Abstract 1: “Mechanics of Jaywalking”. Insiya Nehal, Geana Nicolas, Esmeralda Vazquez and Vanshika Sangal (advised by Dr. Cara Wall-Scheffler, Dept. of Biology). Abstract: This projects aimed to observe change in speed among individuals who attempted to jaywalk or participated in other pedestrian activities. Other factors were taken into consideration such as load carrying, companions, gender, traffic, time of day, or general surroundings. This was done to see how locomotion is affected by different variables and how it affects daily human decision making.
Abstract 2: “Investigating how Mycoplasma genitalium adapts to 5-Nitroimidazole antibiotics through genomic sequencing”. Alessandro Rizzi, Cameron Weller and Abhi Kancherla. Abstract: Mycoplasma genitalium (Mg) is an emerging sexually transmitted pathogen that causes urethritis in men and pelvic inflammatory disease in women. In recent years, antibiotic-resistance in Mg has increased. 5-Nitroimidazoles were recently shown to be effective against Mg and are being explored as alternative treatments. In this study, we examined 5-nitroimidazole resistant mutants using MINion whole genome sequencing. We identified several mutations and specifically discuss those in Mg_342, which encodes FMN reductase.
Abstract 3: “Genetic Origins of 5-Nitroimidazole Resistance in Mycoplasma genitalium G37S”. Helena Huong Nguyen, Leanne Binas and Vaughn Poon. Abstract: Mycoplasma genitalium (Mg) is a sexually transmitted pathogen that causes urethritis in men and pelvic inflammatory disease in women. It is developing resistance to current first-line antibiotics making the discovery of alternative treatments important. 5-nitroimidazoles were recently shown to kill Mg at physiologically relevant concentrations. We investigated the resistance mechanisms of Mg to 5-nitroimidazoles using MinION sequencing revealing a mutation in the gene coding for the NADPH-dependent FMN reductase discussed here.
Abstract 4: “Genomic Analysis of Aggregated Mycoplasma genitalium Strains Locked with Codon-Modified Variable Regions“. Julia Gill, Mariah Kelley, Chris Penner and Tyler Speer. Abstract: Mycoplasma genitalium (G37) is a sexually transmitted pathogen responsible for many urogenital diseases. To promote immune evasion, the pathogen undergoes antigenic and phase variation, occurring through homologous recombination between the MgPa operon and nine MgPars. To investigate the effect of decreased antigenic variation on infection persistence, G37L2 was created to reduce homologous recombination. Surprisingly, serial passage of G37L2 formed non-adherent aggregates, prompting investigation into the genomic rationale for this phenotype.
Abstract 5: “Antibodies are a Selective Force for Antigenic Variation in Mycoplasma genitalium”. Dev Subramanie, Sukhi Lidder, Xing Z. Huang and Kathryn VanMaanen. Abstract: Mycoplasma genitalium causes persistent infection in the human reproductive tract. Its antigenic proteins, MgpB and MgpC, are expressed by the MgPa operon. MgPa undergoes antigenic variation, altering MgpB/C’s shapes. Bacterial samples from two infected pig-tailed macaques were sequenced to examine the role of antibodies in antigenic variation. Only one macaque produced antibodies against MgpB/C. We found more antigenic variation in bacteria growing in the presence of antibodies, suggesting that antibodies select for antigenic variation.
Abstract 6: “Monoterpenes in Mainland and Blakely Island tree species”. Gum Nau, Hannah McSwain and MacKenzie Garrett (advised by Dr. Ryan Ferrer). Abstract: Many plant species exhibit chemical defenses that are induced by herbivore damage, constitutively regardless of damage, or both with different chemicals serving complimentary defensive functions. Monoterpene production in some evergreen tree species appears to be induced by environmental conditions, including herbivore damage. Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western redcedar (Thuja plicata), and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) are widely distributed across western Washington and are abundant in the San Juan Islands. Blacktail deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) exhibit intense browsing pressure on these and other plant species, especially on Blakely Island, where deer densities far exceed those of mainland populations. Here, we survey the presence, absence, and concentrations of four representative monoterpenes: α-pinene, β-pinene, limonene, and β-caryophyllene in these three evergreen species on Blakely Island and at an urban, mainland park where deer density is low.
Abstract 7: “Coral Restoration Efforts in Les Village (Bali, Indonesia)”. Krysta Reese (advised by Dr. Tim Nelson, Dept. of Biology). Abstract: This project investigates four aspects of coral reef restoration efforts in Les Village. Survivorship based on species and depth was determined for nursery-grown corals. Micro-fragment transplants of several boulder coral species were measured to evaluate growth in two years. New Acropora (a branching coral) transplants were measured to be re-evaluated in two years. Lastly, the success of previous restoration projects were analyzed by tracking the abundance of butterflyfish at different treatment sites.
Abstract 8: “The Analysis of Salmon DNA as an Indicator of Mislabeling Rates in Seattle Sushi Restaurants”. Hannah Buller and Eloisa Nguyen (advised by Dr. Tracie Delgado, Dept. of Biology).Abstract: Salmon mislabeling is prevalent in the food industry, contributing to false advertisement of salmon species such as substituting a cheaper species in place of an expensive species. Self-classified salmon from sushi restaurants in Seattle were identified using molecular methods (PCR, gel electrophoresis, DNA sequencing, etc.). The goals of our research project are to 1) determine salmon mislabeling rates and 2) determine the substitution rate of salmon for another fish species in Seattle.
Abstract 9: “Salmon Mislabeling Rates at Sushi Restaurants in Seattle”. Griffin Ovenell and Lay Paw (advised by Dr. Tracie Delgado, Dept. of Biology). Abstract: Seattle prides itself on its quality of salmon. However, mislabeling of salmon species can occur when salmon is served to the consumer such as advertising wild caught salmon but serving farmed salmon. In this study, salmon samples were collected from sushi restaurants from across Seattle to determine mislabeling. The species was determined by sequencing the genome using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) then comparing the product DNA to a genome database.