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Effects of Wi-Fi EMF on Drosophila melanogaster

Anand et al. | Jan 29, 2020

Effects of Wi-Fi EMF on <em>Drosophila melanogaster</em>

While increased access to Wi-Fi has been a great advancement, we have a limited understanding if there are any health effects on animals. In this study, Anand and Anand exposed fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) to different concentrations of Wi-Fi electromagnetic fields, and observed effects on their reproduction and survivability.

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Phospholipase A2 increases the sensitivity of doxorubicin induced cell death in 3D breast cancer cell models

Lee et al. | Mar 30, 2022

Phospholipase A2 increases the sensitivity of doxorubicin induced cell death in 3D breast cancer cell models

Inefficient penetration of cancer drugs into the interior of the three-dimensional (3D) tumor tissue limits drugs' delivery. The authors hypothesized that the addition of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) would increase the permeability of the drug doxorubicin for efficient drug penetration. They found that 1 mM PLA2 had the highest permeability. Increased efficiency in drug delivery would allow lower concentrations of drugs to be used, minimizing damage to normal cells.

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Effect of heme vs. non-heme iron supplements on gut microbiome fitness

Dogra et al. | Nov 07, 2022

Effect of heme vs. non-heme iron supplements on gut microbiome fitness

Here, based on identification of iron deficiencies of a majority of people around the world, the authors sought to understand how the two main forms of dietary iron, heme and non-heme, affect the bacteria found in the human gut. by using a cell plate study, they found that bacterial growth increased with increasing concentration os either form of iron, up until the point where the high iron content resulted in cytotoxicity. They suggest this evidence points to the potential dangers of overconsumption of iron.

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The impact of timing and magnitude of the El Niño- Southern Oscillation on local precipitation levels and temperatures in the Bay Area

Li et al. | May 09, 2021

The impact of timing and magnitude of the El Niño- Southern Oscillation on local precipitation levels and temperatures in the Bay Area

Understanding the relationships between temperature, MEI, SPI, and CO2 concentration is important as they measure the major influencers of California’s regional climate: temperature, ENSO, precipitation, and atmospheric CO2. In this article, the authors analyzed temperature, Multivariate El Niño-Southern Oscillation Index (MEI), and Standard Precipitation Index (SPI) data from the San Francisco Bay Area from 1971 to 2016. They also analyzed CO2 records from Mauna Loa, HI for the same time period, along with the annual temperature anomalies for the Bay Area.

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Modeling the effects of acid rain on bacterial growth

Shah et al. | Nov 17, 2020

Modeling the effects of acid rain on bacterial growth

Acid rain has caused devastating decreases in ecosystems across the globe. To mimic the effect of acid rain on the environment, the authors analyzed the growth of gram-negative (Escherichia coli) and gram-positive (Staphylococcus epidermidis) bacteria in agar solutions with different pH levels. Results show that in a given acidic environment there was a significant decrease in bacterial growth with an increase in vinegar concentration in the agar, suggesting that bacterial growth is impacted by the pH of the environment. Therefore, increased levels of acid rain could potentially harm the ecosystem by altering bacterial growth.

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An analysis of the distribution of microplastics along the South Shore of Long Island, NY

Sanderson et al. | Sep 21, 2020

An analysis of the distribution of microplastics along the South Shore of Long Island, NY

This study is focused on the distribution of microplastics in Long Island, NY. Microplastics are plastic particles that measure less than 5 mm in length and pose an environmental risk due to their size, composition, and ubiquitous location in the marine environment. Focusing on the South Shore of Long Island, the authors investigated the locations and concentrations of microplastics at four locations along the shore line. While they did not find significant differences in the number of microplastics per location, there were microplastics at all four locations. This finding is important to drive future research and environmental policy as well.

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Osmotic characteristics of water retention structures of Bursera microphylla in relation to soil salinity

Groom et al. | Jul 12, 2023

Osmotic characteristics of water retention structures of <i>Bursera microphylla</i> in relation to soil salinity
Image credit: Lisa Fotios

This study hypothesized that sodium chloride was taken up through plant root structures to facilitate water transportation, and that sodium chloride accumulation was directly proportional to the soil salinity. Results showed that most cells within the “bulb” structures were isotonic at a concentration approximately twice as high as that of root tissue and ambient soil salinity, therefore supporting the presented hypothesis.

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Combinatorial treatment by siNOTCH and retinoic acid decreases A172 brain cancer cell growth

Richardson et al. | Nov 14, 2022

Combinatorial treatment by siNOTCH and retinoic acid decreases A172 brain cancer cell growth

Treatments inhibiting Notch signaling pathways have been explored by researchers as a new approach for the treatment of glioblastoma tumors, which is a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumor. Recently, retinoic acid (RA) therapy, which inhibits Notch signaling, has shown a promising effect on inhibiting glioblastoma progression. RA, which is a metabolite of vitamin A, is very important in embryonic cellular development, which includes the regulation of multiple developmental processes, such as brain neurogenesis. However, high doses of RA treatment caused many side effects such as headaches, nausea, redness around the injection site, or allergic reactions. Therefore, we hypothesized that a combination treatment of RA and siRNA targeting NOTCH1 (siNOTCH1), the essential gene that activates Notch signaling, would effectively inhibit brain cancer cell proliferation. The aim of the study was to determine whether inhibiting NOTCH1 would inhibit the growth of brain cancer cells by cell viability assay. We found that the combination treatment of siNOTCH1 and RA in low concentration effectively decreased the NOTCH1 expression level compared to the individual treatments. However, the combination treatment condition significantly decreased the number of live brain cancer cells only at a low concentration of RA. We anticipate that this novel combination treatment can provide a solution to the side effects of chemotherapy.

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Sepia bandensis ink inhibits polymerase chain reactions

Novoselov et al. | Sep 21, 2020

<em>Sepia bandensis</em> ink inhibits polymerase chain reactions

While cephalopods play significant roles in both ecosystems and medical research, there is currently no assembled genome. In an attempt to sequence the Sepia bandensis genome, it was found that there was inhibition from the organism during DNA extraction, resulting in PCR failure. In this study, researchers tested the hypothesis that S. bandensis ink inhibits PCR. They then assessed the impact of ink on multiple methods of DNA extraction

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