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Upregulation of the Ribosomal Pathway as a Potential Blood-Based Genetic Biomarker for Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and PTSD

Ravi et al. | Aug 22, 2018

Upregulation of the Ribosomal Pathway as a Potential  Blood-Based Genetic Biomarker for Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and PTSD

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are two of the fastest growing comorbid diseases in the world. Using publicly available datasets from the National Institute for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Ravi and Lee conducted a differential gene expression analysis using 184 blood samples from either control individuals or individuals with comorbid MDD and PTSD. As a result, the authors identified 253 highly differentially-expressed genes, with enrichment for proteins in the gene ontology group 'Ribosomal Pathway'. These genes may be used as blood-based biomarkers for susceptibility to MDD or PTSD, and to tailor treatments within a personalized medicine regime.

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Motion tracking and analysis of spray water droplets studied by high-speed photography using an iPhone X

Geng et al. | Sep 11, 2021

Motion tracking and analysis of spray water droplets  studied by high-speed photography using an iPhone X

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.

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Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Wu et al. | Feb 17, 2019

Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating 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.

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Estimation of cytokines in PHA-activated mononuclear cells isolated from human peripheral and cord blood

Subbiah et al. | Mar 09, 2022

Estimation of cytokines in PHA-activated mononuclear cells isolated from human peripheral and cord blood

In this study, the authors investigated the time-dependent cytokine secretion ability of phyto-hemagglutinin (PHA)-activated T cells derived from human peripheral (PB) and cord blood (CB). They hypothesized that the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10, and pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNFα, levels would be higher in PHA-activated T cells obtained from PB as compared to the levels obtained from CB and would decrease over time. Upon PHA-activation, the IL-10 levels were relatively high while the TNFα levels decreased, making these findings applicable in therapeutic treatments e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and organ transplantation.

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Genomic Signature Analysis for the Strategic Bioremediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Mangrove Ecosystems in the Gulf of Tonkin

Dao et al. | Jun 27, 2021

Genomic Signature Analysis for the Strategic Bioremediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Mangrove Ecosystems in the Gulf of Tonkin

Engineered bacteria that degrade oil are currently being considered as a safe option for the treatment of oil spills. For this approach to be successful, the bacteria must effectively express oil-degrading genes they uptake as part of an external genoming vehicle called a "plasmid". Using a computational approach, the authors investigate plasmid-bacterium compatibility to find pairs that ensure high levels of gene expression.

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Investigation of unknown causes of uveal melanoma uncovers seven recurrent genetic mutations

Nanda et al. | Aug 25, 2022

Investigation of unknown causes of uveal melanoma uncovers seven recurrent genetic mutations

Uveal melanoma (UM) is a rare subtype of melanoma but the most frequent primary cancer of the eye in adults. The goal of this study was to research the genetic causes of UM through a comprehensive frequency analysis of base-pair mismatches in patient genomes. Results showed a total of 130 genetic mutations, including seven recurrent mutations, with most mutations occurring in chromosomes 3 and X. Recurrent mutations varied from 8.7% to 17.39% occurrence in the UM patient sample, with all mutations identified as missense. These findings suggest that UM is a recessive heterogeneous disease with selective homozygous mutations. Notably, this study has potential wider significance because the seven genes targeted by recurrent mutations are also involved in other cancers.

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The Effects of Antibiotics on Nutrient Digestion

Murea et al. | Oct 06, 2017

The Effects of Antibiotics on Nutrient Digestion

One disadvantage of antibiotic therapy is the potential for unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects. Here, the authors test whether some common antibiotics directly interfere with the digestion of protein, fat, or sugars. This study provides motivation to more carefully investigate the interactions between antibiotics and gut enzymes in order to inform treatment decisions and improve patient outcomes.

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Emotional and Psychological Effect of Music on People

Nolt et al. | Jan 03, 2019

Emotional and Psychological Effect of Music on People

Nolt and Elwonger examine how different types of music impact our emotional and physical states. They found that music can influence a subject's emotional state, with sad music inspiring sadness and exciting music bringing excitement. They were not able to find a clear relationship between heart rate and music type. Music's effect on emotional state can be useful when designing novel therapies for emotional and mental disorders.

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