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Investigating the Role of Biotic Factors in Host Responses to Rhizobia in the System Medicago truncatula

Rathod et al. | Jan 22, 2019

Investigating the Role of Biotic Factors in Host Responses to Rhizobia in the System Medicago truncatula

Nitrogen-fixing bacteria, such as the legume mutualist rhizobia, convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that is usable by living organisms. Leguminous plants, like the model species Medicago truncatula, directly benefit from this process by forming a symbiotic relationship with rhizobia. Here, Rathod and Rowe investigate how M. truncatula responds to non-rhizobial bacterial partners.

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The Effects of Altered Microbiome on Caenorhabditis elegans Egg Laying Behavior

Gohari et al. | Aug 12, 2019

The Effects of Altered Microbiome on <em>Caenorhabditis elegans</em> Egg Laying Behavior

Since the discovery that thousands of different bacteria colonize our gut, many of which are important for human wellbeing, understanding the significance of balancing the different species on the human body has been intensely researched. Untangling the complexity of the gut microbiome and establishing the effect of the various strains on human health is a challenge in many circumstances, and the need for simpler systems to improve our basic understanding of microbe-host interactions seems necessary. C. elegans are a well-established laboratory animal that feed on bacteria and can thus serve as a less complex system for studying microbe-host interactions. Here the authors investigate how the choice of bacterial diet affects worm fertility. The same approach could be applied to many different outcomes, and facilitate our understanding of how the microbes colonizing our guts affect various bodily functions.

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Development of Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance in Drosophila melanogaster and Characterization of the Anti-Diabetic Effects of Resveratrol and Pterostilbene

Dhar et al. | Jul 02, 2018

Development of Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance in Drosophila melanogaster and Characterization of the Anti-Diabetic Effects of Resveratrol and Pterostilbene

Dhar and colleagues established a Type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) model in fruit flies, using this model to induce insulin resistance and characterize the effects Resveratrol and Pterostilbene on a number of growth and activity metrics. Resveratrol and Pterostilbene treatment notably overturned the weight gain and glucose levels. The results of this study suggest that Drosophila can be utilized as a model organism to study T2DM and novel pharmacological treatments.

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A Scientific Investigation of Alternative Growing Methods to Cultivate Lactuca sativa

Fishback et al. | Apr 23, 2020

A Scientific Investigation of Alternative Growing Methods to Cultivate Lactuca sativa

In this article, the authors compare different resource-efficient farming methods for the vegetable Lactuca sativa. They compared hydroponics (solid growth medium with added nutrients) to aquaponics (water with fish waste to provide nutrients) and determined efficacy by measuring plant height over time. While both systems supported plant growth, the authors concluded that aquaponics was the superior method for supporting Lactuca sativa growth. These findings are of great relevance as we continue to find the most sustainable and efficient means for farming.

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Efficacy of Mass Spectrometry Versus 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance With Respect to Denaturant Dependent Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange in Protein Studies

Chenna et al. | Jan 22, 2020

Efficacy of Mass Spectrometry Versus 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance With Respect to Denaturant Dependent Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange in Protein Studies

The misfolding of proteins leads to numerous diseases including Akzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Type II Diabetes. Understanding of exactly how proteins fold is crucial for many medical advancements. Chenna and Englander addressed this problem by measuring the rate of hydrogen-deuterium exchange within proteins exposed to deuterium oxide in order to further elucidate the process of protein folding. Here, mass spectrometry was used to measure exchange in Cytochrome c and was compared to archived 1H NMR data.

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Mapping the Electromagnetic Field in Front of a Microwave Oven

Xiang et al. | Sep 21, 2019

Mapping the Electromagnetic Field in Front of a Microwave Oven

There is limited evidence that extended exposure to an electromagnetic field (EMF) has negative health effects on humans. The authors measured the power density and strength of EMF at different distances and directions in front of a microwave oven, and they discuss the safety of different distances.

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Redesigning an Experiment to Determine the Coefficient of Friction

Hu et al. | Jun 27, 2016

Redesigning an Experiment to Determine the Coefficient of Friction

In a common high school experiment to measure friction coefficients, a weighted mass attached to a spring scale is dragged across a surface at a constant velocity. While the constant velocity is necessary for an accurate measurement, it can be difficult to maintain and this can lead to large errors. Here, the authors designed a new experiment to measure friction coefficients in the classroom using only static force and show that their method has a lower standard deviation than the traditional experiment.

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The Protective Effects of Panax notoginseng Saponin on the Blood-Brain Barrier via the Nrf2/ARE Pathway in bEnd3 Cells

Yang et al. | Apr 06, 2016

The Protective Effects of <i>Panax notoginseng</i> Saponin on the Blood-Brain Barrier via the Nrf2/ARE Pathway in bEnd3 Cells

Disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is related to many neurological disorders, and can be caused by oxidative stress to cerebral microvascular endothelial cells (CMECs) composing the BBB. The authors of the paper investigated the protective effects of the total saponins in the leaves of Panax notoginseng (LPNS) on oxidative-stress-induced damage in a mouse cerebral microvascular endothelial cell line.

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Androgen Diffusion Patterns in Soil: Potential Watershed Impacts

Corson et al. | Jan 24, 2019

Androgen Diffusion Patterns in Soil: Potential Watershed Impacts

Androgens are natural or synthetic steroid hormones that control secondary male sex characteristics. Androgens are excreted in cattle urine and feces, and can run off or seep into nearby waters, negatively impacting aquatic life and potentially polluting human water sources. Here, the authors investigated the effectiveness of soil as a natural barrier against androgen flow into vulnerable waterways. Their results, obtained by testing diffusion patterns of luminol, an androgen chemical analog, indicated that soil is a poor barrier to androgen diffusion.

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