Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Life Sciences Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 51

Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Energy Production, Distribution, And Pollution Controls: Combining Engineering And Economic Analysis To Enhance Efficiency And Policy Design, David F. Perkis Oct 2014

Energy Production, Distribution, And Pollution Controls: Combining Engineering And Economic Analysis To Enhance Efficiency And Policy Design, David F. Perkis

Open Access Dissertations

Three published articles are presented which focus on enhancing various aspects of the energy supply chain. While each paper adopts a different methodology, all three combine engineering data and/or techniques with economic analysis to improve efficiency or policy design within energy markets. ^ The first paper combines a chemical engineering plant design model with an economic assessment of product enhancements within an ethanol production facility. While a new chemical process is shown to achieve greater ethanol yields, the animal feed by-products are denatured and decrease in value due to the degradation of a key nutritional amino acid. Overall, yield increases ...


The Role Of Adiponectin And The Adipocyte In Energy Metabolism And Inflammation, Sheila Kay Jacobi Oct 2014

The Role Of Adiponectin And The Adipocyte In Energy Metabolism And Inflammation, Sheila Kay Jacobi

Open Access Dissertations

A series of experiments were conducted to characterize the autocrine role of adiponectin in modulating fatty acid metabolism and inflammation in the pig. In the first study, we cloned and sequenced the porcine adiponectin open reading frame and evaluated the regulation of adiponectin, in vitro and in vivo. The porcine sequence shares approximately 88, 86, 85 and 83% homology with the dog, human, cow and mouse adiponectin, respectively, and 79–83% similarity with dog, human, cow and mouse proteins at the amino acid level, based on the translated porcine sequence and GenBank submissions for the other species. Analysis of serum ...


Cellular And Molecular Regulation Of Skeletal Muscle Regeneration, Chunhui Jiang Oct 2014

Cellular And Molecular Regulation Of Skeletal Muscle Regeneration, Chunhui Jiang

Open Access Dissertations

Skeletal muscle regeneration provides a powerful model to study the cellular and molecular mechanism governing stem cell function since the whole process is mediated by a population of muscle-resident stem cells called satellite cells. The overall aim of this dissertation is to explore the roles of Notch signaling and a novel gene (Bex1) in satellite cell function and skeletal muscle regeneration. ^ The first part of this thesis is to examine how the Notch signaling pathway regulates the satellite cell self-renewal in a disease model. The MDX mouse is a well-established model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and characterized by progressive ...


Us Commodity Support Payments: On Allocation Of Resources And Fairness, Post 1996, Samiul Haque Oct 2014

Us Commodity Support Payments: On Allocation Of Resources And Fairness, Post 1996, Samiul Haque

Open Access Dissertations

This dissertation investigates the effect of US commodity support payment on agricultural producer decisions during the "decoupled" regime. Particular attention is paid to the national optimal output mix, input proportions, and farm level changes in scale operations. While "decoupled" payments were instated to comply with WTO guidelines, where tax payer dollars cannot be spent to alter agricultural outputs and /or on farm input decisions, evidence suggests that such payments are far from being decoupled. At the national level, this dissertation finds evidence for mild labor input using and capital input economizing behavior. Substantial land input economizing behavior and moderate material ...


Graduate Students' Motivation To Teach Plant Sciences To K-12 Audiences, Melissa Leiden Welsh Oct 2014

Graduate Students' Motivation To Teach Plant Sciences To K-12 Audiences, Melissa Leiden Welsh

Open Access Dissertations

Graduate students' motivation to share their knowledge and research with K-12 audiences as future scientists is informed by their beliefs and perceived value of science literacy outreach. Graduate training programs in academia integrate outreach teaching components to equip future scientists with a variety of communication skills, which may reflect either a transmission of knowledge to the learner or through engagement with the learner. As such, the education component of the "Partnership for Research and Education in Plant Breeding and Genetics" grant sought to train graduate plant science students ( N = 17) to disseminate their research to K-12 audiences. Graduate students participated ...


Assessment Of Irrigation Use On Crop Yield And Water Supplies In The Midwestern U.S., Wei-Chih Chen Oct 2014

Assessment Of Irrigation Use On Crop Yield And Water Supplies In The Midwestern U.S., Wei-Chih Chen

Open Access Dissertations

Climate plays an important role in many aspects of hydrological and agricultural systems. Temperature and precipitation are usually the main forcing inputs for hydrological and agricultural simulations, while wind effect has generally been neglected in previous research. Wind speed is, however, an important factor for many physical processes, including evaporation from soil, and transpiration from plants. In order to investigate how climate variability impacts agricultural production, there are three hypotheses addressed in this dissertation. Hypothesis 1 is that the representation of changing wind speed will play an important role in the simulation of hydrological processes, and that the effect of ...


African Starchy Foods, Gastric Emptying, And Starch Digestion In Malian Stunted Children, Fatimata Cisse Oct 2014

African Starchy Foods, Gastric Emptying, And Starch Digestion In Malian Stunted Children, Fatimata Cisse

Open Access Dissertations

Starch serves as the main energy source in cereal and tuber-rich diets, and its glycemic response profile has been associated with health-related conditions. Sorghum and millet are known to have relatively low starch digestibility, a potentially desirable property for controlling blood glucose response and providing sustained energy. Gastric emptying rates of traditional sorghum and millet-based African foods of the Sahelian region (couscous, thick and thin porridges made from millet and/or sorghum) were compared to those of non-traditional "modern" foods that are mostly consumed in urban areas using a non-invasive 13C-labelled octanoic acid breath test in healthy volunteers. The obtained ...


Irrigation With Treated Wastewater: Potential And Limitations, Anne Dare Oct 2014

Irrigation With Treated Wastewater: Potential And Limitations, Anne Dare

Open Access Dissertations

As the world population increases and resources become more coveted, water emerges as a key component to global food security. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is among the driest regions in the world: containing just one percent of the world's freshwater resources. An increasing population creates greater quantities of wastewater and demands greater quantities of food, so an obvious connection arises. However logical wastewater reuse may be for bridging the irrigation supply-demand gap in this arid region, significant limitations prevent widespread adoption. The overall goal of this research is to take a holistic view of the limitations ...


Karyopherin Alpha Subtypes And Porcine Early Stage Embryo Development, Yanfang Li Oct 2014

Karyopherin Alpha Subtypes And Porcine Early Stage Embryo Development, Yanfang Li

Open Access Dissertations

Intracellular communication between the nucleus and cytoplasm is critically important for coordinating cellular events during embryogenesis. The karyopherin α/β heterodimer is an intracellular nuclear trafficking system that mediates nuclear import of proteins that bear classical nuclear localization signals (NLSs). Seven karyopherin α subtypes have been identified in the domestic pig, and while each of these karyopherin α subtypes is able to bind to a nuclear localization signal, individual karyopherin α subtypes have been shown to transport specific NLS-bearing proteins. The objective of this study was to determine the developmental requirements of karyopherin α subtypes (KPNAs) during cleavage development in ...


Light-Emitting Diodes As An Alternative Supplemental Lighting Source For Greenhouse Tomato Propagation And Production, Celina Gomez Vargas Oct 2014

Light-Emitting Diodes As An Alternative Supplemental Lighting Source For Greenhouse Tomato Propagation And Production, Celina Gomez Vargas

Open Access Dissertations

Intensive year-round local production of greenhouse-grown tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) requires the use of supplemental lighting (SL) to complement solar radiation in light-limited seasonal climates. However, SL represents a large expense to greenhouse-vegetable production. Currently, energy is second only to labor as the most expensive indirect cost of production. Thus, the greenhouse industry is interested in cost-effective, energy-efficient sources of supplemental photosynthetic light to sustain steady supplies of high-quality produce during the off-season. Overhead (OH) high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps are considered the industry standard in greenhouse SL because of their capability to deliver adequate photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) to crops ...


Prediction Of Parturition And Dystocia In Holstein-Friesian Cattle, And Cesarean Section In Dystocic Beef Cattle, Wen Han Mark Hiew Oct 2014

Prediction Of Parturition And Dystocia In Holstein-Friesian Cattle, And Cesarean Section In Dystocic Beef Cattle, Wen Han Mark Hiew

Open Access Dissertations

Dystocia is a major problem in the dairy industry as it causes livestock and economic loss. It is more frequently seen in primiparous cattle compared to their multiparous counterparts due to their smaller stature and the slow maturation of pelvic dimensions. In some instances, human intervention of the parturition process is imperative to avoid pain, injury, and mortality of the neonate and the dam. The ability to accurately predict dystocia and the time of parturition will ensure that timely assistance can be given to animals that are of high risk of dystocia.^ The present thesis contains four studies that explore ...


Soil Quality And Nitrogen Cycling Dynamics Altered By Fertility Amendments In Intensively Managed Vegetable Production Systems, Matt A. Rudisill Oct 2014

Soil Quality And Nitrogen Cycling Dynamics Altered By Fertility Amendments In Intensively Managed Vegetable Production Systems, Matt A. Rudisill

Open Access Dissertations

Fresh market vegetable production in the Midwest U.S. is growing rapidly as a result of increased demand for locally-sourced food. High tunnels are becoming increasingly popular among Midwest vegetable growers as these structures offer many production benefits including season extension. However, vegetables require substantial fertility inputs, particularly nitrogen (N), in order to meet desired levels of productivity, and some fertility management strategies can negatively impact soil and environmental quality. This can be particularly problematic in high tunnels, where longer production periods and modification of the growing environment put these systems at greater risk for soil degradation. Identification of fertility ...


Market Power Estimation In The Chilean Cattle Market, Rodirgo A. Vasquez Panizza Oct 2014

Market Power Estimation In The Chilean Cattle Market, Rodirgo A. Vasquez Panizza

Open Access Theses

The cattle market in Chile is constituted by cattle slaughtering firms and farmers; the industry demands cattle but also demands beef imports. Based in antecedents of market concentration in this sector, I make a system of equations model based on the NEIO approach to determine market power for the period April 1993 - December 2008. The results show that there is no market power in the aggregated market as well as in the disaggregated market by sex and age type, which is explained because the special features of this market in Chile.


Competition Between Private Labels And National Brands: Empirical Evidence From Homescan Data On Fluid Milk Markets, Jeffrey S. Young Oct 2014

Competition Between Private Labels And National Brands: Empirical Evidence From Homescan Data On Fluid Milk Markets, Jeffrey S. Young

Open Access Theses

The purpose of this study is to empirically examine the nature of the pricing relationship between private labels (or "store brands") and national brands. To accomplish this, we control for the exogenous variation in the farm price of a commodity that serves as the main agricultural input common to both private labels and national brands (any shocks to this farm price will pass through to both retail prices - private label and retail). The product of choice is fluid milk, as the farm price of milk comprises a large share of producer and retailer cost.

Two examples of underlying theories concerning ...


Profit-Maximizing Responses To Climate Change In Commodity Agriculture: Does Adaptation Matter?, Sajeev Erangu Purath Mohankumar Oct 2014

Profit-Maximizing Responses To Climate Change In Commodity Agriculture: Does Adaptation Matter?, Sajeev Erangu Purath Mohankumar

Open Access Theses

Accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has led to rising temperatures, and is expected to lead to a change in climate. Crop yields are vulnerable to these changes. Adaptation is expected to be key to combating climate change impacts, but the effectiveness of adaptation strategies is not well understood. Hence, there is a need to assess the impacts of climate change on agriculture and devise profitable adaptation strategies to combat its effects. This study uses historical and three projected climate data sets to simulate yields using the crop model Daycent, empirical relationships between weather and agronomic variables that influence ...


Producer Perceptions Of Their Use Of Time And Various Areas Of Risk In Their Business, Kendra Marie Hedge Oct 2014

Producer Perceptions Of Their Use Of Time And Various Areas Of Risk In Their Business, Kendra Marie Hedge

Open Access Theses

Agribusinesses rely on producers choosing their products and services for the success of their business. Agribusinesses can use information regarding how producers rate the importance of certain areas of risk and what takes most of the producers' time to offer specific services to different segments of producers to better meet their needs. An ordered logit model and a multinomial logit model are used to determine factors significant to producers' use of time and importance of various areas of risk. The producers are then segmented into groups based on their risk perceptions. From this research, agribusinesses can recognize that different types ...


Uncertainty, Irreversibility, And Investment In Secondgeneration Biofuels, Tanner Joseph Mccarty Oct 2014

Uncertainty, Irreversibility, And Investment In Secondgeneration Biofuels, Tanner Joseph Mccarty

Open Access Theses

The present study formalizes and quantifies the importance of uncertainty for investment in a corn-stover based cellulosic biofuel plant. Using a real options model we recover prices of gasoline that would trigger entry into the market and calculate the portion of that entry trigger price required to cover cost and the portion that corresponds to risk premium. We then discuss the effect of managerial flexibility on the entry risk premium and the prices of gasoline that would trigger mothballing, reactivation, and exit. Results show that the risk premium required by plants to enter the second-generation biofuel market is likely to ...


Quality And Safety Attributes Of Sun-Dried Raisins From Afghanistan, Stacy A. Mccoy Oct 2014

Quality And Safety Attributes Of Sun-Dried Raisins From Afghanistan, Stacy A. Mccoy

Open Access Theses

Raisins are an important export commodity for Afghanistan, however, Afghan packers are challenged to export to markets seeking high quality products due to limited knowledge regarding their quality and safety. To evaluate this, Afghan raisin samples from pre-, semi-, and post-processed raisins were obtained from a raisin packer in Kabul, Afghanistan. The raisins were analyzed and compared to U.S. standards for processed raisins. The samples tested did not meet U.S. import standards for embedded sand, but the process used to clean the raisins is suitable to maintain food safety standards.

Previous Afghan raisin shipments have been rejected from ...


Nitrate Removal From Subsurface Drainage By Denitrifying Bioreactor, Erin Chichlowski Oct 2014

Nitrate Removal From Subsurface Drainage By Denitrifying Bioreactor, Erin Chichlowski

Open Access Theses

Denitrifying bioreactors are an edge-of-field best management practice that reduce nitrate in runoff and subsurface drainage waters with minimum surface foot print and management requirements. The objectives of this study included evaluating a 173 m3 wood chip bioreactor for nitrate reduction and removal rates, the effects on phosphorus, and the impacts of the bioreactor's physical characteristics on effective nitrate reduction During periods of flow, weekly water samples were collected for lab analysis of nitrate+nitrite (nitrate-N), total nitrogen (TN), soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), and total phosphorus (TP) and measurements were made of water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, oxidation reduction ...


Adipogenic And Myogenic Stem Cells In Brown Fat: A Study Of Progenitors And Regenerative Capacity, Xin Yang Oct 2014

Adipogenic And Myogenic Stem Cells In Brown Fat: A Study Of Progenitors And Regenerative Capacity, Xin Yang

Open Access Theses

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) utilizes stored lipids to generate heat, therefore reducing body fat content and favoring a leaner body composition. Recent identification of metabolically active BAT in adult humans has sparked broad interests in understanding the developmental origin and postnatal homeostasis of BAT. However, the stem cell population that gives rise to BAT during development and maintains BAT mass at postnatal stage has not been characterized. In addition, whether adult BAT has the capacity to regenerate after injury or to proliferate in response to cold is flargely unknown. Furthermore, although BAT and skeletal muscle are known to share a ...


New Insight Into The Effects Of Small Heat Shock Proteins On Callipyge Lamb Meat Tenderness, Traci Cramer, Yuan H Brad Kim, Danyi Ma, Jolena N. Waddell, Moriah Penick Aug 2014

New Insight Into The Effects Of Small Heat Shock Proteins On Callipyge Lamb Meat Tenderness, Traci Cramer, Yuan H Brad Kim, Danyi Ma, Jolena N. Waddell, Moriah Penick

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Callipyge lambs are a type of sheep that are genetically known to produce tough meat. High expression of calpastatin, which inhibits proteolytic activity of µ-calpain, has been identified as the main factor behind the toughness of callipyge lamb meat. Another group of proteins called small heat shock proteins (sHSP) has recently been suggested for its possible involvement in tenderness development of meat, where up-regulation of sHSP may be associated with toughness. However, the role of sHSP in meat tenderization of callipyge lambs has never been investigated; therefore, the objective of this study is to determine possible involvement of sHSP in ...


Two Essays On Large Agricultural Producer Buying Behaviors, Jacqueline K. Holland Jul 2014

Two Essays On Large Agricultural Producer Buying Behaviors, Jacqueline K. Holland

Open Access Theses

The trend of consolidation of large farms into high volume operations has continued over the past 30 years. Large farm management is a juggling act of a variety of biological processes, financial management, technology adaptation, and human resource development activities. This research looks to provide insights into the underlying management psychology of those large farmers to serve not only as a benchmark for other producers, but to provide customer information to agribusinesses so these firms can strengthen their relationships with their large farmer customers. The first part of this analysis will use Best-Worst modeling to examine five predetermined success factors ...


Abcb11 Functions With B1 And B19 To Regulate Rootward Auxin Transport, Jesica Elyse Reemmer Jul 2014

Abcb11 Functions With B1 And B19 To Regulate Rootward Auxin Transport, Jesica Elyse Reemmer

Open Access Theses

Auxin transport is essential for the architecture and development of erect plants. In a network of transporters directing auxin flows, ATP-Binding Cassette (ABC) transporters are a ubiquitous family of proteins that actively transport important substrates, including auxins, across the plasma membrane. ABCB1 and ABCB19 have been shown to account for the majority of rootward auxin transport, but residual fluxes to the root tip in Arabidopsis b1b19 double mutants implies the involvement of at least one additional auxin transporter in this process. Of specific interest, the severe dwarfism seen in abcb1abcb19 is strikingly reminiscent of that seen in mutants defective in ...


Essays On Productivity Growth In Agriculture, Uris Lantz Caldo Baldos Jul 2014

Essays On Productivity Growth In Agriculture, Uris Lantz Caldo Baldos

Open Access Dissertations

This dissertation aims to explore the current trends in agricultural productivity and analyse its impact on the global farm and food system. Chapter 2 in this dissertation looks at the current trends in agricultural productivity in India—one most of the populous country in the world. In this chapter, productivity trends in Indian agriculture are examined by looking at changes in Total Factor Productivity—a measure which takes into account all farm outputs and inputs. Estimates in this chapter suggest that TFP growth for the 10-year period—between 1999-2000 and 2009-2010—steadily grew at the national level. Looking at the ...


Price Impacts Of Increased Peruvian Table Grape Supply, Jacob W. Iest Jul 2014

Price Impacts Of Increased Peruvian Table Grape Supply, Jacob W. Iest

Open Access Theses

In the last decade, Peru has begun to structure its economy and complete infrastructure projects to promote agricultural export growth. Bolstered by the signing of the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) with the U.S., table grape production has increased significantly since 2006. Peru has a climatic advantage for a quality harvest from November to March, which overlaps the end of the U.S. growing season. With this supply increase expected to continue, U.S. producers and marketers question the effect Peru will have on "late-season" table grape prices in North America.

This thesis is a study of the effects ...


Field To Flight: A Techno-Economic Analysis Of Stover To Aviation Biofuels Supply Chain, Amanda C. Bittner Jul 2014

Field To Flight: A Techno-Economic Analysis Of Stover To Aviation Biofuels Supply Chain, Amanda C. Bittner

Open Access Theses

Greenhouse gas emissions have been a growing concern. The transportation sector contributes to one-third of GHG emissions in the United States from fossil fuel burning. The Renewable Fuel Standard set a requirement for 16 billion gallons (ethanol equivalent) of cellulosic biofuels to be used in the market. Aviation biofuels can help to meet both of these problems as well as improve U.S. energy security.

Investment in the biofuel industry carries a lot of risk. The biofuel industry is run by the private sector, but can be incentivized by government. Cellulosic biofuels carry even more risk than first generation biofuels ...


Evolution Of Food Quality Demand In The Food Service Industry In China: The Case Of Duck, Rachel Alison Carnegie Jul 2014

Evolution Of Food Quality Demand In The Food Service Industry In China: The Case Of Duck, Rachel Alison Carnegie

Open Access Theses

Booming economic growth and rising consumer incomes have impacted food preferences and purchasing behavior in China. At the same time, several internationally publicized food safety incidents, particularly in the animal husbandry sector, have heightened awareness of and concern for food safety and quality in meat and dairy. Rising quality demand and safety concerns have been studied at length in the food retail sector, but also appear to be important in the food service industry. This research uses data from a survey of duck restaurant managers and consumers in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Guangzhou to determine preferences and willingness to pay ...


Physical And Chemical Attributes Of A Genetically Modified Fruit Pectin, Carl Patrick Littrell Jul 2014

Physical And Chemical Attributes Of A Genetically Modified Fruit Pectin, Carl Patrick Littrell

Open Access Theses

Pectin is an important polymer used in the food industry as a thickening and gelling agent. Though pectin is ubiquitous in plants, chemical and structural differences among pectin molecules prevent most from being viable for industrial use. Enzymes found naturally in fruit cell walls during the ripening process impair many desirable attributes of fruit pectins, rendering them unsuitable for industrial applications. Pectin methylesterase (PME) is one such enzyme whose expression can be altered during ripening through the use of recombinant genetic engineering. Reduction in levels of PME results in increased degree of methylation and molecular size of pectin, greatly increasing ...


Changes In Tundra Plant And Soil Organic Geochemical Composition In Response To Long-Term Increased Winter Precipitation In N. Alaska, Olivia Miller Jul 2014

Changes In Tundra Plant And Soil Organic Geochemical Composition In Response To Long-Term Increased Winter Precipitation In N. Alaska, Olivia Miller

Open Access Theses

Tundra ecosystem soils store half of the global soil organic carbon (SOC) pool and have the potential to release large amounts of greenhouse gases, primarily CH4 and CO2. As climates warm and permafrost thaws, the emissions of these gases as organic matter decomposition rates increase may become increasingly important to the chemistry of the atmosphere. Increases in precipitation that accompany warming, may shift tundra vegetative composition from moss/graminoid- to shrub-dominated systems. These vegetation shifts may result in important feedback effects as altered plant and litter chemistry may affect SOC storage in soils. Questions investigated include: 1) How ...


Management Of Root Knot Nematode (Meloidogyne Incognita ) In Indiana Soybeans, David Edgardo Perla Martinez Jul 2014

Management Of Root Knot Nematode (Meloidogyne Incognita ) In Indiana Soybeans, David Edgardo Perla Martinez

Open Access Theses

The aim of this project was to evaluate different strategies for management of Root Knot Nematode (RKN) on soybean and tomato in Indiana. Seed treatments were evaluated under field and greenhouse conditions, but no effect on RKN populations was observed. Soybean lines evaluated for resistance to RKN under greenhouse conditions showed that six lines may be resistant to RKN. Four different commercial mustard cover crops were evaluated for their bio-fumigant impact on RKN populations in the production of tomato. Euruca sativa, Cv. Nemat was a poor host of RKN. A positive impact on the vigor of the tomato plants followed ...