• A Novel Cell Penetrating Peptide for the Differentiation of Human Neural Stem Cells

      Ma, Weili; Jin, Geun-woo; Gehret, Paul M.; Chada, Neil C.; Suh, Won H.; 0000-0002-4036-8307 (2018-07-09)
      Retinoic acid (RA) is a bioactive lipid that has been shown to promote neural stem cell differentiation. However, the highly hydrophobic molecule needs to first solubilize and translocate across the cell membrane in order to exert a biological response. The cell entry of RA can be aided by cell penetrating peptides (CPPs), which are short amino acid sequences that are able to carry bioactive cargo past the cell membrane. In this work, a novel cell penetrating peptide was developed to deliver RA to human neural stem cells and, subsequently, promote neuronal differentiation. The novel CPP consists of a repeating sequence, whose number of repeats is proportional to the efficiency of cell penetration. Using fluorescence microscopy, the mode of translocation was determined to be related to an endocytic pathway. The levels of β-III tubulin (Tubb3) and microtubule associated protein 2 (MAP2) expression in neural stem cells treated with RA conjugated to the CPP were assessed by quantitative immunocytochemistry.
    • A Rare Case of Aortoatrial Fistula from Streptococcal Endocarditis

      Arshad, Hammad; Young, Meilin; Rali, Parth (2017-07-05)
      We represent an unfortunate case of postinfluenza streptococcal endocarditis in a 34-year-old healthy male. He presented with hypoxic respiratory failure and was found to have mitral and aortic valve vegetation. Hospital course was complicated by the presence of an aortoatrial fistula from an aortic root abscess, persistent septic shock, and multiorgan failure.
    • A Rare Case of Primary Anorectal Melanoma and a Review of the Current Landscape of Therapy

      Yeung, Ho-Man; Gupta, Brinda; Kamat, Bhishak; 0000-0002-7188-9738 (2020-08-02)
      Introduction: Anorectal mucosal melanoma (ARMM) is an uncommon and highly aggressive malignancy. Given its rarity, there is insufficient evidence on the optimal medical management which presents as a clinical challenge to its diagnosis and treatment. Treatment of ARMM typically involves a multimodal approach including surgical resection, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and/or immunotherapy. Case Presentation: Here, we present a case of a 78-year-old female who presented with a four-month history of rectal bleeding and bowel incontinence. Ultimately, colonoscopy revealed a mass at the anal verge, and biopsy of the mass showed malignant cells that stained positive for S100, Melan-A and HMB-45, consistent with the diagnosis of malignant melanoma. Molecular testing revealed no BRAF, KIT or NRAS gene mutations. PD-L1 immunohistochemistry showed tumor proportion score of 1%. She underwent abdominoperineal resection with a plan to initiate immunotherapy with an anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor. This case highlights a rare aggressive malignancy and reviews its treatment option, which are mostly extrapolated from its cutaneous counterpart and some derived from a few case reports. Due to its rarity, there is no consensus guideline for the treatment of ARMM.
    • Administration of intravenous antibiotics in patients with open fractures is dependent on emergency room triaging

      Phillips, Cameron (2018-08-14)
      Recent literature has demonstrated that emergent administration of antibiotics is perhaps more critical than even emergent debridement. Most recent studies recommend patients receive antibiotics no later than 1 hour after injury to prevent infection. The objective of this study is to evaluate the time to antibiotic administration after patients with open fractures arrive to a trauma center depending on triaging team.
    • An Implantable Ultrasonically-Powered Micro-Light-Source (µLight) for Photodynamic Therapy

      Kim, Albert; Zhou, Jiawei; Samaddar, Shayak; Song, Seung Hyun; Elzey, Bennet D.; Thompson, David H.; Ziaie, Babak; 0000-0003-1539-1246 (2019-02-04)
      Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising cancer treatment modality that can selectively target unresectable tumors through optical activation of cytotoxic agents, thus reducing many side effects associated with systemic administration of chemotherapeutic drugs. However, limited light penetration into most biological tissues have so far prevented its widespread adoption beyond dermatology and a few other oncological applications in which a fiber optic can be threaded to the desired locations via an endoscopic approach (e.g., bladder). In this paper, we introduce an ultrasonically powered implantable microlight source, μLight, which enables in-situ localized light delivery to deep-seated solid tumors. Ultrasonic powering allows for small receiver form factor (mm-scale) and power transfer deep into the tissue (several centimeters). The implants consist of piezoelectric transducers measuring 2 × 2 × 2 mm3 and 2 × 4 × 2 mm3 with surface-mounted miniature red and blue LEDs. When energized with 185 mW/cm2 of transmitted acoustic power at 720 kHz, μLight can generate 0.048 to 6.5 mW/cm2 of optical power (depending on size of the piezoelectric element and light wavelength spectrum). This allows powering multiple receivers to a distance of 10 cm at therapeutic light output levels (a delivery of 20–40 J/cm2 light radiation dose in 1–2 hours). In vitro tests show that HeLa cells irradiated with μLights undergo a 70% decrease in average cell viability as compared to the control group. In vivo tests in mice implanted with 4T1-induced tumors (breast cancer) show light delivery capability at therapeutic dose levels. Overall, results indicate implanting multiple µLights and operating them for 1–2 hours can achieve cytotoxicity levels comparable to the clinically reported cases using external light sources.
    • Area-based socioeconomic factors and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among teen boys in the United States

      Swiecki-Sikora, Allison L.; Stroup, Antoinette M.; Warner, Echo L.; Kepka, Deanna; Henry, Kevin; 0000-0002-5348-9669 (2017-07-14)
      Background: This study is the first to examine associations between several area-based socioeconomic factors and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine uptake among boys in the United States (U.S.). Methods: Data from the 2012-2013 National Immunization Survey-Teen restricted-use data were analyzed to examine associations of HPV vaccination initiation (receipt of ≥1 dose) and series completion (receipt of three doses) among boys aged 13-17 years (N = 19,518) with several individual-level and ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) census measures. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of HPV vaccination initiation and series completion separately. Results: In 2012-2013 approximately 27.9% (95% CI 26.6%-29.2%) of boys initiated and 10.38% (95% CI 9.48%-11.29%) completed the HPV vaccine series. Area-based poverty was not statistically significantly associated with HPV vaccination initiation. It was, however, associated with series completion, with boys living in high-poverty areas (≥20% of residents living below poverty) having higher odds of completing the series (AOR 1.22, 95% CI 1.01-1.48) than boys in low-poverty areas (0-4.99%). Interactions between race/ethnicity and ZIP code-level poverty indicated that Hispanic boys living in high-poverty areas had a statistically significantly higher odds of HPV vaccine initiation (AOR 1.43, 95% CI 1.03-1.97) and series completion (AOR 1.56, 95% CI 1.05-2.32) than Hispanic boys in low-poverty areas. Non-Hispanic Black boys in high poverty areas had higher odds of initiation (AOR 2.23, 95% CI 1.33-3.75) and completion (AOR 2.61, 95% CI 1.06-6.44) than non-Hispanic Black boys in low-poverty areas. Rural/urban residence and population density were also significant factors, with boys from urban or densely populated areas having higher odds of initiation and completion compared to boys living in non-urban, less densely populated areas. Conclusion: Higher HPV vaccination coverage in urban areas and among racial/ethnic minorities in areas with high poverty may be attributable to factors such as vaccine acceptance, health-care practices, and their access to HPV vaccines through the Vaccines for Children Program, which provides free vaccines to uninsured and under-insured children. Given the low HPV vaccination rates among boys in the U.S., these results provide important evidence to inform public health interventions to increase HPV vaccination.
    • Bacterial Contamination on Latrine Surfaces in Community and Household Latrines in Kathmandu, Nepal

      McGinnis, Shannon; Marini, Dianna; Amatya, Prakash; Murphy, Heather M. (2019-01-17)
      A lack of sanitation infrastructure is a major contributor to the global burden of diarrheal disease, particularly in low-income countries. Access to basic sanitation was identified as part of the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. However, current definitions of “basic” sanitation infrastructure exclude community or shared sanitation, due to concerns around safety, equity, and cleanliness. The purpose of this study was to measure and compare bacterial contamination on community and household latrine surfaces in Kathmandu, Nepal. One hundred and nineteen swab samples were collected from two community and five household latrines sites. Community latrine samples were taken before and after daily cleaning, while household samples were collected at midday, to reflect normal conditions. Concentrations of total coliforms and Escherichia coli were measured using membrane filtration methods. Results found almost no differences between bacterial contamination on latrine surfaces in community and household latrines, with the exception of latrine slabs/seats that were more contaminated in the community latrines under dirty conditions. The study also identified surfaces with higher levels of contamination. Findings demonstrated that well-maintained community latrines may be as clean, or cleaner, than household latrines and support the use of community latrines for improving access to sanitation infrastructure in a low-income country setting.
    • Case Report: Watching and Waiting? A Case of Incomplete Glenosphere Seating With Spontaneous Reversal in Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty

      MacAskill, Micah L.; Thomas, Rachel; Barnes, Leslie A.; 0000-0001-9274-1751 (2020-08-27)
      Introduction: Reverse shoulder arthroplasty is a useful procedure with broadening applications, but it has the best outcomes when used for rotator cuff tear arthropathy. However, this procedure is not without complications. While scapular notching and aseptic loosening are more common complications that have been extensively studied in the literature, dissociation of the glenoid component and incomplete glenosphere seating has not received much attention. Specifically, little research has explored appropriate management of incomplete seating of the glenosphere component, and no gold standard for treatment of this complication has emerged. Methods: In the case described here, an elderly patient with an incompletely seated glenosphere component post-operatively opted to pursue conservative management in order to avoid revision surgery if possible. Results: The partially engaged, superiorly directed components in this case exhibited spontaneous complete and symmetric seating of the glenosphere between six and twelve months post-operatively, indicating that conservative management of this complication in low-demand patients may be a viable option to avoid the risks associated with revision surgery. Conclusion: Further research should be pursued to explore what patient and prosthesis design factors may be suited to observation with serial radiographs when incomplete seating of the glenosphere component occurs.
    • Case series: Failure of imaging & biochemical markers to capture disease progression in COVID-19

      Dorey-Stein, Zachariah L.; Myers, Catherine; Kumaran, Maruti; Mamary, Albert; Criner, Gerard J.; 0000-0002-3761-153X; 0000-0002-0909-5048 (2020-09-19)
      We report four individuals admitted for acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19 who demonstrated significant clinical improvement prior to discharge and subsequently were readmitted with worsening respiratory failure, elevated inflammatory markers and worsening chest imaging. We propose a multi-disciplinary discharge criterion to establish a safer discharge process including trending inflammatory markers, daily imaging and pursuing follow up CT chest, particularly in individuals with significant morbidities and health disparities.
    • Chromatin dynamics during the differentiation of long-term hematopoietic stem cells to multipotent progenitors

      Yu, Xiang Yu; Wu, Chao; Bhavanasi, Dheeraj; Wang, Hong; Gregory, Brian D.; huang, Jian; 0000-0002-1649-0038 (2017-05-30)
    • Cost-Effective Cosmetic-Grade Hyaluronan Hydrogels for ReNcell VM Human Neural Stem Cell Culture

      Ma, Weili; Suh, Won H.; 0000-0002-4036-8307 (2019-09-20)
      Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a polysaccharide polymer frequently used as a starting material to fabricate hydrogels, especially for recapitulating the brain’s extracellular matrix (ECM) for in vitro neural stem cell (NSC) cultures. Here, we report the successful synthesis of a methacrylated HA (MeHA) polymer from an inexpensive cosmetic-grade hyaluronan starting material. The MeHA polymers synthesized from cosmetic-grade HA yielded similar chemical purity to those from pharmaceutical/research-grade HA reported in the literature. Crosslinked MeHA (x-MeHA) hydrogels were formed using radical polymerization which resulted in mechanical properties matching previously reported mechanical property ranges for enhanced neuronal differentiation of NSCs. We assessed cellular adhesion, spreading, proliferation, and stiffness-dependent neuronal differentiation properties of ReNcell VM human neural stem cells (hNSCs) and compared our results to studies reported in the literature (that utilized non-human and human pluripotent cell-derived NSCs).
    • Cyberbullying, Mental Health, and Violence in Adolescents and Associations With Sex and Race: Data From the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey

      Alhajji, Mohammed; Bass, Sarah; Dai, Ting; 0000-0001-6199-449X; 0000-0003-2742-1609 (2019-08-06)
      Background. Cyberbullying is a serious issue among adolescents, but little is known about how demographics are associated with mental health conditions and violent behaviors. The present study examined the association of cyberbullying victimization with mental health conditions and violent behaviors among adolescents, specifically examining potential differences by sex and race. Methods. National data obtained from a representative sample of 9th to 12th grade students (N = 15 465) in the United States were examined using bivariate and logistic regression analysis. Results. More than 15% of students reported cyberbullying victimization. Females were twice as likely to report victimization than males, and non-white students were 50% less likely to report cyberbullying victimization. Cyberbullying victimization was significantly more likely in students who reported depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, suicide planning, carrying a weapon, and engaging in a physical fight. These associations were more pronounced in males. Conclusions. Our findings show that female and white adolescents are at increased risk of being cyberbullied. However, negative mental health outcomes and violent behaviors are more pronounced in males, indicating potential negative effects of being a cyberbullying victim based on sex. We envisage the best way to combat cyberbullying is to develop programs that are sensitive to potential demographic differences to empower students based on individual risks.
    • Does interacting with trustworthy people enhance mindfulness? An experience sampling study of mindfulness in everyday situations

      Capraro, Valerio (2019-04-26)
      Mindfulness is known to increase after meditation interventions. But might features of our everyday situations outside of meditation not also influence our mindfulness from moment-to-moment? Drawing from psychological research on interpersonal trust, we suggest that interacting with trustworthy people could influence the expression of mindfulness. And, extending this research on trust, we further suggest that the influence of trustworthy social interactions on mindfulness could proceed through two pathways: a particularized pathway (where specific interactions that are especially high (or low) in trustworthiness have an immediate influence on mindfulness) or a generalized pathway (where the typical level of trustworthiness a person perceives across all their interactions exerts a more stable influence on their mindfulness). To explore these two pathways, study participants (N = 201) repeatedly reported their current levels of mindfulness and their prior interactions with trustworthy leaders and teammates during their everyday situations using an experience sampling protocol ( = 3,605 reports). Results from mixed-effects models provide little support for the particularized pathway: specific interactions with trustworthy leaders and teammates had little immediate association with mindfulness. The generalized pathway, however, was strongly associated with mindfulness—and remained incrementally predictive beyond relevant individual differences and features of situations. In sum, people who typically interact with more trustworthy partners may become more mindful.
    • Effect of Education and Cardboard Bassinet Distribution on Newborn Bed-Sharing

      Heere, Megan; Moughan, Beth; Alfonsi, Joseph; Rodriguez, Jennifer; Aronoff, Stephen C.; 0000-0001-7674-7475 (2019-02-25)
      Objective. This study sought to determine if infant sleep education plus a cardboard bassinet reduced bed-sharing, a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and sleep-related deaths (SRD), in the first week of life. Methods. Women delivered between 1/1/2015-11/15/2016 were interviewed by phone within 72 hours of discharge. Control 1 delivered through 10/31/2015 (previously reported); Control 2: 11/1/2015-2/7/2016; Intervention 1 received inpatient safe sleep education and delivered between 2/8/2016-5/4/2016; Intervention 2 also received a cardboard bassinet and delivered after 5/4/2016. Subjects self-reported bed-sharing, newborn sleep position, feeding method, and sleep environment; demographic data was obtained from medical records. Bayesian methodology compared bed-sharing rates between aggregated control and intervention groups; results were expressed as posterior rates, rate ratios, and 95% credible intervals (CredInt); the posterior probability that the rate ratio was > 1(Bayesian probability) was determined by calculation and simulation. Results. 5187 eligible subjects, 2763 (53%) completed the survey (Control 1: n=1264; Control 2: n=423; Intervention 1: n=391; Intervention 2: n=685). Bed-sharing rates: Control: 6.3% (5.2,7.4); Intervention: 4.7% (3.5,5.9). Rate ratio (Control/Intervention) was 1.36 (0.95,1.83) and the Bayesian probability that the rate ratio >1 was .96 and .97 by calculation and simulation, respectively. Bed-sharing rates for exclusively breastfed infants: Control: 11% (7.4, 14.6); Intervention: 5.9% (2.7, 9.2); Rate ratio was 2.00 (1.01, 3.15) and the Bayesian probability that the rate ratio >1 was .993. Conclusions. Infant sleep education plus a cardboard bassinet reduced the rate of bed-sharing in the first week of life, particularly among exclusively breastfeeding dyads.
    • Effects of Revegetation on Soil Physical and Chemical Properties in Solar Photovoltaic Infrastructure

      Choi, Chong Seok; Cagle, Alexander E.; Macknick, Jordan; Bloom, Dellena E.; Caplan, Joshua; Ravi, Sujith; 0000-0002-6860-2038; 0000-0003-4624-2956; 0000-0002-0425-9373 (2020-08-11)
      Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is being deployed at an unprecedented rate. However, utility-scale solar energy development is land intensive and its large-scale installation can have negative impacts on the environment. In particular, solar energy infrastructure can require extensive landscape modification that transforms soil ecological functions, thereby impacting hydrologic, vegetative, and carbon dynamics. However, reintroducing native vegetation to solar PV sites may be a means of restoring their soils. To this end, we investigated critical soil physical and chemical parameters at a revegetated photovoltaic array and an adjacent reference grassland in Colorado, United States. Seven years after revegetation, we found that carbon and nitrogen remained lower in the PV soil than in the reference soil and contained a greater fraction of coarse particles. We also found that the PV modules introduced heterogeneity in the soil moisture distribution, with precipitation accumulating along the lower edges of panels. The redistribution of soil moisture by panel arrays could potentially be used in concert with planting strategies to maximize plant growth or minimize soil erosion, and should be considered when evaluating the potential to co-locate vegetation with solar infrastructure.
    • Essential or Expendable Supports? Assessing the Relationship between School Climate and Student Outcomes

      Sørensen, Jesper; Morgan, Stephen (2017-01-10)
      Sociologists of education argue that school organizational practices and climates influence students’ academic outcomes. The predominant measure of school climates are aggregated student and teacher survey reports, which are diffusing into official educational statistics. Unfortunately, most studies are unable to rigorously assess the causal effects of these measures of school organization. This study does so by examining the effects of school climate experienced in grades 4–8 by different cohorts of students in Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Improvement in school climates has small positive associations with students’ eighth grade test scores and null to minimal associations with students’ chances of on-time ninth grade promotion and high school graduation.
    • Examining Adolescence as a Sensitive Period for High-Fat, High-Sugar Diet Exposure: A Systematic Review of the Animal Literature

      Ozanne, Susan (2019-10-25)
      Animal studies suggest that poor nutrition (e.g., high-fat, high-sugar diets) may lead to impairments in cognitive functioning. Accumulating evidence suggests that the deleterious effects of these diets appear more pronounced in animals maintained on this diet early in life, consistent with the notion that the developing brain may be especially vulnerable to environmental insults. The current paper provides the first systematic review of studies comparing the effects of high-fat, high-sugar diet exposure during adolescence and adulthood on memory performance. The majority of studies (7/8) identified here report diet-induced memory problems when diet exposure began in adolescence but not adulthood. These findings lend support to the hypothesis that adolescence is a sensitive period during which palatable diets may contribute to negative neurocognitive effects. The current review explores putative mechanisms involved in diet-induced cognitive dysfunction and highlights promising areas for further research.
    • First records of the mourning gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris Duméril and Bibron, 1836), common house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus in Duméril, 1836), and Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko Linnaeus, 1758) on Curaçao, Dutch Antilles, and remarks on their Caribbean distributions

      Katsanevakis, Stelios; Integrative Ecology Lab, Center for Biodiversity (2018-10-16)
      Globally, geckos (Gekkonidae) are one of the most successful reptile families for exotic species. With the exception of the widespread invader, Hemidactylus mabouia, however, introductions of exotic gecko species are a more recent occurrence in the Caribbean islands despite extensive introductions of exotic geckos in the surrounding Caribbean region. Here we report three new exotic gecko species establishments on the mid-sized Caribbean island of Curaçao (Leeward Antilles). Of the three new exotic species, the mourning gecko, Lepidodactylus lugubris (Duméril and Bibron, 1836) has the largest distribution on Curaçao and has likely been established for the longest time. The common house gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus (in Duméril, 1836) has a limited distribution and was likely a more recent introduction. Finally, the Tokay gecko, Gekko gecko (Linnaeus, 1758), escaped from captivity and is known from a single locality. Both L. lugubris and H. frenatus have had widespread distributions in the greater Caribbean region for over 70 years yet have only been reported from Caribbean islands within the past decade. Comparatively, the scope of G. gecko introductions on Caribbean islands is similar to L. lugubris and H. frenatus but introduced populations of G. gecko in the greater Caribbean region are virtually absent. These patterns indicate that different introduction pathways (intentional vs passive) may affect the size of exotic geographic ranges, and that the rate of exotic gecko introductions to Caribbean islands may now be increasing.
    • From leads to leadless: A convoluted journey

      Dulam, Vipin; Cooper, Joshua M.; Gangireddy, Chethan; Kashem, Mohammed A.; Toyoda, Yoshiya; Keshavamurthy, Suresh; 0000-0002-5578-1911 (2020-07-21)
    • Improving thermal conduction across cathode/electrolyte interfaces in solid-state lithium-ion batteries by hierarchical hydrogen-bond network

      He, Jinlong; Zhang, Lin; Liu, Ling (2020-09)
      Effective thermal management is an important issue to ensure safety and performance of lithium-ion batteries. Fast heat removal is highly desired but has been obstructed by the high thermal resistance across cathode/electrolyte interface. In this study, self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) are used as the vibrational mediator to tune interfacial thermal conductance between an electrode, lithium cobalt oxide (LCO), and a solid state electrolyte, polyethylene oxide (PEO). Embedded at the LCO/PEO interface, SAMs are specially designed to form hierarchical hydrogen-bond (H-bond) network with PEO. Molecular dynamics simulations demonstrate that all SAM-decorated interfaces show enhanced thermal conductance and dominated by H-bonds types. The incorporation of poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) SAM drastically enhances interfacial thermal conductance by approximately 211.69%, largely due to the formation of a strong H-bond, -COOH···:O, between PAA and PEO. Even with weaker H-bonds such as -OH···:O, it still outperforms the pristine interface as well as interfaces decorated with non-H-bonded SAMs, e.g. PE. Such improvement is attributed to the unique hierarchical H-bond network at the interface, which removes discontinuities in temperature field, straighten SAM chains, make materials strongly adhere, and couple the vibrational modes of materials. The study is expected to guide surface engineering for more effective thermal management in lithium-ion batteries.