Fine Focus journal

Permanent URI for this collection

Fine Focus is a peer-reviewed international microbiology journal featuring undergraduate student research run entirely by an interdisciplinary team of Ball State University undergraduate students. The journal is also served by an editorial board of over four dozen experts in various subdisciplines of microbiology who complete double-blind external reviews on all manuscripts. John L. McKillip, Associate Professor of Biology at Ball State University, is Managing Editor of Fine Focus.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 54
  • Item
    How To Write a Good Recommendation Letter
    (2017) Stedman, Barbara
  • Item
    Organization of the multigene families of African Swine Fever Virus
    (2017) Imbery, Jacob; Upton, Chris
    African swine fever virus is a complex DNA virus that infects swine and is spread by ticks. Mortality rates in domestic pigs are very high and the virus is a significant threat to pork farming. The genomes of 16 viruses have been sequenced completely, but these represent only a few of the 23 genotypes. The viral genome is unusual in that it contains 5 multigene families, each of which contain 3-19 duplicated copies (paralogs). There is significant sequence divergence between the paralogs in a single virus and between the orthologs in the different viral genomes. This, together with the fact that in most of the multigene families there are numerous gene indels that create truncations and fusions, makes annotation of these regions very difficult; it has led to inconsistent annotation of the 16 viral genomes. In this project, we have created multiple sequence alignments for each of the multigene families and have produced gene maps to help researchers more easily understand the organization of the multigene families among the different viruses. These gene maps will help researchers ascertain which members of the multigene families are present in each of the viruses. This is critical because some of the multigene families are known to be associated with virus virulence.
  • Item
    Imatinib Mesylate as an Effective Anti-viral Treatment for Alphavirus Infections
    (2017) Costlow, Jessica L.; Krow, Erika S.; Steel, J. Jordan
    Alphaviruses are plus-strand RNA viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. There are very limited vaccines and treatment options available to those infected with alphaviruses, resulting in significant human and animal morbidity and mortality each year. Viruses are parasites of host cell metabolism and alphaviruses have been shown to increase glycolytic flux during infection to aid viral replication. Imatinib mesylate is an FDA-approved tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is used to treat several types of cancers. A hallmark of tumorous cells is an elevated metabolic rate and Imatinib successfully slows metabolism by inhibiting tyrosine kinases that are required to activate metabolic enzymes, such as hexokinase in the glycolytic pathway. It was hypothesized that Imatinib could be used to slow metabolism in virally-infected cells and reduce viral replication. Alphavirus-infected cells were treated with various concentrations of Imatinib and at a concentration of 6 µM, viral replication was reduced by more than 40% while cell viability was still at 100%. The efficacy of Imatinib treatment at inhibiting alphavirus replication was confirmed at different times post infection (6, 12, 18, and 24 hours post infection), different levels of infection (multiplicities of infection= 0.1, 1, and 10), and within different cell lines (BHK, Huh7 and HEK). Further analysis in mouse or other animal models is needed to confirm the utility of Imatinib as a therapeutic option for treating alphavirus infection, but the data are promising and shows a significant reduction in viral replication and may represent a novel treatment option for alphavirus infections.