The purpose of our study was to determine if direct administration of CXCL1/KC to cardiomyocytes causes negative changes to cell density or proliferation. This molecule has been shown to reduce inflammation in certain instances. Homocysteine models the direct effect of an inflammatory agent on cardiomyocytes. Our question was whether these molecules directly impact cell density through an interaction with the cell proliferation process. We hypothesized that cells treated with CXCL1/KC would maintain the same cell density as untreated cells. In contrast, cells treated with Homocysteine or both Homocysteine and CXCL1/KC, were expected to have a higher cell density that than that of untreated cells.
Here, recognizing the recognizing the growing threat of non-biodegradable plastic waste, the authors investigated the ability to use a modified enzyme identified in bacteria to decompose polyethylene terephthalate (PET). They used simulations to screen and identify an optimized enzyme based on machine learning models. Ultimately, they identified a potential mutant PETases capable of decomposing PET with improved thermal stability.
Enzyme chemotaxis is a thermodynamic phenomenon in which enzymes move along a substrate concentration gradient towards regions with higher substrate concentrations and can be used to steer nanovehicles towards targets along natural substrate concentrations. In patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a gradient of tau protein forms in the bloodstream. Tau protein is a substrate of the enzyme CDK5, which catalyzes the phosphorylation of tau protein and can travel using chemotaxis along tau protein gradients to increasing concentrations of tau and amyloid-beta proteins. The authors hypothesized that CDK5 would be able to overcome these barriers of Brownian motion and developed a quantitative model using Michaelis-Menten kinetics to define the necessary parameters to confirm and characterize CDK5’s chemotactic behavior to establish its utility in drug delivery and other applications.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) affects nearly 200,000 people worldwide and there is currently no cure. The purpose of the study was to determine if Helianthus annuus seeds helped reduce nerve degeneration and increase locomotion using Drosophila melanogaster as the model organism. Through this experiment, we found a general trend suggesting that H. annuus helped increase the mobility of the D. melanogaster suggesting it could be a viable supplement for patients with ALS.
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.
Sequence accessibility is an important factor affecting gene expression. Sequence accessibility or openness impacts the likelihood that a gene is transcribed and translated into a protein and performs functions and manifests traits. There are many potential factors that affect the accessibility of a gene. In this study, our hypothesis was that the content of nucleotides in a genetic sequence predicts its accessibility. Using a machine learning linear regression model, we studied the relationship between nucleotide content and accessibility.
Plant diseases can cause up to 50% crop yield loss for the popular tomato plant. A mobile device-based method to identify diseases from photos of symptomatic leaves via computer vision can be more effective due to its convenience and accessibility. To enable a practical mobile solution, a “shallow” convolutional neural networks (CNNs) with few layers, and thus low computational requirement but with high accuracy similar to the deep CNNs is needed. In this work, we explored if such a model was possible.
Here, seeking to understand the effects of social media in relation to social media fatigue and/or overload in recent years, the authors used various linear models to assess the results of a survey of 27 respondents. Their results showed that increased duration of use of social media did not necessarily lead to fatigue, suggesting that quality may be more important than quantity. They also considered the purpose of an individual's social media usage as well as their engagement behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this experiment, the authors used C. elegans as a simple model organism to observe the impact of probiotics on the human digestive system. The results of the experiments showed that the C. elegans were, on average, most present in Chobani cultures over other tested yogurts. While not statistically significant, these results still demonstrated that C. elegans might prefer Chobani cultures over other probiotic yogurts, which may also indicate greater gut benefits from Chobani over the other yogurt brands tested.
Although no comprehensive characterization of schizophrenia exists, there is a general consensus that patients have electrical dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex. The authors designed a novel piezoelectric silk-based implant and optimized electrical output through the addition of conductive materials zinc oxide (ZnO) and aluminum nitride (AlN). With further research and compatibility studies, this implant could rectify electrical misfiring in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex.