Matching Items (6)

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Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 Through Wastewater-Based Epidemiology and COVID-19 Clinical Testing Data on a Large US University Campus

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As the return to normality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic enters its early stages, the necessity for accurate, quick, and community-wide surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 has been emphasized. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has been used across the world as a

As the return to normality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic enters its early stages, the necessity for accurate, quick, and community-wide surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 has been emphasized. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has been used across the world as a tool for monitoring the pandemic, but studies of its efficacy in comparison to the best-known method for surveillance, randomly selected COVID-19 testing, has limited research. This study evaluated the trends and correlations present between SARS-CoV-2 in the effluent wastewater of a large university campus and random COVID-19 testing results published by the university. A moderately strong positive correlation was found between the random testing and WBE surveillance methods (r = 0.63), and this correlation was strengthened when accommodating for lost samples during the experiment (r = 0.74).

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2021-05

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Benefits and Difficulties of Telegenetics for Genetic Counseling During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Telehealth is the use of information and communications technology by healthcare professionals to provide care to patients. When this technology is being used specifically for genetic services, it is called telegenetics. Previous studies that examine the small-scale use of telegenetics

Telehealth is the use of information and communications technology by healthcare professionals to provide care to patients. When this technology is being used specifically for genetic services, it is called telegenetics. Previous studies that examine the small-scale use of telegenetics for the field of genetic counseling have shown that the technology may provide a way to address the problem of patient access to genetic counseling services, assuming its efficacy. Patients are satisfied with telegenetics, but genetic counselors hold more reservations. Because of this and the many regulatory barriers in its way, telegenetics was only slowly being adopted when the coronavirus was declared a pandemic in March 2020. The pandemic forced a switch to telegenetics at a scale never seen before. This study begins with a literature review to assess the situation of telegenetics before and during the pandemic. It then surveys practicing genetic counselors in Arizona in order to reveal what they think about telegenetics when it is the encouraged, and sometimes only, modality. Since the literature review revealed that genetic counselors, not patients, are the ones with concerns, it is important to hear their points of view. This study reveals that genetic counselors want telegenetics as an option but not as a replacement for in-person appointments. All respondents agreed that increased patient access is the main benefit of telegenetics. There are reported challenges that must be overcome, but genetic counselors in Arizona overwhelming believe that telegenetics use will be continued in the future.

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2021-05

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Desired Purchasing Behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The present study explored the relationship between desired purchasing behavior and individual differences using two nationally-representative, longitudinal samples of the U.S. population early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Past research has shown that individual differences provide information about how one might

The present study explored the relationship between desired purchasing behavior and individual differences using two nationally-representative, longitudinal samples of the U.S. population early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Past research has shown that individual differences provide information about how one might respond to threat. Therefore, we predicted changes in desired purchasing behavior across different sociodemographic variables that might reflect those differences. Specifically, we investigated hypotheses related to political orientation, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and whether or not the participant had children. We measured participants’ reported desired purchasing behavior across eleven categories of goods and investigated the connection between specific demographic variables and desired purchasing behavior. We found that conservatives desired to purchase more basic protection goods (guns/ammunition, cash, gas) and that older people desired to purchase more cleaning supplies and toiletries. These findings illustrate possible explanations for purchasing behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic and reveal directions for marketing designed to influence purchasing behavior.

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2021-05

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An Analysis of Healthcare Capital Equipment Planning and Healthcare Software Implementation

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Healthcare facilities are essential for any community, and they must stay up-to-date with the latest equipment and technology. They provide necessary resources for keeping populations healthy and safe. In order to provide healthcare services, these healthcare facilities must be adequately

Healthcare facilities are essential for any community, and they must stay up-to-date with the latest equipment and technology. They provide necessary resources for keeping populations healthy and safe. In order to provide healthcare services, these healthcare facilities must be adequately equipped with appropriate physical capital as well as software to meet the demands of their patients. Healthcare capital equipment planning involves building up a facility with all it’s equipment and is a part of the healthcare supply chain. Attainia is a healthcare capital equipment planning software used to assist equipment planners in organizing the procurement of equipment for their projects. Attainia has a large amount of data about the capital equipment supply chain through the Attainia equipment catalog. Analysis of this catalog data reveals different patterns in the spending patterns of capital equipment planners as well as trends in the supplier offerings. Since Attainia itself is a software, Attainia’s users have experience with implementing and integrating software into healthcare IT solutions. Their experiences give some insight into the complex nature of software implementations at healthcare facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected healthcare facilities all over the world. Impacting the supply chain and hitting hospitals’ finances, COVID-19 has drastically changed many parts of the healthcare system. This paper will examine some of these ongoing effects from COVID-19 along with analysis on capital equipment planning, supply chain, and healthcare software implementation.

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2021-05

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Vaccine Essentials: How They Came To Be, Why They Are Necessary, and Why Vaccine Hesitancy Exists

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Vaccines are modern medicine’s best way of combating the majority of viral and bacterial illnesses and contagions to date. Thanks to the introduction of vaccines since the first uses of them in 1796 (Jenner’s smallpox vaccine), they have drastically reduced

Vaccines are modern medicine’s best way of combating the majority of viral and bacterial illnesses and contagions to date. Thanks to the introduction of vaccines since the first uses of them in 1796 (Jenner’s smallpox vaccine), they have drastically reduced figures of disease worldwide, turning once lethal and life changing conditions into minor annoyances; Some of these afflictions have even become nonexistent or even extinct in certain parts of the world outside of a controlled laboratory setting. With many advancements and overwhelming evidence proving their efficiency, it is clear that vaccines have become nothing less than a necessity for everyday healthcare in today’s world. <br/>The greatest contributor to the creation and evolution of vaccines throughout the years is by far the progress and work done in the field of molecular and cellular biology. These advancements have become the bedrock of modern vaccination, as shown by the differing types of vaccines and their methodology. The most common varieties of vaccines are include ‘dead’ or inactivated vaccines, one such example being the pertussis strain of vaccines, which have either dead or torn apart cells for the body to easily fight off, allowing the immune system to easily and quickly counter the illness; Additionally, there are also live attenuated vaccines (LAVs) in which a weaker version of the pathogen is introduced to the body to stimulate an immune response, or a recombinant mRNA vaccine where mRNA containing the coding for an antigen is presented for immunological response, the latter being what the current COVID-19 vaccines are based on. This is in part aided by the presence of immunological adjuvants, antigens and substances that the immune system can recognize, target, and remember for future infections. However, for more serious illnesses the body needs a bigger threat to analyze, which leads to live vaccines- instead of dead or individual components of a potential pathogen, a weakened version is created in the lab to allow the body to combat it. The idea behind this is the same, but to a larger degree so a more serious illness such as measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) do not infect us.<br/>However, for the past couple of decades the public’s views on vaccination has greatly varied, with the rise of fear and disinformation leading those to believe that modern medicine is a threat in disguise. The largest of these arguments began in the late 90’s, when Dr. Andrew Wakefield published an article under the Lancet with false information connecting vaccinations to the occurrence of autism in younger children- a theory which has since then been proven incorrect numerous times over. Unfortunately, the rise of hysteria and paranoia in people, along with more misinformation from misleading sources, have strengthened the anti-vaccination cause and has made it into a serious threat to the health of those world-wide.<br/>The aim of this thesis is to provide an accurate and thorough analysis on these three themes- the history of vaccines, their inner workings and machinations in providing immune defenses for the body, and the current controversy of the anti-vaccination movement. Additionally, there will be two other sections going in-depth on two specific areas where vaccination is highly important; The spread and fear of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has been around for nearly four decades, so it begs the question: what makes this such a difficult virus, and how can a vaccine be created to combat it? Additionally, in the last year the world has encountered a new virus that has evolved into a global pandemic, SARS-COV 2. This new strain of coronavirus has shown itself to be highly contagious and rapidly mutating, and the race to quickly develop a vaccine to counteract it has been on-going since its first major infections in Wuhan, China. Overall, this thesis will go in-depth in providing the most accurate, up-to-date, and critical information regarding vaccinations today.

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2021-05

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A supply chain analysis on the food industry’s surge of waste in response to COVID-19

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Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a great need for United States’ restaurants to “go green” due to consumers’ habits of frequently eating out. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused this initiative to lose traction. While the amount of customers ordering takeout

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a great need for United States’ restaurants to “go green” due to consumers’ habits of frequently eating out. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused this initiative to lose traction. While the amount of customers ordering takeout has increased, there is less emphasis on sustainability.<br/>Plastic is known for its harmful effects on the environment and the extreme length of time it takes to decompose. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), almost 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans at an annual rate, threatening not only the safety of marine species but also human health. Modern food packaging materials have included a blend of synthetic ingredients, trickling into our daily lives and polluting the air, water, and land. Single-use plastic items slowly degrade into microplastics and can take up to hundreds of years to biodegrade.<br/>Due to COVID-19, restaurants have switched to takeout and delivery options to adapt to the new business environment and guidelines enforced by the Center of Disease Control (CDC) mandated guidelines. Some of these guidelines include: notices encouraging social distancing and mask-wearing, mandated masks for employees, and easy access to sanitary supplies. This cultural shift is motivating restaurants to search for a quick, cheap, and easy fix to adapt to the increased demand of take-out and delivery methods. This increases their plastic consumption of items such as plastic bags/paper bags, styrofoam containers, and beverage cups. Plastic is the most popular takeout material because of its price and durability as well as allowing for limited contamination and easy disposability.<br/>Almost all food products come in packaging and this, more often than not, is single-use. Food is the largest market out of all the packaging industry, maintaining roughly two-thirds of material going to food. The US Environmental Protection Agency reports that almost half of all municipal solid waste is made up of food and food packaging materials. In 2014, over 162 million tons of packaging material waste was generated in the states. This typically contains toxic inks and dyes that leach into groundwater and soil. When degrading, pieces of plastic absorb toxins like PCBs and pesticides, and then each piece will, in turn, release toxic chemicals like Bisphenol-A. Even before being thrown away, it causes negative effects for the environment. The creation of packaging materials uses many resources such as petroleum and chemicals and then releases toxic byproducts. Such byproducts include sludge containing contaminants, greenhouse gases, and heavy metal and particulate matter emissions. Unlike many other industries, plastic manufacturing has actually increased production. Demand has increased and especially in the food industry to keep things sanitary. This increase in production is reflective of the increase in waste. <br/>Although restaurants have implemented their own sustainable initiatives to combat their carbon footprint, the pandemic has unfortunately forced restaurants to digress. For example, Just Salad, a fast-food restaurant chain, incentivized customers with discounted meals to use reusable bowls which saved over 75,000 pounds of plastic per year. However, when the pandemic hit, the company halted the program to pivot towards takeout and delivery. This effect is apparent on an international scale. Singapore was in lock-down for eight weeks and during that time, 1,470 tons of takeout and food delivery plastic waste was thrown out. In addition, the Hong Kong environmental group Greeners Action surveyed 2,000 people in April and the results showed that people are ordering out twice as much as last year, doubling the use of plastic.<br/>However, is this surge of plastic usage necessary in the food industry or are there methods that can be used to reduce the amount of waste production? The COVID-19 pandemic caused a fracture in the food system’s supply chain, involving food, factory, and farm. This thesis will strive to tackle such topics by analyzing the supply chains of the food industry and identify areas for sustainable opportunities. These recommendations will help to identify areas for green improvement.

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2021-05