Barrett, The Honors College Thesis/Creative Project Collection

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2013 2017

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

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world and represents a tremendous burden on patients, families and societies. S. Typhimurium strains are specifically attracted to compounds produced by cancer cells and could overcome the traditional therapeutic barrier. However, a major problem with using live attenuated Salmonella as anti-cancer agents is their toxicity at the dose required for therapeutic efficacy, but reducing the dose results in diminished efficacy. In this project, we explored novel means to reduce the toxicity of the recombinant attenuated Salmonella by genetically engineering those virulence factors to facilitate maximal colonization of tumor tissues ...

Contributors
Benson, Lee Samuel, Kong, Wei, Martin, Thomas, et al.
Created Date
2013-05

Vaccinia virus (VV) is a prototype virus of the Orthopox viruses. The large dsDNA virus composed of 200kbp genome contains approximately 200 genes and replicates entirely in the cytosol. Since its use as a live vaccine against smallpox that leads to the successful eradication of smallpox, Vaccinia has been intensely studied as a vaccine vector since the large genome allows for the insertion of multiple genes. It is also studied as a molecular tool for gene therapy and gene functional study. Despite its success as a live vaccine, the vaccination causes some mild to serious bur rare adverse events in ...

Contributors
Barclay, Shizuka, Jacobs, Bertram, Ugarova, Tatiana, et al.
Created Date
2016-05

Vaccinia virus is a cytoplasmic, double-stranded DNA orthopoxvirus. Unlike mammalian cells, vaccinia virus produces double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) during its viral life cycle. The protein kinase R, PKR, is one of the principal host defense mechanisms against orthopoxvirus infection. PKR can bind double-stranded RNA and phosphorylate eukaryotic translation initiation factor, eIF2α, shutting down protein synthesis and halting the viral life cycle. To combat host defenses, vaccinia virus encodes E3, a potent inhibitor of the cellular anti-viral eIF2α kinase, PKR. The E3 protein contains a C-terminal dsRNA-binding motif that sequesters dsRNA and inhibits PKR activation. We demonstrate that E3 also interacts with ...

Contributors
Foster, Clayton, Alattar, Hamed, Jacobs, Bertram, et al.
Created Date
2017-05

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

Clean water for drinking, food preparation, and bathing is essential for astronaut health and safety during long duration habitation of the International Space Station (ISS), including future missions to Mars. Despite stringent water treatment and recycling efforts on the ISS, it is impossible to completely prevent microbial contamination of onboard water supplies. In this work, we used a spaceflight analogue culture system to better understand how the microgravity environment can influence the pathogenesis-related characteristics of Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc), an opportunistic pathogen previously recovered from the ISS water system. The results of the present study suggest that there may be ...

Contributors
Kang, Bianca Younseon, Nickerson, Cheryl, Barrila, Jennifer, et al.
Created Date
2016-05

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

Viral infections are a significant cause of disease in humans. While some viral diseases have been eliminated, many more continue to infect millions. Viral infections are challenging to treat because viruses use host cell machinery to replicate, so it is difficult to develop drugs that can target viruses. Normally, the host’s immune system is capable of destroying the virus, but during chronic infections it becomes exhausted and T cells lose their effector functions necessary for the clearance of the virus. IL-2 can help relieve this exhaustion, but causes toxicity to the body. In mice infected with chronic LCMV, IL-2 administration ...

Contributors
Jarvis, Jordan Alisa, Blattman, Joseph, Denzler, Karen, et al.
Created Date
2014-05

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that disrupts the hydration of mucous of the lungs, which promotes opportunistic bacterial infections that begin in the affected person’s childhood, and persist into adulthood. One of the bacteria that infect the CF lung is Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This gram-negative bacterium is acquired from the environment of the CF lung, changing the expression of phenotypes over the course of the infection. As P. aeruginosa infections become chronic, some phenotype changes are known to be linked with negative patient outcomes. An important exoproduct phenotype is rhamnolipid production, which is a glycolipid that P. aeruginosa produces ...

Contributors
Kiermayr, Jonathan Patrick, Bean, Heather, Misra, Rajeev, et al.
Created Date
2017-05

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

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.