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Effects of Speaking Aloud on Measures of Intelligence and Working Memory Capacity

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Previous research has yielded an equivocal answer as to whether speaking aloud while performing intelligence tasks improves, impairs, or has no effect on performance. Some studies show that it impairs performance while others show it aids performance. In the studies

Previous research has yielded an equivocal answer as to whether speaking aloud while performing intelligence tasks improves, impairs, or has no effect on performance. Some studies show that it impairs performance while others show it aids performance. In the studies in which speaking aloud has been shown to help, only children and older adults benefitted. The present study investigated whether college-aged students benefit from speaking aloud while performing a fluid intelligence test. Subjects performed a battery of working memory and intelligence tasks silently. Once they had completed each task, the participants took them again, though this time they spoke aloud while completing the tests. Results showed that subjects did insignificantly worse on the working memory tests when speaking aloud. However, subjects performed significantly better on the measures of fluid intelligence while speaking aloud as opposed to doing them silently. At an individual differences level, low working memory capacity participants benefited more from speaking aloud than the high working memory ones. Finally, we found a positive correlation between working memory scores and fluid intelligence scores, offering further evidence that the two constructs are related, yet different.

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2012-12

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Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy: A Disease of the 20th Century

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Spongiform Encephalopathies are a rare family of degenerative brain diseases characterized by the accumulation of plaques and formation of tiny holes in the brain tissue making it look "spongy". Spongiform Encephalopathies have a relatively short history but their origins date

Spongiform Encephalopathies are a rare family of degenerative brain diseases characterized by the accumulation of plaques and formation of tiny holes in the brain tissue making it look "spongy". Spongiform Encephalopathies have a relatively short history but their origins date back to a time long before they were recognized as a disease. It was not until the 1700s that the first record of their existence was made. In 1732 a shepherd in England noticed that some sheep in his flock had become itchy and were "scraping" themselves on nearby trees and fence posts; he reported it to the agricultural authorities of the time. As the symptoms seen in his sheep progressed they also developed problems walking and began to have seizures. Eventually their neurological symptoms progressed to an unmanageable level and they died. In 1794, over 50 years later, the Board of Agriculture in the UK termed this illness in sheep "the Rubbers". In the following years while coming in and out of mention in many flocks of sheep "the Rubbers" remained a disease of minimal consequence showing negligible ability to spread among sheep and having no precedence for jumping the species barrier and affecting humans. The first mention of "the Rubbers" as Scrapie was in 1853, and it is still the designation of the disease in sheep today.

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2012-12

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Apologia in German and Japanese Post-War Film: A Comparative Analysis of Exculpatory Discourses on the German and Japanese Military in World War II.

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In the sixty-seven years following the end of World War II, West Germany and Japan underwent a remarkable series of economic and social changes that irrevocably altered their respective ways of life. Formerly xenophobic, militaristic and highly socially stratified societies,

In the sixty-seven years following the end of World War II, West Germany and Japan underwent a remarkable series of economic and social changes that irrevocably altered their respective ways of life. Formerly xenophobic, militaristic and highly socially stratified societies, both emerged from the 20th Century as liberal, prosperous and free. Both made great strides well beyond the expectations of their occupiers, and rebounded from the overwhelming destruction of their national economies within a few short decades. While these changes have yielded dramatic results, the wartime period still looms large in their respective collective memories. Therefore, an ongoing and diverse dialectical process would engage the considerable popular, official, and intellectual energy of their post-war generations. In West Germany, the term Vergangenheitsbewältigung (VGB) emerged to describe a process of coming to terms with the past, while the Japanese chose kako no kokufuku to describe their similar historical sojourns. Although intellectuals of widely varying backgrounds in both nations made great strides toward making Japanese and German citizens cognizant of the roles that their militaries played in gruesome atrocities, popular cinematic productions served to reiterate older, discredited assertions of the fundamental honor and innocence of the average soldier, thereby nurturing a historically revisionist line of reasoning that continues to compete for public attention. All forms of media would play an important role in sustaining this “apologetic narrative,” and cinema, among the most popular and visible of these mediums, was not excluded from this. Indeed, films would play a unique recurring role, like rhetorical time capsules, in offering a sanitized historical image of Japanese and German soldiers that continues to endure in modern times. Nevertheless, even as West Germany and Japan regained their sovereignty and re-examined their pasts with ever greater resolution and insight, their respective film industries continued to “reset” the clock, and accentuated the visibility and relevancy of apologetic forces still in existence within both societies. However, it is important to note that, when speaking of “Germans” and “Japanese,” that they are not meant to be thought of as being uniformly of one mind or another. Rather, the use of these words is meant as convenient shorthand to refer to the dominant forces in Japanese and German civil society at any given time over the course of their respective post- war histories. Furthermore, references to “Germany” during the Cold War period are to be understood to mean the Federal Republic of Germany, rather than their socialist counterpart, the German Democratic Republic, a nation that undertook its own coming to terms with the past in an entirely distinct fashion.

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2012-12

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Can Akt3 Decrease Tumorigenicity in Glioblastoma Multiforme Through a Cell Cycle Mechanism?

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Glioblastoma multiforme is associated with a very low survival rate and is recognized as the most vicious form of intracranial cancer. The Akt gene pathway has three different isoforms, each of which has a different role in the tumors of

Glioblastoma multiforme is associated with a very low survival rate and is recognized as the most vicious form of intracranial cancer. The Akt gene pathway has three different isoforms, each of which has a different role in the tumors of GBM. Preliminary data suggests that Akt3 may work to decrease tumorigenicity. A produced image that visualizes the subcellular localization of Akt3 led the author to believe that Akt3 may reduce tumorigenicity by decreasing genomic instability caused by the cancer. To explore this, flow cytometry was performed on GBM cell lines with Akt3v1 over-expression, Akt3v2 over-expression, and a control glioma cell line.

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2012-12

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The Supermarket Game: An Internet Teaching Tool Designed to Enhance Understanding of Economically Important Food Plants

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Plants are essential to human life. They release oxygen into the atmosphere for us to breathe. They also provide shelter, medicine, clothing, tools, and food. For many people, the food that is on their tables and in their supermarkets isn't

Plants are essential to human life. They release oxygen into the atmosphere for us to breathe. They also provide shelter, medicine, clothing, tools, and food. For many people, the food that is on their tables and in their supermarkets isn't given much thought. Where did it come from? What part of the plant is it? How does it relate to others in the plant kingdom? How do other cultures use this plant? The most many of us know about them is that they are at the supermarket when we need them for dinner (Nabhan, 2009) (Vileisis, 2008).

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2012-12

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Lagrangian Skeletons in Hurricane Katrina

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This thesis shows analyses of mixing and transport patterns associated with Hurricane Katrina as it hit the United States in August of 2005. Specifically, by applying atmospheric velocity information from the Weather Research and Forecasting System, finite-time Lyapunov exponents have

This thesis shows analyses of mixing and transport patterns associated with Hurricane Katrina as it hit the United States in August of 2005. Specifically, by applying atmospheric velocity information from the Weather Research and Forecasting System, finite-time Lyapunov exponents have been computed and the Lagrangian Coherent Structures have been identified. The chaotic dynamics of material transport induced by the hurricane are results from these structures within the flow. Boundaries of the coherent structures are highlighted by the FTLE field. Individual particle transport within the hurricane is affected by the location of these boundaries. In addition to idealized fluid particles, we also studied inertial particles which have finite size and inertia. Basing on established Maxey-Riley equations of the dynamics of particles of finite size, we obtain a reduced equation governing the position process. Using methods derived from computer graphics, we identify maximizers of the FTLE field. Following and applying these ideas, we analyze the dynamics of inertial particle transport within Hurricane Katrina, through comparison of trajectories of dierent sized particles and by pinpointing the location of the Lagrangian Coherent Structures.

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2012-12

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The Biological Misunderstandings of HIV/AIDS Make It a Public Health Threat

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Affecting over 34 million people worldwide, (0.5% of the world population) HIV/AIDS is a pandemic that is not receding its control anytime soon (Sidibe 2011). Thirty years since the chaotic emergence of fear and misunderstanding, our knowledge of the virus

Affecting over 34 million people worldwide, (0.5% of the world population) HIV/AIDS is a pandemic that is not receding its control anytime soon (Sidibe 2011). Thirty years since the chaotic emergence of fear and misunderstanding, our knowledge of the virus and its subsequent syndrome has grown exponentially, but how much of this information is really getting to the people that need it? In the corners of the Earth, where scientific knowledge rarely reaches, what can we do to stop the deadly spread of this virus? And what of the countries with a large amount of knowledge, but still a ravaging problem present in their countries? When this information is disseminated- sometimes a matter of ‘if’ in certain countries, it is primarily through unreliable sources, most of the countries examined through the media, which has a tendency to skew and misinterpret information-specially scientific. This is the information that enters the lives of people in several different countries, for example, the United States, France, China, Brazil, Uganda, and South Africa: Misunderstandings of how to protect themselves from the virus, and its effects on the body. These misunderstandings have led to millions of lives lost as myths such as showering to cure AIDS and that AIDS only infect the ‘sinners’ continue to surface throughout the globe. The Public Health threat is due to knowledge deficits, and incorrect perceived ‘knowledge’ and ‘awareness of the problem’. Here, in a six-country analysis of common misconceptions and the subsequent policies and prevalence rate, it has begun to be clear that the hardest hit areas are those with the most stigma, the most misguided policies, the most uninformed leadership, and because of this, the most mislead citizens. The biological misunderstandings of HIV/AIDS are at the root of the public health threat continuing to keep its hold in the modern world, 30 years after its documented outbreak.

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2012-12

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Adaptation of Bacterial Comet Assays to Detect Antimicrobial-mediated DNA Strand Breaks in Escherichia coli

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This study was conducted as part of an underlying initiative to elucidate the mechanism of action of natural antibacterial clay minerals for application as therapeutic agents for difficult-to-treat infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)-derived skin lesions and Buruli ulcer.

This study was conducted as part of an underlying initiative to elucidate the mechanism of action of natural antibacterial clay minerals for application as therapeutic agents for difficult-to-treat infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)-derived skin lesions and Buruli ulcer. The goal of this investigation was to determine whether exposure to the leachate of an antibacterial clay mineral, designated as CB, produced DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in Escherichia coli. A neutral comet assay for bacterial cells was adapted to assess DSB levels upon exposure to soluble antimicrobial compounds. Challenges involved with the adaptation process included comet visualization and data collection. To appropriately account for antimicrobial-mediated strand fragmentation, suitable control reactions comprised of exposures to water, ethanol, kanamycin, and bleomycin were developed and optimized for the assay. Bacterial exposure to CB resulted in significantly longer comet lengths compared to negative control exposures, suggesting that CB killing activity involves the induction of DNA DSBs. The results of this investigation further characterize the antimicrobial mechanisms associated with a particular clay mineral mixture. The adapted comet assay protocol described herein functions as an effective tool to assess double-strand fragmentation resulting from exposure to soluble antimicrobial compounds and to visually compare results from experimental and control reactions.

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2012-12