Turmeric, the rhizome of Curcuma longa plant belonging to the ginger family Zingiberaceae, has a history in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for treatment of chronic diseases, including metabolic and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). This parallels a prevalence of age- and lifestyle-related diseases, especially CVD and type 2 diabetes (T2D), and associated mortality which has occurred in recent decades. While the chemical composition…
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SARS-CoV-2 RNA Quantification Using Droplet Digital RT-PCR

Quantitative viral load assays have transformed our understanding of viral diseases. They hold similar potential to advance COVID-19 control and prevention, but SARS-CoV-2 viral load tests are not yet widely available. SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnostic tests, which typically employ real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), yield semi-quantitative results only. Droplet digital RT-PCR (RT-ddPCR) offers an attractive platform for SARS-CoV-2 RNA quantification.…
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Epistasis and Intramolecular Networks in Protein Evolution

Proteins are molecular machines composed of complex, highly connected amino acid networks. Their functional optimization requires the reorganization of these intramolecular networks by evolution. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms by which epistasis, that is, the dependence of the effect of a mutation on the genetic background, rewires intramolecular interactions to alter protein function. Deciphering the biophysical basis of epistasis…
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Anthracyclines are highly effective chemotherapeutic agents; however, their clinical utility is limited by severe anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity (ACT). Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have uncovered several genetic variants associated with ACT, but the impact of these findings requires further elucidation. We conducted a transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) using our previous GWAS summary statistics (n = 280 patients) to identify gene expression-related associations with ACT.…
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Androgen receptor (AR) is critical to the initiation, growth, and progression of prostate cancer. Once activated, the AR binds to cis-regulatory enhancer elements on DNA that drive gene expression. Yet, there are 10–100× more binding sites than differentially expressed genes. It is unclear how or if these excess binding sites impact gene transcription. To characterize the regulatory logic of AR-mediated…
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The endothelial glycocalyx is a dynamic structure integral to blood vessel hemodynamics and capable of tightly regulating a range of biological processes (ie, innate immunity, inflammation, and coagulation) through dynamic changes in its composition of the brush structure. Evaluating the specific roles of the endothelial glycocalyx under a range of pathophysiologic conditions has been a challenge in vitro as it…
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Vascular and Renal Telomere Shortening in Mice Exposed to Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia

Drs. Najib Ayas and Issy Laher collaborate to better understand the cardiovascular complications arising from sleep disordered breathing such as sleep apnea. They reported that intermittent hypoxia (a hallmark of sleep apnea) accelerates the aging of vascular and renal tissue in mouse model of sleep apnea. This model has the advantage of being free of comorbidities which frequently confound findings in humans with sleep apnea.
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Gregarines are an early-diverging lineage of apicomplexan parasites that hold many clues into the origin and evolution of the group, a remarkable transition from free-living phototrophic algae into obligate parasites of animals. Using single-cell transcriptomics targeting understudied lineages to complement available sequencing data, we characterized the mitochondrial metabolic repertoire across the tree of apicomplexans. In contrast to the large suite…
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