Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences


Pluripotent (undifferentiated) cells are important for their applications in regenerative medicine. However, gene-based nuclear reprogramming of adult somatic cells is a slow and inefficient process, and poses some risk to recipient patients. Therefore, a major goal within the field of stem cell biology is to find a way to accomplish adult somatic cell de-differentiation using small chemical modulators of gene expression or other non-genomic mechanisms. Pilot studies in our laboratory have suggested that cells exposed to silver ions generated by the passage of a weak electrical current through a silver wire show morphological and gene expression changes reminiscent of de-differentiation. To better understand the changes reported, this study will analyze the DNA methylation (using Sodium Bisulfite Conversion) of CpG sites in the promoters of two genes important in development: LIN28 and HAND]. The results suggest that a statistically significant change occurs through the electrostimulation treatment of porcine fetal fibroblast (PFF) cells.



Faculty Mentor

Clay Isom

Departmental Honors Advisor

Abby Benninghoff