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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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An Exploration of a Honey-Ginger Supplement as an Antimicrobial Agent

Phillips et al. | Jul 10, 2016

An Exploration of a Honey-Ginger Supplement as an Antimicrobial Agent

Due to the increase in antimicrobial resistance, alternative medicinal therapies are being explored. Studies have shown that honey and ginger alone have antimicrobial effects on the genera Staphylococcus and Escherichia, including S. epidermidis and E. coli. The authors of this study tested whether a honey-ginger supplement, Jengimiel™, could be used as an antimicrobial agent against S. epidermidis and E. coli K-12.

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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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Wound healing properties of mesenchymal conditioned media: Analysis of PDGF, VEGF and IL-8 concentrations

Prasad et al. | Dec 15, 2021

Wound healing properties of mesenchymal conditioned media: Analysis of PDGF, VEGF and IL-8 concentrations

Regenerative medicine has become a mainstay in recent times, and employing stem cells to treat several degenerative, inflammatory conditions has resulted in very promising outcomes. These forms of cell-based therapies are novel approaches to existing treatment modalities. In this study, the authors compared the concentrations of the cytokines PDGF, IL-8, and VEGF between conditioned and spent media of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to evaluate their potential therapeutic properties for wound healing in inflammatory conditions. They hypothesized that conditioned media contains higher concentrations of wound healing cytokines compared to spent media. The authors found that while IL-8 and VEGF were present in highest concentrations in conditioned media, PDGF was present in maximal amounts in spent media.

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Specific Transcription Factors Distinguish Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Fibroblasts

Park et al. | Aug 16, 2019

Specific Transcription Factors Distinguish Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Fibroblasts

Stem cells are at the forefront of research in regenerative medicine and cell therapy. Two essential properties of stem cells are self-renewal and potency, having the ability to specialize into different types of cells. Here, Park and Jeong took advantage of previously identified stem cell transcription factors associated with potency to differentiate umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (US-MSCs) from morphologically similar fibroblasts. Western blot analysis of the transcription factors Klf4, Nanog, and Sox2 revealed their expression was unique to US-MSCs providing insight for future methods of differentiating between these cell lines.

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Strain-specific and photochemically-activated antimicrobial activity of berberine and two analogs

Sun et al. | Nov 17, 2020

Strain-specific and photochemically-activated antimicrobial activity of berberine and two analogs

In this study, the authors investigate the antimicrobial effects of berberine and berberine analogs. Berberine is extracted from plants and is a naturally occurring alkaloid, and is also excited photochemically. Using three different assays, the authors tested whether these compounds would inhibit bacterial growth. They found that these compounds were antibacterial and even more so when used with photoirradiation. This study has important antibacterial implications.

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Comparative singlet oxygen photosensitizer efficiency of berberine, rose bengal, and methylene blue by time course nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) monitoring of a photochemical 4+2 cycloaddition endoperoxide formation

Su et al. | May 14, 2021

Comparative singlet oxygen photosensitizer efficiency of berberine, rose bengal, and methylene blue by time course nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) monitoring of a photochemical 4+2 cycloaddition endoperoxide formation

Berberine, a natural product alkaloid, has been shown to exert biological activity via in situ production of singlet oxygen when photo irradiated. Berberine utilizes singlet oxygen in its putative mechanism of action, wherein it forms an activated complex with DNA and photosensitizes triplet oxygen to singlet oxygen to specifically oxidize guanine residues, thereby halting cell replication and leading to cell death. This has potential application in photodynamic therapy, alongside other such compounds which also act as photosensitizers and produce singlet oxygen in situ. The quantification of singlet oxygen in various photosensitizers, including berberine, is essential for determining their photosensitizer efficiencies. We postulated that the singlet oxygen produced by photoirradiation of berberine would be superior in terms of singlet oxygen production to the aforementioned photosensitizers when irradiated with UV light, but inferior under visible light conditions, due to its strong absorbance of UV wavelengths.

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