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Barrett, The Honors College Thesis/Creative Project Collection


Barrett, the Honors College accepts high performing, academically engaged students and works with them in collaboration with all of the other academic units at Arizona State University. All Barrett students complete a thesis or creative project, supervised and defended in front of a faculty committee. The thesis or creative project allows students to explore an intellectual interest and produce an original piece of scholarly research. The thesis or creative project is a student’s opportunity to explore areas of academic interest with greater intensity than is possible in a single course. It is also an opportunity to engage with professors, nationally recognized in their fields and specifically interested and committed to working with honors students. This work provides tangible evidence of a student’s research, writing and creative skills to graduate schools and/or prospective employers.


Date Range
2013 2018


Mammals with a habitually orthograde trunk posture possess a more anterior foramen magnum than mammals with non-orthograde trunk postures. Russo & Kirk (2013) also found that bipedal orthograde mammals possess a more anteriorly placed foramen magnum than those that are just habitually orthograde. This finding has allowed us to use foramen magnum position as a predictor of trunk posture in early hominins. This prompts more research of how the other landmarks on the cranial base move in relation to this shift in foramen magnum positioning. I collected landmark data on images of 125 mammalian basicrania spanning 41 species that differed ...

Contributors
Pena, Angela, Kimbel, William, Schwartz, Gary T., et al.
Created Date
2015-05

Since its discovery in 1524, many people have characterized the vermiform appendix. Charles Darwin considered the human appendix to be a vestige and a useless structure. Others at the time opposed this hypothesis. However, Darwin’s hypothesis became prevalent one until recently when there became a renewed interest in the appendix because of advancements in microscopes, knowledge of the immune system, and phylogenetics. In this review, I will argue that the vermiform appendix, although still not completely understood, has important functions. First, I will give the anatomy of the appendix. I will discuss the comparative anatomy between different animals and also ...

Contributors
Prestwich, Shelby Elizabeth, Cartwright, Reed, Lynch, John, et al.
Created Date
2018-05

Three populations of experimentally evolved Drosophila melanogaster populations made up of high temperature (H, constant 25 ᵒC), low temperature (C, constant 16 ᵒC) and temporal homogeneity (T, environment changes between 16 ᵒC and 25 ᵒC) were prepared and assayed to determine difference in citrate synthase activity. Between the three groups, the results were inconclusive: the resulting reaction rates in units of nmol min-1mgfly-1 were 81.8 + 20.6, 101 + 15.6, and 96.9 + 25.2 for the hot (H), cold (C), and temporally homogeneous (T) groups, respectively. We conclude that the high associated variability was due to a lack of control ...

Contributors
Belohlavek, David, Angilletta, Michael, Francisco, Wilson, et al.
Created Date
2015-05

Current studies in Multiple Myeloma suggest that patient tumors and cell lines cluster separately based on gene expression profiles. Hyperdiploid patients are also extremely underrepresented in established human myeloma cell lines (HMCLs). This suggests that the average HMCL model system does not accurately represent the average myeloma patient. To investigate this question we performed a combined CNA and SNV evolutionary comparison between four myeloma tumors and their established HMCLs (JMW-1, VP-6, KAS-6/1-KAS-6/2 and KP-6). We identified copy number changes shared between the tumors and their cell lines (mean of 74 events - 59%), those unique to patients (mean of 21.25 ...

Contributors
Benard, Brooks Avery, Keats, Jonathan, Anderson, Karen, et al.
Created Date
2016-05

Biogeography is the study of the spatial distribution of the earth's biota, both in the present and the past. Traditionally, biogeographical studies have relied on a combination of surveys of existing populations, fossil evidence, and the geological record of the earth. However, with the advent of relatively inexpensive methods of DNA sequencing, it is now possible to use information concerning the genetic relatedness of individuals in populations to address questions about how those populations came to be where they are today. For example, biogeographical studies of HIV-I provide strong support for the hypothesis that this virus arose in Africa through ...

Contributors
Zheng, Wenyu, Taylor, Jesse, Escalante, Ananias, et al.
Created Date
2015-06-16

The Cannabis plant has historical roots with human beings. The plant produces compounds called cannabinoids, which are responsible for the physiological affects of Cannabis and make it a research candidate for medicinal use. Analysis of the plant and its components will help build a better database that could be used to develop a complete roster of medicinal benefits. Research regarding the cellular protein receptors that bind the cannabinoids may not only help provide reasons explaining why the Cannabis plant could be medicinally relevant, but will also help explain how the receptors originated. The receptors may have been present in organisms ...

Contributors
Salasnek, Reed Samuel, Capco, David, Mangone, Marco, et al.
Created Date
2014-05

Galaxies in the universe are surrounded by a hot medium called the Circum-Galactic Medium (CGM). Present the CGM is gas that forms up clouds which travel within the CGM at speeds that approximately range between 100 km/s and 300 km/s. These gas clouds are very interesting because they play a crucial in the formation of stars within the galaxies and also in the overall evolution of galaxies. The clouds could in fact be thought of as mobile “gas stations” whose sole purpose is facilitate the ionization of elements and ultimately supply gas to galaxies. My thesis project is a follow-up ...

Contributors
Saboi, Kezman, Scannapieco, Evan, Borthakur, Sanchayeeta, et al.
Created Date
2018-05

We examined the evolutionary morphological responses of Drosophila melanogaster that had evolved at constant cold (16°), constant hot (25°C), and fluctuating (16° and 25°C). Flies that were exposed to the constant low mean temperature developed larger thorax, wing, and cell sizes than those exposed to constant high mean temperatures. Males and females both responded similarly to thermal treatments in average wing and cell size. The resulting cell area for a given wing size in thermal fluctuating populations remains unclear and remains a subject for future research.

Contributors
Adrian, Gregory John, Angilletta, Michael, Harrison, Jon, et al.
Created Date
2015-05

The modern tetraploid species Gossypium barbadense L. (AD2) traces its origins to an allopolyploidy event between diploid progenitors G. raimondii (DT Genome, Americas) and G. herbaceum (AT Genome, Asia/Africa). In this study, nine fiber-related genes consisting of seven MYB transcription factors, a cellulose synthase homolog, and a tubulin homolog were resequenced across 54 G. barbadense lines spanning the wild-to-domesticated spectrum. Tests for nucleotide diversity (π), linkage disequilibrium (LD), and Tajima’s D were performed to examine the extent to which evolutionary forces have acted on these nine loci in G. barbadense. Results indicated that the AT-genome loci had significantly higher levels ...

Contributors
Nadon, Brian Davis, Gaxiola, Roberto, Kusumi, Kenro, et al.
Created Date
2013-05

While specific resistance mechanisms to targeted inhibitors in BRAF-mutant cutaneous melanoma have been identified, surprisingly little is known about the rate at which resistance develops under different treatment options. There is increasing evidence that resistance arises from pre-existing clones rather than from de novo mutations, but there remains the need for a better understanding of how different drugs affect the fitness of clones within a tumor population and promote or delay the emergence of resistance. To this end, we have developed an assay that defines the in vitro rate of adaptation by analyzing the progressive change in sensitivity of a ...

Contributors
De Luca, Valerie Jean, Wilson Sayres, Melissa, Trent, Jeff, et al.
Created Date
2016-12