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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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Comparing the Effectiveness of Popular Treatments for Swelling and Scarring

Benavides et al. | Jul 08, 2020

Comparing the Effectiveness of Popular Treatments for Swelling and Scarring

Numerous specialty treatments claim to reduce swelling and scarring; however, it is unknown if these treatments are more effective than less expensive treatments. In an attempt to determine if one outperforms the other, treatments were applied to the same subject following bilateral orthopedic foot surgery. No difference was found the specialty treatments compared to more cost-effective treatments.

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Determining the Effects of Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 on the Regenerative Abilities of Echinometra lucunter Sea Urchins

Kisling et al. | Feb 12, 2019

Determining the Effects of Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 on the Regenerative Abilities of Echinometra lucunter Sea Urchins

As humans, not all our body organs can adequately regenerate after injury, an ability that declines with age. In some species, however, regeneration is a hallmark response that can occur limitless numbers of time throughout the life of an organism. Understanding how such species can regenerate so efficiently is of central importance to regenerative medicine. Sea urchins, unlike humans, can regenerate their spinal tissue after injury. Here the authors study the effect of a growth factor, FGF2, on sea urchin regeneration but find no conclusive evidence for a pro-regenerative effect after spinal tissue injury.

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Effect of the Herbal Formulation HF1 on the Expression of PD-L1 in PC3 cells

Imani et al. | Nov 15, 2019

Effect of the Herbal Formulation HF1 on the Expression of PD-L1 in PC3 cells

In this study, Imani et al. investigate whether a new proprietary herbal formulation, HF1, can inhibit expression of immune suppressor protein PD-L1. PD-L1 is a transmembrane protein that can be expressed by cancer cells to assist in their ability to avoid attacks from the immune system. Work from this study demonstrates that HF1 treatment can reduce expression of PD-L1 in cultured cancer cells, implicating HF1 as a potential new cancer therapy.

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The Feasibility of Mixed Reality Gaming as a Tool for Physical Therapy Following a Spinal Cord Injury

DeBre et al. | Apr 04, 2018

The Feasibility of Mixed Reality Gaming as a Tool for Physical Therapy Following a Spinal Cord Injury

Physical therapy, especially for patients with spinal cord injuries, can be a difficult and tedious experience. This can result in negative health outcomes, such as patients dropping out of physical therapy or developing additional health problems. In this study, the authors develop and test a potential solution to these challenges: a mixed reality game called Skyfarer that replaces a standard physical therapy regimen with an immersive experience that can be shared with their friends and family. The findings of this study suggest that mixed reality games such as Skyfarer could be effective alternatives to conventional physical therapy.

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The Cohesiveness of the Oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction

Gottlieb et al. | Dec 18, 2018

The Cohesiveness of the Oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction

In this study the author undertakes a careful characterization of a special type of chemical reaction, called an oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky (or B-Z) reaction, which has a number of existing applications in biomedical engineering as well as the potential to be useful in future developments in other fields of science and engineering. Specifically, she uses experimental measurements in combination with computational analysis to investigate whether the reaction is cohesive – that is, whether the oscillations between chemical states will remain consistent or change over time as the reaction progresses. Her results indicate that the reaction is not cohesive, providing an important foundation for the development of future technologies using B-Z reactions.

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Effect of Collagen Gel Structure on Fibroblast Phenotype

Grace et al. | Nov 28, 2012

Effect of Collagen Gel Structure on Fibroblast Phenotype

Environment affects the progression of life, especially at the cellular level. This study investigates multiple 3-dimensional growth environments, also known as scaffolds or hydrogels, and their effect on the growth of a type of cells called fibroblasts. These results suggest that a scaffold made of collagen and polyethylene glycol are favorable for cell growth. This research is useful for developing implantable devices to aid wound healing.

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Behavioral Longevity: The Impact of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Obesity on Life Expectancy

Han et al. | Oct 03, 2019

Behavioral Longevity: The Impact of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Obesity on Life Expectancy

In this article, the authors look into what is already known about the factor affecting longevity and determine the importance of behavioral factors including alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity on longevity. The authors quantify data from over 150 countries and, interestingly, find that the impact each factor has on longevity is at least in part dependent on the country's economic development status. Overall, they conclude that an average person’s life expectancy can increase by more than 3 years if smoking and alcohol consumption is reduced by a half and weight is decreased by 10%.

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Simulations of Cheetah Roaming Demonstrate the Effect of Safety Corridors on Genetic Diversity and Human-Cheetah Conflict

Acton et al. | Apr 02, 2018

Simulations of Cheetah Roaming Demonstrate the Effect of Safety Corridors on Genetic Diversity and Human-Cheetah Conflict

Ecological corridors are geographic features designated to allow the movement of wildlife populations between habitats that have been fragmented by human landscapes. Corridors can be a pivotal aspect in wildlife conservation because they preserve a suitable habitat for isolated populations to live and intermingle. Here, two students simulate the effect of introducing a safety corridor for cheetahs, based on real tracking data on cheetahs in Namibia.

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