22,557 Works

Assessing the Adolescent and Adult Prefrontal Cortex Proteome for Mechanisms of Enhanced Vulnerability to Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a debilitating neurobiological disorder affecting millions of people in the United States and around the globe. Treatment options for alcoholism are limited, due in part to incomplete understanding of the development and molecular mechanisms that lead to alcohol addiction. Age of drinking onset is one of the most significant predictors of lifetime alcoholism risk, with individuals initiating alcohol use during adolescence at substantially increased risk for developing alcoholism than those who initiate drinking...

Framing Perceptions of Violence against Women in Film: Les Silences du Palais and Incendies

Framing Perceptions of Violence against Women in Film: Les Silences du Palais and Incendies (Under the direction of Dominique D. Fisher) This thesis focuses on how contemporary Francophone films visually represent violence against women, and explores how sexual violence functions to continue the subjugation and systematic victimization of women. I examine how Moufida Tlatli's Les Silences du Palais and Denis Villeneuve's Incendies approach the subject and portrayal of rape within the greater narrative of the...

Dynamic Cortical Mechanotransduction Drives Rounded Cell Protrusions

As cells decrease their area of attachment, as occurs in 3D migration, F-actin is remodeled from integrin-dependent, relatively flat networks to a contractile cortex located at the rounded cell periphery. Concurrently, as the area of attachment decreases, dependence on myosin II contractility for cell motility increases (Doyle et al., 2009; Friedl and Wolf, 2010). I investigated the dynamic behavior and regulation of actomyosin-driven periodic protrusions in rounded fibroblast and endothelial cells. Because this contractile behavior...

Struggle over dimensionality: party competition in Europe

This work studies political issues and political competition. Political issues - contestable concerns within the public sphere - are multiple and infinitesimal, as people understand them in different contexts and at different levels. To become comprehensible and debatable political demands, individual preferences must be simplified into issue bundles or issue dimensions. The key actors in this process are political parties that use strategic calculus to join disparate political preferences into ideological platforms. This dissertation examines...

The role of public relations in socially responsible business

Public relations professionals need to understand their role in order to contribute, participate and potentially help shape the future of business through corporate social responsibility. This study examines how public relations is practiced in a socially responsible organization through a case study of a senior public relations manager working in a socially responsible company. The basic premise of this study is that public relations in a socially responsible organization will exhibit characteristics of "excellence" as...

Suppressor of cytokine signaling-2 (SOCS2) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) modulate insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF-IR) signaling in intestinal cancer

The insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) pathway is associated with increased risk and progression of colorectal cancer. Understanding mechanisms that inhibit or promote this key pathway would be useful in developing better therapies and strategies for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Suppressor of cytokine signaling-2 (SOCS2) limits the trophic effects of IGF-I in the intestine and therefore, may negatively regulate intestinal tumorigenesis. We crossed SOCS2-/- mice with ApcMin/+ mice, a widely used model of spontaneous intestinal...

Papinian mutability: Statius and early modernity

This dissertation examines the reception of the epic and lyric works of the Roman poet Statius in the early modern period. Although the study of Statius is now relegated to only the most dedicated of classics departments, early modern readers from Dante and Petrarch to Shakespeare and Milton enthusiastically read Statius alongside other classical Latin poets such as Virgil and Ovid. While Statius's reputation during the period is well established, what is not as well...

Determining Body Mass Index Cutoffs to Identify Increased Risk of Hypertension for Asian Ethnicities

An optimal BMI cutoff is needed in public health and clinical settings as the guidance an optimal body weight. Although body mass index (BMI) cutoffs of 25 and 30 kg/m2 for overweight and obesity, respectively, have been widely used among Westerners and recommended by the World Health Organization as an international criterion for body fatness at the population level, there are still controversial opinions about the optimal BMI cutoffs for Asians. We conducted the study...

R4 and R12 subfamily RGS proteins: structures, functions, and emerging chemical biology

It is essential that cells respond to their extracellular environment with appropriate intracellular changes. Many environmental cues are received at the cell membrane, by a family of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and their heterotrimeric G-proteins, composed of Gα, Gβ and Gγ subunits. Upon binding of a hormone, neurotransmitter, tastant, or small molecule agonist at the membrane-bound GPCR, the receptor catalyzes the exchange of GDP for GTP on the heterotrimeric Gα subunit. This change results in...

The relationship between physical activity levels and selected physiological and psychological parameters in women with breast cancer post treatment

Cancer treatments cause numerous side effects that can last years post-treatment. Fatigue is the most common side-effect and can lead to a reduction in patients’ functionality and overall quality of life. The purpose of this study was to evaluate physical activity levels (IPAQ), selected physiological and psychological parameters on breast cancer survivors prior to staring an exercise/recreation therapy program. A secondary purpose explored relationships between the IPAQ and all psychological and physiological parameters evaluated. Sixteen...

Pattern and process in rare plant conservation: an assessment of the Southeastern U.S.

The development of conservation policy for rare plant species is informed by largescale patterns of distribution and abundance as well as the processes that generate them. I collected data on 224 rare vascular plants in the Southeastern U.S. to characterize patterns of rarity at ecoregional scales, among broad habitat types, and with respect to taxonomic group size. Rare species diversity is highest in Appalachian/Blue Ridge Forests and Southeastern Conifer Forests ecoregions. Most rare plants are...

Improving Local Public Health Capacity Through a Health Information Exchange in South Texas: Policy Implications for Health Leaders

Three out of four deaths in the state of Texas are caused by chronic diseases with hospital discharges in 2008 alone costing more than $10 billion. Chronic disease surveillance systems are needed for the identification and tracking of diseases in order to target prevention and treatment activities. However, the IOM has reported inconsistencies in surveillance of chronic illnesses caused by a lack of standardized methods for measuring complex attributes and determinants of health along with...

Spain's demographic crisis and its implications for the Spanish welfare state

Spain is currently undergoing a demographic crisis with less than replacement fertility rates and an aging population. This crisis can be traced back to the organization and formation of the welfare state and will hold serious challenges for the future of the Spanish welfare state. The low fertility rate has many roots within the welfare state, especially the preference for familial care within the home, the precariousness of the job market for part time workers,...

Digital Discourse, Online Repression, and Cyberterrorism: Information Communication Technologies in Russia’s North Caucasus Republics

Is the cyber-utopian versus cyber-repression argument the most effective way to frame the political uses of new technologies? Contemporary discourse on social media fails to highlight political dynamics in authoritarian regimes with weak state control, where independent groups can capitalize on the use of coercive force. In this thesis I will explore the various methods through which information communication technologies are utilized by civil groups, uncivil groups, and the state using Russia's North Caucasus republics...

Critical Urban Ecology: Links to Social Vulnerability and Environmental Justice in the Aftermath of Hurricanes

Parallel to the world's rising urbanization trend, shifting patterns of large wet weather disturbances - more specifically, hurricanes - are raising concerns in coastal areas where many cities are located. A shift in studying these occurrences is paramount. This thesis addresses the following question: in what ways can the inclusion of social vulnerability studies and environmental justice, often developed outside of the field of urban ecology, contribute to a critical understanding of urban socioecological uncertainties...

Acoustic Measurement of Emotion Expression of Women with Chronic Knee Pain

The purpose of this study was to determine if change in acoustic parameters of sustained vowel vocalization occurred in women with and without chronic knee pain when asked to rise from sitting to standing and if changes could be associated with occurrence of an emotion. Scherer's component process model of emotion and sequential check theory of emotion differentiation provided the framework for the study. Acoustic parameters evaluated were mean fundamental frequency, highest fundamental frequency, lowest...

Arturo Ambrogi, Sergio Ramírez y Ana Guadalupe Martínez: tres negociaciones conflictivas de la identidad nacional

This study is an approach to some narrative texts from Central American in the 20th Century. It centers around the evaluation of the impact that the discourse of certain authors has made in the socio-political context of their nations, in a crucial moment of their recent history. Authors such as Arturo Ambrogi (El Salvador, 1875-1936), Sergio Ramírez (Nicaragua, 1942- ) and Ana Guadalupe Martínez (El Salvador, 1952 - ) employ strategies to control the literary...

Martha Nussbaum and the rise of raunch culture: implications of the capabilities approach in the United States

This paper explores the effects of and also the limits to Martha C. Nussbaum's capabilities approach within the United States. Quite often in Nussbaum's work, her universal theory of justice is analyzed only within the context of developing nations, leaving readers to assume that persons living in the Third World are far more oppressed than those living in the West. By examining the capabilities approach, specifically the bodily integrity capability, within a Western context I...

Modeling conformational dynamics of cisplatin and oxaliplatin adducts with DNA

Cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) (cisplatin, CP) is a widely used anti-cancer agent. Its platinum analog (trans-R,R)1,2-diaminocyclohexaneoxalatoplatinum(II) (oxaliplatin, OX) is often effective in cisplatin resistant tumors and generally causes less mutation than CP. Although their carrier ligands are structurally distinct, CP and OX form the same types of adducts at the same sites on the DNA. Certain DNA regulatory proteins could distinguish CP-DNA adducts from OX-DNA adducts but the underlying mechanism is not clear currently. In this thesis, we...

Palatal tactile sensitivity in adults with repaired cleft lip and palate

Individuals with repaired cleft lip and palate (CLP) may be at risk for decreased tactile sensitivity in the oral cavity due to surgical intervention and scarring. Three research questions were proposed: 1) Do adults with repaired CLP demonstrate reduced palatal sensitivity compared to a control group? 2) Do adults with repaired CLP exhibit longer speech segment durations of alveolar-palatal targets? 3) Is there a relationship between palatal sensitivity and duration of speech segment durations? Tongue...

Asymptotic Multivariate Kriging Using Estimated Parameters with Bayesian Prediction Methods for Non-linear Predictands

The motivation for this dissertation is the need that often arises in spatial settings to perform a data transformation to achieve a stationary process and/or variance stabilization. The transformation may be a non-linear transformation, and the desired predictand may be multivariate in that it is necessary to interpolate predictions at multiple sites. We assume the underlying spatial model is a Gaussian random field with a parametrically specified covariance structure, but that the predictions of interest...

In vitro coculture models to study heterotypic interactions in breast cancer microenvironments

Epithelial-stromal interactions are fundamental to tissue homeostasis and may alter breast cancer (BC) initiation and progression. Co-evolution of the neoplastic epithelium and the stroma implies that these compartments maintain an active dialogue with functional consequences for both parts. To study epithelial-stromal interactions and elucidate the role of stromal variation in tumor phenotypes, in vitro cocultures can be used. Gene expression data and cell-based assays from cocultures can identify cellular phenotypes and biomarkers with possible relevance...

Strategy for determining vaccination user fees and locations: a case study in rural China

Despite the enormous success of vaccinations in decreasing disease burden, there are still millions of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases worldwide, especially in the developing world. The literature reports that people living in rural areas in China often fail to be immunized not only because of inability to pay user fee but also due to poor geographical accessibility to vaccination sites. However, the level of user fees and the locations of vaccination sites have not been...

COMMUNICATION PARTNER ATTITUDES, SOCIAL AND COGNITIVE CHALLENGE, AND SPOKEN LANGUAGE IN APHASIA

The purpose of these studies was to investigate how partner attitudes, attention, and emotion affect communication in aphasia. The first study investigated the attitudes of potential communication partners regarding speech output, speaker attributes and their own feelings after hearing unaltered and digitally modified samples from PWA as well as samples from speakers with no aphasia. Listeners reported less favorable attitudes about PWA than speakers with no aphasia. In addition, samples that were modified to sound...

Computational Cortical Surface Analysis for Study of Early Brain Development

The study of morphological attributes of the cerebral cortex and their development is very important in understanding the dynamic and critical early brain development. Comparing with conventional studies in the image space, cortical surface-based analysis provides a better way to display, observe, and quantify the attributes of the cerebral cortex. The goal of this dissertation is to develop novel cortical surface-based methods for better studying the attributes of the cerebral cortex during early brain development....

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