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The Feasibility of Mixed Reality Gaming as a Tool for Physical Therapy Following a Spinal Cord Injury

DeBre et al. | Apr 04, 2018

The Feasibility of Mixed Reality Gaming as a Tool for Physical Therapy Following a Spinal Cord Injury

Physical therapy, especially for patients with spinal cord injuries, can be a difficult and tedious experience. This can result in negative health outcomes, such as patients dropping out of physical therapy or developing additional health problems. In this study, the authors develop and test a potential solution to these challenges: a mixed reality game called Skyfarer that replaces a standard physical therapy regimen with an immersive experience that can be shared with their friends and family. The findings of this study suggest that mixed reality games such as Skyfarer could be effective alternatives to conventional physical therapy.

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Music's Effect on Dogs' Heart Rates

Aubin et al. | Oct 03, 2017

Music's Effect on Dogs' Heart Rates

Music can affect the behavior of humans and other animals. In this study, the authors studied five types of music with different tempos and demonstrated how each one affected dogs' heart rates.

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Reducing Crop Damage Caused by Folsomia candida by Providing an Alternate Food Source

Tamura et al. | May 28, 2018

Reducing Crop Damage Caused by Folsomia candida by Providing an Alternate Food Source

Tamura and Moché found that Folsomia candida, a common crop pest, prefers to consume yeast instead of lettuce seedlings. The authors confirmed that even with the availability of both lettuce seedlings and yeast in the same dish, Folsomia candida preferred to eat the yeast, thereby reducing the number of feeding injuries on the lettuce seedlings. The authors propose that using this preference for yeast may be a way to mitigate crop damage by this pest.

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A Novel Method for Auto-Suturing in Laparoscopic Robotic-Assisted Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Anastomosis

Levy et al. | Jun 21, 2018

A Novel Method for Auto-Suturing in Laparoscopic Robotic-Assisted Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Anastomosis

Levy & Levy tackle the optimization of the coronary artery bypass graft, a life-saving surgical technique that treats artery blockage due to coronary heart disease. The authors develop a novel auto-suturing method that saves time, allows for an increased number of sutures, and improves graft quality over hand suturing. The authors also show that increasing the number of sutures from four to five with their new method significantly improves graft quality. These promising findings may help improve outcomes for patients undergoing surgery to treat coronary heart disease.

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Talinum paniculatum root exhibits synergistic antimicrobial activity with Tetracycline, Erythromycin, and Streptomycin against S. aureus but has no observed effect on antibiotic efficacy against E. coli

Patel et al. | Jan 09, 2018

Talinum paniculatum root exhibits synergistic antimicrobial activity with Tetracycline, Erythromycin, and Streptomycin against S. aureus but has no observed effect on antibiotic efficacy against E. coli

Patel et al. explore whether T. paniculatum plant extract can work with modern antibiotics to increase antibiotic efficacy against common disease-causing bacteria. The plant extract in conjunction with the antibiotic shows promise in battling S. aureus. The authors present a cost-effective method to increase antibiotic efficacy in a time where antibiotic resistant bacteria is becoming a growing problem.

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Expression of Anti-Neurodegeneration Genes in Mutant Caenorhabditis elegans Using CRISPR-Cas9 Improves Behavior Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease

Mishra et al. | Sep 14, 2019

Expression of Anti-Neurodegeneration Genes in Mutant <em>Caenorhabditis elegans</em> Using CRISPR-Cas9 Improves Behavior Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and is characterized by neurodegeneration. Mishra et al. wanted to understand the role of two transport proteins, LRP1 and AQP4, in the neurodegeneration of Alzheimer's disease. They used a model organism for Alzheimer's disease, the nematode C. elegans, and genetic engineering to look at whether they would see a decrease in neurodegeneration if they increased the amount of these two transport proteins. They found that the best improvements were caused by increased expression of both transport proteins, with smaller improvements when just one of the proteins is overly expressed. Their work has important implications for how we understand neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease and what we can do to slow or prevent the progression of the disease.

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The Bioactive Ingredients in Niuli Lactucis Agrestibus Possess Anticancer Effects

Zhu et al. | Sep 17, 2019

The Bioactive Ingredients in Niuli Lactucis Agrestibus Possess Anticancer Effects

In​ the​ field​ of​ medicine,​ natural​ treatments​ are​ becoming ​increasingly ​vital ​towards ​the ​cure ​of ​cancer. Zhu et al. wanted to investigate the effects of lettuce extract on cancer cell survival and proliferation. They used an adenocarcinoma cell line, COLO320DM, to determine whether crude extract from a lettuce species called Niuli​ Lactucis Agrestibus​ would affect cancer cell survival, migration, and proliferation. They found that Niuli extract inhibited cancer cell survival, increased expression of cell cycle inhibitors p21 and p27, and inhibited migration. However, Niuli extract did not have these effects on healthy cells. This work reveals important findings about a potential new source of anti-colorectal cancer compounds.

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Friend or Foe: Investigating the Relationship between a Corn Crop and a Native Ragweed Population

Wainwright et al. | May 07, 2014

Friend or Foe: Investigating the Relationship between a Corn Crop and a Native Ragweed Population

Farmers will need to increase crop yields to feed the world's growing population efficiently. The authors here investigate the effects of growing corn in the presence or absence of ragweed, an invasive weed found in many fields and gardens. Surprisingly, the authors found that corn grown in the presence of weeds grew taller and were more productive than corn that had weeds removed. This may help gardeners rethink the necessity of weeding, and may point a way to improve farm yields in the future.

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How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

Everitt et al. | Feb 15, 2021

How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

As the world struggled to grapple with the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many countries instated policies to help minimize the spread of the virus among residents. This inadvertently led to a decrease in travel, and in some cases, industrial output, two major sources of pollutants in today's world. Here, the authors investigate whether California's shelter-in-place policy was associated with a measurable decrease in water and air pollution in that state between June and July of 2020, compared to the preceeding five years. Their findings suggest that, by some metrics, air quality improved within certain areas while water quality was relatively unchanged. Overall, these findings suggest that changing human behavior can, indeed, help reduce the level of air pollutants that compromise air quality.

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