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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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The Long-Term Effect of CBD Crystals and CBD Oil on Depressive-Associated Rat Behaviors

Yang et al. | Dec 18, 2020

The Long-Term Effect of CBD Crystals and CBD Oil on Depressive-Associated Rat Behaviors

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical extracted from cannabis and shown by some studies to alleviate the symptoms of many mental disorders, especially major depressive disorder. The authors hypothesized that chronic treatments with purified CBD through oral administration would relieve depression-associated behaviors in normal healthy rats under adverse conditions. A statistical analysis of the experimental data suggested that long-term consumption of CBD could elicit depression associated symptoms in normal rats without depression. The results imply that people should consume CBD-containing products with extreme caution and highlight the need to carefully monitor the use of CBD in health care products.

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Discovery of the Heart in Mathematics: Modeling the Chaotic Behaviors of Quantized Periods in the Mandelbrot Set

Golla et al. | Dec 14, 2020

Discovery of the Heart in Mathematics: Modeling the Chaotic Behaviors of Quantized Periods in the Mandelbrot Set

This study aimed to predict and explain chaotic behavior in the Mandelbrot Set, one of the world’s most popular models of fractals and exhibitors of Chaos Theory. The authors hypothesized that repeatedly iterating the Mandelbrot Set’s characteristic function would give rise to a more intricate layout of the fractal and elliptical models that predict and highlight “hotspots” of chaos through their overlaps. The positive and negative results from this study may provide a new perspective on fractals and their chaotic nature, helping to solve problems involving chaotic phenomena.

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The Effect of the Human MeCP2 gene on Drosophila melanogaster behavior and p53 inhibition as a model for Rett Syndrome

Ganga et al. | Sep 07, 2020

The Effect of the Human <i>MeCP2</i> gene on <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i> behavior and p53 inhibition as a model for Rett Syndrome

In this study, the authors observe if the symptoms of Rett Syndrome, a neurodegenerative disease in humans, are reflected in Drosophila melanogaster. This was achieved by differentiating the behavior and physical aspects of wild-type flies from flies expressing the full-length MeCP2 gene and the mutated MeCP2 gene (R106W). After conducting these experiments, some of the Rett Syndrome symptoms were recapitulated in Drosophila, and a subset of those were partially ameliorated by the introduction of pifithrin-alpha.

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Examining effects of E. muscae on olfactory function in D. melanogaster

Friedman et al. | Jul 08, 2021

Examining effects of <em>E. muscae</em> on olfactory function in <em>D. melanogaster</em>

In this article, the authors investigate the effects of fungus E. muscae on fruit fly behavior. More specifically, they investigate whether this fungus affects olfaction. Their findings contribute to a broader set of studies seeking to understand how host's central nervous systems can be affected by infections.

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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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Extroverts as Materialists: Correlating Personality Traits, Materialism, and Spending Behavior

Jackson et al. | Feb 19, 2017

Extroverts as Materialists: Correlating Personality Traits, Materialism, and Spending Behavior

The authors investigated the relationship between personality traits and adolescent materialism, as well as how materialism relates to spending habits. Results indicate that extroversion was positively correlated with materialism, and that adolescents' purchases were affected by the purchasing behaviors of their friends or peers. Moreover, materialistic youth were more likely than non-materialistic youth to spend money on themselves when given a hypothetical windfall of $500.

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The Effects of Altered Microbiome on Caenorhabditis elegans Egg Laying Behavior

Gohari et al. | Aug 12, 2019

The Effects of Altered Microbiome on <em>Caenorhabditis elegans</em> Egg Laying Behavior

Since the discovery that thousands of different bacteria colonize our gut, many of which are important for human wellbeing, understanding the significance of balancing the different species on the human body has been intensely researched. Untangling the complexity of the gut microbiome and establishing the effect of the various strains on human health is a challenge in many circumstances, and the need for simpler systems to improve our basic understanding of microbe-host interactions seems necessary. C. elegans are a well-established laboratory animal that feed on bacteria and can thus serve as a less complex system for studying microbe-host interactions. Here the authors investigate how the choice of bacterial diet affects worm fertility. The same approach could be applied to many different outcomes, and facilitate our understanding of how the microbes colonizing our guts affect various bodily functions.

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