University of North Dakota
  • Grand Forks, North Dakota, United States
Recent publications
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a global challenge that has drawn attention to societal issues interlaced with biomedical science issues. These issues include the public understanding of science, science information in the media, global contributions to the scientific enterprise, and equity of access to healthcare around the world, to name a few. This chapter details efforts to introduce a socioscientific issues (SSI) module set in the context of COVID-19 to preservice teachers. Developmentally appropriate connections to nature of science (NOS) and global perspectives were considered when assembling the module. An action research plan was followed to evaluate this innovation and plan future iterations.
Purpose The incidence and mortality rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) remain consistently high in rural populations. Telehealth can improve screening uptake by overcoming individual and environmental disadvantages in rural communities. The present study aimed to characterize varying barriers to CRC screening between rural individuals with and without experience in using telehealth. Method The cross-sectional study surveyed 250 adults aged 45–75 residing in rural U.S. states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington from June to September 2022. The associations between CRC screening and four sets of individual and environmental factors specific to rural populations (i.e., demographic characteristics, accessibility, patient–provider factors, and psychological factors) were assessed among respondents with and without past telehealth adoption. Result Respondents with past telehealth use were more likely to screen if they were married, had a better health status, had experienced discrimination in health care, and had perceived susceptibility, screening efficacy, and cancer fear, but less likely to screen when they worried about privacy or had feelings of embarrassment, pain, and discomfort. Among respondents without past telehealth use, the odds of CRC screening decreased with busy schedules, travel burden, discrimination in health care, and lower perceived needs. Conclusion Rural individuals with and without previous telehealth experience face different barriers to CRC screening. The finding suggests the potential efficacy of telehealth in mitigating critical barriers to CRC screening associated with social, health care, and built environments of rural communities.
Sleep quality is linked to disordered eating, obesity, depression, and weight-related functioning. Most research, however, has focused on clinical populations. The current study investigated relationships between sleep quality, disordered eating, and patterns of functioning in a community sample to better understand relationships among modifiable health behaviors. Participants (N = 648) recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk completed assessments of eating, depression, weight-related functioning, and sleep. Self-reported height and weight were used to calculate body mass index (M = 27.3, SD = 6.9). Participants were on average 37.6 years (SD = 12.3), primarily female (65.4%), and White, not Hispanic (72.7%). Over half of participants endorsed poor sleep quality, and average sleep scores were above the clinical cutoff for poor sleep quality. Sleep scores were significantly positively correlated with disordered eating, depression, and weight-related functioning, even after adjusting for age, body mass index, and sex. Multivariate regression models predicting weight-related functioning and depression showed that both sleep quality and disordered eating independently predicted depression. Sleep quality did not independently predict weight-related functioning; however, disordered eating did. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to assess sleep behaviors, disordered eating, and weight-related functioning in a community sample of weight diverse participants. Results indicate that most participants endorsed poor sleep quality, which was associated with disordered eating patterns, including binge eating and poorer weight-related functioning, even after controlling for body mass index, highlighting that this relationship exists across the weight spectrum. These results speak to the importance of health behavior assessment and intervention within nonclinical samples. Level of evidence Level III: evidence obtained from well-designed cohort or case–control analytic studies
When schools and universities across the world transitioned online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ed+gineering, a National Science Foundation (NSF) project that partners engineering and education undergraduates to design and deliver engineering lessons to elementary students, also had to shift its hands-on lessons to a virtual format. Through the lens of social cognitive theory (SCT), this study investigates engineering and education students’ experiences during the shift to online instruction to understand how they perceived its influence on their learning. As a result of modifying their lessons for online delivery, students reported learning professional skills, including skills for teaching online and educational technology skills, as well as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) content. Some also lamented missed learning opportunities, like practice presenting face-to-face. Students’ affective responses were often associated with preparing and delivering their lessons. SCT sheds light on how the mid-semester change in their environment, caused by the shift in designing and teaching from face-to-face to online, affected the undergraduate engineering and education students’ personal experiences and affect. Overall, the transition to fully online was effective for students’ perceived learning and teaching of engineering. Though students experienced many challenges developing multimedia content for delivering hands-on lessons online, they reported learning new skills and knowledge and expressed positive affective responses. From the gains reported by undergraduates, we believe that this cross-disciplinary virtual team assignment was a successful strategy for helping undergraduates build competencies in virtual skills. We posit that similar assignment structures and opportunities post-pandemic will also continue to prepare future students for the post-pandemic workplace.
Metabolism, known to be temporally regulated to meet evolving energy demands, plays a crucial role in shaping developmental pace. Recent studies have demonstrated that two key proteins PARP1 and PARG play a regulatory role in the transcription of both morphogenic and metabolic genes. Intriguingly, in Drosophila, the depletion of PARP1 or PARG proteins causes a developmental arrest before pupation, resulting in individuals unable to complete their development. This phenotype highlights the critical involvement of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ating enzymes in regulating the metamorphic process. In this study, we provide compelling evidence that these enzymes intricately coordinate transcriptional changes in both developmental and metabolic pathways during metamorphosis. Specifically, they promote the expression of genes crucial for pupation, while simultaneously negatively regulating the expression of metabolic genes before the transition to the pupal stage. Additionally, these enzymes suppress the expression of genes that are no longer required during this transformative period. Our findings shed light on the intricate interplay between poly(ADP-ribosyl)ating enzymes, developmental processes, and metabolic regulation before metamorphosis and highlight a new role of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ating enzymes in the global regulation of transcription.
This article focuses on evaluating the emergent properties of complex interventions that operate and function as systems. After defining key terms, four suppositions of emergence are presented. The suppositions are based on the authors’ reflections on evaluating several complex interventions using a systems approach. Supposition 1 posits that there is an operational emergent property, paralleling the theory-driven evaluation concept of implementation theory noted by Carol Weiss. Supposition 2 suggests that every complex intervention also has a functional emergent property that speaks to the effectiveness of the intervention. Several important distinctions between a functional emergent property and the long-term outcomes derived based on a reductionist worldview are noted. Supposition 3 builds on the work of Chalmers to posit that it is possible for a complex intervention to simultaneously have more than one operational emergent property and more than one functional emergent property. Supposition 4 is grounded in the system definition to propose that operational emergence is a prerequisite for functional emergence. Suppositions by definition require proof to become theories. The article calls for evaluators to share whether their experiences support these suppositions and encourages investments in evaluation research to test them.
Responses of cells to stimuli are increasingly discovered to involve the binding of sequence-specific transcription factors outside of known target genes. We wanted to determine to what extent the genome-wide binding and function of a transcription factor are shaped by the cell type versus the stimulus. To do so, we induced the Heat Shock Response pathway in two different cancer cell lines with two different stimuli and related the binding of its master regulator HSF1 to nascent RNA and chromatin accessibility. Here, we show that HSF1 binding patterns retain their identity between basal conditions and under different magnitudes of activation, so that common HSF1 binding is globally associated with distinct transcription outcomes. HSF1-induced increase in DNA accessibility was modest in scale, but occurred predominantly at remote genomic sites. Apart from regulating transcription at existing elements including promoters and enhancers, HSF1 binding amplified during responses to stimuli may engage inactive chromatin.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a complex chronic metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia because of insulin resistance. Diabetes with chronic hyperglycemia may alter brain metabolism, including brain glucose and neurotransmitter levels; however, detailed, longitudinal studies of metabolic alterations in T2D are lacking. To shed insight, here, we characterized the consequences of poorly controlled hyperglycemia on neurochemical profiles that reflect metabolic alterations of the brain in both humans and animal models of T2D. Using in vivo ¹ H magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we quantified 12 metabolites cross‐sectionally in T2D patients and 20 metabolites longitudinally in T2D db / db mice versus db + controls. We found significantly elevated brain glucose (91%, p < 0.001), taurine (22%, p = 0.02), glucose+taurine (56%, p < 0.001), myo ‐inositol (12%, p = 0.02), and choline‐containing compounds (10%, p = 0.01) in T2D patients versus age‐ and sex‐matched controls, findings consistent with measures in T2D db / db versus control db + littermates. In mice, hippocampal and striatal neurochemical alterations in brain glucose, ascorbate, creatine, phosphocreatine, γ‐aminobutyric acid, glutamate, glutamine, glutathione, glycerophosphoryl‐choline, lactate, myo ‐inositol, and taurine persisted in db / db mice with chronic disease progression from 16 to 48 weeks of age, which were distinct from control db + mice. Overall, our study demonstrates the utility of ¹ H magnetic resonance spectroscopy as a non‐invasive tool for characterizing and monitoring brain metabolic changes with T2D progression. image
There is a high demand for sustainable biofuel to curtail the challenges of environmental pollution and scarcity associated with the limited hydrocarbon-based petrol concentrated in certain parts of the globe. In this research, an extraction operation was carried out to obtain tiger nut oil (TNO) using n-hexane. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) techniques and Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy were applied to examine the fatty acid compositions of the bio-oil and subsequent biofuel properties. The interactive effect of significant variables on the extraction and transesterification process was studied. The central composite design result confirmed optimum temperature (55 °C), catalyst weight (3.10 wt%), methanol-to-oil ratio (8:1), and stirring speed (550 rpm) respectively. The output corresponds to 92% biodiesel yield, indicating ± 7.02 standard deviation from the experimental practicable. The kinetic parameters were employed to model a chemical reactor geometry (radius = 3.0 m, reactor length = 9.0 m, mean retention time (MRT) = 3.42, and space-time of 0.30 min) at the optimum conditions. The finding confirmed that the biodiesel properties produced complied with the ASTM-D6751 and EN-141215 specifications, proving to be a reliable feedstock with better fuel properties over TNO-based biodiesel blends (B100, B10, B20, and B30). The research will provide a datum for comparison with other established bio-diesel feedstocks and require future investigation in the direction of the vehicular performance level and practicability of the TNO-based feedstock in the internal combustion (IC) engine.
Manhood honor ideology is a cluster of attitudes and beliefs regarding reputational ideals that compels defensive reactions in response to perceived masculinity threats. This extreme form of masculinity has been associated with violent acts around the world, but honor ideology has not been studied widely in laboratory settings. Honor Ideology for Manhood (HIM) scores in this sample of college men (N = 202) was associated with aggression exhibited in the Taylor Aggression Paradigm (TAP). HIM scores were associated with higher mean shock intensities and durations administered to a fictitious opponent in a reaction time task. Baseline shock intensity was increased by 60% among men with elevated HIM scores. Shock durations were substantially longer in the Mild (59%) and De-escalation (62%) phases. TAP provocation effects across the sample (shock intensity, ηp² = .381; shock duration, ηp² = .078) were large and consistent with prior research. While support was found for elevated aggressiveness among men espousing high manhood honor, retaliatory responses to provocation did not differ between HIM extremes. Distinctions between the concepts of trait aggression and situational reactivity to provocation were discussed along with factors that may qualify the present results. A call was made for additional controlled research regarding the interaction of this trait with situational variables that constitute perceived provocation among men with elevated manhood honor.
Seafood mislabeling rates of approximately 20% have been reported globally. Traditional methods for fish species identification, such as DNA analysis and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), are expensive and time-consuming, and require skilled technicians and specialized equipment. The combination of spectroscopy and machine learning presents a promising approach to overcome these challenges. In our study, we took a comprehensive approach by considering a total of 43 different fish species and employing three modes of spectroscopy: fluorescence (Fluor), and reflectance in the visible near-infrared (VNIR) and short-wave near-infrared (SWIR). To achieve higher accuracies, we developed a novel machine-learning framework, where groups of similar fish types were identified and specialized classifiers were trained for each group. The incorporation of global (single artificial intelligence for all species) and dispute classification models created a hierarchical decision process, yielding higher performances. For Fluor, VNIR, and SWIR, accuracies increased from 80%, 75%, and 49% to 83%, 81%, and 58%, respectively. Furthermore, certain species witnessed remarkable performance enhancements of up to 40% in single-mode identification. The fusion of all three spectroscopic modes further boosted the performance of the best single mode, averaged over all species, by 9%. Fish species mislabeling not only poses health-related risks due to contaminants, toxins, and allergens that could be life-threatening, but also gives rise to economic and environmental hazards and loss of nutritional benefits. Our proposed method can detect fish fraud as a real-time alternative to DNA barcoding and other standard methods. The hierarchical system of dispute models proposed in this work is a novel machine-learning tool not limited to this application, and can improve accuracy in any classification problem which contains a large number of classes.
The Cambrian Radiation represents one of the largest diversification events in Earth history. While the resulting taxonomic diversity is exceptional, relatively few of these novel species can be traced outside the boundaries of a single palaeocontinent. Many of those species with cosmopolitan distributions were likely active swimmers, presenting opportunity and means to conquer new areas, but this would not have been the case for sessile organisms. Herpetogaster is a lower to middle Cambrian (Series 2–Miaolingian, Stage 3–Wuliuan) genus of sessile, stalked, filter-feeding deuterostomes with two species, H. collinsi and H. haiyanensis, known respectively from Laurentia and Gondwana. Here, we expand the distribution of H. collinsi to Gondwana with newly discovered specimens from the Balang Formation of Hunan, China. This discovery raises questions on the origin of the genus and how sessile organisms were able to disperse over such a broad distance in the lower Cambrian. As Herpetogaster has been recovered at the base of the Ambulacrarian tree in recent phylogenies, a planktonic larval stage is suggested, which implies, that the last common ancestor of the Ambulacraria might have already had planktonic larvae or that such larvae developed multiple times within the Ambulacraria.
While Indigenous communities have thrived for centuries despite colonization, Indigenous Peoples continue to experience high rates of sexual victimization and are rarely included in sexual assault prevention and intervention research. Given the common risk factors associated with experiencing sexual assault, including substance use, it is vital to understand the unique strengths and challenges of Indigenous young adults to inform prevention and intervention efforts. The goal of this study was to simultaneously examine resilience and risk factors associated with sexual assault using a multi-methods design. First, a large, national, quantitative survey to assess sexual assault–related mental health needs was conducted among Indigenous college students at 8 tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) and 50 predominantly White institutions (PWIs), which resulted in a sample of n = 401 survey participants. Qualitative interviews (n = 14) were then conducted to complement the survey data from the perspective of Indigenous college students. Quantitatively, participants reported high levels of trauma history and, importantly, high levels of resilience and low levels of overall substance use compared to national heavy alcohol use guidelines. Qualitatively, findings suggest that Indigenous college students find strength in cultural and community engagement and recognize systemic inequities that contribute to sexual violence and substance use. This research provides a deeper understanding of the strengths possessed by Indigenous Peoples to help protect against substance use and sexual violence. Current findings help inform future research directions for developing culturally relevant sexual violence prevention and intervention programs coupled with substance use reduction.
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4,589 members
Junguk Hur
  • School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Ganesh Ambigapathy
  • Department of Biomedical Sciences
Pablo De León
  • Department of Space Studies
Vadim Rygalov
  • Department of Space Studies
1301 N Columbia Rd., 58202, Grand Forks, North Dakota, United States
Head of institution
Mark Kennedy, President