Date of Submission

Spring 2019

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Biology

Project Advisor 1

Arseny Khakhalin

Project Advisor 2

Gabriel Perron

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Each year, 47 million antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessarily given to patients across the United States (CDC). The affects and consequences of this appalling statistic are not only felt by humanity, but by the environment that surrounds it. This experiment aims to investigate the effects of antibiotics on the behavior of the Xenopus laevis. Here we use a novel model to analyze changes in behavior of X. laevis tadpoles by exposing them to varying concentrations of streptomycin during a critical time point in brain development and neural circuit formation essential for sensory processing. Streptomycin, part of the aminoglycoside family, is a common antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis and other gram-negative bacterial diseases. In utero and early development exposure to streptomycin in humans and animals results in damage to the central nervous system, and receptors in the ear called hair cells. Using pre-pulse inhibition (PPI), we gather data from startle responses to assess memory and habituation. Additionally, using collision avoidance to test whether tadpoles produce proper motor outputs from their sensory inputs we see if streptomycin has behavioral impacts on our model. As antibiotic pollution increases and becomes more relevant it’s important to see how these antibiotics will impact the organisms living within the environment. This research will show that the concentrations of antibiotics in the environment are not yet high enough to effect behavior of the X. laevis but could be damaging hair cells and lateral lines.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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