In this study, the authors investigated the time-dependent cytokine secretion ability of phyto-hemagglutinin (PHA)-activated T cells derived from human peripheral (PB) and cord blood (CB). They hypothesized that the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10, and pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNFα, levels would be higher in PHA-activated T cells obtained from PB as compared to the levels obtained from CB and would decrease over time. Upon PHA-activation, the IL-10 levels were relatively high while the TNFα levels decreased, making these findings applicable in therapeutic treatments e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and organ transplantation.
Phage therapy has been suggested as an alternative to antibiotics because bacteria resistant to antibiotics may still be susceptible to phages. However, phages may have limited effectiveness in combating bacteria since bacteria possess several antiviral defense mechanisms and can quickly develop resistance to phages. In this study, Wu and Pinta compare the effectiveness and specificity of antibiotics and phages in combating bacteria. They found that T4 phages are more specific and effective in fighting or inhibiting both antibiotic-resistant and sensitive bacteria than antibiotics, suggesting that phage therapy can be developed as an efficient tool to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
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.
This article investigates differences in gene expression in the brains of patients with and without Parkinson's disease. The authors identify a crucial transcriptional regulator may be a relevant target for future therapeutic treatment for Parkinson's disease.
Engineered bacteria that degrade oil are currently being considered as a safe option for the treatment of oil spills. For this approach to be successful, the bacteria must effectively express oil-degrading genes they uptake as part of an external genoming vehicle called a "plasmid". Using a computational approach, the authors investigate plasmid-bacterium compatibility to find pairs that ensure high levels of gene expression.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.