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Computational Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR) of Berberine Analogs in Double-Stranded and G-Quadruplex DNA Binding Reveals Both Position and Target Dependence

Sun et al. | Dec 18, 2020

Computational Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR) of Berberine Analogs in Double-Stranded and G-Quadruplex DNA Binding Reveals Both Position and Target Dependence

Berberine, a natural product alkaloid, and its analogs have a wide range of medicinal properties, including antibacterial and anticancer effects. Here, the authors explored a library of alkyl or aryl berberine analogs to probe binding to double-stranded and G-quadruplex DNA. They determined that the nature of the substituent, the position of the substituent, and the nucleic acid target affect the free energy of binding of berberine analogs to DNA and G-quadruplex DNA, however berberine analogs did not result in net stabilization of G-quadruplex DNA.

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Development of Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance in Drosophila melanogaster and Characterization of the Anti-Diabetic Effects of Resveratrol and Pterostilbene

Dhar et al. | Jul 02, 2018

Development of Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance in Drosophila melanogaster and Characterization of the Anti-Diabetic Effects of Resveratrol and Pterostilbene

Dhar and colleagues established a Type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) model in fruit flies, using this model to induce insulin resistance and characterize the effects Resveratrol and Pterostilbene on a number of growth and activity metrics. Resveratrol and Pterostilbene treatment notably overturned the weight gain and glucose levels. The results of this study suggest that Drosophila can be utilized as a model organism to study T2DM and novel pharmacological treatments.

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Synergistic Effects of Metformin and Captopril on C. elegans

Kadıoğlu et al. | Jul 10, 2018

Synergistic Effects of Metformin and Captopril on <em>C. elegans</em>

Kadıoğlu and Oğuzalp study the synergistic effects of Metformin and Captopril, two commonly prescribed drugs for type 2 diabetes and hypertension, respectively. Using C. elegans nematodes as a model system, the authors find that the nematodes decreased in average body length when exposed to Metformin or Captopril individually, but grew 11% in body length when both drugs were used together. Because C. elegans body size is regulated in part by the TGF-β signaling pathway, the authors suggest that synergistic effects of these two drugs may be modulating TGF-β activity, a previously uncharacterized phenomenon.

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Identifying Neural Networks that Implement a Simple Spatial Concept

Zirvi et al. | Sep 13, 2022

Identifying Neural Networks that Implement a Simple Spatial Concept

Modern artificial neural networks have been remarkably successful in various applications, from speech recognition to computer vision. However, it remains less clear whether they can implement abstract concepts, which are essential to generalization and understanding. To address this problem, the authors investigated the above vs. below task, a simple concept-based task that honeybees can solve, using a conventional neural network. They found that networks achieved 100% test accuracy when a visual target was presented below a black bar, however only 50% test accuracy when a visual target was presented below a reference shape.

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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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The Effects of Barley Straw (Hordeum vulgare) Extract and Barley Straw Pellets on Algal Growth and Water Quality

McHargue et al. | Oct 06, 2020

The Effects of Barley Straw (Hordeum vulgare) Extract and Barley Straw Pellets on Algal Growth and Water Quality

Algal overgrowth often threatens to clog irrigation pipes and drinking water lines when left unchecked, as well as releasing possible toxins that threaten plant and human health. It is thus important to find natural, non-harmful agents that can decrease algal growth without threatening the health of plants and humans. In this paper, the authors test the efficacy of barely extract in either liquid or pellet form in decreasing algal growth. While their results were inconclusive, the experimental set-up allows them to investigate a wider range of agents as anti-algal treatments that could potentially be adopted on a wider scale.

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Predicting asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations with machine learning techniques

Chatterjee et al. | Oct 25, 2021

Predicting asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations with machine learning techniques

Seeking to investigate the effects of ambient pollutants on human respiratory health, here the authors used machine learning to examine asthma in Lost Angeles County, an area with substantial pollution. By using machine learning models and classification techniques, the authors identified that nitrogen dioxide and ozone levels were significantly correlated with asthma hospitalizations. Based on an identified seasonal surge in asthma hospitalizations, the authors suggest future directions to improve machine learning modeling to investigate these relationships.

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The effects of stress on the bacterial community associated with the sea anemone Diadumene lineata

Cahill et al. | Feb 15, 2021

The effects of stress on the bacterial community associated with the sea anemone Diadumene lineata

In healthy ecosystems, organisms interact in a relationship that helps maintain one another's existence. Stress can disrupt this interaction, compromising the survival of some of the members of such relationships. Here, the authors investigate the effect of stress on the interaction between anemones and their microbiome. Their study suggests that stress changes the composition of the surface microbiome of the anemone D. lineata, which is accompanied by an increase in mucus secretion. Future research into the composition of this stress-induced mucus might reveal useful antimicrobial properties.

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Application of gene therapy for reversing T-cell dysfunction in cancer

Hyun Lee et al. | Aug 25, 2022

Application of gene therapy for reversing T-cell dysfunction in cancer

Since cancer cells inhibit T-cell activity, the authors investigated a method to reverse T-cell disfunction with gene therapy, so that the T-cells would become effective once again in fighting cancer cells. They used the inhibition of proprotein convertases (PCSK1) in T cells and programmed death-ligand 1 (CD274) in cancer cells. They observed the recovery of IL-2 expression in Jurkat cells, with increased recovery noted in a co-culture sample. This study suggests a novel strategy to reactivate T cells.

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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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