• Development of Defined Culture Conditions For Human Wharton's Jelly Stem Cells

      Shaikh, Arika; Eroglu, Ali; College of Science and Mathematics; Department of Neuroscience & Regenerative Medicine; Eroglu, Dr. Ali; Augusta University (1/4/2020)
      Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multi-potent and capable of differentiating into various cell lineages. While MSCs have commonly been isolated from bone marrow for treatment of numerous diseases, alternative sources including adipose tissue and Wharton’s Jelly (WJ), an extra-embryonic umbilical cord tissue rich from hyaluronic acid (HA), are under study for establishment of safer, less invasive procedures. Typically, WJ-MSCs are cultured in undefined media containing fetal bovine serum, of which use has been associated with different complications, including transmission of infectious agents and induction of immunologic reactions. To facilitate clinical applications, this project aims to develop chemically defined and safe culture conditions for human WJ-MSCs. The hypothesis is that undifferentiated growth of WJ-MSCs will be supported by an HA-based extracellular matrix and fortified DMEM/F12 supplemented with macromolecules, antioxidants, and growth factors. This hypothesis will be tested by comparing the growth kinetics and plasticity of WJ-MSCs cultured under conventional undefined and defined conditions. WJ-MSCs will be isolated via either the “enzymatic digestion” or “tissue explant” methods from human umbilical cords. They will then be phenotyped by evaluating the expression of relevant markers using a MSC phenotyping kit and placed into one of six different culture media groups for experimental testing.
    • Portrayal of Mental Illness in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart"

      Shaikh, Arika; Sadenwasser, Tim; College of Science and Mathematics; Pamplin College; Sadenwasser, Tim; Augusta University (1/4/2020)
      Edgar Allan Poe's "The-Tell Tale Heart" delves into the human psyche as it entails the story of an unnamed narrator who tells the tale of the murder he commits. Undergoing an emotional rollercoaster of pleasure and guilt, Poe's protagonist maintains his claim to sanity and a sense of reality. Poe articulates many tone and rhythm changes to create a sense of tension representing the narrator's mental condition. Throughout the narrative, the narrator struggles to reassure that there is nothing wrong with him and that he is completely normal. Exploring the themes of madness, guilt, and a false sense of reality, Poe's narrator suffers from a sense of false narrative, a trait characteristic of schizophrenia. In addition, the narrator demonstrates episodes of delusions, auditory hallucinations, diminished emotional responses, and significant disturbances to his normal routine which all allude to schizophrenia. I will utilize the DSM-5 criteria, literary criticisms, and other publications to show the audience the schizophrenic nature of Poe's narrator. I plan on discussing the DSM-5 criteria for schizophrenia and demonstrating how the narrator meets those criteria in several circumstances. Utilizing vivid imagery and a scattered style, Poe explores the mental depths of a man suffering from schizophrenia.