The Bio-networking architecture, which uses biologically-inspired methods for developing scalable and adaptive network applications, is being developed under Dr. Tatsuya Suda at UCI. Inspiration is drawn in particular from large-scale systems, such as ant and wasp colonies. Mobile agents, called Cyber-Entities (CEs), form the architecture and provide services to users in return for "energy." One of the issues under investigation is how to make the architecture more robust and adaptive. I have developed a model derived from market economies to constantly propagate information about population and energy-supply distributions among CEs, called Price Propagation, to ensure that more efficient reproductive and migratory behaviors emerge. CEs continually inform each other about prevailing conditions in their region. Using this information, they get a sense of energy supply and demand trends over the platform and base their reproductive and migratory decisions on it. This is similar to how prices are used as indicators of supply and demand in market economies. A detailed simulation of Price Propagation has been conducted, with encouraging results. In all, it is hoped that when these ideas are adapted fully into the development of the Bio-networking architecture, we will observe near best-case performance by the CEs.
Generation of a Recombinant Virus with Delayed
Expression of an Immediate-Early Gene (ICP27) to Study the Effect on the Levels of
Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a human pathogen that causes recurrent facial lesions. HSV-1 is an alpha-herpes virus. The viral genes expressed first during kinetic sequence of gene expression during the productive infection cycle of HSV-1 are the regulatory genes. These are called immediate-early genes and are essential for the expression of the other genes. Following this, the early genes are expressed. These genes are necessary for viral DNA replication. Finally, the late genes, which are structural genes, are expressed. ICP27 is one of the immediate-early genes. It is essential for normal DNA replication and has several functions in the processes of RNA transport, splicing, and DNA binding. Previous work has shown that altering the kinetics of expression of the ICP27 gene from immediate-early to early has little effect on the global expression of the HSV messages. I am constructing an additional mutant in which the ICP27 promoter is replaced with a weak late promoter, the UL 38. This will provide information on expression where initial levels of ICP27 are lower and much later than normal.
Development of an Efficient Variable Optical
Attenuator (VOA) Using a Single-Mode Fiber with Reduced Acoustic Reflection
There is a growing need for a fast tuning Variable Optical Attenuator (VOA) in a dynamic optical network with applications in optical blocking and gain equalization. Currently, VOAs are realized in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguide. The fast-tuning VOA described in this work is based on a broadband all-fiber acoustic optical tunable filter (AOTF), which has near-zero insertion loss and is free of optical alignment. The operation of a single-mode fiber (SMF) AOTF is characterized by the coupling between the core and cladding modes. By reducing the cladding diameter of the fiber to ~21um through chemical etching in a HF acid solution, and by incorporating a tapered region between the etched and unetched sections of the fiber to reduce the acoustic reflection, both ultra-broadband and large attenuation is achieved, enabling the best attenuation of ~65 dB compared to previous results of ~18 dB. Cooking oil and soldering oil coatings were also found to reduce acoustic reflection in the fiber but with an increase of noise due to its non-uniformity. These results indicate the dependency of acoustic reflection on fiber cladding diameter and uniform material coating. The experimental results show that a VOA based on acousto-optic coupling on a cladding etched SM fiber can be achieved by optimizing these parameters.
RASTER: Real-time Adaptive Simplification and
Rendering of Terrain
Efficient interactive 3-D visualization of large digital elevation models (DEM) with high-resolution satellite image textures is important in a number of application domains such as scientific visualization, GIS, flight simulation or even interactive 3-D games. The large number of vertices that define the triangulated terrain surface require efficient decimation techniques to reduce the computational load when rendering such large data sets. In this project, we developed a client-server based terrain visualization system that uses per-vertex geometric level-of-detail (LOD) selection and per-triangle LOD color-texture selection on the client side. A vertex manager handles requests from the terrain-decimator process and manages allocation of incoming vertices form the server into a number of vertex bins. The vertex bins are used to cache a subset of the entire DEM stored on the server machine and reduces the storage to only the vertices required to visualize a certain region of the terrain. A texture manager selects an appropriate image resolution for sets of triangles received from the terrain-decimator process and binds an appropriate image from the texture pyramid to each set of triangles. The combination of geometric and color-texture LOD supports high quality terrain visualization at highly reduced data complexity, only requiring a fraction of the full-resolution geometry and texture detail.
Computing Cancer Growth Parameters
The necrotic core, a mass of dead cells, is the majority of a tumors mass. The growth of a tumor is dependent on pressure, the rate of diffusion of nutrients, and growth factors. In order to study tumor growth instability, we took human glioblastoma cells grown in different concentrations of fetal bovine serum (FBS)(1%, 5%, 10%) varied with different glucose concentrations (High 4.5 g/l, Medium 2.75 g/l, Low 1 g/l) to produce nine tumors grown in altered nutritional conditions. These tumors were then sliced to an approximate 6 micrometer thickness and mounted on slides. The tumor slides were marked and stained using different assays in order for three main features of the tumor to be observed: (1) the number of apoptotic cells, (2) the number of mitotic cells, and (3) the thickness of the viable rim. It is observed that the mitotic cells are mainly the viable rim of living cells of the tumor and the mitotic index is highest in 10% FBS and high glucose concentration and lowest in 1% FBS and low glucose concentration. The trend in apoptotic index however, is not as definitive under the different serum and glucose concentrations. The viable rim was thicker in 10% FBS and high glucose concentration and interestingly, we saw that "budding" of the tumor occurred from the projection of the viable rim only, which was more active in the high nutrient and energy conditions. These results define growth instabilities of tumors and how these affect the tumors growth and invasiveness.
New York, New York: A look at the New York
Young actors in Southern California have all the wish fulfillment and bright shiny lights of Hollywood on which to pin their dreams. When the drama students at UCI want to experience professional live theatre, though, their options are limited to the Pantages, the Ahmanson and a few others. The New York Satellite Program allows theater-focused students an opportunity to spend a month in the home of live theater, Manhattan. Living only a few blocks away from the Great White Way, students have the privilege of taking dance, acting and singing classes from working professionals. These experiences will propel students through their future careers and the relationships they form with teachers and fellow students will help them throughout their lives, even as career choices change. For one month, students have the chance to leave the relaxed pace of Southern California and experience the quick steps of New York life. The mere opportunity to have Broadway at their disposal is enough incentive for the trip. This project uses interviews and video documentation to bring a bit of the New York experience back to Southern California so that future participants can better prepare for the program and students can reap the full benefits of this singular program.
The Impact of the Iranian American Community Upon
U.S. Foreign Policy After the September 11th Attacks
As a direct result of the regime change, which took place during the Iranian Revolution, members of the Iranian upper class immigrated in droves to the United States during the early 1980s. Over the course of the past two decades, Iranian immigrants have maintained a strong sense of cultural identity, while experiencing tremendous economic success. However, given its considerable resources, it remains surprising that the community has yet to engage in any significant form of political mobilization. As a result, while numerous ethnic communities have established formidable lobbying mechanisms on Capitol Hill, the Iranian-American community has yet to make any significant impact upon U.S. foreign policy. The Iranian-American community's failure to engage in effective political mobilization can be attributed to a variety of factors ranging from struggles in regards to cultural assimilation to the class-based conflicts which led to the advent of the Iranian Revolution. Ultimately, the lack of common political goals can partially help to explain the inability of the Iranian-American community to establish the mechanisms required to bring about change in U.S. foreign policy.
Childhood Abuse and Avoidance Motivation in
Avoidance motivation, defined as a pattern of goal setting geared towards avoiding undesirable outcomes, is associated with negative aspects of mental health, such as negative emotionality and neuroticism (Elliot & Sheldon, 1998; Elliot & Thrash, 2002). Theorists have posited that avoidance motivation is largely biologically determined (Elliot & Thrash, 2002). However, to our knowledge, no research has sought to disentangle the role of biology from the role of significant life events early in life. It is possible that childhood experiences such as abuse or neglect, which also have negative mental health implications (e.g., Gibb, Butler & Beck, 2003), may lead to increased avoidance motivation across the life span. The objective of this study was to examine the association between negative experiences in childhood and avoidance motivation in adulthood. A nationally representative sample of 1107 adults completed a web-based survey on which respondents were asked questions about the traumatic events they experienced during their lifetimes, as well as open-ended questions about their goals for the future. Results revealed a significant positive correlation between retrospective reports of childhood abuse/neglect and avoidance-related goals. Negative early life experiences may be a non-biological factor in the development of avoidance motivation.
Synthesis of Terpenoid Estrogen Precursors
Current treatments for the prevention of breast cancer are associated with undesirable side affects. For example, estrogen from hormone replacement therapy can bind estrogen receptors, potentially inducing cancer. The goal of this project is the synthesis of structural derivatives of estradiol for improved cancer prevention. Through synthetic chemistry, we are synthesizing an aromatic substrate molecule with a phenoxy ring and a sesquiterpene chain, which can be fed to a library of terpene cyclases for enzymatic cyclization. The result would be a library of structures similar to estradiol, but with modifications potentially improving estrogen receptor selectivity. Potentially, an analog could bind to one estrogen receptor, but not other isoforms. The synthesis of two different estrogen precursor types will be shown.
Modifications to Reduce Conformation Variation
for Structural Studies: The Truncated Forms of hsp70 Class Molecular Chaperone HscA From Escherichia
HscA, a 66-kDa molecular chaperone that participates in iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis, contains a regulatory ATPase domain and a substrate-binding domain (SBD). Recently, our laboratory determined the structure of HscA(SBD) using X-ray diffraction. However, attempts to determine the structure of the ATPase domain as well as full-length HscA have failed, possibly due to conformational variation in the protein. Comparison of the amino acid sequence of HscA to other hsp70s reveals an N-terminal extension, and we hypothesized that these residues may be a source of variation. We sought to 1) design, express, and purify truncated forms of HscA, 2) use ATPase assays to determine if functionality was conserved, and 3) crystallize truncated forms for structural studies. The N-terminal truncation resulted in ineffective protein expression, but by altering the sequence downstream of the start-codon into a translation enhancer via silent base mutations expression of the truncated HscA has been successful. The modified HscA has slightly reduced (1.5-fold) enzymatic activity but otherwise behaves identically to wild-type, suggesting that conformational integrity has been conserved. In addition, preliminary solution NMR studies suggest the N-terminally truncated HscA is folded. Efforts to crystallize the truncated protein and further NMR studies are underway. Additional truncations to this modified HscA are in progress to further reduce conformation variability.
Determination of the Effects on Metal Corrosion
by Extracellular Polymeric Substances Produced by Biofilm-Forming Protective Bacteria
The biofilms of certain gram-positive aerobic bacterial strains formed on metal surfaces have demonstrated an ability to inhibit corrosion in laboratory and field monitoring experiments. Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) produced by these bacteria play an important role in biofilm formation and may also be involved in corrosion protection. However, their role in corrosion has not been well studied to date. This study was focused on the corrosion inhibiting properties of EPS produced by corrosion protecting bacteria. Two types of EPS (bound and soluble) were extracted from two different strains of bacteria, each grown in liquid culture. They were then studied for their effect on the corrosion of brass, mild steel and stainless steel specimens using electrochemical corrosion monitoring techniques. Results showed that soluble EPS from both strains reduced the open circuit potential of mild steel and brass and their corrosion rates were lowered compared to the LB medium and NaCl control solutions. However, the stainless steel was either protected or corroded, depending on the strain of soluble EPS. Bound EPS was extracted from each strain and then re-dissolved in a phosphate buffer solution for the corrosion studies. Results showed that both bound EPS solutions provide no protection to mild steel. In contrast the corrosion of brass and stainless steel samples was decreased in their presence. Surface analysis of the metal samples by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) gave the same results as the electrochemical corrosion measurements.
Memories of War and Their Implication in
The war in Iraq has generated international opposition, in particular from the nations of so-called "Old Europe." Two nations, France and Germany, have articulated strong opposition to intervention in Iraq. This opposition is based upon historical experience with the acquisition, maintenance and ultimate loss of empires by both nations. France and Germany discovered that maintaining imperial systems was corrupting to their societal fabrics and created gaps within the republican system of government that shattered Germany apart and overthrew the French Fourth Republic. The imperial project demands control over peoples who have no interest in being dominated by a superpower. The author maintains that the open creation and maintenance of an American Empire, in the form articulated by neoconservatives, is detrimental to the people of the U.S. In researching the themes of this topic, the creator of this work understood that an empire always mandates a "civilizing" mission that is regarded by the conquered party as always inimical to its own interests, and therefore invariably creates opposition to the administrators of an imperial system. A documentary in DVD format will be created of still photographs, voice-overs and interviews with UCI professors that relate upon the themes of this documentary and will be approximately 30 min in length.
Viscoelastic Response of a Two-Dimensional Bead
A system consisting of plastic beads floating on the surface of a fluid may be described as viscoelastic, meaning that its response to a driving force is neither fully characterized by an elastic response (i.e., Hooke's law) or by a viscous response (i.e., a retarding force proportional to the velocity of the particles.) The purpose of this experiment is to measure to what extent the system described above behaves like a solid, and to what extent it behaves like a fluid. The experimental setup consists of a circular trough filled with water, upon which plastic beads float. Then, a torsional pendulum is placed in the bead raft and driven with a force that has sinusoidal time dependence. From the resulting response, the viscous and elastic responses can be determined. In addition, the "packing fraction" (i.e., the fraction of the space in the trough that the beads actually take up) of the system was changed by constricting the outer barrier of the trough. The response was then measured for several different packing fractions. Through this experiment, we hope to gain a better understanding of viscoelastic materials and their behavior.
A Novel Approach: Pauline E. Hopkins--The
Emergence of The New Woman of Color in the Late Nineteenth Century
The life and works of Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins, one of the most productive black woman writers at the turn of the last century, are examined for evidence of her role in influencing African American women to emerge from the Victorian "cult of domesticity" and to enter the modern era as a New Woman of Color. Hopkinss life was a testament to her belief in the benefits modernity offered women. Yet twentieth-century critics have chastised her seeming acceptance of the "cult of true womanhood," charging that she "undermined" her characters "even as she elevated them." This paper re-examines Hopkinss work within the framework of the nineteenth century, rather than the twentieth, and finds she employs her fictional characters, particularly in Contending Forces, to address two distinct groups of African American woman. The first group was descended from free Northern blacks; and, the second, the freed slaves who migrated from the south. Her fictional characters both validate the lives of southern women as they were integrated into a free society as well as pattern the more immediate role of the New Woman Hopkins envisions for middle- and upper-class Northern women at the start of the twentieth century.
Neural Network for Spatiotemporal Filtering in
Binaural Sound Localization
Natural sonic environments present multiple, spatially-extended sources of sound replete with reverberation. Examples include the rustling of leaves caused by wind, the sounds of passing traffic, and clusters of conversation at a cocktail party. Extensive research on sound localization has resulted in both sophisticated models based on binaural signals and technologies for reproducing complex sonic environments. I have learned that many localization models take use of time-lagged cross-correlation of the two ears signals to determine the azimuthal location of a sound source. With this procedure, a system can use interaural time delays, an appreciable cue to source direction for frequencies at and below about 1 KHz to estimate source azimuth. The difference in intensity levels of the two ears signal caused by the shadowing of the head, is captured by a further stage of processing, potentially involved lateral inhibition. This low-level processing of interaural time and intensity differences is believed to be applied to signal components that lie in single frequency bands.
Assessing Potential for Assortative Mating in
Plants: Do Early Bloomers Mate with Early Bloomers?
The purpose of this experiment was to test whether or not the fundamental condition of assortative mating by flowering time exists outside a greenhouse environment in a natural population. It was hypothesized that early-flowering fathers should predominately mate with early-flowering mothers, and similarly for late mothers and fathers. Genetic variation in flowering time should lead to a shift in the genetic composition of the mating pool over the course of the season. I also applied the notion of "gene trap" in an experiment to determine the genetic composition of the pollen pool over time in a wild population of Brassica rapa. I used rapid cycling Brassica rapa with the yellow leaf (yl) mutation as the "trap plants". Trap plants were placed around the wild populations at regular intervals. Since the maternal genotype of the mothers (rapid-cycling B. rapa ) was the same during each interval, differences in offspring phenotype would be due to genetic differences among the fathers making pollen during each interval. Thus, by looking at the flowering time of the offspring produced during each interval, the flowering time of their fathers could be inferred. Offspring fathered by other "trap plants" could be eliminated from the analysis based on their yellow leaf phenotype. Preliminary results did not support the idea that early fathers sired earlier offspring, and late fathers sired late offspring (p=0.18) due to the small sample size, thus these negative results on genetic variation for flowering time are inconclusive. Contrary to expectations, the offspring sired early in the season flowered later than those sired late in the season (p=0.006); this backward effect could be due to an unusual genetic interaction between the rapid cycling strain flowering time genes and those of the wild population.
Strain-Sensitive Array for the Study of Bone
We present results towards the development of an implantable strain gauge array for monitoring strain on surfaces of bones with high resolution. The mechanical characteristics of thin film metal strain gauges embedded in a flexible substrate made from poly-dimethyl-siloxane (PDMS) under various loading conditions have been simulated using ANSYS® finite element analysis tool. Various gauge designs were subjected to stresses from several different directions. Linear relationships between fractional change of resistance and nominal resistance were found for both tensile and compressive stress applied on the gauges. The simulation indicated that external stresses are effectively transmitted through the PDMS and into the thin-film metal device. Fabrication of the device has begun. Microfabrication masks were drawn using Macromedia Freehand 10.0 and designs were implemented on flexible transparency films. Approximately 50 nm of gold were sputtered between two 100 um thick layers of PDMS. Electrical conductance was measured. Adhesion tests were also carried out to determine which material worked best for adhesion of the flexible gauge to bone. Several biocompatible adhesives were tested. Silicone rubber sealant proved to be an effective glue. The device was attached to the high density rigid Polyurethane Foam using a uniform layer of silicone gel and was subjected to tensile forces. The membrane was subjected to loads up to 90g after which it caused failure, which corresponds to 66.7% strain. Further testing is being done to optimize the fabrication and to further characterize the mechanical properties of the gauge.
Metaphorical Constructs of Computational Problems
Throughout history, philosophers, linguists, and cognitive scientists have argued over how human beings think. Linguist George Lakoff and philosopher Mark Johnson claim that the human conceptual system, the system by which humans both think and act, "is fundamentally metaphorical in nature." I interviewed 23 students to gain insight on how human beings think about computer science and computational problems. Classes, objects, and reference variables are the building blocks to Java. My data demonstrated that beginning ICS students often conceptualize objects, classes, and reference variables in a manner that is contradictory to these building blocks functions. ICS students must know how to group and sort data efficiently and effectively. My data indicated that both ICS students and non-ICS students conceptualize grouping schemes in a variety of different manners--manners that computer science textbooks usually do not deal with. My data also indicated how students conceptualize computational problems before they begin solving them.
Gender Differences in Engineering and the
Physical Sciences: Factors Influencing Women Undergraduates to Switch Into Majors Outside
of Their Departments
Despite womens entrance into many non-traditional, male dominated occupations, women continue to be underrepresented in both the technical and scientific fields. The number of women with baccalaureate degrees in engineering for example, continues to be a fraction of the total degrees earned. Among the various and competing explanations for this disparity is the notion that particular fields of knowledge are considered by undergraduate students to be "gendered." That is, undergraduates perceive that some college majors require personal characteristics or skills that are "naturally" suited to women (empathy in the social sciences, for example) and men (analytic ability in engineering). Students perceive and react to subtle social cues as to what majors are gender-appropriate through interaction with peers, family, and educators. At the high school level, research has shown that socialization by educators influences the performance and decisions of males and females entering the science fields. While studies tend to focus on womens career decisions prior to entering college, this study explores the factors prompting women who declared a major in engineering or mathematics, but later switched to a non-science/technical one (approximately during their junior year). This population provides unique insights into the factors affecting womens career decisions post-high school, but prior to the baccalaureate. "Switchers" are women undergraduates who initially were committed ideologically and academically to a non-traditional major (and presumably a non-traditional career) but for unknown reasons did not complete the degree. Using methods of in-depth interviewing and field observation, I focus on the influence of college educators, peer groups, individual meanings, and parental influences on both women and men who have switched majors.
Disability Fact Sheet Handbook
Significant factors that can enhance academic success among students with disabilities include appropriate and reasonable accommodations and ongoing communication between students and faculty. The more informed students and faculty are about student disabilities; the more likely these students will achieve their educational potential. In investigating this subject, informal meetings and discussions were conducted with students with disabilities and faculty to identity their knowledge about disabilities and level of communication and interaction with each other. They were also asked for suggestions. Information was also gathered from published medical literature and data on physical, learning and psychological disabilities and academic accommodations for them, identified by the Disability Services Center (DSC) as the most common at UCI. Contact with various disability-related organizations, agencies, and individuals provided further data supporting the development of a handbook for use by students with disabilities, faculty, and administrative staff. An outline of the handbooks content and structure was also developed. The Disability Fact Sheet Handbook was then created using the collated data. Once the handbook was complete, a workshop was held to outline its use to DSC staff and Peer Educators at UCI. With the generosity of the Donald A. Strauss Public Service Scholarship Foundation, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) at UCI, this project was expanded by revising the handbook to meet the needs of other UC campuses. The handbooks aim is to increase understanding, reduce misconceptions by students and faculty, and provide the campus with information that can modify behavior positively and create a stronger, more sensitive learning environment conducive to assisting students with disabilities even further.
Protecting the Earth from Asteroids: Planetary
Defense by Airborne Laser Beams
This project will explore techniques to defend the earth from the natural threat of space objects, such as asteroids, that could collide with Earth from outer space. It will also explore the feasibility of using aircraft equipped with laser systems to defend against incoming asteroids. The idea is to launch a laser beam from an aircraft targeting the asteroid in order to eliminate it or deflect it enough so that the collision with the earth is avoided. The research will first focus on evaluating the accuracy of a laser beam launched from feasible aircraft. To target an incoming asteroid located in space, a very high accuracy of the laser beam direction is needed because the asteroid is at large distances from the Earth and is moving very fast. This required accuracy will be evaluated and compared to the accuracy of an airborne laser. Because aircraft generate air turbulence as they fly, any airborne laser beam has to be propagated through aircraft-generated turbulence and this affects the pointing accuracy of the laser beam. These fluid-optical interactions, or aerooptical interactions, reduce the accuracy with which the laser beam can be directed. Because the aerooptical distortions associated with aircraft-launched laser beams are relatively large, the airborne-laser accuracy will likely be much lower than the required accuracy. In order to improve the airborne-laser accuracy, it will be necessary to reduce the aerooptical distortions and this will involve the evaluation of turbulent-flow control techniques and adaptive laser-beam control methods. This research, therefore, will be able to determine what is technologically necessary and practically feasible to improve the airborne laser capability for a successful interception of the asteroid by the laser beam.
Role of Fc Gamma Receptor Polymorphisms in HIV
Fc gamma receptors are transmembrane proteins which are capable of binding the Fc portion of IgG. These receptors are found in a subset of leukocytes and their binding results in cell-specific responses, among them the release of chemokines. These molecules have important roles in the immune response. MIP-1a, MIP-1b and RANTES have been shown to inhibit HIV infection by blocking the binding of the virus to the chemokine receptor CCR5 on CD4+ cells. In cells, such as natural killer cells (NK), engagement of the Fc gamma receptor by immune complexes (IC) stimulates the release of chemokines. It has been recently reported that specific polymorphisms in Fc gamma receptors result in different binding affinity for antibodies. These observations have prompted us to investigate the role of Fc gamma receptor polymorphism in the immune response. NK cells isolated from healthy donors were cultured in the presence of different concentrations of immobilized IgG to stimulate chemokine release. Samples of cell culture supernatants were assayed by quantitative ELISA for three beta chemokines: MIP-1a , MIP-1b , and RANTES. Our preliminary data indicates a consistent release of MIP-1a (1200 pg/ml out of 1X105 cells with 2.5 mg/ml of immobilized IVIG), and MIP-1b (3000 pg/ml). No release of RANTES has been observed. We are currently establishing whether there is a correlation between the Fc gamma receptor genotype and the amount of chemokines released from NK cells.
Rice Paddy Methane Production and Oxidation in a
California Paddy Field Deduced from Carbon Isotopic Measurements
Knowledge of rice agriculture and its methane emissions is important to better understand and possibly control a radioative trace gas that effects our global climate. In order to manage methane production in irrigated rice paddies both methane production, oxidation pathways, the relationship between growing practices, and methane emissions must be better understood. Last year my research addressed the question of how rice straw fertilizer affects rice paddy methane production (and ultimately emissions) from two field treatments: one in which a field had the after-harvest rice straw from the previous fall plowed back into the field, and one in which the previous year's rice straw had been burned and removed the previous fall. This year, two more field treatments were contrasted: one in which a paddy field was flooded the previous winter and one in which had no winter flooding. The objective of this research is to address the question of how winter flooding and rice straw fertilizer affect rice paddy field methane emissions. This study is part of the first determination of pathways of methane production and oxidation in rice paddies using isotopic measurements of field parameters and isotopic fractionation factors that incorporate bacteria and internal plant gas from the very field being studied. Adding data from the alternate paddy field conditions will complete this study and give a more accurate determination of methane emissions in rice paddies.
Improving College Going Rates in the Coachella
The proposed study will examine college-going rates in predominately Latino high schools in the Eastern Coachella Valley area of California. The four-year college going rates in the area, relative to state standards, are low. I hypothesized that the college going rates remain low due to the lack of exposure (i.e. outreach programs, common culture) to the topic of higher education. I went about my project by first testing my hypothesis through survey data analysis and qualitative interview analysis. The purpose of my study was to discover why the college going rates are so low and to find ways to increase the college going rates in this community. Through my work I learned that my hypothesis held true; students who participate in outreach programs and are exposed to the topic of college, generally pursue higher education. Those who dont participate in outreach programs and arent exposed to the topic of college, generally dont pursue higher education. I think my work is important because I believe higher education is a vital factor in attaining a comfortable life (i.e. financial stability, satisfying career), and through results of my work I will propose policies that will help increase the rate of college bound students in this community. I conclude that in order to increase the college going rate in this community, middle and high school students should be required to participate in an outreach program and the topic of college should be emphasized on a daily basis at school and in the home.
ATM (Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated) Has a Role in
Mitochondrial Pathway of Apoptosis
Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T) is a genetic disorder characterized by immunodeficiency, ataxia and telangiectasia. ATM (Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated) is the defective gene in A-T, which shows an altered programmed cell death (apoptosis). The function of ATM in apoptosis is not clarified. Since DNA damage activates the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis, and since A-T cells have defects in DNA damage repair, we hypothesize that ATM has a role in the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. We examined cell viability and apoptosis induced by etoposide, an agent that causes DNA damage, in fibroblast cell lines from two patients with A-T and one control subject. Cells treated with etoposide 50 uM were studied for cell viability using an MTT assay. At 24 hr of etoposide treatment, A-T cells showed higher cell viability (99% and 84%) compared to the control (81% and 79%), which was due to decreased apoptosis demonstrated by Hoechst staining. In A-T cells, mitochondrial membrane potential (D j ) assessed by JC-1 staining was less than in control cells. Cytochrome c and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) release was determined by immunohistochemistry using fluorescence imaging. At 24 hr of etoposide induction, 65% of A-T cells released cytochrome c from mitochondria to the cytosol compared to the 90% of the control cells. AIF was released in 85% of A-T cells and 95% of control cells. These results show that etoposide induces apoptosis through the mitochondrial pathway in A-T and suggest that ATM renders cells with apoptotic susceptibility through the mitochondrial pathway.
Examining the Impact of President Carlos Salinas de
Gortaris Reforms on Mexicali, Mexico
In the past ten years, Mexico has experienced many social and economic changes. Following the reforms of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, most notably the NAFTA agreement, the different regions of Mexico experienced changes in varying ways. The residents of the Mexican border town of Mexicali, have witnessed firsthand the economic opportunities and restrictions of free trade with the United States. Some studies on the impact of Salinas term as president and NAFTA have concluded that although the interior region of the country suffered a decrease in their living standards, the northern border region experienced prosperity. These studies tend to focus on economic indexes such as: production, investment and growth. In contrast this research has aimed at gaining a human perspective on the changes that have occurred in Mexicali, which has shifted from an agricultural base to a foreign-owned maquila industry. In order to obtain this perspective from the citizens of Mexicali, oral histories have been recorded that have indeed demonstrated that despite economic liberalization and the underlying global trend, reforms have been perceived as having limited success, if any, and that Mexicali residents are very aware of the obstacles that impede not only the development and growth of their city, but those that impede Mexicos advancement as an equal of the United States and other developed countries.
The Happiest Place on Earth? False Childhood
Memories at Disneyland and Their Consequences
Over the last several decades, researchers have successfully planted false beliefs and memories into the minds of people. One question that naturally arises from this work is whether false memories have long-term effects. Do false memories affect later thoughts or behaviors? Do they have repercussions? To address this question, in the current research, some participants received information designed to make them believe that they had a negative experience with a Pluto character at Disneyland, namely that they had their ear licked in an uncomfortable and inappropriate manner (Bad Pluto). Other participants received information designed to make them believe that they had a positive experience with Pluto, namely that they had their ear licked in a happy and playful manner (Good Pluto). Relative to controls, both groups became more confident that they had their ear licked by Pluto when visiting Disneyland as a child. To determine whether there were consequences of such false beliefs, participants were later asked how much they were willing to pay for a Pluto stuffed animal. Those who fell sway to the Bad Pluto suggestion wanted to pay less for the stuffed animal. Those who fell sway to the Good Pluto suggestion wanted to pay slightly, but not significantly more. The results indicate that it is possible to create both negative and positive false childhood memories at Disneyland and those false memories can sometimes have consequences for participants. Additionally, these results have theoretical implications for memory distortion research, and practical implications for the legal system.
Black Identity in a Non-Western Society: An
Investigation of African Self-Consciousness in Belizean College Students
Investigation into the development of racial identity for Blacks has traditionally focused on the ways in which Blacks obtain and sustain a connectedness to their heritage and develop a positive sense of self, in relation to the realities of residing in a discriminatory and racist society. Most examinations of Black identity reflect the development and experiences of Blacks in western societies where Blacks are the minority and the dominant culture is White or Eurocentric. This current study is a continuation of a previous study, which investigated the Black identity of Belizean college students in Central America. The previous study examined the racial identity of Blacks in Belize in order to investigate how Black identity is reflected in a post-colonial society in which Blacks are representative of the dominant culture. In order to further examine Belizean racial identity, a comparative sample of African Americans was obtained to compare and contrast identity formation. The African Self-Consciousness Scale was administered to both 180 students attending the University of Belize and 100 students attending UCI and California State University, Long Beach. It was hypothesized that there would be a moderate level of African Self-Consciousness for Belizean students, a higher level of consciousness for African American students, and that demographic variables such as socioeconomic status, political affiliation, and district of origin would influence their consciousness.
Foreign Policy Attitudes of the Iranian-American
Under the Shah, Iran became a modernized, westernized state that allowed men and women to enjoy several freedoms. After the revolution of 1979 the social and political structure of Iran changed and caused many people that had grown up under the Shah to begin feeling as though they did not belong. As many Iranians immigrated to the United States and began to assimilate into the American culture many of them began to form political views toward their homeland. These political views were greatly influenced by the western ideals that they had enjoyed while in Iran and the way that the American culture viewed politics. The foreign policy attitudes of the Iranian-American Diaspora began to differ based on age, gender, income level and religion. By surveying a large cross section of the Iranian-American community as well as interviewing key leaders within the community I was able to collect valuable data that noted the different foreign policy attitudes, based on the above criteria, within the Diaspora. This information will allow us to assist the Iranian-American community in expressing their foreign policy attitudes so that the United States will form a foreign policy with Iran that will produce the best result.
Database of Small Molecules Able to Restore
Function to p53 Collaborative Cancer Research Effort to Find New Anti-Cancer Drugs
Over the past fifteen years, p53 has emerged as the central tumor suppressor protein that protects humans from cancer. It plays nemesis to most cancers by destroying damaged cells or repairing them. Consistent with this important role, it is estimated that up to 50% of human cancers show evidence of having this tumor suppressor protein inactivated due to p53 gene mutations. The cancers caused by the p53 gene mutations are the most difficult to treat with standard chemotherapy and radiation therapy. We believe that the p53 gene mutations provide a unique opportunity for a new, powerful and targeted therapeutic approach: directly restoring function to the inactive mutant p53 protein. Small molecules that are able to restore function to p53 would have an enormous impact on how successfully cancers with such mutations can be treated. Such a strategy could be further optimized by combining these novel compounds with conventional chemotherapies or radiation therapies. The objective now is to find small molecules that are able to restore function to p53 and that can be developed into anti-cancer drugs. Toward this goal, we are developing a database that is able to integrate small molecules data, such as computational docking results and assay results, from different research laboratories into a common framework accessible by all involved researchers through the Internet. Such a database would provide for a more efficient data sharing, increased productivity, and improved chances of accomplishing our objective.
Identify the Promoter of Pro-Apoptosis AL Gene
Encoded by Herpes Simplex Virus
Gene expression is strictly regulated to maintain physiological normality in virus-infected cells. Analysis of promoter regions within a gene will further advance knowledge of how genes are expressed. A particular gene encoded in Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), a pro-apoptotic gene AL has been cloned and sequenced but the promoter region has yet to be defined. The goal of my research is to identify the core promoter element of AL using transient transfection assays. I have designed three sets of specific PCR primers for putative AL promoter region. The amplified PCR fragments have an overlapped at each end and are 1150, 960, and 500 base pairs (bp), respectively. All of these three PCR products have MluI and HindIII restriction sites to facilitate the direction cloning of the fragments into indicator vector, pGL3. These ligation mixtures were transformed into E. Coli competent cells, plated onto ampicillin resistant plates, and incubated overnight. The obvious colonies were picked and inoculated in LB-medium with ampicillin to amplify the targeted plasmid overnight. The plasmid DNA was extracted by using mini plasmid isolation kit, digested with MluI and HindIII restriction enzymes followed by agarose electrophoresis. Thus far in my research experiments, I have successfully obtained two sets of AL promoter fragments into the pGL3 plasmid; 960 bp and 500 bp, respectively. I have continually been cloning last piece of promoter fragment, 1150 bp. After cloning all sets of primers into the indicator plasmid, I will perform transfection assays in tissue culture with several cell lines to measure the promoter activity by measuring the Luciferase activity.
Women Image Disorders
Women Image Disorders can be seen from all around, often hidden but never out-of-site or mind. Unfortunately for women, the mass media tells women that their bodies are unacceptable. This voice from the media isn't only heard, but seen and demonstrated through imagery. The pressures to be perfect have increased the popularity of plastic surgery as a fast and easy way to cut off, stuff in, slim down, and tummy tuck to an ideal body. So I decided to take my talent of dance and choreography and create a dance that suggests looking deeper inside oneself to know that self-confidence and beauty comes from within. To start my dance I began to brainstorm ideas that would connect with the audience visually. I decided that the dancers would dance with knives in hand to further relate to the topic of plastic surgery. The dancers facial expressions and bodily gestures expressed sarcasm, hunger, and hate for their knives. It was also very important to me to get not only the dancers point of view on plastic surgery but other women as well. I wanted to understand the need or reasoning for seeking such a drastic procedure. I also asked these women who their role models were, and while many named women, far too many had no answer. What I learned during this process is that many women say that they would not undergo plastic surgery but that they do have an image disorder because of the media.
The Graham Technique: From the Studio to the
The Martha Graham technique is widely recognized as a milestone of modern dance. Founded by a pioneering American dancer in the mid 1920s, Martha Graham's innovative movement vocabulary, choreographic brilliance, and concepts of performance craft have survived long after her death in 1991. Graham-based modern dance lives and breathes in the canon of contemporary dance, continuing to be practiced and performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and South America. During the summer of 2003, I underwent a rigorous training program in the Graham technique at the Ailey School in New York City. This experience not only enriched my artistic appreciation for "Marthas genius," but improved my technical skills to such a degree that enabled me to participate in Bonnie Oda Homseys re-staging of Martha Grahams 1936 dance work entitled "Steps in the Street," part of UCIs Dance Visions 2004 winter concert. This presentation introduced the audience to fundamental concepts of the Graham technique (use of the "contraction," the "spiral," and initiation of movement from the pelvis) and investigated how these ideas translate to stage performance. Dancers on stage will demonstrate several technique exercises with live accompaniment by percussionist Erik Leckrone. The live demonstration will be followed by a video excerpt from UCIs 2004 re-construction of "Steps in the Street," which conveys a powerful message about the devastation of war through the dancers rigid unison and evocative emotional delivery.
Explorations in Improvisation: Choice and Chance
Improvisation is choice making in the moment, a creative process, and method in live performance. During the past three years, I researched dance and drama improvisation as part of my own creative process, and investigated how performing artists throughout history have used this approach in building their art form. The focus of my research explores how several contemporary artists in the U.S. use improvisation in the development of choreography, while performers rely on this skill directly in the moments of performance. In addition to my review of literature on this topic, I conducted interviews with arts students and faculty at UCI. These interviews helped me gain insight into how and why some performing artists choose to incorporate improvisation into their work, either in addition to or instead of using "pre-recorded devices" (for example, set choreography). The results of my research reveal common experiences between improvisers in drama, dance and music: the importance of mutual trust among "players," gaining a heightened awareness of space and time, physical flexibility, and strengthening personal choice-making skills. In my presentation, I will discuss the significance of improvisation as a necessary part of dance making and suggest that this skill is valuable to all people as a way of adapting to a changing world.
Produced by the Global Economy: Thai and Filipina
Migrant Sex Workers in Japan
Recent patterns of migrant labor to Japan reveal that in the case of Thai and Filipino workers, women outnumber their male counterparts. Research has well documented and described how these women are trafficked into the entertainment industry in Japan. However, not much work to date helps explain the prominence of women from these countries in relation to the general distribution of migrant labor in Japan. The goal of this study was to reveal the underlying conditions that support and maintain the trafficking of foreign women for the sex industry in Japan, with particular emphases on Thai and Filipina women. Quantitative literary research alerts us to structural effects created by differing national levels of economic development, the effects of a global economy on local and national employment, and the intervention of international institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, and the WTO. The present study will explore the intersection between nation-specific cultural factors and these structural determinants as a way to better understand the phenomenon of transnational migrant labor that has taken shape under the inchoate forces we call "globalization." As the renowned scholar Saskia Sassen has put it, "migrations do not just happen; they are produced" (Sassen, 1995).
A Comparison Study of Methyl Halide Emissions
from Genetically Modified and Wild-Type Arabidopsis Thaliana
Soil salinity is not a new problem; it has plagued agriculture since its inception. Approximately 20% of the worlds crop land and almost 50% of irrigated land are affected by the problems of high salinity. There has been interest to manipulate the genes in plants that control the trait(s) of salt tolerance. Some success has been found by over expressing the vacuolar proton-pumping pyrophosphatase, AVP1, which makes the plants more resistant to salt- and drought-stress compared to wild-type counterparts. Arabidopsis has been shown to emit methyl halides (MeX, X = Cl-, Br-, I-), when there are high enough concentrations of the salts in the soil environment. MeX are very important because in the stratosphere they are broken apart and the halide radical can catalytically destroy ozone. This project aims to determine if the overexpression of the AtNHg 1 gene, in plants that were modified previous by another lab, will have any effect on the plants production of methyl halides. The ability of the plant to survive in conditions where more halides are available in the soil, gives a larger source of halides for the plant to methylate. The results from this study will give a preliminary estimate of the difference in production rate of MeX in transgenic plants. If the production of MeX in the modified plants is large it could have appreciable effects on the total MeX atmospheric budget, and could lead to a disproportionate sources of MeX that could further destroy the ozone layer.
Synthesis and Secretion of Recombinant Lignin
Peroxidase in the Yeast Kluyveromyces lactis
Lignin peroxidase (LiP) is an enzyme naturally produced by the white-rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium capable of degrading many environmental pollutants. However, there are difficulties in producing enough active LiP for use in biodegradation: P. chrysosporium produces it only under starvation conditions, and Escherichia coli does not have the necessary secretory pathways to produce active LiP. The yeast Kluyveromyces lactis is a good candidate as a recombinant host for LiP because it is easy to grow, it has a secretory pathway similar to that of P. chrysosporium, and it can perform similar post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications. I investigated the effects of different induction strategies on the production of active LiP in this recombinant system by growing cultures under different conditions and measuring the activity using an ABTS assay. Due to the instability of the system, higher activities were obtained when induction occurred late in the exponential phase of growth, since inducing earlier led to excessive plasmid loss. Induction level variation confirmed earlier research indicating that a 5/0.5 ratio of glucose to galactose is best for this system. Although the standard growth time for the cultures was 40 hr, the activity at 20 hr was found to be approximately twice as high even though this allows only about 4 hr after induction for LiP production. The steady decrease in activity after 20 hr suggests either loss of enzyme activity or enzyme degradation, and further research into the cause of this decrease should make it possible to significantly increase the systems ability to produce active LiP.
Systematic Approach for Correction of Design
Deficiencies in Particle Detection Electronics
The Coulter Counter is used to count small biological particles in solution. The original concept was based on the increase in the electrical resistance of an orifice as the presence of a biological particle altered the electrical conduction path. We have worked to adapt this type of device to MEMS devices. The detection of a particle is proportional to resistance change and the amplitude of the excitation. The Coulter Counter is currently used for sizing DNA fragments and sorting biological cells or cell fragments. While the Coulter Counter traditionally utilizes DC excitation, our research groups Summer 2003 research extended this by implementing an amplitude modulation and demodulation approach for detecting biological particles. The results of the Summer 2003 research identified a number of design problems that become potentially significant as the channel dimensions were reduced to the low micron or submicron range. We propose to find solutions to these problems to support the next generation of devices to be fabricated by this research group. The identified problems are as follows: (1) Parasitic capacitances in the current source circuit construction and the effects of the channels high resistances, (2) The current demodulation approach utilizes a four-quadrant multiplier and an active four pole low pass Butterworth filter whose input DC level can exceed the allowable input voltage, and (3) The parasitic capacitances or the frequency-dependent input impedance of the instrumentation amplifier.
The Debate Over Reparations for Black Slavery
In the U.S. there is increasing support among African Americans for reparations to descendants of American slavery. Reparation is formally defined as the act of making amends, offering expiation, or giving satisfaction for a wrong or injury. The debate over reparations did not emerge onto the national scene until the late 1990s. Moreover, it has since become one of the nations most controversial and hotly debated topics. However, it is highly unlikely that a settlement granting African-Americans trillions of dollars will be awarded on the basis of injury caused by slavery. Why? Throughout history its opponents have effectively silenced the call for reparations. This thesis attempts to examine the reparations movement from both a historical context as well as a political one. I establish a link between history and the limited success of the movement and examine current public opinion regarding reparations. In addition, I examine the likelihood of the descendants of Black American slaves receiving reparations.
The Ifugao Bale: Built Form and Belief System
The concept of a house differs across cultures and societies, from highly urbanized cities to small villages. This study focuses on the vernacular architecture of the Ifugaos, an indigenous group in Northern Philippines, and their cosmological view of built form, specifically their native house, the "bale." Past data on the Ifugaos shows an expansive belief system of animistic gods and deities, revenge rituals (Barton, 1913), and sorcery and witchcraft interventions between the human and supernatural world (Goda, 2001). The goal of the study is to examine the relationship between the "bale" and the Ifugao belief system and worldview. Data was obtained through interviews with native priests and fieldwork conducted in the local region. This type of research supports cultural research regarding Ifugao traditions while it also provides awareness for continued research in these aspects of indigenous culture, including vernacular architecture, space, and world order.
The Effects of Body Image on Student Performance
Body image is the perception one has about ones body. Issues may arise about body image throughout a lifetime. Actors, dancers, and athletes use and display their bodies in an art form or a sport and body image and/or self-esteem problems can occur. Teachers, coaches, directors, choreographers and psychologists can have a better understanding of how to approach students with body image issues by researching problems and solutions to help those who use their bodies regularly as a tool or in a profession. My sampling included 138 female actors, dancers, athletes and normals (control group), ages 1838 at UCI. They took a validated survey called the Multidimensional Body Self-Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ, Cash 1992). According to the current study, body image issues seem to be on the decline since similar studies were conducted in the 1980s. This new study showed some issues currently exist among the normals and the actors. Some responses in this new study found different conclusions among ethnic groups than those in studies conducted in the 1980s. The purpose of this research was to prove that body image affects students performance in school. Some correlations were found in this study. Follow up interviews with the participants and supplemental surveys may have produced a better picture of how body image really can affect student performance.
Spelling Proficiency of Native Speakers of
Spanish: A Look at the Influence of Morpheme Structures in Spelling Errors
This study examines how native Spanish speaking children make orthographical decisions when spelling in English. English spellings have a "deep" alphabetic representation due to their use of both morphemes and phonemes, while several other languages, such as Spanish, are "shallow" alphabets that rely solely on phonemes (Singson, Mahony, & Mann, 2000). Due to issues of language difference and the written Spanish languages absence of morpheme representations, I hypothesize that bilingual native speakers of Spanish will have poorer spelling proficiency than native speakers of English, especially in the case of derived and inflicted words. This study looks at the spelling proficiency of intermediate students (6th to 8th grade), both native speakers of English and native speakers of Spanish. The students are given a 75 word spelling test, consisting of three types of words that are 3-13 letters long: 1) words whose phonetic realization is close to its orthographic representation (i.e., "shallow" like yam), 2) words containing an ambiguous segment that require a greater knowledge of orthographic conventions (i.e.,"deep" like strapped), 3) and words containing one or more segments which can only be partially derived through morphophonemic knowledge (i.e., "irregular" like tongue). The students also receive an oral cloze test to determine how well they understand the suffixes of English. The data analysis will examine the percentage of errors in relation to word types. It is predicted that native speakers of English will perform better on "deep" and "irregular" words and have a better understanding of derived suffixes.
Fingerprints and Identity: Exploring the Validity
and Certainty of Identification
For over 100 years, U.S. Courts have accepted fingerprints as a reliable, infallible form of forensic evidence. However, the frequency and accuracy of DNA evidence is raising questions about the reliability of fingerprint identification. Specifically, are fingerprints scientific evidence or identification based on subjective observation? Review of the literature produced no published scientific studies of fingerprint evidence, its reliability, or validity. One unpublished study, conducted by the FBI, provides a statistic on fingerprint uniqueness. However, this study was criticized because it compared an exact copy of a fingerprint to itself. My research compared a latent (invisible) fingerprint to a database of known fingerprints using an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). I collected 166 ten-print cards from volunteer subjects to build the AFIS database. I also lifted 371 numerically corresponding latent prints from objects, mimicking real crime scene prints. Using the search capability of the AFIS system, each of the 371 latent prints was run against the AFIS system. Preliminary results indicate that the possibility that two or more candidates can be located for an identification based on a single latent fingerprint. Using the match score of the AFIS system, appropriate statistical significance will be developed and perhaps provide reliable statistical backing to the scientific question of fingerprints as an accurate form of forensic evidence.
A 40 bps Speech Recognition Scheme with Pauses
Traditional speech coding schemes handle acceptable quality speech at bit rates over 2000 bits per second. An extremely low bit-rate speech-coding scheme has been developed to code speech on the order of 40 bits per second. In order to get such a low compression rate, all recognized speech is converted into the morphological level (i.e. the actual words) with low-level elements such as tone and frequency completely disregarded. While this technique dramatically reduces the coding rate, it also decreases understandability. This project involves the modification of that scheme to model pauses. Like the methodology of the word recognizer, the pauses are detected not at the signal level, but rather at the word level using grammar rules. Furthermore, the pauses are not coded, but rather detected while the speech is decoded, and accounted for when the speech is synthesized. While the pauses will not affect the coding rate, the addition should increase understandability of the speech, which will be determined through future human testing.
Quantitation of LAT RNA Transcript in an HSV-1
Mutant with Deleted Regulatory Element in LAT Promoter
Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) is a ubiquitous virus with significant prevalence of health threat. Following peripheral infection and replication, the virus establishes latency in sensory neurons of its host lifelong. Periodically, due to hormonal change, stress, and UV exposure, the latent virus reactivates causing secondary infection and clinical symptoms. LAT has been shown to be essential for high spontaneous reactivation in rabbit ocular models. Recently, an HSV-1 mutant with a deleted portion of regulatory element in LAT promoter (d400) has decreased reactivation frequency. A promoter is the engine of a gene to be turned on. It is tightly regulated and this regulation is cell type specific. My research interest is to measure the levels of LAT expression in the HSV-1 mutant with the deleted regulatory element in its promoter in neuronal- and non-neuronal-derived infected cells. Understanding the differential gene expression in different cells types can lead to new treatments of HSV infection. So far in the course of research, total RNAs were isolated from CV-1 cells infected with wild-type, d400, LAT deletion (LATdl) viruses, or mock infected (control) for 8-, 16- and 24-hr after infection. Harvested RNAs were separated in RNA agarose gel, transferred to membrane, and probed with LAT specific radio-labeled probe. My results showed a reduced density of LAT expression from cells infected with the d400 virus. This implies that the levels of LAT expression may play a critical role in the reactivation of HSV. The next phase of my research will be repeated with the same procedures in neuronal-derived cell and the actual levels of LAT from d400 infected cells compared with wild type will be quantitated by real time PCR.
The Effects of Mother-Child Interaction on
Infants Cognitive Development
A childs experiences early in life may have lasting implications for development. Maternal depression during infancy has pervasive influences on development including impaired cognitive development. This effect appears to be mediated by disturbances in the quality of mother-child interactions. Mothers diagnosed with depression were less sensitive and responsive to their child. These infants performed poorly on measures of cognitive functioning, were less cooperative, and were generally more problematic at later ages (NICHD, 1999). While previous studies showed that maternal sensitivity played an important role in child development, these studies have focused mainly on infants with clinically depressed mothers. I decided to examine the association between maternal sensitivity and infant cognitive development in a normal sample of women and their infants. My sample consisted of 15 mother-child pairs, with infants at 6 months of age. The women came into the lab with their infants and were given instructions to play with their infants as they would at home while being videotaped. The quality of the mother-child interactions were then coded from the videotapes. I used a 4-point global rating scales that was developed by the NICHD study on mother-infant interactions in 1999. These sets of scales rated mothers sensitivity to non-distress, intrusiveness, detachment, stimulation of cognitive development, positive regard for the child, negative regard for the child, and flatness of affect. Infant cognitive and motor development was measured using the Bayley Scale of Infant Development. I expect to find that mothers which score higher on the sensitivity ratings will have infants with better performance on their cognitive testing.
UCI Dance Exchange
As the project director for the UCI Dance Exchange, my personal involvement included developing both the physical implementation and the intellectual implications of a collaborative educational dance environment. The first challenge was to fully realize an event that was completely new and independent of anything in the departments history. As an undergraduate with limited experience in the field of Arts Administration, such an undertaking required me to go beyond what leadership and organizational skills I already had. Besides working cooperatively with the UCI Etude Ensemble as a performer, I developed the companys instrumental role in the planning stages and execution of a very complex and comprehensive schedule. Realizing that this sort of professional development is both possible and supported within a university setting is a significant and encouraging discovery. Furthermore, it was important for me to lay the groundwork for future festivals either hosted by UCI or other campuses. In addition, there are several social and cultural issues raised by this project, including the intersection of the arts and higher education, intellectual and artistic exchange between influential institutions, and the short and long term effects of expanding creative dialogue. The UCI Dance Exchange is just one attempt to increase awareness of the arts in Southern California. In essence, this project examines the social responsibility artists have to their communities.
Visualization and Analysis of Large Sets of
Visualization and analysis of large data sets appear in computer vision/graphics, image processing, data mining, and many other applications. For example, the set of data points can be surface points from a three-dimensional scanning o fmeasured molecular positions in chemical experiments. One main task is to visualize the data and extract important geometric information from the positions of these isolated points, such as shape and other features. Current methods, such as computational geometry and triangulated surfaces are based on exact interpolation which can be difficult when the data set is large, non-uniform and noisy. In this proposed project we attempt to combine the idea of tensor voting and distance function and apply it to large, non-uniform and noisy data to see if the results are more optimal. Currently, progress has been made in understanding how each method works in detail so that in the next phase we will combine these two together. In particular we would like to use the constructed tensor field to clarify ambiguities in the data set.
Phasing Segmented Telescope Mirrors with a
With the introduction of large telescope mirrors comprised of many individual segments, the problem of insuring a smooth continuous mirror surface (i.e. phasing), becomes critical. The vertical (piston) errors between the individual segments must be reduced to a small fraction of the wavelength of incoming light. In one proposed technique, light from the telescope mirror is split between the two arms of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer and the two outputs subtracted from one another; the vertical error (piston error) of each mirror segment can then be determined from the resulting fringes at the segment edges. I have implemented this algorithm via computer simulation and demonstrated that the dependence of the fringe intensities upon the piston error goes as a sine function when the light is monochromatic. In addition, I have also expanded the original algorithm to work using several wavelengths of light in a Gaussian spectral distribution. Unlike the original monochromatic case, the intensities in the broadband case behave as a sine function modulated such that it decays to zero as the piston error increases. This allows for a more robust algorithm that is much more effective at detecting piston errors greater then one wavelength.
Pluralism and the Great Depression: The Impact of
Bank Suspensions, Mergers, Liquidations, and Reopenings from 1929-1939 on Mexican American
This study uses basic econometric methods and data from Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Census to examine the relationship between bank failures and Mexican immigration into and out of Texas counties from 1929 to 1939. It quantitatively evaluates the adverse impact that economic scarcity during the Great Depression exercised on Mexican Americans, which is documented in repatriation accounts, qualitative historical sources, and recent scholarly research. In so doing, it attempts to assess the extent to which the Great Depression affected the Mexican American middle class that had emerged in the American Southwest by 1929 and speculates how this economic event contributed to locating immigration in Mexican American political and social consciousness and setting foundations for current economic and demographic barriers to Mexican American socioeconomic mobility, political incorporation, and representation in the United States.
The Relationship of Hardiness, Risk-Taking and
Femininity to Cardiovascular Reactions and Math-Task Performance
Hardiness attitudes of commitment, control and challenge serve to buffer individuals against psychological strain such that people higher in hardiness appraise stressful events as more manageable. Regardless of sex, age or culture, hardiness theory suggests anyone can be high or low in hardiness. However, Nealey, Smith and Uchino (2002) and Wiebe (1991) reported sex differences in cardiovascular responding (e.g. heart rate) in reaction to laboratory tasks. This poster examines links between hardy attitudes, risk-taking, sex, physiological recovery and cognitive performance after a difficult paced auditory serial addition task (PASAT). 38 normal, healthy male and female undergraduates, about half Caucasian and half Asian or Latino (mean age 22.9 years) volunteered in order to receive course credit. Participants higher in hardiness (as measured by the Hardiness Personal Views Survey III-R) recovered faster on measures of left ventricular ejection time (LVET) compared to those lower in hardiness (p<.05). Main effects of Hardy attitudes were not observed for performance on the PASAT. Men and women high in the trait of femininity (as measured by the Bem Sex Roles Inventory) who reported a willingness to take a risk (as measured by a risk-taking index), performed better on the PASAT (p<.05). This research suggests: 1) higher hardiness levels reduce the impact of stressful circumstances on cardiovascular measures (e.g. LVET) and, 2) among individuals high in trait femininity, risk-taking attitudes predict better math performance. Future research is required to more fully elucidate the interactions between femininity, risk-taking and hardiness on physical and cognitive outcomes.
The Effects of Irradiation on p21 and p53 Expression
in Skeletal Muscle
Irradiation of skeletal muscle can cause DNA damage in satellite cells, which then prevents their proliferation into myonuclei. In this study, soleus muscles of Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 25 gray of gamma irradiation. The muscles were harvested at the following time points: 4 hr, 12 hr, 1 day, 2 day, and 3 day. RT-PCR was preformed using primers for the tumor suppressor genes, p21 and p53. p53 gene expression should be upregulated, therefore, causing an increase in p21 gene expression as well. Our data revealed that, surprisingly, although there was very little significant change in p53 expression, there was a significant increase in p21 expression at the 4 hr, 1 day and 2 day time points as compared to normal control. We believe that p53 gene expression did not change because skeletal muscle cell cycle control may be regulated through the multiple phosphorolation sites on p53 protein, and not through transcriptional regulation of the p53 gene.
Stem Cells: Are They Mechanosensitive?
Stem cells are unspecialized cells that can further differentiate into multiple specialized tissue types, and thus have been thought to have potential in many areas of health and medical research. Studying how stem cells transform into more specialized tissue types can help us understand the complicated processes of cell proliferation and renewal, which in turn, can help us manipulate stem cells to benefit our society. Hence, many research groups have developed their experiments to explore the genetic or chemical nature of stem cells. However, the influence of mechanical forces on stem cells has not been studied, presumably due to lack of proper tools. In response to this, we have constructed a tool to study the effects of mechanical forces on stem cells. The stem cells that we used are from the hydra, which is a simple water-based organism that is composed of a head with tentacles and a sticky foot region. We constructed a 6 ft water column to observe hydra regeneration, and thus stem cell differentiation under various amounts of static mechanical pressure. Several dissected hydras were injected into a poly-dimethyl-siloxane (PDMS) trap and then lowered into the water column at specific depths. Depending on the depth, hydra experienced different amount of pressure. Preliminary results indicate that mechanical forces affect hydra regeneration rates and quality. These results provide helpful insight on the mechanical influences on stem cell differentiation.
Effects of Isometric Training on Skeletal Muscle
IGF-I Expression Under Zero Gravity Simulated Conditions
A deleterious side affect that arises from space travel is skeletal muscle atrophy. Prolonged space flight causes the skeletal muscle system to lose its size and strength and hence its ability to function under normal-weight bearing conditions. Due to the similar changes seen in rodent muscles as compared to astronauts under zero gravity conditions a ground based model using rodents, known as "Hind Limb Suspension" (HS), can be used to mimic the effect of space flight on muscles. It has also been shown that through a mechanical loading process involving resistance training, rodent skeletal muscles can be stimulated to increase myofibril protein concentrations by increasing Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) mRNA levels. Using a 2 and 4 day suspension plus training paradigm, it was hypothesized that by applying daily mechanical loading of skeletal muscles via several bouts of isometric contractions, IGF-I levels would be increased compared to non-stimulated IGF-I levels. Results show an overall preservation of IGF-I, with a slight increase in IFG-I levels after 2 days of suspension with training and a significant increase after 4 days. These results correlate to an increase in skeletal muscle mass, and indicate that activation of IGF-I can occur under zero gravity conditions and relatively quickly following stimulation of muscles, effectively blunting the muscle atrophy.
Development of Pre-Vaporizer
Energy usage is an evitable part of our everyday life, and we are constantly seeking to improve the efficiency of our energy sources. Miniature combustors using hydrocarbon liquid fuels have a high potential of replacing the current power sources for personal usage. Miniature combustors generate heat from the combustion of hydrocarbon fuel, and the heat can then be transferred into electrical energy. For their weight, hydrocarbon fuels are capable of generating a large amount of energy compared with the energy sources we have today. Miniature combustors are small, mobile and light weight, which make them an ideal energy source. The energy generated from a miniature combustor may one day replace batteries, and operate small electrical and mechanical appliances. If miniature combustors and energy generators are fabricated, they would be able to deliver more power than batteries while having a longer life span and a lighter weight.
Inter-Domain Premium Resource Exchange: Improving
Internet Traffic Management
The current business scheme for premium traffic requires human negotiations between domains to put together service level agreements (SLA) and specifications. Premium traffic is defined to be any traffic that requires special network treatment such as audio, video and VPN. Structuring premium flows depends on the agreement of all domains within the selected path. The current problems in using SLAs are 1) parties optimize based on monetary goals, 2) static paths, 3) low propagation of knowledge and responsibility that translates into low fault tolerance. A solution to these problems is the Inter-domain Resource Exchange (iREX), which allows the domains to automatically trade in network resources and confirm bilateral relations. With iREX, automated SLAs eliminate time-costly human interactions and domains that breach their contracts will be blacklisted and are less likely to be used. To show the performance between iREX and the current scheme, the iREX simulator was created as a simulation tool to get data for analysis and used as a visual aid to demonstrate the iREX scheme. Based on a sample of 3,897,396 traffic requests and domains with the same pricing functions, the iREX scheme resulted with a higher number of successful deployment requests and maintained a stable number of link capacity. In addition, the iREX scheme caters to more requests and recovers from more faults than SLA. Based on the statistical data compared between the iREX and SLA schemes, iREX presents a dynamic and faster system with domains that have total control and knowledge of their paths.
Pricing on the Internet
In recent years, the Internet service market has become highly competitive. Different models and pricing plans has been attempted, but there is still a struggle to find the right pricing model that would benefit the users and the service provider market. In determining an efficient pricing plan, we must consider the flexibility of users needs and how the network load is handled. There are currently two types of pricing plans in the Internet service provider (ISP) market, flat-rate and usage-based pricing plans. Under the flat-rate plan, the user pays a fixed amount over a certain period for unlimited usage. Though users are able to predict their monthly charges, some of the shortcomings from this plan are the decline of service quality through over-usage and the lack of fairness. With the usage-based plan, users pay for the period of time they are connected to the Internet. The usage-based plan restrains further market growth because users are paying for the time they are connected to the Internet. A more suitable business model that would satisfy all types of users is a combination between the flat-rate and usage based pricing plans. The flat-rate plan will be used for basic service, and charges for higher bandwidth will be based on usage. This plan provides an efficient network control that can maintain the quality of service of Internet access. ISPs can meet the demand of users at any time and receive additional revenues based on usage of higher bandwidth.
Alternate Construction Methods of Shear
Walls for Seismic Loads
Timber shear walls are fundamental elements in the seismic design of wood-framed structures. In order to evaluate provisions of the 1997 Uniform Building Code (UBC) governing the design of shear walls with openings, an experimental program was developed to determine the efficiency and in-plane lateral performance of timber-framed shear walls with openings. Three classes of wood-framed shear walls were subjected to lateral deformations to simulate earthquake conditions. These classes were a group of fully sheathed wall specimens (COLA), a group of wall specimens with openings using typical methods of providing continuity around the openings (FW), and four groups of wall specimens, which employed alternate methods of providing continuity (SOACM). By analyzing the experimental performance data including initial stiffness, drift capacity, and the yield and strength limit states of the specimens, a quantitative comparison can be made of the different construction methods. The results offer an improved understanding of the seismic behavior of the tested wood frame walls, and provide a basis for recommending alternate design methods which reduce the cost of fabrication while maintaining the seismic performance required by the UBC.
BDNF Protein in the Rat Hippocampus is
Upregulated by a Second Period of Exercise
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promotes plasticity and neuron survival in the hippocampus and is upregulated by physical and learning activity; however, decreased hippocampal BDNF is associated with depression. With voluntary exercise by rodents, BDNF mRNA and protein levels increase in several brain regions within hours, particularly in the hippocampal formation. Previously we reported that after 4 weeks of wheel running, levels of BDNF protein remain elevated for several days after exercise has ceased, and return to baseline after 1 week of sedentary lifestyle. It is not known how BDNF is regulated by subsequent exercise after protein levels have returned to baseline (100%). In this study we examine the effect of a brief second run session on BDNF protein at 1 and 2 weeks after an initial priming run of 2 weeks. Immediately after 2 weeks of running, BDNF is significantly elevated to 140% over sedentary levels, and decays to 122% and 108% respectively after 1 and 2 weeks of quiescence of sedentary lifestyle. A second run session of 2 days, initiated after 1 or 2 weeks of quiescence significantly increases hippocampal BDNF to 156% and 153% respectively, of sedentary levels (p<.05). In contrast, 2 days of running alone in the absence of a prior priming run, fails to significantly increase BDNF. Animals undergoing a similar exercise paradigm, (exercising every other day), followed a similar pattern as their daily exercising counterparts. Thus, BDNF protein levels increased by exercise can be maintained even with infrequent short exercise bouts. These findings are relevant to the design of exercise and rehabilitation programs to promote a healthy neural environment, and may provide information on the benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle to promote successful aging.
Construction of a Magnetometer for the
Equivalence Principle Experiment
For many of the gravitational experiments such as the Equivalence Principle (EP) experiment, it is necessary to reduce as much noise as possible from sources that include the external environment and in particular from the isolated system where the experiments are being conducted. Magnetic moments from the components of the system are one source of noise, which we would like to measure and minimize. In order to measure the magnitude and direction of the magnetic moment of a given material sample, the approach taken was to construct an apparatus consisting of a hollow chamber in which a given sample inside a small carrier would be suspended by a fiber. By rotating a magnetic field about the sample, it was possible to measure the magnetic properties of the sample through the relationship between the torque caused by (1) the external magnetic field and the samples magnetic moment and (2) the torsional constant k and the rotation angle of the fiber. Many runs were conducted to obtain the magnetic properties of several different samples. Magnesium samples, which will be used for the EP experiment, were measured on average to have a magnetic moment of approximately (0.42 +/- 0.05) ´ 10-8 A · m2, whereas that of a cubic Beryllium sample was measured to be approximately (2.01 +/- 0.28) ´ 10-8 A · m2.
Social Support and Foster Care Childrens
Adjustment: A Comparison with a Matched Community Sample
As of March 2001, there were approximately 542,000 U.S. children that were residing in foster care (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003). Due to the high incidence of foster children in the general population, it is crucial that research is conducted on this unique group to determine the implications of living in such an environment. At the present time, there is a lack of information on social support systems and its effects on foster-care youth. This study looks at the relationship between support from peers, foster- and biological-parents, as well as childrens psychological well-being and educational aspirations. A foster-care sample was compared with a matched community sample of Los Angeles County adolescents. Results indicated that foster-care children did not differ from their community counterparts in self-esteem and depressive symptoms. However, foster childrens levels of educational aspirations and expectations were significantly lower than those of the community sample. It was also found that levels of peers and foster-parents warmth were correlated with self-esteem and depressive symptoms in the foster care sample. These results highlight the importance of parental and peer support on foster childrens levels of adjustment and educational aspirations and emphasize how valuable a social support network can be in the lives of foster children.
Response of Cell Cycle Genes p21, MyoD, and
Myogenin in Irradiated Skeletal Muscle
Irradiation has been shown to cause DNA damage in skeletal muscle, however the effects of irradiation on skeletal muscles cell cycle genes is relatively unknown. Irradiation has also been shown to cause DNA damage in satellite cells, which in turn prevents satellite cells from being incorportated into the muscle as myonuclei. The nuclear domain theory requires that muscles maintain a specific myonuclei to muscle volume ratio. Hence, growth of muscle would seem to require the activation and incorporation of satellite cells into myonuclei. In this study, soleus muscles of 27 Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 25 gray of gamma irradiation. The muscles were harvested at the following time points: 4 hr, 12 hr, 1 day, 2 day, and 3 day. RT-PCR was performed using primers for the tumor suppressor genes, p21, MyoD, and myogenin. Data analysis revealed that p21 was upregulated in the 4hr, 1 day, and 2 day groups in comparison to control group. Surprisingly MyoD and myogenin (myogenic regulatory factors) gene expression increased, a result which was not expected.
Performance Profiling System for a Dynamic
Distributed Java Virtual Machine
This paper details a performance profiling system for a dynamic, distributed Java compiler and virtual machine infrastructure. This infrastructure is currently research in progress, and is built on the Joeq Java compiler and virtual machine. While there have been numerous papers published on the topic of performance profiling, this paper focuses on the unique problems and challenges faced when developing a profiler in the dynamic, distributed context. Most compilers attempt to optimize a program for an idealized execution environment (or do not take in account the execution environment at all); my profiler attempts to collect information that provides the compiler with execution environment specific information so that it is available for use in its heuristics. In addition to the general challenges of minimizing profiling overhead and maximizing accuracy of collected data, my profiler also collects profile data especially pertinent to the distribution algorithms such as network reads and writes, memory usage, and power consumption.
Development of Biological Tools to Investigate
the Functions of CD93
CD93, a cell surface glycoprotein, modulates the C1q-mediated enhancement of phagocytosis of antibody- and complement-coated particles in vitro, and apoptotic cells in vivo, but the mechanism responsible for this modulation remains elusive. Therefore, we began to generate biological tools in an attempt to investigate the functions of CD93, particularly with regard to the modulation of phagocytosis by CD93. First, an in vivo murine model was generated with a uniform genetic background expressing or lacking CD93 and CD93 -/- and +/+ bone marrow-derived macrophages from these mice were used in phagocytosis experiments. Secondly, construction of in vitro models by retroviral transduction and transfection of mouse cell lines using human CD93 and the mutant thereof was also initiated. While the backcrossing produced offspring CD93 deficient macrophages, these cells showed enhanced phagocytic activity in the presence of C1q similar to CD93 +/+ macrophages, suggesting that CD93 influences, but is not necessary for, C1q enhancement of phagocytosis. The transduction/transfection of human CD93 led to a low level expression of CD93 on the cell surface but the protein was detected in cell lysates. Modulation of phagocytosis by CD93 and the involvement of its cytoplasmic domain in signal transduction will be explored by producing stable CD93 surface expression in conjunction with the CD93 knockout animals developed in this study.
Simulation of Electromagnetic Fields Created by
Curved Sheets with Alternating Surface Current
A model was created describing a particle deflector that consists of two curved parallel plates with an alternating surface current. To determine the electromagnetic fields generated by this configuration, Jefimenko's Equations were solved numerically. The two equations, one for the electric and the other for the magnetic field, are integrals that would be rather complicated for any "real world" geometry. However, by writing functions using the numerical integral technique called adaptive quadrature and a surface integral function (the plates are considered single sheets of surface current of a finite length) the vector values for both the magnetic and electric field can be obtained. These functions are written in C++, along with a master function that takes a specific point in space and time, and using the integral functions returns a vector representing the field. This allows for easy integration of the field calculator into other functions that can determine useful quantities, such as the inductance of the system
Confirmation of Variability in the SU UMA-Type
Dwarf Nova V1504 CYG
The cataclysmic variable V1504 Cyg is observed at the UCI Observatory for periodic variability, showing that the observatory is capable of performing time-resolved photometry on a dwarf nova system. The software package IRAF is used to calibrate the images and to measure the flux from the target and several reference stars with aperture photometry. These same stars are then used to compute differential photometry of the target. A statistical test is employed to empirically determine the presence of variability in the target star. Finally, a theoretical light curve is fit to the data in an effort to confirm the known orbital period of the system.
Women in the Media: The Portrayal of Female
Broadcasters on Television
Although female journalists are making great strides in the broadcast industry, they are still portrayed very differently than their male counterparts. Because the world is an eventful, unpredictable place, there is an extremely diverse range of events/topics aired on the news daily. While almost anyone could complete the task of simply informing a certain population of these events, there are numerous strategies, motivations and justifications, based on ratings, which influence who will broadcast specific stories for what amount of time. Gender can be an extremely influential variable when making these kind of decisions because it can greatly affect what the news programs target audience will be and whether or not the program will gain the maximal number of viewers for its particular time slot. Therefore, in questioning and examining how and why female broadcasters are portrayed differently than male broadcasters on television, one can gain significant insight into the motivations behind gender relations and gender inequality throughout the broadcasting industry and perhaps even the workplace in general. One of the most notable differences is that women must often adhere to very different aesthetic standards than men. Although broadcasters can drastically vary in age, it is significant to note that a majority of male broadcasters are considerably older than their female counterparts. Explanations for this age gap tend to center around the notion that men age better than women. Even among women there seems to be a certain type of "look" that producers and executives like a broadcaster to have.
Optimization of Radiofrequency Pulses in NMR
In NMR spectroscopy the point of interest is the net magnetization of the hydrogen nucleus 1H, which can be manipulated for many different reasons. One way to manipulate the magnetization is called population inversion in which the magnetization of unity is taken from z=+1 to z=-1. Doing so can be useful for spin-lattice relaxation measurements and decoupling sequences. However, due to B1 inhomogeneity and resonance offsets a simple 180o pulse, which will not bring the magnetization close enough to z=-1, can be replaced with a composite pulse. A composite pulse is a sequence of shorter pulses, which replace a simple 180o pulse while at the same time eliminating most of the errors due to resonance offsets. Past research shows that a 180o pulse sequence of 90o(X) 240o(Y) 90o(X) is one possibility (A Handbook of NMR, 1988). The objective of this research was to find a better optimization program than the existing one and optimize an optimal 180o pulse sequence. The previous optimization program randomly generated sequences until the best one was found, however, resulting in the loss of time efficiency, usually having to run the program overnight. On the other hand, using Marquardts Method, which is a combination of Newtons Method and Steepest Decent, we can write a program that will optimize a 180o pulse sequence with poor starting guesses and within seconds. Doing just that we got the following sequence: 90.04o (X) 243.62o (Y) 90.98o (X). Satisfied with the results we can now use the program to optimize even more complex sequences.
Screening of HIV Long Term Non Progressor and HIV
Progressor Specific Peptides, and Their Potential as Diagnostic Markers for Disease
The difference in the humoral immune response between HIV progressors and HIV long term non progressors (LTNP) has been investigated. Peptides which were predominantly reactive either to sera of HIV progressors or LTNP were selected by panning magnetic beads coated with IgG isolated from the sera of LTNP and HIV progressors with random peptide libraries displayed on phages (RPLP) followed by differential immunoscreening. Using this technique, 12 peptides were isolated. One of these peptides was LTNP specific, 5 were HIV progressor specific and 6 were reactive to both subject groups to a comparable degree. As demonstrated from these results, the antibody recognition patterns were distinct and variable in LTNP and HIV progressors. Although both LTNP and HIV progressors make antibodies against HIV, they can differ in the magnitude of their reactivity to specific peptides. The understanding of the distinct antibody response especially in HIV progressors may lead us to a better understanding why one small group of HIV infected individuals can control virus infection and disease progression while the other group progresses relentlessly to AIDS.
Age Differences in Emotional Memory: A Study of
Memories influence how people evaluate their lives and regulate their emotions. Prior research has found age differences in memory for emotional stimuli: younger adults recall more negative than positive stimuli compared to older adults. The present study investigates age-related differences in memory for positive, negative and neutral information, and examines how framing information in a positive or negative light affects these age differences. Younger and older participants read both a positive and negative story, with the order of the stories counterbalanced across participants. There were two sets of each story, identical, except for key words that made the gist of each story either happy or sad. In addition, each story included equal amounts of positive and negative information. After a 20 min distraction task participants were asked to identify true and false statements about the stories they had read. We hypothesized that, consistent with prior research, age-related differences in memory would be strongest for negative information. Preliminary results suggest that the hypothesis is supported when information is framed in a positive context. For the positive stories young adults remember equal amounts of positive and negative information, whereas older adults focus more on the positive information. This age difference was absent in stories framed in a negative context, with age differences displaying in an unexpected direction. For the negative stories both younger and older adults remember less negative information relative to positive information. Findings will be discussed in light of socioemotional selectivity theory, which posits enhanced emotion regulation with age.
Urotensin II Induces c-fos mRNA
Upregulation in the Rat Brain as Assayed By in situ Hybridization
Urotensin II (UII) is a peptide that has a role in the cardiovascular system. To investigate its role in the central nervous system, the present study determined whether UII could induce changes in the levels of c-fos mRNA expression. C-fos mRNA upregulation was measured in the rat brain by utilizing in situ hybridization following intracerebroventricular injections of UII or saline. The brain area that displayed an increase in c-fos expression after UII injection, over that of saline injection, was the medial habenular nucleus. There was no significant difference seen in the anteroventral thalamus and the periaqueductal gray. These results suggest that UII has a role in the central nervous system as a neuromodulator.
Pulsed Optoacoustic Interefometric Spectroscopy
(POISe) and Imaging
Optical properties of tissues such as scattering and absorption can potentially provide accurate representations of tissue morphology and composition, respectively. This enables optical methods to perform non-invasive imaging and physiological monitoring of biological tissues. However, due to the strong scattering properties of these tissues, existing non-invasive optical methods such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) are unable to provide high-resolution images at large tissue depths (>3 mm). POISe is a novel optoacoustic technique developed by my mentor's group, which has the potential to determine the optical properties of homogeneous tissue volumes and image heterogeneous tissue structures. This method uses a time-resolved interferometric system to measure the surface displacement of a tissue sample in response to irradiation with a short (nanosecond) laser pulse. To test the capabilities of the system, I have constructed both homogeneous as well as heterogeneous phantoms (mimicking a pair of blood vessels within a turbid tissue). These phantoms have optical properties representative of tissues in vivo. Using the POISe instrument, I have measured the surface displacement caused by laser irradiation at several locations on the surface of each phantom. Optical property determination has been attempted from the data obtained from the homogeneous phantoms. At the same time, image reconstruction was performed using the data acquired from the heterogeneous phantoms using the delay and sum method. Some preliminary results derived from both efforts are shown. This project shows the capability of POISe to non-invasively determine tissue optical properties and image tissue structure to depths approaching 1 cm with a resolution better than 250 microns.
Temperature Measurement From Spectral Lines of
Radio Frequency Generated Argon Plasma
Some laboratory plasma sources do not have the possibility of being diagnosed with mechanical probes. For some such plasma sources, it may be possible to use emitted light spectra to obtain information about the plasma electron and ion temperatures. Line intensities and their ratios are used to calculate the electron temperature, Te, and ion temperature, Ti, for an RF-generated Argon plasma. The line intensities are measured using a Jarrell-Ash Czerny-Turner spectrometer in the range of 400 nm to 750 nm. The intensity depends on the frequency of the emitted spectral line as well as on the temperature. Thus, by observing a wide spectral range the electron temperature may be estimated. This diagnostic technique may be useful since it is non-intrusive, but preliminary results show that this method may not provide desired precision in determining temperatures.
Spinning off the success of last years show, I again produced "The Vagina Monologues" at UCI as a benefit production in conjunction with the international organization, V-Day. As a producer, I was responsible for all operational details business-related affairs. This included securing funds, performance space, marketing, publicity, public relations, and bookkeeping, as well as choosing directors and actors. My main focus for this years show was increased awareness and publicity. I was successful since attendance was drastically higher than in 2003. Also, more attention was given to production value and dramatic presentation to further encourage artistic involvement. The final product was solid, well-received, well-publicized, and raised over $12,000 for the beneficiaries. This show was one of the most powerful experiences of my life and while I am no longer eligible to organize for 2005, I am happy to pass it on to some of my peers who will continue the research.
Art to Educate
How can we communicate an idea or a lesson without using a blackboard or overhead projector? How can we affect an audience that may be reluctant to learn? These are some of the questions that I asked as I traveled to a special summer seminar in Bryn Mawr college this past summer. As an aspiring director/producer, my artistic focus is using theater and film as a means of communication to affect public opinion and encourage social change. This is important because it strengthens the power of theater and allows many to see theater as more than entertainment and instead, a means of education. At the seminar, I participated in screenings, discussions and workshops that discussed politically motivated art and evaluated its success. When I returned, I also did follow up reading. With my seminar experience and reading together, I was able to write a chapter in my thesis: "How to do an Independent Production." This document can be used as a guide for students on college campuses to take advantage of the resources around them and support their desire to produce art outside of the available programs and curriculum on campus.
Mechanism of Inhibition of IL-6 Signaling by the
Microbial Product Madindoline
The goal of our experiment is to determine exactly how madindoline blocks the IL-6 (interleukin-6) signaling pathway. IL-6 is a pleiotropic cytokine, which transduces signals through a membrane glycoprotein, gp130, to activate the intracellular JAK/STAT (Janus kinase/Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription) signal transduction cascade. IL-6 signaling regulates various physiological processes including hematopoiesis, wound healing, immune response and skeletal development. Excessive IL-6 signaling is reported to be involved in cancer cachexia, Castlemans disease, rheumatoid arthritis, hypercalcemia, and multiple myeloma (Hayashi et al., 2002). Therefore, an inhibitor of IL-6 signaling can be a potential therapeutic agent against these diseases. Studies by Hirose described the isolation of madindoline as a metabolite of Streptomyces nitrosporeus K93-0711 (Hirose et al., 2002). Madindoline is known to specifically inhibit IL-6 and IL-11 signaling but not IL-2, IL-4, IL-8 or LIF signaling. IL-6 and IL-11 signal via gp130 homodimer while LIF signals via a LIFR-gp130 heterodimer. It is also known that the epitope required for homodimerization is different from that required for heterodimerization (Hayashi et al., 2002). We believe that madindoline specifically binds to the extra cellular domain of gp130 that exerts its inhibitory effect on IL-6 signaling by interfering with gp130 homodimer formation. We present evidence that a purified extra cellular domain of gp130 binds to madindoline directly, thus preventing homodimerization and blocking the JAK/STAT signaling cascade. This binding can be inhibited by competition with free madindoline. We have also mapped a portion of the molecule that is required for binding.
Spiritual Expression and Corporeality in The
Life of Christina of Markyate and The Book of Margery Kempe
Along with a new emphasis on individuality during the twelfth century, marriage took on a new, more stipulated meaning as a monogamous, indissoluble sacrament of the church, yet theories on legal marriage were not yet clear. A new doctrine of marriage was set forth in the thirteenth century, and marriage became the single most important thing in a womans life. Spiritual expression was consequently effected and became intertwined with the womans status as wife and mother in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, leading to a new affective piety for women. While the late Middle Ages are often understood as offering a greater amount of social possibility for women, their spiritual expression was in many ways bound by their social status and the resulting emphasis on womens corporeality. The lives of two medieval women, Christina Markyate of the twelfth century and Margery Kempe of the fifteenth century, are ideal for study in tracing these important changes. Christina of Markyate, a hermitess and later abbess, focused primarily on maintaining the physical ideal of virginity and was able to cleverly manipulate her material circumstances to her own advantage, leading to an affective piety that was personally beneficial to her unique circumstances. For Margery Kempe, on the other hand, the many social changes, which had taken place, led to an idealized understanding of the roles of wife and mother, and became a hindrance to her individual spiritual expression.
From Tamil to English: Persistence and Change in
Cultural Attitudes Toward Design
Much can be learned about peoples relationships with space, an area known as Cultural Ecology, by examining families and their homes. How they classify space, express religion, show values, create symbolism, and the meaning of various actions and objects can be ascertained based on these observations. This is a preliminary exploratory study of a Southern California family. The research question was to explore the cultural conceptions of space by examining how an immigrant family builds life in the United States and their adjustments. This paper was developed through observations of the family home and interviews with family members. With guidance provided in "Cultural Ecology and Environmental Design," in Winter 2004, I spent several weeks conducting Naturalistic Field Research. By collecting and analyzing data I completed an in-depth study of one family, which revealed fascinating results. Given more time, I would have continued this study with other families of the same origin. The Vijijanaki family consists of two immigrant parents and their two American-born children. The study reveals how the family selected a house, how they "designed" and arranged their house, and how their house was adjusted when it failed to meet their cultural needs. One of the persistent themes throughout the study is how the family compromised between their native culture and American culture, as well as how they compromised between the ideals of the traditional parents and those of their more progressive children. The study also reveals strong familial bonds and a pervasive cultural identity reinforced by deeply held religious tenets and convictions.
Monitoring the Localization of UOL in Herpes
Simplex Virus Infected Cells
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is a DNA virus that generally infects humans. Following the primary infections, the virus spreads from the infected epithelial cells to nearby sensory nerve endings and is transported along the nerve axon to the cell body located in the trigeminal ganglion. The virus genome enters the nucleus of the neuron, where it persists indefinitely in the latent state. The only gene that is readily detectable during neuronal latency is latency associated transcript (LAT). The traveled path related to how the virus cycles in and out of the latent-reactivation states is not well studied. In order to address this problem, a recently developed product, the red fluorescent protein (RFP), is used as a tag to monitor the traveled path of HSV recombinants virus. UOL gene located upstream of LAT gene promoter region and is a newly cloned gene encoded by HSV. It is a late gene and its protein is incorporated into the virus particle. Because of this, it is a good candidate gene to tag with an indicator gene, such as RFP, to monitor the travel path of virus infected cells. Homologous recombination is done by cotransfection of pPvul600-UOL-RFP plasmid, a DNA fragment containing the UOL-RFP fusion gene flanked with HSV viral genome sequence, with infectious HSV McKrae genomic DNA into RS cells. The cotransfection mix is then plated on RS cells to isolate an individual viral plaque. This allows me to pick and analyze individual plaques by restriction enzyme digestion and Southern blot analysis. I have been able to obtain two plaques harboring the UOL-RFP fusion in the viral genome during the first round of purification process. The positive plaques were further purified and analyzed. I am currently on the second round of the plaque purification process. I will continue with this process for a couple more rounds of plaque purification procedures in order to get a homogenous chimeric plaque. Once I obtain a homogenous chimeric plaque, various cell lines will be cultured and these cells will then be infected with the homogenous chimeric plaque. Red Fluorescence signals/images will be captured every 12 hr after infection to monitor the path of HSV-1 infection.
Latino High School Students: A
Psycho-sociocultural Perspective on Coping Mechanisms and Their Influences on Academic
Above-average grades and high levels of academic persistence (Gonzalez & Padilla, 1997) characterize academic performance. In California, where Latinos comprise 44% of enrolled students and 50% of school dropouts (U.S. Census Bureau, 2003; NCLR, 2003), increasing Latinos academic performance is of utmost importance. Previous research has indicated that academic performance is affected by several interrelated psychological (self-beliefs), social (social networks) and cultural (cultural/environmental fit) variables. In response to each of the variables, students can produce unique coping mechanisms or techniques used to manage academic stressors. However, the many coping mechanisms of Latino high school students are still unknown in educational research. The purpose of this study is twofold: one, determine academic stressors by examining Latino high school students using psychological, social and cultural constructs; and two, discover the various coping mechanisms used to maintain academic performance. It is hypothesized that as the interrelatedness of the PSC stressors decreases, the more likely students will have established effective coping mechanisms. It is predicted that as students utilize more coping mechanisms, their academic performance will increase.
Role of Tumor Suppressor Protein KLK10 in Breast
The role of various tumor suppressor proteins in breast cancer has been very well studied. KLK10 (Kallikrein 10), which is also known as NES1 (Normal Epithelial Cell Specific1), has also been shown to be a class II tumor suppressor gene. This gene has been shown to be highly expressed in normal breast epithelial cells and loss of expression has been shown in breast cancer cell lines. Here, we wished to analyze the expression of KLK10 gene in normal breast tissue, typical ductal hyperplasia, atypical ductal hyperplasia, ductal carcinoma in situ and infiltrating ductal carcinoma based on its RNA expression. We found that KLK10 was found expressed in normal breast tissue as well as in typical ductal hyperplasia and atypical ductal hyperplasia specimens. Ductal carcinoma in situ specimens exhibited weak to moderate expression of this gene whereas there was complete absence of this gene in infiltrating ductal carcinoma specimens. We conclude that loss of KLK10 expressions in normal epithelial could contribute to breast cancer progression.
An Application of the Swiss-Roll
Burner Heat Recirculation Combustor
Heat recirculation is a field of research of major interest in combustion technology, since it is possible to achieve a series of advantages from high preheat of the unburned flammable mixture before it reaches the combustion chamber. Among these, it is possible to obtain a cleaner combustion, with a dramatic reduction of pollutants produced. One application of this principle is using such a device to produce breathable air. Our research was addressed in dimensioning and building a device able to practically verify the possibility to obtain this result. Many problems have to be solved in this process: the mass of air required per person per minute from normative is too big to be conveniently processed in this way, and there are some issues related to the materials to use to reach temperatures so high in the exchanging channels, since cheap materials such as stainless steel melt at lower temperatures. The goal to obtain clean air requires a careful study of the chamber design and of the operating conditions. So attention has been paid to the appropriate mass flow rate to process and to the dimensions of the channels, with the purpose of enhancing the heat exchange and of obtaining the flameless combustion conditions.
Point-Based Multiresolution Splatting for
Interactive Volume Visualization
Interactive visualization of large volume data sets is an increasingly important research problem with applications in a variety of domains such as scientific visualization, medical imaging, physical simulations and sciences such as oceanography, meteorology, or chemistry. Of particular interest are scientific visualization applications in the areas of material simulations, computational fluid dynamics, blast simulations, or atmospheric and oceanographic visualizations. This research project proposes to develop a hardware-accelerated volume rendering method using a multiresolution point splatting approach. The volume data will be organized in a hierarchical multiresolution data structure that provides adaptive access and rendering at multiple levels-of-detail. A user-defined transfer function assigns color and opacity values to the scalar field. Volume rendering is performed by projecting the sample kernels onto the image plane and blending the color and opacity values, including depth and visibility attenuation. Hardware acceleration will be achieved by planar integration of the volumetric blending kernel and polygonal rendering of samples using alpha texturing.
The Effects of Diffusion Limits on Capillary Tube
A major limiting factor in the development of three-dimensional synthetic tissues is the development of a vascular network within the new tissue. Without blood supply to nourish the tissue, the size and scope of tissues able to be created is limited. Understanding capillary growth is necessary in developing vascular networks for three-dimensional synthetic tissues. This study investigates the hypothesis that growth of capillary tubes is affected by the resistance of diffusion caused by an increase in the overall depth of the tissue matrix and an increase in the distance between the fibroblast and the beads. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECSs) removed from freshly isolated umbilical cords were subcultured once then seeded onto 150 m m diameter cytodex beads. The beads were embedded at the bottom of a tissue matrix and a layer of fibroblasts was placed in the fibrinogen, separating the beads and Endothelial Growth Media-2. The overall depth of the tissue and distance between the fibroblast and the beads were varied. The data so far indicates that when the fibroblasts are in close proximity to the beads the HUVECs primarily form capillary tubes. Moreover, as the depth of the acellular tissue increases, tube formation/branching/maintenance does not readily occur. Capillary tube formation is great affected by the overall depth of the tissue and the distance between the fibroblast and the beads.
Dress Reform as a Failed Social Movement
The dress reform movement lasted from about 1850 to 1900 and involved groups of women, who wanted to reform their clothes to be healthier and more comfortable. The women formed clubs, held conventions to show off reform clothes, and listened to many speeches on the issue. The dress reform movement, however, had a number of problems that led it to fail. The dress reformers were almost uniformly from the same social class and circles, they disagreed on how, why, and to what extent dress should be reformed, and many of them, even though they supported the movement, did not wear reformed clothes due to factors like cost and fear of ridicule. This paper utilizes newspaper articles from the 1800s to illustrate the reasons why the movement failed. Most research has reported on successful social movements, so examining dress reform adds to our understanding of social movements by focusing attention on why movements might fail.
Effects of ZnCON3 Supplementation in a
Transgenic Model of Alzheimers Disease
Previous studies have suggested that low levels of zinc in the brain may contribute to impairments in nervous, endocrine and immune systems, and this may be related to deficiencies in antioxidant defense mechanisms. Furthermore, aged mice show impairments in cognition, one of the characteristics of Alzheimer's disease (AD) that correlate with decreased levels of zinc. The reasoning is that high levels of oxidative stress (due to low antioxidants) may make aged brains susceptible to free radical mechanisms. While many studies have examined the effects of low zinc levels on the brain, we are exploring the effect of high concentrations of zinc in the brain. Since the mechanism of zinc mimics that of endogenous calcium, we predict high levels of zinc will also a have neurotoxic effect. We gave ZnCO3 in drinking water supplementation to double mutated transgenic mice (TgCRND8), an animal model for AD, four months following weaning. Then, mice underwent Morris Water Maze testing in conjunction with the Atlantis Platform to test reference memory, followed by the moving platform task to test for short-term memory. The final day tested for blindness. After sacrificing mice, immunohistochemisty fluorescence was performed to determine amyloid plaque densities. Preliminary results show high frequency in platform finds for control groups compared to the experimental group, which suggests that the elevated zinc levels have had a negative effect on the brain. However, immunohistochemistry revealed no difference in plaque density among zn+/tg and zinc-/tg groups.
Splice Variants of ALDH3A1 in Human Corneal
Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 3A1 (ALDH3A1) is very abundant in corneal tissues, making up as much as 40% of the water-soluble protein. We found splice variants for ALDH3A1 that are highly expressed in human corneal tissue. We wish to determine if these variants are functional in human corneal cells. RNA was isolated from corneal epithelium and stroma and from primary cultures of epithelial and stromal fibroblasts. cDNA was produced by reverse transcription of RNA isolated from these cells. Sequencing allowed for the determination of probable exon/intron structure by comparison to genomic sequence. Full-length cDNA was then cloned, reamplified and inserted into a suitable plasmid. The plasmid was sequenced to insure that the inserted cDNA was oriented correctly and contained no mutations. We found that three splice variants are produced in human corneal tissue. The splice variants were a wild type that was not missing any exons, a variant lacking exon two and another variant lacking exons two and nine. It was shown that exon boundaries were different for the splice variants. The sequence of the plasmid showed that the inserted DNA lacked mutations and was oriented correctly. Based on transfections of a plasmid from earlier experiments, transfection should be an effective means of introducing these variants into cells. Once the splice variants have been introduced to cells, we will assess whether the variants produce protein and whether it is enzymatically active.
Bridging the Gap Between Two Techniques Used to
Assess Brain Activity
Trying to determine the entire region of the brain that responds to a particular stimulus requires the ability to record from large brain regions. Two common techniques for such a determination include Intrinsic Signal Imaging (ISI) and single unit recording. ISI offers minimal damage to brain tissue as well as simultaneous recording of a large brain region with high spatial resolution, while single unit recordings can only assess one point location in the brain at a time and damages cortical tissue. However, ISI is an indirect measure of brain activity while single unit recordings can directly record from brain cells. In order to allow for a more direct comparison of results obtained by these two techniques, it is necessary to find a stimulus that ISI can use that is common to that of single unit recordings. In studying the activity evoked in the subregion of the brain that processes touch information from large whiskers on an animals snout, the stimulus typically used for imaging is striking a whisker 5 times within a period of 1 sec, while for single unit recordings, it is a single strike to the whisker lasting less than 10 millisecond. For this project, imaging data were collected where two different types of trials were randomly interlaced, with one trial containing the typical imaging stimulus and the other trial containing a single unit recording stimulus of 5 millisecond. Based on the results obtained from this pilot study, it seems that a stimulus of 5 millisecond does not evoke a signal that can be reliably detected by ISI.
The Role of Pro-Indigenous Movements Within
Bolivian Resistance to Multi-National Corporations
In the 1970s and 80s Bolivian pro-indigenous movements, like the Katarista movement of 1973, advocated for bilingual education, traditional medical practice, recognition of indigenous territory, and cultural identity while challenging western modernization and privatization of natural resources. These movements came after a long history of U.S. reinforcement of anti-indigenous sentiments and were able to open up the communication between tribes, encourage active participation in problem solving and provide the resources necessary to dialogue with government officials and hold them accountable. Previous studies demonstrate that opposition to modernization and western culture was instrumental in protecting the land from multinational corporations ready to extract the natural resources on which the economy depended. Resistance movements to multinational corporations were then successful because of pro-indigenous movements and the preservation of indigenous culture. Some examples include the 1990 March for Territory and Dignity protecting the Chimanes forest, the 2000 movement against water privatization under the Aguas de Tunari concession, and the 2003 uprising to stop the selling of natural gas to Chile and California.
Democracy in Iraq: The Possibility of a
Functioning Democracy in Post-War Iraq
In the spring of 2003, the United States and British military coalition removed Saddam Husseins regime from power in Iraq. Roughly a year later, the war seems to have just begun. Although a date for transferring the governing power over to the people of Iraq was scheduled for June, uncertainty about whether a truly functioning democracy can exist in post-war Iraq has largely grown. Considering the history of Iraq, and its present social and political conditions, what is the possibility of a truly successful democracy existing in post-war Iraq? This research project was designed to analyze the current conditions of Iraq and compare them with the work and theories of political scientists on the subject of democratic development. From this, I offer predictions for the future of Iraq and what I believe is necessary for a functioning democracy in the country.
Reconstructing Manzanar Relocation Centers
Physical Landscape and its Historical Implications
In 1942, the U.S. government forcibly evacuated and interned 110,000 Japanese Americans in concentration camps, like the Manzanar Relocation Center. Generally, historians have considered the environment of these camps as a backdrop to the drama of internment. Using the methodology of landscape studies and environmental history, this paper reconsiders the natural and built landscape of Manzanar as an historical force, reconstructing the changes to Manzanars natural environment and how those changes were interpreted. The government, the internees, and outsiders literally, aesthetically, and rhetorically manipulated Manzanars landscape for their own respective ends. Government administrators designed and built the barracks, net factory, and farms, largely to exploit the land and labor for war production. To justify and diminish the dismal conditions this entailed for the internees, the administrators used pioneering rhetoric, claiming that reclamation of the desert was a baptism by wilderness that would prove the internees loyalty and patriotism. The internees made their own improvements to the barracks, built gardens, and created artwork, which most importantly reflected a literal and aesthetic landscape of protest, employing Manzanars natural resources to benefit the internees while resisting economic exploitation and the erosion of Japanese culture. Outsiders, who crafted and framed their own vision of Manzanar in their words, photographs, and memories to fit their personal understandings of internment, further manipulated the physical landscape of Manzanar. Manzanar was a physical as well as a figurative landscape that held larger meaning and uses for the administration, the internees, and those outside the barbed wire.
A New Approach to Evaluating a Hypothesized
Difference in the Size of the Ebbinghaus Illusion as Measured by Direct Judgments Versus
the Grip Aperture of Reaching Movements
In the Ebbinghaus illusion, two (central) circles of the same physical size appear to differ in size because they are surrounded by sets of smaller or larger (inducing) circles. Previous research claims to show that this illusion--i.e. the size of the inducing circles--does not affect the distance between the thumb and forefinger (grip aperture) when reaching to pick up a central disc, although this claim has been highly controversial. This poster presents results based on a new procedure that eliminates the scaling problems inherent in comparisons of perceived illusion size and differences in grip aperture. Implications for the "what/how" theory of ventral/dorsal dissociation of visual processing are discussed.
Expression of Aromatase in Cerebral Vessels:
Modulation by Sex Hormones
Circulating estrogen increases the production of vasodilator substances in the endothelium of cerebral blood vessels. Many tissues have the capacity to produce estrogen locally via the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase has been detected in some vascular tissues including aortic smooth muscle; however, it is not known if aromatase is present in cerebral blood vessels. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that aromatase is present in rat cerebral blood vessels. Given the recent interest in vascular effects of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), we also investigated whether aromatase levels were regulated by treatment with either estrogen or medroxyprogesterone (MPA), which are combined in a common form of HRT. We also investigated the effect of chronic testosterone treatment in males. Blood vessels and aorta were isolated from whole brain of four groups of female rats: ovariectomized (OVX), OVX implanted with pellets of estrogen or MPA alone, and with both hormones combined. Orchiectomized male rats (ORX) and ORX rats treated with testosterone were also studied. Western analysis revealed the presence of aromatase in cerebral vessels from both males and females. Chronic hormone treatment did not alter aromatase expression in cerebral vasculature. Interestingly, aromatase protein levels were increased by estrogen treatment in aorta in females, and this was prevented by the addition of MPA. Our results indicate that estrogen may be produced locally in the cerebral vasculature. Furthermore, modulation of aromatase levels in the aorta suggests the existence of a positive feedback mechanism in estrogen production.
Release Kinetics of BMP-2 Covalently Bound to
Bone tissue engineering seeks to develop a viable bone substitute by combining transplanted cells, a bio-absorbable polymer scaffold, and growth factors. To date, growth factors have only been added to polymer scaffolds by passive absorption; in contrast, we are able to attach bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) to polymer by covalent binding. This study examined the amount of BMP-2 remaining covalently bound over an extended period of time, and its release kinetics. To demonstrate covalent binding of BMP-2 to polymer, poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and polycaprolactone (PCL) coated microscope slides were prepared by spin-casting. BMP-2 was bound to the slides by peptide linkage catalyzed by N-ethyl-N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDAC). The binding of growth factor was then visualized by immunohistochemistry. To determine release kinetics, a 24-well plate was coated with polymer. BMP-2 was bound to the polymers again using EDAC. The amount of bound BMP-2 was determined by measuring the amount of un-reacted BMP-2 by ELISA. The wells were then filled with osteocyte culture medium, which was changed daily for 2 weeks. The amount of BMP-2 released into the media each day was likewise measured by ELISA. BMP-2 was slowly released from PCL over 2 weeks, with 36% remaining bound on day 14; in contrast, PLGA retained more BMP-2, with 68% remaining after 2 weeks. In conclusion, BMP-2 can be covalently bound over an extended period of time to polymer. While PLGA and PCL both retained BMP-2 for 2 weeks, more BMP-2 remained bound to PLGA.
Commercialization of Miniature Paintings in
Udaipur, a princely state located in Western India, was the epicenter of culture and the arts prior to 1945. However, the dawn of its independence brought with it an end to the independent kingdom of Udaipur and as a result the art forms that originated in Udaipur went through major transformations. These transformations were further exacerbated by the advent of tourism in the 1960s, which created a commercial market for these paintings. My purpose is to explore the changes that have taken place in the art form of miniature paintings, especially Mewar miniatures, since Indian independence. I will be looking at the thematic, visual and technological changes that have taken place in miniature paintings as a result of its commodification. I will further explore the plight of the painters and how their social conditions have changed due to the commercialization process. Today, the art industry in Udaipur is comprised of several middlemen who are responsible for placing a particular value on the Mewar miniatures. I will explore how this value-system is determined according to capitalistic principles and how this has led to the transformation of art to craft. My research is based on extensive interviews that were conducted with the painters at Udaipur, which shed light into their present conditions.
The Bards Trail
Our objective is the creation, preparation, and performance of a traveling variety show combining the spirit of the campfire with classical and contemporary theatre, which will tour the High Sierra Territories of Yosemite National Park. Our intention is to present to an audience that is isolated from conventional forms of entertainment with an unexpected and enlightening experience meant to increase their understanding and appreciation of established works of theatre, while simultaneously rekindling the spirit of the campfire.
Characterizing Radiation Patterns and Return Loss of
The antenna is the first part of any wireless device to be affected by an incoming signal (electromagnetic radiation), and thus the design of the antenna directly affects the capability of a device to hold a strong and stable signal. Antennas are not just randomly made from a piece of metal; they are actually very precise instruments that take a lot of time to develop. The basic goal of the designer is to make the antenna capable of receiving and maintaining a strong and clear signal, while at the same time making the antenna as small and energy efficient as possible. To do this, it is necessary to understand the radiation patterns and return loss that an antenna will create at different frequencies. These two parameters are used in the characterization of all antennas. Research data of the radiation patterns and return loss profiles of an antenna is what designers need to better understand how a given antenna is behaving, and how they can further optimize its design. Over the past several months I have written software that we used with the anechoic chamber (a special radiation absorbing room which is used to test antennas) at the UCI microwave laboratory. The software I wrote takes data generated in the chamber, and creates full reports, which characterize antenna performance.
Transnational Youth Identity: A Comparative
Analysis of Chicano Punks in Santa Ana, California and Mexican Punks in Guadalajara,
Identity has been described as an imaginary type of ongoing self-portrait. It is imperative then, that we ask ourselves how and why individuals across borders are imagining themselves similarly. My research explores the role of culture, power, and place in the appropriation and articulation of transnational punk imaginaries. Through field research conducted in Guadalajara, Mexico and Santa Ana, CA, I will discuss how global, transnational and local processes converge and diverge, producing unique and hybridized punk expressions. I argue that though Chicano and Mexican punk music and culture tie back to punk rock, essentially born in Great Britain in the early 70s as a response to the over-commercialization and inadequacy of rock and roll, Mexican and Chicano youth have produced distinct styles, leisure activities, scenes, and social networks. These manifestations of punk identity have served to frame the social and political demands of these youth, and as sites of resistance, serve to highlight the relationships of power at play in the negotiation of punk identity.
The Role of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Clinicians have remained perplexed as to the molecular nature of the altered vascularity associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent mitogen for endothelial cells and previous studies have shown that Schwann cells are the principle source of VEGF in the peripheral nervous system. To explore the possibility that Schwann cells and VEGF play a role in the altered vascularity that occurs with chronic nerve compression (CNC), we used a previously described rat model of CNC. Non-constrictive silastic tubing was atraumatically placed around the right sciatic nerve of each animal and nerves were harvested after 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, and 6 months. Non-isotopic in-situ hybridization (ISH) was used to evaluate VEGF mRNA expression and fluorescent immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to localize protein expression of VEGF and its receptors flk-1 and flt-1. The number of blood vessels in each nerve was also counted to determine the functional effect of VEGF expression. Results from ISH and IHC demonstrated a marked increase in both mRNA and protein expression of VEGF. The receptors for VEGF were also up-regulated in the CNC nerve specimens. There was a marked increase in the number of blood vessels present at the 6-month time point, compared to earlier time points. The data supports that Schwann cells respond to CNC injury with the up-regulation of VEGF and its receptors. Future studies will determine if this response is a direct result of ischemia or serves to provide neuroprotection for injured neurons.
Where Science and Law Intersect
Protecting rights is a fundamental ideal of the United States. This includes the protection of ideas of a person. The United States Patent Office is crucial in this process, allowing anyone with an original, non-obvious idea to file a patent application, and if approved, prosecute anyone who has infringed on such a patent. Just as the Supreme Court makes critical decisions in constitutional rights, such as with segregation or abortion rights, a decision on one large patent case may affect the judgment of other patent cases to come. One such case was Litton Systems, Inc. v. Honeywell, Inc. in 1990, which helped define the difference between literal infringement and infringement by equivalence. After introducing the patent system, the scientific processes for making Ring Laser Gyros using an Ion Beam Source is discussed, with physical specifications and empirical results. The terms of accused infringement by Honeywell are also discussed, as well as the outcome of the case.
VizION: The Interface Operating Network
The rise of ubiquitous computing environments in which the computing systems merge into the surroundings has created the need for a software framework that takes away the intricacies of these systems from the software developer and lets him focus on creating new applications instead. The requirements of such a middleware are numerous and challenging. Since active spaces usually consist of a large number of devices, the likelihood of one of these failing is quite high. The system has to be reliable enough to tolerate these failures gracefully and ensure the correct operation of all unaffected systems. Another major requirement is flexibility, as the number and kind of computing devices that are part of an active space are almost never predetermined. The software has to be easy to work with to encourage developers to use it for their applications, and it has to scale up as the environment that is being managed by the framework becomes larger and filled with more appliances. VizION is such a framework. It meets the requirements by splitting the system into a large number of independent entities, called nodes, which communicate via an Ethernet network. VizION defines a protocol that all nodes share in order to facilitate communication between them. An implementation of VizION has been written in the programming language Python. This implementation has been tried and tested in UCIs own ubiquitous computing environment, VizClass, a digitally enabled classroom, where it has been supporting numerous lectures and meetings since Fall 2003.
Interaction of AMPA Receptor Phosphorylation and
AMPA Receptor Modulators on Glutamatergic Transmission in Hippocampus in Vitro
The main objective of the present study was to determine whether alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) receptor phosphorylation levels are altered by AMPA receptor modulators called ampakines. Ampakines are the first group of allosteric modulators produced to bind to the extracellular surface of AMPA receptors and augment its function by desensitizing the glutamate receptor. Ampakine-induced glutamate desensitization has been shown to enhance synaptic current, and thus, being investigated as a therapeutic tool to improve cognitive function. Phosphorylation at distinct amino acid residues on AMPA receptor subunit GluR1, specifically at ser845 and ser831, is thought to be critical in the desensitization and activation of the AMPA receptor. Therefore, we hypothesized that ampakine mediated increases in baseline synaptic responses is caused by a concomitant increase in GluR1 phosphorylation. To test this, field excitatory postsynaptic potentials were recorded from rat hippocampal slices treated with ampakine CX717, followed by quantitative protein analysis for the GluR1 subunit. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that baseline synaptic responses increased to approximately 20% above baseline in slices treated with CX717. Slices treated with okadaic acid, a phosphatase inhibitor, had minimal effects on baseline synaptic transmission. A combined treated of CX717 with okadaic acid produced a 40% increase in synaptic potentials 1 hr after infusion. Surprisingly, preliminary data from protein analysis measured from these same slices show an opposite effect on phosphorylation than what was predicted. Western blot analysis revealed a decrease in the level of GluR1 phosphorylation in slices treated with CX717 and okadaic acid alone, while a combined treatment of the two compounds retained phosphorylation levels similar to control slices. This suggests that AMPA receptor phosphorylation may be sufficient, but not necessary to induce increases in AMPA receptor mediated currents.
Labor Supply and the Economic Growth and Tax
Reconciliation Act of 2001
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 was enacted by President Bush to help the economy from falling into a deeper recession. At the end of a ten-year period, this act will provide a tax cut of $1.35 trillion to taxpayers. The Act was passed to spur additional consumption. However, the increase in effective wages caused by the tax change may affect individuals choices of working hours. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the income tax cut on the labor supplied by individuals in terms of weekly hours worked. Data from the 2003 and 2002 Current Population Survey March Supplement were analyzed with a multiple regression analysis in conjunction with a differences-n-differences approach. The results suggested that the tax cut actually stimulated a substitution effect, where taxpayers chose to work additional hours to accumulate more income.