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Cathodal galvanotaxis: the effect of voltage on the distribution of Tetrahymena pyriformis

Zheng et al. | Jun 10, 2019

Cathodal galvanotaxis: the effect of voltage on the distribution of Tetrahymena pyriformis

The surface of the unicellular eukaryote, Tetrahymena pyriformis, is covered with thousands of hair-like cilia. These cilia are very similar to cilia of the human olfactory and respiratory tracts making them model organisms for studying cilia function and pathology. The authors of this study investigated the effect of voltage on T. pyriformis galvanotaxis, the movement towards an electrical stimulus. They observed galvanotaxis towards the cathode at voltages over 4V which plateau, indicating opening of voltage gated-ion channels to trigger movement.

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Pichia kudriavzevii yeast exposure increases the asthmatic behavior of alveolar epithelial cells in vitro

Ortega et al. | Jun 07, 2019

Pichia kudriavzevii yeast exposure increases the asthmatic behavior of alveolar epithelial cells in vitro

Asthma affects over 334 million people worldwide and is triggered by inhalation of environmental stimuli. The authors of this study characterized the effect of exposure to common spoilage yeast, Pichia kidriavzevii, on alveolar epithelial cells. A direct correlation between infection duration and asthmatic status of these cells was found, indicating the potential for this yeast to be an environmental stimulus of asthma and warranting further study.

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The effect of ultraviolet radiation and the antioxidant curcumin on the longevity, fertility, and physical structure of Drosophila melanogaster: Can we defend our DNA?

Lateef et al. | May 18, 2019

The effect of ultraviolet radiation and the antioxidant curcumin on the longevity, fertility, and physical structure of Drosophila melanogaster: Can we defend our DNA?

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is known to alter DNA structure and impair cellular function in all living organisms. In this study, Lateef et al examine the effects of UV radiation to determine whether antioxidant-enriched nutrition can combat the potential deleterious effects of UV radiation on Drosophila melanogaster. They found that UVB (320nm) radiation caused a 59% decrease in the Drosophila lifespan and mutagenic effects on flies' physical appearance, but did not significantly affect fertility. Curcumin significantly prolonged lifespan and enhanced fertility for both UV- and non-UV-exposed flies. The research demonstrates the positive potential of natural antioxidants as weapons against radiation-induced diseases including cancer.

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A temperature-based comparison of compounds found in Bao Chong tea, green tea, and black tea.

Lin et al. | May 14, 2019

A temperature-based comparison of compounds found in Bao Chong tea, green tea, and black tea.

While tea has a complex history, recently the health benefits of this beverage have come into focus. In this study, researchers sought to compare the levels of caffeine, catechins and L-theanine between different types of tea using NMR spectroscopy. Further, the impact of brewing temperature on the release of these compounds was also assessed. Of those tested, Bao Chong tea had the highest levels of these compounds. Brewing temperatures between 45ºC and 75ºC were found to be optimal for compound release. These results can help consumers make informed choices about their tea preparation and intake.

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The effect of caffeine on the regeneration of Brown Planaria (Dugesia tigrina)

Lazorik et al. | May 10, 2019

The effect of caffeine on the regeneration of Brown Planaria (Dugesia tigrina)

The degeneration of nerve cells in the brain can lead to pathologies such as Parkinson’s disease. It has been suggested that neurons in humans may regenerate. In this study, the effect of different doses of caffeine on regeneration was explored in the planeria model. Caffeine has been shown to enhance dopamine production, and dopamine is found in high concentrations in regenerating planeria tissues. Higher doses of caffeine accelerated planeria regeneration following decapitation, indicating a potential role for caffeine as a treatment to stimulate regeneration.

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Measuring Exoplanetary Radii Using Transit Photometry

Tang et al. | May 07, 2019

Measuring Exoplanetary Radii Using Transit Photometry

Studying exoplanets, or planets that orbit a star other than the Sun, is critical to a greater understanding the formation of planets and how Earth's solar system differs from others. In this study the authors analyze the transit light curves of three hot Jupiter exoplanets to ultimately determine if and how these planets have changed since their discovery.

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An analysis of soil microhabitats in Revolutionary War, Civil War, and modern graveyards on Long Island, NY

Caputo et al. | May 05, 2019

An analysis of soil microhabitats in Revolutionary War, Civil War, and modern graveyards on Long Island, NY

Previously established data indicate that cemeteries have contributed to groundwater and soil pollution, as embalming fluids can impact the microbiomes that exist in decomposing remains. In this study, Caputo et al hypothesized that microbial variation would be high between cemeteries from different eras due to dissimilarities between embalming techniques employed, and furthermore, that specific microbes would act as an indication for certain contaminants. Overall, they found that there is a variation in the microbiomes of the different eras’ cemeteries according to the concentrations of the phyla and their more specific taxa.

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Cytokine treatment for myocarditis may directly impact cardiomyocytes negatively

Kasner et al. | Apr 26, 2019

Cytokine treatment for myocarditis may directly impact cardiomyocytes negatively

The purpose of our study was to determine if direct administration of CXCL1/KC to cardiomyocytes causes negative changes to cell density or proliferation. This molecule has been shown to reduce inflammation in certain instances. Homocysteine models the direct effect of an inflammatory agent on cardiomyocytes. Our question was whether these molecules directly impact cell density through an interaction with the cell proliferation process. We hypothesized that cells treated with CXCL1/KC would maintain the same cell density as untreated cells. In contrast, cells treated with Homocysteine or both Homocysteine and CXCL1/KC, were expected to have a higher cell density that than that of untreated cells.

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3D Printed Polymer Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Regeneration

Jayatissa et al. | Apr 26, 2019

3D Printed Polymer Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Regeneration

Scientists are always on the quest to improve the body's healing abilities and broken bones are no exception. In this article, the authors investigate properties of 3D-printed biocompatible polymers used to improve bone healing. With such efforts, we can hope to, one day, improve bone scaffolding materials in ways that make the natural healing processes more efficient, reducing the time needed for recovery from bone fractures.

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Combating Insulin Resistance Using Medicinal Plants as a Supplementary Therapy to Metformin in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes: Improving Early Intervention-Based Diabetes Treatment

Jayram et al. | Apr 08, 2019

Combating Insulin Resistance Using Medicinal Plants as a Supplementary Therapy to Metformin in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes: Improving Early Intervention-Based Diabetes Treatment

A primary cause of diabetes is insulin resistance, which is caused by disruption of insulin signal transduction. The objective of this study was to maximize insulin sensitivity by creating a more effective, early intervention-based treatment to avert severe T2D. This treatment combined metformin, “the insulin sensitizer”, and medicinal plants, curcumin, fenugreek, and nettle.

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A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Tsai et al. | Apr 05, 2019

A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Sweet potatoes are one of the most common starches in Taiwan, and sweet potato peels hold significant potential to make biodegradable plastics which can alleviate the environmental impact of conventional petroleum-based plastics. In this paper, Tsai et al created starch-based bioplastics derived from sweet potato peels and manipulated the amount of added glycerol to alter the plastic’s strength and flexibility properties. Their results indicated that higher concentrations of glycerol yield more malleable plastics, providing insights into how recycled agricultural waste material might be used to slow down the rate of pollution caused by widespread production of conventional plastics.

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Covalently Entrapping Catalase into Calcium Alginate Worm Pieces Using EDC Carbodiimide as a Crosslinker.

Suresh et al. | Mar 31, 2019

Covalently Entrapping Catalase into Calcium Alginate Worm Pieces Using EDC Carbodiimide as a Crosslinker.

Catalase is a biocatalyst used to break down toxic hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen in industries such as cheese and textiles. Improving the efficiency of catalase would help us to make some industrial products, such as cheese, less expensively. The best way to maintain catalase’s conformation, and thus enhance its activity, is to immobilize it. The primary goal of this study was to find a new way of immobilizing catalase.

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Developing a portable, reusable, and inexpensive magnesium-air fuel cell

Tota et al. | Mar 28, 2019

Developing a portable, reusable, and inexpensive magnesium-air fuel cell

One of the greatest challenges we face today is the sustainable production, storage, and distribution of electrical power. One emerging technology with great promise in this area is that of metal-air fuel cells—a long-term and reusable electricity storage system made from a reactive metal anode and a saline solution. In this study the authors tested several different types of metal to determine which was the most suitable for this application. They found that a fuel cell with a magnesium anode was superior to fuel cells made from aluminum or zinc, producing a voltage and current sufficient for real-world applications such as charging a mobile phone.

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QuitPuff: A Simple Method Using Saliva to Assess the Risk of Oral Pre-cancerous Lesions and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Chronic Smokers

Shamsher et al. | Mar 27, 2019

QuitPuff: A Simple Method Using Saliva to Assess the Risk of Oral Pre-cancerous Lesions and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Chronic Smokers

Smoking generates free radicals and reactive oxygen species which induce cell damage and lipid peroxidation. This is linked to the development of oral cancer in chronic smokers. The authors of this study developed Quitpuff, simple colorimetric test to measure the extent of lipid peroxidation in saliva samples. This test detected salivary lipid peroxidation with 96% accuracy in test subjects and could serve as an inexpensive, non-invasive test for smokers to measure degree of salivary lipid peroxidation and potential risk of oral cancer.

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Glyphosate Levels in American Food Products Meet Government Safety Levels Yet Exceed Concentrations Associated with Negative Effects

Lee et al. | Mar 25, 2019

Glyphosate Levels in American Food Products Meet Government Safety Levels Yet Exceed Concentrations Associated with Negative Effects

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, frequently used in the agricultural industry worldwide. Current literature reveals contradictory findings regarding the effects of glyphosate on vertebrates, leading to concerns about human consumption and differing views on safety levels. Here, authors sought to measure glyphosate levels in common commercially available food products. While some product levels exceed the thresholds at which negative effects have been observed, none exceed government limits.

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Correlates of Sugar Consumption Among High School Students and Faculty

McBurnett et al. | Mar 07, 2019

Correlates of Sugar Consumption Among High School Students and Faculty

The availability, portion sizes, and consumption of highly palatable food has been linked adverse health outcomes. McBurnett and O’Donnell sought to assess the relationship between reward-based eating drive, consumption, cravings, and knowledge of the effects of sugary foods. In this study population, reward-based eating drive was related to both consumption and cravings. Further, for females, the knowledge of sugar’s effects was significantly and inversely associated with its consumption.

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Performance of Panicum virgatum cultivars in competition with Bromus inermis and differing amounts of N fertilizer

Ferris et al. | Mar 04, 2019

Performance of Panicum virgatum cultivars in competition with Bromus inermis and differing amounts of N fertilizer

With growing demands for ethanol, many researchers are turning to Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) as a feedstock of cellulosic ethanol. In this study, Ferris and Gillan examine the germination, biomass, nitrogen, survival, and chlorophyll absorbance of two switchgrass cultivars of grown in competition with Bromus inermis (smooth brome) with two varying levels of nitrogen fertilizer. Results presented indicate that during establishment, competition from other species has a greater effect than nitrogen fertilizer.

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