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Mutation of the Catalytic Cysteine in Anopheles gambiae Transglutaminase 3 (AgTG3) Abolishes Plugin Crosslinking Activity without Disrupting Protein Folding Properties

Pham et al. | May 02, 2014

Mutation of the Catalytic Cysteine in <em>Anopheles gambiae</em> Transglutaminase 3 (AgTG3) Abolishes Plugin Crosslinking Activity without Disrupting Protein Folding Properties

Malaria is a major public health issue, especially in developing countries, and vector control is a major facet of malaria eradication efforts. Recently, sterile insect technique (SIT), or the release of sterile mosquitoes into the wild, has shown significant promise as a method of keeping vector populations under control. In this study, the authors investigate the Anopheles gambiae transglutaminase 3 protein (AgT3), which is essential to the mating of the Anopheles mosquito. They show that an active site mutation is able to abolish the activity of the AgT3 enzyme and propose it as a potential target for chemosterilant inhibitors.

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Assigning Lightning Seasons to Different Regions in the United States

Hawkins et al. | Sep 07, 2020

Assigning Lightning Seasons to Different Regions in the United States

Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of severe thunderstorm events in coming years. In this study, the authors hypothesized that (i) the majority of severe thunderstorm events will occur in the summer months in all states examined for all years analyzed, (ii) climate change will cause an unusual number of severe thunderstorm events in winter months in all states, (iii) thundersnow would be observed in Colorado, and (iv.) there would be no difference in the number of severe thunderstorm events between states in any given year examined. They classified lightning seasons in all states observed, with the most severe thunderstorm events occurring in May, June, July, and August. Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, and West Virginia were found to have severe thunderstorm events in the winter, which could be explained by increased winter storms due to climate change (1). Overall, they highlight the importance of quantifying when lightning seasons occur to avoid lightning-related injuries or death.

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A Retrospective Study of Research Data on End Stage Renal Disease

Ponnaluri et al. | Mar 09, 2016

A Retrospective Study of Research Data on End Stage Renal Disease

End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is a growing health concern in the United States. The authors of this study present a study of ESRD incidence over a 32-year period, providing an in-depth look at the contributions of age, race, gender, and underlying medical factors to this disease.

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Geographic Distribution of Scripps National Spelling Bee Spellers Resembles Geographic Distribution of Child Population in US States upon Implementation of the RSVBee “Wildcard” Program

Kannankeril et al. | Aug 17, 2020

Geographic Distribution of Scripps National Spelling Bee Spellers Resembles Geographic Distribution of Child Population in US States upon Implementation of the RSVBee “Wildcard” Program

The Scripps National Spelling Bee (SNSB) is an iconic academic competition for United States (US) schoolchildren, held annually since 1925. However, the sizes and geographic distributions of sponsored regions are uneven. One state may send more than twice as many spellers as another state, despite similar numbers in child population. In 2018, the SNSB introduced a wildcard program known as RSVBee, which allowed students to apply to compete as a national finalist, even if they did not win their regional spelling bee. In this study, the authors tested the hypothesis that the geographic distribution of SNSB national finalists more closely matched the child population of the US after RSVBee was implemented.

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Leveraging E-Waste to Enhance Water Condensation by Effective Use of Solid-state Thermoelectric Cooling

Joshi et al. | Dec 02, 2020

Leveraging E-Waste to Enhance Water Condensation by Effective Use of Solid-state Thermoelectric Cooling

Water scarcity affects upwards of a billion people worldwide today. This project leverages the potential of capturing humidity to build a high-efficiency water condensation device that can generate water and be used for personal and commercial purposes. This compact environment-friendly device would have low power requirements, which would potentially allow it to utilize renewable energy sources and collect water at the most needed location.

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Using the COmplex PAthway SImulator, Stage Analysis, and Chemical Kinetics to Develop a Novel Solution to Lower Tau Concentrations in Alzheimer’s Disease

Carroll et al. | Sep 28, 2020

Using the COmplex PAthway SImulator, Stage Analysis, and Chemical Kinetics to Develop a Novel Solution to Lower Tau Concentrations in Alzheimer’s Disease

In this study, the authors ask whether a Tau immunotherapy treatment, Hsp70 protein treatment, or dual treatment approach of both the Tau imunotherapy treatment and Hsp70 protein treatment leads to a greater reduction in Tau protein concentration in Alzheimer's disease. Overall, they conclude that the effectiveness of the treatment ultimately relies on the stage of Alzheimer’s.

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A Novel Approach to Prevent and Restrict Early Stages of Cancer Cell Growth Using a Combination of Moringa and Sesame in a Drosophila Model

Ganesh et al. | Sep 28, 2020

A Novel Approach to Prevent and Restrict Early Stages of Cancer Cell Growth Using a Combination of Moringa and Sesame in a <em>Drosophila</em> Model

Sesame (Sesamum indicum) and moringa (Moringa oleifera) have natural antioxidants that could prevent cancer growth. Previously, this group found that sesame and moringa individually suppress eye tumor grown in the Drosophila melanogaster model. In the present study, combinations of sesame and moringa at different concentrations were included in the D. melanogaster diet. The impact on eye tumor development was assessed at different stages of growth.

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Machine Learning Algorithm Using Logistic Regression and an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) for Early Stage Detection of Parkinson’s Disease

Kar et al. | Oct 10, 2020

Machine Learning Algorithm Using Logistic Regression and an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) for Early Stage Detection of Parkinson’s Disease

Despite the prevalence of PD, diagnosing PD is expensive, requires specialized testing, and is often inaccurate. Moreover, diagnosis is often made late in the disease course when treatments are less effective. Using existing voice data from patients with PD and healthy controls, the authors created and trained two different algorithms: one using logistic regression and another employing an artificial neural network (ANN).

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Evaluating Biomarkers and Treatments for Acute Kidney Injury in a Zebrafish Model

Mathew et al. | Aug 11, 2019

Evaluating Biomarkers and Treatments for Acute Kidney Injury in a Zebrafish Model

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in the United States, and 81% of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) patients in the renal fibrosis stage later develop CAD. In this study, Mathew and Joykutty aimed to create a cost-effective strategy to treat AKI and thus prevent CAD using a model of the zebrafish, Danio rerio. They first tested whether AKI is induced in Danio rerio upon exposure to environmental toxins, then evaluated nitrotyrosine as an early biomarker for toxin-induced AKI. Finally, they evaluated 4 treatments of renal fibrosis, the last stage of AKI, and found that the compound SB431542 was the most effective treatment (reduced fibrosis by 99.97%). Their approach to treating AKI patients, and potentially prevent CAD, is economically feasible for translation into the clinic in both developing and developed countries.

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