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Effect of Rexinoids on Inducing Effector T Cell Chemotaxis

Description

The retinoid-X receptor (RXR) can form heterodimers with both the retinoic-acid
receptor (RAR) and vitamin D receptor (VDR). The RXR/RAR dimer is activated by ligand all
trans retinoic acid (ATRA), which culminates in gut-specific effector T cell migration. Similarly,

The retinoid-X receptor (RXR) can form heterodimers with both the retinoic-acid
receptor (RAR) and vitamin D receptor (VDR). The RXR/RAR dimer is activated by ligand all
trans retinoic acid (ATRA), which culminates in gut-specific effector T cell migration. Similarly,
the VDR/RXR dimer binds 1,25(OH)2D3 to cause skin-specific effector T cell migration.
Targeted migration is a potent addition to current vaccines, as it would induce activated T cell
trafficking to appropriate areas of the immune system and ensure optimal stimulation (40).
ATRA, while in use clinically, is limited by toxicity and chemical instability. Rexinoids
are stable, synthetically developed ligands specific for the RXR. We have previously shown that
select rexinoids can enhance upregulation of gut tropic CCR9 receptors on effector T cells.
However, it is important to establish whether these cells can actually migrate, to show the
potential of rexinoids as vaccine adjuvants that can cause gut specific T cell migration.
Additionally, since the RXR is a major contributor to VDR-mediated transcription and
epidermotropism (15), it is worth investigating whether these compounds can also function as
adjuvants that promote migration by increasing expression of skin tropic CCR10 receptors on T
cells.
Prior experiments have demonstrated that select rexinoids can induce gut tropic migration
of CD8+ T cells in an in vitro assay and are comparable in effectiveness to ATRA (7). The effect
of rexinoids on CD4+ T cells is unknown however, so the aim of this project was to determine if
rexinoids can cause gut tropic migration in CD4+ T cells to a similar extent. A secondary aim
was to investigate whether varying concentrations in 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 can be linked to
increasing CCR10 upregulation on Jurkat CD4+ T cells, with the future aim to combine 1,25
Dihydroxyvitamin D3 with rexinoids.
These hypotheses were tested using murine splenocytes for the migration experiment, and
human Jurkat CD4+ T cells for the vitamin D experiment. Migration was assessed using a
Transwell chemotaxis assay. Our findings support the potential of rexinoids as compounds
capable of causing gut-tropic migration in murine CD4+ T cells in vitro, like ATRA. We did not
observe conclusive evidence that vitamin D3 causes upregulated CCR10 expression, but this
experiment must be repeated with a human primary T cell line.

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2020-05

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Does Chronically Administered Intermittent Restraint Stress (IRS) have Long-Lasting Effects on Fear Extinction and Depressive-Like Behavior?

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The current study investigated whether intermittent restraint stress (IRS) would impair fear extinction learning and lead to increased anxiety and depressive- like behaviors and then be attenuated when IRS ends and a post- stress rest period ensues for 6 weeks.

The current study investigated whether intermittent restraint stress (IRS) would impair fear extinction learning and lead to increased anxiety and depressive- like behaviors and then be attenuated when IRS ends and a post- stress rest period ensues for 6 weeks. Young adult, male Sprague Dawley rats underwent restraint stress using wire mesh (6hr/daily) for five days with two days off before restraint resumed for three weeks for a total of 23 restraint days. The groups consisted of control (CON) with no restraint other than food and water restriction yoked to the restrained groups, stress immediate (STR-IMM), which were restrained then fear conditioned soon after the end of the IRS paradigm, and stress given a rest for 6 weeks before fear conditioning commenced (STR-R6). Rats were fear conditioned by pairing a 20 second tone with a footshock, then given extinction training for two days (15 tone only on each day). On the first day of extinction, all groups discriminated well on the first trial, but then as trials progressed, STR-R6 discriminated between tone and context less than did CON. On the second day of extinction, STR- IMM froze more to context in the earlier trials than compared to STR-R6 and CON. As trials progressed STR-IMM and STR-R6 froze more to context than compared to CON. Together, CON discriminated between tone and context better than did STR-IMM and STR-R6. Sucrose preference, novelty suppressed feeding, and elevated plus maze was performed after fear extinction was completed. No statistical differences were observed among groups for sucrose preference or novelty suppressed feeding. For the elevated plus maze, STR-IMM entered the open arms and the sum of both open and closed arms fewer than did STR- R6 and CON. We interpret the findings to suggest that the stress groups displayed increased hypervigilance and anxiety with STR-R6 exhibiting a unique phenotype than that of STR-IMM and CON.

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2018-05

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Effect of Student Relationships and Motivation on Student Learning and Teacher Lessons

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The fields of psychology and education are typically housed within separate contexts. Psychology is the scientific study of the mind, thoughts, behaviors and actions (Nordqvist, 2018). The history of psychology originated centuries ago in Europe, although some attribute the beginning

The fields of psychology and education are typically housed within separate contexts. Psychology is the scientific study of the mind, thoughts, behaviors and actions (Nordqvist, 2018). The history of psychology originated centuries ago in Europe, although some attribute the beginning of mind study as far back as Aristotle. Currently, the American Psychological Association has 54 active scientific divisions, ranging from the Society of Military Psychology to Psychological Hypnosis. Education, has been studied in a variety of ways, including curriculum, instruction, and educational policy. Educational psychology is a relatively new field that examines the effects of how psychological science can be applied to learning and educational success (Parankimalil, 2014). Some of the factors that educational psychologists study include: educational reform, classroom interactions, stimuli effects on learning, student motivation, individual and collective self-beliefs, goal orientation, theory of attribution, and cognitive development. It is important to distinguish that each student has a unique approach to learning. Student relationships in classrooms can profoundly impact this learning. Moreover, student motivation stems intrinsically and is influenced by external factors. Research demonstrates the positive effects sensory stimuli, including auditory, tactile, olfactory and visual, can have on student learning as well. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are inseparable facets of student learning, as explained by the self-determination theory. This allows for student progression from external to internal motivation, to develop better learning methods. Educational psychology is very relevant to study today, more so in a classroom where students are actively synthesizing the information learned, to apply it to real-world situations. Future research includes studying cultural effects, technology, stereotypes and reciprocal determinism in an educational setting and providing individualized learning opportunities. This research provides a transition to a student focused change rather than the cyclical model currently driving the education system today. By studying the psychological effects in a classroom, the goal is to reduce the dropout rate and improve child and adolescent education by personalizing learning.

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2018-05

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Free Bird: Preventing Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Description

Sexual assault affects hundreds of thousands of individuals every year. College students are especially at risk as women ages 18-24 are 3 times more likely to be a victim of sexual assault than other females (Campus Sexual Violence, n.d.). Because

Sexual assault affects hundreds of thousands of individuals every year. College students are especially at risk as women ages 18-24 are 3 times more likely to be a victim of sexual assault than other females (Campus Sexual Violence, n.d.). Because victims of sexual assault can experience negative sequelae for weeks, months, and even years after the incident occurs, it is critical to provide them with easily accessible help and guidance. For my thesis project, I investigated how sexual assault influences these victims' lives as well as what help is readily accessible to them. After researching sexual assault in college students and reading through many websites, articles, and journals, I researched the types of information provided to sexual assault victims through the websites of national sexual violence organizations. I then coded the websites of Arizona colleges and universities (N = 10) for the topics covered in their sites. Because several of these colleges had inadequate material on their websites, I developed a website that would provide additional information to sexual assault survivors. The idea of Free Bird is to establish a safe space for victims of sexual assault to find information that will allow them to heal along their journey. I learned a lot while completing this project, and I hope that the creation of this website will allow others to become more educated on the topic and realize what a problem sexual assault is in our society today.

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2018-05

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Xenophilia: The preference for members of an outgroup

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This paper explores the idea of xenophilia and the circumstances under which it may occur. Xenophilia is the preference for an outgroup member over an ingroup member. This preference does not have to be amicable, and in fact can be

This paper explores the idea of xenophilia and the circumstances under which it may occur. Xenophilia is the preference for an outgroup member over an ingroup member. This preference does not have to be amicable, and in fact can be exploitative under certain circumstances. Previous research indicates that xenophobia is much more common, but a few researchers have found support for the existence of xenophilia. To experimentally test the circumstances under which xenophilia might occur, I conducted a survey-based experiment on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. This consisted of directed visualizations that manipulated participant goal (self-protection vs. mate acquisition) and the resources offered by both a fictitious outgroup and the hometown ingroup, followed by measures of ingroup/outgroup preference. I hypothesized that when the resource offered by the group addressed the participants’ goal, they would prefer the group with the “matched” resource—even if it was the outgroup providing that resource. My hypothesis was not supported, as the univariate analysis of variance for preference for the outgroup was not significant, F (2, 423) = .723, p = .486. This may have occurred because the goal manipulations were not strong enough to counteract the strong natural preference for ingroup members.

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2018-05

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A Review of the Human Vermiform Appendix and its Proposed Function

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Since its discovery in 1524, many people have characterized the vermiform appendix. Charles Darwin considered the human appendix to be a vestige and a useless structure. Others at the time opposed this hypothesis. However, Darwin's hypothesis became prevalent one until

Since its discovery in 1524, many people have characterized the vermiform appendix. Charles Darwin considered the human appendix to be a vestige and a useless structure. Others at the time opposed this hypothesis. However, Darwin's hypothesis became prevalent one until recently when there became a renewed interest in the appendix because of advancements in microscopes, knowledge of the immune system, and phylogenetics. In this review, I will argue that the vermiform appendix, although still not completely understood, has important functions. First, I will give the anatomy of the appendix. I will discuss the comparative anatomy between different animals and also primates. I will address the effects of appendicitis and appendectomy. I will give background on vestigial structures and will discuss if the appendix is a vestige. Following, I will review the evolution of the appendix. Finally, I will argue that the function of the appendix is as an immune organ, including discussion of gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), development of lymphoid follicles in GALT and their comparison within different organs, Immunoglobulin A (IgA) function in the gut, biofilms as evidence that the appendix is a safe-house for beneficial bacteria, re-inoculation of the bowel, and protection against recurring infection. I will conclude with future studies that should be conducted to further our understanding of the vermiform appendix.

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2018-05

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The Development of a Plant-Expressed M2e-Based Universal Influenza Vaccine

Description

Influenza is a deadly disease for which effective vaccines are sorely lacking. This is largely due to the phenomena of antigenic shift and drift in the influenza virus's surface proteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). The ectodomain of the matrix

Influenza is a deadly disease for which effective vaccines are sorely lacking. This is largely due to the phenomena of antigenic shift and drift in the influenza virus's surface proteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). The ectodomain of the matrix 2 protein (M2e) of influenza A, however, has demonstrated high levels of conservation. On its own it is poorly immunogenic and offers little protection against influenza infections, but by combining it with a potent adjuvant, this limitation may be overcome. Recombinant immune complexes, or antigens fused to antibodies that have been engineered to form incredibly immunogenic complexes with one another, were previously shown to be useful, immunogenic platforms for the presentation of various antigens and could provide the boost in immunogenicity that M2e needs to become a powerful universal influenza A vaccine. In this thesis, genetic constructs containing geminiviral replication proteins and coding for a consensus sequence of dimeric M2e fused to antibodies featuring complimentary epitopes and epitope tags were generated and used to transform Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The transformed bacteria was then used to cause Nicotiana benthamiana to transiently express M2e-RICs at very high levels, with enough RICs being gathered to evaluate their potency in future mouse trials. Future directions and areas for further research are discussed.

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2018-05

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A Comparison and Contrast of Animal Psychology in the Wild vs. the Human Dominated World

Description

Animal psychology is the study of how animals interact with one another, their environment, and with humans. This can be done in two different settings, the wild and captivity, and through two different approaches, academic research and practice. Academic research

Animal psychology is the study of how animals interact with one another, their environment, and with humans. This can be done in two different settings, the wild and captivity, and through two different approaches, academic research and practice. Academic research relies primarily on behavioral observation for data collection. Practice uses behavioral observation as well, but allows for a more hands on experience and lets the practitioner make improvements in the quality of life. I interviewed two people, one who practices in captivity, and one who does research in the wild. Dr. David Bunn has done research on wild animals in Kruger National Park in South Africa for over twenty years, studying human-animal interactions. Hilda Tresz has worked in zoos nearly forty years and specializes in chimps. Working within the same field, but utilizing a different setting and approach makes a big difference in the feel of the job. Though I found many differences between the two by doing my own research and from conducting interviews, there are many similarities to note as well. The general field of animal psychology is very rewarding, requires a lot of patience, and leads to a better understanding of animal behavior and how to care for specific species of animals. Working with captive animals allows for the opportunity to make a big difference in animal's lives through behavioral enrichment and general care. Working in the wild allows us to understand the innate animal behaviors displayed. Through practice, people get more hands on experience; while through research, you get to observe animals in their native habitats. Each setting and approach has it's own benefits depending on what each person's goals are for their job.

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2018-05

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Bharatanatyam and its effect on Stress, Mood, and Anxiety

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Abstract
This study investigates the effects of Bharatanatyam dance on stress, mood, and anxiety. I have danced Bharatanatyam since I was 8 years old, it has offered me a way to release stress

Abstract
This study investigates the effects of Bharatanatyam dance on stress, mood, and anxiety. I have danced Bharatanatyam since I was 8 years old, it has offered me a way to release stress and anxiety. This study provides empirical data to support the claim that Bharatanatyam has therapeutic effects that release stress and reduce anxiety. This investigation was conducted through self-reports and interviews. A Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) scale was used to determine positive and negative effects. The average positive affect during the “dance weeks” (DW) was 46.6 and the average negative affect was 12.2. During the “no dance weeks” (NDW), the average positive effect was 23.7 and the average negative affect was 31. The participant’s interview PANAS results had an average positive effect of 39.8 and an average negative effect of 12.8. Analyzing the self-report journaling highlighted a more prevalent use of positive words during the DW and a more significant use of negative words during the NDW. The Bharatanatyam dancers who were probed to enter post-performance environment for an interview also used positive words to describe Bharatanatyam dancing. In conclusion, practicing Bharatanatyam had an overall positive effect on mood, and can reduce stress and anxiety.

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2019-05

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Development of Nanozymes from 2D Materials for Optical Detection of Neurotransmitters

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This paper discusses the possibility of utilizing 2D molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) as a nanozyme to detect dopamine colorimetric assays, first by detecting color change in liquid solutions due to oxidation and then second on paper-based assays. MoS2 samples dispersed in

This paper discusses the possibility of utilizing 2D molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) as a nanozyme to detect dopamine colorimetric assays, first by detecting color change in liquid solutions due to oxidation and then second on paper-based assays. MoS2 samples dispersed in methylcellulose (MC) solution were prepared using liquid-phase exfoliation through sonication. The dopamine (DOPA) and hydrogen peroxide (H¬¬2O2) solutions were prepared separately in specific concentrations. The solutions were mixed in a well plate and colorimetric results were analyzed by a plate reader, revealing a quantitative relationship between dopamine concentration and absorbance. Subsequent testing was conducted using paper assays, where combined solutions of DOPA and H2O2 were dropped onto paper with printed wax wells that contained dried MoS2. An analysis of the color change was conducted using a smartphone application called Color Grab to detect the red, green, and blue (RGB) values. Plotting the RGB results across the dopamine concentrations revealed a positively correlated relationship between the two factors, suggesting that a predictive model could be developed to predict dopamine concentrations based on measured colorimetric values.

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2019-05