CURE Examples


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Identify and characterize chitosan derivatives for various applications.
Dewayne Logan, Baton Rouge Community College
Chitosan is a natural biopolymer that has a wide range of applications. As chitosan can be derived from crustaceans, this is of natural interest to students in Louisiana. This laboratory experience will have students in teams to complete experiments during the first organic chemistry laboratory. The projects will involve synthesizing, identifying, and applying water soluble and water insoluble chitosan derivatives. Research will also lead to more favorable attitudes towards organic chemistry lecture.

Discipline: Environmental Science:Water Quality and Quantity, Waste, Life Sciences:Cell Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry
Nature of Research: Wet Lab/Bench Research, Applied Research
State: Louisiana
CURE Duration: A full term

Cell Biology of Tetrahymena thermophila Mutants
Carolyn Wetzel, Holyoke Community College
Tetrahymena thermophila is a widely used model system for studying eukaryotic cell biology. In collaboration with a lead researcher at a different institution, students in this CURE will characterize mutants of Tetrahymena to screen for possible effects of different mutations on basic cell functions such as cell morphology, cilia action, phagocytosis, growth and development, energetics, and response to different stimuli. Student results will be sent to the lead researcher to be incorporated into their larger project and it is expected that any significant student contribution will lead to authorship or acknowledgement in a publication.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Life Sciences
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Planning and carrying out investigations, Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Wet Lab/Bench Research, Basic Research
State: Massachusetts
Target Audience: Introductory, Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Bioplastics as a CURE for General Chemistry
Linda Zarzana, American River College

Discipline: Chemistry
Core Competencies: Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Applied Research
State: California
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: Half a term

Biochemistry of Crithidia fasciculata
Amy Greene, Albright College
Students in my second-semester biochemistry lab will study the biochemistry of the flagellated parasite Crithidia fasciculata. Students in Paul Ulrich's CURE at Georgia State generate C. fasciculata cell lines overexpressing putatively mitochondrial proteins with GFP tags. The goal of my CURE is for students to design experiments study the biochemistry of these cell lines, giving us more information about the structure and function of mitochondrial proteins in this poorly-studied parasite.

Discipline: Chemistry:Biochemistry, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Molecular Biology
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: Pennsylvania
Target Audience: Upper Division, Major
CURE Duration: Half a term

Lexical density and diversity in people using augmented communication
Kay Chen, SUNY College at Fredonia
For this assignment, students are to form small groups (3 persons) and experience the process of conducting a group-design study from the initial study design and preparation, data collection, data analysis, and result interpretation.

Discipline: Health Sciences


Erin Rehrig, Fitchburg State University

State: Massachusetts

Prooxidant effects on C. elegans
Joshua Gray, United States Coast Guard Academy
Students assess the effect of novel prooxidant or redox cycling compounds on C. elegans. Over the first five laboratory periods, students learned culturing methods for C. elegans and several experimental techniques such as LD50, lifespan, chemotaxis, rigor mortis, and quantitative real-time RT-PCR assays, while developing a novel research hypothesis focused regarding the mechanism of action of their compound. After peer reviewed proposal presentations, students spend subsequent weeks designing and performing experiments, trouble-shooting difficulties they encountered with their peers, researching and applying additional experimental techniques from the literature, and reporting their findings each week at the beginning of each lab period, mimicking a lab meeting format. The final presentation highlights outcomes from the semester and proposed plans for future experiments.

Discipline: Chemistry:Biochemistry
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations, Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: Connecticut
Target Audience: Upper Division, Major
CURE Duration: A full term

BIO195: Lab-Based Biological Inquiry: Poisons
Larissa Williams, Bates College
This is a course-based research experience in the biological sciences. Students will build research skills through open-ended, authentic experimentation or observations of the natural world. Students will gain practice reading scientific literature, formulating and testing hypotheses, analyzing data, interpreting results, communicating in disciplinary style, and working in teams. The 'Poisons' version of the course is focused on historical and emerging poisons, with an emphasis on lead. Students will investigate the molecular and behavioral effects of developmental lead exposure using the zebrafish model. Intended for students majoring in Biology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience, or Environmental Studies, or preparing for a health-related career; it is recommended that students taking BIO 195 simultaneously enroll in CHEM 107 or CHEM 108.

Discipline: Environmental Science, Water Quality and Quantity, Human Population, Life Sciences:Molecular Biology, Life Sciences, Health Sciences
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Planning and carrying out investigations
Nature of Research: Wet Lab/Bench Research, Basic Research
State: Maine
Target Audience: Major, Introductory
CURE Duration: A full term

Survey of the Effects of Industrial Effluents on Water Quality
Patrick Kolniak, Baton Rouge Community College; Divina Miranda, Baton Rouge Community College; Dewayne Logan, Baton Rouge Community College
Water pollution is very harmful to humans, animals and water life. The effects can be catastrophic, depending on the kind of chemicals, concentrations of the pollutants and where there are polluted. The effects of water pollution are varied and depend on what chemicals are dumped and in which locations. The proposed research will investigate any significant contributions of industries to water pollution around the city. Water samples from strategic locations will be collected and ultimately analyzed using various physical and chemical methods.The results will be evaluated and compared to toxicity values published by governmental environmental agencies to make valid inferences.

Discipline: Chemistry:Physical Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Science:Sustainability, Environmental Science, Oceans and Coastal Resources, Soils and Agriculture, Waste, Water Quality and Quantity
Core Competencies: Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data, Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Field Research, Applied Research, Wet Lab/Bench Research, Basic Research
State: Louisiana
Target Audience: Introductory
CURE Duration: A full term

Characterizing the Aging Process Using Caenorhabditis elegans and Reverse Genetics
Joslyn Mills, Brown University
Using gene silencing (RNAi) in the nemotode C. elegans, students will identify genetic modifiers of proteins with roles in aging by reverse genetics. Specifically, students will analyze the effect of knocking down genes on the level of aging-related proteins tagged with fluorophores (GFP, RFP, etc.). Each group of students will use function-specific RNAi libraries (transcription factors, kinases, etc) already established in our lab. Furthermore, students will evaluate the effect of genetic modifiers on proteostasis and lifespan. In addition to becoming familiar with C. elegans work and appreciating the use of model organisms, the students will master microscopy, genetic crosses, gene silencing, and molecular and biochemical readout assays such as qPCR and immunoblotting.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics
Core Competencies: Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data, Developing and using models, Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Wet Lab/Bench Research, Basic Research
State: Rhode Island
Target Audience: Upper Division, Introductory, Major
CURE Duration: A full term