2017 Spring

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Now showing 1 - 15 of 15
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    The Effects of Social Media and Self-Esteem on the Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) and Delinquent Behavior
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Zunic, Destiny
    Social media and self-esteem are two highly researched topics that continuously have a daily impact on college students’ behaviors. For example, students communicate with one another about upcoming events, homework assignments, and the latest news on such media platforms as Facebook messenger, GroupMe, and Snapchat. Self-esteem, too, plays a key role in the college student’s experiences, influencing both positive and negative personal outlooks– and subsequent resulting behaviors. The growing interest in the topic of the Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) has loosely been credited to society’s mounting exploitation of social media. It is defined as a sociological concept pertaining to the social elements of a person’s feelings of missing out in any particular activity or involvement with other people (Hetz, Dawson, & Cullen, 2015; Vera, 2016). This also includes the feeling associated with wanting something, such as a newly released piece of technology (e.g. iPhone 7), that someone else possesses or displays (Przybylski, Murayama, DeHaan, & Gladwell, 2013). For example, feelings of missing out may be present in the following situations: when a person’s friend group is hanging out and said person cannot be there, when a person utilizes an excess amount of time on social media to keep tabs on their peers, or when a person believes their experiences are not as rewarding as someone else’s. This overall emotion of feeling left out can impact any person at any given moment. However, college students may be particularly susceptible of FoMO because they are presumed to be easily influenced by their peers.
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    Millennials Changing the World? A Look at the Relationship Between College Students’ Values, Dreams of Travel, and the Desire to Make a Difference
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Trout, Zoe
    This project explores the cultural interaction between millennials from the U.S. and residents in third world countries where they may volunteer, with a focus on how these young people view themselves and others, and, in particular, any “dominant culture” attitudes that might impact the volunteer experience. I explore three important relationships: between millennials and volunteering, millennials and their perceptions of themselves as the dominant culture, and millennials and people who are culturally different from them. I seek to understand the connection between the values and perceptions of young people who want to help and the likelihood that they will follow through with volunteering. A few themes stand out: a strong connection between diversity as a high value and a strong desire to volunteer outside of the US; money and career issues as significant barriers to volunteering; concerns regarding the misallocation of funds by coordinating organizations to the detriment of host countries; and a strong perception by participants that they had a strong skillset to bring in contrast to a weak perception that there was value in learning from residents in their host community. With this research, I hope to increase understanding of the gap between the strong desire for service and the lack of follow-through in volunteering, especially in cultures that are significantly different from our own.
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    How the Mighty Have Fallen: an Examination of the Luciferian Arc in Arthurian Legend
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Wetz, Samantha
    Western society has long obsessed over and even fetishized Arthurian legend. Countless literary retellings and film adaptations of every genre clutter search engines and library shelves alike. Scholars are not exempt from the masses’ love of all things Arthurian. A search of “King Arthur” pulls up 99,983 articles on JSTOR, and Arthurian scholarship even has an entire scholarly journal, Arthuriana, devoted to the once and future king of Britain. So, why write another scholarly thesis on a topic that has been discussed to and past the point of boredom? While a plethora of texts exist on Arthur, and a lesser but still impressive number on his most famous knight, Lancelot, the religious connections between Christianity and Arthuriana only discuss the similarities between Arthur and Christ. Lucifer is conspicuously absent from the conversation. Considering the parallels between the stories of Lancelot – and by extension Lanval – and Lucifer, leaving the topic unaddressed would be an act of literary negligence.
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    The Effects of Atrazine Exposure on DNA Methylation in Drosophila melanogaster
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Nicolodi, Victoria
    Atrazine is the second most commonly used herbicide in the United States with 80 million pounds being applied to farmlands yearly. It is a potent endocrine disrupter, as it acts as a xenoestrogen and causing estrogen dominance. Atrazine has been observed to cause behavioral, developmental, and reproductive changes in species such as frogs, salmon, and rats. Current research is looking at DNA methylation, which is the addition of a methyl group to the fifth carbon on the cytosine ring, as an epigenetic factor for gene expression controlling cellular processes such as gene suppression and genomic imprinting, In this study, Drosophila melanogaster were exposed to varying concentrations of atrazine and their DNA was extracted to observe and compare the changes in global methylation patterns. It is predicted that there were be global DNA hypomethylation in flies exposed to atrazine compared to those of the control. Data obtained showed that was some correlation between viable candidates produced and the concentration of the exposure environment, but not enough to be definitive. Through setbacks in the DNA extraction process, techniques for genomic DNA extraction from Drosophila melanogaster was developed.
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    Genetically Modified Statutes: the Commercialization of GMOs in America
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Thiele, Danika
    In a world of modern commercialism and proliferation of various branding techniques, agriculture often is overlooked in life’s grand scheme. Often American assumptions regarding products and the actual informative labeling of said goods vary greatly. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs), though highly controversial, will soon be limited by Federal Department of Agriculture guidelines regarding labeling. As a country, the US has no concise guidelines for labeling GMOs. This study questions whether this is in conflict with the consumer’s best interest, and if the American public believes they hold the right to know the processes involved in food production just as much as a food’s calorie content. In this study, 100 participants were asked to complete an anonymous online polling survey composed of seven questions to gauge interest in GMOs, while a second, separate focus group of 47 participants answered qualitative questions in a group-discussion format. The study found there is currently a lapse between informing food labels and consumer awareness, and, specifically, that the majority of consumers believe they hold the right to know how their food was manufactured. The study also found that GMOs are not of major concern to most of the participants, and they are less crucial to buying habits than price and conveniency of products.
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    Genetic Algorithms for Applied Path Planning
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Ragusa, Vincent R.
    Path planning is the computational task of choosing a path through an environment. As a task humans do hundreds of times a day, it may seem that path planning is an easy task, and perhaps naturally suited for a computer to solve. This is not the case however. There are many ways in which NP-Hard problems like path planning can be made easier for computers to solve, but the most signi cant of these is the use of approximation algorithms. One such approximation algorithm is called a genetic algorithm. Genetic algorithms belong to a an area of computer science called evolutionary computation. The techniques used in evolutionary computation algorithms are modeled after the principles of Darwinian evolution by natural selection. Solutions to the problem are literally bred for their problem solving ability through many generations of selective breeding. The goal of the research presented is to examine the viability of genetic algorithms as a practical solution to the path planning problem. Various modi cations to a well known genetic algorithm (NSGA-II) were implemented and tested experimentally to determine if the modi cation had an e ect on the operational e ciency of the algorithm. Two new forms of crossover were implemented with positive results. The notion of mass extinction driving evolution was tested with inconclusive results. A path correction algorithm called make valid was created which has proven to be extremely powerful. Finally several additional objective functions were tested including a path smoothness measure and an obstacle intrusion measure, the latter showing an enormous positive result.
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    Liver Condition And Maternal Offloading In The Bonnethead Shark (Sphyrna Tiburo)
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Pullen, Elise
    Many marine organisms, including sharks, may be susceptible to accumulating high concentrations of toxins from exposure to their environment and as top predators through biomagnification. The bonnethead shark (Sphyrna tiburo) is a coastal elasmobranch belonging to the hammerhead family. Bonnethead reproduction involves a close connection between mother and embryo through a placental analogue. Maternal offloading refers to the transfer of various toxins from the system of a mother to her offspring and may be an important source of contaminant loading in species with an umbilical connection throughout development. The presence of maternal offloading in this species was tested by examining non-pregnant female bonnethead sharks, pregnant female bonnethead sharks, and the respective unborn offspring of the pregnant individuals captured from middle Tampa Bay, FL. The Hepatosomatic index and the Condition Factors were calculated for 15 non-pregnant, 4 pregnant, and 26 embryos as a means of analyzing the health of the organisms. Measurements in the offspring were then compared to measurements of the respective mothers and non-pregnant individuals. These results may have implications for shark populations residing in areas with high levels of pollution, specifically for sharks with placental viviparity, whereby mothers may pass significant levels of contaminants to their unborn offspring in much higher relative concentrations than found in each of the mothers.
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    Xenophobia in the American Classroom: How is it Affecting the Students?
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Moore, Sera
    This paper explores the idea of xenophobia affecting the American classrooms. Around the country, teachers are taught and encouraged to be fair and unbiased to their students to make a safe classroom environment. However, the rise of fear of foreign peoples and things, or xenophobia, causes the dynamic of the class to shift. After initially polling over 60 people, the responses dictated that xenophobia exists in small forms throughout almost all levels of education. In regards to the administration level of education, research into the Polk County School Board shows that little to no reports are done on bilingual special education students in the area. This lack of available information makes it difficult to obtain data regarding bilingual students who need services in the classroom; research into other counties and states was necessary to continue. After a second poll, the results showed that over half of those who responded had witnessed an act of xenophobia in the classroom setting. They do, however, want to change the perspective of foreign peoples. In conclusion, xenophobia has affected the school system in subtle, yet distinct ways, and people want to work together to make all people feel safe and accepted.
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    The Reducing Effects of Stability Balls and Music on Physical Stimming Behaviors in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Mielecki, Monika
    The purpose of the current study was to determine if the benefits of stability balls and music generalize to a reduction in self-stimulatory behaviors, as well as supports the evidence for increased attention, in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Bagatell, et al. (2010) selected participants based on diagnosis instead of their pattern of sensory processing. Therefore, the current researcher selected three children diagnosed with autism that also display self-stimming behaviors (rocking, scratching legs, screaming, biting lips, etc.). Finally, unlike several previous studies that focused on behavior within the context of a classroom, the researcher observed the effects of the stability ball intervention within the context of behavioral therapy sessions at an Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy office to generalize results from past studies to other settings. Based on research showing that there are cognitive and behavioral benefits (e.g., increased attention, on-task behavior, and in-seat behavior) from the use of therapy balls in place of regular chairs in the classroom and the use of music therapy on children with attention problems, such as ADHD, dyslexia, or those with autism (Goodmon, et al. 2014; Horgen, 2009; Fedewa & Erwin, 2011; Schilling & Schwartz, 2004; Kim, Wigram, & Gold, 2008; Gattino, Riesgo, Longo, Leite, & Faccini, 2011) it is hypothesized that children with autism spectrum disorder will exhibit a reduction in self-stimming behaviors (physical/verbal), as well as in increase in attention, while sitting on the therapy balls with the presence of background music during behavioral therapy sessions.
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    Generation of Tyro3 Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Clones to Study Interactions with SH2 Domain Proteins in the Retinal Pigment Epithelium
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Harris, Lauren
    The retina is comprised of cone and rod photoreceptors that must continually be maintained in order to preserve visual acuity. Daily light exposure to the outer portions of the photoreceptors, termed outer segments (OS), leads to photo-oxidative stress. To combat potential retinal damage caused by light exposure, the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) phagocytizes spent outer segments. Disruption of OS phagocytosis leads to the accumulation of debris that blocks the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the retina. This will eventually lead to atrophy of the retina and, ultimately, blindness. Previous studies have demonstrated the requirement of Mer Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (MERTK) in the process of OS phagocytosis. Protein interactions between MERTK and SH2 domain proteins Grb2, P85α, Src, and Vav3 have also been shown to be necessary for OS phagocytosis. Recent studies suggest that TYRO3, a familial receptor tyrosine kinase to MERTK, can compensate in the absence of MERTK. As such, I hypothesized that TYRO3 may bind to SH2 domain proteins known to bind to MERTK. To test the similarities of interactions between MERTK, TYRO3, and associated SH2 domain proteins (Grb2, P85α, Src, Vav1, Vav2, and Vav3), various clones of TYRO3 were generated. Two truncated TYRO3 proteins that included the kinase domain and cytoplasmic tail (residues 470 – 890 and 498 – 890) were successfully cloned into a pRSET vector and recombinantly overexpressed. These clones were then purified and potential interactions between the purified Tyro3 and the SH2 domain proteins, which were generously provided by Dr. Shameka Shelby, were assessed using Ni- NTA pulldown assays; however, future pulldowns will need to be conducted to obtain conclusive results. Additionally, full length TYRO3 was successfully cloned into pcDNA3.1 His vector for overexpression in mammalian cultured cells. Further experiments will confirm the identified interactions in-vitro and will be conducted in mammalian cells transfected with TYRO3. This study has generated the tools necessary to further identify components of the RPE phagocytic mechanism. Elucidation of this mechanism will be instrumental in identifying future retinal disease genes and understanding the impact on proteins that may be involved in Age-related Macular Degeneration.
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    Age and Growth of Rhizoprionodon terraenovae and the Benefits of Age and Growth Studies on Conservation Policies
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Karr, Jenna
    Age and growth estimates for shark species may be determined through examination of annuli seen in the vertebral cartilage. Age estimates were made for seven male Atlantic sharpnose sharks (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae) caught in 2014 that ranged in length from 58.5 - 90.8 TL. Vertebrae were analyzed for clear band patterns in order to estimate shark ages and compared to ages calculated using the von Bertalanffy growth equation. A comparison of the calculated and observed age found that there was no significant relationship between the two. A better understanding of the rate of growth within cartilaginous fish species such as Rhizoprionodon terraenovae allow for an increased understanding on the potential impacts on population dynamics. As many shark species have an overall slow growth pattern, populations may be unable to recover from detrimental impacts such as overfishing or coastal development. Continuing age and growth studies with shark species will aid in conservation efforts by supporting shark fishing guidelines that would allow healthy population numbers to be maintained based on the growth rate of individuals.
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    Investigating Social Trends in the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Finocchiaro, Jessica
    In ethics, many academics make the assumption that all people want to be good. Evil comes in where there is a conflict of “good” decisions, where a decision that is good for one person contradicts the good of another. In this case, a person will make a different decision depending on their definition of the “good” they want to accomplish. In a society that starts with an equal proportion of “selfishly good” and “selflessly good” people, we aim to investigate the convergence patterns motivations through simulation of populations playing the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma over time.
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    Myth-taken Identity: Margaret Atwood and Carol Ann Duffy’s Feminist Revisionist Mythology
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Taylor, Haley
    In the Western literary canon, Greco-Roman mythology acts as the foundation that all subsequent texts are built upon. For better or for worse, these ancient texts continue to perpetuate harmful ideas about gender, authorship, and storytelling. The reification of these texts simultaneously reinforces misogynist ideas about women’s voices and serves to further exclude women from the legacy of Western literary history. Using the work of contemporary feminist authors, this paper will focus on ways in which we can reimagine our history to be one of inclusion rather than exclusion. Within Margaret Atwood and Carol Ann Duffy’s body of work, both authors use feminist revisionist mythology to reclaim women’s voices that classical mythology mistreated or left out altogether. In doing so, their writings provide a form of literary justice to the women left out of Western literary canon and suggest a new way of approaching canonical texts.
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    The Persistence of Staphylococcus Aureus on Hospital Privacy Sarah Coleurtains
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Cole, Sarah
    While healthcare professionals are working in hospitals, they have a tendency of manipulating the curtains during the care of their patients. Current studies have shown that the transfer of bacteria from hands to the curtains and vice versa is possible. Despite the possibility of hospital curtains being a mode of infection transmission, a study by DeAngelis and Phakoo (2013) showed that 53% of hospitals surveyed did not have a policy for cleaning or changing their curtains. Therefore, the question that this study focused on was whether curtain material affects the persistence of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). In this study, five different curtain types were inoculated with overnight, diluted, and finger imprint cultures of S. aureus. Then they were swabbed using a sterile cotton swab and streaked onto Mannitol Salt Agar (MSA) plates. The colonies were counted, and One-Way ANOVA statistical analysis was completed on the data. The statistical analysis showed that persistence of liquid cultures of S. aureus on the curtains was not dependent upon initial concentration. In addition, the finger imprints for curtains ABC, abc, 123, and def had statistically significant longer persistence times than the liquid cultures. Curtain 456 (100% antimicrobial polyester with water repellant) had significantly lower persistence times for the finger imprint culture than the other four curtains. The results suggest that the 100% inherently FR antimicrobial polyester curtain material reduces S. aureus persistence times and that it may benefit hospitals to use this type of curtain.
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    Methylome Analysis of Nutrient-Stressed Brassica rapa
    (Florida Southern College, 2017-05) Arroyo, Samantha Rose
    Epigenetic modifications are at the forefront of agricultural research for crop improvement, especially with the public drive to eliminate chemical fertilizers in crop production. Basic knowledge on plants’ responses to lack of nutrients is imperative to drive progress in this direction. In this study, samples of Brassica rapa grown in different nutrient stresses are analyzed physiologically by recording height and molecularly by Southern Blot Analysis. Stunted growth along with global methylation level differences indicate that there are differences occurring in gene expression and in DNA methylation simultaneously in plants lacking nutrients.