Biological and Health Sciences

Engineering, Mathematics & Technology

Environmental Biology


Determination of Effects of Commonly Applied Products on Skin Flora
Teri Ruiz-Arroyo, College of Lake County

Abstract: A recent study identified a strain of Staphylococcus epidermis, a type of bacteria found on skin, that protects against skin cancer (Nakatsuji et. al, 2018). This discovery reinforces the importance of skin flora in human health. A variety of products are applied to skin and have the potential to affect skin flora. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of some common products on skin flora. Isolates were obtained from donors with and without skin pathologies. If affected by products commonly applied to the skin, normal skin flora might be negatively impacted, thereby compromising the overall health of the individual.

Determination of Health Benefits of the Traditional Mexican Remedy Rattlesnake
Elizabeth Camacho, College of Lake County

Abstract: Crotalus basiliscus (rattlesnake) venom and rattlesnake meat is a traditional medicine in Mexico and is used to treat a wide spectrum of conditions and diseases. The goal of this research was to examine the effect of rattlesnake meat and rattlesnake venom on living organisms. Dugesia tigrina (brown planaria) were used as a model organism in this study due to their easily observable regenerative properties. I hypothesize that if rattlesnake meat and venom provide health benefits, positive differences will be observed between severed planaria allowed to regenerate in the presence of rattlesnake meat and rattlesnake venom compared to untreated planaria.

Determination of Turtle Placement on the Tree of Life
Jesus Salazar, College of Lake County

Abstract: The lineage of turtles and their exact placement on the tree of life has been the subject of various scientific research in the last few decades. One study suggests modern turtles might be the only living true diapsids (Schoch et al. 2016) while another study, using DNA sequence data, indicates crocodilians are the closest living modern relatives (Mannen et. al. 1999). The goal of this study is to use DNA sequence data to determine turtle's relationships with different living reptiles and birds. Understanding the phylogeny of turtles can also help as understand how they might adapt to our changing world.


Effects of Dietary Supplements, Acidity, and Alkalinity on Bone
Ashley Anderson, Prairie State College

Abstract: The human body maintains an acid-base balance which results in a physiologic pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Those who suffer from chronic acid-base imbalances have often been shown to suffer from bone disease as well. Diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous complication of type 1 diabetes, is one type of acid-base imbalance caused by the buildup of ketones in the blood. This study set out to observe specific changes bones undergo when incubated in solutions of differing pH—HCl, CH3COOH, NaOH, H2O, and acetone—as well as what effects, if any, the addition of dietary supplements vitamin D3 and L-theanine have on the bone-solution systems. The working hypothesis is that vitamin D3 will have no effect, while the L-theanine—an amino acid—will interact with the bone.

Effect of Myrica Cerifera on the Heart Rate of Daphnia Magna Exposed to the Chemical Stressor Acetaminophen
Anne Ahern, College of Lake County

Abstract: Myrica Pensylvanica (Northern Bayberry) is a medicinal plant once used in Southeastern Canada by the Miꞌkmaq indigenous people. Bayberry root has a wide range of purported healing properties including: soothing inflammation, easing stomach aches, and treating mouth infections. The goal of this study was to determine the medicinal properties of this plant. Inflammation was induced in the model organism Daphnia magna by treatment with acetaminophen and monitored by changes in heart rate (Kim et al., 2012). If Myrica Pensylvanica has anti-inflammatory properties, this will be evident in heart rate changes in the stressed Daphnia heart.

Seizure Risk Associated with Propylene Glycol containing Vape Solution
Mariia Denichenko, College of Lake County

Abstract: Vape is a popular e-cigarette that requires the inhalation of aerosol. Propylene glycol is a common ingredient in vape solutions. Propylene glycol is also used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Despite its wide use, there are few studies examining the effects on living organisms. There have been recent concerns regarding the safety of vape with respect to potential seizure activity and allergic reactions in humans (Ereifej, E.,, 2017). The purpose of this study is to determine if a link exists between propylene glycol and seizure activity. Drosophila melanogaster was used as the model organism for this study. If propylene glycol induces seizures, then seizure activity will be observed in the Drosophila.