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The Acute Toxic Effects of the Synthetic Cannabinoid, JWH-018 on the Cardiovascular and Neuroendocrine System in Ictalurus punctatus (Channel Catfish)

Description: Cannabinoid (CB) receptors have been found in most vertebrates that have been studied. The location of various CB receptors in the body and brain are known, but their physiological functions are not fully understood. The effects CBs have on the cardiovascular system have been of growing interest in recent years. Increasing reports from emergency departments and law enforcement agencies detail acute cardiovascular and psychological effects from synthetic CB intoxication, such as JWH-018. This major health concern is substantiated by governmental agencies like the CDC and NIDA. This pilot study investigates the acute toxic effects of the synthetic CB, JWH-018, on the cardiovascular and neuroendocrine systems in Ictalurus punctatus (channel catfish). Research in organisms besides the traditional mammal models can provide new insights into CB function and physiology. Ictalurus punctatus lend multiple benefits as a model organism that permits researchers to investigate in vivo effects of both cardiovascular and neuroendocrine systems without much influence from traditional sampling methods, and further more provide ample size and tissue to perform specific cardiovascular experiments. Multiple methods were used to assess cardiovascular function and sympathetic nervous system activation. Two different doses, low (500 µg/kg) and high 1,500 µg/kg, of JWH-018 were evaluated in the study. Delivery of JWH-018, via dorsal aorta cannulation, was administered to channel catfish in order to measure cardiovascular functions and sample blood. Plasma levels of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal/interrenal (HPA/I) biomarkers; ACTH, cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, were measured using ELISAs. Myocardial and neural tissue was collected after the exposures for rt-PCR analysis on β2 adrenergic and glucocorticoid receptor density change. Acute exposure of JWH-018 in undisturbed channel catfish yielded several findings: (1) High dose of JWH-018 was responsible for cardio depressor effects in catfish with a tendency to produce tachycardia, (2) rt-PCR results showed a 2.7 fold increase of glucocorticoid receptor mRNA density ...
Date: August 2017
Creator: Taylor, Dedric Esmond

Additive Manufacturing of Metastable Beta Titanium Alloys

Description: Additive manufacturing processes of many alloys are known to develop texture during the deposition process due to the rapid reheating and the directionality of the dissipation of heat. Titanium alloys and with respect to this study beta titanium alloys are especially susceptible to these effects. This work examines Ti-20wt%V and Ti-12wt%Mo deposited under normal additive manufacturing process parameters to examine the texture of these beta-stabilized alloys. Both microstructures contained columnar prior beta grains 1-2 mm in length beginning at the substrate with no visible equiaxed grains. This microstructure remained constant in the vanadium system throughout the build. The microstructure of the alloy containing molybdenum changed from a columnar to an equiaxed structure as the build height increased. Eighteen additional samples of the Ti-Mo system were created under different processing parameters to identify what role laser power and travel speed have on the microstructure. There appears to be a correlation in alpha lath size and power density. The two binary alloys were again deposited under the same conditions with the addition of 0.5wt% boron to investigate the effects an insoluble interstitial alloying element would have on the microstructure. The size of the prior beta grains in these two alloys were reduced with the addition of boron by approximately 50 (V) and 100 (Mo) times.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Yannetta, Christopher James

African American Soldiers in the Philippine War: An Examination of the Contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers during the Spanish American War and Its Aftermath, 1898-1902

Description: During the Philippine War, 1899 – 1902, America attempted to quell an uprising from the Filipino people. Four regular army regiments of black soldiers, the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry, and the Twenty-Fourth and Twenty-Fifth Infantry served in this conflict. Alongside the regular army regiments, two volunteer regiments of black soldiers, the Forty-Eighth and Forty-Ninth, also served. During and after the war these regiments received little attention from the press, public, or even historians. These black regiments served in a variety of duties in the Philippines, primarily these regiments served on the islands of Luzon and Samar. The main role of these regiments focused on garrisoning sections of the Philippines and helping to end the insurrection. To carry out this mission, the regiments undertook a variety of duties including scouting, fighting insurgents and ladrones (bandits), creating local civil governments, and improving infrastructure. The regiments challenged racist notions in America in three ways. They undertook the same duties as white soldiers. They interacted with local "brown" Filipino populations without fraternizing, particularly with women, as whites assumed they would. And, they served effectively at the company and platoon level under black officers. Despite the important contributions of these soldiers, both socially and militarily, little research focuses on their experiences in the Philippines. This dissertation will discover and examine those experiences. To do this, each regiment is discussed individually and their experiences used to examine the role these men played in the Philippine War. Also addressed is the role ideas about race played in these experiences. This dissertation looks to answer whether or not notions on race played a major role in the activities of these regiments. This dissertation will be an important addition to the study of the Philippine War, the segregated U. S. Army, and African American history in the modern period.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Redgraves, Christopher M.

"Among the Voices Voiceless": Setting the Words of Samuel Beckett

Description: Among the Voices Voiceless is a composition for flute (doubling piccolo), clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), viola, cello, percussion, piano, and electronics, based on the poem "What would I do without this world faceless incurious" by Samuel Beckett. The piece is a setting for disembodied voice: the vocal part exists solely in the electronics. Having no physical body, the voice is obscured as the point of empathy for the audience. In addition, instrumental solos compete for focus during the work's twenty minute duration. In passages including a soloist, the soloist functions simultaneously as antagonist and avatar to the disembodied voice. Spoken word recordings and electronic manipulation of instrumental material provides further layers of ambiguity. The companion critical essay "Among the Voices Voiceless": Setting the Words of Samuel Beckett proposes the distillation of Beckett's style into the elements of prosaicness, repetition, fragmentation, ambiguity, and symmetry. Discussions of Beckett's works such as Waiting for Godot and Molloy demonstrate these elements in his practice. This framework informs the examination of two other musical settings of Beckett's poetry: Neither by Morton Feldman and Odyssey by Roger Reynolds. Finally, these elements are used to analyze and elucidate the compositional decisions made in Among the Voices Voiceless.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Lyszczarz, Joseph E

Application of UV-Vis Spectroscopy to the Monitoring, Characterization and Analysis of Chemical Equilibria of Copper Etching Baths

Description: The continuously increasing demand for innovation in the miniaturization of microelectronics has driven the need for ever more precise fabrication strategies for device packaging, especially for printed circuit boards (PCBs). Subtractive copper etching is a fundamental step in the fabrication process, requiring very precise control of etch rate and etch factor. Changes in the etching chemical equilibrium have significant effects on etching behavior, and CuCl2 / HCl etching baths are typically monitored with several parameters including oxidation-reduction potential, conductivity, and specific gravity. However, the etch rate and etch factor can be difficult to control even under strict engineering controls of those monitoring parameters. The mechanism of acidic cupric chloride etching, regeneration and recovery is complex, and the current monitoring strategies can have difficulty controlling the interlocking chemical equilibria. A complimentary tool, thin-film UV-Vis spectroscopy, can be utilized to improve the current monitoring strategies, as UV-Vis is capable of identifying and predicting etching behavior that the current standard methodologies have difficulty predicting. Furthermore, as a chemically-sensitive probe, UV-Vis can investigate the complex changes to the chemical equilibrium and speciation of the etch bath, and can contribute overall to significant improvements in the control of the copper etching system in order to meet the demands of next-level design strategies.
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Date: August 2017
Creator: Lambert, Alexander S

Are Streams Protected? Outcomes of Environmental Regulation

Description: Urban areas experience the loss of natural stream channels through conversion to artificial conveyances. This process tends to target headwater and other low order streams. The purpose of this study is to determine the patterns of stream loss in Denton, Texas, and explore the regulatory structure that manages these streams. Historic and current maps and stream data are used to map Denton's streams and categorize them according to their vertical connectivity as: 1) "intact", streams that are open to the atmosphere and connect to groundwater; 2) "concrete", channelized streams open to the atmosphere but cut off from groundwater; and 3) "buried", streams disconnected from the atmosphere and groundwater. A review of federal, state, and local regulatory codes and interviews with local government officials and other stakeholders elucidates stream management in Denton. Results from these analyses reveal high rates of stream loss in the urban center with low rates overall. The federal Clean Water Act and the local Environmentally Sensitive Areas code serve as the primary protective measures for natural streams. These regulations discourage stream impacts through expensive and complex permitting requirements. However the policies allow minor impacts which may cause cumulative effects. This study aims to inform future policy-making decisions and contribute to the knowledge of the environmental regulation of streams.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Rowen, Zachary

Assessment of Competencies among Doctoral Trainees in Psychology

Description: The recent shift to a culture of competence has permeated several areas of professional psychology, including competency identification, competency-based education training, and competency assessment. A competency framework has also been applied to various programs and specialty areas within psychology, such as clinical, counseling, clinical health, school, cultural diversity, neuro-, gero-, child, and pediatric psychology. Despite the spread of competency focus throughout psychology, few standardized measures of competency assessment have been developed. To the authors' knowledge, only four published studies on measures of competency assessment in psychology currently exist. While these measures demonstrate significant steps in progressing the assessment of confidence, three of these measures were designed for use with individual programs, two of these international (i.e., UK and Taiwan). The current study applied the seminal Competency Benchmarks, via a recently adapted benchmarks form (i.e., Practicum Evaluation form; PEF), to practicum students at the University of North Texas. In addition to traditional supervisor ratings, the present study also involved self-, peer supervisor, and peer supervisee ratings to provide 360-degree evaluations. Item-response theory (IRT) was used to evaluate the psychometric properties of the PEF and inform potential revisions of this form. Supervisor ratings of competency were found to fit the Rasch model specified, lending support to use of the benchmarks framework as assessed by this form. Self- and peer-ratings were significantly correlated with supervisor ratings, indicating that there may be some utility to 360-degree evaluations. Finally, as predicted, foundational competencies were rated as significantly higher than functional competencies, and competencies improved significantly with training. Results of the current study provide clarity about the utility of the PEF and inform our understanding of practicum-level competencies.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Price, Samantha

Best Practices in Targeted Advertising for Fashion Entrepreneurs

Description: A key to a business's success is reaching the target market. This ensures that consumers are exposed to the retailer's offerings and by turn, inspired to purchase. In turn, the business can reach its goal of a profitable organization. The purpose of this paper was to determine the most effective fashion advertising appeals for reaching target markets. To address these issues, this thesis consisted of two studies. The purpose of the first study was to determine the advice given to fashion entrepreneurs regarding effective target market practices. The purpose of the second study was to determine effective advertising strategies fashion entrepreneurs may employ for effectively reaching target markets. Data was collected to test the effectiveness of the advice from Study 1, degrees of brand awareness, attitudes towards advertising, willingness to follow trends, purchase intention, purchase behavior, and shopping involvement. The Theory of Reasoned Action was employed as the theoretical framework of the study. The framework was utilized to predict that attitudes towards targeted advertising and pressure to follow fashion trends would positively relate to intent to purchase which, in turn, would positively relate to purchase behavior. The results of this paper concluded the TRA model provided a proper framework to predict purchase behavior from targeted advertising employed by fashion entrepreneurs.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Slaton, Kelcie Shaelyn

BLE Controller Module for Wireless Sensor Networks

Description: Sensors have been an integral part of our life since a long time. Traditionally, the transmit information to a data collection center through a physical wire. However, with the introduction of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication protocol, more research is being done into the field of wireless sensor networks (WSN). BLE was introduced to target low power applications. The CC2650 Launchpad designed by Texas Instruments (TI) can lead to a bulky final product. The aim was to design hardware for the CC2650 micro-controller with the aim of making it more compact for use in WSNs. A top-down approach was used wherein the available product is studied to identify the redundant and reverse engineer it to design a new product. A 2 layer printed circuit board (PCB) was designed which resulted in a 64 percent decrease in size compared to the Launchpad. Also, experiments were performed to test the proof of concept.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Vaswani, Mohit Suresh

A Case Study of Mathematics Teachers' Use of Short-Cycle Formative Assessment Strategies

Description: A single case study was used to examine two middle grades mathematics teachers' use of short-cycle formative assessment strategies. Data was collected using multiple sources to provide a description of this single case. Participant change in knowledge of short-cycle formative assessment strategies was collected and analyzed through participant pre- and post-interviews and targeted instructional support was provided through professional development sessions designed to meet diverse needs of participants. Participant change in use of short-cycle formative assessment strategies was collected and analyzed through classroom observations using Assess Today observation protocol and targeted instructional support was provided through post-observation conferences with written feedback. Findings from the study verified that changes in teachers' use of short-cycle formative assessment strategies were positively influenced by the targeted instructional support provided to each participant during the study. The study further indicated that an assessment of teacher's present knowledge and use of short-cycle formative assessment strategies should be considered before providing targeted instructional support to maximize the learning potential for each teacher. Future research is needed regarding the importance of building student self-efficacy through teacher use of short-cycle formative assessment, as well as the importance of involving students in the formative assessment process.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Davis, Adreana A

A Classification of the Homogeneity of Countable Products of Subsets of Real Numbers

Description: Spaces such as the closed interval [0, 1] do not have the property of being homogeneous, strongly locally homogeneous (SLH) or countable dense homogeneous (CDH), but the Hilbert cube has all three properties. We investigate subsets X of real numbers to determine when their countable product is homogeneous, SLH, or CDH. We give necessary and sufficient conditions for the product to be homogeneous. We also prove that the product is SLH if and only if X is zero-dimensional or an interval. And finally we show that for a Borel subset X of real numbers the product is CDH iff X is a G-delta zero-dimensional set or an interval.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Allen, Cristian Gerardo

Combining Select Blood-Based Biomarkers with Neuropsychological Assessment to Detect Mild Cognitive Impairment among Mexican Americans: A Molecular Neuropsychology Approach

Description: Mexican Americans face a significant health disparity related to the development of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) when compared to other ethnic groups. Recent work has documented the utility of utilizing blood-based biomarkers in the detection of amnestic MCI among this population. Efforts to enhance the utility of biomarkers in detecting disease through the inclusion of select neuropsychological measures, an approach termed Molecular Neuropsychology, has shown promise. The present study sought to utilize the molecular neuropsychology approach and examine biobanked serum samples as well as neuropsychological assessments from the Health and Aging Brain among Latino Elders (HABLE) study. Random Forest analyses were conducted to determine the proteomic profile of MCI. Then separate linear regression analyses were conducted to determine the variance accounted for by the biomarkers within the select neuropsychological measures. Trail Making Test Part B was identified as having the least amount of variance and was combined with top five biomarkers within the MCI proteomic profile to create a biomarker-cognitive profile for detecting disease presence. This same method was applied to the amnestic and non-amnestic forms of MCI. The overall biomarker-cognitive profile was shown to be 90% accurate in the detection of MCI, with no significant increase when demographic variables were included into the model. Among amnestic MCI cases, the detection accuracy of the biomarker-cognitive profile was 92% and increased to 94% upon inclusion of demographic variables.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Edwards, Melissa

Community of Inquiry Meets Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA): A CDA of Asynchronous Computer-Conference Discourse with Seminary Students in India

Description: The purpose of this study was to better understand student learning in asynchronous computer-conference discourse (ASD) for non-native speakers of English in India through the Community of Inquiry (COI) framework. The study looked at ASD from an online course taught in the fall of 2015 to 25 students in a seminary in South India. All but one of the students were non-native speakers of English. The class consisted of 22 men and 3 women. Eight students spoke languages from the Dravidian family of languages (Malayalam, Tamil, Telegu and Kannada). Eight students were from the Northeastern states of Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura, where most languages are from the Sino-Tibetan family. Three students were native speakers of Indo-Aryan languages (Odiya and Assamese). Five students were from Myanmar representing several Sino-Tibetan languages. The COI is a framework used to understand learning in ASD, often used in online learning. To study the ASD of this group, critical discourse analysis (CDA) was used with the COI to capture the unique socio-cultural and linguistic conditions of this group. The study revealed that non-native speakers of English often reach the Exploration phase of learning but rarely show evidence of reaching the Resolution phase. This phenomenon was also observed in native English speakers as reported in the literature. Also, the structure of ASD showed that students took an examination approach to discussion shaped in part by their epistemology. This examination approach shaped how knowledge was constructed. CDA also showed that the discourse acquired an instructor-centered structure in which Resolution and Repair were initiated and finalized by the instructor. The study advances the COI framework by undergirding it with a theory of asynchronous discourse using critical discourse analysis and capturing cognitive, social and teaching presence phenomena for non-native speakers that were not observed through the traditional COI framework. These ...
Date: August 2017
Creator: George, Stephen J

Comparing Three Approaches for Handling a Fourth Level of Nesting Structure in Cluster-Randomized Trials

Description: This study compared 3 approaches for handling a fourth level of nesting structure when analyzing data from a cluster-randomized trial (CRT). CRTs can include 3 levels of nesting: repeated measures, individual, and cluster levels. However, above the cluster level, there may sometimes be an additional potentially important fourth level of nesting (e.g., schools, districts, etc., depending on the design) that is typically ignored in CRT data analysis. The current study examined the impact of ignoring this fourth level, accounting for it using a model-based approach, and accounting it using a design-based approach on parameter and standard error (SE) estimates. Several fixed effect and random effect variance parameters and SEs were biased across all 3 models. In the 4-level model, most SE biases decreased as the number of level 3 clusters increased and as the number of level 4 clusters decreased. Also, random effect variance biases decreased as the number of level 3 clusters increased. In the 3-level and complex models, SEs became more biased as the weight level 4 carried increased (i.e., larger intraclass correlation, more clusters at that level). The current results suggest that if a meaningful fourth level of nesting exists, future researchers should account for it using design-based approach; the model-based approach is not recommended. If the fourth level is not practically important, researchers may ignore it altogether.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Glaman, Ryan

Comparison of the "Méthode Pour La Guitare" by Fernando Sor with the "Méthode Complète Pour La Guitare Par Ferdinand Sor, Rédigée Et Augmentée De Nombreux Exemples Et Leçons Suivis D'une Notice Sur La 7e Corde" by Napoléon Coste

Description: The nineteenth century presents a great increase in publications of guitar methods. Most authors of the time published several versions of their works. Fernando Sor, perhaps the most prominent guitar composers of the time—whose Méthode is regarded today as the most important of the period—only published one edition. However, Napoleon Coste took on the task to do a second account. The literature reviewed shows substantial existing information regarding background, type of text, tone, and contents of Sor's work, but comparisons to date are not substantial. Therefore, there is a need to compare these two texts side by side to yield a complete view of their pairing. The existing negative views of Coste's edition hinder the importance of Coste's work as reference to Segovia's publication of Sor studies, and as a clearer pedagogical application of many of Sor's concepts which are sidetracked by his response to criticism and his elaborations in matters beyond his main subject matter. I provide a comprehensive review of Sor's method, an outline and a consideration of his concepts. Then I offer a complete English translation of Coste's method which is inexistent until now. The comparison follows pointing at differences and similarities. Results show that Coste clarifies and complements many of the principles in less text and simpler language. He modifies certain others either to approach Sor's practice or to depart to a newer standard. He offers his own lessons and sections to apply Sor's concepts. Coste's text heads towards a pedagogical synthesis of Sor's method, but it is incomplete because he omits some concepts without leading the readers to consult Sor. Coste's pedagogical and practical relevance is fundamental for modern standard techniques.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Rodriguez, Sergio

A Comprehensive Performance Guide for the Use of Advanced Technology in Euphonium Repertoire with Electronic Media through Analyses of Works by D. Edward Davis, Neal Corwell, and Lucy Pankhurst

Description: Solos for euphonium with electronic media present the unique challenge of incorporating an active, physical involvement in the live accompaniment through sound-altering technology such as guitar pedals or digital processors. Instructions for this solo genre are often vague and demand a general knowledge of how to use non-traditional devices. Due to the lack of information available on newly-composed pieces for this medium, students and professionals easily overlook the artistic merit of electroacoustic music. This dissertation provides a comprehensive performance guide that aids in the set-up and operation of advanced technology and presents a methodical approach to performing common musical and technical challenges found in modern euphonium repertoire with electronic media. Included in this dissertation are tables of common audio vocabulary and images of connectors, safety precautions, equipment recommendations with performance settings, a list of required connectors, adapters, cables, speakers, and amplifiers, performance set up diagrams, background information, and analyses of both the technical and musical aspects of each piece. In the appendices are signal flow charts, visual illustrations of polar recording patterns, and an updated catalog of published and unpublished original, adapted, and arranged euphonium solos with live electronics and electronic media accompaniment between 1970 and 2017.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Ray, Irving

A Conjugate Arrangement for Measuring Commercial Viewing

Description: Commercial viewing was measured by a conjugate arrangement for 1 female and 3 male participants. Reinforcing qualities were evaluated according to screen variations and ratings. Subjects changed the screen clarity via knob pressing either making the screen more or less transparent, translucent or opaque based on commercial interest. Results were conducive to participant attentiveness or indifference to commercial viewing. Experimenter was able to identify the commercials that grasped and maintained the participants' viewing behavior. Conceptually this conjugate arrangement could enhance eye tracking technology to improve marketing and advertising strategies. This experiment yield results that suggest a more concrete analysis of consumer response to visual stimuli that maintains attending.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Morgan, Amber

Controlled Vocabularies in the Digital Age: Are They Still Relevant?

Description: Keyword searching and controlled vocabularies such as Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH) proved to work well together in automated technologies and the two systems have been considered complimentary. When the Internet burst onto the information landscape, users embraced the simplicity of keyword searching of this resource while researchers and scholars seemed unable to agree on how best to make use of controlled vocabularies in this huge database. This research looked at a controlled vocabulary, LCSH, in the context of keyword searching of a full text database. The Internet and probably its most used search engine, Google, seemed to have set a standard that users have embraced: a keyword-searchable single search box on an uncluttered web page. Libraries have even introduced federated single search boxes to their web pages, another testimony to the influence of Google. UNT's Thesis and Dissertation digital database was used to compile quantitative data with the results input into an EXCEL spreadsheet. Both Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH) and author-assigned keywords were analyzed within selected dissertations and both systems were compared. When the LCSH terms from the dissertations were quantified, the results showed that from a total of 788 words contained in the 207 LCSH terms assigned to 70 dissertations, 246 of 31% did not appear in the title or abstract while only 8, or about 1% from the total of 788, did not appear in the full text. When the author-assigned keywords were quantified, the results showed that from a total of 552 words from304 author-assigned keywords in 86 dissertations, 50 or 9% did not appear in the title or abstract while only one word from the total of 552 or .18% did not appear in the full text. Qualitatively, the LCSH terms showed a hierarchical construction that was clearly designed for a print ...
Date: August 2017
Creator: Baker, William

A Convergence of LDPC Based on Eigenvalues

Description: Low-density parity check (LDPC) codes are very popular among error correction codes because of their high-performance capacity. Numerous investigations have been carried out to analyze the performance and simplify the implementation of LDPC codes. Relatively slow convergence of iterative decoding algorithm affects the performance of LDPC codes. Faster convergence can be achieved by reducing the number of iterations during the decoding process. In this thesis, a new approach for faster convergence is suggested by choosing a systematic parity check matrix that yields lowest Second Smallest Eigenvalue Modulus (SSEM) of its corresponding Laplacian matrix. MATLAB simulations are used to study the impact of eigenvalues on the number of iterations of the LDPC decoder. It is found that for a given (n, k) LDPC code, a parity check matrix with lowest SSEM converges quickly as compared to the parity check matrix with high SSEM. In other words, a densely connected graph that represents the parity check matrix takes more iterations to converge than a sparsely connected graph.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Kharate, Neha Ashok

Crossing Over: Essays on Ethnic Parties, Electoral Politics, and Ethnic Social Conflict

Description: This dissertation analyzes several topics related to political life in ethnically divided societies. In chapter 2, I study the relationship between ethnic social conflict, such as protests, riots, and armed inter-ethnic violence, and bloc partisan identification. I find that protests have no effect on bloc support for political parties, riots increase bloc partisan identification, and that armed violence reduces this phenomenon. In chapter 3, I analyze the factors that influence the targeting of ethnic groups by ethnic parties in social conflict. I find some empirical evidence that conditions favorable to vote pooling across ethnic lines reduce group targeting by ethnic parties. In chapter 4, I analyze the effects of ethnic demography on ethnic party behavior. Through a qualitative analysis of party behavior in local elections in Macedonia, I find that ethnic parties change their strategies in response to changes in ethnic demography. I find that co-ethnic parties are less likely to challenge each other for power under conditions of split demography. In fact, under conditions of split demography, I find that co-ethnic parties have political incentives to unite behind a single party because intra-group competition jeopardizes the group's hold on power.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Stewart, Brandon

Crystallographic Complex Reflection Groups and the Braid Conjecture

Description: Crystallographic complex reflection groups are generated by reflections about affine hyperplanes in complex space and stabilize a full rank lattice. These analogs of affine Weyl groups have infinite order and were classified by V.L. Popov in 1982. The classical Braid theorem (first established by E. Artin and E. Brieskorn) asserts that the Artin group of a reflection group (finite or affine Weyl) gives the fundamental group of regular orbits. In other words, the fundamental group of the space with reflecting hyperplanes removed has a presentation mimicking that of the Coxeter presentation; one need only remove relations giving generators finite order. N.V Dung used a semi-cell construction to prove the Braid theorem for affine Weyl groups. Malle conjectured that the Braid theorem holds for all crystallographic complex reflection groups after constructing Coxeter-like reflection presentations. We show how to extend Dung's ideas to crystallographic complex reflection groups and then extend the Braid theorem to some groups in the infinite family [G(r,p,n)]. The proof requires a new classification of crystallographic groups in the infinite family that fail the Steinberg theorem.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Puente, Philip C

Cultural Humility, Religion, and Health in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) Populations

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the religion – health link in a sample of adults and undergraduate students (N = 555) that identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB), and to explore how perceptions of cultural humility of religious individuals and groups toward LGB individuals affect the relationship between religion and health. First, I found religious commitment among LGB individuals was positively correlated with satisfaction in life, but it was negatively correlated with physical health. Second, I found that cultural humility moderated the relationship between religious commitment and satisfaction in life for LGB individuals involved in a religious community. The lowest levels of satisfaction with life were found for individuals with low religious commitment and perceived the cultural humility of their religious community to be low. However, cultural humility did not moderate the relationship between religious commitment and mental and physical health outcomes. Third, I found cultural humility did not moderate the relationship between religious commitment and minority stress (i.e., internalized homophobia). Fourth, I found that cultural humility was a significant positive predictor of motivations to forgive a hurt caused by a religious individual. I conclude by discussing limitations, areas for future research, and implications for counseling.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Mosher, David Keith

A Decision-Making Model for Safe and Effective Use of Functional Analysis Procedures

Description: While functional analysis provides the standard methodology for the assessment of problem behavior, procedures still pose potential risk when assessing severe problem behavior. Previous studies have examined several strategies to improve the efficiency of and reduce risks related to the functional analysis process. The purpose of the present series of studies was to replicate and extend previous research on the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior for one participant diagnosed with an intellectual disability. By incorporating strategies within a systematic decision-making framework, functional analysis procedures were implemented to conduct the assessment of precursors, determine maintaining contingencies for severe problem behavior, and evaluate the effects of a treatment based on the results of a functional analysis.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Vega, Gabrielle M.

Delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 into Blood Cells of Zebrafish: Potential for Genome Editing in Somatic Cells

Description: Factor VIII is a clotting factor found on the intrinsic side of the coagulation cascade. A mutation in the factor VIII gene causes the disease Hemophilia A, for which there is no cure. The most common treatment is administration of recombinant factor VIII. However, this can cause an immune response that renders the treatment ineffective in certain hemophilia patients. For this reason a new treatment, or cure, needs to be developed. Gene editing is one solution to correcting the factor VIII mutation. CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene editing introduces a double stranded break in the genomic DNA. Where this break occurs repair mechanisms cause insertions and deletions, or if a template oligonucleotide can be provided point mutations could be introduced or corrected. However, to accomplish this goal for editing factor VIII mutations, a way to deliver the components of CRISPR/Cas9 into somatic cells is needed. In this study, I confirmed that the CRISPR/Cas9 system was able to create a mutation in the factor VIII gene in zebrafish. I also showed that the components of CRISPR/Cas9 could be piggybacked by vivo morpholino into a variety of blood cells. This study also confirmed that the vivo morpholino did not interfere with the gRNA binding to the DNA, or Cas9 protein inducing the double stranded break.
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Date: August 2017
Creator: Schneider, Sara Jane