The University of Minnesota, Morris Undergraduate Research Symposium offers undergraduates the opportunity to present their research, creative work, or art performances to their peers, faculty, and the campus community. For more information, see the Undergraduate Research Symposium website . The 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium was held on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Ernest Hemingway, an iconic American writer of the Lost Generation, frequently traveled to Spain while living abroad as an expatriate. In fact, many of the fictitious accounts in his works are based on real events in the lives of Hemingway and his friends during their time in Spain. Despite the large number of American expatriates traveling and living abroad during the 1920s, the concept of intercultural competence likely did not exist; or at least not in the modern-day sense of the phrase. While much literature already exists on Hemingway’s connection to Spain, there is currently limited scholarship on the portrayal of Spain and Spanish culture in his works. Discussions of cross-culturalization and intercultural competence have appeared in recent scholarship as the world continues to grow more globalized; but very few discussions exist which analyze Hemingway’s works from the viewpoint of intercultural competence. In this project, I investigate how the behavior of the characters in Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises aligns with modern standards of intercultural competence. This research is significant in adding a cross-cultural perspective to the conversation about one of the most iconic works of one of America’s most iconic writers.
Maternal Coxsackievirus B Induced Dysregulation of SUMOylation Processes as a Potential Cause of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Bailey Kemp and Sarah Severson
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a life-threatening congenital heart defect with unknown etiology. Here we hypothesize that HLHS has etiologic roots in maternal asymptomatic coxsackievirus B infection. Coxsackievirus has been demonstrated to disrupt normal distribution of small ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMO) in the cell. The vital cardiac transcription factor, Nkx2-5, has been shown to be dependent on SUMOylation for proper function. Specifically, co-localization of SUMO and Nkx2.5 has been identified, as well as decreased SUMOylation associated with Nkx2-5 mutants. As Nxk2-5 is essential for fetal heart development and mutations in the gene for this vital transcription factor have been linked to HLHS, disruption of the regular SUMOylation patterns of Nkx2-5 may have severe consequences on cardiac development. Considering this evidence, we propose a novel mechanism for the underlying cause of HLHS. Specifically, we propose that asymptomatic maternal coxsackievirus infection crosses the placental barrier and disrupts SUMOylation processes during fetal development. This, in turn alters the function of Nkx2-5, ultimately leading to underdevelopment of the fetal heart and cardiac anomalies such as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
The Commercial Driver Medical Examination (CDME) is used to assess the medical fitness of a driver to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle. Hypertension is a disease that has been shown in prior research to cause reduced driving safety performance when not properly managed, and it is therefore important that medical examiners be able to consistently identify it in drivers. However, the CDME has historically been ineffective at screening drivers with safety-related diseases. For example, a report from the US Government Accountability Office showed the existence of a substantial number of drivers who were deemed eligible by the federal government for full disability benefits and yet also passed their CDME’s. To address these issues, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) instituted the Medical Examiner Registry and mandatory training programs for examiners. This project uses data from before these reforms to establish a baseline for comparison to the new version of the CDME. We compare hypertension as captured in CDME records to hypertension as captured in medical insurance claims data on the same drivers. Our initial results indicate that of the 1,320 drivers who were determined from the insurance data to have hypertension, medical examiners were able to correctly identify 74% of them as having the condition. This suggests that while the CDME was moderately successful in screening for hypertension even before the reforms, there was room for improvement.