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Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Wu et al. | Feb 17, 2019

Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Phage therapy has been suggested as an alternative to antibiotics because bacteria resistant to antibiotics may still be susceptible to phages. However, phages may have limited effectiveness in combating bacteria since bacteria possess several antiviral defense mechanisms and can quickly develop resistance to phages. In this study, Wu and Pinta compare the effectiveness and specificity of antibiotics and phages in combating bacteria. They found that T4 phages are more specific and effective in fighting or inhibiting both antibiotic-resistant and sensitive bacteria than antibiotics, suggesting that phage therapy can be developed as an efficient tool to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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Determination of Optimal Relevant Joint Angles for Vertical Jump Height Across Teenagers with Differing Amounts of Jumping Experience

Bahng et al. | May 09, 2021

Determination of Optimal Relevant Joint Angles for Vertical Jump Height Across Teenagers with Differing Amounts of Jumping Experience

Reaching one’s maximum jump height requires optimizing one’s jump techniques. In order to find this optimal jump technique, three high school participants with varying vertical jump (VJ) abilities recorded videos of themselves with varying degrees of maximum/minimum shoulder, knee, and hip angles—with or without respect to the horizontal—at the isometric phase of a regular countermovement (CM) VJ or countermovement jump (CMJ). Results showed that the shoulder angle without respect to the horizontal (SA), knee angle with respect to the horizontal (KAH), and the hip angle with respect to the horizontal (HAH) possessed a more consistent correlation with VJ height across the subjects compared to the same respective angles with opposite relations to the horizontal.

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Investigating KNOX Gene Expression in Aquilegia Petal Spur Development

Hossain et al. | Feb 03, 2014

Investigating KNOX Gene Expression in Aquilegia Petal Spur Development

Plants, and all other multi-cellular organisms, develop through the coordinated action of many sets of genes. The authors here investigate the genes, in a class named KNOX, potentially responsible for organizing a certain part of Aquilegia (columbine) flowers called petal spurs. Through the technique Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), they find that certain KNOX genes are expressed non-uniformly in petal spurs, suggesting that they may be involved, perhaps in a cell-specific manner. This research will help guide future efforts toward understanding how many beautiful flowers develop their unique shapes.

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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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Testing HCN1 channel dysregulation in the prefrontal cortex using a novel piezoelectric silk neuromodulator

Mathew et al. | May 05, 2021

Testing HCN1 channel dysregulation in the prefrontal cortex using a novel piezoelectric silk neuromodulator

Although no comprehensive characterization of schizophrenia exists, there is a general consensus that patients have electrical dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex. The authors designed a novel piezoelectric silk-based implant and optimized electrical output through the addition of conductive materials zinc oxide (ZnO) and aluminum nitride (AlN). With further research and compatibility studies, this implant could rectify electrical misfiring in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex.

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Overcoming The Uncanny Valley Through Shared Stressful Experience with a Humanoid Robot

Bing et al. | Jun 12, 2018

Overcoming The Uncanny Valley Through Shared Stressful Experience with a Humanoid Robot

The "Uncanny Valley" is a phenomenon in which humans feel discomfort in the presence of objects that are almost, but not quite, human-like. In this study, the authors tested whether this phenomenon could be overcome by sharing a stressful experience with a humanoid robot. They found that human subjects more readily accepted a robot partner that they had previously shared a stressful experience with, suggesting a potential method for increasing the effectiveness of beneficial human-robot interactions by reducing the Uncanny Valley effect.

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Development of Two New Efficient Means of Wastewater Treatment

Bao et al. | Feb 06, 2014

Development of Two New Efficient Means of Wastewater Treatment

The water we use must be treated and cleaned before we release it back into the environment. Here, the authors investigate two new techniques for purifying dissolved impurities from waste water. Their findings may give rise to more cheaper and more efficient water treatment and help keep the planet greener.

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LawCrypt: Secret Sharing for Attorney-Client Data in a Multi-Provider Cloud Architecture

Zhang et al. | Jul 19, 2020

LawCrypt: Secret Sharing for Attorney-Client Data in a Multi-Provider Cloud Architecture

In this study, the authors develop an architecture to implement in a cloud-based database used by law firms to ensure confidentiality, availability, and integrity of attorney documents while maintaining greater efficiency than traditional encryption algorithms. They assessed whether the architecture satisfies necessary criteria and tested the overall file sizes the architecture could process. The authors found that their system was able to handle larger file sizes and fit engineering criteria. This study presents a valuable new tool that can be used to ensure law firms have adequate security as they shift to using cloud-based storage systems for their files.

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