Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2005

Capstone Advisor

Kenneth W. Foster, Ph.D

Honors Reader

Jureepan Saranak, Ph.D

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics | Biological and Chemical Physics | Physics


In order to fully understand the principles behind phototaxis in flagellate algae, it is necessary to measure the electric currents these cells create when processing light stimuli. Many different techniques have been developed to do this. One of these techniques, measuring from cell suspensions, has a number of advantages over the others that makes it highly desirable. However, the lab that first developed this method of recording did not describe the setup very well. The result is that in the thirteen years since it was first reported, only one other independent lab has been able to reproduce the results despite many attempts by others to do so. Therefore, the primary purpose of this project was to replicate the setup and reproduce the reported results so that others may utilize it. This was accomplished and so the setup is described in detail in Part II of the paper.

With the successful reproduction of this cell suspension method, many experiments, involving new and untested stimuli, have been able to be performed. Previously unused analysis methods, which represent more of a physical rather than a biological approach to the data, have been applied. Though many of the results are in the preliminary stages of analysis, some of the newest and most interesting data is presented at the end of the paper.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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