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Investigating the Role of the Novel ESCRT-III Recruitment Factor CCDC11 in HIV Budding: A Potential Target for Antiviral Therapy

Takemaru et al. | Feb 24, 2020

Investigating the Role of the Novel ESCRT-III Recruitment Factor CCDC11 in HIV Budding: A Potential Target for Antiviral Therapy

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In this work, Takemaru et al explored the role of Coiled-Coil Domain-Containing 11 (CCDC11) in HIV-1 budding. Their results suggest that CCDC11 is critical for efficient HIV-1 budding, potentially indicating CCDC11 a viable target for antiviral therapeutics without major side effects.

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Conversion of Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in a Tumor Microenvironment: An in vitro Study

Ramesh et al. | Feb 18, 2020

Conversion of Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in a Tumor Microenvironment: An <em>in vitro</em> Study

Mesenchymal stem cells(MSCs) play a role in tumor formation by differentiating into cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) which enable metastasis of tumors. The process of conversion of MSCs into CAFs is not clear. In this study, authors tested the hypothesis that cancers cells secrete soluble factors that induce differentiation by culturing bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in media conditioned by a breast cancer cell line.

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The Effect of Neem on Common Nosocomial Infection-Causing Organisms

Shah et al. | Jan 27, 2020

The Effect of Neem on Common Nosocomial Infection-Causing Organisms

Nosocomial infections acquired in hospitals pose a risk to patients, a risk compounded by resistant microorganisms. To combat this problem, researchers have turned to bioactive compounds from medicinal plants such as the widely used neem. In the present study, researchers sought to determine the effectiveness of different neem preparations against several hospital acquired human pathogens. Neem powder in water successfully inhibited microorganism growth making it a potential agent to combat these infections.

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Do Attractants Bias the Results of Malaise Trap Research?

Martinez et al. | Jan 22, 2020

Do Attractants Bias the Results of Malaise Trap Research?

Malaise traps are commonly used to collect flying insects for a variety of research. In this study, researchers hypothesized the attractants used in these traps may create bias in insect studies that could lead to misinterpreted data. To test this hypothesis two different kinds of attractant were used in malaise traps, and insect diversity was assessed. Attractants were found to alter the dispersion of insects caught in traps. These findings can inform future malaise traps studies on insect diversity.

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The Effects of Confinement on the Associative Learning of Gallus gallus domesticus

Jaworsky et al. | Dec 23, 2019

The Effects of Confinement on the Associative Learning of <em>Gallus gallus domesticus</em>

This study aimed to determine if confinement affects associative learning in chickens. The research found that the difference in time lapsed before chickens began to consume cottage cheese before and after confinement was significant. These results suggest that confinement distresses chickens, as it impairs associative learning without inducing confusion.

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Effects on Learning and Memory of a Mutation in Dα7: A D. melanogaster Homolog of Alzheimer's Related Gene for nAChR α7

Sanyal et al. | Oct 01, 2019

Effects on Learning and Memory of a Mutation in Dα7: A <em>D. melanogaster</em> Homolog of Alzheimer's Related Gene for nAChR α7

Alzheimer's disease (AD) involves the reduction of cholinergic activity due to a decrease in neuronal levels of nAChR α7. In this work, Sanyal and Cuellar-Ortiz explore the role of the nAChR α7 in learning and memory retention, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. The performance of mutant flies (PΔEY6) was analyzed in locomotive and olfactory-memory retention tests in comparison to wild type (WT) flies and an Alzheimer's disease model Arc-42 (Aβ-42). Their results suggest that the lack of the D. melanogaster-nAChR causes learning, memory, and locomotion impairments, similar to those observed in Alzheimer's models Arc-42.

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Development of a Novel Treatment Strategy to Treat Parkinsonian Neurodegeneration by Targeting Both Lewy Body Aggregation and Dopaminergic Neuronal Degradation in a Drosophila melanogaster Model

Sama et al. | Sep 25, 2019

Development of a Novel Treatment Strategy to Treat Parkinsonian Neurodegeneration by Targeting Both Lewy Body Aggregation and Dopaminergic Neuronal Degradation in a <em>Drosophila melanogaster</em> Model

In this article the authors address the complex and life quality-diminishing neurodegenerative disease known as Parkinson's. Although genetic and/or environmental factors contribute to the etiology of the disease, the diagnostic symptoms are the same. By genetically modifying fruit flies to exhibit symptoms of Parkinson's disease, they investigate whether drugs that inhibit mitochondrial calcium uptake or activate the lysosomal degradation of proteins could improve the symptoms of Parkinson's these flies exhibit. The authors report the most promising outcome to be that when both types of drugs were used together. Their data provides encouraging evidence to support further investigation of the utility of such drugs in the treatment of human Parkinson's patients.

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Nitric Oxide Synthesis/Pathway Inhibitors in Daphnia magna Reverse Alcohol-Induced Heart Rate Decrease

Gunturi et al. | Sep 17, 2019

Nitric Oxide Synthesis/Pathway Inhibitors in Daphnia magna Reverse Alcohol-Induced Heart Rate Decrease

Chronic alcohol consumption can cause cardiac myopathy, which afflicts about 500,000 Americans annually. Gunturi et al. wanted to understand the effects of alcohol on heart rate and confirm the role of nitric oxide (NO) signaling in heart rate regulation. Using the model organism Daphnia magna, a water crustacean with a large, transparent heart, they found that the heart rate of Daphnia magna was reduced after treatment with alcohol. This depression could be reversed after treatment with inhibitors of NO synthesis and signaling. Their work has important implications for how we understand alcohol-induced effects on heart rate and potential treatments to reverse heart rate depression as a result of alcohol consumption.

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Expression of Anti-Neurodegeneration Genes in Mutant Caenorhabditis elegans Using CRISPR-Cas9 Improves Behavior Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease

Mishra et al. | Sep 14, 2019

Expression of Anti-Neurodegeneration Genes in Mutant <em>Caenorhabditis elegans</em> Using CRISPR-Cas9 Improves Behavior Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and is characterized by neurodegeneration. Mishra et al. wanted to understand the role of two transport proteins, LRP1 and AQP4, in the neurodegeneration of Alzheimer's disease. They used a model organism for Alzheimer's disease, the nematode C. elegans, and genetic engineering to look at whether they would see a decrease in neurodegeneration if they increased the amount of these two transport proteins. They found that the best improvements were caused by increased expression of both transport proteins, with smaller improvements when just one of the proteins is overly expressed. Their work has important implications for how we understand neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease and what we can do to slow or prevent the progression of the disease.

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