• The Genetic Analysis of High Risk Athletes for the Presence of the DRD4 7 Variable Tandem Repeat

      Yablin, Dorian; Elwess, Nancy (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2016)
      This study examined the DRD4 tandem repeats within three self-described risk-taking groups ranging in expertise from students in the Expeditionary Studies program to internationally ranked Olympic Bobsledders. Prior studies done on novelty seeking have had conflicting results on the 7 variable tandem repeat of the Dopamine Receptor D4. The goal of this study was to find a statistically significant relationship between the 7+ repeat and its possible genetic influence on risk taking behavior. Results indicated that when the experimental group was compared to the control, the 7+ repeat did influence an individual's willingness to take risk. When compared separately, both the Olympic Bobsledders and Free Soloing Rock Climber groups had statistically significant results. The Expeditionary Studies group by itself was not statistically significant in the amount of 7+ repeats present. Professional certifications in the experimental groups were not taken into account for this study.
    • The polymorphic ACE gene and resulting genotypes and allele frequencies within specific groups

      Kranes, Steven; Gove, Teal; Dodson, Kindsley; Jacobson, Ashaley; Latourelle, Sandra; Elwess, Nancy (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2016)
      The polymorphic angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) gene was one of the first genetic elements to demonstrate a significant impact on human performance. Since then, it has been shown to play a role in coronary artery disease. The functional genetic alleles have been determined. The ACE phenotypes have been associated with improvements in athletic performance, endurance, as well as association with blood pressure variations. The I allele has been connected with endurance events, while the D allele is associated with strength and power athletic events, as well as coronary disease. The objectives for this study were twofold, first to provide a guided inquiry research experience for undergraduate students based on a topic in class, and second, to examine the ACE gene alleles present in five distinct populations: Men's and Women's hockey teams, elite (Olympic level) bobsledders, Ironman Triathletes, members of the college's track team, and African American college students. The results showed significant differences (p<0.05) observed in the distribution of ACE genotype polymorphisms between the control group and both the men's and women's hockey teams, but not in the African American population and international bobsledders or track team members.