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The Effects of Barley Straw (Hordeum vulgare) Extract and Barley Straw Pellets on Algal Growth and Water Quality

McHargue et al. | Oct 06, 2020

The Effects of Barley Straw (Hordeum vulgare) Extract and Barley Straw Pellets on Algal Growth and Water Quality

Algal overgrowth often threatens to clog irrigation pipes and drinking water lines when left unchecked, as well as releasing possible toxins that threaten plant and human health. It is thus important to find natural, non-harmful agents that can decrease algal growth without threatening the health of plants and humans. In this paper, the authors test the efficacy of barely extract in either liquid or pellet form in decreasing algal growth. While their results were inconclusive, the experimental set-up allows them to investigate a wider range of agents as anti-algal treatments that could potentially be adopted on a wider scale.

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Performance of Panicum virgatum Cultivars in Competition With Bromus inermis and Differing Amounts of N Fertilizer

Ferris et al. | Mar 04, 2019

Performance of <em>Panicum virgatum</em> Cultivars in Competition With <em>Bromus inermis</em> and Differing Amounts of N Fertilizer

With growing demands for ethanol, many researchers are turning to Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) as a feedstock of cellulosic ethanol. In this study, Ferris and Gillan examine the germination, biomass, nitrogen, survival, and chlorophyll absorbance of two switchgrass cultivars of grown in competition with Bromus inermis (smooth brome) with two varying levels of nitrogen fertilizer. Results presented indicate that during establishment, competition from other species has a greater effect than nitrogen fertilizer.

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Effect of Different Growth Media on Algae’s Ability for Carbon Dioxide Biofixation

Chaudhuri et al. | Oct 12, 2020

Effect of Different Growth Media on Algae’s Ability for Carbon Dioxide Biofixation

In this study, the authors investigate the effects of different algal growth media on algae's ability to perform carbon dioxide biofixation, or utilize carbon dioxide by fixing it into fatty acids within the cells. More specifically, carbon dioxide biofixation of Chlorella vulgaris was cultured in one of four media options and carbon dioxide was measured and compared to controls. The study results demonstrated that the use of media can enhance algae's capacity for biofixation and this has important implications for developing methods to reduce carbon dioxide in the environment.

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The Development and Maximization of a Novel Photosynthetic Microbial Fuel Cell Using Rhodospirillum rubrum

Gomez et al. | Mar 02, 2014

The Development and Maximization of a Novel Photosynthetic Microbial Fuel Cell Using <em>Rhodospirillum rubrum</em>

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are bio-electrochemical systems that utilize bacteria and are promising forms of alternative energy. Similar to chemical fuel cells, MFCs employ both an anode (accepts electrons) and a cathode (donates electrons), but in these devices the live bacteria donate the electrons necessary for current. In this study, the authors assess the functionality of a photosynthetic MFC that utilizes a purple non-sulfur bacterium. The MFC prototype they constructed was found to function over a range of environmental conditions, suggesting its potential use in industrial models.

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Ground-based Follow-up Observations of TESS Exoplanet Candidates

Tang et al. | May 29, 2020

Ground-based Follow-up Observations of  TESS Exoplanet Candidates

The goal of this study was to further confirm, characterize, and classify LHS 3844 b, an exoplanet detected by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Additionally, we strove to determine the likeliness of LHS 3844 b and similar planets as qualified candidates for observation with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

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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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How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

Everitt et al. | Feb 15, 2021

How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

As the world struggled to grapple with the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many countries instated policies to help minimize the spread of the virus among residents. This inadvertently led to a decrease in travel, and in some cases, industrial output, two major sources of pollutants in today's world. Here, the authors investigate whether California's shelter-in-place policy was associated with a measurable decrease in water and air pollution in that state between June and July of 2020, compared to the preceeding five years. Their findings suggest that, by some metrics, air quality improved within certain areas while water quality was relatively unchanged. Overall, these findings suggest that changing human behavior can, indeed, help reduce the level of air pollutants that compromise air quality.

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