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Starts and Stops of Rhythmic and Discrete Movements: Modulation in the Excitability of the Corticomotor Tract During Transition to a Different Type of Movement

Lim et al. | Aug 27, 2018

Starts and Stops of Rhythmic and Discrete Movements: Modulation in the Excitability of the Corticomotor Tract During Transition to a Different Type of Movement

Control of voluntary and involuntary movements is one of the most important aspects of human neurological function, but the mechanisms of motor control are not completely understood. In this study, the authors use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to stimulate a portion of the motor cortex while subjects performed either discrete (e.g. throwing) or rhythmic (e.g. walking) movements. By recording electrical activity in the muscles during this process, the authors showed that motor evoked potentials (MEPs) measured in the muscles during TMS stimulation are larger in amplitude for discrete movements than for rhythmic movements. Interestingly, they also found that MEPs during transitions between rhythmic and discrete movements were nearly identical and larger in amplitude than those recorded during either rhythmic or discrete movements. This research provides important insights into the mechanisms of neurological control of movement and will serve as the foundation for future studies to learn more about temporal variability in neural activity during different movement types.

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The non-nutritive sweeteners acesulfame potassium and neotame slow the regeneration rate of planaria

Russo et al. | Nov 29, 2023

The non-nutritive sweeteners acesulfame potassium and neotame slow the regeneration rate of planaria
Image credit: Russo et al. 2023

The consumption of sugar substitute non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) has dramatically increased in recent years. Despite being advertised as a healthy alternative, NNS have been linked to adverse effects on the body, such as neurodegenerative diseases (NDs). In NDs, neural stem cell function is impaired, which inhibits neuron regeneration. The purpose of this study was to determine if the NNS acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) and neotame affect planaria neuron regeneration rates. Since human neurons may regenerate, planaria, organisms with extensive regenerative capabilities due to stem cells called neoblasts, were used as the model organism. The heads of planaria exposed to either a control or non-toxic concentrations of NNS were amputated. The posterior regions of the planaria were observed every 24 hours to see the following regeneration stages: (1) wound healing, (2) blastema development, (3) growth, and (4) differentiation. The authors hypothesized that exposure to the NNS would slow planaria regeneration rates. The time it took for the planaria in the Ace-K group and the neotame group to reach the second, third, and fourth regeneration stage was significantly greater than that of the control. The results of this study indicated that exposure to the NNS significantly slowed regeneration rates in planaria. This suggests that the NNS may adversely impact neoblast proliferation rates in planaria, implying that it could impair neural stem cell proliferation in humans, which plays a role in NDs. This study may provide insight into the connection between NNS, human neuron regeneration, and NDs.

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Autologous transplantation of fresh ovarian tissue in the ICR mice model

Wang et al. | Oct 24, 2022

Autologous transplantation of fresh ovarian tissue in the ICR mice model

In this study, we performed orthotopic auto-transplantation of fresh ovarian tissues by transplanting unilateral half ovarian tissue to the contralateral ovary in the ICR (Institute of Cancer Research) strain of outbred, heterogeneous mice to determine if the transplanted tissue could be functional. We found that the freshly transplanted mouse ovarian tissue survived and functional, as histochemical and immunofluorescence assays have shown that not only both follicles at different developing stages and corpus luteum are available, but the morphology of them are properly maintained within the transplanted tissue.

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Impact of gadodiamide (Omniscan) on a beef liver catalase ex vivo model

Hirsch et al. | Mar 10, 2023

Impact of gadodiamide (Omniscan) on a beef liver catalase <em>ex vivo</em> model
Image credit: Marcelo Leal

Here, seeking to better understand the effects of gadolinium-based contrast agents, dyes typically used for MRI scans, the authors evaluated the activity of catalase found in beef liver both with and without gadodiamide when exposed to hydrogen peroxide. They found that gadioamide did not significantly inhibit catalase's activity, attributing this lack of effects to the chelating agent found in gadodiamide.

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The Effects of Barley Straw (Hordeum vulgare) Extract and Barley Straw Pellets on Algal Growth and Water Quality

McHargue et al. | Oct 06, 2020

The Effects of Barley Straw (Hordeum vulgare) Extract and Barley Straw Pellets on Algal Growth and Water Quality

Algal overgrowth often threatens to clog irrigation pipes and drinking water lines when left unchecked, as well as releasing possible toxins that threaten plant and human health. It is thus important to find natural, non-harmful agents that can decrease algal growth without threatening the health of plants and humans. In this paper, the authors test the efficacy of barely extract in either liquid or pellet form in decreasing algal growth. While their results were inconclusive, the experimental set-up allows them to investigate a wider range of agents as anti-algal treatments that could potentially be adopted on a wider scale.

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Alloferon improves the growth performance and developmental time of mealworms (Tenebrio molitor)

Shon et al. | Oct 20, 2023

Alloferon improves the growth performance and developmental time of mealworms <em>(Tenebrio molitor)</em>

Mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) are important food sources for reptiles, birds, and other organisms, as well as for humans. However, the slow growth and low survival rate of mealworms cause problems for mass production. Since alloferon, a synthetic peptide, showed long-term immunological effects on mealworms, we hypothesized that alloferon would function as a growth promoter to maximize mealworm production. We discovered that the overall weight of the alloferon-containing gelatin diet group was 39.5-90% heavier, and the development time of the experimental group was shortened up to 20.6-39.6% than the control group.

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