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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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Molecular Alterations in a High-Fat Mouse Model Before the Onset of Diet–Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Lee et al. | Sep 20, 2016

Molecular Alterations in a High-Fat Mouse Model Before the Onset of Diet–Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most prevalent chronic liver diseases worldwide, but there are few studied warning signs for early detection of the disease. Here, researchers study alterations that occur in a mouse model of NAFLD, which indicate the onset of NAFLD sooner. Earlier detection of diseases can lead to better prevention and treatment.

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Transfer learning and data augmentation in osteosarcoma cancer detection

Chu et al. | Jun 03, 2023

Transfer learning and data augmentation in osteosarcoma cancer detection
Image credit: Chu and Khan 2023

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.

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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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Investigation of unknown causes of uveal melanoma uncovers seven recurrent genetic mutations

Nanda et al. | Aug 25, 2022

Investigation of unknown causes of uveal melanoma uncovers seven recurrent genetic mutations

Uveal melanoma (UM) is a rare subtype of melanoma but the most frequent primary cancer of the eye in adults. The goal of this study was to research the genetic causes of UM through a comprehensive frequency analysis of base-pair mismatches in patient genomes. Results showed a total of 130 genetic mutations, including seven recurrent mutations, with most mutations occurring in chromosomes 3 and X. Recurrent mutations varied from 8.7% to 17.39% occurrence in the UM patient sample, with all mutations identified as missense. These findings suggest that UM is a recessive heterogeneous disease with selective homozygous mutations. Notably, this study has potential wider significance because the seven genes targeted by recurrent mutations are also involved in other cancers.

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From trash to treasure: A sustainable approach to oil spill clean-up

Kathir et al. | Aug 02, 2023

From trash to treasure: A sustainable approach to oil spill clean-up

In this study the authors looked at sustainable ways to clean up oil spills that harm marine life. Using water spangle leaves and milk week the authors looked at the ability to recovery oil from both fresh and salt water and the ability to reuse the organic material to clean up spills. Their results show promise to help find a sustainable, eco-friendly way to clean up oil spills and protect marine life and habitats.

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Comparing Virulence of Three T4 Bacteriophage Strains on Ampicillin-Resistant and Sensitive E. coli Bacteria

Hudanich et al. | Dec 09, 2020

Comparing Virulence of Three T4 Bacteriophage Strains on Ampicillin-Resistant and Sensitive <em>E. coli</em> Bacteria

In this study, the authors investigate an alternative way to kill bacteria other than the use of antibiotics, which is useful when considering antibiotic-resistance bacteria. They use bacteriophages, which are are viruses that can infect bacteria, and measure cell lysis. They make some important findings that these bacteriophage can lyse both antibiotic-resistant and non-resistant bacteria.

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The association between hunting and the feeding and vigilance times of American bison in North Dakota and Montana

McCandless et al. | Mar 30, 2022

The association between hunting and the feeding and vigilance times of American bison in North Dakota and Montana

This study hypothesized that feeding times of bison in the hunted populations would be significantly shorter than that of bison in the nonhunted population and vigilance times would be significantly longer than that of bison in the nonhunted population. Notably, the results found significant differences in feeding and vigilance times of bison in the hunted and non-hunted populations. However, these differences did not support the original hypothesis; bison in hunted populations spent more time feeding and less time vigilant than bison in the non-hunted population. Future studies investigating the association between hunting and bison behaviors could use populations of bison that are hunted more frequently, which may provide different results.

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