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Natural Science and Mathematics Blog

Wilson_Jessica
Twitter: @MountSciMath

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Over 40 8th grade students from the Mother Seton School travelled to Mount Saint Mary's to enjoy a day of science. The SNSM supported this day by providing activities for the students to participate in that would expand their knowledge into the world of science. Both students and faculty contributed to this learning experience by holding presentations and experiments for the 8th graders. The students learned about polymers, bones and muscles, and even had the opportunity to create GAK which is a cross between putty and jell-o. The students also learned about the profession of psychology from our very own psychology professors.

Our wish is that the students enjoyed their day of science and we hope to host the Mother Seton School students again in the future!

Students taking a computer graphics class presented their final projects to members of the Mount community. Two students worked together to create an animation that included three key parts: the who, the what, and the where. The judges had a little friendly competition to see which person could guess correctly the who, the what, and the where of each animation. Dr. Brian Heinold, an assistant professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, won the grand prize!

Each team did very well and we wish each of them the best of luck with these projects!

CS_Senior_Project1

CS_Senior_Project2

CS_Senior_Project3

Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Chris Bradley, has recently received two grant awards for the 2014-2015 year. Two pieces of equipment have been obtained through these awards, a UV-visible Spectrometer and a Potentiostat, that will aid in enhancing the educational and research experiences in green and renewable energy science.

The funding for the UV-visible Spectrometer is provided by The John J. Leidy Foundation. This instrument is an important piece of equipment for use in laboratory courses and undergraduate research in the Division of Chemistry. The spectrometer could impact the studies of more than 500 students annually over the next 15+ years. The funding for the Potentiostat is provided by the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh. This instrument, too, is an important piece of equipment in the Divison of Chemistry. The Potentiostat could impact the study of more than 500 students annually over the next 15+ years.

Congratulations to Dr. Bradley and the Chemistry Department for receiving these prestigious awards!

The Solar Power Charging Station and Exhibit has finally open for students inside and near the COAD Science building on main campus. The 8-feet tall solar panel array protects and provides shade for students while they're using the station. Students can charge just about anything using this station, including mobile phones and laptops. This charging station can generate a maximum of 1.6 kilowatt hours, which is enough to power 50 laptops or 300 mobile phones! This station was especially handy during the brief, yet unexpected, power outages that occurred in January.

This project wouldn't have been possible without the collaborative effort of the Mount's Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Committee, Constellation, the Development Office, President Thomas H. Powell, and the School of Natural Science and Mathematics.

Read the full article here https://www.msmary.edu/about-the-mount/news-and-events/news-archive/2014/4-09-2014SolarChargingStation.html

Solar Power Charging Station

 

Solar Charging Exhibit

Carly Lay Geronimo, a 2011 graduate from the Mount, is a rising third year graduate student in the Molecular Biology Program at Princeton University. Last June, she joined the lab of Dr. Virginia Zakian, her advisor, and is studying telomerase regulation using budding yeast as the model organism.

Recently, she received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship award, which provides funding for Carly Lay for three years. Over 14,000 students apply and only 2,000 students are given awards. For more information about the program visit http://www.nsfgrfp.org/).

When asked about her research, Carly Lay replied with the following statement: "For my research project, I am investigating the role of the Pif1 DNA helicase as a negative regulator of telomerase using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the model organism. Telomerase is a specialized enzyme whose essential function is to maintain telomeres, which are the physical ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. In cells that lack telomerase activity, telomeres progressively shorten with each round of DNA replication, and when the telomere reaches a critical length, most cells senesce and die. Thus, telomerase regulation is imperative for proper maintenance of the cell because misregulation can lead to replicative senescense, apoptosis, and compromised genome integrity. Pif1 is an important negative regulator of telomere length because Pif1 is the only helicase in yeast that has been shown to directly and catalytically inhibit telomerase. Therefore, the main objectives of my research project are to determine how Pif1 gets recruited to telomeres and to elucidate the mechanism behind Pif1 inhibition of telomerase."

We congratulate Carly Lay on this prestigious award and we expect many great things from her in the future!

Faith in Psychology hosted a speaker, Dr. Margaret Laracy, to discuss the topic of "Faith in the Professional World of Psychology". She spoke about how her Catholic faith has shaped her career as a practicing psychologist, both as a professional in the working world and clinically as a psychologist. There was a great turn out for this event in Laughlin Auditorium!

Dr. Laracy is pictured above with two students who attended the event. She is currently in private practice at Vital Sources in Frederick, MD and is part-time assistant professor at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Arlington, VA.

Beta Beta Beta, a Mount Saint Mary's University Biological Honor Society, hosted the Upsilon Mu Chapter Northeast District 2 Convention on Saturday, March 29th. The event was held at the Mount Saint Mary's University Continuing Studies and Conference Center in Frederick, MD. Other schools that were in attendance include: Bloomsburg University, Centenary College, Drew University, Hood College, Lincoln University, Moravian College, and The College of New Jersey.

The day began with a continental breakfast followed by Dr. Jeffrey Simmons, Dean of the SNSM, welcoming all guests and students to this event. The day was made up of students conducting oral presentations and poster presentations followed by the keynote address in the afternoon. The keynote speaker, Dr. Lisa E. Hensley, focused her speech on the concept of "one health" and how this approach can be applied to the study of such new diseases and others. She is the Associate Director of the Integrated Research Facility at the National Institutes of Health.

The following Mount students conducted presentations at this convention:
Michael Conrad - Look at that GEF go: RhoGTPase signaling in pulmonary hypertension
Dahyana Arias - Understanding the HMGB1 mediated inflammatory process in the brain
Hilary Weidner - N-cadherin expression in idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension
Derek Saku - Food preference of confused flour beetles
Ashley Crosby - Generation of a recombinant adenovirus containing the RhoGDIB gene
Kathleen Callahan - Analysis of polymorpholino oligo effect on NPC1 pre-mRNA splicing
Anthony Spellman - Validation of micro RNA regulating genes
Obarikanemi Nwogu - C/EBPB and C/EBPO are downstream mediators of HMGB-1 signaling events

Dahyana Arias won first place and Ashley Crosby won third place for their oral presentations. This event was organized by the Beta Beta Beta faculty advisor, Dr. Katy Dye.

 
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