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Spider Density Shows Weak Relationship with Vegetation Density

Ryon et al. | Jul 03, 2020

Spider Density Shows Weak Relationship with Vegetation Density

Evidence supports that spiders have many ecological benefits including insect control and predation in the food chain. In this study the authors investigate that whether the percent of vegetation coverage and spider density are correlated. They determine that despite the trend there is no statistically significant correlation.

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Effects of Paan Extracts on Periodontal Ligament and Osteosarcoma Cells

Venkatachalam et al. | Sep 20, 2018

Effects of Paan Extracts on Periodontal Ligament and Osteosarcoma Cells

In South Asian countries, the major cause of oral cancer is reported to be chewing paan, which is comprised of betel leaf daubed with slaked lime paste and areca nut. To investigate how paan may contribute to the onset of cancer, the authors treated two immortalized cell lines with extracts of betel leaf, areca nut, and lime and evaluated how these treatments affected cell proliferation and cell death. Initial results indicate that while betel leaf alone may inhibit cell growth, areca nut promoted cancer cell survival and proliferation, even when co-treated with betel leaf. These data suggest that areca nut could exacerbate the progression of oral cancer in humans.

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Upregulation of the Ribosomal Pathway as a Potential Blood-Based Genetic Biomarker for Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and PTSD

Ravi et al. | Aug 22, 2018

Upregulation of the Ribosomal Pathway as a Potential  Blood-Based Genetic Biomarker for Comorbid Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and PTSD

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are two of the fastest growing comorbid diseases in the world. Using publicly available datasets from the National Institute for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Ravi and Lee conducted a differential gene expression analysis using 184 blood samples from either control individuals or individuals with comorbid MDD and PTSD. As a result, the authors identified 253 highly differentially-expressed genes, with enrichment for proteins in the gene ontology group 'Ribosomal Pathway'. These genes may be used as blood-based biomarkers for susceptibility to MDD or PTSD, and to tailor treatments within a personalized medicine regime.

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An Exploration of a Honey-Ginger Supplement as an Antimicrobial Agent

Phillips et al. | Jul 10, 2016

An Exploration of a Honey-Ginger Supplement as an Antimicrobial Agent

Due to the increase in antimicrobial resistance, alternative medicinal therapies are being explored. Studies have shown that honey and ginger alone have antimicrobial effects on the genera Staphylococcus and Escherichia, including S. epidermidis and E. coli. The authors of this study tested whether a honey-ginger supplement, Jengimiel™, could be used as an antimicrobial agent against S. epidermidis and E. coli K-12.

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How planarians are affected by mouthwash and cough syrup

Mebane et al. | Nov 14, 2021

How planarians are affected by mouthwash and cough syrup

Since cough syrup and mouthwash are commonly used items and often end up flushed down the drain or toilet, they can eventually find their way into into freshwater waterways which can be harmful to many marine organisms, such as planarians (aquatic flatworms). To investigate the effects of these substances on planarians, the authors considered different concentrations of Listerine mouthwash and Robitussin syrup along with their active ingredients. By using a behavioral assay, they identified that the active ingredients of cough syrup detrimentally affect planarian behavior. They suggest that these findings could be used to guide disposal methods to lessen detrimental effects on aquatic life.

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People’s Preference to Bet on Home Teams Even When Losing is Likely

Weng et al. | Mar 10, 2020

People’s Preference to Bet on Home Teams Even When Losing is Likely

In this study, the authors investigate situations in which people make sports bets that seem to go against their better judgement. Using surveys, individuals were asked to bet on which team would win in scenarios when their home team was involved and others when they were not to determine whether fandom for a team can overshadow fans’ judgment. They found that fans bet much more on their home teams than neutral teams when their team was facing a large deficit.

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Assigning Lightning Seasons to Different Regions in the United States

Hawkins et al. | Sep 07, 2020

Assigning Lightning Seasons to Different Regions in the United States

Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of severe thunderstorm events in coming years. In this study, the authors hypothesized that (i) the majority of severe thunderstorm events will occur in the summer months in all states examined for all years analyzed, (ii) climate change will cause an unusual number of severe thunderstorm events in winter months in all states, (iii) thundersnow would be observed in Colorado, and (iv.) there would be no difference in the number of severe thunderstorm events between states in any given year examined. They classified lightning seasons in all states observed, with the most severe thunderstorm events occurring in May, June, July, and August. Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, and West Virginia were found to have severe thunderstorm events in the winter, which could be explained by increased winter storms due to climate change (1). Overall, they highlight the importance of quantifying when lightning seasons occur to avoid lightning-related injuries or death.

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