• Macroinvertebrates and Water Quality in Oxbow Lakes along the Savannah River

      Wolff, Liam; Department of Biological Sciences (2016-03)
      Oxbow lakes are the remains of original channels that were cut off from the main river. Being more stagnant than the river, these lakes often differ in many physical, chemical, and biological parameters from the adjacent river. The goal was to compare four Savannah River oxbow lakes – Conyers, Miller, Possum Eddy, and Whirligig – to determine similarities and differences between oxbows with and without existing surface connections during non-flood flows. The comparison focused on water quality parameters and macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity. It is hypothesized that oxbow lakes with an existing surface water connection to the river have greater macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity than disconnected oxbows. Macroinvertebrates were sampled from sediment and other substrates using a petit ponar dredge and d-ring dip-nets, sorted according to EPA protocols, and identified to order or family. The resulting data showed that the most common organism at all sites were insects in the family Chironomidae, followed closely by members of the orders Cladocera, Anostraca, and Hemiptera. Among lakes, Conyer’s Lake (disconnected lake) was dominated by Bivalvia organisms, and Miller Lake (connected lake) was dominated by Hemiptera organisms whereas Chironomidae was the most common macroinvertebrate found in Possum Eddy (disconnected
    • Maintenance of AR Inactivation by S-nitrosylation

      Qin, Yu; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2011-04)
      Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in US men. Unregulated activation of the androgen receptor (AR) is associated with prostate cancer initiation and progression. Post-translational modifications of AR regulate its function, and we propose that nitric oxide (NO) synthase III (eNOS) and its product NO regulate prostate cancer cell growth via S-nitrosylation, a covalent addition of an NO group to a cysteine thiol, of AR. We found that S-nitrosylation levels were reduced in prostate cancer and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia compared to normal adjacent tissues, and xD;1089-8603 (Linking)15566968
    • Making Structural Sense of Dimerization Interfaces of Delta Opioid Receptor Homodimers

      Johnston, Jennifer M.; Aburi, Mahalaxmi; Provasi, Davide; Bortolato, Andrea; Urizar, Eneko; Lambert, Nevin A.; Javitch, Jonathan A.; Filizola, Marta; Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology (2011-01-24)
    • Male accessory gland protein reduces egg laying in a simultaneous hermaphrodite.

      Koene, Joris M; Sloot, Wiebe; Montagne-Wajer, Kora; Cummins, Scott F; Degnan, Bernard M; Smith, John S; Nagle, Gregg T; ter Maat, Andries; Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy (2010-04-20)
      Seminal fluid is an important part of the ejaculate of internally fertilizing animals. This fluid contains substances that nourish and activate sperm for successful fertilization. Additionally, it contains components that influence female physiology to further enhance fertilization success of the sperm donor, possibly beyond the recipient's optimum. Although evidence for such substances abounds, few studies have unraveled their identities, and focus has been exclusively on separate-sex species. We present the first detailed study into the seminal fluid composition of a hermaphrodite (Lymnaea stagnalis). Eight novel peptides and proteins were identified from the seminal-fluid-producing prostate gland and tested for effects on oviposition, hatching and consumption. The gene for the protein found to suppress egg mass production, Ovipostatin, was sequenced, thereby providing the first fully-characterized seminal fluid substance in a simultaneous hermaphrodite. Thus, seminal fluid peptides and proteins have evolved and can play a crucial role in sexual selection even when the sexes are combined.
    • Managing clinical knowledge for health care improvement

      Balas, E. Andrew; Boren, Suzanne A.; Office of the Dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences (2000)
      The authors assess the growth in clinical research studies coupled with a slow rate of adoption, often taking an average of 17 years for new evidence-based findings to reach clinical practice. Some issues discussed include the need for a more efficient information infrastructure to better connect front-line professionals with the research community, difficulties in translating research into practice, and an inadequate system to help health care clinicians evaluate the strength of new study findings.
    • Manual Physical Therapy for a Patient Following Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA)

      Petosky, Teressa; Keskula, Douglas R; Akinwuntan, Abiodun; Wilson, Diane; Department of Physical Therapy (Georgia Regents University, 2013-06-07)
      A 66-year-old woman was referred to outpatient physical therapy 3 weeks following primary unilateral TKA for severe osteoarthritis. Upon initial examination, the patient had significant post-operative pain, impaired gait, and decreased range of motion (ROM),strength, and functional mobility. Additionally, the patient presented with adherent scar tissue along the length of her surgical incision and diffuse soft tissue restrictions in the quadriceps and tensor fascia latae. Treatment consisted of all the components of conventional physical therapy in addition to manual physical therapy. Components of traditional physical therapy included strengthening exercises, aerobic exercises, stretching, and training in performance of everyday activities, such as navigating stairs. Manual therapy techniques included joint mobilization, scar tissue massage, soft tissue mobilization, and therapist-assisted manual stretching. Active knee flexion ROM, the Timed Up and Go (TUG), the 6 Minute Walk Test (6MW), and the 36-Item Short Form Health Questionnaire (SF-36) were completed at initial examination and again 5 weeks later at discharge.
    • Marker Co-Expression Analysis of Initial Cellular Events in the Critical-Size Rat Calvarial Defect Model and the Effect of Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 (rhBMP-2)

      Capetillo, Joseph F.; Department of Oral Biology (4/15/2016)
      Craniofacial defects can result from congenital malformations, trauma, tumor resection,periodontal disease, post-extraction ridge remodeling, and peri-implantitis. Regenerationof bone is critical to achieving functional and esthetic outcomes in the rehabilitation ofsuch defects. Traditional strategies for osseous regeneration include a multiple ofsurgical techniques utilizing autologous bone, cadaver-sourced allogeneic or xenogeneicbone, synthetic bone biomaterials, barrier membranes, or combinations thereof(Wikesjö, Qahash 2009). The need to enhance the predictability of regeneration inespecially large defects that cannot heal adequately without intervention (critical-sizedefects) has led to recent development of protein- and cell-based technologies.[Introduction, first paragraph]
    • Marketing Downtown Augusta: Leader's Perceptions of Safety and Cleanliness in Downtown Augusta

      Long, William; Department of Management and Marketing (Augusta University, 2017-12)
    • Maternal Health Literacy Progression Among Rural Perinatal Women

      Mobley, Sandra C.; Thomas, Suzanne Dixson; Sutherland, Donald E.; Hudgins, Jodi; Ange, Brittany L.; Johnson, Maribeth H.; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Springer, 2014-01-28)
      This research examined changes in maternal health literacy progression among 106 low income, high risk, rural perinatal African American and White women who received home visits by Registered Nurse Case Managers through the Enterprise Community Healthy Start Program. Maternal health literacy progression would enable women to better address intermediate factors in their lives that impacted birth outcomes, and ultimately infant mortality (Lu and Halfon in Mater Child Health J 7(1):13-30, 2003; Sharma et al. in J Natl Med Assoc 86(11):857-860, 1994). The Life Skills Progression Instrument (LSP) (Wollesen and Peifer, in Life skills progression. An outcome and intervention planning instrument for use with families at risk. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Baltimore, 2006) measured changes in behaviors that represented intermediate factors in birth outcomes. Maternal Health Care Literacy (LSP/M-HCL) was a woman's use of information, critical thinking and health care services; Maternal Self Care Literacy (LSP/M-SCL) was a woman's management of personal and child health at home (Smith and Moore in Health literacy and depression in the context of home visitation. Mater Child Health J, 2011). Adequacy was set at a score of (≥4). Among 106 women in the study initial scores were inadequate (<4) on LSP/M-HCL (83 %), and on LSP/M-SCL (30 %). Significant positive changes were noted in maternal health literacy progression from the initial prenatal assessment to the first (p < .01) postpartum assessment and to the final (p < .01) postpartum assessment using McNemar's test of gain scores. Numeric comparison of first and last gain scores indicated women's scores progressed (LSP/M-HCL; p < .0001) and (LSP/M-SCL; p < .0001). Elevated depression scores were most frequent among women with <4 LSP/M-HCL and/or <4 LSP/M-SCL. Visit notes indicated lack or loss of relationship with the father of the baby and intimate partner discord contributed to higher depression scores.
    • Mathematical and Stochastic Modeling of HIV Immunology and Epidemiology

      Lee, Tae Jin; Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology (8/3/2017)
      In HIV virus dynamics, controlling of viral load and maintaining of CD4 value at a higher level are always primary goals for the providers. In recent years, a new molecule was discovered, namely, eCD4-Ig, which mimics CD4 if introduced into the human body and has potential to change existing HIV virus dynamics. Thus, to understand dynamics of viral load, eCD4-Ig, CD4 cells, we have developed mathematical models by incorporating interactions between this new molecule and other known immunological, virological information. We further investigated model based speculations for management, and obtained the level of eCD4-Ig required for elimination of virus. Next, we built epidemiological model for HIV spread and control among discordant couple through dynamics of PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis). For this, an actuarial assumptions based stochastic model is used to obtain the mean remaining time of couple to stay as discordant. We generalized single hook-up/marriage stochastic model to multiple hook-up/marriage model.
    • A MATLAB GUI to study Ising model phase transition

      Thornton, CurtisLee; Datta, Trinanjan; Department of Chemistry and Physics (2016-03-14)
      We have created a MATLAB based graphical user interface (GUI) that simulates the single spin flip Metropolis Monte Carlo algorithm. The GUI has the capability to study temperature and external magnetic field dependence of magnetization, susceptibility, and equilibration behavior of the nearest-neighbor square lattice Ising model. Since the Ising model is a canonical system to study phase transition, the GUI can be used both for teaching and research purposes. The presence of a Monte Carlo code in a GUI format allows easy visualization of the simulation in real time and provides an attractive way to teach the concept of thermal phase transition and critical phenomena. We will also discuss the GUI implementation to study phase transition in a classical spin ice model on the pyrochlore lattice.
    • Maxillary growth in patients with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate treated with Nasoalveolar molding

      Manente, M; Levy-Bercowski, D; Abreu, A; Fortson, W; Deleon, E; Yu, J; Looney, S; Department of Orthodontics; Department of Plastic Surgery; Department of Biostatistics and Data Science (Augusta University Libraries, 2019)
      In patients with cleft lip and/or palate (CLP), the nasolabial defect has a significant esthetic impact on the face and may impair psychosocial development. Nasoalveolar molding (NAM) is a pre-surgical orthopedic technique aimed to improve the alveolar and nasolabial morphology of patients with cleft lip and palate. This technique is used to facilitate and improve the future surgical correction in cleft lip and palate patients. Influences such as differences in patient age and gingivoperiosteoplasty procedures are among many that have made it difficult for conclusive results to be found and published on the impact of the NAM technique on maxillary growth in patients with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate (CUCLP).
    • The Meaning of Life in Organ Transplant Recipients

      Jonason, Anna M.; Department of Physiological and Technological Nursing (1993-05)
      The purpose of this study was to explicate the meaning of life as experienced in a population of renal, cardiac, and liver transplant recipients. The method used was two-fold: A phenomenological design to explore qualities of the lived experience in subjective terms. A questionnaire provided measurable information for corroboration and validation. The theoretical perspective of will to meaning (Frankl, 1969) served as a basis for the study. This view suggests that the search for personal meaning is a primary motivating force for continued survival in human beings. A convenience sample of eleven vital organ transplant recipients participated in the study. Initially, the Life Attitude Profile-Revised (LAP-R) (Reker, 1992) was completed by each participant. This is a multidimensional, Likert-type instrument measuring attitudes toward life. Questionnaire completion was followed by semi-structured interviews. The two sets of data were examined separately. Interviews were analyzed according to phenomenological guidelines set forth by van Kaam (1966), leading to structural definition of the meaning of life for organ transplant recipients. LAP-R data were then analyzed. Analysis culminated in a syncretic integration of findings from both data sources. This provided a rich, contextual description of the indomitability of the human spirit. The meaning of life for organ transplant recipients was a complexity of interconnected aspects, reflecting a paradox of emotions and great intensity. It was at once evolutionary and revolutionary, comedy and tragedy, struggle between dependence and independence, and dream tempered by reality. Important themes described included drawing on internal sources of strength; having the support of family and friends; a desire to help others; acknowledgement of the contributions of a "greater force" to continued survival; some semblance of inner peace; a need to achieve one's purpose in life; and a sense of renewed responsibility for oneself and one's health. Findings from this study afford new insights for clinical nursing. These insights are grounded in improved mutual understanding between persons, which is a critical element for efficient health care planning and effective intervention.
    • Measuring the Impact of the Community Policing Model in Richmond County

      Wilson, Jacob; Department of Social Sciences (Augusta University, 2018-05)
      There are many different types of policing modelsranging from Police-Oriented policing, zero tolerance policing, and community-oriented policing. Community-oriented policing is a policing philosophy that focuses on utilizing the relationships with the public in order to maintain order. The purpose of this research was to determine how effective community-oriented policing was in Richmond County. This was achieved by gaining different perspectives on the topic by law enforcement that worked at the Richmond County Police Department. Eight law enforcement officers were interviewed to in order to gain more insight on the topic. Furthermore, research was conducted in regards to studying the department by analyzing the data it makes known to the public. After conducting my research, the overall consensus from the officers was that community-oriented policing was an effective policing model. Interviews and data showed that there could be improvement in particular areas, such as patrol routes and zones, but they did not inhibit the model's effectiveness.

      Elmasry, Khaled; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology / Cancer Center (5/22/2018)
      Our earlier studies have established the role of 12/15-lipoxygenase (LO) in mediating the inflammatory reaction in diabetic retinopathy. However, the exact mechanism is still unclear. The goal of the current study was to identify the potential role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress as a major cellular stress response in the 12/15-LO-induced retinal changes in diabetic retinopathy. We used in vivo and in vitro approaches. For in vivo studies, experimental diabetes was induced in wild-type (WT) mice and 12/15-Lo (also known as Alox15) knockout mice (12/15-Lo−/−); ER stress was then evaluated after 12-14 weeks of diabetes. We also tested the effect of intravitreal injection of 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (HETE) on retinal ER stress in WT mice and in mice lacking the catalytic subunit of NADPH oxidase, encoded by Nox2 (also known as Cybb) (Nox2−/− mice). In vitro studies were performed using human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs) treated with 15-HETE (0.1 µmol/l) or vehicle, with or without ER stress or NADPH oxidase inhibitors. This was followed by evaluation of ER stress response, NADPH oxidase expression/activity and the levels of phosphorylated vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (p-VEGFR2) by western blotting and immunoprecipitation assays. Moreover, real-time imaging of intracellular calcium (Ca2+) release in HRECs treated with or without 15-HETE was performed using confocal microscopy. Deletion of 12/15-Lo significantly attenuated diabetes-induced ER stress in mouse retina. In vitro, 15-HETE upregulated ER stress markers such as phosphorylated RNA-dependent protein kinase-like ER-regulated kinase (p-PERK), activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) and protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) in HRECs. Inhibition of ER stress reduced 15-HETE-induced-leukocyte adhesion, VEGFR2 phosphorylation and NADPH oxidase expression/activity. However, inhibition of NADPH oxidase or deletion of Nox2 had no effect on ER stress induced by the 12/15-LO-derived metabolites both in vitro and in vivo. We also found that 15-HETE increases the intracellular calcium in HRECs. ER stress contributes to 12/15-LO-induced retinal inflammation in diabetic retinopathy via activation of NADPH oxidase and VEGFR2. Perturbation of calcium homeostasis in the retina might also play a role in linking 12/15-LO to retinal ER stress and subsequent microvascular dysfunction in diabetic retinopathy.
    • The Mechanism of Inverse Agonists Binding to G-Protein Coupled Receptors, Histamine Receptor H1 and Histamine Receptor H2

      Patel, Shrey; Department of Biological Sciences (Augusta University, 2019-05)
      The thesis discusses the mechanism of an inverse agonist binding to receptors and how it is different from an agonist binding to the same receptor. The specific receptors that were focused on were histamine receptor H1 (HRH1) and histamine receptor H2 (HRH2) which are types of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR). It is understood how an agonist binds to a GPCR and activates a signaling pathway within the cell, and that an inverse agonist can bind to the same receptor but elicit an opposite response. The current idea behind the mechanism of an inverse agonist is that it binds to the receptor, and the G-protein is not being recruited to continue the signaling pathway within the cell. The hypothesis was that the G-protein is recruited when the inverse agonist binds to the GPCR, but the G-protein would be in its GDP state or its inactivated state. To test the hypothesis, a luciferase assay was done in different conditions where the bioluminescence absorbance was measured and recorded to see if there was protein-protein activity between the GPCR and the G-protein. From doing multiple trials, it is still believed that the G-protein is not being recruited to elicit the signaling pathway when an inverse agonist binds to the receptors.

      Patel, Shrey P; Department of Phychological Sciences; Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology; Lambert, Nevin; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
      The experiment discusses the role of inverse agonist binding to receptors and how its effect cell signaling. The specific receptors that was focused on in the project was histamine receptor H1 (HRH1) and histamine receptor H2 (HRH2) which are types of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR). Both receptors are activated when a ligand, specifically a histamine molecule, which binds to the receptor and activates the signaling pathway within the cell. The main protein within the signaling pathway is the G-protein which helps the cascade effect of the signal to other molecules. G-proteins are activated through GTP. An inverse agonist works like an agonist but will have an opposite end effect within the cell. It was originally thought that inverse agonist works the same way as an agonist to recruit a GTP and activate a G-protein for signaling. The experiment being tests tries to explain the opposite that the inverse agonist could activate the protein without GTP and continue to have its effect on the cell. Human embryonic cells were transfected with plasmids that contain sequences for the receptors and the G-protein, which were also tagged with a fluorophore to measure any bioluminescence with interaction of G-protein and the receptor when the ligands binds. From collecting data from the bioluminescence effect, it shows that there is an interaction a receptor and G-protein complex when the inverse agonist is bound.
    • The Mechanism of Monomethylfumarate (MMF) as an Anti-psoriatic Agent

      Helwa, Inas; Department of Physiology (2014-09)
      Psoriasis is a chronic hyperproliferative inflammatory skin disorder whose primary etiology is not well understood. Keratinocytes play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. The fumaric acid ester monomethylfuamarate (MMF) is the bioactive ingredient of the anti-psoriatic drug Fumaderm©, licensed in Germany since 1994. However, the exact mechanism of action of MMF is not yet well understood. Our data showed that MMF dose-dependently inhibited proliferation in primary murine and human keratinocytes and significantly increased the protein expression of the early marker of differentiation K10 and the activity of the late marker of differentiation transglutaminase enzyme. In addition, MMF inhibited mRNA expression of IL-6, TNFα and IL-1α and inhibited the protein expression of TNFα. Recently, the role of oxidative stress in psoriasis etiology has evolved and MMF has been shown to stimulate Nrf2 and mediate its nuclear translocation in other cell types. Therefore, we examined the effect of MMF on Nrf2 expression, localization and downstream effectors in keratinocytes. Nrf2 protein expression and nuclear translocation significantly increased following MMF treatment. Moreover, MMF significantly increased the mRNA expression of the Nrf2- downstream anti-oxidative enzymes, heme oxygense-1 and peroxiredoxin-6. MMF also decreased ROS generation in keratinocytes. Aquporin3 (AQP3) is a glycerol channel expressed in keratinocytes. Earlier studies from our group as well as others have shown that AQP3 plays a role in inducing early keratinocyte differentiation and that the activity of AQP3 correlates with its membranous localization. Therefore, we examined the effect of MMF on AQP3 expression and localization. MMF increased the mRNA and protein 3 expression of AQP3. In addition, MMF stimulated membranous translocation of AQP3 and increased glycerol uptake by keratinocytes. Eventually, we wanted to examine whether Nrf2 plays a role in the expression of AQP3. Our data showed that the Nrf2 stimulator sulforaphane (SFN) increased the expression of AQP3. Thus, our data suggest that MMF exerts its action through Nrf2 stimulation. Nrf2 stimulation helps to regain keratinocyte oxidative balance and may also play a role in inducing AQP3 expression and activity. This provides the molecular basis for the MMF-mediated improvement of keratinocyte differentiation and inhibition of keratinocyte proliferation.
    • The Mechanism of Protein Kinase C in regulation of ATPase family AAA-domain Containing Protein 3A in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

      Chemmalakuzhy, Ron; Department of Biological Sciences (Augusta University, 2018-12)
      One of the most important challenges of cancer treatment is inhibition of the metastasis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). HNSCC is a form of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) that is localized in the mucosa] linings of the nose, mouth, and throat areas. HNSCC has a mortality rate of 350,000 deaths per year and approximately 630,000 new patients are diagnosed annually. The ATPase family AAA-domain containing protein 3A (ATAD3A) is a nuclear-encoded mitochondrial enzyme that has been identified to be highly expressed and associated with poor survival in I-INSCC patients. ATAD3A is involved in various cellular processes including mitochondrial dynamics, cell growth, cholesterol metabolism, and communication between endoplasmic reticul um and mitochondria. Although ATAD3A has been shown to act as a crucial regulator promoting head and neck cancer cell invasion and metastasis, the precise mechanism by which ATAD3A is upregulated in HNSCC cells is largely unknown. In this study, we elucidate for the first time that Protein Kinase C (PKC) enhances tumor­ promoting activity in HNSCC cells through regulating ATAD3A expression levels. The study uncovers the biological effects of PKC regulation in HNSCC cells, providing a strong rational basis for the design of novel therapeutic regimens by inhibition of ATAD3A in order to eventually increase cure rate in patients diagnosed with HNSCC.