CURE Examples


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Human Brains Engaged in Rat Brains
Stephanie Gardner, Purdue University-Main Campus

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

Association Study of Environmental Risk Factors to Biological Effects on Complex Disease
Hung-Chung Huang, Jackson State University
The student will select a disease from a list of complex diseases, then search for related databases (e.g., comparative toxicogenomics database CTD, Gene Expression Omnibus GEO, dbGaP, ...etc.) for this disease for the environmental risk factors (via CTD) and genetic changes on patients affected with the disease (via GEO and dbGaP for example). By studying and analyzing these searched results, de novo association of the environmental risk factors and the genetic changes (in patients) might be discovered.

Discipline: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Chemistry:Biochemistry, Health Sciences, Life Sciences:Molecular Biology, Computer Science, Statistics, Life Sciences:Genetics, Chemistry:Environmental Chemistry
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Informatics/Computational Research, Translational Research, Applied Research
State: Mississippi
Target Audience: Upper Division, Major
CURE Duration: A few class periods

A field study of epiphyte infestation on LSU's campus
Mindy Brooks, Louisiana State University
In and around the campus of Louisiana State University (LSU) some species of trees appear to be suffering from a heavy load of the epiphytic plant, Tillandsia recurvata. Many, including the landscape services department, believe that high densities of attached T. recurvata can lead to weakening and eventual death of affected trees. The focus of this Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) is to ask whether high loads of T. recurvata have a negative impact on campus trees and to identify factors that influence the degree to which a tree becomes infested. Students enrolled in this CURE will conduct surveys of trees on campus, assess their epiphyte loads, measure variables that may influence the distribution and density of T. recurvata, and determine how the epiphyte maybe negatively affecting host trees.

Discipline: Life Sciences:Plant Biology, Ecology
Core Competencies: Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data, Using mathematics and computational thinking, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Field Research
State: Louisiana
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Introduction to Biological Sciences Laboratory (BIOL 101)
LaDonnya Drummond, Jackson State University
Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are naturally occurring soil microorganisms that colonize roots and stimulate plant growth. Such bacteria have been applied to a wide range of agricultural species for the purposes of growth enhancement, including increased seed emergence, plant weight, crop yields, and disease control. An exciting discovery reported by the Department of Agriculture is that bacterial volatiles and exudates may promote growth and development in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. Students in this CURE carry out experiments on how PGPRs may be enhanced to control plant growth in the model plant, A. thaliana. Specifically, this CURE addresses the question of morphological differences between Arabidopsis thaliana grown in sterile and non-sterile soils and/or growth medium inoculated with PGPRs1 of interest. Students participate in all aspects of the research from making observations and collecting data, to defining questions, stating hypothesis, designing and completing statistical analysis, and interpreting and presenting results. The outcomes are research proposals, research papers, and poster presentations. All are intended to be at a level appropriate for use as a writing sample or presentation at undergraduate conferences. Not only can the findings from this research be applied to a wide range of agricultural species, but results will be incorporated into the ongoing research projects led by faculty researchers in cancer research labs as well as the plant physiology/microbiology labs at JSU. The possibility of isolating genes of interest in A. thaliana and finding their homologs or equivalent genes in relevant plants is of interest to researchers in agriculture, human health, and environmental mitigation.

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

Identify the morphological characteristics and of Arabidopsis thaliana grown in heavy metal contaminated soils
Gloria Miller, Jackson State University
Plants have evolved numerous mechanisms to defend themselves against stresses such as microbial pathogens, drought, and contaminated soils. Some of these defenses are induced while others include mechanisms such as physical barriers of the cell wall, and uptake and sequestration. The objectives of this study are to (1) to determine whether Arabidopsis thaliana grown in heavy metal (HM) contaminated soils develop resistance against its toxic effects, and (2) to characterize the morphological characteristics of Arabidopsis grown in HM contaminated soils. Students in this CURE participate in all aspects of the research from making observations and collecting data, to defining questions, stating hypothesis, designing and completing statistical analysis, and interpreting and presenting results. The scientific products are research proposals, research papers, and poster presentations. Not only can the findings from this research be applied to a wide range of agricultural species, but results will be incorporated into the ongoing research projects led by faculty researchers plant physiology, microbiology, and genetics labs. The possibility of isolating genes of interest in A. thaliana and finding their homologs or equivalent genes in relevant plants is of interest to researchers in agriculture, human health, and environmental mitigation.

Discipline: Environmental Science:Soils and Agriculture, Life Sciences:Plant Biology, Life Sciences
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Planning and carrying out investigations
Nature of Research: Wet Lab/Bench Research
Target Audience: Non-major, Introductory, Major
CURE Duration: A full term

The Language of Human Physiology
Barbara Graham, Jackson State University

Discipline: Life Sciences:Anatomy and Physiology
Core Competencies: Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Basic Research
Target Audience: Upper Division, Major

An investigation on the use of plants as antimicrobial agents
Ntombekhaya Laifa, Mississippi Valley State University
Microorganisms are getting more resistant to the antibiotics. One of the Millennium Development Goal is to reduce the number of deaths caused by the infections. By using cost-effective methods such as plant extracts as antimicrobial agents to reduce the growth of microorganisms causing infections, the research can contribute to drug discovery

Discipline: Life Sciences:Microbiology
Core Competencies: Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data
Nature of Research: Wet Lab/Bench Research, Applied Research
State: Mississippi
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: A full term

Adolescent Learning and Development
Ruth J Palmer, The College of New Jersey
This course is designed for prospective secondary education teachers (serving grades 6-12 and/or schools that are departmentalized). It focuses on adolescent learning and development as represented in (a) traditional and contemporary frameworks; (b) the empirical research of international scholars; and, (c) the documented practice of teachers working in a variety of learning contexts. This course introduces the study of adolescence and emerging adulthood and provides opportunities for you to know and to apply the principles of psychology to the practice of teaching and learning, and to enhance your intellectual curiosity and your professional skills and competencies.

Discipline: Social Sciences, Education
Core Competencies: Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Nature of Research: Applied Research
State: New Jersey
Target Audience: Major
CURE Duration: A full term