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Utilizing 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 to prevent the appearance of diabetic-like phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster

Zaverchand et al. | Sep 20, 2021

Utilizing 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 to prevent the appearance of diabetic-like phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster

This study aimed to assess the role of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 solution, at varying concentrations, in protecting vertical transmission of diabetic-like phenotypes. We hypothesized that the highest concentration of vitamin D solution (55 ng/mL) would be most effective in having a protective role. The results indicated that the hypothesis was partially supported; overall, all three concentrations of the vitamin D solution administered to the flies reared on HSDs had a protective effect, to varying extents.

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The Bioactive Ingredients in Niuli Lactucis Agrestibus Possess Anticancer Effects

Zhu et al. | Sep 17, 2019

The Bioactive Ingredients in Niuli Lactucis Agrestibus Possess Anticancer Effects

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.

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Banana-based Biofuels for Combating Climate Change: How the Composition of Enzyme Catalyzed Solutions Affects Biofuel Yield

Klein-Hessling Barrientos et al. | May 27, 2020

Banana-based Biofuels for Combating Climate Change: How the Composition of Enzyme Catalyzed Solutions Affects Biofuel Yield

The authors investigate whether amylase or yeast had a more prominent role in determining the bioethanol concentration and bioethanol yield of banana samples. They hypothesized that amylase would have the most significant impact on the bioethanol yield and concentration of the samples. They found that while yeast is an essential component for producing bioethanol, the proportion of amylase supplied through a joint amylase-yeast mixture has a more significant impact on the bioethanol yield. This study provides a greater understanding of the mechanisms and implications involved in enzyme-based biofuel production, specifically of those pertaining to amylase and yeast.

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Antibacterial effectiveness of turmeric against gram-positive Staphylococcus epidermidis

Cox et al. | Jan 10, 2022

Antibacterial effectiveness of turmeric against gram-positive <i>Staphylococcus epidermidis</i>

Infections caused by antibiotic resistance are a leading issue faced by the medical field. The authors studied the antibacterial effectiveness of turmeric against gram-positive Staphylococcus epidermidis using antibiotic sensitivity disks. They infused blank antibiotic sensitivity disks with a 5% concentrated solution of turmeric and placed them on agar plates inoculated with bacteria. Overall, there was no measurable ZOI surrounding the turmeric disk so the measurements for all trials were 0 cm, suggesting that turmeric at a 5% concentration is not an effective antibacterial against S. epidermidis.

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Analyzing honey’s ability to inhibit the growth of Rhizopus stolonifer

Johnecheck et al. | Jun 06, 2023

Analyzing honey’s ability to inhibit the growth of <i>Rhizopus stolonifer</i>
Image credit: Johnecheck et al. 2023

Rhizopus stolonifer is a mold commonly found growing on bread that can cause many negative health effects when consumed. Preservatives are the well-known answer to this problem; however, many preservatives are not naturally found in food, and some have negative health effects of their own. We focused on honey as a possible solution because of its natural origin and self-preservation ability. We hypothesized that honey would decrease the growth rate of R. stolonifer . We evaluated the honey with a zone of inhibition (ZOI) test on agar plates. Sabouraud dextrose agar was mixed with differing volumes of honey to generate concentrations between 10.0% and 30.0%. These plates were then inoculated with a solution of spores collected from the mold. The ZOI was measured to determine antifungal effectiveness. A statistically significant difference was found between the means of all concentrations except for 20.0% and 22.5%. Our findings support the hypothesis as we showed a positive correlation between the honey concentration and growth rate of mold. By using this data, progress could be made on an all-natural, honey-based preservative.

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Effect of hypervitaminosis A in regenerating planaria: A potential model for teratogenicity testing

Bennet et al. | Dec 12, 2022

Effect of hypervitaminosis A in regenerating planaria: A potential model for teratogenicity testing

This unique research study evaluated the potential use of the flatworm, brown planaria (Dugesia tigrine), as an alternative model for teratogenicity testing. In this study, we exposed amputated planaria to varying concentrations of a known teratogen, vitamin A (retinol), for approximately 2 weeks, and evaluated multiple parameters including the formation of blastema and eyes. The results from this study demonstrated that high concentrations of retinol caused defects in head and eye formation in regenerating planaria, with similarities to vitamin A related teratogenicity findings in mammals. Based on these results, regenerating brown planaria are a promising alternative model for teratogenicity testing, which can potentially be paradigm shifting as it can reduce cost, time, and pregnant animal use in research.

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Heavy Metal Contamination of Hand-Pressed Well Water in HuNan, China

Long et al. | Oct 20, 2019

Heavy Metal Contamination of Hand-Pressed Well Water in HuNan, China

Unprocessed water from hand-pressed wells is still commonly used as a source of drinking water in Chenzhou, the “Nonferrous Metal Village” of China. Long et al. conducted a study to measure the heavy metal contamination levels and potential health effects in this area. Water samples were analyzed through Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICPOES) and the concentrations of 20 metal elements. Results showed that although none of the samples had dangerous levels of heavy metals, the concentrations of Al, Fe, and Mn in many locations substantially exceeded those suggested in the Chinese Drinking Water Standard and the maximum contaminant levels of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The authors have made an important discovery regarding the water safety in HuNan and their suggestions to install water treatment systems would greatly benefit the community.

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Beeing sustainable: Honey as a bioindicator for pollution

Donnellan et al. | Oct 06, 2021

Beeing sustainable: Honey as a bioindicator for pollution

In this study, Donnellan and colleagues investigated how environmental pollution may be affecting honey samples from Chicago apiaries. They found no significant correlation between heavy metal concentration in honey to distance from local industries, suggesting a minimal effect of proximity to industrial pollution on honey contamination.

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