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News Article | February 16, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV / ACCESSWIRE / February 15, 2017 / In Southern Nevada, more than 126,000 children regularly go hungry. Without proper sustenance, these children often face chronic illness, developmental issues, and even significant health issues in adulthood. Recognizing this serious problem, retired professional games player Stanley Tomchin has partnered with Las Vegas' Feeding America affiliate, Three Square, to bring an end to child hunger. Since 2012, Tomchin's support of the organization has allowed for nearly one million free, nutritious meals to be distributed to underprivileged students throughout Lincoln, Nye, Esmeralda, and Clark Counties. With the mission to provide wholesome meals to hungry people while passionately pursuing a hunger-free community, Three Square combines food banking and rescue practices with ready to eat meals to be Southern Nevada's most complete solution for those facing food insecurity, or the inability to secure enough food for a healthy diet and active lifestyle. The nonprofit organization works with a service network of approximately 1,300 community partners, including charities, schools, shelters, meal programs and SNAP outreach sites, to distribute more than 31 million meals to struggling individuals each year. Stanley Tomchin's efforts have primarily been focused on building one of these strategic partnerships, a program with local after school care provider CORE Academy and its host school, West Prep Academy. Together with the support of the community,CORE Academy strives to strengthen character, build brilliant minds, and create brighter futures for the area's most under-resourced youth; to end the cycle of poverty, and allow for individuals to reach their full potential. Three Square has partnered with the program to feed the student scholars with a mobile pantry that has thus far nourished 1,300 low income children and their families. In addition, once a month free boxes of food are available to take home for any child in attendance of West Prep Academy. Following the partnership's success, Three Square President and CEO Brian Burton is thankful for the support of individuals like Tomchin, "Stan is an exemplary leader who cares deeply about children in Southern Nevada. We love partnering with him to feed so many children and families in need." Stanley Tomchin is a committed philanthropist and retired games player currently residing in Las Vegas. Raised in Long Island, New York, Tomchin was a chess master by age 13 and eventually represented the United States in the bridge Olympiad. After travelling the globe enjoying success as the world's most potent professional games player, he was inspired by his sister, Joy, to return home and dedicate his life to assisting those in need. Tomchin soon began supporting local charities as well as larger organizations including Greenpeace and Sea Shepard Conservation Society, both dedicated to the preservation of the world's oceans and organisms living in it. In addition to the CORE Academy and West Prep Academy, other educational institutions that have benefited from Tomchin's generosity include the Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation, the Ideal School of Manhattan, Communities In Schools of Nevada, Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy, Teach For America, and Nevada State College Foundation. Stanley Tomchin – Passionate Philanthropist and Tennis Player: Stanley Tomchin - Facebook: Stanley Tomchin -- Supports the Arts with Donations to World-Renowned La MaMa Theatre:

Wade L.,Occidental College | Sharp G.,Nevada State College
Social Science Computer Review | Year: 2013

Sociological Images is a website aimed at a broad public audience that encourages readers to develop and apply a sociological imagination. The site includes short, accessible posts published daily. Each includes one or more images and accompanying commentary. Reaching approximately 20,000 readers per day, Sociological Images illustrates the potential for using websites as a platform for public engagement in the social sciences. This report provides an overview of the site's history, approach, reach, and impact. The authors also discuss some challenges facing academics interested in blogging for a general audience and some of the features that contribute to the popularity of the site. © The Author(s) 2012.

Parvaz M.A.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Konova A.B.,New York University | Proudfit G.H.,State University of New York at Stony Brook | Dunning J.P.,Nevada State College | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Learning can be guided by unexpected success or failure, signaled via dopaminergic positive reward prediction error (+RPE) and negative reward-prediction error (–RPE) signals, respectively. Despite conflicting empirical evidence, RPE signaling is thought to be impaired in drug addiction. To resolve this outstanding question, we studied as a measure of RPE the feedback negativity (FN) that is sensitive to both reward and the violation of expectation. We examined FN in 25 healthy controls; 25 individuals with cocaine-use disorder (CUD)whotested positive for cocaine on the study day(CUD+), indicating cocaine use within the past 72 h; and in 25 individuals with CUD who tested negative for cocaine (CUD–). EEG was acquired while the participants performed a gambling task predicting whether they would win or lose money on each trial given three known win probabilities (25, 50, or 75%). FN was scored for the period in each trial when the actual outcome (win or loss) was revealed. A significant interaction between prediction, outcome, and group revealed that controls showed increased FN to unpredicted compared with predicted wins (i.e., intact +RPE) and decreased FN to unpredicted compared with predicted losses (i.e., intact –RPE). However, neither CUD subgroup showed FN modulation to loss (i.e., impaired –RPE), and unlike CUD+ individuals, CUD– individuals also did not show FN modulation to win (i.e., impaired+RPE). Thus, using FN, the current study directly documents –RPE deficits in CUD individuals. The mechanisms underlying –RPE signaling impairments in addiction may contribute to the disadvantageous nature of excessive drug use, which can persist despite repeated unfavorable life experiences (e.g., frequent incarcerations). © 2015 the authors.

Dunning J.P.,Nevada State College | Hajcak G.,State University of New York at Stony Brook
Behavior Therapy | Year: 2015

It is well established that fear conditioning plays a role in the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders. Moreover, abnormalities in fear generalization, extinction, and extinction recall have also been associated with anxiety. The present study used a generalization paradigm to examine fear processing during phases of generalization, extinction, and extinction recall. Specifically, participants were shocked following a CS+ and were also presented with stimuli that ranged in perceptual similarity to the CS+ (i.e., 20%, 40%, or 60% smaller or larger than the CS+) during a fear generalization phase. Participants were also presented with the same stimuli during an extinction phase and an extinction recall phase 1. week later; no shocks were presented during extinction or recall. Lastly, participants completed self-report measures of worry and trait anxiety. Results indicated that fear potentiated startle (FPS) to the CS+ and GS ± 20% shapes was present in generalization and extinction, suggesting that fear generalization persisted into extinction. FPS to the CS+ was also evident 1. week later during extinction recall. Higher levels of worry were associated with greater FPS to the CS+ during generalization and extinction phases. Moreover, individuals high in worry had fear response gradients that were steeper during both generalization and extinction. This suggests that high levels of worry are associated with greater discriminative fear conditioning to threatening compared to safe stimuli and less fear generalization to perceptually similar stimuli. © 2015.

Mantooth S.J.,University of Nevada, Las Vegas | Mantooth S.J.,Nevada State College | Hafner D.J.,University of New Mexico | Bryson R.W.,University of Washington | Riddle B.R.,University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2013

We investigated the biogeographic history of antelope squirrels, genus Ammospermophilus, which are widely distributed across the deserts and other arid lands of western North America. We combined range-wide sampling of all currently recognized species of Ammospermophilus with a multilocus data set to infer phylogenetic relationships. We then estimated divergence times within identified clades of Ammospermophilus using fossil-calibrated and rate-calibrated molecular clocks. Lastly, we explored generalized distributional changes of Ammospermophilus since the last glacial maximum using species distribution models, and assessed responses to Quaternary climate change by generating demographic parameter estimates for the three wide-ranging clades of A.leucurus. From our phylogenetic estimates we inferred strong phylogeographic structure within Ammospermophilus and the presence of three well-supported major clades. Initial patterns of historical divergence were coincident with dynamic alterations in the landscape of western North America, and the formation of regional deserts during the Late Miocene and Pliocene. Species distribution models and demographic parameter estimates revealed patterns of recent population expansion in response to glacial retreat. When combined with evidence from co-distributed taxa, the historical biogeography of Ammospermophilus provides additional insight into the mechanisms that impacted diversification of arid-adapted taxa across the arid lands of western North America. We propose species recognition of populations of the southern Baja California peninsula to best represent our current understanding of evolutionary relationships among genetic units of Ammospermophilus. © 2013 The Linnean Society of London.

News Article | November 6, 2016

Hey new moms, don't put down that can of spinach just yet. A research team led by UNLV medical anthropologists found that eating encapsulated human placenta, a practice known as placentophagy, may not be as good a source of dietary iron for postpartum mothers as proponents suggest. The breakthrough placebo-controlled pilot study, the first of its kind on the increasingly popular practice, was published online Nov. 3 in The Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health. "The current study suggests that encapsulated placenta supplementation neither significantly improves, nor impairs, postpartum maternal iron status for women consuming the recommended daily allowance of dietary iron during pregnancy/lactation, compared to a beef placebo," the authors noted. The findings are important as iron demands are especially high during pregnancy, and iron deficiency during pregnancy and immediately after delivery is a common problem for mothers. Physicians often advise women to take iron supplements to prevent or reverse iron-deficiency during pregnancy and immediately after giving birth. Advocates of placentophagy often point to the organ's high iron content as a primary benefit. Laura Gryder, a former UNLV medical anthropology graduate student and lead author of the paper, explained the team's findings are especially important for women who are both iron deficient postpartum and whose only source of supplemental dietary iron is encapsulated placenta. By foregoing other sources, these women are likely not getting the supplemental boost they need to help iron levels rebound to normal levels. Placentophagy is an increasingly popular trend in industrialized countries throughout Europe, in Australia and in the U.S.. Proponents of the practice often reference placentophagy's common occurrence among nearly all mammals in nature, and they suggest it offers numerous benefits to human mothers too, including increased energy, improved mood, and more rapid postpartum recovery. Although precise numbers are not currently available, UNLV medical anthropologist and senior co-author Daniel Benyshek estimates there are likely tens of thousands of women in the U.S. alone who practice maternal placentophagy every year. And while the practice was first noted in home birth settings, it has been spreading to hospital births. "Human placentophagy appears to be an increasingly popular practice in the US and abroad, and yet almost no clinical studies have been conducted to assess its possible health benefits or risks. While there may indeed be other benefits for women who eat their placenta after birth, the common practice of consuming the placenta in capsule form in the first few weeks after delivery does not appear to significantly improve iron levels for new mothers," Benyshek said. Twenty-three women completed the three-week study. Ten women took placenta capsules three times a day for the first four days, followed by two times a day for the next eight days, and once a day for the next nine days postpartum. Thirteen of the women followed the same schedule, but were given a placebo pill containing dehydrated beef. Blood tests were taken just before and soon after childbirth and at roughly one and three weeks post partum. The tests revealed no significant differences in the iron status of the women in the two groups over the three-week postpartum period. The current study was part of a larger research project assessing the effects of eating the placenta on a host of postpartum measures, including maternal mood, fatigue, and hormone levels, compared to a placebo. Results from that larger study are still being analyzed, according to Sharon Young, one of the study leaders and coauthors. UNLV partnered with researchers from Nevada State College and ZRT Laboratory in Beaverton Oregon for the study. Study authors include Laura K. Gryder, a former graduate student in anthropology at UNLV and currently a Program Director at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Sharon Young, a former UNLV graduate student in anthropology and current Program Coordinator for the UNLV Office of Undergraduate Research, Daniel C. Benyshek, Professor of Anthropology, UNLV, David Zava and Wendy Norris with ZRT Laboratory in Beaverton, Oregon, and Chad L. Cross, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Nevada State College.

Teramoto M.,University of Utah | Petron D.J.,University of Utah | Cross C.L.,Nevada State College | Willick S.E.,University of Utah
Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine | Year: 2015

Background: The majority of studies on concussion in the National Football League (NFL) focus on testing, evaluation, and outcomes. Meanwhile, there is a paucity of research on how a team’s style of play influences the risk of concussion. Hypothesis: Style of play, such as offensive and defensive strategies, is associated with the rate of concussions in the NFL. Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study. Methods: The current study retrospectively analyzed data from the 2012 to 2014 NFL regular seasons. Reported numbers of concussions were stratified by each team and each position and were compared based on style of play, including offensive scheme (West Coast offense, Air Coryell offense, or other offensive schemes) and defensive alignment (3-4 or 4-3), attempts statistics, per-drive statistics, and offensive and defensive productions, along with strength of schedule (SoS) and team quality measured by simple rating system (SRS). Data analyses included descriptive statistics, 1-way analysis of variance, correlation analysis, and regression analysis. Results: There were 437 documented concussions during the 2012 to 2014 NFL regular seasons, with a mean 4.6 concussions per season per team. In general, players most involved in pass plays reported more concussions. The number of concussions sustained by offensive players was significantly higher among the teams adopting the West Coast offense (mean, 3.0) than among those utilizing the Air Coryell offense (mean, 1.6; P =.006) or those with non–West Coast offenses combined (mean, 1.9; P =.004). The multiple regression analysis revealed that the West Coast offense or not, SoS, and SRS explained 25.3% of the variance in the number of concussions by offensive players. After accounting for SRS, the West Coast offense was found to be a significant predictor of the number of concussions (P =.007), while there was a tendency for SoS to be inversely associated with the number of concussions (P =.105). None of the variables for attempts statistics, per-drive statistics, and offensive production were significantly associated with the number of concussions in the regression analysis. Conclusion: In the NFL, players most involved in pass plays appear to be at increased risk for concussions. The West Coast offense may be associated with a greater risk of concussion. Furthermore, teams with easier schedules may have more players sustaining concussions. © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.

Boyle W.A.,Kansas State University | Sigel B.J.,Nevada State College
Biological Conservation | Year: 2015

Tropical forest fragmentation influences community composition via differential species-level effects. Avian responses to fragmentation at La Selva Biological Station are, in part, responsible for the particular concern over the fate of understory insectivorous species. However, since the 1990s, much previously deforested land within and surrounding La Selva has reverted to forest, providing an opportunity to test hypotheses explaining ongoing avifaunal change. Analyses of 23. years (1989-2011) of Christmas Bird Counts reveal that 63 of 202 species have increased whereas 44 are declining, with declines occurring more rapidly than increases. Habitat association was an important predictor of population trends, as understory birds continue to decline whereas forest generalists increased. Our results differ from previous work in the tropics by revealing that, at La Selva, insectivores are not currently suffering greater declines than birds of other dietary guilds. Instead, body size was more strongly associated with population change than was diet, with smaller birds having more negative population trends than larger birds. These results suggest that we must consider additional hypotheses that may explain ongoing population declines of tropical birds. In particular, the associations between population trends and body size implicate physiological mechanisms influencing population change, which may result from direct or indirect consequences of changing climates. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Graziano K.J.,Nevada State College
TechTrends | Year: 2016

More and more school administrators are expecting new teachers to flip their classrooms prior to completing their teacher certification. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of preservice teachers who facilitated learning in a flipped classroom, to identify the benefits and challenges of flipped instruction on preservice teachers, and to explore the impact of the course design on students’ understanding of the course content. Results indicate that flipped lessons taught by students were interactive and fun, and students reported being more productive and enthusiastic about class. Students, however, were unable to develop meaningful, engaging activities and reap the benefits of facilitating collaborative activities in a flipped classroom. Viable solutions and recommendations to guide the successful implementation of flipped learning are provided. © 2016 Association for Educational Communications & Technology

Renzi L.M.,University of Georgia | Renzi L.M.,Abbott Laboratories | Dengler M.J.,University of Georgia | Dengler M.J.,Nevada State College | And 3 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2014

Low carotenoid status (especially of the xanthophylls, lutein [L], and zeaxanthin [Z]) is common in older adults and has been associated with a number of degenerative diseases of the central nervous system ranging from retina (e.g., macular degeneration) to brain (e.g., Alzheimer's disease). In this study, we tested whether retinal measures of L+ Z (macular pigment optical density [MPOD]), used as a surrogate for brain L+ Z levels, were related to cognitive function when comparing healthy older adults with mildly cognitively impaired older adults. Twenty-four subjects with mild cognitive impairment were compared with 24 matched controls. Subjects were matched with respect to age, body mass index, ethnicity, sex, and smoking status. Degree of cognitive impairment and cognitive ability was determined via structured clinical interview. MPOD was measured psychophysically. In healthy older adults, MPOD was only related to visual-spatial and constructional abilities (p= 0.04). For subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), however, MPOD was broadly related to cognition including the composite score on the mini-mental state examination (p= 0.02), visual-spatial and constructional abilities (p= 0.04), language ability (p= 0.05), attention (p= 0.03), and the total scale on the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (p= 0.03). It is possible that L/Z status may be more strongly related to cognition when individuals are considered with established onset of cognitive decline. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

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