VOLUME 1

 

ANALYZING THE IMPACT OF SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS ON THE MENTAL HEALTH OF UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE

Volume 1, Issue 9

Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment rates skyrocketed worldwide. Many struggled with the severe mental health consequences of unemployment. Having a deeper understanding of these consequences and the factors that affect them could allow us to provide much better therapies and programs to alleviate mental health issues in the unemployed. In this paper, the respondent’s level of education, income, and the length of unemployment and their effect on mental health were analyzed. This is done using two Chi-Square tests and a Kruskal-Wallis test, respectively. The results show that the length of unemployment does have a significant impact on the number of symptoms of a mental illness experienced with this test returning a p-value of 7.91(10-7). The income bracket and level of anxiety test returned a p-value of 0.055, while the income bracket and level of depression test returned a p-value of 0.3, indicating that income bracket makes no significant difference on the rates of either illness. The education and level of anxiety test returned a p-value of 0.12, and the education and level of depression test returned a p-value of 0.14, indicating that education level makes no significant difference on the rates of either illness. The only variable that made a significant impact on the mental health of the unemployed was the length of the unemployment, as indicated by the low p-value.

Keywords: Unemployment, Job loss, Mental Illness, Anxiety, Depression

 

The Effects of Environmental Toxin Atrazine Exposure in Danio rerio: a Novel Pollutant that may promote the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease

Volume 1, Issue 8

Abstract
Atrazine is one of the most prominent herbicides and environmental toxins in the world and is a member of the triazine class of herbicides. An estimated 82 million pounds of Atrazine is used in the US annually, and literature research suggests that the current wastewater treatment facilities are unable to efficiently remove it. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by a buildup of toxic amyloid-beta plaques and tangles of hyperphosphorylated tau protein in the brain. Several key pro-and anti-Alzheimer’s Disease genes have been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of this disease, including AKT1s1, APOE, APPb, BACE1, BASP1, EPHA2, GSK3Aa, GSK3B, LEPR, NOTCH1a, SNCb, ARID5b, BIN1, CD2AP, COX1, MYO5Ab, PICALMa, PLD3, and TOMM40. Atrazine’s effects on these known mediators of AD were analyzed using bioinformatics technology and analysis at 0 ppb, 0.3 ppb, 3.0 ppb, and 30 ppb (n=6). The gene expression profiles of the GSE72243 dataset were obtained from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. Selected genes were then analyzed and graphed via Genespring 14.5 and Microsoft Excel. Significant dysregulation of the expression of both pro-and anti-Alzheimer’s Disease genes was observed in the male Zebrafish brain. APPb, BACE1, EPHA2, GSK3B, LEPR, NOTCH1a, and SNCb were significantly upregulated, while ARID5b, BIN1, CD2AP, MYO5Ab, and PLD3 were significantly downregulated. Our results suggest that Atrazine promotes the buildup of toxic amyloid-beta plaques and tangles of tau proteins in male zebrafish brain cells. In sum, Atrazine appears to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease by increasing toxic amyloid-beta protein production and spread, increasing tau phosphorylation, allowing pathogens to enter the brain by weakening the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and weakening members of the peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) family that would otherwise suppress the development of AD.

Keywords: Atrazine; Alzheimer’s Disease (AD); environmental toxins; herbicides; neurodegenerative disease; blood-brain barrier (BBB); water filtration

 

Comparison of Lagrangian and Multivariate Interpolation

Volume 1, Issue 7

Abstract

This project compared the "efficiency" between Lagrangian Polynomial Interpolation and Multivariate Polynomial Interpolation. The results determined what one should use to attain an equation that most resembles a set of points. Additionally, an autonomous process of interpolation was constructed for both methods using Python. The modules Numpy, Sympy, and Scipy were integrated into some of the mathematical processes that had to be implemented into the code. These included the following: Rectification, the Vandermonde Matrix, intricate integration, substitution of variables for both univariate and bivariate instances, and the determination of the roots of a polynomial. For every equation that received the Lagrangian Interpolation treatment, the same initial equation was used and received the Multivariate Interpolation treatment. The variable "t," which denotes the amount of times the function had to be further partitioned and interpolated, was compared amongst both procedures. There were many interpolated equations that did not equate to the original function. To represent these equations, the y-values of the functions at an arbitrarily high x-value were acquired because continuity and expectedness of each equation at this value can be assumed. Additionally, the percent error of the most accurate y-values for each equation type for both methods and the y-values of every original equation were analyzed through a matched pairs t-test. For the purpose of this investigation, the research question should be constructed as follows: Which Method of Polynomial Interpolation is More Efficient/Accurate: Lagrangian Interpolation or Multivariate Interpolation?

Keywords: Polynomial, Lagrangian, Multivariate

 

The Influence of Genetic Variance on Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder

Volume 1, Issue 6

Abstract

Genetics databases were reviewed to determine if there is a correlation between specific genes and the severity of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) because the condition affects the emotional, social, and academic performance of 2 to 18 % of children worldwide. Datasets from Gene Expression Omnibus Database were analyzed using Gene Spring software to compare gene variations and expressions between ADHD and non-affected individuals. Results showed an increase in the expression of CXCL8 and DDX6, while there was a decreased expression of RHOT1, RPS24, and TMEM59 in the ADHD patients. The differences in gene expressions of the genes suggests that the disorder may have genetic disorders.

Keywords: ADD, ADHD, CNVS, hyperactivity, disorder, hyperactive, attention deficit

 

Controlling Coherence in The Product Channel from a Direct, Uni-Molercular Dissociation Reaction

Volume 1, Issue 5

Abstract

The critical transition from reactants to products occurs in less than a picosecond (10-12 s). Using an ultrafast femtosecond laser (10-15s), it is possible to further understand particle motion before, during, and after the chemical reaction transition. In this study, triiodide (𝐼3−), a simply-structured ion often used because of its stability and efficiency, was subjected to femtosecond laser pulses (NIR and UV wavelengths) to analyze the molecular photodissociation dynamics on an ultrashort time scale (10-12 seconds or shorter). First, vibrational oscillations from diidoide previously reported were replicated via pump-probe spectroscopy to confirm validity of experimentation model. This was followed by innovative pulse shaping techniques to maximize peak oscillations produced by molecules. Oscillation periods were statistically analyzed to understand the dynamics (the movement and vibrations of molecules) undergone by the 𝐼3−, over increased time delay. It was demonstrated that vibrational oscillations in triiodide solution, when subjected to UV pulse shaping using the MIIPS system, show a ±1.0E2 variance in optimal parameters for maximized oscillatory amplitudes and undergo cooling effects as the reaction ensues. Taken together, these observations shed new light on the application of the theoretical laws of quantum mechanics in describing the experimental dynamics of diiodide and that excited-state diiodide oscillations can be controlled by UV light to potentially undergo wavepacket focusing in the product channel of chemical reactions.

Keywords: Femtosecond chemistry, Pump-probe spectroscopy, pulse shaping, triiodide, diiodide, photodissocation, product channel

 

Using Antioxidants to Counteract Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Alphanuclein Aggregation in Parkinson's Disease

Volume 1, Issue 4

Abstract

This study aimed to use antioxidants as potential therapeutics for mitochondrial dysfunction and α- synuclein aggregation. It was hypothesized that mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, MitoQ (1 and 5 µM) and MitoTEMPO (10 and 50 µM) will decrease mitochondrial dysfunction in C. elegans and Vitamin C (80 uM) and Curcumin (80 uM) will decrease effects of a-synuclein aggregation in Drosophila melanogaster. In aspect 1, mitochondrial pathways of Parkinson’s disease, the overproduction of ROS and complex malfunction, were assessed. Lead nitrate exposed C. elegans expressing GFP in the nuclei and mitochondria of body wall muscle cells were assessed in locomotion and chemosensation. It was found that exposure to MitoQ and MitoTEMPO greatly increased locomotion and chemosensation. Fluorescence microscopy was used to study mitochondria in C. elegans and results were quantified using Image J software. MitoQ and MitoTEMPO greatly increased the fluorescence of Parkinson’s disease affected C. elegans. In aspect 2 Drosophila expressing GFP fluorescence in dopaminergic neurons, mutant α-synuclein in dopaminergic neurons, and lead nitrate exposed Drosophila expressing GFP fluorescence in dopaminergic neurons were tested in their sleep behavior and climbing ability. When exposed to Vitamin C and Curcumin, the climbing ability of mutant α-synuclein and lead nitrate exposed Drosophila was significantly increased and their sleep behavior was returned to normal (p<0.05). Fluorescence microscopy was used to study dopaminergic neurons in Drosophila and results were quantified using Image J software. It was found that Vitamin C and Curcumin significantly increased the fluorescence of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson’s disease model Drosophila.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; Mitochondria; α-synuclein; MitoQ; MitoTEMPO; Vitamin C; Curcumin

 

Engineering a Highly Applicable Base Isolating Structural Layer Using Topology Optimization and Additive Manufacturing

Volume 1, Issue 3

Abstract

Current instances of basic and small-scale infrastructure are widely vulnerable to damage from unstable grounds and natural disasters. Unlike many large buildings, structures such as sidewalks and small homes lack any form of base isolation that would reduce the amount of damage they sustain under harsh conditions such as earthquakes, or in common situations such as expanding tree roots and unstable soil conditions. One solution is to develop a design for a simple and easily manufacturable layer of supportive material using topology optimization based on Solid Isotropic Material with Penalization (SIMP). Topology optimization software uses several inputted boundaries, conditions, and parameters, including material properties, maximum area fraction (volume constraint), and penalization factor, and uses them to determine the optimum design for the given problem. Using a computer program called Comsol MultiphysicsR, an optimal two dimensional unit design under constant forces that could be scaled, extruded and multiplied to create a flat layer structure that could properly isolate small scale superstructure from unstable grounds was investigated. Our intention was to develop a design for a form of base isolation that could be easily-applied to a variety of different situations, adjusted to each one, and utilize either prevalent or contemporary methods of manufacturing such as additive manufacturing to create. The model’s maximum area fraction was adjusted and analyzed in order to determine the most efficient use of material, and most optimal design. While a basic structure is generated, further studies are necessary to determine the better use of materials type and size as well as improve upon the design and manufacturing process. The application of this technology would lead to greater structural stability in small-scale infrastructure, reduce the need for maintenance, lower costs, and provide safer environments for people to travel and live in.

Keywords: Topology optimization; Additive manufacturing; 3-D printing; Small scale infrastructure; Base isolation; Solid isotropic materials with penalization (SIMP).

 

A Plant Based Method to Decrease Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Production in Response to Cytotoxic Volatile Organic Compounds: Implications for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases

Volume 1, Issue 2

Abstract

Exposure to cytotoxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can cause both short and longterm adverse health effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of the Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant) to decrease the induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), a precursor to respiratory inflammation, by VOCs. Several VOCs, including methanol, ethyl acetate, acetone, and formaldehyde, were isolated using a Vernier© gas chromatograph. Then, the absorption of these compounds by Chlorophytum comosum was measured by determining their decrease in mass over time in closed systems. On average, VOCs decreased by 78.3% in three days in bell jars with plants versus 23.1% in control jars with no plant (two sample t-test (p < 0.001)). Next, the capability of spider plant extract to decrease formaldehyde induced mRNA expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα in U937 cells (a human cell line established from a histiocytic lymphoma) was investigated. Quantification of TNFα transcript levels utilizing RT-PCR showed that spider plant compounds exhibited efficacy in decreasing TNFα expression by 38.2% in cells exposed to formaldehyde (two sample t-test (p < 0.001)). A practical application of this research is in the prevention of disease, especially in populations who have increased incidence of asthma and respiratory diseases.

Keywords: Volatile organic compounds; Asthma; Spider plant; Formaldehyde; Phytoremediation; Pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α.

 

A Novel Proposal for Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis: Ubiquitous Compound 4-Methylimidazole Promotes Both the Classic Hallmarks of NASH and a Novel Immunoediting Pathway to Elicit Immune-Mediated Liver Damage

Volume 1, Issue 1

Corresponding Author: Patrick Cadet, e-mail: patcad@sunynri.org. Department of Biology, Neuroscience Research Institute, State University of New York – College at Old Westbury, Old Westbury, NY, U.S.A.

Abstract

Nonalcoholic Steatosishepatitis (NASH) is a chronic disease that affects 3% of Americans where the liver becomes steatotic and inflamed. 4-Methylimidazole (4-MI) is a ubiquitous byproduct of caramel coloring production, and as a result is frequently ingested. Recent studies have shown that 4-MI causes hepatic lipid and macrophage accumulation. Because of this, 4-MI's ability to regulate classic genetic hallmarks of NASH along with new potential contributors to hepatic damage in NASH was tested. HepG2 (Liver) and U937 (Immune) cells were treated with 4-MI for 24 hours. Genetic analysis was conducted via RT PCR and cellular analysis of inflammatory potency and viability was conducted via Inflammatory Attachment and Trypan Blue Assay. On the molecular level 4-MI dysregulated genes to promote NASH: disrupting homeostasis, downregulating anti-inflammatory and upregulating pro-inflammatory genes. Pro-inflammatory gene COX2 was downregulated in HepG2, however further research revealed its pivotal role in regeneration and results demonstrated downregulation of regeneration genes. Apoptotic genes were dysregulated to promote immunoediting: tumor antigens BCL2 and MCL1 were overexpressed in HepG2 while proapoptotic FASR and FASL were upregulated in HepG2 and U937 respectively, allowing detection of hepatocytes as precancerous while opening a separate apoptotic pathway. Molecular results were supported on the cellular level; inflammatory activity increased in U937. Viability increased in HepG2 but decreased pass control with the introduction of FASL protein. Overall, this data suggests that 4-MI promotes the classic pathology of NASH: promoting steatosis and chronic inflammation. Furthermore, 4-MI encourages liver damage via immunogenic apoptosis while decreasing healing efficiency.

Keywords: 4-Methylimidazole; 4-MI; Toll-Like Receptors; TLR; Cytokines; Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis; NASH