Graduation Year

2017

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Biology

Second Department

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Reader 1

Emily Wiley

Reader 2

Jih-Fei Cheng

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2017 Abby P Kissane

Abstract

Approximately 1 in 11 births in the United States are preterm (gestation). Within the United States, there are huge racial disparities for risk of preterm birth, an issue understudied and rarely addressed by research in the field. There is a wealth of biological knowledge surrounding pregnancy and labor, but causes for preterm birth are poorly understood. A genetic factor that has been shown to play a key role in many biological processes crucial to a healthy pregnancy and timely labor is microRNA (miRNA). MiRNA have an active role in the regulation of various tissues, especially developing tissues like those found in the placenta and uterus. Additionally, oxidative stress has been shown essential to placental development and the initiation of labor. Here, a study is proposed that aims to address the effect of oxidative stress on myometrial miRNA expression, specifically the miR-200 family and miR-199/214 cluster. This work also underscores the importance of addressing racial disparities with regards to preterm labor during research, while bringing up ethical considerations for conducting such research. The thesis will conclude with an outline of the many considerations vital for discussing the research and analysis of preterm birth disparities using a feminist, antiracist, queer self-reflexive analysis.

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