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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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Heavy Metal Contamination of Hand-Pressed Well Water in HuNan, China

Long et al. | Oct 20, 2019

Heavy Metal Contamination of Hand-Pressed Well Water in HuNan, China

Unprocessed water from hand-pressed wells is still commonly used as a source of drinking water in Chenzhou, the “Nonferrous Metal Village” of China. Long et al. conducted a study to measure the heavy metal contamination levels and potential health effects in this area. Water samples were analyzed through Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICPOES) and the concentrations of 20 metal elements. Results showed that although none of the samples had dangerous levels of heavy metals, the concentrations of Al, Fe, and Mn in many locations substantially exceeded those suggested in the Chinese Drinking Water Standard and the maximum contaminant levels of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The authors have made an important discovery regarding the water safety in HuNan and their suggestions to install water treatment systems would greatly benefit the community.

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Utilizing a Wastewater-Based Medium for Engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the Biological Production of Fatty Alcohols and Carboxylic Acids to Replace Petrochemicals

Ramesh et al. | Oct 02, 2019

Utilizing a Wastewater-Based Medium for Engineered <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em> for the Biological Production of Fatty Alcohols and Carboxylic Acids to Replace Petrochemicals

Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast is used to produce bioethanol, an alternative to fossil fuels. In this study, authors take advantage of this well studied yeast by genetically engineering them to increase fatty acid biosynthesis and culturing in a cost-effective wastewater based medium; potentially providing a sustainable alternative to petrochemicals.

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Capturing Harmful Air Pollutants Using an Electrospun Mesh Embedded with Zinc-based Nanocrystals

Doppalapudi et al. | May 12, 2020

Capturing Harmful Air Pollutants Using an Electrospun Mesh Embedded with Zinc-based Nanocrystals

Zeolithic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) is a specific metal-organic framework that has favorable qualities for use in an air filter and is known to be capable of adsorbing particulate matter. Therefore, the objective of this experiment was to determine the effectiveness of ZIF-8 in adsorbing polar, gaseous air pollutants, specifically nitrogen dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. In order to determine effectiveness, the percent change in concentration for various gases after the application of ZIF-8 crystals was measured via Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The work highlights crystals as a potentially promising alternative or addition to current filter materials to reduce atmospheric pollution.

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The Cohesiveness of the Oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction

Gottlieb et al. | Dec 18, 2018

The Cohesiveness of the Oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction

In this study the author undertakes a careful characterization of a special type of chemical reaction, called an oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky (or B-Z) reaction, which has a number of existing applications in biomedical engineering as well as the potential to be useful in future developments in other fields of science and engineering. Specifically, she uses experimental measurements in combination with computational analysis to investigate whether the reaction is cohesive – that is, whether the oscillations between chemical states will remain consistent or change over time as the reaction progresses. Her results indicate that the reaction is not cohesive, providing an important foundation for the development of future technologies using B-Z reactions.

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The effects of early probiotic supplementation on the germination of Arabidopsis thaliana

Gambino et al. | Oct 25, 2020

The effects of early probiotic supplementation on the germination of <em>Arabidopsis thaliana</em>

The use of fertilizers is associated with an increase in soil degradation, which is predicted to lead to a decrease in crop production within the next decade. Thus, it is critical to find solutions to support crop production to sustain the robust global population. In this study, the authors investigate how probiotic bacteria, like Rhizobium leguminosarum, Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas fluorescens, can impact the growth of Arabidopsis thaliana when applied to the seeds.They hypothesized that solutions with multiple bacterial species compared to those with only a single bacterial species would promote seed germination more effectively.

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