The Undergraduate Works collection showcases and preserves the scholarly work being done by students at Temple University.

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  • Scorpion-inspired Needle Design for Insertion in Soft Tissue Materials

    K., Luys; Kelly, Orion; Nguyen, Hillary; Penetar, Elisa; Hutapea, Parsaoran; Hutapea|0000-0001-6917-1252 (2022-11-18)
    The goal of this project is to develop a bioinspired biopsy needle that takes inspiration from the structure of a scorpion stinger to reduce tissue damage and limit the needle path deflection for more accurate results. Our scorpion-inspired needle showed an 8.38% reduction in force, 29.37% reduction in tissue damage, and a 19.64% reduction in deflection in comparison to the standard biopsy needle used today.
  • Long Term Effects of Childhood Trauma

    Shah, Mansi; Armstrong, Bridget; George, Caroline (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2022-05-10)
    The first step of throwing clay on a pottery wheel is centering. Centering is fundamental in creating a functional piece, as it ensures even thickness and height throughout the artwork. Without proper centering, the shape of the clay piece will collapse. Once the clay is centered, the artist uses their fingers to manipulate the clay. Each squeeze, pull, and pinch transforms the soft material from a lifeless ball into a basic form. By the end of the process the clay becomes a fully functional ceramic piece but a successful final piece is entirely contingent upon proper centering. Similar to how centering creates a foundation in pottery, childhood creates a foundation for adulthood. Just as an artist's fingers shape ceramics, subjective experiences shape individuals’ brains. For this reason, childhood trauma has a great impact on survivor’s lives. If trauma is left unresolved, it can manifest throughout one’s lifetime and result in neurological and physiological issues. Childhood trauma slowly infiltrates almost every aspect of a survivor's life, leading to several long-term effects on the brain and body.
  • The Highs and Lows of Bipolar Disorder

    Shah, Mansi; Chaturvedi, Riya; Kohol, Jaya (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2022-05-10)
    Kanye West, Jimi Hendrix, Carrie Fisher, Frank Sinatra, and Vincent Van Gogh-what comes to mind when you hear these names? Many would say creative, gifted, accomplished, and brilliant due to the incredible art and talent they have shared with the world. However, what many do not realize is that all of these individuals have suffered from bipolar disorder (BD) [1]. BD is a psychiatric illness characterized by extreme mood swings, which include emotional highs known as mania and hypomania, and lows, otherwise known as depression [2]. Mania is described as a period when one experiences increased energy and activity, high irritability, and racing thoughts [3]. Hypomania exhibits similar symptoms as mania, however the main difference is the duration and intensity [3]. Some individuals suggest that people with BD are unstable, and prone to violence, but when treated appropriately by medical and psychology professionals, many of the symptoms of BD are manageable such that patients can have relatively normal lives [4]. Globally, the prevalence of BD is around 1%, with an equal distribution of the disorder between men and women [5]. In those with BD, around one out of three individuals attempt to commit suicide, and about 15-20% of those attempts are successful [5]. Based on these statistics, it is important to shed light on the symptoms and causes of BD, neurological changes in those diagnosed, as well as current treatments available, in order to reduce misinformation and destigmatize the disorder.
  • The Psychological Distinction of Athlete's Brains

    Shah, Mansi; Poneris, Alexa; Shoenberger, Taylor (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2022-05-10)
    "Iguodala to Curry, back to Iguodala, up for the layup! Oh! Blocked by James! LeBron James with the rejection!" [1]. It’s moments as great as this one that make us wonder what could possibly be occurring inside the brain at that instant. During a time as stressful as game seven of the NBA Finals, where the situation is win or go home, it is necessary for the brain to perform at its utmost ability. The anxiety, pressure, fans, cameras, coaches yelling, and the sounds around each athlete at that moment is at an all-time high. This forces the brain to work overtime to ensure a successful performance. It is in this specific moment that the brain elicits a natural response to quickly decide a play that could alter the trajectory of the entire game. The motor cortex greatly impacts how athletes perform by commanding motor skills, such as coordinated movements, while establishing focus and maintaining healthy mental stability.
  • Mini Brains & More: Stem Cells In Neuroscience

    Shah, Mansi; Spangler, Bailey; Gitlevich, Becca (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2022-05-10)
    Everyone has once wondered: what if I were able to go back in time? Fueled either by the Back to the Future franchise or an embarrassing mistake, almost everyone has played around with the idea of returning to an earlier state. Imagine being able to go back to your childhood, before decisions that have brought you to where you are now. Now bring that idea to a much smaller scale. Imagine applying that idea to the cells in our body. Early in development, progenitor (stem) cells have the capability to differentiate into different types (neurons, cardiomyocytes, etc). During development, cells become more specialized over time and as an organism matures, they become more limited in the types of cells they can differentiate into [1]. Scientists are now able to perform cellular “time travel” through induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), taking mature cells back to a stage of pluripotency, when they are able to specialize into almost any cell type (with a few exceptions).
  • The Newfound Neurology of Type 1 Diabetes

    Shah, Mansi; Hulikal, Disha; Morgan, Gideon (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2022-05-10)
    For most of human history, type 1 diabetes mellitus was a terminal diagnosis. First documented in 1500 BCE in Egypt, diabetes was observed causing symptoms such as rapid weight loss, frequent urination, and shortly thereafter, death [1, 2]. In Ancient Rome, the way physicians diagnosed diabetes was by tasting the urine of people suffering from these symptoms, looking for a telltale “sweet” taste and smell (the word mellitus means “honey” in Latin) [1]. In the 1900’s, the only medical treatment for diabetes was an extremely low-calorie diet, which prolonged the patient’s lifespan but ultimately led to death by starvation [3]. In the last 50 years, significant advances in medicine have increased our understanding of diabetes and allowed the development of technology to facilitate management of the diagnosis. Diabetes is currently recognized as a chronic illness, a condition requiring ongoing treatment or monitoring, rather than the death sentence it once was [1,4]. Insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating the amount of glucose in the blood, was the first chemically synthesized human protein in 1963 [5]. In 1979, the first needle-free insulin delivery system was introduced [6]. The continuous glucose monitor was later released in 2006, allowing people with diabetes a real-time update of their blood glucose levels [7]. Because of these technological advancements, people with diabetes are able to more closely control their blood glucose levels, reducing the physical symptoms of hyperglycemia on their bodies [7].People with diabetes are now living longer than ever before as their physical symptoms improve, allowing researchers the opportunity to study the neurological effects of type 1 diabetes for the first time in history [7, 8].
  • Mother Earth and Her Anxious Children

    Shah, Mansi; Brown, Kal; Becker, Claire (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2022-05-10)
    You’ve been studying for finals all day and finally decided that it is time to take a break, maybe go on TikTok for a bit, forget about the impending doom of stress that is about to take over. As you scroll expecting to find entertainment, you see a video of one of the scientists who was part of the worldwide climate change protests after the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s news report. Instead of taking your mind off of exams, you find yourself even more stressed, wondering whether your passions are even worth pursuing if there is going to be no world in which you can experience the fruits of your hard work. Is it all pointless?
  • Self Splintering: Dissociative Identity Disorder

    Shah, Mansi; Martin, George; Bao, Zhuoran (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2022-05-10)
    In the modern age of the Internet, it has become popular amongst users on social media websites, such as TikTok and Tumblr, to self-diagnose with different disorders. The most popular example of this is TikTok, where many who claim to be medical professionals or have a certain disorder say statements such as “Scientists say if you can’t see the illusion in this video, you have depression,” or “If you show XYZ trait, you have autism.” A disorder that is commonly brought up when talking about self-diagnosis is Dissociative Personality Disorder (DID), previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). The name change occurred in 1994, due to learning new information about the disorder [1]. MPD implies that many personalities are in one person, while DID implies that one personality has been split into many parts.
  • Burning From The Inside Out: Life With Fibryomyalgia

    Shah, Mansi; Comly, Alex; Stockdale, Laura (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2022-05-10)
    Comfort is a concept many people take for granted, until it suddenly vanishes. In everyday life, it is not the norm to recognize and appreciate the feeling of being comfortable. Nothing is more uncomfortable than being in pain. Every day, up to 67 million Americans experience the effects of chronic pain, showing that this suffering is an unending symptom that needs more understanding and concern [1]. Chronic pain is debilitating, defeating, and presents differently in each and every person affected by it. The wide variety of chronic pain makes diagnosis and treatment quite difficult. In many cases, this mind numbing pain comes from a neurological disease characterized by musculoskeletal pain known as fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a largely misunderstood and complex disorder that results in hyperalgesia, an increased sensitivity to pain meaning our brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals thus amplifying painful sensations. Other symptoms include fatigue, sleep disturbances, memory issues, and mood disorders [2]. The solution seems clear: to provide maximum comfort to someone suffering from chronic pain so that they may return to doing what they love. To accomplish this a personalized treatment plan must be established. For people diagnosed with fibromyalgia, comfort is seemingly unattainable without a perfect treatment plan. Unfortunately, the history of fibromyalgia pain management has not been so simple. For decades, many healthcare professionals have neglected to properly manage pain due to subjective beliefs, and some have gone even further by gaslighting patients by denying the existence of fibromyalgia [2]. Claims of chronic pain are reduced to symptoms of other problems, thus extending the pain and damage. The scientific community does not fully understand the mechanical complexities of chronic pain, but this does not mean that just because something is not understood, it can be denied existence. If fibromyalgia presentation vastly fluctuates among the people affected by it, then how are effective treatment plans devised to reduce pain and increase one’s quality-of-life?
  • Entering Fantasy Land: Why We Dream

    Shah, Mansi; Bounyarith, Tiara; Gitlevich, Becca (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2022-05-10)
    You bolt up from your bed, breathing heavily. Noticing that you are on your bed, in the safety of your house, you relish in the idea that you are not drowning. You then think to yourself, why did I have that dream? What was the point? Why do we have dreams? You probably think about that dream for about five more minutes until the details start to slip away. Or maybe you forget about it altogether. Though much is unknown as to why we dream, what we do know is that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is the stage where dreaming happens, is integral to our functioning and development.
  • Mind-Reading Abilities: Reading fiction to improve our Theory of Mind

    Shah, Mansi; Brucato, Maria; Ataher, Aleena (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2022-05-10)
    We are introduced to the world of fiction at a young age through children’s books and graphic novels. These books create new scenarios and imaginary characters, building a new world around us full of different emotions. Then, as soon as we “grow up,” we are told to put them away. They are considered childish and non-educational, unlike non-fiction and classical literature. However, according to an article published in Harvard Business Review, reading fiction provides different and very important cognitive benefits beyond the knowledge typically gained from reading nonfiction [1]. Fiction allows people to empathize with others and improve Theory of Mind which scaffolds interpersonal skills that play a significant role in our daily lives. The neurological and cognitive effects of reading fiction need to be thoroughly discussed so that society does not miss out on these important benefits to Theory of Mind.
  • Hijacked: The Neuroscience Behind SUD's and Addiction

    Shah, Mansi; Patel, Kena; Jozwik, Matthew (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2022-05-10)
    Euphoria—the most tweeted-about TV show of the decade in the U.S. [1]— has brought teenage drug use into the public spotlight. The show follows the troubled life of 17-year-old Rue, a drug addict fresh from rehab who has no plans to stay clean. Rue's battles with mental illness and addiction are not unusual, and her predisposition to self-medicate with dangerous drugs, particularly painkillers, is not at all out of the ordinary. This is a reality that many young addicts face today, and many people struggling with a substance use disorder can relate to Rue’s story [2]. The creator, Sam Levinson, utilizes Rue's character to raise awareness and empathy for difficult topics such as substance abuse and mental health. As someone with a past substance use disorder (SUD), he felt it was important to demonstrate the relief that drugs can bring to someone suffering from anxiety or depression - as well as the emotional turmoil that they can cause [2]. Euphoria depicts the pain that comes with drug abuse, as well as the constant need to continue using drugs despite the pain.
  • Grey Matters, Issue 3, Spring 2022 (Front and Back Matter)

    Shah, Mansi; Sajeev, Nikita; Gitlevich, Becca (Temple University. Grey Matters, 2022-05-10)
  • 26/11 Mumbai Attacks

    Khanna, Yesh (2022)
    Around 9:30 PM on November 26, 2008, Mumbai witnessed multiple well-coordinated and near-simultaneous terror attacks that continued for the next three to four days. These attacks were carried out by ten Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, divided into multiple teams to maximize the element of surprise and effectiveness. By the time Indian security forces brought the carnage to an end, around 166 people were dead and more than 300 injured, making it one of the deadliest attacks ever on Indian soil. Given the magnitude, sophistication, and effectiveness of the attack, this was one of India's biggest intelligence failures. This paper is a critical analysis of the 11/26/08 Mumbai terror attacks and an examination of how Indian and international intelligence apparatuses failed to predict the attack.
  • 1971: The Bloodied Legacy of the United States in South Asia

    Khanna, Yesh (2021-05)
    In 1971, South Asia saw one of the most horrific genocides in modern history. It took place in East Pakistan (now known as Bangladesh) under the oversight of General Yahya Khan. This genocidal campaign was named Operation Searchlight; its primary objective was to 'suppress' the members and sympathizers of the Awami League - the Bengali nationalist political party, led by Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman - protesting for greater autonomy of East Pakistan. Later, they started demanding complete secession and the creation of 'Bangladesh'. The military crackdown began on March 25th in Dhaka and neighboring areas with the Pakistani army killing civilians, firing indiscriminately at unarmed university students, and raping women. Even though the U.S. consulate in Dhaka witnessed these horrors and reported each and every update to Washington, the Nixon administration not only chose to turn a blind eye to the atrocities being committed by the Pakistani army in East Pakistan but secretly approved of Yahya's crackdown.
  • Friction in China-Japan Relations: Causes and Challenges

    Khanna, Yesh (2021-09)
    Because of its location, Japan has an array of unique neighbors, though not all of them hold a warm attitude toward the country. China is one such example - the recent actions of the Chinese government pertaining to the Senkaku Islands, its growing military might, and the country's hegemonic aspirations are all reasons why the Japanese Ministry of Defense classifies China as the biggest current threat to Japan. Given the facts that Japan is one of the United States' most strategic allies and China is the biggest threat to the United States' superpower status, it becomes more important than ever to better understand the history and the future of relations between the two countries. This piece explores various causes of Japan-China tensions and the strategic challenges that China poses to Japan.
  • United States in Somalia: An Autopsy

    Khanna, Yesh (2022-02)
    During the Cold War, the Horn of Africa region served as a battleground for proxy warfare between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and KGB, the foreign intelligence acengy of the Soviet Union. Ethiopia was heavily backed by the CIA, whereas the KGB backed Siad Barre's authoritarian regime in Somalia. In 1977, Somalia and Ethiopia went to war against each other for control over the Ogaden region. This war turned out to be a disaster for Somalia, and Barre became more repressive, leading to anti-government protests and Barre fleeing Somalia in 1991. The immediate aftermath of this was the resurgence of clan violence which resulted in the collapse of whatever was left of the Somali government; this further led the country into economic chaos. The warlords, who headed these clans, found the perfect weapon to inflict damage upon one another: food. As Dr. Richard W. Steward writes in his brocher The United States Army in Somalia, 1992-1994: "as Somalia lapsed into sectarian and ethnic warfare, regional warlords drew upon clan loyalty to establish independent power bases. This situation led to a struggle over food supplies with each clan raiding the storehouses and depots of the others. Coupled with a drought, these actions brought famine to hundreds of thousands of the nation's poor." As a result, around a million Somalis started to flee to the neighboring urban areas where various non-governmental organizations were providing humanitarian assistance; additionally, around another one million Somalis were forced into exile.
  • The Modern State of Counterterrorism

    Gratson, Scott; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    In this post 9/11 era, how have countries developed their counterterrorism policies following major terrorist attacks? How have these counterterrorism policies affected the security and privacy of the citizenry? Through analyzing these counter-terrorism policies in the context of Policy Convergence Theory and Foucault’s concept of Panopticism, I seek to answer and understand these questions and more in the context of the present day. Policy Convergence Theory serves as a theory for helping understand why counterterrorism policies are similar and different across countries. Panopticism refers to the idea of humans acting accordingly to the feeling of being watched, an idea that has become much more apparent as more information about surveillance of citizens has been revealed. In this paper, I will be examining the United States, the United Kingdom, and Indonesia as case studies to answer my questions about explanations for counter-terrorism policies following major terrorist attacks and the lasting effects of these policies on privacy and security. The completion of this project marks a significant contribution to the study of counterterrorism and human rights around the world.
  • The Digital Presence of German Community Archives

    Melzer, Patricia, 1970-; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    Humanities researchers find and utilize online data while researching. Often times, familiarity with programming, or the ability to use Digital Humanities (DH) tools increases the types of analyses that one can make with this digital data. For Digital Humanities research to be undertaken, sources and data must be extant and published in a digital manner. German archives that deal with counter-cultural milieus are typically independent of large institutions and are thus often poorly funded. These organizations typically do not have the funds to digitize their materials. This means that many of the sources housed in these archives are not included in historical and cultural analyses. This problem can be made visible using digital tools and interviews. The results of this project are multifaceted, including Python web-scraping scripts, a case study and quantitative assessment of independent archive websites, interviews with archivists, and an experimental case. The final part of my project will make recommendations to improve the online presence of German independent archives. The goal is to highlight the importance of digital tools developed specifically for accessing historical and social data stored in a decentralized network of archives and the contributions of the digital humanities to the larger humanities. I will present a paper that introduces descriptions and analyses of quantitative reviews of online archives, interviews with archivists, scraping scripts, and associated datasets.
  • Examining the Barriers and Opportunities to Black Students along the Pre-Med Track

    Olsen, Lauren; Temple University. Honors Program (Temple University. Libraries, 2022)
    For this project, I have engaged in research on one of the biggest impediments to diversifying medicine and eliminating health disparities: the pipeline problem. Black students in the medical professional pipeline face barriers and a lack of opportunities that prohibit their advancement to medical school. In my project, I focus my analysis on Black students’ efforts to successfully matriculate into medical school and how undergraduate institutions play a pivotal role in the process of becoming a physician. To engage in this project, I draw upon several disciplines, because the “pre-med” experience is unique and multifaceted, spanning the disciplines of public health, medicine, sociology, and education. After I did a thorough and synthetic literature review, I conducted qualitative research through interviews with pre-med students to identify resources and constraints that impact attrition, and the extent to which it is racialized. I focus on the inconsistencies between what is said needs to be done to increase the number of Black students matriculating into medical school and whether there is something being done. I find that there are four main areas of barriers: inequalities in college advising, inequalities in access to resources, and pre-med social support inequalities. Based on my findings, I conclude the paper with a few research-informed policy recommendations to address the gaps in pipelines to becoming a physician for Black students in medicine.

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