• Apolipoprotein e4, cognition, and behavior in youth with Down syndrome

      Smith, R.; Edgin, J.; Department of Psychology; Department of Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences (2014-11-07)
      Given the early emergence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) related pathology in Down syndrome (DS; Trisomy 21), it is possible that changes may be evident in childhood or adolescence in Apolipoprotein (APOE) e3/e4 or e4/e4 genotypes in relation to e3/e3 genotypes. Given findings of early involvement of striatum amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide deposition in DS, we propose that a profile of executive and inhibitory control dysfunction will be found in youth carrying the risk e4 allele. From a pool of 72 children and adolescents with DS we examined a sub-sample with the risk e4 allele (n = 8; e3/e4) and without the risk e4 allele (n = 8; e3/e3). Participants were matched for age and ethnicity (range 8 - 21 years; mean age 14 years). Karyotypes were gathered from medical records, confirming a diagnosis of Trisomy 21. We collected genetic information (Oragene saliva kit) in home; they were sent to the Emory Biomarker Service Center to determine genotypes. We administered the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT-2) and a set of cognitive outcomes measures validated for Down syndrome, the Arizona Cognitive Test Battery. Results from the KBIT-2 indicated no significant differences in verbal raw score (p = 0.65), non-verbal raw score (p = 0.69), or intelligence quotient (IQ) (p = 0.32). Neuropsychological test scores did differ; with poorer performance in the e4 sample on the CANTAB Paired Associates Learning task (p = 0.05) and parent/caregiver reports of working memory (p = 0.08). Therefore, as early as adolescence some changes may be seen in e4 carriers.
    • Applying Learning Theory to the Acquisition of Academic Vocabulary

      Bourgoyne, Ashley; Alt, Mary; Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (2016-02-24)
      This study was designed to determine if high variability visual input would facilitate the development of conceptual representations of academic vocabulary for college-aged students. Students were trained on vocabulary in high- and low variability conditions. Their learning was assessed via a posttest which required them to identify both trained and novel images. Participants also rated accurate and inaccurate images on a scale of 1 to 9 (“accurate” –“inaccurate”) in order to assess their conceptual representations of the new vocabulary. Typical and learning-language disabled learners were studied in order to assess the effects of variability of input on different types of learners.
    • Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust: Decomposition in the Desert

      Aguillon, Stepfanie; School of Natural Resources and the Environment (2011-11-04)
      Decomposition, the process of breaking down organic material into its increasingly finer physical and chemical constituents, is an important component in the cycling of carbon and nutrients through an ecosystem. While ultraviolet (UV) radiation is known to be detrimental to human health, might it also play an important role in decomposition, and consequently soil fertility and land cover, in the arid southwestern US? To address this question, a 4-week field experiment was designed to quantify decomposition under contrasting radiant energy regimes at the Santa Rita Experimental Range near Tucson from July-August 2011. Velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina) leaves were placed in litterbags constructed with fiberglass mesh and plastic that was either UV transparent or UV-B absorbing. The litterbags were deployed in open areas receiving full sun or in the shaded area beneath a shrub canopy. Leaf mass loss (an indicator of decomposition rates), soil-surface temperature, levels of photosynthetically active radiation, soil moisture, and precipitation were quantified over the 4-week period. UV (present vs. absent) and radiant energy environments (open areas vs. shaded) were compared using a mixed-effect model controlling for temporal autocorrelation. Soil-surface temperatures and decomposition rates in open areas were significantly higher (F1, 64 = 89.4, p < 0.0001; F1, 97 = 4.83, p = 0.0303, respectively) than those in shaded areas, but did not differ between UV treatments (F1, 97 = 0.064, p = 0.8012). These results suggest that over a short time period, radiant energy levels influence decomposition, but via temperature effects rather than via levels of UV.
    • Assessment of the Unemployment Season in the Yuma County Seasonal Farm Worker Community

      Pecotte de Gonzalez, Brenda C.; College of Public Health, Center for Latin American Studies (2012-11-09)
    • Biopolymer Stabilization for Mine Tailings Dust Control

      Chen, Rui; Gregory, Mark; Zhang, Lianyang; Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (2012-11-09)
    • Building Digital Cultural Heritage Collections in Arizona

      Clark, Ann L.; Botticelli, Peter; School of Information Resources and Library Science; DigIn (2011-11-04)
      Arizona has an exceptionally rich cultural heritage, and yet only a small fraction of this legacy has been digitized and made available online through the Arizona Memory Project and other collections. With IMLS funding, the University of Arizona’s DigIn program is carrying out research (grant ending 2012) on digital collection development and digital curation activities in a diverse sampling of Tucson-area cultural heritage institutions, especially those representing underserved communities. We are gathering data on a range of factors influencing the decision to start digital projects, and the sustainability of digitization at a time of limited resources. Our goal is to assess the feasibility of new or expanded digital projects, and to define best practices for institutions pursuing small-scale digitization efforts especially. In this program we will share our preliminary results and discuss future efforts to advance the digitization of cultural heritage by librarians and information professionals across Arizona and the West.
    • Characterization of a Gene that Responds to Mitochondrial Retrograde Regulation in Arabidopsis thaliana

      Sepulveda, Jennifer; Rhoads, David M.; School of Plant Sciences (2011-11-04)
      The Rhoads Lab found an Arabidopsis gene (At5g40690) that encodes for a protein similar to yeast ATPase Assembly Proteins (AAPs), which is strongly increased in expression by MRR and during plant stresses such as pathogen attack. Characterization of At5g40690 will be performed by the analysis of knock out (KO) lines, constitutive expressor (CE) lines in comparison to wild-type using northern blots. If this gene is an AAP, then this will be the first AAP in plants to be extensively studied in relation to MRR and stress responses, and will provide researchers with a better understanding of MRR and define a new category of proteins involved in stress response. Findings will give a better understanding of heat stress in crops such as Zea mays.
    • Conserve to Enhance: An Innovative Mechanism for Environmental Benefits

      Choate, Brittany Lynn; Nadeau, Joanna; Rupprecht, Candice; Lien, Aaron; Megdal, Sharon B.; Water Resources Research Center (2011-11-04)
      Arizona’s riparian ecosystems have been susceptible to degradation because state water laws do not consider environmental water needs. This lack of legal authority has led to water being diverted away from desert waterways through surface water and groundwater withdrawals (Megdal et al. 2011). To help bring the environment to the table as a water using sector, the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) has developed the Conserve to Enhance (C2E) program. C2E is an innovative water conservation mechanism that addresses ecological water needs by raising funds through individual donations for river and riparian enhancement projects. The C2E Program invites community members to implement water conservation methods, track their monthly water savings through a Water Conservation Calculator, and then donate those savings to a C2E fund. Tucson is home to the first C2E Pilot Program, which began January 2011 with 60 participants. The goal is to determine if a program like C2E would be successful at a larger, city-wide scale and if such a program is applicable for other water-scarce communities in the Southwest.
    • Database Forensics in the Service of Information Accountability

      Snodgrass, Richard; Pavlou, Kyriacos; Department of Computer Science (2011-11-04)
      Regulations and societal expectations have recently expressed the need to mediate access to valuable databases, even by insiders. At one end of the spectrum is the approach of restricting access to information and on the other that of information accountability. The focus of the proposed work is effecting information accountability of data stored in databases. One way to ensure appropriate use and thus end-to-end accountability of such information is tamper detection in databases via a continuous assurance technology based on cryptographic hashing. In our current research we are working to show how to develop the necessary approaches and ideas to support accountability in high performance databases. This will include the design of a reference architecture for information accountability and several of its variants, the development of forensic analysis algorithms and their cost model, and a systematic formulation of forensic analysis for determining when the tampering occurred and what data were tampered with. Finally, for privacy, we would like to create mechanisms for allowing as well as (temporarily) preventing the physical deletion of records in a monitored database. In order to evaluate our ideas we will design and implement an integrated tamper detection and forensic analysis system. This work will show that information accountability is a viable alternative to information restriction for ensuring the correct storage, use, and maintenance of databases.
    • Deposition of CuInS₂ Absorber Layer for a Prototype Solar Cell

      Fang, Yizhou; Jiang, Feng; Muscat, Anthony J.; Chemical and Environmental Engineering (2011-11-04)
      A copper indium disulfide (CuInS₂ or CIS) film could potentially be used as the absorber layer in a solar cell that converts solar energy into electricity. CuInS₂ was chosen to lower the cost and environmental impact of manufacturing as an alternate to Si solar cells. The objective of this project is to deposit a uniform CuInS₂ film with a thickness of 2-3 μm. Both spin-coating and painting methods were compared. The substrate, oxidation method, and sulfurization temperature were varied and characterized.
    • Design and fabrication of a preclinical adaptive SPECT imaging system : AdaptiSPECT

      Chaix, Cécile; Kovalsky, Stephen; Kupinski, Matthew A.; Barrett, Harrison H.; Furenlid, Lars R.; College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona; Center for GammaRay Imaging, Department of Medical Imaging, University of Arizona (2014-11-07)
    • Design and Synthesis of Triazabutadiene-based Fluorogenic Probe for Tyrosine-Specific Labeling of Proteins

      Shadmehr, Mehrdad; Jewett, John C.; Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (2016-02-24)
    • Different Faces, Different Voices: A Film Analysis of Power Imbalance in Gender-Dominated Societies

      Diaz, Kassandra; Department of Physiology (2014-11-07)
      No amount research need be referenced to justify the consensus that a power differential exists among women and men. The outcome that this power differential has created, however, varies from one society to another. The role of women in male-dominated societies is deconstructed through two films, each situated in the drug trafficking industry—one set in Latin America and the other in the United States-Mexico border. While substantial literature explores the gender power differential in the United States and developing countries, little attention is given to the impact of gender participation in the developing world. Each of these countries has diverse expectations with gender politics; that is, some countries have women as leaders in suffrage reforms and corporations, while women in other countries are not even granted the right to divorce. This paper examines the relationship between gender participation of women and their defiance of the power differential as depicted in the Brazilian film City of God and the American film Traffic. While no evidence is independently presented that economic development provides a basis for equal participation, the most important factors such as gender violence and civil liberties provide a means of understanding the gender gap from a sociopolitical perspective.
    • Dynamic changes of RNA-sequencing expression for precision medicine: N-of-1-pathways Mahalanobis distance within pathways of single subjects predicts breast cancer survival

      Schissler, Grant A.; Li, Qike; Gardeux, Vincent; Achour, Ikbel; Li, Haiquan; Piegorsch, Walter W.; Lussier, Yves A.; GIDP Statistics (2016-02-24)
      Motivation: The conventional approach to personalized medicine relies on molecular data analytics across multiple patients. The path to precision medicine lies with molecular data analytics that can discover interpretable single-subject signals (N-of-1). We developed a global framework, N-of-1-pathways, for a mechanistic-anchored approach to single-subject gene expression data analysis. We previously employed a metric that could prioritize the statistical significance of a deregulated pathway in single subjects, however, it lacked in quantitative interpretability (e.g. the equivalent to a gene expression fold-change). Results: In this study, we extend our previous approach with the application of statistical Mahalanobis distance (MD) to quantify personal pathway-level deregulation. We demonstrate that this approach, N-of-1-pathways Paired Samples MD (N-OF-1-PATHWAYS-MD), detects deregulated pathways (empirical simulations), while not inflating false-positive rate using a study with biological replicates. Finally, we establish that N-OF-1-PATHWAYS-MD scores are, biologically significant, clinically relevant and are predictive of breast cancer survival (P<0.05, n¼80 invasive car- cinoma; TCGA RNA-sequences). Conclusion: N-of-1-pathways MD provides a practical approach towards precision medicine. The method generates the magnitude and the biological significance of personal deregulated pathways results derived solely from the patient’s transcriptome. These pathways offer the opportunities for deriving clinically actionable decisions that have the potential to complement the clinical interpret- ability of personal polymorphisms obtained from DNA acquired or inherited polymorphisms and mutations. In addition, it offers an opportunity for applicability to diseases in which DNA changes may not be relevant, and thus expand the ‘interpretable ‘omics’ of single subjects (e.g. personalome).
    • Epigenetic loss of SLIT2 leads to an autocrine-to-paracrine switch of the SLIT2/ROBO1 signaling axis in pancreatic cancer

      Rheinheimer, Brenna; Vrba, Lukas; Futscher, Bernard; Heimark, Ronald; Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program; Arizona Cancer Center; Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Arizona Cancer Center; Department of Surgery and Arizona Cancer Center (2012-11-09)
      Guidance molecules from the Netrin, Slit, Ephrin, and Semaphorin gene families were originally described as cues for the directional guidance of axons in the developing nervous system. More recently, members of these families have been found to have critical roles in epithelial development, angiogenesis and cancer. The SLIT2/ROBO1 signaling axis has properties of a potential tumor suppressor pathway via the inhibition of epithelial cell growth, directional migration, ductal morphogenesis, and is epigenetically silenced in lung, colon and breast cancers. We proposed that changes in SLIT2 and ROBO1 expression in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma may mediate ductal expansion following the conversion of PanIN precursor lesions to invasive carcinoma. The SLIT2 receptor, ROBO1, is a member of the immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily and is required for lung and mammary development in mammals. ROBO1 has an alternative splice variant, DUTT1, and these two variants have different initial exons and initiating codons which may suggest the two proteins have distinct functions. In our studies, we found that all pancreatic cancer cell lines and primary pancreatic cancer specimens express only the DUTT1 isoform. We also determined that as pancreatic cancer cell lines become KRAS-independent, ROBO1 expression increases. Furthermore, using immunohistochemistry (IHC), we found that ROBO1 protein expression in primary pancreatic cancer tissue specimens is localized to the ductal compartment with no stromal staining seen. In normal pancreas, ROBO1 expression is weak while its ligand SLIT2 is strongly expressed in both the acinar and ductal compartments in vitro and in vivo. Mammals encode three SLIT genes (SLIT1-3). The secreted SLIT2 protein is not diffusible, but has a cleavage site within its EGF-like repeats creating two fragments which allow it to act either as a short or long range guidance cue with each fragment appearing to have its own cell-association characteristics. The 5’ promoter of SLIT2 has been shown to be methylated resulting in gene silencing in early stages of several epithelial cancers suggesting a possible tumor suppressor role. miR-218-1 is an intronic microRNA found between exons 15 and 16 of the SLIT2 gene and targets a complimentary sequence in the ROBO1 3’ untranslated region (UTR) indicative of a potential regulation of receptor availability in the presence of ligand. In our studies, we determined that the KRAS-dependent pancreatic cancer cell lines express SLIT2 and ROBO1 in a cell autonomous manner. The KRAS-independent cell lines, however, have silenced SLIT2 and miR-218-1 expression. Using IHC we found that high levels of SLIT2 are seen in normal pancreas localized to the acinar and ductal compartments. Reduced SLIT2 expression is seen in primary pancreatic cancer tissue specimens. We confirmed that loss of SLIT2 mRNA in KRAS-independent lines was due to DNA hypermethylation shown by methylation specific PCR and Sequenom analysis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis shows that silencing histone marks are found in the 5’ promoter of the SLIT2 gene in KRAS-independent lines. Treatment with demethylating agents reactivate SLIT2 and miR-218-1 expression suggesting that epigenetic mechanisms controlling the SLIT2 promoter also regulate miR-218-1 expression. Overall, our data establishes that the SLIT2/ROBO1 signaling axis is a dynamic pathway in pancreatic cancer that can act in the tumor expansion and progression along intrapancreatic neurons that express the SLIT2 ligand.
    • Evaluating Educational Programs for the Children of Seasonal Labor Migrants in India

      Reed, Megan; International Studies (2011-11-04)
      The research examines a government educational outreach initiative for the children of migrant brick kiln workers in Western India. Through interviews with government officials, parent and para-teacher surveys, and participant observation, the researcher was able to compare the pilot initiative in Bhilwara district, Rajasthan with one in Gandhinagar district, Gujarat. The research highlights some of the impediments faced with planning education for migrant children and provides recommendations for the future of the program in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
    • Exploring Holistic Approaches to the Characterization of Particles in the Environment

      Anhalt, Ashley; Peterson, Tawnya; Tratnyek, Paul; Needoba, Joseph; Mather, Amanda (2011-11-04)
      Most of the main determinants of water quality either consist of, or are controlled by, particles. Previous water quality research has focused on particular particles in isolation or in binary combinations. In this project, we are taking a holistic approach to the characterization of the particle load in water, focusing on the collective properties of the particles rather than individual components. Because the characterization of particles is often time-consuming, applying an informatics-based approach could speed up the evaluation of water quality and the assessment of treatment effectiveness. Further, the breadth of potential changes that could be detected using this multiplex approach may far surpass the abilities of current approaches to monitor threats to water quality. Among the instruments capable of rapidly detecting and manipulating cells is imaging flow cytometry, which distinguishes cell shape and unique fluorescence properties associated with cell types. Sets of images and corresponding data from a 1.5-year time series of samples from the Columbia River were studied and the different particle properties analyzed. Principal Component Analysis (Empirical Orthogonal Function analysis) was applied in order to reduce the number of variables and identify patterns in particle characteristics when compared to environmental data collected from the observation station. The first three principal components were extracted and the dominant characteristics identified: the most prominent variables are particle size, particle color, and fluorescent qualities (transparency and phytoplankton pigments). Further work will relate these top principal components to specific environmental factors that determine water quality.
    • Finding Family Health Solutions within the Bhutanese Refugee Community

      Demers, Deirdre; Heckert, Karen A.; Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (2011-11-04)
    • The Influence of the Built Environment on the Use of Greenspace and Wellbeing

      Zuniga Teran, Adriana; Arid Lands Resource Sciences (2014-11-07)