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Student Colloquia

Every week, some of our senior researchers in each department at ASDRP give public seminar presenting the current state of the field, and disseminating how their research at ASDRP fits into the broader context of the frontiers of modern science and engineering. Colloquia are public events, and anyone can join. Simply click the Google Calendar link to add the event to your calendar.

Department of Biological, Human & Life Sciences

Tuesdays @ 8:00 - 9:00 PM PST

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Amyloid beta aggregation effects on STAM and LTAM in muscle cells and neurons.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative condition that affects over 50 million worldwide. Its main symptoms include loss of mobility and memory. While current treatments seek to relieve the symptoms, there is no known cause yet to stop the disease's progression. There is indication that multiple factors work to cause the disease, since some types (Early-Onset AD) are more impacted by genetics, while others (Late-Onset AD) worsen with age and other unknown factors. Amyloid beta aggregation has been observed to cause toxicity in neurons and is highly common in AD patients, and thus its role in the propagation of AD has been studied extensively. Here, we will discuss the observation of amyloid beta aggregation's effects on the muscle cells and neurons of C. elegans, taking in data from both our lab work and past studies. We predict a loss of short term associative memory (STAM) and long term associative memory (LTAM), as well as decreased mobility. 

Khushi Y., BASIS Independent High School

Truong Research Group

Molecular & Cell Biology

Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry & Physics

Fridays @ 8:00 - 9:00 PM PST

Friday, November 6, 2020

Amyloid beta aggregation effects on STAM and LTAM in muscle cells and neurons.

The creation of molecules to aid in the field of medicine is no new task for medicinal chemists and clinicians. Many times compounds that are derived from natural products can be altered into similar compounds that have increased usage in the natural world. An example of this is used during the fight against cancer, many times chemotherapy drugs such as gemcitabine, are altered to turn them into prodrugs which increase bioavailability in the body as well as allowing for controlled dosage within the body. Similarly, there are other compounds that also use this alteration to increase their efficiency in certain tasks such as berberine and berberine derived analogs to increase this antibacterial efficacy after photoirradiation.  

Andrew W., Dublin High School

Njoo Research Group

Organic & Medicinal Chemistry

Department of Computer Science & Engineering

Wednesdays @ 8:00 - 9:00 PM PST

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Application of Data Mining to Search for Potentially Habitable Exoplanets.

Many light years away from our own solar system, over four thousand confirmed planets orbit stars in a fashion similar to our own eight planets and the sun. With the discovery of these planets, called “exoplanets,” comes the question of extraterrestrial life, a concept scientists have been exploring for years. The possibility of exoplanetary habitability relies on a number of factors, such as spectral type, density, and eccentricity, but most importantly: whether the exoplanet in question contains water, the fundamental requirement for life, as we know it, to exist. To determine whether an exoplanet provides the ideal conditions for sustaining this vital ingredient for life, we considered the concept of the Goldilocks Zone, or the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ)—the range of orbits around a star where liquid water is capable of existing. The research we have been conducting this summer utilizes the public dataset provided by NASA and Caltech and data mining methods, including Python and Microsoft Excel, to identify exoplanets with potentially habitable conditions. The discovery of the exoplanet K2-18b’s water vapor-containing atmosphere was a major part of our research, in which we focused on identifying exoplanets with similar attributes to that of K2-18b, in hopes that they too may be able to retain atmospheric water vapor. After a two-month period, we discovered that 59 exoplanets orbit in the CHZ of their host star. As for the K2-18b ruleset, only 1 planet, K2-3d, satisfies the conditions. We believe K2-3d to have a high degree of similarity to K2-18b, but more in-depth analysis will have to be conducted to conclude its potential to support atmospheric water vapor and life as we know it.

Aaryan D., Moureau Catholic High School

Downing Research Group

Machine Learning & Data Science

Past Colloquia

Life Science Research & Development Laboratory:

46307 Warm Springs Blvd. Fremont, CA 94539

Engineering Research Laboratory:

46249 Warm Springs Blvd. Fremont, CA 94539

General Inquiries: asdrp.admin@asdrp.org

Admissions: admissions@asdrp.org

Telephone: 1(510)371-4831

© Aspiring Scholars Directed Research Program 2020, All rights reserved.

ASDRP is a production of Olive Children Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Fremont, California.

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