The fungal cultivar of leaf-cutter ants produces specific enzymes in response to different plant substrates SUMMARY: Leaf-cutter ants and a fungus called Leucoagaricus gongylophorus have a symbiotic relationship. The ants harvest plant material for the fungus to “eat” and then the ants feed off of the gongylidia. These swollen parts of the hyphae are no… Continue reading Different Enzymes to Digest Different Plant Substrates
The architecture of cell differentiation in choanoflagellates and sponge choanocytes SUMMARY: The closest relative to multicellular animals are single-celled organisms called choanoflagellates. These protists look like collar cells. These are cells that have a microvillar ring (the collar) around a flagellum. An example of these cells in animals are sensory epidermal cells. To get a… Continue reading The architecture of cell differentiation in choanoflagellates and sponge choanocytes
Biogeochemical Redox Processes and their Impact on Contaminant Dynamics SUMMARY: Reduction and oxidation reactions are the drivers behind many biological processes. Energy is both stored and transferred through these reactions. This article talks about the various redox reactions that can occur, both biotically and abiotically, and how that affects both biogeochemical cycles and contaminants. The… Continue reading Impacts of Biogeochemical Redox Processes
Altered gut microbiota and short chain fatty acids in Chinese children with autism spectrum disorder SUMMARY: After looking at the fecal samples of 30 autistic children and 20 neurotypical children, researchers found that the autistic group had more instances of constipation, higher valeric acid (a type of short chain fatty acid), lower butyric acid, and… Continue reading Altered gut microbiota in Autistic Chinese children
Branched-chain amino acids and muscle protein synthesis in humans: myth or reality? SUMMARY: This study is an article review on whether or not consuming BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) alone was enough to promote muscle growth. Muscle protein is constantly being synthesized and broken down (anabolism, catabolism). Amino acids in blood plasma come from digested… Continue reading BCAAs and muscle protein synthesis in humans: myth or reality?
Long-term impacts of antibiotic exposure on the human intestinal microbiota SUMMARY: This review looked the long-term effects of taking antibiotics. If one is looking at the microbiota as a whole, the effects seem to be short term (a few months); however, if one looks at the population of specific species of bacteria, the numbers don’t… Continue reading Long-term Impacts of Antibiotic Exposure on the Human Intestinal Microbiota