Here, recognizing the recognizing the growing threat of non-biodegradable plastic waste, the authors investigated the ability to use a modified enzyme identified in bacteria to decompose polyethylene terephthalate (PET). They used simulations to screen and identify an optimized enzyme based on machine learning models. Ultimately, they identified a potential mutant PETases capable of decomposing PET with improved thermal stability.
Treatments inhibiting Notch signaling pathways have been explored by researchers as a new approach for the treatment of glioblastoma tumors, which is a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumor. Recently, retinoic acid (RA) therapy, which inhibits Notch signaling, has shown a promising effect on inhibiting glioblastoma progression. RA, which is a metabolite of vitamin A, is very important in embryonic cellular development, which includes the regulation of multiple developmental processes, such as brain neurogenesis. However, high doses of RA treatment caused many side effects such as headaches, nausea, redness around the injection site, or allergic reactions. Therefore, we hypothesized that a combination treatment of RA and siRNA targeting NOTCH1 (siNOTCH1), the essential gene that activates Notch signaling, would effectively inhibit brain cancer cell proliferation. The aim of the study was to determine whether inhibiting NOTCH1 would inhibit the growth of brain cancer cells by cell viability assay. We found that the combination treatment of siNOTCH1 and RA in low concentration effectively decreased the NOTCH1 expression level compared to the individual treatments. However, the combination treatment condition significantly decreased the number of live brain cancer cells only at a low concentration of RA. We anticipate that this novel combination treatment can provide a solution to the side effects of chemotherapy.
Disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is related to many neurological disorders, and can be caused by oxidative stress to cerebral microvascular endothelial cells (CMECs) composing the BBB. The authors of the paper investigated the protective effects of the total saponins in the leaves of Panax notoginseng (LPNS) on oxidative-stress-induced damage in a mouse cerebral microvascular endothelial cell line.
In this study, the authors investigate the antimicrobial effects of berberine and berberine analogs. Berberine is extracted from plants and is a naturally occurring alkaloid, and is also excited photochemically. Using three different assays, the authors tested whether these compounds would inhibit bacterial growth. They found that these compounds were antibacterial and even more so when used with photoirradiation. This study has important antibacterial implications.
The authors investigated an important parasite-host relationship between the raccoon roundworm and the raccoon to understand how parasite prevalence is affected by location. They found that the parasite infection was more prevalent in raccoons found closer to human dwellings, though the number of roundworm eggs was not significantly different. These results are important human health, since roundworm infection is lethal to humans and can be transmitted from raccoons to humans - the authors suggest that more research into this parasite and awareness of its prevalence is needed to prevent disease.
In this study, the authors investigate an alternative way to kill bacteria other than the use of antibiotics, which is useful when considering antibiotic-resistance bacteria. They use bacteriophages, which are are viruses that can infect bacteria, and measure cell lysis. They make some important findings that these bacteriophage can lyse both antibiotic-resistant and non-resistant bacteria.
We hypothesize that berberine has broad-spectrum antibacterial properties, along with potency that is comparable to current broad-spectrum antibiotics that are commercially available. Here, we screened berberine against four strains of bacteria and evaluated its antimicrobial activity against five broad-spectrum antibiotics from different classes to better quantify berberine’s antibacterial activity and compare its efficacy as an antibacterial agent to the broad-spectrum antibiotics. Our results indicated that berberine had strain-selective cytotoxic effects and was significantly less potent than most of the broad-spectrum antibiotics