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Societal awareness regarding viral Hepatitis in developed and developing countries

Srivastava et al. | Oct 03, 2022

Societal awareness regarding viral Hepatitis in developed and developing countries

Many cases of viral hepatitis are easily preventable if caught early; however, a lack of public awareness regarding often leads to diagnoses near the final stages of disease when it is most lethal. Thus, we wanted to understand to what extent an individual's sex, age, education and country of residence (India or Singapore) impacts disease identification. We sent out a survey and quiz to residents in India (n = 239) and Singapore (n = 130) with questions that test their knowledge and awareness of the disease. We hypothesized that older and more educated individuals would score higher because they are more experienced, but that the Indian population will not be as knowledgeable as the Singaporean population because they do not have as many resources, such as socioeconomic access to schools and accessibility to healthcare, available to them. Additionally, we predicted that there would not be any notable differences between make and females. The results revealed that the accuracy for all groups we looked at was primarily below 50%, demonstrating a severe knowledge gap. Therefore, we concluded that if more medical professionals discussed viral hepatitis during hospital visits and in schools, patients can avoid the end stages of the disease in notable cases.

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An efficient approach to automated geometry diagram parsing

Date et al. | Oct 02, 2022

An efficient approach to automated geometry diagram parsing

Here, beginning from an initial interest in the possibility to use a computer to automatically solve a geometry diagram parser, the authors developed their own Fast Geometry Diagram Parser (FastGDP) that uses clustering and corner information. They compared their own methods to a more widely available, method, GeoSolver, finding their own to be an order of magnitude faster in most cases that they considered.

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Does technology help or hurt learning? Evidence from middle school and high school students

Lu et al. | Oct 02, 2022

Does technology help or hurt learning? Evidence from middle school and high school students

Here, recognizing the vastly different opinion held regarding device usage, the authors considered the effects of technology use on middle and high school students' learning effectiveness. Using an anonymous online survey they found partial support that device use at school increases learning effectiveness, but found strong support for a negative effect of technology use at home on learning effectiveness. Based on their findings they suggest that the efficacy of technology depends on environmental context along with other important factors that need consideration.

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Enhancing activity of antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus with Shuang-Huang-Lian

Liu et al. | Sep 29, 2022

Enhancing activity of antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus with Shuang-Huang-Lian

Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen in both hospitals and the community and can cause systemic infections such as pneumonia. Multi-drug resistant strains, such as Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) are particularly worrisome. In order to reduce the development of bacterial resistance, we hypothesized that two selected traditional Chinese medicines, Shuang-Huang-Lian (SHL) and Lan-Qin, would be effective against S. aureus. The results showed that SHL had a synergistic effect with gentamicin as well as additive effects with penicillin and cefazolin against S. aureus compared with using antibiotics alone.

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Contrasting role of ASCC3 and ALKBH3 in determining genomic alterations in Glioblastoma Multiforme

Sriram et al. | Sep 27, 2022

Contrasting role of <i>ASCC3</i> and <i>ALKBH3</i> in determining genomic alterations in Glioblastoma Multiforme

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.

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Risk assessment modeling for childhood stunting using automated machine learning and demographic analysis

Sirohi et al. | Sep 25, 2022

Risk assessment modeling for childhood stunting using automated machine learning and demographic analysis

Over the last few decades, childhood stunting has persisted as a major global challenge. This study hypothesized that TPTO (Tree-based Pipeline Optimization Tool), an AutoML (automated machine learning) tool, would outperform all pre-existing machine learning models and reveal the positive impact of economic prosperity, strong familial traits, and resource attainability on reducing stunting risk. Feature correlation plots revealed that maternal height, wealth indicators, and parental education were universally important features for determining stunting outcomes approximately two years after birth. These results help inform future research by highlighting how demographic, familial, and socio-economic conditions influence stunting and providing medical professionals with a deployable risk assessment tool for predicting childhood stunting.

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Survival of Escherichia coli K-12 in various types of drinking water

Hanna et al. | Sep 25, 2022

Survival of <i>Escherichia coli</i> K-12 in various types of drinking water

For public health, drinking water should be free of bacterial contamination. The objective of this research is to identify the fate of bacteria if drinking water becomes contaminated and inform consumers on which water type enables the least bacteria to survive. We hypothesized that bottled mineral water would provide the most sufficient conditions for E. coli to survive. We found that if water becomes contaminated, the conditions offered by the three water types at room temperature allow E. coli to survive up to three days. At 72 hours, the bottled spring water had the highest average colony forming units (CFUs), with tap and mineral water CFU values statistically lower than spring water but not significantly different from each other. The findings of this research highlight the need of implementing accessible quality drinking water for the underserved population and for the regulation of water sources.

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Tap water quality analysis in Ulaanbaatar City

Munkhbat et al. | Sep 25, 2022

Tap water quality analysis in Ulaanbaatar City

There have been several issues concerning the water quality in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in the past few years. This study, we collected 28 samples from 6 districts of Ulaanbaatar to check if the water supply quality met the standards of the World Health Organization, the Environmental Protection Agency, and a Mongolian National Standard. Only three samples fully met all the requirements of the global standards. Samples in Zaisan showed higher hardness (>120 ppm) and alkalinity levels (20–200 ppm) over the other districts in the city. Overall, the results show that it is important to ensure a safe and accessible water supply in Ulaanbaatar to prevent future water quality issues.

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