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Correlation of socioeconomic status and lead concentration in tap water in Missouri

Rabbani et al. | Feb 03, 2022

Correlation of socioeconomic status and lead concentration in tap water in Missouri

Organic and non-organic contaminants in tap water have been linked to adverse health effects. Tap water is a major source of lead, which is neurotoxic and poses a major health risk, particularly to children and pregnant women. Using publicly available annual water quality reports data for the state of Missouri, the authors show that communities with lower median household income and lower per capita incomes had significantly higher lead levels in their tap water.

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Impact of study partner status and group membership on commitment device effectiveness among college students

Gupta et al. | Jun 03, 2022

Impact of study partner status and group membership on commitment device effectiveness among college students

Here seeking to identify a possible solution to procrastination among college students, the authors used an online experiment that involved the random assignment of study partners that they shared their study time goal with. These partners were classified by status and group membership. The authors found that status and group membership did not significantly affect the likelihood of college students achieving their committed goals, and also suggest the potential of soft commitment devices that take advantage of social relationships to reduce procrastination.

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Risk assessment modeling for childhood stunting using automated machine learning and demographic analysis

Sirohi et al. | Sep 25, 2022

Risk assessment modeling for childhood stunting using automated machine learning and demographic analysis

Over the last few decades, childhood stunting has persisted as a major global challenge. This study hypothesized that TPTO (Tree-based Pipeline Optimization Tool), an AutoML (automated machine learning) tool, would outperform all pre-existing machine learning models and reveal the positive impact of economic prosperity, strong familial traits, and resource attainability on reducing stunting risk. Feature correlation plots revealed that maternal height, wealth indicators, and parental education were universally important features for determining stunting outcomes approximately two years after birth. These results help inform future research by highlighting how demographic, familial, and socio-economic conditions influence stunting and providing medical professionals with a deployable risk assessment tool for predicting childhood stunting.

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Behavioral Longevity: The Impact of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Obesity on Life Expectancy

Han et al. | Oct 03, 2019

Behavioral Longevity: The Impact of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, and Obesity on Life Expectancy

In this article, the authors look into what is already known about the factor affecting longevity and determine the importance of behavioral factors including alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity on longevity. The authors quantify data from over 150 countries and, interestingly, find that the impact each factor has on longevity is at least in part dependent on the country's economic development status. Overall, they conclude that an average person’s life expectancy can increase by more than 3 years if smoking and alcohol consumption is reduced by a half and weight is decreased by 10%.

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Contrasting role of ASCC3 and ALKBH3 in determining genomic alterations in Glioblastoma Multiforme

Sriram et al. | Sep 27, 2022

Contrasting role of <i>ASCC3</i> and <i>ALKBH3</i> in determining genomic alterations in Glioblastoma Multiforme

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant brain tumor with the highest fraction of genome alterations (FGA), manifesting poor disease-free status (DFS) and overall survival (OS). We explored The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and cBioportal public dataset- Firehose legacy GBM to study DNA repair genes Activating Signal Cointegrator 1 Complex Subunit 3 (ASCC3) and Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase AlkB Homolog 3 (ALKBH3). To test our hypothesis that these genes have correlations with FGA and can better determine prognosis and survival, we sorted the dataset to arrive at 254 patients. Analyzing using RStudio, both ASCC3 and ALKBH3 demonstrated hypomethylation in 82.3% and 61.8% of patients, respectively. Interestingly, low mRNA expression was observed in both these genes. We further conducted correlation tests between both methylation and mRNA expression of these genes with FGA. ASCC3 was found to be negatively correlated, while ALKBH3 was found to be positively correlated, potentially indicating contrasting dysregulation of these two genes. Prognostic analysis showed the following: ASCC3 hypomethylation is significant with DFS and high ASCC3 mRNA expression to be significant with OS, demonstrating ASCC3’s potential as disease prediction marker.

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Societal awareness regarding viral Hepatitis in developed and developing countries

Srivastava et al. | Oct 03, 2022

Societal awareness regarding viral Hepatitis in developed and developing countries

Many cases of viral hepatitis are easily preventable if caught early; however, a lack of public awareness regarding often leads to diagnoses near the final stages of disease when it is most lethal. Thus, we wanted to understand to what extent an individual's sex, age, education and country of residence (India or Singapore) impacts disease identification. We sent out a survey and quiz to residents in India (n = 239) and Singapore (n = 130) with questions that test their knowledge and awareness of the disease. We hypothesized that older and more educated individuals would score higher because they are more experienced, but that the Indian population will not be as knowledgeable as the Singaporean population because they do not have as many resources, such as socioeconomic access to schools and accessibility to healthcare, available to them. Additionally, we predicted that there would not be any notable differences between make and females. The results revealed that the accuracy for all groups we looked at was primarily below 50%, demonstrating a severe knowledge gap. Therefore, we concluded that if more medical professionals discussed viral hepatitis during hospital visits and in schools, patients can avoid the end stages of the disease in notable cases.

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Culturally Adapted Assessment Tool for Autism Spectrum Disorder and its Clinical Significance

Das et al. | Apr 19, 2021

Culturally Adapted Assessment Tool for Autism Spectrum Disorder and its Clinical Significance

Diagnosing of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using tools developed in the West is challenging in the Indian setting due to a huge diversity in sociocultural and economic backgrounds. Here, the authors developed a home-based, audiovisual game app (Autest) suitable for ASD risk assessment in Indian children under 10 years of age. Ratings suggested that the tool is effective and can reduce social inhibition and facilitate assessment. Further usage and development of Autest can improve risk assessment and early intervention measures for children with ASD in India.

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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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