Celebration of Undergraduate Research Poster Schedule 2013
The poster session for the fourteenth annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research will be held in the Great Hall of the Frank Porter Graham Student Union. Odd-numbered posters will be in poster session 1 (1:00-2:00); even-numbered posters will be in poster session 2 (2:15-3:15). Students are generally grouped by major.
Click on the title of the student's poster to read the abstract and see any other research contributors.
Searchable Program of All 2013 Presenters
Disciplines are noted to the side of each presenter: Arts and Humanities (AH), Social Sciences (SS), and Natural Sciences (NS).
001. Amber Giffin American StudiesSing a Song of Survival: The Politics of Identity and Cultural Performance on the Qualla Boundary
Advisor: Daniel Cobb (American Indian Studies)
Abstract: As the official cultural ambassadors of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), the Warriors of AniKituhwa deploy performance as a means of combating debilitating stereotypes about Cherokees. At first glance, it might appear that the Warriors reinforce them by ?playing Indian.? They wear traditional regalia, perform historical dances, sing in the Cherokee language, use hand drums, and often paint their bodies red, thereby attracting tourists that come to Cherokee expecting to find ?authentic Indians.? However, this paper contends that once the crowds assemble, the Warriors actually dismantle the preconceived notions that led the observers to them in the first place. And yet, another layer of complexity exists when the Warriors? performances are viewed from within the EBCI community itself. Some Cherokees contend that the Warriors find themselves in a Catch-22, in which they unwittingly perpetuate stereotypes by focusing on the romantic elements of Cherokee history and culture. In fact, the Warriors use these colonial dichotomies while simultaneously rejecting them. These performances declare the political and cultural survival of a people that have continued in spite of attempted genocide while also raising money to fund future EBCI endeavors. The Warriors are reenacting the past in order to improve their future.
002. Amarachi Rossana Anakaraonye African & Afro-American StudiesThrough the Lens of Womanism: The Black Mother's Womb as the Origin of Africana Diasporic Commonweal
Advisor: Rebecka Rutledge Fisher (English and Comparative Literature)
Abstract: It is from Alice Walker's theory of womanism and its commitment to the "survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female" that I examine African American, Francophone Caribbean, and Africana diasporic womanist novels of the second half of the twentieth century. The novels that I examine are: Alice Walker's The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970); Maryse Condé's Hérémakhonon (1976); and Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994). In each novel, through my examination of intergenerational matrilineal trauma, I problematize how the psychological and physical abuse of a mother, a literal and figurative figure, impacts the ability of her daughter to escape self-inflicted, socio-political, and familial abuse.
003. Kavya Sekar AnthropologyAssessing the Health Impact of India's Inequalities: Child Malnutrition in Rural Chhattisgarh, India
Advisor: Amanda Thompson (Anthropology)
Abstract: India has one of the highest rates of child malnutrition in the world. At a national level, child malnutrition is associated with gender inequality, tribal status and poor rural infrastructure. This study explores the local context of child malnutrition among tribal groups in rural Bastar, Chhattisgarh. The weights, heights and arm circumferences were collected from 88 children and their mothers from seven villages. Survey questionnaires probed each family?s food/healthcare access, gender preferences and maternal health. Village focus groups explored perspectives surrounding child health. Chi square, t-tests and logistic regressions were then used to find associations between malnutrition and other factors. There was a high level of wasting (low weight for height) compared to the national average. Children living in large families far away from the city, whose mothers thought they ate enough food and/or who were introduced solid foods before six months of age were more likely to be malnourished. Families also cited difficulties in food access due to the seasonality of farming and the limitations of the government programs. Access to quality healthcare facilities also varied based on village proximity to the city. This study therefore shows that associated factors with child malnutrition occur at both the household and societal level. Economic inequalities between rural and urban areas in India must be addressed to improve food and healthcare access for rural children.
004. Mallory Melton AnthropologySourcing sandstone effigy pipes of the Lower Mississippi Valley
Advisor: Vin Steponaitis (Anthropology)
Abstract: The Lower Mississippi Valley has a long history as a region of archaeological intrigue. Archaeologists have been attracted to the area due to the prevalence of tall Mississippian period (1000-1700 AD) mounds. Effigy pipes, large pipes used to smoke a strong form of tobacco known as Nicotiana rustica, are considered to be one of the dominant forms of sacred iconography from this period. Recently, scholars have acknowledged the important role which geographic style boundaries can play in understanding specific artifact themes and their roles within the Mississippian world. This poster presents the results of a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) conducted in the summer of 2012. The project was constructed with a primary goal of sourcing sandstone effigy pipes of the Lower Mississippi Valley in order to inform understandings of Mississippian style boundaries. A number of interdisciplinary analyses informed this effort, including: the extraction of sandstone samples from waterfall outcrops on the western coast of Mississippi, comparison of collected samples to museum pipe specimens, and chemical testing of collected samples using a portable x-ray florescence device. The results of this study reflect upon possible sources of sandstone for effigy pipe production and are salient to discussions of the utility of using geological evidence to inform archaeological interpretations.
005. Laura Hunter Applied SciencesAnalysis of the interplay between tumor spheroids and vascular sprouting
Advisor: Victoria Bautch (Biology)
Abstract: Mature blood vessel networks are formed through angiogenic sprouting of endothelial cells from a pre-existing vascular plexus. Tumors can co-opt this process by releasing growth factors that cause blood vessels to grow toward and invade the tumor, giving the tumor nutrients for growth and the ability to metastasize. Existing in vitro models of tumor angiogenesis are largely in two dimensions or only account for tumor-endothelial interactions during cell-cell contact. The goal of my project is to develop a new protocol to analyze the interplay between tumors and vascular sprouting in three dimensions utilizing independently formed tumor and endothelial cell aggregates. Initial analysis with the sprouting angiogenesis model and the hanging drop method to generate mini-tumor spheroids showed endothelial cells sprouting away from tumor spheroids; therefore, further modifications to this protocol are required. Currently, I am analyzing the role of pericytes in my model to stabilize the sprouting endothelial cells and encourage endothelial-tumor interactions.
006. Sara Oliver Applied SciencesDeveloping a Biofeedback Device for Ground Reaction Forces
Advisor: Richard Goldberg (Biomedical Engineering)
Abstract: High magnitude ground reaction forces and accompanying high loading rates have been linked to increased risk of injury in runners. The high levels place excessive stress on the lower limbs which can lead to injury and long-term damage such as stress fractures and arthritis. The goal of this project was to design and build a portable device capable of measuring the loading rate of ground reaction forces. The device would provide biofeedback to the user during normal training routines which would enable the user to alter their running style to reduce their ground reaction force loading rate. Two prototypes were built which measured the loading rate and provided biofeedback. During calibration and final testing, problems were revealed, an ineffective biofeedback mechanism and an improper sensor interface. These problems will need to be addressed before the device is ready for use.
007. Samuel Neal BiologyUnderstanding how elevated temperature impairs Cdc6G260D function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Advisor: Ginnie Hench (Biology )
Abstract: Cdc6 is essential for proper origin licensing and this has been shown previously with a temperature sensitive mutant form of Cdc6 known as Cdc6G260D. It is temperature sensitive in that the protein is nonfunctional causing failed DNA replication and slowing cell growth at elevated temperatures.
No one has researched the cause of the loss of function of Cdc6G260D at elevated temperature. This was the goal for this summer.
Hypothesis: Cdc6G260D is being degraded at the higher temperatures.
Goal: Make a budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) strain containing both Cdc6 and Cdc6G260D, then observe levels of both proteins over time at elevated temperature
Results: A construct was made, but it was not able to be detected.
008. Connor Puett Applied SciencesOptimizing tissue ablation by focused ultrasound using a phase-shift perfluorocarbon nanoemulsion
Advisor: Paul Dayton (Biomedical Engineering)
Graduate Student Contributors: Paul Sheeran
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Linsey Phillips, Ph.D.
Abstract: Tissue ablation by high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) can be accomplished using lower intensities if phase-shift perfluorocarbon (PFC) nanodroplets are present in the acoustic field. These nanodroplets seed the tissue with cavitation sites when they are vaporized to microbubbles by acoustic energy. Decreased intensity requirements would improve the safety of HIFU and make it a viable option for a broader range of disease sites. However, to be clinically useful, control over ablation must be maintained, and this control can be problematic when cavitation is used to enhance heating. Appropriate acoustic parameters (intensity and insonation time) must be selected for the available PFC concentration. This study explores the relationships between vaporization and ablation, HIFU acoustic parameters, and the concentration of PFC nanodroplets in albumin-acrylamide gels. The results demonstrate that ablation lesions of predictable size, shape, and location can be generated in PFC-containing gels, using intensities low enough to avoid ablation in regions containing no PFC. The results also identify the optimum acoustic parameters to achieve an ablation lesion of desired size for a given PFC concentration. These in vitro findings provide the information needed to explore PFC-enhanced HIFU in the animal model and are an important step toward developing a potentially useful clinical tool.
009. Laura Kim BiologyThe Vasoactivity of Norepinephrine in the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis
Advisor: R. Mark Wightman (Chemistry)
Graduate Student Contributors: Elizabeth Bucher
Abstract: A network of intraparenchymal microvessels in the brain delivers oxygen and other nutrients to meet the metabolic demands of the brain. There is evidence that neurotransmission in the microenvironments of the brain control blood flow and the delivery of these nutrients. The aim of this study was to investigate the vasoactivity of α1, α2, and β adrenergic receptors in the ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (vBNST). Fast scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) was used to make measurements in vivo following electrical stimulation of the ventral noradrenergic bundle. A tri-phasic oxygen response was measured with norepinephrine release. To assess whether oxygen changes in this region are regulated by noradrenergic signaling, antagonistic drugs selective for each receptor type were administered intraperitoneally. Terazosin, an α1 antagonist, reduced the first peak to 10?4% of its original amplitude. Administration of idazoxan, an α2 antagonist, completely eliminated the second peak, while desipramine , a norepinephrine transporter blocker, had the opposite effect, increasing the oxygen decrease to 179?19% of the control value. Lastly, propranolol, a β antagonist, eliminated the third oxygen peak. These pharmacological results suggest that norepinephrine can indeed influence cerebral blood flow dynamics.
010. Christopher Felix BiologyInvestigating The Role of STAT6
Advisor: Albert Baldwin (Biology)
Graduate Student Contributors: Gloria Hsia
Abstract: The STAT family of proteins, or ?Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription?, is involved in cytokine-mediated signal transduction and plays a major role in the regulation of cell differentiation and growth. More specifically, data supports the hypothesis that STAT6 is involved in the progression of prostate cancer and immunological responses, making it an interesting member STAT family to investigate. STAT6 also functions within the process of innate immunity, the first defense response to a microbial infection.
The proteins NF-κB is a family of transcription factors that play a major role in immune signaling. Deregulation of NF-κB has also been linked to cancer. The inhibitor of κB (IκB) and IκB kinases (IKKs) are needed in order to regulate NF-κB. One IKK-related kinases, known as TANK-binding kinases 1 (TBK1), has been recently identified and shown to regulate the activation of NF-κB. In addition, TBK1 is also a central mediator of the signaling in response to microbial infection. TBK1 was found to induce phosphorylation of STAT6 at serine 733.
The purpose of this initial experiment was to clone STAT6 into a mammalian expression vector, to ectopically express STAT6 with TBK1 in cells, then determine if the phosphorylation of STAT6 is induced by TBK1 in order to find novel phosphorylation sites. In another experiment, the same three goals are attempted but with a mutated version of STAT6, STAT6 S733A.
011. Jay Zhang BiologyRNA regulation of asymmetric cell division in Caenorhabditis elegans
Advisor: Jason Lieb (Biology)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Erin Osborne Nishimura (Post-doc)
Abstract: The asymmetric division of the Caenorhabditis elegans zygote into AB and P1 blastomeres is required for proper embryogenesis, and is a useful model for studying similar events involved in many cancers. To identify maternal RNA transcripts that function as cell-fate determinants, RNAseq was performed on isolated 2-cell stage blastomeres to measure transcriptome-wide differential enrichment. This method was verified for select transcripts using qRT-PCR. The top 43 differentially expressed transcripts were screened by an RNAi feeding assay in wildtype N2 and hypersensitive rrf-3 strains, revealing 16 of 43 (37%) exhibit embryonic lethal or maternal sterile phenotypes. Of these lethal transcripts, the early embryogenesis of T04A8.7 and puf-3 were selected for further study using time-lapse fluorescent microscopy and automated cell lineage tracing. Preliminary data suggests these RNAi transcripts induce embryonic arrest at specific developmental time points.
012. Esita Patel BiologyInvestigating the Role of ASC in Medulloblastoma
Advisor: Mohanish Deshmukh (Cell biology and physiology)
Graduate Student Contributors: Beth Knight
Abstract: Medulloblastoma is a malignant childhood cancer of the neuronal progenitor cells of the cerebellum. Better understanding the pathways that lead to this cancer may help new treatments to be developed. We are currently investigating the role of TMS1 (target of methylation-induced silencing) in a Smoothened transgenic (SmoA1) medulloblastoma mouse model. We observed that, on a SmoA1 background, TMS1-/- (knockout) mice have a reduction in tumorigenesis compared to the TMS1+/+ (wild-type) mice. To explore how TMS1 is causing this difference, we conducted a gene expression microarray on SmoA1 mice cerebella which compared TMS1-/- to TMS1+/+ samples. This microarray revealed that many genes in the TGF-β pathway were being differentially expressed with TMS1. Using real-time RT-PCR to further investigate the genes in this pathway, we observed that multiple genes in the TGF-β pathway including Tgfb1i1, CyclinD1, Tgif1, and CDK2 were significantly differentially expressed with TMS1. Additional genes in this pathway also showed a general trend of differential expression with TMS1. These findings suggest that TMS1 regulates the TGF-β pathway, providing a new target to consider when developing treatments for medulloblastoma.
013. Heather Sims BiologyMonitoring Invasive Exotic Vines in Battle Park
Advisor: Peter White (Assoc Prv Acad Initiatives-UBC)
Abstract: Battle Park is a 93 acre forest located in Chapel Hill, NC. Adjacent to UNC campus, Battle Park is run by the North Carolina Botanical Garden with the goals of protecting the forest habitat for native plant and animal species and providing the Chapel Hill community with a recreational area. The park is threatened by invasive exotic plant species that change the forest?s structure and make it unsuitable for native plant species. My research focuses on the two most prominent invasive species, Asian wisteria (Wisteria japonica) and English ivy (Hedera helix). I have created a monitoring system using GPS technology and surveys. The primary product of this system is a map that shows the locations of English ivy and Asian wisteria and the density of the species patch. With repeated sampling, this map will show changes in the presence of these species in the park, enabling park management to gauge how effective removal attempts are and where and at what rate these species are spreading within the park.
014. Amit Amin BiologyEffects of Cryptosporidium protozoa on intestinal stem cells
Advisor: Scott Magness (GI Stem Cell Group)
Abstract: Cryptosporidium protozoa are prone to infect the intestinal epithelium causing diarrhea which can be lethal for individuals with weakened immune systems. TheCryptosporidium parasites infect and reproduce in epithelial cells (enterocytes) that reside on villi of the small intestine. Residing in the crypts of the intestine areintestinal epithelial stem cells (IESCs) which are essential for intestinal regeneration. Proliferation of epithelial cells depends on the Wnt signaling pathway and is critical for recovery from Cryptosporidium infection. Cryptosporidiumare known to secrete IFN-a/ β which are thought to inhibit the Wnt signaling pathway by preventing necessary transcriptional activation. To test the hypothesis, varying concentrations of IFN-a/ β was added to crypts in culturefrom mice with a wild-type or a knock-out IFN-a/ βreceptor. Significantly less proliferation was expected to be seen in crypts from the wild-type IFN-a/ β receptor mice. The study not only confirmed the initial hypothesis but it also displayed that as the concentration of IFN-a/ βincreased, cell death increased. By understanding the mechanism behind the Cryptosporidium infection, more specific treatments can be produced.
015. Michele Bresler BiologyManipulation of Crypt Culture Conditions for Mouse Intestine Cell Fission
Advisor: Susan Henning (Medicine (GI) )
Abstract: Background and Aim: The gastrointestinal epithelium is an organized tissue that constantly replenishes its lining with a high rate of turnover of every 3-5 days. This turnover is maintained by intestinal stem cells (ISCs) that exhibit self-renewal as well as multipotency. ISCs are located in intestinal crypts, which can be isolated and cultured to form enteroids which bud to form new crypt units. The objective of this project was to study various culture conditions for crypts, with the goal of identifying conditions in which crypts would be able to survive but would not undergo budding to form enteroids (ie minimal conditions for survival). This will make it easier for researchers to measure pro-proliferative effects of added factors in the future.
Methods: Normal crypt culture conditions contain Rspondin, Y27632, Noggin, EGF, and Wnt3a. All conditions used in this experiment contained Rspondin and Y27632 while Noggin, EGF, and Wnt3a were added variably. The percent of surviving crypts at 24h and at 7 days was measured, and the average bud number at 7 days was examined for each culture condition.
Results: It was determined that initial plating with R-spondin and Y27632, followed by a ?rescue? at day 4 with Noggin and EGF was effective to allow crypt survival with minimal budding. Future studies will build on these conditions to assess whether bud number can be manipulated under different conditions to yield higher bud number.
016. Ian Cassidy BiologyAssessing the role of visceral adipose tissue on pancreatic inflammation and function in zebrafish
Advisor: John Rawls (Cell and Molecular Physiology)
Undergraduate Contributors: Chris Harvey
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: James Minchin
Abstract: Obesity is a growing epidemic across the United States and around the world, increasing the risk for many diseases including heart disease, type II diabetes, and cancer. The probability of developing one of these diseases increases significantly as the body?s levels of white adipose tissue (WAT) increase. Obesity is the increased storage of lipid in WAT, most particularly around internal organs such as the pancreas. Pancreatic WAT regulation has been implicated in the causes of pancreatitis, which is linked to incidences of type II diabetes. We conducted a zebrafish ENU mutagenesis screen to identify and evaluate adipose tissue mutants in order to gain a deeper understanding of the genetic regulation for adipocyte formation and function. Little is known today about the developmental and metabolic pathways that govern the storage of lipid in adipocytes and their subsequent mobilization in vivo. Our screen identified several lines of potentially mutant zebrafish: two of our most promising mutant lines had phenotypes consisting of ectopic fat in the liver and reduced pancreatic visceral WAT. By studying mutations in WAT regulation in the zebrafish model, we might identify potential novel gene targets that could reduce obesity and associated diseases.
017. Mary Wurzelmann BiologyInnate immune function varies within individuals over time in Dark-eyed Juncos
Advisor: Ellen Ketterson (Biology (Indiana University))
Graduate Student Contributors: Rachel Hanauer (Graduate Student advisor at Indiana University)
Abstract: Immune function is an important, but costly, physiological activity in all organisms. Resource availability and activities, such as reproduction, vary over time leading to variable investment in immune function. Consistency in immune function over time was tested by performing bacteria killing assays (BKA) of ten individual Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) by measuring them at two time-points. We found no correlation in immune function between the first and second measurements. Additionally, we found no seasonal pattern. These results suggest that using a BKA to measure immune function at one time-point may not provide information to describe that individual?s immune function in general. Further knowledge of the individual?s physiological state (i.e. breeding, molting, infection), along with a larger sample size could determine if there is a some pattern underlying the variation that was not elucidated in this experiment.
018. Preeti Kodavanti BiologyThe Role of Peroxide-Dependent Oxidative Stress in Zinc-Induced Toxicity
Advisor: James Samet (EPA Human Studies Facility - Curriculum in Toxicology)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Phillip Wages, James Samet (PI)
Abstract: Cell signaling helps maintain a baseline homeostatic environment. Inhalation of ambient air particles is a common occurrence throughout highly populated urban areas with high levels of factory emissions and motor vehicle combustion. Oxidative stress is a major effect of many environmental agents as a result of alteration of mitochondrial activity. This project specifically focuses on zinc, an abundant metallic element present in ambient air particles, and its role in oxidative stress. In order to experimentally determine and analyze the effects of zinc cytotoxicity and its potential effects on relative oxidative stress patterns, A431 skin carcinoma cells were placed under a set concentration of zinc treatment in the presence of zinc ionophore pyrithione and this was compared to various concentration of standard triton X surfactant via an integrative approach. Exposure of cells to these conditions was controlled in a CO2 chamber. It has been determined that zinc plays a role in cell toxicity and has a greater effect on toxicity under the presence of its co-compound, pyrithione. In comparison to triton X at various concentrations, this confirmed a significant decrease in viable cells over the course of 1-2 hours post-exposure. This may potentially play a role in determining how zinc specifically (from an signal transduction standpoint) affects peroxide-dependent protein sulfenylation and other signaling cascades that result from oxidative stress patterns.
019. Adam Turner BiologyEarly Stages in Clot Formation — an unexpected role for bubbles
Advisor: Tim O'Brien (Physics)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Michael R. Falvo, Richard Superfine
Abstract: Fibrin fiber networks are the major structural framework of blood clots, but the earliest stages of formation of clots have not been fully visualized. Understanding how blood clots actually form will allow us to develop control strategies for prevention of strokes, heart attacks, and thromboses. Current theory of clot formation describes an endwise stochastic growth of a growing fiber, but this view has serious drawbacks. By starting the polymerization process on plasma cleaned optical cover glass made hydrophobic with hexamethyldisilazane, rapidly fixing the reaction at very early stages (5-30 sec) with glutaraldehyde, and carefully dehydrating and critical point drying each sample, we were able to image what we think are the pre-fiber stages of clot formation. We compared preparations of pure fibrinogen, and pooled human plasma to fixed human clots. We imaged each sample using ultra-high resolution SEM imaging, capable of imaging in the range of single monomers. We find that the first forms of polymers are large sheets, and small bubbles. These apparently inflate and coalesce into a foam, that then condenses into fibers. This finding is a new way of thinking about fibrin polymerization, which promises new avenues for understanding and possibly controlling clot formation in vivo and possibly in industrial settings.
020. Vivian Doan BiologyAbbreviated exposure to cuprizone is sufficient to induce demyelination and oligodendrocyte loss
Advisor: Glenn Matsushima (Microbiology and Immunology)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Dr. Lorelei Taylor
Abstract: Cuprizone intoxication is one of several animal models used to study demyelination and remyelination. Early treatment protocols exposed mice to cuprizone for six weeks to induce demyelination; however more recent reports have varied exposure times from four to five weeks. The goal of this study was to determine the minimal exposure of cuprizone in C57BL/6 mice that would induce a pathology of robust demyelination and gliosis similar to that described for a five or six week treatment. We found that an abbreviated insult of only three weeks exposure to cuprizone produced extensive demyelination two weeks later (five-week time point), equivalent to that observed with five weeks exposure. The depletion of mature oligodendrocytes, as well as microglia and astrocyte accumulation, showed trends similar to five-week exposure to cuprizone. Once mature oligodendrocytes are perturbed after a three-week treatment period, the progression to demyelination occurs without requiring further exposure. Furthermore, the early removal of cuprizone did not accelerate remyelination suggesting other sequences of events must follow before repair can occur. Thus, a short ?hit and run? CNS insult triggers a cascade of events leading to complete demyelination two weeks later.
021. Sarah Taylor BiologyDopamine depletion with tyrosine-free amino acid mixture in nucleus accumbuns of awake rats
Advisor: Donita Robinson (Department of Psychiatry)
Abstract: Dopamine is a neurotransmitter implicated in reward/motivational neurocircuitry which includes a primary pathway connecting the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc). Prior studies have revealed that dopaminergic VTA neurons projecting to the NAc are implicated in cue-response behavior in humans and rats. Microdialysis rodent studies have shown that the administration of an amino acid mixture lacking tyrosine (and its precursor, phenylalanine) (Tyr/Phe-) results in temporary depletion of tonic dopamine in NAc. This study tested the effectiveness of the Tyr/Phe- mixture on phasic dopamine transient activity in same brain region. We hypothesized that the Tyr/Phe- mixture would decrease the frequency of spontaneous dopamine transients and the amplitude of electrically evoked dopamine release in the NAc of awake rats. We used fast scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) to measure both spontaneous dopamine transients and electrically evoked dopamine release in the NAc of rats at baseline and after injection of Tyr/Phe- mixture. We found that administration of the Try/Phe- mixture led to a decrease in both the number of dopamine transients and the amplitude of electrically evoked dopamine. The verification of the mixture?s effectiveness in awake rats allows further studies to be conducted on role of dopamine in cue-response behavior in both rats and human subjects.
022. Laura Kennerly BiologyEffects of Alcohol on Catecholamine Release and Clearance in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex of Rats
Advisor: Donita Robinson (Psychiatry)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Tatiana Shnitko, PhD
Abstract: The mPFC has been studied for its importance in behaviorally associated learning, decision-making and impulsivity. Changes in catecholamine (CA) levels, which help modulate these behaviors, can result in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and ADHD. This study analyzed the effects of systemic alcohol at varying doses (experiment 1) and the effect of locally infused alcohol to the VTA (experiment 2) on CA release and clearance in the rat mPFC using fast scan cyclic voltammetry. In experiment 1 we found that alcohol at doses 2.0 and 4.0 g/kg decreases electrically evoked CA release when compared to a within-subject saline injection (Two way RM ANOVA Dose x Group (control and experimental) interaction, P=0.01, post-hoc Tukey Test, P=0.005 for both 2.0 and 4.0 g/kg, vs 0.0 g/kg). We also found an increase of CA clearance time at 4.0 g/kg EtOH (Two way RM ANOVA Dose x Group (control and experimental) interaction P=0.003, post hoc Tukey Test P=0.042 and P=0.015 for 4.0 g/kg vs control group and 0.0 g/kg, respectively). In experiment 2 we found that local administration of alcohol to the VTA decreases evoked CA release in mPFC. Both release and clearance regulate CA concentration in the extracellular space and alcohol-induced changes in these processes may influence mechanisms of decision making and learning; however, future studies using awake animals are needed to verify these findings.
023. Rayna Singh BiologyDiosgenin Exacerbates Intestinal Inflammation in a Murine Model of DSS-induced Colitis
Advisor: Christian Jobin (Medicine)
Abstract: The natural product diosgenin, a steroidal saponin found in legumes and wild yams, has been used as an herbal treatment for a variety of GI illnesses. In this study, we investigated diosgenin?s ability to reduce inflammation in a murine model of DSS-induced colitis and whether a reduction in inflammation correlated with a shift in the composition of the microbiome community in the colon. C578L/6 wild-type mice were given control feed or feed containing 1% diosgenin for 4 weeks, and stool was collected both at day-0 and 4-weeks for illumina sequencing analysis. At the end of four weeks, a portion of the mice from each group were given 3% dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) in their drinking water for 7 days. On day-7, the mice were sacrificed and H&E stained colonic Swiss Rolls were prepared. The weight comparison for the groups just prior to sacrifice showed that the 3%DSS +1% Diosgenin-fed group experienced significantly greater weight loss compared to control groups (p<0.05). Disease scores, however, determined no statistically significant difference in colitis levels for 3%DSS vs. 3%DSS +1% Diosgenin-fed mice, although the trend in colitis scores was slightly higher for the latter. Our results imply that diosgenin may exacerbate intestinal inflammation associated with DSS-induced colitis. A pro-inflammatory cytokine profile analysis of colonic tissue as well as analysis of the gut microbiome of these mice using illumina sequencing will allow us to expand our conclusions.
024. Xiao Fu Liu BiologySOX9EGFPhi cells are a heterogenous population in the adult intestinal crypt
Advisor: Scott Magness (Medicince)
Abstract: Recent studies suggest there are two distinct populations of intestinal epithelial stem cells (IESCs), fast cycling ?active? IESCs located at the crypt base that regenerate under homeostatic conditions and ?reserve? IESCs located at the +4 position that are activated upon damage. Our lab and others have shown that high levels of the Sox9 transcription factor (Sox9HI) mark a population of cells that exhibit both enteroendocrine (EE) and ?reserve? stem cell features. We hypothesized that Sox9EGFPHI cells are a heterogeneous population containing differentiated EE cells and reserve IESCs. To characterize Sox9HI cells, we used a Sox9EGFP reporter mouse in which different levels of Sox9 expression mark distinct epithelial populations. Birth-dating studies demonstrated 1.1% of chromogranin A positive EE cells are long-lived and remain in the crypt for at least 6 weeks. Immunohistochemistry performed on adult mouse small intestine showed three distinct populations of Sox9EGFPHI cells: SOX9EGFPHI:ChgA positive EE cells, SOX9EGFPHI:Dcamkl-1 positive cells, and SOX9EGFPHI cells which were negative for both ChgA and Dcamkl-1. Sox9EGFPHI:ChgA- cell populations were found to localize predominately to the +4-5 crypt position, the putative location of reserve IESCs. Analysis by qRT-PCR showed enrichment of putative reserve IESC markers, Bmi1 and HopX, in the Sox9EGFPHI population. These studies suggest that a subset of Sox9EGFPHI cells exhibit stem cell features.
025. Jordan Preuss BiologyMoss Response to Urbanisation Gradient in Greensboro, North Carolina
Advisor: Peter White (Biology)
Abstract: Cities are typically hotter and drier than the surrounding countryside, with the greatest alteration of the ecological regime occurring at the focal point of urbanisation, often the downtown area. Even natural areas which persist within cities experience the effects of urbanisation. This study examines the response of mosses to an urbanisation gradient, seeking a correlation between presence of moss and distance from downtown. Moss abundance and species diversity were assessed for relatively unmaintained wooded areas in Greensboro, North Carolina at varying distances from the city centre. Sampling sites were situated near apparent water sources and edges of natural areas to gauge the impact of these elements on overall moss presence. No significant relationship was found between moss abundance and species diversity and proximity to downtown. Distance to apparent water source was also not a useful criterion, though edge effect did show influence on moss abundance. Greensboro exhibits an even distribution of mosses across its urbanisation gradient, indicating that this may not be a valuable metric in the case of moss ecology. Moss abundance correlation with edge effect, however, may merit future investigation.
026. Kristina Stanson BiologyThe Effect of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine on the Growth of Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58
Advisor: Ann Matthysse (Biology)
Undergraduate Co-Authors: Jennifer Rominger, Patrick Edmundson
Graduate Student Contributors: Adriana Beltran
Abstract: The superpathway of valine, leucine, and isoleucine biosynthesis in Agrobacterium tumefaciens is an extensive pathway involving multiple genes in multiple operons that affect the growth and morphology of A. tumefaciens C58. In order to determine how these three branched-chain amino acids altered the growth of Agrobacterium tumefaciens, we prepared plasmid E. Coli DNA containing the transposon pRL27 and introduced it into competent A. tumefaciens. After selecting for those bacteria which in fact up took the plasmid and its transposon, we screened for mutants in which the transposon affected genes involved with the biosynthesis of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Subsequently, we screened for mutants that were affected individually by the biosynthesis of a single amino acid. Valine was found to inhibit growth the least, followed by leucine and isoleucine, with isoleucine showing markedly smaller colonies.
027. Erin Lewchuk BiologyThe Role of Fibrin(ogen) in Leukocyte Secretion of Urokinase Plasminogen Activator (uPA)
Advisor: Dr. Alisa Wolberg (Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine)
Graduate Student Contributors: Maria Aleman
Abstract: Thrombosis is the inappropriate formation of a blood clot within a blood vessel that obstructs the flow of blood through the circulatory system. Cardiovascular disease, and the associated thrombosis, is the number one killer of Americans today. The clotting cascade results in the activation of a protease, specifically thrombin, which converts fibrinogen to fibrin. Fibrin polymerizes into an insoluble network that forms a clot. Degradation of the clot is mediated by urokinase-type and/or tissue-type plasminogen activators (uPA and tPA respectively). We hypothesize that leukocyte interaction with fibrin increases leukocyte secretion of uPA. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated, interleukin-1b (IL1-b) stimulated, and unstimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells were incubated for 2 hours at 37 oC in the presence or absence of immobilized fibrinogen. An ELISA was performed to measure the total amount of human uPA antigen present in the cell lysates and supernatants. The data shows a trend towards enhanced secretion of uPA from leukocytes into the supernatant with the presence of fibrinogen and stimulation of the cells. Future experiments include repeating these assays to get a larger N, and using a peptide to disrupt the binding of leukocytes to fibrin via the major leukocyte receptor for fibrin (the MAC-1 receptor).
028. Nivedita Umasankar BiologyInvestigating the Roll of Toll Receptors in Midline Development
Advisor: Stephen Crews (Biochemistry and Biophysics)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Joseph Watson, Post-Doctoral Candidate
Abstract: The development of the nervous system is a highly complicated process that depends on complex cellular and chemical interactions. In the embryonic Drosophila midline, glia are one subset of cells that provide support to developing neurons, and understanding their migration is crucial to clarifying nervous system development. The emphasis of this project is to understand two pathways involved in glial migration: (1) to clarify the roles of two molecules, Spatzle 5 (spz5) and 18 wheeler (18w), within the NT-1 pathway, and (2) to generate antibodies for several toll-like receptors (TLRs) in order to determine their role in glial migration. Digoxygenin-labeled probes were generated for spz5 and 18w, and these probes were then used in fluorescent in-situ hybridizations of sim-Gal4 Uas-tau-GFP Drosophila embryos. The resulting images showed that spz5 was not significantly expressed in the midline, but that 18w was expressed in both the anterior and posterior midline glia, as well as several dividing neurons. For the second part of the experiment, antibodies were generated against four TLRs: Toll-6, Toll-7, Tollo, and 18W. Gene inserts of the TLRs were cloned into vectors, which were subsequently transformed into E. coli cells. Induction of these cells produced fusion proteins for each of the TLRs. These proteins were then injected into rabbits, and antibodies were successfully generated against three of the four TLRs, Toll-7, Tollo, and 18W.
029. Stephanie Doctor BiologyUncovering the role of the FEI receptor-like kinases in cell wall function
Advisor: Joseph Kieber (Biology)
Graduate Student Contributors: Blaire Steinwand
Abstract: The plant cell wall is essential for mechanical support, defense against pathogens, and guiding cell expansion, and is the foundation of cellulosic biofuel. Cellulose microfibrils in the cell wall of a longitudinally expanding cell are deposited perpendicularly to the direction of expansion, constricting radial expansion. Despite the importance of the cell wall, the mechanisms that underlie the regulation of its function are poorly understood. In Arabidopsis, the FEI receptor-like kinases are required for cellulose synthesis. A fei1 fei2 double mutant is defective in cell expansion and displays a short, swollen root phenotype when plated under stress on high sucrose or salt. In order to better understand how the FEI pathway regulates cell wall function, we isolated shou4, a semi-dominant suppressor of fei1 fei2. We used map-based cloning to map shou4 to the bottom of chromosome 1, and whole genome sequencing to identify SHOU4 as the gene At1g78880. We furthermore characterized the shou4 suppressor mutation as a point mutation in the last base pair of the second intron of SHOU4 and determined that shou4 leads to a 45 bp, or 15 amino acid, in-frame deletion in the third exon, immediately following the point mutation. Future work will attempt to define the effect of this deletion on the protein in order to determine the role that SHOU4 plays in the FEI pathway, and ultimately to further elucidate the mechanism of cell wall regulation in Arabidopsis.
030. Will Hope BiologyANGPTL7, a Gene Induced by Elevated IOP, Affects Adhesion of Trabecular Meshwork Cells to their ECM
Advisor: Terete Borras (Ophthalmology)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Juan Carabana
Abstract: Purpose: ANGPTL7 is a potential candidate gene for management of glaucoma. Its encoded protein is more abundant in glaucomatous tissues, and its mRNA is strongly upregulated by elevated IOP, the major risk factor for the disease. Focal Adhesions anchor the cell to its substrate and are a major site of force sensation and mechanotransduction. Our goal was to investigate whether this highly force-responsive gene affects cell-substrate adhesion of trabecular meshwork cells, which could in turn affect outflow facility.
Methods: Overexpression of HTM cells was achieved by nucleofector-transfecting 2 ?g of DNA (ANGPTL7 and Empty as a control) into 4X10^5 cells. Cells were plated, fixed and treated with primary antibodies against V5 and Paxillin. To determine adhesion, overexpressing cells were plated, grown for 2h, washed and fixed. Number of adhered cells was obtained by crystal violet staining, absorbance reading and correlation to a standard curve.
Results: Overexpression of ANGPTL7 in HTM cells caused a decrease and distributional change in Paxillin. At 24 h post-transfection, 60% of pEmpty-transfected cells adhered to the dish compared to 34% of those overexpressing ANGPTL7 (p=0.014). HTM cells showed a 10% reduction in adhesion to the ANGTPL7-containing matrix compared to the adhesion to the ECM control (p=0.036). Diminished adhesion resulting in the in the loosening of cells to their ECM could be beneficial by increasing aqueous outflow reducing the effects of glaucoma.
031. Xiaoding Wang Business AdministrationEconomic Struggle of Women in Chinese Underground Rock Music
Advisor: Robin Visser (Asian Studies )
Abstract: This research aims to investigate the fast growing underground rock music scene in China. In particular, it focuses on female musicians and their economic situation. As China becomes a rising superpower the country starts to receive increasingly more international attention than ever. However, when it comes to Chinese contemporary music, especially underground rock, very few people are aware of it. Under relatively strict government censorship bands and musicians face many obstacles in pursuing their dreams. For them to be successful on a global level, it?s not only simple language barriers that need to be crossed, but also major identities that need to be developed. This research is done primarily via survey methods with a historical approach. By survey method 15 interviews were conducted in addition to field research in Beijing, China. Useful results include most musicians can\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t afford to live a decent life in the major cities of China and most of them hold 2nd or 3rd jobs. One important finding is that the biggest difficulty for them facing gaining international attention is their English fluency. It does
not only hold them from publicizing in the west, but also halts them from getting the newest
information concerning the global music industry. Musicians with better English communication skills
and bands with more English lyrics tend to do better financially.
032. Sheila Gaynor BiostatisticsThe Association between Oral Contraceptive Use and Painful Conditions
Advisor: Eric Bair (Biostatistics)
Abstract: Previous studies have identified an association between the use of hormonal contraceptives (HC) and painful conditions such as migraine headaches and temporomandibular disorders (TMD). However, the nature of this association remains unclear. This analysis sought to determine the relationship between hormonal contraceptive use and painful symptoms (particularly headaches and jaw pain) using data from the Orofacial Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment (OPPERA). OPPERA was a large-scale prospective cohort study that collected measures of severity and duration of pain in various bodily regions as well as HC use. The association between HC use and pain found significant associations with orofacial pain, with an odds ratio of 1.51 (95% CI: 1.33-1.72), and headache, with an odds ratio of 1.70
(95% CI: 1.47-1.97). The results remained essentially unchanged when excluding women with pre-existing orofacial pain or severe menstrual pain and women who had previously used HCs to treat pain.
033. Anand Shah Business AdministrationS-Nitrosothiol-Modified Chitosan Oligosaccharides with Self-Triggered NO Release for Wound Healing
Advisor: Mark Schoenfisch (Chemistry)
Graduate Student Contributors: Yuan Lu
Abstract: Chitosan oligosaccharides were functionalized by either 2-iminothiolane hydrochloride or 3-acetamido-4,4-dimethylthietan-2-one to produce primary or tertiary thiol-modified chitosan oligosaccharides, respectively. The free thiols on the chitosan oligosaccharides were then nitrosated to yield S-nitrosothiol NO donors. The primary and tertiary S-nitrosothiol-modified chitosan oligosaccharide (CSO-SNO) have a total NO storage of 300 ? 14 and 350 ? 25 nmol/mg, respectively. NO release was initiated by light radiation and heat. Photo initiated NO release yielded similar total NO release of ~76 nmol/mg for both chitosan, while thermal initiated release resulted in the tertiary CSO-SNO having double the total release of the primary CSO-SNO. In both instances, the primary CSO-SNO proved to be more stable as indicated by a slower release profile. The wound healing application of CSO-SNO was evaluated through a study of mouse fibroblast proliferation and migration in vitro. The effects of the NO releasing chitosan oligosaccharides were dependent on scaffold concentration and NO-release kinetics. The CSO-SNOs exhibited an enhanced effect in stimulating cell migration and proliferation compared to the controls. The primary CSO-SNO had an optimal effect at 500 ?g/mL for both proliferation and migration, as compared to 750 and 500 ?g/mL, respectively, for the tertiary CSO-SNO.
034. Sarika Mendu Business AdministrationComprehensive Nanoparticle Imaging via PRINT
Advisor: Joseph DeSimone (Chemistry)
Graduate Student Contributors: John Fain
Abstract: The range of emission and defined physical properties of quantum dots allow for a variety of imaging applications both in-vitro and in-vivo. The PRINT (Particle Replication in Non-Wetting Templates) technique, a process developed by the DeSimone laboratories, is marked by its ability to exercise extreme control over the size and shape of produced particles. My research proves the successful encapsulation of quantum dots within PRINT particles during fabrication. Quantum dot encapsulated PRINT particles were easily identified within urinary epithelial cells via fluorescence microscopy. Overall, the recorded long term stability of quantum dots within PRINT particles represents widespread bio-imaging applications including tracking in animal studies.
035. Sarbajeet Nagdas ChemistryCharacterization of Full-Length and Headless Isoforms of Myosin-X
Advisor: Richard Cheney (Cell Biology and Physiology)
Abstract: Myosin-X (Myo10) is a molecular motor myosin that is best known for its induction and localization to the tips of filopodia- finger like cellular extensions. There is a ~237-kDa full-length Myo10 isoform that is ubiquitously expressed composed of a ?head? that functions as an actin-based motor and a ?tail? which contains many domains with the potential to bind to several biologically relevant molecules. In addition, a shorter ~165-kDa Myo10 isoform has also been detected that lacks most of the head domain. In order to better characterize the shorter ?headless? isoform, our first aim is to confirm its expression pattern and start site. Using immunoblots, we confirmed that headless Myo10 is expressed in nervous system tissues and cell lines. We immunoprecipitated and sequenced headless Myo10 (as well as full-length Myo10) allowing us to identify headless Myo10?s initiation site. Furthermore, the many domains in the tail in addition to other encouraging data suggest that Myo10 has interacting partners with important biological consequences. Our second aim is to co-immunoprecipitate a FLAG-tagged fusion protein of the full-length Myo10 in order to identify potential interacting partners. With a better understanding of the headless Myo10 and increasing knowledge of Myo10?s interacting partners, we hope to elucidate Myo10?s importance in a host of cellular processes.
036. Chuheng Ding ChemistryQuantitative assessment of singlet oxygen production for the new cancer therapeutics
Advisor: Malcolm Forbes (Chemistry)
Abstract: My undergraduate research aims to develop a quantitative assess for the production of singlet oxygen, a reactive molecule used in a clinical cancer treatment called Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). PDT is a cancer treatment currently approved for the treatment of squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck, basal cell carcinomas on the skin. This treatment uses visible light and a sensitizer molecule (usually a porphyrin such as the commercial product Photofrin?) to create the highly reactive singlet oxygen, which initiates oxidative stress and can trigger cell death. Current PDT treatment protocol has been closely examined and can be improved with a better drug delivery system that increases local treatment intensity. Singlet oxygen production and topology at the treatment site is mimicked using hindered secondary amine that forms a stable nitroxide radical in competition with other singlet oxygen deactivation pathways. This radical is observable by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, allowing for indirect quantification of 1*O2. Further, hindered piperidine derived precursors ((secondary amine)used in these studies are easily modified to examine singlet oxygen production in heterogeneous environments such as vesicles, micelles and tissues.
037. Andrew Basinger ChemistryAdvances Toward the Synthesis of Low Temperature Expandable Microspheres
Advisor: Sergei Sheiko (Chemistry)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Natalia Lebedeva, Sergei Sheiko
Abstract: The purpose of this project is to synthesize expandable microspheres consisting of a core-shell morphology and a polymeric shell with a low glass transition temperature. The synthesis of polymer microspheres that expand at high temperatures is well-documented. This type of capsule expansion relies on blowing agent, glass transition temperature, and elastic properties of the shell; however, these systems undergo an irreversible transition upon expansion. Low temperature transitions with reversible expansion/deflation are desirable and would yield great potential in biological applications. The goal of this project is to prepare microcapsules with a polymeric shell having a low glass transition temperature to enable a controlled reversible expansion at ambient and body temperatures.
A Pickering Emulsion was utilized to generate microspheres composed of low glass transition acrylates and fluoropolymers. Perfluorohexane and perfluoropentane were selected as blowing agents for biological compatibility and boiling temperatures. Photoinitiation was required to keep the polymerizable solution at a low temperature in order to decrease vapor pressure. Results have shown it is difficult to prevent expansion in the synthesis process and that thermodynamics plays an important role in morphology of the particle. Surface tension measurements were used to identify thermodynamically favorable states and implemented variations on monomer generated differences in morphology.
038. Jessica Parks ChemistryIdentifying Negative Regulators of Notch in C. elegans Vulval Patterning
Advisor: David Reiner (Pharmacology)
Abstract: EGFR and Notch contribute to many cancers. In C. elegans vulval development LET-23/EGFR and LIN-12/Notch pattern six vulval precursor cells to assume 3°-3°-2°-1°-2°-3° fates. The lin-12(n379d) activating mutation confers at most two excess 2° cells. We screened progeny and grandprogeny of EMS-mutagenized n379d parents for three or more ectopic 2° cells, obtaining nine mutations from 5448 haploid genomes. We assessed phenotype in absence of n379d. All seven tested mutations were n379d-dependent. We are mapping mutations by PCR detection of 48 SNP-snips. We cross the mutant (N2 background) to a polymorphic strain (CB4856 background) and re-isolate the mutant phenotype. N2/CB4856 SNP-snip allele proportions should be consistent except near lin-12 and the mutation, where CB4856 SNPs should be excluded. re48, re49, re51, re53, re54, and re55 mapped to chromosomes V, IV, III, X, I, and I, respectively. re48 is consistent with the lin-12 enhancers sel-9 or sel-10. re51 may be another mutation in lin-12 or another Notch gene glp-1. No known mutations in the intervals on chromosomes I, IV, or X are expected to cause this phenotype, suggesting re49, re53, re54, and re55 may define novel genes. We are pooling recombinant DNA lines for whole genome sequencing to corroborate SNP mapping and identify candidate genes. We hope to find novel regulators of LIN-12/Notch signaling, perhaps proteins involved in the EGFR-Notch interplay.
039. Herodes Guzman ChemistryStructural studies of the airway surface liquid volume regulator human SPLUNC1
Advisor: Matthew Redinbo (Chemistry)
Abstract: Structural studies of the short palate, lung, and nasal epithelial clone (SPLUNC1) K138E point mutation were conducted. The protein is found in the airway surface liquid (ASL) that covers the epithelial cells of mammalian airways and functions as a protease inhibitor blocking the activation of the epithelial sodium channel, ENaC. Careful regulation of ENaC by SPLUNC1 helps maintain adequate ASL volume and prevents the development of thick mucus and lung infection that plague cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Malfunction of SPLUNC1 is speculated to contribute to these complications in CF. The K138E mutation was selected to observe any structural changes that could reveal why this mutant exhibited hyperactivity in a previous study. Purified mutant SPLUNC1 was obtained to perform crystal screening. Diffraction data from one harvested crystal gave 2.67 A resolution data. This data was used to formulate an electron density map for comparison with a previous wild-type SPLUNC1 structure. The SPLUNC1 K138E model is currently being examined for any differences it may have with the wild type model. In addition, circular dichroism (CD) will be used to determine whether a speculated salt bridge found at the 138-lysine residue plays a significant role in SPLUNC1 function. These studies on SPLUNC1 could reveal more about its role in regulating ALS via the inhibition of ENaC and could lead to improvements in the treatment of CF patients1
040. Jackson Trotman ChemistryCircularization of replication-dependent histone mRNAs during translation
Advisor: Bill Marzluff (Biochemistry and Biophysics)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Dr. Stacie Meaux, Dr. Bill Marzluff
Abstract: Replication-dependent histone mRNAs have the distinction as the only observed eukaryotic mRNAs that do not end in a 3? poly-A tail; instead, they end in a 26-nucleotide stem-loop structure, which directly interacts with the stem-loop binding protein (SLBP). Accordingly, the cellular machinery required to process histone mRNAs is markedly different than that for other mRNAs. SLBP is centrally involved in all aspects of histone mRNA metabolism, and for SLBP to perform its multiple functions, it forms functional complexes with a multitude of other proteins, including the 80-kDa nuclear cap-binding protein (CBP80), which localizes to the 5? end of the mRNA. Refuting a previous study, I demonstrated that SLBP and CBP80 do not interact directly in vitro. Recent literature has suggested that a protein, CBP80/20-dependent translation initiation factor (CTIF), may serve as the bridge between SLBP and CBP80. CTIF has been shown to bind directly to CBP80, and here I show that it binds directly to SLBP as well as 3?hEXO, another stem-loop interacting factor, and SLIP1, a factor known to be important for histone mRNA translation. My data show that SLBP and SLIP1 bind to CTIF at its N-terminal domain. It is well-reported that during translation, mRNAs containing poly-A tails circularize via protein-protein interactions. Our results shed light on the structural makeup of an analogous complex that may likewise circularize histone mRNAs to increase the efficiency of their translation.
041. Tiffany King ChemistryPRINT Nanoparticles: Applications in Oncology
Advisor: Joseph DeSimone (Chemistry)
Graduate Student Contributors: Kevin Reuter, Marc Kai
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Jillian Perry
Abstract: In recent years, nanomedicine has been geared towards chemotherapeutic delivery for cancer treatment. ?Chemotherapeutics are usually toxic, insoluble, and are cleared rapidly when administered into the body. ?Nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems have the potential to protect the chemotherapeutic payload while passively accumulating in the tumor bed and actively targeting cancer cells, all while avoiding recognition by the immune system. These properties have shown to enhance efficacy of some traditional chemotherapies. ?Utilizing a nanoparticle fabrication technique known as Particle Replication in Non-Wetting Templates (PRINT), we have attempted to address each of these characteristics to gain further insight to what the ideal nanoparticle (NP) is for drug delivery. In vivo studies showed tumor accumulation, via the enhanced permeability effect (EPR), was minimal in A549 (lung cancer) tumor model. These results may suggest the variability of the EPR effect as a function of particle size, tumor size and/or tumor type. Furthermore, in vitro studies indicate that loading a targeting ligand onto the NP surface can increase internalization in MDA-MB-468 (breast cancer) cells. In conclusion, these experiments have given more insight into the complexity and variability of effectively accumulating and targeting NP in tumor site.
042. Tyler Fletcher ChemistryCharacterization of a Miniturized Low Temperature Plasma Ionization Source for Mass Spectrometry
Advisor: Gary Glish (Chemistry)
Graduate Student Contributors: Brandon Gaston-Thomas Santiago
Abstract: A low temperature plasma (LTP) probe for ambient desorption ionization has been developed and characterized for use in mass spectrometry. The LTP probe consists of a copper outer electrode surrounding a glass capillary, an inner wire electrode, and discharge gas flow through the capillary. Low temperature plasma is generated inside the LTP probe when a sufficiently high AC potential is applied to the outer electrode, exceeding the breakdown voltage of the discharge gas. A miniaturized version of the low temperature probe was created to limit the usage of discharge gas and allow for plasma generation at lower potentials. The dimensions of the mini-LTP probe were optimized to maximize analyte signal by changing the length of the capillary, the outer electrode length, and the applied potential. Spectra were obtained for various analytes while testing different sampling methodologies.
043. Hung Nguyen ChemistryRadiopaque Iodine-containing Bone Cement
Advisor: Valerie Ashby (Chemistry)
Graduate Student Contributors: Anne Jackson
Abstract: The goal of this project is to develop an iodine-containing bone cement with high radiopacity, high processability, and low toxicity. The traditional methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer is modified into 3-iodo-2,2-bis(iodomethyl)propyl methacrylate (IIPMA), a monomer with high content of stably attached iodine?a strong X-ray absorbing element; this iodine content, in turn, provides radiopacity for the bone cement without the need for inorganic additives, which is the cause for weakened mechanical properties of the material. The modified monomer, IPPMA, is successfully synthesized using simple organic reactions and purifications. Copolymers of MMA and IIPMA can be made using solution chain-growth polymerization, yielding products with adjustable molecular weight (from 100,000 Da to 350,000 Da) and low polydispersity (averaging around 1.80); the polymerized material is found to be easily tunable, with scalable iodine content from 20% to 60% weight percent. Polymer beads are then made using solvent evaporation; these beads are used as the power part in the modified bone cement. In the next steps, characterizations will be carried out, including properties such as radiopacity, cytotoxicity, and mechanical properties.
044. Laura Ganser ChemistryResponse of Transmembrane Proteins to Glucose Starvation in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae
Advisor: Mara Duncan (Biology)
Abstract: A novel response of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae cells to glucose starvation was characterized. This response involves the endocytosis of transmembrane proteins from the plasma membrane (PM) to the vacuole where they are degraded by proteolysis. Movement begins within 30 min. of starvation and the protein is almost entirely removed between 2 hours and 1 day of starvation. This response was observed in nine of eleven proteins varying in structure, function, and localization on the PM indicating that it is not a selective process. The two outlying proteins are known to exist in stable sub-domains of the PM, indicating that proteins with slower turnover rates are resistant to the internalization. The proteins of interest were tagged with GFP on the cytoplasmic terminus so that observations could be made with fluorescence microscopy at different times throughout starvation. The intensity at the PM was measured for every cell at every time point to quantify the loss of protein from the PM. Several proteins involved in this internalization response have been determined through a mutational analysis. Specific protein mutations that have prevented or delayed the internalization of a representative membrane protein are considered important in the cellular response, however a complete pathway has yet to be determined.
045. Yishu Wang ChemistryHsp90 Inhibitors Gendanamycin and Novobiocin Inhbit Telomerase
Advisor: Michael Jarstfer (Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry)
Undergraduate Co-Authors: Lauren Wagner
Abstract: Telomeres are DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes that protect them from degradation, fusion, and recombination. In somatic cells, telomeres shorten with each cell division, eventually signaling for cell death. However, cancer cells can up-regulate telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein complex, this is involved in the addition of six nucleotide repeats to the end of the chromosomes which lengthens them telomeres and allowing cells to live longer and continue prliferating. The telomerase complex is composed of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), telomerase RNA, and a variety of chaperone proteins, one of which is heat shock protein 90 (HSp90). Previous studies in our lab have suggested that Hsp90 plays a role in assembling mature telomerase complexes and that the Hsp90 inhibitors novobiocin and geldanamycin can inhibit telomerase activity in reticulocyte lysates. Using telomerase cell extracts and purified telomerase complexes isolated from cells over-expressing telomerase, we have once again shown that both of these compounds can decrease telomerase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Interestingly though, recent cryo-EM data of active telomerase complexes demonstrates that Hsp90 is not included in the telomerase holoenzyme suggesting that novobiocin and geldanamycin may inhibit telomerase activity through a different mechanism.
046. Thomas Bass ChemistryThe Role of the Regulation of DNA replication in Cell Cycle Progression and Entry into Quiescence
Advisor: Jean Cook (Biochemistry and Biophysics)
Graduate Student Contributors: Kate Coleman
Abstract: In order for a cell to proliferate it must continually traverse the entire cell cycle. However, as some cells mature they tend to stop proliferating. These cells exit the cell cycle and enter G0, a state of quiescence in which the cell no longer divides. As a result, quiescent cells do not replicate their DNA. Therefore, a mechanism for cell exit from the normal cell cycle and entrance into G0 may be the result of inhibiting DNA replication by regulating origin licensing, a process in which origins of replication are primed for DNA synthesis by loading of the protein complex MCM to chromatin.
My project explores different mechanisms in which MCM loading may be regulated during quiescence. In Part A, I examine how phosphorylation of the licensing protein Cdt1 by the MAPKs p38 and JNK may prevent origin licensing in quiescent cells. We explore how creation of MAPK resistant forms of Cdt1 affect origin licensing in quiescent cells, and how this affects cellular proliferation. Part B aims to identify interactions between proteins bound to MCM during G1 and G0. Using IP pulldowns and mass spectrometry we identified several proteins that bind MCM during G1 and G0, and examine the role these proteins play in cell cycle progression and entry into quiescence. I am assisting in the creation of FLAG tagged orfome clones and the packaging of these constructs into cell lines which will be used to perform functional assays examining interactions between MCM and bound proteins.
047. Samuel Kirby ChemistryThe Effect of Microsphere Inclusion on the Mechanical Properties of Cross-linked Polyacrylamide Gels
Advisor: Sergei Sheiko (Chemistry)
Graduate Student Contributors: Will Daniel
Abstract: The goal of this project is to design elastomeric or gel networks whose mechanical and acoustic properties can be varied by external stimuli. This can be accomplished by inserting expandable microbubbles into these networks. Controlled mechanical properties of the microbubbles along with their programmed expansion will affect both the structure and properties of the surrounding network. These microbubbles serve as modifiable fillers that reversibly transition between hard reinforcing particles and soft voids by varying the external temperature.
For this purpose we have prepared polyacrylamide gels with hollow, gas-filled polymeric microspheres (microbubbles) embedded as filler particles in the gels and studied their mechanical and acoustic properties as a function of temperature, cross-linking density of the gel and microbubble concentration. At temperatures below glass transition of the polymer shell of the microbubbles, we observed typical viscoelastic behavior in the rubber plateau of the gels. Gels containing loads of pre-expanded polymer microbubbles between 30 and 50 percent by volume displayed a retardation of the storage modulus, and accompanying increase in loss modulus upon being heated to 373 K, the glass transition temperature of the microsphere shell. This decrease in storage modulus is attributed to the transition of the polymer microbubbles from hard glassy spheres to soft, compressible elastomeric bubbles.
048. Kyle Stevens ChemistryInvestigating ion transmission in differential ion mobility spectrometry
Advisor: Gary Glish (Chemistry)
Graduate Student Contributors: Samantha Isenberg
Abstract: Differential ion mobility spectrometry (DIMS) separates gas-phase ions based on their distinct differences in ion mobilities at high versus low electric fields. Voltages are applied to parallel electrodes to produce alternating high and low electric fields. DIMS can act as a filter, selecting for a target analyte while other compounds in the sample are neutralized on the electrodes. DIMS is easily coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) and ion transit time through the device is on the order of milliseconds, making DIMS amenable to applications requiring fast separation prior to analysis by mass spectrometry. To ensure the most sensitive results, while maintaining adequate resolution, various parameters must first be optimized. In this project we investigated how the physical dimensions of the DIMS electrodes and carrier gas parameters affected the ion transmission observed during the separation as the electric field strength was varied. Ion transmission was studied using various peptides and an ammonium salt. Additionally, we investigated an extra peak of unknown origin for some peptide analytes. By altering electrospray ionization conditions and settings in the ion transfer optics of the mass spectrometer, we are able to confirm the peak was a result of charge reduction in the ion transfer optics.
049. Sam Sanders ChemistryExpandable, Multifunctional Microcapsules
Advisor: Sergei Sheiko (Chemistry)
Abstract: We have developed microcapsules that perform multiple, simultaneous functions. Such microcapsules have applications in drug delivery, oil recovery, self healing materials and other fields.
050. Coertney Scoggin ChemistryNew Directions: Looking at Prevention Rather than Treatment of PTSD in the Military
Advisor: April Munroe (Chemistry)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to find more effective ways to treat posttraumatic stress disorder. I researched prevention methods currently being used and researched, and how to use the most effective treatments concurrently to produce less incidences of posttraumatic stress disorder in veterans returning from deployment. My original hypothesis was that propranolol, a drug used for anti-anxiety and short term after auto accidents in the European Union would be useful in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder over a long period of time. Since I could not directly diagnose any patients with being prone to posttraumatic stress disorder or administer drugs, I relied on other sources such as studies done on effectiveness of propranolol on trauma victims as well as an interview with the National Service Director of the Disabled American Veterans to research preventative methods and treatments for PTSD. I found that since propranolol is a beta blocker drug, it would, in fact be a good drug to prevent posttraumatic stress disorder in deployed soldiers. I also discovered that intensive therapy upon return from deployment if diagnosed as \\\"prone\\\" to the disorder would be an effective treatment in combination with propranolol for prevention of post traumatic stress disorder. Though it requires further testing and experimental trials, I believe that these treatments in tandem can prevent incidences of PTSD and create better lives for veterans and their families as a result.
051. Chelsea Tyler ChemistryAmbient Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry for Analysis of Organic Aerosols Produced by Pyrolysis
Advisor: Gary Glish (Chemistry)
Graduate Student Contributors: Sandra E. Spencer
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Gary L. Glish
Abstract: Mass spectrometry is commonly used for aerosol analysis because of its speed and sensitivity. Aerosols are often collected off-line on filters or sampled electrostatically for analysis by mass spectrometry. Derivatization and chromatographic separation are required to analyze complex organic aerosol samples. The longer analysis times required for off-line analysis compared to real-time analysis allow secondary reactions to progress to a greater extent. Additionally, more sample handling is required for sample collection, extraction, and derivatization which increases the probability of sample loss and contamination. To facilitate real-time analysis, two ambient ionization techniques, electrospray ionization and low temperature plasma ionization, have been modified for aerosol analysis. Tandem mass spectrometry was coupled to electrospray and low temperature plasma ionization to eliminate the need for chromatographic separation to obtain structural information. Ambient ionization techniques will be used in conjunction with tandem mass spectrometry to analyze aerosols produced from the pyrolysis of natural products.
052. Steven Wulfe ChemistryFibrinolysis: Determination of Why Elongation of Fibers Occurs
Advisor: Mike Falvo (Physics and Astronomy)
Undergraduate Co-Authors: Igal Bucay
Abstract: The protein fibrin functions as a hemostatic plug after the conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin by the enzyme thrombin. Fibrinolysis is the process of plasmin-mediated dissolution of fibrin and has significant medical relevance for the failure of fibrinolysis can lead to complications such as pulmonary embolism, heart attacks, and strokes. Little is known about the chemical and physical properties of fibrinolysis and this study hopes to illuminate one of these specific properties, determination of fibrin fiber diameter. After noticing fibrin elongation due to varying concentrations of thrombin instead of the other enzyme present in fibrinolysis, plasmin, this experiment paid particular attention to the diameter of created fibers by varying the concentration of thrombin. The observation of decreasing average fiber diameter with increasing thrombin concentration levels demonstrates the theory that the higher the concentration of thrombin, the thinner the fiber and therefore more likely to lyse than a thicker fiber at a lower concentration of thrombin. This is in line with previous data that determined that fibrin elongation is independent of plasmin concentration and depends on the fiber diameter during hemostasis.
053. Steve Burges ClassicsThe Birth of the Roman Forum: Three-Dimensional Mapping and Rome's Most Important Valley
Advisor: Richard Talbert (History and Classics)
Abstract: Several recent scholarly projects have produced different three-dimensional digital models of the ancient city of Rome. Not one of these reconstructions has utilized the full wealth of archaeological and geomorphological data for the elevation of Rome's terrain, however.
Incorporating the recent and abundant research about early Rome into one visual representation for the first time and employing geographical information systems (GIS) technology, my research project has produced digital terrain models (DTMs) of the Roman Forum area at the time of its first occupation (ca. 1000-750 B.C.) and around 600 B.C. when this crucial civic gathering space was first paved. These poorly understood time periods encompass the true foundation of the city of Rome.
To create the models, layers of anthropic and alluvial fill were removed from a DTM of the modern city, generated by a 2009 laser height measurement (LiDAR) survey. The buildings, monuments, and infrastructure of the early period have been included as two-dimensional plans. All of the underlying data are made available so that future investigators can manipulate the models with new information and arguments.
My project offers new insights on the debated early stages of development at Rome. The amount of earth and labor used to fill the once swampy Forum valley, the origins of the fill material, the extent of Tiber flooding, and the general environment of the infant city are better understood with these models.
054. Zhe Wang Computer ScienceRaSs the RNA-seq simulator
Advisor: Wei Wang (Computer Science)
Graduate Student Contributors: Shunping Huang
Abstract: RaSs, a RNA-seq simulator, concretely mimics each step in the known sequencing procedure and applies general models on position-based effects that are not easily obtainable by researchers. It generates large volumes of tunable data sets for benchmarking genome recovery algorithm in the field of bio-informatics. A particular advantage of using RaSs is- it supports more than 20 input parameters representing different biology features. Also, our program is considered quite efficient as we can finish processing 1-2GB input data in half an hour.
RaSs operates in two stages: read generation and read modification. The key component is the algorithm mapping between reference chromosome and target chromosome, as insertion, deletion and substitution of base pairs will make the algorithm hard to behave 100% correctly. According to our two weeks\' comprehensive testing, our mapping algorithm is correct for 100% test cases.
055. Nikhil Patel EconomicsDoes Alcohol Use Increase the Risk of Atrial Fibrillation Recurrence after Radiofrequency Ablation?
Advisor: Anil Gehi (UNC Cardiology )
Abstract: Introduction: Alcohol is the most widely consumed drug in the world. It is unclear whether alcohol use post ablation increases the risk of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) recurrence.
Methods: Patients underwent radiofrequency ablation for AF at UNC Hospitals. Patients were followed post-ablation with 1-week continuous monitoring and follow-up clinic visits. Patients were asked questions regarding alcohol intake. Recurrent AF was defined as symptomatic or asymptomatic AF lasting >30 seconds. Kaplan-Meier survival analyses and multivariable Cox regression models were performed.
Results: Mean age of the cohort was 60.0 (11.8) and 71% were male. Comorbidities included hypertension (57.7%), coronary heart disease (17.6%), heart failure (12.8%), and diabetes (21.2%). Mean left atrial size was 4.4 (0.8) cm and AF was persistent in 65.3%. Patients drank alcohol an average of 1-4 times per month and drank 0-2 drinks at a time. Among the cohort, 19% reported binge drinking (6 or more drinks) on at least 1 occasion in the prior year. Frequency of alcohol intake was not associated with AF recurrence. However, binge drinking (>5-6 drinks at a time or binge drinking weekly or more) was associated with an increased risk of AF recurrence (HR 3.7, p<.05) after adjusting for confounding variables.
Conclusion: Moderate consumption of alcohol on a regular basis does not increase the risk for AF recurrence. However, binge drinking may increase the risk of AF recurrence even after AF ablation.
056. Nayab Khan EconomicsCalibrating a DSGE model to analyze investment shocks' impact on Pakistani bond prices and output
Advisor: Michael Aguilar (Economics)
Abstract: The withdrawal of foreign direct investment has been one of the largest factors hindering the development of numerous emerging market economies like Pakistan over the past several decades. Since 1998, Pakistan has endured several shocks to foreign direct investment due to sociopolitical unrest, fears of nuclear war between Pakistan and India and a general withdrawal of FDI. Building upon a recent theoretical finding in the literature, the present paper calibrates a small, closed economy Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model for Pakistan, motivated by Real Business Cycle principles, in order to investigate the impact of investment shocks on output fluctuations. This paper contributes to the currently limited literature on Pakistan, as it expands the standard budget constraint used in macroeconomic literature to include the financial sector, which links the financial markets with the macro-economy. The inclusion of the financial markets reveals a potential link between increased security concerns, shocks to investment in the macro-economy, and elevated yields for Pakistani Investment Bonds (PIB).
057. Gregory Grissom EconomicsEstimating an Optimal Subsidy for Plug-in Electric Vehicles in the United States by County
Advisor: Andy Yates (Economics)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Andrew Yates, Erin Mansur
Abstract: This study examines the economic efficiency of the market for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in the contiguous United States. To that end, a methodology is developed for estimating the optimal subsidy for the purchase of a PEV as it varies by location, segmenting the region of interest at the county level. The estimation model calculates the net social benefit of substituting a PEV in place of a conventional vehicle over the functional lifetime of an automobile. The model accounts for spatial heterogeneity in marginal damages from tailpipe emissions as well as variation in average marginal emissions from electricity generation based on regional identity within the national electric grid. The findings show that the mean and median optimal subsidy values for U.S. counties lie in the range of $600 to $700, with some urban counties achieving values up to over $6,000 and no counties having subsidy values below $300. A comparison of the estimated optimal subsidy with the regulatory status quo for federal PEV subsidies indicates that the current policy of granting purchasers of new PEVs a federal income tax credit of $7,500 is in excess of the amount of compensation which would satisfy the efficiency condition. Current state-based incentives and alternative methods of internalizing social pollution costs associated with transportation are also evaluated based on the optimal subsidy calculations.
058. William Bost EconomicsThe use of transfer payments to solve overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices
Advisor: Sergio Parreiras (Economics)
Abstract: Most of the economic literature in fishery management assumes that, because marginal cost is inversely related to fish stock size, fishing a certain fish stock to extinction is impossible for a rational economic agent. However, many of the world?s fish resources have been depleted to the threat of extinction causing many scientists around the world to predict that maintaining the current extraction rate will result in a total collapse of all of the world?s fisheries by the year 2048. Policymakers can prevent this from happening by cutting the total allowable catch to a sustainable level for certain fisheries but are reluctant to do so because of damage to the fishing industries? short term economic welfare. This paper considers how transfer payments can be used to make a sustainable cooperative solution for fish resources more achievable. This paper finds that transfer payments can make a cooperative solution ideal for an infinitely large number of agents, both homogeneous and heterogeneous, to participate in the fishery to reach a cooperative solution. However, in systems where quotas are already in place, the success of reducing the allowable catch while simultaneously not negatively affecting the profits of fishermen is highly dependent upon cost heterogeneity, discount rate, and the number of periods before extinction occurs at the current allowable catch.
059. Kahlil Blount EconomicsExamining Poverty and Industry Employment Across Racial Lines
Advisor: William Parke (Economics)
Abstract: Given the growing income disparity observed in the United States, it is important to study the determinants of poverty. Despite the mixed results of welfare programs, poverty continues to disproportionately affect minority populations, with African Americans and Hispanics having poverty rates at least double those of non-Hispanic Whites. Thus, the purpose of my project is to examine the impact of industry composition on the poverty rates of minority populations. Using county-level Census Bureau data from the 2000 Census, I conduct regression analysis on a poverty model focused on labor market variables. From my results, I identify Finance/Insurance/Real Estate, Information Services, and Transportation/Utilities as the most effective industries in reducing poverty rates among minorities. Furthermore, my research investigates the impact of regional differences in poverty across racial groups. For African Americans and Hispanics, the industry employment variables used in this project were significant in reducing poverty rates in the regions where they are most concentrated. However, for the American Indian population in the regions where they are most concentrated, employment variables were not significant in reducing poverty.
060. Conor Howells EconomicsContagion effects from a shock to sovereign debt holdings in an interconnected network system
Advisor: Jeremy Petranka (Economics)
Abstract: The recent European Sovereign Debt Crisis has illustrated that the extent to which contagion will spread across interconnected networks is unknown. This paper examines the impact of a negative shock to the value of a sovereign?s debt as collateral on the Interbank Lending Market (ILN) and also on collateral of other countries within a system defined by financial but not fiscal integration. This is accomplished by defining theoretical interconnected centrality measures for multiple networks based on the Katz-Bonacich centrality measure. These centrality measures are used to express the optimal quantities for all banks in a Cournot equilibrium within the ILN. The paper finds that a negative shock to the sovereign debt of a country will impact all banks within the ILN and that the extent of the shock on a bank?s optimal quantity is determined by the relative change in it?s debt centrality compared to it?s relative centrality within the ILN. It is concluded that the change in profit levels for banks will determine how much other countries will be affected by the initial shock to the interconnected network system.
061. Veronica Clark EconomicsThe Consumption Function and the Marginal Propensity to Consume of the Top U.S. Income Quintile
Advisor: Richard Froyen (Economics)
Abstract: One basic feature of macroeconomic theory is the multiplying effect that a change in one facet of spending can have on the total level of economic activity. This concept is based how a consumer spends and saves an increase in income and is measured through the marginal propensity to consume (MPC). Should the MPC differ in magnitude for various individuals and groups, policies affecting incomes will also affect the level of economic activity to differing extents. This paper uses the Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from years 1984 to 2011 to measure two different consumption functions for the total population and for each of the five quintiles of income distribution. The two models are each estimated using ordinary least squares and the method of seemingly unrelated regression to obtain estimated coefficients, and therefore both short run and long run MPCs and multipliers. Overall the MPCs show a decreasing trend among the groups as income increases. In many cases there is even a statistically significant difference between the MPCs of the fifth quintile and those of the first.
062. Paige Andrews EconomicsThe Effect of Adolescent Mental Health on Young Adulthood Labor Market Decisions and Outcomes
Advisor: Stephen Lich-Tyler (Economics)
Abstract: Mental health of adolescents has recently received growing attention because of its rising prevalence and the discovery of its predictive capabilities for mental health status later in life. Most existing economic mental health studies have examined adulthood and found that depression hinders labor productivity and increases the probability of unemployment. This paper examines the impact of depression during adolescence on labor market decisions and outcomes during young adulthood using Wave I and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The initial stage of analysis uses a multinomial logistic regression to predict the likelihood of being employed, seeking further education, or not participating in the labor market during early adulthood based on a lagged determinate of depression from adolescence. The second stage of analysis delves further into education and employment by examining the type of enrolled degree and wage rate using a multinomial logistic regression and ordinary least squares estimation, respectively. This analysis was repeated for sibling pairs to attempt to control for unobserved environmental and genetic predictors of labor market decisions and outcomes. Depression was found to be a significant predictor of non-participation in the labor force relative to employment for the entire sample and sibling pairs but was not found to significantly predict wage, educational enrollment or type of educational degree for either sample.
063. Jason Dunn EconomicsIs Unemployment Good for your Waistline? Now? Ever?
Advisor: Donna Gilleskie (Economics)
Abstract: This research provides empirical support for a theoretical explanation of how employment status can influence health contemporaneously. It also empirically tests whether one's past employment status can affect health today. Specifically, empirical evidence of these hypotheses is based on individual's body mass observations over time using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) data from 1983-2003. The unemployment rate in an individual's state was found to have a significant effect on body mass for white females and black males. Even after including controls for own unemployment status, the aggregate unemployment rate was significant for white females, black females, and black males. With regard to own individual employment status, males who were non-employed (either out of the work force or unemployed) showed a decrease in body mass while females who were non-employed showed an increase in body mass. However, the marginal effect on body mass over time when an individual was unemployed was shown to diminish over time. In other words, a female who has been unemployed for three years is expected to gain less body mass in the current year than a female who has been unemployed for only one year. The opposite is true for males.
064. Kelly Blessing EconomicsEstimating the Returns to University Majors in the Post-Soviet Russian Federation
Advisor: Klara Peter (Economics Department, as well as Carolina Population Center)
Abstract: As the structure of an economy changes, so do the needs of the labor market. Over the past twenty years as Russia has moved from a communist government to a market economy based on the laws of supply and demand, the demands of the labor market have altered radically. This has had spillover effects into the market for college majors, with technical majors declining in popularity and non-technical, business-focused majors rising rapidly. The question then becomes, how are different university degrees valued in the labor market? That is, what are the relative wage premia of some university majors compared to others? This research finds that as the composition of technical majors declined in the market economy, their relative wage premium rose. Conversely, as the composition of non-technical business majors rose, at first in the early market economy, they enjoyed a relative wage premium due to the scarcity of majors, but as an oversupply of majors flooded the market, these returns have decreased in the later market era. The research divides the sample into the old cohort, educated in the Soviet era, and the new cohort, educated post-liberalization. In this way, both year and birth cohort effects on wages are captured in the estimation.
065. Rongjia (Tim) Jiang EconomicsInvestigation of the Effects of Average Tax Rate on Economic Growth Rate
Advisor: William Parke (Economics)
Abstract: Following the recent recession in the United States, some political voices have been calling for tax cuts to stimulate economic growth. Does decrease in tax rate enhance economic growth? In this paper, an OLS regression model is used to study the effect of average tax rates on economic growth using data for 25 OECD countries for 1980 to 2009 and 31 non-OECD countries for 1990 to 2009. A negative correlation is found between the average tax rate and GDP growth rate for OECD sample; however, upon controlling for other determinants of growth, this negative relationship between average tax rate and economic growth rate disappears for the OECD sample. For the non-OECD countries, a negative relationship between average tax rate and growth rate of GDP is found after controlling for other variables. For both samples, the level of physical capital accumulation has positive impact on growth, while inflation negatively affects growth. The effects of human capital accumulation and population growth are found to be insignificant. These findings suggest that continued investment in physical capital and inflation targeting policies will facilitate growth, while changing tax policies may or may not affect growth in a positive way. The notion that tax cut leads to economic growth for developed countries like the U.S. is not supported by the findings of this research.
066. Logan Mauney EconomicsDeterminants of Hypertension and Diabetes in an Urban Chinese Population
Advisor: David Guilkey (Economics)
Abstract: The rise of obesity has augmented the incidence and burden of nutrition-related non-communicable diseases such as Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease that lead to significant lifestyle adjustments and higher rates of mortality. In 2010 the world prevalence of diabetes among adults was found to be 6.4% and is expected to rise to 7.7% by 2030, with 69% of that increase in developing countries. In the early 80s, China enacted significant economic reforms, which have led to rapid industrialization and concurrent urban migration. Since that time, cardiovascular disease has become the leading cause of death, 9.7% of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes, and 15.5% have been found to have pre-diabetes, with individuals twice as likely to be diagnosed with either chronic disease in an urban context. In my research I examine the effect of various health behaviors and socioeconomic determinants on the health outcomes of hypertension and diabetes in an Urban Chinese population. I used individual and community-level longitudinal survey data across nine provinces beginning in 1989. Using the diagnosis of hypertension and diabetes as dependent variables, I utilize probit functions to estimate a linear probability model. Though complete results are pending further estimations, certain consumption behaviors and decreased physical activity lead to higher rates of both diabetes and hypertension.
067. Sunny Patel EconomicsThe Genetic Regulation of Octopaminergic Genes in Drosophila Melanogaster
Advisor: Stephen Crews (Biology)
Abstract: Drosophila Melanogaster is a very suitable model organism that is often used to study genetic regulation. Over the course of this past academic year, my mentor Joseph Fontana and I have studied three genes that are involved in the biosynthesis and transport of Octopamine, the neurotransmitter equivalent of Epinephrine in humans. These three genes are TBh, Tdc2, and Vmat. When studying these three genes, our goal was to determine which transcription factors controlled the regulation of these Octopaminergic genes. In other words, which transcription factors were directly required to turn these three genes on and off? Through the use of Drosophila Embryo Collection, Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization, and Confocal Microscopy, we determined that the transcription factor vg regulates the expression of Vmat, a gene required for the transport of Octopamine. In addition, we concluded that none of the other transcription factors that we studied regulated the expression of the other two Octopaminergic genes, TBh, and Tdc2. Currently we are further proving these results by using RNA interference, and crossing two deficiency lines to decrease the number of genes deleted.
068. Clark Sanford English & Comparative LiteratureAntiquarianism & its Discontents: Ethics & Aesthetic Enjoyment in Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote
Advisor: Shayne Legassie (Comparative Literature)
Abstract: Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote is a novel teeming with characters who write, read and try to structure their lives around various outdated literary genres. In his exploration of these diverse modes of antiquarian enjoyment and their aesthetic as well as moral implications, Cervantes ends up adumbrating a number of conceptual terrains which will only much later be given the names by which we know them today. This essay proposes that it is not anachronistic to apply the terms cliché, Camp, kitsch and aestheticism to Cervantes's novel, and that they are in fact necessary to fully understand the complex arguments it makes about the ethical consequences of stylistic judgments.
069. Alexander Howerton English & Comparative LiteraturePaternalism and Identity in the Works of Frederick Douglass and Ralph Ellison
Advisor: William Andrews (English)
Abstract: My honors thesis evaluates the extent to which an individual can emerge from systems of paternalism and assert for themselves a new identity. Both Frederick Douglass and Ralph Ellison, in their respective literary works, portray a figure who becomes involved with paternalistic organizations, and who eventually leave the groups because of emerging tensions between the organization and the individual. My research finds that, in both Douglass and Ellison\'s case, these figures are able to remove themselves from paternalists, though the impact of their relationships with those paternalists still lingers. Nevertheless, those figures do have the capability of asserting their own independence.
070. Elyse Will Environmental ScienceEvaluating the Ecological Effects of Water Reuse for Urban Stream Restoration
Advisor: Justin Lawrence (Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley)
Undergraduate Contributors: Janet Hsiao
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Dr. Vincent Resh, Dr. Justin Lawrence
Abstract: Recycled water can be used to augment streamflow in urban stream restoration efforts, improving water quality and potentially providing ecosystem benefits. To assess how recycled water may impact the ecological community in an urban stream, we examined the benthic macroinvertebrate communities upstream and downstream of the recycled water discharge point at Calera Creek, a small stream in Northern California that was part of an urban stream restoration project. Benthic macroinvertebrates are useful tools in biomonitoring because they are ubiquitous, show responses over a short timeframe, and give a ?moving picture? of both past and current conditions of the stream ecosystem.
071. Patrick Clay Environmental ScienceEffect of Tributary and Braid Confluences on Aquatic Macroinvertebrates in an Alpine River System
Advisor: Martin Doyle (Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University)
Abstract: River confluences are the intersections of two channels of water, most often a tributary and its main stem. Confluences foster increased levels of community density via the input of allochthonous detritus and coarse sediment, and by creating habitat heterogeneity. However, confluences of headwater streams and of streams that do not input coarse sediment and detritus are understudied. We sampled benthic communities within and surrounding confluence junctions. Our sampling sites included both headwater streams and braided confluences, the latter of which do not input exogenous sources of detritus and coarse sediment. Additionally, we measured environmental factors at all of these locations. We found that without an influx of coarse sediment and detritus, as is the case in braid confluences, junctions have depressed macroinvertebrate density and richness. We found that headwater stream confluences have minimal impact on confluence communities, and that in headwater streams, flow in the junction did not exhibit flow zonation. However, all confluences created small step changes in community composition, and so braided rivers may create new microhabitats every time a channel divides or joins. Most importantly, our results show that confluence junctions are not intrinsically locations of increased species richness and density for macroinvertebrates, but rather are areas where benthic communities will be negatively affected unless there is sufficient tributary flux of food sources.
072. Melissa Wrzesien Environmental ScienceInfluence of Northern Hemisphere Teleconnections on ENSO-Related Precipitation Patterns in the US
Advisor: Erika Wise (Geography)
Abstract: Weather forecasts frequently cite the El Ni?o−Southern Oscillation (ENSO) when projecting whether a region will experience wetter or drier than normal conditions. However, ENSO ? and other teleconnection patterns ? do not occur in isolation. While El Ni?o is typically associated with increased precipitation in the southwestern portion of the United States, the presence of other teleconnection patterns could strengthen or weaken the expected precipitation signal. The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) has also been featured in weather forecasts in recent years since its negative phase leads to colder temperatures and snowy conditions in the eastern United States. The objective of this study is to determine the consistency of those impact patterns across the United States. How do ENSO and NAO interact? What are the spatial patterns of precipitation when other Northern Hemisphere teleconnections are taken into account? How can these spatial patterns be used to improve medium- or long-range forecasts based on these oscillations? We correlated a precipitation dataset (PRISM) with various teleconnection indices to see which regions are anomalously dry or wet. We anticipate that seasonal predictions of precipitation could be improved through incorporating multiple climate modes in a regional forecast. A focus on regionally important indices by weather forecasters could also serve as an educational tool concerning the complexity of the climate system.
073. Ann Soltan Environmental StudiesA Cow That Keeps Milking: Solar PV for California Dairies
Advisor: Amy Cooke (Institute for the Environment)
This thesis assesses the feasibility of installing large-scale solar photovoltaic arrays on the roofs of dairy barns in the Central Valley of California, followed by a preliminary assessment of the technical potential of solar photovoltaic power for the dairy industry broken down per farm. A conclusion was drawn that the installation of large-scale, industry-wide photovoltaic solar power is feasible and would ensure significant carbon dioxide emissions reductions by reducing conventional power demand and production from fossil fuel-fired power plants in the Valley. This paper aims to embed solar as an alternative, clean energy choice in the decision making process for environmental policy makers focusing on clean energy, air emissions and agriculture; dairy farmers and dairy industry representatives; and energy professionals. This paper suggests that the organization of a multi-jurisdictional, collaborative power program that is implemented on a local, cooperative scale will positively integrate the goals of policy makers and the dairy and solar industries in order to achieve significant environmental gains.
074. Matthew Ryan GeographySustainable Urbanism in Sweden and China
Advisor: Nina Martin (Geography)
Abstract: The need for sustainable urbanism is becoming ever more acute as nonrenewable resources dwindle and pollution continues to cause environmental and human health problems. The world?s cities are only growing, and so a proactive strategy for creating an environmentally friendly city is critical. In this paper, two case study nations will be analyzed to see how their plans for sustainable urbanism are being carried out, followed by a discussion on the potential drivers and inhibitors of their respective progress towards the goal of hosting sustainable cities. Sweden and China have seen varying success in this respect due to differences in economic and social pressures. Sweden, with its wealthy and sustainably-minded citizenship firmly based in an ?information sector? economy, is keenly interested in sustainability both at home and abroad. China has a late-stage industrial economy and is experiencing the growing pains of a booming economy. The mass influx into cities this causes is driving a quantity versus quality, GDP-focused growth pattern that has become environmentally unviable, forcing the Chinese government?s hand in the sustainable world. These two very different paths to sustainability lead to a common goal but with unique sets of challenges confronting each nation.
075. Kate Grady GeographyUrban Honey : Apiculture in the Heart of an American City
Advisor: Noreen McDonald (City & Regional Planning)
Abstract: The local food movement has gained growing attention in the last decade, both popularly and academically. Apiculture, otherwise known as beekeeping, has become a part of that movement, surprisingly in urban areas along with rural. New York City legalized apiculture in 2010, and it is now practiced both recreationally and commercially in all five boroughs. My work focused on beekeeping in Brooklyn, examining the new practice through the lens of political ecology to describe the cultural, ecological and economic conditions and changes surrounding it. Urban beekeeping not only provides certain residents of New York City with sustenance, but also serves as a vehicle through which they assert their right to the ecological and political space of the city. Support for urban beekeeping comes from many scalar levels, most notably the Bloomberg administration through programs that seek to increase access to locally-grown food options in order to combat obesity (though this is contentious). I kept a summer-long blog devoted to my findings on the culture of beekeeping as well as the process of performing political ecological research. Ideas and blurbs from this blog were used at meetings and in online venues by New York City beekeepers. Furthermore, this work has provided the basis for two semesters of further research in Geography and Food Studies so far, and will continue to be the main focus of my undergraduate career here at UNC.
076. Maggie Grossman HistoryUnited in Mourning/Divided in Grief:Religion and Collective Memory at the Vietnam and 9/11 Memorials
Advisor: Lloyd Kramer (History)
Abstract: The Vietnam Memorial and the 9/11 Memorial share many themes, yet the Vietnam former remains more successful in terms of uniting public opinion, despite the fact that it was born out of intense discord. They both serve as a stand-in tombstone, placing the loss of life within a particular framework. In the case of the Vietnam Memorial, this framework was one of active spiritual tradition with respect to the custom of leaving artifacts at the Wall and seeking to honor the soldiers who did not receive the homecoming they deserved. These religious motifs blended easily with the types of religious motifs commonly found in nationalistic symbols. In the case of the 9/11 Memorial, however, the religious motifs become much more complex. The fact that the 9/11 Memorial is literally a burial ground, and therefore "sacred," triggers a slew of challenges to the public's relationship to the site that the Vietnam Memorial did not have to face. Furthermore, the 9/11 Memorial has, by virtue of its association with New York City's tourism culture, been "commodified" and thus its sacredness has been compromised. Finally, the 9/11 Memorial does not have as concrete of a purpose of commemoration as does the Vietnam Memorial, adding to further confusion as to what one is "praying to" when they approach this "altar." By comparing these two seemingly similar monuments, one can appreciate the importance of monuments and their power to shape a nation's collective memory.
077. Elizabeth Sebastian Health Environmental Sciences & EngineeringEffects of pharmaceuticals on microbial communities in hog lagoons
Advisor: Michael Aitken (Environmental Science)
Graduate Student Contributors: Eric Staunton
Abstract: Hog waste management is presently managed using a open air lagoon system. The practice of keeping hog waste in open air pits, and spraying fields with it once they are full presents serious threats to the environment and human health. Presently, the use of microbes for nutrient removal and methane capture are being explored as a method to better waste management practices. The aim of this research was to determine whether microbes used for nitrogen removal (using anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) microbes and nitrifying microbes) and methane capture (methanogens) would be negatively impacted by the presence of chemicals used to treat sick hogs. Based on information gathered from the field site, Butler farms, the impacts of caffeine and aspirin were tested. This was done by spiking microcosms with caffeine and aspirin, at concentrations similar to those calculated for the lagoon, and monitoring microbial activity. Based on the results from these experiments, there was no effect of the pharmaceuticals on microbial activity, for anammox, nitrifying and methanogenic microbes.
078. Jamie Berger Interdisciplinary StudiesEnvironmental, Social, and Economic Impacts of the North Carolina Hog Industry
Advisor: James Ferguson (History)
Abstract: Like barbeque, the hog industry itself has been an integral part of North Carolina?s past and will continue to play a vital role in its future. The industry saw explosive growth in the 1990s, when industrial methods were first applied to the process of raising hogs in North Carolina. Although this growth resulted in a boost to the state?s economy, it was also paralleled by a number of environmental and social challenges that continue to affect the state and its residents today.
This report seeks to illuminate these economic, environmental, and social impacts of the North Carolina hog industry, and to describe how it has affected North Carolina?s natural resources?especially its water, soil, and air?and communities, immigrant and non-immigrant workers, and animals.
079. Karina Javalkar Health Policy & AdministrationDepressive Symptoms in Predicting Transition and Self-Management among Youth with CKD
Advisor: Maria Ferris (Medicine Nephrology)
Undergraduate Co-Authors: Mark Hensel
Undergraduate Contributors: Caroline Stroud, Sarah Cohen
Graduate Student Contributors: Nicole Fenton
Abstract: Introduction: This investigation examined the role of depressive symptoms in understanding transition and self-management.
Methods: The IRB-approved measures were: a demographics questionnaire, CES-D (CES-D, Radloff, 1977), and The UNC TRxANSITION Scale (Ferris et. al. 2012)
Results: 25 youth (ages 12 to 29) with CKD stages ≥ 4 have been enrolled. Their demographic characteristics were as follows: 60% female, 44% Caucasian; 32% African-American, 16% Hispanic. The mean age was 21.56 (? 4.7) and the mean age at diagnosis was 9.47 (?8.46).
The TRxANSITION Scale average was 8.31 out of 10 (? 1.52). The three domains with the lowest scores were Nutrition (? = .75), Insurance (? = .75), and New provider knowledge (? = .71) out of 1. The mean score on the CES-D was 20.19 out of 44 (? 5.71).
Depressive symptoms were a significant negative predictor of transition self-management (β = -.41, p=.07). Depressive symptoms were also a significant negative predictor of New provider knowledge (β= -.42, p=.06), Insurance knowledge (β= -.42, p= .06), and Self-management (β= -.43, p= .05).
Conclusions: Youth with CKD who experience more depressive symptoms are at risk for lower transition self-management. This may suggest that patients with depression or depressive symptoms need additional support from mental health professionals as well as health care providers for effective transition self-management.
080. Charles Santos Interdisciplinary StudiesDiscovering New Kazakhstan: Mobile Health and Mobile EKG in Kazakhstan
Advisor: Gabriel Trop (Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures)
Graduate Student Contributors: none
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: none
Abstract: Cellular and Mobile applications have demonstrated a variety of applications to health related issues in the past decade. Kazakhstan in particular faces over seventy-thousand deaths every year attributed to Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, Liver Disease and Hypertension, many of which could be avoided with early detection. Key Informant Interviews were conducted in order to evaluate the feasibility of a Mobile Health pilot project in Kazakhstan. Four areas were examined: Chronic Disease Management, International Collaboration, Professional Training, and Crisis Support. It was determined that the application of a Mobile ECG technology for the diagnosis of Cardiovascular Disease might be a feasible undertaking. To assess the acceptability of this technology, a focus group qualitative study is proposed.
The impetus for this project occurred through the support of the Kazakhstan Embassy of Washington?s Fellowship for Summer Study Abroad 2012.
081. Erica O'Brien International & Area StudiesOf Computers & Cape Town: An Evaluation of Computer Education in Cape Town, South Africa
Advisor: Janice Anderson (School of Education)
Abstract: This research explores the relationship between South African high schools students and technology education using both quantitative and qualitative methods. In my capacity as a research intern for the South African Education and Environment Project (SAEP), I used surveys and interviews to better understand students? sense of self-efficacy with technology, how they view their technology education, and what kind of access they have to technology. Students from three different types of public schools in Cape Town participated in the study. While the differences in results of the three schools were not significant, the data I gathered on computer access and self-efficacy will enable SAEP to improve and possibly expand its after school technology education program, ADT Teach.
082. Jessica Kennedy Journalism & Mass CommunicationLinking the Agricultural History of Western N.C. to an Innovative Effort to Fight Hunger
Advisor: Patricia Sawin (American Studies)
Abstract: Watauga County, a formerly agricultural area in Northwestern North Carolina, has transitioned in recent decades to a town defined by second homes, tourism and Appalachian State University. This transition occurred largely because of the end of the federal tobacco program in the early 2000s that began during the New Deal. This program allowed small tobacco farmers to compete with larger producers with the help of fixed prices. Remnants of an agricultural past cover the county while ?locals? and ?newcomers? mix daily. This research project sought to connect the present and past agricultural narratives of Watauga County to current community efforts to fight hunger and poverty issues in the small mountain town. Members of a progressive church in Watauga decided to open a pay-what-you-can restaurant in downtown Boone in May, adding to an already existing array of services for impoverished people. This research found that the FARM Caf? and other anti-hunger organizations in the area seek to foster and improve community while striving to create a neighbor-caring-for-neighbor atmosphere, characteristics that were more prevalent in Watauga at the height of its agricultural past. The collaboration among members of the local economy ? FARM Caf?, its patrons, small farmers, etc. ? strives to make the county a better place, especially for those with low incomes that need help with food access.
083. Lindsay Rosenfeld International & Area StudiesThe Body in Remembrance: Dhikr in Moroccan Sufism
Advisor: Della Pollock (Communication Studies)
Abstract: In Islam, dhikr is an Arabic word that has accumulated a plentitude of definitions ? recollection, remembrance, commemoration, mentioning, and invocation of God. When considering Sufism specifically, dhikr is both the active process of remembering God, His names and manifestations, and a gathering of devotees who together seek to rise above the world of forgetfulness and embrace God into the innermost intimacy of one?s heart. Though dhikr takes on many forms and expresses itself through many mediums (the tongue, heart, breath, individually, collectively, etc.), the role of body is both unmistakable and understudied. While the body as a system of communication has gained scholarly attention over the years, these theories have yet to be thoroughly applied to dhikr. Thus I hypothesize that within and through this ritual in Morocco, the body transcends the tongue as articulator and the mind as rememberer, becoming an instrument of performance and thought.
084. Katheryn McKee Journalism & Mass CommunicationSocial Media for Social Good: An analysis of autism awareness organizations' use of Facebook
Advisor: Lois Boynton (Journalism and Mass Communications)
Abstract: Effective strategic communication is essential for all nonprofit advocacy organizations seeking social and political change. In order to raise awareness on a particular issue with the general public, policy makers and interested stakeholders, organizational leaders must create campaigns that promote participation, education and action. Public relations practitioners have become increasingly interested in online technologies in these public relations campaigns since the proliferation of Web 2.0 technologies, such as social networking sites, that promote community building and interactions.
Online social networking sites present an easily accessible means for organizations to coordinate initiatives, exchange information and support with people, and engage a broad demographic. Currently, the most popular social networking site is Facebook. Although a significant body of literature has examined Facebook use by teenagers and college students, it is important to understand how other populations, such as nonprofit organizations, are using this medium. Therefore, this research seeks to fill the void in SNS research by investigating how autism awareness organizations use Facebook in their advocacy efforts and by assessing the effectiveness of these organizations' campaigns by exploring how they are using Facebook to engage stakeholders in relation to the principles of Grunig's excellence theory of public relations.
085. Katherine McIlwain Journalism & Mass CommunicationFood advertising and its potential influence on child-parent purchase dynamics
Advisor: Heidi Hennink-Kaminski (Journalism )
Abstract: As young waistlines have expanded in the past 30 years, food marketing to children has become a focus of frequent criticism for its role in encouraging unhealthy eating habits in young people. However, children are not likely the actual buyers of products they see advertised on television ? instead, it is their parents that make the purchases, often under the pressure of their child\\\'s requests.
The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to explore how children, in response to food advertising, interact with their mothers to influence purchase decisions; and (2) to understand the reasoning behind mothers\\\' acceptance or refusal of their child\\\'s requests. In-depth interviews were conducted with eight mothers and their children to explore how both parties react to food marketing and how they interact regarding the food purchases that are made in their household. Then, grounded theory strategies were used to analyze the data and develop overall themes in the study?s results. Ultimately, research results indicated that there was a wide range of media diets, actual diets and interactions between mother and child regarding food purchases within this sample. Overall, however, this study indicated that ?pester power? is a largely in-store phenomenon, that mothers attempt to act as counteradvertisements to the marketing their children are exposed to, and that even at a young age, these children are already becoming keenly aware of their developing role as consumers.
086. Heather Engel Journalism & Mass CommunicationAn Interpretative Study of Bank Communication Strategies in Response to the Volcker Rule
Advisor: Penny Abernathy (School of Journalism & Mass Communication)
Abstract: I am working on finalizing the language of my abstract with my advisor this week and will submit a finalized version of my abstract as soon as possible.
087. Florence Bryan Journalism & Mass CommunicationPresidential candidates' wives in the media: An analysis of coverage of Ann Romney & Michelle Obama
Advisor: Ferrel Guillory (School of Journalism and Mass Communication)
Abstract: During the 20th century, presidential candidates' wives began to have a more prominent role on the campaign trail and media coverage of the wives increased. Several frames emerged in the coverage of first ladies and first ladies-to-be, who often serve as a model for what is expected of women in American society. My research aimed to answer how Michelle Obama, the wife of Democratic President Barack Obama, and Ann Romney, the wife of Republican challenger Mitt Romney, were framed in the media during the 2012 presidential election. The sample for my analysis included content from three national newspapers and 33 political blogs. The sample was coded for several frames — the escort role, the style icon, the noblesse oblige, the policy adviser, compare/contrast to former first lady, and background characteristics. The escort role was divided into four subcategories — family and marriage, defender or advocate, sacrifices and reluctance, and campaign asset/liability. The most common frame to appear was the campaign asset/liability subcategory of the escort role, as the wives were evaluated in relation to their husbands' campaigns. Differences arose between coverage of Ann Romney and Michelle Obama and among the newspapers and blogs, although much of the coverage was similar across the sample. While frames based on traditional gender roles still appear in coverage of first ladies-to-be, changes in the expectations of the position and the media landscape have influenced coverage.
088. Julie Crimmins Journalism & Mass CommunicationDepartment of Education Information Subsidies and New York Times Coverage of No Child Left Behind
Advisor: Lois Boynton (JOMC)
Abstract: No Child Left Behind was a bipartisan education reform bill enacted in 2002 as a signature project of the Bush administration. As a decade passed, optimism and hope for increased educational accountability due to standardized testing faded into cynicism and increasingly political debate in the media. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare messaging released by the Department of Education in press releases and by The New York Times in published news content from 2002 to 2012. The study used a content analysis method with both a priori and emergent coding to evaluate the press releases and articles on a basis of tone, source content, and other factors. Research revealed that while inclusion of Department of Education information in the articles was subtle, it was nonetheless significantly correlated with article tone, subject, and subject frames. Findings showed strong influence from an elite group of education influencers, namely education beat reporters, Department of Education employees, education leaders in Congress, and certain leaders of education think tanks and stakeholder groups. Comparisons of messaging between the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations showed strong political influence as well. These findings have consequences for journalistic objectivity and the watchdog role of the media in reporting on government actions as it relates to government public relations efforts.
089. Ivy Hauser LinguisticsThe Role of Sonority in Speech Sound Inventories
Advisor: Elliott Moreton (Linguistics)
Abstract: Although the languages of the world are diverse, there exist universal principles to which all languages adhere. For example, if a language has a [z] sound it will also have an [s]. Languages have [s] without [z] but no language has [z] without [s]. However, much is still unknown about the processes which govern the structure of speech sound inventories. In phonology, sonority (roughly correlated with relative loudness) divides speech sounds into three categories: obstruents (e.g. [p t k]), sonorants (e.g. [r l]), and vowels. The existence and importance of sonority is debated, but this project provides evidence that sonority plays a role in determining the size and structure of speech sound inventories. A statistical investigation of the sound systems of over 600 languages displayed that languages structure their sound systems according to sonority of the speech sounds. Within sonority classes, the numbers of sounds in each of its subclasses are correlated, but this correlation is lost between sonority classes. For example, the number of voiced fricatives and voiceless fricatives (both obstruent classes) are correlated, but the number of vowels a languages has is not correlated with the number of obstruents the language has. These findings have implications for theoretical phonology, giving evidence for the sonority hierarchy as a phonological feature since its existence and importance cross linguistically is debated.
090. Kayleigh Reyes LinguisticsInventory Size and Complexity in the Song of the American Robin
Advisor: Elliott Morteon (Linguistics)
Abstract: This presentation will discuss the morning song of the American Robin and compare it to human speech, specifically the Size Principle, showing a correlation between element inventory size and element complexity and discussing the implications of this finding.
091. Yiyang Li Mathematical Decision ScienceSmartphone Addiction: A Media Hype or a Real Social Problem?
Advisor: Katie Walker ( Department of English and Comparative Literature)
Abstract: With everything gadgets possess to easily catch the customers? eye, smartphones are leading another persuasive technology revolution just like the laptops in the early 2000s. Basic phones should pale in comparison with smartphone devices, whose eye-catching advertisements present not only the perfect design but also the user-friendly elements including faster Internet browsers, more delicate graphic displays and world-class operation systems. Through tapping, clicking and scrolling, users experience a sense of well connectedness and novelty. However, smartphones sometimes do more harm than good. Despite the benefits of hyper-connectivity, portability and individuality, if users overuse them, smartphones could become accomplices of exposing users to distraction or addiction. Many articles confirm that smartphone users experience distraction, but none of them concludes that smartphone usage causes addiction. Meanwhile, the word ?addiction? is often attached to smartphone overuse in the media. In respond to the paradox, this research is aimed to examine the criteria of addiction from the neuroscience and psychological-behavioral perspectives in order to assess whether the various degrees of smartphone usage could fit in that category. In this paper, I use the past studies, vulnerabilities theories from brain sciences and psychological-behavioral factors to argue that smartphone addiction is a potential risk for the users.
092. Yueqin Chen Journalism & Mass CommunicationWalking Across the Wall: Changes in Communicative Behaviors of Chinese Students in the United States
Advisor: Debashis Aikat (Journalism & Mass Communication)
Abstract: The burgeoning group of Chinese students pursuing higher education in the United States poses new research questions about how their study abroad experiences reshape their values and behaviors. Based on qualitative data from in-depth interviews, this study seeks to understand how study abroad experience, especially the idea of freedom of speech, influences how Chinese students studying at U.S. higher institutions express opinions and ideas. It also explores changes in their social-media practice and other communicative behaviors. Examining the changes in these students? values and particularly their opinion expression in practice would shed light on how they might influence the formation of public opinion in China.
093. Ryan Dickey MusicAge-related Differences in Pain Recovery after MVC: A Prospective Longitudinal Study
Advisor: Tim Platts-Mills (UNC Emergency Medicine)
Undergraduate Contributors: Greg Pereira
Abstract: Persistent pain after motor vehicle collision is a major public health problem. This study aimed to determine whether older adults experience less recovery from pain than younger adults during the first six weeks after involvement in a motor vehicle collision (MVC). We analyzed data from a prospective study of European American adults presenting to one of eight emergency departments (EDs) after MVC without fracture or injury requiring admission. Pain severity was evaluated in-person in the ED and by phone six weeks after the collision using a 0-10 scale. Pain recovery was defined as pain score reported during the ED interview minus the average pain score during the past week at the six-week follow-up. Among a sample of 534 eligible patients, patients >65 years had significantly less pain recovery than younger patients (p<.01). The relationship between older age group and reduced pain recovery persisted after adjustment for patient sex, marital status, pre-collision health status, initial pain in the ED, pain in the month prior to the collision, and the severity of vehicle damage: age 18-39= 2.9 (95% CI 2.6-3.1); 40-64= 2.2 (1.8-2.6); ≥65=2.0 (1.1-2.8); p<.05. Among adults presenting to the ED with moderate or severe pain, older age was associated with reduced pain recovery at six weeks. Further research is needed to understand the psychosocial and biological factors contributing to diminished recovery from acute musculoskeletal pain due to MVC in older adults.
094. Roger Fan MathematicsModeling the Electrophysiology of Jellyfish with the FitzHugh-Nagumo Equations
Advisor: Laura Miller (Mathematics)
Abstract: The aim of this study is to model the principal features of jellyfish electrophysiology. The FitzHugh-Nagumo equations are used to describe travelling action potentials while van der Pol oscillators represent pacemakers. This model demonstrates some of the phenomena observed in the electrophysiology of jellyfish. The parameters have been tuned so that the action potentials have similar velocity and duration. An emergent property of this model is that pacemakers of distinct natural frequencies interact and adopt a similar frequency.
095. Devin Fohn NursingHippotherapy as a Rehabilitation Method for Regaining Ambulatory Function after Spinal Cord Injury
Advisor: Beth Lamanna (UNC School of Nursing)
Abstract: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a sudden and devastating neurological injury that can result in immediate and significant motor and sensory deficits and thus requires long-term rehabilitation. There exists a need for improvement in SCI rehabilitation in terms of the proportion of SCI patients who regain ambulatory function as well as in the quality of ambulatory function that is recovered. Hippotherapy is a treatment strategy that utilizes the movement of the horse to produce positive neuromuscular effects in the rider. A literature review was conducted to investigate the use of hippotherapy as a potential rehabilitation method for SCI patients regaining ambulatory function. There is evidence to support that hippotherapy may help with central pattern generator training, supraspinal cortical reorganization, proprioceptive and vestibular input modulation, attentional capacity, muscle strength, balance, coordination, muscle spasticity, and psychological well-being in SCI patients. These physiological benefits of hippotherapy are consistent with the goals of SCI rehabilitation and the physiological mechanisms required for regaining ambulatory function. Hippotherapy is unique in that it is widely well-received by patients, it is a normalizing and therapeutic activity out of the clinical setting, and it has been shown to have positive psychological outcomes. This literature review supports the need for and importance of studies of hippotherapy efficacy for SCI patients.
096. Patrick Short MathematicsAnalysis of Mitotic Spindle Mathematical Model Sensitivity using Monte Carlo Simulation
Advisor: Greg Forest (Applied Mathematics)
Undergraduate Co-Authors: Ying Zhou, Kelly Brannigan
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Dr. Greg Forest, Dr. Paula Vasquez, Dr. Kerry Bloom
Abstract: Mathematical models serve as incredibly powerful tools that provide insight into the mathematical underpinnings of a system as well as offer the opportunity to tweak parameters, fit to data, or predict real experimental results. The robustness of a mathematical model depends not only on its ability to fit to experimental data and serve as a virtual laboratory for in silico experiments, but also on the way it responds to changes in input parameters. Using an existing mathematical model of the mitotic spindle in metaphase from Stephens et al [JCB 2013], we perform a sensitivity analysis first varying input parameters independently, and then using a Monte Carlo simulation approach coupled with principle component analysis to determine the effect on system variation from each of the sensitive parameters. Our analysis identified 10 of the 14 model input parameters to be sensitive, defined as a variation of more than 10% from the expected output value over an order of magnitude variation about the model?s default input value. The Monte Carlo simulation coupled with PCA revealed that one system input, the number of molecular motors, accounted for nearly 97.5% of the system variation. These results have important implications for parameter input?highly sensitive variables must have their values confirmed by experimental evidence. Likewise, if a model is able to robustly predict experimental outcome, much can be learned from the input value of highly sensitive parameters.
097. Anne Altschul NutritionTemperament and Feeding Styles in Offspring of Women with Eating Disorders
Advisor: Cynthia Bulik (Nutrition)
Abstract: History of an eating disorder can affect both the parenting style of mothers and the behavioral development of their children. This investigation included 25 mothers with history of an eating disorder and 25 control mothers. Both groups had children 6-36 months in age. We compared laisez-faire, pressuring, restrictive, responsive, and indulgent feeding styles between the mothers using the Infant Feeding Styles Questionnaire (IFSQ). Second, we compared the temperament of the children on surgency, negative affect, and effortful control as measured by the Infant Behavior Questionnaire (IBQ) and the Early Childhood Behavior Questionnaire (ECBQ). Lastly, we determined whether differences existed in the manner in which maternal feeding style and child temperament were associated. Mothers with histories of eating disorders had significantly lower mean scores for restrictive feeding style (2.7, sd=0.5) than control mothers (3.0, sd=0.5) (p≤0.04). No significant differences in mean child temperament scores were observed. A positive association between pressuring feeding style and child surgency was observed in mothers with histories of eating disorders (0.32) whereas the association was negative in control women (-0.06) (p<0.05). Although the mechanism for this association is unclear, these findings suggest that mothers with histories of eating disorders may be more likely to resort to pressuring feeding styles with high-energy children than unaffected mothers.
098. Erica Andrews NutritionPatient perception of mid-level providers and their role in pediatric diabetes care
Advisor: Beth Mayer-Davis (Nutrition)
Graduate Student Contributors: Lindsay Jaacks
Abstract: To determine patient perception of mid-level providers, a survey was administered to SEARCH 3 Carolina Site Registry and Cohort participants with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) from June 2012 to October 2012. The survey asked about participant understanding of provider roles, employment of providers at clinic, and if participants had seen providers since diagnosis. Mid-level providers of interest were dietitians, nurse practitioners (NP), physician assistants (PA), and medical social workers (MSW). Of the sample (n=84) 45% were female; mean (SD) age 17.3 (4.2) yrs for Cohort and11.6 (3.6) yrs for Registry youth. Cohort participants (n=62) had diabetes ≥5 yrs (mean (SD) duration 80.0 (11.5) mos) and Registry participants (n=22) were recently diagnosed (mean (SD) duration 2.2 (1.1) mos). Cohort participants were more likely to understand the role of dietitians than other providers. Cohort participants reported that dietitians were more likely to be employed at clinics and dietitians were more likely to be seen than other providers. Registry participants did not differ in understanding of providers, but they reported that dietitians were more likely to be employed at clinics than PAs and MSWs and dietitians were more likely to be seen than other providers. While the role of dietitians is well understood and a majority of patients have seen them, knowledge of roles and perceived access to other providers is lacking particularly among youth with longer disease durations.
099. Mary Shen NutritionExploring the Relationship Between Stress and Weight Loss
Advisor: Deborah Tate (Nutrition)
Graduate Student Contributors: Brooke T. Nezami, Melissa M. Crane
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Deborah F. Tate
Abstract: Research shows perceived stress (PS) is related to weight gain, but few studies have examined PS during weight loss attempt. We hypothesized that higher PS would be associated with lower treatment adherence and less weight loss and we explored how change in PS during treatment is associated with weight loss.
This data is from a 4-month weight loss RCT intervention delivered via Internet and monthly in-person sessions (N=192, 46.3?10.8 yrs, BMI 37.9?8.5, 91% women, 51% African-American). Percent weight loss (WL) was calculated from measured weight and PS by the Perceived Stress Scale (range 0-40) at baseline and 4 months. Adherence was defined as website logins and group attendance. Intent-to-treat analyses (BOCF) controlled for group, race and education.
Overall, PS decreased over time (17.1?5.8 to 14.3 ?6.7). Among women (n=175), baseline PS did not predict WL (p=.56) but decreases in PS were associated with greater WL (p<.01). In an exploratory analysis of men (n=17), baseline PS predicted WL (p<.01) but there was no association between PS change and WL (p=.80). Adherence was associated with WL (p?s<.01), but baseline PS was not associated with adherence (p?s >.20).
It is unclear how PS changes affect WL as PS was not associated with adherence. Baseline PS was associated with WL among men while reductions in PS were associated with WL in women. These results suggest that the relationship between PS and WL may vary by gender.
100. Sarah Drobka NutritionAddressing Rural Health Disparities Through Policy Change in the Stroke Belt
Advisor: Alice Ammerman (Nutrition)
Undergraduate Co-Authors: Yes, Addressing Rural Health Disparities Through Policy Change in the Stroke Belt
Abstract: Heart Healthy Lenoir (HHL) Project is a community- based, participatory initiative that is a joint effort of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, and a broad coalition of local community partners. The objective of HHL is to create long-term, sustainable approaches to reduce cardiovascular disease risk and disparities in risk in Lenoir County, North Carolina. The study described here was a part of formative research for development of sustainable, community level approaches to reduce cardiovascular disease risk as part of the HHL project.
To guide local jurisdictions in making policy and environmental changes to prevent obesity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the ?Common Community Measures for Obesity Prevention? (CO- COMO), a set of 24 recommended community-level obesity-prevention strategies. For example, COCOMO strategy 6 is ?Communities should provide incentives for the production, distribution, and procurement of foods from local farms?. While there are a variety of obesity-prevention policy and environmental change strategies suggested, little is known about how feasible and acceptable such strategies are in the rural, southern United States. Local policy makers and stakeholders in rural eastern North Carolina were surveyed and interviewed to determine winnable obesity-prevention policies, from among the COCOMO-recommended strategies.
101. Rachel Johnston NutritionEating and Aging: Trends in dietary intakes among older Americans from 1977-2010
Advisor: Barry Popkin (Nutrition)
Graduate Student Contributors: Jennifer Poti
Abstract: Objective: We examined trends in older Americans aged ≥55 years (n=18,603) from 1977-2010 in calorie, macronutrient, and food group intake among US adults 55 and older.
Measurements: Dietary intake was assessed from four surveys of dietary intake from 1977-2010. Multivariable linear regression models were used to determine adjusted per capita mean energy and macronutrient intake for each survey year. Interactions were used to examine differences by age group, race/ethnicity, gender and generation. The top five food group contributors to total calorie intake were identified for each year.
Results: Mean total calorie intake increased significantly among older Americans from 1977-2010. Increases in carbohydrate intake (43% to 49% of total calories) were coupled with decreases in total fat intake (from 40% to 34%) while saturated fat (11%) remained constant. Corresponding shifts in food group intake were observed, red meat intake declined while bread and grain desserts intake increased. Cohort analysis indicated a shift from decreasing caloric intake with age to relatively stable calorie intake despite increasing age in more recent cohorts.
Conclusion: Increases in total calorie intake from 1977-2010, coupled with the finding that more recent generations did not show the expected age-related decrease in caloric consumption, raise concerns about obesity risk among older Americans.
102. Alexandra Van Vliet Peace, War & DefenseCredible Commitment Problems and Economic Power in South Africa and Zimbabwe
Advisor: Navin Bapat (Political Science)
Abstract: Wars are seen as a puzzle to scholars as they are costly, in terms of monetary costs and lives lost, yet they continue to occur at alarming rates around the world. One theory is that there are credible commitment problems that arise; this occurs when parties in a conflict have perverse incentives that would cause them to renege on a negotiated settlement. Credible commitment problems occurred in both South Africa and Zimbabwe. These two states have historical similarities that make them appropriate to comparatively analyze. Together, these two cases demonstrate my argument that the negotiated settlement in South Africa was durable due to it allowing the white minority to retain their control of the economy. Zimbabwe illustrates the opposing side to that which is that when everything is taken from a minority, the country goes into upheaval and the negotiated settlement no longer holds. Thus, credible commitment problems can be overcome in ethnic intrastate conflicts when the minority is able to have an economic counter-balance to the majority\'s political power.
103. Margo Balboni Peace, War & DefenseLocal Approaches to Women's Rights Activism in Amman, Jordan
Advisor: Nadia Yaqub (Asian Studies)
Abstract: In recent years, Western feminism has at times come under fire for imposing a false globality on the movement for women\'s rights when in fact there is an enormous diversity in the vision, strategy and tactics of pro-woman activists across cultures. This case study of a thriving women\'s rights organization in Amman, Jordan analyzed the perspectives of a group of Jordanian activists, their relationship with the local community, and the strategies which make them effective in the specific cultural context of East Amman.
The organization?s remarkably strong relations with its community are partly a result of the fact that FDA leaders frame their programs in a way that speaks to local sensibilities. By explicitly linking female empowerment to the well-being of families and key Muslim values, they are able to articulate their mission as a natural expression of local values rather than an imposition of foreign constructs. On a tactical level, the collectivist nature of Jordanian society is reflected in the holistic approach that FDA takes to serving individual women. FDA representatives engage directly and frequently with the family members, friends, and/or school directors of the women they serve.
104. Alexandru Bacanu Physics & AstronomyAmplification of Tension in Branched Macromolecules
Advisor: Michael Rubinstein (Chemistry)
Graduate Student Contributors: James Brock
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Michael Rubinstein
Abstract: The pom-pom molecule consists of two star polymers whose
cores are joined together by a linear spacer, and through steric
repulsion, the bond tension in the spacer is amplified compared to
the tension in the arms of each star. In the regular dendrimer core
of each star, the bond tension undergoes an exponential increase
from the star arms to the spacer F(g) = Fmin(f - 1)^(kg), where g
is the generation number, f is the branching functionality, Fmin
is the tension in the outermost core bond, and k is a constant
that depends upon the average branching angle. Results from
molecular dynamics simulations show that as the length, l, of
the arms is increased, the spacer bond tension increases first as
l^(0.71), and then as l^(0.11). As the number of arms, z,
is increased, spacer tension undergoes two regions of tension
amplification. In the first regime, average bond tension in the
spacer, Fsp, is proportional to Fsp = z^(0.58), where z is
the number of arms. The spacer tension in the second regime
increases proportionally to Fsp = z^(1.83)/ m^(1.19). The theoretical
values are Fsp = z^0.75/m^(0.5) and Fsp = z^(1.5)/m^(1) , respectively.
105. Hannah Nemer Peace, War & DefenseThe Impact of Idi Amin on the Mythico-History of Uganda's Abayudaya Jewish Community
Advisor: Peter Redfield (Anthropology)
Abstract: In the foothills of Uganda?s Mount Elgon rests the Abayudaya minority Jewish community. The Abayudaya\\\'s history spans just under 100 years. The founder of the community, a Ugandan who served as a Christian missionary for the British, realized that only the first testament of the bible resonated with him. Since his realization, the resulting community fluctuated in size, reaching a population of 3,000 as the dictator Idi Amin came to power in 1971. The religiously intolerant Amin decimated the community. Since Amin\\\'s 1979 fall from power, the community has continued to regenerate - now 1,500 members. The Abayudaya now celebrate their resiliency through their prayers, unique music, and stories.
This ethnographic research, based primarily on oral histories from members of the community old and young, evaluates the incorporation of Amin\\\'s history into the Abayudaya?s understanding of self in relation to the international Jewish community. By looking into the artistic and religious traditions of the Abayudaya as well as the communal efforts to grow the Judaism in Uganda (primarily through marital and reproductive traditions), this study considers how the resulting story of survival unites members of the Abayudaya community to one another as well as to global Judaism.
106. Ashley Baker Physics & AstronomySearching for Star Formation in the Smith Cloud
Advisor: Sheila Kannappan (Physics & Astronomy)
Graduate Student Contributors: David Stark
Abstract: Recent discoveries of star formation in regions previously thought impossible implies new criteria for where stars can form. The Smith Cloud, a high velocity cloud (HVC) primarily comprised of neutral hydrogen located 12 kpc away in the halo of the Milky Way, meets these criteria by having a large reservoir of gas and the tidal pull of the Milky Way as a mechanism for perturbing the gas. We obtained GALEX NUV magnitudes for stars in the field of the Smith Cloud. These sources were matched with WISE and 2MASS catalogs to obtain infrared magnitudes. We determined the expected colors of young stars in these wavelength bands using synthetic spectral libraries. By comparing the observed UV and IR colors of stars to the expected colors of young stars, while also comparing star positions to existing 21cm data, we aim to isolate possible recent star formation in the Smith Cloud.
107. Sneha Gadi Physics & AstronomyThe Effects of Crystal Solutes on the Supercooling of Deionized Water
Advisor: Stephen Shafroth (Physics & Astronomy)
Abstract: Contrary to popular belief, the supercooling of water does not require clean water to occur. In fact it can occur in a range of samples from muddy water to water with silver iodide. Furthermore, the time samples of water spend supercooled can be controlled using crystal solutes that resemble the crystal structure of ice. In this research four overall samples of water were tested: plain deionized water, salt water, water with silver iodide, and water with ice dripped in regularly. It was observed that supercooling time diminishes as the solute\'s crystal structure approaches that of ice. The principle that governs this finding and is explored qualitatively and quantitatively in this experiment is that when water contains solute with ice-like crystal structure, congregation of water molecules near these nucleation sites encourages more rapid freezing. As a result, supercooling can be shortened or even completely turned off with the addition of certain solutes. This important finding can allow for control over the supercooling of water, which is remarkable since water prefers supercooling to freezing at zero degrees Celsius.
108. H. Thankful Cromartie Physics & AstronomyThe Afterglow Modeling Project and Gamma-Ray Burst-Associated Type Ic Supernovae
Advisor: Daniel Reichart (Physics & Astronomy)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Dr. Dan Reichart, Dr. Adam Trotter
Abstract: The Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) Afterglow Modeling Project (AMP) will model every GRB afterglow observed since the first detection in 1997 using all available observational data. The result will be a catalog of fitted empirical model parameters describing the intrinsic afterglow emission, and extinction due to dust and absorption due to gas along the line of sight to each GRB. This ever-growing catalog of fitted model parameters will allow us to infer the astrophysical properties of GRBs and their environments, and to explore their variety and evolution over the Universe?s history. Though GRBs are well sampled and studied, relatively little is known about the supernovae (SNe) coincident with these events that, in many cases, contribute significantly to the observed afterglow flux. Among the canonical GRB-SNe events are the type Ic SNe 1998bw and 2006aj, both of which occurred at low redshifts (z = 0.0087 and 0.033, respectively), and both of whose light curves were well sampled in time and frequency. We present empirical spectral and temporal models fit to optical and NIR photometric observations of these two SNe using our highly flexible genetic algorithm software, Galapagos. The resulting empirical model will be applied more generally in modeling SNe components of GRB afterglows at a wider range of redshifts.
109. Derrick Flakoll Political ScienceLost in the Message: Nationalist Propaganda as a Tool of Control in China
Advisor: Emi Bunner (English)
Abstract: China has an established tradition of using nationalistic propaganda -- media and educational messages intended to promote an ideal of an independent, powerful China -- as a means of controlling its populous. This paper will predict the likely effectiveness of this propaganda in the future by examining the results of its use in two case studies: the Northern Expedition of 1926-1927 and the Tibetan unrest in 2008. I will prove that in both cases, propaganda, though useful for gaining the support of the populace at first, ultimately caused a backlash against the ruling party. As such, the Chinese government should reduce its propagandistic influence on the media to preserve China?s stability and reputation.
110. Kirsten Hall Physics & AstronomyExtracting Galaxy Rotation Curves for a Dark Matter Census and Exploring Kinematic Anomalies
Advisor: Sheila Kannappan (Physics and Astronomy)
Undergraduate Contributors: Ashely Baker
Graduate Student Contributors: Kathleen Eckert, David Stark, Amanda Moffett
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Erik Hoversten, Mark Norris, the RESOLVE Team
Abstract: We are extracting galaxy rotation curves to obtain a dark matter census of the galaxies in the RESOLVE (REsolved Spectroscopy Of a Local VolumE) survey, and to identify galactic kinematic anomalies. RESOLVE is a volume-limited survey that covers more than 50,000 cubic Mpc of the nearby universe, and is composed of approximately 1600 galaxies. Using the SOAR and SALT telescopes, we are obtaining optical velocity fields of each galaxy in order to determine the 3-dimensional dynamical mass distribution in the survey volume. We compare results from the optical kinematic data with radio data from ALFALFA and supplementary GBT and Arecibo observations in order to identify and analyze any discrepancies. In addition, by extracting optical rotation curves we identify galaxies that exhibit anomalous kinematics for further investigation.
111. Alexander Loyal Political ScienceThe Decline of the Death Penalty as seen through a Legislative Perspective
Advisor: Frank Baumgartner (Political Science)
Abstract: Three decades after other Western nations abandoned capital punishment, the United States of America has finally begun to follow suit. Since support for the death penalty peaked at 80 percent in the 1980s, public support has dropped moderately. Even more notably, in the late 1990s, there began a sharp decline in the total number of death sentences. In fact, after peaking at over 300 sentences in 1997, there were only 104 sentences in 2010.
I examine America?s desire to limit the use of the death penalty since the late 1990s. The majority of the current scholarship regarding public opinion and the death penalty focuses upon judicial decisions and death sentences. I provide a unique analysis by studying the relationship between a change in public opinion and legislative bills.
I determine that all state legislatures have drastically restricted the applicability of the death penalty since the late 1990s. In fact, I illustrate that the number of bills restricting the use of the death penalty has increased significantly, while the number of expansions has decreased.
112. Joseph Heideman Physics & Astronomy3He Two-Body Photodisintegration
Advisor: Hugon Karwoski (Physics and Astronomy)
Abstract: Using a circularly polarized 30 MeV gamma ray beam at the High Intensity Gamma Source Facility at the Triangle University Nuclear Laboratory, the two-body photodisintegration of longitudinally polarized 3He will studied by measuring the spin-dependent asymmetry along with the differential and total cross sections. A highly pressurized 3He target will be used that is polarized via spin exchange optical pumping with alkali metals. The emitted protons from the photodisintegration will be detected using 72 silicon surface barrier detectors positioned in the reaction plane at 4 different angles between 45 and 120 degrees. The asymmetry and cross-section measurements will be used to test state-of-the-art three-body calculations and serve a more important goal of working towards determining the contribution of the two body threshold to the GDH integrand pion production threshold.
113. Katie Wheeler Political ScienceExplaining Litigation in the United States Supreme Court
Advisor: Isaac Unah (Political Science)
Abstract: From the 1880s until the 1950s, the number of new cases filed in the U.S. Supreme Court increased linearly and consistently. After the 1950s, the case filings increased exponentially. What accounts for this incredible increase in Supreme Court litigation? This thesis explores three different theories that have been used to attempt to explain litigation increase and applies them to the Supreme Court. The institutional theory holds that the Court sends signals to potential litigants through its own actions that stimulate litigation. The social development theory relies on external factors, specifically population growth and technological development, to explain increases in litigation. The political culture theory views litigation as a form of political participation and proposes that an increase in litigation demonstrates an increased desire of citizens to participate politically. Variables were chosen to represent each theory, and the explanatory power of the theories was tested through multivariate regressions. This study concludes that the social development theory proves most powerful in explaining the increase in case fillings in the Supreme Court. This implies that litigation at the nation?s highest court is indeed a symbol of social development in the United States.
114. Bryan Dworak Political SciencePatterns of Attention: Traditional and New Media
Advisor: Frank Baumgartner (Political Science)
Abstract: At the dawn of the Internet age, there was great hope for the democratic potentials of the new technology. A decade and a half after the Internet surged onto the scene, the world has witnessed a great deal of change online and it surely has been used for democratic actions. The Arab Spring was at least partially organized on social media and presidential candidates have raised record amounts online. All the while, the media has long been held to be an important actor in politics. But, the traditional media has certain limits. We are currently amidst a transition from these traditional media sources like newspapers and television news to a new media comprised of platforms like blogs and Twitter. This study is grounded in political communication literature and examines coverage in traditional media sources such as The New York Times and in new media sources like blogs and Twitter accounts. Using the measures of entropy and kurtosis and by examining the distribution of coverage towards different topics over time, the analysis finds that despite a great hope surrounding the Internet, the new media is not all that different than the traditional media. It is more of the same.
115. Mariah Moore PsychologyPersonal Intelligence in the Workplace and Relationships
Advisor: Abigail Panter (Psychology)
Abstract: The predictive ability of personal intelligence (PI), the ability to understand and apply personality-related information, was examined in relation to the workplace and social relationships. The purpose of the study was to demonstrate the usefulness of PI as an ability-based measure of intelligence, rather than as a measure of traits or personality. We predicted that the TOPI (objective test of personal intelligence) would predict job satisfaction, indicators of leadership, organizational workplace behavior, and social support more than the SEPI (self-estimated personal intelligence). The TOPI and SEPI served as measures of PI, and various relationship and job-related measures were administered. The data from 378 American participants who work full-time was collected online from Amazon Mechanical Turk. The study found mixed results, but PI strongly related to social support in general and inside of the workplace, as well as to the absence of deviant behaviors in the workplace. PI was able to predict social outcomes and workplace behaviors above and beyond the predictive capacity of general measures of intelligence, demonstrating PI?s usefulness as a novel form of intelligence. However, the study was limited by the low variance/reliability of the TOPI scores, so contrary to predictions, the SEPI related to more measures than the TOPI. The findings suggest that PI may support healthy relationships and relate to some positive workplace characteristics.
116. Zhe Zhou PsychologyRelations Between Functional Brain Connectivity and Dopamine Profiles in Neurotypical Adults
Advisor: Gabriel Dichter (Psychiatry)
Graduate Student Contributors: Cara R. Damiano, Kristin K. Sellers, Brittney Ciszek, Stephanie Miller, Eleanor Hanna
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Megan Kovac, Chris Petty, Rachel Kozink, Brett Froeliger, Francis McClernon, and Gabriel Dichter
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine relations between resting state functional brain connectivity (rsFC) and candidate genes regulating dopamine function in adults without psychopathology. We used a multilocus dopamine profile score based on COMT, DAT1, DRD2, and Taq1 genotypes to evaluate the additive effects of multiple genetic alleles conferring relatively increased DA signaling on rsFC in canonical resting state networks (the default mode network, the dorsal attention network, the executive control network, and the salience network). Our findings indicate that as dopamine scores decrease (decreased dopamine function), connectivity between regions increased. Hyperconnectivity between the temporal lobes and parietal lobes may be implicated in hallucinogenic symptoms associated with schizophrenia, while hyperconnectivity between the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex may be implicated in movement impairment. Identification of prodromal schizophrenic connectivity issues based on dopamine genotype interactions not only provides for proof of the neural correlates associated with pathological origin, but could also be implemented in identifying individuals at heightened risk for schizophrenia.
117. Connor Sullivan PsychologyPTSD Symptoms and Family versus Stranger Violence in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans
Advisor: Eric Elbogen (Psychiatry)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Eric Elbogen
Abstract: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with violence committed by veterans; however, a potential link to specific PTSD symptoms has received less attention. This paper examines the relationship between PTSD symptoms and different types of violent behavior in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. Participants were randomly sampled from U.S. military service members or national guard/reservists who served after September 11th, 2001. Data were collected at baseline and one-year follow-up from a national sample of N=1090 veterans, from 50 states and all military branches. Of these veterans, 13% reported aggression towards a family member and 9% towards a stranger during the one-year study period. Anger symptoms at baseline predicted higher odds of family violence at follow-up, both severe (OR = 1.30, CI [1.13, 1.48], p < .0001) and any (OR = 1.28, CI [1.19, 1.37], p < .0001). PTSD flashback symptoms at baseline predicted higher odds of stranger violence at follow-up, both severe (OR = 1.26, CI [1.11, 1.42], p < .0001) and any (OR = 1.16, CI [1.05, 1.28], p = .0029). Analyses revealed that males were more likely to engage in stranger violence whereas females were more likely to endorse aggression in the family context. The results provide limited support to the hypothesis that PTSD ?flashbacks? in veterans are linked to violence. The differing multivariate models illustrate distinct veteran characteristics associated with specific types of violence.
118. Brendan Yorke PsychologySocial Development of Depression under Negative Peer Moderators
Advisor: Mitch Prinstein (Psychology)
Abstract: A social developmental model that incorporates identity and social experience could provide useful insight for the prevention of adolescent depression. The protective outcomes of high ethnic identity may depend on one?s social environment. African-American and Latino-American students were asked to self-report their depressive symptoms, ethnic identity, peer discrimination experiences, and bicultural stress. Latent curve analyses were used to examine predictors of the trajectory of depressive symptoms. For all participants, under conditions of high peer discrimination, results suggest that higher levels of ethnic identity were associated to steeper trajectories of depressive symptoms. Latino Americans experienced more Bicultural Stress indicating potential differences between groups. Interventions that address depression in multicultural settings should consider an individual?s peer environment.
119. Sherifat Ademola PsychologyIntermittent Ethanol Drinking in Mice Increases Intake & Reduces Anxiety during Withdrawal
Advisor: Sara Faccidomo (Department of Neurobehavioral Pharmacology--Center for Alcohol Studies)
Abstract: The aim of the study is to verify that intermittent self-administration elicits high ethanol intake and to determine if method alters anxiety in C57BL/6J male mice. Twenty-four mice were singly caged and divided into two cohorts: ethanol drinking mice and water drinking mice. Ethanol drinking mice received 24-hour access to 20% (w/v) ethanol and water on an intermittent schedule. Water drinking mice received continuous access to water. After one month of drinking, mice were tested for signs of anxiety-like behavior during withdrawal. Testing for anxiety-like behavior were measured using an elevated plus maze and an open field. Intermittent drinking significantly promoted high ethanol intake. Mice achieved high levels of ethanol consumption, exceeding an 80 mg/dL of blood alcohol concentration. Ethanol drinking mice spent more time and made more open are entries than water drinking mice. Behavior testing results were not sufficient to suggest that the drinking method promotes anxiety-like behavior. However, trends in data were spectated and statistical analysis suggests repeated cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol reduces anxiety-like behavior during withdrawal. The findings of the study revealed that intermittent drinking is sufficient to elicit high ethanol intake in C57BL/6J male mice. In contrast to prediction, statistical analysis of the plus maze found that anxiety-like behaviors in mice were reduced during acute ethanol withdrawal.
120. Katelyn Dryden PsychologyImplicit and Explicit Gender Stereotypes and Their Relationship to Self-Concept
Advisor: Beth Kurtz-Costes (Psychology)
Undergraduate Contributors: Justin Kretzschmar
Graduate Student Contributors: Katherine Perkins, Adam Hoffman, Liz Adams
Abstract: Traditionally, boys are viewed as better in math and sports than girls. This study examines children\'s implicit and explicit gender stereotype endorsement and their self-ratings in math and sports. Fifty-seven children participated. The affective misattribution procedure (AMP) was used to measure implicit stereotypes, and children completed a paper and pencil measure of explicit stereotypes and self-concept. No correlations were found between implicit and explicit stereotypes among boys and girls, suggesting implicit and explicit views are not in accordance. However, both implicit and explicit scores were consistent with traditional stereotypes, with boys rating boys as significantly better than girls in sports, but not math. A significant three-way interaction on explicit stereotype scores showed that girls viewed girls as equally competent in math and sports, whereas boys viewed girls as better in math than in sports. Regarding gender group stereotype endorsement, boys support traditional sports stereotypes, but not traditional math stereotypes. Contrary to expectations, girls\' implicit scores showed that both boys and girls were more strongly associated with being good in sports than with being good in math. Boys reported significantly higher self-concept than girls in math and sports. Results indicate that gender stereotypes still exist, but they differ by gender. These differences potentially impact behavior within the classroom environment.
121. Victoria Greene PsychologyInvolvement of Nuclear Factor-κB in Cocaine Memory Reconsolidation
Advisor: Rita Fuchs Lokensgard (Behavioral Neuroscience)
Graduate Student Contributors: Audrey Wells
Abstract: Associations between contextual drug-paired cues and reinforcing drug properties are stored in long-term memory and strengthened by memory reconsolidation. During this process, memories are re-stored after retrieval. In disruption of this process, removing anticipatory factors of contextual cues is possible. Previous research has shown the basolatateral amygdala (BLA) is central for memory reconsolidation. It is the goal to pinpoint the intracellular processes causing reconsolidation of drug memories that promote relapse in the BLA. We hypothesized that the Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB) is required for reconsolidation of cocaine memories, and when inhibited following reactivation, context-induced cocaine-seeking behavior would reduce. Rats were trained to self-administer cocaine in a one context and then underwent extinction training, rehab, in a different context and then were briefly re-exposed to the drug-paired context (i.e., reactivation) and infused with either NF-κB inhibitor (sulfasalazine; 0.2 or 2 µg/0.5 µl/side) or 20% DMSO vehicle (VEH) into the BLA. A test of cocaine-seeking behavior in the cocaine-paired context was administered ~72 h later. During this test, previously VEH-treated rats exhibited cocaine seeking, but neither dose of sulfasalazine significantly altered responding relative to VEH. These results are useful in furthering the knowledge of how reconsolidation works on a cellular level, as future research continues to pinpoint the mechanisms involved.
122. Asif Khan PsychologyAssembly and Use of a Microfluidic Synapse Chamber for Visualizing Synapse-to-Nucleus Signaling
Advisor: Anne Taylor (Biomedical Engineering)
Abstract: Here we demonstrate the use of a microfluidic synapse chamber that allows visualization and manipulation of synapses, presynaptic somata, and post synaptic somata independently and with high spatial and temporal resolution. This technique allows as many as a hundred aligned dendrites to be locally perfused simultaneously and with precise temporal and spatial control?capabilities that are not possible using other methods of local perfusion. Applications for the synapse chamber include the investigation of local dendritic events (e.g. local translation, calcium activity) and signaling from the synapse to the nucleus. The goal of this work is to demonstrate how to assemble and culture neurons within the microfluidic synapse chamber, and present a proof-of-principle experiment by perfusing neurotransmitter, glutamate, at distal synapses and use calcium indicator dye, Fluo-4, to show calcium wave propagation from distal dendrites to the nucleus.
123. Anna Karam PsychologyFacebook and the Effects of a Media Literacy Intervention on Body Dissatisfaction
Advisor: Anna Bardone-Cone (Clinical Psychology)
Abstract: It is well known that mass media, such as advertisements, magazines and television, portray women in an unrealistic way by selecting models that are uniformly thin and beautiful, and also by using photo editing techniques to alter their faces and bodies. When women socially compare to the images they see in mass media, their body dissatisfaction increases. Many media literacy interventions have been successful in buffering this body dissatisfaction effect by raising awareness of photo-editing and unrealistic ideals of thinness and beauty. Novel forms of media, such as social networking sites like Facebook, also facilitate an environment where individuals socially compare to unrealistic images of their peers, given that individuals post only flattering pictures of themselves. This experimental study evaluated the effects of a media literacy intervention for Facebook, hypothesizing that the media literacy intervention would buffer hypothesized body dissatisfaction effects of Facebook, in particular for those directed to view attractive Facebook friends. Trend-level findings suggest that those who received the media literacy intervention and viewed attractive peers demonstrated the lowest appearance self-esteem after viewing Facebook. Future research must be conducted to better understand the effects of Facebook on body image and effective media literacy interventions for social media sites like Facebook.
124. Dillon Cockrell PsychologyNeural Circuitry of Reward Loss in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Advisor: Gabriel Dichter (UNC Department of Psychiatry)
Graduate Student Contributors: Cara Damiano
Abstract: The goal of this study was to examine the differences in neural connectivity between children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically developing (TD) children in response to the loss of potential monetary or social rewards. Reward gain paradigms have implicated the ventral striatum as hypoactive in ASD adults, though reward loss in ASD children has yet to be examined. To measure the neural responses in anticipation and outcome phases of the loss of rewards, 15 ASD children and 10 TD children performed a behavioral task during an fMRI scan in which he or she could maintain a set amount of money or see a neutral face if successful. If unsuccessful, the participant would lose a dollar or see a frowning face depending on the trial reward type. Results indicated significant hypoactivity in the dorsal striatum for the ASD group during the anticipation of viewing facial images. Results also indicated a significant interaction of thalamus activation by reward type between the TD and ASD groups. Hypoactivity of the dorsal striatum for ASD children in anticipation of avoiding social rejection suggests a deficit in learning the expected outcomes of social stimuli and response relationships. The interaction of thalamus activity between the groups may suggest ASD children are more motivated by monetary rewards and less motivated by social rewards than TD children. Future research should focus on examining these findings with larger samples and among ASD adults.
125. Michael Giordano PsychologySocial Norms Misperceptions and Longitudinal Risky Alcohol Use
Advisor: Mitch Prinstein (Psychology)
Abstract: Past research has shown that college students consistently misperceive the amount of alcohol that their peers consume; consistent with theories of peer influence, this misperception is linked to personal use of alcohol. Few studies to date have used to longitudinal design to assess how these relationships change over time, and the reciprocal effects between social norms perceptions and personal levels of alcohol use. A representative sample of 889 UNC students completed survey questionnaires during their summer orientation, and again during their first year and finally 4 years later. Risky alcohol use, social norms perceptions, academic achievement, and misconduct were all assessed. Latent growth curve modeling revealed that social norms perceptions before entering college were significantly related to baseline levels of alcohol use. Both initial levels of alcohol use and changes in alcohol use predicted later social norms perceptions. Analyses revealed that alcohol use is related to GPA; an unexpected finding suggests that perceptions of alcohol use are related to GPA. Findings underscore the importance of the transition period between high school and college and highlight the reciprocal relationship between alcohol use and social norms perceptions.
126. Ana Balta PsychologyThe Effects of Cocaine-Paired Environmental Stimuli on Impulsive Decision Making
Advisor: Rita Lokensgard (Psychology)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Dr. Xiaohu Xie
Abstract: Stimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) is critical for drug context-induced impulsive decision-making. Given that α7 nAChR is highly expressed in the OFC, we investigated the role of α7 nAChRs in the OFC in drug context-induced impulsive decision making. To this end, we trained rats to achieve stable performance on a delay discounting task, which involved lever press-based choice between a single food pellet (small reward) available immediately and three food pellets (large reward) available after a 10-, 20-, 40-, or 60-s time delay. Following Pavlovian context-cocaine conditioning, delay discounting performance was assessed in the previously cocaine-paired or saline-paired context using a counterbalanced within-subject design. Prior to testing, rats received intra-OFC infusions of vehicle (PBS; 0.5 ?l/site) or MLA (α7 nAChR antagonist; 2 ?g/0.5 ?l/site). Following vehicle pretreatment, rats exhibited greater decrease in preference for the large reward as a function of delay duration in the cocaine-paired context, relative to the saline-paired context. Furthermore, intra-OFC infusion of 2?g MLA attenuated the decrease in preference for the large reward in the cocaine-paired context, but not in the saline-paired context, as compared to vehicle. Thus, stimulation of α7 nAChRs in the OFC is critical for drug context-induced impulsive decision making.
127. Sarah Cohen PsychologyThe Predictive Role of Self-Reported Medication Non-Adherence on Transition Readiness
Advisor: Nicole Fenton (Psychology)
Undergraduate Co-Authors: Julia Whitley
Undergraduate Contributors: Karina Javalkar
Graduate Student Contributors: Nicole Fenton
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Dr. Maria Ferris
Abstract: Introduction: This investigation aimed to examine the extent to which self- reported medication adherence correlates with aspects of transition readiness in pediatric and adult patients.
Measures: The following IRB-approved measures were administered: The TRxANSITION Scale (Ferris et al., 2012), the STARx (UNC Transition Team, 2008), and the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMA)(Morisky, Ang, Krousel-Wood, & Ward, 2008).
Method: Participants were first administered the demographics and TRxANSITION scale and completed the STARx and additional demographics questions as part of an online questionnaire.
Participants: To date, 36 participants have been enrolled. Their demographic characteristics are as follows: 64% female, 44% African American, 39% Caucasian, and 11% Hispanic.
Results: Analyses were completed in SPSS and included descriptive statistics and ANOVAs. It was found that patients who self-reported missing their medications looked significantly different from patients that did not on a number of transition readiness and disease self-management domains.
Conclusion: The results suggest that patients with self-reported non-adherence to their medications are less prepared for transition and their perceived ability to transition is also lower.
128. Keona Perry PsychologyRole of dorsal hippocampus in cocaine cue and contextual memory reconsolidation
Advisor: Rita Lokensgard (Psychology)
Graduate Student Contributors: Kati Healey
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Xiaohu Xie
Abstract: Environmental cues and contexts illicit drug craving in dependent individuals and increases the odds of relapse. Disruption of cue memories has been shown to disable drug-seeking behavior. The dorsal hippocampus (DH) is involved in the reconsolidation of contextual cocaine memories that trigger reinstatement of cocaine seeking. Prior research has focused on contextual cues or discrete cues in drug seeking behaviors, but not on the connection between drug-paired contextual cue and discrete cue memories. We hypothesized that reactivating the cocaine context and disrupting memory reconsolidation of the context, will disrupt the memory of the cocaine-paired cue. To test our hypothesis, rats were trained to lever press for cocaine infusions and a response contingent cue in a distinct context. Then, cocaine seeking was extinguished in a distinctly different context. Rats were briefly re-exposed to the cocaine-paired context, and were immediately microinfused with baclofen/mucimol (B/M) or vehicle (PBSO). Then, we tested for the reinstatement of cocaine seeking in the presence of the context and the cue separately. Pharmacological lesioning of the DH following re-exposure to the cocaine context impaired subsequent drug context-induced cocaine-seeking behavior in the presence of the context alone, but not the cue alone. Thus, contextual and discrete cues are not linked in the DH, and disruption of reconsolidation of the context will not disrupt memories of the drug-paired cue.
129. Cope Feurer PsychologyAccuracy of Stress Appraisals: Relationships between Mother and Adolescent Daughter Depression
Advisor: Mitch Prinstein (Psychology)
Abstract: Associations between maternal and offspring depression have been thoroughly established, but many questions remain as to how maternal depression increases risk for depression in youth. Evidence suggests that children of depressed mothers are exposed to elevated levels of interpersonal stress and may be at a higher risk for developing cognitive vulnerabilities to depression. Therefore, this study examined how adolescent girls appraise naturally occurring life stressors and how these stress appraisals are associated with maternal and offspring depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms in female adolescent participants and their mothers (n = 57) were evaluated at two time points separated by a 9 month interval. Adolescents also participated in a semi-structured interview at the second time point in order to assess episodes of life stress and appraisals of these episodes. In accordance with our hypothesis, elevated appraisals of stress restricted to the interpersonal domain were associated with increases in depressive symptoms in the youth. Additionally, elevated appraisals of interpersonal stress moderated the relationship between maternal and youth depressive symptoms. Maternal depression was not related to the way in which youth appraised stress. These findings contribute to interpersonal models of depression, suggesting that increases in depression are associated with stress appraisals restricted to the interpersonal domain.
130. Joseph Heffner PsychologyRelevance of Emotions in Morality
Advisor: Keith Payne (Psychology)
Graduate Student Contributors: Daryl Cameron
Abstract: Many studies have found that changing people?s emotions will change their moral judgments. We examined whether people who can skillfully differentiate between emotional states recognize and disregard irrelevant emotions and pay more attention to relevant emotions. In our experiment we did not find that individual variations in emotional differentiation moderated the relationship between disgust and subsequent moral judgments. Further examination of the data revealed consistency effects where participants used past moral judgments to inform future moral judgments. Due to the novel nature of the experiment, the small stimuli set limited the number of target behaviors participants rated. Future studies plan to expand the set to avoid such consistency effect.
Keywords: morality, emotion differentiation, intuitionist, affect misattribution, disgust
131. Kandace Thomas PsychologyRates of Social Connectedness, Social Sensitivity, Positive Emotions, and Gratitude in Panhellenic Women
Advisor: Barbara Fredrickson (Psychology)
Abstract: The National Panhellenic Conference is made of 26 organizations that form social relationships through membership in sorority chapters which influence more than 4 million women. This study investigated well-being among Panhellenic sorority women and non-Panhellenic sorority women at a large south-eastern university. The study hypothesized that Panhellenic sorority women would have higher rates of social connectedness, social sensitivity, gratitude, and positive emotions than non-Panhellenic sorority women. Panhellenic sorority women (n=48) and non-Panhellenic sorority women (n=55) completed the Reading the Mind through the Eyes, a gratitude letter, and self-reported surveys that assessed their levels of social connectedness, social sensitivity, gratitude, and positive emotions. The findings suggest Panhellenic sorority women have higher rates of social sensitivity and feel more integrated to their environment than non-Panhellenic sorority women.
132. Whitney Adams PsychologySuccess with Adolescent Girls (SWAG)
Advisor: Eleanor Seaton (Psychology)
Abstract: This study examines the relation between academic outcomes and mental health for African American adolescent females. More specifically, it is hypothesized that adolescent females who report depressive symptoms will score lower on several measures of academic outcomes. This investigation draws from a sample of 209 African-American female high school students. Academic outcomes are assessed in three domains: academic effort, academic competence and academic importance. To examine potential processes in the relation between depressive symptoms and academic outcomes this study further explores the moderating role of family configuration, grade level and self-identification. Results indicate that depressive symptoms are linked to academic outcomes. However, this relation is not affected by the proposed moderators in this sample.
133. Jeff DiBerto PsychologyEffects of the D2 Receptor Antagonist Raclopride and Agonist Quinpirole on ICSS in C57 Mice
Advisor: Rita Fuchs (Psychology)
Graduate Student Contributors: JE Robinson
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: EW Fish, CJ Malanga
Abstract: Intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) is a technique used to measure behavioral response to operant reinforcement. Reinforcement is delivered by electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle (brain stimulation reward (BSR)) following the spinning of a wheel. C57BL/6J (C57) mice were treated with the dopamine D2 receptor antagonist raclopride (0.01 ? 0.3 mg/kg, i.p.) and agonist quinpirole (0.1 ? 3.0 mg/kg, i.p.) to determine their effects on wheel spinning. Pre- (baseline) and post-treatment BSR threshold (Θ₀) and maximum response rate (MAX) were determined. Raclorpide increased Θ₀ and dose-dependently decreased MAX relative to baseline. Quinpirole had dose- and time-dependent effects on Θ₀, and biphasic effects on MAX. BSR activates the mesocorticolimbic pathway, which is a dopaminergic pathway believed to be involved in reward. This pathway rewards natural reinforcements, such as food, sex, and water, as well as non-natural reinforcements, such as drugs of abuse. ICSS can be used to quantitatively measure the rewarding effects of drugs to determine their mechanisms of action, as well as treatments for their abuse.
134. Robert Edmiston PsychologyCocaine abuse alters normal dopamine activity in the nucleus accumbens during associative learning
Advisor: Regina Carelli (Psychology)
Faculty/Postdoc Contributors: Michael Saddoris
Abstract: The nucleus accumbens (NAc) of the mesolimbic system plays an essential role in associative learning. Previous research has shown that phasic dopamine activity in the NAc correlates with the learning of associations between stimuli and natural rewards. However, it is unknown how previous cocaine exposure affects this activity. In order to test this, we used fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) in the NAc to measure the release of dopamine in response to stimulus and reward presentation during first order conditioning. In first order conditioning, animals were repeatedly presented both with a stimulus that predicted a reward and with one that predicted no reward. We found that cocaine-exposed animals were able to behaviorally associate stimulus and reward to the same degree as water-administering controls. However, phasic dopamine released in the NAc in response to reward-predictive stimuli was significantly lower in cocaine-exposed animals with than in controls. Furthermore, there was differential dopamine release to the two types of stimuli in controls, but not in cocaine-exposed animals. These results suggest that abnormal dopamine signaling in animals with a history of cocaine abuse does not impair their ability to learn simple associations between stimulus and reward. In the future, FSCV might be used to determine if the activity of phasic dopamine in the NAc accounts for the inability of cocaine-exposed rats to learn more complex, higher order associations.
135. Kelly Knowles PsychologyLaughter as a Buffer for Negative Thoughts in Anxiety-Provoking Situations
Advisor: Sara Algoe (Psychology)
Abstract: Laughter is a phenomenon that occurs in a variety of contexts and has effects at social, cognitive, and physiological levels. Laughter is linked to positive emotions, which have been theorized to broaden thought-action repertoires and build social and psychological resources; however, few studies have examined the effects of laughter experimentally. In times of anxiety, people could especially benefit from laughter. In this study, I use laughter as an intervention to reduce induced anxiety. I compare the effects of genuine laughter to those of forced laughter, relaxation, and a control condition without an intervention on subjective ratings of anxiety and cognitions. Although laughter did not affect self-reported ratings of anxiety, it significantly lessened the degree of negative thoughts regarding the anxiety-provoking situation compared to the other three conditions. Genuine laughter also reduced attentional bias toward social threat compared to the control condition, as measured by an emotional Stroop task. Future research could extend this finding by exploring the utility of laughter in a therapeutic setting with clinically anxious clients, as anxiety disorders are characterized by an attentional bias to perceived threat and inflexible, negative cognitions about situations or objects that are found threatening. Using laughter along with traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy might increase treatment success rates and overall client well-being.
136. Remi Moore PsychologyTransportation and Risk Perceptions in Individuals Varying in Numeracy
Advisor: Melanie Green (Psychology)
Abstract: In medical settings, people often base their perceptions of risk on a mix of numeric and narrative information. Previous research has shown that narrative transportation (immersion in stories) is an effective persuasive technique, and that different representations of numbers may have different effects on risk perception. However, little research has examined individual differences as a mediating factor for communication techniques, or if the transportive qualities of the narrative have an effect on risk perceptions. We investigated how individuals of varying numeracy (number literacy) and transportability (the tendency to be immersed in a story) perceived risk when exposed to both numeric and narrative information. Undergraduates (N = 218) read about a fictional disease in a 2 (narrative information: transporting or not) x 2 (risk: high or low) between subjects design. Participants answered questions about their own risk perceptions, and individual differences like transportability and numeracy. Objective numeracy did not have any effects on the primary variables, but subjective numeracy did affect responses. The results suggest that those with higher subjective numeracy more accurately assess risk when compared with those with low subjective risk, but only when information is non-threatening and when they are not influenced by high quality narratives. This study suggests that subjective numeracy is important for health decisions, even when individuals are highly numerate.
137. Jenn Nowicki PsychologyThe Effect of Temperamental Reactivity on Executive Function as Mediated by Vagal Tone
Advisor: Jean Louis Gariepy (Psychology)
Abstract: Executive function plays an important role in the development of goal-oriented abilities, which can determine the degree to which children can succeed in various endeavors throughout their lives (Brocki & Bohlin, 2004; Wiebe et al., 2011). Temperament has been shown to have an effect on executive function in previous studies (Rothbart & Bates, 2006), as has vagal tone (Hansen, Johnsen, & Thayer, 2003). This experiment examined the effect of temperament on executive function in children, while including vagal tone and RSA suppression as a potential mediating factor. This study found that though vagal tone and RSA suppression accounted for a significant amount of the relationship between temperamental reactivity, ethnicity accounted for a large portion of the remaining variance, and African American children tended to have higher temperamental reactivity and baseline RSA, and scored lower on the executive function tasks. These results may be explained by African American children being disproportionately exposed to risky environments, since high RSA under favorable environmental conditions may still result in high executive function, but high RSA in unfavorable environmental conditions increases subjects? susceptibility to low executive function scores. Future research may look to see whether a wider range of subjects? ethnicity and living environments will shed more light on the relationship between temperamental reactivity, RSA, and executive function.
138. Margaret O'Brien PsychologyLocal or global hierarchical visual processing in nine- and twelve-month old infants
Advisor: J. Steven Reznick (Psychology)
Abstract: Previous research suggests that adults see objects in their perceptual worlds first as a global whole before noticing aspects of objects? local parts, and that infants younger than 12 months see objects first as local parts before mentally ?assembling? them into global wholes. Finding when this switch occurs could be important in the field of research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) because research suggests children with ASD never make the switch, keeping their local-oriented perceptual bias as adults. This study used an infant-controlled habituation paradigm to assess local and global biases of 9- and 12-month old infants in two different ways: 1) a visual habituation procedure with images on a computer screen, and 2) a manual habituation procedure with physical toys. Local versus Global preferences were assessed using three indexes: 1) visual habituation visual attention, 2) manual habituation visual attention, and 3) manual habituation manual attention. Results suggest a slightly global preference for 12-month-olds and a slightly local preference for 9-month-olds. There is also a trend for females to become globally-oriented earlier than males and for the global bias to start earlier in manual than visual capacities. Although most of these results were not statistically significant, the trends were very promising and consistent with the previous research.
139. Allison O'Toole PsychologyThe attentional boost effect of memory across modalities
Advisor: Neil Mulligan (Psychology)
Abstract: The attentional boost effect (ABE) refers to a phenomenon in which the usual inhibitory effects of divided attention are overcome and the participants in the divided attention (DA) conditions perform just as well on tests of memory as the participants in full attention (FA) conditions on explicit tests of memory. This effect occurs when the participants in the divided attention condition are required to monitor a distracter item and respond to its change. The perceptual encoding hypothesis states that this enhancement in memory is due to an increase in perceptual processing during encoding due to the nature of the distracter task (Swallow and Jiang, 2010, 2011, 2012). This study uses visual linguistic items at encoding; Experiment 1 used a modality manipulation and a recognition test while Experiment 2 used a free recall test. The results of the two experiments are inconsistent with the perceptual encoding hypothesis and suggest that perceptual encoding does not fully account for the appearance of the ABE. Although this study suggests that the underlying cognitive processes associated with the ABE are not completely controlled by perceptual processes, thus far only visual items have been used at encoding. Further research should include a modality manipulation at encoding to further assess the modality match effect in the ABE.
140. Claire Veazey PsychologyAutobiographical Memory Development in Children: Child Auditory Comprehension & Maternal Style
Advisor: Peter Ornstein (Developmental Psychology)
Graduate Student Contributors: Hillary Langley
Abstract: Past research has revealed the positive impact that an elaborative maternal reminiscing style has on the development of autobiographical memory in children. The current study seeks to address the relationship that a child?s language comprehension has with autobiographical memory and their mother?s style of reminiscing. Using data from the Durham Child Health and Development Study, 113 children were grouped according to auditory comprehension (AC) scores at 36 months. A mother-child reminiscing task measured children?s autobiographical memory elaborations and maternal reminiscing style at 36 and 60 mo. to assess the relationship concurrently and longitudinally. Analyses revealed that (1) child AC at 36 mo. was significantly correlated with their autobiographical memory performance and maternal style at 36 and 60 mo., and (2) autobiographical memory in children and maternal style at both time-points differed significantly as a function of the child?s AC at 36 mo. Both concurrently and longitudinally, children with lower language comprehension were likely to have lower autobiographical memory performance and less elaborative mothers. In contrast, children with high language comprehension were likely to have higher autobiographical memory performance and mothers who exhibited a more elaborative style. These results emphasize a need to account for child individual differences in the relationship between maternal reminiscing style and autobiographical memory development over time.
141. Michael Lau Public PolicyNegotiations and Impacts: Exploring Collective Action in China
Advisor: Pamela Jagger (Public Policy)
Abstract: Over the course of my summer, I explored the following two main projects with the non-profit, Partnerships for Community Development (PCD) through conducting interviews as a way to explore how collective action works in China. The mission behind PCD is to ?work in partnership with disadvantaged communities and marginalized groups in China on capacity building for community-based development in a way that fosters self-reliance, reduces inequality, and respects local cultures and the environment? through the development of local development projects and initiatives in the areas of public health, environmental sustainability, and economic development. In summary, I have acquired a better understanding of the challenges in developing and implementing a project plans in Sichuan province. Additionally, I have also developed a better understanding of the importance in ensuring the involvement of the process of collective action in the development of these initiatives and projects.
142. Calyssa Lawyer Public PolicyExploring Racial Disparities in North Carolina School Discipline
Advisor: Daniel Gitterman (Public Policy Analysis)
Abstract: More than three million of America?s students are suspended at least once each year and more than one-hundred thousand are expelled, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education?s Office for Civil Rights. In addition, punitive school discipline disproportionately affects students of color and those with disabilities. This thesis applies the racial threat hypothesis to examine how race can influence the implementation of harsher school discipline. This study examines whether African-American students in North Carolina are overrepresented in school suspension data and punished more severely. This research also investigates the role of administrative discretion in school discipline. The study uses a mixed research methods design. Quantitative analysis of short term suspension data for all 115 school districts, and juvenile arrest rates for all 100 North Carolina counties, was conducted along with qualitative interviews of principals in the Durham and Wake County School districts to shed light on the research questions. The results concluded that African-American students are overrepresented in school suspension data in the majority of North Carolina districts; it also found that in the absence of outlined disciplinary sanctions for specific offenses, administrative discretion will be more pronounced.
143. Michael Little Public PolicyKindergarten Teachers' Qualifications and Student Achievement
Advisor: Douglas Lauen (Public Policy)
Abstract: This study examines the effects of various teacher characteristics on the academic achievement gains of Kindergarten students in mathematics and reading. The specific teacher characteristics of interest in this study include measures of teacher experience, degree level, certification type, and coursework concentrations in teacher preparation programs. This study adds to the current academic literature on the relationship between teacher characteristics and academic achievement by investigating effects at the Kindergarten grade level. Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) is used to estimate the effects of these characteristics on achievement gains in mathematics and reading. The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), public use data set is used to conduct the analysis.
The results of the study find that some teacher characteristics matter, yet solid determinants of teacher-quality, as measured by readily observable teacher characteristics, remain unclear.
144. Rebecca Jepson Romance LanguagesComparing native and non-native competence in Spanish: analysis of a speech sample
Advisor: Patricia Aramal (Romance Languages and Literature- Spanish)
Undergraduate Co-Authors: Katie Gutt
Abstract: In order to compare non-native and native pronunciation of Spanish, we have made recordings of ourselves and also a native speaker from Puerto Rico, saying certain words with specific sounds that we wanted to examine. We used the computer program Praat, which is a free software for acoustic analysis designed by Paul Boersma at the University of Amsterdam. The program allows you to record yourself, and then displays the sound recording in a spectrogram, which is a visual representation of the properties of the sounds.
We have chosen the words ?basta? and ?sabado?. We chose the word ?basta? specifically because it includes a fricative [s]. It also has two stops [b] and [t], and two instances of the low central vowel [a]. We also chose the word ?sabado,? because it includes a fricative and two approximants. We picked these two words because of the inclusion of the fricative in both words, and also to see how the approximants could possibly sound different when pronounced by a native speaker.
We found differences in the pronunciation of the vowels but not in the pronunciation of the consonants, as shown by the comparison between the spectrograms.
145. Rachel Cianfichi Romance LanguagesComparing native and non-native competence in Spanish: analysis of a speech sample
Advisor: Patricia Amaral (Romance Languages - Spanish)
Undergraduate Co-Authors: Spanish 376 Class
Abstract: As a part of Spanish 376, Spanish Phonetics and Phonology, research was conducted for an individual project investigating the differences in the native and non-native pronunciation of words from the Spanish language. This research was conducted using an open-source software named Pratt, which allowed for both myself and a native Spanish speaker with a Chilean dialect to record the word ?escuchar.? This word contains different classes of sounds, among which vowels, a voiceless affricate, and a fricative. An acoustic analysis through text grids in Pratt demonstrated clear differences in the native and non-native pronunciations of the word. It also further illustrated common tendencies regarding the pronunciation of different classes of sounds between native and non-native Spanish speakers, highlighting how the phonological rules of English influence non-native pronunciation of words in the Spanish language.
146. Meagan Martin Romance LanguagesComparing native and non-native competence in Spanish: analysis of a speech sample
Advisor: Patricia Amaral (Spanish)
Undergraduate Co-Authors: Hayley Scholl
Abstract: This research is part of an individual project for the course Spanish Phonetics and Phonology and looks at the processes involved in the creation and articulation of speech. In order to gain a more detailed understanding of the basic processes involved in the production of speech, we recorded two words of Spanish and compared our pronunciation with that of a native speaker from Andalusia. We analyzed the words, ?danza? and ?taza? using the Praat software. This software allowed us to create a spectrogram of our words, comparing our pronunciation of each sound to the pronunciation of our native speaker. Both of our words included sounds that are occlusive ([d] from ?danza? and [t] from ?taza?), a fricative ([θ]), and a low vowel ([a]). We are interested in analyzing both the articulation of the vowel sounds, and the articulation of the voiceless interdental fricative [θ] that our native speaker pronounces. Our preliminary analysis of our spectrograms when compared to the spectrogram of our native speaker, show that as non-native speakers we show a tendency to lengthen the vowel, holding it longer as we would in English instead of keeping it shorter, as is the case in the Spanish. As part of our project, we will also compare the F1 and F2 values for that vowel for the native and non-native pronunciations.
147. Nicolas Merritt Exercise & Sport ScienceComparing native and non-native speakers of the Spanish language: analysis of two speech samples
Advisor: Patricia Amaral (Spanish)
Undergraduate Co-Authors: Carmen Calhoun
Abstract: The analysis provided is part of my research project for the course Spanish Phonetics and Phonology (SPAN 376). A United States born non-native speaker of Spanish and a Colombian-born native speaker of Spanish have been recorded pronouncing two individual words of the Spanish language. Praat, an open-source computer software, is used to view the acoustic properties of the words. The sounds of the words can then be studied to compare both native and non-native pronunciations. The word ?capacidad? was chosen to determine if there is a difference in the pronunciations of the fricative [s] and the dental approximant. The word ?conspiraci?n? was chosen to determine if there is a difference in the pronunciations of the nasal consonant [n] and the voiced alveolar flap [ɾ] between the two speakers. As a possible follow-up to this project, I would be interested to continue studying fricatives of non-native speakers, in particular how non-native speakers acquire the interdental fricative or the apical fricative from northern Spain.