Ant colony optimization algorithms simulate ants moving from point to point on a graph and coordinate their actions, similar to ants laying down pheromones to strengthen a path as it is used more frequently. These ACO algorithms can be applied to the classic traveling salesman problem, which aims to determine the lowest-cost path through a given set of points on a graph. In this study, a novel multiple-colony system was developed that uses multiple simulated ant colonies to generate improved solutions to the traveling salesman problem.
Arabadopsis, “the fruit fly of plants”, is an easy to grow plant system for genetic manipulation. Here, researchers tested the effects of varied light conditions on plants with specific mutations in the light sensing pathways.
Omega-3 fatty acid derived lipid mediators have been implicated in resolving inflammation, and wound healing. Authors measured the impact of supplementation with lipid mediator Resolvin D1 and its precursor 17-HDHA on planaria regeneration. Planaria not only synthesize RvD1 from 17-DHA, but both RvD1 and 17-DHA enhanced regeneration.
The authors looked at the emissions from a small, carbureted engine that was being powered by a mix of ethanol and methanol compared to E10 gasoline. The found that across all four pollutants measured, the ethanol-methanol mixture resulted in less emissions compared to the E10 fuel.
Here, through protein-ligand docking, the authors investigated the effect of the interaction of emodin with serine/threonine kinases, a subclass of kinases that is overexpressed in many cancers, which is implicated in phosphorylation cascades. Through molecular dynamics theyfound that emodin forms favorable interactions with chitosan and chitosan PEG (polyethylene glycol) copolymers, which could aid in loading drugs into nanoparticles (NPs) for targeted delivery to cancerous tissue. Both polymers demonstrated reasonable entrapment efficiencies, which encourages experimental exploration of emodin through targeted drug delivery vehicles and their anticancer activity.
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are bio-electrochemical systems that utilize bacteria and are promising forms of alternative energy. Similar to chemical fuel cells, MFCs employ both an anode (accepts electrons) and a cathode (donates electrons), but in these devices the live bacteria donate the electrons necessary for current. In this study, the authors assess the functionality of a photosynthetic MFC that utilizes a purple non-sulfur bacterium. The MFC prototype they constructed was found to function over a range of environmental conditions, suggesting its potential use in industrial models.
Coral bleaching is a fatal process that reduces coral diversity, leads to habitat loss for marine organisms, and is a symptom of climate change. This process occurs when corals expel their symbiotic dinoflagellates, algae that photosynthesize within coral tissue providing corals with glucose. Restoration efforts have attempted to repair damaged reefs; however, there are over 360,000 square miles of coral reefs worldwide, making it challenging to target conservation efforts. Thus, predicting the likelihood of bleaching in a certain region would make it easier to allocate resources for conservation efforts. We developed a machine learning model to predict global locations at risk for coral bleaching. Data obtained from the Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office consisted of various coral bleaching events and the parameters under which the bleaching occurred. Sea surface temperature, sea surface temperature anomalies, longitude, latitude, and coral depth below the surface were the features found to be most correlated to coral bleaching. Thirty-nine machine learning models were tested to determine which one most accurately used the parameters of interest to predict the percentage of corals that would be bleached. A random forest regressor model with an R-squared value of 0.25 and a root mean squared error value of 7.91 was determined to be the best model for predicting coral bleaching. In the end, the random model had a 96% accuracy in predicting the percentage of corals that would be bleached. This prediction system can make it easier for researchers and conservationists to identify coral bleaching hotspots and properly allocate resources to prevent or mitigate bleaching events.
Organic and non-organic contaminants in tap water have been linked to adverse health effects. Tap water is a major source of lead, which is neurotoxic and poses a major health risk, particularly to children and pregnant women. Using publicly available annual water quality reports data for the state of Missouri, the authors show that communities with lower median household income and lower per capita incomes had significantly higher lead levels in their tap water.