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Predicting asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations with machine learning techniques

Chatterjee et al. | Oct 25, 2021

Predicting asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations with machine learning techniques

Seeking to investigate the effects of ambient pollutants on human respiratory health, here the authors used machine learning to examine asthma in Lost Angeles County, an area with substantial pollution. By using machine learning models and classification techniques, the authors identified that nitrogen dioxide and ozone levels were significantly correlated with asthma hospitalizations. Based on an identified seasonal surge in asthma hospitalizations, the authors suggest future directions to improve machine learning modeling to investigate these relationships.

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The knowledge and perception of opioid abuse and its long-term effects among high schoolers

Shroff et al. | Nov 27, 2021

The knowledge and perception of opioid abuse and its long-term effects among high schoolers

Due to the susceptibility of adolescent age groups to opioid misuse, here the authors sought to determine if there was a difference in the perception and knowledge between 9th and 12th graders regarding the opioid crisis. An educational intervention trial was done with the 9th graders and surveys were used to identify its effects. Although the authors acknowledge a small sample size, their results suggest that their are gaps within the knowledge of adolescents in regards to opioid misuse and its long-term effects that could be addressed with further education.

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Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Photosynthetic Ability of Chaetoceros gracilis in the Monterey Bay

Harvell et al. | Jan 16, 2020

Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Photosynthetic Ability of <i>Chaetoceros gracilis</i> in the Monterey Bay

In this article, Harvell and Nicholson hypothesized that increased ocean acidity would decrease the photosynthetic ability of Chaetoceros gracilis, a diatom prolific in Monterey Bay, because of the usually corrosive effects of carbonic acid on both seashells and cells’ internal structures. They altered pH of algae environments and measured the photosynthetic ability of diatoms over four days by spectrophotometer. Overall, their findings indicate that C. gracilis may become more abundant in Monterey Bay as the pH of the ocean continues to drop, potentially contributing to harmful algal blooms.

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How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

Everitt et al. | Feb 15, 2021

How has California’s Shelter-in-Place Order due to COVID-19 and the Resulting Reduction in Human Activity Affected Air and Water Quality?

As the world struggled to grapple with the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many countries instated policies to help minimize the spread of the virus among residents. This inadvertently led to a decrease in travel, and in some cases, industrial output, two major sources of pollutants in today's world. Here, the authors investigate whether California's shelter-in-place policy was associated with a measurable decrease in water and air pollution in that state between June and July of 2020, compared to the preceeding five years. Their findings suggest that, by some metrics, air quality improved within certain areas while water quality was relatively unchanged. Overall, these findings suggest that changing human behavior can, indeed, help reduce the level of air pollutants that compromise air quality.

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The effect of floating plant on water purification: Comparison of the water purification capability of Water Hyacinth, Duckweed, and Azolla

Park et al. | Nov 21, 2020

The effect of floating plant on water purification: Comparison of the water purification capability of Water Hyacinth, Duckweed, and Azolla

Clean water is a necessity for every household, yet water pollution is a serious problem in many parts of the world and plays a major role in compromising water security in the 21st century. In this paper, the authors address the utility of several plants as natural water purifiers. They estimate the effectiveness of duckweed, hyacinth, and azolla in improving the quality of water from the Mithi river in India by measuring several metrics. They conclude that all three plants are effective in improving water quality, suggesting that these plants as eco-friendly options for water treatment.

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Correlation between shutdowns and CO levels across the United States.

Gupta et al. | Dec 05, 2021

Correlation between shutdowns and CO levels across the United States.

Concerns regarding the rapid spread of Sars-CoV2 in early 2020 led company and local governmental officials in many states to ask people to work from home and avoid leaving their homes; measures commonly referred to as shutdowns. Here, the authors investigate how shutdowns affected carbon monoxide (CO) levels in 15 US states using publicly available data. Their results suggest that CO levels decreased as a result of these measures over the course of 2020, a trend which started to reverse after shutdowns ended.

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Genomic Signature Analysis for the Strategic Bioremediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Mangrove Ecosystems in the Gulf of Tonkin

Dao et al. | Jun 27, 2021

Genomic Signature Analysis for the Strategic Bioremediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Mangrove Ecosystems in the Gulf of Tonkin

Engineered bacteria that degrade oil are currently being considered as a safe option for the treatment of oil spills. For this approach to be successful, the bacteria must effectively express oil-degrading genes they uptake as part of an external genoming vehicle called a "plasmid". Using a computational approach, the authors investigate plasmid-bacterium compatibility to find pairs that ensure high levels of gene expression.

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Methanotrophic bioremediation for the degradation of oceanic methane and chlorinated hydrocarbons

Lee et al. | Oct 08, 2021

Methanotrophic bioremediation for the degradation of oceanic methane and chlorinated hydrocarbons

Seeking an approach to address the increasing levels of methane and chlorinated hydrocarbons that threaten the environment, the authors worked to develop a novel, low-cost biotrickling filter for use as an ex situ method tailored to marine environments. By using methanotrophic bacteria in the filter, they observed methane degradation, suggesting the feasibility of chlorinated hydrocarbon degradation.

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