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More efficient sources of water distribution for agricultural and general usage

Jung et al. | Nov 11, 2022

More efficient sources of water distribution for agricultural and general usage

Here, the authors investigated alternative methods to irrigate plants based on the their identification that current irrigation systems waste a large amount of fresh water. They compared three different delivery methods for water: conventional sprinkler, underground cloth, and a perforated pipe embedded in the soil. They found the cloth method to save the most water, although plant growth was slightly less in comparison to plants watered with the sprinkler method or pipe method.

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The Inhibitory Effect of Probiotics on the Growth and Biofilm Formation of Salmonella Sp.

Lee et al. | Jan 26, 2019

The Inhibitory Effect of Probiotics on the Growth and Biofilm Formation of Salmonella Sp.

Salmonella is a genus of bacteria responsible for over 90 million cases of intestinal illnesses yearly. Like many bacteria, Salmonella can create a biofilm matrix, which confers stronger resistance against antibiotics. However, there has been relatively little research on the inhibition of Salmonella biofilm formation, which is a crucial factor in its widespread growth. In this study, Lee and Kim quantitatively measure the effectiveness of several common probiotics in inhibiting Salmonella bacterial growth. They found concentration-dependent antibacterial effects varied among the probiotics tested, indicating the possibility of probiotic species-specific mechanisms of Salmonella growth inhibition.

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Development and Implementation of Enzymatic and Volatile Compound-based Approaches for Instantaneous Detection of Pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus

Nori et al. | Feb 20, 2021

Development and Implementation of Enzymatic and Volatile Compound-based Approaches for Instantaneous Detection of Pathogenic <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i>

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) has a mortality rate of up to 30% in developing countries. The purpose of this experiment was to determine if enzymatic and volatile compound-based approaches would perform more quickly in comparison to existing S. aureus diagnostic methods and to evaluate these novel methods on accuracy. Ultimately, this device provided results in less than 30 seconds, which is much quicker than existing methods that take anywhere from 10 minutes to 48 hours based on approach. Statistical analysis of accuracy provides preliminary confirmation that the device based on enzymatic and volatile compound-based approaches can be an accurate and time-efficient tool to detect pathogenic S. aureus.

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Cleaning up the world’s oceans with underwater laser imaging

Gurbuz et al. | Jul 07, 2023

Cleaning up the world’s oceans with underwater laser imaging
Image credit: Naja Bertolt Jensen

Here recognizing the growing amount of plastic waste in the oceans, the authors sought to develop and test laser imaging for the identification of waste in water. They found that while possible, limitations such as increasing depth and water turbidity result in increasing blurriness in laser images. While their image processing methods were somewhat insufficient they identified recent methods to use deep learning-based techniques as a potential avenue to viability for this method.

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Presoaking Seeds with Vinegar Improves Seed Development and Drought Tolerance in Maize Plants

D'Agate et al. | Jul 24, 2020

Presoaking Seeds with Vinegar Improves Seed Development and Drought Tolerance in Maize Plants

Climate change has contributed to the increasing annual temperatures around the world and poses a grave threat to Maize crops. Two methods proven to help combat plant drought stress effects are presoaking seeds (seeds are soaked in a liquid before planting) and the application of Acetic Acid (vinegar) to soil. The purpose of this experiment was to explore if combining these two methods by presoaking seeds with a vinegar solution can improve the seed development and plant drought tolerance of Maize plants during drought conditions.

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Assessing grass water use efficiency through smartphone imaging and ImageJ analysis

Shen et al. | Jul 27, 2022

Assessing grass water use efficiency through smartphone imaging and ImageJ analysis

Overwatering and underwatering grass are widespread issues with environmental and financial consequences. This study developed an accessible method to assess grass water use efficiency (WUE) combining smartphone imaging with open access color unmixing analysis. The method can be applied in automated irrigation systems or apps, providing grass WUE assessment for regular consumer use.

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The Clinical Accuracy of Non-Invasive Glucose Monitoring for ex vivo Artificial Pancreas

Levy et al. | Jul 10, 2016

The Clinical Accuracy of Non-Invasive Glucose Monitoring for <i>ex vivo</i> Artificial Pancreas

Diabetes is a serious worldwide epidemic that affects a growing portion of the population. While the most common method for testing blood glucose levels involves finger pricking, it is painful and inconvenient for patients. The authors test a non-invasive method to measure glucose levels from diabetic patients, and investigate whether the method is clinically accurate and universally applicable.

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Reduce the harm of acid rain to plants by producing nitrogen fertilizer through neutralization

Xu et al. | Apr 25, 2023

Reduce the harm of acid rain to plants by producing nitrogen fertilizer through neutralization
Image credit: Ave Calvar Martinez, pexels.com

The phenomenon of dying trees and plants in areas affected by acid rain has become increasingly problematic in recent times. Is there any method to efficiently utilize the rainwater and reduce the harmfulness of acid rain or make it beneficial to plants? This study aimed to investigate the potential of neutralizing acid rainwater infiltrating the soil to increase soil pH, produce beneficial salts for plants, and support better plant growth. To test this hypothesis, precipitation samples were collected from six states in the U.S. in 2022, and the pH of the acid rain was measured to obtain a representative pH value for the country. Experiments were then conducted to simulate the neutralization of acid rain and the subsequent change in soil pH levels. To evaluate the effectiveness and feasibility of this method, cat grass was planted in pots of soil soaked with solutions mimicking acid rain, with control and experimental groups receiving neutralizing agents (ammonium hydroxide) or not. Plant growth was measured by analyzing the height of the plants. Results demonstrated that neutralizing agents were effective in improving soil pH levels and that the resulting salts produced were beneficial to the growth of the grass. The findings suggest that this method could be applied on a larger agricultural scale to reduce the harmful effects of acid rain and increase agricultural efficiency.

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