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Deciphering correlation and causation in risk factors for heart disease with Mendelian randomization

Singh et al. | Feb 08, 2023

Deciphering correlation and causation in risk factors for heart disease with Mendelian randomization
Image credit: Robina Weermeijer

Here, seeking to identify the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), a major cause of cardiovascular disease, the authors used Mendelian randomization. With this method they identified several traits such as blood pressure readings, LDL cholesterol and BMI as significant risk factors. While other traits were not found to be significant risk factors.

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Comparing the Dietary Preference of Caenorhabditis elegans for Bacterial Probiotics vs. Escherichia coli.

Lulla et al. | Dec 18, 2020

Comparing the Dietary Preference of <i>Caenorhabditis elegans</i> for Bacterial Probiotics vs. <i>Escherichia coli</i>.

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.

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Estimation of cytokines in PHA-activated mononuclear cells isolated from human peripheral and cord blood

Subbiah et al. | Mar 09, 2022

Estimation of cytokines in PHA-activated mononuclear cells isolated from human peripheral and cord blood

In this study, the authors investigated the time-dependent cytokine secretion ability of phyto-hemagglutinin (PHA)-activated T cells derived from human peripheral (PB) and cord blood (CB). They hypothesized that the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10, and pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNFα, levels would be higher in PHA-activated T cells obtained from PB as compared to the levels obtained from CB and would decrease over time. Upon PHA-activation, the IL-10 levels were relatively high while the TNFα levels decreased, making these findings applicable in therapeutic treatments e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and organ transplantation.

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Impact of Kindles4Covid Virtual Reading Buddies Program on reading frequency and social connections

Pandey et al. | Jun 25, 2022

Impact of Kindles4Covid Virtual Reading Buddies Program on reading frequency and social connections

With the COVID-19 pandemic necessitating the transition to remote learning, disruption to daily school routine has impacted educational experiences on a global scale. As a result, it has potentially worsened reading achievement gaps typically exacerbated by long summer months. To address literacy skill retention and pandemic-induced social isolation, the non-profit organization ByKids4Kids has created a reading program, “Kindles4Covid Virtual Reading Buddies Program,” to instill a structure for youth to read together and connect with the convenience of Amazon Kindle devices. In this article, the authors determine the efficacy of their invaluable program by assessing changes in reading frequency and self-reported connectedness among program participants.

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A land use regression model to predict emissions from oil and gas production using machine learning

Cao et al. | Mar 24, 2023

A land use regression model to predict emissions from oil and gas production using machine learning

Emissions from oil and natural gas (O&G) wells such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and ozone (O3) can severely impact the health of communities located near wells. In this study, we used O&G activity and wind-carried emissions to quantify the extent to which O&G wells affect the air quality of nearby communities, revealing that NO2, NOx, and NO are correlated to O&G activity. We then developed a novel land use regression (LUR) model using machine learning based on O&G prevalence to predict emissions.

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Tap water quality analysis in Ulaanbaatar City

Munkhbat et al. | Sep 25, 2022

Tap water quality analysis in Ulaanbaatar City

There have been several issues concerning the water quality in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in the past few years. This study, we collected 28 samples from 6 districts of Ulaanbaatar to check if the water supply quality met the standards of the World Health Organization, the Environmental Protection Agency, and a Mongolian National Standard. Only three samples fully met all the requirements of the global standards. Samples in Zaisan showed higher hardness (>120 ppm) and alkalinity levels (20–200 ppm) over the other districts in the city. Overall, the results show that it is important to ensure a safe and accessible water supply in Ulaanbaatar to prevent future water quality issues.

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Effects on Learning and Memory of a Mutation in Dα7: A D. melanogaster Homolog of Alzheimer's Related Gene for nAChR α7

Sanyal et al. | Oct 01, 2019

Effects on Learning and Memory of a Mutation in Dα7: A <em>D. melanogaster</em> Homolog of Alzheimer's Related Gene for nAChR α7

Alzheimer's disease (AD) involves the reduction of cholinergic activity due to a decrease in neuronal levels of nAChR α7. In this work, Sanyal and Cuellar-Ortiz explore the role of the nAChR α7 in learning and memory retention, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. The performance of mutant flies (PΔEY6) was analyzed in locomotive and olfactory-memory retention tests in comparison to wild type (WT) flies and an Alzheimer's disease model Arc-42 (Aβ-42). Their results suggest that the lack of the D. melanogaster-nAChR causes learning, memory, and locomotion impairments, similar to those observed in Alzheimer's models Arc-42.

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