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  • Murray State University College of Science Undergraduate Research Pages
    Poster Competition ABSTRACT There are numerous studies that show positive effects of animal assisted therapy AAT on humans although little is known about the effects that AAT has on the therapy animals themselves The objective of my research was to determine the effect of human interactions with therapy dogs on the dogs stress level My null hypothesis was that AAT has no effect on the stress level of therapy dogs In order to accurately measure the stress that a therapy dog may experience while doing a therapy session I measured the level of salivary cortisol present before and after nine certified dogs were engaged in a 15 minute therapy session with 2 4 persons as well as their heart rate and respiration rate None of the physiological measures of the dogs before they engaged in a therapy session differed significantly from the same measures made after the therapy session From these results we concluded that therapy dogs did not experience a change in stress While interactions with humans had no adverse effects on the stress level of the dogs the dogs also did not exhibit measurable benefits of the interactions The results suggested that beneficial effects of AAT on human

    Original URL path: http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/tderting/undergraduate_research/Whitewood.html (2016-01-26)
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  • Murray State University College of Science Undergraduate Research Pages
    Academy of Science Posters at the Capitol Event MSU Research Symposium and Poster Competition ABSTRACT Students experience significant stress during their undergraduate studies Universities provide counseling and activities to help students alleviate stress but more cost effective approaches are needed Recent research indicated that humans can gain stress relief through pet therapy My objective was to determine if pet therapy has an effect on stress levels of first year female undergraduates My null hypothesis was that pet therapy does not affect first year females physiological and perceived stress levels I recruited 27 first year female students and 9 certified pet therapy dogs Baseline measurements of blood pressure BP heart rate respiration rate salivary cortisol level and perceived stress and arousal level were made Participants were then randomly selected to participate in the dog group or the no dog control group for 15 min Afterwards a second set of measurements was taken and then participants switched groups for another 15 min followed by a final set of measurements There were no significant effects of pet therapy on diastolic BP heart rate and respiration rate Arousal of participants was significantly higher after pet therapy as indicated by higher systolic BP cortisol and

    Original URL path: http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/tderting/undergraduate_research/Crump.html (2016-01-26)
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  • Murray State University College of Science Undergraduate Research Pages
    neurological disease in horses and can be fatal The causative agent of this disease is the protozoan parasite Sarcocystis neurona A common definitive host is the Virginia o possum Didelphis virginiana which sheds the parasite s oocysts in its feces If a horse eats material that has been near o possum feces the horse risks ingesting these oocysts and developing EPM The protozoan has been previously confirmed in western Kentucky and is of potential concern to local horse owners I hypothesized that S neurona is present in the Calloway County area due to the abundance of D virginiana throughout the county and western Kentucky To test my hypothesis fecal samples were obtained from 13 o possums The county was divided into ten transects and I obtained permission from various landowners to set traps on their properties The animals were captured using live traps and held until a fecal sample was expelled A fecal floatation method was used to release parasite oocysts from the samples and the oocysts were examined under a microscope On average each sample had four different types of parasites The protozoan S neurona was not detected in any of the samples so my hypothesis was not supported

    Original URL path: http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/tderting/undergraduate_research/Rekosh.html (2016-01-26)
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  • Murray State University College of Science Undergraduate Research Pages
    Scholarly Activity Office MSU ABSTRACT During early mammalian development the energetic cost of mounting an immune response may deplete available energy allotments from other biological processes such as brain development Eppig et al reported that parasitic infections may affect development of an organism s nervous system resulting in reduced cognitive ability Our goal was to determine whether parasitic burden is related with cognitive ability We tested the null hypothesis that parasitism does not affect the cognitive ability of lab mice Using M musculus adults were bred and neonates from 10 litters were infected with the gastrointestinal nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus Control neonates from those same 10 litters were not infected for comparison At 21 days of age both groups were subjected to parasite load enumeration through fecal egg counts At 35 days of age both groups were subjected to a spatial memory test using a T maze After T maze completion each mouse was euthanized and the brain removed and mass recorded after drying There was no significant difference in the dry brain mass of the parasitized and non parasitized mice We also failed to see any significant difference between the percent of successful T maze trials for the parasitized compared

    Original URL path: http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/tderting/undergraduate_research/Whittington.html (2016-01-26)
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  • Travis Brown
    National Science Foundation ABSTRACT Levels of parasitic infections and disease have been positively correlated with the intelligence quotient of humans The relationship may result from re allocation of energy away from brain development and toward energetically expensive immune responses during growth of children We questioned whether similar trade offs in energy allocation occur in adults resulting in reduced brain function during incidences of disease or infection We tested the hypothesis that there is no relationship among parasite burden immunocompetence and cognitive ability We live trapped adult white footed mice Peromyscus leucopus in wooded habitats in Calloway County Kentucky Mice were brought into the lab and caged individually Parasite load was estimated from fecal floats and egg counts Animal health was assessed using blood cell counts and hematocrit level Immune system competency was evaluated by applying a T cell mediated challenge to all mice using 2 4 dinitro 1 fluorobenzene and a humoral challenge using sheep red blood cells Cognitive ability was estimated by evaluating spatial memory Parasites were found in 12 of 26 mice Infected mice were usually parasitized by one or two species of parasite There were no significant differences in blood cell counts hematocrit or immune responses between

    Original URL path: http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/tderting/undergraduate_research/Blalock_Guthrie_Francisco.html (2016-01-26)
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  • Donnelly -- talks, expository writing
    2008 63 pp This work in progress is intended as an exposition of the background material results and open problems of a particular poset theoretic study of Weyl characters and semisimple Lie algebra representations begun in the late 1970 s and early 1980 s in the work of Richard P Stanley and Robert A Proctor Some notes on cryprotgraphy and secure public key exchange Supplement from an MSU Abstract Algebra course Fall 2002 5 pp Notes on the Fundamental Theorem for Finitely generated Modules over a P I D From lectures on this topic given in a graduate level Abstract Algebra course at MSU Fall 2000 23 pp I have plans to make a few more additions to this document Algebra and enumeration The Bracelet Problem Supplement from an MSU Abstract Algebra course Fall 2002 2 pp landscape mode The pdf looks grainy in the previewer but prints OK Addresses one of the questions included in my statement of research interests An enumerative classic The Secret Santa Problem Notes from a Pi Mu Epsilon talk I gave at MSU in November 2003 9 pp The idea was to use Christmas themed versions of some famous counting problems to introduce some of the basics of enumerative combinatorics The Secret Santa problem is known in combinatorics circles as the derangements problem Also included is a Christmas version of Fibonacci s rabbit population problem we count elves instead of rabbits These address two of the questions included in my statement of research interests A generalization of the Secret Santa Problem A question posed by MSU colleagues Wayne Bell and Mark Galloway in Spring 2006 inspired this investigation 7 pp There are some open questions included here Why do planets have elliptical orbits Supplement from an MSU Calculus III course Spring 2004 2 pp

    Original URL path: http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/rdonnelly/expository-talks.htm (2016-01-26)
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  • Donnelly -- master's theses
    G 2 A translation of these objects into tableaux of shape λ is made and a method of constructing distributive lattices with several important combinatorial qualities from these translated G 2 tableaux of shape λ is presented Strong evidence is provided to support the claim that these Littelmann lattices are indeed supporting graphs for the irreducible representations of the Lie algebra G 2 L Wyatt Alverson II Distributive Lattices and Representations of the Rank Two Simple Lie Algebras defended July 2003 Download a PDF copy of this thesis 109 pp ABSTRACT Three families of distributive lattices so called semistandard lattices for A 2 B 2 and G 2 which arise naturally in a certain algebraic context are considered Two of these families of semistandard lattices A 2 and G 2 were studied previously by McClard M McClard Murray State University master s thesis 2000 From a combinatorial point of view the lattices are quite striking and exhibit some pleasant symmetries and certain enumerative niceties Evidence is presented suggesting that many of these lattices provide a suitable combinatorial environment for realizing linear representations of certain Lie algebras This evidence includes results of McClard and others which led to a conjecture that all semistandard lattices could be used to realize Lie algebra representations This conjecture has been confirmed for several special classes of semistandard lattices A primary contribution of this thesis is a demonstration that the conjecture fails for many other classes of semistandard lattices Matthew Ross Gilliland Distributive Lattices and Weyl Characters of Exotic Type F 4 defended April 2008 Download a PDF copy of this thesis 116 pp Download a PDF copy of R G Donnelly s Posets Weyl characters and representations of semisimple Lie algebras a work in progress that provides some exposition of background material needed for this

    Original URL path: http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/rdonnelly/masters.htm (2016-01-26)
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  • Dr. Donnelly's Australia Tour
    July 2001 For the first three weeks of my visit I stayed in this house which is located in the Kingsford district in the eastern suburbs of Sydney Next You are looking at picture number 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

    Original URL path: http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/rdonnelly/aupix1.htm (2016-01-26)
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