The Brian Head fire, which began due to human action in June 2017, quickly wreaked havoc in the western corner of the Dixie National forest. It covered roughly 72,000 acres of land1. The full impact of the fire has yet to be discovered, but there is an urgent necessity to evaluate the drastic changes to the ecosystem. In this study, we aim to look into variations in water chemistry of two streams crossing the Brian Head burn scar. We will conduct weekly monitoring of the pH, dissolved oxygen, water velocity, temperature, and turbidity. Our two sites are located on along the Second Left Hand Road, in Middle Creek and Parowan Creek. Our goal is to evaluate how the fire affects these streams not only through ash deposits but flooding and erosion as well. Water velocity and turbidity will be more reflective of punctual episodes of flash flooding that have occurred on multiple occasions in the Parowan area since the fire. We can see that the road and the stream banks have already been significantly altered, our study will allow us to have a deeper understanding of how the fire affected the area and its ecosystem. Future studies will include and biological assessment through the invertebrate community of the streams. 1 (2017, June 18). Brian Head Fire. InciWeb. Retrieved from www.inciweb.nwcg.gov
MultiCRAFTI: Overcoming the Kinetic Energy Limitation to Measure the Cross Section of High-Mass Ions
CRAFTI is an emerging method for measuring molecular collision cross sections using the ultra-high resolving FTICR-MS instrument. Collision cross sections are important measurements to understanding size, tertiary structure, and ligand binding. CRAFTI has been shown to give accurate collision cross sections comparable to those from drift ion mobility, the leading cross section measurement method. Because CRAFTI measurements are carried out under single-collision conditions, CRAFTI can obtain cross sections for non-covalently bound complexes with interactions that are far too weak to address using drift ion mobility, where multiple thermal collisions can disrupt the complexes. However, CRAFTI’s requirement of single-collision ion dephasing is a hindrance to the measurement of larger mass ions because for ions that are massive compared to the neutral collision partner it is difficult to reach sufficient center-of-mass kinetic energy to cause dephasing (which usually occurs via collision-induced dissociation). In this study, we characterize these limitations by measuring different species (tetraalkylammonium, cryptand-metal ion, and cucurbituril complexes) at a range of kinetic energies. For polyatomic ions, CRAFTI cross sections are observed to increase with increasing center-of-mass kinetic energy until they reach a limiting value that is generally similar to cross sections computed from the expected molecular structure. The CRAFTI measurement reaches the calculated cross-section at a specific center-of-mass kinetic energy related to the energy of the bond being broken. We also performed MultiCRAFTI, a new experiment where we overcome the kinetic energy limit through simultaneous measurements of multiple species for internal comparison. Two analytes in a MultiCRAFTI experiment, though both are beneath the minimum kinetic energy requirement, give correct relative cross sections. These MultiCRAFTI measurements represent a new step toward extending the FTICR-MS to vital new areas of measurement in macromolecules and organo-metal complexes.
Osseointegration plays a vital role in orthopedic surgery, as bone cells should be able to adhere and form on the implant surface to enable strong mechanical connection. Titanium has long been used in orthopedic and prosthetic implants because of its known toughness, strength and low conductivity, and especially its biocompatibility. However, native bone growth onto titanium is not optimal. Previous work in our lab has developed a carbon-infiltrated carbon nanotube surface which exhibits structural antimicrobial properties. The purpose of the present work was to evaluate osteoblast growth on this surface to determine whether the coating was cytotoxic, neutral, or osteogenic. Vertically aligned carbon nanotubes were grown on top of commercially pure titanium samples using ethylene and hydrogen gas at 750C, followed by infiltration at 900C. Our control sample was an uncoated commercially pure titanium sample. Both the control and CI-CNT coated titanium samples were cell cultured with human osteoblasts kept at 39C for approximately 96 hours. The preliminary tests have shown that the CI-CNT coated titanium sample promotes enhanced osteoblast proliferation, as well as functionalization (e.g., they are laying down calcium as part of bone formation). These results may lead to an orthopedic implant coating which provides both structural antimicrobial behavior, as well as enhanced osseointegration.
As metal films get thinner, their resistivity increases. We study the phenomenon using nickel films. The nickel films are made in a vacuum system with pressures below 10^-7 Torr. A nickel filament is heated to 1200°C to sublimate the nickel onto our glass substrate. A four-point measuring probe was used to measure voltage drops across the film at known currents. This gave a sheet resistance. Thicknesses of the thin films was verified by images on a scanning electron microscope. Thicknesses varied from 40nm-255nm. Resistivity of films were calculated to be between 22-147Ωnm. A graph of resistivity vs thickness will be presented and discussed on this poster.
Air pollutants pose a significant health risk in urban environments. Particulate matter 2.5 microns or smaller (PM 2.5) is of special concern because it can penetrate deep into lungs. Salt Lake City (SLC) is well-known for its winter inversions with PM 2.5 levels frequently exceeding EPA standards, but air pollution during the summer months is of growing concern. While dust storms are known to occur each year in SLC, the predominant source of the atmospheric particles, their origin, chemical composition, and particle size distribution have yet to be identified due to lack of research. Newly exposed lake sediments are highly prone to dust generation. The recent drought in 2011-2016 caused a 30% decrease in the volume of the Great Salt Lake (GSL), and water levels in the GSL fell dramatically to record lows in 2016, exposing large tracts of dry lake bed. It is unclear to what extent these exposed GSL sediments produce dust, and if that dust affects air quality in the Salt Lake valley or represents an important source of atmospherically transported metals to downwind aquatic environments. Our study was designed to answer these research questions. Samples of total particulate matter and PM 2.5 were collected with atmospheric samplers at Westminster College and several other sites. Samples were then digested and analyzed for their trace element and heavy metal content by ICP-MS. Though this study is ongoing, preliminary results suggest a possible increase in particulate matter as the summer progresses, potentially associated with periods with elevated atmospheric particulate matter in the Salt Lake Valley, in part derived from wildfires in the wider region.
A fossil-pollen-based climate reconstruction of two lake records from the Uinta mountain range in northern Utah.
Climate change is an issue that has gained a significant amount of attention in recent years. Specifically, anthropogenic climate change, as we know the Earth's climate goes through cycles of warming and cooling. In recent years, there have been examples climate changing rapidly and creating problems for communities around the world. The goal of this study is to look at patterns of climate change through reconstructing a climate history by analyzing two frozen lake sediment cores northern Utah. The two study sites are from both Newt Lake outside of Vernal Utah and Canyon Lake located outside of Duchesne Utah. In this study we have counted the charcoal from the sediment cores, and we have analyzed the pollen grains in the core. As we count the charcoal from the frozen lake sediment core we are able to determine the study site's fire interval and look at charcoal peaks this can help establish a general idea of how often fires come through the two study sites. Once we gather this data we can examine it to determine if there has been any changes in the fire interval in recent years. Additionally, as we prep and analyze the pollen data in the sediment core we can look at the individual species of pollen to determine the climate envelope of each species to get some idea of what the climate would have looked like at a given time. This study will provide the reader with information about how climate has been changing in Utah and give insight as to what the study sites may have looked like at a given time compared to today.
In order to mitigate the health problems and environmental damage caused by the burning of biomass in homes across the developing world, there is an international effort to design clean burning cookstoves with greater efficiency and fewer harmful emissions. An important measuring tool for gauging the effectiveness of these alternate stoves is the optical particulate counter. This type of sensor beams light through the contaminated air and measure how much of that light is refracted. Based on these measurements, the size and amount of particles in the air can be inferred. However, for the most part, these measurements are taken at face value, without an understanding of the amount of uncertainty involved in the measurement process. This project describes the development of an accurate mathematical model for a particular sensor, the OPC-N2 by Alphasense, and states how this model leads to increased understanding of the uncertainty involved in the operation of our sensor and therefore, sensors like it.
Liquid jet impingement is an excellent solution for many thermal management challenges (e.g. cooling of advanced microelectronic devices) because of its high heat transfer rates. Superhydrophobic surfaces, with micrometer scale posts, have desirable self-cleaning and anti-fouling properties and their use has been proposed in these applications; however, superhydrophobic surfaces also decrease heat transfer rates. The relationship between superhydrophobic surface post microstructure and heat transfer rate in liquid impinging jets has not yet been explored. To better understand this relationship, experiments are conducted with varying pitch, the distance between posts, and varying cavity fraction, the area not covered by the posts divided by the total area. This empirical data is then utilized to develop models, which will predict heat transfer based on pitch and cavity fraction. Designers of thermal management systems may then install post patterned superhydrophobic surfaces in thermal management devices to utilize their desirable properties and may maximize heat transfer rates by selecting the optimal pitch and cavity fraction.
Diffusion of atoms through materials is important for a number of material processes, such as air purification, fuel cells, and material behavior. The interfaces between crystals, also known as grain boundaries, are considered to be rapid diffusion pathways through a material. To better understand how these grain boundaries affect diffusion in a material, we simulate diffusion in a variety of atomic structures. The goal is to correlate the diffusivity with other properties of the grain boundaries, such as their energy.
Southern Utah University is one of four university partners who manage and operate the new Great Basin Observatory (GBO). As partners, SUU students have priority access to the remotely operated telescope for astronomical research. Since the GBO telescope is new, its capabilities are still unknown. In order to determine the telescope’s limits, we have started taking photometric measurements of exoplanet transit systems. We then verify that the photometric data is consistent with accepted values. So far we have successfully processed several transits. We plan to continue detecting exoplanet transit systems with lower signal to noise ratios until the transit dimming is too faint for our telescope to detect. Once our work is finished, we will have a better understanding of the GBO limits which will benefit future SUU students and other GBO university partners.
Until 2011, researchers knew of only two scenarios where life could exist on Mars: underwater aquifers that were remnants of ancient Martian seas and melting ice at the Martian poles. Yet, evidence now strongly suggests additionally the presence of liquid water on Mars through a phenomenon called reucurrent slope lineae (RSL). Through the action of deliquescence of hydroscopic salts such as magnesium perchlorate, water is likely collected from katabatic winds, forming salty brines on the surface of Mars. RSL sites are found predominantly in the Martian equatorial region. Because RSL provide a setting for liquid water to exist, they may serve as a habitable niche on Mars. To assess this scenario, we independently created RSL analogs and impregnated them with Antarctic microbial extremophiles. The design of our RSL analogs is based on a suite of water concentrations and magnesium perchlorate concentrations, allowing us to represent the variety of RSL geochemical compositions that could be possible on Mars. Since RSL analogs are based a Martian Mojave simulant that is both autoclaved and baked at 250 -, we minimized the possibility of bacterial or amino acid contamination. Current and future studies on RSL will be enhanced based on the foundation that our project provides.
It cannot be refuted that water is a precious resource, and society faces a challenge as the demand for clean water sources increases. Presence of heavy metal contaminants and other toxic organic compounds render water useless for consumption without going through extensive processing. However, some of the metal contaminants have market value; therefore, efficient extraction methods which support recovery of these precious metals are essential. Hydrophobic materials that have high affinity for target metals can sever as effective solvents in the biphasic extraction process. Ionic liquids, which are organic salts that exist as liquids at room temperature, can be designed to possess hydrophobic properties and can function as eco-friendly means of separating rare earth heavy metals. Additionally, the ionic liquids can also be used to extract and recover organic compounds such as biofuels. The focus of this research is the synthesis and characterization of phosphonium based ionic liquids, designed to exhibit high extraction efficiency of metals and organic compounds while exhibiting low toxicity to organisms. The ionic liquids were tested for extraction of various organic compounds, including biofuels, as well as for metal complexes. This new approach to extraction would support an environmentally friendly method of purifying contaminated water systems and for the extraction and recovery of commodity chemicals.
Habitability of Martian Recurring Slope Lineae: Building Capacity for Exploring Terrestrial Analogs for Astrobiology
Recurrent Slope Lineae (RSL) are dark, narrow streaks of flowing brine water on Martian hillsides. Perchlorate salts found in especially high abundances in RSL regions may be responsible for their formation. It is believed that through a process called deliquescence, the salts act as a type of “sponge,” absorbing atmospheric water and seasonally saturating the hillside. These saturated soils may act as a niche for life. In order to better understand the potential habitable space of RSL, we created RSL analogs with various salt and moisture concentrations. The analogs were then impregnated with extremophilic microbial communities derived from Beacon Valley, Antarctica. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic results assess the potential habitable space of RSL on Mars.
Our research focuses on the synthesis of silver nanoparticles using microfluidic devices. These devices are of particular interest to us because of the controlled environment that they provide for reactions to take place. As the name suggests, the “micro” scale of this device gives us a high surface area to volume ratio while the “fluidic” aspect allows a controlled flow rate and pattern. This provides reproducible products with accuracy and precision as we control exactly when turbulent and laminar flow occurs. Our microfluidic device is created by using Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a polymer that is similar to glass. Using a magnesium wire we can shape our microfluidic device to fit the needs of our experiment and then suspend it in PDMS. The magnesium wire can be dissolved once the PDMS solidifies, forming a hollow chamber in which we can perform our reaction and synthesize our silver nanoparticles. Silver nanoparticles have a wide range of applications but the focus of our research will be to learn more about what causes inconsistency in the size of the particles. Since one of the major challenges of nanoparticle synthesis is creating a product that is uniform in size, learning how to control the synthesis process to create highly uniform nanoparticles would be beneficial. To accomplish this, we plan to gather more information about the nanoparticles using Raman spectroscopy. We will also use a UV-Vis spectrometer and spectrofluorimeter to analyze the stages of nanoparticles synthesis.
The purpose of this research is to develop a non-contact method for measuring the thermal properties of a material. The technology used is fluorescence thermometry, which involves reading the fluorescent signal emitted by a material and relating it to temperature. Although this is not a new technology, this application of the technology will allow us to measure properties at a microscopic level. To achieve this, we are using the PHR-803t laser optics found in the discontinued XBOX 360 HDDVD reader. This device was chosen due to its low cost, as well as the availability of an open-source project that provided a basis for controlling the laser optics. The temperature capture process is as follows: coat a sample with a photo-sensitive material; expose sample to blue laser (405 nm); heat the sample by modulated infrared laser; capture the emitted fluorescent signal with a photodiode; obtain the magnitude and phase shift of the fluorescent temperature compared to the heating laser through lock-in amplification; calculate temperature based on the magnitude and phase shift; fit theoretical curve to determine thermal property. My contributions to this research have been in the control of the lens actuator and laser diodes contained in the PHR-803t, lock-in amplifier circuitry, control of actuators for translation of the sample in 2D space, and system integration and design.
Copper nanoparticles have applications in many fields including antibiotics and engineering nanofluids. The difficulty with producing copper nanoparticles, compared to synthesizing gold or silver nanoparticles, is that copper nanoparticles oxidize when exposed to oxygen. Oxidation causes nanoparticles to dissolve. We have discovered that hydrochloric acid dissolves copper metal when sonicated. This is a result not expected thermodynamically. Likewise, at low hydrochloric acid concentrations copper nanoparticles form when the solution is sonicated. Neither of these results are expected and neither have been used to explore methods for copper nanoparticle synthesis. Using these findings, we developed a new method to synthesize copper nanoparticles from bulk copper metal. We are testing how controlling the level of oxygen effects the nanoparticles produced. We are working to find optimal oxygen concentration as well as hydrochloric acid concentration to consistently synthesize nanoparticles. We will report on our results up to this point.
Past research has shown that, though the U.S. public generally views science favorably, the benefit of scientific inquiry has decreased in value. According to the PEW Research Center (2015), only 79% of people thought science was generally positive and made life easier for most people. This paper seeks to explore why people may view science negatively by gauging participants’ responses to genetically modified organisms, a controversial topic in science. Participants were gathered from upper division writing courses at the University of Utah, and they were asked to complete a science knowledge quiz, several questionnaires, an interview, and a think aloud protocol. Their responses were analyzed to determine their science knowledge and what questions they had about GMOs and science. Preliminary findings show most questions were geared towards the methods behind GMOs. References: Funk, C.,Rainie, L., and Page, D. (2015). Public and scientists’ views on science and society. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2015/01/PI_ScienceandSociety_Report_012915.pdf
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.
Correlation of Force and Peak Density during High-Frequency Ultrasound T esting: A Reliability Study
Benjamin Finch, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences The Breast Cancer Research Laboratory at Utah Valley University has been using high-frequency ultrasound to test the pathology of surgical margins from breast cancer conservation surgery. Their studies have shown that high-frequency ultrasound may be sensitive to a range of breast pathologies. The ultrasonic parameter that has been shown to be the most sensitive to pathology is the number of peaks (peak density) in the frequency spectra from the captured waveforms. During testing, the ultrasonic transducers apply an amount of force to the tissues that can vary depending on the researcher. The central question of this study was to determine the effect that the applied force has on the final peak density reading, and therefore the reliability of the results. In order to determine the correlation of force and peak density, an experiment was designed to measure the force applied to tissue by the ultrasonic transducer during testing and to simultaneously measure the applied force while collecting ultrasonic waveforms. An Arduino Uno R3 instrument was obtained as well as an Interlink Electronics FSR 406 force sensor pad. The Arduino was programmed to read the voltage from the FSR sensor and use that information to provide force (N) and pressure (N/cm2) data from the stage. Peak density readings from bovine mammary tissue (very similar to human breast tissue) were acquired using varying amounts of force. The results obtained exhibited significant changes in peak density with applied force. The results showed that if the applied force is under 1.18N, the peak density will fluctuate significantly and will therefore give inconsistent results. However, if the force applied is greater than 1.18N, the peak densities will maintain a relatively consistent form. In conclusion, if the force applied during testing is above 1.18N, the waveforms captured from high-frequency ultrasound testing on breast cancer tissues will provide consistent and reliable results, thus improving the quality of the data and accuracy of diagnosis.
High-Frequency Ultrasound (20-80 MHz) for Analyzing Breast Cancer Surgical Margins: A 73-Patient Clinical Study
Amy Fair Brother, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences Results from a 2010 pilot study indicated that multiple parameters in high-frequency (HF) ultrasound spectra (20-80 MHz) correlate to a range of tissue pathologies in surgical margins from breast conservation surgery (BCS). One of these parameters, peak density, was particularly effective at discriminating between normal, atypical, and malignant patholUtah Conference on Undergraduate Research 2015 100 ogies. Subsequently, Utah Valley University and the Huntsman Cancer Institute initiated a follow-up study to further investigate this approach. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of HF ultrasound for differentiating malignant tissue from normal tissue in BCS surgical margins. Methods: A 73-patient blind study was conducted with conventional pathology used as the gold standard for assessing the HF ultrasound method. Specimens were delivered by the surgeon’s team immediately following resection and ultrasonically tested outside the surgical suite. The margins were approximately 3x20x20 mm, and were oriented using a small staple inserted by the surgeon in one corner and a stitch on one side. The margin was tested at 2-5 locations on the specimens using our methodology and then sent to pathology for their analysis. 498 specimens were tested from 73 patients. That corresponded to 1112 positions collected from the margins. The data was then analyzed for malignancy using peak density, and then correlated with the traditional pathology. Results: Results from the current study indicate that peak density can differentiate between malignant and nonmalignant pathologies with an accuracy of 73.8%. The correlation between pathology and peak density has a high level of statistical significance compared to random chance, with p = 0.000078 (Fisher’s Exact test). The results also provide data for improving the technique. For example, approximately 3 times more false positives were observed than false negatives, indicating the peak density threshold used for identifying malignant pathology is most likely too low and should be adjusted to a higher value. Conclusions: Results from this study showed that HF ultrasound has the potential to provide rapid, intraoperative evaluation of surgical margins, thereby decreasing the number of additional surgeries for patients and thus increasing the quality and efficacy of surgical treatment for breast cancer.
Plant Fossil Locality in the Shinarump Member of the Chinle Formation (Upper Triassic) of Southwestern Utah (Washington County)
Melinda Hurlbut, Dixie State University Physical Sciences A newly discovered plant fossil locality in the Chinle Formation (Upper Triassic) in Washington County broadens the distribution of known Late Triassic plant fossil localities to include southwestern Utah. Previously reported plant localities in the Chinle Formation are known from southeastern Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and equivalent strata from the Dockum Group in Texas. The majority of the known plant fossil localities are from higher stratigraphic units of the Chinle Formation. However, the new Washington County locality is from the older, basal unit, the Shinarump Member. The plant fossils identified from the new locality include fronds of the fern Phlebopteris sp., fertile leaves of the fern Cynepteris sp., and leaves of the bennettitalean Zamites sp. Undetermined species of conifers are represented by a partial branch and a three- dimensionally preserved cone containing well preserved seeds. The diversity of species found at the Washington County plant fossil locality correlates with other known floral assemblages from the Chinle Formation, suggesting general homogeneity of Chinle Formation floras. These plant fossil assemblages support interpretations of basal Chinle Formation paleoclimates as humid and warm.
Tim Beach, Utah State University Physical Sciences Successful management of the arid West requires a basic knowledge of available water resources, withdrawals, and existing management efforts. Utah, the second driest state in the country, is continuing its efforts to restore impaired water systems and teach the next generation to conserve water. Because of a fast-growing population, the diversity of Utah’s landscape, and strict regulations that govern water throughout the state, understanding the region’s current water condition can be difficult. Historically, the majority of this information has been stored in databases, represented by only numbers and statistics. In an effort to better conceptualize this data and increase the spatial understanding of Utah’s water, a set of maps have been produced. These maps were created using ESRI’s ArcMap software and Adobe Illustrator. Included are major lakes and rivers, average annual precipitation, average annual streamflow, total urban withdrawals per county, total agricultural withdrawals per county, and water management. Viewing visual representations of this information in multiple maps can aid in creating spatial inferences, and raise additional questions regarding aquatic restoration and management throughout the state. This set of maps can also be used to supplement physical science education at all school levels. Future work includes distributing these maps as posters to schools and water managers, as well making it a resource for teachers via websites and fact sheets.
Chemistry Laboratory Safety: Misconceptions among First-and Second-Semester General Chemistry Students.
Jennifer Melvin and Wendy Schatzberg, Dixie State University Physical Sciences The general chemistry laboratory can be a dangerous place, and the possible danger is amplified by the fact that general chemistry is frequently a student’s first chemistry laboratory experience. College students come from a variety of backgrounds with only some having had chemistry in high school, and therefore many students will not know beforehand what kind of precautions to take or what kind of action to take in case of an accident in the lab. Safety information is given briefly at the beginning of the semester, but the efficacy of this is uncertain. An online survey was conducted to gauge first- and second-semester general chemistry students’ knowledge about chemistry laboratory safety and the data gathered was analyzed. This survey was conducted at two secondary schools in two different countries. Statistical analysis will be presented. Results will allow discernment of misconceptions held by students over two semesters and between countries, and conclusions can be made about the effectiveness of current laboratory safety instruction methods.
Kyle Marcus, Cami McKellar, Riley Pearce, Shay Beck, and Zenja Draca, Dixie State University Physical Sciences Invasive marine and freshwater species have a detrimental impact on aquatic ecosystems and are easily transferred between bodies of water as a result of unregulated settlement and attachment to commercial and recreational watercraft. This results in infestation of waterways and disruption of native organisms throughout an ecosystem. The quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) is one example of such invasive species that has called for a focus on cross-contamination prevention. The goal is to use aquatic paint suitable for watercraft that prevents the settlement and/or attachment of various aquatic species such as algae, snails (Physa sp.), anemones (Aiptasia sp.), and quagga mussels. The paint is integrated with newly developed surfactants that act as an inhibitor to the adherence ability of invasive aquatic species. The surfactants are added to provide a barrier between the paint surface and the organisms creating an undesirable surface area for the organisms to attach. This barrier disrupts the specific naturally occurring chemical and physical processes that allow organisms to adhere to surfaces. The most innovative characteristic of the surfactant-based paint is its effectiveness on adherence inhibition without degradation, dissociation, or toxicity to the environment. Preventing adherence of invasive organisms to surfaces could have significant positive effects on the efficiency and cost of operations in marine environments and waterways.
Henintsoa Rakotoarisaona, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences The Jordan River is the only outlet of Utah Lake. Historically, this area has been impacted by urbanization, long term mining operations, industrial and agricultural activities resulting in potentially high levels of trace metal pollutants at the headwaters of the Jordan River. Since trace metals are known to be toxic at elevated levels, it is important to evaluate their concentration, distribution and mobility in this sensitive area in order to determine risk to wildlife, humans and downstream users of the Jordan River. Three core samples from 0 cm to 95 cm in depth were collected at the east (industrialized area), west (newly developed area) and north (an island barrier) sides of the outlet of Utah Lake. Each sample was digested in triplicates in the Microwave Accelerated Reaction System (MARS) using US Environmental Protection Agency Method 3052 and analyzed in the Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) for As, Cd, Cr, Mn, Pb, Cu, Zn, Co, and Ni. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to analyze the data, with a boneferroni adjustment made for multiple comparisons. The results indicated that the East and North sediments of the Jordan River were significantly (P < 0.5) more heavily impacted by trace metal pollutants than the West side, with the North area accumulating higher levels of the majority of the trace metals or metalloid evaluated. Enrichment of Co, Cr, Pb and Zn was observed on the East sediment at concentrations reaching 10,821, 4.07, 13.7, 12.7, 119.4 mg kg-1, respectively. The most substantial elevation in the concentration of trace metals occurred with Cu in the North section of the lake, increasing from 349 mg kg-1 at 0-15 cm to 1383 mg kg-1 cm depth, showing high mobility, followed by Zn which increased from 46.7 mg kg-1 at 0-15 cm to 592 mg kg-1 30-45 cm depths. The enrichment of these trace metals in the East and North sediments at the outlet of Utah Lake pose a health risk to animals and humans who use these areas for recreational or agricultural purposes.
Shireen Partovi, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences The normal flora of microbiota that resides in our gastrointestinal tract acts as a community and provides a number of functions such as assisting with the breakdown of waste, protecting our tissues and organs from invading species, and playing a role in the immune response. These microorganisms may also play a role in altering our brain chemistry and changing our psychology and behavior. This mechanism is considered to be due to their ability to produce neurochemicals that mimic those produced by our own bodies. Therefore, it is possible that antibiotics may have a detrimental effect on our gut flora, thereby inducing a host of undesired side effects. These described side effects may include changes in normal psychological behavior, such as the presentation of anxiety or depression. This hypothesis is increasingly relevant as antibiotic resistance is rising due to poor education regarding bacterial infections and as the appeasement of insistent patients continues. This research aims to illustrate the harm that over-medicating may have on our behavior as a result of afflicted gut microbiota. This research will use peer reviewed journal articles that include studies and experiments to determine the influence of gut microbiota on brain chemistry and therefore psychology and behavior. Specifically, the exact implications of consistent antibiotic use and the impact on gut microbiota will be examined and a correlation will be presented. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to illustrate this problem in regards to the healthcare industry and the over-medication of patient.
A Comparative Study on the Uptake of Nutrients and Trace Metals of Two Plant Subspecies (P.australis and P.americanus) in Utah Lake
Ashley Ostraff, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences Utah Lake has a long history of being impacted by anthropogenic activities like, mining, agriculture, and surrounding industry. All of these activities have contributed to the runoff that feeds the lake, increasing the likelihood that this area contains high levels of trace metals, nitrogen, andphosphorus. Utah Lake contains two subspecies of phragmites, a wetland reed, one native (P. americanus) and one non-native (P. australis). P. australis is replacing the native species at an alarming rate. P. australis is known to have a deeper root system than the native subspecies, because of this we suspect that this allow access to a less competitive soil level giving this subspecies greater opportunity for nutrient and trace metal uptake. By comparing the root zone soils of both subspecies we hope to gather results that support this hypothesis. Examination of the roots will also showthe potential influence the soil conditions have on their growth and development. This study will compare nutrient and trace metal uptake of each subspecies to determine impact. Other factors that will be assessed include plant physiology, carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N), bioconcentration factor (BCF) and total trace metal content in tissues of both species. Samples of P. americanus and P. australis will be collected at 9 locations in Utah Lake. Soil samples at the root zone of each plant will also be evaluated. Each sampl e will be digested in the Microwave Accelerated Reaction System and analyzed in the Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES) for C, N, P, K, Ag, Al, As, Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, Mn, Na, Ni, P, Pb, Ti, and Zn. Results from this study will contribute valuable data to future efforts being used to preserve the biodiversity of the plants and animals that live in and around Utah Lake. The end goal of this student project is to be submitted to peer-reviewed scientific journals for publication and to be presented at academic and scientific conferences.
Valerie Jacobson, Weber State University Physical Sciences This study will compare and contrast the differences between nuclear accidents in Chernobyl and Fukushima. The environmental impacts of the “fall-out” across the two differing landscapes and the displacement of the populations due to radiation contamination, e.g., soil contamination, will be analyzed. Research on health issues, such as the increased numbers of thyroid cancer cases in Ukraine and Belarus in those who were children at the time of the disaster in 1986, will also be reviewed and compared to current health issues in Fukushima. Certain weather patterns distributed the radioactive materials over specific geographic areas that later came to be known as “hot-spots.” The study will evaluate the evacuations handled by the respective governments and the “exclusion zone” measures put in place by each. While the nuclear disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima have been compared as similar in disaster level, research and data collection of the fallout zones, or hot spots, reveal that the two disasters are not of an equal level. Factors such as air temperature, political and social responses all contributed to the disparity in levels of the two disasters.
According to the 2010 US Census, the Hispanic population in Ogden City, Utah has grown by over 36%. This influx of population of Hispanic descent has influenced local businesses to begin advertising in Spanish through multiple mediums. To determine what factors influence a business’s decision to advertise in Spanish, locations of all print advertising in Ogden were determined through personal investigation. Second, neighborhoods and areas were divided according to census divisions that appear on the official website and median household income as well as the population of Hispanic people was recorded to determine if socioeconomic bias was present in the selection of where to advertise in Spanish. A linear regression comparing the total number of Spanish advertisements found in each geographical area was compared first to income, and then to total Hispanic population. The results of the regression illustrate a potential bias based on financial circumstances rather than ethnicity. Further study is needed to determine if this use of Spanish-advertising in the low-income areas affects Spanish-speakers’ access to healthy foods, housing, or other critical aspects of quotidian life.
Melissa Warren, Weber State University Physical Sciences Spot tests are commonly utilized as presumptive qualitative tests for detecting chemical substances. Such tests are the basis for detection of illegal drugs or for cleaning validations in manufacturing systems. In this study we evaluate the use of Scott’s reagent and Mandelin reagent for the detection of trace quantities of diphenhydramine (Benadryl). These reagents have been reported to give false positive tests for illegal drugs such as ketamine (cocaine) when diphenhydramine is present. Our studies were focused on enhancing the detection limits of these reagents and their application of swab tests for diphenhydramine. We report the limits of detection and swab techniques that enhance selectivity and sensitivity for this analyte.
Monika Miller, Weber State University Physical Sciences Nutritionally important minerals are more readily absorbed by living systems when they are combined with organic acids. These combined metal-organic acid complexes are called chelate metals or chelates. The synthetic processes utilized to prepare these mineral chelates adds significant cost to the final product. Occasionally, manufactures sell cheaper dry blends of unreacted minerals and organic acids to gain an unfair competitive advantage in the market place. There are few if any reliable methods for reliable measurement of the extent of chelation between metals and organic acids. We report our successful application of Fourier-transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) for the quantitative determination of chelation in solid samples of mineral chelates.
David Sutterfield, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences When sulfide-bearing rocks are exposed to oxidizing conditions, they become destabilized, leaving behind a framework of leached, altered, and replaced host rock called a gossan. Many of these gossans form by the oxidation of ore minerals and have been known since antiquity to be associated with ore deposits. However, the extent and quality of ore mineralization beneath a given gossan cannot readily be determined through surface sampling of minerals. Work conducted by mineral exploration professionals (in Africa, Australia, India, and the Middle East) has indicated that geomagnetic and geoelectric surveys of a gossan can be useful for constraining the shape, size, and economic potential of an associated ore deposit. Although gossans are found in Utah, there have been no published studies of these rock units either in terms of their economic potential or geophysical signature. The objective of this study was to carry out geomagnetic and geoelectric surveys to determine the geophysical signature of gossans exposed about 10 miles northwest of Vernal, Utah, on the southeastern margin of the Uinta Mountains, for the purpose of estimating the grade and depth of possible sulfide mineralization. The gossans overlie a heavily brecciated wedge of Mississippian Madison Limestone and are structurally bounded by the South Flank Fault, which forms the boundary between the Permian Weber Sandstone to the south and the Neoproterozoic Uinta Mountain Group metaquartzites to the north. Geoelectric measurements with an Iris Instruments Syscal Junior Resistivity System and inversion of a portion of the resistivity and chargeability data with the Interpex IX1D Sounding Inversion software shows a resistivity low (~200 Ω·m) and a chargeability high (~7 ms) below 23 m depth. Measurements of total magnetic field using a Geometrics G-856 Proton Precession Magnetometer were modeled with Interpex IX2D-GM Magnetic Interpretation Software and constrained with magnetic susceptibilities of exposed rocks measured in the field using a SM-20 Magnetic Susceptibility Meter. Models based upon a portion of the data show anomalies of amplitude about 100 nT and wavelength about 50 m, suggesting isolated bodies of elevated magnetic susceptibility (~0.08 SI units) with upper surfaces 20-30 m below the surface. Since, based upon the topography, the depth to the water table is also 20-30 m, the geophysical measurements are consistent with the presence of reduced sulfide bodies below this depth. Further work will include interpretation of remaining data and possible drilling for improved calibration of geophysical models.
Expression of the C-terminal Domains of the Tight Junction Proteins Claudin-16, -3, and -4 to Identify Interacting Proteins in Epithelial Ovarian Carcinoma
Brandon Davies, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences Epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC) is the sixth most common cancer in US women. The long-term cure rates are low due to the lack of reliable biomarkers for early disease detection, resulting in advanced stage diagnosis. Approximately 75%-80% of ovarian cancers are diagnosed at stages IIIV with a 10% 5-year survival rate despite aggressive treatments. Claudin proteins are being studied as possible biomarkers as they are aberrantly overexpressed in EOC tumors. The Claudin family of proteins are a main component of tight junctions in the upper region of epithelial cells that act as gateways for the exchange of water and solutes while also helping determine the cell’s polarity and function. Changes in these proteins cause changes in phenotype and function of normal epithelial cells, such as proliferation control, trans-epithelial resistance, polarity, and solute transport. Claudin-16 is often aberrantly expressed in breast and ovarian cancer, while Claudins 3- and 4 are highly overexpressed in EOC. The location of these proteins is also correlated with oncogenic transformations and cell proliferation. Determining the specific characteristics of these Claudin proteins can prove to be of incredible benefit in cancer treatments. As these proteins are targeted during these therapies, these tight junctions may then send normal signals, which in turn can regulate the cell normally. The C-termini of the Claudins, which are cytoplasmically located, contain a known PDZ-binding motif and may interact with other junction proteins or with proteins involved in interesting signaling pathways. To identify these interacting proteins, we will use the Expresso T7 Cloning System (Lucigen Corp., Middleton, WI) to purify the Claudin-16, -3, and -4 C-terminal tails to use in pull-down assays. This process includes using affinity tags to capture the Claudin tails by FPLC, which can then be analyzed by SDS-PAGE and, ultimately, the corresponding genes cloned and sequenced. This study can potentially provide crucial information in relation to how members of the Claudin family interact with other proteins that are commonly found in tissues that are misregulated in cancer. With this data treatments can be improved to increase the responsiveness of ovarian cancer patients.
Hip Joint Center Differences between Dual Fluoroscopy, Functional Hip and Coda—Establishing a Reference Standard
Michael Kutschke and Niccolo Fiorentino University of Utah Measurements of joint angles, moments, and forces can be sensitive to positional changes in the center of a joint. Due to its deep location, the hip joint center (HJC) can be difficult to determine. Regression equations and functional methods use skin markers and are commonly used to measure the HJC, yet introduce sources of error such as bony landmark identification, soft tissue artifact, and system resolution. Additionally, the accuracy of said methods cannot be established in-vivo without a reference standard. The purpose of this study was to implement a dual fluoroscopy (DF) and model-based tracking technique to quantify the subject-specific HJC position in-vivo. This reference standard (DF-HJC) was then compared to the HJC defined by regression equations (CODA) and a functional method (FHJC) using skin markers. Five subjects with normal hip anatomy provided informed consent to participate in this IRB approved study. A gait marker set was applied to the subject’s skin. The subject performed various activities involving the inferior limb while a 10-camera Vicon system measured the position of the skin markers. From these data, the CODA and FHJCs were identified. Simultaneously, the hip was visualized using a DF system, and the DF-HJC was identified using model-based tracking. The DF-HJC was then transformed to the Vicon coordinate system for comparison with the CODA and FHJCs. The average Euclidean distance (and standard deviation) for the five subjects from the DF-HJC was 2.0 (0.6) cm for CODA and 1.3 (0.4) cm for the FHJC. To our knowledge this is the first study to use DF and model-based tracking to measure the in-vivo position of the HJC. This technique affords greater accuracy in determining subject-specific bone geometry and visualization of deep hip anatomy, thus may be considered a reference standard for identifying the HJC.
Paul Robertson, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences Evaluation of Utah Valley University’s stormwater plan reveals a simple system meant to collect stormwater into the city storm drains as quickly as possible. It is, however, vastly underdeveloped and many unspectacular summer and springtime storms have resulted in property damage, including those of nearby residents. The stormwater runoff has also collected concentrated amounts of hydrocarbons, nitrogen and heavy metals which are being fed directly into Utah Lake, acting as a significant source of pollution for the lake environment. The intentions of this project are to design a stormwater management plan that can withstand a 100 year, 24 hour event and prevent pollutants from entering the Utah Lake system. Mapping and modeling of the University’s storm drains will be accomplished using GIS as well as modeling for efficient retention sites on campus. Captured stormwater will then be used for a variety of functions here on campus and runoff into the adjacent lake will be reduced to insignificant values. Decisions regarding the ultimate implementation of this project will work in concordance with the University’s master plan of future development in order to realistically secure a reliable, low-maintenance system.
Brad Draper, Hannah Firth, and Patricia Stauffer, Weber State University Physical Sciences It is widely known that cacao beans are one of the most abundant sources of naturally-occurring flavonoids on earth. However, chocolate products contain only a small percentage of the original flavonoids present in cacao beans, indicating that up to 95% of these flavonoids are lost during the manufacturing of chocolate. However, no one has identified the specific events or steps in chocolate preparation that destroys these flavonoids. We have measured the concentrations of a variety of nutritionally beneficial flavonoids at each step of the chocolate manufacturing process to identify the related extent of flavonoid losses. Following multiple-step extractions and sample preparations, we utilized chemical techniques of TLC, UV/VIS Spectroscopy, HPLC, and organoleptic testing to measure the levels of catechins and proanthocyanidins at each step of the chocolate making process.
Kelly Hoerger, University of Utah Physical Science Implant devices such as orthopedic, dental, and cochlear implants are commonly utilized as part of many medical treatments. However, these foreign objects are susceptible to bacterial contamination, thereby putting the host at risk of an infection that is challenging to eliminate due to biofilm formation. Biofilms are formed when a bacterial cell adheres to and colonizes such metal or plastic surfaces. The cells aggregate to form and embed themselves in a thick and protective polysaccharide matrix, making biofilms resistant to many antibiotic treatments.