Matching Items (413)

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Cancer Type Specific FrAmeShifT (FAST) Vaccine

Description

In this study, we demonstrate the effectiveness of a cancer type specific FrAmeShifT (FAST) vaccine. A murine breast cancer (mBC) FAST vaccine and a murine pancreatic cancer (mPC) FAST vaccine

In this study, we demonstrate the effectiveness of a cancer type specific FrAmeShifT (FAST) vaccine. A murine breast cancer (mBC) FAST vaccine and a murine pancreatic cancer (mPC) FAST vaccine were tested in the 4T1 breast cancer syngeneic mouse model. The mBC FAST vaccine, both with and without check point inhibitors (CPI), significantly slowed tumor growth, reduced pulmonary metastasis and increased the cell-mediated immune response. In terms of tumor volumes, the mPC FAST vaccine was comparable to the untreated controls. However, a significant difference in tumor volume did emerge when the mPC vaccine was used with CPI. The collective data indicated that the immune checkpoint blockade therapy was only beneficial with suboptimal neoantigens. More importantly, the FAST vaccine, though requiring notably less resources, performed similarly to the personalized version of the frameshift breast cancer vaccine in the same mouse model. Furthermore, because the frameshift peptide (FSP) array provided a strong rationale for a focused vaccine, the FAST vaccine can theoretically be expanded and translated to any human cancer type. Overall, the FAST vaccine is a promising treatment that would provide the most benefit to patients while eliminating most of the challenges associated with current personal cancer vaccines.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

YouTube Video Bot Detection – A Deep Learning-Based Framework

Description

YouTube video bots have been constantly generating bot videos and posting them on the YouTube platform. While these bot-generated videos negatively influence the YouTube audience, they cost YouTube extra resources

YouTube video bots have been constantly generating bot videos and posting them on the YouTube platform. While these bot-generated videos negatively influence the YouTube audience, they cost YouTube extra resources to host. The goal for this project is to build a classifier that identifies bot-generated channels based on a deep learning-based framework. We designed the framework to take text, audio, and video features into account. For the purpose of this thesis project, we will be focusing on text classification work.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Latrine use, boiled water, and bed nets: associations between biomarkers of immune status and public health in a subsistence population

Description

This study examines associations between clean water, sanitation, mosquito net usage, and immune biomarkers among the Tsimane, a remote subsistence population of forager-horticulturalists with a high pathogen load. Interviews with

This study examines associations between clean water, sanitation, mosquito net usage, and immune biomarkers among the Tsimane, a remote subsistence population of forager-horticulturalists with a high pathogen load. Interviews with heads of household (n=710, aged 18-92, median age 40 years) were conducted to ascertain household water sources, ownership and usage of mosquito nets, and latrine use. In this sample, 21% of households used latrines, 20% always boiled their water, and 85% used mosquito nets. Regression models estimate their associations biomarkers of pathogen exposure, including white blood cell count (WBC), hemoglobin (Hb), eosinophils, and sedimentation rate (ESR). Controlling for age, sex, and distance from the closest market town, latrine use (Std. β = -0.11, p= 0.017) and boiling water (Std. β = -0.08, p= 0.059) are associated with lower WBCs. Latrine use is marginally associated with higher hemoglobin (Std. β = 0.09, p= 0.048), but not boiling water (p= 0.447). ESR trends toward lower levels for households that always boil water (Std. β= -0.09, p= 0.131), but is not associated with latrine use (p=0.803). Latrine use was significantly associated with lower eosinophil counts (Std. β= -0.14, p=0.013), but not boiling water (p=0.240). Mosquito nets are not associated with any of these biomarkers. Both boiling water and latrine use are associated with better health outcomes in this sample. These results suggest that scarce public health resources in rural subsistence populations without malarial risk may wish to prioritize boiling water and latrine use to improve health outcomes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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The Economic Effectiveness of Sanctions Imposed by the US and UN

Description

This study attempts to reconcile the gap in literature between the abundant research in the social consequences of sanctions but a consistent lack of information regarding its economic effectiveness. I

This study attempts to reconcile the gap in literature between the abundant research in the social consequences of sanctions but a consistent lack of information regarding its economic effectiveness. I apply a modified neoclassical growth model to analyze the extent that sanctions imposed by the US and UN impact real per capita GDP growth rate. Using the original data, I modify the model employed in the Neuenkirch and Neumeier (2015) study by replacing a fixed effect model with time trends. The results are more aligned with previous economic research on sanctions where sanctions imposed by the US have a moderate but significant 1.5 percent decline effect on GDP growth rate. On the other hand, sanctions imposed by the UN are similarly negative, imposing about a .9 percent decline in GDP growth, however are not statistically significant. While I cannot reject the conclusion by the original authors, I feel that this model provides a more fitting analysis of the impact sanctions impose on GDP growth.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Refining the structure of hPIRT, a modulator of TRP channels, via measurement of residual dipolar couplings in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Description

Transient receptor potential channels (TRP channels) are a family of ion channels that mediate a wide variety of sensations, including pain, temperature, and mechanosensation. Human phosphoinositide-interacting regulator of TRP (hPIRT)

Transient receptor potential channels (TRP channels) are a family of ion channels that mediate a wide variety of sensations, including pain, temperature, and mechanosensation. Human phosphoinositide-interacting regulator of TRP (hPIRT) is a 15.5 kDa, relatively uncharacterized membrane protein that has been shown to modulate the activity of certain TRP channels and some other ion channels. hPIRT is also able to interact with phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P¬2), a phospholipid that modulates the activity of many important signaling proteins, including TRP channels. Some information is already known about the structure of hPIRT: it contains a relatively unstructured N-terminus, two transmembrane helices, and a juxtamembrane region at the C-terminus that plays a role in binding PI(4,5)P2 and TRPV1. However, more detailed structural data about this molecule would be very informative in understanding how these interactions occur. In order to accomplish this, this thesis investigates the measurement of residual dipolar couplings (RDCs) in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) to refine the structure of hPIRT. RDCs are a measurable effect in NMR experiments caused by partial alignment of molecules solubilized in a weakly anisotropic medium. The resulting data set can be used to calculate bond angles within the protein relative to the axis of the external magnetic field, which will assist efforts to further constrain the structure of hPIRT.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Supplementing Traditional Symbolic Logic Instruction with Historical Background and Real-World Applications

Description

A thorough understanding of the key concepts of logic is critical for student success. Logic is often not explicitly taught as its own subject in modern curriculums, which results in

A thorough understanding of the key concepts of logic is critical for student success. Logic is often not explicitly taught as its own subject in modern curriculums, which results in misconceptions among students as to what comprises logical reasoning. In addition, current standardized testing schemes often promote teaching styles which emphasize students' abilities to memorize set problem-solving methods over their capacities to reason abstractly and creatively. These phenomena, in tandem with halting progress in United States education compared to other developed nations, suggest that implementing logic courses into public schools and universities can better prepare students for professional careers and beyond. In particular, logic is essential for mathematics students as they transition from calculation-based courses to theoretical, proof-based classes. Many students find this adjustment difficult, and existing university-level courses which emphasize the technical aspects of symbolic logic do not fully bridge the gap between these two different approaches to mathematics. As a step towards resolving this problem, this project proposes a logic course which integrates historical, technical, and interdisciplinary investigations to present logic as a robust and meaningful subject warranting independent study. This course is designed with mathematics students in mind, with particular stresses on different formulations of deductively valid proof schemes. Additionally, this class can either be taught before existing logic classes in an effort to gradually expose students to logic over an extended period of time, or it can replace current logic courses as a more holistic introduction to the subject. The first section of the course investigates historical developments in studies of argumentation and logic throughout different civilizations; specifically, the works of ancient China, ancient India, ancient Greece, medieval Europe, and modernity are investigated. Along the way, several important themes are highlighted within appropriate historical contexts; these are often presented in an ad hoc way in courses emphasizing technical features of symbolic logic. After the motivations for modern symbolic logic are established, the key technical features of symbolic logic are presented, including: logical connectives, truth tables, logical equivalence, derivations, predicates, and quantifiers. Potential obstacles in students' understandings of these ideas are anticipated, and resolution methods are proposed. Finally, examples of how ideas of symbolic logic are manifested in many modern disciplines are presented. In particular, key concepts in game theory, computer science, biology, grammar, and mathematics are reformulated in the context of symbolic logic. By combining the three perspectives of historical context, technical aspects, and practical applications of symbolic logic, this course will ideally make logic a more meaningful and accessible subject for students.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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The Demographics of Polling Places

Description

Elections in the United States are highly decentralized with vast powers given to the states to control laws surrounding voter registration, primary procedures, and polling places even in elections of

Elections in the United States are highly decentralized with vast powers given to the states to control laws surrounding voter registration, primary procedures, and polling places even in elections of federal officials. There are many individual factors that predict a person's likelihood of voting including race, education, and age. Historically disenfranchised groups are still disproportionately affected by restrictive voter registration and ID laws which can suppress their turnout. Less understood is how election-day polling place accessibility affects turnout. Absentee and early voting increase accessibility for all voters, but 47 states still rely on election-day polling places. I study how the geographic allocation of polling places and the number of voters assigned to each (polling place load) in Maricopa County, Arizona has affected turnout in primary and general elections between 2006 and 2016 while controlling for the demographics of voting precincts. This represents a significant data problem; voting precincts changed three times during the time studied and polling places themselves can change every election. To aid in analysis, I created a visualization that allows for the exploration of polling place load, precinct demographics, and polling place accessibility metrics in a map view of the county. I find through a spatial regression model that increasing the load on a polling place can decrease the election-day turnout and prohibitively large distances to the polling place have a similar effect. The effect is more pronounced during general elections and is present at varying levels during each of the 12 elections studied. Finally, I discuss how early voting options appear to have little positive effect on overall turnout and may in fact decrease it.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12

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An Introduction to Fractal Geometry and its Application in the Simulation of Nature

Description

Formerly coined mathematical "monsters," fractals are a compelling concept that dates back hundreds of years. The idea that a shape or set of information could be infinitely deconstructed into multiple

Formerly coined mathematical "monsters," fractals are a compelling concept that dates back hundreds of years. The idea that a shape or set of information could be infinitely deconstructed into multiple copies of itself is both confusing and brilliant. However, throughout its entire history, many scientists and mathematicians have repeatedly dismissed the applicability of self-similarity. The purpose of this study is to explore the path of development of fractal geometry and demonstrate its widely-ignored usefulness. While many students and professionals are unaware of this alternate system for describing natural processes and shapes, several disciplines can benefit from applying fractal geometry to their work.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Stability and Social Welfare in International Lending Networks

Description

This paper examines the behavior of international lending networks a currency crisis, specifically focusing on connectivity as a differentiating factor between financial networks. The model consists of economies that borrow

This paper examines the behavior of international lending networks a currency crisis, specifically focusing on connectivity as a differentiating factor between financial networks. The model consists of economies that borrow and lend capital in nominal units of the creditor's currency. A shock then leads to the depreciation of the currency of a single economy which causes exchange rate fluctuations throughout the financial network. This alters the nominal value of debts that economies are required to repay, potentially putting them at risk of default. The results show that the architecture of a financial network is an important factor in minimizing the number of defaults and maximizing total social welfare. An increase in connectivity among economies leads to both greater stability and greater total social welfare of a network, since diversification of liabilities decreases fluctuations in exchange rates.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Physicians-Assisted Suicide as a Legal Option in the United States

Description

The purpose of this thesis project is to analyze the legalization of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) as an option for the terminally ill in the United States from a rule-utilitarian perspective.

The purpose of this thesis project is to analyze the legalization of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) as an option for the terminally ill in the United States from a rule-utilitarian perspective. The moral theory of utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory that judges the moral permissibility of an action or rule based on the best possible outcomes. Rule-utilitarianism conforms an action to an articulated moral rule that leads to the greatest good whereas act-utilitarianism only considers the best possible consequences on a case-by-case basis. Since legalization of PAS is a policy that requires passage of laws, rule-utilitarianism is more appropriate compared to act-utilitarianism. Euthanasia is a controversial topic worldwide that dates as far back as the 5th century BC with the Greeks and Romans. Comparing the euthanasia then and now, the nations are slowly but surely reconsidering the policies regarding PAS. There are both benefits and harms that the paper addresses. The possible benefits include the prevention of elongation of suffering, both physically and psychologically, respect for the patient autonomy, the right to die with dignity, and the decriminalization of the innocents. The potential harms include undermining the integrity of the medical profession and the aim of medicine, violation of the Hippocratic Oath, targeting of the vulnerable population, unmotivating the efforts to develop and improve better palliative and hospice care, and the slippery slope argument, which implies that the legalization of PAS would eventually set the precedence to legalizing voluntary active euthanasia and nonvoluntary euthanasia. Overall, the moral calculus that the paper provides comes to the conclusion that the benefits outweigh the harms.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05