2016 WSU Annual CGRS Abstracts

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    Exploring allicin from garlic as a method of wound control in soft tissue infections
    (Wichita State University, 2016-02-02) Johnson, Lauren J.; Beckman, Fawn; McDonald, J. David
    The antimicrobial properties of allicin, while long known, require further investigation in order to evaluate this garlic-derived chemical as an anti-infective agent against Staphylococcus aureus wound infection. S. aureus is well adapted to live on skin as either normal flora or as a pathogen. Indeed, it is carried as normal flora by approximately one-third of all people. Thus, there is an important ongoing clinical problem with wound infection by this pathogen along with the fact that antibiotics continue to lose their effectiveness against strains. This has motivated us to explore alternative methods to deal with this common clinical problem and allicin quickly emerged as an agent worthy of testing in a standardized wound infection model. Using a mouse model, we followed wound progression in the presence of different levels of allicin applied at the wound site, and compare that to uninfected and untreated controls. We followed the progression of this infection in a number of ways: visually (by periodic photography of the wound site), through the quantitative determination of inflammatory cytokine gene expression by the mouse host, through the quantitative determination of virulence factor gene expression by the pathogen, and histologic staining and microscopic analysis of wound tissue. These forms of analysis will serve as the basis for determining whether allicin is effective at controlling wound infection and, if so, to perhaps yield important clues about the mechanism by which it operates. These clues may be useful in designing more effective control on wound infection in the future.
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    Cost-effective surveillance and control strategies against the emerald ash borer threat in North America
    (Wichita State University, 2016-02-02) Kibis, Eyyub Y.; Buyuktahtakin, Esra
    The emerald ash borer (EAB), a pest of ash trees native to Asia, has been a threat to North America. More than 20 million ash trees have been killed since the beginning of the infestation, and thousands of them have been removed to slow down its impact. According to the USDA, EAB infestation represents a potential $60 billion loss to the U.S. economy. It is forecasted that the infestation has the potential to spread over all of North America by 2030, which can result in killing hundreds of millions of ash trees. Considering the fact that the Greater Kansas City area has more than 4.5 million ash trees and has been a confirmed EAB infestation area since 2012, further spread of the EAB may have a huge impact on the Kansas economy and environment. In this study, our objective is to maximize the net benefits of the ash trees on a given landscape by applying surveillance to the ash population, followed by treatment or removal of trees based on their infestation level. Specifically, we propose a new multistage stochastic programming model, which will allow us to consider all possible scenarios for surveillance, treatment, and removal decisions over a planning horizon to control the EAB invasion. Due to the model's complexity and state-of-the-art nature, we use a special-scenario reduction algorithm to reduce the size of the model. Results provide insights into surveillance and control policies, and provide an optimal strategy to minimize EAB infestation with a limited budget allocation.
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    A year of pediatric prevention
    (Wichita State University, 2016-02-02) Hildebrand, Bethany; Day, Jordan; West, Ronnie; Wallace, Michelle
    Unintentional injury remains the leading cause of death in children under 18 years of age in the United States. From 2003 to 2013, 93,941 unintentional deaths occurred in the pediatric population, not including the additional morbidity in survivors. This project aims to educate parents and providers about the most common unintentional pediatric injuries by composing a list of evidence-based strategies to reduce injury and mortality. After reviewing the National Vitals Statistic System from the CDC website, a list of common pediatric unintentional injuries was compiled. This list was narrowed to encompass 12 topics based on their burden of injury, cost to society, and feasibility of recommended actions. Each of these topics was studied further to produce evidence-based strategies for prevention. The clinical review article will be converted into a safety-themed calendar for parents and healthcare providers that raises awareness and provides information to prevent 12 common unintentional injuries in children.
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    Making the leap from traditional input devices: An evaluation of Leap Motion
    (Wichita State University, 2016-02-02) Haskins, Christal; Chaparro, Barbara S.
    The Leap Motion is a recently developed, touch-free gesture device that allows for natural interaction between a computer and a user. Currently, many research projects have explored the usability of Leap Motion compared to traditional-style mice (among other devices) using a standard Fitts' tapping test. However, these studies only offer a basic Fitts' analysis on throughput, movement time, and errors. The purpose of the current study was to conduct an exhaustive usability assessment of the Leap Motion, compared to a baseline traditional mouse, for point-and-click tasks using a basic Fitts' analysis, as well as the MacKenzie, Kauppinen, and Silfverberg's (2001) seven movement accuracy measures. Results suggest that Leap Motion is a viable device for point-and-click tasks, but generally inferior to the more familiar baseline device on standard Fitts' assessment measures. However, for specific cursor events, users with Leap Motion reentered targets less often and the two devices showed no differences on continuous navigation paths between on-screen targets. Based on the results, this study suggests that the Leap Motion is best used with targets in the upper 2/3 of a computer screen and with target sizes larger than typical computer icons. Since this study was conducted with a highly controlled and basic point-and-click task, further research must be conducted to better understand the advantages and limitations of this device.
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    SkyNet: A swarming drone system for smart disaster management
    (Wichita State University, 2016-02-02) Abhignan, Telakapalli; Wang, Pu
    Communication technologies play an important role in the case of disaster management to propagate and convey information to the concerned authorities. In October 2015, Southern Kansas suffered forty two earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 ML, representing 17% of earthquakes world-wide in that month. With this, we need accelerated efforts to develop a robust and well-defined disaster management communication system to avoid loss of life in Kansans. In addition to educating the populous in general, we must take advantage of modern technologies to create an emergency communications framework to alert people of potential risks and hazards and to help first responders initiate fast and efficient search and rescue efforts. More specifically, in the case of a disaster, mobile communications may not function due to potential damage to the provider infrastructure. However, people in the disaster areas still need to use internet based applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Internet Explorer, etc. to receive the latest information and contact friends and family members. Moreover, the first responders need to exploit Cloud Computing applications, e.g., facial recognition, google map, and infrastructure health assessment, to perform efficient and effective rescue operations. Networks for these applications can be easily established with mobile hotspots because of their flexible and minimal infrastructure. In our project we will design and develop an intelligent swarming drone system to provide mobile Wi-Fi hotspots to critical places where rescue is most needed. These drone swarms will automatically form an aerial wireless mesh network and provide high-speed Wi-Fi networking services over a large geographic area to provide the best information needed in an emergency.