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Pollination Patterns by Green-Backed Firecrown Hummingbirds

Freeland et al. | May 28, 2020

Pollination Patterns by Green-Backed Firecrown Hummingbirds

The Green-backed Firecrown hummingbird is an essential pollinator in the temperate rainforests of southern South America. However, little is known about the ecology of these birds. Authors examined the foraging patterns of these birds identifying interesting differences in foraging patterns among season, age and sex.

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The Effects of Confinement on the Associative Learning of Gallus gallus domesticus

Jaworsky et al. | Dec 23, 2019

The Effects of Confinement on the Associative Learning of <em>Gallus gallus domesticus</em>

This study aimed to determine if confinement affects associative learning in chickens. The research found that the difference in time lapsed before chickens began to consume cottage cheese before and after confinement was significant. These results suggest that confinement distresses chickens, as it impairs associative learning without inducing confusion.

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Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Horton et al. | Sep 27, 2018

Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Although the United States maintains millions of square kilometers of nature reserves to protect the biodiversity of the specimens living there, little is known about how confining these species within designated protected lands influences the genetic variation required for a healthy population. In this study, the authors sequenced genetic barcodes of insects from a recently established nature reserve, the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve (SWRCMSR), and a non-protected area, the Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) Menifee campus, to compare the genetic variation between the two populations. Their results demonstrated that the midge fly population from the SWRCMSR had fewer unique DNA barcode sequence changes than the MSJC population, indicating that the comparatively younger nature reserve's population had likely not yet established its own unique genetic drift changes.

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High-throughput virtual screening of novel dihydropyrimidine monastrol analogs reveals robust structure-activity relationship to kinesin Eg5 binding thermodynamics

Shern et al. | Jan 20, 2021

High-throughput virtual screening of novel dihydropyrimidine monastrol analogs reveals robust structure-activity relationship to kinesin Eg5 binding thermodynamics

As cancer continues to take millions of lives worldwide, the need to create effective therapeutics for the disease persists. The kinesin Eg5 assembly motor protein is a promising target for cancer therapeutics as inhibition of this protein leads to cell cycle arrest. Monastrol, a small dihydropyrimidine-based molecule capable of inhibiting the kinesin Eg5 function, has attracted the attention of medicinal chemists with its potency, affinity, and specificity to the highly targeted loop5/α2/α3 allosteric binding pocket. In this work, we employed high-throughput virtual screening (HTVS) to identify potential small molecule Eg5 inhibitors from a designed set of novel dihydropyrimidine analogs structurally similar to monastrol.

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Computational Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR) of Berberine Analogs in Double-Stranded and G-Quadruplex DNA Binding Reveals Both Position and Target Dependence

Sun et al. | Dec 18, 2020

Computational Structure-Activity Relationship (SAR) of Berberine Analogs in Double-Stranded and G-Quadruplex DNA Binding Reveals Both Position and Target Dependence

Berberine, a natural product alkaloid, and its analogs have a wide range of medicinal properties, including antibacterial and anticancer effects. Here, the authors explored a library of alkyl or aryl berberine analogs to probe binding to double-stranded and G-quadruplex DNA. They determined that the nature of the substituent, the position of the substituent, and the nucleic acid target affect the free energy of binding of berberine analogs to DNA and G-quadruplex DNA, however berberine analogs did not result in net stabilization of G-quadruplex DNA.

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The analysis of the viral transmission and structural interactions between the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein and the lymphocyte receptor integrin α4β7

Ganesh et al. | Apr 28, 2021

The analysis of the viral transmission and structural interactions between the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein and the lymphocyte receptor integrin α4β7

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infects approximately 40 million people globally, and one million people die every year from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)-related illnesses. This study examined the interactions between the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120 and the human lymphocyte receptor integrin α4β7, the putative first long-range receptor for the envelope glycoprotein of the virus in mucosal tissues. Presented data support the claim that the V1 loop is involved in the binding between α4β7 and the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein through molecular dockings.

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Peptidomimetics Targeting the Polo-box Domain of Polo-like Kinase 1

Jang et al. | Aug 19, 2016

Peptidomimetics Targeting the Polo-box Domain of Polo-like Kinase 1

Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) is a master regulator of mitosis, initiating key steps of cell cycle regulation, and its overexpression is associated with certain types of cancer. In this study, the authors carefully designed peptides that were able to bind to Plk1 at a location that is important for its proper localization and function. Future studies could further develop these peptides to selectively target Plk1 in cancer cells and induce mitotic arrest.

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