AJUR Volume 20 Issue 2 (September 2023)

Click on this link to download the full high-definition interactive pdf for AJUR Volume 20 Issue 2 (September 2023) or https://doi.org/10.33697/ajur.2023.082

Links to individual manuscripts, abstracts, and keywords are provided below.

p.3. An Exploratory Study on Student-Athlete Mental Health: Personal and Perceived Barriers to Help-Seeking Behavior

Emma McCabe, Sarah DeSordi, Aaron Piepmeier, & Eric Hall


ABSTRACT: Student-athletes are more likely to develop mental health problems than the general population. In addition to schoolwork, social networks, family ties, and financial obligations, collegiate student-athletes are required to attend practices, travel for games, attend athletic events, and perform extracurricular duties. The addition of possible injury, overtraining, burnout, scrutiny from the public and/or the media, and consistent pressure to perform results in athletes playing through both physical injuries and mental health problems. Despite the high number of athletes who report needing mental health support, fewer than half seek out mental health services. Research has identified stigma as one of the largest barriers to mental health help-seeking behavior (HSB). Help-seeking behavior has rarely been studied in relation to the larger body of work on mental health stigma in sport. The purpose of this study was to observe and describe student-athletes’ perceived stigma (e.g., what others think) and personal stigma (e.g., what the individual thinks) in relation to HSB. A sample of n = 20 athletes completed an online Qualtrics Survey, which included Link’s Perceived Discrimination and Devaluation Scale, Mental Health Literacy Scale, Self-Stigma of Seeking Help Scale, Help Seeking Questionnaire, and Student-Athlete Role Behaviors Questionnaire. Results from this study may help develop mental health interventions to improve student-athlete HSB. KEYWORDS: Mental Health; Student-Athlete; Stigma; Help-Seeking Behavior; NCAA; PDDS; MHLS; SSOSH; HSQ; SRBQ

p.13. The Effect of Coastline Concavity on Maximum Storm Surge Height along the US Gulf Coast

Kayleigh Addington & Stephanie Zick


ABSTRACT: Storm surge is the most dangerous component of landfalling tropical cyclones (TCs). The growing coastal population highlights the importance of research regarding the atmospheric and geographic factors influencing the maximum storm surge height (MSSH). To date, few studies have investigated the influence of coastline concavity. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that TCs making landfall on a concave coastline will have a higher MSSH than TCs making landfall on a convex coastline. The Colorado State University extended best track dataset includes the radius of 34 kt winds (R34), landfall minimum mean sea level pressure (MSLP), landfall maximum sustained winds, and forward speed of TCs. The storm surge database for the US Gulf Coast provides the location and MSSH for TCs impacting the U.S. Gulf Coast. From this, eleven TCs that meet specific criteria and represent the larger population of Atlantic TCs are selected. The adjusted degree of coastline concavity (ADoC) is calculated for each TC using the law of cosines and 50, 100, and 200 km radius buffers around the point of MSSH. A Mann Whitney U test does not indicate any significant differences between the mean MSSH of TCs making landfall on each coastline type. Additionally, results from a simple linear regression F-test suggest that none of the included parameters have a significant influence on MSSH despite the findings of previous research. Still, the Spearman’s Rho correlation values suggest a weak positive relationship between the ADoC and MSSH. This relationship is significant at the 100 and 200 km buffers, which is consistent with the hypothesis. Results are limited by the small sample size. Future research should use a larger dataset and investigate how each individual storm characteristic affects MSSH. KEYWORDS: Tropical Cyclones; Hurricanes; Storm Surge; Coastal Geography; Coastline Concavity; Gulf of Mexico; Law of Cosines

p.29. Validation of a Computationally Efficient Model of the Mu-Opioid Receptor

Allison Barkdull, Lexin Chen, Akash Mathavan, Karina Martinez-Mayorga, & Coray M. Colina


ABSTRACT: The mu-opioid receptor (MOR) is a transmembrane protein and the primary target for pain-modulating drugs. Opioid drugs come with detrimental side-effects such as physical dependence and addiction. However, recent studies show that understanding structural properties and dynamics of MOR may aid in the design of opioid drugs with reduced side-effects. Molecular dynamics simulations allow researchers to study changes in protein conformation at an atomistic level. However, modeling systems including MOR embedded in a lipid bilayer can be computationally expensive. This study evaluates a modeling approach that uses harmonic restraints on the transmembrane regions of MOR to model the rigidity of the lipid bilayer without explicitly simulating lipid molecules, reducing the number of atoms in the simulation. The proposed model allows MOR to be simulated 49% faster than a simulation explicitly including the lipid bilayer. To assess the accuracy of the proposed model, simulations were performed of MOR in a lipid bilayer, the free MOR in water and MOR in water with harmonic restraints applied to all transmembrane residues using NAMD 3.0 alpha and the CHARMM36 force field. Dynamic properties of MOR were shown to be different in each system, with the free MOR having a higher root mean square deviation (RMSD) than MOR with an explicitly modeled lipid bilayer. The systems with harmonic restraint constants of 0.001 kcal/mol/Å2 applied to the transmembrane residues had RMSD values comparable to those in an explicitly modeled lipid bilayer. This study demonstrates that using restraints on the transmembrane residues of MOR is a feasible way of modeling the ligand-free receptor with reduced computational costs. This model could allow the dynamics of MOR in a lipid bilayer environment to be studied more efficiently. KEYWORDS: Molecular Dynamics; Atomistic Simulations; Computational Modeling; Mu-Opioid Receptor; G-Protein Coupled Receptor; Lipid Bilayer, Opioid, Transmembrane Protein

p.45. A Review of Models on Direct Evaporative Cooling

Michael Wilkins & Nelson Fumo


ABSTRACT: Direct evaporative cooling (DEC) is a technology that is continuously expanding into different areas of study. The foundation of this process has been built through expansive research efforts and physical experimental data. The ability to accurately model and predict the performance of DEC systems allows the energy-efficient process to gain traction in HVAC applications, however, the inconsistencies present among research efforts created discontinuities in the reproduction of a system. By reviewing current literature, the discrepancies in the defining methodologies of how DEC systems are defined and predicted can provide insight to future research. This review depicts the different approaches taken in recent research to define the equations that govern the thermodynamic processes, the different materials used in the process, and the models used to predict the performance of DEC systems. By identifying the most common practices in current research, the gaps in literature can be recognized and overcome in further efforts. KEYWORDS: Direct Evaporative Cooling; Evaporative Cooler; Evaporative Cooling Media; HVAC; Cooling Effectiveness

p.57. Semantic Interpretations of Ditransitive Constructions in English

Marcella Jurotich


ABSTRACT: This study addresses claims made by two theories—the Alternative Projection and Verb Sensitive approaches—regarding an interpretation of possession attributed to certain ditransitive constructions. The Alternative Projection approach argues that an interpretation of possession is only available in the double object (DO) pattern expressed by English ditransitive verbs (1a) and is not available in the prepositional (PP) pattern (1b). The Verb Sensitive approach argues that this possession interpretation is either available for both the DO and PP patterns, or for neither pattern, depending on the class of ditransitive verb with which the patterns occur. (1a) The salesperson gave the young farmer the grain mixture. (1b) The salesperson gave the grain mixture to the young farmer. Both approaches posit a possession interpretation of the DO pattern across all ditransitive verbs. This study tests to what degree native English speakers interpret a meaning of possession from the DO and PP patterns through an online survey with 88 participants. Ditransitive verbs from five semantic classes are analyzed to determine if the interpretation of possession varies based on use of the DO or PP pattern (Alternative Projection) or by the semantic class of the verb (Verb Sensitive). The results do not support the Alternative Projection approach. The results suggest partial support for the Verb Sensitive approach, as semantic classes do not entirely follow the pattern predicted by this approach.  Further, judgements reported in this study contradict some judgements reported in the literature, highlighting the importance of quantitative studies in evaluating theoretical claims. KEYWORDS: Ditransitives in English; Ditransitive Verbs; Survey; the Dative Alternation; Semantics; Verb Semantics; Alternative Projection approach; Verb Sensitive approach

p.69. Are Wrist-based Heart Rate Monitors a Valid Tool for Fitness Professionals to Measure Training Intensity During Exercise Classes?

Korey Little, John C. Sieverdes, D. David Thomas, M. Blake Lineberger, Daniel B. Bornsteind, Marco Bergamine, & Wesley D. Dudgeon


ABSTRACT: This article aims to inform personal trainers and group fitness coaches about the validity and utility of wrist-located heart rate (HR) monitors compared to chest-located HR monitors for training purposes. HR from four wrist-based optical sensor HR products (Fitbit Charge HR, Garmin Vivosmart HR, Apple Watch series 1, Mio Fuse) were compared against a Polar H7 chest strap & RS800cx receiver during nine activities. Two researchers visually observed HR during a protocol incorporating resting, standing, a grocery bag carry, and a 6-stage cycle ergometer protocol that reached maximal HR. Pearson’s r and interclass correlations (ICC) in the sample (n=45, mean age=20.22 [SD 2.32]) resulted in the following: Mio Fuse r=.93, ICC=.97; Apple Watch 1 r=.91, ICC=.95; Fitbit Charge HR r=.83, ICC=.91; and Garmin Vivosmart HR r=.74, ICC=.85 (all p’s <.001). Bland-Altman plots showed the lowest bias for the Mio (-3.30 bpm), followed by the Apple Watch (-2.82 (SD:14.6) bpm), Garmin (-2.99 (SD:23.9) bpm) with Fitbit having the highest bias (-8.13 (SD:20.6) bpm). No drift in bias was found for any device in successive HR categories (all p’s >.09). Wrist-based HR monitors were deemed acceptable for fitness classes, though caution should be taken when interpreting any singular visually observed measurement point. KEYWORDS: Smartwatch; Heart Rate Monitoring; Fitness; Fitness Watch; Validity; Exercise; Cycle Ergometer; Training; Intensity

p.79. Retributive Attitudes and Perceptions of Police Use of Excessive Force

Amelia Collins, Sherah L. Basham, & Rick Dierenfeldt


ABSTRACT: Public opinions of police use of force vary widely. Previous studies, however, have framed their examinations around the factors that influence support of police use of force in general, as compared to a focus on excessive force. This study utilized linear regression to examine the relationship between perceptions of police use of excessive force and retributive attitudes. The study employed a sample of 5,527 respondents from the American National Election Studies (ANES) 2020 Time Series Survey. Findings indicated that respondents’ perceptions of the frequency of police use of excessive force depend on their retributive attitudes. The more retributive one’s attitude, the less often they perceived the police to use too much force. Similarly, the more conservative one’s political ideology, the less frequently they perceived police used excessive force. Perceptions of police excessive force also vary across demographics. KEYWORDS: Retributiveness; Death Penalty; Police Use of Force; Police Excessive Force

p.87. College Canines: Investigating the Behavioral and Physiological Impacts of Various College-Housing Environments on Companion Dogs

Kaitlyn Willgohs, Jenna Williams, Isabella Crisostomo, Katherine Keck, Crystal Young-Erdos, & Lauren Highfill


ABSTRACT: Companion animals are becoming a more familiar sight on college campuses, and they are often viewed as an essential element of wellness by students and institutions of higher education. While previous studies have investigated the behavioral and physiological impacts of bringing a pet to campus on the owners, impacts on the pets themselves have yet to be explored. Previous studies do suggest, however, that when dogs are left alone, they display more anxiety-related behaviors such as barking, destruction, lip-licking, body shaking, and higher levels of alertness. The present study investigated the difference in anxiety-related behaviors between on-campus dwelling dogs (n = 18) and off-campus dwelling dogs (n = 12) when exposed to a novel environment, and the physiological baseline of the dogs. Specifically, a saliva sample was collected from each dog before they were placed into a novel room for three minutes and their behavior was coded. Overall, there were no significant differences found between the two groups in either the anxiety-related behaviors observed or salivary cortisol levels. The implications of our findings for campus dogs will be discussed. KEYWORDS: Companion Animals; Dogs; Behavior; Cortisol; Higher Education; Dog Welfare; Service Animals; Animal-Assisted Interventions; Student Mental Health

AJUR Volume 20 Issue 1 (June 2023)

Click on this link to download the full high-definition interactive pdf for AJUR Volume 20 Issue 1 (June 2023) or https://doi.org/10.33697/ajur.2023.075

Links to individual manuscripts, abstracts, and keywords are provided below.

p.3. Divestment Movements over Environmental Issues: The Brazilian Amazon Case

Pedro Eymael


ABSTRACT: Devastating forest fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, one of the most important biomes for Earth’s climate balance, have captured the world’s attention in 2019 and 2020. Foreign governments, non-governmental organizations, and institutional investors pressured Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to act and control the situation. Within this context, institutional investors threatened to divest from companies potentially linked to the wildfires and to sell government bonds, creating a divestment movement. Against this background, this article shows that Bolsonaro’s responses varied for each of the groups criticizing the handling of the environmental situation. It is argued that the Brazilian government adopted a more conciliatory tone and took more concrete actions when responding to institutional investors’ demands, compared to the responses for foreign governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Based on fifteen in-depth interviews conducted in 2021 with professionals involved in this divestment case, the paper concludes that institutional investors played a key role in Bolsonaro’s winning coalition and electoral aspirations. Moreover, the shortage of financial capital due to the COVID-19 pandemic created further incentives for Bolsonaro to avoid conflicts with institutional investors. KEYWORDS: Divestment; Amazon Rainforest; Wildfires; Investors; Climate Change; Brazil; Politics

p.27. Using Coral Color to Indicate Coral Health in Five Caribbean Species

Gabriella Herrera, Alexandra M. Good, Alexander Hirota, Catherine Razal, Nicole Gaertner, Justin Sefcik, Jesse Gilbert, & Keisha D. Bahr


ABSTRACT: Coral reefs are one of the most biodiverse and productive ecosystems on Earth, and color has been shown to indicate coral health in Australian and Hawaiian reef systems. However, no standardized method exists to quantify coral health for Caribbean corals. Therefore, a health assessment card using coral color was developed for five species of Caribbean corals to monitor coral health non-invasively. To quantify coral health, individual corals of each species were photographed in a controlled environment to develop color profiles. Simultaneously, nondestructive measurements of “health” were quantified by measuring photosynthetic efficiency (Fv/Fm) using pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) fluorometry, which determines how efficiently the symbiotic algae provides energy to the coral host. The results of this work successfully corresponded photosynthetic efficiency to coral color for five dominant species of Caribbean corals to develop a Coral Health Assessment Card for Caribbean reefs. Implementing a standardized assessment of symbiont performance can assist in monitoring changes in coral health, which can consequently be implemented into long-term and widespread monitoring projects to track overall Caribbean reef health.
KEYWORDS: Photosynthetic Efficiency, Symbiodinium spp., Coral Bleaching, Pulse-amplitude Modulated Fluorometry, Health Assessment

p.37. Synthesis and Palladium-Catalyzed Cross-Coupling of an Alkyl-Substituted Alkenylboronic Acid Pinacol Ester with Aryl Bromides

Shoma Mukai & Nathan S. Werner


ABSTRACT: The palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reaction of alkyl-substituted alkenylboron reagents with aryl halides is a versatile method to introduce a hydrophobic hydrocarbon chain onto organic compounds of interest. The application of the cross-coupling reaction is enabled by synthetic methods for the preparation of alkenylboron reagents. The geometrically pure, alkyl-substituted alkenylboron reagent, (E)-octenylboronic acid pinacol ester, was prepared by 9-BBN-catalyzed hydroboration reaction of 1-octene with pinacolborane in refluxing 1 M THF solution. This reagent was then evaluated in palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions with aryl bromides. The highest yield of the (E)-1-phenyloctene was obtained when SPhos was used as the ligand, K2CO3 was used as the base, and DMF was used as the reaction solvent. Other electron-rich, electron-poor, sterically hindered, and heteroaromatic substrates produced the corresponding (E)-1-phenyloctene derivatives in moderate to good yield.
KEYWORDS: Organic synthesis; Aryl alkene synthesis; Palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling; Suzuki-Miyaura reaction; Stereocontrolled alkene preparation; Hydroboration; 9-Borobicyclo[3.3.1]nonane; Reaction optimization

p.47. Spawning Conditions Affect Clutch Probability and Size in Laboratory-Housed Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Sydni Anderson, Elizabeth Sipes, Megan Franke, & Dena R. Hammond-Weinberger


ABSTRACT: Zebrafish are common experimental models used in biological studies that are bred and raised in laboratory settings. Published studies, anecdotal evidence, and industry practices are variable and offer conflicting suggestions on maximizing reproductive success, particularly regarding sex ratios and segregating males and females before spawning. This study identified conditions that promote maximum reproductive success (clutch probability and average clutch size) in zebrafish. Clutch probability was higher when females were seven to ten months old and bred in groups with equal sex ratios and an artificial spawning substrate in the winter or spring. Clutch size was significantly larger when females were seven to ten months old, outnumbered by males, and bred with an artificial spawning substrate. Optional spawning substrates (marbles and plants) improved reproductive success, whereas other parameters had no impact. These data support the implementation of simple steps that reliably maximize reproductive success of laboratory zebrafish.
KEYWORDS: Reproduction; Breeding; Seasonality; Behavior; Substrate; Sex Ratios; Captivity; Eggs

p.59. Color Saturation: Upper and Lower Percentage Histogram Manipulation

Kyra Obert , Maria Schudt , & Ian Bentley


ABSTRACT: There are various color correction techniques that can be applied to digital photographs to account for environmental lighting variations. This manuscript contains a proposed method for such color correction. The method involves saturating an image by a specified percentage of its pixels via upper and lower percentage histogram manipulation using the image’s RGB histograms. Variations of this new technique, the white balance (WB) correction method, and a multivariable fit are used to test its performance against common color correction techniques. The findings demonstrate that the upper and lower percentage histogram manipulation method is not only more applicable to photos because it doesn’t require calibration regions to be sampled but it is also more consistent in its correction of photos when there are substantial gray scale features (e.g. a black and white grid or text). Our motivation for testing these techniques is to find the most robust color correction technique that is broadly applicable (not requiring a color checker chart) and is consistent across different lighting.
KEYWORDS: Color Correction; Histogram Manipulation; Saturation; White Balance; Scientific Image Analysis; Color Comparisons; Euclidean Distance; Standard Deviation; Color Difference

p.77. Overexpression of MMACHC Prevents Craniofacial Phenotypes Caused by Knockdown of znf143b

Isaiah Perez, Nayeli G. Reyes-Nava, Briana E. Pinales, & Anita M. Quintana


ABSTRACT: ZNF143 is a sequence-specific DNA binding protein that regulates the expression of protein-coding genes and small RNA molecules. In humans, ZNF143 interacts with HCFC1, a transcriptional cofactor, to regulate the expression of downstream target genes, including MMACHC, which encodes an enzyme involved in cobalamin (cbl) metabolism. Mutations in HCFC1 or ZNF143 cause an inborn error of cobalamin metabolism characterized by abnormal cbl metabolism, intellectual disability, seizures, and mild to moderate craniofacial abnormalities. However, the mechanisms by which ZNF143 mutations cause individual phenotypes are not completely understood. Defects in metabolism and craniofacial development are hypothesized to occur because of decreased expression of MMACHC. But recent results have called into question this mechanism as the cause for craniofacial development. Therefore, in the present study, we implemented a loss of function analysis to begin to uncover the function of ZNF143 in craniofacial development using the developing zebrafish. The knockdown of znf143b, one zebrafish ortholog of ZNF143, caused craniofacial phenotypes of varied severity, which included a shortened and cleaved Meckel’s cartilage, partial loss of ceratobranchial arches, and a distorted ceratohyal. These phenotypes did not result from a defect in the number of total chondrocytes but were associated with a mild to moderate decrease in mmachc expression. Interestingly, expression of human MMACHC via endogenous transgene prevented the onset of craniofacial phenotypes associated with znf143b knockdown. Collectively, our data establishes that knockdown of znf143b causes craniofacial phenotypes that can be alleviated by increased expression of MMACHC.
KEYWORDS: ZNF143; MMACHC; Vertebrate abnormalities; Cobalamin; cblX-like syndrome; Chondrocytes; Neural crest cells; Hyosymplectic

AJUR Volume 19 Issue 4 (March 2023)

Click on this link to download the full high-definition interactive pdf for AJUR Volume 19 Issue 4 (March 2023) or https://doi.org/10.33697/ajur.2023.069

Links to individual manuscripts, abstracts, and keywords are provided below.

p.3. Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Society

Emma Johnson, Eloy Parrilla, & Austin Burg
ABSTRACT: Every day, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more prevalent as new technologies are presented to the public with the intent of integrating them into society. However, these systems are not perfect and are known to cause failures that impact a multitude of people. The purpose of this study is to explore how ethical guidelines are followed by AI when it is being designed and implemented in society. Three ethics theories, along with nine ethical principles of AI, and the Agent, Deed, Consequence (ADC) model were investigated to analyze failures involving AI. When a system fails to follow the models listed, a set of refined ethical principles are created. By analyzing the failures, an understanding of how similar incidents may be prevented was gained. Additionally, the importance of ethics being a part of AI programming was demonstrated, followed by recommendations for the future incorporation of ethics into AI. The term “failure” is specifically used throughout the paper because of the nature in which the events involving AI occur. The events are not necessarily “accidents” since the AI was intended to act in certain ways, but the events are also not “malfunctions” because the AI examples were not internally compromised. For these reasons, the much broader term “failure” is used. KEYWORDS: Ethics; Artificial Intelligence; Agent-Deed-Consequence (ADC) Model; Principles of Artificial Intelligence; Virtue Ethics; Deontology; Consequentialism; AI Systems

p.13. The By-Product of Ozone from Electrostatic Air Cleaners

Giovanni Cerrato & Nelson Fumo
ABSTRACT: Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) contributes to the health and comfort of people living and working indoors. Poor IAQ can be linked to indoor and outdoor sources of contaminants. One recent solution for improving IAQ is the use of Electrostatic (ES) Air Cleaning technology. An ES air cleaner can be installed in an heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system where it pre-filters large dust particles and shocks smaller particles into a collection tray. However, ES air cleaners have been known to give off ozone as a by-product, which is, itself, an air contaminant. Ozone is found outdoors as product of sunlight combining nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds generated from man-made pollution. Indoor ozone concentration will depend on the introduction of outdoor ozone indoors through natural ventilation, mechanical ventilation, and infiltration through the building’s envelope (in order of importance). Two different ES air cleaners, A and B, were installed in the air conditioning system of research House #2 of the TRANE Residential Heating and Cooling Research Lab at the University of Texas at Tyler. A series of ozone experiments were conducted, which included measuring the baseline ozone levels at the research houses with different levels of insulation, observing the increase in ozone due to the powering on of mechanical ventilation, and observing the increase in ozone due to the powering on of the installed ES air cleaners. The baseline ozone levels observed in research house #2, whose envelope is more tightly insulated, was found to be lower than in research house #1 whose envelope is less tightly insulated. With regards to mechanical ventilation, an increase in ozone levels were seen in addition to an even higher increase in ozone levels when the ES air cleaners were powered on in tandem. In terms of the single contribution of the ES air cleaners in raising indoor ozone levels, the data shows that although the ES air cleaners increased the ozone concentration in the house, the levels are not of concern as they were less than the FDA limit on indoor ozone generation. KEYWORDS: Indoor Air Quality; Ozone; Electrostatic Air Cleaner; Infiltration; Mechanical Ventilation; HVAC; Pollutant; Indoor Contaminant

p.31. Student Perceptions of Instructor-Student Rapport and Motivation In Hybrid Courses During COVID-19

Bianca S. Candelaria & Meredith L. Clements
ABSTRACT: The relationship between instructors and their students is essential for developing a classroom climate where students feel motivated to learn. The current study surveyed 658 undergraduate students to examine the relationship between instructor-student rapport and motivation in online and face-to-face classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results indicated (1) students experienced more rapport with their instructors during face-to-face classes compared to their online classes, (2) students perceived their motivation was greater during face-to-face classes than in online classes, and (3) there was a significant positive relationship between instructor-student rapport and student motivation in both online and face-to-face classes. This study’s findings lend further support to research that emphasizes the importance of creating a sense of community in online classes, where students feel connected to their instructors and, consequently, motivated to learn. KEYWORDS: Instructor-Student Rapport; Motivation; Hybrid Courses; COVID-19; Online Learning

p.41. “The Strong, Silent Type”: Analyzing the Portrayal of the Cost of Masculine Gender Performances in The Sopranos

Holly Taylor & Anna Curtis
ABSTRACT: Media portrayals of the “strong, silent type” reinforce the expectation that men should not demonstrate or even acknowledge their emotions. This trope, however, reflects more significant societal norms around masculine practices that can have profoundly negative impacts on individual men as well as those around them. Emotional compression (or modern stoicism) is fundamentally different from emotional repression. Emotional compression practices can allow men to process their feelings privately and then communicate their feelings clearly without the distortion of uncontrolled bursts of emotion. The treatment of mental health and masculinity in Season 5 of The Sopranos “holds up a mirror” to the costs of emotional repression for men as part of masculine gender performances. The show highlights, sometimes quite brutally, the costs of emotional repression to men and the people around them. In doing so, the content of the show implies that therapy could help men learn to face their feelings and alleviate their suffering as well as that of their families, though only if men are willing to face the feelings of vulnerability that come with having emotions. KEYWORDS: Stoicism; Alexithymia; Hegemonic masculinity; Emotional repression; Mental health; Gender performances

p.53. A Review of the Effect of Estrogen on Immune Efficacy in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) with Comparisons to Human and Murine Homologs

Michael S. Chembars & Lindsey C. Stevenson
ABSTRACT: A review was conducted on current research surrounding the effect of estrogen, and the estrogen receptor, on immune development. Estrogen can regulate many processes and genes throughout immune development, from modulating complement activation and regulating genes crucial for hematopoiesis, to elevating toll-like receptor gene expression. Estrogen has also been shown to have a pronounced effect on regulating certain cancers through inducing macrophage infiltration. It has also been demonstrated to play an important role in the regulation of microRNAs that are important for proper immune development. A greater understanding of this hormone’s effect gained through the zebrafish model can lead to the development of better practices to improve both human and ecological health. Contemporary reviews typically examine the effect of estrogen-like compounds (oftentimes referred to as estrogenic endocrine disrupting compounds) on a sequestered part of immune system development. A distinct lack of cohesion exists in combining contemporary and past reports of the effects of estrogen on various aspects of immune system development in zebrafish. This review serves to fill that gap in knowledge, and to provide a gateway for other researchers interested in this topic. KEYWORDS: Zebrafish; Immune development; Zebrafish immunology; Estrogen; Estrogen receptor; Autoimmunity; Altered signaling; Hematopoiesis

AJUR Volume 19 Issue 3 (December 2022)

Click on this link to download the full high-definition interactive pdf for AJUR Volume 19 Issue 3 (December 2022) or https://doi.org/10.33697/ajur.2022.063

Links to individual manuscripts, abstracts, and keywords are provided below.

p.3. Comparison of Genotypic and Phenotypic Predictions for Heavy Metal Resistance in Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli

Jeevan Rivera-Díaz, Haley Phillippi, Nyduta Mbogo, Erin M. Nawrocki, & Edward G. Dudley


ABSTRACT: Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli are two pathogenic bacteria of worldwide importance that can infect the gastrointestinal tract. Contamination in the food supply chain is an area of concern. Animal feed may be supplemented with essential trace elements, which function as nutritional additives to promote growth & health and optimize production. Bacteria have acquired many metal resistance genes to adapt to the exposure of metals. In this study, our objectives were to evaluate in S. enterica and E. coli, the correlation between the resistance genotype and phenotype to certain heavy metals, and the ability of conjugative plasmids to transfer antimicrobial resistance genes (AMRGs) and heavy metal resistance genes (HMRGs). A total of 10 strains, five S. enterica and five E. coli, were used for this study. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined for heavy metals: copper, silver, arsenic, and tellurite. The tested isolates showed resistance to copper (5/10; 50%), arsenic (7/10; 70%), and silver (9/10; 90%). Cohen’s Kappa statistics were used to analyze genotype to phenotype agreements. Among the 10 strains sampled, the accordance between geno- and phenotypic heavy metal resistance was fair for copper (kappa = 0.4), none to slight for arsenic (kappa = 0.19) and tellurite (kappa = 0), and no agreement for silver (kappa = -0.19). The transfer of HMRGs was determined in a conjugation experiment performed for all five Salmonella strains as donors using mixed broth cultures. Transconjugants were obtained only from the genotypically tellurite-resistant strain PSU-3260, which yielded a transfer frequency of 10⁻³ transconjugants per donor. In such strain, the tellurite-resistant genes reside on an IncHI2-type plasmid that shares high DNA sequence identity with known HMRG-disseminating Salmonella plasmids. Our results indicated no considerable correlation between the geno- and phenotypic resistance towards heavy metals in the sampled S. enterica and E. coli. The necessity of research in this area is supported by the lack of standardized protocols and MIC clinical breakpoints for heavy metals.

KEYWORDS: Heavy metal; resistance; Salmonella; E. coli; agriculture; genotype; phenotype; MIC

p.17. Preventing the Activation of a Stress Gene Response in Escherichia coli Using Acetate, Butyrate, and Propionate

Kaylee M. Weigel, Kathleen M Ruff-Schmidt, Birgit M. Prüß, & Danielle L J Condry


ABSTRACT: Regulation of microbial symbiosis in the human intestinal tract is imperative to maintain overall human health and prevent dysbiosis-related diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) in the intestine are produced by bacterial fermentation and aid in inflammation reduction, dietary fiber digestion, and metabolizing nutrients for the colon. SCFA, notably acetate, butyrate, and propionate, are starting to be used in clinical interventions for GI diseases. While acetate has been shown to mitigate a stress response in the proteome of Escherichia coli cells, little is known about the effects of butyrate and propionate on the same cells. This study aims to evaluate the effects that butyrate and propionate have on the activation of stress promoters in E. coli when induced with a known stressor. Three different strains of E. coli containing the pUCD615 plasmid were used, each with a different promoter fused to the structural genes of the lac operon on the plasmid. Each promoter detected a unique stress response: grpE’::lux fusion (heat shock), recA’::lux fusion (SOS response), and katG’::lux fusion (oxidative damage). Activation of these stress promoters by treatment groups resulted in the emission of bioluminescence which was quantified and compared across treatment groups. All three SCFAs at 25 mM added to cultures prior to stressing the bacteria caused significantly lower bioluminescence levels when compared to the stressed culture without prior addition of SCFA. This indicates that these SCFAs may reduce the stress response in E. coli.

KEYWORDS: Short-chain fatty acids; acetate; butyrate; propionate; Escherichia coli; stress response; Vibrio fischeri luxCDABE; grpE; katG; recA

p.27 Quantification of Microfibers from Marine Sediments from Three Locations in Southern California: An Exposed Beach (Ventura County), a Watershed (Los Angeles County), and an Enclosed Harbor (Orange County)

Adrianna Ebrahim & Mia LeClerc


ABSTRACT: Microfibers are small (<5 mm) fibers made of synthetic materials that are ubiquitous in the environment. The purpose of this observational study was to quantify the number of microfibers in marine sediments and determine which locations have the highest risk for this type of pollution. Sediment samples were taken from three locations in Southern California (Sycamore Watershed, Ventura State Beach Jetty, and Newport Beach Harbor) to determine which had the highest number of microfibers. It was hypothesized that microfibers would be found at each sample site and that the most microfibers would be found at Sycamore Watershed due to its proximity to a wastewater discharge point. The microfibers were separated from the sediment through a process of stratification and filtration and analyzed by a one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s test. Per sample, there was an average of 111.5 (土99.3, n=14) microfibers found per sample at Sycamore Watershed, 59 (土17.4, n=18) at Newport Beach Harbor, and 53 (土14.4, n=18) at Ventura State Beach Jetty. A total of 3,590 microfibers were found from all three sample sites. Analysis revealed that Sycamore Watershed had significantly more microfibers than any other site (p<.05). It is likely that Sycamore Watershed had the most microfibers because of its proximity to a sewage-sludge disposal site that contains the polluted water from our washing machines. In conclusion, microfibers are polluting the sediments in harbors, open coastlines, and watersheds in California, negatively affecting the ecosystems in these areas.

KEYWORDS: Microfiber; Microplastic; Macroplastic; Marine Pollution; Synthetic Materials; Wastewater Treatment Plants; Sediments; Watershed; Harbor; Jetty

p. 37. Stabilization of Cisplatin via Coordination of Ethylenediamine

Samantha L. Rea, Alexia Smith, Brooke Hornberger, Grace Fillmore, Jeremy Burkett, & Timothy Dwyer


ABSTRACT: While the chemotherapeutic cisplatin is used to treat a variety of cancers, metal toxicity and cisplatin resistance via genetic and epigenetic changes limits its use and calls for alternative therapies. To combat the observed toxicities and create a more stable compound, which avoids isomerization into a trans configuration, three cisplatin analogues including cispalladium, dichloro-(ethylenediamine)-platinum(II), and dichloro-(ethylenediamine)-palladium(II) were synthesized as potential cisplatin alternatives. Each compound was evaluated for cytotoxicity on SK-OV-3 cells against cisplatin. Synthesis of dichloro-(ethylenediamine)-platinum(II) yielded 20.5% of the theoretical yield, while dichloro-(ethylenediamine)-palladium(II) yielded 49.1%. Results from the cytotoxicity trial revealed that cispalladium was not effective against SK-OV-3 cells, and dichloro-(ethylenediamine)-palladium had minimal effects. The dichloro-(ethylenediamine)-platinum(II) was the most efficacious with an IC50 value of 0.77 µg/ml compared to the IC50 of 0.61 µg/ml for cisplatin. With a similar IC50 to cisplatin, these results suggest that dichloro-(ethylenediamine)-platinum(II) has the potential to serve as a cisplatin alternative for cancer patients who develop resistance following their clinical course of cisplatin. Future studies on the cytotoxicity of dichloro-(ethylenediamine)-platinum(II) to induce cell death on cisplatin-resistance cell lines are necessary to determine the ability of the compound to be utilized as a cisplatin alternative.

KEYWORDS: Cisplatin; Ovarian Cancer; SK-OV-3; Drug Resistance; Stability; Palladium; Ethylenediamine; Cispalladium; Dichloro-(ethylenediamine)-platinum(II); Dichloro-(ethylenediamine)-palladium(II)

p.47. Novel Interactors of the SH2 Domain of the Signaling Adaptors CRK and CRKL Identified in Neuro2A Cells

Caroline M. Dumas, Anna M. Schmoker, Shannon R. Bennett, Amara S. Chittenden, Chelsea B. Darwin, Helena K. Gaffney, Hannah L. Lewis, Eliana Moskovitz, Jonah T. Rehak, Anna A. Renzi, Claire E. Rothfelder, Adam J. Slamin, Megan E. Tammaro, Leigh M. Sweet, & Bryan A. Ballif*


ABSTRACT: CT10 regulator of kinase (CRK) and CRK-like (CRKL) form a family of signaling adaptor proteins that serve important roles in the regulation of fundamental cellular processes, including cell motility and proliferation, in a variety of cell types. The Src Homology 2 (SH2) domain of CRK and CRKL interacts with proteins containing phosphorylated tyrosine-X-X-proline (pYXXP) motifs, facilitating complex formation during signaling events. A handful of CRK/CRKL-SH2-specific interactors have been identified to date, although in silico analyses suggest that many additional interactors remain to be found. To identify CRK/CRKL-SH2 interactors with potential involvement in neuronal development, we conducted a mass spectrometry-based proteomics screen using a neuronal cell line (Neuro2A, or N2A). This resulted in the identification of 132 (6 known and 126 novel) YXXP-containing CRK/CRKL-SH2 interactors, of which 77 were stimulated to bind to the CRK/CRKL-SH2 domain following tyrosine phosphatase inhibition. Approximately half of the proteins identified were common interactors of both the CRK- and CRKL-SH2 domains. However, both CRK family member SH2 domains exhibited unique binding partners across experimental replicates. These findings reveal an abundance of novel neuronal CRK/CRKL-SH2 domain binding partners and suggest that CRK family SH2 domains possess undescribed docking preferences beyond the canonical pYXXP motif.

KEYWORDS: CRK; CRKL; SH2; LC-MS/MS; Proteomics; Neurodevelopment; Signal Transduction

SUPPLEMENT 1 (Figures)


AJUR Volume 19 Issue 2 (September 2022)

Click on this link to download the full high-definition interactive pdf for AJUR Volume 19 Issue 2 (September 2022) or https://doi.org/10.33697/ajur.2022.058

Links to individual manuscripts, abstracts, and keywords are provided below.

p.3. Evaluating Driveway Cross Slopes and Social Equity in Cedar City, UT

Brock Anderson* & Jamie Spinney

Department of Geosciences, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT


Student: brock20anderson00@gmail.com*

Mentor: jamie.spinney@suu.edu


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the most comprehensive law governing accessibility, and it requires local governments to develop transition plans to become compliant. Among the key ADA requirements is a continuous unobstructed pedestrian circulation network that consists of a sidewalk that has a cross slope of no more than two degrees. The primary objective of this research was to evaluate whether driveway cross slopes in Cedar City were ADA compliant, so a digital level was used to measure a random sample of driveway cross slopes. A secondary objective was to determine whether there is evidence of social inequities in Cedar City’s pedestrian environment. The estimated value of each residential property (a proxy for income) was retrieved from Zillow® to evaluate the statistical relationship between incomes and driveway cross slopes. The results of this study indicate that there was no widespread evidence of social inequities. However, most driveway cross slopes (78.8 percent) were not ADA compliant and, thus, require retrofitting that should incorporate more widespread use of sidewalk buffer strips. The results also highlight priority areas for sidewalk improvements and can be used to inform a transition plan for sidewalk enhancements and funding.


Social Equity; ADA; Sidewalks; Advocacy Planning; Driveway Cross Slope; Walkability

p.11. Conversations About Mental Health and Well-being During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Why and How Restaurant Employees Talk With Each Other and Managers

Anamaria Tepordei* & Kirsten Foot

Department of Communication, University of Washington, Seattle, WA


Student: anamaria.tepordei@outlook.com*
Mentor: kfoot@uw.edu

Restaurant employees in the United States have experienced unprecedented challenges to their mental health and well-being (MHW) during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet little is known about communication regarding MHW in the restaurant industry. Drawing on health, organizational, and interpersonal communication concepts, this exploratory, survey-based study probed whether, how, and why or why not restaurant employees in western Washington State conversed about MHW with one another and their managers during the winter of 2021. Key findings include that there are many reasons why some restaurant employees do not engage in conversations about MHW with other members of the workplace. However, when such conversations do occur, they are typically mutual, positive, and relationally-oriented—more so among coworkers than between employees and managers. Additionally, both coworkers and managers are sources of social support and resource exchange during these conversations, although the evidence is stronger among coworkers. Our findings contribute to the extant literature on mental health communication in the workplace and demonstrate the merit in more closely examining superior-subordinate and coworker communication about personal and sensitive topics, like MHW. Comparative analysis of employees’ MHW-related communication with coworkers versus managers revealed both similarities and differences that carry implications for managerial practice and future research.

Mental Health and Well-being (MHW); Disclosure; Superior-subordinate Communication; Peer Coworker; Social Exchange; Social Support; Interpersonal Communication Motives (ICM), Restaurant Employees

p. 33. Differential Expression of Hub Genes and Activation of p53 by Anti-cancer Compound Curaxin CBL0137

Tanvi Patel*, Rochelle Ratner, & Niharika Nath

Department of Biological & Chemical Sciences, New York Institute of Technology, New York, NY


Students: tpatel60@nyit.edu*, rratne02@nyit.edu

Mentor: nnath@nyit.edu


Cancer is a global concern and there is a need for effective drugs. CBL0137 is a small water-soluble molecule and a new second-generation compound in the family of curaxins with potential anti-cancer activity. Curaxins in general, including CBL0137 intercalate into DNA, and act by targeting the histone chaperone ‘facilitates chromatin transcription’ (FACT) complex and have the potential to treat tumors by reducing the growth of cancer cells which is shown in a variety of cell lines and animal models. CBL0137 is found to activate the tumor suppressor gene p53. However, the mechanism of p53 activation is poorly understood. Utilizing bioinformatics analysis on available datasets of CBL0137 treated cancer cells of glioma, cervical and multiple myeloma, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that may lead to the activation of p53 were examined. Three GEO datasets of cells treated with various concentrations of CBL0137 were analyzed, namely HSJD-DIPG007 (GSE153441), MM1.S (GSE117611) and HeLa S3 (GSE117611). The DEGs were identified based on p-values less than 0.05, logFC values greater than 1 and less than -1 and analyzed using GEO2R, Enrichr, and STRING, and data visualization was performed on Tableau. Compared to the controls, a total of 229, 1425, and 1005 genes were upregulated while 368, 2322, and 1673 genes were downregulated for HSJD-DIPG007, MM1.S and HeLa S3 datasets, respectively. Further collective analysis revealed a total of 38 common DEGs among the three datasets. Using Enrichr and STRING on these 38 DEGs, seven hub genes were obtained, SKP2, RGS16, CSRP2, CENPA, HJURP, DTL, and HEXIM1 with these possible mechanisms:  inhibition of AKT phosphorylation by upregulated genes RGS16 and CSRP2, p300-mediated acetylation of p53 via SKP2, inhibition of MDM2 by DTL downregulation and HEXIM1 upregulation, and inhibition of AURKB via CENPA and HJURP downregulation. This study analyzed the three datasets and highlighted how these identified hub genes may play a role in leading to p53 activation by CBL0137.


Curaxin; CBL0137; Differentially Expressed Genes; Cancer; p53; Glioblastoma; Cervical; Myeloma

p. 43. Cemetery Analysis of Whitewater, WI

David H. Nehlsen

Department of Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Green Bay, WI


Students: nehldh03@uchicago.edu*

Mentor: weinscha@uwgb.edu


Procedures and customs surrounding funerals, burial, and grave marking vary widely by time period, location, culture, and religion, among many other factors. This project investigated the gravestone customs of cemeteries in Southern Wisconsin, USA. Utilizing a dataset of 500 gravestone samples collected from cemeteries in Whitewater, WI, the aim of this project was to objectively measure how people choose to remember their dead and how these practices have evolved over the years. Because of the decline in American religiosity in recent decades, the expectation of this project was to see the usage of religious symbols decline. Based upon this analysis, this does not appear to be the case. Practices such as the recording of one’s name and year of birth/death have remained constant; however, other customs of remembrance, such as the use of religious symbols and the recording of one’s date of marriage, have shifted dramatically over the years, reflecting the evolution of society and culture.


Cemetery; Symbols; Funeral; Thanatology; Death; Demography; Monuments; History

AJUR Volume 19 Issue 1 (June 2022)

Click on this link to download the full high-definition interactive pdf for AJUR Volume 19 Issue 1 (June 2022) or https://doi.org/10.33697/ajur.2022.053

Links to individual manuscripts, abstracts, and keywords are provided below.

p.3 Myrica cerifera, a Medicinal Plant of the Lumbee Tribe, has Antibacterial and Nematicidal Properties

Ashley Edwards, Kazhmiri Deberry, Hannah Mariani, Darian H. Taylor, Nicholas J. Cochran, Ana C. Barrios Sosa, Andrea Regan Scott, R. Thomas Williamson, Cornelia Tirla, Conner Sandefur, & Courtney Carroll Alexander


ABSTRACT: Currently threatening the world of medicine is a growing number of antibiotic-resistant diseases. More specifically, bacteria and nematodes have gained resistance to many of the world’s leading antibiotics and nematicides, respectively, making infections more difficult to treat. Subsequently, these parasitic organisms are able to continue damaging crops and other living organisms like humans without strong interference. To help people and the environment, the development of new and novel antibiotics is vital. Previous research suggests that phytochemicals are a potential solution that will not only help inhibit bacterial growth but also reduce nematode survival. We hypothesized that Myrica cerifera, a plant often used by the Lumbee tribe to treat illness, possesses antibacterial and nematicidal properties. To answer our hypothesis, we began by collecting plant specimens to extract material for biological assays and to subsequently isolate and elucidate the structures of active components. The extract was evaluated for antibacterial properties with an agar diffusion assay and then nematicidal properties using Caenorhabditis elegans. M. cerifera extract was added onto an agar lawn at various doses, and the nematodes’ lifespans were scored. The findings of this study show that extracts of this plant, more commonly referred to as ‘wax myrtle’, do significantly decrease the lifespan of C. elegans and increase the zone of inhibition for Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus. In addition, two compounds were isolated and characterized through chemical extraction, chromatographic separation, and spectroscopic analysis. These compounds could potentially be used to treat bacterial and nematode infections.

KEYWORDS: Antibacterial; Antimicrobial; Caenorhabditis elegans; Plant extract; Myrica cerifera; Nematicidal; NMR; Phytochemical

Supplemental Data for https://doi.org/10.33697/ajur.2022.054

p.13 State Adoption of Cryptocurrency: a Case Study Analysis of Iran, Russia, and Venezuela

Rose Mahdavieh


ABSTRACT: The emergence of digital currency is becoming prevalent in the age of globalization – specifically, cryptocurrencies, a subset of digital currency that encompass revolutionary technology. This study postulates that certain governments are more prone to adopting cryptocurrencies, especially those seeking to eschew international sanctions and protect corrupt practices. Three comparative case studies focus on countries (Iran, Russia, and Venezuela) that share attributes that result in adopting what has been called “native cryptocurrencies”: corruption, GDP level, economic volatility, and Western sanctions.

KEYWORDS: Cryptocurrency; Blockchain; Political Science; Law; Foreign Sanctions; Government; Iran; Russia; Venezuela

p23. Salinity Affects Wound Healing in Wild Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Brianna Hurst & Dara N. Orbach


ABSTRACT: Dolphins are often individually identified by unique naturally-acquired markings. Identification becomes difficult when markings heal, or new scars appear. As salt accelerates wound healing in many organisms, the diminishment of scars on common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) residing in varying natural salinities was determined. South Texas contains the only hypersaline lagoon in the USA, located adjacent to hyposaline waters, with genetically distinct populations of dolphins in the two environments. Photographs of dolphin dorsal fins were collected, and scar stability over time was determined and compared by measuring changes in the relative lengths and surfaces of scars. All scars on dolphins in the hypersaline lagoon completely diminished between three to six years, while scars on dolphins in the hyposaline bay ranged in the amount of fading between three to six years. Data from this case study indicate that high salinity may increase the healing speed of wounds on common bottlenose dolphins compared to low salinity, although a larger sample size is needed for robust statistical comparison. Scar diminishment is an important consideration in determining the temporal reliability of photo identification.

KEYWORDS: Bottlenose dolphin; Corpus Christi Bay; healing; hypersaline; Laguna Madre; photo-identification; salinity; scar

p.31 Validation of Accelerometer-Based Estimations of Energy Expenditure During High-Intensity Interval Training

Nicholas Remillard, Marisa Mulvey, Gregory Petrucci Jr, & John R Sirard


ABSTRACT: Accelerometers are used to assess free-living physical activity (PA) and energy expenditure (EE). Energy expenditure estimation algorithms have been calibrated using steady-state exercise. However, most free-living PA is not steady-state. Objective: The purpose of this study was to discern the differences between criterion-measured and accelerometer-estimated EE (kCals) during a non-steady-state High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session. Methods: Recreationally active adults (N=29, 18-30 years) completed one of two HIIT protocols. Each participant wore ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometers on the right hip and non-dominant wrist while EE was measured using portable indirect calorimetry. Data analysis was conducted using custom R scripts and bias [95% CIs] to determine significant differences between indirect calorimetry and EE estimates using previously developed algorithms. Results: All accelerometer algorithms underestimated EE during recovery intervals (range; -4.31 to -6.55 kCals) and overestimated EE during work intervals (0.57 to 5.70 kcals). Over the whole HIIT session, only the Hildebrand wrist method was not significantly different from the criterion measured EE. Conclusion: Current ActiGraph EE estimations based on steady-state activities underestimate EE during recovery periods of treadmill HIIT sessions. Future studies should investigate accelerometer signals immediately after high-intensity bouts to more accurately predict EE of the subsequent recovery period.

KEYWORDS: ActiGraph; Accelerometer; HIIT; Indirect calorimetry; EPOC; Energy expenditure; Non-steady state; Calories

AJUR Volume 18 Issue 4 (March 2022)

Click on this link to download the full high-definition interactive pdf for AJUR Volume 18 Issue 4 (March 2022) or https://doi.org/10.33697/ajur.2022.050

Links to individual manuscripts, abstracts, and keywords are provided below.

p.3. The Effects of the NBA COVID Bubble on the NBA Playoffs: A Case Study for Home-Court Advantage
Michael Price & Jun Yan
ABSTRACT: The 2020 NBA playoffs were played inside of a bubble at Disney World because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant that there were no fans in attendance, games were played on neutral courts and no traveling for teams. In theory, these conditions should remove home-court advantage from the games. This setting generated discussion and concern, as analysts and fans debated the possible effects it may have on the outcome of games. Home-court advantage has historically played an influential role in NBA playoff series outcomes. The 2020 playoffs provided a unique opportunity to study the effects of the bubble and home-court advantage by comparing the 2020 season with the seasons in the past. While many factors contribute to the outcome of games, points scored is the deciding factor of who wins. Thus, scoring is the primary focus of this study. The specific measures of interest are team scoring totals and team shooting percentage on two-pointers, three-pointers, and free throws. Comparing these measures for home teams and away teams in 2020 vs. 2017-2019 shows that the 2020 playoffs favored away teams more than usual, particularly with two-point shooting and total scoring.
KEYWORDS: NBA; NBA Covid; NBA Bubble; Homecourt Advantage

p.15. Internalizing Symptoms in Children Exposed to Adversity: Examining Associations with Resilience, Social Support, and Community Cohesion
Rachel Stobbe, Taylor Napier, Debra Bartelli, & Kathryn H. Howell
ABSTRACT: Exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) contributes to increased rates of psychopathology in youth. Specific environmental factors have been linked to improved functioning following adversity, but few studies have taken a social-ecological approach to examine how resilience, social support, and community cohesion may be associated with internalizing problems (i.e., anxiety, depression) in young children. The current study included 49 children between the ages of 8 and 13 (Mage = 10.43, SD = 1.57; 55.1% male; 95.8% Black or African American) who were recruited from four community programs in the Midsouth, United States that serve families experiencing adversity. Regarding income, 77.3% of youth’s caregivers reported an annual household income under $15,000. Almost all children reported experiencing at least one ACE (92.6%). Two linear regression models were run to assess how resilience, social support, and community cohesion were related to youth’s depression and anxiety symptoms while controlling for ACEs and family income. The model examining depression was significant, (F (5, 48) = 4.16, p < .01, R2 = .33) with fewer reported ACEs (β = 1.55, p < .02) and higher resilience (β = -.73, p = .01) associated with lower depressive symptoms. The model assessing anxiety was not significant. Results indicate that personal resilience may be a key target for intervention in children exposed to ACEs as efforts to strengthen individual resources (e.g., self-efficacy, emotion regulation skills) could be linked to reduced psychopathology.
KEYWORDS: Adverse Childhood Experiences; Social Ecology; Resilience; Social Support; Community Cohesion; Internalizing Symptoms; Anxiety; Depression

AJUR Volume 18 Issue 3 (December 2021)

Click on this link to download the full high-definition interactive pdf for AJUR Volume 18 Issue 3 (December 2021)

Links to individual manuscripts, abstracts, and keywords are provided below.

p. 3. An Optimal Control Experiment for an SEIRS Epidemiological Model
Tanner Snyder & Ryan Nierman
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Madonna University, Livonia, MI
ABSTRACT: This work studies an optimal control model for a discrete-time Susceptible/Exposed/Infective/Removed/Susceptible (SEIRS) deterministic epidemiological model with a finite time horizon and changing population. The model presented converts a continuous SEIRS model that would typically be solved using differential equations into a discrete model that can be solved using dynamic programming. The discrete approach more closely resembles real life situations, as the number of individuals in a population, the rate of vaccination to be applied, and the time steps are all discrete values. The model utilizes a previously developed algorithm and applies it to the presented SEIRS model. To demonstrate the applicability of the algorithm, a series of numerical results are presented for various parameter values.
KEYWORDS: Control; Cost; Discrete; Disease; Epidemiology; Minimization; Modeling; Optimality; SEIRS; Vaccination

p. 15. Factors Associated with Surgery Among South Asian American and Non-Hispanic White Women with Breast Cancer
Lydia Lo & Jaya M. Satagopan
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, School of Engineering, Rutgers University,New Brunswick, NJ
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology & Center for South Asian Quantitative Health and Education, School of Public Health, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
ABSTRACT: South Asian American (SA) women are diagnosed with more aggressive breast cancer than non-Hispanic White (NHW) women. Understanding the factors associated with the types of surgery received by these women sheds light on disease management in these culturally distinct populations. We used data on age at diagnosis, stage, grade, estrogen and progesterone receptors, and surgery from 4,590 SA and 429,030 NHW breast cancer cases in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program. We used logistic regression with surgery as the binary outcome (subcutaneous, total, or radical mastectomy (STRM) versus partial mastectomy, no, unknown or other (PNUM)) and included additive effects of all the variables and interactions of age, stage, grade, and estrogen and progesterone receptors with race/ethnicity. Type I error of 5% was used to assess statistical significance of the effects. SA were significantly more likely than NHW cases to receive STRM relative to PNUM surgery among women diagnosed at or after age 50 years and having localized stage disease (Odds Ratio (OR) = 1.27, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.06 – 1.52). Further, SA were significantly less likely than NHW cases to receive STRM relative to PNUM surgery among those diagnosed before age 50 years and having regional or distant stage disease (OR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.59 – 0.95 for age at diagnosis < 40 years; OR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.62 – 0.95 for age at diagnosis 40-49 years). The type of surgery received by SA and NHW women differ according to age at diagnosis and disease stage. 
KEYWORDS: Breast Cancer; Surgery; Cancer Health Equity; Disease Characteristics; South Asian American; Non-Hispanic White; Logistic Regression; Interaction

p. 25. The Effect of Perceived Uncertainty on Competitive Behavior
Duncan James Drewry & Zachary Reese
Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
ABSTRACT: How do people behave in the face of uncertainty? Some studies suggest that even when they are unaware of how others will behave, people default to cooperative behavior; however, other research suggests that uncertainty leads to more competitive behavior. Little research has examined how individual differences moderate such behavioral decisions. This study proposes that a stable (dispositional) sense of justice may, ironically, lead to more competitive behavior. Specifically, people who score highly in belief in a just world, system justification, and religiosity, and low in ambiguity tolerance may be more inclined to compete rather than cooperate because they believe people who experience positive outcomes deserve those outcomes regardless of the means taken to achieve them. Across two studies, participants (N = 288) engaged in a prisoner’s dilemma game — a task where they must choose to compete or cooperate — and completed the aforementioned individual difference measures. Results show that people tended to cooperate, but those high in system justification and belief in a just world were more likely to compete. In other words, people with a strong sense of cosmic justice were likely to exhibit competitive behavior under uncertain conditions.
KEYWORDS: Ambiguity Tolerance; Competition; Cooperation; Just World Beliefs; Prisoner’s Dilemma; Prosocial Behavior; Religiosity; System Justification; Uncertainty

AJUR Volume 18 Issue 2 (September 2021)

Click on this link to download the full high-definition interactive pdf for AJUR Volume 18 Issue 2 (September 2021)

Links to individual manuscripts, abstracts, and keywords are provided below.

p.3. On Packing Thirteen Points in an Equilateral Triangle
Natalie Tedeschi
ABSTRACT: The conversation of how to maximize the minimum distance between points – or, equivalently, pack congruent circles- in an equilateral triangle began by Oler in the 1960s. In a 1993 paper, Melissen proved the optimal placements of 4 through 12 points in an equilateral triangle using only partitions and direct applications of Dirichlet’s pigeon-hole principle. In the same paper, he proposed his conjectured optimal arrangements for 13, 14, 17, and 19 points in an equilateral triangle. In 1997, Payan proved Melissen’s conjecture for the arrangement of fourteen points; and, in September 2020, Joos proved Melissen’s conjecture for the optimal arrangement of thirteen points. These proofs completed the optimal arrangements of up to and including fifteen points in an equilateral triangle. Unlike Melissen’s proofs, however, Joos’s proof for the optimal arrangement of thirteen points in an equilateral triangle requires continuous functions and calculus. I propose that it is possible to continue Melissen’s line of reasoning, and complete an entirely discrete proof of Joos’s Theorem for the optimal arrangement of thirteen points in an equilateral triangle. In this paper, we make progress towards such a proof. We prove discretely that if either of two points is fixed, Joos’s Theorem optimally places the remaining twelve.
KEYWORDS: optimization; packing; equilateral triangle; distance; circles; points; thirteen; maximize

p.13. An Unbiased Mineral Compositional Analysis Technique for Circumstellar Disks
Yung Kipreos & Inseok Song
ABSTRACT: A circumstellar disk that surrounds a star is composed of gas, dust, and rocky objects that are in orbit around it. Around infant stars, this disk can act as a source of material that can be used to form planetesimals, which can then accrete more material and form into planets. Studying the mineral composition of these disks can provide insight into the processes that created our solar system. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the mineral composition of these disks by using a newly created python package, Min-CaLM. This package determines the relative mineral abundance within a disk by using a linear regression technique called non-negative least square minimization. The circumstellar disks that are capable of undergoing compositional analysis must have a spectrum with both a detectable mid-infrared excess and prominent silicate features. From our sample, there are only eight debris disks that qualify to be candidates for the Min-CaLM program. The mineral compositions calculated by Min-CaLM are then compared to the Tholen asteroid classification scheme. HD 23514, HD 105234, HD 15407A, BD+20 307, HD 69830, and HD 172555 are found to have a compositions similar to that expected for C-type asteroids, TYC 9410-532-1 resembles the composition of S-type asteroids, and HD 100546 resembles D-type asteroids. Min-CaLM also calculates the mineral compositions of the comets Tempel 1 and Hale-Bopp, and they are used as a comparison between the material in our early solar system and the debris disk compositions.
KEYWORDS: Debris disk; Mineral; Composition; Analysis; Asteroid; Circumstellar; Spectroscopy; Python

p.29. Do Warmups Predict Pole Vault Competition Performance?
Alex Peskin
ABSTRACT: The aim of this research was to determine the relationship between pole vault warmup and competition performance in a sample of 16 collegiate vaulters over 60 observations. Pole vault athletes are given time to warm up in the same area that the competition will take place. This prompted investigation into whether better warmup performance could indicate better familiarity with the performance environment, and whether this could translate to the competition. The number of warmup vaults taken was also considered. Participants were observed during multiple warmup periods and data was collected on warmup performance. The findings indicate a significant correlation between instances in which participants displayed their best warmup scores and their best competition performances, likewise with their worst. Also, participants who took more warmup vaults performed significantly better on average. Athletes and coaches should consider implementing warmup practices that emphasize familiarizing oneself with their performance environment.
KEYWORDS: Pole Vault; Track and Field; Warmups; Warmup Performance; Competition Performance; Performance Environment; Nested Task; Task Constraints

p.35. A Narrative Literature Review of the Psychological Hindrances Affecting Return to Sport After Injuries
Ashley Sweeney, Stephanie M. Swanberg, & Suzan Kamel-ElSayed
ABSTRACT: After different sports injuries, athletes may experience various psychological emotions in response to such injuries, which could lead an athlete to feel stressed. These emotions include anger, fear, frustration, anxiety, and depression which may lead to lack of confidence in returning to their sport and/or fear of sustaining a new injury. This narrative review aims to determine the possible psychological hindrances present when an athlete is planning on returning to sport after injury to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or after sustaining a concussion. The synthesized information for this review has been collected from researching the databases PubMed, SportDiscus, PsycInfo, and Google Scholar using search terms including “return to sport”, “ACL injury”, “concussion”, and “psychology”. Journal articles needed to be in English and published in the years 2009-2019; books and unpublished abstracts were excluded. A total of 42studies were included and analyzed using deductive coding to organize and synthesize relevant articles into themes. The review summarizes the shared common and the different psychological hindrances that may be found in athletes after an ACL injury or concussion. Shared psychological characteristics for returning to sport following either an ACL injury or concussion included fear, self-esteem, control, anxiety, stress, recovery, and social support. Discovering the common and unique psychological barriers which may affect the injured athletes from returning to sport can help educate athletes’ families, coaches, and healthcare professionals, as well as promote discussions for the future to help athletes feel more secure in their return to their respective sport.
KEYWORDS: ACL Injuries; Concussions; Sport Injuries; Athletes; Narrative Literature Review; Psychological Hindrances; Psychological Characteristics; Return to Sport; Psychology

AJUR Volume 18 Issue 1 (June 2021)

Click on this link to download the full high-definition interactive pdf for AJUR Volume 18 Issue 1 (June 2021)

Links to individual manuscripts, abstracts, and keywords are provided below.

p3. Enzymatic and Structural Characterization of Alanine Racemase from Enterococcus faecium by Kinetic and Computational Studies
Arie Van Wieren*, Emma Bouchard, & Sudipta Majumdar
ABSTRACT: The surge in vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)strains poses a serious threat to public and clinical health. VRE strains are the leading cause of multi-drug resistant enterococcal infections and are commonly acquired from medical devices. Therefore, it is essential to discover new antibacterial targets and drugs for this pathogen. Alanine racemase could be a valuable drug target due to its crucial role in E. faecium survival. Alr from E. faecium (EF_Alr) was heterologously produced and purified from E. coli., and the steady-state kinetic constants were determined at different pH values. Using a coupled reaction with L-alanine dehydrogenase, rate of production of NADH was measured at 340 nm to observe EF_Alr activity in the D- to L-alanine direction. The highest catalytic efficiency, 8.61 ± 0.5 s-1 mM-1, was found at pH 9. Additionally, the tentative active site residues, Lys40 and Tyr268, for the alanine racemization reaction were assigned by homology modeling and sequence comparison studies. Using UCSF Chimera, the structure of the EF_Alr homology model was superimposed and compared to the crystal structure of Alr from E. faecalis.
KEYWORDS: Alanine Racemase; Enterococcus faecium; Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci; Homology Modeling; pH Optimum; Kinetic Characterization; SWISS-MODEL Server; Steady-State Kinetics

p.13 Is Play Sexually Dimorphic in the Polygamous Squirrel Monkey?
Seta Aghababian, Anita Stone, & Christopher Brown
ABSTRACT: Play behavior is widespread in juvenile mammals and may be a mechanism for practicing skills needed in adulthood. In mammals characterized by strong adult male competition over females, juvenile males perform more social play than do females, and such play may assist in later mating competition. This study examined whether social play behavior is sexually dimorphic in a polygamous neotropical primate, the squirrel monkey (Saimiri collinsi), through a six-week field study of two groups of wild monkeys in Eastern Amazonia, Brazil. We hypothesized that males would conduct more rough-and-tumble play than females and that any sex-based play differences would be more evident in older juveniles. We video recorded juvenile play bouts and scored: age category (younger or older juvenile) and sex of players (male or female); and rough-and-tumble play behaviors (i.e., bite, grab, and wrestle). Juvenile males initiated more play bouts than did females. Most players were older juvenile males, while older juvenile females were the least represented. Older juvenile play bouts occurred mostly among males, while younger juvenile bouts consisted of a more even sex distribution. While younger juveniles did not significantly affect the number of rough-and-tumble behaviors in bouts, the number of behaviors was significantly affected by the sex of older individuals. These results indicate that social play is sexually dimorphic in juvenile S. collinsi; specifically, males play more than females and sex differences are more pronounced in older cohorts.
KEYWORDS: Squirrel Monkeys; Mating System; Sexual Dimorphism; Juvenile Period; Development; Play Behavior; Social Behavior; Ethology