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Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Wang et al. | Mar 14, 2022

Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Here the authors used morphological characters and DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found within a residential house. With this method they identified their species and compared them against pests lists provided by the US government. They found that none of their identified species were considered to be pests providing evidence against the misconception that arthropods found at home are harmful to humans. They suggest that these methods could be used at larger scales to better understand and aid in mapping ecosystems.

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The characterization of quorum sensing trajectories of Vibrio fischeri using longitudinal data analytics

Abdel-Azim et al. | Dec 16, 2023

The characterization of quorum sensing trajectories of <i>Vibrio fischeri</i> using longitudinal data analytics

Quorum sensing (QS) is the process in which bacteria recognize and respond to the surrounding cell density, and it can be inhibited by certain antimicrobial substances. This study showed that illumination intensity data is insufficient for evaluating QS activity without proper statistical modeling. It concluded that modeling illumination intensity through time provides a more accurate evaluation of QS activity than conventional cross-sectional analysis.

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Characterizing Quorum Sensing-Induced Bioluminescence in Variable Volumes With Vibrio fischeri Using Computer Processing Methods

Abdel-Azim et al. | Jun 22, 2020

Characterizing Quorum Sensing-Induced Bioluminescence in Variable Volumes With <em>Vibrio fischeri</em> Using Computer Processing Methods

Understanding how bacteria respond to other bacteria could facilitate their ability to initiate and maintain their infectiousness. The phenomenon by which bacteria signal to each other via chemical signals is called quorum sensing, which could be targeted to deter bacterial infection in some cases if better understood. In this article, the authors study how a bacterium called V. fischeri uses quorum sensing to change bioluminescence, an easy readout that facilitates studying quorum sensing in this strain.

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The Cilium- and Centrosome-Associated Protein CCDC11 Is Required for Cytokinesis via Midbody Recruitment of the ESCRT- III Membrane Scission Complex Subunit CHMP2A

Ahmed et al. | Mar 14, 2018

The Cilium- and Centrosome-Associated Protein CCDC11 Is Required for Cytokinesis via Midbody Recruitment of the ESCRT- III Membrane Scission Complex Subunit CHMP2A

In order for cells to successfully multiply, a number of proteins are needed to correctly coordinate the replication and division process. In this study, students use fluorescence microscopy and molecular methods to study CCDC11, a protein critical in the formation of cilia. Interestingly, they uncover a new role for CCDC11, critical in the cell division across multiple human cell lines.

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Music's Effect on Dogs' Heart Rates

Aubin et al. | Oct 03, 2017

Music's Effect on Dogs' Heart Rates

Music can affect the behavior of humans and other animals. In this study, the authors studied five types of music with different tempos and demonstrated how each one affected dogs' heart rates.

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Androgen Diffusion Patterns in Soil: Potential Watershed Impacts

Corson et al. | Jan 24, 2019

Androgen Diffusion Patterns in Soil: Potential Watershed Impacts

Androgens are natural or synthetic steroid hormones that control secondary male sex characteristics. Androgens are excreted in cattle urine and feces, and can run off or seep into nearby waters, negatively impacting aquatic life and potentially polluting human water sources. Here, the authors investigated the effectiveness of soil as a natural barrier against androgen flow into vulnerable waterways. Their results, obtained by testing diffusion patterns of luminol, an androgen chemical analog, indicated that soil is a poor barrier to androgen diffusion.

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Starts and Stops of Rhythmic and Discrete Movements: Modulation in the Excitability of the Corticomotor Tract During Transition to a Different Type of Movement

Lim et al. | Aug 27, 2018

Starts and Stops of Rhythmic and Discrete Movements: Modulation in the Excitability of the Corticomotor Tract During Transition to a Different Type of Movement

Control of voluntary and involuntary movements is one of the most important aspects of human neurological function, but the mechanisms of motor control are not completely understood. In this study, the authors use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to stimulate a portion of the motor cortex while subjects performed either discrete (e.g. throwing) or rhythmic (e.g. walking) movements. By recording electrical activity in the muscles during this process, the authors showed that motor evoked potentials (MEPs) measured in the muscles during TMS stimulation are larger in amplitude for discrete movements than for rhythmic movements. Interestingly, they also found that MEPs during transitions between rhythmic and discrete movements were nearly identical and larger in amplitude than those recorded during either rhythmic or discrete movements. This research provides important insights into the mechanisms of neurological control of movement and will serve as the foundation for future studies to learn more about temporal variability in neural activity during different movement types.

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Effects of various alkaline carbonic solutions on the growth of the freshwater algae Chlorophyceae

Jani et al. | Aug 11, 2023

Effects of various alkaline carbonic solutions on the growth of the freshwater algae Chlorophyceae
Image credit: Jordan Whitfield

Modern day fossil fuels are prone to polluting our environment, which can provide major habitat loss to many animals in our ecosystems. Algae-based biofuels have become an increasingly popular alternative to fossil fuels because of their sustainability, effectiveness, and environmentally-friendly nature. To encourage algae growth and solidify its role as an emerging biofuel, we tested basic (in terms of pH) solutions on pond water to determine which solution is most efficient in inducing the growth of algae.

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