CURE Examples

Examples submitted by the Hampton Institute participants.


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From an Inquiry-Guided Project to a CURE in General Biology: Testing Repellent Effects of Essential Oils and a Parasitoid Wasp Against Callosobruchus maculatus.
Joseph Felts, Davidson County Community College

Discipline: Life Sciences:Ecology, Life Sciences, Zoology
Core Competencies: Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data
State: North Carolina
Target Audience: Introductory
CURE Duration: Half a term

Electrophysiology for the Cell Biology Course
Ganesan Kamatchi, Norfolk State University
CURE can be developed to understand the physiology of voltage-gated ion channels. In this regard I will use voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC) as a tool since I have extensive experience on VGCCs. In my laboratory VGCCs are studied by expressing their cDNA in Xenopus oocytes. The cDNA is injected into the oocytes and the oocytes incubated for a week (for protein expression) and the calcium current is recorded using two-electrode voltage-clamp. Subsequently, the oocytes will be exposed to drugs, etc., and the modulation in the expressed currents studied.

Modeling Insect-Microbe Interactions (MIMI)
ZAKEE SABREE, Ohio State University-Main Campus
Gut microbes are increasingly being linked to beneficial host outcomes, yet we know little about how specific bacterial species contribute to these outcomes. Gut microbial communities are often comprised of tens-to-hundreds of bacterial species which makes assigning specific functions difficult. Insects like the American cockroach are ideal for modeling how gut bacteria benefit their hosts because they require them for normal gut development. Furthermore, the American cockroach can feed on a wide range of diets, including a primarily plant-based diet, and thus require gut bacteria to help them to digest plant cellulose, a major constituent of plant tissues. We have developed a germ-free American cockroach system that allows us to inoculate these specially-prepared insects with bacteria of our choice and detect a wide range of host developmental and physiological outcomes. Given that there are hundreds of culturable bacterial species that are known to inhabit the American cockroach gut, we can assay the impacts of these bacteria on this insect as a course-based undergraduate research experience. We will use several qualitative and quantitative measures of insect development post-inoculation to assay the effect of the bacteria. Students groups will be assigned unknown bacterial species, with replication across at least 3 groups to provide minimal statistical power. Additionally, students will identify their bacterial species using molecular approaches and assay them for their ability to degrade plant carbohydrates (cellulose and pectin) and antibiotic resistance (which is a measure of possible antibiotic production). Finally, by performing these experiments students will learn about animal, including insect and microbial, physiology and symbioses, and contribute novel data regarding the impact of gut bacteria on host development and growth.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Evolution, Ecology
Core Competencies: Planning and carrying out investigations, Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering), Developing and using models, Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Applied Research, Basic Research
State: Ohio
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Restoring Longleaf Pine Savanna in the Face of Global Change
Sally Koerner, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Longleaf pine savanna is one of the most endangered ecosystems in the United States and is also one of the most biodiverse understory plant communities in the world with biodiversity levels rivaling that of tropical rainforest. As only 3% of this ecosystem remains, experiments will focus on ways to best regrow plants from seed as would be done in the restoration process. Students work in small groups to define a research question within a defined context set by Dr. Koerner, design the experiment that would best answer their question, and then execute it over the course of the semester. For example, a group may want to know how increased temperature impacts the establishment of Wire Grass (the dominant grass species). This group would then plant seeds and expose different pots to different temperatures and monitor them for seedling growth. At the end of the semester each group will present their group results and write a report.

Discipline: Environmental Science:Forest Resources, Global Change and Climate, Life Sciences:Ecology, Statistics, Environmental Science:Ecosystems
Core Competencies: Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Field Research
State: North Carolina
Target Audience: Major, Upper Division
CURE Duration: A full term

Climatic impacts on vegetative and reproductive growth on Arabidopsis thaliana
Peter Blum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Ecosystems directly impact the evolutionary trajectories of the organisms which inhabit them. Arabidopsis thaliana is a fast-growing perennial plant that has been extensively studied for genetics and occupies a wide range of habitats in America and Eurasia. The diversity of environments that A. thaliana inhabits makes it an ideas organism to investigate evolutionary questions, such as how does the environment select for certain genotypes and how does that influence fecundity. In this multi-week laboratory students will conduct a laboratory experiment controlling the environment of A. thaliana and will measure differences in resource allocation in vegetative and reproductive growth.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Ecology, Evolution
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations
Nature of Research: Basic Research
Target Audience: Major

Investigations in Toxicology
Celia Dodd, Fort Valley State University

Missing values with missing explanatory variables
Francis Erebholo, Hampton University

Discipline: Statistics
Core Competencies: Using mathematics and computational thinking, Developing and using models, Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
State: Virginia
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Histology CURE Lab in Breast Cancer
Aylin Marz, Norfolk State University

Discipline: Life Sciences:Molecular Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Cell Biology
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Wet Lab/Bench Research
Target Audience: Upper Division, Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Climate Change and Abiotic Plant Stress: Characterization of the Role of Antioxidants in the Plant Stress Response
Malikah Abdullah-Israel, Norfolk State University

Discipline: Life Sciences:Plant Biology, Life Sciences, Molecular Biology
Core Competencies: Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Basic Research
State: Virginia
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Ecological variation in functional traits of plants
Lisa Wallace, Old Dominion University