Subscribe to RSS Feed

Friday, April 1st
12:00 AM

A Closer Look into the Competition and Coexistence between Fig Wasp Species.

Austin Schmidt, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Figs and their pollinating wasps are a textbook case of mutualism in which each fig species depends on its host-specific wasp species for pollination services and, in turn, the wasp larvae develop within a subset of the fig’s seeds. In addition, the fig-pollinator mutualism is parasitized by a diversity of non-pollinating fig wasps that compete with pollinators by also galling and developing within fig seeds. Given than many co-occurring fig wasp species utilize precisely the same resource – fig seeds – the ecological theory of competitive exclusion predicts that they should not stably coexist over time. To investigate how they do in fact coexist, we asked if wasp species minimize inter-specific competition by utilizing spatially segregated subsets of seeds within fig fruit. Focusing on 5 co-occurring, seed-galling wasps associated with the Sonoran Desert rock fig, Ficus petiolaris, we dissected seeds from nearly mature fig fruit and tested whether the different wasps differentially develop with seeds located more deeply or shallowly within fig fruit. Our results indicate significant differences between wasp species with respect to depth of seeds they utilize, which promotes coexistence. Further, consistent with theory, we show that species utilizing different seeds experience reduced inter-specific competition.

A Study of the Relationship between Economic Development and Environmental Condition of Countries in the 21st Century

Xuehan Liu, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

This project focuses on the relationship between economic status and environment conditions for countries in the 20th century. The data used is extracted from the world development indicator information, published in the World Bank website. There are two parts of analysis in this project. The first part focuses on economic status and threatened species in two research questions: Is there any association between threatened species levels and GDP levels? Does the country with better economic status have better environment condition? The methods used for these two questions are mosaic plots, chi-square independent test, Goodman-Kruskal gamma, and cluster analysis, to find associations. For the second part, this project studies the threatened species along with both natural environmental indicators and economic developmental indicators in one research question. The method is multiple regression analysis. There are two significant results in this project: First, there is statistical evidence supporting that the countries with high economic status tend to have better environment condition (fewer threatened species) than countries with low economic status; Second, it terns out that the natural environment did not affect the number of threatened species very much, no matter whether the economic developmental indicators are present or not.

Algebraic Approach to Constraint Satisfaction Problems

Joshua Thompson, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

A constraint satisfaction problem (CSP) asks for an assignment of appropriate values to variables subject to a given set of constraints. Examples of CSPs are found in virtually every technical discipline. We would like to discover methods for deciding when a CSP is “easy,” or tractable and when it is “hard” or intractable. Theories from universal algebra have turned out to be applicable in obtaining results on the tractability of CSPs. Specifically, each CSP can be converted to an algebra. The so-called absorption property of an algebra plays a key role in proofs related to the complexity of the corresponding CSPs. We developed some methods that enabled us to classify those absorption-free 4-element members of a certain class of algebras, called commutative idempotent binars (CIBs), which are not known to be tractable. Moreover, we determined the absorbing subalgebras of each 4-element CIB that is not absorption-free. Previously, few examples of either absorption-free CIBs or CIBs with absorbing subalgebras were known. This recent progress has therefore added to the general knowledge of the tractability of algebras and their corresponding CSPs.

"An Analysis of Ecuador's Rose Industry and its Impact on Soil and Water Quality"

Catherine Krezowski, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Ecuadorian flower farms use large inputs of pesticides and fertilizers to produce high-value flowers such as roses. While these inputs are vital to the growth of healthy roses, the chemicals are often toxic to the environment. In order to examine the effects pesticides and fertilizers have on water and soil quality in Ecuador, data was collected through a literature review and interviews with academic and industry contacts. Most Ecuadorian rose farms grow their plants directly in the soil instead of containers. As many of these farms, especially the small ones, do not use water-recycling systems, excess chemicals leach directly into the soil, rivers and streams. Both water and soil resources throughout Ecuador have become degraded from the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers by these rose farms.

Analyzing Poverty Factors and Livelihood Systems in Rural India

Erin Furleigh, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

As a developing country with a population surpassing 1 billion, India faces a myriad of challenges in securing the access and provision of quality healthcare services. To develop my understanding of the multi-dimensional health system of India, I traveled to rural Maharashtra for a two month program. I shadowed doctors in privately-owned clinics, government-run centers and non-profit organizations, visited a consultation and treatment center for those living with HIV/AIDS, and traveled to remote villages with a free mobile clinic. I developed a portfolio documenting my daily log of hours, weekly activities and personal reflections. My time in the general consultation clinics contributed greatly to my knowledge of national vaccination strategies, diagnostics, treatment, regional prevalence of infectious diseases, and challenges faced in securing effective patient interactions at each of these stages. The conditions I most commonly observed were tuberculosis, malnutrition, and respiratory, gastrointestinal and dermal infections. By stepping beyond textbooks and personally facing the conditions of vulnerable communities in rural India, I witnessed the crowded populations, hazardous housing, poor sanitation, and insufficient infrastructure that perpetuate the spread of infection and disease. My research cemented the reality and complexity of healthcare problems in developing countries, concluding that future solutions cannot be successful without addressing the intertwined epidemics of poverty and education.

Antigenic Evolution of Swine Influenza H1 Viruses

Jered Stratton, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Influenza A virus (IAV) is a significant threat to profitability in the swine industry. Although vaccines can prevent the damage and spread of the pathogen, changes in the antigenic properties of the virus due to evolution may cause the virus to escape the immune response. Identifying key amino acids on the hemagglutinin (HA) protein that significantly contribute to antigenicity is important for understanding how IAV adapts in response to immune pressures so more effective vaccines can be developed. In this study we took antigenic distance data obtained by hemagglutination inhibition assays from 30 H1 subtype influenza virus strains and combined it with amino acid sequence data from the HA of the same isolates. We plotted these two variables against each other to obtain linear relationships between antigenic and genetic similarity of the viruses. We then compared amino acid differences between outlier comparisons using a threshold of two antigenic distance units above the linear fit and determined the most represented positions among all outliers. We found six amino acid positions on the HA had changes that were associated with over 50% of the outlier comparisons. These results significantly contribute to the framework of H1 IAV characterization for disease prevention efforts.

Awareness of Textile Recycling and Disposal Options

Hanna Hoch, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "(a)n estimated 12.4 million tons of foot-ware, clothing, and other non-durable textiles were generated in 2013," which constitutes "4.9 percent of total municipal solid waste" (U.S. EPA). This research will attempt to gauge levels of awareness in relation to textile disposal and recycling in two central Iowan communities: Ames (population - 61,792) and Des Moines (population - 207,510) (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013). The research will also collect data on initiative related to textile disposal and recycling, and disseminate similarities and differences between awareness and behavior. Following data collection and analysis, a proposal/proposals to increase awareness and initiative of environmentally friendly (non-landfill) methods of textile disposal will be created. The intent of the project is to present the findings and possible solutions to the subjects, respective city councils and/or current donation facilities.

Backyard chicken exposure to Mycoplasma gallisepticum in central Iowa

Margaret Daves, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), a bacterial pathogen of poultry, causes respiratory disease and conjunctivitis, which can result in decreased egg production and serious economic losses. This pathogen recently (mid-1990s) jumped hosts to wild House Finches, causing severe population declines, though we do not know the source of the initial jump or whether the pathogen can jump back into chickens from wild finches. Backyard chickens could be important intermediaries for the transmission of MG across species, since these animals are highly likely to contact wild birds. To assess this possibility, I tested five backyard flocks in and around Ames, IA for antibodies against MG, which indicate prior exposure to this pathogen. Additionally, I conducted House Finch surveys at each site to assess whether exposure to MG correlated with potential exposure to finches. Blood samples from 46 chickens revealed that 13% of individuals (in 3/5 flocks) were likely exposed. In addition, flocks at sites with House Finches tended to show more MG exposure. This preliminary study suggests that MG is present in backyard flocks in IA, and that cross-species transmission is possible. However, further study at this wild-domestic interface is needed to determine whether such transmission truly occurs, and in which direction(s).

Beauty in the Ashes

Renae DeBruin, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Starting in April of 2015, I met with my advisor and we started planning my book. I went through an adapted version of 21 days to a novel where I planned the main plot and created my characters. I decided to write in the young adult super hero genre. I finished that in August of 2015 and started writing my first draft during the Fall semester. I finished in December with about 75,000 words of a first draft. I have edited my first draft and corrected major problems. Then I sent it to two of my friends so they could read it and give me feedback. Once they finish, I will edit my book with their comments in mind. The final product will be presented at the honors project presentations.

Biochemical characterization of new P450s in rice diterpenoid metabolism

Benjamin Brown, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The Oryza sativa P450 CYP76M subfamily hydroxylate a range of labdane-related diterpenes (LRD). Previously the CYP76M5-8 enzymes were screened against the range of LRDs found in rice using our metabolic engineering system in Escherichia coli (E. coli) to determine their functions. It was found that, even though these P450s all have very similar amino acid sequences, individual enzymes in this family have different specificities e.g., CYP76M8 is a more promiscuous enzyme, hydroxylating a wider range of LRDs than CYP76M7. This study focuses on screening two more recently discovered P450s in this same family, CYP76M14 & 17. CYP76M14 was found to have a high specificity for a few LRD, whereas CYP76M17 was more promiscuous. This poster will present the data comparing the functions of these six enzymes.

Bringing Politics to Iowa State

Lissandra Villa, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The concept behind Veritas magazine is to create opportunities for the Iowa State community to engage with politics. This process is a response to many of the issues the field of journalism faces in an atmosphere filled with mass media. Through observations on how the media influences the public, Veritas was created as an education and engagement tool. It is filled with meaningful content instead of “buzz” content. Through these journalistic contributions, the Veritas team has learned how to make smart editorial decisions that will benefit our readership. The outcome is a community service that gives readers the tools they need to be active citizens, all because they were presented with the information they needed. This is an effort to reconnect our audience to the world instead of allowing it to get wrapped up in the pseudo-image of news, where content is simplified instead of explained (Boorstin, Daniel J. The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-events in America. New York: Vintage, 1992. Print.) Copies of the first edition of the magazine are available in Hamilton Hall. The second issue will be published in Fall 2016.

Building Resilience to Negative Effects of Thin-Ideal Media

Olivia Berch, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Many of us, and by “us” I mean college-aged women who read fashion magazines, have looked at an advertisement and felt disgusted and guilty about our lack of exercise, obsession with junk food, or general feelings of being unsatisfactory. It seems hard to believe that just flipping through these ads could produce such strong feelings, but research indicates that they do. In the current study we investigate interventions to attenuate these negative effects; the two interventions include a media literacy TED talk (lead by Jean Kilbourne) and a self-compassion meditation (lead by Kristin Neff). 450 college women participated in this study. Two-thirds of them were exposed to an intervention; the rest were used as a control group. Half of each group was exposed to a set of advertisements considered to highlight a thin-ideal and the others were exposed to neutral advertisements. After advertisement exposure, participants were asked a variety of questions which included, but were not limited to, body satisfaction, self-esteem, and current self-compassion levels. Results of this study did not find clear support for either intervention. This may be due, however, to a fault in the thin-ideal media manipulation.

Carbon Dioxide Management through Microbial Carbonate Precipitation

Sam Sparland, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels within the atmosphere have increased significantly. Magnesium and calcium minerals have been demonstrated to react with carbon dioxide, and sequester it as a solid carbonate compound on a geological timescale. There are a number of carbon sequestration processes that are currently in development, but few utilize microbial metabolic pathways or are prepared to be implemented in large scale applications such as a fossil fuel power plant. In this work, a process for large scale carbon dioxide removal using soil bacteria with enzymatic activity is proposed, able to convert over 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into calcium carbonate. The cost of annual manufacturing is expected to exceed $27 million, due to the acquisition of mineral materials where carbon dioxide is not produced as a byproduct. The key factors to a biological sequestration process are evaluated, and the use in industrial applications is discussed.

Changes in Local Recreation Patronage in Iowa Small Towns 1994-2014

Sydney Elson, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

This research focuses on the usage of recreation and entertainment services in small towns in Iowa. The drive behind this research originated from an interest in the economic viability of these services in Iowa small towns. Surveys sent out by the Department of Sociology at Iowa State University in 1994, 2004, and 2014 provided the data set for the research conducted. The first purpose of the article is to display how the usage of these services has shifted over the years 1994-2014. Defining factors that influence an individual’s decision to use recreation mostly inside or outside of the community is the second purpose. A multinomial probit regression was used to determine possible associations. The final purpose is determining if social capital is an influencing factor. In conclusion, people in Iowa small towns are starting to use more recreation and entertainment services outside of their communities. The influencing variables of their choices include age, income, amount of years resided in the community, proportion of people known by name in the community, proportion of close personal friends living in the community, and total amount of groups belonged to. The latter two associations indicate a strong link to social capital as an influence.

Characterization of targeted missense Zea mays Histidine Kinase1 mutations in Saccharomyces cerevisiae reveal residues important for signaling activity

Anna Rogers, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Cytokinins (CKs) regulate a diverse assortment of processes in plants, including cellular division, vasculature differentiation, and meristem maintenance. CK perception and response is regulated through a two-component signal transduction system, which are highly conserved in bacteria, fungi and plants and allow organisms to sense and respond to diverse stimuli. Our analysis of the maize mutant Hairy Sheath Frayed1 (Hsf1) identified the CK receptor Zea mays Histidine-Kinase1 (ZmHK1) as the underlying gene which linked CK signaling to control of leaf growth and patterning for the first time. Three missense mutations in the CK-binding domain of ZmHK1 define all known Hsf1 alleles. Each causes increased ligand binding affinity and hypersignaling, producing altered leaf morphology in Hsf1 mutants. Using a Saccharomyces cerevisiae reporter strain containing the heterologous ZmHK1 gene, we tested the ability of 18 ZmHK1 missense mutations targeted to the CK-binding domain to promote Hsf1-like CK hypersignaling. Yeast harboring these mutant ZmHK1 genes were grown with and without CKs to analyze their ability to bind and signal. Some mutations led to Hsf1-like hypersignaling, while others produced no change in activity. These targeted amino acid changes are providing insight as to which residues are critical for ligand recognition, binding, and signaling.

"Comparing the behavioral effects of selected enrichment techniques among Hylobates lar at the Blank Park Zoo"

Hannah Thomae, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Zoos all around the world have recently started to implement enrichment into their exhibits. Enrichment has been found to decrease stereotypic behaviors and alleviate stress in captive animals. The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa is one zoo that has implemented enrichment into several of their exhibits, including the Lar gibbon, also known as the white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar). As Hylobates lar is an endangered species, it is important to find enrichment activities that mentally and physically stimulate them to maintain their health. Previous research has found that primates prefer pliable items to non-pliable ones. We hypothesized that both the male and female gibbon would prefer the phone books, a pliable item, to a non-pliable item, a hanging barrel. Since animals have an instinct for food, we also hypothesized that both the male and female would prefer the food item, cereal, to a non-food item, a mop head. I conducted my study using a focal animal sampling approach, observing each sex for 15-minute intervals. I recorded the duration of interaction with each enrichment activity. The results showed that both the male and female preferred the food item to the non-food item and the pliable item to the non-pliable item.

Comparison of environmental impacts from production of wood, concrete, and steel construction materials using a life cycle analysis approach

Logan Halverson, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Concern regarding the environmental impacts of material production and use has increased in recent years, especially in the construction industry. This increased trend of concern is driven by homeowners and consumers alike, who are becoming more cognizant of the environmental impacts generated by their use and/or choice of specific buildings materials. In order to assess environmental impacts of material extraction, manufacturing, and use, a holistic research approach known as a life cycle analysis or LCA was fashioned. In this study, LCA was applied according to ISO 14040 protocols to determine the environmental and human health impacts generated by the manufacturing of three common building materials: wood, concrete, and steel. The analysis was conducted by thorough investigation of peer-reviewed journals and supporting secondary resources. The goal of this review is to establish an understanding of the impacts generated in material production and to present a comparative LCA impact analysis of 1 m3 of wood, concrete, and steel. Application of LCA findings and outcomes is presented in the form of an educational brochure for reference by consumers regarding the importance of material selection and the environmental impacts of wood, concrete, and steel construction.

Complementary Feature Selection from Alternative Splicing Events and Gene Expression for Phenotype Prediction

Charles Labuzzetta, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

A central task of bioinformatics is to develop sensitive and specific means of providing medical prognoses from biomarker patterns. Common methods to predict phenotypes in RNA-Seq datasets utilize machine learning algorithms trained via gene expression. Isoforms, however, generated from alternative splicing, may provide a novel and complementary set of transcripts for phenotype prediction. In contrast to gene expression, the number of isoforms increases significantly due to numerous alternative splicing patterns, resulting in a prioritization problem for many machine learning algorithms. This study identifies the empirically optimal methods of transcript quantification, feature engineering, and filtering steps using phenotype prediction accuracy as a metric. We have shown that isoform features are complementary to gene features, providing non-redundant information and enhanced predictive power when prioritized and filtered. A univariate filtering algorithm, which selects up to the N highest-ranking features for phenotype prediction is described and evaluated in this study. An empirical comparison of pipelines for isoform quantification is reported by performing cross-validation prediction tests with datasets from human non-small cell lung cancer patients, human patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis transgenic mice, each including samples of diseased and non-diseased phenotypes.

Creating a Green Office Certification Program for Iowa State University

Abigail Romano, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

We aimed to create a unique green office certification program for Iowa State University that encompassed all aspects of sustainability (social, economic, and environmental); was engaging and educational for faculty and staff; recognized their efforts in motivating ways; and could be used by all offices, regardless of size or facility. We began with a checklist that combined aspects of other schools’ programs, and beta tested our program by periodically gathering feedback from a variety of sizes and types of offices, including a university services office, an academic office, and two small faculty offices. We worked with various university departments to ensure our checklist was in compliance with the university's recommendations and priorities. From this feedback, we dramatically changed the appearance and method of completion of the checklist, included more social sustainability and community involvement components, added definitions of terms and links to resources, and created recognition pieces for participation in this program. We found that faculty and staff are excited about engaging in sustainability, want to participate in this program, and will make sustainable changes when presented with resources and instructions.

Deciphering the genetics of retinal ganglion cell development using CRISPT/Cas9 genome editing in zebrafish.

Sanjeeva Weerasinghe, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Retinal ganglion cells are specialized nerve cells in the eye. These specialized nerve cells develop from progenitor cells following an intricate pattern of gene expression. In this project, I intended to elucidate the roles of several genes in the development of retinal ganglion cells in zebrafish. Specifically we have chosen genes from our single cell expression data that were found in developing ganglion cells and encode proteins which modify histones. These modifications are known to affect gene transcription, but it is unclear how these proteins and their histone modifications influence gene expression in retinal ganglion cells. To address these questions, we first set out to determine the retinal expression of different SET domain containing proteins using in-situ hybridization. I generated a large number of different probes, but to date we have only observed widespread expression of the genes. Second, I utilized the CRISPR/Cas9 system to generate mutations in different Set domain proteins with the goal of assessing the retinal phenotype of the mutants. I designed and generated numerous gRNAs, which were injected into fish. However, our mutation rates were mostly low in F0 fish, not allowing for any phenotypic analysis. These fish will need to be raised and crossed for generations to produce homozygote fish before the role of these proteins in retinal ganglion cell development can be ascertained.

Determining the cellular localization of the bacterial signal recognition particle by the use of fluorescent protein gene fusions

Stephanie Kohles, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The signal recognition particle (SRP) is a highly conserved molecular machine that targets hydrophobic polypeptides to cellular membranes of both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Escherichia coli is an attractive system to study the system since the SRP is composed of a single protein (Ffh) and a small structural RNA (4.5S RNA). While much is known about the biochemical activity of the SRP in E. coli, how the cellular localization of Ffh and 4.5S RNA influences their activity is not as well understood. To approach this question, we have used green fluorescent protein (GFP) and the flavin-based fluorescent protein iLOV to tag the Ffh protein at both the amino- and carboxy-termini. In addition, we have also used the Broccoli fluorescent RNA to localize 4.5S RNA within living cells. Upon completion of tests to observe each construct’s ability to complement an ffh deletion mutation, we discovered that fluorescent tagging altered the function of the Ffh protein. In characterizing the gene fusions it was observed that GFP fusions to either the amino- or carboxy terminus resulted in a dominant negative phenotype. While the fluorescent tags did interfere with protein function, the new constructs will be useful to better understand SRP function in bacteria.

Developing a children's book to help Latin American immigrant children overcome and become more resistant to acculturative stressors

Kevin Wagner, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

I explored the empirical literature on overcoming acculturative stressors as a Latin American child. I conducted a critical review on the literature on what a Latin American child could do to overcome acculturative stressors. I also explored the literature on what parents, teachers, and other caregivers can do to help children overcome acculturative stressors. Next, I explored the children’s books that have been developed to address acculturative stressors in Latin American children. Since acculturative stressors in Latin American children is a very specific topic, I also explored the children’s books that aim to facilitate the immigration process for immigrant children in general. Then, I addressed the gaps that the children's books have not addressed in regards to overcoming acculturative stressors as a Latin American immigrant child. Lastly, thanks to my knowledge from conducting the critical review, exploring children’s books, and taking the course HD FS 240: Literature for Children, I developed a children’s book in Spanish and English that aims to help Latin American immigrant children overcome acculturative stressors. The story’s text incorporates findings from the literature on what a Latin American child could do to overcome acculturative stressors.

Development of a visual complementation system: application to the essential ffh gene of Escherichia coli

Alissa Campbell, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Complementation tests are fundamental for understanding gene function. Characterization of essential bacterial genes poses a challenge, however, because a functional copy of the gene must be provided in a haploid organism. We have developed a new visual genetic system to conduct complementation tests that characterize the essential Escherichia coli ffh gene, which encodes a subunit of the signal recognition particle (SRP). The Ffh protein contains a methionine-rich carboxy-terminal domain (M domain) important for binding the hydrophobic signal sequences of nascent membrane proteins. To assess the importance of these methionine residues, we created multiple alleles where each methionine of the M domain was converted to tryptophan, valine, leucine, phenylalanine, tyrosine or isoleucine. We also constructed an E. coli mutant (AC101) where an ffh deletion was complemented by an unstable plasmid encoding wild type ffh, along with a purple chromoprotein. To test the system, AC101 was transformed with plasmids carrying the different ffh alleles. Complementation was easily confirmed by observing white colonies, indicating loss of the unstable plasmid. Using this system we found that only valine could substitute for the methionine residues. This genetic system should be amenable to isolate and characterize mutant alleles of many other essential bacterial genes.

Development of an innovative learning experience on plasmid isolation and protocol optimization for freshman students in a pilot laboratory course

Rachael Ingram, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The vision and change initiative in life science education has charged universities with rethinking how undergraduate curriculum is presented and taught to students. For my Honors project, I designed and taught an innovative learning experience for freshman students in a pilot laboratory course. The course goals were to introduce and build basic microbiological, molecular genetic and biochemical engineering laboratory techniques, while empowering our students to undertake independent research in their first year. The topic of my module was plasmid isolation and optimization from E. coli, a technique that would reinforce the independent problem solving and wet-lab skills needed throughout the duration of the course. From the literature, I gathered information on the history of plasmids and surveyed how and why the protocols have changed over the years. I then tested six different historical protocols for plasmid isolation, dating from 1979 to 2011, readying them for the students’ use. In addition, I taught general information on plasmids and their history (e.g. discovery, current use, etc.). For two weeks, I was in charge of the laboratory, teaching the students about plasmids and making sure the students’ isolations and optimizations went smoothly. My laboratory manual serves as a model for the coming semesters.

Development of Imaging Protocols for Neural Progenitor Cell Xenotransplantation

Sara Stuedemann, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Adult hippocampal progenitor cells (AHPCs) can become three different cell types: neurons, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes. The goal of this study is to determine whether external or internal factors are more prevalent in regulating cell differentiation, and if AHPCs can differentiate into alternative cell types under appropriate conditions. The AHPCs were transplanted into zebrafish blastulas. The blastula is a permissive environment for transplanted cells to grow and differentiate. The embryos were whole-mount imaged after immunohistochemistry to determine cell localization and type. The embryos were also sectioned to acquire more detailed images. A novel protocol was designed in which test embryos were immunolabeled, whole-mount imaged, and cryosectioned at three time points. The labeling was maintained in the vasculature in in both whole and sectioned embryos. An in vitro experiment was performed to observe if AHPCs maintain homogeneity over time, ensuring that the same cell type was transplanted in each experiment. Immunocytochemistry at the same three time points demonstrated that AHPCs maintain their progenitor cell identity in culture. The techniques established here will be used to determine the factors affecting cell differentiation. The manipulation of these factors to produce desired cell phenotypes may then be used to promote regeneration and repair.

Do male or female applicants have an advantage for positions in the veterinary medicine industry?

Chelsea Steffen, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau for 2009 and 2010, women earn an average of $10,849 less than men annually (DeNavas-Walt et al., 2010). Specifically in the field of veterinary medicine, the average first year income for males was $2,000 higher than for females (Heath & Lanyon, 2996). Research has also demonstrated sex bias in the application review process, with male applicants being viewed as more competent and deserving of a higher salary, even with credentials identical to those of the female applicant (Moss-Rascusin et al., 2012). For the current research, seventy-two participants studying animal science or related fields were recruited from Iowa State University. They were randomly assigned to review either of two resumes, each identical except for a masculine or feminine name. Participants assessed the applicant on willingness to hire and salary measures. Upon review of the data, it was found that no significant differences exist between the male applicant and the female applicant for all measures, and any differences between the two applicants were microscopic. These results are encouraging, in that they signify that neither access nor salary discrimination between males and females occurs in the field of veterinary medicine.

Dynamic Stability During Gate of Older Adults

Andria Knutson, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

It has been found that older adults are at risk of falling in their homes, especially at night in low light situations. This study aimed to quantitatively evaluate the falling risk of older adults when walking in dim light on a few different surfaces that are relatable to a home environment. The 3 surfaces used include a normal (flat) condition, an uneven (with bumps) condition, and an inconsistent (on soft mats) condition. Male and Female participants over age 50 walked on each of the 3 surfaces in both light and dark conditions. During each phase, their balance was assessed based on the time it took for their center of pressure to reach the boundary of their shoe indicating instability. Data was collected using Novel Pedar In-sole sensors, and a time to boundary (TTB) analysis was performed to determine the results. A significant difference in the instability of certain conditions makes it possible to draw conclusions about the safety of home environments and make recommendations about how to improve them in order to decrease the risk of falling.

Effect of intronic sequences on splicing regulation of Spinal Muscular Atrophy gene

Erica Nelson, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which affects young infants, is an autosomal recessive disease caused by a mutation in the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. There is a second gene called Survival Motor Neuron 2 (SMN2) that is a nearly identical copy of SMN1. The presence of SMN2 is not enough to compensate for the loss of SMN1 because exon 7 of SMN2 is predominantly skipped during pre-mRNA splicing. In this study, a screen was conducted to search for novel cis-acting regulatory elements that modify and control the splicing of SMN2 pre-mRNA. It was hypothesized that if there remain critical unknown cis-elements that regulate SMN2 pre-mRNA slicing, then by finding these elements the scientific community can gain a better understanding of this splicing. The screen was performed using an engineered reporter system to generate 10 base pair (bp) deletions within SMN2 intron 7. The splicing products of each mutated reporter system were analyzed using gel electrophoresis. From these products a novel branch point shift within intron 7 was identified. Based on these findings, subsequent research is needed to further characterize this branch point shift in hopes of fully understanding the mechanism behind SMN2 pre-mRNA splicing.

Effects of Workout Variation on One-Repetition Maximum Lifts

Grant Vanderlinden, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Millennials are trending toward living healthier lifestyles each day, but this is much harder than it appears, especially with the large amount of disagreement among workout enthusiasts. With nearly everyone claiming that they’ve discovered “the secret,” how is one to know whom to trust? The harsh reality is that the right workout plan is different for each individual, but quantitative data can provide a strong starting point. The objective of this project is to observe the effects of changing variables involved with workouts on one-repetition maximum lifts (the maximum weight that can be lifted for only one repetition while maintaining correct form). The variables manipulated were heart rate (at the end of the workout), total workout time, and the number of moves related to the main muscle group for the workout. Data was collected on a daily basis, five days a week for two semesters, with each day comprising one of the five main muscle groups: arms, shoulders, legs, chest, and back. With the data collected, an analysis with pivot tables in Microsoft Excel and a predictive model in IBM’s SPSS Modeler provided the basis for the best underlying core structure of a one-repetition-maximum-increasing workout plan.

Efficacy of Two Nutrition Education Methods for Older Adults in an Independent Living Community

Kaitlyn Scheuermann, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Older adults are a diverse population with many life experiences. Food is an important part of their lives from cultural and physiological perspectives. As adults age, food and physical activity can promote better health and quality of life. This study took place in an independent living facility. Independent living facility residents live in their own apartments where they cook their own meals and choose their own physical activity. Two methods of nutrition education, in-person and online lessons, were used to discuss key areas of concern for older adults: meal planning, physical activity, protein, and produce consumption. Participants completed interviews to gather perspectives on their community and perceptions of food and nutrition. These results determined topics of interest. Participants also completed the Dietary Screening Tool at the beginning (pre-) and end (post-) of the educational series to assess changes in dietary intake frequency and nutritional risk. Participants were divided into two groups to complete nutrition education in one of the formats. Participants completed post-pre questionnaires to assess self-reported change in familiarity and intention to change. Results were not significant due to a small, non-diverse sample. However, the results suggested a shift toward higher familiarity and likelihood to apply changes.

Engineering an Art Form

Will Becker, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The purpose of this project was to use engineering software to design and cut wood blocks for use in relief printing. Historically, the process of cutting away “white space” on wood blocks was done by hand. Instead this project was designed using three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) software and transformed into computerized numerical control (CNC) machine processes using computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software. Two key blocks were designed, with one accompanied by two support blocks. All four blocks were cut from medium density fiberboard (MDF) in the Prototyping and Fabrication Service Center in Howe 1380. The next step was to apply ink to what remained of the original wood surface and use a printing press to transfer the ink to paper. A series of prints were made from the blocks, experimenting with different ink color, orientation, and block combinations.

Engineering GPA Achievement Analysis

Amy Seibert, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Historical data from multiple institutions show that students who achieve a first-semester grade point average (GPA) below 2.0 are at substantially greater risk of leaving engineering programs before graduating with a degree than are those who achieved above 2.0. Identifying these “at risk” students prior to the start of their first semester could enable improved strategies to enhance their academic success and likelihood of graduation. This study analyzes why students who may have been “at risk” coming in did not end up getting below a 2.0 GPA in their first semester. The data from the MapWorks survey taken by all first-year students was compared for the different risk level groups. From this data, there are some statistically significant answers that differentiated those students who over-performed their “at risk” status and those who did not. These answers can be used when advising “at risk” students in engineering in the future.

Exercise and the Emotional Health of College Students

Meghan Ludwig, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Purpose: The purpose of this review was to determine the effects of exercise on depression, self-concept, and stress among college students. The transition to college can be a significant trigger for mental health problems. College students face the simultaneous challenges of having to adapt to an unfamiliar social environment and having to cope with academic stress. A non-pharmacological treatment option for students facing mental health problems would be valuable due to the low cost and absence of negative side effects. However, the effects of exercise on depression, self-concept, and stress among college students are understudied. Methods: Databases (PubMed, PsycINFO) were searched for relevant research articles. Pertinent information was extracted and tabulated. Results: Twelve relevant articles. Three were experimental designs and eight were correlational or cross-sectional designs. Higher levels of physical activity correlated with lower levels of stress and depression, as well as higher levels of self-esteem. Conclusions: Exercise may be a useful method of preventing or alleviating mental health problems that college students face. Both cardiovascular and resistance programs have been shown to lower depressive symptoms, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem.

Forecasting Stock Market Returns and Volatility Using Time Series Analysis

Mengjie Xing, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Stock price forecasting is a popular and important topic in financial and academic studies, and time series analysis is an advanced set of tools that is useful for this type of data. This study analyzes a time series of S&P 500 index returns data; and employs time series methods and ARMA modelling to predict S&P 500 index mean returns. Index return volatility is also analyzed and forecasted using GARCH modelling techniques. Multiple competing models are fitted and tested using Eviews software. Weekly observations of S&P 500 index returns from 2010 to 2016 are used to fit several conditional variance models, and the most preferred model is selected in order to forecast variance. The two most preferred conditional mean and conditional variance models are used to forecast values for the next ten weekly observations, and the forecasted values are compared with the actual data. The conditional variance results are of particular usefulness in risk modelling applications.

Framework for Auto-Generating Agents that Fight in a Semi-Coherent Way

Eric Soland, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

This project aimed to explore the potential of computer and video games by pursuing a depth in gaming that is uncommon or non-existent in current games. That pursuit consisted of creating a coding framework that can automatically generate many more components of the fighting logic than are normally used in current games. This framework is extendable, which allowed this project to scale to the time available. The other main part of this framework is the interface control document which describes how to use it. The end point of this project is a functional framework with a decent interface document so another developer could pick up this project and incorporate it in their game.

Genetic Haplotypes and Family History of Alzheimer’s disease Modify Homocysteine and Influence Neurovascular Pathology

Joe Webb, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Objective: To delineate novel relationships between Alzheimer disease (AD) factors, such as Translocase of the Outer Mitochondrial Membrane - kD 40 (TOMM40) genotype, AD family history (FH), vascular risk factors, and vascular neuropathology Methods: We performed linear mixed model regression on imaging and biomarker data from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) cohort. Among 210 healthy adults with 1 or 2 Apolipoprotein ε4 (APOE4) alleles, we stratified by TOMM40 genotypes S/L, L/L, L/VL. Main effects and interactions between TOMM40 and FH were conducted on white matter hyperintensities (WMH), infarctions, and total intracranial volume. Vascular risk factors homocysteine and cholesterol were similarly tested, adjusting for age, gender, BMI and hyperglycemia status. Results: FH*TOMM40 interactions showed that L/L and L/VL genotypes exercised “beneficial” effects for FH negative (FH-) and “detrimental” effects for FH positive (FH+) participants. In FH+, risk alleles were associated with higher homocysteine (P=0.024), total cholesterol (P=0.005), infarction occurrence (P=0.045), greater WMH burden (P = 0.032) and smaller intracranial volume (P<0.001). Conclusions: These results suggest FH modulates TOMM40’s effects on vascular markers and AD neurovascular pathology in APOE4 individuals. These interactions between FH and TOMM40 influence neuropathology, suggesting TOMM40 genotype could serve as a novel predictor for AD.

Honor's Investigation into LGBT-Catholic Intersections of Identity in a Midwestern College Town Parish

Birch Spick, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

This pilot study seeks to investigate the intersections of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) and Catholic identities by analyzing the discourses (language by which individuals describe their ideologies, worldviews, practices, etc.) of members of a gay-straight alliance in a Catholic parish situated in a Midwestern college town. I analyzed the discourse of informants (what they say or don't say about their experiences as LGBT/allied Catholics), to understand what church teachings or practices are referenced in our conversations. Key questions concerned why those teachings/practices were important; where those teachings/practices came from; and how those teachings/practices are used by different people in different ways (this would be sensitive to social contexts such as a person's sexual orientation, role in the church, etc.). Interviews with three informants were conducted, and data pertaining to individuals' ideologies, worldviews, practices, etc. were compared with each other and with data collected from secondary sources (research monographs, journal articles, published dissertations, etc.). Informants were recruited by word of mouth through conversations that took place over the last two years.

iArch: Envisioning an Interactive Interface for Contemporary Indigenous Architecture

Ashley Danielson, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The goal of the iArch project is to make information regarding contemporary Indigenous architecture in North America accessible to the public. In order to do this, projects need to be identified and information needs to be organized and compiled into a database. One product of this collection would be the creation an interface used in an Indigenous architecture exhibit. My role in this process was the conceptualization and communication of this interactive interface that would allow users to access, visualize and interpret this information. This particular interface will allow museum visitors learn about Indigenous architecture and also be the beginning of a designed archive of projects that can be accessed by architectural scholars, faculty and students, and potential clients such as Tribal Nation governments. Through personal experience and precedent research on interactive exhibits, I have been able to design a system that allows easy access and connectivity to the details of each project. My initial presentation communicated the concept and usability of the program. Since then, I have worked on adding more content and representing this project through video, which can then be used by computer specialists as a foundation for their creation of the actual hardware and software programs.

Individual Differences and Reasons for Major Choice

Kaitlyn Ouverson, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

This research investigates how personality and interests affect the reasons (self-reported interests and values) that people have for choosing a major. Past research has acknowledged the influence of personality, interests, and values on the choice of a career path. Personality has been shown to be enough to differentiate between major families (Larson, Wu, Bailey, Borgen & Gasser, 2010), and several studies have shown that within a major, reasons may differ between males and females. The current research hopes to explore how self-reported reasons for choosing a major are related to personality traits. Participants were recruited using the testing pool of a large Midwestern university, and a survey including inventories of the Big Five personality traits (Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Emotional Stability, Extraversion, and Openness to Experience), Machiavellian and Narcissistic tendencies, and reasons for major choice was given to all participants. We will analyze data first by utilizing an exploratory factor analysis of the survey items addressing participants’ reasons for major choice to explore the structure of the 20 items. We then will use correlations and multiple regression to examine the relationships between the reasons for major choice and select personality variables, including the Big Five and the Dark Triad.

Inflammatory Biomarkers of Hydrogen Sulfide Induced Neurotoxicity and Degeneration

Belinda Mahama, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has dual actions in the human body as an endogenously produced signaling molecule and a toxic xenobiotic. It is a byproduct of several industries, including oil, petroleum and paper milling and natural forms of exposure are of concern for individuals living near landfills or volcanos. That hydrogen sulfide has potential for use as a chemical weapon is disconcerting. The gas is colorless and has a characteristic rotten egg odor. Acute H2S intoxication can lead to both short and long term neurological sequelae, including neurodegeneration, memory and motor impairment, however, the underlying mechanisms are still unknown. Our hypothesis is that neuroinflammation, characterized by an intense inflammatory response from activated glial cells, can cause cell death by invoking the production of many pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines. To test this hypothesis we used histopathology to visualize the affected tissue; then measured cytokines in the brain tissue and serum of mice exposed to H2S by inhalation. Results show increased glial fibrillary protein levels, indicating a recruitment of reactive astrocytes to the tissue, starting around day 3 post exposure. Understanding the basic mechanisms underlying neuroinflammation contributes to our long term objective of discovering countermeasures against and treatment of H2S induced neurodegeneration.

Investigation of Bicycle Service Quality in Ames

Rochelle Starrett, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Although cycling is growing as a transportation mode in the United States, significant barriers still exist for this mode when compared to driving, including poor infrastructure throughout most of the United States. Relatively little is known about the impact of transportation infrastructure on bicycle service quality, and this lack of understanding makes it more difficult for transportation planners and engineers to explicitly consider bicyclists in transportation design decisions. This study asks Ames cyclists to evaluate service quality at various signalized intersections in the Ames area, in addition to providing feedback on how different cycling facilities and roadway features enhance the cycling experience. Using the results of this survey, the inter-relationships among geometric design, cycling infrastructure, service quality, and cyclist experience level was examined. This survey was distributed to Ames area cyclists through three local bike shops, the Ames Bike Coalition, and the Iowa State University Cycling Club. The results of this study provide insights on how bicyclists’ perceptions of intersection characteristics and other geometric design features affect cyclist experience. The findings provide further support for continuing efforts to explicitly integrate bicyclist level of service as part of roadway planning and design.

ISU Research Park Stormwater Retrofit

Chris Holmquist, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The ISU Research Park Stormwater Retrofit is a strategic plan which, once made available to officials and the public, can be used as a guiding tool in the continued development and modernization of Phase 1 of the ISU Research Park. The plan is centered around stormwater management, with planning and best man management practices suggested both as a retrofit to current properties and a design guide for future development. These best management practices focus on increasing quality of stormwater runoff, reducing runoff quantity, increasing groundwater infiltration, or any combination of the three. Through these means, the research park will not only have a cleaner environment with fewer flood or other infrastructure problems, but will also contribute a reduced burden to areas downstream. By having facilities that are stormwater-conscious, the ISU Research Park can lead the way by serving as an example for other areas within campus and for other university or public facilities across the nation and across the world.

Jaw Range of Motion in People with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Austin Ritter, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Problem- People with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) experience pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or in muscles controlling jaw movement. Purpose- The purpose of this project was to determine whether people with TMD have different ranges of motion for their jaw while chewing. Methods- There were nine subjects in this project, three with TMD and six who did not have TMD as a control group. Of those with TMD, two were female and one was male. Of the control group, there were two females and four males. Subject jaw movements were tracked using a motion analysis system and eight reflective markers placed on the subject’s face. Subjects then did maximal jaw extension, protrusion, retraction, and right and left lateralization movements. Next, subjects ate an apple, gum, and dry cereal on one side of the mouth and then repeated on the other side. We were then able to analyze the data using MatLab. Results- The TMD group demonstrated a larger range of motion in jaw movements other than jaw extension. Conclusions- This projected demonstrated that jaw range of motion may be affected by TMD. Further study may indicate why, possibly due to the TMJ being unstable or dysfunction of facial muscles.

Local Policy Lessons After Extreme Flood Events for Mitigation Planning

Melissa Mika, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Floods are becoming an increasing problem for many communities across the nation due to augmented storms and climate change. Many communities are facing repeatedly severe extreme flood events. Local governments are taking initiatives to improve policy-based flood measures in addition to structural mitigation strategies. This localized flooding, which tends to be spatially chronic, provides an opportunity for local governments and policy planners to learn and improve their flood mitigation planning. This study focuses on the policy learning, or change and improvements to policy, of local communities in response to major flood events. Specifically, what factors influence policy learning for flood mitigation within communities. Case studies were reviewed to determine the extent of policy learning and what factors led to effective policy learning. Within the context of key factors that were identified, local policies and mitigation planning were comprehensively and comparatively studied for the City of Ames, Iowa, following the major floods of 1993 and 2010.

Loneliness in College Students

Kathalina Roat, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Numerous studies support the fact that college students are lonelier now than ever before. Loneliness has been connected to poor health, social problems, and academic failure, along with other challenges relevant to student success. By identifying the factors that most strongly influence student loneliness, universities can create programs and policies to target the causes and reduce student loneliness, thereby improving students' emotional, social, and academic wellbeing. This paper studies the impacts of factors such as campus involvement, study habits, and group work on student loneliness. The study was conducted by surveying 1,300 undergraduate Iowa State University students about various factors affecting their university experience. In this survey, student loneliness was assessed using the UCLA Loneliness Scale (version 3). Results were analyzed to determine how various elements of a student's social and academic collegiate experience impact loneliness.

Maize chromosome 1 mapping of Ac/Ds induced genome rearrangements

Keaton Phillips, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The maize genome is dynamic with major structural differences between lines. In our line of interest structural rearrangements due to the Ac/Ds transposable element system lead to changes in kernel color. These phenotypes occur in individual kernels due to the activation or deactivation of pericarp color genes, P1 and P2. Using bioinformatics software like CoGe and Samtools along with previous sequencing data we compared our line of interest to major maize lines, B73 and w22, to find similarities and differences that could help explain phenotypic changes. While comparing and mapping our line of interest we did not find more similarity between our line and either B73 or w22. However, we did construct a model of features around the P1 and P2 genes that will be useful in further studies.

Mapping quantitative height traits in sorghum across growth stages

Anna Underhill, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Heterosis, the relative increase in fitness of a hybrid offspring as compared to its parents, has contributed significantly to gains made through plant breeding. This phenomenon is most often observed in tall hybrid plants with increased vigor; however, the physiological mechanism behind this result is still poorly understood. This experiment presents the effect of several height-controlling genes in sorghum across its growth stages, examining changes in expression as plant development proceeds. QTL mapping revealed an early-acting height gene in chromosome 4, as well as fluctuations in previously identified regions in chromosomes 7 and 9. Mapping across growth stages allowed the changing effects of these genes to be observed, which is not possible when measurements are taken only after plants have reached maturity.

Measuring and Comparing Stress Levels and Stress Behaviors to Rehabilitation Time in Avian Patients

Anderson Grant, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

A better understanding of avian stress behaviors and the consequences of this stress is important for wildlife care clinics, the rehabilitation field, and the behavioral ecology community. The goals of this experiment are to 1) determine whether correlations between the time to patient recovery and the stress experienced during captivity exist, and 2) develop a ranking of patient response to treatment that will inform doctors and staff about the stress levels patients are experiencing. I observed behavioral response to handling and treatment by staff for 3 barred owls admitted to the Wildlife Care Clinic. I collected fecal samples from during periods of lower stress and after handling to determine baseline and stress-induced levels of corticosterone, a reliable indicator of avian stress (Deviche et al., 2014), for all individuals. I will determine corticosterone metabolite concentrations in the samples via enzyme immunoassay (Wasser et al. 1997). Finally, using the length of time to patient release as a proxy for patient recovery, I determined whether there are any correlates between patient response and subsequent corticosterone levels. I predict that the birds exhibiting more energetic behavior during handling will have lower corticosterone levels and therefore have a quicker rehabilitation time (Garamszegi et al. 2012).

Meeting the Need for Family Planning in Loreto, Peru

Hannah Darr, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Voluntary family planning is internationally recognized as a cost-effective public health intervention to prevent life-threatening or unwanted births. Peru has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in South America and numbers are disproportionately high in rural, impoverished, and indigenous communities in the Loreto District. Thirty interviews were conducted with community members of reproductive age in Iquitos (urban), Mazan (semi-urban), and Santo Tomas (rural) of the Loreto district to determine accessibility, usage, and perceptions of contraception. Of the 22 respondents who did not desire more children, half were not using any modern form of contraception. Government policy has eliminated cost as a barrier to accessible contraception, leaving inconsistent availability of desired birth control and unexpected side effects as reasons most cited for non-usage. Family planning was considered an issue exclusive to women and male condoms were among the least utilized methods of contraception. Findings suggest a need for increase health information for women seeking voluntary contraception and outreach to men and adolescents.

Moderate Exercise vs. High Intensity Interval Training

Heather Danzer, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine if High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) results in a higher energy expenditure and is more enjoyable when compared to moderate exercise. Methods: On two different days, ten college age men and women exercised on a treadmill at either 50% of their maximum heart rate for 20 consecutive minutes or 90% of their maximum heart rate for one minute, alternated by one minute of recovery walking, which was repeated 10 times for a total of 20 minutes of exercise. Heart rate and calories burned were assessed with a heart rate monitors. Assessments were continued during a 30-minute recovery period as participants sat quietly in a chair. PACES, a survey based on enjoyment of the exercise was also completed. Results: Moderate exercise burned an average of 139±40 calories while exercising and 64±15 calories during recovery. HIIT burned an average of 204±40 calories while exercising and 117±47 calories during recovery. The PACES score for moderate exercise was 14.2 while HIIT was 12.5, which was not statistically different and indicates no difference in enjoyment between the conditions. Conclusion: HIIT is the more effective way to burn more calories during exercise and after exercise given the same time period as moderate exercise.

Nitrogen Uptake of Native and Non-Native Flowering Plants

Heather Wilson, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Nitrogen (N) content in plants is a frequent focus of studies regarding community health and species diversity. N from agricultural runoff acts as a pollutant, altering native plant. Plants vary in their ability to take up N, and their relative abilities to do so are largely unknown. This is important to study, as a plant’s ability to compete for N can determine its survival and impact species diversity. Measurement of N in the field is a costly and difficult process. A relatively inexpensive app, Fieldscout GreenIndex+ has been designed to quickly and easily measure plant N. Used in concert with the associated color palette, this technology is a non-destructive tool for field measurement. The app was designed to work for corn. In this experiment, we tested its effectiveness in measuring N in native and non-native prairie plant species. Different amounts of N were added to the soil of the plants, and the greenness of the leaves were measured in 3-week increments. At the end of the study, the actual nitrogen content of the plants was determined using chemical analysis. We found that the Fieldscout app was only moderately effective at measuring plant nitrogen content (r2 = 0.092, p = 0.53). There was no significant difference in the ability of the app to measure N in native and non-native plants.

Now you see me, now you don't: antigenic variation and replication phenotype of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus variants

Marcus Bolton, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

RNA viruses are known for their genetic variability, allowing for rapid adaptation to changing host environments. Genetic and antigenic variation can confer viral escape from the host immune response but can often be associated with a decrease in viral fitness. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is an RNA virus that causes an economically devastating disease of swine. In order to evaluate fitness costs associated with immune escape, we analyzed a panel of PRRSV variants for trade-offs in viral fitness. To determine if escape was accompanied by changes in replication fitness, the PRRSV variants were characterized for infectivity and growth kinetics in vitro. All four escape variants were significantly less infectious than both the parental FL12 virus and non-escape variants, indicating immune escape is associated with a decrease in infectivity. PRRSV variants differed in replication kinetics, but differences were not associated with an immune escape phenotype. Together, these results indicate that genetic changes in multiple PRRSV envelope proteins conferring immune escape are associated with decreased infectivity, and may alter replication rate.

Nutritional Intervention for Age-Related Muscular Function and Strength Losses

Shaun Sperr, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Introduction: The purpose of this research was to study differences between men and women in vitamin D3 levels and between vitamin D3 levels and muscle strength. I hypothesized that there would be no significant difference between vitamin D3 and gender. I also hypothesized that people with more vitamin D3 levels would have greater muscle strength compared to people with low vitamin D levels (Rathmacher, 2015). This is part of a larger NIH study. Methods: Blood serum was drawn from 54 men and 40 women to measure Vitamin D3 levels. After obtaining the results I separated the participants into the top 50th percentile and the lower 50th percentile based on vitamin D3 levels. Muscle strength was measured using a Biodex where the participant sat on the machine and flexed their right leg to 180 degrees with as much force as possible while the machine provided resistance. Results: A T-test revealed no differences between men and women in vitamin D3 levels. In addition there was no difference between the upper 50th percentile and the lower 50th percentile of vitamin D3 levels on muscular strength (p>.05).

Old Title: Hard Mask Patterning of Hafnia Nanoparticle Films Final Title: Nucleation and Growth of Shape-Controlled Hafnia Nanocrystals

Kyle Miller, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Hafnia nanocrystals which exhibit one dimensional growth are synthesized via a sol-gel reaction, and the effects of time, temperature, and ligand selection are measured and utilized to control nanocrystal shape and size. Here we report the yield, phase, and a detailed procedure for their synthesis, as well as a kinetic model of growth that fits a simple exponential trend, from which an activation energy can be obtained. Additionally, we propose a crystallization and growth mechanism wherein an amorphous precursor network is formed in solution from the starting compounds, and is crystallized at the reaction temperature by a crystallization agent.

Optimizing Land Usage for Profitability in an Agroecological System

Haley Birch, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The demand for increased food production is growing along with the population. The proper utilization of land is key for food security. There is a disconnection between standard farming techniques and natural eco-systems. Land and livestock have opportunities to yield higher profits from working with the eco-system through agroecological farming. Improving agroecological practices among farmers is a step towards decreasing our footprint, and living sustainably. The direction of the research was focused on one main question: What is the optimal mix and quantity of animals based on profitability and sustainability? A spreadsheet was created to identify the potential profits of for various farming operations based on the total amount of land available, using the land so that it fits the animals’ optimal environment, and following sustainable farming practices. Primary and secondary research was collected in order to support the spreadsheet. The scope of the research is focused on Simple Life Farms, a family farm in Winterset, Iowa that raises dairy goats and chickens. The feasibility of different farming opportunities has been examined. The results from this research are a spreadsheet that outline the profitability opportunities for different animals based on the land.

Orientation Manual for International Students at ISU

Yuanhan Xu, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The current orientation manual provided by ISU is the same for all new students, leaving many problems unsolved for international students. This project is designed to help new international students for a better transition to living in Ames, Iowa. To collect opinions about what they would expect from this project, surveys and interviews were first conducted with current ISU international students, Chinese high school students, and an instructor from the ISU Intensive English and Orientation Program. This manual contains steps of accomplishing different tasks and answers of various questions in travel preparation, medical matters, accommodation and much more. To make this 78-page manual easier to read, it is written in a chronological order and hyperlinks are created for easier information retrieval. Knowledge about American culture and holidays, as requested by many interviewees, are spread throughout the manual in text boxes. Relevant comics and pictures also make the manual fun to read. A survey conducted after the completion of this manual let the participants compare the current official manual with this manual. Participants believed if they had read this manual in the first place they would have a better transitional period. Participants also strongly recommended this manual to new international students.

Oven Control System for Composite Testing

Andrew Hughes, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The oven used by Team PrISUm to conduct composite materials testing was controlled by a system that is complicated and lacks several features that the team finds desirable. This project aimed to create a replacement control system using a raspberry pi as the controller hardware and Python 3.4 as the programming language. A traditional proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller was created, with improvements adding resistance to integral windup and derivative kick. The hardware required to support the PID controller was identified and assembled onto a custom circuit board to simplify the equipment setup. A web interface was created to eliminate the need for a workstation connected to the oven. The web interface provided easy access to the temperature profile programming and operation of the oven. The Python language allowed for quick development and testing while adding new features such as data logging. Overall, the new system provides a more stable platform with several new features not previously available.

Passive Damping: Dual Headed Cam System

Heather Murphy, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The purpose of this project is to show that 3D printing can be used as a cheaper and faster alternative to expensive machining when proving concepts in the Structural Engineering field, while also providing a novel concept in passive damping in the process. Passive damping involves the dissipation of energy through means that do not require outside control while it acts. This damping concept utilizes 3D printed, cam shaped objects to create friction between two plates as they slide across each other, which simulates a building swaying back and forth. The increased friction caused by the cam hence dissipates the energy that causes the plates to move. This damping concept is applicable to tall buildings that are subject to wind forces and earthquakes.

Patches O Pumpkins

Raymond Schmidt, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Patches O Pumpkins is the integration of a small business start-up and graphic design branding initiative. Patches O Pumpkins’ purpose is to provide a learning experience on how to manage a business on a small scale. Managing inventory, price points, marketing campaigns, branding, and employees can be difficult to do simultaneously. It is imperative that employee moral stay focused and motivated. Employees emulate the attitude of the leadership of the organization, if the manager is very optimistic and passionate about the topic, the employees will be more productive. Patches O Pumpkins began in 2013 and experimented with many different products, price points, and marketing campaigns. Through customer purchasing habits, Patches O Pumpkins determines the most profitable products to sell and the best ways to market those products and adjusts our strategy accordingly. Branding, marketing, and management techniques learned in Patches O Pumpkins will be implemented in future endeavors.

Performance Evaluation of Web Application Frameworks

Jason Wong, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The market of web application frameworks is flooded with so many options. In result, the objective of this project is to compare the most popular web application frameworks and evaluate them against a set of "performance" standards. After conducting user and market surveys I limited my “performance” standards to database access, JSON serialization, and high-traffic capabilities. Using these standards, I gathered existing test data as well as developed web tools to facilitate in independent testing. The main frameworks tested during my research includes: SpringMVC, NodeJS,, CodeIgniter, Laravel, and Symphony2. The main conclusion of my research is that avoiding the use of frameworks will result in better web application performance; however, this better web application performance can often come at a cost of maintainable and modular code.

Personality Based Preferences for Careers in Entrepreneurial firms

Taylor Francis, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

A plethora of past research has identified personality traits of entrepreneurs, but what about the personalities of people that would prefer to work in an entrepreneurial firm? The answer to this question would allow HR professionals to identify and target top candidates for employment in either a startup or an established firm based on a pre-employment personality test. Additionally, knowledge of this type will broaden our understanding of the traditional entrepreneurial firm by allowing us to get a personality profile for “joiners” of startup firms. This research uses the ten aspects of the big five personality model to determine a correlation between personality and employment preference. A simple regression model is then used to predict preference based on personality test scores.

pNIPAm particles for protein delivery to tumor-associated macrophages.

Christopher Isely, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Drug delivery vehicles are designed to address limitations associated with traditional drug administration methods. In the case of cancer immunotherapy, the problem often lies in toxicity of drug, local delivery and short residence time in the body. In cancer, macrophages are prime targets for immunotherapy. They exist on a spectrum of phenotypes, with M1 classically activated and M2 alternatively activated macrophages being the traditional ends of this spectrum. M2 macrophages are pro-wound healing, and M1 macrophages are pro-inflammatory. Tumor associated macrophages (TAM’s) are mostly M2-like macrophages and promote tumor growth. Interleukin 12 (IL-12) delivery to macrophages has been shown to reprogram M2 macrophages to M1 macrophages. Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-co-acrylic acid-co-poly(ethyleneglycol) diacrylate (pNIPAm-co-PEGDA Microgel) particles have attractive properties for drug delivery for IL-12. The cytotoxicity, degradative properties, particle internalization and doxorubicin release was studied using these particles. Viability of polarized macrophages in the presence of these particles was found to be above 70% at 0.0125 mg/mL. Doxorubicin release studies showed release occurred over 14 days. Internalization of particles was imaged using fluorescein-loaded particles. Future work will include model protein release studies and further particle characterization. Results from this work will be applied to drug delivery design and further work into macrophage reprogramming.

Potential Use of Timber in Space

Shaohua Dong, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The idea of this project is based on my previous studio project: Timber in the City. I was asked to use timber as the main material in my space design. The innovation of timber should not only in structure for architecture, but also interior, floor, insolation, furniture, etc. After visiting to the site, I notice the unquietness of the environment of the site is a horrible fact for living there. Therefore, I focus on researching the possible solution of noise cancelling with wood or timber material. Based on the research on wood walls, I integrated the waffle structural system with wood, and invented five different variations: the normal grid, the deeper grid, the dense grid, and angled grid, and the grid with holes. All of these proposals based on the theory of either inceasing touching surface or transferring direction as the way to control noise from my precedence study. The main body of this project is testing these wall devices to see if they are effective block or influence the sound intensity.

Processing and Visualization of Cyber-physical Model

Megan Reiman, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The purpose of this project was to create a web-based system that would get data from a cyber-physical model and present that data in a graphical format for human users. Specifically, the system would query a database containing the statuses of various pieces of the model, such as power plants and water treatment facilities. Then it would change the appearance of the graphical representation (for instance, the color) to indicate the status of each piece. To do that, it was necessary to find a software library that would provide tools for placing dynamic markers on maps. Possibilities were evaluated on such criteria as the level of detail they would allow and whether they would require an actual geographic location. The selected library was then used to create a map overlay based on the information queried from the database. The system is intended to be a prototype for displaying information about the power and water grids and which could be extended in the future to cover additions to the model.

Public Transit & Accessibility Who is Being Left Behind

Ronnie Shelly, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

This project investigates how well the Escambia County Area Transit in the Pensacola area of Northwest Florida serves people who cannot obtain access to an automobile. The relevance of the study area is that Pensacola is a typical U.S. city of about 50,000 people, and will allow for an easier and more accurate comparison to other U.S. cities. In particular, this project focuses on single woman head of households with children present, and does not have an automobile. The importance of this population is its low rate of car ownership and high rates of poverty. Phase I involved a review of the existing literature of mobility and public transportation systems, while phase II (the current phase) is the process of geospatially locating the target group using Census data from 2010 and different indicators associated with the target group. Creating maps of indicators such as car ownership, female headed households, and the land use type of properties will indicate likely clusters of the target population by laying the maps on top of each other to see where high concentrations overlap. The clusters will be measured against geospatial locations of necessary institutions, like food and daycare, along with the service locations, stop intervals, and interconnectivity of other necessary institutions. The hypothesis is that clusters of the target group on the periphery of the city and beyond will have a lower quality of life due spatial mismatch theory and inadequate access to bus stops and the bus route’s access to necessary institutions.

Relationship Between Body Condition Score (BCS) and Feed Efficiency in Lactating Dairy Cattle

Kara Maxwell, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Increasing feed efficiency in dairy cattle leads to increased profitability. Feed efficiency in dairy cattle represents the balance between milk production and feed intake. It is desirable if a dairy cow can make more milk with less feed input. There is concern, however, that selecting for a more feed efficient cow might lead to cows that suffer extreme body tissue loss to meet the demands of increased milk production. To research this concern, the relationships between body condition score (BCS) observed during the last 130 days of first lactation and the first 45 days of second lactation and two measures of feed efficiency, residual feed intake (RFI) and gross efficiency (GE), measured during mid-lactation were assessed in 98 first lactation Holstein cows to. Residual feed intake was defined as the difference between the amount of feed an animal is expected to eat and how much they actually consume. No significant differences in BCS at 2nd lactation calving, at approximately 40 days in milk (dim), nor in BCS loss during the first 25 and first 45 dim were observed between the 10 most feed efficient and 10 most feed inefficient cows when either RFI or GE was used as the measure of feed efficiency. Our findings suggest that selection based on RFI as a measure of feed efficiency during mid-lactation should not impact change in BCS during early second lactation.

Relative SerpinA3 Abundance in Serum Samples as a Possible Predictor of Feed Efficiency in Swine

Brian Patterson, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Objective: Residual feed intake (RFI) is a feed efficiency metric that represents the difference between observed and expected feed intake. In a previous experiment, serpinA3 was noticeably more abundant in the serum of efficient low RFI pigs, suggesting potential as a feed efficiency biomarker. Our objective was to determine the effect of selection for residual feed intake on porcine serum SerpinA3 abundance. Materials and Methods: Samples were collected from pigs 35 to 42 days of age. Pigs were fed a traditional or high fiber diet and RFIs were calculated. Pigs from each line and diet (n=7/diet/line, n=28) were selected from a larger group to represent the most extreme RFI values. One-dimensional western blot analysis was performed to determine serpinA3 abundance. Data were analyzed using the mixed procedure of SAS v9.3 with gel as a random effect. Results: RFI line did not significantly affect serpinA3 abundance when using western blot analyisis. In the high fiber diet, serpinA3 was numerically increased in the low RFI line (HRFI=0.84, LRFI=0.98, ±0.09, P= 0.11). SerpinA3 does not appear to be a viable biomarker across diet treatments using western blot analysis, though the high fiber diet showed some promise. This may be caused by western blot technique’s inability to show post-translational protein changes seen in 2D-DIGE. Dietary factors may influence feed efficiency biomarker viability.

Revitalizing Lake Laverne: a Parametric Modeling Study

Kelsey Fleenor, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

This project acted as a design charrette, envisioning Lake Laverne as a revitalized landmark for Iowa State– a place for students, faculty, and visitors to find inspiration, relaxation, and education through architecture and landscaping. Simultaneously, this project provided an opportunity to explore the potential of parametric forms and their benefits to both people and nature including their advantages to the design and construction processes. The project developed over the course of a semester including exploration into various design programs, research into architectural and landscape precedents, and development of many design iterations. Contrary to traditional architectural practice, the scope of this project was not restricted to the site boundaries of Lake Laverne, e.g. Lincoln Way, Morrill Road, Welch Road, Union Drive. Rather, this project provides a visionary design concept that integrates Lake Laverne with the surrounding context (ex. academic buildings and student communities) and transforms Lake Laverne into an aesthetically pleasing and highly functional asset to Iowa State’s campus.

Sedentary Behavior and College Students: Why It Matters Now

Samantha Zust, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

A growing body of research demonstrates the accumulation of sedentary behavior and its negative health effects, especially in middle-aged and older adults (Dunstan, Howard, Healy, & Owen, 2012; Owen, Sparling, Healy, Dunstan, & Matthews, 2010; Teychenne, Ball, & Salmon, 2010; Teychenne, Costigan, & Parker, 2015). However, little is known about sedentary time in younger individuals. The primary purpose of this research was to characterize sedentary behavior in college-aged men and women. A secondary purpose was to examine the relationship between sedentary time and physical activity. Participants included full-time students over the age of 18 (N=72). Sedentary behavior was measured by an ActiGraph accelerometer worn during waking hours for one week. On average, subjects spent 72% of the day sedentary (639.76 + 80.09 minutes/day) and accumulated a large portion of this time (72%) on weekdays between 5:00 and 9:00pm. Further, subjects accumulated an average of 52% of their sedentary time in bouts greater than 30 minutes and 25% in bouts greater than 60 minutes. Sedentary time did not differ between individuals who met physical activity recommendations versus those who did not, whereas an inverse correlation was found between sedentary behavior and light intensity activity. Future research should explore the feasibility and outcome of reducing and breaking up sedentary time in this population due to the potential for health benefits.

Selective Hydrogenation Reactions for Biomass Conversion Catalyzed by Non-Precious Metals

Shannon Goes, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The selective hydrogenation of furfural and glycerol produce high-value chemicals that are useful as the replacement of fuel additives, food preservatives, and polymer precursors that usually come from petroleum. To achieve high levels of conversion and selectivity for these reactions, noble metal catalysts are often used. We studied the conversion of furfural and glycerol to useful derivatives over silica supported non-precious metal single and intermetallic nanoparticle catalysts. Two distinct synthesis methods were used to produce pure-phase bimetallic and monometallic catalysts with various metal loading amounts. Their catalytic properties were tested in reactions that were carried out in a batch reactor under hydrogen. ~90.28% conversion of furfural and ~17.62% selectivity to 2-methylfuran could be achieved (200°C, 0.87g Ni catalyst, 40bar H2) and ~0.4% conversion of furfural and ~100% selectivity to 2-methyl furan could be achieved (200°C, 319.87mg Cu catalyst, 40bar H2). These non-precious metal catalysts are promising owing to their high stability, low cost, and potential for high selectivity and conversion.

Snap, Click, Play: Designing a Marching Snare Drum Music Holder

Michael Flannery, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Scholastic drumlines are an integral part of the American academic experience. Unfortunately, there are very few reliable and effective ways for drummers to march and play while being able to see their music. The goal of this project was to design a simple, durable, and effective music holding system for marching snare drums. First, research of current and related products was conducted. Then, detailed measurements of a marching snare drum were taken and a CAD model was created. Next, prototypes were created through an iterative process of computer modeling, 3D printing, receiving a price quote for mass manufacturing, and field testing. Design changes were based primarily on manufacturing costs and qualitative feedback from drummers who field tested the design. After a final design was chosen, a break-even analysis was performed at different price points to determine the optimal market price. Finally, marketing materials and packaging were designed. The resulting product met the three criteria of simple, durable, and effective and was profitable at a price comparable to current products. The Snap, Click, Play uses a standard lyre and flip folder that can be purchased at any instrument retailer, and it could be sold to high school, college, and private drumlines all over the country.

Social Media Use in Agribusinesses

Christina Dittmer, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Social media have been a transformative tool in modern society. People use them to post updates and connect with friends, businesses use them as an advertising and public relations platform, and activists use them to spread their ideas and values. Because of these different uses and methods, it becomes difficult to give a definitive overall summation of best practices. The agricultural sector is a significant group that uses social media. Because this can be a broad field, this study narrowed its focus to agriculture businesses, namely agronomy and animal science, as they share similar business objectives. These focuses also complement my minors. The 16 businesses were monitored for their 2015 Twitter use. In many ways, social media is too new to specifically say the “best” way to use them, but it is possible to examine how various groups are using them and observe how their posts are received. Overall, the findings of this project suggest that agribusinesses dedicate the bulk of their Twitter output to self-promotion, additional marketing, and professional networking.


Renae Meines, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

To begin this project, I researched plastic heavily and began collecting my own plastic waste rather than throwing it away. I set up another plastic collection bin in one of my classrooms, and saved it from others. From this recovered trash, I constructed a chandelier in Vend-O-Land of the College of Design that would hang the plastic trash, lit up by small LEDs, in people's general space. Accompanying this installation were small booklets of information explaining the impacts of plastic & how people can help, promotional stickers, and a website link. On the website, even more information is provided and serves as a hub for documentation of the installation (photos, video, etc.).

Sustainable Solutions for Used Clothing: The Case of Overflow Thrift Store in Ames

Ashley Tinguely, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

OVERFLOW is a local, privately owned thrift store in Ames, Iowa, that opened in July 2014. It is a non-profit organization that values the opportunity to provide not only a place for people to shop, but also a place for people to give and serve. Secondhand clothing is a major aspect of the business and it presents challenges regarding the ever-growing mass of unsellable donated clothing items. To help this business and similar small thrift stores to address this challenge, this study (1) examined best practices to deal with the excess of disposed textile-based products in the United States and other developed countries, and (2) identified the most sustainable and practical strategies for small thrift stores to dispose of unsellable textile-based products. These strategies will be proposed to OVERFLOW to help sustainably manage the excess of donated clothing and disseminated at conferences and other outlets to be used by other businesses.

Taxicab Geometry in a High School Setting

Alex Halverson, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

This project focuses on implementing a section studying non-Euclidean geometry into a standard high school geometry course’s textbook. Taxicab geometry fits this project very well because the only change from Euclidean geometry is the method of measuring distance. The section begins by introducing the topic of taxicab distance and how to calculate it. Then, by using the new method of measuring distance, it continues with an activity using the new geometry. Finally, the section finishes by discussing applications of taxicab geometry in the real world. Following the content is a collection of practice problems that allow students to use the methods that were discussed in the section. This material could be used at the end of a high school geometry course as an enrichment section. Additionally, it provides insight for some uses of different types of mathematics in the real world. Overall, the result of this project is a section of a textbook to implement at the end of a high school geometry course that introduces new and interesting mathematics that enrich student understanding of mathematics and its uses.

Teacher Leadership

Hannah Bolen, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Iowa’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation system (TLC) provides leadership opportunities for K-12 teachers. Little/no research exists on preparing pre-service teachers (PSTs) for TLC. This study used a survey with PSTs and interviews with five practicing teacher leaders. Interviewees felt administrative support was strong and necessary; their new roles shifted their responsibilities and generated ambiguity. 154 elementary PSTs indicated more leadership in past and external activities than at ISU (N = 120, 113, 78, respectively). They knew little about TLC (m=1.70/ 5-point scale). ISU’s School of Education (SOE) developed leadership, but offered fewer opportunities with faculty research and curriculum development (m=1.95, 1.48 / 4-point scale, respectively). PSTs lacked knowledge of: leadership traits (m=2.49); K-12 bureaucratic processes (m=2.36); advocacy/lobbying (m=2.29); action research (m=2.13); and risk-taking (m =2.49). Interviewees notably discussed risk-taking importance. Interviewees believed leadership development begins in university preparation; this study found gaps in opportunities/knowledge in preparation of PSTs for TLC.

The CXCR4/CXCL12 Receptor-Ligand Pair and the Development of the Enteric Nervous System in Danio Rerio

Anne Meis, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The enteric nervous system (ENS) is a network of nerves derived from neural crest cells that innervates the gut. ENS developmental abnormalities result in a number of gastrointestinal issues including Hirchsprung’s disease, therefore insight into the genes behind the development of the ENS could have great medical significance. Despite the amount of research on neural crest cells and how they are induced to migrate and differentiate, what specifically guides migration and specialization of ENS precursors remains unknown. The chemokine receptor protein CXCR4 and its ligand CXCL12 play an important role in axon guidance for the lateral line nerve. This project examines the potential role of CXCR4 and CXCL12 in the development of the ENS using Danio rerio as a model organism. Lateral line staining illustrates a phenotypical difference between wild-type offspring of Danio rerio and those with mutations in either their CXCR4 or CXCL12 genes. Further examination via immunohistochemistry shows a complete ENS present in both mutant and wild-type fish. However, feeding assay results suggest that the ENS of the mutant fish may not function as well compared to the wild-type. These data suggest that the CXCR4/CXCL12 proteins may play a role in the proper development and activity of the ENS.

The Effect of Gender on Learning Style and Background Experience with First Year Engineering and Technology Students

Dillan Glock, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The purpose of this research is to understand the differences in learning styles and background experiences between male and female engineering and technology students. Many engineering and technology programs are continually seeking new ways to retain female engineering and technology students within their programs. This research explores the possibility that retaining female engineering and technology students may be linked to the form of education they receive and how materials are presented. Two surveys were used in this research: the Dunn and Dunn Building Excellence Survey and an Activities and Accomplishments Inventory. Both surveys were administered to students in introductory engineering and technology courses. The resulting data shows that male and female engineering and technology students cannot be placed into two categories. Each student as an individual learns in a specific way, and no two students are necessarily alike. This study suggests that the goal of education and teaching engineering and technology students should be to make learning more engaging for all and to incorporate multiple ways of learning into the classroom.

The Effects of Walking While Texting on Gait Characteristics

Aaron Widjaja, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

A common activity that students perform on Iowa State’s campus is texting while walking. This may be a concern because when we simultaneously walk and text, the risks of injury and accidents increase due to the fact that we aren’t fully aware of our environment. With this project, I wanted to see if we could observe any biomechanical differences. Past research shows that texting significantly decreases walking speed, so I hypothesized that the same will happen in this project. However, I also wanted to see if parameters such as center of pressure (COP) and time to boundary (TTB) would be affected. These will give us an indication if trips or falls are likely to occur. Ten students who attend Iowa State University were recruited for this study. We had them perform four different walking conditions with three trials each: normal walking, slow walking, holding a cell phone as if they were texting, and texting while walking. We simply asked them to walk across the lab onto a force platform and then continue until their stride was complete. After analysis we found out that stance time, TTB, and COP displacement were significantly higher when participants walked and texted simultaneously.

The impact of gender and feminism in the workforce

Kara Meyer, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

This paper explores the issue of gender bias in the workforce. First-hand accounts of gender bias of both men and women currently in the workforce across diverse industry backgrounds were given. Specifically, the interviews were conducted with professionals working in the healthcare, higher education, agriculture, and manufacturing fields. A literature review of relevant journals, peer-review journals, books, and online articles pertaining to the impact of gender differences is included. This paper also specifically examines experiences in the workplace, wage and occupation gaps, physiological differences, and actions being taken to overcome issues of gender bias. Both quantitative and qualitative data paint a unique depiction of how gender diversity roles affect both men and women. The results from conducting interviews and examining outside research was that gender can affect perceptions, experiences, and opportunities in the workplace. The results also showed that, in many cases, gender is not the largest differentiator when it comes to diversity in the workforce. Gender effects many variables when it comes to equality, inclusion, and diversity. However, these stereotypes do not have to be the defining factor on whether or not an employee is perceived positively in their place of work.

The Impacts of Urban Pollution on Streams

Emily Martin, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Urban streams reduce aquatic biodiversity through the loss of invertebrates, fish, and plants in addition to the economic impacts of remediation. Creation of a successful management plan to address increased stormflow and chemical loading in runoff requires an understanding of the connection between unhealthy streams and the humans impacting it. Soldier Creek runs through the northern section of the city of Fort Dodge, Iowa. A tributary named Forrest Creek receives most of its flow from storm drain runoff in town. There is no process to mitigate pollutants entering storm drains from the streets of the city, which allows them to directly enter stream ecosystems. Water quality was investigated at three sites: Site 1 on Forrest Creek, Site 2 on Soldier Creek above the confluence with Forrest Creek, and Site 3 on Soldier Creek below the confluence. Water and habitat quality were examined at each site once a month starting in March 2015 and continue to present day. The objective of this study was to analyze how urban pollution entering Forrest Creek impacted the aquatic ecosystem as a whole. All testing sites showed higher levels of nitrate, phosphate, and chloride than is typically found in naturally vegetated landscapes at one point or more during the testing period.

The Perceived Benefits of the Honors Program through the Perspectives of Current Students, Recent Graduates and Over-5-Year Alumni

Cody Hancock, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

The purpose of the study was to understand how ISU Honors Program members at different points in their education and/or career paths view their Honors experiences. Specifically, the study was intended to see whether, after some time for reflection or distance from the collegiate lifestyle, Honors alumni are able to gain a better understanding of the influences that affected their time and experiences. Surveys of the various respondent groups revealed that alumni of the ISU Honors Program tended to value the academic benefits of Honors a little more, while current students mentioned the tangible values such as priority registration or access to Jischke as being of greatest benefit. More than half of all respondents said the Honors Program was worth the extra effort and would attribute about 40% of their success to the program. Hopefully this research can be used to better communicate and express the benefits of the Honors Program to prospective and current students.

The Urban Office Reimagined

Samantha Creeger, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Research has shown that public green spaces are vital for growing cities. As population size will continue to increase in urban cities, green spaces have shown to be stress reducers, evoke happiness, as well as major attractors for residents and tourists. While the importance of outdoor urban areas has been demonstrated, there is also a growing trend for businesses to have a neutral workspace for meetings and a change in atmosphere. As parks are looking to reach a broader range of use, there is an opportunity to get people out of their desks to the outdoors while still having the necessary amenities for productivity. The goal of the capstone is to research productivity in offices and the benefits of working outdoors to generate a new collaborative office solution located in a public green space. Working outdoors facilitates informal project collaboration and brainstorming, as well as an open and relaxed culture. This analysis will be guided through the design process to support the research, idea generation and final concept.

Thriving in Student Leadership: How the Thriving Model Can Positively Influence Student Leadership Abilities at the College Level

Lisa Friesth, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

This leadership guide explores the Thriving Model of positive psychology and addresses how elements of the Thriving Model can positively influence student leadership abilities at the collegiate level to benefit the organization(s) they are leading. This guide was created as a resource for post-secondary education students who are or intend to become student leaders on a college campus. In this guide, I compiled information about positive psychology and the Thriving Model. I gathered information about the development of both and collected knowledge about their current applications in the college environment. This guide provides an overview of positive psychology and the Thriving Model, as a subset of positive psychology. In addition, I gathered research on common issues student leaders face on college campuses and identified ten issues to address. This guide describes each issue individually and provides one aspect of the Thriving Model that could assist student leaders in overcoming each identified issue. In addition, I have included an activity for each issue-solution pair, to provide a hypothetical example for students to reference as they use the guide and learn how to apply the Thriving Model to benefit their leadership abilities and the student organization they interact with or lead.

Upper-Respiratory Mucosal Immunity in Response to Stress

Safwan Elkhatib, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Upper-respiratory viral infection in humans is mediated by a number of factors. Anti-viral proteins, changes in gene expression, and the release of specific signaling molecules are all elements of a healthy immune response to a potential pathogen. These complex immune processes and components have not yet been well characterized. In this project, we specifically explored the nature of non-cellular constituents that help fight viral infection. Nasal lavage—a technique in which saline solution is used to rinse the nasal cavity, allowing for the collection and solvation of certain antiviral compounds—was performed on human subjects. The soluble antiviral components were tested for their ability to effectively inhibit influenza virus infection in vitro. Samples were collected and processed following a moderate exercise bout, prolonged exercise bout, and during conditions of psychological stress.

Use of a Novel Adjuvant in a Leptospira borgpetersenii Hardjo Vaccine to Induce a Cell-Mediated Immune Response

Jayne Wiarda, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

Infection of cattle with Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo can have negative impacts on the cattle industry and pose the risk of transmission to other mammals, including humans. Current commercial vaccines used to protect against Leptospira serovar Hardjo are ineffective at providing long-term immunity, and a more cell-mediated immune response is thought to be necessary for lasting protection. IgG1 and IgG2 levels can be indicative of what type of a T cell response predominates; in a cell-mediated type 1 (Th1) immune response, interferon-ү (IFN-ү) secreted from helper T cells will stimulate B cells to class-switch to manufacture and secrete IgG2. In a humoral type 2 (Th2) immune response, helper T cells secrete interleukin-4 (IL-4) that stimulates B cells to class-switch to manufacture and secrete antibodies of the IgG1 isotype. In this study, a novel vaccine formulated with an oil-based adjuvant was shown to induce a stronger and more balanced cell-mediated response in comparison with current commercial serovar Hardjo vaccines. This was demonstrated by analyzing antibody levels in response to vaccination and challenge with Leptospira serovar Hardjo.

Walking the Razor’s Edge: The Dangers of Feminine Political Narratives

Krista Klocke, Iowa State University

12:00 AM

This study investigated a selection of ads aired by U.S. Senatorial candidate Joni Ernst and U.S. Congressional candidate Staci Appel during the 2014 Iowa midterm elections. The ads were analyzed using a combination of feminist and narrative criticism methods to identify the interactions between the narrative themes and narrator roles both women established in their ads, as well as the gender roles they rhetorically enacted. Female political candidates face unclear, changeable expectations and constraints for their behavior and image during election campaigns. The study sought to draw conclusions from the effectiveness of Ernst’s and Appel’s campaigns in order to shed light on the challenges women face when running for office.