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The Effect of Poverty on Mosquito-borne Illness Across the United States

Kar et al. | Feb 25, 2021

The Effect of Poverty on Mosquito-borne Illness Across the United States

Mosquito-borne diseases are a major issue across the world, and the objective for this project was to determine the characteristics that make some communities more susceptible to these diseases than others. The authors identified and studied characteristics that make communities susceptible to mosquito-borne diseases, including water in square miles, average temperature, population, population density, and poverty rates per county. They found that the population of a county is the best indicator of the prevalence of mosquito-borne diseases.

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Exploring Unconventional Growing Methods to Promote Healthy Growth in Common Household Plants: Tagetes patula L. and Lepidium sativum

Nguyen et al. | Feb 25, 2021

Exploring Unconventional Growing Methods to Promote Healthy Growth in Common Household Plants: <i>Tagetes patula</i> L. and <i>Lepidium sativum</i>

This study focused on finding more sustainable growing methods that reduce chemical fertilizer or water usage and can be used at the household level for garden plants. Metrics for healthy plant growth were height at first bloom, growing time, and survival rate. The Deep Water Culture (DWC) treatment for garden cress plants significantly increased the height at first bloom compared to the control group. For rates of surviving plants, the treatments had little effect on garden cress, but the Eggshell Grounds, Wick System, and DWC system groups outperformed the control group for marigolds.

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The Effect of Wind Mitigation Devices on Gabled Roofs

Kaufman et al. | Feb 20, 2021

The Effect of Wind Mitigation Devices on Gabled Roofs

The purpose of this study was to test devices installed on a gabled roof to see which reduced the actual uplift forces best. Three gabled birdhouse roofs were each modified with different mitigation devices: a rounded edge, a barrier shape, or an airfoil. The barrier edge had no significant effect on the time for the roof to blow off. The addition of airfoil devices on roofs, specifically in areas that are prone to hurricanes such as Florida, could keep roofs in place during hurricanes, thus reducing insurance bills, overall damage costs, and the loss of lives.

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Development and Implementation of Enzymatic and Volatile Compound-based Approaches for Instantaneous Detection of Pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus

Nori et al. | Feb 20, 2021

Development and Implementation of Enzymatic and Volatile Compound-based Approaches for Instantaneous Detection of Pathogenic <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i>

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) has a mortality rate of up to 30% in developing countries. The purpose of this experiment was to determine if enzymatic and volatile compound-based approaches would perform more quickly in comparison to existing S. aureus diagnostic methods and to evaluate these novel methods on accuracy. Ultimately, this device provided results in less than 30 seconds, which is much quicker than existing methods that take anywhere from 10 minutes to 48 hours based on approach. Statistical analysis of accuracy provides preliminary confirmation that the device based on enzymatic and volatile compound-based approaches can be an accurate and time-efficient tool to detect pathogenic S. aureus.

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Role of Environmental Conditions on Drying of Paint

Aggarwal et al. | Feb 20, 2021

Role of Environmental Conditions on Drying of Paint

Reducing paint drying time is an important step in improving production efficiency and reducing costs. The authors hypothesized that decreased humidity would lead to faster drying, ultraviolet (UV) light exposure would not affect the paint colors differently, white light exposure would allow for longer wavelength colors to dry at a faster rate than shorter wavelength colors, and substrates with higher roughness would dry slower. Experiments showed that trials under high humidity dried slightly faster than trials under low humidity, contrary to the hypothesis. Overall, the paint drying process is very much dependent on its surrounding environment, and optimizing the drying process requires a thorough understanding of the environmental factors and their interactive effects with the paint constituents.

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The Protective Antioxidant Effects of Sulforaphane on Germinating Radish Seeds Treated with Hydrogen Peroxide

Dasuri et al. | Feb 19, 2021

The Protective Antioxidant Effects of Sulforaphane on Germinating Radish Seeds Treated with Hydrogen Peroxide

Free radical chain reactions result when atoms containing unpaired electrons bind with biomolecules and alter their biological functions, contributing to the progression of diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, and diabetes. Antioxidants, such as vitamin E and sulforaphane, are effective neutralizers of free radicals and prevent cellular damage. This present study is conducted to determine the relative effectiveness of sulforaphane against free radicals generated by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) compared with the known antioxidant vitamin E.

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How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

Everitt et al. | Feb 15, 2021

How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

As the world struggled to grapple with the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many countries instated policies to help minimize the spread of the virus among residents. This inadvertently led to a decrease in travel, and in some cases, industrial output, two major sources of pollutants in today's world. Here, the authors investigate whether California's shelter-in-place policy was associated with a measurable decrease in water and air pollution in that state between June and July of 2020, compared to the preceeding five years. Their findings suggest that, by some metrics, air quality improved within certain areas while water quality was relatively unchanged. Overall, these findings suggest that changing human behavior can, indeed, help reduce the level of air pollutants that compromise air quality.

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The effects of stress on the bacterial community associated with the sea anemone Diadumene lineata

Cahill et al. | Feb 15, 2021

The effects of stress on the bacterial community associated with the sea anemone Diadumene lineata

In healthy ecosystems, organisms interact in a relationship that helps maintain one another's existence. Stress can disrupt this interaction, compromising the survival of some of the members of such relationships. Here, the authors investigate the effect of stress on the interaction between anemones and their microbiome. Their study suggests that stress changes the composition of the surface microbiome of the anemone D. lineata, which is accompanied by an increase in mucus secretion. Future research into the composition of this stress-induced mucus might reveal useful antimicrobial properties.

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Repurposing citrus peel waste and its positive effects on our health and communities

Kim et al. | Feb 08, 2021

Repurposing citrus peel waste and its positive effects on our health and communities

Every year, more than 30% of food products go to waste. This is approximately 1.3 billion tons of food, which is equivalent to 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars. While conventional solid waste treatments and fertilization of food waste are common, citrus fruit peels require secondary applications and advanced disposal management due to their low pH values and high antimicrobial characteristics. Since citrus fruits are well-known sources of vitamin C and antioxidants, we hypothesized that their peels also contain high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants. In our study, five common citrus peels including grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, and tangerine, were used to determine the amounts of vitamin C and total soluble antioxidants.

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