HECBC Conference: Examples of an Abstract


Environmentally Influenced Variation in Gene Expression of Halosimplex carlsbadense

Andrew Peifer
Penn State Berks

A member of the domain Archae in the family Halobacteriaceae, Halosimplex carlsbadense is a rod-shaped, obligate aerobe found in a 250-million year old salt deposit located in Carlsbad, New Mexico.  H. carlsbadense possesses three divergent 16S rRNA genes named A, B, and C.  While B is believed to be a chimera of A and C, it has been demonstrated that A and C are both expressed.  Furthermore, research suggests that during exponential growth under optimal conditions, small subunit gene A is preferentially expressed but under salt concentrations below the optimum 25% Na Cl, small submunit C is preferentially expressed. The objective of this project was to determine the differential expression of these genes by Halosimplex carlsbadense under salt concentrations both above and below the optimum concentration for growth.  The expression data suggests that 16S rRNA gene A expression is favored under optimal salt concentrations above or below 25% NaCl. 

Faculty Sponsor:  Dr. Tami Mysliwiec

What Do People Think Occupational Therapy Is?

Jennifer Wasson, Kim Hess & Kerry Hess
Alvernia College

The researchers designed a survey that consisted of seven questions addressing specific areas about Occupational Therapy. The surveys were then distributed to sixty individuals who were randomly chosen from the Berks County phone book. The researchers hypothesize that the surveys that are returned will reflect this lack of knowledge about the field of Occupational Therapy. This hypothesis has not yet been supported or unsupported because the surveys have not yet been returned. The researchers believe it is important to market Occupational Therapy to e general public to show the awareness and significance of it. Although the American Occupational Therapy Association has taken steps to market our services, the researchers feel that further development is necessary.

Faculty Sponsor: C. Emery


Why Not Wiglaf?

Chris Brendel
Penn State Berks

In the scholarly dialogue regarding the epic poem Beowulf, the titular hero has long been the center of discussion.  It has been noted by Lumiansky that the less-prominent character Wiglaf has received ?surprisingly little attention? and has been regarded as a mere ?mechanical device ? [necessary] to take charge of events following [Beowulf?s] death?; Lumiansky suggests that Wiglaf is, to the contrary, an ?exemplar for the thematic virtues [of the poem].?  I contend that the young warrior indeed features importantly, showing his bravery by supporting his king in battle while his companions flee. Thus, Wiglaf is a heroic character in his own right and demonstrates the poem?s theme of loyalty. To support this argument, this paper analyzes Wiglaf?s character and actions. I investigate the relevance of Wiglaf?s character in the context of Anglo-Saxon bonds of kinship and the comitatus social structure.  I explore his value to the hero Beowulf and the relationship between the king and Wiglaf. I assert that, though young and inexperienced, Wiglaf proves his worthiness and re-enforces Anglo-Saxon cultural values; therefore, he is an integral part of Beowulf.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Sandy Feinstein