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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

Human Physiological Adaptations to Starvation and Caloric Restriction

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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?

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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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Towards Purification of human TRPV1 Pore Domain

Description

The transient receptor potential channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) functions as the heat and capsaicin receptor. It can be activated by heat, protons, pungent chemicals, and a variety of other endogenous mediators of nociception. TRPV1 is a non-selective cation

The transient receptor potential channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) functions as the heat and capsaicin receptor. It can be activated by heat, protons, pungent chemicals, and a variety of other endogenous mediators of nociception. TRPV1 is a non-selective cation channel consisting of 6 transmembrane domains (S1-S6), with helices S1-S4 forming the sensing domain and the S5-S6 helices forming the pore domain. Understanding the TRPV1 channel is imperative due to its relation to a variety of human diseases, including cancer, type II diabetes, hyper and hypothermia, and inflammatory disorders of the airways and bladder. Although TRPV1 is the best-studied thermosensitive-TRP channels of all the 28 family members, the molecular underpinning and the contributions of the human TRPV1 pore domain in thermo-sensing remains elusive. Recently, the human TRPV1 sensing domain was found to contribute to heat activation. It was found to undergo a non-denaturing temperature-dependent conformational change. This finding triggered interest in studying the function and the role of the human TRPV1 pore domain in the heat activation process. Specifically, to identify whether heat activation is intrinsic to the pore domain. This thesis paper explores and optimizes the purification protocol of the human TRPV1 pore domain through three different methods. The first method was using a denaturant, the second method was increasing the length of the histidine tags through Q5 insertion, and the third method was incorporating the protein construct into nanodiscs. In addition to the above three methods, size exclusion chromatography and ion-exchange chromatography were utilized after thrombin cleavage to separate the human TRPV1 pore domain from the cleaved MBP deca-histidine tags as well as the impurities.

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2020-12

HIV Stigma: A Research and Art Investigation

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In the years following the HIV epidemic, much has changed in the way of public health, the social epidemic of stigma has remained. It is the assertion of the authors that stigma can be combatted through the propagation of accurate

In the years following the HIV epidemic, much has changed in the way of public health, the social epidemic of stigma has remained. It is the assertion of the authors that stigma can be combatted through the propagation of accurate education and exposure to the lasting negative impacts of social stigma on persons living with HIV in the United States at present. Although individuals who are not apart of this community cannot truly understand the impacts of HIV-related stigma on those directly impacted by it, a sense of understanding and compassion may be elicited through the breakdown of social stigma into comprehensible components and the provision of stigma-inspired artwork. In addition to providing a background on the scientific basis of Human immunodeficiency virus and its spread, the authors have elected to utilize public engagement by means of an anonymous survey as well as personal interactions with HIV advocates to synthesize paintings. Responses were collected from approximately 300 survey participants via social media with no demographic information collected. It was the hope of the authors that the lack of identifying questions may prompt participants to answer freely and honestly to improve overall understanding of social perceptions of HIV and its related stigma. These paintings and resources deemed appropriate based on the results of the aforementioned survey are to be displayed on a webpage for easier access and engagement with a broader audience.Moreover, this webpage is intended to be maintained and utilized beyond the timeframe of this Undergraduate Honors Thesis for the intended purpose of promoting stigma-free HIV advocacy and education.

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2018-05

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Are High Potential Programs Leaving Top Talent Behind?

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The purpose of this paper is to understand how companies are finding high potential employees and if they are leaving top talent behind in their approach. Eugene Burke stated in 2014 that 55% of employees that are labeled as a

The purpose of this paper is to understand how companies are finding high potential employees and if they are leaving top talent behind in their approach. Eugene Burke stated in 2014 that 55% of employees that are labeled as a High Potential Employee will turn over and move companies. Burke (2014) also states that the average high potential employee tenure is five years. The Corporate Leadership Council says that on average, 27% of a company's development budget is spent on its high potential program (CEB 2017). For a midsize company, the high potential development budget is almost a million dollars for only a handful of employees, only to see half of the investment walking out the door to another company . Furthermore, the Corporate Leadership Council said that a study done in 2005 revealed that 50% of high potential employees had significant problems within their job (Kotlyar and Karkowsky 2014). Are time and resources are being given to the wrong employees and the right employees are being overlooked? This paper exams how companies traditionally select high potential employees and where companies are potentially omitting employees who would be better suited for the program. This paper proposes that how a company discovers their top talent will correlate to the number of turnovers or struggles that a high potential employee has on their job. Future research direction and practical considerations are also presented in this paper.

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2018-05

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Prisoners for Profit: The Private Prison System Should Be Abolished

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In which industry that has ever been profit generating, does a firm profit from their failure? The United States has a mass incarceration problem. With 25% of the world prison population residing in the US, spending on detention costs the

In which industry that has ever been profit generating, does a firm profit from their failure? The United States has a mass incarceration problem. With 25% of the world prison population residing in the US, spending on detention costs the US government $80 billion annually. Over 50% of the individuals incarcerated in America are of black or Latino descent. This massive growth in the incarcerated population of America began in the 1970s and with the passive support of American citizens has created an industry whose players profit from the detention of people. Currently, the privately run detention facilities in the United States hold 7% of state prisoners, 18% of federal prisoners, and nearly 75% of ICE's undocumented detainee population. The detention of people for profit is an idea rooted in the same profit motive that allowed the institution of slavery to flourish. However even after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the U.S., the oppressive forces behind slave-era economics have been perpetuated through legislation and policies that continued the stratification of society and reinforcement of the social order. With the help of corporate lobbyists, political action committees, and organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate shareholders of private prisons, such as CoreCivic and The GEO Group, are able to directly align their profit-driven interests with those of federal and state legislators. By the incorporation of legislation and policy into state and federal law, the shareholders of private prisons are able to directly affect legislation as well as their own potential for profit. The justification for the usage of private prisons is thought to be seen in the price savings and flexibility that it provides for federal and state governments. However, due to the law enforcement contractor's exemption from public record laws, there is no clear evidence of where the cost savings occur, or even if there are cost savings at all. Is it ethical for a for-profit-prison corporation to be responsible for the care, security, and rehabilitation of an individual, when if they fail to rehabilitate the individual, it will add to the number of inmates under their control? The measure of a prison's failure to rehabilitate an inmate is considered the recidivism rate, and is affected when an inmate leaves a detention facility, commits another crime, then is arrested. This profit motive is causing our society to incarcerate increasing numbers of people in private prisons. For-profit prisons financially benefit from long-term incarceration and recidivism. The passive investments from public and private employees and institutions through investment corporations are the legs that allow the private prison industry to stand. Twenty-nine investment firms, such as The Vanguard Group and Fidelity Investments, own nearly two-thirds of the two largest players in the private prison industry. This includes the passive investments by public institutions such as the Arizona State University Foundation's $600 million endowment fund as well as the $500 million directly invested into CoreCivic and GEO Group from the University of Texas/ Texas A&M Investment Management Company. The goal of abolishing private prisons will require years of litigation against the giants of the industry as well as the governmental entities supporting them. However, we can start today by demanding divestiture by our school and similar institutions as well continuing to share the knowledge of the oppressive forces associated with the detention of individuals for profit.

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2018-05

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Integrated Breast Biopsy Bioimpedance Sensor

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Breast microcalcifications are a potential indicator of cancerous tumors. Current visualization methods are either uncomfortable or impractical. Impedance measurement studies have been performed, but not in a clinical setting due to a low sensitivity and specificity. We are hoping to

Breast microcalcifications are a potential indicator of cancerous tumors. Current visualization methods are either uncomfortable or impractical. Impedance measurement studies have been performed, but not in a clinical setting due to a low sensitivity and specificity. We are hoping to overcome this challenge with the development of a highly accurate impedance probe on a biopsy needle. With this technique, microcalcifications and the surrounding tissue could be differentiated in an efficient and comfortable manner than current techniques for biopsy procedures. We have developed and tested a functioning prototype for a biopsy needle using bioimpedance sensors to detect microcalcifications in the human body. In the final prototype a waveform generator sends a sin wave at a relatively low frequency(<1KHz) into the pre-amplifier, which both stabilizes and amplifies the signal. A modified howland bridge is then used to achieve a steady AC current through the electrodes. The voltage difference across the electrodes is then used to calculate the impedance being experienced between the electrodes. In our testing, the microcalcifications we are looking for have a noticeably higher impedance than the surrounding breast tissue, this spike in impedance is used to signal the presence of the calcifications, which are then sampled for examination by radiology.

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2018-05

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Assessing the Navigational Abilities of an Acoustically Active Cannula

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The purpose of this thesis experiment was to design and create an Acoustically Active Cannula (AAC), which is furnished by a piezoelectric crystal placed at its tip that produces an acoustic navigation signal. I tested the functionality of the cannula

The purpose of this thesis experiment was to design and create an Acoustically Active Cannula (AAC), which is furnished by a piezoelectric crystal placed at its tip that produces an acoustic navigation signal. I tested the functionality of the cannula in vitro and demonstrated its navigational abilities in vivo in anesthetized pigs. This experiment was based upon ultrasound science and technology, and thus some practical experience with conventional (B-mode) and Doppler ultrasound was achieved as well. The results of bench and experimental animal studies indicated proper functionality of the AAC for identification and spatial navigation of its tip with color Doppler ultrasound imaging.

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2018-05

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Ambassador Communities, Hybrid Spectatorship, and Other Indicators of Success in eSports

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The academic study of eSports, or professional competition through the medium of video games, has tended to focus on players' motivations to play and watch eSports as well as marketing concerns of huge eSports corporations. Instead of utilizing marketing or

The academic study of eSports, or professional competition through the medium of video games, has tended to focus on players' motivations to play and watch eSports as well as marketing concerns of huge eSports corporations. Instead of utilizing marketing or psychology to analyze this phenomenon, I investigate three areas of focus in accordance with available literature: the fans and their characteristics, the design of the game itself, and the relationship between fans and the game's developer. This investigation was conducted by first examining existing literature surrounding eSports fans, then collecting public domain data such as Reddit posts, forum posts, and YouTube videos, and last by studying interviews with developers and players. With this thesis, I apply a fan studies approach to eSports by creating a series of indicators based in each of the three focus areas which can be utilized as a systematic method of evaluating an eSport's popularity and growth.

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2018-05