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Organic anion transporters (OATs) are a group of membrane proteins that are mainly involved in the body disposition of organic anionic molecules or zwitterions, including a diverse array of clinical therapeutics, environmental toxins, and endogenous molecules. OATs are present in multiple tissues. OATs in the kidney is responsible for removing various organic anion molecules from blood to proximal tubule lumen for subsequent elimination through urine. The regulation of OATs can be classified into multiple levels such as transcriptional regulation, translational regulation, and post-translational regulation. My thesis work focuses on the investigation of post-translational modification/regulation of OATs by ubiquitination and SUMOylation as well as their upstream signaling pathways. This thesis consists of 8 chapters. Chapter 1 gives an overview on the general properties of OATs. Chapters 2-6 describe our investigation on the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of OATs by post-translational modification ubiquitination and SUMOylation as well as their upstream signaling pathways including proteins kinases (sgks and PKA) and hormones (dexamethasone and insulin).
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Mobile computing is one of the largest untapped reservoirs in today’s pervasive computing world as it has the potential to enable a variety of in-situ, real-time applications. However, the domain of mobile computing suffers from the constraints of limited resources such as device battery, CPU, and memory while at the same time users’ expectations in terms of response times, accuracy, and data rates are increasing at a fast pace. As a result, achieving high energy efficiency while maintaining a high quality of service is a crucial challenge. Many of the mobile applications that are pervasive in our lives–such as localization, object/activity recognition, and mobile gaming to name a few–are expected to perform seamlessly with near-instantaneous responses, but are also affected by the same constraints. Current solutions based on offloading computationally-intensive applications from resource-constrained mobile devices to powerful remote computing platforms (such as the Cloud) or nearby mobile devices, suffer from uncertainty in wireless network connectivity or availability of devices in proximity, respectively.To overcome the limitation of current works, the paradigm of approximate computing emerges as a solution to enable resource-intensive mobile applications in resource-constrained environment. Approximate computing reduces the amount of computation that an application is expected to perform, as a result of which the execution time reduces, which in turn reduces the energy consumption of the application. The gain achieved via reduction in energy consumption, however, comes with a potential loss in the accuracy of the results (within acceptable limits). By leveraging approximate computing, we achieve dynamically a tradeoff between accuracy (or optimality of the results produced by an application) and utilization of the available resources (such as battery, CPU cycles,memory, and I/O data rate). The goal of this thesis is to design new techniques so as to enable real-time computation intensive mobile applications in resource-limited and uncertain environments. In order to achieve this goal, we leverage the paradigm of approximate computing and propose the following three solutions. First, approximation at the application level is introduced by joint optimization of algorithm and parameter space of different tasks in the application and a light-weight algorithm is developed that selects the approximated tasks that should be executed to meet the application deadline under uncertainties encountered at run-time. Second, temporal correlation between the continuous stream of frames obtained from the camera sensors is exploited to learn the application parameters that give acceptable accuracy in each frame of the video with significant savings in time and energy. The problem of selecting the algorithm and input parameters for a video is cast as a Markov Decision Process. Third, to reduce the energy consumption of data-intensive applications in distributed camera networks a novel protocol is proposed to identify the camera nodes in the network with correlated multimedia data. Low-computational-complexity metrics are used to quantify the correlation across cameras nodes by using only local knowledge of the network available to the camera nodes. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the proposed approaches is validated through extensive simulations on publicly available datasets and data collected by building multiple end-to-end computationally-intensive applications from the computer vision domain. The proposed innovations in this research will provide novel solutions to the issue of limited resource availability in mobile devices and will foster the development of mobile research community.
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Sacred Sisters: The Making of an Artists’ Book will present a conversation among artists and poets involved in making the artists’ book Sacred Sisters, which celebrates the lives of eight women—artists, musicians, providers, and leaders—who lived their lives in the service of others.The conversation will be hosted by MaryAnn L. Miller, a poet, printmaker, publisher, and longtime contributor to the New Jersey Book Arts Symposium. MaryAnn conceived of the project; Holly Trostle Brigham, an artist whose fabulous paintings illustrate the book, will participate and talk about her inspiration for the work, and Marilyn Nelson, professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut, the former poet laureate of Connecticut, and the 2017 winner of the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature, will participate and read from her Sacred Sisters poems.
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Ongoing interest in teachers as a source of leadership has led scholars and practitioners to seek definitional clarity around the term “teacher leadership” and to better understand both the teacher leader and the work the teacher leader does. This qualitative study investigated the experiences of informal teacher leaders in an effort to contribute to the body of research concerned with how teacher leadership is enacted and cultivated. For this study, informal teacher leaders were defined as full-time classroom teachers who also take on leadership work without formal leadership titles to designate those roles. Research questions were as follows: 1) How do informal teacher leaders define and conceptualize teacher leadership? 2) Why do informal teacher leaders engage in leadership? 3) How do informal teacher leaders perceive the impact of their work? 4) What factors influence informal teacher leaders’ leadership work? Data collection consisted of semi-structured phone interviews with 10 participants who self-identified as teacher leaders. Findings from this study provide important insights into key components of informal teacher leadership. First, informal teacher leaders go above and beyond their job description to engage in professional learning, collaboration, and advocacy. These three dimensions combine to operationalize a definition of informal teacher leadership. Second, informal teacher leaders understand their work as being accessible to all and focused on collective capacity building. These beliefs stand in contrast to conceptualizations that focus primarily on the role and characteristics of an individual as a source of teacher leadership. Third, informal teacher leaders are motivated by their deep commitment to learning, community, and the profession, which compel them to action despite disincentives. Fourth, informal teacher leaders perceive their impact to be most clearly evidenced in the changed attitudes and behaviors of their colleagues. Fifth, informal teacher leaders report their work is most directly impacted by the following conditions: their status as classroom teachers, relationships with colleagues, principal or administrative influence, and time constraints
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It is challenging to motivate and deeply engage students in inquiry-based science settings. Inquiry tasks are difficult, require the coordination of deep-level learning strategies, and extend over time. Despite these challenges, the curriculum supports found in inquiry-based curricula have the potential to provide optimal conditions for high quality motivational enactment in support of students’ basic need for autonomy. The existing literature has not yet provided insights into how teachers draw on inquiry curriculum with autonomy-supportive features and translate it into high quality enactment. Thus, we need information about how teachers work with, optimize, supplement and modify inquiry materials to have a fuller understanding of how their enactment supports student autonomy in optimal ways within inquiry contexts. The purpose of this study was to (1) examine how teachers interpret and notice the autonomy supportive features provided within inquiry curricula, (2) investigate the particular modifications and revisions teachers make when considering enactment of these motivating features, and (3) explore the rationales and reasons behind these enactment decisions. Data was collected from interviews and classroom observations from four inquiry teachers to examine how they augment, diminish, or enact as intended autonomy-supportive curriculum features. Teachers planned to enact the curriculum as intended 78% of the time and planned modifications 22% of the time. Encouragingly, 56% of these planned modifications enhanced student autonomy. Reasons influencing teachers to adopt autonomy-supportive practices were driven not only by teaching pressures, but also by various supports. Implications for inquiry curriculum developers and for elaborating our understanding of autonomy-supportive practices within inquiry contexts will be discussed. Findings underscore the importance of accounting for motivation curricular features in combination with teachers’ motivational beliefs as antecedents to their resulting motivational enactment.
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Rotorcraft are in use today as both unmanned and manned aerial vehicles, and are limited in performance by the size constraints on their propellers. In order to expand the nature and scope of missions that unmanned aerial vehicles can be used for, said performance limitations must be mitigated. As the payload requirements for rotorcraft increase, the thrust necessary to operate must also increase, which can be achieved to a certain extent by increasing the size of the propellers on the craft. However, large propellers increase the footprint of unmanned aerial vehicles, limiting their mobility in flight, their options for landing sites, and their transportability. When the use of increasingly larger propellers on the aircraft is no longer viable, an increase in the number of propellers is the next logical step. To increase the number of propellers without increasing the footprint of the craft, the propellers can be stacked so that they rotate coaxially. This investigation explains the reduction in the performance of downstream propellers in comparison to upstream and to single propeller arrangements. The loss of thrust is due to the wake of the upstream propeller applying a counter thrust to the downstream propeller. This study investigates methods to mitigate these thrust losses by alternating rotational direction, increasing separation distance, changing the balance of electrical power input, and varying the diameter of the propellers. Experiments were performed to compare the thrust output of contrarotating propellers and corotating propellers. Separation distance between the propellers was increased from the minimum possible up to a single diameter length and the effect on output was measured. The balance of electrical power input between the propellers was varied to determine which propeller should be powered first. The thrust and efficiency of systems of propellers with constant and increasing diameter are experimentally measured and compared to single propellers. Therefore, systems of propellers of increasing diameter may be viable for unmanned aerial vehicles whose mission requirements include maneuverability, transportability, and greater payload while accepting shorter fight times.
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Palliative care services aim to anticipate, prevent, and treat symptoms associated with life-threatening diseases. However, research has shown African Americans are less likely to engage in end of life services when compared to their non-African American counterparts. The purpose of this project was to assess end of life knowledge of African Americans, assess African Americans' ability to make an informed decision regarding the end-of-life care, provide a faith-based end of life education session, and evaluate its effectiveness. Imogene King's general system framework was used to structure and guide this project. A demographic survey and evidence-based tools were administered before the intervention and immediately following and two weeks after the intervention. A Friedman test was used to analyze change over time with pre and posttests 1 and 2, which showed a significance level of (p<0.01). Results indicate there were an overall increase in the mean PaCKS scores after the educational session.
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This project develops our understanding of the representation of women’s interests in politics by considering the role that men can play in advancing the substantive representation of women (SRW). I draw on the case of the United Kingdom Parliament, which over the last three decades has seen significant changes in the sex balance of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House of Commons. Using quantitative analysis of two legislative activities – Early Day Motions, and the annual International Women’s Day Debates – I first establish the patterns of men’s engagement in SRW. I argue that men’s role in representation women can be understood as what I term an “ancillary representatives” for women, which is a role that draws on a vantage point not accessible to women to help advance the SRW, while also remains secondary to women’s leadership role. The role played by men remains fairly consistent over time, with some evidence of a mainstreaming of women’s issues over time as the number of women in politics increases. Then, using interview data from 30 original interviews with sitting MPs (both men and women) and analysis of transcripts of interviews carried out with women MPs in 2004, I develop the idea of men as ancillary representatives by showing that they see themselves as holding a very distinct role in the representation of women, largely as a supporter or ally for women. The findings from the interview data also reinforces and develops the existing work in the literature on women’s representation first by showing that the logic of women’s difference and the importance of life experience in shaping the perspective of women in politics also applies in the case of men; and second by showing that an additional often unseen impact of women in politics is that they have the ability to also influence their male colleagues.
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To investigate how the occurrence of high-intensity conflict affects the adoption of gender quotas, this study builds on different strands of research on conflict, peace processes, gender quota adoption, and female representation, and proposes a causal path linking high-intensity conflict to post-conflict gender quota adoption in developing countries post-1995 through distinct causal steps: gender relations change and women mobilize due to the conflict, peace negotiations provide a platform and open a window of opportunity, and women’s activists, relying on their gained experience and networks, finally push for gender quota adoption in the post-conflict period. Examining the typical case of Burundi and the deviant case of Liberia with process tracing, this study finds that the proposed causal mechanisms are mostly present and hold some explanatory value. However, the difference in outcome and a brief reference to two additional cases demonstrate that the mechanisms in the proposed causal path are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions. Instead, they constitute contributing factors making the outcome of gender quota adoption more likely, while equifinality and causal heterogeneity in this research area should be emphasized. The study furthermore identifies theoretical implications for existing research as well as potential research areas for future studies.
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