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Heavy Metal Contamination of Hand-Pressed Well Water in HuNan, China

Long et al. | Oct 20, 2019

Heavy Metal Contamination of Hand-Pressed Well Water in HuNan, China

Unprocessed water from hand-pressed wells is still commonly used as a source of drinking water in Chenzhou, the “Nonferrous Metal Village” of China. Long et al. conducted a study to measure the heavy metal contamination levels and potential health effects in this area. Water samples were analyzed through Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICPOES) and the concentrations of 20 metal elements. Results showed that although none of the samples had dangerous levels of heavy metals, the concentrations of Al, Fe, and Mn in many locations substantially exceeded those suggested in the Chinese Drinking Water Standard and the maximum contaminant levels of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The authors have made an important discovery regarding the water safety in HuNan and their suggestions to install water treatment systems would greatly benefit the community.

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Effect of hypervitaminosis A in regenerating planaria: A potential model for teratogenicity testing

Bennet et al. | Dec 12, 2022

Effect of hypervitaminosis A in regenerating planaria: A potential model for teratogenicity testing

This unique research study evaluated the potential use of the flatworm, brown planaria (Dugesia tigrine), as an alternative model for teratogenicity testing. In this study, we exposed amputated planaria to varying concentrations of a known teratogen, vitamin A (retinol), for approximately 2 weeks, and evaluated multiple parameters including the formation of blastema and eyes. The results from this study demonstrated that high concentrations of retinol caused defects in head and eye formation in regenerating planaria, with similarities to vitamin A related teratogenicity findings in mammals. Based on these results, regenerating brown planaria are a promising alternative model for teratogenicity testing, which can potentially be paradigm shifting as it can reduce cost, time, and pregnant animal use in research.

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Effects of caffeine on muscle signals measured with sEMG signals

Park et al. | Jun 20, 2022

Effects of caffeine on muscle signals measured with sEMG signals

Here, the authors used surface electromyography to measure the effects of caffeine intake on the resting activity of muscles. They found a significant increase in the measured amplitude suggesting that caffeine intake increased the number of activated muscle fibers during rest. While previous research has focused on caffeine's effect on the contraction signals of muscles, this research suggests that its effects extend to even when a muscle is at rest.

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Computational development of aryl sulfone compounds as potential NNRTIs

Zhang et al. | Oct 12, 2022

Computational development of aryl sulfone compounds as potential NNRTIs

Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are allosteric inhibitors that bind to the HIV reverse transcriptase and prevent replication. Indolyl aryl sulfones (IAS) and IAS derivatives have been found to be highly effective against mutant strains of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. Here, we analyzed molecules designed using aryl sulfone scaffolds paired to cyclic compounds as potential NNRTIs through the computational design and docking of 100 novel NNRTI candidates. Moreover, we explored the specific combinations of functional groups and aryl sulfones that resulted in the NNRTI candidates with the strongest binding affinity while testing all compounds for carcinogenicity. We hypothesized that the combination of an IAS scaffold and pyrimidine would produce the compounds with the best binding affinity. Our hypothesis was correct as the series of molecules with an IAS scaffold and pyrimidine exhibited the best average binding affinity. Additionally, this study found 32 molecules designed in this procedure with higher or equal binding affinities to the previously successful IAS derivative 5-bromo-3-[(3,5-dimethylphenyl)sulfonyl]indole-2-carboxyamide when docked to HIV-1 reverse transcriptase.

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The Effects of Barley Straw (Hordeum vulgare) Extract and Barley Straw Pellets on Algal Growth and Water Quality

McHargue et al. | Oct 06, 2020

The Effects of Barley Straw (Hordeum vulgare) Extract and Barley Straw Pellets on Algal Growth and Water Quality

Algal overgrowth often threatens to clog irrigation pipes and drinking water lines when left unchecked, as well as releasing possible toxins that threaten plant and human health. It is thus important to find natural, non-harmful agents that can decrease algal growth without threatening the health of plants and humans. In this paper, the authors test the efficacy of barely extract in either liquid or pellet form in decreasing algal growth. While their results were inconclusive, the experimental set-up allows them to investigate a wider range of agents as anti-algal treatments that could potentially be adopted on a wider scale.

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A Study on the Coagulating Properties of the M. oleifera Seed

Lakshmanan et al. | Feb 14, 2020

A Study on the Coagulating Properties of the <em>M. oleifera</em> Seed

In this study, the authors investigate whether Moringa Oleifera seeds can serve as material to aid in purifying water. M. oleifera seeds have coagulating properties and the authors hypothesized that including it in a water filtration system would reduce particles, specifically bacteria, in water. Their results show that this system removed the largest percent of bacteria. When used in combination with cilantro, it was actually more efficient than the other techniques! These findings have important implications for creating better and more economical water purification systems.

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How are genetically modified foods discussed on TikTok? An analysis of #GMOFOODS

Basch et al. | Nov 20, 2023

How are genetically modified foods discussed on TikTok? An analysis of #GMOFOODS
Image credit: Camilo Jimenez

Here, the authors investigated engagement with #GMOFOODS, a hashtag on TikTok. They hypothesized that content focused on the negative effects of genetically modified organisms would receive more interaction driven by consumers. They found that the most common cateogry focused on the disadvantages of GMOs related to nutrition and health with the number of views determining if the video would be provided to users.

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Indoor near-field target detection characteristics under radio and radar joint operation at 2.4 GHz ISM band

Koh et al. | Apr 29, 2022

Indoor near-field target detection characteristics under radio and radar joint operation at 2.4 GHz ISM band

In our modern age, the burgeoning use of radios and radars has resulted in competition for electromagnetic spectrum resources. With recent research highlighting solutions to radio and radar mutual interference, there is a desperate need for a cost-effective configuration that permits a radar-radio joint system. In this study, the authors have set out to determine the feasibility of using single-tone continuous-wave radars in a radar-joint system. With this system, they aim to facilitate cost-effective near-field target detection by way of the popularized 2.4-GHz industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) band.

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The effect of floating plant on water purification: Comparison of the water purification capability of Water Hyacinth, Duckweed, and Azolla

Park et al. | Nov 21, 2020

The effect of floating plant on water purification: Comparison of the water purification capability of Water Hyacinth, Duckweed, and Azolla

Clean water is a necessity for every household, yet water pollution is a serious problem in many parts of the world and plays a major role in compromising water security in the 21st century. In this paper, the authors address the utility of several plants as natural water purifiers. They estimate the effectiveness of duckweed, hyacinth, and azolla in improving the quality of water from the Mithi river in India by measuring several metrics. They conclude that all three plants are effective in improving water quality, suggesting that these plants as eco-friendly options for water treatment.

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