Polylactic acid (PLA) is a bio-based, compostable plastic that is comparable in cost to petroleum-based plastics. This study aims to evaluate the effects of UV treatment and mechanical chopping on the degradation of PLA. Based on their findings, the authors propose an alternative PLA degradation process that may be more time and energy efficient than current processes.
The Wnt signaling pathway, known to coordinate important aspects of cellular homeostasis ranging from differentiation, proliferation, migration, and much more, is dysregulated in many human diseases. This study demonstrates that aminomethylphosphonic acid, which is the main metabolite found in the common herbicide Glyphosate, is toxic to planaria and capable of binding to canonical Wnt proteins.
Human amylase is important to digestion and has broad applications for therapeutic use in patients with pancreatic insufficiency. The authors present a method to increase amylase production in E. coli by adding the amino acids L-glutamate and L-glutamine.
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.
The goal of this project was to see if the addition of wild orange essential oil to freshly squeezed orange juice would help to slow down the decay of ascorbic acid when exposed to various temperatures, allowing vital nutrients to be maintained and providing a natural alternative to the chemical additives in use in industry today. The authors hypothesized that the addition of wild orange essential oil to freshly squeezed orange juice would slow down the rate of oxidation when exposed to various temperatures, reducing ascorbic acid decay. On average, wild orange EO slowed down ascorbic acid decay in freshly squeezed orange juice by 15% at the three highest temperatures tested.
Treatments inhibiting Notch signaling pathways have been explored by researchers as a new approach for the treatment of glioblastoma tumors, which is a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumor. Recently, retinoic acid (RA) therapy, which inhibits Notch signaling, has shown a promising effect on inhibiting glioblastoma progression. RA, which is a metabolite of vitamin A, is very important in embryonic cellular development, which includes the regulation of multiple developmental processes, such as brain neurogenesis. However, high doses of RA treatment caused many side effects such as headaches, nausea, redness around the injection site, or allergic reactions. Therefore, we hypothesized that a combination treatment of RA and siRNA targeting NOTCH1 (siNOTCH1), the essential gene that activates Notch signaling, would effectively inhibit brain cancer cell proliferation. The aim of the study was to determine whether inhibiting NOTCH1 would inhibit the growth of brain cancer cells by cell viability assay. We found that the combination treatment of siNOTCH1 and RA in low concentration effectively decreased the NOTCH1 expression level compared to the individual treatments. However, the combination treatment condition significantly decreased the number of live brain cancer cells only at a low concentration of RA. We anticipate that this novel combination treatment can provide a solution to the side effects of chemotherapy.
In this study, the authors investigate the effects of different algal growth media on algae's ability to perform carbon dioxide biofixation, or utilize carbon dioxide by fixing it into fatty acids within the cells. More specifically, carbon dioxide biofixation of Chlorella vulgaris was cultured in one of four media options and carbon dioxide was measured and compared to controls. The study results demonstrated that the use of media can enhance algae's capacity for biofixation and this has important implications for developing methods to reduce carbon dioxide in the environment.
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.
Seeking to develop a better understanding of the chemical and physical properties of amino acids that compose proteins, here the authors investigated the unusual relative insolubility of racemic mixtures of D- and L-serine compared to the solubility of pure D- or L-serine. The authors used a combination of microscopy and temperature measurements alongside previous X-ray diffraction studies to conclude that racemic DL-serine crystals consist of comparatively stronger hydrogen bond interactions compared to crystals of pure enantiomers. These stronger interactions were found to result in the unique release of heat during the crystallization of racemic mixtures.
In this study, the authors investigate the combinatorial effects of CO2 plus other environmental factors including salinity, temperature, acidity, and drought on how effectively plants can transport water and carbon through their stomata.