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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation

Physical Sciences

November 16, 2020 10:51 PM
Weston Elison, Brigham Young University
November 03, 2020 01:24 PM
Jacob Butterfield, Brigham Young University
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Jonathan Shumway; Scott George, Brigham Young University
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Katherine Wilcox, Southern Utah University
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Jared Blanchard, Brigham Young University
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Andrew Piskadlo; Adele Reynolds; Anna Robert; Gaurav Pandey, Westminster College
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Jace Howell, Dixie State University
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Katie Varela, Brigham Young University
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Jacquelyn Monroe; Brian Jensen; Laura Bridgewater; Natalie Kwon, Brigham Young University
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Brigham Pope; Daniel Joaquin; Jacob Hickey, Brigham Young University
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Alexandria DeGrauw, University of Utah
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Michael Maynard; Alex Mitchell, Dixie State University
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Gift Ifijeh, Dixie State University
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Kyler Radmall, Southern Utah University
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Lauren Nickell, Southern Utah University
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Ryker Haddock, Brigham Young University
January 01, 2018 12:00 AM
Mikaila Hunt, Southern Utah University
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
Cameran Mecham, Utah Valley University Physical Sciences Introduction:
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.
January 01, 2015 12:00 AM
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.