Search Results

Sanitary Engineering Aspects of Long-Range Fallout from Nuclear Detonations

Description: From abstract: Results of a study of the sanitary engineering aspects of fallout from nuclear weapons are reported. Data were obtained from: a. Weekly surface water samples from 22 stations on streams and reservoirs in Eastern Massachusetts, collected from March, 1952 to July, 1953, and assayed for radioactivity. b. Weekly rain samples from March to July, 1953. c. Stream mud and soil samples collected before and after a large fallout. d. Results of fallout activity measurements by others based on samples from Massachusetts and the vicinity of Rochester, New York. Plots are presented showing the relations of the radiological data to the timing of detonations and the daily precipitation and showing daily deposition of activity and concentration in runoff. Runoff coefficients for fallout radioactivity are calculated.
Date: 1955
Creator: Bell, Carlos G., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

British-Style Brass Bands in U.S. Colleges and Universities

Description: Since the 1980s, British-style brass bands - community ensembles modeled after the all-brass and percussion bands of Great Britain - have enjoyed a modest regeneration in the United States. During this same period, as many as 23 colleges and universities in the U.S. have founded their own curricular or extra-curricular brass band. The purpose of this research study was: to discover which schools sponsor a brass band currently; to discover which schools formerly sponsored a brass band but have since discontinued it; to describe the operational practices of collegiate brass bands in the U.S.; and to determine what collegiate brass band conductors perceive to be the challenges and benefits of brass band in the curriculum. Data for the study were collected between February, 2015 and February, 2016 using four custom survey instruments distributed to conductors of college and university brass bands. The results showed that 11 American collegiate institutions were sponsoring a brass band during the period of data collection. Additional findings included descriptions of the operations of collegiate brass bands, such as availability of credit, rehearsal time, and instrumentation. Results also included the conductors' reported perceptions that both challenges and benefits are inherent in student brass band participation, and that brass band is a positive experience for students. An additional 3 community-based brass bands, not sponsored by but located near a college or university, were found to include collegiate students among their player personnel. A total of 9 schools formerly sponsoring brass bands were found to have discontinued their program. A repertoire analysis of 733 titles of compositions performed by both active and formerly active brass bands revealed that bands performed original works for brass band nearly as often as transcribed or arranged works.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Taylor, Mark Amdahl
Partner: UNT Libraries

University Coursework and Field Experiences: Pre-Service Teachers' Perceptions and Experiences with Key Components of Response to Intervention

Description: Pre-service teachers are entering the field as novice practitioners with concerns regarding their ability to confidently and effectively implement key components of response to intervention (RTI). This concurrent mixed-methods study explores pre-service teachers' (N =169) perceptions and experiences with key components of RTI (e.g., screening, multi-tiered evidence-based intervention, progress monitoring, and data-based decision making). A questionnaire in conjunction with open-response items and four focus groups provided data to identify aspects of university coursework and field experiences that contribute to pre-service teachers' perceived ability to confidently implement key components of RTI. The results of this investigation show between group differences in perception and experiences related to RTI. Special education certification seekers reported higher perceived confidence, receiving more coursework, and having more field experiences with RTI than elementary, middle grade, and secondary certification seekers. Among all groups, secondary certification seekers reported the lowest confidence, least amount of coursework, and fewest field experiences with RTI. Pre-service teachers in this study valued coursework and knowledgeable instructors who emphasized the components of RTI and participating in hands-on class activities. Participants noted benefits from or a desire for field experiences with struggling learners and having mentors with knowledge and expertise in RTI. Study findings suggest providing pre-service teachers with comprehensive preparation in RTI during coursework in combination with field experiences working with struggling learners may increase perceived confidence and is valued.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Hovey, Katrina A
Partner: UNT Libraries

Special Education Teachers Self-Reported Use of Evidence-Based Practices for Students with Autism in Texas Public Schools

Description: Currently there is extensive literature on evidence-based practices (EBP) for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there is limited research on whether or not these practices are implemented in the classroom by teachers serving students with ASD. Special education teachers are responsible for the learning outcomes of students across a range of ages and disabilities. This study investigated teachers' self-reported use of EBP and what factors influence implementation. Participants included 129 special education teachers in Texas public schools. Data utilizing descriptive statistics and logistic regression was conducted to determine what factors (i.e., education, employment, teaching experience and training methods) predicted implementation of a particular practice. Although 67% of teachers reported using EBPs, teachers' employment and training experiences did not predict the implementation of a particular practice. Information from this study can be used to enhance professional development for teachers serving students with ASD.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cowan, Angela K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

What's on Tap, Texas? Homebrew to Craft Brew

Description: "What's on Tap, Texas?" is an exploration of the interrelated worlds of the home brewer and the craft brewer in Texas.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Dobson, Mark Douglass
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Evaluation of Interactive Computer Training to Teach Discrete Trial and Naturalistic Instruction to Novice Therapists

Description: Effective and efficient training strategies are needed to provide training to novel therapists whom provide early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services to young children with autism. We evaluated the effects of interactive computer-based training (ICT) on novice therapists' implementation of two, common EIBI instructional techniques: discrete-trial instruction (DTI) and naturalistic instruction. Results demonstrated that ICT improved trainees' instructional fidelity during role-plays with a confederate for DTI instruction and also with a child with autism for both DTI and naturalistic instruction. As a result, the requirement for supervisor feedback on performance was minimized. In addition, results suggest that child language improved as a result of improved therapist performance.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Nielsen, Olivia
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact on Achievement from Student and Parent Attitudes towards Using Smartphones in School

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine what type of correlations existed between student and parent attitudes towards using smartphones in school and the resulting impact on achievement, specifically for low-achieving students. Participants in the study were third-grade students and their parents from a primary school in Singapore. The study employed a quantitative analysis to understand the correlations among the different participant groups. The instruments used were Likert-based surveys, along with scores from mid-year and end-of-year achievement exams in English and science. The three most relevant major findings showed that (a) low-achieving students show a positive attitude toward completing science activities, which correlates with an increase in science achievement; (b) the parents of low-achieving students appear to provide their children with autonomy in using their smartphones, which correlates with an increase in science achievement; and (c) having a smartphone and using the smartphone to complete school work is important to low-achieving students and their parents.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Gordesky, Joshua
Partner: UNT Libraries

Human-Animal Relational Theory: A Constructivist-Grounded Theory Investigation

Description: Constructs of human-animal relational theory (HART) were investigated to determine how those constructs manifested in animal-assisted therapy in counseling (AAT-C) from the perspectives of 6 participants (2 counselors, females, ages 28 and 32, both non-Hispanic and White; 2 clients, male and female, ages 55 and 23, respectively, both non-Hispanic and White; and, 2 therapy animals, canines, Labrador retriever and spaniel mix, ages 4 and 5, respectively). Using constructivist-grounded theory, a research team analyzed qualitative data from observations, interviews, and field notes. From the iterative process of multiphasic coding and constant comparison, these findings emerged: (a) consistency between Chandler's (in press) constructs and participants' experiences of AAT-C, (b) more meaningful therapeutic impacts for clients from client-initiated human-animal relational processes (HARPs) than counselor-initiated HARPs, (c) development of rich definitions and descriptions of Chandler's constructs, and (d) descriptions of interactive experiences of AAT-C and client resistance in the context of HART. Clinicians and educators in the field of AAT can apply the processes, practices, and principles from this study in their work to enhance positive therapeutic impacts for clients. As Chandler's constructs were supported in this study, AAT authors and researchers can solve a glaring problem of inconsistent terminology in the AAT literature by using those constructs in future studies and publications as operationalized nomenclature for standardized AAT interventions.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Otting, Tiffany L
Partner: UNT Libraries

Infusing Automatic Question Generation with Natural Language Understanding

Description: Automatically generating questions from text for educational purposes is an active research area in natural language processing. The automatic question generation system accompanying this dissertation is MARGE, which is a recursive acronym for: MARGE automatically reads generates and evaluates. MARGE generates questions from both individual sentences and the passage as a whole, and is the first question generation system to successfully generate meaningful questions from textual units larger than a sentence. Prior work in automatic question generation from text treats a sentence as a string of constituents to be rearranged into as many questions as allowed by English grammar rules. Consequently, such systems overgenerate and create mainly trivial questions. Further, none of these systems to date has been able to automatically determine which questions are meaningful and which are trivial. This is because the research focus has been placed on NLG at the expense of NLU. In contrast, the work presented here infuses the questions generation process with natural language understanding. From the input text, MARGE creates a meaning analysis representation for each sentence in a passage via the DeconStructure algorithm presented in this work. Questions are generated from sentence meaning analysis representations using templates. The generated questions are automatically evaluated for question quality and importance via a ranking algorithm.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Mazidi, Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Innovation Output and the Cost of Funds

Description: Do firms with higher levels of innovation output, measured by patent counts and citations, enjoy lower costs of funds? The process to develop and apply for patents involves valuable resources. Thus, applying for a patent is a credible signal that the underlying invention is valuable. This value is validated to some degree when the patent is granted. In addition, patents contain detailed information about the firm's inventions and provide collateral value as they can be sold and licensed. The number of citations a firm receives act as a proxy for high-quality inventions, active networking, and pioneering. These attributes are expected to attract investors and reduce the cost of funds. Univariate and cross-sectional regression analyses of a sample consisting of 404,595 firm-years, involving firms from twenty-eight countries spanning from 1976 to 2012, demonstrate a significant negative association between innovation output and the cost of funds. The evidence suggests that the marginal benefit of innovation diminishes as innovation output increases. The results are robust to different measures of the cost of equity and the cost of debt. The negative association between the cost of equity and innovation output is economically larger for younger and smaller firms. The long-term level of innovation seems to be more important to shareholders than short-term changes of innovation. In addition, shareholders demonstrate an ability to discern between low and high-quality innovations, as they require lower rates of returns when initial patents exhibit a high quality. Shareholders place more value on innovation output when firms operate in countries with legal systems that are more effective in controlling self-dealing practices, in countries that have higher economic freedom, and in countries that have more developed financial markets. The correlation between the cost of debt and innovation output is predominantly derived by larger, more mature, and more leveraged firms. Innovation output ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Almomen, Adel Abdulkareem
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Use of the Trumpet in Early Seventeenth Century Spanish Music Dramas: A Comparative Analysis of Selected Works by Sebastian Duron, Joaquin Martinez de la Roca, and Alessandro Scarlatti

Description: The purpose of this project is to conduct and analysis of the role and symbolism of the trumpet in two early eighteenth century Spanish music dramas: La Guerra de los Gigantes by Sebastian Duron and Los Desagravios de Troya by Joaquin Martinez de la Roca.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Duell, Trevor T
Partner: UNT Libraries

Johannes Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem: A Comparison of the Reduced Orchestration Techniques in Joachim Linckelmann's Chamber Ensemble Version to Brahms's Four-Hand Piano Version

Description: Recognizing the challenges small groups have to program a major work, in 2010, Joachim Linckelmann created a chamber ensemble arrangement of Johannes Brahms's "Ein deutsches Requiem." In 1869, J.M. Reiter-Biedermann published Brahms's four-hand piano arrangement of "Ein deutsches Requiem." Brahms's arrangement serves as an excellent comparison to the chamber ensemble version by Linckelmann, since it can be assumed that Brahms chose to highlight and focus on the parts he deemed the most important. This study was a comparative analysis of the two arrangements and was completed in three stages. The first stage documented every significant change in Joachim Linckelmann's recent chamber arrangement. The second stage classified each change as either a reduction, reorganization, or elimination. The final stage of the analysis was to compare the choices made by Linckelmann to those made by Brahms. The results show that Linckelmann's choices for reduction, reorganization, and elimination closely align with those of Brahms. The only differences between the arrangements can be attributed to Linckelmann's focus on retaining the original orchestral timbre and Brahms's focus on providing the original vocal parts.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Hawley, Michael Aaron
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluation of Agreement among Respondents to Anecdotal Assessments and Correspondence between Anecdotal and Experimental Analysis Outcomes

Description: Study 1 evaluated agreement among five respondents using the Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST), the Motivation Assessment Scale (MAS) and Questions About Behavioral Function (QABF). Respondents provided ratings for 20 target behaviors exhibited by 10 individuals. At least 4/5 raters agreed on the primary maintaining variable in 80% of cases with the FAST, 70% of cases with the MAS, and 55% of cases with the QABF. Study 2 evaluated correspondence between results of anecdotal assessments and experimental functional analysis for 10 target behaviors selected from Study 1. Correspondence between the experimental functional analyses was 60% with the FAST and the MAS, 50% with the QABF.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Frusha, Caroline J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Particle Image Velocimetry Sensitivity Analysis Using Automatic Differentiation

Description: A particle image velocimetry (PIV) computer software is analyzed in this work by applying automatic differentiation on it. We create two artificial images that contained particles that where moved with a known velocity field over time. These artificial images were created with parameters that we would have on real PIV experiments. Then we applied a PIV software to find the velocity output vectors. As we mentioned before, we applied automatic differentiation through all the algorithm to track the derivatives of the output vectors regarding interesting parameters declared as inputs. By analyzing these derivatives we analyze the sensitivity of the output vectors to changes on each one of the parameters analyzed. One of the most important derivatives calculated in this project was the derivative of the output regarding the image intensity. In future work we plan to use this derivative combined with the intensity probability distribution of each image pixel, to find PIV uncertainties. If we achieve this goal we will find an uncertainty method that will save computational power and will give uncertainty values with computer accuracy.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Grullon Varela, Rodolfo Antonio
Partner: UNT Libraries

Universally Designed Playground Needs Assessment for Flag Pole Hill in White Rock Lake Park, Dallas, Texas

Description: There is limited anthropological research on inclusive play and universally designed playgrounds and this study aims to make some contribution in this field. This was a qualitative research study guided by anthropological theory and methods, conducted for For the Love of the Lake (FTLOTL) Foundation. FTLOTL is a non-profit organization located in Dallas, Texas, dedicated to White Rock Lake Park's maintenance. In 2014, FTLOTL became of the view that the park's current playgrounds lacked accessibility for differently-abled children. Therefore, FTLOTL decided to undertake a renovation project of Flag Pole Hill playground to incorporate inclusiveness and diversity in the playground design. The overarching objective of this exploratory, ethnographic needs assessment was to provide insights for an inclusive playground using universal design for families with special needs children. Fourteen parents, each with at least one child having physical, social, or intellectual disabilities in the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Texas metroplex were interviewed. The interviews were semi structured, each lasting for about an hour and were digitally recorded. Later these audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and then coded using Dedoose. The coded data was synthesized into coherent themes and sub-themes and finally organized into formal research findings. Observations were made of existing universally designed as well as typical playgrounds in this region. All parents interviewed supported the playground initiative and gave suggestions for physical accessibility along with social inclusion. They expressed their frustrations and apprehensions about the usability of current playgrounds. They also shared their preferences for facilities, features, and equipment to support their children's physical and social needs as well as their own. There was a unanimous agreement that a universally designed playground would have recreational, therapeutic and emotional benefits for participants and would improve the quality of their family lives and build a more closely-knit community.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Hasan, Hira
Partner: UNT Libraries

Costly Ignorance: The Denial of Relevance by Job Seekers: A Case Study in Saudi Arabia

Description: Job centers aid businesses seeking qualified employees and assist job seekers to select and contact employment and training services. Job seekers are also offered the opportunity to assess their skills, abilities, qualifications, and readiness. Furthermore, job centers ensure that job seekers are complying with requirements that they must meet to benefit from job assistance programs such as unemployment insurance. Yet, claimants often procrastinate and/or suspend their job search efforts even though such actions can make them lose their free time and entitlements, and more importantly they may lose the opportunity to take advantage of free information, services, training, and financial assistance for getting a job to which they have already made a claim. The current work looks to Chatman's "small worlds" work, Johnson's comprehensive model of information seeking, and Wilson's "costly ignorance" construct for contributions to understanding such behavior. Identification of a particular trait or set of traits of job seekers during periods of unemployment will inform a new Job Seeking Activities Model (JSAM). This study purposely examines job seeker information behavior and the factors which influence job seekers' behavior, in particular, family tangible support as a social norm effect. A mixed method, using questionnaires for job hunting completers and non-completers and interviews for experts, was employed for data collection. Quantitative data analysis was conducted to provide the Cronbach α coefficient, Pearson's product moment correlation, an independent-sample t-test, effect size, and binary Logit regression. The qualitative data generated from the interview transcript for each section of the themes and subthemes were color coded. Finally, simultaneous triangulation was carried out to confirm or contradict the results from each method. The findings show that social norms, particularly uncontrolled social support provided by their families, are more likely to make job seekers ignore the relevant information about jobs available to them in favor ...
Date: December 2016
Creator: Alahmad, Badr Suleman
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analysis of Pre-ictal and Non-Ictal EEG Activity: An EMOTIV and LabVIEW Approach

Description: In the past few years, the study of electrical activity in the brain and its interactions with the body has become popular among researchers. One of the hottest topics related to brain activity is the epileptic seizure prediction. Currently, there are several techniques on how to predict a seizure; however, most of the techniques found in research papers are just mathematical models and not system implementations. The seizure prediction approach proposed in this thesis paper is achieved using the EMOTIV Epoc+ headset, MATLAB, and LabVIEW as the analog and digital signal processing devices. In addition, this thesis project incorporates the use of the Hilbert Huang transform (HHT) method to obtain intrinsic mode functions (IMF) and instantaneous frequency components of the transform. From the IMFs, features as variation coefficient (VC) and fluctuation indexes (FI) are extracted to feed a support vector machine that classifies the EEG data as pre-ictal and non-ictal EEGs. Outstanding patterns in non-ictal and pre-ictal are observed and demonstrated by significant differences between both types of EEG signals. In other words, a classification of EEG signals according to a category can be achieved proving that an epileptic seizure prediction technology has a future in engineering and biotechnology fields.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Medina, Oscar F
Partner: UNT Libraries

Creating a Verbal Community for Describing Emotional Responses within a Contingency Lens: The Effects of a Brief Training Workshop

Description: Observing emotional responses is recognized as a valuable clinical skill in a variety of professions, including applied behavior analysis. Emotional responses can flag possible contingencies thereby guiding a behavior analyst to better select valid measures, goals, and procedures. Additionally, emotional responses can be goals in and of themselves. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a workshop on the observation and description of emotional responses by behavior analysts-in-training. The procedures included instructions, modeling, practice, discussion and feedback. The workshop included a blend of trainer presentation and interteaching strategies. The effects of the workshop were evaluated using a single-subject A-B design with multiple probe measures across four students. During probe assessments participants watched short video clips of family interactions and wrote a descriptive narrative in response to several questions. This created a permanent record for quantitative evaluation and analysis. The study resulted in an increase in the number of descriptions of emotional responses among all participants. The participants also increased responses tying the emotional response to external environmental events more often in the post-workshop assessment than the pre-workshop assessment. Results are discussed within the context of training applied behavior analysts, the analysis of verbal behavior, and the role of emotions in clinical practice.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Garden, Regan E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Using Situated Learning, Community of Practice, and Guided Online Discourse in Healthcare Education for Learning Effective Interprofessional Communication

Description: The problem exists that there are no education initiatives focused on teaching and taking into practice the skills of effective interprofessional discourse in this online, asynchronous, professional environment. The purpose of this study was to examine whether it is possible for students in the health professions to learn to practice effective interprofesssional online discourse in an electronic health record. This was a mixed methods study that included both quantitative ad qualitative inquiry underpinned by post positivism and used a method triangulation research design model. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed from an educational intervention and simulated electronic health record exercise. The students' perceptions of their practice in an electronic health record did not necessarily match their knowledge and skills in this group of students. Emergent themes from the study pointed in the possible direction of perceived value of the exercise, prior experience in an electronic health record, and logistical barriers to the activity. Perceived time constraints was a particularly strong concern of the students. The emergent themes might be valuable considerations for other interprofessional programs looking to implement similar activities concerning the electronic health record.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Krumwiede, Kimberly A.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Academic Progress Scores to Predict Performance on a State Assessment

Description: This quantitative study examined seventh-grade reading scores to determine the extent to which certain demographic variables (race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status) explain and MAP reading scores predict reading scores on the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) in a selected northeast Texas public school. Standardized assessments only compare the relative performance of an individual student to other groups of students using scaled scores, which can vary from year to year and from state to state. With the advent of computer adaptive testing, this study provides information on the predictive validity of benchmark assessments. Specifically, this study looked for predictive evidence that indicates how accurately test data can predict criterion scores. Findings revealed, through a multiple regression analysis, that the fall MAP Rasch Unit (RIT) scores predicted the STAAR scale scores. Using SPSS version 22, the data were entered and analyzed in a multiple regression model to determine the presence of a statistical trend or lack thereof. Demographic data and MAP scores were entered into the regression model to examine the predictive validity of the MAP assessment in determining student performance on the STAAR seventh-grade state-mandated reading assessment. The statistical analysis revealed that MAP RIT scores explain a significant variance related to seventh-grade STAAR reading scale scores. There is a vital need for tools that improve a student's academic development and MAP assessments have been found to predict performance on state-mandated assessments.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Curry, David Mitchell
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Social Psychology of Social Media Reactions to Terrorism

Description: Columnists and social media users commonly stated that terrorist attacks resonate differently in the world and they speculated on some potential reasons such as familiarity, number of victims, and the difference in expectations of a country to be a stage for a terrorist attack to explain this difference. An academic perspective, more specifically a sociological one, is needed to bring light to this debate. In this study, I aimed to understand the discourse after terrorist attacks and to find out if there is a difference between reactions to terrorist attack based on where they happened. This paper embraces a text mining approach to uncover what topics are discussed after four cases of terrorist attacks and to reveal if there is a discrepancy in reactions towards terrorist attacks based on the country they happened. The study consists of two parts. In the first part, the determinants of the public interest and support and how public interest differentiates between different cases of terror attacks is explored. In the second part, topic sentiment analysis is conducted to reveal the nature of the discourse on terrorism. Using the insights from social identity theory, realistic conflict theory and integrated threat theory, I argued that social group categorization in the context of terrorism takes place in a dichotomous manner as Western and Non-Western. This argument, social self-identities being based on ‘West vs. the Rest' mentality in the context of terrorism, is supported by the statistical evidence and the topic model. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Demirhan, Emirhan
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Strength of a Witness: Empowerment and Resiliency in the Aftermath of Atrocity

Description: Victims and witnesses that testify before an international criminal tribunal such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) willingly subject themselves to scrutiny and bare their wounds before the world. Does this experience cause these vulnerable individuals undue psychological harm, re-traumatization, or worse? Existing literature indicates this may be the case, however using a new dataset I find the opposite to be true. Witnesses at the ICTY report feeling more positive than negative after their experiences on the stand. As the first systematic study on witness mental wellbeing, these findings contradict expectations found in previous research.
Date: December 2016
Creator: McKay, Melissa
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Population on Wrongful Convictions

Description: With criminal cases continuing to be exonerated across the United States, research must be done on the subject to advance current practices to reduce its occurrence in the future. This study combines county population data with the National Registry of Exonerations to analyze the contributing factors to wrongful convictions and the possible effect of population on their frequency. The objective of this study was to identify specific policy changes based on the five contributing factors to wrongful convictions that could be applied to population specific areas. The results yielded multiple patterns that are discussed thoroughly. These findings allowed the introduction of policy changes and proposals for future research.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Whittington, Kari
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cardiovascular Fetal Programming in Quail (Colinus virginianus), An Avian Comparative Model

Description: The consequences of early embryonic insults and how they affect subsequent life reflects the emerging concept of "fetal programming". The aim of this project is to study the effects of embryonic insults as they subsequently manifest themselves in adults, with emphasis on the heart and vasculature. My experiments establish that fetal programming operates on the bobwhite quail inducing similar changes as those observed in mammalians and other birds. The quail's fast development provides reliable data in a short period of time than other avian models (e.g. domestic chicken). Data on quail showed a correlation between egg mass and hatchling mass; where small eggs produce small hatchlings but a high mortality made it impractical as a stressor for this study. Hypoxia was used as a stressor during embryonic incubation, where it induced a low hatching weight in quail that was not observable in adult birds. Morphological measurements demonstrated an increased ventricular collagen content and reduced ventricular lumen in birds in adults incubated in hypoxia consistent with hypertension. The hematological analyzes showed few differences indicating organ remodeling instead of hematopoietic compensation. The assessment of vascular reactivity pointed out an impaired endothelium dependent relaxation commonly associated to hypertension in birds and mammals. Fetal programming could be a widespread response to an adverse prenatal environment in endotherms and the resulting data from this work contributes to our understanding of fetal programming in vertebrates and its long term consequences.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Flores Santin, Josele
Partner: UNT Libraries