Outstanding Platform Presentations
Scholars Week 2023
Outstanding Platform Presentations
Title: Emergency Medicine in Japan
Author: Haruna Torikai
Mentor: Yoshiko Fujii-Gaines
Department: Modern Languages and Cultures
Many similarities as well as differences exist between the United States and Japan’s healthcare system. This presentation will focus on Japan’s healthcare system, specifically their emergency medical system. Emphasis will be placed on insurance, treatment costs, issues, and the ways those issues are being addressed. Statistics from United States’ healthcare system will be presented throughout the presentation to give better context for the state of Japan’s healthcare system. One focal issue that will be covered in this presentation is the issue of taraimawashi, which refers to a situation where first responders are not able to find a hospital to transfer the patient to. Other issues discussed include improper usage of emergency vehicles and discrimination against those with disabilities.
Title: Serotonin regulation of intermittent and continuous alcohol drinking in male and female C57BL/6J mice with systemic SB242084 and buspirone
Author: Yeasong E. Ko
Mentor: Dr. Lara Hwa
Department: Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Aims. This study aims to assess the therapeutic potentials of novel serotonergic compounds in treating alcohol use disorders by investigating the effects of SB242084 and buspirone on intermittent and continuous alcohol consumption in male and female mice.
Methods. Adult male and female C57BL/6J mice were given two-bottle choice to 20% ethanol and water on an intermittent or continuous availability schedule. Drug testing consisted of intraperitoneal injections of 0.3, 1, 3 mg/kg SB242084 or 1, 3, 10 mg/kg buspirone, and subsequent alcohol and water consumption were measured. To monitor the drug effects on anxiety-like and locomotor behavior, the highest dose of each compound was administered before free activity in an open field.
Results. SB242084 dose-dependently attenuated alcohol drinking for intermittent alcohol drinking in male mice but did not significantly alter alcohol drinking in mice given continuous access. Two-hour and four-hour female drinking behavior was unaffected by SB242084. In comparison, buspirone suppressed intermittent and continuous alcohol drinking in both males and females but also reduced distance traveled in the open field test.
Conclusions. Observed differences in responses to SB242084 between drinking groups may imply differing neural mechanisms between heavy and continuous drinking driven by serotonin. Reductions in drinking after buspirone treatment may be related to non-specific properties. These findings suggest the therapeutic potential of compounds blocking the 5-HT2C receptor for alcohol use disorders.
Title: Enhancing fiber-coupled thermal emission collection using IR Plasmonic coating
Author: Aman Patel, Rohil Kayastha, Kweku Agyepong, Blake Birmingham,
Mentor: Zhenrong Zhang
Department: Department of Physics
Current thermal emission measurement devices have made significant strides in the past few decades but with the current progress of technology towards smaller scale systems, the spatial resolution capabilities of current devices have become inadequate as they utilize the far field emission. The near field emission has orders of magnitude larger signal intensity compared to the far field emission. Current techniques like near field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) collect the near field emission to improve spatial resolution but remain susceptible to low signal-to-noise ratio. In this experiment, we use titanium nitride (TiN) as an IR-plasmonic coating to enhance the near-field thermal emission collection. Optical fibers were etched to produce different tip geometries, coated with TiN using directed thermal vapor deposition, and put into a furnace to conduct thermal measurements at various temperatures. The collected thermal emissions using the fiber probes before and after TiN coating were compared to analyze the collection of the near field emission. The performance of the plasmonic TiN thin film was compared with a traditional plasmonic metal Au, at temperatures below 600ºC. An increase in signal intensity of the collected thermal emission was observed for fiber tips coated with TiN and with Au. Probes with different TiN coating thicknesses and different tip geometries have been tested to develop a thermal probe with an improved signal-to-noise ratio. The thermal probe will be integrated into an NSOM setup, for nanoscale thermal measurements for samples.
Title: La Mode Française
Author: Kelley Anne Richards
Mentor: Dr. Cristian Bratu
Department: Modern Languages & Cultures
Quand je vivais en France, il y avait beaucoup de différences entre la culture aux États-Unis et la culture en France, mais c’était une différence spécifique qui m'intéressait le plus
- les vêtements. Ce n'était pas juste les couleurs, mais en fait, le style complètement. J’ai un point de vue assez particulier à cause de mon dernier colocataire qui était
française. Pour moi, une tenue typique pour une journée d’université est un tee-shirt, un short ou un legging, un sweat-shirt, et des tennis. Pour Elina, ma coloc, c’était un choc. Pour une journée d’université, elle porte toujours une jupe, une chemise, un blazer, des collants, et des bottes ou des chaussures habillées. Maintenant, c’était moi en état de choc. À mon avis, une tenue comme ça est pour une femme d’affaires. Immédiatement, j’avais beaucoup de questions. Je ne suis pas une personne très intéressée par la mode, mais la différence dans la culture me fascinait.
Grâce à cette situation et à l’observation des Français pendant que je vivais en France, j’ai une fascination pour cette différence de culture et j’aimerais la rechercher davantage. Pour cette mini-thèse, je voudrais recherche par en parlent avec mes amies et professeurs français, mes amies et professeurs américain, et mes amis qui ne sont pas français, mais qui ont vécu en France. Je vais créer une série de questions pour atteindre cet objectif. Finalement, je prendrai mes conclusions et les exposerai dans cette rédaction. Après ça, je souhaite que j’aurai une meilleure compréhension de pourquoi les cultures sont ainsi différentes.
Title: The Boy Who Cried Niang Pao: “Wolf Warrior” and “Sissy” Masculinities as Representations of Changing Chinese Diplomatic Policy
Author: Sophie Cope
Mentor: Dr. Holly Shi
Department: Department of Modern Languages and Cultures
The 2017 mainland Chinese film “Wolf Warrior II” 《战狼二》, known for its muscular patriotism in the face of Western aggression, smashed Chinese box-office records. Its popularity helped coin the phrase “wolf warrior diplomacy,” which describes a similarly accusatory foreign policy strategy employed by Chinese diplomats on Western-centric social media sites like Twitter. Many CCP thought leaders pit this “wolf warrior” attitude against popular masculine aesthetics in entertainment that promote more feminine-presenting stars and reflect the influence of Korean and Japanese entertainment markets (ex. the male idol group NINEPERCENT, former K-Pop idol Luhan, Wang Yibo). Official government networks have taken steps to ban “sissy” actors and curtail feminine aesthetics, instead seeking to foster militaristic masculinity within the next generation of Chinese youth. As China positions itself as a leading global power, the battle between “wolf warrior” and “sissy” masculinities can be examined as a microcosm of China’s evolving foreign policy under the Xi regime. These debates also reflect contemporary Chinese anxieties over its position on the world stage in the wake of the “century of humiliation” and quasi-colonial domination from the First Opium War to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty. However, as “wolf warrior diplomacy” shows signs of waning in 2023 and “sissy” actors continue to boom in popularity across East Asia, it is possible that the CCP might begin loosening resistance to non-heteronormative gender expressions in entertainment.
Title: DEB-1/Vinculin proline-rich-linker (PRL) plays important roles in touch sensitivity and egg-laying of Caenorhabditis elegans.
Author: Lianzijun Wang
Mentor: Dr. Myeongwoo Lee
Department: Department of Biology
As a scaffolding cytoplasmic protein, vinculin comprises an N-terminal globular head and a C-terminal tail region, connected by a proline-rich-linker (PRL) domain. The Vinculin head is associated with the talin-integrin complex, while its tail binds to the actin filament. As part of the core focal adhesion molecules, vinculin plays a vital role in cell-matrix adhesion. It provides the physical linkage between the extracellular matrix (ECM) and cytoplasm. The stiffness of ECM is sensed by cells pulling on the ECM via focal adhesions. Cells typically exert higher tension force on a more rigid ECM. The PRL region of vinculin, thus, plays an essential role in delivering mechanical information to the cell inside. This study aims to characterize the in vivo role of the PRL region. In C. elegans, the deb-1 gene encodes for an ortholog of human vinculin, expressed in muscles and gonads. Twenty-five amino acids from 782 to 806 of the putative deb-1 PRL region were deleted in deb-1 ΔPRL mutant, deb-1(kq782), using the CRISPR-Cas9 system. Behavioral analysis revealed that deb-1 ΔPRL mutant displayed defects in touch sensitivity and motility when compared to the N2 wild type.
Furthermore, upon treating exogenous serotonin and tricyclic antidepressant imipramine, deb-1 (kq782) failed to show increased egg-laying. A high percentage of matricidal hatching events was observed in the mutant animals. Our study suggested that the DEB-1 PRL region is crucial for responding to external mechanical stimulus and egg-laying machinery. The study of the vinculin PRL region indicates a new possibility in understanding human disease and embryonic development linked to mechanotransduction.
Title: Women in the Shadows: A Liberal Feminist Approach to Understanding the Muses and their Roles in the Romantic Literary Movement
Author: Alexandra Ramsland
Mentor: Dr. Holly Collins
Department: Department of Modern Languages and Cultures (French)
The Romantic literary movement in France rejected neo-classicism in favor of subjectivity, individualism, and freedom from literary constraints and rules. From this movement, a sense of devotion to the particular and the individual and a movement towards longing and introspectiveness became characteristic of Romanticism, lauding the senses as sources of almost divine inspiration. By reflecting on Alfred de Musset's "Souvenir" and Victor Hugo's "Puisque J'ai Mis Ma Lèvre," through the lens of a liberal feminist approach, this paper delves into the role of the female muses. Specifically, this analysis follows the women who influenced Victor Hugo and Alfred de Musset both in life and on paper. This argument maintains that, by shaping the lives and desires of various Romantic period authors, the female muses shaped the entirety of the literary movement. Women’s contributions, while momentous, have gone underappreciated in the past, this newfound recognition serves to remedy that gap. While much of modern research into women's positions in Romantic literature focuses on the few published female authors and their roles in Romanticism, the women who played a less visible role have yet to receive their due credit. By inspecting these Romantic works under a more scrutinous, wholistic lens and evaluating specific muses through their parts in inspiring notable poems, this argument intends to draw universally applicable connections to women's roles in the Romantic literary movement. The conclusions met in this paper can be universally applied to the concept that women play integral roles in literary development whether or not their roles tend to be obvious or not.
Title: The High Cost of Establishing a Sustainable Medical System: Revisiting the French Revolution and the Battles that Transpired.
Author: Kinzee Pintsak
Mentor: Dr. Holly Collins
The French Revolution transformed the medical system in France, leading to what can be seen as another revolution of its own. Before the French Revolution, doctors practiced based on humorism, which is a theory that followed that four bodily fluids regulate a person’s temperament, and when there is an imbalance, it can lead to sickness. A plethora of physicians valued the humorism theory as the it took precedence over any other medical theories prior to 1789. However, humorism failed to go beyond the baseline and explore the root causes of illness in patients. Those that were residing in France soon became aware of the lack of sanitization and cleanliness in hospitals, not to mention the multiple patients per bed. Hospitals in France began to see an upsurge in both patients and cadavers. Why the sudden rise? As war broke out, hospitals began to receive more wounded bodies, which soon became cadavers for doctors to experiment on and observe. It is tortuous to say that a well-established medical system came at the cost of millions of lives. Though, a treacherous era in French history, there can be seen much needed change within the medical system in France. The development of these changes within the medical system will lead to a discussion about war during the Revolution and its extensive toll on medicine in France. This paper serves to examine how the tragic events and losses during the French Revolution constructed a stronger, well-structured medical system that can be seen throughout France during the 19th and 20th centuries.