Androgens are natural or synthetic steroid hormones that control secondary male sex characteristics. Androgens are excreted in cattle urine and feces, and can run off or seep into nearby waters, negatively impacting aquatic life and potentially polluting human water sources. Here, the authors investigated the effectiveness of soil as a natural barrier against androgen flow into vulnerable waterways. Their results, obtained by testing diffusion patterns of luminol, an androgen chemical analog, indicated that soil is a poor barrier to androgen diffusion.
This study explored the various effects of three different produce-based biofertilizers on pea plant growth, using red apple, pear, strawberry, and control treatments. It was hypothesized that the application of fruit biomatter would increase the growth of pea plants, with the application of strawberry biomatter having the most significant effect due to strawberries containing a higher nutrient content compared to pears and apples. Analysis confirmed the hypothesis. The application of strawberry biomatter could prove to be an effective way to increase plant growth in commercial agriculture.
In the United States, there are currently 17.8 million affected by atopic dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema. It is characterized by itching and skin inflammation. AD patients are at higher risk for infections, depression, cancer, and suicide. Genetics, environment, and stress are some of the causes of the disease. With the rise of personalized medicine and the acceptance of gene-editing technologies, AD-related variations need to be identified for treatment. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have associated the Filaggrin (FLG) gene with AD but have not identified specific problematic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This research aimed to refine known SNPs of FLG for gene editing technologies to establish a causal link between specific SNPs and the diseases and to target the polymorphisms. The research utilized R and its Bioconductor packages to refine data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI's) Variation Viewer. The algorithm filtered the dataset by coding regions and conserved domains. The algorithm also removed synonymous variations and treated non-synonymous, frameshift, and nonsense separately. The non-synonymous variations were refined and ordered by the BLOSUM62 substitution matrix. Overall, the analysis removed 96.65% of data, which was redundant or not the focus of the research and ordered the remaining relevant data by impact. The code for the project can also be repurposed as a tool for other diseases. The research can help solve GWAS's imprecise identification challenge. This research is the first step in providing the refined databases required for gene-editing treatment.
FBS is an important component in in vitro cell culture work, helping to provide needed nutrients to cells to grow. The authors look at the ability of an alternative to FBS to support cell growth in culture.
Anti-diabetic drugs like Metformin are known to increase gut permeability, and this has a negative impact on patient health. These authors hypothesized that this can be mitigated using purple sweet potato extract, which is high anthocyanin content, that feeds bacteria metabolism to decrease gut permeability.
In order for cells to successfully multiply, a number of proteins are needed to correctly coordinate the replication and division process. In this study, students use fluorescence microscopy and molecular methods to study CCDC11, a protein critical in the formation of cilia. Interestingly, they uncover a new role for CCDC11, critical in the cell division across multiple human cell lines.
The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is faint electromagnetic radiation left over from early stages in the formation of the universe. In order to analyze the CMB, scientists need to remove from electromagnetic data foreground radiation that contaminates CMB datasets. In this study, students utilize extensive updated datasets to analyze the correlation between CMB maps and Faraday RM and WMAP sky maps.
Scientists are always on the quest to improve the body's healing abilities and broken bones are no exception. In this article, the authors investigate properties of 3D-printed biocompatible polymers used to improve bone healing. With such efforts, we can hope to, one day, improve bone scaffolding materials in ways that make the natural healing processes more efficient, reducing the time needed for recovery from bone fractures.
In this study, the authors investigate whether the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of teens. Using data from a study done in Islamabad, Pakistan, the authors find that many teens between the ages of 13 and 19 show signs of mental illness. This study reports important data regarding the mental health of youth and points toward an increased need to address this topic during the pandemic.