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  • Thumbnail for Assessing the probability of bank failure : a snapshot of banks regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation  from 1998–1999 and 2001–2002
    Assessing the probability of bank failure : a snapshot of banks regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from 1998–1999 and 2001–2002 by Scherer, Madeline Delaney

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was created in 1933. Today, the FDIC’s presence and monitoring ensures that banks are and remain solvent. Although the FDIC does everything in its power to prevent a bank from failing, bank failure can still occur, even in times of relative economic stability. Using a Probit regression analysis, this study assesses the probability of bank failure by looking at 102 different banks, eight different financial variables, and six geographic region variables during the time periods of 1998–1999 and 2001–2002. The geographic location variable is used to investigate if failures occur more often in certain regions of the country or in more urban or rural areas. In the end, none of the financial variables were statistically significant, whereas the regional geographic variables were. This suggests that during a period of relative economic stability, regional economic conditions affect bank failures more so than financial variables.

  • Thumbnail for Attendance in the National Basketball Association
    Attendance in the National Basketball Association by Taylor, Moses

    The National Basketball Association (NBA) is not only a sports entertainment industry, it is also a business. The main profit function for the NBA is the attendance rating. Studies have examined the details of how this powerful business survives, but none have explored the specific link between all-star players and the attendance rating. This study presents an attendance maximization model that attempts to determine if the presence of an all-star player increases the attendance rating. An Ordinary Least Squares regression model is used to identify the determinants of what different independent variables have on the attendance rating. Results indicate that the true variable to increase the attendance at NBA games is the amount a team wins during the season. Other variables that were found to be significant were the city population, the amount of gate revenue, how many championships a team has won, the real ticket price, and the arena age.

  • Thumbnail for Spatial vision in band-winged grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Oedipodinae)
    Spatial vision in band-winged grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Oedipodinae) by Duncan, Alexander

    Visual acuity, the ability to resolve fine spatial details, can vary dramatically between and within insect species. Body-size, sex, behavior, and ecological niche are all factors that may influence an insect’s acuity. Band-winged grasshoppers (Oedipodinae) are a subfamily of grasshoppers characterized by their colorfully patterned hindwings. Although researchers have anecdotally suggested that this color pattern may attract mates, few studies have examined the visual acuity of these animals, and none have examined its implications on intraspecific signaling. Here, we compare the visual acuity of three bandwing species: Dissosteira carolina, Arphia pseudonietana, and Spharagemon equale. To measure acuity in these species we used a modified radius of curvature estimation (RCE) technique. Visual acuity was significantly coarser 1) in males compared to females, 2) parallel to the horizon compared to the perpendicular, and 3) in S. equale compared to other bandwings. Unlike many insect families, body size within a species did not correlate with visual acuity. To examine the functional implications of these results, we modeled the appearance of different bandwing patterns to conspecifics. These results suggest that hind- wing patterning could only be used as a signal to conspecifics at short distances (<50cm). This study furthers the exploration of behavior and the evolution of visual systems in bandwings.

  • Thumbnail for Spatial vision in band-winged grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Oedipodinae)
    Spatial vision in band-winged grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Oedipodinae) by Duncan, Alexander Brett

    Visual acuity, the ability to resolve fine spatial details, can vary dramatically between and within insect species. Body-size, sex, behavior, and ecological niche are all factors that may influence an insect’s acuity. Band-winged grasshoppers (Oedipodinae) are a subfamily of grasshoppers characterized by their colorfully patterned hindwings. Although researchers have anecdotally suggested that this color pattern may attract mates, few studies have examined the visual acuity of these animals, and none have examined its implications on intraspecific signaling. Here, we compare the visual acuity of three bandwing species: Dissosteira carolina, Arphia pseudonietana, and Spharagemon equale. To measure acuity in these species we used a modified radius of curvature estimation (RCE) technique. Visual acuity was significantly coarser 1) in males compared to females, 2) parallel to the horizon compared to the perpendicular, and 3) in S. equale compared to other bandwings. Unlike many insect families, body size within a species did not correlate with visual acuity. To examine the functional implications of these results, we modeled the appearance of different bandwing patterns to conspecifics. These results suggest that hind- wing patterning could only be used as a signal to conspecifics at short distances (<50cm). This study furthers the exploration of behavior and the evolution of visual systems in bandwings.

  • Thumbnail for The barrier that prevents penicillin catabolism genes from transferring from ABC 07 to ADP1
    The barrier that prevents penicillin catabolism genes from transferring from ABC 07 to ADP1 by Bao, Yiqiao

    There are hundreds of phylogenetically diverse soil bacteria with the capacity to grow on a wide range of antibiotics as their sole carbon source. Some of these bacteria are closely related to human pathogens. The present study evaluates whether there is a barrier that might prevent the penicillin catabolism genes from transferring from the penicillin catabolism strain ABC 07 to the Acinetobacter baylyi strain ADP1. Because of its natural competence and its close relation to the human pathogen Acinetobacter baumanni, ADP1 is an ideal model for the current investigation. ADP1 was transformed with the genomic DNA of ABC 07, Sau3A1 genomic libraries, and Sau3A1 genomic plasmid libraries to test this barrier. None of these methods transformed ADP1 to be a strain with a penicillin catabolism phenotype. In this regard, recent research (Walsh et al., 2013) challenges the concept of bacteria subsisting on antibiotics and argues that the SCS selective medium used in the original study (Dantas et al, 2008) contains 15 mg/L EDTA, which could be the carbon source that sustained the growth of these “antibiotic-eaters.” The present study also tested and verified that ABC 07 can subsist on penicillin, but not EDTA. These results suggest that antibiotic catabolism genes cannot be readily transferred from antibiotic catabolism strains to other bacteria. Future research related to antibiotic catabolism phenotype should attempt computational approaches and system-level molecular methods to identify antibiotic catabolism genes and metabolic pathways before further characterizing their clinical and ecological implications.

  • Thumbnail for Repeating earthquakes in the Darfield region, New Zealand
    Repeating earthquakes in the Darfield region, New Zealand by Armstrong, Ryan Scott

    The M 7.1 3 September 2010 Darfield, New Zealand, earthquake ruptured a previously unknown fault system. Fault-slip models (e.g., Beavan et al., 2010; Holden et al., 2011; Eliott et al., 2012) have been calculated using InSAR, GPS, and seismic data. They show that although the rupture initiated on a SW-dipping thrust fault, the majority of fault motion was right-lateral strike slip from the surface to 10 km depth. The InSAR data used in the geodetic model provide the cumulative ground motion due to the Darfield earthquake and some early aftershocks, while the seismic model utilizes waveforms for the mainshock, limiting the solution to slip during the initial rupture. This study utilizes cross correlation methods to identify repeating earthquakes within continuous seismic waveforms from the Canterbury region, New Zealand between September 2010 and January 2011. Repeating events indicate portions of fault segments that are not locked, possibly due to high pore pressure (Bisrat et al. 2012), and thus can indirectly identify locked areas of fault segments. Despite the fact that our method initially recognized 8 groups of potentially repeating earthquakes, a cross correlation check at a second station indicates that none of the identified earthquakes are truly repeating earthquakes. Our method provides negative results, which indicate repeating earthquakes may not be present within the Darfield fault complex, although it remains unclear whether they are truly absent or the methodology is not sufficient to detect them. While our method failed to identify repeating earthquakes, it possibly identified clusters of events with similar focal mechanisms In theory, our study shows a direct relationship between the compactness of a cluster and the similarity of focal mechanisms.