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Nitric Oxide Synthesis/Pathway Inhibitors in Daphnia magna Reverse Alcohol-Induced Heart Rate Decrease

Gunturi et al. | Sep 17, 2019

Nitric Oxide Synthesis/Pathway Inhibitors in Daphnia magna Reverse Alcohol-Induced Heart Rate Decrease

Chronic alcohol consumption can cause cardiac myopathy, which afflicts about 500,000 Americans annually. Gunturi et al. wanted to understand the effects of alcohol on heart rate and confirm the role of nitric oxide (NO) signaling in heart rate regulation. Using the model organism Daphnia magna, a water crustacean with a large, transparent heart, they found that the heart rate of Daphnia magna was reduced after treatment with alcohol. This depression could be reversed after treatment with inhibitors of NO synthesis and signaling. Their work has important implications for how we understand alcohol-induced effects on heart rate and potential treatments to reverse heart rate depression as a result of alcohol consumption.

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Application of gene therapy for reversing T-cell dysfunction in cancer

Hyun Lee et al. | Aug 25, 2022

Application of gene therapy for reversing T-cell dysfunction in cancer

Since cancer cells inhibit T-cell activity, the authors investigated a method to reverse T-cell disfunction with gene therapy, so that the T-cells would become effective once again in fighting cancer cells. They used the inhibition of proprotein convertases (PCSK1) in T cells and programmed death-ligand 1 (CD274) in cancer cells. They observed the recovery of IL-2 expression in Jurkat cells, with increased recovery noted in a co-culture sample. This study suggests a novel strategy to reactivate T cells.

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Homology modeling of clinically-relevant rilpivirine-resistant HIV-RT variants identifies novel rilpivirine analogs with retained binding affinity against NNRTI-resistant HIV mutations

Luk et al. | Jan 24, 2022

Homology modeling of clinically-relevant rilpivirine-resistant HIV-RT variants identifies novel rilpivirine analogs with retained binding affinity against NNRTI-resistant HIV mutations

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which affects tens of millions of individuals worldwide, can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). While there is currently no cure for HIV, the development of small molecule antiretroviral agents has greatly improved the prognosis of infected individuals, especially in developed countries. Here, the authors employ homology modeling and molecular docking towards the identification of novel rilpivirine analogs that retain high binding affinity to clinically relevant rilpivirine-resistant mutations of the HIV reverse transcriptase enzyme.

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Fluorescein or Green Fluorescent Protein: Is It Possible to Create a Sensor for Dehydration?

Joshi et al. | Dec 09, 2019

Fluorescein or Green Fluorescent Protein: Is It Possible to Create a Sensor for Dehydration?

Currently there is no early dehydration detection system using temperature and pH as indicators. A sensor could alert the wearer and others of low hydration levels, which would normally be difficult to catch prior to more serious complications resulting from dehydration. In this study, a protein fluorophore, green fluorescent protein (GFP), and a chemical fluorophore, fluorescein, were tested for a change in fluorescence in response to increased temperature or decreased pH. Reversing the pH change did not restore GFP fluorescence, but that of fluorescein was re-established. This finding suggests that fluorescein could be used as a reusable sensor for a dehydration-related pH change.

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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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Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Calcium Carbonate

Prahalad et al. | Jul 31, 2020

Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Calcium Carbonate

Industrialization has transformed human life and improved it for many. Nonetheless, a side effect has been an increase in chemical waste, which when not disposed of properly, has detrimental effects on surrounding habitats. An increase in ocean acidification could potentially affect many forms of life, disrupting the ecological balance in unforeseeable ways. In this article the authors explore the effect of acidification on corals and shells, and observe that an increase in ocean acidity has a significant effect on corals, but not shells. This illustrates how acidification could negatively affect marine life, and calls our attention to managing the factors that contribute to increasing the pH of the Earth's water bodies.

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Correlation between shutdowns and CO levels across the United States.

Gupta et al. | Dec 05, 2021

Correlation between shutdowns and CO levels across the United States.

Concerns regarding the rapid spread of Sars-CoV2 in early 2020 led company and local governmental officials in many states to ask people to work from home and avoid leaving their homes; measures commonly referred to as shutdowns. Here, the authors investigate how shutdowns affected carbon monoxide (CO) levels in 15 US states using publicly available data. Their results suggest that CO levels decreased as a result of these measures over the course of 2020, a trend which started to reverse after shutdowns ended.

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