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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Date Range
2010 2019


Modern, advanced statistical tools from data mining and machine learning have become commonplace in molecular biology in large part because of the “big data” demands of various kinds of “-omics” (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, etc.). However, in other fields of biology where empirical data sets are conventionally smaller, more traditional statistical methods of inference are still very effective and widely used. Nevertheless, with the decrease in cost of high-performance computing, these fields are starting to employ simulation models to generate insights into questions that have been elusive in the laboratory and field. Although these computational models allow for exquisite control …

Contributors
Seto, Christian, Pavlic, Theodore, Li, Jing, et al.
Created Date
2018

Nucleosomes are the basic repetitive unit of eukaryotic chromatin and are responsible for packing DNA inside the nucleus of the cell. They consist of a complex of eight histone proteins (two copies of four proteins H2A, H2B, H3 and H4) around which 147 base pairs of DNA are wrapped in ~1.67 superhelical turns. Although the nucleosomes are stable protein-DNA complexes, they undergo spontaneous conformational changes that occur in an asynchronous fashion. This conformational dynamics, defined by the "site-exposure" model, involves the DNA unwrapping from the protein core and exposing itself transiently before wrapping back. Physiologically, this allows regulatory proteins to …

Contributors
Gurunathan, Kaushik, Levitus, Marcia, Lindsay, Stuart, et al.
Created Date
2011

In eukaryotes, DNA is packed in a highly condensed and hierarchically organized structure called chromatin, in which DNA tightly wraps around the histone octamer consisting of one histone 3-histone 4 (H3-H4) tetramer and two histone 2A- histone 2B (H2A-H2B) dimers with 147 base pairs in an almost two left handed turns. Almost all DNA dependent cellular processes, such as DNA duplication, transcription, DNA repair and recombination, take place in the chromatin form. Based on the critical importance of appropriate chromatin condensation, this thesis focused on the folding behavior of the nucleosome array reconstituted using different templates with various controllable factors …

Contributors
Fu, Qiang, Lindsay, Stuart M, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2010

There are many biological questions that require single-cell analysis of gene sequences, including analysis of clonally distributed dimeric immunoreceptors on lymphocytes (T cells and B cells) and/or the accumulation of driver/accessory mutations in polyclonal tumors. Lysis of bulk cell populations results in mixing of gene sequences, making it impossible to know which pairs of gene sequences originated from any particular cell and obfuscating analysis of rare sequences within large populations. Although current single-cell sorting technologies can be used to address some of these questions, such approaches are expensive, require specialized equipment, and lack the necessary high-throughput capacity for comprehensive analysis. …

Contributors
Schoettle, Louis Noble, Blattman, Joseph N, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2017

DNA and RNA are generally regarded as one of the central molecules in molecular biology. Recent advancements in the field of DNA/RNA nanotechnology witnessed the success of usage of DNA/RNA as programmable molecules to construct nano-objects with predefined shapes and dynamic molecular machines for various functions. From the perspective of structural design with nucleic acid, there are basically two types of assembly method, DNA tile based assembly and DNA origami based assembly, used to construct infinite-sized crystal structures and finite-sized molecular structures. The assembled structure can be used for arrangement of other molecules or nanoparticles with the resolution of nanometers …

Contributors
Hong, Fan, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2019

A major goal of synthetic biology is to recapitulate emergent properties of life. Despite a significant body of work, a longstanding question that remains to be answered is how such a complex system arose? In this dissertation, synthetic nucleic acid molecules with alternative sugar-phosphate backbones were investigated as potential ancestors of DNA and RNA. Threose nucleic acid (TNA) is capable of forming stable helical structures with complementary strands of itself and RNA. This provides a plausible mechanism for genetic information transfer between TNA and RNA. Therefore TNA has been proposed as a potential RNA progenitor. Using molecular evolution, functional sequences …

Contributors
Zhang, Su, Chaut, John C, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, et al.
Created Date
2011

The principle of Darwinian evolution has been applied in the laboratory to nucleic acid molecules since 1990, and led to the emergence of in vitro evolution technique. The methodology of in vitro evolution surveys a large number of different molecules simultaneously for a pre-defined chemical property, and enrich for molecules with the particular property. DNA and RNA sequences with versatile functions have been identified by in vitro selection experiments, but many basic questions remain to be answered about how these molecules achieve their functions. This dissertation first focuses on addressing a fundamental question regarding the molecular recognition properties of in …

Contributors
Yu, Hanyang, Chaput, John C, Chen, Julian, et al.
Created Date
2013

Scientists around the world have been striving to develop artificial light-harvesting antenna model systems for energy and other light-driven biochemical applications. Among the various approaches to achieve this goal, one of the most promising is the assembly of structurally well-defined artificial light-harvesting antennas based on the principles of structural DNA nanotechnology. DNA has recently emerged as an extremely efficient material to organize molecules such as fluorophores and proteins on the nanoscale. It is desirable to develop a hybrid smart material by combining artificial antenna systems based on DNA with natural reaction center components, so that the material can be engineered …

Contributors
Dutta, Palash Kanti, Liu, Yan, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2014

Colloidal quantum dots (QDs) or semiconductor nanocrystals are often used to describe 2 to 20 nm solution processed nanoparticles of various semiconductor materials that display quantum confinement effects. Compared to traditional fluorescent organic dyes, QDs provide many advantages. For biological applications it is necessary to develop reliable methods to functionalize QDs with hydrophilic biomolecules so that they may maintain their stability and functionality in physiological conditions. DNA, a molecule that encodes genetic information, is arguably the smartest molecule that nature has ever produced and one of the most explored bio-macromolecules. DNA directed self-assembly can potentially organize QDs that are functionalized …

Contributors
Samanta, Anirban, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2014

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a biopolymer well known for its role in preserving genetic information in biology, is now drawing great deal of interest from material scientists. Ease of synthesis, predictable molecular recognition via Watson-Crick base pairing, vast numbers of available chemical modifications, and intrinsic nanoscale size makes DNA a suitable material for the construction of a plethora of nanostructures that can be used as scaffold to organize functional molecules with nanometer precision. This dissertation focuses on DNA-directed organization of metallic nanoparticles into well-defined, discrete structures and using them to study photonic interaction between fluorophore and metal particle. Presented here are …

Contributors
Pal, Suchetan, Liu, Yan, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2012

DNA nanotechnology has been a rapidly growing research field in the recent decades, and there have been extensive efforts to construct various types of highly programmable and robust DNA nanostructures. Due to the advantage that DNA nanostructure can be used to organize biochemical molecules with precisely controlled spatial resolution, herein we used DNA nanostructure as a scaffold for biological applications. Targeted cell-cell interaction was reconstituted through a DNA scaffolded multivalent bispecific aptamer, which may lead to promising potentials in tumor therapeutics. In addition a synthetic vaccine was constructed using DNA nanostructure as a platform to assemble both model antigen and …

Contributors
Liu, Xiaowei, Liu, Yan, Chang, Yung, et al.
Created Date
2012

Nature is a master at organizing biomolecules in all intracellular processes, and researchers have conducted extensive research to understand the way enzymes interact with each other through spatial and orientation positioning, substrate channeling, compartmentalization, and more. DNA nanostructures of high programmability and complexity provide excellent scaffolds to arrange multiple molecular/macromolecular components at nanometer scale to construct interactive biomolecular complexes and networks. Due to the sequence specificity at different positions of the DNA origami nanostructures, spatially addressable molecular pegboard with a resolution of several nm (less than 10 nm) can be achieved. So far, DNA nanostructures can be used to build …

Contributors
Yang, Yuhe Renee, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2016

As the genetic information storage vehicle, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules are essential to all known living organisms and many viruses. It is amazing that such a large amount of information about how life develops can be stored in these tiny molecules. Countless scientists, especially some biologists, are trying to decipher the genetic information stored in these captivating molecules. Meanwhile, another group of researchers, nanotechnologists in particular, have discovered that the unique and concise structural features of DNA together with its information coding ability can be utilized for nano-construction efforts. This idea culminated in the birth of the field of DNA …

Contributors
Han, Dongran, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2012

Natural hydrogenases catalyze the reduction of protons to molecular hydrogen reversibly under mild conditions; these enzymes have an unusual active site architecture, in which a diiron site is connected to a cubane type [4Fe-4S] cluster. Due to the relevance of this reaction to energy production, and in particular to sustainable fuel production, there have been substantial amount of research focused on developing biomimetic organometallic models. However, most of these organometallic complexes cannot revisit the structural and functional fine-tuning provided by the protein matrix as seen in the natural enzyme. The goal of this thesis is to build a protein based …

Contributors
Roy, Anindya, Ghirlanda, Giovanna, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2014

Telomerase is a special reverse transcriptase that extends the linear chromosome termini in eukaryotes. Telomerase is also a unique ribonucleoprotein complex which is composed of the protein component called Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (TERT) and a telomerase RNA component (TR). The enzyme from most vertebrate species is able to utilize a short template sequence within TR to synthesize a long stretch of telomeric DNA, an ability termed "repeat addition processivity". By using human telomerase reconstituted both in vitro (Rabbit Reticulocyte Lysate) and in vivo (293FT cells), I have demonstrated that a conserved motif in the reverse transcriptase domain of the telomerase …

Contributors
Xie, Mingyi, Chen, Julian J.L., Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2010

Aging-related damage and failure in structures, such as fatigue cracking, corrosion, and delamination, are critical for structural integrity. Most engineering structures have embedded defects such as voids, cracks, inclusions from manufacturing. The properties and locations of embedded defects are generally unknown and hard to detect in complex engineering structures. Therefore, early detection of damage is beneficial for prognosis and risk management of aging infrastructure system. Non-destructive testing (NDT) and structural health monitoring (SHM) are widely used for this purpose. Different types of NDT techniques have been proposed for the damage detection, such as optical image, ultrasound wave, thermography, eddy current, …

Contributors
Chang, Qinan, Liu, Yongming, Mignolet, Marc, et al.
Created Date
2019

DNA has recently emerged as an extremely promising material to organize molecules on nanoscale. The reliability of base recognition, self-assembling behavior, and attractive structural properties of DNA are of unparalleled value in systems of this size. DNA scaffolds have already been used to organize a variety of molecules including nanoparticles and proteins. New protein-DNA bio-conjugation chemistries make it possible to precisely position proteins and other biomolecules on underlying DNA scaffolds, generating multi-biomolecule pathways with the ability to modulate inter-molecular interactions and the local environment. This dissertation focuses on studying the application of using DNA nanostructure to direct the self-assembly of …

Contributors
Liu, Minghui, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2013

The discovery of DNA helical structure opened the door of modern molecular biology. Ned Seeman utilized DNA as building block to construct different nanoscale materials, and introduced a new field, know as DNA nanotechnology. After several decades of development, different DNA structures had been created, with different dimension, different morphology and even with complex curvatures. In addition, after construction of enough amounts DNA structure candidates, DNA structure template, with excellent spatial addressability, had been used to direct the assembly of different nanomaterials, including nanoparticles and proteins, to produce different functional nanomaterials. However there are still many challenges to fabricate functional …

Contributors
Zhao, Zhao, Yan, Hao, Liu, Yan, et al.
Created Date
2013

Telomerase is a specialized enzyme that adds telomeric DNA repeats to the chromosome ends to counterbalance the progressive telomere shortening over cell divisions. It has two essential core components, a catalytic telomerase reverse transcriptase protein (TERT), and a telomerase RNA (TR). TERT synthesizes telomeric DNA by reverse transcribing a short template sequence in TR. Unlike TERT, TR is extremely divergent in size, sequence and structure and has only been identified in three evolutionarily distant groups. The lack of knowledge on TR from important model organisms has been a roadblock for vigorous studies on telomerase regulation. To address this issue, a …

Contributors
Li, Yang, Chen, Julian Jl, Yan, Hao, et al.
Created Date
2011

Image-based process monitoring has recently attracted increasing attention due to the advancement of the sensing technologies. However, existing process monitoring methods fail to fully utilize the spatial information of images due to their complex characteristics including the high dimensionality and complex spatial structures. Recent advancement of the unsupervised deep models such as a generative adversarial network (GAN) and generative adversarial autoencoder (AAE) has enabled to learn the complex spatial structures automatically. Inspired by this advancement, we propose an anomaly detection framework based on the AAE for unsupervised anomaly detection for images. AAE combines the power of GAN with the variational …

Contributors
YEH, HUAI-MING, Yan, Hao, Pan, Rong, et al.
Created Date
2019