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High-throughput virtual screening of novel dihydropyrimidine monastrol analogs reveals robust structure-activity relationship to kinesin Eg5 binding thermodynamics

Shern et al. | Jan 20, 2021

High-throughput virtual screening of novel dihydropyrimidine monastrol analogs reveals robust structure-activity relationship to kinesin Eg5 binding thermodynamics

As cancer continues to take millions of lives worldwide, the need to create effective therapeutics for the disease persists. The kinesin Eg5 assembly motor protein is a promising target for cancer therapeutics as inhibition of this protein leads to cell cycle arrest. Monastrol, a small dihydropyrimidine-based molecule capable of inhibiting the kinesin Eg5 function, has attracted the attention of medicinal chemists with its potency, affinity, and specificity to the highly targeted loop5/α2/α3 allosteric binding pocket. In this work, we employed high-throughput virtual screening (HTVS) to identify potential small molecule Eg5 inhibitors from a designed set of novel dihydropyrimidine analogs structurally similar to monastrol.

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The effect of the consumption of the probiotic B. infantis on ethanol withdrawal symptoms in planaria (Dugesia dorotocephala)

McCandless et al. | Mar 16, 2021

The effect of the consumption of the probiotic B. infantis on ethanol withdrawal symptoms in planaria (Dugesia dorotocephala)

Alcohol use disorder is a chronic, relapsing disease that affects millions of Americans every day. There are limited treatment options for alcohol dependence and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, including depression and anxiety. Previous studies have shown that probiotics can decrease depression in rodents during maternal separation and anxiety in humans. Therefore, we hypothesized that the ethanol-withdrawn planaria who consumed probiotics would have decreased withdrawal symptoms as measured by increased motility compared to the ethanol-withdrawn planaria that were not fed probiotics. The ethanol-withdrawn planaria had a statistically significant decrease in motility compared to the control group, while the planaria that consumed probiotics had no statistically significant change in motility compared to the control group.

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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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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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The effects of Helianthus Annuus on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis using Drosophila Melanogaster

Srinivasan et al. | Oct 13, 2022

The effects of <em>Helianthus Annuus</em> on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis using <em>Drosophila Melanogaster</em>

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) affects nearly 200,000 people worldwide and there is currently no cure. The purpose of the study was to determine if Helianthus annuus seeds helped reduce nerve degeneration and increase locomotion using Drosophila melanogaster as the model organism. Through this experiment, we found a general trend suggesting that H. annuus helped increase the mobility of the D. melanogaster suggesting it could be a viable supplement for patients with ALS.

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The role of xpa-1 and him-1 in UV protection of Caenorhabditis elegans

Tung et al. | Feb 25, 2022

The role of <em>xpa-1</em> and <em>him-1</em> in UV protection of <em>Caenorhabditis elegans</em>

Caenorhabditis elegans xpa-1 and him-1 are orthologs of human XPA and human SMC1A, respectively. Mutations in the XPA are correlated with Xeroderma pigmentosum, a condition that induces hypersensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Alternatively, SMC1A mutations may lead to Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, a multi-organ disorder that makes patients more sensitive to UVinduced DNA damage. Both C. elegans genes have been found to be involved in protection against UV radiation, but their combined effects have not been tested when they are both knocked down. The authors hypothesized that because these genes are involved in separate pathways, the simultaneous knockdown of both of these genes using RNA interference (RNAi) in C. elegans will cause them to become more sensitive to UV radiation than either of them knocked down individually. UV protection was measured via the percent survival of C. elegans post 365 nm and 5.4x10-19 joules of UV radiation. The double xpa-1/him-1 RNAi knockdown showed a significantly reduced percent survival after 15 and 30 minutes of UV radiation relative to wild-type and xpa-1 and him-1 single knockdowns. These measurements were consistent with their hypothesis and demonstrated that xpa-1 and him-1 genes play distinct roles in resistance against UV stress in C. elegans. This result raises the possibility that the xpa-1/him-1 double knockdown could be useful as an animal model for studying the human disease Xeroderma pigmentosum and Cornelia de Lange Syndrome.

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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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