The Effects of Low-Dose Mercury Exposure on Cognition in Zebra Finches

Mercury is a well-known and deadly toxin, but it only becomes bio-active when it is converted to methyl mercury. This typically is done in bodies of water, where anaerobic organisms modify the mercury to convert it. In it’s bio-active state, methyl mercury becomes toxic, and is also know to bio-accumulate. This means that the higher one looks on the food web, the concentration of mercury in the animals is known to increase. This is seen often in aquatic food chains, since methyl mercury is formed in the water (plentiful in anaerobic methylating bacteria) but research has found that this methyl mercury has penetrated terrestrial organisms as well, since some terrestrial animals eat aquatic animals, connecting their food chains. Mercury often affects neurological functions in organisms exposed to it, impairing cognitive abilities, memory, and attention. Zebra finches are often used as a model species for studying such neurological functions, so they can be used to measure the effects methyl mercury exposure on cognitive processes in terrestrial organisms.

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Team Light Skin Versus Team Dark Skin: Understanding the Black Color Complex through a System of Inequality

Oh Hey! My Name is Ebimene Doubeni or Ebi for short. I am a double major in Africana Studies with a concentration in African American Studies and a Government major. After, college I plan to go to law school and become a civil rights attorney, which is why I wanted to center my research around diversity and discrimination issues. This summer I will work under the Guidance of Professor Iyabo Osiapem as I travel to Trinidad to study how peer and family word choices of skin tone effect how Afro-Trinidadian Females view themselves.

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Woody Internship at the Phillips Collection

Phillips Collection

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Nano-Sized, Fluorescence-Driven pH Probes and Modifiers

Hello hello!

My name is Aaron Bayles, and I’m a sophomore at the College, currently studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain. Before I left for the semester, I was working in Dr. Harbron’s chemistry lab, investigating a particular set of fluorescent polymer nanoparticles that can both provide information about the acidity of a solution via the fluorescence of the molecules, as well as modify the pH through exposure to UV radiation. And I’ll be coming back to continue this research this summer!

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Laptops for Literacy: Technology’s Impact on Reading and Writing in Haitian Primary Schools

Learning to read from words on a screen is not inherently better than reading on paper. However, technology is a good investment if beginning readers can use it as a tool. First, I create software that students can use to read, write, and share stories. Then, I work with local teachers to create lesson plans that accompany new materials. The teachers will go on to present the curricula during a six-week summer literacy camp. Small class sizes and time dedicated to reading and writing activities will give teachers an ideal space for trying out new techniques. The test group uses laptops to access the content, and the control group reads and writes on paper. In my model, technology has a positive impact on both teacher and student behavior. Both teachers and students are participants who are split between the groups. I will administer a pre- and post-test early grade reading assessment to all students to gauge whether technology leads to higher score increases. I will analyze student writing samples and monitor their reading and writing habits to observe which technology tools, if any, students use when they are available. I will also survey teachers to determine whether receiving training in and using technology has an impact on their teaching methods and attitudes. 270 students and eighteen teachers from three schools will participate. Each school represents a different side of the Haitian educational system: one is public, one is Catholic, and a local women’s group runs the last one.

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