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1.
OMICS ; 26(11): 586-588, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2097272

ABSTRACT

In this perspective analysis, we strive to answer the following question: how can we advance integrative biology research in the 21st century with lessons from animal science? At the University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Animal Science, we share here our three lessons learned in the two decades from 2002 to 2022 that we believe could inform integrative biology, systems science, and animal science scholarship in other countries and geographies. Cultivating multiomics knowledge through a conceptual lens of integrative biology is crucial for life sciences research that can stand the test of diverse biological, clinical, and ecological contexts. Moreover, in an era of the current COVID-19 pandemic, animal nutrition and animal science, and the study of their interactions with human health (and vice versa) through integrative biology approaches hold enormous prospects and significance for systems medicine and ecosystem health.


Subject(s)
Biological Science Disciplines , COVID-19 , Animals , Humans , History, 21st Century , Ecosystem , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Biology
2.
PLoS One ; 17(10): e0273301, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2079730

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a reimagining of many aspects of higher education, including how instructors interact with their students and how they encourage student participation. Text-based chatting during synchronous remote instruction is a simple form of student-student and student-instructor interaction. The importance of student participation has been documented, as have clear disparities in participation between those well-represented and those under-represented in science disciplines. Thus, we conducted an investigation into who is texting, what students are texting, and how these texts align with course content. We focused on two sections of a large-enrollment, introductory biology class offered remotely during Fall 2020. Using an analysis of in-class chatting, in combination with student survey responses, we find that text-based chatting suggests not only a high level of student engagement, but a type of participation that is disproportionately favored by women. Given the multiple lines of evidence indicating that women typically under-participate in their science courses, any vehicle that counters this trend merits further exploration. We conclude with suggestions for further research, and ideas for carrying forward text-based chatting in the post-COVID-19, in-person classroom.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Text Messaging , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , Students , Biology/education
3.
Viruses ; 14(10)2022 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066551

ABSTRACT

Molecular therapies exploiting mRNA vectors embody enormous potential, as evidenced by the utility of this technology for the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, broad implementation of these promising strategies has been restricted by the limited repertoires of delivery vehicles capable of mRNA transport. On this basis, we explored a strategy based on exploiting the well characterized entry biology of adenovirus. To this end, we studied an adenovirus-polylysine (AdpL) that embodied "piggyback" transport of the mRNA on the capsid exterior of adenovirus. We hypothesized that the efficient steps of Ad binding, receptor-mediated entry, and capsid-mediated endosome escape could provide an effective pathway for transport of mRNA to the cellular cytosol for transgene expression. Our studies confirmed that AdpL could mediate effective gene transfer of mRNA vectors in vitro and in vivo. Facets of this method may offer key utilities to actualize the promise of mRNA-based therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Adenoviridae Infections , COVID-19 , Humans , Adenoviridae/genetics , Genetic Vectors/genetics , Gene Transfer Techniques , Polylysine , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Pandemics , Capsid Proteins/genetics , Capsid Proteins/metabolism , Biology
4.
Bioprocess Biosyst Eng ; 45(11): 1753-1769, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2035057

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from asymptomatic to severe, which could lead to fatality. Like other pathogenic viruses, the infection of SARS-CoV-2 relies on binding its spike glycoprotein to the host receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE 2). Molecular studies suggested that there is a high affinity between the spike glycoprotein and ACE 2 that might arise due to their hydrophobic interaction. This property is mainly responsible for making this virus highly infectious. Apart from this, the transmissibility of the virus, prolonged viability in certain circumstances, and rapid mutations also contributed to the current pandemic situation. Nanotechnology provides potential alternative solutions to combat COVID-19 with the development of i. nanomaterial-based COVID-19 detection technology, ii. nanomaterial-based disinfectants, iii. nanoparticle-based vaccines, and iv. nanoparticle-based drug delivery. Hence, this review provides diverse insight into understanding COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Biology
5.
Reprod Fertil Dev ; 34(13): 855-866, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991760

ABSTRACT

Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, the Society for Reproductive Biology (SRB) 2021 meeting reunited the Australian and New Zealand reproductive research community for the first time since 2019 and was the first virtual SRB meeting. Despite the recent global research disruptions, the conference revealed significant advancements in reproductive research, the importance of which span human health, agriculture, and conservation. A core theme was novel technologies, including the use of medical microrobots for therapeutic and sperm delivery, diagnostic hyperspectral imaging, and hydrogel condoms with potential beyond contraception. The importance of challenging the contraceptive status quo was further highlighted with innovations in gene therapies, non-hormonal female contraceptives, epigenetic semen analysis, and in applying evolutionary theory to suppress pest population reproduction. How best to support pregnancies, particularly in the context of global trends of increasing maternal age, was also discussed, with several promising therapies for improved outcomes in assisted reproductive technology, pre-eclampsia, and pre-term birth prevention. The unique insights gained via non-model species was another key focus and presented research emphasised the importance of studying diverse systems to understand fundamental aspects of reproductive biology and evolution. Finally, the meeting highlighted how to effectively translate reproductive research into policy and industry practice.


Subject(s)
Contraception , Semen , Australia , Biology , Congresses as Topic , Contraception/methods , Female , Humans , Male , New Zealand , Pregnancy
6.
Mol Aspects Med ; 81: 101029, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1432032

Subject(s)
Biology , Humans
7.
Genes (Basel) ; 13(8)2022 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969162

ABSTRACT

Efficient detection and observation of dynamic RNA changes remain a tremendous challenge. However, the continuous development of fluorescence applications in recent years enhances the efficacy of RNA imaging. Here we summarize some of these developments from different aspects. For example, single-molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization (smFISH) can detect low abundance RNA at the subcellular level. A relatively new aptamer, Mango, is widely applied to label and track RNA activities in living cells. Molecular beacons (MBs) are valid for quantifying both endogenous and exogenous mRNA and microRNA (miRNA). Covalent binding enzyme labeling fluorescent group with RNA of interest (ROI) partially overcomes the RNA length limitation associated with oligonucleotide synthesis. Forced intercalation (FIT) probes are resistant to nuclease degradation upon binding to target RNA and are used to visualize mRNA and messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) activities. We also summarize the importance of some fluorescence spectroscopic techniques in exploring the function and movement of RNA. Single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) has been employed to investigate the dynamic changes of biomolecules by covalently linking biotin to RNA, and a focus on dye selection increases FRET efficiency. Furthermore, the applications of fluorescence assays in drug discovery and drug delivery have been discussed. Fluorescence imaging can also combine with RNA nanotechnology to target tumors. The invention of novel antibacterial drugs targeting non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) is also possible with steady-state fluorescence-monitored ligand-binding assay and the T-box riboswitch fluorescence anisotropy assay. More recently, COVID-19 tests using fluorescent clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) technology have been demonstrated to be efficient and clinically useful. In summary, fluorescence assays have significant applications in both fundamental and clinical research and will facilitate the process of RNA-targeted new drug discovery, therefore deserving further development and updating.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA , Biology , COVID-19/genetics , Fluorescent Dyes/chemistry , Humans , In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence , RNA/chemistry , RNA/genetics , RNA, Messenger
8.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 217: 853-863, 2022 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1966618

ABSTRACT

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has had unprecedented social and economic ramifications. Identifying targets for drug repurposing could be an effective means to present new and fast treatments. Furthermore, the risk of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 goes up when there are coexisting medical conditions, however, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In the current study, we have adopted a network-based systems biology approach to investigate the RNA binding proteins (RBPs)-based molecular interplay between COVID-19, various human cancers, and neurological disorders. The network based on RBPs commonly involved in the three disease conditions consisted of nine RBPs connecting 10 different cancer types, 22 brain disorders, and COVID-19 infection, ultimately hinting at the comorbidities and complexity of COVID-19. Further, we underscored five miRNAs with reported antiviral properties that target all of the nine shared RBPs and are thus therapeutically valuable. As a strategy to improve the clinical conditions in comorbidities associated with COVID-19, we propose perturbing the shared RBPs by drug repurposing. The network-based analysis presented hereby contributes to a better knowledge of the molecular underpinnings of the comorbidities associated with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Biology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Carrier Proteins , Drug Repositioning , Humans , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism
9.
PLoS Biol ; 20(6): e3001674, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951505

ABSTRACT

Understanding tropical biology is important for solving complex problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and zoonotic pandemics, but biology curricula view research mostly via a temperate-zone lens. Integrating tropical research into biology education is urgently needed to tackle these issues.


Subject(s)
Biodiversity , Climate Change , Biology , Tropical Climate
10.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(8): 1114-1115, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931411
11.
Can J Dent Hyg ; 56(2): 90-97, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1929510

ABSTRACT

Background: Medical and dental schools have long-established pedagogical approaches to teacher-centred face-to-face learning. The 3-year baccalaureate dental hygiene (DH) program at the University of Alberta, which enrolls 42 students of diverse ages and experiences each year, is no exception. Oral Biology II (OBIOL 302) is an intermediate-level course in the DH program; it was moved to an asynchronous online format to manage the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. This mixed-method study explores the factors affecting the dental hygiene student experience in this online, asynchronous learning environment. Methods: This study used a quantitative anonymous survey with a 5-point Likert scale to evaluate the workload and flexibility of the course as well as student acceptance of the assessments. The mean score and standard deviation were calculated for each question in the online survey. A research facilitator conducted interviews using a semi-structured interview guide to further explore student experiences. The qualitative data were then analyzed using a 6-step method of thematic analysis. Results: The study participants found the format and workload of the online course appropriate and well-suited to the spring term. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data revealed 3 intersecting elements-course structure, communication, and non-curricular aspects-as the key factors shaping student experiences in an online environment. Conclusion: ,This study identified the major factors affecting the online learning experience of students from the students' point of view, which will be a useful guide to design more effective online courses for health science education.


Contexte : Les écoles de médecine et de dentisterie ont depuis longtemps établi des approches pédagogiques en personne centrées sur l'enseignant. Le programme de baccalauréat de 3 ans en hygiène dentaire (HD) de l'Université de l'Alberta, qui accueille chaque année 42 étudiants de divers âges et expériences, ne fait pas exception. En vue de gérer les perturbations de la pandémie de la COVID-19 , Oral Biology II (OBIOL 302), un cours de niveau intermédiaire au programme d'hygiène dentaire, a été déplacé vers un format asynchrone et en ligne. La présente étude à méthode mixte explore les facteurs qui influencent l'expérience des étudiants en hygiène dentaire dans un environnement d'apprentissage asynchrone et en ligne. Méthodologie : Cette étude a utilisé une enquête quantitative anonyme et une échelle de Likert en 5 points pour évaluer la charge de travail et la flexibilité du cours, ainsi que la manière dont les étudiants ont accueilli les évaluations. La cote moyenne et l'écart type ont été calculés pour chaque question de l'enquête menée en ligne. Un facilitateur de recherche a mené des entretiens à l'aide d'un guide d'entretien semi-structuré en vue d'explorer davantage les expériences des étudiants. Une analyse des données qualitatives a ensuite été réalisée à l'aide d'une méthode d'analyse thématique en 6 étapes. Résultats : Les participants à l'étude ont trouvé le format et la charge de travail du cours en ligne appropriés et bien adaptés au semestre du printemps. L'analyse thématique des données qualitatives a révélé 3 éléments interdépendants comme étant les facteurs clés qui façonnent les expériences des étudiants dans un environnement en ligne : la structure du cours, la communication et les aspects non scolaires. Conclusion : Cette étude a défini les principaux facteurs ayant une incidence sur l'expérience d'apprentissage en ligne des étudiants, selon le point de vue de ces derniers, ce qui constituera un guide utile pour élaborer des cours en ligne plus efficaces pour l'enseignement des sciences de la santé.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Oral Hygiene , Biology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Students
13.
Clin Geriatr Med ; 38(3): 461-472, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914223

ABSTRACT

Aging has been identified as one of the most relevant risk factors for poor outcomes in COVID-19 infection. Since now, different mechanisms responsible for worse outcomes in the elderly have been proposed, which include the remodeling of immune system, the higher prevalence of malnutrition and sarcopenia, the increased burden of multimorbidity, and, to a lesser extent, the direct effects of age on the respiratory system and hormonal profile. It seems that the interplay between all these causes, rather than the individual pathophysiological mechanism, explains the increased severity of the disease with age.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Immunosenescence , Aged , Aging , Biology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Viruses ; 14(7)2022 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911644

ABSTRACT

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a disease of domestic cats caused by the genetic variant of the feline coronavirus (FCoV) and feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV), currently grouped into two serotypes, I and II. Although serotype I FIPV is more prevalent in cats with FIP, serotype II has been more extensively studied in vitro due to the relative ease in propagating this viral serotype in culture systems. As a result, more is known about serotype II FIPV than the more biologically prevalent serotype I. The primary cell receptor for serotype II has been determined, while it remains unknown for serotype I. The recent development of a culture-adapted feline cell line that more effectively propagates serotype I FIPV, FCWF-4 CU, derived from FCWF-4 cells available through the ATCC, offers the potential for an improved understanding of serotype I FIPV biology. To learn more about FIPV receptor biology, we determined targeted gene expression patterns in feline cells variably permissive to replication of serotype I or II FIPV. We utilized normal feline tissues to determine the immunohistochemical expression patterns of two known coronavirus receptors, ACE2 and DC-SIGN. Lastly, we compared the global transcriptomes of the two closely related FCWF-4 cell lines and identified viral transcripts with potential importance for the differential replication kinetics of serotype I FIPV.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus, Feline , Feline Infectious Peritonitis , Animals , Biology , Cats , Coronavirus, Feline/genetics , Gene Expression , Serogroup
15.
Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol ; 323(3): L341-L354, 2022 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909858

ABSTRACT

The 9th biennial conference titled "Stem Cells, Cell Therapies, and Bioengineering in Lung Biology and Diseases" was hosted virtually, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in collaboration with the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Alpha-1 Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy. The event was held from July 12th through 15th, 2021 with a pre-conference workshop held on July 9th. As in previous years, the objectives remained to review and discuss the status of active research areas involving stem cells (SCs), cellular therapeutics, and bioengineering as they relate to the human lung. Topics included 1) technological advancements in the in situ analysis of lung tissues, 2) new insights into stem cell signaling and plasticity in lung remodeling and regeneration, 3) the impact of extracellular matrix in stem cell regulation and airway engineering in lung regeneration, 4) differentiating and delivering stem cell therapeutics to the lung, 5) regeneration in response to viral infection, and 6) ethical development of cell-based treatments for lung diseases. This selection of topics represents some of the most dynamic and current research areas in lung biology. The virtual workshop included active discussion on state-of-the-art methods relating to the core features of the 2021 conference, including in situ proteomics, lung-on-chip, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-airway differentiation, and light sheet microscopy. The conference concluded with an open discussion to suggest funding priorities and recommendations for future research directions in basic and translational lung biology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells , Bioengineering , Biology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Lung , Pandemics
16.
CBE Life Sci Educ ; 21(3): ar48, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910371

ABSTRACT

Students' perceptions of challenges in biology influence performance outcomes, experiences, and persistence in science. Identifying sources of student struggle can assist efforts to support students as they overcome challenges in their undergraduate educations. In this study, we characterized student experiences of struggle by 1) quantifying which external factors relate to perceptions of encountering and overcoming struggle in introductory biology and 2) identifying factors to which students attribute their struggle in biology. We found a significant effect of Course, Instructor, and Incoming Preparation on student struggle, in which students with lower Incoming Preparation were more likely to report struggle and the inability to overcome struggle. We also observed significant differences in performance outcomes between students who did and did not encounter struggle and between students who did and did not overcome their struggle. Using inductive coding, we categorized student responses outlining causes of struggle, and using axial coding, we further categorized these as internally or externally attributed factors. External sources (i.e., Prior Biology, COVID-19, External Resources, Classroom Factors) were more commonly cited as the reason(s) students did or did not struggle. We conclude with recommendations for instructors, highlighting equitable teaching strategies and practices.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Students , Biology , Humans
17.
Biochem Mol Biol Educ ; 50(5): 547-551, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1905799

ABSTRACT

The Covid-19 pandemic has inspired the implementation of a number of online educational activities designed to promote appropriate measures, such as social distancing, in order to avoid spread of the disease. In these circumstances, ensuring that extracurricular activities in science education adapt to the changing situation is of crucial importance. Recognizing the important role high school science olympiads play in science education, we organized an in-person socially distanced 2-day examination for the final round of the Armenian National Biology Olympiad by using Classmarker, a web-based in-browser tool for administering exams. We believe that our experience with organizing this event will prove useful to other educators faced with uncertainty regarding the return to pre-pandemic modes of instruction.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Biology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Schools
18.
Exp Mol Med ; 53(10): 1471-1482, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1895592

ABSTRACT

Infectious diseases are a major threat worldwide. With the alarming rise of antimicrobial resistance and emergence of new potential pathogens, a better understanding of the infection process is urgently needed. Over the last century, the development of in vitro and in vivo models has led to remarkable contributions to the current knowledge in the field of infection biology. However, applying recent advances in organoid culture technology to research infectious diseases is now taking the field to a higher level of complexity. Here, we describe the current methods available for the study of infectious diseases using organoid cultures.


Subject(s)
Biology , Organoids
19.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1875806

ABSTRACT

The newest type of influenza virus, influenza D virus (IDV), was isolated in 2011. IDV circulates in several animal species worldwide, causing mild respiratory illness in its natural hosts. Importantly, IDV does not cause clinical disease in humans and does not spread easily from person to person. Here, we review what is known about the host-pathogen interactions that may limit IDV illness. We focus on early immune interactions between the virus and infected host cells in our summary of what is known about IDV pathogenesis. This work establishes a foundation for future research into IDV infection and immunity in mammalian hosts.


Subject(s)
Orthomyxoviridae Infections , Orthomyxoviridae , Thogotovirus , Animals , Biology , Humans , Mammals , Respiratory System
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