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Governor’s School in Integration of Biological and Statistical Sciences

Center of Excellence in Mathematics & Science Education



                    Student Projects

Students will have the opportunity to be engaged in a variety of research projects. The projects will be centered around the following topics: Effects of Music on the Ability to Concentrate; The Birthday Problem & Coincidences; Capture Recapture & Related Methods; Vitamin K2 & D3 Effect on Cell Proliferation & Cell Size in U937 Lymphoma Cells; Differential Gene Expression in the Diapause Life Stage, Microbiome of Stream Samples

In each project, model building and data analysis plays a critical role and is interwoven in a statistical and biological context.  Listed below is a brief description of each project.  Each student will choose the project they want to be involved with.  Each group will be highly involved in the research. The students will report their research findings to their parents and university faculty on the last day of the Governor’s School.

Dr. Anant P. Godbole: (“The Birthday Problem & Coincidences”)

Students researched the birthday problem; the birthday problem on Mars; the probability of inhaling one or more molecules of famous persons’ last breaths; and a handcrafted Red Dye #40 Coincidence problem.

Dr. Anant P. Godbole: (“Capture Recapture & Related Methods”)

Students researched the basic method of capture and recapture for estimating animal abundance.  They used simulations and studied the effect of the capture and recapture sizes on the accuracy of the estimate.  They studied the mean and variance of the Lincoln Petersen version of the estimate.  They also studied line transect and lunar sighting methods (e.g. ET and Elliott riding their bike – and seen in the moon.)

Dr. Karl Joplin: (“Differential Gene Expression in the Diapause Life Stage”)

How does gene expression change during developmental changes between two different life stages? Looking at insect diapause (similar to hibernation) to examine the differences between non-diapause states. Comparison of specific sequences using RT-PCR amplification of mRNA.                                                                      

Dr. Karl Joplin: (“Microbiome of Stream Samples”)

What is the microbiome diversity of environmental samples? The microbiome encompasses 95-99% of the biome in any sample (including humans). We will explore the microbiome of aquatic streams by collecting samples, extracting DNA, selecting PCR primers for specific bacteria from a sequencing run, and looking if they are present in another stream.

Dr. Nicole Lewis: (“Effects of Music on the Ability to Concentrate”)

When you walk around campus, you notice the majority of students are listening to music. Even while studying, many students are listening to music. But what are the effects of music on the ability to concentrate? Does it improve or impair concentration? These are typical research questions in the field of psychology. There are numerous studies on the various effects of music on different aspects of life. Experimental design and statistical analysis play a key role in these types of studies.

(a) Conduct an experiment to test this hypothesis.

(b) Understand the concept and purpose of ANOVA.

(c) Analyze data using ANOVA methods

Dr. Hugh Miller: (“Vitamin in K2 & D3 Affect on Cell Proliferation & Cell Size in U937 Lymphoma Cells”)

Using a lymphoma cell line, we examined the effects of Vitamin K2 and D3 on the survival and cell size of the cells after a 48 hr exposure. Both Vitamin K2 and D3 have been shown in other cell lines to induce programed cell death, called Apoptosis. We wanted to see is there was a synergistic effect with both vitamins.





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