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Automating the Interface with Nano-Electronics
Phillip Haralson
Mentor: Philip Collins

Over the past decade, the size of electrical components has constantly been shrinking. This has posed a difficult problem for researchers, because it requires imaging these components at ever higher resolutions. With the current research being done on nano-scale electrical components, also known as molecular electronics, it has now become necessary to image devices down to a single nanometer. The problem is that these devices are on much larger silicon chips; thus, testing and imaging this new generation of electrical components requires imaging nanometer-scale objects over much larger millimeter-scale areas. Typically this imaging is done manually with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM); however, this is a very time consuming process that requires constant attention. To reduce the time spent imaging, samples are first electrically probed to determine regions of interest. However, it is still necessary to image the samples afterwards. Therefore, I created a program in LabVIEW that interfaced with the Pacific Nanotechnology Nano-R microscope to automate much of this process. Now a user can load a sample into the AFM and start the program. It automatically performs all of the necessary adjustments and images any combination of the devices on a single chip, based on the electrical probing done previously. This automation, when combined with electrically probing samples, is a satisfactory solution to the problem of characterizing these modern molecular electronic devices.

Can Jazz Dance Be Art? A Critical Study of Jazz Dance (1950–Present)
Jennifer Harbison
Mentor: Jennifer Fisher

When a dance audience thinks of “jazz dance,” they most often conjure images of Broadway: flashy production numbers, widespread jazz hands and light entertaining subject matter fitting to the musical comedy stage. What is not known is the potential for jazz dance to be performed on the concert stage and, more importantly, to be at the same professional level as ballet or modern dance. This study focuses on how jazz dance has evolved into a reputable concert dance form through the teachings of Matt Mattox and Luigi and Gus Giordano over the last fifty years. Jazz dance is a purely American dance form that demonstrates the complex cultural history of the U.S. Using examples of jazz dance performed by Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, River North Chicago Dance Company and students at UCI, it can be demonstrated how jazz dance is evolving to fit not only the merging styles of the concert dance world, but also the many global cultures that have helped shape American art going into the 21st century. After viewing these examples of jazz dance and researching current critical responses to the genre, one can see how jazz choreographers are finding new ways to retain its history as a method of entertainment but also to absorb the complicated techniques of concert dance to give the genre artistic merit. Through the use of choreographers well versed in many dance styles, jazz companies are creating new works that reflect the changing world of American dance.

The Influence of Discrete Emotions on Children’s Distinction of Fantasy and Reality
Alexandra Harris
Mentor: Jodi Quas

Children’s distinction between fantasy and reality is influenced by emotions. Different emotions elicit different reactions to fantastic and reality images; however, it is unknown whether the difference is due to the valence of the emotion or the discrete emotion itself. This study examined how different discrete emotions influenced children’s distinction between fantasy and reality. In particular, we were interested in three types of discrete emotions that could elicit different tendencies: happiness, fear and sadness. Children from 3 to 5 years old (N=50) were shown images depicting fantastic or real situations. The images also depicted one of four discrete emotions: happiness, fear, sadness and neutral. Researchers asked the children to describe what they saw, how the images made them feel, and if the events could happen in real life. Preliminary analyses of the data show trends in children’s responses that suggest the discrete emotions influence the children’s perceptions in different ways, and that children differentially judge images based on the discrete emotion depicted.

Endovascular Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging and Histologic Correlation
Esmaeil Heidari
Mentor: Zhongping Chen

We report baseline findings with in vivo optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging of healthy swine (Pig) common carotid arteries (CCAs) and ex vivo OCT imaging findings in the rabbit aorta. Catheter based in vivo endovascular OCT imaging was carried out in the CCAs of adolescent pigs. Images were obtained with bilateral CCA proximal occlusion as well as by using 30 to 50 cc saline flushes in non occluded carotid arteries with intact blood flow. One-inch-long segments of the descending thoracic aorta from three adult rabbits were also imaged ex vivo using OCT. One mm thick linear scanning OCT probes were used for image acquisition. The normal structure of the intact blood vessels including the intima, internal elastic lamina (IEL), media, external elastic lamina (EEL), and adventitia were clearly visualized. Elastin fibers in the IEL and EEL showed up as relatively high signal bands in the CCAs. A thick intimal-medial layer of high signal elastin was detected in the aorta. To confirm the accurate detection of elastin signal, bilateral swine CCAs and rabbit aorta were incubated in porcine pancreatic elastase enzyme. The elastase enzyme effectively digested structural elastin in both arteries, which was accurately detected using OCT imaging. All findings were confirmed with histology and were highly reproducible. We were able to get up to 8-micron resolution from imaged tissue. Endovascular OCT imaging can detect with high resolution the structure of normal arteries. Understanding OCT imaging in normal arteries is important in establishing baseline findings, necessary for interpretation of pathologic processes.

Reading from the Private Sphere to the Public Sphere: Constructing Gender in Women’s Book Groups
Megan Henley
Mentor: Samuel Gilmore

The recent phenomenon of women’s book groups marks a social trend that has a tremendous impact on the lives of women. Because book groups bring women together through social interaction based on the personal enjoyment of reading, book groups reflect the blurring of private and public dimensions of women’s social identity. Women who enjoy reading individually join with other women, typically of their same age and socio-economic status, to get support and validation from one another on their interpretations of books and issues that they raise. This study examines book groups made up of women with young children, groups of women with grown children, and groups with women of various ages and professions. Through observations and interviews, the study finds that gender has a greater cohesive effect than similarities in age or stage of life. Variables such as literature, selection, group dynamics, and discussion vary by group and members, but these differences do not correlate exactly with age differences. Rather, in accordance with Long’s study, the gathering of women in someone’s home for a common purpose appears to benefit women on a personal level and fulfills their need to connect with one another.

A Comparative Study of U.S. Military Recruitment in the Irvine and Santa Ana Unified School Districts
Ismael Herrera
Mentors: Louis DeSipio, Samuel Gilmore & Gilbert Gonzalez

As the U.S. continues to engage its military personnel in over 160 countries around the world, the demand and necessity for soldiers in the armed forces has rapidly increased. U.S. military recruiters are falling short of their annual recruitment goals, leaving the U.S. military over-expanded and under-staffed. The diminishing rate of enlistment has led the military to implement more aggressive recruitment strategies in public high schools, focusing on gathering students’ private information, exploiting the vulnerabilities of underprivileged youth, and sugarcoating the benefits of a military career. Using a mixed methodology, this study examines the activities of U.S. military recruiters in two area high school districts, one predominantly poor and Latino and the other affluent and white/Asian American. This study is not a critique of the decision to enlist in the U.S. military. Instead, the objective of this study is to highlight correlations between social and educational inequalities and the strategic recruitment practices of the U.S. military.

Effect of MAO Inhibition on Nicotine-Induced Depression in Adolescent Rats
Jon Heston
Mentor: James Belluzzi

Clinical studies have shown comorbidity between cigarette smoking and psychopathologies such as depression and anxiety. Individuals diagnosed to be clinically depressed are approximately twice as likely to smoke cigarettes than those not depressed (25 vs. 50 percent) and have a much more difficult time quitting. It has been suggested that these smokers use cigarettes to self-medicate their psychopathologies. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 compounds in addition to nicotine, including some that inhibit monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity in the brains of smokers. Our animal model of smoking includes both nicotine and MAO inhibition (MAOI). To investigate the interaction between nicotine and MAOI’s anti-depressant properties, the forced swim test, an animal behavior model that identifies clinically relevant drugs, was used. The test was done in both adolescents and adults to identify any age-specific effects. In adults, neither nicotine, MAOI, nor their combination had a significant effect on depression. In adolescents, however, it was found that a non-anti-depressant dose of MAOI prevented nicotine-induced depression. Though these findings suggest age differences in the relationship between cigarettes and depression, more testing must be done to confirm these results.

Constructing Chinese-Vietnamese Identity
Calvin Ho
Mentor: John Liu

Identity is the notion of a person’s comprehension of his or her own individuality. In defining and creating an identity, this process becomes complex if an individual carries a mixed heritage. In one of the largest and most renowned Vietnamese communities, Little Saigon, located in Orange County, California, roughly 30% of the population is identified as Vietnamese American. Phenomenally in this Vietnamese community, a substantial ethnic Chinese-Vietnamese population is prevalent but glossed over due to their similar cultural customs. Through literature review, semi-structured interviews, and participant observations, the object of this study is to understand how identity is constructed in a multiethnic population—in this case, ethnic Chinese-Vietnamese Americans. Each participant from the sample demonstrated different perceptions of his or her identity based on familial ties, social networks, language capabilities, and cultural knowledge. Some revealed experiences of identity crisis with an ongoing renegotiation of their identity. With a growing diversity in America, this study offers an insight on how future generations will construct their identity, rethinking how identity is defined.

Benthic Foraminifera in Bodega Harbor, California: Changes in Species Assemblage Over 26 Years
Stephanie Ho
Mentor: Tessa Hill

Studies have been conducted by students in Geology S119 and S219 courses at the Bodega Marine Laboratory, primarily from 1968–1980. These studies indicate that Trochammina inflata are more resistant to habitats inshore, whereas Miliammina fusca are more abundant in habitats offshore. The purpose of this study is to conduct a survey of the foraminiferal species assemblage of Bodega Bay, particularly in the marshes of Gaffney Point; and to examine the changes in this assemblage over time. Changes are believed to be due to human impacts, global warming, changes in organic matter, and other environmental variables. The four most common species found in this study are Trochammina inflata, Miliammina fusca, Trochammina hadai, and Trochammina pacifica. T. hadai has been observed elsewhere on the west coast and is believed to be an invasive species from Japan; however, it has also been disputed that the foraminifer is actually native and the same species as Trochammina pacifica. Nevertheless, T. hadai and T. pacifica are treated as separate species in this investigation. The foraminiferal assemblage of Gaffney Point has changed due to the presence of the two previously unreported species.

Gene Expression in Rabbit Corneal Stromal Cells: Influence of Growth Factor on Phenotype
Theresa Ho
Mentor: Donald Brown

The normal corneal stroma is populated by quiescent cells, referred to as keratocytes, have a distinctive morphology. With wounding, these cells undergo a progressive change in phenotype, first displaying a fibroblastic morphology and later displaying a myofibroblastic phenotype with the ability to contract collagen. The purpose of this study was to examine the change in gene expression of stromal cells under the influence of growth factors that drive their phenotypic conversion. Primary keratocytes from fresh rabbit corneal stroma were isolated and treated for 48 hours with Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF), Platelet-derived Growth Factor (PDGF), Serum, or Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGF beta). Cell morphology was documented and RNA was isolated and transcribed to cDNA. Real time Reverse Transcriptase-PCR was performed for 30 gene products related to corneal cell function. The threshold cycle number (Ct) was determined for each and the relative mRNA abundance was calculated by subtracting the Ct of gene of interest to the Ct of GAPD. The PCR products were then separated on agarose gels and sequenced to verify their authenticity. Results showed that there were distinct differences in the expression of smooth muscle actin, corneal specific preteoglycans, and corneal crystallins that accompany the change in cell morphology. We conclude that growth factors may have influences on the rabbit corneal cells gene expression, phenotype and morphology.

Upregulation of Alpha 7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Subtype in Hippocampus After Nicotine Addiction
Bach Hoang
Mentor: Katumi Sumikawa

The hippocampus is a part of the brain involved in learning and memory. It has been shown that the use of nicotine can enhance cognitive function and form an addiction to the drug, but the exact mechanism is not fully known. We attempted to expose the molecular basis for this mechanism within the context of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). The alpha 7 subtype was studied because it is a major constituent of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the hippocampus. With homogenized hippocampal protein samples from rats that were chronically injected with either a phosphate buffered saline (PBS) or nicotine solution, I performed Western blots to quantify the alpha 7 subtype protein levels for comparison between these two experimental groups. Results indicate that there is more alpha 7 protein in the hippocampus samples of rats treated with nicotine than there is in those treated with PBS. This indicates a tendency for the alpha 7 subtype to be upregulated with chronic exposure to nicotine and suggests that the alpha 7 subtype is involved nicotine addiction. We can use this finding to investigate the role nicotine plays in improving memory.

Field-Based Estimates of Assortative Mating in Brassica rapa
Julia Hoang
Mentor: Arthur Weis

We examined assortative mating in Brassica rapa using both prospective and retrospective analyses. The prospective estimate (r) is the correlation between mates based on flowering schedules. This method makes several assumptions, such as that the probability of open flowers exchanging genes is equal. The retrospective estimate (r’) gives an actual degree of assortative mating that occurred by using parent-offspring regression. By comparing the regression of the correlation between maternal and offspring flowering time in random, natural, and hyper-assortative mating, we were able to compare the expected slope to the actual slope. In addition, we measured the correlation of mid-parent to offspring flowering time to obtain h² for the expected heritability for random, natural, and hyper-assortative mating. Analyses showed that in an experimental population with natural conditions, assortative mating by first flowering time occurred in B. rapa. However, it was also shown that the retrospective and prospective estimates were not similar, thereby possibly showing a violation of the assumptions made in the prospective estimates. Since it is known that assortative mating increases the genetic variance of a population, this experiment can be useful for determining levels of assortative mating in future evolutionary models.

Shared Semantic Structures of Automobile Brands Among U.S. Residents
Namanh Hoang
Mentor: Carter Butts

Semantic structure information for 48 automobile manufacturer brand names was obtained using two association tasks (free list and card sort) for a sample of 928 English-speaking United States residents recruited from online sources. Using this data, we estimated the shared structure of perceived similarity among automobile brands within the sampled population, and investigated the extent to which this structure reflects a cultural consensus, which is shared across demographic groups. Employing multidimensional scaling methods, we explored the properties of this structure, providing interpretation in terms of known brand attributes. Via an additional instrument, we also measured subjects’ tendency to infer that novel information regarding one brand will be causally relevant for assessing the properties of other brands. We used this data to test the hypothesis that closely-associated brands are seen as causally relevant, net of objective factors such as ownership by the same firm. Major findings include the following: (1) A comparison of semantic structures on the semantic domain of automobile brand names among subjects shows strong universal consensus with little variation across demographic groups, (2) the methods give strong convergent results, (3) the semantic structure shows weak correlation between closely-associated brands and causal relevancy, and (4) brand “kinship” ties due to organizational relationships are somewhat predictive of semantic association, but play a smaller role than country of origin and perceived brand luxury in determining semantic structure. The results place strong constraints on theories relating to brand behavior based on individual differences in the semantic domain of automobile brand names.

Hurry Up and Buy
Vivi Hoang
Mentor: James Vigil

There is an obvious danger to the false presumption that California is a tolerant and accepting classless community, a problem that must first be recognized to be remedied. “The largest concentration of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam is found in Orange County, where 135,548 Vietnamese Americans can be found…the majority of [whom] are small business owners.” With such a large population in need of political protection and representation, they will continue to settle and thrive, but lack the means to fix the aperture that disjoins them from their non-immigrant and even non-Vietnamese immigrant peers. Without a structural change to break the partition between the Asian-American society and non-immigrant Americans, political growth will be greatly stunted by this unsupported belief in a climate of equality and community. Additionally, I will make a case comparison of Orange County to the political and social climate found in Northern California and further place the political state of Southern California in a broader perspective. From a narrowed context, I can also come to understand how a specific family comes to accept these social markers as daily reminders of their position and role in society and how they have come to use their business as a means to control space to avoid the internalization of their daily marginality.

Predictors of Children’s Health Functioning: Exploring Home Chaos and Parental Romantic Attachment Relative to a Normative Stressor
Julie Horner
Mentor: Jodi Quas

Worldwide, seven out of ten children are affected each year by communicable illnesses. These illnesses are not simply the result of exposure to pathogens. In fact, there is increasing evidence that childhood health is influenced by numerous environmental and psychosocial factors, particularly in times of stress and challenge. Two such factors with theoretical links to childhood health are home environment and parental romantic attachment. However, relatively little research has empirically tested the combined role of these factors in predicting health functioning in non-chronically ill children, nor has research focused on these factors in conjunction with normative stressors (e.g., school entry). This study examines the interrelations among home environment, parental romantic attachment, and young children’s health functioning during the transition to kindergarten. Seventy-two parents and a target 5-year-old child participated in the study. Before kindergarten began for their children, parents completed questionnaires concerning family demographics (e.g., socioeconomic status, childcare), chaos in the home, parental romantic attachment, and their child’s health. After their children started kindergarten, parents completed questionnaires about changes in their child’s health functioning. Correlational analyses revealed that greater home chaos was associated with generally poorer child health and more frequent hospitalizations, and parental preoccupied attachment style was significantly linked with increased hospitalizations, chronic illnesses, injuries, and poorer child health functioning overall. Analyses of children’s post-kindergarten health revealed the that relations between home chaos, parental romantic attachment, and children’s health became even more robust during the transition period. These findings have implications for early identification of and interventions for children at risk for health problems.

The Lebanese Opposition Movement
Sally Hosn
Mentor: Lina Kreidie

Throughout its history, Lebanese politics has been greatly affected by the regional politics of the Middle East. This still holds true today, as the problems plaguing the region have also affected the confessionally structured Lebanon. The assassination of the former Prime Minister Rafik Harirri only escalated these problems. The Lebanese young adults, supported by certain factions, rose up as an Opposition Movement in reaction to the evolving events, culminating in the Cedar Revolution. The goal of this study is to analyze the Opposition Movement in terms of its structural and political unity and ramifications on the future of Lebanon. Studies are being conducted on the impact of Lebanese social structure and domestic, regional and international variables on the viability of Lebanon. My study will take a special path by focusing on the role of young adults in the formation of the Opposition Movement and their impact as it evolved along with the growing events. The initial methodology of the study was to conduct in-depth interviews with a randomly selected group of young adults who were involved in the Cedar Revolution and others who were not. However, interviews were cut short due to the Hezbollah-Israeli War in summer 2006. I will now take the research route of analyzing the events using recent scholarly work, speeches of leaders, and shifts in social, ideological and political structure of the movements, paralleled with historical events to find a conclusion on the role of young adults in shaping the future of Lebanon.

Agricultural Subsidies in the Developing World: The Effects of U.S. Rice Subsidies on the Ghanaian Economy
Toby Howard
Mentor: Caesar Sereseres

The world once characterized by individual bordering countries, each with its own social, economic and political structure, is quickly diminishing. Instead, what is arising is a world interconnected within these realms through what is commonly referred to as globalization. Economically, globalization is fostered by increases in free trade and flows of capital, including foreign direct investment and developments in global financial systems. The use of agricultural subsidies by developed countries in particular is one element of free trade that continues to be a critical international issue. Specifically, agricultural subsidies are defined as a governmental subsidy paid to farmers to supplement their income, help manage the supply of agricultural commodities, and bolster the supply of such commodities on international markets. Researchers’ debate the social and economic effectiveness these subsidies exhibit on developing countries. One argument in favor of subsidies claims that they incite increased spending in other domestic markets where the subsidy is applied, thus strengthening the overall economy. Others who oppose agricultural subsidization claim that such subsidization is a form of price discrimination or “dumping,” and believe it undermines the notion of free trade on the local producer. This study employed a case-analysis on Ghana, a current importer of rice subsidies, to determine the social, political, and economic implications these subsidies have exerted on the country. Interviews with Ghanaian employers coupled with extensive data collection form results that support the implementation of rice subsidization. Policy recommendations are also provided.

Understanding the Impacts of Developing and Changing Dormitory Social Networks Upon a First Year Student’s Academic Performance, Stress Levels and Overall Satisfaction with a University
Jiexi “Jesse” Huang
Mentors: Katherine Faust & Samuel Gilmore

Previous studies suggest that social networks of college students are affected by factors such as location of residence, social networks prior to college and demographic variables. In addition, outcomes such as satisfaction with a university and academic performance were found to be affected by social networks. However, previous studies were mostly conducted on campuses featuring an ethnically homogenous student population and hence may not be representative of campuses featuring a “majority-minority” study body composed of multiple ethnic groups. It is the goal of this research project to analyze social networks of a college dormitory situated on a large public university with a “majority-minority” student body through both ethnographic and survey methods. The project assessed whether demographic factors such as ethnicity, gender and prior location of residence influenced the social networks formed between residents of a single residence hall. The study found that network ties are more likely to form between people who live in close proximity in the dormitory. In addition, residents who had more social obligations outside the hall were less likely to form social networks inside the hall. These results support prior findings on network homophily and spatial proximity. Furthermore, the research examined whether social networks formed between residents in the dormitory affected outcomes such as satisfaction with the university, stress levels and academic performance. It found that people who were more socially connected to other individuals inside the hall were more satisfied with the university. Implications of these results will be discussed.

Graph Analysis of Fruit Fly Eye Development
David Hubin
Mentor: Natasa Przulj

Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies have several tissues that demonstrate planar cell polarity, alignment of cells within the plane of an epithelial tissue. The D. melanogaster compound eye consists of a multitude of ommatidia (clusters of photoreceptor cells) arranged in a regular, hexagonal pattern; during development, the ommatidia rotate perpendicularly from their original parallel arrangement to pointing towards the eye’s “equator.” The precise mechanism behind the regular arrangement and rotation is unknown; additionally, several known mutations affect the development of this pattern. We propose to consider this compound eye as a mathematical graph—each ommatidium represents a vertex in the graph, and vertices are adjacent if the corresponding ommatidia are adjacent. We hypothesize that the structure of the resulting graph has the primary role in determining the shape and rotation of each ommatidium in the eye. We have encoded electron microscope pictures of cross sections of these eyes (wild-type and mutant) into graphs, with each ommatidium’s rotation angle as the vertex label. We analyze the properties of the resulting graphs to develop a rule that would predict the rotation angle of an ommatidium in the eye represented by the given graph. Finally, we generate graphs of structure similar to the observed graphs, to further test our set of predictors. At this time, more work is needed to develop the predictive functions. This work, even without the predictive functions, represents a novel and innovative manner with which to approach these and similar problems.

Changing Damping Capacity of an Alumina Fiber/Magnesium Alloy Composite Due to Thermal Cycling
Kevin Hung
Mentor: James Earthman

The use of Magnesium (Mg) in future transportation designs will offer designers a new window of opportunity. Magnesium has a low density and high strength, which makes it a perfect candidate as a structural material. However, despite the benefits, Magnesium oxidizes readily at high temperatures, which weakens the overall material and can lead to catastrophic failure. An innovative process to detect such a failure is with a percussion instrument. The device measures the input energy of a rod and picks up the output energy the material sends back. The difference in energy offers insight into the internal make up of the material. To conduct the tests, a housing to secure the specimen was constructed, a circuit with the according software was created, and the specimens were polished to remove impurities from the surface. Throughout the project, many challenges were overcome in the areas of circuitry, software development and machine work.

Optimization of Niobium Nitride and Cu1-xNix Thin Films
Laura Innes
Mentor: Ilya Krivorotov

Niobium nitride thin films, the superconducting layers, and Cu1-xNix thin films, the first of the ferromagnetic layers, are used in devices called spin valves. To produce the films, cut silicon wafers were placed into a vacuum chamber and plasma guns were used to transfer the material onto the wafers. To begin optimization of the niobium nitride films, the partial pressure of the nitrogen was varied to identify the best pressure to use. The varying of the pressure would allow the concentration of nitrogen to change. The optimized concentration was used to make samples of varying thicknesses to determine how thin the sample could be, while still having suitable superconductivity. The deposition rates for copper and nickel were tested and the composition for the Cu1-xNix was determined. With the optimization of the niobium nitride and Cu1-xNix layers, a better process has been achieved for depositing of these layers. Hopefully this will lead to a more efficient process for the development of bilayers, which will lead to a better, more effective spin valve.

Cost versus Benefit: Effect on Lifespan versus the Performance Enhancement Capability of Caffeine
Michael Joseph
Mentor: Mahtab Jafari

The intent of this study is to determine if it is possible to achieve performance enhancement with caffeine without effecting life span. A mortality assay was conducted to determine changes in fraction dying due to the different doses of both compounds, and a weight change screening was conducted to help determine if flies were consuming the food the compound was in. A metabolic rate assay and locomotion assay were conducted to determine performance enhancement capabilities of these doses. The data collected on caffeine showed increased performance in some doses, but these doses were correlated to an increase in mortality. It is hypothesized that the decrease in mortality in the high dose of caffeine as compared to the low and medium doses is due to reduced caloric intake. It is also hypothesized that caffeine induces increased norepinephrine production in drosophila as it does in mammals and that norepinephrine has the same inverted-U shaped relationship with locomotion as it has with cognitive response. However, these hypotheses are not verified by the data and further research needs to be done in these areas.

Muslim American Women: Exploring Contemporary Identities Through Photographic Conversations
Diana Jou
Mentor: Constance Samaras

Young Muslim American women are challenged with stereotypes that surround different parts of their identity: gender, religion, race, generation, class and culture. With a large Muslim Student Union at UCI, many women interpret their hijabs as an assertion of their confidence and femininity. Six women have been selected to document their lives and introduce a new visual archive of diverse Muslim American women. Through group discussions and weekly assignments, each woman has produced an image book that addresses spectatorship, public and private spaces, and truth and lies. As a facilitator instead of a photographer, I encouraged them to make images of their identity from a conscious and reflective position. This project aims to challenge stereotypical representations by building a visual archive of personal voices. The six image books suggest that there is an emergence of strong, socially conscious Muslim American women that are changing feminist and progressive rhetoric.

Discovery of a 110kda Protein that Interacts with EBER-2
Robyn Kaake
Mentor: Ingrid Ruf

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human herpes virus. While it can be a cause of infectious mononucleosis, it is generally a benign infection acquired during early childhood. In some instances, EBV has been associated with human cancers, one of which is Burkitt Lymphoma (BL). Although BL often exhibits a clear correlation with type 1 latent EBV infection, the mechanism by which the virus contributes to tumor formation is unknown. Two small noncoding RNA transcripts termed the Epstein Barr-virus encoded RNAs (EBERs) are the most highly expressed RNAs during type 1 latency EBV infection. Previous studies have shown that the EBERs confer resistance to IFNa-induced apoptosis and enhance the tumorigenicity of Akata BL cells, but little is known about the mechanisms by which they do so. To begin to clarify the means by which the EBERs exert these effects, we sought to identify cellular proteins that interact with one or both of the EBERs. Using a streptavidin-based magnetic bead assay, proteins capable of interacting with EBER-2 were isolated and separated by SDS-PAGE. Staining of the gel with colloidal blue revealed at least one unique protein band (110 kda) as compared to negative controls. Current and future efforts are aimed at identifying this protein via mass spectrometry and further characterizing its interaction with EBER-2. The identification of this potentially novel protein-RNA interaction should help to clarify the mechanism by which the EBERs contribute to Burkitt Lymphoma and perhaps even other types of EBV-associated cancers.

The Chemical Composition of Stars in the Globular Cluster NGC 2419
Shimonee Kadakia
Mentor: Tammy Smecker-Hane

Chemical abundances are determined for 19 red giant branch stars in the Galactic globular cluster NGC 2419. Lying at a distance of 84.2 kpc and a galactocentric distance of 91.5 kpc, NGC 2419 is the fourth brightest globular cluster in the Milky Way, with a total magnitude of M_V = -9.6 mag, which is significantly brighter than M_V = -7.5 mag, the typical peak of the globular cluster luminosity functions in external galaxies. The results will give an insight into whether NGC 2419 is in fact a globular cluster or a core of a disrupted galaxy that merged with the Milky Way. IRAF was used to reduce the spectra taken with the DEIMOS spectrograph on the Keck I 10-meter telescope. Using the strengths of the Ca II triplet absorption lines at approximately 8600 Angstrom, the chemical abundance of each star will be determined. If the chemical abundances differ by significantly more than the observational errors would predict, it can be concluded that the cluster is a remnant of the core of a galaxy that merged with the Milky Way and not a normal globular cluster, because most globular clusters formed quickly from a well-mixed gas cloud, and thus their stars have nearly identical ages and chemical compositions.

Hormonal Effects on Strength of Memory for Emotional Events and Post Event Spontaneous Intrusive Recollection
Rujvi Kamat
Mentor: Lawrence Cahill

Spontaneous intrusive recollections (SIRs) are known to follow traumatic events in clinical and non-clinical populations. This study was undertaken to explore the influence of menstrual phase and the hormones estradiol and progesterone on the frequency of reported rumination. Participants watched a set of emotional films, were tested for their memory of the films and were asked to estimate SIR frequency. Women in the luteal phase reported more SIRs than those in the follicular phase. A significant correlation between progesterone levels and average SIR frequency was obtained, as well as a negative correlation between the estradiol:progesterone ratio and average SIR frequency. Based on these findings it appears that progesterone may play a role in increasing propensity for intrusive recollections, while estradiol may have a protective influence against the effects of progesterone.

Latina/o Parents’ Attitudes Toward Higher Education
Marlen Kanagui
Mentors: Jeanett Castellanos & Alberta Gloria

Studies suggest that parents’ financial and cultural capital have a significant influence on children’s educational aspirations. Highly correlated with income, parents’ attitudes contribute to a child’s decision to attend college. Limited research has examined the role of parental influence, culture and college aspirations. Coleman & Hoffer suggest that Latina/o parent’s involvement in their child’s education is seeded in emotional support, given their limited financial resources and cultural capita. Although many studies examine the effects of parental attitudes on children, few assess parents’ existing knowledge about the education system and how it affects their attitudes toward higher education. The purpose of this study is to examine the factors that influence Latina/o parents’ attitudes toward higher education through a Psychosociocultural lens. Through the dissemination of 100 surveys and 20 interviews, Latina/o parent’s perspectives of their child’s educational experiences, college and willingness to support (i.e. behavioral and emotional) college attendance was examined. Findings will provide insight about the role that Latina/o parents play in supporting their children through higher education. Directives for schools on how to better collaborate with parents to ensure college attendance will also be provided.

The Validity of the Beck Depression Inventory, the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, and the Self-Report Depression Scale for Latina/o College Students
Marlen Kanagui
Mentors: Jeanett Castellanos & Alberta Gloria

The US Public Health initiative, Health People 2010, has listed depression among 15–24 year olds as an issue of top priority for this decade. Weitzman found that depression may be more prevalent in lesser status groups such as women, ethnic or racial minorities and first generation students. Due to their minority status and likelihood of being first generation college students, Latina/o college students may be particularly vulnerable to depressive symptoms. Equally important is the proper assessment and diagnosis of depression using standard depression inventories. Crocket et al. suggest that testing the validity and reliability of depression assessments warrants attention because depression as a construct may show variance across racial and ethnic groups. Up-to-date studies have only examined depression measures’ cross cultural reliability and validity through a factor analysis; however, no study to date has specifically investigated which measure is the most reliable and valid for the Latino population. This study will examine the internal consistency, convergent validity and construct validity for the Self-Rating Depression Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, and Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. A questionnaire packet was distributed to 300 participants who self identify as Latina/o. Data was entered and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Findings will provide important information for practitioners in the mental health fields regarding the proper assessment of depression for Latina/o college students. Additionally, the study will provide directives for future research in the area of measure validation for student populations.

Lateral Morphometric Images in Facial Beauty
Koohyar Karimi
Mentor: Brian Wong

Quantitative approaches in defining facial beauty rely on correlating subjective grading of facial beauty with linear and angular dimensions of the human face. Morphing software creates a composite image from two facial images by superimposing user-defined registry points. Currently, research has focused exclusively on analysis of frontal facial images. Lateral facial landmarks critical to specifying registry points are unknown. First, this study identifies the critical facial landmarks used as registry points to produce lateral facial morphs. Second, the developed method was implemented in a pilot investigation aimed at verifying whether this approach can create successive generations of morphs. To create synthetic lateral facial images, we used morphing software to assign approximately 200 registry points to distinct facial landmarks of lateral images. Each registry point that identified a facial feature of one image was paired with the corresponding feature of the other image. Images in the top 50th percentile were randomly morphed to produce the next “attractive” generation. Likewise, those in the bottom 50th percentile were morphed to produce a new generation of “unattractive” offspring. This process was repeated for five generations. Each generation was posted on an Internet-based rating Web site for one week. The scores were statistically analyzed to determine if the offspring faces maintained scores similar to those of their parents. The proposed registry point selection process produced synthetic morphed images that yielded clear contours on all facial features. Furthermore, the average beauty scores of offspring generations consistently maintained their categorical placement in either attractive or unattractive lateral images.

Targeting Liposomes Containing Doxorubicin to Specific Cell Types in the Liver
Natasha Kasabwala
Mentor: Richard Robertson

Work in this laboratory is directed toward developing methods of specific cell targeting for the delivery of drugs or genes. Recent findings have revealed that liposomes coated with a peptide derived from the malaria organism, Plasmodium, specifically target the liver following administration by IV injections. The objective of this project was to determine whether the liposomes target only certain cells, or all cells, of the liver. Peptide coated liposomes containing doxorubicin were injected into adult Balb C female mice. After survival times of 5 min to 4 hr, the animals were fixed by perfusion and 8–12 mm liver sections were cut and processed. Immunofluorescence was used to identify cell specific staining in the tissue sections, using antibodies specific for albumin on hepatocytes, F4/80 for Kupffer cells, and GFAP for Ito stellate cells. By combining images under rhodamine and fluoroscein optics, it was possible to distinguish the types of cells that were targeted by the doxorubicin contents of the liposomes. The results revealed that all three types of liver cells contained doxorubicin, indicating a lack of cell specificity within the liver. Doxorubicin is a chemotherapeutic agent that is clinically used to treat certain kinds of cancer; it was the drug that was packaged in the liposomes. It was chosen because it is fluorescent and can be detected under rhodamine optics. Presently, medications used for cancer therapy are not targeted to specific cells. Obtaining the means to direct drugs to a targeted cell type would reduce many side effects resulting from chemotherapy.

Demonstration of Intramyocardial Fat Infiltration by Multi-Detector Computed Tomography
Khushboo Kaushal
Mentors: Jagat Narula & Farhood Saremi

The segmental location of intramyocardial fat deposition and associated findings are important for differentiation of normal from pathological deposition of fat in the ventricles of the heart. The major objective of this study was to use Multi-Detector Computed Tomography (MDCT) to retrospectively evaluate the presence of left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) intramyocardial fat deposition among individuals free of coronary artery disease and patients with history of myocardial infarct. The morphology, segmental location, and density of fat infiltration were evaluated for normal individuals and infarct patients using Vitrea software. Intramyocardial fat deposition is a common finding in normal individuals and is related to age in the RV, and sex in the LV. In normal individuals, fat infiltration in the LV myocardium was primarily located at the base of the ventricle and papillary muscles, and RV intramyocardial fat was primarily located in the anterolateral and inferolateral segments. Older age was associated with increased odds of RV but not LV intramyocardial fat, and men had a lower risk of LV but not RV intramyocardial fat. On the other hand, infarct patients had increased fat infiltration at all levels (base, mid, and apex) and coronary artery (left anterior descending, left circumflex, and right coronary artery) distribution of the LV myocardium. The differences in location and degree of intramyocardial fat deposition for normal individuals and infarct patients suggest that MDCT provides valuable information in its ability to differentiate normal from pathological deposition of fat in the myocardium, which may have significant clinical implications.

The Effects of Gestational Nicotine on the Stress Response in Adolescent Male and Female Rats
Anna Khalaj
Mentor: Frances Leslie

Clinical studies have shown that maternal smoking can cause persisting neurobehavioral deficits in offspring, including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Conduct Disorder, and increased substance abuse. These deficits manifest during childhood or adolescence and are partly mediated by the dopamine (DA) system. Nicotine, the main psychoactive ingredient in tobacco, acts on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which are found on DA neurons in the developing brain. To investigate the effects of gestational nicotine (GN) on brain development, we implanted pregnant dams with osmotic minipumps containing either nicotine (3 mg/kg/day) (GN) or saline (GS). During adolescence (postnatal day 32), female and male offspring were injected with either cocaine (15 mg/kg, i.p.) or saline, with or without a saline preinjection, and were monitored for locomotor activity. Females had higher cocaine-induced activity than males, but their behavior was sensitive to the stress of a prior saline injection. GS and GN females, however, had opposite reactions to the preinjections: GS females showed a decrease in behavior, while GN females showed an increase. To better understand this difference, we examined the peripheral stress response by measuring plasma corticosterone. Although females showed significantly higher levels than males, there was no significant difference between GS and GN females. We are now analyzing the central stress response by measuring cfos activation, and colocalization with corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF), in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), central amygdala (CeA), and bed nuclei of the stria terminalis (BNST). Preliminary analyses show that cfos and CRF are colocalized in the PVN, but not the BNST or CeA.

Effect of Companding Borne Temporal Changes on Consonant Perception
Rola Khedraki
Mentor: Fan-Gang Zeng

Companding is a spectral enhancement strategy, which has the potential to improve speech perception of cochlear implant users in noise. The strategy combines two-tone suppression and automatic gain control to enhance the spectral contrast in speech. A study on using companding as a front-end to cochlear implants has shown that it improves both phoneme and sentence perceptions. One particular finding of the study was that apart from improving the spectral contrast, companding also enhanced the temporal contrast. This project set out to test how the temporal changes caused by companding affect the perception of consonants in normal hearing (NH) subjects. It was found that the elimination of spectral cues greatly reduced the ability of subjects to distinguish among the consonants in the stimulus set.

The Trade-Off Between Metabolic Rate and Anti-Aging Properties of Lamotrigine
Behnood Khodayari
Mentor: Mahtab Jafari

There are a number of potential confounds to address in anti-aging pharmacology. Previous reports suggest that supplementing model organisms such as C elegans and Drosophila melanogaster with anticonvulsant drugs can increase life span. None of these studies systematically evaluated the established trade-off between metabolic rate and anti-aging properties. We performed a number of dose finding assays to evaluate the impact of lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant drug, on the mortality rate of Drosophila. Lamotrigine at 6 and 12 mg/ml doses resulted in a significant decrease in mortality rate in male and female flies (P < 0.05). The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of lamotrigine on metabolic rate using Drosophila as the model system. Since we observed anti-aging properties with lamotrigine at 6 and 12 mg/ml, we proceeded to evaluate the impact of this compound at these doses on metabolic rate. Metabolic rate was measured using CO2 as a biomarker for physiological changes in metabolic activity. CO2 levels were averaged and recorded every second using data acquisition software, and compared to a control group handled in a parallel assay. Our results indicate that lamotrigine at 6 and 12 mg/ml significantly decreased metabolic rate in compiled medicated male flies (p<0.05). In female flies, although not statistically significant, a trend towards metabolic rate depression was observed. These results imply that the observed lamotrigine anti-aging properties may be due to a reduction in metabolic rate. Our results suggest that metabolic rate should be systematically evaluated during the screening phase of anti-aging compounds.

Role of Nedd4 in Growth Factor Withdrawal-Induced Cell Death
Gary Kim
Mentor: Aimee Edinger

In cancer, the mechanisms that tightly regulate cell survival, proliferation, and programmed cell death (apoptosis) are disrupted. Nedd4 proteins may be involved in ubiquitinating plasma membrane proteins in mammalian cells. The Edinger lab hypothesized that Nedd4 activation might be involved in the induction of apoptosis following growth factor withdrawal. To test this idea, preliminary studies were performed using FL5.12 cells, which are IL-3-dependent murine hematopoetic cells that rapidly undergo apoptosis and nutrient transporter destruction in growth-factor-deprived conditions. The activity of Nedd4-1, one of the two isoforms of the Nedd4 protein, was reduced in these cells by RNAi, and these cells were able to survive in conditions which would otherwise cause the cell to self-destruct. Over the summer, cell lines were created that expressed a dominant-negative form of Nedd4-1. These cells were able to survive in growth-factor deprivation. These results lend support to the idea that Nedd4-1 activation might be involved in growth-factor withdrawal-induced cell death and present the possibility of Nedd4 proteins as potential therapeutics targets in cancer patients.

Bilingual Word Learning—Korean and English
Nan Kim
Mentor: Barbara Sarnecka

This study will investigate the difference between noun learning and number word learning for bilingual children. The experiment attempts to learn whether children learn number words and noun words in the same manner. Specifically, the study will try to determine whether: (1) a child who knows a number word for one language necessarily knows it in another, unlike with noun words; and (2) learning a number-word is qualitatively different from learning common nouns. Each child will undergo two sessions, one conducted in English and one conducted in Korean. Each session has nine different trials with six trials per block, three containing common noun items, three containing color word items, and three containing number word items. The hypotheses are that bilingual children know the number concepts in both languages, unlike the noun words, and that the bilingual children learn number words dissimilarly to learning noun words. The preliminary analysis shows no conclusive result because the children tested so far are performing at ceiling. More data is being collected from younger children to obtain a conclusive result.

Resolution Studies of a-Siloxy Allylic Silanes
Kyle Kimmel
Mentor: Keith Woerpel

Recent methodology developed in the Woerpel laboratory by Antonio Romero allows us to synthesize g-lactams from α-siloxy allylsilanes via a diastereoselective [3+2] annulation reaction. The g-lactams can be used to synthesize g-amino acids and potentially complex natural products. As a highly desirable stereoselective and stereospecific transformation, the novel [3+2] annulation of a-siloxy allylsilanes could be used for the synthesis of enantiomerically pure g -amino acids, given that the allylsilane starting material is a single enantiomer. Though enantiomerically pure a-siloxy allylsilanes can typically be synthesized via asymmetric reductions of acylsilanes, there are steric hindrances in some cases that prevent this transformation from occurring. An alternate method for making enantiomerically pure allylsilanes is by means of a kinetic resolution of racemic a-siloxy allylsilanes. We are investigating the use of a [3+2] annulation as a kinetic resolution of a-siloxy allylsilanes. Former work in the Woerpel laboratory showed that the chiral pyruvate derived from (R)-pantolactone reacts as an electrophile in a [3+2] annulation of allylsilanes. Unfortunately, the pyruvate proved unreactive toward the substrates we are interested in. We are now investigating the use of a chiral glyoxalate derived from (R)-pantolactone. Since the glyoxalate is more electrophilic than the pyruvate, it should react more readily with the a-siloxy allylsilanes. The results of this set of experiments will be discussed in detail. Future work may include the study of oxocarbenium ions as potential electrophiles in [3+2] annulations of α-siloxy allylsilanes.

Further Investigations into the Validity of the Glass-Steagall Act: Was Universal Banking a Threat to Banking Stability?
Alejandro Komai
Mentor: Gary Richardson

From 1933 to 1999 the Glass-Steagall Act affected public policy and perceptions of the banking system within the United States. Specifically, its separation of the banking system into commercial and investment sectors uniquely shaped U.S. banking. Though it has been shown that national banks were probably not injured by the move toward universal banking before Glass-Steagall, it is improper to assume that national banks are representative of the entire banking system. In an attempt to form more robust conclusions regarding whether Glass-Steagall was justified, I have investigated whether the probability of bank failure was affected by movement of commercial banks into investment banking for state, private, and Federal Reserve member banks as well. This research used the probit regression model with failure of a bank acting as the dependent variable against whether a bank held an investment bank, controlling for regulations. The Rand McNally’s Bankers Directory, July 1929 was the source of bank data used for analysis, such as resources and liabilities. Low correlation between commercial bank failure and holdings of an investment bank implies this aspect of Glass-Steagall was unjustified.

Bordetella Phage Mutagenesis as a Model System for HIV-1 Drug Resistance
Calvin Kong
Mentor: Gregory Weiss

Bordetella bacteriophage (BP) displaying Nef NL4-3 core domain are under construction to investigate how mutations in the HIV-1 Nef protein affect binding to ligands and inhibitors. Restriction enzyme sites were introduced in specific locations in the template region (TR) and variable region (VR) of a phagemid containing a homologous sequence to BP. Using the newly introduced restriction enzyme sites, a DNA sequence coding for the Nef NL4-3 core domain protein was sub-cloned into the phagemid. The homologous sequence with inserted Nef NL4-3 core domain was sub-cloned into a suicide vector, and introduced by homologous recombinational cloning into BP. Reverse transcriptase-mediated mutagenesis inherent to the BP can then be used to model mutations in Nef. We report the characterization of foreign inserts into positions VR 368 and VR 348 and the introduction of restriction enzyme sites SpeI and HindIII into TR/VR 367 and 348. These results allowed the insertion of a Nef NL4-3 core domain into a carrier TR/VR phagemid. Future introduction of Nef NL4-3 core domain into BP can allow studies to be conducted evaluating the effects of mutations in Nef binding to target receptors, including anti-Nef antibodies and MHC-1.

Do Decomposition Rates of Mulch Affect Growth of Mulched Seedlings of Terminilia amazonia?
Tejal Kothari
Mentor: F. Lynn Carpenter

I tested the hypothesis that mulch decomposition rates affect early growth of mulched tree seedlings. The decomposition of mulch provides nutrients to soils in areas such as the deforested tropics, where land has eroded and is often nutrient deficient, thereby delaying forest restoration. Mulch decomposition is a result of microorganism activity that is positively influenced by mulch quality. Therefore, mulches that are nutrient rich, such as legumes, should have higher rates of decomposition than those that are relatively nutrient poor, such as certain grasses. Faster decomposition might translate into faster seedling growth because of rapid release of nutrients. I tested this by measuring the rates of decomposition of mulches prepared from three nitrogen-fixing legume trees, three pasture grasses and one native weed. Assuming that the mulches decomposed at different rates, I also predicted that seedlings planted with these mulches would grow at rates that correlated with the decomposition rates. However, my analysis showed no significant differences between mulch species in decomposition rates, no significant effect of different mulches on seedlings growth, and no correlation between seedling growth and decomposition rates. Therefore, I could not test my original hypothesis, but the results suggest that mulch may not be an effective means of enhancing rainforest restoration in Costa Rica.

Spherical Indentation of Middle Basal Plate Cartilage in the Atlantic Hagfish, Myxine glutinosa
Margaret Kozick
Mentor: Adam Summers

Atlantic hagfish are jawless craniates with cartilaginous endoskeletons that scavenge marine vertebrate and invertebrate carcasses. The basal plate, a series of cartilages divided into anterior, middle, and posterior segments, is ventrally-positioned in the head and supports the muscles and dental plates of the feeding apparatus. To determine basal plate stiffness, the ability to resist deformation, I dissected the middle basal plates from five Atlantic hagfish and subjected them to spherical indentation tests with four interchangeable sapphire ball indenters. I hypothesized that the middle basal plate cartilage would be equally stiff or stiffer than lamprey annular cartilage due to the larger stresses inflicted during scavenging as opposed to the lamprey’s less stressful parasitic feeding methods. I also hypothesized that unmineralized shark jaw and mammalian articular cartilages were stiffer than hagfish basal plate cartilage due to the larger forces exerted on shark jaw and mammalian articular cartilages during biting and locomotion, respectively. The positive correlation between hagfish basal plate stiffness with indenter ball diameter suggests viscoelasiticity in hagfish cartilage. Atlantic hagfish middle basal plates have a mean stiffness, independent of ball size and specimen, of 4.19 MPa, which is significantly stiffer than lamprey annular cartilage (0.71 MPa), yet is significantly less stiff than shark jaw (49.9 MPa) and mammalian articular (39.0 MPa) cartilages. These results suggest that hagfish require stiff, yet flexible cartilage to accommodate the physical stresses associated with feeding, which include rasping, grasping, and occasionally knot-tying to remove relatively large chunks of flesh off carcasses.

Decolonizing the City: Violence, Modernist City Planning and Nationalism in Postcolonial Delhi, 1947–1962
Mukul Kumar
Mentor: Vinayak Chaturvedi

Decolonization and Partition in the South Asian subcontinent fundamentally reshaped the physical and social structure of Delhi. As refugee camps and slums continued to grow throughout the city during the 1950s, the absence of basic urban infrastructure raised questions about the possibility of citizenship and modernity in the national capital. In response, a wide range of urban development organizations, including the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), were brought into existence. This paper traces how colonial and communal violence is simultaneously disavowed and reproduced by the DDA’s 1962 Master Plan. I argue that the inability of planners to locate the violence of colonialism and Partition is at the heart of why urban development regimes in 1950s Delhi reproduced, rather than reduced, inequality in the city. The disavowal and erasure of violence is perhaps the central reason why decolonizing Delhi remains today an unfinished project.

Comparison of RNA Isolation Methodologies in Xenopus laevis Oocytes
Yungtai Kung
Mentor: Ricardo Miledi

In 1979, Chirgwin and his colleagues detailed a method to isolate biologically active ribonucleic acids (RNAs). Since then, many different methods and kits have been made available to the scientific community. Literature comparing the differences between methods is scarce. The intent of this study is to discover the expressional potency of different RNA isolation methodologies in Xenopus laevis oocytes from rat cerebral cortex. We injected oocytes with total RNA isolated using the single step guanidinum thiocyanate-phenol:chloroform method, TRIzol Reagentä protocol (Invitrogen Corp.), and with mRNA isolated by Oligotex Direct mRNA Systemä (Qiagen). The oocyte’s expressional potency was measured by applying pharmacological agents and using a two electrode voltage clamp setup. The results show some receptors (e.g. GABA receptor) from rat cortex mRNA are being inconsistently expressed; and when they are present, the amplitudes of their currents are very small compared with currents from receptors expressed using procedures previously used. We found no significant difference between responses to total RNA and mRNA, suggesting that either isolated mRNA that codes for receptors tested was damaged, or mRNA in total RNA is translated into receptors more efficiently. Based on the results, it may be simpler to inject total RNA because it is easier isolated and yielded in much larger quantities than mRNA.

Characterization of Cortical Precursor Cells’ Responses to BMP4 Gradients in a Microfluidic Device
Eric Kuo
Mentors: Noo Li Jeon & Edwin Monuki

Morphogen gradients are fundamental to animal development, and morphogen defects are the primary causes of human brain malformations. Nonetheless, tremendous controversy remains about the mechanisms by which morphogen gradients act on the developing brain. To date, studies on this issue have relied on traditional cell culture tools, which are inefficient and biologically limited as models of natural gradients. In this study, a microfluidic culture device has been engineered and optimized to address these limitations. The device is used to simulate an in vivo environment by generating several diverse, stable, and continuous gradient profiles onto cultured cells in which its behaviors can be captured by time-lapse microscopy. The specific morphogen protein used in this study is BMP4. Our finding indicates that exposing cells to high BMP4 concentration induces cell death and suppresses cell proliferation. Similar results are observed when there is a sharp increase in the slope of the gradient across the microfluidic chamber. However, this effect might be caused by the chemo-attractive property of BMP4, which has never been reported in literature. We have generated a real-time optical assay on cell death and on proliferation in a morphogen gradient that has revealed novel insights on the slope of the gradient and new roles of BMP4 in the developing cerebral cortex.

Guanxi In the Chinese Education System
Lawrence Kuok
Mentor: Dorothy Solinger

Using data from students and professionals, I explore how guanxi in the educational system perpetuates one aspect of social inequality. I found that attending better middle and high schools provides a significant advantage in gaining admission to premier universities because of the increased amount of resources that magnet schools have compared to their non-magnet counterparts. I also found gaining admission to magnet middle schools and high schools relies heavily upon guanxi, such as knowing faculty at these institutions. In addition, I found that through guanxi, individuals could extract gao kao material, thereby drastically improving their probability of higher gao kao scores and thus of being admitted to the university of their choice. Furthermore, once enrolled in university, I discovered that having guanxi with faculty also leads to one receiving stronger grades as well as providing much more promising post-undergraduate opportunities such as jobs and graduate schools. Moreover, I found that most times, those students that had guanxi also came from much higher socio-economic backgrounds because their families could afford to give lavish gifts or trade favors and essentially purchase a relationship with those in power. The conclusion was that having guanxi provides a considerable advantage in receiving admission to educational institutions, finding a job, as well as achieving mobility in companies. Therefore, through guanxi, one is able to receive a considerable advantage in entering the best primary and secondary schools as well as the best universities, and gaining employment.

A Flemish Curiosity: Rubens and Brueghel’s Feast of Acheloüs—Culture and Politics in Early Seventeenth Century Antwerp
Jennifer Kwei
Mentor: Linda Bauer

The two leading painters of early seventeenth century Antwerp, Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) and Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625), collaborated on a number of works, one of which—the Feast of Acheloüs—was done around 1614 to 1615. Particularly distinctive, this painting’s narrative of a river god hosting a feast for a group of heroes from Books VIII and IX of Ovid’s Metamorphoses is rarely depicted. The few works of this subject are clustered within the first two decades of the 1600s in Antwerp, a key city of the Southern, Spanish Netherlands. This picture also belongs to the more popular pictorial tradition of the Feast of the Gods, showing scenes of banqueting gods or feasts from ancient narratives. In comparison to works in these pictorial traditions and also to the narrative itself, Rubens and Brueghel’s painting contains unusual elements: a stronger emphasis on the centrally placed Acheloüs, a new sense of abundance achieved through a carefully complex compositional scheme, and an especially prominent display of identifiable shells. The painting’s distinctive elements lead to questions of whether they reflect Antwerp’s political and cultural situation in the early seventeenth century. The city was finally experiencing a much needed period of peace from the conflict between Spain, which controlled the Netherlands, and the rebellious North, as a result of the Twelve-Year Truce established in 1609. However, the latter continued to blockade the heart of Antwerp’s prosperity, the Scheldt river, which was essential to its commercial and economic functioning. At the same time, Antwerp’s culture was steeped in developing interest for sources of natural history and the growing phenomenon of collecting, particularly with the Kunstkammern, or curiosity cabinets. I argue that this collaborative Rubens and Brueghel painting is a direct reflection of these developments and, thus, also a window into that time and place.

tRNA Binding Site is Not Required for Ty3 Genomic RNA Packaging
Anne Lamsa
Mentor: Suzanne Sandmeyer

Ty3 is a retrotransposon in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. As retroviruses do, Ty3 replicates itself by reverse transcription and then integrates into the genome of its host cell. However, unlike retroviruses, Ty3 lacks an extracellular phase of its lifecycle. Ty3 genomic organization is very similar to that of retroviruses. It is composed of GAG3 and GAG3-POL3 open reading frames (ORFs) homologous to retroviral gag and pol genes. GAG3 encodes capsid (CA) and nucleocapsid (NC) structural proteins, whereas POL3 encodes the functional enzymes protease, reverse transcriptase, and integrase. The Darlix lab has proposed a model in which Ty3 sequences both in the 5’ and 3’ LTR anneal to a tRNAMet, and two tRNAMet molecules anneal to one another, forming a Ty3 dimer interface. This goal of this study was to determine the packaging signal of Ty3 genomic RNA and to determine if dimerization is required through Western analysis and nuclease protections assays. The benzonase assay results demonstrate that nucleotide positions 16–172 within the Ty3 5’ untranslated region are important for Ty3 packaging. However it is not clear which specific region directs packaging. Packaging is not completely abolished in any of the deletion mutants, demonstrating that the 5’ Ty3-tRNAMet dimerization site is not required for packaging. Although dimer formation does not appear to be necessary for a significant level of packaging, further studies are needed to determine if the 3’ dimerization region is required for packaging, potentially independent of a role in dimerization.

Shelter: A Creative Investigation into Non-Literary Based Play Devising
Michael Lane
Mentors: Stephen Barker & Douglas-Scott Goheen

The vast majority of theatrical work is literary-based, performing an existent script (either a classic or new work). The creation of this theatrical project began without a script; generating all the text as part of the rehearsal process. The aim of devising a play through such a process was to create a work with a different flavor than most mainstream theatrical productions. Also an integral part was my personal exploration of the creative process, which I would use to inform both my future experimental and more standard literary-based theatrical work. All the material was developed in collaboration with four actors and two designers, who I led in brainstorming and improvisatory games. Great success was achieved in developing characters and a basic storyline; however I created much more of the material myself than I would have liked. The collaborators were uncomfortable working in this non-standard manner and had difficulty both conceiving and implementing generated ideas. This is due to my inexperience in directing this kind of activity and their strong identification with the literary-based and standard rehearsal structure used in almost all their previous theatre experience. More success could have been achieved if I possessed greater experience working in this fashion. The process also revealed the efficiencies in the standard model of theatrical creation.

An Evaluation of the FAST Scan in Pediatric Blunt Abdominal Trauma
Jarrod Larson
Mentor: John Christian Fox

The Focused Assessment Sonogram in Trauma (FAST) in the evaluation of blunt abdominal trauma is generally accepted as the screening modality of choice in adult populations to evaluate for free fluid (FF). However, there are few studies demonstrating its accuracy in the pediatric population, which was assessed in this study. This prospective observational study included a consecutive sample of patients aged 0–17 years, suffering blunt abdominal trauma requiring trauma activation who received either CT scans or underwent laparotomy at a tertiary care Level I Trauma Center University Hospital. After obtaining assent/consent, the senior emergency medicine resident performed and interpreted the FAST at bedside. Using CT scans as the criterion reference, the FAST results were compared to those of CT using descriptive statistics setting the Confidence Interval at 95%. Of the 118 total participants, none were excluded after initial inclusion. Nine percent had a positive FAST showing FF in the abdominal/pelvic cavity. Of those, 100% had a subsequent positive CT scan. Five subjects went to the operating room within 24 hours of evaluation. Of those, three had a positive FAST, demonstrating that the sensitivity of FAST in detecting clinically-significant levels of FF is 60%. Overall, the sensitivity of the FAST to illustrate any amount of FF in the abdominal/pelvic cavity is 40%, with a specificity of 99%, positive predictive value of 89%, and likelihood ratio of 39.2. The results indicate pediatric FAST is very specific, but less sensitive than that reported in the adult literature for all degrees of FF.

Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Proteins (SREBPs) Expression in Mice Under Various Metabolic Conditions
Jarrod Larson
Mentor: Timothy Osborne

Sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs) are transcription factors that regulate the expression of genes involved in cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate SREBP mRNA expression in different tissues under various metabolic conditions. This is important because, to date most studies have focused primarily on the liver, and SREBPs are likely to play key roles in other tissues as well. B6129 male mice were fed different diets to alter lipid and glucose homeostasis, and the expression of SREBPs and their target genes were analyzed by quantitative real time RT-PCR. Here we show that inhibition of cholesterol synthesis and absorption resulted in a significantly increased level of SREBP-2 as well as its cholesterologenic target genes, HMG CoA reductase and squalene synthase in the liver and small intestine. However, levels were unchanged in adipose tissue, providing further support for the importance of SREBP-2 in cholesterol regulation in the major cholesterolgenic tissues. Meanwhile, expression of key lipogenic enzymes, fatty acid synthase and acetyl-CoA carboxylase, was markedly decreased by fasting, and returned to nonfasting levels after refeeding fasted animals with a high carbohydrate diet. This expression pattern does not correlate with SREBP-2 expression but follows the pattern for SREBP-1c expression in the liver, adipose tissue and small intestine. The results from this study provide insight into the various regulatory mechanisms of SREBPs and their roles in cholesterol regulation and fatty acid synthesis under different metabolic conditions for a variety of tissue types.

The Effects of an Acute Stressor on Infant IgA Response at 12 Months of Age
Judith Lau
Mentors: Elysia Davis & Laura Glynn

During times of stress, various resources in the body are mobilized to help the body deal with such change. Primarily secreted across the mucosal tract into the stomach and intestines, IgA prevents microbes from binding to epithelial cells in the digestive and respiratory tracts. When adults are exposed to acute stressors, salivary IgA levels increase temporarily, functioning as a regulatory response of the immune system. Although the effects of acute stress on IgA responses have been widely studied in adults, whether infants mount an acute IgA response is so far unknown. To determine whether a response to acute stress exists in 12-month old infants, the salivary IgA response to inoculations, a painful stressor, are assessed in 20 infants. During the infants’ 12 month pediatrician visit, a baseline sample of IgA was collected before the inoculations and a response sample of IgA was collected after the inoculations. The findings will reveal whether an IgA response to acute stress emerges at 12 months of age. Such results hold implications on how infants are able to deal with routine events that can cause stress.

Application of Second Harmonic Imaging Microscopy to Assess Structural Changes in Optical Nerve Head Structure Ex Vivo
Annie Lay
Mentor: Donald Brown

Glaucoma represents the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. The loss of vision is known to be associated with the death of retinal ganglion cells, or RGC, mainly due to damage of the axons in the optical nerve head (ONH). These injuries seem to be caused by the structural distortion in the ONH and the mechanical vulnerability of the lamina cribrosa, which is the ONH region composed of collagen beams making up the channels through which axon bundles leave the eye. In this study, we use multiphoton microscopy known as Second Harmonic Imaging Microcopy, or SHIM, to generate second harmonic signals from collagen allowing direct optical imaging of the lamina cribrosa. SHIM permits us to compare the structure of age matched optic nerve heads and lamina cribrosa between normal and glaucomatous eyes. My results include three-dimensionally reconstructed data sets of the optical nerve head structure from patients with and without glaucoma. These second harmonic images demonstrate optic disc deformation and cupping present in glaucoma patients. SHIM has been a valuable tool in this study and presents great potential for future projects.

The Effect of Change Blindness on Eyewitness Identification
An “Joe” Le
Mentor: Elizabeth Loftus

This study examined the effects of change blindness (the inability to detect a change in one’s visual field) and crime severity on the ability of an eyewitness to accurately identify the perpetrator of a crime. It was hypothesized that the majority of participants who viewed the manipulation videos (change blindness condition) would falsely identify the innocent actor, because they would not notice that the actors had changed. This hypothesis was supported; participants in the experimental condition were less accurate in identifying the perpetrator than participants in the control condition. In addition, participants in the experimental condition incorrectly identified the innocent actor significantly more often than any other person in the lineup. Crime severity had no significant effect on identification accuracy. This research has theoretical implications for our understanding of change blindness, and practical implications for the real world problem of faulty eyewitness testimony.

Development and Performance Analysis of a Monte Carlo Program to Simulate Light Propagation in Biological Tissues
Brett Ledeker
Mentor: Vasan Venugopalan

The transport of light into and out of biological tissues can be simulated on a computer using techniques, collectively known as Monte Carlo computation, that randomize certain parameters. Using this method, measurements of reflected light can be generated as a function of source and detector separation. By inverting this process, the optical properties of a tissue system can also be extracted from measured data. The eventual goal of this research is to measure optical properties with laser light and detector technology to efficiently and non-invasively characterize abnormalities such as cancer. Early detection of cancer is critical to improving patient outcome and avoiding severe treatment regimens. In the biomedical optics community, there are two predominant approaches to Monte Carlo computing: continuous absorption weighting (CAW), where photons are evaluated along their entire trajectory, and discrete absorption weighting (DAW), where photons are evaluated at each collision event. We developed a program using CAW and compared its performance to an existing program using DAW. In both the simulation of light transport, or forward problem, and the determination of optical properties, or inverse problem, the CAW program shows a distinct advantage over the DAW program for tissue systems in which the changes in optical properties take place within a thin layer. For thicker layers, however, the DAW program provides better accuracy in the forward problem, and is better at predicting optical absorption changes in the inverse problem. This study shows that the preferred Monte Carlo approach to use depends on the tissue system being investigated.

Studying Axonal Transport of Mitochondria in Neurons Using a Novel Microfluidic Platform
Hyuna Lee
Mentor: Noo Li Jeon

Mitochondrial trafficking pattern is closely linked to the neuron’s functional status. Impairment in the mitochondrial movement would result in pathological conditions observed in the majority of neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, it is important to analyze mitochondrial motility patterns, since either the cell injury or mitochondrial injury lead to each other’s death. Embryonic neurons can be cultured in 450um microfluidic culture platform, tag the mitochondria with Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) by transfecting the neurons with Mito-GFP, and observe the movement through a fluorescent microscope. There are definite mitochondrial morphology and movement differences in the dendrites, where they are longer and more stationary, and axons, where they are much rounder and have more movement. Stationary mitochondria were observed more in the synapse and the axon growth cones since these locations are where the neuron is in high ATP demand. But more clear and focused time-lapse visual recordings are required for an in-depth analysis of mitochondrial trafficking using Imaris. Imaris will allow a numerical analysis of the mitochondrial movement, and this may be used as a control for future mitochondrial trafficking experiments under environment insults that mimic ischemia, also known as Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation (OGD).

Optical Detection of Salivary Pellicle: Optical Coherence Tomography vs. Multiphoton Microscopy
Kenneth Lee
Mentor: Petra Wilder-Smith

The salivary pellicle is a semi-permeable biofilm on the enamel surfaces of the tooth. It serves to protect against erosive agents that may cause the destruction of the hard tissue layer of the enamel. Current research has been analyzing and identifying this salivary layer on the tooth through in vitro methods. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) can provide a non-invasive form of visualization and quantification of both hard and soft tissues, such as the salivary pellicle layer. OCT uses broadband laser light waves that, when combined, show cross-sectional images of tissues—in this case the enamel and pellicle—at near histological resolution (approximately 3-10 mm with our current technology). Multiphoton microscopy (MPM) is an advanced optical tool for obtaining both high spatial and temporal resolution of components of living cells and tissues using fluorescence imaging. When the salivary pellicle is stained with a fluorescence dye, the laser radiation can create an excitation source for multi-color imaging. Laser scanning technology is then combined with multiphoton fluorescence to produce a three-dimensional view of the targeted salivary pellicle layer. Both provide equal amounts of detection in the salivary pellicle layer.

Oral Diagnosis: In Vivo Polarized Light Imaging versus Histology
Kenneth Lee
Mentor: Petra Wilder-Smith

This study examines the use of polarimetry (PM), a noninvasive imaging method using polarized light reflectance, to locate oral premalignancy, and compares its accuracy to that of conventional histopathology. Golden Syrian hamsters (n=9) were treated 3X weekly with 0.5% DMBA in mineral oil. One cheek pouch underwent carcinogenesis, the other served as a control. Biweekly imaging was performed using a clamp with locator coordinates to ensure accurate site relocation. PM provided Mueller matrix images of the mucosal tissues with quantitative information that was used to analyze the tissue’s polarization properties. After 2–16 weeks of carcinogenesis, the animals were sacrificed, and the tissue processed for routine histopathology with H&E staining. The PM retardance images were quantitatively analyzed. Lesions were staged using histopathology. The PM sensitivity was evaluated by identifying which lesions located by histology were also detected by PM. PM showed 4–5x increased retardance at squamous cell carcinoma sites, and 2–3x greater retardance at dysplastic sites as compared to normal tissues. Lesion sites and dimensions identified by PM paralleled those from histopathology except for: (1) very small areas of mild dysplasia (< 360 mm diameter with <10 mm lesion thickness), and (2) lesions near blood vessels or large areas of muscle cells. We have found that PM is useful for mapping areas of field cancerization and lesion margins.

Theoretical Study of Sigmatropic Rearrangements of S-(2-Propenyl) 2-Propene-1-Sufinothioate (Allicin) and its Isomeric Alkoxy Disulfide
Nancy Lee
Mentor: Fillmore Freeman

Chemically complex garlic (Allium sativum L.) has demonstrated impressive antiviral and antibacterial activities in the laboratory. Although garlic has been used for food and medications for more than a thousand years, relatively little is known about the relationships among biological activities, constituents of garlic, interaction of garlic constituents, and rearrangement products of the constituents. Allicin (1), an important organosulfur component of garlic, is formed when a garlic clove is bruised, crushed, or cut. To better understand the bioactivity and properties of garlic, we have undertaken a computational (theoretical) study of the relative energies, structures, and mechanisms of the [2,3]-sigmatropic rearrangements of S-(2-propenyl) 2-propene-1-sufinothioate (Allicin, 1) to 2-propenoxy-2-propene disulfide (alkoxy disulfide, ROSSR, 2) and of (2) to alkoxythiosulfoxide (3) and the [3,3]-sigmatropic rearrangement of (1) to (3) using the complete basis set models (CBS-4M, CBS-Lq), HF, BHandHLYP, B3LYP, B3P86, B3PW91, MPW1PW91 with the 6-31G(d), 6-311G(d,p), 6-311+G(d,p), and 6-311+G(3d,2p) basis sets, and CCD, CCSD, and QCISD with the cc-pVDZ basis set.

Asian American Street Gangs and their Acquisition-Oriented Behavior
Sarah Lee
Mentor: James Vigil

Four to five percent of the gang population in the U.S. is Asian. These gangs are frequently identified as “sophisticated” in their operation and distinct from the typical Chicano or African-American street gang. Asian gangs are notorious for home-invasion robberies and property offenses rather than graffiti and turf wars. They are typically more concerned with financial profits than their Chicano and African American counterparts. This was a cross-sectional study that explored the nature of Asian gangs and the reasons behind their profit-driven activities. Interviews were conducted with current and past Asian gang members as well as with individuals well acquainted with Asian gangs, particularly in Southern California. This study found that Asian gangs valued economically profitable activities because the opportunities were available and individual members often came from low-income immigrant homes. In addition, as with any organization, gangs need money to continue operating. The marginalization experienced by gang members and their families in society was found to have greatly contributed to their reasons for membership and to the financial benefits the gang provided.

Thailand’s Political Development 1932–2007: The Military and Democratization in Thailand
Supattra Lerknant
Mentor: Caesar Sereseres

Since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932, Thailand has witnessed twenty-four prime ministers, seventeen constitutions and charters and, as of last year, eighteen coups d’etat. During these governmental changes, the Thai military has played a critical role, particularly in the political and democratization process of Thailand. Most research done on this topic has emphasized that the military has deterred democracy, resulting in a lack of a true Thai democracy, while little has been written to credit Thailand and its actual progress towards democracy. Regardless, examining the role of the military and its effect on democratization is necessary to understand Thailand’s political progress. The goal of this study is to evaluate the country’s progress towards democracy and the influence of military governments with respect to democratization. The main concerns are to determine the role the military plays in the democratization process, and under what circumstances its political role will change. To answer these questions I will use my Thai language skills and study abroad experience to review relevant literature and to conduct interviews with Thai professors who have knowledge of this subject. The tentative conclusions are: (1) contrary to how the West perceives Thai political progress, Thailand has actually evolved more democratically over time, even though the changes have been slow and discontinuous; and (2) although military intervention has seemingly disrupted the political development of Thailand, it can be argued that there has been a declining military role and a more important role for parliament in the political process.

Shanghai: Representations of Urban Space
Kevin Li
Mentor: Jeff Wasserstrom

In this ongoing project on the representation of Shanghai urban space, I am examining three genres of texts—newspapers, travel writing and novels—to elucidate the multiple images presented of the city. Through a survey of historical Los Angeles Times and New York Times Newspapers (dating from 1925–1937), I find the representation of Shanghai as a space of paradox—at once volatile and prone to violence, and safe and secure. Written during a period of war—both between Chinese and against Japanese incursion—these articles document what Shanghai looked like to outsiders. But if we were to view the city through the lenses of travel writers, it is what I would refer to as a space of the absurd. Although Shanghai’s cosmopolitanism and modernity (in western form) were emblematic of its international image, these writers pointed out the ironic disjuncture between, for example, the modernity of international finance represented by banks and hotels, and the quaint, yet amusing presence of rickshaws and street beggars. The third genre, novels, provided a more complex image, one that is hard to singularly pinpoint. Shanghai by Japanese author Yokomitsu Riichi, explores Shanghai as, what literary critic Ai Maeda called the “colonial city, the revolutionary city, and the slum city.” Andre Malraux’s Man’s Fate (La Condition Humaine) also explores revolution in the city, though through a French vantage point.

The Hegemonic Functions of the Iconic Ho Chi Minh: A Narrative and Spatial Reading
Kevin Li
Mentor: Charles Wheeler

For this project, I am interested in examining the construction of the Vietnamese national and revolutionary narratives through the iconization of its first president, Ho Chi Minh. I looked at a set of three biographical pieces published by the state-owned Foreign Language Publishing House after Ho’s death in 1969. Through them, we can see, most precisely, the state’s purposes and strategies in creating a hagiographic, mythical instrument of Party hegemony. I contrast this representation of Ho Chi Minh, which emphasized his sacrificial, patriotic, and loving qualities, with a spatial reading of Ba Dinh Square—the political center of Vietnam. Specifically, I look at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and explore the spatial memory it constructs—through a visual spectacle and performative commemoration—as well as the atmosphere of sanctity with which it imbues the square—no doubt fulfilling a legitimizing function for the Party. Although both mediums, through which the mythologized and sanitized histories of Vietnam have been channeled, form part of the hegemonic apparatus of the state, we find fissures between their respective representations of not only Ho, but also the nation and revolution. The occult, placeless, and foreboding nature of the space are qualities in contradistinction to the proletarian, nationalistic, and accessible persona portrayed in the biographies.

Selection for Improved Cryopreservative Tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster
David Lim
Mentor: Michael Rose

The goal of this study was to develop a population of Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly, which can readily be frozen and later reanimated. Frozen fruit flies are hard to recover alive because the current published protocols call for exposure to high concentrations of cryopreservatives; the cryopreservatives themselves kill many of the fruit flies. In this study, over nine generations, fruit flies were selected for the ability to survive exposure to these toxic cryopreservatives. The selected population was compared to a control group that had been handled in parallel, without cryopreservative exposure. In the selected population, repeated cryopreparation resulted in a significant improvement in average hatching percentage in the presence of cryopreservative: from 8.39% to 58.16% over nine generations (p<0.01). Parallel viability assays over just two generations, however, found no significant differences between average hatching percentages for the experimental and control populations. These results suggest that as selection for cryopreservative tolerance continues, the hatching percentages of the experimental population will continue to improve. Ultimately, this may be useful in the development of a population of fruit flies that can be successfully frozen and brought back to life.

The Public Image of Pak Kŭn-hye: The Possibility for Redefining Gender Roles in South Korean Political Representation
Hannah Lim
Mentor: Eugene Park

Despite its growing prominence in the international socio-economic arena, South Korea continues to maintain a pervasively vast gender divide in its political representation. Pak Kŭn-hye, a candidate for the 2007 presidential election and daughter of former President Park Chung Hee (Pak Chŏng-hŭi) and First Lady Yuk Yŏng-su, has shaped her public image to function within the political sphere and outside of the domestic sphere traditionally reserved for women. In fact, Pak Kŭn-hye remains unmarried and has no children, leaving her unable to participate even slightly in domestic duties. Yet, Pak finds strong support in her father’s conservative political and social legacy. I address the extent of Pak Kŭn-hye’s success in redefining gender roles through her leadership of the opposition Grand National Party, a politically conservative party, in a culturally conservative nation. Her political achievements are attributable to her ability to work outside of traditional gender boundaries without appearing to overtly threaten cultural conventions.

Monster Games: Can Number Concepts Be Trained?
Jonathan Lim
Mentor: Barbara Sarnecka

Research has shown that children come to understand new numbers in different ways and at different rates. This study is a longitudinal one that examines what specific linguistic cues may contribute to an acquisition of new number knowledge. The experimental task consisted of Give-a-Number and What’s-On-This-Card tasks, as well as a specially designed touch screen computer game set to train participants, using different kinds of feedback (rich language or trial and error) to understand the number two or three. As of this writing, the longitudinal study is still in progress but, if results show that children in the Rich Language condition advance knower levels more efficiently, it could isolate what language variables have an effect on acquisition of number knowledge.

SLEEP: Sensor Localization Estimation Using Expectation Propagation
Joseph Lim
Mentor: Max Welling

Sensor localization is used in many applications, including Mars exploration, disaster relief, and human tracking. While there have been methods to localize sensors by communicating through the GPS system, they are very expensive and do not always work properly in the deep sea, for example, due to GPS limitations. To overcome these problems, many methods that estimate sensors’ locations without outside information have been implemented. Our proposed method, SLEEP (Sensor Localization Estimation using Expectation Propagation), is a unique method in which sensors are able to estimate their uncertainties, work in a distributive manner, and be open to interacting with additional information such as angles and chemical distributions. The SLEEP method uses expectation propagation as an approximation inference engine to save the calculation cost, and uses Kalman filter equations to model the dynamics of the sensors. We compare our method to other methods, such as the Anchor-Free Distributed Localization method and the Moses’ method. They lack the uncertainty estimation method and the distributive method, respectively. Our results show that SLEEP greatly improves the accuracies of localization and uncertainty estimation, demonstrating that SLEEP could allow us to use sensor localization in more extreme and extensive environments.

54-Membered Ring Macrocyclic Peptides Containing Hao
Aaron Lin
Mentor: James Nowick

b-sheet interactions are important in the interactions between proteins. Developing small, water-soluble peptides for use as model systems poses a great challenge because of the tendency for uncontrollable self-assembly. The Nowick Group focuses on developing macrocyclic peptides that mimic b-sheet interactions, and has recently introduced a 54-membered ring macrocyclic peptide composed of a heptapeptide b-strand, two d-linked ornithine turn units, and two Hao units connected by an a-amino acid. Previous NMR studies and ultracentrifugation analyses have suggested that the peptides form b-sheet dimmers, which form into b-sheet sandwiches. My current research focuses on assisting a graduate student in characterizing the conformation of the side chains through the use of X-ray diffraction studies. Through solid phase peptide synthesis, I have prepared three versions of the peptides that incorporate a bromine atom to aid in structure determination. I set up crystallization assays and was able to obtain many usable crystals for one peptide. Further studies will include collection of diffraction data.

The Behavioral and Biochemical Effects of Nicotine as a Gateway Drug
Dana Ling
Mentor: Frances Leslie

Adolescence is a critical period for initiation of drug use, starting with tobacco and alcohol and progressing to marijuana and other illicit drugs. Clinical studies have shown that individuals who smoked cigarettes before the age of 15 are 80 times more likely to use illicit drugs than those who do not smoke. These findings have led to the hypothesis that nicotine may be a gateway drug that sensitizes the brain to other drugs of abuse. Although clinical studies support the gateway theory, animal studies are required to identify underlying mechanisms. In this study, adolescent and adult rats were given either saline or low-dose nicotine pretreatment via intravenous injections for four days to model teenage tobacco smoking. Animals self-administered cocaine for five days or were sacrificed 24 hours after nicotine treatment. Radioligand binding for DAT, SERT, and dopamine D3 receptors was conducted to determine biochemical differences in adolescent versus adult rats who received nicotine versus saline pretreatments. We hypothesized that nicotine would have different biochemical and behavioral effects in adolescents compared to adults. The study’s results showed that nicotine-pretreated adolescent rats displayed significantly higher reinforcement for cocaine than other treatment groups. Additionally, nicotine-pretreated adolescents showed a decreased D3 receptor density in the nucleus accumbens shell compared to the other treatment groups. In conclusion, these results suggest that adolescence is a critical period for nicotine exposure and are supportive of the gateway theory.

Analysis of the Seasonal Cycle of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide in the Arctic (50ºN) from 1971 to 2005 and Implications for Terrestrial Ecosystems
Pui-Yu Ling
Mentor: James Randerson

In this study, I analyzed the seasonal cycle of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the Arctic (north of 50˚N). Using the carbon dioxide mixing ratio data available from NOAA, and selecting the stations that are located north of 50˚N for analysis, I found that the seasonal cycle is changing shape and is increasing in amplitude. This result implies that the carbon dioxide uptake by northern terrestrial ecosystems is increasing in the summer, while its emission to the atmosphere is increasing in the winter, which is consistent with increasing air temperatures in northern regions extending the length of the growing season. The data also appear consistent with an earlier start to the growing season in spring, which correlates with the seasonal timing of most of the Arctic warming. The time series from Point Barrow [BRW], Alaska (latitude 71.32˚N), United States is the longest (from 1971–2005) and shows a substantial peak-to-trough increase amplitude by 2.376 ppm (~17.5%). Similar but weaker trends are observed at other stations.

Spectroscopic Measurements of Relative Impurity Ion Concentrations and Neutral Hydrogen Temperatures within the U.C. Irvine FRC
Justin Little
Mentor: William Heidbrink

A field-reversed configuration (FRC) consists of a toroidal plasma current formed by injecting pre-ionized gas into an axial magnetic field. The field is then reversed, leading to magnetic reconnection and plasma confinement within closed magnetic field lines. The FRC at the University of California, Irvine generates hydrogen-rich plasma using cable guns, and is estimated to operate in an ion temperature range of 1eV–5eV at a density of approximately 5x1013 cm-3 for a lifetime of around 100ms. An impurity ion survey was performed using an Ocean Optics USB2000 spectrometer with a resolution of approximately one nanometer. Traces of singly ionized copper were found along with expected amounts of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. A one-meter Czerny-Turner monochromator with a resolution on the order of one angstrom is being used to further resolve the hydrogen-alpha emission line of the Balmer series. A Gaussian distribution will be fit to the H-Alpha spectral line through a least squares fit. Deconvolving this function with another function representing the finite resolution of the spectrometer provides a profile representative of the Doppler (thermal) broadening of the hydrogen line. From this profile, the neutral hydrogen temperature will be obtained.

Decreasing Ribosomal Protein L22 Expression In Vivo Using RNAi Technology
Sunny Lo
Mentor: Ingrid Ruf

The goal of this project was to artificially decrease the level of expression of the mammalian ribosomal protein L22 in vivo. Our interest in L22 relates to its ability to bind to two small noncoding RNAs expressed by Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). To study the consequences of this L22-RNA interaction, we require cells that express decreased levels of the L22 protein. To accomplish this, we used RNA interference (RNAi) technology to achieve post-transcriptional gene silencing of L22. Specifically, we tested five different short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) for their ability to decrease the level of expression of L22 in transiently transfected cells. To test the effectiveness of each shRNA, we transfected HeLa cells, which stably express a GFP-L22 fusion protein with each of the five shRNA expression constructs and analyzed the expression level of the fusion protein by immunoblot. In the future, we will test the effectiveness of these shRNA in other cell lines, as well as establish cell lines that stably express an L22 shRNA. Using these cell lines, we will be able to test the consequence of decreased L22 expression in the context of EBV infection.

Latina/o Students’ and Faculty Mentors’ Perspectives on Mentorship: A Qualitative Study
Veronica Lopez
Mentor: Jeanett Castellanos

While the Latina/o population is growing exponentially, the representation of Latina/os in college has remained consistent in the last twenty years, and retention continues to be a problem. The value and significance of mentorship on retention is well documented, and literature suggests that same-ethnicity mentorship provides students a unique experience addressing their academic, personal and cultural needs. Considering the role of mentorship on educational experiences, this study examines Latina/o student mentorship experiences with Latina/o faculty. Implementing the psychosociocultural framework, a series of interviews with Latina/o faculty and students examined the dynamics of a mentorship relationship within the dyads, the support system provided to the student by the faculty and the role of culture in the relationship. It is important for mentors and mentees to describe their experiences and express their feelings about their mentorship relationships in order to facilitate students’ academic endeavors, particularly among Latina/os, who often fare educational obstacles. Conclusions are ground-breaking, given that no study has examined the role of culture in Latina/o mentorship relationships in college. Findings will provide insight for effective mentorship when working with Latina/o students, direction on how to achieve maximum potential in mentorship relationships, and recommendations on the role of culture when mentoring Latina/o students. The findings will also provide research directives for future investigations as they relate to understanding mentorship relations and overall Latina/o students’ educational experiences.

Prevalence, Treatment, and Control of Hypertension in U.S. Adults Overall and with Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Stroke, Heart Failure, Peripheral Artery and Coronary Artery Disease
Victor Lopez
Mentor: Nathan Wong

Hypertension (HTN) is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Recent national data on its prevalence, treatment, and control rates has not been reported in high risk groups. We examined the prevalence, treatment, and control of HTN in U.S. adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2004, overall, and among those with the metabolic syndrome (NCEP criteria), diabetes (ADA criteria or self reported), chronic kidney disease (creatinine clearance <60 ml/min), peripheral arterial disease (ankle-brachial index <0.9), stroke, heart failure, and coronary artery disease (all self reported). HTN was defined as a systolic blood pressure (BP) of >140 or diastolic BP of >90, or >130/80 if diabetes or kidney disease were present. Of those with HTN, the proportion treated and controlled (to below the cut points for HTN) were determined. Overall prevalence of HTN was 31.4%, ranging from 23.1% in those without to 52–82% in those with cardiovascular co-morbidities (p<0.01). Despite HTN treatment rates for diabetes, stroke, heart failure, and coronary artery disease being higher (83–89%) compared to those without these conditions (66.5%) (p<0.01), control rates on treatment remained poor (35–62%) (p<0.05). Isolated systolic HTN was the most common hypertensive subtype in those with cardiovascular co-morbidities (>64%), with systolic BP averaging at least 20 mmHg from goal. Nearly three-fourths of adults with cardiovascular co-morbidities have HTN. Poor control rates of systolic hypertension remain a principal problem that further compromises their already high cardiovascular disease risk. Greater efforts to improve adherence to medical therapy to achieve goals are needed.

Measuring Age-Specific Frequencies of an Allele that Regulates the Expression of Heat Shock Protein 26 in Populations of Drosophila melanogaster
Stephanie Lu
Mentor: Michael Rose

The aging process is generally associated with the accumulation of protein damage over time. Heat shock proteins, which act as molecular chaperones, may mitigate this damage to some extent. Preliminary data suggests that the expression of a particular heat shock protein, Hsp26, is associated with a longevity phenotype in Drosophila melanogaster. p26 is an allele for a transposable element insertion into the hsp26 gene promoter region that interrupts transcription. Populations of flies that have been selected for a longevity phenotype have low frequencies of this allele, and short-lived populations have very high frequencies of this allele. To test the idea that the absence of the p26 allele is associated with longevity, replicate populations were highly inbred through full-sib mating to establish lines homozygous for the p26 allele and lines homozygous for the wildtype. Twelve generations of isofemale transfers were carried out in three replicate populations, starting at 60 lines per population. Molecular genotyping methods revealed that nine of the 13 populations remaining after this intense inbreeding regime are completely homozygous at this locus. Three lines are homozygous for the wild-type allele, suggesting that they express the gene normally; six lines are homozygous for the p26 allele, suggesting that they have decreased expression of the gene. This study provides the necessary preliminary data to test for the effect of the p26 allele on longevity. Future experiments will directly compare longevity in the populations homozygous for the wild-type allele to the populations homozygous for the p26 allele.

FRT 42D and ovoD –Generation and Use of a New Tool for Making Germline Clones in Drosophila melanogaster
Ernesto Lujan
Mentor: Rahul Warrior

An important approach for analyzing gene function in Drosophila melanogaster is generating clones of mutant cells in an animal that is otherwise heterozygous for the gene being studied. Flippase Recomination Target (FRT) lines are available to generate clones in somatic cells as well as the Drosophila germline. To make selection for germline clones easier, the dominant female sterile ovoD mutation must be present on the same chromosomes as the FRT site. Addition of this dominant mutation allows for selection of homozygous mutant progeny, as non-recombined heterozygous and recombined homozygous germline cells for ovoD will fail to develop, but adding this mutation to an existing line is not simple. Recombination of ovoD cannot be done meiotically because females are sterile and meiotic recombination only occurs in females, so other means must be used. Currently, there is a set of FRT chromosomes in general use for the right arm of chromosome 2 (2R). One, FRT 42D, is used for analyzing somatic mutants and a stock is not currently available carrying the ovoD allele. The FRT G13 stock carries ovoD and is used to make germline clones. We have created a chromosome with FRT 42D and ovoD on the same chromosome by recombination via gamma irradiation. With this chromosome, we have made germline clones with alleles for tout-velu (ttv), brother of tout-velu­ (botv), and sister of tout-velu (sotv) that made an FRT 42D chromosome to demonstrate the utility of this new ovoD stock generated.

Field-Based Heritability of Flowering Schedules in Brassica rapa
Elise Luong
Mentor: Arthur Weis

The flowering traits of plants are among the most important life history traits that can determine fitness. Each trait is determined by both environmental and genetic factors. In this study, we examined Brassica rapa flowering traits of time to first flower or flowering time (FT), duration of flowering (DS), the skew of when maximum flowers occurred (SK), the maximum number of flowers (MX), and the total number of flowers (TT). This analysis uses each parameter to find their correlation (r), along with heritability (h2). What we wanted to determine was which trait is most heritable. Because determination of FT is less exposed to the environment than the other variables, we predicted that FT would have the highest h2. We found that SK, FT and DS are the least correlated parameters, leaving the remaining highly correlated, and that all parameters are heritable, excluding SK. In conclusion, our findings supported our hypothesis that FT is the one of the most heritable traits, but we also found that DS is highly heritable, being comparable with FT.

Articulations and Silences in Vietnamese Re-Education Camp Memoirs
Trinh Luu
Mentor: Charles Wheeler

Vietnamese re-education camp memoirs are remarkably short of variations in their narrative structure and thematic content. Written post-1975 by expatriates, these memoirs uniformly narrate the quotidian travails of sophisticated, modern and enlightened prisoners who are continuously subjected to whips from callow, unscrupulous and masochistic guards. The narratives’ fixation on brutish atrocities committed by Communist guards on the prisoners’ debilitated bodies serve the political purpose of highlighting the prisoners’ moral and ethical triumph. Melodramatic episodes of prisoners’ splitting meager food rations, roots and insects during mealtime, and their silent gestures of rapport amidst the visceral reality neatly elevate the prisoners’ rectitude. In this way, the camps presented an affective setting for the prisoners not so much to develop political and ideological collectivity, but to demonstrate their humanity. A reading of such leitmotifs as trees, birds, mountains, rivers, and the sky, which pervade the memoirs and poems of Nguyen Chi Thien speaks to the idea of the prisoners’ majestically winning over nature—a victory ostensibly won with genuine human character rather than with political chicanery.

The Elder and the Widow: Cuba’s Vietnam Through Two Figures
Trinh Luu
Mentor: Charles Wheeler

Fated in 1889 through the iconic figure of José Martí, Cuban-Vietnamese relations emerged onto the hotbed of Communist revolutions with force, and sustained its pulse thereafter. With formal diplomacy established in 1960, relations between the two nations unfolded in a flurry of reciprocal praises, championing what Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Che Guevara, and Pham Van Dong called the benchmark of proletarian internationalism. Cuba saw in Viet Nam an archetype of the revolutionary zeitgeist and a rare niche for its radical foreign policy. For Cuban leaders, Ho Chi Minh’s liberation movement mirrored the quintessential principles of Fidelista radicalism. That is, Viet Nam seemingly shared Cuba’s stubborn cleave to ideological autonomy—one untempered by the hegemonic salt of either socialist powerhouses. Moreover, Viet Nam appeared to be a silhouette of Cuba in its desire for political pluralism within the socialist bloc, whence the less powerful would not be beleaguered by the more influential. Cuban quasi-novelistic journals and visuals provide a rich canvas for analyzing this affinity. The works of journalists Raúl Valdés Vivó and Marta Rojas, photographers Orlando Hernandez and Cristobal Pascual, and artist René Mederos portrayed Vietnam through two figures: the fighting-elder whose life is an unyielding devotion to national liberation, and the widow-mother who trades elegiac lament for armed struggle. What we see in these portrayals is a convergence of aged wisdom with maternal sensibility. That is, by imagining elders as rootstocks of revolutionary thought and widows as sources of the national sentimentality, the artists crafted an allegory wherein the elders grant a sense of historical rooting nourishing the flowering guerilla spirit embodied in the widow-mother.

Coercive Diplomacy: Beijing’s Application of the Policy of Soft Decapitation—The Complexities it Brings to the Future of Cross-Strait Relations and Regional Politics
Peter Ma
Mentor: Caesar Sereseres

Recent scholarship on the subject of Chinese foreign policy indicates that the scope of Beijing’s use of soft power is ever increasing and growing in sophistication—culminating in what author Joshua Kurlantzick coins as the charm offensive. Applied to the scope of China/Taiwan relations, the Chinese use of a charm offense becomes a strategy of “soft-decapitation.” Although the history behind China/Taiwan relations is longstanding, research on the use of Chinese force has often focused on hard-power applications—namely the exercising of military options in settling a dispute between both sides—as a result, not much research exists in the field of Chinese soft-power. Drawing from the works of various authors, including Yu-shan Wu, Andrew Scobell, and Murray Scot Tanner, a synthesized viewpoint on current China/Taiwan relations explores the underlying factors—from political elites, to mass opinion, to economics and nationalism—that contribute to the utility and feasibility of a soft-decapitation strategy, and points to obvious concerns and consequences for China/Taiwan relations. Although the inherent assumptions in choosing Taiwan as a focus for Chinese policy are different for the countries on which Kurlantzick himself focuses (Southeast Asia), the conclusions reached within this study contain relevant policy implications for not just American policymakers, but Taiwanese and Chinese as well. For such a low profile, outwardly inviting and engaging policy, problems arising from soft decapitation, ranging from the potential for policy blowback against Beijing, to the undermining of democracy on Taiwan, and even a reduced role for the U.S. in the triangular relationship are all too real. Though these problems have not yet manifested themselves, it is imperative that policymakers in Beijing, Taipei, and Washington recognize them and prepare to deal with them.

Catalyst Induced Acetylation of Maltitol to Better Elucidate Molecular Structure Through NMR Spectroscopy
Steven Ma
Mentor: Athan Shaka

NMR spectroscopy is a powerful tool in determining the molecular structure of many different types of molecules. In the case of carbohydrates and sugars, the efficacy of NMR spectroscopy is reduced because of the many atoms in similar electronic environments that contribute to spectral crowding. By acetylating these molecules, we can change the electronic environment and reduce spectral crowding. By using carbon-13 labeled reagents as well, we can further elucidate the molecular structure using 2-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. Using indium trifluoromethanesulfonate as a catalyst, we can achieve acetylation in less time and under milder conditions than with previous methods using pyridine and DMAP. Maltitol was chosen as a representative sugar and for the continuing interest in sugar-alcohols in the food industry. The reaction procedure is run at below 0 ºC. The sample is not heated, which helps to reduce the formation of side products and preserve the purity of the sample. The acetylated product is shown to be pure and completely acetylated from the resulting NMR spectra. These are then compared to sample spectra from different procedures. This study shows the efficacy of the procedure developed using this catalyst and its relevance to NMR spectroscopy.

Majoring in Social Awareness: Understanding Political Consciousness of Latina/o College Students
Aida Macedo
Mentor: Leticia Oseguera

Latina/os in the United States will constitute 24.4% of the population by the year 2050, making Latina/os the largest minority group in the United States. The relative youth of the Latina/o population suggests that further analysis of their political development and consciousness will be crucial, as they may become the future leaders of the country. Latinas/o students in higher education continue to feel like a minority and to feel alienated from the political process. In addition, there have been few studies done on Latina/o college students’ political consciousness and what influences their political engagement or disengagement. As research has shown, diversity education is critical for college students because it equips students for meaningful political participation. Using survey analysis, this study examined research questions based around the themes of community awareness, student involvement and activities, diversity interactions, ethnic identity, and activism to better understand what influences Latina/os’ political development. Findings suggest that students’ involvements and interactions on campus influence their political consciousness. The political ideologies of Latina/o college students majoring in hard sciences tend to lean right as opposed to students in social sciences who tend to lean middle or left. Moreover, findings highlight gender differences in political activities; 41% of female respondents indicated they participated in political activities never or rarely as opposed to 47.4% males. This study will contribute to a better understanding of the influences on Latina/o college students’ political consciousness; therefore improving future student civic participation.

Nogo Receptor Protein Expression and Purification
Angelika Maciol
Mentor: Melanie Cocco

Unlike the peripheral nervous system (PNS), the central nervous system (CNS) does not have the ability to regenerate itself after injury, which means paralysis for spinal cord injury patients is permanent. It was found that one of the key players in inhibiting the regrowth of CNS neurons is the Nogo receptor protein found on the surface of axons. High resolution crystal structure of the receptor have been determined, but the key residues involved in interaction with the receptors’ binding partners have not yet been found. Although NgR can be produced in insect and mammalian cells, my summer project involved finding more efficient ways of NgR expression in E. coli. After determining the best cell strain, I have screened various temperature and IPTG concentrations needed for optimal growth in minimal media. Purification conditions included use of the Amylose resin to the MBP fused portion of NgR. Varying the composition of lysis, wash and elution buffers did not improve the amount of protein detected on an SDS-page. Purification with the use of Nickel column to the NgR’s hexahistadine tag showed better results. A gradient maker was employed to work out best elution buffer composition. The purity of collected fractions needs improvement before employment in further studies, such as HSQC spectroscopy screens for small compounds that could inhibit the receptor and promote neuron regeneration.

The Development of an Alternative Synthesis of Trichloroacetyl Isocyanate
Katherine Mackenzie
Mentor: Athan Shaka

Carbohydrates are an integral part of biological systems. The exact structure of the correct isomer of a carbohydrate can be necessary for understanding a complicated biological process. The 1HNMR spectra of carbohydrates are difficult to analyze because they exhibit spectral crowding. The compound trichloroacetyl isocyanate (TAI) replaces the hydroxyl groups of carbohydrates with protein-like structures containing NH groups. The NH groups appear downfield in the 1HNMR spectra, allowing them to be counted. The proximal ring protons of TAI-derivatized carbohydrates become dispersed and can be identified as primary or secondary. TAI doubly labeled with 13C and 15N allows for multidimensional and heteronuclear single quantum correlation NMR analyses. A synthesis procedure previously developed for doubly labeled TAI has a low yield and can be difficult to perform. The goal of this project was the development of a TAI synthesis that allows for labeling, and is potentially more efficient, with a higher yield than the procedure already known. Trichloroacetyl chloride was reacted with ammonium hydroxide to produce trichloroacetamide, which was reacted with oxalyl chloride to produce unlabeled TAI. The effect of solvent choice, stoichiometric ratios of reagents, and reaction time on the synthesis and purity of TAI were investigated. 1HNMR spectra of carbohydrates derivatized with TAI obtained from this procedure support the conclusion that this synthesis is a reasonable alternative to the one previously known. Further purification methods are being investigated to yield TAI that, when reacted with carbohydrates, produces results comparable to those obtained through the previous synthesis procedure.

The Role of the cAMP-PKA Second-Messenger Pathway in the Prefrontal Cortex in Mediating Glucocorticoid Effects on Working Memory and Memory Consolidation
Scott Mackenzie
Mentors: James McGaugh & Benno Roozendaal

This study continues previous research that suggests a mechanism for the relationship between glucocorticoids in the rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and different aspects of cognitive performance. While pre-trial injections of a glucocorticoid receptor agonist into the mPFC impairs performance on a working memory task, a similar glucocorticoid administration after inhibitory avoidance (IA) training enhances memory consolidation of the task. Concurrent administration of a PKA inhibitor such as Rp-cAMPS eliminates these effects, suggesting that they are both mediated by activation of the cAMP/PKA pathway. In this study, immunofluorescence was used to determine whether administering corticosterone results in an increase in PKA activity after training in both a working memory task and a single trial of an IA task. Animals either received a systemic injection of corticosterone 30 min before a working memory task or similar treatment immediately after an IA task. Both groups experienced a significant increase in phosphorylated PKA substrates in the mPFC as compared to animals that received the vehicle control. These findings suggest that the cAMP/PKA second-messenger pathway in the mPFC is involved in glucocorticoid-mediated enhancement of emotionally arousing memories as well as impairment of working memory.

Hyperactive Symptoms in Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder are Associated with Sleep Problems
Neha Mahajan
Mentor: Jean Gehricke

Individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have often reported sleep problems in the clinical setting. While most studies on ADHD and sleep have looked exclusively at children or at a non-diagnosed sample, our study examined a clinical population of adults with ADHD to determine whether the number of current ADHD symptoms is positively associated with sleep problems. The number of ADHD symptoms was determined by both a DSM-IV based interview and a standardized questionnaire, and sleep measures were obtained through a sleep questionnaire. Results indicate that the number of hyperactive symptoms—but not inattentive symptoms—is negatively correlated to the hours of sleep, and positively correlated to the minutes to fall asleep and amount of sleep disturbance. These results suggest that treatment of sleep problems in ADHD adults, especially those with a high number of hyperactive symptoms, may be an alternative strategy to treating ADHD.

Emotional Expressiveness: A Multi-Ethnic Study
Carlos Maldonado
Mentor: Susan Charles

Emotions are functional, serving to motivate behavior and communicate information from one person to another. Emotional expression is a critical aspect of social interactions, both in how people express their emotions and how they interpret the emotions of others. A plethora of research has identified gender differences in emotional expressiveness, differences that may partly explain why men and women may misunderstand each other during social interactions. Yet, little is known about how people of different cultures express their emotions. Studying culture and emotion is becoming increasingly important in the United States, due to the influx of immigrant groups. This study sought to compare the emotional expressiveness of three different ethnic groups: Asian Americans, Latinas/os and European Americans. A total of 160 undergraduates responded to their levels of emotional expressiveness with six different social partners using the Emotional Expression Scale. Levels of emotional expressiveness varied by ethnic group and according to the type of social partner involved in the interaction. The findings suggest that differences in emotional expressiveness may be important across multiple domains: therapy, the work environment and interpersonal interactions.

VBoard: An Exploration of Digital Sketching in the Pre-Design Creative Process
Nicolas Mangano
Mentor: André van der Hoek

Sketching is a common technique employed by software designers in the initial stages of design; however, designers today prefer the primitive yet effective white board approach over digital alternatives, which they feel are cumbersome for the creative process. Previous tools such as DENIM, SILK, Knight, and SUMLOW attempted to interpret the actions by the user; however, literature and experience have demonstrated that the slightest defect in interpretation is damaging to the creative process. Taking user experience with these previous tools in mind, the VBoard project was approached with the mindset that a design exploration tool must allow the designer to enter a creative flow. VBoard uses the metaphor of scraps of paper connected with yarn to drive user interaction. The user is given tools that build around the intuitive experience, such as on-screen buckets that allow the user to save various states “on the go,” as well as a list of concerns they can use to annotate the diagrams. VBoard aims to create the optimum “flow” experience in creative design that is not possible with current development tools. VBoard remains in development; however, experiments are soon planned to determine the extent to which this tool may increase creativity over a white board alone.

Electronic Circuits with Single Molecule Components
Colin Mann
Mentor: Philip Collins

This research focuses on sidewall chemistry of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), and specifically SWNTs that are integrated into working electronic circuits. The method involves coating SWNT circuits with a protective polymer resist and then using electron beam lithography to open windows to specific portions of the SWNT. The exposed portion is susceptible to chemical attack, and a small section of a SWNT may be oxidized using electrochemistry. After oxidation, the SWNT is no longer a good conductor, and the insulating region is clearly distinguished from the conducting region by scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, atomic force microscopy is used to separately measure the SWNT in the oxidized and pristine regions, and the difference in apparent height yields the size of the induced defects. By combining these techniques with multiple polymer windows, we hope to create one-dimensional quantum dots by confining conductive regions of SWNTs between two insulating regions.

Thailand: Monarchy, Military, and the Making of a Democracy
Renee Manorat
Mentor: Caesar Sereseres

In 1932, Thailand transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. Since then, the country has experienced roughly a dozen military coups, which have intervened under the pretext of restoring democracy but have also deterred successful democratization of Thailand. While much attention has been paid to the role of the military’s pursuit of democracy in Thailand, little research has been done on King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s role. It is imperative to consider the King’s influential role in the government to understand contemporary Thai politics. The goal of this study is to investigate the roles of the monarchy and military in pursuing democracy. Although Thailand has achieved a semi-democracy status at best, the nation has progressed towards a democracy, especially with little tolerance left in the country for military dictatorships. The tentative conclusions are that: (1) Thailand has progressed towards a more democratic society with the support of the King and military, and (2) the monarchy and military do favor democracy, but advocate for stability and peace within society.

Percutaneous Electro-Chemo-Mechanical Reshaping of Cartilage Tissue
Cyrus Manuel
Mentors: Dmitry Protsenko & Brian Wong

Reshaping the cartilagenous frameworks of the head and neck requires open surgery to counteract the intrinsic elastic forces that resist deformation. To reshape cartilage, we recently developed new techniques called Electromechanical Reshaping (EMR) that combine mechanical deformation with the application of low-level DC electric fields. The goal of this study is to determine the feasibility of implementing EMR using needle electrodes. We also hope to define the optimal electrode materials and characterize the relationship between voltage, current and application time and shape change. Fresh rabbit septal cartilage was deformed to a 90° bend angle using a two-piece mandrel. Stainless steel and platinum were evaluated as potential needle materials. Needle electrodes were inserted through the mandrel and into the specimen. The number of needles, location of insertions sites, and designation of anode and cathode sites were systematically varied. The controls consisted of specimens mechanically deformed without the application of voltage. EMR was performed for various combinations of voltage and application time. The specimen was rehydrated after EMR in saline, and its bend angle was measured and recorded. Stainless steel needles readily oxidized during EMR, but platinum needles did not. The best configuration was found to consist of four cathodes flanking the bend with four anodes placed outward. Septa bend angles increased with voltage and time before reaching a plateau. The maximum bend angle was 110°, indicating a subtle memory effect. Control specimens remained at 180°. Platinum needles can be used as electrodes in EMR to reshape tissue.

Hardiness Through Music
Noah Marshall
Mentor: Salvatore Maddi

Music is widely accessible and increasingly portable, able to reach us wherever we go. With its ability to relax, arouse, and otherwise impact the way people perceive and respond to the world, music is increasingly used for personal change, as research unravels the powers of music over the human psyche. Hardiness and music protect against breakdowns in health, performance and conduct. This study contributes to Maddi’s 2002 Hardiness model by examining how hardiness and music may be used together for greater effectiveness. Specific pieces of music proven successful at inducing mildly elated, depressed, or neutral moods were used for participants’ mood induction into one of three mood categories. Subjects took a hardiness survey and a mood survey, listened to music for five minutes, and completed identical surveys while continuing to listen to music in their mood category. Results will be analyzed in terms of mood category, consistency of pre- and post- mood and hardiness scores, and high or low mood or hardiness scores. Those high in hardiness likely respond more positively on the post-mood surveys in every mood category because hardiness acts as a buffer against adversity encountered in the negative mood category while also acting as a catalyst for enhanced mood in the elated mood category. The demonstrated worth of the hardiness approach and its enormous potential to improve lives makes it worthy of continued development and investigation to the fullest extent possible.

Nanoscale Electrode Development for Fundamental Studies of Mixed Ionic and Electronic Conductors as High Temperature Fuel Cell Components
Jeevitha Martin
Mentor: Daniel Mumm

Electrostatic Spray Deposition (ESD) in the study of electrode morphology is used to fabricate La0.8Sr0.2MnO3 (LSM), an electrode layer, over the substrate, stainless steel, and La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8 over yttria stabilized zirconia in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. ESD has recently been shown to provide controlled porosity to achieve reticular structures. By varying the porosity of the cathode, and thus increasing the surface area of the cathode layer, the effect of a triple phase boundary can be observed. These procedures are repeated by varying different parameters to study their effects on porosity. The above experimental procedures are carried out arduously to learn about the triple phase boundary, where most of the chemical activity is believed to occur. SEM and X-ray diffraction are used to analyze the results obtained by ESD, and impedance analysis is conducted to show the correlation between porosity and overpotential loss.

Gender Quests: Console RPGs and the Regulation of Player-Character Performativity
Timothy Martin
Mentor: Jonathan Hall

Contemporary United States videogame culture is marked by a widespread dismissal of “body politics,” an insistence that videogames are equally accessible to all players regardless of their corporeally grounded social identities. To counter this discourse, I present a case study on the regulation of gender performativity by a genre of videogames known as console RPGs (role-playing games). I argue that the linguistic and corporeal slippage between player and gendered videogame avatar is an instance of gender performativity, as theorized by Judith Butler, and thus interpret videogames as a technology of gender interpellation. The central claim of the paper is that console RPGs consistently grant dominant positions in their points of view (representational perspectives) and “points of play” (ludic perspectives) to avatars that are easily read as male and heterosexual, inciting players to “perform” the heterosexual male body. The paper also addresses resistant practices of consumption by exploring the limits on the potential for cross-gender “cosplay” (the creation and wear of costumes modeled after fictional characters) to contest videogames’ regulatory functions.

New Cascade Reactions for the Synthesis of Highly Substituted Tetrahydropyran Rings
Autumn Maruniak
Mentor: Scott Rychnovsky

Tetrahydropyrans are six-membered heterocycles found in many biological molecules. Developing new reactions to access substituted tetrahydropyrans is important to the synthesis of natural products and pharmaceuticals. We have investigated the Mukaiyama-Michael cascade reaction, which is a powerful method to produce 2,4,6-trisubstituted tetrahydropyrans from homoallylic vinyl ether substrates. Enol ethers react with a,b-unsaturated ketones via a Mukaiyama-Michael addition in the presence of a Lewis acid to form an intermediate oxocarbenium ion, which then undergoes rearrangement to form the substituted tetrahydropyran. Extension of this method to employ (E)-crotyl enol ethers has been explored, which allows for further functionalization of the ring. We discovered that crotyl enol ether substrates do not undergo the Mukaiyama-Michael cascade reaction; rather, they form 4-bromo-tetrahydropyrans through a competing Prins cyclization reaction. In addition, it was proposed that a common intermediate in the Mukaiyama-Michael cascade could be obtained through a hetero Diels-Alder reaction between a homoallylic enol ether and an a-keto ester. We have synthesized 2,3,4,6-tetrasubstituted tetrahydropyrans with moderate diastereoselectivity from the Lewis acid-catalyzed rearrangement of the Diels-Alder adducts. The development of these annulation reactions will provide useful new tools for the synthesis of complex natural products.

The Physiology of Late Life in Drosophila melanogaster
Behshied Mashhoon
Mentor: Laurence Mueller

There are two phases during the adult life of Drosophila melanogaster: aging and late-life. Late-life is a distinct phase that is seen as a plateau when analyzing mortality rates with the use of large population cohorts. The age that separates lifespan into the two distinct periods of pre- and post-plateau can be estimated by fitting the mortality data to a two-stage Gompertz equation. By examining a stress component, starvation resistance in this case, we looked for changes in stress resistance between the two phases. We found significant differences in starvation resistance between the two phases, with a decrease in resistance during late life. We also found that females are significantly more resistant to starvation resistance than males. The sex by age interaction was also significant in the two Drosophila populations investigated here. These findings allow us to better understand the physiological mechanism underlying mortality patterns in D. melanogaster.

Modeling Electrostatic Interactions Between Porphyrin Adsorbed on an Ultra-Thin Aluminum Oxide Film and Other Low Dimensional Systems
Kenny Mayoral
Mentors: Jeremy Maddox & Shaul Mukamel

We present an electrostatic model describing the interactions between a single magnesium porphyrin (MgP) molecule and an ultra-thin aluminum oxide (Al2O3) substrate. Stable configurations for the magnesium porphyrin were obtained as a function of the MgP absorbate’s orientation relative to the Al2O3 unit cell. These configurations were used to simulate the STM conductance spectra of the neutral and anionic MgP molecule, and our results are compared with recent STM experiments. We have also explored the electronic structure of atomic one-dimensional gold chains. These are treated using a tight-binding model for the electronic Hamilitonian where each atom in the chain is assumed to have a single energy level, and we consider nearest neighbor coupling between atoms. Initial results for the defect-free gold chains clearly show spatially dependent wave functions as replicating particle-in-a-box states in agreement with STM experiments from the literature.

Optimizing Blended Winglets to Reduce Induced Drag
Salvador Mayroal
Mentor: John LaRue

Aerodynamic Drag is the resultant force that resists the motion of a solid object through a fluid, thus it is one of the main components that affect the fuel efficiency of any aircraft or automobile. In flight, aircraft experience several forms of drag, yet it is primarily lift-induced drag, responsible for up to 30% to 40% of the total drag, that has a greater impact on the aircraft’s performance. It results from high pressure underneath the wing creating airflow at the tips of the wings to curl around from bottom to top in a circular motion, therefore generating trailing vortices at the wingtips. An effective method to reduce the induced drag on a wing is to increase the wing aspect ratio. However the higher wing aspect ratios tend to limit an aircraft’s maneuverability. An alternative to increasing the wing aspect ratio is the development of wing tip devices such as the blended winglet. This research project is focused on analyzing the effects of blended winglets on reducing lift-induced drag for given airfoil and wing aspect ratios by altering the winglets’ geometry. The winglet’s height relative to the wingspan, and planar radius of curvature were each tested separately in an attempt to obtain a mathematical relationship between these factors and the reduced drag for a given airfoil and wing aspect ratio.

Low-Number Meanings as Candidate Meanings for Less-Familiar Quantifiers
Lindsey Medearis
Mentor: Barbara Sarnecka

This study examines whether children have the ability to use unfamiliar quantifiers as representations of previously constructed internal symbols for “exactly 2” and “exactly 3.” Research indicates that once a child understands singular/plural morphology, the child then has the meaning of “exactly 1” accessible as a candidate meaning for the less-familiar quantifier “one.” The goal of this study is to focus on whether this notion can be applied to children of two- and three-knower capacity, and if they can be instructed to represent “exactly two” and “exactly three” as “a couple” and “a few” respectively. First, children are pre-tested for their knowledge of the less-familiar quantifiers. Next, they listen to illustrated storybooks that always represent two and three objects as “a couple” and “a few” respectively. Finally, the children are post-tested for their knowledge of the quantifiers and given a game to play that reveals their current knower-level. The expected results are that two-knowers will be more likely than one-knowers to demonstrate “exactly 2” as meaning “a couple.” Also, that three-knowers will be more likely than two-knowers to demonstrate “exactly 3” as meaning “a few.” Such findings demonstrate that once children are cognitively aware of the exact meanings of certain set sizes, they are then able to attach a new name to these set sizes.

Latina/o Undergraduates and Mentorship: A Psychosociocultural Analysis
Cynthia Medina
Mentor: Jeanett Castellanos

Although the number of Latina/o students attending college has risen over the last decade, their graduation rates are not increasing relative to enrollment rates. A mentoring relationship or connection to university faculty has been shown to influence overall academic adjustment and well-being in racial and ethnic minority college students. Despite a demand to better understand the educational experiences of Latina/o students, research has yet to include the cultural context of the university in understanding perceived mentorship and student satisfaction, or to examine different dimensions of mentorship. This study’s purpose is to examine (by gender and class standing) the differences in, and degree to which psychological, social, and cultural factors influence the quality of the mentoring relationship with Latina/o undergraduates. The study will contribute to the small amount of literature on mentorship with Latina/o students in the context of a psychosociocultural theoretical framework. The identification of such factors and their influence on Latina/o undergraduates’ mentoring experiences will have practical implications for universities and university staff on how to further enhance the mentoring process and overall college experience of Latina/o undergraduates. The study will also encourage further research in the area of mentorship enrichment.

A Tale of Two Cities: Funding Disparities Between the Santa Ana and Irvine Unified School Districts
Patricia Medina
Mentor: David Meyer

The purpose of my study is to investigate unequal education between the two districts after the state of California tried to rectify the funding situation in 1978 with Proposition 13. California, unlike most states in the nation, funds its schools directly from the state, and does so at a very low level. My study is significant because the per capita funding is roughly the same for the Santa Ana and Irvine districts, yet their Academic Performance Index (API) scores have a differential margin of 226. Given comparable financial resources from the state, why are academic achievement outcomes between the Santa Ana and the Irvine Unified School Districts so different? I analyze quantitative census and educational data as well as interview individuals who play a factor in the financial aspect of a student’s education (e.g., directors of budget, PTA, district/school administrators and community organizations). Though this study, it is clear that there are funding disparities between the Santa Ana and Irvine schools through community supplementation of education. This research advances the knowledge of the Sociology of education by investigating inequality between two districts in the California system. This study challenges the effectiveness of Proposition 13 in education and may serve as an agent for better educational policies.

Pattern Recognition and Expectations of Regularity
Steve Meissner
Mentor: Mark Steyvers

Research has shown that people are good at detecting patterns at different rates. People also tend to expect patterns in data they know to be random. Examples of this phenomenon, called the Clustering Illusion, can be found in the classic 1985 study by Gilovich and the Gambler’s Fallacy, in which randomly generated sequences are perceived to contain some secret non-random rule to explain runs or strings of good or bad luck. The purpose of this experiment was to discover the limits of individual skill in pattern recognition using a prediction task with immediate feedback. Each participant was given a total of forty blocks of random sequences or repeating patterns of increasing difficulty. Patterns of increasing length were harder to detect as expected. However, it became apparent that even in the presence of immediate negative feedback, subjects persisted in making predictions of a pattern in the random sequences. This phenomenon suggests that the Clustering Illusion could have much stronger behavioral influence than previously realized. Either subjects are: (a) not understanding the mechanism of negative feedback or instructions are unclear, (b) making random guesses because the penalties for failure are perceived as being “worth the risk,” or (c) participants are actually seeing some pattern in the data after having been biased by the presence of non-random sequences. Continuing experimentation is underway to identify the true motivation and implications for the data collected.

Social Networks and Crime in Santa Ana Neighborhoods
Claudia Mendoza
Mentor: George Tita

Social networks are the ties and relationships that join people together. At the individual level, networks provide social support to members of the network as well as access to information about jobs and various resources. At the aggregate level, social networks are believed to be vital in the development and maintenance of healthy, safe communities. The lack of social networks leads to social disorganization within a community. Patillo defined social disorganization as “the inability of a community structure to realize the common values of its residents and maintain effective social controls.” This research project explores social networks in several Santa Ana neighborhoods in an attempt to see if network characteristics differ between areas with a high crime rate and areas with low crime rates. My results suggest that the area with the lower crime rate has the networks that are necessary for addressing and solving issues within the neighborhood. The development of these networks is tied to the presence of a neighborhood association, financial stability, and length of residency.

Gender-Identity and Institutional Behavior Among Incarcerated Adolescent Males
Kristen Meyer
Mentor: Elizabeth Cauffman

Previous research indicates that the adoption of a masculine gender-identity may be beneficial for mainstream adolescent males. However, it is unknown whether this masculine identity serves the same function among incarcerated male juvenile offenders. This study explores the effects of gender-identity among incarcerated adolescent males, specifically as it pertains to institutional offending and anti-social behavior, as well as victimization. Data were obtained from 215 male juvenile offenders, age 14–17 years, who were confined in a secure facility. Analyses were conducted to assess the relation between gender-identity and anti-social behavior and victimization within the first two months of incarceration. Endorsing a masculine typed gender-identity was related to increased rates of institutional offending, as well as increased rates of institutional substance use. Given that both mainstream youth and incarcerated youth report similar levels of masculinity, this study suggests that increased anti-social behavior among incarcerated youth is driven by the prison context, rather than unhealthy levels of masculinity. Gender-identity was not related to victimization. Further research is needed to investigate potential protective factors against institutional anti-social behavior.

The Synthesis and Reductive Reactivity of [(C5Me5)2La(thf)]2(m-h2: h2-N2) and [(C5Me4H)2La(thf)]2(m-h2: h2-N2)
Kevin Miller
Mentor: William Evans

Reductive divalent lanthanide chemistry only includes six of the lanthanides, due to the fact that the divalent states of most lanthanide metals are not accessible. However, the reductive divalent lanthanide chemistry can be mimicked by the LnZ3/K and LnZ2Z’/K systems (Z = a monoanionic ligand). Using these systems, reduction of nitrogen gas can be effected, resulting in compounds with the general formula [(Z)2Ln(thf)]2(m-h2: h2-N2). In this work, the reductive reactivity of some of these lanthanide dinitrogen complexes is studied, in which Ln = La and Z = C5Me5, C5Me4H. More specifically, these complexes are reacted with Ph3P=Se to compare the reductive reactivity of [(C5Me5)2La(thf)]2(m- h2: h2-N2) and [(C5Me4H)2La(thf)]2
(m- h2: h2-N2) complexes with the reductive reactivity of other trivalent lanthanide systems, such as Ln(C5Me5)3 complexes (Ln = Nd, Sm, La). This study may provide a more powerful reductive alternative to LnZ3/K and LnZ2Z’/K chemistry, and may also reveal something about the mechanisms of those reactions.

Reduction in Benzene Concentrations from Improved Biomass Cook Stoves in Michoacán, Mexico
Erin Milner
Mentor: Rufus Edwards

Combustion of biomass fuels in traditional cook stoves, primarily in developing countries, results in high exposures of women and children to various health damaging pollutants (HDPs). In Mexico, approximately 80% of rural households rely on biomass for their primary domestic energy needs. Limited research exists on the impact of improved stove programs in reducing exposures to volatile organic compounds (VOC). In this study, benzene concentrations were measured in homes using traditional open fire stoves (fogónes) and improved vented stoves (Patsaris). 48-hr samples within the kitchen were collected with passive badges and analyzed using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Results indicate that benzene, a known carcinogen, was consistently found in both open fire and Patsari kitchens, with mean concentrations of 53.4±31.8 mg/m3 and 46.6±28.9 mg/m3 respectively. Cancer forming potentials were also determined by applying time-weighted data to the benzene concentrations, and suggest that women using Patsari stoves are at lower risk.

A Needs Assessment Questionnaire of Driving Fitness in Older Adults Presenting to the Emergency Department
Adam Moheban
Mentor: Shahram Lotfipour

Older adults (65 years and older) represent the fastest growing segment of the population. It is projected that by the year 2024, one in four drivers will be older adults. The Emergency Department (ED) is presented with many older adults on a daily basis and may serve as a site for identifying older adults that need driving fitness evaluation or related intervention. To conduct a needs assessment for driving fitness related issues, a cross-sectional survey was conducted with medically stable English-speaking older adult patients presenting to the UCI Medical Center ED over a 13-month period. Questions related to driving history, habits, attitudes and opinions about ED physicians as sources for driving advice. Out of 387 participants, 33% considered their family/spouse, 24% themselves, and 14% the DMV as the most qualified source of driving advice. Only 1% felt the ED physician was the most qualified. Among the 227 who currently drive, 63% rated their driving confidence to be a 10 out of 10, 43% would like the ED to refer them to places where they can receive help with their driving, 83% would limit their driving, and 78% would stop driving if asked by a physician. Although the majority of patients were highly confident in their driving ability, nearly four out of five patients reported that they would be willing to limit or stop driving upon a physician’s recommendation. The discrepancy between the patients’ confidence and their willingness to accept driving advice from physicians provides an opportunity for further driving fitness research.

Behavioral Treatment Patterns Used by Latinos Diagnosed with Type II Diabetes
Jason Molina
Mentor: Caesar Sereseres

According to previous research, the first instinctive solution for Latinos in need of health care is not to seek professional medical attention upon the onset of a serious illness. This may be due to a lack of communication and/or lack of trust with physicians, religious faith, economic status or other social barriers. It has been shown that alternative solutions such as herbal remedies are sought-out treatments by Latinos. Furthermore, Latinos have a high prevalence for Type II diabetes, which can be associated with social factors that affect treatment patterns. The purpose of this research is to asses Latinos’ treatment patterns towards Type II diabetes, specifically focusing on socioeconomic status (SES), gender, and levels of acculturation within the Latino community. It is important to study these variables because there is minimal research examining these specific factors. Moreover, this study will further contribute to the understanding of the association between the social factors such as SES, gender, and acculturation’s influence on behavioral treatment patterns used by Latinos. To further understand this dilemma Latinos were interviewed regarding their used behavioral treatment pattern. Findings suggest that socioeconomic status and Type II diabetes are inversely related. Additionally, findings state that as socioeconomic status levels decrease, so does the awareness of Type II diabetes among Latinos. This study will further contribute to Latinos’ overall self awareness of health.

Kinetic Analysis of the Reaction Between Mb-HNO and O2
Jahed Momand
Mentor: Patrick Farmer

Nitric oxide (NO) has become an important chemical of interest in biological systems. Its effects are broad and important, ranging from antigenic uses in the immune system, to vasodilation. However, the bioactivity of the one electron reduced form of NO (HNO/NO-) is not well characterized, and is potentially important as a heart disease target. It has been theorized that HNO interacts with various heme proteins, but the mechanism and pathway are not well established. Its interaction with oxygen in particular is of great interest. In this study, the HNO adduct of myoglobin was synthesized and reacted with oxygen under controlled conditions to determine the presence of any transition states and to determine the rate of reaction. Rates were fitted using REACT kinetic analysis software, and it was determined that the reaction proceeds through an Mb-NO intermediate. Further studies will be needed to deconvolute the UV-Vis kinetics, but the results may hold promise for future heart disease-related drugs.

Hormone Levels and Paternal Attachment and Involvement
Melody Momtahan
Mentor: Laura Glynn

While the analysis of mother-child interactions has dominated parental research for many years, recent studies have tested the hypothesis that maternal and paternal behavior share homologous responses at the neural and endocrine level. Current reports validate the neuroendocrine changes associated with fatherhood with data that reveals fluctuations of multiple hormones involved in social bond formation. This intimate relationship between attachment and parental responses elicits the need to understand the nature of hormonal changes associated with parenting and physiological aspects of social attachment. The aim of this study was to examine the correlation between hormone levels and paternal attachment and involvement. Eighteen male partners of women participating in a longitudinal study of pregnancy were recruited as participants. These men were interviewed when their pregnant partner was at 24–26 weeks of pregnancy and again at 12 weeks post-partum. During the prenatal visit, a questionnaire was administered to determine their level of pregnancy wantedness. At the post-partum visit, paternal attachment was measured by the attachment subscale of the Parenting Stress Index, and involvement was measured by an instrument used in the NICHD Study of Early Child Care. Physiological changes were measured by fluctuations in cortisol between the two visits, because cortisol has an established role in social affiliation and pair bond formation, and can be measured in saliva.

Identity Formation in Hapa Japanese Americans
Tyler Moore
Mentor: Linda Vo

Individuals identifying as both Japanese American and white, commonly referred to as hapa, retain a status common to most multiracial individuals of an ascribed racial ambiguity. Because of their unique phenotype they are forced to define their own identity among factors such as ethnically-identifying family names and interactions with monoracial elements of the Japanese American community. This study focuses on a series of interviews with four hapa individuals of third and fourth generation Japanese-American status, looking for commonalities and patterns within the formation of their identity. The experiences of these individuals were then augmented with comparisons to other academic research on hapa and multiracial identity, outmarriage trends in the Japanese-American community, and ethnic community involvement in later generation Japanese Americans. The responses of these individuals indicated that many of them saw their own ethnic and racial status as separate from the experiences of both the Japanese-American and white communities, equating hapa with a racial identity independent of both monoracial experiences. This response may indicate a cleavage between members of the monoracial Japanese-American community and later generation hapa Japanese Americans in terms of ethnic and racial solidarity. Regardless of such divides, the experiences of later generation hapa Japanese Americans provide insight to the future of ethnic identity and assimilation in later generation Asian-American populations with increasing amounts of outmarriage.

Iranian Female Undergraduates’ Body Image Perceptions: A Psychosociocultural Perspective
Nicole Moshfegh
Mentor: Jeanett Castellanos

Our society has seen a major increase in the prevalence of eating disturbances in recent years, often influenced by negative body image perceptions. Due to the increased population of Iranian Americans enrolled in universities, it is important to observe whether assimilation into western norms by these students has had consequences on their physical and mental health. The purpose of this study is to examine the factors that contribute to Iranian female undergraduates’ perceptions of body shape. Using a psychosociocultural framework with a survey design, the role of psychological (self-esteem and body image), social (body stereotypes and societal pressures) and cultural (ethnic identity, acculturation, and cultural congruity) variables will be examined. Data collection and analysis is undergoing; however, results may conclude that women who experience low self-esteem are more likely to perceive sociocultural pressures to become thinner, increasing the tendency to internalize the thin image as the ideal body type, resulting in body image disturbances. Having low self-esteem further encourages women to look outside of themselves for direction as to how to appear and to become dissatisfied and preoccupied with physical aspects of themselves. Findings will provide insight for university centers to better address eating disorders when working with racial ethnic minority women, particularly Iranian undergraduates. Specifically, the results will assist clinicians in understanding Iranian undergraduates’ emotions, social systems, and cultural continuity as they relate to body shape perceptions. They will also provide direction for future research in working with Iranian student populations, given the limited literature on this student group related to college experiences and their educational barriers.

An Enviro-Architectural Identity: The Fatimi Philosophy of Design
Arfakhashad Munaim
Mentor: Richard Matthew

The Fatimids are the descendants of Prophet Mohammed’s daughter, Moulatena Fatema and who originated in Cairo, Egypt as part of the Shi’ite hegemony. The Dawoodi Bohra community recognizes themselves under the Fatimids headed by the 52nd al-Dai al-Mutlaq, Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. Their goal is the pursuit of spiritually through salat (prayers) that is reflected in their architecture. My research focuses on the history of the Fatimi masajid (plural for mosque) by evaluating traditional and contemporary aspects of architectural design. Generally, building design is a major element in the relationship between the natural and the built environment. Currently, a Fatimi masjid in Woodland Hills, California is being evaluated and previous projects including al Jame’ al Juyushi and al Jame’ al Aqmar have been studied to examine Fatimi design elements. In addition, several interviews have been conducted with a team of consultants involved with the project to provide supplemental information of the masjid. Although many contemporary masajid have not used sustainable practices, results conclude that several masajid apply design that is energy efficient through various architectural principles. In addition to architecture that is governed through the physical environment, Fatimi architecture emphasizes its practice through cultural and symbolical interpretations. Therefore, understanding this religious architecture makes people aware of the state of both our physical and meta-physical environment and helps them appreciate the Fatimi philosophy of sustainability toward our ecosystem.

Pilates Certification and its Effects on a Dance Career
Sue Murray
Mentor: Diane Diefenderfer

The highly demanding nature of a professional dancer’s career requires that the performer maintain his or her technical ability through efficient training, proper nutrition, and intense self discipline. With specific regard to the physically strenuous aspect of this career choice, I have found that the Pilates method can serve to be an effective means of body conditioning, allowing me to extend the longevity of my professional dance career while equipping me with the skill to train others in the Pilates method. I have pursued the details of the symbiotic relationship between the professional dancer’s career and the benefits of a Pilates Certification. Under the instruction of Diane Diefenderfer and her accomplished faculty of Studio du Corps, the Pilates Center of Orange County, I am currently training in the Certification program. Through in-depth seminars, workshops, observation, and participation, I have been exposed to the necessary educating materials and situations encountered by a certified Pilates instructor. I am being taught to recognize individual physical challenges, formulate appropriate workout programs for clients, and instruct them in the correct execution of specific exercises. Upon my graduation from UCI in Spring 2007, I anticipate maintaining a professional career as a dancer as well as holding a position as a Pilates instructor. Not only will I be able to teach the beneficial qualities of the Pilates method to both dancers and non-dancers alike, I will also be able to maintain my instrument to support my career as a visual artist.

Heritability of Flowering Time After One Generation of Assortative Mating in Brassica rapa
Kevin Musser
Mentor: Arthur Weis

Assortative mating, the process of like mating with like, is very common within plant populations and can lead to rapid changes in evolution and, subsequently, speciation. It is important to better understand how assortative mating occurs and affects organisms, because as the Earth’s climate changes, we need to know what kind of effect it will have on the world around us. We wish to quantify how assortative mating affects the heritability of flowering time in Brassica rapa, wild mustard, by measuring the flowering times of three separate mating treatments: random, natural, and hyper assortative. We found a significant difference in the means of flowering times for the natural versus random plants and the hyper treatment versus the random treatment; however, there was no significant difference between the other flowering times of the various treatments. The variance of the hyper treated plants is expected to rise once the plants have finished flowering, making the discrepancy between the random treatment and the hypers even larger.

Regulation of OEA Metabolism in FAAH-Deficient Mice
Mahva Naghipor
Mentors: Jin Fu & Daniele Piomelli

Oleoylethanolamide (OEA) is a lipid mediator that inhibits feeding in rats and mice via activation of peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor-alpha (PPAR-a). Biosynthesis and degradation of OEA is mediated by the OEA-generating enzyme, NAPE-specific phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD), and the OEA-hydrolytic enzymes, fatty-acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase (NAAA). In the rodent small intestine, OEA levels decrease during food deprivation and increase upon refeeding in response to changes in the metabolic pathway. In this study, I examined feeding-induced OEA mobilization in the small intestine of FAAH-deficient (FAAH-/-) mice. Endogenous intestinal OEA levels were found to be higher in FAAH-/- mice in conjunction with an increase in the activity of OEA-generating NAPE-PLD, compared to wild-type C57/Bl6 mice. Also, feeding-induced OEA mobilization in FAAH-/- mice followed a similar pattern, as wild-type OEA levels decreased after 24 hours of food deprivation and returned to baseline after 30 minutes of refeeding. In addition, the food-induced OEA accumulation in the small intestine of wild-typed C56/Bl6 and FAAH-/- mice was accompanied by increased activity of NAPE-PLD. These results together suggest that feeding-induced OEA mobilization in the small intestine is regulated by OEA biosynthesis.

Enatioselective Synthesis of Acyl Aziridines via Proline Catalysis
Ryan Naylor
Mentor: Elizabeth Jarvo

Functionalized aziridines are important building blocks in the development of medicinal compounds. Current methods to synthesize asymmetric acyl aziridines are relatively expensive and inefficient. Our goal is to develop a one-pot, organocatalytic synthesis of acyl aziridines using hydrazone electrophiles and enamine based nucleophiles. This transformation is envisioned to be a concise and stereoselective method for the preparation of this important functional group. Current reaction conditions yield limited amounts of a,b-unsaturated ketone or give no reaction depending on the nature of the electrophilic hydrazone substituent. Efforts to induce aziridination by altering the functionality of the hydrazones will be discussed.

United States-Venezuelan Foreign Relations and the Views of the Venezuelan Community in New York
Elizabeth Negrete
Caesar Sereseres

This research project examines political and social differences between Venezuela and the United States. In today’s highly interdependent world we need to learn more about others around the world, understand them better, and have better relations with them in order to have peaceful relations in Venezuela. There are approximately 100,000 Venezuelans in the United States 10,000 of which live in New York. This research explores the foreign relations between the United States and Venezuela and why it is important to study the current situation and look at the expatriates living in the United States. This research sheds light on the issues by exploring Venezuelan relations the current problems the countries have, specifically exploring the situation by interviewing the Venezuelan Consulate and members of the community in New York. Two core issues in the research are: the state of foreign relations between the United States and Venezuelan, and what the Venezuelan community in New York thinks about the leaders of the United States and Venezuela. The results of the interviews show that the consulate has a moderate position and works to promote its culture and better relations, while political clubs and the community newspapers are more vocal against Chavez’s presidency. Research conducted in New York for this project shows that foreign relations between the United States and Venezuela are deteriorating, both in the eyes of the American administration and the political Diaspora that lives in New York. However, we still trade with Venezuela. The research shows that the relations between the United States and Venezuela have room for improvement.

Propagation and Reintroduction of Arenaria paludicola (Marsh Sandwort) and Nasturtium gambelii (Gambel’s Watercress)
Barry Nerhus
Mentor: Peter Bowler

Arenaria paludicola (Caryophyllaceae) and Nasturtium gambelii (Brassicaceae) are two wetland indicator vascular plant species, native to California, that grow in freshwater marshes. The original, natural distribution of A. paludicola ranged from Washington to the Santa Ana River watershed in Orange County. The original, natural distribution of N. gambelii extended from the San Francisco Bay area to the Santa Ana River watershed. Arenaria paludicola and Nasturtium gambelii are two federally listed Endangered plant species. In collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, efforts to enhance the tiny wild populations are being made by propagating vegetative cuttings of genetically distinct individuals of Arenaria paludicola and Nasturtium gambelii from all known natural populations. These cuttings are being grown for reintroduction at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and the University of California, Irvine Arboretum. The propagation protocol requires that vegetative cuttings carefully be taken from wild stock, and their cut stems dipped in the root promoting hormone Rootone before potting in an artificial wet-propagation environment. These plant fragments are grown for several months in special wet-propagation basins as new roots develop, with each cutting being cultivated individually in submerged pots. The plan for re-introduction of Arenaria paludicola and Nasturtium gambelii is to survey and select suitable sites within existing permanently protected freshwater marsh habitats in the southern region of the species’ historic ranges. When sites have been selected, reintroduction will be accomplished during the spring of 2007 in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Distal Pancreatectomy vs. Pancreaticoduodenectomy: The Impact of Lyphadenectomy in Negative Node Pancreatic Cancer
Au-Co Nguyen
Mentor: David Imagawa

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. Treatments include distal pancreatectomy (DP) and pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD). Although operative therapy provides a curative treatment, the prognosis for these patients is still poor. The effect of lymph node (LN) dissection as a prognostic factor continues to be a subject of debate. The goal of this study is to evaluate the relationship between the number of LNs dissected in node negative pancreatic cancer and survival in patients undergoing a DP or PD. A retrospective chart review at a tertiary care center was performed on patients treated over a 4-year period. The number of sampled nodes was categorized into two groups: 1–10 and ≥11 nodes. One hundred and forty-nine patients underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer. Of those, 12 received DP and 30 received PD. In the DP group, seven patients had 1–10 nodes dissected and five patients had ≥11 nodes dissected. In the PD group, 14 patients had 1–10 nodes dissected and 16 patients had ≥11 nodes dissected. There was no statistical significance in 3-year survival between DP and PD. Three-year survival in the DP group showed patients with 1–10 nodes dissected having increased survival compared to those with ≥ 11 dissected nodes (100% vs. 37.5%, p=0.026). Three-year survival in the PD group showed no statistical significance between the LN groups. In the context of current literature, the implications of this data remain unclear. A higher patient volume is necessary to obtain comparable results.

Bmp and Fgf Interaction in Choroid Plexus Development
Diana Nguyen
Mentor: Edwin Monuki

The telencephalic choroid plexus epithelium (tCPe), which is located in the dorsal midline (DM) of the forebrain, is a simple epithelium that secretes cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord and functions in brain development, physiology, and neurological diseases. Despite this significance, relatively little is known about the mechanisms underlying its development. Our previous studies suggest that Bmp4 is necessary and sufficient to induce tCPe formation in the DM. Fgf8, which is expressed in the rostral midline, is known to impart positional information in the developing forebrain, and it has been shown to interact antagonistically with Bmps. Therefore my hypothesis is that Fgf signaling inhibits the tCPe cell fate by inhibiting Bmp signaling. To test this hypothesis, I used dissociated mouse neural precursor cell (NPC) cultures treated with Bmps and/or Fgf2 or Fgf8 to identify signaling interactions between Bmps and Fgfs. Semi-quantitative real-time PCR was used to quantify expression levels of tCPe and DM genes normally induced by Bmp signaling. I found that Fgf2 specifically suppresses Bmp induction of midline genes in NPC cultures taken from embryonic day 12.5 (E12.5) embryos. In E10.5 and E12.5 NPC cultures, I found that Fgf8 activates DM genes. These results demonstrate that specific signaling interactions between Bmps and Fgfs can regulate the expression of tCPe and DM genes in culture, and that Fgf2 and Fgf8 may serve different functions at different time points during DM development.

The ARC and rVLM Mediate the Long-Term Inhibitory Effect of Pressor Responses by Electroacupuncture
Don Nguyen
Mentors: John Longhurst & Stephanie Tjen-A-Looi

The mechanisms underlying the inhibitory effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on the cardiovascular sympathoexcitatory reflex responses include nuclei arcuate nucleus (ARC) and rostral ventral lateral medulla (rVLM) as well as neurotransmitters opioids and nociceptin. However, the long-term inhibitory EA effect lasting for more than eighty minutes has not been examined. We hypothesize that this effect is mediated through nuclei ARC and rVLM by opioids, GABA and nociceptin. In this study, changes in the mean arterial pressure and neuronal firing in response to microinjection of kynurenic acid into the ARC or microinjection of opioid antagonist, GABAA antagonist or nociceptin antagonist into the rVLM in animals, thirty minutes after the termination of EA were evaluated. The results show that microinjection of kynurenic acid in the ARC or microinjection of opioid antagonist or GABAA antagonist in the rVLM thirty minutes after cessation of E A transiently reversed the long-lasting inhibitory effect. In contrast, nociceptin antagonist did not reverse the EA effect. Thus, the ARC is an important nucleus in the long-lasting effect while opioid and GABA participate in the long-term EA-related inhibition of sympathoexcitatory cardiovascular responses.

Crystallization and Determination of alpha-11 Protein Structure for Further Understanding of the Giardia lamblia Cytoskeleton
Emily Nguyen
Mentor: Hartmut Luecke

Alpha-11 giardin is a 35 kDa protein belonging to the protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia, which triggers a form of diarrhea called giardiasis. This protein is linked to the Giardia cytoskeleton, and studies have found high levels of mRNA transcript of alpha-11 giardin in trophozoites, but constitutive expression is lethal to Giardia. Since little is known about this protein, including its protein structure, my project focused on the expression, purification, crystallization, X-ray diffraction analysis, and determination of the three dimensional structure of alpha-11 giardin. The protein crystal diffracted to 1.1 Å and belongs to a primitive orthorhombic spacegroup. The crystal structure reveals a planar array of four tandem repeats of predominantly alpha-helical domains, with a hydrophobic core between repeats I/IV and II/III. The determination of the three-dimensional structure of alpha-11 provides better insight into its role in the Giardia cytoskeleton, and will help establish whether alpha giardin is a potential drug target against giardiasis.

Why Not Maggots? A Survey of Clinicians’ and Non-Clinicians’ Perception on MDT
Hanh Nguyen
Mentor: Ronald Sherman

Maggot debridement therapy (MDT) is gaining acceptance as a modality for treating chronic, problematic wounds. Yet, some therapists have been reluctant to use MDT in their clinical practice. This preliminary investigation set out to identify factors affecting therapists’ use of MDT. An IRB-approved survey was distributed to attendees at wound care conferences, one hospital, and one wound care clinic. Two forms of the survey were available: one for clinicians, the other for non-clinicians. Besides not having the opportunity or not treating the appropriate patients, many therapists are not making use of MDT because of patients’ lack of acceptance of the treatment and the perception that MDT is messy and a hassle. Factors that involve real or perceived barriers by colleagues or facilities also affect therapists’ use of MDT. Some therapists are misinformed about costs, reimbursement and availability of treatment. Better education is essential if wound care therapists are to make use of this simple and readily available wound care tool.

Functional Characterization of the Interaction of the Golgi-Associated Proteins GRASP65 and GM130
Hoanglong Nguyen
Mentor: Christine Suetterlin

GRASP65 is a myristoylated 65kD protein, which is localized to the cis-Golgi. At all stages of the cell cycle, GRASP65 binds GM130, another peripheral coiled-coil protein of the cis-Golgi, at the C-terminal 300 amino acid domain which has been shown to be sufficient for the protein’s Golgi localization. Previous results demonstrated that in the absence of GRASP65, cells arrest in mitosis due to the improper formation of spindles, and eventually die. We investigated whether GM130 acts as upstream regular of GRASP65 for the formation of mitotic spindles and found that GM130 depletion results in aberrant spindles as well as the mislocalization of GRASP65 to the cytosol. Expression of the C-terminal domain of GM130 restores GRASP65’s association with the Golgi, but is not sufficient to rescue the GM130 knockdown phenotype. These findings suggest that GM130’s N-terminal half controls spindle formation in a GRASP65-independent manner. To address the significance of GM130’s C-terminus in spindle formation, we generated a point mutant, which no longer binds GRASP65. This mutation did not affect Golgi association of the isolated C-terminus or of full length GM130 and suggest that GM130’s Golgi association is independent from GRASP65. From these results, we predict that GM130 controls spindle formation through both a GRASP65 dependent and independent pathway. Towards this, we will dissect the N-terminal domains of GM130 for functional domains and examine whether a full length version of GM130 that is unable to bind GRASP65 can complement the GM130 knock-down phenotype.

In Situ Detection of PAX6, MMP2, and VEGF Gene Expression in Glioblastoma Multiforme
Jackson Nguyen
Mentor: Yi-hong Zhou

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a malignant brain tumor that is highly aggressive, highly invasive, neurologically destructive, and considered to be one of the deadliest of human cancers. Previous studies have shown that PAX6 expression was significantly reduced in GBM and that low level of PAX6 expression correlated with shorter survival for patients with malignant astrocytic glioma. With the down regulation of PAX6 in glioblastoma multiforme I address the issue of correlation between vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), which is responsible for cell invasiveness, with that of PAX6 using In Situ Hybridization methods developed and optimized in Dr. Zhou’s lab. Such a correlation would help support a theory that PAX6 does play a major role in regulating VEGF and MMP-2 in GBM.

Comparative Morphometry of the Lamina Cribrosa to Better Understanding Progressive Glaucomatuous Vision Loss
Janis Nguyen
Mentor: Donald Brown

Previous studies of the lamina cribrosa (a specialized structure in the optic nerve head) shows that the superior and inferior connective tissues are more susceptible to glaucoma optic neuropathy. As with many human diseases, small animal models are heavily relied on to study aspects of glaucoma. However, the lamina cribrosa is not present in either rats or mice. The purpose of this study is to survey commonly available animal models for their anatomic similarities to primates, focusing on the structure of the lamina cribrosa. The optic nerve heads (ONH) of mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, and pigs were fixed in 2% paraformaldehyde, dissected from the orbit, and 200 micron sections were collected with the aid of a vibratome. Three-dimensional reconstructions of the lamina cribrosa were obtained using second harmonic signals from the collagen fibrils. Our results show that mice and rabbit ONH are not equivalent to human, due to the lack of a well formed lamina cribrosa. However, guinea pigs and pigs show a lamina cribrosa that is anatomically similar to the human ONH. In assessing animal models of IOP-induced optic nerve damage, the guinea pig’s lamina cribosa appears to be closely related to the human optic nerve head (ONH). Therefore, we believe that the guinea pig model will be important for the development and testing of specific therapies to prevent vision loss in glaucoma patients.

Caffeine Consumption, Current Stress, and Negative Affect
Jean Nguyen
Mentor: Larry Jamner

Caffeine, widely believed to be a fairly harmless drug, is a substance of great significance in our society. Its pervasiveness is seen in its presence at the Starbucks coffee shops found on virtually every street corner in America as well as its presence in other commonly found forms such as chocolate, soft drinks, medication, and more recently, energy drinks. A substantial amount of research demonstrates that caffeine has effects on physiology, specifically alertness and cardiovascular conditions, however, little has been explored in terms of caffeine’s roles in the social, behavioral and emotional states of regular and irregular consumers. Current research also does not consider the possibility of different effects that caffeine may have on emotional states dependent on different levels of current stress. This study sought to determine whether or not the effects of caffeine on mood varied dependent on the stress of the consumer. The results indicate that higher levels of stress yielded more pronounced negative affect for caffeine consumers than non-consumers.

Determination of the Allosteric Interaction Between Molecular Chaperone Nucleotide-Binding and Substrate-Binding Domains
Kim Nguyen
Mentor: Larry Vickery

HscA, a bacterial member of the Hsp70 class of molecular chaperones involved in the biosynthesis of iron-sulfur clusters, contains an N-terminal nucleotide-binding domain (NBD) and a C-terminal substrate-binding domain (SBD). The activity of the NBD and SBD of HscA are allosterically linked and cooperatively stimulated by partner proteins HscB and IscU. Allosteric interactions between the NBD and SBD regulate chaperone function, but the molecular mechanism is not well characterized. Based on a recently solved HscA crystal structure, we hypothesized that the hydrophobic leucine residue (L388) within the linker region (380-390), connecting the two domains, is important for the transmittance of the allostery. I constructed, expressed and purified the mutant HscA L388A (leucine to alanine). I performed ATPase assays and used difference absorbance spectroscopy to determine whether molecular chaperone activity was retained and similar to wildtype HscA. Our results showed similar basal rates between L388A and wildtype but a loss of stimulation in ATPase activity was observed for HscA L388A when stimulated with HscB and IscU. The difference spectra showed that HscA L388A has both a T state (bound to ATP) and an R state (bound to ADP). However, the extent of T state formation is lower than the wildtype. This suggests that the leucine residue is important for the allosteric interaction between the NBD and SBD.

Synthesis of Carbohydrates Based on the Poly(trimethylsilyl methylidene) Substrate
Linda Nguyen
Mentor: Kenneth Shea

Carbohydrates, being simple in structure, are a major storage and transport form of energy in plants and animals. In addition, carbohydrates and their derivatives are necessary and important in the function of many biological processes, such as the immune system, pathogenesis, blood clotting, and development. Although the supply of carbohydrates is abundant and inexpensive in nature, the efficient synthesis of 13C isotopically labeled compounds, which are of value in elucidating metabolic pathways and in studying signal transduction and immune response, remains a big synthetic challenge. Currently, reported carbohydrate synthesis typically involves alcohol protection-deprotection and fragment assembly that require many steps. However, the Shea Lab proposed a new strategy to synthesize carbohydrates in only two steps, representing a straightforward and efficient pathway toward carbohydrate synthesis. The first step is to prepare poly(trimethylsilyl methylidene) oligomers. The second step, based on the fact that the silyl group is a masked hydroxyl group, uses a Fleming-Tamao oxidation reaction to transform the trimethylsilyl group to a hydroxyl group, generating the product carbohydrate. The significant aspect of this novel methodology is its ability to synthesize a variety of carbohydrates, which are determined by the stereochemistry of the C3-C5 of the poly(trimethylsiyl methylidene) precursor.

Bile Duct Injuries After Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: Referral to a Tertiary Center
Long-Co Nguyen
Mentor: David Imagawa

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (LC) has replaced open cholecystectomy as the treatment of choice for symptomatic cholelithiasis. However, LC is associated with a higher incidence of bile duct injury (BDI), which can lead to biliary peritonitis, sepsis, biliary cirrhosis, and subsequent death. This study was undertaken to evaluate the management of patients who were referred to a specialized unit in a tertiary center for surgical repair. Data was retrospectively reviewed from 23 patients referred from 1996 to 2006. The time to injury recognition, time to referral, Strasberg classification, management, hospital course, and outcome were assessed. Minor injuries were classified A in one patient (4.3%); major injuries were classified E in 22 patients. Complete transection of CBD (E1 and E2) was the most common(52.2%)—caused by mistaking the CBD for the cystic duct. Other major BDIs were classified as E3 (13.0%), E4 (8.7%), and E5 (21.7%). Five patients had concurrent vascular injuries. Surgical repair included ligation of duct of Luschka (4.3%), Roux-en-Y hepaticojejostomy (65.2%), Double barrel hepaticojejunostomy (17.4%), and choledochojejunostomy (26.1%). Univariate analysis indicated that attempted surgical repair of BDI by the surgeon that caused the injury (13%) was significantly associated with major complications, including one death (p=0.002). Multivariate analysis showed that severity of complications was independent of referral time, diagnosis time, and classification. Only attempted repair before injury, versus after referral, had a significant effect. Though early diagnosis is believed to reduce complications, repair by a hepatobiliary/liver specialist overrides any temporal factor. When BDI are noticed intraoperatively in a community hospital, the patient should be referred immediately to a specialist in a tertiary center.

Seed Banks and Gene Flow Through Time in Brassica rapa
Michael Nguyen
Mentor: Arthur Weis

We are examining the ecological and evolutionary importance of seed banks for Brassica rapa (wild mustard). Seed banks contain genotypes adapted to earlier conditions and can thus slow evolution, especially if conditions are changing in a constant direction. Seventy soil cores were obtained from the Arboretum at the University of California, Irvine before and after seed dispersal. These soil cores were separated into different layers, placed in pots, and allowed to germinate. The numbers of germinations were recorded. We found that a viable seed bank does exist, and it contributed to approximately 22.3% of this year’s germinations. We also found that the number of seeds in all the seed layers we looked at were higher in the post-dispersal sample than the pre-dispersal sample, with similar ratios (an average of 0.397). We have previously found that the length of the growing season determines optimal flowering time in Brassica rapa and that a drought resulted in the evolution of earlier flowering in this species. This rate of evolution, however, could be hindered if there is a seed bank containing seeds adapted to earlier, wetter conditions. In this study, we found that seed banks may contribute more seeds to a year’s germinations than we had previously thought, meaning that they may be masking a more rapid evolution of the species.

Targeting the Essential acyl-CoA Carboxylase Subunit AccD6 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis for Structure-Based Drug Design
Tan Nguyen
Mentor: Sheryl Tsai

Mycolic acids and multimethyl-branched fatty acids are found uniquely in the cell envelope of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and are essential for its survival, virulence, and antibiotic resistance. Acyl-CoA carboxylases (ACCases) commit acyl-CoAs to the biosynthesis of these unique fatty acids. The roles of the six carboxyltransferases of ACCase, AccD1–6, are not well defined, but previous studies indicate that disruption of AccD4-6 leads to pathogen death. In this project, I have crystallized AccD6 and determined its 2.8-Å crystal structure, which shows it to be a dimer whose sequence, structure, and active site are highly conserved with respect to the previously solved AccD5 crystal structure. Using the active sites of the AccD5 and AccD6 crystal structures, extensive in silico screening of compounds from the National Cancer Institute and ChemDB databases has been conducted, leading to the identification of several potential competitive inhibitors. Since the active sites of AccD5 and AccD6 are similar, these compounds were tested against both AccD5 and AccD6 by MD-CS assay. Several rounds of in silico screening followed by kinetic inhibition studies have led to the identification of several potent inhibitors with nano-molar Ki and MIC. Future rounds of screening using the AccD6 crystal structure are expected to yield even better results with compounds that bind with higher affinity. In addition to enhancing our understanding of the biological roles of key ACCases, our results provide a new target for structure-based drug development, as well as several potential drug candidates for future antituberculosis therapeutics.

Structural Evaluation of Synthetic Oligomers from iota-Peptides
Thang Nguyen
Mentor: James Nowick

Current research is interested in the design, synthesis and study of oligomers composed of nonnatural amino acids that can display the functional motifs found in cellular domains such as ion channels, transmitters and receptors. The knowledge and application of synthetic proteins holds great potential in the understanding and treatment of diseases related to these cellular functions. One such synthetic amino acid is the aminodiphenylmethanecarboxylic acid (Adc) that was developed and synthesized in our research group. Previously a macrocyclic molecule composed of Adc units was synthesized and studied. One can imagine that the cyclic form is similar to a ring closing of an a–helix structure after one helical turn. Molecular modeling data predicts that only a five-unit Adc chain can display an a–helix structure through inter-unit hydrogen bonding. However, to study the peptide in aqueous solution, Adck, the more polar derivative with its lysine side-chain was synthesized. The Adc unit and its derivative are made from readily available commercial starting reagents. The (Adc)5(Adck)5 oligomerization was done by solid phase peptide synthesis, and structural studies were done by spectroscopic methods and circular dichroism (CD).

The Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in Children Ages 6–13 with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Retrospective Review
To Dung Nguyen
Mentor: Sharon Wigal

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a psychiatric childhood disorder, often exists in conjunction with other psychiatric and medical conditions. Recent findings on adults with ADHD indicated that there is a higher prevalence of obesity than in the general population. The objective of this study is to evaluate whether this finding in adults also occurs in boys and girls diagnosed with ADHD. A retrospective review of 162 charts of children, ages 6–13, who participated in the screening study for ADHD conducted between 1996 and 1999 was performed. Each child’s height and weight were collected, from which his or her body mass index (BMI) was calculated. We found that the prevalence of overweight (BMI>85th percentile) and obesity (BMI>95th percentile) in 6- to 11-year-old children with ADHD was significantly higher than the age-matched national norms. When analyzed by age, both age categories had a similar prevalence of being overweight. The older subjects (ages 10–13) seemed to have a higher prevalence of obesity than younger subjects (ages 6–9), but the difference was not statistically significant. These findings are discussed in view of the growing obesity epidemic that is affecting children and the potential value of screening those with obesity for symptoms of ADHD.

Prevalence of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) Symptoms in Patients with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)
Van Nguyen
Mentor: Sharon Wigal

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect. A significant proportion of this population will have intermittent chronic hypoxia, characterized by insufficient levels of oxygen in the blood or tissue. Although there have been many reports of adverse impacts of chronic or intermittent hypoxia on development, behavior, and academic achievement in children with CHD, the incidence of Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) in this population remains unknown. This research project studies the incidence of ADHD symptoms in children and adolescents with CHD and evaluates the effect of potential factors in patients with CHD that may contribute to ADHD. The Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham Teacher and Parent Rating Scale Version IV (SNAP-IV) is a rating scale consisting of operationalized diagnostic criteria for ADHD. The SNAP-IV questionnaires were sent out to parents and counselors of each child who attended a camp geared towards patients with CHD to be filled out and returned for scoring. The proportion of participants meeting criteria for ADHD, based on the SNAP-IV ratings, was calculated from this clinical sample. Logistic regression techniques were used to determine if CHD severity impacts the diagnosis rate or patterns of symptomatology. Results show that there is a statistically significantly higher prevalence of ADHD in this population compared to the normal population. By understanding the prevalence of ADHD symptoms in this population, more resources can be directed at improving the social and cognitive outcome of these patients, and larger scale research studies can be conducted to specifically address cognitive and behavioral deficits in this clinical population.

The Role of Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycan (HSPGs) in BMP Receptor Complex Assembly
Victoria Nguyen
Mentor: Arthur Lander

Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) pathways are required for a wide variety of developmental and cellular processes, including early embryonic patterning and regulation of apoptosis. HSPGs have been implicated in BMP-mediated morphogenesis by regulating BMP activity at an extracellular level. However, the direct role of HSPGs in BMP signaling is poorly understood. Here we investigate the role of HSPG in BMP receptor complex assembly in PC12 pheochromocytoma cells. Because our previous studies have found that BMP Type II Receptor (RII) recruitment into the BMP heteromeric receptor complex to be HSPG-dependent, we propose that HSPG enhances preformed RII homodimerization before its addition into the receptor complex, and that HSPG acts as a catalyst rather than as a physical co-receptor of RII. We created fusion protein constructs of RII with EYFP, RII with EGFP, and Glypican1 (a HSPG) with EGFP, that were transfected into PC12 cells. We hope to use the Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) microscope to study the effects of the presence and removal of HSPG (by Heparinase) on RII homodimerization by looking at the fluorescence intensity correlation and changes to determine if HSPG enhances RII homodimerization. FCS will also be used to study the co-diffusion of RII and Glypican-TMR. If results show that RII and Glypican 1 do not co-diffuse, it can be suggested that HSPG does not act as a physical co-receptor of RII.

Content Analysis of Medical Students’ Creative Projects: Insights into Medical Students’ Experiences and Arts-Based Medical Education
Vincent Nguyen
Mentor: Johanna Shapiro

Medical students often describe the gross anatomy course as both stressful and a rite of passage. Anatomy is sometimes considered by the students to be their first clinical experience, with the cadaver viewed as the student’s first patient and teacher. The aims of this combined quantitative-qualitative study were to: (1) learn how students experience anatomy through a content analysis of their creative works; (2) learn about the effects of the creative projects, particularly in terms of reducing self-perceived stress; and (3) compare the stress level and academic performance of creative project completers and non-completers. Thirty-four project completers and 47 non-completers consented to participate. Twelve project completers and 12 project non-completers were interviewed to determine their views about the stress of anatomy and medical school, as well as the value of the creative projects. Comparing project phases, initial projects appeared to cause more conflict, while students in later projects encountered more desensitization, appreciation, and satisfaction. Students expressed anxiety and ambivalence about anatomy, and employed various defense mechanisms to resolve their feelings. Project completers performed significantly less well than non-completers when all exam scores were combined; however, their overall course grade was non-significantly lower than non-completers. Students completing projects reported both stress reduction and development of a richer appreciation for both anatomy and medicine as a whole, while non-completers acknowledged that viewing the projects helped them better understand their own experience of anatomy. For some students, creative projects may offer a reflective and introspective way of wrestling with the ambivalent emotions anatomy raises.

Hemodynamic Responses in Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Measured Through Near-Infrared Spectroscopy
Nasseem Nilipour
Mentor: Timothy Wigal

Individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) show a significant impairment in their executive control system, located in the frontal cortex, when compared to healthy individuals; executive functions include problem solving, attention, reasoning and planning. Research indicates that ADHD is a condition that stems from a dysfunction in the brain. Hemoglobin concentrations and brain tissue oxygenation significantly differ in adults with ADHD in comparison to control individuals. The goal of this study is to explore the difference between hemoglobin levels in the right and left hemispheres of the frontal cortex in subjects with ADHD and age and gender matched controls. Using a non-invasive optical tool, called Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), we could evaluate hemodynamic differences in the right- and left-sided frontal lobes of our population. Absolute concentrations of oxy-, deoxy-hemoglobin, total hemoglobin and tissue oxygen saturation were measured during 4 minutes baseline. A total of five ADHD medicated adults and five control adults (age rage 21-27) were recruited. Results showed slightly larger levels of concentrations and standard deviations in controls in the left and right hemispheres. When exclusively analyzing the ADHD group, total hemoglobin concentrations in the left and right hemispheres were in the same range, and similar to the right hemisphere concentrations of the controls. Findings implicate that spontaneous asymmetry in the control group was lost in the group with ADHD due to medication. Therefore medication caused a hypo-perfusion in the frontal area. Future research will need to assess the correlation between medication and the request of oxygen supply in adults with ADHD during an activation task.

Size Matters: AFL-CIO Union Mergers 1955–2005
Christina Nizar
Mentor: Judith Stepan-Norris

Prompted by the 1955 merger of American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization, AFL-CIO mergers from 1955–2005 experienced accelerated union merger activity, while simultaneously membership sharply declined. Mergers served as a strategic tool, which unions were motivated to use by declining membership, desires to unite collective interests, financial difficulties, changes in industry, ineffective collective bargaining, and/or low strike funds. Yet, research focuses on frequency trends instead of the types of unions that engaged in mergers and their motivations for merging. The goal of this research is to identity patterns in the type of unions choosing to merge. Using their membership size, I categorized each union into small, medium or large focusing solely on AFL-CIO mergers from 1955–2005. The results generally show that small unions were the most frequent merger partners, regardless of the year. Additionally, starting in 1979, mergers between small unions and large unions became increasingly common and most prevalent.

Chronic Microvascular Response to Photodynamic Therapy
Matthew Nudelman
Mentor: Bernard Choi

Port wine stain (PWS) is a skin birth defect that causes discolorations in the skin due to over vascularization and excessive blood flow. These disfigurements from the PWS have been shown to cause psychological problems. The current treatment is to selectively inflict vascular destruction using a pulse dye laser. However, even with multiple treatments, the PWS returns. A more effective treatment is required to permanently eliminate the PWS. Our study examines the effectiveness of photodynamic therapy (PDT) using the photosensitizer benzoporphyrin derivative monoacid ring A (BPD) and a continuous 690 nm laser light source as a means of causing permanent vascular destruction. For our experiment, a dorsal skinfold window chamber was installed surgically to a male C3H mouse. 1 milligram per kilogram of BPD solution was administered intravenously via a tail vein catheter. Evaluated interventions were: 126, 251, 960 seconds. To assess changes in microvascular blood flow, laser speckle imaging was performed before, immediately after, and two weeks post-intervention. BPD PDT can achieve selective vascular flow reduction. Our results suggest that BPD PDT should be investigated further to obtain optimal parameters for inflicting vascular permanent destruction without damaging the surrounding tissue.

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