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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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Assigning Lightning Seasons to Different Regions in the United States

Hawkins et al. | Sep 07, 2020

Assigning Lightning Seasons to Different Regions in the United States

Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of severe thunderstorm events in coming years. In this study, the authors hypothesized that (i) the majority of severe thunderstorm events will occur in the summer months in all states examined for all years analyzed, (ii) climate change will cause an unusual number of severe thunderstorm events in winter months in all states, (iii) thundersnow would be observed in Colorado, and (iv.) there would be no difference in the number of severe thunderstorm events between states in any given year examined. They classified lightning seasons in all states observed, with the most severe thunderstorm events occurring in May, June, July, and August. Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, and West Virginia were found to have severe thunderstorm events in the winter, which could be explained by increased winter storms due to climate change (1). Overall, they highlight the importance of quantifying when lightning seasons occur to avoid lightning-related injuries or death.

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The Effect of Various Preparation Methods on the Spoilage Rate of Roma Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)

Cataltepe et al. | Feb 22, 2018

The Effect of Various Preparation Methods on the Spoilage Rate of Roma Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)

As levels of food waste continue to rise, it is essential to find improved techniques of prolonging the shelf life of produce. The authors aimed to find a simple, yet effective, method of slowing down spoilage in tomatoes. Linear regression analysis revealed that the tomatoes soaked salt water and not dried displayed the lowest correlation between time and spoilage, confirming that this preparation was the most effective.

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A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Schafer et al. | Feb 17, 2019

A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Plastic debris can disrupt marine ecosystems, spread contaminants, and take years to naturally degrade. In this study, Wu et al aim to establish an understanding of the scope of Williamston, Michigan’s microplastics problem, as well as to attempt to find the source of these plastics. Initially, the authors hypothesize that the Williamston Wastewater Treatment Plant was the primary contributor to Williamston’s microplastics pollution. Although they find a general trend of increasing concentrations of microplastics from upstream to downstream, they do not pinpoint the source of Williamston’s microplastics pollution in the present research.

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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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Aggression of Carcharhinus leucas and Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos towards humans

Mignone et al. | May 11, 2021

Aggression of <i>Carcharhinus leucas</i> and <i>Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos</i> towards humans

This paper presents findings on Carcharhinus leucas (bull shark) and Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos (grey reef shark) aggression towards humans at Beqa Adventure Divers in Shark Reef Marine Reserve, Fiji. We hypothesized that grey reef sharks would receive more prods than bull sharks because grey reef sharks are typically more aggressive than bull sharks. The results supported our hypothesis, as an individual grey reef shark received 2.44 prods on average per feed, while a bull shark had an average of 0.61. These findings are meaningful not only to the world’s general understanding of shark aggression, but also to human protection against grey reef sharks as well as public education on bull sharks and the conservation of the species.

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LawCrypt: Secret Sharing for Attorney-Client Data in a Multi-Provider Cloud Architecture

Zhang et al. | Jul 19, 2020

LawCrypt: Secret Sharing for Attorney-Client Data in a Multi-Provider Cloud Architecture

In this study, the authors develop an architecture to implement in a cloud-based database used by law firms to ensure confidentiality, availability, and integrity of attorney documents while maintaining greater efficiency than traditional encryption algorithms. They assessed whether the architecture satisfies necessary criteria and tested the overall file sizes the architecture could process. The authors found that their system was able to handle larger file sizes and fit engineering criteria. This study presents a valuable new tool that can be used to ensure law firms have adequate security as they shift to using cloud-based storage systems for their files.

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Extroverts as Materialists: Correlating Personality Traits, Materialism, and Spending Behavior

Jackson et al. | Feb 19, 2017

Extroverts as Materialists: Correlating Personality Traits, Materialism, and Spending Behavior

The authors investigated the relationship between personality traits and adolescent materialism, as well as how materialism relates to spending habits. Results indicate that extroversion was positively correlated with materialism, and that adolescents' purchases were affected by the purchasing behaviors of their friends or peers. Moreover, materialistic youth were more likely than non-materialistic youth to spend money on themselves when given a hypothetical windfall of $500.

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The Analysis of the Effects of Smoke and Water Vapor on Insect Pheromone Communication and Physical Condition: An Investigation of the Causes of Colony Collapse Disorder

Delatorre et al. | May 20, 2015

The Analysis of the Effects of Smoke and Water Vapor on Insect Pheromone Communication and Physical Condition: An Investigation of the Causes of Colony Collapse Disorder

The cause of insect colony collapse disorder (CCD) is still a mystery. In this study, the authors aimed to test the effects of two environmental factors, water vapor and smoke levels, on the social behavior and physical condition of insects. Their findings could help shed light on how changing environmental factors can contribute to CCD.

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