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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Cytochrome P450 Monooxygenase-Mediated Lipid Metabolism In Obesity And Colon Tumorigenesis, Weicang Wang Oct 2019

Cytochrome P450 Monooxygenase-Mediated Lipid Metabolism In Obesity And Colon Tumorigenesis, Weicang Wang

Doctoral Dissertations

Colon cancer is a major public health issue: it is expected to have 140,250 new cases and 50,630 deaths during 2018, making colon cancer the third most common type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Obesity is associated with enhanced colonic inflammation, which is a major risk factor of colorectal cancer. Currently, more than 35% of adults and nearly 17% of children are obese. Considering the obesity and colon cancer epidemic in the United States, there is an urgent need to identify novel therapeutic targets for obesity and colon cancer ...


Protein Detection And Structural Characterization By Mass Spectrometry Using Supramolecular Assemblies And Small Molecules, Bo Zhao Oct 2019

Protein Detection And Structural Characterization By Mass Spectrometry Using Supramolecular Assemblies And Small Molecules, Bo Zhao

Doctoral Dissertations

Mass spectrometry (MS) has played an increasingly prominent role in proteomics and structure biology because it shows superior capabilities in identification, quantification and structural characterization of proteins. To realize its full potential in protein analysis, significant progress has been made in developing innovative techniques and reagents that can couple to MS detection. This dissertation demonstrates the use of polymeric supramolecular assemblies for enhanced protein detection in complex biological mixtures by MS. An amphiphilic random co-polymer scaffold is developed to form functional supramolecular assemblies for protein/ peptide enrichment. The influences of charge density and functional group pKa on host-guest interactions ...


Factors Influencing Spartina Alterniflora Productivity In Relationship To Estuary Inlet Opening Ellisville Marsh, Plymouth, Ma, Ellen K. Russell Oct 2019

Factors Influencing Spartina Alterniflora Productivity In Relationship To Estuary Inlet Opening Ellisville Marsh, Plymouth, Ma, Ellen K. Russell

Doctoral Dissertations

A scientific basis for understanding the health of salt marsh vegetation, primarily Spartina alterniflora, in apposition to dredging of the tidal inlet to Ellisville Marsh in Plymouth, Massachusetts was determined. A three-hectare S. alterniflora loss, and coincident coastal bank erosion occurred; ostensibly due to inlet blockage from sand deposition, prolonged inundation, and meandering of inlet channel into coastal bank. This warranted dredging the tidal inlet, whereby tidal flushing would restore growth or discontinue die-off, and deter coastal bank erosion. A pre- and post dredge study was conducted assessing environmental factors related to plant productivity. Following dredging, an increase in tidal ...


Changes In Soil Microbial Communities After Long-Term Warming Exposure, William G. Rodríguez-Reillo Oct 2019

Changes In Soil Microbial Communities After Long-Term Warming Exposure, William G. Rodríguez-Reillo

Doctoral Dissertations

Microbial metabolism is a key controller of ecosystem processes (e.g., carbon cycling). However, we are only starting to identify the molecular mechanisms and feedback in response to long-term warming. My dissertation integrates multi-omics techniques to capture changes in soil microbial communities after long-term warming exposure. The research projects leverage three warming sites (i.e., SWaN, Barre Woods, and Prospect Hill) located in Western Massachusetts at Harvard Forest. These sites provided a unique experimental setup to better understand microbes in response to long-term temperature change. For the three research projects, we delved into the (i) microbial biodiversity across all three ...


Silver Mirror Substrate And Rolling Method For Improved Surface-Enhanced Raman Spesctroscopic Analysis In Food, Yanqi Qu Oct 2019

Silver Mirror Substrate And Rolling Method For Improved Surface-Enhanced Raman Spesctroscopic Analysis In Food, Yanqi Qu

Doctoral Dissertations

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, short for SERS, is an emerging technology with great potential in food analysis due to rapid detection, high sensitivity, portable instrumentation, and simple sample preparation. However, it is always a bottleneck to obtain reproducible SERS measurements in real analytical cases due to the complicity of food systems and inhomogeneous aggregation of colloidal nanoparticles. To improve its performance for practical applications in food analysis, efforts have been made in improving the reproducibility, enhancing the selectivity and reducing the matrix interference to the analyte. Herein, a self-assembly silver nanoparticles mirror substrate was fabricated to improve the and the quantitative ...


Effects Of Ivermectin And Perfluorobutanesulfonic Acid (Pfbs) On Lipid Metabolism, Weipeng Qi Oct 2019

Effects Of Ivermectin And Perfluorobutanesulfonic Acid (Pfbs) On Lipid Metabolism, Weipeng Qi

Doctoral Dissertations

Accumulating evidence has shown a link between environmental contaminants and altered lipid metabolism. There is currently, however, limited knowledge regarding the causal molecular mechanisms. Therefore, we investigated the molecular mechanisms of two environmental contaminants, ivermectin and perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS), on lipid metabolism in adipocytes and hepatocytes using cell culture models. We first studied the effects of ivermectin, an anti-parasitic agent, on the adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Our current results suggest that ivermectin inhibits adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and the expression of adipogenic genes where these effects were found to be partially via PPARγ-dependent, but not FXR-dependent, pathway. Additionally, ivermectin also ...


Drivers And Consequences Of Carbon Use Efficiency - And Its Measurement In Soil, Grace Pold Oct 2019

Drivers And Consequences Of Carbon Use Efficiency - And Its Measurement In Soil, Grace Pold

Doctoral Dissertations

Soils serve as massive carbon sinks, but their ability to continue this ecological service is contingent on how the resident soil microbial community will respond to the ongoing climate crisis. One key dimension of the microbial response to warming is its carbon use efficiency (CUE), or the fraction of carbon taken up by an organism which is allocated to growth rather than respiration. However, the scientific community is still in the early stages of understanding the drivers, consequences - and even accurate measurements of - CUE. In this dissertation, I first quantified the variability of CUE and its responsiveness to temperature and ...


Ecology And Conservation Of Immature Sea Turtles Across Multiple Scales, Lucas Griffin Oct 2019

Ecology And Conservation Of Immature Sea Turtles Across Multiple Scales, Lucas Griffin

Doctoral Dissertations

Considering many sea turtle populations are a fraction of their historic size and anthropogenic threats within the marine environment are increasing, additional data are imperative to help mitigate anthropogenic disturbances and to build resilience into sea turtle populations. In this dissertation, I present three data chapters focused on immature sea turtle ecology and conservation. These chapters evaluate sea turtle ecology and conservation at varying scales, ranging from mitigating human-wildlife interactions at the individual level, to coastal movements and space use at the ecosystem level, and to large scale climate change impacts at the population level. Ultimately, these chapters provide a ...


Effects Of Fertilization And Drying Conditions On The Quality Of Selected Chinese Medicinal Plants, Zoe Gardner Oct 2019

Effects Of Fertilization And Drying Conditions On The Quality Of Selected Chinese Medicinal Plants, Zoe Gardner

Doctoral Dissertations

Demand for Chinese medicinal herbs in the U.S. is increasing and American acupuncturists and farmers are interested in domestic production of these plants. Little is known about the feasibility of production of these species outside of China. Four species of herbs were selected for cultivation trials. The purposes of this research were to evaluate the feasibility of cultivation of these species in the northeastern United States, to develop basic agronomic data for each species, and to determine the effects of nitrogen fertilizer on plant growth, yield, and secondary metabolites. Agastache rugosa, Schizonepeta tenuifolia, Leonurus japonicus, and Leonurus sibiricus were ...


Function And Dissipation In Finite State Automata - From Computing To Intelligence And Back, Natesh Ganesh Oct 2019

Function And Dissipation In Finite State Automata - From Computing To Intelligence And Back, Natesh Ganesh

Doctoral Dissertations

Society has benefited from the technological revolution and the tremendous growth in computing powered by Moore's law. However, we are fast approaching the ultimate physical limits in terms of both device sizes and the associated energy dissipation. It is important to characterize these limits in a physically grounded and implementation-agnostic manner, in order to capture the fundamental energy dissipation costs associated with performing computing operations with classical information in nano-scale quantum systems. It is also necessary to identify and understand the effect of quantum in-distinguishability, noise, and device variability on these dissipation limits. Identifying these parameters is crucial to ...


Temporal And Spatial Management Tools For Marine Ecosystems: Case Studies From Northern Brazil And Northeastern United States, Beatriz Dos Santos Dias Oct 2019

Temporal And Spatial Management Tools For Marine Ecosystems: Case Studies From Northern Brazil And Northeastern United States, Beatriz Dos Santos Dias

Doctoral Dissertations

Anthropogenic interventions and actions upon the marine habitat pose threats to a range of species of economic and conservation concern. The dynamic nature of marine ecosystems offers a difficult challenge to incorporate spatial and temporal distributions of different species, and the interactions among species and human activities into a formal management framework. Each country has its own priorities when it comes to management of the marine resources (e.g. conservation, food security, sustainable fisheries, and optimization of revenue). Therefore, a key hurdle is to create tools adequate for use within an Ecosystem Approach to Management (EAM) and Ecosystem-based Management (EBM ...


Improving Chinese Mothers’ Health Literacy: A Wechat Intervention, Qiong Chen Oct 2019

Improving Chinese Mothers’ Health Literacy: A Wechat Intervention, Qiong Chen

Doctoral Dissertations

The health literacy and eHealth literacy of women during the reproductive age is crucial, as it can affect their health and the health of their children. Promoting health literacy is essential to achieve mothers’ empowerment by improving access to and capacity of using health information effectively. However, functional, interactive, and critical health literacy and eHealth literacy have never been assessed among Chinese women.

The first study during this dissertation assessed functional, interactive, and critical health literacy and eHealth literacy among 421 of Chinese mothers with children under 3 years old. The results revealed overall less than optimal level of health ...


Multi-Level Barriers To Art Adherence Among Hiv-Infected Women In Rural Eswatini: A Mixed Methods Approach, Nozipho Becker Oct 2019

Multi-Level Barriers To Art Adherence Among Hiv-Infected Women In Rural Eswatini: A Mixed Methods Approach, Nozipho Becker

Doctoral Dissertations

Eswatini has the highest global prevalence of HIV despite universal access to free treatment. Lack of compliance continues to be a significant challenge for HIV care and management programs throughout the country. Studies investigating barriers to antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, particularly in women, who are the most vulnerable to HIV infections, are limited. The disproportionate impact of HIV on women can be attributed to multiple risk factors at the individual, household, and community/structural levels. Women living in rural settings are particularly at risk as a result of socio-cultural and environmental vulnerabilities such as oppressive traditional practices, intimate partner violence ...


Mechanisms That Limit Oxidative Phosphorylation During High-Intensity Muscle Contractions In Vivo, Miles F. Bartlett Oct 2019

Mechanisms That Limit Oxidative Phosphorylation During High-Intensity Muscle Contractions In Vivo, Miles F. Bartlett

Doctoral Dissertations

Skeletal muscle oxidative capacity plays a critical role in human health and disease. Although current models of oxidative phosphorylation sufficiently describe skeletal muscle energetics during moderate-intensity contractions, much is still unknown about the mechanisms that control and limit oxidative phosphorylation during high-intensity contractions. In particular, the oxygen cost of force generation is augmented during exercise at workloads above the lactate threshold. Presently, it is unclear whether this augmentation in muscle oxygen consumption is driven by increased rates of oxidative ATP synthesis (ATPOX) or by decreases in the efficiency of ATPOX due to mitochondrial uncoupling. To address this gap ...


Ecology Of The Elusive: Genome-Informed Investigation Of Soil Microbial Diversity, Lauren Alteio Oct 2019

Ecology Of The Elusive: Genome-Informed Investigation Of Soil Microbial Diversity, Lauren Alteio

Doctoral Dissertations

Soil is considered one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth, harboring diversity of organisms across the three domains of life. It is spatially and chemically heterogeneous: properties that intertwine in a complex matrix to support organismal diversity and function across different scales. Soil microorganisms both respond to and drive changes in ecosystems through metabolic activities. A single gram of soil is teeming with millions of cells comprised of thousands of species. Much of this diversity remains uncharacterized due to technical and methodological challenges faced by soil ecologists. Due to the complex physicochemical properties of soil and cross-feeding interactions between ...


An Examination Of Tern Diet In A Changing Gulf Of Maine, Keenan Yakola Oct 2019

An Examination Of Tern Diet In A Changing Gulf Of Maine, Keenan Yakola

Masters Theses

The Gulf of Maine is a dynamic ecosystem with rapidly warming sea surface temperatures (SSTs), therefore it is vital to understand how species interactions vary over time and space. In chapter two, I quantify and compare dietary differences among four tern species, across seven islands in the region, over a 32-year period. Multivariate statistical analyses were employed to discern spatial and temporal differences in foraging ecology. Findings suggest there are significant differences between species and islands; however, only three prey species comprise the majority of chick diet for all terns and islands. The reliance on only a few prey items ...


Investigating The Role Of Lbh During Early Embryonic Development In Xenopus Laevis, Emma Weir Oct 2019

Investigating The Role Of Lbh During Early Embryonic Development In Xenopus Laevis, Emma Weir

Masters Theses

LBH is a highly conserved protein whose role during vertebrate development is relatively under-studied. In collaboration with the Albertson lab, our lab has previously shown that it is necessary for cranial neural crest cell migration in the zebrafish and in Xenopus laevis. The molecular mechanisms through which it acts are not well understood.

In Xenopus, LBH is a maternally deposited protein. As such, studying its role in early development has not been feasible through the morpholino-mediated knockdown techniques that prevent translation of target genes. Recently, a technique for degrading endogenous proteins was developed, called Trim-Away. This was developed in mammalian ...


Characterizing The Interaction Between Non-Pathogenic Fusarium Oxysporum And Arabidopsis Thaliana To Determine Beneficial Effects Conferred To The Model Plant Host, Kathryn Isabelle Vescio Oct 2019

Characterizing The Interaction Between Non-Pathogenic Fusarium Oxysporum And Arabidopsis Thaliana To Determine Beneficial Effects Conferred To The Model Plant Host, Kathryn Isabelle Vescio

Masters Theses

Fusarium oxysporum (Fo) is a soil-borne fungal pathogen that causes vascular wilt disease on a broad range of plants, including agricultural crops and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. There are non-pathogenic members of the Fo species complex that confer defense benefits against other pathogens to the host plant, however alteration to the host’s physiology through interaction with one of these strains, Fo47, have not been described. In this study, we aimed to establish the Fo47-A. thaliana interaction and determine if Fo47 reduces disease severity of a pathogenic Fo isolate, Fo5176. Additionally, we sought to use bioinformatics to mine ...


The Effects Of Acidosis On Calcium Dependent Binding Of A Single Crossbridge, Matthew Unger Oct 2019

The Effects Of Acidosis On Calcium Dependent Binding Of A Single Crossbridge, Matthew Unger

Masters Theses

Intracellular acidosis is a putative agent of skeletal muscle fatigue, in part, because acidosis depresses the calcium (Ca2+) sensitivity and force production of muscle (18, 50). However, the molecular mechanisms behind this depression in Ca2+ sensitivity and force production are unknown. This gap in knowledge poses a significant challenge in generating a complete understanding of the fatigue process. To close this gap, the ability of myosin to bind to a single actin filament was measured under acidic conditions, in a laser trap assay, with and without regulatory proteins. Decreasing pH from 7.4 to 6.5 reduced the ...


A Novel Infield Metagenomic Approach To Evaluating Surface Water Quality In Lake Warner, Brooke Stebbins Oct 2019

A Novel Infield Metagenomic Approach To Evaluating Surface Water Quality In Lake Warner, Brooke Stebbins

Masters Theses

In January 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Haiti’s weak sanitation infrastructure and limitations in the public health system made the country susceptible to the spread of waterborne diseases. Following the earthquake, cholera rapidly spread through Haiti, killing 4,672 people in 5 months and leaving thousands hospitalized (MSNBC, 2010). Cholera is an infectious diarrheal disease caused by the pathogen, Vibrio cholerae, which results in severe dehydration with a high mortality risk. The source of the epidemic was traced to the Artibonite River, the island’s longest and ...


Arboriculture Safety Around The World, Jamie Lim Oct 2019

Arboriculture Safety Around The World, Jamie Lim

Masters Theses

Arboricultural work is inherently dangerous, with more serious injuries and fatalities than most other professions. Safety standards exist in some jurisdictions, but it is unclear how many standards exist, how they compare to one another, and whether (and how many) jurisdictions share standards. To establish a baseline understanding of these issues, my objectives were to (i) develop a database of existing standards, (ii) identify the most frequently occurring safety topics and (iii) describe similarities and differences in safety topics among standards from different countries. I worked with a variety of contacts and traditional university library resources to identify, obtain, analyze ...


The Efficacy Of Atp Monitoring Devices At Measuring Organic Matter On Postharvest Surfaces, Kristin Lane Oct 2019

The Efficacy Of Atp Monitoring Devices At Measuring Organic Matter On Postharvest Surfaces, Kristin Lane

Masters Theses

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), specifically the Produce Safety Rule (PSR), requires growers to clean and sanitize food-contact surfaces to protect against produce contamination. The ATP monitoring device is a potential sanitation tool to monitor the efficacy of an on-farm cleaning and sanitation program that could help growers meet regulatory expectations mandated by PSR. The ATP device uses bioluminescence to detect all ATP (found in bacteria and produce matter cells) from a swabbed surface. Little work has been done to test the efficacy of these tools under postharvest conditions. The present study evaluated ATP measurement for postharvest surface cleanliness ...


Patterns Of Morphological Plasticity In Metriaclima Zebra And Danio Rerio Suggest Differently Canalized Phenotypes Due To Form-Function Relationships, Dylan Jockel Oct 2019

Patterns Of Morphological Plasticity In Metriaclima Zebra And Danio Rerio Suggest Differently Canalized Phenotypes Due To Form-Function Relationships, Dylan Jockel

Masters Theses

In order to ascertain the degree of compatibility in developmental restructuring and behavioral plasticity between two fish species frequently made subject of laboratory research (Metriaclima zebra & Danio rerio), alternative trophic niche exposure experiments utilizing novel three-prong feeding treatments were conducted to obtain morphometric data, which demonstrated both species do bear some degree of plasticity. The results are somewhat complicated by differences in locality of detectable restructuring, which may be due to disparity in the form-function relationship for each species’ lineage. Each is notable in the manner of respective species’ jaw protrusion, as it is driven by anterior kinethmoid rotation in ...


Markov Decision Process Approach To Strategize National Breast Cancer Screening Policy In Data-Limited Settings, Vijeta Deshpande Oct 2019

Markov Decision Process Approach To Strategize National Breast Cancer Screening Policy In Data-Limited Settings, Vijeta Deshpande

Masters Theses

Early diagnosis is a promising strategy to reduce premature mortalities and for optimal use of resources. But the absence of mathematical models specific to the data settings in LMIC’s impedes the construction of economic analysis necessary for decision-makers in the development of cancer control programs. This thesis presents a new methodology for parameterizing the natural history model of breast cancer based on data availabilities in low and middle income countries, and formulation of a control optimization problem to find the optimal screening schedule for mammography screening, solved using dynamic programming. As harms and benefits are known to increase with ...


Optical Meets Mechanical: Use Of Luminescence Spectroscopy To Assess Ageing In Biodegradable Films, Louis Colaruotolo Oct 2019

Optical Meets Mechanical: Use Of Luminescence Spectroscopy To Assess Ageing In Biodegradable Films, Louis Colaruotolo

Masters Theses

With the growing concern of the accumulation of plastic-based food packaging waste, the search for bio-based biodegradable packages is on the rise. These materials differ from their petro-based counterparts in their degradation rates, which are much higher in the former. Not only do bio-based biodegradable materials degrade faster during post-usage processes but also they age faster during usage and storage, which affects their performance and functionality. The application of noninvasive testing methods with the capability to report on the matrix’s state could assist in the development of a more ubiquitous way to assess ageing in food packaging, particularly in ...


Engineering Self-Assembling Proteins To Produce A Safe And Effective Vaccine For Porcine Reproductive And Respiratory Syndrome, Ondre H. Harper Oct 2019

Engineering Self-Assembling Proteins To Produce A Safe And Effective Vaccine For Porcine Reproductive And Respiratory Syndrome, Ondre H. Harper

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Commercially available vaccines for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) provide some control over the virus but none are ideal since they either are not completely safe for use, lack efficacy in promoting long-lasting immunity or provide no protection from heterologous PRRSV strains. Innovative approaches to designing vaccines are being pursued to overcome these drawbacks. One example is the use of nanoparticles to present a dense array of antigenic epitopes to the immune system which can effectively stimulate antibody producing cells (B cells) and T cells, resulting in long-lasting immunity. Here, I genetically fused antigenic epitopes from PRRSV to ...


Characterizing Louisiana's Freshwater Commercial Fisheries, Lauren Bonatakis Oct 2019

Characterizing Louisiana's Freshwater Commercial Fisheries, Lauren Bonatakis

LSU Master's Theses

As an important contributor to Louisiana’s economy, the commercial freshwater fisheries have been the subject of growing attention in recent years by resource managers. Compared to the marine sector, little is known about these fisheries. Anecdotally, the fisheries appear to be on the brink of collapse. Fewer young fishermen are entering the field, fish buyers and processors are closing, and market prices remain stagnant. Because of this, the fisheries lack the resources needed to perpetuate the success and sustainability for future generations. To better understand this industry, I conducted a two-part study to characterize the commercial freshwater fisheries in ...


Intrusive Advising And Retention Practices In A College Of Agriculture: A Case Study Of First-Year Student Experiences, Amanda Martin Oct 2019

Intrusive Advising And Retention Practices In A College Of Agriculture: A Case Study Of First-Year Student Experiences, Amanda Martin

LSU Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the perceptions of first-year students who experienced intrusive advising and retention initiatives in the College of Agriculture at Louisiana State University (LSU). Research participants consisted of 20 first-year students enrolled in the college in the fall of 2018. One-on-one, face-to-face interviews with first-year students were conducted to gain insight and understand student experiences with intrusive advising and retention initiatives within the College of Agriculture. College student retention and factors that contribute to understanding retention have been extensively studied (Astin, 1993; Braxton, Hirschy, & McClendon, 2004; Habley, Bloom, & Robbins, 2012; Kuh, Schuh, Whitt, & Kinzie, 2010; Tinto, 2012), but ...


Equine Hoof Stratum Internum K14+Cd105+ Progenitor Cells: Culture, Characterization, And Model Of Epithelial To Mesenchymal Transition, Qingqiu Yang Oct 2019

Equine Hoof Stratum Internum K14+Cd105+ Progenitor Cells: Culture, Characterization, And Model Of Epithelial To Mesenchymal Transition, Qingqiu Yang

LSU Doctoral Dissertations

For the potential benefit of progenitor cells to be realized in cell-based clinical therapies, it is vital to investigate the mechanism between progenitor cells and abnormal tissue formation. Laminitis is a fatal condition that is often presented by equine hoof inflammation and hoof tissue disarrangement. The persistence of abnormal tissue formation after the resolution of equine laminitis suggests there is progenitor cell compromise. So far, there is limited information about equine hoof progenitor cells and the effects of inflammation on hoof progenitor cells. To pursue a better understanding of both hoof progenitor cell and hoof growth as well as find ...


Development Of A Tunable Platform For The Study Of Geomacromolecular Matrices Using Controlled Radical Polymerization, Arjun Pandey Oct 2019

Development Of A Tunable Platform For The Study Of Geomacromolecular Matrices Using Controlled Radical Polymerization, Arjun Pandey

LSU Doctoral Dissertations

Soil is an important environmental component, and the study of soil processes have many practical implications such as improvement in agriculture, mitigation of climate change etc. The widespread use of Agricultural Chemicals (ACs) in modern agriculture has resulted in adverse effects in environment and human health mostly through contamination into food and water sources. Study of fate, bioavailability, and transport of ACs involves molecular level understanding of their interactions with soil. This can be challenging due to complex and heterogeneous nature of soil. One common approach used is the correlation of macroscopic properties of soil, (e.g. sorption) with empirical ...