In a world where water shortage is becoming an increasing concern, and where population increase seems inevitable, food shortage is an overwhelming concern for many. In this paper, the authors aim to characterize a drought-resistant strain of A. thaliana, investigating the cause for its water resistance. These and similar studies help us learn how plants could be engineered to improve their ability to flourish in a changing climate.
Concerns regarding the rapid spread of Sars-CoV2 in early 2020 led company and local governmental officials in many states to ask people to work from home and avoid leaving their homes; measures commonly referred to as shutdowns. Here, the authors investigate how shutdowns affected carbon monoxide (CO) levels in 15 US states using publicly available data. Their results suggest that CO levels decreased as a result of these measures over the course of 2020, a trend which started to reverse after shutdowns ended.
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.
In this study, the authors investigate the antimicrobial effects of berberine and berberine analogs. Berberine is extracted from plants and is a naturally occurring alkaloid, and is also excited photochemically. Using three different assays, the authors tested whether these compounds would inhibit bacterial growth. They found that these compounds were antibacterial and even more so when used with photoirradiation. This study has important antibacterial implications.
Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of severe thunderstorm events in coming years. In this study, the authors hypothesized that (i) the majority of severe thunderstorm events will occur in the summer months in all states examined for all years analyzed, (ii) climate change will cause an unusual number of severe thunderstorm events in winter months in all states, (iii) thundersnow would be observed in Colorado, and (iv.) there would be no difference in the number of severe thunderstorm events between states in any given year examined. They classified lightning seasons in all states observed, with the most severe thunderstorm events occurring in May, June, July, and August. Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, and West Virginia were found to have severe thunderstorm events in the winter, which could be explained by increased winter storms due to climate change (1). Overall, they highlight the importance of quantifying when lightning seasons occur to avoid lightning-related injuries or death.
In this study, Donnellan and colleagues investigated how environmental pollution may be affecting honey samples from Chicago apiaries. They found no significant correlation between heavy metal concentration in honey to distance from local industries, suggesting a minimal effect of proximity to industrial pollution on honey contamination.
Luteolin (3′,4′,5,7-tetrahydroxyflavone) is a flavonoid that occurs in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Research suggests that luteolin is effective against various forms of cancer by triggering apoptosis pathways. This experiment analyzes the effects of luteolin on the cell viability of malignant melanoma cells using an in vitro experiment to research alternative melanoma treatments and hopefully to help further cancer research as a whole.
In this article, the authors investigate the effects of fungus E. muscae on fruit fly behavior. More specifically, they investigate whether this fungus affects olfaction. Their findings contribute to a broader set of studies seeking to understand how host's central nervous systems can be affected by infections.
Inherent bias is often the unconscious driver of human behavior, and the first step towards overcoming these biases is our awareness of them. In this article the authors investigate whether race, gender or species affect the choice of charity by middle class Spaniards. Their conclusions serve as a starting point for further studies that could help charities refine their campaigns in light of these biases effectively transcending them or taking advantage of them to improve their fundraising attempts.