UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS



Microfluidic Chip for Non-Invasive Analysis of Tumor Cells Interaction with Anti-Cancer Drug Doxorubicin by AFM and Raman Spectroscopy
Raman spectroscopy has been playing an increasingly significant role for cell classification. Here, we introduce a novel microfluidic chip for non-invasive Raman cell natural fingerprint collection. Traditional Raman spectroscopy measurement of the cells grown in a Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) based microfluidic device suffers from the background noise from the substrate materials of PDMS when intended to apply as an in vitro cell assay. To overcome this disadvantage, the current device is designed with a middle layer of PDMS layer sandwiched by two MgF2slides which minimize the PDMS background signal in Raman measurement. Three cancer cell lines, including a human lung cancer cell A549, and human breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-231/BRMS1, were cultured in this microdevice separately for a period of three days to evaluate the biocompatibility of the microfluidic system. In addition, atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to measure the Young's modulus and adhesion force of cancer cells at single cell level. The AFM results indicated that our microchannel environment did not seem to alter the cell biomechanical properties. The biochemical responses of cancer cells exposed to anti-cancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) up to 24?h were assessed by Raman spectroscopy. Principal component analysis over the Raman spectra indicated that cancer cells untreated and treated with DOX can be distinguished. This PDMS microfluidic device offers a non-invasive and reusable tool for in vitro Raman measurement of living cells, and can be potentially applied for anti-cancer drug screening.


Structure of Frequency-Interacting RNA Helicase from Neurospora crassa Reveals High Flexibility in a Domain Critical for Circadian Rhythm and RNA Surveillance
The FRH (frequency-interacting RNA helicase) protein is the Neurospora crassa homolog of yeast Mtr4, an essential RNA helicase that plays a central role in RNA metabolism as an activator of the nuclear RNA exosome. FRH is also a required component of the circadian clock, mediating protein interactions that result in the rhythmic repression of gene expression. Here we show that FRH unwinds RNA substrates in vitro with a kinetic profile similar to Mtr4, indicating that while FRH has acquired additional functionality, its core helicase function remains intact. In contrast with the earlier FRH structures, a new crystal form of FRH results in an ATP binding site that is undisturbed by crystal contacts and adopts a conformation consistent with nucleotide binding and hydrolysis. Strikingly, this new FRH structure adopts an arch domain conformation that is dramatically altered from previous structures. Comparison of the existing FRH structures reveals conserved hinge points that appear to facilitate arch motion. Regions in the arch have been previously shown to mediate a variety of protein-protein interactions critical for RNA surveillance and circadian clock functions. The conformational changes highlighted in the FRH structures provide a platform for investigating the relationship between arch dynamics and Mtr4/FRH function.


Magnetic Properties of Acenes and Their o-Quinone Derivatives: Computer Simulation
Quantum chemical study (DFT UB3LYP/6-311++G(d,p)) of the structure and properties of acenes functionalized with two o-benzoquinone groups and their complexes with sodium cations has been performed. An increase in the number of fused rings has been shown to result in the stabilization of biradicaloid state of acenes and the switching of the character of exchange interactions between redox-active moieties from antiferromagnetic to ferromagnetic. The obtained results allow one to consider o-quinone acene derivatives as a basis for designing magnetoactive compounds.


Self-Efficacy Change Associated with a Cognitive Load-Based Intervention in an Undergraduate Biology Course
Cognitive load theory (CLT) holds that discovery learning and other instructional strategies imposing high levels of extraneous load on novice learners hinder learning. Such learning conditions are also associated with significant drops in persistence, a key measure of motivation. However, research within the CLT framework typically engages motivation as a necessary precursor to learning, rather than as an outcome of instruction. In this study, we examine changes in motivational beliefs as outcomes of learners' cognitive processes through a CLT lens as they engage with instruction. Using a double-blind quasi-experimental design, we manipulate the level of cognitive load imposed on participants through instruction and assess changes in self-efficacy from pre-to post-intervention. In an analysis of data from students enrolled in an undergraduate biology course (n?=?2078), students in the treatment condition demonstrated significantly higher performance on end-of-semester lab reports and self-efficacy measures. However, post-instruction self-efficacy was not significantly related to performance, controlling for pre-instruction self-efficacy, gender, and scientific reasoning ability. These findings introduce the possibility that the cognitive load imposed on working memory during instruction may affect motivational beliefs and provides a foundation to further explore connections between historically distinct theoretical frameworks such as CLT and social cognitive theory.


Low Offspring Survival in Mountain Pine Beetle Infesting the Resistant Great Basin Bristlecone Pine Supports the Preference-Performance Hypothesis
The preference-performance hypothesis states that ovipositing phytophagous insects will select host plants that are well-suited for their offspring and avoid host plants that do not support offspring performance (survival, development and fitness). The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae), a native insect herbivore in western North America, can successfully attack and reproduce in most species of Pinus throughout its native range. However, mountain pine beetles avoid attacking Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva), despite recent climate-driven increases in mountain pine beetle populations at the high elevations where Great Basin bristlecone pine grows. Low preference for a potential host plant species may not persist if the plant supports favorable insect offspring performance, and Great Basin bristlecone pine suitability for mountain pine beetle offspring performance is unclear. We infested cut bolts of Great Basin bristlecone pine and two susceptible host tree species, limber (P. flexilis) and lodgepole (P. contorta) pines with adult mountain pine beetles and compared offspring performance. To investigate the potential for variation in offspring performance among mountain pine beetles from different areas, we tested beetles from geographically-separated populations within and outside the current range of Great Basin bristlecone pine. Although mountain pine beetles constructed galleries and laid viable eggs in all three tree species, extremely few offspring emerged from Great Basin bristlecone pine, regardless of the beetle population. Our observed low offspring performance in Great Basin bristlecone pine corresponds with previously documented low mountain pine beetle attack preference. A low preference-low performance relationship suggests that Great Basin bristlecone pine resistance to mountain pine beetle is likely to be retained through climate-driven high-elevation mountain pine beetle outbreaks.


Word Recognition in Nutrition Labels with Convolutional Neural Network
Nowadays, everyone is very busy and running around trying to maintain a balance between their work life and family, as the working hours are increasing day by day. In such hassled life people either ignore or do not give enough attention to a healthy diet. An imperative part of a healthy eating routine is the cognizance and maintenance of nourishing data and comprehension of how extraordinary sustenance and nutritious constituents influence our bodies. Besides in the USA, in many other countries, nutritional information is fundamentally passed on to consumers through nutrition labels (NLs) which can be found in all packaged food products in the form of nutrition table. However, sometimes it turns out to be challenging to utilize this information available in these NLs notwithstanding for consumers who are health conscious as they may not be familiar with nutritional terms and discover it hard to relate nutritional information into their day by day activities because of lack of time, inspiration, or training. So it is essential to automate this information gathering and interpretation procedure by incorporating Machine Learning based algorithm to abstract nutritional information from NLs on the grounds that it enhances the consumer’s capacity to participate in nonstop nutritional information gathering and analysis.


Implementing the Use of Personal Activity Data in an Introductory Statistics Course
Integrating real data into a classroom is one of the recommendations in the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) college report which lays out guidelines for an introductory statistics course (Committee, GAISE College Report ASA Revision, 2016). In order to assess the effect of using real data in a classroom, the students received physical activity trackers to wear during an undergraduate introductory statistics course taught in the summer. This tracker, a Fitbit, enabled students to monitor and record their steps, calories, and active time throughout the class. Collecting personal activity data (PAD) creates a large database which students can then analyze and use to build statistical thinking. Since the students are intimately familiar with the data they gathered, they could focus on the patterns they saw in the data based on their own personal experiences. With this data, the students completed tasks that asked them to analyze their physical activity using methods including summary statistics and bivariate analysis. These projects encouraged students to think about problems that arise from data collection and analysis in real life situations. We saw that using PAD helped the tasks become more personal, increased interest and engagement, and reinforced the material taught in class.


A Complicated Peace: Nationalism and Antisemitism in Interwar Poland
This thesis examines the roots of antisemitic rhetoric expressed by Polish nationalists between 1918 and 1939. I argue that nationalist rhetoric and political campaigns during this period focused on calling for Poles to defend themselves against Jewish economic and political domination. The first half of this work utilizes pamphlets, books, newspaper articles, and other written works wherein Polish nationalists, in particular members of the National Democratic Party(NDP), expressed a fear of Polish Jews and called for their eviction from the country. Fear that Poland, a country that had been partitioned by surrounding empires for the past two centuries, would not last long as an independent country were central in the rhetoric of these authors. In their eyes, Jews threatened Poland’s already compromised political and economic position. Throughout the 1930s, the NDP and other nationalist groups began to call for Jews to emigrate. The second half of this thesis uses three Polish counties (Siedlce, Soko?ów Podlaski, and W?grów) as a case study to examine the effects of the NDP’s campaign of boycotting Jewish businesses. All three counties had large Jewish populations concentrating in mostly urban areas. I undertake this study by examining reports produced by the Starosta Powiatowy, a state official in charge of describing political activities, crimes, and other major events in a given county. The reports revealed that there was a correlation between the increase in the NDP agitating for boycotts in 1936 and increased reports of Jewish families being terrorized by people breaking their windows. By examining these dynamics, I illuminate some of the political, cultural, and economic forces that contributed to the rise of antisemitism in interwar Poland. In addition to emphasizing the NDP’s language of national self-defense, thesis also highlights some of the impacts of this rhetoric.


Reproductive Behavioral and Physiological Traits in Domestic, Wild, and Hybrid Ovis
This study was part of a program to develop new genotypes of sheep (Ovis spp.) and goats (Capra spp.) which are more useful for food and fiber production. The study examined the influence of domestication on behavioral and physiological traits of ewes and lambs, the influence of a single or twin offspring on ewe and lamb behaviors, and general relationships between ewes and lambs during the lambs' first month of life. Domestication has caused the intensities of observed traits to diverge greatly from the tendencies shown by wild populations. Domestication has produced increases in measurements associated with maternal care, discovery learning, tolerance or inclination for closeness with conspecifics, length of the breeding season, fertility, birth weight, and growth rate. Behaviors associated with imitative learning have decreased with domestication. Domestication has not altered the length of estrous cycle nor length of gestation. The partly domestic groups were intermediate to the most domestic and wild groups for three traits: maternal care, birth weight, and growth rate. However, other hybridization factors apparently altered the intermediate position of the partly domestic groups for the remaining traits: learning in the young, proximity of conspecifics, and fertility. The study's findings indicated that the development of new crossbreeds is an advantageous method of improving sheep and goat productivity. Some behavioral differences between ewes and their single lambs and ewes and their twin lambs resulted from the earlier physical development of singles as compared to twins: Singles played more and spent less time close to their mothers. Mothering capacities, sibling competition, and a sibling bond caused behavioral differences between ewes and their twin young and ewes and their single young: Twins suckled more, gained less weight, spent more time close to their mothers, stood more, received less sniffing from their mothers than did singles. The ewe-lamb bond did not vary between ewes and their single lambs and ewes and their twin lambs. The high occurrence of simultaneous behaviors and the maintenance of close contact between ewes and their offspring and between twins contributed to the cohesion and organization of the flock.


Production and Intake Responses of Dairy Cows Fed Four Levels of Malic Acid
Thirty-two lactating cows were assigned at random to four treatments of malic acid to determine if these levels had an effect on milk production, milk composition, feed intake, and efficiency of feed utilization. Malic acid allotment for each treatment consisted of 1) 15.4, 2) 11.6, 3) 7.7, and 4) 0 grams of malic acid fed per kilogram of concentrate. Concentrate was fed according to production at a rate of one kilogram per two kilograms of milk in excess of 9.1 kilograms of milk per cow daily. Alfalfa hay was fed free choice and corn silage at a rate of 11.4 kilograms daily. The cows were on the trial for 8 weeks. Intake of concentrates, silage, dry matter, and digestible energy was highest for cows receiving the 11.6 g level of malic acid. These intakes were significantly higher than for the 7.7 g level but not for the other treatments. However, cows on the 7.7 g level consumed only slightly less feed than control cows. There was no significant effect on hay or crude protein intake. Production of total milk, fat corrected milk, and milk fat was significantly higher for cows receiving the 11.6 g level of malic acid than from the 7.7 g level or control cows. Production of protein solids-not-fat was significantly higher for the 11.6 g level than from the 7.7 g level and approached this level of significance when the 11.6 g level was compared to the controls. Cows receiving the 11.6 g level of malic acid were significantly more efficient in converting dry matter or digestible energy from feed into milk than were the controls. Intakes and production of cows on the 15.4 g level was slightly less than for the 11.6 g level.


Regional Trends in Early-Monsoon Rainfall over Vietnam and CCSM4 Attribution
The analysis of precipitation trends for Vietnam revealed that early-monsoon precipitation has increased over the past three decades but to varying degrees over the northern, central and southern portions of the country. Upon investigation, it was found that the change in early-monsoon precipitation is associated with changes in the low-level cyclonic airflow over the South China Sea and Indochina that is embedded in the large-scale atmospheric circulation associated with a “La Niña-like” anomalous sea surface temperature pattern with warming in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans and cooling in the eastern Pacific. The Community Climate System Model version 4 (CCSM4) was subsequently used for an attribution analysis. Over northern Vietnam an early-monsoon increase in precipitation is attributed to changes in both greenhouse gases and natural forcing. For central Vietnam, the observed increase in early-monsoon precipitation is reproduced by the simulation forced with greenhouse gases. However, over southern Vietnam the early-monsoon precipitation increase is less definitive where aerosols were seen to be preponderant but natural forcing through the role of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation may well be a factor that is not resolved by CCSM4. Increased early-monsoonal precipitation over the coastal lowland and deltas has the potential to amplify economic and human losses.


Admixture, Evolution, and Variation in Reproductive Isolation in the Boechera puberula clade
Background Hybridization is very common in plants, and the incorporation of new alleles into existing lineages (i.e. admixture) can blur species boundaries. However, admixture also has the potential to increase standing genetic variation. With new sequencing methods, we can now study admixture and reproductive isolation at a much finer scale than in the past. The genus Boechera is an extraordinary example of admixture, with over 400 hybrid derivates of varying ploidy levels. Yet, few studies have assessed admixture in this genus on a genomic scale. Results In this study, we used Genotyping-by-Sequencing (GBS) to clarify the evolution of the Boechera puberula clade, whose six members are scattered across the western United States. We further assessed patterns of admixture and reproductive isolation within the group, including two additional species (B. stricta and B. retrofracta) that are widespread across North America. Based on 14,815 common genetic variants, we found evidence for some cases of hybridization. We find evidence of both recent and more ancient admixture, and that levels of admixture vary across species. Conclusions We present evidence for a monophyletic origin of the B. puberula group, and a split of B. puberula into two subspecies. Further, when inferring reproductive isolation on the basis of presence and absence of admixture, we found that the accumulation of reproductive isolation between species does not seem to occur linearly with time since divergence in this system. We discuss our results in the context of sexuality and asexuality in Boechera.


Spatial Processes Decouple Management from Objectives in a Heterogeneous Landscape: Predator Control as a Case Study
Predator control is often implemented with the intent of disrupting top?down regulation in sensitive prey populations. However, ambiguity surrounding the efficacy of predator management, as well as the strength of top?down effects of predators in general, is often exacerbated by the spatially implicit analytical approaches used in assessing data with explicit spatial structure. Here, we highlight the importance of considering spatial context in the case of a predator control study in south?central Utah. We assessed the spatial match between aerial removal risk in coyotes (Canis latrans) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) resource selection during parturition using a spatially explicit, multi?level Bayesian model. With our model, we were able to evaluate spatial congruence between management action (i.e., coyote removal) and objective (i.e., parturient deer site selection) at two distinct scales: the level of the management unit and the individual coyote removal. In the case of the former, our results indicated substantial spatial heterogeneity in expected congruence between removal risk and parturient deer site selection across large areas, and is a reflection of logistical constraints acting on the management strategy and differences in space use between the two species. At the level of the individual removal, we demonstrated that the potential management benefits of a removed coyote were highly variable across all individuals removed and in many cases, spatially distinct from parturient deer resource selection. Our methods and results provide a means of evaluating where we might anticipate an impact of predator control, while emphasizing the need to weight individual removals based on spatial proximity to management objectives in any assessment of large?scale predator control. Although we highlight the importance of spatial context in assessments of predator control strategy, we believe our methods are readily generalizable in any management or large?scale experimental framework where spatial context is likely an important driver of outcomes.


Site Conditions Determine a Key Native Plant’s Contribution to Invasion Resistance in Grasslands
Many plant invasion studies in grasslands suggest that resident plants that share functional traits with invaders can reduce invasion by competing for limiting resources. However, since invasion studies often occur in highly controlled plots or microcosms, it is unclear how heterogeneous site conditions alter competitive interactions under realistic scenarios. To explore how landscape heterogeneity affects biotic resistance provided by competitive resident plants, we conducted a field?based experiment across four sites in California grasslands. Plots contained naturally occurring populations of native Hemizonia congesta, but differed in other characteristics, including litter cover, annual grass cover, soil moisture, and species richness. We invaded plots with the functionally similar nonnative Centaurea solstitalis (yellow starthistle) and, at one site, supplemented one?half of the established plots with water to test the effects of increasing a limiting resource. As in simplified plots and microcosms, increasing H. congesta abundance reduced starthistle biomass by competing for limited soil moisture, but only in plots with high starthistle germination. We conclude that higher abundances of native H. congesta can reduce starthistle invasion in heterogeneous grasslands, but competition is also affected by both abiotic (soil moisture) and biotic (starthistle germination number) conditions that vary across sites.


Bridge Inspection: Human Performance, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Automation
Unmanned aerial systems (UASs) have become of considerable private and commercial interest for a variety of jobs and entertainment in the past 10 years. This paper is a literature review of the state of practice for the United States bridge inspection programs and outlines how automated and unmanned bridge inspections can be made suitable for present and future needs. At its best, current technology limits UAS use to an assistive tool for the inspector to perform a bridge inspection faster, safer, and without traffic closure. The major challenges for UASs are satisfying restrictive Federal Aviation Administration regulations, control issues in a GPS-denied environment, pilot expenses and availability, time and cost allocated to tuning, maintenance, post-processing time, and acceptance of the collected data by bridge owners. Using UASs with self-navigation abilities and improving image-processing algorithms to provide results near real-time could revolutionize the bridge inspection industry by providing accurate, multi-use, autonomous three-dimensional models and damage identification.


An Economic Analysis of Prairie Dog Control
Prairie dog control was found to be economically feasible on the Conata basin in South Dakota with future annual maintenance control to prevent re-invasions. The large difference between the present net worth values of the two viewpoints ($2587 for the U.S. Forest Service acting as an agent of the sovereign and $109,011 for the ranchers ) was due to the added costs of environmental considerations included in the U.S. Forest Service control program, but assumed not to be included in control by ranchers. In order for prairie dog control to remain economically feasible, annual maintenance control for the U.S. Forest Service must be below 5 percent of the total initially controlled acreage in the control program (9 percent for the rancher viewpoint). Sun sedge (Carex heloiphila) constituted the major cattle forage increase from control in this study while western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii), the dominant mid-grass in the area, showed no increase in production after five years of prairie dog elimination. Overall, 84 pounds per acre of usable cattle forage was gained from control.


Food Interactions Between Utah Prairie Dogs and Cattle
This study examined the food interactions between Utah prairie dogs (Cynomys parvidens, Allen) and cattle (Bos taurus), During 1974 and 1975, three prairie dog colonies near Panguitch, Utah, were studied intensely: "Oldfield" was chosen to represent colonies near fields of alfalfa (Medicago sativa); "Lowercrested" was chosen to represent colonies below 2,200 meters above sea level (a. s. 1.) which were not near alfalfa, and "Uppercrested" was chosen to represent colonies above 2,200 meters a.s.l. which have been planted with crested wheatgrass. Visual observations were made of Utah prairie dogs to determine their diets. Livetrapping of prairie dogs provided data for estimates of population sizes and animal weights, which were used to calculate forage requirements. Cattle diets and forage intake per individual were derived from the literature. Much more forage was available to prairie dogs than to cattle. About 80 percent of the forb phytomass ingested by prairie dogs at Uppercrested never would have become available to cattle. Prairie dogs foraged more selectively than cattle are capable of doing. Neither animal showed a general dietary preference toward either grasses or forbs: each plant life form contained bath preferred and avoided species. Bath animals had a low preference for shrubs. Oldfield's area tripled between 1971 and 1974, but Uppercrested did not expand. Between 1 June, 1974, and 1 June, 1975, Oldfield's population increased from about 42 to 70 adult prairie dogs, and the colony's area increased proportionately; however, Uppercrested's population appeared to decline from approximately 22 to 19 adults. The dissimilar expansion rates, at least between 1974 and 1975, probably were due to differences in behavior, forage availability, nutrition, and predation. Oldfield's prairie dogs gained weight much faster than did Uppercrested's animals. Thus, the average number of active Utah prairie dogs ingesting as much forage as a cow and calf from March through October (prairie dogs fed little during other months) was 410 at Oldfield, compared to 500 at Uppercrested. Numbers concerning total utilization may be even higher: prairie dogs waste little vegetation, but cattle probably trample much. On the other hand, prairie dogs clip closer to the ground and earlier in the growth season than do cattle; consequently, prairie dogs may cause a greater reduction in primary production for the same amount of forage intake. Population densities of prairie dogs in late June, one month after the young first emerged, were 35/ha at Oldfield, 16/ha at Lowercrested, and less than 2.3/ha at Uppercrested. Prairie dogs used over 70 percent of the primary production of perennial herbage at Oldfield and about 10 percent of it at Lowercrested. Uppercrested's prairie dogs used approximately 3 percent of the primary production of crested wheatgrass, a preferred forage. Within any one year, cattle probably rarely reduce population s of Utah prairie dogs, and possibly may increase populations in colonies with high primary production. Prairie dogs apparently have reduced the primary production of perennial herbage at bath Oldfield and Lowercrested. Vegetational canopy coverage was greater on mounds than off mounds in the low use portion of Uppercrested. Heavy grazing by livestock in the past probably has eliminated much Utah prairie dog habitat: swales have been destroyed and early spring forage has been reduced.


Cougar Predation and Ecological Energetics in Southern Utah
Diet of cougars (Felis concolor) was studied from December 1978 to August 1981, on a 4500 km2 study area near Escalante, Utah. Prey eaten was determined from analysis of 112 animals consumed as prey, and from 239 cougar scats. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) were the major prey item, comprising 81% of biomass consumed. Lagomorphs, large rodents, and smaller predators were also important components. Cattle comprised Motion-sensitive radio-transmitters were placed on 15 cougars, from 3 months to 7-9 years of age. Three parameters of the radio signal were used to determine activity levels during 6843 1-minute sampling periods: number of changes in pulse rate, predominant pulse mode, and signal integrity, based on 308 minutes of "known" acti vity. Cougars showed distinct crepuscular (sunrise, sunset ± 2 hrs) activity peaks (P Estimates of energetic costs of basal metabolism, and of activity, growth, and reproduction were used in a predictive model of energy cost of free-existence. Information on dietary composition, live weight and energy content of prey animals, and assimilation efficiencies were used to provide estimates of the frequency at which deer were killed (deer/day) and consumed (kg/day). Single adults were estimated to kill 1 deer per 8-16 days. Females with 3 large cubs would kill 1 deer as often as every 2-3 days. A known population of 8 adult cougars was predicted to consume 417 deer per year.


A Conceptual Analysis of the Appropriate Role of Assistive Technology in the Education of Students with Disabilities
Assistive technology allows students with disabilities opportunities for greater independence, improved productivity, and increased functional capabilities. It removes obstacles, helps students overcome disabilities, and holds great promise for enriching educational outcomes and affecting the lives of students. However, for over 90% of special education students, assistive technology is not part of their education. One reason for not applying assistive technology to help students is the lack of a clear vision of what assistive technology is, what it can help students accomplish, and how to appropriately access it through individualized education programs (IEPs). In this study a comprehensive concept analysis clarified key assistive technology concepts, and identified critical relevant and critical irrelevant attributes of assistive technology. Multiple focus groups and a survey of 191 special educators validated the concept analysis. The survey also provided valid and reliable data about the relevant and irrelevant critical attributes identified in the concept analysis. The survey identified discrepancies between understanding of the concepts and actual applications of assistive technology. The study applied a unique combination of concept analysis, focus group research, and survey research methods. The appropriate application of assistive technology considers (a) the role of technology, (b) how technology meets students' unique functional needs, (c) the appropriateness of assistive technology applications, and ( d) the use of technology to expand the environment of the student. Although special educators agree these concepts are critical, they seldom apply them. Other irrelevant, misconceived attributes often dictate the nonapplication or misapplication of assistive technology. Although the IEP is the programmatic method whereby students with disabilities access special education services, 86% of IEPs do not consider possible technology applications. This oversight occurs because IEP participants lack valid information, do not have assistive technology assessments available, perceive funding as a major obstacle, lack training, and/or there are not polices and procedures in place concerning assistive technology . Recommendations for special education providers, local education agencies, and parents are included.


The Effects of Hunting Season Length on Comparable Pheasant Populations
For many years sportsmen have speculated that hunting limits pheasant populations. With the abolition of the Pheasant Game Farm program in Utah in 1953, this popular concept gained much impetus with the result that, because of public disfavor to a longer season, a 3 to 5 day season on pheasants is the maximum that bas been called in northern Utah and this only in areas classed as "better" pheasant habitat. In contrast to the short seasons in Utah, pheasant seasons in southern Idaho have been from 8½ to 15½ days long for the past 10 years, and will be even longer in 1956 (table 1). Since the topography and land-use patterns of southeast Idaho and northeast Utah are similar, the question has been asked by Cache County sportsmen, "how can Idaho maintain a 15½ day season in Franklin County, while just across the line here in Cache County, we have only a 3 to 5 day season?" Thus the purpose of this study was to investigate some of the factors affecting pheasant populations of northeast Utah and south-east Idaho under differing season lengths. Objectives of the study were to determine (1) the response of contiguous pheasant populations to long (15½ day) and short (5 day) seasons, (2) the hunting pressure under the 2 season lengths, (3) harvest of the pheasant crop under the 2 season lengths, and (4) reaction of hunters, farmers, and land-owners to long and short seasons.


Do Congressmen really drive CARs?
My research focuses on stock returns around term elections. I will be looking at the 50 most held stocks of congressmen, and taking the returns of these stocks against the market average during election season. I examine if there are Cumulative Abnormal Returns (CARs) that can be realized as a result of information about the elections. I want to find any possible trading strategy that investors could use to obtain returns that are in excess of the market average. I am attempting to discover how the market behaves when election season is occurring. This information could prove to be very crucial in helping to understand behavior of stock returns. Although I am only analyzing elections that occur every two years, if the returns prove to be large enough, then it would prove to be very worthwhile to employ a strategy to capture the gains. With the unpredictability of the stock market, any predictive behavior helps to further understand what could happen. I obtained my portfolio of stocks from the 50 most held stocks by congressmen. These data are open source. The data available is from 2005-2015. From this data I will be analyzing the elections in the years 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014. After obtaining these results, I will then run a regression on the political party that owns each stock against the CAR. By doing so I hope to find out if stocks held by the winning party exhibit abnormal behavior. This implies the following question: Do congressmen have an influence upon the stock values of companies they have stock in? I expect the results to show significant returns for the stocks held by congressmen. I believe that the stocks held by the winning party will exhibit high returns.


A Return to the Cash Conversion Cycle and Corporate Returns
A little over twenty years ago, Jose, Lancaster, and Stevens (1996) wrote a paper examining the relationship between profitability and ongoing liquidity management for firms over a twenty-year period, from 1974 to 1993. They test the relationship between the cash conversion cycle, ongoing liquidity management, and other methods of profitability using a regression analysis (Jose, Lancaster, and Stevens, 1996). This paper aims to do the same but with a selection of firms over a different twenty-year period, from 1993 to 2013. We implement Jose et al.’s methodology with updated data to see if contemporary data yields similar results: aggressive working capital management policies enhance profitability and performance. The previous literature found that the cash conversion cycle does have an implication for the profitability and the liquidity of a company. This study replicates these processes and examines the impact to stock returns in addition to traditional measures, ROA and ROE. We gather data from 1974-2017 from firms on Compustat and estimate regression analyses of the cash conversion cycle, ROA, and ROE. There is strong evidence that working capital management policies still affect profitability and performance. Using the same time period, we create a calendar time portfolios of high and low CCC firms. By applying the Fama-French factors, we find that firms with higher cash conversion cycles have lower risk-adjusted stock returns.


The Immediate Influence of Whole Body Vibration on Proprioceptive Precision
As our bodies are exposed to whole-body vibration inertial and strain sensitive sensory receptors throughout our body are activated. The information relayed from these receptors to the central nervous system and brain is used to analyze our environment and coordinate movement. The aim of this study was to investigate whether extended duration whole-body vibration influences sensory adaptation and coordinated movement, specifically our joint position acuity immediately following vibration exposure. Twenty-five adults completed a between ankle joint matching task before and immediately following a 20-minute whole-body vibration session and a control session of 20 minutes of standing near, but not on the vibration plate. The joint matching task consisted of moving the participants left ankle to one of four selected angles (10°, 15°, 20°, 25°), having them hold it at that position and match the angle with their right ankle. The foot was positioned at each angle three times to total 12 trials to complete the matching task. The set joint angle and “matched” joint angles were measured using digital goniometers. There was a significant interaction and differences in baseline measurements between control and vibration sessions masking any joint matching acuity changes that may have arisen from whole body vibration exposure.


Ultraviolet Diffraction Assisted Image Correlation (UV-DAIC) for Single-Camera 3D Strain Measurement at Extreme Temperatures
Digital Image Correlation (DIC) is a technique which uses images taken before and after deformation to determine displacement and strain data over the surface of the sample. In order to obtain this data for both in-plane as well as out-of-plane direction, multiple views of the sample are required. Typically, this is accomplished using multiple cameras, but it is possible to use diffraction gratings to bend the light coming from the specimen in order to allow a single camera to capture multiple views. This technique is referred to as Diffraction Assisted Image Correlation (DAIC) and has been previously demonstrated at room temperature. This work expands this method for use at high temperatures by incorporating the use of ultraviolet (UV) lights for illumination and filtering out the light in the visible spectrum. This increases the temperature at which useful images can be captured by reducing the glow that specimens produce at elevated temperatures. When not filtered out, this glow saturates the camera sensor making DIC impossible. This new technique is referred to as Ultraviolet Diffraction Assisted Image Correlation (UV-DAIC).


Humans as Sensors: The Influence of Extreme Heat Vulnerability Factors on Risk Perceptions Across the Contiguous United States
Extreme heat events are the deadliest natural hazard in the United States and will continue to get worse in the coming years due to the effects of climate change. As a result, more people will experience deadly heat conditions. This highlights the need for decision-makers to develop better strategies for preventing future losses. How badly individuals are affected by extreme heat depends on many circumstances, such as how high temperatures actually are, weather conditions, and location. For example, a dry 90 °F day in Phoenix is probably more tolerable than a humid 90 °F day in New Orleans for most individuals. However, some groups of people are more likely to be harmed by extreme heat than others, such as the elderly and those who work outdoors. This may seem straightforward, but uncovering less obvious clues that help explain how and why some groups are affected differently by extreme heat can be difficult, since much of the impact of extreme heat depends on people’s judgements of the risk and their personal decisions. These human factors are typically not very easy to measure because different hazards affect different people indifferent ways at different times in different places. This study uses a large survey of the U.S. population and statistical methods to explore how weather, time, space, and personal experience with heat affect different people’s judgment of risk. Whether different groups understand their high or low risk status has important implications for decision-makers responsible for crafting plans to reduce extreme heat risk in their local community.