Matching Items (1,307)
- Creators: School of Life Sciences
- Member of: Theses and Dissertations
- Resource Type: Text
Understanding Asthma Disparities Among Black Americans: Analyzing the Causes an Exploring Possible Solutions
There is a higher incidence of asthma, worse outcomes, and a higher burden of disease in Black Americans compared to white Americans. This thesis aims to understand asthma disparities in the Black population by analyzing a variety of social determinants of health and genetic factors that may contribute to these racial health disparities. Based on the evidence collected, a variety of interventions are discussed that explore potential solutions to address the critical issue.
Using Steroid Hormone Concentrations to Assess the Reproductive Cycle of the Bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas, in Southern Florida
The bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas, is a large species that it is commonly distributed worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters. Despite the bull sharks global distribution, little is known about its life history. In particular, the limited reproductive information suggests the bull shark is placental viviparous, assumed to have a biennial cycle, and that newborn pup nurseries are near the coast. In order to conserve and protect any species, an understanding of the habitats where reproductive events occur is needed. In order to better understand the habitat use in Biscayne bay, Fla, and whether certain areas are critical during the reproductive cycle of bull sharks, I will evaluate circulating levels of the hormones progesterone, estradiol, and testosterone using radioimmunoassay. These samples were collected by the University of Miami opportunistically between 2012-2020 shipped to Arizona State University, where they were analyzed. For my study a total of 73 mature samples, 27 females and 46 males, were collected over the sampling period. The results indicated that Biscayne bay is an important gestation area for bull sharks. The hormonal trends for males and females demonstrated an interesting reproductive cycle, which were further supported through other placental viviparous reproductive patterns. Females had a low level of estradiol throughout most of the year, besides in the summer where there were no sharks in the bay due to movement to estuaries. During their return to the bay, there was a peak in progesterone indicating early pregnancy. Male testosterone levels indicated that there was a production in sperm right before females speculated peak in estradiol.
Relationships Between the Inflammatory Responses of the Immune System and Periods of Critical Hormonal Shifts in Females Across the Lifespan: A Pregnancy Review
In females, critical hormonal shifts occur during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and <br/>menopause. The fluctuating ovarian hormone levels across a woman’s lifespan likely contribute <br/>to inflammatory responses driven by the immune system, which is regulated by a variety of <br/>physiological pathways and microbiological cues. Pregnancy in particular results in drastic <br/>changes in circulating hormone profiles, and involves a variety of physiological changes, <br/>including inflammatory responses of the immune system. There is evidence that these effects are <br/>mediated, in part, by the significant hormone fluctuations that characterize pregnancy and <br/>postpartum periods. This thesis highlights and synthesizes important physiological changes <br/>associated with pregnancy, and their potential implications on cognitive and brain aging in <br/>women. A tertiary model of cognition is presented depicting interactions between hormonal <br/>history, reproductive history, and immune functions. This research is important to create a better <br/>understanding of women’s health and enhance medical care for women throughout pregnancy <br/>and across reproductive hormone shifts across the lifespan.
What is being done to promote cultural sensitivity in healthcare settings? To find answers and solutions to the widespread deficit of cultural competence in the health care industry, this case study interviews a varied sample of five physicians consisting of three men and two women in clinical, academic, and administrative positions. The hypothesis was physicians do not receive cultural sensitivity training in medical school and as a result, they have to find other ways to learn about the cultures of their patients. None of the participants had received formal cultural competency training in medical school and all of them found methods to improve their cultural literacy. The study uncovered the cultural training physicians do receive is sporadic and inconsistent, which can cause some disconnect between education and real-life clinical practice. Many solutions to improve cultural competency in health care delivery are presented. The results of this exploratory research should be used to inspire future conversations about cultural competency in health care as well as the creation of support and educational services and materials to medical students and health care workers on improving cultural sensitivity in clinical practice.
The aim of this creative project was to explore the ideas of impermanence and transience through the lens of different, largely non-western cultural backgrounds, and to incorporate what I learned into my own work as a painter. As part of this, I focused on the materials, techniques, visual strategies, and philosophies that guided the creation of these works. The project consisted of a discrete research phase, during which time I gathered information and materials related to my topic, and a creation phase, when I focused largely on the production of oil paintings and ink paintings whose technique and/or subject matter pertained to impermanence. Research for the most part was conducted by utilizing online and physical collections of work to analyze the formal elements of the work along with the cultural context in which it was created. Ultimately the creative project resulted in a product of three oil paintings and five ink paintings.
In this thesis I will explore deficits in Theory of Mind (ToM) in autistic people due to new evidence that they do not completely lack a ToM. A new theory is proposed, claiming that autistic people use a Hyper Theory of Mind (HyperToM) which has some application and processing differences from typical ToM. The HyperToM test will be administered as an online questionnaire that includes a self-reported Autism Quotient (AQ) section. The study is done in low support needs autistic (LSA) adults, which should have a developed ToM due to age and ability. Results showed some correlations with the AQ symptoms and HyperToM, but not enough diagnosed autistic people (9) participated in this study for significant results.
This thesis responds to the question, "Can Science Make Sense of Life?" through a structural lens of the Human Germline Genetic Editing debate. I explore who is absent from the table, and how the ways of thinking that dominate marginalize and exclude alternative frameworks and considerations. This analysis is centered around an examination of several perspectives from the disability community and an in-depth study of how the Orthodox Jewish community contends with genetic disease. These perspectives illuminate several lessons that prove to bring insight not merely to questions of permissibility on genetic editing, but also offer reflections on the larger relationship between science, technology, and society. I then return to the mainstream genetic editing debate to show how the culture it is born out of and the structures it has ingrained prevent lessons such as these from impacting the conversation. In light of such structures that continuously reproduce the assertion that it is science, not humanity, that is able to make sense of life, my final argument is that though science tends to gatekeep questions of emerging technologies by centering conversations on highly advanced and methodological considerations, public individuals need not feel as if they are irrelevant or unessential. Though science may offer one solution, it is the individuals and communities, not results from a lab, that are equipped to determine if it is the best solution.
Lack of Access to Healthcare resources for Rural Namibians: How Mobile Healthcare Can Make a Difference in Childhood Mortality
This thesis address the disparities seen in access to quality healthcare between rural and urban Namibian mothers. This thesis design also delves into the effectiveness of recent initiatives, such as mobile clinics, and their ability to diminish these barriers and overall impact childhood mortality rates. The methods of this research included a literature review that identified and analyzed the socioeconomic barriers these mothers face, interviews with health care professionals in Namibia, and an application of the H.M. Becker Health Belief Model. This design determined that barriers to care included, income, education, transportation, and employment attainability. Through the analysis of the Health Belief Model, it was determined that the benefits of receiving care outweigh the barriers to quality care and mobile clinics do accurately identify and diminish these barriers.
The Effects of the PsaL Calcium Binding on the Oligomeric and Spectroscopic Properties in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803
In oxygenic photosynthesis, conversion of solar energy to chemical energy is catalyzed by the<br/>pigment-protein complexes Photosystem II (PSII) and Photosystem I (PSI) embedded within the<br/>thylakoid membrane of photoautotrophs. The function of these pigment-protein complexes are<br/>conserved between all photoautotrophs, however, the oligomeric structure, as well as the<br/>spectroscopic properties of the PSI complex, differ. In early evolving photoautotrophs, PSI<br/>exists in a trimeric organization, but in later evolving species this was lost and PSI exists solely<br/>as a monomer. While the reasons for a change in oligomerization are not fully understood, one<br/>of the 11 subunits within cyanobacterial PSI, PsaL, is thought to be involved in trimerization<br/>through the coordination of a calcium ion in an adjacent monomer. Recently published<br/>structures have demonstrated that PSI complexes are capable of trimerization without<br/>coordinating the calcium ion within PsaL.<br/>5 Here we explore the role the calcium ion plays in both<br/>the oligomeric and spectroscopic properties in PSI isolated from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.
Exploration of a mouse model (C57BL/6J) capable of demonstrating behavioral changes after adolescent social isolation that are consistent with prior findings may prove beneficial in later research. This study examined 2 proposed long-term effects of isolated housing (one mouse/cage), when compared to group housing (two mice/cage) during adolescence. Mice were placed in their respective housing conditions after weaning (PND 21) and remained in those conditions until PND 60. The same cohorts were used in both phases of the experiment. Phase 1 sought to confirm previous findings that showed increases in ethanol intake after adolescent social isolation using a 2-bottle preference Drinking-in-the-Dark (DID) design over a 4-day period (PND 64-PND 67.). Phase 2 sought to elucidate the effects present after adolescent social isolation, as measured using response inhibition capabilities demonstrated during fixed-minimum interval (FMI) trials (PND 81-PND 111). Findings in phase 1 of the experiment were non-significant, save a strong tendency for female mice in both housing conditions to drink more as a proportion of their bodyweight (g/kg). However, a trend of lower bodyweight in single housed mice did exist, which does suggest that detrimental stress was applied via the used of adolescent isolation in that housing condition. Findings in phase 2 showed little effect of adolescent social isolation on mean inter-response time (IRT) at any criterion used (FMI-0, FMI-4, FMI-6). Evaluation of mean interquartile range (IQR) of IRTs showed a significantly greater amount of variation in IRT responses within single housed mice at the highest criterion (FMI-6), and a trend in the same direction when FMI-4 and FMI-6 were tested concurrently. Taken as a whole, the findings of this experiment suggest that the effect of adolescent social isolation on ethanol intake is far less robust than the effect of sex and may be difficult to replicate in a low-power study. Additionally, adolescent social isolation may interfere with the ability of mice to show consistent accuracy during FMI tasks or a delay in recognition of FMI criterion change.