protein PP

Submitted by curbano on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 22:07

In every living organism, structure plays a large role in the function of certain things. Proteins make up nearly all living organisms, so understanding the structure of proteins can help us understand the overall structure and function of us and other living things. Proteins have four levels of structure: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary. Primary structure is the sequence of amino acids, which are linked together with peptide bonds. Secondary structure are structures the sequence of amino acids often form into. Proteins usually have alpha helices and/or beta sheets. Alpha helices are helices, similar to the structure of DNA. Beta sheets are flat structures that can run parallel or antiparallel. Usually, the two middle sheets are parallel and the two sheets on the outside are antiparallel to those. The bonding that is involved in secondary structure is hydrogen bonding Tertiary structure is the overall fold of a single polypeptide chain. Quaternary structure is the folding of two or more polypeptide chains, subunits, that function together. The bonds that are involved in tertiary/quaternary structure are the noncovalent bonds.

Statement Draft

Submitted by jmalloldiaz on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 19:59

Following up on my work on sensory priming during the past semester and this summer, I will continue running arena trials with a new generation of P. princeps in order to study the behavioral responses of jumping spiders towards visual and acoustic stimuli. My experiments consisted of introducing a jumping spider in an arena so that it walked into a viewing chamber were pictures suddenly appeared in an iPod screen. The pictures were of a wasp (a potential predator), a cricket (a preferred prey), and a beetle (a neutral stimulus). Each spider was shown one image per trial and during the sound trials a speaker played a wasp buzzing sound for 5 seconds every 2 minutes.  Since the trials were run between the end of the Spring semester and this summer, it is possible that the effect of age influenced the spider’s response towards the stimuli, because jumping spiders are very visual and still they showed little response towards the pictures.

Hybridogenesis and egg mimicry

Submitted by mtracy on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 19:14

There is another form of parthogenesis used by fish in order to reproduce. This form is called hybridogenesis and is also used by monocha-lucida fish. During this process a diploid ML female will produce a haploid M egg. A haploid L sperm will join with the egg, though a female is always produced by this process. However once fully maturing as an adult, the paternal portion of the genes is discarded and the female will once again only produce haploid M eggs, and the cycle repeats.

Other fish use a variety of methods to attract their mates. For instance, some will have physical traits which monopolize on certain behaviors of the other sex. For example, many female fish carry their eggs in their mouths for safety, even before fertilization. Males of this species may produce structures on the ends of their fins which mimic the appearence of eggs. The female will therefore attempt to carry the mimic eggs in its mouth, at which time the male will fertilize the eggs already in the females mouth.


Submitted by amdicicco on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 16:12

Ponds are freshwater bodies of water found all over the world. These ponds host all types of organisms ranging from unicellular organisms to multicellular organisms such as fish and frogs. In ponds, groups of living things depend on the water environment and each other for their own supplements and survival (Rejesh, 2017). If a pond has more "evenness" when it comes to diversity, it's system is going to be stronger, and better equipped for survival. By evaluating pond water samples from different ponds on The UMass Campus, we should see which pond is most diverse and therefore better equipped for survival. To test what pond has a higher Shannon Diversity Index, we gathered pond water samples from two locations. We counted the organisms, identified and classified the species, charted the numbers, and then calculated which pond had higher diversity.

draft lab

Submitted by jkswanson on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 15:30

TA – Manisha

Tuesday, 8 AM

Submitted: Oct, 30 2018

Isolation of Trimyristin from Nutmeg



The purpose of this experiment is to obtain a pure organic compound, trimyristin, from the natural source nutmeg. The techniques of extraction, distillation, recrystallization, and chromatography are used to isolate and purify the chemical compounds from the natural sources.


Trimyristin                                Myristic Acid:

MP: 56-57  ℃                                MP: 54.4 ℃

MW: 723.16 g/mol                             MW: 228.37 g/mol


Experimental Procedure:

1.0 g of nutmeg was weighed out on a scale and transferred into a round-bottomed flask using a funnel. 3 mL of tert-butyl methyl ether and 3 boiling chips were also added to the RB flask. A distillations column and air condenser were set up with the black plastic connector to yield the highest results. The flask was lowered into the sand and monitored at a very gentle boil. The mixture was heated for 10 minutes, and then allowed to settle for a few minutes. The color of the mixture changed slightly to a lighter brown. Using a pipet, as much as of the liquid as possible was transferred to a test tube to settle further. The solids were left behind in the RB flask. The liquid was allowed to settle for a few minutes for even further separation of liquid ad small remaining solids. An empty 25 mL flask was pre-weighed. The liquid was transferred via pipet from the test tube to the clean 25 mL Erlenmeyer flask.

Filtration was performed by packing a glass pipet with a plug of cotton; the solution in the 25 mL Erlenmeyer flask was transferred via pipet and filtered through the cotton filter. The solution was allowed to drain completely before a new addition was performed. A pipet bulb was used to help speed up filtration. All of the solution from the Erlenmeyer flask was transferred.

2 mL of fresh tert-butyl methyl ethyl was added to the solid in the RB flaks and warmed very briefly to allow the solids to settle and the liquid was then transferred via pipet into the test tube and allowed to settle further. The liquid was then transferred from the test tube through the cotton pipet filter using a piper and into the same 25 mL Erlenmeyer flask as before.



Submitted by amdicicco on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 15:25

Gray and white are made up of the same colors. They both use red, green, and blue. The difference between the two is the intensity that each color is added. For example, white is all three colors at their highest intensity (225), while gray is all 3 colors but only at an intensity of 128 each. This experiment is designed to see if the spider will pick the color that is made up of the highest intensity colors, or pick the background that uses less of the colors.


Submitted by amdicicco on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 15:24

In nature Misumena vatia spends a lot of time on flowers. These flowers provide a background that is complex. This experiment will allow us to test if the spiders prefer a more complex background that has definitions of shapes, like many places in nature, or a simple background. The complex shapes will be abstract in nature, but will not derive in brightness or color from the paired simple background.


Submitted by amdicicco on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 15:24

Specific Aim 2. Test whether Misumena vatia prefers a cyan or green background. Cyan is created in the RGB model by putting green and blue to their highest intensities, and not adding any red. Green is created by only using green at its highest strength. This experiment will show whether the use of blue has any effect on the spiders background choice.



Submitted by jkswanson on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 15:17

The excel sheet should include the distance(in cm) of the spider from the LED light (in the x,y,and z dimension), and the diameter of the web, if present at all. This will be recorded with a ruler from outside the container.  Pictures of the spider best depicting its distance from the LED can be taken for reference. Determine whether the light, time exposure, length, color, brightness, or species of spider had any effect on presence of webs in the chamber. This is done by comparing each project results to one another and deciding whether the web that was produced was influenced by the light that was exposed to the spider. If the spider was attracted to the light, then the distance of the web from the light should be smaller than if the spider was not attracted to the web.


    The findings of this study will be very beneficial for multiple reasons. The data we collect will give us insight into the behavior and lives of the small cellar spiders that live in basements and homes right alongside humans. Today and going forward, LED lights are the new light bulb, they are more efficient, cheaper and easier to install and use.


Esterification Lab Odor Assessment

Submitted by bthoole on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 14:10

The final product was also qualitatively assessed for odor and compared to the odor of the other esters and the starting products used in the reaction. The esters shared a sweet-smelling, fruity odor. The 1-propyl-propionate ester formed in the final product had a smell of pineapple or pear, which was distinguishable from the other esters which had a more banana like fragrance. The product also had a slight odor of alcohol, similar to that of nail polish remover, which ma be detectable traces of alcohol which was seen present in the IR spectrum. The starting components, 1-propanol and propionic acid did not share the fruity fragrance of the final ester and were instead unpleasurable scents. Both had a rancid odor, with the 1-propanol being similar to that of ethanol, another alcohol.


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