Delftia spp. Elicit a Pro-inflammatory Response in Monocytes

Author:  Rachel M. McNeill, William M. DeFoor, Carlos C. Goller, and Laura E. Ott

Delftia spp. are rod-shaped, gram-negative water and soil bacteria that are resistant to many commonly used antibiotics. Clinical case reports have described infections of Delftia spp. in patients with intravenous catheters, prompting us to investigate the immune response to Delftia spp. stimulation. We hypothesized that stimulation of THP-1 monocytes with Delftia spp. would elicit a pro-inflammatory response. THP-1 cells were stimulated for 24hr with two strains of heat-killed Delftia spp.: Delftia acidovorans ATCC 13751 at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 0.6 and 6.0, and Delftia sp. Cs1-4 MOI of 0.8 and 8.0. Purified lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was used as the positive control. Stimulation of monocytes with Delftia spp. resulted in increased monocyte mortality.

Analyzing Anomalies in the Ionosphere Above Haiti Surrounding the 2010 Earthquake

Authors:  Michael O'Brien and Pierre-Richard Cornely

Earthquakes pose a significant threat to human life, especially when they affect major centers of population. However, there is currently no method of predicting seismic activity that gives enough time to prepare for a major catastrophe. This paper presents a method for predicting earthquakes months before an actual seismic event occurs. A major earthquake, which occurred near Haiti’s capitol in early 2010, is investigated using the Detection of Electro-Magnetic Emissions Transmitted from Earthquake Regions (DEMETER) satellite. Electron density in the ionosphere is measured through DEMETER. The electron density measurement is then compared to predictions by the Parameterized Ionospheric Model (PIM), a computer model capable of predicting the electron density at a given point in the atmosphere.


The Tough Choice of a Life Scientist: Industry vs. Academia

Author: Maria Zagorulya

The most obvious career choice for life sciences students is research, and the essential dilemma of aspiring researchers is the choice between industry and academia. There are certainly other career options—government positions and scientific consulting, for instance—but industry versus academia remains the popular set of choices for many biology students. This article provides a comparative overview of these different career paths.

Lewey Body Dementia Diagnosis

Author:  Hriday Bhambhvani

Though not quite a household name, Lewy Body disease (LBD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease behind Alzheimer’s. LBD affects roughly 1.4 individuals and their families in the United States. Patients experience loss of mobility, cognitive decline, and visual hallucinations. Because LBD symptoms can resemble other forms of dementia, it is currently widely underdiagnosed.