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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Understanding The Transcriptional Regulation Of Secondary Cell Wall Biosynthesis In The Model Grass Brachypodium Distachyon, Pubudu Handakumbura Nov 2014

Understanding The Transcriptional Regulation Of Secondary Cell Wall Biosynthesis In The Model Grass Brachypodium Distachyon, Pubudu Handakumbura

Doctoral Dissertations

Secondary cell wall synthesis occurs in specialized cell types following completion of cell enlargement. By virtue of mechanical strength provided by a wall thickened with cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin, these cells can function as water-conducting vessels and provide structural support. Several transcription factor families regulate genes encoding wall synthesis enzymes. Certain NAC and MYB proteins directly bind upstream of structural genes and other transcription factors. The most detailed model of this regulatory network is established predominantly for a eudicot, Arabidopsis thaliana. In grasses, both the patterning and the composition of secondary cell walls are distinct from that of eudicots. These ...


Spatio-Temporal Factors Affecting Human-Black Bear Interactions In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Nathan Buckhout Nov 2014

Spatio-Temporal Factors Affecting Human-Black Bear Interactions In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Nathan Buckhout

Masters Theses

Wildlife managers use models to aid in predicting high risk areas for human and black bear (Ursus americanus) interactions (HBI). These tools help managers implement management strategies to minimize HBI. Over 3,000 incidents of HBI were compiled from management reports at Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) during 1998-2011, a park with 9-10.2 million visitors per year and a black bear population of about 1,600 bears.

We used data from bear management reports along with annual visitor use, mast and bear abundance data to develop a series of generalized linear models to assess the spatial and temporal ...


The Role Of The Novel Lupus Antigen, Acheron, In Moderating Life And Death Decisions, Ankur Sheel Aug 2014

The Role Of The Novel Lupus Antigen, Acheron, In Moderating Life And Death Decisions, Ankur Sheel

Masters Theses

Programmed cell death (PCD) is a major regulatory mechanism employed during development and homeostasis. The term PCD was coined to describe the death of the intersegmental muscles (ISMs) of moths at the end of metamorphosis. The timing of ISM death in the Tobacco Hawkmoth, Manduca sexta, is regulated by a fall in the titer of the steroid molting hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) late on day 17of pupal-adult development. This triggers the release of the peptide hormone, Eclosion Hormone (EH), which mediates its effects via the secondary messenger cGMP. It has been previously demonstrated that ISM death requires de novo gene expression ...


Rapid Method Of Processing Sperm For Nucleic Acid Extraction In Clinical Research, Matthew K. De Gannes Aug 2014

Rapid Method Of Processing Sperm For Nucleic Acid Extraction In Clinical Research, Matthew K. De Gannes

Masters Theses

Background: Sperm contain highly compact nuclei, inhibiting DNA extraction using traditional techniques. Current methods extracting sperm DNA involve lengthy lysis and no means of stabilizing DNA, hindering clinical research.

Objective: We sought to optimize an efficient method of extracting high quality human sperm DNA.

Methods: Sperm from three volunteers were isolated using PureCeption. We tested 1) proteinase K with DNA/RNA Shield, 2) DTT and TCEP as reducing agents, 3) QIAshredder homogenization, and 4) stability of sperm DNA fresh (baseline) or after 4 weeks of storage at 4OC in DNA/RNA Shield using modified Quick-gDNA MiniPrep. DNA was ...


The Inflammatory Response To Acute Muscle Injury, Kevin O'Fallon Apr 2014

The Inflammatory Response To Acute Muscle Injury, Kevin O'Fallon

Doctoral Dissertations

The overall goal of this dissertation was to examine inflammatory and regenerative responses to acute skeletal muscle damage and to define molecular mediators of repair. Study I examined the effects of an oral anti-inflammatory supplement on exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) and systemic inflammation in a human model. Quercetin has been shown in animal and in vitro models to downregulate nuclear factor-kappa beta (NF-κB) nuclear transactivation and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) secretion, which regulate muscle regeneration and inflammatory signaling between muscle and immune cells after injury. Subjects ingested quercetin (N=15) or placebo (N=15) before and after performing 24 ...


Vocal Performance In Songbirds: Territorial Defense And The Development Of Male Song And Female Mating Preferences, Dana L. Moseley Apr 2014

Vocal Performance In Songbirds: Territorial Defense And The Development Of Male Song And Female Mating Preferences, Dana L. Moseley

Doctoral Dissertations

The evolution of sexually selected signals has been a major topic of scientific research since Darwin. In recent years, scientists have focused on how elaborate signals can indicate honest information about the quality of their bearers, as predicted by reliability theory. A key concept relating to how mating displays could reliably reveal quality is "performance." Animals face limits in display production, and producing high-­‐performance displays depends on the adept coordination of multiple motor systems. Thus, by observing motor performance, signal-­‐receivers can assess the quality of signalers. Birdsong is a prime example of a display that involves motor challenges ...


Roosting, Site Fidelity, And Food Sources Of Urban Gulls In Massachusetts: Implications For Protecting Public Water Supplies, Daniel E. Clark Apr 2014

Roosting, Site Fidelity, And Food Sources Of Urban Gulls In Massachusetts: Implications For Protecting Public Water Supplies, Daniel E. Clark

Doctoral Dissertations

Anyone who has spent time in coastal New England has seen gulls flying overhead and heard their familiar sound; gulls may be one of the most recognizable birds in the world. There are over 50 species of gulls worldwide, and many of them are closely associated with human development or activities. In Massachusetts, there are several common gull species including herring (Larus argentatus), great black-back (Larus marinus), laughing (Leucophaeus atricilla), and ring-billed (Larus delawarensis).

While coastal encounters with gulls are ubiquitous, gulls can also be found inland, and ring-billed and herring gulls are now a common sight at lakes, parks ...