Gustavus 2002 Sigma Xi Research Symposium
Session B
Session C
Session D
Session Time Title Presenters Adviser dept. Abstract
A 1:30 Modeling the acoustics of a trombone bell Todd Johnson Tom Huber PHYS A program has been written that models the basic processes that occur inside a trombone bell.  This model produces the resonant frequencies of a given bell shape, along with the distribution of sound pressures within the bell.  To verify these numerical results, measurements have been conducted on an actual trombone bell.  The numerically modeled bell shows similar values and behaviors as the physically  measured experiment
A 1:45 Sythesis of an ethylamino derivative of Phenytoin Steven Backues Brian A. O'Brien CHEM The drug phenytoin (marketed as Dilantin) is commonly used as an anti-convulsant, and also appears to act as an immune-suppressant.  In order to elucidate the mechanism of this drug's action, we plan to run an affinity column assay.  Cell extract will be passed through the column in an attempt to isolate the drug receptor.  Towards this end, we have been working on preparing an ethylamino derivative of phenytoin that can be covalently bound to the affinity column.  Our progress on the synthesis will be described in this presentation.  
A 2:00 Correlation between surface sediment type and radon soil gas concentrations in the St. Peter area. Michael Bland Jim Welsh GEOL It has been shown that radon concentrations in soil gas are directly affected by underlying bedrock types, sedimentary cover, and local geologic structure.  In this study, an attempt has been made to determine the extent to which local sediment type in the region affects radon soil gas concentrations.  Such a correlation may lead to a greater understanding of both geologic controls on radon as well as the threat that radon poses in the area.  
A 2:15 Synthesis of Cesium 4-tert-Butylphthaloylphosphide Donnie Berkholz Brian O'Brien CHEM Certain types of phosphorus compounds interact with transition metals (with the metals being in various oxidation states) in a manner that causes profound changes in the nature of the reactivity of the metal center.  Construction of organic phosphorus-containing molecules in such a way as to allow electronic tuning of the interaction of the phosphorus atom with a metal atom to which the phosphorus atom is bound is of great potential importance. Particularly important areas within this context are the construction of catalysts for both large-scale industrial processes and for preparation of high-purity drugs.   This presentation will describe the preparation and characterization of one member of a series of 'tunable' organic phosphorus compounds, cesium 4-t-butylphthaloylphosphide. Details of the preparative procedures, as well as NMR spectral characterization of the intermediates and products, will be discussed.
A 2:30 The Effect of Has3 Over Expression on Mouse Melanoma Metastasis Krista Wilhelmson William Heidcamp BIOL Hyaluronic Acid (HA), a glycosaminoglycan found in the extracellular matrix, is synthesized by the hyaluronan synthases, HAS1, HAS2, and HAS3.  Increased levels of HA correlate to increased tumorgenicity and possibly metastasis.  In this study, a mouse melanoma cell line was transfected with a clone of the Has3 gene.  Has3-transfected cells and control cells were injected into mice to determine if increased levels of Has3 and thus increased HA production correlate to increased metastasis.
A 2:45 NATURE AND ORIGIN OF BURIED ICE WITHIN A RECESSIONAL MORAINE, MATANUSKA GLACIER, ALASKA Justin Johnson James Welsh GEOL A recessional moraine near the terminus of the Matanuska Glacier, Alaska displays characteristics of being ice-cored.  The data collected by ground penetrating radar (GPR) and field observations offers a detailed picture of buried ice and model of ice-cored moraine genesis.  This study is significant because its findings could be applied to similar recessional moraines and demonstrates that GPR can be an important tool to study shallow buried ice.    
A 3:00 Investigation of the Visual Pathways Involved in the Motion Aftereffect Matthew Lunning Mike Ferragamo BIOL In this report we focused on mapping the visual pathway that produces a motion aftereffect (MAE).  Stopping a rotating spiral after prolonged fixation will create the perception of a stationary stimulus moving in the opposite direction, the so-called MAE.  Within the visual pathway there are two segregated functional streams that originate from either the magnocellular or parvocellular ganglion cells.  Four different stimuli were constructed to investigate the contribution of each stream to evoking a MAE.  Statistical analysis revealed a significant order effect of duration of MAE among the four conditions thereby implicating a role for each pathway. My results also show that the MAE emerges at the cortical level.     
B 1:30 Isotactic Olefin Polymerization Catalysts Matt Tjosaas Gretchen Hofmeister CHEM Isotactic olefin (alkene) polymerization has been accomplished with catalysts that have (bis-phenoxide) chiral bis-cyclopentadienyl ligands coordinated to metal centers. More stable, cheaper, and less air-sensitive catalyst improvements could involve the use of (alkoxide) larger phenoxide ligands. Previous work yielded a tris-phenol ligand with three metal-binding oxygen atoms. A tris-phenol ligand with two metal-binding sites was desired to study its coordination to metal centers, in order to develop complexes that would be useful polymerization catalysts.
B 1:45 Early Permian Flora from the Wellington Formation in Oklahoma William Isaksen Keith J. Carlson GEOL A new flora from the Wellington Formation in Oklahoma was discovered in a channel fill sequence southeast of the town of Billings in the vicinity of Red Rock Creek. The flora was prepared by exposing the fossils by hand from the siltstone matrix using a microscope and a needle. Dominant floral members were found to be the genera Gigantopteris, Callipteris, Taeniopteris, and Compsopteris. The presence of Gigantopteris in this flora has important implications for determining the paleoenvironment. Because it defines a Permian floral zone that is drier, and farther upland from the tidal flat environment that covered the region during transgressive marine phases, the flora must have lived during a regressive phase, with a fluvial-terrestrial environment prevailed. The postulated environment at the time of deposition of the flora is a semi-arid plain dotted with scattered relict puddles, ponds, and small-scale lakes that were freshened by small feeder streams during seasonal flooding. 
B 2:00 Computational Modeling of Enzyme/Substrate Dynamics Michael J. Bradley Jonathan M. Smith CHEM This study focuses on computational modeling of the structural dynamics of L-glutamate in going from a free solution state to an enzyme-bound state with the enzyme bovine glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH).  Using molecular dynamics in the form of simulated annealing with a periodic box of explicit water molecules surrounding a molecule of L-glutamate, the probable solution state of the molecule was determined.  This structure was then compared with that found in the x-ray crystal structure of glutamate bound to bovine GDH. 
B 2:15 Residues of Generalized Binomial Coefficients Modulo a Product of Primes Erik R. Tou John M. Holte MCS Take a sequence {u n} of positive integers generated by u0=0, u1=1, un=aun-1+bun-2 (n>1).  When a=b=1, this is the Fibonacci sequence.  Accordingly, one may define the generalized factorial [n]!=u1u2...un and the generalized binomial coefficient C(m,n)=[m+n]!/([m]![n]!). The properties of these coefficients modulo a prime are well known. When they are reduced by a product of primes, the result is more complicated. The presenter will investigate different situations that arise in this area, and consider cases that are geometrically meaningful.
B 2:30 Organic Synthesis Applied to Drug Development Jared Mays Gretchen Hofmeister CHEM Chiral compounds are valuable for their many uses in organic chemistry, especially as reaction catalysts in the production of pharmaceuticals and biomedical supplies.  The syntheses and characterization of several tris and bisphenol compounds were explored with the hopes that high yielding syntheses could be discovered.  In the process, we have learned a great deal about the reactivity of these compounds and plan to continue developing their potential and eventual application to chiral drug syntheses.  
B 2:45 Investigations into the Phototactic Behaviors of Marine and Freshwater Mysids Andrew Hamp Nancy Butler BIOL The phototactic behaviors of zooplankton can have far-reaching effects with respect to the trophic dynamics of both freshwater and marine aquatic systems. The light schemes in freshwater and marine systems also differ due to differences in the physical characteristics of each locale, potentially influencing the way organisms react to stimuli. The purpose of this project was to investigate the effect that varying light regimes have on the behavioral responses of mysid shrimp. For our study, we observed Mysidopsis bahia, a marine mysid found in most coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea, and Mysis relicta, a freshwater mysid characteristic of many lakes in the northern United States and southern Canada. Specimens were placed in an observation vessel and exposed to a beam of light of a specific wavelength and intensity. Behavioral responses of the mysids were monitored using a high-resolution camera and a high-resolution monitor, and were recorded on a VCR for subsequent analysis. There were distinct differences in type of response to the various wavelengths tested within each species, and those responses differed when compared to the other species. Our results suggest that the natural light regime in each species' respective habitats may influence phototactic behavioral patterns. 
B 3:00 Game Theory:  Introduction and Applications in Contemporary Business Brian Gamlen Larry Wohl ECON An introduction to fundamental game theory principles and presentation of real world applications.
C 4:00 VIOLENT VIDEOGAMES, HEIGHTENED AGGRESSION, AND SENSATION-SEEKING: PHYSIOLOGICAL DATA PAIRED WITH BEHAVIORAL EVIDENCE Jake Anderson Marie Walker PSYCH Violent media, in this case videogames, have previously been shown to produce heightened aggression after game play.  The present study expanded on this research by examining sensation seeking, heart rate, testosterone, and their role in videogame-induced aggression according to the General Affective Aggression Model.  There was a strong correlation between sensation-seeking tendencies and personalogical aggression.  The results of this study do not fully support the short-term General Affective Aggression Model.   
C 4:15 A Stratigraphic and Sedimentological Study of Cretaceous Strata at Flandrau State Park, New Ulm, Minnesota Dylan Blumentritt Julie Maxson GEOL Cretaceous sandstone and shale deposits occur on the Cretaceous Interior Seaway margin in the New Ulm, Minnesota area.  Outcrops of Cretaceous sediment in this area are not common, and subsequently are not well understood.  Two outcrops near Flandrau State Park were measured and the sediments were described through the aid of thin sections and sieve analysis.   Stratigraphic columns depicting distribution and lithology of Cretaceous sediment can be correlated with other recent studies of the area.  
C 4:30 Synthesis and Characterization of Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) and the Copolymer Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide:N-octadecylacrylamide) John Zupancich Lawrence W. Potts CHEM Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)(PNIPAAM) and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide:N-octadecylacrylamide) have been prepared through standard free-radical polymerizations.  Polymer products have been characterized through FTIR and NMR spectroscopy.  The chemisorption of PNIPAAM and copolymer onto aluminum oxide surfaces has also been examined.  
C 4:45 The Relationship of Frog Diversity and Abundance to Plant Composition and Water Quality James Eckberg Pamela Kittelson BIOL This study examined the relationship between water quality, plant composition, and frog abundance and diversity in wetlands at the Gustavus Arboretum.  Five species of frogs were documented in two settling ponds and one created wetland.  There was a significantly higher abundance of Hyla chryscoscelis in settling ponds as compared to the created wetland. The created wetland plant community differed significantly. Morning dissolved oxygen (DO) was significantly higher in the created wetland compared to settling ponds; evening DO was similar.  
D 4:00 The Effects of Microwave Oven Incidental Emissions on Wireless Internet Performance Sean Hosein Dennis Henry PHYS Wireless Internet operates in the 2.4 GHz band.  Unfortunately, microwave ovens operate at 2.45 GHz, which can produce interference with wireless transmissions.  A study of the effect of nearby microwave oven operation on wireless internet performance was carried out in two campus buildings. At distances within sight of the transmitter/receiver, a laptop PC experienced noticeable decreases in speed and increases in packets lost. The particular positions of the oven and laptop were not critical.
D 4:15 Wind Power  Feasibility at Gustavus Andrew Ohrt  Charles Niederriter PHYS Very few people would disagree with the assessment that the hill on which Gustavus is located is a windy place.  But, is it windy enough on a consistent basis to make wind a viable alternative energy source for the campus?  In an effort to answer this question, a feasibility study began in June of 2002.  Wind speed and direction data was collected at nine locations on campus by a combination of permanent weather stations and volunteers.  The results of this study will be presented, as well as an estimate of the energy that would have been produced and the potential savings to the College.  Despite the fact that this preliminary study doesn’t indicate that wind power at Gustavus is feasible, plans for continued research will be discussed.     
D 4:30 Effect of Retinoic Acid on the Survivorship and Morphology  of Drosophila melanogaster Anaya Mitra and Titilope Cole-Adeniyi Jon Grinnell BIOL Retinoic acid is a Vitamin A derivative. It is thought to be involved in morphogenesis in vertebrates, as well as possibly effecting homeobox gene experession in Drosophila. Drosophila were exposed to varying concentrations of retinoic acid. Survivorship in addition to frequency of morphological abnormalities in the subsequent F1 generation were quantified.  Preliminary results will be presented.
D 4:45 Optimizing a MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometer Margaret Broz Jonathan Smith CHEM A Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer (MALDI-TOF-MS, or MALDI) was modified to increase resolution.  The flight path of the original MALDI instrument was increased by 21 cm, which more than doubled the flight time, thus increasing the mass resolution.  Our method uses a microporous silicon wafer as the sample matrix, which has advantages over polymeric matrices since molecules are deposited and ablated more easily from the surface of the silicon wafer.  The instrument was optimized with known molecules, with an eventual goal of analyzing mitochondrial proteins.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 The Effects of Acute Exercise on Memory Amanda Larson Richard Martin PSYCH Research supports that engaging in acute exercise of mild to moderate intensity will facilitate certain types of memory (Stones & Dawe, 1993).  Facilitation is believed to result from increased arousal produced by the exercise activity.  Research has also supported that activities, in this case, exercise, that interfere with memory consolidation will hinder retrieval of information. The purpose of this study is to look at the effects of acute exercise on memory performance among college students.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Probing the Active Site of 3-Phosphoglycerate Dehydrogenase: The Role of Acid Base Catalysis and the Local Charge Environment of the Transition State in V-Type Regulation by Serine Donnie Berkholz Ellis Bell and Jonathan Smith CHEM 3-Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase catalyzes a hydride transfer reaction that interconverts 3-phosphoglycerate and phosphohydroxypyruvate utilizing NAD(H). PGDH is part of the serine biosynthetic pathway and is allosterically regulated by serine. The crystal structure reveals an active site histidine, H292, and three negatively charged residues, D264, E269 and E213, surrounding the nicotinamide ring of the cofactor. To investigate the roles of H292 in catalysis and the negatively charged residues in orienting or changing the basicity of the imidazole ring, these residues were subjected to site-directed mutagenesis. H292Q reduced kcat by a factor of 102 but had essentially unaltered conformation, stability and cofactor binding capacity. Both E269Q and D264N resulted in decreases in kcat  by up to 2 x 102 . D264N was essentially free of cofactor as isolated, suggesting a role for D264 in catalysis and cofactor binding. Examination of the crystal structure suggests that D264 must rotate into the active site in the uninhibited native enzyme to account for this, which is sufficient to account for the magnitude of inhibition. This is confirmed by the lack of inhibition in D264N mutant even at 1mM serine, while the native and other mutants are potently inhibited. This work was supported by NSF Grant MCB 9986278.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Petrographic analysis of rock samples from the Cedar Mountain Formation of northwestern Utah  Emily Tremain Julie Maxson  GEOL Abstract: Recent paleontological discoveries in the Cedar Mountain Formation of Dinosaur National Monument have developed an interest in determining the paleoenvironment of the formation. Thin sections were made from samples collected during the 2000 summer field season. The thin sections were analyzed to evaluate field interpretations of the paleoenvironment including channel deposits, paleosols and laminated lacustrine sediments.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Representation of the Envolope Periodicity of Communication Signals in the Auditory System of Anurans Jacob Anderson Mike Ferragamo BIOL Frogs have well known behaviors associated with communication.  Vocal communication is crucial to the social behavior of Mating. Anurans possess 3 different organs in the inner ear used for processing sound.  None of these organs resemble the epithelial membrane found in mammals, thus providing a unique way of studying the two codes of sound processing, Place and Temporal Theory.  Extra-cellular recording was used to record from the torus semicircularis, homologous to the inferior colliculus.  Results are discussed.  
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Synthetic Applications of Chiral Titanium (IV) Compounds Kirsten Hall Gretchen Hofmeister CHEM Chiral titanium complexes have countless possible applications.  Three areas of possibilities were explored in this part of the project.  These include the ablility of racemic mixtures of pure, chiral titanium compounds to act as enantioselective catalysts, the ability of both achiral and chiral titanium compounds to catalyze polymerization of the cyclic monomers L-lactide and (R,S)-butyrolactone, as well as determining whether racemic chiral monomers are catalyzed diastereoselectively by a chiral titanium compound.  In addition, the synthesis and characterization of a chiral titanium "oxo" dimer was attempted, with the goal of eventually developing further applications of titanium (IV) complexes through this compound.  Polymerization of the monomer L-lactide was moderately successful with titanium (IV)butoxide as a catalyst, and most successful with titanium (IV)isopropoxide trisphenolate as a catalyst.  Polymerization of (R,S)-butyrolactone was unsuccessful, as were attempts to synthesize oxo dimer.  Further characterization of poly-lactone product, as well as efforts to catalyze the polymerization of chiral (D,L)-lactide using chiral titanium (IV) isopropoxide trisphenolate catalyst are additional areas to explore in the future.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Synthesis of Mushroom Alcohol Matthew D. Hennek Brian A. O'Brien CHEM  1-Octen-3-ol is a major component of the odor of mushrooms.  As one project in a January Term chemical synthesis course, it was prepared by the reaction of the Grignard reagent pentylmagnesium bromide with acrolein (propenal).  An additional preparation of 1-octen-3-ol was done by the reaction of allylmagnesium bromide with 4-pentenal.  Purification, NMR spectroscopic characterization, uses, and other possible preparations of 1-octen-3-ol will be discussed.  
POSTER 3:15-4:00 An Exploration of the Reactivity of Primary Phosphines with Selectfluor Philip Sass Brian A. O'Brien CHEM Selectfluor is a recently-developed synthetic  reagent that formally acts as a source "F+" in reactions with various organic compounds.  Prior to our research during the summer of 2001, it had not been investigated with regard to its use for conversion of compounds containing P-H bonds to compounds that contain P-F bonds.  We have found not only that Selectfluor reacts very readily with primary alkylphosphines (RPH2) to produce difluorophosphines (RPH2), and that, in addition, it will convert the difluorophosphines to tetrafluorophosphoranes (RPF4).  Through experimentation with reaction at various temperatures and ratios of Selectfluor to phosphine, we have found that either difluorophosphines or tetrafluorophosphoranes can be produced selectively.  Details of the experimental procedures, as well as NMR spectral characterization of the reactants and products, will be presented.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Preparation of Primary Alkylphosphines by a Phospha-Gabriel Route Philip Sass Brian A. O'Brien CHEM The classic Gabriel synthesis of primary amines through alkylation of potassium phthalimide, followed by cleavage with hydrazine, has long been known as the preferred method for preparation of primary amines from alkyl halides. Here we describe a phosphorus analog of the Gabriel synthesis. Alkylphthaloylphosphines [1,2-C6H4(CO)2P-R] are readily prepared by reaction of cesium or potassium phthaloylphosphide [Cs+ or K+ 1,2-C6H4(CO)2P-] with alkyl halides. Cleavage of the phthaloylphosphines by phenylhydrazine (or hydrazine) produces N-phenylphthalhydrazide (or phthalhydrazide) and the corresponding primary alkylphosphine. The reactions proceed rapidly and in good yield, and isolation of the products is straightforward. Spectroscopic and chemical characterization of the phthaloylphosphines and primary alkylphosphines, as well as details of the synthetic procedures, will be presented.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 The Amino Acid 482 Determines Substrate Specificity in the ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter MXR Sara Runge Susan Bates, National Institutes of Health MXR (ABCG2) is an ATP-binding cassette half-transporter. MXR has been shown to be overexpressed in drug-resistant cancer cells.  Recently, mutations have been identified that affect both the substrate specificity and specificity of antagonists. These mutations encode the amino acid at position 482.  Stable transfectants expressing the MXR gene with various amino acid changes at position 482 were established in HEK293 (human embryonic kidney) cells. Western Blot analysis revealed that the MXR protein was expressed. Flow cytometry confirmed that the cells with glycine or threonine at amino acid 482 do efflux rhodamine.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Domain Analysis of the DNA-Binding Subunits of Bacterial Type II Topoisomerases Sara Runge Hiroshi Hiasa, University of Minnesota Medical School Type II topoisomerases are essential enzymes that are required for DNA replication and chromosome segregation.  Topoisomerase enzymes create swivel points in the DNA molecule to relax the positive supercoils generated during DNA replication.  I removed the carboxyl terminal domain from the type II topoisomerases DNA gyrase and determined if the conserved domain alone was sufficient for its functional activity.  The mutant topoisomerase proved to be onfunctional.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Synthesis of Glycolierral Steven Backues Brian A. O'Brien CHEM The odorant Glycolierral® was synthesized in good yield through two steps, starting with (-)-a-phellandrene.  The final product was not enantomerically pure, but was predominantly one isomer.
POSTER 3:15-4:00 Spectroscopic and computational study of charge-transfer in 4-dimethylamino-4'-nitrostilbene Beau Barker Jonathan Smith CHEM 4-dimethylamino-4'-nitrostilbene (DMANS) is known to exhibit intramolecular charge transfer through solvent dependent fluorescence emission spectroscopy.  DMANS is a member of a class of aromatic molecules with electron donating and accepting groups and is related to the prototypical system dimethylaminobenzonitrile (DMABN) which exhibits twisted intramolecular charge transfer (TICT).  Resonance Raman spectra have been recorded for DMANS in an attempt to better understand the interplay of several conformational coordinates and charge-transfer in this system.  Computations at the B3LYP 6-31G(d,p) level have been carried out to determine the nature of the vibrational coordinates which show activity in the resonance Raman spectra.