Biology

Investigating the Role of the Novel ESCRT-III Recruiter CCDC11 in HIV Budding: Identifying a Potential Target for Antiviral Therapy

Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Nearly 37 million people are infected with HIV worldwide, and 1 million people die of AIDS-related illnesses each year. As of today, there is no cure, and current medications are frequently associated with severe side effects. To discover a novel target for anti-HIV therapies, we studied the role of coiled-coil domain-containing 11 (CCDC11) in HIV formation. Our data suggest that CCDC11 is required for efficient release of HIV particles from the cell surface potentially through recruitment of the membrane scission machinery called ESCRT-III. Given the fact that CCDC11 is not present in the majority of adult human organs, it might be a viable target for potential antiviral therapeutics.

Gene regulation during development: The roles of the genes xbp1, creb3l1 and creb3l2 in axial mesoderm differentiation

By dividing and differentiating, a single cell can develop into a complex multicellular organism such as a human being. Transcription factors are proteins that play an important role in the development by regulating the activity of genes. In this project, three transcription factors and their roles in the development of a specific tissue in zebrafish were investigated. By using new methods, I revealed previously unknown regulatory interactions, which improved our understanding of the roles of the three transcription factors. The findings could lay the foundation for the development of new medical diagnostics and therapies, since all three transcription factors have been implicated in diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s disease.

The bean beetle’s ovoposition over four generations

In this work I have investigated the ovoposition behavior of bean beetles over four generations. The purpose of this work is to investigate whether the bean beetle will prefer to lay eggs on the bean, mung bean or adzuki bean, they were born from for four generations. I was interested in exploring which of the beans, mung or adzuki, the bean beetles would prefer to lay eggs on and if there would be an increase in egg laying on the bean they were born from. The method used in the investigation involves on raising four generations of bean beetles, one culture breed from mung beans and one culture breed from adzuki beans. The result shows that the ovoposition behavior of the bean beetles depends on several factors as genetic selection, the nutritional value of the beans and the inbreeding.

O da la miúda. Distribution, ethology and phenology of the Iberian wolf.

In order to obtain data on the distribution and behavior of the Iberian wolf in the study area(Mountains of O Xistral and surroundings), a methodology different from previous studiescarried out in the province of Lugo is used where the IKA indexes do not represent a tool toconfirm the presence of the groups, but a method prior to the photo-trapping of specimenswith which more accurate data is obtained and that would allow to assess the populationtrends of the Canis lupus signatus in the area. It has been confirmed the existence of three 3packs and other 3 are pending to be corroborated as independent groups. After a meticulousstudy of these, we were able to reach common conclusions, such as the presence of analpha breeding couple in each pack.

An investigation of genomic alterations for the survival of high-grade astrocytic tumours

Glioblastoma is a grade IV astrocytic tumour and is anaggressive brain tumours mostly affecting adults. Survival rates are poor and in an attempt to further understand the cancer and develop treatment that can better fight the tumour and further increase survival rates, experts aim to understand Glioblastoma biology and different genetic alterations that may have an effect on survival. This essay aims to explore two genetic alterations, MGMT gene methylation and IDH gene mutation and their effect on the overall survival rate of Glioblastoma when given the Stupp protocol as treatment.

The link between body thermal expression and the trauma presence: quick, cheap, easy, and safe diagnostic approach

Our experiment is based on thermographic scans that were used to study occurrence of serious trauma in professional athletes. We investigated professional basketball team players, therefore, an information about their health or upcoming injuries was interesting and helpful not only for us but also for the players involved. We performed front and back thermographic scans with the camera FLIR Tools 640 before and after exercises. Our investigation proved, that thermographic scans are sensitive, specific, and valuable information in order to prepare effective recommendations for the athletes. Our method is quick, cheap, easy, and safe diagnostic tool that can be used to reveal hidden traumas not only for athletes but also for ordinary people.

The Inheritance of the Silver Gene in the Gene Pool of the Estonian Horse and the Expression of the PMEL17 Gene in the Silver Dapple Phenotype

Current study describes the occurrence of the PMEL17 mutation that causes the Silver phenotype on the example of an Estonian horse called Muuksi Tuul. The aim of the research is to explain the diluting effect in mane and tail of the PMEL17 mutation which is also associated with several eye disorders (MCOA syndrome) e.g. cysts and cataracts. In addition to the studies about individual horses, the research offers a possible reason to the wide range of Estonian horse coat colours and gives a possible answer to the origin of the Silver gene in its genotype. Furthermore, the research tries to fill the gap between new knowledge in colour genetics and linguistically used colour terms, proposing one possible solution for creating a system for the designations of the (Estonian) horse coat colours.

Brain Cells Phenotyping Via Unsupervised Machine Learning With Autoencoder and Clustering

We work with an image database of brain cells and aim to develop an unsupervised neural network, consisting of autoencoder and clustering layers, to classify whether the input image contains a cell or not. The cell types which we have tested the algorithm on, are microglia and inhibitory neurons. We feed image patches to an autoencoder with a small latent space and perform clustering on the compressed data representation from the latent space. We expect that the encodings of „positive“ and „negative“ samples would differ from each other and thus form clusters in space. The achieved results show a good seperation of the two data classes, with an F1 score reaching 0.997.