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Changes for Development of Al2O3 Coated PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) Composite Nonwoven Separator For Improving Thermal and Electrochemical Properties

Kim et al. | Oct 16, 2019

Changes for Development of Al2O3 Coated PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) Composite Nonwoven Separator For Improving Thermal and Electrochemical Properties

Lithium-ion batteries, a breakthrough in chemistry that enabled the electronic revolution we live today have become an essential part of our day-to-day life. A phone battery running out after a heavy day of use with limited opportunities for recharging is a well-known and resented experience by almost everyone. How then can we make batteries more efficient? This paper proposes the use of a different type of separator, that improves the charging and discharging capacities of lithium ions compared to the classical separator. This and similar attempts to improve Lithium-ion battery function could facilitate the development of higher-performance batteries that work longer and withstand harsher use.

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The Effectiveness of Different Palate Relievers Against a Hot Chili Pepper Sauce

Avendaño-Rodríguez et al. | Jun 11, 2016

The Effectiveness of Different Palate Relievers Against a Hot Chili Pepper Sauce

Cuisine with hot chili peppers can be tasty, but sometimes painful to consume because of the burning sensations caused by the capsaicin molecule. The authors wanted to find the palate reliever that decreases the burning sensation of capsaicin the most by testing water, soft drink, olive oil, milk, and ice-cream as possible candidates. The authors hypothesized that olive oil would be the best palate reliever as it is non-polar like the capsaicin molecule. The authors surveyed 12 panelists with low, medium, and high spice tolerances and found that across all levels of spice tolerance, milk and ice-cream were the best palate relievers and soft drink the worst.

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Open Source RNN designed for text generation is capable of composing music similar to Baroque composers

Goel et al. | May 05, 2021

Open Source RNN designed for text generation is capable of composing music similar to Baroque composers

Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) are useful for text generation since they can generate outputs in the context of previous ones. Baroque music and language are similar, as every word or note exists in context with others, and they both follow strict rules. The authors hypothesized that if we represent music in a text format, an RNN designed to generate language could train on it and create music structurally similar to Bach’s. They found that the music generated by our RNN shared a similar structure with Bach’s music in the input dataset, while Bachbot’s outputs are significantly different from this experiment’s outputs and thus are less similar to Bach’s repertoire compared to our algorithm.

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The effect of the consumption of the probiotic B. infantis on ethanol withdrawal symptoms in planaria (Dugesia dorotocephala)

McCandless et al. | Mar 16, 2021

The effect of the consumption of the probiotic B. infantis on ethanol withdrawal symptoms in planaria (Dugesia dorotocephala)

Alcohol use disorder is a chronic, relapsing disease that affects millions of Americans every day. There are limited treatment options for alcohol dependence and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, including depression and anxiety. Previous studies have shown that probiotics can decrease depression in rodents during maternal separation and anxiety in humans. Therefore, we hypothesized that the ethanol-withdrawn planaria who consumed probiotics would have decreased withdrawal symptoms as measured by increased motility compared to the ethanol-withdrawn planaria that were not fed probiotics. The ethanol-withdrawn planaria had a statistically significant decrease in motility compared to the control group, while the planaria that consumed probiotics had no statistically significant change in motility compared to the control group.

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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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The external presence of running water influences the root growth of pea plants (Phaselous vulgaris)

Shu et al. | Nov 10, 2020

The external presence of running water influences the root growth of pea plants (Phaselous vulgaris)

Each year, invasive tree roots cause large amounts of damage to underground pipes. While this is usually due to leaks and cracks, tree roots can also invade pipes that are structurally sound. We are interested in investigating whether plant roots have an affinity towards flowing water, measured through mass, even when the running water is not in direct contact with soil. We tested this by creating a choice chamber with water running under one end and no stimulus on the other end. Overall, the masses of the roots growing towards flowing water were greater than the masses of the roots growing towards the end with no stimulus, showing that plant roots did have an affinity towards flowing water.

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Testing Epoxy Strength: The High Strength Claims of Selleys’s Araldite Epoxy Glues

Nguyen et al. | Jul 14, 2020

Testing Epoxy Strength: The High Strength Claims of Selleys’s Araldite Epoxy Glues

Understanding the techniques used to improve the adhesion strength of the epoxy resin is important especially for consumer applications such as repairing car parts, bonding aluminum sheeting, and repairing furniture or applications within the aviation or civil industry. Selleys Araldite epoxy makes specific strength claims emphasizing that the load or weight that can be supported by the adhesive is 72 kg/cm2. Nguyen and Clarke aimed to test the strength claims of Selley’s Araldite Epoxy by gluing two steel adhesion surfaces: a steel tube and bracket. Results showed that there is a lack of consideration by Selleys for adhesion loss mechanisms and environmental factors when accounting for consumer use of the product leading to disputable claims.

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Nitric Oxide Synthesis/Pathway Inhibitors in Daphnia magna Reverse Alcohol-Induced Heart Rate Decrease

Gunturi et al. | Sep 17, 2019

Nitric Oxide Synthesis/Pathway Inhibitors in Daphnia magna Reverse Alcohol-Induced Heart Rate Decrease

Chronic alcohol consumption can cause cardiac myopathy, which afflicts about 500,000 Americans annually. Gunturi et al. wanted to understand the effects of alcohol on heart rate and confirm the role of nitric oxide (NO) signaling in heart rate regulation. Using the model organism Daphnia magna, a water crustacean with a large, transparent heart, they found that the heart rate of Daphnia magna was reduced after treatment with alcohol. This depression could be reversed after treatment with inhibitors of NO synthesis and signaling. Their work has important implications for how we understand alcohol-induced effects on heart rate and potential treatments to reverse heart rate depression as a result of alcohol consumption.

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The Effect of Anubias barteri Plant Species on Limiting Freshwater Acidification

Ramanathan et al. | Jul 06, 2021

The Effect of <i>Anubias barteri</i> Plant Species on Limiting Freshwater Acidification

Research relating to freshwater acidification is minimal, so the impact of aquatic plants, Anubias barteri var. congensis and Anubias barteri var. nana, on minimizing changes in pH was explored in an ecosystem in Northern California. Creek water samples, with and without the aquatic plants, were exposed to dry ice to simulate carbon emissions and the pH was monitored over an eight-hour period. There was a 25% difference in the observed pH based on molar hydrogen ion concentration between the water samples with plants and those without plants, suggesting that aquatic plants have the potential to limit acidification to some extent. These findings can guide future research to explore the viable partial solution of aquatic plants in combating freshwater acidification.

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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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