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Structure-function study of N-isopropylacrylamide copolymers with enzyme degradable GAPGLF and GAPGLL side chains

Description

With an increased demand for more enzyme-sensitive, bioresorbable and more biodegradable polymers, various studies of copolymers have been developed. Polymers are widely used in various applications of biomedical engineering such as in tissue engineering, drug delivery and wound healing. Depending

With an increased demand for more enzyme-sensitive, bioresorbable and more biodegradable polymers, various studies of copolymers have been developed. Polymers are widely used in various applications of biomedical engineering such as in tissue engineering, drug delivery and wound healing. Depending on the conditions in which polymers are used, they are modified to accommodate a specific need. For instance, polymers used in drug delivery are more efficient if they are biodegradable. This ensures that the delivery system does not remain in the body after releasing the drug. It is therefore crucial that the polymer used in the drug system possess biodegradable properties. Such modification can be done in different ways including the use of peptides to make copolymers that will degrade in the presence of enzymes. In this work, we studied the effect of a polypeptide GAPGLL on the polymer NIPAAm and compare with the previously studied Poly(NIPAAm-co-GAPGLF). Both copolymers Poly(NIPAAm-co-GAPGLL) were first synthesized from Poly(NIPAAm-co-NASI) through nucleophilic substitution by the two peptides. The synthesis of these copolymers was confirmed by 1H NMR spectra and through cloud point measurement, the corresponding LCST was determined. Both copolymers were degraded by collagenase enzyme at 25 ° C and their 1H NMR spectra confirmed this process. Both copolymers were cleaved by collagenase, leading to an increase in solubility which yielded a higher LCST compared to before enzyme degradation. Future studies will focus on evaluating other peptides and also using other techniques such as Differential Scanning Microcalorimetry (DSC) to better observe the LCST behavior. Moreover, enzyme kinetics studies is also crucial to evaluate how fast the enzyme degrades each of the copolymers.

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2018-05

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Eat In, Not Out: A Comparative Analysis Between at Home Cooking and Restaurant Dining

Description

This creative project seeks to demonstrate the nutritional and financial benefits of cooking in versus eating out to college age students. We sought to determine what factors significantly differentiated restaurant meals versus home-cooked versions, and how we could share this

This creative project seeks to demonstrate the nutritional and financial benefits of cooking in versus eating out to college age students. We sought to determine what factors significantly differentiated restaurant meals versus home-cooked versions, and how we could share this information with our peers to potentially influence them to make a healthy lifestyle change. The first step was to determine the factors that influence college-aged students eating habits, and was presented with a review of relevant literature in several topics. We researched food literacy in young adults, the impact of fast food, social media's role in healthy eating habits, health behavior change in young adults, and the benefits of home cooking to obtain a general baseline of the knowledge of college-aged students. The initial research was utilized to write more effective blog posts that appropriately addressed our targeted demographic and to determine what platforms would be most appropriate to convey our information. These ideas were taken and then translated into a blog and Instagram account that contained healthy, copycat recipes of popular restaurant meals. We wrote 30 blog posts which were made up of 20 original recipes, 8 nutrition informational posts, and an introduction/conclusion. Finally, a focus group was hosted to ascertain the opinions of our peers, and to determine if they would be willing to make a lifestyle change in the form of cooking more frequently as opposed to eating out regularly. We provided them with a pre and post survey to gather their opinions before and after reviewing the findings of our research and project. We concluded that if given the information in an accessible way, college students are willing to eat in, not out.

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2018-05

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The Effects of Time Restricted Feeding on Mood

Description

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is defined as a cyclical eating pattern where an individual will fast for a specific increment of time, followed by caloric intake periods. Fasting is a crucial part of our ancestors’ adaptation to the stresses of famine

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is defined as a cyclical eating pattern where an individual will fast for a specific increment of time, followed by caloric intake periods. Fasting is a crucial part of our ancestors’ adaptation to the stresses of famine in order to maintain mental acuity and physical abilities during food deprivation. IF influences physiological changes such as: triggers protective metabolic pathways, increases metabolic flexibility and resilience, promotes DNA repair and autophagy, increases microbiome diversity and restores the natural cyclical fluctuations of the gut, increases BDNF expression in mood regulating neuronal circuits, and enhances synaptic plasticity of the brain. Research on the underlying causes of mood disorders has linked impairments in neuroplasticity and cellular resilience to this pathophysiology, which fasting could mitigate. Depression and anxiety are reported as the top impediments to academic performance. Thus, an easily implemented treatment such as intermittent fasting may be an option for combating impaired mental health in college students. This research study tested time restricted feeding (TRF) and its impact on mood states. It was hypothesized that: if college students follow a time restricted feeding pattern, then they will be less moody due to TRF’s effects on the metabolism, brain, and gut. The study consisted of 11 college students: 5 following a four-week adherence to TRF (8am-4pm eating window) and 6 in the control group. The POMS questionnaire was used to measure mood states. The participants height, weight, BMI, body fat %, and POMS scores were tested at the beginning and end of the 4 week intervention. The results were as follows: weight p=0.112 (statistical trend), BMI p=0.058 (nearly significant), body fat % p=0.114 (statistical trend), POMS p=0.014 (statistically significant). The data suggests that following a TRF eating pattern can decrease moodiness and improve mood states.

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2019-05

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Content Analysis of Existing Nutrition Marketing Materials in Central Arizona Schools

Description

The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare the content of nutrition marketing materials within the cafeterias of schools in Central Arizona. By collecting photographs of marketing material from three elementary schools, one K-8 school, three middle schools

The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare the content of nutrition marketing materials within the cafeterias of schools in Central Arizona. By collecting photographs of marketing material from three elementary schools, one K-8 school, three middle schools and three high schools, 59 pieces of nutrition marketing were gathered. The schools chosen were a convenience sample and selected from schools that were already participating in ASU' s School Lunch Study. The photographs were sorted by grade level and then coded quantitatively and qualitatively for their purpose, visual components, strategies used and relevance. Results from this novel study provided insight into prevalence, size, textual content, educational content, strategies for fruit and vegetable marketing, messaging and overall design of existing nutrition marketing within the sample schools. This study found that the prevalence of nutrition marketing within all school cafeterias appeared to be low, particularly within elementary and middle schools. Diverse types of messaging were present among elementary, middle and high schools and a variety of appeals were utilized with little consistency. Many of the strategies used in the nutrition marketing appeared disconnected from the population it was intended to appeal to. Educational components were notably lacking within middle school cafeterias but were often effectively integrated into high school nutrition marketing. The results are unique to this population, and further research is required to evaluate the content of existing nutrition material on a larger scale, so efforts can be made to improve the persuasiveness of nutrition marketing in promoting fruit and vegetable consumption.

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2018-12

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Examination of an Organometallic Complex on Insulin Resistance in Periadolescent Male Rats Following a 10-week High Fat Diet

Description

With the rising prevalence of obesity and diabetes, novel treatments to help mitigate or prevent symptoms of these conditions are warranted. Prior studies have shown that fossilized plant materials found in soil lowers blood sugar in a mouse model of

With the rising prevalence of obesity and diabetes, novel treatments to help mitigate or prevent symptoms of these conditions are warranted. Prior studies have shown that fossilized plant materials found in soil lowers blood sugar in a mouse model of diabetes. The goal of this study is to determine whether a similar organometallic complex (OMC) could prevent insulin resistance in the skeletal muscle brought on by chronic high fat intake by examining the protein expression of key enzymes in the insulin signaling pathway and examining glucoregulatory measures. Six-week-old periadolescent male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=42) were randomly chosen to be fed either a high fat diet (HFD) (20% protein, 20% carbohydrates [6.8% sucrose], 60% fat) or a standard chow diet (18.9% protein, 57.33% carbohydrates, 5% fat) for 10 weeks. Rats from each diet group were then randomly assigned to one of three doses of OMC (0, 0.6, 3.0 mg/mL), which was added to their drinking water and fasting blood glucose was measured at baseline and again at 10 weeks. After 10 weeks, rats were euthanized, and soleus muscle samples were isolated, snap-frozen, and stored at -80°C until analyses. Fasting plasma glucose was measured using a commercially available glucose oxidase kit. Following 6 and 10 weeks, HFD rats developed significant hyperglycemia (p<0.001 and p=0.025) compared to chow controls which was prevented by high dose OMC (p=0.021). After 10 weeks, there were significant differences in fasting serum insulin between diets (p=0.009) where levels were higher in HFD rats. No significant difference was seen in p-PI3K expression between groups. These results suggest that OMC could prevent insulin resistance by reducing hyperglycemia. Further studies are needed to characterize the effects of diet and OMC on the insulin signaling pathway in skeletal muscle, the main site of postprandial glucose disposal. This study was supported by a grant from Isagenix International LLC as well as funds from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, Tempe Campus.

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2018-12

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Incorporating Nutritional Support as Complementary Therapy for Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy Treatment

Description

Nutritional support offered before and during chemotherapy treatment is proven to improve the outcomes of treatment (Bernhardson, 2016). This project seeks to examine current forms of nutritional support offered to patients, as well as the models of care and support

Nutritional support offered before and during chemotherapy treatment is proven to improve the outcomes of treatment (Bernhardson, 2016). This project seeks to examine current forms of nutritional support offered to patients, as well as the models of care and support teams in cancer treatment centers. The basis for this project incorporated personal experiences at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, Arizona as well as research into the work of clinical oncology dietitians. An intense interest in food videos and blogs also informed this project, and was incorporated in the hope of providing chemotherapy patients a platform to discover recipes specific to their unique situation. The combination of this research was utilized to create several videos which demonstrated specific recipes beneficial for patients as well as creating a platform for this particular population. While nutritional support can take multiple forms, the focus of nutritional support surrounds symptom management. The common side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea, mucositis (mouth sores), and extreme weight loss were taken into account. Recipes were formulated to directly address these conditions and each recipe was broken down into the benefits of both macronutrients and micronutrients. In addition to formulating specific recipes and videos, barriers to proper nutritional support were examined and explained. These barriers include understaffing of clinical dietitians at cancer treatment centers, a patient's lack of transportation to and from treatments, as well as an overwhelming viewpoint that nutritional support is only required for extreme cases of malnutrition. Combatting these barriers and offering more forms of nutritional support will help to increase a patient's positive response to treatment, manage their symptoms, and improve their overall quality of life.

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2018-12

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Two Degrees Celsius: Reducing the Negative Ecological Impact and Creating Sustainability in the Beef Industry

Description

In this moment, as I find myself on the brink of transition from my undergraduate studies into my postgraduate endeavors, I find my conscious drift back and forth between reflection on my experience to date, and contemplation of what awaits.

In this moment, as I find myself on the brink of transition from my undergraduate studies into my postgraduate endeavors, I find my conscious drift back and forth between reflection on my experience to date, and contemplation of what awaits. As I reach this milestone, I am challenged with the task of creating a thesis that not only projects what I have learned and how I have grown in my time at Barrett, the Honors College, but how I will continue to grow and impact the world into which I set out. This growth, subtle yet constant permeates my collegiate experience. I have grown in knowledge, experience, and maturity. I am more self-aware yet working to become less self-conscious, and more selfless. I have made lasting memories I wish I could relive and reckless mistakes I wish I could forget, but both wishes are unavailable, and would be unproductive if granted. I have only grown by being open to new experiences that I may one day cherish and avoiding the pitfalls that have brought forth instances of destruction and despair. I hope to represent this growth in this thesis so that it may serve as a launching pad for me and for those who read it, so that together we can begin to solve the problem I address, a problem that has grown but which we must not allow to grown out of control.

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2019-05

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Dynamic Changes in Heart Rate and Cerebral Blood Flow During Acute Vagal Nerve Stimulation

Description

Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) has been shown to be a promising therapeutic technique in treating many neurological diseases, including epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and migraine headache. The mechanisms by which VNS acts, however, are not fully understood but may

Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) has been shown to be a promising therapeutic technique in treating many neurological diseases, including epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and migraine headache. The mechanisms by which VNS acts, however, are not fully understood but may involve changes in cerebral blood flow. The vagus nerve plays a significant role in the regulation of heart rate and cerebral blood flow that are altered during VNS. Here, we examined the effects of acute vagal nerve stimulation on both heart rate and cerebral blood flow. Laser Speckle Contrast Analysis (LASCA) was used to analyze the cerebral blood flow of male Long\u2014Evans rats. Results showed two distinct patterns of responses whereby animals either experienced a mild or severe decrease in heart rate during VNS. Further, animals that displayed mild heart rate decreases showed an increase in cerebral blood flow that persisted beyond VNS. Animals that displayed severe decreases showed a transient decrease in cerebral blood flow followed by an increase that was greater than that observed in mild animals but progressively decreased after VNS. The results suggest two distinct patterns of changes in both heart rate and cerebral blood flow that may be related to the intensity of VNS.

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2018-05

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Effects of a Community-Based Nutrition Program on the Intake of Fruits, Vegetables, and Sugar in Children

Description

Childhood obesity is a worsening epidemic in the U.S. with substantial racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. Community-based approaches are necessary to target populations that are disproportionately affected by childhood obesity. The current randomized controlled trial assessed the effects of Athletes for

Childhood obesity is a worsening epidemic in the U.S. with substantial racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. Community-based approaches are necessary to target populations that are disproportionately affected by childhood obesity. The current randomized controlled trial assessed the effects of Athletes for Life (AFL), a 12-week community-based nutrition education and physical activity program that aims to improve cardiovascular fitness and promote healthy eating among families in the South Phoenix region, relative to a control condition. One of the goals of the intervention was to increase participating children's intake of fruits/vegetables and reduce their sugar intake, measured by a parent-reported food-frequency questionnaire. Data were collected on 110 child participants aged 6-11 years old. Relative to baseline values, participants in the intervention reportedly increased their fruit intake frequency by 0.12 + 2.0 times per day, whereas the control group decreased their intake by 0.32 + 1.28 times per day (p=0.026). Participants in the intervention group also increased their vegetable intake by 0.21 + 0.65 times per day, whereas control participants decreased their intake by 0.05 + 0.72 times per day (p=0.019). Participants in the intervention group decreased their intake of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake by 0.22 + 0.62 times per day, whereas control participants decreased their intake of SSBs by 0.04 + 0.40 times per day, however, the change observed in SSB intake was not significant between groups. Lastly, frequency of sugar-laden food intake decreased by 0.86 + 1.10 times per day among the intervention group, whereas control participants increased their intake by 0.02 + 1.10 times per day (p=0.033). The AFL study may serve as a framework for future community-based interventions to promote health in underserved areas.

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2018-05

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Increasing Health and Fitness Literacy in Underserved Communities to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Children Ages 8-14

Description

One of the great difficulties in leading America to become a healthier nation involves overcoming the socioeconomic disparity that exists between income and health literacy. Impoverished communities consistently lack the proper health education to make quality food purchases and healthy

One of the great difficulties in leading America to become a healthier nation involves overcoming the socioeconomic disparity that exists between income and health literacy. Impoverished communities consistently lack the proper health education to make quality food purchases and healthy lifestyle choices, leading to higher rates of obesity. Through FitPHX Energy Zones, an after-school program designed to encourage Phoenix youths to lead healthier lifestyles through an innovative use of library spaces, I provided health education and opportunities for physical activity for 8 to 14-year-olds in underserved Phoenix communities. However, although this intervention made significant progress with the kids' health literacy development over the course of the program, it is difficult for community-based intervention programs to continue in the long run due to budget or other extraneous circumstances. Once the program ends, there needed to be a way to continue to reach the kids beyond the scope of the program such that they can continue to experience the lessons taught during the program. Following the conclusion of FitPHX, I created an interactive book for the kids I worked with to help them retain the health and nutrition knowledge taught during the program.

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2018-05