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Androgen Diffusion Patterns in Soil: Potential Watershed Impacts

Corson et al. | Jan 24, 2019

Androgen Diffusion Patterns in Soil: Potential Watershed Impacts

Androgens are natural or synthetic steroid hormones that control secondary male sex characteristics. Androgens are excreted in cattle urine and feces, and can run off or seep into nearby waters, negatively impacting aquatic life and potentially polluting human water sources. Here, the authors investigated the effectiveness of soil as a natural barrier against androgen flow into vulnerable waterways. Their results, obtained by testing diffusion patterns of luminol, an androgen chemical analog, indicated that soil is a poor barrier to androgen diffusion.

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Repurposing citrus peel waste and its positive effects on our health and communities

Kim et al. | Feb 08, 2021

Repurposing citrus peel waste and its positive effects on our health and communities

Every year, more than 30% of food products go to waste. This is approximately 1.3 billion tons of food, which is equivalent to 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars. While conventional solid waste treatments and fertilization of food waste are common, citrus fruit peels require secondary applications and advanced disposal management due to their low pH values and high antimicrobial characteristics. Since citrus fruits are well-known sources of vitamin C and antioxidants, we hypothesized that their peels also contain high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants. In our study, five common citrus peels including grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, and tangerine, were used to determine the amounts of vitamin C and total soluble antioxidants.

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The Effect of the Human MeCP2 gene on Drosophila melanogaster behavior and p53 inhibition as a model for Rett Syndrome

Ganga et al. | Sep 07, 2020

The Effect of the Human <i>MeCP2</i> gene on <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i> behavior and p53 inhibition as a model for Rett Syndrome

In this study, the authors observe if the symptoms of Rett Syndrome, a neurodegenerative disease in humans, are reflected in Drosophila melanogaster. This was achieved by differentiating the behavior and physical aspects of wild-type flies from flies expressing the full-length MeCP2 gene and the mutated MeCP2 gene (R106W). After conducting these experiments, some of the Rett Syndrome symptoms were recapitulated in Drosophila, and a subset of those were partially ameliorated by the introduction of pifithrin-alpha.

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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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Friend or Foe: Investigating the Relationship between a Corn Crop and a Native Ragweed Population

Wainwright et al. | May 07, 2014

Friend or Foe: Investigating the Relationship between a Corn Crop and a Native Ragweed Population

Farmers will need to increase crop yields to feed the world's growing population efficiently. The authors here investigate the effects of growing corn in the presence or absence of ragweed, an invasive weed found in many fields and gardens. Surprisingly, the authors found that corn grown in the presence of weeds grew taller and were more productive than corn that had weeds removed. This may help gardeners rethink the necessity of weeding, and may point a way to improve farm yields in the future.

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Phytoplankton Plastid Proteomics: Cracking Open Diatoms to Understand Plastid Biochemistry Under Iron Limitation

Nunn et al. | Feb 10, 2017

Phytoplankton Plastid Proteomics: Cracking Open Diatoms to Understand Plastid Biochemistry Under Iron Limitation

In many areas of the world’s oceans, diatoms such as Thalassiosira pseudonana are limited in growth by the availability of iron (Fe), which is an essential nutrient for diatoms. The authors of this study examined if Fe-limitation makes a significant difference in the proteins expressed within the chloroplast, the power source for diatoms, utilizing a new plastid isolation technique specific to diatoms and completing 14 mass spectrometry experiments.

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A Novel Approach to Prevent and Restrict Early Stages of Cancer Cell Growth Using a Combination of Moringa and Sesame in a Drosophila Model

Ganesh et al. | Sep 28, 2020

A Novel Approach to Prevent and Restrict Early Stages of Cancer Cell Growth Using a Combination of Moringa and Sesame in a <em>Drosophila</em> Model

Sesame (Sesamum indicum) and moringa (Moringa oleifera) have natural antioxidants that could prevent cancer growth. Previously, this group found that sesame and moringa individually suppress eye tumor grown in the Drosophila melanogaster model. In the present study, combinations of sesame and moringa at different concentrations were included in the D. melanogaster diet. The impact on eye tumor development was assessed at different stages of growth.

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Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Horton et al. | Sep 27, 2018

Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Although the United States maintains millions of square kilometers of nature reserves to protect the biodiversity of the specimens living there, little is known about how confining these species within designated protected lands influences the genetic variation required for a healthy population. In this study, the authors sequenced genetic barcodes of insects from a recently established nature reserve, the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve (SWRCMSR), and a non-protected area, the Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) Menifee campus, to compare the genetic variation between the two populations. Their results demonstrated that the midge fly population from the SWRCMSR had fewer unique DNA barcode sequence changes than the MSJC population, indicating that the comparatively younger nature reserve's population had likely not yet established its own unique genetic drift changes.

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The effects of early probiotic supplementation on the germination of Arabidopsis thaliana

Gambino et al. | Oct 25, 2020

The effects of early probiotic supplementation on the germination of <em>Arabidopsis thaliana</em>

The use of fertilizers is associated with an increase in soil degradation, which is predicted to lead to a decrease in crop production within the next decade. Thus, it is critical to find solutions to support crop production to sustain the robust global population. In this study, the authors investigate how probiotic bacteria, like Rhizobium leguminosarum, Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas fluorescens, can impact the growth of Arabidopsis thaliana when applied to the seeds.They hypothesized that solutions with multiple bacterial species compared to those with only a single bacterial species would promote seed germination more effectively.

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