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A comparative study on the suitability of virtual labs for school chemistry experiments

Praveen et al. | Aug 22, 2022

A comparative study on the suitability of virtual labs for school chemistry experiments

Virtual labs have been gaining popularity over the last few years, especially during the worldwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, the suitability of virtual labs for school chemistry experiments is addressed and their effectiveness is compared to traditional physical lab experiments by focusing on physical and human resources, convenience, cost, safety, and time involved as well as topic "matter".

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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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Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron Growth Numbers Are Unchanged in the Presence of Yogurt

Phan et al. | Dec 29, 2016

<i>Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron</i> Growth Numbers Are Unchanged in the Presence of Yogurt

Disruptions to the microbiome, specifically the imbalance in the two major phyla, the Firmicutes and the Bacteroidetes, have been linked to the development of obesity. This study explored whether or not Fage plain total 0% Greek yogurt, which contains live and active bacterial cultures belonging to the Firmicute phylum, could decrease the numbers of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, an organism found in the human gut that belongs to the Bacteroidetes phylum.

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Changing public opinions on genetically modified organisms through access to educational resources

Klein et al. | Jul 26, 2022

Changing public opinions on genetically modified organisms through access to educational resources

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are crops or animals that have been genetically engineered to express a certain physical or biological characteristic and have various benefits that have made them become increasingly popular. However, the public has had mixed reactions to the use of GMOs, with some skeptical of their safety. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how opinions on genetically modified foods can change from exposure to small amounts of information

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How Ethanol Concentration Affects Catalase Catalysis of Hydrogen Peroxide

Liu et al. | Nov 15, 2021

How Ethanol Concentration Affects Catalase Catalysis of Hydrogen Peroxide

Catalase is a critical enzyme in the human body because it is capable of converting potentially dangerous hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. This work asks whether ethanol affects catalase activity, as alcohol consumption has been often linked to hepatitis occurring in the liver, where catalase level is especially high, and ethanol is known to be capable of denaturing proteins. Testing different concentrations of ethanol found that higher concentrations reduced the activity of catalase. This work has important implications on the negative effects of ethanol on metabolism, in which catalase plays an important role, and protein function more broadly.

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The Prevalence of White Guilt Among American High School Students

Buadu et al. | Jun 03, 2014

The Prevalence of White Guilt Among American High School Students

Racial inequality has been a major issue throughout the history of the United States. In recent years, however, especially with the election of America's first black president, many have claimed that we have made progress and are moving towards a post-racial society. The authors of this study sought to test that claim by evaluating whether high school age students still experience a phenomenon known as white guilt. White guilt is defined as remorse or shame felt by people of Caucasian descent about racial inequality.

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In vitro Comparison of Anticancer and Immunomodulatory Activities of Resveratrol and its Oligomers

Zhang et al. | Sep 02, 2020

<em>In vitro</em> Comparison of Anticancer and Immunomodulatory Activities of Resveratrol and its Oligomers

Resveratrol is a type of stillbenoid, a phenolic compound produced in plants, that is known for its anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. Many oligomers of resveratrol have recently been isolated their bioactivities remain unknown. Here, authors compared the bioactivities of resveratrol with natural dimers (ε-viniferin and gnetin H) and trimers (suffruticosol B and C). Results provide preliminary evidence that resveratrol oligomers could be potential preventive or therapeutic agents for cancers and other immune-related diseases

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Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Wu et al. | Feb 17, 2019

Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Phage therapy has been suggested as an alternative to antibiotics because bacteria resistant to antibiotics may still be susceptible to phages. However, phages may have limited effectiveness in combating bacteria since bacteria possess several antiviral defense mechanisms and can quickly develop resistance to phages. In this study, Wu and Pinta compare the effectiveness and specificity of antibiotics and phages in combating bacteria. They found that T4 phages are more specific and effective in fighting or inhibiting both antibiotic-resistant and sensitive bacteria than antibiotics, suggesting that phage therapy can be developed as an efficient tool to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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Analysis of Monotherapy and Combination Therapy on Helicobacter felis

Custodio et al. | Apr 28, 2020

Analysis of Monotherapy and Combination Therapy on <em>Helicobacter felis</em>

Heliobacter felis causes gastritis which is accompanied by a range of unpleasant symptoms in small animals such as cats. In order to identify effective antibiotics for treating H. felis infections, the researchers investigate whether a combination of different antibiotics is more effective than the use of individual antibiotics alone. Of the antibiotics they selected, Streptomycin alone was better than any other single antibiotic or in combination. Their results have not yet been validated in live animals, but suggest that Streptomycin alone might be an effective treatment of H. felis-induced gastritis in cats.

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Identifying Neural Networks that Implement a Simple Spatial Concept

Zirvi et al. | Sep 13, 2022

Identifying Neural Networks that Implement a Simple Spatial Concept

Modern artificial neural networks have been remarkably successful in various applications, from speech recognition to computer vision. However, it remains less clear whether they can implement abstract concepts, which are essential to generalization and understanding. To address this problem, the authors investigated the above vs. below task, a simple concept-based task that honeybees can solve, using a conventional neural network. They found that networks achieved 100% test accuracy when a visual target was presented below a black bar, however only 50% test accuracy when a visual target was presented below a reference shape.

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