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Volume 93 Number 1 Year 2021

86 articles in this issue 

Kristy Henson

Vitamin D is a pro-hormone that is activated by ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation through direct exposure to the skin. Vitamin D plays a large role in calcium and phosphorus absorption in the small intestines, directly influencing blood-calcium homeostasis an... see more


Adeoluwa Ayodeji Adeluola,A.R.M Ruhul Amin,Timothy E. Long

Upper aerodigestive tract cancers (i.e., oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and lungs) are one of the most prevalent and leading causes of cancer-related deaths. Drug resistance is a big challenge for successfully treating these cancers. Recent stud... see more


Michelle Richards-Babb

Studies have demonstrated that involving undergraduates in research increases the probability that they will be retained within their STEM majors and graduate on time. Providing opportunities for students to engage in research aligns with institutional go... see more


Ariel Quesenberry

A significant amount of research has been conducted to show that exposure to the colorless gas formaldehyde can lead to a variety of unwanted side effects. Many hair products, such as the Brazilian Blowout claim to be “formaldehyde-free”, however, when th... see more


Samuel Tetteh-Quarshie,Cynthia B Jones

   One of the major contributing factors to the prevalence of obesity in United States is the Western Diet, characterized by consumption of high fat and high simple sugars. Even though the issue of obesity has become a national interest, few stu... see more


Yogendra M Panta,Kenan Hatipoglu,Sanish Rai

As the COVID-19 pandemic affected the way of our lives, both educators and students have been facing myriads of challenges in teaching and learning environment leading to several adaptations and transformations. Students’ learning and safety have been the... see more


Caroline Thompson,Kristy Henson

CAROLINE THOMPSON, Dept of Forensic Science, Fairmont State University, Fairmont, WV, 26554, and KRISTY HENSON, Dept of Forensic Science, Fairmont State University, Fairmont, WV, 26554. Comparing Virtual and Face-to-face Forensic Science Labs.   ... see more


Sanish Rai

Computer science (CS) labs support student in grasping the main concepts by writing the program codes and seeing them in execution. CS labs are important mainly for introductory CS courses where the students learn the basics of computer concepts and progr... see more


Catherine Grace Morris,Mark Watson

Around the world natural ecosystems are being challenged and altered by invasive species. In particular, invasions of non-native grasses have a substantial impact on the population of native plant species. This study investigated the detrimental effects o... see more


Peydan McVicker,Matthew Scanlon,Kristy Henson

The consumption and disposal of plastic products in landfills is drastically affecting our planet today. Though many of these plastic items can be recycled, most them are not. A demand for more sustainable products is imminent as the global rates of clima... see more


Jonathan Ryan Prince,Kristy Henson

When an individual is frozen after death post mortem interval data can be misleading. The decomposition process is affected and accurate time of death reading is unlikely. Many medical examiners rely on soft tissue temperatures or stage of decomposition t... see more


Brittany Leigh Sharps

Sweat and oil, produced from eccrine and sebaceous glands, are secreted from the pores and distributed across the skin. If the fingerprint ridges are not hydrated with sweat or oil then the print will not have as much detail. Normal latent prints are extr... see more


Cassandra Danielle Whitlatch

The purpose of this research was to test the validity of the Bathazard equation (sin? = (W/L) on nonporous, passive, blood-spattered surfaces. The Bathazard equation was formulated and tested solely on porous surfaces. Nonporous and porous surfaces have d... see more


Abigail O'Connor,James Wood

Wheeling Creek in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia was monitored for fecal indicator bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli). Since Wheeling Creek is used recreationally, elevated fecal coliform levels pose potential human health risks including gastr... see more


Krystal Starcher,Kristy Henson

Analyzing skeletal remains gives researchers the ability to reconstruct an individual’s quality of life. Studying metabolic bone disease in skeletal remains is one way researchers are able to learn how a particular bone disease may have impacted the indiv... see more


Garrett William Hoover,James Wood

An assessment of land use, water chemistry and macroinvertebrate community data was performed at 20 stream sites in southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle. Project sites were located on streams spanning six different watersheds f... see more


Raenel P Crenshaw,Tesfaye Belay

Chlamydia genital infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis shows a high prevalence in low socioeconomic populations; however, whether stress is associated with the high prevalence of infection is not known. During chronic stress conditions, the interacti... see more


Kenan Hatipoglu,Sanish Rai,Yogendra Panta

The SUCCESS project was recently funded by NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (S-STEM). Our project aims to increase student persistence in STEM fields at West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tec... see more


Lauryn Marie Antolock,Cam'Ron Allen,Kristy Henson

In the body, vitamin D plays a large role in cell growth, neurological, muscular, bone, and immune functions. Sunlight is our body’s most effective means of synthesizing vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with depression, seasonal affective... see more


Osman Guzide,Trey A Castrechino

TREY CASTRECHINO, Dept of Computer Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV, 25443, and OSMAN GUZIDE, Department of Computer Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV, 25443. Priva... see more


Osman Guzide,Samuel Sloboda

SAMUEL SLOBODA, Department of Computer Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV, 25443, and OSMAN GUZIDE, Department of Computer Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV, 25443.I ... see more

Apple |  M1 |  RISC |  ARM |  x86 |  CPU

Osman Guzide,Jean-Emmanuel Kouadio

JEAN-EMMANUEL KOUADIO, Department of Computer Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV, 25443, and OSMAN GUZIDE, Department of Computer Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV, 2... see more


Emma McClelland,Zachary Loughman

Forest fragmentation is an increasing commonality with the continued rise in disturbances from extractive industries and various anthropogenic activities. While research has observed negative effects of fragmentation such as ecotones, the impact on specif... see more


Theresa Ann Prochaska,Zachary J Loughman

THERESA A. PROCHASKA, Dept. of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, West Liberty University, West Liberty, WV, 26074, and ZACHARY J. LOUGHMAN, Dept. of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, West Liberty University, West Liberty, WV, 26074. Tick surveillance in t... see more


Destinee Austin Davis,Taylor Ross Whitson,James Krochmal,Kaine Diehl,Zachary Loughman

Primary burrowing crayfish life history and ecology is largely due to their cryptic habitat preferences. Cambarus monongalensis, arguably the most charismatic of all crayfishes, lacks basic life history and habitat data because of the aforementioned obsta... see more


Katelyn Brooke Goins,Tesfaye Belay

Recent studies have shown that Chlamydia muridarum causes a lung infection that resembles pneumonia of C. trachomatis in humans. However, the mechanism(s) of the infection is/are not well defined. Dendritic cells (DCs) play a significant role in protectio... see more


Luke D'Cunha,Stuart Cantlay,Joseph Horzempa

Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, is a pathogenic gram-negative bacterium that enters human red blood cells (RBCs). Previous investigations suggest that invasion of RBCs helps F. tularensis survive in the gut of arthropods – a tran... see more


Jesse Orell,Dakota James Parnell,Austin Coleman,Chandler Russell,James Walters

Larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) are optically transparent up to fourteen days post fertilization (dpf) and have high synteny with Homo sapiens which makes them viable research models for the study of metabolic and physiological processes at a unicellular l... see more


Kendall Souder,Michael Whaby,Jennifer Hickman,Donald Primerano,James Denvir,Deanna Schmitt

The CDC classifies Francisella tularensis as a Category A bioterrorism agent. Due to the growing global threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria, novel therapeutics against F. tularensis must be developed.  Resazomycins are resazurin (Rz)-based compou... see more


Justin Cole Rice,Emily Young,Kailee Cunningham,Deanna M Schmitt

As pathogenic bacterial species are becoming more resistant to commonly used antibiotics, it is essential for new antibiotics to be developed. A family of resazurin (Rz)-based compounds, resazomycins, was discovered to be highly effective antimicrobials a... see more


Stuart Cantlay,Kristen Haggerty,Joseph Horzempa

Francisella tularensis is an intracellular pathogen and the causative agent of tularemia. The F. tularensis type six secretion system (T6SS) is required for a number of host-pathogen interactions including phagolysosomal escape and invasion of erythr... see more


Jordan Marcelle Smith,Richard Tandoh,James Walters

Obesity is common in the Appalachain population and contributes of disorders of metabolism of lipid called, collectively, dylipidemias. These are primarily the result of consuming western diet, which contains high amounts of fats and cholesterol. The goal... see more


Scott Michael Brothers,Lisa Marie Reilly

In this study, student success metrics using a combined lecture/laboratory “atoms-first” approach will be compared to traditional teaching models in which lecture and laboratory are separate courses with separate meeting times. This model was piloted earl... see more


Sean Harwell,Erica Harvey,Michelle Richards-Babb,Hunte Moore,Jaimee Pyron,Erika Klose,Leah McJilton

First2 Network ( has been working for the past 10 months with multiple stakeholders statewide (including WV Department of Education and the Higher Education Policy Commission) to develop a searchable online inventory of West Virg... see more


Katherine E Phillips,Joseph Horzempa

Acinetobacter baumannii is an encapsulated, non-motile, gram-negative bacterium. A. baumannii has become an increasingly important hospital-acquired pathogen, specifically affecting immunocompromised individuals in intensive care units. This bacterium can... see more


Syed Monis Ali,James Walters

Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have a comorbidity that includes GI distress, including constipation. We used zebrafish (Danio rerio) to model ASD gastrointestinal (GI) constipation as their optical transparency allowed us to readily ob... see more


Greg Edward Popovich,Kristy Henson

Recently, the allure of zombie culture has found its way into innovative teaching of biology and medical courses. In the current example, zombies are used to facilitate understanding of applied nutritional biochemistry.   Our purpose is to evalu... see more


Sue Ann Heatherly

The WV Science Public Outreach Team is an undergraduate outreach program in WV. The primary goal of SPOT is to inspire K-12 students to consider STEM careers through engaging activities and presentations delivered by undergraduate students. All SPOT prese... see more


Caitlin Howley

The first two years of an undergraduate student’s STEM program of study are particularly treacherous, with roughly half of STEM majors switching to other fields or dropping out entirely after their sophomore year. Moreover, attending a rural high school t... see more


Sue Ann Heatherly,Erica Harvey

Are you curious what STEM students find to be barriers to their own success?  Do you have anything in your courses or research laboratory environments that you would like to improve?  In this hands-on session you will learn how to use the basic ... see more


Emmy M Delekta,Zachary J Loughman,Bronwyn W Williams

Crayfishes are among the most imperiled freshwater taxa in North America with nearly 50% of US species at some level of conservation concern. The southern Appalachian Mountains of the US are home to the greatest crayfish diversity in the world. In the fal... see more


Rylee Laya,Steven Roof,Mark Flood,Greg Popovich

In recent studies, copper’s antimicrobial properties have been studied in hospitals where infections spread from contact with high-touch surfaces are common, oftentimes using high expensive and advanced equipment. While these methods of analysis are not r... see more


Lindsey Walck,Amanda Smith,Erica Harvey

Gateway math courses can be a major hurdle for students to get over in order to continue on with their majors, especially STEM majors. Previously, students could have taken up to four semesters of remedial math before being able to place into the first ga... see more


Summer Lea Kuhn

Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) is a network of after-school STEM clubs for 9th-12th graders in West Virginia (WV). This program encourages underrepresented students to pursue undergraduate and graduate college degrees, thus increasing the n... see more



A decline in the heart muscle strength is a well-recognized aspect of normal aging. Nonetheless, the resting heart rate (HR) in developing adults appears to be unchanged. The aim of this study was to determine if HR recovery after exercise is influenced b... see more



The body position is influencing multiple physiological functions, including blood pressure, lung capacity, and mood. A previous study indicated significant difference in the HR measures in sitting, prone, and supine position if the breathing pace is norm... see more



Inquiry based collaborative learning is a vital asset of modern physiology curriculum. Application of this approach is severely impacted by Covid-19 pandemic when face-to-face physiology laboratories must be modified to comply with needs of social distanc... see more


Caitlin de Vries

Primary economic drivers over the years in the central Appalachian coalfields include coal mining, timbering, fossil fuel extraction, and all-terrain vehicle tourism.  These industries cause impacts such as sedimentation, elimination of headwater str... see more


Elizabeth Anne Walters,Gabriella Hubbard,Paula Sáez Ráez,Thomas Schmieta,James William Walters

The Mediterranean diet is associated with higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) as well as lower incidences of cardiac disease and colon cancer (1). Due the presence of multiple double bonds, PUFAs such as alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), are tho... see more


Erin Braman Allison,Zachary J. Loughman

Cambarus veteranus and Cambarus callainus are two closely related crayfish federally protected under the Endangered Species Act. While government protection provides vital funding for research and management initiatives, it is rare for the average citizen... see more


Kaitlyn Taylor,Justin Sanclemente,Nicole Garrison,Zachary Loughman

Chelodina mccordi is a small freshwater turtle native to the islands of Roti and Timor in Indonesia. They are considered critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List due primarily to habitat loss and overcollection. Current conservation effor... see more


Andrea Dwiggins,Holly Racine

Thyroid hormones (THs), triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), play a critical role in growth and maintenance in all organ systems. Research suggests that maternal hyperthyroidism is a risk factor for craniosynostosis (CS in infants). CS is characteriz... see more


David T Hayes,Laura S Robertson

Widespread antibiotic resistance is a public health crisis of global concern. Identification and development of new antibiotics is time-consuming and expensive, and few new antibiotics have been developed in recent years. While the first antibiotic, penic... see more


Gabby Broski,Alyssa Pettry,Kiersten Lowdermilk,Katie Conley,Amber Meadows,Kristy Henson

The First2 Club at Fairmont State University started a peer-tutoring program during the 2020/2021 academic year to help support STEM and under-represented students by offering free and personalized tutoring. This tutoring initiative currently has four tut... see more


Jacob Boone,Weidong Liao

In this presentation, we describe our face mask and body temperature detection system implemented using Raspberry Pi. This project aimed to develop a portable face mask detection and temperature reading device that detected if a person was wearing a face ... see more


Haley Miller

The competitive exclusion principle states that no two species can share the same niche in nature.  Partitioning among coexisting species occurs through utilization of various food sources or differences in microhabitat preference.  The purpose ... see more


Wilson Holland McNeil,Leslie Hopkinson

The Water Evaluation and Planning System (WEAP) has practical applications in rural areas such as modeling water resources and demand while considering varying population and climate. The goal of this study was to use WEAP to model water resources along t... see more


Carly L Cunningham

The Big Sandy crayfish(Cambarus callainus) is a federally threatened crayfish in the Big Sandy River Basin (U.S. Fish and Wildlife, 2019). To prevent this crayfish from becoming endangered, or worse extinct, proper habitat protection plans need to be take... see more


Jada Michelle Voellinger,Joseph Horzempa

We previously screened a library of nearly 4000 extracts of plants, marine life, and fungi from the National Center for Natural Product Research to identify compounds that exhibited antimicrobial activity.  From this screen, Nymphaea odorata (Fragran... see more


McKayla Marie Martin,Katelyn Huck,Christien Williams,Debra Hull,John Hull

Undergraduate participants read 16 commonly-used words and phrases which describe politics in the United States, such as conservative, patriot, and Democrat, then evaluated them on 1-5 scales measuring negative-positive emotional response, and comfort in ... see more


Alexis Marie Swan,Courtney Rosser,Cory Newman,Debra Hull,John Hull

Undergraduate participants read 10 words associated with sexuality and gender issues, and likely to elicit strong emotional responses, then evaluated them on 1-5 scales measuring negative-positive emotional response, and comfort in hearing them in a virtu... see more


Yasmeene Monet Henderson,Geanna Samol,Terron Crowder,Ioannis Bakodimos,Debra Hull,John Hull

Our research examined words or phrases often found to elicit strong emotional responses about race—known as trigger words—in order to uncover differences in responses to those words in Black and White students. Undergraduate research participants, 22 iden... see more


Kaitlynne Nicole Seminsky,Madison Nicolella,Clay Yingling,Megan McDonald,Debra Hull,John Hull

Our research concerns trigger words that elicit negative emotional responses in some circumstances, such as words with racist, sexist, or elitist associations. The focus of the present study was on words and phrases used to describe the Covid-19 pandemic,... see more


Sydney A Ozersky,Zachary Loughman

     Parasites are found in a variety of species and can cause issues in animal health and welfare. One parasite in particular, Cryptosporidium, is a protozoan that impacts the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract of its hosts, which... see more


Nicolas Null,Tyler Kibler,Elizabeth Lowe

   Machine learning in a nutshell is training a machine using tons of data. The machine will then create a model that it can use to predict future outputs to data that it has not seen before. This can be accomplished using many different approac... see more


Jasmine Lafferty,Aida Jimenez Esquilin,Desiree Evans

Epifagus virginana is a holoparsitic plant whose only host is the American Beech tree, Fagus grandifolia. Currently, little is known about the specific mechanism used by Epifagus to colonize the tree. It is thought that lignin-like or lignin degradation b... see more


Jordan Faith Gibson,Siena McGovern,Emily Young,Deanna Schmitt

Resazurin has been identified as a novel antibiotic against the human pathogens, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Francisella tularensis. During routine antibiotic susceptibility assays, variations in in vitro efficacy of resazurin have been ... see more


Michelle Williams

Because all animals have the capacity to learn through operant conditioning and other types of learning, zoos and other animal care facilities have shifted towards the utilization of positive reinforcement training to shape the behavior of animals in capt... see more


John Barber,Raymond Holsapple

The PubChem library houses structural data for more than 100 million molecules. Simulations of molecular properties are both computationally and financially expensive. In the first phase of this research, we demonstrated how supervised learning could be u... see more


Autumn Grace Dodson,Emily Young,Deanna M Schmitt

A growing number of human pathogens are becoming resistant to most common antibiotics.  Each year, antibiotic-resistant infections are responsible for 35,000 deaths in the United States and billions of dollars in health care costs. The development of... see more


Richard Tandoh,Jordan Smith,James Walters

Dyslipidemias, such as obesity, are a challenge facing people worldwide and dyslipidemia associated diseases are influenced by both genetic and environment factors. Animal models of obesity are essential to help us understand the signaling pathways underl... see more


Katie Scott,Zachary Loughman

Following the description of Cambarus callainus, a range-wide survey was completed to determine the current distribution and conservation status for the species, resulting in federal protection enforced by the United States Fish and Wildlife Ser... see more


Zachary W Dillard,Zachary J Loughman

Cambarus callainus (Big Sandy Crayfish) is a federally threatened species endemic to the coalfields of Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Existing datasets involving this species reflect broad/seasonal natural history trends, but conservation ma... see more


Brian Ringhiser,Zachary Loughman

The northern watersnake, Nerodia sipedon, is a natricid ubiquitous across aquatic habitats of the eastern United States and is often found in high abundance. The prevalence of N. sipedon has garnered extensive research, much of which concer... see more


James Krochmal

 Faxonius virilis were sampled from native population and introduced populations within a narrow range of the South Saskatchewan River in southern Alberta.  We hypothesize that introduced Great Lake F. virilis has hybridized with native prairie ... see more


Logan Hays,Dalton McGeeney,Sara Sawyer

Coral bleaching results from the loss of the endosymbiotic dinoflagellate the cells of coral.  The symbionts provide photosynthetic products for nourishment of the coral, and loss of the symbiont can result in death of the coral.  Many stressors... see more


Gavin Tanner Lilly,Tesfaye Belay

Several reports in the literature show that stress leads to increased susceptibility to infection, but relationship of stress and chlamydia remains to be explored. Monocytes play a significant role in protective immunity against chlamydia genital infectio... see more


kaine Diehl

Crayfish respond rapidly to environmental changes, this responsiveness to environmental changes makes them good detectors for degradation in the environment. Contaminants in the environment may influence crayfish by making them absent in what would be pri... see more



Impulsive ODEs can be used to model complex real-world behaviors such as tumor growth and provide insights into how therapies work. Additionally, these models can be enhanced through complementary software that is able to better manipulate the large sampl... see more


Katey Burner,Qing Wang

Radiotherapy (RT) is one of the most common and effective cancer treatment options. Due to the need for radiation therapy, research on optimizing the effectiveness of RT is critical. Mathematical modeling and computer simulations provide powerful tools to... see more


Heidi Reichert,Qing Wang

CTLA-4 is a co-inhibitory molecule that functions to inhibit T cell functions, essentially acting as a break on the immune system. Antibodies that block the interaction of CTLA-4 with its ligands B7.1 and B7.2 can enhance immune responses, including anti-... see more



Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) is an inhibitory receptor that regulates T-cell activation and transmits signals that suppress T-cell activation and proliferation through the depletion of CD8+ T cells.  Antibodies targeting CTLA-4 can selec... see more


Addie Rebecca Shanor,Zachary J. Loughman,Nicole L Garrison

Non-indigenous species are a significant threat to freshwater biodiversity. In the Potomac Basin there are several known invasive crayfish species including F. virilis (virile crayfish) and F.rusticus (rusty crayfish). It is imperative to discover whether... see more


Mitchel Collin Loughman

Crayfish are the third most imperiled organism in the United States and reach their peak global endemism in the Appalachians mountains. Crayfish are not only vital ecosystem engineers, but also keystone species that hold aquatic communities together. Desp... see more


Kathryn Marie Anglin-Irwin,Young B. Kim

Wastewater treatment is the process of converting wastewater into water that is suitable to be discharged back into the environment. Proper wastewater treatment  is essential in order to ensure the health of the population and the environment. Accord... see more


Taylor Ross Whitson

Cambarus veteranus and Cambarus callainus are federally endangered and threatened crayfish, that live in the coalfields region of central Appalachia.  The dominant industry and land use in this region is coal mining.  Currently, t... see more