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Application of gene therapy for reversing T-cell dysfunction in cancer

Hyun Lee et al. | Aug 25, 2022

Application of gene therapy for reversing T-cell dysfunction in cancer

Since cancer cells inhibit T-cell activity, the authors investigated a method to reverse T-cell disfunction with gene therapy, so that the T-cells would become effective once again in fighting cancer cells. They used the inhibition of proprotein convertases (PCSK1) in T cells and programmed death-ligand 1 (CD274) in cancer cells. They observed the recovery of IL-2 expression in Jurkat cells, with increased recovery noted in a co-culture sample. This study suggests a novel strategy to reactivate T cells.

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Impact of light intensity and electrolyte volume on performance of photo-electrochemical (PEC) solar cell

Patel et al. | Mar 14, 2022

Impact of light intensity and electrolyte volume on performance of photo-electrochemical (PEC) solar cell

Here, seeking to develop more efficient solar cells, the authors investigated photo-electrochemical (PEC) solar cells, specifically molybdenum diselenide (MoSe2) based on its high resistance to corrosion. They found that the percentage efficiency of these PEC solar cells was proportional to light intensity–0.9 and that performance was positively influenced by increasing the electrolyte volume. They suggest that studies such as these can lead to new insight into reaction-based solar cells.

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The impacts of different Al(NO3)3 concentrations on the mitotic index of Allium sativum

Jimenez Pol et al. | Jul 10, 2023

The impacts of different Al(NO<sub>3</sub>)<sub>3</sub> concentrations on the mitotic index of <i>Allium sativum</i>
Image credit: Kylie Paz

Recognizing the increasing threat of acid deposition inn soil through the reaction of NOx and SO2 pollutants with water in Spain, the authors investigates the effects of Al(NO3)3 concentrations on the health of Allium sativum. By tracking its mitotic index, they found a negative exponential correlation between Al(NO3)3 concentrations and the mitotic index of A. sativum.

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Synergistic Effects of Metformin and Captopril on C. elegans

Kadıoğlu et al. | Jul 10, 2018

Synergistic Effects of Metformin and Captopril on <em>C. elegans</em>

Kadıoğlu and Oğuzalp study the synergistic effects of Metformin and Captopril, two commonly prescribed drugs for type 2 diabetes and hypertension, respectively. Using C. elegans nematodes as a model system, the authors find that the nematodes decreased in average body length when exposed to Metformin or Captopril individually, but grew 11% in body length when both drugs were used together. Because C. elegans body size is regulated in part by the TGF-β signaling pathway, the authors suggest that synergistic effects of these two drugs may be modulating TGF-β activity, a previously uncharacterized phenomenon.

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An Analysis of the Density and Patterns of the Solutions of Diophantine Equations of the Third Power

Grewal et al. | Oct 05, 2020

An Analysis of the Density and Patterns of the Solutions of Diophantine Equations of the Third Power

In this study, the authors sought to find out how many mathematical solutions there were to the Indian mathematician Ramanujan's formula, which is a3 + b3 + c3 = d3, and also quantify the densities its solutions. They wrote their own computer program to do so and kept values of a, b, and c less than 10,000. While conducting the analysis, they were also looking for perfect power taxicab numbers and their frequency. They were able to find solutions and densities for the equation. Additionally, while they found that most perfect cube taxicab numbers had a frequency of 2 or 3, they also found on number with a frequency of 42!

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Testing Epoxy Strength: The High Strength Claims of Selleys’s Araldite Epoxy Glues

Nguyen et al. | Jul 14, 2020

Testing Epoxy Strength: The High Strength Claims of Selleys’s Araldite Epoxy Glues

Understanding the techniques used to improve the adhesion strength of the epoxy resin is important especially for consumer applications such as repairing car parts, bonding aluminum sheeting, and repairing furniture or applications within the aviation or civil industry. Selleys Araldite epoxy makes specific strength claims emphasizing that the load or weight that can be supported by the adhesive is 72 kg/cm2. Nguyen and Clarke aimed to test the strength claims of Selley’s Araldite Epoxy by gluing two steel adhesion surfaces: a steel tube and bracket. Results showed that there is a lack of consideration by Selleys for adhesion loss mechanisms and environmental factors when accounting for consumer use of the product leading to disputable claims.

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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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