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Sports Are Not Colorblind: The Role of Race and Segregation in NFL Positions

Coleman et al. | Oct 23, 2018

Sports Are Not Colorblind: The Role of Race and Segregation in NFL Positions

In this study, the authors conducted a statistical investigation into the history of position-based racial segregation in the NFL. Specifically, they focused on the cornerback position, which they hypothesized would be occupied disproportionately by black players due to their historical stereotyping as more suitable for positions requiring extreme athletic ability. Using publicly available datasets on the demographics of NFL players over the past several decades, they confirmed their hypothesis that the cornerback position is skewed towards black players. They additionally discovered that, unlike in the quarterback position, this trend has shown no sign of decreasing over time.

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A Cloud-Enabled Communication Strategy for Wildfire Alerts

Vinaithirthan et al. | Jul 19, 2020

A Cloud-Enabled Communication Strategy for Wildfire Alerts

The traditional alert system in California consists of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs), which lack location specificity, and sign-up-based technology which is limited by the number of sign ups. Those who do not have phones or have a silence option on their devices are most at risk from the current alert system. Here the authors developed cloud-enabled crisis connection for disaster alerts (CRISIS-CONNECT) to mitigate problems associated with the current alert system.

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Ribosome distribution affects stalling in amino-acid starved cancer cells

Deng et al. | Jan 07, 2022

Ribosome distribution affects stalling in amino-acid starved cancer cells

In this article, the authors analyzed ribosome profiling data from amino acid-starved pancreatic cancer cells to explore whether the pattern of ribosome distribution along transcripts under normal conditions can predict the degree of ribosome stalling under stress. The authors found that ribosomes in amino acid-deprived cells stalled more along elongation-limited transcripts. By contrast, they observed no relationship between read density near start and stop and disparities between mRNA sequencing reads and ribosome profiling reads. This research identifies an important relationship between read distribution and propensity for ribosomes to stall, although more work is needed to fully understand the patterns of ribosome distribution along transcripts in ribosome profiling data.

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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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Recognition of animal body parts via supervised learning

Kreiman et al. | Oct 28, 2023

Recognition of animal body parts via supervised learning
Image credit: Kreiman et al. 2023

The application of machine learning techniques has facilitated the automatic annotation of behavior in video sequences, offering a promising approach for ethological studies by reducing the manual effort required for annotating each video frame. Nevertheless, before solely relying on machine-generated annotations, it is essential to evaluate the accuracy of these annotations to ensure their reliability and applicability. While it is conventionally accepted that there cannot be a perfect annotation, the degree of error associated with machine-generated annotations should be commensurate with the error between different human annotators. We hypothesized that machine learning supervised with adequate human annotations would be able to accurately predict body parts from video sequences. Here, we conducted a comparative analysis of the quality of annotations generated by humans and machines for the body parts of sheep during treadmill walking. For human annotation, two annotators manually labeled six body parts of sheep in 300 frames. To generate machine annotations, we employed the state-of-the-art pose-estimating library, DeepLabCut, which was trained using the frames annotated by human annotators. As expected, the human annotations demonstrated high consistency between annotators. Notably, the machine learning algorithm also generated accurate predictions, with errors comparable to those between humans. We also observed that abnormal annotations with a high error could be revised by introducing Kalman Filtering, which interpolates the trajectory of body parts over the time series, enhancing robustness. Our results suggest that conventional transfer learning methods can generate behavior annotations as accurate as those made by humans, presenting great potential for further research.

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Refinement of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms of Atopic Dermatitis related Filaggrin through R packages

Naravane et al. | Oct 12, 2022

Refinement of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms of Atopic Dermatitis related Filaggrin through R packages

In the United States, there are currently 17.8 million affected by atopic dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema. It is characterized by itching and skin inflammation. AD patients are at higher risk for infections, depression, cancer, and suicide. Genetics, environment, and stress are some of the causes of the disease. With the rise of personalized medicine and the acceptance of gene-editing technologies, AD-related variations need to be identified for treatment. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have associated the Filaggrin (FLG) gene with AD but have not identified specific problematic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This research aimed to refine known SNPs of FLG for gene editing technologies to establish a causal link between specific SNPs and the diseases and to target the polymorphisms. The research utilized R and its Bioconductor packages to refine data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI's) Variation Viewer. The algorithm filtered the dataset by coding regions and conserved domains. The algorithm also removed synonymous variations and treated non-synonymous, frameshift, and nonsense separately. The non-synonymous variations were refined and ordered by the BLOSUM62 substitution matrix. Overall, the analysis removed 96.65% of data, which was redundant or not the focus of the research and ordered the remaining relevant data by impact. The code for the project can also be repurposed as a tool for other diseases. The research can help solve GWAS's imprecise identification challenge. This research is the first step in providing the refined databases required for gene-editing treatment.

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