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Investigation of Everyday Locations for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Maggio et al. | Dec 12, 2019

Investigation of Everyday Locations for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Cambridge, Massachusetts

In this study, the authors investigate whether antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be found in everyday locations. To do this, they collected samples from multiple high-trafficked areas in Cambridge, MA and grew them in the presence and absence of antibiotics. Interestingly, they grew bacterial colonies from many locations' samples, but not all could grow in the presence of ampicillin. These findings are intriguing and relevant given the rising concern about antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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Functional Network Connectivity: Possible Biomarker for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Wang et al. | Feb 23, 2015

Functional Network Connectivity: Possible Biomarker for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder and is difficult to diagnose in young children. Here magnetoencephalography was used to compare the brain activity in patients with ASD to patients in a control group. The results show that patients with ASD have a high level of activity in different areas of the brain than those in the control group.

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Spectroscopic Kinetic Monitoring and Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biocatalytic Ester Hydrolysis in Non-Aqueous Solvent

Chen et al. | Dec 20, 2020

Spectroscopic Kinetic Monitoring and Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biocatalytic Ester Hydrolysis in Non-Aqueous Solvent

Lipases are a common class of enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of lipids. Here the authors characterize the the activity of pancreatic lipase in different organic solvents using a choloremetric assay, as well as using molecular dynamic simulations. They report that the activity of pancreatic lipase in 5% methanol is more than 25% higher than in water, despite enzyme stability being comparable in both solvents. This suggests that, for industrial applications, using pancreatic lipase in 5% methanol solution might increase yield, compared to just water.

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Comparative screening of dose-dependent and strain-specific antimicrobial efficacy of berberine against a representative library of broad-spectrum antibiotics

Sun et al. | May 10, 2021

Comparative screening of dose-dependent and strain-specific antimicrobial efficacy of berberine against a representative library of broad-spectrum antibiotics

We hypothesize that berberine has broad-spectrum antibacterial properties, along with potency that is comparable to current broad-spectrum antibiotics that are commercially available. Here, we screened berberine against four strains of bacteria and evaluated its antimicrobial activity against five broad-spectrum antibiotics from different classes to better quantify berberine’s antibacterial activity and compare its efficacy as an antibacterial agent to the broad-spectrum antibiotics. Our results indicated that berberine had strain-selective cytotoxic effects and was significantly less potent than most of the broad-spectrum antibiotics

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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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Comparing the effects of electronic cigarette smoke and conventional cigarette smoke on lung cancer viability

Choe et al. | Sep 18, 2022

Comparing the effects of electronic cigarette smoke and conventional cigarette smoke on lung cancer viability

Here, recognizing the significant growth of electronic cigarettes in recent years, the authors sought to test a hypothesis that three main components of the liquid solutions used in e-cigarettes might affect lung cancer cell viability. In a study performed by exposing A549 cells, human lung cancer cells, to different types of smoke extracts, the authors found that increasing levels of nicotine resulted in improve lung cancer cell viability up until the toxicity of nicotine resulted in cell death. They conclude that these results suggest that contrary to conventional thought e-cigarettes may be more dangerous than tobacco cigarettes in certain contexts.

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The effects of different modes of vocalization and food consumption on the level of droplet transmission of bacteria

Wong et al. | May 10, 2021

The effects of different modes of vocalization and food consumption on the level of droplet transmission of bacteria

Microbial agents reposnsible for respiratory infections are often carried in spittle, which means they can be easily transmitted. Here, the authors investigate how likely certain activities are to spread microbes carried in spittle. They also investigate whether eating certain types of food might reduce the spread of spittle-borne bacteria too.

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How Ethanol Concentration Affects Catalase Catalysis of Hydrogen Peroxide

Liu et al. | Nov 15, 2021

How Ethanol Concentration Affects Catalase Catalysis of Hydrogen Peroxide

Catalase is a critical enzyme in the human body because it is capable of converting potentially dangerous hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. This work asks whether ethanol affects catalase activity, as alcohol consumption has been often linked to hepatitis occurring in the liver, where catalase level is especially high, and ethanol is known to be capable of denaturing proteins. Testing different concentrations of ethanol found that higher concentrations reduced the activity of catalase. This work has important implications on the negative effects of ethanol on metabolism, in which catalase plays an important role, and protein function more broadly.

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