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2013

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Comparison Of Different Differential Expression Analysis Tools For Rna-Seq Data, Junfei Zhu Dec 2013

Comparison Of Different Differential Expression Analysis Tools For Rna-Seq Data, Junfei Zhu

Theses

In molecular biology research, RNA-seq is a relatively new method for transcriptome profiling. It utilizes the next generation sequencing technology to provide huge amount information about the variety and abundance of RNA present in an organism of interest at a specific state and a given time. One of the most important tasks of RNA-seq analysis is finding genes that are expressed differently in different subject groups. A lot of differential expression analysis tools for RNA-seq have been developed, but there is no golden standard in this field. In this research, four commonly used tools (DESeq, edgeR, limma, and cuffdiff) are ...


Soil Development And Vegetation Response To Removal Of A Small Dam, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, Stephanie Kay Rohdy Dec 2013

Soil Development And Vegetation Response To Removal Of A Small Dam, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, Stephanie Kay Rohdy

Dissertations and Theses

Dam removal is increasing as dams age, yet little is understood about the pedogenic response to dam removal. This study reports on the edaphic changes of reservoir sediments and vegetation cover one year following removal of a small earthen dam in Northern California. In August 2012, I sampled surface sediments from the former Dream Lake reservoir in Lassen Volcanic National Park, and compared their physical and chemical properties with soil samples from two reference sites. I also estimated percent cover of vegetation in the former reservoir and reference sites. My results show that the reservoir was under reduced conditions, as ...


Synthesis, Characterization, And Application Of High Surface Area, Mesoporous, Stabilized Anatase Tio2 Catalyst Supports, Rebecca Elizabeth Olsen Dec 2013

Synthesis, Characterization, And Application Of High Surface Area, Mesoporous, Stabilized Anatase Tio2 Catalyst Supports, Rebecca Elizabeth Olsen

Theses and Dissertations

Nanomaterials have attracted substantial attention in the area of catalysis due to the unique properties they exhibit such as high surface areas, intricate pore networks and unique morphologies. TiO2 has attracted attention as a catalyst since the discovery of its high photocatalytic activity by Fuishima and Honda in 1972. Given its high thermal stability, low cost, low environmental impact, and versatility, TiO2 is a widely used commercial catalyst and catalyst support. TiO2 is used in many applications such as photocatalysis is also an excellent support material for noble metals in a number of oxidative synthesis and pollution-control reactions. Though TiO2 ...


Nonlinear Spectroscopic Investigation Of Adsorption To C-18 Model Stationary Phase, Anthony D. Peterson Dec 2013

Nonlinear Spectroscopic Investigation Of Adsorption To C-18 Model Stationary Phase, Anthony D. Peterson

Theses and Dissertations

Reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) is a commonly used separation technique in chemistry. Nevertheless, the mechanistic interactions at the molecular level among the eluent, analyte, and the stationary phase are not fully understood. Because of this limited understanding, optimization of the separation must be done experimentally. Learning more about molecular interactions should aid in improving separations. We are currently using second-harmonic generation (SHG) spectroscopy to investigate how analytes adsorb to the surface. SHG is a spectroscopic technique that produces signal only at places of non-isotropic symmetry; this typically occurs at surfaces. SHG can be used to produce surface isotherms of test ...


Robinson Point, Belize: An Important Foraging Ground For Endangered Sea Turtles In The Western Caribbean Sea, Linda Searle Dec 2013

Robinson Point, Belize: An Important Foraging Ground For Endangered Sea Turtles In The Western Caribbean Sea, Linda Searle

HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

Anecdotal reports, flipper tag returns, satellite migration paths, and above-water and net surveys have identified an important foraging area for sea turtles in the Robinson Point area, 12 kilometers southwest of Belize City. Visual observations confirmed that sea turtles were actively foraging at Robinson Point. Sixteen 30 minute visual observations from stationary and drifting boats made 132 sea turtle sightings from October 2007 through January 2008, with a maximum of 40 sightings made in one survey. In-water capture methodology tested the traditional turtle net, which captured 14 turtles in 63 sets for a success rate of only 22%. There were ...


Formation And Analysis Of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles And Zinc Oxide Hexagonal Prisms And Optical Analysis Of Cadmium Selenide Nanoparticles, Jared M. Hancock Dec 2013

Formation And Analysis Of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles And Zinc Oxide Hexagonal Prisms And Optical Analysis Of Cadmium Selenide Nanoparticles, Jared M. Hancock

Theses and Dissertations

In this dissertation, methods to synthesize ZnO are reported. First, zinc oxide nanoparticles were synthesized with small amounts of transition metal ions to create materials called dilute magnetic semiconductors (DMS). We employed a low temperature sol-gel method that produces ZnO nanoparticles of reproducible size and incorporates cobalt, nickel, and manganese ions into the nanoparticles. Conditions were controlled such that a range of amounts of Co, Ni, and Mn were incorporated. The incorporation was tracked by color changes in the white ZnO powder to blue for Co, green for Ni and yellow for Mn. XRD measurements showed the nanoparticles were on ...


Phylogeographic Inference Of Insular Mule Deer (Odocoileus Hemionus) Divergence In North America's Desert Southwest, Ona Alminas Dec 2013

Phylogeographic Inference Of Insular Mule Deer (Odocoileus Hemionus) Divergence In North America's Desert Southwest, Ona Alminas

Theses and Dissertations

Though mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) persist in robust populations throughout most of their North American distribution, nearly 60% of their historic range in México has declined due to habitat loss and unregulated hunting. Two of the six subspecies inhabiting México's deserts and Baja California peninsula are of conservation concern, occurring on land bridge islands in the Pacific Ocean (O. h. cerrosensis on Cedros Island: threatened) and in the Sea of Cortés (O. h. sheldoni on Tiburón Island: endangered). Focusing on the desert southwest (n=449 deer), we obtained 1,611 bp of mtDNA sequence (control region: 583 bp; cytochrome ...


Transcending Microbial Source Tracking Techniques Across Geographic Borders: An Examination Of Human And Animal Microbiomes And The Integration Of Molecular Approaches In Pathogen Surveillance In Brazil And The United States, Amber Mae Koskey Dec 2013

Transcending Microbial Source Tracking Techniques Across Geographic Borders: An Examination Of Human And Animal Microbiomes And The Integration Of Molecular Approaches In Pathogen Surveillance In Brazil And The United States, Amber Mae Koskey

Theses and Dissertations

Waterborne illnesses, attributed to the ingestion or contact with contaminated water, present a significant global health concern. Surface water sources can be impacted by wide array of pollution inputs, but fecal pollution generates the most significant and acute threat to human health. Therefore, the detection of fecal bacteria in surface water sources remains an important public health objective. Current surface water monitoring employs the use of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) including E. coli and enterococci as proxies for pathogenic organisms carried in fecal pollution. These traditional indicators, detected by culture-based microbiological methods, do not discriminate fecal sources from another. New ...


Evaluation Of Vdr-Coactivator Inhibitors Using Biochemical And Cell-Based Assays, Athena Marie Baranowski Dec 2013

Evaluation Of Vdr-Coactivator Inhibitors Using Biochemical And Cell-Based Assays, Athena Marie Baranowski

Theses and Dissertations

ABSTRACT

EVALUATION OF VDR–COACTIVATOR INHIBITORS USING BIOCHEMICAL AND CELL–BASED ASSAYS

by

Athena Baranowski

The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, 2013

Under the Supervision of Dr. Alexander Arnold

The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is a ligand–dependent transcription factor, which belongs to the nuclear receptor superfamily. VDR–mediated gene regulation is governed by coregulators (coactivators and corepressors). VDR coregulator binding inhibitors (CBIs), which were discovered using high throughput screening (HTS), were evaluated using cell–based assays and biochemical assays to determine their ability to inhibit the interaction between VDR and steroid receptor coactivator–2 (SRC–2). Determining their ability to ...


Structure And Function Of Proteins Investigated By Crystallographic And Spectroscopic Time-Resolved Methods, Namrta Purwar Dec 2013

Structure And Function Of Proteins Investigated By Crystallographic And Spectroscopic Time-Resolved Methods, Namrta Purwar

Theses and Dissertations

Biomolecules play an essential role in performing the necessary functions for life. The goal of this thesis is to contribute to an understanding of how biological systems work on the molecular level. We used two biological systems, beef liver catalase (BLC) and photoactive yellow protein (PYP). BLC is a metalloprotein that protects living cells from the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species by converting H2O2 into water and oxygen. By binding nitric oxide (NO) to the catalase, a complex was generated that mimics the Cat-H2O2 adduct, a crucial intermediate in the reaction promoted by the catalase. The Cat-NO complex is ...


Protein Association In Living Cells Using Fret Spectrometry: Application To G-Protein Coupled Receptors, Suparna Patowary Dec 2013

Protein Association In Living Cells Using Fret Spectrometry: Application To G-Protein Coupled Receptors, Suparna Patowary

Theses and Dissertations

Recent advancements in fluorescence microscopy coupled with newly developed fluorescent tags have transformed Fluorescence (Förster) Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) into a powerful tool studying in vivo molecular interactions with improved spatial (angstrom) resolution. Though widely used to study protein-protein interactions, generalizing and testing the FRET theory for oligomeric complexes containing multiple donors and acceptors has only become possible in recent years. Therefore, many aspects of it are yet unexplored.

In this work, we tested the kinetic theory of FRET using linked fluorescent proteins located in the cytoplasm or at the plasma membrane. We used a novel method developed in our ...


The Imperative Of Conserving California's Foothill Oak Woodlands, Lauren Phillips Dec 2013

The Imperative Of Conserving California's Foothill Oak Woodlands, Lauren Phillips

Social Sciences

No abstract provided.


Common Core 4th Grade Environmental Science Lesson Plans For California Teachers, Gillian Schoenfeld Dec 2013

Common Core 4th Grade Environmental Science Lesson Plans For California Teachers, Gillian Schoenfeld

Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences

This project and its analyses were conducted to assist California fourth grade elementary school teachers in adjusting to teaching Common Core standards and science curriculum in their classrooms. The project included the creation of lesson plans, which could be utilized throughout the state of California.

As the Common Core standards, California’s Next Generation Science Standards for K- 12, were just proposed in June of 2013, these lesson plans would help teachers update their lessons and provide them materials and concepts of how to do so. These lessons provide higher-order thinking for students, which is the whole concept of the ...


Assessing Growth Response To Climate Controls In A Great Basin Artemisia Tridentata Plant Community, Lorenzo F. Apodaca Dec 2013

Assessing Growth Response To Climate Controls In A Great Basin Artemisia Tridentata Plant Community, Lorenzo F. Apodaca

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

An assessment of the growth response of key vegetative species to climatic variability is vital to identifying possible local impacts on ecosystems faced with imminent climate change. With current climate projections in Nevada predicting a shift to an even more arid climate with greater year-to-year variability, the imperative exists to identify the effects of specific climatic controls on plant growth and to research methods to assess large-scale vegetative changes, especially in more remote areas where readily available data sets may be lacking. This study utilized annual growth ring indices constructed from big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentatassp.tridentata) stems collected in Spring ...


Lipid Production By Microalgae Treating Municipal Wastewater, James Edward Kelley Dec 2013

Lipid Production By Microalgae Treating Municipal Wastewater, James Edward Kelley

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Microalgae hold much promise as a feedstock in liquid biofuel production. Lipid content of microalgae cells range from 30-80% dry weight of biomass. It is projected that microalgae can produce between 1,000-6,500 gallons/acre/year of oil. Currently, production of industrial algae operates in open raceway ponds that use minimal capital and energy inputs to culture algae. Raceway ponds can also be used to grow microalgae from municipal waste streams. Although high biomass productivity can be achieved in these systems, there remains a large production gap between large volumes of biomass cultivation and high lipid content from microalgae ...


Ichnology And Paleoecology Of The Jurassic Aztec Sandstone, Heather Marie Stoller Dec 2013

Ichnology And Paleoecology Of The Jurassic Aztec Sandstone, Heather Marie Stoller

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

In this study I describe and interpret tracks and trackways of the Jurassic Aztec Sandstone of southern Nevada and southern California. This study involved mapping of all known tracks and trackways, including foot length, stride length, and trackway width. Photogrammetric data, collected by Bureau of Land Management scientists, were utilized for several trackways in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

More than three hundred tracks belonging to five ichnotaxa were documented within the Aztec Sandstone, including about 165 tridactylGrallator, 250 tetradactyl (four-toed)Brasilichniumtracks, and 7 arthropod trackways ofOctopodichnusandPaleohelcura. Four of the five ichnotaxa were not previously reported from the Aztec ...


Time-Dependent Random Effect Poisson Random Field Model For Polymorphism Within And Between Two Related Species, Shilei Zhou Dec 2013

Time-Dependent Random Effect Poisson Random Field Model For Polymorphism Within And Between Two Related Species, Shilei Zhou

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Molecular evolution is partially driven by mutation, selection, random genetic drift, or combination of the three factors. To quantify the magnitude of these genetic forces, a previously developed time-dependent fixed effect Poisson random field model provides powerful likelihood and Bayesian estimates of mutation rate, selection coefficient, and species divergence time. The assumption of the fixed effect model that selection intensity is constant within a genetic locus but varies across genes is obviously biologically unrealistic, but it serves the original purpose of making statistical inference about selection and divergence between two related species they are individually at mutation-selection-drift inequilibrium. By relaxing ...


Quantitative Trait Loci Associated With Waterlogging Tolerance In A Soft Red Winter Wheat Mapping Population, Diana Carolina Ballesteros Benavides Dec 2013

Quantitative Trait Loci Associated With Waterlogging Tolerance In A Soft Red Winter Wheat Mapping Population, Diana Carolina Ballesteros Benavides

Theses and Dissertations

Waterlogging is caused when water stays superficially in the soil for an extended period of time, creating an anaerobic environment which decreases plant growth and grain yield at maturity. Despite the impact of waterlogging on wheat production both globally and in the southeastern U.S., very little is known about the genetic control of waterlogging tolerance in wheat. The objective of this study was to determine the amount of genetic variation for vegetative stage waterlogging tolerance present within a wheat recombinant inbred line (RIL) population and to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with tolerance and productivity. Experiments were carried ...


Demonstration Of A Targeted Proteome Characterization Approach For Examining Specific Metabolic Pathways In Complex Bacterial Systems, Adam Justin Martin Dec 2013

Demonstration Of A Targeted Proteome Characterization Approach For Examining Specific Metabolic Pathways In Complex Bacterial Systems, Adam Justin Martin

Masters Theses

Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) is a powerful tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) tool frequently implemented in proteomic studies to provide targeted analysis of proteins and peptides. The selectivity that MRM delivers is so strong that it provides the quadrupole mass spectrometers (QQQ), on which it is commonly employed, with pertinence to proteomic studies that they would otherwise lack for their relatively low resolution. Additionally, this increased level of selectivity is sufficient enough to supplant complicated fractionation techniques, additional dimensions of chromatography, and 24 hour long MS/MS experiments in simplistic biological samples. But there is a deficiency of evidence to ...


Hydrogeology Of The Little River Animal Agriculture Environmental Research Unit And Impacts Of Dairy Operations On Groundwater, Robert Wesley Hunter Dec 2013

Hydrogeology Of The Little River Animal Agriculture Environmental Research Unit And Impacts Of Dairy Operations On Groundwater, Robert Wesley Hunter

Masters Theses

This thesis describes the development of an integrated hydrogeologic/hydrologic site assessment and groundwater/surface water quality monitoring program at the University of Tennessee – Little River Dairy Farm, located near Townsend, TN. Hydrologic/hydrogeologic investigations of streams and groundwater at the site have been underway for more than 5 years, and these are expected to provide background data for assessing impacts of dairy wastes. The lower half of the ~180 ha site consists of low-relief fields used for row crops, which are underlain by 4 – 9 m of alluvial deposits on top of black shale or limestone that include sinkhole ...


Filter-Based Multiscale Entropy Analysis Of Complex Physiological Time Series, Liang Zhao Dec 2013

Filter-Based Multiscale Entropy Analysis Of Complex Physiological Time Series, Liang Zhao

Dissertations - ALL

The multiscale entropy (MSE) has been widely and successfully used in analyzing the complexity of physiologic time series. In this thesis, we re-interpret the averaging process in MSE as filtering a time series by a filter of a piecewise constant type. From this viewpoint, we introduce the {\it filter-based multiscale entropy} (FME) which filters a time series by filters to generate its multiple frequency components and then compute the {\it blockwise} entropy of the resulting components. By choosing filters adapted to the feature of a given time series, FME is able to better capture its multiscale information and to provide ...


Educating The Masses: Human Attitudes Affecting Reef Health, Ashley Wiehl Dec 2013

Educating The Masses: Human Attitudes Affecting Reef Health, Ashley Wiehl

HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

About two thirds of the world’s population lives within 60 km of a coastline, however many members of the public do not recognize the importance of the nearby coral reef ecosystems. Although reef degradation is currently occurring at alarming rates, there is hope for the future of coral reef health. It is proven that humans have a large effect on the current health of coral reefs. This thesis aims to determine how marine scientists and educators can best influence the general public to affect behaviors to improve reef health. To do this involves taking analyzing the many effects of ...


Monodentate, Bidentate And Photocrosslinkable Thiol Ligands For Improving Aqueous Biocompatible Quantum Dots, Hiroko Takeuchi Dec 2013

Monodentate, Bidentate And Photocrosslinkable Thiol Ligands For Improving Aqueous Biocompatible Quantum Dots, Hiroko Takeuchi

Theses and Dissertations

Water-soluble Quantum Dots (QDs) are highly sensitive fluorescent probes that are often used to study biological species. One of the most common ways to render QDs water-soluble for such applications is to apply hydrophilic thiolated ligands to the QD surface. However, these ligands are labile and can be easily exchanged on the QD surface, which can severely limit their application. As one way to overcome this limitation while maintaining a small colloidal size of QDs, we developed a method to stabilize hydrophilic thiolated ligands on the surface of QDs through the formation of a crosslinked shell using a photocrosslinking approach ...


Bacterially-Mediated Formation Of Rock Coatings In Kärkevagge, Swedish Lapland: A Mineralogical And Micro-Environmental Analog For Mars, Cassandra L. Marnocha Dec 2013

Bacterially-Mediated Formation Of Rock Coatings In Kärkevagge, Swedish Lapland: A Mineralogical And Micro-Environmental Analog For Mars, Cassandra L. Marnocha

Theses and Dissertations

The search for past or present life on Mars is, for now, limited to surface environments. An often neglected surface environment that could have served as an abode for life and could presently preserve evidence of that life is that of rock coatings. Rock coatings are mineral accretions on rock surfaces. On Earth, they are widespread and occur with considerable chemical diversity. There is growing evidence for a biotic role in their formation on Earth, particularly with respect to rock varnish. As a result, rock varnish has become a target of astrobiological interest on Mars, where varnish-like coatings have been ...


Long-Term Residue And Water Management Effects On Soil Respiration And Soil Aggregate Stability In A Wheat-Soybean, Double-Crop System In Eastern Arkansas, Sharon Faye Smith Dec 2013

Long-Term Residue And Water Management Effects On Soil Respiration And Soil Aggregate Stability In A Wheat-Soybean, Double-Crop System In Eastern Arkansas, Sharon Faye Smith

Theses and Dissertations

Sustainability in agriculture is paramount to assuring continued production from our most naturally fertile soils. Storing carbon (C) in soil as organic matter through sustainable agricultural management practices can both remove atmospheric C and improve soil quality. The objective of this study was to evaluate the long-term effects of water management (irrigation and dryland), residue management [burn and no-burn, conventional (CT) and no-tillage (NT)] and residue/fertility level (high and low) on soil respiration and aggregate stability in a wheat- (Triticum aestivum L.) soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], double-crop system in a silt-loam soil (Aquic Fraglossudalf) in the Mississippi River ...


Obstacles And Solutions To Studying Functional Adhesives Using Vibrational Sum-Frequency Generation Spectroscopy, Angela Renee Andersen Dec 2013

Obstacles And Solutions To Studying Functional Adhesives Using Vibrational Sum-Frequency Generation Spectroscopy, Angela Renee Andersen

Theses and Dissertations

Important aspects of adhesion occur at interfaces, including structures that may be different from those in the bulk materials. However, probing the orientation of molecules in functional adhesives poses a significant challenge because adhesive molecules are always located at a buried interface. The limited penetration depth of surface-specific analysis prohibits the study of buried interfaces using those techniques. The large quantity of bulk molecules relative to the adhesive molecules interacting at the interface results in the bulk signal swamping out adhesive signal in bulk analysis techniques. An interface-specific technique is required to study functional adhesives. One such technique that has ...


Investigation Into The Effects Of Pegylation On The Thermodynamic Stability Of The Ww Domain, Sam S. Matthews Dec 2013

Investigation Into The Effects Of Pegylation On The Thermodynamic Stability Of The Ww Domain, Sam S. Matthews

Theses and Dissertations

The covalent attachment of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) to a protein surface (known as PEGylation), has been demonstrated to increase the serum half-life of therapeutic proteins by reducing kidney clearance and immunogenicity and by protecting against proteolysis. Theses beneficial effects could be further enhanced if PEGylation consistently increased protein conformational stability (i.e. the difference in free energy between the folded and unfolded states). However, the effects of PEGylation on protein conformational stability are unpredictable; PEGylation has been reported to increase, decrease, or have no effect on the conformational stability of medicinal proteins.This thesis details the results of two ...


Ferritin-Based Photo-Oxidation Of Biomass For Nanoparticle Synthesis, Bioremediation, And Hydrogen Evolution, Oscar Petrucci Dec 2013

Ferritin-Based Photo-Oxidation Of Biomass For Nanoparticle Synthesis, Bioremediation, And Hydrogen Evolution, Oscar Petrucci

Theses and Dissertations

The cell is the basic unit of all living organisms. It is an amazing machine capable of self-replicating, growing, and synthesizing and shuttling thousands of compounds. To perform all of these activities the cell needs energy. The original source of energy for all living beings is the Sun. The energy of the sun is collected by the autotrophs (mostly plants) through photosynthesis and stored in the chemical bonds of carbohydrates and lipids through carboxylic acid intermediates; animals use these compounds to obtain the energy for their cells. Most of the energy extracted by the cell comes from the citric acid ...


The Influence Of Hydrogeomorphology, Soil Redox Conditions, And Salinity On The Spatial Zoning Of Saltgrass, Salt Rush, And Cattails In Scotts Creek Marsh, Swanton Pacific Ranch, Ca, Mark D. Gormley Dec 2013

The Influence Of Hydrogeomorphology, Soil Redox Conditions, And Salinity On The Spatial Zoning Of Saltgrass, Salt Rush, And Cattails In Scotts Creek Marsh, Swanton Pacific Ranch, Ca, Mark D. Gormley

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Scotts Creek Marsh (SCM) is a small coastal wetland ecosystem in Davenport, CA. The vegetation of SCM is dominated by three halophytic zones comprised of saltgrass, salt rush, cattails. The objectives of the study were (i) to investigate the variables that influence the zoning of the three dominant halophyte communities in SCM and (ii) to the test the effectiveness of Indicator of Reduction in Soil (IRIS) tubes to indicate the reduction of S. The study examined the following parameters from April 6 to July 21, 2013: (i) the HGM of Scotts Creek Marsh, (ii) soil oxidation and reduction (redox) conditions ...


Investigation Of The Structure And Dynamics Of Regioisomeric Eu³⁺ And Gd³⁺ Chelates Of Nb-Dotma: Implications For Mri Contrast Agent Design, Benjamin Charles Webber Nov 2013

Investigation Of The Structure And Dynamics Of Regioisomeric Eu³⁺ And Gd³⁺ Chelates Of Nb-Dotma: Implications For Mri Contrast Agent Design, Benjamin Charles Webber

Dissertations and Theses

The detection of disease and abnormal pathology by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been aided significantly by the use of gadolinium (Gd3+)-based contrast agents (CAs) over the past three decades. MRI and MRI CAs play a critical role in diagnosing tumors and diseases of the central nervous system. The agents used clinically have been shown to safely increase MRI contrast despite the toxicity of Gd3+, owing to the high kinetic and thermodynamic stability of these chelates. However, current CAs enhance contrast at a small fraction of what is theoretically possible. This leads to the necessity of introducing ...