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H1N1, Biodegradable Plastics and Nuclear Physics Highlight Research Areas Undertaken During Houghton College's Summer Research Institute
Date:5/25/2010

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  • The genes of the novel 2009 H1N1 flu virus consist of those from avian, human, and swine viruses. Research to date has uncovered several key molecular differences between bird/swine flu and human flu, which could be used as markers to monitor changes in bird/swine flu that could threaten humans. Wei Hu, Professor of Math and Computer Science, and two computer science students, Keli Fancher and Zachary Miller, will investigate the correlation of the host-shift markers, because these individual markers tend to function in concert for their biological purposes.

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    • Aaron Sullivan, Associate Professor of Biology, and two students, Amanda Hiers and Stewart LaPan will investigate chemically-mediated predator-prey interactions in larval black flies. Their research will utilize field techniques to evaluate prey responses to a variety of chemical cues related to predation at different field sites and will examine duall effects on behavior.

     
    • Brandon Hoffman, Assistant Professor of Physics, and two students, Joshua Mertzlufft and Tyler Reynolds, will design and construct a laser interferometer for measuring stresses in thin metal films. Their research group will develop an interferometer that illuminates an entire four
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