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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 novel filtration model for microplastics using natural oils and its application to the environment

Park et al. | Jun 27, 2022

A novel filtration model for microplastics using natural oils and its application to the environment

Recognizing the need for a method to filter microplastics from polluted water the authors sought to use nonpolar solvents, palm oil and palm kernel oil, to filter microplastics out of model seawater. By relying on the separation of polar and nonpolar solvents followed by freezing the nonpolar solvent, they reported that microplastics could be extracted with percentages ranging from 96.2% to 94.2%. They also provided an estimation to use this method as part of container ships to clean the Pacific Ocean of microplastics.

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On the Relationship Between Viscosity and Surface Tension

Wei et al. | Sep 16, 2014

On the Relationship Between Viscosity and Surface Tension

Surface tension and viscosity are both measures of how "sticky" a liquid is, but are they related? The authors here investigate the surface tension and viscosity of mixtures of water with different concentrations of agar agar, flour, or detergent. Surprisingly, they find that the least viscous mixtures had the strongest surface tensions, indicating that the two properties are not linked.

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Factors Influencing Muon Flux and Lifetime: An Experimental Analysis Using Cosmic Ray Detectors

Samson et al. | May 18, 2020

Factors Influencing Muon Flux and Lifetime: An Experimental Analysis Using Cosmic Ray Detectors

Muons, one of the fundamental elementary particles, originate from the collision of cosmic rays with atmospheric particles and are also generated in particle accelerator collisions. In this study, Samson et al analyze the factors that influence muon flux and lifetime using Cosmic Ray Muon Detectors (CRMDs). Overall, the study suggests that water can be used to decrease muon flux and that scintillator orientation is a potential determinant of the volume of data collected in muon decay studies.

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Comparing the Biodegradability of Petroleum-based Plastic with a Novel, Sustainable Bio-plastic Alternative

Van Note et al. | Dec 02, 2020

Comparing the Biodegradability of Petroleum-based Plastic with a Novel, Sustainable Bio-plastic Alternative

In this research, a novel bioplastic inclusive of bamboo tannins and chitosan is selected from more than 60 trial formula variations based on resulting strength, fatigue, and transparency attributes. The biodegradability of the finalized bioplastic is compared to that of conventional polyethylene, in addition to investigating its solubility and water absorbance. This research displays the potential of a legitimate, fully biodegradable plastic alternative to current marketplace bioplastics.

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Developing a Method to Remove Inorganic Arsenic from Rice with Natural Substances

Mukai et al. | Oct 27, 2020

Developing a Method to Remove Inorganic Arsenic from Rice with Natural Substances

In this study, the authors tested different approaches for removing arsenic from rice. Due to higher arsenic levels in water, some areas grow rice with higher levels as well. This is a health hazard and so developing methods to remove arsenic from the rice will be helpful to many. Using a rapid arsenic kit, the authors found that activated charcoal was the most effective at removing arsenic from rice.

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