This study aimed to obtain an optimal non-antibiotic method to suppress the growth of pathogenic bacteria within the body. The two-fold purpose of this project was to determine which combination of bacteria would result in the most biofilm formation and then to assess the effect of ayurvedic plant extracts on the biofilm. The results show that the addition of a plant extract can affect the biofilm growth of a bacteria combination. The applications of this study can be used to design probiotic supplements with added beneficial plant extracts.
Inefficient penetration of cancer drugs into the interior of the three-dimensional (3D) tumor tissue limits drugs' delivery. The authors hypothesized that the addition of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) would increase the permeability of the drug doxorubicin for efficient drug penetration. They found that 1 mM PLA2 had the highest permeability. Increased efficiency in drug delivery would allow lower concentrations of drugs to be used, minimizing damage to normal cells.
This study tested the proficiency of different concentrations of the antimicrobial sorbic acid to inhibit the probiotic Lactobacillus casei Shirota. It was hypothesized that sorbic acid’s use as a bacterial deterrent would also target this bacterial strain of Lactobacillus. The results supported the hypothesis, with the colony count of L. casei Shirota having significant decreases at all concentrations of sorbic acid. These results additionally suggest that even under the FDA sorbic acid restrictions of 0.03% concentration, damaging effects could be seen in L. casei Shirota.
Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen in both hospitals and the community and can cause systemic infections such as pneumonia. Multi-drug resistant strains, such as Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) are particularly worrisome. In order to reduce the development of bacterial resistance, we hypothesized that two selected traditional Chinese medicines, Shuang-Huang-Lian (SHL) and Lan-Qin, would be effective against S. aureus. The results showed that SHL had a synergistic effect with gentamicin as well as additive effects with penicillin and cefazolin against S. aureus compared with using antibiotics alone.
The purpose of this study was to test devices installed on a gabled roof to see which reduced the actual uplift forces best. Three gabled birdhouse roofs were each modified with different mitigation devices: a rounded edge, a barrier shape, or an airfoil. The barrier edge had no significant effect on the time for the roof to blow off. The addition of airfoil devices on roofs, specifically in areas that are prone to hurricanes such as Florida, could keep roofs in place during hurricanes, thus reducing insurance bills, overall damage costs, and the loss of lives.
Zeolithic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) is a specific metal-organic framework that has favorable qualities for use in an air filter and is known to be capable of adsorbing particulate matter. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to determine the effectiveness of ZIF-8 in adsorbing polar, gaseous air pollutants, specifically nitrogen dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. In order to determine effectiveness, the percent change in concentration for various gases after the application of ZIF-8 crystals was measured via Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The work highlights crystals as a potentially promising alternative or addition to current filter materials to reduce atmospheric pollution.
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are allosteric inhibitors that bind to the HIV reverse transcriptase and prevent replication. Indolyl aryl sulfones (IAS) and IAS derivatives have been found to be highly effective against mutant strains of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. Here, we analyzed molecules designed using aryl sulfone scaffolds paired to cyclic compounds as potential NNRTIs through the computational design and docking of 100 novel NNRTI candidates. Moreover, we explored the specific combinations of functional groups and aryl sulfones that resulted in the NNRTI candidates with the strongest binding affinity while testing all compounds for carcinogenicity. We hypothesized that the combination of an IAS scaffold and pyrimidine would produce the compounds with the best binding affinity. Our hypothesis was correct as the series of molecules with an IAS scaffold and pyrimidine exhibited the best average binding affinity. Additionally, this study found 32 molecules designed in this procedure with higher or equal binding affinities to the previously successful IAS derivative 5-bromo-3-[(3,5-dimethylphenyl)sulfonyl]indole-2-carboxyamide when docked to HIV-1 reverse transcriptase.
Many cases of viral hepatitis are easily preventable if caught early; however, a lack of public awareness regarding often leads to diagnoses near the final stages of disease when it is most lethal. Thus, we wanted to understand to what extent an individual's sex, age, education and country of residence (India or Singapore) impacts disease identification. We sent out a survey and quiz to residents in India (n = 239) and Singapore (n = 130) with questions that test their knowledge and awareness of the disease. We hypothesized that older and more educated individuals would score higher because they are more experienced, but that the Indian population will not be as knowledgeable as the Singaporean population because they do not have as many resources, such as socioeconomic access to schools and accessibility to healthcare, available to them. Additionally, we predicted that there would not be any notable differences between make and females. The results revealed that the accuracy for all groups we looked at was primarily below 50%, demonstrating a severe knowledge gap. Therefore, we concluded that if more medical professionals discussed viral hepatitis during hospital visits and in schools, patients can avoid the end stages of the disease in notable cases.
Duckweed plays an important role in its aquatic environment by removing pollutants, such as zinc, from the water. In this study, the authors demonstrate that uptake of zinc by duckweed is inhibited by the presence of oil in the water, but this effect can be reversed with the addition of a dispersing agent.
In this study, the authors seek to improve a machine learning algorithm used for image classification: identifying male and female images. In addition to fine-tuning the classification model, they investigate how accuracy is affected by their changes (an important task when developing and updating algorithms). To determine accuracy, a set of images is used to train the model and then a separate set of images is used for validation. They found that the validation accuracy was close to the training accuracy. This study contributes to the expanding areas of machine learning and its applications to image identification.