This was a project presented at the 2018 UC Scholarly Showcase that placed within "Top 25" out of 405.
Supporting Latino Families in Northern Kentucky partnered with students in Jenny Zhen-Duan’s Community Psychology class to assess work engagement and cultural competence among service providers as well as to examine the barriers that service providers face when serving the Latino population in Northern Kentucky. A mixed method approach was used to assess barriers that service providers face and how cultural competency and work engagement may be improved to better serve the Latino community in Northern Kentucky. Surveys containing three parts were distributed to the participating service providers. The academic partner administered the survey around Northern Kentucky and obtained 99 responses from community members. The mean age of the participants was 29 years with almost seventy percent being female. For cultural competence the subscale of service delivery was significantly higher than knowledge of community and reaching out. On work engagement the subscale of dedication was significantly higher than both vigor and absorption. Other findings were service providers have issues with lack of translators, interpretors, cultural knowledge and funding. Additional issues were not enough english as a second language resources, familial differences, attitudes towards education, mistrust towards institutions and high amounts of community level poverty. Several recommendations were made:
● The Supporting Latino Families in Northern Kentucky (SLFNK) could research where Latinos that are receiving services have immigrated from, which could help in finding an impact of origin on barriers when they are receiving the services.
● The SLFNK could have the Latino population, who receive the services from the providers, answer the survey. Then, the organization could look at and compare the two surveys to see what the similarities and differences are with the barriers.
● The SLFNK could provide lessons in cultural competence to its workers to enhance their understanding of the Latino culture.
● The SLFNK could apply for grants pertaining to gaining resources they need.
Human iPSCs (TkDA cell-line) were differentiated on laminin coated plates into endoderm by treatment of Activin and BMP, then treated with FGF4 and CHIR to further differentiate into posterior foregut. The cells were embedded into Matrigel droplets and cultured in Advanced DMEM. Droplet media was collected for ELISA to measure Albumin concentrations. The droplets were collected for histology and RNA isolation to test for AFP, ALB, and HBG1 genes. These methods resulted in the creation of a novel culture system containing both hepatic and hematopoietic lineage cells to model developing fetal liver.
The purpose of this project was to develop a method to characterize polymers using size exclusion chromatography. Specifically, high performance liquid chromatography coupled with a refractive index detector (RID) was used. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) was used a standard for this method. The mobile phase used was dimethylformamide (DMF). Three different mixtures of PEG polymers with known molecular weights were analyzed to characterize the molecular weight of polyacrylic acid (PAA). After running all polymers, retention times were taken and plotted on the x-axis along with LogMp (molecular weight) on the y-axis. A calibration curve was created and plugged in the retention time of PAA to the line equation. We then, took 10 to the power of that number and calculated a molecular weight of 52292.97 g/mol. This method was shown to be an effective way to characterize polymers using PEG as a standard. Poly (methyl methacrylate), otherwise known as P(MMA), was also tested using the same method. The known weight of the polymer was 60,500 g/mol. After running the polymer, 23,000 g/mol was calculated to be the molecular weight. This molecular weight shows that certain parameters like polarity needs to be considered when running samples on the HPLC.
Poster presenting current research being done into TRNA. The poster shows initial step to isolate TRNA from the digestive enzyme. The long-term goal of analyzing how TRNA react to different stresses over time is mentioned.
Ball milling is used in industry to grind ores, minerals, ceramics, and recently has been implemented to research synthesis of organic compounds. One project is researching nickel catalysis in high speed ball milling for producing substituted cyclooctatetraene compounds. In the process of synthesizing the compounds, Ni, Cr, and Fe residues from the vials and nickel pellets used for the reaction will remain in the product. To analyze for the metals remaining in the product, Inductively Coupled Plasma paired with Mass Spectrometry was used. Initially used as an internal standard, gallium’s mass was found on the spectrometer. It is suspected to be a false positive caused by a FeO+ or FeN+. The product was analyzed using Agilent Technologies 7700 ICP-MS before and after a filtering process. This helped determine how effective the filtering process was removing metals and what concentration remained at the part per billion level (ppb) in the final product. A calibration curve was made with a blank, 1ppb, 5ppb, 10ppb, 25ppb, and 50ppb with Sc as the internal standard. Results showed that chromium is insignificant (<0.0ppb), and iron is approximately 1ppb in concentration. Before the filtration process, nickel is approximately 10ppb, after filtration, nickel’s concentration is insignificant (<0.0ppb).
Neonatal Brachial Plexus Injury (NBPI) is a common birth injury to the nerves innervating the upper limb. A poorly understood and currently incurable consequence of this injury is tightness of affected muscles, or muscle contractures. Paradoxically, contractures do not occur in a rare form of NBPI (preganglionic) in which afferent (sensory) innervation of the muscle is preserved, in contrast to the more common postganglionic NBPI which causes complete denervation, suggesting a possible role of afferent denervation in contracture formation. Afferent neurons interface with muscle at the spindle and golgi tendon organ (GTO). Previous studies have implicated muscle spindles in contracture formation, but the GTO has not been investigated. Unilateral pre and post-ganglionic NBPIs were created in neonatal mice. Bilateral biceps muscles were harvested four weeks later, cleared, and immunohistochemically stained in whole mounts to assess GTO morphology. The nerves innervating the biceps were sectioned and stained to quantify afferent denervation. Complete denervation by postganglionic NBPI led to loss of GTO in denervated muscles, whereas preservation of afferent innervation in preganglionic NBPI preserved normal GTO morphology. These findings suggest that afferent innervation is required for postnatal GTO maintenance, and that loss of the GTO may play a role in contracture formation.
The Pothomorphe clade of Piper contains ten species of shrubs and vines that are native to the New World tropics. One of these, Piper umbellatum, has been introduced outside its native range, and has become successfully established in most wet tropical areas around the World. The species is rather weedy in its native range, and also in parts of the Old World, where it occurs along roadsides, in cultivated fields, and other disturbed habitats. In other parts of the Old World, however, it behaves much like a native plant and can only be found on forested slopes along mountain streams. This is the exact opposite of the expected pattern, and makes one question whether P. umbellatum is indeed New World in origin. Research analyzing the Pothomorphe clade was undertaken to help understand the origin and distribution of P. umbellatum in both the Old and New World. DNA was extracted from various Piper specimens and sequenced to examine nuclear ITS and chloroplast petA–psbJ sequences. The complete analysis revealed poor resolution among species, but indicates the New World origin of P. umbellatum. Additional data are clearly needed to further study and understand the relationships among populations of Pothomorphe around the world.
This research is focused on botanical remains from the late
Hopewell and Woodland time period, around the 5th century
A.D. from Newtown, Ohio. Many burial graves as well as
artifacts of domestic debris were recovered, including flint,
pottery, bone, numerous fragments of hardwood charcoal,
and some plant species thought to be domesticated. This
research sought to identify all the plant remains excavated
from the Newtown Fire Station archaeological site, uncovered
during the construction of a porch addition to the firehouse.
These remains were identified using an electron microscope
and organized by taxa, weighed, and photographed. After the
remains were examined for identification purposes, they were
studied for environmental context. Among the remains found
were several fruit, nut, crop, and hardwood species. These
preserved and charred remains serve as botanical evidence
for the reconstruction of survival strategies of the past
Newtown inhabitants, as well as diets and other domestic