Sara Blamires, Katie Snow, and Brian Isom
Harm reduction policy is an alternative approach to addressing opioid-related drug addiction with a focus on reducing the negative impacts of opioid use on users through rehabilitation efforts and communities as a whole. Opioid addiction and overdose is a growing epidemic in the United States. Drug overdose is a leading cause of death among individuals under 50 years old, and in 2017, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdose. Comparably, in 2017, 42,000 people died in traffic accidents. This research examines the potential of harm reduction policies to address the current opioid epidemic in the United States. Existing research on supervised injection facilities (SIF) shows benefits for both drug users and non-drug users: SIF offer drug users a safe place to inject illicit drugs and provides non-drug users a safer community through reduced drug-related harm. While there are upfront costs to build these facilities, research shows for every 10 years a SIF is in operation, there will be an estimated savings of 14 million dollars through reduced hospitalization expenses, fewer emergency department visits, and decreased ambulance expenses. InSite, a supervised injection facility in Vancouver serves an average of 415 injection room visits per day, and is a primary source demonstrating improved quality of life for those who frequent the facility. Being the first SIF in North America, it demonstrates what services future injection facilities in the U.S. could potentially provide. In an effort to accurately present research, we will emphasize the lives and money saved from implementing supervised injection facilities. Through presenting this research, we anticipate future policy discussions about the benefits SIFs could provide to communities around.
Savannah Daines, Brett Adams, and Tye Harrison
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when external forces cause the brain to move rapidly within the skull, resulting in an alteration of brain function. Following the initial injury, a cascade of cellular events known as the secondary injury reduces cerebral energy production and exacerbates pathological consequences. Conditions that close the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) provide effective treatment for TBI by restoring ionic balance and coupling of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation to ATP production. mPTP closure can be achieved during ketosis when the body metabolizes ketone bodies over glucose as a primary fuel source. Administration of exogenous ketones achieves therapeutic levels of ketosis more quickly and more effectively than fasting or ketogenic diets. No studies to date have evaluated the effectiveness of exogenous ketones in treating TBI in humans. This project will evaluate current scientific literature regarding the role of ketones in TBIs and identify potential future approaches to using ketones as a therapy for TBI.
Making the choice of where to live while in college is frequently acknowledged as one of the most important decisions an undergraduate student makes. Housing decisions influence students' access to campus resources and social integration, elements thought to be key indicators of their progression towards graduation. Interestingly, however, the association between living on-campus and persistence has not been considered thoroughly in the literature. While many studies leverage survey data and retention rates to make direct comparisons between on-campus and off-campus groups, most are unable to account for self-selection bias, i.e. that students who live on-campus may be qualitatively different from students who chose to live off-campus. The present study overcame this challenge by utilizing a matching technique called Prediction-based Propensity Score Matching (PPSM). Using this theoretically-driven and methodologically robust technique, researchers were able to account for self-selection bias and estimate the impact of on-campus living on student persistence. After matching, researchers estimated that students living on-campus experience a 1.19% lift (CI: 0.55% to 1.83%) in persistence. In other words, the model suggests that 46 students (CI: 21 to 71) remain enrolled at the institution simply because they live on-campus. This conclusion indicates that living in university housing is not only important because it provides students with campus proximity and social activities, but ultimately because it helps them persist towards graduation.
Wing morphing is the manipulation of a wing shape to influence aerodynamics. Wing morphing has significant aerodynamic advantages over traditional flaps, including increased efficiency and control. The USU Aerolab specializes in morphing aircraft and is currently working with the Air Force Research Lab on morphing straight wings [1-4].
The purpose of this project is to identify methods for applying morphing technologies to swept-wing aircraft. These methods are then used to create a morphing wing aircraft to demonstrate the efficiency and control of morphing flight with a swept wing.