953 Works

ANTIRESORPTIVE BONE THERAPY USE IN ADVANCED LUNG CANCER AND ASSOCIATED OUTCOMES

Noor Naffakh
Background/Rationale: Studies have shown antiresorptive agents decrease skeletal related events in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. However, two prevalence studies have found low utilization rates of antiresorptive therapy in advanced lung cancer. The first study reported a rate of 14.8% during the 1995-2009 time period, while the second study reported a 33% usage rate during the time frame of 2002-2011. We believe these low utilization rates are associated with the poor prognosis of these patients....

A Comparative Analysis of Reinforcement Learning Applied to Task-Space Reaching With a Robotic Manipulator With and Without Gravity Compensation

Jonathan Fugal
Advances in computing power in recent years have facilitated developments in autonomous robotic systems. These robotic systems can be used in prosthetic limbs, wearhouse packaging and sorting, assembly line production, as well as many other applications. Designing these autonomous systems typically requires robotic system and world models (for classical control based strategies) or time consuming and computationally expensive training (for learning based strategies). Often these requirements are difficult to fulfill. There are ways to combine...

Three Essays on the Economics of Education Expansion

Xiaozhou Ding
My dissertation consists of three essays that study the unintended consequences of education policies. The first two essays examine the impact of higher education expansion in China on household saving rate and individual migration rate. The third essay looks into the impact of a school redistricting plan and the construction a new school on housing prices in Fayette County, Kentucky. In the first essay, I utilize the large national expansion on higher education in China...

A Modeling Approach to Understanding Glyphosate Transport in the Belize River Watershed

Barbara Astmann
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide worldwide and is often transported from application areas to surface water when solubilized in runoff or sorbed to eroded sediment. There is evidence that suggests both glyphosate and its main metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) may pose a risk to human health, as well as cause adverse effects in the environment. However, consistent monitoring data is still limited, especially in developing countries. Belize is a developing nation with agriculture...

UNCOVERING STRUCTURE-PROPERTY RELATIONSHIPS OF INORGANIC NANOMATERIALS VIA TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY

Melonie Thomas
The rapid increase of research in nanoscale devices and nanotechnology in the past few decades has revealed that nanomaterials may possess exceptional properties that are significantly different from the bulk counterpart, due to local rearrangements of the atoms at surfaces and defects. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is an indispensable tool when it comes to the characterization of nanomaterials, primarily due to its ability to resolve the local-structure of materials at the atomic-scale. To study dynamic...

NEW SINGLE MOLECULE IN VIVO AND EX VIVO METHODS TO UNDERSTAND THE PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF NICOTINE USE

Xu Fu
The consumption of tobacco products leads to several health risks, including respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and many different cancers. Nicotine, the primary addictive compound in tobacco, acts on the cholinergic system through nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which is believed to be an essential component of addiction. However, the lack of a complete understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms of nicotine abuse is one of the primary barriers to finding potent therapeutics for smoking cessation. Single-molecule imaging...

Biogeomorphology of Bedrock Fluvial Systems

Tasnuba Jerin
The dynamic interactions between fluvial processes and vegetation vary in different environments and are uncertain in bedrock settings. Bedrock streams are much less studied than alluvial in all aspects, and in many respects act in qualitatively different ways. This research seeks to fill this lacuna by studying bedrock streams from a biogeomorphic perspective. The first part of this research aims to identify the impacts of woody vegetation that may be common to fluvial systems and...

Scale modeling of dust capture through a flooded-bed dust scrubber integrated within a longwall shearer

Sampurna Arya, Ashish R. Kumar, Kozo Saito, Thomas Novak & Adam Levy
Meeting federal dust standards at a longwall mine face is among the more difficult challenges for a longwall mine operator. With recent changes in federal dust regulations requiring lower worker exposure, maintaining compliance has become increasingly difficult. The authors recommend the concept of controlling respirable and float dust, which is inherent in longwall mining, through the application of a flooded-bed dust scrubber to a longwall shearer. A full-scale physical model of a longwall shearer, modified...

THE ONCOGENIC ROLE OF THE PROTEIN TYROSINE PHOSPHATASE 4A3 (PTP4A3 OR PRL-3) IN T-CELL ACUTE LYMPHOBLASTIC LEUKEMIA

Min Wei
T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive blood cancer. There are no immunotherapies and few molecularly targeted therapeutics available for the treatment of this malignancy. The identification and characterization of genes and pathways that drive T-ALL progression is critical for the development of new therapies for T-ALL. The protein tyrosine phosphatase PTP4A3, also known as PRL-3, has been extensively reported to play a causative role in numerous cancers, including several types of blood malignancies....

RISKY BUSINESS

Jack Swab
Geographic representation and thinking has a long history in the American business world. This thesis examines the role of geographic representation and thinking in the fire insurance industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries through the Sanborn Map Company and in the development of site selection as a concept in the mid-twentieth century through the biography of William Applebaum. Through these case studies, I explore the relevance applied cartographic representations to the business...

EFFECTS OF APERIODICITY AND FRUSTRATION ON THE MAGNETIC PROPERTIES OF ARTIFICIAL QUASICRYSTALS

Barry Farmer
Quasicrystals have been shown to exhibit physical properties that are dramatically different from their periodic counterparts. A limited number of magnetic quasicrystals have been fabricated and measured, and they do not exhibit long-range magnetic order, which is in direct conflict with simulations that indicate such a state should be accessible. This dissertation adopts a metamaterials approach in which artificial quasicrystals are fabricated and studied with the specific goal of identifying how aperiodicity affects magnetic long-range...

AN EXPLORATION OF SMETANA’S Z DOMOVINY (FROM MY HOMELAND), TWO PIECES FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO, JB 1:118

Yeseul Kim
Z domoviny (From My Homeland), by Bedřich Smetana (1824-84), is among the most colorful and effective works for violin and piano of the 19th century, and yet it is not as well-known, nor as often performed, as many other works by Antonín Dvořák, Johannes Brahms, Pablo de Sarasate, Henryk Wieniawski and their contemporaries. This document will attempt to balance the work’s place in the repertoire and provide a performer’s guide. It consists of an historical...

INVOLVEMENT OF THE RENIN ANGIOTENSIN SYSTEM IN MARFAN SYNDROME ASSOCIATED THORACIC AORTIC ANEURYSMS

Jeff Chen
Thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAAs) are clinically-silent dilations of the aorta which greatly increase the risk of aortic rupture, a condition with 50-90% mortality. Marfan syndrome (MFS) is caused by mutations in fibrillin-1 (FBN1) and is associated with TAAs. Due to an absence of validated and effective pharmacologic therapies to prevent or reverse TAA, most MFS patients require surgical aortic repair. Understanding MFS associated TAA pathogenesis would direct development of new pharmacologic therapies. Previous research has...

Algorithms for Achieving Fault-tolerance and Ensuring Security in Cloud Computing Systems

Md Tariqul Islam
Security and fault tolerance are the two major areas in cloud computing systems that need careful attention for its widespread deployment. Unlike supercomputers, cloud clusters are mostly built on low cost, unreliable, commodity hardware. Therefore, large-scale cloud systems often suffer from performance degradation, service outages, and sometimes node and application failures. On the other hand, the multi-tenant shared architecture, dynamism, heterogeneity, and openness of cloud computing make it susceptible to various security threats and vulnerabilities....

Major Lower Paleozoic Horizons of the Southern Illinois Basin

John B. Hickman
The geology exposed at the surface in the southern Illinois Basin has been mapped in great detail by countless workers over the past century. With the exception of limited and scattered exposures in incised river valleys, the oldest rocks exposed outside of the Jessamine, Nashville, and Ozark Domes surrounding the Illinois Basin are Mississippian in age. Extensive deposits of Cambrian–Devonian sediments occur in the subsurface above crystalline basement in this region, however. All available data...

Pilot Study of Text Message Nudges as a Way to Improve Weight Loss Outcomes

Madison Copher
Weight loss programs for women are on the rise, including both face to face and online programs. However, current research is limited on the process measures and content which produce adherence and the largest outcomes. With obesity on the rise in the United States, it is important to understand out health coaches can strengthen their programs to better support the obese population in their weight loss journey. The purpose of this pilot study was to...

An Inverse Eigenvalue Problem for the Schrödinger Equation on the Unit Ball of R3

Maryam Ali Al Ghafli
The inverse eigenvalue problem for a given operator is to determine the coefficients by using knowledge of its eigenfunctions and eigenvalues. These are determined by the behavior of the solutions on the domain boundaries. In our problem, the Schrödinger operator acting on functions defined on the unit ball of $\mathbb{R}^3$ has a radial potential taken from $L^2_{\mathbb{R}}[0,1].$ Hence the set of the eigenvalues of this problem is the union of the eigenvalues of infinitely many...

Trends and Patterns in Use of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in a Commercially Insured Population in the U.S.

Catherine Serratore
Opioid use disorder (OUD) and opioid overdose are pervasive public health problems in the U.S. Medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) have been shown effective to reduce OUD morbidity and mortality. Two distinct approaches to MOUD are currently used: agonist therapy (methadone or buprenorphine) or antagonist therapy (naltrexone). Limited information is available about the patterns of use, adherence to therapy, and characteristics of those who use agonist vs. antagonist therapy. The objective of this study...

\"I've Known Rivers\"

Catherine Gooch
My dissertation, titled “I’ve Known Rivers”: Representations of the Mississippi River in African American Literature and Culture, uncovers the impact of the Mississippi River as a powerful, recurring geographical feature in twentieth-century African American literature that conveys the consequences of capitalist expansion on the individual and communal lives of Black Americans. Recent scholarship on the Mississippi River theorizes the relationship between capitalism, geography, and slavery. Walter Johnson’s River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in...

Online Language Acquisition and Leadership in Higher Education-Governed Intensive English Programs

Brandon Decker
Research has indicated accredited, U.S. higher education-governed intensive English programs (IEPs) often struggle financially due to a scarcity of resources (namely students) because of political and global economic factors and increased competition (ICEF Monitor, 2017; IIE, 2017; Ladika, 2018; Soppelsa, 2015). However, few IEPs advertise online language acquisition (OLA) courses despite the increase in online study methods at the higher education institutes governing the programs and its use by competitors. The purpose of this study...

EXAMINING ATTITUDES, PERCEPTIONS, AND OBSERVATIONS OF TOBACCO USE AND COMPLIANCE AT A SMALL PRIVATE LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE IN KENTUCKY WITH A DESIGNATED AREA TOBACCO POLICY

Michael Dalessio
A multitude of higher education institutions have adopted comprehensive smoke- and tobacco-free policies to minimize tobacco use, increase quit attempts, and reduce exposure to secondhand smoke on campus. However, the majority of campuses across the U.S. still have non-comprehensive policies and/or designated tobacco use areas. Given the limited research in this area, the purpose of this dissertation was to assess the attitudes, perceptions, tobacco use behaviors, and actual observational compliance of students, faculty, and staff...

Beyond Telling

Jane Samuel
Despite calls for increased Adoption Communication Openness (ACO) within the adoptive family, research indicates that families still struggle to accomplish the recommended elements and levels of openness. What could be holding families back from this key process? Three focus groups comprised of 17 adoptive parents of early adolescents (aged 10-14) who were age 0-2 at the time of placement were thematically coded. This inductive analysis revealed the complexity rooted in being —sometimes successfully and sometimes...

Investigating the Use of In-Place Lateral Pull Off Tests to Determine the Compressive Strength of Structural Concrete

Charlie Sun
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s current practice for determining the compressive strength of structural concrete consists of two methods. Both methods require that samples be delivered to an off-site facility for testing. Accordingly, affected parties on the project site must wait for the delivery of samples to the off-site facility, the performance of tests and analysis of test data, and the return of test results to the project site. Analysis of existing structural concrete requires core...

BARRIERS AND FACILITORS OF HEALTHCARE USE AMONG PEOPLE WHO INJECT DRUGS

Candice Kuns-Adkins
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is an infection that can have grave consequences when left untreated. Hepatitis C can be easily eradicated with direct acting antiviral therapy. People who inject drugs (PWID) and inmates are among those with the highest incidence of HCV. However, cure rates among this population remains low. This is, in part, related to an interruption in the HCV care cascade such that only 30% of PWID are linked to care and only...

Investigation of Thiol-Containing Biomarkers and Their Role in the Exposome

Tracy Gastineau-Stevens
Exposomics is an emerging area of study that looks at how the environment around a person or persons affects their overall health. Biomarkers have emerged as useful tools to better understand how the exposome affects a person. In this work, we investigate two potential endogenous biomarkers, homocysteine and glutathione that have been previously implicated in a number of diseases that have been linked to environmental causes. We also investigated an environmental exposure, the fungicide Ziram,...

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