Matching Items (18)

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Differential Gene Expression in Type II Diabetes

Description

This research project investigated known and novel differential genetic variants and their associated molecular pathways involved in Type II diabetes mellitus for the purpose of improving diagnosis and treatment methods. The goal of this investigation was to 1) identify the

This research project investigated known and novel differential genetic variants and their associated molecular pathways involved in Type II diabetes mellitus for the purpose of improving diagnosis and treatment methods. The goal of this investigation was to 1) identify the genetic variants and SNPs in Type II diabetes to develop a gene regulatory pathway, and 2) utilize this pathway to determine suitable drug therapeutics for prevention and treatment. Using a Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA), a set of 1000 gene identifiers from a Mayo Clinic database was analyzed to determine the most significant genetic variants related to insulin signaling pathways involved in Type II Diabetes. The following genes were identified: NRAS, KRAS, PIK3CA, PDE3B, TSC1, AKT3, SOS1, NEU1, PRKAA2, AMPK, and ACC. In an extensive literature review and cross-analysis with Kegg and Reactome pathway databases, novel SNPs located on these gene variants were identified and used to determine suitable drug therapeutics for treatment. Overall, understanding how genetic mutations affect target gene function related to Type II Diabetes disease pathology is crucial to the development of effective diagnosis and treatment. This project provides new insight into the molecular basis of the Type II Diabetes, serving to help untangle the regulatory complexity of the disease and aid in the advancement of diagnosis and treatment.

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Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Project BandAid: An Analysis of Preventive Health Knowledge Retention Among Elementary Students in Phoenix

Description

Within our current educational infrastructure, there’s a lack of substantial preventive care knowledge present among elementary schoolchildren. With education cuts occurring statewide, many schools are left impoverished and schools are incapable of implementing various programs to benefit their local communities.

Within our current educational infrastructure, there’s a lack of substantial preventive care knowledge present among elementary schoolchildren. With education cuts occurring statewide, many schools are left impoverished and schools are incapable of implementing various programs to benefit their local communities. This endeavor aims to visit public and charter elementary schools in the Phoenix Valley to educate youth regarding easily avoidable health risks by implementing healthy eating habits and exercise. Project BandAid will immerse students ages 7-9 in hands-on activities to enhance their knowledge on hygiene, healthy eating habits, and safety. This project incorporated funding from the Woodside Community Action Grant and Barrett, the Honors College as well as the help from Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) volunteers.

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Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Portable and Low-Cost Detection Platform for Hepatitis B Virus Infections

Description

Approximately 248 million people in the world are currently living with chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. HBV and HCV infections are the primary cause of liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinomas in the world with an estimated

Approximately 248 million people in the world are currently living with chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. HBV and HCV infections are the primary cause of liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinomas in the world with an estimated 1.4 million deaths annually. HBV in the Republic of Peru was used as a case study of an emerging and rapidly spreading disease in a developing nation. Wherein, clinical diagnosis of HBV infections in at-risk communities such the Amazon Region and the Andes Mountains are challenging due to a myriad of reasons. High prices of clinical diagnosis and limited access to treatment are alone the most significant deterrent for individuals living in at-risk communities to get the much need help. Additionally, limited testing facilities, lack of adequate testing policies or national guidelines, poor laboratory capacity, resource-limited settings, geographical isolation, and public mistrust are among the chief reasons for low HBV testing. Although, preventative vaccination programs deployed by the Peruvian health officials have reduced the number of infected individuals by year and region. To significantly reduce or eradicate HBV in hyperendemic areas and countries such as Peru, preventative clinical diagnosis and vaccination programs are an absolute necessity. Consequently, the need for a portable low-priced diagnostic platform for the detection of HBV and other diseases is substantial and urgent not only in Peru but worldwide. Some of these concerns were addressed by designing a low-cost, rapid detection platform. In that, an immunosignature technology (IMST) slide used to test for reactivity against the presence of antibodies in the serum-sample was used to test for picture resolution and clarity. IMST slides were scanned using a smartphone camera placed on top of the designed device housing a circuit of 32 LED lights at 647 nm, an optical magnifier at 15X, and a linear polarizing film sheet. Tow 9V batteries powered the scanning device LED circuit ensuring enough lighting. The resulting pictures from the first prototype showed that by lighting the device at 647 nm and using a smartphone camera, the camera could capture high-resolution images. These results conclusively indicate that with any modern smartphone camera, a small box lighted to 647 nm, and optical magnifier; a powerful and expensive laboratory scanning machine can be replaced by another that is inexpensive, portable and ready to use anywhere.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

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MicroRNA Function and Role in Splenocyte ST2 Expression via Cellular Transfection

Description

Stroke is a devastating disease that affects thousands of individuals each year. Stroke, specifically cerebral ischemia, and immune responses are important areas of study and focus. Previous studies on stroke in mouse models had shown the upregulation of a specific

Stroke is a devastating disease that affects thousands of individuals each year. Stroke, specifically cerebral ischemia, and immune responses are important areas of study and focus. Previous studies on stroke in mouse models had shown the upregulation of a specific micro-RNA: miR-1224. We hypothesized that miR-1224 was responsible for the regulation of the ST2 receptor protein’s expression. We performed cellular transfection on murine splenocytes with four different miRNAs—miR-1224-mimic, miR-1224-inhibitor, miR-451-mimic, and a control. We predicted that transfection with 1224m would decrease ST2 expression, while transfection with 1224i would increase ST2 expression. Two complete trials were run, and analysis of the results included RT-PCR of both miRNA samples and mRNA samples to confirm transfection and controlled transcription. Reverse transcription and qPCR of miRNA was done in order to confirm that transfection was in fact successful. Reverse transcription and qPCR of the mRNA was done in order to confirm that ST2 mRNA was not altered; this allowed us to attribute any changes in ST2 protein levels to miRNA interactions, as the mRNA levels were consistent. Western blotting was done in order to assess relative protein content. We found that transfection with 1224m slightly decreased ST2 expression and transfection with 1224i slightly increased ST2 expression, however, after assessing the p-values through statistical analyses, neither difference was significant. As such, our hypothesis was rejected as it is not evident that miR-1224 plays a significant role on ST2 gene expression. Future studies are needed in order to analyze alternate protein targets to fully assess the role of miR-1224.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

Enhanced T-Cell Immunity to Osteosarcoma Through Antibody Blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 Interactions

Description

Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer in children and adolescents. Although 70% of patients with localized disease are cured with chemotherapy and surgical resection, patients with metastatic osteosarcoma are typically refractory to treatment. Numerous lines of evidence suggest that

Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer in children and adolescents. Although 70% of patients with localized disease are cured with chemotherapy and surgical resection, patients with metastatic osteosarcoma are typically refractory to treatment. Numerous lines of evidence suggest that cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) limit the development of metastatic osteosarcoma. We have investigated the role of PD-1, an inhibitory TNFR family protein expressed on CTLs, in limiting the efficacy of immune-mediated control of metastatic osteosarcoma. We show that human metastatic, but not primary, osteosarcoma tumors express a ligand for PD-1 (PD-L1) and that tumor-infiltrating CTLs express PD-1, suggesting this pathway may limit CTLs control of metastatic osteosarcoma in patients. PD-L1 is also expressed on the K7M2 osteosarcoma tumor cell line that establishes metastases in mice, and PD-1 is expressed on tumor-infiltrating CTLs during disease progression. Blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 interactions dramatically improves the function of osteosarcoma-reactive CTLs in vitro and in vivo, and results in decreased tumor burden and increased survival in the K7M2 mouse model of metastatic osteosarcoma. Our results suggest that blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 interactions in patients with metastatic osteosarcoma should be pursued as a therapeutic strategy.

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Created

Date Created
2015-04-01

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Sequence-Specific Detection of Different Strains of LCMV in a Single Sample Using Tentacle Probes

Description

Background: Virus infections often result in quasispecies of viral strains that can have dramatic impacts on disease outcomes. However, sequencing of viruses to determine strain composition is time consuming and often cost-prohibitive. Rapid, cost-effective methods are needed for accurate measurement of

Background: Virus infections often result in quasispecies of viral strains that can have dramatic impacts on disease outcomes. However, sequencing of viruses to determine strain composition is time consuming and often cost-prohibitive. Rapid, cost-effective methods are needed for accurate measurement of virus diversity to understand virus evolution and can be useful for experimental systems.

Methods: We have developed a novel molecular method for sequence-specific detection of RNA virus genetic variants called Tentacle Probes. The probes are modified molecular beacons that have dramatically improved false positive rates and specificity in routine qPCR. To validate this approach, we have designed Tentacle Probes for two different strains of Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV) that differ by only 3 nucleotide substitutions, the parental Armstrong and the more virulent Clone-13 strain. One of these mutations is a missense mutation in the receptor protein GP1 that leads to the Armstrong strain to cause an acute infection and Clone-13 to cause a chronic infection instead. The probes were designed using thermodynamic calculations for hybridization between target or non-target sequences and the probe.

Results: Using this approach, we were able to distinguish these two strains of LCMV individually by a single nucleotide mutation. The assay showed high reproducibility among different concentrations of viral cDNA, as well as high specificity and sensitivity, especially for the Clone-13 Tentacle Probe. Furthermore, in virus mixing experiments we were able to detect less than 10% of Clone-13 cDNA diluted in Armstrong cDNA.

Conclusions: Thus, we have developed a fast, cost-effective approach for identifying Clone-13 strain in a mix of other LCMV strains.

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Created

Date Created
2017-10-13

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On the dynamics of dengue virus type 2 with residence times and vertical transmission

Description

A two-patch mathematical model of Dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2) that accounts for vectors’ vertical transmission and between patches human dispersal is introduced. Dispersal is modelled via a Lagrangian approach. A host-patch residence-times basic reproduction number is derived and conditions

A two-patch mathematical model of Dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2) that accounts for vectors’ vertical transmission and between patches human dispersal is introduced. Dispersal is modelled via a Lagrangian approach. A host-patch residence-times basic reproduction number is derived and conditions under which the disease dies out or persists are established. Analytical and numerical results highlight the role of hosts’ dispersal in mitigating or exacerbating disease dynamics. The framework is used to explore dengue dynamics using, as a starting point, the 2002 outbreak in the state of Colima, Mexico.

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Created

Date Created
2016-08-05

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Improved NYVAC-Based Vaccine Vectors

Description

While as yet there is no vaccine against HIV/AIDS, the results of the phase III Thai trial (RV144) have been encouraging and suggest that further improvements of the prime/boost vaccine combination of a poxvirus and protein are needed. With this

While as yet there is no vaccine against HIV/AIDS, the results of the phase III Thai trial (RV144) have been encouraging and suggest that further improvements of the prime/boost vaccine combination of a poxvirus and protein are needed. With this aim, in this investigation we have generated derivatives of the candidate vaccinia virus vaccine vector NYVAC with potentially improved functions. This has been achieved by the re-incorporation into the virus genome of two host range genes, K1L and C7L, in conjunction with the removal of the immunomodulatory viral molecule B19, an antagonist of type I interferon action. These novel virus vectors, referred to as NYVAC-C-KC and NYVAC-C-KC-ΔB19R, have acquired relevant biological characteristics, giving higher levels of antigen expression in infected cells, replication-competency in human keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts, activation of selective host cell signal transduction pathways, and limited virus spread in tissues. Importantly, these replication-competent viruses have been demonstrated to maintain a highly attenuated phenotype.

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Created

Date Created
2011-11-09

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Genetic Trends in the Vertical Transmission of the Clone-13 Variant of LCMV

Description

Among wild rodent populations, vertical transmission is believed to constitute the primary route of infection for Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV), a non-lytic arenavirus with both acute and chronic forms. When carrier mice infected at birth with the acute Armstrong strain

Among wild rodent populations, vertical transmission is believed to constitute the primary route of infection for Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV), a non-lytic arenavirus with both acute and chronic forms. When carrier mice infected at birth with the acute Armstrong strain reproduce, they generate congenital carrier offspring containing a quasispecies of LCMV that includes Armstrong as well as its chronic Clone-13 variant. This study examined the genetic trends in the vertical transmission of LCMV from mothers infected perinatally with Clone-13. Viral isolates obtained from the serum of congenital carrier offspring were partially sequenced to reveal residue 260 in the glycoprotein-encoding region of their S segment, the site of a major amino acid change differentiating the chronic and acute strains. It was found that the phenylalanine-to-leucine mutation associated with Clone-13 was present in 100% of the isolates, strongly indicating that the offspring of Clone-13 carriers contain exclusively the chronic variant. This research has broad implications for the epidemiology of the virus, and, given the predominance of Armstrong in the wild, suggests that there must be a biological cost associated with Clone-13 infection in non-carriers.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-05

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Linking Immunologic and Epidemiologic Models of Virus Transmission and Susceptibility

Description

Memory CD8+ T-cells can persist in the absence of antigen, primed for immediate activation and proliferation if later exposed to the same antigen. These cytotoxic lymphocytes provide long-term immunity following an acute infection. Studies have observed that intermediate levels of

Memory CD8+ T-cells can persist in the absence of antigen, primed for immediate activation and proliferation if later exposed to the same antigen. These cytotoxic lymphocytes provide long-term immunity following an acute infection. Studies have observed that intermediate levels of general T cell transfer prior to infection may cause an inappropriate response resulting in increased pathology rather than prevention. Therefore, our study focused on a memory CD8 T-cell therapy using lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) specific splenocytes, which activate and proliferate at an accelerated pace compared to that of naive T-cells. LCMV is a natural murine pathogen which also poses a zoonotic infection threat to humans, and the effect of immune cell vaccination therapies for LCMV is not fully understood. We observed the effect of multiple memory CD8 T cell dosage levels on overall disease and memory CD8 T-cell response to the virus. Infection by exposure to a carrier was shown to have a reduced impact on mice receiving higher doses of memory T cells prior to infection compared to mice receiving less or no memory cells. Higher presence of activated memory cells were shown to correlate with less disease-related weight loss and accelerated recovery times. Survival rate after exposure to carriers was not shown to be affected by dosage level, warranting further research regarding the prevalence of the immunopathology observed in other studies in natural murine transmission models.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-05