Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast is used to produce bioethanol, an alternative to fossil fuels. In this study, authors take advantage of this well studied yeast by genetically engineering them to increase fatty acid biosynthesis and culturing in a cost-effective wastewater based medium; potentially providing a sustainable alternative to petrochemicals.
In this work the authors investigate new possible treatment methods for gastric and bladder cancers. They specifically targeted the transient receptor potential cation subfamily M member 7 (TRPM7), an ion channel that plays an important role in the survival of both of these cancers, and extracellular regulated kinases (ERKs),which contributes to the carcinogenesis of many cancers including gastric cancer. As a result, the authors consider the effects of Ginsenoside Rd, NS8593, curcumin, and icariin , known to inhibit TRPM7 and ERK. The authors found that these treatments decrease proliferation and induce apoptosis in studies of gastric and bladder cancer cells.
As digital tools become more prevalent in medicine, the ability for individuals to understand and take actions based on what they read on the internet is crucial. eHealth literacy is defined as as the ability to seek, find, understand, and evaluate health information from electronic sources and apply the knowledge gained to addressing or solving a health problem. In general, Americans have low eHealth literacy rates. However, limited research has been conducted to understand the eHealth literacy level among older Chinese adult immigrants in the U.S. To determine the eHealth literacy of elderly Chinese immigrants, we sent out an eHealth survey and relevant computer skills survey using a modified version of the eHEALS (eHealth Literacy Scale) health literacy test. We hypothesized that elders who consumed more electronic health content would have a higher eHealth literacy score. The results of this survey showed that there was a positive correlation between the frequency of electronic health information consumption and the participant's eHealth literacy rate. In addition, the results of our computer literacy test show that the frequency of consumption and computer literacy are positively correlated as well. There is a strong positive correlation between the level of computer skills and eHealth literacy of participants. These results reveal possible steps individuals can take to reduce health misinformation and improve their own health by attaining, understanding, and taking action on health material on the internet.
In this study, the authors investigate an alternative way to kill bacteria other than the use of antibiotics, which is useful when considering antibiotic-resistance bacteria. They use bacteriophages, which are are viruses that can infect bacteria, and measure cell lysis. They make some important findings that these bacteriophage can lyse both antibiotic-resistant and non-resistant 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.
Mushroom compost, also called Spent Mushroom Substrate or Spent Mushroom Compost (SMC), is suitable for a variety of plants. Previous research has found that the application of SMC will increase plant growth. However, it is unclear which exact proportions of SMC and soil will maximize tomato and bean plant growth. We showed that the hypothesized growth media with 30% SMC optimizes seed germination, plant height, number of leaves, and survival rate compared to other combinations of growth media. Our research suggests that SMC is a useful alternative for conventional fertilizers.
Oil spills are one of the most devastating events for marine life. Finding ways to clean up oil spills without the need for harsh chemicals could help decrease the negative impact of such spills. Here the authors demonstrate that using a combination of several biodegradable substances can effectively adsorb oil in seawater in a laboratory setting. They suggest further exploring the potential of such a combination as a possible alternative to commonly-used non-biodegradable substances in oil spill management.
Smartphones are not only becoming an inseparable part of our daily lives, but also a low-cost, powerful optical imaging tool for more and more scientific research applications. In this work, smartphones were used as a low-cost, high-speed, photographic alternative to expensive equipment, such as those typically found in scientific research labs, to accurately perform motion tracking and analysis of fast-moving objects. By analyzing consecutive images, the speed and flight trajectory of water droplets in the air were obtained, thereby enabling us to estimate the area of the water droplets landing on the ground.