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Investigating the Role of the Novel ESCRT-III Recruitment Factor CCDC11 in HIV Budding: A Potential Target for Antiviral Therapy

Takemaru et al. | Feb 24, 2020

Investigating the Role of the Novel ESCRT-III Recruitment Factor CCDC11 in HIV Budding: A Potential Target for Antiviral Therapy

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In this work, Takemaru et al explored the role of Coiled-Coil Domain-Containing 11 (CCDC11) in HIV-1 budding. Their results suggest that CCDC11 is critical for efficient HIV-1 budding, potentially indicating CCDC11 a viable target for antiviral therapeutics without major side effects.

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The Cohesiveness of the Oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction

Gottlieb et al. | Dec 18, 2018

The Cohesiveness of the Oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction

In this study the author undertakes a careful characterization of a special type of chemical reaction, called an oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky (or B-Z) reaction, which has a number of existing applications in biomedical engineering as well as the potential to be useful in future developments in other fields of science and engineering. Specifically, she uses experimental measurements in combination with computational analysis to investigate whether the reaction is cohesive – that is, whether the oscillations between chemical states will remain consistent or change over time as the reaction progresses. Her results indicate that the reaction is not cohesive, providing an important foundation for the development of future technologies using B-Z reactions.

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Using explainable artificial intelligence to identify patient-specific breast cancer subtypes

Suresh et al. | Jan 12, 2024

Using explainable artificial intelligence to identify patient-specific breast cancer subtypes

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with approximately 300,000 diagnosed with breast cancer in 2023. It ranks second in cancer-related deaths for women, after lung cancer with nearly 50,000 deaths. Scientists have identified important genetic mutations in genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2 that lead to the development of breast cancer, but previous studies were limited as they focused on specific populations. To overcome limitations, diverse populations and powerful statistical methods like genome-wide association studies and whole-genome sequencing are needed. Explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) can be used in oncology and breast cancer research to overcome these limitations of specificity as it can analyze datasets of diagnosed patients by providing interpretable explanations for identified patterns and predictions. This project aims to achieve technological and medicinal goals by using advanced algorithms to identify breast cancer subtypes for faster diagnoses. Multiple methods were utilized to develop an efficient algorithm. We hypothesized that an XAI approach would be best as it can assign scores to genes, specifically with a 90% success rate. To test that, we ran multiple trials utilizing XAI methods through the identification of class-specific and patient-specific key genes. We found that the study demonstrated a pipeline that combines multiple XAI techniques to identify potential biomarker genes for breast cancer with a 95% success rate.

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The Effects of Birth Order on Indicators of Academic Success Among High School Students of Multiple Ethnicities

Geil et al. | Jan 30, 2012

The Effects of Birth Order on Indicators of Academic Success Among High School Students of Multiple Ethnicities

In many cultures and for many centuries, the implications of birth order have been examined. Birth order has been shown to affect personality, accomplishments, and even career choice. This study investigated the impact of birth order and ethnicity on two measures of academic success in high school: a student’s grade point average (GPA) and the number of Advanced Placement (AP) classes he or she took.

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Heavy Metal Contamination of Hand-Pressed Well Water in HuNan, China

Long et al. | Oct 20, 2019

Heavy Metal Contamination of Hand-Pressed Well Water in HuNan, China

Unprocessed water from hand-pressed wells is still commonly used as a source of drinking water in Chenzhou, the “Nonferrous Metal Village” of China. Long et al. conducted a study to measure the heavy metal contamination levels and potential health effects in this area. Water samples were analyzed through Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICPOES) and the concentrations of 20 metal elements. Results showed that although none of the samples had dangerous levels of heavy metals, the concentrations of Al, Fe, and Mn in many locations substantially exceeded those suggested in the Chinese Drinking Water Standard and the maximum contaminant levels of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The authors have made an important discovery regarding the water safety in HuNan and their suggestions to install water treatment systems would greatly benefit the community.

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Herbal formulation, HF1 diminishes tumorigenesis: a cytokine study between MCF-7 and BM-MSCs.

Guru et al. | Apr 11, 2022

Herbal formulation, HF1 diminishes tumorigenesis: a cytokine study between MCF-7 and BM-MSCs.

The authors use HF-1, an herbal formation, on bone marrow derived cells as well as breast cancer cells to assess HF-1's ability to prevent tumorigenesis. As metastasis requires coordination of multiple cells in the tumor microenvironment, their findings that HF-1 augments cytokine expression such as VEGF & TGF-B show that HF-1 has potential application to therapeutics.

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Reading recall: A comparison of reading comprehension

Rudins et al. | Nov 16, 2022

Reading recall: A comparison of reading comprehension

Researchers query whether reading comprehension is the same, worse, or better when using e-books as compared with standard paper texts. This study evaluated this question in the elementary school population. Our hypothesis was that information would be retained equally whether read from paper or from an electronic device. Each participant read four stories, alternating between electronic and paper media types. After each reading, the participants completed a five-question test covering the information read. The study participants correctly answered 167 out of 200 comprehension questions when reading from an electronic device. These same participants correctly answered 145 out of 200 comprehension questions when reading from paper. At a significance level of p < 0.05, the results showed that there was a statistically significant difference in reading comprehension between the two media, demonstrating better comprehension when using electronic media. The unexpected results of this study demonstrate a shift in children’s performance and desirability of using electronic media as a reading source.

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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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The Perks of Watching a Movie: How the Portrayal of Anxiety and Depression in Film Affects Teenagers’ Perception of Anxiety and Depressive Disorders

Wolcott et al. | Sep 11, 2021

The Perks of Watching a Movie: How the Portrayal of Anxiety and Depression in Film Affects Teenagers’ Perception of Anxiety and Depressive Disorders

In film, anxiety and depressive disorders are often depicted inaccurately. When viewers are exposed to these inaccurate portrayals, they collect misinformation about the disorders, as well as people who live with them, leading to stigma. This study used a mixed-method descriptive approach to analyze 16 teenagers’ attitudes towards people with anxiety and depression. Results found that while participants understood how these portrayals create stigma, they did not attribute this to misinformation. These results can be used to help both the film industry and the movie-going public better understand the effects of inaccurate storytelling and the extent to which it informs public perception

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POC-MON: A Novel and Cost-Effective Pocket Lemon Sniff Test (PLST) for Early Detection of Major Depressive Disorder

Cruz et al. | Jul 07, 2020

POC-MON: A Novel and Cost-Effective Pocket Lemon Sniff Test (PLST) for Early Detection of Major Depressive Disorder

Effective treatment of depression requires early detection. Depressive symptoms overlap with olfactory regions, which led to several studies of the correlation between sense of smell and depression. The alarming rise of depression, its related crimes, suicides, and lack of inexpensive, quick tools in detecting early depression — this study aims in demonstrating decreased olfaction and depression correlation. Forty-two subjects (ages 13-83) underwent POC-MON (Pocket Lemon) assessment — an oven-dried lemon peel sniff test, subjected to distance measurement when odor first detected (threshold) and completed Patient Health Questionnaires (PHQ-9). POC-MON and PHQ-9 scores yielded a correlation of 20% and 18% for the right and left nostrils, respectively. Among male (n=17) subjects, the average distance of POC-MON and PHQ-9 scores produced a correlation of 14% and 16% for the right and left nostrils, respectively. Females (n=25) demonstrated a correlation of 28% and 21% for the right and left nostrils, respectively. These results suggest the correlation between olfaction and depression in diagnosing its early-stage, using a quick, inexpensive, and patient-friendly tool — POC-MON.

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