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Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Wang et al. | Mar 14, 2022

Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Here the authors used morphological characters and DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found within a residential house. With this method they identified their species and compared them against pests lists provided by the US government. They found that none of their identified species were considered to be pests providing evidence against the misconception that arthropods found at home are harmful to humans. They suggest that these methods could be used at larger scales to better understand and aid in mapping ecosystems.

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Prediction of molecular energy using Coulomb matrix and Graph Neural Network

Hazra et al. | Feb 01, 2022

Prediction of molecular energy using Coulomb matrix and Graph Neural Network

With molecular energy being an integral element to the study of molecules and molecular interactions, computational methods to determine molecular energy are used for the preservation of time and resources. However, these computational methods have high demand for computer resources, limiting their widespread feasibility. The authors of this study employed machine learning to address this disadvantage, utilizing neural networks trained on different representations of molecules to predict molecular properties without the requirement of computationally-intensive processing. In their findings, the authors determined the Feedforward Neural Network, trained by two separate models, as capable of predicting molecular energy with limited prediction error.

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A novel filtration model for microplastics using natural oils and its application to the environment

Park et al. | Jun 27, 2022

A novel filtration model for microplastics using natural oils and its application to the environment

Recognizing the need for a method to filter microplastics from polluted water the authors sought to use nonpolar solvents, palm oil and palm kernel oil, to filter microplastics out of model seawater. By relying on the separation of polar and nonpolar solvents followed by freezing the nonpolar solvent, they reported that microplastics could be extracted with percentages ranging from 96.2% to 94.2%. They also provided an estimation to use this method as part of container ships to clean the Pacific Ocean of microplastics.

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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 Development of a Highly Sensitive Home Diagnosis Kit for Group A Streptococcus Bacteria (GAS)

Mai et al. | Dec 05, 2018

The Development of a Highly Sensitive Home Diagnosis Kit for Group A Streptococcus Bacteria (GAS)

In this article, Mai et al. have developed a do-it-yourself kit for the detection of Strep A bacterial infections. While Strep A infections require antibiotic administration, viral infections, which can present with similar symptoms, often resolve on their own. The problem with delayed antibiotic treatment is an increasing risk of complications. Currently an accurate diagnosis requires that patients make the trip to the hospital where sensitive tests can be performed. The method described here, bundled into a commercially available kit, could help speed up the identification of such bacterial infections. When presented with symptoms of a sore throat and fever, you could just buy the kit at your local pharmacy, perform the simple yet highly accurate and sensitive test, and know whether an urgent trip to the doctor's for an antibiotic prescription is necessary. How convenient!

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An Analysis of the Mathematical Accuracy of Perspective in Paintings

Grewal et al. | Dec 13, 2019

An Analysis of the Mathematical Accuracy of Perspective in Paintings

Here the authors investigate whether there are mathematical inaccuracies of perspective in artists' paintings that are undetectable with our naked eyes. Using the cross-ratio method, they find that there are three significant errors in various famous paintings which increase as the structures in the paintings recede from the viewer.

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Examining the Accuracy of DNA Parentage Tests Using Computer Simulations and Known Pedigrees

Wang et al. | Jul 13, 2020

Examining the Accuracy of DNA Parentage Tests Using Computer Simulations and Known Pedigrees

How accurate are DNA parentage tests? In this study, the authors hypothesized that current parentage tests are reliable if the analysis involves only one or a few families of yellow perch fish Perca flavescens. Their results suggest that DNA parentage tests are reliable as long as the right methods are used, since these tests involve only one family in most cases, and that the results from parentage analyses of large populations can only be used as a reference.

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