Internship to study mate-choice copying in sailfin mollies using computer animation

There is no memorandum project overview associated with this application.

Ecology of sitatunga in Uganda

Trophy hunting, while a controversial issue in the developed world, is an important management strategy by wildlife management agencies across the equator. Due to negative public opinions, trophy hunting outfitters are under increased scrutiny to demonstrate that hunting has no detrimental effects on animal populations. To this end, we are embarking upon research into the size and extent of the sitatunga population on the Mayanja River in Uganda, which is part of the hunting concession managed by Uganda Wildlife Safaris.

Investigating the involvement of sleep pathways in absence seizures

Absence seizures are the most common form of epilepsy in children. These patients often experience transient episodes of impaired consciousness, which have an enormous impact on their quality of life. We are proposing to identify the neural substrates for these seizures. These experiments would provide the basis of future experimental studies examining the biological basis of impaired consciousness and epilepsy, as well as be the first step towards evolving new pharmacologic or stimulation paradigms designed to control absence epilepsy.

A new paradigm for the discovery of anti-cancer drugs based on tumour RNA disruption

While chemotherapy drugs are effective in combating tumour growth in cancer patients, many such drugs permit the development of drug-resistant tumours and progression of the disease. We have observed that several chemotherapy agents induce the degradation of tumour cell ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the laboratory and in cancer patients. We have further shown that this RNA degradation is associated with complete tumour destruction after-treatment.

Chromosome Engineering for Bioproducts from Methanotrophs

Currently Metagenom Bio Inc. offers contract research services in environmental microbial species profiling. Applications for this service include the monitoring of biogas operations, greenhouses, and mining processes. Metagenom Bio wishes to offer solutions that use microbes to generate value-added products. Biogas reactors can break down waste products and produce methane, or natural gas. This methane can be burned, or some of it may be used to create materials using bacteria that can consume methane.

Development of a Quantitative Lab and Field-Based Microbial Tool to Determine Arsenic Speciation in Seawater

Arsenic (As) is a contaminant found in ecosystems and drinking water throughout the world; it is a potent human carcinogen. Arsenic levels and speciation are controlled by a series of abiotic and microbial processes. Arsenic toxicity depends on its speciation and proper risk management is linked to predicting As speciation in various environmental matrices. Laboratory speciation of arsenic is expensive and requires tedious collection methods to preserve in-situ conditions. Marine ecosystems are affected by As contamination but few tools are adapted to its detection.

Vocal and visual signal divergence in a Neotropical songbird

New species may arise when related animal populations diverge in their plumage and song mating signals and no longer respond to the signals of other populations. In many tropical birds, species limits are unclear because of a lack of studies on plumage, song, morphological, and genetic variation among closely-related populations. Even fewer studies investigate whether birds from different populations respond less to mating signals which differ from their own, which would prevent these populations from interbreeding.

Characterization of chemosensory proteins in exosomes

Cells in our body secrete round structures lined by cell membrane under normal as well as stressful conditions. These “structures” or “micro vesicles” are termed as exosomes. They contain information from parent cells that can be transferred to other cells, thereby acting as cell-to-cell communication units. In this study I aim to identify the presence of bitter taste responsive proteins in exosomes. Bitter taste responsive proteins are also known as chemosensory proteins. These proteins have demonstrated significant role in pathophysiological conditions.

A rapid screening tool for multiple tick pathogens/Maritime tick bank

Ticks contain many different disease-causing bacteria and viruses, including the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Multiple infections with these other pathogens in addition to Borrelia cause more severe illness. For many of these pathogens there are no or limited diagnostic tools available to detect the pathogen. This project includes production of a new product, “a rapid
screening tool for multiple tick pathogens”. This product would allow ticks to be simultaneously screened for the presence of multiple, clinically important pathogens.

Response of leaf vein pattern to environmental change

We will investigate how plants change leaf vein structure to adapt to environmental changes triggered by climate change. Leaf venation is important for plant nutrient transport and efficient water use. Since making veins requires considerable energy, plants regulate vein density to suit the environment, increasing vein number and connectivity with decreasing water. Different leaf forms are very obvious in aquatic plants: above water, leaves are simple with many connected veins, below water, leaves are dissected with few, disconnected veins.