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Mechanistic deconvolution of autoreduction in tetrazolium-based cell viability assays

Tran et al. | Jul 12, 2024

Mechanistic deconvolution of autoreduction in tetrazolium-based cell viability assays

Optical reporters like tetrazolium dyes, exemplified by 5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT), are effective tools for quantifying cellular responses under experimental conditions. These dyes assess cell viability by producing brightly-colored formazan dyes when reduced inside active cells. However, certain small molecules, including reducing agents like ascorbic acid, cysteine, and glutathione (GSH), can interfere with MTT assays, potentially compromising accuracy.

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Optical anisotropy of crystallized vanillin thin film: the science behind the art

Wang et al. | Jul 09, 2024

Optical anisotropy of crystallized vanillin thin film: the science behind the art
Image credit: The authors

Microscopic beauty is hiding in common kitchen ingredients - even vanillin flavoring can be turned into mesmerizing artwork by crystallizing the vanillin and examining it under a polarizing microscope. Wang and Pang explore this hidden beauty by determining the optimal conditions to grow crystalline vanillin films and by creating computer simulations of chemical interactions between vanillin molecules.

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Can the attributes of an app predict its rating?

Feng et al. | Jul 03, 2024

Can the attributes of an app predict its rating?
Image credit: Mika Baumeister

In this article the authors looked at different attributes of apps within the Google Play store to determine how those may impact the overall app rating out of five stars. They found that review count, amount of storage needed and when the app was last updated to be the most influential factors on an app's rating.

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Substance Abuse Transmission-Impact of Parental Exposure to Nicotine/Alcohol on Regenerated Planaria Offspring

Bennet et al. | Jul 02, 2024

Substance Abuse Transmission-Impact of Parental Exposure to Nicotine/Alcohol on Regenerated Planaria Offspring

The global mental health crisis has led to increased substance abuse among youth. Prescription drug abuse causes approximately 115 American deaths daily. Understanding intergenerational transmission of substance abuse is complex due to lengthy human studies and socioeconomic variables. Recent FDA guidelines mandate abuse liability testing for neuro-active drugs but overlook intergenerational transfer. Brown planaria, due to their nervous system development similarities with mammals, offer a novel model.

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Male Feminization of the Common Pillbug Armadillidium vulgare by Wolbachia bacteria

Ramanan et al. | Jun 30, 2024

Male Feminization of the Common Pillbug <i>Armadillidium vulgare</i> by <i>Wolbachia</i> bacteria
Image credit: Ramanan et al. 2024

Wolbachia pipientis (Wolbachia) is a maternally inherited endosymbiotic bacterium that infects over 50% of arthropods, including pillbugs, and acts as a reproductive parasite in the host. In the common terrestrial pillbug Armadillidium vulgare (A. vulgare), Wolbachia alters the sex ratio of offspring through a phenomenon called feminization, where genetic males develop into reproductive females. Previous studies have focused on the presence or absence of Wolbachia as a sex ratio distorter in laboratory cultured and natural populations mainly from sites in Europe and Japan. Our three-year study is the first to evaluate the effects of the Wolbachia sex ratio distorter in cultured A. vulgare offspring in North America. We asked whether Wolbachia bacteria feminize A. vulgare isopod male offspring from infected mothers and if this effect can be detected in F1 offspring by comparing the male/female offspring ratios. If so, the F1 offspring ratio should show a higher number of females than males compared to the offspring of uninfected mothers. Over three years, pillbug offspring were cultured from pregnant A. vulgare females and developed into adults. We determined the Wolbachia status of mothers and counted the ratios of male and female F1 progeny to determine feminization effects. In each year sampled, significantly more female offspring were born to Wolbachia-infected mothers than those from uninfected mothers. These ratio differences suggest that the Wolbachia infection status of mothers directly impacts the A. vulgare population through the production of reproductive feminized males, which in turn provides an advantage for further Wolbachia transmission.

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