Draft #52

Submitted by ashorey on Fri, 12/06/2019 - 14:19

Global warming is a rapidly increasing phenomenom. Many people choose not to believe that global warming exists, citing phrases like "Why is it snowing then?" and "It doesn't feel warmer" as arguments for how global warming is not occurring. Instead of entertaining these ideas, the more all-encompassing term used is climate change. Climate change references general changes in weather patterns, warming and cooling of large areas over long periods of time, increases in natural disasters, and the greenhouse effect's. Trends that have been proven scientifically and reserached by many highlight the patterns that are causing and increasing the effects of climate change. All levels of greenhouse gases are rising and temperature trends are increasing steadily by 0.2 degrees centigrade or more.

december 6th 2019

Submitted by mlabib on Fri, 12/06/2019 - 14:19

Recent developments in the science community have allowed recombinant technologies to be used to create new vaccines. In the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of medications produced to prevent infections and diseases. Before any product is released, it must be tested to ensure the quality, safety and efficiency of the product when used on humans. Few countries are trying to legalize the use of genetically modified organisms in their vaccines. The use of GMOs in vaccines is to enhance the immune response against the infectious agent or tumor cells. The GMO used in chosen on a case by case basis to ensure that appropriate evaluations can be determined after. GMO regulation is very complex and requires a lot of trials. The hope is that these GMO vaccines can be used to treat HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and other emerging diseases in the future. 

            Some successful vaccines have been released in Europe, including the Dengvaxia vaccine. Dengvaxia, is a GMO vaccine, used to prevent the dengue disease, a mosquito borne viral disease. This virus causes 20,000- 25,000 deaths each year, mainly children, and can infect a person more than once in their lifetime. In the past multiple vaccines were usually needed to prevent infections. The dengvaxia vaccine was developed by using a strand of the yellow fever vaccine as a vector, which was then genetically modified to express different genes. 


Draf #53

Submitted by ashorey on Fri, 12/06/2019 - 14:16


Our project was the analysis of different HOX genes in humans and aquatic species to identify the relation between the organisms and the history in their evolution. We started our research project based off of group 5's proposal, but adjusted it to our own project by selecting different HOX genes and organisms to investigate based on those with the HOX genes of interest available in the nucleotide database on the NCBI website. We decided to investigate HOXC6, 10, and 12 in Humans, Zebra fish, Long-finned pilot whale, Orca, and others as seen here in one of the phylogeny trees. After obtaining the DNA sequences for these genes and inputting them into the MEGA software for analysis and building of the trees, we discuss how the trees demonstrate the relationships between the different species and also show the evolutionary history based on how early the branches diverge on the scale.


Submitted by mlabib on Fri, 12/06/2019 - 14:13

The religious violence then came not too long after the political violence. President Hosni Mubarak has urged Egypt's Muslims and Christians to stand united against terrorism after a bombing outside a church in Alexandria in 2011At least 21 people were killed and 70 hurt in the suspected suicide attack, which happened during a New Year's Eve service at the al-Qiddissin Church. You may have thought this violence would reside but on 11 December 2016, a suicide bomber killed 29 people and injured 47 others at St. Peter and St. Paul's Church (commonly known as El-Botroseya Church). Another example being 2017, where bombs went off at two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt on April 9th, killing more than 40 people and injuring dozens of others. The attacks occurred on Palm Sunday ― one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, which were aimed at a vulnerable religious minority on one of the most important days on the Christian calendar

Draft 43

Submitted by dfmiller on Fri, 12/06/2019 - 14:00

Handrigan, G. R. (2003). Concordia discors: duality in the origin of the vertebrate tail. Journal of Anatomy, 202(3), 255–267. doi: 10.1046/j.1469-7580.2003.00163.x 

  • Tail formation stemming from ventral ectodermal ridge (VER) activity is not like that of AER. VER does not employ FGF signaling, and is therefore an entirely different system. Presents the idea that tails form similar to that of a limb bud (secondary development) as well as the view of gastrulation 

Draft 42

Submitted by dfmiller on Fri, 12/06/2019 - 13:58

Interdigital webbing is found among many vertebrates in the early stages of development. However, many of these organisms remove this webbing through tissue-specific apoptosis, removing the interdigital membrane back towards the digits. Some mammals retain this webbing, such as bats. This is feasible through inhibition of apoptosis, specifically through the BMP inhibitor Gremlin.1 BMP signaling typically results in apoptosis in expressed tissues, but through Gre inhibition, these tissues remain and can be repurposed-in the case of bats-for flight.

(1) Weatherbee, S. D., Behringer, R. R., Rasweiler, J. J., & Niswander, L. A. (2006). Interdigital webbing retention in bat wings illustrates genetic changes underlying amniote limb diversification. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(41), 15103–15107. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0604934103  

Seed Coat Germination Project

Submitted by imadjidov on Fri, 12/06/2019 - 13:55

The seed coat plays an important role in the growth, germination, and protection of the seed. In some plants, there is some evidence that the seed coat might inhibit the seed’s germination. Our study investigated whether the removal of the seed coat impacted the seed germination time. 


We studied 6 species:

  • Whole green peas

  • Barley

  • Chickpeas

  • Pinto beans 

  • Baby lima beans 

  • Green split beans

  • Their seed coats were removed using an exacto knife and soaked in water for 1 hour. The seeds were then divided into groups, including the unremoved coat, which is the control. Finally, the seeds were checked every 12 hours and the state of the seeds was recorded.


A graph showing the germination of half the seeds over time shows that many seeds germinated slower without a coating. Time When Over Half of the Seeds Germinated. Comparison of the time when half of the seeds germinated. For barley, baby lima beans, and green split beans, intact seed coats germinated faster. Possible future experiments may lead towards figuring out how optimal germination rates vary by seed species.

Perfect Paragraph 11

Submitted by dfmiller on Fri, 12/06/2019 - 13:47

In the developing tooth, enamel deposition varies among organisms. In omnivorous homo sapiens, enamel strength and quantity is much less than that of a sea otter, who prodominantly feeds on hard shellfish. It is important, then, to understand this pathway that results in this differential deposition of enamel in developing teeth. Stem cells in the developing teeth that express Sox2 travel to the inner enamel epithelium within the developing tooth1. There, they give rise to transit amplifying (TA) cells that rapidly divide, move to the distal tip of the developing tooth, and differentiate into ameloblasts1. Ameloblasts deposit enamel matrix proteins. As a result, Sox2 overexpression could lead to increased enamel deposition and a hardening of teeth.

(1) Li, J., Parada, C., & Chai, Y. (2017). Cellular and molecular mechanisms of tooth root development. Development, 144(3), 374–384. doi: 10.1242/dev.137216


Submitted by nkantorovich on Fri, 12/06/2019 - 13:29

In Boston, the bodies of water surrounding the city affect the temperature. The high specific heat of water causes it to cool and warm more slowly. Amherst not located in a coastal environment, but in an inland environment. This causes the temperature to be more moderate throughout the year.  The tilt of the Earth throughout the seasons causes changes in solar radiation. Amherst is located in the North Hemisphere and is affected based on the sun’s location coupled with the Earth’s tilt. In the summer, the sun is located above the Northern Hemisphere while in the winter the sun is located farther away. The tropics receive more direct solar energy causing a greater amount of evaporation than in areas of higher latitude. The air is also warmer in the tropics which causes it to rise and condense. This leads to the air retaining more water. 



Draft 1

Submitted by nkantorovich on Fri, 12/06/2019 - 13:28

There are multiple reasons that poles are cold. There is less daylight hours in the poles and the sunlight has a higher amount of reflection due to larger amounts of ice, snow and water. This causes heat to be reflected and lower the temperature of the air. In addition, there is less water vapor in the poles due to the lower temperature lowering the capacity for water to evaporate. Less moisture in the air allows energy in the form of heat to escape. The sun’s position around the poles causes the atmospheric length to be longer; leading to a lower amount of radiation actually reaching the surface. These factors lead to the air becoming colder.


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