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Sepia bandensis ink inhibits polymerase chain reactions

Novoselov et al. | Sep 21, 2020

<em>Sepia bandensis</em> ink inhibits polymerase chain reactions

While cephalopods play significant roles in both ecosystems and medical research, there is currently no assembled genome. In an attempt to sequence the Sepia bandensis genome, it was found that there was inhibition from the organism during DNA extraction, resulting in PCR failure. In this study, researchers tested the hypothesis that S. bandensis ink inhibits PCR. They then assessed the impact of ink on multiple methods of DNA extraction

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The Effects of Post-Consumer Waste Polystyrene on the Rate of Mealworm Consumption

Green et al. | Nov 29, 2018

The Effects of Post-Consumer Waste Polystyrene on the Rate of Mealworm Consumption

In a world where plastic waste accumulation is threatening both land and sea life, Green et al. investigate the ability of mealworms to breakdown polystyrene, a non-recyclable form of petrochemical-based polymer we use in our daily lives. They confirm that these organisms, can degrade various forms of polystyrene, even after it has been put to use in our daily lives. Although the efficiency of the degradation process still requires improvement, the good news is, the worms are tiny and themselves are biodegradable, so we can use plenty of them without worrying about space and how to get rid of them. This is very promising and certainly good news for the planet.

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Kinetic Monitoring and Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy of the Green Oxidation of (-)-Menthol to (-)-Menthone

Surapaneni et al. | Aug 06, 2020

Kinetic Monitoring and Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy of the Green Oxidation of (-)-Menthol to (-)-Menthone

In an effort to reduce the production of hazardous substances, green chemistry aims to make chemical processes more sustainable. One way to do so is changing solvents in chemical reactions. Here, authors assessed different “green” solvents on the oxidation of (-)-menthol to (-)-menthone using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, optimizing the solvent system for this reaction.

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Repulsion of Ants Using Non-Toxic Household Products

Ambati et al. | Sep 10, 2019

Repulsion of Ants Using Non-Toxic Household Products

Ant invasion causes damage exceeding $5 billion annually in North America. In this study, Ambati and Duvvuri aim to identify natural products with ant-repelling properties using a custom ring apparatus designed to quantify ant-repellence. They report that cinnamon and lemon were the most effective ant repellents of the tested products. These data suggest that compounds found in non-toxic household products, such as cinnamon oil and lemon juice, could be used in low-dose combinations as potent, effective, eco-friendly, and safe ant repellents.

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Correlates of Sugar Consumption Among High School Students and Faculty

McBurnett et al. | Mar 07, 2019

Correlates of Sugar Consumption Among High School Students and Faculty

The availability, portion sizes, and consumption of highly palatable food has been linked adverse health outcomes. McBurnett and O’Donnell sought to assess the relationship between reward-based eating drive, consumption, cravings, and knowledge of the effects of sugary foods. In this study population, reward-based eating drive was related to both consumption and cravings. Further, for females, the knowledge of sugar’s effects was significantly and inversely associated with its consumption.

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The external presence of running water influences the root growth of pea plants (Phaselous vulgaris)

Shu et al. | Nov 10, 2020

The external presence of running water influences the root growth of pea plants (Phaselous vulgaris)

Each year, invasive tree roots cause large amounts of damage to underground pipes. While this is usually due to leaks and cracks, tree roots can also invade pipes that are structurally sound. We are interested in investigating whether plant roots have an affinity towards flowing water, measured through mass, even when the running water is not in direct contact with soil. We tested this by creating a choice chamber with water running under one end and no stimulus on the other end. Overall, the masses of the roots growing towards flowing water were greater than the masses of the roots growing towards the end with no stimulus, showing that plant roots did have an affinity towards flowing water.

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What Can You See in the Dark? The Effects of Contrast, Light, and Age on Contrast Sensitivity in Low Light

Virostek et al. | Apr 25, 2014

What Can You See in the Dark? The Effects of Contrast, Light, and Age on Contrast Sensitivity in Low Light

Many of us take our vision for granted, but rarely do we measure how well we can see. In this study, the authors investigate the ability of people of different ages to read progressively fainter letters in dark light. They find that the ability to see in dim light drops drastically after age 30. The ability to read fainter letters worsens after age 30 as well. These findings should help inform lighting decisions everywhere from restaurants to road signs.

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