# Southern University and A&M College

• Baton Rouge, LA, United States
Recent publications
An oxidized cholesterol species, 3β-hydroxy-5-oxo-5,6-secocholestan-6-al (cholesterol secoaldehyde, ChSeco, or atheronal-A), likely to be formed in vivo at inflammatory sites through singlet oxygen-mediated oxidations, has recently been identified as an important player in degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Previous studies from our laboratory and elsewhere have demonstrated the cytotoxic and inflammatory potential of this oxysterol using a wide variety of cell types including primary cells of mammalian origin. In nonimmune cells, such as rat embryonic H9c2 cardiomyocytes, depletion of cellular glutathione and an associated increase in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), particularly H2O2, have been suggested to be among the initial events that lead to apoptotic signaling by ChSeco. Herein, we investigated the role of plasma membrane NADPH oxidase system (NOS) as a source of H2O2 and related ROS in ChSeco-exposed H9c2 cardiomyocytes. Pretreatment of H9c2 cardiomyocytes with inhibitors of NOS, namely, apocynin (Apo) and diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI), lowered the ChSeco-mediated formation of intracellular peroxides or peroxide-like substances (measured based on dichlorofluorescein fluorescence) and H2O2, the latter being measured based on intracellular hydrolysis of Amplex red to 3,7-dihydroxyphenoxazine and the subsequent oxidation of 3,7-dihydroxyphenoxazine to resorufin. The superoxide dismutase activity, which was shown to increase in a time-dependent manner in response to ChSeco exposure, increased further when the cardiomyocytes were pretreated with Apo, but not DPI. The ChSeco-mediated cytotoxicity and lowering of glutathione (GSH) levels were mitigated to some extent when cardiomyocytes were pretreated Apo, while pretreatment with DPI nearly reversed the effects of ChSeco. The NOS inhibitors (Apo and DPI) were effective in lowering lipid peroxidation (formation of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances) as well as the overexpression of pp38 and SAPK/JNK proteins in the ChSeco-exposed cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, the loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential (ΔΨm) resulting from exposure to ChSeco was also mitigated by pretreatments with both Apo and DPI, while the loss of ΔΨm induced by rotenone (inhibitor of mitochondrial complex I) was only marginally restored by these two NOS inhibitors. Taken together, we suggest that the plasma membrane NADPH oxidase system contributes to the formation of H2O2 and related ROS which may have a secondary effect(s) on mitochondrial function leading to the observed ChSeco cytotoxicity in H9c2 cardiomyocytes.KeywordsApocyninAtheronals A and BDiphenyleneiodonium chlorideMitochondrial electron transport systemNADPH oxidase systemOxysterolsReactive oxygen species
Historically, research on professional association consolidation in the rehabilitation counseling profession has not been inclusive of issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). There is a long history of professional associations in rehabilitation counseling struggling to meet the diversity needs of professionals within the field. It is essential for the viability of the profession and its associations that DEI is always present in such conversations. The current study analyzed the data from 613 qualitative responses to a prompt about whether participants would like to see an organization focused on multicultural diversity and equity included in a hypothetical, consolidated professional association in rehabilitation counseling. Implications for professional association leadership, educators, and researchers are discussed.
The thermal equation of state (TEOS) for solids is a mathematic model among pressure, temperature and density, and is essential for geophysical, geochemical, and other high pressure–temperature (high P–T) researches. However, in the last few decades, there has been a growing concern about the accuracy of the pressure scales of the calibrants, and efforts have been made to improve it by either introducing a reference standard or building new thermal pressure models. The existing thermal equation of state, P ( V , T ) = P ( V , T 0 ) + P th ( V , T ), consists of an isothermal compression and an isochoric heating, while the thermal pressure is the pressure change in the isochoric heating. In this paper, we demonstrate that, for solids in a soft pressure medium in a diamond anvil cell, the thermal pressure can neither be determined from a single heating process, nor from the thermal pressure of its calibrant. To avoid the thermal pressure, we propose to replace the thermal pressure with a well-known thermal expansion model, and integrate it with the isothermal compression model to yields a Birch–Murnaghan-expansion TEOS model, called VPT TEOS. The predicted pressure of MgO and Au at ambient pressure from Birch–Murnaghan-expansion VPT TEOS model matches the experimental pressure of zero (0) GPa very well, while the pressure prediction from the approximated Anderson PVT TEOS exhibit a big deviation and a wrong trend.
Atherosclerotic plaque is a complex environment in which cholesterol, phospholipids, protein, and their oxidized molecules co-exist. Many of these oxidized species have been shown to undergo auto-oxidation generating downstream stable lipid carbonyls and their cyclized products which, independently or complexed with proteins, may have plaque destabilizing effects. Reverse cholesterol transport involving the efflux and transport of cholesterol and phospholipids from peripheral tissues to the liver for metabolism helps to maintain lipid homeostasis. The same process is also expected to reduce plaque burden and thereby cardiac incidents. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) is crucial in this process. Through HDL mimetics, drugs that enhance functional HDL, dietary modifications, and exercise, we can achieve only 10–30% plaque burden. However, none of these molecules are reported to scavenge or quench oxidized forms of the trapped lipid moieties or their decomposition products. Molecules that scavenge/quench lipid carbonyls can prevent carbonyl adduct formation and may provide additional benefits. Improved plaque regression therefore could be possible with molecules that enhance functional HDL as well as scavenge lipid carbonyls.
Addiction is a complex multifactorial condition. Established genetic factors can provide clear guidance in assessing the risk of addiction to substances and behaviors. Chronic stress can accumulate, forming difficult to recognize addiction patterns from both genetic and epigenetic (environmental) factors. Furthermore, psychological/physical/chemical stressors are typically categorized linearly, delaying identification and treatment. The patient in this case report is a Caucasian female, aged 36, who presented with chronic pain and partial disability following a surgically repaired trimalleolar fracture. The patient had a history of unresolved attention deficit disorder and an MRI scan of her brain revealed atrophy and functional asymmetry. In 2018, the patient entered the Bajaj Chiropractic Clinic, where initial treatment focused on re-establishing integrity of the spine and lower extremity biomechanics and graduated into cognitive behavior stabilization assisted by DNA pro-dopamine regulation guided by Genetic Addiction Risk Severity testing. During treatment (2018–2021), progress achieved included: improved cognitive clarity, focus, sleep, anxiety, and emotional stability in addition to pain reduction (75%); elimination of powerful analgesics; and reduced intake of previously unaddressed alcoholism. To help reduce hedonic addictive behaviors and pain, coupling of H-Wave with corrective chiropractic care seems prudent. We emphasize the importance of genetic assessment along with attempts at inducing required dopaminergic homeostasis via precision KB220PAM. It is hypothesized that from preventive care models, a new standard is emerging including self-awareness and accountability for reward deficiency as a function of hypodopaminergia. This case study documents the progression of a patient dealing with the complexities of an injury, pain management, cognitive impairment, anxiety, depression, and the application of universal health principles towards correction versus palliative care.
Despite the well-known advantages of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, concerns of the long-term performance of reinforced concrete (RC) structures strengthened with FRP composites have been an obstacle to the growing applications of FRP composites due to the lack of knowledge and scarce test data about long-term performances. Thus, the long-term performance of three 15-year-old full-scale (6.8 m long) RC beams was investigated in this study. A non-strengthened beam was served as a control specimen and two were strengthened with externally bonded (EB) glass FRP (GFRP) laminates. The three beams that had been left outside for exposure to harsh environmental conditions for over 15 years were tested under the typical three-point bending condition. It was found that the EB GFRP-strengthened RC beams were superior to the non-strengthened RC one from the standpoint of load-carrying capacity, initial stiffness, ductility, and toughness (energy absorption capacity), which indicates that the EB GFRP strengthening was still effective even over 15 years. Furthermore, the long-term effective tensile strength reduction of the GFRP composites due to the over 15-year exposure to the harsh environment was calculated to be 26.5% in comparison with the design tensile strength, which is crucial information for the EB FRP strengthening technique.
Curbing tuberculosis (TB) requires a combination of good strategies, including a proper prevention measure, diagnosis, and treatment. This study proposes an improvised tuberculosis diagnosis based on an amperometry approach for the sensitive detection of MPT64 antigen in clinical samples. An MPT64 aptamer specific to the target antigen was covalently attached to the carboxyphenyl diazonium-functionalized carbon electrode via carbodiimide chemistry. The electrochemical detection assay was adapted from a sandwich assay format to trap the antigen between the immobilized aptamer and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) tagged polyclonal anti-MPT64 antibody. The amperometric current was measured from the catalytic reaction response between HRP, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroquinone, which is used as an electron mediator. From the analysis, the detection limit in the measurement buffer was 1.11 ng mL−1. Additionally, the developed aptasensor exhibited a linear relationship between the current signal and the MPT64 antigen-spiked serum concentration ranging from 10 to 150 ng mL−1 with a 1.38 ng mL−1 detection limit. Finally, an evaluation using the clinical sputum samples from both TB (+) and TB (−) individuals revealed a sensitivity and specificity of 88% and 100%, respectively. Based on the analysis, the developed aptasensor was found to be simple in its fabrication, sensitive, and allowed for the efficient detection and diagnosis of TB in sputum samples.
Global climate change has affected the rate of rising sea level, the frequency, intensity, timing, and distribution of hurricanes and tropical storms which threatens coastal ecosystems such as Bayou Perot, Little Lake in New Orleans along the Gulf of Mexico. The impact of hurricanes could include wetland and coastal land loss. This paper compared the land cover changes around Bayou-Perot- Little Lake, New Orleans, USA following Hurricanes Ida (August 26, 2021 to August 28, 2021). Two high-resolution Sentinel 2 imagery dated before and after Hurricane Ida was compared to assess the impacts of the hurricane on the land cover around Bayou Perot. A Random Forest classification (RF) algorithm in Google Earth Engine was used to produce maps and identify areas that have experienced conversions in land use or land cover change after the hurricane. This method of classification has the advantages of high classification accuracy and the ability to measure variable importance in land-cover mapping. In addition to random classification algorithm, other analysis such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was be used to gain a better perspective of the overall changes in vegetation across the landscape. Five main classes were considered after the classification which included water, vegetation, bare soil, built up and marsh area. The results of the land cover change showed exposed old coastal marsh, valuable dune habitat providing storm protection to estuaries, wetlands, and the coastal population destroyed.
The Keta Municipality has undergone a rapid increase in population due to economic and commercial activities. This led to the municipal’s coastal and shoreline zone being faced with severe environmental challenges throughout the years. The goal of the study was to evaluate Keta’s shoreline changes and the coastal Land Use Land Cover (LULC) using multi-temporal remote sensing datasets. These datasets were subjected to the following image processing techniques such as image enhancement, image classification and, shoreline extraction. The Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS), a plugin tool in ArcGIS was utilized to assess the rate of shoreline changes (i.e., erosion or accretion) from 2000 to 2020. These were achieved based on the following statistical methods used; Linear Regression Rate (LRR), Net Shoreline Movement (NSM), and End Point Rate (EPR). The LULC analysis indicated that built-up areas and water bodies have increased rapidly from 14.71–18.43%, and 47.68–50.46% respectively from 2000 to 2021. In terms of the shoreline changes, LRR showed a mean of −0.95m/year with 68.22% faced with erosion and accretion of 31.78%. The EPR and NSM revealed a mean shoreline change of −1.19m/year and −26.3/period respectively from 2000 to 2021. The EPR and NSM results both revealed that 69.24% experienced erosion and 30.76% accretion, indicating the prevalence of erosion at the shoreline. This research is to contribute to both the development of Keta’s shoreline protection and management measures as well as sustainable land use planning. Also, aids in achieving most of the Sustainable Development Goals in the municipal.
The coast of Louisiana is a major zone of the Gulf of Mexico and an ecologically critical area for both carbon sequestration and habitation of diverse ecosystems. The ten major marine sectors each have annual GDPs of tens of billions of dollars annually. In 2019 alone, these sectors provided 2.4 million high-paying jobs, 397 billion in goods and services and another estimated 667.5 billion in sales. Aside these obvious benefits that coastal wetlands provide, they also help to reduce inland flooding and coastal erosion. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), about 32% of Louisiana alone is made up of wetlands. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that Louisiana has been losing wetlands since the late 1930’s and that the current rate of loss will result in total wetland loss in another two hundred years. Satellite data were obtained from Landsat 8 satellite imaging. The data was trained and processed using QGIS free software to produce maps. The maps were then analyzed and interpreted. The results of this study affirmed a gradual decline in wetland area with a major increase in vegetation cover in Dulac, supporting some findings by the USGS in 2017 which classified Louisiana’s current rate of as low compared to the 1930’s and 1970’s. However, wetland dynamics is a complex series of events that occur over time and requires constant tracking and monitoring to provide evidence-based practical and applicable results that will suit the ever-emerging dynamics of management, policymaking, restoration, and management of wetlands themselves.
As part of Earth’s nutrient cycle, a layer of air travels every summer from Africa across the Atlantic Ocean. In June 2020, the thickest and densest dust plume traveled over 5000 miles along with the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) from Africa towards the USA and the Caribbean. Due to its gravity and impact, it was nicknamed “Godzilla”. While the cause of this event remains unclear, the advantage of using remote sensing applications to monitor aerosol concentrations and movement provides future opportunities to leverage machine learning technologies to build predictive models with the goal of early forecasting and public health interventions. The Sentinel-5P satellite instrument measures the air quality, ozone, and Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and can be used for climate monitoring, and forecasting. Available on this platform is the UV Aerosol Index (AI) product, a qualitative index that indicates the presence of elevated layers of aerosols in the atmosphere. In this paper, we used Google Earth Engine to monitor the transatlantic movement of this historic dust plume across the Sahara Desert and estimate the aerosol concentrations throughout June 2020. The flexibility of the platform enabled us to generate time series maps to visualize the movement of the Godzilla dust storm from the Sahara Desert across the ocean. The results obtained are relevant for effective planning and interventions to ameliorate the health threats associated with the movement of the dust plume. The outcome is useful for defining the relationship between aerosol concentrations, human health, and aquatic life.
Refractory complex concentrated alloys (RCCAs) have drawn increasing attention recently owing to their balanced mechanical properties, including excellent creep resistance, ductility, and oxidation resistance. The mechanical and thermal properties of RCCAs are directly linked with the elastic constants. However, it is time consuming and expensive to obtain the elastic constants of RCCAs with conventional trial-and-error experiments. The elastic constants of RCCAs are predicted using a combination of density functional theory simulation data and machine learning (ML) algorithms in this study. The elastic constants of several RCCAs are predicted using the random forest regressor, gradient boosting regressor (GBR), and XGBoost regression models. Based on performance metrics R-squared, mean average error and root mean square error, the GBR model was found to be most promising in predicting the elastic constant of RCCAs among the three ML models. Additionally, GBR model accuracy was verified using the other four RHEAs dataset which was never seen by the GBR model, and reasonable agreements between ML prediction and available results were found. The present findings show that the GBR model can be used to predict the elastic constant of new RHEAs more accurately without performing any expensive computational and experimental work.
The Black Lives Matter movement exposed the broad and deep issues of institutional racism in the United States. Helping young African Americans with disabilities persevere in their pursuit of college degrees and obtain entry-level professional jobs as career pathways to the middle class will contribute to workplace equity for young adults who are at the intersection of race, disability, and poverty. The Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) has been validated extensively as a model of goal persistence for women and minority college students majoring in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM). The present study evaluated SCCT constructs as predictors of goal persistence in a sample of African American college students with disabilities across various academic majors, using hierarchical regression analysis. The final model accounted for 53% of the variance in goal persistence scores, a large effect size. Academic milestone self-efficacy and career self-efficacy were the most important predictors of goal persistence, followed by academic barrier self-efficacy, deep learning style, and career outcome expectancy. The SCCT interventions designed to increase academic and career efficacy and outcome expectancy will increase the likelihood that African American college students with disabilities will complete their degrees and successfully obtain professional jobs.
The thermal equation of state (TEOS) for solids is a mathematic model among pressure, temperature and density, and is essential for geophysical, geochemical, and other high P-T researches. However, in the last few decades, there has been a growing concern about the accuracy of the pressure scales of the calibrants, and efforts have been made to improve it by either introducing a reference standard or building new thermal pressure models. The existing thermal equation of state, P(V, T) = P(V, T0) + Pth(V, T), consists of an isothermal compression and an isochoric heating, while the thermal pressure is the pressure change in the isochoric heating. In this paper, we demonstrate that, for solids in a soft pressure medium in a diamond anvil cell, the thermal pressure can neither be determined from a single heating process, nor from the thermal pressure of its calibrant. To avoid the thermal pressure, we propose to replace the thermal pressure with a well-known thermal expansion model, and integrate it with the isothermal compression model to yields a Birch-Murnaghan-expansion TEOS model, called VPT TEOS. The predicted pressure of MgO and Au at ambient pressure from Birch-Murnaghan-expansion VPT TEOS model matches the experimental pressure of zero (0) GPa very well, while the pressure prediction from the approximated Anderson PVT TEOS exhibit a big deviation and a wrong trend.
In order to improve college students’ perception and acceptance of college English textbooks and improve their professional English communication ability in their future careers, the application of corpus plays a guiding role in college English teaching reform and provides reliable resources for college English language research and learning. This study analyzes the college English textbooks in the corpus based on the comparison of conventional technology assistance and computer technology assistance. Through the comparative analysis of the coupling degree, corpus vocabulary, and students’ perception of teaching materials between conventional technology and computer technology, it can be seen that the evaluation of college English textbooks based on computer-aided analysis corpus is more in line with the needs of college students. College students’ learning ability and their English application ability are improved. The establishment of a corpus of college English teaching materials is of great significance to the research of college English teaching and also has a positive impact on college students’ learning English. With the help of computer technology, college English teaching materials can be closer to the diversified concept of university scholarship. Its content is more in line with the current social demand for talents, provides a better scheme for the cultivation of talents, and is conducive to the development of the country and society.
The type III secretion system (T3SS) effector EseN is encoded on the Edwardsiella ictaluri chromosome and is homologous to a family of T3SS effector proteins with phosphothreonine lyase activity. Previously we demonstrated that E. ictaluri invasion activates extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) early in the infection, which are subsequently inactivated by EseN. Comparative transcriptomic analysis showed a total of 753 significant differentially expressed genes in head-kidney-derived macrophages (HKDM) infected with an EseN mutant (∆EseN) compared to HKDM infected with wild-type (WT) strains. This data strongly indicates classical activation of macrophages (the M1 phenotype) in response to E. ictaluri infection and a significant role for EseN in the manipulation of this process. Our data also indicates that E. ictaluri EseN is involved in the modulation of pathways involved in the immune response to infection and expression of several transcription factors, including NF-κβ (c-rel and relB), creb3L4, socs6 and foxo3a. Regulation of transcription factors leads to regulation of proinflammatory interleukins (IL-8, IL-12a, IL-15, IL-6) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression. Inhibition of COX-2 mRNA by WT E. ictaluri leads to decreased production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), which is the product of COX-2 activity. Collectively, our results indicate that E. ictaluri EseN is an important player in the modulation of host immune responses to E.ictaluri infection.
Low‐cost noble‐metal‐free electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) are useful for future energy storage and conversion devices, and other technologies. In this work, iron (Fe)‐nitrogen (N) functionalized graphene oxide (Fe−N−GO) nanosheets have been synthesized and studied for ORR properties in alkaline solution. We utilized a multi‐layer/multi‐polarization method to study the DC electric field polarization effect on the electrocatalytic properties of the Fe−N−GO catalyst. The poling effect with DC electric field was created on the catalyst ink drop‐casted on a polished glassy carbon working electrode, resulting in more compact electrocatalyst electrode. Compared to the commercial Pt/C catalyst, the polarized Fe−N−GO catalyst exhibited similar ORR catalytic activity along with superior stability in alkaline media. Iron and nitrogen functionalized graphene oxide nanosheet catalyst materials were synthesized and studied for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline solution. High direct current (DC) electric field was applied to the catalyst ink to achieve more compact electrochemical electrode due to the electric field polarization effect. The polarized iron‐nitrogen functionalized graphene oxide nanosheet catalyst exhibited the ORR catalytic activity comparable to the commercial platinum/carbon catalyst along with superior stability in alkaline media.
In order to expand the output of solar power systems for efficient integration into the national grid, solar energy resource assessment at site is required. A major impediment however, is the widespread scarcity of radiometric measurements, which can be augmented by satellite observation. This paper assessed the suitability of satellite-based solar radiation resource retrieved from the NASA-POWER archives at 0.5∘×0.5∘\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$0.5^\circ \times 0.5^\circ$$\end{document} spatial resolution over Ghana–West Africa, to develop a long-term source reference. The assessment is based on the criteria of comparison with estimations from sunshine duration measurement for 22 synoptic stations. Overall, the satellite-based data compared well with ground-based estimations by r = 0.6–0.94 ± 0.1. Spatiotemporally, the agreement is strongest over the northern half Savannah-type climate during March–May, and weakest over the southern half Forest-type climate during June–August. The assessment provides empirical framework to support solar energy utilization in the sub-region.
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• Electrical Engineering
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