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Geographic Distribution of Scripps National Spelling Bee Spellers Resembles Geographic Distribution of Child Population in US States upon Implementation of the RSVBee “Wildcard” Program

Kannankeril et al. | Aug 17, 2020

Geographic Distribution of Scripps National Spelling Bee Spellers Resembles Geographic Distribution of Child Population in US States upon Implementation of the RSVBee “Wildcard” Program

The Scripps National Spelling Bee (SNSB) is an iconic academic competition for United States (US) schoolchildren, held annually since 1925. However, the sizes and geographic distributions of sponsored regions are uneven. One state may send more than twice as many spellers as another state, despite similar numbers in child population. In 2018, the SNSB introduced a wildcard program known as RSVBee, which allowed students to apply to compete as a national finalist, even if they did not win their regional spelling bee. In this study, the authors tested the hypothesis that the geographic distribution of SNSB national finalists more closely matched the child population of the US after RSVBee was implemented.

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Simulations of Cheetah Roaming Demonstrate the Effect of Safety Corridors on Genetic Diversity and Human-Cheetah Conflict

Acton et al. | Apr 02, 2018

Simulations of Cheetah Roaming Demonstrate the Effect of Safety Corridors on Genetic Diversity and Human-Cheetah Conflict

Ecological corridors are geographic features designated to allow the movement of wildlife populations between habitats that have been fragmented by human landscapes. Corridors can be a pivotal aspect in wildlife conservation because they preserve a suitable habitat for isolated populations to live and intermingle. Here, two students simulate the effect of introducing a safety corridor for cheetahs, based on real tracking data on cheetahs in Namibia.

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Plasmid Variance and Nutrient Regulation of Bioluminescence Genes

Uhler et al. | Dec 09, 2014

Plasmid Variance and Nutrient Regulation of Bioluminescence Genes

Numerous organisms, including the marine bacterium Aliivibrio fischeri, produce light. This bioluminescence is involved in many important symbioses and may one day be an important source of light for humans. In this study, the authors investigated ways to increase bioluminescence production from the model organism E. coli.

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Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: An Analysis of Drug Therapy Options through Interaction Maps and Graph Theory

Gupta et al. | Feb 04, 2014

Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: An Analysis of Drug Therapy Options through Interaction Maps and Graph Theory

Cancer is often caused by improper function of a few proteins, and sometimes it takes only a few proteins to malfunction to cause drastic changes in cells. Here the authors look at the genes that were mutated in patients with a type of pancreatic cancer to identify proteins that are important in causing cancer. They also determined which proteins currently lack effective treatment, and suggest that certain proteins (named KRAS, CDKN2A, and RBBP8) are the most important candidates for developing drugs to treat pancreatic cancer.

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Differences in Reliability and Predictability of Harvested Energy from Battery-less Intermittently Powered Systems

Sampath et al. | Apr 29, 2020

Differences in Reliability and Predictability of Harvested Energy from Battery-less Intermittently Powered Systems

Solar and radio frequency harvesters serve as a viable alternative energy source to batteries in many cases where the battery cannot be easily replaced. Using specifically designed circuit models, the authors quantify the reliability of different harvested energy sources to identify the most practical and efficient forms of renewable energy.

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Upregulation of the Ribosomal Pathway as a Potential Blood-Based Genetic Biomarker for Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and PTSD

Ravi et al. | Aug 22, 2018

Upregulation of the Ribosomal Pathway as a Potential  Blood-Based Genetic Biomarker for Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and PTSD

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are two of the fastest growing comorbid diseases in the world. Using publicly available datasets from the National Institute for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Ravi and Lee conducted a differential gene expression analysis using 184 blood samples from either control individuals or individuals with comorbid MDD and PTSD. As a result, the authors identified 253 highly differentially-expressed genes, with enrichment for proteins in the gene ontology group 'Ribosomal Pathway'. These genes may be used as blood-based biomarkers for susceptibility to MDD or PTSD, and to tailor treatments within a personalized medicine regime.

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Combating drug resistance in cancer cells: Cooperative effect of green tea and turmeric with chemotherapeutic drug

Nair et al. | Jul 27, 2020

Combating drug resistance in cancer cells: Cooperative effect of green tea and turmeric with chemotherapeutic drug

The major drawback of chemotherapy regimens for treating cancer is that the cancerous cells acquire drug resistance and become impervious to further dose escalation. Keeping in mind the studied success of herbal formulations with regard to alternative treatments for cancer, we hypothesized that the use of a chemotherapeutic drug and proprietary herbal formulation, HF1, would combat this phenomenon when administered with common chemotherapeutic drug 5FU. Results demonstrated a cooperative effect between HF1 and 5FU on the drug resistant cell line, implying that administration of HF1 with 5FU results in cell death as measured by MTT assay.

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Do Initial Strategies or Choice of Piece Color Lead to Advantages in Chess Games?

Ponnaluri et al. | Feb 07, 2017

Do Initial Strategies or Choice of Piece Color Lead to Advantages in Chess Games?

White pieces make the first move in chess games, and there are several opening strategies and consequent defense strategies that white and black pieces, respectively, can take . The author of this paper investigated whether taking a specific opening and defense strategy, as well as playing as white vs. black, can increase the chances of winning the game, by playing against various human and computer opponents.

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