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Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Wu et al. | Feb 17, 2019

Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Phage therapy has been suggested as an alternative to antibiotics because bacteria resistant to antibiotics may still be susceptible to phages. However, phages may have limited effectiveness in combating bacteria since bacteria possess several antiviral defense mechanisms and can quickly develop resistance to phages. In this study, Wu and Pinta compare the effectiveness and specificity of antibiotics and phages in combating bacteria. They found that T4 phages are more specific and effective in fighting or inhibiting both antibiotic-resistant and sensitive bacteria than antibiotics, suggesting that phage therapy can be developed as an efficient tool to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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Allelopathic Effects of Kudzu (Pueraria montana) on Seed Germination and Their Potential Use As a Natural Herbicide

Mathur et al. | Dec 19, 2013

Allelopathic Effects of Kudzu (<em>Pueraria montana</em>) on Seed Germination and Their Potential Use As a Natural Herbicide

Plants in the wild compete with each other for nutrients and sunlight. Kudzu is a weed that is thought to secrete compounds that inhibit the growth of other plants. Here the authors find that certain parts of kudzu plants can block the germination of clover and dandelion seeds. These experiments may lead to a weed killer that is safe and naturally derived.

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Potential Multifunctional Agents for Dual Therapy of Age-Related and Associated Diseases: Alzheimer’s Disease and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Kumar et al. | Nov 13, 2019

Potential Multifunctional Agents for Dual Therapy of Age-Related and Associated Diseases: Alzheimer’s Disease and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Studies show an age-related link between Alzheimer’s Disease and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus with oxidative stress a characteristic of both. Here, methanolic fractionations and extracts of four Ayurvedic plants were assessed for their protective abilities using a number of in vitro assays. Extracts inhibited oxidative stress and reduced activity of key enzymes involved in the pathogenesis of both diseases in neuroblastoma cells.

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The Effect of Neem on Common Nosocomial Infection-Causing Organisms

Shah et al. | Jan 27, 2020

The Effect of Neem on Common Nosocomial Infection-Causing Organisms

Nosocomial infections acquired in hospitals pose a risk to patients, a risk compounded by resistant microorganisms. To combat this problem, researchers have turned to bioactive compounds from medicinal plants such as the widely used neem. In the present study, researchers sought to determine the effectiveness of different neem preparations against several hospital acquired human pathogens. Neem powder in water successfully inhibited microorganism growth making it a potential agent to combat these infections.

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Investigation of Everyday Locations for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Maggio et al. | Dec 12, 2019

Investigation of Everyday Locations for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Cambridge, Massachusetts

In this study, the authors investigate whether antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be found in everyday locations. To do this, they collected samples from multiple high-trafficked areas in Cambridge, MA and grew them in the presence and absence of antibiotics. Interestingly, they grew bacterial colonies from many locations' samples, but not all could grow in the presence of ampicillin. These findings are intriguing and relevant given the rising concern about antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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The Effect of Caffeine on the Regeneration of Brown Planaria (Dugesia tigrina)

Lazorik et al. | May 10, 2019

The Effect of Caffeine on the Regeneration of Brown Planaria (<em>Dugesia tigrina</em>)

The degeneration of nerve cells in the brain can lead to pathologies such as Parkinson’s disease. It has been suggested that neurons in humans may regenerate. In this study, the effect of different doses of caffeine on regeneration was explored in the planeria model. Caffeine has been shown to enhance dopamine production, and dopamine is found in high concentrations in regenerating planeria tissues. Higher doses of caffeine accelerated planeria regeneration following decapitation, indicating a potential role for caffeine as a treatment to stimulate regeneration.

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Utilizing a Wastewater-Based Medium for Engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the Biological Production of Fatty Alcohols and Carboxylic Acids to Replace Petrochemicals

Ramesh et al. | Oct 02, 2019

Utilizing a Wastewater-Based Medium for Engineered <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em> for the Biological Production of Fatty Alcohols and Carboxylic Acids to Replace Petrochemicals

Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast is used to produce bioethanol, an alternative to fossil fuels. In this study, authors take advantage of this well studied yeast by genetically engineering them to increase fatty acid biosynthesis and culturing in a cost-effective wastewater based medium; potentially providing a sustainable alternative to petrochemicals.

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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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Testing the Effects of Salep Derived From the Tubers of Orchis mascula, Aloe vera, and Alpha-chymotrypsin on Wound Healing in Drosophila melanogaster Larvae

Halder et al. | Sep 09, 2019

Testing the Effects of Salep Derived From the Tubers of <em>Orchis mascula</em>, <em>Aloe vera</em>, and Alpha-chymotrypsin on Wound Healing in <em>Drosophila melanogaster</em> Larvae

Aloe vera and alpha-chymotrypsin have been used in are known for their various wound healing properties. Halder et al hypothesized that these treatments would enhance wound healing in Drosophila melanogaster larvae over 2 weeks by decreasing wound size more effectively compared to controls. The results of two of the treatment groups, Salep and Aloe vera, yielded wound sizes small enough to present a significant percent decrease when compared with the wound sizes of the control group. Their results show support that both Salep and Aloe vera were effective for enhancing wound healing in epithelial cells in D. melanogaster larvae.

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Trajectories Between Cigarette Smoking and Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Use Among Adults in the U.S.

Primack et al. | Apr 30, 2020

Trajectories Between Cigarette Smoking and Electronic Nicotine Delivery System Use Among Adults in the U.S.

In this study, the authors characterized the trends of cigarette use amongst people who do and don't use electronic nicotine delivery systems (or ENDS). This was done to help determine if the use of ENDS is aiding in helping smokers quit, as the data on this has been controversial. They found that use of ENDS among people either with or without previous cigarette usage were more likely to continue using cigarettes in the future. This is important information contributing to our understanding of ways to effectively (and not effectively) reduce cigarette use.

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