Can L-Serine supplements restore memories?

The brain is the major energy consumer of our body; for proper functioning of the brain, neurons, and the surrounding cells mostly the astrocytes must cooperate. Insufficient supply of energy due to whichever reason leads to drop in memory.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease or AD is a neurological disorder marked by progressive memory decline and cognitive impairment. Basically, in AD the brain cells are caused to degenerate and die and mostly due to lesser nerve cell connections.

Amino acids essential for brain function

Amino acids such as D-Serine are vital to activate a type of neurotransmitter receptor in the brain called as N-methylate-D-aspartate receptor or NMDA receptor. L-Serine is a precursor for D-Serine; therefore a synthesis of L-Serine is pre-requirement for the making of D-Serine.

Enough glucose is essential for the biosynthesis of L-Serine

Synthesis of L-Serine is further dependent on glycolytic intermediates; therefore availability of glucose is a requirement for the proper functioning of the brain. Shortage in the concentration of glucose in the body may directly hamper the availability of ATP required to produce a proper amount of D and L-Serine.

Job of L-Serine in the brain

L-serine is a vital knot for the biosynthesis of molecules such phospholipids and sphingolipids. It provides carbon to the one-carbon pool that is concerned in folate (vitamin B9) metabolism, contributing to the synthesis of purine. This metabolic pathway is mainly necessary for the nervous system. In the brain, L-serine is the compulsory precursor of D-serine, a physiological ligand of the co-agonist spot of synaptic NMDARs present in the hippocampus, which is needed to maintain synaptic transmission. Therefore, failure in producing enough amount of L-serine would lead to disruption of these pathways.

L-Serine provided as a nutritional supplement can probably restore memories

Nutritional supplementation of L-serine may set off medical treatment, to fight early symptoms of disease metabolic discrepancy such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, or Alzheimer’s disease. As L-serine is obtainable as a nutritional supplement, this amino acid should be thoroughly tested in humans, from end to end restricted clinical trials.

CT Scans Offers the Best Diagnosis for COVID-19 Disease

COVID-19 is a contagious infection caused by the coronavirus family, the most recently revealed disease. This newly discovered virus has been provisionally termed “2019 novel Coronavirus” (2019-nCoV), which is a novel infection outbreak with possibly extensive public health complications, therefore on the edge of spreading throughout the world.

Signs associated with novel Coronavirus:

The indications associated with thisCOVID-19, include high temperature, drowsiness, and dry cough. A number of sufferers might possess pains and aches, sore throat, nasal jamming, runny nose or diarrhea. All of these mentioned symptoms are generally minor and initiate progressively.

For the above-mentioned reasons, vaccines for this virus cannot be rapidly prepared for at least a year to the public. Therefore, the best thing is to check symptomatic patients to avoid or slow the virus spread.

Screening methods:

Presently, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a molecular technique necessitating distinct laboratory machines, is used to diagnose maximum pandemic-prone diseases, including coronavirus. The diagnosis of Coronavirus is taking a new turn as the current nucleic acid testing protocols are turning up a high amount of false negative. For better disease treatment and control, early identification of the virus COVID-19 is crucial.

Computed tomography:

Computed tomography(CT), a routine imaging tool, is fast and comparatively stress-free to perform. CT usage distinct x-ray equipment to inspect irregularities found in other imaging tests and to aid diagnoses the reason of unexplained cough, breathing shortness, chest pain, and fever. The advantages of CT scanning are accuracy; speed, simple, as well as noninvasive.

Compared to RT-PCR, chest CT imaging is considered for better stable, applied, and fast method to diagnose and assess COVID-19, especially in the epidemic area. In numerous studies, the sensitivity of chest CT was found to be greater (98 percent) than that of RT-PCR.

A number of researches trust the usage of chest CT for COVD-19 diagnosis for patients with medical and epidemiologic symptoms well-matched with COVID-19 contagion principally when RT-PCR test is negative. Hence, now the focus of the scientific world should be on testing the suspected patients at the initial stage and quarantine the infected as soon as possible. This action will not only help to reduce the current Covid-19 epidemic greatly but also will generate a system for emerging comparable tools to end upcoming pandemics.

Application of DNA fingerprints to identify mutational signatures

Cancer and its causes

The major cause of cancer is found to be some unwanted changes in the structure of DNA that are otherwise called as mutations, inducing uncontrollable cell division. There are many reasons of cancer, such as lack of fidelity of the DNA replication machinery, disclosures to mutagen, enzymatic DNA alteration, and faulty repair of DNA that results a definite fingerprint on DNA damage. All the cells of human body possess somatic mutations throughout life.

What are mutational signatures?

There are certain mutational patterns within the cancerous gene that are now being revealed including the complication of somatic mutation. Several mutations create specific arrangements of mutation types, designated “Mutational Signatures”. Due to increase in the quantity of sequenced whole-genome and refined analytical methods, it is possible to extract more mutational signatures along with more exact definition of their structures.

These fingerprints help in understanding the development of cancer and their prevention. Extensive analyses have discovered numerous mutational signatures in human cancer kinds. However, previous researches were not sufficient to recognize all probable mutational signatures.

Identification of mutational signatures by DNA fingerprinting

Mutations are of various types, starting from single nucleotide mutations to deletion or insertion of a chain of nucleotides resulting in genetics changes. These changes can act as mutational signatures to be identified by DNA fingerprinting. The consequence is the prevalent database of reference mutational signatures ever. Half of all the mutational signatures have identified reasons, but this source could find more causes and understand cancer development in a better way. Certain mutational signatures, or DNA fingerprints, reveal the cancer response to drugs.

 Future prospective

The foundation of certain signatures is accepted, however, for several it remains hypothetical or indefinite. Explaining the mutational processes will be influenced by two key investigations. At first, mutational signatures accumulation from model systems, exposed to known mutagens or disturbances of the DNA maintenance machinery and assessment with those found in human cancers. Second, the association of the causes of mutational signatures with other biological characteristics of each cancer through varied methods extending from molecular profiling to epidemiology. Jointly, the researches will develop the cancer aetiology understanding with possible suggestions for prevention and management.

Advance bioinformatics tool tests approaches for identification of cancer genes

Being a complex genetic disease, cancer is resulted predominantly due to mutations in somatic cells of the genome. Mutations in the somatic cells may imbalance definite cell cycle process causing the attainment of cellular susceptibilities that convert a healthy cell to a cancerous cell. These changes drive cancer instigation and development. Additionally, they comprise of inactivating growth suppressors, counterattacking cell death, and further irregular phenotypes. As cancer is related with the genome disorder, hence it is practical that treatment approaches must be established on changes in genomic structure.

Numerous changes in somatic cells which are considered as mutation induce as well as promote tumor growth, and most of these genetic changes are being detected by the scientists of cancer genomics.

Traditional experimental approaches

Numeroussomatic mutations are being reported applying low‐throughput approaches, including systematic mutagenesis, cytogenetic techniques, genetic linkage analysis, and targeted gene sequencing. Conversely, all of the outdated methods are tiresome, cumbersome, and expensive.

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) in cancer genomics analysis

Next-generation sequencing detects the driver‐genes, with mutations leading the resistance to drugs. Furthermore, it can be applied to sense hypermutation that is likely to be important biomarker for immune checkpoint inhibitors. This also defines changes in double‐strand break repair pathway of DNA that is an evolving objective for novel treatments, and like wise-diligently linked to genetic genomic changes. Certain biological pathways along with a group of cancer‐associated genes (mutated genes) are being compared to pre-established biological pathways. Methods which are based on network search for cancer genes and biological pathways that characterize the interactions between cellular molecules. Methods learning pathways de novo do not utilize any previous information about the genes (interactions or pathways) and deduce cancer genes and pathways based on the forms of co‐occurrence or mutual individuality between the genetic abnormalities.

Methods for detecting novel cancer genes

Identification of unusual cancerous genes initiates with tumor samples sequenced. The major step is to distinguish genetic mutations using variant callers from sequencing data. The easiest methods to achieve this are by noticing recurring variations and by forecasting the practical influence of every mutation. The approaches can be classified mainly within 3kinds: (a) that utilize established paths, (b) those are founded on current biological system facts, and (c) envisaging cancer pathways de novo founded on the combinatorial forms of incidence in tumors group.

Limitations

There are numerous issues to be addressed so as to perform efficiently in future cases.  High cost is the major issue of NGS. The NGS‐based gene panel experiments charge several thousand US dollars per sample, and the whole genome sequencing costs more than NGS.

After the analysis in NGS, the further task is to understand the data and choose the therapeutic agent which will mostly be appropriate by linking gene alteration information along with scientific data. Presently the work is in progress in Japan and other developed countries. There are huge, online accessible genomic databases; but, the quantity of the data associated with medical cure outcomes is as yet inadequate.

A novel approach of gene therapy

Exosomes to amend disease processes: Researchers have established a novel gene therapy method by converting human cells into bulk creators of mini-sized nano-particles poised of hereditary material that has the capability to alter disease progressions. The technique uses exosomes; that are bio-friendly transporters of beneficial ingredients that make a way for cells to connect with other cells. This technique depends on patented skill that stimulates contributed adult stem cells to produce millions of exosomes that work as nanocarriers comprising a drug. When these exosomes are inserted into the blood, they are well aware of where to target, even though it is the brain. These exosomes collected from adult human cells, functions as nano-carriers containing a drug.

Application of tissue Nano transfection : In 2017, James Lee, professor emeritus and colleagues at the Ohio State University made impressions with news broadcast of tissue nano transfection (TNT); a regenerative medicine discovery. This technique is based on a nanotechnology-based piece to transport biological load straight into the skin, and changes adult cells into the desired cells. This was also adapted by Zhaogang Yang, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, termed cellular nanoporation.

The reason exosomes are designated to avert diseases: In in-vitro conditions, the artificial DNA force-fed to giver cells is imitated into a different fragment containing messenger RNA that holds the commands required to yield a definite protein. Every exosome foam comprising messenger RNA is converted into a nanoparticle prepared for transference, with no blood-brain barrier to worry about. Lee said, “We don’t want the exosomes to go to the wrong place. They’re programmed not only to kill cancer cells but to know where to go to find the cancer cells. You don’t want to kill the good guys.”

Light of Hope in the therapy: The best part for this is that they exosomes do pass the blood-brain barrier; maximum drugs can’t. An additional benefit that it occurs is zero toxicity; they do not induce an immune response. This drug-delivery method has the potential for the imminent uses in neurological ailments such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Expectantly, someday this can probably be used to treat the deadly diseases.

Making a Firm Decision: “Traditional vs. Open Access Journals”

We all know that making good choices in terms of academics and scientific career is the key to success. Research writing and publications compliment the career of a scientist or an academician. Moreover, publications in reputed (high impact factor) and peer-reviewed journals produces global recognition to their contribution towards the scientific community.

Selecting an appropriate journal to publish your invaluable contribution is the major step in disseminating your research findings. The research ought to be published in the right journal for reaching the target audience with desired impact. However, many researchers struggle to make the right choice while selecting a journal as they get confused between Open access and Traditional Journals. The decision also becomes difficult while considering the journal’s performance (range and impact on audience), cost of publication (Submission charges and Article processing charges) and duration of publication process.

Traditional Journal vs. Open Access Journals: Based on the different factors

Traditional Journals

Traditional journals are those which generally do not levy any fee on authors or contributors for scientific publication. These journals are funded by subscriptions and advertisements and hence, the readers are charged for accessing or downloading any content in the journal.

The comparison between the traditional and open access journals suggests that the traditional journals possess higher reputation as they are not new to the experts in the field and association with reputed institutions and medical centres. However, higher reputation does not mean that it will reach broader audience. Because of high subscription charges for the readers, the content remains exclusive for specific mass and this is also the reason for not receiving desired number of citations after the introduction of Open Access journals.

The traditional journal charges per page for the printed versions which may vary based on the number of colour figures. However, for read only service the readers need to subscribe to the journal with subscription charges ranging from $100 per individual to $50,000 for institutions.

The traditional journal generally takes around 4-6 months for the quality checking and peer review process. The delay in the process is because of the number of articles received and their pending physical printings and distributions.

Open Access

“Open Access” is the idea and practice that created a movement which enabled the journals to provide complete barrier-free and cost-free access to the readers. Providing free access means that the readers can read, download, copy (with prior acknowledgement), share and print the online information available in form of articles.

Based on the different factors for making the appropriate choice, open access is changing the landscape of the research industry and has returned scholarly publishing to its original purpose of “spreading knowledge without any barrier”.

Publishing in open access journals provides greater visibility as it reaches broader audience without any fee. However, as no publication is without any fee, the author is responsible to pay the Submission charges and Article processing charges. Generally, the fees range between $50-$5000 based on the impact and reputation of the journals.

Most of the researchers opt for open access as they may not be popular in their field as, open access circulates the articles to a wider audience using different platforms to reach different researchers in the field worldwide. That is why, most of the traditional journals have now adopted the “Open Access Policy” either completely (full open access) or partially (hybrid open access).

Scientific publication represents the reputation of the researcher and hence the faster you publish the greater is the competitive edge they receive over other competitors. Most importantly, the researcher who gets published first receives the credit for the idea and the manuscript. Open access journals significantly reduce the time of publication with rapid peer review process. However, some researchers doubt the quality of the process and also consider this process as fake.

Role of ManuscriptEdit in helping you to make the correct choice

You might have now understood the pros and cons of each type of journals, but you still might not be completely sure about your choice.

The selection of the journal (whether open access or traditional) should be based on one’s requirement and hence, ManuscriptEdit provides a “Journal Selection Report” service which is prepared by considering the quality, scope and novelty of the manuscript. However, the author can also share their recommendations on the basis of different criteria such as the impact factor, reputation, indexing and cost which needs to be covered. We understand the effort that has been put to produce a quality research paper and hence, we guide the authors to make the right selection for getting the article published in desired journal.

Funding your Research: A Far-reaching Aspect

In a research scholar’s career, the main hurdle to his/her accomplishment is the lack of grants for his/her research. At times, the scholars spend sleepless nights worrying about finding funding resources for their research studies.

Testing or developing theories calls for an in-depth research, with that comes huge funding needs. Hence, here are some of the suggestions that will surely mitigate the funding burden on the research scholars and help them to focus more on their research findings.

Suitable funding resources

National Institutes of Health (NIH): It is the largest public funding organisation for biomedical research in the world, which invests billions of dollars every year with an aim to enhance life, and reduce illness and disability through frequent innovative researches. NIH has funded varied studies that proved as breakthroughs in treatment and prevention, and helping people sustain longer, lead healthy life, and building a foundation for discoveries.

Grants.Gov: It is considered as one of the largest funding sources for research works in the USA.

National Science Foundation (NSF): It is a funding resource for scientists and researchers desiring federal grants for their research studies. NSF has gained fame in providing financial support to academic institutions for basic research and experiments. It has surpassed the margin marked by NIH.

Newton’s List: It is one of the globally available resources providing grants for basic experiments and research works in agricultural sciences, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, or technology.

Terra Viva Grants Directory: It is a better option of funding resource with both information and opportunities for researchers seeking project grants for fields like agriculture, energy, environment, and natural resources.

Office of Extramural Research (OER) at NIH: It is one of the biggest sources of research grants in category of scientific research across the word. They do not restrict their assistance to funding only, instead they also guide the researcher with their leadership skills, oversight view, and tools required in administering and managing the NIH grants policies and operations.

The Spencer Foundation: It is the best place to approach for funding scientists and researchers who are initiating their studies on a low scale based only on the novelty of the research work.

Universities or Institutes: If you are affiliated with the University, You can directly visit your university office or the department head. Many recognized universities have offices that deal with sponsored programs. They can coordinate your request for grants and helps you unearth the various opportunities available with them.

Fiscal sponsorship: You can also enquire about the funding sources from your colleagues or peers. They can help you find out certain non-profit organization who shares your research interest. In this case, you might get hold of more grant opportunities.

Usage of machine translation software in academic writing

The number of research articles submitted by non-native English speaking authors is increasing rapidly. However, the language barrier and time constraints are hindering their publication in English journals. With an intention to expand the reach of such innovative researches to other scholars and researchers, automated or machine translation software is a trending tool among academicians.

Akin to online proofreading software, the machine translation system is readily available on the web at little or no fee. Software such as Google Translate, Bing Translator, and Babel Fish are widely used in translating content through the rules-based systems. These systems are based on the translation techniques that analyze word patterns in the text in the documents that have been previously published or translated.

Cons of machine translation

Though useful to some extent, machine translation causes several errors in the document, thus affecting comprehension. Some serious mistakes recorded till date include:

  • Unnecessary fragments of the sentences in the translated material
  • Redundant and lengthy sentences creating confusion
  • Phrases ordered in an illogical manner
  • Word-by-word translation instead of contextual translation

The poor sentence structure along with errors in syntax and terminologies result in lack of clarity in the content and affect readability and comprehension. Eventually, the translated manuscripts or articles get rejected by journal editors because of a lack of clarity and coherence.

Machine translation software vs. Human Translators

Automated translation systems have been used for several years with the aforementioned drawbacks. Hence, the idea of utilizing machine translation software, i.e., Google Translate, Bing Translator, and Babel Fish, etc., is a risky one. Conversely, it is more advisable to use the expertise of academic translators to maintain or even enhance the integrity of the research material. Even if more expensive, manual translation services are worth it because they add credence to your manuscript.

Proper Citation: A Key Norm in Academic Publishing

What to Cite?
Academic publishing is important for the career enhancement of every researcher. A long string of publications under the belt of a researcher not only performs the constructive role of filling gaps in existing research, but also enhances the chances of the researcher being cited by other researchers. The number of times your research work is cited indicates the impact of the study in your research field.
Researchers usually draft their own investigations in the light of discoveries of other researches. In the process, it is vital for these study findings to be recognized as standalone researches by maintaining a strategic distance from issues like copyright infringements and plagiarism. To walk this academic tightrope, researchers take care to refer to previous studies by presenting the thoughts of the first researcher in one’s own writing and by referring to the earlier publication. Other than recognizing the work of different researchers, the citation process also helps readers discover the source article and refer to it to acquire more data or details.
The advent of the World Wide Web and the Internet has helped the process of identifying fitting, reliable, and logical scientific information and using it in one’s research with proper citations. The researcher takes recourse to online search tools, for example Google Scholar or PubMed, to gather information about publications revolving around the proposed research area. To disentangle the mass of search results, it is important to sieve research articles that could form part of the critical reading list.
Demonstrating In-Text Citing
The purpose of referencing or in-text citation is to give credit where it is expected. There are various reference style guides and it is up to the researcher and the requirements of the target journal to choose the most suitable one. If it’s a book citation, the author needs to consider the detailed referencing guidelines specific for books. In case of a thesis, the concerned university will have a favored reference style that needs to be followed. In case of research journals, one needs to visit the author page to peruse “Instruction for Authors.” Here, the author would get a bird’s-eye view of the required referencing style along with the in-text citation style. Once the reference style has been chosen, it is critical to remain faithful to the reference style in a consistent manner throughout the manuscript.
Here are three ways to use in-text research citations.
– Name-Year format: The surname of the first author is mentioned, followed by the publication year in brackets after the text.
For e.g.:
(Smith, 2017) or “Huron et al. (2017) stated that the tumor regeneration process was…”
– Citation-Sequence and Citation-Name: Both these citation styles are widely used by many journals. These two mainstream referencing styles are fundamentally the same. In both, in-text referencing is a number that compares to the full reference in the reference list. In case of Citation-Sequence, the number relates to every article’s ordered appearance. In case of Citation-Name format, the list of sources is arranged alphabetically. For example, if the primary article referenced in the manuscript was a work of Smith (an anonymous author name), this paper would be doled out the number 1. In the numbered book reference, if Citation-Sequence style is used, Smith would be the primary reference in the reference list. If Citation-Name style is used, the reference list would be arranged alphabetically, and the in-text number assigned to Smith would relate to whatever position Smith has in the reference list.
Hence, it is vital for a researcher or author to follow the reference style guide in an organized manner. Notably, footnotes are by and large not utilized as a part of logically written scientific work. Besides, there are style guides that demand abbreviating the journal names. For e.g.: International Journal of Civil Engineering can be abbreviated as ‎Int. J. Civ. Eng.
Fortunately, there are currently many reference management tools accessible to researchers and scientists. These tools assist academic research in maintaining consistency in reference citations with an assortment of style guides. Few examples are Mendeley, Zotero, EndNote, and Papers. These are additional reference directories, which are purchasable. However, all these reference managers also offer scholarly or understudy discounts.
Academic Publishing, Academic Research, Authors, Researchers

Is the world of academia facing the gender disparity issue?

Gender-biased selection is a prominent concern in academics. This gender disparity is not only restricted to scientists and researchers, but also in evidence during the selection of peer reviewers.

Peer review is a vital process before acceptance of a paper in order to evaluate the research methods and validate the findings. It is conducted by subject experts and researchers of the concerned faculty. Despite having the same expertise and knowledge, male authors are preferred as peer reviewers over their female counterparts. Although nearly two-thirds of published authors in Australia are women, peer reviewers of two-thirds of the books are men. This disproportionate ratio has been valid for the last 30 years.

A recent analysis has revealed that most of the authors or scientists suggest male reviewers instead of female ones. Based on these recommendations, the journals also narrow down their list of peer reviewers by adding few male reviewers from their panel.  Eventually, the list comprises more male reviewers than their female counterparts that leads to gender disparity.

Being assigned as a peer reviewer is also considered as a networking tool for scientific collaborations; these reviewers seek out authors whose work they admire. Moreover, they also mention the journals that selected them to review papers in their resumes while applying for positions in faculties, research grants, and awards.

Brooks Hanson, an earth scientist and publication director at the American Geophysical Union in Washington, commented that peer reviewing is not only about the manuscript or author that are being examined, but the reviewers also get varied benefits from it. Besides, the reviewers get a chance to view the manuscripts instead of only reviewing the substantial and factual data. Consequently, the process turns out to be a learning session for the reviewer also.

Empirical data also supports the existence of gender-biased selections. In its annual report, the Australian international body of Vida showed the disparities between the writings of women and men in Britain and the US. In another survey in UK, women were found to be the buyers of two-thirds of the total books sold in Britain, and 50% of women consider themselves avid readers compared to 26% of men who felt similarly inclined. However, male authors are recorded to be winning more awards for their research, which are included in course syllabi at both high school and tertiary levels. In short, male authors are considered (erroneously) to be academically more talented than female authors.

The world of academics cannot afford such gender disparity in writing and research. Therefore, decision-makers are urged to encourage the academics fraternity by providing writers, reviewers, and readers an equal opportunity, irrespective of their gender, for a more wholesome future of the scientific and academic community.