in teams of 2, investigate one of the following problems. Talk to the instructor in person (during office hours) by Feb 15 to select your project. Earlier is better because topics go on a first-come, first-served basis.
The microbial safety of foods continues to be a major concern to consumers, regulatory agencies and food industries throughout the world. Many food preservation strategies have been used traditionally for the control of microbial spoilage in foods but the contamination of food and spoilage by microorganisms is a problem yet to be controlled adequately. Although synthetic antimicrobials are approved in many countries, the recent trend has been for use of natural preservatives, which necessitates the exploration of alternative sources of safe, effective and acceptable natural preservatives. Plants contain innumerable constituents and are valuable sources of new and biologically active molecules possessing antimicrobial properties. Plants extracts either as standardized extracts or as a source of pure compounds provide unlimited opportunities for control of microbial growth owing to their chemical diversity. Read
We are only now coming to appreciate the magnituce of microbial communities or microbiomes. A microbiome is a characteristic microbial community occupying a reasonably well defined habitat which has distinct physico-chemical properties. A great deal of work is going on to understand the Human Microbiome but there are also important ecological questions about the Earth's Microbiome. Read more...
CO2 uptake. Are lichens important? The importance of lichens as carbon fluxes and also for the carbon dioxide balance is often overlooked. Lichens, mosses, cyanobacteria, and algae cover approximately 30% of soil surface that includes the surfaces of plants. They are also found on rocks, roofs and walls. Read more...
Lysozyme. An emzyme analysis.
Effect of urbanization on streams. Urban development typically increases the amount of water entering a stream after a storm and decreases the time that it takes for the water to travel over altered land surfaces before entering the stream. Concentrations of contaminants, including nitrogen, chloride, insecticides, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), increase with urban development. Determine the effects of urbanization on a local stream. Read more...
Working in teams of two students, you will
1. Answer the following questions in the background:
-What will you be looking for?
-Why is this important?
2. What will you look for with your experiments?
-How many trials will you do?
-What will you use for controls?
3. Discuss the significance of your results
4. Write your report in the proper
State your hypothesis
(& alternative hypotheses)
You must turn in the Supply Request
form before you begin working.
Discussion & Conclusions
You are encouraged to read all the available information on
the topic for your paper. To select appropriate references,
you must evaluate your sources of information. Print and electronic
encyclopedias are often good to get familiar with a topic:
however, these are not appropriate references for
a research paper. The most reliable information is that published
in peer-reviewed journals. Peer-reviewed means that the author's
work has been read and accepted by colleagues in his/her discipline.
Start your literature search with PubMed, Google Scholar, or another
science database and search on your topic. Read the abstracts
and keep a list of interesting articles. Note, you must read
and cite the articles. Highwire, PubMed, and other databases
are not citations; these are indexes to articles.
For each topic, there some articles to get you started
but these should not constitute your entire literature review.