixed carbon for fixed nitrogen. Plants influence the microbial communities near and inside their roots. Bacteria in plant root microbiomes frequently promote plant growth by making nutrients (e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus, iron) more readily available for use by the plant. In the search for plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB), we turned to field collected Trifolium clover nodules. Researchers have long observed bacteria that are not rhizobia inside nodules but they were frequently dismissed as contamination. Current methods confirm that these non-rhizobia are true nodule inhabitants. The function and relationship to plant fitness of these non-rhizobia nodule-associated bacteria is unknown.

Biofilm formation is a shared characteristic of PGPB due to biofilm enhancing bacteria’s ability to adhere to roots. Quantitative biofilm assays were conducted on these bacteria using crystal violet dye and spectrophotometer measurements. The motility of the bacteria was also described by observing the location where biofilm was formed inside the test tube. Additionally, we identified these non-rhizobia to the genus with 16S amplicon sequencing. The identity, biofilm formation, and motility data was combined with a greenhouse inoculation experiment to shed light on the relationship between these non-rhizobia nodule-associated bacteria, rhizobia, and plant fitness. PGPB’s show potential to be used as an amendment to agricultural crops to promote plant growth and decrease the reliance on synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.

182Arts and DesignKiah ConwayConwayApparel, Merchandising, Design and TextilesArmine GhalachyanGhalachyanPullman

The apparel industry is no doubt a profitable market on a global scale, boasting yearly revenue of 1.5 trillion dollars as of 2022. However, it is crucial to understand and acknowledge the impacts of what comes with those statistics and the daily habits of consumers regarding the clothes they wear and their end-of-life disposal. The US EPA estimates that 11.3 million tons of textile waste find itself in landfills on a yearly basis, polluting the environment and presenting a significant loss of value. Yet, about 95% of textile waste can be recyclable. Production or pre-consumer textile waste poses another challenge for the industry, in addition to post-consumer waste. With this being the core reason behind our research, our focus is the exploration of sustainable and circular design strategies by utilizing the textile waste found here at WSU and specifically in the AMDT department. We are expanding our current techniques to apparel design through fiber arts, creative textile manipulation, surface design, and alternative methods of fabrication utilizing textile waste. We aim to explore potential applications of sewing methods to add value to current clothing pieces that are otherwise thrown out and thus expanding the life cycle of garments. Our work has included textile waste such as fabric, threads, serger clippings, and yarns, utilizing them as a means for potential solutions to mitigate the textile waste produced by the AMDT department at our school.

183Applied SciencesLauren StubbsStubbsAdrienne B. Burke, Arron H. CarterField Crop ManagementArron CarterCarterPullman

As certain agronomic issues, such as managing herbicide-resistant weeds, continue to challenge Washington state’s winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) industry, producers may choose to plant grass herbicide-tolerant wheat cultivars, such as CoAXium® wheat varieties. The selection protocols to develop CoAXium wheat varieties are still emerging; therefore, the objective of this project was to develop a high-throughput screening method that identifies winter wheat lines with homozygous AADD genotypes and demonstrate tolerance to Aggressor® AX herbicide. This experiment tested the following hypothesis: There is not a statistically significant difference between the observed and expected values of two-gene homozygous survivors, and selection with an herbicide seed soak assay results in the survival of homozygous two-gene (AADD) lines.

First, an herbicide seed soak assay was conducted to evaluate each experimental population. Lines that survived the seed soak assay and germinated were evaluated by root length to determine if they exhibited the AXigen® trait. Then, PCR and KASP assays were conducted with primers that sequenced for tolerance on the Accase A and Accase D genomes. Chi-square tests were performed to determine if the number of lines that were observed to survive the seed soak assay met the number of lines that were expected to survive and, of the lines that survived the seed soak assay, how many were expected to be homozygous AADD genotypes versus the number that were observed to be homozygous AADD genotypes.

Experimental results demonstrated that, after the herbicide seed soak and PCR and KASP assays, there was no significant difference between the number of expected survivor plants with AADD genotypes and the number of observed survivor plants with AADD genotypes for six populations. After molecular analysis, of the plants that survived the herbicide soak, an average of 73% (per line) were not AADD genotypes. Although the herbicide seed soak permitted more plants per line to survive than was initially expected, few of these were homozygous for the trait. While using both a phenotypic and genotypic screen can select lines with tolerance to the herbicide, further research is needed to understand why a low percentage of expected homozygous lines was observed.

184Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyTyrique LewisLewisShuangyi BaiMicrobiologyBronwyn GunnGunnPullman

Antibodies are the key to preventing the human immune system from infection, either bacterial, viral, or parasitic, that play an important role on protection against SARS-CoV-2. Antibodies can be used to fight infectious pathogens in two pathways: neutralization through the antigen binding (Fab) domain or through activation of Innate immune response in or other innate immune responses. For SARS-CoV-2, antibody neutralization blocks the viral surface protein called Spike to bind to the receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) present on epithelial cells at the nose, mouth, and lungs. Antibodies can be made in lab in vivo to engage the innate immune system better, and create better responses to an infection. We strive to create antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. We used Golden Gate cloning to make point mutations in the Fc domain of the antibody CR3022 to better interact with innate immune cells. As the Fc mutated antibodies interact with innate immune cells through the Fc-receptors present on these cells, we tested the binding capability of these Fc mutated antibodies to Fc-receptors. Bio-layer interferometry allowed us to observe different Fc-receptors, FcγRI, FcγR2A, FcγR2B, FcγR3A, and Fcγ3B present on the surface of monocytes binding affinities. We found that different Fc mutations altered the binding to different Fc-receptors. We observed a high binding affinity to FcγRI, which can induce phagocytosis, the engulfing of a pathogen. Future plans include creating Fc mutated antibodies to inhibit the binding to FcγRI and evaluating how these mutations impact the activation of innate immune cells that could inform us on vaccine development.

185Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyAnnika DawleyDawleyCaroline Terry, Wes DowdBiologyWes DowdDowdPullman

Carotenoids are a naturally occurring chemical class that acts as a reddish-orange pigment. Carotenoids can be seen across diverse phyla in everything from carrots to crabs. Carotenoids act as a strong antioxidative agent and have two primary functions - photoprotection against cellular degradation as well as vitamin A activity. Vitamin A production is crucial because it drives ATP manufacturing as well as providing antioxidant properties, which is crucial for organisms in abiotically stressful environments.

The carotenoid astaxanthin is naturally accumulated in the splashpool copepod (Tigriopus californicus) from its algal diet. This species is a useful model organism for studying resistance to multiple environmental stressors. It is found in the intertidal zone, which is notorious for extreme abiotic fluctuations in several variables. Combining dietary interactions with resistance to environmental stressors is a pertinent knowledge gap within this field. This study asks whether increased carotenoid content enhances stress tolerance of copepods.

In order to identify the role of carotenoid content in the thermal tolerance of copepods, I established four different treatment levels of carotenoid concentration: control 0 μg/ml, low 2 μg/ml, high 10 μg/ml, extreme high 20 μg/ml of the precursor molecule zeaxanthin. Thermal tolerance was determined using a heat ramp, which is a test that exposes an organism to varying levels of thermal stress. One can determine tolerance directly through survivorship and calculate a LT50, the temperature at which 50 percent of the sample population dies. I hypothesized that the higher carotenoid treatment will have a higher thermal tolerance. My preliminary results have shown that carotenoid content has a positive correlation with LT50 temperature, up to a 1̊ C increase in thermal tolerance or loss in heat tolerance without carotenoids.

The marine copepods provide an excellent opportunity to identify the biochemical repercussions of heat stress in marine invertebrates, which are a crucial part of marine food webs. Isolating a single dietary variable can hopefully help identify the impact of carotenoids content when splashpool copepods are faced with oxidative stress. This work is pertinent due to the increased thermal stress that marine organisms will likely be experiencing due to climate change.

186Engineering and Physical SciencesAlivia BehnkeBehnkeDominic ScaliseBioengineeringDominic ScaliseScalisePullman

This project aims to create structures composed of DNA that can autonomously assemble, cease assembly, and disassemble at specified times. This will involve designing DNA nanostructures through a virtual program and performing a series of reactions known as DNA strand-displacement reactions (DSD) to form the structures from a collection of DNA strands in a test tube. DSD reactions are a type of molecular interaction where an input DNA strand releases an output DNA strand from a complimentary DNA duplex. DSD technology will be utilized to create timer circuits, which release strands of DNA after tunable delay periods. This will mediate the timing of nanostructure formation by initiating, delaying, or stopping the formation based on the amount of catalyzing strands produced. This experiment will be performed in the laboratory using three techniques: preparing nanostructures and circuit elements through DNA origami and other structural methods, purification of the nanostructures through gel electrophoresis, and running the experiment on a plate reader to check the progress of the elements through detecting the presence of fluorescence. The methods of this experiment will first be tested on a DNA nano-tweezer, a simple DNA nanostructure whose function involves two arms that open and close to contain or release another target molecule, before attempting to build and control more complicated structures. The goal of this project is to successfully create a nanostructure that completes a timed assembly and disassembly.

187Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyXimena HerreraHerreraXimena Herrera, Kylee Lenkersdorfer, Jacob Buursma, Courtney Klappenbach, Qing Wang, Kristen DelevichNeuroscienceKristen DelevichDelevichPullman

Microglia is a type of immune cell found in the brain that promotes healthy brain function. Its primary function is to remove cellular waste and protect neurons, allowing for the development of synaptic connections in the brain. Because of its importance, my lab is researching microglia in a mouse model during adolescence. We hypothesize that microglial development changes during adolescence as microglia actively modify their processes and soma. We are examining the morphology of activated and phagocytic microglia and ramified microglia to understand how these changes impact shape and function. Ramified microglia have highly branched structures with multiple primary and secondary processes, while amoeboid microglia are highly rounded. Regarding phagocytosis, microglia exhibit ball-and-chain structures at the tips of their processes with increased branching. These differences in morphology are crucial for the structure and function of neurons. We used microscope imaging with the Zeiss Microscope to create Z-stack images to observe microglia in the brain's middle area. These images were collected at 63x magnification and processed as image stacks of the microglia of interest. We used two software, Image J and Ilastik, to isolate single microglia and analyze their morphology in the prefrontal cortex. Our next step is to conduct a sholl analysis on single isolated microglia in the medial prefrontal cortex to measure the extent of microglia branching. Our research aims to understand better how puberty affects neuronal circuits in males and females by examining changes in neural circuits related to behaviors.

188Engineering and Physical SciencesJesus Jimenez, Harish VaratharajJimenezHui LiMechanical EngineeringHui LiLiPullman

The rise in electricity consumption has led to the need for more production of energy. Electricity consumption is 14 times greater than it was 50 years ago and continues to rise. One efficient method of producing renewable energy is wind turbines. Wind turbines generate 380 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. However, these turbines do not last forever. They typically last about 20-25 years and then they are taken to landfills to be disposed of, but there have been efforts to recycle them. In this research, a novel 3-layer (Face-core-face) fiberboard composite panels were fabricated after decommissioning the recycled wind turbine blade (rWTB) materials into fine and coarse fractions.

To begin this process, we took a portion of the turbine blade and refined it using shredders and hammer mills until producing fine fibers, which were then sifted through to separate the sizes of fiber (Fine and coarse). Fine fraction was used for face materials of the composite, whereas coarse fraction was for core of the composite. Once this was done, we mixed the fibers with adhesive (Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, pMDI) and pressed them with a hot press to create a uniform thickness panel. We cut the panels into various size samples by using the guide of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard. We evaluated the physical and mechanical performance of the composites (Internal Bonding, Flexural strength, and Water sorption). The outcome of these experiments was very promising for many different applications but one that stuck out the most was the water absorption test. This material did not swell very much after extended periods of being submerged into water. With that, this novel composite can be repurposed economically and for various applications from home flooring to road barriers.

189Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyNiamh Berry, Jeremy Johnson, Anisha Karnik, Grey Kreyenhagen, Mason Matich, Serina Penrod, Gabriella SearleBerrySean Thompson, Violet Yaple, Kelsey Gosch, Iwona Driskell, Ryan DriskellBiochemistry, Bioengineering, Genetics and Cell Biology, BiologyRyan DriskellDriskellPullman

Hair loss due to aging, scarring, or disease affects a significant portion of the population, with 85% of men and 50% of women experiencing it, with associated physical and psychological trauma. Currently there are no effective treatments to regenerate or restore lost hair. Hair follicles form during skin development due to interactions of dermal fibroblasts, a cell type from the middle layer of skin, with cell types from the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin. The Driskell lab has previously identified that expression of the Wnt-signaling transcription factor Lef1 in dermal fibroblasts is required for mouse back skin wounds to regenerate fur. However, fur in mouse back skin does not closely resemble human hair structurally and molecularly. Mouse whiskers are more similar to human hair because they are directly integrated into the vasculature and nerve environment of skin, while fur is less vascularly integrated. The Driskell Lab has previously identified the role of dermal Lef1 in regulating fur composition and length, but the role of dermal Lef1 in whisker development, maturation, and aging remains unknown. Using histological and computer vision-based approaches, we determined that the loss of dermal Lef1 reduced whisker count, reduced whisker length, and altered face shape. We examined the thickness of and cell proliferation rates within the different layers in the cheek pad to understand which lineages were altered by the loss of dermal Lef1. Finally, we examined contexts in which mouse back wounds have reportedly regenerated fur, which are dependent on dermal Lef1. These back wounds were then compared to cheek pad wounds in order to understand if whiskers regenerate like fur or rather fail to regenerate like human hair. The results from this work suggest that whiskers are a superior model for human hair compared to fur, and lay the groundwork for understanding the molecular requirements for maintaining or regenerating human-like hair during aging or wound healing.

190Engineering and Physical SciencesNathan Bucholz, Josh Christiansen, Gie Coulibaly, Leah Jacobs, Geordan KawaharaBucholzElectrical EngineeringMurari KejariwalKejariwalGlobal

This project develops a prototype communication system for underwater use by employing magnetic induction. The approach distinguishes from conventional underwater communication methods, such as optical, acoustic, and radio frequency. The objective is to address security concerns related to traditional methods, while allowing clear, wireless communication between two points.

This designed magnetic induction system transmits signals between two microprocessors by utilizing the induced voltage in a pair of coils. This signal is modulated using frequency shift keying (FSK) and demodulated using a phase locked loop (PLL) circuit. The goal is to send a signal through sea water to a receiver coil two or more meters from the transmitter. From there it is demodulated and interpreted by the receiver. This signal then is sent to another processor in the form of a command for use in motor control of an unmanned underwater vehicle.

By building on prior years work characterizing the channel, and leveraging electromagnetic principles, the team has devised a system to fulfill all objectives. Based on experimentation data and simulations run in ANSYS, this project has been designed to utilize a FSK signal with a center frequency of 200kHz, allowing the signal to travel the most distance without experiencing significant power loss. While exploring the ideal coil design for both size and efficiency, the team has made upgrades to the signal coils used in prior years. The changes made include the number of turns, wire size, and incorporating an omnidirectional coil on the transmitter.

This feasibility of magnetic induction as a compelling modality for underwater communication is underscored by this project’s thorough experimentation, simulation, and iterative design improvements. The enhancements to the coil design and system architecture present robust solutions to address the distinct challenges of underwater communication.

191Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyGloria LeeLeeNadia McLean, Aspen Harder, Sam Shippell Stiles, David RossiNeuroscienceDavid RossiRossiPullman

Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States, along with smoking and obesity. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) can be conceptualized as a three-stage cycle: intoxication, withdrawal, and preoccupation/anticipation. The few existing pharmacological interventions for AUD target the intoxication stage; however, effective treatments for alcohol withdrawal symptoms are still lacking. Importantly, the cerebellum is particularly sensitive to alcohol as it is disrupted after only one drink (9mM), whereas the cortex is not affected until around the drunk driving limit (17mM). It is established that acute alcohol exposure leads to an increase in cerebellar granule cell (GC) inhibition, comprised of increased frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) and an enhancement of the tonic GABAA current. Our preliminary studies indicate that chronic alcohol exposure results in a homeostatic adaptation and decreases cerebellar GC inhibition. This cerebellar neuroadaptation correlates with impaired motor coordination and heightened emotional distress during withdrawal. The goal of this project is to test current AUD medications in clinical trials, cannabidiol (CBD) and varenicline, and a novel compound, Compound 6 (PZ-11-029), to determine their efficacy at reducing withdrawal severity. Notably, PZ-11-029 is a compound that specifically increases the binding affinity of α6-containing GABAA receptor activity, which is uniquely expressed by cerebellar GCs. Therefore, PZ-11-029 selectively boosts cerebellar GC inhibition without directly affecting other brain regions. We hypothesize that enhancing GC inhibition during withdrawal will counteract the aforementioned adaptations, and act as a novel therapeutic approach for managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms. We used patch-clamp electrophysiology to test all three compounds for their effects on cerebellar neurotransmission and tested motor impairment using the accelerating rotarod in a mouse model. We found that CBD and varenicline did not increase cerebellar inhibition, while PZ-11-029 significantly increased cerebellar inhibition. Additionally, motor coordination tests showed no improvement with CBD and varenicline during withdrawal. While current medications in clinical trials showed limited efficacy, our results suggest that compounds like PZ-11-029 hold promise in managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Future directions will focus on evaluating PZ-11-029’s behavioral effects in mitigating withdrawal symptoms, providing insight into its therapeutic potential for AUD management.

192Social SciencesLucy Gregg, Alexx Lucero, Vanessa Moran, Jennifer Perez-Sanchez, Emalee Place, Hailey SteppGreggAnnabella Drew, Isabella Santiago, Lillian G. Senn, Samantha SwindellPsychology, Computer Engineering, Neuroscience, Kinesiology, Political Science, Public RelationsSamantha Swindell, Lillian SennSwindellPullman

In 2016, Washington State University funded the Transformational Change Initiative (TCI) to foster academic success and retention using growth mindsets and value-based decision-making interventions. One pillar of TCI, the LAUNCH program, achieves these objectives by promoting intentional engagement in experiential learning opportunities (ELOs) (e.g., research and creative activities, civic engagement, leadership, study abroad, entrepreneurial competitions, and internships) using a peer-facilitated workshop model.  LAUNCH “Ambassadors” (student engaged in ELOs themselves) guide participants in the exploration, selection, and deliberate incorporation of ELOs into their WSU experience.

Prior to fall 2023, LAUNCH’s multifaceted design included personal assessments, visualization, and a triangulated GPS (Goals, Personal values, Strengths) diagram as a practical framework for identifying ELOs. Together, these elements enabled participants to make informed choices regarding ELOs, thus fostering the development of a comprehensive and purpose-driven academic journey. Assessments of the program revealed small but significant pre-post increases in personal growth and a small but positive improvement in first year retention for those who completed the program.

In fall 2023, the program and workshop structure were significantly revised into a scaffolded framework that built upon the program’s existing strengths. The redesign included a modified “best self” visualization and strengths assessment, required service-learning experience, and an integration task where participants actively reflected on their learning experiences. The GPS model was replaced with a more robust goal-setting activity in which participants specified future goals and designed a plan for using ELOs to develop skills, knowledge, and professional connections related to their plan’s subgoals. The revised workshop centered this planning process. Ambassadors took a more active role in guiding participants through the process using inclusive techniques and an array of resources designed to serve a diverse participant population.

This poster will highlight the positive impacts of the revised model on the experience of both participants and Ambassadors. It will also discuss the future directions of this engaged work, including the continued refinement of programmatic elements to further enhance LAUNCH’s central goals to 1) facilitate participants’ purposeful planning and engagement in ELOs and 2) provide ambassadors with an ELO that supports their own personal and professional development.

193Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyJoey Rosario, Chris WaylettRosarioTaylor ReamsArt, BiologyTaylor ReamsReamsPullman

Nosematosis is a common pathogenic disease that honey bee colonies contract due to the spread of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema apis. Nosematosis is difficult to detect in the early stages since there are usually little to no signs of infection, but as the spores exponentially increase into the millions, then more obvious symptoms arise such as dysentery, lower honey yield from hives, and a shorter lifespan. Nosematosis takes advantage of colonies that are already weakened because of factors such as environmental stress, loss of habitat, over application of pesticides, and a lack of nutrients. In our study, we will give a diet feed to a specific set of colonies and provide the needed nutrients then compare the Nosema spore count between the diet feed colonies and the colonies that did not receive the diet feed.

194Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologySydney AckermanAckermanThomas Willard, Nathaneal Huston, Giuseppe GiannottiNeuroscienceGiuseppe GiannottiGiannottiPullman

About three million people in the U.S. and 16 million people worldwide currently suffer or have suffered from opioid use disorder (OUD). OUD has one of the highest relapse rates among substance use disorders at between 30% and 70%. In humans, when drug use is discontinued, individuals with OUD often experience long-term aversive somatic and affective states that can contribute to relapse. The prelimbic cortex (PL) is the major source of glutamatergic inputs to the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT), and preclinical studies have shown that this pathway is necessary for the retrieval of withdrawal memories in morphine-withdrawn mice. However, whether this pathway is necessary for the aversive withdrawal state and relapse in a preclinical model of OUD is still unknown. Here we used a self-administration model in rats, to recapitulate heroin use and relapse in humans. Rats underwent heroin self-administration for 12d, followed by 14d of abstinence. A combinatorial virus approach was used to target the PL→PVT pathway specifically. Following abstinence, animals underwent a cued relapse test where heroin seeking was driven by drug-associated cues (tone+light). The inhibitory hM4Di designer receptor activated by designer drugs (DREADD) was activated with a single injection of its high-affinity ligand, J60, immediately before the cued relapse test. We found that chemogenetic inhibition of the PL→PVT pathway attenuates heroin seeking during cued relapse, suggesting that this pathway is indeed necessary for heroin seeking after abstinence. Finally, we used electrophysiology to validate the Gi-DREADD functionality. As expected, bath application of the J60 reduced the frequency of action potentials in PL neurons expressing the inhibitory Gi-DREADD. Overall, our data indicate that the PL→PVT pathway is necessary for relapse driven by drug-associated cues in animals with a history of heroin self-administration. Taken together, our data improve our understanding of the neuronal pathways driving heroin seeking and will help develop novel therapeutic strategies to treat OUD.

195Research Proposal (Humanities)Consuelo MunguiaMunguiaPsychology, Speech and Hearing SciencesHsin-Ya LiaoLiaoPullman

Within underrepresented communities, there is a lack of adequate and culturally responsive mental health services available. Among mental health disorders, cognitive disorders are overlooked within low socio-economic Latino communities and more incredibly overlooked by older generations.There is an untalked fear within Latino elderly to reach out to health professionals at an older age as they scare of connecting with outsiders, feeling that these people won’t understand them Jimenez et al.(2018 ).   Within Latino older populations, there is the stigma of reaching out at an older age and the scare of connecting with someone you feel as though wont understand you or feeling that old age means no reason to reach out and build help or more preventatives from falling deeper into mental health illness. In the proposed project, I will conduct an extensive literature review on the barriers of seeking professional help among Latino older populations. Among the literatures I reviewed so far, one common barrier of seeking professional help among older Latinos is the need for those whom they could develop trusting relationships Coulter et al. (2019), Latino communities open up about how hard it is to find that sense of welcome within health care. Being understood and being able to connect to a community that you can relate to and feel included is important for Latinx communities. The proposed research aims to work on improving inclusiveness among Latino health care workers and providing education for underrepresented older Latino clients who are scared of reaching out due to fear of judgment, stigma, or citizenship status. Implications for future research and practice will be further discussed.

196Research Proposal (Engineering and Physical Sciences)Zakora MooreMooreKitana Kaiphanliam, Bernard Van WieBioengineeringBernard Van WieVan WiePullman

Vitiligo is a chronic autoimmune disorder affecting 2% of the population worldwide at maximum, and the risk associated with developing this skin disease an estimated 1 in 100 people in the general population. Hypopigmented lesions ranging in size, segmental localization (unilateral), and non-segmental localization (bilateral) are a result of autoimmune destruction of mature epidermal melanocytes. High repigmentation rates are shown in patients receiving autologous melanocyte transplantation as a treatment for vitiligo, but the time-consuming and costly aspects associated with skin graft harvesting, cell preparation, and follow-up maintenance of treatments limit the adoption of the promising cell-based therapy. I propose the development of a proof-of-concept perfusion bioreactor that will address manufacturing barriers to melanocyte transplantation by producing autologous melanocytes that yield high densities, under ideal culturing conditions, with promoted proliferation (growth) via transfection, concurrently. Combining the design of a continuous stirred tank bioreactor (CSTR) that implements transfection conducive complexes with a small-scale fluidized bed bioreactor (FBR) for a novel direct transfection perfusion bioreactor (dTPB) is a solution not yet suggested to increase the scale and speed of production for genetically modified cell lines. Optimizing the proposed dTPB requires (1) quantifying an appropriate flow rate that will also ensure reattachment of autologous melanocytes to microcarriers while running perfusion, (2) achieving the ideal culturing conditions required to prepare autologous melanocytes for transplantation, and (3) defining the fluidization level that will support proliferation-promoting transfection of autologous melanocytes. The proposed dTPB shows promise as an analytical tool to help build upon the fundamental knowledge that bulk cultures of transfected melanocytes can illustrate by investigating the melanocytic lineage transcriptome, which will prove useful in elucidating liable genetic developments that become skin diseases.

197Social SciencesMatteya ProctorProctorSamina Rahman, Carolyn Pagán, Maureen Schmitter-EdgecombeNeuroscience, PsychologyMaureen Schmitter-EdgecombeSchmitter-EdgecombePullman

Health communication is transitioning to internet-based delivery methods. Despite technology’s potential to improve health management and literacy, older adults face barriers to technology use, partly due to low cognitive self-efficacy (CSE), or confidence in their cognitive abilities. This study examined the potential moderating effect of CSE on the relationship between cognition and internet navigation skills for older adults completing a health search task (HST). We predicted that higher CSE would strengthen the relationship between cognition and task outcomes including HST accuracy and completion time.

Participants were 82 community-dwelling midlife and older adults (age: M = 69.6, SD = 8.7; education: M = 16.7, SD = 2.2; 74.4% female; 97.6% White). The cognitive domains assessed included memory, attention, language, and executive function. The Cognitive Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (CSEQ, Part IV) was used to measure CSE in the completion of cognitively demanding everyday tasks. Adapted from Kordovski et al. (2020), the HST measures one’s ability to navigate the internet to efficiently find and evaluate health information.

To examine whether CSE moderates the relationship between cognition and HST performance, moderation analyses were conducted using Hayes’ PROCESS macro for SPSS. Results revealed no significant interactions between CSE and the cognitive domains (ps > 0.05). CSEQ scores had the strongest moderating effect on the relationship between the attention domain and HST accuracy (b = -0.01, p = .10, 95% CI [-0.03 to 0.00]), and on the relationship between the memory domain and HST completion time (b = 0.60, p = 0.09, 95% CI [-0.08 to 1.28]).

As the internet is increasingly used for health communications, it is important to consider psychological factors that may support older adults’ online navigation of health-related sources. The findings suggest CSE may not have a significant moderating influence on the relationship between cognition and online health information search. Future work might examine other variables (i.e., technology-specific measures of CSE and/or electronic health literacy) and other models using a larger, more diverse sample. Understanding how cognitive beliefs might impact access to health information will have important implications in cognitive interventions and outreach health education in older populations.

198Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyMackenzie EarlEarlSutton Mooney, Jacob Green, Hanjo HellmannGenetics and Cell BiologyHanjo HellmannHellmannPullman

Agricultural issues, such as limited land available for farming and crop loss due to environmental conditions such as drought, are becoming increasingly problematic as the climate changes and the human population continues to grow. One potential way to address these challenges is to enhance stress tolerance and improve the yield of major agricultural crop plants such as potato, the third most important crop in the world and a staple food in many countries. In plants, a conserved enzyme complex called CRL3BPM regulates the degradation of proteins, which allows the plant to efficiently coordinate responses to environmental stressors. The goal of the project is to identify proteins targeted by CRL3BPM in potato tubers. To create this CRL3BPM interactome, a tuber cDNA library will be used to search for proteins that can interact with this complex. Identification and verification of these interactions will lay the foundation for future work towards the development of novel approaches to improve potato yield and may help in general to better protect plants against adverse environmental conditions.

199Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesMatteo CornetoCornetoGenetics and Cell BiologyRyan DriskellDriskellPullman

Innovations in genetics and molecular biology have generated expansive assays to determine information about living cells. Labs that conduct these assays typically only highlight a small subsection of the data for their work. For scientists interested in other aspects of the data, reconstructing their analysis requires time and skills that can be difficult to attain. My work seeks to curate scRNA-seq data in a way to makes it highly accessible to those lacking proficiency in the tools. Expanding upon the database of I have created several searchable graphs where researchers can highlight key elements of large datasets. The graphs, known as UMAPs, help to cluster different cell types by the similarity of the genes that they express. This NIH recognized webtool will allow for a community of scientists without coding knowledge to tailor the graphs to their genes of interest. The database will also help to increase the rate of discovery for scientists observing the same or related tissues. Finding information they want in a database instead of performing the assay themselves will save time and increase the rate of scientific discovery. As the tool is more widely utilized, scientists with varying levels of coding expertise will be able to more effectively utilize and share each other’s knowledge.

200Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologySamira Diaz De LeonDiaz·De·LeonSiena Glenn, 2nd year PhD student at Washington State UniversityBiochemistryArden BaylinkBaylinkPullman

Salmonella enterica causes 1.35 million infections in the United States each year. While most experience is mild, self-resolving symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal pain, a concerning 10-20% succumb to severe outcomes, including inflammation and gastrointestinal bleeding (GI).  My research investigates a potential mechanism underlying the shift from mild to severe infections. In a healthy gut, indole is a molecular cue, produced by the microbiome and repels Salmonella away from the intestinal lining. This phenomenon is known as chemorepulsion, mediated through the chemotaxis system. Missing in healthy guts, but abundant in diseased ones, reactive oxygen species (ROS) act as chemical attractors, which are produced by lymphocytes such as neutrophils or macrophages. However, it remains poorly understood how the cells respond to these mixed signals of the presence of indole and ROS associated with creating a diseased gut. My project focuses on how Salmonella competes with the microbiome to establish an infection in a diseased gut. I am currently examining the growth dynamics of a GI microbial community that we termed the nanobiome, isolated from swine fecal samples, in the presence of an S. enterica. I aimed to replicate the intestinal environment by culturing cells in fecal-enriched media and maintaining 37° C in a hypoxic atmosphere. Using ROS I can simulate conditions of a diseased gut in vitro. Growth over 18 hours is tracked using absorbance and fluorescence to quantify the effects of ROS on both populations, nanobiomes, and invaders. A thorough analysis of cell growth is averaged theoretically to be graphed for observation and to distinguish the activity of S. enterica competing with the microbiome. Overall, these experiments will give us an insight into the pathogen’s colonization and assist in the clinical development of antimicrobials.

201Arts and DesignHayden Bewley, Andrew Ellis, Anastasia Golden, Charlie Holmes, Jason Kochis, Skylar McDavid, Daniel Mielke, Logan Terry, Aidan WeisBewleySarah MillerAnthropology, Management Information Systems, Music Education, Neuroscience, PsychologySarah MillerMillerPullman

In July of 2023, the Washington State University Trombone Choir presented and performed at the International Trombone Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah as an invited student ensemble. The group submitted an audio application for their performance in the Fall of 2022 and rehearsed once a week during the Spring 2023 semester to prepare for the performance. They were one of ten college ensembles chosen to perform at the four-day festival.

The ensemble prepared an eclectic program of music. The group premiered a work entitled Beguiling Ululation by WSU alumnus PJ Kelley, which featured extended techniques and unusual sounds on the trombone intended to mimic a group of trombonists warming up in the same room. Second, the group featured a recent guest artist at WSU and the 2022 Ellis Marsalis Jr. Jazz Educator of the Year, Dr. Joseph Jefferson, on a jazz ballad entitled When I Fall in Love which showcased the singing quality of the trombone. Finally, their performance closed with a three-movement work entitled Excursion by David Wilborn, a piece that is becoming a standard in trombone choir repertoire. The WSU Trombone Choir performed as an opening act to Ko-Ichiro Yamamoto’s recital, the principal trombonist of the Seattle Symphony.

Preparation for the performance took approximately six months for each member of the ensemble. Each student had to learn their parts to the three pieces at a high level, which took hours of individual practice. The group worked on style, intonation, articulation, and time together within their weekly rehearsals with their supervising research mentor, Dr. Sarah Miller.

The International Trombone Festival is the largest trombone conference in the world and boasts an impressive lineup of musical guests in the jazz, classical, and commercial genres. Performance slots at the conference are highly competitive, so being chosen to perform was a high honor for the WSU Trombone Choir. This is one of the most prominent and prestigious stages on which a trombone choir can perform and we were proud to represent the WSU School of Music on that platform.

202Arts and DesignGonzalo Aleman, Ana Borgheriu, Paul Delashaw, Harleen Kaur Garewal, Jillian Hulse-Lew, Isabella Loera, Lakshita Malhotra, Rashi Rane, Olivia LizaraggaAlemanArchitectural Studies, Construction Management, Interior Design, Landscape ArchitectureRobert Krikac, Michael SanchezKrikacPullman

The Rural Communities Design Initiative (RCDI) is an interdisciplinary team of interior design, architecture, landscape architecture, and construction management students and faculty. RCDI collaborates with small communities and non-profit organizations using a co-design process. This process emphasizes designing “with” the community instead of “for” to foster better projects.

RCDI partnered with consulting engineering firms to assist the communities of Kittitas, Morton, George, and Warden in developing their Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) plans. PROS plans serve as community-driven, long-term documents outlining the development of park facilities, services, and wayfinding. They aim to meet community needs, respond to projected city growth, enhance the quality of life, and stimulate the local economy. 

Developing a PROS plan involves technical inventory and analysis of site conditions, alongside community perspectives on challenges, cultural elements, and preferences regarding outdoor spaces.

The pre-design phase serves as the foundation for the design and planning process. Recognizing this, RCDI facilitated a two-workshop process for four cities, acting as a bridge between them and their planning consultants. The first workshops involved inviting citizens to share their desires for park enhancements and creating discussions around conceptual park ideas. The second workshop built on the first and involved a design charrette where new ideas were explored in depth. 

In workshops with George (population: 833), the town revealed their aims to enhance its existing park through increased playfields as well as developing other amenities. In Morton’s (population: 1,061) community workshops the town members desired to repair and revitalize their existing parks and improve their connections to the rest of the town. The cities of Kittitas (population 1,420) and Warden (population: 2,527) expressed concern with developing a PROS plan that will guide their capital projects and allow them to apply for state funding.

Through the co-design approach, RCDI ensures projects are reflective of community needs and aspirations. RCDI’s recent undertakings with the cities of Kittitas, Warden, George, and Morton emphasized the importance of community engagement in developing PROS plans that enhance quality of life and promote economic vitality.

203Research Proposal (Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology)Ethan JohnsonJohnsonAnunay Pulukuri, Cliff BerkmanBiologyCliff BerkmanBerkmanPullman

Drug efflux is a major hurdle in prostate cancer treatment and refers to the ability of cancer cells to pump out chemotherapeutic drugs via ABC (ATP-Binding Cassette) transporters, including P-glycoprotein 1 (P-gp or ABCB1/MDR1). The presence of these efflux pumps can significantly reduce the effectiveness of various chemotherapeutic drugs used to treat prostate cancer, such as Docetaxel and Doxorubicin. This can lead to treatment failure, tumor recurrence, and ultimately, decreased patient survival. Conversely, Toll-Like Receptor (TLR) agonist immunotherapies modulate the activity of tumor-infiltrating immune cells in local proximity to cancer cells and could benefit from drug efflux in prostate cancers. Our previous work investigated the P-gp mediated efflux of TLR 7/8 agonists. We used functionalized liposomes to determine that imidazoquinoline TLR agonists Imiquimod (IMQ), Resiquimod (RSQ), and Gardiquimod (GDQ) are substrates for P-gp and determined their KD values. Interestingly, the least potent imidazoquinoline (IMQ) was the best P-gp substrate. Overall, we concluded that P-gp efflux susceptibility, which correlates to hydrophobicity & cLogP, needs to be considered, alongside potency, when choosing the optimal TLR agonist for delivery to prostate cancers. While imidazoquinoline activation can be beneficial in stimulating anti-tumor immunity, excessive or uncontrolled inflammation can damage healthy tissues and lead to adverse effects like fever, fatigue, and organ damage.  Tailoring imidazoquinolines designed to target desired immune responses while minimizing unintended inflammation remains an ongoing challenge in maximizing their therapeutic potential while minimizing safety concerns. Therefore, we decided to design small-molecule drug conjugates (SMDCs) for prostate cancers, specifically targeted to prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). These SMDCs comprise an irreversible PSMA inhibitor combined with a pH-responsive linker and the imidazoquinolines chosen were not only P-gp substrates, but also highly potent (EC50: ≤ 50 nM). We expect that the SMDCs are taken up by prostate cancer cells and following conversion, efflux the imidazoquinoline, thereby producing a localized immune response in prostate cancer cell lines. We anticipate presenting our synthesis of the SMDCs as well as their applications and findings following in vitro studies.

204Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information SciencesMoises CarranzaCarranzaMonowar HasanComputer Engineering, Computer ScienceMonowar HasanHasanPullman

In this study, we are evaluating commercial grade unmanned arial vehicle (UAV) systems such as drones and their open-source software. As commercial grade drone technology advances, the methods of communication between UAV systems and ground control systems tend to stay relatively fixed. With most UAV communication methods present in public domain, methods to attack the communication system of these drones can be developed and used for malintent. Thus, the purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of containers and sandboxing of UAV systems when cyber-attacks are present.

The systems to be evaluated are a raspberry pi 4 computer with a NAVIO2 autopilot HAT for raspberry pi computers, the open-source ArduPilot drone software, and other systems alike.  The methods of the project involve testing each UAV system with and without a container and sandbox environment. Such testing is necessary because the results will be evaluated to determine the amount of memory each component of the UAV system tested utilizes. This data will help determine how much memory a threat actor has when attacking a UAV system, and whether or not a container and sandbox environment can prevent such intrusion.

As of now, we have tested only the NAVIO2 system with no successful results. More testing is being undergone.

205Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary BiologyOlivia DeGraveDeGraveGrace Curtis, Erica CrespiBiochemistryErica CrespiCrespiPullman

Regenerative medicine is an important area of study for the advancement of wound treatment. The human body typically responds to injury with scarring, leaving the tissue unable to fully reform and regain its original function. By studying organisms capable of digit or appendage regeneration, such as Xenopus frogs, we can better understand the basis of regrowth and regeneration of these structures in humans. Xenopus are capable of completely regenerating their hindlimbs and tails before metamorphosis, making them a common model for development and regeneration research. Work in our lab has shown that injection of the hormone leptin into the body cavity accelerates regeneration in the limbs and tails of X. laevis larvae. I am developing a method to topically apply leptin protein directly to the wound site to observe the direct effects of leptin on regenerating tissue, without any additional injury caused by injection or bead implantation. Regeneration-competent (NF 53/54) X. laevis larvae were anesthetized and their tails were amputated ~5-10 mm from the tail tip. The larvae were then transferred to customized agarose plates so that the amputated tail region laid in a well filled with either buffer (control) or buffer containing 100 ng/mL or 200ng/mL Texas Red-conjugated leptin protein, doses shown to stimulate cell proliferation of tissue in culture experiments. Larvae remained in place for 15 to 30 minutes under light anesthesia. A fluorescence microscope was used to detect the Texas Red dye to determine whether the leptin protein had perfused the wound site. The regenerated area was then measured after 72 hours using Fiji software. My preliminary results show that larvae exposed to 200 ng/mL leptin concentration for 15 minutes had greater regeneration than the buffer and no-handle controls, indicating that this mode of topical leptin administration at the time of injury promotes wound healing and greater regeneration. These findings will allow us to determine the direct effects of leptin receptor activation in the process of regeneration and validate topical administration of leptin as a veterinary therapy to improve wound healing and regeneration in amphibians and possibly other animals, including humans.

206Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical BiologyEva RickardRickardAnna McDonald, Ian Brabb, Marina Savenkova, Aimee Schantz, Johannes Schlachetzki, Jacob Bonner, Sascha DutteData AnalyticsSascha DuttkeDuttkePullman

Alzheimer’s and dementia are debilitating neurodegenerative diseases with profound impacts. Recent technological advances have enabled the investigation of gene regulatory networks in human samples by capturing active transcription processes of both promoters and enhancers in postmortem tissues. This advance allows for the identification of the gene regulatory basis of dementia-associated disease hallmarks. Here, I will report on my analysis of 15 patients’ brains from a cohort comprising 10 control individuals [dementia negative, aged 30-92], and five dementia-negative patients [aged 75-94]. The outcomes of this ongoing research endeavor will highlight gene regulatory differences and the transcription factors, enhancers, and gene(s) associated with Alzheimer’s disease. This data will provide original significant insights into the gene regulatory differences in the affected brain regions between healthy and dementia-positive patients.

207Applied SciencesJacob BuursmaBuursmaQing Wang, Katy Touretsky, Warren Andruscavage, Vanessa Solorzano, Jayes Acuna, Courtney Klappenbach, Ryan McLaughlin, Kristen DelevichNeuroscienceKristen DelevichDelevichPullman

The perceived risk of cannabis use is declining and the prevalence of adolescents with cannabis use disorder has disproportionately increased in states where recreational cannabis is legal. However, the long-term effects of chronic cannabis use during adolescence on brain regions underlying decision making are poorly understood. Adolescent brain maturation involves the refinement of excitatory glutamatergic connections across the cortex, the majority of which occur at dendritic spines. Recent data suggest that exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive metabolite of cannabis, produces a premature reduction in dendritic spines on neurons within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). However, whether adolescent cannabis exposure alters dendritic pruning in a region-specific manner across the cortex is not known. Distinct subpopulations of neurons project from the mPFC to dorsomedial striatum (DMS) and from the motor cortex (MC) to dorsolateral striatum (DLS). These neurons mediate two competing decision-making strategies: goal-directed and habitual action control, respectively. Here, we examine the long-term effects of daily cannabis vapor exposure during adolescence on the structure of these neurons using a translationally relevant mouse model. To do this we utilized behavioral assays, retrograde neuronal labeling by stereotaxic microinjection, immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, and neuronal reconstruction software. Our preliminary data suggest that daily adolescent cannabis exposure produces an increase in dendritic spine density on DLS-projecting neurons in the MC of male mice into early adulthood. This finding may point to a region and sex specific disruption in the maturation of the neural circuitry underlying habitual action control. The work presented here may have important implications for understanding the impact of chronic cannabis use on the maturation of decision-making and for health policy surrounding cannabis use.

208Engineering and Physical SciencesJoshua Emmel, Pavel TishkovEmmelMechanical EngineeringGordon TaubTaubEverett

Using funds from the Office of Undergraduate Research we were able to attend the 2023 Collegiate Wind Competition in Boulder, Colorado. This project challenges students to apply fundamental concepts learned through undergraduate courses in a tangible and useful product, while building key skills, such as time management, project management, budgeting and business plans, and field specific research. While our university was not one of the 12 competing teams, this was a very valuable learning opportunity. Being able to observe the competition without the stress of competing allowed us to take in and learn, which will help in future competitions. After the competition we were also able to tour a local facility for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Here we were able to see and learn about state-of-the-art energy generation methods and testing apparatus for wind turbines. We were also able to talk to leading researchers in the renewable energy field. Unfortunately, this year we were not selected to be one of the 12 competing teams. However with an enthusiastic team we intend to still build, test, and present our research this year at the 2024 Collegiate Wind Competition in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The knowledge learned from this trip has also been used at community events in the area. On campus we have hosted two “Girls Explore STEM” event where our wind energy team operated a small-scale wind tunnel and inspired students to create and refine wind turbine rotors. This same tunnel was used to help inform educators about the national KidWind competition. Members from our team will be assisting as volunteers and/or judges at the Washington State KidWind regionals.