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QuitPuff: A Simple Method Using Saliva to Assess the Risk of Oral Pre-Cancerous Lesions and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Chronic Smokers

Shamsher et al. | Mar 27, 2019

QuitPuff: A Simple Method Using Saliva to Assess the Risk of Oral Pre-Cancerous Lesions and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Chronic Smokers

Smoking generates free radicals and reactive oxygen species which induce cell damage and lipid peroxidation. This is linked to the development of oral cancer in chronic smokers. The authors of this study developed Quitpuff, simple colorimetric test to measure the extent of lipid peroxidation in saliva samples. This test detected salivary lipid peroxidation with 96% accuracy in test subjects and could serve as an inexpensive, non-invasive test for smokers to measure degree of salivary lipid peroxidation and potential risk of oral cancer.

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Phytoplankton Plastid Proteomics: Cracking Open Diatoms to Understand Plastid Biochemistry Under Iron Limitation

Nunn et al. | Feb 10, 2017

Phytoplankton Plastid Proteomics: Cracking Open Diatoms to Understand Plastid Biochemistry Under Iron Limitation

In many areas of the world’s oceans, diatoms such as Thalassiosira pseudonana are limited in growth by the availability of iron (Fe), which is an essential nutrient for diatoms. The authors of this study examined if Fe-limitation makes a significant difference in the proteins expressed within the chloroplast, the power source for diatoms, utilizing a new plastid isolation technique specific to diatoms and completing 14 mass spectrometry experiments.

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The Effect of Concentration on the Pressure of a Sodium Chloride Solution Inside Dialysis Tubing

Dye et al. | Nov 13, 2018

The Effect of Concentration on the Pressure of a Sodium Chloride Solution Inside Dialysis Tubing

In this study, the authors investigate the effects of sodium levels on blood pressure, one of the most common medical problems worldwide. They used a simulated blood vessel constructed from dialysis tubing to carefully analyze pressure changes resulting from various levels of sodium in the external solution. They found that when the sodium concentration in the simulated blood vessel was higher than the external fluid, internal pressure increased, while the reverse was true when the sodium concentration was lower than in the surrounding environment. These results highlight the potential for sodium concentration to have a significant effect on blood pressure in humans by affecting the rate of osmosis across the boundaries of actual blood vessels.

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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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Vitamin C in Fruits: Does Organic Make a Difference?

Mulukutla et al. | Sep 21, 2015

Vitamin C in Fruits: Does Organic Make a Difference?

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is involved in many important cellular processes. Humans are unable to produce Vitamin C and thus must obtain it from exogenous sources such as citrus fruits, peppers, or flowering vegetables. In this study, the authors investigate whether or not organic and non-organic fruits have comparable vitamin C levels. This type of study has important implications for consumers.

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A Temperature-Based Comparison of Compounds Found in Bao Chong Tea, Green Tea, and Black Tea

Lin et al. | May 14, 2019

A Temperature-Based Comparison of Compounds Found in Bao Chong Tea, Green Tea, and Black Tea

While tea has a complex history, recently the health benefits of this beverage have come into focus. In this study, researchers sought to compare the levels of caffeine, catechins and L-theanine between different types of tea using NMR spectroscopy. Further, the impact of brewing temperature on the release of these compounds was also assessed. Of those tested, Bao Chong tea had the highest levels of these compounds. Brewing temperatures between 45ºC and 75ºC were found to be optimal for compound release. These results can help consumers make informed choices about their tea preparation and intake.

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Differentiation of Waste Plastic Pyrolysis Fuels to Conventional Diesel Fuel

Jewison et al. | May 25, 2018

Differentiation of Waste Plastic Pyrolysis Fuels to Conventional Diesel Fuel

Plastic pollution and energy shortages are pressing issues in today’s world. The authors examined whether waste plastic pyrolysis fuels are similar to conventional diesel and, thus, a plausible alternative fuel. Results showed that waste plastic pyrolysis fuels did not match up to diesel overall, though several fuels came close in calorific value.

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Developing a Portable, Reusable, and Inexpensive Magnesium-Air Fuel Cell

Tota et al. | Mar 28, 2019

Developing a Portable, Reusable, and Inexpensive Magnesium-Air Fuel Cell

One of the greatest challenges we face today is the sustainable production, storage, and distribution of electrical power. One emerging technology with great promise in this area is that of metal-air fuel cells—a long-term and reusable electricity storage system made from a reactive metal anode and a saline solution. In this study the authors tested several different types of metal to determine which was the most suitable for this application. They found that a fuel cell with a magnesium anode was superior to fuel cells made from aluminum or zinc, producing a voltage and current sufficient for real-world applications such as charging a mobile phone.

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