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Contrasting role of ASCC3 and ALKBH3 in determining genomic alterations in Glioblastoma Multiforme

Sriram et al. | Sep 27, 2022

Contrasting role of <i>ASCC3</i> and <i>ALKBH3</i> in determining genomic alterations in Glioblastoma Multiforme

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.

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Analyzing resilience in a sample population as a novel qualifier for triage in psychological first aid

Ramesh et al. | Apr 18, 2023

Analyzing resilience in a sample population as a novel qualifier for triage in psychological first aid
Image credit: Mat Napo

While serving as an immediate address for psychological safety and stability, psychological first aid (PFA) currently lacks the incorporation of triage. Without triage, patients cannot be prioritized in correspondence to condition severity that is often called for within emergency conditions. To disentangle the relevance of a potential triage system to PFA, the authors of this paper have developed a method to quantify resilience - a prominent predictor of the capability to recover from a disaster. With this resilience index, they have quantified resilience of differing age, race, and sex demographics to better inform the practice of PFA and potential demographic prioritization via a triage system.

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Grammatical Gender and Politics: A Comparison of French and English in Political Discourse

Zhang et al. | Jul 07, 2021

Grammatical Gender and Politics: A Comparison of French and English in Political Discourse

Grammatical gender systems are prevalent across many languages, and when comparing French and English the existence of this system becomes a strong distinction. There have been studies that attribute assigned grammatical gender with the ability to influence conceptualization (attributing gender attributes) of all nouns, thus affecting people's thoughts on a grand scale. We hypothesized that due to the influence of a grammatical gender system, French political discourse would have a large difference between the number of masculine and feminine nouns used. Specifically, we predicted there would be a larger ratio of feminine to masculine nouns in French political discourse than in non-political discourse when compared to English discourse. Through linguistic analysis of gendered nouns in French political writing, we found that there is a clear difference between the number of feminine versus masculine nouns, signaling a preference for a more “effeminate” language.

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A Retrospective Study of Research Data on End Stage Renal Disease

Ponnaluri et al. | Mar 09, 2016

A Retrospective Study of Research Data on End Stage Renal Disease

End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is a growing health concern in the United States. The authors of this study present a study of ESRD incidence over a 32-year period, providing an in-depth look at the contributions of age, race, gender, and underlying medical factors to this disease.

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The effects of social media on STEM identity in adolescent girls

Sreekanth et al. | Mar 11, 2024

The effects of social media on STEM identity in adolescent girls
Image credit: Diane Serik

Social media is widely used and easily accessible for adolescents, it has the potential to increase STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) identity in girls. We aimed to investigate the effects of exposure to counter-stereotypical portrayals of women in STEM on social media on the STEM identity of adolescent girls. The study concluded that social media alone may not be an effective tool to increase STEM identity in girls. Social media can still be used as a complementary tool to support and encourage women in STEM, but it should not be relied upon solely to address the gender disparity in STEM fields.

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Phytoplankton Plastid Proteomics: Cracking Open Diatoms to Understand Plastid Biochemistry Under Iron Limitation

Nunn et al. | Feb 10, 2017

Phytoplankton Plastid Proteomics: Cracking Open Diatoms to Understand Plastid Biochemistry Under Iron Limitation

In many areas of the world’s oceans, diatoms such as Thalassiosira pseudonana are limited in growth by the availability of iron (Fe), which is an essential nutrient for diatoms. The authors of this study examined if Fe-limitation makes a significant difference in the proteins expressed within the chloroplast, the power source for diatoms, utilizing a new plastid isolation technique specific to diatoms and completing 14 mass spectrometry experiments.

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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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Testing HCN1 channel dysregulation in the prefrontal cortex using a novel piezoelectric silk neuromodulator

Mathew et al. | May 05, 2021

Testing HCN1 channel dysregulation in the prefrontal cortex using a novel piezoelectric silk neuromodulator

Although no comprehensive characterization of schizophrenia exists, there is a general consensus that patients have electrical dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex. The authors designed a novel piezoelectric silk-based implant and optimized electrical output through the addition of conductive materials zinc oxide (ZnO) and aluminum nitride (AlN). With further research and compatibility studies, this implant could rectify electrical misfiring in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex.

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