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The Effect of Varying Training on Neural Network Weights and Visualizations

Fountain et al. | Dec 04, 2019

The Effect of Varying Training on Neural Network Weights and Visualizations

Neural networks are used throughout modern society to solve many problems commonly thought of as impossible for computers. Fountain and Rasmus designed a convolutional neural network and ran it with varying levels of training to see if consistent, accurate, and precise changes or patterns could be observed. They found that training introduced and strengthened patterns in the weights and visualizations, the patterns observed may not be consistent between all neural networks.

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Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Srebnik et al. | Jan 20, 2021

Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Does the overuse of plastic in Japan poses an ecological risk to marine species and their consumers? Using visual and chemical dissection, all fish in this study were found to have microplastics present in their gastrointestinal tract, including two species that are typically eaten whole in Japan. Overall, these results are concerning as previous studies have found that microplastics can carry persistent organic pollutants. It is presumed that the increasing consumption of microplastics will have negative implications on organ systems such as the liver, gut, and hormones.

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Can Green Tea Alleviate the Effects of Stress Related to Learning and Long-Term Memory in the Great Pond Snail (Lymnaea stagnalis)?

Elias et al. | Jan 30, 2021

Can Green Tea Alleviate the Effects of Stress Related to Learning and Long-Term Memory in the Great Pond Snail (<em>Lymnaea stagnalis</em>)?

Stress and anxiety have become more prevalent issues in recent years with teenagers especially at risk. Recent studies show that experiencing stress while learning can impair brain-cell communication thus negatively impacting learning. Green tea is believed to have the opposite effect, aiding in learning and memory retention. In this study, the authors used Lymnaea stagnalis , a pond snail, to explore the relationship between green tea and a stressor that impairs memory formation to determine the effects of both green tea and stress on the snails’ ability to learn, form, and retain memories. Using a conditioned taste aversion (CTA) assay, where snails are exposed to a sweet substance followed by a bitter taste with the number of biting responses being recorded, the authors found that stress was shown to be harmful to snail learning and memory for short-term, intermediate, and long-term memory.

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The Effects of Confinement on the Associative Learning of Gallus gallus domesticus

Jaworsky et al. | Dec 23, 2019

The Effects of Confinement on the Associative Learning of <em>Gallus gallus domesticus</em>

This study aimed to determine if confinement affects associative learning in chickens. The research found that the difference in time lapsed before chickens began to consume cottage cheese before and after confinement was significant. These results suggest that confinement distresses chickens, as it impairs associative learning without inducing confusion.

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Exploring a Possible Link Between ADHD and Inattentional Blindness

Younger et al. | Dec 21, 2020

Exploring a Possible Link Between ADHD and Inattentional Blindness

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. The authors hypothesized that people with ADHD would display more inattentional blindness in perceptually simple tasks and less inattentional blindness in perceptually complex tasks. The results indicate that there is no significant correlation between ADHD and inattentional blindness in either type of task.

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Effects on Learning and Memory of a Mutation in Dα7: A D. melanogaster Homolog of Alzheimer's Related Gene for nAChR α7

Sanyal et al. | Oct 01, 2019

Effects on Learning and Memory of a Mutation in Dα7: A <em>D. melanogaster</em> Homolog of Alzheimer's Related Gene for nAChR α7

Alzheimer's disease (AD) involves the reduction of cholinergic activity due to a decrease in neuronal levels of nAChR α7. In this work, Sanyal and Cuellar-Ortiz explore the role of the nAChR α7 in learning and memory retention, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. The performance of mutant flies (PΔEY6) was analyzed in locomotive and olfactory-memory retention tests in comparison to wild type (WT) flies and an Alzheimer's disease model Arc-42 (Aβ-42). Their results suggest that the lack of the D. melanogaster-nAChR causes learning, memory, and locomotion impairments, similar to those observed in Alzheimer's models Arc-42.

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The Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation and the Antioxidant Curcumin on the Longevity, Fertility, and Physical Structure of Drosophila melanogaster: Can We Defend Our DNA?

Lateef et al. | May 18, 2019

The Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation and the Antioxidant Curcumin on the Longevity, Fertility, and Physical Structure of <em>Drosophila melanogaster</em>: Can We Defend Our DNA?

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is known to alter DNA structure and impair cellular function in all living organisms. In this study, Lateef et al examine the effects of UV radiation to determine whether antioxidant-enriched nutrition can combat the potential deleterious effects of UV radiation on Drosophila melanogaster. They found that UVB (320nm) radiation caused a 59% decrease in the Drosophila lifespan and mutagenic effects on flies' physical appearance, but did not significantly affect fertility. Curcumin significantly prolonged lifespan and enhanced fertility for both UV- and non-UV-exposed flies. The research demonstrates the positive potential of natural antioxidants as weapons against radiation-induced diseases including cancer.

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