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Investigating KNOX Gene Expression in Aquilegia Petal Spur Development

Hossain et al. | Feb 03, 2014

Investigating KNOX Gene Expression in Aquilegia Petal Spur Development

Plants, and all other multi-cellular organisms, develop through the coordinated action of many sets of genes. The authors here investigate the genes, in a class named KNOX, potentially responsible for organizing a certain part of Aquilegia (columbine) flowers called petal spurs. Through the technique Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), they find that certain KNOX genes are expressed non-uniformly in petal spurs, suggesting that they may be involved, perhaps in a cell-specific manner. This research will help guide future efforts toward understanding how many beautiful flowers develop their unique shapes.

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The Effect of Ethanol Concentration on Beta-Cell Development in Zebrafish

Payne et al. | Jan 15, 2014

The Effect of Ethanol Concentration on Beta-Cell Development in Zebrafish

Alcohol is known to cause various developmental diseases including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Here the authors investigate the effect of ethanol on the development of zebrafish beta cells, the part of the pancreas associated with Type 1 Diabetes. They find that exposure to ethanol does adversely affect beta-cell development, suggesting that alcohol ingestion during pregnancy may be linked to diabetes in newborns.

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The Effect of UV Treatment on the Degradation of Compostable Polylactic Acid

Zhang et al. | Nov 28, 2013

The Effect of UV Treatment on the Degradation of Compostable Polylactic Acid

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a bio-based, compostable plastic that is comparable in cost to petroleum-based plastics. This study aims to evaluate the effects of UV treatment and mechanical chopping on the degradation of PLA. Based on their findings, the authors propose an alternative PLA degradation process that may be more time and energy efficient than current processes.

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Which diaper is more absorbent, Huggies or Pampers?

Shramko et al. | Sep 19, 2013

Which diaper is more absorbent, Huggies or Pampers?

The authors here investigate the absorbency of two leading brands of diapers. They find that Huggies Little Snugglers absorb over 50% more salt water than Pampers Swaddlers, although both absorb significantly more fluid than what an average newborn can produce.

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The effect of music on heart rate

Agrawal et al. | Apr 25, 2013

The effect of music on heart rate

Different songs can seem to evoke different emotions. Here the authors demonstrate that different songs can have a significant effect on the heart rate of listeners. A slower song slows heart rate, and a faster song increases it.

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Effectiveness of Biodegradable Plastic in Preventing Food Spoilage

Zhang et al. | Mar 20, 2012

Effectiveness of Biodegradable Plastic in Preventing Food Spoilage

Most people put little thought into the type of plastic wrap they use to store their leftovers. This study investigates the differences between biodegradable plastic wrap and non-biodegradable plastic wrap in their ability to prevent food spoilage. Does one work better than the other? Read more to find out!

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