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Improving Wound Healing by Breaking Down Biofilm Formation and Reducing Nosocomial Infections

DiStefano et al. | Jul 09, 2019

Improving Wound Healing by Breaking Down Biofilm Formation and Reducing Nosocomial Infections

In a 10-year period in the early 2000’s, hospital-based (nosocomial) infections increased by 123%, and this number is increasing as time goes on. The purpose of this experiment was to use hyaluronic acid, silver nanoparticles, and a bacteriophage cocktail to create a hydrogel that promotes wound healing by increasing cell proliferation while simultaneously disrupting biofilm formation and breaking down Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which are two strains of bacteria that attribute to nosocomial infections and are increasing in antibiotic resistance.

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How does light affect the distribution of Euglena sp. and Tetrahymena pyriformis

Singh et al. | Mar 03, 2022

How does light affect the distribution of <em>Euglena sp.</em> and <em>Tetrahymena pyriformis</em>

In this article, the authors explored the locomotory movement of Euglena sp. and Tetrahymena pyriformis in response to light. Such research bears relevance to the migration and distribution patterns of both T. pyriformis and Euglena as they differ in their method of finding sustenance in their native environments. With little previous research done on the exploration of a potential response to photostimulation enacted by T. pyriformis, the authors found that T. pyriformis do not bias in distribution towards areas of light - unlike Euglena, which displayed an increased prevalence in areas of light.

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Effect of heme vs. non-heme iron supplements on gut microbiome fitness

Dogra et al. | Nov 07, 2022

Effect of heme vs. non-heme iron supplements on gut microbiome fitness

Here, based on identification of iron deficiencies of a majority of people around the world, the authors sought to understand how the two main forms of dietary iron, heme and non-heme, affect the bacteria found in the human gut. by using a cell plate study, they found that bacterial growth increased with increasing concentration os either form of iron, up until the point where the high iron content resulted in cytotoxicity. They suggest this evidence points to the potential dangers of overconsumption of iron.

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Specific Transcription Factors Distinguish Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Fibroblasts

Park et al. | Aug 16, 2019

Specific Transcription Factors Distinguish Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Fibroblasts

Stem cells are at the forefront of research in regenerative medicine and cell therapy. Two essential properties of stem cells are self-renewal and potency, having the ability to specialize into different types of cells. Here, Park and Jeong took advantage of previously identified stem cell transcription factors associated with potency to differentiate umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (US-MSCs) from morphologically similar fibroblasts. Western blot analysis of the transcription factors Klf4, Nanog, and Sox2 revealed their expression was unique to US-MSCs providing insight for future methods of differentiating between these cell lines.

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Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Wu et al. | Feb 17, 2019

Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Phage therapy has been suggested as an alternative to antibiotics because bacteria resistant to antibiotics may still be susceptible to phages. However, phages may have limited effectiveness in combating bacteria since bacteria possess several antiviral defense mechanisms and can quickly develop resistance to phages. In this study, Wu and Pinta compare the effectiveness and specificity of antibiotics and phages in combating bacteria. They found that T4 phages are more specific and effective in fighting or inhibiting both antibiotic-resistant and sensitive bacteria than antibiotics, suggesting that phage therapy can be developed as an efficient tool to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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Comparative screening of dose-dependent and strain-specific antimicrobial efficacy of berberine against a representative library of broad-spectrum antibiotics

Sun et al. | May 10, 2021

Comparative screening of dose-dependent and strain-specific antimicrobial efficacy of berberine against a representative library of broad-spectrum antibiotics

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

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The external presence of running water influences the root growth of pea plants (Phaselous vulgaris)

Shu et al. | Nov 10, 2020

The external presence of running water influences the root growth of pea plants (Phaselous vulgaris)

Each year, invasive tree roots cause large amounts of damage to underground pipes. While this is usually due to leaks and cracks, tree roots can also invade pipes that are structurally sound. We are interested in investigating whether plant roots have an affinity towards flowing water, measured through mass, even when the running water is not in direct contact with soil. We tested this by creating a choice chamber with water running under one end and no stimulus on the other end. Overall, the masses of the roots growing towards flowing water were greater than the masses of the roots growing towards the end with no stimulus, showing that plant roots did have an affinity towards flowing water.

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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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Thermoelectric Power Generation: Harnessing Solar Thermal Energy to Power an Air Conditioner

Lew et al. | Jul 06, 2021

Thermoelectric Power Generation: Harnessing Solar Thermal Energy to Power an Air Conditioner

The authors test the feasibility of using thermoelectric modules as a power source and as an air conditioner to decrease reliance on fossil fuels. The results showed that, at its peak, their battery generated 27% more power – in watts per square inch – than a solar panel, and the thermoelectric air conditioner operated despite an unsteady input voltage. The battery has incredible potential, especially if its peak power output can be maintained.

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