1,963 research outputs found

    A Non-Invasive Method for Detecting a Deadly Form of Malaria: Plasmodium Falciparum

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    Undergraduate Research Scholarship - College of EngineeringDenman Research Forum (2014) - 1st place in EngineeringMalaria is an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes that affects 40% of the world’s population, resulting in 300 to 500 million new infections yearly. Of the different types of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum (PF) is the most prevalent and deadly parasite in humans. While treatment is available, PF is often difficult to detect with a blood draw because the parasite sequesters in internal organs during various phases of its reproductive cycle. PF infects red blood cells, converting the hemoglobin in the red blood cells into iron rich particles called hemozoin. The hemozoin crystals can be as large as 1 micron in size and several clusters are stored in the food vacuoles of the parasite since they are toxic to the host and PF alike. PF is predominant in low and middle-income countries where pathologists and microscopes are not widely available to confirm the presence of this species of malaria. Consequently, an inexpensive, non-invasive, continuous, and direct indicator of PF is needed. The goal of this research is to exploit the paramagnetic properties of hemozoin and to develop a non-invasive, electromagnetic method of detecting infected red blood cells. An electromagnetic probe (EM probe) comprising of a dual coaxial coil is used to detect iron oxide particles by using sensitive lock-in amplification of detector voltage. Measurements with this probe are performed on iron oxide particles (less than 44 microns – 720 microns) before conducting measurements on PF food vacuoles. Results show that measurements of micron sized iron particles on the scale of less than 44 microns are repeatable. Preliminary measurements with food vacuoles trapped in small capillary tubes confirm feasibility of the method with indicated voltage differences of 44.7 ± 25.7 mV versus voltage readings for a control (capillary tube without trapped food vacuoles) of 16.2 ± 4.3 mV with great potential for increased sensitivity. Preliminary optimization of the EM probe has resulted in greater sensitivity but considerable room for improvement still exists. This research demonstrates great promise for finding an alternative to existing methods (mainly peripheral blood draws) for the detection of PF. In addition to being non-invasive, the method described herein can provide detection results that can be interpreted in simple binary fashion (e.g. a readout red LED lighting up indicating the presence of infected cells and a green LED lighting up indicating no infection). This method therefore potentially lends itself to infected individuals being able to monitor themselves continuously throughout the day and getting timely treatment after confirmation, without the need for a peripheral blood draw, or the presence of a trained pathologist to interpret the microscopic examination of the drawn blood.A five-year embargo was granted for this item.Academic Major: Mechanical Engineerin

    Synthesis of 4-Thiazolidinone Small Molecules as Potential Inhibitors of the Arp2/3 Complex

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    Life-essential cellular processes such as endocytosis, motility, and division rely on a cell’s ability to precisely regulate construction of actin filaments in response to external factors and signals. Intrinsically involved in this process is the Actin Related Protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) Complex, a seven-subunit ATPase that functions by nucleating a daughter branch of actin from the side of a pre-existing microfilament. Active Arp2/3 complex is necessary for the proliferation of certain metastatic cancers, and inhibition of Arp2/3 complex is emerging as a potentially useful treatment strategy for such cancers. We describe synthesis and in vitro assays of 4-thiazolidinones predicted by computational methods to inhibit of Arp2/3 Complex strongly, and therefore serve as potential lead compounds for drug development. Known Arp2/3 inhibitor CK-869 serves as the starting point for derivative synthesis. We discuss the efforts towards the synthesis of new compounds and the biochemical data collected about their potency

    Relations between measures of speech-in-noise performance and measures of efferent activity

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    Individual differences in auditory perceptual abilities in noise are well documented, but the factors causing such variability are unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine if individual differences in responses measured from the auditory efferent system were correlated with individual variations in speech-in-noise performance. The relation between behavioral performance on three speech-in-noise tasks and two objective measures of the efferent auditory system were examined in thirty normal-hearing, young adults. Two of the speech-in-noise tasks measured an acceptable noise level (ANL), the maximum level of speech babble noise that a subject is willing to accept while listening to a story. ANL was determined for both monotic (story and noise in the same ear) and a dichotic condition (story and noise in opposite ears). The third speech-in-noise task evaluated speech recognition using monosyllabic words presented in competing speech babble. Auditory efferent activity was assessed by examining the resulting suppression of click-evoked otoacoustic emissions (CEOAEs) following the introduction of contralateral, broadband noise (BBN). The activity levels of the ipsilateral and contralateral acoustic reflex (AR) arcs were evaluated using pure-tones and BBN. Results showed significant correlations (p \u3c 0.01) between: (1) the contralateral AR Ts to BBN and contralateral suppression of CEOAEs, and (2) the monotic ANL (ANLm) and dichotic ANL (ANLd). Significant correlations (p \u3c 0.05) were also found between: (1) the monotic (right ear) speech recognition-in-babble task and the right, ipsilateral acoustic reflex threshold (ART), and (2) the dichotic ANL (ANLd) and the phoneme recognition-in-noise (PRnx)

    Leading Positive Change in Academia

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    Examining Longitudinal Data of Juvenile Delinquents in Rock Hill, SC

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    Examining factors that contribute to the initiation, continuation, and desistance of criminal activities is crucial in determining how the criminal justice system can be reformed in an effort to decrease recidivism rates, as well as halt the initiation of juveniles into the criminal realm in the first place. This study examined longitudinal data from the daily reports of the Rock Hill Police Department, as organized by the Crime Mapping Division. The study examines juvenile suspects between the ages of 10-17 during 2003-2007. Wave One looked at subjects ages 10-13 in 2003/2004. Wave Two looked at subjects ages 12-14 in 2005/2006, and Wave Three looked at subjects ages 15-17 in 2007/2008.Using the concepts of Criminal Careers and recidivism, the goal was to examine continuation or desistance of criminal behavior over six years. Indicators of race, gender, residence in gang areas, hotspots, as well as residence in a single dwelling or an apartment were used to predict continued criminal behavior. The majority of the subjects were black or white with all other races representing less than ten percent of the population. Therefore, only suspects coded as black or white were utilized. The data was examined using Linear Regressions Analysis and Chi Squares test. The Linear Regressions Analysis found that there was no significant association between offending and race, gender, gang areas, and residence in a single dwelling or apartment for Wave One only, Wave One and Three only, and Wave One and Two only. When examining offending across all three waves, there was a significant association between residents in hotspots and gang areas, as well as race

    Modernism and Postmodernism

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    The Global Dictionary of Theology is inspired by the shift of the center of Christianity from the West to the Global South. But it also reflects the increase in two-way traffic between these two sectors as well as the global awareness that has permeated popular culture to an unprecedented degree. The editorial perspective of the Global Dictionary of Theology is an ecumenical evangelicalism that is receptive to discovering new facets of truth through listening and conversation on a global scale. Thus a distinctive feature of the Global Dictionary of Theology is its conversational approach. Contributors have been called on to write in the spirit of engaging in a larger theological conversation in which alternative views are expected and invited
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