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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


Background: Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) is a respiratory disease that is caused by the soil-dwelling fungi Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii. Because fungal glycosylation patterns are distinct from mammalian glycosylation patterns, we hypothesized that certain lectins (carbohydrate-binding proteins) might have differential binding properties to coccidioidal glycoproteins, and therefore serve as a tool for the purification and characterization of these glycoproteins from patient specimens. Materials and Methods: To identify potential Coccidioides-binding lectins, lectin-based immunohistochemistry was performed using a panel of 21 lectins on lung tissue from human patients infected with Coccidioides. Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISAs) were used to confirm and test candidate ...

Contributors
Chowdhury, Yasmynn, Lake, Douglas, Grys, Thomas, et al.
Created Date
2015-05

The prrAB two-component system has been shown to be essential for viability in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis. To study this system, several prrAB mutants of Mycobacterium smegmatis, a close relative of Mtb, were created for study. These mutants included a deletion mutant complemented with prrA from Mtb controlled by Pmyc1_tetO, a deletion mutant, and a deletion mutant complemented with prrAB from M. smegmatis controlled by the native prrAB promoter sequence (~167 bp upstream sequence of prrAB). In a previous study, the prrAB deletion mutant clumped excessively relative to the wild-type strain when cultured in a nitrogen-limited ...

Contributors
Olson, Alexandra Nadine, Haydel, Shelley, Bean, Heather, et al.
Created Date
2017-05

Peatlands are a type of wetlands where the rate of accumulation of organic matter exceed the rate of decomposition and have accumulated more than 30 cm of peat (Joosten and Clark, 2002). Peatlands store approximately 30% of all terrestrial carbon as recalcitrant peat, partially decomposed plant and microbial biomass, while simultaneously producing almost 40% of the globally emitted methane (Schmidt et al., 2016), making peatlands an important component of the carbon budgets. Published research indicates that the efficiency of carbon usage among microbial communities can determine the soil-carbon response to rising temperatures (Allison et al. 2010). By determining carbon consumption ...

Contributors
Frese, Alexander Nicholas, Cadillo-Quiroz, Hinsby, van Paassen, Leon, et al.
Created Date
2018-05

Wolbachia is a genus of obligately intracellular bacterial endosymbionts of arthropods and nematodes, infecting up to 66% of all such species. In order to ensure its transmission, it may modify host reproduction by inducing one of four phenotypes: cytoplasmic incompatibility, feminization of genetic males, killing of male embryos, and induction of thelytokous parthenogenesis. This investigation was a characterization of the so-far unexamined Wolbachia infection of Pogonomyrmex ants. Five main questions were addressed: whether Wolbachia infection rates vary between North and South America, whether infection rates are dependent on host range, whether Wolbachia affects the caste determination of P. barbatus, whether ...

Contributors
Harris, Alexandre Marm, Gadau, Juergen, Martin, Thomas, et al.
Created Date
2014-05

The spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria is currently a pressing global health concern, especially considering the prevalence of multi-drug resistance. Efflux pumps, bacterial machinery involved in various active transport functions, are capable of removing a broad range of antibiotics from the periplasmic space and the outer leaflet of the inner membrane, frequently conferring multi-drug resistance. Many aspects of efflux machinery’s structure, functions, and inter-protein interactions are still not fully understood; further characterization of these components of efflux will provide a strong foundation for combating this resistance mechanism. In this project, I further characterize the channel protein TolC as a part ...

Contributors
McFeely, Megan Elizabeth, Misra, Rajeev, Haydel, Shelley, et al.
Created Date
2016-05

Coronaviruses are a significant group of viruses that cause enteric and respiratory infections in a variety of animals, including humans. Outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the past 15 years has increased research into coronaviruses to gain an understanding of their structure and function so one day therapies and vaccines may be produced. These viruses have four main structural proteins: the spike, nucleocapsid, envelope, and membrane proteins. The envelope (E) protein is an integral membrane protein in the viral envelope that acts as a viroporin for transport of cations and plays an ...

Contributors
Haller, Sarah S., Hogue, Brenda, Liu, Wei, et al.
Created Date
2017-05

The termite Coptotermes gestroi is a small subterranean termite originating from Southeast Asia. The hindgut of C. gestroi contains five distinct species of parabasalid: Pseudotrichonympha leei, two undescribed species from the genus Holomastigotoides, and two undescribed species from the genus Cononympha. This study investigates the protist symbionts in C. gestroi and the relationship between their relative abundance as inferred by Illumina sequence reads and the directly observed abundances for each protist genus. Illumina amplicon sequencing as a means of DNA analysis is a proven method for identification and diversity analysis, although the specific ratios of sequence reads to cell abundance ...

Contributors
Avilucea, Erin L., Gile, Gillian, DeMartini, Francesca, et al.
Created Date
2018-05

The International Space Station (ISS) utilizes recycled water for consumption, cleaning and air humidity control. The Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) have been rigorously tested at the NASA Johnson Space Center. Despite the advanced engineering of the water recovery system, bacterial biofilms have been recovered from this potable water source. Microbial contamination of potable water poses a potential threat to crew members onboard the ISS. Because astronauts have been found to have compromised immune systems, bacterial strains that would not typically be considered a danger must be carefully studied to better understand the mechanisms enabling their survival, including ...

Contributors
King, Olivia Grace, Nickerson, Cheryl, Barrila, Jennifer, et al.
Created Date
2018-12

Little is known about the diversity and role of bacteriophages in carbon (C) rich ecosystems such as peatlands in tropical and temperate regions. In fact, there is no currently published assessment of phage abundance on diversity in a key tropical ecosystem such as Amazon peatlands. To better understand phage assemblages in terrestrial ecosystems and how bacteriophages influence organic C cycling to final products like CO2 and CH4, phage communities and phage-like particles were recovered, quantified, and viable phage particles were enriched from pore water from contrasting Amazon peatlands. Here we present the first results on assessing Amazon bacteriophages on native ...

Contributors
Spring, Jessica Lynette, Cadillo-Quiroz, Hinsby, Haydel, Shelley, et al.
Created Date
2016-05

p-Coumaric acid is used in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries due to its versatile properties. While prevalent in nature, harvesting the compound from natural sources is inefficient, requiring large quantities of producing crops and numerous extraction and purification steps. Thus, the large-scale production of the compound is both difficult and costly. This research aims to produce p-coumarate directly from renewable and sustainable glucose using a co-culture of Yeast and E. Coli. Methods used in this study include: designing optimal media for mixed-species microbial growth, genetically engineering both strains to build the production pathway with maximum yield, and analyzing the ...

Contributors
Johnson, Kaleigh Lynnae, Nielsen, David, Thompson, Brian, et al.
Created Date
2016-12