Matching Items (5)

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Dragonfly naiads as potential reservoir hosts for the infectious amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

Description

One way pathogen prevalence is maintained is by persistence within reservoir host species. Reservoir hosts are species that do not show any signs of disease when a pathogen infects them.

One way pathogen prevalence is maintained is by persistence within reservoir host species. Reservoir hosts are species that do not show any signs of disease when a pathogen infects them. As a result, the pathogen survives and is able to remain in the host population. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a chytrid fungus that has caused extensive amphibian declines. It has been suspected that reservoir hosts are a key to Bd remaining in certain amphibian populations. I studied dragonfly naiads (Anisoptera spp.), the aquatic life cycle stage immediately following hatching and preceding the emergence of wings, as potential reservoir hosts for Bd on the Mogollon Rim in Arizona. On the Mogollon Rim winter temperatures fall below the optimal thermal range for Bd. Boreal chorus frogs (Pseudacris maculata), the most common amphibian species on the Rim, maintain subzero body temperatures to survive the winter. Since the optimal thermal range for Bd is between 4°C and 25°C, it is unlikely that Bd can grow on the skin of these frogs during winter. As a result, it is unknown how Bd prevalence is maintained in the area. Recent studies showed that Bd can grow in non-amphibian hosts. I hypothesized that Bd could grow within the digestive tracts of dragonfly naiads, since they stay in the water and don’t maintain subzero body temperatures during the cold winters on the Rim. Non-native and native naiads were both included in this study; the non-native naiads were purchased from a company in California while the native naiads were captured from ponds on the Mogollon Rim. The digestive tracts of the naiads were then dissected, and the DNA was extracted using an animal tissue spin-column protocol. The extracted DNA was analyzed by qPCR. The qPCR analysis of the native and non-native dragonfly naiads revealed that the samples were either Bd-negative or very weakly Bd-positive, with most being the former. Based on these results, it does not appear that naiads are biologically significant reservoir hosts for Bd.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Assessing School of Life Sciences freshmen satisfaction in the Life Sciences Career Paths mentoring program

Description

Abstract The BIO 189 Life Sciences Career Paths course is a seminar course that is intended to acclimate incoming freshmen into the School of Life Sciences (SOLS). While there are

Abstract The BIO 189 Life Sciences Career Paths course is a seminar course that is intended to acclimate incoming freshmen into the School of Life Sciences (SOLS). While there are instructors who organize and present in the class, upper division undergraduate students are primarily responsible for facilitating lectures and discussions and mentoring the freshmen. Prior research has demonstrated that the mentor-mentee relationship is a very important predictor of success and retention within all university first-year programs. While past studies focused on the student mentor-mentee relationships, there is limited research that measures student satisfaction within freshmen seminar courses, especially in areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The purpose of this project is to survey students about their perception of the BIO 189 course. The effort of the project is on pre-health students, as they initiate their undergraduate careers and attempt to achieve acceptance into professional school four years later. Analysis of Likert scale surveys distributed to 561 freshmen revealed that students with an emphasis on "medicine" in their majors preferred a BIO 189 course geared to pre-health interests whereas students seeking an emphasis on research (ecology and cell biology/genetics) sought a BIO 189 course focused on internship and employment opportunities. Assessment of the mentor-mentee relationship revealed that students (n = 561) preferred one-on-one meetings with mentors outside of class (44%) compared to those who preferred interaction in class (30%). A sizable 61.68% of students (n = 548) were most concerned with attaining favorable GPAs, highlighting strong emphasis on academic performance. Overall, 61% of respondents (n = 561) expressed satisfaction with SOLS resources and involvement opportunities, which was hypothesized. These results give substantial insight into the efficacy of a first-year success seminar-mentoring program for college freshmen in STEM.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Fetal Growth Models of Cardiac Size and Function, and Prediction of Congenital Cardiomyopathy in Fetuses with Diabetic Mothers

Description

2D fetal echocardiography (ECHO) can be used for monitoring heart development in utero. This study’s purpose is to empirically model normal fetal heart growth and function changes during development by

2D fetal echocardiography (ECHO) can be used for monitoring heart development in utero. This study’s purpose is to empirically model normal fetal heart growth and function changes during development by ECHO and compare these to fetuses diagnosed with and without cardiomyopathy with diabetic mothers. There are existing mathematical models describing fetal heart development but they warrant revalidation and adjustment. 377 normal fetuses with healthy mothers, 98 normal fetuses with diabetic mothers, and 37 fetuses with cardiomyopathy and diabetic mothers had their cardiac structural dimensions, cardiothoracic ratio, valve flow velocities, and heart rates measured by fetal ECHO in a retrospective chart review. Cardiac features were fitted to linear functions, with respect to gestational age, femur length, head circumference, and biparietal diameter and z-scores were created to model normal fetal growth for all parameters. These z-scores were used to assess what metrics had no difference in means between the normal fetuses of both healthy and diabetic mothers but differed from those diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. It was found that functional metrics like mitral and tricuspid E wave and pulmonary velocity could be important predictors for cardiomyopathy when fitted by gestational age, femur length, head circumference, and biparietal diameter. Additionally, aortic and tricuspid annulus diameters when fitted to estimated gestational age showed potential to be predictors for fetal cardiomyopathy. While the metrics overlapped over their full range, combining them together may have the potential for predicting cardiomyopathy in utero. Future directions of this study will explore creating a classifier model that can predict cardiomyopathy using the metrics assessed in this study.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

Career Options for Students Seeking a Degree in the School of Life Sciences

Description

This project was designed to develop resources to highlight diverse career options for students achieving a degree within the School of Life Sciences. Many students have a very narrow view

This project was designed to develop resources to highlight diverse career options for students achieving a degree within the School of Life Sciences. Many students have a very narrow view of what careers their degree prepares them for. In addition, if they have a career in mind, they have difficulty selecting an appropriate degree that will prepare them for their intended career. The goal of this project was to provide a broader view of career options, as well as illustrate the requirements each student would need to meet in order to pursue these careers. This was done by interviewing five career professionals and developing a major map that corresponds to the specific requirements of that career.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

Building Diverse Resources for Exploratory School of Life Sciences Students

Description

This creative thesis project aimed to create career development resources that School of Life Sciences majors could use to enhance their college experience, expand the breadth of relevant career options

This creative thesis project aimed to create career development resources that School of Life Sciences majors could use to enhance their college experience, expand the breadth of relevant career options for School of Life Sciences majors, and confront and divert career problems through the implementation of these career development resources. Students encounter career problems when their intention and action diverge. These career problems may cause a student to stop their pursuit of a given career, change majors, or even stop schooling completely. It is the objective of this project to help resolve these career problems by introducing a career development resource flyer that educates the student about a given career, provides coursework to guide a student towards this career path, familiarize students with extracurricular efforts necessary for this position, propose valuable resources that the student can utilize to learn more about the career, and offer a question and answer portion for further career and professional understanding. In order to create these career development resource flyers a variety of professionals, both with and without relationships with Arizona State University were contacted and interviewed. The answers gathered from these interviews were then utilized to create the career flyers. The project was successful in creating five distinct career development resource flyers, as well as a blank template with instructions to be used in the future by the School of Life Sciences. The career development resource flyers will be utilized by the School of Life Sciences advising staff for future exploratory majors, but is not limited to just these students. Aspirations are set to create an expansive reservoir of these resources for future generations of students to access in hopes that they will be better suited to find a career path that they are passionate about and be better prepared to attain.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05