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Machine learning-based enzyme engineering of PETase for improved efficiency in plastic degradation

Gupta et al. | Jan 31, 2023

 Machine learning-based enzyme engineering of PETase for improved efficiency in plastic degradation
Image credit: Markus Spiske

Here, recognizing the recognizing the growing threat of non-biodegradable plastic waste, the authors investigated the ability to use a modified enzyme identified in bacteria to decompose polyethylene terephthalate (PET). They used simulations to screen and identify an optimized enzyme based on machine learning models. Ultimately, they identified a potential mutant PETases capable of decomposing PET with improved thermal stability.

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Leveraging E-Waste to Enhance Water Condensation by Effective Use of Solid-state Thermoelectric Cooling

Joshi et al. | Dec 02, 2020

Leveraging E-Waste to Enhance Water Condensation by Effective Use of Solid-state Thermoelectric Cooling

Water scarcity affects upwards of a billion people worldwide today. This project leverages the potential of capturing humidity to build a high-efficiency water condensation device that can generate water and be used for personal and commercial purposes. This compact environment-friendly device would have low power requirements, which would potentially allow it to utilize renewable energy sources and collect water at the most needed location.

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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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Creating a Phenology Trail Around Central Park Pond

Flynn et al. | Jul 16, 2020

Creating a Phenology Trail Around Central Park Pond

This study aimed to determine whether the life cycle stages, or phenophases, of some plants in the urban environment of Central Park, New York, differ from the typical phenophases of the same plant species. The authors hypothesized that the phenophases of the thirteen plants we studied would differ from their typical phenophases due to the urban heat island effect. Although the phenophases of five plants matched up with typical trends, there were distinct changes in the phenophases of the other eight, possibly resulting from the urban heat island effect.

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Improving measurement of reducing sugar content in carbonated beverages using Fehling’s reagent

Zhang et al. | Jul 21, 2020

Improving measurement of reducing sugar content in carbonated beverages using Fehling’s reagent

The sugar-rich modern diet underlies a suite of metabolic disorders, most common of which is diabetes. Accurately reporting the sugar content of pre-packaged food and drink items can help consumers track their sugar intake better, facilitating more cognisant and, eventually, moderate consumption of high-sugar items. In this article, the authors examine the effect of several variables on the accuracy of Fehling's reaction, a colorimetric reaction used to estimate sugar content.

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Linearity of piezoelectric response of electrospun polymer-based (PVDF) fibers with barium titanate nanoparticles

Nichitiu et al. | Feb 13, 2023

Linearity of piezoelectric response of electrospun polymer-based (PVDF) fibers with barium titanate nanoparticles

Here, seeking to develop an understanding of the properties that determine the viability of piezoelectric flexible materials for applications in electro-mechanical sensors, the authors investigated the effects of the inclusion BaTiO3 nanoparticles in electrospun Polyvinyledene Fluoride. They found the voltage generated had a piecewise linear dependence on the applied force at a few temperatures.

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Towards an Integrated Solution for Renewable Water and Energy

Chen et al. | Jan 09, 2015

Towards an Integrated Solution for Renewable Water and Energy

An integrated plant that would generate energy from solar power and provide clean water would help solve multiple sustainability issues. The feasibility of such a plant was investigated by looking at the efficacy of several different modules of such a plant on a small scale.

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