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Murfreesboro, TN, United States

Middle Tennessee State University, commonly abbreviated as MTSU or MT, is a comprehensive coeducational public university in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.Founded in 1911 as a normal school, the university is composed of eight undergraduate colleges as well as a college of graduate studies, together offering more than 80 majors/degree programs through over 35 departments. MTSU is most prominently known for its Recording Industry, Aerospace, Music, and Concrete Industry Management programs. The university has partnered in research endeavors with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the United States Army, and the United States Marine Corps. In 2009, Middle Tennessee State University was ranked among the nation's top 100 public universities by Forbes magazine.MTSU student athletes compete intercollegiately as the Blue Raiders, as a part of Division I Football Bowl Subdivision athletics in the Conference USA. On November 29, 2012, MTSU Athletics announced they had accepted an invitation to the conference.MTSU is part of the Tennessee Board of Regents and the State University and Community College System of Tennessee, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its president is Sidney A. McPhee. Wikipedia.

Brower A.V.,Middle Tennessee State University
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2013

The diverse Müllerian mimetic wing patterns of neotropical Heliconius (Nymphalidae) have been proposed to be not only aposematic signals to potential predators, but also intra- and interspecific recognition signals that allow the butterflies to maintain their specific identities, and which perhaps drive the process of speciation, as well. Adaptive features under differential selection that also serve as cues for assortative mating have been referred to as 'magic traits', which can drive ecological speciation. Such traits are expected to exhibit allelic differentiation between closely related species with ongoing gene flow, whereas unlinked neutral traits are expected to be homogenized to a greater degree by introgression. However, recent evidence suggests that interspecific hybridization among Heliconius butterflies may have resulted in adaptive introgression of these very same traits across species boundaries, and in the evolution of new species by homoploid hybrid speciation. The theory and data supporting various aspects of the apparent paradox of 'magic trait' introgression are reviewed, with emphasis on population genomic comparisons of Heliconius melpomene and its close relatives. Source

Jessen J.R.,Middle Tennessee State University
Developmental Biology | Year: 2015

The zebrafish extracellular matrix (ECM) is a dynamic and pleomorphic structure consisting of numerous proteins that together regulate a variety of cellular and morphogenetic events beginning as early as gastrulation. The zebrafish genome encodes a similar complement of ECM proteins as found in other vertebrate organisms including glycoproteins, fibrous proteins, proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans, and interacting or modifying proteins such as integrins and matrix metalloproteinases. As a genetic model system combined with its amenability to high-resolution microscopic imaging, the zebrafish allows interrogation of ECM protein structure and function in both the embryo and adult. Accumulating data have identified important roles for zebrafish ECM proteins in processes as diverse as cell polarity, migration, tissue mechanics, organ laterality, muscle contraction, and regeneration. In this review, I highlight recently published data on these topics that demonstrate how the ECM proteins fibronectin, laminin, and collagen contribute to zebrafish development and adult homeostasis. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

Klukowski M.,Middle Tennessee State University
General and Comparative Endocrinology | Year: 2011

An attenuated stress response during the breeding season has been reported for several vertebrate species, but the underlying physiological mechanism has received little attention, particularly in reptiles. Modulation could involve changes in the capacity of the adrenal gland to secrete glucocorticoids in addition to upstream changes in the pituitary or hypothalamus. In this study the magnitude of the corticosterone response to capture and confinement was compared between the breeding and postbreeding season in adult male eastern fence lizards, Sceloporus undulatus. Males were captured in both seasons and subjected to the identical stressor of 4 h of confinement. Plasma corticosterone levels in response to confinement were significantly lower in the breeding than the postbreeding season. The effect of testosterone on the stress response was tested by experimentally elevating plasma testosterone levels via silastic implants in free-living males during the postbreeding season. Males with experimentally elevated testosterone exhibited significantly weaker corticosterone responses to 1 h of confinement than sham-implanted males. Finally the capacity of the adrenal glands to secrete corticosterone during the breeding season was tested by challenging males with adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) injections. In spite of naturally suppressed corticosterone responses during the breeding season, males nonetheless responded robustly to ACTH. Altogether these results suggest that modulation resides upstream of the adrenal gland, as has been shown in some arctic-breeding avian species, and likely involves seasonal changes in testosterone levels. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

Ten species of the Astraptes fulgerator complex are named and diagnosed based on their mitochondrial 'DNA barcode' sequences. A rationale for this rather unorthodox approach to species description is offered, and some philosophical questions about whether or not such descriptions are desirable are addressed. It is emphasized that while these descriptions fix the nomenclatural problem raised by reference to 'ten species' in the literature, the application of names to concepts does not corroborate or endorse the biological validity of those concepts. © 2010 The Natural History Museum. Source

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Chem Struct,Dynmcs&Mechansms B | Award Amount: 199.88K | Year: 2016

In this project funded by the Chemical Structure, Dynamics & Mechanism B Program of the Chemistry Division, Professor Chengshan Wang of the Chemistry Department at Middle Tennessee State University is studying the structure of aggregates of a protein, alpha-synuclein, that is abundant in the human brain and that has been linked to Parkinsons disease. Alpha-synuclein forms two types of aggregates: mature fibrils and oligomers. The mature fibrils are known to be non-toxic, but oligomers can cause the death of the neuronal cells by forming pore structure in the cell membrane. Understanding the structure of oligomer aggregates should provide clues for the development of therapeutic agents for Parkinsons disease. Undergraduate and graduate students working on this project include first-generation and underrepresented minority students who are learning about research areas that could influence their career choices. In addition, a new laboratory experiment on peptide synthesis for a graduate level organic chemistry class is being developed.

Various techniques have been developed to determine the structure of proteins. Among them, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) provides a fast response and has been used to evaluate various conformations (such as alpha-helix, beta-sheet, unstructured conformation) in proteins and peptides. This method utilizes the amide I band, which arises from the stretching mode of the carbonyl group in the backbone amide bonds. Traditional FTIR can only provide information about an overall fraction of the conformations. To expand its capability, 13C labels can be introduced to the carbonyls in the backbone amide bonds and a new band (the 13C amide I band) can be generated to determine the conformation of specific residues. In this project, 13C labels are introduced into the sequence of alpha-synuclein to study the conformation of the oligomers of alpha-synuclein at the residue level. In addition, Infrared Reflection-Absorption Spectroscopy is used to address the orientation of 13C labeled carbonyls. With both conformation and orientation information, the structure of alpha-synuclein can be evaluated in phospholipid bilayer structures.

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