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How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

Everitt et al. | Feb 15, 2021

How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

As the world struggled to grapple with the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many countries instated policies to help minimize the spread of the virus among residents. This inadvertently led to a decrease in travel, and in some cases, industrial output, two major sources of pollutants in today's world. Here, the authors investigate whether California's shelter-in-place policy was associated with a measurable decrease in water and air pollution in that state between June and July of 2020, compared to the preceeding five years. Their findings suggest that, by some metrics, air quality improved within certain areas while water quality was relatively unchanged. Overall, these findings suggest that changing human behavior can, indeed, help reduce the level of air pollutants that compromise air quality.

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How does light affect the distribution of Euglena sp. and Tetrahymena pyriformis

Singh et al. | Mar 03, 2022

How does light affect the distribution of <em>Euglena sp.</em> and <em>Tetrahymena pyriformis</em>

In this article, the authors explored the locomotory movement of Euglena sp. and Tetrahymena pyriformis in response to light. Such research bears relevance to the migration and distribution patterns of both T. pyriformis and Euglena as they differ in their method of finding sustenance in their native environments. With little previous research done on the exploration of a potential response to photostimulation enacted by T. pyriformis, the authors found that T. pyriformis do not bias in distribution towards areas of light - unlike Euglena, which displayed an increased prevalence in areas of light.

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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.

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Characterization of a UPEC DegS Mutant in vitro and in vivo

Bradley et al. | Mar 16, 2015

Characterization of a UPEC <em>DegS</em> Mutant <em>in vitro</em> and <em>in vivo</em>

DegS is an integral inner membrane protein in E. coli that helps break down misfolded proteins. When it is mutated, there is a large increase in the production of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), which are thought to play a role in pathogenesis. This study used mutant strains of uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) to characterize the role of DegS and OMVs on UPEC virulence.

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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.

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Testing the Effects of Salep Derived From the Tubers of Orchis mascula, Aloe vera, and Alpha-chymotrypsin on Wound Healing in Drosophila melanogaster Larvae

Halder et al. | Sep 09, 2019

Testing the Effects of Salep Derived From the Tubers of <em>Orchis mascula</em>, <em>Aloe vera</em>, and Alpha-chymotrypsin on Wound Healing in <em>Drosophila melanogaster</em> Larvae

Aloe vera and alpha-chymotrypsin have been used in are known for their various wound healing properties. Halder et al hypothesized that these treatments would enhance wound healing in Drosophila melanogaster larvae over 2 weeks by decreasing wound size more effectively compared to controls. The results of two of the treatment groups, Salep and Aloe vera, yielded wound sizes small enough to present a significant percent decrease when compared with the wound sizes of the control group. Their results show support that both Salep and Aloe vera were effective for enhancing wound healing in epithelial cells in D. melanogaster larvae.

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