Winter 2012 Biomedical Seminar Series
Friday, February 10, 2012
Morality and Political Persuasion
MARC U*STAR Fellow
University of Minnesota Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) in the Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences
Abstract: George Lakoff argues that people implicitly relate politics in terms of family metaphors. Moral languages, such as Âstrict fatherÂ and Ânurturant parent,Â act as a prime to persuade individuals to accept political messages consistent with their implicit cognitive schemas. Using these schemas, individuals can instantly make decisions about public policy based on their reaction to the message being presented. To address this claim participants were asked to read three political articles and complete a survey that gauges their overall reaction to the letter based on the moral structure. It was hypothesized that using moral language to convey either liberal or conservative views would receive overall positive reactions when presented with morally induced articles consistent with their political orientation. However, contrary to the hypothesis, it was observed that using moral language had an adverse effect, with individuals showing less positive reactions to the morally structured articles matching their self-reported political affiliation.
Capacitance Based Phase-Locked Loop Torque Magnetometry
MARC U*STAR Fellow
Summer Research Site: Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM), Princeton University, NJ
Abstract: Detecting the weak magnetic response from micrometer and sub-micrometer measurements has become a challenge for current torque magnetometry methods. A phase-locked loop based cantilever torque magnetometry method is being developed to make ultrasensitive magnetic measurements on small superconducting crystal samples. The phase-locked loop has been designed and tested for lock and lock range. A homemade coil used to produce a magnetic field has been tested on a cantilever, and induced oscillation of the cantilever has been observed, although the center of oscillation rises with time. Resolution in the order of 10-16 emu has been obtained by J. Jang1 et al by similar methods to those being used, making this a promising technique.
A mitochondrial mechanism for the cardioprotective effects of epicatechin
Christine de la Fuente
MARC U*STAR Fellow
STARS Program at the University of California, San Diego
Studies have linked high-flavanoid rich diets with improved cardiovascular health. Cocoa contains a large amount of flavonoids particularly the subtype known as flavanols. Epicatechin, a flavanol in chocolate has been shown to have cardioprotective capabilities. One study looked at the effects of epicatechin in the setting of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion. In this study, epicatechin was administered to rats prior to an ischemia-reperfusion injury (IR). Results showed that epicatechin decreased infarct size and preserved the heartÂs structure and function. Here, we wish to study the mechanism by which epicatechin exerts cardioprotective effects. The extent to which cardiac tissue survive IR injury depends on the viability of the mitochondria. Thus, we hypothesize that epicatechin protects the heart by preserving mitochondrial structure and function during IR. The effectiveness of epicatechin on preserving the mitochondria was measured using a temperature controlled oxygen-electrode, a calcium fluorescent probe and an electron microscope. Yamazaki K.G., Taub, P.R., Barraza-Hidalgo, M., Rivas, M.M., Zambon, A.C., Ceballos, G., and Villarreal, F.J. 2010. Effects of (-)-epicatechin on myocardial infarct size and left ventricular remodeling after permanent coronary occlusion. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 55: 2869-2876.
Summer Research at UCSD: http://ogs.ucsd.edu/student-affairs/summer-research/stars/