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Testing HCN1 channel dysregulation in the prefrontal cortex using a novel piezoelectric silk neuromodulator

Mathew et al. | May 05, 2021

Testing HCN1 channel dysregulation in the prefrontal cortex using a novel piezoelectric silk neuromodulator

Although no comprehensive characterization of schizophrenia exists, there is a general consensus that patients have electrical dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex. The authors designed a novel piezoelectric silk-based implant and optimized electrical output through the addition of conductive materials zinc oxide (ZnO) and aluminum nitride (AlN). With further research and compatibility studies, this implant could rectify electrical misfiring in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex.

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The impact of timing and magnitude of the El Niño- Southern Oscillation on local precipitation levels and temperatures in the Bay Area

Li et al. | May 09, 2021

The impact of timing and magnitude of the El Niño- Southern Oscillation on local precipitation levels and temperatures in the Bay Area

Understanding the relationships between temperature, MEI, SPI, and CO2 concentration is important as they measure the major influencers of California’s regional climate: temperature, ENSO, precipitation, and atmospheric CO2. In this article, the authors analyzed temperature, Multivariate El Niño-Southern Oscillation Index (MEI), and Standard Precipitation Index (SPI) data from the San Francisco Bay Area from 1971 to 2016. They also analyzed CO2 records from Mauna Loa, HI for the same time period, along with the annual temperature anomalies for the Bay Area.

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How Ethanol Concentration Affects Catalase Catalysis of Hydrogen Peroxide

Liu et al. | Nov 15, 2021

How Ethanol Concentration Affects Catalase Catalysis of Hydrogen Peroxide

Catalase is a critical enzyme in the human body because it is capable of converting potentially dangerous hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. This work asks whether ethanol affects catalase activity, as alcohol consumption has been often linked to hepatitis occurring in the liver, where catalase level is especially high, and ethanol is known to be capable of denaturing proteins. Testing different concentrations of ethanol found that higher concentrations reduced the activity of catalase. This work has important implications on the negative effects of ethanol on metabolism, in which catalase plays an important role, and protein function more broadly.

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An Analysis on Exoplanets and How They are Affected by Different Factors in Their Star Systems

Selph et al. | Dec 06, 2018

An Analysis on Exoplanets and How They are Affected by Different Factors in Their Star Systems

In this article, the authors systematically study whether the type of a star is correlated with the number of planets it can support. Their study shows that medium-sized stars are likely to support more than one planet, just like the case in our solar system. They predict that, of the hundreds of planets beyond our solar system, 6% might be habitable. As humans work to travel further and further into space, some of those might truly be suited for human life.

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Banana-based Biofuels for Combating Climate Change: How the Composition of Enzyme Catalyzed Solutions Affects Biofuel Yield

Klein-Hessling Barrientos et al. | May 27, 2020

Banana-based Biofuels for Combating Climate Change: How the Composition of Enzyme Catalyzed Solutions Affects Biofuel Yield

The authors investigate whether amylase or yeast had a more prominent role in determining the bioethanol concentration and bioethanol yield of banana samples. They hypothesized that amylase would have the most significant impact on the bioethanol yield and concentration of the samples. They found that while yeast is an essential component for producing bioethanol, the proportion of amylase supplied through a joint amylase-yeast mixture has a more significant impact on the bioethanol yield. This study provides a greater understanding of the mechanisms and implications involved in enzyme-based biofuel production, specifically of those pertaining to amylase and yeast.

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The Effects of Atmospheric Attenuation on Cosmic Ray Muons: How is Surface Level Cosmic Ray Muon Flux Affected by Atmospheric Attenuation?

Sun et al. | Sep 11, 2021

The Effects of Atmospheric Attenuation on Cosmic Ray Muons: How is Surface Level Cosmic Ray Muon Flux Affected by Atmospheric Attenuation?

Cosmic rays are high-energy astronomical particles originating from various sources across the universe. Here, The authors sought to understand how surface-level cosmic-ray muon flux is affected by atmospheric attenuation by measuring the variation in relative muon-flux rate relative to zenith angle, testing the hypothesis that muons follow an exponential attenuation model. The attenuation model predicts an attenuation length of 6.3 km. This result implies that only a maximum of 24% of muons can reach the Earth’s surface, due to both decay and atmospheric interactions.

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The Perks of Watching a Movie: How the Portrayal of Anxiety and Depression in Film Affects Teenagers’ Perception of Anxiety and Depressive Disorders

Wolcott et al. | Sep 11, 2021

The Perks of Watching a Movie: How the Portrayal of Anxiety and Depression in Film Affects Teenagers’ Perception of Anxiety and Depressive Disorders

In film, anxiety and depressive disorders are often depicted inaccurately. When viewers are exposed to these inaccurate portrayals, they collect misinformation about the disorders, as well as people who live with them, leading to stigma. This study used a mixed-method descriptive approach to analyze 16 teenagers’ attitudes towards people with anxiety and depression. Results found that while participants understood how these portrayals create stigma, they did not attribute this to misinformation. These results can be used to help both the film industry and the movie-going public better understand the effects of inaccurate storytelling and the extent to which it informs public perception

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