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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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A Study on the Coagulating Properties of the M. oleifera Seed

Lakshmanan et al. | Feb 14, 2020

A Study on the Coagulating Properties of the <em>M. oleifera</em> Seed

In this study, the authors investigate whether Moringa Oleifera seeds can serve as material to aid in purifying water. M. oleifera seeds have coagulating properties and the authors hypothesized that including it in a water filtration system would reduce particles, specifically bacteria, in water. Their results show that this system removed the largest percent of bacteria. When used in combination with cilantro, it was actually more efficient than the other techniques! These findings have important implications for creating better and more economical water purification systems.

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Wind Resistance and Automobile Shapes

Neelakantan et al. | Jan 25, 2019

Wind Resistance and Automobile Shapes

Energy efficiency is becoming more important as we struggle to find better, more sustainable energy sources to power our planet; the car industry is no exception. In this article, the authors examine the effect of shape on automobile aerodynamics By finding the shape that makes cars less resistant to wind, and therefore more energy efficient, can help the automobile industry make better, more eco-friendly cars that are also cheaper to operate.

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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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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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The role of Corresponding Race, Gender, and Species as Incentives for Charitable Giving

Antonides-Jensen et al. | Jul 31, 2019

The role of Corresponding Race, Gender, and Species as Incentives for Charitable Giving

Inherent bias is often the unconscious driver of human behavior, and the first step towards overcoming these biases is our awareness of them. In this article the authors investigate whether race, gender or species affect the choice of charity by middle class Spaniards. Their conclusions serve as a starting point for further studies that could help charities refine their campaigns in light of these biases effectively transcending them or taking advantage of them to improve their fundraising attempts.

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The Effect of UV Treatment on the Degradation of Compostable Polylactic Acid

Zhang et al. | Nov 28, 2013

The Effect of UV Treatment on the Degradation of Compostable Polylactic Acid

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a bio-based, compostable plastic that is comparable in cost to petroleum-based plastics. This study aims to evaluate the effects of UV treatment and mechanical chopping on the degradation of PLA. Based on their findings, the authors propose an alternative PLA degradation process that may be more time and energy efficient than current processes.

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Are Teens Willing to Pay More for Their Preferred Goods?

Johnson Jr. et al. | Sep 28, 2019

Are Teens Willing to Pay More for Their Preferred Goods?

Each day we are flooded with new items that promise us a better experience at a better price. This forces buyers to continuously chose between sticking to what they know, or trying something new. In turn, companies need to be aware of the factors affecting consumer choices, that too within the different fractions of society. In this study the authors investigate the effect of survey-based price setting on profits made based on African American teen purchases, and how African-American teen loyalty to a particular brand affects their willingness to pay a higher price than the market average for their preferred brand items.

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