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Correlation of socioeconomic status and lead concentration in tap water in Missouri

Rabbani et al. | Feb 03, 2022

Correlation of socioeconomic status and lead concentration in tap water in Missouri

Organic and non-organic contaminants in tap water have been linked to adverse health effects. Tap water is a major source of lead, which is neurotoxic and poses a major health risk, particularly to children and pregnant women. Using publicly available annual water quality reports data for the state of Missouri, the authors show that communities with lower median household income and lower per capita incomes had significantly higher lead levels in their tap water.

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A Crossover Study Comparing the Effect of a Processed vs. Unprocessed Diet on the Spatial Learning Ability of Zebrafish

Banga et al. | Sep 18, 2022

A Crossover Study Comparing the Effect of a Processed vs. Unprocessed Diet on the Spatial Learning Ability of Zebrafish

The authors compared the short-term effects of processed versus unprocessed food on spatial learning and survival in zebrafish, given the large public concern regarding processed foods. By randomly assigning zebrafish to a diet of brine shrimp flakes (processed) or live brine shrimp (unprocessed), the authors show while there is no immediate effect on a fish's decision process between the two diets, there are significant correlations between improved learning and stress response with the unprocessed diet.

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Firearm-purchase laws that limit the number of guns on the market reduce gun homicides in the South Side of Chicago

Krishnan et al. | Jan 24, 2022

Firearm-purchase laws that limit the number of guns on the market reduce gun homicides in the South Side of Chicago

Gun violence has been a serious issue in the South Side of Chicago for a long time. To intervene, regulators have passed legislation they hoped to curb -if not completely eradicate- the issue. However, there is little analysis done on how effective the various laws have been at reducing gun violence. Here the authors explore the association between firearm purchase laws passed between 1993-2018 and the incidence of gun homicide in Chicago's South Side. Their analysis suggests that some laws have been more effective than others, while some might have exacerbated the issue. However, they do not consider other contributing factors, which makes it difficult to prove causation without further investigation.

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Ribosome distribution affects stalling in amino-acid starved cancer cells

Deng et al. | Jan 07, 2022

Ribosome distribution affects stalling in amino-acid starved cancer cells

In this article, the authors analyzed ribosome profiling data from amino acid-starved pancreatic cancer cells to explore whether the pattern of ribosome distribution along transcripts under normal conditions can predict the degree of ribosome stalling under stress. The authors found that ribosomes in amino acid-deprived cells stalled more along elongation-limited transcripts. By contrast, they observed no relationship between read density near start and stop and disparities between mRNA sequencing reads and ribosome profiling reads. This research identifies an important relationship between read distribution and propensity for ribosomes to stall, although more work is needed to fully understand the patterns of ribosome distribution along transcripts in ribosome profiling data.

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Characterization of antibacterial properties of common spices

Gehad et al. | Oct 03, 2020

Characterization of antibacterial properties of common spices

Bacterial infection is resurging as one of the most dangerous challenges facing the medical establishment. Americans spend about 55 to 70 billion dollars per year on antibiotics, yet these antibiotics are becoming increasingly ineffective as illness-causing bacteria gain resistance to the prescribed drugs. We tested if 11 commonly-used spices could inhibit growth of the gram-negative bacteria, E. coli, the main takeaway from these experiments is that certain spices and herbs have antibacterial effects that inhibit growth of E.coli , and these spices could show similarly promising activity towards other bacteria.

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Mutation of the Catalytic Cysteine in Anopheles gambiae Transglutaminase 3 (AgTG3) Abolishes Plugin Crosslinking Activity without Disrupting Protein Folding Properties

Pham et al. | May 02, 2014

Mutation of the Catalytic Cysteine in <em>Anopheles gambiae</em> Transglutaminase 3 (AgTG3) Abolishes Plugin Crosslinking Activity without Disrupting Protein Folding Properties

Malaria is a major public health issue, especially in developing countries, and vector control is a major facet of malaria eradication efforts. Recently, sterile insect technique (SIT), or the release of sterile mosquitoes into the wild, has shown significant promise as a method of keeping vector populations under control. In this study, the authors investigate the Anopheles gambiae transglutaminase 3 protein (AgT3), which is essential to the mating of the Anopheles mosquito. They show that an active site mutation is able to abolish the activity of the AgT3 enzyme and propose it as a potential target for chemosterilant inhibitors.

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Sports Are Not Colorblind: The Role of Race and Segregation in NFL Positions

Coleman et al. | Oct 23, 2018

Sports Are Not Colorblind: The Role of Race and Segregation in NFL Positions

In this study, the authors conducted a statistical investigation into the history of position-based racial segregation in the NFL. Specifically, they focused on the cornerback position, which they hypothesized would be occupied disproportionately by black players due to their historical stereotyping as more suitable for positions requiring extreme athletic ability. Using publicly available datasets on the demographics of NFL players over the past several decades, they confirmed their hypothesis that the cornerback position is skewed towards black players. They additionally discovered that, unlike in the quarterback position, this trend has shown no sign of decreasing over time.

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Aggression of Carcharhinus leucas and Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos towards humans

Mignone et al. | May 11, 2021

Aggression of <i>Carcharhinus leucas</i> and <i>Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos</i> towards humans

This paper presents findings on Carcharhinus leucas (bull shark) and Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos (grey reef shark) aggression towards humans at Beqa Adventure Divers in Shark Reef Marine Reserve, Fiji. We hypothesized that grey reef sharks would receive more prods than bull sharks because grey reef sharks are typically more aggressive than bull sharks. The results supported our hypothesis, as an individual grey reef shark received 2.44 prods on average per feed, while a bull shark had an average of 0.61. These findings are meaningful not only to the world’s general understanding of shark aggression, but also to human protection against grey reef sharks as well as public education on bull sharks and the conservation of the species.

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Investigation of Everyday Locations for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Maggio et al. | Dec 12, 2019

Investigation of Everyday Locations for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Cambridge, Massachusetts

In this study, the authors investigate whether antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be found in everyday locations. To do this, they collected samples from multiple high-trafficked areas in Cambridge, MA and grew them in the presence and absence of antibiotics. Interestingly, they grew bacterial colonies from many locations' samples, but not all could grow in the presence of ampicillin. These findings are intriguing and relevant given the rising concern about antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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