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Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Wang et al. | Mar 14, 2022

Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Here the authors used morphological characters and DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found within a residential house. With this method they identified their species and compared them against pests lists provided by the US government. They found that none of their identified species were considered to be pests providing evidence against the misconception that arthropods found at home are harmful to humans. They suggest that these methods could be used at larger scales to better understand and aid in mapping ecosystems.

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Characterization of a UPEC DegS Mutant in vitro and in vivo

Bradley et al. | Mar 16, 2015

Characterization of a UPEC <em>DegS</em> Mutant <em>in vitro</em> and <em>in vivo</em>

DegS is an integral inner membrane protein in E. coli that helps break down misfolded proteins. When it is mutated, there is a large increase in the production of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), which are thought to play a role in pathogenesis. This study used mutant strains of uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) to characterize the role of DegS and OMVs on UPEC virulence.

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The Role of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy in Cardiac Structure and Function

Choi et al. | Aug 15, 2018

The Role of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy in Cardiac Structure and Function

Cardiac autonomic and structural changes may occur in temporal lobe epilepsy patients and contribute to the risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy patients. Choi and colleagues reviewed clinical charts to obtain patients’ lifetime seizure count, antiepileptic drug use, and history of heart disease, followed by transthoracic echocardiogram to calculate left ventricle dimensions, ejection fraction, and left ventricle mass. By comparing epilepsy patients to control subjects, they found that epilepsy patients had thinner left ventricle walls and smaller ejection fraction, but with no significant difference in left ventricle mass.

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Are alkaline spices the future of antibiotics?

Jani et al. | Jan 23, 2022

Are alkaline spices the future of antibiotics?

The authors experimented with several commonly available alkaline spices (turmeric, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon) to study their antimicrobial properties, hypothesizing that alkaline spices would have antimicrobial activity. Results showed a zone of inhibition of bacterial growth, with the largest zone of inhibition being around turmeric, followed by cayenne pepper, and the smallest around cinnamon. These results are impactful, as common alkaline spices generally do show antibacterial properties and both bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects correlated with degree of alkalinity.

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The Effect of Different Fructose Diets on the Lifespan of C. elegans

Chen et al. | May 10, 2020

The Effect of Different Fructose Diets on the Lifespan of <em>C. elegans</em>

High-fructose diets consumed widely in modern societies predisposes to metabolic diseases such as diabetes. Using the worm C. elegans, the authors of this study investigated the effect of fructose on the worm's survival rates. They found that worms fed 15% fructose had a lower life expectancy than those on a fructose-free diet. These results suggest that, like in humans, fructose has a negative effect on worm survival, which makes them an easy, attractive model to study the effects of fructose on health.

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Impact of daf-25 and daf-11 Mutations on Olfactory Function in C. elegans

Gardner et al. | Feb 02, 2019

Impact of daf-25 and daf-11 Mutations on Olfactory Function in C. elegans

Cilia are little hair-like protrusions on many cells in the human body, including those lining the trachea where they play a role in clearing our respiratory tract of mucous and other irritants. Genetic mutations that impair ciliary function have serious consequences on our well-being making it important to understand how ciliary function is regulated. By using a simple organism, such as the worm C. elegans that use cilia to move, the authors explore the effect of certain genetic mutations on the cilia of the worms by measuring their ability to move towards or away from certain odorants.

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Synergistic Effects of Metformin and Captopril on C. elegans

Kadıoğlu et al. | Jul 10, 2018

Synergistic Effects of Metformin and Captopril on <em>C. elegans</em>

Kadıoğlu and Oğuzalp study the synergistic effects of Metformin and Captopril, two commonly prescribed drugs for type 2 diabetes and hypertension, respectively. Using C. elegans nematodes as a model system, the authors find that the nematodes decreased in average body length when exposed to Metformin or Captopril individually, but grew 11% in body length when both drugs were used together. Because C. elegans body size is regulated in part by the TGF-β signaling pathway, the authors suggest that synergistic effects of these two drugs may be modulating TGF-β activity, a previously uncharacterized phenomenon.

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Astragalus membranaceus Root Concentration and Exposure Time: Role in Heat Stress Diminution in C. elegans

Chen et al. | Oct 17, 2018

Astragalus membranaceus Root Concentration and Exposure Time: Role in Heat Stress Diminution in <em>C. elegans</em>

In this study, the authors investigated the biological mechanism underlying the actions of a traditional medicinal plant, Astragalus membranaceus. Using C. elegans as an experimental model, they tested the effects of AM root on heat stress responses. Their results suggest that AM root extract may enhance the activity of endogenous pathways that mediate cellular responses to heat stress.

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