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Androgen Diffusion Patterns in Soil: Potential Watershed Impacts

Corson et al. | Jan 24, 2019

Androgen Diffusion Patterns in Soil: Potential Watershed Impacts

Androgens are natural or synthetic steroid hormones that control secondary male sex characteristics. Androgens are excreted in cattle urine and feces, and can run off or seep into nearby waters, negatively impacting aquatic life and potentially polluting human water sources. Here, the authors investigated the effectiveness of soil as a natural barrier against androgen flow into vulnerable waterways. Their results, obtained by testing diffusion patterns of luminol, an androgen chemical analog, indicated that soil is a poor barrier to androgen diffusion.

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Repurposing citrus peel waste and its positive effects on our health and communities

Kim et al. | Feb 08, 2021

Repurposing citrus peel waste and its positive effects on our health and communities

Every year, more than 30% of food products go to waste. This is approximately 1.3 billion tons of food, which is equivalent to 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars. While conventional solid waste treatments and fertilization of food waste are common, citrus fruit peels require secondary applications and advanced disposal management due to their low pH values and high antimicrobial characteristics. Since citrus fruits are well-known sources of vitamin C and antioxidants, we hypothesized that their peels also contain high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants. In our study, five common citrus peels including grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, and tangerine, were used to determine the amounts of vitamin C and total soluble antioxidants.

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Reactivity-informed design, synthesis, and Michael addition kinetics of C-ring andrographolide analogs

Zhou et al. | Nov 17, 2022

Reactivity-informed design, synthesis, and Michael addition kinetics of C-ring andrographolide analogs

Here, based on the identification of androgapholide as a potential therapeutic treatment against cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, due to its ability to inhibit a signaling pathway in immune system function, the authors sought ways to optimize the natural product human systems by manipulating its chemical structure. Through the semisynthesis of a natural product along with computational studies, the authors developed an understanding of the kinetic mechanisms of andrographolide and semisynthetic analogs in the context of Michael additions.

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An efficient approach to automated geometry diagram parsing

Date et al. | Oct 02, 2022

An efficient approach to automated geometry diagram parsing

Here, beginning from an initial interest in the possibility to use a computer to automatically solve a geometry diagram parser, the authors developed their own Fast Geometry Diagram Parser (FastGDP) that uses clustering and corner information. They compared their own methods to a more widely available, method, GeoSolver, finding their own to be an order of magnitude faster in most cases that they considered.

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The Effect of the Human MeCP2 gene on Drosophila melanogaster behavior and p53 inhibition as a model for Rett Syndrome

Ganga et al. | Sep 07, 2020

The Effect of the Human <i>MeCP2</i> gene on <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i> behavior and p53 inhibition as a model for Rett Syndrome

In this study, the authors observe if the symptoms of Rett Syndrome, a neurodegenerative disease in humans, are reflected in Drosophila melanogaster. This was achieved by differentiating the behavior and physical aspects of wild-type flies from flies expressing the full-length MeCP2 gene and the mutated MeCP2 gene (R106W). After conducting these experiments, some of the Rett Syndrome symptoms were recapitulated in Drosophila, and a subset of those were partially ameliorated by the introduction of pifithrin-alpha.

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Assessing grass water use efficiency through smartphone imaging and ImageJ analysis

Shen et al. | Jul 27, 2022

Assessing grass water use efficiency through smartphone imaging and ImageJ analysis

Overwatering and underwatering grass are widespread issues with environmental and financial consequences. This study developed an accessible method to assess grass water use efficiency (WUE) combining smartphone imaging with open access color unmixing analysis. The method can be applied in automated irrigation systems or apps, providing grass WUE assessment for regular consumer use.

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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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Culturally Adapted Assessment Tool for Autism Spectrum Disorder and its Clinical Significance

Das et al. | Apr 19, 2021

Culturally Adapted Assessment Tool for Autism Spectrum Disorder and its Clinical Significance

Diagnosing of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using tools developed in the West is challenging in the Indian setting due to a huge diversity in sociocultural and economic backgrounds. Here, the authors developed a home-based, audiovisual game app (Autest) suitable for ASD risk assessment in Indian children under 10 years of age. Ratings suggested that the tool is effective and can reduce social inhibition and facilitate assessment. Further usage and development of Autest can improve risk assessment and early intervention measures for children with ASD in India.

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