Gene Therapy: A Toolkit for Targeting Cancer

Authors:  Nicole Lindsay-Mosher, Cathy Su

Cancer causes one in seven deaths worldwide, making it one of the most important issues in the world of biotechnology today. Current cancer therapies, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, have severe side effects and often prove ineffective at completely eradicating malignant cells. Therefore, a more selective method of targeting tumour cells must be designed. Gene therapy holds great potential to selectively target cancer cells, allowing the treatment to effectively destroy the cancer while leaving healthy tissues intact. In order to develop a gene therapy treatment, two main obstacles must be overcome: a therapeutic agent must be developed to facilitate genetic changes, and a delivery method must be optimized to insert the therapeutic agent into target cells.

Got Ink? An Analysis of Personality Traits between Tattooed and Non-Tattooed Individuals

Author:  Sophia Carter

Research supports personality differences between tattooed and non-tattooed individuals. However, few studies have investigated whether any of these differences are associated with positive indicators for tattooed individuals. In this study, personality differences between tattooed and non-tattooed individuals in three of the Big Five personality areas considered critical to successful employees in the workforce were examined. Previous research has established that higher levels of conscientiousness and extraversion coupled with lower levels of neuroticism are indicators of high-quality employees. The present study attempts to augment this line of research by adding the dimension of tattoos; investigating whether individuals with tattoos report more positive personality indicators in these dimensions than individuals without tattoos. Thus it was hypothesized that tattooed individuals would report higher levels of conscientiousness and extraversion and lower levels of neuroticism than non-tattooed individuals.

A Comparative Study of Herpetofauna in a Primary Forest and Reforested Area in Coastal Ecuador

Author:  Julie A. Steinke

Deforestation impacts tropical forests and alters habitats worldwide, which can negatively affect sensitive species. Reforestation efforts are currently increasing. However, little is known about herpetofaunal (reptile and amphibian) reconstruction post-reforestation, other than that it is a slow process. This study focuses on determining impacts of reforestation efforts in coastal Ecuador. Transects at similar elevations were established in a forested and reforested area in and near the Jama-Coaque Ecological Reserve. Visual Encounter Surveys (VES) were carried out, and species richness, abundance, composition, and density were determined. A Chi-square test was used to determine association between reptiles and amphibians within the two sites, and a t-test was used to determine if there was a significant difference in species density between the two sites. Five species of reptiles and eight species of amphibians were detected.