Sepanta Sarraf

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The Sasanian Empire is known to have had a vast number of faiths within it. Despite this, most of the Persian sources of this time only refer to the known Zoroastrian elements of the royal pantheon. By studying these sources, as well as other records around this time, it is possible to learn if the majority of Iranian subjects held the same faith as their rulers, or if there was a difference. This topic will be approached in two major segments, which encompass the analysis of primary and secondary sources. […]

Ian Wong

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In response to perceived violations of Hong Kong’s special autonomy, as enshrined in the “One China, Two Systems” framework, by mainland China, mass protests broke out in the city from 2019-2020. Viewing the city’s unique geopolitical position through cultural scripts, popular media framed the city’s pro-democracy movement in distinct ideological terms, stating that the residents of the financial hub were fighting for freedom and capitalism in the face of increased encroachment by “communist” mainland China. However, this tidy framework suggesting protestors took on right-leaning identities fails to account for the […]

Eva Hannan

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My project follows two trends that have developed since the 1970s and appear to converge on the site of the imprisoned female body. The first trend is the globalized ‚Äúfeminization of labor,‚Äù where large numbers of women join the workforce. The second is the increasing number of females incarcerated within the United States. Specifically, I want to examine the rhetoric of records and documents concerning the female prison laborer. I am interested to see how the language that dictates the subjectivity of women in prison has shifted, as its population […]

Sulaiman Alvi

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The question I aim to answer this summer is whether quantum machine learning can provide an advantage over classical machine learning techniques for certain high energy physics applications. Analyzing data from particle collider experiments involves distinguishing signal events, which correspond to the particle physics of interest, from background events. Currently, classical machine learning techniques are used to tackle many of these classification problems. However, these techniques often require large amounts of data to classify with a high degree of certainty. In the growing area of anomaly-detection searches, datasets may be […]

Elina Wells

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Immunosurveillance is the immune system’s ability to detect foreign pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and cancerous cells in the body. Many cancers evade immunosurveillance, through the use of mechanisms, which allow them to exist and spread undetected. Checkpoint blockade therapy – an immunotherapy treatment method in part developed at Berkeley – counters the “breaks” of immunosuppressive cells, imposed on inflammatory immune cells within the tumor microenvironment. Many current immunotherapies use Listeria monocytogenes as a way to induce immune cells that were previously exhausted to regain their effector phenotype and control […]

Diana Francis

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Sleep behavior in Cassiopea, the upside-down jellyfish, challenges the common association between sleep and brain function. In lieu of a brain and centralized nervous system (CNS), Cassiopea has a decentralized net of ganglia that initiate pulsing activity at a slower rate during the night. My project seeks to understand how an animal that lacks a CNS undergoes a whole-body behavioral state change. More specifically, I will examine how this behavior affects the expression of several genes connected to sleep and activity using in situ hybridization and quantitative PCR. These genes […]

Justin Nelson

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Fertility in women and across mammalian species requires a series of temporally coordinated neuroendocrine events by the circadian system in the brain. Disruptions to circadian timing across mammalian species from stress or environmental factors result in irregularities in the estrous/menstrual cycles, reduced fertility, and increased miscarriage rates. The proposed studies examine the role of neuroendocrine signaling events and circadian timekeeping in ovulation. Across mammalian species, ovulation requires timed neuroendocrine events organized by the master circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Evidence points to E2-sensitive kisspeptin (Kp) neurons, potent stimulators […]

Allison Zau

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Riparian meadows in the Sierra Nevada facilitate access to near-surface groundwater, a resource critical to sustaining the productivity and biodiversity of the larger montane ecosystems. Historically, the groundwater flow is consistently recharged by snowmelt percolating down from snowpack at higher elevation. However, climate change is depleting this critical snowpack, destabilizing the groundwater flow and consequently the ecosystem. Using seismic surveys I conducted last year, I will produce cross-sections of a characteristic meadow. These will provide information on the near-surface groundwater distribution and composition and geometry of the soil and rock […]

Kenneth Trang

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Bacteria inhabit almost every surface on Earth, from tabletop to hydrothermal vents. Thus, it’s unsurprising that a diverse community of microbes also thrives within the human gut. However, these residents aren’t stowaways, as strong evidence has emerged in the last decade that a well-balanced community of gut bacteria is indispensable to human health. And yet, our understanding of the genetic factors involved in selecting what gut microbes can colonize and persist remain limited. This summer, I research the effect of host genetics on the composition of the gut-microbiome, focusing on […]