Characterization of Severe Musculoskeletal Wound Regeneration
Author: Taran Lundgren. Mentor: Professor Douglas Fantz
Abstract: “Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability worldwide with an estimated cost to society of over $215 billion per year in the USA alone. The lab I work in at Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a critically sized composite bone and muscle defect rat model to assess therapeutic strategies to restore limb function after severe injury. The current therapeutic is a nanofiber mesh scaffold containing alginate and rhBMP-2. I use histological staining to look for bone formation, cartilage, and fibrosis in the regenerating tissue. I develop immunohistochemistry protocols to analyze expression of molecules signifying bone formation, angiogenesis, and revascularization of the injury site. We predict there is a significant level of cross-talk between bone and surrounding soft tissue during wound regeneration. This histological information combined with other quantitative measurements will help characterize endogenous repair mechanisms and the effectiveness of therapeutics.”
From Megan’s Abstract:
Otoliths are the ear bones of fishes used for balance and detecting vibrations. Much like a tree, otoliths exhibit growth rings. In temperate species these rings are annual, but in many tropical species rings are deposited daily. If there is a tight correlation between otolith size and fish size, then we can back-calculate an individual’s growth rate across its entire lifetime. To establish this correlation we studied two closely related species of wrasse, Thalassoma amblycephalum and T. bifasciatum. As a side project, we were interested in the degree of lateral symmetry between the otoliths on the right and left sides of an individual.
The general expectation is that physical characters should be symmetrical. However, during our dissections we observed seemingly high levels of variation. This could be a result of weak selection on some internal structures.
Faculty mentor: Lock Rogers, Biology
Listening to Music While Commuting to Work and Levels of Commuter Stress
Authors: Cristina I. Gutierrez, Courtney A. Brown
Mentor: Professor Jennifer Hughes
“The purpose of this study was to compare those who listen and do not listen to music while commuting. We wanted to see the differences between these two groups and commute stress, feelings of coping, and feelings of time urgency during the commute. We hypothesized that commuters who listened to music would be more likely to have lower commuter stress, greater feelings of coping, and less feelings of time urgency during the commute. Six hundred ninety participants were recruited for the study and they drove an average of 30.41 miles per day. Twenty undergraduate students collected participants via e-mail and flyers. A snowball sampling technique was used in the study to recruit participants. The participants had to at least drive 10 minutes or more in order to qualify for the study. We found contrary to our predictions, that commuters that listened to music had higher commuter stress, fewer feelings of coping, and greater feelings of time urgency during the commute. Our hypotheses were not supported. Further research needs to be done to clarify these results.”