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Homology modeling of clinically-relevant rilpivirine-resistant HIV-RT variants identifies novel rilpivirine analogs with retained binding affinity against NNRTI-resistant HIV mutations

Luk et al. | Jan 24, 2022

Homology modeling of clinically-relevant rilpivirine-resistant HIV-RT variants identifies novel rilpivirine analogs with retained binding affinity against NNRTI-resistant HIV mutations

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which affects tens of millions of individuals worldwide, can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). While there is currently no cure for HIV, the development of small molecule antiretroviral agents has greatly improved the prognosis of infected individuals, especially in developed countries. Here, the authors employ homology modeling and molecular docking towards the identification of novel rilpivirine analogs that retain high binding affinity to clinically relevant rilpivirine-resistant mutations of the HIV reverse transcriptase enzyme.

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A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Tsai et al. | Apr 05, 2019

A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Sweet potatoes are one of the most common starches in Taiwan, and sweet potato peels hold significant potential to make biodegradable plastics which can alleviate the environmental impact of conventional petroleum-based plastics. In this paper, Tsai et al created starch-based bioplastics derived from sweet potato peels and manipulated the amount of added glycerol to alter the plastic’s strength and flexibility properties. Their results indicated that higher concentrations of glycerol yield more malleable plastics, providing insights into how recycled agricultural waste material might be used to slow down the rate of pollution caused by widespread production of conventional plastics.

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Testing Different Polymers and Boron Nitride Nanotube Properties in Fabrication of Ion-selective Membranes

Yi et al. | Sep 28, 2020

Testing Different Polymers and Boron Nitride Nanotube Properties in Fabrication of Ion-selective Membranes

One largely untapped source of clean energy is the use of osmotic gradients where freshwater and saltwater are mixed, for example at estuaries. To harness such energy, charge-selective membranes are needed to separate the anions and cations in saltwater, establishing an electric potential like a battery. The objective of this study was twofold: to investigate the creation of the polymer matrix and test the properties of boron nitride nanotubes, as both are essential in the creation of an ion-selective membrane. Out of three polymer samples tested in this study, the mixture known as Soltech 704 showed the best resistance to etching, as well as the highest UV cure rate.

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The Bioactive Ingredients in Niuli Lactucis Agrestibus Possess Anticancer Effects

Zhu et al. | Sep 17, 2019

The Bioactive Ingredients in Niuli Lactucis Agrestibus Possess Anticancer Effects

In​ the​ field​ of​ medicine,​ natural​ treatments​ are​ becoming ​increasingly ​vital ​towards ​the ​cure ​of ​cancer. Zhu et al. wanted to investigate the effects of lettuce extract on cancer cell survival and proliferation. They used an adenocarcinoma cell line, COLO320DM, to determine whether crude extract from a lettuce species called Niuli​ Lactucis Agrestibus​ would affect cancer cell survival, migration, and proliferation. They found that Niuli extract inhibited cancer cell survival, increased expression of cell cycle inhibitors p21 and p27, and inhibited migration. However, Niuli extract did not have these effects on healthy cells. This work reveals important findings about a potential new source of anti-colorectal cancer compounds.

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Role of Environmental Conditions on Drying of Paint

Aggarwal et al. | Feb 20, 2021

Role of Environmental Conditions on Drying of Paint

Reducing paint drying time is an important step in improving production efficiency and reducing costs. The authors hypothesized that decreased humidity would lead to faster drying, ultraviolet (UV) light exposure would not affect the paint colors differently, white light exposure would allow for longer wavelength colors to dry at a faster rate than shorter wavelength colors, and substrates with higher roughness would dry slower. Experiments showed that trials under high humidity dried slightly faster than trials under low humidity, contrary to the hypothesis. Overall, the paint drying process is very much dependent on its surrounding environment, and optimizing the drying process requires a thorough understanding of the environmental factors and their interactive effects with the paint constituents.

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