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Manuscripts for 2022 Fall and 2023 Spring

Brainwave Music: A Scientific Review of Psychological Effects and Future Innovations

Published in March 2023

Sihe Wang

Beijing No.4 High School International Campus, Beijing China

vol 2023(1) 100 - 112

This literature review introduces brainwave music (BWM), a revolutionary type of music generated using digitally filtered brainwaves as displayed in electroencephalography (EEG) impulses. The review summarizes the previous studies on the applications of BWM in different fields and presents a vision for future innovative uses. The review also explains how EEG data is used to map mental state to music with similar arousal levels, and how BWM can be used in clinical or psychological settings. Additionally, the review discusses how brainwave music can have positive effects on various mental states such as anxiety, sleep, and more. The review also highlights the importance of portability and operability in future brainwave music applications, and the potential for incorporating visual elements such as video and flashes to enhance the experience. Overall, brainwave music combines neurology, science, and music therapy to improve focus, energy, stress, anxiety, pain, and sleep.

 The Secret World of Crows (Corvus): Biology, Behavior, & Cognitive Abilities

Published in March 2023

Marina Seidl et al.,

Northwest Academy, Portland, OR USA

vol 2023(1) 89 - 99

Crows are an enigma to the world of biology—still under-researched and the extent of their cognitive abilities remains unknown. Throughout millennia, crows have influenced human cultures, including artwork, literature, poetry, and language. From reverence to repulsion, human perceptions of crows have evolved throughout history. As a recurring avian symbol in human society, our goal was to summarize recent and historical research on the complex and intricate minds of crows and ravens, while creating artwork in response to our work. In addition, we wanted to inform the public of crows’ ecological importance and presence in urban environments. This manuscript synthesizes recent scientific discoveries of crows and ravens and includes our original artwork as figures. Exploring crow behavior and biology, this review paper is organized into five thematic sections characterizing the life of a crow—neuroscience, communication, learning, urban habitat, and interactions with humans.

The Unknown Death Toll of COVID-19:
How The Pandemic Killed One Million Americans Long Before 2022

Published in March 2023

John Dong

Campolindo High School, Moraga, CA USA

vol 2023(1) 83 - 88

In this paper, I intend to convince the reader that the actual number of deaths caused both directly and indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States of America has been much more than officially reported. According to an excess death regression model which accounts for circumstantial and unreported COVID deaths, there are approximately 130,000 additional pandemic-related deaths in 2020 and 140,000 in 2021. Adding the officially reported 831,000 COVID deaths in these two years, the pandemic may have caused over 1 million deaths much sooner than the officially reported date, May 24th, 2022.

Dendrimers and Cancer Therapy: A Review and Analysis

Published in February 2023

Alexander Xu

Apex Learning Virtual High School, Richardson, TX USA

vol 2023(1) 76 - 82

Over the past two decades, dendrimers have emerged as a novel class of nanoparticles for cancer therapy and detection. They come in many varieties and are used to carry molecules like drugs or to act as imaging agents. They are composed of branches radiating out from a core, holding drugs between their branches or at the ends of them. Dendrimers are useful because of their customizability. They can be used for actively delivering drugs to tumors or for detecting cancer. Dendrimers have various traits that make them good for drug delivery, including their stability, water solubility, and uniformity. However, dendrimers also have limitations, displaying toxicity, or noting accumulate enough in the intended areas, and their interactions with the body are little known. Therefore, modifications to dendrimer structures are underway to solve some of the issues that their use presents. Overall, dendrimers show great potential in cancer therapy, but additional work needs to be done to enhance their specificity and effectiveness. They are important in the design of personalized cancer therapies, which we believe are the future of effective cancer treatment. 

In Silico Drug Target Identification via Methylation Factors
with Implementation in TP53 Liver Cancer Gene

Published in February 2023

Sahithi Pogula

Hopkinton High School, Hopkinton, MA USA

vol 2023(1) 70 - 75

The limitations of drug discovery are infamous, with a single drug development setting back an institution millions of dollars and decades of time with only a 0.1% rate of success. Novel identification of target leads for drugs through currently unused epigenetic measures reduces these hurdles, incredibly expediting the drug pipeline. Here we identified two novel approaches for reducing liver cancer. In the first approach, this project focuses on reducing the hypermethylation of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) by modulating the 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) biological pathway. Using pattern search and similarity indexes, Algorithm-1 can identify potential positions of pathway induction by comparing aberrant sequences with normal sequences and using a CpG island pattern trigger. Algorithm-1 identified the TP53 liver cancer gene at positions 33-35. In the second approach, this project focuses on inhibiting spliceosome factors that are responsible for 5mC production. Using machine learning methods and pattern search, such spliceosome factors are identified. Algorithm-2 identified the Prp9 protein. Both the proposed solutions provide new insight into a cure for Liver Cancer never previously explored through traditional methods of drug discovery.

The Effects of Colored Surgical Masks on Emotion Recognition
and Perception in Adolescents

Published in February 2023

Phuong Bui

Christchurch School, Christchurch, VA USA

vol 2023(1) 64 - 69

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many studies have explored the effects of face masks on emotion recognition, yet no studies were conducted to explore the effect of different colored face masks on emotion recognition. This paper investigated the effect of four colors: red, black, green, and blue, compared to white, on perception of emotional intensity and recognition accuracy. 34 high schoolers were tested through a survey consisting of 120 images of models wearing surgical masks with photoshopped color stimuli. A significant effect was found in the colors red and green. Red enhances the perceived emotional intensity, and green confuses people into thinking the expression is disgust.

 Lifestyle Factors that Impact Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease

Published in February 2023

Medha Sarkar

Los Gatos High School, Los Gatos, CA USA

vol 2023(1) 53 - 63

While there have been decades of research looking into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the true underlying pathogenesis continues to be a focus of active mechanistic studies. Even so, there is little holistic understanding of what processes or therapies help alleviate the decline of memory and cognition. As a result, it is difficult for caregivers and healthcare providers to have tangible actions to focus on that are validated to maintain or improve an Alzheimer’s patient’s function and quality of life. Here, we present a literature review of the currently available research to examine which social and physiological factors, such as music, exercise, diet, and more, affect the disease progression and, of those, which slow it. We then summarize the currently available treatment options for Alzheimer’s dementia based on the previous findings. For example, melatonin improves disrupted circadian rhythms, while aerobic exercise and Mediterranean diets give neurons protection against beta-amyloid dysfunction through increased brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Additionally, SSRI drugs can help maintain brain mass while music therapy can temporarily activate preserved brain regions that enable positive moods.

Breakthroughs in Honey Bee Health, Continuous-Release Mist Diffusion
of Thymol-Based Essential Oils: Part II - The Field Study

Published in February 2023

Kaitlyn N. Culbert

Toms River High School North, Toms River, NJ USA

vol 2023(1) 46 - 52

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are pivotal pollinators in agricultural and natural ecosystems; however, since the winter of 2006-2007, honey bee colonies have been disappearing. The greatest single contributor to the decline of honey bee health is the Varroa mite. Synthetic chemicals are used to control Varroa, but the mites are developing resistance. Essential oils (EO) may be a viable alternative. EO are cheaper, environmentally-friendly, pose fewer health risks to bees and consumers, and Varroa have not developed resistance to the oils. Currently, all commercially available thymol-centered systems are gel-based and work by direct contact with the mite. These systems are also highly dependent on temperature and humidity for effectiveness. Following the laboratory investigation (Part I), this field study (Part II) examined the use of thymol-based EO for miticide efficacy as well as the use of mist diffusers to eliminate any dependence of the essential oils on temperature and humidity conditions. Miticide efficacy was recorded as: thyme>oregano>rosemary>control (vegetable glycerin). Across all tested EO, the highest miticide activity occurred during the first two weeks of treatment. A brief cost analysis demonstrated using mist diffusers was more cost-effective than commercially available thymol-based systems (US$3.20 versus US$15-$18 per application). Continuous-release mist diffusion permits the disbursement of EO throughout the entire hive and effectively provided early elimination of mites as they emerged from the brood cell, while remaining safe for honey bees.

Mutation Pathogenicity and the Viability of HSP Therapy
for Mutated HEX-A in Tay-Sachs Disease

Published in January 2023

Aditya Shrinivasan

Evergreen Valley High School, San Jose, CA USA

vol 2023(1) 37 - 45

This work explored three different concepts. First, docking studies were performed with various mutant HexA structures and Arimoclomol (a Heat Shock Protein inducer), with statistical analysis to establish any correlation between noted binding affinity and either mutation pathogenicity or mutation type. This was followed by the review of Arimoclomol and Heat Shock Therapy as a potential therapeutic option for Tay Sachs disease, exploring the possibility for a future clinical trial. Finally, a gene mutation pathogenicity prediction model was developed using classification with the available dataset of HEXA gene mutations to experimentally determine the pathogenicity of any HEXA mutation. The statistical analysis found no correlations between either the mutation type or mutation pathogenicity and binding affinity. This leads to the conclusion that amino acid alterations don’t play a role in causing pathogenicity and benignity in a mutation and that the mutation type doesn’t affect the strength of interaction between a potential treatment and the mutant protein. The mutation pathogenicity prediction model study indicated that due to the lack of sufficient features and further compounded by the low correlation between the few features, the accuracy of the resulting model was not very high. Additionally, Arimoclomol was recommended for a clinical trial with Tay Sachs Disease.

Effect and Significance of Temperature on the Speed of Electromagnetic Waves

Published in January 2023

Una Ding

Uppingham School, Uppingham, Rutland, United Kingdom

vol 2023(1) 33 - 36

This project investigates the effect of temperature on the speed of electromagnetic wave when passing through water. In this experiment, a laser beam is fired through a semi-circular refraction dish containing water at an angle where the beam total internally reflected. After measuring the critical angle, calculations were made to derive the refractive index of water and ultimately the laser speed. The refractive index of water and hence speed of electromagnetic wave could be calculated. At the end of the investigation, there are no observable changes in the critical angle. Further research revealed that as the temperature increases, the speed of electromagnetic wave increases. However this change is negligible as the temperature range investigated is narrow. This effect’s cause is a slight decrease in liquid density, which decreases the refractive index of water when it is heated as a result.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Right Median Nerve Stimulation in the Treatment of Coma: A Review of Previous Studies, Mechanisms of Action, and Future Potentials

Published in January 2023

Chloe Y. Chan

Lowell High School, San Francisco, CA USA

vol 2023(1) 21 - 32

Disorders of consciousness affect a large percentage of patients with brain trauma, and diagnosed patients face a high mortality rate. Recently though, two types of nerve stimulation have proved promising effects: vagus and right median nerve stimulation. Because of their extensive projections throughout the regions of the brain responsible for consciousness, the vagus and right median nerves have been targeted for studies of nerve stimulation in the treatment of coma and have proven effective in improving the states of consciousness in comatose patients. Although complete mechanisms are still unknown, many studies have corroborated the idea that delivering electrical pulses through such stimulation can elevate levels of brain activity in the stagnant coma-state brain, especially in sleep-wake cycle related brain regions such as the reticular activating system, locus coeruleus, parietal cortex, and thalamus. By activating the neurons in these parts of the brain, neural pathways — noradrenergic, cholinergic, GABAergic, dopaminergic, and orexin pathways — are enhanced. These pathways have shown to interact with each other in a complex manner still not yet thoroughly explored, but have proven to collectively increase arousal in coma patients. Furthermore, nerve stimulation seems to have positive effects on the physiological healing of the brain from traumatic brain injury, one of the root causes of coma, through increasing cerebral blood flow. Taken together, these studies point towards right median and vagus nerve stimulation as a promising treatment that can help better the outcome of coma.

Novel Therapies in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

Published in January 2023

Eshaan Gandhi

Indian Hill High School, Cincinnati, OH USA

vol 2023(1) 13 - 20

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, caused by the degenerative progression of dopaminergic neurons located in the substantia nigra pars compacta, which results in the decreased production of dopamine — a necessary neurotransmitter to maintain homeostasis. However, the ultimate cause of damage done to these neurotransmitters is unknown, as it has been found that the development of Lewy Bodies, overproduction of calcium ions, and other protein mutations can all cause dopaminergic neurons to be deficient. The development of PD causes deteriorating symptoms such as bradykinesia, motor tremors, muscle stiffness, and impaired balance. No cure for Parkinson’s disease has been developed, in which researchers have instead developed therapies to combat the degenerative symptoms that result from PD. Recently, there has been an amplification in research and generation of medical pharmacologic therapies and invasive surgical therapies, such as Deep Brain Stimulation, to alleviate symptoms. Although current pharmacologic therapies function to a certain degree, they are not effective over long periods, which is how PD becomes increasingly damaging. Similarly, there is a lack of definitive disease-modifying therapies such as alpha-synuclein antibodies, LRRK2 antibodies, exenatide, and isradipine. These disease-modifying pharmaceuticals, surgical therapies, and future treatments must continue to be researched for safety, longevity, and effectiveness to promote optimal quality of PD patients.

Through the One-Sided Mirror: Effects of Commodification on an

Individual's Cultural Perception

Published in January 2023

Muxin Yao

Phillips Academy, Andover, MA USA

vol 2023(1) 1 - 12

Earlier literature and research have examined cross-cultural differences in cognition and behavior across a multitude of fields, spanning sociology, business, and psychology. The scope of such research on cultures has mainly focused on describing the culture, or the individual as part of that culture; in comparison, there has been little investigation of the effects of cultural interactions. Research thus far has investigated subjects such as consumer cultural reactance, as well as responses to cultural identity threats. However, despite this literature, and research on the disparity between internal and external perceptions of self, little literature exists regarding how one views their cultures. Foreign audiences may see a culture different from the people who identify with that culture. This disparity may be further emphasized during cultural branding and marketing when only limited aspects of that culture may be emphasized for monetization. This paper aims to explore how these differences in cultural and self-perception affect one’s perception of their own culture and one’s behavior with respect to that change after the culture has undergone commodification and marketing to a foreign audience. We focus on the nuance within this and how the behaviors may change depending on whether the culture is individualist or collectivist, the level of identification to a culture, and the salience of monetary profit from commodification. Through this, we hope to utilize the literature on cultures, on self vs. other perceptions, and on the commodification of in-groups vs. out-groups to develop a framework for assessing identifier reactions to cultural commodification and intercultural interaction.

Correlation Analysis of The Effectiveness of Covid-19 Vaccination 
Across Different Age Groups in California

Published in December 2022

Sayuri Gautam

Basis Independent Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA USA

vol 2022(2) 195 - 199

For Covid-19 cases and deaths, the disparity among different age groups in California is very high, and so, it is important to know whether this is also a disparity of vaccine effectiveness between ages. Covid-19 cases and deaths data was extracted from data collected by the California government. For each of the age groups, the 7-day moving averages were calculated for deaths, cases, and full vaccinations. The hypothesis is that there is a negative correlation between the full vaccination rate and number of cases/deaths, and the correlation is more significant among older people than younger people. For each age group, visualizations of the full vaccination rates and number of cases/deaths was created separately, and correlation analysis of the variables was run. Finally, the correlations among the age groups was compared. The results suggest negative correlations between full vaccination rates and number of cases and deaths for all the age groups, except for those younger than 17. The significance of the correlations decreases as the group age decreases.

A Border Divided: The Correlation Between California's and
Texas' Political Affiliation and Latino Nationalism

Published in December 2022

Maya Fetzer

Hunterdon Central Regional High School, Flemington, NJ USA

vol 2022(2) 181 - 194

Latinos, the largest minority group in the United States, have grown in civic presence in the national elections from 2016 to 2020. Alongside this growth, the political use of Latinos in post- 2016 campaigning has shown how Latinos are seen as un-American in the United States. However, there existed a gap on whether this increase in connection to the United States through civic engagement, contrasted by that of an un-American political environment, has an influence on the culture of Latinos living on the U.S.-Mexico border. Looking at the trait of nationalism, this paper strived to answer if states’ political affiliation impacted Latinos’ sense of nationalism on the border in Texas and California. This was done through an exploratory sequential mixed-method analysis, where Instagram posts were coded for broad and specific feelings of ‘Latino Identity’ and ‘Nationalism.’ Contrary to the current belief that Latino culture is mostly Democratic as to reflect the popular notion that all minorities vote democrat, this research concluded that the Texan Latino culture reflected cultural values that mimicked the Republican party. Similarly, the Californian group reflected cultural beliefs that mimicked the Democratic party. This implied that the border Latino groups are non-homogenous and assimilating into U.S political identity, as previously hypothesized in the literature. For the future of American politics, this provides backing for the possibility of more targeted political campaigning, and a decrease in un-American advertising. This research provides further proof of Latino culture assimilation on the southern border of the United States.

MusTENG: A Wearable Triboelectric Nanogenerator
for Personalized Rehabilitation of Children with Cerebral Palsy

Published in December 2022

Ishan Ahluwalia

Jesuit High School, Portland, OR USA

vol 2022(2) 168 - 180

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a cognitive disorder in which a child's brain cannot send direct messages to the muscles of a body resulting in impaired motor functions. It is the most common childhood disability that affects up to 3.6 of 1000 kids in the United States. Health professionals currently provide a standard physical therapy plan that has proven to not significantly help. They lack the ability to distinguish the severity level and what is happening at the anatomy of a cerebral palsy patient. This leads to two main problems: without detailed information on which muscles are underperforming, children with cerebral palsy are not getting the most optimal exercises. The second challenge is that there is no method for tracking a child's progress because visual improvement can take months to even years. This project’s system presents a novel approach using a wearable Triboelectric Nano sensor that converts movement from a microscopic level into electricity. The sensors are utilized on the leg, where it gets readings from the three main muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves. An autoencoder neural network machine learning algorithm is run on the data of a simulated cerebral palsy patient and compared to a patient without a disability to determine the severity and location of the spasticity. To test the accuracy of the system a series of comprehensive experiments were run where the sensors readings were compared to muscle tension. Ultimately this system achieved a greater than 83% accuracy in determining muscle spasticity in all 3 leg muscles. To test the applicability of the system, walk testing was conducted where the system was successfully able to give a complete analysis of a simulated Cerebral Palsy patient. With the accurate analysis, personalized exercises are given through a game to ensure the patient's motor functions are improved faster than standard physical therapy.

Deep Transformer based Intent Classifier (DTIC) 

Published in December 2022

Conor Lee and Albert Wang

Saratoga High School, Saratoga, CA USA and Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, CA USA

vol 2022(2) 159 - 167

With the large-scale data availability and increasing popularity of digital service platforms, more and more users have begun reading reviews of listed items before deciding to perform a transaction. To determine the intention of these reviews, we will use a type of machine learning technique called sentiment analysis or intent mining to analyze the texts. A vital task of using Natural Language Processing (NLP) is to classify the opinion or sentiment from text into different sentiment categories. In this work, we propose to use a deep, fine-tuned BERT (bidirectional encoder representations from transformers) intent classifier model to analyze the texts. A xgboost classifier and a classical logistic regression model are used as baselines to compare with the BERT based model. These models are applied to one category of the open public Amazon book review data (Amazon book review data) to perform intent mining and survey the results. From our experiments, we observed the deep learning BERT model showed a higher performance than the other two baseline models. The accuracy of using a deep learning model can be boosted by up to 20%.

Responsibilities of Healthcare Professionals during 
Natural Disasters and Mass Casualty Incidents

Published in November 2022

Haelin Lee

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology, Lawrenceville, GA USA

vol 2022(2) 154 - 158

Disasters and emergencies can strike at any time without leaving any time to prepare. Severe storms, hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, and floods are some of the natural disasters that frequently strike Georgia, USA. Many factors influence a community's exposure and vulnerability to disasters, including natural, artificial, and technological dangers. Floods, storms, droughts, and heatwaves are becoming more frequent and intense in Georgia. Climate-related natural disasters are becoming more frequent, as examined in this study, in light of three major disaster risk factors: expanding population exposure, increased population vulnerability, and increasing climate-related hazards. This study addresses the responsibilities of medical doctors with regard to natural disasters and mass casualty incidents.       

The Effects of Sports Injuries on Mental Health in High School Female Athletes

Published in November 2022

Sophie Mintz

Livingston High School, Livingston, NJ, USA

vol 2022(2) 144 - 153

Sports injuries have become increasingly common in female high school athletes, ranging from ankle or wrist sprains to ACL tears. Despite this, the mental health effects resulting from these injuries have not been investigated. By utilizing a mixed method approach and incorporating survey quantitative data in conjunction with interview qualitative data, the various mental health effects of sports injuries in high school female athletes were examined. It became evident that young female athletes who have experienced injuries deal with major anxiety, mood drops, lack of motivation, lack of confidence, and diminished physical performance. Moreover, positive correlations were established between injury severity and mental struggles. While analyzing prior research and new information from the interviews conducted, a vicious cycle was confirmed regarding stress and re-injury. Overall, this research is significant because it allows female athletes dealing with mental health issues due to sports injuries to understand that they are not alone and to help find healthy ways to address these struggles.

Effects of Empathetic Ability on Multicultural Acceptance 
in Korean Teenagers and Their Parents

Published in November 2022

Stephen Chung Kim

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Hoengseong-gun, Gangwon-Do, Korea

vol 2022(2) 134 - 143

Teenagers from multicultural families living in Korea are suffering from invisible discrimination and cannot fit well in with Koreans having traditional values due to their different appearance and cultures. This study attempted to elucidate the effect of empathetic ability on multicultural acceptance in Korean teenagers and their parents in order to evaluate the perception against teenagers from multicultural families. Korean middle and high school students and their parents were asked to fill out a standardized self-reported questionnaires. Empathetic ability and multicultural acceptance of Korean teenagers and their parents, and correlation between empathetic ability and multicultural acceptance, and effect of empathetic ability on multicultural acceptance were analyzed. Seventy teenagers and seventy parents were participated in the study. With regard to empathetic ability, the teenagers scored significantly higher in taking a view, imagining, and empathetic awakening than their parents. When it comes to multicultural acceptance, the parents scored significantly higher in in multicultural relationship formation, multicultural awareness, multicultural openness, and multicultural empathy than teenagers. Empathetic ability except empathetic interest was significantly correlated with multicultural acceptance. Teenagers' empathetic ability had a significant effect on multicultural acceptance. However, the effect of parents' empathetic ability on multicultural acceptance was not statistically significant. Since Korean teenagers have higher empathetic ability than their parents and have a great impact on multicultural acceptance, in order to enhance the understanding on multicultural society, education improving empathetic ability as well as education promoting multicultural acceptance should be complemented.

Assessing the Influences of Social Media on Youth Civic Engagement

Published in October 2022

Kelsey Wu

Diamond Bar High School, Diamond Bar, CA, USA

vol 2022(2) 117-133

Social media is a Web 2.0 platform that has become a permanent influence on the daily lives of adolescents, becoming one the key influencers in crafting the thought processes, values, and beliefs of youth. One of the biggest influences social media plays on youth is guiding their level of civic engagement and their political values. This paper analyzed the current research published surrounding the topic of social media and youth civic engagement and examined the multitude of factors in which social media constituted either a positive or negative influence on youth civic engagement. Some major findings which highlight the positive effects of social media include increased civic engagement, voter turnout, and education in socio-political issues. Conversely, negative influences of social media on youth civic engagement include exposure to echo chambers which can deepen political polarization, proliferation of fake news, and increased feelings of stress and depression when encountering political media. Aside from the influences, the paper also presents solutions and suggestions to mitigate the issues of social media and brings to light multiple gaps and limitations within the research. By understanding how social media can shape youth’s sense of political standings and obligations as a society we will be able to harness the positive connections to direct towards ensuring social media is an accessible and empowering tool for civic engagement simultaneously working to mitigate and subdue the negative aspects of technology on civic involvement to significantly improve civic participation.  

Effect of Artificial Nature on High School Students’ Learning Experience

Published in October 2022

Ethan Kim

Henry M. Gunn High School, Palo Alto, CA, USA

vol 2022(2) 112-116

Assimilation was required by Indigenous North Americans and Africans in response to European colonization, serving the needs of the colonizers but irreparably disrupting Indigenous family life like increased parental stress, changes to the underlying family structure, and family division. This research paper provides supportive underlying assertions with references to Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and four journal articles. The author contends that only through decolonization and reconciliation can Indigenous peoples reverse some of these negative consequences. Indigenous people can reclaim their cultural and psychological freedoms through decolonization to obtain their sovereignty, like self-manage their land, culture, customs, and political systems.

Effect of Artificial Nature on High School Students’ Learning Experience

Published in October 2022

Jonah Perelman

Randolph High School, Randolph, NJ, USA

vol 2022(2) 102-111

The growing accessibility of technology is creating a new avenue for incorporating nature and its visual, auditorial, and olfactory sensory details into classroom environments. Replicating nature through technology as opposed to using outdoor classrooms can reduce the barriers for teachers to expose their students to nature. The dominant benefit of exposure to nature is reducing students’ mental fatigue which translates into academic and well-being benefits. A treatment including a Smart Board, speakers, laptops, and an Airwick was used to determine whether they can be used together to create a beneficial nature experience for students while reading an article and answering reading comprehension questions. Contrary to the benefits of outdoor classrooms, the findings indicate that benefits of nature to reading comprehension and well-being are not likely attained when it is artificially replicated in a classroom. Teachers and curriculum writers should look toward other tools to maximize the benefits of nature for students.

Colonialism: Analyzing DDT in India: Ethical Considerations

Published in September 2022

Arnav Gaitonde

Seven Lakes High School, Katy, TX, USA

vol 2022(2) 95-101

The application of Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is one of the most debated global issues in the 21st century. Developed in the 1940s, it was discovered that DDT could be used as an insecticide to prevent the spread of diseases such as malaria that transmit to humans through vectors like mosquitoes (Mulliken et al., 2005). In fact, DDT was publicly lauded during the twentieth century for eradicating malaria in many developed nations and is now widely perceived as the most effective deterrent of malaria, especially in developing countries such as India (Mulliken et al., 2005). However, concerns have now risen regarding the detrimental effects of the prolonged use of DDT. Critics exemplify the aforementioned impacts of DDT within several categories including environmental, economic, health, and continued effectiveness. A comprehensive review of current research indicates that the drawbacks associated with the extensive use of DDT on these fronts outweigh its perceived effectiveness in malaria control. Moreover, research suggests that alternatives to DDT such as pyrethroids and ITN distribution show potential in replacing DDT as the primary method of vector-control in India.

Did Macbeth Suffer from PTSD?

Published in September 2022

Leo Park

Don Bosco Prep High School, Ramsey, NJ, USA

vol 2022(2) 91-94

In this paper, the author explores PTSD-related symptoms as seen in the character Macbeth in Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth . It goes in-depth to explain the history and general overview of PTSD. Life-altering symptoms of PTSD are also explained through statistics and a list of common symptoms. The paper dives into the causes of PTSD in Macbeth as horrifying wartime experiences and his murder of King Duncan places a great deal of stress on him. Then the paper explores how Macbeth’s PTSD might explain his later actions such as his apathy to his wife’s untimely death and hallucinations. 

Correlation of the E. coli Concentration with Other Water Quality Parameters
in an Impaired Local Creek

Published in September 2022

Christina D. Hwang

Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Austin, TX, USA

vol 2022(2) 85-90

This study was to determine a correlation of E. coli concentrations with other typical water quality parameters of pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity, electrical conductivity, suspended solids, chloride, sulfate, nitrate, phosphorus, and total hardness as well as flow rate. The recent water quality data from Plum Creek, Texas from September 2020 to June 2021 were utilized. The Pearson’s correlation coefficients (r) were calculated between the E. coli concentration and the aforementioned water quality parameters. Results showed that the E. coli concentration correlates very well with the suspended solids concentration (r = 0.57) and flow rate (r = 0.629). Therefore, the suspended solids and flow rate that are relatively easy and quick can serve as indicators of the E. coli concentration. It is construed that stormwater runon to Plum Creek during rainstorms significantly increased the E. coli concentration in the Plum Creek.

Investigation of Impacts of Hurricanes on Water Quality in Savannah River, GA USA

Published in September 2022

Haelin Lee

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Lawrenceville, GA, USA

vol 2022(2) 79-84

The purpose of this study was to examine the impacts of hurricanes and storms to the water quality along the Savannah River in three consecutive years. Data was collected from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) on different water quality parameters, including turbidity, dissolved oxygen (DO), conductivity, and salinity. Three surface water stations along the Savannah River were selected to collect data from - each in the upper, middle, and lower parts of the river. The data for the month October in years 2017, 2018, and 2019 were chosen to be collected for each variable as these dates correspond to Hurricane Nate, Hurricane Michael, and Tropical Storm Nestor. Based on the data collected, this study compared the different water quality variables before and after the storm and hurricanes. From the graphs created the trends of a general increase in turbidity, increase in dissolved oxygen as well as decrease in salinity along the river during the periods of the storm and hurricanes. This study also found an increase and decrease of conductivity values, which were more affected by the location. Data analysis found that the storms and hurricanes disturb water quality, which could be characterized by the sampling locations; the station's position on the streams.

An Examination of the Friedmann Equations and Evolution of Universes

Published in September 2022

Junzhe Liu

Valley Christian High School, San Jose, CA, USA

vol 2022(2) 72-78

In this paper, we examine the Friedmann equations. The three types of solutions to the Friedmann equations are presented and studied. By analyzing a differential equation, the initial energy density corresponding to each type of solution is determined. Numerical solutions by computer algorithms are presented as examples. A 3D graph is created to illustrate the corresponding energy densities, and a formula is derived to determine if the end behavior of the universe falls under a specific category.

A Comprehensive Review of Dietary and
Nutritional-based Therapeutic Approaches for ALS

Published in August 2022

Garv Mehdiratta et al.

BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, CA, USA

vol 2022(2) 63-71

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes patients to progressively lose their motor function. This study reviewed research conducted on transgenic mice that have a human SOD1 transgene with mutations that replicate the physiological symptoms of ALS. One key approach that is used to extend the lifespan of ALS patients lies in nutritional and dietary management approaches, given that ALS patients tend to experience rapid weight loss and metabolic instability as the disease progresses. In this paper, the effects of the ketogenic diet and the Deanna Protocol are analyzed with regards to increases in mice motor performance and longevity. Transgenic mice put on the Deanna Protocol and mice on the ketogenic diet both experienced statistically significant increases in longevity and motor performance as compared to the baseline results of mice on a standard diet. While these results may seem promising, due to the nature of the differences between disease development and progression and the varying effects of the aforementioned diets between mice and humans, further research is still needed to conclude that the same diet-related benefits lie in human ALS patients as well.

The Overlap of Brand Community and Word of Mouth

Published in August 2022

Vy Hoang

St. Mark's School, Southborough, MA, USA

vol 2022(2) 55 - 62

Brand community, groups of people formed and centered around the brand’s consumption, is not a new concept to brands and researchers. For decades, companies have attempted to establish and strengthen brand communities to bring greater benefits for both businesses and consumers. This review paper will compile previous research on the impact of brand community on customer-brand relationships. The effects of social media and word of mouth on brand community will also be covered in this literature. Furthermore, there will be propositions on the influence of word of mouth on brand community development, which will be illustrated through the comparison and analysis of companies Amazon and Shopee–a leading e-commerce platform in Vietnam. This manuscript will provide valuable resources for companies, especially in developing economies, on how to generate brand loyalty, brand trust, and customer engagement. It will also serve as a foundation for future research on the overlap of brand community and word of mouth.

A Brief Introduction to Wormhole Research

Published in August 2022

Luanna Veroneze Quinalha

Colégio Marista Anjo da Guarda, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil

vol 2022(2) 41 - 54

Wormholes have been an enduring fascination of the science fiction community despite being marginalized by the physics community since their inception. Wormhole research, however, has seen an increase in attention from theoretical physicists following recent results which suggest that traversable wormhole geometries sourced by massless charged fermion fields could be embedded in the Standard Model at length scales below the electroweak scale. This article reviews the simplest wormhole solution, the Ellis-Bronnikov-Morris- Thorne wormhole, in a manner accessible to students who have studied general relativity at the advanced undergraduate level. The energy requirements and physical plausibility for such a solution are discussed. Some recent progress in wormhole research, numerical and analytic, is briefly reviewed. Despite intriguing theoretical advancements, the results presented here do not suggest that traversable wormholes will become technologically viable in the foreseeable future.

The Effects of Culture and Education on the Formation of Body Image and
Exercising Behaviors: Focusing on Korean Female High School Students 
Who Attend an International School

Published in July 2022

Srine K. Shin

Chadwick International School, Incheon, South Korea

vol 2022(2) 30 - 40

The study investigates the effects of culture and education on the body image formation and exercising behaviors of Korean female high school students who attend an international school in South Korea. The study focuses on the concept of body image to examine how respondents perceive actual and desired self-images compared to Korean and U.S. female college students. The primary methodologies are chi-square test and difference in mean t-test. A self-administered survey was conducted, and the responses were compared to the survey results of the study of Lee and Moon (2018). The findings revealed that Chadwick International (CI) students have similar way of thinking with U.S. female college students except for how others perceive their appearance. As a result, CI students showed similar exercising behaviors with U.S. female college students. This study emphasizes that education, as a sub-concept of culture, has a prominent effect on the formation of the body image and resultant exercising behavior of female students. Therefore, we urge the introduction of school education programs that help improve student's physical and psychological well-being.  

The Addicted Brain: The Neurological Implications of Addiction 
in Adults Versus Adolescents

Published in July 2022

Ambica Sharma

Washington-Liberty High School, Arlington, VA, USA

vol 2022(2) 24 - 29

Addiction is a growing concern among the healthcare community as harmful addictive behaviors stemming from various stimuli, such as alcohol and drugs, continue to heighten amongst adults as well as adolescents. In addition to the negative neurological implications of addiction, it is essential to recognize that this addiction has a contrasting effect on an underdeveloped brain compared to a fully developed one. Multiple articles on addiction to stimuli, written by experts in the neuroscience and neuropsychology field, were examined to determine how addiction affects brain function, including long-term and short-term effects, neurotransmission and neuronal circuits, adaptation, regrowth, etc., and treatment of adults versus adolescents. While most of the negative neurological implications of addiction are identified and analyzed, it is also concluded that most of the effects of addiction which commonly occur in adults also take place in the adolescent brain. Additionally, adolescents are susceptible to a greater degree of risk due to the brain’s underdeveloped state, leading to an increasingly grueling road to recovery in all aspects.

How Does COVID-19 Impact the Relative Bargaining Power of the Workers?

Published in July 2022

Shruti Sheorey

DDMS P.Obul Reddy Public School, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

vol 2022(2) 18 - 23

This paper takes a new look at the impact of COVID-19 on worker relative bargaining power over wages in the USA more than a year after the onset of the pandemic in early 2020. The empirical analysis uses a Differences-in-Differences technique and the equilibrium of the Nash Bargaining model to estimate the treatment effect on the relative bargaining power of workers. The average weekly wages data is from the U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics, the median gross profit data from Ready ratios and the COVID-19 restrictions data from an American daily, USA Today. There is no indication of a statistically significant average treatment effect of COVID-19 restrictions on bargaining power, suggesting that the effect of COVID-19 and restrictions varies widely across industries.

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease from the Inside Out

Published in July 2022

Mira Srinivasa

The Westminster School, Atlanta, GA USA

vol 2022(2) 9 - 17

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a relatively common neurodegenerative disorder caused by dopamine deficiency and characterized by tremor and motile difficulties. Activities of the neurotransmitter dopamine contribute to the high energy demands of neurons in the substantia nigra (which are lost in the disease), which the mitochondria of these cells work to meet. Mutations in the genes SNCA, PINK1, and LRRK2 can disrupt mitochondrial function in susceptible neurons through over- or underactivity. Like the gene mutants, pesticides and MPTP also impair mitochondrial activity, unlike smoking, which protects vulnerable neurons. L-DOPA, often in combination with other drugs, is the most frequent medical prescription for PD, but surgical procedures may be used for younger patients. Drugs protecting mitochondrial components of neural cells may especially help with PD. In this review, we aim to study the biological mechanisms through which these genetic and environmental risks lead to PD and how various treatments may combat pathogenesis.

Stress is a Good Thing: Understanding Stress and
the Development of Resilience Through Athletes

Published in July 2022

Brandon Shintani

Ridgewood High School, Ridgewood, NJ USA

vol 2022(2) 1 - 8

Stress is experienced by all individuals throughout life to varying degrees. One of the benefits of stress, when experienced at manageable levels, is the development of resilience. Resilience is the ability to cope successfully in the face of negative situations and it has been correlated with positive mental well-being and greater satisfaction in life. Athletes are a distinct group of individuals who regularly experience stress due to the nature of competition. An athlete’s ability to function in demanding circumstances increases these factors and the development of resilience, providing a framework for understanding how to build resilience. Several studies have pointed to the factors underlying the development of resilience and have shown that resilience can be strengthened in the same manner as the training of physical muscles. This paper aims to examine and evaluate the research that identifies the key factors in developing resilience, specifically high self-esteem, an internal locus of control, and strong social support. Programs that have been implemented to enhance resilience among athletes and various populations are also examined. In addition, this paper identifies the drawback and limitations of research findings to date and makes suggestions for the application of the research knowledge in the future. 

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