Birmingham–Southern College is a private liberal arts college in Birmingham, Alabama, United States. Founded in 1856, the college is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools . More than 1300 students from 33 states and 16 foreign countries attend the college. Birmingham–Southern has a 13:1 student-faculty ratio, and 96% of full-time faculty hold a doctorate or the highest degree in their field. Birmingham–Southern has been consistently ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in the United States. The college is one of just forty institutions nationwide profiled in Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives, which offers the following snapshot of the college: "What all of this says is that Birmingham-Southern is a high-quality, caring place where a person from any part of the country would not only be comfortable but would grow intellectually, morally, and personally." Wikipedia.
Townsend Jr. V.R.,Virginia Wesleyan College |
Viquez C.,INBio |
Vanzandt P.A.,Birmingham-Southern College |
Proud D.N.,University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Zootaxa | Year: 2010
To facilitate identification of harvestmen of the family Cosmetidae in Central America, we developed dichotomous keys that distinguish the 33 known genera and the 133 described species for this region. Couplets are based upon characters found in the literature and examinations of museum specimens. Important characters include the number of tarsomeres on leg I, armature of the dorsal scutum, free tergites and legs, as well as the coloration and relative length of the body and legs. In addition, we provide a summary of sexually dimorphic features and comment on the potential usefulness of penis morphology and coloration as characters for distinguishing taxa. Copyright © 2010 Magnolia Press.
Pezzementi L.,Birmingham-Southern College |
Nachon F.,Institute Of Recherche Biomedicale Des Armees |
Chatonnet A.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research |
Chatonnet A.,Montpellier University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011
Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) are thought to be the result of a gene duplication event early in vertebrate evolution. To learn more about the evolution of these enzymes, we expressed in vitro, characterized, and modeled a recombinant cholinesterase (ChE) from a teleost, the medaka Oryzias latipes. In addition to AChE, O. latipes has a ChE that is different from either vertebrate AChE or BChE, which we are classifying as an atypical BChE, and which may resemble a transitional form between the two. Of the fourteen aromatic amino acids in the catalytic gorge of vertebrate AChE, ten are conserved in the atypical BChE of O. latipes; by contrast, only eight are conserved in vertebrate BChE. Notably, the atypical BChE has one phenylalanine in its acyl pocket, while AChE has two and BChE none. These substitutions could account for the intermediate nature of this atypical BChE. Molecular modeling supports this proposal. The atypical BChE hydrolyzes acetylthiocholine (ATCh) and propionylthiocholine (PTCh) preferentially but butyrylthiocholine (BTCh) to a considerable extent, which is different from the substrate specificity of AChE or BChE. The enzyme shows substrate inhibition with the two smaller substrates but not with the larger substrate BTCh. In comparison, AChE exhibits substrate inhibition, while BChE does not, but may instead show substrate activation. The atypical BChE from O. latipes also shows a mixed pattern of inhibition. It is effectively inhibited by physostigmine, typical of all ChEs. However, although the atypical BChE is efficiently inhibited by the BChE-specific inhibitor ethopropazine, it is not by another BChE inhibitor, iso-OMPA, nor by the AChE-specific inhibitor BW284c51. The atypical BChE is found as a glycophosphatidylinositol-anchored (GPI-anchored) amphiphilic dimer (G2 a), which is unusual for any BChE. We classify the enzyme as an atypical BChE and discuss its implications for the evolution of AChE and BChE and for ecotoxicology. © 2011 Pezzementi et al.
News Article | February 15, 2017
American Family Care (AFC), the nation’s leading provider of urgent care, occupational medicine, and accessible primary care, celebrates its role in the current health care revolution with a rededication ceremony for its recently renovated clinic in Hoover, Alabama. Local government officials and other dignitaries will help celebrate the occasion on Tuesday, January 31 at 1680 Montgomery Highway, Hoover, AL 35216. Originally opened in 1982, the Hoover clinic was the company’s first medical center – and is what many consider to be the epicenter of the urgent care industry. Since the opening of AFC’s Hoover clinic, the urgent care concept has grown dramatically. According to the most updated number from the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA), there are more than 7,000 centers in the U.S. providing full-service urgent care medicine – including x-rays, lab work and extended hours. “Our success is the direct result of the hard work and dedication of our employees and franchisees who work tirelessly to deliver kind, compassionate health care around the corner and around the nation,” said D. Bruce Irwin, M.D., founder and CEO of AFC. “We are both proud and humbled by our role in helping to create an industry that is providing patients with greater access to quality health care.” Born the son of a cobbler in Center Point, Alabama, Dr. Bruce Irwin earned an undergraduate degree from Birmingham-Southern College and graduated from the School of Medicine at University of Alabama at Birmingham. While working in the Emergency Room of Brookwood Medical Center, he discovered that some non-critical emergencies were clogging up the waiting rooms. Despite his lack of education and experience in business, Irwin sketched a business plan for a network of urgent care clinics on a notepad. More than three decades later, that vision has revolutionized how millions of people gain access to health care. When: Tuesday, January 31 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. About American Family Care: Founded by Dr. Bruce Irwin with a single location in 1982, American Family Care has pioneered the concept of non-emergency room urgent care. With its 2013 acquisition of the Doctors Express, AFC has become the nation’s leading provider of urgent care, accessible primary care, and occupational medicine, with more than 170 clinics and 500 in-network physicians caring for 2 million patients a year. Ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., AFC’s stated mission is to provide the best healthcare possible, in a kind and caring environment, while respecting the rights of all patients, in an economical manner, at times and locations convenient to the patient. For more information, visit http://www.americanfamilycare.com.
Stevens S.K.,Birmingham-Southern College |
Strehle A.P.,Birmingham-Southern College |
Miller R.L.,Rhodes College |
Gammons S.H.,Birmingham-Southern College |
And 5 more authors.
Molecular Pharmacology | Year: 2013
The anticancer ruthenium complex trans-[tetrachlorobis(1H-indazole) ruthenate(III)], otherwise known as KP1019, has previously been shown to inhibit proliferation of ovarian tumor cells, induce DNA damage and apoptosis in colon carcinoma cells, and reduce tumor size in animal models. Notably, no dose-limiting toxicity was observed in a Phase I clinical trial. Despite these successes, KP1019's precise mechanism of action remains poorly understood. To determine whether Saccharomyces cerevisiae might serve as an effective model for characterizing the cellular response to KP1019, we first confirmed that this drug is internalized by yeast and induces mutations, cell cycle delay, and cell death. We next examined KP1019 sensitivity of strains defective in DNA repair, ultimately showing that rad1Δ, rev3Δ, and rad52Δ yeast are hypersensitive to KP1019, suggesting that nucleotide excision repair (NER), translesion synthesis (TLS), and recombination each play a role in drug tolerance. These data are consistent with published work showing that KP1019 causes interstrand cross-links and bulky DNA adducts in mammalian cell lines. Published research also showed that mammalian cell lines resistant to other chemotherapeutic agents exhibit only modest resistance, and sometimes hypersensitivity, to KP1019. Here we report similar findings for S. cerevisiae. Whereas gain-of-function mutations in the transcription activator-encoding gene PDR1 are known to increase expression of drug pumps, causing resistance to structurally diverse toxins, we now demonstrate that KP1019 retains its potency against yeast carrying the hypermorphic alleles PDR1-11 or PDR1-3. Combined, these data suggest that S. cerevisiae could serve as an effective model system for identifying evolutionarily conserved modulators of KP1019 sensitivity. Copyright © 2013 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Beaton L.L.,Washington University in St. Louis |
Beaton L.L.,York College - The City University of New York |
van Zandt P.A.,Washington University in St. Louis |
van Zandt P.A.,Birmingham-Southern College |
And 2 more authors.
Oikos | Year: 2011
The evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis provides a compelling explanation for the success of invasive species. It contends that because alien plants have escaped their coevolved natural enemies, selection pressures favor a diversion of resources from herbivore defense to traits that confer increased competitive ability. Here, we provide evidence for EICA in the noxious grassland invader Lespedeza cuneata, by comparing the ancestral genotype introduced to North America in 1930 with modern-day invasive (North American) and native (Japanese) genotypes. We found that the invasive genotype was a better competitor than either the native or the ancestral genotype. Further, the invasive genotype exhibited greater induced resistance but lower constitutive resistance than the ancestral and native genotypes. Our results suggest that selection has played a pivotal role in shaping this invasive plant species into a more aggressive, but less constitutively defended competitor. © 2011 The Authors. Oikos © 2011 Nordic Society Oikos.
Yeager C.R.,Birmingham-Southern College |
Gibbons M.E.,Birmingham-Southern College
Journal of Herpetology | Year: 2013
The trade-offs associated with maternal provisioning strategies in amphibians are well documented. Relevant studies typically demonstrate that female body size is correlated positively with provisioning of resources to offspring; females may augment offspring resources by increasing the size of the clutch or increasing individual egg size. Alternatively, females may practice one or more alternative strategies, including increasing variation of egg size within the clutch or switching from one strategy to another between breeding events. For this study we examined the trade-off provisioning strategy employed by Red-eyed Treefrogs (Agalychnis callidryas), a species with predator-induced flexibility in hatching age. We recorded the mass of 30 females found amplexed with males in the field, as well as clutch size, individual egg diameter, and total yolk volume resulting from the pairings. Our hypothesis that female mass would be correlated positively with total yolk volume was not supported, nor were most other traditionally expected trade-offs. However, we found that there was a significant difference between the largest and smallest eggs within clutches, and that clutches differed in egg size variability, with larger females tending to produce clutches with less variation in egg size. For the largest females, there was a positive trend between female mass and total yolk volume, and a significant and positive relationship between female mass and total number of eggs. These data suggest that a combination of maternal provisioning strategies may be present in this population of A. callidryas, which is likely an adaptive response to an unpredictable environment. Copyright 2013 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.
Gibbons M.E.,Birmingham-Southern College |
Patricia George M.,Birmingham-Southern College
Oecologia | Year: 2013
For species with complex life cycles, transitions between life stages result in niche shifts that are often associated with evolutionary trade-offs. When conditions across life stages are unpredictable, plasticity in niche shift timing may be adaptive; however, factors associated with clutch identity (e. g., genetic or maternal) may influence the effects of such plasticity. The red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas) is an ideal organism for investigating the effects of genetics and life stage switch point timing because embryos exhibit adaptive phenotypic plasticity in hatching time. In this study, we evaluated the effects of experimentally manipulated hatching time and clutch identity on antipredator behavior of tadpoles and on developmental traits of metamorphs, including larval period, mass, SVL, and jumping ability. We found that in the presence of dragonfly nymph predator cues at 21 days post-oviposition, tadpoles reduced both their activity level and height in the water column. Furthermore, early-hatched tadpoles were less active than late-hatched tadpoles of the same age. This difference in behavior patterns of early- and late-hatched tadpoles may represent an adaptive response due to a longer period of susceptibility to odonate predators for early-hatched tadpoles, or it may be a carry-over effect mediated by early exposure to an environmental stressor (i. e., induction of early hatching). We also found that hatching time affected both behavioral traits and developmental traits, but its effect on developmental traits varied significantly among clutches. This study shows that a single early-life event may influence a suite of factors during subsequent life stages and that some of these effects appear to be dependent on clutch identity. This interaction may represent an evolutionary response to a complex life cycle and unpredictable environments, regardless of whether the clutch differences are due to additive genetic variance or maternal effects. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 86.55K | Year: 2012
Flow cytometry has become an integral tool in biological and biochemical research because it combines the versatility of fluorescence microscopy with the strength of quantitative population-based methods. This NSF MRI award provides funds for the purchase of a BD Accuri C6 Flow Cytometer to introduce and expand the use of flow cytometry at Birmingham-Southern College (BSC). Important for use in an undergraduate research program, the Accuri C6 flow cytometer is compact, cost-effective, and capable of complex cellular fluorescence and counting analyses, supplying the functionality of a full-scale cytometer in a table-top apparatus. The versatility of this instrument will facilitate its use by undergraduate researchers in the Chemistry and Biology Departments in a variety of broad applications. The instrument will be used to quantitatively assess cellular fluorescence of bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cells. In particular, flow cytometry will be used to address important questions in biology and chemistry, such as understanding the mechanisms that regulate membrane trafficking and control cell cycle progression in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, characterization of iron uptake pathways in Staphylococcus aureus, and investigation of the interactions between complex sphingolipid homeostasis and cell physiology in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The CSampler® accessory will further allow BSC researchers to perform high-throughput fluorescence-based assays for large-scale screening and identification of new avenues for research. Importantly, the ease of setup and use of this instrument makes flow cytometry accessible for researchers at the undergraduate level.
Flow cytometry allows researchers to rapidly quantify fluorescence levels in thousands of individual cells within minutes, providing quantitative information about cell populations that can be used to address many important biological and biochemical research questions. Introduction of flow cytometry will impact undergraduate education at Birmingham-Southern College, a primarily undergraduate liberal arts college of approximately 1300 students with well-regarded programs in biology and chemistry. Typically, one-third of each incoming class expresses an interest in the sciences. Though primarily for undergraduate research, this instrument will have a significant impact on teaching, training, and learning due to (1) the research requirement for all natural science majors at BSC and (2) integration of research into the curriculum of BSC?s teaching laboratories. Our intensive senior research programs are among the greatest strengths of the natural sciences at BSC. Every graduate of these majors must engage in a minimum of two terms of research. This instrument will provide senior research students with the opportunity to utilize an important technology not currently available at the College. Acquisition of this flow cytometer will also significantly impact students enrolled in biology and chemistry courses. Flow cytometry will be incorporated into research-based laboratories in Honors Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry, exposing students in these courses to flow cytometry data collection and analysis. Students will gain hands-on experience with flow cytometry, impacting the vast majority of science majors at BSC.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 208.23K | Year: 2012
This project is connecting the biology and chemistry curricula as well as increasing the number of inquiry-based laboratory modules by incorporating a common research theme into select courses. The General Chemistry lab is being revised to introduce all biology and chemistry students to fundamental scientific concepts using a discovery-based approach to solve real-world problems such as carbon dioxide release and biofuel combustion. Research experiences are being introduced into four additional courses - two in biology and two in chemistry. These linked courses are introducing students to the purest form of inquiry by having them synthesize anticancer ruthenium complexes and conduct research on the chemical and biological properties of this new class of drug. All modules incorporate elements of the gradualism approach in which students start off with highly structured, well-defined tasks that focus on building basic skills and then progress to more open-ended projects.
Outcomes of this project include improved critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. The activities are helping students develop an integrated view of modern science as they tackle a real-world problem - drug development - from both biological and chemical perspectives. Student collaborations on research within and across courses is building a stronger sense of community among biology and chemistry majors.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Cellular Dynamics and Function | Award Amount: 164.25K | Year: 2013
The regulated movement of membrane vesicles within the cell is a process essential to life. This trafficking of membrane vesicles mediates the transport of proteins within the cell and the secretion of certain selected proteins from the cell. Minor defects in these processes can result in devastating physiological consequences. The correct trafficking of vesicles requires a high level of specificity, as transport vesicles containing only the correct cargoes (e.g. specific proteins) must form at the proper donor membrane and be delivered to the right target membrane. However, the mechanisms that underlie the specificity of membrane transport remain largely undefined. In this project fission yeast will be used to investigate these regulatory mechanisms, especially those mediated by the ADP Ribosylation Factor Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors that are known to play a role in determining the specificity of secretory traffic. Broader Impacts. This project will enhance undergraduate research through 1) integration into inquiry-based teaching laboratories, 2) providing research projects for 4-7 senior biology students each year and 3) summer research opportunities for undergraduate students.