Matching Items (447)
- Creators: School of Molecular Sciences
- Member of: Barrett, The Honors College Thesis/Creative Project Collection
Over 40% of adults in the United States are considered obese. Obesity is known to cause abnormal metabolic effects and lead to other negative health consequences. Interestingly, differences in metabolism and contractile performance between obese and healthy weight individuals are associated with differences in skeletal muscle fiber type composition between these groups. Each fiber type is characterized by unique metabolic and contractile properties, which are largely determined by the myosin heavy chain isoform (MHC) or isoform combination that the fiber expresses. In previous studies, SDS-PAGE single fiber analysis has been utilized as a method to determine MHC isoform distribution and single fiber type distribution in skeletal muscle. Herein, a methodological approach to analyze MHC isoform and fiber type distribution in skeletal muscle was fine-tuned for use in human and rodent studies. In the future, this revised methodology will be implemented to evaluate the effects of obesity and exercise on the phenotypic fiber type composition of skeletal muscle.
The COVID-19 pandemic has renewed interest in the importance of indoor air quality for health. The spread of respiratory aerosols is the primary mechanism for COVID-19 transmission, making it crucial to understand the role of effective ventilation in managing the risk of disease transmission. The concentration of exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) in indoor spaces can be used as a proxy measure of ventilation efficiency. Poor indoor air quality has been associated with a range of acute and chronic health problems, including respiratory issues, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Poor air quality may also impair cognitive performance and productivity. Social and economic inequalities exacerbate the impact of indoor air quality issues, making it crucial to address these problems in an equitable manner. Public libraries have been identified as an effective intermediary for providing education and free air quality monitoring technology to communities, with the ultimate goal of promoting awareness and increasing access to tools to promote accountability for maintaining high indoor air quality standards. The primary objectives of this initiative are to: 1) develop a citizen science toolkit for assessing indoor air quality in public spaces and deploy the toolkit to public libraries in Arizona; and 2) to conduct a program evaluation to determine whether this kit can be effectively deployed through public libraries to promote citizen science efforts and engage community members in promoting healthier indoor air quality, identify areas where improvements can be made, and prepare the program to be scaled to a larger audience.
Molecular engineering is an emerging field that aims to create functional devices for modular purposes, particularly bottom-up design of nano-assemblies using mechanical and chemical methods to perform complex tasks. In this study, we present a novel method for constructing an RNA clamp using circularized RNA and a broccoli aptamer for fluorescence sensing. By designing a circular RNA with the broccoli aptamer and a complementary DNA strand, we created a molecular clamp that can stabilize the aptamer. The broccoli aptamer displays enhanced fluorescence when bound to its ligand, DFHBI-1T. Upon induction with this small molecule, the clamp can exhibit or destroy fluorescence. We demonstrated that we could control the fluorescence of the RNA clamp by introducing different complementary DNA strands, which regulate the level of fluorescence. Additionally, we designed allosteric control by introducing new DNA strands, making the system reversible. We explored the use of mechanical tension to regulate RNA function by attaching a spring-like activity through the RNA clamp to two points on the RNA surface. By adjusting the stiffness of the spring, we could control the tension between the two points and induce reversible conformational changes, effectively turning RNA function on and off. Our approach offers a simple and versatile method for creating RNA clamps with various applications, including RNA detection, regulation, and future nanodevice design. Our findings highlight the crucial role of mechanical forces in regulating RNA function, paving the way for developing new strategies for RNA manipulation, and potentially advancing molecular engineering. Although the current work is ongoing, we provide current progress of both theoretical and experimental calculations based on our findings.
This project is designed to generate enthusiasm for science among refugee students in hopes of inspiring them to continue learning science as well as to help them with their current understanding of their school science subject matter.
The main goal of this project is to discuss the evolution of women in medicine by focusing on their history and where they are today. Women have gone through a lot of obstacles to be able to work in competitive fields today. They have done tremendously and they have also broken several barriers to prove to world that it is possible to be a successful working female in the work field. The focus on Muslim female physicians is placed because many Muslim women are judged by their religion prior to getting to know who they truly are. Many of those Muslim women are very successful physicians who have set the bar high. Throughout this paper one on one interviews with Muslim females in medicine were conducted to show the outside world that Muslim women are just like any other working individual. They all have similar passions and the goal to heal. The mentality of women being the only caretaker and housewife has shifted over the years, in 2017, women are working in very competitive fields such as medicine, engineering, mathematics, science, research and more. This project also included an online survey which indicated how women in the medical field feel towards certain conditions. The results indicated that many women do in fact feel inferior to their male colleagues and they also felt that they had to work harder to prove their abilities. This is because there has always been the idea that no matter what a woman will not be as successful as a man and our history shows that people did believe that. However, on the bright side the interviews and survey conducted revealed that women will not let the discouragement of others put them down, instead they have worked hard and proved that they are fully capable of performing their duties as medical doctors.
Methods of second language (L2) teaching should involve exposure to authentic forms to facilitate the development of proficiency and fluency. Exposure to authentic forms is important because prior research has shown that natural language discourse uses mostly prefabricated linguistic units (prefabs-formulaic language) that aid in developing linguistic competence and fluency; this occurs because learners' cognitive load is decreased when they are able to retrieve prefabricated wholes from their L2 repertoire as they produce L2 discourse (Erman & Warren, 2000). An effective method of acquiring prefabricated constructions as single units of meaning or structure is repetition of exposure to whole collocations (words that occur together in fixed phrases), since attention will shift from the individual constituents of the phrase to the unit as a whole as the meaning-bearing stored form (Bybee et al., 2006). Authentic materials (materials produced by native speakers for native speakers) contain a substantial number of prefabricated meaning units that are characteristic of native-speaker produced natural language. Compared to traditional L2 classroom approaches, authentic materials are more likely to engage learners due to the range of options available for learner interest; there is a psychological benefit for students who can be certain that their progress with authentic materials is tantamount to progress outside the classroom setting (Berardo, 2006; Ugalde, 2008). The efficacy of exposure to authentic forms can also be explained by virtue of the fact that it promotes incidental acquisition, which is the primary manner by which language is learned (Ellis & Wulff, 2015); it does so through facilitating implicit pattern recognition of exemplar structures. The research concludes with a discussion of why pedagogical approaches should seek to incorporate formulaic language for learners to achieve fluency.
With a quantum efficiency of nearly 100%, the electron transfer process that occurs within the reaction center protein of the photosynthetic bacteria Rhodobacter (Rh.) sphaeroides is a paragon for understanding the complexities, intricacies, and overall systemization of energy conversion and storage in natural systems. To better understand the way in which photons of light are captured, converted into chemically useful forms, and stored for biological use, an investigation into the reaction center protein, specifically into its cascade of cofactors, was undertaken. The purpose of this experimentation was to advance our knowledge and understanding of how differing protein environments and variant cofactors affect the spectroscopic aspects of and electron transfer kinetics within the reaction of Rh. sphaeroides. The native quinone, ubiquinone, was extracted from its pocket within the reaction center protein and replaced by non-native quinones having different reduction/oxidation potentials. It was determined that, of the two non-native quinones tested—1,2-naphthaquinone and 9,10- anthraquinone—the substitution of the anthraquinone (lower redox potential) resulted in an increased rate of recombination from the P+QA- charge-separated state, while the substitution of the napthaquinone (higher redox potential) resulted in a decreased rate of recombination.
Aberrant glycosylation has been shown to be linked to specific cancers, and using this idea, it was proposed that the levels of glycans in the blood could predict stage I adenocarcinoma. To track this glycosylation, glycan were broken down into glycan nodes via methylation analysis. This analysis utilized information from N-, O-, and lipid linked glycans detected from gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The resulting glycan node-ratios represent the initial quantitative data that were used in this experiment.
For this experiment, two Sets of 50 µl blood plasma samples were provided by NYU Medical School. These samples were then analyzed by Dr. Borges’s lab so that they contained normalized biomarker levels from patients with stage 1 adenocarcinoma and control patients with matched age, smoking status, and gender were examined. An ROC curve was constructed under individual and paired conditions and AUC calculated in Wolfram Mathematica 10.2. Methods such as increasing size of training set, using hard vs. soft margins, and processing biomarkers together and individually were used in order to increase the AUC. Using a soft margin for this particular data set was proved to be most useful compared to the initial set hard margin, raising the AUC from 0.6013 to 0.6585. In regards to which biomarkers yielded the better value, 6-Glc/6-Man and 3,6-Gal glycan node ratios had the best with 0.7687 AUC and a sensitivity of .7684 and specificity of .6051. While this is not enough accuracy to become a primary diagnostic tool for diagnosing stage I adenocarcinoma, the methods examined in the paper should be evaluated further. . By comparison, the current clinical standard blood test for prostate cancer that has an AUC of only 0.67.
Almost every form of cancer deregulates the expression and activity of anabolic glycosyltransferase (GT) enzymes, which incorporate particular monosaccharides in a donor acceptor as well as linkage- and anomer-specific manner to assemble complex and diverse glycans that significantly affect numerous cellular events, including tumorigenesis and metastasis. Because glycosylation is not template-driven, GT deregulation yields heterogeneous arrays of aberrant intact glycan products, some in undetectable quantities in clinical bio-fluids (e.g., blood plasma). Numerous glycan features (e.g., 6 sialylation, β-1,6-branching, and core fucosylation) stem from approximately 25 glycan “nodes:” unique linkage specific monosaccharides at particular glycan branch points that collectively confer distinguishing features upon glycan products. For each node, changes in normalized abundance (Figure 1) may serve as nearly 1:1 surrogate measure of activity for culpable GTs and may correlate with particular stages of carcinogenesis. Complementary to traditional top down glycomics, the novel bottom-up technique applied herein condenses each glycan node and feature into a single analytical signal, quantified by two GC-MS instruments: GCT (time-of-flight analyzer) and GCMSD (transmission quadrupole analyzers). Bottom-up analysis of stage 3 and 4 breast cancer cases revealed better overall precision for GCMSD yet comparable clinical performance of both GC MS instruments and identified two downregulated glycan nodes as excellent breast cancer biomarker candidates: t-Gal and 4,6-GlcNAc (ROC AUC ≈ 0.80, p < 0.05). Resulting from the activity of multiple GTs, t-Gal had the highest ROC AUC (0.88) and lowest ROC p‑value (0.001) among all analyzed nodes. Representing core-fucosylation, glycan node 4,6-GlcNAc is a nearly 1:1 molecular surrogate for the activity of α-(1,6)-fucosyltransferase—a potential target for cancer therapy. To validate these results, future projects can analyze larger sample sets, find correlations between breast cancer stage and changes in t-Gal and 4,6-GlcNAc levels, gauge the specificity of these nodes for breast cancer and their potential role in other cancer types, and develop clinical tests for reliable breast cancer diagnosis and treatment monitoring based on t-Gal and 4,6-GlcNAc.
Popular Culture of today, particularly books and movies have begun to influence the way individ- uals and society as a whole, views specific concepts. In this case, the fairly recent phenomenon of the Sci- ence Fiction Drug Niche has produced significant thought among audiences as to both the benefits and costs of cognitive enhancers in our world. Through the use of both a thorough analysis of modern films and novels on the topic as well as focus groups of the average college students this study analyzes the influence that this niche has had on the perceptions that students have towards the use of such cognitive enhancements. Small groups of students were shown the same film: Limitless, and discussion after the film displayed the students thoughts and attitudes towards the ideas shown in the film. Limitless itself falls into this Science Fiction drug niche and discusses both benefits and harms of chemical cognitive enhancement. The study indicates that audiences have thought not only about the issues that may arise with the presence of cognitive enhancement in our world but also the possible benefits of this enhancement. The results go even further to preliminarily show that there are common thoughts that arise in such situations. These common ideas that arise show, at least on a very basic level, that the presence of these Science Fiction Drug-inspired works are influencing the way audiences perceive the use of cognitive enhancement as well as influencing what doubts, questions, hopes, and fears arise from these pharmaceuticals. This preliminary study could use further research to ana- lyze the effects of popular culture on perceptions of cognitive enhancement and pharmaceuticals to alter consciousness.