Student Abstracts


Sylvia K. Saito Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bo Hong

Multicomponent Photomolecular Devices (PMDs) Containing Metal-Polypyridyland Polyphosphines

Photochemical molecular devices (PMDs) can be obtained through the linkage of various prefabricated molecular components with light-related properties that are structurally organized and functionally integrated. These PMDs can be used to study the photoinduced electron and/or energy transfer which may lead to applications of the PMD in light energy conversion and to a better understanding of analogous processes in natural photosynthetic system. In this research, polyphosphine ligands will be incorporated as spacers to link together the ruthenium and osmium based units to give a suitable photochemical molecular system. The monometallic compound, Ru(bpy)2Cl2, was used to react with a polyphosphine ligand, 2,3-Bis(diphenyl phosphine)methyl-1,4-bis(diphenyl phosphino) butane. Another different polyphosphine ligand, 1,1’,3,3’-tetrakis(diphenyl phosphino) allene, was used to react with Os(bpy)2Cl2 and the resulting compound was then reacted with a second monometallic compound, Ru(bpy)2Cl2. The heterodinuclear complexes (dyads) thus obtained were purified using column chromatography and recrystallized from suitable solvent systems. 31P{1H} and MS/FAB were utilized for structural determination. Electrochemistry was used to establish the ground state electrochemical characteristic from the relevant redox couples. UV/Vis was done to study other ground state properties, such as MLCT transition from the metal to polypyridine.

Anne Bernadette San Juan Faculty Mentor: Dr. Charles E. Wright

Perceptions of Dating Roles and Behaviors

This study examines the perceptions of dating roles and behaviors of 230 dating college students. I hypothesized that (a) traditionalism and gender are related to romantic ideology and (b) traditionalism and gender determine the degree of self-disclosure while dating. Traditionalism is defined as the adherence to societal norms about male-female roles. Romanticism is the romantic ideology that love is all one really needs to conquer the trials of life. The sample consisted of 100 male and 130 female college students attending the University of California Irvine. The students were asked to fill out a questionnaire that contains questions pertaining to traditionalism, romanticism, and self-disclosure within the dating context. Within this sample a significant relationship was found between traditionalism and romanticism. Gender did not appear to have any significant effect on determining romanticism as an auxiliary variable to traditionalism. No significant relationship was found between traditionalism and self-disclosure. These findings suggest that male-female sex roles are not as strictly defined as they had once been 40 years ago. Also males and females appear to self-disclose equivalently while dating.

Joyleen Valero Sapinoso Faculty Mentor: Dr. Laura Kang

Celebrating Lesbian Gender Disobedience in Lesbian Photography

Lesbians face a double bind, living in a society which devalues women and also homosexuality. Engaging with masculinity and femininity as parts of socially constructed gender roles with meanings culturally assigned to those specific gender presentations reveals the rigid binary in the western conception of gender. As Wittig argues, acceptance of a lesbian identity is refusal to conform to the mold of heterosexuality, placing the lesbian as a "not-woman" because she challenges the essence of femininity (i.e. dependence on men). Therefore, gender role non-conformity is essential to developing a lesbian identity. Furthermore, lesbian identity has a direct effect on constructions of a lesbian body, particularly lesbian fashion and dress codes. Shifting and differing identities entail changes in the constructions and codings of the lesbian body, and in some cases, vice versa. Focusing on the ‘40s and ‘50s butch/femme, the ‘70s lesbian feminists, the ‘80s and ‘90s lesbian chic and the medium of photography t his presentation will examine several of these constructions and codings. In particular, the representation of lesbian as mannish woman (butch) is central. The main goal is to argue for the recognition of the importance of the (re)presentation, for both lesbians and non-lesbians, of lesbian as mannish woman due to the visibility as lesbian that this particular image asserts. With this recognition this project hopes to reclaim and de-stigmatize the (re)presentation of lesbian as mannish woman, and moreover celebrate lesbians’ gender role non-conformity/disobedience as well as celebrate the conception of alternate lesbian genders.

Jennifer Anne Seda Faculty Mentor: Dr. Norman M. Weinberger

Tuned Evoked Potentials in Response to Auditory Stimuli in the Rat Hippocampus

Sensory system cells respond to stimuli in a highly specific manner. For example, in the auditory cortex, cells are tuned to have a maximal response at a specific acoustic frequency. This tuning is not fixed, but can shift to the frequency of a behaviorally significant tone during learning. The hippocampus has been shown to play an important role in memory, and responds to various sensory stimuli, yet little is known about this response. This study sought to determine whether the hippocampus responds to auditory novelty, (i.e. gives the same response to any unexpected stimuli), or is tuned to acoustic frequency. Rats anesthetized with chloral hydrate were presented with tones (in the contralateral ear to the recording site) over a wide range of frequencies, (0.47-30.0 kHz), and intensities, (30 - 90 db). Average evoked potentials, (n=10, with 7- 10 sec interstimulus interval), were obtained at different depths along the same dorsal/ventral axis. Tuning to frequency was observed, with the best frequency ranging from 7 kHz to 15 kHz across subjects. The bandwidth of the response increased with intensity. The best frequency was similar across depth and the amplitude of response was a function of the depth, consistent with a hippocampal generator. The results indicate that the hippocampus has acoustic frequency tuning, similar to the auditory system, not typical novelty response. Thus, the hippocampus may have the capability to process auditory information in a highly specific manner during learning.

Rachel E. Seid Faculty Mentor: Dr. Richard Perry

The Indian Child Welfare Act and the Best Interest of the Child: A Socio-Legal Examination

In 1978 the United States government passed the Indian Child Welfare Act. The Act is an attempt to preserve the distinctiveness of Indian cultures through the children. Since the survival of a culture rests with its children, Indian children must be able to grow within the traditions of their tribes. The Act came about as a result of a history of Indian children being removed from not only the homes of their immediate families, but also from their tribes. The Federal government justified the removal of thousands of Indian children "under the guise of civilizing and educating the Indians." (Getches, Wilkinson and Williams, 1993) The ICWA sets a number of guidelines and provisions that the courts must follow in order to ensure that prior to the removal of an Indian child from her home and placement in the care of an non-Indian family, all possible measures to keep the child within the tribe have been exhausted . This project looks at the ICWA from an historical perspective while also examining if the original goals of the Act have been accomplished within the best interest of the child.

Jennifer Seltzer (Chapman University) Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ronald Steiner.

The Nature of the Beast: The Making of Serial Killers

The purpose of this paper is to explore the internal motivations of serial murderers, including the vital components that led them to the dynamic rage that finds release only in killing. The first accused Chinese-American serial murderer, Charles Ng, now on trial for allegedly killing thirteen people, will be a special focus of this project. Current research suggests that there are several factors that are incorporated in the mind of a serial murderer. Many experts trace their unique patterns to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Several convicted serial murderers have had tormented childhoods and an inferior upbringing that lead them to this horrifying path. The powerlessness felt as a child and the lack of confidence with women as adults motivates these "monsters" to acquire a brief sense of power while dominating their victims. The hunt and the kill satisfies them sexually and gives them the ultimate control over life and death. Research for this project includes unprecedented access to materials associated with the ongoing prosecution and defense of Ng for his alleged crimes. An extensive look into the background of Ng, personal interviews with the attorney's involved in the case, and other data will help examine the inner drive of this alleged serial killer.

Julie Lei Shen faculty Mentor: Dr. John F. Marshall

Characterization of Methamphetamine-Induced Damage of Cortical Cell Bodies in the Rat Brain

Methamphetamine (m-AMPH) is a stimulant that can cause permanent damage to populations of cells in the brain. These populations include both dopamine nerve terminals in the striatum and glutamate cell bodies in the cortex. Although many studies have documented the damage in the striatum, little work has been done to characterize the neurotoxicity in the cortex. Our study utilizes a new technique, Fluoro-jade (FJ), to characterize the cell type and laminar pattern of degenerating neurons in the cortex of m-AMPH treated rodents. Rats were administered four subcutaneous injections of saline (1ml/kg) or m-AMPH (4 mg/kg) at two hour intervals and sacrificed three days later. Histochemical assays for FJ and DNA staining for ethidium bromide (EtBr) were run on adjacent 40 um coronal brain sections. As shown previously by our lab, FJ-positive cells were evident only in the somatosensory cortex of m-AMPH treated animals. FJ-positive cells were located in cortical layers III and IV, as identified by the DNA sta in EtBr. In addition, FJ-positive cells appeared to be either of multipolar or pyramidal cell types. These results show that m-AMPH damages specific populations in the somatosensory cortex of the brain. Given our extensive knowledge of neuroanatomical projections of these layers of the rat’s somatosensory cortex, the data presented here may enhance our understanding of the neurochemical pathway through which m-AMPH induces toxicity in the rat brain.

Leo Patrick Shiau Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nancy A. DaSilva

Determination of Plasmid Structural Stability in the Yeast Kluyveromyces lactis

The yeast Kluyveromyces lactis has been known for its superior capacity for secreting complex eukaryotic proteins useful for pharmaceutical and other industrial purposes. The most widely used plasmid vector system for K. lactis utilizes the full pKD1 sequence and incorporates a bacteria origin, selection markers for K. lactis and bacteria, and the desired expression cassette. Our lab has shown that expression/secretion cassettes inserted into the full pKD1-based vector can lead to significant structural instabilities due to the recombination between plasmids mediated by the inverted repeats (IRs) present on the full pKD1 sequence. To reduce this structural instability, a newly constructed partial pKD1-based vector possessing only a cis-acting stability locus (CSL) and pKD1 origin was effective. Currently, I am constructing both partial and full pKD1-based vectors which contain an expression cassette consisting of a b-galactosidase gene directed by the GAL1-10 promoter from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The goal is to determine whether structural stability is a significant concern for this and similar expression cassettes. The ONPG test will be employed to determine the amount of b-galactosidase expressed by the two vector systems. Plasmid stabilities will also be determined for the two systems and correlated with the amount of enzyme synthesized. This way, the structural instability problem of K. lactis can be evaluated by the expression of the heterologous b-galactosidase on different pKD1-based vectors; the more stable plasmid will be used for future studies including a comparison of promoter strengths.

Luke Chandler Short Faculty Mentor: Dr. Walter M. Fitch

Improved Line-Fitting Analysis of Influenza Evolution

By creating a technique that improves upon linear regression analysis, we intend to increase the accuracy of determining the rate of evolution for influenza. One often encounters data that do not lie near the best-fitting straight line. If we are to get a more accurate picture of what the best-fitting straight line ought to be, we must reduce the effects of the erroneous data. We have created a computer program that assigns individual weights to each point, assigning the more deviant points a lower weight so as to minimize their effect on the equation of the line. By letting the computer decide the relative importance of each datum, the equation may be derived independently of any investigator bias. After several runs using different parameters and random data from a pre-determined line, this analysis has on average generated a straight line closer to the true line than a typical linear regression. Using this method, we intend to derive a linear equation of the nucleotide substitutions found in various Influenza A samples. The wide range of disciplines that this technique may be of utility to is obvious. Wherever there is a need to find an accurate, straight line to a given set of data, this procedure may be applied. Future investigations should test this technique using other sources of error other than uniform distributed error (e.g., Gaussian distributed error).

David Aaron Snyder Faculty Mentor: Dr. Richard R. Hudson

A Weak Taxonomy: Applications to Some Umbelliferae and Languages

One can consider the classification of a set of objects as a description of an appropriate topology on that set. Both distance and parsimony methods informally represent a process of determining a topology on a set that yields an appropriate homology. One can also determine a possibly ad hoc algebraic structure directly on the set and use it to generate a taxonomy. In the former class of methods, while the taxonomy should formally imply the standardized algebraic structure, the algebraic structure may not exactly suggest a natural taxonomy. However, in the later class of methods, the algebraic structure directly determines the taxonomic divisions, so there may be a finer natural taxonomy than that which is determined: in topological terms, the taxonomy is weak. In general, one can give a construction which illustrates an appropriate algebraic approach to finding a natural weak taxonomy. If the data is not sufficient for an accurate taxonomy, the results of such a weak taxonomy will often be noticeably self-inconsistent; also such a taxonomy may be easily determined in polynomial time: thus such a taxonomy may be useful in initial phylogenic studies even if it is insufficient for more detailed research. Results with this taxonomy using certain chemical data from a tribe in the parsley family illustrate the basic properties of this taxonomy, and results from a simple model of Romance language evolution illustrate the "error-checking" capabilities of a weak taxonomy algorithm.

Michele A. Sobol Faculty Mentor: Dr. Wendy Goldberg

Spillover from Work to Colleagues and Family: A Study of Air Traffic Controllers

A growing body of research investigates the relation between an individual's experiences at work and typical patterns of social interaction within the family (Piotrkowski, Rapoport, & Rapoport, 1987). Past research has indicated that one way many males deal with work-related stress is through withdrawal from social interactions once they return home. Repetti (1989) focused on this spillover stress and the men's reaction of withdrawal from their families and activities using a group of male Air Traffic Controllers as the focus group. This occupational group was chosen because the amount of stress experienced was quantifiable, that is, levels of stress at work could be measured objectively by the volume of traffic and the weather conditions on any given day. Repetti found that the higher the volume of traffic and the poorer the weather conditions significantly increased the controller's workload as well as their levels of stress. Repetti then obtained self-reports of the men's behavior once they returned home; spouses also completed questionnaires. A significant positive correlation was found between the amount of stress at work and social withdrawal at home: the more stress, the more withdrawal. A main objective of this study is not only to replicate the findings of Repetti's study but also to see if females respond in the same way as men or if there are gender differences in response to stress in the workplace. Of additional interest is to see if men and women respond in gender characteristic manners with colleagues.