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Murfreesboro, TN, United States

Middle Tennessee State University, commonly abbreviated as MTSU or MT, is a comprehensive coeducational public university in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.Founded in 1911 as a normal school, the university is composed of eight undergraduate colleges as well as a college of graduate studies, together offering more than 80 majors/degree programs through over 35 departments. MTSU is most prominently known for its Recording Industry, Aerospace, Music, and Concrete Industry Management programs. The university has partnered in research endeavors with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the United States Army, and the United States Marine Corps. In 2009, Middle Tennessee State University was ranked among the nation's top 100 public universities by Forbes magazine.MTSU student athletes compete intercollegiately as the Blue Raiders, as a part of Division I Football Bowl Subdivision athletics in the Conference USA. On November 29, 2012, MTSU Athletics announced they had accepted an invitation to the conference.MTSU is part of the Tennessee Board of Regents and the State University and Community College System of Tennessee, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its president is Sidney A. McPhee. Wikipedia.

Foss K.A.,Middle Tennessee State University
Health Communication

The number of adolescents, young adults, and senior citizens experiencing hearing loss has significantly increased over the last 30 years. Despite this prevalence, hearing loss receives little attention in popular and political discourse, except in its connection to aging. Thus, hearing loss and the use of hearing aids have been stigmatized, discouraging adults from seeking hearing evaluation and screening, and justifying the lack of insurance coverage for hearing devices. This research explored how and why hearing loss continues to be stigmatized through a study of media messages about hearing loss. A textual analysis was conducted on 276 television episodes that involved d/Deaf characters and/or storylines about hearing loss and deafness from 1987 through 2013 (see Table 1). Only 11 fictional programs addressed the experience of hearing loss through 47 episodes, including Criminal Minds, Switched at Birth, House, M.D., and New Girl. Contrary to the assumption that hearing loss exclusively impacts older people, characters were typically young, attractive, working professionals who held prominent roles in the programs. For most characters, hearing loss developed suddenly and was restored by the end of the episode, with only four characters using hearing aids. Hearing loss was depicted as comical, embarrassing, lonely, and threatening to one's work. The scarcity of hearing loss portrayals, combined with the negative representations of hearing loss, could help explain why hearing loss continues to be stigmatized and overlooked, even though almost half of all Americans will eventually experience difficulty hearing. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

Rindal E.,University of Oslo | Brower A.V.,Middle Tennessee State University

The use of model-based methods to infer a phylogenetic tree from a given data set is frequently motivated by the truism that under certain circumstances the parsimony approach (MP) may produce incorrect topologies, while explicit model-based approaches are believed to avoid this problem. In the realm of empirical data from actual taxa, it is not known (or knowable) how commonly MP, maximum-likelihood or Bayesian inference are inaccurate. To test the perceived need for "sophisticated" model-based approaches, we assessed the degree of congruence between empirical phylogenetic hypotheses generated by alternative methods applied to DNA sequence data in a sample of 1000 recently published articles. Of 504 articles that employed multiple methods, only two exhibited strongly supported incongruence among alternative methods. This result suggests that the MP approach does not produce deviant hypotheses of relationship due to convergent evolution in long branches. Our finding therefore indicates that the use of multiple analytical methods is largely superfluous. We encourage the use of analytical approaches unencumbered by ad hoc assumptions that sap the explanatory power of the evidence. © The Willi Hennig Society 2010. Source

Brower A.V.,Middle Tennessee State University
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society

The diverse Müllerian mimetic wing patterns of neotropical Heliconius (Nymphalidae) have been proposed to be not only aposematic signals to potential predators, but also intra- and interspecific recognition signals that allow the butterflies to maintain their specific identities, and which perhaps drive the process of speciation, as well. Adaptive features under differential selection that also serve as cues for assortative mating have been referred to as 'magic traits', which can drive ecological speciation. Such traits are expected to exhibit allelic differentiation between closely related species with ongoing gene flow, whereas unlinked neutral traits are expected to be homogenized to a greater degree by introgression. However, recent evidence suggests that interspecific hybridization among Heliconius butterflies may have resulted in adaptive introgression of these very same traits across species boundaries, and in the evolution of new species by homoploid hybrid speciation. The theory and data supporting various aspects of the apparent paradox of 'magic trait' introgression are reviewed, with emphasis on population genomic comparisons of Heliconius melpomene and its close relatives. Source

Brower A.V.Z.,Middle Tennessee State University

The evidence supporting the recent hypothesis of a homoploid hybrid origin for the butterfly species Heliconius heurippa is evaluated. Data from selective breeding experiments, mate-choice studies, and a wide variety of DNA markers are reviewed, and an alternative hypothesis for the origin of the species and its close relatives is proposed. A scenario of occasional red wing-pattern mutations in peripheral populations of Heliconius cydno with subsequent adaptive convergence towards sympatric mimicry rings involving H. melpomene and H. erato is offered as an alternative to the HHS hypothesis. Recent twists of this tale are addressed in a postscript. © 2010 The Author(s). Source

Jessen J.R.,Middle Tennessee State University
Developmental Biology

The zebrafish extracellular matrix (ECM) is a dynamic and pleomorphic structure consisting of numerous proteins that together regulate a variety of cellular and morphogenetic events beginning as early as gastrulation. The zebrafish genome encodes a similar complement of ECM proteins as found in other vertebrate organisms including glycoproteins, fibrous proteins, proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans, and interacting or modifying proteins such as integrins and matrix metalloproteinases. As a genetic model system combined with its amenability to high-resolution microscopic imaging, the zebrafish allows interrogation of ECM protein structure and function in both the embryo and adult. Accumulating data have identified important roles for zebrafish ECM proteins in processes as diverse as cell polarity, migration, tissue mechanics, organ laterality, muscle contraction, and regeneration. In this review, I highlight recently published data on these topics that demonstrate how the ECM proteins fibronectin, laminin, and collagen contribute to zebrafish development and adult homeostasis. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

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