AJUR Volume 17 Issue 3 (December 2020)



Click on this link to download the full high-definition interactive pdf for AJUR Volume 7 Issue 3 (December 2020)

Links to individual manuscripts, abstracts, and keywords are provided below.

p.3 Investigating the Effect of Flock Size on Vigilance in the American Coot (Fulica americana) in Relationship to Habitat
Dat Q. Lam, Suyash P. Rizal, Roxanne Cota, Miguel Sicaja, Gabriel Cox, Brandon Wakefield, & Zia Nisani
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Antelope Valley College, Lancaster, CA
ABSTRACT: Among many anti-predator behaviors, vigilance is observed in many species and plays an important role in survival. In this study, we investigated the effect of flock size on vigilance in American Coots (Fulica americana)foraging on land and water, by observing individual birds in these habitats and recording the time spent scanning (i.e., vigilance). Mean flock size was larger on land compared to water and vigilance negatively correlated with flock size. Birds in water were more vigilant compared to on land, regardless of whether they were foraging alone or in flocks. However, the effect of flock size on vigilance showed a weak linear correlation as it was possible that other factors (e.g., human habituation, food kleptoparasitism, or scramble competition) could have also played a role in shaping vigilance. These results suggest that there is a relationship between flock size and vigilance, which are related to previous researches that show a negative correlation between vigilance and flock size.
KEYWORDS: Birds; American Coot; Vigilance; Scanning; Foraging; Flock Size; Habituation; Competition; Behavior

p.11 Cyclophosphamide Depletes Ovarian Follicles in Mice During Both the Light and Dark Phases of the Circadian Cycle
Benjamin Z. Koch & Kristen A. Roosa*
Biology Department, State University of New York College at Oneonta, Oneonta, NY
ABSTRACT: The alkylating agent cyclophosphamide (CY) is a potent ovarian toxicant. It damages growing follicles and causes premature activation and depletion of the resting follicles that constitute the ovarian reserve. While there is abundant information on the impact of CY on the ovary and its toxicity mechanisms, the influence of the circadian rhythm on ovarian toxicity has not been evaluated. To test the hypothesis that time of exposure affects ovarian toxicity of CY, C57BL/6 mice were treated with a single injection of CY (75 mg/kg) at either two hours after lights on (Zeitgeber time (ZT) 02) or two hours after lights off (ZT14). Toxicity was evaluated one week after treatment by counting ovarian follicles in histological sections. Fewer primordial follicles were counted in the ovaries of CY-treated animals at both treatment times, and fewer antral follicles were counted in the ovaries of animals treated at ZT02. There was no difference in the number of primordial follicles in the ovaries of CY-treated animals between the two treatment times. These results demonstrate that CY-induced depletion of the ovarian reserve occurs when mice are exposed early in the light phase and early in the circadian cycle’s dark phase. There is no impact of the circadian rhythm on follicle depletion by CY at these time points.
KEYWORDS: Cyclophosphamide; ovary; circadian; ovarian follicles; toxicity; mouse; chronotherapy; alkylating agent

p.19 Associations of Maternal Controlling Feeding Practices with Child Internalizing Symptoms and Body Mass Index in Ethnically-Diverse Mother-Child Dyads
Paulina Mozdzierz, Genevieve F. Dunton, & Tyler B. Mason*
Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
ABSTRACT: Mothers may use controlling feeding practices (i.e., pressure to eat and restriction) to regulate their child’s weight. However, these practices may have unintended consequences on the weight and mental health of children. The first aim of this study was to investigate differences in maternal controlling feeding practices by child gender, age, and maternal ethnicity. The second aim was to examine cross-sectional associations among maternal controlling feeding practices, child body mass index z-scores (BMI-z), global internalizing symptoms (i.e., depression and anxiety symptoms), and self-esteem. The third aim was to determine whether child sex and mother ethnicity moderate these associations. A sample of 202 ethnically diverse mother-child dyads (children ages 8-12; 49% female) completed self-report questionnaires and had weight and height measurements taken. Results showed no differences in maternal controlling feeding practices by gender, ethnicity, or age. Pressure to eat was negatively related to child BMI-z, and restriction was positively related to BMI-z. Moreover, pressure to eat was negatively related to child self-esteem. There were no associations between maternal controlling feeding practices and global internalizing symptoms. Further, no associations differed by child gender or mother ethnicity. Maternal controlling feeding practices may be used to move a child’s weight toward a healthy weight range. Overall, there was little evidence for associations between feeding practices and poor mental health; although, pressure to eat was related to poorer self-esteem in children.
KEYWORDS: Maternal; Feeding; Practices; Child; BMI-z; Mental; Health; Controlling; Restricting

p.29 Synthesis of Graphene Oxide Enhanced Agar Composites: A Biocompatible Photo-catalyst for Degradation of Organic Dyes
Shreyas Dindorkar*a, Jaymin Mistrya, Jayesh Hirea, Khushi Jainb, Nandini Khonab, Shreya Peddakolmib, & Paresh Moreab
a Department of Chemistry, K. E. T’s, Vinayak Ganesh Vaze College (Autonomous), Mulund, Mumbai, India
b Department of Biotechnology, K. E. T’s, Vinayak Ganesh Vaze College (Autonomous), Mulund, Mumbai, India
Abstract: Herein we report the synthesis of graphene oxide-based agar composites using a solution casting method. Graphene oxide was synthesized by modified Hummer’s method and was characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectroscopy. The graphene oxide-based agar composites were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and UV-visible spectroscopy. Optical band gap obtained from the Tauc plot showed that the composites could be used in the photodegradation of dyes. The synthesized composite material was checked for its practical applicability in the degradation of methylene blue dye under solar irradiation; with an increase in the concentration of graphene oxide, catalyst, and H2O2, the rate constant increases. The rate constant was found to be inversely proportional to the concentration of methylene blue dye. Dosage of graphene oxide was found to be the most prominent factor in increasing the rate of photodegradation. It is clear from the data for the reaction system that the degradation reaction follows pseudo-first-order kinetics.
Keywords: Composites; Ultra-sonication; Photodegradation; Methylene Blue; XRD; Graphene Oxide; Kinetics; Biocompatibility

p.41 The Evolution of Multidrug Resistance in an Isolated Pseudomonas Strain
Allison Grodnick*a, Ashley Finka, Timothy J. Johnsonbc, & David Mitchella
aDepartment of Biology, College of St. Benedict St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN
bDepartment of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
cMid-Central Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota, Willmar, MN
ABSTRACT: As an unintentional result of the extensive use of antibiotics in healthcare and agriculture, antibiotics have become an increasingly prevalent selective pressure on bacteria. This forces bacteria to evolve and acquire antibiotic-resistant genes or mutations in order to survive. Suppose a bacterial strain acquires resistance to three or more antibiotics. In that case, it is deemed multidrug-resistant (MDR), and it becomes a potentially more serious problem to solve in the context of healthcare. This study aims to evaluate the acquisition of resistance to multiple antibiotic drugs by an initially susceptible isolated bacterium from a Minnesota forest environment. The bacterium was found to be Pseudomonas by 16s rRNA gene sequencing. Three antibiotics, neomycin, ciprofloxacin, and imipenem, each from a different drug class, were selected to see if this isolate could become resistant over time and exposure. The bacterial strain developed resistance to the selected antibiotics through a series of sequential exposures to increasing concentrations of each drug in this order. As determined by a disc susceptibility test, the initial isolate acquired resistance to all three selected antibiotics. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between the original isolate and the final resistant strain were identified. These SNPs suggest that mutations to efflux transporters and antibiotic protein targets play a role in acquiring and maintaining antibiotic resistance.
KEYWORDS: Multidrug Resistance; Antibiotics; Neomycin; Ciprofloxacin; Imipenem; Pseudomonas; Evolution; MDR; Minnesota Environment

p.51 Stripping Material from a Supported Lipid Bilayer with High Speed Buffer Flow
Michael J. Ornstead, Ruth Hunter, Mason L. Valentine, Cameron Cooper, Stephen K. Smith, & Christopher F. Monson*
Department of Physical Science, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT
ABSTRACT: A microfluidic device was created and used to demonstrate that supported lipid bilayers can be deposited on clean glass slides and removed using high velocity buffer flow (1-4 m/s linear velocity). This was accomplished by forcing the flow through a microfluidic channel covering an annealed glass coverslip bearing a supported lipid bilayer (SLB). The removal of bilayer material was monitored via fluorescence microscopy, and two basic regimes were observed: at 1-2 m/s smaller areas were stripped, while at 3-4 m/s larger areas were stripped. SLB removal was verified by two means. First, lipid vesicles labeled with a different fluorescent dye were added to the device and filled in holes left by the removal of the original SLB, allowing stripping to be verified visually. Second, the solutions obtained from stripping were concentrated and the fluorescence in the concentrates was measured. The ability to strip SLB from glass provides a relatively gentle method of creating spatially inhomogeneous SLB, which could be a useful tool in the continued investigation of membrane properties and components.
KEYWORDS: Supported Lipid Bilayer; Membrane Vesicle; Microfluidic Device

p.61 Assessing Initiatives for Rural Health Practices in South Carolina
Aalia Soherwardy*a & Elizabeth Crouchb
aUniversity of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC
bRural and Minority Health Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine which incentives are most effective in motivating medical students to practice in rural areas of South Carolina, which can be informative for the medical practitioner rural recruitment process. Medical students attending the University of South Carolina School of Medicine located in Columbia, South Carolina were surveyed about demographic information, motivations for rural practice, and considerations for choosing a practice location (n=109). Chi-square tests and bivariate analyses were used to test for significant differences. A significant relationship was found between previous residence in a rural area and personal motivation to practice in a rural area (p<0.001). It was also found that 86.2% of students who had previously lived, worked, or served in rural areas had a personal motivation to practice medicine in a rural area, confirming previous research. Loan forgiveness options were the most appealing personal incentive for the students in this study, closely followed by guaranteed minimum incomes and tax incentives; financial incentives were more preferred than non-financial incentives like reduced on-call work and accelerated residencies. The results of this study can be utilized to craft future state-supported incentive programs or to tailor current programs to more effectively recruit students to rural practice.
KEYWORDS: Rural; Recruitment; Healthcare Provider; Shortage; Incentive Programs; Medical Student; Southern United States; Loan Forgiveness

p.73 Travel Through Time: From 9/11 to COVID-19, Parallel Predictive Analysis of Travel Marketing
Hannah Gilliam*
Gainey School of Business, Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, MI
ABSTRACT: The events of 9/11 drastically changed the state of the nation across many industry sectors, with the tourism industry among those most affected. Following that horrific day, the nation experienced heightened security measures and protocol, such that the travel industry and travelers would never look the same. People were fearful and anxious, and the tourism industry had to take quick, effective measures to evaluate the consumer response, set a marketing strategy, and promote within a changed national ethos and expectations. COVID-19 is a similar catastrophic, global, and long-term crisis that set our nation on a similarly drastic change in practice and protocol; fear and anxiety were higher than ever. COVID-19 and 9/11 are highly comparable in their market response. By comparing the two events and analyzing the consumer response and advertising messaging, specifically during the stay at home order, a theme and direction for messaging within the travel industry post-COVID-19 can be predicted based on the culture and spirit of The American Dream, confidence in safety, we are in this together, support local tourism, explore your city in a new way, and connect with those you missed.
KEYWORDS: COVID-19; 9/11; Post-pandemic; Advertising; Travel; Prediction; Messaging; Consumer Response; Marketing; Analysis