Spinal Cord Injury Patient Resources
Mentor: Dr. Hans Keirstead
Information through journals, books, articles, and Internet sources regarding spinal cord injury are spread throughout the world and are very disparate in form. As a research assistant at the Reeve-Irvine Research Center, I have observed that the Internet is used quite frequently among the scientists in connection to the laboratory work. Yet with the growing number of information posted, it is often very difficult and frustrating for all to filter such useful information from a large number of resources unorganized and diverseespecially for the patient. Our goal of this project is to research the comprehensive rehabilitation resources available to spinal cord injured patients in order to determine whether the needs of the spinal cord injured community in this regard are met. Using Internet and telephone communication, we are researching and prioritizing the rehabilitation needs of spinal cord injured patients and relating these to available and developing technologies. This work will serve as a guide to existing resources, and equally importantly, a direction for developing rehabilitation resources. We specifically tested the hypothesis that rehabilitation resources exist that fulfill the needs of the spinal cord injured community, but are available to less than half of that community. I am actively involved in analyzing the results generated by our research. To date, we have determined the needs of the community, and that adequate rehabilitation resources exist to serve those needs. We are currently investigating the frequency of each resource, in order to correlate that to the percentage population of spinal cord injured patients in each region of the country.
Polytropic Star Models
Mentor: Dr. Roger McWilliams
An introduction to the polytrope theory of stars, as well as the analytical solutions of polytropes of index one, three, and five provides the necessary background to begin the construction of more precise stellar models. With these, construction of stellar models using the exact solutions as well as the relations that one can infer from the theory as a whole are shown to be superior to those, which make use of the more conventional equations of state for stellar. Additionally, such "accurate" stellar models are presented and compared with data from known stars.
Tropical Eroded Soils: Do Nutrients or Fungi Aid Tree Restoration?
Mentor: Dr. Lynn Carpenter
My project assessed ways to maximize the growth of native tree seedlings in degraded tropical soils. Tree restoration can reduce erosion and regenerate soil. In the humid tropics, phosphorus (P) is a limited mineral nutrient, so fertilizing with P might increase tree growth. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have a symbiosis with plants that can improve the hosts P nutrition. I established an experiment in Costa Rica with six native tree species to test whether P fertilizer and/or AMF inoculation increase growth in degraded tropical soil. I predicted that seedlings inoculated with live AMF would do better than controls and that controls would respond to increasing levels of P fertilization. In contrast, growth of inoculated trees should be independent of P fertilization, because AMF help the seedlings extract soil P. I treated half of 1800 seedlings with live AMF inoculum and half with heat-killed inoculum as controls. Within these treatments, I applied five concentrations of P. I collected biomass, height growth, and survivorship data. In several species, the treatments affected growth. Below ground biomass showed the clearest results perhaps because AMF colonize the roots, thus increasing root size but not height at these early stages of growth. P fertilization had less positive effect than AMF inoculum in most species. P may have had little effect because it forms insoluble complexes in these soils, yet AMF can extract P from these complexes. My results show that AMF inoculation would be more effective in reforestation of degraded tropical land than fertilization.
Acetylcholine-Induced Desensitization of the Contractile Response to Histamine in Guinea Pig Ileum is Prevented by Either Pertussis Toxin-Treatment or by Selective Inactivation of Muscaranic M3 Receptors
Mentor: Dr. Fred Ehlert
We have studied the role of M2 and M3 muscarinic receptors in acetylcholine-mediated desensitization of the contractile response to histamine in the guinea pig ileum. Treatment of the isolated ileum with acetylcholine (30 µM) for 20 min caused a marked desensitization of the contractile response to histamine. When measured 5 min after washout of acetylcholine, the EC50 value of histamine increased approximately six-fold as compared to that estimated before acetylcholine-treatment, whereas the maximal response was unaffected. This desensitization was maximal at the earliest time measured after acetylcholine-treatment (5 min), and normal sensitivity recovered in approximately 20 min. Acetylcholine-induced desensitization was prevented by uncoupling of M2 receptors from Gi with pertussis toxin or by selective inactivation of M3 receptors with 4-DAMP mustard (N-2-chloroethyl-4-piperidinyl diphenylacetate), suggesting that activation of both M2 and M3 receptors is required for heterologous desensitization of histamine-mediated contractions in the guinea pig ileum. Pertussis toxin-treatment had little or no effect on histamine-induced contractions in control ileum. Measurement of histamine-stimulated inositol phosphate accumulation in the longitudinal smooth muscle of the ileum showed little or no inhibitory effect of prior exposure to acetylcholine, indicating that the majority of the heterologous desensitization occurs downstream from phospholipase-Cß activation.
Low Resistance Contact to GaN LEDs Using a Combination of Oxided Ni/Au and ITO
Mentor: Dr. Henry Lee
Due to the high resistance in the p-GaN layer, GaN based LEDs require a current spreading layer (CSL) in order to achieve uniform luminescence. The CSL must exhibit low sheet resistance, low contact resistance with p-GaN, and low optical transparency. A good CSL is difficult to obtain because of the high hole concentration in p-GaN. In recent reports, both oxidized Ni/Au (NiO/Au) and indium tin oxide (ITO) contacts offer new improvements on CSLs. The NiO/Au contact is formed by oxidizing a thin bilayer of Ni/Au under air or water vapor, which can reduce contact resistance with p-GaN. The NiO/Au layer must be thin to acquire a good optical transparency. However, a thin NiO/Au layer cannot accommodate high current density for high power applications. Conversely, ITO films have shown good current spreading and excellent optical transparency, but suffer from high contact resistance with p-GaN. A new method that we developed is to combine the NiO/Au and ITO layers. We first create an 8 nm thick NiO/Au on the p-GaN surface, then overcoat with a 200 nm ITO film. The results of using NiO/Au/ITO are comparable to LEDs fabricated with conventional Ni/Au and a dramatic improvement over the previous ITO data. Process optimization is expected to further lower the operating voltage. These results demonstrate the feasibility of using NiO/Au/ITO as a CSL for high performance GaN LEDs.
Experimental and Computational Studies on Reactions of Dicyanoazomethine Ylides and 2-Azaallyl Anions with Dipolarophiles
Mentor: Dr. Fillmore Freeman
Aminomalononitrile tosylate (AMNT) reacts with aliphatic, aromatic and heteroaromatic aldehydes to produce dicyanoazomethine ylides and 2-azaallyl anions, which undergo cycloaddition reactions with dipolarophiles to give 3-pyrrolines and tetrasubstituted pyrroles. Semiempirical, ab inito, and density functional calculations were used to examine the reactions of different dipolarophiles with diacyanoazomethine ylides and 2-azaallyl anions with various electron-withdrawing and electron-releasing substituents at the aromatic ring. Effects of aromatic substitution on the structure and the geometry of the activated complex at the transition state and of the product are studied. Computational results were compared with experimental yields of the corresponding reactions.
Duration of Gestation and Maternal Stress Peptides
Mentor: D. Aleksandra Chicz-Demet
Biomedical risk and prenatal stress factors have been shown to be associated with gestational age at the time of birth. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the neuroendocrine stress hormones such as adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), cortisol and corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) at three separate time points during the course of pregnancy. Maternal blood samples were collected from 61 pregnant adult women (term births N = 33; preterm birth <36 gestational weeks, N = 28) and assayed for ACTH (radioimmunoassay), cortisol (immunofluorescence), and CRH (radioimmunoassay). As expected, ACTH and cortisol levels increased throughout pregnancy, reaching peak levels during the third trimester (30-32 weeks) in both term (ACTH mean = 35.47± 17.51 pg/ml; cortisol mean = 25.76± 8.54 pg/ml) and preterm (ACTH mean = 42.67± 23.10 pg/ml; cortisol mean = 26.54± 11.22 pg/ml) births. Increases in CRH levels at 30-32 gestational weeks were significantly elevated in the preterm group (mean = 467.94± 722.55 pg/ml), but not in term delivery group (mean = 160.01± 129.61 pg/ml) (p < 0.05). In term deliveries, cortisol was tightly associated with CRH (r = 0.43, p < 0.05) and ACTH (r = 0.50, p < 0.05) at 30-32 weeks, and with ACTH at 24-26 weeks (r = 0.43, p < 0.05). However, there were no significant associations between CRH, ACTH and cortisol at the three time points in preterm deliveries. These findings suggest that neuroendocrine disruptions, associated with stress in non-pregnant conditions, may be related to poor birth outcome in pregnancy.
Wavelength Dependent Scattering of Light During Nd: YAG Laser Heating of Porcine Septal Cartilage
Mentor:Dr. Brian Wong
Heat alters the bulk physical properties of cartilage tissue, including the optical scattering and absorption coefficients. The purpose of this investigation was to measure wavelength dependent scattering of light using three different probe lasers (l =488 nm, 670 nm, 808 nm) during Nd:YAG laser (l = 1.32µm m, 50 Hz pulse repetition rate) heating of porcine septal cartilage. An integrating sphere was used to collect diffusely backscattered light from these probe lasers and three lock-in amplifiers were used to discriminate between the different signals. Peak signal intensity of the backscattered light was observed at different temperatures depending on the probe laser wavelength and specimen thickness. The observed changes are unlikely due to axial thermal gradients created during Nd:YAG laser heating and do not correlate with the fluence distribution of the three probe laser wavelengths evaluated. The observed wavelength dependent differences suggest that tissue matrix alterations during heating are due to macromolecular conformation changes that occur on the scale of the wavelength of the probe laser light. As changes in the bulk properties of cartilage can be inferred by using simple non-contact techniques such as light scattering, the characterization of the wavelength dependence of these phenomena will become increasingly important.
Molecular Characterization Transposon-Induced Defective Disc Mutations in Drosophila melanogaster
Mentor: Dr. Larry Marsh
Imaginal disc patterning and tissue growth control are exciting areas of current study in molecular genetics. Transposon-induced mutations rely on the mechanism of gene disruption: a transposable element introduces DNA to random locations within the genome. By utilizing these transposon-induced mutations, the characterization of new genes and their roles within animal development and tumor generation can be accomplished. My research has focused on the identification of a collection of 60 transposon-induced, larval lethal mutations in Drosophila melanogaster, which all affect imaginal disc development in some way. Their identification may bring about new sources for the study of disc patterning and potentially for the study of regulatory processes of tumor formation. Currently, my work focuses on the identification of the mutations by sequencing the DNA flanking the P element insert. Because of the recent sequencing of the fly genome, one can map P element insertions and determine the gene disrupted by simply sequencing a few bases flanking the insertion site. The insert location and gene mutated is determined by Inverse PCR and Cycle Sequencing of P element insertions using the method of BDGP (see http://www.fruitfly.org/methods/). The flanking ~100 bp is used to scan the fly genome and determine the location of the insert and the nature of the gene it has interrupted. Following the molecular identification of the defective disc collection currently underway, reversion tests will be performed in order to confirm that the lethality of the homozygous mutant flies is due to the presence of the P element under investigation. Further experiments will be performed to characterize the genes, such as in situ hybridizations, checking for somatic and germ line clones and determining phenotype through dissection.
Recall Differences Between the Perceived and Observed/Recall of Attendance at a Social Event
Mentor: Dr. Ece Batchelder
In the past many researchers have conducted experiments on the cognitive process of memory recall. In 1987, Freeman, Romney and Freeman studied how people process, store and recall social information in an academic setting. More specifically, they examined the phenomenon of false recalls. They suggested that the errors made in recall by people are not arbitrary but rather are indicative of how individuals cognitively process and organize social events in memory. This study is a replication of the experiment done by Freeman, Romney and Freeman, where they examined attendance patterns over a period of nine consecutive meetings of a colloquium series. Instead of an academic setting, the current study was done in a social setting. The study was conducted in a voluntary multi-cultural club at UCI where students meet on a weekly basis and discuss religious topics to increase their awareness of Hinduism. Attendance and seating patterns were recorded for ten consecutive meetings. After the observation period, each participant was asked to recall the attendees at each of two separate target sessions. The data were analyzed using the standard signal detection model and multidimensional scaling to uncover patterns of recall and strategies used in storing and recalling social information.
The Effect of Serotonin on Temperature Learning and Memory
Mentor: Dr. Ji Ying Sze
Thermotaxis assay is a method used to test the thermosensation behavior of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. When grown at a temperature from 15 ºC to 26 ºC and placed on a temperature gradient, C.elegans migrates to its growth temperature. When the growth temperature is changed for a period, C.elegans is able to sense the change at the environmental temperature, remember it and modify its behavior. Studies in Drosophila and mammals have indicated that the neurotransmitter serotonin plays an important role in learning and memory. We have been investigating the role of serotonin in the thermosensation behavior of C.elegans. In our experiments we test the thermomemory of wild type N2, serotonin-deficient mutant tph-1, and dopamine-deficient mutant cat-2. We grow the strains at 20 °C. The day before the experiment we pick 20 animals of each strain, 10 are shifted to 15 °C and 10 to 26 °C for overnight. The next day we perform the thermotaxis assay with each of the animals. We place individual animals on a temperature gradient. Based on the results of 11 independent assays, we conclude that tph-1 mutants do not remember the growth temperature and that cat-2 mutants have a normal thermosensory behavior. This result suggests that serotonin, but not dopamine, regulates thermosensation in C.elegans.
Development of an Improved Vector for Metabolic Engineering in Yeast
Mentor: Dr. Nancy DaSilva
Metabolic engineering is the directed improvement of product formation or cellular properties through the modification of specific biochemical reactions or the introduction of new ones with the use of recombinant DNA technology. For several years, yeast, particularly Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have been the subject of metabolic engineering research. The reason for its wide use is that the metabolic pathways, molecular biology, and genetics of S. cerevisiae have been widely studied. Foreign genes can be readily introduced into S. cerevisiae, and the use of this yeast in metabolic engineering has very high potential. For successful applications, however, cloned gene stabilization and maintenance of genes must be addressed. Structural instability or loss of the integrated gene can occur if there is a high level of expression. Previous work in the DaSilva laboratory focused on the development of a sequential integrating vector to introduce multiple copies of (the same or different) genes into the chromosome. Recently a new double-crossover (dc) vector has been constructed to further stabilize the integrated genes. When a gene is inserted using double crossover (gene conversion) method, there are no repetitive sequences present, making the integration nearly 100% stable. To be useful, this vector must be able to carry a variety of different metabolic pathway genes. Therefore, a multiple cloning site was inserted into the vector. With this region inserted, various genes can then be inserted into different copies of the vector. Genes inserted using a single crossover as well as the double crossover method will be compared, and the advantages and disadvantages of each method will be analyzed.
ASUCI Shuttle as a Viable Method for Alternative Transportation
Mentor: Dr. Sunny Jiang
The Associated Students of University of California-Irvine (ASUCI) Express Shuttle is a transit alternative, serving the communities of Newport Beach/Balboa Island (discontinued Fall 2000), Parkwest, East Campus [Arroyo Vista & Anteater Recreation Center (ARC)] and the perimeter of the UCI campus. The 5-shuttle bus fleet, in partnership with ASUCI and Parking & Transportation has been providing para-transit support to thousands of UCI students since 1989. ASUCI Shuttle discontinued the Newport Beach/Balboa Island service for Fall 2000. This study investigated, particularly, the Newport Beach/Balboa Island service, examining the statistical significance of ridership in relation to the population of UCI students living in the 92662-92663 zip codes. In order to examine the use of the ASUCI shuttle service, I performed a demographic study to measure the student residential population in the Newport Beach/Balboa Island peninsula and then correlated that data with the service use of ASUCI Shuttle. The sum of ridership data obtained from the academic years of 1989- 2000 was used to examine the overall quality of ASUCI shuttle service and the effectiveness of the Newport Beach-Balboa Beach service combination efforts implemented from Fall 1995 to Spring 2000. The findings of this study are expected to increase our understanding of what makes a shuttle system a viable form of alternative transportation.
Expression of Human Telomerase in Drosophila melanogaster
Mentor: Dr. Harald Biessmann
The maintenance of the ends of linear chromosomes is a fundamental process in eukaryotes, due to the normal terminal loss of DNA that occurs during DNA replication. Terminal loss is a result of the removal of the RNA primer from the lagging strand which results in a 3 overhang. Telomeres are highly compacted structures at chromosome ends which serve to protect vital DNA ends from degradation. Humans and other eukaryotes utilize the telomerase enzyme for telomere elongation. Telomerase adds newly synthesized TTAGGG nucleotide repeats on chromosome ends. In other eukaryotes different means of maintenance are employed. Drosophila uses pre-existing mobile DNA fragments which sense breaks in the genome and, consequently, transpose to the chromosome ends. DNA technology allows introduction of a vector containing the human telomerase components into Drosophila embryos. Our aim is to induce transgenic expression in Drosophila to divulge the functionality of the human telomerase complex. Telomerase activity in humans as well as telomere elongation by retrotransposons in Drosophila is prevalent in actively dividing cells. Throughout human development, however,telomerase activity declines. Differentiated human tissues of adults are negative for telomerase activity. Hence, telomerase activity is limited to stem cells, germ line cells and mitotically active cells. Much evidence shows that tumor cells reactivate telomerase to ensure unlimited proliferation. In this study, Drosophila is used as the model system because it does not normally contain the telomerase components. We will study any effects that altered telomeres will have in the Drosophila host on development and cell proliferation.
The Relationship Between Division of Labor Expectations and Marital Discord
Mentor: Dr. Wendy Goldberg
Prior research indicates that a discrepancy between expectations for household division of labor and actual household task behavior contributes to tumult and conflict in the marital relationship (Brines & Joyner, 1999; Kiger, Kiger & Riley, 1996). This research project, divided in two phases, examines the extent that violated division of labor (DOL) expectations contribute to marital discord. The sample for Phase One consists of 45 working mothers (18 divorced; 27 married) with a mean age of 33 years. In Phase Two, the participants were 10 married fathers with a mean age of 38 years, six of whom were married to women interviewed in Phase One. The participants in both phases had an average of two children and came from middle to upper-middle class backgrounds. Participants were asked questions about their DOL tasks and expectations, marital satisfaction, and demographics. Qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews from both phases point to frequent associations between violated DOL expectations and marital discord. Violated DOL expectations were more likely to be reported by divorced than by married women, with many citing these issues as a factor in their decision to divorce. Several men whose wives were interviewed perceived their own contributions to housework to be much greater than what was reported by their wives. Mens reported marital satisfaction was associated with the extent to which their wives seemed to appreciate their contributions to household tasks. The implications of these findings for marital relations are discussed. Future research plans include interviews with a sample of divorced fathers.
Measuring the Affect of Anti-Gang Programming in K-12 Schools in Orange County
Mentor: Dr. James Meeker
Gangs introduce violence in schools by provoking fights on campus based on gang related issues as well as providing easy access and aid to obtaining weapons. What is the affect of anti-gang programming in K-12 schools in a large metropolitan area? I propose that the presence of resources and programs in both high and low gang-activity areas play a direct role in decreasing the amount of gang incidences on and off campus. Data analysis is currently underway. Planned analysis will focus on contrasting six variables which include gang activity, presence of peace officers on campus, average class size, schools average test score and rank in comparison to other schools, and the percentage of the school population receiving free or reduced lunches. Follow-up interviews will be conducted to allow for personal observation and further understanding of the positive or negative affects of anti-gang programming as incorporated within the workings of the school. The findings of these relationships are expected to aid in determining the ability of K-12 schools to act as a medium for reducing the amount of gang activity and presence in a large metropolitan area.
Induction of Schwann Cell Apoptosis by CNI on Adult Sciatic Nerve
Mentor: Dr. Ranjan Gupta
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a growing problem which limits millions of individuals with pain and loss of function. There is limited basic science about the molecular pathogenesis of CTS. It has been documented that there is an alteration in Schwann cell number with a chronic nerve injury. Cellular death is a normal part of maintaining physiological homeostasis. As apoptosis has been implicated in many acquired neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinsons disease, Huntingtons chorea, and Alzeimers disease, we postulate that Schwann cell apoptosis may play a role in the pathogenesis of chronic nerve injury (CNI). Therefore, we evaluate an animal model for chronic nerve injury on adult male Sprague Dawley rats to describe the spatial and temporal patterns of Schwann cell apoptosis. TUNEL and Anti-PARP are used to detect apoptotic Schwann cells. The results show that CNI does lead to Schwann cell apoptosis at and distal to the site of compression, while proximal site and the control nerves show no positive signals. Apoptotic cells also increase with increasing durations of nerve compression. In addition, we also find different spatial patterns of apoptotic cells. Apoptotic cells are observed only within the epineurium at the site of compression, whereas apoptotic cells are randomly found in the distal nerve. These data imply that normal cell regulatory mechanisms within the peripheral nerve are significantly altered by chronic nerve compression.
The Effects of Trait Anxiety on Various Aspects of Cognitive Performance
Mentor: Dr. Barbara Dosher
Most people have experienced some amount of anxiety or stress during an exam or public performance, but few realize how this affects their performance. If a person is often or always anxious (termed trait anxiety), will their cognitive performance always be affected in comparison to individuals without trait anxiety? A variety of theories have developed concerning trait anxiety and its effects on cognitive performance. This experiment investigates the validity of the most prominent 3 theories on trait anxiety by examining the cognitive performance of participants on 6 different cognitive tasks. Participants' data will be divided into two groups of high and low anxious individuals based on their responses to the DASS (Depression Anxiety Stress Scale). The working memory tasks of digit span and running span will be used to validate the working memory capacity theory. The two problem solving tasks using inductive and deductive reasoning will be used to evaluate the cue utilization theory. Implicit and explicit memory tasks will be used to determine if the attentional theory is valid. Data analysis is currently being conducted and the results are expected to shed some light on which theory is more valid.
Overexpression of ZO-1 Constructs in Intestinal Cells
Mentor: Dr. Thomas Ma
Apicolaterally located tight junctions form a paracellular seal between the lateral membranes of the adjacent intestinal epithelial cells and act as a structural barrier against the paracellular penetration of hydrophilic molecules. The disruption of these intestinal epithelial tight junction complexes can result in a "leaky gut" leading to intestinal inflammation. ZO-1 appears to be an important cytoplasmic regulatory protein involved in tight junction opening and has binding sites to actin and tight junction proteins, such as occludin. The major purpose of this study was to determine the functional component of ZO-1 protein involved in the modulation of intestinal tight junction barrier by overexpressing selected ZO-1 DNA fragments (full-length, C-terminal and N-terminal). The specific ZO-1 constructs were inserted into the pBS+/- phagemid, and plasmid was isolated. Subsequently, CaCO-2 intestinal epithelial cells were transfected with the ZO-1 constructs, using Lipofectamine. Transient transfections were achieved and stable transfections were selected using G418(Geneticin). Finally, stable clones of CaCO-2 cells expressing ZO-1 constructs of interest were obtained. Agarose gel electrophoresis was performed to confirm the molecular weights of ZO-1 constructs. Immunofluorescence staining by anti-myc monoclonal antibody 9E10 was done to confirm the transfections. Our results indicated that selected ZO-1 constructs can be overexpressed in intestinal epithelial cells.
Mentor: Dr. Nancy Ruyter
Throughout the world of dance, there are as many styles and techniques as there are choreographers and companies. Each performer and choreographer has his or her own style. A performer must make movement work for him/herself. Variables include training, body-type, experience and style as well as an infinite number of other factors. Choreography differs by style, purpose, training and technique in addition to other contingencies. Studying a specific choreographer allows a dancer to better understand a specific technique and movement vocabulary. It also gives the dancer an opportunity to consider an individuals choreographic and creative processes. The work of José Limón has definite characteristics such as body movement, music and subjects that distinguish it from other choreographers. I propose to create a modern dance based on what I have learned through research and practice about the technique and style of José Limón. The piece is titled "Formation" and will be set to Handels Water Music because of Limóns preference for classical music. The majority of his pieces were set to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, Segei Perkofiev and Antonio Vivaldi. Like Limón in choreographing "There is a Time," as well as other pieces, I will use the Bible for inspiration in my piece.
Transparent View Interface: Improving MEDLINE Searches Through Better Interface Design
Mentor: Dr. Wanda Pratt
Healthcare professionals and consumers require access to medical information to keep abreast of the latest developments in medicine, as well as to make informed healthcare decisions. A primary source of medical literature is the National Library of Medicines MEDLINE database containing over 11,000,000 records with 40,000 records added every month. However, searching and retrieving this information is difficult, time-consuming and costly. Current MEDLINE interfaces fail to deal with problems of opacity in the search process and cognitive overload; therefore, these interfaces do not adequately support an individuals iterative search task. Transparent View Interface (TVI), a web browser-based Java Applet for MEDLINE, addresses the problems of cognitive overload and search process opacity. First, TVI utilizes tabular workspaces to reduce users cognitive load. Second, TVI provides novel visualization techniques in a search history workspace. A user can analyze and refine her search strategy using the search history's persistent record of queries and document sets. Our goal for TVI is to assist users in gaining a better understanding of the MEDLINE search process and to help them find information easier. The paper will discuss problems facing current MEDLINE interfaces and then provide a detailed description of TVI. A walk-through example will illustrate how the search history workspace helps the user in her iterative search process. Although user studies have not yet been conducted, we believe TVI shows potential for improving a users search experience with MEDLINE.
Floral Fragrance Analysis of the Plant Genus Schiedea
Mentors: Dr. Ann Sakai & Dr. Stephen Weller
Pollination systems in the native Hawaiian flora have been difficult to study because of the many disturbances to the native Hawaiian insect fauna. As a consequence, observing the pollinators of today may not reflect historical natural pollination patterns. Floral fragrances, as well as floral morphology and nectar production, can give an indication of the evolution of a plants pollination system. Fragrance chemistry has also been important in confirming taxonomic relationships. The chemical makeup of floral fragrances of a taxonomic group may provide information about the original plant pollinators as well. Schiedea is a genus in the Caryophyllaceae, has 33 species occurring on all major Hawaiian Islands, and represents one of the six largest monophyletic lineages of flowering plants native to Hawaii. In this research project, I will characterize the composition of flower volatiles in several species of Schiedea, and identify major patterns among species. This information will be mapped onto existing phylogenies to examine evolutionary patterns of fragrance chemistry, and to infer the presumed pollination systems and pollinators.
Religion-Based Environments and Planning for Asian Pacific Youth
Mentor: Dr. Sanjoy Mazumdar
Immigrant communities are rich in religious congregations that serve their spiritual, social and cultural needs. For the formation of group and personal identity, Yang (1999, p. 438) argues that immigrant churches act as both "an assimilation agency and bastion for preserving traditional culture." Cnaan (1999) further contends that religious environments function as forums where young and inactive church members are encouraged to participate and become assertive members of society. In particular, Asian Pacific churches serve as a social and civic hub for their community, considered as the largest community institution with a base among low-income Asians (Ong 1993). Research in religion, environment and planning (e.g. Kong 1993; Cooper 1995; Mazumdar & Mazumdar 1999) reveals new factors that may influence Asian Pacific youth development surrounding civic issues. This raises questions as to how environmental factors and planning processes of religious-based organizations create a civic forum that serves Asian Pacific youth. How do both young and elder religious leaders assess and address the needs of Asian Pacific youth, particularly at-risk youth outside of the congregation? To what extent do they create an environment that meets the spiritual, social and cultural needs of youth among the wider Asian Pacific community? What is the response of Asian Pacific youth to these efforts? Among youth within the congregation, how does active participation in civic activities strengthen their sense of belonging and duty to their community? This study employs a naturalistic field research approach, using in-depth interviews and observations. In addition to traditional community-based congregations, the religious organizations in this study include campus-based organizations that target the spiritual needs of un-churched youth (Roof 1996). By analyzing environments and planning processes, this study assesses the contribution of religious organizations to Asian Pacific youth development and civil society.
Tibial Distraction and Subsequent Lengthening Induces Set-Point Sarcomerogenesis in Rat Soleus Muscle
Mentor: Dr. Vincent Caiozzo
Tibial distraction of adult skeletal muscles can promote serial sarcomerogenesis when sarcomeres of muscle fibers are stretched out beyond functional limits. In this study we investigated the idea of an inherent set point of ~ 2.7µm for sarcomere length which hypothesized two possibilities: 1) sarcomeres stretched < 2.7µm should show no addition of new sarcomeres; and 2) sarcomeres stretched @ 2.7µm would result in sarcomerogenesis. A mid-shaft tibial osteotomy was performed on the lower left leg of female Sprague-Dawley rats. This was immediately followed by distractions of either 2mm, 4mm, 6mm, or 8mm. Post surgery, animals were left to recover within their external fixators for either 4, 8, 16, or 32 days. Although fiber analysis supported the idea of a set point theory, sarcomere length at which serial sarcomerogenesis occurred was ~2.5 µm instead of the expected 2.7 µm. Furthermore, image analysis of animal muscles distracted to the longest length (8mm) and recovering for the shortest period revealed structural changes along the length of the fiber. These changes gradually dissipated over longer recovery days, as sarcomeres became more apparent and organized into a linear array. These findings indicated that structural remodeling is initiated at very early stages and that these changes are due to the presence of new sarcomeres being added serially. Additionally, sarcomere addition is not a random process but occurs only when sarcomere lengths are stretched beyond some functional limit. Ultimately, stretched muscles contain some intrinsic detection mechanism which allows for modulation of sarcomere length via serial sarcomerogenesis.
Light-Wave Micro-Manipulator on a Chip: Design of a Prototype, Fabrication and Characterization
Mentor: Dr. Andrei Shkel
Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) are extremely small mechanical elements fabricated on a chip and are often integrated together with microelctronic circuits. The dimensions of micromachine elements are usually in the scale of micrometer. MEMS devices are manufactured in a similar fashion as computer chips which enables mass production of the devices with low cost. Several applications have taken advantage of MEMS devices according to these characteristics above. One of the applications is to implement micro-optical devices and systems for fiber-optic communication. Micro-mirrors are fabricated and integrated with micro-electronic control circuit in most of the fiber-optic applications. They are designed to switch signals between fibers by reflecting and directing light waves. The goal of this research is to design prototypes of micro-mirrors and fabricate them with MUMPs technology. The actual mirrors are characterized by testing their response to input voltages and frequencies. When the micro mirrors are designed, many variations, which may affect the performances and responses of the mirrors, are considered. Fifty four different mirror designs are submitted and fabricated. The theoretical analysis on the static response of different mirror designs is implemented with ANSYS prior to the testing. An optical sensing module including a quadrant photo diode and the integrated circuit is developed to characterize the dynamic control of micro-mirrors.
Enabling Interactive Experimentation by a GUI
Mentor: Dr. Rajesh Gupta
User interfaces play an important part in any product. In research, user interfaces provide not only an easy way to interact with a software tool, but also aid in interactive experimentation and data visualization. This work is construction of a graphical user interface (GUI) for the SPARK High-level synthesis tool. The GUI will provide an interactive interface by which a chip designer using the synthesis tool can specify some options to execute the tool with, view the results and data of the execution in terms of graphs and textual output and then perhaps re-execute with new options or with different parameters. Such a GUI plays an important role in the system's toolbox and scripting approach to design automation. The GUI is being developed using PyQT, a toolkit that binds the powerful Python programming language to Qt, which is a popular multi-platform GUI toolkit.
Metacontrast Masking at Equal Luminance: Effects of Spatial Frequency and Orientation
Mentor: Dr. Charles Chubb
Metacontrast masking refers to the decrease in visibility of a target stimulus caused by a masking stimulus that appears later in time. Because metacontrast masking may be meditated by the similar neural mechanism as apparent motion perception, the similarity between the target and the mask must be essential for masking to be effective. The present study examines the dynamic of texture similarity in metacontrast masking by manipulating local attributes (e.g., spatial frequency and orientation) of equiluminant Gabor textures. Four volunteers participated in the study. A stack of target patches was briefly flashed on one side of a fixation point with double-flashed patches on the other side, then a stack of masking patches flashed along with the double-flashed patches. The texture of the target patches was either similar to or different from that of the masking patches. Difference in local attributes was manipulated to construct the Gabor textures. Participants were asked to determine on which side the target appeared (2AFC). Data analysis is currently in process. While motion perception studies have reported the effects of local attributes on correspondence strength, the same local attributes are expected to affect the strength of the mask in metacontrast masking.
Music Composition and Postmodernism
Mentor: Dr. Bernard Gilmore
Living in a Postmodern world, composers often run into several problems. On one hand, there are those who strive to write "new" music, using distinctly modern media and techniques. Their music can be original and innovative, but at the same time they create a problem for the performer (because the music is often too difficult to perform) and the listener (because the music makes no sense to the average human ear). On the other hand, there are those who strive to write "old" music, using preexisting forms and theories. Their music can be beautiful and pleasing, but at the same time nothing really "new" is being generated; everything they do has been done before. Between these two extremes lies a typical Postmodern dilemma, one which contemporary composers must deal with in writing music. In my music compositions, I will show examples of ways Postmodern composers deal with these Postmodern problems: through acknowledged intertexuality and innovation of traditional formsmaking something "new" out of something "old."
Does Workfare Work? A Study of TANF in New York City
Mentor: Dr. Kitty Calavita
Critics have continuously disparaged welfare recipients on the claims of aid dependency and their unwillingness to engage in work. The initiation of workfare under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) is a response to these criticisms. This study examines workfares work activities mandated for welfare recipients. The study measures workfares ability to foster a path towards self-sufficiency amongst welfare recipients. The analysis uses New York City as a focal point in examining TANFs workfare. Workfares success will be evaluated in terms of three variables: (1) the population figures of those on welfare, (2) job training/experience of welfare recipients, and (3) the economic status of recipients post welfare. Public data and independent studies are the central sources of information used in assessing these three variables. The study will show a gap between workfare objectives and the results of its application. The data illustrates discouraging economic conditions amongst welfare recipients who leave its rolls. The data analysis reveals the need to generate better welfare policies in aiding welfare recipients.
Investigation of Oxochlorin Reconstituted Hemeproteins
Mentor: Dr. Pat Farmer
The heme cd1 nitrite reductases execute the first step in a multi-enzyme process of denitrification which is of major importance in the global nitrogen cycle. These enzymes contain an unusual Fe-dioxoisobacteriochlorin cofactor, heme d1, and catalyze the reductive dehydration of nitrite to nitric oxide. As a first step in understanding the role heme d1 plays, we have synthesized an oxochlorin derivative of hemin, Fe-mesopone or Fe(MP). When reconstituted in myoglobin or cytochrome c peroxidase, the resulting hybrid has significantly different redox and catalytic properties than the native protein. The synthesis and characterization of the oxochlorin will be presented, as well as electrochemical and reaction studies of the reconstituted proteins.
The Impact of Foreign Lobbyists on the State of California
Joey Choen Sookasem
Mentor: Dr. Mark Petracca
Given the position of American prominence in the world economy, the increasing interdependence among nations, and the trend toward globalization, foreign interest groups are becoming a standard part of lobbying at the national level. Interest group activity at the state level is also increasing, in terms of quantity and intensity, due to the devolution of federal programs and increases in state budgets. This study seeks to evaluate the impact of foreign lobbyists at the state level, in California. Since California has the worlds sixth largest economy, its public policy decisions have significant consequences for the regulation of foreign banks, international trade, foreign investments, and the transfer of technology. Foreign interests should naturally be drawn to California. In fact, they hire American lobbying firms to represent and advance their policy goals. Through the use and analysis of survey questions and interviews, this study will explore: (1) what foreign lobbyists actually do in Sacramento; (2) how their techniques are distinctive from domestic interests; and (3) the consequences of their presence to government accountability and representative democracy.
Break: A Portrait of American Protest
Mentors: Dr. Janice Plastino & Dr. Deidre Sklar
Dance is a dynamic tool that can be used to express many ideas. I believe that dance is more than an art and can be used for the education and betterment of others. I choose to use dance to express my political views. Like a protest march or a powerful ballad, the movements I choreograph deal with events and people that need a voice. Political choreography is my form of protest. This project is a study of American protest throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, ranging from African American lynching in the South, to the Vietnam War, to womens rights, to our more contemporary problems of capitalism, materialism, and political corruption. By using songs, images, spoken word, and movement, I have created a multi-media depiction of what I view to be some of the most poignant moments in American protest. The work is approximately 30 minutes long and has a cast of 18 dancers. Each piece is choreographed with a specific style of movement that is indicative of the events and ideas involved in the content. By creating content-based movement, I have developed a dance style that has fused together many genres of dance with a wide range of ideologies. I feel this project has truly allowed me to explore many different disciplines in a creative and productive manner.
Kosovo: The Limits of Humanitarian Coercion
Mentor: Dr. Ceasar Sereseres
Kosovo was the second part of the Balkan saga. NATOs 78-day military standoff was the culmination of this centurys diplomatic paradox: the use of force in humanitarian intervention. The stage was set with the same characters that Dayton had left unresolved two years prior to Milosevics reign of terror. Serbian oppression of the ethnic Albanian majority spurred international outrage, and collaborative military action. The United States and NATOs Kosovo policy was rooted in Thomas Schellings power to hurt and the evolving preconditions for successful coercion. The strategy employed catalyzed a change in behavior by Milosevic, and ultimately conceded to bringing about an independent Kosovo. Case analysis will address the options that faced policy makers, and evaluate the effects of the preferred coercive strategy on future humanitarian endeavors.
Towards Equality in Marriage: The Writings of Mary Hunter Austin
Mentor: Dr. Alice Fahs
At the beginning of the twentieth century, as a result of the work of the womans movement and gradual changes in womens legal status, new ideas about marriage began circulating. Changes in perceptions of marriage were heavily influenced by the works of what Christine Stansell calls the "American moderns," the people who embraced ideas such as feminism and other "modern" ideas, and pushed these ideas into the mainstream through their writings. Mary Austin, although usually geographically removed from the epicenter of the modern movement, New York, contributed to this flow of new ideas through her novels, short stories, and newspaper work. In her writings, she debated marriage, exploring failed marriages full of unfulfilled expectations, applauding marriages that lived up to her standards of companionship and equality, and experimenting with the possibilities of "free love". Out of this debate emerged Austins standards for modern marriage: the necessity of shared interests and work, the importance of women as equals in the union, and the responsibility that society has to inform would be wives of the physical and emotional realities of marriage. While she does embrace many of the circulating radical ideas of the day, she did not abandon the prospect of marriage for "free love" as many radicals did. She suggested instead a more equal relationship between people, based not on convenience or necessity but rather on companionship and mutual contribution. In my paper I will argue that Austin blended her unpleasant experience with marriage and her beliefs with the already changing social views of marriage to contribute to the creation of a new modern marriage relationship.
The Development of Women's Roles in American Musical Theater
Mentor: Dr. Myrona Delaney
Throughout the past one hundred years, American musical theatre has been constantly developing and changing in form and tone. The musicals that are being created today are extremely different from those of the early part of the twentieth century from which modern musicals draw their roots. However, new musicals are rarely the only projects for which musical theatre artists are employed. Often the most successful Broadway shows today are revivals of shows that were originally produced before 1960. Therefore, musical theatre artists must have a deep understanding of the origins of American musical theatre. The focus of this research is the evolution of womens roles in American musicals through the twentieth century. Spanning examples from one hundred years of musical theatre progression, I discuss the ways in which the types of roles available for women have changed in accordance with the changes women have experienced in society from decade to decade. This research also explains and demonstrates how changes in the format and tone of the musicals themselves have affected the shape of female roles. Furthermore, I show how the specific music and lyrics that these roles are given contribute to and define their characterizations. Through the analysis of these developments we can gain a better understanding of how the best known female roles in musical theatre have evolved, thus giving the musical theatre actress greater insight to the truth of her character as well as giving the audience a deeper appreciation of her performance.
Co-Registration of Near-Infrared Photon Migration and Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Mentor: Dr. Bruce Tromberg
The development of simple, inexpensive and non-invasive diagnostic techniques to image and characterize tissue biochemical composition has been a long-standing goal in medicine. This ambition has motivated many within the optics community to construct probes that use red and near-infrared (NIR) light (650-1000nm) to non-invasively measure the spatial distribution of absorbing molecules and scattering structures within biological tissues. Frequency-domain photon migration (FDPM) is a special class of NIR techniques that can be used to assess tissue function by identifying its biochemical composition. This technology has been instrumental in revealing vital new information on physiology, such as hemoglobin (Hb), oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO2), water (H2O), and fat concentrations in brain and breast tissues and in buried tumors. However, FDPMs ability to spatially characterize and resolve structures in heterogeneous media is limited. Specifically, FDPM is a low-resolution method that is highly sensitive to tissue function. Conversely, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used widely in medicine today and can provide high spatial resolution of tissue structure, yet its quantitative functional imaging capabilities remain weak. My research combines these two modalities, FDPM and MRI, through co-registration of optical and MR images. Specifically, I have integrated noninvasive near-infrared FDPM probes into specially designed coils for a 4.0T full-body MRI magnet. MRI/FDPM scans have been used to characterize and image rat tumor models over the course of anti-mitotic chemotherapy treatments. Future work will be discussed.
Electric Plasma Diagnostics
Mentor: Dr. Roger McWilliams
Langmuir probes are among the most fundamental diagnostic tools available for studying plasmas. Parameters of plasma space potential Vp, plasma floating potential Vp, plasma density ne, and electron temperature Te result from Langmuir electric probe diagnostics. A basic Langmuir probe diagnostic was performed on stable 300eV beam-like plasma within the U.C. Irvine Physics Torus apparatus. Probe tip was maintained within one of multiple beams and temporal data was taken. Langmuir IV tracing resulted in indicated plasma floating potential near minus 30 volts relative to the lab electrical ground. The electron temperature was calculated near 6eV while Ion density was calculated at 8.67x1015/cm3. Data was also collected spatially across the Torus beam guide and evaluated. Elaboration on the construction and operation of Langmuir probes is covered as well as the extrapolation of each of the main parameters associated plasma characterization.
Beam-Plasma and Background Plasma for the Beam Fusion Reactor
Mentor: Dr. William Heidbrink
As the nations of the world increase their electricity usage, the search for alternative sources of electricity intensifies. The sun provides us with a model for a very effective source of energy, fusion. Fusion is the combination of two nuclei to form one larger one and has the potential to release more energy, with less radioactive by-products than fission. Scientists have been striving to control fusion for many years. In order for fusion to take place, particles must overcome the repulsive Coulomb force. In fact, energies must approach 100s of keV. However, long before that energy is reached, atoms are fully ionized. This fact of nature means that fusion studies must involve the use and confinement of plasmas which consist of ions and electrons whose energies are too large to be bonded in the form of atoms. UC Irvines Colliding Beam Fusion Reactor experiments are based on the idea of injecting and trapping a plasma beam. The focus of the experiments presented here is the sources of the beam-plasma and background plasma (used as part of the trapping mechanism) as well as the plasma parameters (density and velocity) of the plasmas that they produce. A hydrogen-fed, coaxial plasma gun is the source of beam-plasma. Polyethylene cable guns are used for background plasma. Hydrogen-loaded titanium pellets are being studied as a source for both background and beam plasma sources.
The Role of the Poor in José Rizals Noli Me Tángere
Ferial De Lumen
Mentor: Dr. Juan Bruce-Novoa
Noli Me Tángere initiated a revolt against the Spanish government in the Philippines. The Philippines was a Spanish colony from the 16th century until 1899, when the United States claimed the Philippines as a territory. Residents of the Philippines were forced to omit their original alphabet and language to learn Spanish, change their original surnames to Spanish, and convert to Catholicism (a form of Christianity) during Spanish colonization. Many Filipinos suffered from abuse and poverty from Spanish rule. José Rizal, a Filipino medical doctor published the novel Noli Me Tángere meaning "Don't Touch Me" in Latin to replicate the state of the Philippines during the late 19th century under Spanish colonization. Rizal's novel criticizes the Spanish government and Catholic clergy's abuses to the Filipino citizens as well as its effects on the poor. Rizal uses the poor as examples of the suffering that occurred as a result of colonization. The poor are the economically disprivileged characters of the novel. The research is ongoing. The research studies the existence of the poor in the novel and how the novel criticizes the actions of the Spanish government, the Catholic clergy, and the character of paternal figures through the poor. Documents, literary journal articles, and other historical references are being used to study the relationship between the novel and the history of the Philippines before and during Spanish colonization. The project serves to increase awareness and the study of Spanish-language Filipino literature and history.
Fighting the Good Fight: Goodness and Memory in World War II Film
Mentor: Dr. Alice Fahs
Many of the images that were presented on film during World War II have embedded themselves in the American culture and our memory of World War II. One of these images is the premise of World War II being the "good war", which implies an easy distinction between the good guys and the bad guys. Yet, the premise of the good war extends beyond this basic idea of good vs. evil. Films made during the period of 1939-1950 frequently present the idea that war is able to bring out the goodness inside people. This goodness reveals itself through bravery, loyalty to the war effort, protection of the weak, and a sense of moral justice. In my thesis I explore how goodness is depicted in films about World War II in three main subcategories: the battlefront film, the home front film, and the homecoming film (when the men return from war). This is done through analysis of specific works such as The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), Casablanca (1942), and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). I also incorporate secondary readings that discuss representation of war, specifically in film. Finally, I compare modern depictions of World War II in film to the 1939-1950 period. The theme of "goodness" is still present, but with a new purpose and with a varied meaning. The fact that the theme has remained shows the power and influence these films have on the American memory.
Smoking, Gender and Adolescent Adherence to Research Protocols
Mentor: Dr. Carol Whalen
In the context of advances in research and treatment technologies, nonadherence to prescribed regimens continues to be a limiting factor. Information about who does and doesn't comply can be useful in interpreting research findings and in improving treatment efficacy. This study examined smoking behavior and gender as predictors of adherence in a sample of 145 adolescents (mean age 15.54, 56% male, 59% Caucasian, 14% smokers) who participated in a longitudinal study of adolescent smoking, stress and health. Every 25 minutes, for 4 days, adolescents were signaled to report activities, contexts, and moods using electronic diaries. The adherence measures were: percent of diary entries completed, a composite index of adherence problems, and adherence ratings by participants and project coaches. Across the 4 days, teens were signaled an average of 125 times and completed diaries 81% of signaled occasions. Diary completion percentages correlated with coach and teen ratings of adherence (rs= .66, .48, ps <.001), coach and teen ratings showed moderate overlap (r= .49, p<.001), and the problem index correlated with coach and teen ratings (rs= .48 and .22, ps<.001, .01). Smoking status interacted with gender in predicting adherence. For each indicator, male smokers were less likely than nonsmoking males to adhere, whereas females showed the reverse pattern (ps= .017 - .001). Findings indicate gender-specificity of trait influences on adherence and suggest that studies of adolescent smoking and other risk behaviors must consider the impact of differential protocol adherence. The results also support the validity of self and observer judgments of adherence.
A Computational Study of Conformers of 2-(3-Aryl)-1,3- Dioxacyclohexanes (1,3-Dioxanes)
Katie Uyen Do
Mentor: Dr. Fillmore Freeman
The theoretical levels of HF/6-31G(d), MP2/6-31G(d), and B3LYP/6-31G(d) have been used to study the structures and relative energies of the conformers of 2-methyl-1,3-dioxane (1), 2-phenyl-1,3-dioxane (2), and 2-methyl-2-phenyl-1,3-dioxane (3). The calculated values of relative energies and the conformational enthalpies (DH), entropies (DS), and free energies (DG) are compared with available experimental data. The -D G° values for conformers (1), (2), and (3) are 4.88,1.89, and 3.30 kcal/mol respectively at 100 °C, and the -DG° for methylcyclohexane (4), phenylcyclohexane (5), and 1-methyl-1-phenylcyclohexane (6) are 1.80, 2.87, and -0.32 kcal/mol. The large free energies differences between 1,3-dioxane and cyclohexane conformers can be explained in terms of the barrier to rotation of the phenyl group in both axial and equatorial isomers, the C-O bond distances, and the short H-H nonbonded distances in various rotamer arrangements of the axial and equatorial isomer. This is because the H-H nonbonded repulsion is negligible beyond about 2.4Å but increases to about 1 kcal/mol at 2.0Å. Moreover, the calculations for conformers (3) and (6) are found in favoring the conformation having an axial phenyl group. The nonadditivity of conformational energies observed for (3) and (6) was attributed to the fact that the preferred rotameric conformation of an equatorial phenyl is severely perturbed by a methyl group.
Maternal Stress Hormone Changes During Pregnancy
Mentor: Dr. Aleksandra Chicz-Demet
Prevention of excess mortality among infants depends on the prevention of preterm birth in the United States. Disturbances in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis associated with stress and depression may be contributing to poor birth outcome. The present study was done to determine if there are any differences in the adult pregnant neuroendocrine stress hormone levels (ACTH, B-endorphin, and cortisol) in preterm and term birth outcome. Maternal blood samples were collected from 351 adult pregnant women at 4 gestational periods: 18-20, 24-26, 30-32, and 36+ gestational weeks. Plasma samples were assayed for B-endorphin and ACTH by radioimmunoassay, and for cortisol by immunofluorescence. Significant elevations were found in late third trimester between preterm and term births in ACTH (mean: 71.18+17.79 pg/ml vs 44.95+16.86 pg/ml, p=0.036, respectively) and B-endorphin (mean: 82.33+33.42 pg/ml vs 52.12+16.56 pg/ml, p=0.014, respectively). As expected, ACTH was significantly correlated to B-endorphin at all 4 gestational periods in both preterm and term births. ACTH and cortisol was tightly associated at 18-20wk (N=234, r=0.321, p<0.001) and at 24-26wk (N=180, r=0.259, p<0.001) in term births, but not in preterm births. These findings suggest that maternal neuroendocrine disturbances early in pregnancy may be associated with poor birth outcome.
Religion, Identity and Space in Immigrant Communities: Muslim Youth
Mentor: Dr. Sanjoy Mazumdar
Despite the growing number of Muslims in the world, American consciousness has surprisingly little awareness or understanding of Islam (Webb, 1995). Until recently, little scholarly attention has been given to Muslim immigrants in the United States. As a result, our knowledge of the practice of Islam by Muslim immigrants to the USA is rather limited. How do second generation Muslim immigrants practice their religion? What accommodations do they make to their notions of an ideal religious life? How do the physical structuring of the houses they live in and the temporary or permanent religious structures they construct enable them in the construction of their religious lives and their identity? In addition, how do these Muslim immigrants interact in both public and private spaces? This study focuses on Islam and the strategies used by the second generation to experience and integrate religion into their daily lives. Using qualitative research methodology, specifically Naturalistic Field Research, this study seeks to understand and conceptualize the experiences of the second generation immigrant Muslim youth of Southern California. Using data collection techniques of participant-observation, in-depth structured and unstructured interviews, and observations, this study focuses on understanding how religion is practiced at home and in public spaces as well as how religion mediates identity and social interaction. Data analysis is currently underway. The findings of this study are expected to be beneficial by assisting immigrant Muslim communities to understand and assess the success or failure of religious transmission in the maintenance of identity.
Search for Neutrino Oscillation with the Irvine-Michigan-Brookhaven Detector
Mentor: Dr. Roger McWilliams
Since the neutrino was postulated in 1930, the elusive particle has both amazed and baffled physicists. While the Standard Model of particle physics assumes the three types of neutrinos are massless, experimental data of the Irvine-Michigan-Brookhaven experiment suggests that neutrinos oscillate from one type to another. These oscillations require the particle to have mass. Using computer simulations, an expected neutrino rate is generated and compared to the detected rate. Significant deviations between the two rates suggest that oscillations are taking place. This rate difference is further used to set limits on the neutrinos masses.
Temporal Sequence of Subventricular Zone Cell Proliferation in Response to Transforming Growth Factor Alpha Administration in the Adult Rat Forebrain in vivo
Mentor: Dr. James Fallon
We have recently reported that transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-a ) infusions into lesioned rodent brain areas lead to a massive proliferation of neural progenitors originating in the subventricular zone (SVZ), followed by a directed migration of both neuronal- and glial-restricted precursors into the striatum, septum, and cortex. The purpose of the present study was to determine more precisely the nature of the proliferative activity of neural progenitors in the SVZ in response to infusions of TGF-a in adult rats, which also had contemporaneous 6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions of the ipsilateral substantia nigra (SN). TGF-a infusions into the striatum were continued for up to one week. In addition, peripheral 5 Bromo-2-deoxyUridine (BrdU) injections were also made in order to follow the progressive uptake and migration of newly formed cells from the SVZ into the striatum. Baseline BrdU incorporation was observed as early as the first day, continued to a maximum at day four, and decreased thereafter. These results are important for scientists interested in manipulating endogenous stem cells at the stage at their most active proliferation.
Dance in Orange County: A Review of the Modern, Classical Ballet and Regional Dance Companies Presented in the Orange County Area.
Mentor: Dr. Janice Plastino
Orange County is unique as an arts venue because of the fact that it is a densely populated area with large pockets of ethnic communities. I am interested in the manner in which western-based dance is presented in this area and whether modern and ballet companies differ in their approach towards and reception from Orange County audiences. I attended the modern dance company performances presented at the Irvine Barclay Theatre, the ballet company performances at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, and the performances of various regional dance companies such as Anaheim Ballet, Ballet Pacifica and Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre over the course of one theatre season in order to compare and evaluate the way in which dance is presented in Orange County. Through this research, I expect to draw conclusions about the impact of the dance forms performed by visiting and local dance companies on Orange County audiences.
The Effects of Simulated Microgravity on Norepinephrine Induced Contractile Mechanisms and the Role of Nitric Oxide in the Rat Mesenteric Artery
Mentor: Dr. Ralph Purdy
Prolonged exposure to zero gravity leads to postflight orthostatic intolerance in astronauts upon return to the full gravity of Earth. This is characterized by syncope, tachycardia, reduced exercise capacity, as well as various other changes in the central venous pressure and fluid volumes. The purpose of this project was to determine the effects of microgravity on the contractile capacity of the mesenteric artery, and to investigate the contribution of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in this process. Furthermore, this study aims to establish the significance of nitric oxide (NO) in simulated microgravity induced vascular hyporesponsiveness. Microgravity was simulated by exposing male Wistar rats to hindlimb-unweighting (HU) treatment for a period of 20 days. The primary mesenteric artery was obtained from control and HU treated rats, cut into 3mm rings, and mounted in tissue baths. Isometric contraction was then measured during a norepinephrine dose-response curve, after preincubation with aminoguanidine (an induced nitric oxide synthase inhibitor) or L-NAME (a general NOS inhibitor) and data was compared between the C and HU. Preliminary results suggest there may be an upregulation of iNOS, but not eNOS, in the mesenteric arteries. Western blot analysis was also performed to investigate the presence of induced nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Total eNOS protein level appear to be unaltered in the mesenteric arteries, however it is yet to be determined whether iNOS levels are altered. These preliminary results suggest that iNOS, but not eNOS, may contribute to the microgravity induced vascular hyporesponsiveness seen in the rat mesenteric artery.
Irrational Deity in Socrates
Mentor: Dr. Victoria Silver
One of the most famous Greek myths tells the story of Oedipus, who the oracle of Apollo prophesied would kill his father and marry his mother. His parents, Laius and Jocasta, did all they could to avoid this event by exposing Oedipus as an infant, even running a spike through his feet. But the gods had already predestined the outcome of Oedipus life, and the prophecy was fulfilled. Yet the question remains: Why was noble Oedipus singled out to have such a tragic life when he did nothing wrong? I want to explore the topic of inscrutable or irrational deity in Socrates Thebean Trilogy tragedy: its all too easy to associate deity with perfection; but as Greek mythology demonstrates, the gods can be frighteningly ambivalent in their effects. As the arbitrary, groundless fate of Oedipus indicates, deity can work in ways that are inexplicable, irrational, violent and unjust in human terms. In Greek tragedy as a whole, there are actions and outcomes that make us question divine reason and divine justice. If justice is not universal, then there is no equality in the world. If there is no equality, then the gods do not rule by intelligible standards. But perhaps what we experience as irrational and unjust simply points to the limits of human understanding. This means that what now appears arbitrary to us could eventually make complete sense, but it is simply not in our current capacity to understand how that might be. Divine irrationality then describes our own deficiencies, not the gods.
The Stresses Faced by Central American Immigrants
Mentor: Dr. Kathleen Canul
The purpose of the project is to better understand the psychological stressors faced by Central American immigrants as they enter the acculturation process in the United States. There exists a paucity of psychological research examining the intrapsychic and social challenges experienced by Central American immigrants adapting to a new culture. Several investigations have explored stress and immigration in Latinos, in general, but few have specifically researched Central Americans. Researchers Flaskered and Uman (1996) looked at acculturation and its effects on self-esteem among immigrant Latina women, in which a strong correlation was found between the two. In addition, Vargas-Willis and Cervantes (1987) researched the psychological stresses put upon Latina immigrants in treatment. The aim of this project is to interview participants in their native language (Spanish) to get a fuller understanding of their experiences. Participants speaking in their native tongue will give a richer interpretation of their feeling and moods during their process of acculturating. The participants will be asked open-ended questions about their experiences while at the same time being videotaped. The interview data will be used as a pilot study to further examine this issue of Central American immigrants and acculturating into the US.
Theatrical Fusion: Coalescence in Performance
Nelson Eusebro III
Mentor: Dr. Keith Fowler
Coalescence is defined by Websters Dictionary as "the union of diverse things into one body," or as "the act of fusing these elements together. This project is designed to do the same thing, simply in the context of the theater and other performing arts. The purpose of this study is threefold: to explore the boundaries and limits of the performing arts, more specifically "invisible" or culturally underrepresented forms; combine these forms and expand upon those boundaries if possible; and thirdly, to create a new type of dynamic, artistic community by not only bringing together a diverse group of performers, but bringing together different types of audiences. The "invisible forms" were culled from different types of performers here at UCI that have not been seen in the traditional venue of the theater: hip-hop dancers, underrepresented minorities, and performance groups from various campus organizations (such as the Chinese Association at UCI). This project attempts to combine traditional forms like theater and modern dance with such non-traditional forms such as hip-hop and rap. Taking these diverse forms and performers, this project began a process of exploration and improvisation that culminated in the creation of a performance. This performance piece was a proving ground: could these various forms coalesce into a single, coherent performance? How would traditional theater audiences respond to the combination of low/high art? How would people who do not usually come to the theater respond to a play wrapped in "their" art? This project serves as an answer to those questions.
Fitzgerald's American Dream
Mentor: Dr. Alice Fahs
While many people read F. Scott Fitzgeralds novels as the authors attempt to deconstruct the American Dream and show that it is merely a false construction, it is evident from both his letters and novels that Fitzgeralds relationship with the dream is much more complicated. In Fitzgeralds final three novels, The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night, and The Love of the Last Tycoon, his characters meet their doom at the expense of the American Dream, ultimately Fitzgerald believed in the beauty and promise of this dream, attempting to create a space for its existence within his ever modernizing society. Fitzgerald moves his characters to the East, Europe, and finally the West to find a modern space sympathetic to their frontier values. However, each re-living of the myth, no matter the movement of the character is self-destructive. Unable to carve out a new space for their dream, all three men are forced to face the failure of their ultimate dream. Much like his characters, Fitzgerald fails in the attempt to create a space for his personal dream. However, despite repeated failures, Fitzgerald courageously continued writing, striving to discover one last space?the last frontier in which the myth which nurtured these dreams can continue. Ultimately Fitzgerald does not condemn the dream itself, instead he damns the "foul dust" which surrounds the dream, dirtying it and dragging the dreamers toward their ultimate defeat (Gatsby 2).
Effects of Donor Characteristics on Cell Line Behavior and Morphology in the Wound Healing of the Respiratory Mucosa
Mentor: Dr. Steven George
In the United States about 15 million people, over 5% of the population, suffer from asthma. Determining the underlying mechanisms of lung diseases such as asthma or pulmonary fibrosis is important for slowing or reversing the symptoms. We hypothesize cell line behavior is related to donor age, pertinent to our in vitro tissue engineered wound healing model. Four human lung fibroblast cell lines of different donor age, 15 weeks gestation (MRC-9) to 71 years (CCD-13Lu), were passaged. Our in vitro model consists of type I collagen gels. The rate and extent of gel contraction were the measured endpoints. Results confirm that donor age for each cell line effects cellular proliferation rates, and tissue contraction. After a week of proliferation following the same seeding density, older donor cells (71 years) reached a population of 1 million cells while cells from a younger donor (15 weeks gestation) reached 2.25 million cells. Collagen gels contracted to fifty percent of their initial size after 2 days for younger donors (2.5 months) and after 5 days for older donors (71 years). The younger cell lines grew 2.25 times as fast and contracted 2.5 times as fast as cells from older donors. This information is a precursor to slowing or reversing permanent structural changes in the Extracellular Matrix of asthmatics with future pharmacological therapy. We conclude cell line donor age impacts the behavior of cells during growth and tissue contraction, and should be considered in the design of engineered tissue.
Tactile and Auditory Perception in People with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Mentor: Dr. Arthur Grant
Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common type of epilepsy in adults. It is unknown whether TLE can compromise specific cognitive functions such as memory or perception. This study examines the effect TLE may have on both tactile and auditory perception. Twenty subjects with epilepsy and 20 neurologically normal controls between the ages of 20 and 50 were recruited. A total of ten tactile, auditory and neuropsychometric tests was administered to each subject. Tactile perception was measured using a grating orientation test, a groove width test, and the Von Frey test. Auditory perception was analyzed using a brief tone description test, a cochlear function test, and the SCAN and SSW tests. Neuropsychometric testing included the FAS test, Trails A and B, and an IQ test. Data analysis is currently underway. The performance of the epileptic subjects will be compared to that of the controls on each of the perceptual and neuropsychometric tests. These data may provide evidence for cognitive dysfunction, particularly perceptual dysfunction, in people with temporal lobe epilepsy. The results may also illustrate that a seizure focus in one part of the brain can affect the physiology of anatomically remote brain regions.
Advanced Theory of Mind in Five-Year-Olds
Mentor: Dr. Alison Clarke-Stewart
A number of studies have shown that children are capable of successful performance on standard theory of mind tasks by the age of five years. The aim of the current study is to determine if five-year-old children will display a theory of mind understanding in social situations where they are witness to the hidden intentions and subtle discomfort of characters in a video, which contains sexual innuendo. Ability and/or willingness of the participants to answer questions regarding the mental states of the characters was correlated with measures of participants and parents language ability, parents educational level, family socioeconomic status, number of children in the household, participants sex, participants age, and mothers reported level of communication about good and bad touch. In addition, regression models were used to predict participants responses to the video. Preliminary results show that a majority of children failed to answer specific questions related to understanding the mental states of the videos characters.
Regulation of Dpp Responsive Gene
Mentor: Dr. Kavita Arora
TGF-ß ligands are found across the evolutionary spectrum (nematodes, flies, zebrafish, frogs, mice and humans) and are required for the control of key cellular processes, such as growth, patterning and differentiation. Drosophila is an excellent model system for studying TGF-ß signaling, as flies are genetically accessible and the function of many components of the signaling pathway is well understood. Therefore, in order to understand how TGF-ß ligands regulate the expression of their target genes, I have focused on studying the transcriptional regulation of Ultrabithorax (Ubx), a Drosophila gene expressed in response to Dpp, a TGF-ß family member. Previous experiments in the lab of Dr. Arora have shown that the transcription factors Schnurri (Shn) and Mothers against Dpp (Mad) are required for the expression of Ubx. Recently a novel component of the pathway, brinker was shown to encode a transcriptional repressor of Dpp target genes. To understand the role of Shn, Mad and Brk on Ubx regulation, I have assayed the expression of a Ubx reporter (UbxB) in transgenic flies. I have analyzed UbxB expression in the absence of Shn and Mad binding sites, as well as in animals lacking Shn and Brk function. My results indicate that all three proteins are required for the proper expression of this Dpp target gene. Given the evolutionary conservation of the TGF-ß pathway, its very likely that homologues of Shn, Mad and Brk present in other organisms act in a similar fashion to control the expression of TGF-ß responsive genes.
Potential Efficacy of Radiation Therapy on Heterotopic Ossification Prevention
Mentor: Dr. Jeffrey Kuo
Heterotopic ossification (HO) is bone formation in tissues that do not normally ossify. HO frequently affects the hip joints which may cause severe pain and limited range of mobility (Ahrengart 1990). Previous research has shown older male patients suffering from ankylosing spondylitis and heterotopic osteoarthritis to exhibit higher risk of forming HO. Research in the early 1990s has demonstrated the efficacy of radiation therapy using 7 Gy in one fraction to prevent HO formation after total hip arthroplasty (THA), a surgical procedure which is accountable for eighty percent of HO cases (Blount 1990). Our study is based on retrospective charts and x-ray reviews of 30 previously and currently treated patients for HO in the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Orthopedics at UCI Medical Center. Our aim was to review the degree of efficiency of radiation therapy for HO prevention. Careful chart record compilation followed by analysis and data collection was executed using a data collection worksheet specifically designed for this particular study. Data analysis is currently under way. The findings of our study are also expected to guide us to identify whether or not the treatment methodology under analysis has resulted in or could have resulted in unanticipated toxicity so that further study and intervention can be taken into account for future nontoxic HO radiation therapy.
Spatial Proximity: Its Effects on Transdisciplinary Research
Mentor: Dr. Daniel Stokols
The University of California, Irvine (UCI) and the University of Southern California (USC) are two of seven nationwide campus-based Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers (TTURCs) established in 1999 by the National Institute of Health. The purpose of the UCI TTURC is to investigate tobacco susceptibility from a transdisciplinary perspective. Transdisciplinary research intends to bridge the gap that exists between disciplines when investigating a specific public health issue. The current study will survey researchers from multiple disciplines to measure the relationship between levels of researcher proximity and interaction. Active communication between disciplines, an integral component in the effort to establish effective transdisciplinary collaboration, can consequently influence the extent to which investigators can share concepts, theories and ideas. The UCI and USC TTURCs are prime subjects for analysis in the current investigation due to their inherent physical and geographic differences. Whereas the UCI center continues to operate as separate academic entities functioning as a symbolic whole, USC researchers have offices located in the same building. A survey will be distributed to the Principle Investigators at both centers, asking them to rate their level of communication with the other researchers across spatial (physical distance), temporal (time-based, i.e. time spent in office/lab, length of meetings), and virtual (e-mail and web-based instruments) realms. Data analysis will help determine to what extent proximity affects researcher interaction, which may prove useful to other groups measuring transdisciplinary collaboration.
Bilingualism and Phoneme Awareness: Does Knowledge of Spanish Enhance Phoneme Awareness in English?
Mentor: Dr. Virginia Mann
Phoneme awareness refers to the knowledge of the components or sequence of sounds (phonemes) that comprise spoken words and the ability to abstract and manipulate these components. This ability to identify and manipulate phonemes has been demonstrated to play a critical role in the early reading process and has been the subject of much research in the past two decades. The present study will investigate whether Spanish-English bilingual kindergarteners, with similar English vocabulary levels to their English monolingual peers, demonstrate greater phoneme awareness for English. Each child will be administered 6 measures: 3 developmental progress tasks, 1 general English vocabulary assessment and 2 phoneme awareness tasks (rhyme detection and initial phoneme matching). Results are anticipated to show higher scores for bilingual children on at least one of the phoneme awareness tasks and relatively equal scores for the bilingual and monolingual children on the developmental progress tasks. Additionally, parental questionnaires will be compared based on answers to questions regarding the language(s) spoken in the home, language fluency of parent and child, any exposure to other languages, and the frequency and language(s) of rhymes, lullabies and reading aloud of books used in the home.
Mentor: Dr. Dennis Castellano
As an aspiring young performer nearing the end of my college career, I decided to incorporate the many facets of my acquired artistic talents into a performance. My idea was to write, produce, and direct my own one-woman cabaret. I believed most of my research would focus on repertoire, text and direction, but my responsibilities as producer proved most extensive. On April 22, 2001 at 8pm, I presented Seeing Red in the Studio Theatre at UC Irvine. What evolved included two musicians, four guest performers, a rock band and a stage crew. Originally, my goal was to showcase my work. Ultimately, what I achieved is the ability to create my own opportunities. As an artist about to enter the real world, there is nothing more empowering.
Normalization of the MMPI-2 for Demographic Subgroups of Epileptic Patients
Mentor: Dr. Linda Nelson
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes spastic and synchronized electrical discharges throughout regions of the brain. Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder, affecting 1-2% of the U.S. population (Derry, et. al., 1997). The physical symptoms of epilepsy are fatigue, headache, tingling sensations, dream states, visual hallucinations or disturbances, heart palpitations, and déjà vu (Wilkus & Dodrill 1989). Epilepsy might also produce mental symptoms, or changes in psychological functioning, such as increased anxiety, dependency, or depression (Wilkus & Dodrill 1989). These symptoms persist, not only during the actual seizure (ictal) state, but also during the inter-ictal states. We believe that these effects may skew results of psychological profiles, such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2), a widely used measure of personality and emotional functioning. Skewed results may occur when patients endorse test items that are indicative of their neurological symptoms. Their neurological symptoms may be misinterpreted as "emotional" symptoms, since the test was designed to measure emotional functioning. Therefore, results of the MMPI-2 for people who have epilepsy may not be representative of their true psychological functioning. To account for and correct this potential error in interpretation, new norms need to be developed showing reliable personality profiles for patients with epilepsy. Normative standards are necessary to accurately obtain a measure of personality and emotional functioning in persons with epilepsy. This will enable the creation of new corrective scales for the personality profiles that psychologists and neurologists will be able to use in clinical practice.
Laser Induced Fluorescence Measurements of an Argon Plasma
Mentor: Dr. Roger McWilliams
Laser induced fluorescence (LIF) is a conceptually simple yet technically difficult analytical method for measuring properties of plasmas. Our work has focused on characterization of the velocity distribution of argon (II) ions in a plasma in the UC Irvine mirror machine, using a radio frequency plasma processing source. Although it has not been possible to develop the optics required to measure velocity distribution dependence on position within the plasma, it has been possible to conduct LIF on both radial and longitudinal axes within the mirror machine.
Selectivity Estimation for High Dimensional Data Using LDR
Mentor: Dr. Sharad Mehrotra
The problem of selectivity estimation in databases consists of accurately estimating the result size (or selectivities) of operators. Selectivity estimation is used by multiple components of the database including query optimizers to obtain estimates of the cost of the subsequent operations, which is vital for choosing the optimal query plan. Selectivity estimation techniques have traditionally focused on single dimensional (1-d) data. The most popular approaches summarize data using histograms since they are simple to compute and efficient to use. With the emergence of numerous applications that use multidimensional information, recent research has focused on adapting the 1-d histogram techniques to multidimensional histogram. While multidimensional histograms work well for low to medium dimensional data sets (about 2 to 4-d spaces), they become very inaccurate as dimensionality increases. This problem is known as the dimensionality curse. This paper explores local dimensionality reduction (LDR) as an approach to resolve the dimensionality curse problem for selectivity estimation in high dimensional data spaces. The primary idea of LDR is to partition the data into correlated clusters that can be represented using a few dimensions without much loss of information. We develop a novel approach to summarize a multidimensional data space into a multidimensional histogram that exploits LDR to identify correlated clusters. Our experimental results show that our approach based on LDR performs orders of magnitude better compared to existing approaches over high dimensional spaces. Furthermore, the relative performance improvement of LDR based approach increases with the increase in the dimensionality of the data space.
Gender, Social Relationships, and Depressed Moods in Mexican Adolescents
Mentor: Dr. Ellen Greenberger
The present study has focused primarily on the links among gender, family factors, peer variables, and symptoms of depression in Mexican adolescents. Ethnographic data from the 70s (Diaz-Guerrero, 1975), a "World Values" Survey conducted in 1981 and 1990 (Inglehart, 1991), and the popular Mexican press provided a background for this investigation. Using questionnaire data collected from 266 high school students in Mexico City, analysis of variance and regression revealed that: 1) Mexican female adolescents report significantly more depressive symptoms than comparable male adolescents; 2) more negative family relationships are associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms for both male and female adolescents; and 3) lower levels of peer warmth and acceptance and more conflictual relationships between adolescents and their parents are associated with higher levels of depressive symptomatology for both males and females. Within the family context the extent of parental warmth and acceptance adolescents reported had a far greater impact on their level of depressive symptomatology than did the amount of adolescent-parent conflict. Contrary to prediction, the effect of negative family and peer relations on depressed moods did not differ by gender. Results of the study should be useful in prevention/intervention efforts aimed at reducing levels of adolescent depression.
Laura Towne and Charlotte Forten: The Process of Freedom and the Meaning of Equality
Mentor: Dr. Alice Fahs
In 1862, Laura Towne and Charlotte Forten became two of the many male and female missionaries who left their homes in the North to teach the "contraband" slaves on the Sea Islands off South Carolina during the Civil War. Although Lincoln had not yet announced his Emancipation Proclamation, many African-American slaves had been freed by the invading Union Army after the wealthy white masters had abandoned their plantations. Although both women were from Philadelphia and staunch Garrisonian abolitionists, Towne was white and Forten was a free born African-American. Partially because of this simple fact, the two women had very different experiences on the Island of St. Helena. Towne was immediately accepted as a leader and adored by the Island people. She assumed the role of a "mother" and did everything she could to help the people and her pupils to become productive members of society and to achieve the equality they had so long been promised. Like Towne, Forten also had ideas about what equality meant for these people. But whereas Towne believed equality came with hard work and progress, Forten came to see it more as an abstract condition that all people shared, despite societal constraints or cultural differences. Their diaries and journals teach us much about the multi-faceted process of freedom from the perspective of those who tried to help the newly emancipated African-American population.
Mariel Cuban Refugees: Twenty Years Later
Mentor: Dr. Jeanett Castellanos
In 1980, over 126,000 Cubans fled from their homeland to seek refuge in the United States. They fled through the port of Mariel and came to be known as the "Marielitos." This wave, unlike previous waves, consisted of many Cubans who had entered the criminal justice and/or mental health systems, persons with low levels of education, and children educated in the revolution. When they arrived to the United States, many were immediately placed in refugee camps in Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas. While many of these individuals successfully adapted to this country, many struggled tremendously with the transition. In this manuscript, the author presents three interviews of the Cubans who came to this country during this period. The study explores the experiences encountered upon their arrival in the US and their lives 20 years later. The study addresses the social, economic, and politcal barriers encountered by the refugees and coping mechanisms used toward the process of resilience. The study is designed to use ethnographic methods to define the aspects of the Mariel experience. A demographic questionnaire was provided to attain general information and interview guidelines directed the sessions. All the data was used to assess the experiences of the Cuban exiles and to better understand the refugee experience in the US. Findings highlight the trends, patterns, changes, and social process of immigration, acculturation, and acculturative distress. As practitioners, we have a call to understand our clients, their histories, their struggles, and means to cope. More specifically, how can psychology and the field of social science contribute to the understanding of these individuals to increase their quality of life?
Laser Flap Delay: A Comparison of Four Lasers
Mentor: Dr. Gregory Evans
This study involves evaluating the effects of different lasers on flap delay. Flap delay is a procedure used in reconstructive surgery allowing an increase in the size of a skin flap. Soft tissue that has its own blood supply is moved from one part of the body to correct a defect in another`area. The defects can result from trauma, congenital defects, or tissue disease. Flap delay has traditionally been performed 1 to 2 weeks before the planned reconstruction involving deep incisions around the proposed borders of the flap. After these incisions heal, the flap can be elevated and relocated. Flap delay can potentially improve the outcomes in reconstructive surgery by increasing the tissue options available to the surgeon, decreasing the complication rate associated with a particular reconstruction, and potentially decreasing the total number of surgeries required for a particular reconstruction. The use of lasers in flap delay is a relatively new area of study. Lasers can potentially reduce the cost, time and pain associated with traditional surgical flap delay. This research will compare different lasers (KTP, Pulse Dye, CO2 and, Yerbium) to traditional surgical delay and, to control (no delay) in laboratory rats. Each group will consist of 10 animals treated on day 0, with elevation of standard skin flaps on day 7 and, evaluation of necrosis and skin biopsies on day 14. Currently, statistical analysis of the vascularity between groups is being conducted.
Family and Race in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Mentor: Dr. Gabriele Schwab
My research involves a critical examination of family, race and their interrelations in Mary Shelleys Frankenstein. Using two contrasting (and sometimes overlapping) critical methodologies, family systems theory and psychoanalysis, I focus on two layers of concern in Shelleys novel: the local concerns of the nuclear family and the global issues of colonialism, imperialism, and New World slavery. While the progression of human relationships portrayed in the novel reveals a subtle critique of idealized nineteenth century domestic life, the representations of race reveal the fears and anxieties present as the British Empire begins to crumble. As the novel progresses from anxiety over individual relationships to anguish over larger social issues, from Victor Frankensteins relationship with R. Walton to the perceived threat of the annihilation of humankind, a common thread can be detected. The relationships and rhetoric of Shelleys novel reveal the deeply problematic nature of nineteenth century discourses on family and race. At issue in both of these spheres of concern, the familial and the racial, is a troubled relationship to sexuality and procreation that, though it is repressed from overt expression, breaks through in Freuds terms in "various remote and distorted derivatives." By incorporating references to contemporary criticism of Frankenstein which suggest that Mary Shelley was very much aware of the social and political tensions surrounding these issues, I identify four relational trajectories which define the relationships depicted in the novel: familial, homosocial, sexual and racial. These four trajectories reveal the inherent instability of the institutional categories of family and race which sought so determinedly to establish themselves as stable and immutable in the nineteenth century.
Characterization of Signaling Mechanisms of Ror2 in PC12 Cells
Mentor: Dr. Ralph Bradshaw
Ror2 was originally discovered by its homology to receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). It has been shown that Ror2 is mainly expressed in chondrocytes (cartilage forming cells) and is apparently involved in chondrocyte expansion since Ror2 ablation leads to shortened proliferating zones of chondrocytes in developing bones, which leads to the shortening of long bones. To date, however, very little is known about how the receptor mediates its effects. Since there is no known ligand for this RTK a chimeric receptor approach was taken to study the receptors signaling capacity. By combining the intercellular and transmembrane domains of Ror2 and with the extracellular domain of platelet derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) we created a receptor that can be activated in response to PDGF. This chimeric receptor will then be expressed in the well-characterized rat pheochromocytoma cell line, PC12 which does not express PDGFR and therefore does not normally respond to PDGF. The PC12 cells expressing this chimeric receptor will then be characterized for the ability of PDGF to induce neurite formation, the presence of phosphotyrosine in a number of proteins, and the activation of downstream kinases to determine the particular signaling pathways activated by this receptor. The chimeric receptor has been successfully created and is now being tested.
A Cross Cultural Comparison: Influences on Body Satisfaction
Mentor: Dr. Nancy Naples
In todays society it is common for women to be unsatisfied with their body. Yet, this body dissatisfaction varies among women of different ethnic/racial categories. Levine, Smolak, and Hayden (1994) looked at how media, peers, and parents influence womens body satisfaction. In addition, Cash and Henry (1995) conducted a national survey on womens body images in which they compared Caucasian, Hispanic, and African American women. My research expands on these studies by looking at a wider range of influences such as media exposure, family interactions, peer interactions, physical activity participation, religious beliefs, cultural values, dating relationships, and interactions with professionals. This research also looks at how females of varying ethnicities are affected differently by these influences. Ethnic groups studied in this research are: Asian Americans, African Americans/Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos/Chicanos, Middle Eastern/South Asians, and Caucasians. Ethnographic interviews were conducted on 16 female college students studying at the University of California, Irvine. Data analysis is not yet complete. As of now, five major themes in the research findings are being examined. These themes are: differences in media influence, parental and sibling influence, peer influence, cultural and religious beliefs, and the affect of change in body weight across time. This research aims to better explain the difference in influences on body satisfaction across ethnic/racial categories.
Optimization of a Micro-Turbine Generator and Absorption Chiller System
Mentor: Dr. Scott Samuelsen
Affordable, reliable, and efficient energy generation has been a major concern in the last decade. With the deregulation of energy, "distributed generation" has become the alternative to the traditional centralized power plant. Typically 20-250 kW in output, distributed generators offer a source of power independent of the otherwise complex grid. Fuel cells, micro-turbine generators (MTGs), and internal combustion engines are some of the many technologies being developed for the distributed generation market. MTGs are commercially available, but with a limited efficiency of 30%. By making use of the wasted energy, a co-generation system can achieve an overall system efficiency of about 70% or higher. An absorption chiller provides an attractive match because a large load on the MTG leads to higher temperature exhaust gases and the more heat input to the absorption chiller, the greater the cooling achieved. Results will be looked at for feasibility, efficiency, environmental compatibility, and economic practicality. This study focuses on modifications to an existing absorption chiller to optimize the co-generation relationship with the MTG.
Ritual and Theater
Mentors: Dr. Cliff Faulkner & Dr. Keith Fowler
The root of theater stems from ancient ritual from tribal cultures. Theater started as a way to appease the gods to provide for the community. Along the way, our society has adapted theater into a form that looks to figure out the social mechanisms that fuel our lives. Theater is now typically more of a physiologically introspective art. This project seeks out the ways in which the earlier form of theater is still applicable to modern culture and art. The medium that I chose was the play Equus by Peter Shaffer, which portrays modern traditions of psychology and ancient tribal rituals of animal worship and sacrifice. The horses represent a ritualistic way of being and the character Alan, the patient, being the intermediary. The character Dysart, the psychiatrist, represents our societys way of casting aside that does not make scientific sense, and the form that theater has taken, literally being the psychiatrist. The goal of the project is to try to blend ancient ritualistic theater with modern scientific theater and see if this is an applicable art form for modern times.
Green Party Campaign Workers: A Story of Political & Social Attitudes and Actions
Mentor: Dr. Tom Crawford
The definition of a "third party" is a "political party other then the two major political parties (Republican and Democratic). Usually, third parties are composed of dissatisfied groups that have split from the major parties." (Bardes, 1999). Although the Green Party was not as clearly and formally split off from a major part as most important "third parties" in American political history, Gore supporters appeared to regard the Green Party as would-be Democrats. Gore supporters asserted, "A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush." Felsenthal and Brichta studied what they called "sincere" and "strategic" voters in Israel. From this perspective Gore supporters implicitly urged Nader supporters to cast "strategic" votes for Gore rather than "sincere" votes for Nader. The present study examines Nader, Gore and Bush supporters on three dimensions: (1) conventionalism and attitudes toward authority as measured by Altemeyer's Right-Wing Authoritarianism scale; (2) extent of agreement with Green party political ideology; and (3) opinions on the assertion that "a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush." It is predicted that Bush voters will score highest and Nader voters lowest on Right Wing Authoritarianism. Green Party Nader supporters are expected to score highest on agreement with Green Party Ideology. Based on the possibility that some Gore supporters are "strategic" and not "sincere" in the sense of being closer in their beliefs to Nader than to Gore, it is expected that Gore supporters will be in closer agreement with Green Party ideology than will Bush supporters. Nader supporters are expected to strongly reject the assertion that a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush. Gore supporters are expected to strongly agree with the assertion, and Bush supporters are expected to also agree, though not so strongly as Gore supporters.
Dispositional Depressiveness and Withdrawal Symptoms Associated with Short-Term Smoking Abstinence
Mentor: Dr. Larry Jamner
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, yet 47 million American adults continue to smoke. Thus there is strong interest in understanding factors involved in the maintenance of smoking and in relapse following smoking cessation. There is growing evidence that high versus low depressive smokers demonstrate higher levels of nicotine dependence. This study will compare anticipated withdrawal effects versus actual acute withdrawal symptoms using two sets of data. In Study 1, 53 smokers were randomly assigned to a placebo or nicotine condition, depression was measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and moods were measured using the Mood Assessment Scale. In Study 2, 27 smokers completed the CES-D and were then asked to report their moods while imagining a 24-hour smoking abstinence period. They also reported their moods as if they had just smoked a cigarette. Data analysis is currently underway. Data from both studies will be used to compare results of actual acute withdrawal symptoms (Study 1) and anticipated withdrawal symptoms (Study 2) as a function of trait depressive characteristics. The findings of these studies are expected to add to our understanding of the possible mechanisms underlying the relationship between trait depression and higher relapse rates following smoking cessation.
An Examination of Alternative Programming Languages and Paradigms for Engineering Problem Solving
Mentor: Dr. Amelia Regan
The project examines alternative programming languages and paradigms for engineering problem solving. Of interest is the time needed to gain proficiency in alternative languages, ease of implementation of code, running speed, platform independence and availability of extensive mathematical libraries. Object oriented and procedural programming paradigms are examined and compared as the basis for the study of each individual language. Programming languages examined include FORTRAN, Basic, C, C++, Java, Perl and Matlab script. General applications included simulation modeling and data analysis. Specific applications include dynamic and stochastic fleet management (variants of the Traveling Salesman Problem), simulation of simple probabilistic games and development of programs (called protocals) to drive actuators in the structures engineering lab (a state of the art dynamic testing facility).
Determination of Optical Absorption, Scattering and Anisotropy Coefficients Using Photon Migration Methods
Mentor: Dr. Vasan Venugopalan
A rapid, non-invasive technique to determine optical absorption, scattering and anisotropy coefficients (mu_a, mu_s, g) of colloidal suspensions and other turbid/particulate media is of great interest for application to tissue diagnostics and process monitoring in the paint, polymer, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. Here, we introduce an inversion algorithm to recover these three coefficients from the spatially-resolved measurement of the irradiance generated by an optical point source buried within an infinite medium. The algorithm recovers the optical properties from these measurement using an optical transport model recently developed by Venugopalan and co-workers [Phys. Rev. E 58(2):2395-2407, 1998]. This model is based on a delta-Eddington variant of the diffusion approximation to the radiative transfer equation and is accurate over spatial scales comparable to the transport mean free path. The approach shown here allows the separation of the anisotropy (g) from the reduced scattering coefficient (mu_s') which is currently intractable using conventional diffusion-approximation-based approaches. Here we show the ability to recover these optical coefficients in both highly absorbing and highly scattering turbid media.
A Biocompatible and Bioerodible Film For Drug Delivery
Mentor: Dr. Richard Hill
Glaucoma drainage implants have been known to cause double vision due to their large size. Although these devices work to decrease the intraocular pressure of the eye, the post-operative pressure increases proportionally with the degree of fibrosis, which results from the encapsulation of the implant. A steady delivery of the antimetabolite 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) could decrease this fibrosis as well as increase the permeability of the filtering capsule. This study focused on developing a biocompatible and bioerodible film that will coat a glaucoma device and allow for delivery of 5-FU at a predictable rate from the glaucoma drainage implant. We synthesized a series of polyurethanes that were biocompatible materials and performed erosion studies to determine a suitable coating candidate. In order for the polymer to adhere to the implant, we developed an adhesive from the same materials. Future in-vivo testing of subconjunctival drug delivery from a glaucoma drainage implant will be based on the results from the present ex-vivo study.
Postnatal Handling Generates Differences in Stress Responsivity Between Genders
Thuy An Hoang
Mentors: Dr. Frances Leslie & Dr. Minjung Park
It has been postulated that individual differences in stress responsivity are associated with susceptibility to addiction to abused drugs. Furthermore, environmental conditions experienced early in life influences how well stress can be dealt with. Using Sprague-Dawley rats as a model system, we have investigated whether or not early postnatal handling of animals changes their responsivity toward restraint stress during adolescence. Previous studies have shown that daily handling induces dams to lick away unpleasant human-contributed odor on their pups, which purportedly confers some protection against stress in later life (Meaney, et al. full reference). In handled and non-handled juveniles, we examined blood corticosterone levels and behavioral responses to restraint as well as mRNA levels for CRH, c-fos, and alpha 2A-adrenergic receptors. Preliminary data suggest that hormonal and behavioral responses of juvenile rats to restraint stress exhibit gender differences. Blood corticosterone levels are lower in postnatally handled male rats compared to their non-handled controls whereas female rats exhibit opposite effects. These findings suggest that sex hormones may play an important role in biological responses to stress.
Infusion of a Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Receptor Antagonist Into the Basolateral Amygdala Impairs Memory Consolidation in Rats
Mentors: Dr. James McGaugh & Dr. Benno Roozendaal
Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is a peptide that has been hypothesized to participate in neural pathways associated with learning and memory. In view of substantial evidence supporting a regulatory role of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) in affectively influenced memory consolidation, it is likely that the BLA is involved in mediating, in part, the memory-modulatory effects of CRF. The present study examined in male Sprague-Dawley rats the effect of post-training intra-amygdala infusions of a -helical CRF, a nonspecific CRF receptor antagonist, on memory for inhibitory avoidance training. Our results indicate that immediate post-training infusions of a -helical CRF into the BLA, but not the immediately adjacent central nucleus of the amygdala, significantly impaired 48 hour retention. Furthermore, a -helical CRF did not impair retention when administered into the BLA 3 hours after training. These findings indicate that the BLA is involved in mediating a -helical CRF effects on memory consolidation, presumably by blocking the memory-enhancing effects of endogenously released CRF receptor ligands.
The Politics of Contemporary Patent Law Amendments
Mentor: Dr. Mark Petracca
"Inventions are among the most important and specific and least predictable of the intellectual creations man uses to increase his dominion over his environment" (Schmookler, 1996). In order to achieve technological progress in modern economies, it is essential for individuals to engage in research and development to establish new ideas and products. However, an inventors incentive to pursue the research process depends critically on the extent to which the results of its research are protected. Without patent protection, inventors would not be able to capture the benefits of their discoveries, since the invention would be available to potential users without restrictions. Patent laws have been a vital stimulant for participation in research and development and have become a significant criterion for technological progress. Many new bills and reforms are introduced and are implemented to encourage inventions and technological progress. On December 8, 1994, President Clinton signed into law the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. This Act made several significant changes to U.S. patent law, including: The measurement of patent term in the United States (patents now provide rights starting on the issue date and expire 20 years after the effective filing date of the patent application); creation of a "provisional application" system (a low cost, reduced-formalities patent application); and changes to the provisions of U.S. law governing proof of invention to obtain a patent. This study will focus on the origin of patent law and contemporary patent amendments that have initiated current debates and have called for new reforms.
Characterization of Human Condensin-Associated Protein X4-4
Mentor: Dr. Kroko Yokomori
Chromosome condensation is one of the most important cellular processes that ensures chromosome structural stability during mitosis. However, the mechanism of high-level chromosome condensation is poorly understood. The condensin is responsible for high-level chromosome condensation and belongs to the structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) family proteins. Studies in various organisms revealed that condensin is a conserved protein complex and associate with a variety of associate proteins. To further understand the relationship of novel protein X4-4 and human condensin, a large amount of X4-4 was produced and purified to serve as an antigen for antibody production. Following the purification of X4-4 antibodies, immunoprecipitation and immunostaining experiments were performed to confirm the association of X4-4 and condensin. Furthermore, immunostaining and subdomain analysis of X4-4 revealed it to be a nuclear protein that is probably cell-cycle dependent. The characterization of X4-4 using gene disruption and mutational analysis will further reveal its role in condensin. Refined X4-4 immunostaining analysis in the future can reveal its specific localization in different cell-cycle stages of human cells. Since no other condensin-associated proteins in other organisms have the distinct properties revealed by X4-4 characterization, human condensin could be regulated differently from other condensins and might have a distinct mechanism of chromosome condensation.
Elasticity of Partisan Affiliation: The Connections Between Southern California Chinese American Political Participation Acculturation
Mentor: Dr. Sharon Stern
According to Middle Series Population projections conducted by the United States Census Bureau, by 2020 the nations Asian Pacific American (APA) population is expected to reach 19.7 million or 6.1 percent of the nations total population. Currently in California, APAs comprise 12 percent of the population. Asian Pacific Americans are becoming the most highly sought-after population because they have weak partisan political affiliations, thereby making the group attractive to all political parties. In comparison to other minority groups, Chinese Americans exhibit a tendency to shift partisan support in hopes of aligning with parties that reflect their political interests. Through examining the results of the 1996 Asian Pacific American Legal Exit Polls (200 voters), this study analyzes the relationship between acculturation (independent variable) and political participation/partisanship (dependent variable) in order to bring insight into the unique characteristics of immigrant communities and political participation. The " prerequisite to understanding why people vote is determining which of their personal characteristics are most highly related to voting" (Wolfinger and Rosenstone 1980). Embracing this ideal of discovering characteristics most highly related to voting, this study investigates the factors that typically contribute to weak political participation and partisan affiliation - age, socioeconomic status, length of residency in the United States and levels of education. As predicted, typical factors that gage voter participation in other communities do not predict Chinese American political participation.
French Security Policy in Europe: Independence or Integration
Mentor: Dr. Patrick Morgan
After the end of the Second World War, France had to define its role in the global arena. This was shaped by its past history as a great power, the two world wars, and its insecurity at the prospect of being a "middle-ranked" power. Charles de Gaulle was determined to maintain France as an important global actor. He set forth principles that would be the basis for French foreign and security policy and it included these elements: "the absolute need for independence in decision making, a refusal to accept subordination to the United States, the search for grandeur and rank, the primacy of the nation-state, and the importance of national defense" (Gordon 1993). However, France has also sought to conduct its foreign and security policy via close cooperation with friends and allies which contradicts Gaullist principles. For instance, De Gaulle was suspicious of the European community because he feared that the sovereignty of France would be reduced. The principle of independence has remained a central theme in Frances security policy during the Cold War because it has helped France sustain its status as a global power. But it has faced substantial conflict between maintaining its independence and the need to integrate or coordinate its security policy with others, most recently with the European Union. This research attempts to examine how France has sought to reconcile conflicting concepts from 1945 to the present day and to determine how France will try to reconcile independence and integration in the future.
Artificially Impaired Reaching
Mentor: Dr. David Reinkensmeyer
Recent breakthroughs in neuroscience are beginning to uncover the brain's mechanisms used to encode movement. Specifically, researchers have developed a model of the neural network believed to control the hand during reaching. Georgopoulos first identified a population of neurons in the primary motor cortex where each neuron has a highest firing rate corresponding to a particular movement direction. A neuron's preferred movement direction can be represented mathematically by a vector in the same direction. Then the magnitude of the vector is determined by the neuron's firing rate. As Georgopoulos showed, obtaining the vector sum over a uniformly distributed population of neurons yields a vector in the movement direction. In this current study, we attempt to explain the reaching impairment people commonly experience after a stroke. Assuming a stroke destroys cells in the primary motor cortex without preference, cell death is modeled by randomly eliminating vectors. As a result, the vector sum begins to skew away from the desired movement direction. Preliminary statistical analysis has been promising. When compared to data collected from actual stroke subjects, the simulation reveals similar trends in initial movement direction error as a function of stroke severity. These results are providing insight into the underlying mechanism causing a stroke subject's motor dysfunction. Future studies will use similar models to investigate other aspects of reaching, such as velocity, which has also been linked to the vector sum.
Density Profiles of Argon (II) Plasma
Mentor: Dr. Roger McWilliams
Laboratory plasmas provide an insightful look into celestial objects, and have several industrial applications in semi-conductor processing and cleaning procedures. The characteristics of the laboratory plasmas assist in more efficient use of the plasmas. We used an Argon (II) plasma, and analyzed the density profiles with respect to pressure, frequency, and power. A radio frequency source was used to generate the plasma, and a Langmuir Probe setup to generate the data. The pressure was varied from 9x105 Torr to 60 mTorr, and had an optimum pressure level of 0.8 mTorr. The frequency was varied from 5 MHz to 70 MHz, with the strongest signal at 7 MHz, 18 MHz, and 32 MHz. A radial scan of the plasma produced a small variance in the density, due to low densities. With the addition of a magnetic field, the signal became much more erratic. The magnetic field dramatically confines the plasma in a radial direction, and enhances the reaction to variances in pressure, frequency and power.
Need for Convergent and Divergent Thinking
Mentor: Dr. Chuansheng Chen
Cacioppo and Petty developed the concept of Need for Cognition in 1982 to refer to inter-individual variations in intrinsic motivation to engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive processing. Furthermore, they developed the Need for Cognition Scale to measure this construct. One major limitation of this scale is that it only measures the general concept of cognition and does not distinguish between different types of cognitive processing. The purpose of the current study is to develop a scale that measures individual variations in intrinsic motivation to engage in and enjoy two different cognitive processes¾ producing ideas and selecting from a group of ideas. Subjects in this study included 240 college students who completed a series of questionnaires including the proposed need for production-selection scale, the need for cognition scale, the need to evaluate scale, the rationality-experientiality inventory, a likes and dislikes questionnaire, and creativity tasks. Data analysis is currently underway and will address questions regarding the reliability and validity of the proposed scale and its relationship to other well-accepted scales and creativity.
Eclipsing Binary Stars
Mentor: Dr. Roger McWilliams
Binary stars are stars that are bound together by gravity. They appear as a single point of light to an observer. However, the variations in brightness and spectroscopic observations show that the single point of light is actually two stars in close orbit around one another. The variations in light intensity from eclipsing binary stars are caused by one star passing in front of the other relative to the observer. Assuming the stars are spherical and that they have circular orbits, its easy to approximate how the light varies as a function of time for eclipsing binary stars.
HIV/AIDS Among Migrant Haitian Laborers in the Dominican Republic: The Role of Socio-Political Instability, Interethnic Conflict and Cultural Practices
Mentors: Dr. Caesar Sereseres & Dr. Lois Takahashi
Recent cross-border social movements from the accelerated globalization of labor markets have redefined the modes of HIV transmission and increased the number of new cases annually. In this context, HIV/AIDS has emerged as an impending public health problem threatening the sustainable growth in developing countries where the impact of this disease has been most pronounced. Although much is known about the biology of HIV/AIDS, the social etiology of viral transmission and infection is not completely understood. For this project, I will integrate data from currently available studies in history, ethnography, governance, as well as medical and ecological anthropology to examine how social disruption, caused by colonial legacies, inter-ethnic hostilities, political instability, economic pressures from globalization, and environmental degradation can be attributed to the high incidence and prevalence of HIV/AIDS among seasonal workers from Haiti in the Dominican sugar cane industry. I am focusing on this particular segment of the population because (1) HIV/AIDS among migrant laborers in general is not well-characterized and (2) the results from this study will have implications for designing public health interventions targeting migrant, ethnic minority laborers and improving relations between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Activation of HMG CoA Reductase Promoter by SREBP and the Orphan Nuclear Receptor, FTF
Mentor: Dr. Tim Osborne
Cholesterol homeostasis is vital to cells and tissues of all higher animals because a failure will result in diseases like atherosclerosis. Proper balance is maintained by three pathways: the endogenous biosynthesis of cholesterol, the uptake of plasma cholesterol through the LDL receptor, and the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids. Regulation of the first two pathways is achieved at the level of transcription by sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs). Members of the nuclear receptor family such as the liver X receptors (LXRs), the farnesoid X receptor (FXR), and ?-fetoprotein transcription factor (FTF) regulate the genes involved in the third pathway. For maximal activation of their target genes, SREBPs require other ubiquitous co-regulatory factors and their associated binding site that vary for each promoter. In the LDL receptor promoter, the co-regulator is Sp1. The SREBP co-regulator(s) for the key gene involved in cholesterol biosynthesis, HMG CoA reductase, are just beginning to be identified. In cultured cells, SREBPs more potently activate the LDL receptor promoter than the HMG CoA reductase promoter. However, in the livers of animals the HMG CoA reductase gene is activated by SREBPs to a similar degree as the LDL receptor, suggesting that a liver enriched SREBP co-regulatory factor may be involved in activating HMG CoA reductase. FTF may be this factor because it is a liver enriched protein involved in other aspects of cholesterol metabolism. In this study we investigated the direct role of FTF in SREBP mediated activation of HMG CoA reductase using a luciferase reporter gene assay system.
Reactions of Aminopropanedinitrile 4-Methylbenzenesulfonate [Aminomalononitrile p-Toluenesulfonate (Tosylate)] with Fluorobenzaldehydes
Mentor: Dr. Fillmore Freeman
Aminopropanedinitrile 4-methylbenzene sulfonate (AMNT) reacts with aromatic aldehydes in order to produce (E,E)-4-amino-1-(4-fluorophenyl)-3-cyano-4-methoxy-2-aza-1,3-butadienes and trans-3,6-difluorophenyl-2,2,5,5-tetracyanopipera-zines. The specific aldehydes used for this experiment will be 2-, 3-, and 4-fluorobenzaldehydes. The formation of piperazines also may involve synthetically useful N-protonated aryl- and cyano-stabilized azomethine ylides which could result from an imine-azomethine ylide tautomerism of prior formed 1-aryl-3,3-dicyano-2-aza-1-propenes. The highly reactive azomethine ylides can undergo 1-3-dipolar cycloaddition [p4s+p2s] reactions with dimethyl 1,2-ethynedicarboxylate (DMAD) to give 3,4-dicarbomethoxy-2-cyano-5-aryl-3-pyrroline, which undergo facile dehydrocyanation to 3,4-dicarbomethoxy-2-cyano-5-arylpyrroles. To investigate the regioselectivity of the cycloaddition reaction, a third reaction involving the 2-azaallyl anion with methyl propiolate gives methyl (2Z,5E)-4,4-dicyano-6-phenyl-5-aza-2,5-hexadienoate, involving a Michael reaction (due to the susceptibility of triple bonds to nucleophilic attack) taken place under acidic experimental conditions. These products are important for isolation and characterization because highly functionalized 2-aza-butadienes are involved in the Diels-Alder reactions of heterodienes and are useful in the mechanistic studies of cycloaddition reactions. Also, piperazine and its derivatives are well known for their bioactivity and for their roles in the preparation of pharmaceutical drugs such as b -adrenergic blocking agents. These agents are important medicinally as amino steroids and antibiotics. Derivatives of the azabutadienes and piperazines have shown anti-HIV/AIDS and anticancer activity. However, some of these compounds not only killed diseased human cells, but healthy cells as well. Thus, a goal of these experiments is to maximize toxicity for abnormal cells but maintain the health of normal cells.
Coping with Parental Depression
Mentor: Dr. Roxane Cohen Silver
Mental illness impacts not only individuals who suffer from the illness, but their family members as well. The effect of mental illness on family life includes modifications in family roles, heightened emotions, and disruptions of usual routines (Anthony, 1970). The present study sought to answer the following questions: what strategies do the offspring of depressed parents use to cope with the stress associated with parental depression? Specifically, do offspring of depressed parents tend to use more secondary-control coping strategies over problem-focused, emotion-focused, and primary-control coping strategies? Moreover, do offspring cope differently with a perceived uncontrollable stressor (i.e., their parents depression) as compared to a perceived controllable stressor (i.e., school or work problems)? Quantitative and qualitative responses were analyzed from an anonymous questionnaire that was completed by offspring (ages 12 years to 78 years, N=16) of depressed parents. Respondents offered several suggestions for how offspring can cope with the stress of parental depression which were quite consistent across participants. Analyses of the quantitative data indicate that offspring do not differ significantly in their overall use of primary and secondary strategies in response to the stressors of parental depression and school or work problems. However, offspring are significantly more likely to use the secondary control strategy of wishful thinking to cope with parental depression than to cope with school or work problems. In contrast, to cope with school or work problems, offspring tend to use the primary strategies of problem solving and emotional expression and the secondary strategy of positive thinking.
Comparison of Emergency Patients and Emergency Physicians Assessments of Emergency Medical Conditions: Prudent Layperson Definition
Mentor: Dr. Federico Vaca
EMTALA regulations require EDs to provide a medical screening examination for all patients who present for care. Reimbursement may depend on health plans adoption of the prudent layperson definition of an emergency. However, prudent layperson attitudes among ED patients have not been studied. The objective of this study is to compare perceived urgency of evaluation between urban ED patients and board certified emergency physicians. Surveys were mailed to local practicing emergency physicians. Patients and physicians were asked to rate the urgency of evaluation of four clinical scenarios: acute sore throat, acute ankle injury, acute abdominal pain and acute hemiparesis. Surveys also asked to choose best definition of "emergency." We also assessed demographic and financial factors, time of arrival, primary language, frequency of ED use, and access to primary care. We concluded that the threshold for seeking care among ED patients is significantly lower than is judged appropriate by practicing emergency physicians. Acute stroke symptoms are not likely to be recognized as requiring immediate treatment by urban ED patients. Attempts to promote primary care utilization for minor medical problems are likely to fail without significant education of ED patients. Education is also required if patients are expected to access emergency care for acute stroke symptoms.
The Effects of Stimulus Intensity on P50 Measure of Sensory Gating
Mentor: Dr. Julie Patterson
Individuals afflicted with schizophrenia often bear characteristic disorders of attention rooted in a failure to filter (gate) sensory input. Such attention deficits have been assessed by measuring suppression of the P50 event-related potential, an evoked brain response with a latency of 50 milliseconds. An auditory paired-click test, the conditioning-testing paradigm, has been used to study this deficit. In this procedure, an individual listens to a set of 50 paired click sounds with a 500 millisecond interval interceding throughout each pair. The efficacy of sensory gating is assayed by comparing the relative amplitudes of the P50 wave to the first (S1) and second (S2) clicks of a pair, with a smaller P50-S2/S1 ratio indicating operative filtering. Previous tests have demonstrated sensory gating deficits in schizophrenia indicated by a higher S2/S1 ratio. However, sensory gating is dependent upon a number of different factors, including the qualities of the stimulus and the demands of the task. The auditory intensity of the stimulus may be a factor that influences gating. In this study, both schizophrenics and controls will be presented with paired clicks at 80dB and 100dB in order to study the effects of variation in auditory intensity on the sensory gating response to auditory stimuli as measured by the P50 event-related potential. Determining the auditory specifications of the paired-click stimulus would lead to a more accurate index of sensory gating differences between controls and schizophrenics.
Degree of Dominance of Sex Expression on Schiedea salicaria
Mentor: Dr. Ann Sakai & Dr. Stephen Weller
Unlike animals, most flowering plants are hermaphroditic (one plant has both male and female functions in the same flower). Evolution has led to dimorphism, including gynodioecy and dioecy, in approximately 6% of the flowering plants. Dioecious populations have females and males present in the population. Gynodioecious populations have females and hermaphrodites present in the population. Gynodioecy is thought to be a stage in the evolution of dioecy. Sex expression in plants is controlled by nuclear or cytoplasmic genes. In gynodioecious Schiedea salicaria, male sterility (production of females) is controlled at a single nuclear locus. If male sterility is recessive, there are two possible genotypes for hermaphrodites. If hermaphrodites are heterozygous (Hh) there will be females and heterozygous hermaphrodites present in the progeny. If hermaphrodites are homozygous (HH) there will be only heterozygous hermaphrodites present in the progeny. For this project, ten half-sibling hermaphroditic pairs (twenty plants total) were selected where one plant is heterozygous and the other plant is homozygous dominant. The half siblings share a common mother. Each of the plants were subjected to a variety of morphological measurements and pollinations to determine if there are differences between the heterozygous and the homozygous half sibling hermaphroditic pairs. Differences would indicate incomplete dominance of the allele determining expression of hermaphroditism. Preliminary results suggest that dominance is complete at the sex determining locus.
One Dimensional Filter Diagonalization Method
Mentor: Dr. Roger McWilliams
A new data processing algorithm, the filter diagonalization method (FDM) introduced by Wall and Newhauser in 1995 and recently developed by Vladimir A. Mandelshtam, is applied to 1D NMR spectra. The objective of FDM is to obtain a "high fidelity" line list of peak positions, width, amplitudes, and phases. Where "high fidelity" means that each true NMR transition is represented by its true single entity. With respect to the well understood fast Fourier transfer algorithm, which simply gives a graph of amplitude verses frequency, FDM equipped with quantum mechanical formalism is numerically more efficient and results in a higher resolution.
Synthesis of 3-Pyrrolines and Pyrroles
Mentor: Dr. Fillmore Freeman
The derivatives of 3-pyrrolines and pyrroles have shown anticancer and anti-AIDS activities. These compounds can be synthesized via cycloaddition reactions of azaallyl anions and ylides with dipolarophiles. In order to lower the level of toxicity and increase the bioactivity of these anticancer and anti-AIDS compounds, benzaldehyde substituted with different substituents are being used in the experiments. It is known that the positions of different substituents in the aromatic aldehydes contribute to changes in the bioactivity. The structures of these compounds were determined and confirmed by mass spectrometry, 1H-NMR, and 13C-NMR spectroscopy. The products are sent to the National Cancer Institute to be tested for bioactivity and toxicity. In order for an anticancer and anti-AIDS compounds to work effectively in the treatment of cancer, the level of toxicity must be acceptable in the human body. The purpose of this project is to synthesize derivatives of 3-pyrrolines and pyrroles in order to increase in bioactivity and decrease the toxicity by changing the substituents on the aromatic ring. Substituted benzaldehydes that have been used so far include: 1) 4-Flourobenzaldehyde, 2) 2-Chlorobenzaldehyde, 3) 4-Chlorobenzaldehyde, and 4) 4-Bromobenzaldehyde.
Complement-Mediated Amplification of the Humoral Response to Aß
Mentor: Dr. David Cribbs
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly and is characterized by distinct neuropathological changes in the brain. ß-amyloid (Aß) is found in senile plaques and is derived from the amyloid precursor protein (APP). The development of several transgenic (Tg) mouse models overexpressing mutant forms of APP (APP/Tg) that generate elevated levels of Aß and develop extensive plaque pathology has provided a new avenue for AD research. These APP/Tg mice have now been shown to develop cognitive deficits or behavioral impairments that correlate with deposition of Aß in the mouse brain. Recently, Schenk et al., reported that immunization of APP/Tg mice with fibrillar Aß1-42 (Aß42) attenuated the deposition and even initiated the removal of existing Aß deposits from the mouse brain. However, a number of questions and concerns remain unanswered regarding Aß immunization as a potential treatment for AD. The current immunization protocols rely on strong adjuvants and monthly injections of the expensive and potentially toxic fibrillar Aß42 to maintain high titres of anti-Aß antibodies. Because of the serious side effects associated with most adjuvants and questions regarding the how effective Aß42 is as an antigen, experimental approaches that incorporate "molecular adjuvants" and target and amplify the humoral immune response may provide significant efficacy, safety and economical advantages over the present protocols. We are utilizing the complement system to enhance the humoral immune responses to Aß immunization. We have conjugated C3 fragments and mannose residues to Aß and have immunized mice with these modified Aß antigens.
Foraging Path Length in Populations of Accelerated Development in Drosophila melanogaster
Mentor: Dr. Laurence Mueller
Prior works had suggested that feeding rates and foraging path lengths in Drosophila melanogaster might be correlated in density-dependent populations. Five populations of accelerated development and their controls were studied. Foraging path lengths were measured in lines selected for rapid development that were also known to feed more rapidly than the controls. Foraging path lengths in populations of accelerated development and their controls were traced and measured. The results showed that selection for accelerated development has lead to an increase in foraging path lengths. In all likelihood, these data suggest that there is a genetic correlation between rates and foraging path lengths.
The Effects of Gonadotropin Hormone on Ovarian Follicle Glutathione (GSH) Synthesis
Mentor: Dr. Ulrike Luderer
Glutathione (GSH) is an essential tripeptide antioxidant that is expressed in mammalian ovaries and other tissues. Its detoxifying role is an integral part of preventing ovarian toxicity from endogenous and exogenous chemical agents. Loss of such a mechanism can be lethal to preimplantaion embryos or lead to oocyte damage resulting in infertility. Previous studies suggested pituitary gonadotropin hormones regulate GSH synthesis. We hypothesized that gonadotropins regulate ovarian GSH synthesis by increasing protein and mRNA expression of its rate-limiting enzyme, glutamate cysteine ligase, GLCL, in ovaries. GSH tissue content, GLCL-catalytic (GLCL-c) and GLCL-regulatory (GLCL-r) subunit protein and mRNA levels were examined at 8 and 24 hours following stimulation of follicle development by subcutaneous injection on 10IU PMSG in saline, or saline alone, in 25 day old immature rats. GSH tissue content was measured by enzymatic assay, GLCL subunit mRNA levels by Northern blot analysis, and GLCL subunit protein levels by Western blot analysis. PMSG stimulation showed a significant effect on ovarian GSH tissue content when compared to saline control group in the 24 hr. group, but not in the 8 hr. group. Upon Northern blot analysis GLCL-c and GLCL-r mRNA normalized with GADPH mRNA levels exhibited no increase at either time period. GLCL-c subunit protein levels increased significantly at 24 hr. and GLCL-r protein levels were increased at the 8 and 24 hr. time points.
Characterization of MMP and TIMP Expression Following Spinal Cord Injury
Mentor: Dr. Hans Keirstead
In this study, we determine the quantity and type of Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) and Tissue Inhibitors of Metalloproteinases (TIMPs) produced after spinal cord injury in vivo. Moreover, we identify the cells that produce these proteins. A dorsal hemisection at T11 is performed on mice, which are scarified 1 day, 2 days, 5 days, and 14 days after injury. Serial longitudinal sections of injured and control spinal cords are stained for MMPs and TIMPs proteins and RNA using immunohistochemical and in situ techniques, respectively. In addition, using double staining techniques, we stain for each of the MMPs and TIMPs with each of microglial, neutrophiles, neurons, and astrocytes. Based on previous injury models, we hypothesize that MMP-9 activity reaches a peak at 24 hours and that of MMP-2 increases reaching its maximum at 5 days after injury. However, we found that the levels of MMP-3 proteins did not change. On the other hand, we expect the activity of TIMPs to be unaltered after injury permitting the increase in MMP-9, MMP-2, and others. Also, according to previous studies, we predict that neutrophiles are the MMP-9 producers and astorocytes are the source of both MMP-2 and MMP-14 production at the site of injury.
Electronics for X-Ray Equalization Device
Mentor: Dr. Sabee Molloi
The quality of diagnostic X-ray images is often degraded due to the X-ray detectors inability to accommodate for the large range of X-ray attenuation by different tissues in the patients body. A technique of placing a patient specific filter between the X-ray generator and detector, called equalization, can reduce this large dynamic range, resulting in improved image quality. In this project, the electronic components for controlling the prototype of the filter-generating device is built. The filter-generating device prototype consists of a 3 by 3 matrix of pistons that pushes into a soft filtering material to mold it into a specific contour. This contour is formed according to the gray-level from a preliminary unequalized image of the patient. Each 1cm x 1cm piston is controlled by one nickel-titanium wire, popularly known as muscle wire. At the core of the controlling component for the prototype is a micro-controller that sends electrical pulses to regulate the time that the muscle wire should shrink and the amount of current that goes into the wire. The micro-controller has a built-in EEPROM that stores the software for its functionality. This software provides the mechanism to communicate with the PC and to output the muscle wire controlling signals. The PC is responsible for digitizing the preliminary image and calculating the contour information of the filtering mask. The controlling electronics for the prototype, including the micro-controller and accessory components, have been built, and the software for the micro-controller has been written.
Spatial Representation of an Odorant Mixture in the Rat Olfactory Bulb
Mentor: Dr. Michael Leon
Previous studies have suggested that distinct molecular features of any pure odorant activate spatially unique patterns of glomeruli in the olfactory bulb. Naturally occurring odors often are mixtures of different odorants, but not much is known about how mixtures are encoded in the olfactory bulb. To determine whether a pattern evoked by an odorant mixture can be predicted from patterns evoked by the individual components, I selected six odorants that occur together naturally in a mint extract, and I assessed the patterns evoked by each component and the mixture. I exposed rats to the six odorants and the mixture and mapped [14C]2-deoxyglucose uptake across the entire glomerular layer. Patterns of glomerular activity were expressed in the form of anatomically standardized arrays. The odorant mixture pattern was well predicted by combining the patterns of individual components, especially those that caused the greatest 2-DG uptake. All activated glomerular modules seen in the mixture pattern were also observed in at least one of the individual patterns. These results suggest that the spatial representation of an odorant mixture show a simple additive effect. It remains to be determined whether additive effects will apply to all odorant mixtures.
Regulation of IFN Signaling
Mentor: Dr. John Krolewski
Interferon alpha (IFNa) belongs to the class I family of interferons, which are pharmaceutical drugs used to treat hepatitis C and certain cancers. Among many proteins involved in this pathway, in our research we are particularly interested in the IFNaR2 and STAT2 proteins. Previously, we have observed that STAT2, in the non-phosphorylated state, binds IFNaR2. The reason for this phenomenon is not known. STAT2 appears to negatively regulate IFNa signaling. Specifically, previous experiments in cultured cells show that when IFNaR2 is mutated at its STAT2 binding site, STAT2 does not bind to IFNaR2 regardless of the presence of IFNa. Most importantly, when IFNa does not bind to the receptor, signaling increases. These findings, though apparently quite reproducible, require independent confirmation. To do this we must first find the segment of the STAT2 protein that is responsible for the interaction with IFNaR2. In order to execute this experiment we will be using a special form of the yeast-2-hybrid system, called the Cyto-trap. Chimeric proteins (consisting of portions of two different proteins) containing IFNaR2 and STAT2 will be used. The chimeric protein will be connected to a signaling pathway by using the MYR-Ras protein. One end of the chimeric protein will be bound to Ras, which is a GTPase, and the other to MYR (a myristalization site), which binds to the membrane in order to trigger some signaling cascades. Once these interactions are established, I will mutate the STAT2 piece and identify mutations, which disrupt the interaction with IFNaR2.
Effects of Task Labels on Performance Following Neutral and Failure Experiences
Mentor: Dr. Christine Lofgren
The experiment will be examining the effect of task labels on performance after experiencing failure and experiencing no failure. Half of the participants will be given unsolvable anagrams and half of the participants will be given solvable anagrams. Participants will be asked to solve 20 anagrams that are labeled and emphasized to be highly difficult, moderately difficult, or no labels or emphasis given. The dependent variables are the number of completed anagrams. Participants base abilities and attribution styles will also be analyzed because they can help explain the results. Results would show whether or not the failure experiences have a significant effect on the performance of participants and whether there is in fact an effect of task labels. Results could show that performance impairment is only found when failure is first experienced or that performance impairment can be due to task labels alone, independent of prior failure experience. Results should offer support the one of the two theories, learned helplessness or egotism, proposed to explain the achievement behavior being investigated. If participants perform better on anagrams labeled as moderately difficult than on ones labeled as highly difficult, then learned helplessness is supported. If participants perform better on anagrams labeled highly difficult than on anagrams labeled moderately difficult, then egotism is supported. Participant attribution style will also be evaluated. Data analysis is currently in progress. Result of this experiment will provide insight to factors influencing task performance.
Holocaust Drama: A Journey
Mentor: Dr. Cliff Faulkner
For over half a century now, the world has attempted to come to terms with the Holocaust and with the moral, psychological, spiritual, and ideological implications such a horrifying, widespread event connotes. While a textbook is able to offer a limited, somewhat general set of facts and conditions surrounding Hitlers Germany and World War II at large, art and literature have proven to be the most effective, evocative and informative mediums through which the general public has been educated. In the theatre, where art and literature are married, lies the greatest potential to inform and challenge. The theatre is real, and audiences experience an imperfect, constantly evolving work when they attend a play. The theater, according to expert Robert Skloot, is ideal for engaging in the Holocaust experience because it suggests a forum that "pays homage to the victims; educates the audiences; provokes emotional responses; raises moral questions; [and] draws conclusions about the possibilities of human behavior." Through my own research, involving the consideration of plays, films and criticism, I have examined the different ways in which dramatists have approached the challenge of representing the Holocaust and I have considered what these respective plays have to offer on both an artistic and educational level. As Jill Cary Martin notes in her own dissertation on Holocaust plays, "Idealistically, their lessons may challenge us to prevent another such travesty. May we not be inadequate to the task."
Investigating Serotonin's Effects on Impulsive Behaviors
Mentor: Dr. Larry Jamner
The last decade has seen a resurgence of interest of mechanisms associated with impulsivity and problems of behavioral inhibition. Deficiencies in central serotonin levels are believed to underlie trait impulsivity and problems of behavioral disinhibition. The aim of this project is to examine the extent to which manipulations of trytophan will be associated with a behavioral measure of impulsivity, and whether the effects of the manipulation will be more strongly expressed in high, as compared to low trait impulsive individuals. Tryptophan is necessary for the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin and its increased bioavailability has been associated with greater brain levels of serotonin in animal models. In Study 1, responses to a Time Production Task were evaluated in 40 individuals under conditions of Tryptophan depletion and Tryptophan enhancement. Both manipulations were achieved using an amino-acid protein drink. The effects of Tryptophan enhancement and depletion on time production responses of 20 individuals in a "no drink" condition are examined as a function of high versus low trait impulsivity and will also be presented. The "no drink" group will serve as a partial control and provide information on trait impulsivity and time production responses under resting conditions. The results of these two studies will shed light on the extent to which serotonergic mechanisms contribute to behavioral disinhibition in general and more specifically whether trait impulsivity is associated with differential sensitivity to changes in serotonin bioavailability.
Assessing Personality Disorders in Blacks: An Investigation of the MMPI
Mentor: Dr. Jeanett Castellanos
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is the most widely used assessment tool in psychotherapy due to its reliability and validity. However, controversy has evolved over the years in its application to ethnic minorities. Interest in the MMPI and the MMPI 2 has provided a wide range of resources that examine the tendency for minority groups, such as Blacks, to score higher in certain scales when compared to the norm scores. These sources generally take one of two positions: (a) the score difference suggests that there is test biases depicting Blacks as pathological and (b) no significant difference in the scores implies no validity or reliability problems with the instrument. Therefore, the current investigation examines the MMPIs applicability to Blacks. More specifically, two scales will be examined (Paranoia and Cynicism) to determine their accuracy in diagnosing this specific group. Data collection consists of 20 Black students from a Southern California University and 83 Black students from a Caribbean University. Both groups are given a modified version of the MMPI and a short Demographic Questionnaire. In addition, the Southern California students are given the Black Racial Identity Attitude Scale. The measures will be correlated to determine the relationship between gender, ethnicity identity, and the two MMPI scales. Results are still pending however, data will be analyzed Spring Quarter 2001. The study contributes to the debate in the literature and will help practitioners determine the accuracy of a long used instrument in the field of Psychology.
The Role of UNC-86 in the Development of Serotonergic Phenotype
Mentor: Dr. Ji Ying Sze
We are interested in identifying the genetic network that regulates the synthesis of serotonin, a neurotransmitter. In wild-type worms, NSM, AIM, RIH, HSN, and ADF neurons can be stained by anti-serotonin antibody, and are therefore, classified as the serotonergic neurons. Our previous studies indicate that the Tryptophan hydroxylase gene tph-1 is expressed in these serotonergic neurons and is essential for the biosynthesis of serotonin, and we have been using tph-1::gfp as a reporter to identify genes that regulate tph-1 expression. The unc-86 gene encodes a POU-homeodomain transcription factor, which regulates the development and differentiation of many neurons in C. elegans. UNC-86 is expressed in the NSM, AIM, RIH, and HSN throughout the life of worms. In unc-86-null mutants, these neurons are generated and have grossly normal morphology. These observations suggest that UNC-86 is not required for the generation for the serotonergic neurons. However, we found that these neurons do not express tph-1::gfp in unc-86-null background. This indicates that UNC-86 is required for tph-1 expression. We have also investigated whether unc-86 is required for the expression of other genes important for serotonin synthesis and neurotransmission. Using GFP as a reporters, we found that the unc-86-null mutations do not affect the expression of cat-1, which encodes a transporter that loads serotonin into synaptic vesicles; or the expression of cat-4::gfp, which encodes GTP cyclohydrolase I, the Tryptophan hydroxylase cofactor. These facts all suggest that unc-86 has a specific late role in the pathway of serotonin synthesis.
An Agent-Based Approach to Distributed Object Technology
Mentor: Dr. Tatsuya Suda
Distributed object technologies have taken the world of software development by storm. EJB, the Java object technology introduced in recent years, has become a popular choice because of its object-oriented characteristics and practical ease of use. Although EJB provides potential benefits, current implementations suffer from significant performance drawbacks. Such performance drawbacks are primarily due to network latencies between clients and objects residing on remote EJB servers. By utilizing a biologically inspired, agent-based model for the underlying implementation of a subset of an EJB container, some of the performance drawbacks in EJB technology can be mitigated. Even more interesting, these agent-based EJB containers incorporate adaptive characteristics that make them particularly suitable to network environments with mobile clients (such as mobile phone networks). Furthermore, such agent-based techniques, although oriented towards EJB, easily extend to the realm of more generalized distributed object technology such as CORBA. In this paper (presentation) we discuss these techniques used to map session, entity, and message driven EJBs onto an agent-based implementation, and the implications of such a mapping in terms of EJB container performance. Performance is analyzed both quantitatively through simulation of several typical EJB applications, and subjectively by attempting to understand some of the containers characteristics. In addition, we discuss the application of these techniques to more generalized object technologies and provide an overview of further research questions.
Digital Learning Tools and Student Achievement
Mentor: Dr. Ramesh Arasasingham
An important challenge for teachers today is not only selecting and integrating appropriate technologies that put students in an active learning environment, but also gathering and analyzing evidence of the effectiveness of student learning. This project is being used to evaluate the usefulness of including web-based chemistry learning tools beyond the textbook in classrooms with very large enrollments. Using a server-based learning tool, Mastering Chemistry, we compare two first quarter General Chemistry classes, one of which completes homework assigned from the textbook and the other which completes homework with Mastering Chemistry. The two factors we specifically examine are: i) development and application of proportional reasoning skills, and ii) the development of conceptual understanding at the atomic level. We use Knowledge Space Theory (KST) to analyze the logic structure of the students in both a pre and a post-test.
Effects of Cyclophosphamide on the Level of Glutathione in Rat Ovaries
Mentor: Dr. Ulrike Luderer
This current study will examine cyclophosphamide (CPA) toxicity on rat ovaries. This chemotheraputic drug has been used in treating patients with cancer for some time, causing many women to become sterile or enter into early menopause. Yet the reason why CPA causes various degrees of ovarian dysfunction in women is still not fully known. Other studies have noted that CPA depletes glutathione (GSH) levels in organs, such as the liver, after treatment with the drug. Although the trigger for follicle growth is not well understood, it is believed that the GSH found in the ovaries is an important factor in the development of primordial and antral follicle growth. Therefore if CPA is used it might likewise deplete the levels of GSH in the ovaries causing follicle destruction and an increase in follicle atresia. The higher the dose of CPA is administered the greater the effects of depletion will be on GSH levels. At 24 hours after cyclophosphamide injection we expect to see lowered levels of GSH and high levels of Glcl-c and Glcl-r mRNA levels in the ovary.
Specialized Services in the Bionet Paradigm
Mentor: Dr. Tatsuya Suda
The Internet has become one of the most useful technological tools in history. Since its inception, the Internet has grown from a few hundred to over five hundred million users worldwide. As a result of its ever-expanding user base and the growing use of high-bandwidth applications, the infrastructure of the Internet has come into question. The current Internet architecture is based on a centralized service paradigm. This type of consolidated networking architecture suffers from low reliability and poor scalability in the wake of the rapidly growing number of Internet users. We have proposed a new type of distributed networking architecture that would solve many of these problems. The architecture, termed BioNet, mimics biological behaviors by populating network nodes with a variety of cyber-entities. Cyber-entities are mobile units of code that can handle typical network service requests. These service agents are more robust and redundant than the current method of providing networking services. My specific project examines the ways in which a new type of cyber-entity can be added to the BioNet architectural design. This new entity records characteristic user information and learns from user behavior to provide unique service to each and every person that uses the Internet. It is my hope that such a technological component could be used to give each potential user a unique Internet experience which is tailored to his or her specific needs, while maintaining the robust and scalable design offered by the BioNet.
Microgravity-Induced Vascular Hyporesponsiveness: Role of Arachidonic Acid Pathway
Mentor: Dr. Ralph Purdy
Microgravity-induced hyporesponsiveness in vascular contractility was achieved through the 20-day hindlimb unweighting (HU) treatment on the male wistar rats. Arterial rings of the rat abdominal aorta were mounted in tissue baths and the vascular contractility was obtained through the increases of norepinephrine (NE) concentration and in the absence and presence of selective antagonists. Mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) is a key pathway in smooth muscle vascular contraction. Thus, in this present study, the second messenger pathways associated with the smooth muscle vascular contraction were evaluated to determine whether one or more of the pathways are in series or in parallel with the MAPK pathway. This was accomplished by studying the effects of indomethacin, a COX inhibitor, in the absence and presence of genistein, a general tyrosine inhibitor, in the control ( C ) and HU rat abdominal aortas. The results indicated that both genistein and indomethacin have no inhibitory effect on the HU rat abdominal aortas, suggesting parallel pathways of the MAPK pathway and arachidonic acid pathways, respectively. PD98059, a MAPK kinase inhibitor, reduced vascular contraction in both C and HU abdominal aortas indicating the presence of the specific pathway in the MAPK pathway. In contrast, SQ29548, a PGH2/TXA2 receptor inhibitor, and DEDA, a phospholipase A2 (PLA2) inhibitor, did not reduce vascular contraction in either C or HU tissues.
Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Trapping of Atmospheric Gases by Organic Films
Mentor: Dr. Douglas Tobias
Organic films play a crucial role in our lungs by lowering the surface tension at the alveolar air/water interface. Organic films coating aqueous aerosol droplets are also considered to be potentially important in atmospheric chemistry. Ozone (O3) is a potent oxidant present in the polluted troposphere that reacts with carbon-carbon double bonds in organic materials. Although the kinetics and mechanisms of the reactions of ozone with alkenes in the gas and bulk condensed phases are well understood, relatively little is known about ozone reactivity in interfacial environments. Available experimental data have shown that the kinetics of ozone reactions with lipid monolayers at the air/water interface cannot be understood simply in terms of gas-surface collisions, and preliminary molecular dynamics simulations from our group suggested that ozone trapping may be important. In the present study, we have performed molecular dynamics simulations of gas molecules interacting with a phospholipid monolayer at the air/water interface, which may be regarded as a model for both lung surfactant and organic aerosols. We found that, indeed, ozone is effectively trapped in the film, and this explains the observed enhancement of reactivity. However, we also observed that the trapping is much less effective for an atomic species with the same mass as ozone. This suggests that molecular shape and translational/rotational energy conversion are important factors in the reactions of atmospheric gases with organic aerosols.
Do Mixed-Race People Change Their Racial Identities and Why?
Mentor: Dr. Kenneth Chew
This study explores the relationships between the ways people of mixed-race think about their identities, how they mark these on statistical surveys, and how they identify themselves in different social situations. My objective in studying this topic is to explore some of the circumstances in which people of mixed-race may change the ways that they identify themselves. These changes are important because they have implications towards U.S. Census data collection and the resulting anti-discriminatory policies. This study analyzes the face-to-face interviews of eighteen mixed-race people of both Asian and Caucasian descent and five of their parents conducted in 2001.
The Skatepark Phenomenon: Injuries and Short-Term Disability
Mentor: Dr. Federico Vaca
In 1998, there were over 54,000 skateboarding (SB)related injury visits to EDs nationwide. The objective of our study was to assess the cost of injuries sustained, degree of healthcare utilization and short-term disability in skatepark-injured patients. We performed a prospective, consecutive sample survey. Subjects age 7 and older who sustained injuries at a local skatepark were enrolled from 7/99 - 7/00. The survey recorded subject demographics, injuries, final diagnosis and the need for follow-up care. Telephone follow-up evaluations occurred at one week, and one, three, six, nine, and 12 months to assess the functional status of the individual, the injury financial burden, the time loss from school/work and the parental time loss from work. To date we have studied 95 subjects (97 encounters) with ages ranging from 8 to 39 years. The average charge for an encounter was $2,400. Injuries included 59 fractures, 6 dislocations, 15 strains/sprains/contusions, 7 lacerations, 9 head injuries and 1 intra-abdominal injury. Nine of the initial ED encounters terminated in admission. For the respective telephone follow up periods, the sum of days lost from school, work, parental time lost from work and specialist visits revealed the following: (1 week) 48, 127, 35, 63 visits; (1 month) 40, 193, 14, 112 visits; (3 months) 21, 190, 14, 93 visits; (6 months) 0, 20, 0, 11 visits; (9 and 12 months to date) no days lost and no specialist visits. Subject disability (serious, moderate, minor, none) revealed, (1 week) 17%, 46%, 18%, 18%; (1 month) 7%, 40%, 24%, 30%; (3 months) 0%, 8%, 21%, 71%; (6 month) 0%, 0%, 5%, 95%; (9 and 12 months to date) 100% none. Our data suggest that injuries sustained at a skatepark can yield substantial time lost from school and work as well as considerable short-term disability and increased healthcare resource utilization.
Representation of Female Identity by Three Poets from India: Kamala Das, Chitra Divakaruni and Eunice De Souza
Mentor: Dr. Ketu Katrak
Women in various cultures around the world fulfill female roles within the domestic sphere that are often stereotypical. As women acquire education, the roles change slowly and steadily. More women today are in the workplace, and some decide not to have families at all. In the U.S.A., there is a certain amount of support for this independent lifestyle. In India, many women have also come of age with education and this new idea of freedom; however, traditional Indian culture has not changed much. Indian women, even those with higher education, are often expected, even tacitly, to marry a nice Indian man and settle down to rear a family. They are also still expected to fit the traditional stereotype of the "perfect Indian woman"briefly, a woman who is subservient, self-sacrificing, and uncomplaining. Kamala Das, Chitra Divakaruni, and Eunice de Souza are female poets of Indian background who decided to live their own lives rather than conforming to this prototype. According to my research, undertaken both in India (as an exchange student, Summer/Fall 200) and in the U.S., and from an interview conducted with Eunice de Souza, I analyze how the three poets successfully stepped outside of convention and have created groundbreaking new writing, as well as forging identities that are role models for many Indian women today. Part of my research also includes interviews conducted with Indian and Indo-American students regarding the roles that women place both in the private and public sphere.
Cultural Representation and Structural Dynamics
Mentor: Dr. Samuel Gilmore
The country of Hungary has experienced within the past two decades a significant economic transition from socialism to capitalism. The macro-structural transformation of the economic and political life of Hungary began gradually in the late 1970's with the "permitted" emergence of state regulated privatization. With the fall of communism in Hungary during 1989, a fully operational market economy soon swept across the nation. How has these larger, structural forces affected the cultural identity of the Hungarian people? Through ethnographic interviews and archival data analysis empirical evidence has been obtained to reveal a direct correlation between Hungarian cultural identity/activity and the Hungarian political/economic milieu. To best understand the dynamics between the latter and the former, a four part comparative analytical scheme has been constructed whereby a detailed descriptive narrative of the urban and rural standard of living of the Hungarian people before and after the fall of Hungarian communism is generated. Given that there exists detailed evidence of structural dynamics within the Hungarian economic/political climate, how then, has/is the Hungarian community adapting, negotiating, and reacting to these changes? In what way have traditional cultural artifacts and activities of ethnic Hungarians transmogrified to preserve, or perhaps re-define/ re-narrate, the collective and/or local identity of the Hungarian people?
The H-1B Visa Phenomenon Among Indian Immigrants in the U.S. High-Tech Industry
Mentor: Dr. Karen Leonard
The present experiment is aimed to study the relationship between the H-1B visa policy and its affects on the U.S. economy and social relations between Indian high-tech immigrants. The methods used to conduct this research include qualitative interviews, which included open-ended questions with programmers and business executives, public observations, and literary findings. All three methods have been imperative in the results of this research, which have found a correlation between the new organization of capital through globalization and high-tech industry and labor force which it requires. As a result these findings address a broader issue that will need to be evaluated in future immigration policies and social programs for immigrant workers, furthermore this issue remains a vital area for further research.
Adhesion Between Silicon Elastomer PDMS and Rigid Surfaces
Mentor: Dr. Ying Chih Chang
The presented project relates to the process for creating strong bonding between polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS elastomer and rigid substrates such as glass, and stainless steel. The significance of this research relies in the application of such bonded surfaces in the development of microelectromechanical system components (MEMS), as well as in the fabrication of microfluidic devices (microcapillary channels) to be used in micro analytical systems for chemical or biochemical measurements among others. However, the surface of PDMS is extremely hydrophobic, and has poor adhesive characteristics. Silicon rubber is built by a trivial process that involves the mixing of an ablative material and a catalyst readily available commercially by Dow Corning (Sylgard 184). Such compositions are also well known for their reluctance to adhere to substrates against which the composition is cured. By following, U.S. patent 5,364,921(presented by inventors Thomas Gray, Michael Kunselman, and Richard Palmer), it was determined that by adding certain combinations of additives in defined amounts added to silicone compositions produce new compositions, which present adhesion to substrates upon which they are cured in an oven at 80° C. Typical additives used include Titanium IV buthoxide, tetrapropyl orthosilicate, gamma- glycidoxypropyltrimethoxy silane, and diallyl ether of trimethylpropane. The effect of any such additives was evaluated as their result and impact on other properties of the composition until a critical ratio of components was found. It was found that adhesion, which depends totally on the silicon rubber were affected by the polymer size or viscosity used as by the amount of crosslinking.
Philippine Poetry by Women Writers
Trina Adelle Mendiola
Mentors: Dr. Alice Fahs & Dr. Damon Woods
When the Spanish first came to the Philippines in the 16th century they were astonished to find a society whose rate of literacy was higher than that in Madrid. Since then Philippine language (of which there are many dialects) and literature has evolved into a rich tapestry, including in its dictionary words from India, China, Brunei, and Spain, and yet maintaining its eloquence and legitimacy as a language all its own. My research delves into Philippine literature by examining poetry written in Tagalog (one of the major dialects) by women writers. The first task of my research has been translating the poems of several Filipina poets into English. I then discuss common themes in the Filipina poets experience such as gender, family, and religion. By examining a branch of Philippine literature that is often ignored I hope to offer a glimpse into the Filipino womans psyche and offer a better understanding of her relationship with her culture, history, and society.
Development of a System to Perform Optical Spectroscopy in Epithelial Tissues
Mentor: Dr. Vasan Venugopalan
One area of biomedical engineering that shows particular promise is the use of lasers to perform non-invasive tissue spectroscopy, for it enables a quantitative measurement of tissue composition, morphology, and physiological status in vivo. Both mathematical modeling and novel instrumentation techniques will allow the extension of these measurements to small spatial (submillimeter) scales. This project directly focuses on the development of an optical probe for quantitative spectroscopy of superficial tissue structures. While the diffusion approximation is sufficient to probe deeper tissues, e.g., to characterize breast tumors, it is unable to probe superficial tissues such as epithelia that are less than a millimeter in thickness and in which 70% of all cancers develop. A stable, three-dimensional optical phantom was fabricated from two-component silicone. This phantom is composed of layers with differing optical properties, and is scattered with polystyrene particles to produce a stable model of known properties. Compact optical probes were built that introduce both visible and infrared light into the samples, and detect this light after it has traveled through a certain volume of the phantom. Testing and revision of the current design are currently underway. The probes measure optical scattering and absorption properties, and can be compared to modeled values. Planned development will be to expand testing for these simulated models of radiative transport to more tissue phantoms and to artificially engineered tissues. Developing these optical methods to characterize tissue physiology may lead to noninvasive methods for detecting the early stages of dysplastic and onconogenic transformation in cancerous tissues.
The Immature Hippocampus is Resistant to Seizure-Induced Alteration of Granule Cell Neurogenesis
Mentor: Dr. Tallie Z. Baram
Febrile seizures affect 2-5% of all infants and children. Therefore, understanding the consequences of these seizures for early brain development is immensely important for preventing seizure-related diseases later in life. In adult rat, hippocampus seizures can increase granule cell production and thus create more excitatory synapses which may contribute to a seizure-prone state. However, whether this established effect of seizures in adults also occurs with febrile seizures in immature hippocampus has remained unknown. Our previous study demonstrated that febrile seizures (lasting ~20 minutes) did not alter the proliferation rate of granule cells in immature hippocampus (UROP presentation 2000). However, was the lack of cell proliferation a function of the relatively short duration of the febrile seizures, or due to the resistance of immature hippocampus to seizure-induced alteration of granule cell birth? This question forms the focus of the current study. Immature rats (P10) were injected with the seizure-promoting agent kainic acid, and developed seizures lasting 2-3 hours. Birth of granule cells was determined by BrdU-incorporation into DNA of dividing cells (the thymidine-analog BrdU was injected 3 or 7 days after the seizures, and visualized immunocytochemically). Numbers of BrdU-labeled (= newly formed) cells in seizure-experiencing rat hippocampi were compared to those in age-matched controls. The results showed that numbers of BrdU-labeled cells were not significantly different in seizure-experiencing and control rats. The observation that neither prolonged seizures induced by kainic acid nor 20-minute experimental febrile seizures triggered granule cell proliferation suggests that the immature hippocampus is generally resistant to seizure-induced alteration of granule cell neurogenesis.
Stereoselective Prins Cyclizations of Cyclic a-Acetoxy Ethers in the Construction of Oxabicycles
Mentor: Dr. Scott Rychnovsky
Tetrahydropyrans are a structural feature of a wide variety of biologically active natural products, including macrocyclic cytotoxins and sesquiterpenes. Hence, there is continuing interest in developing methodology for constructing functionalized tetrahydropyrans. Recently, a segment-coupling Prins cyclization was developed in the Rychnovsky group that represents a very powerful entry into functionalized tetrahydropyrans. This method relies on Lewis acid promoted cyclization of a-acetoxy ethers. To date, these Prins reactions have only been conducted in synthesizing monocyclic tetrahydropyrans. In an effort to expand this technology we sought to construct bicyclic tetrahydropyrans in a diastereomeric fashion. Herein we wish to report the scope of this methodology in synthesizing diastereomerically pure oxabicycles that contain small, medium, and large rings.
Real Time Optical Coherence Tomography of Rabbit Cornea and Porcine Vocal Cords
Mentor: Dr. Johannes de Boer & Dr. Brian Wong
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a novel, non-invasive, high resolution imaging technique. It utilizes a low coherence light source, coupled with a Michelson interferometer to obtain detailed cross sectional images of biological samples. This technology has shown promise in various areas of biomedical imaging research, including blood flow velocity determination, burn depth determination, and lesion detection in the gastrointestinal tract. Two additional applications of OCT and polarization-sensitive OCT (PS-OCT) are explored in this presentation. First, initial results from the imaging of rabbit cornea will be discussed. With the increasing use of LASIK, a direct way to measure corneal thickness is required. Intact globes were enucleated from sacrificed rabbits approximately 4 hours post mortem. The cornea was imaged using a 820 nm SLD light source with a bandwidth of approximately 47 nm. Results were compared to histology. The different layers of the cornea were clearly distinguishable using OCT. In the second portion of this investigation, porcine larynges were dissected to expose the true and false vocal cords. The healthy vocal cords were imaged in real time using 1310 nm light source with a bandwidth of 75 nm. The cords were then traumatized using 3 different techniques: a chemical burn, a subcutaneous injection of TiO2, and CO2 laser burns. The evolution of each lesion was imaged in real time. The destruction of the epithelial layer was clearly observed. Thus, this investigation illustrates the potential for OCT and PS-OCT applications in the ophthalmologic and ENT settings. OCT instrumentation can thus complement therapeutic tools to fine-tune their capabilities.
Imaging of the Rat Sciatic Nerve Using Polarization Sensitive Optical Coherence
Mentor: Dr. Johannes de Boer & Dr. Brian Wong
Optical Coherence Tomography is a novel high resolution imaging technique, which demonstrates potential applications in imaging biological samples. This poster presents initial results of visualizing the bifurcation region of an ex-vivo rat sciatic nerve using Polarization Sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography. This investigation imaged the sciatic nerve in the Sprague Dawley rat 2 to 4 hours following sacrifice. Specimens were prepared by dissecting the sciatic nerve from the Sprague Dawley rat stored in saline until imaged. Cross-sectional images of the nerve were obtained. Data was acquired using a low coherence light source with a FWHM bandwidth of 75 nm centered around 1.3 microns. The system provided real time data display and analysis of the area of interest. The images (2.00 mm x 2.00 mm) have a 10-micron axial and 20-30 micron lateral resolution and were acquired at a rate of 1 Hz. Cross sectional images were obtained from distal to proximal direction at 200-micron intervals. The images acquired showed that the bifurcation of the nerve was readily identified using conventional OCT and the perineurium was distinguishable using with PS-OCT. These results illustrate the potential use of Optical Coherence Tomography and Polarization Sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography to study peripheral nerve microanatomy with resolutions approaching histological techniques.
Quantization and Segmentation of Images
Mentor: Dr. Hong-kai Zhao
Information reduction, while keeping important features, is crucial for many image-processing tasks such as quantization, compression, image recognition and retrieval. In this project, we develop and study different ways of reducing the number of gray levels. The goal is to reduce the original image to a simple image composed of only a few different gray levels. The resulting image is segmented into piecewise constant regions. Using this procedure, we wish to suppress small variations in shades of gray while keeping the high contrast edges. Those edges, along with their geometry, constitute important features for human eyes and machine vision. The first method uses an equal partition of the range of gray levels. The second method entails calculating the probability distribution of the gray values in the image, and then uses an equal histogram method to assign new averaged values. For the third method, we introduce the contrast as a weight for the probability distribution of gray values and use an equal histogram according to the weighted distribution to assign the new values. This way more gray levels are distributed in regions with large variations of gray values. The fourth method is a combination of the second and third methods, using a scaling constant. We compare results using the four different methods, and their robustness with respect to noise. In the future, we plan to use the simplified image and its geometry and statistical properties for further image analysis.
Do Community Development Block Grant Funds Effectively Target Low and Moderate Income Populations in Orange County, CA?
Mentor: Dr. Scott Bollens
This study examines local governments abilities to effectively target federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to low and moderate-income persons. Since its creation in 1974, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program has awarded billions in federal funds to local governments to finance activities that benefit low and moderate-income persons. Past studies of the local use of the CDBG program found that many factors affected how CDBG funds were spent that it is impossible to predict how cities would spend funds on the basis of general characteristics. Characteristics include demographic information, such as type of local government, age of housing stock, percentage of low and moderate-income residents, and the median income of residents. The study investigates how eight cities in Orange County, CA use their CDBG funds. North County is older, more industrialized, and more heavily populated than South County, which is more affluent and mostly residential. The eight cities were selected on the basis of location, median income and population size. The cities CDBG budget allocations were taken from the Department of Housing and Urban Developments required Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report. Budget allocations will be classified according to benefit types and will be compared with each other on the basis of city size and location. Allocations within each city will be analyzed for patterns in cities CDBG spending. The findings of the study aim to characterize CDBG spending patterns for cities in Orange County.
Voting Patterns and Political Characteristics of Vietnamese-Americans
Mentor: Dr. Robert Uriu
The patterns and shifts in voting and political participation among Vietnamese-Americans find some explanation in the psychological and sociological studies done on them since the first wave of immigration in 1975. In their book Between Two Cultures: The Vietnamese in America, Henkin and Nguyen explore the psychology and cultural characteristics of Vietnamese refugees. Their study elucidated the emphasis Vietnamese-Americans put on the community above the individual. In her study The Foundation and Future of Vietnamese-American Politics, Valverde found that insular community-based political organizations were the main outlets for political participation among Vietnamese-Americans. This current study uses these sociological studies as models for interpreting recent exit polls and studies of political participation among Vietnamese-Americans. Data analyses of polls and surveys conducted in November of 1996, November of 1998, January of 2000, and March of 2000 have produced findings that indicate shifts in Vietnamese-American voting patterns and generational gaps in political participation. These shifts may be explained by the community-focused nature of Vietnamese-American political participants, as described in the previous scholarship. Also, the sociological studies help explain the importance assigned to certain local issues above national issues. Planned analyses will focus on individual Vietnamese-Americans and their personal political participation and beliefs as a way to further elucidate the dynamic political behavior of the Vietnamese-American community as it may be explained by sociological and psychological factors. The findings of this study will contribute to a broader picture of Vietnamese-American political behavior, incorporating previous sociological scholarship, recent polls and survey findings, and case studies of individual Vietnamese-Americans.
The Pattern of Lesion-Induced Responses to Delayed Transforming Growth Factor (TGF-a ) Administration in the Adult Rodent Brain
Mentor: Dr. James Fallon
We have recently demonstrated that the administration of TGF-a stimulates stem cell proliferation and precursor migration from the subventricular zone (SVZ) following injury. One question, however, is whether delayed TGF-a infusion induces these effects. We have used the 6- hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) hemi-Parkinsonian rat model to study the delayed time response of SVZ proliferation and migration following the infusion of TGF-a . Acute, subacute (up to two week), and chronic (greater than two weeks) administration of TGF-a following the 6-OHDA lesion induces proliferation of BrdU positive cells. These cells are also positive for glial (I-A and GFAP) and neuronal(CD-24)-restricted lineage markers. These findings suggest that several temporal modes of TGF-a infusion may be effective in neuronal recovery in both acute and chronic neural injury.
Fragmentation of Orange County Vietnamese-American Politics
Mentor: Dr. Caesar Sereseres
After the fall of Saigon in 1975, there was a mass immigration of Vietnamese to the United States, specifically to Orange County around the mid 1970s to the late 1970s. In the early 1980s, the Vietnamese integrated themselves in the Orange County business realm by opening a business center called Little Saigon. Studies show that by 1990, California itself had a Vietnamese population of 280,223. For such a large population, however, the Vietnamese-American community seems to lack political unification and representation. Many events that have occurred within the last few years and the different directions in which this community is heading toward highlight a fragmentation that hinders its political potential. A more profound study on the Orange County Vietnamese community may lead to a higher understanding as to why such a large population has taken so long to attain a unified political voice. It will also attempt to explain how historical events have affected this community as well as how it can work to become a strong national and international political power. In order to conduct such a research, three steps will be taken: 1- to get first hand information from the communitys leaders, 2- to identify patterns, 3- and to bring the study from a localized setting into a national or even international context.
Examining the Validity of the MMPI: A Comparison Between the English and Vietnamese Version
Mentor: Dr. Jeanett Castellanos
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and its updated version, the MMPI-2, is the most widely used standardized personality assessment instrument used in the field of psychology. In particular, the instrument is used to assess clients personalities, coping mechanisms, and behavioral patterns. Needless to say, there is a dyer need for the test to be valid and reliable. Furthermore, there has been a movement in the field of psychology to duplicate this test in various languages to assess a larger population. However, there is literature that supports inaccuracy in the final version of such translations (Schinka, LaLone, & Greene, 1998). The current study is of quantitative design examining the validity of the Vietnamese version of the MMPI-2. Specifically, an English and Vietnamese version of the instrument was administered to a group of bilingual Vietnamese participants. The design was pre- and posts-having the same participants fill out the instrument twice to later compare their results to determine the accuracy when correlating both answers. Data analysis is underway. Results will inform the field of counseling psychology about the instruments reliability and will serve as a vehicle to determine if the Vietnamese translation of the MMPI-2 is accurate in administrating it to a monolingual Vietnamese population.
A Robotic Walking Assistant for Spinal Transected Rats
Mentor: Dr. David Reinkensmeyer
Spinal-injured animal models have become essential tools in the quest to create therapeutic techniques to rehabilitate ambulatory function in spinally injured humans. Traditionally, rehabilitation studies consist of one or more trainers assisting the injured animal in initiating and maintaining locomotion in order to activate residual circuits in the spinal columns of the injured animals. A difficulty observed in these studies has been poor control over the forces and stepping patterns applied to the animals during training. Recently, robotic and mechatronic approaches have been taken by various biomedical engineering groups to resolve this problem of poor control. Here, I describe the continuation of the work of one such group led by Dr. David Reinkensmeyer. A new two-stage robot, consisting of a motorized cart and a detachable trailing support frame, will be constructed to assist spinal injured rats to walk. The computer controlled motorized cart will provide the mechanical power to initiate and, if necessary, to maintain swing gait. Dynamic displacement and velocity information will be tracked by encoders mounted on the wheels of the support frame and transmitted to a waiting computer via wireless modem technology. This information will then be processed, plotted, and then saved onto the hard drive for later analysis. It is hoped that this design will provide neuroscience researchers with a tool to accurately characterize the dynamic stepping behavior of injured animal models as well as a tool to precisely control the input parameters in their studies.
The Relationship Between Feeding Rate and Foraging Path Lengths in Populations of Drosophila melanogaster Selected for Ammonia and Urea Resistance
Mentor: Dr. Laurence Mueller
We examined whether foraging path length in Drosophila melanogaster is genetically correlated to larval feeding rate. We studied fifteen populations of fruit flies that exhibited increases in larval feeding rates as a result of different selection. These included five ammonia selected populations, five urea selected populations and their controls. Previous studies showed that ammonia selected populations and urea selected populations feed faster than their controls. We traced and measured the foraging path lengths of fifty larvae from each population. The data analyzed by standard Analysis of Variance techniques showed that ammonia selected populations and urea selected populations have shorter path lengths than their controls. Furthermore, the ammonia selected populations have longer path lengths than the urea selected populations. Our data supported the hypothesis that foraging path length in Drosophila melanogaster is genetically correlated to larval feeding rate.
Ab initio Molecular Dynamics Study of Halide-Water Clusters
Mentor: Dr. Douglas Tobias
Small halide-water clusters have been a subject of intense study due to their relevance in atmospheric chemistry. Given the small number of degrees of freedom, the comparison of high-resolution experimental results with accurate ab initio studies is now feasible. Here, X * H2O clusters, whereby X= F-, Cl-, are investigated through the use ab initio centroid molecular dynamics simulation where the forces are calculated from the electronic structure with the incorporation of quantum dynamics through Feynmans path integral formalism. From our simulation, comparisons to experimental results are done through the calculation of photodetachment energies and IR spectra. Last, we looked into the degree of nuclear quantum effects on the structure and dynamics of the small halide-water clusters at the low experimental temperature.
Development of a MEMS-Based Dielectic Mirror
Mentor: Dr. Richard Nelson
The objective of this project was to develop processes for and then fabricate a dielectric mirror. In fact, this objective was exceeded and the project expanded to fabricate a Fabry-Perot etalon, which incorporates two dielectric mirrors. This type of device is useful for extracting the energy from narrow spectral regions of infrared radiation; ergo, this is a spectrometer. Generally the extracted energy contains desired information. In the case of fiber-optic communications, simultaneous transmitting a range of separately encoded wavelengths increases the information bandwidth, a technique known as dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM). The Fabry-Perot etalon is a candidate to accomplish the demultiplexing. The etalon is fabricated as a solid dielectric (silicon dioxide) with a mirror on each surface. Each mirror is a stack of alternating silicon dioxide and silicon layers; each layer is 1/4 wavelength thick. Several methods were attempted for depositing the thin films. The best was RF sputtering. This method allowed all of the films to be sequentially deposited in one machine in one vacuum pump down and gave very smooth surfaces. The disadvantages were slow deposition (each etalon took 12 hours to produce) and highly stressed films. I believe that the stress can be reduced using thermal annealing. Excellent optical properties were achieved and will be discussed. All of the processing was performed in the Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility in the School of Engineering. I plan to continue this work during the summer quarter to add additional features to the device.
Development of an Educational Software Engineering Simulation Environment
Mentor: Dr. Adriaan Van der Hoek
We are constructing a new approach to software engineering education that integrates software process simulation, simulation games, and economic software engineering cost models into an educational software engineering simulation environment. This environment addresses the problems inherent in the current methods of software engineering education by effectively teaching students the complex, yet fundamental issues and dynamics that underlie the software engineering process. We have begun to take the first steps in building this environment by performing an extensive survey of software engineering journals, conference proceedings, workshop proceedings, and books, as well as literature from other related disciplines, in order to collect the fundamental rules of software engineering. It is this set of rules that will form the basis for our simulation model. Challenges lie ahead in encoding these rules into an executable model, choosing a particular kind of simulation model, and tailoring the simulation to meet the specialized, educational requirements for this particular environment.
MMPI and Latinos: Examining the Validity of the Hypochondriasis Scale
Mentor: Dr. Jeanett Castellanos
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) has proven to be a useful tool in diagnosing psychopathology in mainstream culture. The MMPI is the most widely used personality test in the United States. Furthermore, it is used internationally in more than 65 countries with more than 115 translations (Dana, 1995). Despite it being the most widely used and researched personality test, however, the MMPI generated much criticism and controversy, almost since the time of its original development (Whitworth and Unterbrink, 1994). Accordingly, in 1989 the MMPI was revised and published as the MMPI-2. Today, the MMPI-2 is the most frequent used instrument in assessing clients from diverse populations and in a variety of settings. Unfortunately, the validity of this instrument is in question when it is applied to ethnic and racial minorities. The present research study is of quantitative design and involves the examination of Latino scores on the MMPI-2. In particular, because literature has well documented the elevation of the Hyponchodriasis (Hs) scale, this scale will be examined for validity among the Latino population. A questionnaire of 106 items will be distributed to the Latino population at a four-year university to determine degrees of somatization. Results will indicate if somatization affects the scores of the MMPIs clinical scales, further suggesting if low scores are due to cultural and ethnic differences. Moreover, it will be possible to revise the items so that the MMPI-2 may account for racial differences, or create instruments that are more suitable for this population.
Hondurans: The Study of an Invisible Population in Southern California
Mentor: Dr. Caeser Sereseres
In discussions regarding the Central American populace outside their native countries, one of the most notable enigmas is their number. The estimates, generally, are divergent, due a vast proportion being undocumented in host countries. Central Americans have migrated to the United States for both economic and political reasons (Hamilton & Stoltz-Chichilla, 1991). Hondurans, for instance, have followed the immigration patterns of previous Central American groups; they first settled in the largest U.S. cities, in which they found support networks, and an accessible market for low-skilled labor. However, despite Honduras severe economic standing, second to that of Haiti, Hondurans were not of much concern to anyone until the devastation left by Hurricane Mitch. Since the strike of Hurricane Mitch in the fall of 1998 that left thousands dead and millions homeless, there has been an alarming increase of Honduran immigrants heading to the United States (Isgro, 1999). This research study will explore the economy, lifestyle, and migration processes of the Honduran community in Southern California before and after Hurricane Mitch. Through the interviews, narratives of this migration phenomenon will be gathered. Furthermore, the study will help determine the forces that influence Hondurans to leave their homeland, thus explore mechanisms of resilience for this particular Latino experience in Southern California.
Pre and Post-Stimulus Potentials During a Self-Initiated Target Detection Task
Mentor: Dr. Arnold Starr
Various brain regions are engaged in anticipation of an upcoming stimulus that may require a motor response. In humans, a brain potential (pre-stimulus readiness potential, PRP) develops approximately 1 second before stimulus presentation, which suggests that the PRP may be related to movement preparation. However, expectancy for an upcoming stimulus, independent of a future response, may also be a factor. The following experiment tested the hypothesis that the PRP is associated with both movement preparation and stimulus expectancy. Twelve healthy young subjects were given a series of trials. First the subject pressed a button, then a visual stimulus was presented 2.5 s later (either a green target or a red non-target). There were two experimental conditions (press, no press). In the press condition subjects pushed a button in response to targets, while in the no press condition subjects did not respond. Brain activity (event-related potentials) was recorded using standard procedures. There were two main results. First, PRP amplitudes at anterior recording sites were significantly larger in the press, relative to no press, condition. Second, PRP amplitudes were equivalent between conditions at posterior recording sites. Differences in PRP amplitudes at anterior sites suggest that motor preparation, present in the PRESS condition but absent in the NO PRESS condition, is associated with larger anterior PRP amplitudes. PRP amplitudes at posterior sites may be associated with stimulus expectancy, regardless of whether a response to the stimulus is required.
International Financial Fraud: Crimes and Enforcement
Mentor: Dr. Henry Pontell
International Financial fraud is a rapidly developing problem that threatens the world economy. The increasing globalization of world trade along with the proliferation of advanced technologies threatens to outstrip the capacity of enforcement personnel to adequately respond to such matters. This research examines the current legal and enforcement systems and their capacity to address and prevent such criminality. This research attempts to study the nature, magnitude, and forms of international financial fraud. The research reviews new forms and patterns of international financial fraud, the enforcement response and obstacles to enforcement, and the legal and the enforcement tools needed to better prevent such crimes in the future. The data collected for this research consisted of a review of the most current scholarly works on the subject of international financial frauds and interviews with federal agents directly involved in handling cases of international financial fraud. Preliminary analysis of the data indicates increased involvement of organized crime groups of different ethnic origins in sophisticated transnational financial crimes. It also reveals an increase in US enforcement liaison efforts with other nations to address these crimes. It also identifies major obstacles to enforcement in terms of inadequate international laws and agreements, a lack of human resources due to deficiencies in funding, and conflicting and competing missions of federal enforcement agencies.
Effect of Estrogen on Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase (nNos)
Mentors: Dr. Sue Duckles & Dr. Diana Krause
We have recently demonstrated that estrogen treatment causes a marked increase in endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression and activity in brain blood vessels. However, little is known about the effect of estrogen on neuronal NOS (nNOS), a different isoform of NOS, which resides in brain tissue. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine whether chronic estrogen treatment modulates the expression and/or activity of nNOS in the female rat brain. To test the hypothesis that estrogen would enhance nNOS protein expression, homogenized whole brain samples of ovariectomized rats were compared to brain samples of ovariectomized animals treated with estrogen for one month. Levels of nNOS were determined using western blot analysis. Data (n=5) suggest that nNOS protein expression was unchanged by estrogen treatment. To investigate protein activity, brain NOS protein in freshly homogenized brain samples was allowed to catalyze a radiolabeled-substrate, 14C-arginine; the product was then separated by resin filtration. Level of nNOS enzyme activity was taken as level of filtrate radioactivity. Results (n=4) also suggest that estrogen treatment has no effect on brain NOS activity. Thus although estrogen treatment increases eNOS, there is no corresponding effect on nNOS protein or brain NOS activity. Further investigation will be conducted to determine if estrogen affects nNOS in specific brain regions (e.g. hippocampus).
Proliferation of Chondrocytes Following Laser Irradiation
Mentor: Dr. Brian Wong
Using heat generated by a laser to stimulate chondrocyte proliferation may lead to new treatment options for degenerative articular diseases and disorders of the upper airway. Laser technology can be adapted for use with minimally invasive surgical instrumentation to deliver light into otherwise inaccessible regions of the body. In this study, laser irradiation was observed to stimulate the proliferation of chondrocytes in the peripheral region surrounding a photothermally heated area in rabbit nasal septal cartilage. Proliferating chondrocytes were identified using a Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) assay in whole mount tissue. Intact ex vivo rabbit nasal septal cartilages were irradiated with an Nd:YAG laser (l =1.32 µm, 3-16 sec, 10-45 W/cm2) and cultured in BrdU containing growth media for 7-9 days. BrdU, a thymidine analog, is incorporated into DNA during replication. The specimens were then fixed and labeled using a double antibody system specific for BrdU. Regions of cell proliferation were identified by observing a dramatic color change using an enzyme linked stain. Histology confirmed stained regions to contain replicating chondrocytes. Proliferation was identified only in a ring-like region surrounding the laser spot. The diameter of these rings grew with increased duration of irradiation. The controls of the experiment eliminated any non-specific binding of the antibodies to cellular components. Further studies with nitric oxide induced apoptosis and a fibroblast growth factor controls would further lend to these results. These findings support that it is possible to stimulate the proliferation of chondrocytes in ex vivo cartilage specimens in the absence of intact systemic host reparative mechanisms.
Optimization of Schwann Cell Adhesion for Peripheral Nerve Injury
Mentor: Dr. Ranjan Gupta
Interest in tissue engineering of the peripheral nervous system has developed as the current methods to promote peripheral nerve regeneration have plateaued in improving clinical function. Complications arise in axonal regeneration due to limited concentration of neurotrophins, extended spanning distances for regrowth, regeneration inhibition due to scar tissue ingrowth, and differences in proximal and distal fasicular patterns. Alternative solutions including nerve allografts and attempts to cultivate cells in vitro for transplantation have been made; however, host immune response usually leads to tissue rejection. Axonal regeneration is encouraged by the neurotrophic factors that the myelinating Schwann cells produce as well as the molecular components of the basal lamina such as Laminin, Collagen type IV, and Fibronectin. Prosthetic tubes have been engineered from these individual components to encase Schwann cells. These tubes, therefore, provide both structure and neurotrophic factors in addition to being a guidance conduit. Improved quality of axonal regeneration as compared to silicone tubes has also been shown (1, 2, 3) This is an important first step for PNTE based on the fundamental principles of cartilage and bone tissue engineering. However, it remains unclear as to how the components of the prosthetic tubules perform when exposed to physiologic stresses. The purpose of this study is to examine Schwann cell attachment to assorted scaffoldings when exposed to shear stress to help determine the ideal substrate for prosthetic tubes. Data anylysis is currently underway.
Analysis of Sonic hedgehog Gene Expression in Retinoid-Induced Limb Malformation of Xenopus
Mentors: Dr. Susan Bryant & David Gardiner
Previous experimental studies have demonstrated congenital malformations and abnormal embryonic development after the exposure with chemical agents, namely the retinoids. Retinoids are compounds derived from vitamin A that regulate the development of vertebrates at a cellular levelfrom frogs to birds to humans. Rather than working directly with DNA to control development through the expression of genes, retinoic acid interacts with highly specific molecules in cells called retinoic acid receptors. Based on previous studies, the spectrum of abnormalities seen in frogs is similar to the range of abnormalities that has been affected as a result of exposure to exogenous retinoids. The signaling molecule Sonic hedgehog is involved with polarizing activity in a multitude of distinct patterning processes during vertebrate embryogenesis. With a retinoic acid response element identified in the shh upstream region, retinoids are thought to regulate the developmental signaling pathway of the shh gene. Our results demonstrate that exposure to TTNPB (a synthetic retinoid) greatly reduces shh expression from in situ hybridization analysis. Prior to this induced expression in response to RA, there is an earlier response by the endogenous domain of shh, which is downregulated within the first few hours of exposure.
Metamorphosis in the Life of León Felipe
Mentor: Dr. Jill Robbins
The Spanish Civil War claimed the lives of millions of innocent people and deeply influenced the development of many intellectuals both in Spain and abroad. My research focuses on the concept of human metamorphosis as defined by León Felipe, a Spanish Republican poet, and the ways in which that concept is affected by the poets historical circumstances. Specifically I will compare his writing with subsequent works in order to examine the effects of war, trauma and exile on his representation of metamorphosis. Can man break free from the circle in which his history traps him to leave, through the tangent transformed, a different human being not of darkness but of light? Can he recreate his national identity in exile, as Felipe seems to have done, becoming president of the union of Spanish Intellects in México? I explore these questions through my analysis of Versos y oraciones del caminante, Madrid 1920 and Español del éxodo y del llanto, México, 1939.
Factors Leading Latino Immigrant Students to Pursue a Postsecondary Education
Mentor: Dr. Caesar Sereseres
According to the 2000 Census, Latinos have become the second largest minority group in the United States. Although these numbers represent a large presence of Latino people in the United States, the numbers of Latino students seeking higher education is disturbing. In California, where Latinos comprise 28.1 % of the total population, only roughly 6% of freshman students at one of the states premier universities (University of California, Los Angeles) during the 1998-1999 academic year were Latinos. Consequently, there has been noted research in the area of education that concludes that Latino students are among the worst underrepresented student groups in higher education. Much attention has been given to factors that help promote these findings and yet there is little research that speaks to factors and variables that help a small percentage of Latinos access and succeed in higher education. This research study focuses on the latter part of the Latino educational research. There were 150 questionnaires sent to potential respondents and the researcher received 62 questionnaires for evaluation. The conclusions show potential factors that are transformative in nature which can help educators, policy makers and students understand methods that help foster academic success for Latino students.
Effect of Metabolic Inhibitors on the Interaction Between the Actin Cytoskeleton and Tight Junction Proteins
Mentor: Dr. Thomas Ma
The intracellular mechanisms that regulate the increase in intestinal epithelial tight junction (TJ) permeability are poorly understood. Previous studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that the alteration in epithelial TJ permeability is related to actin cytoskeleton dependent modulation of TJ proteins, including ZO-1 proteins. The role of ZO-1 in TJ opening is noteworthy because the apical intercellular location and numerous binding sites of ZO-1 to other TJ proteins make it an ideal candidate as an intermediary protein between the cytoskeleton and other TJ proteins. The purpose of this study was to examine the interaction between actin and the TJ proteins ZO-1 and occludin (a transmembrane, TJ protein) in an in-vitro intestinal epithelium model consisting of Caco-2 monolayers. Intestinal monolayers were treated with varying concentrations of the metabolic inhibitors sodium azide (30mM, 100mM, and 300mM) and antimycin-A (1µM, 10 µM, and 20 µM) and alterations in actin and TJ proteins were examined by immunofluorescent antibody staining. Photomicrographic images of the stained cells revealed concentration dependent disruption of the actin cytoskeleton by these metabolic inhibitors. At low concentrations, these metabolic inhibitors did not affect the continuity of ZO-1 or occludin around the cell border. At higher concentrations, however, disruption of these proteins was observed. These results suggest that the disruption of ZO-1 and occludin is related to changes in actin filaments induced by ATP depletion.
Effects of Aging on Sensory Gating in Schizophrenia
Mentor: Dr. Julie Patterson
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that has affected the lives of many and can recur throughout the life span of an individual. Many theories have been proposed in order to understand the deficits in perception, attention, and cognition associated with schizophrenia. One theory proposes that schizophrenics have an inability to inhibit or "gate" irrelevant or redundant sensory input, but few studies have looked at the effects of age. In this study, two methods that have been commonly used to test this theory, the auditory dual click (P50) procedure and pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) of acoustic startle, will be used to study whether age plays a role in the deficit of sensory of gating seen in schizophrenics. Schizophrenics often do not show the reduced P50 evoked responses to the second of two paired click stimuli that is seen in normal controls, and show a deficit in inhibition of the startle response to a loud acoustic stimulus that is preceded by a weaker pre-pulse. Data analysis is currently underway. The analysis will compare the effects of age on the P50 and PPI responses of normal controls and patients. Through this experiment we hope to better understand factors that may influence the deficits in sensory gating in schizophrenia.
The Role of Antibodies in Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection
Mentor: Dr. Donald Forthal
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus in the herpes family that causes an acute infection, which quickly resolves in healthy people. However, severe problems, including death, can occur in immunocompromised patients and fetuses. The goal of this project was to develop a better understanding of how CMV antibodies, in conjunction with cellular immunity, work in the immune response against CMV infection. A primary culture of human foreskin fibroblast (FF) cells were grown in small flasks and infected with CMV at multiplicities of infections (MOI) ranging from 0.1 to 1.0. Forty-eight hours post-infection, flasks were treated with different combinations of antibody preparations alone or in combination with a source of effector cells such as natural killer cells and monocytes. At days 1 through 7 after the setup, sample supernatant were collected from the flasks and titrated out onto a fresh culture of FF cells in 96 well microtiter plates. Results were analyzed using an indirect immunofluorescence technique that used a monoclonal antibody against the immediate early antigen (IEA) of CMV. Results were analyzed for effectiveness of CMV inhibition. Results revealed the ability of high titer anti-CMV antibody (Cytogam), in combination with a source of effector cells, to reduce viral yield from CMV infected FF cells. In the absence of antibodies and a source of effector cells, the supernatant yielded a virus titer of 267,000. Addition of Cytogam provided some inhibition. Addition of both Cytogam and a source of effector cells reduced virus yield to a titer of less than 4.
Violence as a Mediator for Smoking Among Adolescents
Mentor: Dr. Larry Jamner
This study will examine the mediating relationship between acts of violence, depressive symptoms, and teen smoking behaviors. Questions from the 1999 Centers for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) will be used to identify perpetrators, victims of violence, and those with depressive symptoms. Responses from 8265 high school students (ages 14-16, 53.6% males, 28% smokers) were analyzed. Smokers were likely to report carrying a weapon, having been in a physical fight, and having fought in school (p < .01). Smokers were also more likely to report having been threatened in school and not going to school because they felt threatened (p<. 01). In contrast smokers were less likely to have been hit by a boyfriend or girlfriend, or having been forced to have sex (p <. 01) suggesting that smokers are less likely to be victimized by their significant others. Contrary to previous data smokers in this study were less likely to report depressive symptoms but more likely to report suicide attempts (p <. 01). These data highlight the relationship between smoking and delinquent behavior such as violence and aggression as well as the relationship between depression and smoking. Future analysis will focus on examining data, which better characterizes smoking categories, depressive symptoms, aggressive dispositions and self-reported victimization through psychological measures and surveys.
Reactions to Memorials of Stigmatized War: A Look at Vietnam War Memorials
Mentor: Dr. Jane Newman
Memories of war pervade nations histories and linger like the echo of songs. The songs of Argive victory hold fast over millenniums, piercing through the conscious memories of men and women generation after generation. Poets like Virgil immortalize the shadows of the vanquished so that the defeated prevail as vitally as the light of the victors. How do nations deal with trauma? In general, trauma arouses a need for closure and healing. For the Trojans, Virgils historical epic gave them a new sense of power and pride that overwrote their feelings of loss and defeat. In a similar way, Maya Lins Vietnam War Memorial is a first step in the attempt to bring closure and healing to the US. Ironically the memory of the Vietnam War refuses to be brought to a close. Memorials have developed across the nation at state, city, and individual levels and continue to pervade popular culture. For example, Vietnamese Americans, in the city of Westminster, have developed their own memorial in remembrance of the war. Perhaps bringing the memorials to the local levels allows new narratives into the public forum that may not have been recognized at the national level. Does the memorial in our nations capitol say anything of the millions of Vietnamese lives that were also lost in the war? Reading memorials as monumentalized forms of history complicates their function as memory made concrete. The fragmentation and specificity of memory mandates that its concrete form will also have these limitations. Therefore "The Wall" in Washington D.C. and the local Westminster memorial alone cannot be read as complete histories made concrete, but rather approach solidifying a fuller memory of the loss of the Vietnam War when remembered together.
Cultural Sensitivity in Medicine
Mentor: Dr. Sibylle Reinsch
When people become ill or get injured or simply wish to know what to do to stay healthy, many go to their doctor for medication and advice. This appears to be the typical route that people choose to address their health concerns and problems, at least in Western healthcare. However, there are several other modalities that people use, especially if they come from different cultures. This study will investigate these "other" modalities, in particular, the self-initiated health practices individuals use to stay healthy or to get well. A secondary data analysis will be performed based on in-depth interviews (conducted by students) on a diverse population of 1112 individuals residing in Southern California. The population consists of individuals ranging from 18 to 92 years old from different ethnic backgrounds (the three largest being Hispanic, White, and Asian). Thus far, about eleven major categories of self-initiated health practices have been identified (e.g. home remedies, herbs, massage, acupuncture, oriental medicine, psycho-spiritual, curandero, and prayer). Differences will be reported on the preferred modalities for the three ethnic and age groups. The study will also identify reasons why a particular modality was chosen, including pain relief, health maintenance, arthritis, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, stress and fatigue, diabetes, and headache. Moreover, how people felt about communicating with their doctor about this self-initiated care will be presented. Results from this study may enhance our cultural sensitivity to healthcare practices and age-related preferences in different ethnic groups in Southern California.
Lenin and Stalin: The Transformation of the Visual Cult of the Leader in Russia
Mentor: Dr. Lynn Mally
Examining how leaders are portrayed by the state can lead to important conclusions concerning the country itself. Certain trends in Russian information propaganda helped to develop strong cults of the leader where practically no disagreement of the official image of the leader was allowed. During the 1920s and 1930s two powerful and effective leaders cults developed in the Soviet Union. Lenin, the leader who steered Russia through the Revolution of 1917 and established socialism in Russia, and Stalin, his successor, were both subjects of extensive cults. However, the Lenin cult and the Stalin cult emerged in different ways and assumed different roles in Russian politics. The cult of Lenin was never supported by Lenin during his lifetime, although he did act in ways that encouraged the birth of a cult in his honor. The height of the Lenin cult occurred after his death when the government needed to stabilize the regime. On the other hand, Stalins cult emerged while he ruled and was a powerful propaganda tool during his reign. Stalin was much more active in building his cult. Stalin benefitted greatly from the accolades heaped upon Lenin and may not have been able to build up his own cult as much without the Lenin cult. It is important to study the degree to which Stalin utilized the Lenin cult. By examining primary visual sources, such as paintings, photographs, and posters, I will explore how each cult developed and the relationship between the two leaders in visual culture.
Hindu Nationalism: The Changing Nature of the Indian State and Law
Mentor: Dr. Bill Maurer
The modern Indian State was only founded in 1947 but its history and society stretch far back into the deep mists of time. The formation of the modern Indian State in 1947 was an attempt by Indian society to head in the direction of modernism and westernization. The Nehruvian form of socialism and secularism with the civil and political structure of the British parliamentary system was a temporary solution to the problems that have been lying under the foundation of the Indian society for the past thousand years. In the past twenty years, with the rise of Hindu Nationalism, these temporary solutions have been brought to the forefront and scrutinized. The Hindu Nationalists, otherwise known as the Hindutvains, have directly challenged the practice of secularism in India, which they label as pseudo-secularism. They have challenged issues of personal laws in India and have also brought to the forefront the practice of votebank politics. This current study is an attempt to understand how these Hindutvains¾ through their dominant political representative, the Bharatiya Janata Party¾ has begun to change the very foundation of the Modern Indian State and its Laws. A brief ideological background will be presented on the philosophy of Hindutva along with a detailed presentation of the issues brought to the forefront by these Hindutva groups and will also present a very detailed analysis of the implications that these issues present to Indian Law, Politics, State and Society. The conclusion of this study will hopefully show that although there do exist some strong flaws in the ideology of the Hindutvains, nevertheless the issues that they bring forth are very critical and fundamental to the entire Indian society. Furthermore, it will show that this subject is not a simple subject, rather it is extremely complex and delicate as it involves so many different features and implications.
Inhibition of TGF-ß Mediated Pancreatic Cancer Cell Growth
Mentor: Dr. Murray Korc
Transforming growth factor-ßs (TGF-ßs) are polypeptide growth factors that regulate many cellular processes including cell proliferation and differentiation, migration, deposition of the extracellular matrix, immunosuppression, motility, and cell death. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC) are resistant to TGF-ß mediated growth inhibition and frequently harbor perturbations in the TGF-ß pathway, including Smad4 mutations, overexpression of Smad6 and Smad7, and underexpression of the Type I TGF-ß receptor (TßRI). These cancers also overexpress TGF-ßs, which may act in a paracrine manner to promote cancer spread. This overexpression correlates with decreased patient survival. TGF-ßs bind to the Type II TGF-ß receptor (TßRII), which then heterotetramerizes with TßRI to activate downstream signaling. To determine whether pancreatic cancer cell derived TGF-ßs exert paracrine effects in vivo, we stably transfected a construct encoding the extracellular domain of TßRII into two human pancreatic cancer cell lines, COLO-357 and PANC-1. Soluble TßRII expression was confirmed by Northern blotting. Cell growth assays in vitro indicated that the soluble TßRII clones possess a decreased capacity to respond to TGF-ß . By comparison with sham transfected cells, the soluble TßRII clones exhibited decreased tumor growth and attenuated angiogenesis in a subcutaneous mouse model. Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor I (PAI-1) mRNA levels were also decreased in tumors derived from soluble TßRII transfected cells. These results indicate that endogenous TGF-ßs have the capacity to promote pancreatic cancer growth and suggest that a soluble receptor approach can attenuate the paracrine effects of pancreatic cancer cell derived TGF-ßs. This approach may ultimately have a therapeutic potential in pancreatic cancer.
Empirical Comparison of Three Information Visualization Systems
Mentor: Dr. Alfred Kobsa
Data visualization has become an important means for people to analyze large amounts of data. Hardly any research exists however about factors that determine the usability of visualizations. Our research compares and analyzes three such software systems? Eureka, InfoZoom and Spotfire. We collected usage data on these systems in Fall 2000 at UCI in the following fashion: three datasets were identified which could be used by all three visualization systems. For each dataset, a number of questions were defined, and human volunteer subjects were asked to answer questions using the data visualization systems. After the experiment, the subjects were asked to fill out a questionnaire asking what they thought was most useful in the system, what was most difficult, etc. About twenty-five subjects were assigned to each system (i.e., condition). The subjects answer sheets and questionnaires were evaluated, as well as screen captures of their work and digital videos of them during the experiment. Data is currently under analysis along with the three software systems to answer questions regarding differences between the three systems (and an explanation for differences), superiority of one of the visualizations (in general or with respect to general tasks), user friendliness and user preferences. The findings of this study are expected to make us more aware of which visualizations are best suited for which tasks, and how system usability can increase user satisfaction.
Simulation of Molten Globules: Water and Protein Dynamics
Mentor: Dr. Douglas Tobias
To decipher the protein folding mechanism requires understanding of the relationship between protein structure and function. Our biophysical chemistry interest lies in the knowledge of the structures, dynamics, and energetics of partially unfolded molten globule (MG) and native (N) protein states. In our project, we have utilized molecular dynamics (MD) computer simulations to generate partially unfolded structures of the barnase and a-lactalbumin proteins. Traditionally, the MG state is an ensemble of compact structures with persistent local secondary structure, but disrupted tertiary global interactions. To investigate water dynamics of barnase, we compare our simulation results to magnetic relaxation dispersion (MRD) experimental data, which has been taken to support no difference in the hydration of N and MG protein states. Simulation analysis of water dynamics on the surface of the MG and N states indicates increased hydration and faster rotational dynamics for the MG structure. We have reinterpreted the MRD data to support the traditional view of the MG as more expanded and hydrated than the N state. Another system that has been extensively studied is the human a-lactalbumin (HaLA) protein, which forms one of the most well characterized MG states at acidic pH. We have begun to compare our simulation of HaLA to inelastic neutron scattering experiments to investigate protein dynamics. Our simulation analysis predicts more global and internal motion for the MG state. Thus, MD computer simulations have been utilized to investigate water and protein dynamics of molten globule protein states.
Rapidly Acquired Associative Learning of Stimulus Orientation Through Tactile Cues
Mentor: Dr. Ron Frostig
It is well established that rats associate the memory of an aversive stimulus with the context within which it is presented. We used a contextual fear conditioning task to study the rats ability to discriminate object orientation through sensory information gathered from the facial whiskers. This task was conducted over three days in a modified Y-maze containing three arms fitted with independently moveable bars that could be set to any radial orientation. On day one (acclimation), rats freely explored the maze with two arms set to horizontal or oblique orientations and a third set to vertical. On day two (training), rats were isolated in an arm containing vertical bars and were administered 3 footshocks. Day three (testing) was conducted identically to day one; rats freely explored the maze and the time spent in each arm was measured. We found that rats selectively avoided the arm containing the vertical bar orientation compared to their performance prior to training (paired t-test, p < 0.001). Rats were unable to discriminate between the paired and unpaired orientations, however, when the difference between the two was less than 90°. Modifying the training procedure so that rats did not receive a footshock in the vertical arm, or received a footshock in an arm of the maze without any bars, yielded no significant avoidance behavior during testing. These data demonstrate that rats can use their whiskers to rapidly acquire a learned association between object orientation and an aversive event.
Underutilization of Mental Health Care Services Among Mexican Americans
Mentor: Dr. Michael Scavio
This study examines the relationship between insurance status, and cultural factors, such as family support and folk medicine, and the utilization of mental health care services among Mexican Americans. The independent variables are cultural factors and insurance status. The dependent variable is the utilization of mental health care services by Mexican Americans. The study includes an extensive literature review on the mentioned topics, interviews with professionals in this area of research, and interpreting an analysis of the information. It is predicted that cultural factors, folk medicine and family support, and insurance status are major predictors of mental health care utilization among Mexican Americans. Examining the factors that affect the underutilization of mental health care services provides a background for the purpose of directing mental health policies towards this issue.
Solvolysis of Hydrogen Chloride Step by Step
Mentor: Dr. Kenneth Janda
In Freshman General Chemistry, students learn that when the hydrogen chloride molecule, HCl is added to water; the water will split the molecule into ions. The partially negative part of the water, the oxygen, surrounds the partially positive part of the HCl molecule, the hydrogen. Likewise, the partially positive part of the water, the hydrogen, surrounds the partially negative part of the HCl, the chlorine. The water literally breaks the bond between the hydrogen and the chlorine in the HCl molecule. We know this happens when there is a large excess of water. In this study, we want to investigate the minimum number of water molecules needed to dissociate an HCl molecule. An interesting phenomena occurs when the ratio of water to HCl is reduced to a 1:1; an ionic crystal structure is formed. When only a single molecule is present of both water and HCl, the water is no longer strong enough to break the bond in the HCl; instead the water partially bonds to the HCl called a hydrogen bond to form hydrogen chloride monohydrate. The primarily research done has been accomplished with the computer programs Mac Spartan and Biosym to study the solvolysis of HCl step by step, by adding one molecule at a time. These programs can calculate lowest energy geometry, bond lengths , bond angles, atomic charges, and the shape of electron clouds. The results of this research increases our understanding of the solvolysis of the HCl molecule.
LA Pinay Spoken Word/Performance Artists/Poets: A Tool for Social Change?
Mentor: Dr. Samuel Gilmore
This study is aimed to examine Pilipina American spoken word artists that perform in the Los Angeles area. I will be looking at their performance and poetry, the factors that influence their pieces, and determine whether they perceive their work as contributing to social change. Spoken word (or performance poetry) has been a recently popularized art within the Pilipina/o American and Asian American, and is one method that individuals choose to express themselves politically, socially, culturally, and personally. The potential benefits to this study can help the University recognize the Pilipina/o American community and the specific issues that they face. For an ethnic group that is often marginalized, this study aims to provide educational knowledge that may allow for future resources, and academic classes that focus around Pilipina/o American issues and Tagalog language. This study is also beneficial from a cultural study and sociological standpoint to present art, specifically performance art and poetry, as a form of political discourse within academia and the larger community. The subjects will benefit from this type of research by drawing attention to the purpose of their poetry pieces and performances.
Effects of Chronic Nicotine Exposure on N-AChR Expression of Mouse Cortical Neurons
Mentor: Dr. Martin Smith
Behavioral changes take place when the neuronal circuitry of the CNS is altered as a consequence of changes in gene expression. The question is whether nicotine can cause this change in expression. Previous in vivo studies have shown that changes in behavioral patterns coincide with an increased expression of the immediate early gene (IEG) c-Fos, which is used as a reporter for neuronal activation because it is induced by a variety of stimuli, including nicotine. While in vivo studies are powerful in determining behavioral changes, they make studying the immediate effects of nicotine on the cellular level difficult. In this study, I used tissue cultures as an alternative method to study the effects of nicotine. Neurons were grown under specified condition, challenged with an acute stimulation of nicotine, and c-Fos expression was quantitated to determine whether exposure to nicotine, either chronically or acutely, causes changes in the expression of c-Fos. The results of this study showed that c-Fos induction after an acute nicotine challenge is dose dependent and saturatable. Fos expression after an acute stimulation with nicotine also changes, depending on the nicotine concentration used chronically, and that these effects take place in as little as 5 days of chronic exposure. These results demonstrate that measuring Fos expression in culture is a powerful tool to examine the effects of nicotine on neurons. Since many IEGs, including c-Fos, are transcription factors, it is conceivable that nicotine induces lasting changes in expression of a wide variety of other late response genes.
A Seasonal Coastal Water Quality of the Santa Ana Rivermouth
Mentor: Dr. Sunny Jiang
The impact and consequences of urban runoff must be studied and quantified so that states and local governments can properly manage the situation on coastal water pollution. Rainfall may have a direct correlation with runoff, possibly such that more rainfall means higher levels of bacterial and viral contamination in the water. The Santa Ana River is the largest river in the region and it runs through many urban and agricultural areas before entering Huntington Beach. Monitoring this river will allow us to make a good assessment of the impacts on the coastal waters of Huntington Beach, where the river ends. A total of fourteen samples were taken from two sites. The first site was where the river mouth meets the surf and the second site was 500 feet south which was just the surf of the ocean. In this study, three indicators were used: total coliform, fecal coliform, and Enterococcus. The human viruses were detected through DNA extraction and nested PCR. The results showed that total and fecal coliform were in direct relation with rainfall. However, Enterococcus levels did not show the same pattern. No viruses were seen on any samples for both sites. Further studies are still required before any solid conclusions can be reached for the exact relationship of virus levels to rainfall and urban runoff.
Humanities Out There
Mentor: Dr. Julia Lupton
Humanities Out There (H.O.T.) is a literacy outreach program that works with students in the public schools of Santa Ana. This community program aims to enable students from undeserved groups to attend college, by promoting a broad-based, knowledge-driven literacy. H.O.T. also functions to persuade students from all backgrounds to increase their general literacy by incorporating the humanities into their studies. H.O.T. programs integrate cultural literacy (knowledge of Western civilization) with multicultural literacy (informed awareness of other traditions) to promote basic literacy. Through this literacy triangle, tutors improve the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills of Santa Ana students. The Imagining America workshop is a year-long study of citizenship in the United States. This H.O.T. workshop is divided into three five-week units. Political Citizenship is a study of how citizenship has been defined according to the law in U.S. history, with emphasis on the 1947 court case Mendez v. Westminster, which ended the legal segregation of public schools in California. The second unit, Social Membership, organized around the novel Huckleberry Finn, is a study of how public debates over censorship and hate speech affect peoples perceptions of citizenship. The final unit, Citizen-Activists, examines figures who have attempted to transform the definition and practice of citizenship, such as Rosa Parks and César Chávez. As an undergraduate tutor, I developed students academic skills by facilitating interactive lessons. My tutoring sessions consisted of textual analysis, writing exercises, and group discussions. During the last day of the workshop, we engaged the class in a lively debate on issues raised by the materials covered.
A Study on the Crocodilian Left Aorta and the Possible Role of Thermoregulation
Mentor: Dr. James Hicks
The crocodilian order is unique among all reptiles in that it is the only taxonomic group which contains reptiles with four-chambered hearts, unlike all other reptiles which have three-chambered hearts. The crocodilian order contains reptiles such as crocodiles, alligators, and caimans. However, the hearts of these animals differ from the "ideal" mammalian four-chambered heart in that they have a left aorta. This is a vessel leaving the right ventricle (which contains deoxygenated blood) and feeds the systemic side of the body. Hence, these animals are capable of a right-to-left cardiac shunt, meaning that they can bypass the lungs and feed deoxygenated blood to the body. Therefore, the general question of the project is why have these reptiles retained the "primitive" ability of cardiac shunting, characteristic of three-chambered reptiles, when they have developed a four-chambered heart. What is the purpose and advantage of being able to bypass the lungs and feed deoxygenated venous blood back to the body? Although there are several hypotheses, the specific hypothesis that I worked on is that the left aorta is involved in thermoregulation. The hypothesis is that while the animal is basking in the sun to warm through radiative heat, the ambient air temperature may still be low. Thus, if the animal can bypass blood flow to the lungs, blood will not come in contact with low air temperature and the animal will have a faster rate of heat gain. Data analysis is currently underway.
Daily Lives of Depressed Adolescents
Mentor: Dr. Carol Whalen
Regardless of age, the effects of depression can greatly impact the lives of those who suffer from it. Children, adolescents, and adults are all susceptible to becoming depressed, with an estimated 8%-18% of the population having at least one major depressive episode over the course of a lifetime. Although a great deal of research has been done on depression, many questions relating to adolescent depression, in particular, have not been addressed. For example, do depressed adolescents, compared to their nondepressed peers, engage in different activities or spend differing amounts of time in solitary contexts? The current study examines specific time-use patterns of adolescents with high versus low levels of depressive symptoms. Analyses will be conducted of data gathered as part of Project MASH (Measuring Adolescent Stress and Health), an ongoing longitudinal study at UCI, involving 155 (86 female, 69 male) southern California high school students (mean age = 14.52 years). Information about how these teens spend their days was collected individually using an experience sampling approach in which teens self-reported their locations, activities, and moods every 30 minutes using a specially programmed palmtop computer. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D), the Youth Self-Report Scale (YSR), and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). It is expected that differences in time use patterns will emerge between the depressed and nondepressed groups, and that these differences will interact with gender.
Modifications in the Structure and Function of Fibrinogen in Diabetics
Mentor: Dr. Agnes Henschen
The intent of this study was to determine how glucose modifies the structure and function of fibrinogen. This project serves as a model for how glycation influences the properties of fibrinogen in the blood of diabetic patients, contributing an explanation for the connection between two important risk factors in cardiovascular disease, fibrinogen function and diabetes. I incubated fibrinogen with several different concentrations of glucose over various periods of time. The samples were then analyzed for changes in structure and function. For the analysis of structure, I cleaved the samples into smaller fragments, partially separated them by gel filtration chromatography, and then analyzed them by mass spectrometry, testing for changes in molecular weight which would indicate a reaction with glucose. It was found by mass spectrometric analysis of the fragments that there was an addition of 162 mass units, which is characteristic of glycation of lysine residues. For the analysis of function, I tested the samples for thrombin-induced clotting and polymerization properties 1) by measuring polymerization which was monitored by recording changes in optical density, and 2) by measuring the extent of thrombin-induced fibrinopeptide release which was monitored by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). I found that there was an extensive, glucose dose-dependent inhibition of fibrin polymerization whereas the effect on glycation on fibrinopeptide release was minimal.
Characterization of the Essential Gene, MIAI, in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Mentor: Dr. Michael Cumsky
The biogenesis of functional mitochondria is essential to the survival of all eukaryotic cells. Mitochondria are intracellular organelles that provide much of the biochemical energy required to maintain normal biological functions. A chemical called ATP stores this biochemical energy. The final step in ATP production requires cytochrome c oxidase, a multi-subunit enzyme complex. One of the essential subunits of cytochrome c oxidase is subunit Va. One focus of the Cumsky laboratory is to identify the components inside mitochondria that are responsible for import and sorting of subunit Va [of cytochrome c oxidase] to the mitochondrial inner membrane. Through genetic experiments our lab has identified a gene that had not been previously characterized. We named this gene MIA1 and found that it is encoded by nuclear DNA and specifies a 16.2 kDa gene product that is localized in the mitochondrial inner membrane. The protein is essential for the survival of yeast cells. The goal of my project is to investigate the role of Mia1 protein in mitochondrial biogenesis. Cells depleted of Mia1 protein show loss of respiratory complexes, generate rho- cells (lose mitochondrial DNA), and display altered mitochondrial morphologies. MIA1 has a human homolog, CG1-136 protein, with a 65% similarity. Therefore, it is probable that defects in the MIA1 homolog in humans will result in a severe disease. The further understanding of protein import and localization in mitochondria may help in the development of therapies that may correct or by-pass these problems.
Detection of Focus Mode in the Primary Mirror of the Keck Telescope
Mentor: Dr. Gary Chanan
There currently exist only two systems for phasing (aligning) the 36 segments of the Keck Telescope primary mirror: the Phasing Camera System (PCS) and Phase Discontinuity Sensing (PDS). PCS is more robust than PDS because it has a longer development and employment history, but PDS is more convenient to run. One exclusive additional capability of PCS is the detection of focus mode in the primary mirror. Focus mode is an undesirable global deformity of the primary mirror, which can be described as a bowl shape. The goal of this project is to determine the feasibility of expanding the PDS algorithm so that it too has the ability to detect focus mode in the Keck primary mirror. Monte Carlo computer simulations provide a way of experimenting with focus mode without wasting valuable telescope time. The framework for the computer simulations is largely completed, but further experimentation with the software is needed to devise a focus mode detection algorithm.
Effects of Simulated Microgravity on Vascular Contractility: Role of the Non-Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Pathway
Mentor: Dr. Ralph Purdy
Simulated microgravity (hindlimb unweighting; HU) induces a vascular hyporesponsiveness to norepinephrine (NE), but not to serotonin (5-HT) in the rat abdominal aorta of male wistar rats. Previous studies have reported that genistein, a general tyrosine kinase inhibitor, caused a significant decrease in contractile response to NE in control (C), but not HU treated abdominal aorta. The goal of the present study was to examine the role of the genistein sensitive non-receptor tyrosine kinase second messenger pathway in the HU-induced hyporesponsiveness to NE. Microgravity was simulated in wistar rats by 20 day hindlimb unweighting (HU). The abdominal aorta was removed, cut into 3mm rings, and mounted in tissue baths to measure isometric contraction. Protein levels were determined using SDS-PAGE. PD98059, a selective MEK inhibitor, caused a marked inhibition of NE-induced contraction in both C and HU abdominal aorta. The level of activated ERK1/2 was significantly decreased in HU and genistein caused a significant decrease in the level of phosphorylated ERK1/2 in C but not HU abdominal aorta. Moreover, the level of ERK1/2 in HU was equivalent to that of the level seen in the C sample in the presence of genistein. Interestingly, the total protein mass of MAPK was increased significantly in HU while total protein masses of the proteins upstream of MAPK were reduced. These results indicate that genistein sensitive non-receptor tyrosine kinases are involved in NE-induced contraction and are altered by simulated microgravity. The inhibition of contraction caused by PD98059 and SDS-PAGE data suggest that MAPK is involved in NE-induced contraction and is not altered by HU treatment.
Neuroprotective Role of Tranforming Growth Factor Alpha (TGF-a ) in the Rodent Nigrostriatal System
Mentor: Dr. James Fallon
The model of Parkinson's Disease (PD), due to the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal pathway, may be induced in the adult rat through unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions of the substantia nigra. We have recently reported that infusions of TGF-a in a PD model results in a massive proliferation, directed migration, and differentiation (PMD) of forebrain subventricular zone (SVZ) progenitor cells. In this report, we studied whether TGF-a may play an additional protective role in reducing 6-OHDA toxicity. Lesioned animals received two-week TGF-a infusions into the ipsilateral striatum, their apomorphine-induced rotation behavior was quantified, and the animals were sacrificed by transcardial perfusion. The tissue was then processed by fluorescence histochemistry with Fluoro-Jade, a marker for neuronal degeneration. The extent of Fluoro-Jade staining was correlated with immunostaining for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), a marker for dopaminergic neurons. Results from animals receiving both lesion and infusion of TGF-a were compared to control animals. Our findings from these studies indicate a neuroprotective role of TGF-a in a PD model. There may be a wider role for TGF-a in the prevention or treatment of PD and other neurodegenerative disorders. Supported by NIH Grant #GM55246-03.
Covalent Modification of Vical Coat Proteins
Mentor: Dr. Gregory Weiss
In this era of mapping the human genome, techniques and methods need to be developed to allow high-throughput assignment of the function for large numbers of genes and their respective proteins. Techniques for identifying ligands to various protein targets for pharmaceutical or other purposes are increasingly more valuable. One popular technique, called phage display, allows the rapid identification of peptide ligands that are expressed on the bacteriophage M13. In order to make phage display even more applicable to these opportunities in the post-genome mapping era, I have developed techniques for covalently attaching molecular probes to the bacteriophage M13. For example, we are using rhodaminylated phages in immunocytochemisty experiments. Other small molecules can be tethered to the surface of phage for affinity-based double selection experiments. Finally, we are using modified phage to develop ultra-sensitive sensors for the detection of cholera toxin and anthrax lethal factor.
Going Local: Understanding Southern California Literature
Mentor: Dr. Loraine Reed
UCIs undergraduate education in English, while rich in historic breadth, only briefly highlights contemporary literature. Students who are interested in the local Southern California literary community usually must look beyond the campus. Writer Alice Sebold, who received her MFA from UCI in 1998, will lead undergraduate students in a series of workshop exercises designed to examine the current trends in our regions literature, as well as the students own prose or verse writing. Sebold will discuss general workshop practices, commenting on the validity of promises made to aspiring writers. Students will be encouraged to ask questions so that they may better understand the literary community in which they may one day participate. A more thorough knowledge of contemporary writers will help students assess the contributions of historic literature, essentially rendering the past real and significant. Such knowledge of contemporary literary practices will also help students clarify their expectations for a career in the humanities.
MEMS Micro-Mirrors: From Design to Experimental Characterization
Mentor: Dr. Andrei Shkel
One of the current challenges faced by the rapidly developing internet and technology networks is the never-ending demand for increased speed and bandwidth. Fiber optics is increasing in demand and usage because of their speed and data carrying capabilities. In fiber optic networks, light is the carrier of the data that is being transmitted. Because of the properties of light versus electrons, fiber optics have much greater bandwidths and much faster transmissions than electrical networks. In order for these light waves to traverse these optical networks from one destination to the next, they must change from one optic fiber to another. This is the switching dilemma. Currently in order to "switch" from one optical fiber to another, the data is converted from light to voltage using electronics, "switched" in an electrical circuit switch and then converted back and sent through the appropriate fiber. This creates a bottleneck since there is so much data coming at such a great speed through the fiber optics to this switch where it has to slow down and decrease its bandwidth. The purpose of my research is to design and test electronically controlled mirco-mirrors as optical switches to reflect the light to the appropriate fibers. The electrical switches can be taken out of the network, creating a fully optical network. This will enable the speed of transfer to remain high as well as the bandwidth to remain far greater.
Emotional Functioning of Patients with Epilepsy Based on a Comprehensive Evaluation of MMPI-2 Results
Mentor: Dr. Linda Nelson
We investigated whether content items, corresponding to the physical symptoms of seizures, inflate MMPI-2 scores in patients with epilepsy. A mean MMPI-2 profile was produced for 18 subjects diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy, who have previously been screened for psychiatric disorders. Using an empirically derived method, items corresponding to seizure symptoms were eliminated and the MMPI-2 was then re-scored. Once the corrected MMPI-2 scores were compared to the original scores, both statistically significant and clinically significant decreases were observed with certain psychiatric scales. Although the MMPI-2 appears to be a valid assessment tool in epilepsy, it is important to note that in some cases, seizure content did in fact alter clinical interpretation. A neurocorrected adjustment to this questionnaire is imperative in preventing erroneous diagnosis of psychological disorders in epileptic patients.
Measuring the Effectiveness of the U.S. Drug Strategy
Mentor: Dr. Caesar Sereseres
The country of Colombia represents a significant challenge and opportunity for U.S. foreign policy. Important U.S. national interests are at stake. Democracy is under pressure from the guerilla and paramilitary forces, economic development is slow, and progress towards liberalization is inconsistent. The Andean Region produces virtually all of the worlds cocaine, and an increasing amount of heroin; thus representing a direct threat to our public health and national security. All of these internal problems are inter-related. The sluggish economy has produced political unrest that threatens democracy and provides ready manpower for narcotics traffickers and illegal armed groups. Weak democratic institutions, corruption and political instability discourage foreign investment, contribute to slow economic growth and provide fertile ground for drug traffickers and other outlaw groups to flourish. With all of these factors considered, the United States has been actively involved in stabilizing Colombia by recently appropriating $1.3 billion for the counternarcotics efforts. While those in the media, academia, and government have scrutinized Americas involvement in this country?and at times have questioned the practicality of these efforts?Washington has made it quite clear that they will continue their counternarcotics efforts. Measuring the effectiveness of the drug policy has been a topic of controversy amongst policymakers and scholars alike. The findings of this study will unveil the manner in which the United States evaluates the counternarcotics efforts, and will shed light on how America could bolster the existing drug policy.
Early Social Communication Skills in Autistic Children and Their Siblings
Mentor: Dr. Wendy Goldberg
A great deal of research has been conducted on autism spectrum disorders, which are characterized by atypical repetitive or ritualistic behaviors and impairments in social interaction and language development. Recent research has turned towards family members of autistic probands to explore the relative importance of genetics and environmental causes in the development of autistic disorders. The current study is being conducted in conjunction with Dr. Goldbergs study on early development in autistic children. The Early Social Communication Skills (ESCS) test was administered to young autistic children as well as younger siblings of older autistic probands. The videotaped testing sessions, each approximately fifteen minutes in length, consist of one-to-one interactions between a trained tester and a child in a playroom setting at the UCI Medical Center. The ESCS focuses on specific communication skills, including, joint attention to an entity or event; social interaction between partners; and behaviors that regulate the partners assistance or compliance. Fourteen children, ages 17 to 36 months (M = 27) met the inclusion criteria. Three undergraduate researchers, all of whom were trained by an expert coder, independently view and code each tape. Comparisons are being made between the autistic children and the siblings in joint attention, social interaction, and behavior regulation. Autistic children are expected to show poorer performance than the siblings in the three key domains. The findings of this study should provide an interesting addition to the ongoing research dialogue in the exploration of the potential causes of autism.
The Evolution of Late-Life Fertility in Drosphila melanogaster
Mentor: Dr. Michael Rose
Evolutionary theory predicts that as the force of natural selection on fertility declines and reaches zero at very advanced ages in Drosophila, fertility rates should plateau. Furthermore, the onset of this late-life fertility plateau should evolve with the age at which the force of natural selection reaches zero (i.e. the age of last survival during culture). In this experiment we compared three control populations (CO) of Drosophila with three populations that have been selected for accelerated reproduction (ACO) to detect the presence and age of onset of late-life fertility rate plateaus. For each of three replicates we found late-life fertility rate plateaus in both groups. As predicted, the onset of these plateaus occurred earlier in the ACO populations. These results provide support for the importance of the force of natural selection in the evolution of late life.
Measure F: A Case Study in Coalition Work
Mentor: Dr. Mark Petracca
The passage of Measure F in the March 2000 election was a significant victory for opponents to the proposed airport at the former El Toro Marine Base. By a 67.3% vote, Orange County voters approved a measure requiring a two-thirds majority vote for the approval of any jail, hazardous waste landfill or civilian airport near residential areas. This created a huge hurdle for airport supporters. The passage of Measure F was even more surprising considering County voters approved Measure A and defeated Measure S in earlier elections, both decisions which supported the airport. I wish to study why the different groups opposed to the El Toro Airport succeeded in passing Measure F in the March 2000 election, when previous efforts failed. Especially interesting is the makeup of these groups, remembering that while they all oppose the airport idea, they each have different political ideologies and disparate viewpoints, as evidenced by the squabbling that has plagued these groups after the March election. How these groups came together, and put aside their political animosity, at least for one election, in the context of community power and coalition work literature, should make for an interesting study of group politics in action. Interviews will be conducted of the people involved in the decision-making process in the coalition, and these results will be compared to theories in coalition literature. Findings will shed insight into the process of building and maintaining a winning electoral coalition in Orange County.
Vietnamese Americans: Protest and Minority Politics
Mentor: Dr. Caesar Sereseres
This study examines how participation in the Hi-Tek Little Saigon Protest (LSP) of 1999 changed Vietnamese Americans subsequent political participation, both electoral (voting) and non-electoral (protesting, campaigning). I compare protesters subsequent political participation with non-participants, and also examine gender differences in political participation. Survey questions to protesters and non-protesters address (1) political behavior before and after the LSP, and (2) the demographic characteristics of the respondents. Interviews are used to explore the viewpoints of the protest leaders. Data will be analyzed using Chi-square to test significance, Lambda and Cramers V to test for correlation between the independent variable (participation in LSP) and dependent variables (subsequent political participation). It is predicted that participating in the LSP leads to increase subsequent political participation for protesters, both electoral and non-electoral. The LSP initiated enormous political energy within the Vietnamese communities nationally and globally. It was a unique event that potentially increased the political power of the Vietnamese American communities. Thus, it is important to study and document the LSP as a major politicizing event for the Vietnamese communities of the US and internationally.
Optical Doppler Tomography/ Optical Coherence Tomography
Mentor: Dr. Zhongping Chen
Optical Doppler Tomography (ODT) combines Doppler velocimetry with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to measure blood flow velocity at discrete user-specified locations in highly scattering biological tissues. The exceptionally high spatial resolution of ODT allows noninvasive imaging of both in vivo blood microcirculation and tissue structures surrounding the vessels. We have recently developed a novel phase-resolved OCT/ODT system that uses phase information derived from a Hilbert transformation to image blood flow in human skin with fast-scanning speed and high velocity sensitivity. Our phase- resolved system decouples spatial resolution and velocity sensitivity in flow images and increases imaging speed by more than two orders of magnitude without compromising spatial resolution and velocity sensitivity. The minimum blood flow velocity that can be detected in human skin is as low as 10 µ m/s while maintaining a spatial resolution of 10 µm. The noninvasive nature and high spatial resolution of ODT should have many applications in the clinical management of patients in whom imaging blood flow in human skin is required. We used a novel phase-resolved optical Doppler tomographic (ODT) technique, with very high flow velocity sensitivity (10 m m/s) and high spatial resolution (10 m m), to image blood flow in port wine stain (PWS) birthmarks in human skin. The variance of blood flow velocity is used to locate the PWS vessels in addition to the regular ODT images. Our device combines an ODT system and laser so that PWS blood flow can be monitored in situ before and after treatment.
Hippocampal GR-mRNA Levels in the Immature Rat are Modulated Primarily by Sensory Maternal Derived Signals
Mentor: Dr. Tallie Z. Baram
The responses to stress of the neonatal rat are under the regulation signals from the mother. Specifically, we have previously shown that the expression of several molecules which underlie the mechanisms of the stress-response is modulated by the presence or absence of the mother (Eghbal-Ahmadi et al., J Neurosci, 1999). Furthermore, this work demonstrated that sensory input from the mother (such as licking and grooming) was more important for the regulation of these molecules than food intake provided by the mother. Here we focus on an additional and important receptor that is involved in the ability of stress hormones (glucocorticoids) to influence gene expression in neurons. We tested the hypothesis that glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA expression in the hippocampus and frontal cortex, both critical regions for the regulations of the molecular and hormonal stress-responses, were regulated primarily by integrated sensory signals derived from maternal-pup interactions. GR-mRNA expression in stress-associated regions were determined using in situ hybridization, in 9-day old rats subjected to experimental manipulations intended to mimic mother-pup interaction. Our results demonstrate that hippocampal CA1GR-mRNA levels were significantly (p < 0.01) reduced with maternal deprivation. Handling, surrogate grooming, and passive contact restored CA1 GR-mRNA levels to those of control pups. In contrast, food intake in this paradigm did not reverse the effect of maternal deprivation on GR-mRNA expression. Based on our results, we conclude that sensory signals from maternal-pup interaction may be required for normal expression of GR-mRNA in the immature rat. This effect does not depend on elevated peripheral glucocorticoids.
Predicting the Stereochemistry of Nucleophilic Addiction to Tetrahydrofuran Oxocarbenium Ion Intermediates
Mentor: Dr. Keith Woerpel
Natural products with biological activity are difficult to synthesize. One of the aspects is the introduction of stereochemistry during the course of the synthesis. Our research focuses on understanding the stereochemistry of tetrahydrofuran motifs seen in medicinal drugs. In a proposed model, we can predict the stereochemistry of nucleophilic addition to oxocarbenium ion intermediates. The stereochemistry of tetrahydrofurans can be defined in reactions of nucleophiles like allyltrimethylsilane with five-membered ring oxocarbenium ion intermediates. We have demonstrated that oxocarbenium ions possessing fused alkyl rings give high stereoselectivity, consistent with previous studies of non-fused alkyl systems. Our results also indicate that five-membered ring oxocarbenium ions fused to six-membered rings give different results than do the more conformational flexible eight-membered ring systems. These results also support our theory that the fused ring prefers diequitorial positions on the envelope conformation of the tetrahydrofuran, which help predict the stereochemistry.
Epitope Analysis of the Humoral Response in Mice Immunized with ß-Amyloid
Mentor: Dr. David Cribbs
The development of APP transgenic (APP/Tg) mouse models of Alzheimers disease (AD) provides a valuable experimental system in which to test hypotheses on the mechanisms underlying the onset, progression, and potential therapeutic approaches to AD. The first report by Schenk et al., and other recent publications demonstrated that immunization of APP/Tg mice with fibrillar Aß1-42 (Aß42) peptide blocked the deposition and also initiated the removal of existing Aß deposits from the brain. In addition, it was established that anti-Aß antibodies could protect mice from Alzheimers disease-like memory loss. However, a number of questions remain unanswered regarding the role of immune responses to Aß, Aß clearance mechanisms, the potential for an autoimmune response, and problems relating to the immune response from the highly polymorphic nature of the MHC. The goals of this project are to evaluate the immune response of mice immunized with Aß1-42 to overlapping segments of Aß, as well as IgG1 and IgG2a response, which is a measure of the relative contribution of Th1 and Th2 cells to the immune response. I found that the humoral response by mice to the peptide sequence 1-28 of Aß produced comparable response to the entire 1-42 peptide. Thus the major B cell epitope appears to be in the amino terminal porting of Aß. In addition, I found that IgG1 was the major isotype generated, indicating primarily a Th1 mediated response.
Synthesis of Highly Functionalized Tetrahydropyrroles
Mentor: Dr. Fillmore Freeman
These experiments were designed to study the reactions of aldehydes with aminomalononitrile p-toluenesulfonate (AMNT) to form the intermediates (2-azaallyl anions and azomethine ylides) that react with dimethyl ethynedicarboxylate (DMAD) to yield pyrroles and 3-pyrrolines or react with other dipolariophiles to give highly functionalized tetrhydropyrroles. The highly functionalized tetrhydropyrroles, pyrrole, 3-pyrroline products obtained from the experiments can be used as anticancer agents or anticancer precursors. Our object was to synthesize anticancer compounds that have high bioactivity but low toxicity. Thus, the products that we obtain are to be sent to the National Cancer Institution (NCI) for evaluation. Different dipolariophiles are used to test which dipolariophile is better to undergo the cycloaddition reaction. Products obtain from different dipolariophiles give different bioactivity and toxicity level. The flash column chromatography technique was used to separate the products of the above cycloaddition reaction. Mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy were used to confirm the structures of the products. The mechanism of the cycloaddition reaction and the effect of different dipolariophiles were also studied.
A Computational Study of the Ring Reversal of Axial and Equatorial Selenoxides
Mentor: Dr. Fillmore Freeman
Ab initio molecular orbital theory and the hybrid density functionals B3LYP and B3PW91 have been used to study the conformational energies and structural parameters of axial tetrahydro-2H-selenane-1-oxide, equatorial tetrahydro-2H-selenane-1-oxide, and tetrahydro-2H-selenane-1,1-dioxide. The conformational enthalpy (DH° ), entropy (DS° ), and free energy (DG° ), the optimized geometries, and the relative energies of the chair, sofa, twist, and boat conformers have been calculated. The energy difference (DE, kcal/mol) between the chair and most stable twist conformer of axial tetrahydro-2H-selenane-1-oxide was calculated for HF, MP2, B3LYP, and B3PW91 geometry optimization; MP2/single point. The energy differences (DE, kcal/mol) between the chair and most stable boat conformer was also calculated. A mechanism for ring reversal is proposed.
Comparison of the Level of Fecal Bacteria Contamination in Rivers and Creeks in Southern California
Mentor: Dr. Sunny Jiang
Southern California beaches are unique economic resources to the state and residents. However, in the recent years, high concentrations of fecal and total coliform bacteria, an indication of fecal pollution, are frequently found in many recreational beaches resulting in beach closure and loss of economic revenue. In order to find sources that led to the closure of beaches, the level of fecal contamination in eleven rivers were surveyed along the coast of S. California during the summer of 2000(dry season). Water samples were collected biweekly from eleven rivers and creeks between July 15, 2000 to August 15, 2000. Two sites were selected for sampling (upstream and near the mouth of the river) at each river. Each water sample was then processed for the presence of fecal coliform, total coliform and Enterococcus. Average levels of fecal coliform ranged in these rivers from below detection limit (San Dieguito River) to 5,075 cfu/ml (Malibu Creek). Enterococcus levels ranged from below detection limit (San Gabriel, Santa Ana Rivers) to 3,130 cfu/ml (Aliso Creek). Total coliform levels ranged from 275 cfu/ml (San Diego River) to 115,712 cfu/ml (Malibu Creek). The results of this study indicate that urban runoff has a great deal of influence on the levels of bacteria found in the rivers. Since these rivers empty into the ocean, they can be a major contributing factor to the levels of bacteria found along the coast.
Synthesis of a Dityrosine-Linked Protein G Peptide Dimer
Mentor: Dr. David Van Vranken
Protein-protein interactions through the edges of beta sheets are crucial in many biological processes. Some of these interactions may lead to harmful affects in the body. The control of such interactions would be an enormous advance in medicine. Beta peptide dimers may be able to cooperatively disrupt these beta sheet interactions. In a beta peptide dimer, hydrogen bonds between the two inside edges should transmit polarization from one outside edge to the other. Thus, binding to one outside edge should strengthen binding to the other outside edge. We have synthesized a dityrosine-linked peptide dimer based on the B1 binding domain of Staphylococcal protein G (residues 17-21, LKGET). This dimer may be able to disrupt the binding of protein G to the Fc domain of immunoglobulin G. This study is concerned with the synthesis and secondary structural properties of the protein G dimer mimic [LY*GET]2, where Y* is a dityrosine cross-link. Biaryl crosslinks have been shown to promote beta structure. The pentapetide LYGET was synthesized via solid phase peptide synthesis on Wang resin, purified by reverse phase HPLC and characterized by 1H NMR and electrospray mass spectrometry. The monomer was then dimerized enzymatically using horseradish peroxidase and hydrogen peroxide in a borate buffer of pH 9. The borate salts were removed by dialysis and the crude dimer was purified by reverse phase HPLC. The dimerization yield was calculated to be 4.9%. The reaction is now being scaled up to generate enough dimer for 1H NMR studies and assay experiments.
The Social and Economic Effects of UC Irvine on the University Marketplace
Mentor: Dr. James Danziger
Throughout the last decade, UC Irvine has been known as one of the fastest growing universities in the nation. UC Irvines reputation as being one of the fastest growing universities as well as a university that has a strong impact on Orange County in general and specifically on the City of Irvine, truly contributes to the social and economic factors associated with the University. The University Marketplace is a strong example of a business development based on the social and economic factors resulting from the existence of a university directly across the street. Twenty-five UC Irvine students were asked to complete a three-page survey designed to analyze factors such as the students socio-economic status, their reasons for visiting the University Marketplace, as well as their "social" connection to the University Marketplace, which involves the social connection that UC Irvine has to the University Marketplace. Interviews lasting approximately fifteen minutes each, were conducted with five businesses at the University Marketplace. The interviews were designed to analyze the businesses reasons for locating their business in the University Marketplace, the businesses attitudes toward UC Irvine and its students, and the businesses level of competition from other businesses. The data analysis of these surveys and interviews is currently underway. The results of this study will hopefully determine the significance of UC Irvine, in social and economic terms, to the local businesses, such as the University Marketplace.
Phenotypic Characterization of ALP23B and Mav, Novel TGF-b Ligands
Mentor: Dr. Kavita Arora
The ability of cells to communicate with each other is an essential aspect of development which allows for organized and coordinated growth. The TGF-b superfamily is a group of secreted ligands involved in such intercellular communication, which have been implicated in processes such as cell division, apoptosis, cell migration, and body axis patterning. In Drosophila, three ligands belonging to the BMP subgroup, dpp, scw, and Gbb60A, have been researched extensively. Two other ligands have been identified which belong to the activin subgroup: ALP23B and Mav. In other model systems, such as Xenopus, the members of the BMP subgroup have substantially different roles from those of the activin subgroup. ALP23B and Mav are therefore expected to play a different role in the development of Drosophila than the previously researched ligands. To help elucidate the role of ALP23B, point mutations have been isolated which are lethal over short deletions of ALP23B. Embryos and larvae of these lethal lines were stained with various antibodies against proteins with known patterns during development. A mutant phenotype was found in the larval nervous system, but not in the embryonic. In order to investigate the role of Mav, we will use ectopic expression of both the wild-type and dominant negative form of Mav, and examine the animals for a mutant phenotype. Characterization of ALP23B and Mav will increase our knowledge of the signaling pathways employed in Drosophila development, which may be homologous to the signaling pathways of other organisms as well.
The Impact of Community Socioeconomic Status on Role Conflict in Police Officers
Mentor: Dr. Cheryl Maxson
With the excellent economy and increasing affluence, a new lifestyle has been introduced to individuals, one in which money can buy most anything. Research has shown that wealthy people can lessen the severity of punishment for legal offenses through their superior ability to navigate the justice system, perhaps fostering perceptions of personal immunity from formal social control. Policing wealthy individuals presents a challenge since the police officers enactment of their occupational role requirements could be undermined by wealthy individuals attitude of immunity. This study seeks to explore whether officers who police in higher socioeconomic status communities experience role conflict when they encounter wealthy individuals. These results are compared to those of officers who police in lower socioeconomic status communities. Also, it is hypothesized that policing style, either community-oriented (policing that involves active problem solving within the community) or professional (policing that values responding to problems and targeting criminals), interacts with the role conflict the officer experiences. Officers who endorse the community-oriented policing style are expected to experience less role conflict than those officers who espouse the more traditional, "professional" policing style. The constructs of role conflict and policing style are measured via personal interviews with approximately fifteen police officers from the Newport Beach and Westminster Police Departments. The two departments represent both high and low socioeconomic status communities. The preliminary findings of these interviews will be presented here.
Water Quality and Seed Germination: California Native and Non-Native Asteracea, Common Plants in the Urban Landscape
Mentor: Dr. Sharon Stern
Californias population and urban growth have raised concern for securing safe, reliable, and cost-effective water sources to meet societys needs. For decades, communities in Orange County, CA, have used reclaimed wastewater for various purposes, including agriculture and, more recently, landscape irrigation. Use of reclaimed water necessitates further investigation into the environmental impacts of water quality on seedling germination and plant establishment. This research demonstrates that differences exist in rates of seed germination as a function of water quality. Asteracea seeds were grown using reclaimed, drinking, and distilled waters. The different waters used reflect different permitted-use standards, different pricing structures, and different chemical constituents such as organics, dissolved solids, nitrogen, phosphate, and salts. California native (Achillea millefolium and Crysanthemum leucanthemum) and non-native (Gazania and Calendula) landscape plant species were used, since they are commonly available to individual gardeners, residential and commercial landscape designers, as well as biological restoration and mitigation projects. This discussion will address how water availability and quality influence landscape design choices, and whether to utilize native species, which tend to be drought tolerant, or non-natives, which are aesthetically more decorative, but frequently more water-intensive. The type of water used to irrigate the urban landscape, or the types of plants chosen for the appropriate environment, can have a significant impact on planning for future water supplies and standards of wastewater treatment. Findings suggest directions for further research and highlight possible implications for urban landscape design and reclaimed water policy decisions.
Determination of the Prevalence of Diarrhoegenic E. coli. Toxin Genes in Waste Lagoons
Mentor: Dr. Betty Olson
Many strains of Escherichia coli cause diarrhea in humans and animals. All of these produce a variety of toxins that cause pathogenic effects to the intestinal epithelium. Fecal contamination from dairy farms is an important concern to water quality managers, because of the pathogens contained in their waste. Waste lagoons from cattle farms across California were sampled over a year period to determine the prevalence of enterotoxigenic E. coli and the occurrence of enterohemorrhagic E. coli. The enterotoxigenic E. coli produce the LTII (heat labile) toxins in bovines, while the enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7 produce the Stx I and II (Shiga toxins), also known as the VT (Verotoxins), as well as attaching and effacing factor (eaeA). Although E. coli containing LTII are pathogenic for cattle only, E. coli 0157:H7 causes hemolytic uremia syndrome and has caused a number of deaths of children exposed to the organism in food or water. Specific primers for polymerase chain reaction were previously developed to target each of these four genes (Sharma et. al. 1999). Both LT and Stx toxins were found in the wastewater lagoon samples. The prevalence of LT toxins was found to be 1 LTII positive E. coli per 26 E. coli to 1 LTII positive E. coli per 909,000 E. coli. The occurrence of the three virulence genes associated with E. coli O157:H7 were found in almost all samples. The frequency of these diarrhoeagenic E. coli toxin genes indicates high potential health risks from dairy farms due to runoff, accidental discharges or during rain events.
Recall of Emotional Intensity for a Real World Event: Differences by Valence
Mentor: Dr. Linda Levine
Several research studies, dating back to the 1930s, have demonstrated a link between the valence of recalled emotions, i.e., positive or negative, and the level of recalled intensity. Recently, Walkers 1997 study demonstrated that recalled emotional intensity fades more over time for memories with a negative emotional valence than for memories with a positive emotional valence. This study examines memories of emotional intensity for a single, real world event that elicited a range of emotional reactions in individuals exposed to it. Study participants responded to questionnaires regarding the incident at three time periods, one week after the event (N=351), two months after (N=270) and one year after (N=156). In contrast to prior findings, analysis of this data shows that recalled emotional intensity decreased more for subjects who viewed the event as positive than for subjects who viewed the event as negative.
Applications of Collaborative Theater
Mentor: Dr. Keith Fowler
The director has historically been seen especially in the past 100 years as being the sole artistic vision behind a theater production. The actor has been the directors medium. The designer has been the architect of the directors vision. The goal of my research is to create a production that is build specifically around the idea that anyone can offer input on any element of the production. No one person is just one kind of artist. The most vital research came out of asking a few vital questions: How can a director work on a daily basis to ensure a collaborative element becomes an intrinsic part of a fully fleshed out project? How can a designer benefit from constant encouragement, feedback, and critical thought from a team of designers? How can we incorporate different techniques into the rehearsal process to allow the actor to become a more creative artist? As theater professionals we cannot be satisfied with simply conducting business as usual. To expand our creative palette we must expand our notions of what each member of a production is responsible for creating.
Electronic Muscle Stimulation, Facts and Fictions
Mentor: Dr. Roger McWilliams
Face lift without the surgery, painkiller without medication, acupuncture without needles, weight training results 200 to 300 percent faster than with conventional workout routines? From professional athletes such as Bruce Lee to actresses such as Suzanne Somers, prominent figures in the fitness and beauty industry have participated in and promoted electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) therapy. Promotional claims of EMS manufacturers and distributors, and testimonials of EMS participants will be examined. Innate electrical activity in the human body, and external electricity and transcutaneous (across the skin) electronic muscle stimulation will be described. Biophysics of therapeutic electronic muscle stimulation: the anatomy, physiology, and neuromuscular response to EMS will be discussed. The findings of this study are expected to give information needed as a consumer to make more educated decisions in the market of electronic muscle stimulation.
Synthesis of Aza-Butadienes, Pyrroles, and Hexadienoates Using Aminomalonitrile Tosylate (AMNT) and Aldehydes.
Amy Siu-Ting Wong
Mentor: Dr. Fillmore Freeman
Aminomalonoitrile tosylate (AMNT) reacts with aromatic aldehydes in methanolic sodium acetate to give a wide variety of anticancer compounds, depending on experimental conditions and the structures of the substrates. 1-Aryl-3, 3-dicyano-2-aza-1-propenes have been reported as the products from the reaction of AMNT and aromatic aldehydes. Several experiments were performed to investigate the regioselectivity of the cycloaddition reaction. An attempt to trap the 2-azaallyl anions or the ylides from 2-aza-1-propenes with 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde afforded a complex mixture of compounds including (E, E)-4-amino-3-cyano-1- (4-hydroxyphenyl)-4-methoxy-2-aza-1, 3-butadiene (12.3%). A trapping experiment with AMNT and 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde in the presence of the electron-deficient dipolarophile dimethyl 1, 2-ethynedicarboxylate (DMAD) led to the formation of 3, 4-dicarbomethoxy-2-cyano-5- (4-hydroxyphenyl)-pyrrole (35.9%). The reaction of the 2-azaallyl anions with methyl propiolate gave methyl (2Z, 5E)-4, 4-dicyano-6- (4-hydroxyphenyl)-5 -aza-2, 5-hexadienoate (53.9%). The hexadienoate may be viewed as an example of a rare highly functionalized 2-aza-1, 4-pentadiene. The isolated compounds were characterized using mass spectrometry and 1H-NMR spectroscopy. The project also involves the reactions of AMNT with dihydroxybenzaldehydes and trihydroxybenzaldehydes. The products bioactivity and toxicity levels will be evaluated.
Effects of Glypican-1Core Protein Structures on Heparan Sulfate Preference and Efficiency of Glycosaminoglycan Addition
Mentor: Dr. Arthur Lander
Heparan sulfate is a type of polysaccharide known as a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and is responsible for a variety of cellular interactions. The purpose of our research is to study the regulation of heparan sulfate biosynthesis. We use rat glypican-1 as a model. Glypican-1 is a member of the glypican family of proteoglycans that bears almost exclusively HS, although its core protein can also support chondroitin sulfate (CS), another type of GAG. Previous studies (Chen and Lander 2001; Dolan et al. 1997; Zhang and Esko 1994, 1995) have identified amino acid sequences in proteoglycan core proteins that are thought to regulate HS preference. These include the glypican-1 globular domain, repetitive Ser-Gly dipeptides, and acidic amino acid clusters. Using mutagenesis, the present study examines the effects of repetitive Ser-Gly dipeptides and acidic amino acid clusters on HS preference and efficiency of glycosaminoglycan addition.
Patterns of 2-Dexyglucose Uptake in the Rat Olfactory Bulb Upon Exposure to Different Components of Peppermint
Mentor: Dr. Michael Leon
To investigate the ways in which odorant chemistry and odor perception might be encoded in the olfactory bulb, rats were exposed to six components of peppermint that had similar perceived odors and chemical structures. We examined patterns of responses by using uptake of [14C]- labeled 2-deoxyglucose. Odor molecules with similar structures or functional groups activated common areas of the olfactory bulb. A pattern dissimilarity test showed that these odorants have an overall similar spatial pattern as well. Odorants that are perceived as minty yielded similar patterns despite structural differences. These data are consistent with previous research on simpler molecules which suggested that odorant functional groups are important features extracted by odorant receptors. These data also suggest that spatial patterns in the olfactory bulb might be related to odor quality perception.
The Effects of Acetylsalicylic Acid on the Structure and Function of Fibrinogen
Mentor: Dr. Agnes Henschen
The use of acetylsalicylic acid, more commonly known as aspirin, has become a well-established form of therapy for preventing and treating cardiovascular disease. The beneficial effects are believed to be derived, in part, from the acetylation of certain plasma proteins, including fibrinogen. In the present study, we investigated the structural modifications of fibrinogen by analyzing peptide fragments with the mass spectrometer to note any changes in molecular weight. The results indicate that acetylation did indeed take place on certain lysine residues in all three chains. Next we tested to see whether this modification effected the thrombin mediated release of fibrinopeptides A and B. By examining aspirin treated fibrinogen samples, incubated over various time periods, with the HPLC, we observed that aspirin did not alter the rate of fibrinopeptide release. However, the properties of the fibrin clot itself appeared to be significantly changed because of aspirin. The treatment of fibrinogen with increasing doses of aspirin resulted in a marked decrease in the clotting related absorbance, which indicates that aspirin leads to the formation of a more porous gel. This effect may be explained by the fact that acetylation of the lysine residue interferes with the spatial structure of the fibrin clot and probably also with the crosslinking stabilization of the fibrin clot by factor XIII.
Identification and Characterization of the Anandamide Precursor, N-Arachidonyl Phosphatidylethanolamide in Brain and Lung Tissues
Mentor: Dr. Daniele Piomelli
The Cannabis plant has been used for medicinal and recreational purposes for at least 4,000 years. Its major component, D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), exerts its effects by binding to selective G protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors, causing a variety of responses such as analgesia, appetite stimulation, and attenuation of nausea. The existence of an endogenous cannabinoid system is supported by the fact that substances with cannabimimetic properties but with chemical structures different from those found in plants were found in animal tissues. Anandamide (arachidonylethanolamide) was the first cannabinoid substance identified in mammalian brain and has a high affinity to cannabinoid receptors. Anandamide is produced when N-arachidonyl phosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) is hydrolyzed by a phosphodiesterase such as a phospholipase D. The anandamide precursor, NAPE, belongs to a family of N-acylated phosphatidylethanolmines, the ethanolamine moiety of which is linked to different saturated or unsaturated fatty acids. In the present study, we examined the NAPE composition of rat brain and lung membranes by a variety of techniques, including high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) couples to mass spectrometry (MS). The aim of the study is to identify at the molecular level the NAPE species present in rat brain and lung tissues as a first step toward understanding the possible physiological roles of this class of lipid molecule.
Acquisition of Nicotine Self-Administration and Adult Male Rats
Mentor: Dr. James Belluzzi
Smoking is reported by 36.4% of teenagers, while only 24.7% of adults smoke. Furthermore, most adult smokers started smoking during their adolescence. While there are multiple causes of teenage smoking, this study was designed to examine one potential cause: different sensitivities to nicotine in adolescents and adults. Animal models of intravenous drug self-administration (SA) have been used to determine the abuse potential of drugs and to determine their potential reinforcing effects. This study examined possible differences in nicotine self-administration between adolescent (P41) and adult (P90) rats on a fixed ratio (FR) and progressive ratio (PR) schedule of reinforcement. Naïve, Sprague-Dawley male, albino rats (32 P41 and 32 P90) were allowed to intravenously self-administer saline or nicotine (15, 30, or 60 µg/kg/injection) during 5 daily 3-hr FR sessions and 2 4-hr PR sessions. Adolescent self-administration at 30- and 60-µg doses was significantly higher than saline rates, while adults only had higher rates at the 60-µg dose. Whereas adults responded only at saline levels for all doses on Day 1, adolescent rats responded significantly more than saline for both higher doses. Results during progressive ratio sessions indicated that nicotine is a weak reinforcer in these naïve, non-food trained rats. Taken together, these results suggest that adolescents are initially more stimulated by nicotine at moderate and high dosages than adults, and support the idea that the initial exposure to nicotine carries a greater addictive risk during the social and biological changes of adolescence.
Simulated Microgravity-Induced Vascular Hyporesponsiveness to Norepinephrine and PDGF: Roles of Receptor and Non-Receptor Tyrosine Kinase
Mentor: Dr. Ralph Purdy
Simulated microgravity is known to cause vascular hyporesponsiveness to norepinephrine (NE) but not serotonin (5-HT) in the rat abdominal aorta. Preliminary studies have shown that alterations in the MAPK pathway may contribute to the reduced vascular contractility seen in HU treated animals. Genistein, a general tyrosine kinase inhibitor, was shown to reduce the contractile response in control (C) but not HU arteries. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to further investigate the role of tyrosine kinase proteins in HU-induced vascular hyporesponsiveness. Microgravity was simulated in male Wistar rats with 20-day hindlimb unweighting (HU). We removed the abdominal aorta from C and HU rats, cut them in 3mm rings, and mounted them in tissue baths to measure isometric contraction. Genistein caused a marked reduction in phosphorylation levels in C but not in HU arteries to NE. In contrast, genistein significantly inhibited the contractile response to serotonin in C and HU treated tissues. Interestingly, genistein was able to significantly inhibit the contractile response to platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) in C tissues, and caused a complete inhibition of the contractile response in HU treated tissues. These results indicate that a genistein-sensitive non-receptor tyrosine kinase may be involved in HU-induced vascular hyporesponsiveness to NE, and that a genistein insensitive component may be altered in HU-induced vascular hyporesponsiveness to PDGF. Supported by NASA Grant #NAG9-1149.
Aging Effects on Viability of Drosophila melanogaster
Mentor: Dr. Michael Rose
Female fecundity decreases throughout life and has been found to plateau late in life in laboratory stocks. Although females are laying eggs through late life, we do not know whether these eggs are viable. We used Drosophila melanogaster as our model organism to test viability of late life. We specifically used the CO and ACO populations, which are selected for mid-life and early-life reproduction respectively. Hercus and Hoffmann (2000) found that viability decreased with an increase in maternal age while Price and Hansen (1998) found that aging males did not affect viability. However, Buck et al. (2000) found that laboratory Drosophila melanogaster that were selected to live longer (similar to our CO populations) had reduced viability. Because both males and females aged together throughout our assay, it was interesting to see how viability was affected. We predicted that both the CO and ACO populations would have decreasing egg to adult viability throughout their lives and that the CO populations would have reduced viability compared to the ACO populations. Our results fit both the hypotheses.
Redeveloping Housing in California
Mentor: Dr. Scott Bollens
This research studies the California Redevelopment Law and its effect on affordable housing in the state. Although the Federal Urban Renewal program was not on the scene until the 1950s, the root of redevelopment in the U.S. can be traced back to the 1930s, when the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 and the Housing Act of 1937 was enacted to combat the severe housing crisis at the time. In response to the Federal programs, California enacted its Community Redevelopment Act in 1945. The act became codified and renamed California Community Redevelopment Law in 1951. Ever since its enactment, the law has undergone several revisions to suit the states changing need. Since redevelopment and its tax-increment financing component has been a popular tool for local governments to gain financial resource after the passage of Proposition 13, it is important to evaluate the effect redevelopment has caused on the states supply of affordable housing. Through archival research on available writings and reports, this study attempts to evaluate the changes in the California Community Redevelopment Law and the effect of redevelopment activities on the availability of low and moderate incoming housing from the late 1970s until recent years.
Development of Methods for Removal of High Aspect Ratio Sacrificial Layers
Mentors: Dr. John LaRue & Dr. Richard Nelson
The objective of this project is to demonstrate the removal of a sacrificial layer that is approximately 1000 micrometers (1 mm) wide and 2 micrometers high. A silicon wafer substrate will be utilized. Silicon dioxide was selected as the baseline sacrificial material. An innovative concept for the use of a thin carbon film as the sacrificial layer is also being investigated. The potential advantage of the carbon layer is easy removal using oxygen plasma. Sacrificial layers are commonly utilized in the fabrication of MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems). MEMS are small integrated circuit type devices that incorporate both electronic and mechanical devices. The sacrificial material is removed by chemical etching. This technique can be utilized to fabricate an air space or to allow movable parts to move independently. The baseline etching technique is a wet chemical etch; gas phase etching is also being examined. A photolithography mask was designed for the fabrication of a test structure used to obtain the etch rates. The presentation will discuss the development of the fabrication processes, the layout of the test structure, the etching rates and aspect ratios accomplished, and the formation of the carbon layer by pyrolysis of polymerized hydrocarbons.
Spanish Perception of Latinos in the United States
Mentor: Dr. Caeser Sereseres
In 1990 the United States was ranked the 5th Spanish speaking country, immediately following Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Colombia. Based on this data, it is evident that the growing number of Latinos in the United States places a great impact on our people and policy formation. As the motherland for Mexico and Latin America, Spain is without a doubt influential and thus its perception of other countries have unquestionably helped shape popular belief and ideology-- the United States not being an exception. In the last couple of years, there has been much research committed to understanding the view of Mexicans toward Latinos. Yet, there is little research intended to probe the view of Spain. As the main source of culture and knowledge for Latinos, this research project focused on addressing the perceptions Spaniards hold for Latinos in the United States. Research was conducted in Madrid, Spain while studying abroad. Through the use of Spanish journals, periodicals, magazines and subsequently interviewing Spaniards, it was found that the Spanish fundamentally agree that they share the same language, religion and family values as Latinos, hence; it is a result of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire. However, because most Spaniards are poorly informed of Latino lives in the United States, most of their perceptions were a result of Spanish news and American movies. The overwhelming Spanish periodicals depicted Latinos in the United States as an underrepresented culture that continues to endure discrimination and abuse. Continued analysis of Spanish perception of Latinos is still pending. The findings of the intricate relationship Spaniards and Latinos share are expected to help us understand the dynamics and effects between cultures.
A Comparative Study of Hydrodynamic Models for Coastal Wetlands
Jenny Arevalo & Irene Pau
Mentor: Dr. Brett Sanders
In the summer of 1999, routine checks of the bacteria level in the Huntington Beach surfzone led to results that prompted a beach closure, notifying the public that the water was too polluted to swim in. A number of possible pollution sources were proposed, and one of these sources was the Talbert Marsh, an adjacent coastal wetland. In order to determine whether Talbert Marsh contributed significantly to the pollution in Huntington Beach, a computerized grid of the marsh bed was created using software programs such as Adobe PhotoShop, Microsoft Excel, Tecplot, and FORTRAN. Currently, two separate computational models are being used on the grid to test the hydrodynamics of the coastal wetland. A comparison of these two models will be carried out, and the factors to be tested are accuracy, efficiency, and reliability. The accuracy of the models depends on how closely the theoretical results match the actual results, whereas the efficiency is directly related to the amount of time required for running each of the two programs. Reliability, on the other hand, is a measure of how well the models run without crashing frequently. This comparative study will be useful for engineers who want to choose between the two different computational models for analyzing coastal wetland flow, which has many implications for related issues such as beach pollution
Pulse Charging Circuit of E.V. Batteries
Jeff Arnoud & Nick Tse
Mentor: Dr. Roland Schinzinger
This project is necessary to find out how batteries behave when subjected to pulse recharging. The beginning stages will consist of creating the pulse generator, which will enable frequency adjustments of a few hertz to several hundred hertz. In addition, the duty ratio must be able to be adjusted from near zero percent to about 100%. This pulse generator will then trigger a switch that will interrupt the 14.5-volt battery charging supply. Time to charge, and charge completeness will be measured for various frequency and duty ratios. This technology will then be used to charge a pack of batteries. In this experiment, the batteries are used for electric vehicles (evs). More specifically, they are lead-acid deep cycle batteries. However, before charging a pack of batteries can be realized, this prototype circuit will be constructed for charging one battery
Automating the Border Detection for Glomerular Cell Layers in Rat Olfactory Bulb
Siavosh Bahrami & Jason Thornton
Mentor: Dr. Pdhraic Smyth
olfactory system is one of the oldest and most vital parts of the mammalian
brain, significantly affecting an animal's emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
In order to better understand the system, neurobiologists study the
neural mechanisms responsible for sensing and processing different odors.
A revolutionary technique has been developed that maps the entire neural
activity of the bulb, but this technique currently requires the manual
analysis of images of olfactory bulb slices. This analysis, in part,
consists of painstakingly hand-drawing the borders of glomerular cell
layers on the images. A significant bottleneck for progress has thus
resulted, increasing the costs of the technique as well as preventing
its wider use by other labs. Using a combination of low-level and high-level
techniques, our work attempts to develop a system that will automate
the border detection of the cell layer. One of the major challenges
for our system will be to successfully handle the common artifacts inherent
in the imaging technique, e.g. tears, staining imperfections. Besides
using various pixel-level operators, we are developing an intelligent
model that can "learn" from expert biologists the more subtle
aspects of the border identification. For testing the robustness of
our approach, we are currently applying our initial methods to a related
but simpler problem, and the results are promising. If successful, the
methods being developed have potentially much broader
Product Innovation in Medieval Europe: The Evolution of Cheese During the Second Millennium
Jennifer Cao & Hannah Chang
Mentor: Dr. Gary Richardson
The late-medieval era of Europe is often misperceived as tedious and uninspiring. Many of the goods we enjoy today, however, were invented during the Middle Ages. The lack of study of this period allows little information about the nature of and impetus behind this great wave of product innovation. Cheese was one of the great technological inventions. It allowed milk to be stored and an endless variety of flavors and textures to be developed. Our analysis of European cheeses will correct misconceptions about the role of the medieval period in the evolution of the modern. Currently, collecting data on European cheese is underway. The database contains information about the varieties of cheese names as well as their defining characteristics such as country of origin, taste, color, texture, storing temperature, and how it is eaten. This information will reveal the origins of cheeses and illuminate their impact, evolution, and spread through time and across space. For example, people in the city of Parma developed a particularly firm, tangy cheese about 1000 years ago. They sold their cheese abroad, and eventually, residents of other towns began to imitate their product. Today, varieties of their innovative fromage are eaten by millions of people across the globe every day, usually after sprinkling grated Parmesan onto their pasta. Once we have completed computerizing data about Parmesan and thousands of similar cheese developed in Europe during the last 1000 years, we will be able to analyze the causes and consequences of the evolution of this ubiquitous foodstuff. Our data will allow us to answer questions such as: who developed the different types of cheese? Where? When? Why? What incentives inspired innovations? What consequences came about through their ingenuity? How did they market merchandise to ordinary men and women? How did cheese transform from a source of sustenance to a commodity, then eventually to a delicacy?
Colliding Beam Fusion Reactor Space Propulsion System
Yinhui Chao & Alex Cheung
Mentor: Dr. Frank Wessel
This paper describes the Colliding beam Fusion Reactor Space Propulsion System (CBFR SPS). The CBFR is an advanced fusion concept that is being developed at UCI in conjunction with Tri Alpha Energy, Inc. and the UCI Office of Technology Alliances. As a fusion energy source the main advantage of the CBFR is its scalability and potential to burn fusion fuels that are non-radioactive. The design is a cylindrically symmetric, high-beta, field-reversed magnetic configuration (FRC) with ion energies in the range of hundreds of keV. Repetitively-pulsed ion beams sustain the plasma distribution and provide current drive. We have extended the CBFRs design for space applications. Our first instance is space propulsion, although the concept could easily be adapted to (planetary) base operations (i.e., energy supply). The concept involves a 100 MW CBFR that produces 15 Newtons of thrust. The specific impulse is Isp~106 seconds. Our comparisons have considered the following fuels: D-T, D-He3 and P-B11. P-B11 provides the highest thrust/ mass ratio of all the fuels. This years study has refined the engineering design details to resolve the system-mass components, for example: thermoelectric energy converter, heat pipes, heat rejection unit, multi-loop capillary heat radiators, superconducting magnet, etc. Our present estimate for the entire mass of the CBFR SPS is of the order of 15,000 kg. We have also developed a transit-time model for a mission to Mars that suggests a round-trip time of the order of 180 days; this compares to a round-trip time of 700 days with conventional (chemical) propulsion and substantially smaller delivered payload masses.
Fluorescence Changes Characteristics of Oral Malignancy
Sirintra Charoenbanpachon & Dorothy Lin
Mentor: Dr. Petra Wilder-Smith
Oral cancer is the only major cancer whose prognosis has worsened over the last ten years, in part because current detection techniques for oral malignancies, such as surgical biopsy, detect malignant change too late for a good treatment outcome. An alternative to current techniques is topical application of the photosensitizer ALA (5-Aminolevulinic acid), which can distinguish premalignancy and carcinoma from healthy tissues by the amount of Protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) fluorescence it induces in the oral mucosa. The intensity of autofluorescence from cancerous cells differs from normal cells. The goal of this investigation is to determine the specific change in autoflourence and ALA-induced flourence at the transition from advanced dysplasia to early malignancy. In 100 Golden Syrian Hamsters, standard DMBA carcinogenesis be performed in the cheek pouch, followed by ALA application. Standard 6um cryosections will be prepared, and specimens evaluated using fluorescence microscopy and routine histological staining and analysis. Development of this direct and noninvasive modality will in the future permit direct, non-invasive detection; diagnosis and monitoring of suspect lesions and lead to earlier, more successful treatment of oral cancer.
Multimedia Over High-Speed Computer Networks
Trevor Chuang & Jeffrey Weiss
Mentor: Dr. Tatsuya Suda
Movies and other media presentations were once relegated to the world of TV and the movie theaters. With the rise in the popularity of personal computers and broadband Internet connections, this world of entertainment is now available on our desktops. Implementation of multimedia streaming technology over the Internet represents a challenging task. Internet links have finite transmission capacity and speed. These limitations may adversely effect the quality of multimedia data by slowing data rate and increasing packet loss. In this research, we have investigated issues such as link capacity, distance and movie size, all of which effect the quality of streamed multimedia over the Internet. As part of this research, Apples QuickTime video streaming technology was used with movie files of varying data rates and lengths over Internet connections of varying throughput capacities and physical distances to measure the effects of link speed and propagation delay on quality of streaming video. The findings of this study hope to provide data and develop methods that will allow multimedia presentations to be transmitted over the Internet in a more efficient manner resulting in a more satisfying experience for the end-user.
The Utility of New Countywide Spinal Immobilization Criteria: The Paramedics Perspective
Chan-Tran P. Dang & Peter Hong
Mentor: Dr. Federico Vaca
In 1998, Orange County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) adopted a new set of guidelines for cervical spine management. These new guidelines would allow the paramedics to evaluate a patients injuries and determine their need for immobilization; this process is called "clearing." In a controlled experiment, paramedic diagnoses of cervical spine injuries were compared to emergency physician diagnoses, significant agreement was found between the, indicating that paramedics possess the required skills for cervical spine clearance. However, when cervical spine clearance was studied in the field, results varied from effective clearance to significant disagreement between paramedics and emergency physicians. The results of this preliminary study raise the issue of a correspondence between paramedic satisfaction and their degree of adherence to the cervical spine clearance guidelines. Paramedic satisfaction with the cervical spine clearance guidelines also plays a vital role in the effectiveness of those guidelines. All data gathered will be data from paramedics bringing patients to the UCI Medical Center Emergency Department. Subject identifiers will be used for the paramedics, but all data gathered will be kept confidential and used only for statistical purposes. The objective of our study is to determine the degree of utilization of cervical spine immobilization guidelines by Orange County paramedics. The study will also examine the degree of correspondence between paramedic and emergency physician diagnoses of spinal injuries.
Effects of Estrogen and Hypoxia on VEGF
Nhu Dao & Suma Srinath
Mentor: Dr. Diana Krause
One leading cause of death in the United States is stroke. Stroke results from blockage of a cerebral blood vessel. The reduction of blood flow to brain tissue leads to lack of oxygen and necessary nutrients and eventually to cell death. To compensate for this effect, mammals have a defense mechanism that induces lateral microvessel growth (angiogenesis) under hypoxic conditions. Newly formed vessels would provide an alternate way for blood flow and thus maximize chance of survival. Estrogen is also thought to protect against stroke damage. In this project, we tested the hypotheses that 1) blood vessels in the brain produce vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the main stimulus for angiogenesis, 2) VEGF production increases under hypoxia, and 3) estrogen increases VEGF production. The microvessels were isolated from the brains of ovariectomized female rats. These microvessels were incubated under hypoxia for several different time intervals. The control was incubated under normoxic condition. In some experiments, estrogen was also added. The tissues were then put in lysate buffer to extract protein. The amount of VEGF was measured via ELISA method. The results came out that the level of VEGF was higher in tissues put under hypoxia than in those not under hypoxia. Preliminary results suggest estrogen also increases VEGF production. These findings lead to a conclusion that hypoxia may indeed induce angiogenesis in the brain by stimulating VEGF release.
The Issues and Possible Solutions of Integrating Fieldwork into the Academic Curriculum Among University Students
Cecilia Gutierrez & Marta Ornelas
Mentor: Ms. Sally Peterson
On July 15, 1999, California Governor Davis requested University of California President Atkison to develop a plan that would establish a graduation requirement for community service. Responses to the Governors proposal indicate some concern with possible negative impacts of making fieldwork a requirement. In Spring 2000 a pilot study was developed at the University of California, Irvine in order to look at the impact of making fieldwork part of the undergraduate academic curriculum. The research sample included a population of Social Ecology and Social Science Undergraduates at the University of California Irvine who graduated with a psychology degree. The research sample was mailed a questionnaire that was geared towards the undergraduates feelings of making fieldwork mandatory. The overall response rate was 23.8% (N=45). Of the total response, 29% of the graduates were from the School Social Science and 71% of the students were from the School of Social Ecology. The overall sample supported the importance of field study, however the major drawbacks such as transportation time conflict, and placement conflict were issues that were emphasized by the Social Ecology undergraduates. In this current research project we are looking at the specific drawbacks identified in the Spring 2000 study with the intent of finding possible solutions. The possible solutions will be drawn from programs that exist at other universities and are nationally recognized in this area.
Effects of Simulated Microgravity on Vascular Contractility: Role Voltage Operated Calcium Channels
Aisha Kaka & Alia Shbeeb
Mentor: Dr. Ralph Purdy
Microgravity has been shown to have many adverse effects including skeletal muscle atrophy, bone decalcification, anemia and cardiovascular deconditioning. Microgravity can be simulated using the hindlimb unweighted model. Simulated microgravity is known to induce a reduction of arterial smooth muscle contractility in response to NE. The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of HU on voltage operated calcium channels, intracellular calcium storage, and the functions of the contractile apparatus. Male Wistar rats were treated using the hindlimb unweighted model for 20 days. The abdominal and thoracic aortas were removed from the C and HU animals, cut into 3mm rings and mounted in tissue baths. Isometric contractions were measured to norepinephrine and calcium in the presence and absence of various antagonists. Additionally, western blot analysis was used to determine protein levels. Nifedipine, a VOCC inhibitor, markedly reduced the contractile response in C tissues; however, the magnitude of inhibition by Nifedipine in HU treated tissues was significantly less than in C tissues. In contrast, Nifedipine completely abolished the contractile response to calcium in both C and HU treated arteries. Calphostin C, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, eliminated the NE induced contraction in both the C and HU tissues, demonstrating that PKC is not altered by HU treatment. In addition, this indicates that PKC is an early step in the signal transduction pathway.
Reasonable Doubt: An Analysis of the Characteristics that Form Inconsistent Thresholds for Determining Guilt
Grace Law & Danielle Wallace
Mentor: Dr. William Thompson
For jurors, the "presumption of innocence" is simple to understand since one is presumed innocent until the weight of the evidence suggests otherwise. The premise for deciding the verdict is that jurors must find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, reasonable doubt provides jurors with a great deal of trouble since the courts never quantify the idea for the jury. Jurors must therefore blindly make their own interpretations of reasonable doubt before deciding the verdict. We seek to examine what accounts for jurors individual variations in deciding reasonable doubt. Demographic information, measures of cognitive style (Need for Cognition Scale), and assessments of juror bias (Juror Bias Scale) were collected from undergraduate volunteers (n=139) before participating in a simulated jury study. Jurors were asked to decide on a verdict, assess the likelihood of guilt and the strength of a hypothetical assault case involving DNA evidence before and after deliberation. A "window of reasonable doubt" (a minimum and maximum threshold) will be determined by comparing likelihood of guilt with verdict outcomes from both individual and group assessments. The independent variables are the demographic information, the Need for Cognition score, and the Juror Bias score; the dependant variable is each subjects reasonable doubt threshold. We will run regression analyses to discern what demographic variables associated with jurors correspond with different verdict outcomes and the percent likelihood of guilt. We will also address public policy considerations and potential areas for future study. Data analysis is currently underway. The findings will be presented here.
The Effects of Estrogen on Prostacyclin Production in Rat Brain Blood Vessels
Nevine Mikhail & Kathryn Nguyen
Mentor: Dr. Diana Krause
The hormone estrogen is thought to have protective effects against stroke and cardiovascular diseases and thus may be a useful treatment of postmenopausal women. The underlying mechanisms are not well understood, however it appears that estrogen enhances the production of factors from vascular endothelial cells that cause vasodilation and inhibit blood clotting. Prostacyclin (PGI2) is one such endothelial factor that may be affected by estrogen. We hypothesized that estrogen increases prostacyclin production in brain blood vessels by increasing the levels of PGI2 synthesizing enyzmes. ELISA experiments measured PGI2 production in brain blood vessels isolated from ovariectomized female rats either with or with out estrogen treatment. We found that estrogen increases PGI2 production. Western blot analysis showed that estrogen increases protein levels of cyclooxygenase-1 (Cox-1), the rate-limiting enzyme that converts arachadonic acid to PGH2, the precursor substrate to PGI2. Estrogen also increases the level of prostacyclin synthase (PGI2S), which forms PGI2. However, estrogen does not increase PGI2 production through increasing the levels of the enzyme phospholipase A2 (PLA2), the enzyme that produces arachadonic acid. Therefore, these data support the hypothesis that estrogen treatment in vivo increases the prostacyclin pathway in the brain circulation.
The Relationship Between Violence Exposure and Depression in Adolescents
Julie Nguyen & Sara Ugaz
Mentor: Dr. Carol Whalen
During their developmental years, adolescents encounter many detrimental conditions that could undermine healthy development. The goal of our study is to examine the association between a common internalizing disorder, depression, and a social environmental hazard, violence exposure. Adolescent depression has increased over the past decade, with some studies reporting prevalence rates of 20%. In 1998, the Centers for Disease Control Youth Surveillance System yielded alarming data on teen violence and victimization: 36.6% of teenagers regularly engage in physical fights, 7.4% carry weapons, 32.9% have had personal property stolen, and 4% feel unsafe while at school. Using data provided by 207 adolescent participants from Project MASH (Monitoring Adolescent Stress and Health), we will examine the relationship between self-reported violence exposure and depressive symptoms. The participants are suburban high school freshmen from 3 Orange County high schools. Measures include the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) to assess depressed moods over the past week, and the 2000 Health Behavior Survey, which includes questions on violent and nonviolent crime victimization. Gender and ethnic differences will also be examined. To provide information about parental perceptions of their childrens experiences with violence, we will also compare parent and teen self-reports. We predict a link between depressive symptoms and violence exposure, especially among girls. This is an important area of study during this time of heightened concerns about youth violence and school safety.
Asian American Women During the Age of Exclusion
Minh Nguyen & Mong-Xuan Vu
Mentor: Dr. Gary Richardson
Asian immigrants came to California in enormous numbers during the later half of the 19th century. As a percentage of the population, more Chinese men worked in the labor force a century ago than during recent times. However, Chinese women rarely came to the United States. Fewer than 1 Chinese woman came to California for every 20 Chinese men. My project inquires about what encouraged so many women to stay in their homeland. Did American policies completely prevent Asian women from migrating? If not, then were there obstacles that the women had to face if they did desire to come to America? What effect did the small number of Asian women have on Asian American society? How did men react to the scarcity of women? How did the women react to the abundance of Asian men? Contemporary accounts accused Chinese women of working as prostitutes. Was there truth behind this stereotype? If so, did American immigration policies bring the situation about?
Mutual Associations in Medieval England
Shagufta Ahmed, Shaista Ahmed & Amy Zhuang
Mentor: Dr. Gary Richardson
The agrarian based economy of medieval England made villagers vulnerable to natural disasters such as flood, famine, or drought. Its economy necessitated a mechanism for villagers to cope against shocks such as these. One such mechanism was the mutual association. In order to determine the crucial role mutual associations played in agrarian England, we examine guilds in Cambridge and York County, obtained from parallel studies of Virginia Bainbridge and David Crouch. Our research will reveal the ubiquity and longevity of mutual societies in Medieval England. As part of our investigation, we determine the percentage of villages that used mutual societies at any point in time, the duration of such organizations, how effectively they functioned, and how many people they served. In our study, we employ modern statistical techniques to analyze the data which Bainbridge and Crouch gathered. Ultimately, we aim to learn how significant cooperation was relative to individualism in agrarian economic settings.
Reform of the Social Security System and Evaluation of its Economic Impact
Amie Chen, Dan Endoso & Judith Li
Mentor: Dr. Hisahiro Naito
An important factor in determining individuals saving behavior is the taxes that are collected for the Social Security system. This impacts our lives because it determines the standard of living while we are working and when we are retired. The Social Security system influences the population of the United States in three different manners: first, the taxes that fund the system affect the level of income of all working individuals; second, the benefits of the system provide income for the retired individuals; third, the social security system affects saving level and capital accumulation of the country and, eventually, our standard of living. In recent years, studies by many scholars and academics have shown that the current Social Security system will bankrupt itself in the next 30 years. This means that the funds needed to finance the benefits for the retiring old will exceed the accumulated surplus if the current system is not changed. Due to the inadequacies of the status quo, some scholars have suggested that the current "pay-as-you-go" system needs to be switched to a "funded" system. One very fundamental question pertaining to the social security situation arises here. Can we have a smooth transition from the current "pay-as-you-go" system to the desired "funded" system? Our research will analyze whether or not it is possible to make a smooth transition from a pay-as-you-go to a funded without bankrupting the system. Furthermore, if it is possible to make this transition, we want to see how it can be done.
Reducing the T Cell Response to Spinal Cord Injury Decreases Posttraumatic Degeneration
Janett Glaser, Rafael Gonzalez & Michael Liu
Mentor: Dr. Hans Keirstead
Injury to the central nervous system (CNS) is followed in all instances by posttraumatic degeneration, which leads to progressive tissue loss and cystic cavitation. Cellular and humoral immune responses have been implicated as mediators of posttraumatic degeneration, and the expression of specific leukocyte chemoattractants has been shown to precede immune cell influx into the injured CNS. However, regulation of the cascade of proinflammatory molecule expression and immune cell recruitment into the traumatized CNS is poorly understood. Here we show that the lymphocyte chemoattractant IP-10 is upregulated after injury to the adult mammalian spinal cord, and that neutralization of IP-10 in injured animals eliminates the dramatic inflammatory cell invasion that normally occurs after trauma, and the expression of proinflammatory molecules that are derived from activated immune cells. This treatment resulted in a near elimination of posttraumatic tissue degeneration, and significantly reduced locomotor deficits following injury. We conclude that elimination of the robust T cell response to CNS injury significantly decreases posttraumatic degeneration.
Bare Bones Dance Theater
Cherie Adame, Anna Kaiser, Seth Williams & Timothy Wilson
Mentor: Dr. Israel Gabriel
Bare Bones Dance Theater was founded to give undergraduates an opportunity to not only perform but to learn what it takes to produce a dance production from the ground up. This year we celebrated the 13th Anniversary of our annual dance concert, and our existence here on the UCI campus. All aspects of the Bare Bones Concert, such as performing, choreography, administration, publicity, lighting, and costuming, are the result of a cooperative effort of the students. Through our collaboration on this project we like to offer the community an opportunity to experience this wonderful expressive form of communication. By this, we also gain a valuable experience for our futures in the arts. The Bare Bones Concert has received extensive praise for the quality of performance and dedication of the students. The positive support from faculty, UCI administration, and the community, reflects a need for an organization dedicated to the exploration and sharing of this art. Bare Bones is proud to continue a tradition of diversity and freedom of expression. Bare Bones Dance Theater has established the Bernard Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund with the help of Founding Donors and dedicated participates. This scholarship has provided funding for undergraduate choreographers to design, build, and create costumes for their works. Bernard Johnson was a great teacher, friend, mentor, and costume designer here on campus. We will always remember what Bernard taught us.
Accessing PDA's Local Resources by Mobile Agent
Angel Lau, Clint Maruki, Naomi Migita & Yasushi Ogura
Mentor: Dr. Tatsuya Suda
This project was conceived under the inspiration of the Bio-Networking Architecture, which states that computer network must be secure, diverse, and capable of scaling to rapid growth and change. To achieve these qualities, an autonomous system that requires minimal human intervention has been developed. By applying biological concepts to network architecture, we may be able to reproduce natures success and create a system that regulates itself. Thus, we create mobile "agents" and distribute them into the computer network that mimic biological behavior, such as evolution, adaptability, and scarcity of resources. In this project, we created a mobile agent that is called "PDAgent" that exhibits the behavior of Migration, Communication, and security control. There are two main characteristics of the PDAgent. First, it migrates from a simulated video shop to PDA (e.g. Palm Pilot). Second, it communicates with video shops computer and accesses information saved in video shops database. Once the PDAgnet migrated to the PDA, it functions in a secured environment developed using customized Java 1.2 Security Model. In other words, it will protect the user's local PDA resources from the mobile agent.
The Design, Fabrication and Testing of a Formula SAE Racecar
Rex Jaime, Roberto Ku, Trinh Pham, Jessica Schardin & Terrance Yao
Mentors: Dr. Derek Dunn-Rankin & Dr. Haris Catrakis
Engineering is about understanding fundamental principles, and applying this knowledge to design a device that operates satisfactorily within the desired specifications. This means that even during the preliminary design stages, not only must all possible design paths be considered, but these paths must also be carefully evaluated to ensure that they have significant physical meaning and that the design can be implemented successfully with the resources at hand. In the design of a racecar, the analysis begins with a basic understanding of scientific concepts and equations as well as with numerous calculations and drawings, but the most difficult aspect of such an endeavor is determining which designs are reasonable and which are not. To accomplish this goal, extensive research was done for each component of the racecar, and then possible designs were selected through calculations based on ideal equations, component geometry and design restrictions provided by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Analysis was then accomplished through simulations to ascertain the plausibility of each design, and sketches, followed by computerized drawings, were finally drawn for each element of the racecar. Each component is now being manufactured, and the completed vehicle is expected to be the most performance and cost effective racecar that can be built with the available resources. However, although such a result would be ample reward for our efforts, it is more important that when this project comes to an end, each member of this team will have learned what it really means to be an engineer.
Jimmy Chen, Kevin Fang, Andy Fei, Tam Hoang, Jeremy Kim, Ying Rong, Budiarto The, Kevin Wen & Yuk Ming Wong
Mentors: Dr. Carl Friehe & Dr. Michael McCarthy
The Mini Baja competition is an annual engineering design competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Each participating team is required to design, finance, and build a safe and high performance single-seated off-road race car. The UCI Mini Baja team has put together the preliminary designs in the past few months. The sub-systems will be designed from outside in: suspension, brakes, steering system, engine and power train, and frame. A well-designed suspension system should: maintain good traction; control camber in hard cornering; neutral bump-steering; protect the chassis from the rough road condition; react to forces produced by acceleration, braking, cornering, and hard impact. These constraints led us to choose double A-arm independent suspension for both front and rear suspensions. For brake system, we chose disc brake over drum brake because disc brake is lighter, smaller, and yet more efficient. Ackerman steering geometry and "rack and pinion" steering system are chosen to construct the steering system. Briggs and Stratton will donate a 10-horsepower Intek Model 20 engine. For power train, continuously variable transmission (CVT) is chosen as the torque converter. Finally, the frame will be designed in AutoCAD, and PATRAN/NASTRAN will be used for the stress and thermal load analysis of the frame. By completing this project, we will further our class room education and experience.
UCI Etude Ensemble
Cherie Adame, Derrick Agnolletti, Alicia Albright, Leigh Atwell, Teresa Avina-Bartlett, Cherise Bryant, Melody Chen, Maya Elbaum, Anna Kaiser, Kurt Kikuchi, Jennifer Parsinen, Seth Williams, Timothy Wilson & Adam Young
Mentor: Dr. Donald Mckayle
The UCI Etude Ensemble, the resident chamber performance group of the Department of Dance, was founded in 1995 under the artistic direction of Donald McKayle. It has been presented in concert on campus and at national venues in California, Texas, North Carolina, and Colorado. The ensemble can also be viewed on the CD ROM, Herbie Hancock Presents Living Jazz, and is documented in the American Dance Legacy Institutes first interactive volume on choreographer Donald McKayle, which is installed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC and at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, NY. This small and select group of undergraduate dance majors, chosen by annual audition, has as its primary focus the seamless entry of its members into professional careers. Alumni have entered Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Martha Graham Performance Ensemble, Momix, the Limon West Dance Project, the Nashville Ballet, the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Fame the Musical, and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet.