9,575 Works

Interleukin 33 Initiates CNS Inflammation Following Traumatic Injury

Sachin Gadani
Inflammation is a prominent feature of CNS injury that heavily influences neuronal survival, yet the signals that initiate and control it remain poorly understood. In this thesis I describe two linked projects that attempt to address this question. In the first, we identified the nuclear alarmin, interleukin (IL)-33, as an important regulator of the innate immune response after CNS injury. IL-33 is expressed widely throughout the healthy brain and is concentrated in white mater due...

Environmental and Energy Consequences of Using Corn Ethanol as a Biofuel

William Appel
Corn ethanol is viewed by many supporters as a sustainable fuel that can replace gasoline, reduce greenhouse gas emissions relative to fossil fuels, and increase energy security. Unfortunately, these claims are not supported by production practices. Corn ethanol is more expensive than gasoline. Its production and use results in higher carbon emissions than gasoline and causes additional environmental concerns such as eutrophication, soil erosion, land use change, and air and water pollution. The net energy...

Transcriptional Regulation by Mot1 and Spt16

Jason True
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae ATPase Mot1 regulates transcription by impacting the distribution and activity of TATA-binding protein (TBP). In vitro, Mot1 forms a complex with TBP and DNA, and uses ATP hydrolysis to dissociate TBP from DNA. To gain insight into the Mot1 mechanism, we employed a DNA tethered cleavage approach to map regions of Mot1 in proximity to DNA under different conditions. We present evidence for two conformations of the Mot1 ATPase, the detection of...

The Village, The State, and Amerindian Shamanic Thought: Becoming Makushi in the Hinterland of Guyana

Lucas Carneiro de Carvalho
This dissertation presents a comparison between the cultural representations of Coastlanders and Amerindians in Guyana. This is done by contrasting Makushi practices and understandings of sociality, politics, violence, and the power to kill with non-Amerindian practices and understandings. The dissertation presents a series of episodes to illustrate the differences and similarities between these two systems. In these episodes, themes such as group identity, leadership, politics, kinship, development, shamanism, and death and violence are presented and...

Understanding Phonon Interactions with Defects in Functional Oxide Materials

Brian Donovan
Understanding of nano-scale thermal transport has enabled significant advances in a wide variety of fields including microelectronics, alternative energy, optics, and many more. Utilized in many of these applications are a class of materials known as functional oxides. These materials are oxygen compounds with specific functional properties of interest (e.g., dielectrics, piezoelectrics, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics). Often it is the defects in these materials that enable functionality. In this dissertation, I aim to identify the role that...

What are the Odds?: A Utilisation of Settlers of Catan to Provide a Framework for Monte Carlo Based Game Theoretic Oriented Decision-Making

A Everett
The importance of making decisions well is paramount in all fora, especially when making long range plans (what would generally be called strategy). Random events in life, as well as unpredictable decisions made by others, can impair or eliminate years of time and work. Accurate planning is needed in order to respond to changing conditions brought on by those events and decisions. Settlers of Catan is a Eurogame popular across many spheres, from tech executives...

Optimal 6D Object Pose Estimation with Commodity Depth Sensors

Michael Landau
Accurate 6D object pose estimation, as well as other model-based shape matching objectives such as object detection, classification, and shape inspection, is prominent and necessary in a large number of domains and applications. This includes household and robotics applications to automate various tasks, where input depth measurements are aligned to a corresponding model of the object, such as a CAD that is composed of several interconnected parts, depending on the model's level of detail and...

Thermal and Radiation Processing of Porous Extraterrestrial Water Ice

Emily Mitchell
This dissertation is an experimental study of the factors responsible for the state of water ice in extraterrestrial environments, and the changes induced in these ices due to pervasive space phenomena such as thermal processing and UV and energetic particle irradiation. The properties of frozen water are strongly dependent on the astronomical environment that harbors the ice. Ice morphology, phase, and chemical composition continually evolve due to processes such as thermal cycling, exposure to exospheric...

War and Constitution-Making in Revolutionary Massachusetts, 1754-1788

James Hrdlicka
Throughout the Revolutionary era, Americans embraced the capacity of constitutional government at all levels to mobilize power to achieve desired ends. This study explores how and why the inhabitants of one province-turned-state looked to the institutions, practices, and authority of constitutional government to address the myriad challenges they faced between the French and Indian War and the ratification of the United States Constitution. In these years, people in Massachusetts viewed constitutions as more than sets...

The Effect of Catalyst Sublimation Temperature on the Purity of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube Vertically Aligned Arrays

Kimberly Scheider
Current thermal interface materials including solders, greases, and phase change materials do not have the mechanical compliance required to fill cavities, and thermal conductance necessary to dissipate heat generated in modern microelectronic devices. The inability to dissipate heat properly from the microprocessor device creates a thermal bottleneck which limits device efficiency and leads to early life degradation. Individual multiwalled carbon nanotubes have a high thermal conductivity on the order of 3000 W/(mK) which far surpasses...

Low Dimensional Morphology Analysis and Computational Optimization of Flapping Propulsors in Nature

Yan Ren
Flapping propulsion is widely adopted by many natural flyers/swimmers, including insects, birds, fishes, and marine mammals. It offers an attractive alternative to conventional propulsion methods for future bio-inspired aerial/underwater systems. However, due to lack of effective technology of studying the highly complex propulsor morphing kinematics and its associated aero/hydrodynamics, achieving biological levels of aero/hydro-performance in bio-inspired flapping propulsor design has proven elusive. Here, an integrated experimental and computational methodology has been developed to systematically study...

Relational Aggression and Cyberbullying: Associations with Context and Mental Health Outcomes

Hillary Morin
This dissertation presents a line of research exploring the psychosocial and behavioral correlates of victims of peer aggression. This dissertation is written according to the requirements described in the Curry School of Education Ph.D. Dissertation Manual: Manuscript Style Dissertation Guidelines. The manuscript-style dissertation calls for the doctoral candidate to be the principle author on three research manuscripts and submit an introduction (linking document) that describes the conceptual and theoretical linkages among the three manuscripts. I...

Neural Control of Respiration by the Retrotrapezoid Nucleus.

Tyler Basting
Rationale and objectives: Central respiratory chemoreceptors (CRCs) detect brain PaCO2 and adjust lung ventilation to maintain PaCO2 and pH constant regardless of the absolute level of lung ventilation. They perform this function in cooperation with the carotid bodies, sensory organs that respond to hypoxia in a pH-dependent manner. The existence of CRCs has been known for over a century but their cellular nature and location have remained highly controversial until recently. The retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN),...

The Mathematical Genius of F.M. Dostoevsky: Imaginary Numbers, Statistics, Non-Euclidean Geometry and Infinity

Michael Marsh-Soloway
Prior to becoming a man of letters, F.M. Dostoevsky (1821-1881) studied at the Main Engineering School [Glavnoe inzhenernoe uchilishche] in St. Petersburg from 1838 to 1843. Although most scholars discount the lasting legacy of his engineering studies, the literary aesthetics of his works communicate an awareness of mathematical principles and debates. In the context of nineteenth-century Russian literature, Dostoevsky is perhaps the only major novelist to have embedded explicit mathematical expressions and terminology in his...

Development of a VDOT Special Provision for Pervious Concrete in Stormwater Management

Gail Moruza
Stormwater runoff is a major concern as more land is developed into urban settings, morphing areas previously capable of infiltrating a large amount of water into impervious surfaces on which contaminants are collected and large volumes of runoff flow. Many effective practices for managing stormwater runoff exist currently with each method dependent on the surrounding development and the demands of that specific application. One treatment method available now is pervious concrete (PC), a type of...

Injury Assessment for the Human Leg Exposed to Axial Impact Loading

Ann Bailey
Current injury criteria for the leg in axial loading fail to consider the effect of duration on force at fracture, which has been shown to be significant for body regions such as the femur and spine. Consequently, application of current injury risk functions based solely on peak tibia force is limited to specific boundary and input conditions. The primary objective of this dissertation was to develop an injury criterion for use in both underbody blast...

Microbubble Formulations for Photoacoustic Imaging and Sonothrombolysis Applications

Adam Dixon
Microbubbles provide a versatile platform for both ultrasound-mediated therapy and imaging. This dissertation outlines the design and characterization of two novel microbubble formulations used in separate photoacoustic imaging and sonothrombolysis applications. Microbubbles as Photoacoustic Imaging Contrast Agents Photoacoustic imaging is a noninvasive imaging technique that provides high contrast images of optical absorption deep within living tissue. Dual-modality ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging can simultaneously evaluate anatomical tissue properties with ultrasound and molecular properties with photoacoustics. The...

The Making of IS: U.S. Contributions to the Development of the Islamic State

Peyton Ruble
The paper puts forth a timeline of the organization known today as the Islamic State (IS,) from its founding by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq to its current territorial holdings in Iraq and Syria under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, focusing on the involvement of the United States as a contributor to the expansion of the organization. Beginning with Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, the U.S. disrupted the fabric of Iraqi society to the...

Prefrontal Cortical Deletion of DNA Methyltransferases Dnmt1 and Dnmt3a Reduces Palatable Food Intake

Jonathan Joy-Gaba
DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism most often associated with the repression of gene expression; mediated by the DNA methyltransferases (DNMT). Expression of both DNMT1 and DNMT3a isoforms within post-mitotic neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) has been shown to be important in modulating the response to drugs of abuse and other stimuli that produce changes in neuronal plasticity. Interestingly, DNMT1 and DNMT3a expression has been shown to be dynamically regulated in the medial...

Development of Electrochemical Microsensors for in vivo Neurotransmitter Detection

Cheng Yang
Everything that happens in our body and all the interactions we have with the outside world are controlled by our brain. Studies of neurotransmitters are critical for a better understanding of how our brain works. Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) is the most popular electrochemical technique for the in vivo detection of electroactive neurotransmitters and neurochemicals with high temporal resolution. To further improve the detection selectivity, sensitivity, and spatial resolution, carbon nanomaterial based microelectrodes are applied...

The Alienation Effect in the Music of the Threepenny Opera

Richard B. Price
Discusses the idea of alienation, using words and music to fight against each other in the negative mode and compliment each other in the positive mode.

Guilty of a Skin not Coloured like Our Own¿: Timothy Pickering on Slavery and Race, and the Complicated Legacy of New England High Federalism

Asaf Almog
The paper discusses Massachusetts Federalist Timothy Pickering’s views on race and slavery. The paper has four parts. Part 1 discusses Pickering’s views on slavery and race before the establishment of the Federalist administrations. Part 2 discusses Pickering’s policy towards the Haitian Revolution as the American secretary of state. Part 3 discusses Pickering’s support of colonization. Part 4 discusses Pickering’s views on race and slavery during his retirement.

Balancing Victims' Rights with the Rights of the Accused: Encouraging Participation in University Discipline by Improving Procedures Used to Adjudicate Sexual Misconduct Claims

Tammi Walker
Institutions of higher education are scrambling to be seen as responsive to the problem of sexual violence on campus. Evidence-based guidance is needed to effectively reform the disciplinary process. The three studies in this dissertation test a model based upon procedural justice theory, which suggests that students’ willingness to cooperate with university authorities and students’ attitudes toward authorities may be influenced by the student’s perspective in the disciplinary process and whether students’ perceive the decision-making...

Nitrogen Fluxes Into, Out Of, and Within a Virginia Permaculture Livestock Farm

Laura Cattell Noll
Nitrogen (N) is necessary for food production, but when N in excess of crop-plant requirements enters the environment, it creates a number of detrimental impacts. Alternative agricultural practices, such as pasture-based livestock production, are often suggested as possible strategies for minimizing negative environmental impacts of modern agriculture. To evaluate the potential for these practices to decrease N losses to the environment, this thesis quantifies the influxes and effluxes of N from an alternative livestock farm...

Novel Computational Tools for Linking Genotypes to Microbial Community Phenotypes

Matthew Biggs
The human microbiome is vital to human health as a metabolic “organ” with essential catabolic and anabolic functions. Development of microbiome-targeted therapies requires mechanistic understanding of how microbes interact with each other and with the host. Mechanistic computational approaches can increase knowledge gains from experiments, infer system properties that are difficult to measure, and accelerate the design of novel therapies. Constraint-based reconstruction and analysis (COBRA) of genome-scale metabolic networks is a powerful mechanistic approach that...

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