Gettysburg, PA, United States
Gettysburg, PA, United States

Gettysburg College is a private, four-year liberal arts college founded in 1832, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, United States, adjacent to the famous battlefield. Its athletic teams are nicknamed the Bullets. Gettysburg College has about 2,700 students, with roughly equal numbers of men and women. Gettysburg students come from 43 states and 32 countries. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked it 46th among Best Liberal Arts Colleges. The college is the home of The Gettysburg Review, a literary magazine. Wikipedia.


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News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

New research shows how two drastically different organisms--a green alga and the spotted salamander--get along as cellular roommates. Scientists at the American Museum of Natural History and Gettysburg College found that this symbiosis, the only known example that includes a vertebrate species, puts stress on algal cells, changing the way they make energy, but does not seem to negatively impact salamander cells. The work is published today in the journal eLife. "Science shows us the many ways that life is interconnected, especially on the microscopic level, where we see how many organisms depend on close contact with or internalization of other species for food, defense, or reproduction," said lead author John Burns, a postdoctoral researcher in the Museum's Division of Invertebrate Zoology. "But the relationship between this particular alga and salamander is very unusual." Scientists have known for more than a century that a green alga (Oophila amblystomatis) grows in the egg cases of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)--the strange pairing is visible to the naked eye in the green hue of salamanders' eggs. The symbiosis was originally thought to occur only between the salamander embryo and the algae living outside it. The embryos produce nitrogen-rich waste that is useful to algae, and the algae increases the oxygen content of the fluid around the respiring embryos. But recent research has revealed that the algae are actually located inside cells all over the spotted salamander's body. This cell-within-a-cell relationship can also be found in corals and in the guts of cicadas, but the green alga-spotted salamander interaction is the only known example of a symbiont entering the cells of a vertebrate species. "This is really such a strange arrangement to think about, that the salamanders allow the algae to live in their egg cases. It would be like having a bunch of green algae in a womb," said study co-author Ryan Kerney, an assistant professor at Gettysburg College. "What we set out to look at now is the kind of molecular change that happens when the salamander cells and green algae cells are together." In the new eLife study, the researchers compared RNA from the cells of five different groups: salamander cells with algae, salamander cells without algae, the algal cells living in salamander cells, the algae living in the egg capsules, and algae cultured in the laboratory. They found that algae inside salamander cells are stressed and change the way they make energy. Instead of using light energy to produce food to support the salamander host, as happens in coral-algae interactions, the algae in salamander cells struggle to adapt to their new environment. Whether the algae benefits from this cell-within-a-cell interaction remains unclear. In stark contrast, affected salamander cells appear to recognize the alga as foreign but show no signs of stress during the interaction. The researchers found that the salamanders overexpress several genes that might suppress an immune response, suggesting that the host cell experience is neutral or beneficial. "We are learning that these two fundamentally different cells are changing each other dramatically, and this might be relevant for other symbiotic systems, including human and parasitic microbe relationships," said study co-author Eunsoo Kim, an assistant curator in the Museum's Division of Invertebrate Zoology. Other authors on this study include Huanjia Zhang and Elizabeth Hill, undergraduate students at Gettysburg College. This work was supported, in part, by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Science Foundation, grant #s 1428065 and #1453639. For more information about this project, see this recent episode of the Museum's Shelf Life series: http://www. The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world's preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium, as well as galleries for temporary exhibitions. It is home to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, New York State's official memorial to its 33rd governor and the nation's 26th president, and a tribute to Roosevelt's enduring legacy of conservation. The Museum's five active research divisions and three cross-disciplinary centers support approximately 200 scientists, whose work draws on a world-class permanent collection of more than 34 million specimens and artifacts, as well as specialized collections for frozen tissue and genomic and astrophysical data, and one of the largest natural history libraries in the world. Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the only American museum authorized to grant the Ph.D. degree and the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Annual attendance has grown to approximately 5 million, and the Museum's exhibitions and Space Shows can be seen in venues on five continents. The Museum's website and collection of apps for mobile devices extend its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to millions more beyond its walls. Visit amnh.org for more information.


News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: phys.org

A single spotted salamander embryo encased in an egg, which is green due to the presence of symbiotic algae. Credit: © Roger Hangarter New research shows how two drastically different organisms—a green alga and the spotted salamander—get along as cellular roommates. Scientists at the American Museum of Natural History and Gettysburg College found that this symbiosis, the only known example that includes a vertebrate species, puts stress on algal cells, changing the way they make energy, but does not seem to negatively impact salamander cells. The work is published today in the journal eLife. "Science shows us the many ways that life is interconnected, especially on the microscopic level, where we see how many organisms depend on close contact with or internalization of other species for food, defense, or reproduction," said lead author John Burns, a postdoctoral researcher in the Museum's Division of Invertebrate Zoology. "But the relationship between this particular alga and salamander is very unusual." Scientists have known for more than a century that a green alga (Oophila amblystomatis) grows in the egg cases of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)—the strange pairing is visible to the naked eye in the green hue of salamanders' eggs. The symbiosis was originally thought to occur only between the salamander embryo and the algae living outside it. The embryos produce nitrogen-rich waste that is useful to algae, and the algae increases the oxygen content of the fluid around the respiring embryos. But recent research has revealed that the algae are actually located inside cells all over the spotted salamander's body. This cell-within-a-cell relationship can also be found in corals and in the guts of cicadas, but the green alga-spotted salamander interaction is the only known example of a symbiont entering the cells of a vertebrate species. "This is really such a strange arrangement to think about, that the salamanders allow the algae to live in their egg cases. It would be like having a bunch of green algae in a womb," said study co-author Ryan Kerney, an assistant professor at Gettysburg College. "What we set out to look at now is the kind of molecular change that happens when the salamander cells and green algae cells are together." In the new eLife study, the researchers compared RNA from the cells of five different groups: salamander cells with algae, salamander cells without algae, the algal cells living in salamander cells, the algae living in the egg capsules, and algae cultured in the laboratory. They found that algae inside salamander cells are stressed and change the way they make energy. Instead of using light energy to produce food to support the salamander host, as happens in coral-algae interactions, the algae in salamander cells struggle to adapt to their new environment. Whether the algae benefits from this cell-within-a-cell interaction remains unclear. In stark contrast, affected salamander cells appear to recognize the alga as foreign but show no signs of stress during the interaction. The researchers found that the salamanders overexpress several genes that might suppress an immune response, suggesting that the host cell experience is neutral or beneficial. "We are learning that these two fundamentally different cells are changing each other dramatically, and this might be relevant for other symbiotic systems, including human and parasitic microbe relationships," said study co-author Eunsoo Kim, an assistant curator in the Museum's Division of Invertebrate Zoology. More information: John A Burns et al, Transcriptome analysis illuminates the nature of the intracellular interaction in a vertebrate-algal symbiosis, eLife (2017). DOI: 10.7554/eLife.22054


Strickland M.,Gettysburg College | Strickland M.,Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

I compute the thermal suppression of the Υ(1s) and χb1 states in √sNN=2.76TeV Pb-Pb collisions. Using the suppression of each of these states I estimate the total RAA for the Υ(1s) state as a function of centrality, rapidity, and transverse momentum. I find less suppression of the χb1 state than would be traditionally assumed; however, my final results for the total Υ(1s) suppression are in good agreement with recent preliminary CMS data. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Stillwaggon E.,Gettysburg College
Trends in Parasitology | Year: 2012

The persistence of highly endemic parasitic, bacterial and viral diseases makes individuals and populations vulnerable to emerging and re-emerging diseases. Evaluating the role of multiple component, often interacting, causes of disease may be impossible with research tools designed to isolate single causes. Similarly, it may not be possible to identify statistically significant treatment effects, even for interventions known to be effective, when multiple morbidities are present. Evidence continues to accumulate that nutritional deficiencies, bacterial, viral and parasitic coinfections accelerate HIV transmission. Inclusion of antiparasitics and other beneficial interventions in HIV-prevention protocols is impeded by reliance on inappropriate methodologies. Lack of full scientific certainty is not a reason for postponing safe, cost-effective measures to prevent irreversible damage. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBUST INTELLIGENCE | Award Amount: 235.77K | Year: 2015

Linguists have increased efforts to collect authentic speech materials from endangered and little-studied languages to discover linguistic diversity. However, the challenge of transcribing these speech into written form to facilitate analysis is daunting. This is because of both the sheer quantity of digitally collected speech that needs to be transcribed and the difficulty of unpacking the sounds of spoken speech.

Linguist Andreas Kathol and computer scientist Vikramjit Mitra of SRI international and linguist Jonathan D. Amith of Gettysburg College will team up to create software that can substantially reduce the language transcription bottleneck. Using as a test case Yoloxochitl Mixtec, an endangered language from the state of Guerrero, Mexico, the team will develop a software tool that will use previously transcribed Yoloxochitl Mixtec speech data to both train a new generation of native speakers in practical orthography and to develop automatic speech recognition software. The output of the recognition software will be used as preliminary transcription that native speakers will correct, as necessary, to create additional high-quality training data. This recursive method will create corpus of transcribed speech large enough so that software will be able to complete automatic transcription of newly collected speech materials.

The project will include the training of undergraduate and graduate students in software development and the analysis of the Yoloxochitl Mixtec sound system. The project will also train native speakers as documenters in an interactive fashion that systematically introduces them to the transcription conventions of their language. This software tool will help in establishing literacy in Yoloxochitl Mixtec among a broader base of speakers.

The results of this project will be available at the Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America (University of Texas, Austin), Kaipuleohone (University of Hawaii Digital Language Archive), and at the Linguistic Data Consortium (University of Pennsylvania).


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: POLITICAL SCIENCE | Award Amount: 138.95K | Year: 2016

General Summary

This study seeks to better understand how power-sharing arrangements foster peace in the aftermath of civil war. Power-sharing institutions, rules to apportion political, military, economic, and territorial power among former belligerents, are an increasingly prevalent feature of civil war settlements. Academics have posited that power-sharing institutions secure the commitment of elites and the masses to stability by providing key political goods: security for both elites and masses, inclusion for elites, and basic services for the masses. In the absence of data appropriate for testing those hypotheses, however, previous research has been unable to identify the exact causal mechanisms through which power sharing fosters stability after civil war. This study addresses this gap in our understanding of power sharing by collecting micro-level data on elites and masses knowledge about and perceptions of the effects that these institutions have on the delivery of political goods. Data collection in the form of interviews and surveys will be conducted in the Mindanao region of the Philippines, where efforts at civil war resolution have at times featured the use of power-sharing mechanisms. The principal investigators will use these data to conduct statistical analyses of the effects that power sharing has on different groups commitment to the peace. The information obtained from this study will serve to inform policymakers about the best practices for the design and implementation of power-sharing arrangements in the aftermath of civil war.

Technical Summary

This study seeks to better understand how power-sharing arrangements may foster peace in the aftermath of civil war. Powers sharing institutions, rules to apportion political, military, economic, and territorial power among former belligerents, are an increasingly prevalent feature of civil war settlements. This research will critically examine the hypothesis that power-sharing arrangements promote peace by providing citizens with important political goods such as security and access to basic services. This will be accomplished by focusing on the Mindanao region of the Philippines, where efforts at civil war resolution have at times featured the use of power-sharing mechanisms. Conducting open-ended interviews with key informants, semi-structured interviews with focus groups, surveys of the population in conflict-affected areas, and survey experiments, the principal investigators will gather micro-level data that make it possible to answer two key questions. First, do individuals residing in regions included in a post-civil war power-sharing arrangement have greater access to political goods relative to comparable populations excluded from power sharing? Second, is there a correlation between access to political goods and an individuals support for the post-conflict peace process?


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: NUCLEAR STRUCTURE & REACTIONS | Award Amount: 28.00K | Year: 2016

Atomic nuclei are made up of protons and neutrons. For the lighter elements the number of protons is very often equal to the number of neutrons in the nucleus. However, nuclei also exist in which there are extra neutrons, or neutron-rich nuclei, which are unstable and undergo nuclear decay. This project focuses on the study of these neutron-rich unstable nuclei and will investigate key questions in nuclear science related to the overall structure of nuclei: What are the fundamental properties of extremely neutron-rich matter and what is the limit of nuclear existence? The project will be carried out by Gettysburg College undergraduates and a faculty member with the Modular Neutron Array (MoNA) Collaboration and Large area multi-Institutional Scintillation Array (LISA) at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL). Gettysburg College students supported by this funding will learn significant new physics as they develop the tools necessary to be researchers in academia and industry.

Undergraduate students and their faculty are advancing the field in various ways, ranging from how beams of rare isotopes interact with matter to the exciting possibility of two-neutron radioactivity. Objectives include creating He-9 two different ways experimentally at the NSCL to not only shed light on conflicting prior results but also to better understand the halo nucleus He-10. Measuring the lifetime of O-26 could confirm a new mode of radioactivity. An analysis project focusing on the production mechanism for projectile fragmentation will impact the physics communitys currently limited understanding of beam production mechanics at radioactive beam facilities. All proposed work will involve undergraduate researchers.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY | Award Amount: 449.94K | Year: 2014

In order to understand the diversity and potential benefits of plant life around the world and to assess the impact of the loss of biodiversity, it is necessary to create an accurate floristic inventory of bio-diverse regions and to record the evolving interactions of humans with that rich environment. To this end, botanist John Kress of the Smithsonian will use innovative DNA barcoding methodology to facilitate rapid identification to species of the flora specimens collected in five Nahuat and two Totonac villages in the 28 municipalities of the Sierra Nororiental de Puebla, Mexico -- an incredibly bio-diverse region of the world. Working in tandem with Kress, linguist Jonathan Amith of Gettysburg College will use state-of-the-art language documentation techniques to create an extensive digital database of recordings of native experts discussing traditional nomenclature and classification of local flora. The linguistic and botanical databases will support the preservation of indigenous knowledge about the biodiversity of this region.

Amith and Kress hypothesize that accessing botanical information from endangered languages will help track changes in the ecology of the ancestral homelands of endangered language communities. In addition, Amith and Kress theorize that comparative botanical information across geographically proximate villages will reveal historical patterns of migration, cultural contact, and language change. Using data from the endangered language discussions about plant life in the region and DNA barcode reference library, Amith will study shifts of biotaxa nomenclature. He will use clues from lexical borrowing and calques to map the spread of knowledge about particular botanical specimens and link that spread to community migrations.

Data will be stored in various herbariums in Mexico and at the Smithsonian Museum. Linguistic data will be accessible at the Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America. This project supported by NSFs Office of International and Integrative Activities because it enhances research excellence through international collaboration with faculty at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and will benefit from use of local resources such as the National Herbarium of Mexico and the Comisión Nacional Para El Connocimineto Y Uso De La Biodiversidad.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SYMBIOSIS DEF & SELF RECOG | Award Amount: 33.37K | Year: 2014

The investigators have recently discovered the first example of a beneficial, symbiotic alga entering cells of a vertebrate host. The host in this association is the common spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) from Eastern North America. The green algal symbiont enters tissues and cells of the salamander embryos soon after they begin development in temporary vernal pools. The project will use several experimental approaches, including cell co-culturing, mRNA sequencing, and laser-based cell sorting, to determine the mechanisms of algal cell entry into the salamander host and the physiological implications of this unique association. The successful completion of this project will also make new tools available for introducing foreign genes (transgenics) in both the algal symbiont and salamander host, which will allow further investigation into the cellular and molecular mechanisms that enable this intimate association. The project will include training of undergraduate students from Gettysburg College in both field sampling of multiple salamander species as well as advanced techniques in cell culture, cell sorting, and next generation sequencing. The project will also support a museum video exhibit through the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), and fund a post-doctoral researcher at the museum.

This project outlines several high-risk high-reward experiments that will significantly advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of this intimate association and provide a suite of research tools for future investigations. The methods that will be employed to accomplish these goals include: Collecting salamander embryos from New York, Pennsylvania and Washington State; Culturing embryos and their algae from two salamander species and switching symbionts between hosts; Dissociation and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) of host cells containing algal endosymbionts; Transcriptomics and accompanying bioinformatics to determine differentially expressed genes in the host+endosymbiont cell population; Establishing host endoderm cell culture for in vitro co-culturing with algal symbionts; Pilot transgene transformation of both host and symbiont cell cultures using protocols and vectors established in closely related model organisms. The results from this work will reveal how a host?s response to a beneficial symbiont can differ from known vertebrate reactions to harmful pathogens that enter host cells.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 605.61K | Year: 2015

This project will award scholarships to 26 students, in three cohorts, in the following STEM disciplines: Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics. In its selection, the college will take heightened interest in academically-promising underrepresented minority and first-generation students with financial need. By carefully targeting recruitment efforts and providing mentoring during the first two years at college, the project will create a constructive environment to nurture students in order to increase retention and persistence in their chosen STEM majors. The project will increase the number of talented STEM majors with the potential to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in a broad range of scientific endeavors, and will train a diverse group of students for eventual employment in STEM fields.

In order to successfully retain students, the project will include a recruitment plan that integrates individualized outreach to students identified in collaboration with Community Based Organizations, enrollment in an exclusive First-Year Seminar taught by STEM faculty, STEM Faculty Liaisons in each of the science departments serving as academic advisors, mentors, and facilitators, and a variety of on- and off-campus learning activities. The projects objectives during the Scholars first year are: (1) to prepare and support the S-STEM Scholars for a successful undergraduate career, (2) to provide continuing practice for the skills necessary for STEM, and (3) to build and nurture a sense of community among the S-STEM Scholar cohorts. During their sophomore year, each S-STEM Scholar will continue to be closely mentored by their STEM Faculty Liaison advisor, who will support and encourage their participation in various STEM opportunities including faculty-student research, peer-mentoring, colloquia, preferential residence in Gettysburg Colleges Science House as well as work-related internship opportunities with institutional industry partners. Assessment of the efficacy of these different activities will help contribute to expanding the knowledge base regarding the circumstances under which scholarship projects of this type are successful.

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