Author Information

Tara Frare


Organic waste compounds (OWC’s) are an environmental concern that can have adverse effects on humans, animals, and the environment. Ethinyl estradiol (EE2) is one common OWC and is an active ingredient in oral birth control pills. The presence of EE2 in aquatic environments and drinking water can be linked to decreased fertility and altered physiology in fish. I am developing Q-PCR biomarkers to detect changes in fish at low concentrations before adverse effects occur at higher concentrations. RNA was extracted from twenty fathead minnows that had not been exposed to OWC’s and will be used to synthesize cDNA. Thus far I have tested Q-PCR primers to measure vitellogenin RNA transcription. A standard curve and melt curve demonstrated proper amplification of a single product. A 96 hour exposure of 40 fathead minnows was conducted using EE2 at 0, 3, 17 and 100ng/L. Three 96 hour exposures of triclosan using 36 fathead minnows was conducted at 0, 0.1, 1 ug/L. Livers were dissected from the fish and are currently stored in the -80°C freezer to be used in the future.

Note on the Author

Tara Frare is a Bridgewater State University senior, majoring in biology. This research project was funded by a 2010 Adrian Tinsley Summer Grant, and was researched under the mentorship of Dr. Jonathan Roling. It was presented at the 2010 Undergraduate Research Symposium, as well as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in March 2011.

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