Do different physical traits affect teenagers’ initial trust of an unknown person? Would they give greater trust to women and people of similar ethnicity? To test these hypotheses, the authors developed a survey to determine the sets of physical characteristics that affect a person's trustworthiness. They found that gender and expression were the main physical traits associated with how trustworthy an individual looks, while ethnicity was also important.
Kashyap Jha et al. look at the formulation of MAT20, a crude extract of the moringa, amla, and tulsi leaves, as a potential complementary and alternative medicine. Using HeLa cells, they find MAT20 up-regulates expression of inflammation and cell cytotoxicity markers. Their data is important for understanding the anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties of MAT20.
The authors found that treatment with AS20 suppressed phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and 5-flurouracil (5-FU) induction of COX2 expression. We also observed AS20 treated cells showed DNA fragmentation in HeLa cells.
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.
Cancer is often caused by improper function of a few proteins, and sometimes it takes only a few proteins to malfunction to cause drastic changes in cells. Here the authors look at the genes that were mutated in patients with a type of pancreatic cancer to identify proteins that are important in causing cancer. They also determined which proteins currently lack effective treatment, and suggest that certain proteins (named KRAS, CDKN2A, and RBBP8) are the most important candidates for developing drugs to treat pancreatic cancer.
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.
Modern day fossil fuels are prone to polluting our environment, which can provide major habitat loss to many animals in our ecosystems. Algae-based biofuels have become an increasingly popular alternative to fossil fuels because of their sustainability, effectiveness, and environmentally-friendly nature. To encourage algae growth and solidify its role as an emerging biofuel, we tested basic (in terms of pH) solutions on pond water to determine which solution is most efficient in inducing the growth of algae.
In the field of medicine, natural treatments are becoming increasingly vital towards the cure of cancer. Zhu et al. wanted to investigate the effects of lettuce extract on cancer cell survival and proliferation. They used an adenocarcinoma cell line, COLO320DM, to determine whether crude extract from a lettuce species called Niuli Lactucis Agrestibus would affect cancer cell survival, migration, and proliferation. They found that Niuli extract inhibited cancer cell survival, increased expression of cell cycle inhibitors p21 and p27, and inhibited migration. However, Niuli extract did not have these effects on healthy cells. This work reveals important findings about a potential new source of anti-colorectal cancer compounds.
In the United States, there are currently 17.8 million affected by atopic dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema. It is characterized by itching and skin inflammation. AD patients are at higher risk for infections, depression, cancer, and suicide. Genetics, environment, and stress are some of the causes of the disease. With the rise of personalized medicine and the acceptance of gene-editing technologies, AD-related variations need to be identified for treatment. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have associated the Filaggrin (FLG) gene with AD but have not identified specific problematic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This research aimed to refine known SNPs of FLG for gene editing technologies to establish a causal link between specific SNPs and the diseases and to target the polymorphisms. The research utilized R and its Bioconductor packages to refine data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI's) Variation Viewer. The algorithm filtered the dataset by coding regions and conserved domains. The algorithm also removed synonymous variations and treated non-synonymous, frameshift, and nonsense separately. The non-synonymous variations were refined and ordered by the BLOSUM62 substitution matrix. Overall, the analysis removed 96.65% of data, which was redundant or not the focus of the research and ordered the remaining relevant data by impact. The code for the project can also be repurposed as a tool for other diseases. The research can help solve GWAS's imprecise identification challenge. This research is the first step in providing the refined databases required for gene-editing treatment.