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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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Menopause Symptoms in Underserved and Homeless Women living in the Extreme Temperatures of Arizona

Description

Regional and geographical differences may explain variability in menopausal symptom occurrence due to development of climate-specific thermoneutral zones leading to population-specific hot flash frequencies. Limited information available regarding menopausal symptoms in underserved women living in extreme heat.

Understanding the perception of

Regional and geographical differences may explain variability in menopausal symptom occurrence due to development of climate-specific thermoneutral zones leading to population-specific hot flash frequencies. Limited information available regarding menopausal symptoms in underserved women living in extreme heat.

Understanding the perception of menopausal symptoms in underserved women living in extreme heat regions to identify if heat impacts perception of menopausal symptoms was the objective of this study. Women in free, low-income, and homeless clinics in Phoenix were surveyed during summer and winter months using a self-administered, written questionnaire including demographic, climate and menopause related questions, including the Green Climacteric Scale (GCS).

A total of 139 predominantly Hispanic (56 %), uninsured (53 %), menopausal (56 %), mid-aged (mean 49.9, SD 10.3) women were surveyed— 36% were homeless or in shelters. Most women were not on menopausal hormone therapy (98 %). Twenty-two percent reported hot flashes and 26% night sweats. Twenty-five percent of women reported previously becoming ill from heat. More women thought season influenced menopausal symptoms during summer than winter (41 % vs. 14 %, p = 0.0009). However, majority of women did not think temperature outside influenced their menopausal symptoms and that did not differ by season (73 % in winter vs. 60% in summer, p=0.1094). No statistically significant differences seen for vasomotor symptoms between winter and summer months.

Regional and geographical differences may be key in understanding the variability in menopausal symptoms. Regardless of season, the menopausal, underserved and homeless women living in Arizona reported few vasomotor symptoms. In the summer, they were more likely to report that the season influenced their menopausal symptoms rather than temperature suggesting an influence of the season on symptom perception.

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Date Created
2018-05

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New Diagnostic Methods for Detecting Microvillus Inclusion Disease

Description

Microvillus Inclusion disease is a fatal disease found in the Navajo population caused by a single nucleotide polymorphism. It is characterized by intractable diarrhea and is often fatal early in life.1 The current method of diagnosis is sending duodenal biopsies

Microvillus Inclusion disease is a fatal disease found in the Navajo population caused by a single nucleotide polymorphism. It is characterized by intractable diarrhea and is often fatal early in life.1 The current method of diagnosis is sending duodenal biopsies for histopathological examination and confirmatory testing through genomic sequencing. The purpose of this experiment was to create a more simple and cost-effective diagnostic method for detecting Microvillus Inclusion disease. Three methods were explored (RFLP2, ARMS3,4, and Tentacle Probes5,6) and two methods were tested to determine their ability and their efficiency in detecting the SNP that causes the disease.2 Tests using the RFLP2 method and synthetic DNA resulted in 9% false-positive rate and 11% false-negative rate in a blind trial for detecting both target (mutation present) and non-target (mutation absent) DNA when gel analyzing software was used to compare Rf values after gel electrophoresis. Using the ARMS method3, a nine-sample randomized test was run that ended up with 22% false-positive rate and 19% false-negative rate from a blind trial when using a gel analyzing software to determine presence of the SNP by band intensity. Disclaimer: No DNA from human patients was used in this study. Only synthetic DNA used.

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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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Identifying and Evaluating the Impact of Ecological Factors on the Patterns of Health Risk Behaviors Among Arizona State University Students: A Survey-Based Study

Description

Ecological modeling can be used to analyze health risk behaviors and their relationship to ecological factors, which is useful in determining how social environmental factors influence an individual’s decisions. Environmental interactions shape the way that humans behave throughout the day,

Ecological modeling can be used to analyze health risk behaviors and their relationship to ecological factors, which is useful in determining how social environmental factors influence an individual’s decisions. Environmental interactions shape the way that humans behave throughout the day, either through observation, action, or consequences. Specifically, health risk behaviors can be analyzed in relation to ecological factors. Alcohol drinking among college students has been a long concern and there are many risks associated with these behaviors in this population. Consistent engagement in health risk behaviors as a college student, such as drinking and smoking, can pose a much larger issues later in life and can lead to many different health problems. A research study was conducted in the form of a 27 question survey to determine and evaluate the impact of ecological factors on drinking and smoking behaviors among Arizona State University students. Ecological factors such as demographics, living conditions, contexts of social interactions, and places where students spend most of their time were used to evaluate the relationship between drinking and smoking behaviors and the ecological factors, both on- and off- campus. The sample size of this study is 541 students. Statistical tests were conducted using Excel and RStudio to find relationships between patterns of health risk behaviors and various ecological factors. The data from the survey was analyzed to address three main questions. The first question analyzed drinking behaviors in relation to demographics, specifically gender and race. The second question assessed drinking behaviors with participation in Greek life and clubs on campus. The third question evaluated the relationship between health risk behaviors and students’ living conditions, such as living on or off campus. The results show that while gender does not have a statistically significant influence on drinking behaviors, race does. White individuals are more likely to engage in drinking behaviors and are more at risk than non-whites. Participation in Greek life was shown to be statistically significant in determining health risk behaviors, while involvement in clubs was not. Finally, on campus students are less likely to engage in health risk behaviors than off-campus students.

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Date Created
2019-05

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[Detection of Heel-off Initiation Based on the Relationship Between Ground Reaction Forces and Surface Electromyography: Heel-toe, Heel-toe, a Story]

Description

The global population over the age of 60 is estimated to rise to 23% by 2050 only increase the prevalence of functional neurological disorders and stroke. Increase in cases of functional neurological disorders and strokes will place a greater burden

The global population over the age of 60 is estimated to rise to 23% by 2050 only increase the prevalence of functional neurological disorders and stroke. Increase in cases of functional neurological disorders and strokes will place a greater burden on the healthcare industry, specifically physical therapy. Physical therapy is vital for a patient’s recovery of motor function which is time demanding and taxing on the physical therapist. Wearable robotics have been proven to improve functional outcomes in gait rehabilitation by providing controlled high dosage and high-intensity training. Accurate control strategies for assistive robotic exoskeletons are vital for repetitive high precisions assistance for cerebral plasticity to occur.

This thesis presents a preliminary determination and design of a control algorithm for an assistive ankle device developed by the ASU RISE Laboratory. The assistive ankle device functions by compressing a spring upon heel strike during gait, remaining compressed during mid-stance and then releasing upon initiation of heel-off. The relationship between surface electromyography and ground reactions forces were used for identification of user-initiated heel-off. The muscle activation of the tibialis anterior combined with the ground reaction forces of the heel pressure sensor generated potential features that will be utilized in the revised control algorithm for the assistive ankle device. Work on this project must proceed in order to test and validate the revised control algorithm to determine its accuracy and precision.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide: Addressing Barriers to Health Services in the Rural USA and Mexico

Description

Due to unique barriers to access and quality of healthcare, rural Americans have, among many other poorer health outcomes, a worsening life expectancy than their urban counterparts: 76.8 years compared to 78.8 years. In addition to overall mortality, the burden

Due to unique barriers to access and quality of healthcare, rural Americans have, among many other poorer health outcomes, a worsening life expectancy than their urban counterparts: 76.8 years compared to 78.8 years. In addition to overall mortality, the burden of disease is greater in rural areas, as well as rates of physical injury. There are many intersecting influencing factors including, but not limited to, barriers to access needed healthcare, issues regarding the quality of healthcare provided, the ability to pay for healthcare and other socioeconomic considerations are both causes and consequences of poor health and healthcare access.
The health disparities between rural and urban communities in the United States are not uniquely American. This rural-urban divide in health outcomes is present across the world and, closer to home, across North America. In addition to reviewing the current literature surrounding barriers to health and healthcare access in the United States, we will also use southern neighbor Mexico’s history and their pursuit of rural equity (universally and in health/healthcare access) to contrast initiatives that the U.S. has attempted, with the intent of exploring new theories of rural healthcare provision. By combining the history of social medicine in Mexico with literature on barriers to healthcare access, I hope to highlight areas of innovation and improvement in the American health care delivery system.
The purpose of this paper is to review the current literature regarding health disparities among rural Americans, possible causes of such disparities and current strategies to improve health, healthcare access and healthcare quality in rural America in order to recommend the most effective, practical solutions to improve rural mortality, morbidity and quality of life.

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2019-05

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Habit Tracking: Is It Making You "Healthier?"

Description

This study aims to explore the prevalence of smartphone, smartwatch, and fitness tracker ownership among college students, and compare the popularity of each device in tracking health-related habits such as physical activity, eating, and sleep. In addition, this study aims

This study aims to explore the prevalence of smartphone, smartwatch, and fitness tracker ownership among college students, and compare the popularity of each device in tracking health-related habits such as physical activity, eating, and sleep. In addition, this study aims to analyze the effectiveness of each device for achieving personal health goals in all three categories. Research for this study was conducted using an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved survey that was distributed electronically to various Greek and student organizations around Arizona State University campuses. In total, 183 responses were considered, with participants ranging from ages 18 to 23. Participants were required to own or possess a smartphone to be eligible to complete the survey. After seven days of data collection, the results were then analyzed using Qualtrics. The results revealed that smartwatch and fitness tracker ownership is not prevalent within the Arizona State University demographic. In addition, after comparing device popularity across each habit-tracking category, it is apparent that the smartphone is the most used device for tracking. Finally, when looking at device effectiveness in relation to achieving health goals, smartwatches consistently scored higher than smartphones. Supplemental research should be conducted to further explore the prevalence and effectiveness of habit tracking. This research should include a larger sample size and a more evenly spread gender demographic.

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2019-05

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The Association Between Sleep Quality and Asthma in Middle-school Aged Children

Description

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children, and investigators have identified a number of risk factors that worsen asthma symptoms. Most prior studies have concluded that there is an association between one risk factor, poor slee

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children, and investigators have identified a number of risk factors that worsen asthma symptoms. Most prior studies have concluded that there is an association between one risk factor, poor sleep quality, and asthma; however, whether sleep quality predicts future asthma symptoms, asthma symptoms predict future sleep quality, or the relation is reciprocal is still unclear. The methodology of studies examining the asthma-sleep association has consisted of actigraphy and parent report to determine children's sleep duration and sleep efficiency, and lung function assessments with a spirometer on the participants to determine children's overall lung function. The purpose of the proposed study is to determine the strength of the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between indicators of sleep quality and asthma. The proposed study plans to use a combination of actigraphy, sleep diaries, and lung function assessments using a spirometer to determine sleep quality and lung function, respectively. Future directions include determining the directionality of the association between sleep quality and asthma as well as strength of association.

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2018-12

Understanding Volunteer Motivations and Incentives for Retention in the Nonprofit Sector: Delivering Health and Hope to the World, One Super Sort at a Time

Description

Project C.U.R.E. is a nonprofit organization that delivers donated medical supplies and services to developing nations across the world. Currently, the Phoenix location has three full time employees, so a majority of the manual work is completed by episodic and

Project C.U.R.E. is a nonprofit organization that delivers donated medical supplies and services to developing nations across the world. Currently, the Phoenix location has three full time employees, so a majority of the manual work is completed by episodic and long-term volunteers as well as semesterly interns. Volunteers are the backbone of the organization's daily productivity. Productivity among the Project C.U.R.E. warehouses varies greatly by location and is not directly related to the size of the warehouse. Productivity if hereby defined as as a warehouse's capability to meet the organization's goal of one container per week. Productivity can be increased or decreased based on the number of volunteers, funding, and catalogued inventory. Across all warehouses there is generally an overflow of donated equipment and consumable products, and therefore this is not usually a factor in productivity. In order to better understand why the Phoenix warehouse is the second most productive despite being the smallest, we researched how the motivations of volunteers. A survey was conducted to assess the motives of Project C.U.R.E.'s volunteers by quantifying their responses according to the Volunteerism Functional Inventory (VFI). The survey also produced information regarding volunteer demographics (ie. including gender, age, and occupation), as well as statistics about how often they volunteer at Project C.U.R.E. and their overall satisfaction with the organization. The data was then analyzed to determine the most relevant VFI characteristic. Upon analyzing the data, it was observed that the majority of participants were male (58.95%) and were between the ages of 18 and 25 (82.11%). The results also showed that Project C.U.R.E. utilizes a large number of episodic volunteers from Arizona State University (due to its close proximity to the Phoenix warehouse) was supported in that the data showed 72.63% of participants were undergraduate students and that 48.42% had just volunteered for their first time. After combining survey questions that corresponded to the same characteristic of volunteerism as outlined by Clary et al. (values, social, career, understanding, protective, and enhancement) the average of the responses was taken and used to determine the most relevant motives for our volunteer population. Based on the data, values (average score of 5.0) and understanding (average score of 5.0) were the two most relevant characteristics and protective (average score of 1.0) was the least relevant to volunteers. Additionally, 41.1% of survey respondents reported food would incentivize them to return to Project C.U.R.E. Additionally, 35.6% of survey respondents reported receiving Project C.U.R.E. merchandise would incentivize them to return in the future. Moving forward, it is recommended that the Project CURE Phoenix location begin providing their volunteers with merchandise and other forms of recognition based on the number of hours they committed to the organization.

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2018-12