Podcast: Basic Guidelines for Bacteriophage Isolation and Characterization

Author(s): Safia Samir*


The world is on the cusp of a post-antibiotic period. A century ago, before the advent of antibiotics, bacteriophage therapy was the treatment of choice for bacterial infections. Although bacteriophages have yet to be approved as a treatment in Western medicine, researchers and clinicians have begun to anticipate phage therapy. Bacteriophages are viruses that depend on bacterial cell metabolism to multiply. They offer a promising alternative to the use of antibiotics and an excellent antibacterial option for combating multidrug resistance in bacteria. However, not every phage is suitable for phage therapy. In particular, prophages should not be used because they can lysogenize host cells instead of lysing them. To offer adequate therapeutic options for patients suffering from various infectious diseases, a wide selection of different phages is needed. While there is no evidence of direct toxicity induced by phage particles, it is crucial to study mammalian cell–phage interactions. This requires phage preparations to be free of bacterial cells, toxins and other compounds to avoid skewing host responses. Negative staining of purified viruses and electron microscopy remain the gold standard in the identification of bacteriophages. Interestingly, genomics has greatly changed our understanding of phage biology. Bacteriophage genome sequencing is essential to obtain a complete understanding of the bacteriophages’ biology and to obtain confirmation of their lifestyle. Full genetic sequencing of bacteriophage will enable a better understanding of the phage-encoded proteins and biomolecules (especially phage lytic enzymes) involved in the process of bacterial cell lysis and death. Mass spectrometry can be used for the identification of phage structural proteins. The use of lytic phages as biocontrol agents requires the most appropriate and standard methods to ensure application safety. This review pursues recent research and methods in molecular biology for the isolation and characterization of phages to facilitate follow-up and implementation of work for other researchers. Patents related to this topic have been mentioned in the text.

Journal link: http://bit.ly/3GraUct

Podcast: http://bit.ly/3k2E0qY

Editor’s choice: Synthesis of Hexahydroxy Strontium Stannate/Tin Dioxide Nanocomposites and their Photocatalytic Properties for Gentian Violet

Author(s):Chunhu YuZeyang XueYajing MaoJianfeng Huang, Feihu TaoZhengyu CaiChuangang Fan and Lizhai Pei*

Background: Gentian violet dye released from industries into the environment has caused serious water pollution and is a significant environmental pollutant to human beings owing to the toxicity. It is urgent to decrease environmental pollution by removing gentian violet in the wastewater.

Objective: The aim is to synthesize hexahydroxy strontium stannate/tin dioxide nanocomposites by a simple hydrothermal method without surfactants and research the photocatalytic performance for gentian violet degradation.

Methods: Hexahydroxy strontium stannate/tin dioxide nanocomposites have been obtained via the hydrothermal method. The structure, size, morphology and photocatalytic performance were characterized by X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, solid ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

Results: The nanocomposites possess oven-shaped morphology with the size of less than 100 nm and are composed of hexagonal SrSn(OH)and tetragonal SnO2 phases. The band gap of the nanocomposites is 3.52 eV. 10 mg hexahydroxy strontium stannate/tin dioxide nanocomposites have the ability to completely degrade 10 mL gentian violet solution with the concentration of 10 mgL-1 under 6 h ultraviolet-visible light irradiation. Hydroxyl radical, hole and superoxide radical are the main species for the gentian violet photocatalytic degradation using the nanocomposites.

Conclusion: The hexahydroxy strontium stannate/tin dioxide nanocomposites show good photocatalytic performance for the GV degradation. The photocatalytic performance for gentian violet degradation using the hexahydroxy strontium stannate/tin dioxide nanocomposites depends on the irradiation time and content of the nanocomposites.

Read more: https://bit.ly/3hFj7Bi

Editors choice article: CRISPR/Cas9-based Gene Therapies for Fighting Drug Resistance Mediated by Cancer Stem Cells

Author(s): Masoumeh Eliyasi Dashtaki and Sorayya Ghasemi*

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are cancer-initiating cells found in most tumors and hematological cancers. CSCs are involved in cells progression, recurrence of tumors, and drug resistance. Current therapies have been focused on treating the mass of tumor cells and cannot eradicate the CSCs. CSCs drug-specific targeting is considered as an approach to precisely target these cells. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR/Cas9) gene-editing systems are making progress and showing promise in the cancer research field. One of the attractive applications of CRISPR/Cas9 as one approach of gene therapy is targeting the critical genes involved in drug resistance and maintenance of CSCs. The synergistic effects of gene editing as a novel gene therapy approach and traditional therapeutic methods, including chemotherapy, can resolve drug resistance challenges and regression of the cancers. This review article considers different aspects of CRISPR/Cas9 ability in the study and targeting of CSCs with the intention to investigate their application in drug resistance.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/3V2BTjK

Open access: Ultrasmall Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Synthesized by Micellar Approach as a Potential Dual-Mode T1-T2 Contrast Agent

Author(s):Watson BekLaudemir C. Varanda*Simone J.S. LopesDaniel A. MoraesNatalia M. Santos and Maria Eduarda S. D. Lino

Objective: A micellar approach is used to synthesize Ultrasmall Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (USPIONs) with an average diameter of 3.4±0.5 nm, suitable for dual-mode T1-T2 contrast agents.

Methods: Micelles with 3.8 nm, measured by dynamic light scattering, were obtained by selforganizing the surfactant iron(III) dodecyl sulfate (IDS) in 1-octanol. IDS was prepared by replacing Na+ cation in sodium dodecyl sulfate molecule, and its critical micelle concentration (CMC) was measured by electrical conductivity. The USPIONs were synthesized in a biphasic system: IDS in octanol (55% above the CMC) and water containing NaBH4.

Results: A yellow precipitate is immediately formed at the water/alcohol interface, rapidly changes to a black one, and transfers to the aqueous phase. The magnetite phase was confirmed by X-ray diffraction and Mössbauer spectroscopy. The magnetic behavior shows a major paramagnetic character with a weak ferromagnetic component at 5 K, the latter attributed to the interparticle couplings below its blocking temperature (TB = 35 K). The particles were coated with carboxymethyl dextran, showing an isoelectric point of 2.7 with electrokinetic potential around -30 mV in the physiological pH range. Magnetic relaxation measurements showed relaxivity values r1 = 0.17 mM-1 s-1 and r2 = 1.73 mM-1 s-1 (r2/r1 = 10) in a 3T field. These values infer that the ultrasmall size affects the interactions with the protons of the nearby water molecules. The r2 value decreases because the core magnetization decreases with size; r1 intensifies due to the high surface.

Conclusion: The results show a system with high colloidal stability, non-cytotoxic, and potential application as T1-T2 dual-mode contrast agents.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/3Y0CKEd

Current article: Classical Hallucinogens As Antidepressant Drugs: A Cautionary Approach

Author(s): Rafael G. dos Santos*Giordano Novak RossiJaime E. C. HallakDost Öngür and Serdar M. Dursun


Classical hallucinogens (or serotoninergic psychedelics) include lysergic acid diethylamide(LSD), psilocybin, and dimethyltryptamine (DMT) (present in ayahuasca, a plant preparation traditionally used in Amazonian medicine rich in DMT and β-carbolines such as harmine) [1]. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, these drugs were investigated in patients with depression and anxiety,
with promising preliminary results [1]. Nevertheless, due to increased recreational use by the youth, the association of these drugs to the counterculture, and regulatory changes regarding the performance of clinical trials (i.e., use of control groups and/or placebo), human hallucinogen research was abandoned in the early 1970’s. Besides the lack of control groups and/or placebo (which were used in a minority of studies), other important methodological limitations of this first wave of human research included non-standardized interventions (which therapeutic model to use), the inexact definition of diagnoses and clinical criteria for efficacy and safety (often based on case reports or case series), and broad variation in drugs and doses (mostly LSD in several doses and dosing regimens, but also psilocybin and mescaline)
[1]. Culturally, these drugs were not only associated with the youth and the counterculture but also with insanity and cult-like movements led by guru-like persons. Taken together, these factors maintained the absence of human hallucinogen research until the early 1990s

Read now: https://bit.ly/3iEGwTN

New article: When the Mind Comes to Live Inside the Body: The Ontogeny of the Perceptual Control Clock

Author(s): Sari Goldstein Ferber*Ronny Geva and Aron Weller


In this editorial, we discuss the neurobiological processes underlying the early emergence of awareness that we term the “when” and “how” the mind comes to live inside the body. We describe an accumulative developmental process starting during embryonic life and continuing to fetal and postnatal development, of coupling of heart rate, body movements, and sleep states on the behavioral level with underlying mechanisms on the structural, functional, cellular, and molecular levels. A developmental perspective is proposed based on Perceptual Control Theory (PCT). This includes a developing sequence of modules starting from early sensing of neural intensities to early manifestation of human mindful capacities. We also address pharmacological treatments administered to preterm infants, which may interfere with this development, and highlight the need to consider this potential “side effect” of current pharmaceuticals when developing novel pharmacogenomic treatments.

Read now: https://bit.ly/3VW5L20

Editors choice: Beneficial and Detrimental Effects of Antioxidants Use in Sports: How is it Balanced?

Author(s):Olfa SlimeniAli Zaiter*Patrick ChaimbaultReem Omar Mohamed Salih Andrzej PokrywkaSondes Sellami Nicola Bragazzi and Maha Sellami

This review aims to summarize the fundamental classes of antioxidants, the utilization of the supplement with antioxidants as ergogenic benefits in exercise and sport, the efficiency, and the consequence of their chronic uses. Antioxidants have been used for a long time in different sports disciplines and at all degrees of rivalry. The supplement with antioxidants anticipates muscle damage by reducing immune dysfunction, inflammation, and fatigue syndrome for athletes. Subsequently, antioxidant supplementation will improve the physical performances and health of athletes. Polyphenol compounds as incredible antioxidants that are abundant in numerous plants. The consumption of antioxidants could be hazardous whenever taken in high dosages. Researchers found that overdoses may cause undesirable symptoms and might grow the risk of death.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/3Ox5kJ0

Editors choice: Benefits of Coffee Consumption for Human Health: An Overview

Author(s):Jéssica Petrine Castro Pereira*Fernanda Aparecida Castro Pereira and Carlos José Pimenta

Background: Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide and is popular for its characteristic flavor and rich organoleptic properties.

Aim: Based on published articles, the aims of this review are i) study the association between coffee consumption and benefits to human health; ii) the effects of coffee consumption on some pathologies; and iii) provide a description of coffee’s bioactive compounds.

Discussion: Coffee presents bioactive compounds, which include phenolic compounds, especially chlorogenic acid (caffeoylquinic acid), trigonelline, and diterpenes, such as cafestol and kahweol. These compounds are related to the beneficial effects for human health, including high antioxidant activity, antimutagenic activity, hepatoprotective action, reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus, reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, decreased incidence of inflammatory diseases, reduced menopausal symptoms, and others. Coffee’s bioactive compounds are caffeine, chlorogenic acid, trigonelline, cafestol and kahweol, which are closely related to coffee’s beneficial effects.

Conclusion: The present review clarified that the benefits of moderate coffee consumption outweigh the associated risks.

Read more: http://bit.ly/3TVR51G

CURRENT ARTICLE: Automated Cultivation System for Microalgae: Growth Factors and Control

Author(s):Jiun Gia KhorHooi Ren LimWen Yi Chia and Kit Wayne Chew*

Background: Microalgae have been a hot research topic due to their various biorefinery applications, particularly microalgae as potential alternative nutraceuticals and supplements have a large and rapidly growing market. However, commercial production is limited due to high processing cost, low efficiency, and scale up of biomass production.

Objective: It is important to control the microalgae cultivation system with optimal parameters to maximize biomass productivity. The growth factors, including pH, temperature, light intensity, salinity, and nutrients, are discussed as these can significantly affect the cultivation. To monitor and control these in real-time, an automated system incorporating advanced digital technologies like sensors, controllers, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) could be applied.

Conclusion: This perspective provides insights into the implementation of an automated microalgae cultivation system that improves productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency.

Read more: http://bit.ly/3XlcxA2

Current article: Nutraceutical Approach to the Management of Cystic Fibrosis

Author(s):Manali Chindarkar and Srujana Medithi*

Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive monogenic disease marked by a mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene. Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene mutations affect respiratory, digestive and reproductive functions and impede bicarbonate, bile acid, and sweat secretion. Moreover, the current trend indicates that CF is no longer only a paediatric disease, but has progressively become a disease that also affects adults. This calls for addressing the condition with an appropriate nutraceutical approach.

Objective: The study aims to find and collate nutritional targets in the management of cystic fibrosis.

Methods: Studies highlighting the benefits of nutrients or nutraceuticals in the management of cystic fibrosis were included from previously published research articles (1971 to 2020). Data including nutrients, nutraceuticals, study design, study model, sample size, age, dose and duration of the dose of the supplement were extracted from the studies included and explored to understand their role.

Results: About 26 studies were included in the present review. It was found that nutrient interventions comprising nutraceuticals, including dietary fibre, proteins and amino acids (taurine, arginine, glutathione), fats (medium-chain triglycerides, polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids), phytochemicals (apigenin, genistein, quercetin, curcumin, allicin, beta-carotene, Pulmonaria officinalis L, Epigallocatechin-3-gallate), micronutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium and zinc in addition to antioxidants exhibit improvement in the symptomatic condition of cystic fibrosis patients.

Conclusion: The advent of nutraceuticals in the food industry and studies indicating their promising benefits have paved a path for targeted therapies in cystic fibrosis.

Read now: http://bit.ly/3OgAPqC

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