Effects of Wet and Dry Years on the Growth and Body Mass of Ornate Box Turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata)

April 27th, 2013

In the past five years, Iowa has experienced weather extremes with records or near-records set for spring flooding in 2008, summer rainfall in 2010 and drought in 2012. To determine whether these weather events affected growth or body condition in ornate box turtles (Terrapene ornate ornata), we analyzed the changes in shell morphology and mass/volume ratio during their active season of May to August of 2005-2006 and 2008-2012. Read More…

Home Range, Habitat Use, and Mortality of Ornate Box Turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata) in Iowa

April 27th, 2013

The ornate box turtle, Terrapene ornata ornata, is threatened in Iowa, as the species’ prairie habitat has mostly been converted into agricultural land, reducing and fragmenting natural habitat and increasing contact with motor vehicles, farm implements, and mesopredators. Our project strives to understand the ecology and natural history of T. ornata in Iowa for conservation purposes. Read More…

Mission for Vision in Uzbekistan

April 14th, 2012

This past summer I participated in an internship in partnership with Dr. Peter Korpi, an optometrist from Muscatine, Iowa. Dr. Korpi has traveled to underdeveloped countries to examine people’s eyes and provide the residents with corrective eyeglasses free of charge. Dr. Korpi and I arrived in Uzbekistan, my home country, to inspect eyesight of citizens who lacked the financial means to afford basic healthcare. We hoped that our mission would lead to a dramatic improvement in their quality of life. Read More…

Tor2 Protein: A Human Homolog in Yeast, With Human Implications

April 14th, 2012

Yeast (S. cerevisiae) are a relatively simple, ubiquitous, single-cell organism, like bacteria. However, unlike bacteria, yeast are eukaryotes, like humans. They also have some proteins that are similar to those found in humans. Some of the proteins are TOR proteins, which are responsible for many things, including resource partitioning. For this reason, TOR proteins influence a variety of issues, such as obesity and cancer. Read More…

Home Range and Habitat Use of Hatchling and Juvenile Ornate Box Turtles

April 14th, 2012

 We quantified home range size and movements of hatchling and juvenile ornate box turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata) at Hawkeye Wildlife Area, Iowa, during the summer of 2011.  Ten hatchlings and juveniles were followed using radio telemetry from May through July. Read More…

Cryptic Species or Intragenomic Variation

April 14th, 2012

The evolutionary relationship of the Millepores in the Caribbean has been problematic for years. Taxonomic classification of these Millepores is based upon habitat and morphology. Two distinct morphologies, classified as separate species, have been recorded, but extensive phenotypic plasticity yields a large variety of intermediate morphologies that do not fit into the current taxonomic groupings. Read More…

Variation in the Red Coloration of the Antebrachial Scales in the Male Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata ornata)

April 14th, 2012

The ornate box turtle, Terrapene ornata ornata, displays significant sexual dimorphism. Males generally have thicker and longer tails, modified hind toes, a concave plastron, more muscular hind legs, and vividly red or orange irises and antebrachial scales, as opposed to the pale yellows and browns of juveniles and females (Legler, 1960). Read More…

The Silver Amalgam Controversy

April 14th, 2012

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), silver amalgams are used for posterior tooth restorations in more than 100 million Americans annually. However, the safety of using silver amalgams has been contested in the United States since 1840. Read More…

Biodiversity Protection in Costa Rica: Research Permit Requirements Are Hampering Important Biodiversity Research

April 11th, 2011

Ecological health depends on a wide diversity of all life forms. The greater the biodiversity the more opportunities there are for adaptive responses to environmental challenges such as climate change and economic development.  Loss in biodiversity may limit medical and pharmacological discoveries.  Biodiversity-rich ecosystems are more resilient and boost ecosystem productivity. Read More…

Can Symbionts Be Used to Understand Coral Evolution?

April 11th, 2011

The evolutionary relationship of the Millepores in the Western Atlantic has been problematic for years. Current taxonomic distinction is based mainly upon morphological characters and habitat. Millepora complanta is found in shallower, more turbulent waters and is composed of sturdy blade-like colonies whereas M. alcicornis has delicate branching spires and inhabits deeper or more sheltered areas. However, the presence of a wide range of intermediate forms calls the currently accepted phylogeny into question. Read More…

Applications of Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry for Characterizing Biological Samples: Analyzing Turtle Nest Volatiles and Plant Essential Oils

April 8th, 2011

Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is a technique that combines gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to characterize substances within a sample. We first used this technique to analyze turtle nest volatiles to determine if turtle nest predators use olfactory cues to find nest sites. Read More…

The Peruvian Healthcare System: The Role of Small Clinics in Improving Health Care Access for Low-Income Citizens

April 8th, 2011

Since 1995, the Peruvian government has been working to restructure their healthcare system. In rural areas and small towns, healthcare services are limited, while in major cities healthcare is more available and is considered adequate. Thus, a large proportion of Peruvians have inadequate access to health services. Approximately seventy percent of the population lives at or below the poverty line. Read More…

The Taxonomic History of Gurania bignoniacea and Gurania acuminata: A Case of Species Hypermeronymy

April 8th, 2011

Gurania bignoniacea and Gurania acuminata are two species of flowering vines in the cucurbit family native to tropical South America. Although each is currently considered to be a single species with widespread geographic distribution, these two names encompass more than 20 historical species epithets applied to type specimens collected across the continent. Read More…

Host Specificity in a Group of Tropical Parasitoid Wasps

April 6th, 2011

Flies of the genus Blepharoneura, found throughout South America, are highly diverse and highly specific to the plant species they infest. The flies are parasitized by wasps, called “parasitoids” because the wasps kill their hosts (the flies). If the wasps themselves exhibit high degrees of host specificity, they may have influenced the high degree of speciation exhibited by the fly species. Read More…

Methods of Obtaining Prosthetic Length and Alignment and Their Effectiveness

April 6th, 2011

Prosthesis malignment can lead to acute and chronic health problems. Prosthetic alignment is traditionally set through physical exam and gait observation.  Based on experience, these methods are often not optimal, thus, we began to use long leg anterior and posterior (AP) radiographs during the fitting process in order to obtain neutral alignment more accurately and efficiently. Read More…

Can Manipulation of Empty Nest Abundance Reduce Depredation of Turtle Nests?

April 8th, 2010

The ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata ornata) is on the threatened species list in Iowa. Predation on nests is the primary source of mortality in this species; Cornell faculty and students have investigated interventions intended to reduce nest predation in a nearby population of ornate box turtles. Read More…

Are Endosymbionts better Taxonomists than Scientists?

April 7th, 2010

Two morphologies of Millepora, currently classified as separate species, exist in the Bahamas.  Millepora complanata, is found primarily in shallow waters, possessing wide, smooth branches whereas Millepora alcicornis, is found primarily in deeper waters, possessing thinner, knobby branches. Read More…

Kinetics of Reactive Oxygen Species Production by Chondrocytes Following Blunt Impact Injury to Osteochondral Explants

April 6th, 2010

Post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) is common following joint injuries. Injury itself and its after effects are known to kill chondrocytes. A large factor in the death of chondrocytes following blunt impact during in vitro studies has been superoxide release. Read More…

Evaluation of the Contribution of a Genetic Abnormality to Autism

April 18th, 2009

Autism spectrum disorders, a group of developmental disorders that affect one in every 150 children, are highly heritable. Autism is thought to be caused by a number of epigenetic and genetic factors that are de novo or inherited and influenced by the environment. Read More…

Distribution of and Predation on Ornate Box Turtle Nests at Hawkeye Wildlife Area

April 18th, 2009

We examined the distribution and fates of natural nests of ornate box turtles (Terrapene ornata) in the Hawkeye Wildlife Area, Johnson County, Iowa. Read More…

Anabolic Effects of Parathyroid Hormone

April 18th, 2009

Osteoporosis is marked by a decrease in bone mineral density and an increased susceptibility to fracture. Read More…

Sex Differences in Response to a Neurotoxin

April 18th, 2009

Several studies have indicated that Parkinson’s disease (PD) is more common in males as opposed to females. Read More…

Speciation in Fire Corals: What Constitutes a Species?

April 18th, 2009

Two morphologies of Millepora, currently classified as separate species, exist off the coast of the Bahamas. Read More…

Searching for Genes that Control Phenotypic Plasticity in Amphibians

April 18th, 2009

Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of organisms to change their phenotype in order to adapt to their environment. Read More…

How Do Predators Locate Turtle Nests? An Experimental Study Using Artificial Nests

April 18th, 2009

Nest predation is an important source of mortality in turtles. We have been studying nest predation on ornate box turtles (Terrapene ornata) for several years at Hawkeye Wildlife Area, Johnson County. Iowa. Read More…

Investigating Multiple Paternity in a Colombian Population of Podocnemis expansa

April 18th, 2009

Female turtles are capable of storing sperm from multiple males, potentially enabling offspring from a single clutch to be fathered by several males. Read More…

Survival of Leatherback Hatchlings During Their First Night at Sea

April 29th, 2008

Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are critically endangered, largely due to a variety of human activities. While many aspects of their life history are documented, there is virtuallynothing known about survival of hatchlings during their first hours at sea. Read More…

The Diseases and Medicinal Practices of the Ancient Egyptians of the Western Desert Oases

April 29th, 2008

The knowledge that life is precious and that our hold on life is tenuous has haunted humans for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians had a strong belief surrounding life, death and the afterlife. Read More…

Neuroprotection via Learning in the Hippocampus

April 29th, 2008

Environmental enrichment is a natural means by which the brain can make itself more resilient against disease; however, its mechanisms remain incompletely defined. Environmental enrichment consists of increased social, physical and intellectual activity (i.e., learning), which can reduce brain injury by more than 50%. Read More…

The Role of Toll-Like Receptor 2 on Adipose Tissue Inflammation in Obesity

April 29th, 2008

This research focused on the role of Toll-like Receptor 2 (TLR 2) in the development of adipose inflammation in obesity. Read More…

Differential Host Use of Helianthus by Two mtDNA Lineages of Strauzia longipennis

April 29th, 2008

Host race formation is believed to be an important step in the formation of new species. Several varieties of Strauzia longipennis may exhibit differential host use, either by being host-taxon specific or by being host-tissue specific. Read More…

Speciation in the Millepora Complex: What Constitutes a Species?

April 29th, 2008

Fire coral from the genus Millepora are ubiquitous in tropical western Atlantic reefs. Two distinct morphologies of Millepora, currently classified as separate species, exist off the coast of the Bahamas. M. complanata have broad, smooth blades and prefer shallow waters whereas M. alcicornis have knobby branches and prefer deeper waters. Read More…

In Vitro Mutagenesis and Metal-Binding Studies of Human Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase

April 29th, 2008

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that usually causes eventual respiratory failure due to motor neuron death. Approximately 90% of all ALS cases are classified as sporadic ALS, meaning that there is no known cause. Read More…

Operation Walk: Peru

April 29th, 2008

Operation Walk is a nonprofit organization that provides free hip and knee replacement surgeries to patients in underdeveloped countries. Each year, Cornell students have the opportunity to travel with Operation Walk and founder Dr. Larry Dorr (’63) to assist with every aspect of the surgery process. Read More…

Targeting Cancer Cell Surfaces with Heteromultivalent Ligands

April 29th, 2008

Multivalent ligands display multiple copies of one or more ligands that can simultaneously bind to multiple receptors contained on another entity. By combining multiple ligands into a multivalent construct, it should be possible to target them specifically to cancer cells that express all of their cognate receptors. Read More…

Using Artificial Nests: Patterns and Prevention of Turtle Nest Depredation

April 29th, 2008

This study was part of a long-term research program on the ecology of the ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata ornata). Read More…

Two mtDNA Lineages in Strauzia longipennis (Diptera: Tephritidae)

April 29th, 2008

Strauzia longipennis (Wiedemann) is a notoriously variable species. Seven varieties were once recognized, all but three considered as synonyms by some authors. Read More…

Skeletal Morphology of the Genus Millepora Displays Phenotypic Plasticity

April 29th, 2008

The genus Millepora, commonly known as fire coral, is a calcareous hydrozoan common in tropical seas worldwide. Read More…

Use of Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis in Unknown Bacterial Identification

April 29th, 2008

Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) is a technique that has been used to estimate the diversity in bacterial samples based on the melting behaviors of DNA segments. DGGE may provide a new, more efficient manner to identify unknown bacteria, Read More…

Serum Opacity Factor (SOF) Forms Cardioprotective Products from HDL via Rate-Limiting Apo A-1 Desorption

April 18th, 2008

HDL is the major carrier in reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). Low plasma HDL and cardiovascular disease are strongly associated. Read More…

Genetics and Statistics: My Internship at TGen

April 14th, 2007

Last October and November I completed an internship at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona. The internship was created and supported by Dimensions, based on the ideas of Dr. Candice Nulsen (’ 94). Read More…

Protein Chemistry and Genetics of Human Superoxide Dismutase-1 in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

April 14th, 2007

Copper-zinc superoxide dismutase-1 (CuZnSOD) is a radical-scavenging enzyme occurring intracellularly in humans. A toxic gain-of-function in this enzyme has been established as a cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’ s Disease). Read More…

Mathematical Modeling of HIV

April 14th, 2007

In today’ s society it is now possible to live for extended periods of time with an HIV infection. The current standard of treatment is highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). Read More…

Decoding the Mystery of Fire Corals of the Bahamas

April 14th, 2007

Fire coral of the genus Millepora are prevalent in tropical western Atlantic reefs.  Two distinct morphologies of Millepora, currently classified as separate species, exist off the coast of the Bahamas. Read More…

Improving Cancer Detection for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

April 14th, 2007

Chronic myelogenous leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow that is characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of myeloid cells. Nearly 4500 new cases of CML are diagnosed each year in the United States alone Read More…

Phenotypic Variability in Huntington’s Disease Based on CAG Repeat Length, Parental Transmission, and Sex Differences

April 14th, 2007

In my presentation I will summarize the research project from my internship studying Huntington’ s disease at The University of Iowa Department of Neuropsychiatry. Read More…

An Investigation into the Differences in Total Hip Arthroplasty 10 Years Ago and Today

April 14th, 2007

Throughout the last 16 years, the methods used for patients who undergo surgery have drastically changed, as is the case with Total Hip Replacement surgery (THR). A recent revolution in patient care has been catalyzed by the age of technology, as patients are now able to learn a great deal of information about the surgery and various other components of the THR process such as preparation and recovery. Read More…

The Timing of Nesting of Ornate Box Turtles at the Mallard Pools Site of the Hawkeye Wildlife Area

April 14th, 2007

The ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata ornata) is a species native to Iowa and much of the Midwest. Read More…

Mine’s Bigger Than Yours: Exploring Phenotypic Plasticity in Hyla versicolor Tadpole Tails Due to Predation

April 14th, 2007

There is a phenotypic change in tail morphology when gray tree frog (Hyla versicolor) tadpoles are raised in the presence of feeding dragonfly larvae. This change in tail morphology appears to be induced in response to byproducts released during tadpole predation. Read More…

Evidence of Scurvy in North American Archaeological Skeletal Remains

April 14th, 2007

Subadult skulls from protohistoric archaeological sites in Maryland and Georgia were surveyed for evidence of scurvy. Read More…