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1996 McNair Program Abstracts

Gait Topography and Forelimb Reaching in the Shaker Rat
Tasha M. Weatherspoon
Mentor: B. Ruth Clark, Program in Physical Therapy, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110

The Shaker Rat is the only rat model that exhibits spontaneous cerebellar degeneration of purkinje cells and inferior olivary nuclei. The result of this cerebellar degeneration is a hereditary cerebellar ataxia, which is the inability to coordinate movement of the limbs. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the degeneration of purkinje cells and inferior olivary nuclei on movement in the Shaker Rat. Gait was examined quantitatively and forelimb reaching data were collected for Shaker and normal Sprague Dawley rats. Gait analysis included measurements of stride length, step length, and stride width for hindlimb and forelimb feet. Forelimb reaching was scored according to food pellets given, eaten, and dropped. The results from gait topography and forelimb reaching tasks will be presented. (Knox College, Galesburg, IL 61401)

Scanning Electron Microscopic Visualization of Heat-shocked Barley Aleurone Layers Treated With the Membrane Hydrogenation Catalyst Pd(QS)2
LaShanda Ladson
Mentor: Mark Brodl, Department of Biology, Knox College, Galesburg, IL 61401

A wide variety of biological organisms exhibit a heat shock response, among them all plants. In the aleurone layer of barley grains, heat shock (1)induces the synthesis of heat shock proteins, (2)suppresses the synthesis of secretory proteins (such as alpha-amylase), but (3)does not affect the synthesis of non-secretory proteins. Heat shock also causes the destabilization of secretory protein mRNAs and the dissociation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lamellae. The destabilization secretory protein mRNA is responsible for the suppression of secretory protein synthesis. Since secretory protein mRNA translation takes place on the ER, the dissociation of the ER may be the factor regulating selective destabilization of secretory protein mRNA. Therefore, it is important to understand how heat shock affects membrane stability. In barley aleurone layers, exposure to extended periods of heat shock temperature increases fatty acid saturation and results in adaptation to heat-shock temperature and the resumption of secretory protein synthesis. In this paper we report on the effects of adding a palladium disodium alizarinmonosulfonate catalyst Pd(QS)2, which is capable of hydrogenating fatty acids in membranes in situ. Catalyst-treated barley aleurone cells have increased levels of phospholipid fatty acid saturation, as compared to untreated cells. In addition, catalyst-treated barley aleurone layers synthesize greater amounts of alpha-amylase, and have higher levels of ampha-amylase mRNAs. Currently, we are using osmium-DMSO-osmium, freeze-fracture scanning electron microscopy to study the effects that heat shock has on the ER membrane of catalyst-treated cells. This work will provide insights into the role that fatty acid saturation plays in membrane stability during temperature stress.

The Effects of 6-Hydroxydopamine on Conditioned Taste Aversion Learning in 15 Day Old Rat Pups.
Kemeko K. Miller
Mentor: Dr. Heather Hoffman, Department of Psychology, Knox College, Galesburg, IL 61401

The present study investigated the effects of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) on conditioned taste aversion learning in 15 day old rat pups. An animal model (the albino rat pup) was used to examine learning and the phenomena of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder induced through 6-OHDA administration at young ages. The learning procedure involved intraventricular administration of 6-OHDA at 5 days of age. At the age of 15 days 15% sucrose solution was paired with lithium chloride and testing was completed at 16 days of age with video-taped behaviors of the rat pups' percent body weight gain, mouthing, and paw treading to improve learning.

The Spectrofluorometric Detection of Penicillins with the Use of Chemical Fluorescence in Dairy Products
Brandon V. Mack
Mentor: Larry Welch, Department of Chemistry, Knox College, Galesburg, IL 61401

Penicillin is useful for fighting off bacterial infections or serving for practical application in various domesticated animals and thus may be transferred to milk and meat products by and from these animals. In response to consumer group protests, the Food and Drug Administration has announced a nationwide screening program for penicillins, as well as for other drugs in milk and dairy products. Recent efforts have centered upon high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for screening penicillins in milk, yet have only delivered detection levels which have proven satisfactory. However, several indirect methods of derivation schemes will allow for more selective detection methods. This endeavor has focused upon the indirect methods for coupling HPLC with methods of chemical fluorescence. This analysis extends a comprehensive look on how this process has led toward an even better analysis of dairy products.

Policy Recommendations for a Recycling Program in Galesburg, IL
Amy L. Dona
Mentor: Steve Cohn, Department of Economics, Knox College, Galesburg, IL 61401

The hidden costs of negative externalities, scarcity, and waste disposal are excluded when we use natural resources. It is difficult to calculate the value of these costs. However, economists have devised methods to estimate them. Due to these neglected social costs, there is some justification for government intervention in the form of a recycling program. In order to make policy recommendations for recycling in Galesburg, IL, I researched the current recycling practices in Galesburg, other Illinois programs, and the issues involved in the start-up of a program. Special attention was given to recycling initiatives in other rural Illinois towns such as Monmouth.

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