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Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Wang et al. | Mar 14, 2022

Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Here the authors used morphological characters and DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found within a residential house. With this method they identified their species and compared them against pests lists provided by the US government. They found that none of their identified species were considered to be pests providing evidence against the misconception that arthropods found at home are harmful to humans. They suggest that these methods could be used at larger scales to better understand and aid in mapping ecosystems.

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A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Schafer et al. | Feb 17, 2019

A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Plastic debris can disrupt marine ecosystems, spread contaminants, and take years to naturally degrade. In this study, Wu et al aim to establish an understanding of the scope of Williamston, Michigan’s microplastics problem, as well as to attempt to find the source of these plastics. Initially, the authors hypothesize that the Williamston Wastewater Treatment Plant was the primary contributor to Williamston’s microplastics pollution. Although they find a general trend of increasing concentrations of microplastics from upstream to downstream, they do not pinpoint the source of Williamston’s microplastics pollution in the present research.

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Two Wrongs Could Make a Right: Food Waste Compost Accelerated Polystyrene Consumption of Tenebrio molitor

Fu et al. | Jul 13, 2020

Two Wrongs Could Make a Right: Food Waste Compost Accelerated Polystyrene Consumption of <em>Tenebrio molitor</em>

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a plastic used to make food containers and packing materials that poses a threat to the environment. Mealworms can degrade EPS, but at a slow rate. Here, researchers assessed the impact of food waste compost and oats on the speed of EPS consumption by mealworms, superworms, and waxworms. A positive correlation was found between food waste compost supplementation and EPS consumption, especially by mealworms, indicating a potential industrial application.

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Detection and Control of Spoilage Fungi in Refrigerated Vegetables and Fruits

Chari et al. | May 16, 2021

Detection and Control of Spoilage Fungi in Refrigerated Vegetables and Fruits

Food spoilage leads to a significant loss in agricultural produce each year. Here, the authors investigate whether certain essential oils can protect against fungus-mediated spoilage of fruits and vegetables. Their results suggest that the compounds they tested might indeed inhibit fungal growth, at various temperatures, a promising result that could reduce food wasting.

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Comparing Virulence of Three T4 Bacteriophage Strains on Ampicillin-Resistant and Sensitive E. coli Bacteria

Hudanich et al. | Dec 09, 2020

Comparing Virulence of Three T4 Bacteriophage Strains on Ampicillin-Resistant and Sensitive <em>E. coli</em> Bacteria

In this study, the authors investigate an alternative way to kill bacteria other than the use of antibiotics, which is useful when considering antibiotic-resistance bacteria. They use bacteriophages, which are are viruses that can infect bacteria, and measure cell lysis. They make some important findings that these bacteriophage can lyse both antibiotic-resistant and non-resistant bacteria.

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Simulations of Cheetah Roaming Demonstrate the Effect of Safety Corridors on Genetic Diversity and Human-Cheetah Conflict

Acton et al. | Apr 02, 2018

Simulations of Cheetah Roaming Demonstrate the Effect of Safety Corridors on Genetic Diversity and Human-Cheetah Conflict

Ecological corridors are geographic features designated to allow the movement of wildlife populations between habitats that have been fragmented by human landscapes. Corridors can be a pivotal aspect in wildlife conservation because they preserve a suitable habitat for isolated populations to live and intermingle. Here, two students simulate the effect of introducing a safety corridor for cheetahs, based on real tracking data on cheetahs in Namibia.

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