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Machine learning-based enzyme engineering of PETase for improved efficiency in plastic degradation

Gupta et al. | Jan 31, 2023

 Machine learning-based enzyme engineering of PETase for improved efficiency in plastic degradation
Image credit: Markus Spiske

Here, recognizing the recognizing the growing threat of non-biodegradable plastic waste, the authors investigated the ability to use a modified enzyme identified in bacteria to decompose polyethylene terephthalate (PET). They used simulations to screen and identify an optimized enzyme based on machine learning models. Ultimately, they identified a potential mutant PETases capable of decomposing PET with improved thermal stability.

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Applying centrality analysis on a protein interaction network to predict colorectal cancer driver genes

Saha et al. | Nov 18, 2023

Applying centrality analysis on a protein interaction network to predict colorectal cancer driver genes

In this article the authors created an interaction map of proteins involved in colorectal cancer to look for driver vs. non-driver genes. That is they wanted to see if they could determine what genes are more likely to drive the development and progression in colorectal cancer and which are present in altered states but not necessarily driving disease progression.

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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 Impact of Effective Density and Compressive Strength on the Structure of Crumpled Paper Balls

Chu et al. | Nov 19, 2020

The Impact of Effective Density and Compressive Strength on the Structure of Crumpled Paper Balls

Crumpling is the process whereby a sheet of paper undergoes deformation to yield a three-dimensional structure comprising a random network of ridges and facets with variable density. The authors hypothesized that the more times a paper sheet is crumpled, the greater its compressive strength. Their results show a relatively strong linear relationship between the number of times a paper sheet is crumpled and its compressive strength.

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Using explainable artificial intelligence to identify patient-specific breast cancer subtypes

Suresh et al. | Jan 12, 2024

Using explainable artificial intelligence to identify patient-specific breast cancer subtypes

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with approximately 300,000 diagnosed with breast cancer in 2023. It ranks second in cancer-related deaths for women, after lung cancer with nearly 50,000 deaths. Scientists have identified important genetic mutations in genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2 that lead to the development of breast cancer, but previous studies were limited as they focused on specific populations. To overcome limitations, diverse populations and powerful statistical methods like genome-wide association studies and whole-genome sequencing are needed. Explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) can be used in oncology and breast cancer research to overcome these limitations of specificity as it can analyze datasets of diagnosed patients by providing interpretable explanations for identified patterns and predictions. This project aims to achieve technological and medicinal goals by using advanced algorithms to identify breast cancer subtypes for faster diagnoses. Multiple methods were utilized to develop an efficient algorithm. We hypothesized that an XAI approach would be best as it can assign scores to genes, specifically with a 90% success rate. To test that, we ran multiple trials utilizing XAI methods through the identification of class-specific and patient-specific key genes. We found that the study demonstrated a pipeline that combines multiple XAI techniques to identify potential biomarker genes for breast cancer with a 95% success rate.

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A Crossover Study Comparing the Effect of a Processed vs. Unprocessed Diet on the Spatial Learning Ability of Zebrafish

Banga et al. | Sep 18, 2022

A Crossover Study Comparing the Effect of a Processed vs. Unprocessed Diet on the Spatial Learning Ability of Zebrafish

The authors compared the short-term effects of processed versus unprocessed food on spatial learning and survival in zebrafish, given the large public concern regarding processed foods. By randomly assigning zebrafish to a diet of brine shrimp flakes (processed) or live brine shrimp (unprocessed), the authors show while there is no immediate effect on a fish's decision process between the two diets, there are significant correlations between improved learning and stress response with the unprocessed diet.

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A novel encoding technique to improve non-weather-based models for solar photovoltaic forecasting

Ahmed et al. | Jun 09, 2023

A novel encoding technique to improve non-weather-based models for solar photovoltaic forecasting

Several studies have applied different machine learning (ML) techniques to the area of forecasting solar photovoltaic power production. Most of these studies use weather data as inputs to predict power production; however, there are numerous practical issues with the procurement of this data. This study proposes models that do not use weather data as inputs, but rather use past power production data as a more practical substitute to weather-based models. Our proposed models demonstrate a better, cheaper, and more reliable alternatives to current weather models.

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Statistically Analyzing the Effect of Various Factors on the Absorbency of Paper Towels

Tao et al. | Dec 04, 2020

Statistically Analyzing the Effect of Various Factors on the Absorbency of Paper Towels

In this study, the authors investigate just how effectively paper towels can absorb different types of liquid and whether changing the properties of the towel (such as folding it) affects absorbance. Using variables of either different liquid types or the folded state of the paper towels, they used thorough approaches to make some important and very useful conclusions about optimal ways to use paper towels. This has important implications as we as a society continue to use more and more paper towels.

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Predicting college retention rates from Google Street View images of campuses

Dileep et al. | Jan 02, 2024

Predicting college retention rates from Google Street View images of campuses
Image credit: Dileep et al. 2024

Every year, around 40% of undergraduate students in the United States discontinue their studies, resulting in a loss of valuable education for students and a loss of money for colleges. Even so, colleges across the nation struggle to discover the underlying causes of these high dropout rates. In this paper, the authors discuss the use of machine learning to find correlations between the built environment factors and the retention rates of colleges. They hypothesized that one way for colleges to improve their retention rates could be to improve the physical characteristics of their campus to be more pleasing. The authors used image classification techniques to look at images of colleges and correlate certain features like colors, cars, and people to higher or lower retention rates. With three possible options of high, medium, and low retention rates, the probability that their models reached the right conclusion if they simply chose randomly was 33%. After finding that this 33%, or 0.33 mark, always fell outside of the 99% confidence intervals built around their models’ accuracies, the authors concluded that their machine learning techniques can be used to find correlations between certain environmental factors and retention rates.

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