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    As Lambs Among Wolves

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    Progress Towards Efficient Means of Synthesizing Natural Product Frondosin D

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    Frondosin D is a natural product generated by the marine sea sponge Dysidea frondosa that has a litany of documented medicinal effects, including acting as a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-HIV, and tumor suppressant agent. So far, the Ovaska lab methodology has successfully utilized a tandem 5-exo dig cyclization to form the core seven membered ring in three, A-C, of the five isoforms in the frondosin family. In addition to leveraging the reliability of this approach, two major ring construction sequences, A-D-B-C and D-C-B-A, have been explored as viable pathways in synthesis efforts of frondosin D. This present study investigated variations of the D-C-B-A approach, wherein modifications to both key tertiary alcohol and tricyclic ketone intermediates were performed in order to facilitate the installation of the A ring system to the remainder of the molecular scaffold. One of these attempts appeared to be successful in affording the tetracyclic skeleton of frondosin D. It is expected that the Ovaska lab will build off the progress associated with development of the structural core, in addition to exploring the advantages of other ring construction techniques, in order to chart an efficient route towards the total synthesis of natural product frondosin D

    Para descubrir el mármol en la niebla: el teatro de Ruiz Pleguezuelos y el rechazo de la subjetivación tecnológica

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    Destacados críticos contemporáneos como Nicholas Carr, Éric Sadin y Sherry Turkle han rastreado el impacto negativo de las nuevas normas cotidianas en la comunicación cultural, haciendo hincapié en el aislamiento inevitable y el sentido de insustancialidad que resultan de la manipulación de las empresas de alta tecnología. Estas normas promueven el retiro social de los encuentros comunitarios directos, efectuado por medio de la reducción algorítmica, la forzada dependencia de las aplicaciones móviles y la digitalización generalizada de los datos de los que nuestra existencia en gran medida se supedita. En sus obras dramáticas el autor granadino Rafael Ruiz Pleguezuelos (Granada, 1974) pretende ofrecer un antídoto a lo que Sadin identifica como “la siliconización del mundo” y a lo que el mismo Ruiz Pleguezuelos caracteriza como una promesa falsa de la utopía digital, al fin de cuentas “el sueño dorado” de un dictador. Se observa que Ruiz Pleguezuelos es heredero del espíritu de José Monleón, quien reconocía el valor del teatro como bien público, cuyos espacios abiertos aportan democráticamente a los espectadores un foro de encuentro y autocuestionamiento en vez de un mercado de puro consumo vendido por las fuerzas mercantiles. Este estudio enfoca en el análisis de una de las obras extensas del dramaturgo, El pez luchador (2010) y dos de sus obras breves, Cinco luces rojas (2019) e Historia de un balcón (2020), tomando en cuenta una defensa directa del teatro realizada por el autor en forma de ensayo. Aporta una reflexión sobre un intento estético de subir por encima de lo efímero para lograr encuentros significativos entre el artista y el público y, de esta manera, fomentar el diálogo y enfrentarse a los problemas principales que, según el autor, “nos mueven por dentro.” En situaciones que desde un encuentro imprevisto entre pescadores aficionados durante la Noche de San Juan hasta los momentos de crisis que involucran a individuos que, respectivamente, esperan poder abandonar una Tierra devastada por descuido ambiental e intentan a reforzar los lazos familiares amenazados por la pandemia, las obras del autor, según Linda Materna, exponen verdades dramáticas que al rehusar la subjetivación profunda, “ayudan a transformar y liberar la conciencia individual”. Renowned critics of technology’s impact on cultural communication such as Nicholas Carr, Éric Sadin, and Sherry Turkle have decried the inevitable alienation and sense of insubstantiality that result from social manipulation and withdrawal from direct communal engagement by means of algorithmic reduction, forced dependence on apps, and the generalized digitization of the data on which our existence depends. The theater of the Spanish author Rafael Ruiz Pleguezuelos (Granada, 1974) aims to offer an antidote to what Sadin calls “la siliconización del mundo” and to what Ruiz Pleguezuelos himself has characterized as a false promise of digital utopia and, ultimately, a dictator’s “sueño dorado.” One finds in Ruiz Pleguezuelos a spiritual heir of José Monleón, who recognized the value of theater as a public good, its open spaces offering democratically for audiences a forum for encounter and self-questioning in place of a space of pure consumption ideated by market forces. My analysis of the author’s search to formulate something beyond the ephemeral and toward meaningful encounters between the artist and his or her audience to foster dialogue and confront the primary issues that, in Ruiz Pleguezuelos’s estimation, “nos mueven por dentro,” centers on one of his longer plays, El pez luchador (2010), as well as two of his teatro breve pieces, Cinco luces rojas (2019) and Historia de un balcón (2020), taking into account as well the playwright’s essayistic defense of the theater in the current historical moment. In situations ranging from the chance meeting of two amateur fishermen during the magical Noche de San Juan to moments of crisis that involve, respectively, individuals hoping to abandon planet Earth in the wake of an environmental holocaust and others attempting to hold together family ties during a pandemic, the author’s plays, according to Linda Materna, expose dramatic truths that, in rejecting hyper-subjectification, “aid the transformation and liberation of individual consciousness.

    Living Anarchism. José Peirats and the Spanish Anarcho-Syndicalist Movement

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    Different Boat: How Movement Languages Inform Experiences of Home and Place

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    The Impact of Acculturation on Chilean Immigrants in the United States

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    “Comrade Mrs. Johnson”: A Biography of Socialist Politician Olive M. Johnson

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    Write Things Right: How to Communicate Most Effectively About Climate Change

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    As the climate change crisis worsens, it is more important than ever that communicators understand the role that specific messaging plays in the formation of public opinion and the overall strength of the call for action. This study seeks to determine the most effective methods of communicating climate change-induced environmental issues to the general public to raise awareness of the issue and encourage solution-focused behavioral change. A review of current climate change communication techniques reveals that it is up to communicators to understand the limitations of their chosen media and the most effective tactics for communicating the complex issue with the goal of bridging gaps, increasing awareness, and creating lasting change. A study of one, dialogue-based form of climate change education demonstrates that new and innovative forms of communication have the potential to increase understanding of the phenomenon and influence an audience to consider pro-environment behavioral change in their daily lives. A final econometric study determines that climate change stories with statistics-based language may be more effective at increasing levels of concern and willingness to change daily behaviors than stories with more narrative language, and that the effects of a hopeful tone versus a fearful tone depend on the specific climate-change-related issue being addressed. These results stress the importance of understanding the pre-established beliefs of specific topics, the outcomes of different forms and mediums of messaging, and the impacts of language choices, when designing climate change communication around the goal of creating lasting change in public opinion and behavior

    The Role of Pic12 Proteins as Negative Regulators in the Plant Immune System

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    Protein phosphorylation mediated by protein kinases is important in plant immune signaling transduction and has been extensively investigated. The reverse action of protein dephosphorylation via protein phosphatases, however, is less understood. Based on transcriptome data, 14 tomato PP2C phosphatases were identified which may be involved in pattern triggered immunity (PTI). These PP2C phosphatases were named as PP2C immunity-associated candidates (Pic). In the context of this current project, four Pic proteins were screened for their impact on resistance to the bacterial pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst). Using loss-of-function mutants, the roles of four Pic proteins were characterized for overall impact on growth of Pst, and their possible effect on Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production or the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. Additionally, we used an agrobacterium-mediated transient overexpression approach to further examine the function of Pic5, Pic10 and Pic12 in the regulation of immune pathways. Our results showed that a loss-of-function mutation in Pic2, Pic5 or Pic10 did not significantly alter disease resistance to Pst. Also, ROS production and MAPK activation in these mutants were not affected. Interestingly, we found loss-of-function pic12 mutant had enhanced disease resistance to Pst and likely is involved with the MAPK cascade. This research can provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of the plant immune response and further inform plant breeders on ways to develop more disease resistant crops

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