Eighteenth Annual Student Research Symposium

 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Session 2

Pendergraft Library 300 South

Time Presenter Mentor Title of the Presentation
9:00-9:15 Michael Bowman  Mostafa Hemmati

WAVE PROFILE FOR BREAKDOWN WAVES WITH A LARGE CURRENT BEHIND THE WAVE FRONT

9:15-9:30 Jesse Griffiths Mostafa Hemmati

ELECTRON SHOCK WAVES WITH A SIGNIFICANT CURRENT BEHIND THE SHOCK FRONT

9:30-9:45 Wallace Williamson Ivan Still

OPTIMIZATION OF TISSUE CULTURE CONDITIONS FOR DIFFERENTIATION OF NEURAL STEM CELLS

9:45-10:00

Joyce Kuykendall, Elvys Ferrufino-Mejia, Cody Campbell 

 Scott Kirkconnell 

ANTIBIOTIC POTENTIATING MICROBES

10:00-10:15

Kevin Hemphill

Brenda Lauffart

ROLE OF THE FGFR3-TACC3 ONCOPROTEIN IN THE METABOLISM OF ORGANIC POLLUTANTS IN BLADDER CANCER

10:15-10:30 Ruth Lykins Franklin D. Hardcastle

BOND LENGTH AND BOND VALENCE FOR TUNGSTEN-OXYGEN AND TUNGSTEN-SULFUR BONDS

10:30-10:45  Jordan Labrecque  Franklin D. Hardcastle  BOND LENGTH AND BOND VALENCE RELATIONSHIP OF CHROMIUM OXIDES, CHROMIUM SULFIDES, MOLYBDENUM OXIDES, AND MOLYBDENUM SULFIDES\

 

10:45-11:00 Nick Tipton Charles Gagen

PHYTOPLANKTON DYNAMICS IN GRAND LAKE, OKLAHOMA

11:00-11:15 Justin Barrett and David Williams Mariusz P. Gajewski

PHOTOCATALYTIC STERILIZATION OF AQUEOUS SOLUTIONS

11:15-11:30 Hope E. Parker and Cassandras Cendejas    Rajib Choudhury

DESIGN AND SYNTHESIS OF LONG-WAVELENGTH DONOR-ACCEPTOR FLUOROPHORES

11:30-11:45 Shakeena Johnson Charles Mebi

Reaction of 4,4`-Thiobisbenzenethiol with Fe3(CO)12

11:45-12:00

Jonathan Billings and Alan Jackson

Jamie Dalton

The Effects of TRPC3 Channel Activation on Vascular Tone in Healthy Arteries versus Diseased Arteries

12:00-12:55   Lunch Break  

 

1:00-1:15 Yosuke Kitakaze and Jazmin Urioste Hamed Shojaei

A SIGN-CHANGING INTERACTION BETWEEN DARK ENERGY AND MATTER

1:15-1:30 P. Tipton and C. Williams W.Hoefler, M. Rainey and A. Williams

THE EFFECTS OF THE THREE STEP PROCESSING PHASE AT THE HATCHERY ON THE CORE TEMPERATURE OF CHICKS AND THE CORRELATION BETWEEN THOSE TEMPERATURES ON SEVEN-DAY MORTAILTIY RATE

1:30-1:45 Joshua Sumers Tsunemi Yamashita

EXPRESSION OF MYCOPLASMA GENES IN THE STRIPED BARK SCORPION, CENTRUROIDES VITTATUS

1:45-2:00 Aimee Bowman, Taylor Bishop and Chloe Fitzgerald  Tsunemi Yamashita

RELATIVE GENE EXPRESSION STUDY ON CENTRUROIDES VITTATUS INVESTIGATING SODIUM TOXIN GENE ACTIVITY

2:00-2:15 Mitchell Collins, Emad Ali and  Geoffrey Birkemeier   Muhammad Khan and Turaj Ashuri 

CRAK DETECTION IN AGED PIPES USING ACOUSTICS

2:15-2:30 Jaylissa Hampton David Eshelman

TUNNEL OF OPPRESSION

2:30-2:45  Kassandra Cendejas  Rajib Choudhury   

PREDICTING CONFORMATIONS AND ORIENTATIONS OF GUESTS WITHIN A WATER SOLUBLE HOST: A MOLECULAR DOCKING APPROACH

2:45-3:00  Michael McClendon Sarah Tomke and Chris Kellner  

HABITAT ASSOCIATED VARIATION IN VENTRAL COLORATION OF SCELOPORUS CONSOBRINUS IN THE ARKANSAS RIVER VALLEY

 3:00-3:15 Avery D. Henderson, and Katherine B. Self Jennifer Samson

 

 ATTITUDES AND PERCEPTIONS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH ON RURAL COLLEGE CAMPUSES
3:15-3:30  Kristopher Hodge and Joshua Sisson   Kim Troboy and Efosa C. Idemudia   

TENIQUES FOR DATABASE MIGRATION: A CASE STUDY FROM RUSSELLVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT

3:30- 3:45 Alan Dalton Jackson Mariusz P. Gajewski

 

 FLUORESCENT INHIBITOR OF SYSTEM Xc-
3:45-4:00  Eduardo Mayen  Bruce Chehroudi and Turaj Ashuri

 

 A ROBUST MODEL-FREE OPTIMAL CONTROLLS ALGORITHM FOR HIGH ATMOSPERIC TURBULENCE INTENSITY APPLICATIONS
4:00-4:15  Bipin Parajuli  Muhammad Khan  

 

WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORK FOR DETECTING STRUCTURAL DEFECTS

4:15-4:30   Benjamen Keisling and Aaron Rackley   Matthew G. Young   Development of an Aerial Robot and Associated Control System for Autonomous Hovering
 4:30-4:45  Garrett Griffith, Alyssa Anderson and Kelsey Marcum  Matthew G. Young  

 RUBIK’S CUBE ROBOT

 

 4:45-5:00  Yancheng Li, Yida Xu  Kaiman Zeng     INVESTIGATION ON FEATURE DETECTION AND 

                                                       Nansong Wu     DESCRIPTION FOR ON-DEVICE MOBILE 

                                                                                 LANDMARK RECOGNTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eighteenth Annual Senior Honors Symposium
 
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Session 1 - Pendergraft Library 300 North

 

Time Presenter Project Project Director
9:30-9:50 Logan Coomer Measurements, Minimization, and Risks of Unintentional Radiation Exposure and Effects from Radiopharmaceuticals

Dr. Cynthia Jacobs

Associate Professor of Biology

 

 

10:00-10:20
Hannah White Peer Influences of Students’ Work Ethics in the Classroom

 

Dr. Jason Warnick

Associate Professor of Psychology

 

10:30-10:50

Kasey Eubanks Automatically Building Languages from Grammars

Dr. Larry Morell

Professor of Computer and Information Science

 

11:00 – 11:20 Jason Morris Service Excellence  

Dr. Jack Tucci

Professor of Management

11:30 – 11:50 Kimberly Fletcher Determination of the Occurrence of Muscle Hypertrophy in Strength Training Weightlifting

 

 

Dr. Cynthia Jacobs

Associate Professor of Biology

12:00 – 12:20 Joyce Kuykendall Antibiotic-Producing Bacteria

 

 

Dr. S Kirkconnell

Professor of Biology

12:30 – 1:00 Garrett Griffith

Rubik’s Cube Solver

Dr. Matthew Young

Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering

     

 

     

 

       
       
       

 

 

 

 

Eighteenth Annual Student Research Symposium

2017 Abstracts

 

 

 

9:00-9:15

 

WAVE PROFILE FOR BREAKDOWN WAVES WITH A LARGE CURRENT BEHIND THE WAVE FRONT

Michael Bowman, mbowman6@atu.edu

Mostafa Hemmati mhemmati@atu.edu

Department of Physical Science

 

The propagation characteristics of anti-force waves (return stroke in lightning) with a significant current behind the wave front have been studied.  The successful model, a one-dimensional, steady-state, three-component (electrons, ions and neutral particles), fluid model has been utilized to find analytical solutions for current bearing breakdown waves propagating into a non-ionized medium. The electron gas partial pressure is assumed to be the main element in driving the wave and the waves are considered to be shock fronted. The governing equations include the equations of conservation of mass, momentum, and energy, coupled with the Poisson’s equation. 

 Anti-force wave, waves propagating in the opposite direction of the electric field force on electrons will possess different structure than those moving in the same direction as the direction of the electric field force on electrons, pro-force waves. For anti-force waves with a significant current behind the shock front, the equations of conservation of energy and Poisson’s equation, as well as the shock condition on electron temperature have to be modified. For a range of wave speeds and largest values of currents possible, we have been able to integrate the set of electron fluid dynamical equation through the dynamical transition region of the wave. Our solutions meet the required conditions at the trailing edge of the wave; and the maximum current values for which solutions to the set of become possible, conform with the range of experimentally measure current values.

 

 

 

 

9:15-9:30

 

ELECTRON SHOCK WAVES WITH A SIGNIFICANT CURRENT BEHIND THE SHOCK FRONT

Jesse Griffiths, jgriffiths@atu.edu

Mostafa Hemmati, mhemmati@atu.edu

Department of Physical Science

 

Electrical breakdown of a gas in a strong electric field is carried out by a wave with a strong discontinuity at the wave front, referred to as electrical breakdown waves. Electrical breakdown waves travel with speeds comparable to speed of light. For theoretical investigation of electrical breakdown waves, we apply a one-dimensional, steady state, constant velocity, three component fluid model, and assume the electrons to be the main element in propagation of the wave. Our set of electron fluid-dynamical equations consists of the equations of conservation of mass, momentum, and energy coupled with the Poisson’s equation. We are considering waves for which the electric field force on electrons is in the opposite direction of the wave propagation. These waves are referred to as anti-force waves (return stroke in lightning), and the electron gas partial pressure is considered to be large enough to provide the driving force.  

For breakdown waves with a large current behind the wave front, in addition to the set of electron fluid dynamical equations, the shock condition on electron temperature needs to be modified as well. The wave is composed of a thin dynamical transition region in which the electric field and electron velocity are changing rapidly and is referred to as the sheath region of the wave; followed by a thicker region in which the electron gas cools down to room temperature.  Considering existence of a large current behind the wave front, we have derived the shock condition on electron temperature, and for a set of experimentally measured current values, we have been able to integrate the set of electron fluid dynamical equations through the sheath region of the wave. Our results meet the expected conditions at the trailing edge of the wave.

 

 

 

9:30-9:45

 

OPTIMIZATION OF TISSUE CULTURE CONDITIONS FOR DIFFERENTIATION OF NEURAL STEM CELLS

 

Wallace Williamson, wwilliamson3@atu.edu

Ivan Still, istill@atu.edu

Department of Biological Sciences

Arkansas Tech University

 

Damage to the central and/or peripheral nervous system can occur from natural causes such as the aging process (e.g. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease) or through acute physical damage that can affect individuals of all ages.  Treatment for those affected has been sought after for many years with little advancement until now. 

The difficulty associated with repair of neuronal cell damage in vivo is the inadequate numbers of available neural stem cells in the damaged area and the harsh environments these cells must be capable of proliferating in.  Thus, researchers have steered their focus on supplying exogenous neuronal progenitors at the site(s) of injury to aid in maturation of new neuronal cells.  Studying factors that enhance neuronal maturation and survival, and model environments to propagate the progenitors in could lead to advancements in treatment.

P19 embryonal carcinoma cells, under certain conditions, have the capability of differentiating into neuronal cell lineages.  However, a significant problem with P19 cells is their capability to differentiate into a number of other proliferative stem cells.  These cells can accumulate in great numbers and dominate the cell culture bringing death to the desired neuronal cells.  Recently, a new method was reported that increases the speed of neurogenesis, while lowering the appearance of other non-neuronal cell types (Nakayama et al, 2014).  Though the efficacy has been reported, no follow-up data on this method has been published.  Thus, our objective is to validate and, if necessary, refine the Nakayama method.

After only 6 days of culture, we were able to validate the Nakayama method as a superior method compared to the previously used standard protocol.  Now, we will focus our research on answering two new questions: 1) what is the longevity of our neuronal cells and 2) are our cells capable of axon regeneration after performing Scratch Assay?

 

 

 

 

9:45-10:00

 

ANTIBIOTIC POTENTIATING MICROBES

 

Joyce Kuykendall jkuykendall5@atu.edu Elvys Ferrufino-Mejia eferrufinomejia@atu.edu Cody Campbell ccampbell32@atu.edu,

Scott Kirkconnell skirkconnell@atu.edu

Department of Biological Science

Arkansas Tech University

 

Antibiotic resistance has been a problem since these wonder drugs were first developed in the early 1900s.  In 2013, 2 million Americans fell ill and 23 thousand died from such infections.  Our studies employ novel methods to identify soil microbes that enhance known antibiotics so that resistant microbes can be killed or inhibited.  Progressively higher resistance levels to streptomycin were established in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas fluorescenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Serratia marcescens. These resistant strains were used to identify soil microbes that enhance the effectiveness of this antibiotic against resistant strains.

 

 

 

 

 

10:00-10:15

 

ROLE OF THE FGFR3-TACC3 ONCOPROTEIN IN THE METABOLISM OF ORGANIC POLLUTANTS IN BLADDER CANCER

 

Kevin Hemphill, khemphill1@atu.edu

Brenda Lauffart, blauffart@atu.edu

Department of Physical Sciences

 

Approximately 60-90% of human cancer is due to poorly understood interactions between environmental and genetic factors. Humans are exposed to a variety of environmental carcinogens every day. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are common environmental pollutants from tobacco smoke, charred food and burning fossil fuels. The cellular response to these chemicals can include DNA damage and alterations in hormonal metabolism. Critical to the cellular response are the aryl hydrocarbon receptor and its cotranscription factor ARNT1, together with coregulator factors including the third member of the transforming acidic coiled coil family, TACC3.

Aberrant expression of the transforming acidic coiled coil (TACC) gene is a common occurrence in cancer. Genomic translocations between the TACC3 gene and the fibroblast growth factor receptor gene 3 (FGFR3), have resulted in a FGFR3-TACC3 oncoprotein in bladder cancer. The structural elements present in the oncoprotein suggest that it could impact PAH response through interfering with the normal ARNT1-TACC3 interaction, and may result in increased damage at the gene level leading to further progression of the tumor.

 

Our objectives are: 1) determine the response of the FGFR3-TACC3-harboring RT4 bladder cancer cell line to PAHs, specifically Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) which is one of the most prevalent PAHs in tobacco smoke and then 2) determine the effect of inhibiting the FGFR activity of the fusion protein on the response to these DNA damaging reagents.

 

 

  

 

10:15-10:30

 

BOND LENGTH AND BOND VALENCE FOR TUNGSTEN-OXYGEN AND TUNGSTEN-SULFUR BONDS

 

Ruth Lykins hlykins@atu.edu

Franklin D. Hardcastle fhardcastle@atu.edu

Department of the Physical Sciences

 

Pauling (1947) was the first to determine an “empirical” dependence of bond valence (s, also referred to as bond order) and bond length R

 

where R0 is bond length of unit valence and “b” is a fitting parameter. Since then “b” parameters were experimentally found to range from 0.32-0.42 for many bonds, but some “b” values were as high as 0.9 between hard and soft ions. The convention, however, is to use 0.37 as a universal constant for “b”.

Hardcastle (2016) derived an expression for the “b” parameter

 where a0 is the Bohr’s radius and ξave is the average of the orbital exponents of each bonding element. This allows the bond length of unit valence (Ro) to be calculated using experimentally determined bond lengths. In the present study, experimentally determined W-S, W-O, and W-W bond lengths were used to optimize the orbital exponents of tungsten, oxygen, and sulfur.

 

 

  

10:30-10:45

 

BOND LENGTH AND BOND VALENCE RELATIONSHIP OF CHROMIUM OXIDES, CHROMIUM SULFIDES, MOLYBDENUM OXIDES, AND MOLYBDENUM SULFIDES\

 

Jordan Labrecque (jlabrecque@atu.edu)

Franklin D. Hardcastle (fhardcastle@atu.edu)

Department of Physical Sciences

 

Pauling put forth a simple relationship that the total atom valence is equal to the sum of the individual valences. These individual valence values are electrons shared through bonding and when summed, should correspond to the oxidation state of the atom. Pauling determined an empirical logarithmic dependence of bond order (bond valence) s, to bond length, R,

  


Where R0 is unit bond length and b is a fitting parameter. Recently, an expression was derived to calculate the b fitting parameter making it more specific to systems under study. The derivation led to b equaling the average of orbital exponents for the bonding atoms

 

where a0 is the Bohr radius and  is the orbital exponent. With a method to calculate b, R0 and orbital exponents can be experimentally determined through optimized fitting for Cr-O, Cr-S, Mo-O, and Mo-S all in accordance to Pauling’s empirical valence-bond relationship. This relationship is usable for systems of any oxidation state, phase, and chemical bonding type.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

10:45-11:00

 

PHYTOPLANKTON DYNAMICS IN GRAND LAKE, OKLAHOMA

 

Nick Tipton ;   ntipton@atu.edu

Charles Gagen; cgagen@atu.edu

Department of Biological Sciences – Fisheries and Wildlife

 

Phytoplankton communities are limited by an array of biotic and abiotic conditions and can shape the overall health of bodies of water. The objective of this project was to assess how the algal community in Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, Oklahoma, differs spatially along the longitudinal river-reservoir gradient, and temporally between seasons and years. This exploratory project will shed light for several hypotheses to be made regarding possible future research. Focusing on four main-lake sites for spring, summer, and fall during 2015 and 2016, I assessed algal communities by using a FlowCam, which analyzes and digitally images phytoplankton within given samples. Environmental parameters including temperature, pH, turbidity, nitrogen, and phosphorous were also assessed. Temperature, turbidity, and nutrients are the main drivers of phytoplankton communities in the lake as indicated by multivariate analyses. These analyses include a non-metric multi-dimensional scaling, a canonical correspondence analysis, and a redundancy analysis. Cryptomonas abundance is highest during the turbid spring seasons. Cyanobacteria, such as Anabaena and Microcystis, have a higher abundance during fall, when temperatures are highest. A high amount of common algae types among all analyzed samples such as centric diatoms and Cryptomonas suggests the four sites focused upon are relatively similar. Though no discernable, consistent differences among spatial gradients have been noticed, likely due to the similarity of the four sites used, it is clear that the lake differs among the seasonal temporal gradients but shows a similar pattern between both years of 2015 and 2016 as a whole.

 

 

 

 

 

 11:00-11:15

 

PHOTOCATALYTIC STERILIZATION OF AQUEOUS SOLUTIONS

 

Justin Barrett jbarrett8@atu.edu

David Williams dwilliams70@atu.edu

Mariusz P. Gajewski mgajewski@atu.edu

Department of Physical Sciences

 

This project focused on a prototype of a device designed to be used in sterilization of water contaminated by microorganisms. The device has potential applications in biomedical field where sterile solutions or potable water is required, but where other means are not available or impractical. The method of sterilization described here is based on action of photoactivatable porphyrins covalently anchored to a solid support. Porphyrins are remarkably efficient light absorbers throughout practically entire visible spectrum, not just a specific region such as the UV, which makes them very attractive tools for the abovementioned applications. Linking them covalently to a solid support dramatically increases the system’s stability and ease of use. The choice of components of the system was based on the following principles: it must be inexpensive, easily maintained, require minimal user input, long lasting, and have the ability to be configured to meet alternative demands. The device design, application, and efficiency of the process of water photo-decontamination utilizing standardized samples of E. coli contaminated water are discussed and preliminary results are presented.

 

 

 

 

  

 

11:15-11:30

 

DESIGN AND SYNTHESIS OF LONG-WAVELENGTH DONOR-ACCEPTOR FLUOROPHORES

 

 Hope E. Parker hparker10@atu.edu  and Cassandras Cendejas  kcendejas@atu.edu

Rajib Choudhury, rchoudhury@atu.edu

Department of Physical Sciences

 

Long-wavelength (λex/em, red or near-infrared) fluorophores have significant advantages over the conventional blue and green light excitable fluorophores because long-wavelength lights scatter less, can penetrate deeper into tissues, disturbed minimally by the autofluorescence of endogenous chromophores in biological systems, and cause less disturbance and photodamage to cells and living organisms.1,2 To date, several long-wavelength fluorophores have been designed, published, as well as commercialized for various applications. Whereas each fluorophore has advantages over one another, a general limitations of many fluorophores are, they are minimally water soluble and thus aggregate extensively in water. Moreover, tailoring a fluorophore to long-wavelength absorption and emission regime and maintaining sufficient water solubility for biological applications require many challenging synthesis steps.

In this project we have designed, synthesized and characterized two long-wavelength   fluorophores. We have studied photophysical properties and assessed the efficacy of these fluorophores for potential applications in aqueous environment.

 

References

Staudinger, C.; Borisov, S. M. Methods Appl. Fluoresc. 2015, 3, 1-37.
      2.  Pansare, V.; Hejazi, S.; Faenza, W.; Prud’homme, R. K. J. Chem. Mater. 2012, 24, 812–       827.

 

 

 

  

 

11:30-11:45

 

Reaction of 4,4`-Thiobisbenzenethiol with Fe3(CO)12

 

Shakeena Johnson: sjohnson72@atu.edu

Charles Mebi: cmebi@atu.edu

Department of Physical sciences

 

The reaction of 4,4`-Thiobisbenzenethiol with Fe3(CO)12 afforded two thiolatoiron-carbonyl clusters. We have investigated the composition, electronic properties and molecular structures of the clusters and the results will be presented. Although the two compounds have different structures, they have similar electronic properties. The new compounds are potential catalysts for the reduction of protons to produce hydrogen. We will report results of the electrocatalytic production of hydrogen from acetic acid by the clusters using cyclic voltammetry.

 

 

  

 

 

11:45 – 12:00

 

The Effects of TRPC3 Channel Activation on Vascular Tone in Healthy Arteries versus Diseased Arteries

Jonathan Billings, jbillings3@atu.edu, Alan Jackson, jjackson44@atu.edu

Jamie Dalton,  rdalton1@atu.edu

Department of Biological Sciences

 

Understanding how ion channel activity affects vessel tension is important for elucidating the causes of systemic hypertension, one of the leading forms of cardiovascular disease in the United States.  The focus of this study is the effect of TRPC3 channel activation on peripheral arteriole tension in healthy versus diseased vasculature.

TRPC3 channels are a type of calcium channel that induce endothelial derived hyperpolarization to potentiate vasodilation, and therefore, decrease systemic blood pressure (Senadheera et al, 2012).  However, if the endothelial layer is missing due to vascular disease, smooth muscle TRPC3 channels can be activated instead of the endothelial channels.  Directly activated muscle cells contract instead of relax decreasing vessel diameter (Senadheera et al, 2012; Adebiyi et al, 2010; Abramowitz and Birnbaumer, 2009). In peripheral arterioles, this effect would increase blood pressure.

Our hypotheses are that TRPC3 channel activation in arterioles with intact endothelium will induce vasodilation, and TRPC3 channel activation in arterioles with denuded endothelium will potentiate vasoconstriction.  We are testing our hypotheses by performing isometric tension studies using a wire myograph, and analyzing the data using LabScribe software.

The procedure for measuring isometric tension requires dissecting mesenteric arterioles from rats, removing the adipose connective tissue from the vessels, and then mounting the vessels on transducers by cannulating them with two 40 micron diameter wires and attaching the wires to the transducer jaws.  To simulate diseased vasculature, the endothelium is removed by gentle rubbing with the cannulation wires. 

The transducers sit in a 5 milliliter chamber that is filled with physiological saline. Vessel tension is normalized by inducing a series of contractions and relaxations until a basal level of tension is achieved.  At this point, a TRPC3 channel agonist or antagonist is applied, and tension is measured.

 

 

 

 

 

1:00-1:15

 

A SIGN-CHANGING INTERACTION BETWEEN DARK ENERGY AND MATTER

Yosuke Kitakaze, ykitakaze@atu.edu

Jazmin Urioste, jurioste@atu.edu

Hamed Shojaei, sshojaei@atu.edu

Department of Physical Sciences

 

Dark energy is one of the mysterious constituents of the cosmic inventory and although its existence is confirmed by observations, its nature is completely unknown to physicists. Traditionally it is assumed that dark energy evolves independently from other constituents. However, introducing an interaction between dark energy and matter could address some of the issues of modern cosmology. For example, Cosmic Coincidence Problem states that we live in an era when the dark energy and matter have almost the same density parameters and if this is only a coincidence or not. In the absence of an interaction the matter content of the universe will be diluted away as a result of the accelerated expansion of the universe. Introducing the interaction generates new equilibrium points and stabilizes the densities in such a way that the current state of the universe will not be a coincidence. In our past work we always considered cases where the sign of the interaction stayed the same and as a result dark energy would be the one converting into matter all the time. In this project we used an interaction which is changing its sign, since it is proportional to the deceleration parameter. We will compare the results of the differential equations with the current values of the dark energy density parameter and deceleration parameter.

 

 

 

  

 

1:15-1:30

 

THE EFFECTS OF THE THREE STEP PROCESSING PHASE AT THE HATCHERY ON THE CORE TEMPERATURE OF CHICKS AND THE CORRELATION BETWEEN THOSE TEMPERATURES ON SEVEN-DAY MORTAILTIY RATE

P. Tipton; ptipton@atu.edu ; C. Williams; cwilliams91@atu.edu ; W.Hoefler; whoeflerjr@atu.edu ; M. Rainey; mraineyjr@atu.edu ; A. Williams; awilliams37@atu.edu

 

The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effects of the hatchery’s three step processing phase (hatcher, separation and crating) on the core temperature of chicks and the correlation between those temperatures and seven-day mortality rate. With the growing popularity of poultry as a protein source it is important to hatch as many viable chicks as possible in addition to making sure these chicks are healthy when they reach farm. There is research on the effects of temperature on chick mortality during pre-hatching and post-placement however there is little data reported on the effects of chick temperature during the three step processing phase. Moreng and Shaffner (1950) established the lethal core body temperature of chicks from one to seven days of age is 47.2 ⁰C. Preez (2007) reported the optimum hatch temperature is 37.8 0C and Tanizawa et al. (2014) reported the optimum temperature for growth is 30 0C. This project was designed to illustrate that elevated temperatures during the three step processing phase has a negative effect on seven day mortality. In order to test this hypothesis, rectal core body temperatures were collected twice a week for six consecutive weeks at each of the three steps in the processing phase. Core body temperatures were collected on five chicks randomly selected from each flock (n=177) for a total of 2655 chicks. Data analysis has not been completed yet, however the preliminary indication is that there is no correlation indicated between core body temperature on seven day mortality of chicks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1:30-1:45

 

EXPRESSION OF MYCOPLASMA GENES IN THE STRIPED BARK SCORPION, CENTRUROIDES VITTATUS

 

Joshua Sumers, jsumers@atu.edu

Tsunemi Yamashita, tyamashita@atu.edu

Department of Biological Sciences

 

Mycoplasma bacteria are the smallest of the bacterial cells, distinguished for lacking a cell wall. This lack of a cell wall decreases the effectiveness of modern antibiotics, because these antibiotics target and disrupt cell wall synthesis in order to eliminate bacteria. Mycoplasma are considered cellular parasites, which can be found in livestock, reptiles (eg. Boa constrictor), and humans, resulting in atypical pneumonia and can potentially cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. During the preliminary genome sequencing of the Striped Bark Scorpion (Centruroides vittatus), the genome of an unknown and undescribed species of Mycoplasma was discovered. We identified three genes (Mycoplasma gyrase A, Atpase B, and RPO) to screen other populations for the presence of this organism. We tested for these genes in Striped Bark Scorpions that were collected from the Arkansas River Valley in Arkansas, as well as the Rio Grande and Bonham areas of Texas.  The study uses DNA that was extracted from both live and alcohol preserved specimens of C. vittatus using a DNA extraction kit, amplifying these genes using PCR, and running them through Gel Electrophoresis for eventual DNA sequencing. We plan that further research with this project will help us understand the evolution of these Mycoplasma as well as potentially help with treatment of  these bacteria in the future.

 

 

  

 

 

1:45-2:00

 

RELATIVE GENE EXPRESSION STUDY ON CENTRUROIDES VITTATUS INVESTIGATING SODIUM TOXIN GENE ACTIVITY

 

Aimee Bowman abowman7@atu.edu , Taylor Bishop tbishop5@atu.edu , Chloe Fitzgerald chughes11@atu.edu

Tsunemi Yamashita  tyamashita@atu.edu

Department of Biological Sciences

 

Scorpions release venom when capturing prey or fighting off predators, and a large portion of this venom consists of neurotoxins. The area in the tail where the venom is produced and housed is called the telson gland. Sodium β toxin variants alter the kinetics of sodium channel gating in cells where they have been injected. This study specifically focused on gathering relative quantification data for three neurotoxin variants in particular: Na668, Na667, and CvAlpha that are produced by the striped bark scorpion, Centruroides vittatus. The mechanism by which this was accomplished is called quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, or qRT-PCR. The reference genes chosen for this experiment were Ribosomal Protein L 19 and Elongation Factor. Preliminary experiments have been conducted and the threshold values yielded from these have been computationally analyzed through the ΔΔCt method which has generated a tentative ratio of activity for these gene variants. The goal of this study was to determine the level of expression of the different sodium toxin genes in the telson gland relative to body tissue so that we are better able to understand the moderately toxic effects of this organism comparative to similar organisms.

 

 

 

  

 

2:00-2:15

 

CRAK DETECTION IN AGED PIPES USING ACOUSTICS

Mitchell Collins a,1, Emad Ali b,1, Geoffrey Birkemeier  a,1,

Muhammad Khan b,2,* mkhan3@atu.edu , and Turaj Ashuri a,2

a Departments of Mechanical Engineering

b Department of Electrical Engineering

 

The municipal sewer system in the United States contains pipes that are between 30 and 100 years old.  Traditionally, utility companies use a robot-mounted closed circuit television system to visually observe and record cracks in pipes. The major disadvantage of this system is the difficulty to access the entirety of the pipe due to structural defects and blockages. The technology used in the system is also very expensive, causing the method to be very costly. There is a need for developing an alternative approach that can address shortcomings of the existing system. One such alternative method is to propagate an acoustic signal through the pipe, and analyze pipe’s response to acoustic excitation. Cracks in pipes act as impedance mismatch, and it will cause attenuation and distortion in the propagating acoustic signal. This feature can be used to measure attenuation and distortion in the signal for characterizing the condition of a pipe sample. Experimental tests will be conducted on pipe samples with and without cracks to develop a method for characterizing condition of the pipes using acoustic signals. The experimental setup has been finalized, and pipe samples have been tested with an audio tone. Further testing and data analysis is in progress to develop the acoustic based crack detection approach in pipes. 

 

 
*Correspondence: mkhan3@atu.edu (Muhammed Khan)

1Undergraduate research student

2Assistant Professor

 

 

 

 

2:15-2:30

 

TUNNEL OF OPPRESSION

 Jaylissa Hampton, Jhampton5@atu.edu

David Eshelman, deshelman@atu.edu

Department of Communication and Theatre

 

Tunnel of Oppression is an interactive event that highlights contemporary issues of oppression. It is designed to introduce participants to the concepts of oppression, privilege, and power. Participants are guided through a series of scenes that aim to educated and challenge them to think more deeply about issues of oppression. Some of the topics that we hope to set up are the following: Disabilities, Racism/Stereotypes, Body image, Homelessness, Coming out and etc. It is my primary goal for Tunnel of Oppression to represent and bring awareness to sensitive issues that go on Arkansas Tech campus. I intend to create a safe and accurate area where students from minority organizations, students with disabilities or battling with issues with their bodies have the opportunity to express their concern in a safe environment. Also, letting students, faculty/staff, and community members who want to become more aware learning the politically correct phrases, statement, and actions to make Arkansas Tech a better and comfortable environment for all in a safe place. To begin with that foundation to get this project off the ground I needed to get the proper information from the students directly and also the department heads to make sure anything that goes on in the rooms will be accurate and will not be disrespectful to any student on campus. Once that is finalized my next goal is to get participants that were confident enough to voice their issues but also be very cautious not to attack anyone. After that accomplishment of getting the students and faculty members that will be involved is to have rehearsal and make sure the event runs smoothly and each group that goes through the tunnel gets the same treatments and have the same experience.

 

 

 

 

 

  

2:30-2:45

 

PREDICTING CONFORMATIONS AND ORIENTATIONS OF GUESTS WITHIN A WATER SOLUBLE HOST: A MOLECULAR DOCKING APPROACH

 

Kassandra Cendejas kcendejas@atu.edu  

Rajib Choudhury rchoudhury@atu.edu

Department of Physical Sciences

 

In this study we have examined conformations and orientations of guests within a water-soluble host known by the trivial name Octa Acid (OA). Docking program Vina, which was originally developed for screening drug-like molecules, has been used to identify binding modes and affinities of select guest molecules with OA. Hydrophobic guests were encapsulated into the nonpolar cavity of OA capsule owing to solvophobic interactions. Amphiphilic guests were bound by keeping the nonpolar part within the cavity of OA, while pointing the polar anionic group out of the cavity. All these results obtained from the docking study were in accord with experimental findings. The post-complexation attributes of the guests were regulated by available free space and the specific interactions between guest–OA pair, which led to unusual conformations and orientations. This study showed that scoring function available with Vina, which was derived from protein-ligand data set, could successfully predict post-complexed structural features of guests within OA, thus opening opportunities to modulate physical and chemical behavior of guest molecules.

 

 

 

 

 

  

2:45-3:00

 

HABITAT ASSOCIATED VARIATION IN VENTRAL COLORATION OF SCELOPORUS CONSOBRINUS IN THE ARKANSAS RIVER VALLEY

 

Michael McClendon; mmcclendon2@atu.edu

 

Sarah Tomke; stomke@atu.edu

Chris Kellner; ckellner@atu.edu

 

Department of Biological Sciences

 

The role of ventral coloration in lizards has become a focus of recent research.  Variation in temperature, food abundance, parasites and hormones have all been associated with differences in size and intensity of ventral coloration in lizards.  The role of ventral coloration in sex discrimination and social interactions has also been examined.  However, influence of habitat on ventral coloration within a species has not.  Within the Arkansas River Valley, prairie lizards (Sceloporus consobrinus) occupy exposed rocky outcrops, often along shorelines and contiguous forest.  These habitats differ in temperature, habitat structure, and food availability.  Males for this species have large bright blue patches on the gular and ventral regions of their abdomens.  Some females have small light blue and occasionally light green patches in the same areas.  During spring and summer of 2016 we captured and photographed 352 prairie lizards.  The objective of this project was to determine if size and color intensity of gular and ventral patches differed between lizards inhabiting the two different habitats.  Thirty males and females from each habitat were randomly selected and assessed for patch size and color characteristics.  Size was calculated by digitizing the photographs in the program ImageJ.  Intensity of color was assessed by comparing hue, brightness, saturation, and RGB values in the program Adobe Photoshop.  This research will be the first to examine how habitat characteristics influence coloration in lizards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3:00-3:15

 

ATTITUDES AND PERCEPTIONS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH ON RURAL COLLEGE CAMPUSES

 

Avery D. Henderson, and Katherine B. Self, kself4@atu.edu

Jennifer Samson jsamson@atu.edu

Behavioral Sciences Department

 

Research has been done studying the perceptions of students on larger campuses (Covarrubias & Han, 2011).  The current study seeks to examine the attitudes and perceptions about mental health on small, rural, college campuses. The authors sought out to measure any differences in perception about mental health among different demographics, predicting that there would likely be on difference between men and women, but that there could also be a difference based on age. Participants (14 male, and 31 female) were from a small, rural college campus. Participants filled out a survey that acted to assess their knowledge about mental health concerns. The research found that women had more accurate and accepting perceptions (M = 3.0512) about mental health than men (M = 2.7406, T19.540 = 2.842, p = .010). Understanding individual’s perceptions will help to target some of the stigmas associated with mental health today. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3:15-3:30

 

TENIQUES FOR DATABASE MIGRATION: A CASE STUDY FROM RUSSELLVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT

Kristopher Hodge  khodge2@atu.edu

Joshua Sisson jsisson2@atu.edu

Kim Troboy ktroboy@atu.edu

Efosa C. Idemudia eidemudia@atu.edu

 

Rapid advancements in digital technology have had a significant influence on organizations and companies through big data. Most companies and organizations all over the world are investing billions of US dollar to gain knowledge and insight from big data to make better decisions and competitive advantage (i.e. attracting customers, generating revenues, and increasing market share). Nevertheless, many organization and companies that are investing billions of US dollar on big data do not have the expertise to convert their old database to modern database, even when this older data is useful for current operations. This situation is particularly problematic for government and law enforcement agencies for which budgets offer limited support for this activity. Some of the challenges in database migration are that data files can be very large, database formats may be very old, and some data that has been corrupted by previous attempts to update it. In addition, this data is confidential, requiring additional security measures. To address this challenge in database migration and to make a significant contribution to the literature, this project uses a variety of tools and techniques as shown in Figures 1, 2, 3, and 4. These techniques are effectively and efficiently migrating data from an old, inflexible database to a more modern, user-friendly database with queries, forms, and reports that are more versatile for the local police department. Our approach is to extract data from the CRIS and Street Guard databases, including migrating data through text, a dBase DBMS, and some software. Our final goal is to import the data into Microsoft SQL to take advantage of a more modern ODBC-compliant structure and more advanced query, forms, and report features. Our results have a lot of practical, research, and pedagogical implications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

3:30-3:45

 

FLUORESCENT INHIBITOR OF SYSTEM Xc-

 

Alan Dalton Jackson ajackson29@atu.edu

Mariusz P. Gajewski mgajewski@atu.edu

Department of Physical Sciences

 

System Xc- is an obligate exchange protein of the amino acids cysteine and glutamic acid. It imports an oxidized form of cysteine (a cysteine S-S dimer, known as cystine) with a 1:1 counter-transport of glutamate. Inside the cell, the cystine is enzymatically converted in several steps, eventually leading to the antioxidant glutathione. System Xc- protein is overexpressed by cancerous cells. Due to their rapid metabolism, the cells require abundance of the antioxidant glutathione. Research was conducted over the synthetic design and production of the inhibitor molecules with fluorescent probe capabilities. Previously, 3,5-dibromotyrosine (3,5-DBT) was indicated as a potent inhibitor of the Xc- antiporter protein. The proposed fluorescent molecule was synthesized via the Schotten-Baumann reaction of 3,5-DBT with dansyl chloride. The molecular probe will be used in a larger project for detection, both: quantification and localization, of Xc- transport system in several glioma cancer cell lines in order to target these cancers with novel molecular inhibitors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3:45-4:00

 

A ROBUST MODEL-FREE OPTIMAL CONTROLLS ALGORITHM FOR HIGH ATMOSPERIC TURBULENCE INTENSITY APPLICATIONS

 

Eduardo Mayen, evasquezmayen@atu.edu

Bruce Chehroudi, bchehroudi@atu.edu

Turaj Ashuri, tashuri@atu.edu

 

Department of Mechanical Engineering

 

 

Wind energy requires further cost reduction to compete with traditional energy resources, such as coal. This requires further research to positively influence the economy of wind energy. This research proposes a novel optimal-control algorithm to maximize online the energy production of wind turbines in high atmospheric turbulence conditions. The algorithm works by time averaging the power output to be used as an input during the gradient search process. Preliminary results show that the proposed technique is capable of increasing the power output with a super-linear convergence rate, and avoiding the divergence due to moderate turbulence intensities. Future research will focus on increasing the convergence rate for highest turbulence conditions that can be experienced in the field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:00-4:15

 

WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORK FOR DETECTING STRUCTURAL DEFECTS

 

Bipin Parajuli, bparajuli@atu.edu

Muhammad Khan, mkhan3@atu.edu

Department of Electrical Engineering

 

Metallic and non-metallic structures such as bridges, vessels and storage tanks etc. develop surface cracks over time because of fatigue, erosion, corrosion, mechanical loading and other unprecedented natural conditions. Traditional method of visual detection of cracks was based on the experience of an inspector, which today is not considered to be the efficient method for condition monitoring of structures. Recent developments in wireless sensing technology have shown promise as a substitute for the traditional visual and tethered monitoring systems. Wireless sensor networks are preferred because of their low power, small footprint and relatively inexpensive installation compared to the wired systems. The wireless sensors can seamlessly communicate to transmit measured data without the need of laying any extensive wiring between sensors and to/from the data acquisition system. This makes wireless sensor based structural health monitoring systems very efficient especially for use in remote locations.  

Our research project is based on developing a crack detection technique using wireless sensor networks in metallic plates using piezoelectric ultrasonic guided wave transducers and a data acquisition circuit. We will be using one piezoelectric transducer as the source to produce a guided wave signal and the other piezoelectric sensor will receive the reflected signal from a structural defect. Any change in the signal due to defect or crack would be transferred via wireless sensors to PC based Control Station.  The system will use TelosB (TPR2420CA) wireless motes to transmit the signal received from the piezoelectric transducers. The wireless motes will be programmed using TinyOS, which is an embedded, component based operating system for low-power wireless devices. Extensive coding to control operation of wireless motes will be implemented in nesC programming language as the TinyOS applications prefer that dialect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:15-4:30

 

Development of an Aerial Robot and Associated Control System for Autonomous Hovering

Benjamen Keisling bkeisling@atu.edu , Aaron Rackley arackley1@atu.edu

Matthew G. Young myoung@atu.edu

Department of Electrical Engineering

 

The original project scope of this work was to deliver an autonomously hovering aerial robot.  In order to first learn how to program an aerial robot to maintain an autonomous hover, work began on a ground based robot.  The nature of an aerial robot means that the control system must constantly adjust for the force of gravity as well as any dynamic loads that cause deviations from its hover.  A ground-based robot does not have these complexities which made it a more ideal learning platform. This robot was programmed with a PID control loop in order to follow a line using line-following sensors.  The work then transitioned to developing the control protocol to allow for an aerial vehicle to maintain an autonomous hover. An overview of the progress in developing such an aerial robot is presented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:30-4:45

 

RUBIK’S CUBE ROBOT

 

Garrett Griffith ggriffith5@atu.edu , Alyssa Anderson aanderson32@atu.edu , Kelsey Marcum kmarcum@atu.edu

Matthew G. Young myoung@atu.edu

Department of Electrical Engineering

 

The objective of this project is to create an autonomous method of solving a Rubik’s cube. There are 43,252,000,000,000,000,000 possible combinations of a Rubik’s cube.  The robot utilizes an Arduino Uno to control power to servos, that each turn a corresponding face of the Rubik’s cube.  Each member of the team was initially tasked with solving the Rubik’s cube by hand and the goal for the robot was to be able to consistently beat a manual solving time.  The design features a six finger style robot that is capable of spinning each face independently.  A Graphical User Interface (GUI) was developed to allow a human user to input a solving algorithm.  Research was performed to determine the best solving algorithm to be utilized by a computer.  Kosiemba’s Algorithm was determined to be the best algorithm and with implementation through C# code and look up tables.  This provided a solving iteration number of approximately 30 spins.  This is in contrast to the manual solving method that requires about 100-150 spins. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4:45-5:00

 

INVESTIGATION ON FEATURE DETECTION AND DESCRIPTION FOR ON-DEVICE MOBILE LANDMARK RECOGNTION

 

Yancheng Li, Yida Xu

yyxu1@atu.edu

Kaiman Zeng kzeng@atu.edu , Nansong Wu nwu@atu.edu

Department of Electrical Engineering

 

With the rapid development of intelligent mobile and wearable devices, applications on landmark recognition attract increasing attention from industry and academia. A typical scenario of landmark recognition would be a visitor initializes a query by pointing the camera phone at a landmark location. Then, the landmark is recognized and related information is returned. This research focuses on two major phases in mobile landmark recognition: feature detection and feature description. We present an efficient landmark feature detector and descriptor based on the Speeded Up Robust Features. The proposed detector identifies the salient key-point through Hessian operator. The descriptor is formed by fusion of a compact context and visual features. The performance is evaluated on a dataset of real world landmark images taken in the Arkansas Tech University campus. Each landmark location is captured with multiple shots from different viewpoints, and under different lighting condition. Experimental results of image feature matching demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.