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Toxicity of aminomethylphosphonic acid via the Wnt signaling pathway as a novel mechanism

Zhuang et al. | Mar 08, 2023

Toxicity of aminomethylphosphonic acid via the Wnt signaling pathway as a novel mechanism
Image credit: Image credit: Dapur Melodi

The Wnt signaling pathway, known to coordinate important aspects of cellular homeostasis ranging from differentiation, proliferation, migration, and much more, is dysregulated in many human diseases. This study demonstrates that aminomethylphosphonic acid, which is the main metabolite found in the common herbicide Glyphosate, is toxic to planaria and capable of binding to canonical Wnt proteins.

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Tomato disease identification with shallow convolutional neural networks

Trinh et al. | Mar 03, 2023

Tomato disease identification with shallow convolutional neural networks

Plant diseases can cause up to 50% crop yield loss for the popular tomato plant. A mobile device-based method to identify diseases from photos of symptomatic leaves via computer vision can be more effective due to its convenience and accessibility. To enable a practical mobile solution, a “shallow” convolutional neural networks (CNNs) with few layers, and thus low computational requirement but with high accuracy similar to the deep CNNs is needed. In this work, we explored if such a model was possible.

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Different volumes of acetic acid affect the oxygen production of spinach leaves during photosynthesis

Wang et al. | Feb 24, 2023

Different volumes of acetic acid affect the oxygen production of spinach leaves during photosynthesis

The burning of fossil fuels, leading to an increased amount of carbon emissions, is the main cause of acid rain. Acid rain affects the process of photosynthesis, which makes the topic valuable to investigate. Our group utilizes plants to further investigate the relationship between pH value and photosynthesis. In this experiment, our group hypothesized that rain with a lower pH will decrease the rate of photosynthesis, causing less oxygen to be produced in the reaction.

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Association of agenesis of the corpus callosum with epilepsy and anticonvulsant drug treatment

Steger et al. | Feb 21, 2023

Association of agenesis of the corpus callosum with epilepsy and anticonvulsant drug treatment
Image credit: Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC) is a birth defect where an infant’s corpus callosum, the structure linking the brain’s two hemispheres to allow interhemispheric communication, fails to develop in a typical manner during pregnancy. Existing research on the connection between ACC and epilepsy leaves significant gaps, due to the lack of focused investigation. One important gap is the degree to which ACC may impact the course of epilepsy treatment and outcomes. The present study was conducted to test the hypotheses that epilepsy is highly prevalent among individuals with ACC, and that those with both ACC and epilepsy have a lower response rate to anticonvulsant drugs than other patients treated with anticonvulsant drugs. A weighted average of epilepsy rates was calculated from a review of existing literature, which supported the hypothesis that epilepsy was more common among individuals with ACC (25.11%) than in the general population (1.2%). An empirical survey administered to 57 subjects or parents of subjects showed that rate of intractable epilepsy among study subjects with both ACC and epilepsy was substantially higher than the rate found in the general population, indicating that individuals with both conditions had a lower response rate to the anticonvulsant drugs. This study contributes novel results regarding the potential for concurrence of ACC and epilepsy to interfere with anticonvulsant drug treatment. We also discuss implications for how medical professionals may use the findings of this study to add depth to their treatment decisions.

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Cell cytotoxicity and pro-apoptosis on MCF-7 cells using polyherbal formulation, MAT20

Tarigopula et al. | Feb 17, 2023

Cell cytotoxicity and pro-apoptosis on MCF-7  cells using polyherbal formulation, MAT20

The purpose of this study was to test the anti-cancer properties and pro-apoptotic effects of the polyherbal formulation MAT20 as a complementary treatment. Moringa oleifera (Moringa), Phyllanthus emblica (Amla) and Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi), these 3 herbs were used to formulate MAT20, which contain phytochemicals that are known to display anti-cancer properties. In this study, we hypothesized that MCF-7 breast cancer cells treated with MAT20 would show increased cytotoxicity compared to its individual plant extracts.

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Machine learning-based enzyme engineering of PETase for improved efficiency in plastic degradation

Gupta et al. | Jan 31, 2023

 Machine learning-based enzyme engineering of PETase for improved efficiency in plastic degradation
Image credit: Markus Spiske

Here, recognizing the recognizing the growing threat of non-biodegradable plastic waste, the authors investigated the ability to use a modified enzyme identified in bacteria to decompose polyethylene terephthalate (PET). They used simulations to screen and identify an optimized enzyme based on machine learning models. Ultimately, they identified a potential mutant PETases capable of decomposing PET with improved thermal stability.

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