2014 Participants
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NAME: Anna Lefevre

PROJECT TITLE: Toxicity of Silver Nanoparticles on the Neurotransmitters and Hepatopancreas of Crayfish

The project that I have been working on for approximately a year and will finish at the end of the semester involves the toxicity of Atrazine. Atrazine is a pesticide that is used widely throughout the agricultural community. The project involved treating crayfish with varying concentrations of atrazine and its degradates. Once the animals were exposed to the toxins for two week acclimation periods, they were put through behavioral studies to test their memory. This was done by putting the crayfish through a t-maze with a food reward placed in a specific arm every day for a 15 day trial period. Once the behavioral studies were complete, the crayfish were dissected to remove their nerve cords. The nerve cords were put through three sets of washes and treated with two antibodies. The antibodies used were Mouse anti Serotonin and Goat anti Mouse Alexa Flour 514. These antibodies were used to attach to the neurotransmitters and make them fluoresce when the confocal microscope is used. Since this project is ongoing, the final results have not been determined to date. As of right now the graduate student and I obtained significant data concerning the behavioral effects. I will be traveling to Arizona at the end of March to the SOT annual conference to present the findings with the graduate student. Later in April I will be presenting my research that was an extension of the graduate student’s for Sigma Xi.