University Research Conference 2020 | Page 17

UNDERGRADUATE ACADEMIC PRESENTATIONS Biology Christina Auriemma The Effects of Alcohol on the Alternative Activation of Microglial Cells Alternative microglial activation promotes repair following brain damage. The effects of ethanol on alternative activation were examined by measuring Arginase-1 and CD206. Ethanol decreased Arginase-1 protein expression and enzyme activity while increasing CD206 expression. These results help illustrate that ethanol’s effect on microglial activation is more complex than previously thought. Amanda Clark Microbial Therapy as an Alternative Treatment for Patients with Phenylketonuria Phenylketonuria, an inherited inborn error of metabolism, results in the buildup of dietary phenylalanine. Diet modification involving low-phenylalanine intake is the traditional mechanism for condition management, but maintenance is difficult and restrictive. In the absence of gene therapy, genetically-modifying bacteria as probiotics appears to be the best alternative, as studies have shown promising sustained decreased serum phenylalanine levels. Amber Slaweski A Preliminary Investigation into the Culturable Fungal Microbiota of Beech Trees (Fagus grandifolia) at Gwynedd Mercy University Beech Bark Disease is a major cause of death in beech trees. Fungal species on beech trees were documented both on and off campus to observe fungal bark diversity, with the intent to determine the prevalence Beech Bark Disease. The findings concluded that no Beech Bark Disease was present, but each tree’s bark sample had their own distinct fungal community. Emily Dougherty Determining the Abundance and Diversity of Bacteria on Marine Particles of Different Size Classes Microorganisms live on marine particles and help regulate the global carbon cycle. Particles create micro-habitats for microbial communities. This study examined the relationship between particle size and their abundance of microbes. Particles were collected and DNA was extracted. While it was hypothesized that larger particles would contain more microbes, microbial abundance was varied and depended on the specific species. 15