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Machine learning-based enzyme engineering of PETase for improved efficiency in plastic degradation

Gupta et al. | Jan 31, 2023

 Machine learning-based enzyme engineering of PETase for improved efficiency in plastic degradation
Image credit: Markus Spiske

Here, recognizing the recognizing the growing threat of non-biodegradable plastic waste, the authors investigated the ability to use a modified enzyme identified in bacteria to decompose polyethylene terephthalate (PET). They used simulations to screen and identify an optimized enzyme based on machine learning models. Ultimately, they identified a potential mutant PETases capable of decomposing PET with improved thermal stability.

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Cocktail therapy to inhibit multispecies biofilm in cystic fibrosis patients

Bhat et al. | Sep 22, 2022

Cocktail therapy to inhibit multispecies biofilm in cystic fibrosis patients

Here, recognizing the important role of bacterial biofilms in many life-threatening chronic infections, the authors investigated the effectiveness of a combination treatment on biofilms composed of up to three different common species within the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients with computational analysis. They found that a triple cocktail therapy targeting three different signaling pathways has significant potential as both a treatment and prophylaxis.

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Modeling Energy Produced by Solar Panels

Meister et al. | Jan 13, 2018

Modeling Energy Produced by Solar Panels

In this study, the authors test the effect that the tilt angle of a solar panel has on the amount of energy it generates. This investigation highlights a simple way that people can harvest renewable energy more efficiently and effectively.

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Mask wearing and oxyhemoglobin saturation effects during exercise

Foss et al. | Jul 15, 2022

Mask wearing and oxyhemoglobin saturation effects during exercise

Wearing face masks has become a common occurrence in everyday life and during athletics due to the spread of diseases. This study tested if masks would affect blood percent saturation of hemoglobin (SpO2) during treadmill exercise. The data analysis showed that mask type, time, and the interaction of mask type and time were significant results, regardless of physical ability. These results may assist athletes in understanding the differences between training and competing with and without a mask.

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Utilizing the Magnus effect to produce more downforce than a standard wing

Angiras et al. | Aug 15, 2022

Utilizing the Magnus effect to produce more downforce than a standard wing

Here, seeking a better solution to produce downforce that keeps a vehicle grounded at high speeds than wings which tend to result in degraded car performance due to increased air resistance, the authors considered using the Magnus effect as a replacement. The authors found that a spinning cylinder generated significantly more downforce through the Magnus effect than a standard wing at all wind speeds as simulated through the use of a leaf blower. They suggest that a cylinder could be a potential replacement for a wing when downforce is a priority.

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Reduce the harm of acid rain to plants by producing nitrogen fertilizer through neutralization

Xu et al. | Apr 25, 2023

Reduce the harm of acid rain to plants by producing nitrogen fertilizer through neutralization
Image credit: Ave Calvar Martinez, pexels.com

The phenomenon of dying trees and plants in areas affected by acid rain has become increasingly problematic in recent times. Is there any method to efficiently utilize the rainwater and reduce the harmfulness of acid rain or make it beneficial to plants? This study aimed to investigate the potential of neutralizing acid rainwater infiltrating the soil to increase soil pH, produce beneficial salts for plants, and support better plant growth. To test this hypothesis, precipitation samples were collected from six states in the U.S. in 2022, and the pH of the acid rain was measured to obtain a representative pH value for the country. Experiments were then conducted to simulate the neutralization of acid rain and the subsequent change in soil pH levels. To evaluate the effectiveness and feasibility of this method, cat grass was planted in pots of soil soaked with solutions mimicking acid rain, with control and experimental groups receiving neutralizing agents (ammonium hydroxide) or not. Plant growth was measured by analyzing the height of the plants. Results demonstrated that neutralizing agents were effective in improving soil pH levels and that the resulting salts produced were beneficial to the growth of the grass. The findings suggest that this method could be applied on a larger agricultural scale to reduce the harmful effects of acid rain and increase agricultural efficiency.

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Effect of Increasing Concentrations of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Hatching, Survival and Development of Artemia salina

Rabbani et al. | Jul 27, 2020

Effect of Increasing Concentrations of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Hatching, Survival and Development of <em>Artemia salina</em>

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a widely available over the counter treatment used for various medical conditions. However, CBD exerts its effects on the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in neural maturation, and could potentially have adverse effects on brain development. Here, the impact of CBD on the development of brine shrimp (Artemia salina) was assessed. Differences in dose responses were observed.

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