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Effects of spices on rice spoilage

Govindaraj et al. | Aug 15, 2022

Effects of spices on rice spoilage

In this work, based on centuries of history where spices have been used and thought to have antimicrobial properties that prolong the shelf life of food, the authors investigated if several spices used in Indian cooking could delay the spoilage of cooked white rice. Based on changed in appearance and smell, as well as growth on agar plates, they found that cinnamon was the most effective in delaying spoilage, followed by cumin, pepper, garlic, and ginger. Their findings suggest the ability to use spices rather than chemical food preservatives to prolong the shelf life of foods.

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Anonymity Reduces Generosity in High School Students

Vargas-Guerrero et al. | Nov 25, 2019

Anonymity Reduces Generosity in High School Students

The disinterested willingness a person has for helping others is known as altruism. But is this willingness to help others dependent on external factors that make you more or less inclined to be generous? We hypothesized that generosity in adolescents would depend on external factors and that these factors would change the amount of help given. To evaluate altruism and generosity, we conducted non-anonymous and anonymous variations of the dictator game and ultimatum game experiments and explored the role of anonymity, fairness, and reciprocity in high school students.

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Predicting asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations with machine learning techniques

Chatterjee et al. | Oct 25, 2021

Predicting asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations with machine learning techniques

Seeking to investigate the effects of ambient pollutants on human respiratory health, here the authors used machine learning to examine asthma in Lost Angeles County, an area with substantial pollution. By using machine learning models and classification techniques, the authors identified that nitrogen dioxide and ozone levels were significantly correlated with asthma hospitalizations. Based on an identified seasonal surge in asthma hospitalizations, the authors suggest future directions to improve machine learning modeling to investigate these relationships.

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The knowledge and perception of opioid abuse and its long-term effects among high schoolers

Shroff et al. | Nov 27, 2021

The knowledge and perception of opioid abuse and its long-term effects among high schoolers

Due to the susceptibility of adolescent age groups to opioid misuse, here the authors sought to determine if there was a difference in the perception and knowledge between 9th and 12th graders regarding the opioid crisis. An educational intervention trial was done with the 9th graders and surveys were used to identify its effects. Although the authors acknowledge a small sample size, their results suggest that their are gaps within the knowledge of adolescents in regards to opioid misuse and its long-term effects that could be addressed with further education.

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Developing a Portable, Reusable, and Inexpensive Magnesium-Air Fuel Cell

Tota et al. | Mar 28, 2019

Developing a Portable, Reusable, and Inexpensive Magnesium-Air Fuel Cell

One of the greatest challenges we face today is the sustainable production, storage, and distribution of electrical power. One emerging technology with great promise in this area is that of metal-air fuel cells—a long-term and reusable electricity storage system made from a reactive metal anode and a saline solution. In this study the authors tested several different types of metal to determine which was the most suitable for this application. They found that a fuel cell with a magnesium anode was superior to fuel cells made from aluminum or zinc, producing a voltage and current sufficient for real-world applications such as charging a mobile phone.

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Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Photosynthetic Ability of Chaetoceros gracilis in the Monterey Bay

Harvell et al. | Jan 16, 2020

Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Photosynthetic Ability of <i>Chaetoceros gracilis</i> in the Monterey Bay

In this article, Harvell and Nicholson hypothesized that increased ocean acidity would decrease the photosynthetic ability of Chaetoceros gracilis, a diatom prolific in Monterey Bay, because of the usually corrosive effects of carbonic acid on both seashells and cells’ internal structures. They altered pH of algae environments and measured the photosynthetic ability of diatoms over four days by spectrophotometer. Overall, their findings indicate that C. gracilis may become more abundant in Monterey Bay as the pH of the ocean continues to drop, potentially contributing to harmful algal blooms.

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Integrated Ocean Cleanup System for Sustainable and Healthy Aquatic Ecosystems

Anand et al. | Nov 14, 2020

Integrated Ocean Cleanup System for Sustainable and Healthy Aquatic Ecosystems

Oil spills are one of the most devastating events for marine life. Finding ways to clean up oil spills without the need for harsh chemicals could help decrease the negative impact of such spills. Here the authors demonstrate that using a combination of several biodegradable substances can effectively adsorb oil in seawater in a laboratory setting. They suggest further exploring the potential of such a combination as a possible alternative to commonly-used non-biodegradable substances in oil spill management.

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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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