Seeking to develop a better understanding of the chemical and physical properties of amino acids that compose proteins, here the authors investigated the unusual relative insolubility of racemic mixtures of D- and L-serine compared to the solubility of pure D- or L-serine. The authors used a combination of microscopy and temperature measurements alongside previous X-ray diffraction studies to conclude that racemic DL-serine crystals consist of comparatively stronger hydrogen bond interactions compared to crystals of pure enantiomers. These stronger interactions were found to result in the unique release of heat during the crystallization of racemic mixtures.
The goal of this project was to see if the addition of wild orange essential oil to freshly squeezed orange juice would help to slow down the decay of ascorbic acid when exposed to various temperatures, allowing vital nutrients to be maintained and providing a natural alternative to the chemical additives in use in industry today. The authors hypothesized that the addition of wild orange essential oil to freshly squeezed orange juice would slow down the rate of oxidation when exposed to various temperatures, reducing ascorbic acid decay. On average, wild orange EO slowed down ascorbic acid decay in freshly squeezed orange juice by 15% at the three highest temperatures tested.
Currently there is no early dehydration detection system using temperature and pH as indicators. A sensor could alert the wearer and others of low hydration levels, which would normally be difficult to catch prior to more serious complications resulting from dehydration. In this study, a protein fluorophore, green fluorescent protein (GFP), and a chemical fluorophore, fluorescein, were tested for a change in fluorescence in response to increased temperature or decreased pH. Reversing the pH change did not restore GFP fluorescence, but that of fluorescein was re-established. This finding suggests that fluorescein could be used as a reusable sensor for a dehydration-related pH change.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical extracted from cannabis and shown by some studies to alleviate the symptoms of many mental disorders, especially major depressive disorder. The authors hypothesized that chronic treatments with purified CBD through oral administration would relieve depression-associated behaviors in normal healthy rats under adverse conditions. A statistical analysis of the experimental data suggested that long-term consumption of CBD could elicit depression associated symptoms in normal rats without depression. The results imply that people should consume CBD-containing products with extreme caution and highlight the need to carefully monitor the use of CBD in health care products.
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.
Here the authors test the ability of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis to degrade the polyethylene from plastic waste in various aquatic environments. They determined that degradation can occur among all samples while it was the highest in fresh water and lowest in ocean water.
Coral bleaching is a fatal process that reduces coral diversity, leads to habitat loss for marine organisms, and is a symptom of climate change. This process occurs when corals expel their symbiotic dinoflagellates, algae that photosynthesize within coral tissue providing corals with glucose. Restoration efforts have attempted to repair damaged reefs; however, there are over 360,000 square miles of coral reefs worldwide, making it challenging to target conservation efforts. Thus, predicting the likelihood of bleaching in a certain region would make it easier to allocate resources for conservation efforts. We developed a machine learning model to predict global locations at risk for coral bleaching. Data obtained from the Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office consisted of various coral bleaching events and the parameters under which the bleaching occurred. Sea surface temperature, sea surface temperature anomalies, longitude, latitude, and coral depth below the surface were the features found to be most correlated to coral bleaching. Thirty-nine machine learning models were tested to determine which one most accurately used the parameters of interest to predict the percentage of corals that would be bleached. A random forest regressor model with an R-squared value of 0.25 and a root mean squared error value of 7.91 was determined to be the best model for predicting coral bleaching. In the end, the random model had a 96% accuracy in predicting the percentage of corals that would be bleached. This prediction system can make it easier for researchers and conservationists to identify coral bleaching hotspots and properly allocate resources to prevent or mitigate bleaching events.
In this article the authors looked at how temperature was impacted when alumnium was added in various forms to aqueous copper(II) solutions. Their study investigates the impact of surface area on chemical reactions.
Duckweed plays an important role in its aquatic environment by removing pollutants, such as zinc, from the water. In this study, the authors demonstrate that uptake of zinc by duckweed is inhibited by the presence of oil in the water, but this effect can be reversed with the addition of a dispersing agent.