Presentation Title

Identification of a genetic pattern that causes life-long infection for both developed and underdeveloped nations

Advisor Information

Paul Davis

Location

Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

8-3-2013 10:45 AM

End Date

8-3-2013 11:00 AM

Abstract

One third of the world is infected with a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. While most parasitic infections mainly effect tropical populations, Toxoplasma is just as prevalent in developed nations. In addition to our understanding that it can cause a significant increase in risky behavior it is also one of the leading causes of fetal malformations. We are finding more reasons every day that support the importance of discovering a way to combat this disease. The key to reaching this goal will be to increase our understanding of the characteristics that define the chronic stage of this infection. Previously, a pattern in this parasite’s genetic make-up has been identified that is thought to control its ability to cause a life-long infection. To investigate this, expression levels of luciferase were measured when the regulatory sequence of genes expressed during the chronic stage is allowed to regulate its expression. This expression only occurred during the chronic stage infection. We are now investigating the molecular characteristics of this regulatory motif.

Comments

Winner of Outstanding Undergraduate Oral Presentation

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Mar 8th, 10:45 AM Mar 8th, 11:00 AM

Identification of a genetic pattern that causes life-long infection for both developed and underdeveloped nations

Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room

One third of the world is infected with a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. While most parasitic infections mainly effect tropical populations, Toxoplasma is just as prevalent in developed nations. In addition to our understanding that it can cause a significant increase in risky behavior it is also one of the leading causes of fetal malformations. We are finding more reasons every day that support the importance of discovering a way to combat this disease. The key to reaching this goal will be to increase our understanding of the characteristics that define the chronic stage of this infection. Previously, a pattern in this parasite’s genetic make-up has been identified that is thought to control its ability to cause a life-long infection. To investigate this, expression levels of luciferase were measured when the regulatory sequence of genes expressed during the chronic stage is allowed to regulate its expression. This expression only occurred during the chronic stage infection. We are now investigating the molecular characteristics of this regulatory motif.