Student Scholar Showcase 2009

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    Entrepreneurship in the Life Sciences: Case Study Analysis of Minnesota, North Carolina and Kansas
    (2009-10-07) Hanzlik, Matthew
    The life sciences industry is a source of innovations in health, agriculture, and industrial technology. New life sciences businesses create high paying jobs, contribute to local economies, and develop innovations that can benefit society. The life sciences industry encompasses multiple, research-intensive industries. Due to the research-intensive aspects of the life sciences businesses, creating a new life science business is a difficult process. State governments interested in facilitating growth of their life science industry have developed strategies to make starting a life science business easier. Previous research has identified multiple factors that are required to start a research-intensive business. This research will apply those factors in a case-study analysis of Minnesota, North Carolina and Kansas, three states with life sciences industries at various stages of development. The research will explore specific state-level policies in each of these states aimed at facilitating entrepreneurship in the life science industry, highlighting the policy development process and measureable outcomes.
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    Adaptation: Culturally Sensitive Housing for Mexicans and Universal Design
    (2009-10-07) Karnes, Carol
    The Mexican population in Minneapolis has a unique cultural identity. They struggle with negative influences: economic inequality, language barriers, discrimination, and the reality of being a displaced people. They have strong cultural links. Adapting to life in the United States can be challenging for these people. Creating an affordable housing solution that gives them pride, helps them integrate, and provides them the opportunity to express their cultural identity is important. Being cognizant of the unique needs of culturally sensitive populations and implementing universal design solutions into the design of a single family residence was the primary outcome of this project.
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    Homelessness and End of Life Care: A Qualitative Analysis of the Living Wills of Underprivileged Individuals
    (2009-10-07) Grengs, Leah
    The major objective of this study is to test an advance directive (AD) intervention in the homeless population of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This project will address the end of life (EOL) concerns of homeless people and provide the basis to test the needs of others who are separated from their loved ones and/or experience episodic healthcare.   Estimates of the number of homeless people in the United States range up to several million. In the Twin Cities metro area over 4,000 youth and adults are in temporary housing programs and over 600 are unsheltered.   “Homeless” is defined as having no regular place to live (i.e. having to stay in a shelter, a hotel paid for with a voucher, a friend’s house, an abandoned building or outdoors).   Among disadvantaged populations, homeless individuals experience the greatest risk of death, barriers to healthcare and lack of resources and close relationships deemed necessary for proper EOL care.   Homeless individuals are admitted to the emergency room and hospitalized at almost four times the rate of the general population of the United States.   Although homeless individuals experience such high rates of mortality and hospitalization, their attitudes, values and desires regarding EOL care had yet to be studied. Their concerns have generally been ignored, since most EOL care has focused on the concerns of the white middle class. In general, homeless people have been found to be very willing to describe their preferences and concerns and eager to have a voice in what the future may bring in the event of serious illness or death. Homeless people have been found to have very unique concerns regarding healthcare and EOL care, since they frequently witness sudden and violent death on the streets.
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    Modeling the Response of Arctic Vegetation to Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Climate Change
    (2009-10-07) Cassidy, Emily
    An increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is contributing to planetary warming that is strongest over high latitude land areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and strong warming have led to changes in vegetation distribution, permafrost depth, and snow cover, which significantly affect the interactions between terrestrial ecosystems and the climate through biophysical and biogeochemical processes. With a continued rise in greenhouse gas emissions and additional warming in the high latitudes, uncertainty exists as to how the Arctic biosphere will respond in the coming decades and whether Arctic ecosystems will remain a carbon sink or instead become a source of carbon to the atmosphere. Elevated carbon dioxide and climate change can affect vegetation growth through changing the assimilation of carbon dioxide and the respiration of carbon from the vegetation and soil. Using a dynamic global vegetation model (IBIS), potential changes in both the biophysical and biogeochemical processes of Arctic vegetation were analyzed to determine how future climate change and elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide may alter their functioning and ability to store carbon.
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    Complex Visual-Spatial Reproduction and Recall: Effects of Individual Differences and Information Processing Strategy Instructions
    (2009-10-07) Feijo, Alana M.
    This project has two AIMS: (1) To examine the effects of personality traits on copy and recall measures of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure (ROCF) Test. For example, does perfectionism influence the amount of time that individuals take in the copying portion of the ROCF? (2) To examine if performance accuracy on the ROCF is differentially affected by information processing strategy instructions that encourage participants to use relatively more analytic/controlled vs. nonanalytic/intuitive thinking, or to try to use both modes of thinking.
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    The Politics of Space Dominance: Weaponizing Orbital Space
    (2009-10-07) Zimmerman, Joseph
    Throughout history, warfare has essentially been based on the holding or taking of one’s position on land, water, and just recently in the air. In today’s world the new frontier of orbital space is slowly becoming the latest addition to this list of the precious places which are vehemently fought over by humans. Satellites are now the foundation on which commerce, communication, warfare and other vital domains are built. To protect the United States’ space systems, the Department of Defense (DOD) is funding several programs which have the objective to keep space a safe place for the United States to operate. These purpose of these programs can be called Space Control, and the aim in my research was to discover as much as I could about these programs. The funding for these programs is somewhat large yet not enormous, with the amount of money requested for RDT&E in Space Control at approximately $2164.1 million, which is 13.4% of the requested funds for RDT&E of Space Weapons as a whole. Of the programs devoted to this field, three programs stand out as being on the cutting edge, yet they are also representative of Space Control as a whole. These programs are Counterspace Systems, Front-end Robotics Enabling Near-term Demonstration, and Starfire Optical Range. In this poster I will go into detail about Counterspace Systems, Front-end Robotics Enabling Near-term Demonstration (FREND), and Starfire Optical Range. Counterspace Systems and Starfire Optical Range are Program Elements of the United States Air Force, meaning they consist of multiple projects while FREND is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program which does not consist of any other programs besides itself. I also summarize six other programs, of which five are USAF Program Elements and one is a DARPA program. After that I put these and Space Control in context with other Space Weapon applications and the Department of Defense. At the end I theorize about the outlook for the future of Space Control of the future of this research project. All monetary figures used are for Fiscal Year 2009.
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    Lead from Spent Ammunition: A Source of Poisoning in Bald Eagles
    (2009-10-07) Cruz, Luis; Redig, Patrick T.; Smith, Donald R.
    A 12-year (1996-2008) retrospective study of lead poisoning in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was conducted to test the hypothesis that spent lead from ammunition, present in the carcasses and gutpiles of white-tailed deer, represents an important source of lead exposure. Sample size consisted of n=300 lead poisoning cases from 1,150 eagles admitted.
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    Visualization of Pulsating Low-Speed Flows from a Basic Annular Jet
    (2009-10-07) Padron, Santiago
    Flow in the initial region of a pulsating low-speed annular water jet issuing into a quiescent water reservoir was visualized by means of a dye. The objective of this study was to characterize the different flow regimes as a function of pulse frequency. The blocking ratio was fixed at 0.7. The Reynolds number was varied from 59 to 155 and the Strouhalnumber from 0.133 to 1.90. For the experimental conditions considered, two different flow regimes were observed.
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    Multivariable Analysis of Hard Anodization
    (2009-10-07) Norby, Gregory
    Anodized Aluminum Oxide (AAO) nanopores are used as molds in the electrodeposition of metal nanowires. The diameter of the pores can greatly affect the wires’ properties. The Hard Anodization (HA) method was employed: higher 2nd anodization voltage, faster sample production. The 1st and 2nd anodization steps were analyzed: powerful effect on diameter, relative lack of understanding of their effect with HA.
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    Predicting Limited Health Literacy in Probability and Convenience Samples of ED Patients
    (2009-10-07) Olives, T.; Patel, S.; Patel, R.; Hottinger, J.; Miner, J.
    Health literacy is the "capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” More than 90 million US adults possess limited health literacy, and are at risk for increased emergency department (ED) usage, prolonged hospitalizations, increased health care costs and medication noncompliance. Risk factors for limited health literacy include advanced age, lower educational background, lower socioeconomic status, and non-Caucasian ethnicity. Recent studies have demonstrated that up to 25% of urban ED patients possess limited health literacy skills. We sought to determine the prevalence of limited health literacy among patients in an urban ED and its association with sociodemographic variables. We also sought to assess differences in findings across probability (random) and convenience (non-random) samples, in order to estimate the importance of the logistically more difficult probability sampling technique.
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    Continuous Measures of Children's Speech Production: Visual Analog Scale and Equal Appearing Interval Scale Measures of Fricative Goodness
    (2009-10-07) Urberg-Carlson, Kari Elizabeth; Munson, Benjamin; Kaiser, Eden A.
    Children acquire speech sounds gradually, but the primary tool used to assess speech development, phonetic transcription, is by definition categorical. This presentation is part of a larger project, one of the goals of which is to develop novel perceptual methods for assessing children's speech production that capture continuity in speech-sound development.
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    Regulation of Human HRAS1 Minisatellite Stability During Stationary Phase
    (2009-10-07) Brosnan, Laura
    Minisatellites are repetitive tracts of DNA with repeat units ranging from 16-100 base pairs in length. They are stable during mitosis but display changes in repeat number and order after meiosis. Rare alleles of minisatellite tracts thought to arise from repeat instability are associated with human diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and epilepsy. The stability of minisatellites in non-proliferating stationary phase cells is not well understood. Previous work has shown that the zinc transporter ZRT1, the checkpoint gene RAD53, the DNA repair gene RAD27, the endocytosis gene END3, and the protein kinase PKC1 regulate the stability of minisatellites in S. cerevisiae during stationary phase. We inserted the human minisatellite associated with HRAS1 into the ADE2 gene to determine how its stability is regulated during stationary phase. Loss of ZRT1, RAD27, or RAD53 destabilized the minisatellite; loss of PKC1 or END3 had no effect. This work contributes significantly to our understanding of repeat stability and genome stability during stationary phase; this has important implications for human genome stability, since most human somatic cells are non-proliferating.
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    EPR Analysis of Myosin Structural Dynamics
    (2009-10-07) Harris, Robert
    The structural dynamics of myosin during muscle contraction can be discerned in situ through site directed spin labeling of myosin and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. To achieve in situ measurements, spin labeled myosin regulatory light chain (RLC) is exchanged for endogenous RLC in rabbit psoas fiber bundles. In order to ensure the structural integrity of exchanged muscle fibers, functional measurements must be done before and after exchange. After verifying function after RLC exchange, we can use EPR to measure the orientational dynamics of the RLC in a variety of states during muscle contraction.
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    Using Virtual Reality Environments for Medical Devices Design
    (2009-10-07) Konchada, Vamsi; Coffey, Dane; Borazjani, Iman; Sotiropoulos, Fotis; Erdman, Arthur; Interrante, Victoria; Keefe, Daniel F.
    There is an urgent need for improved design methodologies and tools that give designers meaningful and accurate feedback early in the design process; virtual reality can be used to fill this need.  Virtual reality provides a highly engaging environment that allows user to experience and comprehend abstract concepts.  It can allow designers to broadly explore the space of potential design alternatives, and to expand the boundaries of complex designs that are possible given today's computer assisted tools.  Medical device researchers seek to better understand the complexities of cardiac anatomy, visualize how surrounding structures affect device function and deployment, and ultimately design more effective devices. Virtual representation combines visual graphics, virtual reality applications, finite element analysis based on the architecture of a 3D model. Introducing virtual reality based tools into the process of medical device design can significantly improve the process. We present our initial work aimed at developing new immersive visualization and interactive design tools for improving the medical device design process. Our initial work focuses on developing 3-dimensional visualizations of simulated blood flow through mechanical heart valves. Our goal is to develop 3D user interfaces for refining medical device designs within the context of patient-specific anatomy and simulated flow data.
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    Gender Differences in Developing Romantic Relationships: Intimacy and Commitment
    (2009-10-07) Steele, Ryan D.
    Are there gender differences in the relation between adolescent romantic relationship intimacy and later romantic relationship functioning?
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    The Perception of Vietnamese-American Women Towards Cervical Cancer and Prevention Methods
    (2009-10-07) Nguyen-Tran, Thuy Duong
    The purpose of this project was to learn about the perceptions Vietnamese-American women have towards cervical cancer and prevention methods. In addition, this project sought to better understand barriers Vietnamese-American women may have in receiving preventative care, such as Pap tests, and ways to increase awareness and usage of preventative medicine.
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    Quantative Intra-operative Disc Volume Measurement to Provide Guidelines for Spinal Fusion Surgery
    (2009-10-07) Hendricks, Alex J.
    Spinal fusion surgery has shown to be an effective treatment of lumbar instability, deformity, and debilitating lower back pain when unresponsive to non-surgical techniques. Spinal interbody fusion involves the removal of the intervertebral disc and scraping of the bony endplates to promote fusion of the vertebrae across the disc section after cages or screws are inserted. The most common techniques for interbody fusion include: Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) and Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF). For these procedures, in vitro models have shown that disc removal greater than 30% is needed to promote fusion supporting loads greater than 600N. Unfortunately, no clinical validation exists comparing disc volume removed to clinical outcomes. The objective of this study was to identify the relationship between the percentage of disc material removed intra-operatively and clinical outcomes for interbody fusion procedures.
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    The PKC Inhibitor Gö 6976 Blocks C-Type Natriuretic Peptide Activation of Guanylyl Cyclase B
    (2009-10-07) Lou, Xiaoying
    This study characterizes the effects of the widely used protein kinase C inhibitor, Gö 6976, on NPR-B guanylyl cyclase activity as a means to identify its inhibitory mechanisms.