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Nitric Oxide Synthesis/Pathway Inhibitors in Daphnia magna Reverse Alcohol-Induced Heart Rate Decrease

Gunturi et al. | Sep 17, 2019

Nitric Oxide Synthesis/Pathway Inhibitors in Daphnia magna Reverse Alcohol-Induced Heart Rate Decrease

Chronic alcohol consumption can cause cardiac myopathy, which afflicts about 500,000 Americans annually. Gunturi et al. wanted to understand the effects of alcohol on heart rate and confirm the role of nitric oxide (NO) signaling in heart rate regulation. Using the model organism Daphnia magna, a water crustacean with a large, transparent heart, they found that the heart rate of Daphnia magna was reduced after treatment with alcohol. This depression could be reversed after treatment with inhibitors of NO synthesis and signaling. Their work has important implications for how we understand alcohol-induced effects on heart rate and potential treatments to reverse heart rate depression as a result of alcohol consumption.

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The effect of the consumption of the probiotic B. infantis on ethanol withdrawal symptoms in planaria (Dugesia dorotocephala)

McCandless et al. | Mar 16, 2021

The effect of the consumption of the probiotic B. infantis on ethanol withdrawal symptoms in planaria (Dugesia dorotocephala)

Alcohol use disorder is a chronic, relapsing disease that affects millions of Americans every day. There are limited treatment options for alcohol dependence and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, including depression and anxiety. Previous studies have shown that probiotics can decrease depression in rodents during maternal separation and anxiety in humans. Therefore, we hypothesized that the ethanol-withdrawn planaria who consumed probiotics would have decreased withdrawal symptoms as measured by increased motility compared to the ethanol-withdrawn planaria that were not fed probiotics. The ethanol-withdrawn planaria had a statistically significant decrease in motility compared to the control group, while the planaria that consumed probiotics had no statistically significant change in motility compared to the control group.

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Behavioral Longevity: The Impact of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Obesity on Life Expectancy

Han et al. | Oct 03, 2019

Behavioral Longevity: The Impact of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Obesity on Life Expectancy

In this article, the authors look into what is already known about the factor affecting longevity and determine the importance of behavioral factors including alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity on longevity. The authors quantify data from over 150 countries and, interestingly, find that the impact each factor has on longevity is at least in part dependent on the country's economic development status. Overall, they conclude that an average person’s life expectancy can increase by more than 3 years if smoking and alcohol consumption is reduced by a half and weight is decreased by 10%.

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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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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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The Analysis of the Effects of Smoke and Water Vapor on Insect Pheromone Communication and Physical Condition: An Investigation of the Causes of Colony Collapse Disorder

Delatorre et al. | May 20, 2015

The Analysis of the Effects of Smoke and Water Vapor on Insect Pheromone Communication and Physical Condition: An Investigation of the Causes of Colony Collapse Disorder

The cause of insect colony collapse disorder (CCD) is still a mystery. In this study, the authors aimed to test the effects of two environmental factors, water vapor and smoke levels, on the social behavior and physical condition of insects. Their findings could help shed light on how changing environmental factors can contribute to CCD.

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Utilizing a Wastewater-Based Medium for Engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the Biological Production of Fatty Alcohols and Carboxylic Acids to Replace Petrochemicals

Ramesh et al. | Oct 02, 2019

Utilizing a Wastewater-Based Medium for Engineered <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em> for the Biological Production of Fatty Alcohols and Carboxylic Acids to Replace Petrochemicals

Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast is used to produce bioethanol, an alternative to fossil fuels. In this study, authors take advantage of this well studied yeast by genetically engineering them to increase fatty acid biosynthesis and culturing in a cost-effective wastewater based medium; potentially providing a sustainable alternative to petrochemicals.

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POC-MON: A Novel and Cost-Effective Pocket Lemon Sniff Test (PLST) for Early Detection of Major Depressive Disorder

Cruz et al. | Jul 07, 2020

POC-MON: A Novel and Cost-Effective Pocket Lemon Sniff Test (PLST) for Early Detection of Major Depressive Disorder

Effective treatment of depression requires early detection. Depressive symptoms overlap with olfactory regions, which led to several studies of the correlation between sense of smell and depression. The alarming rise of depression, its related crimes, suicides, and lack of inexpensive, quick tools in detecting early depression — this study aims in demonstrating decreased olfaction and depression correlation. Forty-two subjects (ages 13-83) underwent POC-MON (Pocket Lemon) assessment — an oven-dried lemon peel sniff test, subjected to distance measurement when odor first detected (threshold) and completed Patient Health Questionnaires (PHQ-9). POC-MON and PHQ-9 scores yielded a correlation of 20% and 18% for the right and left nostrils, respectively. Among male (n=17) subjects, the average distance of POC-MON and PHQ-9 scores produced a correlation of 14% and 16% for the right and left nostrils, respectively. Females (n=25) demonstrated a correlation of 28% and 21% for the right and left nostrils, respectively. These results suggest the correlation between olfaction and depression in diagnosing its early-stage, using a quick, inexpensive, and patient-friendly tool — POC-MON.

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Changes for Development of Al2O3 Coated PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) Composite Nonwoven Separator For Improving Thermal and Electrochemical Properties

Kim et al. | Oct 16, 2019

Changes for Development of Al2O3 Coated PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) Composite Nonwoven Separator For Improving Thermal and Electrochemical Properties

Lithium-ion batteries, a breakthrough in chemistry that enabled the electronic revolution we live today have become an essential part of our day-to-day life. A phone battery running out after a heavy day of use with limited opportunities for recharging is a well-known and resented experience by almost everyone. How then can we make batteries more efficient? This paper proposes the use of a different type of separator, that improves the charging and discharging capacities of lithium ions compared to the classical separator. This and similar attempts to improve Lithium-ion battery function could facilitate the development of higher-performance batteries that work longer and withstand harsher use.

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