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Use of yogurt bacteria as a model surrogate to compare household cleaning solutions

Shukla et al. | May 07, 2023

Use of yogurt bacteria as a model surrogate to compare household cleaning solutions
Image credit: CDC

While resources on the safety of household cleaning products are plentiful, measures of efficacy of these cleaning chemicals against bacteria and viruses remain without standardization in the consumer market. The COVID pandemic has exasperated this knowledge gap, stoking the growth of misinformation and misuse surrounding household cleaning chemicals. Arriving at a time dire for sanitization standardization, the authors of this paper have created a quantifying framework for consumers by comparing a wide range of household cleaning products in their efficacy against bacteria generated by a safe and easily replicable yogurt model.

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Evaluating cinnamaldehyde as an antibacterial agent in a produce wash for leafy greens

Drennan et al. | Oct 28, 2021

Evaluating cinnamaldehyde as an antibacterial agent in a produce wash for leafy greens

Recognizing a growing demand for organic produce, the authors sought to investigate plant-based antibiotic solutions to meet growing consumer demand for safe produce and also meet microbial standards of the USDA. The authors investigated the use of cinnamaldehyde as an antibacterial again E. coli, finding that lettuce treated with cinnamaldehyde displayed significantly lower colony-forming units of E. coli when compared to lettuce treated with chlorine bleach.

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Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Zaroff et al. | Jul 15, 2021

Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Access to green space—an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an urban environment—and clean drinking water can be unequally distributed in urban spaces, which are often associated with income inequality. Little is known about public drinking water and green space inequities in the Bay Area. For our study, we sought to understand how public park access, drinking fountain access, and the quality of public drinking water differ across income brackets in the Bay Area. Though we observed smaller-scale instances of inequalities, in the park distribution in the Bay Area as a whole, and in the Southern Bay’s water quality and park distribution, our results indicate that other factors could be influencing water quality, and park and fountain access in the Bay Area.

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Contribution of environmental factors to genetic variation in the Pacific white-sided dolphin

Talwar et al. | Jan 23, 2024

Contribution of environmental factors to genetic variation in the Pacific white-sided dolphin
Image credit: Flavio

Here the authors sought to understand the effects of different variables that may be tied to pollution and climate change on genetic variation of Pacific white-sided dolphins, a species that is currently threatened by water pollution. Based on environmental data collected alongside a genetic distance matrix, they found that ocean currents had the most significant impact on the genetic diversity of Pacific white-sided dolphins along the Japanese coast.

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Aberrant response to dexamethasone suppression test associated with inflammatory response in MDD patients

Ulery et al. | Nov 06, 2023

Aberrant response to dexamethasone suppression test associated with inflammatory response in MDD patients

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent mood disorder. The direct causes and biological mechanisms of depression still elude understanding, though genetic factors have been implicated. This study looked to identify the mechanism behind the aberrant response to the dexamethasone suppression test (DST) displayed by MDD patients, in which they display a lack of cortisol suppression. Analysis revealed several pro-inflammatory genes that were significant and differentially expressed between affected and non-affected groups in response to the DST. Looking at ways to decrease the inflammatory response could have implications for treatment and may explain why some people treated for depression still display symptoms or may lead researchers to different classes of drugs for treatment.

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The Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation and the Antioxidant Curcumin on the Longevity, Fertility, and Physical Structure of Drosophila melanogaster: Can We Defend Our DNA?

Lateef et al. | May 18, 2019

The Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation and the Antioxidant Curcumin on the Longevity, Fertility, and Physical Structure of <em>Drosophila melanogaster</em>: Can We Defend Our DNA?

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is known to alter DNA structure and impair cellular function in all living organisms. In this study, Lateef et al examine the effects of UV radiation to determine whether antioxidant-enriched nutrition can combat the potential deleterious effects of UV radiation on Drosophila melanogaster. They found that UVB (320nm) radiation caused a 59% decrease in the Drosophila lifespan and mutagenic effects on flies' physical appearance, but did not significantly affect fertility. Curcumin significantly prolonged lifespan and enhanced fertility for both UV- and non-UV-exposed flies. The research demonstrates the positive potential of natural antioxidants as weapons against radiation-induced diseases including cancer.

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