UVicSpace | Institutional Repository


UVicSpace is the University of Victoria’s open access scholarship and learning repository. It preserves and provides access to the digital scholarly works of UVic faculty, students, staff, and partners. Items in UVicSpace are organized into collections, each belonging to a community.

For more information about depositing items, see the Submission Guidelines.


Recent Submissions

Effect of point mutations on the conformation changes of PR65 using double nanohole aperture tweezer signals
(2024) Mathew, Samuel; Gordon, Reuven
The purpose of this research was to investigate the effect of point mutations on the conformation changes of PR65 using double nanohole (DNH) optical tweezers. It explored the following questions: how does a dielectric nanoparticle interact with a nanoaperture? Could the way a nanoparticle interacts with a nanoaperture be exploited for probing protein conformation changes using aperture tweezers such as the DNH optical tweezer? What can be said of the behavior of PR65 when trapped in a DNH optical tweezer? Could the behavior of PR65 when trapped in a DNH optical tweezer be explained in terms of how PR65 interacts with the DNH aperture? Does the behavior of PR65 when trapped in a DNH change with point mutation? How might this be exploited for probing the impact of point mutations on the conformational dynamics of PR65 using DNH optical tweezers? The study has implications for tracking mutations in proteins as well as for drug discovery and testing. Methods employed included both theoretical modelling and experimental measurements using the DNH optical tweezer. We modelled the interaction between a nanoaperture and a dielectric nanoparticle in terms of a simple dipole-dipole interaction based on the Rayleigh scattering and Bethe aperture theorems. Our model showed that the interaction enhanced both the trapping potential and the transmission through the aperture in accordance with the self-induced back-action (SIBA) effect, in which a nanoparticle interacting with a focused laser beam aids in its own trapping. The model agreed quite well with numerical simulations performed in Lumerical and revealed that the motion of a particle trapped in an optical tweezer can be used to probe changes in the shape and size of a particle. This is because changes in the shape and size of a particle in an optical tweezer will alter the polarizability of such a particle, and therefore the restoring force that it felt in the tweezer. This will manifest as differences in root-mean-squared displacement (RMSD) and corner frequency characteristic of the motion of the particle in the optical tweezer between one conformation and another. We thus formulated a hypothesis that if conformation changes induced by point mutations alter the material polarizability of PR65, then the DNH optical tweezer signals acquired by trapping each mutant PR65 will have different RMSDs and corner frequencies from that of wild type PR65. To test this hypothesis, DNH optical tweezers fabricated by colloidal lithography were used to trap PR65 wild type and six of its mutants at a laser power of ~ 22 mW. The resulting optical signals were captured using an avalanche photodiode (APD) connected to a digital USB-4771A data acquisition module and analyzed using MATLAB. Parameters extracted from the acquired signals and studied included the median transition time between the characteristic jump states shown by the acquired signals and the RMSD and corner frequency of the acquired signals. These parameters were higher for some of the mutants of PR65 and lower for others in comparison with wild type PR65. Correlation of the RMSDs with in silico mean contour lengths of PR65 wild type and six of its mutants studied was also consistent with this conclusion, and in agreement with our hypothesis. These results imply that PR65 undergoes conformation changes that are impacted by substitution mutations, with some mutations causing PR65 to assume an elongated conformation and other mutations causing PR65 to assume a more compact conformation.
Austrian Airlines: An analytical examination using Porter’s Diamond
(Bachelor of Commerce Best Business Research Papers, 2010) Forman, Brett
Austrian Airlines’ long history of operating as an Austrian owned company has finally come to an end after their poor performance in 2008. This paper analyses the means by which Austrian Airlines has been able to compete globally for so many years in the competitive airlines industry and proposes reasons for their past success. The four components of Michael Porter’s Diamond of National Advantage were used to analyze the company, in combination, with two other variables that have an effect on all four of the components, the government and chance. The main four components of Porter’s framework include firm strategy, structure, and rivalry; demand conditions; related and supporting industries; and factor conditions which together work as a framework to determine the factors that allow Austrian Airlines to have a national comparative advantage. The information used in the paper was gathered from the company’s annual report, various online sources that are not affiliated with Austrian Airlines, Michael Porters book “The Competitive Advantage of Nations” and primary data from a customer satisfaction survey. From this analysis, it is evident that Austrian Airlines derives its ability to compete from many different sources such as the country’s geographical location and the supporting industries located around their main airport hub in Vienna. It will become more apparent in the coming year, when more information is published, as to why the company’s performance in 2009 was so poor which forced the privatization of the company.
Sustainability within the French luxury consumer-goods market: The role of business and consumer demand
(Bachelor of Commerce Best Business Research Papers, 2010) Simkus, Lisa
The business case for sustainability is becoming one of the most important considerations for businesses today. Although there have been large improvements in reporting, transparency and sustainable initiatives in many industries, the consumer goods luxury market is failing to meet the mark. Evidence for this is found in the WWF’s Report that ranked ten luxury businesses in terms of their initiatives. No company was ranked higher than a C+. The purpose of this paper is to explore the French luxury industry as a market leader with the power and influence to shape the sustainable development of this industry. In particular, the initiatives of French luxury conglomerate, LVMH, are explored as an archetypal corporation within the industry with the power to shape consumer tastes. Although there does seem to be a drive towards sustainability within the luxury goods industry, these initiatives and reports put out by luxury companies are often seen as “greenwashing”. Therefore, this paper explores what the true drivers behind adopting sustainability are. The hypothesis raised it that consumer demand for sustainability has perhaps the greatest influence. As such, a survey was conducted of French and Canadian citizens to compare their awareness and demand for sustainability; it was found that there is less awareness and demand for sustainability within France. This paper will argue that this difference is due to a culture that highly values luxury as part of their cultural capital. As such, it is up to businesses to use their influence and make sustainability the new consumer trend.
The influence of culture on business and corporate social responsibility in France
(Bachelor of Commerce Best Business Research Papers, 2009) Weberg, Heather
In today’s global marketplace, corporate social responsibility has become essential to longevity and success of the business model. With emergence of the triple bottom line approach to management, corporations face increasing pressure to adopt sustainable business practices, promote transparency in financial reporting and acknowledge stakeholder interests. This paper attempts to utilize the theoretical framework based on the triple bottom line to examine French business practices and gain a better understanding of the profound impact that culture has on corporate social responsibility. In this context, analysis of three cultural elements that have influenced corporate policy in France for centuries: dignity, honour, and patrimony, provide an international perspective on business. While corporate culture in North America has been criticized for its obsession with profit maximization in the short run, French businesses have respected cultural values in promoting a holistic, long-run approach to social responsibility. Therefore, valuable lessons can be learned from the French whose approach to corporate social responsibility hinges on the intrinsic link between consumers, fi rms, a market economy and the realization that in order to achieve sustainable development, a model of growth must embrace all elements of the dynamic business environment.
Chilean wine: A short- and long-term assessment of one of South America’s oldest industries
(Bachelor of Commerce Best Business Research Papers, 2009) Bradley, Jonathan
This paper will begin by taking the reader through a brief history of the Chilean wine industry and more specifically, the largest producer within that industry: Conchay Toro. My goal is to examine the current state of the global wine industry, and the selected company, to gather a greater understanding of where the company is and where it needs to go to remain competitive in the future. Using the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis, the paper determines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the company, and what can be done to exploit their strengths and mitigate their threats. It will also use Porter’s Five Forces Model to help the reader get a better understanding of the competition in the global wine market. The paper will ultimately conclude, among other suggestions, that a change in pricing strategy and promotion, combined with investment in wine-making outside of Chile’s borders is necessary for Conchay Toro to be a major market player in the long term.