Unsatisfactory hand hygiene leads to the spread of bacterial infections from person to person. To address this problem, the authors developed and tested the PeelTowel, an antibacterial and water-absorbing towel made of a combination of fruit peels and recycled paper waste.
Unprocessed water from hand-pressed wells is still commonly used as a source of drinking water in Chenzhou, the “Nonferrous Metal Village” of China. Long et al. conducted a study to measure the heavy metal contamination levels and potential health effects in this area. Water samples were analyzed through Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICPOES) and the concentrations of 20 metal elements. Results showed that although none of the samples had dangerous levels of heavy metals, the concentrations of Al, Fe, and Mn in many locations substantially exceeded those suggested in the Chinese Drinking Water Standard and the maximum contaminant levels of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The authors have made an important discovery regarding the water safety in HuNan and their suggestions to install water treatment systems would greatly benefit the community.
Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that affects young adults and children. Early diagnosis of osteosarcoma is crucial to successful treatment. The current methods of diagnosis, which include imaging tests and biopsy, are time consuming and prone to human error. Hence, we used deep learning to extract patterns and detect osteosarcoma from histological images. We hypothesized that the combination of two different technologies (transfer learning and data augmentation) would improve the efficacy of osteosarcoma detection in histological images. The dataset used for the study consisted of histological images for osteosarcoma and was quite imbalanced as it contained very few images with tumors. Since transfer learning uses existing knowledge for the purpose of classification and detection, we hypothesized it would be proficient on such an imbalanced dataset. To further improve our learning, we used data augmentation to include variations in the dataset. We further evaluated the efficacy of different convolutional neural network models on this task. We obtained an accuracy of 91.18% using the transfer learning model MobileNetV2 as the base model with various geometric transformations, outperforming the state-of-the-art convolutional neural network based approach.
Effective treatment of depression requires early detection. Depressive symptoms overlap with olfactory regions, which led to several studies of the correlation between sense of smell and depression. The alarming rise of depression, its related crimes, suicides, and lack of inexpensive, quick tools in detecting early depression — this study aims in demonstrating decreased olfaction and depression correlation. Forty-two subjects (ages 13-83) underwent POC-MON (Pocket Lemon) assessment — an oven-dried lemon peel sniff test, subjected to distance measurement when odor first detected (threshold) and completed Patient Health Questionnaires (PHQ-9). POC-MON and PHQ-9 scores yielded a correlation of 20% and 18% for the right and left nostrils, respectively. Among male (n=17) subjects, the average distance of POC-MON and PHQ-9 scores produced a correlation of 14% and 16% for the right and left nostrils, respectively. Females (n=25) demonstrated a correlation of 28% and 21% for the right and left nostrils, respectively. These results suggest the correlation between olfaction and depression in diagnosing its early-stage, using a quick, inexpensive, and patient-friendly tool — POC-MON.
Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, is a problem faced by nearly 50% of the general poluation, but existing treatments such as liquid mouthwash or sugar-free gum are imperfect and temporary solutions. In this study, the authors investigate potential alternative treatments using natural ingredients such as Manuka Honey and Licorice root extract. They found that Manuka honey is almost as effective as commercial mouthwashes in reducing the growth of P gingivalis (one of the main bacteria that causes bad breath), while Licorice root extract was largely ineffective. The authors' results suggest that Manuka honey is a promising candidate in the search for new and improved halitosis treatments.
Chronic alcohol consumption can cause cardiac myopathy, which afflicts about 500,000 Americans annually. Gunturi et al. wanted to understand the effects of alcohol on heart rate and confirm the role of nitric oxide (NO) signaling in heart rate regulation. Using the model organism Daphnia magna, a water crustacean with a large, transparent heart, they found that the heart rate of Daphnia magna was reduced after treatment with alcohol. This depression could be reversed after treatment with inhibitors of NO synthesis and signaling. Their work has important implications for how we understand alcohol-induced effects on heart rate and potential treatments to reverse heart rate depression as a result of alcohol consumption.
While resources on the safety of household cleaning products are plentiful, measures of efficacy of these cleaning chemicals against bacteria and viruses remain without standardization in the consumer market. The COVID pandemic has exasperated this knowledge gap, stoking the growth of misinformation and misuse surrounding household cleaning chemicals. Arriving at a time dire for sanitization standardization, the authors of this paper have created a quantifying framework for consumers by comparing a wide range of household cleaning products in their efficacy against bacteria generated by a safe and easily replicable yogurt model.
This article investigates differences in gene expression in the brains of patients with and without Parkinson's disease. The authors identify a crucial transcriptional regulator may be a relevant target for future therapeutic treatment for Parkinson's disease.
Chemical preservatives are often used to reduce grain spoilage due to mold, but can have harmful heath and environmental effects. In this study, the authors tested three low toxic compounds for their effects on mold growth on corn kernels and found that all three were successful at slowing growth.