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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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Testing Different Polymers and Boron Nitride Nanotube Properties in Fabrication of Ion-selective Membranes

Yi et al. | Sep 28, 2020

Testing Different Polymers and Boron Nitride Nanotube Properties in Fabrication of Ion-selective Membranes

One largely untapped source of clean energy is the use of osmotic gradients where freshwater and saltwater are mixed, for example at estuaries. To harness such energy, charge-selective membranes are needed to separate the anions and cations in saltwater, establishing an electric potential like a battery. The objective of this study was twofold: to investigate the creation of the polymer matrix and test the properties of boron nitride nanotubes, as both are essential in the creation of an ion-selective membrane. Out of three polymer samples tested in this study, the mixture known as Soltech 704 showed the best resistance to etching, as well as the highest UV cure rate.

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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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The Impact of Effective Density and Compressive Strength on the Structure of Crumpled Paper Balls

Chu et al. | Nov 19, 2020

The Impact of Effective Density and Compressive Strength on the Structure of Crumpled Paper Balls

Crumpling is the process whereby a sheet of paper undergoes deformation to yield a three-dimensional structure comprising a random network of ridges and facets with variable density. The authors hypothesized that the more times a paper sheet is crumpled, the greater its compressive strength. Their results show a relatively strong linear relationship between the number of times a paper sheet is crumpled and its compressive strength.

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Effect of Fertilizer on Water Quality of Creeks over Time

Chen et al. | May 02, 2021

Effect of Fertilizer on Water Quality of Creeks over Time

Fertilizers are commonly used to improve agricultural yield. Unfortunately, chemical fertilizers can seep into drinking water, potentially harming humans and other forms of life. Here, the authors investigate the effect of fertilizer on the water quality of Saratoga Creek over time. They find that fertilizers can alter the acidity of the creek's water, which can be harmful to aquatic species, as well as increase the levels of nitrates temporarily.

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Can essential oils be allelopathic to Lolium multiforum without harming Solanum lycopersicum?

Madan et al. | Nov 13, 2021

 Can essential oils be allelopathic to <em>Lolium multiforum</em> without harming <em>Solanum lycopersicum</em>?

Seeking to investigate eco-friendly biological methods to control weeds and enhance food crop yields, here the authors considered the effects of three essential oils on seed germination and radicle length of both a weed and a common crop. They found that treatment with turmeric oil had phytotoxic potential, leading to a reduction in both seed germination and radicle length of the weed. In contrast, ginger oil possessed allelopathic properties towards both. The authors suggest that essential oils could be used as eco-friendly bio-herbicides.

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Spectroscopic Kinetic Monitoring and Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biocatalytic Ester Hydrolysis in Non-Aqueous Solvent

Chen et al. | Dec 20, 2020

Spectroscopic Kinetic Monitoring and Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Biocatalytic Ester Hydrolysis in Non-Aqueous Solvent

Lipases are a common class of enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of lipids. Here the authors characterize the the activity of pancreatic lipase in different organic solvents using a choloremetric assay, as well as using molecular dynamic simulations. They report that the activity of pancreatic lipase in 5% methanol is more than 25% higher than in water, despite enzyme stability being comparable in both solvents. This suggests that, for industrial applications, using pancreatic lipase in 5% methanol solution might increase yield, compared to just water.

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A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Tsai et al. | Apr 05, 2019

A Taste of Sweetness in Bioplastics

Sweet potatoes are one of the most common starches in Taiwan, and sweet potato peels hold significant potential to make biodegradable plastics which can alleviate the environmental impact of conventional petroleum-based plastics. In this paper, Tsai et al created starch-based bioplastics derived from sweet potato peels and manipulated the amount of added glycerol to alter the plastic’s strength and flexibility properties. Their results indicated that higher concentrations of glycerol yield more malleable plastics, providing insights into how recycled agricultural waste material might be used to slow down the rate of pollution caused by widespread production of conventional plastics.

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