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Modular mimics of neuroactive alkaloids - design, synthesis, and cholinesterase inhibitory activity of rivastigmine analogs

Yu et al. | Sep 12, 2022

Modular mimics of neuroactive alkaloids - design, synthesis, and cholinesterase inhibitory activity of rivastigmine analogs

Naturally occurring neuroactive alkaloids are often studied for their potential to treat Neurological diseases. This team of students study Rivastigmine, a potent cholinesterase inhibitor that is a synthetic analog of physostigmine, which comes from the Calabar bean plant Physostigma venenosum. By comparing the effects of optimized synthetic analogs to the naturally occurring alkaloid, they determine the most favorable analog for inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), the enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) to terminate neuronal transmission and signaling between synapses.

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Are alkaline spices the future of antibiotics?

Jani et al. | Jan 23, 2022

Are alkaline spices the future of antibiotics?

The authors experimented with several commonly available alkaline spices (turmeric, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon) to study their antimicrobial properties, hypothesizing that alkaline spices would have antimicrobial activity. Results showed a zone of inhibition of bacterial growth, with the largest zone of inhibition being around turmeric, followed by cayenne pepper, and the smallest around cinnamon. These results are impactful, as common alkaline spices generally do show antibacterial properties and both bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects correlated with degree of alkalinity.

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The influence of implicit social pressure on prosocial behavior of adolescents

Carroll et al. | Dec 13, 2021

The influence of implicit social pressure on prosocial behavior of adolescents

In this study the authors sought to understand the influence of implicit social pressure on prosocial behavior (voluntary acts that benefit someone else) in adolescents age 12–19. They considered how participants divided money between themselves and four teammate they did a school project with. Despite being shown examples of how to divide money (social pressure), their results showed that both boys and girls were unaffected by prosocial, neutral, and antisocial pressures.

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The Role of a Mask - Understanding the Performance of Deep Neural Networks to Detect, Segment, and Extract Cellular Nuclei from Microscopy Images

Dasgupta et al. | Jul 06, 2021

The Role of a Mask - Understanding the Performance of Deep Neural Networks to Detect, Segment, and Extract Cellular Nuclei from Microscopy Images

Cell segmentation is the task of identifying cell nuclei instances in fluorescence microscopy images. The goal of this paper is to benchmark the performance of representative deep learning techniques for cell nuclei segmentation using standard datasets and common evaluation criteria. This research establishes an important baseline for cell nuclei segmentation, enabling researchers to continually refine and deploy neural models for real-world clinical applications.

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Sepia bandensis ink inhibits polymerase chain reactions

Novoselov et al. | Sep 21, 2020

<em>Sepia bandensis</em> ink inhibits polymerase chain reactions

While cephalopods play significant roles in both ecosystems and medical research, there is currently no assembled genome. In an attempt to sequence the Sepia bandensis genome, it was found that there was inhibition from the organism during DNA extraction, resulting in PCR failure. In this study, researchers tested the hypothesis that S. bandensis ink inhibits PCR. They then assessed the impact of ink on multiple methods of DNA extraction

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Fluorescein or Green Fluorescent Protein: Is It Possible to Create a Sensor for Dehydration?

Joshi et al. | Dec 09, 2019

Fluorescein or Green Fluorescent Protein: Is It Possible to Create a Sensor for Dehydration?

Currently there is no early dehydration detection system using temperature and pH as indicators. A sensor could alert the wearer and others of low hydration levels, which would normally be difficult to catch prior to more serious complications resulting from dehydration. In this study, a protein fluorophore, green fluorescent protein (GFP), and a chemical fluorophore, fluorescein, were tested for a change in fluorescence in response to increased temperature or decreased pH. Reversing the pH change did not restore GFP fluorescence, but that of fluorescein was re-established. This finding suggests that fluorescein could be used as a reusable sensor for a dehydration-related pH change.

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Extracellular vesicles derived from oxidatively stressed stromal cells promote cancer progression

Chen et al. | Jan 15, 2024

Extracellular vesicles derived from oxidatively stressed stromal cells promote cancer progression

This paper hypothesized that the tumor microenvironment mediates cancer’s response to oxidative stress by delivering extracellular vesicles to cancer cells. Breast and lung cancer cells were treated with EVs, reavealing that EVs extracted from oxidatively stressed adipocytes increased the cell proliferation of breast cancer cells. These findings present a novel way that the TME influences cancer progression.

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Fractal dimensions of crumpled paper

Zhou et al. | Aug 10, 2023

Fractal dimensions of crumpled paper
Image credit: Richard Dykes

Here, beginning from an interest in fractals, infinitely complex shapes. The authors investigated the fractal object that results from crumpling a sheet of paper. They determined its fractal dimension using continuous Chi-squared analysis, thereby testing and validating their model against the more conventional least squares analysis.

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