Decreasing Stress Levels through Animal Interaction
The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine college students' feelings after playing with a support dog during a stressful time such as midterm exams and final exams. The goal of the research is to determine how effective the students perceive playing with pets has on decreasing their stress levels during stressful times. The reason this study is being conducted is to focus on the students' experiences and the thoughts and feelings that are occurring within themselves personally during the interaction with the dogs. It is based on their perception and feelings of stress relief rather than their physiologic proof of stress relief. For this study, seven students apart of Cleveland State University's Accelerated Nursing Program voluntarily participated in interacting with three dogs before their exam. During this time, they focused on playing with the dogs and forgot about their study notes or exam. They all interacted with the dogs at the same time, allowing them to see that their classmates are also relaxing. When the students returned from their exam, they engaged in a focus group in which they were asked several questions about their experience when interacting with the dogs. It was found that students did indeed experience a reduction in stress levels and felt more relaxed. Students also reported that they were more focused and concentrated during their exam and attributed that gained focus to interacting with the dogs earlier that day. They felt like they benefited from this experience and wanted more opportunities like it.
Exploration of Nanomaterials-based electrochemical sensors for peroxynitrite detection
Ousama Al-Mahmoud and Haitham Kalil
Peroxynitrite (PON, ONOO-) plays an essential role in several cardiovascular dysfunctions and other diseases triggered by oxidative stress. The precise detection of this analyte in biological systems is of paramount importance not only to understand the genesis and development of diseases, but also to design and assess efficient therapies. We fabricated highly sensitive and selective electrochemical sensors based on transition metal-decorated graphene nanocomposites as catalytic interfaces for peroxynitrite quantification. The interfaces of metal-decorated graphene nanostructures were immobilized on carbon electrodes by electro-grafting, electro- depositing, and drop-casting techniques. The morphology and surface chemistry of the nanostructured materials were characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis (EDXA), and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). The electrochemical catalytic activities of the prepared interfaces were measured using cyclic voltammetry and amperometry, and Electrochemical Quartz Crystal Microbalance (EQCM). The results showed that the incorporation of the metal nanoparticles into graphene sheets have significantly increased the sensitivity of the peroxynitrite sensors. The presence of metal- functionalized graphene oxide amplified the current response to PON aliquots in aqueous solutions. It also allowed the application of less positive potentials and thus resulted in more differentiation between peroxynitrite and other interfering analytes that have higher oxidation potentials.
P2: DIFFERENTIAL EFFECTS OF ADJACENT-LETTER AND OPEN FLANKING BIGRAMS ON LEXICAL DECISION PERFORMANCE
Lea G. Araya and Nicole M. Russo
Some models of word identification hypotheses units responsive to bigrams—letter pairs—that may not be adjacent in a letter-string stimulus. Grainger, Mathot, and Vitu (2014) and Palinski (2016) found, for words, responding was more efficient when flanking bigrams contained target-string letters than when they did not. They also found that responding was more efficient when flanking bigrams contained letters ordered as in the target than switched but whether flanking bigrams were ordered as in the target did not affect performance. Palinski (2016) replicated the results of Grainger et al. (2014) and conducted a second experiment that included four additional conditions in which the flanking bigrams consist of letters separated by one letter in the target (ex. FO FROG RG; RG FROG FO; OF FROG GR; GR FROG OF). Although, for nonadjacent letter bigrams, the pattern of performance over conditions was like that in Grainger et al. (2014) and Palinski (2016) Experiment 1, for adjacent bigrams, the pattern was different. To investigate the stability of these results, we repeated Palinski's second experiment. We replicated her results. The effect of adjacent-letter flanking bigrams may depend on whether nonadjacent-letter flanking bigrams are encountered in the experiment.
An Investigation into the Effectiveness of Brief Guided Meditation
Karen Barrientos, Samantha Butterbaugh, Nicholas Chambers, Jamie VanDewerker, and Jessica White
Meditation has many benefits for reducing stress and anxiety, by inducing a relaxation response. It is unclear how guided meditation compares to other forms of relaxation. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to determine if a guided meditation mp3 is as effective as other methods of relaxation. METHODS: Skin conductance and breaths per minute were measured on 30 male and female adults while reading, meditating, and watching a video, each on three different occasions. Prior to the study each participant rated their psychological state of being using questionnaire styled scales. A repeated measures ANOVA and a related measure nonparametric test in IMB SPSS were used to analyze the physiological and psychological responses across subjects. RESULTS: There was a significant difference (p < 0.05) between the book and meditation in GSR and respiration rate. A significant difference (p < 0.05) was found between the book and video in physiological state and in respiration rate. There was also a significant difference (p < 0.05) between the meditation and video in physiological state, GSR, and respiration rate. The DASS and Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory tests showed that the anxiety, stress, and depression rates of each participant did not affect the testing modalities.
Cardiorespiratory Responses and Gender Differences Between Exercising on the Simply Fit Board and the Ab Rocket Twister
Karen Barrientos, Samantha Butterbaugh, Nicholas Chambers, Jamie VanDewerker, and Jessica White
One of the biggest problems in fitness is finding a workout method that is effective yet enjoyable. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to compare the Simply Fit Board and Ab Rocket Twister across genders and ultimately to determine which product is more enjoyable. METHODS: Heart rate, Rate of Perceived Exertion, ventilation, oxygen consumption, and total kilocalories were all measured on 21 males and 20 females while using the Simply Fit Board and Ab Rocket Twister for 10 minutes at 75% of their age predicted maximal heart rates. At post-testing, each subject completed the Perception of Exercise Experience questionnaire. A repeated measures ANOVA in IMB SPSS was used to analyze the cardiorespiratory responses and their differences across gender. RESULTS: Between the two products there was a significant difference (p < 0.05) between all of the test variables except VO2 and total kilocalories. The results across gender also showed that there were significant differences in VO2 and total kilocalories. The post-test questionnaire showed that the Simply Fit Board was more enjoyable than the Ab Rocket Twister. CONCLUSION: The data collected displayed that the subjects preferred the Simply Fit Board over the Ab Rocket Twister; however, both products burned the same amount of calories.
Go Skate!: The Physiological Responses and Perception of Training on Inline Skates
Karen Barrientos, Samantha Butterbaugh, Nicholas Chambers, Jamie VanDewerker, and Jessica White
It is unclear how inline skate training affects the performance and enjoyment of other modes of exercises. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to determine if inline skating is an effective and enjoyable alternative method of exercise when compared to running and using the elliptical. METHODS: Each participant's functional movement, body composition, and efficiency in running, skating, and using the elliptical was assessed before and after the skate training program at 80% of each participant's age-predicted heart rate. The skate training program consisted of three 45-minute training sessions for 6 weeks. After all training and testing was completed each participant was given a questionnaire regarding their perceptions of enjoyment and preferred method of exercise. A repeated measures ANOVA in IBM SPSS was used to analyze the differences between pre- and post-tests on exercise efficiency, body composition, and functional movement. RESULTS: While there were no significant differences in weight or resting heart rate, there was a significant change in blood pressure, body fat percentage and lean mass. There were also significant improvements in the elliptical average heart rate, the skate VO2 and the distance traveled during skating. In addition, there was significant improvement in the FMS trunk stability push-up. All of the subjects considered participating in inline skating in the future. CONCLUSION: Inline skating is an enjoyable method of exercise that also provides an effective workout that carries over to other forms of exercise, and improves core strength.
P2: Reconciling Linear Measurements of Fractal Cloud Structures
Clouds are a large unknown in meteorological predictions. Most of the issue can be derived from the odd shape of clouds. So, in order to correct the measurements of clouds, a thorough investigation of fractal cloud structures must be performed. Using the results from this study, a reconciliation method can then be constructed and applied to linear measurements of clouds.
P1: Can't Shake the Blues: Do Worry and Attention Flexibility Enervate Cognitive Emotion Regulation Outcomes
Depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by enduring feelings of sadness that are often accompanied by psychovegetative symptoms and attentional deficits that result in functional impairment. Depression is often hallmarked by biased attention towards negative information that once activated, remains in depressed persons conscious awareness. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) often co-occurs with depression, and is also characterized by enduring negative information processing in the form of worry that consumes a significant amount of an individual's thought processes. Both disorders are marked by emotion regulation deficits in the form of responses that usually reduce distress, but that fail to work for those with either disorder. Despite the high rates of co-occurrence, relatively little is known about the effect that GAD has on the relationship between depression and emotion regulation outcomes. Given that worry is a cognitive process that evokes and maintains negative information in conscious awareness, it is feasible that GAD may interfere with the effects of emotion regulation responses that leverage cognitive resources to bring forth and maintain positive emotions, such as by recalling pleasant memories (positive autobiographical memory, PAM). Deficits in attentional processes may further reduce PAM's effectiveness. This study examined these possibilities among community dwelling adults.
Validating The Rate of Perceived Stability Scale To Gauge Balance Training Difficulty
Lorenzo Bianco and Preston Groft
An effective way of measuring balance training difficulty is needed to properly conduct balance training. The instructor must ensure that the subject is partaking in the proper balance training difficulty. If the difficulty of the training is too hard, the subject may be at higher risk for injury. If the difficulty is too low, the subject may not receive all the benefits of the program. The purpose of the research study was to validate the Rate of Perceived Stability (RPS) scale. We recruited 25 subjects over the age of 50. The subjects were community ambulators with no musculoskeletal issues. The subjects completed three clinical balance tests and had their motion data captured while playing the gaming conditions. Subjects were asked to give an RPS score at certain times during the gaming. The scores should correlate with the perception of their own stability. We hypothesized that the subjects' rank of gaming condition difficulty should match the RPS scores assigned to the condition. A clear majority of subjects matched their easiest gaming difficulty with their lowest RPS score and their hardest gaming difficulty with their highest RPS score. Only four subjects perfectly matched their gaming difficulty with their respective RPS scores, and only two subjects had zero matches.
Heritage Language and Culture: The Cleveland Slovenian Experience
Kristen Burns, Lacey DiFranco, Sam Paskert, Joe Peal, and Dallas Turner
Slovenians have played an important role in the history of Cleveland. From their origins being centered around St. Clair Avenue to their more dispersed state today, Cleveland is home to the largest population of Slovenians outside of Slovenia itself. Our study sought to explore the differences and similarities between native and heritage Slovenians. For data collection we used the picture word recognition test, sentence acceptability judgements test, and the cultural questionnaire. We designed these tests to study the Slovenian Clevelander community and shed on the understudied subjects of “heritage linguistics” and “language attrition”. Heritage speakers, or speakers that learned a language from family and outside of the country that it is spoken, are a unique group of people who have traits of both first and second language ability levels. Language attrition is a phenomena in which a language is definitively a first language but one begins to commit errors which they would not if they had stayed in an environment of only their own native language. These phenomena are fascinating and our data reflects the effects American English language and culture have caused on the language and culture of Cleveland Slovenians, previously unknown in the field of Linguistics.
P2: Implementation of groove based designs for engineering fluid flow in micromixers
Mixing on microscale is important for the development of miniaturized chemical reactors that use small quantities of reactants and allow better control over the reaction conditions and products. Nevertheless, achieving rapid mixing in this type of micro-reactors is challenging due to the lack of turbulence and slow diffusion on the microscale. In this work we implement micromixers designs based on surface groove/ridge patterns targeted at inducing cross-sectional flows that both extend the interface between the different reactants, as well as induce chaotic advection. We discuss the fabrication of these structures using soft-lithography in PDMS employing a mold and their optical characterization needed in order to evaluate their mixing performance.
P3: What Determines the Shape of a Cloud?
Current climate models and weather forecasts suffer due to an uncertainty associated with the behavior of clouds, which directly impact the energy exchange between the earth and the Sun. This impact is determined in part by the shape of the clouds, thereby making the study of what affects cloud shape an area of interest. To characterize the shape of cumulus clouds we study the behavior of the cloud overlap ratio, or the ratio between the average cloud fraction and projected cloud cover. In this study, we used a high resolution computer model to 1) determine how the cloud overlap ratio is related to the height and layer depth of clouds where it is defined, 2) to study how the overlap behaves under different physical circumstances, and 3) to study how the fractal nature and wind shear impact cloud shape. We found that the shape is sensitive to cloud layer depth, the fractal nature and wind shear; but not to cloud height, time of day or location of the cloud field.
P1: Using Modified Dean Flow designs to Increase Mixing Performance
We are using numerical solutions for the Navier-Stokes equations and the concentration - diffusion equation to model fluid flow and reactant distribution in serpentine type channels for micromixers/microreactors development. These mixers exploit centripetal forces on the fluid to induce cross-sectional fluid mixing, aka Dean flows. Various modifications are used to increase the mixing character of these crosssectional flows. We found that the performance of these mixers exceeds that of unmodified channels and we currently assess their performance relative to other state of the art methodologies used to induce mixing on the microscale.
Purification and Crystallization Trials of the Dihydroorotase from Methanococcus jannaschii
Amy K. Dadisman
Dihydroorotase is the enzyme that catalyzes the third step of the de novo biosynthesis of pyrimidines. M. jannaschii is a hyperthermophillic archaeon that can serve as a model organism for research purposes. This experiment is a first step toward elucidating the structure of the dihydroorotase in M. jannaschii. The enzyme was purified by salting out and heating the solution and then putting the supernatant through cation exchange chromatography and hydrophobic interaction chromatography. Twenty-four conditions were tested to determine if a crystal of dihydroorotase could be formed. Two of these conditions led to preliminary crystal formation. These findings can be utilized to determine which other conditions to test to form a crystal. Once a crystal is formed, it can undergo X-ray crystallography to determine its structure. The structure of dihydroorotase in M. jannaschii can elucidate what structural characteristics allow this archaeon to survive in extreme heat and provides further understanding of the diversity within the dihydroorotase family of proteins. It can also give further insight into this pathway in humans.
Moving multi-directional harnessed balance training from the clinic to the community: harnesses in a community garden
John DeMarco and Hannah Simon
Individuals such as the elderly and disabled frequently have trouble balancing, and therefore have a higher fall risk. A fear of falling can significantly impact mobility, thereby limiting participation in life activities. Balance training programs are often ineffective, because they are not intense enough or related to real life. Our lab has developed a clinic-based intense, engaging multi-directional harnessed balance training program that addresses these concerns. This work describes the process of transitioning the clinic-based training program into a community setting, specifically community gardening. We developed a harness system for a community garden high tunnel with raised beds. We incorporated inexpensive active assist mechanisms to assist standing up. We also equipped the harness system with a wearable sensor system including pressure sensors, a heart rate monitor, and a position motion tracking system. We developed analysis software for the system allowing us to quantify changes in balance. As compared to a non-harnessed environment where falls are possible, we hypothesize that the harness will provide the confidence to practice and thereby develop skill with more challenging balance activities in a real- life environment. We also hypothesize that the active assist mechanism will provide leg strengthening opportunities, further improving balance.
Morphological study and biochemical characterization of the Alveolate flagellate Colpodella sp. (Apicomplexa) in a diprotist culture with Bodo caudatus
Lauren Dulik and Raghavendra Yadavalli
Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of severe human malaria shares the presence of apical complex organelles with the free-living predatory alveolate, Colpodella sp. In this study we investigated morphological, biochemical and molecular characteristics of Colpodella sp. in a diprotist culture containing Bodo caudatus as prey. Colpodella attaches to its prey using the apical end. Attachment lasted for approximately 20 minutes while the cytoplasmic contents of the prey were aspirated into the posterior food vacuole of Colpodella in a process known as myzocytosis. Indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using P. falciparum rhoptry specific antibodies showed intense reactivity with cytoplasmic vesicles of Colpodella but not Bodo caudatus. DNA isolated from a pellet of the diprotist culture was used in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with oligonucleotide primers designed to target the P. falciparum (strains 3D7, DD2, FC27 and FCR8) rhoptry genes Rhop-3, Rhop-1 and RAMA. An approximately 2,906 bp single fragment was amplified from P. falciparum (strains 3D7 and FCR8) and diprotist DNA using RAMA primers. Similarly, DNA fragments of a similar size were amplified from the same DNA templates using primers targeting a highly conserved fragment of the18S rRNA used to identify a colpodellid associated with a human infection. Primers targeting conserved regions of the 18S rRNA of kinetoplastid species amplified a DNA fragment of 650 bp in P. falciparum (strains 3D7, DD2, FC27 and FCR8) and diprotist DNA. In addition, the kinetoplastid primers amplified a second fragment of approximately 2 kb from the diprotist DNA. Primers targeting the P. falciparum Rhop-1 gene amplified a 690 bp DNA fragment in all four P. falciparum strains but amplified a fragment of approximately 2 kb from diprotist DNA. Primers for the P. falciparum Rhop-3 gene target amplified a 660 bp DNA fragment in all four P. falciparum strains while DNA fragments of 2 kb, 800 bp and 500 bp were amplified from the diprotist DNA template. DNA sequence analysis of PCR amplified diprotist DNA identified the Rhop-3 gene demonstrating conservation of the Rhop-3 gene in Colpodella sp.
Effects of Task Requirements on Choice of Upper Extremity Use in Subjects Chronic Post-stroke
Trevor Foster, Andrea Matanovic, and Amanda Videmsek
Purpose: To explore how task requirements influence reaching in people post-stroke. Subjects: Eleven subjects chronic post-stroke with mild to moderate stroke severity Methods: Participants performed sitting reaching tasks under six conditions: object size (small or large), object location (Right or Left) and speed (slow or fast). Subjects were not instructed how to reach. The number of hands used, arm choice (paretic (P) or nonparetic (NP)), and if they reached contralaterally were recorded. Qualitative self-efficacy data was also collected. Data Analysis: A general estimating equation model was used to calculate odds ratios, controlling for side of weakness and hand dominance. Descriptive statistics were run and qualitative comments reviewed for trends. Results: All reaches were one-handed. Speed and object size were significantly associated with NP UE use (p = 0.002 and p = 0.03 respectively). The odds of using the paretic UE were 10.4 times lower (95% CI: 2.3 - 46.9) for the fast speed and 2.4 times lower (95% CI: 1.1 - 5.4) for the large size. Subjects only reached contralaterally with their NP UE (36.7% of time). Conclusions: Subjects chronic post-stroke with mild/moderate severity use their P UE less to reach for objects that are larger and when reaching faster.
Cultural Exchange – The Creative Fusion of Cuban and Cleveland Artists
Anne Gaeckle, Katie Parchem, Uliana Spiridinova, Rachel Torowski, and Eric Kish
In Summer 2017, as part of The Cleveland Foundation's Creative Fusion Project, in partnership with DANCECleveland, the acclaimed Cuban dance company Malpaso visited Cleveland to perform and be the featured guest artists for the CSU Summer Dance Workshop. This project's purpose was to investigate, assimilate, and participate in the Cuban Contemporary technique class with Malpaso providing a unique opportunity for CSU dance students to experience the Cuban technique of modern dance, a fusion of North American Modern Dance, European ballet, and traditional Afro-Cuban dances and rhythms. The CSU dancers and film student researched the roots of this Cuban dance form, interviewed the Cuban dancers on their experiences and training, and interacted in a close up and personal creative environment. This exchange was documented through writing, photography, video, and the kinesthetic experience of shared dance sequences which were used to develop an aesthetic expression of the information via the creation of movement compositions. The process was documented by the film student resulting in a visual archive reflecting this inter-cultural experience. The appreciation of the uniqueness of the art of dance as a non-verbal form of communication that easily crosses cultural boundaries became evident to the researchers, and will inform their future creative process work.
Introducing delays between two lateral line stimuli alters choices by African clawed toads
Kevin Goth and Austin Schaffer
African clawed toads (Xenopus laevis) use their lateral line system to detect prey. The African clawed frog can determine the distance of the origin of a surface wave. This allows the frog to differentiate which stimulus is more important for prey capture. The African clawed toads were put into a glass basin which was filled with water. Above the water basin are four rods that are controlled through a computer program which allow the rods to touch the surface of the water. After recording, each frame was examined in the videos to determine the turn angle and stimuli distance of the frog. When testing responses to two stimuli, the frog responds more when there are two stimuli than one stimulus. During the experiment, a prediction was that the frog will respond to the nearest stimuli than the farthest stimuli when two stimuli are present. For one stimulus, the frog responded better at the back than the front. Like the single stimulus, the double stimuli had more responses towards the back of the frog than the front of the frog. When there are two stimuli, the frog's response frequency is greater than the response frequency for one stimuli. Multiple stimuli will allow the frog to obtain more stimuli choices which will increase the response frequency.
Development and Verification of a Mechanical Loading Device for Microfluidics
Stefan Habean and Erin Tesny
Establishing the role that mechanics play in nerve cell (e.g. neurons) function requires experimental testing. Microfluidic based experiments are commonly used to study neuron growth and function, and studies have found mechanics to play an important role in neuron health. External loads can be applied to a microfluidic device using a motor, which presumably influences the mechanical environment of the cells. While a motor can easily apply known displacements, a “load cell” is necessary to measure corresponding forces. In an existing prototype microfluidic loading device, a load cell was integrated and verified. The manufacturer's calibration of the load cell was verified by measuring 4 known weights 32 times each. For repeatability testing with a microfluidic device, force was measured at 0.5 mm increments up to a total of 3 mm displacement (~10% strain). The repeatability test was performed 10 times. For ease of future use, a user interface was also developed that can quickly specify parameterized loading profiles. With the load cell integrated, experiments can be easily setup and general materials testing can also be conducted. Likely of greater benefit, when used with simulation, force-displacement data can relate external microfluidic forces to the actual mechanical environment of tested neurons.
The Stokes Brothers: The Advent of Black Political Power in America
Beginning in January of 2017, I conducted research alongside my mentor, Dr. Ronnie Dunn, commemorating the 50-year anniversary of Carl Stokes election as the first African-American mayor of a major US city, and his brother Louis, as the first African-American congressman from the state of Ohio. Our research and the commemoration focused on the political, civil rights, and public policy initiatives and contributions of the Stokes brothers. Our research concentrated specifically on policing during the late 1960's, a period in which many social commentators suggest mirror the racial tensions of today. Mayor Stokes's principal economic development and community revitalization plan, “Cleveland: NOW!” and other governmental documents from the 1960's were used to assess the impact of his public policy initiatives in the area of policing and their implications for public safety today. This research along with that in the areas of housing, education, healthcare, and workforce development will be presented in a report that will be provided to public officials and policy makers to help formulate public policy in these respective fields.
P2: Image Analysis and Quantification of 3D Cancer Cell Migration
Stephen Hong and Alexander Roth
Metastatic tumors are known for their ability to migrate toward circulatory apparatus and detach from the primary tumor. Generally, metastasis is quantified in vitro using migration assays that are normally measured in two dimensions (2D). Threedimensional (3D) migration assays can better mimic cancers by providing similar microenvironments to those observed in vivo. Imaging 3D cell cultures requires multiple 2D images stacked along a Z-axis; however, imaged cells would be in-focus at varied z-positions at different time points due to the characteristics of cell migration. Our goal in this study was to analyze in-focus cell images and quantify cell migration in 3D in high throughput. Briefly, Hep3B human hepatoma cell line in alginate was printed on top of a layer of chemoattractants in a microwell chip and cultured over time to model hepatocellular carcinoma. Acquired cell images were analyzed using a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to create a histogram of pixel brightness variation within an image. We selected a specific frequency range that would correspond to a sharp change in pixel brightness, a spheroid's edge, while the rest was subtracted to delete out-of-focus cells. In-focus cell images were recreated by reverse FFT, and ImageJ macros have been used to calculate the brightness of each corrected image in our 3D culture. By correlating pixel brightness to cell number, it allowed us to calculate the average position of all the cells in our 3D culture, based on brightness and z-position of the cell image. By measuring the change in average position over time, we created a quantifiable method to measure cell migration in 3D.
Methods to Increase Efficacy of Pro-Active Balance Training Among Older Adults
Angelica Sierra Houston
In the health care field, doctors and researchers rely on objective information to make conclusions about a person's health. However, concepts such as pain and balance rely on subjective information to properly assist a patient. The key innovations regarding the assessment of pain began in 1939, starting as a list of 44 words sorted into five groups. Now, the pain scale comes in many forms, from a numeric score ranging 0-10 (Numeric Rating scale or NRS), to a scale of faces with appropriate descriptors with it (Visual analog scale, or VAS). Such as pain, balance is subjective, and what may be challenging to one-person in regard to balance may not be the same for another. There is no validating rating scale of balance exercise intensity scale for older adults, and ways to measure balance intensity for older adults does not exist. In this study, participants will use video games and balance training surfaces to be assessed on their balance using a rate perceived ability scale, determining the validity of the RPS scale. A consistent and valid way to rate balance exercise intensity would help individuals with balance challenges, and will help professionals, such as physical therapists, help their patients.
African Clawed Toads Response to the Distance Choice of Lateral Line Stimuli
African Clawed Toads are a model organism for research on sensory integration due to their lateral line system that allows them to sense water movement. This study further investigates the choices made by toads when presented with two lateral line stimuli in the form of surface waves. When such stimuli are initiated simultaneously, toads tend to turn towards the more rostral stimulus or the nearer stimulus, waves from which arrive first. We introduced a delay between stimuli to allow the waves from the farther stimulus to arrive first. Toads were more likely to respond to a single stimulus than they were to a double stimulus (25% versus 18% of trials, respectively). In these responses to double stimuli, toads generally turn as accurately toward one stimulus or the other as they do toward single stimuli; this indicates a choice rather than a confused or mixed response. As before, both proximity and stimulus angle affect the choice; toads prefer the more rostral stimulus and the closer of the two stimuli. Finally, delaying one stimulus increased the toads' choice of the first stimulus to arrive.
RNase L mediates the insulin signalling pathway
Oroshay Kaiwan and Danting Liu
Diabetes is characterized by hyperglycemia mainly due to defect in insulin secretion and/or action. Regulation of glucose transport and use by insulin is central to the maintenance of whole-body glucose homeostasis. One of the potential mechanisms associated with insulin sensitivity is the activation of insulin receptor (IR) and subsequently transduces the signal through phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate1 (IRS1) and activation of the PI-3K/Akt pathway. RNase L, an interferon (IFN)-inducible enzyme, plays an important role in IFN functions against viral infection and cell proliferation. However, a direct link between RNase L and insulin sensitivity has yet to be clearly established. In this study, we found that RNase L plays an important role in glucose homeostasis through impacting IR which is a transmembrane receptor activated by insulin. The phosphorylation status of IR was significantly reduced in the cells deficient RNase L. As a result, activation of IRS1, the downstream substrate of IR, and the PI3K/AKT pathway was significantly inhibited in RNase L-/- cells. Further investigation of the molecular mechanism underlying the role of RNase L in mediating the activation of IR revealed that RNase L might regulate the cleavage of the precursor of IR via the ubiquitin/ proteasome system. Our results suggest that RNase L may be a novel target in the design of therapeutic strategies for diabetes.
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