LETTER FROM THE EDITORS
The CROW highlights the incredible dedication of students at the University of Washington Bothell to conduct, analyze, and synthesize their own research investigations. As the reader, you will discover a myriad of topics ranging from Science and Technology to the Interdisciplinary Arts and a few in between. The multiple submission types and various writing styles feature the campus research and observational writings that should spark any reader’s interests. The act of conducting research is proven to be a highly impactful learning practice that engages students outside of the classroom setting and allows them to think more critically about the topics they wish to discover. Having their work published will forever encapsulate and preserve their work while also transforming it into a powerful tool which can be used by the next academic who seeks new ideas. By taking this monumental and often daunting step of subjecting their work to be reviewed and critiqued by their peers, the authors featured in this journal have progressed towards becoming contributors to the academic discourse of their particular field of study. The Editorial Board was overjoyed to have had the opportunity to review all the incredible submissions this year. The selection process was undertaken with extreme thoughtfulness and sensitivity for the overwhelmingly positive and well written submissions we received. We want to praise all the students for the hard work they put into their research and to everyone who submitted their work for review. We also want to thank the faculty and staff mentors who foster students’ passions and talents, while working with them to develop into becoming published researchers.
ABSTRACT: Choanoflagellates are the closest living relative of animals (Alegado, 2014; King, 2015; King 2016; Rokas, 2008). This has been confirmed through multiple lines of phylogenetic analyses, comparative genomics, and similarities in cell biology (Alegado, 2014; King, 2001). Previous studies of the choanoflagellate Salpingoeca rosetta suggest that bacteria may have played an important role in the early origins of animals (Alegado, 2014; King, 2016; Levin, 2011). One such study showed that the Bacteriodetes Algoriphagus machinoponensis can release lipid signaling molecules that induces choanoflagellates to grow into multicellular colonies known as rosettes (Alegado, 2016; Beemelmanns, 2014). Another study showed that when grown in the presence of Vibrio fischerii, choanoflagellates will exhibit swarming behavior and sexually reproduce (Levin, 2013). Choanoflagellates have been repeatedly proven to be an experimentally tractable, phylogenetically relevant model system for investigating the unicellular ancestry of animals. Through the use of molecular and comparative genomic approaches, we can possibly study the origins and evolution of animals through choanoflagellates.
Samantha Frati, Jessica Jacobsen, Rachel Li, & Shelby Lubchuk
ABSTRACT: The public relies on health care professionals to provide solutions to chronic disease. With chronic disease prevalence rates continually increasing, a public health response in prevention is needed. Maintaining one’s health is dependent upon diet and nutrition, in addition to physical activity. Dietary and nutritional behavior that prevents disease and promotes health is directly linked to the quality of food consumed. The lack of knowledge and access surrounding quality nutrition is an increasing concern both within healthcare and the community at large. Currently, hospital administrations are signing contracts with fast food corporations and processed food suppliers, skewing an assumed alliance with healthy living requirements for chronic disease patients. By hosting a counter productive food environment, medical facilities fail to align with patient’s nutritional behavior requirements.
Medical students receive very little, if any, nutrition education in medical training. Medical administrations harness the ability to promote healthy diets but are failing to educate and motivate patients. Moving forward changes in policy development, healthcare food environments, and medical school nutrition education can realign with public health disease prevention/health promotion initiatives. By addressing the point of chronic disease intervention, medical facilities can also act as a point of public health intervention, we build trust with patients and the community by demonstrating beneficence.
ABSTRACT: Since the late 1960s, the development of the shrimp-farm industry in Ecuador has contributed to extensive ecological damage to mangrove areas. Consequently, the livelihood of those reliant on these ecosystems has been severely threatened. In response, the population mobilized a national grassroots movement. They used food to articulate resistance against the shrimp-farm industry as well as the Ecuadorian government, both of which have contributed to the destruction of coastal mangroves. The “livelihood identity,” or collective sense of belonging, among ancestral mangrove people, those who are not necessarily native to the mangroves but who engage in their protection and maintenance over time, has motivated communities to protect not only their food source, but also their way of life. This paper is focused on analyzing how the expansion of the shrimp-farm industry has altered resource availability and access in the mangrove communities of Ecuador and given rise to social movements that utilize food culture as a tool of resistance.
ABSTRACT: It is advantageous to study carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and particulate matter smaller than 2.5μm because these pollutants have known negative health and climate implications. We will use three instruments: a trace level gas CO analyzer from Thermo Environmental Instruments, a non-dispersive infrared gas analyzer from Licor Biosciences for CO2, and an aerosol monitor from TSI for particulate matter, to continuously measure the output of these pollutants from a wood stove with two types of combustion, flaming and smoldering. The CO instrument model 48C has a lower detectable limit of 0.04ppm, with linearity ± 1% of readings ≤ 1000ppm. The CO2 instrument model LI-820 has measurement range is 0-20000ppm with an accuracy of <3% of the reading. The DustTrak, using gravimetric and photometric analysis to filter and analyze particulate matter, has a flow rate accuracy of ±5% of factory set point and can measure concentrations from 0.001-150 mg/m3.
Overexpression, Purification, and Inhibition of Helicobacter Pylori Aldo-keto Reductase (HpAKR) using Designer Inhibitors
ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori infects the gastric mucosa of over half of the world’s population, and is implicated in the genesis of many gastric pathologies. Current treatments for H. pylori infections are becoming increasingly ineffective as antibiotic-resistant strains of H. pylori become more prevalent. The purpose of this project is to discover a competitive inhibitor for an aldo-keto reductase enzyme (HpAKR) that is required for H. pylori to survive in the human stomach. The plasmid containing the HpAKR gene will be transformed into Rosetta™ E. coli cells (Novagen) for overexpression, and the purified HpAKR molecules will be assayed for activity and inhibition.
Analysis of Fluoride, Chloride, Carbonate, and Sulfate in Filtered, Tap, and Ground Water Samples by ISE and Titration
ABSTRACT: This study aims to compare natural groundwater to tap water and filtered water in order to identify whether or not the groundwater has a significantly different concentration of FCCS from the household water. Consuming high concentrations of fluoride can lead to health issues such as fluorosis and reduction of IQ; both do not have effective treatment options, therefore, prevention of these health issues are necessary. Additionally, chloride, carbonate, and sulfate can make water less desirable to drink due to changes in the taste and texture. The concentration of fluoride, chloride, carbonate, and sulfate (FCCS) ions will be measured (with emphasis on fluoride due to its effect on human health) in tap water and filtered water for two households in the Pacific Northwest and will be compared to natural potable groundwater from the Artesian Well in Lynnwood. Fluoride and chloride will be measured using an ion-selective combination electrode, while sulfate and carbonate will be measured using the method of titration. The largest source of error will be from the interference of hydroxide when detecting concentrations of fluoride and chloride using the ion-selective combination electrode.
Access & Affordability in Public Health Policy to Increase Adherence of Cancer Prevention Guidelines
ABSTRACT: Children residing in low income, food insecure neighborhoods are faced with increased obstacles in adhering to cancer prevention guidelines (CPGs). CPGs focus on nutrition and physical activity to maintain a healthy body weight. The geographic, economic, structural, and social conditions place low socioeconomic status (SES) youth at increased risk. Targeted public health policies and programs are needed to increase adherence within low SES communities. What are the unmet needs of children living in low SES, food insecure neighborhoods, that prevent adherence to cancer prevention guidelines? Research efforts must include qualitative methodology, to identify unique obstacles that present health risks. Exploratory methods will likely uncover social determinants of health (SDH) facing populations and therefore require ethnographical field research for greater depth in understanding and theory development. Results indicate that cancer prevalence is increasing globally, many cancers are preventable, higher SES households adhere to CPGs more easily than those in low SES households, children rarely meet daily fruit and vegetable recommendations, both cancer survivors and families without a cancer history are largely unaware of CPGs, and lastly, living, working, and recreational environments hold great capacity in a community’s ability to adhere to CPGs. The overwhelming conclusion: a need for development and implementation of targeted intervention programs for specific community obstacles to increase access to and
Determining Potential Inhibitor(s) of Thioredoxin Glutathione Reductase, Key Enzyme of Schistosoma Mansoni Parasite
Mengkhy Lay & Dr. Peter Anderson
ABSTRACT: Schistosomiasis is a parasitic worm disease that affects more than 200 million people worldwide, and the drug praziquantel remains the only treatment. Recently there have been reports of patients showing signs of resistance to praziquantel. Consequently, there is an urgent need to develop a new drug to serve as an alternative to praziquantel. In this experiment, we will determine potential inhibitor(s) of Thioredoxin glutathione reductase (TGR), an essential enzyme that is responsible for the parasite’s survival. We will use three phases of computational modeling techniques including virtual screening, lead optimization, and down-selection to determine potential drug candidates. As a result, we predict the top hit compounds to have binding affinities of about -10.0 kcal/mol after virtual screening. Furthermore, we expect to improve the binding affinity of the hit compounds to -13.7 kcal/mol after lead optimization. Eventually, we will proceed to the down-selection phase to determine potential drug candidates with highest probability of positive biological processes and negative toxicity levels. These drug candidates could potentially progress into preclinical and clinical development and eventually serve as a marketable drug.
Martha Raymore & Megan Dethier
ABSTRACT: The coastal oceans are subject to climate impacts leading to sea level rise, increases in the frequency and intensity of storms, and increased precipitation. These events can lead to a rise in the amount of fresh water entering coastal ecosystems from runoff or rainfall, which cause decreases in ocean salinity. Understanding marine food web dynamics requires an understanding of how species interactions will respond to environmental changes of this kind. Sea urchins are key members of nearshore food webs and may help to link food availability between shallow and deep zones along coastal areas. Sea urchins posess a very inefficient digestive system, which means that their feces may possess large amounts of available nutrients which other organisms can use as a viable food source. This research studied the population growth of T. californicus copepods in both low salinity and normal seawater environments, and with diets of either fresh Ulva or urchin fecal Ulva. The calorie content for these different diets was also examined. Results show that both diet and salinity significantly affected population growth, low salinity is the better environment, and fresh Ulva is the better diet.
Angela Angelevska & Crystal McClure
ABSTRACT: Wildfires increased across North America in recent years (Jaffe et al. 2012, 2013). Acetonitrile (CH3CN) is chosen as a trace molecule, as it indicates biomass burning, while anthropogenic sources are limited. Previous studies of acetonitrile in ambient air required transport of massive equipment to the site of the fire, giving importance to developing a simple, portable and inexpensive method to trace the production of acetonitrile in wildfires.
We propose a new method with higher sensitivity, reproducibility and recovery for measuring volatile organic compounds VOCs, such as CH3CN in ambient air, using thermal desorption-cryofocusing-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TD-Cryo-GC-MS). Focus is given on calibration and optimization of the new method, in addition to water vapor (WV) and ozone management; breakthrough tests of the sample and optimization of the conditioning of the TD tubes prior sampling.
The range for the calibration is based on previous studies, analyzing the biomass burning in rural/urban areas. We were able to detect concentrations of 0.47ng using the Cryo-GC-MS.
The TD tubes were packed with adsorbent: PorapakN, chosen for its affinity of retaining CH3CN, high hydrophobicity and low breakthrough volume. However, PorapakN did not show the expected hydrophobicity (<1mg), making WV management necessary for sampling on the TD tubes and subsequent analysis on the GC-MS. As ozone trap, Na2SO4 showed high recovery (99.8%) of the samples. Breakthrough tests had recovery of 1.87 ±0.56% for sampling concentrations of up to 60ng CH3CN, over the period of 2 hours.
The recovery of the samples was increased by conditioning the blank tubes longer and using the SIMS mode of the GC-MS instrument to look at the mass-to-charge ratio of only acetonitrile.
Finally, a validation experiment was designed, showing good first results of recovery in each step of the process. Validation experiment can be used for understanding the sensitivity of TD-Cryo-GC-MS.