Microbial agents reposnsible for respiratory infections are often carried in spittle, which means they can be easily transmitted. Here, the authors investigate how likely certain activities are to spread microbes carried in spittle. They also investigate whether eating certain types of food might reduce the spread of spittle-borne bacteria too.
PDE8, a type of phosphodiesterase (PDE), is proven to be crucial in various cellular activities and physiological activities by influencing second messenger systems. It is involved in a wide range of diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and various heart diseases. However, there is limited information about PDE8 selective inhibitors. This work aimed to improve the solubility and yield of PDE8 in the supernatant by exploring suitable culture conditions, including temperatures and different additives.
In this study, the authors investigate whether antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be found in everyday locations. To do this, they collected samples from multiple high-trafficked areas in Cambridge, MA and grew them in the presence and absence of antibiotics. Interestingly, they grew bacterial colonies from many locations' samples, but not all could grow in the presence of ampicillin. These findings are intriguing and relevant given the rising concern about antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Enzyme chemotaxis is a thermodynamic phenomenon in which enzymes move along a substrate concentration gradient towards regions with higher substrate concentrations and can be used to steer nanovehicles towards targets along natural substrate concentrations. In patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a gradient of tau protein forms in the bloodstream. Tau protein is a substrate of the enzyme CDK5, which catalyzes the phosphorylation of tau protein and can travel using chemotaxis along tau protein gradients to increasing concentrations of tau and amyloid-beta proteins. The authors hypothesized that CDK5 would be able to overcome these barriers of Brownian motion and developed a quantitative model using Michaelis-Menten kinetics to define the necessary parameters to confirm and characterize CDK5’s chemotactic behavior to establish its utility in drug delivery and other applications.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease caused by mutations in the CFTR gene. In this paper, the authors attempt to identify variations in stretches of up to 8 nucleotides in the protein-coding portions of the CFTR gene that are associated with disease development. This would allow screening of newborns or even fetuses in utero to determine the likelihood they develop cystic fibrosis.
Many cases of viral hepatitis are easily preventable if caught early; however, a lack of public awareness regarding often leads to diagnoses near the final stages of disease when it is most lethal. Thus, we wanted to understand to what extent an individual's sex, age, education and country of residence (India or Singapore) impacts disease identification. We sent out a survey and quiz to residents in India (n = 239) and Singapore (n = 130) with questions that test their knowledge and awareness of the disease. We hypothesized that older and more educated individuals would score higher because they are more experienced, but that the Indian population will not be as knowledgeable as the Singaporean population because they do not have as many resources, such as socioeconomic access to schools and accessibility to healthcare, available to them. Additionally, we predicted that there would not be any notable differences between make and females. The results revealed that the accuracy for all groups we looked at was primarily below 50%, demonstrating a severe knowledge gap. Therefore, we concluded that if more medical professionals discussed viral hepatitis during hospital visits and in schools, patients can avoid the end stages of the disease in notable cases.
Since school bathrooms are widely suspected to be unsanitary, we wanted to compare the total amount of bacteria with the amount of bacteria that had ampicillin or streptomycin resistance across different school bathrooms in the Boston area. We hypothesized that because people interact with the faucet, outdoor handle, and indoor handle of the bathroom, based on whether or not they have washed their hands, there would be differences in the quantity of the bacteria presented on these surfaces. Therefore, we predicted certain surfaces of the bathroom would be less sanitary than others.
This study examined the ability of copper and copper alloy surfaces to inhibit bacterial growth, which may be help prevent healthcare-associated infections. The authors exposed two non-pathogenic strains of bacteria to different metal plates for varying degrees of time and measured bacterial growth.
Psoriasis is a heritable autoimmune disorder characterized by abnormal red and itchy skin patches. The authors study the family of a man with psoriasis. They explore whether the man's children, who do not show any symptoms of psoriasis, demonstrate gene expression consistent with the disease.