Jeffrey Morgan, Physics
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Knapik)

The goal of this project was to improve the sensitivity of neutrino detectors.  Neutrinos are one of the least understood fundamental particles and many researchers worldwide are working on learning more about their properties.  A computer simulation of the SNO+ large volume liquid scintillator neutrino detector was used to develop methods to differentiate between alpha, beta, and gamma particles.  Differentiating between these particles helps to separate background signals in the detector that interfere with neutrino detection.  The results of this work can be generalized to other particle physics detectors.

Alex Menard, Architecture
(Faculty Mentor: Prof. Tolya Stonorov)

Architecture has given landscape a voice formed by two conditions: the site of the building and the culture of its inhabitants. The economy of Switzerland has recognized that site driven architecture can be profitable and is capitalizing upon this observation. This research investigated instances of site-driven architecture in the Swiss Alps to develop a formula that can be used to create responsive architecture in the future.

Stacia Melick, Biology
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Megan Doczi)

Kv1.3 is a voltage-gated potassium channel that has been implicated in feeding behavior as well as having a relationship with the insulin receptor (IR) within the olfactory bulb (OB), but it is not known how they interact within the hypothalamus. In order to investigate this, primers were utilized to run a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), which allowed for amplification of these genes during gestational periods. If these two genes are being expressed simultaneously during gestation, future studies could lead to novel therapeutic strategies to combat obesity and diabetes.

Anali Luviano, Physics
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Arthur Pallone)

The goal of this project was to construct an inexpensive in-line Digital Holographic Microscope (DHM) for use in collaborative research between the physics and biology departments. A DHM can be used to noninvasively examine biological specimens through reconstruction of three-dimensional images of the specimens. For example, commercial DHMs have been used to analyze the physical effects that diseases have on cells such
as neurons and to diagnose certain diseases like malaria. The completed DHM images specimens in red, green and blue colors at video rates.

Lucas Looman, Mechanical Engineering
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Karen Supan)

This project addressed two sources of turbine inefficiency: wind speed and generator costs. The goal of this research was to design a device that can efficiently produce electricity in low wind speed by using aeroelastic flutter and funneling. The intended use for this device is to provide clean and inexpensive electricity to third world villages that currently do not have access to electricity.

Devon Lindner, Biology
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Karen Hinkle)

The goal of this research was to understand whether Fyn, a Src family kinase, has a binding relationship between its SH2 domain and MCM6, a protein involved in cell division. Due to the fact that Fyn and MCM6 are both involved in cell growth this research is important in understanding cell growth patterns and their relationship to cancer formation.   

Scott LeFevre, Mechanical Engineering
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sean Kramer)

Buruli Ulcers are a flesh eating disease found in several regions of the world. The ulcer is thought to spread by contact with water containing Heteroptera bugs. A multi-component model was built to describe the disease in a population with parameters for Benin, an endemic region. The parameters are designed to allow epidemic and non-epidemic behavior. The most sensitive parameter is the biting rate of Heteroptera bugs. If the biting rate can be decreased, the model predicts that the disease spread will be stopped. Methods to decrease contact with bugs may be more cost-effective than antibiotics.

Abigail Haswell, Biochemistry 
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Karen Hinkle)

Cancer is caused when cells lose the ability to regulate their growth and division. The goals of this study were to validate and to test the previously unknown interaction between the proteins, Fyn and Pard3. Both proteins are involved in regulating cellular division and better understanding this interaction offers a very small contribution to cancer research.

Chapel Guarniari, Criminal Justice
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Elizabeth Gurian)

The goal of this research was to examine stereotypes circulated in the media about Amish and Mennonite people and their lifestyle. Through in-depth research and interviews with scholars as well as members of the Amish and Mennonite community, this project interrogates existing stereotypes and uncovers how they were created, as well as how or why they are maintained in modern American culture. 

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