Issue 7, Spring 2013 - Coastal Carolina University
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Issue 7, Spring 2013

The Influence of Ubiquitin-Related Modifier Protein URM1 on Prion Formation

Jacob Beaver (Biology)

Prions are infectious proteins that are autocatalyzing (formed by altering a regular protein into the structurally different prion form), and are associated with many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Bovine Spongiform encephalopathy (or Mad Cow disease). This experiment tested the effect of three different plasmids—pH317, pER62, and pMP46—on prion formation in both wild-type and Urm1 deletion mutants in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The proposed hypothesis was over-expression of the Ure2 prion forming protein would increase the frequency of prion formation, as well as yield less sustainable prion amyloids (or prion aggregations) that are easier to cure. Another purpose of this experiment was to investigate how the presence or absence of the URM1 gene affects the overall formation of prions. The data showed that over-expression of proteins was seen to increase prion formation, and that over-expression yielding prions were less sustainable across generations. Also shown was that deletion mutants yielded higher numbers of prions than their wild-type counterparts.Curing through use of over-expression and guanidine, which inhibits the chaperone proteins associated with dividing prions during cellular division, proved inconclusive because there was no visible difference between any of the three plasmids.


Assessment of Balance in Collegiate Cheerleaders

Caitlin Carroll (Excercise and Sport Management)

Due to the nature of the activity, competitive cheerleaders are susceptible to falls, which can lead to injury. However, cheerleaders that get put into the air (“flyers”), may have better balance ability as compared to those that hold or support flyers (“bases”). However, no previous research could be located comparing balance ability and fall risk between these positions. The purpose of this study was to assess balance ability and fall risk in female, collegiate cheerleaders. It was found that within the past year, 63.6% of cheerleaders experienced a fall, while 45% reported lower extremity injuries due to participation in their sport. Our data indicate that both positions are at high risk for falls, despite flyers having significantly lower fall risk than bases. The data also indicate that fall risk is related to recent injury and indices of leg strength. This suggests that conditioning programs should also focus on balance ability along with muscle strength.


UN-REDD and the Yasuní-ITT Initiative

Dominique de Wit (Political Science)

The importance of reaching out to and including local stakeholders and local norms is becoming a factor within the formation and implementation of global environmental governance mechanisms. In recent years the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) block of the Ecuadorian Yasuní National Park has caught widespread international attention due to its biological and cultural diversity, as well as its impact on carbon emissions at a time when climate change is a big concern for many. This article evaluates the contradictions and imperatives of two initiatives, the first being the Yasuní-ITT Initiative, formulated domestically on alternative non-extraction norms. The second is the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD) based on an international foundation of accepted norms pursuant in the existing Kyoto Protocol. While further research needs to be done on their applicability as overarching regimes are shaped around existing neoliberal frameworks and extraction norms, both models have shown the importance of the role of such international organizations as the United Nations in global environmental governance.


Investigating Volatility Trends of Silver

Dylan Houston (Information Systems)

Volatility is a statistical measure that describes the amount of fluctuation in prices for a given investment; generally, the higher the volatility for an investment, the riskier it is perceived to be. Traders study volatility history so that they can make informed decisions on how to invest capital. The purpose of this article is to analyze implied volatility values, which are derived from the investment’s price and are considered the market’s estimate of the investment’s actual volatility, for silver electronically traded fund (ETF) options in periods of both high and low price movement. In doing so, we desired to see whether or not the general market perception of silver ETF options demonstrated significantly different trends between periods of high and low price movement. Our results demonstrated that implied volatility trends did not show any significant differences between the periods of low and high price movement, and therefore market perception of iShares Silver Trust (SLV) options did not radically change, regardless of the price changes of SLV.


Word, Spirit, and Power: Women and Prophetic Authority in the Early Church

Mitchell Locklear (History)

In the second century, a prophetic movement emerged out of Asia Minor that sent shockwaves through the Christian Church. Montanism, as the movement became known, emphasized both prophetic and female authority. These aspects of the movement were a threat to the male hierarchy of bishops, and in their efforts to combat threats to both episcopacy and patriarchy, Church leaders tied prophetic excesses to the usurpation of authority by women. Both Montanists and their opponents used New Testament literature and their own understandings of Church tradition to legitimize their claims. Church leaders were largely successful in neutralizing prophecy as a threat to episcopal authority, but they were not as successful in their attacks on women’s authority. Women continued to pursue other avenues to exert spiritual influence on the Church.


Who’s Allowed to Ride the Short Bus? Un-Defining Disability

Hannah Widdifield (English)

This article uses personal testimony as a vehicle for deconstructing the theory and literature of disability studies. The definition of disability is traced from the term’s origins to its present-day representations in popular culture, and I end with a look toward the future of the subject in academic settings and in society at large. The fictional character of Artie Abrams is considered alongside the real-life figure of Oscar Pistorius in an attempt to analyze the dangers and motives behind stereotypes surrounding the “disabled character.” Throughout the article, anecdotal excerpts are included to emphasize the importance of the personal perspective in better understanding the disabled experience. The ultimate goal is to turn the disabled figure from object into subject by un-defining what it means to be disabled.