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Physiological Feats of the Body: How We Adapt to Anaerobic Stress Podcast

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****Project Disclaimer: Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 outbreak during Spring 2020, ASU shut down in-person classes and campus facilities as means to prevent the spread of the virus. This meant though that a polished final podcast recording was unable to

****Project Disclaimer: Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 outbreak during Spring 2020, ASU shut down in-person classes and campus facilities as means to prevent the spread of the virus. This meant though that a polished final podcast recording was unable to be made. Instead, a first-run, practice podcast recording that was recorded before the shut down is uploaded in its stead as a reference as to how the final was intended to sound and be produced. ****

Cellular hypertrophy is an anaerobically-based, adaptive process that mammalian skeletal muscle undergoes in response to damage resulting from unaccustomed force generation by the muscle. Hypertrophy allows for the muscle tissue to recover from the immediate injury and also to be rebuilt more capable of withstanding producing the same amount of force without injury, should it happen again. This means the end result of an adapted muscle is an overall more efficient tissue. The ability to regenerate after damage to the structure and function of the muscle tissue is a highly orchestrated event involving multiple steps and key events to occur. Most briefly, a mechanical load is attempted to be lifted but due to demanding a high amount of contractile force to lift, it causes microdamage to the structural and contractile elements of muscle fiber’s sarcomeres. In addition to an inflammatory response, satellite cells, as a part of a myogenic response, are activated to invade the fiber and then permanently reside inside to produce new proteins that will replace the damaged and necrotized proteins. This addition of cellular content, repeated over multiple times, results in the increased diameter of the fibers and manifests in the visual appearance of skeletal muscle hypertrophy. These steps have been listed off devoid of the contexts in which it takes for these to occur and will be addressed within this thesis.

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2020-05

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Method Comparison for Odor Discrimination in Camponotus floridanus

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Complex animal societies consist of a plethora of interactions between members. To successfully thrive they must be able to recognize members and their kin, and to understand how they do this we need sufficient and reliable methods of testing. Eusocial

Complex animal societies consist of a plethora of interactions between members. To successfully thrive they must be able to recognize members and their kin, and to understand how they do this we need sufficient and reliable methods of testing. Eusocial insects are especially good at recognizing their nestmates, but the exact mechanism or how well they can discriminate is unknown. Ants achieve nestmate recognition by identifying varying proportions of cuticular hydrocarbons. Previous studies have shown ants can be trained to discriminate between pairs of hydrocarbons. This study aims to compare two methodologies previously shown to demonstrate odor learning to identify which one is the most promising to use for future odor learning experiments. The two methods tested were adapted from Sharma et al. (2015) and Guerrieri and d’Ettorre (2010). The results showed that the Guerrieri method demonstrated learning better and was more reliable and faster than the Sharma method. The Guerrieri method should be used in future experiments regarding odor learning discrimination

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2020-05

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Iterative Size Reduction of Bead Placement in Nanosphere Lithography

Description

Nanosphere lithography is a high throughput procedure that has important implications
for facile, low cost scaling of nanostructures. However, current benchtop experiments have
limitations based on the placement of molecular species that exhibit greater than singlemolecular binding. In addition, reliance

Nanosphere lithography is a high throughput procedure that has important implications
for facile, low cost scaling of nanostructures. However, current benchtop experiments have
limitations based on the placement of molecular species that exhibit greater than singlemolecular binding. In addition, reliance upon bottom-up self-assembly of close-packed
nanospheres makes it problematic to resolve images using low-cost light microscopes due to the
spacing limitations smaller in magnitude than light wavelength. One method that is created to
resolve this issue is iterative size reduction (ISR), where repetitive ‘iterative’ processes are
employed in order to increase the precision at which single molecules bind to a given substrate.
ISR enables inherent separation of nanospheres and therefore any subsequent single molecule
binding platforms. In addition, ISR targets and encourages single-molecule binding by
systematically reducing binding site size. Results obtained pursuing iteratively reduced
nanostructures showed that many factors are needed to be taken into consideration, including
functionalization of nanosphere particles, zeta potential, and protonation-buffer reactions.
Modalities used for observation of nanoscale patterning and single-molecule binding included
atomic force microscopy (AFM) and ONI super-resolution and fluorescence microscopy. ISR
was also used in conjunction with zero mode waveguides, which are nanoapertures enabling realtime single molecule observation at zeptoliter volumes. Although current limitations and
obstacles still exist with reproducibility and scalability of ISR, it nonetheless exhibits limitless
potential and flexibility in nanotechnology applications.

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2020-05

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Breast Health Seeking Behaviors In Countries With Varying Health Coverage

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There is an enormous unmet need for services, education, and outreach to improve women’s breast health. Healthcare systems and insurance systems vary widely around the world, and this may play an important role in understanding variability in women’s breast health

There is an enormous unmet need for services, education, and outreach to improve women’s breast health. Healthcare systems and insurance systems vary widely around the world, and this may play an important role in understanding variability in women’s breast health knowledge and behavior globally. The goal of this study is to determine how varying healthcare systems in three countries (Japan, Paraguay, US) affect a woman’s likelihood of seeing a physician in regard to their breasts. For example, Japan is a clear example of a region that provides universal health insurance to its citizens. The government takes responsibility in giving accessible and equitable healthcare to its entire population (Zhang & Oyama, 2016). On the other hand, a country such as Paraguay is composed of both public and private sectors. In order for citizens to gain insurance, one would have to either be formally employed or choose to pay out-of-pocket for hospital visits (“Paraguay”, 2017). A country such as the United States does not have universal health insurance. However, it does have a mix of public and private sectors, meaning there is little to no coverage for its citizens. To accommodate for this, the United States came up with the Affordable Care Act, which extends coverage to the uninsured. Although the United States might be a country that spends more on healthcare than any other nation, there are residents that still lack healthcare (De Lew, Greenberg & Kinchen, 1992). This study, then, compares women’s breast health knowledge and behavior in Japan, Paraguay, and the US. Other variables, which are also considered in this study, that might affect this include wealth level, education, having general awareness of breast cancer, having regular health checks, and having some breast education. Using statistical analysis of breast check rates of women in Japan, Paraguay, and the United States, this research found that women sampled in Asunción, Paraguay check their breasts more often than either women sampled from Scottsdale, U.S. or Osaka, Japan. It was also found that women sampled from Paraguay were more confident in detecting changes in their breast compared to women sampled from the Japan or the US. Finally, it was noted that women sampled from Japan were least likely to partake in seeing a doctor in concern of changes in their breasts compared to women sampled from the other two research locations. These findings have relevance for the implementation of advocacy and public education about breast health.

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2020-05

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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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Investigating the Role of the Las and Rhl Quorum Sensing Systems in the Pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Description

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen commonly associated with increased morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. To adapt to the CF lung environment, P. aeruginosa undergoes multiple genetic changes as it moves from an acute to a

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen commonly associated with increased morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. To adapt to the CF lung environment, P. aeruginosa undergoes multiple genetic changes as it moves from an acute to a chronic infection. The resultant phenotypes have been associated with chronic infection and can provide important information to track the patient’s individualized disease progression. This study examines the link between the accumulation of QS genetic mutations and phenotypic expression in P. aeruginosa laboratory strains and clinical isolates. We utilized several plate-based and colorimetric assays to quantify the production of pyocyanin, rhamnolipids, and protease from paired clinical early- and late-stage chronic infection isolates across 16 patients. Exoproduct production of each isolate was compared to the mean production of pooled isolates to classify high producing (QS-sufficient) and low producing (QS-deficient) isolates. We found that over time P. aeruginosa isolates exhibit a reduction in QS-related phenotypes during chronic infections. Future research of the QS regulatory networks will identify whether reversion of genotype will result in corresponding phenotypic changes in QS-deficient chronic infection isolates.

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2020-05

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Role of Metabolism in Antibiotic Resistance

Description

Each year, more and more multi-drug resistant bacterial strains emerge, thus complicating treatment and increasing the average stay in the intensive care unit. As antibiotics are being rendered inefficient, there is a need to look into ways of weakening the

Each year, more and more multi-drug resistant bacterial strains emerge, thus complicating treatment and increasing the average stay in the intensive care unit. As antibiotics are being rendered inefficient, there is a need to look into ways of weakening the internal state of bacterial cells to make them more susceptible to antibiotics. For this, we first need to understand what methods bacteria employ to fight against antibiotics. In this work, we have reviewed how bacteria respond to antibiotics. There is a similarity in response to antibiotic exposure and starvation (stringent stress) which changes the metabolic state. We have delineated what metabolism changes take place and how they are associated with oxidative stress. For example, there is a common change in NADH concentration that is tied to both metabolism and oxidative stress. Finally, we have compared the findings in literature with our research on an antibiotic-resistant RNA polymerase mutant that alters the gene expression profile in the general areas of metabolism and oxidative stress. Based on this thesis, we have suggested a couple of strategies to make antibiotics more efficient; however, as antibiotic-mediated killing is very complex, researchers need to delve deeper to understand and manipulate the full cellular response.

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2020-05

Human Physiological Adaptations to Starvation and Caloric Restriction

Description

Throughout history humans have had to adapt to changing conditions in order to survive. Food shortages are one of the major pressures that have shaped past populations. Because of this, the human body has many physiological adaptations that allow

Throughout history humans have had to adapt to changing conditions in order to survive. Food shortages are one of the major pressures that have shaped past populations. Because of this, the human body has many physiological adaptations that allow it to go extended periods of time consuming little to no food. These adaptations also allow the body to recover quickly once food becomes available. They include changes in metabolism that allow different fuel sources to be used for energy, the storing of excess energy absorbed from food in the forms of glycogen and fat to be used in between meals, and a reduction in the basal metabolic rate in response to starvation, as well as physiological changes in the small intestines. Even in places where starvation is not a concern today, these adaptations are still important as they also have an effect on weight gain and dieting in addition to promoting survival when the body is in a starved state.

Disclaimer: The initial goal of this project was to present this information as a podcast episode as a part of a series aimed at teaching the general public about human physiological adaptations. Due to the circumstances with COVID-19 we were unable to meet to make a final recording of the podcast episode. A recording of a practice session recorded earlier in the year has been uploaded instead and is therefore only a rough draft.

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2020-05

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Does chronic unpredictable restraint produce dendritic retraction in long-shaft CA3 hippocampal neurons?

Description

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a widespread mood disorder that affects more than 300 million people worldwide and yet, high relapse rates persist. This current study aimed to use an animal model for depression, unpredictable intermittent restraint (UIR), to investigate

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a widespread mood disorder that affects more than 300 million people worldwide and yet, high relapse rates persist. This current study aimed to use an animal model for depression, unpredictable intermittent restraint (UIR), to investigate changes in a subset of neurons within the hippocampus, a region of high susceptibility in MDD. Adult male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to four treatment groups based on sex (n = 48, n = 12/group). Half of the rats underwent UIR that involved restraint with orbital shaking (30 min or 1 h) for 2-6 consecutive days, followed by one or two days of no stressors; the other half of the rats were undisturbed (CON). UIR rats were stressed for 28 days (21 days of actual stressors) before behavioral testing began with UIR continuing between testing days for nearly 70 days. Rats were then euthanized between 9 and 11 days after the last UIR session. Brains were processed for Golgi stain and long-shaft (LS) neurons within the hippocampal CA3a and CA3b regions were quantified for dendritic complexity using a Camera Lucida attachment. Our findings failed to support our hypothesis that UIR would produce apical dendritic retraction in CA3 hippocampal LS neurons in both males and females. Given that UIR failed to produce CA3 apical dendritic retraction in males, which is commonly observed in the literature, we discuss several reasons for these findings including, time from the end of UIR to when brains were sampled, and the effects of repeated cognitive testing. Given our published findings that UIR impaired spatial ability in males, but not females, we believe that UIR holds validity as a chronic stress paradigm, as UIR attenuated body weight gain in both males and females and produced reductions in thymus gland weight in UIR males. These findings corroborate UIR as an effective stressor in males and warrant further research into the timing of UIR-induced changes in hippocampal CA3 apical dendritic morphology.

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2020-12

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Prenatal Supplementation Research

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When viewing vitamins and minerals, it is seen that they are essential for human life and vital for pregnancy. When paired with a healthy diet, prenatal supplements can allow for a healthy pregnancy and reduced maternal and infant health problems.

When viewing vitamins and minerals, it is seen that they are essential for human life and vital for pregnancy. When paired with a healthy diet, prenatal supplements can allow for a healthy pregnancy and reduced maternal and infant health problems. Within this thesis, I was able to break down each vitamin and mineral necessary for a healthy pregnancy and birth. Further, I had the opportunity to dive into the addition of Omega-3 Fatty Acid during pregnancy to add more evidence to the study.

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2020-12