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Effect of hypervitaminosis A in regenerating planaria: A potential model for teratogenicity testing

Bennet et al. | Dec 12, 2022

Effect of hypervitaminosis A in regenerating planaria: A potential model for teratogenicity testing

This unique research study evaluated the potential use of the flatworm, brown planaria (Dugesia tigrine), as an alternative model for teratogenicity testing. In this study, we exposed amputated planaria to varying concentrations of a known teratogen, vitamin A (retinol), for approximately 2 weeks, and evaluated multiple parameters including the formation of blastema and eyes. The results from this study demonstrated that high concentrations of retinol caused defects in head and eye formation in regenerating planaria, with similarities to vitamin A related teratogenicity findings in mammals. Based on these results, regenerating brown planaria are a promising alternative model for teratogenicity testing, which can potentially be paradigm shifting as it can reduce cost, time, and pregnant animal use in research.

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Attitudes towards mental health in Indians who practice yoga regularly and those who do not

Komar et al. | Jul 13, 2022

Attitudes towards mental health in Indians who practice yoga regularly and those who do not

Whether it is through implicit association or intentional practice, yoga has been known to help individuals maintain good mental health. However, many communities, such as South Asian communities, often project the stereotype that embodies neglecting topics such as mental health and considering them taboo. In this online survey-based study, the authors focused on examining whether yoga would alter individuals’ attitudes toward mental health. They hypothesized that 1) participants who regularly practiced yoga would be more familiar with the term mental health, 2) participants who practiced yoga would value their mental health more, and 3) participants who practiced yoga regularly would be more open about their mental health and be more likely to reach out for professional help if needed. They did not find a statistical significance for any of our hypotheses which suggests that yoga may not have an effect on perceptions of mental health in yoga-practicing Indian adults.

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Computational development of aryl sulfone compounds as potential NNRTIs

Zhang et al. | Oct 12, 2022

Computational development of aryl sulfone compounds as potential NNRTIs

Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are allosteric inhibitors that bind to the HIV reverse transcriptase and prevent replication. Indolyl aryl sulfones (IAS) and IAS derivatives have been found to be highly effective against mutant strains of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. Here, we analyzed molecules designed using aryl sulfone scaffolds paired to cyclic compounds as potential NNRTIs through the computational design and docking of 100 novel NNRTI candidates. Moreover, we explored the specific combinations of functional groups and aryl sulfones that resulted in the NNRTI candidates with the strongest binding affinity while testing all compounds for carcinogenicity. We hypothesized that the combination of an IAS scaffold and pyrimidine would produce the compounds with the best binding affinity. Our hypothesis was correct as the series of molecules with an IAS scaffold and pyrimidine exhibited the best average binding affinity. Additionally, this study found 32 molecules designed in this procedure with higher or equal binding affinities to the previously successful IAS derivative 5-bromo-3-[(3,5-dimethylphenyl)sulfonyl]indole-2-carboxyamide when docked to HIV-1 reverse transcriptase.

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The presence of Wolbachia in Brood X cicadas

Hasan et al. | Oct 15, 2022

The presence of <em>Wolbachia</em> in Brood X cicadas

Here, seeking to understand a possible cause of the declining popluations of Brood X cicadas in Ohio and Indiana, the authors investigated the presence of Wolbachia, an inherited bacterial symbiont that lives in the reproductive cells of approximately 60% of insect species in these cicadas. Following their screening of one-hundred 17-year periodical cicadas, they only identified the presence of Wolbachia infection in less than 2%, suggesting that while Wolbachia can infect cicadas it appears uncommon in the Brood X cicadas they surveyed.

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Testing the Effects of Salep Derived From the Tubers of Orchis mascula, Aloe vera, and Alpha-chymotrypsin on Wound Healing in Drosophila melanogaster Larvae

Halder et al. | Sep 09, 2019

Testing the Effects of Salep Derived From the Tubers of <em>Orchis mascula</em>, <em>Aloe vera</em>, and Alpha-chymotrypsin on Wound Healing in <em>Drosophila melanogaster</em> Larvae

Aloe vera and alpha-chymotrypsin have been used in are known for their various wound healing properties. Halder et al hypothesized that these treatments would enhance wound healing in Drosophila melanogaster larvae over 2 weeks by decreasing wound size more effectively compared to controls. The results of two of the treatment groups, Salep and Aloe vera, yielded wound sizes small enough to present a significant percent decrease when compared with the wound sizes of the control group. Their results show support that both Salep and Aloe vera were effective for enhancing wound healing in epithelial cells in D. melanogaster larvae.

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Temperatures of 20°C Produce Increased Net Primary Production in Chlorella sp.

Biddinger et al. | Feb 25, 2020

Temperatures of 20°C Produce Increased Net Primary Production in <em>Chlorella sp.</em>

Chlorella sp. are unicellular green algae that use photosynthesis to reduce carbon dioxide into glucose. In this study, authors sought to determine the temperature that Chlorella sp. is maximally efficient at photosynthesis, and therefore removing the most carbon dioxide from the system. This activity could be harnessed to naturally remove carbon dioxide from the environment, fighting the effects of climate change.

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Mapping the Electromagnetic Field in Front of a Microwave Oven

Xiang et al. | Sep 21, 2019

Mapping the Electromagnetic Field in Front of a Microwave Oven

There is limited evidence that extended exposure to an electromagnetic field (EMF) has negative health effects on humans. The authors measured the power density and strength of EMF at different distances and directions in front of a microwave oven, and they discuss the safety of different distances.

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