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Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Wu et al. | Feb 17, 2019

Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Phage therapy has been suggested as an alternative to antibiotics because bacteria resistant to antibiotics may still be susceptible to phages. However, phages may have limited effectiveness in combating bacteria since bacteria possess several antiviral defense mechanisms and can quickly develop resistance to phages. In this study, Wu and Pinta compare the effectiveness and specificity of antibiotics and phages in combating bacteria. They found that T4 phages are more specific and effective in fighting or inhibiting both antibiotic-resistant and sensitive bacteria than antibiotics, suggesting that phage therapy can be developed as an efficient tool to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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Banana-based Biofuels for Combating Climate Change: How the Composition of Enzyme Catalyzed Solutions Affects Biofuel Yield

Klein-Hessling Barrientos et al. | May 27, 2020

Banana-based Biofuels for Combating Climate Change: How the Composition of Enzyme Catalyzed Solutions Affects Biofuel Yield

The authors investigate whether amylase or yeast had a more prominent role in determining the bioethanol concentration and bioethanol yield of banana samples. They hypothesized that amylase would have the most significant impact on the bioethanol yield and concentration of the samples. They found that while yeast is an essential component for producing bioethanol, the proportion of amylase supplied through a joint amylase-yeast mixture has a more significant impact on the bioethanol yield. This study provides a greater understanding of the mechanisms and implications involved in enzyme-based biofuel production, specifically of those pertaining to amylase and yeast.

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The Inhibitory Effect of Probiotics on the Growth and Biofilm Formation of Salmonella Sp.

Lee et al. | Jan 26, 2019

The Inhibitory Effect of Probiotics on the Growth and Biofilm Formation of Salmonella Sp.

Salmonella is a genus of bacteria responsible for over 90 million cases of intestinal illnesses yearly. Like many bacteria, Salmonella can create a biofilm matrix, which confers stronger resistance against antibiotics. However, there has been relatively little research on the inhibition of Salmonella biofilm formation, which is a crucial factor in its widespread growth. In this study, Lee and Kim quantitatively measure the effectiveness of several common probiotics in inhibiting Salmonella bacterial growth. They found concentration-dependent antibacterial effects varied among the probiotics tested, indicating the possibility of probiotic species-specific mechanisms of Salmonella growth inhibition.

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Comparative singlet oxygen photosensitizer efficiency of berberine, rose bengal, and methylene blue by time course nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) monitoring of a photochemical 4+2 cycloaddition endoperoxide formation

Su et al. | May 14, 2021

Comparative singlet oxygen photosensitizer efficiency of berberine, rose bengal, and methylene blue by time course nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) monitoring of a photochemical 4+2 cycloaddition endoperoxide formation

Berberine, a natural product alkaloid, has been shown to exert biological activity via in situ production of singlet oxygen when photo irradiated. Berberine utilizes singlet oxygen in its putative mechanism of action, wherein it forms an activated complex with DNA and photosensitizes triplet oxygen to singlet oxygen to specifically oxidize guanine residues, thereby halting cell replication and leading to cell death. This has potential application in photodynamic therapy, alongside other such compounds which also act as photosensitizers and produce singlet oxygen in situ. The quantification of singlet oxygen in various photosensitizers, including berberine, is essential for determining their photosensitizer efficiencies. We postulated that the singlet oxygen produced by photoirradiation of berberine would be superior in terms of singlet oxygen production to the aforementioned photosensitizers when irradiated with UV light, but inferior under visible light conditions, due to its strong absorbance of UV wavelengths.

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Modulation of VEGF and TGF beta in 5-FU induced inflammation in MCF-7 using an herbal formulation

Vinay Nair et al. | Jun 03, 2022

Modulation of VEGF and TGF beta in 5-FU induced inflammation in MCF-7 using an herbal formulation

Acquired drug resistance is an increasing challenge in treating cancer with chemotherapy. One mechanism
behind this resistance is the increased inflammation that supports the progression and development of
cancer that arises because of the drug’s presence. Integrative oncology is the field that focuses on including natural products alongside traditional therapy to create a treatment that focuses on holistic patient well-being.
In this study, the authors demonstrate that the use of an herbal formulation, consisting of turmeric and green tea, alongside a traditional chemotherapeutic drug, 5-fluorouracil (FU) significantly decreases the level of cytokines produced in breast cancer cells when compared to the levels produced when exposed solely to the chemo drug. The authors conclude that this combination of treatment, based on the principle of integrative oncology, shows potential for reducing the resistance against treatment conferred through increased inflammation. Consequently, this suggests a prospective way forward in improving the efficacy of cancer treatment.

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Are Age and Sex Related to Emotion Recognition Ability in Children and Teenagers?

Gallego-García et al. | Feb 23, 2018

Are Age and Sex Related to Emotion Recognition Ability in Children and Teenagers?

Humans have a natural ability to recognize emotional cues from the facial expressions of others, as a crucial evolutionary trait to navigate social interactions. This ability likely develops through normal development and social experience, but it is unclear how much influence age and sex have in emotional facial recognition (EFR). In this study, the authors investigate EFR in children and teenagers, and look at whether accurate emotional recognition does occur more in males or females.

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Effect of the Herbal Formulation HF1 on the Expression of PD-L1 in PC3 cells

Imani et al. | Nov 15, 2019

Effect of the Herbal Formulation HF1 on the Expression of PD-L1 in PC3 cells

In this study, Imani et al. investigate whether a new proprietary herbal formulation, HF1, can inhibit expression of immune suppressor protein PD-L1. PD-L1 is a transmembrane protein that can be expressed by cancer cells to assist in their ability to avoid attacks from the immune system. Work from this study demonstrates that HF1 treatment can reduce expression of PD-L1 in cultured cancer cells, implicating HF1 as a potential new cancer therapy.

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Starts and Stops of Rhythmic and Discrete Movements: Modulation in the Excitability of the Corticomotor Tract During Transition to a Different Type of Movement

Lim et al. | Aug 27, 2018

Starts and Stops of Rhythmic and Discrete Movements: Modulation in the Excitability of the Corticomotor Tract During Transition to a Different Type of Movement

Control of voluntary and involuntary movements is one of the most important aspects of human neurological function, but the mechanisms of motor control are not completely understood. In this study, the authors use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to stimulate a portion of the motor cortex while subjects performed either discrete (e.g. throwing) or rhythmic (e.g. walking) movements. By recording electrical activity in the muscles during this process, the authors showed that motor evoked potentials (MEPs) measured in the muscles during TMS stimulation are larger in amplitude for discrete movements than for rhythmic movements. Interestingly, they also found that MEPs during transitions between rhythmic and discrete movements were nearly identical and larger in amplitude than those recorded during either rhythmic or discrete movements. This research provides important insights into the mechanisms of neurological control of movement and will serve as the foundation for future studies to learn more about temporal variability in neural activity during different movement types.

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