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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 Effects of Altered Microbiome on Caenorhabditis elegans Egg Laying Behavior

Gohari et al. | Aug 12, 2019

The Effects of Altered Microbiome on <em>Caenorhabditis elegans</em> Egg Laying Behavior

Since the discovery that thousands of different bacteria colonize our gut, many of which are important for human wellbeing, understanding the significance of balancing the different species on the human body has been intensely researched. Untangling the complexity of the gut microbiome and establishing the effect of the various strains on human health is a challenge in many circumstances, and the need for simpler systems to improve our basic understanding of microbe-host interactions seems necessary. C. elegans are a well-established laboratory animal that feed on bacteria and can thus serve as a less complex system for studying microbe-host interactions. Here the authors investigate how the choice of bacterial diet affects worm fertility. The same approach could be applied to many different outcomes, and facilitate our understanding of how the microbes colonizing our guts affect various bodily functions.

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Who is at Risk for a Spinal Fracture? – A Comparative Study of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data

He et al. | Mar 01, 2018

Who is at Risk for a Spinal Fracture? – A Comparative Study of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data

One common age-related health problem is the loss of bone mineral density (BMD), which can lead to a variety of negative health outcomes, including increased risk of spinal fracture. In this study, the authors investigate risk factors that may be predictive of an individual's risk of spinal fracture. Their findings provide valuable information that clinicians can use in patient evaluations.

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FRUGGIE – A board game to combat obesity by promoting healthy eating habits in young children

Huprikar et al. | Jun 13, 2018

FRUGGIE – A board game to combat obesity by promoting healthy eating habits in young children

The authors created a board game to teach young children about healthy eating habits to see whether an interactive and family-oriented method would be effective at introducing and maintaining a love for fruits and veggies. Results showed that children developed a liking for fruits and vegetables, and none regressed. Half maintained their level of enjoyment for fruits and vegetables during the research period, while the other half had a positive increase. The results show that a simple interactive game can shape how young children relate to food and encourage them to maintain healthy habits.

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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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The Feasibility of Mixed Reality Gaming as a Tool for Physical Therapy Following a Spinal Cord Injury

DeBre et al. | Apr 04, 2018

The Feasibility of Mixed Reality Gaming as a Tool for Physical Therapy Following a Spinal Cord Injury

Physical therapy, especially for patients with spinal cord injuries, can be a difficult and tedious experience. This can result in negative health outcomes, such as patients dropping out of physical therapy or developing additional health problems. In this study, the authors develop and test a potential solution to these challenges: a mixed reality game called Skyfarer that replaces a standard physical therapy regimen with an immersive experience that can be shared with their friends and family. The findings of this study suggest that mixed reality games such as Skyfarer could be effective alternatives to conventional physical therapy.

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Comparative Analysis of Vital Capacities of Athletes, Singers and Other Students of Age 13-14 Years: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study

Taneja et al. | Sep 30, 2019

Comparative Analysis of Vital Capacities of Athletes, Singers and Other Students of Age 13-14 Years: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study

Physical activity when performed regularly has beneficial effects on all systems of the body, including pulmonary functions. This study, conducted at Springdales School in Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi, aimed to determine the effect of sports and singing on the vital capacity (the maximum amount of air a person can expel from the lungs after a maximum inhalation), an important measure of pulmonary health.

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Giving Teens a Voice: Sources of Stress for High School Students

Corson et al. | Sep 09, 2019

Giving Teens a Voice: Sources of Stress for High School Students

The authors investigate the negative effects stress has on teen mental and physical health. Through a survey, they give Virginia teens a voice in revising the Health and Physical Education curriculum to include a standards of learning (SOL). Notably they identify factors contributing to stress levels including homework level, amount of free and sleep time, parental pressure and family encouragement.

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