SCCUR Title University of California, Irvine
 
     
 
   
   
     
 
     
 
     
 
   
   
   
     
 
 


  University of California, Irvine

Abstracts
November 22, 2003
University of California, Irvine


A-G    H-N    O-Z    Groups

Women, Work and Power

Cynthia Ace

Mentor: Alice Echols

University of California, Los Angeles

Existing research and literature in the area of women and work indicate that some women have adopted a male-centered model of management. Subordination, oppression and domination are often factors within these supervisor/supervisee relationships. My research explores whether a similar dynamic exists between female supervisors and female employees. Does the level of supervisory training women receive impact the way in which supervision is delivered? Specifically, how do women with power use their power vis-à-vis women of color? This research investigates the relational dynamics that exist and the degree to which race and class intersect and impact the supervision of women of color who perform low-wage work. My research is limited to teachers who supervise women of color who work as instructional aides. The research subjects were selected from a local public school district. Teachers and instructional aides were identified as the research population because of the similarities that exist within this group of women and women who supervise women of color who perform domestic work. In both categories, women dominate as supervisors and supervisees; there is a one-on-one work relationship, and an existing class difference. Characteristics of the male-centered model of management are present in domestic work environments. Face-to-face interviews and classroom observations provided data for my research, along with literature that addresses women in the workplace. The findings indicate that race and class differences exist; however, the classroom teachers did not practice subordination, oppression and domination while supervising their instructional aides.

 

How Authors Have Represented California’s Anonymous Civil War: Urban vs. Rural Battles for Water Resources in the Early 1900s

Nicole Ackley

Mentor: Susanne Weil

Whittier College

At the turn of the 20th century, the high demand for water to develop the American West created financial opportunities at a high cost to the environment and those without political or financial backing. Business and governments justified giving water to cities by claiming it brought the greatest good to the greatest number. By examining historical records of the planning of the Hetch Hetchy Dam and the Los Angeles Aqueduct, we see that fiction writer Mary Austin and essayist John Muir were correct in their allegations about the developers misuse of water supplies and its deleterious effect on both the average citizen and the environment. In her novel, Austin accurately represented the Owens Valley using the new setting of Tierra Long. By shifting the location of her novel, Austin avoided having her book rejected by the people she was trying to educate. When Austin published her novel, the Owens Valley and L.A. were still facing disputes about the remaining water rights. John Muir, in a series of political essays, protested the destruction of the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park to bring water to San Francisco when there were other alternative, but less profitable locations. The insights of these authors were disregarded when political decisions concerning the Owens Valley and Hetch Hetchy water were made, but through their efforts a new environmental awareness was created.

 

Effects of Eyestalk Ablation on Ecdysteriod Levels of the Snow Crab Chionoecetes opilio: Indications for a Terminal Molt

Melissa Adams, North Carolina State University

Mentor: Sherry Tamone, University of Alaska, Southeast

Molting enables decapod crustaceans to confront the problem of growth within the confinement of an exoskeleton. This process is regulated by a multihormonal system that includes ecdysteroids, molt-inhibiting hormone (MIH), and methyl farnesoate. Many crabs of the family Majidae undergo a terminal molt, after which they are no longer able to molt. The snow crab Chionoecetes opilio belongs to this family, yet it is unclear as to whether male snow crabs actually undergo a terminal molt. Female crabs are considered terminally molted at reproductive maturity and can serve as a comparative control for the study of molting in male crabs. In this project, I identified the levels of circulating ecdysteriods in female snow crabs before and after bilateral eyestalk-ablation (EA). The technique of EA results in removal of the sinus gland, an endocrine gland responsible for MIH production. MIH inhibits the secretion of ecdysteriods, the primary molt promoting hormones. Following EA, ecdysteroid levels will significantly increase in crabs that are still capable of molting. Mature, female snow crabs do not respond to eyestalk ablation with ecdysteriod levels characteristic of crabs that still molt. Thus, they can be defined as terminally molted animals. Preliminary data suggests that male snow crabs, considered mature by chelae size, also do not respond to eyestalk ablation with typical ecdysteriod levels. This is a novel area of research due to a lack of knowledge on the molt cycle of C. opilio and is vital to assess the maturity of snow crab populations for fisheries’ models.

 

Changing Perspectives: Anti-Illusionism in Modernist Art and Literature

Erica Adelstein

Mentor: Linda Bannister

Loyola Marymount University

My research is an interdisciplinary examination of the rise of a tendency toward anti-illusionism in Modernist painting and literature. Illusionism is an aesthetic associated with the Renaissance and Neo-Classicism that strives for a "realistic" depiction of a three-dimensional, linear world – the illusion of reality on the canvas or page. Modernist writers and artists reject this aesthetic; they embrace the limitations of their mediums in rendering reality accurately, and in the process explore the complexities of human perception (i.e., the fact that we don’t perceive the idealized version of the world that is rendered in illusionist work). For instance, Cézanne’s rejection of the illusionist’s one-point perspective in favor of multiple perspectives is an exploration of the nature of the medium (the flatness of the canvas) and of the nature of human perception (the eye scans a scene rather than focusing on a single point). A similar exploration is possible through, say, Woolf’s rejection of linear narrative as part of her experiments in depicting the nature of human psychology. My research illustrates connections between the stylistic innovations of diverse artistic disciplines and a movement toward a human-centered interpretation of the modern world.

 

Kinetics of Chlorine Atom Reactions with Cyclic Ethers

Rosa Aguilera

Mentor: Scott Hewitt

California State University, Fullerton

Gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector (GC-FID) and long path FTIR were used to determine the rate constants for the reactions of chlorine atoms with tetrahydropyran, tetrahydrofuran, and oxetane. The measured rate constants were (2.3 ± 0.3) x 10-10 cm3 molecules-1s-1 , (2.3 ± 0.2) x 10-10 cm3 molecules-1s-1, and (2.0 ± 1.2) x 10-10 cm3 molecules-1s-1 at 298K and 1 atm with (GC-FID), respectively. The measured rate constants with FTIR were (2.6 ± 1.2) x 10-10 cm3 molecules-1s-1, (2.11 ± 0.9) x 10-10 cm3 molecules-1s-1, and (1.8 ± 0.7) x 10-10 cm3 molecules-1s-1, respectively. The obtained rate constants using (GC-FID) and long path FTIR are in agreement and are consistent with previous studies on related systems. The implications for atmospheric chemistry and fundamental chemistry will be discussed.

 

Identifying Neural Regions Responsible for Lifespan in Drosophila

Maham Ahmad

Mentor: David Walker

California Institute of Technology

For over a century, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been used in genetic research. Their considerably short lifespan and speedy reproductive cycle, classifies them as excellent subjects. In Drosophila, I am selectively targeting a dominant negative of the Shibire gene, which controls vesicular trafficking at synapses to various brain regions and subsequently assaying the effect on longevity, meaning it blocks the synaptic transmissions at the various sites and silences neurons. The Shibire gene is temperature sensitive, inactive at 29 °C and under GAL4 control. I have obtained a vast panel of GAL4 ‘driver’ lines that are expressed in different brain regions. I am using these lines to screen for neural regions that when silenced, via Shibire, confer enhanced longevity. By allowing crosses to develop at 18 °C we avoid developmental defects. At this point, I have tested 50 potential candidates with 30 flies per strain and 2 copies. Currently I have identified one candidate GAL4 line that displays longevity, by surviving for 43, as compared to the wild type that survives for 30 days; hence the strain outlives the wild type by 13 additional days, approximately 43%. I am currently retesting this line, along with appropriate controls. To identify the GAL4 expression pattern in this line, I will cross the line to a reporter strain carrying green fluorescent protein under GAL4 control. Using fluorescent microscopy, I will identify the neuronal expression pattern. This unique study will greatly increase our understanding of the role of the nervous system in determining lifespan.

 

Memory and Emotion: Taboo Stroop Effect As a Function of the Context of Occurrence

Marat Ahmetzanov

Mentor: Donald MacKay

University of California, Los Angeles

We tested contextual binding differences in processing of neutral versus taboo material by evaluating word-to-location and word-to-color-to-location binding. We presented a group of 72 undergraduate students with two types of stimuli in two experimental conditions. During the presentation stage, either words (Condition 1) or colors (Condition 2) were consistently presented in the same locations. Participants were later asked to identify those locations in an unexpected recognition task. As predicted, in the direct (word-to-location) binding condition significantly better recognition accuracy performance was observed for taboo words (M=55%, SD=4%) than for neutral words (M=27%, SD=4%). However, in the indirect (word-to-color-to-location) binding condition a less significant difference between recognition accuracy of colors associated with taboo words (M=73%, SD=5%) and those associated with neutral words (M=64%, SD=6%) was found. Results suggest that emotionality of obscene words appreciably aids the location-binding process only in the direct binding conditions. Nonetheless, its effects appear to not be strong enough to alter the process of location binding indirectly.

 

Development of an Efficient Variable Optical Attenuator (VOA) using a Single-Mode Fiber with Reduced Acoustic Reflection

Mona Ahooie

Mentor: Henry Lee

University of California, Irvine

There is a growing need and development for a fast tuning Variable Optical Attenuator (VOA) in a dynamic optical network with applications in optical blocking and gain equalization. Currently, VOAs are realized in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguide. The fast-tuning VOA described in this work is based on a broadband all-fiber acoustic optical tunable filter (AOTF), which has near-zero insertion loss and is free of optical alignment. The operation of a single-mode fiber (SMF) AOTF is characterized by the coupling between the core and cladding modes. By reducing the cladding diameter of the fiber to ~ 21um through chemical etching in a HF acid solution, and by incorporating a tapered region between the etched and unetched sections of the fiber to reduce the acoustic reflection, both ultra-broadband and large attenuation is achieved, enabling the best attenuation of ~ 65 dB compared to previous results of ~18 dB. Uniform coating of both cooking oil and soldering oil was also found to reduce acoustic reflection in the fiber. These results indicate the dependency of acoustic reflection on fiber cladding diameter, fiber length, taper shape, and uniform material coating. The experimental results show that a VOA based on acousto-optic coupling on a cladding etched SM fiber can be achieved by optimizing these parameters.

 

Investigations of Transparent Mesoporous Silica Monoliths

Michael Airola

Mentor: Ralph Amey

Occidental College

Transparent mesostructured silica monoliths have been prepared using amphiphilic block (PEO-PPO-PEO) copolymer as a structure-directing agent. The presence of the block copolymer combined with slow evaporation of the solvent leads to the formation of a crack-free mesoporous silica monolith, however this method requires a long processing time. Zhao et al. recently introduced a relatively fast method for the preparation of well-ordered crack-free mesoporous silica monoliths, greatly reducing the time required to produce a crack-free monolith to 8 hr by using liquid paraffin as a morphology protector. Using Zhao’s method, the ease and reproducibility of producing crack-free mesoporous silica monoliths was determined. Pluronic P123 and Pluronic F127, both proven structure directing agents, were used as the structure directing agents in this experiment. We report here that Zhao’s method was able to produce crack-free silica monoliths, however successful reproducible attempts were only reported at a longer processing time of 18 hr and required smaller vessel sizes (~1.5 cm diameter) than reported by Zhao. A noticeable difference was seen between Pluronic P123 and Pluronic F127, with Pluronic F127 producing crack-free silica monoliths on a more consistent basis. Successful construction of crack-free transparent monoliths was heavily dependent upon the size and shape of the vessel and upon the desired thickness of the silica monolith. In addition the ratio of block copolymer to HCl(aq), EtOH and H2O heavily influenced the crack-free nature of the silica monoliths. Characterization of the silica monoliths were accomplished by the use of atomic force microscopy and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy.

 

Biofunctionalization of Gold-patterned Silicon Substrates for Regenerable Biosensing Nanoelectromechanical Systems (BioNEMS)

Benjamin Aleman

Mentor: Michael Roukes

California Institute of Technology

The described immobilization/mobilization scheme presents a viable detection mechanism for reusable biosensing nanoelectromechanical systems. Chemical specific immobilization/mobilization of streptavidin conjugated fluorescently labeled microspheres and magnetic particles is performed on gold-patterned silicon substrates. The silicon background is passivated with a PEG-silane self-assembled monolayer (SAM), and gold regions are functionalized with a desthiobiotin terminated alkanethiol SAM. Patterned substrates are microfabricated using photolithography and electron beam evaporation techniques. Immobilization of target compounds is facilitated by the streptavidin-desthiobiotin interaction, while subsequent release of target compounds is achieved by out competing desthiobiotin with D-biotin. Characterization of films is accomplished with cyclic voltametry.

 

Janos Kadar, Soviet Quisling or Caring Socialist?

V. Shain Alexander

Mentor: Christina Knudsen

University of California, Los Angeles

This paper investigates Janos Kadar, Secretary General of the then People’s Republic of Hungary from 1956 until 1988—in particular, the radical economic reforms heralded as the Wirschaftswunder of Hungary implemented in 1968 through 1972. How did this man, supposedly "devoid of high intelligence," impose reforms that decentralized the socialist economy and privatized nearly a third of the gross national product under the nose of the imperialist Soviets? The conclusion of this research shows the answer lies behind Kadar’s two economic goals: the increase in real wages and a larger availability of consumer goods. Niktita Krushchev supplied the initial political support and Rezso Nyers was responsible for the economic policy prescriptions. Together with Kadar, they set the foundation of the New Economic Mechanism (NEM) which transformed the Hungarian economy and quality of life. Through unwavering support of the Soviet Union during moments of uprise, Kadar secured relatively unimaginable freedom to decentralize the economy so long as the public political support remained intact. The result of NEM was impressive even to Western countries. Hungary’s economic security coupled with a strong and loyal political leadership made it the model Communist nation. The conclusion of this paper is that the balance Kadar achieved was key to his success and shows that the Soviet position during the Cold War was more concerned with stability than aggression.

 

Augusto César Calderón Sandino: El General de Hombres Libres, 1909-1934

Oscar Alfaro, San Jose State University

Mentor: Ramon Chacon, Santa Clara University

This study is the history of Nicaragua’s greatest national hero, Augusto César Calderón Sandino. The purpose of this research is to take a closer look at how Sandino’s humble beginnings had an impact on his political ideology, his love for the patria and his nationalistic ideas. The main theme to be addressed by this research is Sandino’s nationalism and his anti-imperialistic ideals. Being a nationalist was the most dangerous ideology one could have in the eyes of the United States during those years—not Communism. The historical period to be covered by this research starts with Sandino’s birth in 1895, and it ends with the Sandinista triumph over the Somoza regime in July of 1979. However, the paper focuses on the years 1909 to 1934. The United States Marines occupied Nicaragua from 1909 to 1933. Somoza García’s subordinates assassinated Sandino on February 21, 1934. The sole purpose of addressing the years 1934 to 1979 is to clarify that Sandino’s ideology will forever be linked to Nicaraguan nationalism and politics. In fact, the founders of FSLN (Sandinista Front for the National Liberation) chose his name for their organization.

 

The Rock and Roller ’Bot

James Allington

Mentor: James Bobrow

University of California, Irvine

This project includes the design and construction of an inverted pendulum robot. This machine is similar to the Segway™. The two wheels are side by side rather than being in the same plane, like a bicycle. The challenge is to build a robot that can bounce while maintaining stability in an inherently unstable position. A good design will be able to withstand the large forces produced during bouncing and while still being lightweight enough to get off the ground. Large pneumatic tires will be used to cushion the impact with the ground while storing energy for the next hop. Combining rolling motion with the ability to jump will enable this robot to perform challenging and unique maneuvers. For the design of the frame, we used aluminum, which is an inexpensive, well-suited material. Control will be provided by the bs2p microcontroller through inputs from a Philips PCF8591 8-bit A/D converter. The Summer Research Program may not provide enough time to produce an effective control law; therefore the primary focus will be the construction of a dependable and effective hardware design.

 

Active Tectonics Along a Passive Margin Coastline: The Marine Terraces of Waratah Bay, Victoria, Australia

Terri Amborn, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Mentors: Tom Gardner, Trinity University; Jeff Marshall, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Located within the interior of the Australian-Indian plate, the continental margin of Australia is generally described as a classic passive margin. However, along the southeastern coast, historical seismicity and a variety of anomalous geologic and geomorphic features indicate active crustal deformation. This investigation examines evidence for active tectonics near the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland at Waratah Bay, Victoria. A prominent flight of at least six uplifted marine terraces were mapped along the shoreline between Cape Liptrap and Wilson’s Promontory. These wave cut platforms are cut across Paleozoic bedrock and are covered by quaternary deposits of silicic beach and dune sands, angular quartz gravels, and estuarine silt and clay horizons. The spatial distribution of the terraces was defined in this study through field mapping, aerial photo analysis, and GPS surveying. A series of topographic profiles surveyed across the terraces show that tread elevations decrease toward the northeast away from Cape Liptrap. Uplift and tilting of these terraces may reflect quaternary slip along the NE trending Waratah Fault. Active crustal deformation in this region may result from denudation and isostatic flexure, variations in the crust/mantle thermal structure, and/or far-field intraplate stresses.

 

The Effects of Zinc on the Phase Dynamics of Model Membranes

Erik Anderson

Mentor: Phoebe Dea

Occidental College

Fluorescence spectroscopy, phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance (31P NMR) spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to study the effects of the zinc cation on the phase dynamics of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, a 16-carbon acyl chain phospholipid. With increasing Zn2+ concentrations up to 10 mol%, the decrease in change of fluorescence intensity at the subtransition in a heating scan indicates the initial co-existence of the gel and subgel phases at T = 10 °C and suggests subgel destabilization. 31P NMR results also indicate that the presence of Zn2+ (up to 50 mol%) decreases the ability of the bilayer to form the subgel phase by the presence of a characteristic gel phase peak at –20 ppm at 10 °C in addition to the characteristic broad peak (approximately 300 ppm wide) observed for the pure incubated subgel sample. This information supports the fluorescence results of a co-existence of the gel and subgel phases. DSC data show that the addition of Zn2+ increases the main transition temperature and lowers the subtransition temperature. This supports the conclusion that introduction of Zn2+ in these samples results in the favoring of the gel phase over the subgel and liquid-crystalline phases.

 

Lifetime Experiences of the Elderly: Two Case Studies

Jazette Anderson

Mentor: John Kozlowicz

University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

This study is an investigation of the impact of life experiences from the viewpoints of the elderly. It can be hypothesized that significant events such as World War II, sharecropping, and segregation have done much to shape the way senior citizens think about social, political, and economic issues today. In addition to the review of related literature involved in the study, an analysis of the lives of two senior citizens that were former sharecroppers was undertaken. One sharecropper was an 86-year-old Caucasian American that lived in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. The other sharecropper was a 61-year-old African American that lived in Whitewater, Wisconsin. In addition to gaining a better perspective on what the sharecroppers have done with their lives as well as the things that they continue to do, this study explores the notion of sharecropping as a kind of enslavement that existed until the middle of the 20th century in the southern region of the United States. These case studies explore the innovativeness of oppressed groups of citizens as they negotiated an unfriendly political, legal, social, and economic environment.

 

Localization of ?-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)C r 3 Subunit in the Human Brain

Mauricio Arcila, University of California, Irvine

Mentors: Ataúlfo Martínez-Torrez, University of California, Irvine & UNAM Queretaro Mexico; Ricardo Miledi, University of California, Irvine

?-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the main ligand-gated chloride channel responsible for inhibitory neurotransmission in the human nervous system. GABA receptors are classified into three different groups: GABAA, GABAB and GABAC. GABAB is a G-protein coupled receptor, whereas GABAA and GABAC belong to a large family of ion channels that includes the nicotinic and glycine receptors. GABAC is pharmacologically different from the other receptors; for example, bicuculline (antagonist in GABAA) and baclofen (agonist in GABAB), have opposite effects on GABAC. GABAC receptors are expressed by neurons in the retina and several other locations throughout the central nervous system, and some studies have shown that GABAC consists of homooligomers of only one subunit type, the rho (?) subunit, either ? 1, ? 2, or ? 3. The purpose of our investigation is to determine the exact mRNA location of the subunit ? 3 in the human central nervous system by means of Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). Thus far in the investigation, we have localized the receptor GABAC ?3 in the cingulate gyrus, frontal cortex, prefrontal cortex, and optic nerve, and we did not find the subunit in the thalamus. We are continuing with the completion of RT-PCR on nine more tissues throughout the human brain to determine its exact location.

 

The Silent Barrier: FOBs vs. Filipino Americans

Constancio Arnaldo

Mentor: Linda Espana Maram

California State University, Long Beach

The silent barrier theory examines the cultural tensions among Filipino Americans and "FOBs" ("Fresh off the Boat" refers to new or recent immigrants from the Philippines) by examining the historical and socio-cultural issues associated with tensions among contemporary Filipinos/Filipino Americans. The significance of my research brings to the forefront issues that are unexplored in the Filipino-American community, and I believe these issues are a crucial element in understanding the tensions and experiences among FOBs and Filipino Americans. The discourse associated with the "place" of the more recently arrived FOBs in their respective Filipino immigrant communities in the U.S. formed the basis of my exploration about questions of immigration, acculturation, ethnic identities, and interethnic relations. Through primary research, including oral testimonies, internal issues surrounding the Filipino community provide evidence that a silent barrier exists.

 

Design and Development of a Microcontroller-based System

Juan Arredondo

Mentor: Matthew Barth

University of California, Riverside

Many future transportation research applications will require extremely reliable vehicle communications. As a result, the field of telematics has been of great interest in recent years. At the Bourns College of Engineering—Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT), research is being conducted on several telematic applications for its share-use vehicle system. The purpose of the research is to enhance the efficiency and manageability of the system by allowing the use of dispatching and reservation systems, smartcard technology, onboard navigation, travel information, and intelligent communication and tracking systems. A fleet of vehicles at CE-CERT currently uses older microcontroller technology with limited capability to implement Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technology. Due to the need for more reliable communication among the shared vehicles, a new microcontroller-based communication system is being developed using the latest microcontroller technology. The system will process its data and communicate with other sub-systems, such as a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and General Package Radio System transmitter. Recently, a prototype of the system was milled and tested for signal continuity. Programs have successfully been downloaded onto the new microcontroller. The next goal is to mass-produce the printed circuit boards and integrate onto the fleet of Honda EV-plus and Global Electric Motor (GEM) cars. Extensive field-testing will follow after this step. If successful, the new system will be capable of gathering data on the car’s current position using of GPS. The new system will also send data to and from the car with the aid of a General Package Radio System. It will be able to do such applications at a speed of up to 171.2 kilobits per second. In addition, the system will improve onboard navigation, interpret signals from the card reader, provide an interface with the user input/display device, and provide information about the vehicle’s status on a dynamic time basis.

 

Biracial/Multiethnic Identity: Choosing One Race/Ethnicity Over Another and the Effects it has on Biracial/Multiethnic Mexicans

Christina Auer-Arriaga

Mentor: Gilbert Cadena

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

As the United States becomes more racially and ethnically diverse and the number of mixed-race and multiethnic people continues to grow, researchers and policymakers are struggling to rethink how we collect data about race/ethnicity and how to categorize individuals with a mixed heritage. The purpose of this study is to examine if biracial/multiethnic individuals choose one race over another and the effects it has on biracial/multiethnic individuals. The first hypothesis is biracial/multiethnic individuals choose one race over another during early adolescence (between the ages of 13 to 15 years old). The second hypothesis states that biracial/multiethnic individuals choose the dominant race/ethnicity that is present in their environment. This study uses both quantitative and qualitative methods. The first part of my research is a quantitative study that examines the relationship between children identifying with only one parent and the parents who had the most influence on them. A questionnaire consisting of 15 questions was given to 36 individuals. The statistical results uphold that biracial/multiethnic individuals do choose and they choose between the ages of 13 and 15. The second part of my research is a qualitative study looking at in-group issues dealing with biracial/multiethnic Mexican identity. The study interviewed five females, and four out of the five biracial/multiethnic individuals chose one race over the other. The data showed significant patterns with regards to biracial/multiethnic Mexicans parents, language, schools, and neighborhoods. This research reflects the perceptions and development of biracial/multiethnic individuals and will add information to this new area of study.

 

Optimizing the Efficiency of Polymeric LED Performance

Albert Aumentado

Mentor: Wanli Ma

University of California, Santa Barbara

Polymeric light emitting diodes (PLED’s) is a promising candidate of future display technology for its easy accessibility to large area printing and a low-cost manufacturing technique. PLED-based display technology also has merits such as a larger viewing angle, better clarity of image, and faster response time over traditional LCDs. However, at the present development phase, relatively low efficiency of PLEDs is still an impedance to mature display products. In order to improve the efficiency of PLEDs, we investigated the specific effects of HTL (Hole Transport/Injection Layer) and ETL (Electron Transport/Injection Layer) on PLEDs efficiency by comparing the efficiency of devices without HTL/ETL and devices with various HTL/ETL. Our results demonstrate that lower turn-on voltages (voltage at which PLEDs begins to emit light), higher brightness at certain voltages (specifically very bright at a low voltage), and an overall larger luminous efficiency (brightness/current density) can be obtained after the introduction of HTL/ETL.

 

The Fountain of Life: Exploring Previously Unrecognized Jewish Elements in Solomon Ibn Gabirol’s Work

Joshua Bachrach

Mentor: Mary Beth Ingham

Loyola Marymount University

The Fountain of Life was a work accredited to the authorship of Avicebron, who was thought to have been an Islamic thinker from eleventh century Malaga. For almost 800 years, it was regarded by Christian scholastics as his most influential work as a Muslim thinker. However, a 19th century discovery revealed Avicebron to be the same person as the respected Jewish philosopher Solomon Ibn Gabirol. Therefore, we have had less than 200 years of scholarship properly treating Avicebron’s The Fountain of Life as a Jewish work. This discovery is quite exciting, considering it occurred after almost 800 years of scholarship interpreting the work as an Islamic text. I contend that the complete implications of Gabirol’s contributions as a Jewish philosopher have not been fully understood or completely appreciated. We must therefore reexamine this text more critically and with greater attention to not only its authentically Jewish elements, but also the Muslim influences distracting scholars from its Jewish identity. After a mature exploration of these elements, one may truly realize that The Fountain of Life displays a Jewish, more personal direction to knowing God than is demonstrated by typical Muslim works of the period. It is not limited by the Islamic approach, which is characterized by an absence of theological assertions and a strict adherence to logic and metaphysics. Rather, The Fountain of Life is a philosophical work alive with the Jewish tradition of seeking a closer, more intimate relationship with God as the ultimate Source of all reality.

 

Analysis and Development of Online-Adaptive Tutorials to Aid Retention of Non-Traditional Students in Computer Science

Akanksha Baid

Mentors: Hilary Holz & Julia Norton

California State University, Hayward

In the past decade, the field of computer science has experienced explosive growth. The applicability of computer science to our day-to-day life has increased exponentially, yet the educational diversity in the field has not kept pace. Methodologies that have aided retention in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics have not been effective in computer science. Digital libraries and online tutorials are a major storehouse of knowledge essential for computer scientists. Tailoring these resources to the needs of non-traditional students via iterative and participatory methodologies will help aid retention in computer science. These methodologies will make analysis and development a symbiotic process, where the students input about the learning tools will be a key component in shaping the tool itself. Adaptive Collaborative UNIX Tutorial follows the above stated methodologies and uses clustering to group users for adaptation. This will be achieved via large-scale surveys and task-based interviews, which will provide feedback for bettering the learning tool and will in turn facilitate retention of non-traditional students.

 

The Role of the Basal Root Zone in the Recovery of Yucca schidigera After Drought

Evan Baker

Mentor: Gretchen North

Occidental College

Some plant species have adapted to live through drought conditions. How exactly do plants do this? Our survey of several species of desert monocotyledons ranging from Aloe marlothii to Yucca whipplei has shown that anatomical characteristics of roots in perennial succulents may aid in recovery after periods of drought. Currently we have chosen Yucca schidigera, a species native to Southern California as the focus of our research. We intend to investigate whether a relatively unsuberized, less lignified region of the roots near the base of the shoot allows Y. schidigera to take advantage of minimal rainfall where only the top most centimeters of soil would be saturated. To test the importance of the basal root region, 10 Y. schidigera were planted with the base of the roots covered by soil. Another 10 plants were planted with the base of the roots exposed to air. Half of the "covered" plants and half of the "exposed" plants were watered continuously, thus acting as controls. The other ten plants were dried down to simulate drought conditions. The drought plants were then re-watered and a porometer was used to measure stomatal opening in response to water uptake. Upon re-watering the dried plants, the "covered" plants would have the use of the basal root region for water uptake, whereas the "exposed" plants would not. Therefore, by comparing the porometer readings for the "covered" vs. "exposed" plants we can see how critical the basal root region is to drought recovery in Yucca schidigera.

 

Petrologic Analysis of a Quartz-rich Sandstone in the Paleocene Silverado Formation, San Joaquin Hills, California

Margaret Banda

Mentor: Pedro Ramirez

California State University, Los Angeles

The Paleocene Silverado Formation located in the Shady Hills district of the San Joaquin Hills in Southern California contains an anomalous three-meter thick quartz-rich sandstone that is interbedded with mostly moderately sorted, subrounded to subangular, medium to coarse-grained arkoses and litharenites. The purpose of this study is to determine the origin of this unit through field observations and petrologic analysis of samples collected. The quartz-rich sandstone is composed of up to 90% quartz and lesser amounts of kaolinite and feldspars. Sandstones enriched in quartz are typically associated with multiple episodes of erosion, transport and deposition. However, this unit appears to have originated through the recycling of quartz originally present in an underlying paleosol produced through intense weathering of arkoses. The paleosol consists of kaolinite and etched and embayed, mostly monocrystalline quartz. Similar textural features occur in the quartz-rich sandstone, suggesting that the quartz was derived from the paleosol. Current work is focused on further analysis, which is required to substantiate our preliminary observations.

 

Modeling Phage Species Abundance

David Bangor

Mentors: Mya Breitbart, Beltran Rodriguez Brito, Forest Rohwer, & Peter Salamon

San Diego State University

Bacteriophages (phage) are viruses that inject their DNA into bacteria. Once inside their host bacteria, phage rapidly multiply and eventually kill the host by causing it to explode and releasing the new phage particles. There are an estimated 10^31 phage particles on the planet. The total number of phage species, however, is essentially unknown. Recently we have started to shotgun sequence phage communities from a variety of different environments. From this data, we obtained overlapping fragments, which means that the same phage genome has been resampled. This observation allows us to mathematically model the phage community. In this paper a number of different models of species abundance will be tested to determine which best explains our data sets. The goal is to find a model that will allow biologists to better understanding the abundance of phage species in different environments.

 

Middle Class Social Workers and Their Perceptions of Class Barriers

Molly Banks

Mentor: Jan Lin

Occidental College

The profession of social work prides itself on being value neutral and non-judgmental. However, social workers might impose their values upon their clients if they are not aware of their own biases. Ideologies and values stemming from one’s socioeconomic class may create significant barriers between the social worker and the client. Consequently, it would seem essential for social workers to recognize any socioeconomic class contrast between themselves and their clients. The failure to acknowledge the impact of class might cause social workers to impose their middle class values upon their clients. To gauge the validity of this concept, I conducted an extensive literature review of sociological articles, studies, and books; interviewed 10 social workers; and completed an analysis of my findings. The objective of the interviews is to understand the social workers’ perceptions of socioeconomic class, inter-class relationships, and lower-class clients. The findings indicate that the social workers recognize a class difference between themselves and their clients. Additionally, this study found that the social workers did not find themselves imposing their beliefs onto their clients. There may be unintentional bias toward their clients, but more research is needed.

 

Sound Prisms: Can Optical Methods of Fresnel Zone Plates and Prisms be Applied to Acoustics?

Krista Banks Marrero

Mentor: Steve McCauley

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

One of many optical devices invented by the French scientist Augustin Jean Fresnel is the Fresnel Zone Plate, a diffractive device, which has helped generate many practical tools used in optics. The Fresnel Zone Plate allows light waves to pass through, and due to diffraction, constructive and destructive interference occurs. This interference of waves magnifies the strength of the light at a specific focus point. Among other uses, the Fresnel Zone Plate has been utilized in space devices designed for NASA, holography, and tomographic imaging. The zone plate usually requires a monochromatic input of a specific wavelength. Generalizing the design to broadband radiation, (multiple wavelengths) should be possible providing applications in many areas of science. Refractive Fresnel methods have been previously applied to sound in the form of Deflex® Acoustic Panels, which are refractive devices used for enhanced speaker design. The Fresnel model has also been applied to sound in liquid using a micrometer scale. Limited results have been obtained on the Fresnel Zone Plate properties for ultrasonic acoustics and broadband radiation of acoustic waves. We achieve Fresnel Zone Plate properties for ultrasonic acoustics and broadband radiation in the common air environment through general methods. The Fresnel Zone Plate demonstrates prism effects for broadband radiation of acoustic waves.

 

Increasing Disability Awareness

Gregoria Barazandeh

Mentor: Caesar Sereseres

University of California, Irvine

Significant factors that can enhance academic success among students with disabilities include appropriate and reasonable accommodations and strong, ongoing communication between students and faculty. The better informed both students and faculty are about student disabilities, the more likely it is that these students will be able to heighten their educational potential. In investigating this subject, informal meetings and discussions were conducted with students with disabilities and faculty to identity both their knowledge about various disabilities and their level of communication and interaction with each other; they were also asked if they had any suggestions or recommendations for improvement. As a result, information was gathered from published medical literature and data on physical, learning and psychological disabilities and academic accommodations on the disabilities identified by the Disability Services Center as the most common at UC Irvine. In addition to these sources, direct contact with various disability related organizations, agencies and individuals provided further insight to the development of a handbook for use by students with disabilities, faculty and staff. With the confidence in the data obtained from the wide array of resources, an outline of the content for the handbook as well as a structure of its organization and presentation was developed. The Disability Fact Sheet Handbook was then created using the knowledge gained from reviewing the medical and disability literature and analyzing the information obtained from the students, faculty and others. The Handbook aims to educate students, staff and faculty on various disabilities, as well as encourage better communication between students with disabilities and faculty in the years to come.

 

Reading/Misreading Architecture

Yasaman Barmaki

Mentor: Martin Schwab

University of California, Irvine

Would you want a ‘Deconstructionist Architect’ to build you a house? Deconstruction is a philosophical view that was initially introduced by the French Philosopher Jacques Derrida. This view is that no meaning can be articulated in a coherent way. Somewhat to Derrida’s own surprise, deconstruction carried over into many other fields, one of them being architecture. These architects, such as Bernard Tschumi, Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, and Eric Moss, posses strong foundations in theory and thus seek the power to practice and construct anything they can imagine. This piece focuses on specific buildings constructed by these architects in an endeavor to understand deconstruction as illustrated through architecture. As the limits of the imagination are being explored, structures become deconstruction when the idea of play is introduced, experimenting with materials, shapes and forms, surfaces, and confusing functions. As long as these architects subject themselves to the laws of physics, they can bend everything and whatever their fantasies can make into reality. Through such playful gestures, they challenge architectural inhabitants to re-conceptualize the notion of space and functionality, steering toward a new way of thinking and constructing, manifesting a deviation from traditional modes of architecture toward different and unconventional ways. This study leads into a critical discussion of how much these buildings cost and how practical they are in terms of realization.

 

Airborne Laser (ABL) Technology in Planetary Defense

Nella Barrera

Mentor: Haris Catrakis

University of California, Irvine

Airborne lasers (ABL’s) provide a means to launch powerful directed energy from highly mobile platforms to protect the Earth at short notice from the threat of natural high-speed incoming space objects, such as asteroids that crash might into our planet from outer space—a process that has been ongoing throughout the five-billion year lifetime of Earth. The objectives of this work are to explore how high-energy laser beams can be launched from aircraft to defend against large asteroids, to examine the ABL requirements needed to direct laser beams with sufficient beam power and accuracy to disintegrate or deflect asteroids, and to suggest new approaches to current ABL technology to meet these requirements. We have developed a model to evaluate the accuracy needed to direct laser beams at asteroids, and a model for propagating this beam in air and in space. Our models show that pointing accuracies of current ABL systems do not meet the requirements needed to deliver directed energy to large asteroids. This necessitates the development of new techniques to reduce aircraft-generated aero-optical distortions that would otherwise attenuate significantly the laser peak power and accuracy. Flow control provides a means to reduce aircraft-generated turbulence and improve the laser pointing accuracy. Open-port windows, as opposed to solid windows, especially necessitate flow control for high-energy lasers. Our results and conclusions indicate that ABL technology can be improved to successfully intercept large asteroids before they hit the Earth and thus eliminate potentially catastrophic devastation of the human race as well as our planet.

 

Estimating the Probability of Hitting Target Values of Measures of Patient Wellness

Diana Beccera

Mentor: Rod Freed

California State University, Dominguez Hills

This project shows how the empirical distribution corresponding to the random vector y can be extended to a conditional empirical distribution of y, given that the values of the elements of a related random vector, x, fall into a k-dimensional rectangle. We then indicate how this conditional empirical distribution can be used to estimate the probability that various measures of patient wellness (i.e., the elements of y) will hit or exceed each of a number of different targets, given patient characteristics and the treatment regime (i.e., the members of x). Unlike linear and/or nonlinear regression, this approach to estimation of probabilities of hitting targets does not require knowledge of the form of the function that relates y to x, nor does it require knowledge of the form of the probability densities which describe the behavior of random disturbances affecting the situation. Thus, this approach is quite flexible and general. We present applications based on sample data obtained from studies reported at www.clinicaltrials.gov.

 

In-n-Out of L.A.: Socio-spatial Aspects in the Geography of a Drive-in

Michael Bell

Mentor: Stephen Koletty

University of Southern California

The proliferation of mass culture in the form of shopping malls, mini-malls, fast food drive-ins, gas stations, and more have produced a standardized commercial landscape that some scholars characterize as "placelessness". Yet, this standardized landscape conceals profound disparities in the society that produced it. In fact, the very icon of "placelessness", the fast food drive-in, can actually function as a visual marker of significant socio-economic differences. In this paper, I examine the distribution of one of these popular drive-ins, In-n-Out Burger, in Los Angeles County. I show how their locations relate to the demographics and income of the surrounding census tracts. Preliminary field observations suggested that In-n-Out Burger locations are generally limited to upper-middle class areas. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to analyze the distribution of In-n-Out Burgers and compare the pattern of their locations with data from the 2000 census regarding socio-economic status and ethnicity. Findings argue that the commercialization of the landscape is much more highly localized than scholars fear.

 

An Investigation of Cartilaginous Skeletons

Jennie Beltrán

Mentor: Adam P. Summers

University of California, Irvine

 

In most vertebrates, cartilage plays just two functional roles—a low-friction bearing surface (e.g. knees) and contour filler (e.g. nose and ears). However, a successful group of vertebrates, the class Chondrichthyes (sharks, ratfish and rays), has an entirely cartilaginous skeleton implying a far broader range of function for this connective tissue. Whereas tetrapod cartilage is quite homogeneous in its response to load and in biochemical composition (within a functional group: bearing surface or contour filler), we have found the cartilage of sharks to be highly variable in material properties. Here we report on the biochemical variation that underlies the large differences that we have found in material properties. We have found differences in both proteoglycan (PG) and collagen content in eight shark species. The PG content is very tightly correlated with the resilience of the cartilage from these species. Collagen content also appears to have a significant effect on stiffness and strength. The extreme variation in collagen content raises the possibility of non-collagenous fibrous material in the cartilage

 

Does the accD Gene Shed Light on the Phylogenetic Relationships of Embryophytes and Charophytes?

Jennifer Bergeron

Mentor: Thomas Vandergon

Pepperdine University

The charophytes are reported to be the closest algal relative to land plants. Of the five orders of charophytes, two have been suggested as having the closest common relationship to the ancestor of the higher plants or embryophytes. These orders are the Charales and the Coleochaetales. A recent study of plastid and nuclear gene sequences (atpB, rbcL nad5, and SSU rRNA) by Karol et al. indicates a strong preference for the embryophyte ancestor being a close relative of the order Charales (2001). Using the polymerase chain reaction and primers from conserved regions of the acetyl CoenzymeA carboxylase subunit D gene (accD), we amplified, cloned and sequenced a 295 bp fragment from seven species of charophytes and one Chlorophyte outgroup species (Ulva). The accD gene is a highly conserved plastid gene coding for a protein required for fatty acid synthesis. We constructed an aligned set of our newly determined accD sequences with sequences from 35 other species of Eubacteria and Eukarya. Using both neighbor-joining and parsimony analyses, we examined the phylogenetic relationships of the charophytes to the higher plants. All analyses confirmed the charophyte position at the base of the embryophyte lineage. However, the accD gene fragment sequences give two differing pictures for the closest charophyte ancestor to the land plants. Using a data set of the charophyte species and minimal representatives of each higher order of plants suggests a Coleochaete ancestor as the closest relative. A full data set of 43 species, including 24 species of higher plants, places the Charales and Coleochaetales equally distant to the higher plants. The accD gene data in this study do not fully resolve the question of embryophyte ancestry.

 

Bullying Behavior: What Schools Can Do About It

Michelle Berkley Tran

Mentor: August Hoffman

California State University, Northridge

The dual purpose of this research was to identify underlying personality and environmental risk factors associated with bullying behavior in children, grades kindergarten through eighth and also to assess the level of awareness that educators have regarding this issue. The secondary purpose of this correlational study was to determine what school policies or preventative measures exist and are being implemented in schools to eradicate bullying behavior, and to further assess the effectiveness of these policies. Five schools and 36 teachers within Southern California participated in this study. The results of this research study were expected to indicate that the occurrence of bullying behavior is lower among schools that implement effective preventative and/or reactive policies to counter bullying behavior in comparison with schools that do not implement any such policies. The primary focus of this paper explores of how schools can become the pivotal institution that can promote change among communities and make schools a safer place for children. Data has been gathered and is currently in the process of being analyzed using t-test to assess correlation.

 

Foreign and Local Aid in Biomedicine and Preventive Health in Mexico

Joy Bhosai

Mentor: Nanette Barkey

Pomona College

In Northern Baja California, Mexico, various resources and forms of health treatments are available at the disposal of the individual—from preventing sickness though vaccinations via biomedical techniques to alleviating arthritic pain through participating in a Pentecostal ceremony. However, the presence of U.S. biomedicine is prevalent, due to the region’s close proximity to the U.S border. An evaluation of the presence of biomedical aid from the United States in the context of local Mexican health care was made. Main differences in biomedical practice between foreign and local aid were reflected in the preventive health programs, doctor-patient styles, the setting and location of the clinics themselves, and the promotion of programs offered to the public.

 

Metastable Cubic Perovskite Synthesis of SrMnO3

Noelle Biadoma

Mentor: Behzad Bavarian

California State University, Northridge

The metastable cubic perovskite form of SrMnO3 is synthesized using pulse laser deposition (PLD) on single-crystal perovskite subtrates SrTiO3, LaAlO3 and NdGaO3. The cubic perovskite SrMnO3 is obtained under two conditions: 1) 800 ° C at 100 mTorr, and 2) 800 ° C at 300 Torr, which is proven by x-ray diffraction (XRD). Epitaxial growth is determined to be cube-on-cube, where lattice mismatch between film and substrate affects film strain and crystalline quality.

 

Elephant Conservation as a Public Good with Both Positive and Negative Externalities

Vivian Bodey

Mentor: Kim Thomas

Whittier College

This study presents a novel, comprehensive model for cost/benefit analysis of the elephant "harvesting" problem that takes into account not only Western concerns for biodiversity conservation, but also the benefits and costs to local African people from killing or helping to conserve elephants. The model helps reveal which of the costs and benefits will not be considered by local African people making decisions about harvesting or conserving under different policies that assign property rights to elephants. The model is used to explain why some policies, namely the CITES ban on ivory trade and the Kenyan conservation program, have been unsuccessful in restoring elephant populations, while another approach, the CAMPFIRE program for local stewardship of elephant populations in Zimbabwe, was successful until the CITES ban and internal political problems eroded the positive incentives. The model is also used to suggest what elements a truly optimal elephant conservation policy would have to have to succeed, including necessarily some trade in ivory and some transfers from Western conservationists to African communities. The model revolves around the theory of public goods. Elephant conservation is a part of preserving biodiversity and both can be thought of as public goods. A public good has two characteristics: Consumption by one person does not decrease the amount of the good available for consumption by others, and it is costly to prevent consumption by those not paying for the good. Elephants are yet to be considered as public goods, private goods, and private bads in any existent policy.

 

JUNG—Java Universal Network/Graph framework

Yan-Biao Boey

Mentor: Padhraic Smyth

University of California, Irvine

JUNG is a software library and visualization tool that provides a common and extendible language for the modeling, analysis, and visualization of data that can be represented as a graph or network. My part of this project revolves around the development of a tool used to analyze and visualize graphs that are produced by JUNG. Visualizing large graphs is a challenge because of the difficulty in laying out the vertices and edges of the graph such that they reflect the overall structure of the graph. JUNG can perform analysis of the graph using routines for clustering, decomposition, optimization, random graph generation, statistical analysis, and calculation of network distances, flows, and importance measures (centrality, page rank, HITS, etc.). I started out by examining the JUNG framework, and then I wrote a graphical user interface (GUI) and built the application from there. In the process of developing this application, I had to take into account usability factors as well as drawing limitations on the number of objects that could be displayed at any one time. I also had to develop and test a number of complex layout algorithms that optimize the 2-dimensional planar layout of the graph nodes on the screen. The topic of data analysis and visualization using graphs is an important and challenging field of research that has applications in social networks, data mining, relational databases, and statistics.

 

Southern California Native American Cultures and the U.S. Government: Independent or Interactive?

Georgiana Bostean

Mentors: Robert Garfias & Robert Stevens

University of California, Irvine

Cultures are multifaceted, dynamic entities that exist in contexts of time and place, and are subject to change. Historically, culture was dependent upon the geographic location of a group and the ecology surrounding it. Today, cultures are defined not only by geography, but also by external factors. With an increasingly modernized world, cultures are in contact with one another, and factors such as globalization and diffusion are key elements in defining cultures and in culture change. Indigenous societies around the world experience cultural transformations, in part as a result of the mass migration of ethnic groups. In some cases, the migration led to or was an effect of colonization; consequently, many indigenous peoples saw their cultures altered due to increased interactions with different groups and the establishment of new governments. Although government can affect any culture, colonized indigenous peoples who have a unique relationship with the colonizer government are affected in distinct ways. Native American groups are one of those indigenous societies that have seen their relationships with the colonial government affect and transform their cultures. This study focuses on the relationships between indigenous cultures in Southern California and external governments. It reveals that the contemporary cultures of these Native American tribes are affected by government at every level—local, state, and federal—and that the relationship between the two is interactive. By understanding the impact which government and indigenous cultures have on one another, a co-operational relationship can be built to address indigenous issues in a positive manner.

 

Photoconductivity of Conjugated Polymers: Study of a PFO/Ir-complex System

Lukas Bridgeman

Mentor: Cesare Soci

University of California, Santa Barbara

Polyfluorene (PFO) is a polymer fairly commonly used in the construction of polymeric LEDs (light emitting diodes constructed from what are essentially organic semiconductor molecules). Light produced by PFO molecules is emitted by fluorescence (one of two methods for light emission). This is a relatively inefficient method of light production. This low efficiency, we suspected, could be increased through the addition of dopants to the PFO in order to change its properties. Iridium complexes had already begun testing for certain light emitting properties and seemed like good candidates for the continued experimentation. PFO and Ir together function as what is known as a host/guest system. Charges are generated on the PFO and the transferred to the IR complexes. We decided to use a system of PFO and Ir complexes to cause emission and then test for the method through which light was emitted. Specifically, we wished to know whether or not electrons generated on the PFO were transferred to the light emitting Ir complexes or trapped by them. This distinction would help to determine the means through which light was emitted and methods through which efficiency could be improved. We evaluated this mechanism through the testing of photoluminescence (light emitted after photo excitation of the system) and photoconductivity (electrical charges generated by photo excitation of the system) in the PFO/Ir complex system. We discovered that the charges were primarily trapped by the Ir complexes. This allows for the optimization of PFO/Ir to allow for high efficiency.

 

Preferred Solution Conformer for Covalently Cross-Linked Watson-Crick DNA Base Pair

David Britt

Mentor: Dan O’Leary

Pomona College

The purpose of this study is to determine whether a preferred solution conformer exists for a covalently crosslinked Watson-Crick DNA base pair. These compounds are interesting from the standpoint of their potential ability to stabilize the DNA double-helix. Previous low temperature NMR studies of the compound yielded inconclusive data on whether a preferred conformer exists. Computational analysis also returned inconclusive results. We speculate that similar studies of a mono-deuterated analog will yield improved NMR data at low temperatures. The current synthetic objective is a deuterated analog of the purine portion of the crosslinked pair that will later be coupled to complete the molecule. We are in the process of optimizing the reaction steps preceding the target compound. Once we have synthesized a small amount of the desired compound, we will perform low temperature dynamic NMR studies in an attempt to determine the preferred solution conformer for the molecule.

 

Beyond the Stereotypes: Young Adult African Americans in Contemporary Society

Mindelyn Buford, II

Mentor: Walter Allen

University of California, Los Angeles

Today, major issues greatly affect young adult African Americans, such as the Affirmative Action debate, inadequate public schools, a declining economy, disproportionate numbers of incarcerated African Americans, declining higher education enrollment, and the ensuing presidential election. My research goal aims to gain insight into the lives of young adults from ages 16 to 26. This group, a popular pop culture topic, lacks a mainstream medium to talk about themselves outside of the Hip Hop industry. I plan to follow John Gwaltney’s research design used in the 1970s for his ethnography Drylongso, where he obtained his data through a mixture of participant observation and interviews to help dispel myths that African Americans are a pathological, dysfunctional people plagued by joblessness, drug and alcohol abuse, and unstructured families. While Gwaltney produced his ethnography in opposition to many academic works published at the time that painted an unflattering image of the African-American community, I plan to counteract the stereotypical media portrayal of the young adult female as scantily clad eye candy in rap videos and the male as a marijuana-smoking, unemployed man-child. I will offer my generation a voice in a field where they are not often heard—in academia.

 

Policing Prime-Time: Othered Offenders and Dragnet as Discipline

Dorothy Burk

Mentor: Sal Johnston

Whittier College

This paper explores Dragnet 2003 as a method of social discipline through which ‘appropriate’ attitudes toward police, criminals, and policing are modeled. Using theories of fantasy posited by Slavoj Žižek, and theories of discipline posited by Michel Foucault, the paper is centered around an analysis of the way in which the moral of the story as delivered by Ed O’Neill qua Joe Friday at the conclusion of every episode functions to illustrate a social fantasy of policing. At base, the paper undertakes to examine the relationship between fantasies and their potential use as disciplinary measures within the confines of a television cop show. The paper further explores how these fantasies might be employed as methods of social discipline; that is, what do viewers ‘learn’ about police, criminals, and policing from watching Dragnet, and how does this ‘knowledge’ impact the ways in which police officers and criminals are perceived and received in ‘real’ life? Further, what ideological view of police and criminals is being represented, and how is it manifested in each 60-minute episode? A combination of content and rhetorical analysis methods are used to explore the moral of each episode and identify why it is a fantasy, how it functions within the show, and what its larger social implications might be. Special attention is paid to the way in which fantasmatic morals function as ideological and disciplinary mechanisms insofar as they suggest that the viewer adopt certain social beliefs and behaviors toward cops and criminals.

 

Exploring the Psychoactive Substance Commodity System Within the San Diego-Tijuana Region: Two Nations, One Problem

Galya Button

Mentor: David Mares

University of California, San Diego

The problem of illegal drug consumption within the United States has existed for decades. In 1971, President Nixon declared a "War on Drugs," signaling the beginning of billions of dollars spent to destroy the enemy: illegal drugs. As one of the main sources of illegal drugs and their traffickers, Mexico plays a prominent role in the U.S. illegal drug market. There exists a tacit United States bias that Mexico’s role extends to the root of its domestic problem; without Mexico’s illegal drug supply, the U.S. demand would soften. The U.S.-Mexico border then symbolizes the divide upon which illegal drugs spurn an entire industry for a third world country, and social devastation for a leading developed nation. Mexico in turn blames the United States, the largest consumer of illegal drugs, for its own illegal drug consumption problem and "Colombianization," the idea that corruption related to illegal drugs will soon intensify comparable to Colombia. This paper argues that the two nations have a shared problem, and that their policies should focus on the illegal drug industry from a regional perspective. Using the psychoactive substance commodity system with respect to the San Diego-Tijuana region, Phase I shows the networks and flows within the lucrative illegal drug industry. It reveals that the illegal drug problem spans the U.S.-Mexico border and that both nations play complementary roles in fueling the problem. Phase II of this paper uses the dual-nation standpoint to critically analyze potential drug policies that focus on regional implementation. This critical analysis is crucial for significant progress in the United States’ and Mexico’s "drug problem," progress that is undeniably overdue.

 

Spelling Proficiency of Native Speakers of Spanish: A Look at the Influence of Morpheme Structures in Spelling Errors

Camille Campion

Mentor: Virginia Mann

University of California, Irvine

This study examines how native Spanish speaking children make orthographical decisions when spelling in English. English spellings have a "deep" alphabetic representation due to their use of both morphemes and phonemes, while several other languages, such as Spanish, are "shallow" alphabets that rely solely on phonemes (Singson, Mahony, & Mann, 2000). Due to issues of language difference and the written Spanish language’s absence of morpheme representations, I hypothesize that bilingual native speakers of Spanish will have poorer spelling proficiency than native speakers of English, especially in the case of derived and inflicted words. This study looks at the spelling proficiency of intermediate students (6th to 8th grade), both native speakers of English and native speakers of Spanish. The students are given a 75 word spelling test, consisting of three types of words that are 3-13 letters long: 1) words whose phonetic realization is close to its orthographic representation (i.e "shallow" like yam), 2) words containing an ambiguous segment that require a greater knowledge of orthographic conventions (i.e "deep" like strapped), 3) and words containing one or more segments which can only be partially derived through morphophonemic knowledge (i.e "irregular" like tongue). The students also receive an oral cloze test to determine how well they understand the suffixes of English. The data analysis will examine the percentage of errors in relation to word types. It is predicted that native speakers of English will perform better on "deep" and "irregular" words and have a better understanding of derived suffixes.

 

Religious Syncretism, as Related to Umbanda, in a Patagonian Community

Genevieve Carpio

Mentor: Jennifer Perry

Pomona College

Argentina is a mosaic culture that has been strongly influenced by other countries and indigenous cultures. Due to this diversity, some syncretism is to be expected. While often viewed as uniformly Catholic, the power of the church has declined, and there has been an increase in the diversity, expression, and syncretism of religious belief systems. The church’s inability to meet the people’s needs has led to the conversion of individuals from Catholicism to alternative practices. These conversions are one way that different religions meet and influence each other. I used several methods to examine the syncretism in the community’s present religions. The methods included living in Argentina for the summer, observing religious events and behavior, visiting religious sites such as grutas, conducting formal and informal interviews, and a literature review. Some key syncretism observed includes; adherence to Greenfield and Droogers "patron-client exchange model," beliefs of sickness and healing, variation in imagery and representation of the Virgin Mary, and expression through grutas and altars. For this study I focused on similarities of Christian and indigenous beliefs in relation to Umbanda, a mix of African, Catholicism, spiritism, and Native American beliefs, which might easily be considered the epitome of syncretism within religions.

 

Strongly Stable Runge-Kutta Methods

Paul Cernea

Mentor: Jared Tanner

University of California, Davis

A large class of time dependent physical problems are governed by possibly nonlinear, hyperbolic conservation laws where discontinuous solutions are prevalent. The discontinuites can either be contained in the initial data, or can spontaneously develop even for smoth initial data. The traditional methods for the approximate solution of partial differential equations involve a spacial approximation, resulting in a system of ordinary differential equations, where approximate solutions can be easily obtained through cononical solvers, such as Runge Kutta. It is well known in approximation theory that classical high order polynomial interpolation of discontinuous data introduce oscillations, and as a result, stability is lost when used in the construction of numerical schemes for hyperbolic conservation laws. Over the last two decades various spacial approximation methods have been introduced to decrease the oscillations sufficiently to regain stability. The most prevalent being the total variation diminishing (TVD) schemes. It was recently discovered that even for such TVD schemes, traditional ode solvers introduce oscillations and hence increase the total variation. A new class of ode solvers, strong stability preserving (SSP), were introduced to overcome these problems and ensure the TVD property. In this talk we will explore the ability of SSP methods to automatically estimate the error at each time step, and as a result allow adaptive step size control for decreased computational cost

 

Ultrasonic Guided Waves in Glass Plates

Victor Cervantes

Mentor: Behzad Bavarian

California State University, Northridge

In recent years, ultrasonic technology has been used in nondestructive evaluation for the purpose of flaw detection in materials. The concentration of this study was to use ultrasonic technology to generate guided waves. Prior research has shown that guided waves can be generated in metal plates. However, implementation of ultrasonic technology to monitor the integrity of glass plate glazing in buildings is what makes this study unique. The objectives of the study were to generate ultrasonic guided waves in aluminum, brass, and glass plates, use the guided waves to detect flaws in glass, and finally, design, fabricate, and test an ultrasonic transducer. A series of different tests were conducted for each of these steps. A guided wave, which traveled at a velocity of 3.05 mm/m m, was generated on a glass plate. The guided waves were successfully used to detect a break on a glass plate. A Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) comb transducer was later designed, fabricated and tested. The comb transducer was able to generate guided waves when it was soldered on to a brass plate and was excited by an electrical pulse. The transient signature that was generated by the comb transducer showed a reflection time of approximately 60 m m, which was about the same reflection time observed in the transient signature of a commercial transducer at the same distance from the edge of the brass.

 

A 40 Bits Per Second Lexeme-Based Speech Coding Scheme

Anshuman Chadha

Mentor: Cristina Lopes

University of California, Irvine

Traditional speech coding schemes handle acceptable quality speech at bit rates more than 2,400 bits per second (bps). This project is based on an extremely low bit-rate speech-coding scheme, on the order of 40 bps. In order to get such a low compression rate, all recognized speech is coded at the lexeme level (i.e. the words), with low-level elements such as tone and frequency completely disregarded. The lexemes are coded using a probability-based compression mechanism. This coded data is then decoded and decompressed using text-to-speech. Results from our experiment show that, while there were errors introduced by the speech recognition engine, the human listeners were often able to recover from such errors by inferring what was trying to be expressed. Further, we observed that errors made by the human listeners in recognizing the synthesized samples were highly dependent on the content of the samples, especially with regard to the familiarity the listeners had with the topic of the samples. Applications of this method include speech storage and communications over low-capacity channels.

 

The Effects of Progestin on the Hormone Receptor Content of Human Endometrial Explants

Dorothy Chan

Mentor: Juan Felix

University of Southern California

Anti-progestin mifepristone has been recently demonstrated to diminish breakthrough bleeding in users of progestin contraceptives. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of cultured endometrial explants to study the effects of mifepristone and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA, progestin) on endometrial sex steroid receptors. To address this question, I used endometrium obtained by biopsy during the secretory phase, and cultured it for 72 hr in the absence and presence of MPA, mifepristone, and MPA plus mifepristone, respectively. Explants were then frozen for total RNA isolation or fixed in 10% formalin for morphological and immunohistochemical analysis. I found that the tissue showed little or no necrosis up to 72 hr of culture on H & E staining. Immunostaining with anti-Ki67 antibody, a proliferation marker further demonstrated the viability of the explants. The expression changes of hormone receptor following the treatment were confirmed by both RT-PCR and immunohistochemical analysis. From this study I learned that the tissue viability of endometrial explants can be maintained in culture up to 72 hr. The explants culture can be used to directly evaluate the induction or repression of gene products in the human endometrium by progestins and anti-progestins. The culture of endometrial explants offers the advantage of maintaining the tissue in a similar environment as in situ. Several studies based on the culture of explants or isolated endometrial cells have greatly enriched our knowledge on the effect of ovarian steroids on endometrium.

 

Localization of the Poplar Orthologs of STM, KNAT1 and BLR in Arabidopsis

Diana Cheng

Mentors: Andrew Groover, University of California, Davis; Robert Schmidt, University of California, San Diego

The Arabidopsis thaliana genes Shoot Meristemless (STM), Knotted-Like Arabidopsis Thaliana (KNAT1) and Bellringer (BLR) regulate the function of the shoot apical meristem. In this study, we look at the role of the poplar orthologs of STM, KNAT1 and BLR in regulating the function of another plant meristem tissue, the vascular cambium. Transgenic poplar over-expression mutants of knat1 and blr were made using a 35S viral promoter. BLR over-expression poplar mutants have larger, rounder leaves, bulges on the lower nodal regions and are stunted. Three different KNAT1 over-expression mutant phenotypes are observed: crinkled leaves, lobed leaves and the third has both crinkled and lobed leaves as well as veins outlining the border of the leaf and highly flexible stem. To verify the presence of STM, KNAT1 and BLR Reverse transcriptase-PCR was done on four different tissues, the shoot apex, node (where the leaf is attached to the stem), internode (the region of stem between two nodes) and leaf. STM and KNAT1 expression are positive in all tissues, except the leaf tissue. To look at more specific expression of these genes, in situ hybridization was performed looking closely at lateral and axial cross-sections of young poplar nodes, internodes and apices. So far, the in situ assays are inconclusive and further studies are being pursued. The expression of the orthologs of these genes in vascular tissues is a clue that STM, KNAT1 and BLR may play important roles in wood tissue formation.

 

The Effects of Reboxetine and Increased BDNF Levels on Learning in Aged Rats—Pilot Study

Daniel Chin

Mentor: Amelia Russo-Neustadt

California State University, Los Angeles

Antidepressant medications have been shown to enhance the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brains of rats (experimental animal models for humans). BDNF is thought to enhance the survival and function of neurons specialized for learning and memory (the hippocampus). Both the ability to learn new tasks and neuronal survival decrease with age. The spatial learning ability of aged rats was tested using the Morris Water Maze after injections of an antidepressant to hopefully improve performance and increase BDNF levels. Anti-depressant medications have been proven to be a viable treatment for behavioral symptoms of depression and some neurodegenerative diseases. The following experiment conducted was a pilot study to test the effects of reboxetine on the BDNF levels of three Fischer 334 aged rats compared to three of the same type of rats injected with saline. Reboxetine was used due to the fact that this antidepressant is highly specific for an important neurotransmitter, norepinephrine. The results of this study did not indicate any significant improvement in the reboextine-treated rats’ ability to learn. Both the saline and reboxetine groups spent the same time to find the hidden platform and in some cases, the reboxetine group took longer.

 

Improved Modeling of Electrical Substation Equipment for Seismic Loads

Jeff Ching

Mentor: Gerard Pardoen

University of California, Irvine

Electrical substation equipment, such as high voltage transformers, disconnect switches, and bushings, are fundamental elements for the consistent and reliable operation of a power grid. Any seismic damage to electrical substation components will usually interfere with the operation of the power system. In recent earthquakes it has been shown that many classes of bushings and voltage transformers are vulnerable to seismic damage. Because the dynamic characteristics of many classes of substation equipment are not well known, an experimental program was developed to determine the dynamic properties of the most critical components. A logical step for developing seismic mitigation strategies is to first assess the seismic performance of major substation components. Because assumptions made in the analytical modeling of electrical substation components can overlook important dynamic characteristics of the structure, the project will experimentally derive the modal parameters of electrical substation components. Experimental results from impact hammer tests performed on the 230-kV bushings attached to Transformer T1377 have revealed the feasibility of experimental modal analysis on electrical substation components.

 

Downstream Cascade of the SUPERMAN Gene of the Arabidopsis thaliana Floral Meristem

Jenny Chow

Mentor: Toshiro Ito

California Institute of Technology

The SUPERMAN gene (SUP) is responsible for spatial development between stamen and carpel boundaries of the Arabidopsis thaliana floral meristem. The SUP gene codes for a transcription factor, and it is thought to regulate many other genes that are involved in cell proliferation in flower development. To reveal the downstream cascades of SUP, the seeds from a transgenic plant for inducible SUP switch (line 8-34) were mutagenized, and enhancer or suppressor mutants of line 8-34 were screened. We screened several hundred of M2 (second-generation mutant) lines and found novel mutants. One of the mutants, A10-1 produced no flowers upon SUP induction and sometimes showed fasciated stems. To map the responsible mutations, the M3 line of A10-1 was crossbred with the original 8-34 line in which a new generation (F1 lines) was obtained. Out of x F2 plants, 56 of the mutants containing the mutant phenotype (fasciated stems) were carefully selected for PCR-based mapping with 20 different primers. Out of the 20 only three of the primers (F5J5, F14123 and m235) revealed a linkage to a site of the chromosome. All three were located in sites specific to two chromosomes: chromosome 1 and 5. By determining the loci of this gene, the connection of the SUP to the genes it regulates or interacts can be more specifically examined. Also, this gene serves as another reference point on the genetic map for future for identification of new genes.

 

Webs of Resistance: How Non-Governmental Organizations of San Cristóbal Work Against Free Trade Treaties Through Networks

Sarah Church, University of California, Los Angeles

Mentor: William Stone, School for International Training

The non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of San Cristóbal de Las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico, are doing significant work against free-trade projects, such as the Puebla-Panamá Plan. Their use of networks and coalition-building amplifies and intensifies their efforts. This paper begins by outlining the unique context within which these groups work, politically, historically and geographically. It then explores the ways in which the organizations identify the needs of the communities that surround the city, how they collaborate with concerned community groups to develop materials, and how they lead workshops tailored to community desires and existing level of knowledge on the trade policies and mega-projects that effect rural life. Next, the paper shifts to a discussion of the networks that form between the NGOs, explaining how they strengthen ties between grassroots struggles and international movements, while developing the capacity and scale of the local NGOs themselves. Finally, the paper describes the challenges of coalition-building between NGOs and the groups representing social movements, such as the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, and the ways that these parallel efforts can benefit each other. Information was gathered on these topics through personal interviews conducted between November 15 and December 11, 2002 with 12 individuals from eight different San Cristóbal organizations and community groups, as well as from books, fliers, articles, reports, and cassette tapes from the organizations themselves. Information was also collected at a Chiapas-wide conference. Official documents of the Inter-American Development Bank describing the free-trade agreements, Internet resources, and academic articles were also referenced for background.

 

An Electroosmotic Micromixer

Diana Ciontea

Mentor: Yanting Zhang

University of California, Santa Barbara

An Electroosmotic Micromixer is a MicroElectroMechanical Systems device used to mix small amounts of fluid in a short period of time. The device is etched using photolithography onto a silicon wafer. It is then modified using a Focused Ion Beam (FIB). Finally, a glass coverslip is anodically bonded over the device to keep the fluids within the channels. The device mixes these fluids by means of electroosmosis, using differences in voltage to move and mix charged particles. Our micromixer allows for positive and negative voltages, in equal but varying placement around the mixing chamber, to influence the fluid movement. My research consisted of physically modifying the fabricated micromixers using the FIB, attempting the bonding process in order to test the mixers, and optimizing the mixer design using Femlab, a mutliphysics software. I encountered difficulties concerning the anodic bonding of the glass coverslip to the mixer. The process uses high temperature and voltage to form a charge layer between the glass and silicon. We never achieved full bonding. However, I was able to use Femlab to simulate the mixing and optimize the design for future fabrication. The mixer could be used as part of a ‘lab on a chip’ system, which allows large and expensive testing labs to be replaced by tiny labs on silicon wafers. These labs would be inexpensive, efficient in their use of fluids to be tested and known reactants, small enough to be used anywhere, and could save time for all involved with the testing and its results.

 

Ground-penetrating Radar on Santa Cruz Island: Site SCrI-333

Marlene Cortez

Mentors: Elizabeth Ambos & Daniel Larson

California State University, Long Beach

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) data were collected on site SCrI-333, a pre-historic Chumash village, near Fraser Point on Santa Cruz Island, California. A 60 x 60 meter area within the site was surveyed in July 2002, and an additional 40 X 20 meters to the north of the 2002 area were surveyed in July 2003. Radiocarbon dating (Wilcoxon 1985) indicates that site SCrI-333 was occupied from 6,000 to 1,800 YBP (years before present), making this early site highly significant in terms of its extent and complexity. The site exhibits circular-to-oval depressions that correspond to pit houses (Wilcoxon 1985), surrounded by extensive shell midden accumulations. In the SCrI-333 setting, GPR should be able to show differences between sterile soil and shell rich middens and pit houses, as the latter should exhibit high-amplitude reflections. Over 200 individual GPR two-dimensional data profiles were analyzed for the existence of highly-reflective data zones. Analysis revealed that two distinct reflection zone areas were visible in the data. The deeper zone appeared between 1-2 meter in depth and may correspond to concentrations of whole red abalone shell. The upper half of the GPR record appears to correlate more to surficial pit house patterns. The correlation of cultural features with GPR data characteristics was compared to excavation and augering evidence collected in 2002 and 2003 (Glassow, 2003). Our work is significant as systematic correlation of highly reflective GPR data zones with cultural evidence provides archaeologists with a rapid and objective way of describing and cataloguing subsurface cultural features.

 

Sub-stellar Candidates in the rho-Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud

Allen Cox

Mentor: Susan Terebey

California State University, Los Angeles

The Ophiuchus molecular cloud is one of the closest (160 pc) star-forming regions, and it is located just above the plane of our Milky Way galaxy. Because it is a star-forming region, it has a high density of bright, young (~106 years) stellar objects. The mass of these objects puts them in categories ranging from stars, brown dwarfs (failed stars), and giant planets, similar to Jupiter. The accepted mass boundary between stars and sub-stellar objects is » 0.072 Msun (Msun = mass of the Sun) with the mass regime of about 0.02 Msun being a transitional region between giant planets and brown dwarfs. Objects in this mass regime are not well defined. Our goal is use data from the Palomar Observatory 5-meter telescope to identify sub-stellar objects in the Ophiuchus molecular cloud to compare and contrast how stars and sub-stellar object are formed. We are able to see into the optically opaque molecular cloud by using near-infrared wavelengths. The photometry data (source brightness) is compared with evolutionary tracks in various near-infrared bands. By using the resulting color-magnitude diagram, we can determine the mass and age of the sub-stellar objects. Our preliminary data show that about 15% of the objects from the Palomar data have masses below 0.04 Msun.

 

Confirmation of Variability in the SU Uma-type Dwarf Nova V1504 Cyg

Ian Crossfield

Mentor: Tammy Smecker-Hane

University of California, Irvine

The bright night sky and poor air quality pose a significant challenge to observational astronomy at the UC Irvine Observatory. This project successfully demonstrates the ability of the observatory to perform time-resolved photometry of dim (» 14th magnitude) dwarf nova systems. Specifically, the cataclysmic variable V1504 Cyg is observed for its known periodic variability. The software package IRAF is used to calibrate the images and to measure the flux from the target and several reference stars with aperture photometry. These same stars are then used to compute differential photometry of the target. A statistical test is employed to empirically determine the presence of variability in the target star. Finally, a theoretical light curve is fit to the data in an effort to confirm the known orbital period of the system. The data match the published values, and exhibit the viability of a more detailed study of cataclysmic variables.

 

Synthesis of 2-alkylamino-3-alkylthio-1,4-naphthoquinone

Heather Crump

Mentor: Tetsuo Otsuki

Occidental College

Biologically active quinone derivatives synthesized from the basic 1,4-naphthoquinone structure have been known to benefit various aspects of medicine including anti-cancer and anti-bacterial pharmaceuticals. When exploring the reactivity of 2-bromo-3-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone with alkylamine and alkythiolate anions, we find that the reactivity of the 2- and 3- positions varies depending upon reaction condition, whether thermal or photochemical, and is greatly effected by the bulkiness of an existing or an incoming group. The chemoselectivity of this substitution reaction enables the selective introduction of substituents at desired locations, specifically at the 2- and 3- positions. In the reaction of 2-bromo-3-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone with an alklyamine, as preliminary studies suggested, the incoming alkylamino group exclusively replaces the 3-methoxy group, not the 2-bromo group. The 2-bromo group is progressively substituted with an alkylthiolate anion. This tandem substitution process allows us to synthesize 2-alkylamino-3-alkylthio-1,4-naphthoquinones in satisfactory yields. Detailed mechanisms of the reactions remain unclear. However, we believe the first substitution to involve an electron transfer and the second substitution to be a Michael Addition reaction. Further studies will reveal a more concrete mechanism scheme.

 

Drosophila Death by Tetracycline: Why Does It Occur?

Megan Cudog

Mentor: Benjamin Aronson

University of Redlands

The antibiotic tetracycline plays an ever-present role in today’s society. Tetracycline interacts with and disrupts the function of the prokaryotic ribosome. When Drosophila melanogaster, a eukaryote, was exposed to tetracycline, toxic effects were observed. Toxicity was measured by developmental delay, developmental defects, and mortality. The dose response to tetracycline was determined. At 30 micrograms/milliliter approximately one-half of the developing flies were killed. It appears that environmental and genotypic factors have significant influence on the degree of tetracycline toxicity. Amino acids added to the diet as well as elevated temperature enhanced the toxicity. Adding abundant live yeast to the diet decreased the toxicity. Twenty strains were surveyed for their sensitivity to tetracycline and one showed significantly enhanced sensitivity. The basis of the toxicity and for the modulation of the toxicity is currently being examined.

 

Assay to Locate the Presence of Starch Branching Enzymes in Arabidopsis thaliana

Christine Curtis

Mentor: Susan Blauth

University of Redlands

Plants use a number of enzymes in order to convert glucose into starch for energy storage, which produces chains of glucose. One type of enzyme, starch branching enzymes (SBEs) create branching points in the chains of glucose. Arabidopsis thaliana contains three type 2 SBEs: SBE2.1, SBE2.2, and SBE2.3. In order to study how these enzymes differ in function, mutants lacking one type of SBE2 must be found. Mutants were obtained with known T-DNA insertions in their gene sequences for each of the three genes. However, we need to determine the activity of each of the SBE proteins in each mutant. To test the activity of these proteins, a native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was used, followed by an assay designed to visualize active SBE proteins. To maximize the assay, different incubation times ranging from 4 hr to overnight were conducted. Also, different amounts of proteins added to the native PAGE as well as different sizes of gels were tested. There were problems, though, with protein instability due to multiple freezing and thawing cycles. Our control, corn, had variable band strength throughout the trials, as well as low resolution. The Arabidopsis thaliana SBEs could never be visualized. Changes, including modifications in terms of the storage of proteins may need to be made to produce optimal results.

 

Carbon Nanotube Field Emitters for Miniature Mass Spectrometers and Nanoklystrons

Wei Lien Dang

Mentor: Axel Scherer

California Institute of Technology

Since their discovery, carbon nanotubes have been recognized as one of the most promising field emitters. Research regarding carbon nanotube-based field emitters has consistently demonstrated lower emission voltages, less susceptibility to tip breakdown, longer operational lifetimes, and high emission current densities. This effort focuses on 1) fabrication of density-optimized, carbon nanotubes with monolithic integrated extraction grids; 2) examination of the field emission characteristics of these structures; and 3) integration of these field emitters with prototype compact gas ionizers for mass spectroscopy and as electron sources for nanoklystrons-monolithic micro-tube sources for submillimeter-wave (300 gigahertz to 3 terahertz frequencies) power generation being developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Both single-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotubes will be tested for field emission, including arrays grown at the California Institute of Technology and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The density of tube distribution needed to overcome the screening problem will be optimized for efficient field emission. A monolithic process that is conducive for post-nanotube fabrication is being developed to integrate an extraction grid to reduce the threshold voltage of emission. This project will result in a low operating voltage, high-current density cold cathode for the next generation of spectrometers and submillimeter wave power sources.

 

Composition and Mineralogy of the Monterey Formation of Coastal Orange County, California, Reflects Tectonic and Burial History

Brian David, Cerritos College

Mentors: Richard Behl, California State University, Long Beach; James Repka, Saddleback Community College

The middle to upper Miocene (17-5 Ma) Monterey Formation was deposited along the California margin in a range of marine basin, slope, bank top, and shelf settings. It consists of highly siliceous sedimentary rocks derived largely from the tests and frustules of diatoms and radiolarians, plus fine detrital components. Lithologies include diatomite, diatomaceous and siliceous mudrocks, porcelanite, chert, and calcareous and phosphatic mudrocks. With increased time and temperature due to burial - biogenic opal-A converts to opal-CT and then to diagenetic quartz. In coastal Orange County, between Newport Back Bay (NBB), Crystal Cove State Park (CCSP), and Pelican Hill, x-ray diffraction reveals a prograde transition between silica phases from the northwest to southeast. The transition zone appears in a fan shape with rocks from NBB containing opal-A, rocks from Corona Del Mar and the Pelican Hill area having opal-CT, and coastal rocks in CCSP containing diagenetic quartz. Further subdivision of the opal-CT zone is made on the basis of lattice d-spacing of opal-CT, reflecting a change from a less to more ordered crystalline structure thus revealing the burial and uplift history. Results of this study indicate that CCSP was uplifted from greater depths than NBB during post depositional tectonic shortening. Further refinement of the silica phase zones and burial history will require future determination of the concentration of silica and detritus in the rocks because these variables influence the time and temperature of silica phase transitions.

 

The Effects of Individual Socioeconomic Status on Individual Health Status Due to the Effects of the Globalized Hourglass Economy

Jesse-Ericho David

Mentors: Gordon Abra & Linda Maram

California State University Long Beach

Does individual socioeconomic status affect individual health status? The answer to this question seems to be more and more evident in today’s globalized economy, which has created an hourglass economy in the United States. This hourglass economy is seeing a significant loss in the number of middle class occupations thus polarizing individuals in today’s population into two distinct classes—individuals comprising the modern day bourgeoisie (those polarized in the upper class occupations) and individuals comprising the modern day proletariat (those whom have lost their middle class standing to the hourglass economy and have added to the number of the working class). In this study, I hypothesize that individual SES, which defines the individual’s class standing, plays a very active role in influencing the state of their individual health status. I believe due to the dissolve of today’s number of middle class individuals through the hourglass economy the individual numbers in the two distinct classes have grown. These two classes were defined by Karl Marx in the past, and the reemergence of these due to the polarization of individuals has led to unequal distribution of healthcare, thus affecting individual health status and finding its roots in class conflict.

 

The Role of NADH Oxidase in the Oxidative Stress Response of Pyrococcus furiosus

Courtney Davis

Mentor: E.J. Crane

Pomona College

Pyrococcus is a genus of anaerobic hyperthermophiles with an optimal growth temperature of 100 ° C. There is growing evidence in the literature for the presence of a multienzyme oxidative stress response system in this organism, including the discovery of an NADH oxidase homologue (NOX1) in its genome. We have cloned and overexpressed this enzyme in an Escherichia coli host and purified the enzyme to homogeneity. NOX1 shows a novel water and peroxide-producing NADH oxidase activity (1-2NADH + O2 ® 1-2NAD+ + H2O2 + H2O), and in reductive titrations, we have shown that the enzyme stabilizes oxygen reactive intermediates similar to those seen with a mesophilic NADH oxidase. In spite of its oxidase activity, the relatively slow kcat and lack of oxygen saturation at reasonable oxygen concentrations leads us to suspect that this enzyme may play a role in Pyrococcus other than acting as an oxidase. The enzyme shows a small but significant dithionitrobenzoic acid reductase activity under anaerobic conditions, suggesting that it may act as a disulfide reductase. We are currently characterizing this disulfide reductase activity. In addition, we are looking at the levels of oxidase activity present in extracts of P. furiosus.

 

Cloning the Lux Operon: Improving the Vibrio Library

James Davis

Mentor: Caryl Forristall

University of Redlands

Students in the molecular genetics labs who performed cloning experiments were experiencing difficulty in creating enough E. coli colonies transformed with pGEM vector plus Vibrio fisheri genomic insert to obtain high enough probability of cloning the lux operon (~300 white colonies). The low efficiency of transformation with vector plus insert was due to self-ligation of pGEM cut with Sal I and the preferred transformation affinity thereof. To eliminate self-ligation of the vector, two protocol variations were developed. One involved digesting vector and genome with BamH I to create overhang ends, followed by a second digest of vector with Hinc II to create incompatible sticky ends, and the remaining overhang after ligation being filled in by Klenow reaction. The other involved T-A cloning, using T-tailed pGEM and inserts A-tailed by Taq polymerase in the presence of dATP. Results showed that neither protocol was able to improve the white to blue colony ratio. Analysis of controls revealed that the Hinc II enzyme was cutting incompletely, most likely due to expiration, and that the genomic samples may have been contaminated by degradive DNases. Though protocols showed some promising results, the experiments must be repeated with more purified samples and new enzyme to produce sufficient proof of improved transformation efficiency.

 

Computational Modeling and Evolution of Biological Networks

Anastasia Deckard, California State University, Fullerton

Mentor: Herbert Sauro, Keck Graduate Institute

The program EvoBioNet was developed to evolve networks with the capability to perform simple mathematical computations. In the future the program will be used to develop novel networks and to investigate the evolution of regulated networks. To model a biological network of chemical reactions, the substances are considered "nodes" with an attribute for concentration and the reactions between the substances are considered "connections" with attributes for rate constants and reaction types. To create a large variation of network topologies, the connections are made of random connection types and rate constants. The in silico evolution begins by randomly generating a population of networks to provide genetic variability. The topology describes a set of differential equations representing the genotype of a network, which is translated to a phenotype using a 4th order Runge-Kutta method. The network’s phenotype determines its ability to survive, as tested by subjecting it to different input values and checking its output. If the network cannot reach steady state, it is immediately removed from the population. If the network reaches steady state, its ability to match target values (e.g. square root) is the measure of the network’s fitness. Networks with high fitness scores thrive at the expense of less fit individuals, which are removed from the population. The surviving networks are cloned or bred, and the offspring are randomly mutated. The survivors remain in the population to compete against their offspring in subsequent generations. The program is currently running as it undergoes optimization trials.

 

Contributions of Auditory and Visual Cues to Speech Perception in Normal Hearing and Cochlear Implant Listeners

Sheetal Desai

Mentors: Ginger Stickney & Fan-Gang Zeng

University of California, Irvine

The cochlear implant is a device that electrically stimulates the auditory nerve to restore hearing to people with severe hearing loss. It is well known that both auditory and visual cortices are involved in speech perception. Cochlear implant listeners’ prior dependence on lipreading may cause them to rely more heavily on visual images to understand speech. In this study, we evaluated normal hearing and cochlear implant listeners’ bias for auditory or visual cues using the McGurk Effect. In this task, the perceptual integration of mismatched auditory and visual cues can produce the perception of a novel sound in normal hearing listeners. We evaluated the McGurk Effect in the context of categorical perception in which an animated face mouthing /ba/, /da/ or /ga/ was paired with a sound from an 11-token continuum from /ba/ to /ga/. The continuum was created by varying the frequency of the F2 or F3 formants, which are important to speech perception. Research has shown that hearing-impaired individuals may be more biased than normal hearing listeners toward the visual cue for stop consonants. In our study, normal hearing listeners showed clear phoneme categories, whereas cochlear implant listeners had great variability, lower overall levels of performance, and no clear boundaries between phonemes. In addition, cochlear implant listeners showed a stronger McGurk Effect than normal hearing listeners in conditions where auditory /ba/ sounds were paired with a visual /ga/ face. This suggests that less salient visemes paired with mismatch and degraded acoustic information can lead to stronger perceptual illusions in cochlear implant listeners.

 

Adaptively Shifted Mollifiers

Long Do

Mentor: Jared Tanner

University of California, Davis

We address a problem in numerical analysis (the part of mathematics dealing with calculations with a computer). Our project has direct applications in image processing. We investigate the recovery of piecewise smooth data from a function’s Fourier projection. Fourier series are an integral part of scientific computing as they give precise approximations of functions with few terms. However, at discontinuities, they result in ringing, the classical Gibbs Phenomenon. Filters have been widely used to fix this error, but another problem arises—blurring. We seek to minimize this blurring at the discontinuities by introducing a new class of adaptive complex-valued filters resulting in a sharp resolution of discontinuities. We include a mathematical analysis of the problem and numerical results verifying them.

 

Rapid Variation of Field Strength During a Geomagnetic Polarity Reversal

Paula Dold

Mentor: Scott Bogue

Occidental College

New paleomagnetic results show that the ancient magnetic field intensity changed from 4.5 to 8 m T during the cooling of a five meter thick lava flow erupted during a geomagnetic reversal 16.2 million years ago. The lava flow occurs near the base of a thick sequence of flows exposed in the Sheep Creek Range, north central Nevada. Earlier study on samples collected in a vertical profile through the flow showed that the top of the flow was baked and remagnetized by overlying lavas. Samples from just below this level and near the flow base were cooled and magnetized first. Samples from the flow interior cooled and magnetized later, after the field direction had changed 80° . We have documented an identical pattern in paleointensities determined from the same samples using a 15 step double-heating experiment. Upper and lower samples yielded ancient field intensities of 6.7-8 m T; those from the flow interior yielded ancient field intensities of 4.5-5 m T. It therefore appears that the field intensity varied from ~ 8m T to ~ 5m T and then back to ~ 8m T as the reversing field rapidly changed direction.

 

Cenozoic Faulting in Knight Inlet: Preliminary Results

Tina Dura

Mentor: Margi Rusmore

Occidental College

New field observations on Knight Inlet, British Columbia, show that extensive Miocene faulting in the western and "bends" area of the inlet are responsible for anomalies found there in the cooling ages of rocks. Previous data show a clear pattern of increasing cooling ages, with anomalies in the western and "bends" part of the inlet. A high concentration of brittle faulting is responsible for the age anomalies in the west while a population of shallow faults creates the inconsistency in "the bends." In this study, 251 faults were recorded and divided into two populations of northeast and southwest striking faults and northwest and southeast striking faults. These faults were generally steep, of small scale, and had strike slip motion. However, size, motion, and population show no pattern with respect to distribution. A simply higher concentration of faulting causes the cooling age anomalies in the west as 81% of the faults recorded occurred there. The dip of the faults was also significant because a subset of 19 shallow faults were found among the dominantly steep populations. When these shallow faults were isolated and mapped, all but four were in "the bends" area of the inlet. Therefore, their disruption of the topography can be attributed to the anomalies in cooling ages found in "the bends." This research is ongoing and will be supplemented by magmatic studies that will show relative age and orientation of the inlet while faulting occurred.

 

Mechanism of Inhibition of IL6 Signaling by the Microbial Product Madindoline

Amirpasha Ehsan

Mentor: John Krolewski

University of California, Irvine

IL6 molecular signaling regulates various physiological processes including puberty, wound healing, immune response, and skeletal development. IL6 is a pleiotropic cytokine, which transduces signals through a membrane glycoprotein, gp130, via an intracellular JAK/STAT signal transduction pathway. Aberrant IL6 signaling is reported to be involved in cancer cachexia, Castleman’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, hypercalcemia, and multiple myeloma. Therefore, an inhibitor of IL6 signaling can be a potential therapeutic agent against these diseases. Madindoline is essentially a metabolite of the bacteria Streptomyces nitrosporeus. Madindoline can specifically inhibit IL6 and IL11 signaling but not IL2, IL4, IL8 or ILF signaling. IL6 and IL11 signal via gp130 homodimer, while ILF signals via a LIFR-gp130 heterodimer. It is also known that the epitome required for homodimerization is different from that required for heterodimerization. It is possible that madindoline exerts its inhibitory effect on IL6 signaling by interfering with gp130 homodimer formation. We present evidence that a purified extracellular domain of gp130 binds to madindoline directly. This binding can be inhibited by competition with free madindoline. We have also mapped a portion of the molecule that is required for binding.

 

Why Leaves Turn Red: The Role of Anthocyanin in Leaves of a Chaparral Shrub

Danae Evans

Mentor: Stephen Davis

Pepperdine University

Malosma laurina is a dominant plant species found in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California. Leaves of this species turned red during a severe drought in winter 2002 where rainfall was the lowest in recorded history (103 mm for the season of 2001-2002). We hypothesized that severe water stress was contributing to the reddening of leaves, and the pigment anthocyanin was produced to serve a photoprotective function. To test these hypotheses, we measured water potential (Y x), dark-adapted leaf fluorescence (Fv/Fm), red:green reflectance index, and recovery of leaf fluorescence after exposure to a 60 minute high light treatment (2400 m mol m-2 s-1) in situ. Measurements were made over 8 months on red and green plants experiencing drought at a coastal site (Malibu), red and green plants experiencing drought at an inland site (Cold Creek), and green irrigated plants as a control. Data revealed that M. laurina was indeed experiencing water stress (minimum seasonal y of -2.0 to -3.2 MPa), and this stress could possibly be connected to the observed reddening (mean reflectance index of 2.00 vs. 0.599 for green controls). Regreening of red leaves after the onset of fall rains was consistent with this interpretation. Data did not support the hypothesis of anthocyanin playing a photoprotective role within the leaves of M. laurina. (Fv/Fm of red leaves recovered more slowly compared to green leaves.) Our findings suggest that leaves that turn red under stress behave differently than red and green leaves of senescent plants as previously reported in the literature.

 

Climbing Mount Olympus: The Intellectual, Moral, and Spiritual Dimensions of the Heroic Dream

Elizabeth Evans

Mentor: Damian Stocking

Occidental College

Throughout the centuries the heroic ideal has changed—from the Greek Olympians to present day conceptions of what constitutes a heroic life. This research focuses on the search for a new definition of heroism, based on living a meaningful life. By comparing heroic ideals from the Classics to contemporary literature and ideals, I was able to discover several aspects of what inspires people to become heroes and how people make choices in their everyday lives to reflect their true moral, intellectual, and spiritual beliefs. Ultimately, my research uncovered my personal view of the meaningful, heroic life. During the 2003 research summer at Occidental College, I researched and wrote my first novel entitled "Climbing Mount Olympus," which integrated my heroic inferences from my summer research to my life experience of fracturing my spine while training for the Olympics in Switzerland.

 

Exploring the Relationship Between Bacterial Motility and Type II Protein Secretion in Escherichia coli

Heather Evans

Mentor: Donna Marykwas

California State University, Long Beach

 

The bacterial flagellar motor protein, FliM, interacts with the General Secretory Pathway protein, GspE, in the yeast two-hybrid system for detecting protein-protein interactions. FliM is required for assembly of flagella, which (excluding P and L rings) are assembled via a dedicated type III secretion system. The role of the General Secretory Pathway (type II secretion) in E. coli motility is not known. Interestingly, GspE is one of three homologous proteins (GspE, YggR, HofB) encoded by the E. coli chromosomal genome. To test the role of the interaction between FliM and GspE (or GspE homologues), we have constructed isogenic E. coli strains bearing single gene deletions (gspE, hofB, yggR), double deletions (gspE hofB, gspE yggR, hofB yggR), and the triple deletion (gspE hofB yggR). All of the deletion strains are still motile, suggesting these proteins are not required for motility. However, some strains display hypermotility. Further testing must be done to determine the basis for the hypermotility (and the roles of FliM, GspE, HofB, and YggR) in these strains.

 

African Americans and Educational Attainment: Which Factors from 5th to 12th Grade Influence Educational Attainment at Age 24?

Oluwatope Fashola

Mentor: Tracy Harachi

University of Washington

This project explores African-American educational attainment as it is affected by school bonding and school rewards. The analysis sample consists of 195 African-American and 372 White urban students; within both ethnic groups 51% are male and 49% are female. Bonding to school and perceived rewards from school are used to predict educational attainment at age 24. The analysis sample has been obtained from the Seattle Social Development Project (SSDP) longitudinal study, which was started in 1981 by Principal Investigators, Drs. J.D. Hawkins and R. F. Catalano. The SSDP has interviewed a cohort of more than 800 youth annually since elementary school, and is presently collecting age 27 data. The original intent of the study was to test strategies for reducing childhood risk factors for school failure, drug abuse, and delinquency. Subsequently, these data have been used to inform the field about the etiology of adolescent problem behavior. This presentation examines school bonding and school rewards at 5th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grades and educational attainment at age 24 among African-American and White students. The methods used to analyze the data include descriptive statistics, correlations, and multiple regressions. Preliminary findings suggest that earlier (5th grade) school factors affect African Americans in their educational attainment and later factors predict White students’ educational attainment.

 

Neural Processing of Pitch and Rhythm: An fMRI Study

Paul Fillmore

Mentor: Gregory Hickok

University of California, Irvine

In studying music, it is useful to begin by studying its components individually. Two of the most vital components of music are pitch and rhythm, and we designed an fMRI experiment to ascertain what locations in the brain are devoted to processing pitch and rhythm. More specifically, we looked at regions involved in the processing of variation in pitch and rhythm, as neither pitch nor rhythm can be fully removed within the context of music. We found that pitch variation activated regions in and anterior to primary auditory cortex, bilaterally, with a slight right hemisphere bias. Lesser medial activations were also observed in occipital, parietal, and frontal lobes. Rhythm variation did not activate any focal areas, in auditory cortex or otherwise. The largest clusters seen were in the inferior frontal gyrus, with a slight left hemisphere bias.

 

Simulating LIGO’s Input Optics

Tiffany Findley

Mentor: Sanichiro Yoshida

Southeastern Louisiana University

LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) uses a Michelson interferometer consisting of suspended optics to detect gravitational waves. The LIGO Laboratory at California Institute of Technology is building a computer simulation (end-to-end, e2e) of the detector to assist in determining the efficiency of planned upgrades and expedite troubleshooting for current problems. Upon completion, the LIGO simulator will be able to simulate the entire detector accurately for a wide range of initial conditions. Currently the LIGO simulator consists of a few programs that simulate individual components of the interferometer. We used e2e to create a preliminary simulator of the Input Optics (IO), including the Steering Mirror and the Mode Matching Telescope chain. This required properly calibrated Small Optics Suspension (SOS) and Large Optics Suspension (LOS) boxes. Realistic table motion, which depends on the optic’s location and orientation on the table, had to be provided to the suspension point. A realistic input data file was created using the positioning sensor signal from the LIGO’s data acquisition channels and a theoretical transfer function. Comparing the response of the simulator due to the input file with the concurrent signal from data acquisition channel validated the LOS and SOS boxes. Using the LOS and SOS boxes, we are simulating IO to characterize the IO beam to the interferometer. Preliminary results of the IO simulation will be discussed

 

Reflections of the Bodhisattva: an Exploration into Gandharan Art as an Exemplification of Buddhist Philosophy

Jenifer Fleming

Mentors: Paul Kjellberg & Ria O’Foghludha

Whittier College

Gandharan art represents the merger of Hellenistic form with Buddhist Indian ideology. The Bodhisattva, an ideal Buddhist figure prominent in Gandharan sculpture, also represents the merger of Western methods and Indian thought. Using two Buddhist texts, the Heart and Diamond sutras, I will explore the characteristics of the Bodhisattva and analyze how they are represented through the Bodhisattva figure housed at the Norton Simon Museum of Art in Pasadena, California.

 

Design of Buoyancy Component for Micromachined Robot Fish

Ryan Florido

Mentor: Marc Madou

University of California, Irvine

The propelling fish-like micro-vehicles, also called robot fish, will present large energy savings and swim and submerge in deep water for a long period of time. Therefore, it opens up a lot of novel applications, such as clandestine reconnaissance and surveillance, as well as ‘sniffing’ for water mines and chemical warfare agent detection. We will rely on biomimetics for modeling and construction of the robot fish locomotion. Without special buoyancy organs, a fish must exert 20% of its power of movement to stay afloat at cruising speed (3 – 4 body lengths / second). For most fish, the gas bladder is a delicate organ for manipulating buoyancy. Thus, we propose here to mimic the gas bladder to control the gas volume by the electrolysis of water. Self-development of low-density compounds and self-reduction of tissue density in the body of some fish species provide us another idea of manipulating the buoyancy of robot fish by coating polymer over its body, whose buoyancy can be adjusted by the volume change of the polymer under electrical stimuli. The focus of our current research is on how to design and optimize the buoyancy for the robot fish. Presented results include comparison of these two buoyancy operation schematics, the trade-off between the buoyancy efficiency and energy consumption, as well as the relationship between buoyancy, propelling force, and shape of the fish.

 

A Nation’s Regret: Israel’s Unjustified 1982 Invasion of Lebanon

Omid Foladi

Mentor: Orna Kenan

University of California, Los Angeles

On June 6, 1982, the international community was shocked to learn that the nation of Israel had launched its first preemptive war to date. Israel, having always been on the receiving end of wars aimed at its total annihilation, decided to take measures to ensure the security of its citizens in a era tragically riddled with social unrest and political turmoil. Provoked by years of deadly clashes along Israel’s borders, Prime Minister Menachem Begin, persuaded by Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, launched an unprecedented and largely unjustified invasion of Lebanon that lasted several months and resulted in substantial financial as well as immeasurable human costs on both sides. The shockwaves left by the invasion and Sharon’s ghastly and unwarranted actions in Lebanon, especially his role in the Sabra and Shatila massacres, spanned cultures, nations, and even time itself, leaving lasting impressions on the Israeli people’s sentiments toward their own government and government officials and further damaging international relations with Israel. This study will delve into the details leading to the decisions made by Begin and Sharon in order to uncover their underlying militaristic and political ambitions, determine exactly where they crossed the line whereby making the military invasion an unjustified one, and evaluate the reactions of the Israeli people in attempting to redeem Israel from the wrongs of its government. Although 20 years have now passed, the lasting ramifications of the war continue to apply to Israel’s current state of international affairs, especially since Sharon is now Israel’s prime minister.

 

Binge Drinking Behavior Patterns in Community-College Students

Sarah Francev

Mentor: Randall Martinez

Cypress College

Recent research has shown that binge drinking within the university community is a serious public health problem confronting American colleges (Wechsler, 1998; Dowdall, 1998). Aside from recent research published studying the university and four-year-college student population, there had not yet been sufficient research applied to assess or represent the binge drinking rates of the community-college student population. This study explores the binge drinking rates of the community-college population in descriptive comparison with the binge drinking rates of the university-level students found in previous research. The purpose of this study was to describe binge drinking and associated behaviors in community-college students. It was hypothesized that community-college students’ binge drinking differed from the patterns described for university and four-year-college students. This study assessed 130 college students conveniently selected from various courses at a local community college. Eighty-two were female and 48 were male. 79.2% of the sample size were under 25 years of age. This community-college sample showed only 7.7% of the total participants were frequent binge drinkers. The majority of this sample (69.2%) were infrequent drinkers. In contrast to recent studies that reported that 44% of the university population were binge drinkers, community-college drinking levels were in descriptively lower. The current study also reports various descriptive results concerning many measured variables. It is suggested that the drinking behaviors of community-college students be assessed more completely with larger probability samples. This would lend support to the notion of important contrasts in drinking behavior between community-college and university students.

 

Effects of Male Status and Social Environment on Female Behavior in Sagebrush Lizards, Sceloporus graciosus

Stephanie Frank, Loyola Marymount University

Mentor: Emília Martins, Indiana University

Although individual Sagebrush lizards, Sceloporus graciosus, are typically territorial, they form dominance hierarchies at high densities. This study aims to determine how these hierarchies are influencing interactions between individuals. The study contains two parts: (1) determining physical attributes that predict male social status; (2) determining whether female responses to males change based on previous social experience. We first hypothesized that dominance is determined by physical features: symmetrical femoral pores, weight, and tail length; and second, responses of females with recent social experience to males would differ from females without recent social experience. The methods included taking measurements of males and establishing hierarchies by placing the lizards in high-density conditions. After determining status, dominant and subordinate males from each group were presented to females in a y-maze. Next, females were presented with chemical secretions from dominant and subordinate males in their home cages. The results from part one demonstrated that dominance status is not related to symmetry of femoral pores or tail length, but that there is a positive but nonsignificant correlation between weight and dominance. The significant results from part two included that females without recent social experience spent more time near the samples, tongue flicked more, and were more agitated than were females with recent social experience. We also found that females spent significantly more time with males possessing shorter tails than they did with males possessing longer tails. The data supported our hypothesis: weight was a predictor of dominance; and females did respond differently based on experience.

 

Low-Level Vision Algorithms for Localization, Classification and Tracking

Kevin Gabayan

Mentor: Greg Pottie

University of California, Los Angeles

Camera networks can provide images of detected objects that vary in perspective and level of obstruction. To improve the understanding of visual events, vision algorithms are implemented in a wireless sensor network. Methods were developed to fuse data from multiple cameras to improve object identification and location in the presence of obstructions. Training sets of images allow classification of objects into familiar categories. Feature-based object correspondence is used to track multiple objects throughout a sequence of images.     

 

The Fusion Music of the British Asian Dance Club and Concert Culture: Contemporary Ethnic Identity of Anglicized Second-Generation South Asians

Nalika Gajaweera

Mentor: Elizabeth Chin

Occidental College

Second-generation British Asian youth live in a time of contradiction. Coming of age in England with a South-Asian upbringing, their lifestyles access both cultures. While following traditional practices of their parent culture, they are integrating popular British youth culture into their lifestyles. Simultaneously, they have to deal with being excluded by both these cultures; challenging stereotypes produced by mainstream England while also demanding freedom from the taboos and customs stressed by their parents. Through the tense juxtaposition of these cultures, these youth are centered in a contradiction. Narratives of such disjunctive are communicated though various expressive styles evident in fusion music. Through the medium of ethnographic fieldwork, my research focused on ways in which second-generation British South Asians in London struggle to identify and juxtapose both their British and South Asian cultural identity through fusion music. Contemporary fusion music is a hybrid production derived from mixing rhythms, beats and lyrics of South Asia with other cultural musical productions of Britain such as hip-hop, ragga, jungle, ‘Drum and Base,’ and other electronic music genres. The lyrical content of the music is often politicized and British-Asian consumers and producers disturb utopian fantasies of the multicultural British society through the music by addressing personal struggles of resistance to subjugation and stereotyping. I used the musical space of the dance floor and concerts to demonstrate how the British and Asian self is juxtaposed by the varying styles of the subculture music. My fieldwork was supplemented with 31 personal interviews with young British-Asian adults in the age range of 16-25 who engaged with the music as artists and deejays and scholars as well as just music enthusiasts.

 

The Benefits of Rapid Prototyping and CNC Machining on the Mars 2009 Mars Science Laboratory

Amado Galaviz III

Mentor: Behzad Bavarian

California State University, Northridge

Machining and fabrication continue to be an important practice in the field of manufacturing engineering. Machining has a wide range of applications because of its ability to create complex parts and therefore, many advocates, from small companies doing custom work to NASA, who has unique concerns with the Mars exploration vehicles. The research conducted evaluates the process and development of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) 2009, and the benefits that Rapid Prototyping (RP) and Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) can contribute. The RP machine by 3D Systems® was run and tested several times to evaluate its capabilities and limitations. It was determined that designs and rapid prototypes for the MSL could be produced and built via CNC machining and that titanium, which is relatively difficult to machine, could be machined using the appropriate parameters and machining coolant. This would allow for specific usage of machined titanium components on the MSL and, therefore, would increase strength, rigidity, and reduce weight.

 

Business and Economic Forecasting

Aamir Gangji

Mentor: Robert King

University of Minnesota

Fast-food restaurants often use extensive promotions. If not monitored properly, such promotions can lead to cannibalization of sales for products that are not promoted. This research determines the impacts of advertising and price promotions on sales shares of promoted and non-promoted products, using data from major fast-food restaurants. I use chi-square tests to assess the significance of shifts in product sales shares associated with three advertising, two price, and one advertising -cum- price promotion. These tests were supplemented by market share analysis. The findings show that advertising promotions create a gradual increase in sales share for the promoted product, which is relatively long-lived even after the promotion period is over. There is also some cannibalization of non-promoted products. Price promotions create large spikes in sales shares of promoted products, but these are of short-term duration and are typically followed by sharp decay in sales share. There is also considerable cannibalization of non-promoted products. Finally, both types of promotion have a favorable impact on store traffic, but price promotions generate a larger increase in store traffic than advertising promotions.

 

Genetic Analysis of Migraine with Aura

Shahrouz Ganjian, University of California, Los Angeles

Mentor: Aarno Palotie, University of California, Los Angeles & University of Helsinki

The migraine phenotype is a complex neurological disease affecting many people. Because there is substantial evidence suggesting that migraines, specifically migraines with aura (MA), have been linked to region 4q24, we have performed a detailed analysis of the region by first constructing a dense linkage map using microsatellite markers and a single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) map. The selected linkage and SNP markers are then genotyped on family material to identify potential candidate genes. We have studied SNPs in and around that region using SNP analysis, polymerization chain reaction, and pyrosequencing. We needed to make a dense map of the region we were examining, but a multiallelic marker map is not sufficient for fine mapping. We, therefore, are using a biallelic SNP map. Up to now, there has never been a detailed SNP map generated on 4q24. We have specifically studied the DNA of 19 multigenerational Finnish families who, after careful examination of their medical histories, we have determined to have migraine with aura. Using the bi-allelic marker map, we found significant evidence of genetic contribution by linkage analysis from the D4S1647 region on 4q24, giving us a LOD score of 4.20 when we assumed a dominant mode of inheritance. Assuming linkage to 4q24, D4S1647 gave a LOD score of 9.502. No other studied region in the entire genome shows such statistically significant evidence of linkage.

 

Big Brother Africa: The Fusion of Cultures Through Reality Television

Sadath Garcia

Mentor: Kelly Hankin

University of Redlands

Despite the fact that a majority of the films and television shows we see are adapted from literature, the academic work around adaptations has, until only recently, remained quite jejune. When George Orwell wrote his satiric novel, "1984," about a police state ruled by the all-knowing, all-powerful but always invisible Big Brother, he never could have imagined that years later his idea would become part of a new wave of reality television shows to entertain audiences in Europe, America, and now Africa. Never in the history of entertainment has an entire continent been called upon to partake in an intercontinental reality television series aimed at bringing the energy and cultures of the continent to life through television. Until recently, reality television in the western world had only been characterized as debased, superficial, and ironically unreal. Looking at the different ways in which "Big Brother" has been adapted, I seek to examine how the reality television show soon became an unofficial part of what South African president Thabo Mbeki coined as the "African Renaissance," or rebirth of a united Africa. What are the cultural implications when 12 individuals are systematically selected based on their regional, colonial, tribal, and urban backgrounds to serve as representatives and flag bearers of the countries from which they come? This paper examines to what extent the adaptation of "Big Brother" in Africa has provided Africans with a more real and unifying perspective on their neighbors or if this cross-cultural adaptation continues to mask the realities of Africa in the 21st-century.

 

Post-Exercise Lactate Clearance in Horses

Yanine Garcia-Quezada

Mentor: Steven Wickler

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Lactic acid build-up post exercise is important because it can hinder the athletic capacity of a horse. Lactic acid can cause sore muscles and limit the ability for a horse to reach the maximum potential of performance. As a result economic loses could result. Increasing the rate at which lactic acid clears from a horse’s system will be beneficial for horse owners because effective training and thus the horse’s production can be limited by lactic acid. The purpose of this research was to determine how quickly lactic acid was removed from horses of different athletic capacities. Three horses were exercised on a treadmill until the horse could no longer keep its position on the treadmill and then the treadmill was stopped. Blood lactate samples were collected at rest, post gallop phase, and at 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 min post exercise. Blood samples were analyzed with a hand held Accusport and with SIGMA diagnostics kit that required a spectrophotometer. Data analyzing took place in the Cal Poly Equine Research Center. The results indicated that lactic acid cleared faster in animals judged more "fit" by their trainers. The results also showed that even after 80-minutes post exercise lactic acid had not completely cleared from a horse’s system. Lactic acid concentrations varied by approximately 20% when comparing the Accusport device to the spectrophotometer apparatus.

 

Design and Implementation of a Computer Vision Based Gesture Recognition System

Ryan Garver

Mentor: Matthew Turk

University of California, Santa Barbara

Hand gestures provide a unique and powerful method of controlling computer software. The first attempts at creating a system that used gestures as an input modality often relied on gloves or mounted trackers. While research in this area has been in progress for quite some time, recent improvements in computer technology along with advances in the field of computer vision (CV) make a non-intrusive hand gesture system possible. The system I have created is based around the TLib image-processing library. I set out to construct a simple and efficient interface environment allowing mouse control through pointing gestures and commands executed by simple arm movements. With the use of a stereo camera I have been able to isolate and track hand movement in a live video sequence at nearly full frame rate (approximately 30 frames per second) on a Dell consumer desktop computer. With this system a user can control a mouse with hand gestures to perform simple point and click operations, as well as to execute complex commands. This use of both pointing gestures and command gestures is what makes this project unique. By incorporating multiple statistical segmentation techniques and various probabilistic algorithms we are able to achieve a level of performance that is easy to interact with.

 

Analysis of Cytochrome C Release in Cells Experiencing Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress

Justin Gettings

Mentor: Jay Brewster

Pepperdine University

Cytochrome C is a water-soluble member of the mitochondrial electron transport chain and is normally located in the intermembrane space of the mitochondria. In recent years, release of cytochrome c into the cytosol has been shown to activate programmed cell death, or apoptosis. Release of cytochrome c can be induced by several cellular stress signals, and exposure to toxins. Upon release, cytochrome c can form a complex with Apaf (apoptosis activating factor) to induce activity of cellular proteases. The focus of this work is to examine tsBN7 hamster fibroblast cells carrying a point mutation in an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) resident protein, known as Dad 1. At the restrictive temperature (39.5 ° C), these cells activate molecular ER stress signals due to improper N-linked glycosylation activity, and activate apoptosis within 48 to 60 hr. To optimize our protocol, we first measured cytochrome c translocation from the mitochondria to the cytosol in the parental line (BHK21) undergoing UV light and staurosporine induced cellular stress. Stressed cells were lysed, fractioned into cytosolic and mitochondrial fractions, and then analyzed by immunoblot analysis. Using this protocol, we showed that at the restrictive temperature, tsBN7 cells activate cell suicide through the mitochondrial release of cytochrome c. Previous studies have shown that tsBN7 cells can survive at the restrictive temperature in the presence of cyclosporin A or cypermethrin. We show here that both of these drugs block apoptosis activation before the release of cytochrome c.

 

Identification of Putative Steroid Ligand-Induced Modulation of the Orphan Nuclear Receptor Liver Receptor Homologue-1 (LRH-1) Activity

Amir Ghaffari, University of California, Irvine

Mentor: Holly Ingraham, University of California, San Francisco

Estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer grows rapidly in the presence of estrogen. The therapies used to treat estrogen-responsive cancer target the estrogen receptor’s activity. This can be achieved either by antagonizing breast estrogen receptors or decreasing estrogen synthesis. One treatment to lower estrogen synthesis is to inhibit aromatase Cyp19 production. However, current aromatase inhibitors are not specific to breast cells and can lead to an overall decrease of estrogen levels in tissues such as bone, consequently causing osteoporosis. The ability to selectively regulate aromatase activity in breast tissue would potentially circumvent this problem. The constitutively active orphan nuclear receptor Liver Receptor Homologue-1 (LRH-1), expressed in adipose stromal cells and breast cancer cell, regulates aromatase gene expression. We have recently characterized the structure of the ligand-binding domain of LRH-1. From X ray crystallography studies, it appears that the receptor is in its active conformation and that the hydrophobic ligand-binding pocket is empty. Using computer analysis, 50 putative steroid ligands that can potentially bind to LRH-1 ligand-binding pocket were detected. We tested the activity of LRH-1 in the presence of different ligands using luciferase reporter gene linked to the LRH-1 responsive aromatase gene promoter. Using a GST pull-down assay the ligand-induced activation of LRH-1 was tested in vitro. The results of these experiments can lead
to the development of a new approach involving decreased estrogen synthesis confined to breast cancer cells by selectively modulating aromatase gene regulation by LRH-1.

 

Bioactivity of Polymer-Bound Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 on MC3T3-E1 Murine Pre-Osteoblasts

Nareg Gharibjanian

Mentor: Jay Calvert

University of California, Irvine

Polymer scaffolds seeded with osteoblast precursor cells have been studied as a possible paradigm for bone tissue engineering. Efficient healing of critical bony defects depends on the overall osteogenicity of these polymer constructs. In parallel research, growth factors such as bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) have been locally delivered to augment fracture healing and spinal fusion, and furthermore have been bound to titanium osteointegrated implants to improve bony incorporation. In order to determine the possible use of BMP for augmenting polymer osteogenicity, horseradish peroxidase (HRP), interleukin 2 (IL-2), and BMP-2 were each covalently bound to separate polymer disks constructed from poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and polycaprolactone (PCL), and then assayed for their bioactivity. MC3T3-E1 murine pre-osteoblasts were then cultured on the polymer disks bound with BMP-2 to assess the effects on osteogenesis. Bone synthesis was assayed by measuring the expression of alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin genes by PCR, alkaline phosphatase activity, and osteocalcin production by ELISA. A standard peroxidase functional assay revealed that the polymer bound HRP retained its enzymatic activity. Likewise, leukocytes cultured on polymer disks bound with IL-2 exhibited proliferation and biosynthesis expected with cytokine stimulation, indicating that the covalently-bound IL-2 maintained its bioactivity Preliminary data also showed an increase in bone production when compared with negative controls; final results are pending. These data suggest that cytokines covalently bound to polymer constructs retain their bioactivity and may be utilized to augment the osteogenicity of polymer scaffolds in bone tissue engineering.

 

Buffering of the Pleon Fluid During Ammonia Excreation in Armadillidium vulgare

Alicia Godlove

Mentor: Jonathan Wright

Pomona College

Terrestrial isopods of the sub-order Oniscidea excrete waste nitrogen primarily as gaseous ammonia. This study examined the mechanism by which Armadillidium vulgare buffers protons remaining after ammonia volatilization from the pleon surface. The mean effective buffer capacity of an endopodite was 67.1 nmoles H+ pH-1. We propose that protons are buffered by HCO3- forming carbonic acid, which dissociates in the presence of carbonic anhydrase (CA) into water and CO2. The acid-equivalents, as CO2, can then be volatilized with ammonia. Results showed that treatment with 1 mM acetazolamide, an inhibitor of CA, significantly depressed the effective buffer capacity of endopodites, thus supporting this hypothesis. Buffering may also be contributed by cuticle proteins, or by cutaneous calcium carbonate (another source of bicarbonate). Protein assays of pleon exuvia, and acid titrations, suggest that the pleon cuticle only contributes 22% of the buffering capacity of the endopodites. The increase in free calcium during acid titration of exopodites was, however, substantial (0.79 nmoles/nmole acid) indicating that cutaneous carbonate could buffer all or most of the imposed acid-load. We conclude that metabolic bicarbonate produced by endopodites, and carbonate from CaCO3 in the exopodite cuticle, play the primary role in buffering the pleon fluid during ammonia volatilization.

 

Wireless Signal Interface QPSK Modulation

Joseph Gomez

Mentor: Steve Long

University of California, Santa Barbara

In many modern applications it is desirable to use digital modulation over a wireless link with low power consumption. In particular, a Quadriphase-Shift Keying (QPSK) wireless system is being researched to optimize power consumption and bandwidth. At present, transmitter circuitry has been designed and fabricated. Completion of the data link requires construction of a demodulator, which is the focus of this research. We will investigate the design of a 4th power Phase-Locked Loop (PLL) in our demodulator so as to establish carrier synchronization between the receiver and transmitter. We will also investigate baseband data filtering by way of low pass filters to minimize the effects of noise distortion and Intersymbol Interference (ISI). Symbol synchronization and intermediate frequency down-conversion will also be analyzed.

 

Leanness In Mrf-2 Deficient Mice

Nicole Gomez, University of California, San Diego

Mentor: Robert Whitson, City of Hope Beckman Research Institute

An active area of biomedical research is concerned with identifying genetic variations that lead to the development of diabetes and obesity. Previously, studies with knockout mice, in which deletion of specific genes leads to obese or lean phenotypes, have been very useful. We are conducting similar studies on the gene for a transcription factor called Mrf-2, a member of the AT-Rich Interaction Domain (ARID) protein family. ARID transcription factors have a unique DNA binding domain and are responsible for the regulation and differentiation of gene expression in a variety of species, including humans. The normal cellular targets of Mrf-2 are currently unknown, however. In order to gain knowledge regarding the functions of this protein, we produced transgenic mice that, by homologous recombination, did not contain Mrf-2. The most striking aspect of the Mrf-2 knockouts is that they are extremely lean. The mechanisms responsible for the development of this phenotype are still unknown. Thus far, several possibilities have been investigated, including feeding and digestive defects, but none of these studies have revealed the cause of leanness. One problem with in vivo analyses is that metabolic changes in a given tissue may occur due to genetic alterations in that tissue, or as compensation for changes in other tissues. To circumvent this, we have used an in vitro adipocyte-differentiating model. We established mating-pairs using mice that were heterozygous for the Mrf-2 deletion (Mrf-2+/- mice), and pregnancies were timed from the appearance of a mating plug. Pregnant females were euthanized at 14.5 days post-coitus, and the embryos were dissected from the uteri. To determine the genotypes of the embryos, yolk sacs were digested with proteinase K, and DNA in the resulting extracts was analyzed by PCR. Embryonic tissue (excluding the head and the liver) was digested with trypsin, and the resulting cell suspension was plated in a standard growth medium. In this manner, we established multiple mouse embryo fibroblast lines (MEF’s) with each of the Mrf-2 genotypes (Mrf-2+/+, Mrf-2+/- and Mrf-2-/-). In the experimental protocol, MEF’s were treated with a hormone mixture (insulin, methyl isobutyl xanthine, and dexamethasone) that had been shown to induce adipogenesis in 8 to 12 days. Quantitative measures of adipogenesis were obtained from morphometric analyses of adipocytes, and biochemical assays of triglycerides. Our results showed that adipogenesis was significantly reduced in MEF cultures from Mrf-2-/- embryos, compared with either Mrf-2+/+ or Mrf-2+/- embryos from the same litters. These results show that Mrf-2 is essential for normal fat cell development. In subsequent experiments, RNA samples were prepared from MEF cultures 0 to 12 days after treatment with the induction medium. In order to identify the critical target genes for Mrf-2, we are analyzing these samples for the expression of adipogenic transcription factors and adipose-specific enzymes.

 

Transnational Youth Identity: A Comparative Analysis of Chicano Punks in Santa Ana, California, and Mexican Punks in Guadalajara, Mexico

Crystal Gonzalez

Mentor: Leo Chavez

University of California, Irvine

This research addresses the relationship between transnationalism, culture, power, place, and identity within the punk culture in the urban cities of Guadalajara, Mexico, and Santa Ana, California. It explores how global and local processes affect the manner in which individuals perceive their positions in the world as well as how a group of individuals develop, express and organize themselves. Punk-rock music was born in Great Britain in the early 1970s as a response to the over-commercialization and inadequacy of rock and roll. Hard and distorted, punk music extended globally and continued to represent a custom of resistance and defiance. Accordingly I became acquainted with punk culture as expressed by two different groups in distinct locales, with Chicanos in the United States and Mexicans in Mexico. The ethnographic data collected demonstrates how dynamics of the global market, national space, class, race, and access to knowledge all intertwine to produce unique identities within the phenomenon of transnational identity.        

 

Social Constructs of Hawaiian Land and Identity: Connections between Native Plants and Native People

Andraya Gough

Mentor: Elizabeth Chin

Occidental College

Using medical anthropological theories and methods, the purpose of this project was to investigate the culturally constructed models of a healthy native Hawaiian identity, primarily focusing on the use of both native and Polynesian introduced plants. I explored the relationship between the land and plants and the reconciliation of native Hawaiian social identity within a multicultural environment. I conducted a case study of my Hawaiian roommate focusing on her, her family, and their friends as well as professors, public health officials, and kalo farmers. I attended several cultural events such as the Global Public Health Conference, Federal Recognition Forum, Health and Well-being Seminars, language classes, A Taste of Honolulu, and assisted in the cultivation of a lo’i. My interactions with native Hawaiians elucidated two common themes. A strong sentiment of frustration, fueled by a historic loss of sovereignty, permeated the responses to my interview questions. However, the prevalence of an emerging pride in the progress of revitalizing a healthy Hawaiian identity demonstrated the enthusiasm of native Hawaiians in opposing their cultural subjugation. Upon analysis of the interviews and my experiences, the parallels between native plants and native people became more apparent. I formulated an Invasive Aliens Model, which summarizes these connections regarding land, diversity, globalization, competition, disease, and western attitudes. This interdisciplinary model may be used to engage scientists, social scientists, doctors, policy makers, and the Hawaiian people to find unique solutions to the problems of cultural and biodiversity loss.

 

Ubiquitination by BRCA1: A Potential Initiating Event in DNA Damage Response

Nzinga Graham, Mount St. Mary’s College

Mentor: Jeff Parvin, Harvard Medical School

BRCA1 is a breast and ovarian cancer specific tumor suppressor with a multitude of cellular functions, but how these functions cause tumor suppression is unknown. BRCA1 is known to transcriptionally regulate DNA-repair genes, but it also functions in chromatin remodeling, double-strand break repair, and ubiquitination. Here, we investigate, in a pilot project, the role of BRCA1 in transcription, ubiquitination, and double-strand break repair, in a model that correlates these three functions via the formation of ubiquitin polymers linked by an unusual isopeptide bond. Ubiquitin polymers linked by noncanonical lysine linkages, which are lysines other than Lysine-48, were synthesized and tethered to an affinity column. Whole cell extracts were tested for proteins that specifically bind to ubiquitin polymers via these noncanonically linked side chains. Also, immunofluorescence studies were conducted on nuclear foci formation after DNA damage to determine the role of BRCA1 and transcription in this repair pathway. RNAi was utilized to knockdown BRCA1 to test the localization efficiency of ?-H2AX, the first known signal in DNA damage recognition. The preliminary results showed a connection between our transcription-mediated repair mechanism and the localization of ? -H2AX. This suggests a possible role of BRCA1 in transcription-mediated repair of DNA damage via ubiquitination.

 

Characterizing the Expression Pattern of Crx Using a BAC Transgenic Mouse Model

J. P. Antoine Grande, Mount St. Mary’s College

Mentor: Constance Cepko, Harvard Medical School

Crx (cone-rod homeobox) is a transcription factor that transactivates the expression of other photoreceptor genes, such as rhodopsin and cone opsin, making this homeodomain gene essential for normal photoreceptor development and survival. Mutations in human Crx result in various retinal diseases such as cone-rod dystrophy-2, retinitis pigmentosa, and Leber congenital amaurosis, which all lead to loss of vision. The aim of this project is to study the efficacy of two newly developed BAC transgenic mouse models with the reporter genes encoding for b -galactosidase and alkaline phosphatase and GFP (green fluorescent protein) and alkaline phosphatase in characterizing the expression pattern of Crx at various stages of photoreceptor development. We hypothesize that these BAC transgenic mouse lines will express these reporter genes only in the outer aspect of the neural retina corresponding to the photoreceptor layer where Crx is exclusively expressed in the retina. To accomplish our goal, mice between embryonic days 13.5 to 16.5 were obtained and cryostat sections were stained to detect the activities of b -galactosidase and alkaline phosphatase in the retina. GFP activity was detected using fluorescent microscopy. Our results indicate different staining patterns in the photoreceptor layer corresponding to the genesis of cones and rods giving us insight as to how Crx functions in photoreceptor development. We conclude that based on our results using these BAC transgenic mice, we have shown that they prove to be valuable reagents for future photoreceptor studies.

 

Understanding Segregation in Our Nation’s Schools

Chrisshonna Grant

Mentors: David Menefee-Libey & Gilda Ochoa

Pomona College

In the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case, the Supreme Court ruled "Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." The Court ordered all schools in the United States to desegregate their schools. It has been almost 50 years since the Supreme Court made their decision in the Brown case, and our schools are still vastly segregated. Studies have shown that desegregated schools are better for students academically and personally. Therefore, it is necessary to understand why school segregation still exists so that methods can be developed to improve desegregation efforts. This project is a literature review of the four major contributors to segregated schools. This project first discusses re-segregation cases, which are Supreme Court cases that have ruled in favor of measures that cause re-segregation in schools. Second, it explains how housing segregation affects school demographics. Third, it explores ineffective desegregation plans. These plans usually consist of magnet schools and busing, however, these efforts are usually unsuccessful in diversifying schools and districts. Finally, this project investigates how demographic changes contribute to segregated schools. This research shows that all of these factors contribute to our segregated schools. There is no simple cause for segregation in our schools, nor is there a simple solution for fixing this problem. Understanding why segregation exists in our schools is key to learning how to change the circumstances.

 

Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Induced by Abnormal Phospholipid Biosynthesis

Shannon Griswold

Mentor: Jay Brewster

Pepperdine University

The MT58 hamster fibroblast cell line carries a temperature-sensitive mutation that disrupts phosphatidylcholine (PC) synthesis when cells are grown at the restrictive temperature (39.5 ºC). The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the site of PC synthesis, and at the restrictive temperature, ER stress signals induce cellular apoptosis. Cyclosporine A (CsA), a mitochondrial pore transition inhibitor, blocks ER-stress induced apoptosis in other cell lines. Surprisingly, CsA treatment resulted in decreased survivorship of MT58 cells at the restrictive temperature and a dramatic phenotype of large cytosolic vacuoles. By fluorescently labeling the ER and Golgi apparatus of MT58 cells, it was shown that the large vacuoles are derived from the ER not the Golgi apparatus. Autophagy is a cellular mechanism of response to starvation and other cellular stressors. Cells displaying autophagy will degrade cellular components and organelles in an attempt to delay cell death. Some recent reports have shown that the mitochondrial pore transition can stimulate autophagy before apoptosis. Our results with CsA are consistent with a model in which MT58 cells shifted to the restrictive temperature induce autophagy before eventually committing to apoptosis. CsA treatment in these cells may actually speed cell death by blocking the activation of autophagy. We are currently examining these cells for markers of autophagy induction, and the progress of these experiments will be discussed.

 

Prosecutorial Discretion in Sexual Assault

Stephanie Guaman

Mentor: Ebbe Ebbesen

University of California, San Diego

Early research on the prosecutorial processing of sexual assault cases suggested that when compared to other felonies, sexual assault goes unprosecuted more often. However, more recent research suggests that there may be no significant differences in how different case types are evaluated when strength of evidence is controlled. Contrary to these findings, data from our archival study suggests that prosecutors accept sexual assault cases more often than assault cases at lower levels of evidentiary strength and equally at higher levels of evidentiary strength. Furthermore, results from our concurrent vignette study, designed to expose participants to systematically varied evidence levels for both sets of rape and assault case descriptions, produced a similar decision function relating evidence to case acceptance as that obtained for the archival data. Specifically, accept rates were clearly a function of strength of evidence, however, rapes were accepted at a slightly higher rate than assaults at all levels of strength of evidence. Taken together, these findings suggest that if anything, at equal strengths of evidence, rape cases are more likely to be accepted for prosecution than assault cases. Apparently, prosecutors are more willing to risk non-convictions when rape is the crime than when it is simple assault. Possible explanations for this are discussed.

 

Effect of Estrogen on Galanin Innervation in the Basal Forebrain of the Rat

Angela Guo

Mentor: Duane Nichols

Alhambra High School

Alzheimer’s Disease affects more than four million people in the United States alone. Alzheimer’s is categorized as a neurodegenerative disease and can be artificially recreated by inducing chemical lesions. Galanin, a 29/30 amino-acid peptide protein discovered in the extracts of porcine intestine cells, appears densely in regions of the basal forebrain following cholinergic cell loss; its exact functional purpose in regards of neurodegenration is unknown. The female sex hormone estrogen plays a neuroprotective role in preventing and alleviating detriments concerning the neurosystem. This project investigates the effect of estrogen on galanin hyperinnervation in the basal forebrain of the rat following a chemical lesion to help determine the origin of hyperinnervated galvanic fibers and functional nature of galanin in the basal forebrain. Observations indicate survival time has no significant effect on galanin innervation nor does estrogen treatments have an effect on cell count. Estrogen treatment however, does have a significant effect on the hyperinnervation of galanin fiber density. The reason for this significant change could be that estrogen binds to the estrogen response element in galaninic cells and triggers an increase in the transcription of mRNA causing an increase in the density of galanin fibers.

 

Understanding the deadringer Gene in the Early Development of the Asterina miniata Embryo: a Preliminary Characterization of a Starfish e-ARID Transcription Factor

Charlotte Guo

Mentors: Gabriele Amore & Eric Davidson

California Institute of Technology

The deadringer gene is an extended-ARID (e-ARID) transcription factor that features eight alpha-helices in their DNA binding domain, has highly specific DNA binding target sequences and has been shown to play vital roles in several developmental systems. In the sea urchin embryo, the gene encodes the first e-ARID-class transcription factor found in echinoderms and plays essential roles in the specification and differentiation of the oral ectoderm cells and primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs). However, not all echinoderms have PMCs and these cells are an evolutionary invention found only in sea urchin embryos. Therefore, to understand the ancestral role of deadringer in echinoderms requires research in a more primitive embryo. Starfish embryos do not have PMCs, and their mode of development can be considered closer to that of the ancestral echinoderms, so studying the deadringer gene in the starfish, Amdri, provided preliminary information on the function of the gene in the starfish development. The expression of Amdri occurs in the mesoderm and oral ectoderm of the embryo during gastrulation. When engrailed-Amdri fusion mRNA is injected into zygotes, proper gastrulation and development of the endomesoderm territory is affected. The Engrailed-Amdri fusion protein interfered with the expression of the Amdri’s target genes and confirmed that Amdri plays an important role in embryonic development. Furthermore, by knowing the effects of the deadringer gene in the starfish embryo compared to that in the sea urchin embryo, a hypothesis has been made regarding how a new lineage of cells, the PMCs in this case, emerges through evolution.

 

Wage Differentials Amongst Mexican-Americans and Mexican Immigrants

Jeanette Gurrola

Mentor: Sarah Senesky

University of California, Irvine

Wage differentials exist not only between ethnicities, but also within ethnicities. One group, within which huge wage differentials exist, consists of individuals of Mexican origin and descent. One factor driving wage differences among Mexican-descent individuals is the difference between U.S. citizens and non-citizens. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of citizenship on the wage earnings of foreign-born individuals relative to U.S.-born individuals. A sample of Mexican-descent individuals was drawn from the Current Population Survey 1999 March Supplement. Using Ordinary Least Squares and path models, I examine the impact of occupation, gender, education, nativity, and citizenship status on earned wages. All factors are significant in the various models. Surprisingly, naturalized individuals earn slightly higher wages than their U.S.-born counterparts in every regression. Foreign non-citizens earn substantially less than both other groups. The path model also shows that there are negative indirect effects on women by occupation and education.

 

What Factors Influence College Attendance of First Generation College Latina Women

Maria Guzman

Mentor: Christina Chávez

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

In the United States only 9 percent of college Latina women living in the U.S. are enrolled in a university (Noriega, 2003). Unfortunately, there is little research done about the factors that cause these women to challenge the social, environmental, and academic system and overcome the barriers to achieving success in college. Some research has pointed to more than one factor for the reason Latinas overcome these barriers, and this study will explore those factors. I plan to survey 30 first-generation Latina students presently attending California Polytechnic State University of Pomona. My preliminary findings show that the factors found to affect Latino/as, such as the importance of having a mentor in high school, family support, and personal characteristics, will be significant in the lives of my participants. The findings suggest that school programs targeting first-generation Latinas should consider the importance of personal characters as well as family support to Latinas’ academic success. More interestingly, personal characteristics were the most important, followed by family support, mentors, and school programs.

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