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Development and Implementation of Enzymatic and Volatile Compound-based Approaches for Instantaneous Detection of Pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus

Nori et al. | Feb 20, 2021

Development and Implementation of Enzymatic and Volatile Compound-based Approaches for Instantaneous Detection of Pathogenic <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i>

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) has a mortality rate of up to 30% in developing countries. The purpose of this experiment was to determine if enzymatic and volatile compound-based approaches would perform more quickly in comparison to existing S. aureus diagnostic methods and to evaluate these novel methods on accuracy. Ultimately, this device provided results in less than 30 seconds, which is much quicker than existing methods that take anywhere from 10 minutes to 48 hours based on approach. Statistical analysis of accuracy provides preliminary confirmation that the device based on enzymatic and volatile compound-based approaches can be an accurate and time-efficient tool to detect pathogenic S. aureus.

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The effect of adverse childhood experiences on e-cigarette usage in people aged 18–30 in the US

Bloomer et al. | Oct 06, 2022

The effect of adverse childhood experiences on e-cigarette usage in people aged 18–30 in the US

Recently, e-cigarette usage has been increasing rapidly. Previous research has found that adverse
childhood experiences (ACEs) are correlated to cigarette usage. However, there is limited data exploring if ACEs affect vaping. Therefore, in this work, we investigated the effects of ACEs on e-cigarette usage and hypothesize that witnessing vaping in the house and facing ACEs would increase e-cigarette usage while education on the dangers of vaping would decrease e-cigarette usage. We found that different types of ACEs had different correlations with e-cigarette usage and that education on the dangers of vaping had no effect on e-cigarette usage.

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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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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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Evaluation of Tea Extract as an Inhibitor of Oxidative Stress in Prostate Cells

Zhang et al. | Jan 22, 2019

Evaluation of Tea Extract as an Inhibitor of Oxidative Stress in Prostate Cells

One important factor that contributes to human cancers is accumulated damage to cells' DNA due to the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. In this study, the authors investigate the effects of several different tea leaf extracts on oxidative stress in cultured human prostate cells to see if antioxidants in the tea leaves could help protect cells from this type of DNA damage. They found that all four types of tea extract (as well as direct application of the antioxidant EGCG) improved the outcomes for the cultured cells, with white tea extract having the strongest effect. This research suggests that tea extracts and the antioxidants that they contain may have applications in the treatment of the many diseases associated with cellular DNA damage, including cancer.

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Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Srebnik et al. | Jan 20, 2021

Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Does the overuse of plastic in Japan poses an ecological risk to marine species and their consumers? Using visual and chemical dissection, all fish in this study were found to have microplastics present in their gastrointestinal tract, including two species that are typically eaten whole in Japan. Overall, these results are concerning as previous studies have found that microplastics can carry persistent organic pollutants. It is presumed that the increasing consumption of microplastics will have negative implications on organ systems such as the liver, gut, and hormones.

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Evaluating cinnamaldehyde as an antibacterial agent in a produce wash for leafy greens

Drennan et al. | Oct 28, 2021

Evaluating cinnamaldehyde as an antibacterial agent in a produce wash for leafy greens

Recognizing a growing demand for organic produce, the authors sought to investigate plant-based antibiotic solutions to meet growing consumer demand for safe produce and also meet microbial standards of the USDA. The authors investigated the use of cinnamaldehyde as an antibacterial again E. coli, finding that lettuce treated with cinnamaldehyde displayed significantly lower colony-forming units of E. coli when compared to lettuce treated with chlorine bleach.

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Evaluation of platelet-rich plasma vs. platelet lysate: VEGF and PDGF concentration, stability, and shelf life

Prasad et al. | Mar 30, 2022

Evaluation of platelet-rich plasma vs. platelet lysate: VEGF and PDGF concentration, stability, and shelf life

Cell-free biologicals are a novel method of treating clinical conditions which involve chronic inflammation such as tendonitis and osteoarthritis. This study compared platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in platelet-rich plasma (PRP), activated PRP (aPRP), and platelet lysate (PL). It was hypothesized that PL would contain higher concentrations of growth factors than PRP and that different storage temperatures for PL would diminish cytokine expression. Results demonstrated PL had the highest concentrations of both cytokines, with concentrations slightly diminishing at-80C. aPRP and PRP demonstrated lower concentrations of PDGF and VEGF than PL.

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Effect of hypervitaminosis A in regenerating planaria: A potential model for teratogenicity testing

Bennet et al. | Dec 12, 2022

Effect of hypervitaminosis A in regenerating planaria: A potential model for teratogenicity testing

This unique research study evaluated the potential use of the flatworm, brown planaria (Dugesia tigrine), as an alternative model for teratogenicity testing. In this study, we exposed amputated planaria to varying concentrations of a known teratogen, vitamin A (retinol), for approximately 2 weeks, and evaluated multiple parameters including the formation of blastema and eyes. The results from this study demonstrated that high concentrations of retinol caused defects in head and eye formation in regenerating planaria, with similarities to vitamin A related teratogenicity findings in mammals. Based on these results, regenerating brown planaria are a promising alternative model for teratogenicity testing, which can potentially be paradigm shifting as it can reduce cost, time, and pregnant animal use in research.

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