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Is Cloud Cover One of the Effects of Climate Change?

Crair et al. | Mar 27, 2014

Is Cloud Cover One of the Effects of Climate Change?

Climate change is one of the most controversial challenges humans face. Here the authors investigate the dual role of clouds - to reflect incoming light away from the Earth and to reflect heat energy back toward the Earth's surface. They find that the amount of incident light energy and surface temperature decreases as the sky becomes cloudier. These results will inform longer-term studies that may compare against the amount of energy clouds reflect back toward the Earth.

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Mathematical modeling of plant community composition for urban greenery plans

Fang et al. | Jul 05, 2023

Mathematical modeling of plant community composition for urban greenery plans
Image credit: CHUTTERSNAP

Here recognizing the importance of urban green space for the health of humans and other organisms, the authors investigated if mathematical modeling can be used to develop an urban greenery management plan with high eco-sustainability by calculating the composition of a plant community. They optimized and tested their model against green fields in a Beijing city park. Although the compositions predicted by their models differed somewhat from the composition of testing fields, they conclude that by using a mathematical model such as this urban green space can be finely designed to be ecologically and economically sustainable.

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Young People Drinking: The Effect of Group Size on Drinking Habits

Palermo et al. | May 10, 2018

Young People Drinking: The Effect of Group Size on Drinking Habits

Palermo et al. examined the effect of group size on drinking habits of college and high school students. The authors found that both high school and college students tended to consume the most alcohol in group sizes of 4 or more, independent of how frequently they drink. They also found that the proportion of college students that drink is nearly twice the proportion of high school students that drink. This study supports previous findings that underage drinking happens in large groups and suggests that effective intervention in underage drinking would be at the group level.

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Flight paths over greenspace in major United States airports

Lee et al. | Sep 26, 2023

Flight paths over greenspace in major United States airports
Image credit: Mostafijur Rahman Nasim

Greenspaces (urban and wetland areas that contain vegetation) are beneficial to reducing pollution, while airplanes are a highly-polluting method of transportation. The authors examine the intersection of these two environmental factors by processing satellite images to reveal what percentage of flight paths go over greenspaces at major US airports.

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Determining the Effects of Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 on the Regenerative Abilities of Echinometra lucunter Sea Urchins

Kisling et al. | Feb 12, 2019

Determining the Effects of Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 on the Regenerative Abilities of Echinometra lucunter Sea Urchins

As humans, not all our body organs can adequately regenerate after injury, an ability that declines with age. In some species, however, regeneration is a hallmark response that can occur limitless numbers of time throughout the life of an organism. Understanding how such species can regenerate so efficiently is of central importance to regenerative medicine. Sea urchins, unlike humans, can regenerate their spinal tissue after injury. Here the authors study the effect of a growth factor, FGF2, on sea urchin regeneration but find no conclusive evidence for a pro-regenerative effect after spinal tissue injury.

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What is the optimal fuel for space flight? Efficiency, cost, and environmental impact

Kapitonova et al. | Dec 28, 2023

What is the optimal fuel for space flight? Efficiency, cost, and environmental impact
Image credit: NASA

Here, the authors sought to investigate the efficiency, cost, and environmental impact of several possible propellants that are or could be used for space flight. By deriving three novel equations, they identified harm, energy, and cost scores for each fuel, suggesting that considering each factor will be essential to the ongoing growth of the space industry.

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Assessing Attitude Across Different Age Groups in Regard to Global Issues: Are Kids More Optimistic Than Adults?

Luck et al. | Jan 11, 2020

Assessing Attitude Across Different Age Groups in Regard to Global Issues: Are Kids More Optimistic Than Adults?

In this article the authors investigate whether there is a correlation between age of a person and their outlook on global issues such as technology, politics, and environment. They find a correlation between increased age and decreased optimism. However regardless of age, they find that respondents believe certain characteristics such as technology and willingness to change are essential for improvements.

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Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Wu et al. | Feb 17, 2019

Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Phage therapy has been suggested as an alternative to antibiotics because bacteria resistant to antibiotics may still be susceptible to phages. However, phages may have limited effectiveness in combating bacteria since bacteria possess several antiviral defense mechanisms and can quickly develop resistance to phages. In this study, Wu and Pinta compare the effectiveness and specificity of antibiotics and phages in combating bacteria. They found that T4 phages are more specific and effective in fighting or inhibiting both antibiotic-resistant and sensitive bacteria than antibiotics, suggesting that phage therapy can be developed as an efficient tool to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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