Graham Shapiro

Does there exist a relationship between the times of past earthquakes and the time until the next earthquake? Recent research suggests that there exists patterns in earthquake occurrence that exist between long sequences of earthquakes. Most current earthquake models assume earthquakes are either memoryless or only incorporate short-term memory. The purpose of this research is to develop a statistical earthquake model that incorporates time-dependence as well as long-term memory. Specifically to create a computer implemented time dependant statistical model of temporal sequences of earthquake features to estimate the effect of long term memory on the magnitude and occurrence times of earthquakes in Northern California.

Maansi Shah

DivL is an essential protein in Caulobacter crescentus that acts upstream of the master cell-cycle regulator, CtrA. Sequence analysis shows DivL to be homologous to histidine protein kinases, however, it has a tyrosine at its active site rather than a histidine. DivL is an essential protein but a mutant form of the protein, in which autophosphorylation is prevented by the substitution of phenylalanine for the tyrosine at the phosphorylation site, is still capable of supporting viability. Thus, DivL activates CtrA by a mechanism other than phosphorylation. The goal of my project is to identify proteins upstream or downstream of DivL in its cell-cycle regulation pathways via genetic screening, complementation analysis and sequencing. Discovering the identity of some of these proteins will give us insight into the function of an essential protein and help deepen our understanding of cell cycle regulation as a whole.

Briana Robertori

For 10 weeks, I will be living up the mountainous rural coffee growing area of Matagalpa, Nicaragua studying the tourism that I myself will be a part of. I will be studying how the UCA San Ramon coffee cooperatives agroeco-tourism project is affecting the families and communities of the mostly female tourist hosts. To survey both the positive and negative effects, I will be distributing a questionnaire to all of the forty host mothers, or alojadoras. I will also be conducting between eight and ten filmed interviews with alojadoras, tourist guides, community members, and one interview with the director to assess the tourism projects historical impact. When I return to Berkeley, I will make a documentary for my Anthropology honors thesis.

Alyse Ritvo

An invisible disability is one that remains unnoticeable to an observer unless the person with the disability or someone else discloses it. Invisible disabilities can be of a physical, cognitive, intellectual, or psychiatric nature and are estimated to account for 40% of disabilities in the U.S. Since people with invisible disabilities can choose whether or not to conceal them in a given situation, they face the ongoing challenge of deciding whether and how to present their disabilities. This liminal status proves challenging for identity formation, a critical issue in young adulthood. Through qualitative interviews, I will learn how college students decisions about disability disclosure affect their self-concepts and relationships. I hope that my research findings will inform public health workers, university administrators, and the general public about how to better accommodate students with invisible disabilities.

Lucas Zipp

Diamond magnetometry works by probing the electron spin resonances of the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond. An NV center is a defect in the diamond crystal structure in which a nitrogen atom is located next to a hole in the lattice structure. An external magnetic field causes a shift in the electron spin energy levels of the NV centers. Using lasers and microwaves, we can manipulate the electron quantum spin states to detect this shift. My goal this summer is to examine the NV defects in diamond with nanometer scale resolution, and to construct a two dimensional map of the electron spin resonances and the corresponding magnetic fields.

Tianzan Zhou

My project concerns the regulation of transcription. Transcription is the process by which a DNA sequence is transcribed into an RNA sequence. This RNA sequence then gets translated into a protein, which is the basic machinery of life. Therefore, the mechanisms by which transcription is regulated are very important to understand. We have evidence for a novel mechanism that takes place during transcription and utilizes the creation of truncated, nonfunctional RNA transcripts of a gene to repress the formation of long, functional transcripts of that same gene. We do not yet know the mechanism that determines this phenomenon. I am analyzing the entire yeast genome for genes whose expressions correlate with the appearance of short transcripts to try and pinpoint the genes that regulate this observation. This will help us understand the process of transcription in a greater detail, and also the ways in which it can malfunction in common […]

Albert Yu

In the human body, the liver is the only organ that can regenerate following substantial damage. But if all cells contain the same genetic information, how is this function unique to the liver? This summer I will study regeneration in the wing imaginal discs of developing Drosophila larvae. My goal is to develop a system that introduces localized cell death in these discs. Following cell death, I will visualize the amount and location of cell proliferation in the remaining cells. With this system, I can assess the ability of mutant cells to respond to localized cell death, which will provide insight into what genes, when mutated, disrupt regeneration. By finding which genes affect regeneration, we can gain a better understanding about the cell growth pathway.

Lee Ying

Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome (SLOS) is a genetic disease that causes mental retardation and physical abnormalities. Biochemically, a defect in the enzyme that catalyzes the terminal step of cholesterol synthesis causes cholesterol deficiency and a toxic accumulation of its precursor, 7-dehdyrocholesterol. Gene therapy to supply the missing enzyme has been shown to partially normalize cholesterol metabolism, but more biomarkers need to be established in order to fully explore its usefulness. For my SURF project, I will investigate whether photosensitivity and abnormal bile acid composition, which are symptoms of SLOS in humans, are also symptomatic in the mouse models of SLOS. These characteristics are potential biomarkers that could be used by all researchers developing treatments for SLOS.

Andrina Tran

During the turbulent 1960s, controversial novelist Ayn Rand became a forceful voice for lost and disaffected youth. Through her seemingly impenetrable philosophy of Objectivism, Rand offered a round universe of order, rationality, and certainty for young libertarians who felt that neither liberals nor conservatives fully addressed national issues. My project will center on this undeveloped aspect of Randian scholarship her palliative, almost spiritual, role in the intellectual history of youth. More specifically, I will consider how Rands followers attempted to propagate Objectivism within an overwhelmingly liberal campus atmosphere, while also creating their own subcultures outside the walls of academia. Although this undercurrent of protest seemed to fade over time, Rands continued appeal would demonstrate the longevity of the libertarian sensibility in the American psyche.