Precision Genome Engineering and Agriculture: Opportunities and Regulatory Challenges

Plant agriculture is poised at a technological inflection point. Recent advances in genome engineering make it possible to precisely alter DNA sequences in living cells, providing unprecedented control over a plant’s genetic material.

Positively Charged Residues Are the Major Determinants of Ribosomal Velocity

Both for understanding mechanisms of disease and for the design of transgenes, it is important to understand the determinants of ribosome velocity, as changes in the rate of translation are important for protein folding, error attenuation, and localization. While there is great variation in ribosomal occupancy along even a single transcript, what determines a ribosome’s occupancy is unclear. We examine this issue using data from a ribosomal footprinting assay in yeast.

The Effects of Ocean Freshening on Marine and Atmospheric Circulation: Impacts and Solutions

Ocean freshening (the desalination of the oceans) is occurring, in part, due to increased terrestrial runoff and ice cap melting caused by rising carbon dioxide emissions. Ocean freshening causes a variety of problems on its own, independent of other variables of global climate change.

Diversifying Petersburg’s Economy: Assuring Resiliency against a Potential China Market Crash

The total proportion of Petersburg’s population that fished was 25.8% in 2013. Moreover, the estimated earnings related to fisheries in 2013 was $65.7 million. Given the importance of the seafood industry and Petersburg’s connection to the world market, we decided to look at what might happen to Petersburg if China’s market were to crash and could no longer buy our fish.

The Effects of Timber Harvest on the East Duncan Canal Estuary

The Tonka Timber Sale is planned for Kupreanof Island near Petersburg in southeast Alaska. Little study has been given to the effect of timber harvest on estuaries. We are providing an analysis of timber harvests on East Duncan Canal estuaries. The two main studies we observed are biogeochemical cycling and hydrological processes.

The Effects of Declining Sea Ice on Narwhals

Narwhal populations number around 80,000 individuals (Laidre, n.d.). Threats to narwhals include polar bears, orca whales, and entrapments in sea ice (“The Narwhal’s Tale: Surviving Sea Ice Change,” 2012). Other potential problems include the melting of global sea ice, which will reshape their habitat.

Decreasing Arctic Sea Ice Through the Eyes of Spectacled Eiders

Arctic sea ice is decreasing due to carbon emissions and greenhouse gases, with rates of decline between 2001-2005 at 8.6%. Ice Mass Buoys have been used to gather data suggesting that the sea ice thickness is decreasing twice as fast as sea ice extent is. Models predict that sea ice is ever declining though rates vary model to model.

Tsunami and Earthquake Effects and Coastal Resilience in Palmer, Alaska

We of the Palmer High Ocean Bowl team based our research project on the concept that the Matanuska-Susitna Valley could be washed out by a tsunami of a significant size. We chose this topic because our team members are residents of the valley and wanted to investigate the effects of a tsunami on the local area and what could be done to protect our home and keep it resilient.

Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification is the decrease of the seawater pH level. Ocean acidification effects the chemistry and biology of the oceans. Several things can be directly and indirectly affected. Our community is located near the Bering Sea. The Bering Sea could be affected by ocean acidification in many ways such as the dissolving of marine calcifier’s shells.

New Insights into Unusual Genetic Disorder Pave the Way for Promising Treatments

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) may not receive as much attention as Down syndrome or other genetic diseases that affect brain development. But as its lengthy name suggests, it is a multifaceted disorder that can have wide-ranging effects on an individual’s life. TSC affects about 1 in 6,000 people, causing seizures, mental retardation, and benign tumors in the brain and other organs.

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