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Effect of Natural Compounds Curcumin and Nicotinamide on α-synuclein Accumulation in a C. elegans Model of Parkinson’s Disease

Mehrotra et al. | Jan 29, 2018

Effect of Natural Compounds Curcumin and Nicotinamide on α-synuclein Accumulation in a C. elegans Model of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects over 10 million people worldwide. It is caused by destruction of dopamine-producing neurons, which results in severe motor and movement symptoms. In this study, the authors investigated the anti-Parkinsonian effects of two natural compounds curcumin and nicotinamide using C. elegans as a model organism.

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Singlet oxygen production analysis of reduced berberine analogs via NMR spectroscopy

Su et al. | Feb 10, 2023

Singlet oxygen production analysis of reduced berberine analogs via NMR spectroscopy

Berberine is a natural product isoquinoline alkaloid derived from plants of the genus Berberis. When exposed to photoirradiation, it produces singlet oxygen through photosensitization of triplet oxygen. Through qNMR analysis of 1H NMR spectra gathered through kinetic experiments, we were able to track the generation of a product between singlet oxygen and alpha terpinene, allowing us to quantitatively measure the photosensitizing properties of our scaffolds.

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Reactivity-informed design, synthesis, and Michael addition kinetics of C-ring andrographolide analogs

Zhou et al. | Nov 17, 2022

Reactivity-informed design, synthesis, and Michael addition kinetics of C-ring andrographolide analogs

Here, based on the identification of androgapholide as a potential therapeutic treatment against cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, due to its ability to inhibit a signaling pathway in immune system function, the authors sought ways to optimize the natural product human systems by manipulating its chemical structure. Through the semisynthesis of a natural product along with computational studies, the authors developed an understanding of the kinetic mechanisms of andrographolide and semisynthetic analogs in the context of Michael additions.

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The Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation and the Antioxidant Curcumin on the Longevity, Fertility, and Physical Structure of Drosophila melanogaster: Can We Defend Our DNA?

Lateef et al. | May 18, 2019

The Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation and the Antioxidant Curcumin on the Longevity, Fertility, and Physical Structure of <em>Drosophila melanogaster</em>: Can We Defend Our DNA?

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is known to alter DNA structure and impair cellular function in all living organisms. In this study, Lateef et al examine the effects of UV radiation to determine whether antioxidant-enriched nutrition can combat the potential deleterious effects of UV radiation on Drosophila melanogaster. They found that UVB (320nm) radiation caused a 59% decrease in the Drosophila lifespan and mutagenic effects on flies' physical appearance, but did not significantly affect fertility. Curcumin significantly prolonged lifespan and enhanced fertility for both UV- and non-UV-exposed flies. The research demonstrates the positive potential of natural antioxidants as weapons against radiation-induced diseases including cancer.

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The non-nutritive sweeteners acesulfame potassium and neotame slow the regeneration rate of planaria

Russo et al. | Nov 29, 2023

The non-nutritive sweeteners acesulfame potassium and neotame slow the regeneration rate of planaria
Image credit: Russo et al. 2023

The consumption of sugar substitute non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) has dramatically increased in recent years. Despite being advertised as a healthy alternative, NNS have been linked to adverse effects on the body, such as neurodegenerative diseases (NDs). In NDs, neural stem cell function is impaired, which inhibits neuron regeneration. The purpose of this study was to determine if the NNS acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) and neotame affect planaria neuron regeneration rates. Since human neurons may regenerate, planaria, organisms with extensive regenerative capabilities due to stem cells called neoblasts, were used as the model organism. The heads of planaria exposed to either a control or non-toxic concentrations of NNS were amputated. The posterior regions of the planaria were observed every 24 hours to see the following regeneration stages: (1) wound healing, (2) blastema development, (3) growth, and (4) differentiation. The authors hypothesized that exposure to the NNS would slow planaria regeneration rates. The time it took for the planaria in the Ace-K group and the neotame group to reach the second, third, and fourth regeneration stage was significantly greater than that of the control. The results of this study indicated that exposure to the NNS significantly slowed regeneration rates in planaria. This suggests that the NNS may adversely impact neoblast proliferation rates in planaria, implying that it could impair neural stem cell proliferation in humans, which plays a role in NDs. This study may provide insight into the connection between NNS, human neuron regeneration, and NDs.

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OLED Screens Better Exhibit the Color Black than LCD Screens

Donahue et al. | Nov 04, 2020

 OLED Screens Better Exhibit the Color Black than LCD Screens

There are two types of competing TV screens on the market, organic light emitting diode (OLED) and liquid crystal display (LCD). The better capability to exhibit black results in higher contrast images. Here, authors compared the ability of the two types of screens to show black in an environment eliminating external light.

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Estimation of Reproduction Number of Influenza in Greece using SIR Model

Skarpeti et al. | Nov 18, 2020

Estimation of Reproduction Number of Influenza in Greece using SIR Model

In this study, we developed an algorithm to estimate the contact rate and the average infectious period of influenza using a Susceptible, Infected, and Recovered (SIR) epidemic model. The parameters in this model were estimated using data on infected Greek individuals collected from the National Public Health Organization. Our model labeled influenza as an epidemic with a basic reproduction value greater than one.

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Investigating the Role of Biotic Factors in Host Responses to Rhizobia in the System Medicago truncatula

Rathod et al. | Jan 22, 2019

Investigating the Role of Biotic Factors in Host Responses to Rhizobia in the System Medicago truncatula

Nitrogen-fixing bacteria, such as the legume mutualist rhizobia, convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that is usable by living organisms. Leguminous plants, like the model species Medicago truncatula, directly benefit from this process by forming a symbiotic relationship with rhizobia. Here, Rathod and Rowe investigate how M. truncatula responds to non-rhizobial bacterial partners.

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