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The effects of Helianthus Annuus on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis using Drosophila Melanogaster

Srinivasan et al. | Oct 13, 2022

The effects of <em>Helianthus Annuus</em> on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis using <em>Drosophila Melanogaster</em>

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) affects nearly 200,000 people worldwide and there is currently no cure. The purpose of the study was to determine if Helianthus annuus seeds helped reduce nerve degeneration and increase locomotion using Drosophila melanogaster as the model organism. Through this experiment, we found a general trend suggesting that H. annuus helped increase the mobility of the D. melanogaster suggesting it could be a viable supplement for patients with ALS.

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Are alkaline spices the future of antibiotics?

Jani et al. | Jan 23, 2022

Are alkaline spices the future of antibiotics?

The authors experimented with several commonly available alkaline spices (turmeric, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon) to study their antimicrobial properties, hypothesizing that alkaline spices would have antimicrobial activity. Results showed a zone of inhibition of bacterial growth, with the largest zone of inhibition being around turmeric, followed by cayenne pepper, and the smallest around cinnamon. These results are impactful, as common alkaline spices generally do show antibacterial properties and both bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects correlated with degree of alkalinity.

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Honey Bee Pollen in Allergic Rhinitis Healing

Bjelajac et al. | Jun 24, 2020

Honey Bee Pollen in Allergic Rhinitis Healing

The most common atopic disease of the upper respiratory tract is allergic rhinitis. It is defined as a chronic inflammatory condition of nasal mucosa due to the effects of one or more allergens and is usually a long-term problem. The purpose of our study was to test the efficiency of apitherapy in allergic rhinitis healing by the application of honey bee pollen. Apitherapy is a branch of alternative medicine that uses honey bee products. Honey bee pollen can act as an allergen and cause new allergy attacks for those who suffer from allergic rhinitis. Conversely, we hoped to prove that smaller ingestion of honey bee pollen on a daily basis would desensitize participants to pollen and thus reduce the severity of allergic rhinitis.

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Analyzing honey’s ability to inhibit the growth of Rhizopus stolonifer

Johnecheck et al. | Jun 06, 2023

Analyzing honey’s ability to inhibit the growth of <i>Rhizopus stolonifer</i>
Image credit: Johnecheck et al. 2023

Rhizopus stolonifer is a mold commonly found growing on bread that can cause many negative health effects when consumed. Preservatives are the well-known answer to this problem; however, many preservatives are not naturally found in food, and some have negative health effects of their own. We focused on honey as a possible solution because of its natural origin and self-preservation ability. We hypothesized that honey would decrease the growth rate of R. stolonifer . We evaluated the honey with a zone of inhibition (ZOI) test on agar plates. Sabouraud dextrose agar was mixed with differing volumes of honey to generate concentrations between 10.0% and 30.0%. These plates were then inoculated with a solution of spores collected from the mold. The ZOI was measured to determine antifungal effectiveness. A statistically significant difference was found between the means of all concentrations except for 20.0% and 22.5%. Our findings support the hypothesis as we showed a positive correlation between the honey concentration and growth rate of mold. By using this data, progress could be made on an all-natural, honey-based preservative.

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Evaluating Biomarkers and Treatments for Acute Kidney Injury in a Zebrafish Model

Mathew et al. | Aug 11, 2019

Evaluating Biomarkers and Treatments for Acute Kidney Injury in a Zebrafish Model

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in the United States, and 81% of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) patients in the renal fibrosis stage later develop CAD. In this study, Mathew and Joykutty aimed to create a cost-effective strategy to treat AKI and thus prevent CAD using a model of the zebrafish, Danio rerio. They first tested whether AKI is induced in Danio rerio upon exposure to environmental toxins, then evaluated nitrotyrosine as an early biomarker for toxin-induced AKI. Finally, they evaluated 4 treatments of renal fibrosis, the last stage of AKI, and found that the compound SB431542 was the most effective treatment (reduced fibrosis by 99.97%). Their approach to treating AKI patients, and potentially prevent CAD, is economically feasible for translation into the clinic in both developing and developed countries.

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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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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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