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Enhancing activity of antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus with Shuang-Huang-Lian

Liu et al. | Sep 29, 2022

Enhancing activity of antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus with Shuang-Huang-Lian

Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen in both hospitals and the community and can cause systemic infections such as pneumonia. Multi-drug resistant strains, such as Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) are particularly worrisome. In order to reduce the development of bacterial resistance, we hypothesized that two selected traditional Chinese medicines, Shuang-Huang-Lian (SHL) and Lan-Qin, would be effective against S. aureus. The results showed that SHL had a synergistic effect with gentamicin as well as additive effects with penicillin and cefazolin against S. aureus compared with using antibiotics alone.

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Two Wrongs Could Make a Right: Food Waste Compost Accelerated Polystyrene Consumption of Tenebrio molitor

Fu et al. | Jul 13, 2020

Two Wrongs Could Make a Right: Food Waste Compost Accelerated Polystyrene Consumption of <em>Tenebrio molitor</em>

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a plastic used to make food containers and packing materials that poses a threat to the environment. Mealworms can degrade EPS, but at a slow rate. Here, researchers assessed the impact of food waste compost and oats on the speed of EPS consumption by mealworms, superworms, and waxworms. A positive correlation was found between food waste compost supplementation and EPS consumption, especially by mealworms, indicating a potential industrial application.

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Hybrid Quantum-Classical Generative Adversarial Network for synthesizing chemically feasible molecules

Sikdar et al. | Jan 10, 2023

Hybrid Quantum-Classical Generative Adversarial Network for synthesizing chemically feasible molecules

Current drug discovery processes can cost billions of dollars and usually take five to ten years. People have been researching and implementing various computational approaches to search for molecules and compounds from the chemical space, which can be on the order of 1060 molecules. One solution involves deep generative models, which are artificial intelligence models that learn from nonlinear data by modeling the probability distribution of chemical structures and creating similar data points from the trends it identifies. Aiming for faster runtime and greater robustness when analyzing high-dimensional data, we designed and implemented a Hybrid Quantum-Classical Generative Adversarial Network (QGAN) to synthesize molecules.

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Reimagize – a digital card-based roleplaying game to improve adolescent girls’ body image

Kumar et al. | Oct 04, 2021

Reimagize – a digital card-based roleplaying game to improve adolescent girls’ body image

Reimagize, a role-playing with decision-making, was conjured, implementing social psychological concepts like counter-stereotyping and perspective-taking. As the game works implicitly to influence body image, it even counters image issues beyond personal body dissatisfaction. This study explored whether a digital role-playing card game, incorporating some of the most common prejudices of body image (like size prejudice, prejudices from the media, etc.) as identified by a digital survey/questionnaire completed by Indian girls aged 11-21, could counter these issues and reduce personal body dissatisfaction.

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High-throughput virtual screening of novel dihydropyrimidine monastrol analogs reveals robust structure-activity relationship to kinesin Eg5 binding thermodynamics

Shern et al. | Jan 20, 2021

High-throughput virtual screening of novel dihydropyrimidine monastrol analogs reveals robust structure-activity relationship to kinesin Eg5 binding thermodynamics

As cancer continues to take millions of lives worldwide, the need to create effective therapeutics for the disease persists. The kinesin Eg5 assembly motor protein is a promising target for cancer therapeutics as inhibition of this protein leads to cell cycle arrest. Monastrol, a small dihydropyrimidine-based molecule capable of inhibiting the kinesin Eg5 function, has attracted the attention of medicinal chemists with its potency, affinity, and specificity to the highly targeted loop5/α2/α3 allosteric binding pocket. In this work, we employed high-throughput virtual screening (HTVS) to identify potential small molecule Eg5 inhibitors from a designed set of novel dihydropyrimidine analogs structurally similar to monastrol.

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Conversion of Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in a Tumor Microenvironment: An in vitro Study

Ramesh et al. | Feb 18, 2020

Conversion of Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in a Tumor Microenvironment: An <em>in vitro</em> Study

Mesenchymal stem cells(MSCs) play a role in tumor formation by differentiating into cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) which enable metastasis of tumors. The process of conversion of MSCs into CAFs is not clear. In this study, authors tested the hypothesis that cancers cells secrete soluble factors that induce differentiation by culturing bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in media conditioned by a breast cancer cell line.

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Effects of Prolonged Azithromycin Therapy on Bacterial Resistance to Functionally Analogous Antibiotics

Gibbs et al. | Dec 04, 2020

Effects of Prolonged Azithromycin Therapy on Bacterial Resistance to Functionally Analogous Antibiotics

In this study, the authors investigate a potential case of cross antibiotic-resistance. Using swabs from an individual who received long-term treatments of azithromycin, they addressed the question of whether any bacteria in this individual might develop resistance to not only azithromycin, but also other antibiotics with similar structures. This study cleverly addresses the important issue of antibiotic resistance from a new and thoughtful approach.

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Modular mimics of neuroactive alkaloids - design, synthesis, and cholinesterase inhibitory activity of rivastigmine analogs

Yu et al. | Sep 12, 2022

Modular mimics of neuroactive alkaloids - design, synthesis, and cholinesterase inhibitory activity of rivastigmine analogs

Naturally occurring neuroactive alkaloids are often studied for their potential to treat Neurological diseases. This team of students study Rivastigmine, a potent cholinesterase inhibitor that is a synthetic analog of physostigmine, which comes from the Calabar bean plant Physostigma venenosum. By comparing the effects of optimized synthetic analogs to the naturally occurring alkaloid, they determine the most favorable analog for inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), the enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) to terminate neuronal transmission and signaling between synapses.

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