Sam Houston State University
  • Huntsville, TX, United States
Recent publications
Recent evidence has implicated microRNA-219 (miR-219) in regulation of gene contributed in glioblast-oma (GBM) pathogenesis. This study aimed to prepare miR-219 in chitosan (CS) nanoparticles (NPs), characterize and investigate their efficacy on human GBM cell line (U87 MG). NPs were prepared using ionic gelation method. The influence of process parameters on physicochemical characteristics of NPs was investigated. Apoptotic effect of miR-219 was examined on U87 MG cells. Formulated NPs showed particle size of 109 ± 2.18 nm, with poly dispersity index equal to 0.2 ± 0.05, and zeta potential of þ20.5 ± 0.7 mV. Entrapment efficiency of miR-219 in loaded NP has reached 95%. The in vitro release study demonstrated sustained release pattern of miR-219 from CS-NPs. Gel retardation assay has confirmed the integrity of miR-219 after production process. The fabricated NPs reduced the survival of U87 MG cells to 78% after 24 h of post-transfection, and into 67.5% after 48 h. However, fibroblasts were not affected by the NPs, revealing their specificity for GBM cells. Given the tumour suppressing function of miR-219, and advantage of CS-NPs for gene delivery to the central nervous system, the presented NPs have a great potential for treatment of GBM. ARTICLE HISTORY
This article assesses Mexico’s organized crime alliance and subgroup network structures. Through social network analysis (SNA) of data from Lantia Consultores, a consulting firm in Mexico that specializes in the analysis of public policies, it demonstrates differential alliance structures within Mexico’s bipolar illicit network system. The Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación’s (CJNG) alliance structure is top-down and hierarchical, while the Sinaloa Cartel is denser, particularly in the broader Tierra Caliente region. Additionally, our analysis found a sparse overall network with many isolates (groups with no relations to other groups) and disconnected components. Further, we identified organized crime networks that might fill future power vacuums based on their network positions, following state or rival high-value targeting of major cartels. The implications of these findings are discussed, and policy recommendations are provided. Disclaimer A previous, non-refereed version of this manuscript was published as part of a working paper series by Rice University's Baker Institute. The authors have undertaken a significant revision to allow for peer review to qualify for publication in the Journal of Strategic Security. The Baker Institute supports the publication of this revised manuscript without any restrictions. The previous version may be read on the Baker Institute website: https://doi.org/10.25613/KMGB-NC83.
Background Marijuana ( Cannabis sativa ) is the most commonly used illicit drug in the USA, and the use of DNA barcodes could assist drug trafficking investigations by indicating the biogeographical origin and crop type of a sample and providing a means for linking cases. Additionally, the legality of marijuana in the USA remains complicated with some states fully legalizing marijuana for recreational use while federally marijuana remains completely illegal. Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) offers distinct advantages over capillary electrophoresis (CE), including more comprehensive coverage of target loci, analysis of hundreds of markers simultaneously, and high throughput capabilities. Methods This study reports on the development of a MiSeq FGx® assay targeting seven “hotspot” regions in the Cannabis sativa chloroplast genome that are highly polymorphic and informative in attempts to determine biogeographical origin and distinguishing between marijuana and hemp. Sequencing results were compared to previous studies that used CE-based genotyping methods. Results A total of 49 polymorphisms were observed, 16 of which have not been previously reported. Additionally, sequence data revealed isoalleles at one locus, which were able to differentiate two samples that had the same haplotype using CE-based methods. This study reports preliminary results from sequencing 14 hemp and marijuana samples from different countries using the developed MPS assay. Conclusion Future studies should genotype a more comprehensive sample set from around the world to build a haplotype database, which could be used to provide investigative leads for law enforcement agencies investigating marijuana trafficking.
In this paper, we present a systematic quantitative review of a sample of the international peer-reviewed human-subjects literature in which social science researchers incorporated environmental and natural resource-related variables into their scholarship on the local impacts of unconventional oil and gas development (UOGD). Specifically, this targeted review provides readers with an overview of the timing and geographic locations of studies on the perceived environmental/natural resource-related impacts of UOGD, as well as the methods used to collect the data from various types of human subjects. It also quantifies the perceived water-, air-, seismic-, and land-related impacts of UOGD as expressed by stakeholders in the qualitative studies or as measured by researchers in the studies that employed survey research techniques. The findings from this endeavor complement previously published review articles on the local impacts of UOGD and augment the natural resource social science literature on the topic.
Identifying the type of body fluid recovered from crime scenes before DNA typing may be critical to qualify its relevancy to the case. Presumptive tests are often used first to detect blood traces; however, they require confirmation, are destructive, and are susceptible to false positives. This study aims developing a method of collection and identification for non‐human blood using biosynthesized SERS swabs as a more accurate, specific, and non‐destructive detection technique. Silver nanoparticles were synthesized directly on nylon swabs using a biosynthesis reaction and curcumin as the reducing agent to form the nanoparticles. The detection of bovine blood was investigated by analyzing decreasing volumes of blood swabbed with the SERS swabs. While swabbing 30 μL and 20 μL of blood resulted in the most resolved spectra, swabbing 10 μL of blood still produced identifiable peaks. Wetted swabs were used to analyze dried bovine bloodstains on cotton fabrics and glass slides: The spectra collected when swabbing the bloodstain on the glass sides had higher signal‐to‐noise ratio than on fabrics. The SERS swabs were subsequently used to collect and analyze horse and sheep blood. While Raman bands characteristic of blood were identifiable for each specie, showing that the SERS swabs allowed the successful detection of the three animal blood species, the spectra from the three species could not be differentiated. This study demonstrates the efficiency of the biosynthesis to grow nanoparticles on the swabs and shows their viability to be used as SERS substrates to collect and identify animal blood.
Background Medical ethics education is crucial for preparing medical students to face ethical situations that can arise in patient care. Instances of ethics being integrated into biomedical science education to build the connection between human science and ethics is limited. The specific aim of this study was to measure student attitudes towards an innovative curriculum design that integrates ethics education directly into a biomedical science course in pre-clinical medical curriculum. Methods In this cross-sectional study, three ethics learning modules were designed and built in a biomedical science course in the pre-clinical curriculum. All students of Class of 2024 who were enrolled in the course in 2021 were included in the study. Each module integrated ethics with basic science topics and was delivered with different teaching modalities. The first module used a documentary about a well-known patient with severe combined immunodeficiency disease. The second module was delivered through a clinical scenario on HIV infection. The third module used small group discussion and debate on the topic of blood transfusion. For evaluation, students were asked to self-identify the ethical challenges associated with each module and complete reflective writing to assess their knowledge and attitude. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted on student perceptions of each module. Results Likert scale ratings on the usefulness of each module revealed significantly higher ratings for the small group discussion/debate module, seconded by the documentary and lastly the case scenario only modules. Narrative analysis on student feedback revealed three themes: General favorable impression , Perceived learning outcomes , and Critiques and suggestion . Common and unique codes were identified to measure the strengths and weaknesses of each module. Overall, students’ perception of the curriculum design was extremely positive. Conclusions This curriculum design enabled us to highlight foundational biomedical sciences and clinical conditions with ethical dilemmas that physicians are likely to face in practice. Students found value in the modules, with a preference for the most active learning method. This study provides insight on a novel approach for integrating medical ethics into biomedical science courses that can be tailored to any institution. Strategies learned include utilizing active learning modalities and discussion.
The Goeritz group of a genus g Heegaard splitting of a 3-manifold is the group of isotopy classes of orientation-preserving automorphisms of the manifold that preserve the Heegaard splitting. In the context of the standard genus 2 Heegaard splitting of S3, we introduce the concept of Goeritz equivalence of curves, present two algebraic obstructions to Goeritz equivalence of simple closed curves that are straightforward to compute, and provide families of examples demonstrating how these obstructions may be used.
Following the US Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), San Francisco, California, served as one of the first large cities outside the South to face court-ordered school desegregation. Conflict over race and schooling was not new in San Francisco, however. As Rand Quinn explains in his recent book, Class Action: Desegregation and Diversity in San Francisco Schools, the city’s residents had struggled to address racial issues since at least 1854, when a former slave, Reverend John Moore, opened the first “colored school” for the city’s Black students. In the years that followed, white Californians created laws that required children of African American, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Indian, or “Mongolian” heritage to attend schools that were separate from those for white children. Federal district court judge Paul McCormick overturned this discriminatory system on Fourteenth Amendment equal protection grounds in Mendez v. Westminster (1946). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld McCormick’s decision, while the California legislature and Governor Earl Warren removed all provisions for school segregation in the state’s education code in 1947.
Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) are bacterial, viral, and parasitic diseases transmitted by ticks. Viral TBDs have increased in prevalence over the last decade with many new pathogenic viruses being discovered. Doxycycline is often empirically prescribed by clinicians to treat symptomatic patients following tick bites due to suspicions of bacterial TBDs such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis. However, viral TBDs are included in the differential diagnosis if patients do not clinically improve following antibiotic therapy. Several viral TBDs present with dermatological manifestations. Recognizing the differences in clinical presentations of TBDs, particularly of newly emerging viral TBDs in the United States, can help physicians identify the viral TBD, and possibly rule out viral illnesses with different clinical presentations. Therefore, this review discusses clinical manifestations, with an emphasis on dermatologic manifestations of Heartland Virus, Bourbon Virus, Powassan Virus, Deer Tick Virus and Colorado Tick Fever Virus. Key points Viral tick-borne diseases have increased in prevalence over the last decade and often have similar clinical manifestations to other tick-borne diseases, including bacterial infections. Here, we review the dermatologic manifestations of Heartland Virus (HRTV), Bourbon Virus (BRBV), Powassan Virus (POWV), Deer Tick Virus (DTV) and Colorado Tick Fever Virus (CTFV) that are important for clinicians.
Solar activity is often caused by the evolution of solar magnetic fields. Magnetic field parameters derived from photospheric vector magnetograms of solar active regions (ARs) have been used to analyze and forecast eruptive events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections. Unfortunately, the most recent solar cycle 24 was relatively weak with few large flares, though it is the only solar cycle in which consistent time-sequence vector magnetograms have been available through the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) since its launch in 2010. In this work, we look into another major instrument, namely the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) from 1996 to 2010. The data archive of SOHO/MDI covers more active solar cycle 23 with many large flares. However, SOHO/MDI only has line-of-sight (LOS) magnetograms. We propose a new deep learning method, named MagNet, to learn from combined LOS magnetograms, Bx and By taken by SDO/HMI along with Halpha observations collected by Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), and to generate synthetic vector components Bx' and By' of ARs. These generated vector components, together with observational LOS data, would form vector magnetograms for SOHO/MDI. In this way, we can expand the availability of vector magnetograms to the period from 1996 to present. Experimental results demonstrate the good performance of the MagNet method. To our knowledge, this is the first time that deep learning has been used to generate photospheric vector magnetograms of ARs for SOHO/MDI using SDO/HMI and Halpha data.
Although the topics of victimization, neighborhood perceptions and mobility intentions are researched in Western contexts, the extant work linking these topics is noticeably absent in the Central American contexts of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras even though past victimization has been found to be a salient predictor of migration to the United States from these countries. This study uses United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Vanderbilt University’s data from an impact evaluation of USAID’s Community-Based Crime and Violence Prevention Approach in Central America and mixed effect multi-level logistic regression models to examine whether perceptions of neighborhoods are associated with a greater mobility risk, and whether this is also heightened among individuals who had previously been a victim. Results show that victimization predicts mobility intentions, followed by the traditional ‘push factors’ of migration more than neighborhood perceptions in all three country contexts. However, social cohesion seems to be the most relevant predictor of mobility compared to other neighborhood factors. More research should focus on the indirect effects of neighborhood perceptions, victimization, and demographic characteristics on mobility and consider how perceptions are impacted by cultural differences across country contexts.
People report positive moods and enhanced well-being when they socialize with friends and other close ties. However, because most people routinely have more encounters with acquaintances and strangers (social connections known as weak ties) than with close friends or kin ( strong ties), we deemed it important to examine whether interaction with weak ties also enhances happiness and well-being. This investigation, which analyzed data from two laboratory procedures, examined whether participants’ positive affect (PA) increased and negative affect (NA) decreased, from before to after a getting-acquainted interaction with a stranger. We also considered whether any benefits of the interaction were moderated by the participants’ level of shyness. Participants ( N = 270; 135 dyads) from a U.S. university completed mood indices before and after a getting-acquainted task. Their PA significantly increased and their NA significantly decreased from before to after the interaction. Shy participants experienced greater NA both before and after the getting-acquainted interaction (relative to less shy participants), but the shyness level of our participants did not moderate the pattern of change in their PA and NA. Shy participants experienced increases in PA and decreases in NA that were similar to those of less shy participants. We discuss implications of the results regarding the important role of weak social connections for increasing one’s daily mood, including for those who are shy.
Prior sentencing research has examined the treatment of White, Black, and Hispanic defendants; however, little attention has been paid towards other racial/ethnic groups, like American Indian defendants. Moreover, a majority of sentencing research has focused men’s outcomes, disregarding the treatment and outcomes of women. Therefore, this paper examines the outcomes of American Indian women in federal district courts using United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) data from FY2015 to FY2019. We situate our research within an intersectional framework and use the chivalry, evil women, and focal concerns perspectives to understand the sentencing outcomes of American Indian women. Our results indicate that American Indian women are similarly disadvantaged at the incarceration, and sentence length decisions as other racial/ethnic groups.
Contemporary climate fiction (cli-fi) frequently invokes the concept of apocalypse to explore the experience of living through the era of unprecedented climate change and environmental disaster that has been named the Anthropocene. Yet, as often as apocalyptic narratives are deployed to express those anxieties and experiences, they so often ignore the histories and presents of peoples who have already lived through multiple apocalypses—in particular, the ongoing violence of settler colonial exploitation of the land now called North America. Considering the role that settler colonialism has played in the development of the current crisis, we turn to two recent works by the Métis writer Cherie Dimaline and Ojibwe author Louise Erdrich to consider how the act of cultural storytelling challenges Western notions of linear temporalities. Our analysis of Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves will explore how the settler-colonial narratives of scientific progress is challenged through Indigenous storytelling and collective memory, and our analysis of Erdrich’s Future Home of the Living God will examine how Indigenous modes of understanding operate through a cyclical timescape that allows for alternative methods of existing with and within the larger world.
A small but growing body of research has explored how juveniles transferred to the criminal court are sentenced relative to adult defendants, but the findings from this literature have been complex and inconsistent. A noteworthy line of inquiry that to date has received only limited attention is how crime type might moderate these relationships. Theoretically, according to the liberation hypothesis, primary offense type corresponds closely with the exercise of judicial discretion, and court actors’ decision-making is most likely to be informed by extralegal offender-based attributions in the disposition of less serious cases. The goal of the present study is to extend this literature by exploring the main and interactive effects of juvenile status and crime type on adult court punishment outcomes among defendants sentenced for seven violent felony offenses. Using data from Florida circuit courts (N = 198,362), the findings show that, regarding sentencing to prison, transferred youth are consistently punished more severely than adult defendants among the three least serious crime types. However, juveniles receive shorter prison terms than adults for most violent offenses, and these disparities are greatest among murder, manslaughter, and robbery/carjacking cases.
Paired Reading (PR), Neurological Impress Method (NIM), Dyad Reading (DR), and Read Two Impress (R2I) share a fundamental trait – paired synchronous oral reading between a higher‐level tutor and a lower‐level tutee. Collectively, we refer to these practices as Synchronous Paired Oral Reading Techniques (SPORT). This historical narrative review investigates the origin, development, and current state of SPORT. Five academic databases were searched for reports of SPORT from the years 1960–2021. This process yielded 3972 results, from which 456 full‐text articles were assessed for eligibility. Finally, 77 publications were reviewed to inform this historical narrative. Four distinct waves of SPORT research dating back to 1966 were identified in the review. These waves are characterised by popularity in the United Kingdom and United States, evolving theoretical frameworks, varying configurations and implementations, and concerted focus on reading achievement. Consistently positive outcomes are reported in the SPORT literature, specifically in oral reading fluency and reading comprehension. The theory and practice of SPORT have evolved significantly throughout its extensive history. We call for a fifth wave of SPORT research to consolidate the findings of the last 60 years, develop new lines of inquiry, and implement novel and varied applications of SPORT. What is already known about this topic Paired Reading, Neurological Impress Method, Dyad Reading, and Read Two Impress are popular methods for tutoring developing readers. These practices each involve tutor and tutee synchronously reading connected text aloud. The literature supporting these practices consistently reports positive academic tutee outcomes. What this paper adds This paper is the first publication to consider these methods as a family of related practices (Synchronous Paired Oral Reading Techniques; SPORT). SPORT research from the last 60 years reveals a dynamic, evolving literature, with a current, heightened interest in SPORT. These evolutions are characterised as ‘waves’. Tutee outcomes in the SPORT literature are generally positive with fluency and comprehension highlighted as commonly measured variables. This paper calls for a fifth wave of SPORT research that consolidates previous outcomes while developing new lines of inquiry. Implications for theory, policy, or practice Practitioners should be familiar with each of the SPORT methods in order to customise and adapt SPORT applications to meet specific needs of learners Future SPORT research should test the validity of grouping these four techniques. Future SPORT research should consolidate the reported quantitative outcomes of the last 60 years. Future SPORT research should use the extant literature to drive new lines of inquiry and practice.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a document entitled DNA Mixture Interpretation: A NIST Scientific Foundation Review for public comment. This has become known as the Draft NIST Foundation Review. It contains the statement: “Across these 69 data sets, there were 80 false negatives and 18 false positives reported from 110,408 possible responses (27,602 participants × two evidence items × two reference items). In the past five years, the number of participants using PGS has grown.” We examine a set of proficiency test results to determine if these NIST statements could be justified. The summary reports for each relevant forensic biology test (Forensic Biology, Semen, and Mixture) in the years 2018–2021 were reviewed. Data were also provided to us by CTS upon our request. None of the false positives or negatives could be attributed to the mixture interpretation strategy and certainly not to the use of PGS.
The Hippo signaling pathway is widely considered a master regulator of organ growth because of the prominent overgrowth phenotypes caused by experimental manipulation of its activity. Contrary to this model, we show here that removing Hippo transcriptional output did not impair the ability of the mouse liver and Drosophila eyes to grow to their normal size. Moreover, the transcriptional activity of the Hippo pathway effectors Yap/Taz/Yki did not correlate with cell proliferation, and hyperactivation of these effectors induced gene expression programs that did not recapitulate normal development. Concordantly, a functional screen in Drosophila identified several Hippo pathway target genes that were required for ectopic overgrowth but not normal growth. Thus, Hippo signaling does not instruct normal growth, and the Hippo-induced overgrowth phenotypes are caused by the activation of abnormal genetic programs.
Importance The 2020-2021 National Football League (NFL) season had some games with fans and others without. Thus, the exposed group (ie, games with fans) and the unexposed group (games without fans) could be examined to better understand the association between fan attendance and local incidence of COVID-19. Objective To assess whether NFL football games with varying degrees of in-person attendance were associated with increased COVID-19 cases in the counties where the games were held, as well as in contiguous counties, compared with games without in-person attendance for 7-, 14-, and 21-day follow-ups. Design, Setting, and Participants This cross-sectional study used data for all 32 NFL teams across the entirety of the 2020-2021 season. Separate daily time-series of COVID-19 total cases and case rates were generated using 7-, 14-, and 21-day simple moving averages for every team and were plotted against the actuals to detect potential spikes (outliers) in incidence levels following games for the county in which games took place, contiguous counties, and a combination. Outliers flagged in the period following games were recorded. Poisson exact tests were evaluated for differences in spike incidence as well across games with different rates of attendance. The data were analyzed between February 2021 and March 2021. Exposures Games with fan attendance vs games with no fan attendance, as well as the number of fans in attendance for games with fans. Main Outcomes and Measures The main outcome was estimation of COVID-19 cases and rates at the county and contiguous county level at 7-, 14-, and 21-day intervals for in-person attended games and non–fan attended games, which was further investigated by stratifying by the number of persons in fan-attended games. Results This included a total of 269 NFL game dates. Of these games, 117 were assigned to an exposed group (fans attended), and the remaining 152 games comprised the unexposed group (unattended). Fan attendance ranged from 748 to 31 700 persons. Fan attendance was associated with episodic spikes in COVID-19 cases and rates in the 14-day window for the in-county (cases: rate ratio [RR], 1.36; 95% CI, 1.00-1.87), contiguous counties (cases: RR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.00-1.72; rates: RR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.13-1.76), and pooled counties groups (cases: RR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.01-1.79; rates: RR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.29-2.28) as well as for the 21-day window in-county (cases: RR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.21-1.83; rates: RR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.26-1.78), in contiguous counties(cases: RR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.14-1.65; rates: RR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.24-1.71), and pooled counties groups (cases: RR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.11-1.79; rates: RR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.35-2.15). Games with fewer than 5000 fans were not associated with any spikes, but in counties where teams had 20 000 fans in attendance, there were 2.23 times the rate of spikes in COVID-19 (95% CI, 1.53 to ∞). Conclusions and Relevance In this cross-sectional study of the presence of fans at NFL home games during the 2020-2021 season, results indicated that fan attendance was associated with increased levels of COVID-19 in the counties in which the venues are nested within, as well as in surrounding counties. The spikes in COVID-19 for crowds of over 20 000 people suggest that large events should be handled with extreme caution during public health event(s) where vaccines, on-site testing, and various countermeasures are not readily available to the public.
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3,418 members
Alexander Mikishev
  • Department of Engineering Technology
Sharmistha Self
  • College of Business Administration
Frank Fair
  • Department of Psychology and Philosophy
Jessica Suagee-Bedore
  • Department of Agricultural and Industrial Sciences
James M Harper
  • Department of Biological Sciences
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