Matching Items (47)

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Characterization and Phylogeny of Wolbachia Endosymbiont Infections in the Harvester Ant Genus Pogonomyrmex

Description

Wolbachia is a genus of obligately intracellular bacterial endosymbionts of arthropods and nematodes, infecting up to 66% of all such species. In order to ensure its transmission, it may modify

Wolbachia is a genus of obligately intracellular bacterial endosymbionts of arthropods and nematodes, infecting up to 66% of all such species. In order to ensure its transmission, it may modify host reproduction by inducing one of four phenotypes: cytoplasmic incompatibility, feminization of genetic males, killing of male embryos, and induction of thelytokous parthenogenesis. This investigation was a characterization of the so-far unexamined Wolbachia infection of Pogonomyrmex ants. Five main questions were addressed: whether Wolbachia infection rates vary between North and South America, whether infection rates are dependent on host range, whether Wolbachia affects the caste determination of P. barbatus, whether infection rates in Pogonomyrmex are similar to those of other ants, and whether Wolbachia phylogeny parallels the phylogeny of its Pogonomyrmex hosts. Using PCR amplification of the wsp, ftsZ, and gatB loci, Wolbachia infections were detected in four of fifteen Pogonomyrmex species (26.7%), providing the first known evidence of Wolbachia infection in this genus. All infected species were from South America, specifically Argentina. Therefore, Wolbachia has no role in the caste determination of the North American species P. barbatus. Additionally, while it appears that the incidence of Wolbachia in Pogonomyrmex may be limited to South America, host range did not correlate with infection status. The incidence of Wolbachia in Pogonomyrmex as a whole was similar to that of invasive Solenopsis and Linepithema species, but not to Wasmannia auropunctata or Anoplolepis gracilipes, which retain Wolbachia infection in non-native locations. This suggests that there may be a parallel in Wolbachia infection spread in certain short-term models of species colonization and long-term models of genus radiation. Finally, there was no congruity between host and parasite phylogeny according to maximum likelihood analyses, necessarily due to horizontal transfer of Wolbachia between hosts and lateral gene transfer between Wolbachia strains within hosts.

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  • 2014-05

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A Partial Life Cycle Assessment of Oranges Grown Locally and Afar: An Evaluation of the Significance of Food Miles

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This thesis was conducted in order to determine the role played by food miles metrics in making the agricultural industry more sustainable. In an effort to analyze the importance of

This thesis was conducted in order to determine the role played by food miles metrics in making the agricultural industry more sustainable. In an effort to analyze the importance of eat locally this study utilizes a partial life cycle assessment. This study looks at oranges grown in Arizona and California and inputs such as water, energy, fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide, frost mitigation, and distance in order to conduct the partial life cycle assessment. Results of this study indicate that food miles are not as significant, in relation to overall energy input, as the locavore movement claims. This is because production processes account for a larger portion of the total energy used in the food chain than what these claims suggest. While eating locally is still a significant way of reducing energy use, this thesis shows that decisions about eating sustainably should not only focus on the distance that the products travel, but place equal, if not more, importance on energy use differences due to geographic location and in-farm operations. Future research should be completed with more comprehensive impact categories and conducted for different crops, farming, and locations. Further research is needed in order to confirm or challenge the results of this thesis. With more research conducted regarding this topic, ecological labeling of agricultural products could be improved to help consumers make the most informed choices possible.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Investigate and characterize the means to reduce the toxicity of genetically engineered cancer therapeutic recombinant attenuated Salmonella

Description

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world and represents a tremendous burden on patients, families and societies. S. Typhimurium strains are specifically attracted to compounds

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world and represents a tremendous burden on patients, families and societies. S. Typhimurium strains are specifically attracted to compounds produced by cancer cells and could overcome the traditional therapeutic barrier. However, a major problem with using live attenuated Salmonella as anti-cancer agents is their toxicity at the dose required for therapeutic efficacy, but reducing the dose results in diminished efficacy. In this project, we explored novel means to reduce the toxicity of the recombinant attenuated Salmonella by genetically engineering those virulence factors to facilitate maximal colonization of tumor tissues and reduced fitness in normal tissues. We have constructed two sets of Salmonella strains. In the first set, each targeted gene was knocked out by deletion of the gene. In the second set, the predicted promoter region of each gene was replaced with a rhamnose-regulated promoter, which will cease the synthesis of these genes in vivo, a rhamnose-free environment.

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  • 2013-05

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Proposal for LEED Silver Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance Certification of the Memorial Union, with focus on Energy Efficiency & the PowerParasol Project, Zero Waste by 2015, Water Efficiency, and Alternative Transportation Methods

Description

As the student union on Arizona State University’s main Tempe campus, the MU should be a model of building sustainability. After a fire engulfed the MU’s second floor in 2007,

As the student union on Arizona State University’s main Tempe campus, the MU should be a model of building sustainability. After a fire engulfed the MU’s second floor in 2007, the building underwent major renovations and achieved LEED v2.0: Commercial Interiors (LEED CI) Gold certification. Since then, more up-to-date building certification programs have been established, including the Green Globes (GG) green building rating system and a more recent version of LEED that suits the MU’s situation—Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED EB:OM). This paper performs a cost-benefit analysis of these rating systems, specifically looking at 1) national recognition, 2) ease of use, 3) amount of resources needed to invest, 4) length of time of the certification process, 5) certification fees and costs, 6) pre-requisites and system structure of point allotment, and 7) flexibility of the systems. A review of the previous LEED CI certification of the MU addresses 1) solar panel installation and renewable energy achievements, 2) improvement of indoor air quality, 3) application of sustainable construction practices, 4) missed opportunities since renovations were not performed on the entire building, 5) water efficiency scoring, and 6) lack of significant Energy & Atmosphere improvements. A proposal for the university to consider LEED EB:OM certification for the Memorial Union will be presented, analyzing the points already secured by campus-wide programs and policies, credits that are possible with minimal funding, and elaborating on opportunities already planned for completion, including 1) the Power Parasol project, 2) “Zero Waste by 2015” and “Carbon Neutrality” programs and goals, and 3) plans for alternative transportation methods through the Tempe Campus Access Management Plan. In conclusion, my recommendation to pursue LEED EB:OM and achieve Silver level will be presented. With the majority of LEED points already secured and several on the horizon, certifying the MU under LEED EB:OM will set an example and increase the amount of existing buildings on campus to pursue LEED certification. University-wide policies on green cleaning, sustainable purchasing, alternative energy sources, carbon neutrality, and LEED for Multiple Buildings all contribute to simplifying the LEED certification process for ASU buildings campus-wide.

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  • 2013-05

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Thorium: Using Old Concepts to Address Problems in the Modern Energy Industry

Description

There are three known materials that readily undergo fission, allowing their use as a base for nuclear fuel: uranium-235, a naturally-occurring but uncommon isotope; plutonium, created from irradiated natural uranium;

There are three known materials that readily undergo fission, allowing their use as a base for nuclear fuel: uranium-235, a naturally-occurring but uncommon isotope; plutonium, created from irradiated natural uranium; and uranium-233, produced from thorium. Of the three, uranium-235 and plutonium feature heavily in the modern nuclear industry, while uranium-233 and the thorium fuel cycle have failed to have significant presence in the field. Historically, nuclear energy development in the United States, and thorium development in particular, has been tied to the predominant societal outlook on the field, and thorium was only pursued seriously as an option during a period when nuclear energy was heavily favored, and resources seemed scarce. Recently, thorium-based energy has been experiencing a revival in interest in response to pollution concerns regarding fossil fuels. While public opinion is still wary of uranium, thorium-based designs could reduce reliance on fossil fuels while avoiding traditional drawbacks of nuclear energy. The thorium fuel cycle is more protected against proliferation, but is also much more expensive than the uranium-plutonium cycle in a typical reactor setup. Liquid-fueled molten salt reactor designs, however, bypass the prohibitive expense of U-233 refabrication by avoiding the stage entirely, keeping the chain reaction running with nothing but thorium input required. MSRs can use any fissile material as fuel, and are relatively safe to operate, due to passive features inherent to the design.

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  • 2014-05

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THE BLUE MOUND CHERT INVESTIGATING A TOPOGRAPHIC ANOMALY IN SOUTHERN WISCONSIN

Description

Blue Mound State Park, located in the state of Wisconsin (USA), is host to a topographic anomaly known as Blue Mound. This mound is the western of the two mounds

Blue Mound State Park, located in the state of Wisconsin (USA), is host to a topographic anomaly known as Blue Mound. This mound is the western of the two mounds that make up the park, and it marks the highest elevation in southern Wisconsin. Unlike its eastern sibling, Blue Mound possesses an unusual chert cap that may have protected it from erosion, thus preserving its stratigraphic integrity. Although Blue Mound's unique chert armor was noted in 1927 by the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, no published work has satisfactorily explained its origin. As little was known about the formation of cherts until the mid-to-late 1900s, the Blue Mound cap was classified merely as a Silurian dolostone into which chert had somehow become integrated (Steidtmann). However, the published observations of the Blue Mound chert do not necessarily match with the classification granted by the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, nor were any convincing interpretations offered regarding the presence of the chert. Since 1927, significant progress in the field of sedimentology has been achieved. There now exists knowledge that may fill the gaps between observation and interpretation in the Blue Mound survey. The observations in the 1927 bulletin correspond with modern notions of a paleokarst chert breccia, which forms a chert rubble or residuum. A chert breccia is formed when existing clasts, or pieces, of chert become cemented together by further chert deposition (Kolodny, Chaussidon and Katz). This can form large boulders of chert rubble that resist erosion. Accumulation of chert rubble has been documented to form along old weathering surfaces as an insoluble residue in environments similar to Blue Mound (Kolodny, Chaussidon and Katz). The purpose of this investigation was to verify the observations within the 1927 survey of the Blue Mound chert, and determine through field observations and sample study if the Blue Mound chert fits the model of a paleokarst chert breccia.

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  • 2013-05

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Barrett Poly Colloquial Hub

Description

The Barrett Poly Writing Colloquium is a dedicated group of students and faculty that come together to provide Freshmen in the Human Event with an impactful tutoring experience that enriches

The Barrett Poly Writing Colloquium is a dedicated group of students and faculty that come together to provide Freshmen in the Human Event with an impactful tutoring experience that enriches their Human Event papers and reading responses. There were, however, a few major issues with the way in which tutoring sessions were recorded, archived, and maintained. We set out to clean up the process and provide a more positive experience for all involved. Starting out, we searched to find a way to electronically archive tutoring receipts that students receive at the end of a tutoring session. In the beginning of the project, we were sporting experience with front-end coding languages such as HTML and CSS, with a minuscule amount of experience using JavaScript. By diving in and closing the gaps in our knowledge of JavaScript, we were able to build a web form that would suit the needs of the tutors and administrators, while still offering students the feedback that they needed to improve their writing, in a personal way that preserves the quality of the core service provided by the colloquium. Our primary objective was to build a system that moved the reporting of tutoring sessions online, while maintaining a way to generate a receipt for distribution to the students and tutors. We delivered on that, and then some, by building an automated system using Google's developer tools to automatically write all tutoring session data to a Google Sheet, and send an automated email with all relevant information to both the student and tutor. We then dedicated the time we had remaining to adding additional features. It is here that we began to run into problems that unfortunately proved to be technological constraints of the platforms we were developing on, and the languages we were using. By this point, it was too late for us to pivot, but we were still able to achieve many of our goals. For example, we successfully implemented a feature that automatically archives the entire year's worth of data and creates a new, clean Google Sheet at the beginning of each school year. If we were to continue our project, with more time, we would use different development tools and systems so that we could have more flexibility. However, using the Google API provided us with many benefits that allowed us to jump right in to building our program, without having to struggle with building a whole database with accounts and permissions.

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  • 2017-05

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Latino Assimilation in the U.S. and its Effects on Language Loss: A Case Study

Description

This thesis project investigated the linguistic competence of four brothers in an attempt to evaluate the effects that assimilation in the United States has on language loss within second generation

This thesis project investigated the linguistic competence of four brothers in an attempt to evaluate the effects that assimilation in the United States has on language loss within second generation speakers. The project employed the use of a case study and autoethnography in order to take a closer look at the concepts of assimilation, acculturation, and language loss, as well to provide a real world example of their interrelatedness. The second generation, or the heritage speakers in the family, were the focus of the study in order to provide a closer look at how the heritage language was retained within said generation. The project found that although there has historically been a push to assimilate immigrants into the American society, my brothers and I are not being assimilated as much as we are being acculturated. The project also found that although we grew up speaking Spanish at home, education in the language was essential in developing fluency in the subcategories of reading and writing, which are often neglected in the household.

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  • 2016-05

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Leonardo Da Vinci: Form and Function of the Heart

Description

Leonardo's anatomical studies of the heart demonstrate the dependency of form and function on one another and that their combined activity leads to a comprehensive understanding of the cardiovascular system.

Leonardo's anatomical studies of the heart demonstrate the dependency of form and function on one another and that their combined activity leads to a comprehensive understanding of the cardiovascular system. While Leonardo was able to make incredible deductions regarding the heart's anatomy and physiology through the concepts of form and function, it is evident that his preconceptions hindered him from realizing the full scope of his individual findings. In this paper, I will evaluate the perception of anatomy, the manner in which anatomical knowledge was acquired, and the resultant traditional understanding of the cardiovascular system during Leonardo's lifetime. Leonardo's drawings of the heart will then be analyzed to determine what conclusions he was able to make regarding the heart's anatomy and physiology. Finally, I will compare Leonardo's findings to the modern understanding of the cardiovascular system. Because Leonardo's anatomical studies were hidden from the world for so long, many of his conclusions regarding the heart did not come to light before other individuals had already begun to reach them on their own. Although he made incredible leaps in the understanding of the cardiovascular system, he made little contribution to modern cardiology. Now Leonardo's work can only be examined retrospectively to determine the accuracies and inaccuracies of Leonardo's conclusions in comparison to our modern understanding.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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No Longer a Victim, But a Survivor

Description

Domestic violence comes in a variety of forms along with multiple terms and definitions. Domestic violence can seep into a relationship like a plague if a young, adolescent girl is

Domestic violence comes in a variety of forms along with multiple terms and definitions. Domestic violence can seep into a relationship like a plague if a young, adolescent girl is not aware of the signs. Unfortunately, many young girls in abusive relationships are unaware of how to prevent the abusive behavior from continuing since the girls are overall unaware of the warning signs. One study of 146 teenage girls in which 44% of the girls chose to respond passively when given a hypothetical scenario of an abusive event (Murphy and Smith 13). Through novels and media, young girls are led to believe that it is appropriate to be treated poorly by young boys. One study of eight young adult novels was conducted and demonstrated just how teen romance novels can negatively influence a young girl's perception of Teen Dating Violence (Storer and Strohl 7). As the young girls get older, the idea that abuse is acceptable becomes solidified in their heads. Many women face multiple forms of abuse, such as more than half of 1,401 women in a study by Coker et al. (2000) were experiencing some form of abuse (553). Specifically, a National Violence Against Women Survey was conducted and 59% of the victims, who were stalked by current partners, were at a higher risk to experience psychological abuse by their assailant (Tjaden and Thoennes "Stalking" 6,11). The abuse often leads to the victim having mental health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Golding 126). Women in abusive relationships have a greater chance of having a poorer quality of life (Tollestrup et al. 431). Nevertheless, leaving an abusive relationship is very difficult to do since many women have a bias that their risk is not as high as another woman who is in the same predicament (Martin et al. 109). To make matters worse, half of all women who do leave end up returning to their abusive partner (Strube "Decision" 238). It has been discovered that if there are few resources available to the victim, she will stay with her abusive partner (Gelles 667). Other key factors that play an important role in if the victim stays, include economic issues and love for the abuser (Strube and Barbour "Factors" 840), or a lack of support from friends and family (Landenburger 703). Fortunately, 61 of 98 women in a study left their abusive partner, which could have been due to the fact that 57.1% of the 98 women had employment (Strube and Barbour "Decision" 788). Women may also have trouble leaving due to entrapment in which the victim justifies all investments of time and money to make the abuser happy (Strube "Decisions" 241). Entrapment can also be related to learned helplessness in which the victim lacks the motivation to make change (242). While a woman is in the relationship, she may experience the responses to dissatisfaction, which include: exit, voice, loyalty, and neglect (Rusbult et al. "Exit" 1231). In addition, the woman may encounter the four coping styles which are: self-punishing, aggressive, early disengagement, and reluctant mid-life disengagement responses (Pfouts 102). Although the woman may experience these responses, she may have difficulty leaving the abusive relationship since she may think that the consequences of leaving are more detrimental than what they actually are (Strube "Decision" 241). College women are also at risk for being in abusive relationships as 20% to 30% experience abuse (Shorey et al. 187). However, college women have a high rate of leaving the abusive relationship since they may have more resources than a woman who is dependent economically on her abuser (Edwards et al. 2920). College women also experience high levels of revenge rather than forgiveness (Davidson et al. 3217). Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Many women experience growth from such a traumatic experience. This growth can be developing strength and healthier relationships in the future (McMillen and Fisher 173). In fact, one study by Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun (1995) was referred to by Patricia Frazier et al. (2001). The study concluded that 50% to 60% of women across multiple studies experienced growth (1048). In the end, those who forgive will have less anxiety and depression (Thompson et al. 313). In order to alleviate the occurrence of domestic abuse, preventative measures should begin with adolescents. These young girls must first develop skills to be assertive before entering a relationship. Support groups and shelters should be widespread, and stricter laws should be enforced that result in negative consequences for those who break them. Education should include women learning about the warning signs of abuse as well as classes for parents to teach them how domestic violence can impact their teenage children. Health education should also include teaching children about what a healthy relationship should consist of. In addition, many health care providers do not screen women for abuse (Smith et al. 4), which means that medical professionals should screen better for abuse and intervene if necessary. As for law enforcement, they should be better trained in how to be sensitive and deal with women who are being abused. As for me, during my teenage years my significant other abused me. However, I chose to end the cycle. I was young and read many young romance novels, listened to music that portrayed women in a poor light, and thus, fell for the bad boy that I would always hear about in music, or read about in books. I knew very little about relationships, and so I was a perfect target. I knew even less of the warning signs as I was not taught about them in school, and I did not grow up in a household that demonstrated any abuse. That being said, I thought that all people were innately good. My perpetrator, on the other hand, grew up drastically different than I did since he has seen his mother get brutally beaten multiple times by many men who came and went in her life. In the end, I learned to forgive and move on. Today, I choose to share my story to raise awareness of the fact that I am not the only one who is a victim. Domestic violence is growing among the youth, and I would like to put an end to this epidemic by presenting empirical data from studies followed by my own personal story.

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  • 2016-12