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University of Colorado, Boulder

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Rna Recognition By The Glucocorticoid Receptor Dna-Binding Domain, Nicholas Victor Parsonnet Nov 2019

Rna Recognition By The Glucocorticoid Receptor Dna-Binding Domain, Nicholas Victor Parsonnet

Biochemistry Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Regulation of gene expression by transcription factors (TFs) and their co-regulatory molecules forms much of the basis of how cells interact with their environment. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as a new class of co-regulatory factors, exploiting diverse sequence and structure motifs to interact directly with TFs. An outstanding prototype of this model is glucocorticoid receptor (GR), a TF which binds multiple RNAs in vivo and typifies the molecular decoy model—competitive binding between RNA and DNA at the TF DNA-binding domain. For example, GR binds the noncoding RNA Gas5, a tumor suppressor and growth arrest-specific RNA, via its ...


Characterizing Photobioregenerative Technology For Simultaneous Thermal Control And Air Revitalization Of Spacecraft And Surface Habitats, Emily E. Matula Nov 2019

Characterizing Photobioregenerative Technology For Simultaneous Thermal Control And Air Revitalization Of Spacecraft And Surface Habitats, Emily E. Matula

Aerospace Engineering Sciences Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Algal photobioreactors have been researched as potential solutions to air revitalization in a spacecraft cabin environment by absorbing CO2 and producing O2 through photosynthesis. This photosynthesis, and consumption of produced biomass, theoretically provides a closed-loop solution for long-duration spaceflight. Addressing multiple spaceflight requirements simultaneously with algae has the potential to reduce launch mass, power and volume of future Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) systems. Additionally, inoculating algal culture into a water-based thermal cooling loops (flight-proven standard of active cooling found on the International Space Station (ISS)) could incorporate simultaneous air revitalization and thermal control into a common ...


Adenosine A2a Receptor Subpopulation And Dopamine D4 Receptor Effects On Psychostimulant-Induced Behavior, Nicholas Haynes Jan 2019

Adenosine A2a Receptor Subpopulation And Dopamine D4 Receptor Effects On Psychostimulant-Induced Behavior, Nicholas Haynes

Psychology and Neuroscience Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Drug addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder affecting millions of people. No effective treatment exists for psychostimulant use disorder, stressing the importance to investigate underlying mechanisms mediating this disorder. Psychostimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine (MA) impact behavior by modulating neurotransmitter signaling systems in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). In this region, converging dopamine and glutamate signals interact with receptors to influence cellular functioning. The neuromodulator, adenosine, has received attention regarding its ability to affect both dopamine and glutamate signaling through converging intracellular signaling associated with metabotropic receptor proteins. Adenosine A2A receptors (A2ARs) and dopamine D4 receptors (D4s ...


Computational Protein Design For Peptide-Directed Bioconjugation, Joseph Gabriel Plaks Jan 2019

Computational Protein Design For Peptide-Directed Bioconjugation, Joseph Gabriel Plaks

Chemical & Biological Engineering Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Proteins enable living organisms to perform many of their critical functions, having been applied over evolutionary time to solve problems of overwhelming diversity and complexity. Protein engineering seeks to deploy these versatile molecules in addressing problems of human concern and would benefit from innovations that improve protein utilization in unnatural environments as well as from increased predictive capability in protein design.

Bioconjugation facilitates the use of proteins in unnatural environments by permitting the attachment of molecules, such as polymers, that can modulate protein stability, solubility, and activity and by mediating protein immobilization. We initially explored this propensity of bioconjugation by ...


Abiotic And Biotic Drivers Of Plant Range Shifts In The Alpine, Clifton Powell Bueno De Mesquita Jan 2019

Abiotic And Biotic Drivers Of Plant Range Shifts In The Alpine, Clifton Powell Bueno De Mesquita

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Over the course of Earth’s biological history, organisms have many times had to shift their geographic distributions in order to track changing abiotic conditions suitable for their growth, survival, and reproduction. Now more than ever, in the new geologic epoch of the Anthropocene, organisms will have to rapidly shift their ranges to adapt to climate change and other anthropogenic disturbances. The rearrangement of organisms can be facilitated or inhibited by biotic interactions between organisms. Here I examine plant range shifts in an alpine ecosystem in response to climate warming and earlier snowmelt, as well as the role of biotic ...


Predicting Evolution And Inferring Its Consequences, Silas Benjamin Tittes Jan 2019

Predicting Evolution And Inferring Its Consequences, Silas Benjamin Tittes

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This dissertation concerns the roles of genetic and environmental factors in producing trait variation in evolving populations, with an emphasis on the creation and use of statistical tools that facilitate predictions. The research concerns evolution across a variety of spatial and temporal scales and environmental conditions. In each study I employ statistical approaches to make predictions about how observed trait variation is derived from variation due to the environment, or genetics, or the interaction between the two. The first chapter investigates the evolution of species' performance curves through the construction of a Bayesian model that facilitates comparisons among groups. The ...


Towards A Predictive Framework For Biocrust Mediation Of Vascular Plant Performance And Community Structure, Caroline Ann Havrilla Jan 2019

Towards A Predictive Framework For Biocrust Mediation Of Vascular Plant Performance And Community Structure, Caroline Ann Havrilla

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Understanding the key factors that determine community structure is a central goal of ecology. While in plant community ecology there is wide consensus of the primary importance of dispersal limitations and abiotic filters in determining community structure, ecologists are just beginning to understand how biotic interactions restrict or enhance the performance and abundance of certain species within communities. Biological soil crusts (‘biocrusts’) – surface-dwelling soil biotic communities comprised of cyanobacteria, algae, lichens, bryophytes, and fungi – coexist with vascular plants in dryland ecosystems worldwide. Where they occur, biocrusts modify soil resource availability (e.g., water, nutrients) and other soil characteristics that may ...


Development Of Novel Crispr-Based Methods For Transcriptional Control Over Bacterial Gene Expression, Katia Tarasava Jan 2019

Development Of Novel Crispr-Based Methods For Transcriptional Control Over Bacterial Gene Expression, Katia Tarasava

Materials Science & Engineering Graduate Theses & Dissertations

One of the challenges of the 21st century is creating a sustainable economy that is able to serve the needs of a growing population with the decreasing supply of natural resources. In addition to alternative energy sources, renewable economy concerns production of materials and chemicals. The chemical and polymer industries rely heavily on petroleum for manufacturing consumer goods. Many of these chemicals can be produced from renewable resources using microorganisms. However, the amounts produced are often not enough to make the process commercially viable. By rewiring cellular metabolism and regulation, it is possible to redirect metabolic flux to increase the ...


Georhythmic Drift Music: A Mobile Experiment, Ryan Wade Ruehlen Jan 2019

Georhythmic Drift Music: A Mobile Experiment, Ryan Wade Ruehlen

Intermedia Art, Writing & Performance Dissertations

Georhythmic Drift Music is an on-going work which focuses on the intersections between deep listening research with VLF [very low frequency] radio emissions, unmanned aerial vehicles, and impromptu listening stations. Running experiments with aerial technology as both a courier system and an “acoustic prosthetic” goes against the grain of current art practices and privileges the use of drones to capture the auditory potential of the atmosphere with the aid of extended antennas.

Employing a combination of FM broadcast and cellular live-streaming platforms, Ruehlen trafficks re-tuned and "prepared" readings of VLF radio weather across the airwaves using D.I.Y. devices ...


A Mutation In Cav2.1 Linked To A Severe Neurodevelopmental Disorder Impairs Channel Gating, Sidharth Tyagi Jan 2019

A Mutation In Cav2.1 Linked To A Severe Neurodevelopmental Disorder Impairs Channel Gating, Sidharth Tyagi

Integrative Physiology Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Ca2+ flux via voltage-gated Ca2+ channels is essential to the regulation of membrane excitability, neurotransmission, and a variety of intracellular signaling processes. CaV2.1 is the predominant Ca2+ channel present in the presynaptic terminals of both neuromuscular junctions and many central synapses. Point mutations in CaV2.1 can drastically alter channel gating and expression, and indeed have been linked to two paroxysmal disorders – Episodic Ataxia Type 2, and Familial Hemiplegic Migraine Type 1. With the novel whole-exome sequencing technique, mutations linked to a new class of more severe disorders have been found with phenotypes like Episodic Ataxia ...


Ecological Strategies Of Soil Bacteria And Archaea, Tess Elizabeth Brewer Jan 2019

Ecological Strategies Of Soil Bacteria And Archaea, Tess Elizabeth Brewer

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Soil is essential for much of life on earth. Microbes are ubiquitous in this environment – billions of microbial cells can occupy one gram of soil. Soil microbes participate in carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, and soil formation - all critical ecosystem processes, yet are poorly understood. A key factor in this knowledge gap is the low proportion of cultivated soil microbes – by one estimate 1/3 of soil dwelling bacteria and archaea do not have a cultured representative of their phylum. In my thesis research, I have studied the bacteria and archaea that live in soil using culture-independent techniques; specifically studying the ...


Salmonella Within Macrophages--An Extreme Host-Pathogen Interface: Small Molecule Inhibitors Of Bacterial Efflux And The Roles Of Bacterial Lipid Metabolism And Mammalian Co-Culture During Infection, Abigail L. Reens Jan 2019

Salmonella Within Macrophages--An Extreme Host-Pathogen Interface: Small Molecule Inhibitors Of Bacterial Efflux And The Roles Of Bacterial Lipid Metabolism And Mammalian Co-Culture During Infection, Abigail L. Reens

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Pathogens withstand extreme host environments during infection. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium survives within host macrophages, immune cells intended to phagocytose and destroy pathogens. Through decades of study, we know much about how Salmonella endures this challenging niche. I leveraged this host-pathogen interface to identify small molecules that disrupt Salmonella infection of macrophages. I developed a medium-throughput fluorescence microscopy-based screening assay and image analysis pipeline to quantify intracellular bacterial load. With this platform, I identified 300 small molecules that reduce Salmonella infection of macrophages. Of the top 60 hits, I characterized three compounds that inhibit bacterial efflux pumps and sensitize Salmonella ...


Hospital Experiences With Hurricane Harvey In Harris County, Texas, Emmanuelle Nicole Roberge Hines Jan 2019

Hospital Experiences With Hurricane Harvey In Harris County, Texas, Emmanuelle Nicole Roberge Hines

Geography Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Hospitals should be capable of delivering both day-to-day and emergency services at surge capacity during extreme weather events, but flooding causes complications with power generation, provision of clean water, patient safety, communication, and hospital access. The sudden arrival of Hurricane Harvey on the Texas coast served as a reminder that no recent comprehensive study of Harris County’s healthcare system vulnerability to extreme flooding events had been conducted. This study first completed a geospatial analysis comparing which hospitals were at risk of flooding pre-Harvey with the actual flooding impacts post-Harvey. The mapping results revealed inconsistencies between the predicted and observed ...


Assessing The Integration And Pre-Processing Of Neon Airborne Remote Sensing And In-Situ Data For Optimal Tree Species Classification, Victoria Scholl Jan 2019

Assessing The Integration And Pre-Processing Of Neon Airborne Remote Sensing And In-Situ Data For Optimal Tree Species Classification, Victoria Scholl

Geography Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Accurately mapping tree species composition is a critical step towards understanding post-disturbance forest recovery. The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a valuable source of open ecological data across the United States. NEON data include in-situ tree measurements along with hyperspectral, multispectral, and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) airborne remote sensing imagery. By linking these NEON data, this study explores the impact of training set preparation and preprocessing on coniferous tree species classification at the subalpine forest NEON site in Colorado. Pixel-based random forest machine learning models were trained using various reference sets with remote sensing raster data as descriptive ...


Feasibility And Analysis Of A Hybrid Spacesuit Architecture For Planetary Surface Exploration, Roger Huerta I Lluch Jan 2019

Feasibility And Analysis Of A Hybrid Spacesuit Architecture For Planetary Surface Exploration, Roger Huerta I Lluch

Aerospace Engineering Sciences Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This Thesis presents a novel hybrid spacesuit architecture concept to enable planetary exploration by combining mechanical counterpressure (MCP) with gas-pressurization (GP). This conceptual design has the potential to offer a quantifiable increase in mobility, increases in safety through pressure layer redundancy, and decreased pre-breathe time to improve operational efficiency.

The Thesis performs an engineering study on the concept. First, to assess the feasibility and benefit of implementing two separate pressure layers in the spacesuit, a trade analysis of the design space was performed by numerically modelling different spacesuit-related parameters. The analysis is done considering the combined system performance across different ...


Methods Of Testing Skin Mucosomes Of Anaxyrus Boreas In The Face Of Batrachocytrium Dendrobatidis, Gena Rumsey Jan 2019

Methods Of Testing Skin Mucosomes Of Anaxyrus Boreas In The Face Of Batrachocytrium Dendrobatidis, Gena Rumsey

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The microbial community of amphibians skin has demonstrated significant importance in amphibian health and disease resistance specifically in response to the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd; Barnhart et al. 2017). Since its discovery in the late 1990s, Bd has contributed to world-wide decline in amphibian populations. Multiple naturally occurring amphibian-skin bacteria have been identified as inhibitors of Bd, including Janthinobacterium lividum (J liv; Harris et al. 2009). The McKenzie group developed a probiotic treatment of J liv as an intervention for a boreal toad population in Colorado drastically declining due to a Bd epidemic. Since wild toads cannot be ...


Using Random Forest Machine Learning Methods To Identify Spatiotemporal Patterns Of Cheatgrass Invasion Through Landsat Land Cover Classification In The Great Basin From 1984 - 2011, Dylan Murphy Jan 2019

Using Random Forest Machine Learning Methods To Identify Spatiotemporal Patterns Of Cheatgrass Invasion Through Landsat Land Cover Classification In The Great Basin From 1984 - 2011, Dylan Murphy

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In the Great Basin region of the Western United States, the establishment of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), an invasive annual grass, has dramatically affected native sagebrush steppe ecosystems. Cheatgrass, and the grass-fire cycle associated with the species, have led to extensive sagebrush community degradation, fragmentation, and eventually, conversion to near-monoculture exotic cheatgrass grasslands. This process has changed regional fire regimes, placing people, property, and native fauna at risk. Despite the known impacts of cheatgrass invasion in the Great Basin, attempts to quantify regional scale changes in ecosystem type have been limited. In this study, a methodology is developed which utilizes Random ...


The Climb Towards Conservation: Identifying And Mitigating The Effects Of Outdoor Rock Climbing On Surrounding Ecosystems In Colorado, Chloe Sommer Jan 2019

The Climb Towards Conservation: Identifying And Mitigating The Effects Of Outdoor Rock Climbing On Surrounding Ecosystems In Colorado, Chloe Sommer

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Since the 1960s, rock climbing has become an increasingly important player in America’s recreation landscape. Today, rock climbing is a growing contributor to the nation’s $800+ billion-dollar outdoor recreation industry, and indoor and outdoor climbing are more popular than ever. Historically, rock climbers and other outdoor recreationalists have claimed a correlation between recreation and conservation of public lands. Ample evidence suggests, however, that rock climbing still causes an array of negative impacts to ecosystems. This is the first known study to analyze potential impacts of recreational outdoor rock climbing on a large scale with GIS techniques, overlaying geographic ...


Evolution Of Gene Regulation In Association With The Origin Of Armor In Stickleback Fishes, Hannah Ghasemi, David Stock Jan 2019

Evolution Of Gene Regulation In Association With The Origin Of Armor In Stickleback Fishes, Hannah Ghasemi, David Stock

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Abstract

Whether the origin of novel structures requires extensive novelty at the genetic level remains an important question in Evolutionary Biology. The bony plates in the dermis (inner layer of the skin) of stickleback fishes (Order Gasterosteiformes) are novel structures that arose as a replacement for scales and whose genetic basis is becoming increasingly well-understood. Previous work has identified an enhancer (a short DNA sequence that regulates the expression of neighboring genes) that is necessary for the expression of the Ectodysplasin (Eda) gene in the bony dermal plates of the Threespine Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). This gene is necessary for the ...


Developmental And Functional Analysis Of Scutes In The Armored Catfish Corydoras Aeneus, Emily Volk Jan 2019

Developmental And Functional Analysis Of Scutes In The Armored Catfish Corydoras Aeneus, Emily Volk

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Fish scales are specialized biological structures of current interest in innovative materials design because of the combination of protective function, flexibility, and light weight they offer. This study presents a developmental and functional investigation of a particular fish scale structure, the scutes (bony external plates) of the armored Bronze Corydoras Catfish (Corydoras aeneus). Scutes in this model fish species were analyzed via three complementary approaches. First, scutes were documented throughout fish development via high-quality microscope images. These images were subsequently used to inform fabrication of synthetic models to characterize the relationship between scute overlap and overall bending stiffness of scute ...


Distance Gradient Of Vocalization Discrimination And Aggression In Neighborhoods Of Rufous-And-White Wrens (Thryophilus Rufalbus), Andrew P. Newgard Jan 2019

Distance Gradient Of Vocalization Discrimination And Aggression In Neighborhoods Of Rufous-And-White Wrens (Thryophilus Rufalbus), Andrew P. Newgard

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Vocalization-based communication networks have been observed in multiple animal taxa. Many territorial animals in these communication networks tend to act differentially towards their neighbors compared to farther-removed strangers given competitive pressure in habitats. My study investigated communication among rufous-and-white wrens (Thryophilus rufalbus), and whether this involves greater aggression towards neighbors or towards strangers. T. rufalbus vocally defend territories year-round and have been shown to exhibit ability to discriminate between vocalizations of neighbors versus strangers (neighbor-stranger discrimination, NSD). I quantified whether T. rufalbus demonstrates different levels of aggression upon hearing played-back vocalizations from close-by neighbors, neighbors of adjacent neighbors, and most ...


Uncovering Evolutionary Changes In The Mitochondrial Genomes Of Lichenized Fungi Within The Order Arthoniales, Dustin Bailey Jan 2019

Uncovering Evolutionary Changes In The Mitochondrial Genomes Of Lichenized Fungi Within The Order Arthoniales, Dustin Bailey

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Lichens are symbiotic organisms that are understudied despite their usefulness to a wide range of disciplines. Studying the genetics of lichen, will contribute to a better understanding of the genetic mechanisms behind symbiosis and fill in grey areas of taxonomic classification of lichens. The lichen order of Arthoniales is even less studied compared to its sister order Lecanorales. This study expands the genomic resources for the former order of lichen and reveals some novel genetic trends found among species within Arthoniales. Some genetic trends have yet to be identified in other lichen species such as the trans-splicing of nad4 among ...


Effect Of Quinolizidine Alkaloid Consumption And Seed Feeding Behavior On Caterpillar Growth, Hannah Hartung Jan 2019

Effect Of Quinolizidine Alkaloid Consumption And Seed Feeding Behavior On Caterpillar Growth, Hannah Hartung

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Caterpillars who feed on a wide variety of plant hosts must adapt to the defenses of every plant they feed on. For seed-eating caterpillars this can be particularly difficult because the seed is one of the most heavily defended bodies on a plant. Helicoverpa zea, the corn earworm, is both a seed eater and a generalist, feeding on plants belonging to over 30 families, including both agricultural crops and native plants, such as Lupinus texensis. I studied the corn earworm and L. texensis to answer three questions: i) what is the feeding behavior of these seed-eating caterpillars, ii) how do ...


Evaluating Stressor Controllability Effects On Cognitive Flexibility And Catecholamine Release In Male And Female Rats, Nicholas G. Girardi Jan 2019

Evaluating Stressor Controllability Effects On Cognitive Flexibility And Catecholamine Release In Male And Female Rats, Nicholas G. Girardi

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Prefrontal cortex dysfunction is implicated in a range of stress related neuropsychiatric disorders, with cognitive flexibility deficits being a major symptom. Clinically, females are much more likely to develop a neuropsychiatric disorder following a traumatic life event. The ability to exert control over stressors has been shown to mitigate the effects of stress in male rats but not in female rats in some behavioral tests. Catecholamines are known to have elevated release within the prefrontal cortex following acute stress and to contribute to prefrontal cortex dysfunction. In this study, male and female rats were subjected to inescapable stress and escapable ...


Characterization Of Siderophore-Host Interactions, Emma Worden-Sapper Jan 2019

Characterization Of Siderophore-Host Interactions, Emma Worden-Sapper

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The role of the gut microbiome in influencing human health has received increasing attention in the past decade, with many of the interactions between symbiont and host being elucidated. A recent study found that the siderophore enterobactin, secreted by E. coli to scavenge iron from its environment, is an essential metabolite for Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) development. The benefit of enterobactin, which appears to be conserved in mammals, carries potential for treating iron deficiency disorder. This thesis focuses on characterizing the nature of the interaction of C. elegans with siderophores other than enterobactin, to assess the uniqueness of the benefit ...


Developing Novel Methods To Investigate Real-Time In Vivo Dopamine Dynamics In The Monogamous Prairie Vole, Emma Burt Jan 2019

Developing Novel Methods To Investigate Real-Time In Vivo Dopamine Dynamics In The Monogamous Prairie Vole, Emma Burt

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Humans are among a small percentage of mammals that form monogamous relationships. These relationships, along with other strong social bonds, are essential to human well-being. In the absence of strong social relationships, humans experience a variety of detrimental conditions such as depression, anxiety, and cardiovascular disease. Traditional barriers to studying social bonds stem from the use of lab rodents such as mice and rats which do not form selective social attachments. However, the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) does form these selective social attachments. The robust social bonds – pair bonds – formed between adult prairie voles may be observed and therefore studied ...


Examination Of The Role Of Neuroimmune Signaling In Drug Addiction, Catherine Levy Jan 2019

Examination Of The Role Of Neuroimmune Signaling In Drug Addiction, Catherine Levy

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Cocaine and oxycodone addictions are chronic, relapsing disorders characterized by maladaptive patterns of drug seeking that create significant impairment for the user. While the homeostatic functions of neuroimmune cells such as microglia and astrocytes have been well characterized, little work has examined the structural and functional alterations of these neuroglial cells following repeated drug intake. The first experiment of this study used male and female Sprague-Dawley rats to examine sex differences in microglial cells following repeated cocaine intake. The second experiment used a rodent model of oxycodone self-administration to test the ability of ibudilast, a non-selective anti-inflammatory drug, to reduce ...


Analysis Of Murine Polyomavirus Dna Replication: Large T-Antigen Interaction With Host Dna Damage Repair Protein Rpa During Cellular Infection, Katherine Rose Jan 2019

Analysis Of Murine Polyomavirus Dna Replication: Large T-Antigen Interaction With Host Dna Damage Repair Protein Rpa During Cellular Infection, Katherine Rose

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Murine Polyomaviruses are dsDNA viruses that hijack the host’s DNA damage response (DDR) pathway to replicate their own genomes (Heiser et al., 2016), offering a model for human polyomavirus replication. The viral protein large T-antigen (LT) is essential for viral replication and can interact with a variety of DDR proteins in viral DNA replication centers (Brodsky & Pipas, 1998). Replication protein A (RPA) is a DDR protein complex made up of three subunits, RPA70, RPA32, and RPA14. RPA70 and RPA32 have been shown to directly interact with LT in cells over-expressing each protein, either individually or together (Banerjee et al ...


Boulder At The (Tree) Top: Considerations For The Future Of Our Urban Canopy, Natalie Buchholz Jan 2019

Boulder At The (Tree) Top: Considerations For The Future Of Our Urban Canopy, Natalie Buchholz

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This study investigates how canopy cover differs across land use types in six study areas in the City of Boulder, Colorado. Canopy cover can affect the area by buffering extreme weather and reducing heat island impact. Hypotheses state: 1) urban land use areas will have lower canopy cover and higher impermeable surfaces than other land uses; 2) nearby neighborhoods will have similar tree cover; 3) study areas that have high canopy cover receive disproportionately high benefits from increases in canopy cover; 4) all six study areas would benefit from large increases to canopy coverage. In this assessment six GIS surveys ...


Nanoscale Stiffness Cues Influence Valvular Interstitial Cell Activation To Myofibroblasts, Michaela Wenning Jan 2019

Nanoscale Stiffness Cues Influence Valvular Interstitial Cell Activation To Myofibroblasts, Michaela Wenning

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Surgery is currently the primary treatment option for aortic valve stenosis (AVS) patients, many of whom are ineligible for surgery and are left untreated. AVS is progression is known to differ between males and females, and an understanding of sex-specific mechanisms of disease progression is imperative in developing accurate treatment options for men and women. The development of a nonsurgical therapy for AVS patients requires a deeper understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of AVS progression. Currently, the role of calcium phosphate nanoparticles detected in the aortic valve during early stages of AVS in influencing disease progression and valvular ...