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Characterization and Phylogenetic Analysis of the Cytochrome B Gene (cytb) in Salvelinus fontinalis, Salmo trutta and Salvelinus fontinalis X Salmo trutta Within the Lake Champlain Basin

Palermo et al. | Jan 24, 2014

Characterization and Phylogenetic Analysis of the Cytochrome B Gene (<em>cytb</em>) in <em>Salvelinus fontinalis</em>,<em> Salmo trutta</em> and <em>Salvelinus fontinalis X Salmo trutta</em> Within the Lake Champlain Basin

Recent declines in the brook trout population of the Lake Champlain Basin have made the genetic screening of this and other trout species of utmost importance. In this study, the authors collected and analyzed 21 DNA samples from Lake Champlain Basin trout populations and performed a phylogenetic analysis on these samples using the cytochrome b gene. The findings presented in this study may influence future habitat decisions in this region.


The role of xpa-1 and him-1 in UV protection of Caenorhabditis elegans

Tung et al. | Feb 25, 2022

The role of <em>xpa-1</em> and <em>him-1</em> in UV protection of <em>Caenorhabditis elegans</em>

Caenorhabditis elegans xpa-1 and him-1 are orthologs of human XPA and human SMC1A, respectively. Mutations in the XPA are correlated with Xeroderma pigmentosum, a condition that induces hypersensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Alternatively, SMC1A mutations may lead to Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, a multi-organ disorder that makes patients more sensitive to UVinduced DNA damage. Both C. elegans genes have been found to be involved in protection against UV radiation, but their combined effects have not been tested when they are both knocked down. The authors hypothesized that because these genes are involved in separate pathways, the simultaneous knockdown of both of these genes using RNA interference (RNAi) in C. elegans will cause them to become more sensitive to UV radiation than either of them knocked down individually. UV protection was measured via the percent survival of C. elegans post 365 nm and 5.4x10-19 joules of UV radiation. The double xpa-1/him-1 RNAi knockdown showed a significantly reduced percent survival after 15 and 30 minutes of UV radiation relative to wild-type and xpa-1 and him-1 single knockdowns. These measurements were consistent with their hypothesis and demonstrated that xpa-1 and him-1 genes play distinct roles in resistance against UV stress in C. elegans. This result raises the possibility that the xpa-1/him-1 double knockdown could be useful as an animal model for studying the human disease Xeroderma pigmentosum and Cornelia de Lange Syndrome.


Evolution of Neuroplastin-65

Cremers et al. | Oct 26, 2016

Evolution of Neuroplastin-65

Human intelligence is correlated with variation in the protein neuroplastin-65, which is encoded by the NPTN gene. The authors examine the evolution of this gene across different animal species.


Expression of Anti-Neurodegeneration Genes in Mutant Caenorhabditis elegans Using CRISPR-Cas9 Improves Behavior Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease

Mishra et al. | Sep 14, 2019

Expression of Anti-Neurodegeneration Genes in Mutant <em>Caenorhabditis elegans</em> Using CRISPR-Cas9 Improves Behavior Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and is characterized by neurodegeneration. Mishra et al. wanted to understand the role of two transport proteins, LRP1 and AQP4, in the neurodegeneration of Alzheimer's disease. They used a model organism for Alzheimer's disease, the nematode C. elegans, and genetic engineering to look at whether they would see a decrease in neurodegeneration if they increased the amount of these two transport proteins. They found that the best improvements were caused by increased expression of both transport proteins, with smaller improvements when just one of the proteins is overly expressed. Their work has important implications for how we understand neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease and what we can do to slow or prevent the progression of the disease.


Effects on Learning and Memory of a Mutation in Dα7: A D. melanogaster Homolog of Alzheimer's Related Gene for nAChR α7

Sanyal et al. | Oct 01, 2019

Effects on Learning and Memory of a Mutation in Dα7: A <em>D. melanogaster</em> Homolog of Alzheimer's Related Gene for nAChR α7

Alzheimer's disease (AD) involves the reduction of cholinergic activity due to a decrease in neuronal levels of nAChR α7. In this work, Sanyal and Cuellar-Ortiz explore the role of the nAChR α7 in learning and memory retention, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. The performance of mutant flies (PΔEY6) was analyzed in locomotive and olfactory-memory retention tests in comparison to wild type (WT) flies and an Alzheimer's disease model Arc-42 (Aβ-42). Their results suggest that the lack of the D. melanogaster-nAChR causes learning, memory, and locomotion impairments, similar to those observed in Alzheimer's models Arc-42.


Quantitative definition of chemical synthetic pathway complexity of organic compounds

Baranwal et al. | Jun 19, 2023

Quantitative definition of chemical synthetic pathway complexity of organic compounds

Irrespective of the final application of a molecule, synthetic accessibility is the rate-determining step in discovering and developing novel entities. However, synthetic complexity is challenging to quantify as a single metric, since it is a composite of several measurable metrics, some of which include cost, safety, and availability. Moreover, defining a single synthetic accessibility metric for both natural products and non-natural products poses yet another challenge given the structural distinctions between these two classes of compounds. Here, we propose a model for synthetic accessibility of all chemical compounds, inspired by the Central Limit Theorem, and devise a novel synthetic accessibility metric assessing the overall feasibility of making chemical compounds that has been fitted to a Gaussian distribution.


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