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Association of agenesis of the corpus callosum with epilepsy and anticonvulsant drug treatment

Steger et al. | Feb 21, 2023

Association of agenesis of the corpus callosum with epilepsy and anticonvulsant drug treatment
Image credit: Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC) is a birth defect where an infant’s corpus callosum, the structure linking the brain’s two hemispheres to allow interhemispheric communication, fails to develop in a typical manner during pregnancy. Existing research on the connection between ACC and epilepsy leaves significant gaps, due to the lack of focused investigation. One important gap is the degree to which ACC may impact the course of epilepsy treatment and outcomes. The present study was conducted to test the hypotheses that epilepsy is highly prevalent among individuals with ACC, and that those with both ACC and epilepsy have a lower response rate to anticonvulsant drugs than other patients treated with anticonvulsant drugs. A weighted average of epilepsy rates was calculated from a review of existing literature, which supported the hypothesis that epilepsy was more common among individuals with ACC (25.11%) than in the general population (1.2%). An empirical survey administered to 57 subjects or parents of subjects showed that rate of intractable epilepsy among study subjects with both ACC and epilepsy was substantially higher than the rate found in the general population, indicating that individuals with both conditions had a lower response rate to the anticonvulsant drugs. This study contributes novel results regarding the potential for concurrence of ACC and epilepsy to interfere with anticonvulsant drug treatment. We also discuss implications for how medical professionals may use the findings of this study to add depth to their treatment decisions.

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Towards an Integrated Solution for Renewable Water and Energy

Chen et al. | Jan 09, 2015

Towards an Integrated Solution for Renewable Water and Energy

An integrated plant that would generate energy from solar power and provide clean water would help solve multiple sustainability issues. The feasibility of such a plant was investigated by looking at the efficacy of several different modules of such a plant on a small scale.

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The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health of Teens

Qureshi et al. | Nov 19, 2020

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health of Teens

In this study, the authors investigate whether the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of teens. Using data from a study done in Islamabad, Pakistan, the authors find that many teens between the ages of 13 and 19 show signs of mental illness. This study reports important data regarding the mental health of youth and points toward an increased need to address this topic during the pandemic.

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Nature’s reset: The effect of native and invasive plant forage on honey bee nutrition and survival

Culbert et al. | May 25, 2024

Nature’s reset: The effect of native and invasive plant forage on honey bee nutrition and survival
Image credit: Culbert and Wilson-Rich 2024

As a keystone species, honey bees (Apis mellifera) are pollinators that help sustain our food supply and native ecosystems. Unfortunately, habitat loss and widespread pesticide use are major drivers of pollinator decline. In the case of honey bees, rates of infection and colony collapse have been attributed to several interacting factors, including the loss of forage diversity and abundance. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of plant forage on bee health across apiaries located in multiple US cities. Hives were divided into healthy green zones, average health yellow zones, and unhealthy red zones. We hypothesized that honey bee colony survival would increase with the number of native plants foraged. Using plant DNA metabarcoding of honey samples, qualitative and quantitative analyses revealed hive health variation due to the population of plants foraged upon. Forage from green zones consisted predominantly of native plants and red zones consisted of primarily invasive plants. Furthermore, hives that were exposed to a natural catastrophic event demonstrated a high percentage of native plant forage post-disaster. Our study represents the first investigation of the significance of native and invasive plant forage to overwintering survival for honey bees as well as novel research examining the effect of natural catastrophic events on honey bee foraging. The availability of native and invasive plants plays a critical role in bee health, performance, and fitness, particularly in post-catastrophic event landscapes. By further understanding the unique dynamics between the type of plant forage and honey bee survival, we may be another step closer to unlocking the mysteries that may benefit the health of 200,000 other pollinator species.

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Cathodal Galvanotaxis: The Effect of Voltage on the distribution of Tetrahymena pyriformis

Zheng et al. | Jun 10, 2019

Cathodal Galvanotaxis: The Effect of Voltage on the distribution of <em>Tetrahymena pyriformis</em>

The surface of the unicellular eukaryote, Tetrahymena pyriformis, is covered with thousands of hair-like cilia. These cilia are very similar to cilia of the human olfactory and respiratory tracts making them model organisms for studying cilia function and pathology. The authors of this study investigated the effect of voltage on T. pyriformis galvanotaxis, the movement towards an electrical stimulus. They observed galvanotaxis towards the cathode at voltages over 4V which plateau, indicating opening of voltage gated-ion channels to trigger movement.

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Interleukin family (IL-2 and IL-1β) as predictive biomarkers in Indian cancer patients: A proof of concept study

Parthasarathy et al. | Apr 03, 2023

Interleukin family (IL-2 and IL-1β) as predictive biomarkers in Indian cancer patients: A proof of concept study
Image credit: National Cancer Institute

Here, recognizing that the immune response to cancer results in biomarkers that can be used to assess the immune status of cancer patients, the authors investigated the concentrations of key cytokines (TH1 and TH2 cytokines) in healthy controls and cancer patients. They identified significant changes in resting and activated cytokine profiles, suggesting that data of biomarkers such as these could serve as a starting point for further treatment with regard to a patient's specific immune profile.

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The Role of Corresponding Race, Gender, and Species as Incentives for Charitable Giving

Antonides-Jensen et al. | Jul 31, 2019

The Role of Corresponding Race, Gender, and Species as Incentives for Charitable Giving

Inherent bias is often the unconscious driver of human behavior, and the first step towards overcoming these biases is our awareness of them. In this article the authors investigate whether race, gender or species affect the choice of charity by middle class Spaniards. Their conclusions serve as a starting point for further studies that could help charities refine their campaigns in light of these biases effectively transcending them or taking advantage of them to improve their fundraising attempts.

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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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