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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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Optical Response of a TiN Kinetic Inductance Detector (KID)

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This research compares shifts in a SuperSpec titanium nitride (TiN) kinetic inductance detector's (KID's) resonant frequency with accepted models for other KIDs. SuperSpec, which is being developed at the University of Colorado Boulder, is an on-chip spectrometer designed with a

This research compares shifts in a SuperSpec titanium nitride (TiN) kinetic inductance detector's (KID's) resonant frequency with accepted models for other KIDs. SuperSpec, which is being developed at the University of Colorado Boulder, is an on-chip spectrometer designed with a multiplexed readout with multiple KIDs that is set up for a broadband transmission of these measurements. It is useful for detecting radiation in the mm and sub mm wavelengths which is significant since absorption and reemission of photons by dust causes radiation from distant objects to reach us in infrared and far-infrared bands. In preparation for testing, our team installed stages designed previously by Paul Abers and his group into our cryostat and designed and installed other parts necessary for the cryostat to be able to test devices on the 250 mK stage. This work included the design and construction of additional parts, a new setup for the wiring in the cryostat, the assembly, testing, and installation of several stainless steel coaxial cables for the measurements through the devices, and other cryogenic and low pressure considerations. The SuperSpec KID was successfully tested on this 250 mK stage thus confirming that the new setup is functional. Our results are in agreement with existing models which suggest that the breaking of cooper pairs in the detector's superconductor which occurs in response to temperature, optical load, and readout power will decrease the resonant frequencies. A negative linear relationship in our results appears, as expected, since the parameters are varied only slightly so that a linear approximation is appropriate. We compared the rate at which the resonant frequency responded to temperature and found it to be close to the expected value.

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2018-05

The Pathfinder Center Stories Project: Narratives from Student Experiences in College

Description

This paper considers what factors influence student interest, motivation, and continued engagement. Studies show anticipated extrinsic rewards for activity participation have been shown to reduce intrinsic value for that activity. This might suggest that grade point average (GPA) has a

This paper considers what factors influence student interest, motivation, and continued engagement. Studies show anticipated extrinsic rewards for activity participation have been shown to reduce intrinsic value for that activity. This might suggest that grade point average (GPA) has a similar effect on academic interests. Further, when incentives such as scholarships, internships, and careers are GPA-oriented, students must adopt performance goals in courses to guarantee success. However, performance goals have not been shown to correlated with continued interest in a topic. Current literature proposes that student involvement in extracurricular activities, focused study groups, and mentored research are crucial to student success. Further, students may express either a fixed or growth mindset, which influences their approach to challenges and opportunities for growth. The purpose of this study was to collect individual cases of students' experiences in college. The interview method was chosen to collect complex information that could not be gathered from standard surveys. To accomplish this, questions were developed based on content areas related to education and motivation theory. The content areas included activities and meaning, motivation, vision, and personal development. The developed interview method relied on broad questions that would be followed by specific "probing" questions. We hypothesize that this would result in participant-led discussions and unique narratives from the participant. Initial findings suggest that some of the questions were effective in eliciting detailed responses, though results were dependent on the interviewer. From the interviews we find that students value their group involvements, leadership opportunities, and relationships with mentors, which parallels results found in other studies.

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2018-05

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Golf Courses in Maricopa County: An Application of the Hedonic Pricing Method

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This study estimates the capitalization effect of golf courses in Maricopa County using the hedonic pricing method. It draws upon a dataset of 574,989 residential transactions from 2000 to 2006 to examine how the aesthetic, non-golf benefits of golf courses

This study estimates the capitalization effect of golf courses in Maricopa County using the hedonic pricing method. It draws upon a dataset of 574,989 residential transactions from 2000 to 2006 to examine how the aesthetic, non-golf benefits of golf courses capitalize across a gradient of proximity measures. The measures for amenity value extend beyond home adjacency and include considerations for homes within a range of discrete walkability buffers of golf courses. The models also distinguish between public and private golf courses as a proxy for the level of golf course access perceived by non-golfers. Unobserved spatial characteristics of the neighborhoods around golf courses are controlled for by increasing the extent of spatial fixed effects from city, to census tract, and finally to 2000 meter golf course ‘neighborhoods.’ The estimation results support two primary conclusions. First, golf course proximity is found to be highly valued for adjacent homes and homes up to 50 meters way from a course, still evident but minimal between 50 and 150 meters, and insignificant at all other distance ranges. Second, private golf courses do not command a higher proximity premia compared to public courses with the exception of homes within 25 to 50 meters of a course, indicating that the non-golf benefits of courses capitalize similarly, regardless of course type. The results of this study motivate further investigation into golf course features that signal access or add value to homes in the range of capitalization, particularly for near-adjacent homes between 50 and 150 meters thought previously not to capitalize.

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2018-05

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Fundamentals of Blockchain in the Supply Chain

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The objective of this paper is to provide an educational diagnostic into the technology of blockchain and its application for the supply chain. Education on the topic is important to prevent misinformation on the capabilities of blockchain. Blockchain as a

The objective of this paper is to provide an educational diagnostic into the technology of blockchain and its application for the supply chain. Education on the topic is important to prevent misinformation on the capabilities of blockchain. Blockchain as a new technology can be confusing to grasp given the wide possibilities it can provide. This can convolute the topic by being too broad when defined. Instead, the focus will be maintained on explaining the technical details about how and why this technology works in improving the supply chain. The scope of explanation will not be limited to the solutions, but will also detail current problems. Both public and private blockchain networks will be explained and solutions they provide in supply chains. In addition, other non-blockchain systems will be described that provide important pieces in supply chain operations that blockchain cannot provide. Blockchain when applied to the supply chain provides improved consumer transparency, management of resources, logistics, trade finance, and liquidity.

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2018-05

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Integrated Breast Biopsy Bioimpedance Sensor

Description

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