Matching Items (53)

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Prenatal Supplementation Research

Description

When viewing vitamins and minerals, it is seen that they are essential for human life and vital for pregnancy. When paired with a healthy diet, prenatal supplements can allow for a healthy pregnancy and reduced maternal and infant health problems.

When viewing vitamins and minerals, it is seen that they are essential for human life and vital for pregnancy. When paired with a healthy diet, prenatal supplements can allow for a healthy pregnancy and reduced maternal and infant health problems. Within this thesis, I was able to break down each vitamin and mineral necessary for a healthy pregnancy and birth. Further, I had the opportunity to dive into the addition of Omega-3 Fatty Acid during pregnancy to add more evidence to the study.

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Date Created
2020-12

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Review of Autism Treatment Research

Description

As the prevalence and awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) increases, so does the variety of treatment options for primary symptoms (social interaction, communication, behavior) and secondary symptoms (anxiety, hyperactivity, GI problems, and insomnia). Various treatments, from Adderall to Citalopram

As the prevalence and awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) increases, so does the variety of treatment options for primary symptoms (social interaction, communication, behavior) and secondary symptoms (anxiety, hyperactivity, GI problems, and insomnia). Various treatments, from Adderall to Citalopram to Flax Seed Oil promise relief for these symptoms. However, very little research has actually been done on some of these treatments. Additionally, the research that has been done fails to compare these treatments against one another in terms of symptom relief. The Autism Treatment Effectiveness Survey, written by Dr. James Adams, director of the Autism/Asperger's Research Program at ASU, and graduate student/program coordinator Devon Coleman, aims to fill this gap. The survey numerically rates medications based on benefit and adverse effects, in addition to naming specific symptoms that are impacted by the treatments. However, the survey itself was retrospective in nature and requires further evidence to support its claims. Therefore, the purpose of this research paper is to evaluate evidence related to the results of the survey. After the performing an extensive literature review of over 70 different treatments, it appears that the findings of the Autism Treatment Effectiveness Survey are generally well supported. There were a few minor discrepancies regarding the primary benefitted symptom, but there was not enough of a conflict to discount the information from the survey. As research is still ongoing, conclusions cannot yet be drawn for Nutritional Supplements, although the current data looks promising.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Analysis of Yeast and Fungi in Children with ASD vs. Neurotypical Controls

Description

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is home to a complex and diverse microbial ecosystem that contributes to health or disease in many aspects. While bacterial species are the majority in the GI tract, their cohabitants, fungal species, should not be forgotten.

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is home to a complex and diverse microbial ecosystem that contributes to health or disease in many aspects. While bacterial species are the majority in the GI tract, their cohabitants, fungal species, should not be forgotten. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often suffer from GI disorders and associated symptoms, implying a role the bacterial and fungal gut microbiota play in maintaining human health. The irregularities in GI symptoms can negatively affect the overall quality of life or even worsen behavioral symptoms the children present. Even with the increase in the availability of next-generation sequencing technologies, the composition and diversities of fungal microbiotas are understudied, especially in the context of ASD. We therefore aimed to investigate the gut mycobiota of 36 neurotypical children and 38 children with ASD. We obtained stool samples from all participants, as well as autism severity and GI symptom scores to help us understand the effect the mycobiome has on these symptoms. By targeting the fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and bacterial 16S rRNA V4 regions, we obtained fungal and bacterial amplicon sequences, from which we investigated the diversities, composition, and potential link between two different ecological clades. From fungal amplicon sequencing results, we observed a significant decrease in the observed fungal OTUs in children with ASD, implying a lack of potentially beneficial fungi in ASD subjects. We performed Bray-Curtis principal coordinates analysis and observed significant differences in fungal microbiota composition between the two groups. Taxonomic analysis showed higher relative abundances of Candida , Pichia, Penicillium , and Exophiala in ASD subjects, yet due to a large dispersion of data, the differences were not statistically significant. Interestingly, we observed a bimodal distribution of Candida abundances within children with ASD. Candida's relative abundance was not significantly correlated with GI scores, but children with high Candida relative abundances presented significantly higher Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) scores, suggesting a role of Candida on ASD behavioral symptoms. Regarding the bacterial gut microbiota, we found marginally lower observed OTUs and significantly lower relative abundance of Prevotella in the ASD group, which was consistent with previous studies. Taken together, we demonstrated that autism is closely linked with a distinct gut mycobiota, characterized by a loss of fungal and bacterial diversity and an altered fungal and bacterial composition.

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Date Created
2018-05

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2D or Not To Be: The Story and Science of Graphene

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The story of graphene truly began in what was simply a stub in the journal Physical Review not two years after the end of World War II. In 1947, McGill University physicist P.R. Wallace authored “The Band Theory of Graphite”

The story of graphene truly began in what was simply a stub in the journal Physical Review not two years after the end of World War II. In 1947, McGill University physicist P.R. Wallace authored “The Band Theory of Graphite” and attempted to develop a foundation on which the structure-property relationship of graphite could be explored; he calculates the number of free electrons and conductivity of what he describes as “a single hexagonal layer” and “suppos[es] that conduction takes place only in layers” in bulk graphite to predict wave functions, energies at specific atomic sites in the hexagonal lattice, and energy contours using a tight binding approximation for a hypothesized version of what we now call ‘armchair-style’ graphene. While Wallace was the first to explore the band structure and Brillouin Zones of single-layer graphite, the concept of two-dimensional materials was not new. In fact, for years, it was dismissed as a thermodynamic impossibility.

Everything seemed poised against any proposed physical and experimental stability of a structure like graphene. “Thermodynamically impossible”– a not uncommon shutdown to proposed novel physical or chemical concepts– was once used to describe the entire field of proposed two-dimensional crystals functioning separately from a three-dimensional base or crystalline structure. Rudolf Peierls and Lev Davoidovich Landau, both very accomplished physicists respectively known for the Manhattan Project and for developing a mathematical theory of helium superfluidity, rejected the possibility of isolated monolayer to few-layered crystal lattices. Their reasoning was that diverging thermodynamic-based crystal lattice fluctuations would render the material unstable regardless of controlled temperature. This logic is flawed, but not necessarily inaccurate– diamond, for instance, is thermodynamically metastable at room temperature and pressure in that there exists a slow (i.e. slow on the scale of millions of years) but continuous transformation to graphite. However, this logic was used to support an explanation of thermodynamic impossibility that was provided for graphene’s lack of isolation as late as 1979 by Cornell solid-state physicist Nathaniel David Mermin. These physicists’ claims had clear and consistent grounding in experimental data: as thin films become thinner, there exists a trend of a decreasing melting temperature and increasing instability that renders the films into islands at somewhere around ten to twenty atomic layers. This is driven by the thermodynamically-favorable minimization of surface energy.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Design and Testing of Cold-Extruded High-Density Polyethylene for Student Oboe Reeds and A Qualitative Comparison of Synthetic and Cane Oboe Reeds

Description

This is a two-part thesis, completed in conjunction with my Materials Science and Engineering Capstone Project. The first part involves the design and testing of cold-extruded high-density polyethylene for student oboe reeds. The goal of this section was to create

This is a two-part thesis, completed in conjunction with my Materials Science and Engineering Capstone Project. The first part involves the design and testing of cold-extruded high-density polyethylene for student oboe reeds. The goal of this section was to create a longer-lasting reed that produces a similar sound to a cane reed, has less variation in quality, and costs less per year than cane reeds. For low-income students in particular, the cost of purchasing cane oboe reeds ($500-$2,000 per year) is simply not feasible. This project was designed to allow oboe to be a more affordable option for all students. Money should not be a factor that limits whether or a not a child is able to explore their interests. The process used to create the synthetic reed prototype involves cold-extrusion of high-density polyethylene in order to induce orientation in the polymer to replicate the uniaxial orientation of fibrous cane. After successful cold-extrusion of a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) cylinder, the sample was made into a reed by following standard reedmaking procedures. Then, the HDPE reed and a cane reed were quantitatively tested for various qualities, including flexural modulus, hardness, and free vibration frequency. The results from the design project are promising and show a successful proof of concept. The first prototype of an oriented HDPE reed demonstrates characteristics of a cane reed. The areas that need the most improvement are the flexural modulus and the stability of the higher overtones, but these areas can be improved with further development of the cold-extrusion process. The second part of this thesis is a survey and analysis focusing on the qualitative comparison of synthetic and cane oboe reeds. The study can be used in the future to refine the design of synthetic reeds, more specifically the cold-extruded high-density polyethylene student oboe reed I designed, to best replicate a cane reed. Rather than approaching this study from a purely engineering mindset, I brought in my own experience as an oboist. Therefore, the opinions of oboists who have a wide range of experience are considered in the survey. A panel of five oboists participated in the survey. They provided their opinion on various aspects of the five reeds, including vibrancy, response, stability, resistance, tone, and overall quality. Each of these metrics are rated on a scale from one to five, from unacceptable to performance quality. According to the survey, a participant's personal, hand-made cane reed is overall the most preferred option. My prototype HDPE student reed must be improved in many areas in order to rank near the other four reeds. However, its vibrancy and resistance already rival that of a Jones student reed. As this is just the first prototype, that is a significant accomplishment. With further refinement of the cold-extrusion and reedmaking method, the other areas of the HDPE reed may be improved, and the reed may eventually compete with the existing synthetic and cane reeds on the market.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Optimized Prenatal Supplement for Preventing Autism

Description

Vitamins and minerals are, by definition, essential substances that are necessary for good health, and needed by every cell and organ to function appropriately. A deficiency of any one vitamin or mineral can be very serious. Although a very healthy

Vitamins and minerals are, by definition, essential substances that are necessary for good health, and needed by every cell and organ to function appropriately. A deficiency of any one vitamin or mineral can be very serious. Although a very healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and protein can provide sufficient amounts of most vitamins and minerals, many people do not consume an adequate diet. During pregnancy, there is an increased need for vitamins and minerals to promote a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Prenatal supplements are intended to supplement a normal diet to ensure that adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals are consumed. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established Recommended Dietary Allowances for total vitamin/mineral intake from food and supplements, but they have not established recommendations for prenatal supplements. Therefore, there is a very wide variation in the content and quality of prenatal supplements. Many prenatal supplements contain only minimal levels of some vitamins and few or no minerals, in order to minimize cost and the number of pills. This results in insufficient vitamin/mineral supplementation for many women, and hence does not fully protect them or their children from pregnancy complications and health problems. Therefore, we have created our own set of recommendations for prenatal supplements. Our recommendations are based primarily on four sources: 1) FDA's Recommended Daily Allowances for pregnant women, which are estimated to meet the needs of 97.5% of healthy pregnant women. 2) FDA's Tolerable Upper Limit, which is the maximum amount of vitamins/minerals that can be safely consumed without any risk of health problems. 3) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which evaluates the average intake of vitamins and minerals by women ages 20-40 years in the US 4) Research studies on vitamin/mineral deficiencies or vitamin/mineral supplementation during pregnancy, and the effect on pregnancy, birth, and child health problems. In summary, the RDA establishes minimum recommended levels of vitamin/mineral intake from all sources, and the NHANES establishes the average intake from foods. The difference is what needs to be consumed in a supplement, on average. However, since people vary greatly in the quality of their diet, and since most vitamins and minerals have a high Tolerable Upper Limit, we generally recommend more than the difference between the RDA and the average NHANES. Vitamins generally have a larger Tolerable Upper Limit than do minerals. So, we recommend that prenatal vitamin/mineral supplements contain 100% of the RDA for most vitamins, and about 50% of the RDA for most minerals. However, based on additional research studies described below, in some cases we vary our recommendations from those averages.

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Date Created
2017-05

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Environmental Impact of Graphene's Adoption into Everyday Life

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Graphene has the ability to advance many common fields, including: membranes, composites and coatings, energy, and electronics. For membranes, graphene will be used as a filter for desalination plants which will reduce the cost of desalination and greatly increase water

Graphene has the ability to advance many common fields, including: membranes, composites and coatings, energy, and electronics. For membranes, graphene will be used as a filter for desalination plants which will reduce the cost of desalination and greatly increase water security in developing countries. For composites and coatings, graphene's strength, flexibility, and lightweight will be instrumental in producing the next generation of athletic wear and sports equipment. Graphene's use in energy comes from its theorized ability to charge a phone battery in seconds or an electric car in minutes. Finally, for electronics, graphene will be used to create faster transistors, flexible electronics, and fully integrated wearable technology.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Optimization of a Modified TiO2 Photocatalyst to Improve Converstion of CO2 into Methane with a Short Essay on the Economic and Environmental Impact of NextPotential's X-Doped Photocatalyst

Description

The financial feasibility of NextPotential's X-doped photocatalyst is uncertain, the outcome depends on how much the material cost becomes reduced due to mass production techniques. If carbon taxes continue on the current trend the photocatalyst is highly likely to become

The financial feasibility of NextPotential's X-doped photocatalyst is uncertain, the outcome depends on how much the material cost becomes reduced due to mass production techniques. If carbon taxes continue on the current trend the photocatalyst is highly likely to become financially feasible. Without carbon taxes, it is still likely the photocatalyst will achieve economical feasibility. The land area required by the photocatalyst is a feasible size. The minimal environmental downsides are that more land will be used and water will be used, but both of these are minimal compared to the benefit of eliminating carbon emissions.

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Date Created
2015-05

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An Effective Characterization Methodology for Sub-micron Copper Oxides and Oxide-preventing Surface Finishes with a Short Essay on the Role of SEM in the Continuing Miniaturization of Integrated Circuits

Description

The transition to lead-free solder in the electronics industry has benefited the environment in many ways. However, with new materials systems comes new materials issues. During the processing of copper pads, a protective surface treatment is needed to prevent the

The transition to lead-free solder in the electronics industry has benefited the environment in many ways. However, with new materials systems comes new materials issues. During the processing of copper pads, a protective surface treatment is needed to prevent the copper from oxidizing. Characterizing the copper oxidation underneath the surface treatment is challenging but necessary for product reliability and failure analysis. Currently, FIB-SEM, which is time-consuming and expensive, is what is used to understand and analyze the surface treatment-copper oxide(s)-copper system. This project's goals were to determine a characterization methodology that cuts both characterization time and cost in half for characterizing copper oxidation beneath a surface treatment and to determine which protective surface treatment is the best as defined by multiple criterion such as cost, sustainability, and reliability. Two protective surface treatments, organic solderability preservative (OSP) and chromium zincate, were investigated, and multiple characterization techniques were researched. Six techniques were tested, and three were deemed promising. Through our studies, it was determined that the best surface treatment was organic solderability preservative (OSP) and the ideal characterization methodology would be using FIB-SEM to calibrate a QCM model, along with using SERA to confirm the QCM model results. The methodology we propose would result in a 91% reduction in characterization cost and a 92% reduction in characterization time. Future work includes further calibration of the QCM model using more FIB/SEM data points and eventually creating a model for oxide layer thickness as a function of exposure time and processing temperature using QCM as the primary data source. An additional short essay on the role of SEM on the continuing miniaturization of integrated circuits is included at the end. This paper explores the intertwined histories of the scanning electron microscope and the integrated circuit, highlighting how advances in SEM influence integrated circuit advances.

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Date Created
2015-05

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From Pedometers to Giving Sight to the Blind: Market Research for Wearable Electronics

Description

How can we change what it means to be a human? Products can be used that will allow for near-instantaneous communication with one’s friends and family wherever they are: and the newest devices do not have to be even carried

How can we change what it means to be a human? Products can be used that will allow for near-instantaneous communication with one’s friends and family wherever they are: and the newest devices do not have to be even carried around, as they can be worn instead. Wearable electronics are quickly becoming very popular, with 232.0 million wearable devices sold in 2015. This report provides an overview of current and developing wearable devices, investigates the characteristics of the average buyer for these different types of devices. Finally, marketing strategies are suggested. This work was completed in conjunction with a capstone project with Intel, where three objectives were achieved: First, a universal strain tester that could strain samples cyclically in a manner similar to the body was designed. This equipment was especially designed to be flexible in the testing conditions it could be exposed to, so samples could be tested at elevated temperatures or even underwater. Next, dogbone shaped samples for the testing of Young’s Modulus and elongation to failure were produced, and the cut quality of laser, water-jet, and die-cutting was compared in order to select the most defect-free method for reliable testing. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is a fantastic candidate material for wearable electronics, however there is some discrepancies in the literature—such as from Eleni et. al—about the impact of ultraviolet radiation on the mechanical properties. By conducting accelerated aging tests simulating up to five years exposure to the sun, it was determined that ultraviolet-induced cross-linking of the polymer chains does occur, leading to severe embrittlement (strain to failure reduced from 3.27 to 0.06 in some cases, reduction to approximately 0.21 on average). As simulated tests of possible usage conditions required strains of at least 0.50-0.70, a variety of solutions were suggested to reduce this embrittlement. This project can lead to standardization of wearables electronics testing methods for more reliable predictions about the device behavior, whether that device is a simple pedometer or something that allows the visually impaired to “see”, such as Toyota’s Blaid.

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Date Created
2016-05