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Effects of Prolonged Azithromycin Therapy on Bacterial Resistance to Functionally Analogous Antibiotics

Gibbs et al. | Dec 04, 2020

Effects of Prolonged Azithromycin Therapy on Bacterial Resistance to Functionally Analogous Antibiotics

In this study, the authors investigate a potential case of cross antibiotic-resistance. Using swabs from an individual who received long-term treatments of azithromycin, they addressed the question of whether any bacteria in this individual might develop resistance to not only azithromycin, but also other antibiotics with similar structures. This study cleverly addresses the important issue of antibiotic resistance from a new and thoughtful approach.

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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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A study on the stretching behavior of rubber bands

Davuluri et al. | Jan 18, 2022

A study on the stretching behavior of rubber bands

Here, the authors considered the stretching behavior of rubber bands by exposing the rubber bands to increasing loads and measuring their stretch response. They found that a linear stretch response was observed for intermediate loading steps, but this behavior was lost at lower or higher loads, deviating from Hooke's Law. The authors suggest that studies such as these can be used to evaluate other visco-elastic structures.

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Examining effects of E. muscae on olfactory function in D. melanogaster

Friedman et al. | Jul 08, 2021

Examining effects of <em>E. muscae</em> on olfactory function in <em>D. melanogaster</em>

In this article, the authors investigate the effects of fungus E. muscae on fruit fly behavior. More specifically, they investigate whether this fungus affects olfaction. Their findings contribute to a broader set of studies seeking to understand how host's central nervous systems can be affected by infections.

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Can the Growth Mindset Encourage Girls to Pursue “Male” Careers?

Lateef et al. | Oct 03, 2021

Can the Growth Mindset Encourage Girls to Pursue “Male” Careers?

Despite major advances in gender equality, men still far outnumber women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions. The purpose of this project was to determine whether mindset could affect a student’s future career choices and whether this effect differed based on gender. When looking within the gender groups, 86% of females who had a growth mindset were likely to consider a “male” career, whereas only 16% of females with fixed mindset would likely to consider a “male” career. Especially for girls, cultivating a growth mindset may be a great strategy to address the problem of fewer girls picking STEM careers.

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Assigning Lightning Seasons to Different Regions in the United States

Hawkins et al. | Sep 07, 2020

Assigning Lightning Seasons to Different Regions in the United States

Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of severe thunderstorm events in coming years. In this study, the authors hypothesized that (i) the majority of severe thunderstorm events will occur in the summer months in all states examined for all years analyzed, (ii) climate change will cause an unusual number of severe thunderstorm events in winter months in all states, (iii) thundersnow would be observed in Colorado, and (iv.) there would be no difference in the number of severe thunderstorm events between states in any given year examined. They classified lightning seasons in all states observed, with the most severe thunderstorm events occurring in May, June, July, and August. Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, and West Virginia were found to have severe thunderstorm events in the winter, which could be explained by increased winter storms due to climate change (1). Overall, they highlight the importance of quantifying when lightning seasons occur to avoid lightning-related injuries or death.

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Effects of Temperature on Hand Sanitizer Efficiency

Molom-Ochir et al. | May 11, 2022

Effects of Temperature on Hand Sanitizer Efficiency

Here, recognizing the widespread use of hand sanitizers, the authors investigated their effectiveness in relation to storage temperature. They applied hand sanitizer before and after touching a cell phone and used LB-agar plates to monitor the growth of bacteria following this process. They found that 70% ethyl-alcohol-based sanitizers are least effective at temperatures above 107.27 °F and most effective at 96.17 °F.

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Development of a Novel Treatment Strategy to Treat Parkinsonian Neurodegeneration by Targeting Both Lewy Body Aggregation and Dopaminergic Neuronal Degradation in a Drosophila melanogaster Model

Sama et al. | Sep 25, 2019

Development of a Novel Treatment Strategy to Treat Parkinsonian Neurodegeneration by Targeting Both Lewy Body Aggregation and Dopaminergic Neuronal Degradation in a <em>Drosophila melanogaster</em> Model

In this article the authors address the complex and life quality-diminishing neurodegenerative disease known as Parkinson's. Although genetic and/or environmental factors contribute to the etiology of the disease, the diagnostic symptoms are the same. By genetically modifying fruit flies to exhibit symptoms of Parkinson's disease, they investigate whether drugs that inhibit mitochondrial calcium uptake or activate the lysosomal degradation of proteins could improve the symptoms of Parkinson's these flies exhibit. The authors report the most promising outcome to be that when both types of drugs were used together. Their data provides encouraging evidence to support further investigation of the utility of such drugs in the treatment of human Parkinson's patients.

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Overcoming The Uncanny Valley Through Shared Stressful Experience with a Humanoid Robot

Bing et al. | Jun 12, 2018

Overcoming The Uncanny Valley Through Shared Stressful Experience with a Humanoid Robot

The "Uncanny Valley" is a phenomenon in which humans feel discomfort in the presence of objects that are almost, but not quite, human-like. In this study, the authors tested whether this phenomenon could be overcome by sharing a stressful experience with a humanoid robot. They found that human subjects more readily accepted a robot partner that they had previously shared a stressful experience with, suggesting a potential method for increasing the effectiveness of beneficial human-robot interactions by reducing the Uncanny Valley effect.

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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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