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The optical possibilities of gelatin

Parikh et al. | Mar 28, 2024

The optical possibilities of gelatin
Image credit: Lensabl

Here the authors investigated the optical possibilities of gelatin and acrylic in regards to potential implementations at soft contact lenses. They fabricated lenses of different shapes and evaluated the refraction of laser light finding that gelatin needed to be thickened or increased in curvature to account for its lower refractive index compared to plastics, or used in a mixture to strengthen the lens.

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The most efficient position of magnets

Shin et al. | Mar 28, 2024

The most efficient position of magnets
Image credit: immo RENOVATION

Here, the authors investigated the most efficient way to position magnets to hold the most pieces of paper on the surface of a refrigerator. They used a regression model along with an artificial neural network to identify the most efficient positions of four magnets to be at the vertices of a rectangle.

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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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Effect of Gram-positive bacteria on antibiotic resistance in Gram-negative bacteria

Willem et al. | Mar 12, 2024

Effect of Gram-positive bacteria on antibiotic resistance in Gram-negative bacteria

Antibiotics are one of the most common treatments for bacterial infections, but the emergence of antibiotic resistance is a major threat to the control of infectious diseases. Many factors contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance. One is bacterial conjugation from Gram-positive to Gram-negative bacteria where there is a transfer of resistance genes from Gram-positive to Gram-negative bacteria that could increase antibiotic resistance in the latter. In light of these observations, we decided to test whether Gram-negative bacteria that came into contact with Gram-positive bacteria had a higher resistance to the antimicrobial properties of spices than Gram-negative bacteria that did not come into contact with Gram-positive bacteria.

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The effects of social media on STEM identity in adolescent girls

Sreekanth et al. | Mar 11, 2024

The effects of social media on STEM identity in adolescent girls
Image credit: Diane Serik

Social media is widely used and easily accessible for adolescents, it has the potential to increase STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) identity in girls. We aimed to investigate the effects of exposure to counter-stereotypical portrayals of women in STEM on social media on the STEM identity of adolescent girls. The study concluded that social media alone may not be an effective tool to increase STEM identity in girls. Social media can still be used as a complementary tool to support and encourage women in STEM, but it should not be relied upon solely to address the gender disparity in STEM fields.

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Impact of carbon number and atom number on cc-pVTZ Hartree-Fock Energy and program runtime of alkanes

Pan et al. | Mar 06, 2024

Impact of carbon number and atom number on cc-pVTZ Hartree-Fock Energy and program runtime of alkanes
Image credit: The authors

It's time-consuming to complete the calculations that are used to study nuclear reactions and energy. To uncover which computational chemistry tools are useful for this challenge, Pan, Vaiyakarnam, Li, and McMahan investigated whether the Python-based Simulations of Chemistry Framework’s Hartree-Fock (PySCF) method is an efficient and accurate way to assess alkane molecules.

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