• Mechanisms of aseptic loosening in total knee arthroplasty

      Cyndari, Karen (2017)
      Introduction: Cemented Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) is the gold standard of care for end-stage, multi-etiologic arthritis. While the longevity of these devices may now reach or even surpass 15 years in service, a minority (~10%) will fail prematurely due to a process called aseptic loosening. Historically, this process has been attributed to an inflammatory reaction against wear debris from the TKA polyethylene (PE) insert. However, we have previously estimated supraphysiologic fluid shear stress (FSS) (exceeding 900 Pa) at the cement-bone interface of cemented joint replacements, and examined this as a possible alternative cause of increased osteoclast activity. Methods: We analyzed the cement-bone interlock of tibial and femoral components from en-bloc, postmortem-retrieved, non-revised TKAs to explore the process of loss of fixation, prior to any clinical loosening. For the tibial components, we used a novel protocol wherein whole undecalcified bone+PMMA cement segments from the proximal tibia were embedded in Spurr’s resin and thinly sectioned. Polarized light microscopy was used to identify and quantify co-located PE debris. Using a novel bioreactor developed by our lab called the Multi-Well Fluid Loading (MFL) System, we examined static, subphysiologic, physiologic, and supraphysiologic FSS on RAW 264.7 osteoclast activity and morphology, with and without PE particle treatment. Results: We found no association been the amount or presence of PE debris and the amount or location of loss of interlock in retrieved TKAs. FSS up to 17 Pa increased the ability of osteoclasts to resorb mineral, and FSS up to 4.4 Pa induced the formation of larger osteoclasts. FSS and fluid shear rate interacted together to increase the area of actin rings, while PE treatment increased the number of actin rings and TRAP production. FSS up to 4.4 Pa decreased expression of Ctsk and Il1a, but PE co-treatment abolished this effect. Conclusions: These results indicate there may be alternative factors leading to aseptic loosening apart from PE debris. We demonstrated that osteoclasts are mechanosensitive and able to adjust activity, morphology, and gene expression based on FSS. Further, PE interferes with osteoclast gene downregulation in response to FSS, indicating PE could be a potentiator of osteoclast activity or differentiation.
    • MECHANISMS OF WISKOTT ALDRICH SYNDROME PROTEIN WSP1 POSITIONING AND REGULATION AT SITES OF ENDOCYTOSIS IN S. POMBE

      Sirotkin, Vladimir; Macquarrie, Cameron Dale (2020-12-30)
      Branched actin networks nucleated by the Arp2/3 complex provide force needed to carry out endocytosis. The Arp2/3 complex is activated by Nucleation Promoting Factors (NPFs) including Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein WASp. The WASp Interacting Protein WIP binds WASp, protecting it from degradation. Humans with mutations disrupting this interaction develop a serious immune disorder, Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome. However, in the fission yeast S. pombe WASp homolog Wsp1 remains stable in the absence of WIP homolog Vrp1, providing an ideal environment to study additional WASp and WIP functions. In fission yeast, Wsp1, Vrp1, and the class-1 myosin Myo1 localize to sites of endocytosis, known as actin patches. Wsp1 and Myo1 play an important role in activating the Arp2/3 complex and initiating the actin network needed to internalize endocytic vesicles. S. pombe endocytosis is a rapid, reproducible event involving over 40 proteins. While several of these proteins are throught to regulate branched actin assembly, many still have poorly defined functions. Importantly, how WASp proteins are regulated at sites of endocytosis remains unclear. The following studies explore mechanisms of Wsp1 regulation using quantitative live cell imaging. In Chapter 2, we observed Wsp1, Vrp1, and Myo1 forming a transient complex near the membrane, positioning branched filaments in a way that optimizes force generation. In Chapter 3, we explored the role of WIP homolog Vrp1 in actin assembly and discovered the Vrp1-Wsp1 interaction is essential for Wsp1-mediated branched actin assembly. In Chapter 4, we examined how a separate module of endocytic coat proteins contributes to actin patch assembly and discovered the coat protein Sla1 inhibits Wsp1 NPF activity, after the endocytic vesicle begins to internalize. In Chapter 5, we examined how Wsp1 and Myo1 impact additional endocytic modules and discovered Wsp1 plays an important role in expediating endocytosis and Myo1 contributes to the localization of several proteins. Lastly, in Chapter 6, we observed that blocking the fastgrowing end of actin filaments does not impact actin assembly in patches. These studies provide key insight into how WASp family proteins are regulated in vivo.
    • Memory and Effector B cell Responses to Viral and Intracellular Bacterial Infection

      Gary M. Winslow; Newell, Krista (2021)
      Infection with an intracellular pathogen presents the host with the immunological challenge of intracellular access and of clearing infection without excessive damage to host tissues. This challenge was long thought to be addressed primarily by cell-mediated immunity, but is now known to include a significant humoral component. To better understand the B cell-mediated contribution to intracellular pathogen control, we investigated memory and effector B cell responses to the intracellular bacterial pathogen Ehrlichia muris, and SARS-CoV-2 infection. B cells expressing the transcription factor T-bet were identified in both mice and humans, and T-bet played an important role in directing antibody class switch recombination, but not in the generation of memory B cells during E. muris infection. T-bet expression was identified in cells resembling murine B-1 B cells, an innate-like subset of B cells important for early T cell-independent B cell responses. These results suggest that T-bet expression in B-1 B cells may contribute to their participation in the early B cell response to murine intracellular bacterial infection. Following human SARS-CoV-2 infection, we revealed that in addition to the canonical class-switched B cell memory response, the presence of a substantial pool of peripheral blood unswitched IgM+ memory B cells was correlated with reduced symptom duration and enhanced generation of antigen-specific antibody. These IgM+ memory B cells were stable, unlike the contracting plasmablast response. These studies underscore the importance of innate and unswitched B cell subsets to the functional plasticity of the humoral response and contribute to our understanding of correlates of innate protection and adaptive immunity.
    • Meta-Analysis of Alzheimer's Disease Risk with Obesity, Diabetes, and Related Disorders

      Profenno, Louis A.; Porsteinsson, Anton P.; Faraone, Stephen V. (Elsevier BV, 2010-03)
      Background: Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a multifactorial and heterogeneous disorder with major risk factors including advanced age, presence of an apolipoprotein E 4 (APOE4) allele, and family history of AD. Other risk factors may be obesity and diabetes and related disorders, which are highly prevalent. Methods: We reviewed longitudinal epidemiological studies of body mass, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and glucose and insulin levels on risk for AD. We conducted meta-analyses of the results from these studies. Results: For obesity assessed by body mass index, the pooled effect size for AD was 1.59 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02–2.5; z 2.0; p .042), and for diabetes, the pooled effect size for AD was 1.54 (95% CI 1.33–1.79; z 5.7; p .001). Egger’s test did not find significant evidence for publication bias in the meta-analysis for obesity (t 1.4, p .21) or for diabetes (t .86, p .42). Since these disorders are highly comorbid, we conducted a meta-analysis combining all studies of obesity, diabetes, and abnormal glucose or insulin levels, which yielded a highly significant pooled effect size for AD of 1.63 (95% CI 1.39 –1.92; z 5.9; p .001). Conclusions: Obesity and diabetes significantly and independently increase risk for AD. Though the level of risk is less than that with the APOE4 allele, the high prevalence of these disorders may result in substantial increases in future incidence of AD. Physiological changes common to obesity and diabetes plausibly promote AD.
    • Meta-Analysis of the Association Between the 7-Repeat Allele of the Dopamine D4Receptor Gene and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

      Faraone, Stephen V.; Doyle, Alysa E.; Mick, Eric; Biederman, Joseph (American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2001-07)
      Objective: Family, twin, and adoption studies show attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to have a substantial genetic component. Although several studies have shown an association between ADHD and the 7-repeat allele of the dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4), several studies have not. Thus, the status of the ADHD-DRD4 association is uncertain. Method: Meta-analysis was applied to case-control and family-based studies of the association between ADHD and DRD4 to assess the joint evidence for the association, the influence of individual studies, and evidence for publication bias. Results: For both the case-control and family-based studies, the authors found 1) support for the association between ADHD and DRD4, 2) no evidence that this association was accounted for by any one study, and 3) no evidence for publication bias. Conclusions: Although the association between ADHD and DRD4 is small, these results suggest that it is real. Further studies are needed to clarify what variant of DRD4 (or some nearby gene) accounts for this association.
    • Metabolic Control of Autoimmunity in the Liver

      Perl, Andras; Oaks, Zachary (2016)
      Autophagy,literally meaning “self-eating,” is an integral part of cellularturnover of damaged organelles and proteins.This process is inextricably linked to mitochondrial function and turnover. Mitochondria can be degraded viaautophagy, known as mitophagy, as well as donate lipid membraneto generate autophagosomes fordigestingother organelles and proteins. On a larger scale, autophagy is essential for organ homeostasis. In the liver, autophagy ensures the turnover of damaged mitochondria that may otherwise increase oxidative stress which modifies DNA, proteins, and lipids resulting in the production of autoantigens or neoplasia. We investigated the role of autophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction prior to disease onset in mouse models of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Patients and mice with SLE exhibit overexpression of transaldolase (TAL) and show predisposition to anti-phospholipid antibody production and associated liver diseases, including hepatocellular carcinoma. Wediscovered deficient mitophagy in the liver of lupus-prone mice prior to disease onset. Furthermore, these mice had increased mitochondrial respirationwith concomitant inner membrane hyperpolarization. These changes were coupled to overexpression of Rab4A, which depletes Drp1and thus inhibitsmitophagy.In addition,activation of complex I of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTORC1)was noted along with enhanced production of autoantibodies against mitochondrial phospholipids in lupus-prone mice. These changes were reversed by blockade of mTORC1 by rapamycin treatment in vivo. We then examined the role of TAL, a key enzyme of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) in mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. TAL-deficientmice showedincreased mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) activity and mTORC1 activation andreduced autophagy.Since inactivation of TAL caused oxidative stress via depletion of NADPH, we tested the hypothesis that aldose reductase(AR), a NADPH dependent enzymecan correct this metabolic defect without reversing the accumulation of TAL-specific substrates, sedoheptulose 7-phosphate and erythrose 4-phosphate. Moreover, deletion of AR reversed mTORC1 activation without affecting enhanced mitochondrial ETC activity or diminished autophagy. On a more global scale, predisposition to neoplasia and acetaminophen-induced liver failurewere reversed, while anti-phospholipid autoantibody production and liver fibrosis persisted in TAL/AR double-knockout mice indicatingthat the PPPmay act as a metabolic rheostat of organ-specific disease pathogenesis.
    • Metabolic Control of Autoimmunity Through Autophagy

      Choudhary, Gourav (2019)
      Metabolism plays a key role in immune cell activation and differentiation. Immune cell activation depending on their biosynthetic and bioenergetic needs leads to profound metabolic reprograming. Proinflammatory subsets of immune system cells such as effector T cells show dependency on glycolysis, whereas, regulatory T cells rely on oxidative phosphorylation. Under metabolic stress, immune cells utilize autophagy to overcome nutrient scarcity, an alternate method of recycling amino acids and other metabolic precursors. Limitation of nutrients such as amino acids activates mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) in the immune cells. mTOR acts as a metabolic mediator, associated with mitochondria and metabolic needs of the immune cells. Homeostasis between mTOR activation and autophagy decides the fate and functionality of specific immune cells. The activation of mTOR is widely acknowledged in the pathogenesis of SLE, whereas, autophagy has been linked with antigen processing, presentation, and immunoregulation. In this study, we focused on Rab4A, an endosomal GTPase and Transaldolase, a rate limiting enzyme of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). Rab4A is over expressed in SLE T cells and facilitates lysosomal degradation of CD4 and CD3. Transaldolase is also overexpressed in T cells from SLE patients and SLE prone mice. First, we examined the role of Rab4A in a pristane-induced mouse model of SLE. Since Rab4A protects from pristane-induced alveolar lung hemorrhage, we tested the hypothesis that Rab4A will also protect from pristane-induced lupus nephritis. We found that overexpression of a constitutively active form of Rab4A limits antinuclear antibody production. Further, we found that Rab4A protects from pristane-induced renal injury by restricting immune complex depositions in the kidney. In additions, we found that Rab4A abrogates kidney-infiltration by lymphocytes and protects from podocyte injury. Furthermore, Rab4A facilitates the lysosomal mediated activation of mTOR. Possibly, the Rab4A mediated activation of mTOR in regulatory T cells leads to suppression of pristane-induced pro-inflammation signaling. In the second part, we investigated if aldose reductase (AR) deficiency can protect from Transaldolase mediated pathogenesis of liver disease. We found a coordinated regulation between AR and TAL, leading to the disease progression.
    • Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint as an Educational Platform

      Crosby, Kenneth M.; Kahn, Russell; Thesis Adviser; Schneider, Steven; Second Thesis Adviser (2018-05)
      This study looks at social constructivist learning theory and andragogy as a means of evaluating Microsoft Office 365® and SharePoint® as a platform for delivering online classes in the basic use of SharePoint to an audience of adult learners (New York State employees). The already wide access within New York State agencies to Office 365 and SharePoint makes it a good candidate for examination. If successful, online learning utilizing Office 365 would help to eliminate the geographical and existing software barriers to delivering occupational training to the more than 130,000 employees. Social constructivist and andragogical learning theories were examined, and key elements identified to establish criteria to aid in evaluating Office 365, and potentially other platforms not specifically geared toward online education. Means of facilitating reflection, metacognition, sociocultural learning, prior and authentic experiences, and generative learning strategies were looked for in addition to support of Malcolm Knowles’ andragogical assumptions. Through prototyping and pilot testing of Office 365’s functionality and features, several affordances were able to be made in support of criteria gathered from the literature review. Areas of strength and weakness as a platform for the delivery of online learning were identified in this process. Its success would vary based on the type of learning. Technical courses and corporate training would be more successful than a soft-skill or creative subject. Out of the box SharePoint provides most of the needed functionality to deliver content but, lacks elements such as a grading system.
    • Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and Photosensitivity: Objective Pupillometric Findings

      Truong, James Q. (2016-06)
      Background Given the extensive neural network of the human, binocular, pupillary system including its sympathetic and parasympathetic innervation, it is plausible that a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) could compromise pupillary control, thus causing pupillary asymmetry and dysfunction. Furthermore, presence of such pupillary abnormalities could exacerbate mTBI-related visual symptomatology, such as photosensitivity. There have only been two studies in the area, and they both used monocular pupillometry with only one test condition; hence they were limited. Furthermore, their results were in part equivocal. There remain many unanswered questions (i.e., gaps) in this important field of study including: 1) does mTBI affect the pupillary light reflex (PLR)?, 2) is there an increase in inter-ocular pupillary asymmetry (IOPA) in mTBI?, and 3) are there PLR differences related to one of the most prominent and prevalent dysfunctions resulting from mTBI, namely photosensitivity? Aim The overall aim of the present dissertation was twofold. First, to evaluate comprehensively the effect of mTBI on the human pupillary system, and furthermore to determine if pupillometry could be used as an objective visual biomarker for mTBI. Second, to evaluate comprehensively the effect of photosensitivity on the human pupillary system, and furthermore to determine if pupillometry could be used as an objective biomarker for photosensitivity. Methods The binocular pupillary light reflex was evaluated in mTBI, and it was compared to normal individuals, with and without photosensitivity, under a range of test conditions. Nine pupillary parameters (maximum, minimum, and final pupillary diameter; latency; amplitude; and peak and average constriction and dilation velocities) and 6 stimulus conditions (dim pulse, dim step, bright pulse, bright step, bright red step, and bright blue step) were assessed in 32 adults with mTBI (21-60 years of age) and compared to 40 normals (22-56 years of age). The Neuroptics, infrared, DP-2000 binocular pupillometer was used (30Hz sampling rate; 0.05mm resolution) with binocular stimulation and recording. Results and Discussion 1. Inter-ocular pupillary asymmetry: There were no statistical differences in either static or dynamic inter-ocular pupillary asymmetry (IOPA) between the normal and mTBI groups. Thus, the pupillary effects of mTBI appear to be symmetrical rather than asymmetrical in nature, which suggests post-chiasmal involvement. The mean average (across groups) static IOPA was 0.26 + 0.20mm or 4.17 + 3.29%. The mean average dynamic IOPA was dependent on the light stimulus condition, with the average across all test conditions and groups being 0.11 + 0.10mm or 1.84 + 1.70%. 2. Pupillometry in mTBI: mTBI has been reported to cause the pupillary light reflex (PLR) to be globally attenuated (i.e., slower in onset and more sluggish in response dynamics). The present results showed that there were many statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in the PLR parameters between the mTBI and normal groups. Furthermore, different test conditions allowed for discrimination of different parameters between the two groups. For any of the given six test conditions, 5 to 8 of the 9 pupillary parameters were statistically different (p < 0.05) between the two groups. The overall trends revealed that the mTBI cohort had longer constriction latency, slower constriction and dilation velocities, and smaller pupillary diameters (baseline, minimum, and 6PSPD). The most consistent and robust pupillary parameters that differentiated between the two groups were the pupillary diameters (maximum, minimum, and 6SPSD; p < 0.01 under all 6 test conditions), and peak dilation velocity (p < 0.02, under all applicable conditions). This suggests that mTBI adversely affects both the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, however, the effect appears to be greater on the sympathetic system. 3. Pupillometry in photosensitivity: There were statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in the PLR parameters of those with versus without photosensitivity in both groups. Interestingly, these differences depended upon whether the photosensitivity was mTBI related. Those with mTBI and photosensitivity manifested six significant differences (p < 0.05) as compared with those with mTBI cohort without photosensitivity: larger baseline diameter, larger minimum diameter, faster peak dilation velocity, faster T50 and T75 recovery times, and a larger pupil diameter at 6 seconds post-stimulus. Normal (non-mTBI) subjects with photosensitivity exhibited four significant differences (p < 0.05) as compared with their normal cohort without photosensitivity: larger constriction amplitude, faster average constriction
    • MITOCHONDRIAL ELECTRON TRANSPORT CHAIN ACTIVITY IN SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS

      Perl, Andras; Doherty, Edward (2014)
      Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder, characterized by T cell and B cell dysfunction. SLE mitochondria have been shown to be dysfunctional with increased mass, mitochondrial potential, decreased ATP, elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) concentrations, and altered Ca2+ stores. Drug treatments that target the mitochondria have shown efficacy in treating SLE. Here we have investigated electron transport chain (ETC) activity in SLE, to better understand the causes of mitochondrial dysfunction in SLE. We have found that mitochondrial complexes I and IV of the ETC have elevated respiration in SLE compared to healthy controls after both overnight resting and anti-CD3/CD28 stimulation. We have also shown that SLE complex I is resistant to NO inhibition of respiration. SLE peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) have increased S-nitrosylation (SNO) while immunoprecipitated complex I had decreased SNO of proteins compared to healthy controls. The drug Nacetylcysteine (NAC) was able to inhibit complex I activity in SLE, and was found to reduce the amount of complex I protein NDUFS3 after 15 minutes as measured by western blotting. These results have led us to the conclusion that SLE mitochondrial complex I is in an active form which is resistant to SNO and is driving the production of ROS and RNS that are associated with SLE. The drug NAC is able to inhibit complex I respiration which may have therapeutic efficacy by reducing the ROS and RNS stress in SLE.
    • MITOCHONDRIAL PROTEINS AS TUMOR MARKERS AND ANTI-CANCER DRUG TARGETS

      Sheikh, Saeed; Babbar, Mansi (2017)
      Cancer is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Identification and characterization of novel biomarkers are expected to facilitate early diagnosis and improve prognosis of human malignancies. Increasing number of studies have linked tumor progression with metabolic reprogramming. However, the players involved are not fully discovered. Therefore, understanding the cancer cell plasticity may offer a successful approach for an anti-cancer strategy. In this regard, we report the functional characterization of Coiled-coil Helix Tumor and Metabolism 1 (CHTM1) and KM1 as important regulator of cancer cell metabolism.CHTM1 is localized in cytosol and mitochondrial inter-membrane spaceand regulates mitochondrial activity. Our results demonstrate that MIA40 appears to alterCHTM1 mitochondrial localizationand stability. Further, CHTM1 cysteineresiduesinvolved in CHTM1 folding modulatescellular distributionof CHTM1. Importantly, alterations in CHTM1 expression in cancer cells affect mitochondrial activity. Given thatmitochondria play an important role in cellular response to nutrient stress, we sought to analyze the role of CHTM1 in glucose/glutamine-deprived conditions. Wehave found thatCHTM1 deficiency enhancescancer cell sensitivityto glucose/glutamine starvation and metformin treatment. Additionally, increased sensitivity of CHTM1-deficient cells to metabolic stress could be in part due to inability to activate fatty acid oxidation. Further, targeting CHTM1 expression in cancer cells reduce fatty acid oxidation causing decrease in substrate availability under metabolic stress conditions. This can explain the increase in autophagy and protein catabolism in CHTM1-deficient cancer cells under metabolic stress conditions. Mechanistic studies suggest that CHTM1-mediated alterations in cancer cell metabolism under stress conditions involve modulation of PGC1 alpha-CREB-PKC signaling.We further demonstrate that under metabolic stress, CHTM1 deficiency activates p38-AIF1pathway leading to increased cell death. CHTM1 negatively regulates p38 and interacts with AIF1 alteringAIF1release frommitochondria under metabolic stress conditions.These findings are highly significant because alterations in cancer cell metabolism are linked to pathogenesis of cancer. Most importantly, multiple human malignancies associated with breast, colon and lung tissuesshow increase in CHTM1 expression. CHTM1 appears to be a high value tumor marker, that has the potential tofacilitate earlydiagnosis of human malignancies and could also serve as a target to develop novel therapeutics to manage human malignancies. In the second part of this manuscript, we report the characterization of a novel protein temporarily named as KM1. Our results indicate that KM1 is localized inthemitochondrial inner membrane and regulates mitochondrial activity. Metabolic stress-induced increased cell death is noted in KM1 knockout cancer cells, a finding consistent with the defective mitochondria in KM1-deficient cells. Our results further demonstrate that under metabolic stress KM1 regulates mitochondrial-mediated cell death. Most importantly, KM1 levels are upregulated in breast and lung cancer tissues.Collectively, our results suggest that CHTM1 and KM1 are novel proteins and are involved in regulating cancer cell metabolism.
    • A Mobile Application for a Growing Utica Comets Community

      MacIntosh, Jessica; Kahn, Russel; Adviser; Schneider, Steven; Reviewer (2016-05-01)
      This research project is a prototype of a mobile application that would be dedicated to the Utica Comet hockey community and its team through the use of special fan features to give the area a sense of belonging. The development of this application uses the human-centered design theory as well a hierarchy of needs, which were incorporated into the design of the app. The mobile app was created using a web design program within the Adobe Creative Suite. This research paper looks into the need to clarify the concepts of community, belonging and social identification within the sport of hockey. As the target users, their needs and wants are determined. It then details the concepts of creating an app, which are assessed and applied to the prototype.
    • Mobile Strategy Plan for Higher Education

      DeFranco, Tony (2011-08-01)
      The study investigates what is involved in the development of a mobile strategy for a college. In addressing this question, the thesis contains three parts. First, was a request for proposal (RFP); next, was a consultant’s proposal in response to the RFP; and the third part was an evaluative document explaining and reflecting on the writing process. There are four key issues in developing a mobile strategy. The first issue is to create a device-agnostic mobile framework capable of supporting multiple mobile platforms. Next is focusing on building mobile applications that take advantage of device-specific features on the vast majority of devices. The third issue is facilitating a consistent mobile identity with one outward presence comprised of links to essential college information systems. Finally, developers must conform to mobile Web standards such as W3C Mobile Web Best Practices
    • Mobile technologies aide cancer patients in rural areas with digital medicine to seek a second opinion

      Wurz, Stacy L (2015-12)
      This mobile application provides cancer patients in rural areas the ability to seek a second opinion from more experienced physicians based on the criteria they input. According to the N.Y. Times there are over 100,000 medical mobile applications, (Krisch, pg. 1) however none that are listed provide a second opinion. Through research and by observing the needs of cancer patients in rural areas, the need for mobile Internet technology is great as rural areas lack connectivity of high-speed PC-based Internet access to access proper medical needs. This application breaks the digital divide by introducing a mobile platform to seek more experienced physicians who can offer a second opinion. It has been designed on a platform of a hierarchy of needs which guides the user through menus situated in two areas of the application. The design features an aesthetic light blue warm hue, which is inviting to the user. Once the user registers for the application, they are free to engage with others through a forum and ultimately design and implement their own health-care plan.
    • Modern Virtual Environments and Museums

      Stam, Kathryn; Thesis Advisor; Lizardi, Ryan; Ewsuk, Christopher (2020-10)
      Today, many places and environments are replicated digitally for several different reasons. Some of these popular use-cases include video-games, virtual travel, remote learning, and virtual museums. In some cases, they are purely for entertainment, and in others they are purely for convenience or reaching a wider audience. Digital museums, virtual tours, and even modern video games replicate actual and historical places into “Virtual Worlds” in order to overcome barriers like distance, travel, cost, availability, and even existence. Through studying various literature, case studies, and deployed applications, this project will attempt to understand the history and development of virtual worlds and how we use them today. Using the popular example of Virtual Museums, this paper and the associated project attempt to explore and analyze the value and quality of learning and process involved in the deployment of a virtual world.
    • Molecular Analysisof Saccharomyc escerevisiae RNA Polymerase I Core Factor Complex and its Interaction with Promoter DNA

      Knutson, Bruce; Jackobel, Ashleigh J (2020)
      Gene transcription and protein synthesis are essential molecular processes required for all living organisms. In eukaryotes, messages encoded within DNA are transcribed by three DNA-dependent RNA polymerases (Pols I-III) into ribosomal RNA (rRNA), messenger RNA (mRNA), and transfer RNA (tRNA), respectively. General transcription factors (GTFs) help recruit Pols to their appropriate gene promoters as well as facilitate template opening and transcription start site (TSS) selection. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Pol I pre-initiation complex (PIC) is formed by numerous GTFs that include Upstream Activating Factor (UAF), Core Factor (CF), TATA-binding protein (TBP), and Rrn3. This unique set of GTFs engage ribosomal DNA (rDNA) through interactions with regulatory elements of the promoter known as the Upstream Activating Sequence (UAS) and the Core Element (CE). Here, we resolve the cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of CF bound to the rDNA promoter at 3.8Å near-atomic resolution and determine itsDNA binding preferences in which CF preferentially binds to the GC-minor groove. Briefly, our cryo-EM studies reveal that the CF-DNA interaction is mediated by two CF subunits, Rrn7 and Rrn11. We also found that the path of promoter DNA is relatively straight in the Pol I PIC, which is strikingly different from the bent promoters observed in structures of the Pols II/III PICs. We identified three states of CF engagement with promoter DNA (States 1-3) in which CF acts as a ratchet toforceDNA into the active site of the polymerase that facilitates the melting of the double-stranded DNA template in an ATP-independent manner, another unique feature of the Pol I system. Using in vitroDNA binding assays, we have identified a 12 base pair (bp) region within the CE that is necessary and sufficient for CF binding. We have also demonstrated that the human anticancer compound CX-5461 can inhibit yeast cell growth and blocks yeast CF binding to both yeast and human rDNA promoters in vitro. Furthermore, we show that the human Core Promoter Element (CPE) can functionally replace the yeast CE in a position-dependent manner. Together, these results reveal the unique molecular architecture of the Pol I PIC and suggest a conserved sequence-independent binding mechanism of CF with promoter DNA.
    • The monoamine oxidase B gene exhibits significant association to ADHD

      Li, Jun; Wang, Yufeng; Hu, Songnian; Zhou, Rulun; Yu, Xiaomin; Wang, Bing; Guan, Lili; Yang, Li; Zhang, Feng; Faraone, Stephen V. (Wiley, 2008)
      Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neuropsychiatric condition with strong genetic basis. Recent work in China indicated that ADHD may be linked to Xp1–2 in the Han Chinese population. The gene encoding monoamine oxidase B (MAOB), the main enzyme degrading dopamine in the human brain, is located in this region. The current study sequenced the exons and the 50 and 30 flanking regions of theMAOBgene and found four common variants including 2276C>T and 2327C>T in exon 15, rs1799836 in intron 13 and rs1040399 in 30-UTR. We assessed the association of these variants with ADHD in 548 trios collected from 468 males and 80 females probands. TDT analysis showed that alleles of each polymorphism were preferentially transmitted to probands (rs1799836, P¼3.28E-15; rs1040399, P¼1.87E-6; 2276T>C or 2327T>C, P¼2.20E-6) and haplotype-based TDT analyses also found distorted transmission. In conclusion, this study provides the strongest evidence for the involvement of MAOB gene in the etiology of ADHD to date, at least in Han Chinese population.
    • The Motivational Effects of Using a Computer-Based Tutorial vs. a Traditional Instruction Method for Learning How to Use an Elementary Level Mathematics Game

      Roth, Christopher (2012-05-01)
      The purpose of this project was to develop and evaluate a computer-based tutorial to educate students on how to use an elementary level mathematics game. The emphasis of the tool was based on the cognitive learning principle of motivation, as described in Malone's motivation theory. The research explored the motivational effects of using the tutorial versus a traditional learning method, advantages and disadvantages to teachers and students, and improvements that could enhance the learning process. This qualitative case study employed post-testing, interviews, and referenced literary resources to collect and analyze data. Tutorial users scored ten percent higher on the post-test than the instruction sheet users. Advantages of the tutorial included user control, visual references, and assistance for learning disabilities. Disadvantages included loss of human interaction and the preparation and development process. Character development (fantasy), increased audio/video combinations, and more challenging elements were cited as areas for increasing motivation.
    • MULTI-FUNCTIONAL EFFECTOR RESPONSES ELICITED FROM IgM MEMORY STEM CELLS

      Winslow, Gary; Kenderes, Kevin (2017)
      The response of memory B cells to challenge infection is fundamental to longterm protection against pathogens. Following challenge, memory B cells can rapidly differentiate into antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) to produce a secondary antibody response. Memory B cells have also been shown to re-enter into germinal centers and undergo additional rounds of affinity maturation. Both the isotype of the B cell and the signals that generated the B cell have been proposed to modulate how memory B cells respond. Initial studies proposed BCR-intrinsic factors are responsible for the differentiation of memory cells. IgM memory cells undergo differentiation in GCs following antigen challenge, while IgG memory cells rapidly differentiate into ASCs. Other studies found no link-between BCR isotype and differentiation. We investigated the differentiation of T-bet+ CD11c+ IgM memory B cells following challenge infection. IgM memory cells differentiated into IgM-producing plasmablasts. Other IgM memory B cells entered germinal centers, underwent class switching, and became switched memory cells. Yet other donor cells were maintained as IgM memory cells. The IgM memory cells also retained their multi-lineage potential following serial transfer. The kinetics of the IgM memory response mimicked the kinetics of the primary response. Thus, IgM memory cells can differentiate into all effector B cell lineages, and undergo self-renewal, properties that are characteristic of stem cells; however, differentiation occurs with the same kinetics of the primary response. We propose that memory B cells have varying degrees of stem cell likeness. IgM memory stem cells retain the most differentiating capacity but respond to challenge similarly to naïve cells, while IgG effector memory cells are primed to rapidly differentiate into IgG ASCs.