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A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Schafer et al. | Feb 17, 2019

A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Plastic debris can disrupt marine ecosystems, spread contaminants, and take years to naturally degrade. In this study, Wu et al aim to establish an understanding of the scope of Williamston, Michigan’s microplastics problem, as well as to attempt to find the source of these plastics. Initially, the authors hypothesize that the Williamston Wastewater Treatment Plant was the primary contributor to Williamston’s microplastics pollution. Although they find a general trend of increasing concentrations of microplastics from upstream to downstream, they do not pinpoint the source of Williamston’s microplastics pollution in the present research.

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Evaluation of Tea Extract as an Inhibitor of Oxidative Stress in Prostate Cells

Zhang et al. | Jan 22, 2019

Evaluation of Tea Extract as an Inhibitor of Oxidative Stress in Prostate Cells

One important factor that contributes to human cancers is accumulated damage to cells' DNA due to the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. In this study, the authors investigate the effects of several different tea leaf extracts on oxidative stress in cultured human prostate cells to see if antioxidants in the tea leaves could help protect cells from this type of DNA damage. They found that all four types of tea extract (as well as direct application of the antioxidant EGCG) improved the outcomes for the cultured cells, with white tea extract having the strongest effect. This research suggests that tea extracts and the antioxidants that they contain may have applications in the treatment of the many diseases associated with cellular DNA damage, including cancer.

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An Analysis on Exoplanets and How They are Affected by Different Factors in Their Star Systems

Selph et al. | Dec 06, 2018

An Analysis on Exoplanets and How They are Affected by Different Factors in Their Star Systems

In this article, the authors systematically study whether the type of a star is correlated with the number of planets it can support. Their study shows that medium-sized stars are likely to support more than one planet, just like the case in our solar system. They predict that, of the hundreds of planets beyond our solar system, 6% might be habitable. As humans work to travel further and further into space, some of those might truly be suited for human life.

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FRUGGIE – A Board Game to Combat Obesity by Promoting Healthy Eating Habits in Young Children

Huprikar et al. | Jun 13, 2018

FRUGGIE – A Board Game to Combat Obesity by Promoting Healthy Eating Habits in Young Children

The authors created a board game to teach young children about healthy eating habits to see whether an interactive and family-oriented method would be effective at introducing and maintaining a love for fruits and veggies. Results showed that children developed a liking for fruits and vegetables, and none regressed. Half maintained their level of enjoyment for fruits and vegetables during the research period, while the other half had a positive increase. The results show that a simple interactive game can shape how young children relate to food and encourage them to maintain healthy habits.

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The Feasibility of Mixed Reality Gaming as a Tool for Physical Therapy Following a Spinal Cord Injury

DeBre et al. | Apr 04, 2018

The Feasibility of Mixed Reality Gaming as a Tool for Physical Therapy Following a Spinal Cord Injury

Physical therapy, especially for patients with spinal cord injuries, can be a difficult and tedious experience. This can result in negative health outcomes, such as patients dropping out of physical therapy or developing additional health problems. In this study, the authors develop and test a potential solution to these challenges: a mixed reality game called Skyfarer that replaces a standard physical therapy regimen with an immersive experience that can be shared with their friends and family. The findings of this study suggest that mixed reality games such as Skyfarer could be effective alternatives to conventional physical therapy.

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Attitudes towards mental health in Indians who practice yoga regularly and those who do not

Komar et al. | Jul 13, 2022

Attitudes towards mental health in Indians who practice yoga regularly and those who do not

Whether it is through implicit association or intentional practice, yoga has been known to help individuals maintain good mental health. However, many communities, such as South Asian communities, often project the stereotype that embodies neglecting topics such as mental health and considering them taboo. In this online survey-based study, the authors focused on examining whether yoga would alter individuals’ attitudes toward mental health. They hypothesized that 1) participants who regularly practiced yoga would be more familiar with the term mental health, 2) participants who practiced yoga would value their mental health more, and 3) participants who practiced yoga regularly would be more open about their mental health and be more likely to reach out for professional help if needed. They did not find a statistical significance for any of our hypotheses which suggests that yoga may not have an effect on perceptions of mental health in yoga-practicing Indian adults.

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A potentially underestimated source of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in agriculture

Corcimaru et al. | May 18, 2022

A potentially underestimated source of CO<sub>2</sub> and other greenhouse gases in agriculture

Here the authors investigated the role of agricultural fertilizers as potential contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast to the typical investigations that consider microbiological processes, the authors considered purely chemical processes. Based on their results they found that as much as 20.41% of all CO2 emission from land-based activities could be a result of mineral nitrogen fertilizers.

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