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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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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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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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Comparing the effects of electronic cigarette smoke and conventional cigarette smoke on lung cancer viability

Choe et al. | Sep 18, 2022

Comparing the effects of electronic cigarette smoke and conventional cigarette smoke on lung cancer viability

Here, recognizing the significant growth of electronic cigarettes in recent years, the authors sought to test a hypothesis that three main components of the liquid solutions used in e-cigarettes might affect lung cancer cell viability. In a study performed by exposing A549 cells, human lung cancer cells, to different types of smoke extracts, the authors found that increasing levels of nicotine resulted in improve lung cancer cell viability up until the toxicity of nicotine resulted in cell death. They conclude that these results suggest that contrary to conventional thought e-cigarettes may be more dangerous than tobacco cigarettes in certain contexts.

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Evaluation of platelet-rich plasma vs. platelet lysate: VEGF and PDGF concentration, stability, and shelf life

Prasad et al. | Mar 30, 2022

Evaluation of platelet-rich plasma vs. platelet lysate: VEGF and PDGF concentration, stability, and shelf life

Cell-free biologicals are a novel method of treating clinical conditions which involve chronic inflammation such as tendonitis and osteoarthritis. This study compared platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in platelet-rich plasma (PRP), activated PRP (aPRP), and platelet lysate (PL). It was hypothesized that PL would contain higher concentrations of growth factors than PRP and that different storage temperatures for PL would diminish cytokine expression. Results demonstrated PL had the highest concentrations of both cytokines, with concentrations slightly diminishing at-80C. aPRP and PRP demonstrated lower concentrations of PDGF and VEGF than PL.

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Modulation of VEGF and TGF beta in 5-FU induced inflammation in MCF-7 using an herbal formulation

Vinay Nair et al. | Jun 03, 2022

Modulation of VEGF and TGF beta in 5-FU induced inflammation in MCF-7 using an herbal formulation

Acquired drug resistance is an increasing challenge in treating cancer with chemotherapy. One mechanism
behind this resistance is the increased inflammation that supports the progression and development of
cancer that arises because of the drug’s presence. Integrative oncology is the field that focuses on including natural products alongside traditional therapy to create a treatment that focuses on holistic patient well-being.
In this study, the authors demonstrate that the use of an herbal formulation, consisting of turmeric and green tea, alongside a traditional chemotherapeutic drug, 5-fluorouracil (FU) significantly decreases the level of cytokines produced in breast cancer cells when compared to the levels produced when exposed solely to the chemo drug. The authors conclude that this combination of treatment, based on the principle of integrative oncology, shows potential for reducing the resistance against treatment conferred through increased inflammation. Consequently, this suggests a prospective way forward in improving the efficacy of cancer treatment.

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Zinc-related Treatments Combined with Chloroquine and Gemcitabine for Treating Pancreatic Cancer

Ma et al. | Sep 11, 2021

Zinc-related Treatments Combined with Chloroquine and Gemcitabine for Treating Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, with a 10% 5-year survival rate. The authors studied various dosages of TPEN and zinc in combination with Chloroquine and Gemcitabine as treatments to reduce cell proliferation. Results showed that when combined with Chloroquine and Gemcitabine, zinc and TPEN both significantly lowered cell proliferation compared to Gemcitabine, suggesting a synergistic effect that resulted in a more cytotoxic treatment. Further research and clinical trials on this topic are needed to determine whether this could be a viable treatment for pancreatic cancer.

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