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Specific Transcription Factors Distinguish Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Fibroblasts

Park et al. | Aug 16, 2019

Specific Transcription Factors Distinguish Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Fibroblasts

Stem cells are at the forefront of research in regenerative medicine and cell therapy. Two essential properties of stem cells are self-renewal and potency, having the ability to specialize into different types of cells. Here, Park and Jeong took advantage of previously identified stem cell transcription factors associated with potency to differentiate umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (US-MSCs) from morphologically similar fibroblasts. Western blot analysis of the transcription factors Klf4, Nanog, and Sox2 revealed their expression was unique to US-MSCs providing insight for future methods of differentiating between these cell lines.

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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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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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The Effects of Barley Straw (Hordeum vulgare) Extract and Barley Straw Pellets on Algal Growth and Water Quality

McHargue et al. | Oct 06, 2020

The Effects of Barley Straw (Hordeum vulgare) Extract and Barley Straw Pellets on Algal Growth and Water Quality

Algal overgrowth often threatens to clog irrigation pipes and drinking water lines when left unchecked, as well as releasing possible toxins that threaten plant and human health. It is thus important to find natural, non-harmful agents that can decrease algal growth without threatening the health of plants and humans. In this paper, the authors test the efficacy of barely extract in either liquid or pellet form in decreasing algal growth. While their results were inconclusive, the experimental set-up allows them to investigate a wider range of agents as anti-algal treatments that could potentially be adopted on a wider scale.

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Performance of Panicum virgatum Cultivars in Competition With Bromus inermis and Differing Amounts of N Fertilizer

Ferris et al. | Mar 04, 2019

Performance of <em>Panicum virgatum</em> Cultivars in Competition With <em>Bromus inermis</em> and Differing Amounts of N Fertilizer

With growing demands for ethanol, many researchers are turning to Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) as a feedstock of cellulosic ethanol. In this study, Ferris and Gillan examine the germination, biomass, nitrogen, survival, and chlorophyll absorbance of two switchgrass cultivars of grown in competition with Bromus inermis (smooth brome) with two varying levels of nitrogen fertilizer. Results presented indicate that during establishment, competition from other species has a greater effect than nitrogen fertilizer.

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The Prevalence of Brain-Eating Roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis in Merrick County, Nebraska

Reeves et al. | Sep 20, 2018

The Prevalence of Brain-Eating Roundworm <i>Baylisascaris procyonis</i> in Merrick County, Nebraska

The authors investigated an important parasite-host relationship between the raccoon roundworm and the raccoon to understand how parasite prevalence is affected by location. They found that the parasite infection was more prevalent in raccoons found closer to human dwellings, though the number of roundworm eggs was not significantly different. These results are important human health, since roundworm infection is lethal to humans and can be transmitted from raccoons to humans - the authors suggest that more research into this parasite and awareness of its prevalence is needed to prevent disease.

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Testing the Effects of Resveratrol, Apigenin, and Glucosamine to Effectively Reduce Prostate Cancer Cell Proliferation, Migration Levels, and Increase Apoptosis

Yang et al. | Apr 16, 2020

Testing the Effects of Resveratrol, Apigenin, and Glucosamine to Effectively Reduce Prostate Cancer Cell Proliferation, Migration Levels, and Increase Apoptosis

The current five-year survival rate of metastasized prostate cancer is only 30% and occurs in every one in nine men. Researchers have shown that people with a type of dwarfism called Laron’s Syndrome are immune to cancer due to their low levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). For this reason, experimentally modifying the level of IGF-1 could provide better insight into whether lowering the levels of IGF-1 in prostate cancer cell lines (e.g. PC-3) could be an effective treatment to reduce their rates of proliferation and migration and increase apoptosis. We selected three compounds, which researchers have shown decrease IGF-1 levels, to test and combine to determine which is the most promising.

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Friend or Foe: Investigating the Relationship between a Corn Crop and a Native Ragweed Population

Wainwright et al. | May 07, 2014

Friend or Foe: Investigating the Relationship between a Corn Crop and a Native Ragweed Population

Farmers will need to increase crop yields to feed the world's growing population efficiently. The authors here investigate the effects of growing corn in the presence or absence of ragweed, an invasive weed found in many fields and gardens. Surprisingly, the authors found that corn grown in the presence of weeds grew taller and were more productive than corn that had weeds removed. This may help gardeners rethink the necessity of weeding, and may point a way to improve farm yields in the future.

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The Effect of Various Liquid Mediums on the Transport of Photonic Energy and its Impact on the Quantum Efficiency of Photovoltaic Cells

Payra et al. | May 05, 2015

The Effect of Various Liquid Mediums on the Transport of Photonic Energy and its Impact on the Quantum Efficiency of Photovoltaic Cells

A photovoltaic cell (PV cell), or solar cell, converts the energy of light into electricity and is the basis for solar power. In order to increase the efficiency of PV cells, the authors in this study used common household items as photon transmissions mediums and measured their effects on the temperature and voltage output of the PV cells.

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