Click on this link to download the full high-definition interactive pdf for AJUR Volume 16 Issue 4 (March 2020)
Links to individual manuscripts, abstracts, and keywords are provided below.
p.5. Coating Polyurethane with Palmitoleic Acid and Bovine Serum Albumin to Prevent the Host Response to Foreign Materials
Sheherbano Hussain, Zoha Babar, Jimmy Hadid, & Jacqueline McLaughlin
ABSTRACT: Macrophages are cells of the immune system that play a pivotal role in the host inflammatory response by attacking and engulfing any foreign molecule not seen as ‘self.’ They also help regulate the host response by releasing a variety of cytokines and growth factors that act as signals to other cells to amplify the host response. However, the host response causes degradation of implanted medical devices composed of polyurethane as well as other synthetic materials which it does not identify as self. Research was undertaken to investigate the potential of coating polyurethane with the self-like molecules palmitoleic acid and albumin to reduce or prevent the body’s host response from damaging implanted medical devices. Using an in vitro THP-1 bioassay, polyurethane films coated with palmitoleic acid and bovine serum albumin showed a reduction in macrophage adherence. The individually coated palmitoleic acid and bovine serum albumin films significantly reduced the number of cells attached to the films with increasing concentration while the films coated with the conjugate of both showed no statistical difference. This suggests the potential role of self-like molecules in reducing the inflammatory response to foreign materials.
KEYWORDS: Macrophages; host inflammatory response; THP-1; prosthetics; palmitoleic acid; bovine serum albumin; cytokines; immune system
p.15 Music Intervention in Undergraduates: the Relationship between Heart Rate Variability and State Anxiety
Annalise J. Tolley & Robert S. Vick
ABSTRACT: A low heart rate variability (HRV) is indicative of autonomic inflexibility, which has important implications for physical and psychological health. This study investigates autonomic functioning and its relationship to state anxiety in the context of music intervention. A within-subjects, quasi-experimental design was used with undergraduates, a population frequently impacted by state anxiety. Participants pre-selected music that they identified as the most “relaxing” before being administered the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Baseline physiological indices were then collected using an EKG, followed by administration of the selected music and an additional collection of physiological indices. After the full duration of music intervention was administered, participants took the STAI once more. Results indicated that even short durations of music listening may serve to reduce anxiety in the undergraduate student, as was evidenced by the significant increase in physiological indices and decrease in self-reported anxiety levels. However, while changes in HRV and anxiety may trend together, results indicated no statistical association between these parameters.
KEYWORDS: Heart Rate Variability; Anxiety; Music Intervention; Autonomic Tone; Vagal Control; Autonomic Flexibility; College Students; State Anxiety
p.23 Can Expense Ratios Signal Performance? An Analysis of Equity ETFs & Mutual Funds
James Monroe Gamble IV
ABSTRACT: This study examines the impact of the emergence of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as an alternative investment vehicle to mutual funds. As the number of ETFs continues to rise, we investigate potential risks and disadvantages posed by ETFs in comparison to traditional mutual funds. We compare the returns, performance, and expense ratios of ETFs to those of mutual funds. We find that expense ratios are positively correlated with actively managed mutual fund returns and that passive funds have outperformed active funds since their inception. There is downward pressure on mutual fund fees over time, suggesting increased competition between mutual funds and ETFs. We also find, up to a certain threshold, actively managed funds are worth their costs.
KEYWORDS: Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF); Mutual Fund; Investing; Fee Structure; Expense Ratio; Passive (Active) Investing; Portfolio Management; Indexing
p.41 Acoustic Identification of Wild Gray Wolves, Canis lupus, Using Low Quality Recordings
Cara B Hull, Caitlin M McCombe, & Angela M Dassow
ABSTRACT: Invasive trapping and radio-collaring techniques are currently used by conservation biologists to study the population dynamics of gray wolves (Canis lupus). Previous research has found wolf howls can be used to determine individual identity on high quality recordings from captive animals, offering an opportunity for non-invasive monitoring of packs.We recorded wild wolves in Central Wisconsin to determine the effectiveness of these features in determining individuality in low quality recordings. The wolf howls analyzed were from two adult individuals from separate packs. Using a principle component analysis, maximum frequency and end frequency of the calls were determined to be most individualistic. Using these features in a discriminant function analysis, howls were able to be identified from individuals with 100% accuracy. Gray wolves play an important role in ecosystem maintenance, however, the current monitoring techniques are costly and invasive. The creation of an easily accessible, non-invasive technique that can be used by individuals with a variety of technical backgrounds is necessary to address concerns faced by conservation efforts. To address these issues, all analyses performed usedfree or low-cost software, making this method of individual identification a useful alternative for conservation biologists.
KEYWORDS: Canis lupus lycaon; Gray Wolf; Acoustic Signatures; Howls; Tracking Method; Conservation; Vocal Individuality
p.51 The Allele Frequency of the HFE gene mutation H63D (rs1799945) and Its Relationship to a Hereditary Hemochromatosis Diagnosis in Metabolic Nutrition Students at Virginia Tech
Tyler R. Ferqueron, Angela S. Anderson, & Deborah J. Good
ABSTRACT: Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is a disease that causes excess iron absorption from the diet. This excess iron can be stored in the liver, skin, heart, pancreas, and joints, and then can lead to other health conditions, as the human body has no way of actively excreting iron. The human hemochromatosis protein (HFE protein) is encoded by the HFE gene, and mutations in this gene can lead to a dysfunction of the protein resulting in HH or iron overload later in adulthood. The objective of this study was to analyze the mutant allele frequency and the penetrance of the H63D mutation (SNP rs1799945) of the HFE gene in a cohort of Virginia Tech students. This study had a total of 69 participants. Fifty-two participants provided saliva samples, genomic data from 23andMe®, and surveys with phenotypic information. Of these, 6 were genotyped using the RFLP technique and served as controls for genotype confirmation. An additional 17 participants provided saliva samples, but did not provide 23andMe® data; genomic DNA from these participants were genotyped using the RFLP technique. Our results showed that although none of the participants had been diagnosed with HH, the mutant allele frequency of this population was 13.04%. In conclusion, as HH is usually diagnosed in older adults, we could not identify any students with a phenotype of HH, even though we could detect the mutant allele. This data suggests that affordable and accessible genetic ancestry and health kits such as the 23andMe® kit, could provide an efficient way to identify, prevent, and manage HH and other genetic diseases before symptoms arise.
KEYWORDS: Hereditary Hemochromatosis; Iron Absorption; Single Nucleotide Polymorphism; Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism; College Student Population; 23andMe®; Population Analysis; Survey Results
p.59 Meningococcal Meningitis in College Students at United States Universities
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to review current United States (US) university meningitis prevention and awareness efforts for college students with the objective of finding improved methods for meningitis control on college campuses. Meningococcal meningitis cases occurring amongst the students at 45 US universities, reported by the National Meningitis Association between 2013-2017, were reviewed. Apart from analyzing the incidence of meningococcal serotype cases and prevention protocols at the 45 US universities, interviews were conducted with university health directors and health center staff to assess the nature of meningitis control programs on college campuses. the 45 US universities reported between the years, 2013-2017, 20 universities had cases of Meningococcal meningitis serotype B (Men B) while 25 universities had cases of serotype A (Men A), C (Men C), W (Men W), or Y (Men Y). Among 80 cases across all US universities, there were 11 deaths for a case fatality rate of 11/80 (14%). While all universities adhere to state requirements of immunization against serotypes A, C, W and Y, the vaccine for Men B was only recently FDA approved and is not widely used. Further review of some university meningitis prevention and awareness efforts reveal a trend in more passive (e.g. posters, pamphlets, health portal guidance) approaches, while the uptake of active campaign efforts (e.g. vaccination drives, presentations) are not always prioritized until outbreaks occur.
KEYWORDS: Awareness; Epidemiology; Disease; Meningococcal; Prevention; Serotype; University; Vaccination
p.71 Urban Wind Harvesting Using Flow-Induced Vibrations
Levon Ghabuzyan, Christopher Luengas, & Jim Kuo
ABSTRACT: The growing global interest in sustainable energy has paved the way to the rapid development of large-scale wind farms, consisting of dozens to hundreds of wind turbines. Although these large wind farms can generate enormous amount of power, they are also costly and require large areas of land or water, and thus are not suitable for urban environments. Smaller urban wind turbines have been developed for urban environments, but there are significant challenges to their widespread deployment. One of these challenges are their urban wind flows as they are strongly affected by complex building structures, producing highly turbulent flows. Any urban wind turbine would need to be designed to function efficiently and safely under these flow conditions; however, these unpredictable and turbulent winds can induce undesirable vibrations and cause early failures. Recently, bladeless wind turbines are gaining interest due to their reduced costs compared with conventional wind turbines such as the vertical-axis wind turbine and horizontal-axis wind turbine. These bladeless turbines convert flow wind energy into vibration energy, then converts the vibration energy into electricity. This paper examines the effects of force-induced vibrations on a cantilever beam system through wind tunnel experimentation. When fluid flows around a bluff body, periodic shedding of vortices may occur under the right conditions. The vortex shedding process creates an asymmetric pressure distribution on the body which causes the body to oscillate, known as vortex-induced vibrations. The purpose of the paper is to understand the factors affecting flow-induced vibrations and to improve wind energy harvesting from these vibrations. The first part of the paper focuses on wind tunnel experiments, by utilizing a cantilever beam configuration, conceptualized by previous research. Then, the experimental model was tested in different configurations, to determine the best setup for maximizing vibrations induced on the model. The long-term goal of the project was utilizing the model to optimize the system to improve efficiency of wind energy harvesting. The experimental results showed that the presence of an upstream cylinder will significantly improve the amplitude of vibration for energy harvesting, furthermore, the experiments showed that spacing in different directions also affect the amplitude of the vibrations. A two tandem cylinder system was used in this work, including a fixed rigid upstream cylinder and a downstream cylinder supported by a cantilever beam. Various configurations of these two cylinders in terms of spanwise and streamwise separation distances were studied and their maximum and root mean square displacements are reported for different wind speeds. Results showed that the presence of an upstream cylinder will significantly improve the amplitude of vibrations. This work verified that a wind energy harvester needs to consider the effects of wind speed and separation configuration of the cylinders in order to maximize the harvester’s performance in urban environments.
KEYWORDS: Sustainable Energy; Energy Harvesting; Urban Environments; Bladeless Wind Turbines; Flow-Induced Vibrations; Cantilever Beam System; Wind Tunnel; Wake
p. 81 Exploring the Relationship between Dystopian Literature and the Activism of Generation Z Young Adults
ABSTRACT: Some recent research has posited that the independent and revolutionary traits of Generation Z can be traced to the circumstances of their births, specifically the 9/11 attacks and the Great Recession. While there has been research examining the effect of these events on the type of behavior Generation Z exhibits towards political and societal issues, there has been little research that examines the literary culture in which they grew up. Did popular dystopian works such as Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (2009), Divergent by Veronica Roth (2011), and The Maze Runner by James Dashner (2009) have an impact on their political identities and behaviors? This paper examines that question by using a mixed method approach: a public questionnaire, thirteen in-depth interviews with a select group of Generation Z students from the University of Georgia, and direct content analyses of the key works under consideration. This study argues that the relationship between dystopian literature and young adult activism may offer insight into the ways literature can be used as a revolutionary tool. This study also hopes to add to the literature exploring the characteristics of Generation Z and the significance dystopian literature may have not only on a young adult’s thoughts but also their actions.
KEYWORDS: Dystopian Literature; Dystopian Literary Media; Generation Z; Youth Activism; Literary Influence; Activist Typology; Aspects of Literary Response: A New Questionnaire; College Students; Divergent; Catching Fire; The Maze Runner; Literary Culture, The Hunger Games