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Enhancing activity of antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus with Shuang-Huang-Lian

Liu et al. | Sep 29, 2022

Enhancing activity of antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus with Shuang-Huang-Lian

Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen in both hospitals and the community and can cause systemic infections such as pneumonia. Multi-drug resistant strains, such as Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) are particularly worrisome. In order to reduce the development of bacterial resistance, we hypothesized that two selected traditional Chinese medicines, Shuang-Huang-Lian (SHL) and Lan-Qin, would be effective against S. aureus. The results showed that SHL had a synergistic effect with gentamicin as well as additive effects with penicillin and cefazolin against S. aureus compared with using antibiotics alone.

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Contrasting role of ASCC3 and ALKBH3 in determining genomic alterations in Glioblastoma Multiforme

Sriram et al. | Sep 27, 2022

Contrasting role of <i>ASCC3</i> and <i>ALKBH3</i> in determining genomic alterations in Glioblastoma Multiforme

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant brain tumor with the highest fraction of genome alterations (FGA), manifesting poor disease-free status (DFS) and overall survival (OS). We explored The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and cBioportal public dataset- Firehose legacy GBM to study DNA repair genes Activating Signal Cointegrator 1 Complex Subunit 3 (ASCC3) and Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase AlkB Homolog 3 (ALKBH3). To test our hypothesis that these genes have correlations with FGA and can better determine prognosis and survival, we sorted the dataset to arrive at 254 patients. Analyzing using RStudio, both ASCC3 and ALKBH3 demonstrated hypomethylation in 82.3% and 61.8% of patients, respectively. Interestingly, low mRNA expression was observed in both these genes. We further conducted correlation tests between both methylation and mRNA expression of these genes with FGA. ASCC3 was found to be negatively correlated, while ALKBH3 was found to be positively correlated, potentially indicating contrasting dysregulation of these two genes. Prognostic analysis showed the following: ASCC3 hypomethylation is significant with DFS and high ASCC3 mRNA expression to be significant with OS, demonstrating ASCC3’s potential as disease prediction marker.

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Tap water quality analysis in Ulaanbaatar City

Munkhbat et al. | Sep 25, 2022

Tap water quality analysis in Ulaanbaatar City

There have been several issues concerning the water quality in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in the past few years. This study, we collected 28 samples from 6 districts of Ulaanbaatar to check if the water supply quality met the standards of the World Health Organization, the Environmental Protection Agency, and a Mongolian National Standard. Only three samples fully met all the requirements of the global standards. Samples in Zaisan showed higher hardness (>120 ppm) and alkalinity levels (20–200 ppm) over the other districts in the city. Overall, the results show that it is important to ensure a safe and accessible water supply in Ulaanbaatar to prevent future water quality issues.

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Risk assessment modeling for childhood stunting using automated machine learning and demographic analysis

Sirohi et al. | Sep 25, 2022

Risk assessment modeling for childhood stunting using automated machine learning and demographic analysis

Over the last few decades, childhood stunting has persisted as a major global challenge. This study hypothesized that TPTO (Tree-based Pipeline Optimization Tool), an AutoML (automated machine learning) tool, would outperform all pre-existing machine learning models and reveal the positive impact of economic prosperity, strong familial traits, and resource attainability on reducing stunting risk. Feature correlation plots revealed that maternal height, wealth indicators, and parental education were universally important features for determining stunting outcomes approximately two years after birth. These results help inform future research by highlighting how demographic, familial, and socio-economic conditions influence stunting and providing medical professionals with a deployable risk assessment tool for predicting childhood stunting.

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Survival of Escherichia coli K-12 in various types of drinking water

Hanna et al. | Sep 25, 2022

Survival of <i>Escherichia coli</i> K-12 in various types of drinking water

For public health, drinking water should be free of bacterial contamination. The objective of this research is to identify the fate of bacteria if drinking water becomes contaminated and inform consumers on which water type enables the least bacteria to survive. We hypothesized that bottled mineral water would provide the most sufficient conditions for E. coli to survive. We found that if water becomes contaminated, the conditions offered by the three water types at room temperature allow E. coli to survive up to three days. At 72 hours, the bottled spring water had the highest average colony forming units (CFUs), with tap and mineral water CFU values statistically lower than spring water but not significantly different from each other. The findings of this research highlight the need of implementing accessible quality drinking water for the underserved population and for the regulation of water sources.

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Cocktail therapy to inhibit multispecies biofilm in cystic fibrosis patients

Bhat et al. | Sep 22, 2022

Cocktail therapy to inhibit multispecies biofilm in cystic fibrosis patients

Here, recognizing the important role of bacterial biofilms in many life-threatening chronic infections, the authors investigated the effectiveness of a combination treatment on biofilms composed of up to three different common species within the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients with computational analysis. They found that a triple cocktail therapy targeting three different signaling pathways has significant potential as both a treatment and prophylaxis.

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Comparing the effects of electronic cigarette smoke and conventional cigarette smoke on lung cancer viability

Choe et al. | Sep 18, 2022

Comparing the effects of electronic cigarette smoke and conventional cigarette smoke on lung cancer viability

Here, recognizing the significant growth of electronic cigarettes in recent years, the authors sought to test a hypothesis that three main components of the liquid solutions used in e-cigarettes might affect lung cancer cell viability. In a study performed by exposing A549 cells, human lung cancer cells, to different types of smoke extracts, the authors found that increasing levels of nicotine resulted in improve lung cancer cell viability up until the toxicity of nicotine resulted in cell death. They conclude that these results suggest that contrary to conventional thought e-cigarettes may be more dangerous than tobacco cigarettes in certain contexts.

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A Crossover Study Comparing the Effect of a Processed vs. Unprocessed Diet on the Spatial Learning Ability of Zebrafish

Banga et al. | Sep 18, 2022

A Crossover Study Comparing the Effect of a Processed vs. Unprocessed Diet on the Spatial Learning Ability of Zebrafish

The authors compared the short-term effects of processed versus unprocessed food on spatial learning and survival in zebrafish, given the large public concern regarding processed foods. By randomly assigning zebrafish to a diet of brine shrimp flakes (processed) or live brine shrimp (unprocessed), the authors show while there is no immediate effect on a fish's decision process between the two diets, there are significant correlations between improved learning and stress response with the unprocessed diet.

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