Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 549

Search results for: STEM

549 Characterization of Banana (Musa spp.) Pseudo-Stem and Fruit-Bunch-Stem as a Potential Renewable Energy Resource

Authors: Nurhayati Abdullah, Fauziah Sulaiman, Muhamad Azman Miskam, Rahmad Mohd Taib


Banana pseudo-stem and fruit-bunch-stem are agricultural residues that can be used for conversion to bio-char, bio-oil, and gases by using thermochemical process. The aim of this work is to characterize banana pseudo-stem and banana fruit-bunch-stem through proximate analysis, elemental analysis, chemical analysis, thermo-gravimetric analysis, and heating calorific value. The ash contents of the banana pseudo-stem and banana fruit-bunch-stem are 11.0 mf wt.% and 20.6 mf wt.%; while the carbon content of banana pseudo-stem and fruit-bunch-stem are 37.9 mf wt.% and 35.58 mf wt.% respectively. The molecular formulas for banana stem and banana fruit-bunch-stem are C24H33NO26 and C19H29NO33 respectively. The measured higher heating values of banana pseudo-stem and banana fruit-bunch-stem are 15.5MJ/kg and 12.7 MJ/kg respectively. By chemical analysis, the lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose contents in the samples will also be presented. The feasibility of the banana wastes to be a feedstock for thermochemical process in comparison with other biomass will be discussed in this paper.

Keywords: banana waste, biomass, renewable energy, thermo-chemical characteristics

Procedia PDF Downloads 319
548 Using ROVs to Teach a Blended STEM Curriculum

Authors: Geoffrey A. Wright


Over the past year we have developed and implemented a blended STEM curriculum based on ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) underwater technology with over 300 students in grades 2–9. This paper presents an overview of the curriculum, what we have learned from the development and implementation, with suggestions of how to build a similar statewide ROV program, and how we will continue and enhance the effort this next year with more than 300 additional students. The benefits of the program are the application and blending of STEM principles using inquiry based instruction, where students have shown to increase in STEM self-efficacy and interest.

Keywords: STEM, technology, engineering, ROV

Procedia PDF Downloads 244
547 Up-Regulation of SCUBE2 Expression in Co-Cultures of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell and Breast Cancer Cells

Authors: Hirowati Ali, Aisyah Ellyanti, Dewi Rusnita, Septelia Inawati Wanandi


Stem cell has been known for its potency to be differentiated in many cells. Recently stem cell has been used for many treatment of degenerative medicine. It is still controversy whether stem cell can be used for therapy or these cells can activate cancer stem cell. SCUBE2 is a novel secreted and membrane-anchored protein which has been reported to its role in better prognosis and inhibition of cancer cell proliferation. Our study aims to observe whether stem cell can up-regulate SCUBE2 gene in MCF7 breast cancer cell line. We used in vitro study using MCF-7 cell treated with stem cell derived from placenta Wharton's jelly which has been known for its stemness and widely used. Our results showed that MCF-7 cell line grows up rapidly in 6-well culture dish. Stem cell was cultured in 6-well dish. After 50%-60% MCF-7 confluence, we co-cultured these cells with stem cells for 24 hours and 48 hours. We hypothesize SCUBE2 gene which is previously known for its higher expression in better prognosis of breast cancer, is up-regulated after stem cells addition in MCF7 culture dishes.

Keywords: breast cancer cells, inhibition of cancer cells, mesenchymal stem cells, SCUBE2

Procedia PDF Downloads 153
546 Saudi Arabian Science and Mathematics Teachers’ Attitudes toward Integrating STEM in Teaching before and after Participating in a Professional Development Workshop

Authors: Abdulwali H. Aldahmash, Naem M. Alamri


The purpose of this study was to analyze Saudi Arabian science and mathematics teachers’ attitudes toward integrating STEM in teaching before and after they participated in a professional development workshop focused on STEM integration in a specific middle school science and mathematics unit. The participants were 48 Saudi Arabian science and mathematics teachers who participated in a three-day workshop held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The research method was a pretest-posttest group design. The primary data source was the instrument for teachers' attitudes toward teaching integrated STEM. The results indicate that Saudi Arabian science and mathematics teachers’ perceptions of difficulties decreased due to their participation in the professional development workshop on integrated STEM. Meanwhile, the teachers' self-efficacy improved following their participation in the STEM professional development (PD) workshop. However, no perceived effect was found for the teachers' perceptions of the relevance of or their anxiety about or enjoyment of integrated STEM teaching due to their participation in the three-day PD workshop.

Keywords: STEM integration, attitude toward STEM, STEM workshop, professional development

Procedia PDF Downloads 76
545 Modeling of Oxygen Supply Profiles in Stirred-Tank Aggregated Stem Cells Cultivation Process

Authors: Vytautas Galvanauskas, Vykantas Grincas, Rimvydas Simutis


This paper investigates a possible practical solution for reasonable oxygen supply during the pluripotent stem cells expansion processes, where the stem cells propagate as aggregates in stirred-suspension bioreactors. Low glucose and low oxygen concentrations are preferred for efficient proliferation of pluripotent stem cells. However, strong oxygen limitation, especially inside of cell aggregates, can lead to cell starvation and death. In this research, the oxygen concentration profile inside of stem cell aggregates in a stem cell expansion process was predicted using a modified oxygen diffusion model. This profile can be realized during the stem cells cultivation process by manipulating the oxygen concentration in inlet gas or inlet gas flow. The proposed approach is relatively simple and may be attractive for installation in a real pluripotent stem cell expansion processes.

Keywords: aggregated stem cells, dissolved oxygen profiles, modeling, stirred-tank, 3D expansion

Procedia PDF Downloads 217
544 STEM Curriculum Development Using Robotics with K-12 Students in Brazil

Authors: Flavio Campos


This paper describes an implementation of a STEM curriculum program using robotics as a technological resource at a private school in Brazil. Emphasized the pedagogic and didactic aspects and brings a discussion about STEM curriculum and the perspective of using robotics and the relation between curriculum, science and technologies into the learning process. The results indicate that STEM curriculum integration with robotics as a technological resource in K-12 students learning process has complex aspects, such as relation between time/space, the development of educators and the relation between robotics and other subjects. Therefore, the comprehension of these aspects could indicate some steps that we should consider when integrating STEM basis and robotics into curriculum, which can improve education for science and technology significantly.

Keywords: STEM curriculum, educational robotics, constructionist approach, education and technology

Procedia PDF Downloads 219
543 Umbilical Cord-Derived Cells in Corneal Epithelial Regeneration

Authors: Hasan Mahmud Reza


Extensive studies of the human umbilical cord, both basic and translational, over the last three decades have unveiled a plethora of information. The cord lining harbors at least two phenotypically different multipotent stem cells: mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and cord lining epithelial stem cells (CLECs). These cells exhibit a mixed genetic profiling of both embryonic and adult stem cells, hence display a broader stem features than cells from other sources. We have observed that umbilical cord-derived cells are immunologically privileged and non-tumorigenic by animal study. These cells are ethically acceptable, thus provides a significant advantage over other stem cells. The high proliferative capacity, viability, differentiation potential, and superior harvest of these cells have made them better candidates in comparison to contemporary adult stem cells. Following 30 replication cycles, these cells have been observed to retain their stemness, with their phenotype and karyotype intact. Transplantation of bioengineered CLEC sheets in limbal stem cell-deficient rabbit eyes resulted in regeneration of clear cornea with phenotypic expression of the normal cornea-specific epithelial cytokeratin markers. The striking features of low immunogenicity protecting self along with co-transplanted allografts from rejection largely define the transplantation potential of umbilical cord-derived stem cells.

Keywords: cord lining epithelial stem cells, mesenchymal stem cell, regenerative medicine, umbilical cord

Procedia PDF Downloads 38
542 Code-Switching among Local UCSI Stem and N-Stem Undergraduates during Knowledge Sharing

Authors: Adeela Abu Bakar, Minder Kaur, Parthaman Singh


In the Malaysian education system, a formal setting of English language learning takes place in a content-based classroom (CBC). Until recently, there is less study in Malaysia, which researched the effects of code-switching (CS) behaviour towards the students’ knowledge sharing (KS) with their peers. The aim of this study is to investigate the frequency, reasons, and effect that CS, from the English language to Bahasa Melayu, has among local STEM and N-STEM undergraduates towards KS in a content-based classroom. The study implies a mixed-method research design with questionnaire and interviews as the instruments. The data is collected through distribution of questionnaires and interviews with the undergraduates. The quantitative data is analysed using SPSS in simple frequencies and percentages, whereas qualitative data involves organizing the data into themes, followed by analysis. Findings found that N-STEM undergraduates code-switch more as compared to STEM undergraduates. In addition to that, both the STEM and N-STEM undergraduates agree that CS acts as a catalyst towards KS in a content-based classroom. However, they also acknowledge that excess use of CS can be a hindrance towards KS. The findings of the study can benefit STEM and N-STEM undergraduates, education policymakers, language teachers, university educators, and students with significant insights into the role of CS towards KS in a content-based classroom. Some of the recommendations that can be applied for future studies are that the number of participants can be increased, an observation to be included for the data collection.

Keywords: switching, content-based classroom, content and language integrated learning, knowledge sharing, STEM and N-STEM undergraduates

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541 Evaluation of Vine Stem Waste as a Filler Material for High Density Polyethylene

Authors: Y. Seki, A. Ç. Kılıç, M. Atagür, O. Özdemir, İ. Şen, K. Sever, Ö. Seydibeyoğlu, M. Sarikanat, N. Küçükdoğan


Cheap and abundant waste materials have been investigated as filler materials in thermoplastic polymers instead of wood- based materials because of deforestation. Vine stem, as an agricultural waste, was used as a filler material for a thermoplastic polymer, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in this study. Agricultural waste of vine stem was collected from Manisa region, Turkey. Vine stem at different rations was used to reinforce HDPE. The effect of vine stem loading on tensile strength and Young’s modulus of composites were obtained. It was clearly observed that tensile strength and Young’s modulus of HDPE was increased by vine stem loading. Thermal stabilities of composites were obtained by using thermogravimetric analysis. Water absorption behavior of HDPE was improved by loading vine stem into HDPE. The crystallinity index values of neat HDPE and vine stem loaded HDPE composites were investigated byX-ray diffraction analysis. From this study, it was inferred that vine stem, as an agricultural waste, can be used as a filler material for HDPE.

Keywords: waste filler, high density polyethylene, composite, composite materials

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540 Morphological Evaluation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Adipose Tissue of Dog Treated with Different Concentrations of Nano-Hydroxy Apatite

Authors: K. Barbaro, F. Di Egidio, A. Amaddeo, G. Lupoli, S. Eramo, G. Barraco, D. Amaddeo, C. Gallottini


In this study, we wanted to evaluate the effects of nano-hydroxy apatite (NHA) on mesenchymal stem cells extracted from subcutaneous adipose tissue of the dog. The stem cells were divided into 6 experimental groups at different concentrations of NHA. The comparison was made with a control group of stem cell grown in standard conditions without NHA. After 1 week, the cells were fixed with 10% buffered formalin for 1 hour at room temperature and stained with Giemsa, measured at the inverted optical microscope. The morphological evaluation of the control samples and those treated showed that stem cells adhere to the substrate and proliferate in the presence of nanohydroxy apatite at different concentrations showing no detectable toxic effects.

Keywords: nano-hydroxy apatite, adipose mesenchymal stem cells, dog, morphological evaluation

Procedia PDF Downloads 338
539 Evaluation of Heavy Metal Concentrations of Stem and Seed of Juncus acutus for Grazing Animals and Birds in Kızılırmak Delta

Authors: N. Cetinkaya, F. Erdem


Juncus acutus (Juncaceae) is a perennial wetland plant and it is commonly known as spiny rush or sharp rush. It is the most abundant plant in Kizilirmak grassland, Samsun, Turkey. Heavy metals are significant environmental contaminants in delta and their toxicity is an increasing problem for animals whose natural habitat is delta. The objective of this study was to evaluate heavy metal concentrations mainly As, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb and Hg in stem and seed of Juncus acutus for grazing animals and birds in delta. The Juncus acutus stem and seed samples were collected from Kizilirmak Delta in July, August and September. Heavy metal concentrations of collected samples were analyzed by Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS). The obtained mean values of three months for As, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb and Hg of stem and seed samples of Juncus acutus were 0.11 and 0.23 mg/kg; 0.07 and 0.11 mg/kg; 0.02 and 0.02 mg/kg; 5.26 and 1.75 mg/kg; 0.05 and not detectable in July respectively. Hg was not detected in both stem and seed of Juncus acutus, Pb concentration was determined only in stem of Juncus acutus but not in seed. There were no significant differences between the values of three months for As, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb and Hg of stem and seed samples of Juncus acutus. The obtained As, Cd, Sb, Ba, Pb and Hg results of stem and seed of Juncus acutus show that seed and stem of Juncus acutus may be safely consumed for grazing animals and birds regarding to heavy metals contamination in Kizilirmak Delta.

Keywords: heavy metals, Juncus acutus, Kizilirmak Delta, wetland

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538 Epigenomic Analysis of Lgr5+ Stem Cells in Gastrointestinal Tract

Authors: Hyo-Min Kim, Seokjin Ham, Mi-Joung Yoo, Minseon Kim, Tae-Young Roh


The gastrointestinal (GI) tract of most animals, including murine, is highly compartmentalized epithelia which also provide distinct different functions of its own tissue. Nevertheless, these epithelia share certain characteristics that enhance immune responses to infections and maintain the barrier function of the intestine. GI tract epithelia also undergo regeneration not only in homeostatic conditions but also in a response to the damage. A full turnover of the murine gastrointestinal epithelium occurs every 4-5 day, a process that is regulated and maintained by a minor population of Lgr5+ adult stem cell that commonly conserved in the bottom of crypts through GI tract. Maintenance of the stem cell is somehow regulated by epigenetic factors according to recent studies. Chromatin vacancy, remodelers, histone variants and histone modifiers could affect adult stem cell fate. In this study, Lgr5-EGFP reporter mouse was used to take advantage of exploring the epigenetic dynamics among Lgr5 positive mutual stem cell in GI tract. Cells were isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), gene expression levels, chromatin accessibility changes and histone modifications were analyzed. Some notable chromatin structural related epigenetic variants were detected. To identify the overall cell-cell interaction inside the stem cell niche, an extensive genome-wide analysis should be also followed. According to the results, nevertheless, we expected a broader understanding of cellular niche maintaining stem cells and epigenetic barriers through conserved stem cell in GI tract. We expect that our study could provide more evidence of adult stem cell plasticity and more chances to understand each stem cell that takes parts in certain organs.

Keywords: adult stem cell, epigenetics, LGR5 stem cell, gastrointestinal tract

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537 Stem Covers of Leibniz n-Algebras

Authors: Natália Maria Rego


ALeibnizn-algebraGis aK-vector space endowed whit a n-linearbracket operation [-,…-] : GG … G→ Gsatisfying the fundamental identity, which can be expressed saying that the right multiplication map Ry2, …, ᵧₙ: Gn→ G, Rᵧ₂, …, ᵧₙn(ˣ¹, …, ₓₙ) = [[ˣ¹, …, ₓₙ], ᵧ₂, …, ᵧₙ], is a derivation. This structure, together with its skew-symmetric version, named as Lie n-algebra or Filippov algebra, arose in the setting of Nambumechanics, an n-ary generalization of the Hamiltonian mechanics. Thefirst goal of this work is to provide a characterization of various classes of central extensions of Leibniz n-algebras in terms of homological properties. Namely, Commutator extension, Quasi-commutator extension, Stem extension, and Stem cover. These kind of central extensions are characterized by means of the character of the map *(E): nHL1(G) → M provided by the five-term exact sequence in homology with trivial coefficients of Leibniz n-algebras associated to an extension E : 0 → M → K → G → 0. For a free presentation 0 →R→ F →G→ 0of a Leibniz n-algebra G,the term M(G) = (R[F,…n.., F])/[R, F,..n-1..,F] is called the Schur multiplier of G, which is a Baer invariant, i.e., it does not depend on the chosen free presentation, and it is isomorphic to the first Leibniz n-algebras homology with trivial coefficients of G. A central extension of Leibniz n-algebras is a short exact sequenceE : 0 →M→K→G→ 0such that [M, K,.. ⁿ⁻¹.., K]=0. It is said to be a stem extension if M⊆[G, .. n.., G]. Additionally, if the induced map M(K) → M(G) is the zero map, then the stem extension Eis said to be a stem cover. The second aim of this work is to analyze the interplay between stem covers of Leibniz n-algebras and the Schur multiplier. Concretely, in the case of finite-dimensional Leibniz n-algebras, we show the existence of coverings, and we prove that all stem covers with finite-dimensional Schur multiplier are isoclinic. Additionally, we characterize stem covers of perfect Leibniz n-algebras.

Keywords: leibniz n-algebras, central extensions, Schur multiplier, stem cover

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536 Survey Investigation of Perceptions of Technologists among Primary Students: Stereotypes, Diversity, and Their Use of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Authors: Tian Luo, Wing Mui Winnie So


Gaining career awareness in STEM is an important educational outcome in STEM education. While many studies focused on students’ understanding of scientists and engineers, very few studies explore students’ perceptions of technologists as a group of STEM professionals. In this study, 300 valid surveys which include drawing task and follow-up questions about technologist were collected from 4th to 6th grade students. The results showed that 75.1% of the students draw a technologist as a male and 19.3% draw a technologist as a female. Most students believe that technologists use math, science or engineering in their work and can name a few categories of technologists. The drawings also showed that students tend to present technologists as people who work with a computer.

Keywords: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, elementary students, technologist, STEM careers

Procedia PDF Downloads 137
535 A Case Study of Mobile Game Based Learning Design for Gender Responsive STEM Education

Authors: Raluca Ionela Maxim


Designing a gender responsive Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) mobile game based learning solution (mGBL) is a challenge in terms of content, gamification level and equal engagement of girls and boys. The goal of this case study was to research and create a high-fidelity prototype design of a mobile game that contains role-models as avatars that guide and expose girls and boys to STEM learning content. For this research purpose it was applied the methodology of design sprint with five-phase process that combines design thinking principles. The technique of this methodology comprises smart interviews with STEM experts, mind-map creation, sketching, prototyping and usability testing of the interactive prototype of the gender responsive STEM mGBL. The results have shown that the effect of the avatar/role model had a positive impact. Therefore, by exposing students (boys and girls) to STEM role models in an mGBL tool is helpful for the decreasing of the gender inequalities in STEM fields.

Keywords: design thinking, design sprint, gender-responsive STEM education, mobile game based learning, role-models

Procedia PDF Downloads 26
534 The Role of E-Learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education

Authors: Annette McArthur


The traditional model of teaching and learning, where ICT sits as a separate entity is not a model for a 21st century school. It is imperative that teaching and learning embraces technological advancements. The challenge in schools lies in shifting the mindset of teachers so they see ICT as integral to their teaching, learning and curriculum rather than a separate E-Learning curriculum stream. This research project investigates how the effective, planned, intentional integration of ICT into a STEM curriculum, can enable the shift in the teacher mindset. The project incorporated: • Developing a professional coaching relationship with key STEM teachers. • Facilitating staff professional development involving student centered project based learning pedagogy in the context of a STEM curriculum. • Facilitating staff professional development involving digital literacy. • Establishing a professional community where collaboration; sharing and reflection were part of the culture of the STEM community. • Facilitating classroom support for the effective delivery innovative STEM curriculum. • Developing STEM learning spaces where technologies were used to empower and engage learners to participate in student-centered, project-based learning.

Keywords: e-learning, ICT, project based learning, STEM

Procedia PDF Downloads 200
533 Girls' Underperformance in Science: From Biological Determinism and Feminist Perspectives

Authors: Raza Ullah, Hazir Ullah


There is ample evidence that reveals the outstanding performance of girls in a different range of subjects. However, it is pertinent to mention here that boys have historically dominated girls, particularly in math, physics, and technological subjects across the globe with the exception of few developed countries. This article examines the reasons why girls are underdog in STEM subjects. The article critically analyzes two main approaches towards gender and education: biological determinist and feminist. This article highlights that social factors influencing girls performance in STEM subjects have not analyzed critically, and girls underachieving in science has linked with biological and sex differences. The article concludes that the underperformance of girls in a STEM subject is the direct response of socio-cultural factors. Thus, socio-cultural factors are responsible for the dearth of girls in STEM subjects.

Keywords: gender, underperformance, STEM, education, sex

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532 Biohydrogen Production Derived from Banana Pseudo Stem of Agricultural Residues by Dark Fermentation

Authors: Kholik


Nowadays, the demand of renewable energy in general is increasing due to the crisis of fossil fuels. Biohydrogen is an alternative fuel with zero emission derived from renewable resources such as banana pseudo stem of agricultural residues. Banana plant can be easily found in tropical and subtropical areas, so the resource is abundant and readily available as a biohydrogen substrate. Banana pseudo stem has not been utilised as a resource or substrate of biohydrogen production and it mainly contains 45-65% cellulose (α-cellulose), 5-15% hemicellulose and 20-30% Lignin, which indicates that banana pseudo stem will be renewable, sustainable and promising resource as lignocellulosic biomass. In this research, biohydrogen is derived from banana pseudo stem by dark fermentation. Dark fermentation is the most suitable approach for practical biohydrogen production from organic solid wastes. The process has several advantages including a fast reaction rate, no need of light, and a smaller footprint. 321 million metric tonnes banana pseudo stem of 428 million metric tonnes banana plantation residues in worldwide for 2013 and 22.5 million metric tonnes banana pseudo stem of 30 million metric tonnes banana plantation residues in Indonesia for 2015 will be able to generate 810.60 million tonne mol H2 and 56.819 million tonne mol H2, respectively. In this paper, we will show that the banana pseudo stem is the renewable, sustainable and promising resource to be utilised and to produce biohydrogen as energy generation with high yield and high contain of cellulose in comparison with the other substrates.

Keywords: banana pseudo stem, biohydrogen, dark fermentation, lignocellulosic

Procedia PDF Downloads 187
531 Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells as a Potential Source for Cell Therapy in Liver Disorders

Authors: Laila Montaser, Hala Gabr, Maha El-Bassuony, Gehan Tawfeek


Orthotropic liver transplantation (OLT) is the final procedure of both end stage and metabolic liver diseases. Hepatocyte transplantation is an alternative for OLT, but the sources of hepatocytes are limited. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) can differentiate into hepatocyte-like cells and are a potential alternative source for hepatocytes. The MSCs from bone marrow are a promising target population as they are capable of differentiating along multiple lineages and, at least in vitro, have significant expansion capability. MSCs from bone marrow may have the potential to differentiate in vitro and in vivo into hepatocytes. Our study examined whether mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are stem cells originated from human bone marrow, are able to differentiate into functional hepatocyte-like cells in vitro. Our aim was to investigate the differentiation potential of BM-MSCs into hepatocyte-like cells. Adult stem cell therapy could solve the problem of degenerative disorders, including liver disease.

Keywords: bone marrow, differentiation, hepatocyte, stem cells

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530 HPTLC Based Qualitative and Quantitative Evaluation of Uraria picta Desv: A Dashmool Species

Authors: Hari O. Saxena, Ganesh


In the present investigation, chemical fingerprints of methanolic extracts of roots, stem and leaves of Uraria picta were developed using HPTLC technique. These fingerprints will be useful for authentication as well as in differentiating the species from adulterants. These will also serve as a biochemical marker for this valuable species in pharmaceutical industries and plant systemic studies. Roots, stem and leaves of Uraria picta were further evaluated for quantification of an active ingredient lupeol to find out alternatives to roots. Results showed more content of lupeol in stem (0.048%, dry wt.) as compare to roots (0.017%, dry wt.) suggesting the utilization of stem in place of roots. It will avoid uprooting of this prestigious plant which ultimately will promote its conservation.

Keywords: chemical fingerprints, lupeol, quantification, Uraria picta

Procedia PDF Downloads 127
529 'The Network' - Cradle to Cradle Engagement Framework for Women in STEM

Authors: Jessica Liqin Kong


Female engineers and scientists face unique challenges in their careers that make the development of professional networks crucial, but also more difficult. Working to overcome these challenges, ‘The Network’ was established in 2013 at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia as an alumni chapter with the purpose of evoking continuous positive change for female participation and retention in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). ‘The Network’ adopts an innovative model for a Women in STEM alumni chapter which was inspired by the cradle to cradle approach to engagement, and the concept of growing and harvesting individual and collective social capital through a variety of initiatives. ‘The Network’ fosters an environment where the values exchanged in social and professional relationships can be capitalized for both current and future women in STEM. The model of ‘The Network’ acts as a simulation and opportunity for participants to further develop their leadership and other soft skills through learning, building and experimenting with ‘The Network’.

Keywords: women in STEM, engagement, Cradle-to-Cradle, social capital

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528 Using Systems Theory and Collective Impact Approaches to Increase the Retention and Success of University Student Stem Majors

Authors: Araceli Martínez Ortiz


An educational research effort is analyzed using systems theory to document the power of collective impact when addressing multiple factors contributing towards the retention of students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) academic programs. This research promotes understanding on how networked communities may work effectively toward a shared vision and mutually aligned activities that result in sustained, large scale change. The actions of a team of researchers in their third year of collaboration are presented to describe a model that positively aligns work efforts resulting in greater total gains. The goals of the multiple programs managed by the funded program team are to: 1) expand the number of students who choose to study a STEM field of study; 2) promote student collaborative learning; 3) support faculty understanding of the funds of knowledge of diverse students and 4) establish innovative and robust STEM education research that will lead to the development of nationally replicable, scalable models for broadening participation in STEM. The impacts of this research effort are measured through quantitative statistical analysis of the changes in second-year STEM undergraduate student retention rates and representation rates of women, Hispanics and African American STEM majors.

Keywords: collaborative impact, diversity, student retention, systems theory, STEM education

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527 Biological Optimization following BM-MSC Seeding of Partially Demineralized and Partially Demineralized Laser-Perforated Structural Bone Allografts Implanted in Critical Femoral Defects

Authors: S. AliReza Mirghasemi, Zameer Hussain, Mohammad Saleh Sadeghi, Narges Rahimi Gabaran, Mohamadreza Baghaban Eslaminejad


Background: Despite promising results have shown by osteogenic cell-based demineralized bone matrix composites, they need to be optimized for grafts that act as structural frameworks in load-bearing defects. The purpose of this experiment is to determine the effect of bone-marrow-mesenchymal-stem-cells seeding on partially demineralized laser-perforated structural allografts that have been implanted in critical femoral defects. Materials and Methods: P3 stem cells were used for graft seeding. Laser perforation in four rows of three holes was achieved. Cell-seeded grafts were incubated for one hour until they were planted into the defect. We used four types of grafts: partially demineralized only (Donly), partially demineralized stem cell seeded (DST), partially demineralized laser-perforated (DLP), and partially demineralized laser-perforated stem cell seeded (DLPST). histologic and histomorphometric analysis were performed at 12 weeks. Results: Partially demineralized laser-perforated had the highest woven bone formation within graft limits, stem cell seeded demineralized laser-perforated remained intact, and the difference between partially demineralized only and partially demineralized stem cell seeded was insignificant. At interface, partially demineralized laser-perforated and partially demineralized only had comparable osteogenesis, but partially demineralized stem cell seeded was inferior. The interface in stem cell seeded demineralized laser-perforated was almost replaced by distinct endochondral osteogenesis with higher angiogenesis in the vicinity. Partially demineralized stem cell seeded and stem cell seeded demineralized laser-perforated graft surfaces had extra vessel-ingrowth-like porosities, a sign of delayed resorption. Conclusion: This demonstrates that simple cell-based composites are not optimal and necessitates the supplementation of synergistic stipulations and surface changes.

Keywords: structural bone allograft, partial demineralization, laser perforation, mesenchymal stem cell

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526 Preparation of Natural Polymeric Scaffold with Desired Pore Morphology for Stem Cell Differentiation

Authors: Mojdeh Mohseni


In the context of tissue engineering, the effect of microtopography as afforded by scaffold morphology is an important design parameter. Since the morphology of pores can effect on cell behavior, in this study, porous Chitosan (CHIT) - Gelatin (GEL)- Alginate (ALG) scaffolds with microtubule orientation structure were manufactured by unidirectional freeze-drying method and the effect of pore morphology on differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) was investigated. This study showed that, the provided scaffold with natural polymer had good properties for cell behavior and the pores with highest orientation rate have produced appropriate substrate for the differentiation of stem cells.

Keywords: Chitosan, gelatin, Alginate, pore morphology, stem cell differentiation

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525 Integrative Biology Teaching and Learning Model Based on STEM Education

Authors: Narupot Putwattana


Changes in global situation such as environmental and economic crisis brought the new perspective for science education called integrative biology. STEM has been increasingly mentioned for several educational researches as the approach which combines the concept in Science (S), Technology (T), Engineering (E) and Mathematics (M) to apply in teaching and learning process so as to strengthen the 21st-century skills such as creativity and critical thinking. Recent studies demonstrated STEM as the pedagogy which described the engineering process along with the science classroom activities. So far, pedagogical contents for STEM explaining the content in biology have been scarce. A qualitative literature review was conducted so as to gather the articles based on electronic databases (google scholar). STEM education, engineering design, teaching and learning of biology were used as main keywords to find out researches involving with the application of STEM in biology teaching and learning process. All articles were analyzed to obtain appropriate teaching and learning model that unify the core concept of biology. The synthesized model comprised of engineering design, inquiry-based learning, biological prototype and biologically-inspired design (BID). STEM content and context integration were used as the theoretical framework to create the integrative biology instructional model for STEM education. Several disciplines contents such as biology, engineering, and technology were regarded for inquiry-based learning to build biological prototype. Direct and indirect integrations were used to provide the knowledge into the biology related STEM strategy. Meanwhile, engineering design and BID showed the occupational context for engineer and biologist. Technological and mathematical aspects were required to be inspected in terms of co-teaching method. Lastly, other variables such as critical thinking and problem-solving skills should be more considered in the further researches.

Keywords: biomimicry, engineering approach, STEM education, teaching and learning model

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524 Machine Learning and Metaheuristic Algorithms in Short Femoral Stem Custom Design to Reduce Stress Shielding

Authors: Isabel Moscol, Carlos J. Díaz, Ciro Rodríguez


Hip replacement becomes necessary when a person suffers severe pain or considerable functional limitations and the best option to enhance their quality of life is through the replacement of the damaged joint. One of the main components in femoral prostheses is the stem which distributes the loads from the joint to the proximal femur. To preserve more bone stock and avoid weakening of the diaphysis, a short starting stem was selected, generated from the intramedullary morphology of the patient's femur. It ensures the implantability of the design and leads to geometric delimitation for personalized optimization with machine learning (ML) and metaheuristic algorithms. The present study attempts to design a cementless short stem to make the strain deviation before and after implantation close to zero, promoting its fixation and durability. Regression models developed to estimate the percentage change of maximum principal stresses were used as objective optimization functions by the metaheuristic algorithm. The latter evaluated different geometries of the short stem with the modification of certain parameters in oblique sections from the osteotomy plane. The optimized geometry reached a global stress shielding (SS) of 18.37% with a determination factor (R²) of 0.667. The predicted results favour implantability integration in the short stem optimization to effectively reduce SS in the proximal femur.

Keywords: machine learning techniques, metaheuristic algorithms, short-stem design, stress shielding, hip replacement

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523 Plasma Engineered Nanorough Substrates for Stem Cells in vitro Culture

Authors: Melanie Macgregor-Ramiasa, Isabel Hopp, Patricia Murray, Krasimir Vasilev


Stem cells based therapies are one of the greatest promises of new-age medicine due to their potential to help curing most dreaded conditions such as cancer, diabetes and even auto-immune disease. However, establishing suitable in vitro culture materials allowing to control the fate of stem cells remain a challenge. Amongst the factor influencing stem cell behavior, substrate chemistry and nanotopogaphy are particularly critical. In this work, we used plasma assisted surface modification methods to produce model substrates with tailored nanotopography and controlled chemistry. Three different sizes of gold nanoparticles were bound to amine rich plasma polymer layers to produce homogeneous and gradient surface nanotopographies. The outer chemistry of the substrate was kept constant for all substrates by depositing a thin layer of our patented biocompatible polyoxazoline plasma polymer on top of the nanofeatures. For the first time, protein adsorption and stem cell behaviour (mouse kidney stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells) were evaluated on nanorough plasma deposited polyoxazoline thin films. Compared to other nitrogen rich coatings, polyoxazoline plasma polymer supports the covalent binding of proteins. Moderate surface nanoroughness, in both size and density, triggers cell proliferation. In association with polyoxazoline coating, cell proliferation is further enhanced on nanorough substrates. Results are discussed in term of substrates wetting properties. These findings provide valuable insights on the mechanisms governing the interactions between stem cells and their growth support.

Keywords: nanotopography, stem cells, differentiation, plasma polymer, oxazoline, gold nanoparticles

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522 Determination of Agricultural Characteristics of Smooth Bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss) Lines under Konya Regional Conditions

Authors: Abdullah Özköse, Ahmet Tamkoç


The present study was conducted to determine the yield and yield components of smooth bromegrass lines under the environmental conditions of the Konya region during the growing seasons between 2011 and 2013. The experiment was performed in the randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. It was found that the selected lines had a statistically significant effect on all the investigated traits, except for the main stem length and the number of nodes in the main stem. According to the two-year average calculated for various parameters checked in the smooth bromegrass lines, the main stem length ranged from 71.6 cm to 79.1 cm, the main stem diameter from 2.12 mm from 2.70 mm, the number of nodes in the main stem from 3.2 to 3.7, the internode length from 11.6 cm to 18.9 cm, flag leaf length from 9.7 cm to 12.7 cm, flag leaf width from 3.58 cm to 6.04 mm, herbage yield from 221.3 kg da–1 to 354.7 kg da–1 and hay yield from 100.4 kg da–1 to 190.1 kg da–1. The study concluded that the smooth bromegrass lines differ in terms of yield and yield components. Therefore, it is very crucial to select suitable varieties of smooth bromegrass to obtain optimum yield.

Keywords: semiarid region, smooth bromegrass, yield, yield components

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521 Preparation of POMA Nanofibers by Electrospinning and Its Applications in Tissue Engineering

Authors: Lu-Chen Yeh‚ Jui-Ming Yeh


In this manuscript, we produced neat electrospun poly(o-methoxyaniline) (POMA) fibers and utilized it for applying the growth of neural stem cells. The transparency and morphology of as-prepared POMA fibers were characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy, respectively. It was found to have no adverse effects on the long-term proliferation of the neural stem cells (NSCs), retained the ability to self-renew, and exhibit multi-potentiality. Results of immunofluorescence staining studies confirmed that POMA electrospun fibers could provide a great environment for NSCs and enhance its differentiation.

Keywords: electrospun, polyaniline, neural stem cell, differentiation

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520 Conserved Stem-Loop Structure at the End of Short Interspersed Nuclear Elements (SINE) and Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements (LINE) Pairs of Different Species

Authors: Daria Grechishnikova, Maria Poptsova


Transposable elements play an important role in the evolution of various species from bacteria to human. Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements (LINEs) and Short Interspersed Nuclear Elements (SINEs) are two major classes of retrotransposons that occupy a considerable part of any genome and their copy numbers can range form several hundreds to a million. Both LINEs and SINEs multiply through a copy-and-paste mechanism. LINEs encode proteins, which make them capable of self-propagation while SINEs are parasitic and require the machinery of LINEs to multiply. The mechanisms how LINE and SINE RNA is recognized by the LINE-encoded reverse transcriptase (RT) remain unclear. For some SINE-LINE pairs, it was shown that they share a common 3’-end with a stem-loop structure. Majority of the SINE-LINE pairs do not have a common 3’-end. Recently we have shown that in the human genome Alu-L1 pairs have structurally similar stem-loop structure at the 3’-end. Here we extended our analysis to a wide range of species and analyzed LINEs from 161 different species from Repbase and 217 SINE sequences from SINEBase. It appeared that all of the analyzed sequences contained stem-loop structures at the 3’-end. Here we conclude that it is very likely that a common evolutionary mechanism of transposon RNA recognition requires the presence of stem-loop structures at their 3’-end.

Keywords: LINE, SINE, mechanisms of retrotransposition, retrotransposons, stem-loop, stem-loop structures, transposons

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