Presenter: Taylor Murphy, College of Science, Biology
Presenter: Allison Smith, College of Science, Earth Science
Determination of the Relationship Between Hypertension and Endogenous Ouabain Placental Concentration in Preeclampsia
Presenters: Samantha Tilley, College of Science, Chemistry
Presenter: Taime Clark, College of Science and Engineering, Physical Science
Pursuit of Methods for Antibiotic Synthesis: The Synthesis and Formal [2+2] Cycloaddition Reactions of 1-Phenylprop-2-en-1-one
Presenter: Madison Fisher, College of Science and Engineering, Physical Science
Presenter: Jessica Hertig, College of Sciences, Physical Science
Presenter: Billy Nguyen, College of Science, Chemistry
Analyzing Fatal Bird-Window Collision Mitigation Occurring at the Classroom and Student Services Building, Brigham City, UT.
Presenters: Hunter Martin, College of Science, Ecology
Presenter: Tyler Holmes, College of Science, Chemistry
Preparation of Monoalkyldiphenylphosphonate by use of Grignard Reagents and Lewis Acids from Triphenyl Phosphate.
Presenter: Sydney Rowley, College of Physical Science, Chemistry
Symmetric Electrochemical Cells in Nonaqueous Organic Redox Flow Batteries – Applications for Longevity Study
Presenter: Julia Case, College of Science, Chemistry
TELSAM-target protein fusions can form diffraction-quality crystals without direct inter-polymer contacts
Presenter: Braydan Bezzant, Brigham Young University, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Presenter: Ethan Edwards, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy
Presenter: Devin Lewis, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy
Presenter: Hana Hanks, College of Physical Sciences, Chemistry
Investigations of force dependence in an atmospheric negative corona discharge between two parallel wires on electrode asymmetry
Ryan Doel, Brigham Young University
Weston Elison, Brigham Young University
Jacob Butterfield, Brigham Young University
Habitability of Martian Recurring Slope Lineae: Building Capacity for Exploring Terrestrial Analogs for Astrobiology
Kate Hendricks, Brigham Young University
Jonathan Shumway; Scott George, Brigham Young University
Katherine Wilcox, Southern Utah University
Dewey Potts, Brigham Young University
Jared Blanchard, Brigham Young University
Andrew Piskadlo; Adele Reynolds; Anna Robert; Gaurav Pandey, Westminster College
Jacquelyn Monroe; Brian Jensen; Laura Bridgewater; Natalie Kwon, Brigham Young University
MultiCRAFTI: Overcoming the Kinetic Energy Limitation to Measure the Cross Section of High-Mass Ions
Brigham Pope; Daniel Joaquin; Jacob Hickey, Brigham Young University
Alexandria DeGrauw, University of Utah
A fossil-pollen-based climate reconstruction of two lake records from the Uinta mountain range in northern Utah.
Andrew Kennedy, University of Utah
Gift Ifijeh, Dixie State University
Mikaila Hunt, Southern Utah University
Mattie Jones, Dixie State University Physical Sciences Current techniques for isolating components of samples found at crime scenes by their unique chemical properties are lengthy and often destroy important forensic evidence. New methods aimed at forensic analysis of sensitive, minute samples are critical to the intelligence community. In particular, successful extraction of dyes from materials found at crime scenes will provide innumerable benefits for matching, identifying, and finding origins of these materials and dyes. Ionic liquids possess the necessary chemical properties to ensure efficient extractions while maintaining the forensic signatures of the original materials. Ionic liquids, which are organic salts that are room temperature, provide a versatile solvent to achieve single-component extraction-separation-identification of forensic analytes. Following extraction, successful identification by infrared, absorption, and fluorescence spectroscopy has provided evidence of preserved quality and complete separation of material and dye. This novel approach to forensic analysis is advantageous particularly when sample sizes are extremely limited, but it can be readily scaled to larger applications. Developing a simple and affordable method of achieving specific molecular interactions provides a solution for often unidentifiable evidence in crimes. Harnessing the versatility of ionic liquids in a high-yielding recovery and efficient single-pot methods will enhance forensic abilities for the intelligence community and forensic investigators.
Brett Barton, Dixie State University Physical Sciences Dissolution using ionic liquids has been shown to be an efficient analytical method of dissolving keratin fibers. Using wool and hoof material from livestock, chloride-based ionic liquids were used to break down the hydrogen bonds important for keratin structure, making the extraction of constituent material much easier. Efficient methods of extraction allow for small samples to be analyzed while still providing high yields; efficient dissolution of keratin in a small sample size will be utilized to prevent any harmful effects on the animals. Ionic liquids are nondestructive solvents which allow for the safe extraction of organic substances. Denaturing keratin would help in the process of identifying any constituent radioactive materials. Efficient identification of radioactive material in livestock is crucial for maintaining health and quality of life.
Kimberly Lowder, Weber State University Physical Sciences The herbicide Roundup and its active ingredient, Glyphosate, are widely used for weed control. These chemicals end up into streams and lakes, including the Great Salt Lake where it adversely affects wildlife. The goals of this project are a) to assess the mortality rate of Artemia larvae exposed to various concentrations of Roundup concentrate after a short exposure (48h) or a long-chronic exposure (7 days), b) to assess the effect of chronic on survival, maturation and fertility and c) to quantify the stress response of the shrimp on the heat-shock proteins 90 and 70. Materials and Methods: For the acute exposure, Artemia larval mortality was calculated in larvae exposed to Roundup concentrations ranging from 10-3 to 10-10 ml/l of Roundup concentrate for 48 h. For the chronic exposure, larvae were raised in the above Roundup concentrations. Mortality, maturation and fertility rates were calculated. The response to stress was assessed by quantifying the up-regulation of stress proteins hsp90 and 70 using western blots. Results: All larvae were killed after exposure at 10-4 g/l or greater of Roundup concentrate. Most larvae survived at Roundup concentrations of 10-6 ml/l or less. While chronic exposure to lower Roundup concentrations did not seem to affect survival or maturation rate, it did affect larval development. Larvae developing in 10-7 ml/l or more Roundup had about a 20% risk of not hatching or dying shortly after hatching. Hsp70 western blots showed an upregulation of this heat-shock protein at 10-5 ml/l or higher Roundup concentrations.
Ashleigh Wilson, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences At many institutions, the algebra-based introductory physics courses are populated with students specializing in biological fields such as preparation for medical or dental schools. While the main focus on the course is to provide the students with a solid conceptual understanding and solving problem skills in physics, the students often see little application towards their fields. This is particularly true in the traditional introductory physics laboratory experiments and demonstrations, which often focus on basic applications and offer no direct relation towards the medical fields. As part of a summer research project, we explored the possibility of developing a low-cost NIR imaging system, which could be used in demonstrations, laboratory exercises, as well as student research projects. The use of infrared imaging in medical physics is an emerging technology with promising prospects, including thermography, biometry, and phlebotomy. For example, when using near infrared (NIR) light (700-1100 nm), vein imaging and mapping is possible. Due to the deoxidized nature of hemoglobin in veins, it exhibits strong absorption at a certain wavelength (~730 nm). The surrounding tissue and arteries, however, allow the radiation to pass through. Utilizing an array of different NIR wavelengths and a modified web camera with a combined cost of $150, we successfully created a low-cost NIR imaging system capable of mapping out veins. This poster will present the instrument setup as well as show the preliminary results. Further potential use of this system will also be presented.
Jeremiah Rundall, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences The practice in hydrology is to deduce stream discharge from stream stage by creating a rating curve for each stream site from simultaneous measurements of stage and discharge. If a river could be assigned a generic rating curve with a small number of parameters, the cost of developing rating curves could be reduced. The first step has been to classify rivers according to whether there is a unique relationship between stage and discharge. The USGS National Water Information System database of about 3.8 million simultaneous measurements of stage and discharge at15,345 active and historic stream gaging sites was imported into a Python-driven data manipulation script. Linear relationships between z-scores of the logarithms of stage and discharge were developed for each site. A frequency spectrum of the slopes of the linear relationships was created by summing the normal distributions for each site with mean equal to slope and standard deviation equal to uncertainty in slope. There were no stream gaging sites at which discharge changed without a change in stage. At about 70% of stream gaging sites, over 90% of the variation in stage corresponded to a variation in discharge. At the remaining sites, significant variation in stage occurred without a variation in discharge. Current research involves identifying the characteristics of stream sites that lack a unique stage-discharge relationship and creating classes of generic rating curves by considering more complex functional fits.
Zachary Coffman, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences Breast density describes the proportion of connective tissue versus the fat tissue in the breast. Studies have shown that women with higher breast density are four to five times more likely to develop breast cancer than women with lower breast densities, (www.women.org/BreastCancer). Higher breast densities have proven to make current breast cancer imaging and detection more difficult. A pilot study done at the Huntsman Cancer institute showed that the ultrasonic parameter peak density, generated by high-frequency (HF) ultrasound (20-80 MHz), was sensitive to breast tissue pathology. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of breast density on ultrasound wave propagation from high frequency ultrasound using phantoms that mimic the histology of breast tissues. Phantoms were created from a mixture of distilled water, agarose powder, and 10X TBE stock solution. In order to simulate breast tissue histology and breast density, polyethylene microspheres were embedded into the phantoms in layers, totaling 4 layers per phantom. The polyethylene microsphere size (90-106 μm diameter) was kept constant within each phantom while the weight percent concentration of the microspheres varied (0.00g to 0.06g). Pitch-catch and pulse-echo measurements were acquired using 50-MHz transducers (Olympus NDT, V358-SU, 50 MHz, 0.635-cm diameter active element), a HF pulser-receiver (UTEX, UT340), and a 1-GHz digital oscilloscope (Agilent DSOX3104A). Glycerol (Genesis Scientific) was used as a coupling agent between the transducers and the phantoms. Spectra were derived from the data, giving peak density (the number of peaks and valleys in a specified spectral range), velocity, and attenuation values. The results showed that peak density did not start to show a trend until phantoms of 0.03g concentrations, where it increased from a value of 14.0 peaks (0.03g) to 18.7 peaks (0.06g). Velocity showed a statistically significant increase with greater polyethylene microsphere concentration, from 1508 m/s for 0.00g to 1536 m/s for 0.06g. No trends were observed for attenuation. These results indicate that higher levels of scattering centers in dense breast tissues will be detectable with high frequency ultrasound. This additionally shows that high frequency ultrasound may also be sensitive to greater amounts of connective tissue present in dense breast pathologies. High frequency ultrasound is sensitive to the weight percent of polyethylene microspheres. Future research is planned to further understand this relationship, including repeat studies and studies of phantoms containing chopped polyethylene fibers and triple the polyethylene microsphere concentrations to more closely simulate dense breast tissues.
High-Frequency Ultrasonic Measurement of Angiogenesis in Mice with Breast Tumors and Ligated Femoral Arteries
Michaelle Cadet, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. Tumor angiogenesis and its inhibition is an important aspect of oncology and the treatment of cancer. High-frequency ultrasound (10-100 MHz) is particularly sensitive to small vascular structures that are close in size to the ultrasound wavelength (15-150 _m). The ability to rapidly determine the degree of vascularization in small animals in vivo would provide a useful characterization tool for breast cancer studies. The objective of this study was to determine if direct ultrasonic measurements in the 10-100 MHz range could be used as a vascularization assay for breast tumors and other tissues. To accomplish this, six mice from the Huntsman Cancer Institute (Salt Lake City, Utah) with grafted breast cancer tumors (three control and three treated with an angiogenesis inhibitor called Avastin) were tested in vivo using through-transmission ultrasonic measurements. A second study was also performed at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology (Vienna, Austria), where the femoral artery in one hind leg of each of sixteen mice was ligated and tested over the time period of eight days. Eight of the ligated limbs were treated with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) while the remaining eight ligated limbs were allowed to grow ischemic. The unligated limbs were controls. Results from the Huntsman Cancer Institute study indicated that breast tumors in Avastin-treated mice showed higher ultrasound velocities than control tumors. This can be ascribed to the vasculature in the nontreated tumors creating greater wave scattering in the tissue, thus decreasing the velocity. Results from the Boltzmann Institute study indicated that in mice with ligated femoral arteries, ultrasonic signals from ischemic limbs displayed a decrease in wave velocity over the test period as compared to the VEGF-treated limbs. However, both the ischemic and VEGF-treated limbs showed decreases in ultrasonic attenuation during the entire test period. Results from Avastin-treated mouse tumors and mouse limbs with ligated femoral arteries revealed that high-frequency ultrasound holds potential for measuring angiogenesis in vivo.
Peak Density and Attenuation as Complementary Parameters for Differentiating Breast Tissue Pathology
Nicole Cowan, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences Breast cancer is the second most prevalent cancer among women, affecting one out of eight women in their lifetime. The ability to differentiate between malignant and normal tissues during breast cancer surgery would enable the surgeon to remove all of the cancer from the affected region in the breast, thereby reducing the risk of recurrence and the need for subsequent surgeries. A pilot study conducted at the Huntsman Cancer Institute showed that high-frequency ultrasound (20-80 MHz), and in particular the ultrasonic parameter peak density, was sensitive to breast tissue pathology. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of tissue microstructure on peak density using phantoms that mimic the histology of breast tissue. Phantoms were created from a mixture of distilled water, Knox gelatin, and Metamucil fiber. In order to simulate breast tissue histology and terminal ductal lobular units, polyethylene microspheres were embedded into the phantoms in layers, totaling 4 layers per phantom. The volume percent of polyethylene microspheres was kept constant in each phantom while varying microsphere sizes (58-925 μm diameter). Pitch-catch and pulse-echo measurements were acquired using 50-MHz transducers (Olympus NDT, V358-SU, 50 MHz, 0.635-cm diameter active element), a HF pulsar-receiver (UTEX, UT340), and a 1-GHz digital oscilloscope (Agilent DSOX3104A). Glycerol (Genesis Scientific) was used as a coupling agent between the transducers and the phantoms. Spectra were derived from the data, giving peak density (the number of peaks and valleys in a specified spectral range) and attenuation values. In a previous study, histology- mimicking phantoms were fabricated where the weight percent of polyethylene microspheres was kept constant, but the microsphere diameter was varied. The former study showed a clear trend of higher peak density values for smaller diameters, but no trend for attenuation. In contrast, the phantoms from this study showed no trend in peak density, but a clear trend of higher attenuation values for larger microspheres. The results show that specific changes in tissue microstructure affect the parameters of peak density and attenuation differently. Changes in the number of scatterers and in their size, as in the previous study, affected peak density most significantly. In contrast, changes solely in the size of the scatterers, but not in their number, affected attenuation most significantly. These results are consistent with attenuation results for lobular carcinoma in the pilot study. These results show that peak density and attenuation are complementary parameters, and could be used together to characterize a variety of tissue pathologies
Madeline Parson, Travis Bulloch, and Tyler Argyle, Southern Utah University Physical Sciences Lipid bilayers have many important purposes in living cells. A lipid bilayer forms a barrier which separates the fluid inside the cell from the fluid surrounding the cell. The arrangement of components within cell membranes can be extremely important, particularly in cell communications. For example, when our immune system attacks certain pathogens, it recognizes them by specific proteins in the inner and outer regions. This can be thought of as forming a “bull’s-eye” shape. The ability to generate such patterns in bilayers might see applications in many areas of biology. Our goal is to take an initially un-patterned supported lipid bilayer (model cell membrane) and use magnetic tweezers as a delivery system to generate patterns. We hope to show pattern formation using fluorescent-labeled lipids within our bilayer. In the past, we have used streptavidin and biotinylated lipids with Oregon Green. Currently, we are pursuing a fluorescein/anti-fluorescein system that has been yielding much more promising results. We are currently using a fluorescent microscope to confirm that patterns are forming within the bilayer.
Towards The Synthesis Symmetrical and Asymetrical Bimetallic Complexes for Use in Studies of the Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Eric Johnson, University of Utah Physical Sciences The ability to reduce O2 in mild conditions holds many important implications such as: use as an economical fuel cell, pharmaceutical synthesis, biomass degradation and conversion of small molecules to fuels. We are building the [M(μ-OH) (oxapyme)M(H2O)]+ molecules and symmetrical counterparts for use in O2 reduction reactions (M = Cobalt, Nickel, Iron). The precursors to the [M(μ-OH)(oxapyme)M(H2O)]+ have been synthesized as follows. 2-[5-(2-Nitro-phnyl)-[1,3,4]oxadiazol- 2-yl]-phenylamine serves as the backbone of the complex, allowing for two distinct ligands to be attached to each side. Initial yields for this synthesis averaged at 6%. To be able to complete the synthesis this needed to be significantly raised. The literature procedure was modified in various ways until new reaction conditions were found that allowed for 40% yield. Other precursors include 2,2’-(1,3,4)Oxadiazole-2,5-diyl-bis-aniline which also serves as a ligand backbone but differs in that it allows for preparation of a symmetrical ligand have been synthesized with a 51% yield. The first ligand Bis-pyridine-2-ylmethyl-amino has been produced with a 60% yield. The second ligand Methyl-pyridine-2-ylmethyl-amino has been synthesized with an approximate yield of 75%. These yields are high enough to finish the synthesis of the ligand and subsequently coordinate the metals. Upon completion, the electrochemical properties of the compounds that differ in the metal composition and the ligand (symmetrical versus asymmetrical) will be determined using studies such as cyclic voltammetry. Once the metal and ligand that are most apt at oxygen reduction is determined, more advanced studies will be undertaken to identify the reaction mechanism and intermediates.
Peak Density Histograms and Pathology Interpretations for High-frequence Ultrasonic Testing of Breast Cancer Surgical Specimens
Robyn Omer, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences Removal of all malignant tissue during lumpectomy is critical for preventing local recurrence of the breast cancer. Failure to remove all cancer results in 20-40% of lumpectomy patients returning for additional surgery. At Utah Valley University, a method is being developed to detect cancer during the initial surgery to ensure all of the cancer has been removed. Peak density, which is the number of peaks and valleys in a specified spectral range of a high-frequency (HF) ultrasound signal, correlates to breast pathology in lumpectomy specimens. The objective of this study was to determine if the histograms of peak density versus the number of measurements provide information on corresponding breast tissue pathology. High-frequency ultrasonic data were obtained from a blind study of surgical specimens obtained from 73 lumpectomy patients at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, and South Jordan, Utah. The data were normalized to remove bias between patients. The ultrasonic signals were converted to spectra using a Fourier transform. Peak densities were calculated from the spectra by counting the number of peaks and valleys in the 20-80 MHz range. This was achieved by counting where the slopes of the spectra (their derivatives) crossed zero. A histogram was created by assigning each peak density value to a bin, and then counting the number of measurements that fell within that bin. The histogram of the peak densities produced an asymmetric Gaussian-type distribution with a range of peak density values from 0 to 27 and a mode of 5. Using threshold values determined from a pilot study for differentiating pathology with peak density, it was determined that the peak of the distribution (5-6) corresponded to normal tissue pathology, the shoulders of the distribution (0-4 and 7-10) corresponded to abnormal pathologies, and the tail of the distribution (11-27) corresponded to malignant tissue types. These correlations matched the types of specimens tested, specifically tumors, margins, and lymph nodes. The correlations also provide a measure of the success of removing malignant tissue and achieving negative margins during lumpectomy procedures. Using histograms to analyze the data not only provides a new approach for differentiating tissue pathology, but also provides a statistical measure of the success of lumpectomy procedures performed by a specific surgeon or at a specific institution.
Monitoring Angiogenesis in Early Chick Dev elopment Using High-frequency Ultrasound: Method Development and Preliminary Results
Cameran Mecham, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences Introduction:
Quantifying Heavy Metal Pollution in Utah Lake via Root System Accumulation in Two Subspecies of Phragmites Australis and Subsequent Determination of Anthropogenic Relevance
Kevin Jackman, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences Phragmites australis is a non-native subspecies of wetland reed that was introduced to Utah Lake from Europe during early exploratory settlements and is now outcompeting native flora in the lake’s wetland ecosystem. Utah Lake is a repository for toxic heavy metals from diverse mining operations and industrial operations proximal to the water. International studies have shown Phragmites to have strong potential as a phytoremediator and a reliable biomonitoring species of polluted water and soil, yet no work in this regard has ever been performed in the state of Utah or on Utah Lake. It is by measuring the concentrations of arsenic, lead, and 12 other trace metals within the root and rhizome system of these plants that a measurement of the contamination of the lake can be made, and to determine a quantitative concentration and severity of contamination with regards to public health and safety. If these trace metals are present in excess in the lake and its soils, toxic, and harmful conditions are present and are an issue of health to the natural ecosystem of the lake, as well as the citizens recreating and working throughout the lake on a regular basis. Determination of atomic content evaluation will be performed by the Induced Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer. Future work can then be proposed to remediate the lake, in an effort to improve the human and environmental condition of the area. This project has the interest of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and relationships have been established for current and future cooperation. The aim of this project is to be published and presented on a peer-reviewed level in scientific journals and at conferences.