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The impact of COVID-19 quarantine on physical activities in Basra, Iraq: A cross-sectional study

Al Saeedi et al. | Aug 30, 2022

The impact of COVID-19 quarantine on physical activities in Basra, Iraq: A cross-sectional study

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the authors noticed a change in the physical activity of many people, as well as a change in the type of physical activity they practice. Here, the authors used a cross-sectional survey of 150 participants from the province of Basra in Iraq. They found an overall decrease in the number of days of physical activity for participants along with an increasing proportion of at-home exercises compared to other activities that are performed inside sports clubs during the pandemic.

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Application of gene therapy for reversing T-cell dysfunction in cancer

Hyun Lee et al. | Aug 25, 2022

Application of gene therapy for reversing T-cell dysfunction in cancer

Since cancer cells inhibit T-cell activity, the authors investigated a method to reverse T-cell disfunction with gene therapy, so that the T-cells would become effective once again in fighting cancer cells. They used the inhibition of proprotein convertases (PCSK1) in T cells and programmed death-ligand 1 (CD274) in cancer cells. They observed the recovery of IL-2 expression in Jurkat cells, with increased recovery noted in a co-culture sample. This study suggests a novel strategy to reactivate T cells.

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Health services in Iraq - A cross-sectional survey of adolescents in Basra

Al Saeedi et al. | Aug 12, 2022

Health services in Iraq - A cross-sectional survey of adolescents in Basra

This study is a cross-sectional survey of adolescents in Basra, Iraq, from November 2020 to March 2021 about types of adolescent problems, the individuals and institutions adolescents turn to, and the role of public health centers in dealing with their problems. The survey found that psychological problems represent the largest proportion of health problems, and most adolescents turn to their parents to discuss their problems. The work indicates that there is an urgent need to pay attention to public health centers and provide health and psychological support to adolescents.

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Assessing grass water use efficiency through smartphone imaging and ImageJ analysis

Shen et al. | Jul 27, 2022

Assessing grass water use efficiency through smartphone imaging and ImageJ analysis

Overwatering and underwatering grass are widespread issues with environmental and financial consequences. This study developed an accessible method to assess grass water use efficiency (WUE) combining smartphone imaging with open access color unmixing analysis. The method can be applied in automated irrigation systems or apps, providing grass WUE assessment for regular consumer use.

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Attitudes towards mental health in Indians who practice yoga regularly and those who do not

Komar et al. | Jul 13, 2022

Attitudes towards mental health in Indians who practice yoga regularly and those who do not

Whether it is through implicit association or intentional practice, yoga has been known to help individuals maintain good mental health. However, many communities, such as South Asian communities, often project the stereotype that embodies neglecting topics such as mental health and considering them taboo. In this online survey-based study, the authors focused on examining whether yoga would alter individuals’ attitudes toward mental health. They hypothesized that 1) participants who regularly practiced yoga would be more familiar with the term mental health, 2) participants who practiced yoga would value their mental health more, and 3) participants who practiced yoga regularly would be more open about their mental health and be more likely to reach out for professional help if needed. They did not find a statistical significance for any of our hypotheses which suggests that yoga may not have an effect on perceptions of mental health in yoga-practicing Indian adults.

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Fractals: Exploring Mandelbrot Coordinates and qualitative characteristics of the corresponding Julia Set

Thomas et al. | Jul 07, 2022

Fractals: Exploring Mandelbrot Coordinates and qualitative characteristics of the corresponding Julia Set

Here based on an interest in fractals, the authors used a Julia Set Generator to consider a specific point on the Mandelbrot set with an associated coordinate. In this manner, they found that the complexity of the Mandelbrot and Julia Sets are governed by relatively simple rules, revealing that the intricate patterns of fractals can be defined by defined by simple rules and patterns.

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Modulation of VEGF and TGF beta in 5-FU induced inflammation in MCF-7 using an herbal formulation

Vinay Nair et al. | Jun 03, 2022

Modulation of VEGF and TGF beta in 5-FU induced inflammation in MCF-7 using an herbal formulation

Acquired drug resistance is an increasing challenge in treating cancer with chemotherapy. One mechanism
behind this resistance is the increased inflammation that supports the progression and development of
cancer that arises because of the drug’s presence. Integrative oncology is the field that focuses on including natural products alongside traditional therapy to create a treatment that focuses on holistic patient well-being.
In this study, the authors demonstrate that the use of an herbal formulation, consisting of turmeric and green tea, alongside a traditional chemotherapeutic drug, 5-fluorouracil (FU) significantly decreases the level of cytokines produced in breast cancer cells when compared to the levels produced when exposed solely to the chemo drug. The authors conclude that this combination of treatment, based on the principle of integrative oncology, shows potential for reducing the resistance against treatment conferred through increased inflammation. Consequently, this suggests a prospective way forward in improving the efficacy of cancer treatment.

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