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Characterizing Quorum Sensing-Induced Bioluminescence in Variable Volumes With Vibrio fischeri Using Computer Processing Methods

Abdel-Azim et al. | Jun 22, 2020

Characterizing Quorum Sensing-Induced Bioluminescence in Variable Volumes With <em>Vibrio fischeri</em> Using Computer Processing Methods

Understanding how bacteria respond to other bacteria could facilitate their ability to initiate and maintain their infectiousness. The phenomenon by which bacteria signal to each other via chemical signals is called quorum sensing, which could be targeted to deter bacterial infection in some cases if better understood. In this article, the authors study how a bacterium called V. fischeri uses quorum sensing to change bioluminescence, an easy readout that facilitates studying quorum sensing in this strain.

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Optimizing Interplanetary Travel Using a Genetic Algorithm

Murali et al. | Oct 28, 2018

Optimizing Interplanetary Travel Using a Genetic Algorithm

In this work, the authors develop an algorithm that solves the problem of efficient space travel between planets. This is a problem that could soon be of relevance as mankind continues to expand its exploration of outer space, and potentially attempt to inhabit it.

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Utilizing a novel T1rho method to detect spinal degeneration via magnetic resonance imaging

Wang et al. | Oct 04, 2023

Utilizing a novel T1rho method to detect spinal degeneration via magnetic resonance imaging

Spinal degeneration has been linked to critical conditions such as osteoarthritis in adults aged 40+; while this condition is considered to be irreversible, we took interest in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for early detection of the condition. Ultimately, our purpose was to determine the effectiveness of a relatively novel T1rho method in the early detection of spinal degeneration, and we hypothesized that the early to mild progression of spinal degeneration would affect T1rho values following an MRI scan.

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A land use regression model to predict emissions from oil and gas production using machine learning

Cao et al. | Mar 24, 2023

A land use regression model to predict emissions from oil and gas production using machine learning

Emissions from oil and natural gas (O&G) wells such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and ozone (O3) can severely impact the health of communities located near wells. In this study, we used O&G activity and wind-carried emissions to quantify the extent to which O&G wells affect the air quality of nearby communities, revealing that NO2, NOx, and NO are correlated to O&G activity. We then developed a novel land use regression (LUR) model using machine learning based on O&G prevalence to predict emissions.

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Upregulation of the Ribosomal Pathway as a Potential Blood-Based Genetic Biomarker for Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and PTSD

Ravi et al. | Aug 22, 2018

Upregulation of the Ribosomal Pathway as a Potential  Blood-Based Genetic Biomarker for Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and PTSD

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are two of the fastest growing comorbid diseases in the world. Using publicly available datasets from the National Institute for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Ravi and Lee conducted a differential gene expression analysis using 184 blood samples from either control individuals or individuals with comorbid MDD and PTSD. As a result, the authors identified 253 highly differentially-expressed genes, with enrichment for proteins in the gene ontology group 'Ribosomal Pathway'. These genes may be used as blood-based biomarkers for susceptibility to MDD or PTSD, and to tailor treatments within a personalized medicine regime.

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Floating aquatic plants form groups faster through current

May et al. | Oct 16, 2023

Floating aquatic plants form groups faster through current
Image credit: N Band

Here, the authors sought to investigate the effects of water current on the growth of colonies of duckweed, a floating plant that forms colonies in silent ponds, marshes, lakes , and streams in North America. They found that current flow mediates the formation of colonies, disrupting and recreating the colonies which provides the opportunity for reorganizations that were identified as beneficial.

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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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Buttermilk and baking soda increase pancake fluffiness by liberating carbon dioxide

Rojas et al. | Sep 18, 2022

Buttermilk and baking soda increase pancake fluffiness by liberating carbon dioxide

Here, seeking a better understanding of what determines the fluffiness of a pancake, the authors began by considering a chemical reaction that results in the production of carbon dioxide gas from recipe ingredients, specifically sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. The substitution of homemade buttermilk for milk and adding more baking soda was found to result in significantly fluffier pancakes.

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Firearm-purchase laws that limit the number of guns on the market reduce gun homicides in the South Side of Chicago

Krishnan et al. | Jan 24, 2022

Firearm-purchase laws that limit the number of guns on the market reduce gun homicides in the South Side of Chicago

Gun violence has been a serious issue in the South Side of Chicago for a long time. To intervene, regulators have passed legislation they hoped to curb -if not completely eradicate- the issue. However, there is little analysis done on how effective the various laws have been at reducing gun violence. Here the authors explore the association between firearm purchase laws passed between 1993-2018 and the incidence of gun homicide in Chicago's South Side. Their analysis suggests that some laws have been more effective than others, while some might have exacerbated the issue. However, they do not consider other contributing factors, which makes it difficult to prove causation without further investigation.

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