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Asheville, NC, United States

The University of North Carolina at Asheville is a co-educational, four year, public liberal arts university. The university is also known as UNC Asheville. Located in Asheville, Buncombe County, in the U.S. state of North Carolina, UNCA is the only designated liberal arts institution in the University of North Carolina system. UNC Asheville is member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Wikipedia.

Miller D.K.,University of North Carolina at Asheville
Weather and Forecasting | Year: 2012

Northwest flow snowfall (NWFS) impacts the southern Appalachian Mountains after the upper-level trough has departed from the region, when moist northwesterly flow near the ground is lifted after encountering the mountains. Snowfall associated with these events is highly localized and challenging to predict as the clouds generating the accumulation are mesoscale in structure and depend on rapidly varying structures of moisture, instability, and wind in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) and on the relief of the local topography. The purpose of this study is to investigate the near-term impact of heat and moisture fluxes at the ground on the evolution of anNWFS event using several simulations of theAdvancedResearch core of the Weather Research and Forecasting mesoscale model. Model simulations indicate that convective banding is responsible for the snowfall accumulations in the southern Appalachians during the event and the structure of the banding is sensitive to the vertical positions of maximum wind shear and minimal stability within the PBL. Sensible heat fluxes at the ground upstream of the mountains in the daytime tend to deepen the PBL, reduce cloud water content, and reduce snowfall accumulations. At the same time, however, the daytime sensible heating also increases the overall vapor of the PBL through increased turbulent mixing and the transport of vapor made available to the atmosphere through upward latent heat fluxes at the ground. Latent heat fluxes at the ground upstream of the southern Appalachian Mountains provide a source of moisture that contributes a significant fraction of the overall simulated snowfall accumulations. © 2012 American Meteorological Society. Source

Wingert J.R.,One University Heights | Welder C.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Foo P.,University of North Carolina at Asheville
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation | Year: 2014

Objective To evaluate the effects of age on hip proprioception, and determine whether age-related hip proprioception declines disrupt balance. Design Survey of proprioception and balance differences between 3 age groups. Setting University balance laboratory. Participants Volunteer sample of independent community-dwelling adults (N=102) without sensory or other neurologic impairments in 3 age groups: younger (mean age, 24.6y; range, 19-37y), mid-aged (mean age, 53.3y; range, 40-64y), and older adults (mean age, 76.3y; range, 65-94y). Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures Hip joint position sense (JPS) and kinesthesia were measured using a custom-built device. JPS error was determined by the magnitude of matching errors during vision and no-vision conditions. Kinesthesia was evaluated by the ability to detect passive limb rotation without vision. Postural sway was assessed during static stance and measured using root mean square of center of pressure (COP) displacement and velocity of COP displacement. Clinical balance and fear of falling were assessed with the mini-Balance Evaluation Systems Test (mini-BESTest) and Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale, respectively. Results Both older and mid-aged adults had significantly increased JPS error compared with younger adults (P<.05). Kinesthesia accuracy was significantly decreased in older adults compared with mid-aged and younger adults (P≤.01). Both measures of proprioception error correlated with age (P≤.001). There were no relationships between hip proprioception error and postural sway during static stance. However, older adults with lower proprioceptive error had significantly higher mini-BESTest scores of dynamic balance abilities (P=.005). Conclusions These results provide evidence of significant hip proprioception declines with age. Although these declines are not related to increases in postural sway, participants with hip proprioception declines demonstrated disrupted dynamic balance, as indicated by decreased mini-BESTest scores. © 2014 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Source

Dennison B.,University of North Carolina at Asheville
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters | Year: 2014

Fast radio bursts appear to exhibit large dispersion measures, typically exceeding any expected Galactic interstellar contribution, especially along the moderate to high Galactic latitude directions in which such events have been most often observed. The dispersions have been therefore interpreted as extragalactic, with the sources of the bursts at Gpc distances. This then implies that the bursts are extremely energetic events, originating from quite small volumes. To circumvent the energetic difficulties, Loeb et al. propose that the bursts are produced by flares near the surfaces of M stars or contact binaries within a local volume of the Galaxy, with the observed dispersion occurring in the overlying stellar coronae. With the dispersion concentrated in a high-density region, the quadratic dispersion approximation breaks down as the plasma frequency is comparable to (although less than) the propagation frequency. The observed dispersion curves are closely quadratic, however, consistent with a low-density medium, ruling out this model. It thus appears highly likely that the dispersions occur in the intergalactic medium. This medium, probably containing most of the baryon content of the Universe, is expected to be highly structured on large scales. Hot gas within clusters and especially groups of galaxies may contribute significantly to the observed dispersion. © 2014 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Source

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Enviro Health & Safety of Nano | Award Amount: 149.94K | Year: 2015


It is well known that ultrafine particles regardless of their origin or chemical nature are an environmental hazard. The question arises as to why any material when subdivided to a very fine powder (nanomaterial) becomes hazardous. Part of it has to do with the aerodynamics of the lungs. More importantly, in very small particles where the surface is large, some of the atoms or molecules on the surface are displaced from their regular sites forming what is known as defects. These intrinsic defects often trap stray electrons, which are loosely bound according to our proposed model. The nature and concentration of the defects varies from material to material. No systematic study has been made about these defects. We believe that once these ultrafine particles are inhaled, the loosely bound electrons are released on interaction with the lung tissue and trigger a chain of biological events resulting in damage, which is not well understood at present. Nanomaterials like carbon nanotubes and titanium dioxide are playing ever increasing role in modern technology. They find application in electronics, drug delivery, cosmetics, sunscreens, catalysts, solar cells, energy storage devices and as composites (e.g. carbon nanotubes in Boeing 787 jet). The problem of health hazard posed by respiration of nanomaterials by mild thermal treatment in ambient of electron accepting (oxidizing) or electron donating (reducing) vapors is addressed to find out which of the treatments is likely to pacify (deactivate) the defect centers.

Why are nano- and meso-sized particulates of different origin including auto- and industrial emissions and of the widely used materials in nanotechnology like Carbon Nanotubes, TiO2, ZnO, MgO, and SiO2 toxic to inhalation? Proposed Model: Electronically active surface defects release shallow trapped electrons or holes on interaction with biomolecules in the lung tissues which are primarily responsible for toxicity. Once the model is put on a firm footing by experimentation several technologies of great societal benefit follow logically. We propose to conduct the following experiments with a couple of systems to check the veracity of the proposed model. For example, ultrafine powder of âlpha phthalocyanine would be divided in three portions. One portion will serve as reference. One of the other would be thermally treated in an ambient of ethanol vapors, which is known from our previous work to be an electron donor (A. Nath, Studies of Isotopic Exchange in Solid State Healing of Damaged Molecules Accounts of Chemical Research 17, 90, 1984). The third specimen would be subjected to mild thermal treatment in oxygen ambient. The chemisorbed O2 would grab electrons and make the material hole conducting. The three samples of phthalocyanine would be checked for toxicity by our toxicologist collaborator. Whether the toxicity is enhanced or reduced by the treatments would shed light on the electronic nature of defect centers. Similar experiments with TiO2 and carbon nanotubes would be in order.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 116.45K | Year: 2015

The acquisition of the iDXA instrument will enable researchers to examine basic behavioral factors which have the potential to effect health behavior change (dietary habits, physical activity, and sedentary behavior) and thereby, improve key physiological markers (body composition and bone density) related to chronic disease. The iDXA uses x-ray technology to differentiate between tissues in the body which provides measures of bone density (total, neck of femur, lumbar spine), site-specific body fat and lean muscle mass, and type of body fat (subcutaneous or visceral). Researchers will use the iDXA for trials of novel dietary pattern treatments (e.g. those high in protein from plant sources) to support bone health, increase lean mass, and reduce site-specific adiposity. Projects will also include controlled trials to examine innovative strategies (e.g. using commercially-available activity monitors and standing desks) to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behavior and examine the impact of these interventions on visceral body fat and lean muscle mass. Furthermore, worksite wellness programs targeting underserved, local small businesses will also include the use of the iDXA to measure physiological changes and to encourage behavior change. Researchers will also examine the impact of strength training on lean muscle mass and balance among individuals with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. In sum, access to the iDXA will allow a highly trained team of researchers to effectively address critically important outcomes with research into health behavior.

The investigators institution is nationally recognized for leadership in Undergraduate Research, hosting the first National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and set to host the 30th Anniversary NCUR conference in 2016. At least seven undergraduate researchers will be trained yearly on use of the iDXA for collaborative research, and findings will be disseminated internationally through publication in scientific journals and to North Carolina communities through reports from the NC Center for Health and Wellness and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

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