This study focused on finding more sustainable growing methods that reduce chemical fertilizer or water usage and can be used at the household level for garden plants. Metrics for healthy plant growth were height at first bloom, growing time, and survival rate. The Deep Water Culture (DWC) treatment for garden cress plants significantly increased the height at first bloom compared to the control group. For rates of surviving plants, the treatments had little effect on garden cress, but the Eggshell Grounds, Wick System, and DWC system groups outperformed the control group for marigolds.
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.
Neural machine translation (NMT) is a software that uses neural network techniques to translate text from one language to another. However, one of the most famous NMT models—Google Translate—failed to give an accurate English translation of a famous Korean nursery rhyme, "Airplane" (비행기). The authors fine-tuned a pre-trained model first with a dataset from the lyrics domain, and then with a smaller dataset containing the rhythmical properties, to teach the model to translate rhythmically accurate lyrics. This stacked fine-tuning method resulted in an NMT model that could maintain the rhythmical characteristics of lyrics during translation while single fine-tuned models failed to do so.
Here, the authors investigated alternative methods to irrigate plants based on the their identification that current irrigation systems waste a large amount of fresh water. They compared three different delivery methods for water: conventional sprinkler, underground cloth, and a perforated pipe embedded in the soil. They found the cloth method to save the most water, although plant growth was slightly less in comparison to plants watered with the sprinkler method or pipe method.
Identifying treatments that can stimulate hair growth use could help those struggling with undesirable hair loss. Here, the authors show that Fibroblast Growth Factors can stimulate the division of cells isolated from the mouse hair follicle. Their results suggest that this family of growth factors might be helpful in stimulating hair growth in living animals as well.
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.
The death of George Floyd has shed light on the disproportionate level of policing affecting non-Whites in the United States of America. To explore whether non-Whites were disproportionately targetted by New York City's "Stop and Frisk" policy, the authors analyze publicly available data on the practice between 2003-2019. Their results suggest African Americans were indeed more likely to be stopped by the police until 2012, after which there was some improvement.
Here, seeking to address the growing threat of multidrug-resistant bacteria (MDR). the authors used in silico virtual screening to target MDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They considered a key protein in its biosynthesis and virtually screened 20,000 candidates and 30 derivatives of brequinar. In the end, they identified a possible candidate with the highest degree of potential to inhibit the pathogen's lipid A synthesis.
Here, seeking to better understand the genetic associations underlying non-small cell lung cancer, the authors screened hundreds of genes, identifying that KCNMB2 upregulation was significantly correlated with poor prognoses in lung cancer patients. Based on this, they used small interfering RNA to decrease the expression of KCNMB2 in A549 lung cancer cells, finding decreased cell proliferation and increased lung cancer cell death. They suggest this could lead to a new potential target for lung cancer therapies.
Industrialization has transformed human life and improved it for many. Nonetheless, a side effect has been an increase in chemical waste, which when not disposed of properly, has detrimental effects on surrounding habitats. An increase in ocean acidification could potentially affect many forms of life, disrupting the ecological balance in unforeseeable ways. In this article the authors explore the effect of acidification on corals and shells, and observe that an increase in ocean acidity has a significant effect on corals, but not shells. This illustrates how acidification could negatively affect marine life, and calls our attention to managing the factors that contribute to increasing the pH of the Earth's water bodies.