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Behavioral Longevity: The Impact of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Obesity on Life Expectancy

Han et al. | Oct 03, 2019

Behavioral Longevity: The Impact of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Obesity on Life Expectancy

In this article, the authors look into what is already known about the factor affecting longevity and determine the importance of behavioral factors including alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity on longevity. The authors quantify data from over 150 countries and, interestingly, find that the impact each factor has on longevity is at least in part dependent on the country's economic development status. Overall, they conclude that an average person’s life expectancy can increase by more than 3 years if smoking and alcohol consumption is reduced by a half and weight is decreased by 10%.

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Racemic serine is less soluble than pure enantiomers due to stronger intermolecular hydrogen bonds

Ranka et al. | Nov 18, 2021

Racemic serine is less soluble than pure enantiomers due to stronger intermolecular hydrogen bonds

Seeking to develop a better understanding of the chemical and physical properties of amino acids that compose proteins, here the authors investigated the unusual relative insolubility of racemic mixtures of D- and L-serine compared to the solubility of pure D- or L-serine. The authors used a combination of microscopy and temperature measurements alongside previous X-ray diffraction studies to conclude that racemic DL-serine crystals consist of comparatively stronger hydrogen bond interactions compared to crystals of pure enantiomers. These stronger interactions were found to result in the unique release of heat during the crystallization of racemic mixtures.

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Transfer Learning for Small and Different Datasets: Fine-Tuning A Pre-Trained Model Affects Performance

Gupta et al. | Oct 18, 2020

Transfer Learning for Small and Different Datasets: Fine-Tuning A Pre-Trained Model Affects Performance

In this study, the authors seek to improve a machine learning algorithm used for image classification: identifying male and female images. In addition to fine-tuning the classification model, they investigate how accuracy is affected by their changes (an important task when developing and updating algorithms). To determine accuracy, a set of images is used to train the model and then a separate set of images is used for validation. They found that the validation accuracy was close to the training accuracy. This study contributes to the expanding areas of machine learning and its applications to image identification.

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Utilizing 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 to prevent the appearance of diabetic-like phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster

Zaverchand et al. | Sep 20, 2021

Utilizing 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 to prevent the appearance of diabetic-like phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster

This study aimed to assess the role of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 solution, at varying concentrations, in protecting vertical transmission of diabetic-like phenotypes. We hypothesized that the highest concentration of vitamin D solution (55 ng/mL) would be most effective in having a protective role. The results indicated that the hypothesis was partially supported; overall, all three concentrations of the vitamin D solution administered to the flies reared on HSDs had a protective effect, to varying extents.

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Modular mimics of neuroactive alkaloids - design, synthesis, and cholinesterase inhibitory activity of rivastigmine analogs

Yu et al. | Sep 12, 2022

Modular mimics of neuroactive alkaloids - design, synthesis, and cholinesterase inhibitory activity of rivastigmine analogs

Naturally occurring neuroactive alkaloids are often studied for their potential to treat Neurological diseases. This team of students study Rivastigmine, a potent cholinesterase inhibitor that is a synthetic analog of physostigmine, which comes from the Calabar bean plant Physostigma venenosum. By comparing the effects of optimized synthetic analogs to the naturally occurring alkaloid, they determine the most favorable analog for inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), the enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) to terminate neuronal transmission and signaling between synapses.

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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.

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