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Students honored in science contest

Monday, January 28, 2008  
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By Katie Halstead

Seniors Lindsey Addington and Sarah Manley recently received awards at the Fall Technical Meeting of the Oklahoma Academy of Science.

Addington received Best Overall Presentation and Manley placed second in the Biomedical Sciences Section.

The meeting was held at the Tulsa Oklahoma Community College on Nov. 2, 2007.  All the universities in Oklahoma meet at a technical meeting once a year.  It is a day long event, and students decide whether they will be judged.

Chemistry Professor Bill Luttrell said professors urge their students to be judged. 

“It’s good practice for the students to be presenting in a different atmosphere, plus there is a cash prize,” Luttrell said. 

Luttrell was not a judge, but he sat in on both Manley and Addington’s presentations. 

“I may be biased, but Sarah and Lindsey did a very fine job,” Luttrell said.

Addington’s presentation was titled “Levels of Phyosphorylated CaMKII in the Rat Hippocampus After Traumatic Brain Injury.”

Not only was she awarded Best Overall Presentation, but she was also awarded first place in the Biomedical Sciences Section.

Addington did her research at Pepperdine University over the summer of 2007.  The research she did had to do with trying to figure out if memory loss was associated with brain trauma and how it could be prevented.

She conducted biochemical tests on the brain tissues of rats to observe changes in the amount of protein, CaMKII, in their brains after they suffered a brain injury. 

She caused the brain injuries to the rats by taking off a part of their scalp bones and hitting their brains with a piston. 

Once the rats were healed, they were placed in a tub of water with a dry platform somewhere strategically placed within it. 

Various shapes were placed along the tub walls, so the rats could identify their location within the tub.

The shapes also allowed the rats to find the dry platform by remembering where it was next to the shapes. 

The research helped Addington decide what she wants to do with her life.

“This experience has helped me realize I really want to do something with the brain,” Addington said.  “I love learning about the brain, and I know now I want to do neuroscience research.”

She recommends other biochemistry students look into these kinds of research opportunities. 

Manley’s presentation titled “Pre-Clinical Evaluation of Silver Dihydrogen Citrate through the Ames and Micronucleus Tests,” was something she had been working on for the past two years at Oklahoma Christian.. 

Her group tested bacteria to see if mixing it with silver dihydrogen citrate, which is basically a germ killer, would cause any mutations.  She also tested mice. 

She injected the mice with the germ killer and took blood samples to see if there were any changes. 

The purpose of this research was to find if the silver dihydrogen citrate could be used inside the body, more specifically, if it could be used in women to stop the spread of AIDS. 

Manley is a biology major, and she plans on attending a physicians assistance school when she graduates.

She also advises other undergraduates to take the opportunity to get involved in some type of research program. 

“I learned a lot about the scientific processes and it helps students learn how to better analyze such processes,” Manley said.

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