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Student Research Poster Competition Winners / Abstracts - Human Services

Waste(water) Treatment Electrolytic Reactor (WTER): A Novel Approach Combining MFC and MEC Technology—Creating a Self-Sustainable Wastewater Treatment Facility
Jordan Boucicaut
Hofstra University

By using novel devices known as Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC) and Microbial Electrolysis Cells (MEC), raw renewable electricity and hydrogen gas can be produced while treating wastewater in a wastewater treatment plant.

Certain types of bacteria—known as exoelectrogens—that are found in wastewater can emit electrons to an external source while carrying out their life processes. An MFC harnesses this source of electricity, and by adding a minimal amount of power, hydrogen is evolved at the cathode of an MEC.

This research is conducted to propose a new design of raw electricity that is generated from MFC that will be able to power clean hydrogen production in an MEC in a wastewater treatment plant and produce a new design called the WTER. Wastewater was collected and used for the fuel cells that were manufactured at a lab scale. Raw electricity and hydrogen gas was produced from reactors and can be applied to real world situations.


Advancement in HIV Treatment
Tevon Eversley and Buthayna Sims
Medgar Evers College Jackie Robinson Center

Advancement in research for the treatment of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is relevant because this virus can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a potentially life-threatening condition that has caused the death of millions over the years. AIDS related deaths have reached epidemic levels, with the rate increasing by 1.8 million people per year. This research focuses on advancements in the treatment of AIDS, brings forth awareness of the disease, and shows that there is progression and hope in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Data will be obtained from the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and health departments from five major U.S. cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Scientific data from the 1980’s through the present will be analyzed. We desire that the gathered information lead to education, show progress in treatment, bring about awareness, and teach precautionary measures. The research will show that there have been advancements in treatment, yet because there is no cure, measures must be taken to continue to prevent the HIV epidemic from becoming worse.



The Study of Chelation as the Mechanism of Action of Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA) and p-Aminosalicylic Acid (PAS) in the Treatment of Autism and Manganism
Dwyane George
SUNY College at Old Westbury

This research seeks to find a plausible chelatory agent that can bind manganese and mercury from the human body as a method of treatment for autism or manganism. The relevance of this research is the imminent need for a pharmaceutical drug that can chelate mercury and manganese. This study implemented spectrophotometric assays
and cold vapor atomic absorption to determine the chelating properties of Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA).

Manganese (Mn+2) containing solutions were exposed to EDTA or p-Aminosalicylic Acid (PAS), followed by an oxidation reaction that converts remaining free Mn+2 into permanganate ions (MnO4-). Data analysis involved spectrophotometrically comparing the controls of regular manganese absorbance measurements to the solutions
containing chelators. The study suggests that PAS can be applied as a strong chelator of mercury and manganese; the greater implication of the findings is that PAS can be an apt candidate to treat manganism and autism.


Climbing Stairs and Getting Healthy
Emilie Gonzalez and Lucila Lope
Queensborough Community College

The purpose of this project is to determine the correlation between physical fitness and vital signs (blood pressure and heart rate) in a group of middle and high school students before and after exercise. It is hypothesized that physical exercise (escalating 50 steps and then repeating four times) will cause less of an increase in heart rate and blood pressure in students who exercise regularly than in those who do not. Students will be separated into fitness groups based on how much physical activity they perform each week. Their heart rates and blood pressure will be measured before and after climbing the steps. It is hypothesized that students who exercise regularly will show less of
an increase in these vital signs after completing the activity. This project will demonstrate the benefits of regular exercise on one’s general health.


Fresh H2O
Andrew Guyatte, Yashoda Gopi, Syeda Zahan, and Darnell Rollins
Union College

Clean water is essential for humans to survive and function. Almost 2 million people die from waterborne diseases of contaminated water supplies. An effective, environmentally friendly way to purify water is by using Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS), which is used in areas of Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, and Latin America. SODIS uses sunlight and clear Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles (polyethylene terephthalate is a material that is often used for soft drink containers). The water is filled in transparent PET bottles and exposed to the sun for two days.

The ultraviolet rays from the sun kill common viruses, waterborne bacteria, and parasites that are harmful to humans. Our results from the samples taken from Central Park, Mohawk River, and Jackson Gardens Creek show that the water was safer to drink, further proving that the SODIS method is effective. SODIS is an ideal method of providing safe drinking water for people in developing countries where other methods are not available.


A Preliminary Study Examining the Effect of Increased Dietary Cholecalciferol on Mercury Excretion in One Donor Within the Autism Spectrum
Rachel Lalmansingh
SUNY College at Old Westbury

The problem under study is to examine whether increased ingestion of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) has a chelating effect on an autistic donor’s mercury excretion levels. Monthly scheduled hair extractions were performed by donor’s parents and analyzed using Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption. All chemicals used were of trace-metal grade that was attained from Fisher Scientific. Recent data has demonstrated a slight increase in DDI 99’s excretion level after vitamin D3 intake was increased (by donor’s parents) for approximately one month. These preliminary results suggest that vitamin D3 has chelating properties.


Kathlene Molina
Bronx Community College

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects thousands of people across the world. The purpose of this project is to discover the causes, diagnosis, and treatments of schizophrenia. I will present a poster board explaining schizophrenia and pictures of the parts of the brain that are affected by schizophrenia. The PowerPoint presentation
will have in depth information on schizophrenia and videos showing the symptoms of schizophrenia. This project will help people to understand the seriousness of schizophrenia and better understand why those who are diagnosed with this mental disorder act the way they do.


HPV Awareness
Ana-Paula Morales-Allende and Aiya Aboubakr
New York University School of Medicine

With approximately 20 million Americans infected with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and another 6 million people projected to become newly infected each year, HPV stands as the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. Although prevention methods range from available vaccinations to abstinence, the public’s lack
of knowledge does little to ameliorate the spread of the infection. The recent release of Gardasil—the vaccine that targets the four strands of HPV that are most responsible for cervical cancer and genital warts—has stirred controversy, as its target group knows little about its usage and effects. We distributed surveys that allowed for the
evaluation of how well the general public understands HPV and its vaccine. The results demonstrated that high percentages of the community are misinformed. Proposals to restructure the community’s understanding of the infection and vaccine aim at bringing the information to the people through poster boards, pamphlets, and internet sources.


How Do Sleep and Exercise Affect 10-Week Averages in Classrooms?
Server Mustafaev and Austin Davis
Clarkson University

Does “sleeping well” and “being active” affect a student's performance in school? We seek to determine whether the amount of sleep and exercise that a student gets affects his/her grade point average. Our hypothesis is that students who regularly receive larger amounts of sleep and exercise perform better in the classroom, and thus have higher grade point averages. During a 10-week time period we collected data from students in 6th-8th grade science classes.

Participants were asked to record the amount of sleep they received each night and to complete a survey on how often they exercised or participated in physical activities during this time period. At the end of the ten weeks we collected their averages, applied statistics to the data, and analyzed the outcome.


Diabetes: Raising Awareness Among Minority Students
Rashidi Nicholls, Jabari Nicholls, and Deaniqua Phillips
New York College of Osteopathic Medicine

The purpose of this project is to increase the level of awareness and education of diabetes among a student population that is 100% minority. The overall goal is to bring awareness to this chronic medical condition that has an enormous impact on people of color. The project utilized a pretest, an educational/awareness component that
included giving each student a blood glucose analyzer, and a post-test. This project assessed the levels of success during the three month period. The data collected from over 500 students confirmed the hypothesis that the vast majority of students are not aware of diabetes and its potential long-term health ramifications. These findings led the research team to believe that additional education is required to assist this population with understanding diabetes and the ways it can affect their lives.


Porphyrins in Photo Dynamic Therapy
Stacey Ortega and Natalie Leon
New York City College of Technology

Porphyrins are photosensitive macromolecules. The light absorbed by a porphyrin chromophore produces an excited state that can fluoresce, or generate, a reactive oxygen species. Porphyrins are an integral component in chlorophyll, a biomolecule that uses light to produce glucose and heme—a non-protein component that carries oxygen to the blood. These properties of porphyrin compounds are utilized in photodynamic therapy to treat cancer.

Photodynamic therapy introduces a photosensitizer, usually a porphyrin compound, into the cancer cell. This photosensitizer is then activated by exposing it to a specific wavelength of light in the presence of oxygen, thereby forming a species of oxygen that kills these cancer cells. The exact mechanism by which this is done is unknown. We
will compare the absorption of various porphyrin photosensitizers using fluorescence microscopy.


Health Risks in an Overweight Society
Anaiz Reynoso and Travis Rivera
Manhattanville College

The purpose of this project is to find the health risks of obesity if it continues in our society. The World Health Organization estimates that at least 1 in 3 of the world’s adult population is overweight, and almost 1 in 10 is obese. Obesity rates have increased dramatically in the United States and the rates are among the highest in the world. There are many health risks associated with obesity that affect the cardiovascular system such as metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, abnormal glucose tolerance, or diabetes. To complete this project, two studies were conducted to obtain data. The first study measured the blood pressure of various people, while the second study compared the blood pressure of individuals to their eating habits. I hypothesize that this research will show that obesity is not good for society.


The Study of the Effect of Physiological Changes on Life Expectancy
Katherine Vera
Farmingdale State College

This study is designed to determine the impact of physiological changes on life expectancy. For this study, the Daphnia magna were used as subjects. The “ups and downs” associated with reactions to issues encountered in the daily lives of individuals were simulated with chemicals that stimulated “ups” and depressants “downs.” Different
groups were exposed to varying amounts of ups, downs, and ups and downs over the course of experimentation. The individuals were cared for in completely controlled environments that varied only by the exposure to the chemicals that initiated the physiological ups and downs. For this experiment the ups and downs are considered stressors on the body that upset a more stable environment, or the person’s homeostasis. The subjects were allowed to live out their lives and the final life span of each individual was recorded. Statistical analysis of the data sheds light on questions pertaining to the ways in which stress impacts the human lifespan.


Hemodialysis and African-Americans in the City of Buffalo
Ashley Wagstaff and Nkiru Ifedigbo
SUNY Buffalo Biomedical Program

Hemodialysis is one type of kidney dialysis used to treat a variety of diseases. In this treatment the patient’s blood is pumped into a kidney dialysis machine where the blood is passed through a semi-permeable membrane that allows for waste filtration; this blood is then returned back into the patient’s circulation. Hemodialysis patients undergo
this process an average of three times a week, and it lasts approximately 3-5 hours. There are a number of medical insurance companies that pay for this procedure for patients who cannot afford the expensive treatment. This report seeks to focus on the struggles that may be faced by African-American patients undergoing hemodialysis within the City of Buffalo and their relationship with insurance companies who may, or may not, fund this life-saving treatment.




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