Murray State University

    Environmental Pollutants and Obesity: Effects on Circulating and Bone Marrow Endothelial Progenitor Cells

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    Environmental air pollutants, such as fine particulate matter (PM2.5), are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. Obesity is an emerging epidemic in the United States and is associated with increased risk for the development of diabetes and CVD. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) contribute to endothelium health and are important in angiogenesis and endothelial repair, and the levels of EPCs in the blood are a prognostic indicator for cardiovascular health. This study was designed to investigate the effects of diet induced obesity (DIO) and exposure to PM2.5 on murine endothelial progenitor cell populations. C57BL/6 mice were exposed to concentrated air particulate matter (CAP, 6-10x concentrated ambient PM2.5, 6h/d, 4, 9, or 30 days), and/or fed high fat diet (60% kcal from fat, 4 or 12 weeks). Mice exposed to PM2.5 showed a significant decrease in peripheral blood EPC (PB EPC) levels, measured as Flk-1+/Sca-1+ cells by flow cytometry. The decrease in circulating EPCs was accompanied by an increase in bone marrow derived cells (BMDCs), positive for Flk1+/Sca-1+ and DiI-acLDL+/UE-lectin+ as measured by immunoflourescence microscopy. DIO also decreases PB EPC levels, and increases the number of bone marrow derived Flk-1+/Sca-1+ and DiI-acLDL+/UE-lectin+ cells. When high fat fed mice were exposed to PM2.5, we found a decrease in PB EPCs, along with an increase in BMDCs. However, combination of PM2.5 and HFD had no significant additive effect on EPC numbers. These results indicate that PM2.5 and DIO impair EPC mobilization from the bone marrow in a similar, non-additive way

    Psychophysiology Internship with the Sydney Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Research and Teaching Unit

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    This poster focuses on my experiences with the Sydney Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) Research and Teaching Unit at the University of Sydney in Australia. The SCAN Unit is a psychophysiology laboratory with members researching topics including heart rate variability (HRV), event-related brain potentials, electrocardiography, electroencephalography, and perception. While working with the SCAN Unit, I completed literature reviews on specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the brain and body to analyze their relationship with mood disorders and affect. In regards to experiments, I was involved in a design measuring how bimodal and unimodal stimuli of light and/or sound, with varying amounts of time lapsing between, may affect the perception of a participant. Additionally, I was involved experimentation focused on HRV and whether unmedicated patients with major depression disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or posttraumatic stress disorder, suffer from reduced HRV independent of medication. While these experiments are ongoing, the data express support for the hypotheses. In particular, the heart rate variability experiments could potentially lead to important discoveries that further tie the psychology field to the medical field and clinical aspects. Current studies are indicative of helping change how we measure the risk for myocardial infarction and heart disease

    Study 2 (Henderson): 3-Nitrotyrosine as an Oxidative Stress Indicator in Wistar Rats Involving Moderate Traumatic Brain Injuries for Proteomic Analysis

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    As a biomarker of nitrosative stress, elevated levels of 3-Nitrotyrosine (3-NT) signify the presence of oxidative stress and decreased levels of antioxidant enzymes. Since TBI is profoundly related to oxidative stress, 3-NT can be utilized as in vivo marker of oxidative nitric oxide damage following TBI. By using a moderate traumatic brain injury model with Wistar rats, it is hypothesized that formation of 3-NT as an intermediate will predict the involvement of protein nitration and oxidative stress in the brain. In this experiment, the levels of 3-NT were significantly elevated in TBI injured, saline treated rats compared to those who sustained an injury and were treated with the glutathione mimetic, GCEE, providing insight into the relationship between protein nitration and oxidative stress

    Cold Molecular Gas in the Diffuse Interstellar Medium

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    Stars form during the collapse of cold, dense interstellar clouds. To learn more about the conditions that precede star formation, we wanted to know how such dense clouds form in turn from the ambient interstellar medium. A key step in this process is molecule formation from cold atomic gas, because molecular clouds are more opaque to starlight, so they can become even colder and denser until they collapse under their own weight and form new stars. Using radio telescopes, we observed this phase transition using atomic hydrogen (HI) 21cm-line absorption and carbon monoxide (CO) 2.6mm-line emission. Our results showed that cold HI and CO are sometimes found together in the same area but are more often separate. The level of correspondence varied significantly in different parts of the Galaxy. We showed how trends in the data relate to environmental influences on the evolution of interstellar clouds and the future of star formation in the Milky Way

    Mortis et vitae locus: Dirty Pictures in Etruscan Tombs

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    Much has been written on the topic of Etruscan funerary art, particularly on the wall paintings contained within Etruscan tombs. There are some Etruscan tombs that are very rarely mentioned, and even more rarely shown; they contain erotic imagery. Of these tombs, I will discuss two, the Tomba dei Tori (Tomb of the Bulls) and the Tomba Della Fustigazione (Tomb of the Whipping). These Etruscan tomb paintings, like wall paintings and sculpture of the Romans and vase painting of the Greeks, reflect a dimension of ancient society that is unknown to us today. My purpose is not to discuss every lurid detail of these tomb paintings. Rather, it is to explain the erotic figures in Etruscan tombs in terms of their cultural utility. Interpretations of the images found in the Tomb of the Bulls and the Tomb of the Whipping are of great number and diversity. One interpretation has been handed down to us by later Etruscans\u27 Roman contemporaries; this holds that Etruscans were simply morally bankrupt and given to frequent indulgence of their animalistic whims. A second deals with the apotropaic significance of grotesque images; in other words, the frescoes were intended to ward off evil. Similar to this is the theory, previously mentioned briefly, that the images suggest fertility and continued virility after death. Last, and I believe most likely, is the theory that the frescoes of these tombs link the deceased owner of the tomb with the cult of Dionysus

    Book Review: Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him

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    Book Review: Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him Montalván, Luis Carlos 2011 New York: Hyperion 288 pages Hardcover: $22.99 ISBN-13: 978-140131075

    Faculty Perceptions of Differences between Teaching Rural Appalachian and Urban Social Work Students

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    Faculty who teach social work students in both rural Appalachian colleges and urban settings often notice differences in how these students approach learning and respond to the classroom environment and university setting. There is limited research on how Appalachian college students experience higher education and how they perceive the benefits of a college degree. This qualitative study explored the perceptions of social work faculty members at three Appalachian and three Midwestern universities, who have taught rural Appalachian students, as well as students from urban areas. Findings indicated that faculty mostly viewed Appalachian students as being different from urban students. Appalachian social work students often focused on the practical aspects of learning, but like many urban students they were intuitive, creative, and adept at problem-solving and critical thinking. Rural students were more inclined to benefit from practice methods oriented toward rural practice. Implications for practice are discussed with an emphasis on faculty members being aware of Appalachian culture and, in turn, directing their teaching style and methods to possible learning differences

    Differential Equation Modeling to Predict Growth and Effects of Hypophthalmichthys nobilis on Indigenous Species Within the Mississippi River Basin

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    Invasive species have ravaged environments worldwide, causing both economical and ecological problems to arise. Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, the Bighead Carp, was introduced to the Mississippi River Basin as a form of control for vegetation growth but as drastically grown throughout the area and provided competition for native species. Through the research of various articles reporting Asian Carp growth, it is hoped that a relative population for this species can be determined in order to create a model the population growth over time. A system will be created with equations representing the growth of the Asian Carp and the growth of a native species, such as the trout, with respect to competition as an inhibitor. It is hoped that a relative depiction of the growth/decay of these two species can be presented along with the ecological and economical concerns that will arise if the growth persists

    Subprime Lending and Housing Market Values: Is there a Relationship?

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    Over the past five years, housing values have increased nationally by an average of 68.3%. While low-interest rates have contributed to the recent surge in property values, subprime lending has also played a pivotal role. Subprime lending is lending to consumers with bad or nonexistent credit, as well as lending to consumers with good credit by offering a wide variety of products that the prime market does not have. For example, good-credit borrowers are offered financing on 100% of the home\u27s value using an interest-only loan, and also financing on second mortgages which allow consumers to extract up to 115% of the home\u27s value. Products such as these have not only brought about many changes to the mortgage industry, but also have made housing more affordable and attractive. The Depository Institutions Deregulatory and Monetary Control Act in 1980 helped launch the idea of subprime lending by lifting constraints on rate caps and allowing mortgage companies to cater their products to a diverse consumer base in terms of risk. The subprime market hit an all time high in 2005, capturing 23% of the market share by originating $650 billion in nonconforming loans. By increasing the amount of potential home-buyers in the market, I anticipate that subprime lending will cause housing values to increase. Specifically, this study will use differences in state usury laws to isolate the impact of the subprime market on the housing market values

    Women in Business Leadership

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    Abstract Female participation in business leadership, throughout the world, has traditionally been significantly less than their male counterparts. Various factors have been mentioned to be the cause of this issue. These include gender biases in the workplace and in cultural obligations, familial responsibilities, access to education, lack of female mentors and role models in leadership roles, as well as obstacles in advancement and gaps in compensation. It has been shown that gender bias is a strong motivator for the lack of female presence in business overall, but significantly so for leadership roles. Based on the expectations in our culture as well as many others, women have traditionally been regarded as caretakers of the home environment primarily and as less adept in “male-dominated” fields and roles. This paper seeks to define and discuss the current status for women in business leadership. This information will include the statistics for female representation in business leadership roles and board membership on a global scale and will include contrasting data for both male representation and for different countries. Additionally, gender biases and cultural differences and their effect on these statistics will be included, as well as other external and internal obstacles presented by both male and female alike. By examining the phenomenon of exclusion in this particular case, this paper will seek to find possible solutions to assist women’s participation in boards and as executives in the business world
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