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On the Relationship Between Viscosity and Surface Tension

Wei et al. | Sep 16, 2014

On the Relationship Between Viscosity and Surface Tension

Surface tension and viscosity are both measures of how "sticky" a liquid is, but are they related? The authors here investigate the surface tension and viscosity of mixtures of water with different concentrations of agar agar, flour, or detergent. Surprisingly, they find that the least viscous mixtures had the strongest surface tensions, indicating that the two properties are not linked.

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Temperature and Precipitation Responses to a Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering Experiment Using the Community Climate System Model 4

Anderson et al. | Aug 19, 2014

Temperature and Precipitation Responses to a Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering Experiment Using the Community Climate System Model 4

We are changing our environment with steadily increasing carbon dioxide emissions, but we might be able to help. The authors here use a computer program called Community Climate System Model 4 to predict the effects of spraying small particles into the atmosphere to reflect away some of the sun's rays. The software predicts that this could reduce the amount of energy the Earth's atmosphere absorbs and may limit but will not completely counteract our carbon dioxide production.

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Focusing Sound Waves Using a Two-Dimensional Non-Linear System

Wehr et al. | Jul 07, 2014

Focusing Sound Waves Using a Two-Dimensional Non-Linear System

Sound waves can be amazingly powerful, especially when they work together. Here the authors create an “acoustic lens” that focuses sound waves on a single location. This makes the sound waves very powerful, capable of causing damage at a precise point. In the future, acoustic lenses like this could potentially be used to treat cancer by killing small tumors without surgery.

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The Prevalence of White Guilt Among American High School Students

Buadu et al. | Jun 03, 2014

The Prevalence of White Guilt Among American High School Students

Racial inequality has been a major issue throughout the history of the United States. In recent years, however, especially with the election of America's first black president, many have claimed that we have made progress and are moving towards a post-racial society. The authors of this study sought to test that claim by evaluating whether high school age students still experience a phenomenon known as white guilt. White guilt is defined as remorse or shame felt by people of Caucasian descent about racial inequality.

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Friend or Foe: Investigating the Relationship between a Corn Crop and a Native Ragweed Population

Wainwright et al. | May 07, 2014

Friend or Foe: Investigating the Relationship between a Corn Crop and a Native Ragweed Population

Farmers will need to increase crop yields to feed the world's growing population efficiently. The authors here investigate the effects of growing corn in the presence or absence of ragweed, an invasive weed found in many fields and gardens. Surprisingly, the authors found that corn grown in the presence of weeds grew taller and were more productive than corn that had weeds removed. This may help gardeners rethink the necessity of weeding, and may point a way to improve farm yields in the future.

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Mutation of the Catalytic Cysteine in Anopheles gambiae Transglutaminase 3 (AgTG3) Abolishes Plugin Crosslinking Activity without Disrupting Protein Folding Properties

Pham et al. | May 02, 2014

Mutation of the Catalytic Cysteine in <em>Anopheles gambiae</em> Transglutaminase 3 (AgTG3) Abolishes Plugin Crosslinking Activity without Disrupting Protein Folding Properties

Malaria is a major public health issue, especially in developing countries, and vector control is a major facet of malaria eradication efforts. Recently, sterile insect technique (SIT), or the release of sterile mosquitoes into the wild, has shown significant promise as a method of keeping vector populations under control. In this study, the authors investigate the Anopheles gambiae transglutaminase 3 protein (AgT3), which is essential to the mating of the Anopheles mosquito. They show that an active site mutation is able to abolish the activity of the AgT3 enzyme and propose it as a potential target for chemosterilant inhibitors.

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What Can You See in the Dark? The Effects of Contrast, Light, and Age on Contrast Sensitivity in Low Light

Virostek et al. | Apr 25, 2014

What Can You See in the Dark? The Effects of Contrast, Light, and Age on Contrast Sensitivity in Low Light

Many of us take our vision for granted, but rarely do we measure how well we can see. In this study, the authors investigate the ability of people of different ages to read progressively fainter letters in dark light. They find that the ability to see in dim light drops drastically after age 30. The ability to read fainter letters worsens after age 30 as well. These findings should help inform lighting decisions everywhere from restaurants to road signs.

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Is Cloud Cover One of the Effects of Climate Change?

Crair et al. | Mar 27, 2014

Is Cloud Cover One of the Effects of Climate Change?

Climate change is one of the most controversial challenges humans face. Here the authors investigate the dual role of clouds - to reflect incoming light away from the Earth and to reflect heat energy back toward the Earth's surface. They find that the amount of incident light energy and surface temperature decreases as the sky becomes cloudier. These results will inform longer-term studies that may compare against the amount of energy clouds reflect back toward the Earth.

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