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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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2020-12

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Review of Autism Treatment Research

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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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2018-05

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

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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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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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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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2018-05

The Social Impact of a Guatemalan School for Mayan Women.

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The purpose of this project is to use powerful visual storytelling techniques to convey a social need and an effective solution. Guatemala is a third world country, where poverty is widespread and the birth rate is high. Among the most

The purpose of this project is to use powerful visual storytelling techniques to convey a social need and an effective solution. Guatemala is a third world country, where poverty is widespread and the birth rate is high. Among the most economically and educationally disadvantaged are the Mayan women. Arizona nun, Sister Marife Hellman, recognized the needs of this population and founded a school to serve them. Hellman's mission is to provide a quality education to those underserved, so they can become positive leaders in their native communities. The website and video materials produced for this thesis are meant to be used for fundraising purposes on behalf of the school. All funds raised will help Hellman's alumni launch schools in their native areas, giving access to education that has long been nonexistent. Watch the mini-documentary here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxTiuwQCH44&t=17s.

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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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2017-05

Social Parks

Description

Social media is shaping a new generation of hikers and adventurers, as more and more millennials are finding themselves out on the trails. Are they doing it all for the 'gram? Are they seeking adventure? Or is it a combination

Social media is shaping a new generation of hikers and adventurers, as more and more millennials are finding themselves out on the trails. Are they doing it all for the 'gram? Are they seeking adventure? Or is it a combination of the two? "Social Parks" follows three millennials through national parks like Zion, The Grand Canyon, and Rocky Mountain in search of an answer.

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2017-12

Fire Strong

Description

The primary goal of this paper is to walk the reader through Arizona State University student Alicia Gonzales’ documentary-making process from the early beginnings of her Barrett, the Honors College at ASU creative thesis project all the way through her

The primary goal of this paper is to walk the reader through Arizona State University student Alicia Gonzales’ documentary-making process from the early beginnings of her Barrett, the Honors College at ASU creative thesis project all the way through her distribution strategies. The documentary, Fire Strong, was made to inform viewers about the wear and tear of the firefighter career — emotionally, mentally and physically — on the individual and on his or her family. The documentary was made to help raise awareness about the duty these individuals have committed to their city, and what they must deal with after the multitude of incidents they respond to every 24-hour shift. Gonzales provides several sources to help describe the mental, physical and emotional trials that both Phoenix Fire Department members and their families endure. While some sources take the form of a traditional document, others come from a firefighter or family member directly. The pre-production, production and post-production processes are explored in depth. The hurdles Gonzales faced throughout the last year are explained and eventually her solves are revealed at the end of the paper. Additionally, the reader will gain more insight as to what a documentary is and what the overarching purpose of making documentaries is by comparing the works of Bernard (2011) and Hewitt and Vazquez (2014). Gonzales uses Bernard (2011) and Hewitt and Vazquez (2014) to demonstrate her argument that almost every documentarian is usually trying to either inform or entertain the viewers. Quite often, it seems that the he or she aims to do both.

Find the documentary here: https://youtu.be/jSJjdrnfee8

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2017-12

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A Tale of Two Deserts: Examining Food Deserts in Downtown Phoenixorce

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A Tale of Two Deserts: Examining Food Deserts in Downtown Phoenix is a 26 minute 46 second documentary by Kaly Nasiff. Link to documentary: https://youtu.be/4pRBIwHb2qM. The documentary starts by explaining what a food desert is, as defined by the

A Tale of Two Deserts: Examining Food Deserts in Downtown Phoenix is a 26 minute 46 second documentary by Kaly Nasiff. Link to documentary: https://youtu.be/4pRBIwHb2qM. The documentary starts by explaining what a food desert is, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture, and how the problem is compacted in downtown Phoenix. The USDA defines food deserts as, "parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers' markets and healthy food providers." There are over 40 food deserts in the city of Phoenix and two of them are in the heart of downtown. The documentary goes on to explain how food deserts can negatively affect the health of residents, who are most likely getting food from convenience stores in order to supplement the lack of grocery stores. The project also addresses how the city of Phoenix currently works to help residents and what its plans are for the future. There are several community initiatives that are fighting food deserts. Discovery Triangle's Fresh Express Bus makes weekly stops in the community to sell fresh produce at a discounted rate out of a refurbished city bus. The open air market at Phoenix Public Market is a farmers market that was established in 2005 to connect consumers with farmers, ranchers and food producers. Members of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church set up a mobile food pantry every fourth Saturday of the month for people to come and take an assortment of food, free of charge. Lastly, Roosevelt Growhouse is an urban farm that shows volunteers how to grow their own vegetables, along with supplying nonprofits and local restaurants with fresh produce. Downtown Phoenix won't be a food desert for much longer. RED Development is planning a multi-use project called Block 23, which will include a Fry's Food Store. The project doesn't open until 2019, so residents of downtown will have to continue utilizing the resources they have to keep themselves fed.

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2017-05