2015 WSU Annual CGRS Abstracts

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    Emergent literacy: A look at how preschoolers begin to develop spelling skills
    (Wichita State University, 2015-02-15) Schmidt, Kiley; Marble-Flint, Karissa J.; Kordonowy, Jennifer; Strattman, Kathy H.
    Reading and spelling success in school relies on early phonological development. Much is known about emergent reading during preschool years, but less is known about spelling, the "hard copy" of phonological processing. The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a difference in sensitivity between two spelling score systems: invented spelling and bi-gram analysis as related to phonological awareness. Scores from forty children who have participated with a caregiver in an emergent literacy play group were examined. Data were gathered from both pre- and post- tests of the APELS. Preliminary analysis suggests that there is no difference in sensitivity between invented spelling and bi-gram analysis. An analysis of variance used to determine if there is a relationship between spelling and phonological awareness suggests that there is a significant positive relationship between phonological awareness and spelling scores.
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    S.N.A.P. gap
    (Wichita State University, 2015-02-15) Miller, Crystal A.; Hertzog, Jodie
    Childhood hunger is a health issue prevalent among children throughout the United States. Many families who live at or below the poverty level enroll and participate in programs to reduce the effects of hunger. The standardized Federal food assistance program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or S.N.A.P., is a program based on household income, disbursing monthly benefits to qualified participants. Other supplemental nutrition programs further assist families, such as the Free and Reduced school lunch program allowing qualifying students to consume breakfast and lunch meals at school. When school is not in session, however, the additional meals that qualified children receive within the school environment are not available to them. Instead, families must create additional meals out of their existing S.N.A.P. benefits or rely on various other supportive programing to meet their food needs. Using a small-scale community needs assessment approach, the current pilot project analyzed 35 publicly available news articles (18 in national news sources & 17 in Kansas news sources) published since 2013 in order to explore available programing and accessibility issues brought to the public's attention. Analysis focused on identifying gaps and resources that are in place to supplement the S.N.A.P. program. Findings indicate the majority of news articles focus on needed changes with slightly more articles focusing on national assistance programs than local despite an emphasis on charitable funding options. Implications for Kansas are highlighted.
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    Synthetic models for the active site of the nickel superoxide dismutase enzyme (NiSOD)
    (Wichita State University, 2015-02-15) Senaratne, Senaratnelage; Eichhorn, David M.
    The superoxide molecule is an inevitable byproduct of aerobic respiration, which is the process by which nutrients are converted into useful energy in cells. If not regulated, superoxide causes significant cellular damage, leading to various diseases such as cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and some neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Superoxide dismutases (SODs) are enzymes which are responsible for detoxifying superoxide by helping to convert it into molecular oxygen and hydrogen peroxide, thereby protecting biological systems from oxidative damage. Among the four different SODs known, nickel-containing superoxide dismutase (NiSOD) has been discovered recently in Streptomyces species and cyanobacteria. NiSOD has a strikingly different geometry from other SODs and the relationship between the structure of NiSOD and its function is still not fully understood. We have been making two kinds of synthetic models for the NiSOD active site, which is the part of the enzyme responsible for its function. All these models have been characterized by various physical methods, including single-crystal X-ray crystallography. The ability of the model compounds to perform the enzymatic function will also be assessed. Using the information gained from this study, we hope to understand how the NiSOD enzyme works and suggest a new direction for the development of a new class of drugs to treat SOD deficiency and related diseases.
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    Adding game-like elements to an armored vehicle recognition training
    (Wichita State University, 2015-02-15) Smith, Dustin C.; Palmer, Evan M.; Turner, Colton; Keebler, Joseph R.
    Fratricide, or friendly-fire accidents, account for an overwhelming number of casualties during military operations. Gadsden and Outteridge (2006) examined the varying causes of fratricide across the reported incidents. They noted that misidentification accounted for a significant number of fratricide accidents. If methods to reduce misidentification errors are found, fratricide accidents should decrease as a result (Gadsden et al., 2008; Keebler, Sciarini, Jenstch, Fincannon, & Nicholson, 2008). The purpose of this research is to investigate novel training techniques that manipulate the structure of training rewards to reduce misidentification errors. Participants were trained to identify armored vehicles in one of three two-alternative forced-choice training conditions. Specifically, participants received feedback that emphasized response time, response accuracy, or neutral feedback. The feedback was manipulated using game-like points and sound effects. During training, participants receiving accuracy-emphasized feedback exhibited significantly higher training scores than both the speed emphasized, and control groups. As expected, the participants who received speed-emphasized feedback performed significantly faster than the other groups during training. Interestingly, when participants were later tested with a video armored vehicle identification task without feedback, the participants who received the accuracy-emphasized feedback were still significantly more accurate than the other groups. Future research should further manipulate the accuracy-emphasized reward structure to identify optimal ways to deliver feedback during armored vehicle recognition training
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    Characterization of ischemic muscle of peripheral artery disease patients by elemental concentration using energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy
    (Wichita State University, 2015-02-15) Duraisamy, Nithyanandhi; Geddam, David A.R.; Vu, Linh Q.; Cluff, Kim
    Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is characterized by atherosclerotic blockages of the arteries supplying blood to lower extremities and affects approximately 10 million lives in the United States. Functional testing, such as ankle brachial index (ABI), can identify reduced blood flow (due to blockages in the arteries) based on blood pressure differences between the ankle and arm. However, there is a need to measure more than just abnormal blood flow-there is a need to measure the secondary effects on the end organ (skeletal muscle). In this study, we evaluated the hypothesis that severity of muscle damage can be characterized by analyzing the differences in muscle elemental concentration. The objective of this study was to compare elemental concentration including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulfur in myofibers of gastrocnemius biopsies from control subjects and PAD patients. We obtained gastrocnemius biopsies from three subjects including control, claudicating and critical limb ischemia (CLI) patients. In total, 15 myofibers were analyzed, 5 from each tissue specimen. Using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), differences in elemental concentrations between control and PAD muscle samples were quantified. An analysis of variance was performed and significant differences (p<0.05) in muscle elemental concentration were found. SEM and EDS were able to characterize changes to the elemental concentration in PAD muscle, which correlated with clinical diagnosis of PAD. These findings may aid in the identification of neglected therapeutic targets and the development of specialized preventive or rehabilitative treatment plans.