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Sickle Cell Disease Education and Screening in Kenya

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Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a prevalent genetic disease in Africa, and specifically in Kenya. The lack of available relevant disease education and screening mean that most don't understand the importance of getting testing and many children die before they

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a prevalent genetic disease in Africa, and specifically in Kenya. The lack of available relevant disease education and screening mean that most don't understand the importance of getting testing and many children die before they can get prophylactic care. This project was designed to address the lack of knowledge with supplemental educational materials to be partnered with an engineering capstone project that provides a low cost diagnostic test.

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2014-05

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Diet-induced alterations in energy homeostasis and central adiposity: liver and visceral adipose tissue

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There has been an alarming rise in the prevalence of obesity which has been attributed to the paralleled rise in consumption of high-fat foods. It’s commonly accepted that high-fat diets can lead to increased weight gain, however not all fats

There has been an alarming rise in the prevalence of obesity which has been attributed to the paralleled rise in consumption of high-fat foods. It’s commonly accepted that high-fat diets can lead to increased weight gain, however not all fats have the same physiological action. This study primarily focuses on the effect of canola oil, a monounsaturated fat, on energy homeostasis and body composition when it’s given as a supplement to a high-fat diet composed of saturated fatty acid. Rodent models were divided into three dietary groups: 1) low-fat diet (LFD), 2) high-fat diet (HFD) and 3) canola oils supplemented HFD (HF+CAN). After 4 weeks of dietary intervention, samples of epididymal fat, perinephric fat, and liver were analyzed across the three groups to see if the changes in energy homeostasis could be explained by the cellular behavior and composition of these tissues. Interestingly, the supplement of canola oil appeared to reverse the deleterious effects of a saturated fat diet, reverting energy intake, body weight gain and adipose tissue sizes to that (if not lower than that) of the LFD group. The only exception to this effect was the liver: the livers remained larger and fattier than those of the HFD. This occurrence is possibly due to a decrease in free fatty acid uptake in the adipose tissues—resulting in smaller adipose tissue sizes—and increased fatty acid uptake in the liver. The mechanism by which this occurs has yet to be elucidated and will be the primary focus of upcoming studies on the effect of monounsaturated fat on other diets.

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2015-05

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Development of Viral Protein Arrays to Study the Role of Viral Infections in Type 1 Diabetes

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The pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes (T1D) is still not fully understood in the scientific community. Evidence has shown that viral infections are one of the important environmental factors associated with the disease development. Seven of the top T1D related

The pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes (T1D) is still not fully understood in the scientific community. Evidence has shown that viral infections are one of the important environmental factors associated with the disease development. Seven of the top T1D related viruses were selected to study the prevalence of viral humoral response in T1D patients using our innovative protein array platform called Nucleic Acid Programmable Protein Array (NAPPA). In this study, each viral gene was individually captured using various PCR based techniques, cloned into a protein expression vector, and assembled as the first version of T1D viral protein array. Humoral responses of IgG, IgA, and IgM were examined. Although each class of immunoglobulin generated a wide-range of reactivity, responses to various viral proteins from different proteins were observed. In summary, we captured most of the T1D related viral genes, established viral protein expression on the protein array, and displayed the serum response on the viral protein array. The successful progress will help to fulfill the long term goal of testing the viral infection hypothesis in T1D development.

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2013-05