Conference Proceedings and Presentations

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  • Publication
    The 8th AI City Challenge
    (arXiv, 2024-04-15) Wang, Shuo ; Anastasiu, David C. ; Tang, Zheng ; Chang, Ming-Ching ; Yao, Yue ; Zheng, Liang ; Rahman, Mohammed Shaiqur ; Arya, Meenakshi S. ; Sharma, Anuj ; Chakraborty, Pranamesh ; Prajapati, Sanjita ; Kong, Quan ; Kobori, Norimasa ; Gochoo, Munkhjargal ; Otgonbold, Munkh-Erdene ; Alnajjar, Fady ; Batnasan, Ganzorig ; Chen, Ping-Yang ; Hsieh, Jun-Wei ; Wu, Xunlei ; Pusegaonkar, Sameer Satish ; Wang, Yizhou ; Biswas, Sujit ; Chellappa, Rama ; Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
    The eighth AI City Challenge highlighted the convergence of computer vision and artificial intelligence in areas like retail, warehouse settings, and Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS), presenting significant research opportunities. The 2024 edition featured five tracks, attracting unprecedented interest from 726 teams in 47 countries and regions. Track 1 dealt with multi-target multi-camera (MTMC) people tracking, highlighting significant enhancements in camera count, character number, 3D annotation, and camera matrices, alongside new rules for 3D tracking and online tracking algorithm encouragement. Track 2 introduced dense video captioning for traffic safety, focusing on pedestrian accidents using multi-camera feeds to improve insights for insurance and prevention. Track 3 required teams to classify driver actions in a naturalistic driving analysis. Track 4 explored fish-eye camera analytics using the FishEye8K dataset. Track 5 focused on motorcycle helmet rule violation detection. The challenge utilized two leaderboards to showcase methods, with participants setting new benchmarks, some surpassing existing state-of-the-art achievements.
  • Publication
    Off-target Effects of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Therapeutics
    ( 2022-12) Gillette, Benjamin ; Biomedical Sciences
    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by a mutation in or deletion of the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene that produces SMN, a multifunctional protein. The near identical copy of SMN1, SMN2, produces a truncated SMN due to skipping of exon 7 during pre-mRNA splicing. The low levels of full-length SMN generated from SMN2 is insufficient for the body’s needs. Since most SMA patients carry the SMN2 gene, modulation of SMN2 exon 7 splicing constitutes an excellent therapy for the disease. Two small compounds, risdiplam and branaplam, promote SMN2 exon 7 inclusion. Importantly, they achieve body-wide distribution and can cross blood-brain barrier promoting SMN2 exon 7 inclusion in motor neurons, the primary “targets” of SMA. However, it has been shown that these drugs also produce off-target effects that could be potentially harmful to SMA patients. The full scope and degree of these off-target effects remain unknown, so we aimed to identify them. Results of RNA-Seq revealed multiple splicing errors caused by low and high doses of risdiplam or branaplam. To understand the mechanistic aspect of these splicing errors, we generated minigenes containing the affected exons. These minigenes were transfected into HeLa cells which were then treated with risdiplam and branaplam. Cells were collected 24 hours post-transfection followed by analysis of splicing. Our results reveal multiple mechanisms of splicing errors caused by risdiplam and branaplam.
  • Publication
    Effect of Dopamine, Levodopa and Serotonin treatments on the proliferation and neurogenesis of adult hippocampal progenitor cells within a microfluidic device
    ( 2022-12) Garbe, Anna ; Genetics, Development and Cell Biology
    Neurotransmitters provide an important role in chemical communication between differentiated neurons and target cells and potentially contribute to neurogenesis. The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) and its precursor levodopa (L-DOPA) are prevalent throughout the brain and can modulate synaptic plasticity. Additionally, serotonin (5-HT) is involved in hippocampal neurotransmission. In this study, we evaluated how DA, L-DOPA, and 5-HT treatments affect the proliferation and neurogenesis of multipotent adult rat hippocampal progenitor cell (AHPC) neurospheres. We developed a microfluidic chip composed of two chambers separated by intentionally misaligned micropillars that mimic the blood-brain barrier. The chip design allows the diffusion of neurotransmitters from the source chamber to the adjacent chamber containing neurospheres. Cell viability, proliferation, and neuronal differentiation were evaluated on the AHPC neurospheres after exposure to DA, L-DOPA, or 5-HT. Following immunocytochemistry, fluorescent images were captured and analyzed to determine the immunoreactive cell percentage. After DA, L-DOPA, and 5-HT treatments, no negative effects on viability were noted. AHPCs showed a statistically significant increase in proliferation and neuronal differentiation following DA treatment compared to L-DOPA treatment. 5-HT treatment also showed a statistically significant increase in neurogenesis at higher concentrations. These results begin to provide insight into the role of neurotransmitters in regulating AHPC neurogenesis.
  • Publication
    Investigating the Effects of Varying Biochars on Seedling Root Rot in Soybean Plants Innoculated with Pythium sylvaticum
    ( 2022-12) Fate, Bennett ; Plant Pathology, Entomology and Microbiology
    Pathogenic fungi and fungal-like organisms can greatly damage soybean yields leading to economic and social consequences. One possible solution is the use of biochar in mitigating the effects of these pathogenic organisms. An important genus of waterborne pathogens to soybeans is Pythium, which causes root rot in young seedlings. We hypothesized that if we vary the types of biochar added to soil infested with Pythium sylvaticum, the soybean plants will have varying degrees of root rot depending on the presence and source of the biochar. Our secondary hypothesis is that the biochar with higher volumetric water content will have more severe root rot. We will test four different biochars from different sources. Each biochar will be added to pasteurized soil infested with P. sylvaticum and soybean plants will be grown, in cups, in these amended soils. Approximately 3 weeks after emergence, the seedlings will be removed, roots will be washed, and we will record % root rot, root dry weight, shoot dry weight, and soil pH. After obtaining the data, it will be analyzed for significant relationships between the type of biochar, soil moisture and seedling root rot. This research offers a potential alternative to fungicide to enhance agricultural productivity.
  • Publication
    Effect of pH and Surfactant on BaTiO3 Nano Ink Stability
    ( 2022-12) Eichhorn, Adam ; Materials Science and Engineering
    3D printing custom devices onboard the international space station allows astronauts to create solutions to simple needs faster than NASA can send devices from Earth. To print devices with circuits, a specialized printing method in microgravity requires the usage of capacitive nano inks. Barium titanate nano inks, capped with hydroxyethyl cellulose, function well as printable capacitive inks. However, the stability of this barium titanate ink is currently inconsistent, making it useless for application after a long storage and launch cycle. Multiple samples of barium titanate nano ink will be synthesized to optimize the stability of this ink across a testing regime of pH levels and surfactant types. Stability will be measured using aging, UV-vis spectroscopy, and a rheometer.