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The Development of a Highly Sensitive Home Diagnosis Kit for Group A Streptococcus Bacteria (GAS)

Mai et al. | Dec 05, 2018

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In this article, Mai et al. have developed a do-it-yourself kit for the detection of Strep A bacterial infections. While Strep A infections require antibiotic administration, viral infections, which can present with similar symptoms, often resolve on their own. The problem with delayed antibiotic treatment is an increasing risk of complications. Currently an accurate diagnosis requires that patients make the trip to the hospital where sensitive tests can be performed. The method described here, bundled into a commercially available kit, could help speed up the identification of such bacterial infections. When presented with symptoms of a sore throat and fever, you could just buy the kit at your local pharmacy, perform the simple yet highly accurate and sensitive test, and know whether an urgent trip to the doctor's for an antibiotic prescription is necessary. How convenient!

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The Effect of Concentration on the Pressure of a Sodium Chloride Solution Inside Dialysis Tubing

Dye et al. | Nov 13, 2018

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In this study, the authors investigate the effects of sodium levels on blood pressure, one of the most common medical problems worldwide. They used a simulated blood vessel constructed from dialysis tubing to carefully analyze pressure changes resulting from various levels of sodium in the external solution. They found that when the sodium concentration in the simulated blood vessel was higher than the external fluid, internal pressure increased, while the reverse was true when the sodium concentration was lower than in the surrounding environment. These results highlight the potential for sodium concentration to have a significant effect on blood pressure in humans by affecting the rate of osmosis across the boundaries of actual blood vessels.

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Astragalus membranaceus root concentration and exposure time: Role in heat stress diminution in C. elegans

Chen et al. | Oct 17, 2018

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In this study, the authors investigated the biological mechanism underlying the actions of a traditional medicinal plant, Astragalus membranaceus. Using C. elegans as an experimental model, they tested the effects of AM root on heat stress responses. Their results suggest that AM root extract may enhance the activity of endogenous pathways that mediate cellular responses to heat stress.

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The Prevalence of Brain-Eating Roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis in Merrick County, Nebraska

Reeves et al. | Sep 20, 2018

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The authors investigated an important parasite-host relationship between the raccoon roundworm and the raccoon to understand how parasite prevalence is affected by location. They found that the parasite infection was more prevalent in raccoons found closer to human dwellings, though the number of roundworm eggs was not significantly different. These results are important human health, since roundworm infection is lethal to humans and can be transmitted from raccoons to humans - the authors suggest that more research into this parasite and awareness of its prevalence is needed to prevent disease.

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Synergistic effects of Metformin and Captopril on C. elegans

Kadıoğlu et al. | Jul 10, 2018

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Kadıoğlu and Oğuzalp study the synergistic effects of Metformin and Captopril, two commonly prescribed drugs for type 2 diabetes and hypertension, respectively. Using C. elegans nematodes as a model system, the authors find that the nematodes decreased in average body length when exposed to Metformin or Captopril individually, but grew 11% in body length when both drugs were used together. Because C. elegans body size is regulated in part by the TGF-β signaling pathway, the authors suggest that synergistic effects of these two drugs may be modulating TGF-β activity, a previously uncharacterized phenomenon.

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The Effect of Radiant Energy on Radish Seed Germination

Simon et al. | Jul 06, 2018

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Simon and colleagues test how exposure to microwaves affect radish seed germination, either microwaving seeds for ninety seconds or four minutes prior to planting. Surprisingly, the authors found that seeds microwaved for four minutes exhibited 150% increased germination as compared to controls. The authors hypothesize that breakdown of the radish seed coat when exposed to heat may allow seedlings to sprout more efficiently.

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Development of Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance in Drosophila melanogaster and Characterization of the Anti-Diabetic Effects of Resveratrol and Pterostilbene

Dhar et al. | Jul 02, 2018

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Dhar and colleagues established a Type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) model in fruit flies, using this model to induce insulin resistance and characterize the effects Resveratrol and Pterostilbene on a number of growth and activity metrics. Resveratrol and Pterostilbene treatment notably overturned the weight gain and glucose levels. The results of this study suggest that Drosophila can be utilized as a model organism to study T2DM and novel pharmacological treatments.

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A Novel Method for Assessment of Proprioception

Trevithick et al. | Jun 22, 2018

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Trevithick & Park were interested in whether proprioception, the sense of the relative position of body parts and movement, differed between varsity and non-varsity athletes, as well as between the sport practiced. The authors found that there was no correlation between athleticism and better proprioception, but that dancers had superior proprioceptive abilities compared to those that practiced other sports.

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Reducing Crop Damage Caused by Folsomia candida by Providing an Alternate Food Source

Tamura et al. | May 28, 2018

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Tamura and Moché found that Folsomia candida, a common crop pest, prefers to consume yeast instead of lettuce seedlings. The authors confirmed that even with the availability of both lettuce seedlings and yeast in the same dish, Folsomia candida preferred to eat the yeast, thereby reducing the number of feeding injuries on the lettuce seedlings. The authors propose that using this preference for yeast may be a way to mitigate crop damage by this pest.

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The Cilium- and Centrosome-Associated Protein CCDC11 Is Required for Cytokinesis via Midbody Recruitment of the ESCRT- III Membrane Scission Complex Subunit CHMP2A

Ahmed et al. | Mar 14, 2018

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In order for cells to successfully multiply, a number of proteins are needed to correctly coordinate the replication and division process. In this study, students use fluorescence microscopy and molecular methods to study CCDC11, a protein critical in the formation of cilia. Interestingly, they uncover a new role for CCDC11, critical in the cell division across multiple human cell lines.

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The Effect of Various Preparation Methods on the Spoilage Rate of Roma Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)

Cataltepe et al. | Feb 22, 2018

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As levels of food waste continue to rise, it is essential to find improved techniques of prolonging the shelf life of produce. The authors aimed to find a simple, yet effective, method of slowing down spoilage in tomatoes. Linear regression analysis revealed that the tomatoes soaked salt water and not dried displayed the lowest correlation between time and spoilage, confirming that this preparation was the most effective.

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Effect of natural compounds curcumin and nicotinamide on α-synuclein accumulation in a C. elegans model of Parkinson’s disease

Mehrotra et al. | Jan 29, 2018

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Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects over 10 million people worldwide. It is caused by destruction of dopamine-producing neurons, which results in severe motor and movement symptoms. In this study, the authors investigated the anti-Parkinsonian effects of two natural compounds curcumin and nicotinamide using C. elegans as a model organism.

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Talinum paniculatum root exhibits synergistic antimicrobial activity with Tetracycline, Erythromycin, and Streptomycin against S. aureus but has no observed effect on antibiotic efficacy against E. coli

Patel et al. | Jan 09, 2018

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Patel et al. explore whether T. paniculatum plant extract can work with modern antibiotics to increase antibiotic efficacy against common disease-causing bacteria. The plant extract in conjunction with the antibiotic shows promise in battling S. aureus. The authors present a cost-effective method to increase antibiotic efficacy in a time where antibiotic resistant bacteria is becoming a growing problem.

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Assaying the formation of beneficial biofilms by lactic acid bacteria and the effect of ayurvedic plant extracts on their enhancement

Rajpal et al. | Oct 12, 2017

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This study aimed to obtain an optimal non-antibiotic method to suppress the growth of pathogenic bacteria within the body. The two-fold purpose of this project was to determine which combination of bacteria would result in the most biofilm formation and then to assess the effect of ayurvedic plant extracts on the biofilm. The results show that the addition of a plant extract can affect the biofilm growth of a bacteria combination. The applications of this study can be used to design probiotic supplements with added beneficial plant extracts.

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