CURO Symposium 2017 Book of Abstracts

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Abstracts and its support as well as continued research by professionals into both management policies and the basic biology of the HWA. The University’s mission, “to teach, to serve, and to inquire into the nature of things,� serves as the foundation for this research project that aims to understand the interplay between adelgid life cycles and their microbial symbionts, and how to relay this to the public. We intend to survey community members in Athens-Clarke County about their knowledge of adelgids, their life cycles, and their symbionts before and after a program designed to simulate aspects of and increase understanding of HWA biology. Specifically, we have designed an activity to demonstrate the life cycles of adelgids and the importance of the nutritional benefits that their microbial symbionts provide. Anticipated results include increased expressed appreciation for research on insects and their impact upon the environment. Furthermore, we intend to publish the activity and other resources online for use by educators outside of the UGA community. Through our various outreach methods we believe that we can both inform the public about a research project being actively conducted in the Entomology department at UGA and the impact of adelgids and other invasive insect pests upon our environment.

composition through the early period of the universe. Our current model provides data that largely indicates a dying out of activity following the recombination period, in which the abundances of the different compounds remain at rather stagnant values. However, with an appropriate model of stellar influence, one would expect another period of compositional evolution to coincide with the existence of these primordial stars, and we hope to accurately model these changes in development. Improved Nitric Oxide-Releasing Polymer with Surface Exposed and Crosslinked Zwitterionic Polymer for Antimicrobial Applications Jennifer McCarty, CURO Research Assistant Dr. Hitesh Handa, Chemical, Materials, and Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering Accumulation of bacteria, proteins, and platelets on medical device surfaces is a leading cause of nosocomial infections and device failure. If this fouling of medical device coatings could be eliminated, then the safety of implantations, catheters, and stents would increase exponentially. By applying a zwitterionic polymer topcoat (antifouling agent) to a nitric oxide (antimicrobial agent) releasing medical grade polymer, we can dramatically decrease protein adhesion and reduce bacterial attachment synchronously. The zwitterionic polymer (2-methacryloyloxyethl phosphorylcholine- co-benzophenone, BPMPC) was tested for protein adhesion by analyzing its surface properties using ellipsometry and contact angle measurements. This zwitterionic polymer was then crosslinked to the surface of the NO releasing polymer that contains NO donor molecules. The test samples containing the NO donor with the zwitterionic topcoat were tested for NO release behavior to ensure sustained drug release. This combination was tested with Staphylococcus aureus, a common pathogen detected in nosocomial infections, for its antimicrobial efficacy. This study aimed to prove that a zwitterionic antifouling topcoat, when paired with a nitric oxide donor, could significantly decrease microbial adhesion. This coating has significant antifouling benefits, allowing for many applications in the biomedical field.

Primordial Chemical Composition Through the Reionization Period Ryan McArdle Dr. Phillip C Stancil, Physics and Astronomy, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences The focus of this research is to model and explore the chemical evolution of the primordial universe, from the Big Bang through the reionization period. We use code developed by Christopher Gay for his dissertation, which models the chemistry of the universe from its beginnings through the recombination period under the effect of the CMBR. The goal of our project is to further develop this code in order to extend the model through the end of the reionization period, in which primordial gas clouds collapse into the first stars and radiate their surroundings. The radiation released by the newly formed stars results in a shift in compositional evolution that differs from the evolution produced by the CMBR alone, and an accurate modeling of the influence of these stars is necessary for a proper model of chemical 152