Methods Project Control Factors

Submitted by samihaalam on Thu, 09/21/2017 - 22:15

One thing that I will need to control is the time I took the photographs - they were at 4:00 PM on Thursday, September 21, 2017. Another thing to consider is the weather - it was cloudy, but still humid and warm today - the amount of sunlight will almost definitely be different in the replica picture. The temperature was around 77°F, or 25°C =, when I took the pictures. It was also rather windy. There were many bees flying around all the flowers.

A third factor to account for is the exact angles in which I took the pictures. I stood directly in front of the plant that I had chosen and took one photo standing on the pathway right in front of the plant, in the middle of the section with that plant in it, stretching my arms up a little bit to get as many of the plants as I could into one picture. I then bent over, changing my location towards the center of the section I was in as little as possible, and extended my phone so that I was about 1 foot away from the plants, and took another picture at this angle. My phone was probably on the same level vertically as the plants themselves. This picture contained a few (three) of the vivid pink plants from the section right next to m section of interest. I also took a third, up close picture of the plant. I chose a flower from the section of flowers I was interested in and got very close to this plant/ brought my phone very close to the plant to get as detailed a picture of it up close as I could. I held my phone maybe 10 cm away from one specific plant and took the picture. This picture contains 3/4 leaves of the plant, because the other leaf is covered by a leaf from a neigboring plant. It also shows that in the middle of the four petals, there are two tinier petals - one of these petals is pointing to the left, and the other is pointing  to the right. I also took another picture which included the description of the plant that Durfee had provided. I again stood about a foot away and as directly across from the sign as possible, and I may have zoomed in on the camera a little bit. The card with the description is on the very most right side of the picture. The rest of the picture shows many of the actual plant. The sun may have been shining through the clouds briefly at this point, because this picture looks brighter/sunnier in general.

Perfect Paragraph 2 -- Lampreys

Submitted by msgordon on Thu, 09/21/2017 - 22:12

There are three main families of lampreys: the Petromyzontidae (Northern Lampreys), the Geotriidae (Southern Lampreys) and Mordaciidae (Top-eyed lamprey) and all of them display unique anatomy and behaviors. Most adult lampreys are parasitic blood feeders, albeit only in a marine environment, whereas juveniles burrow into the substrate to filter feed. Interestingly, they do not eat when they return to freshwater to spawn. Their mating ritual consists of both the male and female pushing large stones together to form a nest known as a redd which creates an area of low pressure where the eggs are laid and fertilized. As for their anatomy, it is important to note that that their eye musculature is extrinsic and they have arcalia -- cartilaginous nodules along their notochord. In addition, they have realtively high blood pressure and are not isosmotic, unlike hagfishes; their relatives. The brains of hagfishes are enclosed by a cartilaginous pan which leaves the top of the brain exposed, however the brain case of lampreys fully enclose their nervous tissue. 

Perfect Paragraph: Physics

Submitted by kmydosh on Thu, 09/21/2017 - 22:09

This experiment tested various frequencies on a string that had three different weights attatched to it, therefor adjusting the tension. The data from this experiment showed that as tension was increased using more weight on the string, velocity increased as well. This experiment was done by varying the frequencies on the PASCO 550 interface machine until resonance was clearly observed. Because of resonance was determined by only subjective observation this could account for some error in the data collected. However, the data collected did prove that as tension was increased on the string the speed of the wave increased as well. For 200g the average speed was 63.3 m/s with a tension of 1.56N. For 400g the average speed was 88.4 m/s with a tension of 3.92N. For 600g the average speed was 105.3 m/s with a tension of 5.88N. As weight was added to the string the tension was increased so did the velocity of the wave.


Methods Project

Submitted by dwiley on Thu, 09/21/2017 - 22:03

The species I have chosen to photograph is the eastern gray squirrel, or Sciurius carolinensis. They are abundant on campus, which only makes one wonder how these squirrels have learned how to survive and prosper in an ecosystem so often disturbed by humans. Evolutionarily speaking the eastern gray squirrel is assumed to have adapted to its surroundings, which is an issue I will delve into through my Methods Project. I will examine the ancestral roots and changes that had to take place in order to develop a species so attuned to co-existing with humans on a campus with little animals otherwise.  

Cystic Fibrosis Animal Model --Draft

Submitted by msgordon on Thu, 09/21/2017 - 21:59

One of the biggest barriers to research into cystic fibrosis is the lack of an usable animal model for lung disease phenotype, as mice with mutations in the CFTR gene do not display such symptoms. Thus, this study aimed to create a new animal model that overcame this problem in order to further research on the disease itself, in the form of pigs. When the pigs were first born, one of the first problems they encountered was the presence of an intestinal blockage. This was avoided by circumventing the meconium ileus, much like surgery to remove intestinal blockages in humans. Thus, this proved that the pigs could survive surgery and were at least potentially viable as a model system. After this, performing X-ray tomography showed progressive thickening of airway walls and scattered infiltrates which were symptoms consistent with CF patients. Inflammation, mucus accumulation and remodeling of the lungs were all found in the CF pigs which is also consistent with the symptoms found in humans. More notably, the study suggests that the CF pigs have an impaired ability to fight bacteria even in the absence of inflammation.

Methods Introduction, take 2

Submitted by jjaneiro on Thu, 09/21/2017 - 21:47

The Golden Weeping Willow, botanical name Salix alba "Tristis" is a large, prominent tree on the UMass campus by the pond. This tree is native to Eurasia, transplant well, and can grow to more than 40 feet. It needs full sun and prefers moist, well-drained soil; it is intolerant of drought conditions. This tree is highly susceptible to ice damage, making it fragile in New England winters.

I was originally going to choose the Eastern Gray squirrel as the species for my Methods project, but I think that would be too difficult to reproduce. The Golden Willow, unlike a squirrel, will not move or be too difficult to find. The conditions that need to be considered and controlled are time of day, spot from where the photo is taken, the type of weather on the day the photographs are taken. Also, the amount sun needs to be relatively the same. It will also be important to keep in mind the background, if there are people in the background of one photo and not the other, there will be inconsistency between the final products. 



Perfect Paragraph 2

Submitted by dwiley on Thu, 09/21/2017 - 21:39

The goal of my honors research thesis project is to examine the relationship between preconception and prenatal stress and the prevalence of the human stress hormone, cortisol, later in life. The study focuses on the prediction of child cognitive health outcomes at ages 3.5 and 4.5. It includes extensive interview measures of maternal stress and biomarkers before conception and during pregnancy, creating a unique opportunity to examine prospective predictors of child outcomes. In collaboration with Dr. Chris Dunkel Schetter, PhD, samples will be collected from ~150 ethnically/racially diverse mother-child pairs in lower income areas. The hair samples are one component of a larger study, aimed at determining how much stress a mother endures while pregnant affects the functional ability of their child after they are born. Knowing this could be very important in the future of prenatal guidelines for a healthy child. 

Methods draft

dthaley's picture
Submitted by dthaley on Thu, 09/21/2017 - 21:31

To find the organism for the project, all I had to do was follow my normal path. I missed the route 35 OH bus from the corner of Olympia Dr. and Authority Way, next to where I had parked in yellow lot 13C. I walked up Olympia Dr. away from the undergraduate admissions offices. I turned right onto East Pleasant St. and headed towards the police station for approximately ten yards. I crossed the street, walked around the chain that crosses the dirt trail and entered the frisbee golf course and walked straight down the trail. I noticed that day that the grounds crew had just mowed down a section of the meadow on my right. The field during the spring and summer months is maintained in such a manner to allow for secondary succession to occur. Paths are mowed to allow people to have access to the area. On my left hand side, my attention turned to an open dried seed pod of the plant species Asclepias Syriaca. There was evidence that something had been eating this milkweed, I was hoping to find a monarch caterpillar somewhere on the plant. I did not find any interesting insects on the plant and I continued on my way. Down past the small little body of water by purple lot 44 D. I crossed Eastman Lane and walked down the hill by Sylvan Residential area.


Figure explanation

Submitted by jjaneiro on Thu, 09/21/2017 - 20:39

This multipanel figure shows conclusive results from the DNA analysis of the conserved sequences and the lac Z expression. These figures are not only demonstrative of the results, they clearly illustrate the topics discussed in the paper. There is a combination of photos of lac Z expression and a graphic representation of the enhancers involved in the genes investigated by the researchers. The graphics are well organized which makes the figures easy to understand without reading the written description. They begin by showing where in the sequence the conservation of genes are. After that, they show lac Z expressed images and areas with the enhancers that demonstrate where the conserved DNA sequences are. This multifigure panel demonstrates quality because it clearly and easily demonstrates the results of the study. The figures are organized in a way that allows for a flow of information through the order of the results described in the results section. 

Beginning of methods project

Submitted by brdougherty on Thu, 09/21/2017 - 19:56

The plant species I choose to photograph on campus is Quercus rubra commonly referred to as the northern red oak. The red oak is one of New England most common forest trees. The specific Red Oak I am photographing is located by the North Apartments on Campus. The Red Oak is easily identifiable because of the leaves and the acorns it grows.  According to Go Botany a well-known key used to identify New England flora the leaf blade on the red oak is simple with one leaf per node along the stem and the edge of the leaf blade has lobes. The acorn can be identified by its flat top. Some factors that need to be controlled are the time of day in which the photograph is taken.  Also the time period between the photographs being taken need to be controlled because this tree can lose its leaves. 


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