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Mutation of the Catalytic Cysteine in Anopheles gambiae Transglutaminase 3 (AgTG3) Abolishes Plugin Crosslinking Activity without Disrupting Protein Folding Properties

Pham et al. | May 02, 2014

Mutation of the Catalytic Cysteine in <em>Anopheles gambiae</em> Transglutaminase 3 (AgTG3) Abolishes Plugin Crosslinking Activity without Disrupting Protein Folding Properties

Malaria is a major public health issue, especially in developing countries, and vector control is a major facet of malaria eradication efforts. Recently, sterile insect technique (SIT), or the release of sterile mosquitoes into the wild, has shown significant promise as a method of keeping vector populations under control. In this study, the authors investigate the Anopheles gambiae transglutaminase 3 protein (AgT3), which is essential to the mating of the Anopheles mosquito. They show that an active site mutation is able to abolish the activity of the AgT3 enzyme and propose it as a potential target for chemosterilant inhibitors.

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The Effects of Antioxidants on the Climbing Abilities of Drosophila melanogaster Exposed to Dental Resin

Prashanth et al. | Jan 17, 2019

The Effects of Antioxidants on the Climbing Abilities of <em>Drosophila melanogaster</em> Exposed to Dental Resin

Dental resins can be a source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which in unruly amounts can be toxic to cellular and overall health. In this report, the authors test whether the consumption of antioxidant rich foods like avocado and asparagus can protect against the effect of dental resin-derived ROS. However, rather than testing humans, they use fruit flies and their climbing abilities as an experimental readout.

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Machine learning on crowd-sourced data to highlight coral disease

Narayan et al. | Jul 26, 2021

Machine learning on crowd-sourced data to highlight coral disease

Triggered largely by the warming and pollution of oceans, corals are experiencing bleaching and a variety of diseases caused by the spread of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Identification of bleached/diseased corals enables implementation of measures to halt or retard disease. Benthic cover analysis, a standard metric used in large databases to assess live coral cover, as a standalone measure of reef health is insufficient for identification of coral bleaching/disease. Proposed herein is a solution that couples machine learning with crowd-sourced data – images from government archives, citizen science projects, and personal images collected by tourists – to build a model capable of identifying healthy, bleached, and/or diseased coral.

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The Effect of Interactive Electronics Use on Psychological Well Being and Interpersonal Relationship Quality in Adults

Belkin et al. | Apr 19, 2018

The Effect of Interactive Electronics Use on Psychological Well Being and Interpersonal Relationship Quality in Adults

In recent years, usage of interactive electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets has increased dramatically. Many studies have examined the potential adverse effects of excessive usage of such devices on children and adolescents, but the effects on adults are not well understood. In this study, the authors examined the relationship between adult usage of interactive electronic devices and a variety of clinical measures of psychological well-being. They found that according to some metrics, higher usage of interactive electronic devices is associated with several adverse psychological outcomes, suggesting a need for more careful consideration of such usage patterns in clinical settings.

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FRUGGIE – A Board Game to Combat Obesity by Promoting Healthy Eating Habits in Young Children

Huprikar et al. | Jun 13, 2018

FRUGGIE – A Board Game to Combat Obesity by Promoting Healthy Eating Habits in Young Children

The authors created a board game to teach young children about healthy eating habits to see whether an interactive and family-oriented method would be effective at introducing and maintaining a love for fruits and veggies. Results showed that children developed a liking for fruits and vegetables, and none regressed. Half maintained their level of enjoyment for fruits and vegetables during the research period, while the other half had a positive increase. The results show that a simple interactive game can shape how young children relate to food and encourage them to maintain healthy habits.

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The Perks of Watching a Movie: How the Portrayal of Anxiety and Depression in Film Affects Teenagers’ Perception of Anxiety and Depressive Disorders

Wolcott et al. | Sep 11, 2021

The Perks of Watching a Movie: How the Portrayal of Anxiety and Depression in Film Affects Teenagers’ Perception of Anxiety and Depressive Disorders

In film, anxiety and depressive disorders are often depicted inaccurately. When viewers are exposed to these inaccurate portrayals, they collect misinformation about the disorders, as well as people who live with them, leading to stigma. This study used a mixed-method descriptive approach to analyze 16 teenagers’ attitudes towards people with anxiety and depression. Results found that while participants understood how these portrayals create stigma, they did not attribute this to misinformation. These results can be used to help both the film industry and the movie-going public better understand the effects of inaccurate storytelling and the extent to which it informs public perception

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Testing HCN1 channel dysregulation in the prefrontal cortex using a novel piezoelectric silk neuromodulator

Mathew et al. | May 05, 2021

Testing HCN1 channel dysregulation in the prefrontal cortex using a novel piezoelectric silk neuromodulator

Although no comprehensive characterization of schizophrenia exists, there is a general consensus that patients have electrical dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex. The authors designed a novel piezoelectric silk-based implant and optimized electrical output through the addition of conductive materials zinc oxide (ZnO) and aluminum nitride (AlN). With further research and compatibility studies, this implant could rectify electrical misfiring in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex.

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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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