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Increased carmine red exposure periods yields a higher number of vacuoles formed in Tetrahymena pyriformis

Shah et al. | Nov 18, 2022

Increased carmine red exposure periods yields a higher number of vacuoles formed in <em>Tetrahymena pyriformis</em>

T. pyriformis can use phagocytosis to create vacuoles of carmine red, a dye which is made using crushed insects and is full of nutrients. Establishing a relationship between vacuole formation and duration of exposure to food can demonstrate how phagocytosis occurs in T. pyriformis. We hypothesized that if T. pyriformis was incubated in a carmine red solution, then more vacuoles would form over time in each cell.

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The sweetened actualities of neural membrane proteins: A computational structural analysis

Chauhan et al. | Nov 03, 2022

The sweetened actualities of neural membrane proteins: A computational structural analysis

Here, seeking to better understand the roles of glycans in the receptors of active sites of neuronal cells, the authors used molecular dynamics simulations to to uncover the dynamic nature of N-glycans on membrane proteins. The authors suggest the study of theinteractions of these membrane poreins could provide future potential therapeutic targets to treat mental diseases.

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The presence of Wolbachia in Brood X cicadas

Hasan et al. | Oct 15, 2022

The presence of <em>Wolbachia</em> in Brood X cicadas

Here, seeking to understand a possible cause of the declining popluations of Brood X cicadas in Ohio and Indiana, the authors investigated the presence of Wolbachia, an inherited bacterial symbiont that lives in the reproductive cells of approximately 60% of insect species in these cicadas. Following their screening of one-hundred 17-year periodical cicadas, they only identified the presence of Wolbachia infection in less than 2%, suggesting that while Wolbachia can infect cicadas it appears uncommon in the Brood X cicadas they surveyed.

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Computational development of aryl sulfone compounds as potential NNRTIs

Zhang et al. | Oct 12, 2022

Computational development of aryl sulfone compounds as potential NNRTIs

Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are allosteric inhibitors that bind to the HIV reverse transcriptase and prevent replication. Indolyl aryl sulfones (IAS) and IAS derivatives have been found to be highly effective against mutant strains of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. Here, we analyzed molecules designed using aryl sulfone scaffolds paired to cyclic compounds as potential NNRTIs through the computational design and docking of 100 novel NNRTI candidates. Moreover, we explored the specific combinations of functional groups and aryl sulfones that resulted in the NNRTI candidates with the strongest binding affinity while testing all compounds for carcinogenicity. We hypothesized that the combination of an IAS scaffold and pyrimidine would produce the compounds with the best binding affinity. Our hypothesis was correct as the series of molecules with an IAS scaffold and pyrimidine exhibited the best average binding affinity. Additionally, this study found 32 molecules designed in this procedure with higher or equal binding affinities to the previously successful IAS derivative 5-bromo-3-[(3,5-dimethylphenyl)sulfonyl]indole-2-carboxyamide when docked to HIV-1 reverse transcriptase.

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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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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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The feeling of beauty in music: Relaxing and not confusing

Jain et al. | Sep 07, 2022

The feeling of beauty in music: Relaxing and not confusing

Here, the authors sought to better understand how and why people experience beauty in music. They explored this fundamental aesthetic response by considering numerous emotional responses of participants to diverse musical excerpts using a 42-item Aesthetic Emotions Scale assessment. They found that the highly nuanced emotional experience of beauty in music includes positive, negative, and knowledge-related feelings.

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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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Assessing grass water use efficiency through smartphone imaging and ImageJ analysis

Shen et al. | Jul 27, 2022

Assessing grass water use efficiency through smartphone imaging and ImageJ analysis

Overwatering and underwatering grass are widespread issues with environmental and financial consequences. This study developed an accessible method to assess grass water use efficiency (WUE) combining smartphone imaging with open access color unmixing analysis. The method can be applied in automated irrigation systems or apps, providing grass WUE assessment for regular consumer use.

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