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Antimicrobial properties of common household spices on microbes cultured from two kitchen locations

Carroll et al. | May 12, 2022

Antimicrobial properties of common household spices on microbes cultured from two kitchen locations

The number of bacterial infections in humans is rising, and a major contributor is foodborne illnesses, which affect a large portion of the population and result in many hospitalizations and deaths. Common household cleaners are an effective strategy to combat foodborne illness, but they are often costly and contain harmful chemicals. Thus, the authors sought to test the antimicrobial effectiveness of spices (clove, nutmeg, astragalus, cinnamon, turmeric, and garlic) on microbes cultured from refrigerator handles and cutting boards. Results from this study demonstrate long-lasting, antimicrobial effects of multiple spices that support their use as alternatives to common household cleaners.

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Herbal Extracts Alter Amyloid Beta Levels in SH-SY5Y Neuroblastoma Cells

Xu et al. | Feb 25, 2020

Herbal Extracts Alter Amyloid Beta Levels in SH-SY5Y Neuroblastoma Cells

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a type of dementia that affects more than 5.5 million Americans, and there are no approved treatments that can delay the advancement of the disease. In this work, Xu and Mitchell test the effects of various herbal extracts (bugleweed, hops, sassafras, and white camphor) on Aβ1-40 peptide levels in human neuroblastoma cells. Their results suggest that bugleweed may have the potential to reduce Aβ1-40 levels through its anti-inflammatory properties.

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Effects of Paan Extracts on Periodontal Ligament and Osteosarcoma Cells

Venkatachalam et al. | Sep 20, 2018

Effects of Paan Extracts on Periodontal Ligament and Osteosarcoma Cells

In South Asian countries, the major cause of oral cancer is reported to be chewing paan, which is comprised of betel leaf daubed with slaked lime paste and areca nut. To investigate how paan may contribute to the onset of cancer, the authors treated two immortalized cell lines with extracts of betel leaf, areca nut, and lime and evaluated how these treatments affected cell proliferation and cell death. Initial results indicate that while betel leaf alone may inhibit cell growth, areca nut promoted cancer cell survival and proliferation, even when co-treated with betel leaf. These data suggest that areca nut could exacerbate the progression of oral cancer in humans.

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Starts and Stops of Rhythmic and Discrete Movements: Modulation in the Excitability of the Corticomotor Tract During Transition to a Different Type of Movement

Lim et al. | Aug 27, 2018

Starts and Stops of Rhythmic and Discrete Movements: Modulation in the Excitability of the Corticomotor Tract During Transition to a Different Type of Movement

Control of voluntary and involuntary movements is one of the most important aspects of human neurological function, but the mechanisms of motor control are not completely understood. In this study, the authors use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to stimulate a portion of the motor cortex while subjects performed either discrete (e.g. throwing) or rhythmic (e.g. walking) movements. By recording electrical activity in the muscles during this process, the authors showed that motor evoked potentials (MEPs) measured in the muscles during TMS stimulation are larger in amplitude for discrete movements than for rhythmic movements. Interestingly, they also found that MEPs during transitions between rhythmic and discrete movements were nearly identical and larger in amplitude than those recorded during either rhythmic or discrete movements. This research provides important insights into the mechanisms of neurological control of movement and will serve as the foundation for future studies to learn more about temporal variability in neural activity during different movement types.

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An Analysis on Exoplanets and How They are Affected by Different Factors in Their Star Systems

Selph et al. | Dec 06, 2018

An Analysis on Exoplanets and How They are Affected by Different Factors in Their Star Systems

In this article, the authors systematically study whether the type of a star is correlated with the number of planets it can support. Their study shows that medium-sized stars are likely to support more than one planet, just like the case in our solar system. They predict that, of the hundreds of planets beyond our solar system, 6% might be habitable. As humans work to travel further and further into space, some of those might truly be suited for human life.

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Antibiotic Residues Detected in Commercial Cow’s Milk

Memili et al. | Mar 18, 2015

Antibiotic Residues Detected in Commercial Cow’s Milk

Antibiotics are oftentimes used to treat mastitis (infection of the mammary gland) in dairy cows. Regulations require that milk from these cows be discarded until the infection has cleared and antibiotic residues are no longer detectable in the cow's milk. These regulations are in place to protect consumers and to help prevent the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In this study, the authors test milk samples from 10 milk suppliers in the Greensboro, NC to see if they contain detectable levels of antibiotic residues.

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Music's Effect on Dogs' Heart Rates

Aubin et al. | Oct 03, 2017

Music's Effect on Dogs' Heart Rates

Music can affect the behavior of humans and other animals. In this study, the authors studied five types of music with different tempos and demonstrated how each one affected dogs' heart rates.

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Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Horton et al. | Sep 27, 2018

Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Although the United States maintains millions of square kilometers of nature reserves to protect the biodiversity of the specimens living there, little is known about how confining these species within designated protected lands influences the genetic variation required for a healthy population. In this study, the authors sequenced genetic barcodes of insects from a recently established nature reserve, the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve (SWRCMSR), and a non-protected area, the Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) Menifee campus, to compare the genetic variation between the two populations. Their results demonstrated that the midge fly population from the SWRCMSR had fewer unique DNA barcode sequence changes than the MSJC population, indicating that the comparatively younger nature reserve's population had likely not yet established its own unique genetic drift changes.

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Evaluation of Tea Extract as an Inhibitor of Oxidative Stress in Prostate Cells

Zhang et al. | Jan 22, 2019

Evaluation of Tea Extract as an Inhibitor of Oxidative Stress in Prostate Cells

One important factor that contributes to human cancers is accumulated damage to cells' DNA due to the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. In this study, the authors investigate the effects of several different tea leaf extracts on oxidative stress in cultured human prostate cells to see if antioxidants in the tea leaves could help protect cells from this type of DNA damage. They found that all four types of tea extract (as well as direct application of the antioxidant EGCG) improved the outcomes for the cultured cells, with white tea extract having the strongest effect. This research suggests that tea extracts and the antioxidants that they contain may have applications in the treatment of the many diseases associated with cellular DNA damage, including cancer.

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