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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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Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Horton et al. | Sep 27, 2018

Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Although the United States maintains millions of square kilometers of nature reserves to protect the biodiversity of the specimens living there, little is known about how confining these species within designated protected lands influences the genetic variation required for a healthy population. In this study, the authors sequenced genetic barcodes of insects from a recently established nature reserve, the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve (SWRCMSR), and a non-protected area, the Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) Menifee campus, to compare the genetic variation between the two populations. Their results demonstrated that the midge fly population from the SWRCMSR had fewer unique DNA barcode sequence changes than the MSJC population, indicating that the comparatively younger nature reserve's population had likely not yet established its own unique genetic drift changes.

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Increasing Average Yearly Temperature in Two U.S. Cities Shows Evidence for Climate Change

Savage et al. | Sep 20, 2018

Increasing Average Yearly Temperature in Two U.S. Cities Shows Evidence for Climate Change

The authors were interested in whether they could observe the effects of climate change by analyzing historical temperature data of two U.S. cities. They predicted that they should observe a warming trend in both cities. Their results showed that despite yearly variations, warming trends can be observed both in Rochester, NY and Seattle, WA which fit the predictions of climate change forecasts.

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Modeling Energy Produced by Solar Panels

Meister et al. | Jan 13, 2018

Modeling Energy Produced by Solar Panels

In this study, the authors test the effect that the tilt angle of a solar panel has on the amount of energy it generates. This investigation highlights a simple way that people can harvest renewable energy more efficiently and effectively.

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Estimating Paleoenvironments Utilizing Foraminiferal Fossils from the Toyohama Formation, Aichi Prefecture, Central Japan

Kimitsuki et al. | Dec 11, 2017

Estimating Paleoenvironments Utilizing Foraminiferal Fossils from the Toyohama Formation, Aichi Prefecture, Central Japan

Foraminifera are a diverse phylum of marine protists that produce elaborate shells. Because of their abundance and morphological diversity, foraminiferal fossil assemblages are used for biostratigraphy, to accurately date sedimentary rocks and to characterize past ocean environments. In this paper, authors collected fossils within the Morozaki Group in central Honshu, Japan, to assess past marine environments and species diversity.

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Is Cloud Cover One of the Effects of Climate Change?

Crair et al. | Mar 27, 2014

Is Cloud Cover One of the Effects of Climate Change?

Climate change is one of the most controversial challenges humans face. Here the authors investigate the dual role of clouds - to reflect incoming light away from the Earth and to reflect heat energy back toward the Earth's surface. They find that the amount of incident light energy and surface temperature decreases as the sky becomes cloudier. These results will inform longer-term studies that may compare against the amount of energy clouds reflect back toward the Earth.

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The Effect of UV Treatment on the Degradation of Compostable Polylactic Acid

Zhang et al. | Nov 28, 2013

The Effect of UV Treatment on the Degradation of Compostable Polylactic Acid

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a bio-based, compostable plastic that is comparable in cost to petroleum-based plastics. This study aims to evaluate the effects of UV treatment and mechanical chopping on the degradation of PLA. Based on their findings, the authors propose an alternative PLA degradation process that may be more time and energy efficient than current processes.

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Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Calcium Carbonate

Prahalad et al. | Jul 31, 2020

Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Calcium Carbonate

Industrialization has transformed human life and improved it for many. Nonetheless, a side effect has been an increase in chemical waste, which when not disposed of properly, has detrimental effects on surrounding habitats. An increase in ocean acidification could potentially affect many forms of life, disrupting the ecological balance in unforeseeable ways. In this article the authors explore the effect of acidification on corals and shells, and observe that an increase in ocean acidity has a significant effect on corals, but not shells. This illustrates how acidification could negatively affect marine life, and calls our attention to managing the factors that contribute to increasing the pH of the Earth's water bodies.

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Presoaking Seeds with Vinegar Improves Seed Development and Drought Tolerance in Maize Plants

D'Agate et al. | Jul 24, 2020

Presoaking Seeds with Vinegar Improves Seed Development and Drought Tolerance in Maize Plants

Climate change has contributed to the increasing annual temperatures around the world and poses a grave threat to Maize crops. Two methods proven to help combat plant drought stress effects are presoaking seeds (seeds are soaked in a liquid before planting) and the application of Acetic Acid (vinegar) to soil. The purpose of this experiment was to explore if combining these two methods by presoaking seeds with a vinegar solution can improve the seed development and plant drought tolerance of Maize plants during drought conditions.

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