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«Strengthening the Nation through Diversity, Innovation & Leadership in STEM San Antonio,Texas · October 3-6, 2013 Get Connected! Connect with the ...»

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The purpose of this research is to compare the vertical component of a healthy individual’s knee moment while rotating and leaning onto the knee with the knee moments of those who have received a total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Lower extremity rotations involving height are a part of everyday tasks such as lifting items and reaching high shelves. Studying the effects of a TKA on this task would add to the literature on knee replacement characteristics and provide a data basis for future research to improve the quality of life of TKA recipients. To record the data, subjects stood on force plates and performed a “crossover” task by moving sagittally and transversely at the same time to push a button that recorded the start and stop times of their task. Twenty-three subjects participated; 12 healthy subjects were the controls, and 5 left- and 6 right-TKA recipients also contributed. Graphs of lower extremity rotation over time suggest that the task durations for the subjects with a replaced knee were longer than the controls’. Further analysis is in its preliminary stages. Data from 2 subjects were disqualified due to calibration errors. Future experimental improvements can include testing more subjects, calibrating force plates and buttons more often, and noting the dates of arthroplasty. Individuals who underwent TKA may have adapted to their replaced knees individually and modified their posture accordingly, suggesting that patients would benefit from personalized care.



COLLEGE Shareny Mota Reyes, Greg Long.

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL.

The two primary objectives of this research project were to empower and educate. Using a participatory action research (PAR) model, a sample of NIU students with disabilities was interviewed by the researcher. PAR is an approach that includes the subjects in the development and implementation of research that affects them. One goal was to empower students with disabilities by seeking their input in the development of interview questions as well as their subsequent responses. Prior research as well as anecdotal evidence indicates that students with disabilities face additional challenges to success in college. For example, many teachers lack background knowledge about students with disabilities, especially those who have invisible disabilities. This is particularly true regarding the importance of disability laws, accommodations, etiquette, and first-person language. Students’ responses to the interviews were reviewed to gather information and ideas for effective strategies to solve the issues that they confront.

This information will subsequently be used to create video tutorials as well as content for an AHRS 200 (disability in society) massive open online course currently under development. This project has helped us gain knowledge about people with disabilities and improved our comfort around them. We also obtained experience in qualitative research methodology, gained a greater perspective on using media to project community involvement, and became more aware of diversity on campus.

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PLAYERS Shannon Meggs, Sarah Strand.

Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA.

Kinesio Tape (KT), developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase in the 1970s, has revolutionized athletics throughout the world. Its unique ability to stretch up to 75% of its original length and not restrict movement has resulted in the use of this tape in a multitude of sports ranging from swimming to running. It has been theorized that it helps to stabilize loose joints and relieve strain on damaged soft tissue while also promoting better blood and lymphatic flow. We investigated the potential for Kinesio Tex Tape to increase quadriceps strength measurements in the subjects’ dominant leg over a period of 2 weeks. The quadriceps muscle is a powerful knee extensor and is important for squatting, jumping, running, and walking. The subjects’ muscular strength was tested using 5 different methods: isokinetic dynamometer (Humac Norm®), single hop test, triple hop test, vertical jump test, and the functional movement screen. Research participants were split into three groups: Kinesio Taping, placebo taping, and no taping. The Kinesio Tape group was taped using methods described by Dr. Kenzo Kase for the quadriceps muscle, while the placebo group also used KT, but it was applied transverse to the quadriceps muscle group. The transverse application of KT to the quadriceps muscle is not shown to have any effect on blood flow. The results of this research may have implications on whether KT is useful for increasing strength.




Anna Greene, Anthony Kline, Elizabeth Ogunsanya, Vincent Matiolla, Jacob Leary, Jeffrey Cheng, Christina Monaco.

University of Pittsburgh, Safar Center for Resuscitation Research, Pittsburg, PA.

Environmental enrichment (EE) consists of increased living space, complex stimuli, and social interaction that promotes exploration and confers improvements in behavioral outcome after experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI) vs. standard (STD) housing. However, as a model of rehabilitation, continuous EE is not clinically relevant due to the timing parameters of the typical EE. Specifically, TBI patients typically receive rehabilitation after the critical care period and then only for 3 to 6 hours per day. Thus, to mimic the clinic, the goal of this study was to determine whether delaying EE by 3 days and providing only 6 hours per day would provide similar benefits to continuous EE.

To address this rehabilitation relevant issue, isoflurane-anesthetized male rats were subjected to a cortical impact (2.8 mm depth at 4 m/s) or sham injury and randomly assigned to TBI+EE (continuous), TBI+EE (3-day delayed, 6 hr/day), and respective sham controls. Motor function (beam-balance/beam-walk) was assessed on post-operative days 1 to 5. Spatial learning/memory (Morris water maze) was evaluated on days 14 to 19. The data showed that EE, regardless of timing, improved motor and cognitive function compared to STD housing (p 0.0001). Moreover, there were no differences between the TBI+EE (continuous) and TBI+EE (3-day delayed, 6 hr/day); p 0.05. These data demonstrate that delayed and abbreviated EE produces motor and cognitive benefits similar to continuous EE after TBI and thus may be a rehabilitation-relevant EE paradigm. Ongoing studies are evaluating the effects of longer delays in implementing EE after TBI.




Natalie Gasca1, Stan Becker2.

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Pomona, CA, 2Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

1 In sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, substantial numbers of married or in-union women use contraceptives without the knowledge of their partners. Covert use is not ideal but is employed due to threats of violence, societal repercussions, and partner tension. Four hypotheses are explored here: covert use declines as contraceptive prevalence increases; covert use is more common when there are substantial differences in age and/or schooling


of partners; injectable contraception, where available, is the method of choice among covert users; and covert use is greater among older women and women in rural areas. We used DHS couple data from 8 SSA countries that had experienced at least a 10% increase in contraceptive use throughout 5 years or more. Also, we required for our analyses that these surveys include both partners’ responses regarding current contraceptive use. Covert use was then estimated by cross-tabulating the response of both sexes regarding current female modern-method usage.

Results are in progress, but we expect that educational differences, age differences, rural residency, and older age are determinants of covert use. Of the modern methods, we anticipate that injectable contraception is most commonly used. We also predict that increased societal acceptance of contraception, approximated by a contraception prevalence rate, decreases the need for covert use. Thus, bivariate tabulations of couple data will display several relationships between women’s demographics and covert contraception use. These findings will aid contraceptive program personnel in assessing covert use and the demand for certain methods in SSA countries.




Mata’uitafa Faiai1, Kristina Rother2.

Chaminade University of Honolulu, Honolulu, HI, 2National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 1 Health Section on Pediatric Diabetes and Metabolism, Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.

Nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS) are commonly used dietary tools which provide sweetness in foods and beverages without adding significant calories. The objective of our study was to determine whether perceived sweet taste intensity was associated with NNS consumption and to explore differences in perceived sweet taste intensity and NNS consumption among race, weight, age, and gender subgroups. We hypothesized that perceived sweet taste intensity would be inversely associated with NNS consumption. Forty healthy adults underwent a taste test and completed a semiquantitative NNS consumption questionnaire. During the taste test, 3 different concentrations of sucralose were applied to the tongue and then expectorated. Participants were asked to identify and rate the sensation on a 100 mm visual analog scale. Descriptive statistics were performed and t-tests and chi-squared tests were used as appropriate.

Perceived sweet taste intensity was inversely related to body weight (p = 0.047, c = -0.317).There was also a trend (p = 0.1146) toward elevated perceived sweet taste intensity among participants who self-identified as non-Hispanic white, as compared to those who identified as nonwhite. There was no association between sweet taste perception and NNS consumption, nor were there differences in NNS consumption or sweet taste perception based on race, age, weight, or gender. Contrary to our hypothesis, more intense sweet taste perception was not associated with lower consumption of NNS-containing foods and beverages. The inverse relationship between perceived sweet taste intensity and body weight has been previously reported and supports the validity of our taste testing measures.



Clint Brayfield1, Julie Shakib2.

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 2University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.

1 Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases have occurred frequently in child care settings over the last decade.

Many outbreaks have occurred in unimmunized or under-immunized groups of children. Little is known about parent attitudes toward immunizations in child care programs. For our study, we are conducting a parent survey in 10 childcare programs in Utah. This survey is intended to describe parents’ attitudes about the role of childcare providers and programs in ensuring that children enrolled in the program are up to date for required vaccines. The survey will also determine if parents are concerned about their child being at risk for vaccine preventable disease if they attend a childcare program with unvaccinated children and if certain parent characteristics are associated with their attitudes.

We are conducting a cross-sectional survey study of parents of children 6 years and under enrolled in childcare centers in Utah. Parents will be asked to return the survey by mail or in a drop-box at the childcare center. The survey will be distributed at the participating childcare centers 2 times with a 2 week interval between each distribution. For the second distribution, only parents who have not previously returned a survey will be asked to complete a survey.

Data from returned surveys will be entered into the University of Utah’s RedCAP database. The following statistics for each survey response will be calculated as applicable: means, standard deviations, frequencies, and percentages.

Study outcomes will guide future immunization strategies for children enrolled in childcare programs.




REGIONS Kim Tran, Jing Wu, Tony Yang.

University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA.

Neuroimaging studies for adolescents are expanding on studies from adult populations, which show connections between cognitive networks of people with major depressive disorder. Similarly, the main purpose for this study is to investigate the interactions between brain networks of depressed adolescents and healthy normal controls through a stop-signal task using an fMRI scanner. Relative to matched controls, adolescents with depression are hypothesized to show differences in limbic and frontal cognitive regions in anxiety-induced situations. For this study, blood-oxygenation, level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI is used to examine the brain activity of depressed adolescents and that of matched, healthy adolescents. The subjects undergo a stop-signal test that consists of rating happy or fearful faces as males or females, with stop signals in between. Preliminary results from the BOLD data indicate that possible differences between affective networks and cognitive networks influence depressive behavior in adolescents.

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