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Building an affordable model wave energy converter using a magnet and a coil

Choy et al. | Jul 05, 2023

Building an affordable model wave energy converter using a magnet and a coil
Image credit: Joshua Smith

Here, seeking to identify a method to locally produce and capture renewable energy in Hawai'i and other island communities, the authors built and tested a small-scale model wave energy converter. They tested various configurations of a floated magnet surrounded by a wire coal, where the motion of the magnet due to a wave results in induction current in the coil. While they identified methods to increase the voltage and current generated, they also found that corrosion results in significant deterioration.

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Comparing the Dietary Preference of Caenorhabditis elegans for Bacterial Probiotics vs. Escherichia coli.

Lulla et al. | Dec 18, 2020

Comparing the Dietary Preference of <i>Caenorhabditis elegans</i> for Bacterial Probiotics vs. <i>Escherichia coli</i>.

In this experiment, the authors used C. elegans as a simple model organism to observe the impact of probiotics on the human digestive system. The results of the experiments showed that the C. elegans were, on average, most present in Chobani cultures over other tested yogurts. While not statistically significant, these results still demonstrated that C. elegans might prefer Chobani cultures over other probiotic yogurts, which may also indicate greater gut benefits from Chobani over the other yogurt brands tested.

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LawCrypt: Secret Sharing for Attorney-Client Data in a Multi-Provider Cloud Architecture

Zhang et al. | Jul 19, 2020

LawCrypt: Secret Sharing for Attorney-Client Data in a Multi-Provider Cloud Architecture

In this study, the authors develop an architecture to implement in a cloud-based database used by law firms to ensure confidentiality, availability, and integrity of attorney documents while maintaining greater efficiency than traditional encryption algorithms. They assessed whether the architecture satisfies necessary criteria and tested the overall file sizes the architecture could process. The authors found that their system was able to handle larger file sizes and fit engineering criteria. This study presents a valuable new tool that can be used to ensure law firms have adequate security as they shift to using cloud-based storage systems for their files.

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Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Srebnik et al. | Jan 20, 2021

Evaluation of Microplastics in Japanese Fish Using Visual and Chemical Dissections

Does the overuse of plastic in Japan poses an ecological risk to marine species and their consumers? Using visual and chemical dissection, all fish in this study were found to have microplastics present in their gastrointestinal tract, including two species that are typically eaten whole in Japan. Overall, these results are concerning as previous studies have found that microplastics can carry persistent organic pollutants. It is presumed that the increasing consumption of microplastics will have negative implications on organ systems such as the liver, gut, and hormones.

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Use of yogurt bacteria as a model surrogate to compare household cleaning solutions

Shukla et al. | May 07, 2023

Use of yogurt bacteria as a model surrogate to compare household cleaning solutions
Image credit: CDC

While resources on the safety of household cleaning products are plentiful, measures of efficacy of these cleaning chemicals against bacteria and viruses remain without standardization in the consumer market. The COVID pandemic has exasperated this knowledge gap, stoking the growth of misinformation and misuse surrounding household cleaning chemicals. Arriving at a time dire for sanitization standardization, the authors of this paper have created a quantifying framework for consumers by comparing a wide range of household cleaning products in their efficacy against bacteria generated by a safe and easily replicable yogurt model.

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Comparative analysis of CO2 emissions of electric ride-hailing vehicles over conventional gasoline personal vehicles

Raman et al. | Jan 12, 2024

Comparative analysis of CO<sub>2</sub> emissions of electric ride-hailing vehicles over conventional gasoline personal vehicles
Image credit: Paul Hanaoka

While some believe that ride-hailing services offer reduced CO2 emissions compared to individual driving, studies have found that driving without passengers on ride-hailing trips or "deadheading" prevents this. Here, with a mathematical model, the authors investigated if the use of electric vehicles as ride-hailing vehicles could offer reduced CO2 emissions. They found that the improved vehicle efficiency and cleaner generation could in fact lower emissions compared to the use of personal gas vehicles.

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Wound healing properties of mesenchymal conditioned media: Analysis of PDGF, VEGF and IL-8 concentrations

Prasad et al. | Dec 15, 2021

Wound healing properties of mesenchymal conditioned media: Analysis of PDGF, VEGF and IL-8 concentrations

Regenerative medicine has become a mainstay in recent times, and employing stem cells to treat several degenerative, inflammatory conditions has resulted in very promising outcomes. These forms of cell-based therapies are novel approaches to existing treatment modalities. In this study, the authors compared the concentrations of the cytokines PDGF, IL-8, and VEGF between conditioned and spent media of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to evaluate their potential therapeutic properties for wound healing in inflammatory conditions. They hypothesized that conditioned media contains higher concentrations of wound healing cytokines compared to spent media. The authors found that while IL-8 and VEGF were present in highest concentrations in conditioned media, PDGF was present in maximal amounts in spent media.

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Banana-based Biofuels for Combating Climate Change: How the Composition of Enzyme Catalyzed Solutions Affects Biofuel Yield

Klein-Hessling Barrientos et al. | May 27, 2020

Banana-based Biofuels for Combating Climate Change: How the Composition of Enzyme Catalyzed Solutions Affects Biofuel Yield

The authors investigate whether amylase or yeast had a more prominent role in determining the bioethanol concentration and bioethanol yield of banana samples. They hypothesized that amylase would have the most significant impact on the bioethanol yield and concentration of the samples. They found that while yeast is an essential component for producing bioethanol, the proportion of amylase supplied through a joint amylase-yeast mixture has a more significant impact on the bioethanol yield. This study provides a greater understanding of the mechanisms and implications involved in enzyme-based biofuel production, specifically of those pertaining to amylase and yeast.

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Effect of Manuka Honey and Licorice Root Extract on the Growth of Porphyromonas gingivalis: An In Vitro Study

Chandran et al. | Apr 11, 2018

Effect of Manuka Honey and Licorice Root Extract on the Growth of Porphyromonas gingivalis: An In Vitro Study

Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, is a problem faced by nearly 50% of the general poluation, but existing treatments such as liquid mouthwash or sugar-free gum are imperfect and temporary solutions. In this study, the authors investigate potential alternative treatments using natural ingredients such as Manuka Honey and Licorice root extract. They found that Manuka honey is almost as effective as commercial mouthwashes in reducing the growth of P gingivalis (one of the main bacteria that causes bad breath), while Licorice root extract was largely ineffective. The authors' results suggest that Manuka honey is a promising candidate in the search for new and improved halitosis treatments.

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Analyzing resilience in a sample population as a novel qualifier for triage in psychological first aid

Ramesh et al. | Apr 18, 2023

Analyzing resilience in a sample population as a novel qualifier for triage in psychological first aid
Image credit: Mat Napo

While serving as an immediate address for psychological safety and stability, psychological first aid (PFA) currently lacks the incorporation of triage. Without triage, patients cannot be prioritized in correspondence to condition severity that is often called for within emergency conditions. To disentangle the relevance of a potential triage system to PFA, the authors of this paper have developed a method to quantify resilience - a prominent predictor of the capability to recover from a disaster. With this resilience index, they have quantified resilience of differing age, race, and sex demographics to better inform the practice of PFA and potential demographic prioritization via a triage system.

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