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Machine learning on crowd-sourced data to highlight coral disease

Narayan et al. | Jul 26, 2021

Machine learning on crowd-sourced data to highlight coral disease

Triggered largely by the warming and pollution of oceans, corals are experiencing bleaching and a variety of diseases caused by the spread of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Identification of bleached/diseased corals enables implementation of measures to halt or retard disease. Benthic cover analysis, a standard metric used in large databases to assess live coral cover, as a standalone measure of reef health is insufficient for identification of coral bleaching/disease. Proposed herein is a solution that couples machine learning with crowd-sourced data – images from government archives, citizen science projects, and personal images collected by tourists – to build a model capable of identifying healthy, bleached, and/or diseased coral.

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Development and Implementation of Enzymatic and Volatile Compound-based Approaches for Instantaneous Detection of Pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus

Nori et al. | Feb 20, 2021

Development and Implementation of Enzymatic and Volatile Compound-based Approaches for Instantaneous Detection of Pathogenic <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i>

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) has a mortality rate of up to 30% in developing countries. The purpose of this experiment was to determine if enzymatic and volatile compound-based approaches would perform more quickly in comparison to existing S. aureus diagnostic methods and to evaluate these novel methods on accuracy. Ultimately, this device provided results in less than 30 seconds, which is much quicker than existing methods that take anywhere from 10 minutes to 48 hours based on approach. Statistical analysis of accuracy provides preliminary confirmation that the device based on enzymatic and volatile compound-based approaches can be an accurate and time-efficient tool to detect pathogenic S. aureus.

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Aberrant response to dexamethasone suppression test associated with inflammatory response in MDD patients

Ulery et al. | Nov 06, 2023

Aberrant response to dexamethasone suppression test associated with inflammatory response in MDD patients

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent mood disorder. The direct causes and biological mechanisms of depression still elude understanding, though genetic factors have been implicated. This study looked to identify the mechanism behind the aberrant response to the dexamethasone suppression test (DST) displayed by MDD patients, in which they display a lack of cortisol suppression. Analysis revealed several pro-inflammatory genes that were significant and differentially expressed between affected and non-affected groups in response to the DST. Looking at ways to decrease the inflammatory response could have implications for treatment and may explain why some people treated for depression still display symptoms or may lead researchers to different classes of drugs for treatment.

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Using data science along with machine learning to determine the ARIMA model’s ability to adjust to irregularities in the dataset

Choudhary et al. | Jul 26, 2021

Using data science along with machine learning to determine the ARIMA model’s ability to adjust to irregularities in the dataset

Auto-Regressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) models are known for their influence and application on time series data. This statistical analysis model uses time series data to depict future trends or values: a key contributor to crime mapping algorithms. However, the models may not function to their true potential when analyzing data with many different patterns. In order to determine the potential of ARIMA models, our research will test the model on irregularities in the data. Our team hypothesizes that the ARIMA model will be able to adapt to the different irregularities in the data that do not correspond to a certain trend or pattern. Using crime theft data and an ARIMA model, we determined the results of the ARIMA model’s forecast and how the accuracy differed on different days with irregularities in crime.

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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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Grammatical Gender and Politics: A Comparison of French and English in Political Discourse

Zhang et al. | Jul 07, 2021

Grammatical Gender and Politics: A Comparison of French and English in Political Discourse

Grammatical gender systems are prevalent across many languages, and when comparing French and English the existence of this system becomes a strong distinction. There have been studies that attribute assigned grammatical gender with the ability to influence conceptualization (attributing gender attributes) of all nouns, thus affecting people's thoughts on a grand scale. We hypothesized that due to the influence of a grammatical gender system, French political discourse would have a large difference between the number of masculine and feminine nouns used. Specifically, we predicted there would be a larger ratio of feminine to masculine nouns in French political discourse than in non-political discourse when compared to English discourse. Through linguistic analysis of gendered nouns in French political writing, we found that there is a clear difference between the number of feminine versus masculine nouns, signaling a preference for a more “effeminate” language.

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Expressional correlations between SERPINA6 and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma-linked genes

Selver et al. | Oct 06, 2021

Expressional correlations between <em>SERPINA6</em> and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma-linked genes

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most common form of pancreatic cancer, with early diagnosis and treatment challenges. When any of the genes KRAS, SMAD4, TP53, and BRCA2 are heavily mutated, they correlate with PDAC progression. Cellular stress, partly regulated by the gene SERPINA6, also correlates with PDAC progression. When SERPINA6 is highly expressed, corticosteroid-binding globulin inhibits the effect of the stress hormone cortisol. In this study, the authors explored whether there is an inverse correlation between the expression of SERPINA6 and PDAC-linked genes.

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Developing anticholinergic drugs for the treatment of asthma with improved efficacy

Wong et al. | Jul 05, 2023

Developing anticholinergic drugs for the treatment of asthma with improved efficacy
Image credit: Wong et al.

Anticholinergics are used in treating asthma, a chronic inflammation of the airways. These drugs block human M1 and M2 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, inhibiting bronchoconstriction. However, studies have reported complications of anticholinergic usage, such as exacerbated eosinophil production and worsened urinary retention. Modification of known anticholinergics using bioisosteric replacements to increase efficacy could potentially minimize these complications. The present study focuses on identifying viable analogs of anticholinergics to improve binding energy to the receptors compared to current treatment options. Glycopyrrolate (G), ipratropium (IB), and tiotropium bromide (TB) were chosen as parent drugs of interest, due to the presence of common functional groups within the molecules, specifically esters and alcohols. Docking score analysis via AutoDock Vina was used to evaluate the binding energy between drug analogs and the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. The final results suggest that G-A3, IB-A3, and TB-A1 are the most viable analogs, as binding energy was improved when compared to the parent drug. G-A4, IB-A4, IB-A5, TB-A3, and TB-A4 are also potential candidates, although there were slight regressions in binding energy to both muscarinic receptors for these analogs. By researching the effects of bioisosteric replacements of current anticholinergics, it is evident that there is a potential to provide asthmatics with more effective treatment options.

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The effect of viscous drag on damped simple harmonic motion

Michael Powell et al. | Sep 14, 2023

The effect of viscous drag on damped simple harmonic motion

Dynamic viscosity is a quantity that describes the magnitude of a fluid’s internal friction or thickness. Traditionally, scientists measure this quantity by either calculating the terminal velocity of a falling sphere or the time a liquid takes to flow through a capillary tube. However, they have yet to conduct much research on finding this quantity through viscous damped simple harmonic motion. The present study hypothesized that the relationship between the dynamic viscosity and the damping coefficient is positively correlated.

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