336 Works

The Role of CD8 T Cell Immunodominance and Regulatory T Cells in Neonatal Immunity to Influenza Virus

Luke Heil
Neonates are more susceptible to influenza virus infection than adults, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality as well as delayed clearance of the virus. Efforts to improve influenza infection outcomes in neonates typically center on prevention, although current vaccines fall short of complete protection and can only be administered in humans after 6 months of life. We propose that as the neonatal immune system responds differently than the adult immune system, interventions that are efficacious...

Relation Prediction Over Biomedical Knowledge Bases for Drug Repositioning

Mehmet Bakal
Identifying new potential treatment options for medical conditions that cause human disease burden is a central task of biomedical research. Since all candidate drugs cannot be tested with animal and clinical trials, in vitro approaches are first attempted to identify promising candidates. Likewise, identifying other essential relations (e.g., causation, prevention) between biomedical entities is also critical to understand biomedical processes. Hence, it is crucial to develop automated relation prediction systems that can yield plausible biomedical...

Modeling Daily Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Mental Contamination Experiences Among Survivors of Sexual Trauma

Alex Brake
Mental contamination (i.e., feelings of dirtiness in the absence of contact with a contaminant) is a potentially important yet understudied factor in posttraumatic psychopathology, particularly for survivors of sexual trauma. Mental contamination has been linked to PTSD symptom severity, negative affect, and coping cross-sectionally and in lab-based paradigms, but research has yet to assess these relationships in ecological contexts. The present study extends previous cross-sectional findings by modelling relationships between mental contamination and posttraumatic psychopathology,...

Evaluating Costs Associated with Management Decisions of Replacement Dairy Heifers and Their Impact on the Total Rearing Investment

Anna Hawkins
Replacement heifer rearing is critical for the future of the dairy operation, especially to improve genetic merit and maintain herd size. A replacement heifer from the day she is born to the day she calves herself is generally a 2-year investment without potential income. A myriad of options exists on how to manage, fed, and ultimately raise replacement heifers. This study quantifies the costs associated with replacement heifer management decisions from birth to calving related...

Development of Mithramycin Analogues with Improved Efficacy and Reduced Toxicity for Treatment of ETS-Dependent Tumors in Ewing Sarcoma and Prostate Cancer

Joseph Michael Eckenrode
Introduction: Genetic rearrangements in Ewing sarcoma, prostate, and leukemia cells result in activation of oncogenic ETS transcription factor fusions. Mithramycin (MTM) has been identified as an inhibitor of EWS-FLI1 transcription factor, a gene fusion product responsible for oncogenesis in Ewing sarcoma. Despite preclinical success, a phase I/II clinical trial testing MTM therapy in refractory Ewing sarcoma was terminated. Liver and blood toxicities resulted in dose de-escalation and sub-therapeutic exposures. However, the promise of selectively targeting...

Visualizing Barrier Dune Topographic State Space and Inference of Resilience Properties

Li-Chih Hsu
The linkage between barrier island morphologies and dune topographies, vegetation, and biogeomorphic feedbacks, has been examined. The two-fold stability domain (i.e., overwash-resisting and overwash-reinforcing stability domains) model from case studies in a couple of islands along the Georgia Bight and Virginia coast has been proposed to examine the resilience properties in the barrier dune systems. Thus, there is a need to examine geographic variations in the dune topography among and within islands. Meanwhile, previous studies...

Toward and Enzyme-Coupled, Bioorthogonal Platform for Methyltransferases

Tyler D. Huber
Methyl group transfer from S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) to various substrates including DNA, proteins, and natural products (NPs), is accomplished by methyltransferases (MTs). Analogs of AdoMet, bearing an alternative S-alkyl group can be exploited, in the context of an array of wild-type MT-catalyzed reactions, to differentially alkylate DNA, proteins, and NPs. This technology provides a means to elucidate MT targets by the MT-mediated installation of chemoselective handles from AdoMet analogs to biologically relevant molecules and affords researchers...

Language Dysfunction in Motor Neuron Disease

Natasha Garcia-Willingham
Motor neuron disease (MND) is a set of neuromuscular diseases that affect the upper and/or lower motor neurons, resulting in progressive disability. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) are two forms of MND that both involve upper motor neuron degeneration, which can also accompany extra-motor changes in cognitive, behavioral, and/or emotional functioning for some individuals. Characterization of the cognitive profile of MND is still evolving, with growing interest in cognitive subtypes. The...

Advanced Fault Area Identification and Fault Location for Transmission and Distribution Systems

Wen Fan
Fault location reveals the exact information needed for utility crews to timely and promptly perform maintenance and system restoration. Therefore, accurate fault location is a key function in reducing outage time and enhancing power system reliability. Modern power systems are witnessing a trend of integrating more distributed generations (DG) into the grid. DG power outputs may be intermittent and can no longer be treated as constants in fault location method development. DG modeling is also...

Price Discrimination on Complementary Goods

Zheng Yang
This dissertation analyzes the men's razor market to examine whether a monopolist can implement price discrimination for the complementary goods. I estimate a demand system for razors using the random coefficient logit model with market level sales data from the Nielsen Store Scanner dataset and individual demographic data from the March CPS. The estimated parameters are used to construct price-cost markups. By comparing the markups of different products, I find evidence that Gillette uses a...

Impact of Seasonal Tree-Cutting Restrictions on Construction Bids

Christopher W. Van Dyke, Steven Waddle, Bryan Gibson, Sarah M. McCormack & Steven Douglas Kreis
Many of the maintenance and construction projects undertaken by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) span late spring to early fall (April–October), with this period’s long days, abundant sunshine, and relatively dry conditions being ideal for performing work and minimizing delays from inclement weather. But this compressed timeline for accomplishing work introduces other challenges. Specifically, many of KYTC’s maintenance and construction activities can potentially impact summer habitat of the Indiana bat, which is listed as an...

Integrated Seismic-Reflection and Microgravity Imaging Across the Southern Boundary of the Charleston Uplift, New Madrid Seismic Zone, USA

Drew D., Jr. Burford
The Charleston Uplift (CU), a 30-km-long by 7-km-wide, N46°E-oriented subsurface geologic anomaly in the northern Mississippi embayment near Charleston, Missouri, exhibits up to 36 m of vertical relief across the Paleogene/Quaternary unconformity. Subsurface structural relief, along with the CU’s coincident boundary alignment with contemporary microseismicity and the New Madrid North Fault (NMNF), suggest a structural origin. Subsequent seismic soundings indicate vertical structural relief is present in Cretaceous and Paleozoic horizons, supporting the fault-controlled origin. The...

Investigation of the Accuracy of Alcohol and Drug Involvement Reporting

William Nicholas Staats
Executive Summary Researchers compared the 2013 to 2017 fatal crash data from the KSP database to the crash data from the FARS database to check the consistency and accuracy of alcohol and drug involvement reporting for drivers in the KSP database. The indications of alcohol and drug involvement in the FARS database were used as the ground truth due to the inclusion of laboratory test results confirming the presence of alcohol and/or drugs in a...

Sloped and Mitered Concrete Headwalls

Kean H., Jr. Ashurst, Brad W. Rister, Eileen Grady & Jason K. Ward
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) currently uses several pipe culvert end treatments, including standard headwalls, slope and flared headwalls, sloped and parallel headwalls, and safety metal ends. These treatments, however, can pose a safety hazard to motorists and those performing landscaping work (e.g., mowing). Crash statistics from 2012 through 2016 for Kentucky reveal that 49 fatalities and 148 incapacitating injuries occurred in incidents where culverts/headwalls were coded as the first harmful event on the police...

AID Project Summary Report for Intelligent Compaction

David Q. Hunsucker, Kean H., Jr. Ashurst & Brad W. Rister
This study reviews data from five roadway construction projects on which intelligent compaction (IC) techniques were used to achieve the more uniform compaction of road-building materials. Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC) researchers looked at IC data collected from these projects — resulting in the production of eight analyzable data sets — to determine whether they complied with the special construction note included in contract documents. The report also compares the intelligent compaction measurement value (ICMV) collected...

Pathway Connectivity in an Epigenetic Fluviokarst System

Ethan Adams
Fluviokarst landscapes are dominated by both fluvial and karst features. Interpreting hydrologic pathways of fluviokarst can be confounded by the unknown connectivity of the various flow regimes. A combined discrete-continuum (CDC) hybrid numeric model for simulating the surface and subsurface hydrology and hydraulics in fluviokarst basins was formulated to investigate fluviokarst pathways. This model was applied to the Cane Run Royal Springs basin in Kentucky USA. A priori constraints on parameterization were avoided via multi-stage...

Development of a Translational Model of Co-Use of Alcohol and Nicotine for Testing Potential Pharmacotherapies

Sarah Elizabeth Maggio
Co-users of alcohol and nicotine are the largest group of polysubstance users worldwide. Although pharmacotherapies are available for alcohol (EtOH) or tobacco use disorders individually, it may be possible to develop a single pharmacotherapy to treat heavy drinking tobacco smokers through capitalizing on the commonalities in their mechanisms of action. Towards this goal, several models of concurrent access to EtOH and nicotine were explored as potential preclinical models of co-use using female alcohol-preferring (P) rats....

2019 Safety Belt Usage Survey in Kentucky

Erin Lammers, Kenneth R. Agent & Eric R. Green
The objective of the survey summarized in this report was to establish a statewide safety belt usage rate in Kentucky for 2019. This rate can be compared to those determined from previous surveys. The 2019 statewide survey documents the continued effect associated with law enforcement, related education, and general public attitude.

Mechanisms of Trinucleotide Repeat Instability During DNA Synthesis

Kara Chan
Genomic instability, in the form of gene mutations, insertions/deletions, and gene amplifications, is one of the hallmarks in many types of cancers and other inheritable genetic disorders. Trinucleotide repeat (TNR) disorders, such as Huntington’s disease (HD) and Myotonic dystrophy (DM) can be inherited and repeats may be extended through subsequent generations. However, it is not clear how the CAG repeats expand through generations in HD. Two possible repeat expansion mechanisms include: 1) polymerase mediated repeat...

Biological Selenium Control

Yuxia Ji
Se(VI) and Se(IV), as the two major species of selenium in water, are toxic to aquatic lives and may cause adverse health effects to humans at high levels. Biological reduction of Se(VI) is a two-stage process first from Se(VI) to Se(IV) and then from Se(IV) to Se(0) with potential accumulation of the more toxic Se(IV) due to the slower rate of the second stage. Selenium reduction was first evaluated with batch cultures of Shigella fergusonii...

Wage Disparity in the Accounting Profession and Information Quality

Russell Williamson
Does wage disparity, measured as the difference between highest and lowest paid workers, affect the quality of reported financial information? I collect accounting professional wage data from an international accounting and finance employment placement firm for the period of 1972 to 2017. I investigate to what degree wage disparity in corporate and public accounting has affected accounting information quality by testing predictions derived from equity theory and tournament theory. I find that vertical wage disparity...

A Machine Learning Approach to Artificial Floorplan Generation

Genghis Goodman
The process of designing a floorplan is highly iterative and requires extensive human labor. Currently, there are a number of computer programs that aid humans in floorplan design. These programs, however, are limited in their inability to fully automate the creative process. Such automation would allow a professional to quickly generate many possible floorplan solutions, greatly expediting the process. However, automating this creative process is very difficult because of the many implicit and explicit rules...

Edge Drain Performance

Kean H., Jr. Ashurst & Brad W. Rister
Edge drain systems are used on new highway construction projects and rehabilitation projects to reduce the moisture content of the pavement block and subgrade. Maintaining dry conditions in and around these components increases the subgrade strength and extends a pavement’s surface life. Edge drain systems can only operate effectively, however, if the entire subsurface drainage system functions properly. While many studies have demonstrated the benefits of edge drain systems, no comprehensive investigation of their performance...

The North American Transportation Security Center

Steven Douglas Kreis & Michael M. Barclay
Executive Summary In April 2008, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) completed work on the TSA Hazmat Truck Security Pilot (HTSP). This congressionally mandated pilot program was undertaken to prove that a hazmat truck tracking center was feasible from a technology and systems perspective. The HTSP project team built a technology prototype of a hazmat truck tracking system to show that “smart truck” technology could be crafted into an effective and efficient system for tracking...

The North American Transportation Security Center

Steven Douglas Kreis & Michael M. Barclay
Copyright: © 2018 University of Kentucky, Kentucky Transportation Center

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