Synthetic Biology Approach to Drive Oxygen-Dependent Biochemical Pathways Under Anaerobic Conditions

Hydrocarbon contamination can be extremely detrimental to affected ecosystems and bioremediation, the use of microorganisms to detoxify and remove environmental pollutants, presents an effective solution. Specifically, oxygenases are required to perform hydroxylation or carboxylation reactions that cleave aromatic rings into less inert intermediates. Oxygen is an essential co-substrate for many aromatic hydrocarbon degradation pathways. However, bioremediation of aromatic hydrocarbons is often constrained by limited oxygen levels, which can be attributed to oxygens low solubility and rapid depletion during cellular respiration. Bioreactor-mediated hydrocarbon degradation similarly faces oxygen limitation issues, and solutions like increasing the bioreactors retention time or continuously pumping in pure oxygen are extremely costly and inefficient. My project aims to synthetically develop recombinant organisms that can drive naturally oxygen-dependent biochemical pathways under anaerobic conditions.

...Read More about Nazar Akhverdyan
Rose Hills

Reprogramming of Mller Glial Cells by Adeno-Associated Viral mediated delivery of split dCAS9-VP64-MS2-p65

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a set of genetically inherited neurodegenerative disorders that leads to degeneration of photoreceptor neurons and loss of vision. While onset of RP can be detected early, there are currently no treatments to prevent disease progression. Cellular reprogramming is a promising approach to replenishing photoreceptors after retinal degeneration. In zebrafish, Mller glial cells can dedifferentiate and reprogram into photoreceptor cells upon retinal damage. However, this restorative activity of Mller glial cells is limited in mammals. A CAS9 mediated genome wide activation screen offers the potential to identify genes important in reprogramming Mller glial cells into photoreceptor neurons. My project aims to test whether the delivery of a split dCAS9-VP64-MS2-p65 by adeno-associated virus (AAV) can be used to activate and identify genes which promote reprogramming of mammalian Mller glial cells to photoreceptor-like cells. I plan to test whether splitting the CRISPR-CAS9 system for viral packaging can activate these […]

...Read More about Annika Anderson
L&S Sciences

Stability maintenance in reaction-diffusion systems

Interplay between spatial organization and interconversion of different molecules leads to complex pattern formation in simple chemical systems. Some have suggested implications for biological systems, especially in the context of embryonic development. However, unlike idealized chemical systems, biological systems are characterized by complex and dynamic environments. Nevertheless, biological pattern formation appears to be largely stable. This stands in stark contrast to current theories, which predict extreme sensitivity to fluctuations and initial conditions in systems with feedback delays – delays in the response of a system to a stimulus. A comprehensive theory must account for stability despite such time delays, which are common in biological systems. My goal is to develop a theoretical description of pattern formation in the presence of perturbations. Using theory and computer simulation, I will contribute to a quantitative description of stability maintenance in the face of feedback delays. A mathematical description of such systems is valuable […]

...Read More about Easun Arunachalam
Rose Hills

Discerning Anonymity: Characterizing Female Voice in Middle English Literature

There is no doubt that finding a professed author in our surviving Middle English texts is both incredibly valuable and extremely difficult. An author, no matter his or her intentions, often cannot help but bring a rich array of individual complexities into their work. However, when an overwhelming majority of the surviving Middle English poetry we have today is expressly author-less, authorial intention becomes an aspect we can only speculate on without any real confidence. Without a name, the basis for determining many aspects of authorial voice has tended to fall rather problematically on a poems content, and just how far we can extrapolate poetic content as indicative of individual character and authorial presence remains an unanswered question. My research seeks to come to stronger conclusions about such issues, largely focusing on how we can and should determine the poetic female voice, especially in cases of anonymous works where no […]

...Read More about Sarah Barnett
Humanities and Social Science

Controls on trace element incorporation into travertine carbonates

A multitude of different trace metals can readily incorporate into the crystal lattice of calcite, depending on factors like solution chemistry, temperature, and growth rate. Measurements of these elemental abundances in calcite can be an effective means of understanding rates and environments of crystal growth and have been widely utilized over the past decades to decode paleo-environmental growth conditions and, to some extent, in environmental remediation of polluted systems. Much of the present understanding of microscale controls on trace element incorporation into carbonates is based on laboratory experiments and studies of marine or cave carbonates. However, these studies are limited in their ability to precisely describe conditions at the time of carbonate deposition, which limits our understanding of growth mechanism acting at the time of precipitation. Travertines, or continentally-deposited limestones, provide the opportunity to study trace element incorporation in a modern system where source fluids and other system characteristics are […]

...Read More about Holly Barnhart
Rose Hills

Silk Gene Expression Associated with Loss of Web-Building in Tetragnatha Spiders

Discovering how traits evolve or are lost is key to understanding the processes underlying biodiversity. Web-building is an ancestral trait in orb-weaving spiders, but several taxa have secondarily lost the ability to build webs. Among the long-jawed spiders of the genus Tetragnatha, there are species that exhibit a range of web-building phenotypes, including the total loss of web-building and the construction of reduced webs. My research will use Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to investigate the silk organs of these species, which will provide a clear picture of the morphologies associated with the varying levels of web-building. Then, I will use RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) techniques to analyze the complement of expressed silk genes, or transcriptomes, in each species. This comparison across closely related species will provide a greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying the evolution and loss of web-building.

...Read More about Cory Berger
L&S Sciences

Preventing Post-Surgical Amniotic Sac Rupture

During pregnancy, complex birth defects can arise, and fetal surgery can correct or drastically ameliorate these conditions. The largest unmet need of the field is a method to seal the amniotic sac, as it does not heal following surgery and can rupture, leading to preterm birth. I hope to develop self-sealing needles and instrument sheaths to seal defects in the amniotic sac during and after surgery. Hopefully these new methods will help fetal surgery become a viable and safe option for growing families.

...Read More about Sarah Bhattacharjee
Rose Hills

Reshaping Gender: Exploring Godard and Varda's Disruption of Traditional Cinematic Gender Representation during the French New Wave and Beyond

The French New Wave, a cinematic movement which shifted the paradigm of narrative storytelling, was based on an engagement with radical social upheavals. By rejecting the literary, political, and societal standards and expectations of their era, New Wave directors were responsible for groundbreaking representations of modern social issues. In my research project, I am examining the ways in which two particular New Wave directors (Jean-Luc Godard and Agns Varda) interact with and comment on gender roles in their films. Both Godard and Varda employ subversive representations of gender which give their films a reputation of challenging the heteronormative gender structures of contemporary French society. My focus in this project is to identify the intersections between the technical cinematographic and narrative aspects of these New Wave films that give us reason to believe that these two filmmakers actively sought to redefine and reinvent the ways in which spectators view gender relations. […]

...Read More about Jacob Bjorseth
Humanities and Social Science

Buscando Tun Tzaj Chbinchey Qey J: Comparing Perceptions of Access to and Experiences Within Healthcare Between Mayan and Latina Women in East Oakland

Woven into the intricate fabric of Oaklands Latinx population is a community of Maya immigrants. Many arrived as refugees, escaping genocide during the Guatemalan Civil War, and in part because of this traumatic history and their indigenous identity, Maya individuals face unique challenges in accessing health care. While both Latinx and Mayan populations may perceive a lack of access, no existing research analyzes how these perceptions differ, allowing for the assumption that both groups face the same challenges. My research investigates the distinct challenges that the Maya perceive in accessing healthcare and their experiences within the healthcare system of the United States. I will use concurrent mixed methods interviews, nonparticipant observation, and focus groups to conduct my study, which will culminate in a 60-80 page independent thesis and a published paper that pushes us to rethink how our healthcare system interacts with the indigenous immigrant community.

...Read More about Dylan Bush
Humanities and Social Science

Investigation of the Effects of LisH Domain Proteins on the Drosophila Melanogaster Histone Cluster

Many tandemly repeated histone gene clusters exist in the Drosophila Melanogaster genome and are subjected to complex regulation during the cell cycle. However, the exact mechanism of this regulation remains elusive. Using a variant of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, we have developed a DNA-pulldown technique that, when coupled to mass-spectrometry, is capable of identifying bound proteins on a given promoter, enhancer, or any other regulatory DNA sequence. Applying this technique to the D. Melanogaster histone cluster, the pulldown samples interestingly showed an enrichment of a particular protein domain – LisH. Found in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae SIF2 protein, this LisH domain is thought to be responsible for the formation of dimer/tetramers and could be an integral part of the recruitment complex necessary for efficient and proper histone gene transcription. Indeed, one of the LisH proteins identified in the pulldown, Multi sex combs (Mxc), has been shown previously to be involved in the […]

...Read More about Andrew C. Lu
L&S Sciences

Development of Ferritin-iron Redistribution to Ion Channels (FeRIC) Technology

For decades, researchers have been experimenting with tools used for neural stimulation, modulation, and therapy. A greatly used and helpful tool includes optogenetics, which utilizes light waves to control cells expressing light-sensitive channels. While optogenetics is not an invasive recording technology, due to its dependence on visible light it cannot penetrate deep into the organisms tissue. The purpose of this project is to develop a wireless method similar to optogenetics which can overcome the issues optogenetics encounters. Rather than using light to manipulate neuronal behavior, an electromagnetic field will be provided as the stimulus source. The electromagnetic field will target specific cells that express heat-sensitive proteins, specifically the transient receptor potential channel TRPV1. This method of neural stimulation is ideal as it will reach cells deep within the tissue, and it will not expose the subject to exogenous particles.

...Read More about Chelsey Campillo Rodriguez
L&S Sciences

CD36-mediated CoQ uptake is integral to normal BAT function

CoQ is an essential molecule in the electron transport chain (ETC) which acts as an electron carrier to help generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the mitochondria. Therefore, without CoQ or under conditions of severe CoQ deficiency, the redox reactions required for efficient energy production are greatly hampered. The inordinately high levels of mitochondria in brown adipose tissue (BAT) also suggest that a CoQ deficiency could negatively and significantly impact the unique BAT function of thermoregulation through nonshivering thermogenesis. Defective BAT function could then lead to excess fat deposition, obesity, and other serious metabolic diseases. This summer, I will be exploring the scavenger receptor protein CD36 as a fatty acid transporter and its role in facilitating CoQ uptake into cells. I will be using BAT-specific CD36 Knockout mice to improve understanding of the physiological effects of CoQ deficiency in BAT, and subsequently, its effects on overall metabolic health. We aim to […]

...Read More about Jazlyn Chong
Rose Hills

Investigating the role of HERVH in human embryonic stem cell pluripotency

The non-coding genome has traditionally been viewed as junk, with little to no significance in everyday biological functions. However, recent advances have demonstrated clear functional importance of the non-coding genome in both development and disease. Of particular interest are the retrotransposons (RTs), mobile genetic elements that copy themselves through RNA intermediates. One class of RT, the Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs), occupies nearly 8% of the human genome, yet has lost its to ability to retrotranspose or jump throughout the genome. The inactivity of ERVs despite their high density within the human genome poses the question: what is their significance and impact in human development? Our research seeks to address this question by studying the mechanisms of Human Endogenous Retrovirus H (HERVH), a primate-specific RT that has been previously shown to have significant implications in the maintenance of pluripotency in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). In this project, I will be focusing […]

...Read More about Jonathan Chu
Rose Hills

Investigating the Molecular Mechanism of Heterochromatic Gene Silencing

The heterochromatin domain is an essential component of the eukaryotic genome, which contains many repetitive non-protein-coding sequences that must be transcriptionally silenced to maintain genomic integrity. Heterochromatic sequences from multiple chromosomes are organized into nuclear domains that concentrate heterochromatic proteins and exclude euchromatic factors. These domains prevent transcription and recombination of the sequences inside, perhaps because of the density of chromatin packing in the domain. However, this chromatin compaction model is inconsistent with other observations, including high mobility of proteins inside the heterochromatin domain. Recent studies have shown that biological phase separation can result in distinct cellular compartments without bounding membranes, which leads us to ask if phase separation is the selective mechanism that explains how the heterochromatin domain is transcriptionally silenced while maintaining mobility of internal components. To study this, I will employ single molecule tracking to directly image the path of euchromatic molecules to determine how they are […]

...Read More about Ryan Chung
Rose Hills

Diurnal variation in robotic observations of carbon export in California coastal waters

One of the most interesting components of the global carbon cycle is the movement of carbon from the atmosphere to the deep ocean, where it is deposited as particulates, a process called the Biological Carbon Pump (BCP). The BCP combines physical oceanography and biology, as the majority of the carbon dioxide that is pulled from the atmosphere into our oceans for biological processes in the photic zone, and then moves from the surface to the deep ocean as zooplankton excrement. Using robotic devices to monitor this chemical and biological cycle, I hope to better understand the diurnal fluctuations in the BCP from the atmosphere to the deep ocean, and therefore better understand how surface zooplankton contribute to carbon cycling on our planet.

...Read More about Beth Connors
L&S Sciences

Role of GPR183 in EET-signaling

My project centers on epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) which are located in endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells. From previous studies, they have been shown to be potent vasodilators and though the receptor is not known, their mechanism is believed to rely on calcium activated potassium channels and the hyperpolarization of smooth muscle. In addition to vasodilation, EETs are known to help maintain cardiovascular homeostasis through anti-inflammatory effects and can protect against ischemia and hypertension. Discovering the receptors that control the potential benefits of EETs could lead to new therapeutic options for patients with cardiovascular disease. Based on my preliminary studies using a transfection-based screening strategy in a line of cells expressing fluorescent calcium sensors, my hypothesis is that GPR183 is the receptor through which EET mediates vascular relaxation.

...Read More about Kayleigh Cook
Rose Hills

Morphological Changes in Dopamine Neurons Resulting From Tsc1 deletion

Dopamine is an important neuromodulator, and dysregulation of dopaminergic function is involved in many neurological disorders, from Parkinsons disease to addiction. The mTOR pathway, a ubiquitous signaling pathway which regulates cell growth and survival, plays an important role in dopamine neuron fate. By manipulating mTOR signaling in dopamine neurons via cell-type specific deletion of the Tsc1 gene, a negative regulator of the mTOR complex, I am examining how changes in cell morphology and protein expression levels are impacted by mTOR hyper-activation. This work can contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism governing several neurological diseases, including tuberous sclerosis complex and autism spectrum disorder.

...Read More about Malcolm Crawford
Rose Hills

Roman Amphoras of North Africa: Markers of a Pan-Mediterranean Economy

The Crisis of the Third Century (AD 235-284) nearly saw the complete collapse of the Roman Empire due to a combination of foreign invaders, plague, civil war, and economic depression. While there is a considerable amount of scholarship on the 3rd Century, I am hoping to re-examine this scholarship with an archaeological lens. I am focusing my research on the study of Roman trade amphoras. These ceramic vessels will give me a good picture of the consumption and trade patterns of Rome during the Late Empire. I am focusing my research even further on trade amphoras originating from North Africa. North Africa was a known in the ancient world as the bread basket of Rome, so it will prove a large sample of amphoras for me to work with. In using a combination of historical texts and archaeology I am hoping that my research provides a new perspective on the […]

...Read More about Amanda Dobrov
Humanities and Social Science

Horizontal Gene Transfer of a tet(C)-containing casette between Chlamydia suis and Chlamydia trachomatis

Many strains of Chlamydia suis, a bacteria that infects the intestinal tracts of pigs, are resistant to an antibiotic called tetracycline. My project studies whether the gene conferring tetracycline resistance can be transferred from Chlamydia suis to a different species – for example, Chlamydia trachomatis. C. trachomatis is the leading cause of bacterial sexually transmitted diseases and preventable blindness (or trachoma) in the world today, and tetracycline is one of the main antibiotics used to treat those infections. Because C. suis is genetically similar to C. trachomatis and both can co-infect the same anatomic tissues in humans, it is a huge concern that the gene conferring tetracycline resistance will be transferred to C. trachomatis, making it more difficult to treat this pathogen. This project has implications for public health and our ability to effectively treat C. trachomatis infections now and in the future.

...Read More about Stacey Dojiri
Rose Hills

Understanding the Effect of a Necroptotic Cancer Vaccine on Anti-tumor Immunity

The activation of the adaptive immune system in host-tumor interaction mediates the efficiency and strength of the host anti-tumor response. Necroptosis, a form of programmed cell death, has the ability to moderate the development of antitumor tolerance versus immunity due to its pro-inflammatory properties. However, in what ways and to what extent do the products of necroptosis trigger the activation of the immune system is not well understood. I am interested in using a necroptotic tumor vaccine overexpressing RIP3, a cell death protein, to study the effect of necroptosis on the adaptive immune systems ability to detect and fight cancer cells. Through transduction of cancer cell lines, tumor injections in mice, and flow cytometry, I will investigate the effect of a necroptotic vaccine on the adaptive immune systems tumor response by characterizing APC and T-cell function.

...Read More about Emily Duan
L&S Sciences

ILC2 Colonization and Asthma Predisposition

Respiratory infections in infancy are known to increase the risk of developing asthma in later life. One possible explanation is that viral infections during vulnerable periods of development alter immune cell establishment leading to lifelong changes favoring asthma. My research involves tracking the developmental pattern of a particular immune cell, ILC2, with the hope of identifying targets to mitigate viral-induced asthma predisposition. I will use fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry to define when the critical developmental window occurs and what cells and molecules are involved.

...Read More about Alexandra Dubinin
L&S Sciences

CRISPR/Cas9-mediated Genome Editing of Mutant Huntingtin Gene

Efficient and versatile genome editing technologies, including CRISPR/Cas9, have the potential to treat disease on a genetic level. By inducing DNA double stranded breaks at targeted genomic locations, targeted nucleases can facilitate gene disruption via the introduction of random base insertions and deletions via non-homologous end joining. While many studies have developed methods for implementing these techniques, the treatment of nervous system disorders via genome editing has remained largely unexplored. One such disorder is Huntingtons disease (HD). HD is an autosomal-dominant disorder characterized by the progressive loss of striatal neurons in the brain, resulting in impaired motor function and the development of dementia and psychiatric conditions. HD is caused by a trinucleotide CAG repeat expansion in exon 1 of the huntingtin (HTT) gene, which leads to mutant HTT protein aggregation and neurotoxicity. RNA interference and antisense oligonucleotides have shown promise for reducing mutant HTT protein, but these strategies fail to […]

...Read More about Freja Ekman
Rose Hills

Molecular Insights into LINC Complex Proteins SUN1 and SUN2

Transmission of cytoskeletal forces to the nucleus depends highly on the LINC (linker of the nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton) complexes, which consists of inner nuclear membrane SUN (Sad-1 and Unc) proteins that bind to outer nuclear membrane KASH (Klarsicht, ANC-1, Syne Homology) proteins. Recent studies have suggested significant differences between SUN1 and SUN2 specifically in their homo-oligomerizaton in the perinuclear space. In my project, I use bioinformatics tools, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in collaboration with an experimental group to explore the molecular differences between these two proteins, SUN1 and SUN2. Narrowing my focus on SUN proteins 1 and 2 allows me to focus on a specific component of the multifaceted LINC complex, and by studying their structures and how they interact in MD simulations, I aim to identify key differences in their roles. Better understanding the differences between the members of the SUN family and their particular roles […]

...Read More about Darya Fadavi
Rose Hills

Immobilizing Iron Ions Using Porous Supports for Catalysis

Metal catalysts are extremely useful, however, there are many practical challenges that impede their use. One of these challenges is that most metal catalysts are prepared from precious metals; meaning that they might not be practically affordable. In order to circumvent the rising costs of metals and achieve recyclability, I will be synthesizing Dendrimer Encapsulated Nanoparticles (DENs) made of earth-abundant metals and precious metals. After synthesis of the DENs, a majority of time will be devoted to small-scale reactions. The small-scale reactions will help identify optimal conditions for the catalysts in addition to refining the catalytic activity. Creating viable catalysts from earth abundant metals could reduce the overall cost of many materials and products used by people every day.

...Read More about Franco Faucher
Rose Hills

Identifying Genes Involved in CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing

Genome editing is an emerging topic with immediate and significant implications in human health. Despite interest in therapeutic gene editing technologies, such as CRISPR/Cas9, interactions between genome editing reagents and human cells remain poorly understood. Prior work in the Corn Lab identified how human cells integrate single stranded DNA into Cas9 cut sites. My project will build upon this work to establish how cells respond to other gene editing techniques, namely the integration of double stranded DNA into genomic DNA.

...Read More about Sharon Feng
Rose Hills

Development of a preferred retinal locus in response to a simulated central scotoma: visuomotor adaptation or strategy?

Patients with central vision loss (scotoma) often rely on a location outside the scotoma for seeing, the preferred retinal locus (PRL). We investigated whether the development of a PRL in response to a simulated scotoma in normally sighted individuals is the result of oculomotor adaptation, as is the case in patients with a real scotoma. We used a gaze-contingent paradigm to occlude the central vision of normally sighted subjects while they performed a visual task.

...Read More about Tiffany Fung
Rose Hills

Selling Housing to Los Angeles: The FHA, Local Businesses, and the 1935 National Housing Exposition

On May 18, 1935, amidst great fanfare, the National Housing Exposition opened at the newly constructed Pan Pacific Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. Organized under the auspices of the nascent Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the exposition featured numerous exhibits, ranging from model homes to a so-called Fountain of Fabric. Historians have long been aware of the critical importance of the FHA. By working with banks to guarantee long-term, amortized mortgages for homebuyers, the FHA was central to postwar processes of suburbanization (including the racially discriminatory practice of redlining). However, little attention has been paid to the actual mechanisms that the FHA used to promote these new types of mortgages, as well as the broader idea of homeownership, to middle-class consumers during the Great Depression. My research project seeks to fill this gap. As such, my project examines the 1935 National Housing Exposition in Los Angeles from the bottom-up in order […]

...Read More about Jeremy Goodwin
Humanities and Social Science

Characterizing the Relationship between Executive Function and Reinforcement Learning in Value Learning

In everyday life, seldom are the choices weve made reinforced by objective reward like food or water. Rather, we tend to set goals for ourselves, and actions leading to those goals are what are reinforced, even in the absence of reward. Theoretical work has suggested that treating goal achievement as a pseudo-reward is an effective means to learn complex behavior, which may require going through many intermediary, value-neutral sub-goals before leading to reward. There has been indirect evidence for pseudo-rewards when reaching subgoals in EEG and fMRI, but as of yet, few studies have directly compared the reinforcing effects of goals vs. rewards on value learning. This project stems from our previous behavioral results which supported that pseudo-rewards can have reinforcing properties. To complement this, I seek to find EEG markers of value learning during trials in which feedback is internally-defined as rewarding rather than being objectively so. The results […]

...Read More about Nora Harhen
Humanities and Social Science

Characterizing steptococcus pyogenes infection in hexokinase 2 deficient macrophages.

It was recently discovered that hexokinase 2, a cellular metabolic enzyme, can act as a pathogen pattern recognition receptor and activator of the inflammasome within macrophages. Specifically, hexokinase 2 is activated by a saccharide subunit of the peptidoglycan cell wall found in many bacteria. Gram + bacteria have a greater abundance of cell wall subunits available for recognition and therefore have a greater potential to activate, and therefore be controlled by, hexokinase 2. We will characterize the importance of hexokinase 2 in mediating an immune response by infecting murine macrophages deficient in hexokinase 2 enzyme.

...Read More about Christopher Hernandez
Rose Hills

Education and Latina Motherhood: Resilience as a method of survival

The percentage of Latinas in higher education has increased over the last 20 years. Yet, this population is often viewed as a homogenous group, obscuring the diversity of experiences Latinas face. In particular, experiences like those of young Latina mothers are often ignored or absent. By erasing their experiences, we miss an opportunity to learn about the unique ways that they challenge cultural gendered norms on motherhood and the ways that they navigate normative spaces within the university. My research project examines the central question: how do Latina mothers navigate and challenge societal and cultural stigmas associated with being Latina and a student parent? Specifically, this research will focus on the challenges Latina mothers face at the community college and university level.

...Read More about Patricia Hernandez
Humanities and Social Science

Pour les morts: Tedium, Identity, and the Ethics of Representation in Les Bienveillantes

The story of genocide has largely been taken up by its victims: their testimony takes on a reparative significance, counteracting their previous erasure. Jonathan Littells 2006 novel Les Bienveillantes, however, depicts World War II through the eyes of a Nazi official, who speaks to the reader as both an intellectual and historical actor. The narrators intellectualism authenticates him, makes him relatable, places him in a French literary tradition, and facilitates his crimes. This intellectual bent allows the narrator to take an administrative position within the regime, granting him access to the bureaucratic information that he then narrates in a tedious deluge of dull facts. The boredom this role implies and inflicts suggests that evil is not only banal, but is in fact an ordeal of drudgery, underlining the deeper horror of a continued choice to be complicit. This project will explore what this depiction of evil means in the context […]

...Read More about Beth Hightower
Humanities and Social Science

Cardiac regenerative potential across mammalian phylogeny

The heart, especially in adult mammals, is one of the least regenerative organs as evident in the ongoing battle against cardiovascular diseases. While higher mammals lack the ability to proficiently regenerate myocardial tissue, lower vertebrates, such as zebrafish and newts, experience a robust regenerative response even after major injury. Phylogeny then implies that higher mammals must have lost their cardiac regenerative potential sometime during their evolutionary history. The phylogenic distribution of cardiac regeneration in mammals is not well understood but could serve as an important platform to identify evolutionary pressures and factors controlling regenerative capacity. We hypothesize that orders that have diverged earliest from the higher mammal lineage monotremes, marsupials, and xenarthrans – may have intermediate potential for myocardial regeneration, more representative of that of lower vertebrates. I will be analyzing nuclear content and percent mononucelation of lower mammal cardiomyocytes, proxies for regenerative potential. Secondly, I will be looking at […]

...Read More about Alison Hoang
Rose Hills

Identification of Anti-CRISPRs for Genome Editing Safety

Since the discovery of the CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune system in prokaryotes, Cas9 proteins have been used as a genome editing tool in a wide variety of organisms and promise to provide new solutions to long-standing, unsolved problems in human disease. However, despite the great potential CRISPR technology holds, concerns remain about the risk of unwanted edits in the human genome that could lead to genetic disease. Therefore, my project aims to find anti-CRISPR proteins that serve as off-switches for Cas9 activity to ensure gene editing safety and prevent malicious use of this tool. To achieve my goal, I will first identify potential anti-CRISPR candidates using a newly developed bioinformatics pipeline and then experimentally screen these candidates for anti-CRIPSR activity.

...Read More about Bridget Hua Bui
L&S Sciences

Arturo Bandini the Viking: How Long Beach Junior College Transformed the Writing of John Fante

In the spring of 1932, while attending Long Beach Junior College (LBJC), John Fante published his short story Eleven-Thirty in the campus literary journal, Edda. The story, bursting with cliches, depicts a young man, disappointed in love, at the brink of suicide. Critic David L. Ulin dismisses it as pure juvenilia and mostly overwrought. A few months later The American Mercury published Fantes story, Altar Boy. Aside from sharing Fante as the author, the two stories hardly resembled one another. The variation in the quality of the two stories suggests the tremendous impact that Fantes experience at LBJC exerted on his thinking and literary career. In months, he transformed from the author of the immature and nearly unrecognizable Eleven Thirty to the prolific and emotionally wrought voice found in Altar Boy and later novels such as Wait Until Spring, Bandini and Ask the Dust. My research asks, what happened? What […]

...Read More about Danny Hutto
Humanities and Social Science

Engineered In Vitro Infective Endocarditis Modeling with a Human iPSC-based Cardiac Microphysiological System

Infective Endocarditis (IE) is a disease characterized by inflammation of the inner linings of the heart. Despite advancements made in medical therapies, IE continues to be a highly morbid and deadly disease with a mortality rate of 17.7% among the diagnosed world population. Traditional in vitro assays and in vivo models of IE fail to recapitulate many of the desired engineered controls that a researcher needs to effectively study the disease. Systems that precisely simulate the activities of the human endocardium in response to IE are in dire need to help biomedical researchers better understand the diseases mechanisms, and in turn develop rapid diagnostics and better therapies as the diseases epidemiology changes. Utilizing a Cardiac Microphysiological system (MPS), a 3D microfluidic platform that combines human iPSC derived heart cells and micro-engineered architectures to recapitulate the physiological and mechanical micro-environment of the human heart, I hope to develop a system that […]

...Read More about Nikko Jeffreys
Rose Hills

Investigating Thermodynamic Properties of Honeycomb Systems FePS3 and RuPS3

Quantum mechanics shows us that the electronic energy levels of isolated atoms are discrete. Upon the formation of a solid with many atoms, these energy levels merge to become quasi-continuous functions of the electrons momentum known as energy bands. In CeSb, the structure of these energy bands protects the stability of a semimetal state that would, in the absence of topological considerations, be destroyed in favor of an insulating state. In addition, CeSb possesses local magnetic moments that strongly interact with the electrons of the solid. I will be investigating how the magnetic order of the system interacts with its unique topology and how these interactions manifest themselves as bulk electrical, magnetic, and thermal properties of CeSb. The high mobility and low concentration of the carriers make this material an attractive candidate for new semiconductor devices.

...Read More about Caolan John
Rose Hills

Investigating Cellular Responses to Extracellular Proteotoxicity

With advances in health care and changes in lifestyle, humans are living healthier, longer. As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of age-related diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons. Despite decades of study, the mechanisms driving neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis remain unknown and effective treatments elusive. Inflammation is a hallmark feature of neurodegeneration, suggesting that inflammatory responses could be both protective and harmful to tissue physiology. We are developing a small molecule paradigm of extracellular proteotoxicity that is amenable to high-throughput genomic studies. Our preliminary data suggest that cells exposed to this chemical phenocopy induce broad immunological responses observed with extracellular amyloid-Beta. I will investigate which cellular pathways mediate these responses with the ultimate goal of manipulating cells to bias them towards protective instead of harmful responses that drive neurodegeneration.

...Read More about Daniel Jong Hyun Choi
Rose Hills

Defamiliarizing El Lissitzky's Proun Artworks

My research concerns El Lissitzky’s Proun artworks produced in the 1920s. Lissitzky was working in a very politically charged time amidst the Russian Revolution, and hoped to use art as the foundation for a new and better society. Purely geometric, evoking three-dimensionality, and in some instances architecture, the Proun artworks represent Lissitzky’s attempts to express new ideas, such as the fourth dimension and abstraction, through art. I hope to gain insight into Lissitzky’s own theoretical understandings of how space, time, and the viewer interact through the medium of artwork in order to present the Proun artworks in an unfamiliar way.

...Read More about Elizabeth Juster
Humanities and Social Science

Death in the Wild: How Womens Views on Death Exposed Racial and Colonial Views during American Western Expansion

My research project reimagines the overland journeys of pioneers in the 19th century United States. In our cultural memory, Western Expansion is often remembered as brave pioneers striking out West for adventure or livelihood; however, this view pushes Native Americans to the margins of the story. As pioneer families traveled and settled in the American West, they instigated settler colonialism, displacing and murdering Native American tribes around them. My research will inspect the colonial ethos carried by white settlers, and investigate how they enacted this destructive colonialism on the Native Americans they encountered. Specifically, I plan to study the letters and diaries of pioneer women, as few other researchers have examined this issue through a gendered lens. How did these women view the Native Americans around them? What characterized these interactions and how did they contribute to colonialism as a whole? How did they differ from male encounters? In this […]

...Read More about Lauren Kelly
Humanities and Social Science

High-Throughput Imaging of DNA Holliday Junctions

DNA Holliday junctions (HJs) are double-stranded structures that promote genetic variation during DNA replication. Errors during separation of the two strands that comprise the HJ may lead to various biological issues contributing to human disease. The Redding Lab seeks to approach this problem by first learning more about the biophysical properties of HJs. We look to engineer a DNA curtain, a microfluidic assay capable of trapping HJs on a microscope slide for further analysis in real time observation. Once successful, we can see the effects of manipulating experiment design on HJs to learn more about the mechanism of its resolution.

...Read More about Harrison Khoo
Rose Hills

Ground State Energy Determination Using Tensor Networks

Quantum computers have the potential to solve several useful classes of problems exponentially faster than their classical counterparts. A group of problems that is of particular interest is the determination of the ground states of strongly correlated quantum systems. Developing a computer capable of running such simulations would have a revolutionary impact on the field of Quantum Chemistry, allowing us to more accurately determine molecular properties for which we currently only have crude estimates. However, this field of research faces a number of logistical and technological barriers; such as the difficulty of designing an algorithm that would make good use of the hardware that will be available in the near term . The goal of the research I am proposing is to help overcome this barrier by writing software that will take a tensor network state as an input and generate a circuit for preparing this state on currently available […]

...Read More about Vladimir Kremenetski
Rose Hills

Evolution of multicellularity: Capture of unicellular versus multicellular choanoflagellates by a protozoan predator

All animals are multicellular, but why? My research this summer hopes to answer a part of this question by studying animals’ closest living relative: choanoflagellates. These organisms can be either unicellular or colonial, and it’s been theorized that this discrepancy is due to specific predation- where predators prefer either colonial or unicellular choanoflagellates. This predation could provide an evolutionary pressure that encourages the formation of colonies, a predecessor to true multicellularity.

...Read More about William Kumler
Rose Hills

Evaluating thermodynamic equations of state for numerically simulated materials

Hi! My name is Katie and I’m majoring in Physics and Chemistry here at Cal. I am really excited about my research this summer because it combines those two subjects, which I love, as well as some math and computer science, which are also fun. My work falls under the scope of the Materials Project, a collaboration at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that runs quantum mechanical simulations of many different materials on remote supercomputers and publishes the resulting data online and free to the public. By calculating just a few fundamental properties, we can discover a lot about how a certain material will behave, both on its own and in combination with others. I am examining how we can best predict the ways in which a material will change under variations in temperature and pressure – how it will shrink or expand, and at what point it will undergo phase […]

...Read More about Katherine Latimer
L&S Sciences

Balancing Fan and Feminist Identities: Feminist Fans and their Connective Action on Twitter K-pop Fandom

The past two years have been a time of painful awakening for Korea as the country witnessed a deeply polemic gender war previously unprecedented in Korean society. Within K-pop fandom, a series of fan-initiated hashtags such as #WeWantBTSFeedback has started publicizing and demanding feedback for issues of misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia in K-pop industry, specifically in the star text of different idols and idol groups. In this research, I will explore how the recent feminism revival in Korea has fostered a discourse on identity politics within K-pop fandom by examining the feminist narrative of the 21st century Korea, history and characteristics of K-pop fandom and past fan activisms, and intersectionality of of feminism, K-pop fandom, and Twitter as both a medium and an active site and producer of a social movement.

...Read More about Yena Lee
Humanities and Social Science

Investigating the Role of Ras-like GTPases in TORC2 Localization of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

The Target of Rapamycin (TOR) is a protein kinase involved in many aspects of cell physiology. Because of its importance in regulating growth, TOR has been central to metabolic and cancer research for years. Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains two paralogs of TOR, Tor1 and Tor2, which exist in their respective multi-subunit complexes TORC1 and TORC2. TORC2 has been found to regulate cell polarity, endocytosis, and actin polymerization in response to external stimuli, and studies have shown that the localization of TORC2 to the plasma membrane is essential for the complex’s function. However, the upstream regulatory mechanisms of TORC2 still remain largely unknown. Ras proteins are of interest because they contain a C-terminal motif that targets the GTPase to the membrane, and relationships between homologs of TOR and Ras-GTPases have been found in other model organisms. Through this project, my main aim is to understand more about the potential relationship between TORC2 […]

...Read More about Iris Li
L&S Sciences

The emotion of envy and social comparison

My research focuses on investigating the conditions that give rise to the emotion of envy both within individuals and within social groups. I am interested in how perceived social competition plays a role in determining the level of envy produced in both cases. As envy is a social comparative emotion that lies at the core of social hierarchy, I want to explore its dynamic and interrelated relationship within social structure (e.g. social class) in terms of how and why it arises as well as its consequences to the individuals and the society at large. I hope by situating basic emotion research within the larger social context, my project can shed some light into this important and yet insufficiently discussed issue.

...Read More about Kylie Li
Humanities and Social Science

Investigating the degradation of a kinetochore protein, Ndc80p, during meiosis

Sexual reproduction in almost all known organisms requires a specialized cell division named meiosis. Errors in this cell division are the leading cause of genetic disorders such as Downs syndrome, miscarriages, and congenital birth defects in humans. To ensure the success of meiosis, chromosomes undergo a dynamic restructuring of their kinetochores, which mediate chromosome segregation. In budding yeast, a single kinetochore subunit named Ndc80p is down-regulated in meiotic prophase to ensure proper meiotic chromosome segregation. Preliminary results by our lab have shown that Ndc80p degradation depends on the proteasome, potentially suggesting an ubiquitin-mediated degradation mechanism. Since the target specificity of this system requires E3 ubiquitin ligases, I aim to screen a subset of known or predicted E3 ligases to identify the one(s) that targets Ndc80p for degradation. Identifying such E3 ligase(s) and studying its regulations in meiosis will contribute to a mechanistic understanding on how cells regulate kinetochore composition to […]

...Read More about Hanna Liao
Rose Hills

Investigation of Parrondo's Paradox

Imagine a person plays two games, Game A and Game B, each with a higher probability of losing than winning, in some sequence. A possible sequence might be Game A, followed by Game B, followed by Game A, etc. Surely, playing any sequence of these two games will result in an overall loss. Against intuition, this turns out not to be the case. In fact, by playing these games in certain sequences, over time a player will experience an overall increase in capital. This phenomenon is called Parrondos Paradox, a mathematical concept that is proving to have applications in numerous different fields including game theory, financial risk, genetics, and physics. The goal of my research would be to investigate this paradox. New findings could lead to computer application tools that would be implemented into computer programs used to minimize risk in financial transactions, medical decisions, and other sciences.

...Read More about Julia Lipson
L&S Sciences

Treating Huntington's Disease by Autophagy

Huntingtons disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease resulting from accumulation of neurotoxic protein aggregates in the brain. The leading cause is the abnormal expansion of glutamine (polyQ) in the huntingtin protein (HTT). A major quest in this field is to develop strategies to clear the polyQ HTT aggregates. Autophagy is an essential pathway for cellular homeostasis by removing damaged proteins and organelles through the formation of autophagic membranes. The aim of my project is to manipulate autophagy to enhance the clearance of polyQ HTT aggregate. Specifically, I will design a series of protein adaptors that can theoretically enhance the targeting of the autophagic membrane to the polyQ HTT aggregate and test their effect on autophagy-mediated clearance of polyQ HTT aggregates. My methodological approaches include cloning, flow cytometry, immunoblot, co-immunoprecipitation, and immunofluorescence.

...Read More about Dawei Liu
L&S Sciences

Probing the Kinetics and Mechanism of Acetalization of Ketones and Aldehydes with Various Diols and Heterogeneous Acid Catalysts

The use of fossil fuels to produce fuels is leading to an increase in changes of global climate due to the large amount of carbon dioxide released. Fossil reserves are also becoming scarcer, so alternative energy sources such as those from biomass derived alcohols are becoming more important. It is known that some biomass derived alcohols, such as glycerol, can react with aldehydes and ketones to form acetals and ketals that are possible useful fuel additives. My research project will focus on probing the kinetics and mechanisms of the liquid phase reaction of diols with ketones/aldehydes in the presence of various heterogeneous acid catalysts. I will first do a literature review of what is currently known about these reactions. Then, I will perform trails of different times of reaction and temperatures (between 80C and 120C) of reaction, as well as a variety of reactants and acid catalysts to see how […]

...Read More about Alan Liu
Rose Hills

Optimizing the Synthesis of CVD Single Crystal Few-Layer h-BN for Graphene Electronic Devices

With the initial discovery and isolation of graphene in 2004, there have been many studies in other 2D materials. One such material is hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), otherwise known as white graphene, due to its structural similarity to graphene but electrically insulating qualities. hBN plays a unique role as a dielectric layer when paired with graphene, vastly improving charge carrier mobility and chemical stability. In order to optimize these effects, we need control over the properties of hBN films, including layer number, crystal size, and crystal quality. While chemical vapor deposition (CVD) synthesis of hBN has been the subject of intense research, the growth dynamics of few-layer single crystal hBN are still poorly understood. The purpose of my project is to investigate the role of growth conditions in CVD-grown hBN and observe how they impact the electrical properties of graphene-hBN heterostructure devices. Based on preliminary data in the Zettl Group […]

...Read More about Stanley Liu
Rose Hills

Evaluation of the Localization Ability of a Commercial Off-The-Shelf Drone for Active Cooperative Localization

A key component of successfully automating robots is localization: maintaining realtime knowledge of the robots’ positions and orientations in some local environment. Tools such as GPS can achieve reasonably accurate localization via absolute position estimates (e.g. a longitude, latitude measurement), but these absolute sensors often do not work well in indoor settings due to poor reception of the signal. As more and more robots are deployed to work in indoor environments such as households and factories, cost-effective and accurate localization for indoor settings becomes vital for enabling progress and maintaining safety for both the robots and the people surrounding them. Our research explores the concept of optimization of a multi-agent system for localization. One designated primary agent uses measurements sent by the supporting agents to localize, while the supporting agents simultaneously coordinate and optimize their movements in order to be able to continue relaying the necessary information to the primary […]

...Read More about Eugene Lo
Rose Hills

The role of inflammatory signaling and blood brain barrier degradation in cognitive decline

As we age, the protective barrier that separates circulating blood from neural tissue loses efficacy. Breakdown in this blood-brain barrier leads to excitatory synaptic remodeling, epileptoform activity, and, we hypothesize, cognitive dysfunction as seen in Alzheimers disease and dementia pathologies. The protein albumin in the blood is normally separated from brain tissue, but binds to TGF- receptors on astrocytes when the blood-brain barrier is compromised. This leads to an inflammatory signaling cascade and a host of changes in neural tissue that may contribute to cognitive decline. In our research, we seek whether application of IPW-5371, a novel TGF- receptor kinase antagonist, will lead to the reversal of inflammatory signaling and cognitive decline in aged mice and mice prematurely exposed to albumin, in hopes to reverse and prevent the onset of Alzheimers disease pathology.

...Read More about Ada Locke
Rose Hills

Signifying the Ghetto: WARs Over Contested Terrain in 1970s Los Angeles

This summer I aim to reconstruct and contextualize the career of the 1970s Afro-Latino funk band WAR, perhaps best known for enduring hits such as “”Lowrider,”” and “”Cisco Kid””, but in the peak of their fame, rebound for their album and title track “”The World is a Ghetto.”” Like many American cities in the mid-1960’s, the Watts neighborhood in LA went up in flames and ignited a battle between residents, activists, artists and political officials to represent and shape low-income urban communities. WAR’s contribution to the era’s soundscape carved out a unique political-cultural space and vision.

...Read More about Max Lopez
Humanities and Social Science

Effectiveness of Iron Oxide Microlites as Bubble Nucleation Sites in Rhyolitic Melts

Investigating the conditions that allow for bubble nucleation and bubble growth is significant for improving our understanding of volcanic eruptions and forecasting how they evolve over time. This research investigates how the presence of Iron Oxide (FeO) microlites may influence the nucleation of bubbles in rhyolitic melts as a function of temperature and at room pressure. It aims to shed light into the relationship between nucleating gas bubbles and the presence of, distance from, and relative size of, FeO microlites. It will thus allow for an understanding on how the bubble number density relates to the presence or absence of crystals and pre-existing bubbles, and consequently, analyze the rates of heterogeneous vs. homogeneous nucleation. In addition, this research will consider why these microlites may be effective nucleation sites. Factors such as surface tension, temperature variation, crystal geometry, melt viscosity, volatile diffusivity, and melt chemistry will also be examined in order […]

...Read More about Eva Lopez
L&S Sciences

Understanding the Wnt Signaling Pathway through ALM Polarity

The Wnt signaling pathway is an evolutionarily conserved signal transduction pathway that regulates important developmental processes such as cell fate, cell migration, cell polarity, and cell proliferation when activated by secreted Wnt glycoproteins. Mutations in Wnt signaling or Wnt genes have been shown to lead to specific developmental defects, including many human diseases such as cancer. Using C. elegans as a model organism, we strive to more deeply understand how Wnt signaling shapes development in more complex organisms. My research project focuses on the Wnt pathway that establishes the polarity of ALMs, mechanosensory neurons sensing light touch in C. elegans. In particular, we will examine the interaction between CAM-1 and proteins VAB-8 and SRC-1 in hopes of understanding the mechanism of how Wnt signaling orients ALM polarity.

...Read More about Faustine Luo
L&S Sciences

Landing a Job: Occupational Mobility and the Homestead Act

Rising inequality and falling economic mobility may be the defining economic and social challenge of present-day developed economiesand the US in particular. Recently, many have observed that inequality is associated with social discontent, slowed growth, and the spread of far-right populism. But economic mobility in the US has not always been dismal; in the late nineteenth century, mobility in the US was truly exceptional, higher than the US and the UK in the late twentieth century. My work investigates the effect of the western frontier on American economic development in the period of exceptional mobility. The project is in two main parts: first, I will take advantage of newly digitized data and computational tools to compare mobility among beneficiaries of the Homestead Act and similar folks who didnt appeal to the act; second, I will generate new geographic data from the Indian Wars to study the effect of frontier supply […]

...Read More about Ross Mattheis
Humanities and Social Science

Intelligence as a Virtue: Peer Judgments Around Test Based Academic Performance

How does the act of schooling impact childrens moral development? More specifically, do children equate academic intelligence to virtuous attributes? During my study, I will explore if and how 7 and 8 year olds associate high academic performance through test scores and effort level, to increased popularity, positive reviews from authority, and potential future success. Schooling reinforces the notion that intelligence for its own sake is an inherently good attribute, leading to success in other domains outside of academics. I am looking to further explore how children in San Diego, California and children in Northern England judge their peers based on perceived academic ability (testing performance), and if effort plays a role when these judgments are being formed. The goal of this research is to better understand the early stigmas that are formed around academic intelligence, more specifically, exam performance. If educators better understand the ways in which young children […]

...Read More about Megan Merrick
Humanities and Social Science

State and Statement: The Political Apology

This study explores the form and purpose of a political apology. It includes analyses of French presidential speeches regarding crimes the French state committed throughout its history both domestically and internationally, and how the presidents speak of them. The speech former French president Franois Hollande gave during his visit to Algeria in 2012 is one of the case studies. Hollandes visit received international attention because many anticipated that he would, on behalf of France, finally apologize to Algeria for 132 years of colonial rule and the 1954 Algerian War of Independence. Instead, on the day he arrived, Hollande declared that he intended neither to repent nor apologize. During his speech to Algerias parliament the following day, Hollande nonetheless recognized the brutality of colonization and directly referenced the years of violence, torture, and massacres the Algerians suffered. How can Hollandes speech be understood as a (non)apology, and why did Hollande, as […]

...Read More about Kevin Milyavskiy
Humanities and Social Science

An in-depth field investigation of shallow landslides and slope stability in a sedimentary landscape

Shallow landslides, a major geologic hazard, can be initiated by periods of heavy rainfall or as a result of land use. Physical processes that occur during a landslide, however, are notoriously difficult to interpret because landslides are rarely witnessed and often occur as single events. During February 2017, an intense storm generated approximately 400 landslides in a hilly, sedimentary landscape near Williams, California. This study will survey each landslide that occurred at the site to obtain a detailed statistical dataset for comparison with high resolution topographic maps and existing hillslope stability models. Analyses of the dataset will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the processes that cause slope failure as well as large-scale landscape evolution.

...Read More about Mariel Nelson
Rose Hills

Representing Subsumed Culture: Gendered Representation on Kenyan Matatus 1990-2016

Matatus (matatu singular) are privately owned minibuses and buses that navigate within Kenyas major cities, mostly transporting passengers into, around, and out of towns such as Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. They are an integral sociocultural and economic mobilizer in Kenya, transporting thousands daily. The late 90s in Kenya saw a proliferation of graffiti writings and painting on these vehicles as they were decorated (mostly with hip hop figures) to attract more passengers. Today, a picture of Nairobi is incomplete without the flashy graffitied matatu in the background. Using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), my research investigates semiotic dimensions and cultural implications of public representation of the female body on the matatu buses.

...Read More about Franklyn Odhiambo
Humanities and Social Science

Liquid Connections: Water Management, Structures, and Community Identity at Abiqui, NM

I am seeking to explore the intersection between water management techniques and structures (called acequias) and community identity in Abiqui, New Mexico. I’m taking a multifaceted approach to engage with this question. I am looking at the physical irrigation structures (constructed during the Spanish occupation of New Mexico) and their connection to other structures that are important to the community, archival and literary research, and oral histories regarding shared history and water use. Another important aspect of this project is that it is community engaged archaeological scholarship, meaning that there is a partnership with the Abiquiuceo community, that they are involved in the research design and critique of interpretation.

...Read More about Moira Peckham
Humanities and Social Science

Synthesis of a Homochiral MetalOrganic Framework

In this project, I will attempt to create a less expensive and more effective method to synthesize and separate chiral compounds in large quantities. Because a large percentage of biological molecules are chiral (i.e. they have non-superimposable mirror images), many bioactive and pharmaceutical compounds are also chiral, and separations and synthesis of these chiral compounds is a pivotal challenge in pharmaceutical research. To address this challenge, I aim to create an enantiopure chiral metalorganic framework (MOF) by introducing chiral additives during synthesis to induce bulk homochirality. Preliminary findings indicate this MOF could potentially be useful for separating chiral molecules or for synthesizing enantiopure molecules directly in a catalytic reaction.

...Read More about Leo Porter-Zasada
Rose Hills

Community-Based Alternatives for Mental Health Crisis Response: Past, Present, & Imagined

The prevalence of mental health crises among individuals in the United States is steadily increasing, but state-funded resources are declining. The police are the only 24/hr emergency responders in most areas, which means that police are obligated to respond to mental health crisis situations. The US Department of Justice estimates that people with mental health disabilities are four times as likely to be killed in interactions with law enforcement compared to the general population. Seeking to minimize negative interactions with the carceral state, community-based organizations have begun to implement alternative models for mental health crisis (MHC) response that do not put the individual in need of supportive attention at risk of incarceration (i.e. they do not rely on police as first responders). The aim of this research is to identify frameworks (past, present, and imagined) for community-based mental health crisis response and to compile a resource guide for organizations interested […]

...Read More about Peyton Provenzano
Humanities and Social Science

Interspecies Interactions Resulting in Induced Antibiotic Production

Bacteria that make up the soil microbial community are a significant source of natural antibiotics. In particular, species of Streptomyces are well known for their capability to produce a plethora of antibiotics, and it has been observed that the production of these antibiotics is accelerated when Streptomyces is interacting with certain neighboring microbes. We have found that compared to other soil microbes, Arthrobacter species can more robustly induce antibiotic formation in Streptomyces. I am investigating the mechanism of how the interactions between species of Arthrobacter and Streptomyces result in enhanced antibiotic production, and I aim to determine a method that optimizes natural antibiotic production in Streptomyces species by studying these complex relationships.

...Read More about Yein Ra
Rose Hills

Comparative Morphology and Neuroanatomy of Habronattus Jumping Spiders

Biodiversity is becoming an increasingly important field of study for biologists as we begin to explore drivers of diversification. Within this deep look into organisms large and small comes discoveries of biodiversity in unexpected forms. My research has focused on the biodiversity of courtship displays in male jumping spiders of the highly-diversified genus Habronattus. These spiders produce complex displays that combine visual and vibratory signals. These vibratory “songs” vary across species and it is unknown what structures are responsible for this variation. I used a combination of video and imaging techniques to examine variation in sound production morphology. Using high speed video recordings and laser vibrometry I was able to document male songs in different species, and then imaged their sound producing structures using Scanning Electron Microscopy. Analysis of these images revealed distinct morphological characteristics belonging to each species but similar morphologies in sister taxa. This evidence suggests that evolution […]

...Read More about Cody Raiza
Rose Hills

Overruled Cones of Permutation Equivariant Quantum K-theory

In string theory we are interested in the set of world sheets swept out by strings moving through spacetime that satisfy certain equations of motion. This set, called a moduli space, is mysterious and complicated but it possess a lot of structure that is not apparent at first glance. I study this moduli space using a mathematical tool called K-theory which leads to studying an infinite dimensional cone in a space of rational functions. This cone is invariant under certain rotations of the space of rational functions. I study arbitrary sets of rational functions invariant under these rotations. This will hopefully shed light back on string theory and other things.

...Read More about Charlie Reid
L&S Sciences

Manipulating Hepatitis B Virus-like Particles through Mutations

Virus-like particles (VLPs) are non-infectious viral capsids that can be engineered, and serve as a drug delivery scaffolds.The MS2 bacteriophage is a VLP that has already proven to be a robust and mutable VLP by the Francis group. I am utilizing the same techniques to another VLP, the Hepatitis B virus (HBV), to identify if this is a universal quality that can be applied to immunogenic VLPs that affect humans. I aim to substitute each position of the of the HBV polypeptide with all possible combinations of the 20 natural amino acids. Then I will clone, express, purify, and characterize the resulting mutants to discover which create viral capsids, and which can be further modified chemically. Mapping the mutations of HBV will provide a novel exploration of the VLP, and could lead to engineering a completely new class of scaffolds for drug delivery.

...Read More about Stephanie Robinson
Rose Hills

Host regulation of Chlamydia trachomatis TARP by signal peptide proteolysis

Chlamydia trachomatis is an intracellular pathogen that infects approximately 150-300 million people worldwide, where it is estimated that 9 million people have become blind as a result of an infection by this pathogen. Such statistics show the necessity for basic research into the fundamental processes of infection by this pathogen in order to pave the way for new treatment options to reduce this staggering disease burden. My research aims to determine the mechanism by which a protein produced by Chlamydia is degraded within the host cell. Specifically, this protein, called TARP, is used by the invading bacterium to hijack host cell machinery and initiate entry of the bacterium into the cell, but this protein gradually disappears during the infection cycle. By studying the degradation mechanism of this protein, we hope to determine why this regulation of TARP is advantageous to Chlamydia trachomatis and how preventing the degradation of TARP impacts […]

...Read More about Blake Sanders
Rose Hills

Corporate Tax Rate Differentials and Transfer Price Manipulation: Evidence from Bilateral Trade Data

For the most part, individuals must break the law in order to escape paying U.S. individual income taxes. However, corporations can legally avoid (or at least defer indefinitely) paying U.S. corporate income taxes by taking advantage of loopholes in the tax laws of various countries. Major U.S. companies such as Google and Apple have made headlines with their intricate tax avoidance schemes, which cost the U.S. government billions of dollars in tax revenue. One major component of tax avoidance by large U.S. multinational corporations is the artificial shifting of profits to low-tax countries by manipulating inter-company transfer prices. My research attempts to find evidence of transfer mispricing in U.S. bilateral trade data. I am investigating how corporate tax rate differentials between the U.S. and other countries create incentives to manipulate transfer prices, and to what extent artificial profit shifting via transfer prices distorts bilateral trade flows.

...Read More about William Sandholtz
Humanities and Social Science

Whose Word Is It Anyway? The Rhetoric of [Re]Claiming Indigenous Language and Mixed Race [Dis]Identification

The Native Hawaiian word “hapa” has undergone an extraordinary rhetorical and linguistic evolution. From signifying half-foreigner” (colloquially, foreigner meaning “white, due to influx of white Europeans and Americans forcibly entering Hawaii since the late 18th century), to “part Hawaiian, part white,” then part Hawaiian,” to half-Asian or Pacific Islander (API) and half-White,” to simply “half-Asian or Pacific Islander (API).” While some see its current usage as a rhetorical site of API community building and empowerment, others feel that non-Native Hawaiian people do not have a right to use it. It is also contested whether the term is rooted in derogatory connotation, or is simply a neutral identifier. I seek to pinpoint the rhetorical trajectory of how and why “hapa” arrived at its current usage, and how this relates to self-[dis]identification of mixed race communities in the context of settler colonialism and the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement.

...Read More about Kiana Schmitt
Humanities and Social Science

Improving the Biosensor Properties of an AraC-Type Transcriptional Activator

The field of metabolic engineering seeks to rationally design microorganisms to produce specific compounds, usually through the heterologous expression of non-native enzymes and modifications to native metabolism. A commonly employed experimental approach is to randomly mutate enzymes of interest and screen for a desired phenotype. However, this method is constrained by limitations in screening the massive primary sequence diversity scientists are now able to generate. Biosensors derived from naturally-occurring transcription factors can provide an efficient alternative to the low-throughput detection methods currently employed, facilitating an in vivo and tunable method of screening. My research in the lab of Dr. Jay Keasling explores the ligand promiscuity and relevant biosensor characteristics of a promiscuous transcription factor from the AraC family, a well known but poorly characterized group of transcriptional regulators. This summer, I plan to analyze the effects of various mutations to the gene encoding the factor as well as its cognate […]

...Read More about Nima Sedaghatian
Rose Hills

Toward Swimming Medical Microrobots: Design and Characterization of a MEMS Motor for Electrostatic Actuation in Fluid

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are sub-millimeter structures that combine electrical and mechanical principles to produce novel sensors, actuators, and transducers for complicated tasks at the microscale. While most MEMS research focuses on devices operating in air, biomedical applications and the parallel growth of microfluidics have stimulated efforts towards MEMS operation in fluid, especially biological media. One goal of such operation is to develop a microrobot capable of entering the human body and performing medical procedures such as diagnostics, drug delivery, local tissue repair, and surgery. Whether this microrobot is autonomous or externally controlled, its basic objectives are to sustain self-powered untethered operation, exhibit smooth propulsion, and perform the necessary tasks of a medical procedure. While power sources are unlikely to utilize moving parts, propulsion and medical procedures require mechanical movement which must in turn be supplied by an on-board motor. This motor must be low-power, fully functional when immersed in biological […]

...Read More about Ryan Shih
Rose Hills

Investigating Pathogen Induced Behavioral Changes in Drosophila melanogaster

Entomopthera muscae is a fungus that infects flies that can induce behavioral changes and subsequently cause morbidity Drosophila melanogaster. However, the mechanism behind this drastic modification is still largely unknown. My research aims to find a way to modify and flourescently tag a gene in the fungus using CRISPR/Cas9, which may allow us to better understand mechanisms of infection and subsequent behavioral modifications in the host organisms. By doing so, we will be able to track how the fungus can travel through and modify the function of the nervous system in the host organism. This will enable future research probing the mechanistic basis of behavioral changes in the fly host, and may allow for a further understanding of other animal’s nervous systems and associated diseases. My research also focuses on how to genetically altera non model and evolutionarily distant species in vivo and subsequently return an active culture to a […]

...Read More about Quinn Spencer
L&S Sciences

Characterizing the Dynamic Regulation of the K2P ion channel, TRESK

An essential component to better understanding cellular electrical signaling is to address how the resting membrane potential in neurons is established and modified to affect excitability. Two-pore domain potassium (K2P) ion channels are directly involved in this process and comprise a unique protein family that is essential for the maintenance of this resting membrane potential. The TWIK-related spinal cord K+ channel (TRESK) is considered a major contributor to background K+ currents and is expressed abundantly in DRG neurons. This K2P channel is thought to be involved in pain sensation and sensory transduction, where its down-regulation may induce pain disorders such as allodynia and neuropathy, and loss of TRESK channel activity is strongly correlated to hereditary migraines with aura in humans. The goal of my research is to characterize the molecular structure of TRESK to understand the physical mechanism by which this channel operates.This characterization will begin with the expression and […]

...Read More about Ian Tayler
L&S Sciences

Exploring the correlation between beta oscillations and MEPs during movement preparation

Motor preparation can be probed using both electroencephalography (EEG) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a noninvasive brain stimulation technique which evokes a response called the motor-evoked potential (MEP) from the targeted muscle. However, recording MEPs is problematicthe MEP is highly variable from trial to trial, and the sources of fluctuations in MEP amplitude are debated. Some of this variability, as well as the temporal dynamics of the MEP, may be explained by neural oscillations, endogenous fluctuations in brain activity. During the preparatory period, both the MEP amplitude and beta power decrease on average, but it is unknown if the two are correlated trial-by-trial. By simultaneously recording MEPs and from EEG using a combined TMS-EEG method, my SURF project will test the hypothesis that MEP amplitude beta frequency band activity will have different patterns of correlation in early vs. late periods of motor preparation.

...Read More about Claudia Tischler
Humanities and Social Science

Millimeter scale CMOS imager

Technology has improved many aspects of our lives, but some of the largest changes have come in medicine. One large area of improvement is developing sensors that continuously monitor human health. These sensors need to be small enough to be non-invasive, and be low power so they can be used for a long time without being replaced. The aim of my research is to design and fabricate a small (2mm x 2mm), low power CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) camera to use in MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems). Lower power consumption will make the camera integrate easily into products that run on battery or need to dedicate resources to wireless communication or other tasks. Its small size will allow it to be used in medical observation, smart buildings or any other application with size or power constraints.

...Read More about Amanda Tomlinson
Rose Hills

Violence and Victimization among Older Homeless Adults: Results from the HOPE HOME Study

Homeless individuals experience increased risk for violence and victimization on the streets and in shelters, as well as by spouses, partners and acquaintances. Older homeless adults suffer from even higher rates of violent attacks, although research is limited with regards to risk factors associated with violence and victimization. With half of single homeless adults in the U.S. aged 50 and older and the rising median age of single homeless adults population, understanding the prevalence and nature of violence in this sub-population is crucial to direct future targeted interventions targeting. This work will attempt to identify the prevalence of recent and lifetime experiences of violence and victimization and its associated risk factors amonga local population-based sample of older homeless adults using data from the Health Outcomes of People Experiencing Homelessness in Older Middle Age (HOPE HOME) Study. The long-term goal of our study is to determine the prevalence, severity, trajectory and […]

...Read More about Michelle Tong
Humanities and Social Science

Effect of Speaker on Non-word Repetition Tasks in Bilingual Children

Nearly one quarter of children in the United States now hear a language other than English at home (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011). This means that millions of children, upon entering school, start acquiring English as their second language. At the same time as they experience a shift in language input in their new school environments, they also come in contact with significantly more children in their day-to-day life. Knowing that both child and adult input is important to the overall acquisition of language, it is interesting to ask whether children have different capacities for remembering words when communicated by a child (a classmate) or an adult (a teacher). Using a standardized diagnostic tool known as a nonword repetition task (NWR), I hope to investigate the differences in memory of nonwords when uttered by a child speaker versus an adult speaker in sequential bilingual 5-7 year olds.

...Read More about Claudia Valdivia
Humanities and Social Science

Phylogenetic and Biogeographic Analysis of Craneflies (Diptera: Tipulomorpha)

Members of the superfamily Tipuloidea, commonly called craneflies, are the largest group of Diptera, or flies. There are currently 18,000 species known. While this group is an important player in most ecosystems, serving as general decomposers, predators, or crop pests, little is known about the relationships between cranefly families or genera. My research is aimed at deconstructing the uncertainty of these relationships. A phylogenetic hypothesis for this group will facilitate further studies of cranefly evolution and will help answer questions about diversification in this group. For example, why are there so many cranefly species when most groups of flies only have a few thousand species? Furthermore, we are using molecular clock techniques to obtain a temporal perspective on cranefly evolution, dating the origin of the various families, genera and subgenera in this lineage.

...Read More about Ivonne Verduzco
Rose Hills

Read It with Tears: The Poetics of Old Norse Marian Devotion

Skaldic poetry, a genre of medieval Icelandic vernacular poetry characterized by its ornate poetics and highly inflexible meter, typically taking the form of royal encomia, was the preeminent poetic form in much of Scandinavia during its period of composition (mid-9th-mid-14th centuries). My research will focus on the latter end of this tradition, the rarely studied Marian skaldic poems (typically) composed in the 14th century. The Marian poems demonstrate a deep self-consciousness about the function of poetry within their changing culture, effectively using skaldic traditions as affective technologies to create emotional responses. The deeper understanding of the aesthetic gestures and innovations made by these Marian poems that my research seeks to access could provide incredibly valuable insights into Old Norse textual culture. Composed centuries after conversion, the distinctly skaldic emotional technologies deployed by these Marian poems suggest the enduring power of the genre in cultural memory, and a tradition of emotional […]

...Read More about Celine Vezina
Humanities and Social Science

Evolution Strategies as Derivative Free Alternative to Deep Reinforcement Learning

Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) has seen state-of-the-art results with Atari games, spoken dialogue systems, and a differentiable neural computer. However, excessive amounts of computer power are required to attain such results. My work concerns potential simplifications of DRL so that more advanced tasks are feasible, leveraging alternative evolutionary strategies with deep function approximators and evolutionary strategies with linear function approximators.

...Read More about Alvin Wan
Rose Hills

Network of a Ninth Century Poet: Visualizing the Social Life of Bai Juyi

Bai Juyi (aka Bo Juyi, ca. 8th9th century CE), one of the most renowned poets in Chinese history, was also a well-connected civil bureaucrat from a family based in the Tang capital. Past studies have focused principally on the deeds and accomplishments of the Tang aristocracy, but their social interactions remain largely unstudied. My project proposes to investigate the social network of the late Tang elites by conducting a social network analysis of Bai Juyi. The evidence for Bai Juyis social interactions can be assembled from a range of sources, including poem titles, letters, and tomb epitaphs, and their sheer volume allows for an in-depth reconstruction of Bais social network. This study attempts to trace, measure, and visualize Bais social connections, disambiguate his associates, and contextualize the patterns of geographical dispersion, social statuses, age, and lineages in his network. In the long term, I aim to investigate how a member […]

...Read More about Emily Wang
Humanities and Social Science

Development of Pseudomonas putida as a genome mining host for antimicrobial discovery

With the increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance, there is great demand for the development of new antibiotics. Natural products, which are biologically produced substances, are used as the primary reference for the development of antibiotics and drug development. Recent developments in metagenomics, the field of recovering genetic material from environmental samples, have allowed for the investigation of previously unexplored genomes. These genomes are potential sources for undiscovered natural products, and many have already been discovered through expressing environmental DNA (eDNA) in heterologous host vectors, such as E. coli and S. lividans. This method, however, suffers from low hit-rates, with at most 1 in 10000 clones producing an antimicrobial. This obstacle may be attributed to the intrinsic incapability of the heterologous hosts. E. coli suffers from a low tolerance for physicochemical stresses, a low-GC content compared to other bacteria, and a low xenobiotic tolerance. S. lividans is naturally more suitable for […]

...Read More about Andrew Wong
Rose Hills

Roles of Unc93B1 in TLR9 regulation beyond trafficking

The Toll-like receptor (TLR) family is a key component of the host innate immune response to foreign microbes. In the cell, TLRs localized to endolysosomes (termed intracellular TLRs) recognize microbial nucleic acids, and recognition of these microbial products then invokes an immune response to a myriad of bacterial and viral pathogens. One regulator of intracellular TLR activity that my project aims to characterize is Unc93B1, a chaperone protein that is currently understood to traffic intracellular TLRs to their correct endolysosomal compartments. This summer, my goal is to elucidate the role Unc93B1 plays in regards to regulating recognition of DNA ligands by one of these intracellular TLRs, TLR9, and to characterize its molecular mechanism. Current data from the Barton lab suggest that Unc93B1 stays associated with TLR9 in the endolysosome and that a specific configuration of Unc93B1-TLR9 is necessary for TLR9 signaling; disruption of this configuration leads to abolished signaling and […]

...Read More about Brian Woo
L&S Sciences

Dyskeratosis Congenita shelterin mutations in hESCs

Telomere maintenance and protection is performed by the six-protein complex called shelterin. Shelterin defects may lead to telomeropathies like Dyskeratosis Congenita (DC), a rare but severe disease with poor clinical outcomes. Recently, whole exome sequencing studies of DC patients have identified mutations in the gene locus of the shelterin component, TIN2. By establishing a disease model for DC using CRISPR/Cas9-gene edited isogenic human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines, I aim to investigate how TIN2-DC mutations give rise to disrupted telomere maintenance and DC phenotypes. Specifically, I will elucidate the genetic basis of telomere shortening caused by TIN2-DC mutations, establish the epistatic relationship between the DC allele and telomerase, and determine whether the DC alleles elicit DNA damage response at telomeres. My findings will deepen our understanding of telomere biology maintenance and molecular etiology of telomeropathies like DC, potentially leading to better therapeutic options for this severe disease.

...Read More about Shannon Wu
L&S Sciences

Using Light to Control Embryonic Development

At the level of transcription, gene expression is controlled by activator and repressor proteins (transcription factors) which bind to DNA in concentration-dependent manners. Current models in biophysics depict transcriptional regulation as an input-output function where the output rate of mRNA synthesis depends on the concentrations of input transcription factors. Our project seeks to evaluate and improve these quantitative models by developing optogenetic techniques to systematically perturb the natural system, in this case the common fruit fly embryo. We fuse a special light-sensitive protein to maternal transcription factors, then use different laser channels in a confocal fluorescence microscope to control the nuclear concentration of transcription factors while simultaneously measuring rates of mRNA synthesis with high spatiotemporal resolution. This technology opens the door to uncovering whether current models provide a sufficient basis for a quantitative description of developmental programs, or whether our fundamental assumptions need to be revisited both experimentally and theoretically.

...Read More about Jordan Xiao
Rose Hills

Teeth as Sensory Organs: 3D Correlative Analysis of Nerves and Vasculature in the Periodontal Ligament

The periodontal ligament (PDL), which surrounds the tooth in its bony socket, is unique amongst mammalian tissues as one of the only ligaments that is both innervated and vascularized. Nerves and vasculature are involved in inflammatory and sensory transduction processes in the PDL of patients who seek orthodontic treatments, such as braces, who generally undergo orthodontic tooth movement (OTM), or tooth movement in response to any non-physiologic force. However, OTM often incurs serious negative consequences, ranging from compromised oral hygiene and severe discomfort during treatment, to orthodontically-induced inflammatory root absorption and frequent relapse of tooth positions post-treatment. The goal of my research is to understand the mechanobiological effects following measured mechanical stimulation of the periodontal complex by focusing on the response of vasculature, nerves, and mineralizing fronts in the periodontal ligament. Through correlative light microscopy, electron microscopy, and X-ray microtomography, this project will augment the currently limited 2D understanding of […]

...Read More about Lynn Yang
Rose Hills

Understanding factors that influence self-reactive thymocyte fate

Some thymocytes, or T cell precursors, have the ability to respond to self-antigens. If these thymocytes were to leave the thymus, they would develop into conventional T cells with the potential to drive autoimmune diseases. To prevent self-reactivity, these cells are often deleted from the repertoire through a process known as negative selection. Some, however, undergo agonist selection, which results in the development of lineages with protective and regulatory roles. One agonist selected lineage is CD8 intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs). There is little known about what promotes the development of CD8 IEL precursors in the thymus and the factors that determine whether a thymocyte will undergo negative or agonist selection. To address this question, I will use a thymic slice model to investigate a thymocytes propensity to undergo negative selection versus agonist selection at different stages of maturation. Altogether, this will help us better understand self-reactive thymocyte fate and the mechanisms […]

...Read More about Jaewon (Jenny) Yoon
L&S Sciences

Investigating the influence of Drosophila DNA bending proteins, HMGD/HMGZ, on P element transposase activity

DNA transposable elements are mobile genetic elements that can move through out a host genome by the action of an encoded DNA transposase. The activity of several DNA transposases is significantly stimulated by DNA bending proteins, presumably promoting correct assembly of the transposase upon the DNA transposon ends (i.e. Mu transposase , RAG1/2, etc). While Drosophila P element transposase is well characterized, stimulation of the transposition reaction by DNA bending proteins has not been investigated. Here, I would like to investigate two Drosophila DNA bending proteins, HMGD and HMGZ, on Drosophila P element transposase activity. I will clone, recombinately express and purify HMGD and HMGZ then test if the presence of these proteins stimulate P element transposase activity.

...Read More about Tong Zhang
L&S Sciences

Inhibition of NRAS mutant malignant melanoma through targeting long non-coding RNA in vitro and in vivo

Melanoma is among the most common and lethal forms of cancer and its incidence has greatly increased in the last 30 years. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) are a class of epigenetic regulatory molecules important to cancer development and progression, and can serve as tumor markers or even targets for therapy. My research is focused on two novel lncRNA important for the survival of NRAS mutant malignant melanoma. I aim to verify the effects of these lncRNA, as well as demonstrate that we can inhibit melanoma cell growth both in vitro and in vivo through targeting these lncRNA. Additionally, I hope to characterize the mechanisms of action of these lncRNA so see if they are viable targets for therapy.

...Read More about James Zheng
L&S Sciences

Online Linguistic Violence in Contemporary China

Through this research, I want to find out how we should understand a social phenomenon of vehement linguistic violence on Chinas main social media sites as well as a newly-emerging netizen group keyboard warrior in the society. How does keyboard warriors collective action of expressing aggression against others produce a new form of youth culture or pop culture in contemporary China? Or does the Internet as a new medium offer a new possibility to wield violence beyond verbal communication and physical interaction? With a consideration of violent dictions on the Internet, how does the vestige of Maoist discourse perform and function on a new medium and during a new era? How do words carry a historical violence and trauma through literature, visual arts and online speech? Back to the Cultural Revolution, how did the keyword slogans become a product of Maoist discourse and how did these words come to suffuse […]

...Read More about Jiaqian Zhu
Humanities and Social Science