One important factor that contributes to human cancers is accumulated damage to cells' DNA due to the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. In this study, the authors investigate the effects of several different tea leaf extracts on oxidative stress in cultured human prostate cells to see if antioxidants in the tea leaves could help protect cells from this type of DNA damage. They found that all four types of tea extract (as well as direct application of the antioxidant EGCG) improved the outcomes for the cultured cells, with white tea extract having the strongest effect. This research suggests that tea extracts and the antioxidants that they contain may have applications in the treatment of the many diseases associated with cellular DNA damage, including cancer.
The diagnosis of malaria remains one of the major hurdles to eradicating the disease, especially among poorer populations. Here, the authors use machine learning to improve the accuracy of deep learning algorithms that automate the diagnosis of malaria using images of blood smears from patients, which could make diagnosis easier and faster for many.
Here, based on the identified importance of physical activity in the development of young children, the authors investigated the effects of socioeconomic factors on the amount of physical activity of government-school children in India. They found significant differences between boys and girls, rural and urban, and children who were encouraged to exercise and those who were not. Overall, they suggest that their findings point to the important role of schools and communities in promoting healthy active lifestyles for developing children.
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.
This study examines the higher harmonics in an oscillating string by analyzing the sound produced by a guitar with a spectrum analyzer. The authors mathematically hypothesized that the higher harmonics in the series of the directly excited 2nd harmonic contain the alternate frequencies of the fundamental series, the higher harmonics of the directly excited 3rd harmonic series contain every third frequency of fundamental series, and so on. To test the hypotheses, they enforced artificial nodes to excite the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th harmonics directly, and analyzed the resulting spectrum to verify the mathematical hypothesis. The data analysis corroborates both hypotheses.
Here, seeking to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the social interactions of junior high school students, the authors surveyed students, teachers, and parents. Contrary to their initial hypotheses, the authors found positive correlation between increased virtual contact during social isolation and in-person conflict and disregard for social norms after the pandemic. While the authors identified the limitations of their study, they suggest that further research into the effect of online interactions is becoming increasingly important.
The burning of fossil fuels, leading to an increased amount of carbon emissions, is the main cause of acid rain. Acid rain affects the process of photosynthesis, which makes the topic valuable to investigate. Our group utilizes plants to further investigate the relationship between pH value and photosynthesis. In this experiment, our group hypothesized that rain with a lower pH will decrease the rate of photosynthesis, causing less oxygen to be produced in the reaction.
Salmonella is a genus of bacteria responsible for over 90 million cases of intestinal illnesses yearly. Like many bacteria, Salmonella can create a biofilm matrix, which confers stronger resistance against antibiotics. However, there has been relatively little research on the inhibition of Salmonella biofilm formation, which is a crucial factor in its widespread growth. In this study, Lee and Kim quantitatively measure the effectiveness of several common probiotics in inhibiting Salmonella bacterial growth. They found concentration-dependent antibacterial effects varied among the probiotics tested, indicating the possibility of probiotic species-specific mechanisms of Salmonella growth inhibition.
In the United States, there are currently 17.8 million affected by atopic dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema. It is characterized by itching and skin inflammation. AD patients are at higher risk for infections, depression, cancer, and suicide. Genetics, environment, and stress are some of the causes of the disease. With the rise of personalized medicine and the acceptance of gene-editing technologies, AD-related variations need to be identified for treatment. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have associated the Filaggrin (FLG) gene with AD but have not identified specific problematic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This research aimed to refine known SNPs of FLG for gene editing technologies to establish a causal link between specific SNPs and the diseases and to target the polymorphisms. The research utilized R and its Bioconductor packages to refine data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI's) Variation Viewer. The algorithm filtered the dataset by coding regions and conserved domains. The algorithm also removed synonymous variations and treated non-synonymous, frameshift, and nonsense separately. The non-synonymous variations were refined and ordered by the BLOSUM62 substitution matrix. Overall, the analysis removed 96.65% of data, which was redundant or not the focus of the research and ordered the remaining relevant data by impact. The code for the project can also be repurposed as a tool for other diseases. The research can help solve GWAS's imprecise identification challenge. This research is the first step in providing the refined databases required for gene-editing treatment.
Mushroom compost, also called Spent Mushroom Substrate or Spent Mushroom Compost (SMC), is suitable for a variety of plants. Previous research has found that the application of SMC will increase plant growth. However, it is unclear which exact proportions of SMC and soil will maximize tomato and bean plant growth. We showed that the hypothesized growth media with 30% SMC optimizes seed germination, plant height, number of leaves, and survival rate compared to other combinations of growth media. Our research suggests that SMC is a useful alternative for conventional fertilizers.