Previous findings indicate that stress- and glucocorticoid-induced memory retrieval impairments depend on glucocorticoid receptor (GR) activation in the hippocampus. Lesions of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) prevent memory retrieval impairments induced by intra-hippocampal infusions of the GR agonist RU 28362, suggesting that the BLA enables glucocorticoid effects on memory retrieval. The present study examined whether blockade of ß-adrenoceptors in the BLA, administered shortly before retention testing, prevented the effects of intra-hippocampal GR agonist infusions on memory retrieval impairment. Male Sprague Dawley rats, bilateral cannula in the BLA and with the hippocampus, were trained for three consecutive days on a water-maze spatial task. A 60-s free-swim probe trial retention test was given 24 h after completion of training. The GR agonist RU 28362 (15 ng in 0.5 ml) administered into the hippocampus 1 h before retention testing impaired memory retrieval as indicated by longer initial latencies to cross the platform location and less time spent in the quadrant that contained the platform during training. The b-adrenoceptor antagonist atenolol (1.0 mg in 0.2 ml) infused concurrently into the BLA did not affect performance, but blocked the RU 28362-induced memory retrieval impairment. These findings indicate that noradrenergic neurotransmission in the BLA is essential in enabling glucocorticoid effects on memory retrieval.
Neutrophic growth factor (NGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) have alternate effects on the neuron-like PC12 cells. Whereas, NGF causes differentiation, EGF induces proliferation. Interestingly, overexpression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) allows EGF to induce differentiation. To better understand this we generated a chimeric receptor consisting of the ligand-binding domain of platelet derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), which is not present on PC12 cells, fused in-frame with the transmembrane and intracellular domains of EGFR allowing for the specific activation of these receptors by platelet derived growth factor (PDGF). Mutating all of the tyrosines within the C-terminus, which have previously been shown to be important for coupling the receptor to numerous adaptor and effector proteins and even complete deletion of the C-terminus of this chimeric receptor did not prevent PDGF-induced differentiation of PC12 cells. Here we show that further mutation of two tyrosines located in the kinase domain, when mutated to phenylalanine, also fail to prevent ligand-induced PC12 cell differentiation. Stable clones of PC12 cells expressing these mutants were isolated, and surprisingly, one clone was still able to differentiate PC12 cells when treated with PDGF. PC12 cells that differentiated in response to PDGF expressed significantly higher level of receptors than non-differentiating clones, suggesting a threshold level of expression is required to induce PC12 cell differentiation. Furthermore, cells expressing higher levels of receptor demonstrated sustained activation of Erk while the others do not, in agreement with previous reports showing a correlation with prolonged activation of Erk with PC12 cell differentiation.
The goal is to reconstruct a wavefront with optimum accuracy from information about the wavefront gradient. The reconstruction takes place over an aperture that is subdivided into square cells. The input is a vector "b" containing the x and y-components of the cell-averaged wavefront gradients. The object is to compute the reconstructed wavefront at each cell vertex. These values are stored in a vector "z". From equations relating the wavefront values and gradients, a matrix "A" is formed such that Az=b. Singular value decom-position is used to solve for "z", the reconstructed wavefront. The first goal is to accurately reconstruct a "test" wavefront that obeys a known functional form from which the gradients can be computed directly. Reconstruction algorithms were built for both square and circular apertures and tested with individual Zernike polynomials and various products of Legendre polynomials. Both algorithms were fairly accurate, with fractional rms errors between actual and reconstructed wavefronts averaging around 10^-3. The next stage is to reconstruct a wavefront that does not have a well-defined functional form. Such wavefronts can be defined by specifying the values of various atmospheric parameters (air density, temperature, etc.). The current strategy is to expand the wavefronts in a series of Zernike polynomials, and test the expanded wavefronts with the reconstruction algorithm for a circular aperture. As the final stage of the research, this algorithm will be revised in order to optimize the accuracy with which these atmospheric wavefronts are reconstructed.
Chlamydia pneumoniae, a common cause of human respiratory infections, has recently been associated with several chronic diseases, including coronary artery disease and multiple sclerosis. To evaluate the role of C. pneumoniae in these diseases there is a need for a standard diagnosis other than the present "gold standard," the microimmunofluorescense (MIF) test, which suffers from low reproducibility. As an initial step to develop an alternate assay, Western blots (WBs) were performed with 13 MIF positive and 10 MIF negative human sera samples in order to identify immunodominant proteins. The major outer membrane protein (MOMP) was recognized by a majority of positive sera, and was therefore used to develop a peptide enzyme immunoassay (EIA). For this, peptides representing the four variable domains (VD1 through VD4) of the protein were used. The peptides were used to coat 96-well microtiter plates that were then probed with 128 human sera samples representing a wide spectrum of MIF values ranging from negative to a high titer of 512. Data used to establish the background of the assay indicated that any value with an optical density reading of >0.300 was considered positive. Using these criteria, the sensitivity and specificity of the VD peptides were as follows: 50% and 54% for VD-1; 58% and 48% for VD-2; 42% and 63% for VD-3; 29% and 74% for VD-4. Based on the low sensitivity and specificity values for the C. pneumoniae MOMP VD peptide EIA, it cannot be recommended at this time to replace the current MIF assay.
The focus of this study is to examine the effects of exercise on mood and perceptions of life domain satisfaction. Seventy-five subjects completed a survey before and after working out at the Anteater Recreation Center. The survey included questions about current mood, satisfaction with seven specific domains, and items related with self-concept. Data analysis is in progress. Thus far, it has been found that mood and evaluations of various life domains change positively after exercise. Upcoming analyses will examine the people's purpose for exercising, their choice of exercise activities, and their exercise frequency and duration patterns in relation to personality factors (happiness, self concept, and self esteem). Also, the questions of whether ethnicity, exercising with or without company, and age has an influence on participants' subjective evaluations will be asked.
Since the first experimental evidence in 1956, neutrinos have provided physicists with many mysteries. Of all the high-energy particles neutrinos are the only messenger to carry astrophysical information from the edge of the Universe, as they are not affected by either strong or electromagnetic interactions, only by weak interactions. Over the last few decades many neutrino detectors have been built to detect cosmic rays, one of which is AMANDA (Antarctic Muon and Neutrino Detector Array). AMANDA, constructed at a depth of one mile below the South Pole ice surface, consists of 670 optical modules on 19 strings. IceCube is a logical extension of the AMANDA detector, expanding the observatory to a one-kilometer class telescope by adding additional strings of optical modules. For a period of 2 years, following the beginning of the IceCube's construction next year, it is of importance to understand the relationship between sensitivity and geometry of the first 16 strings to be added in order to determine how the arrays are to be configured to exhibit the most effective results. I will be presenting the result from my simulation in which I have examined the performance of dense and widely spaced 16-arrays with AMANDA. I will also present how the point-source analyses, such as Gamma Ray Bursts analysis and the extremely high-energy sources analysis, affect the effectiveness of the deployment.
In Azotobacter vinelandii, deletion of the fdxA gene that encodes the seven-iron ferredoxin I protein (FdI) is known to lead to overexpression of the FdI redox partner. Previous studies have established that this is an oxidative stress response, which the fpr gene is transcriptionally activated to the same extent in response the either addition of paraquat (methyl viologen), or to fdxA gene deletion - when grown under N2-fixing conditions. In both cases, the activation occurs through a specific DNA sequence located upstream in the promoter region of the fpr gene. Azotobacter vinelandii ferredoxin I (AvFdI) controls the expression of another protein that was originally designated Protein X, which is a NADPH-specific flavoprotein that binds specifically to FdI. The Azotobacter vinelandii strain in which the fdxA gene is disrupted (FdI-), designated LM100, is revealed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis to dramatically overproduce Protein X; compared to the wild-type strain that normally synthesizes only exceedingly small quantities of the NADPH: ferredoxin reductase. This protein was later characterized and named FPR. Previous research involving overexpression of proteins via oxidative stress responses in Azotobacter leads to the following individual objectives for my project: (1) to identify all over expressed proteins in LM100, (2) to compare LM100 to wild-type, which has been grown in the presence of the superoxide propagator paraquat (methyl viologen), using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis as an assay, and (3) to isolate, purify, characterize, and sequence any over expressed proteins of Azotobacter vinelandii.
There are many forms of ritual in musical theater. The goal of the project titled "Ritual and Musical Theater is to discover all of these traditions and not only see if they are applicable to modern theater but to see how I can adapt them. This research project is a continuation of the UROP funded project "Ritual and Theater." Musical theater is easily the most popular and commercial form of theater. In most venues, theater companies perform the original Broadway staging of musicals; there is little variation or new ideas brought into the production. The point of this is to pull an audience. What happens when you break the ritual of a well-known musical? The goal is to find out if the audience would accept this change, or if it would even work. After graduation, I plan to start my own theater company and this project is a preliminary step to find out more about audiences and the types of theater that they want to see. The medium for this project is the show Little Shop of Horrors by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. The show took place in January in the Little Theater in the Humanities Hall.
Freight and fleet management is increasingly dominated by operations which require that decisions be made in real-time, as changes in customer demands, traffic network conditions, and the availability of resources (vehicles, drivers, repair equipment, etc.) occur. The rapid development of advanced information technologies suitable for use in real-time operations has outpaced the development of algorithms and implementable systems to support dynamic fleet management. This research involves algorithm development aimed specifically at time-constrained and stochastic fleet and freight management systems coupled with modeling efforts which focus on the representation of freight transportation networks with a sufficient degree of operational realism in order to draw reasonable inferences into the likelihood of successful implementation of the algorithms developed. This research also involves simulation-based analyses of deterministic solutions to stochastic problems. Applications include trucking operations, (long haul truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal drayage between maritime ports, railheads and air freight terminals), local package pickup and delivery operations and urban service fleets. This work is squarely at the intersection of transportation systems engineering, operations research and computer science. We are focusing on variants of a classical optimization problem the traveling salesman problem. In this problem, an optimal route must be developed for a mobile server, providing service to customers in a service region. Algorithms are explored in a simulation environment. Variants examined include the probabilistic traveling salesman problem, the dynamic traveling salesman problem, the dynamic traveling repair problem and the multiple traveling salesman problems with time windows.
With new technological innovations, such as Compact Disk Recorders, which can copy large amounts of information on a small disk, software piracy has proliferated. Software piracy is the practice of making unauthorized copies. Estimates found that 25 percent of software in the United States is illegally copied. The Business Software Alliance also revealed that software piracy losses approached over $11.8 million last year. Previous studies propose that there are certain characteristics in student attitudes that lead to software piracy. However, results remain inconsistent. This current study takes their lead and seeks to examine software piracy rates with respect to demographic and attitudinal characteristics of college students. I argue that student characteristics, attitudes, and perceptions are related to their engaging in forms of software piracy. This study seeks to determine the proportion of pirated software use, reasons for use, factors that affect software copying, perceptions regarding the law, and beliefs on the probability of detection. A questionnaire given to 110 college students examines variables, such as sex/gender, school major, computer knowledge, peer influence, political outlook, socio-economic status, legal attitudes, beliefs about the computer user, and attitudes towards the publisher/software industry. The economic losses due to piracy create an incentive for software industries to develop policies to curb losses. The study also provides policy-makers with statistics on the seriousness of software piracy, as well as insights regarding factors that affect such behavior. Policy-makers can utilize this information and develop better strategies and legislation to effectively deal with piracy.
Effect of BSO
on Ovarian GSH Synthesis in Rats After Twenty-Four Hours
Glutathione (GSH), an antioxidant tripeptide found in high levels in the ovary and all other organs, is important in removing free radicals and reactive oxygen species from the body. Buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), a known inhibitor of GSH synthesis, was used to deplete the levels of ovarian GSH. Blockade of the active site of glutamate cysteine ligase (GCL), the rate-limiting enzyme in GSH synthesis, is the mechanism by which BSO lowers GSH levels. It was hypothesized that the levels of GCL subunit mRNA synthesis and protein translation would increase due to the negative feedback inhibition on GSH synthesis. In this experiment, 12 adult female cycling Sprague-Dawley rats were given either 2 BSO (5mmol/kg) dissolved in saline or 2 saline intraperitoneal injections 12 hours apart on pro-estrous morning and evening. The rats were then sacrificed 24 hours following the first injection, on estrous morning, and the ovaries were removed for analysis. Using a GSH assay, it was found that the mean concentration of GSH in rats given BSO injections, 1.7 nmol/mg, was approximately half of that from rats injected with saline which was 3.45 nmol/mg. This difference was statistically significant (p= 0.003 by t-test). Additional t-tests showed that BSO did not have a significant effect on ovarian, uterine, and body weights (p>0.005). Further analysis using Northern and Western blots are being performed in order to determine whether GCL mRNA and protein levels were affected by BSO treatment.
The unknown impact of cyberterrorism threatens our way of life. As the real and cyber worlds become interwoven, there is a higher chance cyberterrorists will use alternate methods to infiltrate critical infrastructure, to cause fear, panic, and unrest in America on a global scale. Studies of cyberterrorism on critical infrastructure in America and abroad illustrate a significant economic and human safety risk need to be addressed. To maintain national security, economic safety, and human life, cyberterrorism must be displayed to the public as a significant potential and realistic threat. Our current society continues to unite itself with technology in the form of computers and the internet to ease our lives but it also opens the door to cyberterrorism. Documenting previous analyses of simulated and real field data on potential and real economic effects of cyberterrorism highlight the serious harm accomplished using a computer. The recent terrorist attacks illustrate many groups, organizations, nation-states, and countries are not pleased with American practices, ideals, and foreign policies. The awareness of current vulnerabilities in technology and weak security in our critical infrastructure is a proactive step to fight cyberterrorism. Through analysis of available data, the potential economic damage that cyberterrorism may have on the critical infrastructure would severely disrupt our economy and produce a ripple effect worldwide. The findings of this study hope to increase a better understanding of the potential economic threats of cyberterrorism.
The purpose of this study was to compare the DNA sequence of the oxytocin (OT) gene in autistic subjects and controls. Interest in the OT gene analysis was based on published studies that revealed alterations in the levels of OT and OT extended peptide in autistic subjects relative to controls. The OT gene in controls, autistic children, and their parents were sequenced and compared to the known OT sequence via a BLAST search. Studies carried out in our laboratory demonstrated that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) occur in introns 1 and 2. Analysis carried out in our laboratory indicated that in the oxytocin DNA sequence, intron 2 represents a potential open reading frame. The alteration found in intron 2 of test subjects disrupts the open reading frame, suggesting a possible contributing cause to the autistic phenotype. Results of my experiment revealed that oxytocin SNP's are inherited as Mendelian traits.
The lawyer of today is held up in society as a model of unethical behavior. Save lawyers and law professors, academics have largely ignored the question explored in this study, "What do lawyers think, when they think about legal ethics?" This project was designed around qualitative analysis of subjective data gathered from attorney interactions observed in public online forums as well as from journal articles and books penned by respected legal scholars and attorneys. Interpretation of this data revealed two general conclusions with regard to lawyers and their views. First, it was concluded that there are three main categories into which legal scholars fall in their view on the adequacy of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct as the ethical standard: those who approve of them for allowing lawyers to police themselves, those who disapprove of them for being too vague to be of use, and those who disapprove of them for standing in conflict with the lawyer's primary duty as advocate. Each of the authors fell squarely into one of these categories, leading to the suggestion that a survey would likely yield a similarly small number of categories, allowing for a majority view to be identified. The second conclusion was based on attorney interaction in virtual forums. A phenomena of concealment and dismissal of incidents of legal malpractice and ethical violation was observed in each of the forums leading to the conclusion that a golden wall of silence exists within the profession, characteristically similar to law enforcement's blue wall.
This quantitative study will examine first-generation, low-income freshman students who entered the University of California, Irvine in fall quarter of 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 and actively utilized Student Academic Advancement Services (SAAS) on the UCI campus. Student Academic Advancement Services is a federally funded program designed to provide academic support and services exclusively to first-generation and low-income students. Student academic progress and success is measured by: (1) attrition in the first, second, and final year as an enrolled student at UC Irvine, (2) units earned and cumulative GPA, and (3) attainment of a degree from the UC Irvine campus. All three measures are used to determine the retention rate of students included in the study. A random sample of first-generation, low-income freshman students who did not utilize academic support from Student Academic Advancement Services (SAAS) will serve as a comparison group to students regularly utilizing SAAS services. An additional random sample from non first-generation, non low-income freshman is taken from 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 will be compared with active and non-active eligible SAAS students. Projected findings for this study are that active SAAS students will perform better than non-active students and active SAAS students will perform similar to the non first-generation, non low-income students.
The purpose of this study was to compare the Rand-36 to the Self-Rated Health and Wellness survey as instruments measuring aspects of health and wellness in a population of alternative medicine users. The study has two objectives; firstly, to assess the appropriateness of each survey for the population and second, to examine reported changes in the survey dimensions over time. METHODS: Data for this study were from a longitudinal survey conducted at thirty randomly selected clinics in the U.S. practicing Network Spinal Analysis. A total of 610 patients were recruited and followed up between May 1997 and March 1998. Questionnaires were administered to patients who remained in care at two, four, six, nine, and twelve months. The socio-demographics showed a mean age of 41 years (SD = +13.15, Range = 18-95 years). Sixty-eight percent were women. Forty-two percent were married. Ninety percent were Caucasian. The average years of college were 4.5 (SD =+ 2.3) and 55 percent had white-collar occupations. FINDINGS: The Chronbach's Alpha reliability statistics indicated 0.70 or greater for all dimensions indicating that both the Rand-36 and the SRHW are reliable measures for this population. Paired t-tests showed significant changes in the dimensions across time in both the Rand-36 and the SRHW. Changes in the functional health dimensions of the Rand-36 showed significant improvement in the earlier stages of care, then leveled off. In contrast, the SRHW continued to reflect changes in wellness, life-enjoyment and mental-emotional state scores. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that while the Rand-36 and the SRHW may both be reliable measures for this population, they may measure distinctly different dimensions of health. The SRHW includes dimensions that move beyond functional fitness to measure broader dimensions of psychological and social well being, which may be reflective of long-term, wellness-oriented health care objectives.
The purpose of this study is to examine the role of the Vietnamese-language print media in mobilizing Vietnamese American communities. The investigation is a two-fold process. Initially, a random sample of news articles and editorials about homeland-related issues are examined. Then, in-depth content analysis of home-land-related news articles from Nguoi Viet Daily News from 1994 to 1996 is conducted. Nguoi Viet Daily News, the largest Vietnamese-language newspaper in the United States, is read regularly by more than fifty five percent of political activists in Vietnamese American communities. The time frame from 1994 to 1996 was chosen because during this three-year period, the Clinton Administration lifted the trade embargo, announced the normalization of relations with Vietnam, and established an embassy in Hanoi. The principal homeland-related issues for Vietnamese-language print media are human rights, freedom of religion, anti-communism, and democratization. The ethnic media traditionally receives very little attention in studies even though it is an important vehicle in communicating or advocating certain focus or points of view. American immigrant groups with large numbers of first and second-generation immigrants tend to rely heavily on their own ethnic media as a source of news and information. The media is an important piece of the puzzle that needs to be analyzed and studied before we can fully understand ethnic minority communities. This study adds to our knowledge of the Vietnamese-language media, specifically its mobilizing function in Vietnamese American communities.
Recent PET studies have suggested a gender-based lateralization of amygdala function for emotional memory. However, little is known about what may prompt these gender differences in amygdala activation. The present study investigates the possible gender differences that may exist in emotional detail memory. Subjects viewed emotionally arousing and emotionally neutral films wherein a surprise memory test was given two weeks later. The results indicate males outperforming females in emotional recognition assessments. Furthermore, males showed an improvement for central and verbal detail for arousing stimuli. These preliminary findings suggest possible differences in detail memory that may be responsible for the observed gender-based lateralization in amygdala activation, pending further investigation. This study was supported by NIMH-COR grant 1T34 MH20043-02.
Currently magnetic fusion energy, through plasmas (hot partially ionized gases), is being pursued as a possible clean alternative energy source. It is believed when the triple product of confinement time, plasma density, and temperature is greater than one we have a regime where fusion is possible. One possible magnetic fusion device is the tokamak. Many problems impede the path to fusion; one in particular is instability. Instabilities can prevent good confinement and can disrupt the plasma enough to damage the fusion device. Understanding what drives these instabilities is key to attaining fusion. One way plasmas in the D3D tokamak are heated is through neutral beam injection. Plasma instabilities are driven or quenched in the D3D tokamak when the injected neutral beam parameters are varied. The experimental data from these variations are processed to give an experimental distribution function and are then compared to a "bump on tail" theoretical model, via the computer code HINST. Comparisons between the theoretical predictions and experimental results will test the validity of the theoretical model.
Since the 1970s, consistent research has been conducted to explore the media influence on gender roles. Research has concentrated on gender portrayals in magazines, specifically focusing on the social construction of femininity. This study explores the portrayal of women in popular men and women leisure magazines in the contemporary 21st century. Although women are portrayed in television, movies and newspapers, magazine advertisements are pertinent because they also correspond to the current social trends and perceptions of a woman's role. Magazine and magazine advertisements convey societal messages that shape and mold our perceptions and actions. This research attempts to uncover implicit, key messages conveyed through magazine advertisements. The results of survey data administered to 50 participants from the University of California, Irvine campus are used to determine the selected magazines used for content analysis. Cosmopolitan and Maxim magazines are used in content analyses to explore any perceptual similarities and differences between popular men and women magazines. Data analysis is still in progress. The study will include issues of feminism, sex and gender roles, and media impact on society in order to increase public awareness about developing, transforming and defined relationships in society as affected by print media.
Viral diversity in the extremely saline and alkaline conditions of Mono Lake, California has yet to be determined. Determining the viral composition of the lake is important because classification of the viral community from these extreme conditions may lead to a deeper understanding of the viral and host interactions in all environments. Thirty-eight viral isolates infecting 9 indigenous bacterial hosts from Mono Lake were investigated. Each viral isolate was grown on its original host using top agar overlay method. Phage DNA were extracted using a Promega DNA purification kit, and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) was employed to determine the diversity of viral isolates. Two restriction enzymes, Acc1 and Hpa1, were used. Fragments were visualized and analyzed through gel electrophoresis. Of the 36 phage isolates analyzed, 28 were found to have distinctly different banding patterns. Results from this study indicate there is a highly diverse viral community in Mono Lake.
The use of movement while singing is deeply engrained in the practice of vocal music. The ancient Greeks saw music and dance as one in the same thing, practically inseparable in performance. During the Baroque era we have accounts of a stylized movement that was employed while singing opera. In today's opera and solo performances, singing virtuosos (i.e. Placido Domingo) regularly incorporate certain gestures. Even if these gestures are dramatically related, the point of interest is how, if at all, the movement affects the sound that comes out. There seems to be at least a technical utility to these gestures, if not an expressive utility. In a study conducted by Dr. Richard Chagnan, he found that singers who incorporated movement with singing believed that they could memorize the music faster than when they did not use movement. In what ways does movement affect the voice? How can these vocal-kinetic effects be explained from a physiological, neurobiological, and philosophical basis?
Although the role of the skin is to provide a barrier to the external environment, the intrinsic nature of the integument provides for limited absorption of therapeutic drugs, including corticosteroids. Preliminary testing incorporating fatty acids (Linoleic Acid) into structurally configured polymers has been shown to act as penetration enhancers, which modify the barrier properties of the stratum corneum, and therefore migration of radiolabeled drugs (cortisol) through human skin. Previous unpublished studies using an amine compound (Polyoxyalkyleneamines D 400) have suggested the use of this amine to enhance skin penetration. The objective of this study is to evaluate the permeability of topical corticosteroid solutions supplemented with novel polymers in order to improve the penetration of therapeutic drugs. Sets of unique polymers, synthesized in our laboratory, were selected for initial assessment of penetration enhancement, which were tested using the in vitro Franz diffusion model. The retention/penetration of the cortisol into the skin layers was determined by measuring radiolabeled drug levels at the experimental endpoints by liquid scintillation counting. Percent drug retention was calculated for each compartment. Experimental results showed that one of the Linoleic Acid + Polyoxyalkyleneamines D 400 polymer achieved higher penetration through the skin (6.2% total mean concentration of applied dose) when compared to the commercial standard (4.2%) or the vehicle control (2.3%). Concentration of drug in the upper layer (stratum corneum) was also increased with one of the polymers (Linoleic Acid), achieving 1.7% of applied dose.
I have created a demo c.d. I intend to use it when there are summer stock auditions. The c.d. contains cuts of three songs that show a variety of styles and tempos in musical theater. Each song has either a comic or dramatic content, thus giving the listener a chance to hear my ability to attack a large variety of roles. My range is from a comic alto to a lyrical soprano. This demo c.d. will benefit me in future auditions and help me to become a more professional musical theater actor.
In the adult, stem cells, known for their proliferative and self-renewal capabilities are targeted as one of the key elements in developing regenerative therapies for a myriad of degenerative and malignant disorders. There is significant evidence to suggest that a "generic" stem cell may exist, with, among others, hematopoietic stem cells as its progeny. In addition, overlapping gene expression between hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and neuronal stem cells (NSCs) and events in early embryogenesis and organogenesis led support to the 'generic stem cell' theory. In this study, we used histological and immunocytochemical staining of adult rodent brain sections to examine the distribution of CD106, an antigen for Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule (VCAM-1) specific to endothelial cells, in the adult rodent hippocampus in an attempt to further elucidate the nature of the relationship between NSCs and vascular endothelial cells. We observed CD106 amtogen-positive (CD106+) cells distributed throughout the hippocampal formation. Antigen staining was particularly prominent in the sub-granular zone, moderate in the molecular layer and faint in the granular layer. CD106+ cells also exhibited differences in morphology ranging from small fusiform shaped cells (8-10mm) to faintly stained cells with large globular soma (15-20m). Our findings raise questions on the role of endothelial-derived cells in hippocampal cellular regeneration, and implicate their probable involvement in cell proliferation and differentiation. In addition, these observations may lend credence to the "generic stem cell" theory.
Lotus corniculatus, a small legume forage plant, has the ability to undergo nodulation. This critical process takes place when a bacterium from Rhizobium loti strain 2037 infects a root hair of Lotus corniculatus. Over time, a symbiotic relationship between the bacterium and the plant results in a root nodule where nitrogen fixation occurs. An effort has been made to successfully nodulate Lotus corniculatus in vitro via two methods. First, a technique with proven success has been reestablished. The procedure involves sandwiching the roots of Lotus corniculatus between two pieces of filter paper. The roots are then placed in a tube containing MS media with Rhizobium loti strain 2037. The nitrogen and sucrose in the MS media have been removed in order to promote nodulation and inhibit bacterial and fungal growth. The bottom of the tube is wrapped in foil to keep the roots in darkness and the shoots are grown under a photoperiod of 16 hours. A second technique applies several modifications to the filter paper method. The roots of Lotus corniculatus are sandwiched between a glass slide and filter paper and wrapped in foil so that the roots may grow in complete darkness. The roots are then placed in a culture box with MS media and bacteria. These two methods work by allowing the bacteria and the nutrients from the MS media to be transferred to the root via the absorbent filter paper. When a bacterium infects a root hair and a root nodule develops, successful nodulation has occurred.
Malignant melanoma, the most serious common form of skin cancer, is increasing in incidence at a more rapid rate than any other type of cancer. There is evidence that melanoma development may be linked to sun exposure. A study conducted in Massachusetts (1976) by Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick examined the overall anatomic distribution of melanomas. He found that the anatomical incidence of melanoma on the heavily sun-exposed areas of the face and hands was identical in men and women, but the incidence on the intermittently exposed torso-leg area was higher in females than in males. Our study builds upon the previous work in evaluating the anatomical location of melanoma in men and women, and also strives to examine the relationship between patients' geographical location of residence and the location of melanoma on their bodies. Furthermore, the frequency of solar exposure is evaluated to determine its correlation with anatomic location of melanoma. A questionnaire is administered to patients with a history of melanoma in which the variables of age, sex, location of residence, amount of sun exposure, and melanoma-related family history is recorded and location of melanoma is mapped on a 2-D human diagram. The anatomic distribution of melanoma will be analyzed in relation to other variables. Our study complements the prior studies, extending examination of results to the population of the Western United States. The anatomic distribution of melanoma, as determined in this study, might result in further hypotheses or understanding of the causal factors for the rapid increase in incidence for this serious form of cancer. The data is currently being analyzed.
In first-year physics classes, students confine their study of simple pendulums to small oscillations. More specifically, students assume that x, the maximum angle achieved in oscillation, is sufficiently small such that sin(x) approximately equals x. Approximating sin(x) allows students to find an analytic solution to a differential equation that models the pendulum's motion even when damping due to air friction occurs; much insight into pendulum motion can be gained with the aforementioned approximation. However, the truncation error from this approximation becomes quite apparent in large oscillations or long periods of time where errors can accumulate and propagate. By applying numerical techniques, a more accurate representation of pendulous motion can be obtained and tested.
Down Syndrome (DS) is the most frequently occurring chromosomal abnormality and affects 17% of individuals classified as mentally handicapped (Mann, 1987). DS occurs due to nondisjunction of chromo-some 21 during meiosis and results in "trisomy 21." As a result, the b-amyloid (Ab) precursor gene (located on chromosome 21) becomes triplicated, causing an overproduction of Ab in senile plaques (SP). SP accumulation is exemplified by early onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD), with characteristic dementia, in DS-a condition not localized to humans. Other studies on SP deposits have been done on canines and nonhuman primates as models, with a correlation between the site of Ab accumulation and decreased functioning on cognitive tasks (Head et al., 1998). These models can be applied to humans due to shared brain and behavior associations between animals (canines) and humans (Head et al., in press). The aim of this study is to utilize the canine model, apply the various cognitive tasks to humans, characterize the development of Alzheimer's disease in DS subjects (n=21), and compare and contrast our findings with that of the canine model. Data analysis is currently underway. The study will investigate whether a correlation exists between age and error rate on cognitive tasks. In addition, a t-test will compare and contrast differences between successful agers with low error rates and individuals with high error rates in terms of results obtained from informant questionnaires. The results are expected to assist in determining timing of interventions designed to slow the progression of AD in DS.
For an aspiring professional dancer the course of study is so crucial to the development of a successful career. In order to achieve that development the dancer must undergo long hours of professional study. By attending dance classes in various techniques the dancer can become more familiar and prepared for the strenuous work that professional dancers encounter. Another important factor for the professional dancer's career is being located in a place where the arts are appreciated. It needs to be a place where the dancer will be challenged and continue with their artistic and personal growth and a place where the dancer can mature as a performing artist. For a college student this is sometimes a difficult task to be reached during the academic school year, for this reason many dancers at a college will use the summer months to supplement their current academic dance studies. By attending the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive this past summer I was able to experience and improve my dance technique and also live in a city where the arts are a major part of the culture, New York City. The amount of knowledge that I incurred while I was in the city will help my professional dance career immensely. Not only did I improve as a technical dancer, but also I learned about what it was like to live in a city where the dance culture is so strong and supportive. For an aspiring professional dancer nothing could be better than spending time in New York City training with a professional dance company.
Korean Americans hold an unfavorable attitude towards psychotherapy primarily due to cultural factors. Korean culture is collective in nature while psychotherapy is individualistic in nature because it purports expression outside one's indigenous group. Limited studies have examined the effect of acculturation on Asian American College students (Gloria, 2001). More specifically, an even smaller number of studies have focused on the effects of acculturation and help-seeking attitudes by Korean American College students. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between acculturation, and mental health service perception of Korean American College students. Two hundred undergraduate Korean American students from the University of California, Irvine will be measured by a questionnaire that investigates acculturation, and mental health service perception. The Suinn-Lew Asian Self-Identity Acculturation Scale and the Asian Values Scale will measure acculturation. The Attitudes Towards Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale will measure Korean American's attitudes toward psychological counseling. The University Environment Scale and the Cultural Congruity Scale will be implemented to better put into context the observed population. Multivariate analysis of variance, hierarchical regression and correlation statistical tests will be utilized to analyze the data. Expected results are that higher acculturation rate will lead to a more positive perception of mental health services.
Is translation possible when the Other remains silent? The active role of the Subject to decode the secrets of the Other and to subjugate the Other into the hegemonic valence of the Subject's world is seen as an imperial, colonial effort. Defoe's Robinson Crusoe illustrates the idea of imperialism as the Occident's responsibility to "civilise" the Other-one who is barbarous, mystical, and erotic. Said's Orientalism, explicitly explains the construction of the Other designed by the Western world. Said questions the validity and attempts of the Western domination over the (un)civilised countries. In Coetzee's Foe, Susan Barton tries to teach Friday her language and her culture in order for Friday to "speak" of the history on the island. Barton's attempt at decoding or translating Friday into a substantial source of truth utterly fails. Barton fails to understand that Friday is the Absolute Other, one who is irreducible, irreplaceable, inaccessible, and untranslatable. Barton fails to understand that Friday remains silent not only because he cannot speak, but because Friday does not want to be subjected by Barton's world; not to be assimilated with the imposing hegemony; and finally because Friday simply "would prefer not to" speak at all. I will juxtapose Coetzee's post-colonial discourse with Derrida's concept of the Absolute Other to explicate the silence of the other. This research will examine critically the idea of the Absolute Other in light of Derrida's Gift of Death, further assessing the possibility of the impossible, the accessibility of the inaccessible.
Recent studies regarding visual perception suggest that visual processes do not create a single representation of the external world, as previously thought (Milner & Goodale, 1995; Ungerleider & Mishkin, 1982). Rather, studies suggest that dual visual systems are responsible for visual processing, in that processing occurs in distinct streams within the human visual cortex. Specifically, the ventral stream is responsible for recognizing objects and the dorsal stream is responsible for visually controlling motor interactions with things. Neuroanatomical and electrophysiological results suggest that relative to the ventral stream, the dorsal stream may be more sensitive to luminance intensity and less sensitive to chromaticity relative to the ventral stream. In the present study, 8 participants performed two tasks. In one task, participants were required to identify which of 4 possible figures was presented. In the other task, participants were to touch a target presented in 1 of 4 locations using a stylus. In both tasks, stimuli consisted of an isosceles triangle pointing in 1 of 4 directions; stimuli were either gray, with differing degrees of luminance, or green, with differing degrees of saturation. As hypothesized, movements to targets defined by green stimuli were slower and less accurate than those to targets defined by gray stimuli, even though the green/gray stimulus pairs were equivalent in the identification task.
Few studies have sought to find a genetic link to creativity. To explore an area of research currently underrepresented in the creativity literature, this study examines the possible connection between creativity and the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene. This particular gene shows a number of polymorphisms based on the number of 48-base-pair tandem repeats on DRD4's exon III. In other words, a segment of genetic material common to all human DNA is repeated a variable amount of times in different people. The repeated alleles range from 2 through 10, and these polymorphisms may be related to certain behavioral manifestations. Specifically, the 4-repeat and 7-repeat alleles of DRD4 are the most common, and the 7-repeat allele has shown a connection to certain traits such as Novelty Seeking and Openness to Experience in a number of studies. Although studies of DRD4 have indicated a link to these traits, there has not been a study to date investigating DRD4 and creativity. Past research connecting creativity and Novelty Seeking, however, makes a link between DRD4 and creativity seem plausible. This study employs both genetic and creativity data collected from 200 undergraduate student subjects. Genetic data was collected from cheek cell samples using a soft brush technique, and creativity data from two drawing tasks and a writing task called "Just Suppose" was analyzed by multiple judges. The data analysis from these subjects represents the first attempt to find a possible genetic link to creativity with the polymorphisms on this dopamine receptor gene.
The defensive withdrawal reflexes of the marine mollusk Aplysia californica exhibit several simple forms of learning and memory. For example, these reflexes can be strengthed by a noxious stimulus such as mild electrical shock on the tail, which gives rise to a form of memory called sensitization. Previous studies suggest that the neuromodulator serotonin is responsible for the induction of sensitization, but no complete characterization of the serotonergic neurons in Aplysia has yet been made. The purpose of my study was to first locate all of the serotonergic neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), and second, to record their electrical activity during the induction of sensitization. To locate serotonergic neurons, I injected a drug (5,7-dihydroxytryptamine) into the animal that, after several weeks, produces a dark-brown pigmentation in serotonergic neurons. This allowed me to identify serotonergic neurons in the living animal, and then generate a map of the serotonergic system. In subsequent experiments in the dissected CNS, I recorded the electrical activity of these visually identified neurons with intracellular electrodes before and after tail nerve stimulation. I found that most of them increased their electrical activity in response to sensitizing tail nerve shock. Thus my data strengthens the hypothesis that serotonin plays a role in sensitization. Moreover, this map of the serotonergic system will now enable us to examine the role of individual serotonergic neurons in memory formation.
According to the California Department of Education, the visual and performing arts are a vital component of a well-rounded educational program for all students. Nevertheless, art programs continue to be cut from school budgets due to lack of funds. In 1997, the Arts Work grant was developed by the state to help schools provide students with comprehensive, sequential art programs. This study examines the impact of improved art education on the Academic Performance Index of schools within a public school district. The Academic Performance Index base summarizes a school's performance based on the scores of individual pupils on all content areas of the Stanford 9 as measured through national percentile rankings and on the California Standard Test for English Language Arts as measured through performance levels. The API values of elementary schools within a randomly selected school district were studied before and after the receiving an Arts Work grant. The API data from 2000 and 2001 were analyzed (median2000= 759; n2000=27, standard deviation2000= 120.7; minimum2000=530; maximum2000= 883; 1st quartile2000= 610; 3rd quartile2000=843; median2001= 763; n2001=27; standard deviation2001= 109.3; minimum2001=566; maximum2001= 863; 1st quartile2001=630; 3rd quartile2001=846). Analysis of the API data revealed that the schools mean API value increased by 2% (mean2000=734.1; mean2001=746.0). Results from this study suggest that there may be a positive correlation between academic performance and art education.
The central assumption behind most evolutionary models is that organisms mate randomly. However, recent models developed by Dr. Arthur E. Weis, at the University of California Irvine, show that non-random mating may be very important and common in plant evolution. One specific cause of non-random mating is variation in flowering time of plants. Flowering time determines when a plant can and cannot mate. Within a species, there should be a tendency for early-flowering individuals to mate with other early flowers, while late-flowering individuals mate with other late individuals. This is a potential example of assortative mating, which occurs when the phenotypes, such as flowering time, of mates are correlated. The purpose of this research project is to estimate the potential for assortative mating by measuring the correlation between parental flowering times in wild mustard. To determine if assortative mating actually occurs in plants, a comparison of flowering time of offspring to that of their parents must be made. Data was taken for the exact flowering time of the mother and offspring. However, determining the flowering time of the plant that might have fathered any one seed cannot be known exactly. An estimation of the average flowering time of all the fathers in bloom that could have possibly donated pollen to the specific mother was made. A correlation between the flowering time of potential fathering plants and that of their offspring will show if assortative mating is occurring in plants.
There are over 11 million widows in the United States. In prior years widowhood meant that ones family took them in and they stayed within their protected wall. Today, however, widows are living along and navigating and creating an independent life. Dating and new relationships for widows negates our perception of the stereotypical widow. Research conducted by Danielle S. Schneider, M.D., Paul a. Sledge, Ph.D., Stephen R. Shuchter, M.D., and Sidney Zisook, M.D., and published in the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, l996 looked at the dating and remarriage patterns of recent widows and widowers. This current study will compliment their work. Where as surveys were used in the prior research in-depth interviews will be conducted. The semi-structured interviews will cover dating experiences before marriage and social activities during the marriage. In addition, the widows will asked to describe their dating experiences after the death. The research will focus on how the widows navigated issues of social integration and variable that effect their experiences. The aim of this study is to examine ways in which widows obtain their dates with a view to promote more effective adjustment to widowhood.
Epidemiological studies have shown gender differences in the incidence of stroke, with women having lower risk of stroke than age-matched men. These studies suggest that estrogen may have cardiovascular protective effects, but the mechanism in which it is mediated is unclear. A growing body of evidence has indicated that the protective effects of estrogen are mediated, in part, through the production of a vasodilator, prostacyclin (PGI2). This study sought to investigate: 1) the effects of different concentrations of estrogen on PGI2 synthesis; 2) the effects of estrogen or estrogen metabolites on protein levels of enzymes involved in PGI2 synthesis, namely prostacyclin-synthase (PGI-S) and cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1). Middle cerebral arteries from ovariectomized (OVX) rats were incubated with different concentrations of estrogen and examined for PGI2 synthesis by ELISA as well as protein levels of COX-1 and PGI-S by immunoblot analysis. Furthermore, OVX middle cerebral arteries were incubated with estrogen or estrogen metabolites and examined for protein levels of COX-1 and PGI-S. We report that estrogen increased PGI2 synthesis, COX-1 and PGI-S in a concentration-dependent manner. Incubation with estrogen or estrogen metabolites showed 2-methoxyestrone, 2-methydroxyestradiol, 16a-hydroxyestrone, 17ß-estradiol, and estrone causes increased expression of COX-1. The findings of this study show that estrogen increases PGI2 production via up-regulation of COX-1 and PGI-S. The results presented may help elucidate mechanism underlying epidemiological studies concerning gender differences in the incidence of stroke between men and women, and may provide insight on clinical use of hormone replacement therapy.
Foams are composed of liquids and gases that hold their shape similar to elastic solids. However, when subjected to large applied shear, they flow like a viscous fluid. It is believed that foam's unique mechanical properties are due to the packing and interactions between the bubbles. Yet, direct studies of any bubble dynamics are difficult because they are typically opaque due to the bubble sizes. Therefore, a two-dimensional model system is very useful. One such theoretical model is the bubble model that was first introduced by D. J. Durian. This model approximates the complex interactions in foams by two simple forces: a spring force and a viscous force between bubbles. We test the approximation by comparing the prediction of the bubble model with bubble raft experiments. The raft consists of bubbles with average radius ranging from 1-5mm placed on the surface of water within a couette viscometer. The viscometer consists of a fixed circular dish with a circular barrier that can be rotated to generate two-dimensional flow. The outer barrier also can be compressed and expanded to allow us to control the density of the bubbles on the surface. The inner cylinder is a Teflon knife-edged disk suspended by a thin wire. The wire also contains a rectangular coil carrying a direct current to measure the angle of displacement. The disk is placed in contact with this flow over a wide range of shear raters and measures the total stress on the system as well as bubble rearrangements.
Glutathione (GSH) is a nonprotein sulphydryl antioxidant that is expressed in most mammalian cells. In the ovary, GSH protects developing follicles from harmful endogenous and exogenous toxicants. Loss of such detoxifying mechanism can be lethal to preimplantation embryos or lead to oocyte damage resulting in permanent infertility. Ovarian follicles undergo a form of apoptotic cell death, atresia, which can be initiated by exposure to several chemical agents. Previous studies have shown that ovarian GSH concentrations change as a result of changes in mRNA and protein expression of its rate-limiting enzyme, glutamate cysteine ligase, GLCL, during the rat estrous cycle. Localization of GLCL subunits mRNA levels have been found in specific ovarian structures with GLCL-regulatory subunit (GLCL-r) mRNA highly expressed and localized in granulosa cells and oocytes of nonatretic growing follicles. We hypothesize that GSH prevents developing follicles from undergoing apoptosis and therefore a depletion of GSH should result in an increase in apoptotic follicles. Using an immortalized human granulosa cell line, COV434, we can examine the possible role of GSH depletion on granulosa cell apoptosis. Cultured granulosa cells will be incubated for 24 hours in treatment media with or without Buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) in dosages 100, 250, 500, and 1000mM. BSO is an irreversible inhibitor of GLCL and is used here to deplete GSH in cultured granulosa cells. GSH concentrations will be measured by enzymatic assay, and apoptosis will be detected using agarose gel electrophoresis to evaluate oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation (DNA laddering) and TUNEL staining (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP nick-end labeling).
Recent studies have shown the migration of transplanted Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) into widespread tissues including the brain. We explored the possibility that HSC are recruited in normal neurogenesis that occurs in the hippocampus of the adult rat brain. HSC are shown to express markers for antigens of CD34. We have determined the distribution and morphology of CD34+ cells in the hippocampus of the adult rat brain. We report from our study the presence of CD34+ cells with morphological feature of differentiated neurons. Our study raises the possibility that HSC are recruited in normal neurogenesis.
Contemporary work has shown that stress-induced increases in cortisol in rats and exogenously increased levels of cortisol in humans enhance emotionally arousing memory; the current study builds upon this work by demonstrating that endogenous increases in cortisol enhance emotionally arousing memory in humans as well. Fifty-five subjects were exposed to a slideshow and had their left arms immersed in either ice water (0-3 ºC; experimental group) or warm water (37-40 ºC; control group) for up to 3 minutes to induce a cortisol increase in the experimental group; one week later, a surprise recall test of the slideshow was administered. Subjects in the experimental group recalled significantly more arousing slides than subjects in the control group. These data support the hypothesis that stress-induced endogenous increases in cortisol enhance emotionally arousing memory in humans. This research was supported by NIMH-COR grant 1 T34 MH20043-02.
There is evidence that the mechanism of olfactory coding involves identification of the chemical features of odorants. A contribution of geometric (cis/trans) isomerism to the coding of floral odorants has been hypothesized, but rarely addressed in the literature. In this experiment, rats were exposed to one of four different odorants, geraniol, geranyl acetate, nerol, and neryl acetate. This odorant panel affords a systematic variation in geometric isomerism and functional group, which allows the contributions from each of the two factors to be evaluated. A 2-DG method previously used to map spatial and intensity information about glomerular layer activation was employed. The patterns of activity were highly reproducible across different rats, and the patterns evoked by the four odorants also were very similar to one another. Such pattern similarities are inconsistent with distinct odor perception in humans, suggesting possible inter-species difference. Although no quantitative result was statistically significant, there was some indication of functional group specificity in anterior, dorsal regions, and some geometric isomerism specificity in the ventral regions.
g-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. The action of GABA can be allosterically enhanced or inhibited by a wide variety of chemical substances which interact with distinct binding sites at the GABAA receptor complex (GRC). Diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic estrogen, was discovered to weakly modulate the GRC while examining structure activity relationships of estrogen and related derivatives. Examination of estrogen and derivatives was carried out because estrogen is related in structure to neuroactive steroids, which have been convincingly demonstrated to modulate the GRC. This experiment focused on tamoxifen, a non-steroidal, selective estrogen receptor modulator, to see whether it could functionally modulate the GRC like diethylstilbestrol. [35S]t-butylbicyclo-phosphorothionate (TBPS) binding assays were used to determine whether tamoxifen modulates the GRC using human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells that express specific GABAA receptor subtypes. The [35S]TBPS binding assay is a pharmacologically relevant measure of the efficacy of GABA modulation by agents that act on the GRC. 36Cl¯ uptake assays were performed to confirm the functional activity of tamoxifen. The 36Cl¯ uptake assay is a rapid measurement of the ability of GABA modulators to affect the GRC by measuring the amount of "uptake" of 36Cl¯ through GABA gated Cl¯ ion channels in HEK cells. The preliminary findings in this study show that tamoxifen does functionally modulate the GRC. Further studies may provide a better understanding of how tamoxifen and related compounds interact with the GRC.
Most communication products nowadays are operating at microwave frequency. For consumer applications, size is an importance. Inductors are typically large and not easily integrated into small systems. Thus, an inductor of micrometer range would be an ultimate advantage to develop such compact consumer systems. This project is currently researching materials and methods to build such inductors. We have found Mn and Mg ferrites that have profound performance in microwave range. We hope to discover the best thin film deposition technique in the current scientific community that can develop the inductors with the sputtering technology provided in the INRF of UCI. And in summer, we look forward to fabricate such devices in the lab.
Formulations of gender within a society are dictated by a variety of factors. The media has become, especially in the United States, one of the primary sites for gender identification and formulation. In film, television and radio ideas about gender are brought forth, explored and even manipulated. Looking at these media as authoritative sources of clear and unbiased information is not uncommon, especially among those people who have not been exposed to the study of media. There are current formulations of masculinity within the media that are being accepted as truth, when in fact, they are based upon the theories of evolutionary psychology, a branch of science that is at best, controversial. The theories set forth by evolutionary psychology have been translated into layman's terms and injected into popular film and television. The findings of this study of contemporary masculinity in the media show that there are widespread ideas concerning the biological, evolution-based role of men that are being taken as fact when they are, in reality, questionable. This study will lay out some of the basic theories of evolutionary psychology as they relate to masculinity and explore the ways these theories have been presented in examples from film, television and radio.
Methyl halide (methyl chloride, methyl bromide, and methyl iodide) gases are sources of inorganic radicals in the stratosphere. Methyl halide gases released into the troposphere (lower atmosphere) are destroyed by reaction with hydroxyl (OH) radicals. Although the majority of the methyl halide molecules are destroyed in the process, a few manage to escape up to the stratosphere, where they absorb ultraviolet radiation. The reaction results in inorganic halide radical formation and, eventually, ozone destruction. Methyl bromide and methyl iodide gases contribute 55% and 25% of the stratospheric inorganic bromide and iodide, respectively. The Cicerone lab at UCI has also reported that rice fields contribute 1% methyl bromide and 4% methyl iodide to the atmosphere. Greenhouse experiments were performed to determine whether changes in temperature or light affect methyl halide gas emissions from rice plants. Gas emissions were measured over a range of temperature (20-35 °C) and light intensity (4´1015 - 3´1017 quanta/sec/cm2). Methyl halide emissions were observed to increase with temperature but not with light intensity.
In Joyce's The Dead and Sartre's Nausea, the protagonists embody a pronounced characteristic of the modern consciousness, namely, the dissolution of identity. Their alienation finds expression in their own disjointed perspectives when confronting pre-existing ideologies, in which they cannot simply choose to participate. Gabriel Conroy's frustration arises from constructing a problematic identity in order to distance himself from a culture that he finds inescapable. Antoine Roquentin's sense of estrangement from society calls for his re-evaluating consequences of self-determined actions in constituting a meaningful life. As Northrop Frye argues, a successful quest-cycle is accomplished by the return of the hero, transformed and renewed. Both Joyce and Sartre adopt the mythic motif of the descent journey as a metaphorical embarkation, indicating in this way that the redemption of a modern individual lies in a process of self-reinitiation. In the same vein, confronted by changes in cultural and philosophical perspectives of the modern psyche, the modern writer faces a similar task to that of a modern individual. As a part of my discussion, the variations in style and content of the descent motif will illuminate a writer's response to literary topoi in which the notion of cultural identity is preserved. On a broader scope, the modern writer's departure from, or return to, the concept of tradition in turn interrogates the significance of continuity in culture, defined by Vyacheslav Ivanov as "a memory of ancestral initiations."
Early recognition of oral malignancy is problematic because of the inability to perform accurate screening in populations and also due to the frequent lack of gross signs and symptoms usually overlooked by poor visual access. Thus, a new modality is needed for non-invasive early detection and diagnosis of oral dysplasia and squamous cell carcinoma. The objective of this study was to determine the related changes in intensity and spectral characteristics for healthy and dysplastic samples by using laser induced fluorescence. DMBA carcinogenesis was applied to the left cheek pouch for 4 Syrian golden hamsters for 8 weeks to produce dysplasia. The right cheek pouches served as control. Excised cheek pouches were sectioned and excited using 366, 405, 440, 470nm wavelengths. Significant spectra differences were seen between the two groups. Dysplastic tissue in most cases had more fluorescence intensity than healthy tissues. Moreover, these differences were most marked at an excitation wavelength of 440nm, where both the fluorescence and detection wavelengths were more pronounced.
This study attempts to determine the role of satellite cells during longitudinal soleus muscle growth by assessing muscle weight and cross sectional areas in animals with inactivated satellite cells and their nascent myonuceli activities. Data were collected from 48 Sprague-Dawly rats randomly assigned to different time point (16 day and 32 day) and experimental groups (NC, FC, DIST, IRRAD). Illizarov distraction technique was employed to stretch left hindleg muscles and thus induced serial sarcomeregenesis in DIST and IRRAD groups. Furthermore, IRRAD groups were irradiated to eradicate existing satellite cells. Muscle tissues were then extracted and examined using the standard H&E staining and BRDU antibody staining. Unexpectedly, little correlation was seen between satellite cell activation and serial sarcomeregenesis. No significant difference in muscle weight and fiber cross sectional area between DIST and IRRAD was observed (P>0.05), animals with inactivated satellite cells seem to undergo longitudinal muscle growth similar to those with functional satellite cells. In addition, histochemical staining revealed indiscernible nascent nuclei incorporation. Conse-quently, Serial sarcomeregenesis does not necessarily require the activation of satellite cells, which results in the intracellular incorporation of nascent myonuclei.
basolateral amygdala (BLA) is the putative site for integration of
neuronal and hormonal signals for emotional learning and memory. The
present study explored the mechanisms by which the critical cholinergic
activation in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) during memory modulating
processes is mediated, i.e. through which muscarinic receptor type(s):
M1, M2, or both. Sprague-Dawley rats were implanted with bilateral
cannulae aimed at the BLA and trained on an inhibitory avoidance (IA)
task. To selectively activate each receptor type, selective antagonists,
methoctramine or telenzipine (50 nmol per side), were co-infused with
a general muscarinic receptor agonist, oxotremorine, to stimulate M1,
or M2, receptors respectively. Oxotremorine (50 nmol per side) was
infused alone to stimulate both receptor types. A single trial IA task
was used in combination with immediate post-training drug treatments
so that the consolidation phase of memory could be selectively manipulated.
The mean retention latency of oxotremorine-only group on the 48 hr
retention test was significantly higher than the mean retention latencies
of the groups that received co-infusion of telenzipine or methoctramine
with the oxotremorine. These findings indicate that both receptor types
need to be activated for memory enhancement to occur.
Affecting Juvenile Delinquency
Juvenile delinquency is on the rise in America. It is a serious problem that local governments are facing and efforts are being put forth to minimize these behaviors. Numerous variables have been identified to effect juvenile delinquency, yet here are a selected group of social factors that most influence the phenomena. Through qualitative design, this research project will examine the influence of family, community, peers and school risk factors on juvenile delinquency. Previous research in juvenile delinquency show that children of low socioeconomic status face greater threats in falling into juvenile delinquency in comparison to upper middle and higher social class children. Also, based on literature review it is presumed that family will be the most influential factor affecting juvenile delinquency. Data collection is at this time in progress by conducting observations, interviews, and field notes at the Youth and Family Resource Center in Orange County, California. Moreover, the conclusions of this study are expected to demonstrate that the social factor of family has the most powerful influence on delinquency, especially among Hispanic adolescent and other minorities, than in the more mainstream American youth.
This current study will examine cyclophosphamide's (CPA) toxicity on rat ovaries. This chemotherapeutic drug has been used in treating patients with cancer for some time, yet it has been seen to cause many women to become sterile or enter into early menopause. The reason why CPA causes various degrees of ovarian dysfunction in women is still not fully known. It is believed that glutathione (GSH) in the ovaries plays an important role in protecting ovarian follicles from damage by exogenous toxicants like CPA. Glutathione, a tripeptide, has a detoxifying property throughout the body enabling it to protect cells. This tripeptide is maintained by two tightly coupled enzymatic processes involving a rate-limiting step, catalyzed by glutamate cysteine ligase (GLCL) to form gamma-glutamylcysteine, followed by addition of glycine to make glutathione. Other studies have noted that CPA depletes glutathione levels in other organs, such as the liver (DeLeve, et al. 1996), after treatment with the drug. The causes of follicle degeneration, or atresia, are not well understood, but it is believed that the GSH found in the follicles is an important factor in preventing follicular atresia (Luderer, 2000). Therefore, I hypothesize that administration of CPA will reduce ovarian GSH levels and cause a compensatory increase in GLCL subunit mRNA transcription. It is expected that the higher the dose of CPA administered, the greater the effects will be on GSH levels. At 24 hours after cyclophosphamide injections we expect to see lowered levels of GSH and high levels of GLCL regulatory and catalytic subunit mRNA levels in the ovary.
Previous research shows that Latino college students have a record low retention in higher education resulting in a disproportionate under-representation within and graduating from institutions of higher education as compared to their demographic representation in the U.S. Over 50 percent of Latino students who enroll in college do not graduate (Baltimore, 1995). Therefore, this study will focus on psychosocial factors contributing to the high levels of attrition among Latino undergraduates. The purpose of this study is to determine to what extent university environment, cultural congruency, perceived discrimination, college stress, and self-efficacy predict persistence attitudes amongst Latino undergraduates. A questionnaire packet consisting of a demographic sheet and seven instruments was created to assess the constructs under investigation- comfort in the university environment, cultural congruency, perceived discrimination, college stress, self-efficacy and persistence attitudes. The questionnaire was distributed to 150 Latino undergraduates attending the University of California, Irvine. Data analysis is currently underway. A series of two-step hierarchical regressions will be conducted to assess the influence of the five independent variables: university comfort, cultural congruity, perceived discrimination, college stress and self-efficacy to the dependent variable academic persistence. Academic persistence is defined as the perception or the likelihood that the respondent would graduate from their college or university based on the Persistence/Voluntary Dropout Decisions Scale. It is hypothesized that higher levels of comfort in the university environment and self-beliefs will be associated with more positive academic persistence decisions of Latino undergraduates students in four year universities.
The September 11th terrorist attack has altered the lives of, not only Americans but also the entire global community. Terrorism is a worldwide issue because it is prevalent in many countries around the globe. As the world struggles to find ways to comprehend, defeat, and prevent terrorist acts from reoccurring, this study contributes to this process by adding a new dimension that have been neglected or overlooked. The underlying base for this study draws on the many parallels between the War on Terrorism and the Vietnam War. While President Bush, leaders of foreign countries and the American public have expressed their responses to the 9-11 terrorist act, Vietnam veterans have been conspicuously left out of public dialogue. The current study then, conducts in-depth interviews with ten Vietnam veterans and asks them to reflect on their feelings and perspectives of United States' foreign policies during three different periods in their lives. The first period is their point of entrance into the Vietnam conflict. The second spans between the period after their involvement in the Vietnam War but prior to the events of September 11th. The third period is from September 11th to the present day. The findings of this study seeks to provide greater insights and possible avenues that are not discussed in popular discourse but which may help avoid past mistakes and more effectively fulfill the objective of the present conflict.
Organic aerosols and lung surfactants have one thing in common, their organic film. These films contain carbon-carbon double bonds that are potential targets for potent oxidants such as ozone (O3), which exists in the troposphere due to man-made pollution. However, relatively little is known about this heterogeneous ozone reaction. From experimental data, it was determined that there was an enhancement in reactivity relative to homogeneous gas phase reactions with ozone. We have conducted molecular dynamics simulations of a phospholipid monolayer at the air/water interface, which serves as a model for both lung surfactants and organic aerosols, to study the reactivity of this heterogeneous ozone reactivity. We have used different types of gas molecules, which vary in shape, size, and van der Waals intermolecular interaction strength, in order to study the degree of enhancement each of them undergo. From our molecular dynamics simulations, we have confirmed that all of these factors do contribute to the reactivity of atmospheric gases. We found that these factors also dictate the longevity in contact time of gas molecules to the double bonded carbons in the phospholipid monolayer.
We have recently demonstrated that estrogen receptor alpha (ERa) mediates the effect of estrogen to increase endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) protein levels in the cerebral vasculature. Therefore, we sought to define the presence, localization and regulation of this receptor in rat cerebral vessels. In cerebral arteries, confocal microscopy revealed strong colocalization of ERa with eNOS immunofluorescence, indicating the presence of ERa in the endothelium. ERa was also detected in smooth muscle. Using immunoblot analysis, both C and N-terminal ERa antibodies detected multiple immunoreactive bands, ranging from 110-45 kDa. These bands were eliminated after blocking peptide-treated antibodies were used. Chronic estrogen treatment elevated ERa immunoreactivity in all bands. Intraperitoneal injection of the 26S proteasome inhibitor, lactacystin, increased immunoreactivity in highter, possibly ubiquitinated molecular weight bands, suggesting ERa is degraded by the 26S proteasome in cerebral blood vessels. One prominent immunoreactive band detected ran at ~50 kDA. This band was detected by a C-terminal antibody against the first 185 amino acids of the N-terminus of ERa. However, the ~50 kDa band was not detected when an antibody against the first 21 N-terminal amino acids were used, indicating the entire A/B domain of ERa is likely deleted in this band. The presence of protease inhibitors and proteasomal inhibition had no effect on the level of immunoreactivity of the ~50 kDa band, indicating this band is not a proteolysis product of full-length ERa but may in fact represent and A/B domain-deleted splice variant of ERa recently described in the literature.
Approximately one of every six women are abused by a partner (Rodriquez, 1999). This number is slightly higher for Latinas because emotional and physical abuse are an unfortunate aspect of the Latino culture (Perilla, 1994). Exposure to domestic violence in childhood is associated with long-term psychological consequences (Maker et al, 1998). Through detailed observations of children who have been exposed to domestic violence and in-depth interviews with their mothers, this qualitative study examined how children are effected by domestic violence. More specifically, the study investigates the children's social interactions with regards to the parent/child relationship, school behavior and peer interactions. Data analysis is currently underway. Findings will increase the understanding of how children's social interactions are effected by their exposure to domestic violence.
Since the tribal migrations and encounters of prehistoric times, there has been a global exchange of ideas and values. In recent times this exchange has taken many forms, but one of the more interesting and structured of these involves what we call international education exchange. The most recent statistics show over 1.5 million students worldwide are sent to foreign schools each year, the majority of which are enrolled at higher academic levels. This system is actually quite young, having been established only after World War II. Since then, there has been a steady increase in the international exchange of students. However, there is a fascinating and important unevenness and variation within this process, which can be attributed to the culture, politics, and economics of the areas involved. As we move into the 21st century, student exchange continues to be affected by these dynamics. Moreover, a new set of imperatives for educational exchange is emerging as a result of globalization. In the long term, I believe that educational exchange is a non-violent means, which may foster and improve international security, solidarity and cooperation. However, in order for this process to be most effective there should be equitable international participation. This thesis will present disparities that exist in the process, attempt to attribute causal factors explaining this imbalance, and subsequently outline recommendations for improvement. Furthermore, it will examine whether the phenomenon of globalization is assisting or constraining the balance in student exchange between nations that differ in culture, wealth and/or political ideologies.
The overall disposition of the United States toward species protection can be judged as positive, given the existence of strong legislature such as the Endangered Species Act of 1973. However, this general approval often dramatically differs from the local reaction to the application of this protection. The case of Western Snowy Plover protection on Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California provides an example of this dilemma. The community is pitted against the national government for the right to use its local beaches. The findings of this project's random opinion survey of Lompoc area residents reflect a considerable amount of disapproval for the current recovery plan, which requires the closure of the local coastal areas during the prime summer months. The nature of many of the negative responses also indicated a feeling of being ignored or overrun by the environmental agenda of the federal government. Additionally, it was discovered that this issue was not only well known and emotionally charged, but was generally well understood by the public. This understanding signifies sincere and developed interest on the part of the community and provides an impetus for finding a solution that will look to the needs of both the human and plover communities. The information gathered by the project survey serves as a basis for the design of an alternate recovery plan that seeks the involvement and capitalizes on the interest of the people it impacts.
Growth of skeletal muscle contractile protein genes are under control of several putative factors, each of which may transduce electrical or mechanical activity to influence muscle fiber growth. We examined the role of the calcium/calmodulin-sensitive Calcineurin (Cn)-NFAT transcriptional pathway in rodent skeletal muscle. Previous studies have both implicated and rejected the importance of the Cn-NFAT pathway in controlling muscle fiber growth. We addressed this issue by utilizing compensatory overload to induce skeletal muscle hypertrophy after 4 and 16 days, and attempted to block hypertrophy through administration of a known calcineurin inhibitor, cyclosporin A. We measured the mRNA levels of genes encoding proteins integral to the pathway: Calcineurin A and B, the regulatory and catalytic subunits of the enzyme, and the Cn-dependent transcription factors NFATc1 and NFATc3. We also measured the relative expression of genes from an alternative pathway, Akt/mTOR, which purportedly downregulated in skeletal muscle hypertrophy. We report significant decreased in Cn and NFAT mRNA levels following 4 days of hypertrophy, contrary to previous studies that suggest the Cn-NFAT elements were essential to muscle growth. We also find decreases in MFBX and MURF messages, as expected in this crucial component of the mTOR pathway. However, by 16 days, all mRNA levels were indistinguishable among all groups, except for MFBX, whose downregulation persists. These results refute previous studies stressing the importance of the Cn-NFAT pathway to hypertrophy.
Rainforests are disappearing at a higher rate than ever before as a result of the dramatic human modification of the natural environment. A significant percentage of the remaining tropical forest cover is found in Brazil, where fauna and flora destruction constantly escalates. It is imperative that deforestation is stopped in Third World countries such as Brazil before the full effects of development, industrialization and population growth are felt, and the last patches of tropical forest are eliminated from the planet. This project analyzes methods for curbing forest destruction in Third World nations using Brazil as a case study and offers suggestions for reform. What are the legal and extralegal tools available to halt deforestation in developing nations? How are these tools used in Brazil and what is their impact on forest protection? Brazilian environmental law is the primary data source. Secondary analysis is based on works of prominent scholars in the field of law and environmental protection in Brazil and North America. Research results suggest that a multilateral partnership, such as the international Pilot Program to Conserve the Brazilian Rain Forest, is the optimal answer to forest conservation in Brazil. Recommendations focus on the search for harmony between the sustainable use of forests and economic development in the Third World. The conclusions this research will draw aim to assist in the global battle against destruction of worldwide rainforests.
Studies on a fragment of a human r-aminobutyric acid receptor GABAC r1, which is responsible for inhibiting neurotransmission of the central nervous system, were conducted. We overproduced in E. coli a fusion protein made up of the Maltose Binding Protein and a fragment of the rho1 receptor. The Maltose Binding Protein was used in order to aid in the isolation of the rho1 receptor during the purification process. E. coli were transformed, their DNA extracted and digested, and then analyzed on a 1% agarose gel. Expression of the transformed cells was also resolved and evaluated by SDS-PAGE. The purified protein has been isolated and to pave the way for the future expression of antigens to produce antibodies specific to GABA r1 receptors. These undergoing studies are important in order to gain a better understanding of the functionality of the r1 fragment and of the complete GABA r1 receptor in the CNS.
Three millisecond pulses of deuterium beam ions accelerated to 80 keV are injected into the NSTX (National Spherical Torus eXperiment) reactor. The neutron emission from the plasma is then measured. The increase in emission from the plasma is then used to calculate how well the beams are confined in the plasma on a 10 ms timescale. This allows us to compare what the predicted beam ion confinement is for this kind of reactor with what the actual measured value is for the reactor. All our data so far shows that the experimental evidence supports the current theory in this reactor. The dependence on the toroidal magnetic field and the angle at which the beams are fired is studied. The effect of catastrophic magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) events, or large fluctuations in the magnetic field and current flowing through the plasma, are also studied. To within experimental error, the theory fits the experimental data.
Porcine Coronary Arteries Under Negative Transmural Pressures
The myocardium provides tethering to the coronary arteries and it is believed that the extent of tethering/ support provided by the cardiac muscle determines whether or not vessels will collapse under negative transmural pressures. The vessels experience negative transmural pressures during contraction of cardiac muscle, where the muscle compresses the vessels; however, the vessels do not collapse due to tethering. The goal of this study was to determine the pressure - cross sectional area (CSA) relationship of coronary arteries under negative transmural pressures. X-ray imaging was used to obtain coronary arteriograms and data on the CSA of blood vessels in the transmural range of -150 mm Hg to 150 mm Hg. The results of the experiments show that cardiac muscle does indeed provide tethering to the coronary vessels. Thus, vessels do not collapse under negative transmural pressures. However, in rare cases, where the vessels are less tethered by the myocardium, collapse may occur. In general, vessels that penetrate well into the muscle do not collapse under negative pressures, whereas those that don't penetrate as much do collapse. Therefore, the results of my experiment support the hypothesis that the myocardium provides tethering to the coronary vessels. Area of the vessels that collapse is usually the proximal region and that is due to the fact that it is found more towards the surface of the heart in comparison to the distal region (or the side branches). Analysis of the relationship of volume vs. pressure can be supplemented to further support this study.
In the last year, many of us have asked ourselves again what it means to be an " American." We can find a partial answer by looking at the works of the definitive American poet of each of the last two centuries. In 1855, Walt Whitman revolutionized both poetry and philosophy with Leaves of Grass, which imagined the country as a grand communion in which all citizens were connected by an unbreakable tie to nature. Exactly one hundred years later, after three major wars and numerous social conflicts, Allen Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems, written in Whitman style, presented "American" as a far more uncertain definition. Both poets share several common beliefs: that the consciousness of one person can supersede the individual, that the physical and the spiritual are inextricably linked, and that knowledge of the outside world equals knowledge of the self. However, due largely to their different time periods, the writers disagree on many points. Whitman wrote at a time when America's future was hopeful yet vague; he celebrated technology and immigration without foreseeing the violent effects that each would have. In addition, his view of human nature was extraordinarily positive. Ginsberg, who was a homosexual and a bohemian at a time of strict Cold War conformity, saw his society as more dangerous and unforgiving, and lamented the darker sides of human nature which he believed had destroyed his countrymen's original innocence. Despite the ongoing popularity of Whitman, Ginsberg's worldview seems timelier today.
The Los Angeles repatriation program of the 1930s was part of a national campaign to deport illegal immigrants and encourage immigrants in general to return to their native countries. The Los Angeles repatriation program targeted Mexican immigrants; under the leadership of Charles P. Visel, Chief of the Los Angeles Committee for Coordination of Unemployment Relief, police officers and immigration officials carried out dragnets on public meeting places and the country paid for the transportation of immigrants back to Mexico. The repatriation program forced Mexican immigrants to evaluate their identities as Americans. Anglo American perceptions of Mexican immigrants were reflected as highly racist and stereotypical articles were published during the 1930s. Surprisingly, many Mexican immigrants agreed with the Anglo American perception of Mexican immigrants as foreigners that could not become American. However, Mexican immigrants that remained in the United States firmly established roots in this country, and those that returned to Mexico soon discovered how Americanized they had become. The repatriation program illustrates the ongoing question of what it means to be American.
Case Study: Psychological
Well-Being and Family Structure of Chinese Parachute Kids
It has been said that every parent wants the best for their children. However, to what extremes are parents willing to go in order to accomplish this goal? The Asian culture seems to have a different approach to insure the future of their offspring. "Parachute kids" are students, between the ages of 8 and 17, who come to the United States in hope of getting a better education. Yet, what makes these students unique is that most of them are left in the states without adequate parental supervision. In a study conducted by University of California, Los Angeles, it was estimated that about 40,000 Taiwanese "parachute kids" live in the United States; while "smaller numbers from Hong Kong and South Korea" (LA Times, 1993). Currently, there is a lack of research concerning "parachute kids"; however, this does not mean that this study is not important. Research in this area is greatly needed because different family arrangements can produce extra stress, not to mention the difficulty of social integration into the new country. All these factors can result in mental and physical illness. The lack of an adult role model may hinder a child's personal development. Their social life and educational achievement may be heavily influenced. Family arrangement may be the cause of the child's problem. By studying this phenomenon, health and education professionals will gain a better understanding on the struggles these children face.
Between IDGF3 and Heparin in Drosophila
Growth factors are known to facilitate a cell to grow or proliferate. One of these growth factors found in Drosophila and is known as Imaginal Disc Growth Factors (IDGF). It is also known that growth factors interact with the gylcosaminogylcan heparin. In this experiment demonstrate that IDGF3 binds to Heparin in HiTrap affinity columns and confirm that it is the correct protein with the use of a western blot. The results show that there were bands seen in the Camguk westerns in the flowthrough at 50KD and nonspecific bands at 50KD in the elution lanes. The IDGF-3 also contained bands in the elutions at 45, 50 and 55KD. This experiment should be redone using lower salt concentrations with a better control.
Our research interests lie in understanding the mechanistic detail of the catalysis by heme proteins. By applying photochemistry and electrochemistry we can successfully analyze the electron transfer to heme proteins and follow the catalysis. Myoglobin, a small heme protein, is used as the biocatalysist for my project. Although myoglobin does not perform enzymatic functions in vivo, catalytically active analogues of myoglobin can be synthesized via the modification of a heme group with one of several redox- or photoactive pendant arms. Reconstitution of these into apomyoglobin forms the model for the catalytically active heme proteins. We also study the binding affinity of different ligands to the metal center of the heme group. This study of binding affinity is done with both the native heme and the modified heme. The different affinities are both measured and thus compared.
With the amazing onset of LASIK procedures becoming one of the most preformed surgeries in America, so are its side effects that it entails. One of the major and of the most serious is neurotrophic keratitis, which will result in visual impairment. There is not much known of this disorder that causes the loss of neither corneal sensation nor a full proof cure. There are methods of treatment, but none of them are complete. NGF (nerve growth factor) has been used in other studies to spur up growth of cells in precise areas. The idea of this study is to provide a rat model with the disorder, neurotrophic keratitis, then use NGF treatment on the patients with the disease and see if these patients can salvage their corneal sensation and vision. The intent of this study is through the use of electrical devices, neurotrophic keratitis will be imposed in the eye and then treated with NGF and observe the plausible results.
Imaging the extracellular matrix (ECM) in bulk tissue is a critical tool for studying development and disease but it is difficult to perform ECM imaging in tissue without sectioning and staining. Using optical methods, however, allows for non-invasive, non-destructive means to observe changes in the extracellular matrix. The cornea, a collagen-rich system, was examined using Multi Photon Microscopy (MPM). Due to the abundance of collagen in the cornea, a strong Second Harmonic signal is produced as a result of the non-centrosymmetric geometry of these chiral structures. Rabbit corneas obtained from freshly sacrificed animals were enucleated and imaged using MPM. Second Harmonic signals were detected from the extracellular matrix. The polarization state of the excitation light was varied and differences in Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) were observed. The alignment of the collagen fibers in the cornea and the coherent process of second harmonic generation resulted in the selective imaging of fibers along different orientations in the imaging plane. The data collected demonstrated that SHG microscopy provides an effective way to view the extracellular matrix without sectioning and staining. Polarization-sensitive SHG microscopy allows for the selective imaging of preferred fiber orientations that lie along the axis of polarization of the incident light thereby enhancing contrast.
Flannery O'Connor is often referred to as a "Southern" writer, and it is in this framework that I analyze her fiction-the historical and social context of her short stories, particularly the race relations between blacks and whites in the American South of the 1950s and 60s. I study these topics as both a historical fact situation and as a literary thematic idea to discover to what extent they exist as realities in her fiction and to what extent they operate as vehicles for social constructions. In exploring how race relations and "The South" function as both literary subject matter in her stories and the historical context of her stories, I've developed a thesis on the relationship between identity and geography in three stories: "Everything that Rises Must Converge," "The Artificial N-ger", and "The Displaced Person." Distance is represented in both location-between city and country, rich neighborhood and poor neighborhood-and identity, as the gap between black and white, the moral and immoral, and the rich and poor. Location confers constructed status and social identity, and intrinsic identity and perceived status in relation to other characters in turn positions the character morally. The characters in the stories represent the gap that exists between the perceived and the real, underscoring the social construction of race and status that must be deconstructed. And absent an act of true grace, this gap in perception and the distance the characters create between themselves represent the true divisions between the races that O'Connor's fiction so devastatingly highlights.
Research in Alzheimer's disease and its treatment has indicated the importance of neurotrophic factors, such as nerve growth factor (NGF), in suppression of apoptosis in neurons and effective promotion of neuronal growth in both central and peripheral nervous systems. Previous studies have shown that NGF expression is induced by activation of astrocytes through 1L-1b, an inflammatory cytokine that increases and stabilizes NGF mRNA and secretion in primary astrocytes cultures (Carman-Krazan et al., 1991). Astrocyte production of NGF may also be affected by another neurotrophin, fibroblast growth factor (FGF), receptors for which are found on neural stem cells, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. FGF increases the proliferation of neuronal and glial stem cells but decreases the number of differentiated neurons (Reimers et al., 2001). The current study aims to confirm the inductive effects of 1L-1b on NGF and investigates whether FGF can also increase NGF expression in astrocytes. Primary cultures of embryonic cortical rat astrocytes were treated with either 1L-1b or FGF. RNA samples were subsequently extracted for analysis by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). qPCR employs a particular fluorescent dye that has high affinity for double strand DNA, thus allowing the detection of DNA amplification in real-time. Given constant primer concentrations, the rate at which DNA amplifies directly depends on amount of mRNA template. qPCR thus allows measurement of cellular mRNA and detection of any changes in mRNA due to 1L-1b and FGF treatments. Using the above technique, we find that 1L-1b does increase NGF mRNA expression in embryonic rat astrocytes. FGF, however, does not show a significant impact on NGF expression and thus may have a different mechanism of promoting neuronal growth.
The fall of Saigon in 1975 triggered a significant immigration flow of Vietnamese to the United States. In 1980 and 1992, two other "waves" brought thousands of Vietnamese refugees. These immigrants resettled and formed communities in places such as Orange County, Houston, San Jose, and the Washington, D.C. area. Today, Vietnamese have increasingly become part of American society. However, they tend to be weary of politics. There is one exception: Vietnamese-Americans unify when dealing with the specific issue of U.S. policy toward Vietnam. National level politics is difficult because local politics is usually absent or ineffective. In recent years, as the U.S. government has attempted to normalize relations with Vietnam, Vietnamese-Americans have been visible and have pushed for human rights and religious freedom. They are relentless in their quest toward ameliorated living conditions in their motherland and a more democratic Vietnam. Research on Vietnamese-Americans as a local, national, and international political actor helps explain Vietnamese-American organization, leadership, and the communication of needs and beliefs. The core question I seek to answer: How effective has the Vietnamese-American community been in pursuing its political agenda to influence and shape U.S.-Vietnam relations. Research indicates that Vietnamese-Americans have been ineffective in influencing U.S. policy. A comparison can also be drawn between Vietnamese-Americans and Cuban-Americans. Both ethnic groups are considered political refugees. Cuban-Americans, however, have been much more effective in influencing policy than have Vietnamese-Americans. The research will observe the similarities and differences between the two ethnic groups. This will provide further explanations as to the behavior of Vietnamese-Americans regarding U.S. domestic politics and U.S. foreign policy.
The post-New Deal Supreme Court since 1937 had steadily moved away from an ideology of dual federalism to a new constitutional order of expansive federal regulatory power in both economics and civil rights law. However, within the impacted time frame of 1992-2002, the Supreme Court under the stewardship of Chief Justice William Rehnquist has devolved much of that federal power under the commerce clause in favor of "state sovereignty." This rapid shift to state-centered federalism, remarkable in how it has constrained federal, judicial and legislative powers, signifies an ideological shift that I have analyzed in jurisprudential terms. I analyze the Court's shift in the vocabulary of legal philosophy to discover how this devolutionary federalism can be explained as an interpretive shift that is not always consistent. Though there exists a voting bloc on the Court in favor of state powers (usually comprised of Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices O'Connor, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy), there exists no common theory of federalism-each justice seems to have his or her own interpretive method for arriving at a decision that devolves federal power. And such interpretations do not always lend themselves to consistency even when examining the legal reasoning of one justice-Justice Rehnquist himself adopts a Positivist jurisprudence when examining cases concerning federal economic regulatory power, and a Law and Economics school of jurisprudence when considering cases concerning civil or gender rights. Thus, this constitutional shift, remarkable in its effects but problematic in its ideological inconsistency, reflects the interpretive maneuvering the Court engages in to arrive at their desired goal of state-centered power without establishing a common or consistent federalism jurisprudence.
Ongoing neurogenesis has been demonstrated in normal adult rodent brain, mainly in the hippocampus and olfactory bulb. Cells forming neurons in the hippocampus are known to originate from the dentate gyrus and those in the olfactory bulb arise from the subventricular zone (SVZ). People have shown that artificially introduced primitive pluripotent stem cells can enter the brain and differentiate into neurons. It has not been known whether neurogenesis in these regions normally involves the recruitment of hemopoeitic stem cells (hsc). To determine the possibility that primitive hsc are involved in normal ongoing neurogenesis, we have investigated the presence, morphology, and distribution of the expression of an antigen, CD-34, normally expressed by hsc in the adult rodent forebrain, areas not usually associated with ongoing neurogenesis. We report the presence of CD-34 positive cells in diverse area of the rostral forebrain, including singulet cortex, parietal cortex, striatum, and septum. CD-34 showed morphological features of well-differentiated neurons. It is not presently clear whether this reflects on developmental origin of these neurons from hsc or whether these antigens are coincidentally expressed in both neurons and hsc.
Repeated administration of psychostimulant drugs such as cocaine and amphetamine induce long lasting changes in both their neurochemical and behavioral effects. Stimulant drugs exert their effect on the midbrain dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). The long lasting changes may be a result of structural modifications of the VTA and SNc, possibly involving neurotrophic factors. This study examines the ex-pression of a neurotrophic factor, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in the VTA and SNc of the rat brain after repeated amphetamine administration (3.0mg.kg, ip; three injections, separated by 48 hours). A significant increase in bFGF immunoreactivity in the SNc was found 24 hours after the last injection.
Previous observations have shown that there are genetically based differences between Drosophila larvae selected for ammonia tolerance and their controls. Larvae that are tolerant of high levels of ammonia tend to feed more slowly and travel shorter distances than their controls. The AX populations are five independent populations that have been cultured in food with high levels of ammonia. Whereas the AUC populations are the control populations that have been raised under normal food. This experiment was design to further investigate the genetic differences of the AX and AUC populations by measuring their metabolic rates. We hypothesized that 1) the AX populations would have lower energy spent per unit time than the AUC populations while feeding, and 2) the energy saved by the AX populations would be spent detoxifying high levels of ammonia. The experiment will proceed by measuring oxygen consumption of feeding larvae. This experiment is still in progress so we do not have results at this time.
Small halide-ion water clusters are a subject of current research as a model for studying fundamental aspects of ion-water hydrogen bonding in interfacial settings, which is relevant to the heterogeneous atmospheric chemistry of sea salt aerosols. 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 and compared 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 Feynman's path integral formalism. From our simulation, calculations of photodetachment energies and IR spectra are performed and compared to experimental results. Last, we looked into the degree of nuclear quantum effects on the structure and dynamics of the small halide-water clusters at low temperature.
Laser irradiation may stimulate chondrocytes porliferation in the peripheral region surrounding a photothermally-heated area in rabbit nasal septal cartilage. In this study, ex vivo rabbit nasal septal cartilages maintained in culture were irradiated with an Nd:YAG laser (l=1.32m, 4-16 sec, 10-45 W/cm2) to examine the relationship between the diameter of replicating cells and irradiation time. Also, this study investigated whether proliferation occurs following heating (by immersion in hot saline baths, with a heated metal rod, and a soldering iron) and mechanical modification (crushing with a metal stamp and scoring with a scalpel). Replicating chondrocytes sere identified using Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) double antibody detection system in whole mount tissue. Light microscopy was used to confirm the presence of BrdU stained chondrocytes. The mechanical and thermal stressors used failed to produce a proliferative response in chondrocytes as previously seen with laser irradiation. We suspect that chondrocyte proliferation may be induced as a response to alteration in matrix structure produced by photothermal, thermal, or mechanical modification of the matrix. Heat generated by a laser to stimulate chondrocyte proliferation may lead to new treatment options for degenerative articular diseases and disorders. Laser technology can be adapted for use with minimally invasive surgical instrumentation to deliver light into otherwise inaccessible regions of the body.
Mosquitoes are vectors for transmission of many diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, and dengue fever that pose a health threat to humans. Only female mosquitoes feed on blood and therefore transmit the diseases. It is through the feeding process that pathogens transfer from the female mosquito salivary glands to the host. Studying the genetic make-up of the insect may provide a means to prevent transmission by interfering with the development of the parasite in the mosquito. In order to accomplish this, techniques must be developed for the interference of parasite development in the insect. One method that has been proposed is to construct synthetic genes that express anti-parasitic effector molecules and use these in transgenic experiments to produce parasite-resistant mosquitoes. These synthetic genes will require promoter fragments from endogenous genes to control the expression of the effector molecules. In the current study, Anopheles gambiae fat bodies were used to generate a cDNA library and from which we recovered a cDNA corresponding to a gene encoding Cathepsin-B like protein (AgCath-B). Northern analysis demonstrated that the AgCath-B gene is expressed specifically in adult female mosquitoes. The size of the gene was determined to be approximately 2.8 kb. Genomic clones were isolated and a region corresponding to putative promoter was identified. Work is in progress to demonstrate the proper functioning of promoter in transgenic mosquitoes.