University at Buffalo

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 8
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    Identification of nuclear export mechanisms of myosin IC
    (2016) Gosy, Victoria A.; Hofmann, Wilma
    Myosin IC (MyoIC) is a member of the myosin superfamily that plays an important role in dynamic nuclear processes such as transcription and chromosome translocation. But how the nuclear functions of MyoIC are regulated, including how myosin IC gets into and out of the nucleus is not known. Understanding the mechanisms that contribute to the nucleo-cytoplasmic transport of MyoIC will provide valuable insights into its nuclear function regulation. The objective of this study was to identify the nuclear export signal (NES) of MyoIC. To this effect, I created various MyoIC-GFP expression constructs with deletions or mutations in specific amino acids using site directed mutagenesis. These constructs were expressed in mammalian cells and the cellular localization of the GFP-fusion proteins was analyzed through GFP fluorescence by microscopic imaging. In addition, cells expressing various constructs were treated with Leptomycin B, a known pharmacological NES inhibitor and analyzed for changes in the cellular localization of the respective constructs. Results from these experiments suggest the presence of an NES in tail region of MyoIC. These data are an important first step in identifying the pathways and factors that contribute to the nuclear localization of MyoIC.
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    Understanding Factors Affecting Smoking Cessation Efforts of Individuals with Severe Mental Illness
    (2016) Pereira, Terrika; Chang, Yu-Ping, Dr.
    Purpose: To describe factors influencing smoking cessation efforts of those with severe mental illness (SMI) during an intervention comprised of Motivational Interviewing and text messaging. Design and Methods: After completing a pre-test/post-test designed intervention lasting 4 weeks, 8 participants were interviewed regarding their experiences after an 8 week follow up. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Factors discouraging participants from smoking cessation included use of habitual use of cigarettes, nicotine as a stimulant, use of nicotine for stress and anxiety relief, negative peer influences and a lack of support. Factors that facilitated participants to move forward with their smoking cessation goals included family encouragement and influence, utilization of coping mechanisms, and increased support via text messaging. Implications: A better understanding of discouraging and facilitating factors will help the refinement of future behavioral interventions for smoking cessation.
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    Thermal Handprint Analysis for Forensic Identification using Heat-Earth Mover’s Distance
    (2016) Cho, Kun Woo; Lin, Feng; Song, Chen; Xu, Xiaowei; Xu, Wenyao
    Recently, handprint-based recognition system has been widely applied for security and surveillance purposes. The success of this technology has also demonstrated that handprint is a good approach to perform forensic identification. However, existing identification systems are nearly based on the handprints that could be easily prevented. In contrast to earlier works, we exploit the thermal handprint and introduce a novel distance metric for thermal handprint dissimilarity measure, called Heat-Earth Mover's Distance (HEMD). The HEMD is designed to classify heat-based handprints that can be obtained even when the subject wears a glove. HEMD can effectively recognize the subjects by computing the distance between point distributions of target and training handprints. Through a comprehensive study, our identification system demonstrates the performance even with the handprints obtained by the subject wearing a glove. With 20 subjects, our proposed system achieves an accuracy of 94.13% for regular handprints and 92.00% for handprints produced with latex gloves.
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    Mapping the Connectome in Multiple Sclerosis, Innovations in MRI Imaging
    (2016) Carolus, Keith; Fuchs, Tom; Dwyer, Michael; Zivadinov, Robert; Dwyer, Michael; Fuchs, Tom
    The Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center assesses brains of living humans with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data compiled from healthy controls and persons with neurological diseases. In neuroscience research with MRI, a connectome is the inter-connectivity of brain regions according to white matter tracts and the functional relationships of activity between structures. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease affecting myelin, white matter tracts, and grey matter. Lesions in the brain caused by MS may disrupt the healthy, natural function of underlying white matter tracts and the relationship of activity between brain regions. Complex protocols to process and analyze connectome data in healthy controls have been developed by the Human Connectome Project (HCP) research consortium fostered by the National Institutes of Health. However, these protocols require adaptation so that they may be applied to connectome data collected from persons with MS. We are designing protocols according to HCP guidelines to accurately reconstruct images of structural and functional connectivity in brains of people with MS. This processing involves many steps drawing from many neuroscience softwares and includes correcting for distortions from movement, eddy currents, and differences in the magnetic susceptibilities of brain regions, removing outlying tissue and bone and extracting only the brain, aligning and registering images for comparison, file type conversions, estimating fibre orientations, and applying probabilistic tractography over deterministic tractography to estimate more than one fibre and orientation per base three-dimensional space. Each step requires careful monitoring. More accurate representations of the effects of these lesions and how they interrupt white matter tracts and functional connectivity in the brain by connectome mapping will help us better understand the pathophysiological mechanisms associated with neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric dysfunction in MS.
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    Land of the Free, Home of the Crave: American Intercession in Africa Post-cold War
    (2016) Gottorff, Carly; Welch, Claude
    America has intervened in Africa fourteen times since the end of the Cold War, this relatively high number of interventions contradicts the isolationist ideals of Americans during this time. In order to satisfy the public and reach political goals, America began a line of soft interventions –or intercessions. The research hypothesizes that America increases intercessions with an increase in civilian death tolls during a civil conflict, as well as when natural resource rent in the given country is declining. Finding that there is a positive and statistically significant relationship with a decline in natural resource rent and intercession probability. The results indicate that America intercedes in order to increase natural resource rent and therefore decrease prices, especially in regard to oil. Although American intercession is incentivized foremost by economic conditions, the result helps stabilize the developing economy by successfully raising natural resource rent, serving to decrease the recidivism rates of civil conflict.