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Pasturelands As Natural Climate Solutions: A Socioecological Study Of Tree Carbon And Beef Production Trade-Offs, Bela Starinchak 2023 James Madison University

Pasturelands As Natural Climate Solutions: A Socioecological Study Of Tree Carbon And Beef Production Trade-Offs, Bela Starinchak

Masters Theses, 2020-current

Forest restoration is the most effective natural climate solution, with the potential to sequester 37% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) needed to reach the Paris climate mitigation goal. Cattle pastures offer an underutilized opportunity to increase global forest restoration efforts, improve biodiversity, and maximize carbon storage through the adoption of management strategies that prioritize the incorporation of trees into pasturelands. However, remote estimations of tree carbon storage in pastoral systems have never been field-verified and their accuracy is unclear. Furthermore, the effect of increased trees on cattle production is understudied across biomes. Lastly, the restoration potential of these …


Do Plants Have The Cognitive Complexity For Sentience?, Ricard V. Solé 2023 ICREA-Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Do Plants Have The Cognitive Complexity For Sentience?, Ricard V. Solé

Animal Sentience

Are plants sentient? Like other aspects of the cognitive potential of plants, this is a controversial issue, often driven by analogies and seldom supported on solid theoretical grounds. Sentience is understood in cognitive sciences as the capacity to feel. I suggest that because of plants’ evolved adaptations to morphological plasticity, sessile nature and ecological constraints, they are unlikely to have the requisite cognitive complexity for sentience.


Cell-Free Metabolic Engineering Strategies For Accelerated Biomanufacturing, Jaime Lorenzo N. Dinglasan 2023 University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Cell-Free Metabolic Engineering Strategies For Accelerated Biomanufacturing, Jaime Lorenzo N. Dinglasan

Doctoral Dissertations

Biomanufacturing propels the bioeconomy. Accelerating bioeconomic growth thus requires the expedited development of biomanufacturing processes that can expand the current bioproduct portfolio. Lysate-based cell-free systems provide unique advantages for simplified metabolic pathway construction. Their central metabolic pathways and transcriptional-translational (TX-TL) machineries are free from genome regulation and are amenable to direct manipulation, enabling the streamlined construction of biomanufacturing processes. While their utility as prototyping platforms for accelerating cellular metabolic engineering has been demonstrated, the potential to rapidly build commercial “cell-free factories” capable of sophisticated bioconversion has not been fully realized. Lysates with high-yield pathways are projected to enable commercialized cell-free …


Phylogenetics And Integrative Taxonomy Of African Water Snakes (Squamata: Colubridae: Grayia), Teslin Chaney 2023 University of Texas at El Paso

Phylogenetics And Integrative Taxonomy Of African Water Snakes (Squamata: Colubridae: Grayia), Teslin Chaney

Open Access Theses & Dissertations

Grayia is a genus of relatively large (1.5 - 2.5 m) aquatic Afrotropical snakes. Recent molecular phylogenies recovered Grayia in its own distinct subfamily (Grayiinae), which was strongly supported as the sister group to Colubrinae. Because tropical African snakes are generally understudied, the relationships within Grayia are poorly known. Due to high degrees of intra- and interspecies variation, identification is often difficult and previous studies involving Grayia included misidentified specimens in other genera. The goal of this study is to create a phylogenetic tree that can be used to understand the relationships and taxonomy of Grayia via an integrative taxonomic …


Fecal Pellet Production By North Atlantic Zooplankton, Michael Gibson 2023 William & Mary

Fecal Pellet Production By North Atlantic Zooplankton, Michael Gibson

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Fecal pellet carbon (FPC) production by zooplankton is a significant component of the ocean’s biological carbon pump: the suite of biological processes that mediate export of carbon to the deep ocean, ultimately leading to the sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the ocean. In this study, mesozooplankton (zooplankton 0.2 mm to ~2 cm) were collected from the epipelagic zone in the temperate North Atlantic Ocean during day and night in May 2021. Zooplankton were live separated into five size fractions and incubated on board ship in natural surface seawater to measure fecal pellet production rate of the mixed mesozooplankton community. …


Gene Expression–Based Algorithms For The Identification Of Drug Combinations In Personalized Medicine, Lon Fong 2023 The Texas Medical Center Library

Gene Expression–Based Algorithms For The Identification Of Drug Combinations In Personalized Medicine, Lon Fong

Dissertations & Theses (Open Access)

Three of the major problems facing cancer therapeutics are 1) drug resistance, the intrinsic or acquired ability of cancer cells to evade the effect of the therapies used to treat them; 2) heterogeneity among individual patients’ disease at the molecular level and the resulting variability in therapeutic response; and 3) the limitations of genomics biomarkers in matching patients to the most effective therapy. One possible solution to drug resistance is the use of combination therapies rather than monotherapies. Use of multiple drugs, each with a different mechanism of action, lowers the chances that the cancer cells will develop or have …


The Bellarmine Bee Bed: Organizing A Native Plant Garden Using Feedback From The Local Community, Kate Moran 2023 Bellarmine University

The Bellarmine Bee Bed: Organizing A Native Plant Garden Using Feedback From The Local Community, Kate Moran

Undergraduate Theses

Animal pollinators are the cornerstone of healthy ecosystems. Their survival is essential for the persistence of entire food chains: from the flowers they cross-pollinate directly, to the animals who depend on those plants for nutrition. The establishment of pollinator gardens—particularly ones that consist of native plants—is an effective way to enhance their biodiversity, abundance, and well-being.

The main goal of this thesis is to construct a pollinator garden that maximizes the benefits for animal pollinators using feedback from local gardeners. A survey was used to gather information about the popularity and preferences of 40 flowering plants, and after analyzing the …


Linking Science And Literacy Through Multimodal Text Sets: Student Perspectives, Heba Abdelnaby, William L. Romine, Delinda van Garderen, Tracey Milarsky, Ankita Agarwal, Qingli Lei, Cassandra Smith, Amy Lannin, William Folk, Rachel Juergensen 2023 Wright State University - Main Campus

Linking Science And Literacy Through Multimodal Text Sets: Student Perspectives, Heba Abdelnaby, William L. Romine, Delinda Van Garderen, Tracey Milarsky, Ankita Agarwal, Qingli Lei, Cassandra Smith, Amy Lannin, William Folk, Rachel Juergensen

Biological Sciences Faculty Publications

We present findings of a mixed methods study examining the perceptions of students’ (with and without disabilities) understanding and engagement with multimodal STEM text sets. Exit slip and survey data were used to identify areas for improvement in the development of the multimodal STEM text sets for middle school students. Data were collected from 434 middle school students, 86 of whom had a disability, from six teachers’ classrooms in Spring 2021. Significant differences in perceptions of understanding of argumentation were reported between students with and without disabilities. However, ratings of the lessons and the quality of learning, as well as …


The Impact Of Study Strategies On Knowledge Growth And Summative Exam Performance In The First Year Of Medical School, Markia Black, William L. Romine, Molly Simonis, Jeffrey L. Peters, Volker Bahn, Amber Todd 2023 Wright State University - Main Campus

The Impact Of Study Strategies On Knowledge Growth And Summative Exam Performance In The First Year Of Medical School, Markia Black, William L. Romine, Molly Simonis, Jeffrey L. Peters, Volker Bahn, Amber Todd

Biological Sciences Faculty Publications

Although the distinction between deep and surface processing strategies, their potential to differentially impact learning, and data supporting the superiority of deep processing strategies on summative exam scores are well supported by the literature, more work is needed to understand: (1) how medical students combine study strategies into learning practices, and (2) the effectiveness of these learning practices in facilitating knowledge gains as measured by standardized test scores.


Measuring Claim-Evidence-Reasoning Using Scenario-Based Assessments Grounded In Real-World Issues, William L. Romine, Amy Lannin, Ankita Agarwal, Maha Kareem, Emily Burwell 2023 Wright State University - Main Campus

Measuring Claim-Evidence-Reasoning Using Scenario-Based Assessments Grounded In Real-World Issues, William L. Romine, Amy Lannin, Ankita Agarwal, Maha Kareem, Emily Burwell

Biological Sciences Faculty Publications

Improving students’ use of argumentation is front and center in the increasing emphasis on scientific practice in K-12 Science and STEM programs. We explore the construct validity of scenario-based assessments of claim-evidence-reasoning (CER) and the structure of the CER construct with respect to a learning progression framework. We also seek to understand how middle school students progress. Establishing the purpose of an argument is a competency that a majority of middle school students meet, whereas quantitative reasoning is the most difficult, and the Rasch model indicates that the competencies form a unidimensional hierarchy of skills. We also find no evidence …


Histological Evidence For The Therapeutic Effect Of Chitosan Nanofibrous Dressing On Acute Skin Wounds In A Rat Model, Mahboubeh Ghanbari, Sayed Ahmadreza Razian, Sara Cartwright, Yury Salkovskiy, Jason MacTaggart, Mark A. Carlson 2023 Department of Biomechanics, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Histological Evidence For The Therapeutic Effect Of Chitosan Nanofibrous Dressing On Acute Skin Wounds In A Rat Model, Mahboubeh Ghanbari, Sayed Ahmadreza Razian, Sara Cartwright, Yury Salkovskiy, Jason Mactaggart, Mark A. Carlson

UNO Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Introduction: Large-area skin traumas, such as thermal burns, are among the most severe health issues that decrease patients’ quality of life and burden healthcare systems. The CDC estimates that there are 1.1 million burns requiring medical attention each year, with more than 20,000 cases involving at least 25% of the body surface, resulting in 4,500 deaths. In addition, about 10,000 people die from burn-related infections. A promising solution to alleviate this problem is using wound dressings based on biopolymers with inherent wound healing properties and biodegradability. One of these biopolymers is chitosan, which is derived from arthropod shells and exhibits …


Analysis Of Germany’S Experience On Development Of Biosphere Reserves And Suggestions To China, Yijie XIAN, Ning LIU, Na QIAO, Qiang FANG, Qunli HAN, Ding WANG 2023 Secretariat of Chinese National Committee for the UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme, Beijing 100864, China Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100864, China

Analysis Of Germany’S Experience On Development Of Biosphere Reserves And Suggestions To China, Yijie Xian, Ning Liu, Na Qiao, Qiang Fang, Qunli Han, Ding Wang

Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)

Germany has integrated biosphere reserves into the national strategy of sustainable development, and has built an outstanding biosphere reserve system nationwide, which has played a key role in maintaining the stability of ecosystem, exploring sustainable use of natural resources, innovating social development models, prospering local economies and providing an important platform to carry out comprehensive research on human and nature relationship. The experience of Germany includes:long and solid accumulation in the development of protected areas; deep understanding from authorities and the folk of the concept of Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) and the value of biosphere reserves, and more …


Modeling And Analysis Of The Intrinsic Cardiac Nervous System In Closed-Loop Cardiovascular Control, Michelle M. Gee, Abraham M. Lenhoff, James S. Schwaber, Babatunde A. Ogunnaike, Rajanikanth Vadigepalli 2023 Thomas Jefferson University

Modeling And Analysis Of The Intrinsic Cardiac Nervous System In Closed-Loop Cardiovascular Control, Michelle M. Gee, Abraham M. Lenhoff, James S. Schwaber, Babatunde A. Ogunnaike, Rajanikanth Vadigepalli

Department of Pathology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology Faculty Papers

The baroreceptor reflex is a multi-input, multi-output physiological control system that regulates short-term blood pressure by modulating nerve activity between the brainstem and the heart. The computational model by Park et al. (2020) is the most recent iteration in our exploration of the system. However, the contributions of”the little brain of the heart”, the intrinsic cardiac nervous system (ICN), to local control of the heart and to the integration of sensory information is unknown and has been overlooked in previous models. We have incorporated a high-fidelity representation of the ICN into a model of the baroreceptor reflex based on anatomical, …


Fine Characterization Of Leafing Phenology In The Brazilian Atlantic Forest By Optical And Microwave Remote Sensing, James B. Bell 2023 CUNY City College

Fine Characterization Of Leafing Phenology In The Brazilian Atlantic Forest By Optical And Microwave Remote Sensing, James B. Bell

Dissertations and Theses

Tropical forests provide important ecosystem functions in the global biosphere, but they remain among the most poorly understood elements of land surface models, especially with regard to their seasonal dynamics. For instance, in seasonally dry forests, the pattern of the annual green-up in their canopies closely follows annual patterns of rainfall. The same, however, does not occur in wet forest canopies which are dominated by evergreen trees. In the latter, water is not scarce enough to limit leaf photosynthetic function. Canopy leafing phenology in these forests is therefore poorly characterized by optical remote sensing methods which are not sensitive to …


Larval Ecology Of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus Thynnus): New Insights From Otolith Microstructure, Biotic, And Abiotic Analyses From The Gulf Of Mexico And Mediterranean Sea, Estrella Malca 2022 Nova Southeastern University

Larval Ecology Of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus Thynnus): New Insights From Otolith Microstructure, Biotic, And Abiotic Analyses From The Gulf Of Mexico And Mediterranean Sea, Estrella Malca

All HCAS Student Capstones, Theses, and Dissertations

Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABT), Thunnus thynnus, spawn in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) and the Mediterranean Sea (MED). Spawning occurs within narrow temporal and environmental parameters. Efforts to characterize growth of ABT in wild conditions revealed a wide range of growth variability during the early life stages. This series of studies examined potential biotic and abiotic influences of larval growth from seven ABT cohorts, and identified several key drivers of growth for this commercially valuable species. A detailed investigation of larval dynamics using otolith microstructure was conducted as follows. First, companion growth curves and stable isotope analysis from the same …


Caribbean Reef-Building Coral-Symbiodiniaceae Network: Identifying Symbioses Critical For System Stability In A Changing Climate, Shaman Patel 2022 Nova Southeastern University

Caribbean Reef-Building Coral-Symbiodiniaceae Network: Identifying Symbioses Critical For System Stability In A Changing Climate, Shaman Patel

All HCAS Student Capstones, Theses, and Dissertations

Increasing global ocean temperatures and frequency of marine heatwaves pose dire consequences for coral reefs. High temperatures often lead to disruptions in coral symbiosis resulting in coral bleaching, increasing the mortality of corals. However, corals can potentially avoid bleaching peril by associating with thermally tolerant symbionts. Here we provide a tool for understanding symbiosis network stability of Caribbean reef-building corals. We created a network of Caribbean hermatypic corals and their associated Symbiodiniaceae phylotypes. A bleaching model was applied to this network to test for resilience and robustness (R50) to thermal stress. It was also layered with trait data for coral …


Leveraging Mass Spectrometry-Based Proteomics And Post-Translational Modifications For System-Wide Understanding Of Bioenergy Plants And Their Environment, Him K. Shrestha 2022 University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Leveraging Mass Spectrometry-Based Proteomics And Post-Translational Modifications For System-Wide Understanding Of Bioenergy Plants And Their Environment, Him K. Shrestha

Doctoral Dissertations

Bioenergy research focuses on utilizing renewable biomass feedstocks to produce biofuels and bioproducts to address growing concerns about energy security and climate change. To better understand the details of bioenergy crop production and conversion to bioproducts, it is essential to characterize bioenergy plants and their environments at a molecular systems level. Mass spectrometry has emerged as a promising technique for detailed proteomic information, including post-translational modifications (PTMs), of molecular processes and cellular functions of biological systems. In this dissertation, proteomic approaches have been optimized and implemented to deepen our understanding of the interaction of plants and their environment in a …


Systematic Evaluation Of Database Builds In Metaproteomics For The Advancement Of Microbiome Research, Katherine E. Ostrouchov 2022 University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Systematic Evaluation Of Database Builds In Metaproteomics For The Advancement Of Microbiome Research, Katherine E. Ostrouchov

Masters Theses

The microscopic life that inhabits a human shares a unique bond with its host. Microbes perform many functions that are vital to the survival of the human species and have long been shown to regulate the absorption of nutrients and to promote immune function. A lack of exposure to certain microbes early in life, excessive antibiotic usage, and improper diet can perturb human microbiomes and lead to disease. Since the emergence of omic sequencing technologies, it has now become possible to measure and monitor the genes and proteins made by these microorganisms to better understand how they contribute to host …


Data-Driven Biomarker Panel Discovery In Ovarian Cancer Using Heterogenous Data Fusion On Exosomal And Non-Exosomal Microrna Expression Data, Paritra Mandal 2022 Clemson University

Data-Driven Biomarker Panel Discovery In Ovarian Cancer Using Heterogenous Data Fusion On Exosomal And Non-Exosomal Microrna Expression Data, Paritra Mandal

All Dissertations

Ovarian cancer (OC) is an aggressive gynecological cancer and is currently the 5th leading cause of deaths due to cancer in women. High mortality rates are attributable to the vague pathogenesis and asymptomatic nature of the early stages. The development of a liquid biopsy for routine OC screening could help identify the disease at an earlier stage, making treatments more likely to be effective thereby increasing survival rates. Exosomes, small (~100nm) extracellular vesicles present in body fluids, have been shown to contain cancer-progression, onset, and related factors, making them good candidates for use in liquid biopsies. However, to date, only …


Combining Network Modeling And Experimental Approaches To Predict Drug Combination Responses, Deepraj Sarmah 2022 Clemson University

Combining Network Modeling And Experimental Approaches To Predict Drug Combination Responses, Deepraj Sarmah

All Dissertations

Cancer is a lethal disease and complex at multiple levels of cell biology. Despite many advances in treatments, many patients do not respond to therapy. This is owing to the complexity of cancer-genetic variability due to mutations, the multi-variate biochemical networks within which drug targets reside and existence and plasticity of multiple cell states. It is generally understood that a combination of drugs is a way to address the multi-faceted drivers of cancer and drug resistance. However, the sheer number of testable combinations and challenges in matching patients to appropriate combination treatments are major issues.

Here, we first present a …


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