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Fire and dry grass: Effects of Pennisetum villosum on a California native, Nassella pulchra, in drought times

Chang et al. | Jan 23, 2022

Fire and dry grass: Effects of <i>Pennisetum villosum</i> on a California native, <i>Nassella pulchra</i>, in drought times

Invasive species pose a significant threat to many ecosystems, whether by outcompeting native species and disturbing food webs, or through increasing risks of natural disasters like flooding and wildfires. The ornamental grass species Pennisetum villosum R. Br. was previously identified by the California Invasive Plant Council as being potentially invasive; this experiment was conducted to determine if P. villosum displays characteristics of an invasive species when grown in a California chaparral environment. Reults found that in both conditions, the two species had similar germination rates, and that P. villosum grew significantly larger than N. pulchra for around 95 days.


Strain-selective in vitro and in silico structure activity relationship (SAR) of N-acyl β-lactam broad spectrum antibiotics

Poosarla et al. | Oct 19, 2021

Strain-selective <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in silico</i> structure activity relationship (SAR) of N-acyl β-lactam broad spectrum antibiotics

In this study, the authors investigate the antibacterial efficacy of penicillin G and its analogs amoxicillin, carbenicillin, piperacillin, cloxacillin, and ampicillin, against four species of bacteria. Results showed that all six penicillin-type antibiotics inhibit Staphylococcus epidermidis, Escherichia coli, and Neisseria sicca with varying degrees of efficacy but exhibited no inhibition against Bacillus cereus. Penicillin G had the greatest broad-spectrum antibacterial activity with a high radius of inhibition against S. epidermidis, E. coli, and N. sicca.


Survival of Escherichia coli K-12 in various types of drinking water

Hanna et al. | Sep 25, 2022

Survival of <i>Escherichia coli</i> K-12 in various types of drinking water

For public health, drinking water should be free of bacterial contamination. The objective of this research is to identify the fate of bacteria if drinking water becomes contaminated and inform consumers on which water type enables the least bacteria to survive. We hypothesized that bottled mineral water would provide the most sufficient conditions for E. coli to survive. We found that if water becomes contaminated, the conditions offered by the three water types at room temperature allow E. coli to survive up to three days. At 72 hours, the bottled spring water had the highest average colony forming units (CFUs), with tap and mineral water CFU values statistically lower than spring water but not significantly different from each other. The findings of this research highlight the need of implementing accessible quality drinking water for the underserved population and for the regulation of water sources.


Impact of daf-25 and daf-11 Mutations on Olfactory Function in C. elegans

Gardner et al. | Feb 02, 2019

Impact of daf-25 and daf-11 Mutations on Olfactory Function in C. elegans

Cilia are little hair-like protrusions on many cells in the human body, including those lining the trachea where they play a role in clearing our respiratory tract of mucous and other irritants. Genetic mutations that impair ciliary function have serious consequences on our well-being making it important to understand how ciliary function is regulated. By using a simple organism, such as the worm C. elegans that use cilia to move, the authors explore the effect of certain genetic mutations on the cilia of the worms by measuring their ability to move towards or away from certain odorants.


The Prevalence of Brain-Eating Roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis in Merrick County, Nebraska

Reeves et al. | Sep 20, 2018

The Prevalence of Brain-Eating Roundworm <i>Baylisascaris procyonis</i> in Merrick County, Nebraska

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 silico modeling of emodin’s interactions with serine/threonine kinases and chitosan derivatives

Suresh et al. | Jan 10, 2022

<i>In silico</i> modeling of emodin’s interactions with serine/threonine kinases and chitosan derivatives

Here, through protein-ligand docking, the authors investigated the effect of the interaction of emodin with serine/threonine kinases, a subclass of kinases that is overexpressed in many cancers, which is implicated in phosphorylation cascades. Through molecular dynamics theyfound that emodin forms favorable interactions with chitosan and chitosan PEG (polyethylene glycol) copolymers, which could aid in loading drugs into nanoparticles (NPs) for targeted delivery to cancerous tissue. Both polymers demonstrated reasonable entrapment efficiencies, which encourages experimental exploration of emodin through targeted drug delivery vehicles and their anticancer activity.


Inhibiting the ERK pathway and the TRPM7 ion channel in gastric and bladder cancer cells

Yang et al. | Oct 14, 2021

Inhibiting the ERK pathway and the TRPM7 ion channel in gastric and bladder cancer cells

In this work the authors investigate new possible treatment methods for gastric and bladder cancers. They specifically targeted the transient receptor potential cation subfamily M member 7 (TRPM7), an ion channel that plays an important role in the survival of both of these cancers, and extracellular regulated kinases (ERKs),which contributes to the carcinogenesis of many cancers including gastric cancer. As a result, the authors consider the effects of Ginsenoside Rd, NS8593, curcumin, and icariin , known to inhibit TRPM7 and ERK. The authors found that these treatments decrease proliferation and induce apoptosis in studies of gastric and bladder cancer cells.


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