Central College; Indiana State University
PELLA — Mycaela Crouse, a senior biology major at Central College, and a native of Hedrick, will be presenting at the 2013 National Council on Undergraduate Research conference in April at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Crouse is part of a team of four students working with biology faculty members Ellen Du Pre and Nicole Palenske to study the effects of the chemical tricosan on heart rate. Their research was selected for the conference out of more than 3,500 submissions from colleges across the country.
“This is very exciting,” said Du Pre. “The work of these Central College students has been recognized for its unique contribution to this field of study.”
Triclosan is used in disinfecting soaps, and it has made its way into tap water systems. In preliminary research, Crouse and the other students have learned that when zebrafish are exposed to certain levels of the chemical, specifically the levels found in drinking and surface water, heart rate goes down significantly. It may be linked to a decrease in metabolism, which some scientists have suggested may be a contributing factor for some of the high childhood obesity rates in the U.S.
The Central students chose to study the effects of triclosan on zebrafish because the tiny fish are transparent and their heart beats can easily be counted under a microscope.
“It does make me nervous,” Du Pre said. “I don’t think people realize all the chemicals we are being exposed to. I don’t think our bodies are prepared to deal with them all.”
INDIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
Allen McElderry of Batavia was named to the Indiana State University Dean’s List for the fall semester.
Students must have a 3.5 grade point average or above on a 4.0 scale.