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Beeing sustainable: Honey as a bioindicator for pollution

Donnellan et al. | Oct 06, 2021

Beeing sustainable: Honey as a bioindicator for pollution

In this study, Donnellan and colleagues investigated how environmental pollution may be affecting honey samples from Chicago apiaries. They found no significant correlation between heavy metal concentration in honey to distance from local industries, suggesting a minimal effect of proximity to industrial pollution on honey contamination.

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Investigating ecosystem resiliency in different flood zones of south Brooklyn, New York

Ng et al. | Mar 23, 2024

Investigating ecosystem resiliency in different flood zones of south Brooklyn, New York
Image credit: Ng and Zheng et al 2024

With climate change and rising sea levels, south Brooklyn is exposed to massive flooding and intense precipitation. Previous research discovered that flooding shifts plant species distribution, decreases soil pH, and increases salt concentration, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels. The authors predicted a decreasing trend from Zone 1 to 6: high-pH, high-salt, and high-nutrients in more flood-prone areas to low-pH, low-salt, and low-nutrient in less flood-prone regions. They performed DNA barcoding to identify plant species inhabiting flood zones with expectations of decreasing salt tolerance and moisture uptake by plants' soil from Zones 1-6. Furthermore, they predicted an increase in invasive species, ultimately resulting in a decrease in biodiversity. After barcoding, they researched existing information regarding invasiveness, ideal soil, pH tolerance, and salt tolerance. They performed soil analyses to identify pH, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) levels. For N and P levels, we discovered a general decreasing trend from Zone 1 to 6 with low and moderate statistical significance respectively. Previous studies found that soil moisture can increase N and P uptake, helping plants adopt efficient resource-use strategies and reduce water stress from flooding. Although characteristics of plants were distributed throughout all zones, demonstrating overall diversity, the soil analyses hinted at the possibility of a rising trend of plants adapting to the increase in flooding. Future expansive research is needed to comprehensively map these trends. Ultimately, investigating trends between flood zones and the prevalence of different species will assist in guiding solutions to weathering climate change and protecting biodiversity in Brooklyn.

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Fluorescein or Green Fluorescent Protein: Is It Possible to Create a Sensor for Dehydration?

Joshi et al. | Dec 09, 2019

Fluorescein or Green Fluorescent Protein: Is It Possible to Create a Sensor for Dehydration?

Currently there is no early dehydration detection system using temperature and pH as indicators. A sensor could alert the wearer and others of low hydration levels, which would normally be difficult to catch prior to more serious complications resulting from dehydration. In this study, a protein fluorophore, green fluorescent protein (GFP), and a chemical fluorophore, fluorescein, were tested for a change in fluorescence in response to increased temperature or decreased pH. Reversing the pH change did not restore GFP fluorescence, but that of fluorescein was re-established. This finding suggests that fluorescein could be used as a reusable sensor for a dehydration-related pH change.

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Polluted water tested from the Potomac River affects invasive species plant growth

Chao et al. | Sep 20, 2023

Polluted water tested from the Potomac River affects invasive species plant growth
Image credit: Alex Korolkoff

Here recognizing the potential for pollution to impact the ecosystems of local waterways, the authors investigated the growth of tiger lilies, which are invasive to the Potomac River, in relation to the level of pollution. The authors report that increasing levels of pollution led to increased growth of the invasive species based on their study.

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Maximizing anaerobic biogas production using temperature variance

Verma et al. | Aug 03, 2023

Maximizing anaerobic biogas production using temperature variance

We conducted this research as our start-up's research that addresses the problem of biogas production in cow-dense regions like India. We hypothesized that the thermophilic temperature (45-60oC) would increase biogas production. The production process is much faster and more abundant at temperatures around 55-60oC.

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Investigation of the correlation between trihalomethane concentrations and socioeconomic factors in NY State

Lee et al. | Aug 19, 2023

Investigation of the correlation between trihalomethane concentrations and socioeconomic factors in NY State

Trihalomethanes, probable human carcinogens, are commonly found disinfection by-products (DBPs) in public water systems (PWS). The authors investigated the correlation between trihalomethane concentrations and socioeconomic factors in New York State, finding a negative correlation between median household income and trihalomethane concentrations. The inverse association between trihalomethanes and household income may indicate socioeconomic disparity regarding drinking water quality and the need for improved efforts to assist small- and medium-sized community water systems to lower DBP levels in New York State.

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Analysis of ultraviolet light as a bactericide of gram-negative bacteria in Cladophora macroalgae extracts

Newell et al. | Nov 07, 2022

Analysis of ultraviolet light as a bactericide of gram-negative bacteria in <em>Cladophora</em> macroalgae extracts

Here, the authors sought to use Cladophora macroalgae as a possible antibiotic to address the growing threat of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria. However, when they observed algae extracts to be greatly contaminated with gram-negative bacteria, they adapted to explore the ability to use ultraviolet light as a bactericide. They found that treatment with ultraviolet light had a significant effect.

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