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The Prevalence of Brain-Eating Roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis in Merrick County, Nebraska

Reeves et al. | Sep 20, 2018

The Prevalence of Brain-Eating Roundworm <i>Baylisascaris procyonis</i> in Merrick County, Nebraska

The authors investigated an important parasite-host relationship between the raccoon roundworm and the raccoon to understand how parasite prevalence is affected by location. They found that the parasite infection was more prevalent in raccoons found closer to human dwellings, though the number of roundworm eggs was not significantly different. These results are important human health, since roundworm infection is lethal to humans and can be transmitted from raccoons to humans - the authors suggest that more research into this parasite and awareness of its prevalence is needed to prevent disease.

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The Protective Antioxidant Effects of Sulforaphane on Germinating Radish Seeds Treated with Hydrogen Peroxide

Dasuri et al. | Feb 19, 2021

The Protective Antioxidant Effects of Sulforaphane on Germinating Radish Seeds Treated with Hydrogen Peroxide

Free radical chain reactions result when atoms containing unpaired electrons bind with biomolecules and alter their biological functions, contributing to the progression of diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, and diabetes. Antioxidants, such as vitamin E and sulforaphane, are effective neutralizers of free radicals and prevent cellular damage. This present study is conducted to determine the relative effectiveness of sulforaphane against free radicals generated by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) compared with the known antioxidant vitamin E.

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Comparative singlet oxygen photosensitizer efficiency of berberine, rose bengal, and methylene blue by time course nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) monitoring of a photochemical 4+2 cycloaddition endoperoxide formation

Su et al. | May 14, 2021

Comparative singlet oxygen photosensitizer efficiency of berberine, rose bengal, and methylene blue by time course nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) monitoring of a photochemical 4+2 cycloaddition endoperoxide formation

Berberine, a natural product alkaloid, has been shown to exert biological activity via in situ production of singlet oxygen when photo irradiated. Berberine utilizes singlet oxygen in its putative mechanism of action, wherein it forms an activated complex with DNA and photosensitizes triplet oxygen to singlet oxygen to specifically oxidize guanine residues, thereby halting cell replication and leading to cell death. This has potential application in photodynamic therapy, alongside other such compounds which also act as photosensitizers and produce singlet oxygen in situ. The quantification of singlet oxygen in various photosensitizers, including berberine, is essential for determining their photosensitizer efficiencies. We postulated that the singlet oxygen produced by photoirradiation of berberine would be superior in terms of singlet oxygen production to the aforementioned photosensitizers when irradiated with UV light, but inferior under visible light conditions, due to its strong absorbance of UV wavelengths.

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Identifying Neural Networks that Implement a Simple Spatial Concept

Zirvi et al. | Sep 13, 2022

Identifying Neural Networks that Implement a Simple Spatial Concept

Modern artificial neural networks have been remarkably successful in various applications, from speech recognition to computer vision. However, it remains less clear whether they can implement abstract concepts, which are essential to generalization and understanding. To address this problem, the authors investigated the above vs. below task, a simple concept-based task that honeybees can solve, using a conventional neural network. They found that networks achieved 100% test accuracy when a visual target was presented below a black bar, however only 50% test accuracy when a visual target was presented below a reference shape.

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Anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and apoptotic activities of MAT20, a poly-herbal formulation.

Kashyap Jha et al. | Mar 29, 2022

Anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and apoptotic activities of MAT20, a poly-herbal formulation.

Kashyap Jha et al. look at the formulation of MAT20, a crude extract of the moringa, amla, and tulsi leaves, as a potential complementary and alternative medicine. Using HeLa cells, they find MAT20 up-regulates expression of inflammation and cell cytotoxicity markers. Their data is important for understanding the anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties of MAT20.

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The Effect of Caffeine on the Regeneration of Brown Planaria (Dugesia tigrina)

Lazorik et al. | May 10, 2019

The Effect of Caffeine on the Regeneration of Brown Planaria (<em>Dugesia tigrina</em>)

The degeneration of nerve cells in the brain can lead to pathologies such as Parkinson’s disease. It has been suggested that neurons in humans may regenerate. In this study, the effect of different doses of caffeine on regeneration was explored in the planeria model. Caffeine has been shown to enhance dopamine production, and dopamine is found in high concentrations in regenerating planeria tissues. Higher doses of caffeine accelerated planeria regeneration following decapitation, indicating a potential role for caffeine as a treatment to stimulate regeneration.

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Comparing the Dietary Preference of Caenorhabditis elegans for Bacterial Probiotics vs. Escherichia coli.

Lulla et al. | Dec 18, 2020

Comparing the Dietary Preference of <i>Caenorhabditis elegans</i> for Bacterial Probiotics vs. <i>Escherichia coli</i>.

In this experiment, the authors used C. elegans as a simple model organism to observe the impact of probiotics on the human digestive system. The results of the experiments showed that the C. elegans were, on average, most present in Chobani cultures over other tested yogurts. While not statistically significant, these results still demonstrated that C. elegans might prefer Chobani cultures over other probiotic yogurts, which may also indicate greater gut benefits from Chobani over the other yogurt brands tested.

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Comparing the Effects of Different Natural Products on Reducing Tumor Growth in a Drosophila Model

Ganesh et al. | May 31, 2020

Comparing the Effects of Different Natural Products on Reducing Tumor Growth in a <i>Drosophila</i> Model

In this work, the authors compared the effects of common natural products, including sesame, cinnamon, garlic, moringa and turmeric on tumor growth in Drosophila eyes. The data showed that these natural products cannot be used to reduce tumor growth once it has completely formed. However, the data suggested that some natural products can reduce cancer cell growth when tumors are treated early.

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