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Addressing Childhood Trauma in the Classroom

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Over the past few years, the issue of childhood trauma in the United States has become significant. A growing number of children are experiencing abuse, neglect, or some other form of maltreatment each year. Considering the stressful home lives of

Over the past few years, the issue of childhood trauma in the United States has become significant. A growing number of children are experiencing abuse, neglect, or some other form of maltreatment each year. Considering the stressful home lives of maltreated children, the one sure sanctuary is school. However, this idea requires teachers to be actively involved in identifying and caring for the children who need it most. Traumatic childhood experiences leave lasting scars on its victims, so it is helpful if teachers learn how to identify and support children who have lived through them. It is unfortunate that teachers will most likely encounter children throughout their career who have experienced horrendous things, but it is a reality. With this being said, teachers need to develop an understanding of what traumatized children live with, and learn how to address these issues with skilled sensitivity. Schools are not just a place where children learn how to read and write; they build the foundation for a successful life. This project was designed to provide teachers with a necessary resource for helping children who have suffered traumatic experiences. The methodology of this project began with interviews with organizations specializing in working with traumatized children such as Arizonans for Children, Free Arts for Abused Children, The Sojourner Center, and UMOM. The next step was a review of the current literature on the subject of childhood trauma. The findings have all been compiled into one, convenient document for teacher use and distribution. Upon completion of this document, an interactive video presentation will be made available through an online education website, so that distribution will be made simpler. Hopefully, teachers will share the information with people in their networks and create a chain reaction. The goal is to make it available to as many teachers as possible, so that more children will receive the support they need.

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2016-05

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Rolling Down Ramps: A Unit Plan to Address the Urgent Need of STEM Instruction in Preschool

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STEM education stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and is necessary for students to keep up with global competition in the changing job market, technological advancements and challenges of the future. However, American students are lacking STEM achievement at

STEM education stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and is necessary for students to keep up with global competition in the changing job market, technological advancements and challenges of the future. However, American students are lacking STEM achievement at the state, national and global levels. To combat this lack of achievement I propose that STEM instruction should begin in preschool, be integrated into the curriculum and be inquiry based. To support this proposal I created a month-long physics unit for preschoolers in a Head Start classroom. Students investigated the affect of incline, friction and weight on the distance of a rolling object, while developing their pre-math, pre-literacy and social emotional skills.

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2015-05

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Interactions driving the collapse of islet amyloid polypeptide: implications for amyloid aggregation

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Human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP), also known as amylin, is a 37-residue intrinsically disordered hormone involved in glucose regulation and gastric emptying. The aggregation of hIAPP into amyloid fibrils is believed to play a causal role in type 2 diabetes.

Human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP), also known as amylin, is a 37-residue intrinsically disordered hormone involved in glucose regulation and gastric emptying. The aggregation of hIAPP into amyloid fibrils is believed to play a causal role in type 2 diabetes. To date, not much is known about the monomeric state of hIAPP or how it undergoes an irreversible transformation from disordered peptide to insoluble aggregate. IAPP contains a highly conserved disulfide bond that restricts hIAPP(1-8) into a short ring-like structure: N_loop. Removal or chemical reduction of N_loop not only prevents cell response upon binding to the CGRP receptor, but also alters the mass per length distribution of hIAPP fibers and the kinetics of fibril formation. The mechanism by which N_loop affects hIAPP aggregation is not yet understood, but is important for rationalizing kinetics and developing potential inhibitors. By measuring end-to-end contact formation rates, Vaiana et al. showed that N_loop induces collapsed states in IAPP monomers, implying attractive interactions between N_loop and other regions of the disordered polypeptide chain . We show that in addition to being involved in intra-protein interactions, the N_loop is involved in inter-protein interactions, which lead to the formation of extremely long and stable β-turn fibers. These non-amyloid fibers are present in the 10 μM concentration range, under the same solution conditions in which hIAPP forms amyloid fibers. We discuss the effect of peptide cyclization on both intra- and inter-protein interactions, and its possible implications for aggregation. Our findings indicate a potential role of N_loop-N_loop interactions in hIAPP aggregation, which has not previously been explored. Though our findings suggest that N_loop plays an important role in the pathway of amyloid formation, other naturally occurring IAPP variants that contain this structural feature are incapable of forming amyloids. For example, hIAPP readily forms amyloid fibrils in vitro, whereas the rat variant (rIAPP), differing by six amino acids, does not. In addition to being highly soluble, rIAPP is an effective inhibitor of hIAPP fibril formation . Both of these properties have been attributed to rIAPP's three proline residues: A25P, S28P and S29P. Single proline mutants of hIAPP have also been shown to kinetically inhibit hIAPP fibril formation. Because of their intrinsic dihedral angle preferences, prolines are expected to affect conformational ensembles of intrinsically disordered proteins. The specific effect of proline substitutions on IAPP structure and dynamics has not yet been explored, as the detection of such properties is experimentally challenging due to the low molecular weight, fast reconfiguration times, and very low solubility of IAPP peptides. High-resolution techniques able to measure tertiary contact formations are needed to address this issue. We employ a nanosecond laser spectroscopy technique to measure end-to-end contact formation rates in IAPP mutants. We explore the proline substitutions in IAPP and quantify their effects in terms of intrinsic chain stiffness. We find that the three proline mutations found in rIAPP increase chain stiffness. Interestingly, we also find that residue R18 plays an important role in rIAPP's unique chain stiffness and, together with the proline residues, is a determinant for its non-amyloidogenic properties. We discuss the implications of our findings on the role of prolines in IDPs.

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2013

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AFM study of gene silencing by DNA methylation and its interactions involving chromatin and methyl CpG binding proteins

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CpG methylation is an essential requirement for the normal development of mammals, but aberrant changes in the methylation can lead to tumor progression and cancer. An in-depth understanding of this phenomenon can provide insights into the mechanism of gene repression.

CpG methylation is an essential requirement for the normal development of mammals, but aberrant changes in the methylation can lead to tumor progression and cancer. An in-depth understanding of this phenomenon can provide insights into the mechanism of gene repression. We present a study comparing methylated DNA and normal DNA wrt its persistence length and contour length. Although, previous experiments and studies show no difference between the physical properties of the two, the data collected and interpreted here gives a different picture to the methylation phenomena and its effect on gene silencing. The study was extended to the artificially reconstituted chromatin and its interactions with the methyl CpG binding proteins were also probed.

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2012

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DNA sequencing by recognition tunnelling

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Single molecules in a tunnel junction can now be interrogated reliably using chemically-functionalized electrodes. Monitoring stochastic bonding fluctuations between a ligand bound to one electrode and its target bound to a second electrode ("tethered molecule-pair" configuration) gives insight into the

Single molecules in a tunnel junction can now be interrogated reliably using chemically-functionalized electrodes. Monitoring stochastic bonding fluctuations between a ligand bound to one electrode and its target bound to a second electrode ("tethered molecule-pair" configuration) gives insight into the nature of the intermolecular bonding at a single molecule-pair level, and defines the requirements for reproducible tunneling data. Importantly, at large tunnel gaps, there exists a regime for many molecules in which the tunneling is influenced more by the chemical identity of the molecules than by variability in the molecule-metal contact. Functionalizing a pair of electrodes with recognition reagents (the "free analyte" configuration) can generate a distinct tunneling signal when an analyte molecule is trapped in the gap. This opens up a new interface between chemistry and electronics with immediate implications for rapid sequencing of single DNA molecules.

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2012

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Reconstruction methods In free electron laser X-ray diffraction

Description

One of the most important issues in femtosecond free electron laser X-ray diraction is to reconstruct the 3D charge density of molecule from a mass of diraction snapshots. In order to determine the orientation of single molecule from diraction patterns,

One of the most important issues in femtosecond free electron laser X-ray diraction is to reconstruct the 3D charge density of molecule from a mass of diraction snapshots. In order to determine the orientation of single molecule from diraction patterns, we rst determine the moments and products of inertia of this from 2D experiment data (diraction patterns or EM images to obtain the elements of the inertia tensor. If diraction patterns from uniformly random orientations or some preferred orientations are collected, the principal axes of the molecule can be extracted, together with the Euler angles which relate the principal axes of the molecule to the laboratory frame axes. This is achieved by nding the maximum and minimum values for the measured moments from many single-molecule patterns. Simulations for GroEL protein indicates that the calculation of the autocorrelation help eliminate the Poisson noise in Cryo- EM images and can make correct orientation determination. The eect of water jacket surrounding the protein molecule is studied based on molecular dynamics simulation result. The intensities from water and interference is found to suppress those from protein itself. A method is proposed and applied to the simulation data to show the possibility for it to overcome the water background problem. The scattering between Bragg re ections from nanocrystals is used to aid solution of the phase problem. We describe a method for reconstructing the charge density of a typical molecule within a single unit cell, if suciently nely-sampled diraction data are available from many nanocrystals of dierent sizes lying in the same orientations without knowledge of the distribution of particle size or requiring atomic-resolution data. Triple correlation of the diraction patterns are made use of to reconiii

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Date Created
2011

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Ferroelectric lithium niobate surfaces for depositions of metallic nanostructure and ZnO semiconducting thin film

Description

A distinct characteristic of ferroelectric materials is the existence of a reversible spontaneous polarization with the application of an electric field. The relevant properties ferroelectric lithium niobate surfaces include a low density of defects and external screening of the bound

A distinct characteristic of ferroelectric materials is the existence of a reversible spontaneous polarization with the application of an electric field. The relevant properties ferroelectric lithium niobate surfaces include a low density of defects and external screening of the bound polarization charge. These properties result in unique surface electric field distribution with a strong electric field in the vicinity of domain boundaries, while away from the boundaries, the field decreases rapidly. In this work, ferroelectric lithium niobate (LN) is used as a template to direct the assembly of metallic nanostructures via photo-induced reduction and a substrate for deposition of ZnO semiconducting thin films via plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PE-ALD). To understand the mechanism the photo-induced deposition process the following effects were considered: the illumination photon energy and intensity, the polarization screening mechanism of the lithium niobate template and the chemical concentration. Depending on the UV wavelength, variation of Ag deposition rate and boundary nanowire formation are observed and attributed to the unique surface electric field distribution of the polarity patterned template and the penetration depth of UV light. Oxygen implantation is employed to transition the surface from external screening to internal screening, which results in depressed boundary nanowire formation. The ratio of the photon flux and Ag ion flux to the surface determine the deposition pattern. Domain boundary deposition is enhanced with a high photon/Ag ion flux ratio while domain boundary deposition is depressed with a low photon/Ag ion flux ratio. These results also support the photo-induced deposition model where the process is limited by carrier generation, and the cation reduction occurs at the surface. These findings will provide a foundational understanding to employ ferroelectric templates for assembly and patterning of inorganic, organic, biological, and integrated structures. ZnO films deposited on positive and negative domain surfaces of LN demonstrate different I-V curve behavior at different temperatures. At room temperature, ZnO deposited on positive domains exhibits almost two orders of magnitude greater conductance than on negative domains. The conductance of ZnO on positive domains decreases with increasing temperature while the conductance of ZnO on negative domains increases with increasing temperature. The observations are interpreted in terms of the downward or upward band bending at the ZnO/LN interface which is induced by the ferroelectric polarization charge. Possible application of this effect in non-volatile memory devices is proposed for future work.

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2011

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Carbon nanotube based nanofluidic devices

Description

Nanofluidic devices in which one single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) spans a barrier between two fluid reservoirs were constructed, enabling direct electrical measurement of the transport of ions and molecules. Ion current through these devices is about 2 orders of magnitude

Nanofluidic devices in which one single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) spans a barrier between two fluid reservoirs were constructed, enabling direct electrical measurement of the transport of ions and molecules. Ion current through these devices is about 2 orders of magnitude larger than that predicted from the bulk resistivity of the electrolyte. Electroosmosis drives excess current, carried by cations, and is found to be the origin of giant ionic current through SWCNT as shown by building an ionic field-effect transistor with a gate electrode embedded in the fluid barrier. Wetting of inside of the semi-conducting SWCNT by water showed the change of its electronic property, turning the electronic SWCNT field-effect transistor to "on" state. These findings provide a new method to investigate and control the ion and molecule behavior at nanoscale.

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2011

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Tip induced quenching imaging: topographic and optical resolutions in the nanometer range by

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In this work, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and time resolved confocal fluorescence microscopy are combined to create a microscopy technique which allows for nanometer resolution topographic and fluorescence imaging. This technique can be applied to any sample which can be

In this work, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and time resolved confocal fluorescence microscopy are combined to create a microscopy technique which allows for nanometer resolution topographic and fluorescence imaging. This technique can be applied to any sample which can be immobilized on a surface and which can be observed by fluorescence microscopy. Biological problems include small molecular systems, such as membrane receptor clusters, where very high optical resolutions need to be achieved. In materials science, fluorescent nanoparticles or other optically active nanostructures can be investigated using this technique. In the past decades, multiple techniques have been developed that yield high resolution optical images. Multiple far-field techniques have overcome the diffraction limit and allow fluorescence imaging with resolutions of few tens of nanometers. On the other hand, near-field microscopy, that makes use of optically active structures much smaller than the diffraction limit can give resolutions around ten nanometers with the possibility to collect topographic information from flat samples. The technique presented in this work reaches resolutions in the nanometer range along with topographic information from the sample. DNA origami with fluorophores attached to it was used to show this high resolution. The fluorophores with 21 nm distance could be resolved and their position on the origami determined within 10 nm. Not only did this work reach a new record in optical resolution in near-field microscopy (5 nm resolution in air and in water), it also gave an insight into the physics that happens between a fluorescent molecule and a dielectric nanostructure, which the AFM tip is. The experiments with silicon tips made a detailed comparison with models possible on the single molecule level, highly resolved in space and time. On the other hand, using silicon nitride and quartz as tip materials showed that effects beyond the established models play a role when the molecule is directly under the AFM tip, where quenching of up to 5 times more efficient than predicted by the model was found.

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2012

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Recognition tunneling: approaches towards next generation DNA sequencing

Description

This thesis describes several approaches to next generation DNA sequencing via tunneling current method based on a Scanning Tunneling Microscope system. In chapters 5 and 6, preliminary results have shown that DNA bases could be identified by their characteristic tunneling

This thesis describes several approaches to next generation DNA sequencing via tunneling current method based on a Scanning Tunneling Microscope system. In chapters 5 and 6, preliminary results have shown that DNA bases could be identified by their characteristic tunneling signals. Measurements taken in aqueous buffered solution showed that single base resolution could be achieved with economic setups. In chapter 7, it is illustrated that some ongoing measurements are indicating the sequence readout by making linear scan on a piece of short DNA oligomer. However, to overcome the difficulties of controlling DNA especially ssDNA movement, it is much better to have the tunneling measurement incorporated onto a robust nanopore device to realize sequential reading of the DNA sequence while it is being translocated.

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2011