AI: From Early Expert Systems to Mainstream AI Chatbots

Back in 2015, a foundation had been laid by the founders of Open AI with a goal to promote a more preferable quality of life. Artificial Intelligence has been playing an integral part with in our society for the past few decades now. One of best examples of AI in our daily lives is that of the software in a smart phone which has incorporated this technology in photos, maps and many more features. And Open AI’s recent ChatGPT has already created a huge mainstream buzz for the technology.

Artificial Intelligence was first coined by John McCarthy a computer scientist from Boston, Massachusetts and in 1956 he defined Artificial Intelligence (AI) as The Science and engineering of making intelligent machines”.

Throughout the 60’s and 70’s, research on AI was slow because computing power and funding was inadequate. It was not until the introduction and commercial success of the Expert systems that allowed the research in AI to bring its spark back into the mainstream world. An Expert system is a computer system imitating the decision-making ability of a human expert, these systems were designed to solve complex problems by reasoning through bodies of knowledge, represented mainly as ‘if–then’ rules rather than through conventional procedural code like we do today. The first expert systems were created in the 1970s and then their usage increased over the next decade. These were the first ever successful AI software. A prime example is the MYCINexpert system. MYCIN was an early expert system developed in the early 1970s at Stanford University in Lisp computing language. It used artificial intelligence to identify bacteria causing severe infections, such as bacteremia and meningitis. The system would recommend antibiotics, with the dosage adjusted for patient’s body weight.

Today, there are several disciplines that rely on AI such in natural sciences, medicine and engineering. AI employs methods such as machine learning, deep learning and natural language processing, and computer simulations to automate and solve many problems. We can see examples of advanced applications self-driving cars and online recommender systems which have had an impact on our quality of life. This new technology is also helping scientists to compile and analyze big data, empowering them to quickly generate structured and understandable results.

AI technology like ChatGPT has been rapidly evolving, with some software getting weekly, and sometimes daily updates. But it’s clear that the potential of AI has some room for improvement. That makes the future look exciting, but also brings up more unanswered questions.

Today, there are many journals that cover the field of artificial intelligence, that have published cutting-edge research papers that truly showcase the power of AI for specific tasks. Bentham Science has recently initiated a journal in this space – The Chinese Journal of Artificial Intelligence (CJAI) – which explores the diverse applications of AI in research from China. You can learn more about the journal here. CJAI also supports Open Access publishing, making AI research in the region more accessible to millions of readers for free. Just like the technologies being funded by Open AI.

Global warming and climate change – a brief explanation

Our planet is artificially warming because of the greenhouse gases we are spewing into our air. When we burn fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, we also inadvertently produce CO2, a greenhouse gas. It can’t be helped. Everything we do requires energy, from the cars we drive, to the products made in factories, even the food we eat. And most of this energy requires burning fuels.

That would be ok if our planet was in balance with our sun. That is, if the heat the Earth gives off was exactly the same as the heat the sun warms us with. But in the past hundred years this balance has been grievously upset leading to less of the Earth’s heat able to escape into space since the greenhouse gases inhibit it. It’s the same as when we wrap a blanket around us to keep our body heat from escaping on a cold evening. Due to the excess heat, our planet’s temperature increases and unfortunately, it is continuing to increase.

Global warming causes our climate to change that is to degrade, which is never a good thing for people. Our plans to thrive, maybe even just to survive have been thrown into disarray by our inability to slow down our use of fossil fuels. And global warming doesn’t just cause dangerous rising temperatures: it also leads to rising sea levels, monster storms, greatly reduced food production (which can spur violence), flooding, and more.

Look no further than the natural disasters it has already caused: Widespread flooding such as the ones Pakistan experienced in 2022, extreme weather changes and temperature drops like the winter storm Uri in Texas in 2021, brutal storms such as Hurricanes Sandy, Katrina, Harvey, and Irma all driven by global warming, and irreversible tipping points such as ocean acidification, rainforest diebacks, and melting polar ice.

Yes, there is no doubt global warming is life threatening, affecting our way of living and maybe even our survival. But with problems come opportunities. We can solve global warming and by so doing we can also prosper. It’s not simple but it is doable. But only if we act now.

Still not convinced about global warming? Check out Robert “Bob” De Saro’s new book A Crisis Like No Other: Understanding and Defeating Global Warming. In his book, Bob provides everything you need to know about our climate change crisis from the psychology of denial and what to do about it, to the science behind global warming, and how we can solve it. Bob’s book is fast paced, easy to read, at times humorous, and always scientifically accurate. Now it is your turn. And your opportunity, so let’s get to it while we still can.

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Drug repurposing: What is it and what does it mean for modern drug development?

Drug repurposing (also known as drug repositioning or DR) is a strategy for discovering new uses for FDA approved and investigational drugs. It is therefore, an effective process for identifying new therapeutic uses for old/existing and available drugs. Drug Repurposing offers several advantages over developing a novel drug for a given sign. There are examples from our past are which provide ample amount of evidence in favor of drug repurposing or drug repositioning.  

Better the drugs you know than the drugs you do not know

It is a promising, fast, and cost effective method that has allowed researchers to forfeit traditional methodologies in drug discovery and development. Traditional methods of finding new drugs take a long time, and there are many regulatory barriers. It can take 9-10 years for a new medicine to come to the market through the normal method.

Some examples of drug repurposing

Drug repurposing is not a new activity. Some examples include

Aspirin is a Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) an antithrombotic medicine used for pain, fever and / or inflammation since 1899 all over the world. 

Thalidomide was first introduced as an oral medication used by pregnant women to relieve morning sickness, anxiety, sleeping disorder. Now it is used as a first line treatment for multiples of cancer types including Multiple myeloma and various skin conditions such as leprosy and it is consumed orally.

Sildenafil a drug introduced initially as a reliever of heart pain but later new uses were discovered for it as a medication for erectile dysfunction which is now prescribed over 2 million times in the USA and is cited as a prime example for Drug Repositioning / Drug Repurposing.

A recent example for of drug repurposing is COVID-19 medication which utilized anti-parasitic drugs such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine which were repurposed for the treatment of the disease.

Although drug repurposing is an effective way of treatment it does come with limitations such as a high cost of clinical trials, lack of patent protection and commercialization, FDA offers only a period of three years exclusively for a new use of previously used drug for a new indication, which is a very short period of time to regain the invested money and in case a loss for the pharmaceutical industry.

The pharmaceutical industry has seen a lot of changes over the past few decades, Covid-19 vaccine and the case of Viagra before that has produced a whole new meaning of Drug Repurposing. It is beneficial at most times but this does not mean that they do not have any short comings.

You can read all about drug repurposing in the new book Drug Repurposing against SARS-CoV-2 (edited by Tabish Qidwai)to learn more about it.

Book link: Drug Repurposing Against SARS-CoV-2 (

Most cited article: Electrospun Chitosan Nanofibres and its Application

Author(s):Pradnya Palekar-Shanbhag*Amruta DalalTejaswini Navale and Ujala Mishra


Chitosan is a biopolymer that has been widely used in medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, cosmetics, food as well as textile, and paper industries due to its biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxic, and less allergenic nature. In recent times, chitosan has gained much attention for its application in the form of nanofibres. Nanofibres have diameters in the range of 1 to 100 nanometers. Various processing techniques like drawing, template synthesis, phase separation, melt-blown technology, bicomponent extrusion, self-assembly and electro-spinning are involved in the fabrication of nanofibres. Among these techniques, electro-spinning is the most widely and commonly used technique as it generates ultra-thin nanofibres and has the capacity for mass production. This article reviews the process of electro-spinning and applications of the nanofibres containing chitosan in the areas of enzyme immobilization, filtration, wound dressing, tissue engineering, drug delivery, catalysis, and as an analytical system, biosensor, and diagnostic aid in detail.

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Most cited article: Overview of Drug Therapy of COVID-19 with Safety and the Potential Clinical Benefits

Author(s):Rajesh Basnet*Sandhya KhadkaBuddha Bahadur BasnetTil Bahadur Basnet and Sanjeep Sapkota


The discovery and development of the drug/vaccine for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the process of developing a preventive vaccine or treatment drug to reduce the severity of COVID-19. Internationally, hundreds of pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, university research groups, and the World Health Organization (WHO) have developed vaccines for the past few centuries. Currently, they are continuously putting effort into developing possible therapies for COVID-19 disease, which are now at various stages of the preclinical or clinical research stage. In addition, researchers are trying to accelerate the development of vaccines, antiviral drugs, and postinfection treatments. Many previously approved drug candidates are already studied to alleviate discomfort during the disease complication. In this paper, we reviewed the research progress of COVID-19 therapeutic drugs.

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Most cited article: Drug Targeting and Conventional Treatment of Multiple Myeloma: Analysis of Target-specific Nanotherapies in Disease Models

Author(s): Christina TranEden ParkPedro L. Rodriguez Flores and Robert B. Campbell*


Extensive studies have explored potential therapies against multiple myeloma (MM), whether in hospitals, universities or in private institutional settings. Scientists continue to study the mechanism(s) underlying the disease as a basis for the development of more effective treatment options. There are many therapeutic agents and treatment regimens used for multiple myeloma. Unfortunately, no cure or definitive treatment options exist. The goal of treatment is to maintain the patient in remission for as long as possible. Therapeutic agents used in combination can effectively maintain patients in remission. While these therapies have increased patient survival, a significant number of patients relapse. The off-target toxicity and resistance exhibited by target cells remain a challenge for existing approaches. Ongoing efforts to understand the biology of the disease offer the greatest chance to improve therapeutic options. Nanoparticles (targeted drug delivery systems) offer new hope and directions for therapy. This review summarizes FDA-approved agents for the treatment of MM, highlights the clinical barriers to treatment, including adverse side effects normally associated with the use of conventional agents, and describes how nanotherapeutics have overcome barriers to impede conventional treatments.

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Most cited article: Local Delivery of Metronidazole-loaded N-Trimethyl Quaternary Ammonium Chitosan Nanoparticles for Periodontitis Treatment

Author(s):Kritika Garg*and Pravin Tirgar

Background: Recent findings suggest that chitosan has shown antibacterial activity acting through various mechanisms, but when the amine group in chitosan is converted to quaternary ammonium compound, the antibacterial activity of chitosan is elevated due to the increase in its solubility in an acidic environment.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to formulate and standardize metronidazole-loaded Ntrimethyl quaternary ammonium chitosan nanoparticles for the treatment of periodontitis.

Method: N-trimethyl quaternary ammonium chitosan derivative was synthesized, and nanoparticles (NPs) were prepared by ionic gelation methodology followed by 32 full factorial designs. Particle size, zeta potential, polydispersity index (PDI), surface morphology, thermal properties, in vitro drug release as well as antimicrobial activity, stability study, ex vivo, and acute toxicity of NPs were evaluated.

Results: The optimized batches of NPs were in the size range of 150 to 237 nm with a mean size of 117.01 ± 0.03 nm. Entrapment efficiency (EE) of 81.45 ± 0.03 % was obtained with a zeta potential (mV) of 28.19 ± 0.03 mV. Almost 98.97 ± 7.17% of the drug was released within 24 hours in vitro to obtain a sustained release drug; the optimized batches exhibited a smooth surface with appreciable in vitro, ex vivo antibacterial, and acute toxicity, and it was found that the formulation could be stored for up to 6 months.

Conclusion: The present study revealed that metronidazole-loaded N-trimethyl quaternary ammonium chitosan nanoparticles exhibit enhanced antibacterial activity against periodontal infections.

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Most cited: The Spectrum of Cefditoren for Lower Respiratory Tract Infections (LRTIs) in Surabaya

Author(s):Alfian Nur Rosyid*Pepy Dwi EndraswariTutik KusmiatiArina Dery PuspitasariAbdul Khairul Rizki PurbaWiwin Is EffendiSoedarsonoNasronudin and Muhammad Amin

Background: Empirical antibiotics among outpatients with Lower Respiratory Tract Infections (LRTIs) are scarcely allocated in Indonesia. The study aims to evaluate the pathogens causing LRTIs, drug sensitivity test and the minimum inhibitory concentrations of 90% (MIC90) of Cefditoren, Azithromycin, Amoxicillin-Clavulanic Acid, and Cefixime.

Methods: The study was performed in adult outpatients with LRTI that can be expectorated. Patients with diabetes mellitus, HIV, lung tuberculosis, renal or hepatic failure, and hemoptysis were excluded. We performed bacterial culture, antibiotic sensitivity, and MIC measurements of four antibiotics.

Results: There were 126 patients with LRTIs, and 61 patients were eligible for the study. We identified 69 bacteria. We found Klebsiella pneumonia (n=16; 26.23%), Staphylococcus aureus (n=11; 18%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n=8; 13.11%), Acinetobacter baumanii complex (n= 4; 6.55%), Streptococcus pneumonia (n=3; 4.9%) and others bacteria as causes of LRTI. Testing MIC90 of Cefditoren and three empiric antibiotics on LRTI found that Cefditoren has a lower MIC of 90 for K. pneumonia (0.97(2.04) μg.mL-1) and S. pneumonia (0.06(0.00)μg.mL-1) than other antibiotics, but almost the same as Cefixime ((0.05(0.16)μg.mL-1) and (0.38(0.17)μg.mL-1). MIC90 Cefditoren for S.aureus (3.18(3.54)μg.mL-1) and P.aeruginosa (9.2(3.53)μg.mL-1) is lower than Cefixime but higher than Azithromycin and Amoxicillin-Clavulanic acid. Reference data MIC90 of Cefditoren for LRTI bacteria is lower than the other three oral empirical antibiotics.

Conclusion: In vitro studies of an outpatient LRTI in Surabaya found gram-negative bacteria dominant. Cefditoren can inhibit K.pneumonia and S.pneumonia has a lower MIC90 compared to other antibiotics. Cefditoren can inhibit gram-negative and positive bacteria causing LRTI.

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Animated abstract: The Pathogenic Subpopulation of Th17 Cells in Obesity

Author(s):Natalia TodosenkoMaria Vulf*Kristina YurovaDaria SkuratovskaiaOlga KhaziakhmatovaNatalia GazatovaOlga MelashchenkoOlga Urazova and Larisa Litvinova

Obesity is a metabolic disease characterized by a chronic subclinical inflammatory response associated with an imbalance/dysregulation of cellular homeostasis in response to excessive nutrient intake and accumulation. CD4+ T-lymphocytes form different populations, Th1, Th2, Th9, Th17, Th22, and Treg cells, which have phenotypic and functional differences. Despite the active study of Th17 cells in severe disorders, their role in metabolic disorders, particularly in obesity, is not well understood. Th17 lymphocytes, depending on the microenvironment, can form pathogenic and nonpathogenic subpopulations. Systemic inflammation induces the reprogramming of the transcriptome of normal Th17 cells formed in epithelial tissues, which acquire new properties. A zone of overlapping states exists between IL-17A-producing cells, which does not allow a clear boundary between non-pathogenic Th17 and pathogenic Th17 lymphocytes. We assume that in obesity, the pool of inflammatory pathogenic Th17 cells with cytotoxic potential is a fraction of terminally differentiated memory lymphocytes which is responsible for developing autoimmune reactions.

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Most cited article: Contribution to Pharmacological Valorisation of Algerian Arctium minus (Hill) Bernh. Subsp. Atlanticum (Pomel) Maire; Antioxidant and Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Activities

Author(s):Sofiane Guettaf*Abdelmoumen BenmerzougBensouici ChawkiYavuz Selim ÇakmakSaliha DahamnaAbderrahmane Baghiani and Daoud Harzallah

Background: The traditional pharmacopoeia is full of potential resources for molecules with therapeutic effects involving the inhibition of enzymes linked to some diseases.

Objective: This work aimed to test in vitro neuroprotective activity against Alzheimer’s disease (AD) combined with the antioxidant effect of root extracts obtained by water, water/methanol, and ethyl acetate of the endemic Arctium minus. subsp. Atlanticum, a native of Algeria.

Methods: The different extracts of the root of the studied plant were obtained by decoction or maceration. The inhibitory effect of acetyl/butyrylcholinesterase (AChE/BChE) was achieved by a colorimetric method. Similarly, the antioxidant activity was measured based on several mechanisms: 1, 1- diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) and galvinoxyl (GOR) radicals free scavenging assays, β-carotene bleaching inhibition activity, and cupric ion reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC).

Results: In the various tests carried out, the ethyl acetate extract (EAE) possessed the most powerful antioxidant and anticholinesterase activities compared to the other samples. The IC50 and A0.5 values of DPPH, GOR, β-carotene, CUPRAC, anti-AChE, and anti-BChE assays were 69.45±5.49, 28.87±0.18, 121.58±16.76, 37.41±1.59, 265±21, and 240±6.3 μg / mL, respectively. Likewise, a correlation could be deduced between the type of extract and the potent antioxidant/anticholinesterase potential.

Conclusion: This work examines for the first time the anticholinesterase potential combined with the antioxidant effect of Algerian Arctium minus. subsp. Atlantic. This association between the two effects could be effective in the fight against AD, and therefore, the use of this natural resource may be possible in combating this aspect of neurodegeneration.

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