CURE Examples


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Erin Rehrig, Fitchburg State University

State: Massachusetts

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

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

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

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

The MCC project
Kathleen Cornely, Providence College
Students will construct mutants of the enzyme malate dehydrogenase in order to study structure-function relationships of the enzyme.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Molecular Biology, Chemistry:Biochemistry
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: Rhode Island
Target Audience: Upper Division, Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Spicing things up: Implementation of a CURE to investigate the antimicrobial properties of spices on six bacterial species
Heather Townsend, Community College of Rhode Island
I issue students six bacterial species for use. I have students start the semester understanding primary literature and how to find sources, plagiarism, and how to use citations. They must then pick a spice (one per group) using literature, meaning they have to research that a particular spice has been shown to have antimicrobial properties. Once selected they do a series of dilutions and finally test the dilutions on the six bacterial species. All groups must use the entire class data in their discussion along with the historical data from previous semesters. They end in designing a poster which they finally present at a poster presentation open to the college.

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

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

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