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Breaking the Ice: A Scientific Take on the Ice Melting Abilities of Household Salts

Sehgal et al. | Dec 04, 2017

Breaking the Ice: A Scientific Take on the Ice Melting Abilities of Household Salts

The use of salt to melt ice is a common and important practice to keep roadways safe during winter months. However, various subtypes of salt differ in their chemical and physical properties, as well as their environmental impact. In this study, the authors measure the effectiveness of different salts at disrupting ice structures and identify calcium chloride as the most effective.

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The Cohesiveness of the Oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction

Gottlieb et al. | Dec 18, 2018

The Cohesiveness of the Oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction

In this study the author undertakes a careful characterization of a special type of chemical reaction, called an oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky (or B-Z) reaction, which has a number of existing applications in biomedical engineering as well as the potential to be useful in future developments in other fields of science and engineering. Specifically, she uses experimental measurements in combination with computational analysis to investigate whether the reaction is cohesive – that is, whether the oscillations between chemical states will remain consistent or change over time as the reaction progresses. Her results indicate that the reaction is not cohesive, providing an important foundation for the development of future technologies using B-Z reactions.

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Covalently Entrapping Catalase into Calcium Alginate Worm Pieces Using EDC Carbodiimide as a Crosslinker.

Suresh et al. | Mar 31, 2019

Covalently Entrapping Catalase into Calcium Alginate Worm Pieces Using EDC Carbodiimide as a Crosslinker.

Catalase is a biocatalyst used to break down toxic hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen in industries such as cheese and textiles. Improving the efficiency of catalase would help us to make some industrial products, such as cheese, less expensively. The best way to maintain catalase’s conformation, and thus enhance its activity, is to immobilize it. The primary goal of this study was to find a new way of immobilizing catalase.

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The Effect of Common Cations on DNA Degradation

Larina et al. | Nov 06, 2016

The Effect of Common Cations on DNA Degradation

Heating of DNA-containing solutions is a part of many experiment protocols, but it can also cause damage and degradation of the DNA molecules, potentially leading to error in the experimental results. The authors of this paper investigate whether the presence of certain cations during heating can stabilize the DNA polymer and aid the preservation of the molecule.

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A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Tsai et al. | Apr 05, 2019

A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Sweet potatoes are one of the most common starches in Taiwan, and sweet potato peels hold significant potential to make biodegradable plastics which can alleviate the environmental impact of conventional petroleum-based plastics. In this paper, Tsai et al created starch-based bioplastics derived from sweet potato peels and manipulated the amount of added glycerol to alter the plastic’s strength and flexibility properties. Their results indicated that higher concentrations of glycerol yield more malleable plastics, providing insights into how recycled agricultural waste material might be used to slow down the rate of pollution caused by widespread production of conventional plastics.

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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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Spectroscopic Kinetic Monitoring and Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biocatalytic Ester Hydrolysis in Non-Aqueous Solvent

Chen et al. | Dec 20, 2020

Spectroscopic Kinetic Monitoring and Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biocatalytic Ester Hydrolysis in Non-Aqueous Solvent

Lipases are a common class of enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of lipids. Here the authors characterize the the activity of pancreatic lipase in different organic solvents using a choloremetric assay, as well as using molecular dynamic simulations. They report that the activity of pancreatic lipase in 5% methanol is more than 25% higher than in water, despite enzyme stability being comparable in both solvents. This suggests that, for industrial applications, using pancreatic lipase in 5% methanol solution might increase yield, compared to just water.

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Improving measurement of reducing sugar content in carbonated beverages using Fehling’s reagent

Zhang et al. | Jul 21, 2020

Improving measurement of reducing sugar content in carbonated beverages using Fehling’s reagent

The sugar-rich modern diet underlies a suite of metabolic disorders, most common of which is diabetes. Accurately reporting the sugar content of pre-packaged food and drink items can help consumers track their sugar intake better, facilitating more cognisant and, eventually, moderate consumption of high-sugar items. In this article, the authors examine the effect of several variables on the accuracy of Fehling's reaction, a colorimetric reaction used to estimate sugar content.

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