Matching Items (11)

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Analysis for antitumor antibody signatures in lung cancer using two different random peptide libraries

Description

Cancer remains one of the leading killers throughout the world. Death and disability due to lung cancer in particular accounts for one of the largest global economic burdens a

Cancer remains one of the leading killers throughout the world. Death and disability due to lung cancer in particular accounts for one of the largest global economic burdens a disease presents. The burden on third-world countries is especially large due to the unusually large financial stress that comes from late tumor detection and expensive treatment options. Early detection using inexpensive techniques may relieve much of the burden throughout the world, not just in more developed countries. I examined the immune responses of lung cancer patients using immunosignatures – patterns of reactivity between host serum antibodies and random peptides. Immunosignatures reveal disease-specific patterns that are very reproducible. Immunosignaturing is a chip-based method that has the ability to display the antibody diversity from individual sera sample with low cost. Immunosignaturing is a medical diagnostic test that has many applications in current medical research and in diagnosis. From a previous clinical study, patients diagnosed for lung cancer were tested for their immunosignature vs. healthy non-cancer volunteers. The pattern of reactivity against the random peptides (the ‘immunosignature’) revealed common signals in cancer patients, absent from healthy controls. My study involved the search for common amino acid motifs in the cancer-specific peptides. My search through the hundreds of ‘hits’ revealed certain motifs that were repeated more times than expected by random chance. The amino acids that were the most conserved in each set include tryptophan, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, proline, alanine, serine, and lysine. The most overall conserved amino acid observed between each set was D - aspartic acid. The motifs were short (no more than 5-6 amino acids in a row), but the total number of motifs I identified was large enough to assure significance. I utilized Excel to organize the large peptide sequence libraries, then CLUSTALW to cluster similar-sequence peptides, then GLAM2 to find common themes in groups of peptides. In so doing, I found sequences that were also present in translated cancer expression libraries (RNA) that matched my motifs, suggesting that immunosignatures can find cancer-specific antigens that can be both diagnostic and potentially therapeutic.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-12

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Characterizing Primary Mesothelioma Cell Lines by Exome Sequencing

Description

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer usually discovered at an advanced stage at which point there is no cure. Six primary MPM cell lines were used to

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer usually discovered at an advanced stage at which point there is no cure. Six primary MPM cell lines were used to conduct in vitro research to make conclusions about specific gene mutations associated with Mesothelioma. DNA exome sequencing, a time efficient and inexpensive technique, was used for identifying specific DNA mutations. Computational analysis of exome sequencing data was used to make conclusions about copy number variation among common MPM genes. Results show a CDKN2A gene heterozygous deletion in Meso24 cell line. This data is validated by a previous CRISPR-Cas9 outgrowth screen for Meso24 where the knocked-out gene caused increased Meso24 growth.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Evaluating variant calling best practices

Description

Analyzing human DNA sequence data allows researchers to identify variants associated with disease, reconstruct the demographic histories of human populations, and further understand the structure and function of the genome.

Analyzing human DNA sequence data allows researchers to identify variants associated with disease, reconstruct the demographic histories of human populations, and further understand the structure and function of the genome. Identifying variants in whole genome sequences is a crucial bioinformatics step in sequence data processing and can be performed using multiple approaches. To investigate the consistency between different bioinformatics methods, we compared the accuracy and sensitivity of two genotyping strategies, joint variant calling and single-sample variant calling. Autosomal and sex chromosome variant call sets were produced by joint and single-sample calling variants for 10 female individuals. The accuracy of variant calls was assessed using SNP array genotype data collected from each individual. To compare the ability of joint and single-sample calling to capture low-frequency variants, folded site frequency spectra were constructed from variant call sets. To investigate the potential for these different variant calling methods to impact downstream analyses, we estimated nucleotide diversity for call sets produced using each approach. We found that while both methods were equally accurate when validated by SNP array sites, single-sample calling identified a greater number of singletons. However, estimates of nucleotide diversity were robust to these differences in the site frequency spectrum between call sets. Our results suggest that despite single-sample calling’s greater sensitivity for low-frequency variants, the differences between approaches have a minimal effect on downstream analyses. While joint calling may be a more efficient approach for genotyping many samples, in situations that preclude large sample sizes, our study suggests that single-sample calling is a suitable alternative.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Investigating sex differences in genetic relatedness in great-tailed grackles in Tempe, Arizona to infer potential sex biases in dispersal

Description

In most bird species, females disperse prior to their first breeding attempt, while males remain close to the place they were hatched for their entire lives (Greenwood and Harvey (1982)).

In most bird species, females disperse prior to their first breeding attempt, while males remain close to the place they were hatched for their entire lives (Greenwood and Harvey (1982)). Explanations for such female bias in natal dispersal have focused on the potential benefits that males derive from knowing the local environment to establish territories, while females search for suitable mates (Greenwood (1980)). However, the variables shaping dispersal decisions appear more complex (Mabry et al. (2013), Végvári et al. (2018)). There are a number of different variables that could act as a driving force behind dispersal including the social mating system, food competition, inbreeding avoidance, predation, and others. Here, we investigate whether females are the dispersing sex in great-tailed grackles, which have a mating system where the males hold territories and the females choose which territory to place their nest in (Johnson et al. (2000)). We used genetic approaches to identify sex biases in the propensity to disperse. In the experiment, we found that the male grackles were less related to each other while the female grackles were more related to each other. Building on that, the average distance between closely related individuals of the male group was longer than the average distance of closely related females. But, the mantel correlograms for the males and females both lack a consistent trend. Overall, the results indicated suggest that the males are the dispersing sex while the females are potentially philopatric and that the average dispersal distance for the grackle is greater than 2000 meters, the size of the sampling range used in the experiment. These results will inform our long-term study on the relationship between behavioral flexibility and rapid geographic range expansion by elucidating which individuals are likely to experience similar conditions across their lives, and which are likely to face new conditions when they become breeders.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Data Representation for Predicting Harmonic Clusters with LSTM

Description

The purpose of this project is to create a useful tool for musicians that utilizes the harmonic content of their playing to recommend new, relevant chords to play. This is

The purpose of this project is to create a useful tool for musicians that utilizes the harmonic content of their playing to recommend new, relevant chords to play. This is done by training various Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) on the lead sheets of 100 different jazz standards. A total of 200 unique datasets were produced and tested, resulting in the prediction of nearly 51 million chords. A note-prediction accuracy of 82.1% and a chord-prediction accuracy of 34.5% were achieved across all datasets. Methods of data representation that were rooted in valid music theory frameworks were found to increase the efficacy of harmonic prediction by up to 6%. Optimal LSTM input sizes were also determined for each method of data representation.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Informatics approaches for integrative analysis of disparate high-throughput genomic datasets in cancer

Description

The processes of a human somatic cell are very complex with various genetic mechanisms governing its fate. Such cells undergo various genetic mutations, which translate to the genetic aberrations that

The processes of a human somatic cell are very complex with various genetic mechanisms governing its fate. Such cells undergo various genetic mutations, which translate to the genetic aberrations that we see in cancer. There are more than 100 types of cancer, each having many more subtypes with aberrations being unique to each. In the past two decades, the widespread application of high-throughput genomic technologies, such as micro-arrays and next-generation sequencing, has led to the revelation of many such aberrations. Known types and subtypes can be readily identified using gene-expression profiling and more importantly, high-throughput genomic datasets have helped identify novel sub-types with distinct signatures. Recent studies showing usage of gene-expression profiling in clinical decision making in breast cancer patients underscore the utility of high-throughput datasets. Beyond prognosis, understanding the underlying cellular processes is essential for effective cancer treatment. Various high-throughput techniques are now available to look at a particular aspect of a genetic mechanism in cancer tissue. To look at these mechanisms individually is akin to looking at a broken watch; taking apart each of its parts, looking at them individually and finally making a list of all the faulty ones. Integrative approaches are needed to transform one-dimensional cancer signatures into multi-dimensional interaction and regulatory networks, consequently bettering our understanding of cellular processes in cancer. Here, I attempt to (i) address ways to effectively identify high quality variants when multiple assays on the same sample samples are available through two novel tools, snpSniffer and NGSPE; (ii) glean new biological insight into multiple myeloma through two novel integrative analysis approaches making use of disparate high-throughput datasets. While these methods focus on multiple myeloma datasets, the informatics approaches are applicable to all cancer datasets and will thus help advance cancer genomics.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Top-Down and Bottom-Up Strategies to Prepare Nanogap Sensors for Controlling and Characterizing Single Biomolecules

Description

My research centers on the design and fabrication of biomolecule-sensing devices that combine top-down and bottom-up fabrication processes and leverage the unique advantages of each approach. This allows for

My research centers on the design and fabrication of biomolecule-sensing devices that combine top-down and bottom-up fabrication processes and leverage the unique advantages of each approach. This allows for the scalable creation of devices with critical dimensions and surface properties that are tailored to target molecules at the nanoscale.

My first project focuses on a new strategy for preparing solid-state nanopore sensors for DNA sequencing. Challenges for existing nanopore approaches include specificity of detection, controllability of translocation, and scalability of fabrication. In a new solid-state pore architecture, top-down fabrication of an initial electrode gap embedded in a sealed nanochannel is followed by feedback-controlled electrochemical deposition of metal to shrink the gap and define the nanopore size. The resulting structure allows for the use of an electric field to control the motion of DNA through the pore and the direct detection of a tunnel current through a DNA molecule.

My second project focuses on top-down fabrication strategies for a fixed nanogap device to explore the electronic conductance of proteins. Here, a metal-insulator-metal junction can be fabricated with top-down fabrication techniques, and the subsequent electrode surfaces can be chemically modified with molecules that bind strongly to a target protein. When proteins bind to molecules on either side of the dielectric gap, a molecular junction is formed with observed conductances on the order of nanosiemens. These devices can be used in applications such as DNA sequencing or to gain insight into fundamental questions such as the mechanism of electron transport in proteins.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Nanofluidic pathways for single molecule translocation and sequencing: nanotubes and nanopores

Description

Driven by the curiosity for the secret of life, the effort on sequencing of DNAs and other large biopolymers has never been respited. Advanced from recent sequencing techniques, nanotube and

Driven by the curiosity for the secret of life, the effort on sequencing of DNAs and other large biopolymers has never been respited. Advanced from recent sequencing techniques, nanotube and nanopore based sequencing has been attracting much attention. This thesis focuses on the study of first and crucial compartment of the third generation sequencing technique, the capture and translocation of biopolymers, and discuss the advantages and obstacles of two different nanofluidic pathways, nanotubes and nanopores for single molecule capturing and translocation. Carbon nanotubes with its constrained structure, the frictionless inner wall and strong electroosmotic flow, are promising materials for linearly threading DNA and other biopolymers for sequencing. Solid state nanopore on the other hand, is a robust chemical, thermal and mechanical stable nanofluidic device, which has a high capturing rate and, to some extent, good controllable threading ability for DNA and other biomolecules. These two different but similar nanofluidic pathways both provide a good preparation of analyte molecules for the sequencing purpose. In addition, more and more research interests have move onto peptide chains and protein sensing. For proteome is better and more direct indicators for human health, peptide chains and protein sensing have a much wider range of applications on bio-medicine, disease early diagnoses, and etc. A universal peptide chain nanopore sensing technique with universal chemical modification of peptides is discussed in this thesis as well, which unifies the nanopore capturing process for vast varieties of peptides. Obstacles of these nanofluidic pathways are also discussed. In the end of this thesis, a proposal of integration of solid state nanopore and fixed-gap recognition tunneling sequencing technique for a more accurate DNA and peptide readout is discussed, together with some early study work, which gives a new direction for nanopore based sequencing.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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DNA sequencing by recognition tunnelling

Description

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

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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The use of Bacteroides genetic markers to identify microbial sources in natural water

Description

Water quality in surface water is frequently degraded by fecal contamination from human and animal sources, imposing negative implications for recreational water use and public safety. For this reason it

Water quality in surface water is frequently degraded by fecal contamination from human and animal sources, imposing negative implications for recreational water use and public safety. For this reason it is critical to identify the source of fecal contamination in bodies of water in order to take proper corrective actions for controlling fecal pollution. Bacteroides genetic markers have been widely used to differentiate human from other sources of fecal bacteria in water. The results of this study indicate that many assays currently used to detect human-specific Bacteroides produce false positive results in the presence of freshwater fish. To further characterize Bacteroides from fish and human, the fecal samples were cultured, speciated, and identified. As a result, forty six new Bacteroides 16S rRNA gene sequences have been deposited to the NCBI database. These sequences, along with selected animal fecal sample Bacteroides, were aligned against human B. volgatus, B. fragilis, and B. dorei to identify multi-segmented variable regions within the 16S rRNA gene sequence. The collected sequences were truncated and used to construct a cladogram, showing a clear separation between human B. dorei and Bacteroides from other sources. A proposed strategy for source tracking was field tested by collecting water samples from central AZ source water and three different recreational ponds. PCR using HF134 and HF183 primer sets were performed and sequences for positive reactions were then aligned against human Bacteroides to identify the source of contamination. For the samples testing positive using the HF183 primer set (8/13), fecal contamination was determined to be from human sources. To confirm the results, PCR products were sequenced and aligned against the four variable regions and incorporated within the truncated cladogram. As expected, the sequences from water samples with human fecal contamination grouped within the human clade. As an outcome of this study, a tool box strategy for Bacteroides source identification relying on PCR amplification, variable region analysis, human-specific Bacteroides PCR assays, and subsequent truncated cladogram grouping analysis has been developed. The proposed strategy offers a new method for microbial source tracking and provides step-wise methodology essential for identifying sources of fecal pollution.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012