Event Title

The Effects of Styrene on the Neurodevelopment of Zebrafish

Presenter Information

Yemko Pryor, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, Bent Corridor

Start Date

10-28-2016 5:00 PM

End Date

10-28-2016 5:30 PM

Poster Number

2

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to explore the effect of environmental factors that have been linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on brain development. There has been a great deal of research dedicated to determining genetic factors that may contribute to autism, but recently scientists have begun to focus this study through an environmental lens. The overall goal of this research is to understand how compounds in the environment may affect biological and neuronal mechanisms underlying autism. Specifically, I will investigate the neurodevelopmental impact of styrene, a common volatile organic compound that is used to make a variety of plastics and insulation for buildings. Recent public health studies have found correlations between styrene exposure and ASD prevalence; however, no studies have looked at the molecular effects of styrene on the brain and how they may related to ASD physiology. I am beginning to study these questions using brightfield microscopy and quantitative PCR. The genes used in the qPCR are the h(OGG1), gad1b, glyt2, vglut2a, th1, chata, and mag genes, with the rbcl gene as a control. This experiment uses zebrafish embryos treated with 1500ppm of styrene between 0-72hpf, collected at 72hpf. At this point the data is inconclusive, but could eventually be used to help inform ASD treatments and environmental policies involving this chemical.

Major

Biology; Black Studies

Award

Oberlin College Research Fellowship (OCRF)

Project Mentor(s)

Brad Carter, Neuroscience

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Oct 28th, 5:00 PM Oct 28th, 5:30 PM

The Effects of Styrene on the Neurodevelopment of Zebrafish

Science Center, Bent Corridor

The purpose of this research is to explore the effect of environmental factors that have been linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on brain development. There has been a great deal of research dedicated to determining genetic factors that may contribute to autism, but recently scientists have begun to focus this study through an environmental lens. The overall goal of this research is to understand how compounds in the environment may affect biological and neuronal mechanisms underlying autism. Specifically, I will investigate the neurodevelopmental impact of styrene, a common volatile organic compound that is used to make a variety of plastics and insulation for buildings. Recent public health studies have found correlations between styrene exposure and ASD prevalence; however, no studies have looked at the molecular effects of styrene on the brain and how they may related to ASD physiology. I am beginning to study these questions using brightfield microscopy and quantitative PCR. The genes used in the qPCR are the h(OGG1), gad1b, glyt2, vglut2a, th1, chata, and mag genes, with the rbcl gene as a control. This experiment uses zebrafish embryos treated with 1500ppm of styrene between 0-72hpf, collected at 72hpf. At this point the data is inconclusive, but could eventually be used to help inform ASD treatments and environmental policies involving this chemical.