Here, the authors investigated the role of nonpharmacological interventions in preventing or delaying cognitive impairment in individuals with and without dementia. By using a retrospective case-control study of 22 participants across two senior centers in San Diego, they found no significant differences in self-reported activities. However, they found that their results reflected activity rather than the activity itself, suggesting the need for an alternative type of study.
Naturally occurring neuroactive alkaloids are often studied for their potential to treat Neurological diseases. This team of students study Rivastigmine, a potent cholinesterase inhibitor that is a synthetic analog of physostigmine, which comes from the Calabar bean plant Physostigma venenosum. By comparing the effects of optimized synthetic analogs to the naturally occurring alkaloid, they determine the most favorable analog for inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), the enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) to terminate neuronal transmission and signaling between synapses.
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.
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.
Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant brain tumor with the highest fraction of genome alterations (FGA), manifesting poor disease-free status (DFS) and overall survival (OS). We explored The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and cBioportal public dataset- Firehose legacy GBM to study DNA repair genes Activating Signal Cointegrator 1 Complex Subunit 3 (ASCC3) and Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase AlkB Homolog 3 (ALKBH3). To test our hypothesis that these genes have correlations with FGA and can better determine prognosis and survival, we sorted the dataset to arrive at 254 patients. Analyzing using RStudio, both ASCC3 and ALKBH3 demonstrated hypomethylation in 82.3% and 61.8% of patients, respectively. Interestingly, low mRNA expression was observed in both these genes. We further conducted correlation tests between both methylation and mRNA expression of these genes with FGA. ASCC3 was found to be negatively correlated, while ALKBH3 was found to be positively correlated, potentially indicating contrasting dysregulation of these two genes. Prognostic analysis showed the following: ASCC3 hypomethylation is significant with DFS and high ASCC3 mRNA expression to be significant with OS, demonstrating ASCC3’s potential as disease prediction marker.
In this study, the authors use bioinformatic approaches to characterize the mirror neurons, which are active when performing and seeing certain actions. They also investigated whether mirror neuron impairment was connected to neural degenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders.
Hemani et al. tackled the problem of rampant hospital waste by implementing staff training to help inform hospital workers about proper waste disposal. The authors observed a significant increase in proper waste disposal after the training, showing that simple strategies, such as in-person classroom training and posters, can have a profound effect on limiting improper waste handling.
Coronary artery bypass grafts are a common technique to treat coronary heart disease. The authors compared the efficacy of suturing and stapling techniques using an artificial heart pump and silicone tubing and found that suturing, while more time and skill intensive, held pressure in the tubing better than stapling.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are two of the fastest growing comorbid diseases in the world. Using publicly available datasets from the National Institute for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Ravi and Lee conducted a differential gene expression analysis using 184 blood samples from either control individuals or individuals with comorbid MDD and PTSD. As a result, the authors identified 253 highly differentially-expressed genes, with enrichment for proteins in the gene ontology group 'Ribosomal Pathway'. These genes may be used as blood-based biomarkers for susceptibility to MDD or PTSD, and to tailor treatments within a personalized medicine regime.
Some spices have antimicrobial or antibacterial properties that people have already tested. Turmeric has a wide variety of uses and has even been implemented in alternative medicine as a treatment for cancer, inflammation, osteoarthritis, and other diseases. We tested the antimicrobial effects of turmeric under two different pHs to characterize this effect in vitro. Decreasing the pH of a solution of turmeric may increase antibacterial properties.