Nutrigenomics: Using Sulforaphane Consumption as a Mechanism to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease through Epigenetic Regulation
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Diet composition and reduced expression of the transcription factor Nrf2 are both possible factors contributing to cardiovascular disease. As vitamin supplementation grows in scope and popularity, it is becoming common to replace vegetable consumption with multivitamins. The purpose of this research was to investigate how sulforaphane, an isothiocyanate found in its greatest quantities in broccoli, prevents cardiovascular disease through epigenetic regulation in order to promote the understanding that vitamin supplementation does not adequately replace the health benefits of phytonutrients found in vegetables. In order to investigate sulforaphane’s ability to prevent cardiovascular disease through epigenetic regulation, I studied scholarly journal articles that focused on experiments involving sulforaphane-induced activation of Nrf2 and the effects of Nrf2 activation such as up-regulation of antioxidant genes and phase II enzymes. Additionally, I studied articles examining sulforaphane-induced reductions in blood pressure and elimination of cardiac dysfunctions such as cardiac hypertrophy and decreased fractional shortening with the goal of identifying Nrf2 activation as the underlying mechanism. The results showed that up-regulation of antioxidant genes, signaling of phase II enzymes, lowered blood pressure, and elimination of cardiac dysfunctions were all a result of sulforaphane-induced activation of Nrf2. These results indicate that people who may be at risk for cardiovascular disease could benefit from including broccoli in their diet rather than using vitamin and mineral supplementation to replace vegetables that provide valuable phytonutrients.
The aim of this paper is to conduct a comparative study of Radical Right Wing terrorism and Radical Islamic terrorism both of which are categorized under the Religious Nationalism/Extremism typology of terrorism. In order to compare and contrast the two fairly, I broke down the ideology, motives, methods, and the demographic profile of members of both Radical Right Wing and Radical Islamic terrorism then provided examples of different groups that fall within those categories in order to effectively illustrate the striking similarities of the two categories that have been addressed and condemned differently by the United States. Then I had analyzed how and why the United States has approached groups that fall under Radical Right Wing terrorism vastly different than groups under Radical Islamic terrorism even though both fall under the same Religious Nationalism/Extremism category of terrorism. This comparative study is also being conducted to examine why the United States did not have the same reaction to Radical Right Wing terrorist groups before the September 11th attacks as it did to the Radical Islamic groups since Radical Right Wing groups had committed the most violent acts in the United States prior to September 11th 2001. Lastly, I will also briefly discuss the present day social implications associated with the difference of treatment between the two terrorist groups.
Michaela K. Avino, Thomas Cotter, Simron Richard, Athena Cairo, and Jeffrey Green
Nostalgia is a bittersweet emotion evoked by memories of cherished personal experiences. Though nostalgia is a self-focused emotion, it has many interpersonal effects as well. Feeling nostalgia increases feelings of social connectedness and self esteem, and may protect against negative effects of existential threat (Wildschut et al., 2006). However, less is known about the extent to which nostalgia relates to anger and aggression. We hypothesized that nostalgia would buffer against the effect of negative feedback on feelings of anger and motivation to aggress. Undergraduate students wrote about a nostalgic or objective memory, and then received negative feedback about another personal writing project. Participants reported their feelings of anger, then had the opportunity to punish the individual who gave them negative feedback by administering loud noise blasts in a competitive game. We discuss the results and real-world implications of these findings.
Simren K. Bagri
NF-kB is a transcription factor involved in cancer cell growth and survival. The activation of NF-kB can be assessed by monitoring phosphorylation of RelA p65 at Ser-536, which is a surrogate of the NF-kB transcription factor activation. The objective of this study was to determine if the loss of ATP leads to NF-kB deficiency and thus, apoptotic cell death of “bad” cells in ovarian cancer cells. The independent variables were metformin (Met), an anti-diabetic medicine, another compound MinB functionally similar to Met and a glucose transporter inhibitor BAY-876. The dependent variables were the resulting effect of Met and MinB on phosphorylated AMPK at Thr-172 (marker of ATP loss) and RelA p65 at Ser-536 (marker of NF-kB activation). In each experiment, AMPK and RelA phosphorylation were tested by treatment of ovarian cancer cell lines with Met, MinB, BAY-876, Met+BAY-876, MinB+BAY-876. Western blotting was performed to determine the phosphorylation levels of AMPK and RelA p65. For two gels, the process was repeated. In each gel, Met or MinB treatment leads to thicker bands of AMPK-p, indicating decrease in cellular ATP levels following treatments. The effect of Met, MinB, or BAY-876 on RelA p65 was limited. However, co-treatment of Met or MinB with BAY-876 caused strong inhibition of NF-kB, as reflected by reduction in RelA p65-p. These results suggested that ATP deficiency together with inhibition of glucose transport cause inactivation of NK-kB. Future research will be conducted to study the effects of these compounds or their combinations on ovarian cancer cell growth and survival against from apoptosis.
A Comparison of Two Methods of Quantifying Mating Success in Low Density Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) Populations
Alexandra Barry, Hannah Byrne, and Derek M. Johnson
The gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) is a defoliating pest native to Europe and invasive to North America. The gypsy moth is subject to depressed mating success in low density populations, which may restrict spread of the forest pest. Research focusing on gypsy moth density as it relates to mating behavior has often used counts of males caught in pheromone-baited delta traps as a proxy to estimate the probability of female mating success. The purpose of this project was to determine whether pheromone trap counts provide accurate estimates of female mating success probability, by comparing data gathered from pheromone-baited delta traps to data gathered on mating success of tethered females. To determine the relationship between number of males caught in delta traps and the probability of successful mating, male catch counts in traps were compared to mating success of tethered females in a mass male release experiment. The relationship between delta trap catch of males and female mating success was quantified using a Bayesian framework, which explicitly incorporates uncertainties in the model. Vegetative cover in the study plots was reduced to a single measure through principal components analysis and included as an independent factor in the model. The data suggest that delta traps reduce the male’s ability to find a female by 67%; thus, results garnered from delta trap catch counts tend to underestimate the underlying ability of males to locate and mate with females. Thick understory vegetation further reduced the male’s ability to locate a female, and further reduced the effectiveness of delta traps. Future studies that seek to use counts of males in pheromone-baited traps as a proxy for mating success should consider using an adjustment factor to equate the two methods of quantifying reproductive behavior in the gypsy moth.
Alexis H. Branch, Shimona Kumar, and Christina McGrath
Social problems and adverse consequences have been associated with risky alcohol use (Paschall et al, 2015). Personalized Normative Feedback (PNF) has been utilized to address these problems (White and Hingson, 2014) by comparing students’ alcohol use to campus or national norms (Butler et al, 2009). The current investigation sought to understand differences in alcohol use behaviors in freshmen who did and did not report completion of a personalized feedback intervention (PFI) in a diverse sample of college students from the Spit for Science (S4S) project. S4S is a campus-wide, longitudinal study on the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to mental health and substance use outcomes in college students. Freshmen (N=1,168) completed surveys in the fall and spring; in the spring, whether or not students completed a PFI during their freshman year was assessed. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) symptoms and grams of ethanol consumed were calculated for participants who reported completing an online PFI for alcohol use (n=365) and for those who did not (n=803). We hypothesized that (1) PFI freshmen would exhibit greater alcohol consumption and AUD symptoms in the fall (pre-PFI), and (2) students in both groups would exhibit equal rates in the spring (post-PFI). There was sufficient evidence to support the fall hypothesis: students in the prevention group exhibited higher levels of alcohol consumption (t=1.39, p<0.001) and AUD symptoms (t=2.42, p=0.031). The spring hypothesis was not supported: PFI students exhibited higher levels of alcohol consumption (t)=1.4373, p<0.01) and AUD symptoms (t=2.09, p < 0.01). Future research could examine whether the results may vary by ethnicity or other demographic characteristics.
Rand Gabriel M. Buenaventura
In a world where people are disadvantaged by first impressions and implicit bias, names factor a lot into a person’s successes in life. Whether it be first names, last names, the number of middle initials, the gender and racial implications of a person’s name, and societal standards surrounding names and naming systems, there are multiple ways names shape a person’s identity. Thus, it is important to ask how personal names shape the way people are seen as individuals in the United States and contribute to their identity. Names are a trait that people are born with, usually determined before anything is known about that person. Research for this paper involved exploring articles about the various aspects of names, as well as investigating the psychosocial effects they have on people. A thorough understanding of the impact of names was found. It was expected that there would likely be implications surrounding only race and gender signaling names, yet it was discovered that there are much more biases that names can signal based on the contents of that person’s name. From a person’s educational worth to an association with lesser valued societal qualities, names allow people to form assumptions and draw conclusions without actively trying to. Immigrants in the United States have even faced less adversity upon anglicizing their name, simply because it allows them to more easily blend in and assimilate. As a result, bringing together this research allows a more holistic understanding of implicit bias. Broadly, this can further be applied to explaining why certain people have more privilege than others. Just like how teachers can treat certain individuals differently based on their name, affecting how that individual receives education, societal stereotypes can similarly impose different attitudes due to how names are perceived.
Kylie R. Carroll
In recent years, the presence of counterfeit goods has become a $600 billion global industry, encompassing markets ranging from designer luxury goods to pharmaceuticals. This paper identifies the threat that this increased counterfeit presence poses on the high-end handbag market. Increased counterfeit quality is significantly contributing to the deception of consumers when attempting to purchase authentic designer handbags. In response to this increased threat, numerous designer brands have begun to adopt anti-counterfeit technologies with both track-and-trace and authentication agendas, to enhance the security of their products against the counterfeit industry. Several variations of anti-counterfeit solutions exist, and this paper specifically examines the effectiveness of the security and authentication factors of hologram, digital watermark, and Radio Frequency Identification solutions within a designer handbag application. After careful analysis of the various anti-counterfeit solutions available in the contemporary market, this paper concludes that overt and covert combination technologies with a two-factor-authentication approach are the most effective in terms of security and authentication capabilities. In conjunction with an anti-counterfeit efficacy analysis, this paper proposes an anti-counterfeit technology adaptation with the aim of elevating both security and design aesthetic. Design that favors functionality has recently gained traction in the fashion industry and incorporating anti-counterfeit technology into handbag design in a visually enhancing manner is the ultimate method of furthering both form and function in a technologically advanced world.
Using Crosslinked Hyaluronic Acid (HA) and Collagen Scaffolds with Sustained Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Release for Post-SCI Nerve Regeneration
Traumatic events resulting in spinal cord injuries (SCIs) often leave people paralyzed or with partial loss of motor function. The physical disabilities arising from traumatic events prevent people from functioning at the same level as pre-injury. My work aims to identify a plausible method to overcome the inhibitory post-SCI environment and to regenerate nervous tissue in order to restore neural function and, subsequently, motor function. I identified components of a new, hypothetical nerve scaffold based on the immune response after SCIs and the efficacy of currently used scaffolds for nerve regeneration. Hyaluronic acid (HA) polymer scaffolds and collagen-based scaffolds are individually effective in counteracting the post-SCI inhibitory environment and inducing neurofilament growth. In addition, sustained release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) into the lesion site has shown to supplement, and even augment, the physical and functional recovery achieved through the HA and collagen-based scaffolds. Thus, I propose the testing of a crosslinked HA and collagen scaffold with sustained BDNF release through BDNF-bound collagen binding domain and BDNF embedded PLGA microspheres as a more viable and effective method for spinal nerve regeneration in order to restore neural and motor function.
Julia Grzymkowski, Christopher J. Ehrhardt, Justin L. Poklis, and Michelle R. Peace
There has been an increase in use of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the United States because they are less expensive and believed to be more effective with less adverse effects in comparison to traditional pharmaceutics. Therefore, sales have increased in the US, despite articles and case studies demonstrating the dangers, such as injury and death, related to TCM, stemming from improper labelling, toxic contaminants, and, in some cases, the presence of pathogenic bacteria. The aim of this study was to perform a survival experiment to demonstrate the importance of proper herbal brewing technique and to conduct a molecular and biochemical survey of microorganisms present on eleven Chinese herbal samples. The survival study compared Chinese brewing preparation and American brewing preparation by fortifying the herbal mixture with known bacteria and assessing its survival after brewing. The American brewed herbal tea was calculated to contain upwards of 3000 CFU (colony forming units)/mL, where the Chinese brewed herbal tea contained roughly 50 CFU/mL. FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester) analysis was performed on the herbs to characterize any microorganisms present on the plant material already, following purchase. Strains within the Bacillus genus were identified in nearly all eleven of the herbal samples. These included B. subtilis and B. megaterium. Organisms belonging to the Bacillus ACT group (anthracis, cereus, thuringiensis) were identified in five out of eleven herb cultures as evidenced by the large ratio of 15:0 iso to 15:0 anteiso fatty acid biomarkers. Nine out of eleven herbal specimens also exhibited fungal biomarkers such as polyunsaturated 20:4 ω6,9,12,15c, and 18:3 ω6c (6,9,12).
Chad M. Hensberger, David W. Sosnowski M.S., Wendy Kliewer Ph.D, and Kristina McGuire M.S.
Previous research has established a link between adolescent’s perceived daily hassles and subsequent adjustment, but less is known about factors that exacerbate this relationship. The purpose of the present study was to identify if adolescent’s reluctance to express emotions moderated the association between their perceived daily hassles and subsequent substance use (i.e., alcohol, marijuana, tobacco). Cross-sectional data were obtained from a larger study that examined the effects of exposure to community violence among low-income, urban adolescents (N = 260, Mage = 14.14, SD = 1.62 years; 92% African American; 54% female). Linear regression analyses controlling for adolescent age, biological sex, and previous levels of drug use and daily hassles revealed that expressive reluctance moderated the association between perceived daily hassles and adolescent substance use. Specifically, for adolescents who were least likely to express their emotions, increases in perceived daily hassles were associated with significant increases in substance use. Further examination of domain-specific hassles revealed that expressive reluctance moderated the effects of academic, parental, and general neighborhood hassles on drug use, while no significant effects were detected for hassles related to friends or neighborhood danger. The present findings clarify which perceived daily hassles adversely affect adolescents, and how emotional expression can play an integral role in determining risk for poor coping behaviors.
Anastasios C. Karles
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is opening up frequencies within the television range (400MHz to 700MHz) of the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band for use in emerging technologies, such as cognitive radio networks and machine-to-machine communication. In order for manufacturers to produce affordable antennas that can be used in these emerging technologies, inexpensive antennas are required that meet these new spectrum needs. This paper presents a mesh coplanar-slot bowtie patch antenna fabricated using commercially available inkjet-printing technology. Two antennas were fabricated: a 27x21cm copper FR4 antenna with .25mm lines and a 27x21cm silver antenna with 2mm lines fabricated using inkjet-printing. The copper antenna was iteratively designed in High Frequency Software Simulator (HFSS) and measured using a network analyzer. Simulations and measured results, which show good agreement, verify the viability of merging the mesh and coplanar-slot topologies. The silver antenna is a variation of the copper antenna that was iteratively altered in HFSS until the desired bandwidth was achieved. Simulations and measured results, which show good agreement, verify the viability of inkjet-printing as a fabrication method. The radioelectrical performance of the antennas were also compared to each other. Although there was slight variation between the resonant frequency and bandwidth, an adequate agreement was observed between the two antennas. This demonstrates the feasibility of using inkjet-printing as a quick, efficient method to fabricate UHF antennas that can take advantage of emerging spectrum and be used in applications such as cognitive-radio-networks and machine-to-machine communication.
Morgan Meyer, Olivia Moody, Kathryn Harrison, Gregory Crosswell, and Bhushan Thakkar
PURPOSE: Running-related injuries are most often single-sided and are partially attributed to lower limb movement and loading asymmetries.1 Gluteus Medius (GM) plays a significant role in lower limb alignment, especially in the frontal and transverse planes by its influence on the pelvis and the femur.2 Female runners are more prone to GM weakness which has been proposed to be a risk factor for overuse injuries.3 These strength deficits contribute to abnormal lower limb kinematics and kinetics during dynamic tasks like running and jumping.4 These changes include an increase in peak hip adduction angle (HA), hip internal rotation angle (HI), knee abduction moment (KA) and rearfoot eversion angle (RE).4 Symmetry Angle (SA) is a commonly-used, robust measure of determining symmetry.1 No study has evaluated the role of unilateral GM strength on interlimb asymmetry for HA, HI, KA and RE during running. We hypothesized that female runners with stronger GM would demonstrate decreased interlimb asymmetry for HI, HA, KA and RE during running. METHODS: Thirty healthy female recreational runners (Age: 35.40±10.52 yrs, Height: 1.66±0.06 m, Weight: 61.61±7.31 kg) running at least 10 km per week participated in this study. Isometric GM strength was measured using a handheld dynamometer for the right lower limb and participants were divided into two groups of stronger and weaker. 3D gait analysis was conducted as participants ran on an instrumented treadmill at 2.98 m/s. Peak HA, HI, KA and RE were generated for the bilateral lower extremities and interlimb asymmetry using SA was calculated for all variables. A Shapiro-Wilk test for normality was conducted and it showed that all variables were not normally distributed. Wilcoxon Two-Sample Test was performed to look at differences between the two groups for HA, HI, KA and RE. RESULTS: Female runners with weaker GM demonstrated significantly increased asymmetry for HA (18.80±24.11 vs 12.20±24.11 %, p=0.02), HI (18.47±24.11 vs 12.53±24.11 %, p=0.03), and KA (18.33±24.11 vs 12.67±24.11 %, p=0.04). For RE, the weaker group had greater asymmetry (16.13±24.11 vs 14.87±24.11 %, p=0.35), but the relationship was not significant. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggested that runners with weaker GM on one side exhibited increased interlimb asymmetry during running for certain kinematic and kinetic variables. Future studies should determine how unilateral and bilateral strength deficits contribute to interlimb asymmetry and running biomechanics in healthy and injured runners.
Nujuma A. Moussa
Abstract: The Effect of DNA Methylation on TP73 Expression in Tumorgenesis
Nujuma Moussa, Zhixing Yao, Zaki A. Sherif
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Howard University College of Medicine
TP73 is a member of the TP53 family of proteins that acts as a transcription factor to help regulate cellular distress. This tumor protein may play a dual role as a tumor suppressor and tumor promoter. The TP73 gene is mapped to chromosome 1p36, a frequently deleted region in neuroblastoma and other types of tumors. While mutations in the TP53 gene are commonly known to cause noxious cancers, 30% of cancers result from the overexpression of TP73. In our lab, we examined the role of TP73 in the formation of neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that begins in the nerve tissue atop the adrenal gland of kidneys in children. Normal fibroblast cell lines (HS27) and tumor kidney cells (IMR32 and SK-N-SH) were grown in their respective growth media. DNA and RNA of both cell types were extracted using standard procedures. RNA expression was analyzed by RT-PCR and DNA methylation was analyzed by bisulfite sequencing. The expressions of TP73 gene and its protein were analyzed by gel electrophoresis and immunohistochemistry respectively. We found that the TP73 gene was expressed in all of the neuroblastoma cells, but there was no evidence of its expression in the normal cell lines. Subsequent methylation studies revealed that TP73 was expressed in neuroblastoma cells but not in non-cancerous cells due to silencing by DNA methylation. In conclusion, the absence of TP73 in normal cells is in part due to DNA methylation implying that TP73 plays a role in the promotion and/or progression of carcinogenesis.
Jessica L. Phan, Bhavuk Garg, Hrishikesh Mehta, and Seth Corey
The aim of this study is to observe cell proliferation, cell viability, apoptosis, and autophagy on acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell lines, NB4 and U937, with the drug repurposing of mefloquine (MQ). Methods such as the 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-Yl)-2,5-Diphenyltetrazolium Bromide (MTT) assay and trypan blue staining have shown a decrease in live cells with high concentrations of mefloquine. Using their average perspective IC50 values of MQ concentration, Western blotting was applied by means of apoptosis and autophagy markers to determine if the induction of apoptosis and inhibition of autophagy was present in MQ-treated AML cells. The experiment will be continued with more cell lines, drugs, and other means of protocol in order to contribute to cancer therapy.
Christian Renwick and Sarah J. Seashols-Williams
Methylation Sensitive High-Resolution Melt (MS-HRM) is based on quantitating the melt curve from an experimental sample against a standard of known methylation levels. Whereas most applications of age prediction using methylation markers are based upon pyrosequencing or SNaPshot technologies, these analysis methods are both cost and instrumentation prohibitive. This study sought to use to the varied methylation status of the ELOVL2 and FHL2 alleles, both having known correlation with age (Hamano et. al.), in a labor and time efficient manner to develop an age prediction model. A non-linear regression and standard curve was compiled from the methylation status in a sample (n=7) of extracted semen samples and compared to chronological age. The methylation status of ELVOL2 and FHL2 from each sample was obtained, with the conclusion that no correlation in methylation percentage and biological age existed for this sample of individuals aged 20-33. The principal objective of this study, to expand the application of MS-HRM age prediction from blood to other body fluids, will need further testing using larger sample sizes and broader age ranges prior to application in forensic casework.
Detection and Quantification of Glucuronidation of Ursolic Acid (UA) in Human Liver Microsomes (HLMs).
Kamola Tolliboeva and Philip M. Gerk
Speech Recognition Technology: Improving Speed and Accuracy of Emergency Medical Services Documentation to Protect Patients
Tan T. Tran
Because hospital errors, such as mistakes in documentation, cause one sixth of the deaths each year in the United States, the accuracy of health records in the emergency medical services (EMS) must be improved. One possible solution is to incorporate speech recognition (SR) software into current tools used by EMS first responders. The purpose of this research was to determine if SR software could increase the efficiency and accuracy of EMS documentation to improve the safety for patients of EMS. An initial review of the literature on the performance of current SR software demonstrated that this software was not 99% accurate and therefore, errors in the medical documentation produced by the software could harm patients. The literature review also identified weaknesses of SR software that could be overcome so that the software would be accurate enough for use in EMS settings. These weaknesses included the inability to differentiate between similar phrases and the inability to filter out background noise. To find a solution, an analysis of natural language processing algorithms showed that the bag-of-words post processing algorithm has the ability to differentiate between similar phrases. This algorithm is the best suited for SR applications because it is simple yet effective compared to machine learning algorithms that required a large amount of training data. The findings suggested that if these weaknesses of current SR software are solved, then the software would potentially increase the efficiency and accuracy of EMS documentation. Further studies should integrate the bag-of-words post processing method into SR software and field test its accuracy in EMS settings.
Community Engagement for Health and Wellness in Aging Populations: Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry, and Innovation (iCubed)
The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation (iCubed) is a cutting-edge institute focused on creating collaborative connections between the university and Richmond through innovative academic and research programs. iCubed consists of six transdisciplinary cores which unite faculty members and students to work with key community members to develop holistic solutions to 21st century urban challenges. One of these cores, the Health and Wellness in Aging Populations (HWAP) core, was designed to educate and assist low-income older adults in becoming self-sufficient in navigating healthcare services. The HWAP core is centered within the Richmond Health and Wellness Program, an interprofessional care coordination and wellness service that serves Richmond’s low-income senior housing communities. As part of its inaugural mentorship program, iCubed created the Commonwealth Scholars Program (CSP) to pair academically talented undergraduate students with faculty members in the HWAP core to conduct research on aging populations in Richmond. As part of their responsibilities, the students were tasked with interviewing HWAP core faculty members to assess their perceptions of the core’s mission and progress. As such, the current study summarizes the findings from these interviews and offers guidelines for future directions.
CSP conducted interviews with HWAP core faculty members (N=10) to establish a multiperspective vision of HWAP core objectives. Interviewed members come from the following VCU Departments: Family and Community Health Nursing/School of Nursing, Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science/School of Pharmacy, Family Medicine and Population Health/School of Medicine, Gerontology/School of Allied Health Professions, Adult Health and Nursing Systems, and Urban and Regional Studies, Planning/L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. Each interview lasted approximately 10 minutes and was recorded into an electronic document. Themes from the interviews were identified and main themes are described. Coded themes indicated that the HWAP core aims to deliver care, offer education, and help aging clients navigate the healthcare system. Faculty members noted that HWAP core’s engagement with the community aims to build trust with community members and create lifelong partnerships. Findings indicated that the HWAP core has the potential to improve the quality of life for older adults and empower community members to maintain their independence and age in place. Future opportunities for the HWAP core include training older adults to become community health workers to be truly vested within the mission and actions of the core. In conclusion, the HWAP core aims to improve the lives of low-income older adults in Richmond and does so by connecting VCU researchers and students with community members.
Mary Widmer and Amanda Heah
Background: Previous studies have investigated the relationship between the content of advertisements and the effect it has on viewers’ engagement and retention. Seno and Lukas (2007) looked into this phenomenon and stated, “research has found that celebrities are more effective than other types of endorsers” (p. 121). Another study by Tantiseneepong, Gorton, and White (2012) found that celebrity endorsers “can improve the effectiveness of marketing communications, by enhancing a product’s image, attracting attention and improving recall rates” (p. 57).
Research Questions:This research addresses relationships with having a celebrity in a B2B advertisement. This study sought to answer the following questions: a) How does the usage of a celebrity in a B2B advertisement affect visual fixation? b) How does the usage of a celebrity in a B2B advertisement affect retention of product information presented in the advertisement?
Methods: The eye-tracking data was collected in the Customer Experience Lab (a School of Business behavioral research lab featuring two eye-tracking stations). The participants for this research were 37 qualified business managers. This was a between subjects experimental design in which one cell was shown a shredder advertisement featuring a celebrity and the other cell was shown a shredder advertisement with a stock photo model. After viewing their respective advertisements, participants completed a short survey to evaluate their experience.
Conclusion: In general, the results indicate that the usage of a celebrity brings greater attention to the advertisement. The data shows that participants spend more time looking at the advertisement with the celebrity in comparison to the advertisement with the stock photo model. Retention of product information included in the advertisement is greater when a celebrity is not present in the advertisement.
Diana Seno, Bryan A. Lukas,(2007) "The equity effect of product endorsement by celebrities: A conceptual framework from a co‐branding perspective", European Journal of Marketing,Vol. 41Issue: 1/2, pp.121-134, https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560710718148
Nisachon Tantiseneepong, Matthew Gorton, John White,(2012) "Evaluating responses to celebrity endorsements using projective techniques", Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal,Vol. 15Issue: 1, pp.57-69, https://doi.org/10.1108/13522751211191991
Michael P. Zeevi, Andrew Harrison, and Christina Tang
The Role of Microenvironment Reagent Solubility on Reaction Kinetics of 4-Nitrophenol Reduction
Michael Zeevi1 with Andrew Harrison1 and Christina Tang, PhD1
1Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering, VCU School of Engineering
Introduction: Nanoparticles are of increasing interest due to their high surface area to volume ratio, as well as that they enable fine-tuning of the reaction microenvironment. Through flash nanoprecipitation, core-shell polymer nanoreactors were formed by directed self-assembly. Using the reduction of 4-nitrophenol as a model reduction reaction, we investigated the effect of reagent solubility in the nanoreactor microenvironment’s on nanoreactor kinetics.
Methods: The standard reaction was conducted at room temperature, with a 1000-fold excess of sodium borohydride in a quartz cuvette for real-time in situ UV-Vis analysis. Reagent concentrations were varied to examine the resulting effect on the calculated reaction rate constant. Reagent solubility limits in the nanoreactor microenvironment were estimated from solubility measurements in solvents with similar Hansen solubility parameters. Ethanol was chosen to represent the hydrophilic poly(ethylene) glycol phase and chloroform was chosen to represent the hydrophobic polystyrene phase. The hydrophilic phase had a visual absorbance at nm, and thus UV-Vis spectrometry was used to determine the saturation concentration. 1H NMR analysis with chloroform-D containing an internal standard (v/v TMS 0.03%) was used to measure the reagent solubility in the hydrophobic phase.
Results: 4-nitrophenol solubility in ethanol was determined by UV-Vis spectrometry to be . The solubility in chloroform-D was determined by 1H NMR to be . When 4-nitrophenol concentration is varied independently of sodium borohydride, an inverse relationship is observed with respect to the rate constant. However, when 4-nitrophenol and sodium borohydride concentrations are varied concurrently, no change is witnessed in the rate constant above the standard reaction concentration.
Conclusions: This experiment demonstrated that the rate of reaction in polystyrene core nanoreactors is not dependent on the reagent concentrations above the standard concentration. Solubility in each phase was measured in an effort to explain this behavior. The differences in solubility observed between the hydrophobic and hydrophilic phases may serve to explain this behavior if the interior, hydrophobic phase is saturated by 4-nitrophenol at the standard concentration. Future work should include study of concentrations at lower values than the standard concentration to determine when a change in the observed rate constant occurs.
Unlike any other primate species, orangutans exhibit extraordinary sexual differences in their facial morphology. Two different strategies are available for males that reach sexual maturity: either become fully “flanged” and develop secondary sexual characteristics, which is knownto be only developed by the dominant male, or remain “unflanged” and not develop secondary sexual characteristics. The mechanism for how this bimaturism evolved and how occurs is poorly understood, but both flanged and unflanged males are reproductively successful.
This project explores the physiological mechanism behind bimaturismin orangutan males; namely, are there genetic differences between flanged and unflanged males such that the strategy is inherited, is bimaturism a result of hormonal differences, and how do the two strategies influence reproductive success in male orangutans? Previous studies have shown that males that develop these “flanges” or cheek pads are more likely to have a high reproductive success than the ones who do not develop them. Results suggest that males with flanges emit a loud vocalization calls, also known as long calls, that give them higher opportunity for mates.
Addressing Laterality to Prevent Injury in Dance Education: Teaching Methods to Compensate for the Right Bias and Asymmetry
Olivia M. Alsamadi
Despite the vast knowledge available about proper alignment and safe dance training, the growing demands for university dancers have plagued them with increasing rates of overuse injuries stemming from an imbalance in their practice often influenced by their professors. The purpose of this review is to study teaching methods in dance education and the right bias in university dance classes to learn how unbalanced teaching methods and dancers’ asymmetric physicalities cause injuries. This research will help professors understand how to effectively communicate with their students to promote safe, injury preventing practice. The research explores the various roles present in the problem, including the involvement of the student, professor, and even the physical therapist. This review investigates the influence the professor’s language and actions have on the student’s behaviors. For instance, how the student may interpret the language differently from the professor’s true intentions. Also considered in the research is the implementation of screening students for any physical asymmetries or weaknesses at the beginning of each semester to develop a basis for individual conditioning programs to work toward evolving a more balanced body. In addition to these programs, the research examines the dancers’ attitudes toward the implementation of these programs as well as fully complying with their physicians’ requests during injury. The current research shows that students are more likely to learn about proper alignment and human anatomy than they are to actually embody the information and change their technique habits that are causing these injuries. There is a low percentage of physical therapists who treat dancers and understand how unique dance injuries are and how dance culture influences the prescribed treatment and recovery periods. The research done on university dance programs demonstrates that many schools do not offer an injury prevention course in their core requirements. Universities should strengthen their relationships between their dancers, professors, and physicians, which includes a required injury prevention course that is integrated into their other courses.
The aim of this paper is to look into the human rights violations committed by the United States against the black men during the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment as well as touch on the broader concept of racial medicine. In addition, my goal is to dismantle the pretense society may hold about the United States and the moral high ground it claims to stand on. In order to accomplish this goal, I will make parallels about atrocities committed by the United States on the African-American population to those committed by the Nazis on the Jewish population in Germany. I will first briefly define the disease in order to provide an understanding of its severity. Then I will discuss the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (TSE) in its entirety. Next, I will discuss and analyze the specific human rights violated. I will then go through and break down aspects of the TSE and provide direct examples of crimes committed by the Nazis to dismantle the mask the United States wears. I will also attempt to investigate the physicians in order to get a thorough understanding of racial medicine and its application specifically in the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment as well as in general. In conclusion, I will synthesis the inability of the government to protect its people to the implications it presents today.
I address how anthropologists can identify the patterns and development of slavery and economic oppression through archaeology and the visualization of Virginia enslavement. I focus on the enslaved people of James Madison's Montpelier. I use 3D modeling as a foundation for integrating enhanced visuals with the goal of presenting a tangible understanding of the enslaved individuals in relation to the artifacts and history of the archaeological sites. I intend to show a common theme in economic oppression by comparing modern themes in slavery and examining Fraser D. Neiman's synthesis of the evolutionary perspective of slavery, and how little has changed in economic practices.