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Are alkaline spices the future of antibiotics?

Jani et al. | Jan 23, 2022

Are alkaline spices the future of antibiotics?

The authors experimented with several commonly available alkaline spices (turmeric, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon) to study their antimicrobial properties, hypothesizing that alkaline spices would have antimicrobial activity. Results showed a zone of inhibition of bacterial growth, with the largest zone of inhibition being around turmeric, followed by cayenne pepper, and the smallest around cinnamon. These results are impactful, as common alkaline spices generally do show antibacterial properties and both bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects correlated with degree of alkalinity.

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The extent to which storefront alcohol advertising differs by community profile in Michigan

Voyt et al. | May 17, 2023

The extent to which storefront alcohol advertising differs by community profile in Michigan
Image credit: Steve Harvey

Here, recognizing that alcohol manufacturers may target ethnic minorities and youths with specific forms of advertisements based on previous studies, the authors considered how alcohol storefronts differ depending on the community they are located in. Specifically, they looked at differences between Metro-Dtroit suburban communities of high- and low-incomes. They found that alcohol stores in the low-income areas had more and larger alcohol and malt liquor advertisements per store along with being within 1,000 feet of a school.

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Analyzing breath sounds by using deep learning in diagnosing bronchial blockages with artificial lung

Bae et al. | Jan 22, 2024

Analyzing breath sounds by using deep learning in diagnosing bronchial blockages with artificial lung

Many common respiratory illnesses like bronchitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) lead to bronchial inflammation and, subsequently, a blockage. However, there are many difficulties in measuring the severity of the blockage. A numeric metric to determine the degree of the blockage severity is necessary. To tackle this demand, we aimed to develop a novel human respiratory model and design a deep-learning program that can constantly monitor and report bronchial blockage by recording breath sounds in a non-intrusive way.

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Can essential oils be allelopathic to Lolium multiforum without harming Solanum lycopersicum?

Madan et al. | Nov 13, 2021

 Can essential oils be allelopathic to <em>Lolium multiforum</em> without harming <em>Solanum lycopersicum</em>?

Seeking to investigate eco-friendly biological methods to control weeds and enhance food crop yields, here the authors considered the effects of three essential oils on seed germination and radicle length of both a weed and a common crop. They found that treatment with turmeric oil had phytotoxic potential, leading to a reduction in both seed germination and radicle length of the weed. In contrast, ginger oil possessed allelopathic properties towards both. The authors suggest that essential oils could be used as eco-friendly bio-herbicides.

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Young People Drinking: The Effect of Group Size on Drinking Habits

Palermo et al. | May 10, 2018

Young People Drinking: The Effect of Group Size on Drinking Habits

Palermo et al. examined the effect of group size on drinking habits of college and high school students. The authors found that both high school and college students tended to consume the most alcohol in group sizes of 4 or more, independent of how frequently they drink. They also found that the proportion of college students that drink is nearly twice the proportion of high school students that drink. This study supports previous findings that underage drinking happens in large groups and suggests that effective intervention in underage drinking would be at the group level.

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Specific Transcription Factors Distinguish Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Fibroblasts

Park et al. | Aug 16, 2019

Specific Transcription Factors Distinguish Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Fibroblasts

Stem cells are at the forefront of research in regenerative medicine and cell therapy. Two essential properties of stem cells are self-renewal and potency, having the ability to specialize into different types of cells. Here, Park and Jeong took advantage of previously identified stem cell transcription factors associated with potency to differentiate umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (US-MSCs) from morphologically similar fibroblasts. Western blot analysis of the transcription factors Klf4, Nanog, and Sox2 revealed their expression was unique to US-MSCs providing insight for future methods of differentiating between these cell lines.

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Fingerprint patterns through genetics

O'Brien et al. | Dec 02, 2020

Fingerprint patterns through genetics

This study explores the link between fingerprints and genetics by analyzing familial fingerprints to show how the fingerprints between family members, and in particular siblings, could be very similar. The hypothesis was that the fingerprints between siblings would be very similar and the dominant fingerprint features within the family would be the same throughout the generations. Fingerprints between the siblings showed a trend of similarity, with only very small differences which makes these fingerprints unique. This work helps to support the link between fingerprints and genetics while providing a modern technological application.

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Enhancing activity of antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus with Shuang-Huang-Lian

Liu et al. | Sep 29, 2022

Enhancing activity of antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus with Shuang-Huang-Lian

Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen in both hospitals and the community and can cause systemic infections such as pneumonia. Multi-drug resistant strains, such as Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) are particularly worrisome. In order to reduce the development of bacterial resistance, we hypothesized that two selected traditional Chinese medicines, Shuang-Huang-Lian (SHL) and Lan-Qin, would be effective against S. aureus. The results showed that SHL had a synergistic effect with gentamicin as well as additive effects with penicillin and cefazolin against S. aureus compared with using antibiotics alone.

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The Clinical Accuracy of Non-Invasive Glucose Monitoring for ex vivo Artificial Pancreas

Levy et al. | Jul 10, 2016

The Clinical Accuracy of Non-Invasive Glucose Monitoring for <i>ex vivo</i> Artificial Pancreas

Diabetes is a serious worldwide epidemic that affects a growing portion of the population. While the most common method for testing blood glucose levels involves finger pricking, it is painful and inconvenient for patients. The authors test a non-invasive method to measure glucose levels from diabetic patients, and investigate whether the method is clinically accurate and universally applicable.

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Estimating Paleoenvironments Utilizing Foraminiferal Fossils from the Toyohama Formation, Aichi Prefecture, Central Japan

Kimitsuki et al. | Dec 11, 2017

Estimating Paleoenvironments Utilizing Foraminiferal Fossils from the Toyohama Formation, Aichi Prefecture, Central Japan

Foraminifera are a diverse phylum of marine protists that produce elaborate shells. Because of their abundance and morphological diversity, foraminiferal fossil assemblages are used for biostratigraphy, to accurately date sedimentary rocks and to characterize past ocean environments. In this paper, authors collected fossils within the Morozaki Group in central Honshu, Japan, to assess past marine environments and species diversity.

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