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Fire and dry grass: Effects of Pennisetum villosum on a California native, Nassella pulchra, in drought times

Chang et al. | Jan 23, 2022

Fire and dry grass: Effects of <i>Pennisetum villosum</i> on a California native, <i>Nassella pulchra</i>, in drought times

Invasive species pose a significant threat to many ecosystems, whether by outcompeting native species and disturbing food webs, or through increasing risks of natural disasters like flooding and wildfires. The ornamental grass species Pennisetum villosum R. Br. was previously identified by the California Invasive Plant Council as being potentially invasive; this experiment was conducted to determine if P. villosum displays characteristics of an invasive species when grown in a California chaparral environment. Reults found that in both conditions, the two species had similar germination rates, and that P. villosum grew significantly larger than N. pulchra for around 95 days.

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Singlet oxygen production analysis of reduced berberine analogs via NMR spectroscopy

Su et al. | Feb 10, 2023

Singlet oxygen production analysis of reduced berberine analogs via NMR spectroscopy

Berberine is a natural product isoquinoline alkaloid derived from plants of the genus Berberis. When exposed to photoirradiation, it produces singlet oxygen through photosensitization of triplet oxygen. Through qNMR analysis of 1H NMR spectra gathered through kinetic experiments, we were able to track the generation of a product between singlet oxygen and alpha terpinene, allowing us to quantitatively measure the photosensitizing properties of our scaffolds.

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Rhizosphere metagenome analysis and wet-lab approach to derive optimal strategy for lead remediation in situ

Bhat et al. | Jul 18, 2023

Rhizosphere metagenome analysis and wet-lab approach to derive optimal strategy for lead remediation <i>in situ</i>
Image credit: Karolina Grabowska

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports a significant number of heavy metal-contaminated sites across the United States. To address this public health concern, rhizoremediation using microbes has emerged as a promising solution. Here, a combination of soil microbes were inoculated in the rhizosphere in soil contaminated with 500 parts per million (ppm) of lead. Results showed rhizoremediation is an effective bioremediation strategy and may increase crop productivity by converting nonarable lands into arable lands.

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Phytochemical Analysis of Amaranthus spinosus Linn.: An in vitro Analysis

Sharma et al. | Mar 20, 2021

Phytochemical Analysis of <em>Amaranthus spinosus</em> Linn.: An <em>in vitro</em> Analysis

Mainstream cancer treatments, which include radiotherapy and chemotherapeutic drugs, are known to induce oxidative damage to healthy somatic cells due to the liberation of harmful free radicals. In order to avert this, physiological antioxidants must be complemented with external antioxidants. Here the authors performed a preliminary phytochemical screen to identify alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, polyphenols, and tannins in all parts of the Amaranthus spinosus Linn. plant. This paper describes the preparation of this crude extract and assesses its antioxidant properties for potential use in complementary cancer treatment.

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Performance of Panicum virgatum Cultivars in Competition With Bromus inermis and Differing Amounts of N Fertilizer

Ferris et al. | Mar 04, 2019

Performance of <em>Panicum virgatum</em> Cultivars in Competition With <em>Bromus inermis</em> and Differing Amounts of N Fertilizer

With growing demands for ethanol, many researchers are turning to Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) as a feedstock of cellulosic ethanol. In this study, Ferris and Gillan examine the germination, biomass, nitrogen, survival, and chlorophyll absorbance of two switchgrass cultivars of grown in competition with Bromus inermis (smooth brome) with two varying levels of nitrogen fertilizer. Results presented indicate that during establishment, competition from other species has a greater effect than nitrogen fertilizer.

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Modular mimics of neuroactive alkaloids - design, synthesis, and cholinesterase inhibitory activity of rivastigmine analogs

Yu et al. | Sep 12, 2022

Modular mimics of neuroactive alkaloids - design, synthesis, and cholinesterase inhibitory activity of rivastigmine analogs

Naturally occurring neuroactive alkaloids are often studied for their potential to treat Neurological diseases. This team of students study Rivastigmine, a potent cholinesterase inhibitor that is a synthetic analog of physostigmine, which comes from the Calabar bean plant Physostigma venenosum. By comparing the effects of optimized synthetic analogs to the naturally occurring alkaloid, they determine the most favorable analog for inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), the enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) to terminate neuronal transmission and signaling between synapses.

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The Effect of Radiant Energy on Radish Seed Germination

Simon et al. | Jul 06, 2018

The Effect of Radiant Energy on Radish Seed Germination

Simon and colleagues test how exposure to microwaves affect radish seed germination, either microwaving seeds for ninety seconds or four minutes prior to planting. Surprisingly, the authors found that seeds microwaved for four minutes exhibited 150% increased germination as compared to controls. The authors hypothesize that breakdown of the radish seed coat when exposed to heat may allow seedlings to sprout more efficiently.

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Cell cytotoxicity and pro-apoptosis on MCF-7 cells using polyherbal formulation, MAT20

Tarigopula et al. | Feb 17, 2023

Cell cytotoxicity and pro-apoptosis on MCF-7  cells using polyherbal formulation, MAT20

The purpose of this study was to test the anti-cancer properties and pro-apoptotic effects of the polyherbal formulation MAT20 as a complementary treatment. Moringa oleifera (Moringa), Phyllanthus emblica (Amla) and Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi), these 3 herbs were used to formulate MAT20, which contain phytochemicals that are known to display anti-cancer properties. In this study, we hypothesized that MCF-7 breast cancer cells treated with MAT20 would show increased cytotoxicity compared to its individual plant extracts.

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