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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 Effect of Different Fructose Diets on the Lifespan of C. elegans

Chen et al. | May 10, 2020

The Effect of Different Fructose Diets on the Lifespan of <em>C. elegans</em>

High-fructose diets consumed widely in modern societies predisposes to metabolic diseases such as diabetes. Using the worm C. elegans, the authors of this study investigated the effect of fructose on the worm's survival rates. They found that worms fed 15% fructose had a lower life expectancy than those on a fructose-free diet. These results suggest that, like in humans, fructose has a negative effect on worm survival, which makes them an easy, attractive model to study the effects of fructose on health.

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The Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation and the Antioxidant Curcumin on the Longevity, Fertility, and Physical Structure of Drosophila melanogaster: Can We Defend Our DNA?

Lateef et al. | May 18, 2019

The Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation and the Antioxidant Curcumin on the Longevity, Fertility, and Physical Structure of <em>Drosophila melanogaster</em>: Can We Defend Our DNA?

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is known to alter DNA structure and impair cellular function in all living organisms. In this study, Lateef et al examine the effects of UV radiation to determine whether antioxidant-enriched nutrition can combat the potential deleterious effects of UV radiation on Drosophila melanogaster. They found that UVB (320nm) radiation caused a 59% decrease in the Drosophila lifespan and mutagenic effects on flies' physical appearance, but did not significantly affect fertility. Curcumin significantly prolonged lifespan and enhanced fertility for both UV- and non-UV-exposed flies. The research demonstrates the positive potential of natural antioxidants as weapons against radiation-induced diseases including cancer.

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The Effect of Bead Shape and Texture on the Energy Loss Characteristics in a Rotating Capsule

Misra et al. | Jan 25, 2019

The Effect of Bead Shape and Texture on the Energy Loss Characteristics in a Rotating Capsule

Industrial process are designed to optimize speed, energy use and quality. Some steps involve the translation of product-filled barrels, how far and fast this happens depends on the properties of the product within. This article investigates such properties on a mini-scale, where the roll of bead size, texture and material on the distance travelled by a cylindrical capsule is investigated.

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Don’t Waste the Medical Waste: Reducing Improperly Classified Hazardous Waste in a Medical Facility

Hemani et al. | Jun 20, 2018

Don’t Waste the Medical Waste: Reducing Improperly Classified Hazardous Waste in a Medical Facility

Hemani et al. tackled the problem of rampant hospital waste by implementing staff training to help inform hospital workers about proper waste disposal. The authors observed a significant increase in proper waste disposal after the training, showing that simple strategies, such as in-person classroom training and posters, can have a profound effect on limiting improper waste handling.

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Combined Progestin-Estrogenic Contraceptive Pills May Promote Growth in Crop-Plants

Saha et al. | Feb 21, 2020

Combined Progestin-Estrogenic Contraceptive Pills May Promote Growth in Crop-Plants

Ethinyl estradiol and progestin norgestrel are commonly present in contraceptive tablets and it is unknown how they affect the environment. In this study, the authors investigate the role that ethinyl estradiol and progestin norgestrel have on the growth of flowering plants. The percentage germination, embryonic and adventitious tissue proliferation, root length, and shoot length were measured in V. radiata and T. aestivum treated with each compound and results demonstrate that ethinyl estradiol and progestin norgestrel can induce growth in both plants at certain concentrations. These findings have important implications as societal use of chemicals increases and more make their way into the environment.

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Testing the Effects of Resveratrol, Apigenin, and Glucosamine to Effectively Reduce Prostate Cancer Cell Proliferation, Migration Levels, and Increase Apoptosis

Yang et al. | Apr 16, 2020

Testing the Effects of Resveratrol, Apigenin, and Glucosamine to Effectively Reduce Prostate Cancer Cell Proliferation, Migration Levels, and Increase Apoptosis

The current five-year survival rate of metastasized prostate cancer is only 30% and occurs in every one in nine men. Researchers have shown that people with a type of dwarfism called Laron’s Syndrome are immune to cancer due to their low levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). For this reason, experimentally modifying the level of IGF-1 could provide better insight into whether lowering the levels of IGF-1 in prostate cancer cell lines (e.g. PC-3) could be an effective treatment to reduce their rates of proliferation and migration and increase apoptosis. We selected three compounds, which researchers have shown decrease IGF-1 levels, to test and combine to determine which is the most promising.

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