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Assessing CDK5 as a Nanomotor for Chemotactic Drug Delivery

Jiang et al. | Sep 08, 2022

Assessing CDK5 as a Nanomotor for Chemotactic Drug Delivery

Enzyme chemotaxis is a thermodynamic phenomenon in which enzymes move along a substrate concentration gradient towards regions with higher substrate concentrations and can be used to steer nanovehicles towards targets along natural substrate concentrations. In patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a gradient of tau protein forms in the bloodstream. Tau protein is a substrate of the enzyme CDK5, which catalyzes the phosphorylation of tau protein and can travel using chemotaxis along tau protein gradients to increasing concentrations of tau and amyloid-beta proteins. The authors hypothesized that CDK5 would be able to overcome these barriers of Brownian motion and developed a quantitative model using Michaelis-Menten kinetics to define the necessary parameters to confirm and characterize CDK5’s chemotactic behavior to establish its utility in drug delivery and other applications.

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The feeling of beauty in music: Relaxing and not confusing

Jain et al. | Sep 07, 2022

The feeling of beauty in music: Relaxing and not confusing

Here, the authors sought to better understand how and why people experience beauty in music. They explored this fundamental aesthetic response by considering numerous emotional responses of participants to diverse musical excerpts using a 42-item Aesthetic Emotions Scale assessment. They found that the highly nuanced emotional experience of beauty in music includes positive, negative, and knowledge-related feelings.

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The impact of COVID-19 quarantine on physical activities in Basra, Iraq: A cross-sectional study

Al Saeedi et al. | Aug 30, 2022

The impact of COVID-19 quarantine on physical activities in Basra, Iraq: A cross-sectional study

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the authors noticed a change in the physical activity of many people, as well as a change in the type of physical activity they practice. Here, the authors used a cross-sectional survey of 150 participants from the province of Basra in Iraq. They found an overall decrease in the number of days of physical activity for participants along with an increasing proportion of at-home exercises compared to other activities that are performed inside sports clubs during the pandemic.

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Application of gene therapy for reversing T-cell dysfunction in cancer

Hyun Lee et al. | Aug 25, 2022

Application of gene therapy for reversing T-cell dysfunction in cancer

Since cancer cells inhibit T-cell activity, the authors investigated a method to reverse T-cell disfunction with gene therapy, so that the T-cells would become effective once again in fighting cancer cells. They used the inhibition of proprotein convertases (PCSK1) in T cells and programmed death-ligand 1 (CD274) in cancer cells. They observed the recovery of IL-2 expression in Jurkat cells, with increased recovery noted in a co-culture sample. This study suggests a novel strategy to reactivate T cells.

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Investigation of unknown causes of uveal melanoma uncovers seven recurrent genetic mutations

Nanda et al. | Aug 25, 2022

Investigation of unknown causes of uveal melanoma uncovers seven recurrent genetic mutations

Uveal melanoma (UM) is a rare subtype of melanoma but the most frequent primary cancer of the eye in adults. The goal of this study was to research the genetic causes of UM through a comprehensive frequency analysis of base-pair mismatches in patient genomes. Results showed a total of 130 genetic mutations, including seven recurrent mutations, with most mutations occurring in chromosomes 3 and X. Recurrent mutations varied from 8.7% to 17.39% occurrence in the UM patient sample, with all mutations identified as missense. These findings suggest that UM is a recessive heterogeneous disease with selective homozygous mutations. Notably, this study has potential wider significance because the seven genes targeted by recurrent mutations are also involved in other cancers.

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Characterizing the association between hippocampal reactive astrogliosis, anhedonia-like behaviors, and neurogenesis in a monkey model of stress and antidepressant treatment

Kim et al. | Aug 25, 2022

Characterizing the association between hippocampal reactive astrogliosis, anhedonia-like behaviors, and neurogenesis in a monkey model of stress and antidepressant treatment

This study examined the effects of stress and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on a measure of astrocyte reactivity in nonhuman primate (NHP) models of stress. Results showed that chronic separation stress in NHPs leads to increased signs of astrogliosis in the NHP hippocampus. The findings were consistent with the hypotheses that hippocampal astrogliosis is an important mechanism in stress-induced cognitive and behavioral deficits.

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A comparative study on the suitability of virtual labs for school chemistry experiments

Praveen et al. | Aug 22, 2022

A comparative study on the suitability of virtual labs for school chemistry experiments

Virtual labs have been gaining popularity over the last few years, especially during the worldwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, the suitability of virtual labs for school chemistry experiments is addressed and their effectiveness is compared to traditional physical lab experiments by focusing on physical and human resources, convenience, cost, safety, and time involved as well as topic "matter".

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Effects of spices on rice spoilage

Govindaraj et al. | Aug 15, 2022

Effects of spices on rice spoilage

In this work, based on centuries of history where spices have been used and thought to have antimicrobial properties that prolong the shelf life of food, the authors investigated if several spices used in Indian cooking could delay the spoilage of cooked white rice. Based on changed in appearance and smell, as well as growth on agar plates, they found that cinnamon was the most effective in delaying spoilage, followed by cumin, pepper, garlic, and ginger. Their findings suggest the ability to use spices rather than chemical food preservatives to prolong the shelf life of foods.

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