Previous studies show that electroacupuncture at the Neiguan acupoint through opioid receptors can reduce the pressor response following application of bradykinin on the gallbladder. In the current experiment we postulated that a possible mechanism for the stated effect is the inhibition of sympathetic premotor neurons in the rVLM by EA. Experiments were preformed on cats of either sex that were anesthetized with ketamine and alpha-chloralose. The animals were artificially ventilated and cannulated in order to maintain their blood gases and pH within normal levels during surgery. RVLM neuronal activity recorded with recording electrodes was tested for convergent inputs from both the splanchnic and the median nerve. These neurons also responded to antidromic stimulation and baroreceptor input. Sixteen such neurons were found and their average activity during splanchnic stimulation was 41±8.6 (imp/1.6ms). After thirty minutes of EA their activities were decreased to 16±4.7 (imp/1.6ms). In a subgroup of five neurons the microinjection of naloxone blocked the inhibitory effect of EA from 4.4±1.7 (imp/1.6ms) to 20±5.9 (imp/1.6ms). Another subgroup of six neurons was tested for the prolonged inhibitory effect of EA, which lasted for a minimum of fifty minutes. Therefore, the signals from splanchnic stimulation and median nerve stimulation through EA interact in an inhibitory fashion through opioid receptors in premotor sympathetic neurons in the rVLM. It is through this mechanism that electroacupuncture can reduce high blood pressure.
Amphibian populations have declined over the past decades, particularly in countries such as Costa Rica, Panama, Australia and the United States of America. Several species have gone extinct and others are at great risk of extinction. The causes of this decline are numerous and synergistic, and cannot always be attributed to habitat loss. There is a great need for accessible, accurate and authoritative information on the current status of populations of amphibian species worldwide. This presentation will report the findings of AmphibiaWeb, a web-based communication and database system which is developing accounts of the status of all amphibian species, contributed by and accessible to researchers all over the world. The goal is to be able to make a definitive statement about every species of amphibian on the planet. AmphibiaWeb provides at least partial accounts for all species of amphibians (almost 5400), and maintains up-to-date lists of all of the species of amphibians in the world, as well as lists per country and per taxon. AmphibiaWeb has received many contributions from researchers worldwide. Combining these existing data in one database has allowed us to analyze the distribution of species geographically. These data provide new insights into the distribution of amphibians worldwide. We have created maps showing species numbers, densities and endemicity by country. These maps outline the hotspots of amphibian diversity and decline, and are of great use in defining areas of concern for conservation on a global scale.
The Home-based Activities Building Language Acquisition program (HABLA) is based on the Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) developed in 1965. It is a literacy and parenting program which serves low-income families with low levels of education, language barriers and other factors that might impede their children's educational success. HABLA was established at the University of California, Irvine last year and is implementing the PCHP to nearly 200 families in Orange County. The program is intended to increase the interaction between parents and their children and at the same time, increase the child's language skills. The program seeks to improve the probability that children will do well when they begin kindergarten. Exposing children to reading, shapes, numbers, and learning the alphabet before they enroll in kindergarten is extremely important to their academic success. Many of the children enrolled in the HABLA program would not have the opportunity to be exposed to such materials and therefore, would be at a greater risk of later academic failure and attrition. Nursery rhymes and verses are also important parts of a pre-school enrichment program and one of the challenges of creating a program for Orange County is the need for appropriate Spanish language materials. This project focused upon collecting a set of Mexican nursery rhymes and on preparing these to distribute to the families participating in HABLA.
This study investigates the most common factors that influence sexual attitudes and behaviors among college students. Specifically, it focuses on gender, religion, income, race, sexual history, drugs, and the influence of family/peers/media as major correlates of liberal or conservative sexual attitudes. The study will examine these correlates and evaluate which factors yield the most significant relationship. Approximately 200-300 undergraduates have or will complete an anonymous questionnaire measuring such attitudes and behaviors. While the results are still being compiled, we expect femininity, high religiosity, high income, eastern ethnicity, minimal exposure to sexual abuse, minimal exposure to drugs, and influence from conservative parents to be strong predictors of conservative sexual attitudes/behaviors. We expect the opposite to be true for liberal sexual attitudes/behaviors. The findings from this study will have important social implications that provide insight into which programs would be most effective in promoting a safer sexual lifestyle.
Intestinal myiasis - fly larval infestation of the gastrointestinal tract - usually results from ingestion of fly larvae or eggs. This has only been found to occur with 11 species of flies. To begin exploring whether or not Phaenicia sericata (green blow fly) is able to survive the gastrointestinal tract, we tested the null hypothesis that P. sericata larvae and eggs can not survive the acidity of the stomach. We incubated P. sericata larvae and eggs in buffers of pH 1 - 7. Triplicate groups of 20 larvae or eggs were incubated at 37oC for 2 hours in each buffer or in water. Eggs and maggots were then transferred to a rearing vial with putrid beef liver as a food source. After six days, the number of viable maggots and pupae were recorded. Incubation in acidic buffers was not associated with significant decreases in survival, suggesting that both eggs and larvae may be able to survive the harshly acidic environment of the stomach.
Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death for women. There have been various attempts to make the immune system better recognize and eliminate patients' tumors including anti-tumor vaccines. Past attempts at creating anti-tumor DNA vaccines that would elicit a strong enough immune response have not been entirely successful. Dendritic cells (DCs) are the body's most powerful antigen-presenting cell and may increase this anti-tumor immune response. Different subsets of DCs can respond to certain cytokines called chemokines by migrating in response to a chemokine gradient a process called chemotaxis. The DC subset we are interested in express the chemokine receptor #8 (CCR8) and respond to the ligand for this receptor, a chemokine named TARC. Thus, we hypothesized that the expression of TARC as a biological adjuvant in a DNA vaccine may effectively recruit the desired subset of DCs. We constructed DNA anti-tumor vaccine plasmid constructs that contained TARC dowstream of an internal ribosomal entry site (IRES). We isolated and verified the sequence of human TARC in these constructs and demonstrated expression of this biological adjuvant. Studies to evaluate DC recruitment and in-vivo expression of the biological adjuvant in a rat breast cancer model will be started shortly.
In analyzing United States history, it is evident that we share a legacy of diversity. People of color have a long history of fighting discrimination in education. On March 12, 1942, Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez, filed suit at the Los Angeles federal court on behalf of Latino students. The suit emerged against four Orange County school districts for practices of school segregation. Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez brought suit because their daughter Sylvia Mendez was denied entrance to 17th Street School the school Gonzalo had attended as a child. But due to the de facto segregation and the redrawing of district lines, the elementary school was now closed to Mexican children. The Mendez v. Westminster concluded in 1946, and ended school segregation in California. Judge Paul McCormick ruled that the school district had violated the 14th Amendment by failing to provide equal protection under the law by segregating Mexican children. The United States Ninth District Court of Appeals upheld the decision. Schools official in Orange County were prevented from segregating about 5,000 student of Mexican or Latino background. Mendez v. Westminster (1946) was an important forerunner of and had direct links to Brown v. Board of Education (1954), arguably the most significant case in school desegregation in U. S. History. Indeed, there exists a number of links to the Brown case including the fact that Thrugood Marshall, the lead attorney in Brown, wrote an amicus curiae brief for Mendez v. Westminster. My presentation will detail the history of this important case.
Software architecture is a part of software engineering that concerns itself with modeling, and usefully applying, software systems as sets of independent components, connectors, and configurations. Like source code, architectures change. The use of product line architectures provides a particularly rich source of changes: new products are introduced, existing products are enhanced and modified, and old products are retired. Methods exist that record these kinds of changes by maintaining explicit representations of the evolution of product line architecture. Despite the availability of such representations, it still is difficult to quickly gain an understanding of the exact changes that define the difference between two products and automatically propagate such changes to another product in the product line. Furthermore, it is impossible to propagate such changes to a deployed system. In this research, we address these issues by developing differencing and merging algorithms that operate at the architecture level. Use of these algorithms not only supports static understanding and propagation of changes among products in a product line, but also effectively solves the software update problem. With a precise description of the deployed architecture and a precise description of the desired architecture it is possible to calculate the difference between the two (using a differencing algorithm), apply the difference to the running (deployed) architecture in order to achieve the desired architecture (using a merging algorithm) and thus effectively update the software. We demonstrate these capabilities by applying the algorithms to an architectural model of the AWACS control software.
In Costa Rica, conversion of rainforest into cattle pasture has led to the destruction of much of Costa Rica's topsoil. As the soil erodes and becomes infertile, farmers abandon their land. These lands comprise much of what has been used in reforestation attempts. However, trees from the primary forest tend to be late successional and may require lower levels of sunlight than those available in the open pastureland to grow the best. To test the hypothesis that late-successional tree seedlings require lower light than early-successional seedlings, I grew the seedlings of three species of trees indigenous to Costa Rica in 4 intensities of light: 3%, 8%, 30%, and 100% of light. Each species occupies a different stage of succession. The site of my experiment is a degraded pasture located in a 25 ha farm in southern Costa Rica. I measured the height of the seedlings over 8 months and plotted growth at different light levels for each species to identify trends. Inga edulis, an early-successional tree, behaved according to the hypothesis. Its poorest growth was at 3% light, and it grew better at all other light levels. Contrary to the hypothesis for late-successional tree species, Minquartia guianensis, grew the least in 3% light, and grew equally well in the other three light levels. Tabebuiea ochraceae, the other late-successional tree species, also did not support expectations and instead, grew equally well in all light levels. Therefore, all of these trees appear to be appropriate for use in the reforestation of pastures.
The olfactory bulb is a brain region responsible for the sense of smell. Previous studies suggested that glial cells play an important role in the formation and patterning of the olfactory bulb. This project is conducted to further study the roles and behaviors of glial cells in olfactory formation. Zebrafish were used for these studies due to their transparent anatomy and the rapid reproduction and development rate. The primary approach was to construct fusion genes to transgenically label glial cells with green fluorescence protein (GFP). In order to do that, I endeavored to isolate the promoter region of the Glial Fibrilary Acidic Protein (GFAP), a gene specifically expressed in glial cells, by screening a zebrafish genomic DNA library via Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). The isolated promoter would be fused to the GFP open reading frame, forming a construct that would be used to generate transgenic zebrafish. Resulting from the library screening, positive clones were successfully identified. Subsequent restriction mapping and Southern hybridization were used to localize the promoter region of GFAP within the positive clones. In addition, a GFAP promoter-testing vector was constructed from a vector containing GFP and another vector containing a polylinker and polyadenylation site. In subsequent experiment, the fusion genes construct will be injecting into zebrafish embryos and screening for fluorescent embryos. The movement of glial cells during olfactory formation will be visualizing under the confocal microscope.
Over 40,000 deaf people have received a cochlear implant and most of them can talk on the telephone. However, anecdotal reports suggest that they cannot identify speakers. This study aims to document, quantify, and improve the implant users' ability to identify speakers. Stimuli consisted of 2 sets of vowels with one set for training and another set for testing. These vowels were spoken by 3 men, 3 women, 2 boys, and 2 girls. Six normal-hearing and 6 implant listeners participated in the experiments. The normal listeners were tested with the natural vowels as well as vowels processed to contain only the amplitude modulation and both the amplitude and frequency modulations. The implant listeners were tested only with the natural stimuli. Preliminary results showed that, for natural stimuli, the normal listeners achieved about 90% accuracy in identifying the speakers, whereas the implant users achieved only 20-40% correct performance. When only amplitude modulation was provided, the normal listeners performed similarly to the implant listeners. However, the normal listeners' performance increased significantly when additional frequency modulation was introduced. These data suggest that the current cochlear implants can recognize speech but cannot identify speaker. Frequency modulation needs to be encoded in the implant devices in order to improve the overall implant performance.
Life inspires dance making. Artists source their choreography from observations, interactions with their environment, personal experiences, relationships, ethnicity, identity, national and international events, music, silence, visual images, imagination and language. Using text as a starting point for creating movement has been done as far back as we have records of "modern" dance and continues in many professional companies today. Is there a formula for the use of text in choreography? Who creates the text? Who gets to speak? How is the text used- at what stage of the process is text primary? What tends to be more successful when using text? How does the use of text change the dynamics of the piece? What is the effect, in terms of audience reaction, to hearing the dancer speak? This project involved traveling to Lewiston, Maine for the Bates Dance Festival and to the Santa Barbara SummerDance Festival here in California. I observed 14 professional dance companies and took class with 12 choreographers over a period of five weeks. I studied the text and movement technique of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and created several original pieces. The way in which text is used in choreography today varies depending on individual artists. There is no formula. There are endless possibilities. This is a section of a piece that began at Bates.
Inorganic halogen radicals in the atmosphere are important because of their role in stratospheric ozone destruction. Methyl halides act as major transport vectors for halogen radicals from surface sources to the atmosphere, making further quantification of their budgets necessary for the prediction of effects of human actions on stratospheric ozone and tropospheric chemistry. Atmospheric concentrations of methyl halides have been measured, but a complete understanding of their sources and sinks is still lacking. Quantification of agricultural and other terrestrial plant emissions could lead to a better understanding of the atmospheric budgets of methyl halides. Rice is the staple food of nearly two billion people worldwide, and its crops cover nearly one percent of continental surface area. The current study sought a greater understanding of the metabolic mechanism(s) that lead to methyl halide production in rice and other plants through the use of leaf-disk enzyme assays. The role of enzymes, putative methyl transferases (MT), was examined by a quantitative analysis of known MT substrata and possible competitive inhibitors including caffeic acid, catechol, quercetin, and thiocyanate. Preliminary results show that quercetin has no significant effect, while caffeic acid, catechol, and thiocyanate all inhibit methyl halide production. The inhibition of the production of methyl bromide was found to be greater than that of methyl iodide, suggesting that the enzyme(s) responsible for methyl halide synthesis binds iodide preferentially. The findings of this research will increase knowledge of the biochemical production pathway(s) and the global budget of methyl halides.
A prophecy is an inspired revelation from the divine. The revelation can be a prediction for what may happen in the future or an interpretation of what has already happened in the past. Through revelation, the prophet is perceived as the voice of God. The female prophets Bridget of Sweden, Catherine of Siena and Joan of Arc stand out during the 14th and 15th centuries as women whose strong prophetic voices propelled them into a political forum as advisors and leaders of men in the notoriously patriarchal Medieval Europe. These women, each of whom eventually attained sainthood, left strong political legacies in a period when very few opportunities, political or otherwise, existed for women. In challenging late medieval ideas about gender, all three were dedicated, pious and filled with self-assurance. Interestingly, their missions did not focus on making great strides for women rather their motivations were committed solely to the mission of God as they proclaimed it had been revealed to them. This project examines the ways in which medieval perceptions of female prophecy, alongside the dynamic self-perceptions that each of these three women held of herself, opened a space in the patriarchal political culture of the Middle Ages. Bridget, Catherine and Joan, with their self-assured political voices driven by their various forms of prophetic spirituality, not only challenged patriarchal norms, but surmounted them as well.
As the influence of the electronic media expands and lives become busier, reliance on television for information regarding presidential campaigns increases. Spot advertising is one way television viewers can attain information regarding the candidates and the issues they endorse. Although spots have been used as a campaign tool since 1952, they have not, until recently, been a major consideration in the voting decision. A precise assessment of the extent to which spots influence a vote is impossible to obtain. However, the fact that ads are timed to run during specific phases of a campaign, the substantial budgets allotted to spot campaigns, and the overall effort funneled into production suggest that the information conveyed by these ads merit a considerable amount of scrutiny. The majority of the current literature on spot advertising addresses the recent increase in the use of negative advertising and the campaign strategies of attack politics. Another sect of literature embraces a discourse on the psychological processes of viewer cognition. However, little attention has been paid to the accuracy of spot ad information. The focus of this study is the accuracy of such information. A major component of this study is a standardized method of analysis that will help identify inaccuracies in ad statements and how these statements work to persuade the viewer to cast a specific vote. The intention behind conducting this study is to increase awareness on exactly what is being said in presidential polispots and to create savvier voters.
For a generation raised for in relative innocence, in a time of economic affluence and relative peace, the events of September 11th have surely had a profound effect. Never before had a disaster of such scope and magnitude touched so close to home. This project, not a formal study, is not concerned with proving a theory or providing statistics, but rather is focused on chronicling and examining how UCI students have reacted to a disaster for which they have no similar precedent. This focus specifically extends to examinations of how geographic distance from the event and specific unique characteristics of UCI have effected perceptions of and reactions to the events. This investigation is accomplished through video interviews of a wide cross-section of the UCI student population. These interviews vary in format and depth but are designed to reveal differences and commonalties of opinion and to encourage an open discussion of the event itself. Interviews and filming is currently underway. The intention of this documentary is to create a space in which dialogue can occur, not only through the production of the film itself, but also through the films eventual dissemination. The expectation is that this documentary will encourage further discussion and understanding of the events of September 11th.
After the initial vote tabulation for the general election on November 7, 2000, George W. Bush, the Republican presidential candidate, led Albert Gore, Jr., the Democratic candidate, by a couple hundred votes in the state of Florida. Gore demanded a hand recount of the ballots because thousands of votes were not recorded by the vote tabulation machines due to machine and voter errors. Bush opposed the hand recount and argued that, because the process lacked a uniform standard for deciphering the intent of the voter from ballot inspections, some voters had a greater chance to have their ballots recounted than others. In Bush v. Gore, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the manual recount violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and it cited four previous Supreme Court cases concerning voting procedures to support its ruling. This research project examines the Florida recount procedure and the Supreme Court's equal protection argument in Bush v. Gore to determine whether the recount violated the Equal Protection Clause. The conclusion of this study is that, because equal protection violations did occur during the Florida recount, the Supreme Court correctly issued a ruling to stop it.
Simulated microgravity impairs vascular contractility. The specific objective of this project is to determine the effects of microgravity on Src. The Src protein is a critical signaling molecule in the tyrosine kinase pathway, mediating vascular contraction. Hindlimb unweighting (HU) was used to simulate microgravity in male Wistar rats. When contraction was induced with norepinephrine, HU arteries contracted markedly less than control (C). Abdominal aorta and femoral C arteries treated with PP1, a Src inhibitor, contracted less than untreated C arteries. However, the presence or absence of PP1 had no effect on HU arteries. This leads us to believe that hindlimb unweighting causes a down-regulation of Src in the abdominal aorta and femoral artery. Western blot analysis showed a marked decrease of Src in the HU abdominal aorta. Preliminary data from Src activity assays showed a reduction of Src activity in the HU abdominal aorta. In the presence of PP1, HU carotid arteries contracted less than untreated, while PP1 had no effect on the contractile response of C carotid arteries. Thus, HU down-regulates Src in the femoral artery and abdominal aorta, but up-regulates Src in the carotid artery.
Lung cancer has emerged as one of the major causes of cancer mortality in both men and women in the twentieth century, responsible for approximately 28% of all cancer deaths. Despite a constant decrease in the tar level since the 1950's, lung cancer in women has been increasing. This fact raises the question: Are low tar cigarettes low risk? To investigate the association of small cell lung cancer in women with lifetime history of cigarette use, a case-control study of 98 cases and 204 healthy controls was conducted by telephone interview. Information on all brands smoked was collected for 97 smokers with lung cancer and 97 smokers without lung cancer. Because of the known association between tar and lung cancer risk, we would expect cases to smoke more high tar cigarettes than controls. Results showed that smokers of three or more brands had a 6.8 times higher risk of getting lung cancer than smokers of less than three brands. This result was not explained by differences in duration of smoking or frequency of quitting. Results also showed that cases were more likely to smoke low tar brands of cigarettes than were controls. The finding of this study may encourage smokers to quit rather than to switch to low tar cigarettes to reduce their risk for developing lung cancer.
It is well established that a practiced skill involving the hand and fingers can improve performance on similar, and also on apparently unrelated tactile tasks. For instance, experienced piano players perform better than control subjects on a task requiring recall of the order in which fingers were stimulated with an electrical pulse, a stimulus quite dissimilar to that had by playing the piano. We tested 10 skilled pianists and 20 normal controls on both tactile and auditory psychophysical tasks. The tactile tasks were discrimination of grating orientation and discrimination of grating groove width, and the auditory task was brief tone pitch discrimination. As expected, the pianists performed better than controls on the auditory task. At a tone duration of 100 msec, the threshold for pitch discrimination was 11 Hz in the pianists and 37 Hz in the controls. Pianists also performed better than controls on the groove width discrimination task, with a mean threshold of .12 mm compared to .20 mm for the controls (P = .013). Surprisingly, the pianists performed worse than controls in the grating orientation discrimination task (threshold of 1.31 mm compared to 1.06 mm for the controls, P = .03). Practice-induced supranormal performance on perceptual tasks may be compensated by subnormal performance on other tasks in the same sensory modality. This result has implications for the understanding of practice-induced cortical plasticity, as well as for rehabilitation after brain injury.
Muscle atrophy is typically associated with physical inactivity, which may be in the form of bed rest, injury, or lack of exercise. Muscle atrophy can be studied in animals that have marked changes in locomotory activity as part of annual cycles, such as that of small hibernating mammals. During hibernation, normal skeletomuscular activity is substantially restricted leading to measurable changes in skeletal muscle mass, and potentially MHC isoform expression. We examine shifts in MHC isoform proportions in gastrocnemius, soleus, and plantaris hindlimb muscles, and in the diaphragm of hibernating squirrels. We hypothesize that the atrophied limb muscles, as predicted by hindlimb suspension studies, and hypertrophied diagram muscles, as indicated by a previous study, will all shift their (MHC) isoforms to fast-type IIB during hibernation. We show, however, that soleus and diaphragm did not shift their fiber type expression, but gastrocnemius and plantaris significantly increased type IIX fiber, while type I and IIB showed no significant changes. This expression pattern is inconsistent with previous studies pertaining to muscle atrophy in hindlimb and hypertrophy in the diaphragm. Additionally, we did not identify any type IIA or type IIB fibers in the diaphragm, which have been indicated in previous studies. We propose further studies to better understand the effect of hibernation and atrophy on skeletal muscle contractile proteins.
The economy of the Soviet Union had been controlled by the government for 74 years. There was no market competition or private ownership of business. Russia's shift from public to private business ownership began in 1992 under Boris Yeltsin. The goal of privatization is to transfer the control of businesses from government to private ownership. This provides companies with an opportunity to compete in a market economy and carry out decentralized decisions. This research examines the effect of the privatization-related reforms on Russian GDP since Yeltsin's enactment of the privatization program in 1992. Joseph R. Blasi, Maya Kroumova and Douglas Kruse, authors of Kremlin Capitalism: Privatization of the Russian Economy, conducted interviews, case studies of different businesses, and followed the development of the Russian economy 1991 - 1996. Without a Map, by Andrei Shleifer and Daniel Treisman, focuses on the development of the privatization program during 1994 - 1999. Based on Kremlin Capitalism and Without a Map, two major factors that prevented privatization from becoming a success were examined. Unfair corporate governance practices among businesses in Russia limited outside investment thus restricting enterprises' economic growth. The underdeveloped Russian tax system also had a negative impact on Russia's economic growth. Lack of clear - cut rules on apportioning tax revenues between levels of government lead to the expansion of the unofficial economy and corruption in the business world and the government. An analysis of Russia's corporate governance and tax systems attempts to explain the fluctuations in the GDP between 1992 - 1999.
Within the past few years, researchers have strived to develop peptides that mimic ß-sheets. Dr. Nowick and his group while considering this idea have dedicated interest to turn units that aid in the formation of such peptides. Their data suggests that peptides containing the ornithine turn unit readily adopt a ß-hairpin conformation. This project aims to study the conformation of the ornithine turn unit to build upon the gathered data. To achieve this goal, a small peptide will be synthesized via solution phase synthesis and will be studied through X-ray crystallography. Two of the components have been synthesized as part of the progress towards the target peptide. With the obtained components, various techniques such as radial chromatography, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron spray mass spectroscopy (ES-MS) have been used to purify and characterized each component and these same techniques will be used in the subsequent steps as well. It is hoped with the completion of this project to further understand the overall effectiveness of the ornithine turn unit.