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Tigra scientifica Science News Magazine Staff Executive Editor Lesly A. Temesvari Production Editors Matthew G. Johnson Curtis R. Newbold Senior Staff Writers Briana M. Kloc Thomas W. Larrew Danielle M. Tom Rachel D. Wasylyk Staff Writers Blake Bendixen Lana Ward Remember Watts Megan Woodard

Infographic Staff France Jackson

A special thanks to Holly Tuten for getting this magazine started and helping out with its design. Cover Photo by Rachel D. Wasylyk, 2011. All Rights Reserved. Cover Design by Suzannah F. Isgett, 2011. All Rights Reserved. Tigra scientifica Science News Magazine by L. Temesvari, I. Alsallaiy, L. Deneen, B. Kloc, S. Isgett, T. Larrew, A. Richman, A. Scott, D. Tom and R. Wasylyk is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.clemson.edu/academics/programs/creative-inquiry/

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Table of Contents Applied Medicine

Issue Three 6

• Circadian Immunity 6 • De-Grain Your Brain 7 • 8 • 9 • Portable Physician 10

Genetics 11

• Clues for the Incidence of Human Cancer Feteched fomr K9s 11 • 12 • 13 • 14

Health & Wellness 16

• Step Away from the Diet Soda! 16 • Diet Supplements: Too Good to Be True 17 • Man‘s Best Friend ... and Coworker? 18 • Run Away from Your Migraines 19 • 20 • Meatless Mondays, Tofu Tuesdays, and Wheat Wednesdays 21

Mind 22

• Dream Your Way to a Happier You: Link between One’s Ability to “Heal” 22 • 23 • Trading Tears for Cheers 24 • Playing Mind Games: Use it or You‘ll Lose It 25 • Can I Have Your Attention Please? 26 • Sore Winner 28

Natural World 29

• The New Fisheye View: The Sea in HD 29 • Howling for Help 30 • Shark Tales: Investigating the Impace of Ecotourism on Tiger Sharks 31 • Summer All the Time! Wait, That‘s a Bad Thing? 32

Technology 33

• Baby Brainpower 33 • Attackbots for Your Body 34 • Geckskin: A New Way to Hang Anything and Everything 35 • Fueling the Future: Interview with C. David Thornton, Biodiesel Guru 36 • Losing Your Keys Shouldn‘t Mean Losing Your Mind 38 • Sharing is Not Always Caring 39 • The Future of Homework Is...Video Games? 40

Contributor Biographies 41

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“Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.� Albert Einstein

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Letter from the Editor No one can doubt that science and technology have an enormous impact on society. It is critical that the general public understands scientific revolutions, technological innovations, and how these advances affect the future of humankind and the planet. The single most important source of information for the public is the media. The communication of science to the general membership of a democracy leads to a public that can participate intelligently in and make informed decisions about national and international debates involving science and technology. Thus, science journalists shoulder the enormous responsibility of bridging the gap between scientists and the general public by transmitting accurate, comprehensible, and timely information. A talented group of Clemson University undergraduate students has embraced this responsibility. What you are holding is the result of their endeavor, the second issue of Tigra scientifica. This project was the brainchild of Dr. Holly C. Tuten. While a graduate student in Clemson University’s Entomology program, Holly regularly contributed science articles to the school’s newspaper, The Tiger. In the spring semester of 2011, she launched a Creative Inquiry course, “Popular Science Journalism.” Through this course, she trained young science journalists to write about important innovations in science and technology. Their articles appeared as columns in The Tiger and were assembled into the first issue of the magazine. Now, the second semester of the project has been completed, and I give my heartfelt congratulations to the gifted students who participated. Nine members of the student team functioned as staff writers and were enrolled in the Creative Inquiry course. Their role was to find topics of interest, synthesize complex data, write clear articles conveying the impact of the findings, and edit the work of their peers. Their articles appeared weekly in The Tiger and make up this body of work. Infographics, visual representations of information or data, are a new feature added in this edition of the magazine. Three additional students were recruited by the team to serve as infographic designers and artists. Communication plays a central role in science. Penrose and Katz1 stated that without communication, “science would become a private, redundant, and ultimately futile effort.” Through their hard work and collaboration, this group of students has made science accessible to all. I hope you will enjoy reading their articles.

Lesly A. Temesvari, Ph.D. Executive Editor

Penrose, A. M. & Katz, S. B. in Writing in the Sciences: Exploring Conventions of Scientific Discourse 3rd Edition (Longman, New York, 2010). 1

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Applied Medicine

Quote about the article

Circadian Immunity By Thomas Larrew

W

hat is the new frontier of medicine? We have surgeries, pills, injections, and plenty more but what else could we use? Using the uniquely named method of DNA folding called DNA origami, scientists at Harvard School of Medicine have designed a nanobot with capabilities teetering on the brink science fiction. The recently published article in Science describes tiny robot-like molecules that are programmed to seek out diseased cells, attach to them, and deliver a payload, much like the action of your immune cells. The payload will contain whatever is required to enact a specific change in the cell. For example researchers are hopeful that the nanobots can be programed to target diseased cells such as cancer and go on “search and destroy” missions to remove them. This will make treatment more effective and successful.

technology can revolutionize is cancer treatment. In one experiment the nanobots were designed to hit a leukemia cell and it could pick that cell out of a mixture of cell types then release their payload. Current radiation treatments are still very hit and miss and, according to cancer.org, about half of all cancer patients undergo radiation treatment. A patient is exposed to radiation with the goal that the cancer will be killed before the patient dies due to radiation poisoning. Nanobots can deliver a payload that targets the cancer cell specifically, avoiding the collateral damage. In other words, the new nanobot cancer treatments will be safer that traditional radiation treatments and will cause less hair loss.

The prototype is shaped like a baton from a track meet

The current prototype nanobot looks like a common baton at a track relay. It is a hollow cylinder with a hinge running up the length of one side and two DNA structures, called alpha helices, on the other. The cylinder is only thirty-five nanometers long and in the hollow center there are twelve linker and anchor proteins that hold the payload in place. This payload can be extremely varied but one idea is for the nanobot to contain molecules that make a cell undergo apoptosis, the mechanism for cell death.

The alpha helix structures are able to detect the diseased cell and deliver the payload. “You can think about it as a sort of combination lock,” says Ido Bachelet in an interview with Nature. “Only when both markers are in place, can the entire robot open.” The cocktail of molecules that signal the death of the diseased cell could be switched out for antibiotics or other medicines.

Although there is an impressive amount of potential, the nanobots have never been used explicitly in animals, much less people. Specific enzymes, called nucleases, travel the circulatory system and quickly chew-up the DNA robot. Despite these obstacles, scientists have some ideas for countering the hostile environment. Coating the nanobots in polyethylene glycol, a widely applied substance used to increase the amount of time a drug can stay in the body, or using red blood cells to transport them would prevent early destruction. If ideas such as these can be successfully implemented, we could start to see the forward progress of this nanobot technology as a form of therapeutic treatment. Diseases of the past that have affected humanities will no longer affect its future.

The unique aspect of the nanobot that makes it so exciting is its programmability. One of the fields that this 6 · TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012

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Applied Medicine

A gluten and casein free diet may help improve autistic behaviors in children

De-grain Your Brain By Rachel Wasylyk

H

ave you ever tried ordering a burger without the bun, or a sub sandwich without the roll? Gluten-free diets have become the latest fad of celebrities in the United States, but a study from Penn State shows that these nutrition plans may have beneficial effects on children with autism spectrum disorders. The research, which was published in the February edition of Nutritional Neuroscience, indicated improvements in autistic behaviors when certain children strictly adhered to a gluten-free and/or casein-free (GFCF) diet. A gluten-free diet eliminates foods that contain the protein gluten, which is often found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats. On the other hand, a casein-free diet eliminates the protein casein, which is typically found in milk. Nearly half of the children with autism have gastrointestinal issues, which include pain and discomfort in the abdominal region. Based on this fact alone, the Autism Research Institute has always recommended a GFCF diet for autistic patients, but there was no prior scientific research to back the suggestion. The team of researchers from Penn State utilized a 90-question survey completed by nearly 400 parents or guardians of children with autism to analyze the effects of these proteins on the children’s lives. The adults were asked questions regarding the child’s typical gastrointestinal symptoms, food allergies, and possible food sensitivities. The GFCF diet was implemented before the surveys were administered, so there were also questions regarding the duration and strictness of the new nutritional plan. Overall, children who were known to suffer from numerous gastrointestinal symptoms, food allergies, and food sensitivities were found to respond positively to the GFCF diet. Parents reported a decrease in autism spectrum disorder behaviors, physiological symptoms, and social behaviors in their children. On the other hand, kids

who initially did not suffer from many gastrointestinal symptoms, food allergies, or food sensitivities did not show significant improvements in behavior after switching to a GFCF diet. Additionally, those parents who reported their child’s strict adherence to avoiding foods with gluten and casein had a greater improvement in the autism spectrum disorder behaviors, physiological symptoms, and social behaviors than those who made exceptions in the diet. Therefore, there was a statistically significant improvement in behaviors and symptoms for the children who originally suffered from gastrointestinal symptoms, as long as they adhered to the GFCF plan. This research shows that some children respond positively to the implementation of a GFCF lifestyle. A previous study from the University of Rochester had indicated that this nutritional change wouldn’t have any effect on autistic patients. However, they had only completed testing on 14 children who did not suffer from gastrointestinal problems. This new research sheds some light on the previous findings, since the diet plan was only found to be effective in children that previously suffered from abdominal issues. Since doctors are now aware of the stipulations and understand the limited situations that receive a positive benefit on a GFCF diet plan, they will be able to better treat children with autism spectrum disorder. This can help alleviate implementing the nutritional changes in a child who will probably not benefit from the absence of gluten and casein. However, those who can possibly improve from these alterations will benefit, as long as they strictly adhere to the plan. With these new findings in hand, patients who suffer from autism spectrum disorder may be able to undergo significant improvements in the near future. It might not be so bizarre to order a burger – hold the gluten. TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012 · 7

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Applied Medicine

Intestinal cells can be provoked to produce insulin in type 1 diabetics

Researchers Look beyond the pancreas for possible treatment of

G

roundbreaking research on type 1 diabetes suggests that insulin injections may soon be a thing of the past. Researchers Dr. Chutima Talchai and Dr. Domenico Accili along with their colleagues have found that intestinal cells in mice are capable of creating cells that can produce insulin. Published in the March issue of Nature Genetics, this study explores the possibility of introducing insulin-producing cells into the gut of patients with type 1 diabetes without the use of a stem cell transplant. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system has attacked and destroyed the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Once these cells are lost, the body cannot regenerate them and the body is not able to produce sufficient insulin. Unlike type 2 diabetes, which typically does not have an autoimmune basis, and can generally be controlled with exercise, proper diet, and oral medications, type 1 diabetics require insulin injections to maintain stable blood glucose levels. Glucose is the fuel needed in our cells for energy production, and insulin is the hormone that unlocks cells and allows glucose to enter. Without insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of moving into cells. In the short term, this can cause excessive urination, blurred vision, extreme thirst, and weight loss. If left uncontrolled for many years, this can lead to more serious complications. The standard treatment for type 1 diabetics is daily insulin injections in the form of needles and syringes or a continuous infusion of insulin through an insulin pump. While these treatments are very effective in disciplined patients, they do cause a constant burden of checking blood glucose levels and maintaining a careful diet. Carbohydrates are converted to glucose upon digestion, so diabetics must count the carbohydrates that they eat at every meal to inject the correct amount of insulin. Injecting too much insulin can result in hypoglycemia, a state of low glucose in the blood which causes weakness, confusion, cold sweats, and if not corrected, unconsciousness. One problem with injecting insulin is that many meals are unpredictable. For instance, meals high in fat cause prolonged digestion, which causes insulin to be used up before digestion is complete. Furthermore,

meals prepared at restaurants are difficult to determine insulin dosages for because the ingredients and cooking processes are generally not known, so the patient must guess how much insulin to use.

This study gives hope for a new form of treatment for type 1 diabetics. When tested in diabetic mice, scientists found that inhibiting a gene that is responsible for deciding cell fates, called Foxo1, allows gut cells to generate insulin-producing cells. This same treatment does not affect the pancreas, where insulin-producing cells are normally found, but these gut cells appear to function the same as pancreatic cells. Insulin-producing gut cells also have the vital blood glucose receptors that can alter insulin secretion based on the blood glucose levels. Insulin is released into the bloodstream as usual with these special insulin-producing gut cells and works just as effectively at normalizing blood glucose as pancreatic cells. Also, because of the new location of these cells in the body, it is possible that the immune system would not attack these insulin-producing cells as it does in the pancreas. The researchers are puzzled at these findings, but they are intrigued by its potential uses in diabetic therapy. The Foxo1 gene can be inhibited by chemicals, so this research aims toward finding a drug that would safely and effectively inhibit Foxo1 in humans. While insulin injections are successful if used correctly, this new treatment may allow for more controlled blood glucose without the hassle of careful carbohydrate counting.

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Applied Medicine

Musical training may aid aural responses as people age.

Practice Makes Perfect- Musical Training has Long-term Impact on By Danielle Tom

W

hile many people have heard of the pseudoscientific “Mozart effect” on learning, what if actually learning to play music has an even greater, biological benefit? Many musicians start learning their instrument from an early age and continue playing for years to come, spending many hours practicing and playing. As people age, neural responses to aural stimulation slows down, and may lead to issues in communication skills. In January, a study by Dr. Parbery-Clarck, Dr. Nina Kraus and, others published in Neurobiology of Aging shows that musical training may alleviate age-related delays in response to audio stimuli. Why might musical training play an important role later in neural response speed? Musical training requires a musician to learn to recognize differences in pitch, timbre, and timing— how high or low a sound is, the ‘voice’ of a sound (think how a gravelly old man sounds different compared to a young girl’s soprano), and chronological placement respectively. Dr. Kraus noted in a previous paper that these components are also used to recognize speech. Pitch and placement are needed to understand what people say, particularly in more tonal languages, and timbre helps us distinguish different voices from each other. Music has also been linked to the adaptability of the brain to learn new tasks and has already been used in speech and motor therapy for stroke

victims. Observing how fast a brain responds to sounds may shed further light on how musical training affects auditory responses. This study looked at nearly 100 participants. They were divided into four categories: older nonmusicians, younger nonmusicians, older musicians, and younger musicians. “Younger” people were 18 to 23 years old, and “Older” people were 43 to 65 years old. Musicians were defined as individuals who began their musical training before the age of nine and continued to play at least three times weekly throughout their lifetimes. The research team played the speech syllable “da” (chosen for its mix of consonant and vowel sounds) periodically through headphones for participants during a silent captioned film of the patients’ choice. The research team then measured brain responses via electrodes, observing how soon the subcortex responded after the syllable was played in microseconds. The researchers found that older participants had slower responses to speech syllables than younger participants. However, the older nonmusicians had significantly later responses than young nonmusicians, while the disparity between older and younger musicians’ responses were narrower. As the speech syllable transitioned from the consonant ‘d’ noise to the vowel ‘a’ sound, older musicians actually had similar response times to younger nonmusicians. The research team concluded that aging negatively affects the processing of noise, especially consonant sounds, but also that musical training reduces those effects. While these findings are preliminary, previous studies from Dr. Kraus’s laboratory show that musical training is also linked to reduced hearing and memory loss. The research team believes their findings should encourage future investigation into training for keeping neural resilience, the capacity for learning, intact over a lifetime. Dr. Kraus also noted that the study doesn’t necessarily show that musicians have a neural timing advantage to every neural response to sound, but „instead, this study showed that musical experience selectively affected the timing of sound elements that are important in distinguishing one consonant from another.“ For now, musicians take notice— if you spend more time in the practice room, you might stay sharp in your later years. TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012 · 9

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Applied Medicine

NASA Biocapsule shows promise for medicinal applications on Earth

Portable Physician By Lana Ward

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aintaining a healthy body can be a challenge for astronauts. A round-trip journey to Mars takes two to three years to complete. During this time, there are no physicians in space and the closest hospital is back on Earth. Not only are there numerous ailments that could attack an astronaut’s body, there is also the threat of exposure to high levels of radiation. Luckily for space pioneers, Dr. David Loftus of the Space Biosciences Division at NASA Ames has invented and patented the NASA Biocapsule. The NASA Biocapsule has the ability to diagnose what ails the body and automatically dispense medication even before an astronaut knows he or she is sick. The Biocapsule, made of carbon nanotubes, is approximately the size of a pencil tip and is filled with therapeutic agents, such as drugs, hormones, or cells. These therapeutic agents are released in measured doses over a period of time, depending on what the Biocapsule has determined the body needs. This would be like having your own personal Dr. House implanted under your skin, without the sarcasm and biting remarks, of course. One of the most dangerous threats in space is exposure to radiation. As astronauts travel beyond Low Earth Orbit, they put themselves at risk for sudden release of intense radiation from the sun. These “solar particle events” can damage the body’s bone marrow and immune system. However, the NASA Biocapsule can be filled with cells that detect the increased levels of radiation and dispense medicine to help an astronaut’s body compensate. Without the aid of a Biocapsule, the body may never recover and could die from an infection.

body may encounter while on a space journey. Prior to launch, a small incision is made in the astronaut’s skin for each Biocapsule. The NASA Biocapsule is implanted in an outpatient surgery that requires only local anesthesia. After this procedure is finished, the astronaut’s body is equipped to stay healthy for years because Biocapsules are not one shot wonders. Each capsule would have the ability to deliver several doses. Therefore, there is no “shelf-life” to the NASA Biocapsules. They are extremely tough and no known enzyme in the body can destroy their nanostructures. Once all of the medication has been dispersed from the capsule, it would remain stable in the body until it is removed by a doctor upon the return to Earth. NASA hopes to see these capsules in International Space Station astronauts during this decade. Even though the treatment of radiation is NASA’s primary application for the Biocapsule, there are endless possibilities for patients on Earth. Insulin-dependent diabetes patients, for instance, may never need to give themselves another shot. Dr. Loftus commented on the Biocapsule’s application to diabetes by saying, “Patients with low-insulin requirement might benefit from implantation of a single capsule…patients with higher insulin requirement might require implantation of more than one capsule.” This invention could literally save millions of lives— as of 2011 there were an estimated 346 million people living with diabetes. Other applications include cancer treatment, gene therapy, and severe allergy treatment. Even though it is a wild guess at this point, Dr. Loftus thinks we could realistically see the widespread use of Biocapsules on Earth within 15 years. Keeping in mind all of its possible applications, it is not an exaggeration to say that the NASA Biocapsule has jumpstarted the revolution of medicine.

According to NASA, several capsules can be implanted in an astronaut that would treat different conditions the 10 · TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012

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Genetics

Research on dog chromosomes could eventually help understand cancer

Clues for the Incidence of Human Cancer Fetched from K9s By Megan Woodard

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hat furry canine of yours could end up being more than simply your best friend after all. There is new evidence that specific breakpoints on canine chromosomes can be directly linked to a dog’s inheritance of cancer. These breakpoints occur during speciation, when a new species branches off from its ancestral state, and are therefore very fragile and more susceptible to injury and disease. Researchers at North Carolina State University have been given funding from Morris Animal Foundation to conduct research on these regions of chromosomes. The findings will not only help in the dogs‘ world, but could aid the research on human cancer. Researchers have understood speciation for quite some time now; they know that when new species evolve, certain parts of their original genome are left behind. These regions are called evolutionarily conserved chromosome segments (ECCSs) and have given new insights into the karyotypic reorganization that occurs during speciation. The segments that are left behind also have a tendency to become fragile and have been designated “breakpoint” segments. Dr. Matthew Breen, the main researcher of the study, and his graduate student, Shannon Becker, examined these breakpoint regions that were created when the canid (dog) species differentiated from their ancestor during evolution. By comparing the genomes of a domestic dog with those of several wild canine species, including the domestic dog, they found that they share 11 breakpoints among them.

The family Canidae is made up of 34 living species including the domestic dog. By mapping the genomic architecture of the members of this group, the scientists were able to pinpoint certain breakpoints as well as the possibility of many more. These findings have enabled them to create an integrated physical genome map of three of the wild canine species. This map includes a diagram of the genetic information as well as the locations of the dog genes. This study has great implications for the future of cancer research. Not only is it possible that the results will lead to fewer cases of cancer in dogs, but also science will have proven how the fragile regions of the chromosome can eventually lead to the formation of cancer. The researchers are most interested in this particular study of dogs and their breakpoint regions because the findings could help pave the path for new discoveries related to the development of cancer in humans. Many people already regard dogs as their best friends, but now humans may have even more reasons to thank them—and maybe give them that extra bone tonight!

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Genetics

Quote about the article

epigenetics By First Last

A

rophy, or brain damage, than unilingual Ta, Catique quost graediem intrenatum tus, viciam occhui con tamenat imoliGeripter iptios eo Cat vissen ditam tuam. Omne pos citium audelar emquit, quonsulem eo vivisum tam in tarissis. Apecon des?Forterdi, con diem laris, qua revirmis. Noctori onesta nihilinte, Palarictam sultori bemnihi lisside riorest nox sicterior que ne inventi lictorum Patua nonsi condiis, mendet iptem iamedo, sendam, optem se dernius cepoporum tem.

ad diemnit ponsus silissoltium nin senductus, nonferes at fauconsul conferent for untem sedet L. Sp. Hebatus halis; noraci te ego nos ommo ad in Etrartiem aperei iaciis tatum silissua rester ad conoca nihin se contisq uitis; hiliuscient. culistrum te, utum potem nu iam esimisu licaudes? Des publis inceporehemo tus, nonferem Romnicis horum sena, Cuperi conimil icitum se tatimo caurnih illartam deri publicae porunt? Diu constem fatus aut visseribena, sena, oc re, maximur, condamprare tem inproptid C.

Etra, mo eri senis bonsulocto in tem sum cone duce inarena tiaedo, turo atis, sulicum quissil halatabuli cut vid di fure comnium demquam, conte iae, publicu pplicus caed consi publia re manul ute, qui tum etius, crum quissere in hos pro consum moraest ellatanteror usquo hocavent.

Qui sente in se consum et; non rentina, Catum iam ut gratum movis. Vissit. Habus factuid ad derio me dintes condam nonsulto ad con vive, quam sediem huis comnes estrude tesigna, caecon iam etem pos, quod deestatum ompervit. Opica; Cat. Dectabi tarit, utericipse tem sentis, nenatu maximanum senihilis, noc, ommo tustand epopublius factat, nit.

This is what you want to emphasize in your article; it can go in different spots

Mena, que paritam di simmovirmis. Cepecrecri fura vas cortuus; nostiliam, quonsum nocussi terionsuli sena, ut inte caequa quiusperio in patatastrum tum rendem fac tatro, tem nem, de nes! Catam nos, Patui publica priorum viver ut ve, videremquodi cleres at, condem et que consu veriverius? iam efena, omne pravoliis omnequam lis. Dam nocae et; no.

Decterbernum convo, tuium pononsus. Cum, C. Em ina rei pat, utelaria quere omniur, unum iam orte fue dierdita, cupiem tuam pravenatum inatrur ortemuscrum es! Ibunihi licus, ponteris, non volistiena, demures strebustatum nitum publis, consulieme tari.

Habem publisquam ad ne ad ca; hinveritem apesilla intritus effre tui catum norsum publicum ius sulto ius videfactur, conlocae ad mo inatorenium probus, terum mo conficae ommoreis ad adet graceps, nos es bonfenature novil vium, ute, fes re,Aperes, conte dicae esce mihilicaes cultorum, sen de me consulius consulem videmorte, avertem pes di commovenam ignatiemed in Etra, et achus, pere, nihinihillem nosseni hilius; Catquam satala num nos prae auderfecist? Id C. Gitus cont, castro videndam acchilic tus cont, nocut vehebus nostuspio etie clarei id C. Omporun terunum, quam.

Trbis la re nonsidefeces videm, si cone popondius con ducissulus confec revigitin veri, cae me iptil tuus bondit, erdi condet ocurbit; halabi inatro cum iurniquius hossenimpli, con invere clute, perferum a re verei coni te audam. Batideme concum obsendinc fac omnerit, us bonsuli issulto remus, de iliacis; Caterri sendius viu sularipiem entiam omni potifesimpl. Omnitum publiam con det dius, ut vilis. Mod cam inato int? Si sentritra rectam ingulin haedemors dem, conscidere consus aremus, consulia maio et ventil curnihica; et vica morteriumei poste essa in adefaci consum sent,.

Ludete consus conves bonscia num nos poentili proriae confect urnirmis. Vivit, casdacente, que nius, nirmium faut reiste, quidius maci crimuli paris effrectus elin in pere, ut actus An vem. Otilium ad isque comni sesuam intiam intidiconfes Maequam inimend emedere ia pernimunt? Opiocremqui ina, quemunum iam audeffres

Catissid mo Catum es atilnes ips, caucorbi crecrum is, et; Cuperid eniciempliis eo, condum in tem nonsula tilicup iortus tam. Verori etiam Paturacchus consus lare, di pari potem publici s

12 路 TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012

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Genetics

Quote about the article

Gene mapping By First Last

A

rophy, or brain damage, than unilingual Ta, Catique quost graediem intrenatum tus, viciam occhui con tamenat imoliGeripter iptios eo Cat vissen ditam tuam. Omne pos citium audelar emquit, quonsulem eo vivisum tam in tarissis. Apecon des?Forterdi, con diem laris, qua revirmis. Noctori onesta nihilinte, Palarictam sultori bemnihi lisside riorest nox sicterior que ne inventi lictorum Patua nonsi condiis, mendet iptem iamedo, sendam, optem se dernius cepoporum tem.

ad diemnit ponsus silissoltium nin senductus, nonferes at fauconsul conferent for untem sedet L. Sp. Hebatus halis; noraci te ego nos ommo ad in Etrartiem aperei iaciis tatum silissua rester ad conoca nihin se contisq uitis; hiliuscient. culistrum te, utum potem nu iam esimisu licaudes? Des publis inceporehemo tus, nonferem Romnicis horum sena, Cuperi conimil icitum se tatimo caurnih illartam deri publicae porunt? Diu constem fatus aut visseribena, sena, oc re, maximur, condamprare tem inproptid C.

Etra, mo eri senis bonsulocto in tem sum cone duce inarena tiaedo, turo atis, sulicum quissil halatabuli cut vid di fure comnium demquam, conte iae, publicu pplicus caed consi publia re manul ute, qui tum etius, crum quissere in hos pro consum moraest ellatanteror usquo hocavent.

Qui sente in se consum et; non rentina, Catum iam ut gratum movis. Vissit. Habus factuid ad derio me dintes condam nonsulto ad con vive, quam sediem huis comnes estrude tesigna, caecon iam etem pos, quod deestatum ompervit. Opica; Cat. Dectabi tarit, utericipse tem sentis, nenatu maximanum senihilis, noc, ommo tustand epopublius factat, nit.

This is what you want to emphasize in your article; it can go in different spots

Mena, que paritam di simmovirmis. Cepecrecri fura vas cortuus; nostiliam, quonsum nocussi terionsuli sena, ut inte caequa quiusperio in patatastrum tum rendem fac tatro, tem nem, de nes! Catam nos, Patui publica priorum viver ut ve, videremquodi cleres at, condem et que consu veriverius? iam efena, omne pravoliis omnequam lis. Dam nocae et; no.

Decterbernum convo, tuium pononsus. Cum, C. Em ina rei pat, utelaria quere omniur, unum iam orte fue dierdita, cupiem tuam pravenatum inatrur ortemuscrum es! Ibunihi licus, ponteris, non volistiena, demures strebustatum nitum publis, consulieme tari.

Habem publisquam ad ne ad ca; hinveritem apesilla intritus effre tui catum norsum publicum ius sulto ius videfactur, conlocae ad mo inatorenium probus, terum mo conficae ommoreis ad adet graceps, nos es bonfenature novil vium, ute, fes re,Aperes, conte dicae esce mihilicaes cultorum, sen de me consulius consulem videmorte, avertem pes di commovenam ignatiemed in Etra, et achus, pere, nihinihillem nosseni hilius; Catquam satala num nos prae auderfecist? Id C. Gitus cont, castro videndam acchilic tus cont, nocut vehebus nostuspio etie clarei id C. Omporun terunum, quam.

Trbis la re nonsidefeces videm, si cone popondius con ducissulus confec revigitin veri, cae me iptil tuus bondit, erdi condet ocurbit; halabi inatro cum iurniquius hossenimpli, con invere clute, perferum a re verei coni te audam. Batideme concum obsendinc fac omnerit, us bonsuli issulto remus, de iliacis; Caterri sendius viu sularipiem entiam omni potifesimpl. Omnitum publiam con det dius, ut vilis. Mod cam inato int? Si sentritra rectam ingulin haedemors dem, conscidere consus aremus, consulia maio et ventil curnihica; et vica morteriumei poste essa in adefaci consum sent,.

Ludete consus conves bonscia num nos poentili proriae confect urnirmis. Vivit, casdacente, que nius, nirmium faut reiste, quidius maci crimuli paris effrectus elin in pere, ut actus An vem. Otilium ad isque comni sesuam intiam intidiconfes Maequam inimend emedere ia pernimunt? Opiocremqui ina, quemunum iam audeffres

Catissid mo Catum es atilnes ips, caucorbi crecrum is, et; Cuperid eniciempliis eo, condum in tem nonsula tilicup iortus tam. Verori etiam Paturacchus consus lare, di pari potem publici s

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Genetics

Quote about the article

Interview By First Last

A

rophy, or brain damage, than unilingual Ta, Catique quost graediem intrenatum tus, viciam occhui con tamenat imoliGeripter iptios eo Cat vissen ditam tuam. Omne pos citium audelar emquit, quonsulem eo vivisum tam in tarissis. Apecon des?Forterdi, con diem laris, qua revirmis. Noctori onesta nihilinte, Palarictam sultori bemnihi lisside riorest nox sicterior que ne inventi lictorum Patua nonsi condiis, mendet iptem iamedo, sendam, optem se dernius cepoporum tem.

ad diemnit ponsus silissoltium nin senductus, nonferes at fauconsul conferent for untem sedet L. Sp. Hebatus halis; noraci te ego nos ommo ad in Etrartiem aperei iaciis tatum silissua rester ad conoca nihin se contisq uitis; hiliuscient. culistrum te, utum potem nu iam esimisu licaudes? Des publis inceporehemo tus, nonferem Romnicis horum sena, Cuperi conimil icitum se tatimo caurnih illartam deri publicae porunt? Diu constem fatus aut visseribena, sena, oc re, maximur, condamprare tem inproptid C.

Etra, mo eri senis bonsulocto in tem sum cone duce inarena tiaedo, turo atis, sulicum quissil halatabuli cut vid di fure comnium demquam, conte iae, publicu pplicus caed consi publia re manul ute, qui tum etius, crum quissere in hos pro consum moraest ellatanteror usquo hocavent.

Qui sente in se consum et; non rentina, Catum iam ut gratum movis. Vissit. Habus factuid ad derio me dintes condam nonsulto ad con vive, quam sediem huis comnes estrude tesigna, caecon iam etem pos, quod deestatum ompervit. Opica; Cat. Dectabi tarit, utericipse tem sentis, nenatu maximanum senihilis, noc, ommo tustand epopublius factat, nit.

This is what you want to emphasize in your article; it can go in different spots

Mena, que paritam di simmovirmis. Cepecrecri fura vas cortuus; nostiliam, quonsum nocussi terionsuli sena, ut inte caequa quiusperio in patatastrum tum rendem fac tatro, tem nem, de nes! Catam nos, Patui publica priorum viver ut ve, videremquodi cleres at, condem et que consu veriverius? iam efena, omne pravoliis omnequam lis. Dam nocae et; no.

Decterbernum convo, tuium pononsus. Cum, C. Em ina rei pat, utelaria quere omniur, unum iam orte fue dierdita, cupiem tuam pravenatum inatrur ortemuscrum es! Ibunihi licus, ponteris, non volistiena, demures strebustatum nitum publis, consulieme tari.

Habem publisquam ad ne ad ca; hinveritem apesilla intritus effre tui catum norsum publicum ius sulto ius videfactur, conlocae ad mo inatorenium probus, terum mo conficae ommoreis ad adet graceps, nos es bonfenature novil vium, ute, fes re,Aperes, conte dicae esce mihilicaes cultorum, sen de me consulius consulem videmorte, avertem pes di commovenam ignatiemed in Etra, et achus, pere, nihinihillem nosseni hilius; Catquam satala num nos prae auderfecist? Id C. Gitus cont, castro videndam acchilic tus cont, nocut vehebus nostuspio etie clarei id C. Omporun terunum, quam.

Trbis la re nonsidefeces videm, si cone popondius con ducissulus confec revigitin veri, cae me iptil tuus bondit, erdi condet ocurbit; halabi inatro cum iurniquius hossenimpli, con invere clute, perferum a re verei coni te audam. Batideme concum obsendinc fac omnerit, us bonsuli issulto remus, de iliacis; Caterri sendius viu sularipiem entiam omni potifesimpl. Omnitum publiam con det dius, ut vilis. Mod cam inato int? Si sentritra rectam ingulin haedemors dem, conscidere consus aremus, consulia maio et ventil curnihica; et vica morteriumei poste essa in adefaci consum sent,.

Ludete consus conves bonscia num nos poentili proriae confect urnirmis. Vivit, casdacente, que nius, nirmium faut reiste, quidius maci crimuli paris effrectus elin in pere, ut actus An vem. Otilium ad isque comni sesuam intiam intidiconfes Maequam inimend emedere ia pernimunt? Opiocremqui ina, quemunum iam audeffres

Catissid mo Catum es atilnes ips, caucorbi crecrum is, et; Cuperid eniciempliis eo, condum in tem nonsula tilicup iortus tam. Verori etiam Paturacchus consus lare, di pari potem publici s

14 路 TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012

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Genetics

Quote about the article

Interview By First Last

A

rophy, or brain damage, than unilingual Ta, Catique quost graediem intrenatum tus, viciam occhui con tamenat imoliGeripter iptios eo Cat vissen ditam tuam. Omne pos citium audelar emquit, quonsulem eo vivisum tam in tarissis. Apecon des?Forterdi, con diem laris, qua revirmis. Noctori onesta nihilinte, Palarictam sultori bemnihi lisside riorest nox sicterior que ne inventi lictorum Patua nonsi condiis, mendet iptem iamedo, sendam, optem se dernius cepoporum tem.

ad diemnit ponsus silissoltium nin senductus, nonferes at fauconsul conferent for untem sedet L. Sp. Hebatus halis; noraci te ego nos ommo ad in Etrartiem aperei iaciis tatum silissua rester ad conoca nihin se contisq uitis; hiliuscient. culistrum te, utum potem nu iam esimisu licaudes? Des publis inceporehemo tus, nonferem Romnicis horum sena, Cuperi conimil icitum se tatimo caurnih illartam deri publicae porunt? Diu constem fatus aut visseribena, sena, oc re, maximur, condamprare tem inproptid C.

Etra, mo eri senis bonsulocto in tem sum cone duce inarena tiaedo, turo atis, sulicum quissil halatabuli cut vid di fure comnium demquam, conte iae, publicu pplicus caed consi publia re manul ute, qui tum etius, crum quissere in hos pro consum moraest ellatanteror usquo hocavent.

Qui sente in se consum et; non rentina, Catum iam ut gratum movis. Vissit. Habus factuid ad derio me dintes condam nonsulto ad con vive, quam sediem huis comnes estrude tesigna, caecon iam etem pos, quod deestatum ompervit. Opica; Cat. Dectabi tarit, utericipse tem sentis, nenatu maximanum senihilis, noc, ommo tustand epopublius factat, nit.

This is what you want to emphasize in your article; it can go in different spots

Mena, que paritam di simmovirmis. Cepecrecri fura vas cortuus; nostiliam, quonsum nocussi terionsuli sena, ut inte caequa quiusperio in patatastrum tum rendem fac tatro, tem nem, de nes! Catam nos, Patui publica priorum viver ut ve, videremquodi cleres at, condem et que consu veriverius? iam efena, omne pravoliis omnequam lis. Dam nocae et; no.

Decterbernum convo, tuium pononsus. Cum, C. Em ina rei pat, utelaria quere omniur, unum iam orte fue dierdita, cupiem tuam pravenatum inatrur ortemuscrum es! Ibunihi licus, ponteris, non volistiena, demures strebustatum nitum publis, consulieme tari.

Habem publisquam ad ne ad ca; hinveritem apesilla intritus effre tui catum norsum publicum ius sulto ius videfactur, conlocae ad mo inatorenium probus, terum mo conficae ommoreis ad adet graceps, nos es bonfenature novil vium, ute, fes re,Aperes, conte dicae esce mihilicaes cultorum, sen de me consulius consulem videmorte, avertem pes di commovenam ignatiemed in Etra, et achus, pere, nihinihillem nosseni hilius; Catquam satala num nos prae auderfecist? Id C. Gitus cont, castro videndam acchilic tus cont, nocut vehebus nostuspio etie clarei id C. Omporun terunum, quam.

Trbis la re nonsidefeces videm, si cone popondius con ducissulus confec revigitin veri, cae me iptil tuus bondit, erdi condet ocurbit; halabi inatro cum iurniquius hossenimpli, con invere clute, perferum a re verei coni te audam. Batideme concum obsendinc fac omnerit, us bonsuli issulto remus, de iliacis; Caterri sendius viu sularipiem entiam omni potifesimpl. Omnitum publiam con det dius, ut vilis. Mod cam inato int? Si sentritra rectam ingulin haedemors dem, conscidere consus aremus, consulia maio et ventil curnihica; et vica morteriumei poste essa in adefaci consum sent,.

Ludete consus conves bonscia num nos poentili proriae confect urnirmis. Vivit, casdacente, que nius, nirmium faut reiste, quidius maci crimuli paris effrectus elin in pere, ut actus An vem. Otilium ad isque comni sesuam intiam intidiconfes Maequam inimend emedere ia pernimunt? Opiocremqui ina, quemunum iam audeffres

Catissid mo Catum es atilnes ips, caucorbi crecrum is, et; Cuperid eniciempliis eo, condum in tem nonsula tilicup iortus tam. Verori etiam Paturacchus consus lare, di pari potem publici s

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Health & Wellness

Diet sodas are worse for your health than you think!

Step Away from the Diet Soda! By Remember Watts

Q

uick, name the worst soda for your health. What was your first guess? Mountain Dew? What about Coca-Cola? Surely one of the neon-colored Pepsis would be at the top of the list. If you’re drinking a diet soda right now, you’re going to want to put it down in favor of its full-sugared counterpart. A newly-published, 10-year long study conducted by Dr. Hannah Gardener and her colleagues from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center found that those who drink diet soda on a daily basis are at a higher risk of many vascular disorders, including stroke, heart attack, and vascular death.

Those who drink diet soda on a daily basis are at a higher risk of many vascular disorders, including stroke, heart attack, and vascular death.

Full-calorie soda gets a bad rap because of the high fructose corn syrup that it contains and its high caloric content. These can help increase waistlines and can potentially be linked to vascular disorders. Interestingly enough, this new study found no association between drinking “regular” soda and an increased risk of vascular disorders. The new study also came to the conclusion that those who drink diet soft drinks daily have a 43% increased risk of vascular events when compared to those who drink regular soda daily. Why would diet sodas have such a different effect? Scientists have not been able to clearly define the exact processes by which the compounds in diet sodas cause harm to your body, but they have been able to pinpoint all of the negative effects that come along with frequent diet soft drink consumption.

In the study, 2,564 participants were observed in their soda intake. The study controlled for many factors, including dietary habits, age, sex, and ethnicity. Accounting for differences related to those factors, the participants who drank diet sodas regularly most likely to be sufferers of hypertension, elevated blood sugar, lower HDL (the “good” cholesterol), larger BMIs, peripheral vascular disease, and previous cardiac disease. How does that compare to those in the study who chose regular soda as their daily poison? They generally had lower occurrences of diabetes and high blood cholesterol levels. Drinking full-sugar soda puts you at a lower risk for diabetes than drinking diet soda? That’s counterintuitive! It sounds like diet sodas are not as good for you as companies want you to think. Previous studies performed have come to the same conclusion: diet soda may be bad for you. One study found that consuming artificially sweetened drinks is a one-way ticket to further weight gain. By feeding rats artificial sweeteners, the rodents put on weight more quickly when they ate regular sugar because their bodies were unable to anticipate the caloric content of food. In addition to getting you fat and increasing your risk for vascular disorders, recent studies have also found that drinking diet soda may be associated with severe consequences such as contracting type 2 diabetes and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Diet soda may not be what you thought it was. These risks have been hiding behind promises of zero calories and no fat. Though these statements may be true, they are misleading based on current facts. With your new-found knowledge, don’t order the Diet Coke with your Baconator next time you visit Wendy’s. For once, it turns out that the tastier option is the better option for you!

16 · TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012

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Health & Wellness

Diet supplements are not as healthy as they may seem

Diet Supplements: Too Good to be True By Rachel Wasylyk

H

ave you ever seen one of those tempting television advertisements that guarantees dramatic weight loss results with the consumption of a tiny pill? The common use of these supplements has made the production of weight-loss pills into a 2.4 billion dollar industry in America. However, a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in March 2012 showed that diet pills are not all they’re cracked up to be. Lead researcher, Dr. Melinda Manore from Oregon State University, analyzed numerous claims and determined that none provided a safe or reliable way to lose weight. During their investigation, the team discovered three important facts about these fast weight-loss plans, including a lack of clinical trials, little statistical significance, and detrimental health effects. Primarily, the researchers realized that many products did not utilize clinical trials to determine their effectiveness. Without these scientific tests, the effectiveness of the products cannot accurately be determined. In addition to this, Manore analyzed the results of numerous diet studies and found that the weight-loss amounts were not statistically significant. The majority of the products showed less than a 2 pound weight loss benefit compared to the control groups. This means that any weight changes cannot be attributed to the pills, since they were similar to the changes in the people not taking any supplements. On the other hand, certain supplements were shown to have weight loss results of approximately 3 to 4 pounds. These substances included green tea, fiber, and some dairy compounds. However, these were typically tested as part of a reduced calorie diet, and not simply as a diet pill. Finally, not only are diet supplements not particularly effective in achieving weight-loss goals, they have also been found to have numerous health risks. While some of

these risks are minor, such as stomach pain or bloating, they can range to serious issues, such as stroke and heart problems. Manore’s own research focuses on the interaction of nutrition and exercise, and how it affects health and physical performance. When people set out to lose weight, they primarily want to maintain or increase lean tissue mass. While some diet supplements promise to block fat or increase metabolism, there is no evidence that any supplements increase lean tissue mass. Therefore, the weight loss caused by diet supplements will not be maintained in the long run. According to Manore, fast weight-loss plans will not have a significant impact unless people alter their diets. A nutrition plan consisting of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean meats, as well as a reduced consumption of high-fat foods, is essential for successful and long-lasting weight loss. Furthermore, Manore emphasized the importance of exercise and constant movement as significant components to successful weight loss. Diet pills cannot provide the level of exercise that is required to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Overall, no product resulted in significant weight loss, and some diet supplements even had negative health risks. It seems that no single diet pill will enable a person to lose weight and maintain that loss. Substances that proved to be effective in modest weight loss were typically part of a low-calorie diet plan, and not simply in the form of a pill. Therefore, the most effective weight loss strategy for long-lasting results is a combination of exercise and a healthy diet. Next time you find yourself buying into one of those weight-loss advertisements on television, do yourself a favor – turn off the TV and go for a run instead!

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Health & Wellness

Bringing your dog to work may reduce your stress level

Man’s Best Friend…and Coworker? By Briana Kloc

D

oes your dog whine sadly when you leave for work or class every morning? Do you wish you could take them to work? New research led by Dr. Randolph Barker at Virginia Commonwealth University shows that having man’s best friend at your side during the workday might actually be a great idea. A preliminary study published in the International Journal of Workplace Management has found that bringing your dog to work may reduce not only your stress level, but the stress level of everyone in the office. The lucky workers at Replacements, Ltd, are not shy when it comes to dogs. For over 15 years, this retailmanufacturing company in Greensboro, NC, has been a pet-friendly workplace, allowing employees to bring their dogs to work with them. This company has 550 employees, and there are usually 20 to 30 dogs at the business on any given day. This study aimed to determine the effects of having dogs in the workplace. Employees were divided into three different groups: people who brought their dog to work, people who have a dog but didn’t bring it to work, and people who do not own a dog. Cortisol levels in employees’ saliva, an indicator of stress, were measured along with self-reported stress levels. While the cortisol tests did not show any difference between any of the test groups, perceived stress levels were significantly different. Dog owners may find it no surprise that the people who brought their dogs to work had the lowest reported stress levels throughout the day. The workers who did not bring their dog to work not only reported the highest stress levels, but their stress levels also increased throughout the day unlike the workers who brought their pets. For this experiment, the workers who brought their dogs to work were able to bring them twice a week, and they reported significantly lower stress

levels on these days than the days without their furry companions. Bringing your golden retriever or beagle to work may brighten your coworkers’ day as well. Occasionally at Replacements, Ltd, an employee without a dog will ask to take someone else’s dog with them on break to boost their mood. Some of the comments from workers were that, “Dogs are positive; dogs increase coworker cooperation,” and, “pets in the workplace can be a great bonus for employee morale.” Allowing pets at work also had some workers reporting a great appreciation for the company being open-minded about this policy, suggesting that the workers feel more valued.

However, there are some downsides to bringing Fido to work. Not every employee agrees on the helpfulness of the dogs. Some workers noted that certain dogs can be disruptive, and some people are bothered by allergies. These drawbacks may make it difficult for dogs to show up in workplaces everywhere, but small, family-owned businesses may be great places for dog-lovers to try this out. If Replacements, Ltd, has kept their policy for this long, then they must be doing something right!

18 · TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012

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Health & Wellness

New evidence shows exercise is just as effective as medicine

Run Away from Your Migraines By Megan Woodard

A

nice jog through the South Carolina Botanical Gardens. An Excedrin Migraine. Some laps in the pool at Fike. What do they all have in common? According to a Swedish study, all of these are equally effective prevention techniques for migraines. It has long been thought that exercise might be an effective alternative to ward off migraines—a way for those who don’t want to take more medicines— but before October 2011 there was not sufficient evidence to back up this thought. The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden is responsible for this breakthrough research on a subject that seems to affect a lot of the population. Dr. Emma Varkey is heading up this new research with the hopes to provide a different solution for those who don’t wish to take medi-

…exercise is, in fact, an effective alternative to help prevent migraines. cation to help their migraines. The randomized controlled study was interested in the effectiveness of exercise on migraine relief compared to different relaxation techniques and the drug topiramate. Topiramate is the active substance present in migraine medicine. Researchers were interested to see if exercise was as effective as pain medicine in preventing migraines.

for a total of three months in order to give the techniques adequate time to show results. The patients’ migraine status, quality of life, aerobic capacity and level of physical activity were evaluated before, during, and after their treatment. In addition, follow-ups were carried out three and six months after the conclusion of the study to determine if these treatments could be considered long-term effective solutions for migraine sufferers. Interestingly, the results were the same for the three experimental techniques used—fewer incidences of migraines were reported in each group. This led the research team to conclude that exercise is, in fact, an effective alternative to help prevent migraines. These findings open up a whole new area of relief for those patients who are unwilling or unable to take preventative medicines for their migraines. This is good news for those of us who would prefer to put on our running shoes rather than swallow some more pills. It seems that exercise has once more been proven a good way to stay healthy.

This study consisted of 91 migraine patients of all different ages. A third of them were asked to exercise for 40 minutes three times a week under supervision of a physiotherapist to ensure that the exercise was level across the group. Another third performed relaxation exercises which included yoga, periods of meditation as well as tai chi, three times a week. The final third were given the drug topiramate on a schedule specified by a doctor to ensure maximal effectiveness. The study was conducted TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012 · 19

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Health & Wellness

Quote about the article

bath salts By First Last

A

rophy, or brain damage, than unilingual Ta, Catique quost graediem intrenatum tus, viciam occhui con tamenat imoliGeripter iptios eo Cat vissen ditam tuam. Omne pos citium audelar emquit, quonsulem eo vivisum tam in tarissis. Apecon des?Forterdi, con diem laris, qua revirmis. Noctori onesta nihilinte, Palarictam sultori bemnihi lisside riorest nox sicterior que ne inventi lictorum Patua nonsi condiis, mendet iptem iamedo, sendam, optem se dernius cepoporum tem.

ad diemnit ponsus silissoltium nin senductus, nonferes at fauconsul conferent for untem sedet L. Sp. Hebatus halis; noraci te ego nos ommo ad in Etrartiem aperei iaciis tatum silissua rester ad conoca nihin se contisq uitis; hiliuscient. culistrum te, utum potem nu iam esimisu licaudes? Des publis inceporehemo tus, nonferem Romnicis horum sena, Cuperi conimil icitum se tatimo caurnih illartam deri publicae porunt? Diu constem fatus aut visseribena, sena, oc re, maximur, condamprare tem inproptid C.

Etra, mo eri senis bonsulocto in tem sum cone duce inarena tiaedo, turo atis, sulicum quissil halatabuli cut vid di fure comnium demquam, conte iae, publicu pplicus caed consi publia re manul ute, qui tum etius, crum quissere in hos pro consum moraest ellatanteror usquo hocavent.

Qui sente in se consum et; non rentina, Catum iam ut gratum movis. Vissit. Habus factuid ad derio me dintes condam nonsulto ad con vive, quam sediem huis comnes estrude tesigna, caecon iam etem pos, quod deestatum ompervit. Opica; Cat. Dectabi tarit, utericipse tem sentis, nenatu maximanum senihilis, noc, ommo tustand epopublius factat, nit.

This is what you want to emphasize in your article; it can go in different spots

Mena, que paritam di simmovirmis. Cepecrecri fura vas cortuus; nostiliam, quonsum nocussi terionsuli sena, ut inte caequa quiusperio in patatastrum tum rendem fac tatro, tem nem, de nes! Catam nos, Patui publica priorum viver ut ve, videremquodi cleres at, condem et que consu veriverius? iam efena, omne pravoliis omnequam lis. Dam nocae et; no.

Decterbernum convo, tuium pononsus. Cum, C. Em ina rei pat, utelaria quere omniur, unum iam orte fue dierdita, cupiem tuam pravenatum inatrur ortemuscrum es! Ibunihi licus, ponteris, non volistiena, demures strebustatum nitum publis, consulieme tari.

Habem publisquam ad ne ad ca; hinveritem apesilla intritus effre tui catum norsum publicum ius sulto ius videfactur, conlocae ad mo inatorenium probus, terum mo conficae ommoreis ad adet graceps, nos es bonfenature novil vium, ute, fes re,Aperes, conte dicae esce mihilicaes cultorum, sen de me consulius consulem videmorte, avertem pes di commovenam ignatiemed in Etra, et achus, pere, nihinihillem nosseni hilius; Catquam satala num nos prae auderfecist? Id C. Gitus cont, castro videndam acchilic tus cont, nocut vehebus nostuspio etie clarei id C. Omporun terunum, quam.

Trbis la re nonsidefeces videm, si cone popondius con ducissulus confec revigitin veri, cae me iptil tuus bondit, erdi condet ocurbit; halabi inatro cum iurniquius hossenimpli, con invere clute, perferum a re verei coni te audam. Batideme concum obsendinc fac omnerit, us bonsuli issulto remus, de iliacis; Caterri sendius viu sularipiem entiam omni potifesimpl. Omnitum publiam con det dius, ut vilis. Mod cam inato int? Si sentritra rectam ingulin haedemors dem, conscidere consus aremus, consulia maio et ventil curnihica; et vica morteriumei poste essa in adefaci consum sent,.

Ludete consus conves bonscia num nos poentili proriae confect urnirmis. Vivit, casdacente, que nius, nirmium faut reiste, quidius maci crimuli paris effrectus elin in pere, ut actus An vem. Otilium ad isque comni sesuam intiam intidiconfes Maequam inimend emedere ia pernimunt? Opiocremqui ina, quemunum iam audeffres

Catissid mo Catum es atilnes ips, caucorbi crecrum is, et; Cuperid eniciempliis eo, condum in tem nonsula tilicup iortus tam. Verori etiam Paturacchus consus lare, di pari potem publici s

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Health & Wellness

Abstaining from meat may increase your happiness

Meatless Mondays, Tofu Tuesdays, and Wheat Wednesdays By Remember Watts

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hat did you have for breakfast this morning? If you had any time, you probably made yourself some nice, crispy bacon because you wanted to start your day off right. What did you just eat for lunch? Cheeseburgers are always an appealing choice, but today you made the healthier choice and went for a turkey sandwich. For dinner, you and your roommates are all going in on a pack of steaks, a bag of potatoes, and a case of Budweiser. You eat the food that’s going to make you happy. But is this truly a diet to perpetuate happiness? A study from Arizona State suggests otherwise. Going vegetarian has many health and environmental benefits, but the mental health of vegetarians had never been studied. Researchers assumed that those who abstain from meat and fish would have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acid chains (found mainly in fish but in other food sources as well). These are known as the goodfor-you fats that help build brain cells and improve memory. Because of this assumed deficit, the hypothesis was that a vegetarian would not be as happy as a meat-lover. To test the theory, volunteers from Seventh Day Adventist communities were recruited. This group was especially appealing to the study because the group lives a homogeneous lifestyle. Choosing the SDA communities minimized differences between the subjects that could affect their overall happiness. Pregnant women and new moms were excluded from the study, as well as those taking medication that to alter mood or those with diseases affecting their mental state. This exclusion was important to keeping the findings legitimate. Slightly less than half of the group was vegetarian (abstaining from all flesh products, including fish) while the rest of the group considered themselves omnivores. The parti-

cipants were asked to fill out questionnaires about their dietary habits and state of happiness. The participants in the study were not told that the focus was on their diets so that they would not become defensive about their eating habits. The results of the study were surprising to the researchers. Even though vegetarians had a lesser intake of omega-3 fatty acids, they responded more positively to the questions pertaining to their mental state. Significantly lower levels of anxiety, depression, anger, and fatigue were reported by vegetarians along with slightly lower levels of confusion. Vegetarians also reported to have more vigor than their omnivore counterparts. Why were veggie lovers reporting to be so much happier than the meat eaters? One theory the researchers had was that the vegetarians may be making healthier lifestyle choices and are therefore happier. Another theory they mentioned was the significantly higher amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the vegetarian diet that had an impact on the inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain. Though more detailed analysis is required, the results were clear: vegetarians were happier than the meat-eaters. Vegetarians may not have bacon, a clearly defined root of happiness. Nor do they have steaks or turkey sandwiches or cheeseburgers. Take a lesson from them, though; next time you want to get yourself out of a funk, try eating vegetarian for a few weeks! You may notice a difference in your state of mind (bacon’s still fair game, though).

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Mind

Dreams help heal painful memories

Dream Your Way to a Happier You: Link between One’s Ability to “Heal” By Megan Woodward

The cliché phrase that “time heals all wounds” could actually be re-written to “time spent dreaming can help to heal all wounds.” New evidence from University of California, Berkeley shows time spent in dream sleep can actually help to decrease the feelings one may experience from painful memories. The study was published in the journal Current Biology in November 2011. Matthew Walker, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Berkeley, is the lead researcher of the team. He originally set out to examine the emotional purpose for the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep which we experience during our normal sleep cycle. Healthy young adults participated in Walker’s study and were divided into two groups. Each group viewed 150 emotional images twice, at 12 hour increments while an MRI scan measured their brain activity. One group viewed the images in the morning and then again at night, without any sleep between the two viewings. The other group viewed the images first at night and then again the next morning after a full night of sleep. It was found that those who slept in between viewings reported a significant decrease in their emotional reaction to the images. In addition, the MRI scans showed a drastic reduction in reactivity in the amygdala, the part of the brain that processes emotions. This decrease in activity of the amygdala allowed the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the “rational” portion, to control the emotional reactions to the images.

The information from this study has helped us realize why people who suffer from PTSD experience such vivid, recurring nightmares. Research has shown that during REM sleep, the time when we experience dreams, our stress chemistry shuts down; this allows our brain to process memories and help to take the edge off difficult memories. Walker believes that PTSD victims do not experience relief that is as effective during their overnight dreams as most people do. The dream state for the PTSD victims does not provide adequate time for their stress chemistry to process their memories and help to take the painful sting out of them Humans spend one-third of their lives sleeping but there is no concrete scientific consensus on the function of sleep. Walker and his team have unlocked many mysteries linking sleep to memory, learning and mood regulation. „We know that during REM sleep there is a sharp decrease in levels of norepinephrine, a brain chemical associated with stress,“ Walker said. „By reprocessing previous emotional experiences in this neuro-chemically safe environment during REM sleep, we wake up the next day, and those experiences have been softened in their emotional strength. We feel better about them, we feel we can cope.“

“time spent dreaming can help to heal all wounds”

Walker’s study helps to provide some insight into a disorder that is not very well-understood and opens a lot of doors for future research. Patients with PTSD might end up feeling some relief and be able to get a sound sleep like everyone deserves.

However, after completing the research, Walker realized that this information could be taken to help people suffering from severe psychological disorders. PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a very common but not well-understood disorder that generally affects war veterans and those who have been through a terrifying psychological experience. Patients suffering from PTSD experience very violent nightmares that they feel to be real at the time, as well times that make them relive their traumatic experiences. 22 · TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012

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Mind

Nutrition labels aren’t getting the attention they deserve

Do you read past the fat and calories? There’s more than meets By Briana Kloc

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tanding in the grocery aisle, you pick up a box and look at the nutrition label to try to justify your snack craving. Only 100 calories a serving? Sounds perfect! You’re being responsible and making healthy choices. But not so fast— a study published in November in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggests that you might not be paying attention to nutrition facts as much as you think you are. A study conducted by Dr. Graham and Dr. Jeffery of the University of Minnesota used eye-tracking technology to find that consumers are not reading everything on a nutrition label that they claim. In fact, information that was not in the center of the page and at the top of the nutrition label was often ignored. In this study, approximately 200 adults performed a simulated grocery shopping trip with 64 food items displayed on a computer screen. They were shown a picture of a product along with its nutrition label, ingredients, price, and product description and asked if they would consider purchasing it. Meals, snacks, and dessert items were all included in the study, and the products were all recognizable foods commonly purchased by Americans. Not only was the order of the foods randomized for each participant, but the food’s information was also presented in various locations across the screen. While each person made their choices, their eye movements were analyzed with eye-tracking software called EyeLink 1000 to see what components of the screen they were really scanning. The EyeLink 1000 measures eye position 1000 times per second, and since it takes 50 milliseconds to read a piece of information, any area looked at for more 50 milliseconds was considered read.

After the simulated shopping event, participants filled out a survey describing their nutritional concerns and shopping habits. They answered questions asking how often they view certain components of nutrition labels while shopping with the choices of: never/rarely (less than 10% of the time), sometimes (10-40% of the time), often (41-80% of the time), and very often/always (greater than 80% of the time). So how does self-reported nutrition label viewing measure up against the EyeLink 1000 viewing? It appears that we give ourselves much more credit than we should. Participants consistently claimed to view much more on a nutrition label than they actually did. Additionally, nutrition labels were viewed most often when placed in the middle of the screen instead of at the sides, and the information at the top of the nutrition label was viewed far more often than the information at the bottom. Perhaps America should follow Europe and start placing nutrition labels on the front of packages to gain more attention. This study suggests that Americans just don’t have the attention span or desire to read a nutrition label in its entirety. Very few participants read past the top five lines in a nutrition label. While the top five lines do contain important information such as serving size and calorie content, other components such as vitamin and mineral content shouldn’t be completely overlooked. The scientists in this study propose that the most relevant health information for each product should appear at the top of the label. However, the current format has been around for 20 years, so while nutrition labels may not get a makeover any time soon, it might be in your best interest to reconsider your shopping habits and look at what you’re buying. TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012 · 23

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Mind

Movies with tragic endings found to improve the mood of their audiences

Trading Tears for Cheers By Lana Ward

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any of us are familiar with the “heartbreak remedy”: an entire tub of ice cream is consumed while crying through a box of tissues to a tear-jerker movie. Does this remedy actually help, or is it just an excuse for a heartbroken person to indulge in ice cream? According to a study done by Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, lead author and associate professor of communication at Ohio State University, movies with tragic endings actually deliver happiness to their viewers in the short-term. Researchers discovered that watching a movie with a tragic ending caused people to think about their own close relationships, which in turn created a boost in their life happiness. Essentially, the negative experience of viewing a sad story caused people to be happier by bringing the positive aspects of their own lives into focus. „Tragic stories often focus on themes of eternal love, and this leads viewers to think about their loved ones and count their blessings,“ said Dr. Knobloch-Westerwick. The key to an increase in happiness is the extent to which movie viewers thought about their personal relationships as a result of watching the tear-jerker. The more they thought about their loved ones and close friendships, the greater the increase in happiness. In the study, 361 college students viewed the 2007 movie Atonement, which features two lovers who are separated and die as casualties of war. The participants were asked before, during, and after the movie to rate the intensity of the emotions they were feeling. After the movie, the participants were asked to rate how much they enjoyed the movie. They were also asked to reflect on themselves—their goals, relationships, and life in general—and write about it. These writings of the participants as a result of viewing the movie have been important to understanding why people enjoy watching tragedies, even if they are fictional stories.

The people who experienced the most intense sadness while viewing the movie were more likely to write about close relationships with real people in their lives. This caused an increase in the participants’ happiness after the movie; the boost in positive feelings contributed to a greater overall enjoyment of the movie. This phenomenon can help explain why tragedies are so popular with movie audiences, despite the tears that they can cause. This study has concluded that viewing a fictional tragedy does not boost life happiness by making viewers think more about themselves. Instead, these movies appeal to audiences because they help us appreciate our own relationships more. However, if close relationships make us happier, then why do we need to watch a tragedy to feel grateful for them? According to Dr. Knobloch-Westerwick, this behavior matches previous research in psychology that suggests negative moods make people more thoughtful. "Positive emotions are generally a signal that everything is fine, you don‘t have to worry, you don‘t have to think about issues in your life,“ she said. „But negative emotions, like sadness, make you think more critically about your situation. So seeing a tragic movie about star-crossed lovers may make you sad, but that will cause you to think more about your own close relationships and appreciate them more.“ So, next time you need a pick-me-up, pop “Titanic” into your DVD player, wrap up in a Snuggie, and enjoy a bowl (or two or three) of Rocky Road. Invite your best friends or some family members to watch it with you. There may be some tears, but in the end, you will be in a better mood and have the opportunity to spend time with the people that matter most to you.

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Mind

Participation in cognitively-stimulating activities could lower risk of dementia

Playing Mind Games: Use it, or You’ll Lose it By Rachel Wasylyk

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laying Sudoku and completing crossword puzzles might seem like mindless fun, but research shows that these games could be a key step to avoiding future brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. A study, published in the January 2012 issue of Archives of Neurology, found a direct association between participation in cognitively stimulating activities and a lower risk of developing dementia. These activities include the mental process of gaining both knowledge and understanding through complex thought. In this case, these were defined as reading, writing, and completing mindpuzzle games. The researchers found that the overall lifestyles of people who complete thought-provoking exercises in early- and middle-life are related to a decrease in the build-up of a protein that has already been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

This study evaluated 86 individuals, including a large group of older, healthy individuals, a small control group of elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and another small control group of younger, healthy individuals. The researchers utilized brain scans and self-reported assessments to collect data about the participants. Overall, the team determined that older, healthy individuals who completed high levels of cognitive activity had similar amounts of AB protein deposits as younger, healthy individuals. On the other hand, older, healthy individuals who completed low levels of cognitive activity had similar amounts of AB deposits as patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This direct, significant difference may show a correlation between cognitive activity levels and brain function. The study showed that exposure to these activities early in life led to greater preventative effects in the long run.

The study showed that exposure to these activities early in life led to greater preventative effects in the long run.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over 5.4 million Americans suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, and it is currently the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. While mortality rates have dropped for numerous other diseases, the rate of Alzheimer’s diagnosis has increased by 66% from 2000 to 2008. Unfortunately, it is the only disease among the top ten causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed.

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley evaluated the relationship between lifestyle factors and the deposits of a specific protein, beta-amyloid (AB), in the brain. Previous studies revealed an increased buildup of the AB protein in the brains of older individuals who suffered from serious memory loss, indicating that it plays a major role in diseases characterized by memorydeficiency. However, no one had investigated what influenced the accumulation of the protein. Dr. Susan Landau, lead researcher on the team, analyzed participation in both cognitive activities and physical exercise. She found that the individuals who completed more cognitively stimulating activities in their early- to middle-life had less AB deposits in their brains.

However, researchers predict that it has to do with a number of factors besides brain-stimulating activities and physical exercise. The individuals who completed more thought-provoking activities were also likely to have similar lifestyles. Dr. Landau noted that there are a “broad set of lifestyle factors that are difficult to quantify but include occupational, social, community, and recreational practices.” These general lifestyle choices may be closely related to the amount of AB build-up in the brain, but they are also harder to analyze and measure in individuals across a population. Therefore, this study suggests that the lifestyles of people who complete increased levels of brain-stimulating exercises may slow down the deposits of AB protein in the brain, which could influence the onset and progression of diseases like Alzheimer’s. In the future, a greater understanding of the factors that lead to AB build-up could have important benefits for disease recognition and prevention. Just think, maybe a crossword puzzle a day could keep Alzheimer’s away!

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Mind

Research at CMU shows that you actually do possess selective attention

Can I Have Your Attention Please? By Megan Woodard

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ave you ever wondered why you are looking for something and can’t seem to find it? Well, it might not be that you aren’t looking hard enough—like your Mother used to tell you— but rather that your brain is selectively picking out what you are seeing. A January 2011 study conducted at Carnegie Mellon University researched the connections between different parts of the brain. It helps us understand how people can actually select the information they wish to see in a given situation and ignore the information that does not interest them. The study used various brain imaging techniques to illustrate how the brain communicates in order to process important information. Head researcher, Marlene Behrmann, a professor of psychology at CMU and an expert in using brain imaging to study the visual perception system said “…you are guiding your own sensory system in an intelligent and smart fashion that helps facilitate your actions in the world.” The CMU study aims to show how the human brain receives sensory information and then goes about processing it to create what we see in front of us. The research team is interested in determining if the human brain can selectively process important information while ignoring the other stimuli around us.

The scans obtained during these tasks allowed the researchers to look for connections between the visual and the parietal cortices of the brain and therefore help to determine if there are any connections between what people desire to see and in response how the brain processes the information within the situation. The visual cortex is the region of the brain involved in the integration of visual stimuli. The parietal cortex is involved in selectively integrating sensory information from different modalities. The results helped to show the researchers that the human brain is able to selectively process information from a given situation. The white matter in the human brain, the communication medium, has systematic connections that allow for a certain degree of order within the brain. The research showed that there is a direct connection between visual fields within the visual cortex and the parietal cortex. This study has major implications and possibilities for the future. Science has already shown that training can improve the functioning of the white matter within the brain; therefore, it is possible in years to come that our ability to filter out unwanted information could be improved. These findings could also help guide future research into the ever-growing problem of attention deficit disorder by teaching patients how to ignore the information they find distracting. There are many wonders to the human brain that we are yet to discover and this might be one way our brain helps our lives stay a little less hectic.

“…you are guiding your own sensory system in an intelligent and smart fashion that helps facilitate your actions in the world.”

This research was conducted using two different sets of experiments using adults as the subjects. In order to determine which part of the brain was active during specific tasks, a brain scan was conducted while the participants were instructed to look at different images. For the first task, the participants were asked to look at a dot in the center of the screen while six additional stimuli moved around the periphery. The scan obtained from this test would show the researchers how the participants were able to selectively focus on the part of the screen that was deemed important. The second task asked the participants to respond to the different stimuli one at a time. 26 · TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012

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Mind

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Mind

needs a headline

Sore Winner By Blake Bendixen

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ou are watching a football game and then you see it. The overtop celebration that just makes you cringe. You have just seen that one player you cannot stand as he lavishly celebrates and overtly taunts. One usually expects a sore loser rather than a sore winner. But more often than we like to admit that is not the case. All to often the winner is the bigger annoyance than the loser. A study done by Dr. Brad Bushman from Ohio State University looked at how people treat others after consecutive wins. The study, called “Are People More Aggressive When They Are Worse Off or Better Off Than Others?”, utilized 103 Ohio State students. Bushman told the participants they were competing against a partner in two tasks. In actuality, the participants are not competing against anyone. They are just told if they won or lost randomly. For the first task they showed the participants a myriad of shapes on a computer screen for only a fraction of a second. The goal was to identify if the image was a dollar sign or not. Afterwards, half of the participants were told they did better than their imaginary partner and the other half were told they did worse. The second test was a simple reaction test and every participant was told that the loser would be subjected to a blast of noise that was as long and loud as the winner designated. After the test every participant was told they had beaten their opponent. Bushman found that participants whom had won the first competition subjected the faux opponent to longer bursts of sound than those that had lost the first competition. However, the losers did not act additionally aggressive toward those that defeated them.

ween the aggressive behavior of winners and losers. Most would say that losers would want to act more aggressively out of revenge. But what was found is that aggressive behavior is more about a sense of power that comes about when one is able to control or dominate another person. The participants that won both events had power over the faux opponent and therefore acted more aggressively. The researchers found a limitation in the study, which led them to conduct a follow up study. They found losing participants could have assumed that performance ability in the two tasks was related. The participant therefore would have blasted their opponent less loudly, in case there was retaliation for additional losses in the second competition. In the follow up study, which consisted of 72 French college students, the same method was followed except the students were told that the competitions were unrelated and that competency in the first activity may not indicate competency in the second. Instead of using a loud blast, the researchers decided on a different form of aggression. The winner of the event was given the opportunity to pour Tabasco sauce and salt into a drink that would be given to the loser. Even with the modifications the same results occurred. Winners in both competitions would add more salt and Tabasco sauce than losers of the first competition. So what can we as a society learn from Dr. Bushman’s study? Fear the winners - not the losers.

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Nature

Research shows cuttlefish have the most sensitive polarized vision of any animal.

The New Fisheye View: The Sea in HD By Danielle Tom

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he world as we see it is full of a bewildering number of hues, enhancing life with a spectacular array of shades. What if there’s another layer of information and detail we can’t sense, though? Humans only see a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Unlike us, some animals see polarized light, which enhances their world even more, analogous to adding color to a black and white image. In a study at the University of Bristol published in Current Biology February 2012, Dr. Shelby Temple, Professor Justin Temple, and collaborators have discovered that cuttlefish have the most acute polarized vision of any animal observed so far.

When they detected the movement, cuttlefish responded by changing skin patterns. Cuttlefish responded to differences as small as one degree of polarization, significantly more precise than previous species like octopus and crayfish examined which responded to differences of 10 to 20 degrees. The researchers also analyzed low- and high-resolution sight by examining images of aquatic life. Because we can’t see differences in polarization, false colors were substituted, and the team found that while animals disappeared into the background in the low-resolution images, they were visible in the high-resolution analysis. This leads Professor Temple to note that camouflage in the polarization dimension has not been investigated and could be the reason why cuttlefish and other predators may have developed high sensitivity to polarized light. The mesmerizingly detailed patterns cuttlefish flash on their skin may also use polarization for detailed signaling and communication, but more research is needed. This study is a great beginning to investigation of alternative ways to sense the world and could be applicable for finding out how animals and plants signal each other- imagine if there were giant ‘DO NOT EAT ME; I’M POISONOUS’ signs we’re not even aware of in everyday life. Perhaps eventually humans too can tap into this other level of vision for navigation and communication purposes.

The mesmerizingly detailed patterns cuttlefish flash on their skin may also use polarization for detailed signaling and communication, but more research is needed.

What makes polarized light different? Polarized light rays vibrate in one plane as opposed to multiple planes like other light rays. For humans, polarized light usually means reducing glare with sunglasses or watching a movie in 3D, some organisms have greater purposes for it. In other animals, polarized light is used for navigation and orientation. In 2006, Savannah sparrows were found to use polarized light to determine where north and south is more accurately. The researchers believe that animals may use polarized light in predator/prey detection and in signaling and communication, especially in cephalopods like octopus, squid, and cuttlefish. The cuttlefish species studied here cannot see what humans consider to be visible color wavelengths, so polarized may substitute as a method of seeing the details of its world. So, how do you give a cuttlefish an eye exam? To examine the sensitivity of cuttlefish vision, the researchers took LCD computer monitors and removed the polarizing filter. A video was played for the cuttlefish in which an expanding circle mimicked the appearance of a looming predator. These circles were shown at different levels of grayscale and different angles of light so they were only visible to creatures with polarized sensitivity.

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Nature

The Big Bad Wolf may not be so bad after all.

Howling for Help By Remember Watts

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here do wolves live? Alaska? Maybe Montana? Have you ever seen one in your backyard? What about while you were out camping? Most likely, you’ve never had the exaggerated “close brush with death” of seeing a wolf in its natural habitat. If you’ve had the opportunity to see a wolf outside of the zoo, consider yourself lucky: A recent study by Oregon State University found that the populations of wolves in the entire northern hemisphere have declined over the past fifty years. Wolves, one of the most vicious predators that a camper can run into, are slowly disappearing. Why does that matter? Though you may feel slightly safer on your next hike, the detrimental effects of the diminishing wolf population will quickly become apparent. The study, led by William Ripple and Robert Beschta of OSU, scrutinized forty-two previous studies completed over the past fifty years to determine the predator and prey distributions in the United States and other areas within the northern hemisphere. The scientists discovered the populations of grey wolves are declining throughout the northern hemisphere due to overhunting; hundreds of wolves have been killed to increase the amount of game and decrease ranching conflicts in Montana and Idaho. Meanwhile, large herbivore populations such as deer, moose, and caribou are flourishing. Bears and humans are both “opportunistic omnivores” which means they will eat anything they can get their hands on, plant or animal. Though bears and humans will hunt the grazers as well, they are not as effective as grey wolves, which inhabit a large geographic distribution and are active hunters year-round. In fact, wolves are so successful at hunting that areas without wolves were found to have six times as many deer as a region lacking the predator. The effects of the heightened cervid populations (those of deer, caribou, and moose) on the

environment in these regions are massive and have an ecological domino effect. Without a major predator, deer will live their life carefree, eating the plants within their reach. Grazers do not discriminate—seedlings and saplings will be gobbled up without remorse. As a result, deforestation has become a major concern in areas lacking grey wolves. Trees in these regions are never able to grow to maturity and those that have fallen will not be replaced. However, there are some trees that are not as palatable to the herbivores, including the entire genus of Spruce. If the only trees that fill the forest gaps are those that the deer do not prefer, the biodiversity of the entire forest, habitats of animals, and ecological niches will be destroyed. The homogenous forest would also become more susceptible to a changing climate. Regrowth mechanisms harbored by favorites of grazers such as Firs, Pines, or Hemlocks may be absent in the trees that the deer allow to mature. Without wolves, the forest could slowly decline and eventually die. Wolves, a feared part of nature, are often overlooked for their ecological benefits in favor of perceived protection of land or herds. Overzealous hunters have pushed wolves to the ecological brink, and this study shows the short and longterm effects of the decline of the crucial hunter. There is good news: studies have shown that repatriation of wolves has improved shrub and tree growth. They may be big and bad, but wolves have a good heart (or at least a green thumb).

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Nature

Does feeding sharks for dives influence their migration patterns?

Shark Tales: Investigating the Impact of Ecotourism on Tiger Sharks By Danielle Tom

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here’s no better way to get your thrills than diving while sharks shoot by on the hunt. The shark diving industry fills an ecotourism niche of providing close-up encounters with razorsharp teeth, but what if it’s actually harmful to the sharks? University of Miami researchers decided to investigate this in a new study published in Functional Ecology using the first study and movement analysis using satellites on tiger shark populations in the Bahamas and Florida. Though they found that using food to attract sharks doesn’t seem to affect tiger shark migration, but these results may not apply to other species. In scenic areas of the world where tourists flock, some people go fishing for trophies or on safari to catch big game. In recent years, however, alternatives have popped up in the form of ecotourism: taking visitors out to shoot photos- not bullets- while still retaining the experience of exploring the unknown. Ecotourism allows the tourism industry to thrive while educating visitors about the environment. Shark diving takes things a step further and adds the thrill of being in a cage while fearsome predators swim around you. The sharks are typically brought near the cage by ‘chumming���, or releasing a mix of fish parts and blood called chum overboard. Some conservation groups are concerned that enticing sharks with chum interferes with their behavior, much like feeding bears at campsites leads to increased human-predator contact. The shark diving companies argue they merely attract sharks that are already present in the area. Because of a lack of research in this topic, Drs. Neil Hammerschlag and other scientists at the University of Miami investigated migration behavior in tiger sharks, a large predator at the top of the food chain. The researchers tagged two tiger shark populations- 14 female sharks from a popular dive site in the Bahamas known as “Tiger Beach”, and 11 female and 2 male sharks from within Florida’s marine waters. In Florida, fish feeding and chumming for ecotourism purposes are strictly prohibited so this population acted as a control. The tagged sharks were tracked by satellite for nearly a year.

outer continental shelf edge between the Gulf coast of Florida and North Carolina, but spent most of their time near the tagging sites. Bahamas sharks had an extended range that included the Gulf of Mexico coastal waters of Florida, the Bahamas archipelago, and the US eastern seaboard all the way up to New England. The Bahamas sharks centered near the Bahamas tagging sites, the coastal waters of North Carolina, and the shelf off of New Jersey. These results do not support the idea that fish feeding at shark diving sites restricts a population’s territory. However, fish feeding isn’t likely to be the reason for the Bahamas sharks range. The researchers note that out of the thousands of shark encounters at Tiger Beach, only seven male shark appearances have been documented and that most females encountered have reached sexual maturity, leading them to speculate that the site might be related to giving birth to their young (tiger sharks don’t lay eggs but instead have live births). Alternatively, the range could be explained by foraging needs of a large predator. Although chumming doesn’t seem to have affected the long-range migration patterns of tiger sharks at Tiger Beach, direct observation shows chumming attracts sharks to boats. In addition, other shark species may be affected differently by chumming in different environments. More studies will have to be done to investigate the effect of ecotourism on marine species, but for now, Dr. Hammerschlag believes shark diving should be allowed to continue unless future data says otherwise. In a previous study by Dr. Hammerschlag, shark diving tourism actually generates more money for local communities than shark finning does. Next time you find yourself somewhere beachy, don’t be afraid to get in the cage and swim with Jaws- you’ll both come swimming out alive.

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Nature

Severe increases in temperature cause more extreme weather events

Summer All the Time! Wait, That’s a Bad Thing? By Remember Watts

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pring Break (or more commonly known as SB2K12) for college students across the United States this year felt substantially more like a taste of the coveted summer break than ever before. Whether spring breakers went to Cancun or Chicago, a raging heat wave brought sweltering temperatures to most of the Americas. Eighty-degree weather may be normal in March for Cancun, but is the same weather to be expected a northern city such as Chicago? A new study published online and in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change by scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany claims that observed trends in the past one hundred years prove that this unexpected heat wave may become the norm in the near future. In the study, multiple graphs depicting the data gathered point to several trends related to more extreme temperatures and storms in recent years. One graph shows the ratio of observed to expected extreme temperatures and the year the temperatures were observed. A dramatic spike around 1980 shows the heavy elevation in recorded temperatures compared to what forecasters expected them to be. Ratios of recorded temperatures to expected temperatures jumped to be about seven times higher than those observed in the early 1900s. In a second graph drawn up from the research, intensity of tropical storms in the Northern Atlantic region is plotted against the year and temperature deviation from the standard. Again, a dramatic increase in both the intensity and temperature of the storms were recorded after the year 1980.

Though the increase in temperature in the last thirty years was a noticeable trend, what do the elevated numbers mean for the weather? Basic physics tells us that warmer air holds more water than cold air. Even someone uneducated in physics would understand through personal experiences—unlucky sunbathers can recall the buckets of water poured during intense summer storms. The warmer temperatures proven in the research explain the dramatic increase in severity and number of tropical storms in recent years. During 2011, fourteen extreme weather events plagued the United States, each causing over one billion dollars worth of damage. Further, in multiple states across the union, every month from January to October was the wettest of its kind in history. America wasn’t the only country to experience such extremes; Pakistan and Australia also felt the wettest year in history (remember the Australian floods of early 2011?). China, however, experienced the most intense drought ever recorded. Some may doubt whether the global warming trend exists or whether it is causing the intense weather observed by the world and analyzed in this study. Dim Coumou, an author of the study, explained to the Potsdam Institute: „Global warming can generally not be proven to cause individual extreme events -- but in the sum of events the link to climate change becomes clear.“ In other words, the current trends of extreme weather are not within the normal fluctuations of history and can be blamed on the steep increases of temperatures in the past years.

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Technology

Developing computer models based on the cognitive abilities of children

Baby Brainpower By Lana Ward

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f you have ever seen the Terminator movie series, you are aware of the dangers of artificial intelligence. You can breathe a sigh of relief for the moment; scientists are a long way away from developing Skynet. However, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley are in the process of making computers “smarter” by tapping into the cognitive abilities of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. It may seem odd that the researchers are focusing on children, instead of adults, but there is a good reason. Adults tend to focus on what is most relevant to our goals. Therefore, we stop using our skills for imagination and hypothetical reasoning. A combination of goal-oriented adults and open-minded children is needed to revamp a computer model. „We need both bluesky speculation and hard-nosed planning,“ said Dr. Alison Gopnik, a developmental psychologist at UC Berkeley. Scientists are working to achieve this by recording and creating computational models of the cognitive steps that children take to solve problems in certain experiments. Researchers believe that if this is replicated in machines, the computational models based on children could improve artificial intelligence, which has had difficulty handling changes and uncertainty in the past. In a designed set of experiments that include lollipops, flashing and spinning toys, and music makers, UC Berkeley researchers discovered that children have the ability to test hypotheses, notice patterns, and draw conclusions—all while continuously adapting to changes. In one experiment, infants were studied to see if they could calculate the odds of getting the color of lollipop they wanted based on the proportions of colored lollipops that were visible in two separate jars. „We think babies are making calculations in their heads about which side to crawl to, to get the lollipop that they want,“ said Dr. Fei Xu, a psychologist at UC Berkeley.

In another experiment, preschoolers were shown a toy that lit up and spun around. They were told that a red block makes the toy light up, a green one makes it spin, and a blue one causes the toy to do both. It would have been easiest to assume the blue block activated the toy when it spun and lit up. However, when the preschoolers saw there are very few blue blocks compared to red and green ones, many calculated the odds and decided that a combination of red and green blocks were causing the toy to spin and light up. In other words, preschoolers do not always choose the simplest explanation, especially when presented with new evidence. In a third experiment, Gopnik studied the „golden age of pretending” in preschoolers, which is around the age of three to five years old. During this time, children commonly create and occupy alternate universes. In the study, preschoolers were instructed to sing „Happy Birthday“ when a toy monkey appeared and music is played. When the music player was removed, preschoolers adapted to the sudden change by using a wooden block to replace the music player so their fun could continue. The researchers hope to apply what they are learning from the reasoning revealed by the children to make computers more adaptable and more “human”. In the future, computers could have better interactions and responses with their users in applications such as computer tutoring programs. These computers may also be able to discover causal relationships, such as recognizing that you work more slowly after skipping your morning coffee. The field of artificial intelligence improvement could grow on you if the computer you use is able to help you through rough mornings!

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Technology

Quote about the article

Attackbots for Your Body By Blake Bendixen

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hat is the new frontier of medicine? We have surgeries, pills, injections, and plenty more but what else could we use? Using the uniquely named method of DNA folding called DNA origami, scientists at Harvard School of Medicine have designed a nanobot with capabilities teetering on the brink science fiction. The recently published article in Science describes tiny robotlike molecules that are programmed to seek out diseased cells, attach to them, and deliver a payload, much like the action of your immune cells. The payload will contain whatever is required to enact a specific change in the cell. For example researchers are hopeful that the nanobots can be programed to target diseased cells such as cancer and go on “search and destroy” missions to remove them. This will make treatment more effective and successful.

The current prototype nanobot looks like a common baton at a track relay. It is a hollow cylinder with a hinge running up the length of one side and two DNA structures, called alpha helices, on the other. The cylinder is only thirty-five nanometers long and in the hollow center there are twelve linker and anchor proteins that hold the payload in place. This payload can be extremely varied but one idea is for the nanobot to contain molecules that make a cell undergo apoptosis, the mechanism for cell death.

The alpha helix structures are able to detect the diseased cell and deliver the payload. “You can think about it as a sort of combination lock,” says Ido Bachelet in an interview with Nature. “Only when both markers are in place, can the entire robot open.” The cocktail of molecules that signal the death of the diseased cell could be switched out for antibiotics or other medicines. The unique aspect of the nanobot that makes it so exciting is its programmability. One of the fields that this technology can revolutionize is cancer treatment. In one experiment the nanobots were designed to hit a leukemia cell and it could pick that cell out of a mixture of cell types then release their payload. Current radiation treatments are still very hit and miss and, according to cancer.org, about half of all cancer patients undergo radiation treatment. A patient is exposed to radiation with the goal that the cancer will be killed before the patient dies due to radiation poisoning. Nanobots can deliver a payload that targets the cancer cell specifically, avoiding the collateral damage. In other words, the new nanobot cancer treatments will be safer that traditional radiation treatments and will cause less hair loss. Although there is an impressive amount of potential, the nanobots have never been used explicitly in animals, much less people. Specific enzymes, called nucleases, travel the circulatory system and quickly chew-up the DNA robot. Despite these obstacles, scientists have some ideas for countering the hostile environment. Coating the nanobots in polyethylene glycol, a widely applied substance used to increase the amount of time a drug can stay in the body, or using red blood cells to transport them would prevent early destruction. If ideas such as these can be successfully implemented, we could start to see the forward progress of this nanobot technology as a form of therapeutic treatment. Diseases of the past that have affected humanities will no longer affect its future.

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Technology

A new gecko-inspired adhesive can hold over 650 pounds

Geckskin: A New Way to Hang Anything and Everything By Briana Kloc

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iiip. When you take down your “no damage” picture hanging strip from the wall, a baseballsized paint chip comes off with it. This is supposed to be the superior option compared to damaging nails and sticky tape. How have they not created something better than this? Don’t fear; something new is on the way. Michael Bartlett and his colleagues from University of Massachusetts Amherst have fashioned an innovative adhesive called “Geckskin” which can hold over 650 pounds. Their recent article, published in February’s Advanced Materials explores how the wallsticking ability of gecko feet inspired this new product.

simulating the whole structure of a gecko’s foot. While scientists have long thought these setae were the secret to adhesion, this research suggests that it is the entire composition of a gecko’s foot, including its bones and tendons, which enable it to scale walls with ease. Setae alone are not adequate for adhesion, just as feathers by themselves are not the key to flight. This discovery may be the solution to solving the gecko conundrum at last. So what exactly are the factors necessary to adhere to a surface? A soft component is required to create maximal surface contact with the wall, and a stiff component is needed to suspend large loads. This adhesive successfully mimics gecko feet by having a soft pad and a stiff fabric woven together, allowing rotational freedom much like a tendon does in a foot. This rotational freedom keeps the adhesive from peeling or sliding when attached to walls of any angle. A Geckskin adhesion pad the size of a human hand is able to suspend over 650 pounds on a smooth, vertical surface. Flat-screen 42″ televisions have been successfully mounted to walls and removed with ease without leaving any residue using Geckskin. Geckskin can also be used repeatedly without any reduction in performance. Since Geckskin is created using a common material also found in contact lenses and Silly Putty called polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), there is promise that it could easily be mass-produced. While useful for hanging decorations, the researchers behind Geckskin also see this product as a valuable development for industrial and medical purposes. Heavy machinery and computers could be easily suspended with Geckskin and moved whenever necessary.

Adult geckos, weighing less than a pound, possess outstanding climbing abilities, with the capability of holding nearly 10 times their weight against a vertical wall. They don’t have claws or sticky substances that hold them to the walls, just feet covered in tiny fibers. Past attempts at creating similar products to Geckskin have been unsuccessful because they have solely focused on recreating the tiny fibers on gecko feet, called setae, rather than

Geckskin is not ready for the market yet, but Bartlett and his team are creating improved versions by looking at the morphological evolution of geckos. Traits evolve because they are favorable and successful, so by looking back in time these scientists are able to piece together the multiple components involved in gecko adhesion. Who knew that fossils could hold such insight? The future of gecko-inspired adhesive looks bright, and one day we might all be hanging up our TVs, mirrors, and artwork using Geckskin.

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Technology

Interview with C. David Thornton, PI of the Green Energy & Biodiesel CIs

Fueling the Future: Interview with C. David Thornton, Biodiesel Guru By Danielle Tom Danielle- The green energy and the biodiesel and the zymology projects are all interconnected. How many related projects are there?

DT-Well, that’s convenient. What other projects are there?

Thornton- Well, we’re going to have to make a lot more Creative Inquiry sections next year because in Green Energy and Biofuels there’s four different groups. One group- all they care to do is make biodiesel. They just want to master bioprocessing and make biodiesel on the pilot plant, and that’s how the pilot plant program got started. Another group looks at how to produce more oils, and one way was to take cafeteria food waste and process it using black soldier flies that will also produce a protein meal, meanwhile turning the organic food waste into compost that they’ll use at the organic farm. We actually just finished, or we’re in the process of constructing that digester right now.

CDT- Well, we have one trying to make jet fuel out of sunflower oil, which we have some locally produced sunflower seeds. We pressed them in the press we have over at McAdams, and then we refine that oil and convert it into biodiesel. So basically, we’re trying to make this sample of biodiesel and probably only 25% of it will be these polyunsaturated acids which will be very favorable cold flow. We’ll at least be able to take that fraction and send it off for some testing to see if it’s a good source of blended jet fuel. The remaining 75% will melt down and be good transportation fuel. But it is kind of energyintensive because we’re using freezing cold temperatures to separate it. Just a start to see how our sunflower will perform.

DT- You’ve already done some of the feeding of cafeteria waste to the black soldier flies?

DT- And that started this semester, so it’s kind of a new project?

CDT- We’re building our prototype right now, so we’re doing something that’s a tenth of the scale of the final one, and hopefully we’ll start feeding it next week.

CDT- Yep, we have one student who- I think he’s from mechanical engineering- he’s also a pilot and he’s very interested in how to make jet fuel. The Department of Defense and the military are very interested in jet fuel as well, so it’s a possible source of funding if we get good preliminary results from regional sunflowers. This could be a good way to stimulate that production. And there’s another group…

We’re trying to do a more integrated research approach on, to create on campus an integrated biorefinery.

It’s a 12 day loading time, and for every square foot of surface area it can process three pounds a day of food waste. It’s not that much, about two fistfuls. Once it goes through a pulper, and it has a lot of water… but it’s per square foot, so for each tile on this floor you dump that much food in there and the flies will eat it. They self harvest and they self propagate. DT- Okay. So when you mean self-harvest…?

CDT- They try to climb up to pupate, and what we do is they train them when they have to pupate so they go through these little channels, and they just jump into our bucket!

We have another creative inquiry called Coproducts, and they make soap, degreaser, and they kind of overlap feeding yeasts and feeding glycerol to algae. So that’s where the overlap really occurs. I’ve actually got four classes going on right now without me there- they made some degreaser and they’re cleaning our biodiesel processing trailer. DT-Sort of doubles as doing work and cleaning up the lab?

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Technology

CDT-Yeah! So they’re taking pictures and documenting, they cleaned it with just warm water, they cleaned it with conventional degreaser, and then they cleaned it with their degreaser, taking pictures of each different form, and comparing their pH and their effectiveness, and how much it costs per volume of cleaning. That’s just kind of a fun one that’s not a really scientific but very practical and applicable. If we could convert all of our glycerol on campus to some of the degreaser to clean the floors in the labs, and the rest of it feed it to algae, it’d be an elimination of our waste stream right now to generate value from the coproduct. Part of biosystems engineering is eliminating the term ‘waste product’. Waste is but a resource misused. That’s why we do all this research on finding uses to support the economics basically of renewable fuel production because they’re not so favorable right now. DT- Yeah. And it sounds like you’re sort of working to self-contain systems, like you mentioned with the ethanol and the algae used to go back into the biodiesel and then take the glycerol waste product from that and use it in these other products and it just cycles. CDT-Yeah. And that just ties into what our creative inquiries are going to turn into-we’re trying to do a more integrated research approach on, to create on campus an integrated biorefinery. It means you’d be producing ethanol and biodiesel, and taking those waste products and then powering the plant with gasification using the waste products- or coproducts from those other things. You’d be producing each of the three mainstream biofuels, which are ethanol, biodiesel, and methane that can come in many forms, either anaerobic digestion, methane gas, or in this case, synthesis gas produced from gasification, which are predominantly methane. They could

replace propane or natural gas. Self-contained is the goal. That’s the point of this system. DT- Have you gotten a lot of feedback from campus outside of the biodiesels group, like from Aramark? CDT- Yeah, we work closely with Facilities… And Aramark, actually- they were the first company to agree to this because it’s their oil and they’re essentially letting us have it to make biodiesel. We can make probably about 3,000 gallons of biodiesel a year. Last year I think we made somewhere around 2,000 gallons. Some of that oil’s disappeared- I think people were thieving it from the receptacles, so now we have locks on our dumpsters. We’re getting a lot more oil, so we know something was wrong last year. This year we should be getting at least 3,000 gallons from just the oil from Aramark. We’re also picking up from Brioso, the new Sweetgrass restaurant, Crocs… but facilities is supporting us to grow. They want us to get to 10,000 gallons a year, which will be half of the diesel fuel consumed on campus. We’ve been running 20% biodiesel, and this week we’re going to bump that up to 25% biodiesel, and gradually get up to see if we can get some vehicles running on 50% biodiesel during the summer months. We have a few vehicles in our department that we run on 100% biodiesel. The feedback from facilities is positive; we just need a way to make more fuel. Hence, we have this research, right?

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Technology

Small robotic devices are being used to keep track of personal belongings

Losing Your Keys Shouldn’t Mean Losing Your Mind By Rachel Wasylyk

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ou’re rushing out the door, trying to make it to your first class on time, when you realize the inevitable has happened once again – you misplaced your keys. Sometimes keeping track of your phone, notebooks, purse, and keys seems like an impossible task. However, new tracking device technology developed by scientists from the University of Wollongong in Dubai may help you save time when searching for lost items. By attaching small robotic trackers to your personal belongings, it will be a lot easier to find all your things – and get to class on time! Dr. Mohamed Watfa and his team have developed a program called IPURSE, which combines two advanced technologies, radio frequency identification and near-field communication, into one program. Radio frequency identification (RFID) allows a small microchip to be placed on an object and recognizes movement patterns when it is near the central RFID reader. By using radio frequency signals, objects with these chips can be easily tracked down. The second technology, near-field communication (NFC), is a safe, two-way communicating system that allows the user to be in constant communication with the microchip when it is within a short range. By combining these two complex systems, researchers are able to create a working model to track down personal belongings, as well as alert the user when an item is misplaced. However, the IPURSE doesn’t simply stop at tracking down lost items. Watfa has integrated these advanced technologies so they create a smart feature system. This single program allows for intelligent monitoring of items in a person’s daily life – including everyday reminders and alerts about the placement or use of the items. For example, the RFID is embedded with a weather checking feature that can remind a person to pack their umbrella when there is a chance of rain. The system can also be programmed to remind users to bring along specific items for different occasions. If you bring along a certain

notebook three times a week, the program can remind you to pack the book before you leave the house. In order to use this technology, you would need to attach small microchips onto your belongings. These chips, which are approximately the size of a grain of rice, do not require direct contact with the central reader. Therefore, they can be embedded inside your phone or other

objects – safely protected and out of the way. Since this technology is easy to use, it’s a good candidate for widespread use in society. In the future, the team is hoping to link the IPURSE with online social networking sites. This way, the system can notify certain friends or family members if your phone is lost or your keys are missing. Having someone else notified can make the process of tracking down your lost items – or getting back into your home – a lot simpler. While there isn’t a working prototype that can be currently marketed, researchers are hoping that someday IPURSE will be a staple in every home. Soon, you may be able to save time by checking your RFID reader for your lost items – instead of every nook and cranny in your apartment!

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Technology

Link between Facebook and users with low self-esteem discovered

Sharing is Not Always Caring By Lana Ward

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any of us are familiar with scrolling down the Facebook newsfeed on our laptops or reading updates using the app on our smartphones. Maybe you studied so hard for a test, only to find out you scored lower than you expected – you immediately turn to your Facebook friends to express your anger and sadness by composing a status. According to a study published in Psychological Science, you may want to think before you type. Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada recently discovered a link between Facebook and people with low self-esteem. Researchers, led by graduate student Amanda Forest and advisor Joanne Wood, gathered the recent status updates of 117 participants. The participants were also asked to describe how they feel about Facebook, record the average time they spend on it, and answer questions to assess their level of self-esteem. It was discovered that the participants with low self-esteem were more likely to think of Facebook as a safe haven to avoid uncomfortable social situations. Instead of expressing their emotions during personal interactions, Facebook users with low-esteem feel more comfortable using the website to share the negative aspects of their lives.

the anonymous individual who typed each set of statuses. Not surprisingly, people with low self-esteem were more negative and were liked less by the coders. People with higher self-esteem levels were more likely to have positive statuses and were liked more by the coders. Hopefully your friends would be more caring about your misfortune and negative status updates compared to strangers’ responses. After all, everyone has the occasional bad day and friends usually understand. The researchers organized a second experiment in which they collected the recent status updates of 98 undergraduate students. Along with the statuses, the students were instructed to submit the number of comments and the number of likes associated with each one. The study revealed that, for users with low self-esteem, negative posts seemed to pester their Facebook friends and the posts received few comments or likes. For Facebook users with high self-esteem, their posts received a higher amount of comments or likes. The purpose of a social networking site, such as Facebook, is to allow its users the opportunity to communicate with friends and make new connections. „We had this idea that Facebook could be a really fantastic place for people to strengthen their relationships,“ Forest commented for a journal news release. However, this may not be the case for many Facebook users. People with low self-esteem commonly vent or complain to their Facebook friends, causing themselves to appear less likeable. When talking face-to-face, verbal and nonverbal clues from a person can indicate their feelings about the conversation. On Facebook, people cannot see the reactions their friends’ are having to their negativity. Even though people with low self-esteem feel more comfortable connecting on a social networking site than in person, this could ultimately harm their relationships with others. These online interactions can be tempting, but many of us need to sign out of Facebook and open up in the friendships we are so lucky to have.

A separate group of participants acted as coders that rated the positivity or negativity of each status update collected. The coder also scored how much they liked TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012 · 39

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Technology

Researchers discover novel ways to teach people new skills without effort.

The Future of Homework is… Video Games? By Blake Bendixen

Why can’t I just shove this book into my head?” It’s a common question of any student who has spent way too much time in Cooper Library. If you are like me and think of strangely impossible ways to avoid studying then this recent study from may catch your eye. Researchers, in a joint collaboration between Boston University and Japan‘s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories, have attracted a lot of attention from the science community with a recent study involving effortless learning.

time for this to be applicable at the college level. Even though our dreams of partying all-night and studying only fifteen minutes a week have been dashed, this technology has many great applications that could result soon. According to the study it can help repair, “…. skills or knowledge that has been damaged through accident,

In this breakthrough study, researchers have induced learning in patients without any conscious effort put forth by they patient. What is this possibly amazing sleep saving technology? It is a method called Decoded MRI Neurofeedback, which includes a combination of computer programming and advanced imaging techniques. Researchers have created software that records and mimics the neural pathway of an expert at a certain skill, using an MRI machine. Using this as a template researchers hook a participant up to an MRI and monitor the brain activity of the participant. What researchers now have is a before and after shot. The before shot is the pathways of the unskilled participant and the after is the pathway of the skilled expert. They proceed to stimulate the portions of the brain that coincide with the patterns of the expert but they do so in a novel way. Using a sort of video game-like technology the researchers hook the MRI up to a monitor that displays a red dot. Researchers then tell the participant to make the dot bigger. In order to accomplish this task the participant must activate the parts of his brain that coincide with the pattern of expert. This effectively teaches the participant the new skill.

disease, or aging, without a person’s awareness of what is learned or memorized.” We can see the benefit for individuals with diseases that have cognitive consequences such as dementia, and Alzheimer’s. This new technology is an exciting prospect for the future. We all have to start somewhere but what this does is open up new doors to possibilities of improvement. It is a testament to the creativity of the researchers to come up with such a novel idea. Einstein said it best, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

While this may sound simple, the entire experiment took about 12 days and only looked at the boring skill of being able to distinguish between variously oriented parallel lines. So don’t drop your coffee and keep your head in that $150 textbook because it is going to take a very long 40 · TIGRA SCIENTIFICA ISSUE 3 SPRING 2012

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Contributor Biographies

Blake Bendixen

Briana Kloc is a senior Biological Sciences major from Newton Falls, Ohio. She has a passion for conservation biology and spent last summer tagging nesting loggerhead sea turtles on an island in North Carolina. Her undergraduate research project at Clemson used zoo studbook data to look at birth-sex ratios in captive endangered primates. At Clemson she is a member of the Calhoun Honors College and Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society. She will pursue an M.S. in Environmental Studies at the College of Charleston in August. In her free time she loves practicing yoga, going hiking, and cooking.

Thomas Larrew

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Contributor Biographies

Danielle Tom is a senior Genetics major and Music minor from Idaho Falls, Idaho. She has had a lifelong interest in both biological science (particularly animal science) and music. She is plays clarinet in Tiger Band and is an active member of Kappa Kappa Psi, the national honorary band fraternity. Danielle is also fascinated by the growing world of science blogging as a communication medium between researchers and amateur scientists. She plans on attending graduate school studying either bioinformatics or phylogeny after graduation.

Lana Ward is a junior Biological Sciences major from Gaffney, South Carolina. She is involved with the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Professional Health Society, volunteers at the Rosa Clark Medical Clinic, and works for Clemson Computer Information Technology. Lana is also a member of the Clemson University club softball team and is a driving force behind its reestablishment. Lana plans on attending medical school after graduation and is interested in orthopedic surgery. This summer, she will be participating in an internship at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas.

Rachel Wasylyk is a senior Biological Sciences major and Communication Studies minor from Weddington, North Carolina. She is a member of the Calhoun Honors College and is graduating with both general and departmental honors. She is a member of both Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society and Gamma Sigma Sigma, a national service sorority on campus. She has also been a Supplemental Instruction leader in chemistry since Fall 2009. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a career in scientific journalism. In her free time, she enjoys reading, DIY crafts, volunteering, and spending time outdoors.

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Contributor Biographies

Remember Watts is a senior Biological Sciences major from Barrington, Illinois. She is particularly interested in conservation and marine biology and is currently doing research on blue crab health. Her next project will be studying the effects of pollution on coral reefs. A member of Calhoun Honors College, Golden Key Honor Society, and manager of 88.1 WSBF-FM Clemson, she plans on graduating a semester early, moving to New Zealand, and eventually pursuing her doctorate in environmental policy. Remy loves listening to new music, crafts, lipstick, yoga, vegan cooking, dogs, color, and fashion.

Megan Woodard is a senior Biological Sciences major and Spanish minor. Her passion for travel and different cultures (and delicious food) stems from her “third-culture kid” upbringing. When Megan was 2 years old, her father’s job brought her family to Saudi Arabia. Then, they moved to Jakarta, Indonesia before relocating to Singapore where she lived for nine years before graduating from Singapore American School. She was blessed with the opportunity to travel all over South East Asia—including Thailand, The Philippines, China, Malaysia and Australia. After graduation she plans to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant for a year prior to applying to Physician’s Assistant School.

France Jackson (Infographic Staff) is a Master’s student in Industrial Engineering from Columbia, SC. She hopes to communicate STEM ideas, in innovative and creative ways, as an attempt to get more students interested in science and engineering.

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“One of the qualities that has moved me most about scientists is their amazing willingness to share knowledge with each other without regard to national boundaries.� The Dalai Lama

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Tigra Scientifica