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Masters Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Effects Of Normobaric Hypoxia On Oculomotor Dynamics Of Aviator Students During A Simulated Flight Task, Carl Wesley Rider, Abby Mccarty, Anna Blackley, Austin Deshner, Josh Engberg, Kaela Ehrlich, Theo Hu, Maja Jankovic, Moroni De Moors, Jared Hornsby, Mitchell Morrison, Brian Walsh May 2020

Effects Of Normobaric Hypoxia On Oculomotor Dynamics Of Aviator Students During A Simulated Flight Task, Carl Wesley Rider, Abby Mccarty, Anna Blackley, Austin Deshner, Josh Engberg, Kaela Ehrlich, Theo Hu, Maja Jankovic, Moroni De Moors, Jared Hornsby, Mitchell Morrison, Brian Walsh

Masters Theses

Hypoxia occurs when the body's tissues are unable to obtain adequate oxygen supply and is the primary environmental factor present when pilots are exposed to increasing altitude levels. Hypoxia leads to impaired vision, cognition, and motor control function, which can negatively affect performance and become deadly if a pilot becomes incapacitated. Thus, objective identification of early-onset hypoxia is critical to increase the time of useful consciousness and prevent physiological episodes. Of the few studies utilizing eye-tracking, there is disagreement and mixed results concerning saccadic eye metrics as a means to measure and detect hypoxia. Therefore, the purpose of this ...


A Comparison Of Vertical Ground Reaction Forces In Single-Leg Jump Take-Offs And Double-Leg Jump Take-Offs In Indoor Collegiate Volleyball Players, Margaret Elisabeth Latchford, Maggie Mcdermott, Austin Deshner, Moroni De Moors, Will W. Peveler May 2020

A Comparison Of Vertical Ground Reaction Forces In Single-Leg Jump Take-Offs And Double-Leg Jump Take-Offs In Indoor Collegiate Volleyball Players, Margaret Elisabeth Latchford, Maggie Mcdermott, Austin Deshner, Moroni De Moors, Will W. Peveler

Masters Theses

The purpose of this study was to determine if differences in vertical ground reaction forces (vGRFs) exist between single-leg take-off approaches (SL) and double-leg take-off approaches (DL) and if sex or positional differences existed in vGRFs in SL- or DL-style approaches. It was hypothesized that DL jumps would generate greater vGRFs, males would generate greater vGRFs in both styles, and middle blockers would have higher SL vGRFs while pin hitters would have higher DL vGRFs. Nine collegiate volleyball players (4 female; 5 male) (age: 20.44 ± 1.42 years; height: 186.02 ± 6.44 cm; body mass: 78.21 ± 10 ...


The Effect Of Gap Spacing Between Solar Panel Clusters On Crop Biomass Yields, Nutrients, And The Microenvironment In A Dual-Use Agrivoltaic System, Kristen Oleskewicz Apr 2020

The Effect Of Gap Spacing Between Solar Panel Clusters On Crop Biomass Yields, Nutrients, And The Microenvironment In A Dual-Use Agrivoltaic System, Kristen Oleskewicz

Masters Theses

Agrivoltaic (AV) systems are dual-use land systems that consist of elevated solar panels with crops grown underneath. They offer a solution to the increasing demand for food production and clean renewable energy. The main concern regarding AV systems is the reduced availability of light to crops below the panels. Research to date shows that AV systems are quite productive with total energy and crop production exceeding the outputs of either solar farms or crop production alone. Research also shows that solar panels affect the microenvironment below the panels. The research on AV systems so far considers altering panel density to ...


Utilization Of Emulsion Chemistries For Delivery And Antiviral Application Of Carvacrol, Hao-Yuan Hsu Apr 2020

Utilization Of Emulsion Chemistries For Delivery And Antiviral Application Of Carvacrol, Hao-Yuan Hsu

Masters Theses

Human norovirus (HuNoVs) are the most common enteric pathogen around the world that cause ~50% of foodborne illness of disease outbreaks annually. HuNoVs are the member of the Caliciviridae family, which consist of small (38 nm), unenveloped, single stranded RNA (ssRNA) viruses. Norovirus are divided into 5 genogroup (GI, GII, GIII, GIV, GV, GVI and GVII). The GI, GII, and GIV cause human illness, in addition, GII.4 genotype cause the most human disease. Due to HuNoVs are difficult cultured in vitro, the cultivable HuNoVs surrogates have been widely studied. Recently, some studies have been conducted with HuNoVs surrogates, for ...


Dam Effects On Freshwater Mussel Growth And Recruitment In A Midwestern Stream, Taylor Lyndon Fagin Jan 2020

Dam Effects On Freshwater Mussel Growth And Recruitment In A Midwestern Stream, Taylor Lyndon Fagin

Masters Theses

There have been many studies that examine the negative impact of dams on freshwater mussel populations. However, recent studies suggest that some dams may create more suitable growing conditions immediately below some dams. This study’s main objectives were to 1) document where faster growth of mussels is found in relation to the Charleston Dam, 2) determine if sites with faster growth have higher recruitment and 3) investigate which water quality variable(s) could be correlated with faster growth. Live Corbicula sp. were set in cages in multiple sites at varying distances from the dam and shells of two native ...


An Examination Of Tern Diet In A Changing Gulf Of Maine, Keenan Yakola Oct 2019

An Examination Of Tern Diet In A Changing Gulf Of Maine, Keenan Yakola

Masters Theses

The Gulf of Maine is a dynamic ecosystem with rapidly warming sea surface temperatures (SSTs), therefore it is vital to understand how species interactions vary over time and space. In chapter two, I quantify and compare dietary differences among four tern species, across seven islands in the region, over a 32-year period. Multivariate statistical analyses were employed to discern spatial and temporal differences in foraging ecology. Findings suggest there are significant differences between species and islands; however, only three prey species comprise the majority of chick diet for all terns and islands. The reliance on only a few prey items ...


Investigating The Role Of Lbh During Early Embryonic Development In Xenopus Laevis, Emma Weir Oct 2019

Investigating The Role Of Lbh During Early Embryonic Development In Xenopus Laevis, Emma Weir

Masters Theses

LBH is a highly conserved protein whose role during vertebrate development is relatively under-studied. In collaboration with the Albertson lab, our lab has previously shown that it is necessary for cranial neural crest cell migration in the zebrafish and in Xenopus laevis. The molecular mechanisms through which it acts are not well understood.

In Xenopus, LBH is a maternally deposited protein. As such, studying its role in early development has not been feasible through the morpholino-mediated knockdown techniques that prevent translation of target genes. Recently, a technique for degrading endogenous proteins was developed, called Trim-Away. This was developed in mammalian ...


Characterizing The Interaction Between Non-Pathogenic Fusarium Oxysporum And Arabidopsis Thaliana To Determine Beneficial Effects Conferred To The Model Plant Host, Kathryn Isabelle Vescio Oct 2019

Characterizing The Interaction Between Non-Pathogenic Fusarium Oxysporum And Arabidopsis Thaliana To Determine Beneficial Effects Conferred To The Model Plant Host, Kathryn Isabelle Vescio

Masters Theses

Fusarium oxysporum (Fo) is a soil-borne fungal pathogen that causes vascular wilt disease on a broad range of plants, including agricultural crops and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. There are non-pathogenic members of the Fo species complex that confer defense benefits against other pathogens to the host plant, however alteration to the host’s physiology through interaction with one of these strains, Fo47, have not been described. In this study, we aimed to establish the Fo47-A. thaliana interaction and determine if Fo47 reduces disease severity of a pathogenic Fo isolate, Fo5176. Additionally, we sought to use bioinformatics to mine ...


The Effects Of Acidosis On Calcium Dependent Binding Of A Single Crossbridge, Matthew Unger Oct 2019

The Effects Of Acidosis On Calcium Dependent Binding Of A Single Crossbridge, Matthew Unger

Masters Theses

Intracellular acidosis is a putative agent of skeletal muscle fatigue, in part, because acidosis depresses the calcium (Ca2+) sensitivity and force production of muscle (18, 50). However, the molecular mechanisms behind this depression in Ca2+ sensitivity and force production are unknown. This gap in knowledge poses a significant challenge in generating a complete understanding of the fatigue process. To close this gap, the ability of myosin to bind to a single actin filament was measured under acidic conditions, in a laser trap assay, with and without regulatory proteins. Decreasing pH from 7.4 to 6.5 reduced the ...


A Novel Infield Metagenomic Approach To Evaluating Surface Water Quality In Lake Warner, Brooke Stebbins Oct 2019

A Novel Infield Metagenomic Approach To Evaluating Surface Water Quality In Lake Warner, Brooke Stebbins

Masters Theses

In January 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Haiti’s weak sanitation infrastructure and limitations in the public health system made the country susceptible to the spread of waterborne diseases. Following the earthquake, cholera rapidly spread through Haiti, killing 4,672 people in 5 months and leaving thousands hospitalized (MSNBC, 2010). Cholera is an infectious diarrheal disease caused by the pathogen, Vibrio cholerae, which results in severe dehydration with a high mortality risk. The source of the epidemic was traced to the Artibonite River, the island’s longest and ...


Arboriculture Safety Around The World, Jamie Lim Oct 2019

Arboriculture Safety Around The World, Jamie Lim

Masters Theses

Arboricultural work is inherently dangerous, with more serious injuries and fatalities than most other professions. Safety standards exist in some jurisdictions, but it is unclear how many standards exist, how they compare to one another, and whether (and how many) jurisdictions share standards. To establish a baseline understanding of these issues, my objectives were to (i) develop a database of existing standards, (ii) identify the most frequently occurring safety topics and (iii) describe similarities and differences in safety topics among standards from different countries. I worked with a variety of contacts and traditional university library resources to identify, obtain, analyze ...


The Efficacy Of Atp Monitoring Devices At Measuring Organic Matter On Postharvest Surfaces, Kristin Lane Oct 2019

The Efficacy Of Atp Monitoring Devices At Measuring Organic Matter On Postharvest Surfaces, Kristin Lane

Masters Theses

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), specifically the Produce Safety Rule (PSR), requires growers to clean and sanitize food-contact surfaces to protect against produce contamination. The ATP monitoring device is a potential sanitation tool to monitor the efficacy of an on-farm cleaning and sanitation program that could help growers meet regulatory expectations mandated by PSR. The ATP device uses bioluminescence to detect all ATP (found in bacteria and produce matter cells) from a swabbed surface. Little work has been done to test the efficacy of these tools under postharvest conditions. The present study evaluated ATP measurement for postharvest surface cleanliness ...


Patterns Of Morphological Plasticity In Metriaclima Zebra And Danio Rerio Suggest Differently Canalized Phenotypes Due To Form-Function Relationships, Dylan Jockel Oct 2019

Patterns Of Morphological Plasticity In Metriaclima Zebra And Danio Rerio Suggest Differently Canalized Phenotypes Due To Form-Function Relationships, Dylan Jockel

Masters Theses

In order to ascertain the degree of compatibility in developmental restructuring and behavioral plasticity between two fish species frequently made subject of laboratory research (Metriaclima zebra & Danio rerio), alternative trophic niche exposure experiments utilizing novel three-prong feeding treatments were conducted to obtain morphometric data, which demonstrated both species do bear some degree of plasticity. The results are somewhat complicated by differences in locality of detectable restructuring, which may be due to disparity in the form-function relationship for each species’ lineage. Each is notable in the manner of respective species’ jaw protrusion, as it is driven by anterior kinethmoid rotation in ...


Markov Decision Process Approach To Strategize National Breast Cancer Screening Policy In Data-Limited Settings, Vijeta Deshpande Oct 2019

Markov Decision Process Approach To Strategize National Breast Cancer Screening Policy In Data-Limited Settings, Vijeta Deshpande

Masters Theses

Early diagnosis is a promising strategy to reduce premature mortalities and for optimal use of resources. But the absence of mathematical models specific to the data settings in LMIC’s impedes the construction of economic analysis necessary for decision-makers in the development of cancer control programs. This thesis presents a new methodology for parameterizing the natural history model of breast cancer based on data availabilities in low and middle income countries, and formulation of a control optimization problem to find the optimal screening schedule for mammography screening, solved using dynamic programming. As harms and benefits are known to increase with ...


Optical Meets Mechanical: Use Of Luminescence Spectroscopy To Assess Ageing In Biodegradable Films, Louis Colaruotolo Oct 2019

Optical Meets Mechanical: Use Of Luminescence Spectroscopy To Assess Ageing In Biodegradable Films, Louis Colaruotolo

Masters Theses

With the growing concern of the accumulation of plastic-based food packaging waste, the search for bio-based biodegradable packages is on the rise. These materials differ from their petro-based counterparts in their degradation rates, which are much higher in the former. Not only do bio-based biodegradable materials degrade faster during post-usage processes but also they age faster during usage and storage, which affects their performance and functionality. The application of noninvasive testing methods with the capability to report on the matrix’s state could assist in the development of a more ubiquitous way to assess ageing in food packaging, particularly in ...


Analysis Of Connectivity In Emg Signals To Examine Neural Correlations In Muscular Activation Of Lower Leg Muscles For Postural Stability, Diana Mccrumb Oct 2019

Analysis Of Connectivity In Emg Signals To Examine Neural Correlations In Muscular Activation Of Lower Leg Muscles For Postural Stability, Diana Mccrumb

Masters Theses

In quiet standing the central nervous systems implements a pre-programmed ankle strategy of postural control to maintain upright balance and stability. This strategy is comprised of a synchronized common neural drive being delivered to synergistically grouped muscles. In this study connectivity between EMG signals of unilateral and bilateral homologous muscle pairs, of the lower legs, during various standing balance conditions was evaluated using magnitude squared coherence (MSC) and mutual information (MI). The leg muscles of interest were the tibialis anterior (TA), medial gastrocnemius (MG), and the soleus (S) of both legs. MSC is a linear measure of the phase relation ...


Evaluating Remote Site Incubators To Support Restoration Of Arctic Grayling In Michigan, Alan J. Mock Aug 2019

Evaluating Remote Site Incubators To Support Restoration Of Arctic Grayling In Michigan, Alan J. Mock

Masters Theses

Remote site incubators (RSIs) have been used to rear salmonid fish eggs along streams in the Pacific Northwest since the 1980s. Recently, the successful use of RSIs for Arctic Grayling Thymallus arcticus restoration in Montana has sparked a renewed interest to reestablish the species in Michigan. To support future reintroduction efforts of Arctic Grayling in Michigan, I evaluated RSIs in three Michigan streams during 2018 and 2019 using Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss eggs (as surrogates for Arctic Grayling). My objectives were to: (1) compare hatching success between two different RSI designs (19-L vs. 265-L RSIs), and (2) test whether the ...


The Association Between Dietary Niche Variation In Rodents And Climate Change Across The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Hannah K. Vermeer Aug 2019

The Association Between Dietary Niche Variation In Rodents And Climate Change Across The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Hannah K. Vermeer

Masters Theses

Mammalian teeth play a crucial role in food acquisition and breakdown and are therefore closely tied to dietary niche. This study reconstructed the diet of early Paleogene paramyid rodents across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) climatic event in an effort to understand the role of climate in mammalian dietary niche change. Dietary niches were quantified using three dental topographic measures: Dirichlet normal energy, relief index, and orientation patch count rotated. A Kruskal-Wallis test was conducted over eight time periods to determine if each of the dental topographic measures (i.e., diet) varied over time. Regression analysis of these measures with ...


Tropomyosin-Based Effects Of Acidosis On Thin-Filament Regulation During Muscle Fatigue, Brent Scott Jul 2019

Tropomyosin-Based Effects Of Acidosis On Thin-Filament Regulation During Muscle Fatigue, Brent Scott

Masters Theses

Skeletal muscle fatigue is defined as a loss in the force/velocity generating capacity of a muscle. A portion of the loss in function is attributable to effects of acidosis (i.e. low pH) on the regulatory proteins, troponin and tropomyosin (Tm), which regulate the binding of myosin and actin in a calcium (Ca++) dependent manner. However, the relative role of troponin and Tm on myosin-actin function during acidosis is not clear, nor are the mechanisms underlying these effects. PURPOSE: To determine the role of Tm in the acidosis-induced depression of muscle function using isolated muscle proteins in an in ...


Changes In Color Guidance Over The Course Of A Complex Visual Search, Ryan Papargiris Jul 2019

Changes In Color Guidance Over The Course Of A Complex Visual Search, Ryan Papargiris

Masters Theses

When searching for an object, we store a mental representation of the target, which guides our search through the use of attention. The effectiveness of this search guidance varies depending on the task and the relationship between target and distractors. With a better understanding of how search guidance changes over time within a trial, we can better compare the differences between experimental conditions. Eye tracking data from a variety of search tasks were analyzed to determine how color guidance varied over the course of the trial. Color guidance for a given fixation was evaluated based on the distance in color ...


Development And Cross-Validation Of A Cadence-Based Metabolic Equation For Walking, Christopher C. Moore Jul 2019

Ecological Considerations And Application Of Urban Tree Selection In Massachusetts, Ashley Mcelhinney Jul 2019

Ecological Considerations And Application Of Urban Tree Selection In Massachusetts, Ashley Mcelhinney

Masters Theses

Trees provide countless environmental, economic, and societal benefits to the urban environment, and may become increasingly important to maintaining environmental quality and human well-being in the face of increasing urbanization and climate change. However, trees in these urban areas are rapidly diminishing across the United States. Much of this loss can be prevented with proper planning and management, focused on selecting tree species that are both well-suited to the area’s growing conditions and able to survive the many stress factors in an urban setting. Choosing which tree species to plant in Massachusetts is especially challenging considering the lack of ...


The Efficacy Of Nanoemulsion-Based Delivery Systems To Improve Vitamin D3 Bioaccessibility And Bioavailability, Alagu Selvi Kadappan Jul 2019

The Efficacy Of Nanoemulsion-Based Delivery Systems To Improve Vitamin D3 Bioaccessibility And Bioavailability, Alagu Selvi Kadappan

Masters Theses

Vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic issue in all age groups in Western countries and that affects both skeletal and non-skeletal functions. Even with the wide application of food fortification, vitamin D deficiency tends to increase continuously. Being hydrophobic in nature, vitamin D has poor solubility; thereby it negatively affects its absorption and bioavailability when compared to other hydrophilic dietary compounds. The need to develop a novel strategy is of greater importance to enhance its bioavailability and thereby improving vitamin D level in the body.

In this study, lipid-based delivery of oil-in-water nanoemulsion (diameter < 200nm) was utilized to improve the bioaccessibility and oral bioavailability of vitamin D3. First, we examined the in ...


Photosynthesizing The Workplace: A Study In Healthy And Holistic Production Spaces, Kaeli Howard Jul 2019

Photosynthesizing The Workplace: A Study In Healthy And Holistic Production Spaces, Kaeli Howard

Masters Theses

Throughout time nature has been a prescribed healer of stress on the human condition. Its vital integration into our daily lives has been proven by scientific evidence. The majority of Americans spend approximately 1/3 of their life working, whatever that job may entail. Therefore, it makes sense that the environments that we spend so much of our life in for work at extremely important to our physical and mental health, however, current workplace models are not acknowledging that. Redefining the workplace to integrate nature would start to change work life in this country and how work itself is viewed ...


One Year Change In Cognitive Function In Male And Female Common Marmosets (Callithrix Jacchus), Brianna Healey Jul 2019

One Year Change In Cognitive Function In Male And Female Common Marmosets (Callithrix Jacchus), Brianna Healey

Masters Theses

Long term cognitive studies in humans and nonhuman primates such as macaques are difficult because of their long lifespan. The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is a non-human primate who shares with humans many features characteristic of primates, including a complex brain and cognitive function. They also have a short lifespan (~10 years) that makes them a great model in studies of cognitive aging. This study focuses on the rate of decline in cognitive function in male and female marmosets based on performance on reversal learning tasks over 2 years of testing.

We found that marmosets improved their overall performance from ...


Mechanisms And Mitigation Of Skeletal Muscle Fatigue In Single Fibers From Older Adults, Aurora Foster Jul 2019

Mechanisms And Mitigation Of Skeletal Muscle Fatigue In Single Fibers From Older Adults, Aurora Foster

Masters Theses

Skeletal muscle fatigue is the contraction-induced decline in whole muscle force or power, and can be greater in older versus young adults. Fatigue primarily results from increased metabolism elevating phosphate (Pi) and hydrogen (H+), which alters myosin-actin interactions; however, which steps of the myosin-actin cross-bridge cycle are changed and their reversibility are unclear. PURPOSE: This study sought to: 1) Examine the effects of elevated Pi and H+ on molecular and cellular function, and 2) Test the ability of deoxyadenosine triphosphate (dATP), an alternative energy to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), to reverse the contractile changes induced with high Pi ...


Garlic Mustard (Alliaria Petiolata) Management Effectiveness And Plant Community Response, Erin Coates-Connor Jul 2019

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria Petiolata) Management Effectiveness And Plant Community Response, Erin Coates-Connor

Masters Theses

The control and eradication of the invasive biennial herb garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and the restoration of invaded forest habitats present important linked challenges to land managers in North America. Removing garlic mustard by hand and by glyphosate herbicide application have both been used as eradication strategies with mixed results. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, but they are rarely compared for effectiveness and community impact across multiple years of management. Some previous studies have shown improvements in species diversity and plant community composition following management, while others have found no differences. To better understand both garlic mustard population and ...


Sex, Motivation, And Reversal Learning In The Common Marmoset (Callithrix Jacchus), Alyssa Carlotto Jul 2019

Sex, Motivation, And Reversal Learning In The Common Marmoset (Callithrix Jacchus), Alyssa Carlotto

Masters Theses

This study examined the relationships between motivation and cognitive performance in male and female common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). This question was driven by prior data from the Lacreuse lab showing a robust female impairment in reversal learning, as assessed by the number of trials needed to acquire a reversal following a simple discrimination between two stimuli. This thesis tested the hypothesis that the female impairment in reversal learning was mediated by deficits in motivation. Two sets of measures were used to test this hypothesis. I evaluated physical effort via testing on the progressive ratio (PR), a test that requires animals ...


Studies On The Interaction And Organization Of Bacterial Proteins On Membranes, Mariana Brena Jul 2019

Studies On The Interaction And Organization Of Bacterial Proteins On Membranes, Mariana Brena

Masters Theses

Bacteria have developed various means of secreting proteins that can enter the host cell membrane. In this work I focus on two systems: cholesterol-dependent cytolysins and Type III Secretion.

Cholesterol is a molecule that is critical for physiological processes and cell membrane function. Not only can improper regulation lead to disease, but also the role cholesterol plays in cell function indicates it is an important molecule to understand. In response to this need, probes have been developed that detect cholesterol molecules in membranes. However, it has been recently shown that there is a need for probes that only respond to ...


Ecological And Economic Implications Of Establishing Quercus Spp. In The Urban Environment, Tierney Bocsi Jul 2019

Ecological And Economic Implications Of Establishing Quercus Spp. In The Urban Environment, Tierney Bocsi

Masters Theses

As urban greening efforts continue, it is important to assess whether decisions to intensify street tree planting are meeting intended goals of improving urban canopy cover and increasing ecosystem services. Benefits of the urban forest take many forms, from ecological and economic to social and cultural, and are frequently cited in support of street tree planting. However, it is unknown to what extent factors such as species or nursery production method affect the ability of trees to successfully establish and provide ecosystem services in the urban environment. Using a system of oak trees planted along roads in South Amherst, Massachusetts ...