22nd Denman Undergraduate Research Forum (2017)

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    Measurements of intrinsic magnetism in multilayer graphene using cantilever magnetometry
    (2017-03-29) Melendez, Alex; Hammel, Chris
    Graphene is widely regarded as one of the most promising emergent materials. Unique characteristics such as quasi-relativistic charge carriers cause graphene to be of great interest for fundamental physics as well as for engineering applications. Physical properties such as electrical and thermal conductivity have been extensively studied, but direct measurements of graphene's intrinsic magnetism remains elusive due to its relatively weak interactions. The intrinsic magnetism, quantified as magnetic susceptibility, must be understood if graphene is to be optimally integrated with future technologies. Our purpose here is to obtain sensitive measurements of the susceptibility using the method of cantilever magnetometry, wherein torque exerted on a cantilever is measured from graphene's intrinsic magnetism in the presence of an external field. Fundamental to this process is our development of a method to successfully transfer mesoscopic-sized graphene layers onto micro-mechanical cantilevers. We will show the susceptibility measurements of multilayer graphene, performed at low temperatures (4 Kelvin), yielding an out-of-plane susceptibility of -5.6*10^(-4). For future studies, we are working on experiments to transfer single-layer graphene onto cantilevers and then perform magnetometry measurements. These studies will allow deeper insight into the magnetic nature of graphene and its applicability in emerging technologies.
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    Positive and Negative Regulatory Elements in the HIV-1 5'UTR Control Specific Recognition by Gag
    (2017-03-29) Reyes, Joshua-Paolo C.; Olson, Erik D.; Musier-Forsyth, Karin; Musier-Forsyth, Karin
    The 5ʹ untranslated region (5ʹUTR) of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) genomic RNA (gRNA) contains a structured RNA element (termed Psi) that is specifically recognized by the HIV-1 Gag polyprotein, ensuring that two strands of gRNA are packaged into newly assembled virions. However, the mechanism by which Gag recognizes gRNA over other cellular RNAs and spliced viral RNAs is not well understood. A recent study suggested that a negative regulatory element upstream of Psi reduces high-affinity Gag binding, and a positive regulatory element downstream of Psi counteracts the upstream element and restores high-affinity binding. The aim of this study is to determine how these elements affect the specificity and mode of Gag binding. Using a fluorescence anisotropy-based salt-titration binding assay, the electrostatic and nonelectrostatic (i.e., specific) components of binding were measured. We have previously shown that Gag interacts with a 109-nucleotide (nt) Psi RNA construct that lacks the putative regulatory elements with high specificity and relatively few electrostatic interactions. Using a 356-nt RNA construct that includes the negative regulatory element in addition to Psi, we observed a loss in Gag binding specificity and an increase in electrostatic interactions. Interestingly, a 400-nt construct that contains the positive and negative elements flanking Psi restored highly specific binding and reduced the electrostatic interactions made with the RNA. Furthermore, a construct wherein the 40-nt positive regulatory element was appended to Psi, demonstrated the same specificity as Psi alone. Taken together, these data are consistent with a mechanism whereby the negative and positive regulatory elements flanking Psi modulate Gag binding mode and specificity.
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    Attention and Sociability in Preschoolers With and Without Developmental Disabilities
    (2017-03-29) DiBlasio, Christina; Walton, Katherine
    Children with developmental disabilities (DD) often have sociability and/or attention deficits that may negatively impact their ability to learn and develop at the same pace as their typically developing (TD) peers. The early childhood years are a key time for learning important pre-academic and social skills. Socialization and attention are essential for learning in a preschool classroom. The structure of classroom activities should promote opportunities for social interactions and on-task behavior for children with and without attention and sociability deficits in order to foster growth and learning. However, no previous research explores the influence of classroom structure on the attention and sociability of DD versus TD children. The purpose of this pilot study is to determine if classroom settings are scaffolding opportunities for sociability and attention for children with these deficits, and specifically to explore whether preschoolers with and without DD have more attention and sociability in structured or unstructured activities. Behavioral coding schemes for attention and sociability were developed and pilot tested. A second rater coded 13% of observations to achieve inter-rater reliability. 5 DD and 5 TD preschoolers were each observed 4 hours and data was collected on their attention and sociability during structured and unstructured activities. ANOVA analyses showed a statistically significant interaction between social interaction type (adult v. peer) and setting type (structured v. unstructured). More adult social interactions occurred during structured settings, while significantly more peer social interactions occurred during unstructured settings. Further regression analyses indicated that, on average, as structure increases, peer social interactions decrease. These findings suggest structured activities may hinder opportunities for peer social interaction rather than promote them. Decreased exposure to peer socialization may put children at a developmental disadvantage. Future research should explore this finding in a new context with a larger sample size to test generalizability.
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    Investigating the potential for use of the endangered species, running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum) on reclaimed mine-land.
    (Ohio State University, 2017-03-29) Kubesch, Jonathan; Barker, David John
    Running buffalo clover (RBC) is native to Ohio, however, loss of prairie habitat has resulted in it becoming a federal endangered species. Presumed extinct around 1940, researchers rediscovered small populations in the mid-1980s along the Ohio River corridor. Though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service implemented management plans and state agencies attempted reintroductions, the species remains in a perilous state in the wild. The objective of this study is to determine the tolerance of RBC to acidic and sulfuric/ferrous soil. The hypothesis is that a commercial or private utility may encourage larger reintroductions and invigorate new interest in a deserving, endangered endemic species. Previous research has investigated the forage potential of RBC, however, it has failed to outperform its ‘cousin’, white clover (Trifolium repens). In this study, three strains of RBC were treated with nutrient solutions in a factorial arrangement of two pH (5.0 and 6.0) and two FeSO4 levels (0 and 1000 mg/L) in the Kottman greenhouse. The experimental design was a 4 x 2 x 2 factorial treatment structure, with a randomized complete block arrangement for the four replications (64 pots in total). Plants were established from stolons on 16 December 2016, and grow in vermiculite to facilitate measurements on roots. . The responses for RBC were compared with comparative Trifolium repens, treatments. The nutrient solution treatments began on 20 January 2017, at which time RBC plants averaged 0.549 g of shoot, and 0.481 g of root, whereas white clover averaged 0.0825 g of shoot, and 0.0694 g of root. The persistence of running buffalo clover in vermiculite medium—a first in its research history—as well as the prolific root mass suggest a suitability for reclamation applications. Month-old root-balls display a firm establishment in destitute media. After a two months pH and sulfur treatments, root mass and aboveground growth will be measured. Should running buffalo clover outperform white clover, it might recover as a species with introduced, reclamation populations serving to revegetate their endemic range on protected habitat.
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    Modeling Student Understanding of Period, Frequency, and Angular Frequency
    (2017-03-29) Young, Nicholas; Heckler, Andrew
    Periodic behavior is a fundamental phenomenon in many physical and biological systems; therefore, it is critical that students understand the concepts and relationships that underlie such behavior. In this study, we used the context of the behavior of a simple harmonic oscillator to investigate students’ ability to determine the period, frequency, and angular frequency from various mathematical and graphical representations by administering a 36-item test to 57 students in an introductory-calculus-based physics course. Using the results of this test, we found that students could be clearly classified into one of three groups, according to the types of questions they mastered. These groups were hierarchically categorized based on the number and kind of relationships mastered by each student. Specifically, we found that only students who could correctly apply the relationship between period and frequency could also correctly apply any relationship involving angular frequency. This hierarchical nature of student performance suggests that instruction should focus on ensuring that students understand the relation between period and frequency before introducing angular frequency. We hope to use these results to update our Essential Skills platform, an online application being used to help students in introductory physics course understand key concepts from their physics courses such as period, frequency, and angular frequency.
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    Does an Individualist Mindset Lead to More Charitable Donations?
    (2017-03-29) Kuzma, Danielle; Smith, Robert
    Despite the growing amount of research on charitable giving, researchers still do not agree on why people donate. Do they donate for selfish incentives, such as to feel good about themselves, or for purely altruistic reasons associated with improving the world? Literature has discussed the theory of impure altruism, that is to say, a donor’s intentions for giving cannot be purely altruistic because of the “warm-glow” they experience. This warm-glow is an individualist reward for giving, rather than the traditional thoughts that giving is done simply to help those in need. The goal of this study is to understand whether people will donate more time and/or money to a charitable organization when they are in an individualist mindset, rather than a collectivist mindset. The experiment takes the form of a 2 (prime: collectivist vs. individualist) by 2 (question: money-ask first vs. time-ask first) survey design. Consistent with past research experiments, participants were randomly primed to adopt either a collectivistic mental orientation by reading a paragraph and circling pronouns like “we” and “us”, or to adopt an individualistic mental orientation by reading a similar paragraph and circling pronouns like “I” and “me.” Preliminary results show that there is a statistically significant difference between the two conditions. Those primed in the individualist condition were significantly more willing to donate to the charity than those primed in the collectivist condition. This finding shows that perhaps the leading factor for charitable donations has to do with people trying to fulfill their own needs to feel good about themselves. Findings from this study will improve general understanding of the incentives for nonprofit giving. It will also be of value to nonprofit organizations to understand how to target their message to potential donors, as nonprofit organizations cite that soliciting donations is their most challenging objective.
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    Oxygen-Sensitive Electrosprayed Core-Shell Polymer Microparticles for Biological Applications
    (2017-03-29) DiRando, Nicole; Lannutti, John
    The development of luminescent oxygen-sensitive core-shell polymer microparticles can provide beneficial advantages to biological applications. The objective of this research is to create optimal oxygen sensitive microparticles in an injectable form to detect hypoxic regions within tissue indicative of areas of low oxygen concentration associated with tumor recurrence that often resists traditional cancer treatments. Since oxygen quenches a luminescent output from oxygen-sensitive molecules, decreases in oxygen concentration in biological tissue can be observed by an increased fluorescent output; hypoxic regions can be correlated with the development of small tumors in tissue. These luminescent oxygen-sensitive molecules typically require violet or blue excitation, which suffers from poor tissue penetration due to high levels of absorption and scattering. Since near-infrared (NIR) is tissue penetrating and excites upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs) to create these blue or violet wavelengths, UCNPs are incorporated in the microparticles to locally excite the oxygen-sensitive molecule. Electrospraying solutions for the core and shell of the microparticles both consist of 1wt% polysulfone (PSU) dissolved in a mixture of dichloromethane (DCM)/ hexafluoroisopropanol (HFP). The core also contains the oxygen-sensitive dye and UCNPs. To avoid particle agglomeration, a dispersing agent was added to the shell, and a bath sonication protocol developed. Electrospraying parameters have been altered to obtain non-porous particles of uniform size distribution: core flow rate between 0.1-0.5mL/hr, shell flow rate between 0.5-1.5mL/hr, and a collection distance between 6.5-20cm. The lack of agglomeration was confirmed through fluorescence microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy used to compare particle morphology. Current work is focused on analyzing the leaching behavior of the electrosprayed particles. Future work will focus on varying shell thickness to minimize leaching and maximize the brightness of oxygen-sensitive emission. Overall, this research targets development of optimal injectable microparticles that are oxygen-sensitive upon NIR excitation to locate small hypoxic regions associated with early tumor recurrence.
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    The impact of corporate social responsibility on stock returns: Evidence from the U.S. stock market
    (2017-03-29) Zhang, Yilin; Hou, Kewei
    Corporate social responsibility, often abbreviated “CSR,” is a company’s practices and initiatives to take responsibility for the benefit of society. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of corporate social responsibility on the stock returns of U.S. publicly-traded companies that constitute S&P Composite 1500 Index, based on the stock performances during 2000-2014. Following a disaggregate measure as well as conducting cross-sectional one-year lagged regression analyses, the study assesses the effect of three corporate social responsibility indicators from the KLD STATS database, including: (1) Environmental Performance; (2) Corporate Governance Performance; and (3) Social Performance indicators. All three variables are compared with an aggregated CSR rating score, measured as the KLD indicator. This analysis indicates a significant negative correlation between the overall aggregated CSR rating score and stock returns. Corporate Governance is the only indicator found to be statistically significant and inversely correlated with stock returns. Environmental performance has a stronger, though statistically non-significant, negative impact on stock returns compared to Social and Corporate Governance performance scores. Based on four cross-sectional models, the analyses in this study indicate that taking the CSR initiatives will in fact have negative effect on the stock performance as well as the development of the company.
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    The Connection Between Employee Health and its Affect on the Workplace
    (2017-03-29) Bacha, Michael F.; Heneman, Robert; West, Patricia
    Living a healthy lifestyle can affect your personal relationships, mental state, and overall wellbeing. Companies are beginning to take note of this impact and implementing policies and programs to facilitate healthy living styles for their employees. Whether it’s putting a workout facility in the office, offering healthier food options in the cafeteria, or outfitting desks with “stand-up” capabilities, many businesses are trying to improve their employee’s health. Fortune magazine estimates that currently only around 7% of US companies have a comprehensive promotion plan to encourage employees to live a healthier lifestyle. Should this percentage be increased? The purpose of this study is to see if employer’s actions promoting wellness have been paying off, what health issues should be focused on in a promotion program, and if, in general, healthier employees tend to see more success in the corporate world. The methodology I used to answer to this issue was gathering and analyzing biometric data from a fortune 100 company. This data helped to highlight the core health issues affecting employees in the workplace. Weight, blood pressure, and stress were the overwhelming risks in 77% of locations from which data was received. Along with this there seems to be a strong connection between an employee’s health risk level and absentee rates. Employees that were considered “health risks” missed on average 3 more days than those with a low risk level. Overall, an average of $436,314 in avoidable health care costs was found at each location. Based on these findings my study helps to show that an individual’s health does have an impact on personal and corporation-wide achievement. This research can be used to support the implementation of health promotion plans.
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    Understanding the role of PAK7 mutations in melanoma
    (2017-03-29) Vroom, Dennis; LaPak, Kyle; Gross, Michael; Garg, Ayush; Song, Jonathan; Burd, Christin
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    Evaluation of Interrater Reliability for Coding of Types of Gazes in Nurse-Patient Dyads
    (2017-03-29) Martz, Alexandria; Wills, Celia
    The purpose of this secondary analysis project was to describe and evaluate processes of interrater reliability assessment based on 13 videotapes of ICU nurse-patient dyads that were collected as part of a prior study (Happ et al., 2004). The videos were coded for four types of gazes (relating, assessing, technical doing, listening) during nursing care in the Medical (MICU) or Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU). Interrater reliability is important to establish in research data collection, codebook development, and standardized nursing assessments in clinical practice. Steps described by Lombard et al. (2010) constituted the overall framework for interrater reliability assessment for the coding of gazes for the videotaped nurse-patient dyads. Raw percentage agreement for the four types of gazes was calculated by dividing the number of times the data collectors agreed by the total number of gazes per videotape within and across the videotapes. Overall, the coders agreed in the coding of the four visual gazes across the 13 videotapes 70% of the time, but with a substantial range of agreement from 58% to 90% for ratings of individual videotapes. The overall percentage was lower than the target goal of at least 75% agreement per videotape, with only one gaze, “relating,” achieving a percentage agreement (90%) exceeding 75%. Sources of disagreement in coding arose from formative clarifications of the codebook definitions, but evolved over time to improved agreement for coding as the codebook was refined. As definitions were clarified during the coding process, fewer disagreements in coding of the gazes were found over the 13 videotapes. The raw percentage agreement could be improved by rating more training videos to better refine the codebook prior to the official coding of the videos. Further research could use the Kappa coefficient method of establishing interrater reliability, which adjusts for agreement that occurs by chance.
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    Quantity or Quality: Participation and General Health Outcomes in TBI Patients
    (2017-03-29) Markham, Emily; Bogner, Jennifer
    BACKGROUND: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a chronic health condition with severe physical, social, and cognitive implications. Individuals who have sustained a TBI likely experience deficits in frontal brain executive functioning, which is needed for successful living within the community. This decreased ability to participate and restrictions in life involvement potentially increase one’s risk for various health-related problems. OBJECTIVE: This study sought to determine the extent to which the amount or the balance across the domains of participation predicts health outcomes in TBI patients. In the context of the current study, balance is defined as having sufficient equilibrium between the three domains of participation. Data was originally collected through the Ohio Regional TBI Model Systems longitudinal study through participant interviews. It had not been analyzed in this context. METHODS: Participation at one year post-injury was measured over three domains: productivity, social relations, and being out and about in the community, using the Participation Assessment with Recombined Tools – Objective (PART-O). The standard deviation of the three domains was used to determine balance across these areas. The average item score was used to determine overall amount of participation. Health outcomes at two years post-injury were measured using questions regarding current ratings of health and physical health relative to the past year, as well as a questionnaire that assessed depression symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire, PHQ-9). Multiple and logistic regression were applied to control for covariates that have previously been associated with health outcomes. RESULTS: This study found that greater participation at one year post-TBI is associated with lower likelihood of symptoms of major depressive disorder (p = 0.027) and better subjective ratings of current health (p = .001) reported at two years post-TBI. Balanced participation was not associated with health outcomes. CONCLUSION: Early intervention with participation in TBI patients may improve depressive symptoms and subjective feelings of health. Further understanding of these relationships will allow for improved treatment and rehabilitation in patients following a brain injury.
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    An Investigation of the Trolley Problem in Regard to Automated Cars
    (2017-03-29) Metz, Kurt; Amdur, Brandon; Cipparone, Dane; D'Arms, Justin; Weaver, Bryan
    Automated cars will soon be a viable option for personal use. Although it is reasonable to expect that they will be involved in significantly fewer traffic accidents on average than other cars, automated cars will not be able to prevent all crashes. This raises the issue of what actions an automated car should take in various dangerous situations. Several proposals have been advanced in the growing literature on this issue. The first option is the utilitarian approach, which means that the car will always perform the action that will result in the least harm. While this approach saves the most lives in each case, research shows that many consumers would not purchase an automated car that would possibly choose to sacrifice the driver’s life. If people don’t buy automated cars, then a large population of people will continue to die in human-caused traffic accidents. Another option is the self-preserving approach, in which automated cars would protect the occupants’ lives over all else in every situation. This approach may lead to higher use of automated cars, which would save many lives overall. However, it is easily criticized as selfish and unethical because there is a possibility of crashes in which several people die instead of one person, and in which innocent pedestrians die instead of those who assumed the risks of accidents by taking to the road. The third option is to have automated cars randomly decide whom to save in a crash scenario in order to prevent bias or guilt. However, this approach saves fewer lives than the utilitarian approach while potentially being as morally objectionable as the self-preserving approach because more lives could be saved. The purpose of this project is to present a new option that improves upon the utilitarian approach using a methodology of traditional philosophical analytical reasoning, informed by factual premises from social psychology and engineering.
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    Cardiotoxicity of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in Renal Cell Carcinoma
    (2017-03-29) Justice, Cody; Smith, Sakima
    Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. The first line of treatment are tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), which inhibit vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFRs), leading to inhibition of angiogenesis and delayed tumor growth. A commonly prescribed TKI known as Pazopanib inhibits VEGFRs 1-3 and platelet-derived growth factor receptors1. This drug leads to serious cardiac side effects in 50% of patients, including hypertension, heart failure (HF), and myocardial ischemia2-4. We believe that certain human populations are more susceptible to the cardiac side effects of Pazopanib and our goal is to gain a greater understanding of the mechanisms of these off-target effects as well as develop diagnostic tools to identify patients who would be more susceptible to this drug. We are currently using the murine mouse model to study the effects of Pazopanib in-vivo. Our data suggests that 8 week old mice treated with Pazopanib for 42 days have significantly increased blood pressure compared to control mice. Furthermore, our electrophysiological studies on isolated cardiomyocytes have revealed delayed after-depolarizations and prolonged action potentials, which are precursors to ventricular arrhythmias. These findings resemble the early side effects seen in humans and warrant further investigation. To observe TKI-induced HF we plan to repeat this experiment using two susceptible mouse populations. The first population will undergo transverse aortic constriction, a well-established procedure that has been shown to accelerate hypertension and HF. The second population will be null for a cardiac isoform of a cytoskeletal protein, beta-II spectrin in order to study the effects of this therapy in a structural heart disease model. These studies will allow us to unravel the mechanisms of Pazopanib cardiotoxicity and potentially lead to the development of novel diagnostic tools.
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    The Effect of a Gender Lens on the Political Socialization of Adolescent Girls
    (2017-03-29) Fillingim, Shannon; Brooks, Sarah
    Women's participation in government matters tremendously to the well-being of a nation, yet women still face multiple societal and cultural obstacles as they strive to achieve the goal of full participation in the political arena. The most troubling of these barriers is the perception that women have of themselves as being less qualified than men to engage in political life. In this study, researchers evaluated the effect of a gender lens in a seminar discussion program on the political self-esteem of middle school students. Participants were randomly sorted into two groups. Before each discussion session, participants read a short news article about the day’s topic of discussion. At each discussion session, the researcher guided students in answering critical reading questions. While the structure of both the control and the experimental group discussions were the same, the articles chosen for the experimental group featured a gender lens by focusing specifically on the involvement of women in the issues at hand, while the control group read articles with a more general bent. The effect of the discussion groups was measured by pre-program and post-program surveys, consisting of open ended and multiple choice questions. Ultimately, the gender lens did have a statistically significant effect on the experimental group’s political self-esteem: the change in means between pre-treatment and post-treatment responses to questions about political self-esteem was significant at a 95% confidence level for four out of six survey questions. Although this study is limited by its small sample size from being truly representative of the population, the results of this study are encouraging for researchers focusing on the factors preventing women from achieving political parity. This study shows that including a gender lens in discussion of current events helps girls see themselves as future political actors.
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    The ability of the Aurora-A inhibitor alisertib to potentiate the anti-proliferative effects of VEGFR inhibitors in glioblastoma cells
    (2017-03-29) Mifsud, Caroline; Lehman, Norman; Guerau-de-Arellano, Mireia
    Glioblastoma (WHO grade IV glioma) is the most common primary malignant brain tumor in adults, and is generally incurable. The prognosis is poor, with a median survival of only 14.6 months. Aurora-A, a serine-threonine kinase critical for a variety of cellular processes including centrosome duplication, spindle assembly, and mitotic exit, is widely overexpressed in glioblastoma. Additionally, malignant gliomas also possess high levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is associated with pathological vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Therefore, drugs that inhibit Aurora-A, in addition to VEGF and its receptor, are of interest in order to inhibit neovascularization and cellular proliferation. It was hypothesized that combining alisertib with a VEGFR inhibitor, such as cabozantinib or vandetanib, would work synergistically to inhibit glioblastoma cell proliferation and induce cell death via apoptosis. The glioblastoma cell lines U87 and U1242 were treated with a range of concentrations of alisertib and either cabozantinib or vandetanib. Glioblastoma cells were seeded at 600 cells/60-mm plate. After 72 hours of drug exposure, cell colonies were counted, and the percent survival was graphed relative to the control untreated cells. The results of these experiments were analyzed using Chou-Talalay and Bliss Independence models to test for synergism and determine their statistical significance. Preliminary results of in vitro colony formation assays suggest that alisertib works synergistically to inhibit cellular proliferation with both cabozantinib and/or vandetanib in both cell lines; further in vitro testing is currently in progress. Because of the lack of effective treatments available for glioblastoma, successful completion of this study may provide a basis for clinical trials including these drug combinations. The results of such clinical trials may expand the potential treatment options for this aggressive disease, and improve the lives of glioblastoma patients.
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    Improvement of Reliability Indices in a Micro-grid System involving Renewable Generation and Energy Storage
    (2017-03-29) Reed, Emily; Wang, Jiankang
    Integrating renewable energy sources is important to policy-makers worldwide, especially as the depletion of traditional energy sources and the declining health of the environment continue to be of critical concern. As the installation costs of renewable generation decrease, the incorporation of these sources into the grid is becoming more attractive and feasible. However, in order for renewable generation to be incorporated on a large scale, utilities must be able to guarantee that customers receive adequate and quality power, constituting a reliable system. Thus, ensuring the reliability of a grid system that includes sources of generation with low predictability and high variability, such as wind and solar, is investigated. Energy storage is shown to help eliminate or reduce the load demand that must be met by renewable generation and supply power when renewable generation is unavailable or insufficient, thereby increasing the reliability of the system. With increased research focusing on implementing a smart grid, this study implements a small-scale system called a micro-grid, which has the capability to disconnect from the main grid. This study focuses on a micro-grid in the islanding mode. A mixed integer optimization model of the problem is developed that maximizes the reliability of the micro-grid system by determining the number of critical and non-critical loads that can be satisfied at each time step. The maximization of the number of loads is constrained by the available renewable and stored generation in the system at each specific time step. The generation from wind and solar is estimated using a Weibull and Beta distribution respectively. The software Gurobi with CVX using MATLAB and the IEEE-9 bus system is used to solve the optimization problem and analyze the results. It is shown in this study that the System Average Interruption Frequency Index of the system improves with the incorporation of energy storage into the micro-grid. A specific case study showing the results from this research is demonstrated on a small-scale system in Honduras that includes wind and solar generation. This study shows the potential to improve the feasibility of renewable energy sources in the grid system by using energy storage, thereby lowering emissions in electricity generation.
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    Use of Magnetic Bacteria to Remove Phosphorus from Eutrophic Waters
    (2017-03-29) Balcerzak, Ashlee; Lower, Steven
    Eutrophication or excess nutrients in rivers or lakes is a problem in the Midwest commonly caused by high levels of phosphorus in runoff from agricultural land. Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB), magnetite-containing microorganism found in aquatic ecosystems, may contain intracellular inclusions of phosphorus. This study will test whether MTB can be used to remove high concentrations of phosphorus from eutrophic conditions. The hypothesis for this project is that MTB will have some capability to remove phosphorus from their water environments, offering a microbiological solution in places where eutrophication occurs. Methods include growing the type strain of MTB, Magnetospirillum magneticum, AMB-1, in media spiked with concentrations of phosphorus at 0.01 mg/L, 0.025 mg/L, and 0.06 mg/L. These concentrations were selected to mimic, respectively, Canada’s target level of phosphorus for Lake Erie, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s target level of phosphorus in lakes, and the peak phosphorus levels found in the western Lake Erie basin in 2010. A colorimetric analysis was used to measure phosphorus in solution at different time points. A centrifuge was used to separate the cells from the media. A transmission electron microscope (TEM) was used to determine if cells in the pellet contained phosphorus inclusions. Results thus far indicate that when phosphorus containing media is inoculated, concentrations of phosphorus decrease in the media after two days. Samples with higher concentrations of phosphorus experience more rapid decreases in solution phase phosphorus. Phosphorus was recovered from the cell pellet, indicating phosphorus was removed and stored in AMB-1 cells.
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    Changing Campus Culture: A Policy Scan of Campus Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Procedures on Ohio’s Campuses
    (2017-03-29) Hudacek, Sarah; Girth, Amanda; Nemeth, Julianna
    Estimates of the prevalence of campus sexual violence suggest that 1 in 5 females and 1 in 16 males will be sexually assaulted during college. However, only about 20 percent of campus sexual assaults are reported to authorities and only 27 percent of women who said they experienced sexual assault believed the assault met the legal definition of rape. In response to high rates of sexual violence on Ohio’s campuses and inconsistent response procedures, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) released the 2015 “Changing Campus Culture” Report (the Report), which included recommendations for preventing and responding to sexual violence. Institutions could opt-in to participate in this initiative. The purpose of this research is to determine the extent to which Ohio’s colleges and universities complied with the recommendations outlined in the Report. Policies are a method for ensuring accountability at the institutional level and serve as an institution’s official strategy for addressing an issue. In light of this, each institution’s Title IX and Sexual Misconduct policies were analyzed to measure compliance with the Report’s recommendations. A policy scan of 14 public and 14 private institutions in Ohio was conducted in Spring 2016, before ODHE’s compliance deadline, and again in Fall 2016, after the compliance deadline. The results show that while most institutions had policies that met the Report’s recommendations that focused on response to sexual violence after it has occurred, only a small number of institutions included information in their policies about preventive and educational actions, such as utilizing a campus climate survey, comprehensive training programs, or campus awareness campaigns. Many policies contained negligent errors, lacked concrete information for action, or were not conveniently accessible. Given these results, it’s clear there is a need for substantial improvement in the incorporation of ODHE’s recommendations into policies of Ohio’s higher education institutions.
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    The Relationship Between Responsible Drinking Policies and Football Game-Day Incidents at The Ohio State University
    (2017-03-29) Sai, Sunder; Bellair, Paul
    Studies have shown crime, misconduct, and incidents tend to increase within and around stadiums during football games, in particular, alcohol-related misconducts. Ohio Stadium, home to The Ohio State University (OSU) Buckeyes college football team, hosts 7-8 annual home football games each fall. Minimal research has been presented observing trends regarding incidents during OSU’s home football games. Furthermore, the causes for these potential trends remain unknown. It is hypothesized that responsible drinking policies, which are reflected through stadium-wide alcohol sales and a no-bag policy, are associated with a reduction of game day incidents. Incident statistics from OSU’s Department of Public Safety were examined for the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 OSU home football game seasons. Alcohol arrests and citations inside and out of the stadium along with stadium ejections were compared across these three seasons. Additionally, game time, attendance, points scored, and game-day temperatures were observed as potential variables influencing game-day incidents. Preliminary findings show a decrease in total alcohol incidents, total arrests, and total ejections in the last three seasons. Within each season, incidents were highest for evening games that started at 6 p.m. or later. The findings also suggest that attendance, points scored, and temperature did not appear to have a significant relationship to the number of game-day incidents. When evening games were taken out of the data, the decreasing trend in incidents still remained. This study provides initial findings showing a decrease in overall game-day incidents over three years, which may be due to responsible drinking policies. Stadium-wide alcohol sales may give guests opportunities to drink more moderately inside the stadium. Bag policy could also prevent guests from bringing alcohol into the stadium. Causality cannot be established, however. More research will be conducted for future games evaluating trends.