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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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Using the COmplex PAthway SImulator, Stage Analysis, and Chemical Kinetics to Develop a Novel Solution to Lower Tau Concentrations in Alzheimer’s Disease

Carroll et al. | Sep 28, 2020

Using the COmplex PAthway SImulator, Stage Analysis, and Chemical Kinetics to Develop a Novel Solution to Lower Tau Concentrations in Alzheimer’s Disease

In this study, the authors ask whether a Tau immunotherapy treatment, Hsp70 protein treatment, or dual treatment approach of both the Tau imunotherapy treatment and Hsp70 protein treatment leads to a greater reduction in Tau protein concentration in Alzheimer's disease. Overall, they conclude that the effectiveness of the treatment ultimately relies on the stage of Alzheimer’s.

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Investigating the Role of the Novel ESCRT-III Recruitment Factor CCDC11 in HIV Budding: A Potential Target for Antiviral Therapy

Takemaru et al. | Feb 24, 2020

Investigating the Role of the Novel ESCRT-III Recruitment Factor CCDC11 in HIV Budding: A Potential Target for Antiviral Therapy

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In this work, Takemaru et al explored the role of Coiled-Coil Domain-Containing 11 (CCDC11) in HIV-1 budding. Their results suggest that CCDC11 is critical for efficient HIV-1 budding, potentially indicating CCDC11 a viable target for antiviral therapeutics without major side effects.

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The Effects of Ezetimibe on Triglyceride and Alanine Transaminase Reduction in Drosophila Melanogaster Model of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Dania et al. | Apr 30, 2020

The Effects of Ezetimibe on Triglyceride and Alanine Transaminase Reduction in <i>Drosophila Melanogaster</i> Model of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a condition where a surplus of triglycerides or fat are present in the liver. In this study, ezetimibe, a cholesterol lowering drug, was used to treat flies modeling NAFLD. Compared to the coconut oil fed flies that were transferred to the control medium, the flies transferred to the control medium treated with ezetimibe showed a decrease in their triglyceride and alanine transaminase level.

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The Long-Term Effect of CBD Crystals and CBD Oil on Depressive-Associated Rat Behaviors

Yang et al. | Dec 18, 2020

The Long-Term Effect of CBD Crystals and CBD Oil on Depressive-Associated Rat Behaviors

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical extracted from cannabis and shown by some studies to alleviate the symptoms of many mental disorders, especially major depressive disorder. The authors hypothesized that chronic treatments with purified CBD through oral administration would relieve depression-associated behaviors in normal healthy rats under adverse conditions. A statistical analysis of the experimental data suggested that long-term consumption of CBD could elicit depression associated symptoms in normal rats without depression. The results imply that people should consume CBD-containing products with extreme caution and highlight the need to carefully monitor the use of CBD in health care products.

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Harvesting Atmospheric Water

Greenwald et al. | Jul 10, 2020

Harvesting Atmospheric Water

The objective of this project was to test various materials to determine which ones collect the most atmospheric water when exposed to the same environmental factors. The experiment observed the effect of weather conditions, a material’s surface area and hydrophilicity on atmospheric water collection. The initial hypothesis was that hydrophobic materials with the greatest surface area would collect the most water. The materials were placed in the same outside location each night for twelve trials. The following day, the materials were weighed to see how much water each had collected. On average, ribbed plastic collected 10.8 mL of water per trial, which was over 20% more than any other material. This result partially supported the hypothesis because although hydrophobic materials collected more water, surface area did not have a significant effect on water collection.

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Varying Growth Hormone Levels in Chondrocytes Increases Proliferation Rate and Collagen Production by a Direct Pathway

Bennett et al. | Sep 03, 2019

Varying Growth Hormone Levels in Chondrocytes Increases Proliferation Rate and Collagen Production by a Direct Pathway

Bennett and Joykutty test whether growth hormone directly or indirectly affected the rate at which cartilage renewed itself. Growth hormone could exert a direct effect on cartilage or chondrocytes by modifying the expression of different genes, whereas an indirect effect would come from growth hormone stimulating insulin-like growth factor. The results from this research support the hypothesis that growth hormone increases proliferation rate using the direct pathway. This research can be used in the medical sciences for people who suffer from joint damage and other cartilage-related diseases, since the results demonstrated conditions that lead to increased proliferation of chondrocytes. These combined results could be applied in a clinical setting with the goal of allowing patient cartilage to renew itself at a faster pace, therefore keeping those patients out of pain from these chondrocyte-related diseases.

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Machine Learning Algorithm Using Logistic Regression and an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) for Early Stage Detection of Parkinson’s Disease

Kar et al. | Oct 10, 2020

Machine Learning Algorithm Using Logistic Regression and an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) for Early Stage Detection of Parkinson’s Disease

Despite the prevalence of PD, diagnosing PD is expensive, requires specialized testing, and is often inaccurate. Moreover, diagnosis is often made late in the disease course when treatments are less effective. Using existing voice data from patients with PD and healthy controls, the authors created and trained two different algorithms: one using logistic regression and another employing an artificial neural network (ANN).

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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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