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Wind Resistance and Automobile Shapes

Neelakantan et al. | Jan 25, 2019

Wind Resistance and Automobile Shapes

Energy efficiency is becoming more important as we struggle to find better, more sustainable energy sources to power our planet; the car industry is no exception. In this article, the authors examine the effect of shape on automobile aerodynamics By finding the shape that makes cars less resistant to wind, and therefore more energy efficient, can help the automobile industry make better, more eco-friendly cars that are also cheaper to operate.

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Applying centrality analysis on a protein interaction network to predict colorectal cancer driver genes

Saha et al. | Nov 18, 2023

Applying centrality analysis on a protein interaction network to predict colorectal cancer driver genes

In this article the authors created an interaction map of proteins involved in colorectal cancer to look for driver vs. non-driver genes. That is they wanted to see if they could determine what genes are more likely to drive the development and progression in colorectal cancer and which are present in altered states but not necessarily driving disease progression.

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Predicting college retention rates from Google Street View images of campuses

Dileep et al. | Jan 02, 2024

Predicting college retention rates from Google Street View images of campuses
Image credit: Dileep et al. 2024

Every year, around 40% of undergraduate students in the United States discontinue their studies, resulting in a loss of valuable education for students and a loss of money for colleges. Even so, colleges across the nation struggle to discover the underlying causes of these high dropout rates. In this paper, the authors discuss the use of machine learning to find correlations between the built environment factors and the retention rates of colleges. They hypothesized that one way for colleges to improve their retention rates could be to improve the physical characteristics of their campus to be more pleasing. The authors used image classification techniques to look at images of colleges and correlate certain features like colors, cars, and people to higher or lower retention rates. With three possible options of high, medium, and low retention rates, the probability that their models reached the right conclusion if they simply chose randomly was 33%. After finding that this 33%, or 0.33 mark, always fell outside of the 99% confidence intervals built around their models’ accuracies, the authors concluded that their machine learning techniques can be used to find correlations between certain environmental factors and retention rates.

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Using machine learning to develop a global coral bleaching predictor

Madireddy et al. | Feb 21, 2023

Using machine learning to develop a global coral bleaching predictor
Image credit: Madireddy, Bosch, and McCalla

Coral bleaching is a fatal process that reduces coral diversity, leads to habitat loss for marine organisms, and is a symptom of climate change. This process occurs when corals expel their symbiotic dinoflagellates, algae that photosynthesize within coral tissue providing corals with glucose. Restoration efforts have attempted to repair damaged reefs; however, there are over 360,000 square miles of coral reefs worldwide, making it challenging to target conservation efforts. Thus, predicting the likelihood of bleaching in a certain region would make it easier to allocate resources for conservation efforts. We developed a machine learning model to predict global locations at risk for coral bleaching. Data obtained from the Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office consisted of various coral bleaching events and the parameters under which the bleaching occurred. Sea surface temperature, sea surface temperature anomalies, longitude, latitude, and coral depth below the surface were the features found to be most correlated to coral bleaching. Thirty-nine machine learning models were tested to determine which one most accurately used the parameters of interest to predict the percentage of corals that would be bleached. A random forest regressor model with an R-squared value of 0.25 and a root mean squared error value of 7.91 was determined to be the best model for predicting coral bleaching. In the end, the random model had a 96% accuracy in predicting the percentage of corals that would be bleached. This prediction system can make it easier for researchers and conservationists to identify coral bleaching hotspots and properly allocate resources to prevent or mitigate bleaching events.

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Using economic indicators to create an empirical model of inflation

Kasera et al. | Dec 01, 2022

Using economic indicators to create an empirical model of inflation

Here, seeking to understand the correlation of 50 of the most important economic indicators with inflation, the authors used a rolling linear regression to identify indicators with the most significant correlation with the Month over Month Consumer Price Index Seasonally Adjusted (CPI). Ultimately the concluded that the average gasoline price, U.S. import price index, and 5-year market expected inflation had the most significant correlation with the CPI.

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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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The Prevalence of Brain-Eating Roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis in Merrick County, Nebraska

Reeves et al. | Sep 20, 2018

The Prevalence of Brain-Eating Roundworm <i>Baylisascaris procyonis</i> in Merrick County, Nebraska

The authors investigated an important parasite-host relationship between the raccoon roundworm and the raccoon to understand how parasite prevalence is affected by location. They found that the parasite infection was more prevalent in raccoons found closer to human dwellings, though the number of roundworm eggs was not significantly different. These results are important human health, since roundworm infection is lethal to humans and can be transmitted from raccoons to humans - the authors suggest that more research into this parasite and awareness of its prevalence is needed to prevent disease.

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Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: An Analysis of Drug Therapy Options through Interaction Maps and Graph Theory

Gupta et al. | Feb 04, 2014

Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: An Analysis of Drug Therapy Options through Interaction Maps and Graph Theory

Cancer is often caused by improper function of a few proteins, and sometimes it takes only a few proteins to malfunction to cause drastic changes in cells. Here the authors look at the genes that were mutated in patients with a type of pancreatic cancer to identify proteins that are important in causing cancer. They also determined which proteins currently lack effective treatment, and suggest that certain proteins (named KRAS, CDKN2A, and RBBP8) are the most important candidates for developing drugs to treat pancreatic cancer.

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Vitamin C in Fruits: Does Organic Make a Difference?

Mulukutla et al. | Sep 21, 2015

Vitamin C in Fruits: Does Organic Make a Difference?

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is involved in many important cellular processes. Humans are unable to produce Vitamin C and thus must obtain it from exogenous sources such as citrus fruits, peppers, or flowering vegetables. In this study, the authors investigate whether or not organic and non-organic fruits have comparable vitamin C levels. This type of study has important implications for consumers.

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