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  1. Annabell did her STEAM project on the mutations that cause scoliosis. She specifically focused on the gene FAM46A. The course objective she chose to focus on was knowing parts of the bone and their placement. Annabell’s project focuses on the spinal skeleton from a genetic level by looking at FAM46A. Scoliosis is an extremely common deformity and affects mainly children who are still growing/developing. Different variations of scoliosis and factors can cause it, but overall scoliosis is simply an unnatural curvature in the spine. As part of Annabell’s research, she found that the FAM46A gene can make it more likely for a child to obtain an S or C-shaped curvature in their spine. When the body is growing, the FAM46A gene can have decreased levels, This causes the bones in the body to start to have problems because FAM46A is the gene that will help your bone develop. With lower levels of a developing gene, this can cause people to get scoliosis because the body has to adapt to what it has and that gene will begin to cause the bones to curve.

    For Annabell’s art form, she demonstrated the unnatural curve the spine can have from mutations. through a rice, krispy treat version of the spine. The overall mutations this FAM46A gene can have on our bodies when we do not have the proper amounts to maintain a homeostatic level within our bones can cause spinal mutations from bone issues from within as seen through the bending in the rice kripsy treat that is causing a dramatic curve, This art piece is extremely easy to understand and is relatable to many adolescences in the world with scoliosis.

    Sarah Kivioja

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